Posts Tagged With: Franklin Roosevelt

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 11, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

CONNECTICUT EXECUTIONS
1600-1699…….12
Sodomy……..4
Witchcraft……7
Murder………1 (Native American)

1700-1799……. 16
Murder………11
Native American…….7 (2 woman)
White…………………4 (2 Women)
Treason…….2
Rape………..2 (Both Black)
Robbery……1

1800-1880…….19
Rape…………3 (All Black)
Murder
Native American….2

1881=1960…….78 (all murder)
Italian……….25
Black…………3
Asian…………2

This supplies a snapshot of America’s racial, ethnic and other obsessions since European colonization. Although it is only one state, I would guess that except for some changes in ethnic composition (e.g. Mexicans in California, American Indians in the upper Mid-west and so on) it provides a fair representation of our national psyche, newcomers or outsiders especially if they were poorer and darker were feared [Indians were looked on as newcomers in that they were new to the vast migrations from Northern Europe and blacks always have been outsiders.]

In a somewhat more positive note since 1800 more white Americans (almost all from the lowest classes) were executed than darker ‘foreign’ (including indians, Southern Europeans, Mexicans and blacks) people. Perhaps this could lead one to the conclusion that we Americans are more willing to kill and demean those who are poorer than we are than for racial, gender or ethnic reasons [and Americans we are, once our particular group passes through the ordeal of greater or lesser discrimination and humiliation imposed upon us by our adopted homeland as Italians did in the 60’s, blacks and Mexicans in increasing numbers are beginning to do today and indians, well, although they are mostly dead, their remnants may also be beginning that long climb to respectability where they can look down on those now just beginning their climb for reminding them from where they came and hating them for fear that the ambitions of this next group threatens their precarious and newly won grasp on respectability.]

Note: It seems the legalized killing in general increased somewhat faster than population.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

1. The rise and fall of western civilization: Western civilization as we know it arose in the city-states of Greece in about the Sixth Century BC. It reached its apogee during the age of the great Athenian political leader Pericles shortly thereafter. It could be argued that from its beginnings in this small peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean we have witnessed the expansion and incipient decline of Western Civilization. Some would even argue that we have been in decline since Pericles died.

This amazing civilization once again finds itself focused on this tiny bit of land, while the Greeks decide if they have had enough and whether to pull the plug on what they created.

Some have suggested that should they, the Greeks of today, decide to ring down the curtain on Western Civilization, it is because intermarriage with their long time rulers, the Turks, have made them wary of the rational religion of their ancestors. I do not agree. I think they are just pissed at the mess we have made of their invention.

2. The pot calling the kettle something or other: I have been reading in the local newspapers about the federal crackdown on California’s medical marijuana growing and distribution industry for their failure to even comply with the State’s own laws on the subject. This has prompted a frenzy by the less reflective and knowledgable left that this is just another example that Obama is just a Conservative in Liberal’s clothing. In fact, the Obama administration’s announced policy has always been basically to not enforcing federal marijuana laws where the operation is complys with local state law. The federal claim is that these operations being raided clearly violate state law and regulations.

Forgetting for a minute, whether the President’s daily national global concerns even allowed him to be more than peripherally aware of one of his agency’s enforcement of federal law in a state or the reality that the DEA is riddled with extreme right-wing holdovers on the phony war on drugs, all is not as it seems.

Several years ago as my legal career wound down and my self-confidence plummeted and I inevitably (and mostly happily) slid into poverty, I had involved my self with a number of clients (few of whom paid their bills) interested in entering into the burgeoning Medical Marijuana business. At that time the few attorneys who claimed to specialize in the area generally advised their clients on the technicalities of the State process and the vagaries of local and Federal enforcement. They, and I as well, developed form books to assist the would be entrepreneur through the process.

What most of us cautioned our clients about was the clear intention of the law as written to limit the industry to non-profits operating for medical purposes as well as the strict limits on the permitted size of the operation.

Of course as to be expected the fledgling marijuana millionaire was usually only interested in getting around those limitations and developing ever larger, more efficient and profitable growing and distribution companies and reaping some of the huge profits now going outside our borders or to the so-called criminal element, shotgun in hand, guarding their wilderness pot plantations. Some of us attempted to strongly advise them to stifle this ambition since, in terms of Federal enforcement, size matters. Alas, to no avail. They ignored the advice, ignored California’s laws and went big and bold. Thus the Federal crackdown.

Recognizing this addiction by private entrepreneurs to indulge themselves in the ego satisfaction of becoming wealthy plantation owners and the creators of the marijuana version of Sam’s club and its obvious questionable legality and unacceptable risk, I developed an alternative business approach, based upon the compound growth power of fees and financial manipulation.

Instead of going into the marijuana growing and distribution business, I advised my clients and developed the forms and procedures for entering the Medical Marijuana financing and equipment supply business. Briefly it required the prospective grower-distributor, in return for obtaining the financing from the Company, to enter into a contract, much like that used in contemporary franchise operations, requiring them to strictly comply with all laws and regulations and to buy all supplies as well as consulting services from the Company or risk losing their operation. The entrepreneur would then provide the grower-distributor the financing and a turn-key operation including consulting services and contract labor.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Sometimes it appears to me that my life is little more than a movable feast of self-indulgence. Perhaps it is the times that make me think so. Look at “Facebook” it is marketed as a so-called social media bringing people together. Not so. Facebook seems to me to be little more than “look at me” writ large.

Today I went for lunch with my friend Peter. We were both wearing our yellow Panama style hats. We ate at a little restaurant on Valencia Street in San Francisco where we discussed the humor and pathos of aging. After lunch we walked to a bakery on Guerrero for coffee and pastry. While sitting at the table, Peter told me about the time he lived in South Boston many years ago. He had a neighbor, a tiny aged Litvak man who each day that the sun was out would stand for several hours on the sidewalk outside his apartment to bathe in the warm sun’s rays. He would always wear a hat made from a paper bag, crisp and unwrinkled.

Once a month the little Litvak would stand outside his house until a large black chauffeured limousine would come by and stop. He would get into the back of the limo and they would take off. A few hours later he would return, the chauffeur would hold the door open for him, then remove several bags of groceries from the trunk and follow the little Litvak into his home emerging a few minutes later and after climbing into the front seat, drive off.

