Posts Tagged With: Free market.

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 12 Pepe 0006 (October 30, 2017)



“Lawyers do favors like cats take mice for a walk.”
Hill, Reginald. The Roar of the Butterflies (p. 105). HarperCollins.





My Beloved Friend Luigi (Gigi) Gallo, His wife, Lia, and Their Son, Marco, at Dinner in Sicily. Gigi and Marco were Award Winning Race Car Drivers. Marco is Now One of Italy’s Premier Sport’s Nutritionists.




The skies over the Golden Hills have turned blue again. Alas, as good as it is for us who live here, for those living on the other side of the Great Valley suffering from the still blazing conflagration, it only means their lives have probably gotten even worse. A week after the fires began, they still rage on, thousands remain homeless and many unaccounted for.

On Sunday, HRM baked a birthday cake for me. He, Dick, and Sharkie the Goldfish gave me a nice warm jacket as a present accompanied by a birthday card signed by each.

The weather has gotten warmer in the golden hills. A new species of geese recently has taken up residence in the lake by our house. These geese, unlike the Canadian variety that are common at the lake this time of year, have white necks and a bump on the top of their beak. I have never seen them around here before.
The new geese on the lake being led around by the local white duck. Perhaps the duck is the lake’s resident real estate agent.

Dick left for a week in Thailand. Nikki arrived a day or two after Dick departed. HRM and Nikki attended a big concert at Discovery Park in Sacramento. Dick came down with food poisoning in Bangkok. I swam in the pool a lot and seem to be gaining weight again — about four pounds in the past week.

After Nikki left, Adrian arrived for the weekend. Since he will be available to care for HRM, I decided to spend the weekend in SF with Peter and Barrie. So, on Saturday, after downing a bowl of Raisin Bran and watering the plants, I left for the city by the bay.

That evening, I accompanied Peter to the El Cerrito Free Folk Festival where Peter was to perform with his Blues band, Blind Lemon Pledge, and where I played temporary roadie.
Blind Lemon Pledge with Peter on Bass.

I also enjoyed the music of an engaging trio harmonizing folk songs. It was the group’s final appearance together as one of them was to depart to the East Coast within the next few days to commence a solo recording career.

Then we returned to Peter’s house where we talked mostly about getting old. The next morning, after Barrie returned from her morning swim in SF Bay, we ate a breakfast of locks, bagels, and cream cheese. I then returned home —No Bernie’s and coffee while sitting on the Old Man’s Bench talking with Don on this trip —a pity that.





As citizens of the United States of America, our allegiance is to the Constitution. The Constitution of the United States created neither flags nor banners nor pledges or anthems.

What it does do, and does so clearly, it preserves the right of any individual to peacefully express his or her objection to perceived violations of their Constitutionally protected rights and to petition for their redress. No anthems, pledges or banners no matter how fervently held by some can alter or deprive a citizen of those rights, and the peaceful exercise of those rights remain available to the citizen in all cases until a ruling adverse as to that specific exercise of those constitutionally protected rights are adjudicated by a competent judicial tribunal as beyond such protections in that particular case.

This is a sacred ideal bound into our founding documents at the birth of our nation. It is these ideals that ostensibly we as a nation have gone to war to protect and for which citizens of this nation have died doing so. No banner no matter how bloody, no anthem no matter how fervently sung, and no pledge no matter how passionately believed can be more sacred to a citizen of the nation than this.

We see around us throughout the world a darkness descending as nation after nation falls to that ideology against which we fought our revolution and most of our wars — the evils of the autocracy of wealth, privilege, might, and ideology.

Even where our leaders may have misled us as to their purposes, citizens of our nation have fought and died believing they did so to protect their fellow citizens and the ideal enshrined in our Constitution that the individual citizen has the right to effectively protest perceived injustice.





When I was a child, I was an obnoxious sharp tongued little snot especially to my mother who so loved me and sought some return of affection from me that she would do just about anything that she thought might please me. For example, every morning, she always laid out my clothes, freshly cleaned and pressed — every morning of my life until I left the house to live with my first wife. When I was just a child, she would over-starch everything even my underwear. I would sometime bleed from the chafing.

It is not that I am sloppy or wear any old wrinkled thing I find on the floor where I may have left it the night before or last week out of some misguided belief in fashion independence, but actually, because I have no knowledge and less will to do anything else. Come to think of it, my mother often told me that for the first nine months or so of my life I cried and screamed without letup almost the entire time. I would have murdered me in my cradle — but not my mom she was convinced I was destined for great things — a saint or even Pope. Alas, I failed to achieve either.

