“Destiny never gets there before you.”
TODAY FROM AMERICA:
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:
1. A conversation:
H. “Am I special?”
P. “To me you’re special.”
H. “I know I am special to Pookie, but what about everyone else?”
P. “Everyone is special in his or her own way.”
H. “Yes, but am I special to Nikki, Mommy and Uncle Mask?”
P. “Well, I am sure you are.”
H. “Does that mean they will get me an x-box for my birthday?”
2. An Update:
Spring slowly floods into the foothills.
Nikki and SWAC arrived to celebrate H’s eighth birthday with Uncle Mask and I. Tsunami-like, their arrival shattered whatever daily routine we had established. Most victims of disasters hope things can be restored to the way it was once the crises is over. I suspect that is just wistful thinking. Nothing goes back to what it was.
JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:
ENTER THE DRAGON
Brigid O’shaughnessey: “I haven’t lived a good life. I’ve been bad, worse than you could know.”
She looked back at me with a look of intense concentration that’s supposed to indicate truth follows.
“On the way over here I tried to think if there is anything more I have not told you when we met earlier today. I couldn’t think of anything except his, Mark’s, nervousness about the deal with Riley. Said it was big, really big. I don’t know much about that kind of stuff. I am just a small business owner and a part-time painter. He promised me a share.”
She went on, repeating most of the same stuff she told me earlier in the day except the paragraphs got longer and her eagerness to convince me of the truth of what she was telling me more apparent.
As she droned on, I began to feel sleepy. Whenever I felt a twinge of pain I thought about rolling a joint or asking her if she could score had some morphine . Didn’t. Took some more Tylenol instead.
Some people, especially those who read a lot of mystery novels, think that certain cops or detectives are pretty good at knowing when someone is lying. That’s bullshit. Nobody can tell when someone is lying to them, though a lot of people are convinced they can. Every peer-reviewed scientific study on whether someone can detect whether someone else is lying concludes that they cannot, even if like some cops or psychologists they are trained to detect lying. Except Secret Service officers. They seem to be able to do it. No-one knows why. I’m not a Secret Service officer or even a particularly good detective, so the best I could hope for is for her to say something contradicting something else she said. Even then, only very stupid people would say something inconsistent and not be able to explain it away when challenged. And as flakey as she may be, I don’t think Mavis is stupid. Sometimes one can catch a conflict between what someone says and something one knows or finds out later. But, that requires either a prodigious memory which I do not have or taking notes which I was not interested in doing since I was getting more and more drowsy and I still was not sure if by tomorrow I wasn’t going to chuck it all anyway and go away for a few days until everything blows over.
I asked if she ever ran into either of the Ton’s of Fun. She recalled that one night Mark, Lilly, and her rode to the SF ballet together in a limo driven by a tough looking big guy wearing a large silver ring with a square flat black stone embedded in the top. Said, Lilly told her one of her clients loaned her the limo. Mavis did not know the client’s name.
They had box-seat tickets for a performance of Copeland’s Rodeo choreographed by Simuin (even Copeland himself hated it). I asked if after the show they donned spurs and chaps back at her apartment. Again the bitch stare.
For about an hour or so we continued this chit-chat during which she finished gauzing and taping my jaw. While she was working on me, I slipped my hands around her hips and lightly grabbed her ass. She smiled a brief crooked smile and kept jabbering away. She responded to the pressure by leaning her hips closer until my nose almost touched her nipples. Felt my pants tighten considerably. I knew I was going to have to make a move before we both expired of exhaustion from beating around the bush. Instead I said, “look I am tired and sleepy. Let’s talk more tomorrow.”
She asked if I wanted her to make some dinner. Said, “no, too tired.”
She shrugged her shoulders put on her jacket and grabbed her helmet.
We walked towards the door. She said, “are you sure there’s nothing more I can do?” Answered, “no.”
Stopped, thought again, said, “Well, there is one thing. You can give me a blow job before you leave.”
The bitch stare, pupils shrinking to pin-pricks then disappearing all together.
I prepared my self for the slap hoping she would hit the side of my face away from the bandage.
Surprised. The bitch stare morphed into a broad evil smile like a time-lapse photo of a flower blossoming out of a bud. She dropped to her knees and I could feel her fiddling with my belt and zipper.
Thought, “It’s good to be a detective,” before giving it all up to the glorious oblivion of neuromuscular euphoria.
Several times in “This and that…” I have mentioned the 10,000 year subjugation of women by men. I have suggested that given the current precarious state of the world perhaps men, now that they thoroughly have screwed everything up, should tiptoe away and leave it all to woman to put back together. After all, we men already whenever screw something things up in our lives generally leave it to some women to clean up after. Of course, in that case, I suspect women often become quite pissed off.
As long as I am on the subject of pissed off women, what about this thing we call the woman’s “period?” The “Period” or similar euphemisms is that time of the month when many woman bleed profusely and feel in a lot of pain. If, as it have been described to me by a few woman whose experience is probably extreme, I try to put it terms a man might understand – it is like having your dick cut off in battle with a rusty sword. I suspect that if a man had to look forward to that once a month for most of his life, he’d be pretty out of sorts as well.
It is during this time that we men (and not a few women) believe that the woman is at a minimum irritable and at worse insane. As a result we try to tiptoe around this not quite human creäture. Or, in some ancient (and perhaps modern) cultures we tie her to a stake in something like a yurt in the woods until she comes to her senses. Or, as in my case and I am sure many other men, it allows us to dismiss anything a woman does we disagree with as an effect of her condition.