I asked Peter if he thought I would look ok with a paper bag for a hat instead of my Panama, at which point a woman sitting at the next table and obviously listening to our conversation leaned over and handed me a paper bag with handles. The bag fit perfectly on top of my head with the handles hanging below my ears. Those that chose to comment said that I looked quite fetching. I still have the bag and intend to take it with me on my return to Thailand.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Vince in Frenzy:

As he rode up in the elevator to his office on the 24th floor Vince decided he was through with half steps and waiting. He was going to act even if it put him in danger.

As he passed Nina’s desk after leaving the elevator he asked her to have Ray sent to his office.

“He’s not coming in until later today,” she responded. “He sais he was in bed with something, but hopes to be rid of it by early afternoon and will come in then.”

“Well, in that case please get Annabella LaGrande on the line for me.”

His phone rang as soon as he sat down at his desk.

“It is Ms. LaGrande on the line,” announced Nina.

“Annabella, how are you, how’s the jet lag,” Vince asked?

“I am fine. Why are you calling Vince? I have a busy day.”

Feeling bit miffed and a little cowed by Isabella’s brusk way of controlling the situation, Vince nevertheless rallied and said, “I would like you to email me a request for an immediate election for a new firm management committee. I don’t care about the reasons. Make them up yourself.”

There was silence from the other end of the line, then she said, “OK you will have it in a few minutes,” and hung up.

His next call was to Ike. When Ike pitied up the phone he said, “Ike, this is Vince, I’d like you to call the DOJ attorneys handling the Red Star investigation and tell then that I am willing to answer any questions they may have in return for immunity and protection.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called ‘love’?
A: In France , where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called ‘l’oeuf,’ which is French for ‘egg.’ When tennis was introduced in the US Americans (mis)pronounced it ‘love.’
b. Human “Fingerprints” on Recent Climate Change:

c. Annual English Teachers’ awards for best student metaphors/analogies found in actual student papers:

The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

Only the nectar was in her heart, not her bladder.

He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
d. Profiles in Presidential Courage:

(Thanks again to Cordt)

e. Wall Street Jargon Explained:

Bull Market:
A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

Bear Market:
A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry and the husband gets no sex.

Bear:
What your trade account and wallet will be when you take a flyer on that hot stock tip your secretary gave you.

Bull:
What your broker uses to explain why your mutual funds tanked during the last quarter.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Fight boredom at all costs.”
Peter Grenell.

BONUS QUOTE:

“Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal.”
~ Winston Churchill

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 8 Capt. Coast 0001 (April 28, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Alas, Cordt has decided to move from BKK back to Chiang Mai. I say alas because friends are few and far between for me here. Losing one as gentle, artistic and interesting as Cordt is bad enough but it also reduces to about one the number of people here with which I can have a conversation of more that 3 words in English. Nevertheless, I wish him well.

In the good news category, the Good David has returned to BKK after receiving negative results on his state-side medical tests. Following a few celebratory days and another few required to sleep it off, he called to invite me to have lunch with him.

Now, up until five years or so ago, I enjoyed excellent dental coverage. As a result I still have most of my teeth or at least their original roots. Nevertheless, behind my 12 or 16 front teeth, my back 12 or 16 teeth are either solid or heavily plated gold. It has been pointed out by more that one person that my teeth are probably worth more than all the rest of me (they certainly are worth more than my current bank account). Even so, despite the heavy gold plating, here and there a tiny bit of the original tooth enamel peeks through and it is here that mean old Mr. Tooth Decay still lurks.

So, after accepting the Good David’s invitation, I informed him I had a toothache and needed to first stop at a dentist before proceeding to lunch. He agreed to accompany me. We found a nearby dental clinic and the David offered to treat me to a new filling. It took the dentist not much more than 5 minutes to clean the cavity and pack in the filling (all without Novocaine). David paid the approximately $30 for the service and we set off for lunch.

So, thank you Good David. My newly restored tooth now has a name, “The Good David’s Molar.” And to the remarkable but mysterious dentist who neither removed his surgical mask nor spoke a word throughout the procedure, good job.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. What porn?

In a previous post I mentioned the sudden appearance of some porn photographs on the overhead projection screen during a debate in the Thai Legislature and the appointment of a committee to get at the bottom of it. After it was revealed that at least one legislator was enjoying some porn on his iPhone during the debate, the committee tried to pin everything on a low-level technical employee. When that failed they terminated the inquiry altogether claiming that once the screen was shut off and everything erased. Therefore no further analysis was possible.

The legislator caught ogling porn during the debate, apologized and blamed it all on some unnamed friend who sent him the photographs that he was struggling to delete when he was discovered.

2. The latest Thai Fashions:

According to Vice.com, in Thailand, braces on ones teeth are becoming a huge teenage fashion statement. Which is pretty strange considering in the West, braces are ruthlessly stigmatized and pretty much a metaphor for adolescent awkwardness.

Braces are considered a sign of wealth, status, and style. The reasoning is fairly straightforward—genuine orthodontic braces are very expensive. In Bangkok, for example, a set of tinsel-teeth will cost you roughly $1200, a substantial sum. So all the kids want to wear these things, because anything worn by the young and rich is obviously super cute. It has gotten so that in some cases the youngsters wear faux braces in order to appear fashionable.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY, MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES, THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

In For Repairs.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

The Parable of the Gazelles and the Lions II:

What! Another Parable?

Well, perhaps not really a parable. It seems that recently I have come across, in various guises the concept that the essential driving force of humanity or at least individual humans following their descent from the safety of the trees to lift their heads above the savannah was; Is it good to eat? Can I have sex with it? And, will it kill me? From these three elemental interests, it has in various ways been argued that our psychology and social arrangements can be deduced.

Now we all may agree that this is a bit simplistic. On the other hand, if we assume that these or some similar urges prompted our remote ancestors to forgo the safety of the trees and take up life on the dangerous grassy world of the savannah, then I maintain there are at least two other impulses that at this important moment marked man from the other fauna around him (more if we were to discuss women, the more subtle gender. But I will leave that for another day.)

