Posts Tagged With: George W. Bush

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 23, 2011

Evidence abounds that large inequalities undermine community life, reduces trust among citizens, and increases violence. In one major study from data collected over 30 years [by the epidemiologists Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett in their book: The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger] the most consistent predictor of mental illness, infant mortality, educational achievements, teenage births, homicides, and incarceration, is economic inequality. And as Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow has written, “Vast inequalities of income weakens a society’s sense of mutual concern…The sense that we are all members of the social order is vital to the meaning of civilization.”
Bill Moyers

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

“Here is a surefire way to cut $7.1 trillion from the deficit over the next decade. Do nothing.


That’s right. If Congress simply fails to act between now and Jan. 1, 2013, the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush expire, $1.2 trillion in additional budget cuts go through under the terms of last summer’s debt-ceiling deal, and a variety of other tax cuts also go away.

Knowing this, are you still sure that a “failure” by the congressional supercommittee to reach a deal would be such a disaster?”
EJ Dionne:

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Facts from the first century AD:

1. Women rarely had economic independence. A woman’s wages would always go directly to her father or husband, depending on her marital status. Legally, women weren’t allowed to file for divorce, while men could ask for a “writ of renouncement.” On the other hand, men had to be sure to buy back their wives if they were captured.

2. Considered the world’s oldest surviving ancient census, the Han dynasty wanted to count its people to determine revenues and military strength in each region. Even in the first century, China accounted for a huge portion of the world’s overall population. China’s census in 2 AD counted 57,671,400 people.

3. Vending machines were invented in the first century in the city of Alexandria. But first century citizens weren’t buying potato chips or soda: they were buying holy water. “When a coin was dropped into a slot, its weight would pull a cork out of a spigot and the machine would dispense a trickle of holy water.”

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

Education and income in the US:

Happiness in America:

According to a recent study, no matter what else you do, you need at least $70,000 per year in household income to be truly happy. Interestingly, more than that does not make you more happy.

The current economic crisis in Europe:

Pookie says that it does not really exist. It is little more than an attempt by German bankers to control Europe and beyond. What Hitler could not accomplish by force of arms, Merkle, with assistance from Mario Draghi head of ECB, may be forcing the social destruction of most other European nations for the benefit of German banks. This would leave those impoverished nations little or no option but to turn to these same banks for the financing of any attempts at recovery. If they succeed the German banks would achieve what OWS only dreamed of, the eventual collapse of Wall Street, while the financial capital of the world drifts to Berlin, Frankfurt and Hamburg.

Happiness, Part II:

On the other hand, studies have also shown that about 40 percent of happiness comes from the things we choose to do, like exercising, setting goals and building friendships. Only about 10 percent of our happiness is based on circumstances like age, race, gender—and, perhaps surprisingly, financial status.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Hayden has no school for the week due to the Thanksgiving Holiday. He will be traveling to Napa for Thanksgiving Dinner at some winery and I will be returning to SF to visit with family and friends.

On Saturday, November 25 I will fly from SF to Thailand. I perhaps I will travel to Italy for the holidays and return to either Thailand or the US in early January.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: David’s Journey.

David Kitchen exited the building in which his firm had its offices. It was about 7 PM and evening was shading into night. He was headed for dinner with Charlie Bowman at Kokkari a nearby Greek restaurant frequented by the downtown business and political set.

The summertime fogs that prompted a now deceased local gossip columnist to term it as the “Cool grey City of Love,” had not been evident much this past decade, perhaps due to global warming, leaving the sky clear but still heavy with moisture. The wet air rising off the water surrounding the City on three sides made the City’s lights sparkle like the far off stars.

As he headed toward his dinner appointment he wondered what had possessed him to want to tell Vince of all people about Red Star and everything else. He had always prided himself on never taking a precipitous action that would put him at a disadvantage. His whole career was based on it, carefully maneuvering clients, partners and even wives in doing what was best for David. Now he panicked and put himself in jeopardy. He regretted his decision to inform Vince but was relieved it was not to happen until tomorrow. He will tell Vince some other story a fantasy that would leave the fool even more confused. Yes, that’s what he would do. No need to tell Charlie about this.

He crossed the darkened mini park that stood between his office building and a group of rent controlled apartments that separated him from the restaurant. Looking up into the blackening trees he wondered about the parrots, the one time pets of a number of City residents who had escaped their confinement or had been released by their captors weary of the drudgery of upkeep. They banded together as a flock as parrots do in the wild and took up residence on nearby Telegraph Hill. There was even a book written and a documentary made about them.

During certain times of the year in the late afternoons the flock would leave their Telegraph Hill rookery and gather at the top of one of the trees setting up a raucous chatter as they did for whatever reason Parrots did that. Ugly squawking he always thought.

He recalled that before the earthquake that brought down the Embarcadero Freeway there was a pedestrian bridge connecting the little park to the mezzanine parks that encircled the development nearby. Under that bridge a homeless man lived. Every morning as he and Vince would walk by he would accost them by asking for a dollar in return for him telling them a joke. They would pay and usually, as he remembered them, the jokes were quite amusing. Vince referred to the man as, “The Troll under the Bridge.” He wondered now about what happened to the Troll.

He exited the park and stood for a moment on the sidewalk looking back at his office building. Its lights shone with the ragged edges that the far-sighted observe when not fitted without corrective lenses. Perhaps its time for me to get my eyes examined he thought.

