Posts Tagged With: Mitt Romney

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 20 Papa Joe 0001 (October 9,2012)

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN  WASHINGTON DC:

TRAVELOGUE TWO: A PLEASANT TOUR OF THE NATION’S CAPITOL.

My daughter Jessica picked me up at Reagan Airport. She drove me around The Mall before taking me to her home in Alexandria. Jessica is science advisor to the US Department of State office that deals with international health and bio-defense. Yes, the US government is concerned about epidemics and health care in other countries since it affects their economies and thereby, may impact their stability and purchases of American goods and services. Also an epidemic could spread to America.

Jessica at a park near her home in Arlington Va.

The next day we set off to tour the Mall intending to have lunch at the American Indian Museum that serves native-American cuisine. I began college in DC and have returned many times on business, lobbying trips and to attend various presidential inaugurals and other political events. It has changed a lot.

In 1957, 55 years ago when I first set eyes on the city it was no more than a typical small American city, a large town really. JFK famously described it as having, “…Southern efficiency and Northern charm.” It has now grown into a megalopolis, not because government has grown so much or the number of governmental employees have significantly increased, but because of inundation buy the parasite community, lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who since the 1970s have swarmed here to feed on its slowly rotting carcass.

Pookie in Washington DC.

Our first stop was at the Franklin Roosevelt memorial that, after 40 or so years of fierce Republican opposition, finally had been built along the south shore of the tidal basin. Larry Halprin’s design leads the visitor through a series of park like open areas separated by rough stone walls and niches. It is quite different from most of the more bombastic memorials in the city in that it is low key and sylvan in its setting. As common in Halprin’s designs, he often forgets the context within the surrounding area on which it sets. In this case he failed to notice that the site abutted the shoreline of the tidal basin.

The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

A little further on, one comes upon the MLK memorial designed by Roma who seemed to better understand its waterfront setting applying many of the same rules of waterfront design I preached to them years ago. Unlike the understated Roosevelt memorial the focal point of the memorial is a huge boulder into which a giant forbidding MLK had been sculpted.

Martin Luther King Memorial

After lunch at the Native American Museum and a tour of the national botanical gardens, we sat for a while in Bartholdi Park that contained a massive late 19th century bronze fountain by the same sculptor that created The Statue of Liberty. It was conceived with the newly invented electric lights integrated into its design. They were the first electric lights in the city and the denizens of the metropolis at the time often gathered there in the evenings to marvel at the promise of the coming century.

Papa Joe at the fountain

That evening we went to the movies to see “Looper” with Bruce Willis. A science fiction thriller with the usual improbable plot. We liked it.

The next morning we set off for the Shenandoah National Park to view the fall foliage. A narrow 100 mile long park, it was built by the WPA during the Great Depression almost exclusively to cater to the newly popular motor car.

On the way back to Washington we detoured at a sign announcing “Civil War Heritage Trails” that led us along on increasingly more rustic roads until we ended up on a dirt road terminating at a field next to a vast barn like building selling antiques. Across the field we could see two small signs. We trudged up to them and were fascinated to find that the site was the bivouac of the German regiments during the Civil War. The troops led by officers from Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire had been revolutionaries during the various european revolutions of 1848 and after losing, driven from their countries had now taken up arms on behalf of the Union to again fight for freedom. This time not to free themselves, but to free the African slaves.

We then went into the antique barn to browse. I found a set of almost 20 books from 1905 written by a gentleman about his world travels. I read the one about Sicily, a land of poor but proud people who dressed up in funny costumes, played music a lot and rode around on donkeys.

A little further on we came to a place selling original art-glass and pottery. I asked the woman who seemed to be the artist that created some of the works displayed how she was doing. She answered “I am having a very good day, thank you. But I am sure you would not want to hear about it if I wasn’t.”

“Oh, I don’t know about that,” I responded. “I am always open to new experiences. Besides, there would be precious little fiction written if it were not about someone having a bad day.”

A little further on we came across another tails sign and followed a similar progression of roads but found no sign. We did however end up at a winery named Gadino. It has an attractive tasting room and two professional bocce courts. Their wines were a bit thin and astringent but not entirely unpleasant. There appears to be more wineries in Virginia than in California. The internet lists over one hundred.