Suppose, that instead of being a period of incipient madness, that in the midst of the pain and discomfort what really happens is that a hormone is released allowing her to finally see clearly what God and man have done to her. That is what really makes her irritable and pissed off. Fortunately for us guys after the week or so of that clarity, the effect of the hormone diminishes and her mind once again becomes clouded. We then are free to continue on with our 10 millennial fraud.
A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
The Budget Act of 1974 defines tax expenditures as revenue losses attributable to provisions in federal tax law that provide special benefits to particular taxpayers or groups of taxpayers. Deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits and preferential tax rates on certain forms of income all are tax expenditures.
Note: The chart contains an anomaly that may be confusing. The top 20% receives 66% of the total tax expenditures. The top 1% receives about 40% of the top 20% tax expenditures and 24% of all Tax expenditures.
What this chart means is that the top 20% of income households receive 66% of government “welfare” payments in the form of tax expenditures not generally available to the remaining 80%. Those who “cheat” on their tax returns are “welfare cheats” in the same way as those who cheat on their food stamp allocations [except the former has a far greater impact on what the rest of us pay for than the latter]. Both take for their own use tax money we pay in to general government. Much tax expenditure goes to those who do not need it. Many lobbyists are paid a lot of money to secure increased tax expenditures for their already wealthy clients [or to prevent them from being reduced]. Very few, not so well paid lobbyists, are employed to secure increased food stamp allocations.
B. Low Effort Thinking:
The Huffington Post reported in February, a study published in the journal “Psychological Science” showed that children who score low on intelligence tests gravitate toward socially conservative political views in adulthood–perhaps because conservative ideologies stress “structure and order” that make it easier to understand a complicated world. Now there’s the new study linking conservative ideologies to “low-effort” thinking. “People endorse conservative ideology more when they have to give a first or fast response,” the study’s lead author, University of Arkansas psychologist Dr. Scott Eidelman, said in a written statement released by the university. Does the finding suggest that conservatives are lazy thinkers? “Not quite,” Dr. Eidelman told The Huffington Post in an email. “Our research shows that low-effort thought promotes political conservatism, not that political conservatives use low-effort thinking.”
For the study, a team of psychologists led by Dr. Eidelman asked people about their political viewpoints in a bar and in a laboratory setting. Bar patrons were asked about social issues before blowing into a Breathalyzer. As it turned out, the political viewpoints of patrons with high blood alcohol levels were more likely to be conservative than were those of patrons whose blood alcohol levels were low. But it wasn’t just the alcohol talking, according to the statement. When the researchers conducted similar interviews in the lab, they found that people who were asked to evaluate political ideas quickly or while distracted were more likely to express conservative viewpoints. “Keeping people from thinking too much…or just asking them to deliberate or consider information in a cursory manner can impact people’s political attitudes, and in a way that consistently promotes political conservatism,” Dr. Eidelman said in the email.
The study was published online in the journal “Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.”
The above appeared in:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/07/conservative-politics-low-effort-thinking_n_1410448.html. I have slightly changed the wording in an effort to make it more readable.
C. Finland Schools:
Finnish children don’t start school until they are 7.
They rarely take exams or do homework until they are well into their teens.
The children are not measured at all for the first six years of their education.
There is only one mandatory standardized test in Finland, taken when children are 16.
All children, clever or not, are taught in the same classrooms.
Finland spends around 30 percent less per student than the United States.
30 percent of children receive extra help during their first nine years of school.
66 percent of students go to college.
The difference between weakest and strongest students is the smallest in the World
Science classes are capped at 16 students so that they may perform practical experiments every class.
93 percent of Finns graduate from high school.
43 percent of Finnish high-school students go to vocational schools.
Elementary school students get 75 minutes of recess a day in Finnish versus an average of 27 minutes in the US.
Teachers only spend 4 hours a day in the classroom, and take 2 hours a week for “professional development”.
Finland has the same amount of teachers as New York City, but far fewer students.
The school system is 100% state funded.
All teachers in Finland must have a master’s degree, which is fully subsidized.
The national curriculum is only broad guidelines.
Teachers are selected from the top 10% of graduates.
In 2010, 6,600 applicants vied for 660 primary school training slots
The average starting salary for a Finnish teacher was $29,000 in 2008
However, high school teachers with 15 years of experience make 102 percent of what other college graduates make.
There is no merit pay for teachers
Teachers are given the same status as doctors and lawyers
In an international standardized measurement in 2001, Finnish children came top or very close to the top for science, reading and mathematics.
And despite the differences between Finland and the US, it easily beats countries with a similar demographic
Neighbor Norway, of a similar size and featuring a similar homogeneous culture, follows the same strategies as the USA and achieves similar rankings in international studies.
“Republicans claim to be pro market, but they are in fact pro business.”
“The sequester, many people don’t know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel, so they think it’s a Republican thing.”
Californians appear to be a happy lot. The closer one gets to Louisiana the more miserable one becomes it seems.
- * Obama’s Stupendous, Spectacular, Sequestration Tour, Ch. 2 [satire] (hardnoxandfriends.wordpress.com)
- Obama chooses first woman Secret Service director: officials (Reuters) (newsdaily.com)