The first is the remarkable facility of humans to confuse images with reality and find some utility in it that we call thought or ratiocination. This I also will not discuss here.

The second unique ability of humans is that when they raised their heads above the swaying frond of grass they also thought, “Now, who can I get to bring me my food, procure my sex for me and die instead of me if need be.”

What, you say that it is not separate from the first three but simply a mechanism to deal with them prompted by confusion of metaphors and symbols that we later called thinking. I disagree.

Naked Molerat Heterocephalus glaber eating

Naked Molerat Heterocephalus glaber eating (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is distinctly rare in the animal kingdom for any species to behave in that way. Few if any species for example sit around and choose one or more of their members to die for them. Even the noble Naked Mole Rat, when the group faced with a predator too strong to deal with, refuses to send one of their number out to die. Instead one of these heroic, if decidedly ugly, creatures nobly offers himself or herself for the intruders dinner.

Humans do not behave that way. Generally with humans, only someone conditioned by others who prefer not to die will make the ultimate sacrifice and offer himself instead for their benefit.

Take the example of the lions and gazelles sharing the same grassy world as the early humans. The lions are hungry. They stalk the gazelles through the grass. The gazelles see them and run away leaving to the lions the slow of foot, the sick and the lame.

English: Thomson's gazelles in the central Ser...

English: Thomson’s gazelles in the central Serengeti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now suppose for some reason the gazelles are struck with the same sickness as humans and a group of them stop and say to each other. “This is stupid. All this running around so that the slowest get eaten by the lions. It is exhausting, it interferes with our grazing and it is wasteful. Let’s choose someone we do not like very much or is not, you know, really one of us, hamstring him and leave him for the lions.” And so they do just that.

Lo and behold the lions fall upon the surrogate and the gazelles go back to eating the grass.

Now assume this goes on for generations, the lions lose their hunting skills and become fat and lazy. The clever gazelles realize this and begin leaving a little less each feeding time. After a suitable number of generations the lions become little more than the gazelles pets, useless for anything more than scaring other predators off; after all they have little enough of their own food. The gazelles, recognizing a good thing, realize that they do not even have to sacrifice one of their own; they could hamstring a Gnu or a Zebra just as well.

Eventually the lions are controlled and the gazelles increase and eat the savannah grass until almost none is left but a few clumps here and there as the land begins to turn into a desert. The gazelle leaders meet to try to figure out what to do. They decide, reasonably, to reserve the remaining grass  for only the leaders. The less successful will have to shift for themselves.

“But,” cries one of the soon to be starving gazelles, “it is us, the gazelles, who turned this paradise into a desert by over eating and over populating it and unless we all, gazelles, lions, gnus and zebras get together and do something all the grass will eventually be gone.”

“Ha,” laughed the gazelle leaders, “do not be ridiculous, gazelles could not be the cause. Why a thousand years ago this land was a desert, then the rains came and the grass grew and the gazelles and the lions came and made the savannah a paradise through the efforts of the leaders who naturally and rightfully should enjoy the remaining grasslands until the rains come again.”

This infuriated the other gazelles and the lions who were listening so much that they attacked the leaders in order to take the remaining stands of grass away from them, but in so doing the ensuing battle destroyed those remaining few tufts grass anyway and the gazelles died and so did the lions.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

The richest man who ever lived:

In his book The Haves and the Have Nots, Branko Milanovic tries to discover who was the richest person who has ever lived. Beginning with the loaded Roman triumvir Marcus Crassus, he measures wealth according to the quantity of his compatriots’ labour a rich man could buy. It appears that the richest man to have lived in the past 2000 years is alive today. Carlos Slim could buy the labour of 440,000 average Mexicans. According to Milanovic, this makes him 14 times as rich as Crassus, nine times as rich as Carnegie and four times as rich as Rockefeller.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

a. Lets start here:

b. Then take a look at this:

c. And perhaps consider the wisdom of the following:


d. then think about this:

2. Feel the Christian Love:

A Christian women’s prayer group has decided to pray that all the women involved in a liberal organization called MRFF get fast-moving breast cancer.

In a recorded telephone call to MRFF’s president to inform him of their decision, a spokesman for the so-called Christian group said:

“Now for our prayer, we pray that the women who work in your MFRR and the women in your family will befall fast-moving breast cancer which can not ever be cured. …we pray this for Bonnie Wiensten (the MFRR president’s wife) and Amanda and Amber Wienstein (his female children) and the woman lawyers … and all women who work at with for Military Freedom Against Religion Foundation. know that we pray and pray hard all the days until you stop your destruction of our American army and accept Christ Jesus as Lord and join His army.”

Jesus had an army? He prayed for people to die of incurable cancer instead of raising them from the dead? I always suspected that somewhere, sometime the Commies, Muslims or Obama got hold of the Christian bible and took out all the good parts.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

Pookie’s statement to the No Party Party Party regarding Defense spending:

“It is time we spend our defense money on defending our country not defending other countries. I propose using the defense budget to build a 20 foot wall entirely around the US with only a few easily secured gates, none of which opens on to Mexico. Then I would pass a national “Stand your Ground” law that would authorize any American citizen to shoot anyone he believes is a threat to American security. In this way we can increase our homeland security and reduce the Defense budget at the same time. No one can defend America as well as its well armed citizenry carrying concealed weapons.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

A. Louis C.K.:

B. Kitten Natividad star of “Eroticise”:

“Any guy who says he doesn’t like a pair of plastic tits can go fuck himself.”

Now some of you may ask what is a statement like that doing in a family publication like this. Well, it is here for two reasons. The first is to see if you have actually read this far. The second is to highlight the sheer brilliance of Ms Natividad’s observation.

The magnitude of the commonplace acceptance by modern society of plastic mammaries and vibrators (of which I mentioned in my previous post) as well as  availability of artificial insemination have altered the method of species procreation and nurturing greater than at any time since over 115 million years ago during the Mesozoic era when nature discovered the superior benefits of gestation of progeny within the body rather than inside an egg. As a result I believe this is clear evidence that we may have come to the end of the Holocene Epoch on earth, the era of the rise of mammals to dominance.