Jessica in front of the Winery. The bocce courts are off to her left.

Travel plans update:

As expected what appeared to be certain travel arrangements have crumbled. I have no place to stay in NY within my price range. So I am looking at some places deep within the underbelly of Brooklyn. Travel through Italy back to Thailand has been cancelled so it appears I will have to return to California and leave from LA. I try to enjoy most of my experiences but this is becoming somewhat trying.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

How about a state and local minimum tax for everyone at say 11%?

Note: everyone above the lowest 40% pays a higher percentage of their income for taxes than the top 1%.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

A. Mitt Romney joining Poppy at the check-out counter:

“When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go exactly. And you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that, but it’s a real problem,”

B. A few words from the barnyard:

 

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 18, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. For those concerned for my supposed one-sided posting of Republican failures and follies while ignoring Obama’s, I discovered the following:

See, libs do criticize libs

2. Why parody is impossible:

“If the Soviet empire still existed, I’d be terrified. The fact is, we can afford a fairly ignorant presidency now.”
~Newt Gingrich, saying that it’s okay for the President to be “fairly” ignorant.
3. Let’s give the American people a chance to hear Buddy Roemer in the Republican nomination for President debates:

Romney’s better [than Gingrich], but he’s bought. I saw Mitt Romney when he was running for the United States Senate …. He talked about PACs, about special interest money, and about how he was different from Ted Kennedy. Bullshit. With three [presidential] Super PACs, he already has received four $1-million checks.”

“These [Republicans] are decent people, They can play a role in turning America around. I would ask them to lead. I would ask them to stand up. Stop what they’re doing …. Tell their party, my party: Let’s stop being the party of big checks.”
Buddy Roemer

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

A. 2011 Food costs:

I do not know what this chart signifies other than good news for restaurants.

B. 2011 Black Friday:

On a recent front page of USA Today, the main headline read “Guns were a big seller on Black Friday.” According to the article, sales of firearms hit record numbers on the day after Thanksgiving, with a surge in FBI background checks by 129,166 new buyers — “smashing the single-day, all-time high by 32 percent, according to bureau records.”

Unfortunately, there are many in the US who are more proud of this than they would be about reports of any general upturn economic activity or jobs.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Teflon Prime Minister:

Recently when questioned by the press whether her planned reorganization of the military could lead to a military coup similar to that that toppled her brother Thaksin the Terrible when he attempted a similar reorganization, Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl responded with her standard answer to questions regarding the impact of her policies: “I am confident I am working my best for the people who trust me and I will do my best for Thailand. I believe that I have this intention. I must seek fair treatment from everyone.”

When asked what her intentions actually were she replied that she did not want to discuss the issue for the time being as she was focusing on working with all parties to relieve the people’s hardships.

2. The benefits of Teflon:

Only a day or two after the above appeared in the newspapers Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl that the senior General and head of the Army would retain his position until retirement. I assume this agreement covers the other members of his military school class. Any “reorganization” appears limited to the lower ranks replacing those now scheduled to accede to the senior positions by those who support the Thaksin the Terrible/Princess Lucky Girl administration.

Prior to the election, I wrote in these posts that I suspected that Thaksin the Terrible would make a deal of this type. After all, the prior coup was instituted following the failed attempt to cashier these same officers and replace them with members of Thaksin the Terrible‘s military class. Right after the election I guessed that the opposition party’s suspicions that such a deal was in the making, launched a series of almost hysterical media and political attacks on the incoming government that appeared more geared to influence the military general staff than the populace as a whole. Apparently, with this most recent announcement my speculation appears to have been correct. What this means is, barring a string of absolutely stupid political actions, the current government will sit in power for a while and Thaksin the Terrible will return from exile in triumph. Given the overweening size of his ego and the impact of his success on it, I would guess he goes back into government. It would be a foolish thing for him to do.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Alas, I have been struck down by illness and have remained in my bed for the past few days trying to treat it with antibiotics, throat lozenges, liquids and sleep. I still feel miserable.

While so engaged in self medication and self-pity, I received phone calls from SWAC and from Nikki urging me to fly off to Italy for the holidays at Vittorio’s farm and then return to the US to resume my nanny duties until Hayden is once again abandoned to his fate. While, health permitting, I am leaning toward going, much depends on whether I can make all the arrangement within the next few days.

As I lie here in bed, I am watching on television an amazing fireworks display that is taking place in Pattaya (the outskirts of hell) in honor of the kings birthday. There are about 15 separate countries participating in a competition. It has been explained to me that each country contributed to the fireworks demonstrations accompanied by music. There were three presentations that I saw each lasting about 15-20 minutes. The Japanese presentation, an US led display and one more. About 20 years ago, my daughter and I attended the fireworks exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of  erection of the Statue of Liberty in NY harbor. That was by far the most impressive show of pyrotechnics I have ever seen until this one. I think the American led display won first prize.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Recently I read a short opinion piece by Naomi Wolf in the Bangkok Post in which she mentioned that she had noticed a trend by some young adults for the most part, to choose to live a lower impact lifestyle. This was not the quasi-religious back to nature life styles movement favored by the Hippies, nor was it the life of hopeless desperation that gripped much of the Nation in the 1930s. It seems that here a number of the modern descendants of those prior movements are simply deciding on a simpler way of life because the alternative, even if accessible, is no longer as desirable. An ideal life based almost exclusively upon greed is being found wanting.

The impact of this change in goals, as she pointed out could be momentous. It does not take many people to decide, for example, that they do not need a second car for its reverberations for good or ill  felt throughout society. In that example, the failure of the automotive industry to grow at a rate equivalent to population growth, replacement and a little more, would have severe consequences to the economy that cannot be remedied by lower prices or financing.

What Ms Wolf did not mention that some of those entering their most economically productive years are the members of the social network, mobile entertainment and information generation. Their life style choices could exacerbate the economic and social impacts of the trend she writes about.

For example, our transportation, fashion, entertainment, adult and a host of other choices often require our traveling somewhere, frequently with the hope to impress those we meet along the way with our abilities, success or whatever else is important to our sense of self-worth. Conspicuous consumption of even some of the wealthiest among us may become less a function of acquisition of physical things then it is now. (Why two Ferraris when you do not need to alter your location for most of your social or business needs?) Some of us for instance may decide that public transportation, although longer in trip duration and often lacking in comfort is mitigated by the fact that your mobile, work, entertainment and social needs must be somewhat curtailed during your drive should you choose to do so.

It would not require more than a few of us to make these choices for it to rock the economy in ways that standard financial theory is unable to manage, based as it is on production and finance, causing the economy to contract and perhaps collapse.

Strange as it may seem, it may be that this social change more than technological invention or energy conservation that delay’s the impact of the hydrocarbon threat.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

RUNAWAY BLACK HOLE

Black holes are the most powerful gravitational objects in the universe, capable of tearing Earth into its constituent atoms. Even within a billion miles, a black hole could knock Earth out of the solar system, leaving our planet wandering through deep space without a source of energy.

Danger sign: Increased asteroid activity; the seasons get really extreme.

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

1. Limit the finance industry’s ability to funnel money from the masses to the ultra rich, through hedge funds which dominate all of the financial markets.
“What are hedge funds? They are funds that have a 1-5 million deposit minimum, cater to the mega-rich, and can invest in anything without regulatory restrictions, use leverage to pump up their exposure by 15x, and pretty much eat up a vast majority of the industry’s profits.”
Statement by a Wall Street Broker.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/’#ixzz1gUodSGWq

2. End the growing disparity in income gains between the very rich and everyone else.

3. Begin the reversal of the wealth disparities between and very wealthy and everyone else in American Society.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/’#ixzz1gJc79fcs

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

“Jefferson and Madison didn’t live to see reactionary justices fulfill their worst fears. In 1886 a conservative court conferred the divine gift of life on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Never mind that the Fourteenth Amendment declaring that no person should be deprived of “life, liberty or property without due process of law” was enacted to protect the rights of freed slaves. The Court decided to give the same rights of “personhood” to corporations that possessed neither a body to be kicked nor a soul to be damned. For over half a century the Court acted to protect the privileged. It gutted the Sherman Antitrust Act by finding a loophole for a sugar trust. It killed a New York State law limiting working hours. Likewise a ban against child labor. It wiped out a law that set minimum wages for women. And so on: one decision after another aimed at laws promoting the general welfare. The Roberts Court has picked up the mantle: Moneyed interests first, the public interest second, if at all.

The ink was hardly dry on the Citizens United decision when the U.S. Chamber of Commerce organized a covertly funded front and rained drones packed with cash into the 2010 campaigns. According to the Sunlight Foundation, corporate front groups spent $126 million in the fall of 2010 while hiding the identities of the donors. Another corporate cover group — the American Action Network – spent over $26 million of undisclosed corporate money in just six Senate races and 26 House elections. And Karl Rove’s groups – American Crossroads/Crossroads GPS – seized on Citizens United to raise and spend at least $38 million that NBC News said came from “a small circle of extremely wealthy Wall Street hedge fund and private equity moguls” — all determined to water down financial reforms designed to prevent another collapse of the financial system. Jim Hightower has said it well: Today’s proponents of corporate plutocracy “have simply elevated money itself above votes, establishing cold, hard cash as the real coin of political power.”

d. The chart that explains a lot:

I think that with the shrinkage of “safe” assets, those sitting on cash as a result of the bailouts and those pulling it out of the previously safe havens and looking for another refuge to park the funds will begin to overwhelm the remaining safe havens. All this money floating around has little demand for production of goods and services into which to put it to work. Unless someone starts putting money into less safe assets like those investments that increase production and jobs (on the come so to speak)), these safe havens may not be as safe in the long run as they appear today. It seems to confirm that the “Confidence Fairies” and “Bond Vigilantes” are wrong again. Until there is good old governmental pump priming and a moderate loosening of inflation goals, much more wealth will have to be wiped out or there is a belief that the safe havens are not a safe as for example productive assets, before things begin looking better, if ever they do.

It all can be thought of a borrowing from labor and from production in order to maintain the rental value of money, until labor and production recover. It cannot work. Labor, production and consumption create the rental value of profits and natural asset rents.

e. Profile in Presidential courage:

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

My sincerest apologies for posting this, but I could not resist:

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

This chart is highly misleading since it fails to show the fall in the growth of government during those prior administrations committed to slowing its growth and therefore I suspected it was prepared by a liberal front group. Unfortunately, I checked on the growth figures for the prior administrations and they all showed an ongoing increase in the number of governmental employees.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

Actually Jesus is a liberal Democrat and not a socialist. He fed the multitude by creating the food out of nothing. If he were a Socialist he would have used the money he took from the money changers in the temple to pay for the food. If he were a Republican he would have created the food out of nothing, given it to the money changers, and told the multitude that they should ask the money changers for jobs instead of sitting there on the grass looking for handouts.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Because there is more to be frightened by today.

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

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Reasons why I had to temporarily give up attempts to parody the far right and the Republican candidates:

“Much of what you see in the Catholic Church today doesn’t come from God’s Word, it comes from that cult-like, pagan religion. Now you say, ‘pastor how can you say such a thing? That is such an indictment of the Catholic Church. After all the Catholic Church talks about God and the Bible and Jesus and the Blood of Christ and Salvation.’

Isn’t that the genius of Satan? If you want to counterfeit a dollar bill, you don’t do it with purple paper and red ink, you’re not going to fool anybody with that. But if you want to counterfeit money, what you do is make it look closely related to the real thing as possible.

And that’s what Satan does with counterfeit religion. He uses, he steals, he appropriates all of the symbols of true biblical Christianity, and he changes it just enough in order to cause people to miss eternal life.”
Dr Robert Jeffries, minister and ardent supporter of Rick Perry and most other Republican candidates except Mitt Romney (and probably Newt because of his recent conversion to Catholicism) and leading light of the fear and hate caucus. Jeffries was prominent at the recent Values Voters Summit as well as Perry’s prayer shindig.

If I tried to put words like that into Pookie’s mouth or into the mouth of one of his imaginary supporters, it would and should be derided as not credible for a thinking human being to say, much less for anyone to believe or follow. Sort of makes you feel a little sorry for Mitt and Newt.

Then we have: Rick Santorum who, in response to a question regarding the difference between the civil rights movement and gay rights, said:

“You are black by the color of your skin. You are not homosexual, necessarily, by the color of your skin.”

