Posts Tagged With: Los Angeles

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 20 Cold Tits 0002 (March 6, 2013)

“Destiny never gets there before you.
Pookie…

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

Dragon’s Breath:

Brigid O’shaughnessey: “I haven’t lived a good life. I’ve been bad, worse than you could know.”

Chapter 6:

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.

 
PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Periodic Ruminations:

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.

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

2-13-13pov-test-f8
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.

 
TODAY’S QUOTES:

“Republicans claim to be pro market, but they are in fact pro business.”
Robert Waldman

“The sequester, many people don’t know what it is, but it sounds stupid and cruel, so they think it’s a Republican thing.”
James Carville.

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:

happiestsaddest

Californians appear to be a happy lot. The closer one gets to Louisiana the more miserable one becomes it seems.

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Categories: January 2013 through March 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

“But as it is, men have devised ways to impoverish themselves and one another; and prefer collective animosities to individual happiness.”
John Maynard Keynes: The Economic Consequences of the Peace
POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

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?

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

8th Century AD: David of Sasun or David of Sassoun is an Armenian epic hero appearing in the Armenian epic tales, the Daredevils of Sassoun, who drove Arab invaders out of Armenia. (Lina’s family name Davidian is taken from the name of the hero.)

The “Daredevils of Sassoun” is also the name of an Armenian biker gang riding out of Fresno.

August 11, 2492, BC: At Dyutsaznamart ( “Battle of Giants”), near Julamerk southeast of Lake Van, Hayk, the father of the Armenian nation, slew the giant Bel with a nearly impossible shot using a long bow, sending the invading king Bel’s forces into disarray and thus founding the nation of Armenia.

(Image unavailable at this time).

To paraphrase Calvin ofCalvin and Hobbs,” “How do these soldiers killing each other solve any problems whatsoever?” The fight appears basically over whether Bel would take David’s sheep and camels and a few of his women who were probably considered by David and his brethren of even less value than the animals.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

Density of High-speed railway network in Europ...

Density of High-speed railway network in Europe (speed ≥ 250 Km/h). Km per million inhabitants (as of 2010). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A. High Speed Rail: Today the LA times editorialized in favor of High Speed Rail in spite of the tripling of its estimated costs and 13 year delay in its completion date. During my tenure as Chairman of the High Speed Rail Authority, from about 2002 through 2005, I repeatedly warned that the estimated costs in the projections at the time were dependent upon project implementation commencing on the planned dates. Unless they did so then the estimated costs would escalate rapidly, as they have. Each year’s delay raises costs substantially as it does in all infrastructure investments whether or not they are HSR, the building of bridges or new freeway lanes.

Nevertheless, I maintained then as now that the establishment of a realistic high-speed rail system was the single most significant thing that California could do by itself to stave off the looming economic (jobs) and environmental disaster that even in 2003 I believed we were inevitably plunging into. Here’s why:

1. High speed rail is the least expensive means to provide mid-length transportation in California. The cost of new freeways to carry the same number of people greatly exceeds that of High Speed Rail.
2. Unlike freeways, the capacity of High Speed Rail is greatly expandable by simply adding more cars to each train or increasing the number of trains, over the four per hour projected. On the other hand, a freeway lane once at capacity can take no more automobiles leaving the only options to be forcing people to increase occupancy of each vehicle or building additional prohibitively expensive lanes.
3. The rebuilding of degraded infrastructure or even the building of increased road capacity increases jobs, but not economic growth (New technologies, new factories and the like) to the extent to which HSR has been demonstrated to have done in every place it has been tried.
4. Carbon pollution into the atmosphere has been shown to be substantially reduced by HSR carbon irrespective of the electric generation source used. In Japan this was enough for that country to meet its Kyoto treaty obligations. And, these are real reductions not merely moving the emissions around to other aspects of the production chain, such as to some extent is the case with nuclear energy.
5. The only realistic mechanism for restoring deteriorating city centers (and reduce local and regional car trips) is by creating viable transit centers there with HSR stations as its hub. ( I made sure California’s HSR plan included this in its design, resisting intense pressure by many urging us to avoid city centers on cost and political grounds.)
6. California lacks a transportation backbone system that ties local, regional and long distance transportation. HSR is the only transportation system in the world that can provide this today.
7. HSR construction and operation has provided a substantial increment to GDP in every country where the trains operate.

B. Impeach Obama:

According to the Washington Post, Wall Street firms — either independent companies or the high-flying trading arms of banks — are doing even better. According to industry data, they’ve made more profit in the first 2 1/2 years of the Obama administration than they did during the entire Bush administration.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES:

My last night in little Armenia, we planned to go to a gallery opening in Hollywood, featuring the artist who attended the Day of the Dead party a few nights ago. Our ride never showed up, so I went to bed.

The next day, I returned to Torrence by bus. Angelenos do not recognize what a great bus system they have. It took only two buses and less than two hours to travel almost entirely across the basin (It takes over an hour of highly frustrating driving to make the same trip by automobile).

I met with Monty and Frank Gatto who had flown in from Florida for a visit. We drove to Los Alamitos Racetrack to watch the Breeders cup from the Jockey club there. We met up with David Nelson. Over a decade or so ago the 4 of us first met on a trip to Costa Rica, so this was a reunion of sorts.

On that trip, I invested in the purchase of a waterfront hotel site. Of my many investments in my life this was one of the few in which I did not lose money; didn’t make any either, however.

As I observed my companions hunched over their racing forms, I could not help but picture us as aging Damon Runyon characters, lacking only an east coast venue and appropriate nick-names; so, since I could not alter the venue, I decided to give the nick-names a try.

I of course have grown up into my 70’s only to have been saddled with an infant’s name, Pookie. Since I preferred it to my childhood nick-name, I decided to stand with that.

Monty as you know was a professional boxer in his youth. Although I have no knowledge if he fought under a moniker, I felt, if he had, it could have been something like “Kid” or “Irish” or something like that. Although he is 77 years old, I like “Kid Irish” best, so “Kid Irish” he became.

Frank’s last name is Gatto which means “Cat” in Italian. I sometimes used to call him Gattaeu which means something like “Cake” in French. I guess “Cat” is better.

Finally there is David Nelson, he could be called many things, “Smooth” or “Deal,” but usually people with the name Nelson are referred to as “Nellie,” so “Nellie” it is.

So, Nellie, Kid Irish, The Cat and Pookie were at the track steadily losing what little money they had. Then Cat said to Pookie, lets each give twenty bucks to Kid Irish to bet since he is the best handicapper among us and if he wins we use our winnings to buy ourselves a good dinner somewhere. And so we did. And we won and had a very good dinner.