He then turned stepped off the curb to cross the street. He never reached the other side.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Cracked News from “Not the Nation”(Thailand’s “Daily Onion“):

From the Phuket News: Among the illicit drugs collected in a raid in Phuket were items such as “Waman penis enlarging tablet”; “Kamagra oral jelly (in banana, apple and blackcurrant flavours)”; and, perhaps the winner for creativity, an item known as “Night fire heartily burnable by lady’s intense emotion”.

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

1. Fairness, fairness, fairness:

2. Fairness, fairness, fairness, part II:


“Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that its citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom to those without wealth, income or power?”

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s speech to Citizens United:

“The historian Gordon Wood won the Pulitzer Prize for his book on The Radicalism of the American Revolution: If you haven’t read it, now’s the time. Wood says that our nation discovered its greatness “by creating a prosperous free society belonging to obscure people with their workaday concerns and their pecuniary pursuits of happiness.” This democracy, he said, changed the lives “of hitherto neglected and despised masses of common laboring people.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

From Frank Luntz Republican Party consultant in a memorandum to Party leaders and regulars:

Did you really believe that, “Energy Independence” had to do with anything more than drilling for more black goop? On the other hand did you really think it had anything at all to do with “energy independence?”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

• Women tend to be more egalitarian than men, and men are more likely to be either completely selfless or selfish (James Andreoni and Lise Vesterlund).

f. The Words of Barry Goldwater, another American Patriot:

“It’s time America realized that there is no gay exemption in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence.”
~Barry Goldwater

TODAY’S QUOTES:

“Life is short. Have an affair.”
Ashley Madison

“The secret to happiness, is to lower your expectations.”
Charlie Munger, Warren Buffett’s business partner.

That’s easy for him to say.

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


Riot Police at Oakland “Occupy” Rally. Stunning when you realize that the main official complaint about the encampment is its poor sanitary conditions. Instead of deploying heavily armed police, why not deploy sanitation workers? It would be better for everyone concerned. And that is after all what the “Occupy” movement is all about; government making decisions benefiting everyone and not just the fortunate few.

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Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 15, 2011

“Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”
~Barry Goldwater

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Parody this:

Jacques Chirac ex-Prime Minister of France recounts that in a telephone call to him when he was France’s Prime Minister, the United States President George W. Bush appealed to their “common faith” (Christianity) and told him: “Gog and Magog are at work in the Middle East…. The biblical prophecies are being fulfilled…. This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins.”… Chirac says he was boggled by Bush’s call and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs.”… [T]he puzzled French leader didn’t comply with Bush’s request. Instead, his staff asked Thomas Romer, a theologian at the University of Lausanne, to analyze the weird appeal…
Another example why parody of current Republican candidates is impossible:

Rep. Michele Bachman (R-Minn.) said she would add former presidents Ronald Reagan, James Garfield and Calvin Coolidge to Mount Rushmore Tuesday in an ABC News/Yahoo! interview Tuesday.

I cannot even make a smart assed comment about this.

God can’t make up his mind:

Herman Cain announced that God asked him to run for president.

Is there anyone on the Republican ticket God did not ask to run? Does this mean that God is not omnipotent, cannot make up his mind or just likes practical jokes? Then again it was God himself who asked Pookie to run.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

I know what you’re thinking; that’s not a factoid. I just couldn’t resist, especially because of the Sponge Bob Square Pants part. Here’s to Tyron and his mom. One of them would make a good running mate on Pookie’s ticket, don’t you think?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

Thailand, is the most Buddhist country on earth with almost 94% of the country’s 65 million people self-identifying as Buddhist. There are 34,000 Buddhist monasteries and over 300,000 monks residing in the country.

Climate: A common argument against global warming is that the climate has always varied. Temperatures rise sometimes and this is perfectly natural is the usual line.

However, Svante Björck, a climate researcher at Lund University in Sweden, has now shown that global warming, i.e., simultaneous warming events in the northern and southern hemispheres, have not occurred in the past 20,000 years, which is as far back as it is possible to analyze with sufficient precision to compare with modern developments. The study goes 14,000 years further back in time than previous studies have done. “What is happening today is unique from a historical geological perspective,” he says
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

So, I returned to SF and spent the next day in one long nap broken only by a telephone call from SWAC asking me to travel to Sacramento to drive her and Hayden to San Francisco for the weekend. According to several sources, SWAC’s past has caught up to her. An old friend of hers apparently called up several of her new friends and spilled the beans so to speak, as a result her new friends have grown cool and accused her of being a bad mother. She has decided to depart Sacto in high dudgeon to come to SF in order to explore circumstances here. My job is to take care of the boy while she attends to business. Hayden, of course would once again be uprooted from home and school should she decide to move again.

Hayden, my granddaughter Amanda and I spent two days giggling a lot.

My daughter arrived in SF this weekend to visit her grandmother in LA who had a mild stroke. She and I had lunch on Sunday. After lunch we went to a Peet’s Coffee for coffee and conversation. I was startled by several insights that she had, that I had not thought of before. While talking about people’s self-image of things like sexuality, race and the rest, she mentioned Sesame Street. I always saw the show as fun and a bit preachy. She pointed out that to her and she assumed others of her generation, the colors and the various roles of the characters communicated that it was not your color, where you lived or your gender and the like that make you who you are, but what you do. It is not whether you are green and live in a garbage can that identifies you but whether you are a grouch or not (Although it could be argued that being green and living in a garbage can would make most people grouchy). If she were right in would make Sesame Street highly subversive. No wonder the conservatives are so obsessed with closing down Public Television.