Now I understand. I really do.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Cost Cutting For Our Times: Officials in southeast Georgia are considering a money-saving program that would put inmates in fire stations. Officials say the inmates would respond to all emergencies — including residential fires — alongside traditional firefighters.

For some reason my liberal bias assumes that the officials referred to are Republican. Maybe not, since this appears to be one of those examples of politically generated foolishness that knows no party label. How about putting them into police stations while we’re at it? They could learn a lot there. Have we really come down to this?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

Thailand: From the newspaper reports here in American it appears that the floods in Thailand have reached epic proportions and have begun to impact Bangkok directly.
(See Today’s Photograph below)

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I went to Crissy Field with Nikki, Hayden and my granddaughter Amanda to view the Fleet Week Blue Angels show in the air over SF Bay. What appeared different about this from other Fleet Week extravaganzas that I have attended, was that the airline sponsors took it into their heads to garner some good public relations by flying their jumbo jets over the Bay at heights that appeared at times  only sightly higher than the tops of some of the masts of the larger sailboats. The ghostly appearance of these behemoths flying in and out of the fog so close to the ground was a bit frightening to me. In fact the Blue Angels themselves had the good sense to cancel their show because they felt the thick fog would make flying dangerous.

Before departing for the show over the Bay we visited with my mom at her retirement home on Lake Street called St. Anne’s. My mother who is 92 and relatively spry is experiencing the onset of the more serious memory problems that commonly afflict people at that advanced age. She could not understand why I did not visit her more often, despite the number of times I answered that question by telling her that I lived in Asia now. She did however suggest that I return from Asia and move into St. Ann’s. “This place is great,” she said. “They take care of everything.”

“What about Sex,” I inquired?

“They don’t care about that as long as you’re quiet and go to mass on Sunday,” she responded. “In fact, I wish I had a new boyfriend,” she added.

Nikki, marveled at her paintings, especially her newest, a large impressionistic landscape primarily in blue and greens, that hangs on the wall of the Home.

She began painting in her late 80’s and now her paintings sell for as much as $8000 in auctions held by the religious order that runs the facility.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed in order to reset the authors interest button.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q. Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses?
A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

b. Human “Fingerprints” on Recent Climate Change:

c. From God’s Mouth to your Ears:

The Book of Mormon on:
Catholics: “I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.”1 Nephi 13:6
Jews: “For I, Nephi, have not taught them many things concerning the manner of the Jews; for their works were works of darkness, and their doings were doings of abominations.”2 Nephi 25:10
People of Color:And he [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them … wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” 2 Nephi 5:21
Non Mormons: “…all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil (Non-Mormons) are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.”1 Nephi 22:24

d. The Oligarchs Strike Back:

“…Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage. In fact, the more reasonable and moderate a critic sounds, the more urgently he or she must be demonized, hence the frantic sliming of Elizabeth Warren.”
Paul Krugman (sometimes also referred to as Obi Wan Kenobi, at other times “the Only Truly Noble Economist”).

NOTE: Did you know that the so-called Nobel Prize for Economics was not set up by Alfred Noble. It was a later addition to the awards set up and funded by the banking and financing community to provide the cover of intellectual respectability for their favored advisors (They chose economists because they realized a Nobel Prize for Lawyers would never fly).

e. Testosterone Chronicles (Historical manifestations):

“Each of [the foremen] had made it a practice to sleep with the Indian women who were in his workforce, whether they were married women or maidens. While the foreman remained in the hut or the cabin with the Indian woman, he sent the husband to dig gold out of the mines; and in the evening when the wretch returned, not only was he beaten or whipped because he had not brought up enough gold, but further, most often, he was bound hand and foot and flung under the bed like a dog, before the foreman lay down, directly over him, with his wife.”
A Dominican monk, on conditions in the mines in Santo Domingo following European conquest.

Interestingly, Naida West in her great trilogy about California in the 19th century, describes similar behavior toward Native American women by the miners during the gold rush with similar results; extermination of the native population and culture.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I’m like Casper the Friendly Ghost, man. I give it all away.”
A drunk on the MUNI bus #24 as we passed the corner of Andover and Cortland Streets in SF.

BONUS QUOTE:

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

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S CHART:

Of course we all know the private insurance companies re-invest their profits for our benefit while medicare only squanders its money on…well, medical care.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

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