Couple that with the observation that one of the primary thrusts of evolution, in order to enhance a species ability to efficiently maximize its acquisition of energy and survival of offspring, is the ability to efficiently move about. Humans no longer need to travel the woods nor walk through the rows of ripening crops in search of sustenance. In the beginning we domesticated a few other mammals to assist our mobility, then we developed and made extensive use of artificial mechanical means of movement. Now, however, most of us pursue our energy needs sitting in a chair for 8 or so hours a day.

Recently we have progressed to creating perhaps the first symbiotic entity capable of acquiring most of our various energy needs; a symbiont between several organic beings, waves of radiated energy and a few wires and metal. We soon may no longer need to move at all.

Given the 2 to 3 hundred thousand years it takes evolution to produce significant changes to organic beings, we may see in that future that humanity becomes a species rooted to a place like a vegetable but still able to travel and experience the universe on the wings of energy waves. What we may be experiencing today is not just a change in epoch but the end of the Quaternary Period and the beginning of the fifth period of the earth. I guess it could all be considered a bit like the end of the Third Age of Middle Earth.

I am sure that the academics of that future time will look back and discovering Kitten Natividad’s observation marvel at its prescience and consider her one of the seminal minds of humanity since it is evidently true that whoever “doesn’t like a pair of plastic tits,” will undoubtedly have to “go fuck himself.” And we all know where on the road to evolutionary adaptability that inevitably ends up.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 5 Capt. Coast 0001 (April 24, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Well, some good news, my weight has dropped and has remained stable at under 200 lbs. Whether this is due to my diet or exercise regime or merely my body being catabolized by the ravages of age that will ultimately result in me growing shorter while I lose weight, I do not know. But whatever the reason, since losing the weight was a goal of mine, hooray for me.

The temperature has hovered about the 100+ degree mark in BKK and has reached as high as 108 in other parts of Thailand. No relief is in sight until the monsoon rains come. On a positive note the local weather bureau reports that so far the heat wave has been slightly less than normal in BKK for this time of year. On the other hand, the drought (yes a drought has followed on the heels of the floods) has set in hard in the north and northeastern portions of the country and could have a significantly negative impact on the area’s rice crop. So stock up on rice before prices rise.

As I have mentioned previously, I have become a devotee of Thai soaps even though I do not understand the language. My current obsession is with a soap about a team of heroic bus drivers (one of whom for some reason sometimes dresses up in a mask and a vest with no shirt underneath and beats up bad guys). There is also a ghost like creäture with tiny horns, acne, bad hair, a large mouth and over whose body red and black lights alternately play. He flies through the air and can appear or disappear at will. He seems to talk a lot but otherwise does not actually do much even though he turns up more often than any other character. Then there is the bad guy (who also bares his chest but most often wears a white T-shirt) with a pencil thin mustache who beats people up with a magic umbrella. There are also additional characters in an exceptionally large cast whose roles I cannot figure out except that the men are sometimes angry and at other times anguished and, when they are not fighting with one another, often get beat up by the masked guy or the guy with the magic umbrella. Then there are the women, some who are annoyed and yell a lot at which ever other women seems to have attracted the attention of one or another of the guys that get beat up a lot. No one appears to have had any sex in a while. Maybe that is why they are always fighting and yelling at one another. Oh, I almost forgot there is also at lot of opening of doors to rooms with no one in them, accompanied by spooky music.

(Revision: Since I wrote the above, things have gotten interesting. One of the women has gotten pregnant. So I assume she must have had sex with one of the angry guys. Her father, the bad guy with the magic umbrella, is furious. She is also a twin. She knocked out her twin sister by hitting her over the head with a telephone for dissing her about her pregnancy. She then switched clothes with her, ran off to yell at one of the guys and cry a lot. The knocked out but not up sister was then kidnapped by the horned Ghost who tied her up and hung her by her hands from a large tree. The Ghost himself has taken to inhabiting the bodies of a few of the other characters and turning their eyes red and giving them an uncontrollable urge to eat raw flesh usually stolen from a butcher shop. I guess this may be the Thai version of “The Game of Thrones.”)
B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Minimum wage:

Shortly after her election last year, Princess LuckyGirl the Thai Prime Minister announced a rise in the minimum wage from about seven or eight dollars a day to about 10 dollars per day with the predictable cries from the business community that the economy will collapse, the sky will fall and the nation will be wracked with floods. Well, in response to their concerns Princess LuckyGirl decided to ease the pain by introducing the raise gradually, starting first in those provinces most capable of bearing the claimed economic strain. As a result, minimum wage workers in those provinces not receiving raises left their jobs and flocked to those provinces that did, causing an uproar by those who now no longer could find workers unless they paid them the higher rate. So Princess LuckyGirl now has agreed to raise the minimum wage throughout the entire country. The economy did not collapse, the sky did not fall, but the floods came anyway.

2. University Graduate Pay:

In addition to raising the pay of minimum wage workers, Princess LuckyGirl increased the salary to be paid to university graduates working for the government from about $400 per month to about $500 per month. This however has been met with a more positive response from the business community, several of whose spokespersons thought it was a good thing for them to have to raise their salaries to university graduates in order to compete with the government for talent. I have no idea why they feel this way.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Secret Service Follies:

The US media seems all a twitter about the revelations that Secret Service members engaged the service of prostitutes during the Presidents visit to Columbia for a conference with leaders of many of the countries in North and South America. Now, forgetting for a moment that prostitution is legal there in Columbia and the rather common practice world wide of cops taking advantage of something without paying for it, it seems odd that the “scandal” appeared to be such a surprise to the media and the leaders of the Republican party who pretended to be shocked. First it should be noted that, since I know that all the cops attached to the embassy in Thailand are Republicans, it is safe to assume that in all likelihood, each and every secret service member involved in the Columbian caper is also a Republican. It should also be understood that it is well known that throughout the world federal cops stationed in foreign countries whether Secret Service or DEA agents have consorted with prostitutes.