She then mentioned that prior to her generation (children of the baby boom and the denizens of the 60’s) so-called normal family life, which no matter how dysfunctional, formed the basis of ones personality, and that your other experiences in life (like watching Sesame Street) affected that to a greater or lesser degree. But, her generation was perhaps the first in the West where a significant percentage of children experienced something different from previous generations, so-called, normal family life. As a result, she and she assumed many of her generation, lacking that tradition, perverse or not, often relied on the media, such as in her case Sesame Street, to create that core value system or image of morality upon which the rest of their personality accreted. I then thought about the circumstances of children today, like Hayden growing up on Sponge Bob Square Pants and viewing a gullible, happy-go-lucky yellow sponge who uses his nose as a flute and exists primarily on hamburgers and ice cream as their image of normality.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed while the author tries to resolve a plot crisis. The novel characters have rebelled and have occupied his brain to protest his use of only one percent of it with which to write the story. They believe that it is a plot by the one percent against rational plotting.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Cracked News from “Not the Nation”(the Thai “Onion”):

BANGKOK – Freshly appointed Defense Minister General Yuthasak Sasiprapha created another stir for the new Pheu Thai government this week with a controversial promise that this year’s transfer of senior military commanders would be based on merit. In a radical break from tradition that has no precedent in Thailand’s military history, Yuthasak declared that promotions should be based on ability and seniority rather than an individual’s network of school-class contacts.

b. Real Headlines and Ads:

HEADLINE: “CHILDREN NOT LIKELY TO INHERIT INFERTILITY”

NEWSPAPER STORY: “Another would-be juror said he had alcohol problems and was arrested for soliciting sex from an undercover officer. ‘I should have known something was up,’ he said. ‘She had all her teeth.'”

HEADLINE: “ACT FOR ALL WOULD BETTER REFLECT IOWA DEMOGRAPHICS…Roughly 61% of Iowa graduating seniors passed the ACT last year. Of that total, roughly 62% of the students were white, 37% Hispanic, 34% African-American, and 37% American Indian.”

AD FOR “CLUB SARATOGA”: “ATTENTION: OUR AD REQUESTING POLE DANCERS DID NOT MEAN DANCERS OF POLISH DESCENT”

c. Bill Moyers, American Patriot:

“We hold elections, knowing they are unlikely to produce the policies favored by the majority of Americans. We speak, we write, we advocate — and those in power turn deaf ears and blind eyes to our deepest aspirations. We petition, plead, and even pray — yet the earth that is our commons, which should be passed on in good condition to coming generations, continues to be despoiled. We invoke the strain in our national DNA that attests to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” as the product of political equality — yet private wealth multiplies as public goods are beggared. And the property qualifications for federal office that the framers of the Constitution expressly feared as an unseemly “veneration for wealth” are now openly in force; the common denominator of public office, even for our judges, is a common deference to cash.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (The New American Lexicon):

From Frank Luntz Republican Party consultant in a memorandum to party leaders and regulars:

So you thought you were getting a free market economy, when all you ended up with is damn Globalization.

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

1. If you are among the 99%:

“…you pick up a disproportionate share of America’s tax bill. You pay higher prices for a broad range of products from peanuts to prescriptions. You pay taxes that others in a similar situation have been excused from paying. You’re compelled to abide by laws while others are granted immunity from them. You must pay debts that you incur while others do not. You’re barred from writing off on your tax returns some of the money spent on necessities while others deduct the cost of their entertainment. You must run your business by one set of rules, while the government creates another set for your competitors… In contrast the fortunate few who contribute to the right politicians and hire the right lobbyists enjoy all the benefits of their special status. Make a bad business deal; the government bails them out. If they want to hire workers at below market wages, the government provides the means to do so. If they want more time to pay their debts, the government gives them an extension. If they want immunity from certain laws, the government gives it. If they want to ignore rules their competition must comply with, the government gives it approval. If they want to kill legislation that is intended for the public, it gets killed.”
TIME MAGAZINE

Time Magazine published this? You have got to be kidding.

2. Sign and an “Occupy” rally of an ex marine who served in Iraq:

“5 of my friends are dead
1 of my friends is missing his arm
1 of my friends killed himself
I’ve been blown up 2x by roadside bombs
Hearing fireworks makes me nervous
I can’t sleep at night

All so bankers and war profiteers could get richer

I am the 99%”

3. Welfare Queens:

The top five recipients of federal corporate tax breaks—Chevron Corp, Bank of America, ExxonMobil, General Electric, and Boeing—gave $78.7 million to state political campaigns and another $45.3 million to federal campaigns from 1999 through 2010.This number does not include the untold millions these same corporations have spent on public relations, lobbying and consultants to manipulate public policy for their own benefit.

Bill De Blasio, of the New York City Public Advocates office, pointed out that these same five corporations benefited from $3.7 billion in corporate tax breaks in 2009, paid $0 in 2009 federal taxes, and in 2010 enjoyed a combined profit of $77.16 billion. Slightly more than $8.9 million went to political party committees, favoring Republicans 3–to–1 ($6.6 million compared to $2.3 million given to Democrats).

In other words you and I are paying these corporations our tax dollars to enable them to accumulate even more of our tax dollars. Makes you want to go out in the streets and protest doesn’t it?