I was going to continue on in this dyspeptic vein writing about my annoyances and missteps throughout my teenage years and then jump to my declining years, but it’s been a few days after I wrote the above and I am feeling quite chipper— almost optimistic — so, I decided to stop here. Maybe, I will pick it up again in a later post. Meanwhile, I discovered this photograph of me taken in early 1944. I am wearing my sailor suit (a patriotic gesture to WWII) and appear to be either uncomfortable with the amount of starch my mother put in it or suspicious about something — probably everything.
IMG_2739 - Version 2






An amicable pair is two numbers each of which is equal to the sum of the divisors of the other. The smallest ones, 220 and 284, were regarded by the Pythagoreans as symbols of true friendship.

(So, if I am 220 who is 284? Do I get to choose? What would Pythagoras do?)







A. Xander’s Perceptions:

Good for Lebron. Michael Jordan was criticized — rightfully — for not speaking out on issues and problems within the African-American community (who did he think bought his overpriced shoes, anyway?). Colin Kaepernick is still blacklisted and jobless for having the temerity to exercise his First Amendment rights by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem. Until very recently, most football teams stayed in their locker rooms until after the playing of the anthem.

The national anthem wasn’t even proclaimed as our national anthem until Woodrow Wilson did so just before our entry into World War 1, and Congress didn’t make it official until 1931. And yes, I was actually in attendance at the Padres-Cincinnati twi-night doubleheader in which Roseanne Barr sang the anthem . . . before the SECOND game, BTW. It was supposed to be a tribute to working women, but Barr was booed as she took the field. Whether she just has a crappy singing voice or whether she decided to stay in character — or to deliberately piss off the crowd in conservative tight-ass Navy-town San Diego — she was given no respect beforehand. I suspect she did it on purpose to give the crowd some payback for booing her mere presence (the Padres at the time were owned by a group of investors headed up by Tom Werner, the producer of “Roseanne”).

Colin Kaepernick, BTW, was hardly the first athlete to stage a protest during the national anthem. Sprinters Tommy Smith and John Carlos famously raised their fists — covered in black gloves — at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City to protest the treatment of African-Americans in the U. S. You’d have thought they dropped their pants and crapped on the podium.

This country STILL hasn’t lived up to the lofty ideals expressed in the Preamble to the U. S. Constitution. Virtually no one in the country understands what the phrase “in Order to form a more perfect Union” truly means.

Did you ever doubt I was going to explain it?

The phrase “in Order to form a more perfect Union” was mentioned because the Articles of Confederation were an unmitigated disaster. There was no central federal government, and we were FAR from being a united nation. We were thirteen nations, each going its own way, with everybody printing their own currencies, passing their own laws, and just daring some foreign nation to come in and take us out. Most importantly, there was no authorization to raise taxes for “the common defence [sic],” among many other things. This more perfect union fixed that problem by creating a stronger federal government with the power and ability to raise taxes to fund a nation of thirteen independent little countries into a functioning whole.

So, now you know: Paying federal taxes is patriotic! Have fun with that little fact.


B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

In life, there is right and wrong but in law, there is only what can or cannot be proven.
Trenz Pruca by way of R. Hill.


C. Today’s Poem:

A Man Said to the Universe

A man said to the universe:
“Sir I exist!”
“However,” replied the universe,
“The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation.”
Stephen Crane


D. From Peter:

“For some reason, I couldn’t scroll past a few early paragraphs to reply, so here goes. The technical nonsense fits with a couple of other recent things resulting from our switching our Wifi network; some company (Sonic) says it’s faster; apparently, it is, but adjusting stuff has been tedious. Minimal compared to losing one’s domicile and everything in it in a fire. That, coupled with declining memory, leads to endlessly reciting the Diamond Sutra while swigging last drops from a bottle of white port on a Tenderloin curb, oblivious to whatever else surrounds until you can’t remember whether you said ‘Om’ enough; or, if you’re lucky(?), you’ve been put in a home where your days pass, as my brother commented on his first wife’s mother who was in such a home with some variety of dementia, where you are “happy as a clam”…….

H’s comments about his schoolmates suffering having unhappy home lives are deeply depressing, chilling for the future, and in the context of the country’s frightening political and psychological ills, seriously gloomy.

Survival— keeping on, as the next day might actually dawn beautiful and worth having stayed around for. Meanwhile, the physical therapy continues, with probably another month to go before the occasional aches finally vanish. Could be worse.