Age of Consent sv

Age of Consent sv (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Thailand during the Bush administration’s Faith Based Initiative the DEA agents who could usually be found in the Thai bordellos when not at their desks, were removed from their drug interdiction assignments and transferred to work as contractors for a so called non-profit receiving taxpayer money to track down Americans in SE Asia who have had sex with persons below the age of consent under American law, whether or not it was consistent with the age of consent laws within the SE Asian country itself.

Now overlooking whether or not this was a reasonable use of tax money or whether it was a better use of it than for interdicting the illegal drug trade, or even whether or not the miscreants targeted were morally reprehensible, the fact was that these same, now rent a cops, at the time were also openly frequenting prostitutes in the country, many of whom were under the age of consent in the US. During this time I was told that a local Bangkok businessman was approached by these guardians of American morals and asked to set up other Americans so that they could make arrests. It was easier than tracking them down.

It has been reported that, after the arrest and subsequent conviction of an American Marine officer for having sex with underage persons in Cambodia based primarily on testimony of the alleged victims obtained through the use of an interpreter, it was discovered that one of the rent a cops was himself having sexual relations with the interpreter. Despite this, the team involved in the arrest received a commendation from the Obama administration for their exemplary work.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES, THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Still waiting for inspiration.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
3. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
4.The Founding Fathers were liberals.
5. The Earth is round.
6. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
7. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
8. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
9. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
10.Global warming is real.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:

2. Believe it or not:

Plato described the uterus as a living being unto itself — a kind of wild animal inhabiting a woman’s body, on an endless quest to make itself pregnant. If the uterus was “neglected” by the over-stimulation of other less important female organs (i.e., the brain) it would detach itself from the pelvic cavity and go on a meandering journey throughout the body, wreaking all kinds of havoc along it’s way. Eventually, its journey would end in the brain where it would sit and greedily sponge up all of the blood-flow. By thus blocking the circulation, the brain would then atrophy, which in turn resulted in the strange neurological symptoms of hysteria; the fainting spells, the convulsions, and the trance-like alterations of consciousness. Every ailment afflicting women could therefore be attributed to a single underlying cause, a displaced uterus.

In the Nineteenth Century, in an effort to discourage the wandering uterus, the male medical establishment at the time came up with something intended to calm women down and reduce their hysteria called “pelvic massage” and created a whole new industry and profession, the “Pelvic Massage Therapist.

Alas, private enterprise ever seeking to eliminate labor costs and thereby increase profits soon developed something that is now commonly referred to as a “vibrator” causing hundreds of “therapists” to find another field of work.

Now you know the rest of the story.

It should be noted that after at least 10,000 years of treating women as not much more than domesticated animals, men the physically stronger [or at least more senselessly violent] but much less intelligent gender, presented women with the means of emancipation from the one thing that men thought they needed a women for [other than cooking their food and washing their underwear]. Don’t you think that Historians should consider the current era as the beginning of “The Age of the Revenge of the Vagina?”

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

Please see the blog: http://papajoestales.wordpress.com/

Buddy Roemer announced his third party candidacy for the Presidency of the United States a few weeks ago and said at that time:

“Tomorrow, I will formally end my bid for the GOP nomination for President of the United States. As the GOP and the networks host debate number twenty-something this evening, they have once again turned their backs on the democratic process by choosing to exclude a former Governor and Congressman. I have decided to take my campaign directly to the American people by declaring my candidacy for Americans Elect. Also, after many discussions with The Reform Party, I am excited to announce my intentions of seeking their nomination. It is time to heal our nation and build a coalition of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and the partisan gridlock that infects Washington. Together, we will take on the special-interests that control our leaders and end the corruptive influence of money in politics so we can focus on America’s top priority — jobs.”

Pookie also announces the end of his attempt to wrest the GOP nomination from party regulars and proclaims his third party candidacy on the No Party Party Party Ticket.

Pookie says:

“In ending my campaign for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States and accepting the nomination of the ‘No Party Party Party’ I pledge myself to ending governmental waste by ending government. All politicians but Pookie (who is not a politician anyway) will have to find a real job just like the rest of us.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

It is fascinating how the religion with the largest number of followers in the world’s many sects all proudly trace their heritage back to a tent dwelling, slave-owning, polygamous, goat herder with a notoriously bad temper and bizarre obsessions with pigs, penises and shellfish.

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

Four ex members of the 1% hold a reunion.

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. September 23, 2010

Today’s factoid:

1501 The German botanist Leonhard Fuchs was born. He compiled the first modern glossary of botanical terms. The color fuchsia is named in honor of him.

(Lenny died of embarrassment.)

Today’s Quote:

“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

News from Thailand:

The Bangkok Post recently pointed out that the growth rate of Thailand’s tourist industry has fallen behind that of its competitors in the area. Their tourism growth rates often more than doubled that of Thailand.

These countries were also more aggressively pursuing and more successful in attracting retirees and those foreigners wishing to own real property or to open a small business. On the other hand, Thailand’s visa and property ownership rules have become ever more cumbersome and restrictive.

Malaysia offers simple long-term visas (as much as 10 years and property ownership to foreigners, Cambodia welcomes small foreign owner businesses and Borneo, has begun to surpass Thailand as a location for foreigners wishing to retire as well as for those interested in setting up small businesses.

Petrillo’s response:

Some of you after reading my last email have asked whether there was anyone notable bearing the Petrillo name who was not a criminal or suffered a tragic death,

Actually, I had been looking through the internet to find a positive model to use in a semi-autobiographical fable I was planning to write for a blog.

I could only turn up three.

One was Sophia Petrillo who was played by Estelle Getty in “The Golden Girls” television series. Sophia was the Bea Arthur character’s mother. Unfortunately, she was a fictional character and anyway she was reputed to have burned down the retirement home before moving to Miami to live with her daughter and friends. (There was an August Petrillo who at the time the show was popular was the racist mayor of Mount Vernon N.Y., a city I lived in briefly, but he was not the role model I had in mind.)

There was also James Caesar Petrillo, the head of the musicians union from the 1930’s until the 60’s. There was a band shell in Chicago named for him. That had some promise.

And then there was some guy named Petrillo from Pennsylvania who wrote a book called “The Ghost Towns of North Mountain.”

I could perhaps use as a model the pretty musician named Petrillo that was the plaything of the Prince of Tuscany, but I don’t do costume dramas.