Think about this, these same corporations through the Republican Party and a number of Democrats want you to believe that the source of all America’s fiscal problems is caused by a few Mexicans swimming across the Rio Grande, some black unwed mothers, teachers unions, health insurance reform and a women’s rights to choose. What is most appalling is the number of emails floating through the internet gleefully passed on, as though it was revealed truth, parroting this misdirection and often created by those funded by the same corporate institutions so eagerly ripping us off.

f. Testosterone Chronicles:

• Numerous studies have found that women are more likely than men to reciprocate acts of kindness (reviewed by Rachel Croson and Uri Gneezy).

Screw you Rachel and Uri. I will have you know that men are kinder to their guns, beer and dogs than women are. We also think we are kind to (and admittedly, at times a little frightened by) large female breasts; vaginas, not so much.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Today, however, we have to say that a state is a human community that [successfully] claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force within a given territory. Note that, “territory” is one of the characteristics of the state.
Specifically, at the present time, the right to use physical force is ascribed to other institutions or to individuals only to the extent to which the state permits it. The state is considered the sole source of the “right” to use violence.”
Max Weber

In other words, government kills to save you the effort.

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


TODAY’S CHART:


“Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that its citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom to those without wealth, income or power?”

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. July 9 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2011: The State of the US Airline industry:

— The peak of US airline employment was in 2000, with more than 650,000 Americans working for an airline. Since then, based on government statistics, US airlines have cut nearly 150,000 employees.

— More than 30 percent of US airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the 2000-2010 decade (i.e., 30 percent of airline shareholders were wiped out).

— Many new jobs for pilots will be with “state-owned airlines”; it is forecasted that, “by 2029, 68 percent of air traffic volume will be from the emerging economies in such countries and regions as Asia, Brazil, India, and the Middle East.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.

As I mentioned in a previous e-mail, the state of the US airline industry is evidence that the 9/11 terrorists may have achieved their goal to wreck the American economy by banking on the American political establishment’s overreaction to their attack, driving the American economy into the gutter. The death of Bin-Laden does not alter that, nor does it change the fact that as regrettable and horrid as it is, his strategy seems to be working. American conservative leadership (Republican and Democratic alike) will continue to blame it on the unions, food stamps, illegal immigrants, the civil service, or almost anyone else other than themselves.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

English: In January 2009, President of the Uni...

 In January 2009, President of the United States of America, George W. Bush invited then President-Elect Barack Obama and former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter for a Meeting and Lunch at The White House. Photo taken in the Oval Office at The White House. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The liberal wing of the Democratic Party continuing their tradition, extending back about 50 years, of turning on the person they helped elect President because he failed to deliver on their favorite single issue, thereby more often than not assuring his defeat, have turned on Obama. Despite shepherding through a balky Congress the most progressive agenda since Lyndon Johnson, the liberal élite are furious at learning that Obama actually is the liberal leaning centrist he said he was during election and not the fire-breathing leftist ideologue they imagined him to be in their mad rush to defeat a representative of the previous administration that they helped elect and then abandoned for committing the unforgivable sin of political realism.

On the right, on the other hand the Republicans seem to almost always forgive their leaders for recognizing political reality or, god forbid, actually doing something right among the stream of disastrous policies that so please their rank and file (e.g., Nixon on the Environmental Quality Act, Reagan surprisingly on Social Security). Only George W. Bush seemed bereft of a single socially positive domestic policy initiative and yet despite the almost universal recognition among even those on the right that his policies were a disaster for the nation and his Party, virtually no significant criticism of either him or his policies emerged from the conservative press.

The liberal journalist icon , Frank Rich in the NY Times recently has written:

The president’s failure to demand a reckoning from the moneyed interests who brought the economy down has cursed his first term, and could prevent a second.”

Never has a conservative journalist so blithely abandoned their leader because of a failure of ideology or policy. If that were not so, George W. Bush would never had won a second term.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND)ITALY:

Vittorio and I continued on to Barcis, a picturesque little town by a lake nestled in the mountains at the edge of the Dolomite. We walked about a bit then returned home.

On Sunday, we returned with Hayden. Vittorio’s band, “The Tamai Friends of Music” was featured at the festivities accompanying rowing races on the lake at Barcis. I had bought Hayden a tin whistle in Venice that he happily and forcefully played along with the band until the conductor asked him either to stop or get up on the stage and join them.

A few days earlier, Nikki arrived at the farm. He had a couple of days off between flights. We took the train to Venice specifically to see the model boats exhibited at the naval museum at the Arsenale. Of course, when we arrived it was closed. Otherwise Venice was, well Venice; the food was awful and the people obnoxious but the City looked wonderful.

We had lunch (actually just snacks and wine) at the only place I found where the proprietor appeared to welcome us. As could be expected she was not Venetian but was a Brazilian immigrant married to an Italian. I drank too much wine and struck up a lively conversation with two English spinsters sitting at the next table. (To those feminists among us, there lacks a more suitable description to this throwback to those fiercely independent Victorian woman, usually from England, who strode the world in pursuit of social justice, striking fear into any malefactors of moral impropriety.) One had recently moved to Treviso and the other was visiting her from her home in London. They both were committed socialists, but agreed to support my candidacy for President. Upon leaving the café a little tipsy, I walked into the easel that held the osteria’s menu sign and broke it to bits.