As to eyes, yes re: survival, but I’d venture that as the vast majority of what prehistoric humans ate was not animal flesh but roots and tubers painstakingly gathered daily by The Women, eyes were indeed needed for that even more than, though as well as, for gazelles.

Joys of context: observing based on one’s beliefs- drop acid and Observe.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 17 (a Friday), the fine folk of Noe Valley are throwing a fundraiser event to benefit victims of the Sonoma/Napa fires, at the “Town Square” on 24th St., where the farmers market is held, from 5-9pm. All the bands that play at the farmers market will play during the event, everyone doing their bit. They Call Me Lucky will kick it off at 5, followed shortly by Blind Lemon Pledge; so I get to play in both early. Bannon will not be speaking.

Before I forget, Om.”




IMG_3448 - Version 3IMG_3448 - Version 2IMG_3448 - Version 4
Photographic Study: Sunset on the Golden Hills

Categories: October through December 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment. March 17, 2010

For the past three or four days the burning of the rice stubble and out of control grass fires in the area have left me with a sore throat and burning eyes. The sky is a hazy grey and the sun baleful…Of course it is not baleful at all. The particulate matter in the air just interferes with the blue portion of the light spectrum leaving the sun to appear a hazy red. I guess baleful is more poetic.

It seems Poets and those who make money off them (does anyone make money off of poetry? Did they ever? Is Rap poetry?) often claim poetry is some form of truth-telling. Baloney (or bologna or even salami) poets, like the adjectives they use, are accomplished liars. Think about it, poetry began as some sycophants telling lies to flatter the proto-biker that ruled the cave with terror and rape. Did you ever notice most legends about heroes or even about the Volk are glorification of rape, slaughter robbery, lying and corruption by the worthless and unproductive of the peaceful and productive. I have never heard of a poem or legend glorifying a guy who grows a great zucchini or who invented the vibrator. The only positive legend I can think of is the one about the guy bringing fire to the people. But he was really only a sneak thief and liar and probably deserved to be chained to a rock and have birds tear out his liver for all eternity. are probably wondering if I got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning or if there is trouble in paradise. Well, neither really, a slight cold and a rampant allergic reaction to the air pollution has diminished my normal sunny disposition and after all think about what one could say about paradise if one did not exaggerate the annoying minutiae of existence. “Today I sat on a cloud, played my harp and was happy,” “Today I sat on a cloud, played my harp and was happy” and so on. Not only would that be intolerably boring but insufferably smug. On the other hand, “Today, I sat on a cloud, played my harp and was happy until a god-dammed fly started buzzing around my head and landed on my nose”. Now I can sit back and say to myself, “It serves you right you smug bastard” (I like the word “smug”).

Now where am I going with this? I intended to write that my illness and allergies have restricted me to spending most of my time in my bedroom which has air-conditioning.

Mac’s (I have settled on Mac as his name) father has taken over the day-to-day chore of entertaining both children. As a result little of interest to me and I assume you has occurred since I last wrote. I don’t even have a new photograph of insufferably cute children to annoy you with. But I did locate the attached advertisement that may amuse you.

And here I thought crack was just a cheap high.




Took Hayden and Mac/Max to school, gassed up car, had coffee with Mac/Max father. Yesterday went to Night Safari, Hayden running around from exhibit to exhibit not remaining before any for more than a second or two, Mac/Max cried throughout the visit, I believe because he was frightened by a peacock on the path, father quiet and withdrawn as usual and me truly dying from the heat.

Did some research on Braudel yesterday. His view on capitalism is similar but far better developed than mine. What surprised me, although it shouldn’t be so, was the resistance by traditional economists to his conclusions. Basically, he separates “Capitalism” and “Capitalists” from “Free Markets” and “Competition.” His claim is that “Capitalism” is a social phenomena that predates the rise of the “Free Market” in 14-15 century Italy.
“Capitalism” as he defines it is the search for the highest rates of returns and is not connected to or based upon a particular means of production. And usually the highest returns are produced by monopoly (or price-fixing). Capitalists will resist competition to the last penny.

My aphorisms written to Gates and Schatzman in recent emails:

“You can lead a horse to honey but you must account for the bees” and;

“It is easier to get Mc Donald‘s to sell more Chicken McNuggets then to get a power company to close down a single coal-fired power plant”

In part, attempt to address a practical response to this phenomena. (although more accurately is addresses the problem of vested interests.)