On the other hand I could possibly revise his story to make it more contemporary.

In that case the story might go something like this:

Ferdinando, “Freddy Megs” Medici, the dissolute son of Vincent, “Vinnie the Hump” Medici a well-known Mafiosi, one day decided that he wanted to be a producer and manager of rock bands and using his father’s money started doing so.

Francis “Franny” Petrillo was the back-up Bass guitarist of the band “Pepperoni Suicide” that was managed by Freddy Megs. Franny was the product of a series of abusive foster parent situations. He was also an exceptionally pretty boy and Freddy Megs fell for him, hard.They began an affair.

Since the homophobic mafioso leadership frowned on such things, Freddy Megs kept his dalliance with Franny very secret. He also had very public affairs with women that convinced most of those that knew him that Megs was no finocchio. Anyway he was not yet a made man so something like this if it did get out could always be considered just a youthful indiscretion.

Freddy Megs promised Franny that one day he would have his own band.

Unbeknownst to Franny, Freddy Megs was also having an affair with a transsexual drummer in a punk grunge Dyke band called The Bloody Rags, also managed by Megs. The drummer’s name was Melanie.

When Franny found out about Melanie he became very jealous and decided to do away with her. He rigged up her drums to burst into flames when Melanie struck them in a certain way.

And so, at the concert where the Bloody Rags were performing, Melanie’s drums burst into flames on cue. Unfortunately for Franny, Melanie escaped without a scratch and the pyrotechnics were so well received by the audience that the Bloody Rags incorporated it into their act and as a result became famous. Melanie and the band, now insanely popular, promptly hired a more successful manager then Megs and took off for a tour of Europe, leaving Megs pissed off and Franny temporarily happy.

Freddy Megs soon grew tired of the music business, sold off his bands, told Franny it was over between them and joined an artist community in Taos.

Franny distraught and hoping to punish Megs with guilt, then hung himself from a telephone pole by the E-string of his favorite guitar, right outside the door of Freddy Megs house .

Unbeknownst to Franny, Freddy Megs had already moved to New Mexico and had sold the house to Franny’s long-lost father, a mega-millionaire who had made his money as Bernie Madoff’s silent partner.

His father coming out of his house in the morning to meet with his lawyers because he was under indictment for his association with Madoff, seeing Franny hanging there promptly dies of a heart attack leaving all his money to Franny. Since Franny is already dead the money goes to the alternative beneficiary in the will, a non-profit dedicated to reprogramming gay artists.

Eat your heart out Charlie Dickens wherever you are.

Ciao.

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment. July 22, 2010

Daily factoid: 1637 In an effort to prevent anyone from stabbing him while he feasted, Cardinal Richelieu orders that all knives be rounded, inadvertently inventing the first butter knife.

Thought for the day:
“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
Abraham Lincoln

I returned from my week in Chiang Mai (Paradise in the Mountains) only to receive the news that Hayden was to be removed from school today and brought to BKK in preparation for his move to either California or Italy in September. Many people have commented that most people believe that they are the star in their own life’s drama. To which Franklin Roosevelt wryly observed that you should “[R]emember that you are just an extra in everyone else’s play. However, the bitter truth of the matter is that for most of us we are no more than bit players in our own tragedy.”

Anyway things continue on here in Thailand. The english language newspapers continue reporting on the various political maneuverings of the Red and Yellow shirt factions, missing completely the reality of the jockeying for power amongst the major Thai governing institutions. So what else is new, the news from the US appears no less insipid.

On a lighter note, last night I had dinner with a friend who I had not seen in a while at a wonderful French restaurant in Pattaya called “Mata Hari.” We were joined for dinner by her nephew named “Boy,” a policeman by day and a chef at night.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with the naming conventions in Thailand (I think I explained it in a previous post) they resemble those traditional in Southern Italy and Sicily. There, at some point in one’s youth, he is given a nickname, usually by his friends, by which he will forever after be known. Names like Beefsteak, Tony the Bum, Footer, Mopey Joe are all names given to people I have known. While these names are usually bestowed on males some females are also so graced as we saw in the case of the woman named “Rose ‘Kiss of Death’ Carina” involved in the crime spree of the notorious Petrillo brothers and “Morris’ Louie the Rabbi’ Bolber”.

Anyway, in Thailand shortly after birth, the baby’s father gives the baby a nick-name that becomes that person’s name thereafter or until they change it which they often do. Names like Nong (Boy), Ying (Girl), Daeng (Red), Nok (Bird) and so on are common. For some reason the father of my dinner companion decided to forgo the Thai name and jump directly into the english transaction.

Given the connotations in American english in calling someone “Boy,” I refrained from doing so leaving the conversation somewhat stilted as I sought to deal with liberal guilt that I should not have since my people arrived in the US long after the earlier settlers bequeathed that shame to the nation. Unfortunately, I am sad to say, we rapidly and happily acquired the prejudices and sensitivities of our betters (as they so firmly told us they were our betters).

Ciao…

I just realized that I sent the notorious Petrillo brothers article to only a few of you. So, since the rest of you may not understand the reference, I have attached it below. (As far as I know we are not related)

Malice, Madness, and Mayhem: an Eclectic Collection of American Infamy
The Petrillo Poison Ring
Pennsylvania 1932-1938

For six years during the depths of the Depression, two Italian immigrants and a Jewish mystic sprinkled arsenic through the working-class neighborhoods of Philadelphia like deadly Sandman. Caught up with them were a dozen “poison widows” – and a couple of “poison widowers” – bearing various degrees of complicity in the deaths of their spouses. The victims were mostly Italian immigrants, some illiterate, some with little knowledge of English, all dead. And they all carried an inordinate amount of life insurance.

Cousins Paul and Herman Petrillo were both born near Naples, Italy, and came to America in 1910, when Paul was 17 and Herman was 11. Paul married shortly after arriving in Philadelphia and began production on his large family. His wife, Angelina, was sickly and rarely seen about the neighborhood. Paul opened his own shop, “Paul Petrillo, Custom Tailor to the Classy Dresser,” and by 1929 was successful enough to pay cash for a house.