If you would chance to be in Venice in the future, the name of the place is Osteria alla Ciurma at S. Paulo 406 Rialto, calle della Galeazza just far enough from the Rialto to allow its food to be edible. Do not mention that you know me. However, if the spinsters are there (it is their favorite place in Venice) say hello to them for me.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

On the way back to the office Vince asked Ray how he knew what to do about the photographer and about the note.

“Before I became a legal sec… er administrative assistant, I worked for a private eye.”

“No kidding, who did you work for?”

“Al Pischotti.”

“Fat Al! You worked for Fat Al? How come I did not know about it and why didn’t you tell me when I asked you to assist him?”

“I thought you knew. It was on my resume. I guess you did not have a chance to look at it.”

When they arrived back at the office Nina was waiting with a grim smile playing at her lips. “The Great One arrives tonight. She wants to meet with you tomorrow after finishing some meetings with clients. She suggested dinner at “TWO”.”

Of course, “TWO” was one of the most expensive restaurants in town, lighting too dark to see across the table and portions so small one had to stop and get a hamburger on the way home or risk starving before morning.

The Great One is how most people in the firm referred to the managing partner of the Brussels office. Arabella Le Grande is her actual name. A few that know her well call her Arrogant Bella.

“Also,” she continued not giving him time to groan, “David is in your office waiting for you to return. It’s terrible about Mrs. Coign everyone is very upset. First Mr. Coign then his wife. What a shame.”

___________________________________________

William “Big Bill” McWilliams had just exited his chauffeur driven Bentley and started across to sidewalk towards his office building on Steuart Street in San Francisco when he was blindsided by another pedestrian who obviously was not paying attention to where she was going.

“Dammit, why don’t you…” he began before noticing that his assailant was a most beautiful young woman almost as tall as he was, wearing a very short skirt, large hoop earrings, and a scoop necked blouse exposing the promise of large soft rounded breasts below. Seamlessly he lowered his voice almost one octave to produce that sonorous sound that earned him the additional sobriquet among some as “Golden Throat”. “…ah, excuse me miss, it was all my fault, I should have been more careful. Let me make up for my clumsiness by buying you a cup of coffee”.

“No,no” she said in her deep throaty sexy voice, “It was all my fault. I was in too much of a hurry for my meeting. I wasn’t looking where I was going. I am in a bit of a hurry right now.” She looked at him for a moment with her calm eyes, glanced at the Bentley that had driven off and now was awaiting the change of signals at the stop light on the corner, smiled a broad sparkling smile and added, “But I would take a rain check on that coffee.”

Big Bill, ego aflame, reached into the left hand pocket of his suit jacket where he always kept a few of his overwrought business cards containing besides his name and his office number clear evidence that he was the owner of several businesses, plucked one out and handed it to her, “Here is my number. Please call. I will look forward to it.”

She took the card, smiled, saluted him with it and walked off.

He watched her for a moment, then turning off his smile, walked into the small elegant lobby of the “McWilliams Building.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Philosophical ruminations:

One evening before going to sleep I asked Hayden if there was any questions he wanted answered. He said, “Yes, I know I come from my mommy and she came from her mommy and her from her mommy (Apparently his mother left him with the impression that males have no role in the procreation process, being restricted only to working and providing money.), but,” he continued, “I don’t understand where it all ends.”

So I launched into a lengthy explanation of evolution and modern scientific thought on cosmology.

When I finished he said, “I think I understand. But, what I really want to know is if this was before or after God died?”
b. Testosterone Chronicles:

Young male CEOs appear to be combative… [as] a result of testosterone levels that are higher in young males. Testosterone… has been shown to influence prospects for a cooperative outcome of the ultimatum game. Specifically, high-testosterone responders tend to reject low offers even though this is against their interest.”
Source: Social Science Research Network

(Combative or bags of nuts?)

c. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

(1) I guess I have to apologize for something. So, I apologize for my continued political harangues. Unfortunately, whenever I hear those bells of Boston ringing, I just want to run and warn the British that the Colonists are coming to shoot them for trying to take away our guns. Thankfully, our four fathers (Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and the good Roosevelt) worked tirelessly to eliminate slavery at the founding of our country. Ah, I just cannot help myself.

(2) According to Wikipedia, the town referred to in the previous post as Veneto later changed to Vittorio Veneto in honor of the Italian victory there in WW I was actually named Vittorio with the Veneto added to commemorate the victory.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Law enforcement on Obama’s watch rounded up 393,000 illegal immigrants last year and zero bankers.”
Matt Taibbi.

The question for the 2012 election is could any candidate running for the Republican nomination for the Presidency do as well for the right-wing of their party on either issue as the incumbent?

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

Hayden, flute-less in Barcis, watching “The Tamai Friends of Music”:

The boat races on the lake at Barcis:

Pookie in Venice:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

In Nebraska farmland prices have reached about $6,000 an acre. Based on the current price of fertilizer and seeds, it costs about $4 to grow a bushel of corn. That means at current prices, each bushel produces a profit of $3.50. Farmers these days get about 200 bushels per acre of corn. That means a $6,000 investment produces an annual income of about $650, which is an income yield of 10.5%. That’s more than double the earnings yield of the S&P 500. And it is three times the yield you would get with 10-year Treasury notes.Read more: http://curiouscapitalist.blogs.time.com/2011/06/01/Americas-hottest-investment-farmland/#ixzz1OnI7cOmj