The next day I watched the Niners game at a local sports bar (Niners beat the Redskins 19-11). After the game Frank and I drove up to Marina del Rey where we met Greg for lunch then returned to downtown Torrence, picked up Monty and drove to David’s condo in Long Beach for a BBQ after which we watched a video Monty wanted us to see featuring Robert Crawford singing his favorite songs from Phantom of the Opera. Frank and I soon dozed off.

Later back at the hotel we watched one of the all time great movies, “A Face in the Crowd,” starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau. Part of the way through the movie, it dawned on me that what I really was watching was the biography of Russ Limbaugh. We then viewed “High Society” (Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Louis Armstrong), one of my all time favorites.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Vincent Harried (cont.):

Meg entered the office. Vincent couldn’t help but notice that she appeared poured into her uniform like the plaster of paris as a kid he poured into rubber molds to produce tiny busts of the presidents or the like. He always found the slick shiny insides of the molds, just before he poured in the viscous white plaster unguent, strangely seductive. Her uniform reminded him more of the almost sensuous tight-fitting outfits worn by the Thai police than the more sartorially casual rumpled look preferred by American police. Her breasts, muscular legs and rump pulled at the fabric until it appeared ready to rip away releasing the body trapped within, exposing it to split apart and fall in quivering lumps on to the floor. Her blouse, not buttoned up all the way as it had been the last time they met, now showed significant cleavage like tulips wrapped in khaki. Okay, he though to himself, I admit I am horny, but this is a bit over the top even for me.

He stood walked around his desk, shook her hand, motioned for her to sit and said as he returned to his chair, “What can I do for you Sheriff?” Try as he might he could not prevent his eyes from drifting down to the struggle of her breasts to escape confinement.

She smiled at this obviously very male preoccupation that she was used to and encouraged. It was a smile that quickly morphed from an attempt at coyness, into what to Vince seemed wolfish, as though he was to be the main course planned for this evenings dinner.

“I apologize, Mr Biondi, for the short notice and I won’t take up much of your time. I realize you must be quite busy managing something as large as this law firm.”

Vince, disgusted with this opening gambit that only added to his annoyance and impatience, simply stared at her and waited for her to go on.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

AYUTTYA – The worst-in-decades flooding that has paralyzed the kingdom and damaged its economic outlook threatens to unleash a second wave of catastrophe as thousands of exploitative celebrities descend on already flood-stricken zones.

b. Real Headlines and Ads (in the US):


HEADLINE:
“DOCTORS: NEW EXECUTION DRUG RISKY TO INMATE”

HEADLINE:
“POLICE CAPTURE ESCAPED INMATE”. “The suspect was captured and gave a false name even though his first and last names were tattooed on his neck.”

ALZHEIMER’S ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER:
THURSDAY: “MEMORY LOSS: IS IT ALZHEIMER’S?”
WED.: “MEMORY LOSS: IS IT ALZHEIMER’S?”
TUESDAY: “MEMORY LOSS: IS IT ALZHEIMER’S?”
THURSDAY: “MEMORY LOSS: IT’S NOT ALWAYS ALZHEIMER’S”.

AD:
“ONE LINCOLN PARK. PREMIERE RETIREMENT LIVING. Meet new friends. Enjoy your short term stay.”

c. What “Occupy” really is about:

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:

Upset about taxes? Think the tax code is too complex? Have you ever wondered if someone want’s you to think that way and why?

e. Profiles in presidential courage:

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

Some readers of my posts have taken offense at what they perceive as I and others taking too lightly the tragedy that is happening in Thailand due to the floods there. On the contrary, those of my correspondents, like the famed writer Christopher Moore, Gary Williams and others actually living through and observing the events in the country, merely celebrate the good humor and fortitude of most of the Thais as they bravely confront the disaster in the face of governmental ineptitude. So, do I.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

1.
2. “They are not even in my league.”
Lina Davidian

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 5, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

 

WikiWorld comic based on the article "Ann...

WikiWorld comic based on the article “Ann Coulter” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OMG, Ann Coulter again proves that parody of the far right is impossible:

“I mean that’s why our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican you don’t just roll into it, you’re not just going with the flow. You have fought against probably your family, probably your neighbors, you have thought everything out. And that’s why we have very impressive blacks in our party.”

This as opposed to Obama, who Coulter says, “is half black, and is not a descendant of the blacks that suffered these Jim Crow laws…I am not contesting that he was born in America or anything, but he is the son of a Kenyan not the son of American blacks that went through the American experience.”

What will the Tea Party do now with their assumption that Obama was a black non-citizen has been demolished by Mr. Coulter’s claim Obama is really a white American citizen? Do you all agree that your blacks and better than their blacks? Are Republican blacks better at house cleaning than Democratic blacks? Would Lincoln still agree black people remain property? Does Mr. Coulter have her own blacks or are they just owned by the Party? So many questions, so few answers.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Researchers from the University of Virginia report that women driving cars are much more likely than male drivers to be seriously injured in a crash even when both groups wear seat belts.

And no, it has nothing to do with driving proficiency. It does have something to do with relative upper body strength especially in the neck.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

America home of the brave: “There is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly, highly illegal: murder,”
“When it comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people have got to die.”
Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland, Ga., American Patriot and senior citizen who along with 3 others was arrested by the FBI for planning attacks on Police stations government buildings and employees of the IRS.

He was not a Muslim. Should the building of the houses of worship of whatever denomination they belong to be banned? Should all old men be profiled as possible terrorists? Come to think of it that would probably be a good idea, especially after they lose their Social Security and Medicare.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES:

Following the Day of the Dead party, I spent the next day in bed arising only to check my emails, eat some stuffed peppers and stare out of the window at the grocery store across the street.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

The most recent chapter of The Adventures of Pookie and Gun Girl has been posted.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Vincent Harried (cont.):

“Perhaps she suspects something more than an accident,” said Ray smiling broadly.

“Why would she do that? There’s nothing to suggest it was anything else. Besides what is it to her? It’s just another automobile death on Devil’s Slide. Anyway, why does she want to talk to me again? I have already told her I know nothing.”

“Maybe, she thinks you know more than you are telling her, or maybe she thinks there is something that you know, that you don’t think important but that she can figure out being a detective and all.”

Vince just stared at him.

After Ray left Vince took Ike’s call. Ike related the substance of his conversation with the US Attorney. After listening in silence, Vince said, “Good, but tell him that I would prefer to make any statements here in my office and not at the DOJ office. That would probably take a day or two to negotiate and something may happen in the meantime.”

Then Ike told him about his conversation with Russell.

Vince felt both his anger and elation arise at the same time.

“I thought that old bastard was playing his own game at my expense.”

After discussing procedures, tactics and strategies for a while, Vince hung up. He was still fuming at Russell’s threats when Nina put through to him a call from David Kitchen.

“David,” he said before Kitchen could speak. “If this is about the election, I am not about to change my mind.”

“No,” Kitchen responded, “it’s not about that specifically. You and I have to talk soon. There are some things about all this that you are not aware of. Things that may put you and me and the firm in danger. When can we meet?”

This got Vince’s attention and he sat upright in his chair.

“I am expecting the sheriff in a few moments to talk to me about Stephanie’s death, so we may only have a few moments.”

“Stephanie and Sam’s death may have something to do with what I have to tell you.”

“Well then,” said Vince, “it is better that I don’t know until after I meet with her. How about tomorrow, say at 11 AM?”

“OK, but not in your office. How about at Harrington’s, I’ll reserve a booth?”

After the call with David, Vince had difficulty controlling his emotions fear and excitement warred within him.

Finally he picked up the phone to call Fat Al, but before he could speak, Nina came into his office and said, “I am sorry to bother you Vince but there is a policewoman her to speak with you and I thought you would want to know right away.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Cracked News from “Not the Nation“:

Tourist Child Terrified Of Thai Women With Colored Contact Lenses

Eight-year-old Australian boy refusing to come out of family’s hotel bathroom

PHUKET – A young visitor to the Kingdom has been irrevocably emotionally scarred by his repeated encounter with local women wearing colored contact lenses, sources report.

Dylan Mussberg, aged 8, from Vancouver, has been holed up in his family’s hotel room at the Phuket Sheraton since 8am this morning, refusing to unlock the bathroom door until his parents, Marty and Vanessa Mussberg, promise him that they won’t make him go out to “where the werewolves are.”

According to child psychologist Dr Morgan West, a specialist in colored-contact related child traumas, the proliferation of oddly colored irises is especially damaging to first-time visitors to Asia. “A caucasian woman with obviously fake eye color is merely gaudy and cheap-looking,” she said. “But an Asian woman wearing them doesn’t even look human. Children are very intuitive when they see something that’s just wrong.”

b. Real Headlines and Ads:

CLASSIFIEDS: CARS FOR SALE: “2003 PONTIAC VIBERATOR ONE OWNER, POWER MOON, CD” “’97 FORD MUSTARD”’99 FORD EXPLODER XLS. LOADED.”

AD: “SMOKE AND FIRE ALARM/WITH SILENCER”

CLASSIFIED: “PUPPIES FREE TO GOOD HOME. MOTHER GERMAN SHEPHERD, FATHER ALSO A DOG.”

AD: “HIBERIA INN BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL! FREE BIC PEN WITH SECOND MARTINI”

HEADLINE: “Senior Luncheon will no longer include lunch”

c. What Occupy Wall Street is all About:

1. Who gets heard:

What is interesting about this chart in not simply the disparity between the primary contending interests struggling with each other for influence over distribution of the nations largess, but the sheer scope [1.5 billion dollars] of the industry [lobbying and influence peddling] with its own interests not necessarily aligned with that of their clients.

The chart also highlights the extent of the corruption within the political system itself. If those Wall Street and corporate titans who benefit from the tax breaks, contracts and subsidies granted to them supposedly on behalf of us, the 99%, are in reality merely welfare queens in expensive suits, then what are those politicians to be called who sell their integrity from the shadows in the halls of government?

2. Where most governmental waste and fraud is found (and surprisingly it is not in operations, teachers salaries, unemployment payments or welfare). It is in governmental contracting to private enterprise, primarily for defense.

An August report, prepared after a three-year study of contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, estimated that between $30 billion and $60 billion has been lost to waste and fraud so far in those conflicts, representing 15 to 30 percent of all that Washington has spent on contractor-provided security, civil reconstruction, training, and other nation-building work.

The commission warned that additional billions may be lost in the years ahead if Defense Department and State Department contracting authorities let remaining management problems fester or fail to safeguard contractor programs and projects that remain uncompleted.

Note: The DOD acknowledges the problems identified above. Their suggested solution is for Congress to allocate more funds to the department so that they can hire additional auditors.

3. Victory:

Bank of America is dropping its controversial $5 debit card fee, Bloomberg reported citing a bank spokesperson.

4. Action: Occupy Oakland’s General Assembly did something that is likely to catch on with occupations across the country. They voted to encourage the occupation of foreclosed properties across their city. After all, the bursting of the property bubble is part of why they’re on the streets right now.
d. How To Talk Like A Republican (New American Lexicon):

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

Don’t you feel better believing you have some control over your retirement benefits rather than some inept faceless bureaucrats? Did you ever stop to consider who is it that wants you to think that way?

e. Profiles in presidential courage:

Today Goldwater would be viewed as a liberal. The tragedy is that the modern Democratic Party is little more than the reincarnation of the 1950s Republican Party of Eisenhower and Goldwater.

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

I apologize for getting so much of the facts regarding Dominic Petrillo, as portrayed in Sheldon’s book, wrong. However I think that, “beg” may be too strong a word. I remember it more as a “suggestion.”

Also, while I appreciate Stevie’s kind defense, I admit that there have been meetings at which my adversaries have offered similar opinions, sometimes to my face.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“We are not who we think we are. We narrate out lives, shading every last detail, and even changing the script retrospectively, depending on the event, most of the time subconsciously. The storyteller never stops, except perhaps in deep sleep.”
Doctor Michael S. Gazzaniga, Neuroscientist.

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This ant that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 4. 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

A blast from the past: The following is a Daily Factoid I posted way back in September 2010 that I thought might amuse some:

Myrceugenia correifolia is a species of evergreen woody flowering shrub native to South America belonging to the Myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The common name of this plant is Petrillo.

Why any plant should have a so-called common name “Petrillo” I have no f***ing idea. Why not Schatzman for example? Besides, I resent the appellation “common.” There is nothing common about a Petrillo; weird or strange perhaps, but common, never.

Nevertheless, you may be interested to know that one notable characteristic of the noble Myrtle family is that the phloem is located on both sides of the xylem, not just outside as in most other plants.

Chew on that for a while.

While on the subject of things Petrillo, as you may recall in a previous email I introduced most of you to the notorious murdering Petrillo brothers. Recently, I also learned that someone named Dominick “The Gap” Petrillo introduced Joe Valacci to the Cosa Nostra.

As coincidence will have it, Dominic Petrillo is also the name of a character in one of Sheldon Seigal’s books. Sheldon tells me that he modeled the character in part on me. Dominic is a fairly despicable individual. I seem to remember he ends up killing himself.

Sheldon is not the only well-known author to include an unflattering description of me in his novel.

In “Roses are Red,” James Patterson‘s protagonists attempting to solve a series of baffling bank robberies go through files of hate mail from the banks that were robbed. One letter in particular draws their attention. The man who wrote it lived nearby. The man’s name is Joseph Petrillo. Petrillo wrote a hate letter every week for the last two years. Petrillo also was a former security guard who was laid off by Citibank. The letters were intelligent and well written. They go to see Petrillo who shoots at them. Once back up arrives they burst in, but find Petrillo had blown his head off. ( “sic transit gloria”).

For those with some interest in the matter or in strained coincidences, my daughter briefly dated James Patterson’s son. I understand it was a relationship that she would just as soon forget.

Oh well, as long as I am on a roll with Petrillo and mayhem, I may as well add one particularly gruesome and tragic story.

On September 25, 2009, Annie Morrell Petrillo, daughter of slain newspaper heiress Anne Scripps Douglas leaped to her death from the same bridge her stepfather Scott Douglas jumped to his death from on January 1, 1994, after murdering his wife. According to a witness, she stopped her car on the Tappan Zee Bridge and got out and jumped. A suicide note was found and its contents released on the ABC show 20/20 in 2010. Family friends stated that Annie never got over the senseless tragedy of her mother’s murder and she had been hospitalized several times for depression. At the time of Annie’s death, she was finalizing a divorce from Petrillo and that also may have contributed to her despair. (Knowing the Petrillo clan as well as I do, her marriage into our esteemed family I am sure was more than a contributing factor in Annie’s death. Just ask my mother.)

Just in case you have gotten the impression that the Petrillo clan is only associated with death, dying and violence, I will have you know that apparently we also like music (and of course sex).

It seems that the Grand Prince of Tuscany Ferdinando de Medici (1663-1713), also known as the “Orpheus Prince,” principal delight, aside from music, was in intimate liaisons and affairs, often with men. These included someone named (you guessed it) Petrillo. Petrillo was a musician (male), famous for his beauty. The oversexed prince also had an affair with a Venetian castrato by the name of Cecchino (I could be wrong, but I think Cecchino means either “little garbonzo bean” or “Frankie”).

Now there may be a gay Petrillo or two, but a castrato, never.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

Thailand: The Thai protective amulet industry is worth about 300 million USD per year. There are thousands of articles in popular amulet collector’s magazines about the value and beauty of these small objects. There is a regular section in the popular Thai language newspaper, Thai Rath, called “Sanam Phra” which features new amulets on the market, stories of their production and occasionally a miracle story about how an amulet saved a person from drowning or helped her business. Some amulets have sold for as much as 1.75 million USD. However, there are many amulets that cost as little as 10 cents. These amulets, albeit rarely, can be made more powerful with the addition of “corpse fluid” (nam man phrai) from aborted fetuses or freshly deceased adults.

America: Researchers returning from an expedition to the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, the deepest part of the ocean, report they found the largest single cell organism ever discovered. The organism four inches long, lives under the crushing pressure of the water in the deepest and darkest part of the ocean, and it does not live there alone.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES:

See Today’s Photograph for a view of LA from space. The Verdugo hills where I am staying now are those hills in the upper center left of the photograph below the large mountain range at the top. Torrance, where Monty lives, is located just behind the low range of hills by the water on the Pales Verde peninsula in the bottom center of the photograph.

So, here I am in La Canada eating breakfast at a café called “Hill Street,” Monty having dropped me off here after we got lost on our drive this morning to Glendale where I was going to spend the next few days. Fortunately, I found a bus that stopped directly across the street from the café and deposited me a block away from my destination. The bus had some sort of senior discount that allowed me to ride for free. Instead of the usual denizens of public transit I find in SF, the bus rapidly filled up with relatively well dressed seniors. Glendale, is America’s own little Armenia. There are perhaps more Armenians here than in the capital of Armenia itself, another example of the melting pot producing stew and not sauce.

After I arrived, I was immediately put to work shelling Tamarind, followed by squeezing limes for the Margaritas to be served at the Day of the Dead party this evening. Then I took a nap.

After my nap we travelled around downtown Glendale looking for Marigolds.

That evening the guests arrived all were Armenian except a distinguished physician of mexican descent and me, the Sicilian rhapsody. Mostly the guests conversed in a mix of Arminian and English. We drank Tamarind Margaritas, the first taste of which was like some horrid medicine, but immediately thereafter grew on you until it became delightful and habit-forming.

Against one wall in the living room a Day of the Dead altar was erected, containing skulls, the marigolds, candles and photographs or mementos of the departed.

Among the guests was an artist and the owner of the gallery in which his works are exhibited. There was also an author on Armenian matters and local talk show host on the Armenian television station. He was bald, rotund and sported a beard that would make Trotsky proud.

I had an interesting discussion with a child psychiatrist and his wife a medical anthropologist who had set up a foundation to oppose infant scarification (circumcision), cesarean births and support breast-feeding and the removal of infants from cribs and into their parents beds.

In the discussion with the psychiatrist, I learned that the Armenian nation that existed in eastern Anatolia for several thousand years until it was destroyed in the Armenian genocide during the early part of the 20th Century, being surrounded by muslim and other societies that practiced ritual circumcision and sought to impose them on the Armenians, steadfastly resisted, having the tips of their wieners chopped off.

Think about it, for thousands of years people have fought and killed one another over whether the bit if skin covering the end of the penis should remain intact, and the battle still is not over.

Another guest was introduced to me as an anarchist. With his flowing white beard and his ponytailed white hair he reminded me more of a rabbi than an anarchist.

Toward the end of the evening the psychiatrist and his wife and the physician got into a heated discussion regarding circumcision and childhood development. The physician said something that interested me, that since Roe v Wade, the number of abortions and the number of immigrants into the US have balanced each other and this was because it was recognized that labor was necessary for a healthy economy and a political decision was made to balance the loss of future laborers from abortion through immigration. While I felt the latter part of his assertion was bullshit, I wanted to find out if indeed abortions matched immigration.

So the next day, I researched the issue and found that, in fact, abortions almost tripled the number of immigrants. In addition, a fact that should surely fuel the paranoiac inclinations of my old classmate Pat Buchanan, the number of abortions by white women were in itself larger that the number of immigrants and except for abortions among black women which almost matched immigration, the abortion numbers among what ever the political classifications we score things by today was miniscule.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Cancelled today because Vince is befuddled, Isabella pissed off, Meg obsessed, Ike depressed and the author reduced to suffering alternating fits of annoyance and anxiety.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Cracked News from “Not the Nation”:

b. Real Headlines and Ads:

AD FOR BOTTLE CHILLER: “Chill wines. Good for cars!” (PICTURE OF CHILLER NEXT TO DRIVER)

HEALTH FOOD STORE BROCHURE: “Herb Of The Month: Treats loss of memory and male importance”

NEWSPAPER LOST AND FOUND: “PLEASE HELP. FOUND. WHITE CAT STUCK IN TREE. CAN’T GET DOWN. NEED HELP URGENTLY”

FOR SALE: “MANNEQUIN. LOWER HALF LIKE NEW, USED ONCE OR TWICE. $55 OR BEST OFFER”

c. What Occupy really wants:

Weaponized Keynesians: Those who believe, “the government does not create jobs when it funds the building of bridges or important research or retrains workers, but when it builds airplanes that are never going to be used in combat, that is of course economic salvation.” (Barney Frank)

John Maynard Keynes noted the curious “preference for wholly ‘wasteful’ forms of loan expenditure rather than for partly wasteful forms, which, because they are not wholly wasteful, tend to be judged on strict ‘business’ principles.” Spend money on some useful goal, like the promotion of new energy sources, and people start screaming, “Solyndra! Waste!” Spend money on a weapons system we don’t need, and those voices are silent, because nobody expects F-22s to be a good business proposition.

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

Frank Luntz, Republican Party consultant in a strategy memorandum sent out to Party insiders said:

“Sometimes it is not what you say that matters but what you don’t say. Other times a single word or phrase can undermine or destroy the credibility of a paragraph or entire presentation. This memo was originally prepared exclusively for Congressional spouses because they are your eyes and ears, a one-person reality check and truth squad combined. However, by popular demand, I have included and expanded that document because effectively communicating the New American Lexicon requires you to STOP saying words and phrases that undermine your ability to educate the American people.”

This new section of Pepe’s Potpourri will contain some of Luntz recommendations.

If you ever thought that you were able to reason your way to your own political convictions, this series will disabuse you of that conceit. What you thought you knew and believed is little more than clever cynical conditioning.

e. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

Recently I wrote that Monty fought in the Middleweight division during Sugar Ray Robinson’s reign. In fact his career began as Robinson’s was ending. I apologize for the error.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“If you don’t start thinking about finance in this way–don’t start by classifying those who trade into savers, borrowers, risk-bearers, risk-shedders, principals, agents, gamblers, and marks–you do not, I think, have any chance of conducting a serious analyses of modern finance.”
Brad DeLong

Perhaps, my favorite description of what the world of finance is all about.

TODAY’S CHART:

In other words, only about 17% of the federal Budget is discretionary spending. A little over 20% is spent on defense. The remainder is spent on mandatory payments; entitlements, interest and safety net programs. Allowing the Bush Tax cuts for the wealthy to expire and cut defend spending by 20% would over the next 10 years save more that 2.2 trillion dollars and amount greater than that the so-called super Congress is required to make. So why, if it is so simple is it not done? That’s easy, the Republicans in Congress, with the assistance of some Democrats, refuse to either raise taxes or make significant cuts in weapons procurement [see Weaponized Keynesians above.]

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thau r ment, by 3Th. October 30, 2011

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

I have no news today since I have not read the newspaper, looked at any television programs nor been connected to the internet. I can report that the temperature in LA is wonderfully warm and pleasant and the traffic on the freeways horrendous as usual.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES:

I flew from Oakland airport to Long Beach where Monty met me. We drove into downtown LB to have drinks and to meet with some guy looking for investors in a business to develop diesel engines that run on hydrogen. The promoter is a disbarred attorney who claims to have served on the SF planning Commission and started a community bank in the SF Mission district during the 1980s. (I have seen this movie before.)

Monty and I then went to Monty’s home where we watched several music videos featuring Irish Music, “The Irish Tenors,” “The Three Priests” and Michael Crawford, the guy who sang the role of the Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway.

I slept on the sofa. It brought back memories of the many years as a child when the only bed I knew was the living room sofa. This was more like the camping I remembered than freezing my ass off in the woods like I did last weekend.

As a young man Monty made a living as a professional boxer. By the time he was about 20 years old he had amassed a record of 42 wins and only 5 defeats. This record was remarkable because he was a middleweight and at the time and that division contained some of the finest fighters that ever lived and was dominated by perhaps the greatest boxer ever, Sugar Ray Robinson. Monty could have been a contender, but his career was cut short by the loss of an eye to a knife in a street fight.

He then went into the family business, so to speak, horse racing, for which he retained a life long passion. This was followed by a number of careers including a stint in sports broadcasting until he, like half the nation it seems, found himself in southern California where he turned to a career in real estate untimely becoming a developer of shopping centers and quite well off until, alas, he fell in love with a magnificent piece of property located on the coast of California in San Luis Obispo County. This soon lead the loss of his wealth, family and the longest bankruptcy in the nation’s history, but it produced our friendship.

The next morning we drove to Venice to visit Ruth to see her newly remodeled home; then to downtown LA for lunch with Lina an old friend with whom about 10 years ago I travelled to Honduras and visited the Mayan ruins there.

After we returned to Monty’s home, we watched a marvelous movie entitled, “Going the Distance,” a documentary about ex-boxers who gather at a restaurant called the “Spaghetti Factory” in LA. In a way it resembles the Buena Vista Social Club for boxing. Instead of cutting away from interviews aged with the musicians to shots of them playing music, we went from interviews of the elderly pugilists to shote of them beating each others brains out.

Monty used to meet there with them. While Monty knew all of them well, he had a close personal relationship with Ray Mancini (Ex-lightweight champion), Carlos Palomino (Ex-welter weight world champion) and Bobby Chacon (former light weight champion of the world). The movie shows the now retired fighters old, often broke and in many cases sadly addled from the blows that ultimately destroyed their brains.

One of the most poignant moment of the film was when the great Bobby Chacon, reduced to the mental acuity of a child, tells, in words so slurred they had to be repeated in sub-titles at the bottom of the screen, about the night his wife, distressed at his unwillingness to give up boxing, killed herself. With tears running down his cheeks he told or receiving a call that night from his son crying into the phone, “Daddy, mommy shot herself.” A few years later that son also died in an episode of gang violence.

Later Monty told stories about boxing and his friendship with many famous fighters; from when he was a young Boxer, getting advice from Rocky Marciano, to more recently, conversations with Joe Frazier about what it was like to fight “Ali,” and of befriending Jerry Quarry. During his final years Quarry was broke and lived in Monty’s home. Monty took him in and cared for him during the fighter’s descent into poverty and dementia until that day he died in Monty’s arms.

I think the guy with the knife did Monty a favor.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

For those readers of “This and that…” who recall “Gun Girl,” a revised version of that saga is being republished.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: An interlude with Meg:

Meg stood next to her patrol car in a turn out on Highway near Half Moon Bay Harbor looking out over the vast, grey and brooding Pacific Ocean. Meg was in an unusually contemplative mood. She liked men. She also liked women. She liked Ray. He was all man. He also was all woman. She liked that about him. She didn’t understand why. That’s why she was standing here looking at the boring ocean and trying to sort out her emotions. She soon gave up. Contemplation was not Meg’s strength. She was a woman of action. And the action she craved now was to get her iron pumped and steroid enhanced hands around the neck of whoever killed Stephanie. She now was convinced Stephanie was murdered. So was Ray.

She got back into her automobile and drove to the coffee shop in the harbor. As she sat at one of the tables stirring her coffee Paul Grossmacher, the director of the Harbor District entered the place. Grossmacher was a kindly older gentleman who ran the District for as long as she remembered. She liked him. He had a dry sense of humor that she enjoyed, always listened sympathetically when she talked even when she just rambled on and he flirted outrageously with her.

He sat at her table ordered a cafe-latte and a poppy-seed bagel and inquired, “Meg, why so pensive, trying to solve some great mystery or are you just recalling some special pleasure you enjoyed last night?”

She laughed, “A little bit of both.”

“Ah, and is the mystery professional or personal?”

“A little bit of both.”

“Maybe I could help. I read a lot of mysteries.”

She laughed again. “No, I do not think so.”

“Why don’t you get everyone in the room and sweat them? Isn’t that what the detectives do?”

“Well, no,” she responded. “I have no witnesses and only one person who could know something, but I spoke with him and he doesn’t seem to. There is no family.”

“Why not try him again? Maybe he remembered something he forgot when you grilled him.”

“We don’t grill people. Besides, I really don’t think he knows anything.”

They talked for a while more. She finished her coffee, got up and went out the door back to her cruiser. As she stood by the car door she thought that maybe there was something to Paul’s suggestion. Maybe I will go up to San Francisco and interview him in his office. It couldn’t hurt. I might even see Ray again.

So she took out Ray’s business card, called the office and asked to speak to Vincent Biondi.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q: Did you ever wonder why dimes, quarters and half dollars have notches (milling), while pennies and nickels do not?

A: The US Mint began putting notches on the edges of coins containing gold and silver to discourage holders from shaving off small quantities of the precious metals. Dimes, quarters and half dollars are notched because they used to contain silver. Pennies and nickels aren’t notched because the metals they contain are not valuable enough to shave.

b. Cracked News from “Not the Nation”:

THE INFAMOUS SEASIDE RESORT OF PATTAYA — Known worldwide as a den of crime and vice, Pattaya municipal officials have decided to embrace its reputation by officially renaming the city “The Infamous Seaside Resort of Pattaya”.


Explaining the decision, Mayor Tik Kunplome said, “We found that almost every international press report referred to us as ‘the infamous seaside resort’. Rather than waste more money trying to brand our city as a family-friendly destination, we’ve decided that the moniker will help bring in more of those tourists to whom we cater best. Let’s not pretend anymore. Sex, drugs, prostitution — this shit sells.”

c. Real Headlines and Ads:

HEADLINE: “New Owl Creek School chooses a new mascot: it’s an owl”

HEADLINE: “Federal openness workshop closed to public”

NEWSPAPER AD: “Community Church Family Night! Featuring AMAZING GRASS”

AD: Vegan Flouride-Free Tooth Care Products. Tested on grandchildren–never on animals. Healthy Smiles!”

CLASSIFIEDS: “Sheep. Slightly used. Housebroke. Free. You pick up.”

HEADLINE: “Worker suffers leg pain after an 800-pound ball is dropped on his head”

MEDICAL COMPANY AD: “COUPON/FREE BAG OF SUGAR WITH ANY PURCHASE OF DIABETIC SUPPLIES”

AD: “NORTHSHORE HILTON HOTEL/ 9 AM / “SHOULD YOU GET A FACELIFT? ASK YOUR GYNECOLOGIST”

d. What the OCCUPY Movement is all about:

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

“You have indeed brought into being a mighty wild bull, head raised! There is no rival who can raise a weapon against him. His fellows stand (at the alert), attentive to his orders. Gilgamesh does not leave a son to his father. Is he the shepherd of the haven of Uruk? Is he their shepherd, bold, eminent, knowing, and wise? Gilgamesh does not leave a girl in the care of her mother, does not leave the daughter of the warrior or the bride of the young man untouched.
It was you, Aruru, who created this man. Now create a [zikru] for him. Let him be equal to Gilgamesh’s stormy heart. Let them be a match for each other. And so Uruk may find peace!”
Gilgamesh, the original testosterone crazed hero upon whom the God of the “People of the Book” is modeled. Perhaps that God was actually the “Zikru” that Aruru created.


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


India at night taken from space.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 20, 2011

President Barack Obama and Warren Buffett in t...

“My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice.
Warren Buffett.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1997: A mastodon tooth and camel jaw from about 280,000 BC were found in tunnels under Los Angeles.

They also found outtakes of the movie “1 Million BC,” a pair of Cecile B. DeMille’s

monogrammed undershorts and an empty bottle of Gloria Swanson’s mascara.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Interestingly, all those immediately pressing foreign and domestic crises that existed before the Thai general election that the press found so urgent have proven to be not so critical since the election, resulting in a lack of apparently newsworthy events (e.g., war and threats of war and the like. Murders and dismemberment however still receive their share of newsprint) while the new government organizes itself.

Even the horrific flooding in the North and Northeast of the country appears  less noteworthy than whether some minor appointed functionary is or is not a hand-picked crony of the deposed Prime Minister. Meanwhile the new Prime Minister responds to all inquiries with the promise that everything will be done according to law and proper procedures.

The first act of the new government has been to allow the exiled fugitive prime minister and the newly elected Prime Minister’s older brother to travel from his hideout in the Persian Gulf to Japan for a “business conference” with a brief side trip to Cambodia to investigate offshore oil drilling.

The opposition party has gone apoplectic over the action while, except for a few dramatic headlines, the rest of the country seems fairly apathetic.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Recently, I have realized that I may be bored. Not the existential boredom that leads to anxiety, impulsive behavior or catatonia, but the type of quizzical boredom that comes when I am writing in my journal what I had done that day and recognize that I am writing the same thing that I wrote the day before and the day before that. I then wonder if I am bored or simply unobservant.

I believe I am quite content. My days usually consist of an early morning breakfast in my room and a brisk mile or so walk through the urban jungle of the Soi Nana/Sukhumvit Road area to the health club, sometimes stopping along the way at Starbucks for a Cafe Latte and to read the newspaper. After exercising, I return home, grab my computer and walk around the block to the open front restaurant where I eat lunch and sometimes dinner while playing on my Mac.

Then I return to my apartment where, if I had not done so already, I eat dinner or go out to another small local eatery. Following dinner, I watch television. Either the Star Movie channel that shows some of the most abysmal American movies ever made (e.g., Anaconda or anything with Jennifer Lopez) or the Thai soaps to which like most Thai’s I have become addicted even though I do not understand the language and haven’t the slightest idea about what is happening. Then I have my massage and go to bed.

What has gotten me concerned about my life lately is that I am having a difficult time identifying any adventures to write about in “Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand.”

Where, for example, are the further adventures of Pookie and “Gun Girl” as they criss-cross the breadth of Central Thailand searching for something, anything? Is there nothing to replace my observations of my morning beach front walks through “Little Siberia?” And what has happened to the Geriatric Knights of the Oval Table and the rest of the lost tribe of old white males, whose company I enjoyed so much, hiding in the alleyways of the Outskirts of Hell ?

Now, as I have explained before to those of you who mistakenly and probably foolishly have read this far, “This and that…” is a self-indulgent conceit for my own amusement and not intended necessarily to entertain or edify any reader. As such, for the next few issues I intend to explore my typical day (with photographs – See below) to see if I can understand this conundrum of being bored and happy at the same time. Beware…
(Maybe to be continued and maybe not…)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

When Vince returned to his office he was shaken. He never considered himself physically brave and now as crazy as it seemed to him then when Russell explained it to him and now that he has had a moment to contemplate it in his office, it was possible, although he believed unlikely that his life was in danger. Resigning and returning to Thailand did not appear to be an alternative since, if he was in physical danger, that appeared to offer no additional protection

To his annoyance, his suggestion to request protection from the police or the Feds in the person of Russell was dismissed almost without comment. He suspected that Russell and his people, including Isabella, were simply using him just like David, Red Star and the mysterious Brethren. In speaking with Ike after the other two had left, Ike seemed to agree with him.

“I know all this is a shock Vince,” he said. “It is to me. But, I am sure that you must realize that we, you and I, have no idea if Mr. Russell is being honest with us. I suspect he is not, at least not entirely. Although I know the organization we refer to as the Brethren exists, we have no evidence that they are involved in Red Star, or that they have any interest in you.”

“What we do know, or at least suspect is, first we know that Red Star is under investigation by the Federal Government for at least billing irregularities and perhaps fraud and theft of public property. This we know.”He lapsed into silence for a moment picked up his tea-cup and stared into it as though contemplating its texture and then continued.

“We know that several members of your firm were involved financially in the company and undoubtably violated the Bar Association’s conflict of interest laws and perhaps defrauded the other partners in the firm. We know that your managing partner who intimately was involved in the creation and subsequently in the legal affairs of Red Star for some reason committed suicide, or at least we have no information available to us to believe it was not suicide. Although his despair, if that were it, may have had something to do with Red Star, we also know that he possessed embarrassing information on many people and organizations that may or may not have influenced his action. We know that the Red Star and other files possessed by Sam Coign were missing, presumably removed by Mr Bauman, who subsequently disappeared under unusual circumstances. Mrs Coign also died under mysterious circumstances, and of course you were attacked, whether it was intentional or random we can only guess at this time.”

He took another sip of his tea looked off into the unfocused distance and continued, “We have only a suspicion and Russell’s story that the Brethren may be involved or even other members of your firm or whether any of them has developed a plot with you as a target. What I strongly believe is that Russell and whoever he is involved with wants you to stay put for some reason.”

“So this is what I pay my taxes for, some game among bureaucrats,” Vince exploded.

Ike smiled. “We pay our taxes for them to protect us from those who would take away our liberty and threaten our welfare. The question always is choosing who it is that threatens our liberty and who decides what is in our welfare. Unless there is a semblance of public debate and transparency, It is in those dark space’s that the rat’s have room to play.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Wagner’s Law predicts that the development of an industrial economy will be accompanied by an increased share of public expenditure in gross national product, and is named after the German economist Adolph Wagner (1835-1917).

Never trust those Germans.

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

“The outsourcing of essential governmental services is the road to tyranny.”

c. Profiles in Presidential Courage:

“Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that Government is best which is most indifferent.
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me — and I welcome their hatred.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936
d. Rick Perry’s Flock or Birds of a Feather :

John Hagee, a planner in Perry’s recent “Prayer Rally” that preceded his announcement of his intention to run for the Presidency of the United States, claimed that God sent Hitler to be a “hunter” of Jews to usher in the establishment of Israel and “do God’s work,” lamenting that Jews are no longer “spiritually alive.”

He followed that up by referring to the Catholic Church as ‘The Great Whore,’ an ‘apostate church,’ the ‘anti-Christ,’ and a ‘false cult system.’

On a somewhat more positive note, he has demanded that,“ wives submit yourselves to your husbands” and said that the “husband has a God-given role as leader of your home.”

Go Johnny go!

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

There’s a study running soon in the journal “Global Environmental Change” called “Cool dudes: The denial of climate change among conservative white males in the United States.” It analyzes poll and survey data from the last 10 years and finds that … are you sitting down? “… conservative white men are far more likely to deny the threat of climate change than other people.”

Among the reasons given for the poll results is, the “white male effect” — generally speaking, white males are less concerned with a variety of risks. This probably has to do with the fact that they are less exposed to risk than other demographics, what with running things and all.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“A hard man is good to find.”
—Mae West

TODAY’S COMMENTARY:

RUSSEL BRAND’S COMMENTS ON THE BRITISH RIOTS:

Why am I surprised that these young people behave destructively, “mindlessly”, motivated only by self-interest?

How should we describe the actions of the city bankers who brought our economy to its knees in 2010? Altruistic? Mindful? Kind?

But then again, they do wear suits, so they deserve to be bailed out, perhaps that’s why not one of them has been imprisoned. And they got away with a lot more than a few fucking pairs of trainers.

These young people have no sense of community because they haven’t been given one. They have no stake in society because Cameron’s mentor Margaret Thatcher told us there’s no such thing.

If we don’t want our young people to tear apart our communities then don’t let people in power tear apart the values that hold our communities together.

An interesting take on values. I have often wondered why those who most support the tooth and claw morality of the market place get so upset when it is brought out into the streets. Instead of sending representatives of government into the streets, shouldn’t we allow the miracle of the market to operate? Obviously after everything is looted, the riots will stop, the aggressive and vigorous will amass wealth as they should, and we who sat idly by are left to pick up the pieces as always)

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

This is a view from one of the windows of my apartment. The other window has a better view of the freeway, but I like this photograph because is shows a small restaurant that is surprisingly popular and makes what I consider  the best Thai omelet in the neighborhood.

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. June 20, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Admittedly it needs some work. It has also been suggested that I change “Pookie” to “Papa Joe” since Papa Joe sounds more presidential. What do you think?

TODAY‘S FACTOID:

2009: In Africa this year nearly 60 million hectares — an area the size of France – was purchased or leased by large international agricultural conglomerates and Sovereign Wealth Funds in comparison to an average annual expansion of global agricultural land before 2008 of less than 4 million ha.
http://media.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/OI_FAQsjune5.pdf

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND ITALY:

After spending one day in San Francisco following my trip to Sacramento, I set off agin, this time to Southern California. I arrived at LAX and was met by Monty Ormsby, a friend and ex-client who I accompanied and ineffectually represented in his slow, sad voyage of descent from great wealth into bankruptcy at the hands of the Coastal Commission, but that is another story. Monty also, as a young man, was a ranked middle weight boxer until he lost an eye in a street fight, but that also is another story.

Monty agreed to lend me his car for my trip to Disneyland to meet up with Hayden and SWAC who had spent the previous two days there. The automobile was an old black Mercedes that had previously been owned by Sid Luft, who had been married to Judy Garland. Sid, Judy and Judy’s daughter Liza Minnelli had been close friends of Monty (another story). After he died, Sid left Monty the car .

Recently the car had been in an accident, its hood  tied down with rope. Monty uses the car as his everyday car and in addition to its damaged exterior, its interior showed the ravages of constant use, strewn with piles of cigar ash and bits or paper, old styrofoam cups and the like.

After dropping Monty off at his home in Torrence, I drove to Disneyland managing to get lost several times and arriving there in time only to take in the fireworks display.

The following morning as she got into the car, SWAC noticing the condition of its exterior and interior commenced a rant that continued throughout the trip back to Los Angeles increasing in both volume and invective as I proceeded to get lost again. Finally I dropped both of them off at a hotel near the airport and continued on by myself to lunch with Greg McWilliams and Ruth Galanter. For those of you not familiar with either Greg or Ruth, Greg in a friend and was a client of mine for whom I assisted in obtaining entitlements for a large development in San Francisco. The process was no less difficult than Monty’s, but more successful. At least it did not end in bankruptcy. Ruth has been a friend for over thirty years, since the early days of California’s coastal program. She spent several years as one of the most effective members of the Los Angeles City Council.

Over lunch at a good restaurant in Marina Del Rey, we talked mostly about politics. After lunch, I drove to Monty’s house in Torrence to pick him up for dinner. We exchanged the forlorn Mercedes for Monty’s 1985 cherry red Rolls Royce convertible and returned to the hotel to collect Hayden and SWAC. SWAC was much happier in the spiffy and cleaner Rolls as we set off to Venice Beach for dinner.

We strolled through Venice Beach. Hayden loved it. Venice Beach is like an adult Disneyland, except more interesting with its diverse species of humanity, its muscle park, medical marijuana parlors, skate parks and the like (See today’s photographs below). After dinner, Monty dropped us off back at the hotel and he returned home.

The hotel in which we were staying and whose name unfortunately I forgot, had been the old Airport Marina hotel at which in the 1970s the Coastal Commission often used to have its meetings when in Southern California. The hotel has been remodeled into a wonderful boutique hotel and is now part of the Joie de Vivre chain of hotels based in SF.

The following morning we departed for Italy. (to be continued)
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Vince’s first call of the morning was to Fat Al to tell him about Stephanie’s death and ask him to look into it. He then called Ike. After recounting the morning’s call from the San Mateo County sheriff’s office, he asked whether Ike thought that he should accompany Vince to his meeting with the Sheriff later that morning.

Ike felt there was no reason for Vince to risk suggesting to the Sheriff that he felt any possible involvement in Stephanie’s death that being accompanied by a criminal lawyer would imply. He recommended instead Vince take Ray along with him if he should need any assistance.

Vince’s third call was to Isabella.
————————
Ike received Vince’s call while working with his orchids in the greed house on the roof of his Mission District home. After completing his ministrations on his beloved orchids, Ike sat in his study drinking tea from a delicate 19th century Korean Celadon tea set and contemplated his phone call earlier with Vince. Fifteen minutes or so later he nodded, grunted picked up one of his special cell phones and dialed.

“Yes,” he spoke into the phone when his call was answered. “I assume he has called you by now?”

“This evening? Good. I think it may be time for him to meet the old man.”

“No, I do not think this is a Brotherhood operation. Just a third rate scam among some of their greedy operatives.”

He then hung up the phone and returned to sipping his tea.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Gall’s law“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.”


No kidding Gail.

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

“The last refuge of scoundrels is not patriotism but the claim that no one could see it coming.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”(Isaiah 45:7)

(Now we know who to blame.)

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

“If you believe that warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is constitutionally protected, but a women’s right to choose is not.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

John Coates, a former trader turned student of neuroscience, performed an experiment on the trading floor and found out that if a trader’s testosterone levels reach a little higher than the peak, their brain goes haywire.
According to Coates, “During the dot-com bubble, people who were working with me displayed all the classic symptoms of mania: They were euphoric, delusional, and overconfident; they couldn’t put a coherent sentence together; and they were unusually horny, judging from the number of lewd comments and the amount of porn that was showing up on their computer screens.”
Source: Discover Magazine

(This explains everything.)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.”
Thomas Jefferson; 1785 letter to James Madison.

Today’s Photographs:

Monty, SWAC and Hayden at Venice Beach

:

Dope at the Beach:

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

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