But the Depression was not kind to “classy dressers,” and Paul began to look for ways to supplement his income. An insurance agent who hung around Paul’s shop, Gaetano Cicinato, told him about the shadier side of the insurance business. The cheap policies he sold required no medical exam. If you knew someone was an ill-health – a
35-year-old who’d been gassed during World War I, for example – the 50-cent a week premium was peanuts compared to the payoff. It was like hitting the lottery. Paul began accumulating such policies. Some were taken out by the insured’s family and assigned to Paul. Others he took out himself, listing himself as “cousin” or “brother” to the insured. But Paul was impatient. He needed a way to improve his odds.

In the Italian neighborhoods of Philly, many immigrants retained the beliefs of the old country – deeply superstitious, they believed in curses and the evil eye, in potions and charms. Paul Petrillo was one such believer. It was said he carried eleven rabbits’ feet in his pocket to ward off demons. He handed out business cards, with the address of his tailor shop, calling himself, “Professor P. Patril – Divine Healing, Private Readings.”

While Paul started out a respectable member of society, cousin Herman took a different path. He was a con artist, an arsonist, and a counterfeiter, but somehow he always managed to slip through the grips of the cops and the feds. It was Herman who first suggested a way for Paul to start collecting on his growing stack of insurance policies. “Send the guy to California,” was Herman’s euphemism for murder. When Paul initially declined, Herman started on his own scheme. His first mark was 50-year-old old Ralph Caruso, a vagrant who was suffering the crippling effects of a trolley accident. Herman installed Caruso in a boardinghouse and built up an insurance portfolio worth $3,000, payable to Ralph’s “brother,” “Herman Caruso.” (For an estimate of current value, multiply amounts by 15. $3,000 in 1935 is worth roughly $47,000 in 2008.) Then Herman took Ralph fishing. With the help of goon Salvatore Sortino, Herman drowned Ralph Caruso in the Schuylkill River.

Unfortunately for Herman, the insurance companies were suspicious and only made partial payments. For all that work, Herman collected a mere $700.
Meanwhile, Herman had a little thing going with a woman named Marie Woloshyn and convinced her to take out insurance on her husband, John. One evening, accompanied by another buddy named Caesar “Jumbo” Valenti, who had spent half of his life in prison, Herman took John for a drive. Jumbo popped John on the head with a pipe and tossed his body in the road. Herman finished the job by driving over the corpse. The police declared it a hit-and-run.

Through his interest in mysticism, Paul Petrillo met Morris “Louie the Rabbi” Bolber. He wasn’t really a rabbi, but Bolber taught Hebrew and prepared boys for their bar mitzvahs. A Russian Jewish immigrant, Bolber claimed to have learned divine healing through the Kabbalah, an ancient book of the supernatural, and from a Chinese witch doctor named Rino. Salvatore Sortino, the thug who’d helped Herman Petrillo send Ralph Caruso to California, followed Louie the Rabbi’s prescription for good luck: “Put an egg under your arm and keep it there for nine days.”

But Bolber’s stock in trade – and which most interested Paul Petrillo – were love potions. Bolber’s incantations could turn a drunken lout of a husband into a prince, or rekindle fading ardor.
Anna Arena worked part-time as a seamstress in Paul’s tailor shop. She came to Louie the Rabbi complaining that her husband, Joseph, ignored their children and showed no interest in her womanly charms. Bolber convinced her of her latent sexuality and paired her with another client in need of sex therapy, Dominick Rodio. With the help of Gaetano Cicinato, Anna obtained a $3,200 double-indemnity policy on Joseph.

To everyone’s frustration, Joseph was healthy, and Bolber’s incantations did nothing to change that fact. Paul called for reinforcements in the form of cousin Herman. Herman and Dominick Rodio took Joseph crabbing, where he had an unfortunate encounter with an oar. The conspirators split the $3,200.

But Herman’s brand of murder was messy and complicated; they needed something easier. The first poison victim was Luigi LaVecchio. Luigi had fallen from a scaffold nine years earlier, in 1923, and had never fully recovered. His wife, Sophie, ran a confectionary store. When Sophie learned of Louie the Rabbi’s healing powers, she sought his help. Again, Paul Petrillo and Gaetano Cicinato obtained life insurance on Luigi. But instead of calling in Herman and his goons to hasten the inevitable, Bolber supplied a packet of powder, which Paul instructed Sophie to mix in Luigi’s food. Immediately Luigi began a tortuous routine of vomiting and diarrhea. It took him three days to die.

Between 1932 and 1938, the bodies piled up. Paul Petrillo’s paramour, Rose “Kiss of Death” Carina, alone dropped three husbands in quick succession, Dominic Carina, Prospero Lisi, and Peter Stea. Most of the victims were husbands; there were Antonio Giacobbe, Guiseppi DiMartino, Antonio Romualdo, Romaine Mandiuk, Pietro Pirolli, and Salvatore Carilli. There were a couple of wives, Jennifer Pino and Jennie Cassetti. Maria Favato managed to rid herself of her common-law husband, Charles Ingrao, and teenaged stepson, Philip Ingrao. Joseph Swartz took out his mother-in-law, Lena Winkleman. With the exception of Ralph Caruso, Joseph Arena, and John Woloshyn, all met with sudden and fatal illnesses. When doctors were called, their symptoms were usually put down to digestion problems. As poor immigrants, their deaths did not attract much attention from the authorities.

In 1935, Maria Favato was 39 years-old, five feet tall, and over 200 pounds. She was illiterate and spoke little English. She too believed in the power of curses and spells. For ten years, she and Charles Ingrao had been living as husband and wife, but Charles had a bad habit of knocking Maria around. Over the years, she had taken out nearly $9,000 in life insurance on her husband.
Maria and Charles housed a border, Raphael Polselli, a short, scrawny man who developed an infatuation with Maria. Distressed over Charles’s abuse of his beloved, Polselli got in touch with his friend Jumbo Valenti. For $300, Jumbo told Raphael, he could procure a magic powder from Herman Petrillo that would take care of their problem. It took Charles Ingrao nine days to die. The doctor listed cause of death as pneumonia.

Pleased with the results, Maria Favato and Raphael Polselli took out insurance policies on neighbors Antonio Romualdo and Guiseppi DiMartino, and obtained more magic powder from Herman Petrillo. Romualdo died on November 13, 1936, and DiMartino on February 7, 1937.

Charles Ingrao’s 16-year-old son, Philip, had been living in a foster home, but Maria took him back after Charles’s death. From various companies she built up more than $6,300 in insurance. By the spring of 1938, the premiums had reached $3 per week while Philip brought home only $5 per week in wages. The teenager suffered for nearly a month before he died on June 25, 1938. By the time she caught the attention of authorities later that year, Maria had accumulated policies on Charles’s younger son, Michael, and on her own son from her first marriage, Joseph Pontarelli.

The poison ring began to fall apart in 1938 with the death of Ferdinando Alfonsi.

Herman and Paul Petrillo had founded a social club, the Italian-American Political and Moral Bocce Club of Paradise, otherwise known as the Paradise Club. Besides offering the locals a place to drink, play cards, and bemoan the world’s troubles, the dues members paid got them a $400 death benefit. Herman found a doctor who would perform 50 to 100 physical exams per day, at 50 cents a head (split with Herman).

Herman also used the Paradise Club to find willing accomplices for his various enterprises. One such confrere was Ferdinando Alfonsi, who helped Herman move some stolen merchandise and counterfeit cash. Ferdinando was unhappily married to Stella, a gregarious, attractive woman with a beautiful singing voice. Ferdinando and Stella mutually neglected each other and their two sons. Stella was also friends with Rose “Kiss of Death” Carina. Herman took a shine to Stella and wanted to take advantage her unhappy union. He took out a couple of thousand more in life insurance on Ferdinando. But Herman and Ferdinando were drinking buddies and business partners. It was tough to send a pal to California.

Enter George Myer (a.k.a. Newmyer), a small-time criminal and police informer. He and Herman concocted various schemes, but Myer had no intention of going through with the murder; he was just trying to finagle an advance. After weeks of delays and excuses, Herman offered Myer an extra $2,500 in counterfeit money if Myer would just get it done already.

The U.S. Secret Service, in charge of tracking down counterfeiters, had had Herman in their sights for years, and now, with informer George Myer’s help, they might finally be able to grab him. Myer arranged for Agent Stanley Phillips to meet with Herman. Myer introduced Phillips as “Johnny,” recently released after doing time for murder. Together, Myer and Phillips would send Ferdinando Alfonsi to California – two assassins for the price of one.

But weeks of negotiation ensued as Phillips tried to get Herman to pay up so the T-man would have hard evidence to make his counterfeit case.

Meanwhile, Myer caught word that Ferdinando Alfonsi was deathly ill. When, in September 1938, Herman finally came through with the counterfeit bills, Phillips inquired about the “job.” Herman replied, “Oh, forget about that part. The man’s in the Stomach Hospital, and he’s not coming out.”

The Secret Service contacted the Philadelphia police. Alfonsi’s doctors found arsenic in his urine. (He died a couple of weeks later, and an autopsy confirmed the arsenic poisoning.) When confronted by Assistant District Attorney Vincent McDevitt, Stella Alfonsi denied all knowledge of and complicity in the poisoning of her husband, but Herman reeled off a staggering list of victims. Although he himself was innocent, he pointed to cousin Paul Petrillo and Morris Bolber as the evil masterminds. Paul, also proclaiming his innocence, added to the list. Morris Bolber and Rose Carina quickly skipped town. (Louie the Rabbi eventually turned himself in; the FBI captured Rose Carina in the Bronx.)

As Vincent McDevitt began building his case, informant George Myer received death threats and was found beaten half to death. Police put him in protective custody. McDevitt exhumed the bodies of Charles and Philip Ingrao, common-law husband and stepson of Maria Favato, and subsequent autopsies found them full of arsenic. On February 17, 1939, Herman and Paul Petrillo, Stella Alfonsi, and Maria Favato were indicted for murder.

Arsenic is odorless, tasteless, and toxic in small doses. Its symptoms – vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle weakness – mimic common illnesses such as food poisoning or stomach ulcers. The victims’ deaths were attributed to, among other things, gastroenteritis, cardiac decompensation, influenza, and diabetes. One telltale effect of arsenic poisoning is a strong odor of garlic on the breath – hardly noteworthy in a community of Italians. Some victims were also dosed with antimony, a more potent cousin of arsenic that produces similar symptoms.

D.A. McDevitt was able to obtain confessions from several of the poison widows. Although their culpability varied wildly, it helped McDevitt’s mission that their English was poor, some didn’t have lawyers, and they couldn’t read the confessions they were asked to sign. Some, like Sophie LaVecchio, were probably largely ignorant of the true nature of the powder they mixed in their husbands’ food. Others, like Maria Favato, knew exactly what was going on.

• Herman Petrillo was found guilty of the firstdegree murder of Ferdinando Alfonsi and sentenced to death. Although his conviction was reversed on appeal, a second trial for the murder of Ralph Caruso produced the same outcome. He was executed on October 21, 1941.

• Paul Petrillo pled guilty to the first-degree murder of Luigi LaVecchio and was executed on March 31, 1941.

• Morris Bolber pled guilty to the first-degree murder of Romaine Mandiuk and was sentenced to life in prison. He died in prison on February 9, 1954.

• Maria Favato pled guilty to the murders of Charles Ingrao, Philip Ingrao, and Guiseppi DiMartino and was sentenced to life in prison; her release or death date is unknown.

• Raphael Polselli also pled guilty to the murders of Charles Ingrao and Guiseppi DiMartino; he died in prison on November 17, 1953.

• Sophie LaVecchio pled guilty to seconddegree murder in the death of her husband and was sentenced to 10 to 20 years.

• Rose Carina was acquitted, as was Stella Alfonsi.

An additional sixteen people pled guilty to or were convicted of first- or second- degree murder, two were convicted on lesser charges, and four were acquitted or released.

For six years, motivated purely by greed, Paul and Herman Petrillo and Morris Bolber took advantage of their friends’ ignorance and superstition and ensnared an entire community in a web of death. All for a couple of bucks.

Categories: July 2010 through September 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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