Ah, but one bad harvest and the bank owns your land and sells it to someone else who also believes in getting something for nothing. Spend your money on sex, drugs and rock and roll or its current version, it’s better for the economy and a lot more fun.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM( THAILAND) AMERICA:

“When George W. Bush took office in Jan 2001 there were 111,634,000 private sector jobs. When he left office in Jan 2009 there were 110,981,000 private sector jobs.
When Bush took office in Jan 2001 there were 20,835,000 government sector jobs. When he left office in Jan 2009 there were 22,582,000 government sector jobs.
That means during Bush’s eight years in office, we lost 653,000 private sector jobs and gained 1,747,000 government sector jobs.
Moral of the story: Barack Obama is a Kenyan socialist fuckstick.
And George W. Bush saved capitalism. Plus, he got bin Laden too.”
Anonymous

Why can the liberals not leave poor old George alone to moulder on his ranch in Texas? He’s so yesterday. Do you believe he has only been gone for two years? I always pictured George as a man wearing a suit that was two sizes too big for him.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) CALIFORNIA:

I have spent the past two days in El Dorado Hills, resting up, worrying about whether or not the operation really was a success, and playing with Hayden.

Somewhere I once read that a doctor opined, that the human body is like a machine. Parts wear out. The mechanic fixes the parts as they wear out and the machine goes on puttering along. As the machine ages, parts begin wearing out more quickly, until they begin wearing out quicker that the mechanic can fix or replace them and then the machine is sent to the junk yard to die.

This morning, I realized that I have either lost or left back in San Francisco, my supply of happy pills. This means that in another day or two I should tumble into withdrawal. Withdrawal is worse than death.

On Saturday, Hayden leaves for Italy for six weeks. I was thinking of joining him there before returning to Thailand. But my recovery schedule does not permit that.

Meanwhile he has spent the past two days in the back yard collecting a certain type of bug that lives under the rocks in the yard that he calls, roly-polys. He has collected 14 so far. I find it disgusting. He keeps asking me to help him search. I keep excusing myself by telling him that because of my operation I need to visit the toilet a lot. Ah, kids.

CORRECTION: In my previous email I mentioned that John Stuart Mill and John Locke were contemporaries. Stephanie Dall correctly pointed out that Locke had been dead for a century before Mill was born. She is right.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

“What the hell is that all about?” The Isabella character screamed as she ran into the shipping container that served as the changing and make-up room for the novel’s characters. “I thought he was going to get rid of characters, instead he adds those two fat fucks.”

“Actually,” the Vince character said while staring into the mirror applying make-up that would make him look as though he had slept only one hour last night. “Fat Al is really quite slender. He has to stuff a bunch of old rags into his pants to get that pear shape. Ike, on the other hand is…well rotund.”

“Whatever,” pouted Isabella as she flopped into a chair in front of another mirror.

Anyway, he got rid of two characters, Stephanie and Charlie. Although he is only missing, I would guess it’s the last we will see of that character.”

We never saw him in the first place, only Stephanie’s story about him. What’s that about anyway? She was the only other women in the novel except for me and he knocks her off. Come to think of it, I hardly ever appear and when I do, it’s only to show a little skin and act mysterious. I’m, what do you call it, yeah, a stereotype, that’s it. I bet the author’s gay.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that. Most mystery novels written by men have only one or two women in it anyway. The beautiful woman there for the male hero to sleep with and as often as not who dies in the end and the woman who ends up implicated in the murder. On the other hand, who knows? One never does with these arty-types. Besides, we still have Nina.”

“Ms knitting needles? She does nothing but bring you coffee and look pissed off.” After a moment of reflection she adds, “I bet she is a murderer, if not in this story than somewhere else. I bet I’m killed off. Do you think I die?”

“You have to sleep with me first.”

“Fat chance, if I have anything to say about it.”

“You don’t. Anyway, don’t worry too much about your role or lack of one. I believe in the next chapter, I talk with you on the phone and we meet. That will be some page time for you?”

“Oh, goody another meeting, isn’t it about time for some of you suits to do a little grabbing, I can use a some sex about now. Or, are all you suits afraid of a real woman?”

Vince glared at her. “You could always get yourself off.”

“Ah, spoken like a true eunuch, at least its sex with someone I love.”

(Author’s Note: Actually, Isabella’s got a point about the lack of women in the story. I intend to remedy that as the plot moves along. As for her dying, she needn’t worry, she deserves worse.)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Dunbar’s number — A theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. No precise value has been proposed for Dunbar’s number, but a commonly cited approximation is 150. First proposed by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar.

What is a stable relationship? I have never had one much less 150.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“Conservatives are irony deficient.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“And the booty, being the rest of the prey which the men of war had caught, was 675,000 sheep, And 72,000 beeves, And 61,000 asses, And 32,000 persons in all, of women that had not known man by lying with him . . . of which the Lord’s tribute was 32 persons. And Moses gave the tribute, which was the Lord’s heave offering, unto Eleazar the priest, as the Lord commanded Moses.” (Numbers 31:32-41)

See, one does not have to die defending the faith to get 72 virgins. If you’re a priest you get 32 for just standing around encouraging others to die. [What, no alter boys?]

d. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“You must be a Republican if you believe that God wrote Leviticus but Jesus did not preach the Sermon on the Mount.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

Arnold is shorter than I am by an inch or two. The lady in the photograph must be all of 3 ft. 6 inches tall.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“If you’re going to make every game a matter of life or death, you’re going to have a lot of problems. For one thing, you’ll be dead a lot.”
—Dean Smith

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. May 12, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. 1837: Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Robert Southey was published.

2. 2011: In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to a report prepared by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 48 women are raped every hour.
TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

How much American’s really value those who took down Osama bin Laden:

Maybe we should draft fortune 500 CEO’s, put them in uniforms and drop them on some Al Qaeda stronghold. It may not frighten the terrorists, but I bet is helps out our economy.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) SAN FRANCISCO:

mission district

mission district (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, on a pleasant warm sunny day while strolling down Mission Street as it plunges through San Francisco’s Mission District, I thought about some of the changes that have occurred in the area since I first arrived there in 1970.

For those of you who may be reading this and have never visited the City or are unfamiliar with it, the Mission district, is now the barrio of San Francisco. Originally a working class district, peopled mostly by Irish laborers and later a few of the italian immigrants that did not settle in and around North Beach, in the late sixties began its conversion into the barrio as the previous residents moved into the suburbs.

Mission Street, the districts “main street,” I have watched evolve from the low-priced furniture store district and shops servicing the white working class accompanied by a collection of seedy bars and local restaurants, to conversion into markets for the residents of the emerging barrio. Then as now, because of the relatively low rents, the area attracted few upscale restaurants. In the 70’s my favorite was La Traviata an Italian restaurant, During the early 90’s Delfinia’s opened on 18th street. It became Julia Child’s favorite restaurant in the City. It remains one of the City’s best if not the best restaurant. At the same time, Valencia, a street running parallel to Mission exploded into a gormet ghetto producing some of the City’s finest restaurants. During the late 90’s, some nightclubs and associated establishments began populating Mission Street itself.

From the early 1970’s until now , the Mission was renowned for its latin dance clubs. I sometimes used to go to Caesar’s Latin Palace owned by a man who was a perennial candidate for mayor, running essentially to eliminate the regulations that inhibited his plans for his establishment, like remaining open all night and things like that.

Once a famous bongo player from Cuba performed at the club and Francis Ford Coppola decided to make a documentary about the musician. The night they were filming the documentary, I went to the club with my daughter Jessica who was about 7 years old at the time and her mother. Jessica had been dressed, at her request,t in an appropriate costume, including a turban on her head. While I danced with her mother, Jessica decided to put on her own performance on the dance floor. He dancing became so torrid that the film crew and the band invited her on to the stage and her impromptu dance was recorded as a significant portion of the documentary.

As I continued my walk, I noticed that Caesar’s Palace had been replaced by a differently named dance hall and I wondered what had happened to Caesar. I was sure he’d had stopped running for mayor by now having never garnered more that a few hundred votes in any election. Almost as soon as that thought passed into my mind, pasted on the wall was a sign urging the citizens of the mission group to vote for him for mayor. Good luck, Caesar.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed for several reasons including concerns about Vince. What’s up with him? By now most main protagonists in the usual mystery novel or thriller would have either been shot at, beaten up or at least have recognized the basic elements of the plot. Not our Vinnie. He blithely continues on, not recognizing or it seems imagining himself in danger. Hamlet like, he steadfastly ignores the evidence laying all over the plot and continues to look to others to do his work for him.

Fat Al, Ike and even Ray seem more interesting and competent. (I am thinking that if I ever try to write another novel, the rotund and donnish Ike could become a Nero Wolf type character, with Ray as his Archie.)

Perhaps Vince should be murdered or something in the next few chapters. No, better he is shot and lies in a coma in the hospital so if needed he court be resuscitated as a character in a later novel. All the action can take place around his hospital room, sort of like that scene in the Godfather where Michael saves his wounded father. Now Michael, there was a suitable main protagonist for a thriller.

And what about that Isabella, there is only so much mysterious “femme fatale,” one can take. At some point she either has to either stupidly put herself in danger so that the male hero can save her or in more modern guise the male gets in trouble and she rescues him by being more of a man than he is. I guess a little of that may be apparent in the scuffle in the street after they leave the restaurant. Also, I am not particularly enamored with her once she is out of character. What it with the grunge or whatever it is look. Maybe she has to go too.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“Most wealthy individuals are scoundrels, only very few admit it and they usually are already in jail.”

b. Today’s chart:

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“With $55 oil we don’t need incentives to the oil and gas companies to explore. There are plenty of incentives.”
President George W. Bush in 2005.

If it was good enough for George why isn’t it good enough for the Republican members of Congress?

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. May 7, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2011: It has been reported that Chuck Norris, the martial artist-turned-actor-turned-Internet meme-turned-wingnut who has entered a new phase of his career as a regular writer of columns in Tea Party publications, had been regularly plagiarizing large portions of his columns.

Sadly, it seems that intellectual honesty was not part of Walker, Texas Ranger‘s charm.*

*Please note: I have plagiarized almost everything in this item. Is it plagiarism if you admit it? If you do not make money on it should the author care? Besides the original author of the piece was clearly a vicious deranged liberal. Who cares where Walker got his material? Nobody believes it anyway. Please lay off the lawman.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND (AMERICA):

Pete Souza, Official White House Photographer

Pete Souza, Official White House Photographer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Reflections on Osama bin Laden:

Osama bin Laden set out to bankrupt America, betting that American leaders would spend trillions — every last cent in the Treasury — on trying to defeat him. According to Ezra Klein:

“[I]t isn’t quite right to say bin Laden cost us all that money. We decided to spend more than a trillion dollars on homeland security measures to prevent another attack. We decided to invade Iraq as part of a grand, post-9/11 strategy of Middle Eastern transformation. We decided to pass hundreds of billions of dollars in unpaid-for tax cuts and add an unpaid-for prescription drug benefit in Medicare while we were involved in two wars. And now, partially though not entirely because of these actions, we are deep in debt. Bin Laden didn’t — couldn’t — bankrupt us. He could only provoke us into bankrupting ourselves. And he came pretty close.”


POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) SAN FRANCISCO:

We are experiencing some of the few very warm days that the City of San Francisco enjoys during the year. In a few weeks the rising overheated air of the Central Valley will suck the offshore fog bank through the Golden Gate to cover the City in its summer blanket of cooling fog. Until then the City’s citizens enjoy their few short weeks of summer. I few days ago, I rode past Dolores Park of the tram. The Park was filled with thousands of people most of whom were laying on the grass as though they were at the beach.

Dolores Park, San Francisco, California

Dolores Park, San Francisco, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dolores Park is a marvel of an urban park. Built on the side of a hill that rises above the Mission District of the City, it was designed constructed as a series of large terraces cut into the hill. It resembles a gigantic theater facing the stage on which the towers and spires of downtown San Francisco ascend like some shining Olympus awaiting its actors to begin some tragedy or comedy about the mercurial lives of the gods.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Chapter 20 (cont.)

Vince stared at the door through which Ray’s picturesque presence disappeared. He smiled, shook his head, sat back for a moment, then leaned forward and dialed Stephanie’s number. She answered at the first ring as though she were waiting for his call.

“Hi Steph, it’s me Vince Ray said you wanted me to call.”

“Oh Vince,” she slurred. “What an interesting and handsome young man.”

“Ah yes, that he is, interesting I mean. What did you want to tell me?”

There was silence for a moment and then she said in a much firmer voice, “Can you come down here this evening? We could have dinner. I have some things to tell you that I think you should know.”

“Is it about Sam’s death?”

“Yes, and more.”

“I think that is something you should tell the police not me.”

“Oh Vince, I couldn’t do that. In affects the firm and others. I need your advice too. Can’t you come tonight” She pleaded?

Vince became a bit annoyed. All he could picture is the potential of a wrestling match with the drunken bereaved widow. Not that she’s not a very desirable piece he thought for a moment. “You must understand, I am quite busy. Why not tell me over the phone what it is you think I should know?”

“No Vince,” she almost shouted. “Someone could be listening to our telephone conversations. Same was always worried about wire tapping. Besides there is too much to tell over the phone. All those secret so-called prayer meetings.”

That grabbed Vince’s attention. “Does this have anything to do with the Brethren,” he inquired?

“Yes, that’s them. How did you know about them, I haven’t told anyone about them, Not the police. Not that nosey nasty women,”

Woman,” Vince asked. “Do you remember her name?”

“Not really, said she was a private investigator.”

“Isabella Young,” Vince suggested.

“That may be it, Do you know her? Imagine only two days after Sam’s death she comes around asking questions about him, I did not even invite her in. Just told her to leave me alone.”

“OK, I’ll tell you what,” He sighed. “I really will be working here until late tonight on things I canny put off. How about, I rearrange my morning schedule and I come out there for say lunch?”

“I guess it can wait until lunch tomorrow,” she drawled. “All right, I will see you then. I will look forward to it. Let’s say noon. Please don’t disappoint me Vince. This is important.” And she hung up.

Vince sat there for a moment. “Isabella sure gets around,” he thought. “Why would I let myself get roped into lunch? I must be getting either lonely and horny.” He then almost automatically began to punch Isabella’s number into the phone, and then stopped when there was a knock on the door. His 2 PM appointment had arrived.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Today’s Chart:

Note: 1. This chart may not give an accurate picture of the various presidential contributions to the National Debt. If it were in constant dollars, the total 1981 debt would be larger and Obama’s share appear somewhat smaller with each the other presidents’ shares appearing slightly larger the further back from the present date they were incurred.
2. It also fails to identify which parties controlled Congress during the various administrations. Much of the Clinton and W. Bush debts were incurred during Republican controlled Congresses, while Democrats controlled Congress through most of the Reagan, Bush I and Obama regimes.
3. Nevertheless, it was the Republican administrations, that abandoned their traditional fiscally conservative roots, repeatedly claiming whenever they presented their grossly out of balance budgets, that deficits did not matter.

On the other hand according to a report in the NY Times:

“Together, the economy and the tax bills enacted under former president George W. Bush, and to a lesser extent by President Obama, wiped out $6.3 trillion in anticipated revenue. That’s nearly half of the $12.7 trillion swing from projected surpluses to real debt. Federal tax collections now stand at their lowest level as a percentage of the economy in 60 years.”

The so-called “Debt Problem” appears to be more a function of declining revenues than any increases in domestic spending other than military budget augmentation.

b. Trenz Pruca’s Aphorisms, Apothegms, Epigrams and Maxims ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

On Markets:

“A market is something that one goes into to buy groceries and usually has a prefix affixed to it like “super”. Everything else is a casino.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The excessive hoarding of riches by some denies them to the majority, and thus the very wealth that is accumulated generates poverty.”
The recently beatified Pope John Paul II.

Does this clearly socialistic and perhaps communistic statement disqualify him from sainthood?

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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