From Irwin:

roses are red
violets are blue
what a remarkable guy
for the zucchini he grew.

he sautéed it in butter
gave some to the poor
remarkable fellow
but really a fool.

Joe’s response:

Ok, try one about the vibrator.

Irwin’s response:

she stuck it inside
then licked it with glee,
i only wish that
it could have been me.


From Joe to Nikkie:

Got up at about 9 AM with Hayden shouting that my breakfast was getting cold. We ate breakfast on patio. When we finished went I back to my room. Natalie had gotten up by then and barged into my room demanding 1500 baht. When I asked for what, she said “for cleaning the car, gas and other things”. She said she had to go to “Central for some things”. I mentioned that I had to get a “top-up” for my phone. She suggested that I accompany her and Hayden. I gave her 1200 baht. When we got into the car she began in on its “dirtiness”. When she found some cigar ash in the seat track, she got apoplectic. I said most of the smoking was done by Nikki. Hayden stood up for Nikki and ratted on me for smoking in the car yesterday. i called him a rat. I am pretty low, first I rat out my friend and then verbally abuse a 5 year old. Does Natalie really bring that out in me or am I naturally this morally defective?

Drove to gas station. Natalie put in 500 baht. Gauge read the same as when we put in 1500 baht (same gas station).

Got to Central, left the auto to be cleaned, took 1500 baht out of my SF account and gave her 500. Went to eat lunch at usual spot. She paid. Returned to Central, I went to a coffee shop to wait. Paid $2 for a coppa. She came asked for 500 baht for additional shopping. Finished and went home. On the way to the house she stopped and asked one of the subdivisions gardeners working on the trees along the street to come to the house to look at some of our trees that needed pruning. She said they work for free. They agree on pruning the large beautiful tree in the center of the lawn. I agreed that the tree leaned too much and was in danger of falling over. We instructed the gardner to trim the branches on the side of the tree opposite to the lean. She took a nap. I took Hayden to the school to play with Leo. After Jerry returned him home, we went to the sport club where Hayden swam, Natalie exercised and I wrote most of this. When we returned the gardeners had cut off most of the top of the tree and all the limbs on the wrong side of the tree. So now we no longer have a beautiful tall tree in the center of the yard but a stunted monstrosity with a thick naked trunk sticking up and a few remaining limbs on the leaning side sure to topple what’s left of the tree in the slightest breeze. I requested that they cut away some of the limbs of the leaning side to reduce the weight on the trunk and left not wanting to see the result. They charged us 500 baht.

She leaves to return to BKK early tomorrow. Said she had to get back before the demonstrations.

Nikki responds:

HI just a check of last developments,
i called the headquarters in bkk and looks like we are short of some payments:
summer school and the usual salary to the maid
we or you have to straigth things up unless u want to receive a lot of nasty phone calls.
Glad the childrens got along well are they playing my WII or was just a waste of money??
what a strange situation 2 kids attended by an old lawyer and refused thai father i guess the world on that part of land is going upside down
the nature is changing i see the mothers don’t want grow up childrens anymore just getting selfish boh? who knows
Few flashes from NYC:
went with my bro and Steven (my other son) to have a lunch in chinatown and a coffe in little italy the remain of it anyway
I am sure we have been notice by the anti mafia squad we looked weird and out of place talking in italian and a strange heavy accented english
Steven looks a perfect connection beetwen italian Cosa nostra and the new sinovietnamese
triade best example of a mixed race.
I screw up the time change dayligth in usa so we got to run to the terminal in Newark to catch my plan rushing and cursing in italian with the amusement of the taxi driver
I ll fly out saturday again to jfk fetch my bro i hope he is still there not getting lost and return to italy.

Joe again:

I do not know what she is talking about with the maid. I paid the maid with the 5000 baht you gave me for the school. I also told her the school gets paid Tomorrow according to my agreement with Choti. She called today first thing in the morning to check on wether my money had arrived. I had not even dropped the kids off at school yet.

Anyway, I will send you the first accounting on Friday so that you will have a record of all expenses. It looks like I am going to have to have the maid sign a receipt every time I give her money. I really do not need this crap.


No biggies just clear the remaining bills if u can and tell her that all has been payed so she calm the fuck down i hope
make a restock on the fridge too.
we are dealing with a nervous and angry at the life person
ciao call u back
Ehi how about some pics of the falling tree?

Joe to Nikki again:

Below is the initial account statement for Chiang Mai. I will send you an updated version every week. This chart records only the deposits and expenditures related to the updated budget for Chiang Mai that I will send to you in a later email. It does not include any of my personal expenditures.

As you can see it includes the deposits of my monthly share of the expenses (13,000 baht) and reimbursement of the 5000 baht you left with me for partial payment of the tuition that I used to pay the maid.

The expenditures include the 7000 baht for the Summer School tuition and 3500 baht that we owe for the Saturday program that we had not paid. It also includes 1000 baht that I gave to he maid to reimburse her for her purchase of food out of her salary. I think this is what Natalie is complaining about.

The month begins on the 17th of March and ends on the 16th of April. I chose this for my convenience since it coincides with my receipt of my SS check.

You should make a deposit of the EURO equivalent of $400 sometime before the 1st of April so that I have enough to pay the maid her salary when it comes due that week.

The remaining projected expenses are for the Services and HOA (About 4000 baht — $125) and food (another 4000 baht). Your $400 and the $220 we have in the account now will leave us a little short because I used the account to pay the Saturday School program. So we should both expect to pony up about another 1500 baht to cover everything.

Please note that this account will differ from the bank statement somewhat since I had to use my own money to pay the school before I could get to the bank.

Nikki’s response:

OK i am happy with this only problem is that i don’t want to be double charged from her like paying twice the school or the maid but this is my problem that i have to deal with.
the money will come either as a western union wire or by me personally when i got there let me find out the cheapest way the bank system in italy sucks and is too slow

From Anne Marie:

Your rant about poetry was utterly delicious. I am impressed with how well you write! Now you do realize you have a family of poets over here in SF and I simply can’t let this one slip by without a proper defense!
You are in the company of many great, highly esteemed intellectuals of the past ages when you condemn poetry and poets. At CCSF, my favorite English teacher writes poetry and he liked to point out how many great thinkers down through history have trashed it or at least been suspicious of it. The biggest guy to go against poets and poetry is our old pal Plato! In his Republic, he tries to create the ideal state, saying who should govern it, etc. And he makes a very big point that ALL POETS should be OUT, banned, not allowed!!! Why? Because poetry works up the emotions and creates imaginary worlds, both of which undermine pure reason and logical thinking, which is what you need, according to poor deluded Plato, to make correct decisions. Nope Plato would certainly not approve of Athena or her family living in his Republic, because we would be in there creating poems and poetic novels that would fire up the emotions and stimulate the imaginations of our readers! For shame! Now, here is the great quote from famous Romantic poet John Keats that goes counter to Plato: “Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world.” By which I think he meant, in the LONG RUN, our human minds and feelings and therefore our culture and civilization are much more shaped by the great poetry than by the laws passed by political institutions, which are only very short-run and short-sighted things!!

HERE ENDS TODAY’S LESSON, Ha ha. Hope you enjoyed my defense efforts! And Hmmm…. interesting you used zucchini and vibrators, could that phallus on your daily walk be affecting you? Looking forward to more of your usual sunny disposition and talk of paradise. I also like the word “smug” which reminds me, have you looked at my gallery on smugmug yet? By the way, I have decided to include a couple photographs of “insufferably cute children to annoy you with.” for a change! From back when they were cute children!!

Hope you are feeling better soon. Much love from the Petrillo clan back home,

From Bill Gates:

Bitch, bitch, bitch! Living in paradise and complaining about the bad air for a couple of days! Take a deep breath and end it all quickly or just don’t let life get in the way of living! As Cher said to Nicholas Cage after he said he loved her: “Get over it”!

You get my e-mail – I arrive Apr. 22nd. A buddy (client) is going with me this trip. Great story: his father was a General in the Iranian army, pre-religious zealot shit, and ends up on a “death list” when the Shah is eliminated from power. Mom calls sonny (my buddy) who’s fornicating at a private school in Rome. She tells him to get back, they’re in deep shit! Sonny returns and comes up with the terrible heart condition diagnosis that can only be treated in the U.S. The zealots see through it and want a $6M piece of property put up to ensure the family return to the motherland (natch, everyone knows no one’s coming back!). The family arrives in the US with its paltry millions and lives happily ever after – until sonny can fornicate again, this time during April in Thailand! … I love happy ending stories!

From Maryanne:

I forgot to tell you I saw Jessica in DC. It was lovely to see her again. We
had a great visit and when I left I realized how fortunate you and I are
that we were given such delightful daughters in our lives. I could have
stayed chatting with her for hours.

Categories: January 2010 through March 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: