Posts Tagged With: Naked Mole Rat

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Capt. Coast 0006 (April 15,2017)

“Trying to demand the reason for existence from an all-knowing omniscient supreme being takes negotiating to a whole new level.”
Fforde, Jasper. The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel (pp. 86-87). Penguin Publishing Group.

 

Happy Easter and Passover

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN MENDOCINO:

During the last few days of March, I felt well enough to travel to Mendocino to visit my sister Maryann and her husband George.

Now that the winter rains are ended, the hills and valleys I passed along the way are covered in green. It is quite attractive. I would rank the California green landscape of the foothills as picturesque as anywhere in the world. Alas, it is only temporary and in a few weeks, it will be all gone. This is California after all, the land of the ephemeral.

It took me a long time to drive there. I took it slow and stopped often to rest. I stopped in Ukiah to meet up with my sister and George. She was showing a movie about entrepreneurship at the local college. After the show and a panel discussion, I began to feel sick again. George drove me in my car over the coast range to their home where I went directly to bed.

My sister’s children Brendan and Katie arrived the next day with their respective fiancés. Brendan and Ashley plan to marry in the near future and were looking at locations for the wedding and reception.

One day, we visited Pacific Star Winery and its owner, the ever vivacious Sally, where we had a picnic overlooking the ocean and we bought some wine.

I returned to EDH on Sunday.

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My Sister Maryann and Her Children Brendan and Katie with their Significant Others.
B. BACK IN EDH:

For the next two weeks, I remained under the weather. The doctors were puzzled about my lingering and new maladies. One recommended an enema. I felt as though I had traveled back to experience the medicine of the 1950s. My biggest worry has been that I will continue to linger into the summer and forgo my travel plans. On top of it all, it has rained most of the time since my return.

Regarding my travel plans this summer, I hope to spend some time in India in addition to my usual sojourn in Italy and Thailand.

HRM is on spring vacation. He is at that age where he has begun spending most of his time out with his peers. It is that wonderful time in one’s life where one can revel in the joy of newfound independence before it comes crashing down with the insecurities, shadows, and angst of teenager-hood.

Yesterday, I found myself in the Hospital Emergency room again. I was having difficulty peeing and feared that the urinary tract infection that ran me in and out of the hospital last summer had returned. A day or so previously, I decided to self-medicate myself with some of the medicines left over from that previous episode. Alas, a side effect of the drugs was dizziness and possible fainting. Having abnormally low blood pressure since my radiation therapy, the first night I took the medicines I passed out. The next day, I went to see my doctor. He told me he thought I may be dehydrated but that he could not treat me in his office and I would have to go to the emergency room. So off I went. Because my veins had shrunk since my cancer treatment and from my current dehydration, they could not insert the needles necessary for either the analysis or the hydration (although they tried ten painful times). Finally, after six hours of boredom and frustration they told me that there was nothing they could do except notify the DMV that I had some sort of reportable incident (the fainting) and I would be prohibited from driving my car until my doctor, the one who sent me to the emergency room in the first place, certified I was fit to drive again. After promising them that I would wait for someone to drive me home, I dressed, walked out, got in my car and drove myself home.

It is raining again and is expected to do so for another two weeks or so.

My doctor now has opined that I am malnourished and dehydrated. So, I now try to stuff the tasteless food down my gullet until I almost retch and drink so much water I almost can hear it sloshing around my belly. I feel better. O happy days!

Ah, after a few days of rain surprisingly the sun has come out again. O, happy days again!

And to whoever has read this far, I wish you “Long days and happy nights.”

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

A. HERE COMES THE DRAGON

An excerpt from my unfinished and never to be published draft mystery novel Here Comes the Dragon. It is about a San Francisco attorney, Mark Dragoni, who mysteriously quits his big law firm life and becomes an itinerant and mostly unsuccessful private detective saddled with the burden of training the young nephew of his main (and for a while only) client a Vietnamese dope smuggler and dealer. Dragon, as Mark prefers to be called, and Joe Vu, the nephew, are at times accompanied in their adventures by Dragon’s girlfriend, an irrepressible tattoo artist named Mavis. This chapter I call Lessons from “The Big Sleep.”

I was awakened by the screeching doorbell. I had hoped it was Mavis bringing me café latte, donuts and some after breakfast sweets. It was not. It was Joe Vu.

“Hiya Boss. You’re gonna be late. You look like hell. Nice place you got here,” he added as he walked by me into the loft.

“Did you bring the coffee and donuts? I can do without the sweets.”

“Huh”

“Never mind.”

Joe puttered around the house while I showered and dressed. We left and got into the car. It was a big black Lincoln.

“We’re downscale today,” I commented.

“Martin is using the Lexus.”

“How many cars does he have?”

“Lots, he collects them. I saw the movie,” he added as we drove away from the curb.

“Movie?”

“Yeah, the one you told me to watch to learn about being a detective, The Big Sleep, with Bogart and Bacall. I don’t know about that Bacall, skinny bitch, no tits or ass.”

“They liked them like that then,” I responded. “Skinny meant rich and elegant. Today we still do skinny, but we add the tits and the butts, often fake ones, like ornaments on a Christmas tree. Zaftig is out in the modern world.”

“I couldn’t figure anything out. Who killed the chauffeur and Rogan? And why was everything so dark? I liked the car though.”

“Yeah, it was a sweet Plymouth. Nobody knows who killed the chauffeur or Rogan, not the guy that wrote the story, not the director of the movie and certainly not the actors. Life is like that and so is the private investigation business. Sometimes, hell most times, you simply do not know what happened and never will. And, just like in the movie, it probably doesn’t matter.”

“As for the dark and the shadows,” I continued. “In films and books that’s called noir. It’s French for dark. Dark shadows, dark thoughts and dark deeds. It’s not like real life at all. Everyone likes light in their life. If it gets too dark they go to sleep. Even bad things are usually done in the light, behind closed doors and in secret perhaps, but the lights are usually on — except for sex. For some reason, a lot of people seem to like doing it in the dark.”

“So, I guess it was like the last movie you had me watch. There’s nothing in the movie to learn about being a private eye?”

“No, in this one there is a lot to learn and remember. For example, you’re never hired by people who have to choose between food and you. It’s always someone who has some spare cash around. They can spend it on you or a new piece of matched luggage. It’s all the same to them. So make sure you get paid. Up front, if you can.

The movie also tells you, don’t work at night. It’s dangerous. Sometimes you have to work at night. Like when you’re sitting in your car with your camera watching, hoping to catch client’s husband disappearing into the motel. Still, in the world of private detecting or in life itself, nooners are safer or right after work. Late night trysts interfere with your sleep and should be avoided. Always try to charge more for night work.

Also, if your client has a good-looking daughter, sleeping with her makes the job more interesting. And if he has two, and you have to choose, choose the skinny one.

And finally, never, ever have dealings with someone named Eddie Mars.”

“You’re very sick, boss. Why the skinny one?”

“I don’t know. It is one of life’s great mysteries.”

 

B. MEMORIES OF THE NAKED MOLE RAT

A few years ago, I attempted to write some stories about the beloved naked mole rat. I did not succeed. I was pleased, however, recently to come across this strange computer graphic featuring the cuddly little beast.

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The Naked Mole Rat by Maidith.

 

C. FINALLY, AN ANSWER TO WHATEVER HAPPENED TO “ONE PUNCH” SAMMY SANTORO.

About two years ago, here in T&T and in my blog Papa Joe’s Tales (https://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/what-ever-became-of-one-punch-sammy-santoro/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true), I wondered what had become of old “One Punch” the terror of my neighborhood during my adventures as a teenager. I was convinced that Sammy (along with Pat Buchanan an acquaintance of my college years) would undoubtedly end up in the electric chair. A year or so ago, a reader of the blog notified me that Sammy, in fact, ended up in prison. “Where else would he be?” he added waggishly. This past week, another reader sent me the following:

“SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, SECOND DEPARTMENT 1979.NY.41511 <http://www.versuslaw.com&gt;; 414 N.Y.S.2d 583; 68 A.D.2d 939 March 26, 1979, THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, RESPONDENT,v.SAMUEL SANTORO, APPELLANT Damiani, J. P., O’Connor, Lazer and Gulotta, JJ., concur.”

“Damiani, J. P., O’Connor, Lazer and Gulotta, JJ., concur.
Appeal by defendant from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Westchester County, rendered April 19, 1978, convicting him of murder under former subdivision 2 of section 125.25 of the Penal Law, upon a jury verdict, and imposing sentence. Judgment affirmed. Defendant was indicted and convicted of the “depraved mind” murder of Anthony Aiello, the three-year-old son of his paramour. The victim’s mother, Sadie Aiello, was the principal witness for the prosecution. She testified that defendant had moved in with her in January 1970, and had taken charge of the feeding and “discipline” of Anthony. The “discipline” included frequent beatings which resulted in serious injuries and the infant’s hospitalization on two occasions. In February 1971 she moved out with her children because of her concern about Anthony’s well-being. However, she returned with the children to live with defendant on March 1, 1971. On March 11th Anthony died after being beaten and strangled by the defendant. Defendant and Sadie Aiello initially told the police that Anthony’s death was caused by his fall down a flight of stairs. Six years later she appeared at the District Attorney’s office and reported the truth about the events of March 11, 1971. In our opinion, the trial court correctly charged the jurors that they were to decide, as a matter of fact, whether Sadie Aiello was an accomplice whose testimony required corroboration (see CPL 60.22). We cannot agree with defendant that Sadie Aiello was an accomplice as a matter of law. Neither her decision to return to live with defendant nor her conduct in concealing from the police the true facts concerning her son’s death constituted participation in the offense charged or an offense based upon the same or some of the same facts or conduct which constitute the offense charged (see CPL 60.22; People v Le Grand, 61 A.D.2d 815). Since the evidence did not conclusively establish that Sadie Aiello was guilty of such an offense by virtue of her conduct on March 11, 1971, the issue of her complicity was properly submitted to the jury (see People v Basch, 36 N.Y.2d 154). We agree with defendant that the court’s charge on the definition of “recklessly” was misleading. However, since no exception to the charge was taken, the question was not preserved. Moreover, the court, in a response to an inquiry from a juror subsequently correctly charged the definition of “recklessly” and thus cured any ambiguity. The trial court properly admitted evidence of defendant’s prior assaults on the victim to negative the defense of “accident” (see People v Henson, 33 N.Y.2d 63). Defendant’s remaining contention is without merit.”

Alas, Sammy escaped the death penalty as it had previously been declared unconstitutional by the NY Court of Appeals. I do not know if he remains in prison or if he is even still alive. Pat Buchanan, on the other hand, unfortunately, remains free.

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

The Quanta of Existence

There are only finite options (Life is not made up of infinite possibilities). The future cannot be predicted (It happens when and if it happens). It only exists in relation to other things (It does not depend on you alone.)
B. Today’s Poem:

Sarabande On Attaining the Age of Seventy-Seven

The harbingers are come. See, see their mark;
White is their colour; and behold my head.
—George Herbert

Long gone the smoke-and-pepper childhood smell
Of the smoldering immolation of the year,
Leaf-strewn in scattered grandeur where it fell,
Golden and poxed with frost, tarnished and sere.

And I myself have whitened in the weathers
Of heaped-up Januaries as they bequeath
The annual rings and wrongs that wring my withers,
Sober my thoughts, and undermine my teeth.

The dramatis personae of our lives
Dwindle and wizen; familiar boyhood shames,
The tribulations one somehow survives,
Rise smokily from propitiatory flames

Of our forgetfulness until we find
It becomes strangely easy to forgive
Even ourselves with this clouding of the mind,
This cinereous blur and smudge in which we live.

A turn, a glide, a quarter turn and bow,
The stately dance advances; these are airs
Bone-deep and numbing as I should know by now,
Diminishing the cast, like musical chairs.
Anthony Hecht

I myself have also experienced seventy-seven heaped-up Januaries and have begun to find the dance less stately than bone deep and numbing.

 

TODAY’S EXCERPT:

“The recent smitings undertaken around the globe have caught many theological analysts by surprise, as this level of apparent interest in mankind’s affairs by the Almighty has not been seen since biblical times. The reason and purpose for the sudden reversion to Old Testamentism have spawned a thousand debates on late-night chat The recent smitings undertaken around the globe have caught many theological analysts by surprise, as this level of apparent interest in mankind’s affairs by the Almighty has not been seen since biblical times. The reason and purpose for the sudden reversion to Old Testamentism have spawned a thousand debates on late-night chat shows, none of which have so far provided a coherent answer. Traditionalists state that it was simply vengeance for sinful behavior, but of the eight confirmed smitings around the planet, only two locations could be described as “sinful,” leading scholars to muse on what being sinful might actually mean in the twenty-first century.”
Eugene Plugg, God, the New Interventionist”
Fforde, Jasper. The Woman Who Died a Lot: A Thursday Next Novel (p. 19). Penguin Publishing Group.

 

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:

The Inappropriate Use of Antimicrobials

This chart is very frightening. For someone like me, whose childhood saw the vanquishing of those plagues that have hounded humankind throughout history and that could kill more in a few decades than all the wars of history, finds it heartbreaking that now at the end of that life those plagues, now resistant to all our antimicrobials may soon hound the people of the earth again. Only last year, the last effective antimicrobial was proven impotent against a mutated resistant organism it was designed to kill. Somewhere in the world today there exists mutated organisms resistant to one or another antimicrobial successfully used to halt plagues of the past. They are awaiting only the appropriate conditions to spread death and anguish across the globe

There are some still fighting to protect humanity from this threat. (The US Department of Defense considers the potential spread of drug-resistant organisms to be a national security issue) They should be honored by us all. Alas, like first responders, and other selfless people like them, there are few if any parades in their honor, nor many Facebook and similar remembrances. It saddens me that we publicly honor those trained to kill to protect us from real or imagined enemies but rarely those who daily put their lives on the line or dedicate themselves to protect their fellow humans from disease, injury or death.

Estimated proportion of inappropriate antimicrobial use by type of health care service
Inappropriate use of antimicrobials
Pasted Graphic
The inappropriate use of antimicrobials is perhaps one of the most threatening forms of wasteful clinical care because it encourages the development of antimicrobial resistance. Inappropriate use represents about 50% of all antimicrobial consumption by humans, but may be as high as 90% in general practice.
More rational antimicrobial consumption can be achieved with behavioral change interventions, notably antimicrobial stewardship programs which combine multidisciplinary activities to steer both prescribers and the public towards appropriate use of antimicrobials. Mandating the use of rapid diagnostic testing can help clinicians target their antibiotic use. Economic incentives for providers and care seekers can also encourage appropriate antimicrobial consumption.
Note: Numbers in brackets indicate the number of studies used to determine the range of inappropriate use. Source: OECD analysis of available evidence published in the literature.
Source: Tackling Wasteful Spending on Health, OECD, January 2017.

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Ara by Beth Moon

 

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Categories: April through June 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Cold tits 0005 (February 17, 2016)

 

“A man with no memory is a man with no foresight.”
Catton, Eleanor. The Luminaries (Man Booker Prize) (p. 260). Little, Brown and Company.

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN MENDOCINO:

Some mornings, instead of walking along the bluffs, I stroll along the beach beneath them where the Big River empties into the ocean.
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In the late 1960s and early 70’s when the hippie phenomenon was morphing into the counter culture this vast expanse of sand used to be the site of a hippie encampment. Makeshift tents and driftwood shelters sprung up overnight and disappeared just as suddenly. Music filled the air along with the smoke of campfires and weed. People danced naked and clothed. The air smelled of iodine, marijuana and patchouli. And the colors — tie-dye shirts, beads of many hues, macrame headbands, long flower print dresses, and real flowers everywhere, all dimming in memory.
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A flower someone left in the sand.

 

The sea has reclaimed much of the beach. The sea caves and coves where those too shy to copulate on the open sand retreated for privacy and where later more permanent encampments sprung up are gone now beneath the waves.

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Thereafter, I walk under the Highway 1 bridge and along the sandy beach that runs up the river a short way.
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Once, I saw a woman swimming in the river with her dog
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I then usually amble up the old logging road that rises onto the bluffs above the river through shady redwood groves and sunny outlooks on the cliffs above the river.
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When I get tired, I retrace my steps until I reach a bench where I rest a while staring at the river, marshes and now and then boaters with their oars splashing until my reverie ends usually by another hiker walking by who insists on greeting me. I then walk back through the town to my sister’s house and take a nap.
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One of the things I notice on my walks is the evolution of the graphics on informational signs. During the early days of the Coastal Conservancy, I noticed the absence of anything other than bureaucratese in simple block letters. “Who would stop and read these,” I thought? “Would they take anything away from this?” So, I proposed creating informational signs designed by creative artists (not graphic designers) to be placed on our projects. No one agreed. Encouraged by this support I went ahead anyway, hired an artist who created a group of wonderfully attractive signs highlighting the flora and fauna that the sign described.
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Fort Bragg this week announced the competition for local artists to design the informational signs at Noyo Headlands Park and even the decorations on the bathrooms. On my walk through the Big River SMCA, I saw some well-designed informational signs containing interesting artwork. It pleased me to see that the idea has caught on.
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One slightly overcast day I walked along the Fort Bragg bluffs from the railroad bridge to the beginning of the Mekerricer State Park Dunes. A strong breeze blew in from offshore roiling the surf and creating waves almost 20 feet high.
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I rested for a few moments at the dunes by the Snowy Plover nesting area before returning.
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Snowy Plovers?

 

One day, I drove inland to walk a trail through the Pygmy Forest where my involvement with coastal protection began. But that is another story — for the next issue of T&T perhaps.
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With all those signs I encounter warning me of the danger from mountain lions as I walk along dark forest trails, I have to add another pathological fear to that of bears and bikers. Perhaps, I need Bill Yeates to explain why a frail elderly person on the verge of senility as he walks alone through the gloom of the woods, should not be afraid of those supposedly shy and gentle animals.

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Recently, a physicist at MIT, Jeremy England, theorized that “…the more likely evolutionary outcomes are going to be the ones that absorbed and dissipated more energy from the environment’s external drives on the way to getting there.” England reasons from this that creation of large molecules necessary for life occur whenever certain conditions are met, that self-replication and greater structural organization are mechanisms by which a system could dissipate more energy. In other words, life does not violate the second law of thermodynamics and the more evolved we are the more chaos we create in the universe.

Now, of course, this is merely a theory and I have no way of knowing if it has been peer reviewed or replicated. But let’s assume that it is correct. Then of course, once these molecules are formed, the rules of evolution (what ever they may be ( adaptation, mutation or thermodynamic exchanges) apply. Among the things this may mean, two stand out to me. The first is that life is simply the extension of the mathematical model of the universe with at least a phase of ever greater complexity. This may give some comfort to those who believe in an eschatological universe that I will touch on later. Another option, however, is that life is little more than a quantum parasite.

The second point, if the study is true, implies that life must be capable of developing and evolving in a similar response in many environments, certainly within the Goldilocks Zone and perhaps elsewhere. So given the number of years the universe has been in existence, the fact that many star systems and galaxies are far older than ours and that there are over 120 billion galaxies each containing more than 300 billion star systems, where is everyone?

Sure we’ve listened conscientiously for energy waves from the cosmos containing some alien civilizations version of “Green Acres,” and sent out into the void our own tiny spaceships with pictures of naked men and women bearing a message somewhat like, “hey, how’re ya doin,” with no success in eliciting a response from what probably is a trillion civilizations out there. Why? Could it be they know what we are like and want nothing to do with us? Or, maybe no one is there and we really are alone.

 

 

PAPA JOE’S TALES:

 

Trenz Pruca and the return of the Naked Mole Rat.

I have mentioned that my friend Trenz Pruca, who provides me with his many observations some of which I pass on to you, was a six-foot-three-inch white rat. I was wrong. I had assumed he was a white rat from the few times we met because of his rodent-like denture and my youthful conjecture that, unlike me and my swarthy Mediterranean neighbors who were not, those individuals with slightly pink skin were white. Nevertheless, I noticed no tail emerging from his long almost floor length dark coat and the strange un-rat-like bluntness of his snout. He was, in fact, a naked Mole Rat, one of those hardy, courageous and gentle creatures so beloved of scientists and odd individuals everywhere. He finally admitted to it when I pressed him during one of our visits. The long dark coat and cap protected his sensitive skin from the sun and also hid his nakedness as modesty demanded. He required the thick dark glasses held together by adhesive tape because his vision was poor and light disturbed his eyes.

 

“Why?” I asked one day, “do you live here and not with your own kind?” He stared at me silently for a while, a long while as he often did. Then finally when I just thought he would not, he responded in a soft voice, “I assume you noticed I am quite large.” “Yes,” I acknowledged. “But why with humans?” Again a very long silence. Then, “True, you humans are rather untrustworthy, barbaric and not very bright, and you spend all too much time talking foolishly about yourselves.” More silence, finally: “But I decided sitting in a dark coffee house with you humans was slightly preferable to living in a cave somewhere with a bear or similar creature, eating raw meat and grunting and growling and scratching myself — only slightly better, you understand.”

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:
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During my several visits to Costa Rica, I met an artist named Miguel. He was well known in the country for his heroic actions during the Costa Rican War of Independence and for establishing many of that nation’s wonderful ecological reserves. He was in his mid-eighties then. He told me he used only his current nine girlfriends as models. They all would gather at his home most days to cook and take care of him and watch him paint.

I liked his painted images very much. He painted primarily in a pointillist style — applying small points of color rather than brush strokes to build up the images. I took photographs of several of his paintings, cut out those images that I liked and applied them to my canvas replacing the pointillism with brush strokes. I eliminated Miguel’s more colorful backgrounds, exchanging them for solid black as in this photograph.

I created about 15 or so paintings this way, including a triptych that hung in my bedroom. The lower quarter of the center panel contained a woman lying with her back to the viewer. Only that portion from her hip to just below her shoulder appeared, producing an elongated S-curve between it and the blackness. The panel on the right contained the same woman’s back but above it, I included Miguel’s image of a forest fire, all reds, blacks, and yellows.

The left panel had the same S curve but in the space above were painted three women I called the graces. This panel was a disaster so I never hung it hoping to try again sometime later but instead, I gave up painting.

The painting here contains images from two separate works of Miguel’s that I joined together. The elongated shoulder of the woman on the right occurred because I had photographed Miguel’s painting at an angle. When I projected the image onto the canvas I noticed it but left it that way because I thought it looked cool.

I was never happy with the black backgrounds. They looked empty. I wanted them to appear full the way Rothko’s do in his paintings, but that was far beyond my ability.

Now that I think about it, I could have just let the black brushstrokes feather off towards the edge of the painting leaving it with the color of the canvas showing through — sort of like someone painting the side of a barn and walking off with it unfinished.

I got a similar effect by using the matting control on the photograph.
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PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. Quigley on Top:

The following is the fifth in the series containing excerpts from the Prologue to Quigley’s uncompleted magnum opus, WEAPONS SYSTEMS AND POLITICAL STABILITY.

The elements of Power

“In our own tradition, the power which resolves conflicts of wills is generally made up of three elements. These are force, wealth, and ideology. In a sense, we might say that we resolve conflicts of wills by threatening or using physical force to destroy capacity to resist; or we use wealth to buy or bribe consent; or we persuade an opponent to yield by arguments based on beliefs. We are so convinced that these three make up power that we use them even in situations where different communities with quite different traditions of the nature of power are resisting. And as a result, we often mistake what is going on in such a clash of communities with quite different traditions of power. For example, in recent centuries, our Western culture has had numerous clashes with communities of Asiatic or African traditions whose understanding of power is quite different from our own, since it is based on religious and social considerations rather than on military, economic, or ideological, as ours is.”

“The social element in political power rests on the human need to be a member of a group and on the individual’s readiness to make sacrifices of his own desires in order to remain a member of such a group. It is largely a matter of reciprocity, that individuals mutually restrain their individual wills in order to remain members of a group, which is necessary to satisfy man’s gregarious needs. It is similar to the fact that individuals accept the rules of a game in order to participate in the game itself. This was always the most important aspect of power in Chinese and other societies, especially in Africa, but it has been relatively weak in others, such as our Western society or in Arabic culture of the Near East. The religious element was once very important in our own culture, but has become less so over the past five centuries until today it is of little influence in political power, although it is still very important in forming the framework of power in other areas, most notably in traditional Tibet, and in many cultures of Asia and Africa.”

“The inability of persons from one culture to see what is happening in another culture, even when it occurs before their eyes, is most frequent in matters of this kind, concerned with power. Early English visitors to Africa found it quite impossible to understand an African war, even when they were present at a “battle.” In such an encounter, two tribes lined up in two opposing lines, each warrior attired in a fantastic display of fur, feathers, and paint. The two armies danced, sang, shouted, exchanged insults, and gradually worked themselves up into a state in which they began to hurl their spears at each other. A few individuals were hit and fell to the ground, at which point one side broke and ran away, to the great disgust of the observing English. The latter, who hardly can get themselves to a fighting pitch until after they have suffered casualties or lost a battle or two, considered the natives to be cowardly when they left the field in flight after a few casualties. What they did not realize was that the event which they saw was not really a battle in the sense of a clash of force at all, but was rather an opportunity for a symbolic determination of how the spiritual forces of the world viewed the dispute and indicated their disfavor by allowing casualties on the side upholding the wrong view. The whole incident was much more like a European medieval judicial trial by ordeal, which also permitted the deity to signify which side of a dispute was wrong, than it was to a modern European battle.”

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

“In any large organization there is no greater action that can be taken to improve its performance than cutting its upper management personnel by at least 50%.”

 

C. Today’s Poem:

“Where I’m From”
by Brendan Dreaper

I am from backyards,
from grass and sprinklers.
I am from the wood,
of the benches and deck I remember.
Worn thin by many feet.
Long kitchen counters,
smooth as marble.
Cookie dough sticking,
to the cold stone.

I am from snow forts,
hard packed snow in gloved hands.
I’m from warm fires,
and hot chocolate
warming on the stove.
I’m from books,
fantasy and mystery
that enlighten my mind.

I am from one story,
to two stories,
bedrooms are shared,
and then broken apart.
I’m from family,
unbroken unchanged.

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“People can ask questions, but where there is no money, there are no answers.”
Sanderson, Brandon. The Bands of Mourning: A Mistborn Novel (p. 168). Tom Doherty Associates

 

Categories: January through March 2016, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 2 Jo-Jo 0001 (May 19, 2012)

SUPPORT PAIGE SULTZBACH

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

It rained again today. LM equipped me with one of those umbrellas that cleverly fold up every which way until they are small enough carry in your pocket. When opened it becomes a tiny umbrella, not that much larger than a paper parasol in a Mai Tai. It is just about large enough to keep the rain off of my already hat protected head, but too small to prevent the rest of me from becoming drenched.

I have lost over 25 pounds as a result of my diet and exercise regime as well as about two and one half inches from my waist. I have even begun to see little bumps emerge from my body’s subcutaneous fat that I assume are muscles. Either that or I am sicker than I imagined. Nevertheless, when I look into the mirror to observe the changes, my eyes are inevitably drawn to that persistent bane of the aging male, my man boobs. They stare back at me. Those pendulous D-cup protrusions seeming even bigger than ever.

When I searched the internet for exercises that promise to eliminate drooping man boobs like there are for sagging bellies and those draperies of flesh that dangle beneath your upper arm, I was disappointed to find that there are none.

Is this then the way it is with most men; no matter what we do we will still die with, sagging man boobs? At least with older women those derelict appendages arguably had a purpose (perhaps several purposes) at one time, but what have my boobs ever done for me?
B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. We are number one:

Time Magazine reports that the US is the world’s largest exporter of sperm. Hooray for us!

The article goes on to mention that sperm of a growth sector in the American economy, “From just a handful of vials 10 years ago, American sperm exports have grown into a multimillion dollar business.”

Time also reports that in the last decade that Virginia’s Ben Seisler’s frozen sperm has impregnated at least 21 women producing oner 70 offspring. Atta boy Ben! Ben when asked why he did it,  admitted  needing the money for college and added, “I guess I was just dumb.”

Incidentally, Ben is Jewish. Apparently there is a high international demand for Jewish sperm. I do not know why that is or what it means in the greater scheme of things. Should the male children of Ben’s sperm be circumcised? It is times like this when I miss Irwin most. He was my expert in Jewish theology.

Ben’s sperm’s conquests, however, pale in comparison to a donor in Britain who over 30 years has sired more than 1000 children. I do not know if the unnamed Brit is Jewish.

I see a PhD thesis in the making.

2. Don’t cry for me Argentina:

After selling off their national energy company in 1997 during a fit of privatization, the nation found that its oil and gas production was declining, fewer wells being drilled and exploration for new reserves virtually nonexistent. The privatized company, a non-Argentinian conglomerate based in Europe, had prioritized  repatriation of dividends over production, an approach favored and encouraged by the international banking community. In addition the conglomerate valued the Argentinian company not for its production but for its assets since they could be collateralized, borrowed against and gambled with in the derivative market in search of higher returns.

Argentina recently re-nationalized the company they sold off a little over a decade ago in an effort to refocus it on Argentina’s energy needs.

The US, Britain and the EU were furious. Primarily their anger was, not about “free markets,” oil, profits or the bad precedent it may set, but concern over Argentina’s disruption of the chain of securitization anchored in the real world by Argentina’s oil and gas reserves at one end and investment banks in New York and London holding the debt and liabilities of the conglomerate on the other.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Here in Thailand they have a King. I like the King. As Kings go he is great. Most people here love their King. Many of the country’s leaders claim they love the King and are willing to root out anyone they believe does not love him as much as they claim they do.

The problem is that the King believes things like the environment should be protected, poverty eliminated, aid for individual subsistence farmers, management and maintenance of the flood plains to diminish the scourge of floods  and things like that. He spends a lot of his time going around the country doing those things that he says should be done to better the kingdom and the lives of the people.

Those who claim to love the King the most, love him so much so that they are willing to imprison or even kill people they believe do not love the King as much as they do. I have seen these people all dressed up in their white uniforms whenever there is a televised function for the King.

The problem is, although these people love the King a lot, they do not love much of anything he tells them that they should be doing for the good of the kingdom. In fact, other people in the kingdom who believe what the King tells them and try to do those things he advises are often hunted down by the white uniformed lovers of the King and accused of disrespecting the King.

Now why is that?

Jesus calls Levi. From book: The Life of Jesus...

Jesus calls Levi. From book: The Life of Jesus of Nazareth. Eighty Pictures. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the US we have a similar situation regarding the good gay messiah, Jesus of Nazareth. Many people say they love Him very much.

The problem is Jesus went on and on about things like helping the unfortunate, forgiveness, healing the sick and things like that. He liked women and hung out with them a lot. He did not think they should be punished if they happened to have done things other people did not like, even if it had to do with sex. He even often had a handsome man around him who he called his beloved and they would lay their heads on each others breast. He also said that unbelievers could be better in God’s eyes than believers if they behave kindly toward others. Jesus hated those who used religion to benefit themselves financially. He preached that it is the good things you do, not what you believe that matters to God.

Unfortunately, many of those who claim they love Jesus a lot, also believe that those who like what Jesus said they should do like oh, feed the poor, actually hate Jesus.

This seems to be a common situation among men to claim to love someone for no discernible reason but despise what the object of their adoration tells them to do whenever it benefits someone other than themself.

Yes, this sounds like another screed about conservatives. And yes conservatives tend to behave like this in Thailand, back in Jesus time and even in the US and elsewhere today. And yes, their leaders are often the society’s rich and powerful.

Picture of Jesus with American flag

Picture of Jesus with American flag (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But liberals have their own problems. Liberals seem to often fall in love with a messiah whose words they agree with. If Jesus were alive today liberals probably would urge Him to run for office. And if He succeeded in getting elected, they would all go home and happily wait for their Messiah to perform His miracles and make everything like they think it should be. When that does not happen, they will become disappointed and would probably go to Him and complain. He would point out that He said that the miracles could happen only if they all changed their ways together and worked at it along with Him. The liberals would not like that and go home. This then would allow those who loved Jesus but not what He told them they should be doing to come in and toss Him into the garbage or worse.

In fact, that was what happened during Jesus time. The liberals, known then as the Apostles and Disciples, urged him to run for King, then when the shit hit the fan they all ran and hid. They only came out again after things quieted down.

Note: Everything written above applies to Men only. Remember, the women did not run and hide. They bravely appeared at the crucifixion and at the tomb despite the danger [and, if I recall correctly, so did the beloved disciple].

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Twentieth Century:

According to historian Mark Largent, more than 63,000 people were forcibly sterilized under eugenics-inspired official state programs in the US between 1907 and 1980. It was a horrifying exercise in genetic engineering. The intent was to strengthen the gene pool and reduce welfare rolls. The victims were usually women, including African-Americans, Asians, Jews, Latinos, Southern Europeans, Native Americans, alcoholics, the disabled, epileptics, illiterates, the mentally ill, petty criminals, the poor, the promiscuous, rape victims and “anyone else who did not resemble the blond and blue-eyed Nordic ideal the eugenics movement glorified,” as Edwin Black noted in his book “War Against the Weak.”

In the 1990s a more humane method of reducing the welfare rolls was instituted by simply ending welfare.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Do you trust these men?

They run your country. They can put you out of work. They can destroy the country’s economy. Each one has been either caught at or was responsible for actions that has cost the nation and the nation’s taxpayers trillions of dollars and in some cases were illegal or borderline so. They each make more than 50 times the income of the President of the United States. Yet you collectively cannot remove any one of them from their position of almost absolute power. Nor can you use the traditional free market means of expressing dislike or disapproval by not buying their products. This is neither a democracy nor a free market system. They are the enemy.

As Abraham Lincoln said:

“The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”

B. E.L. Doctorow: “Primer on Unexceptionalism.”

PHASE THREE

Given corporate control of legislative bodies, enact laws to the benefit of corporate interests. For example, those laws sponsored by weapons manufacturers wherein people may carry concealed weapons and shoot and kill anyone by whom they feel threatened.

Give the running of state prisons over to private corporations whose profits increase with the increase in inmate populations. See to it that a majority of prisoners are African-American.

When possible, treat immigrants as criminals.

Deplete and underfinance a viable system of free public schools and give the education of children over to private for-profit corporations.

Make college education unaffordable.

Inject religious precepts into public policy so as to control women’s bodies.

Enact laws prohibiting collective bargaining. Portray trade unions as un-American.

Enact laws restricting the voting rights of possibly unruly constituencies.

Propagandize against scientific facts that would affect corporate profits. Portray global warming as a conspiracy of scientists.

Having subverted the Constitution and enervated the nation with these measures, portray the federal government as unwieldy, bumbling and shot through with elitist liberals. Create mental states of maladaptive populism among the citizenry to support this view.

C. What thoughtful Republicans think of their party:

“One of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.”
N. Ornstein (a thoughtful Republican) and T. Mann (unfortunately an ill-informed Democrat who probably grew up in San Francisco and was educated at Berkley.)

TODAY’S QUOTES:

“If it is too big to fail, it is too big to manage.”
Trenz Pruca

“If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their parents fought to obtain”
Thomas Jefferson in an 1802 letter to Secretary of State Albert Gallatin

TODAY’S CHART:


What this chart means is that in the US private, not public, debt has risen to unsustainable levels. Public debt vs GDP has generally fallen under Democratic administrations and risen under the Republicans. When in 2008 (and 1929) the out of control rise in private debt collapsed as it must, public debt rose to compensate for it in an effort to forestall an even greater depression or recession.

Contrary to the beliefs of both Liberal and Conservative economists, neither the rise in public debt nor its reduction will solve the problem although  the liberal inspired temporary rise in public debt was all that kept the nation from collapsing immediately into financial Armageddon.

Until private debts are readjusted by either massive defaults or inflation and the resulting temporary collapse of the nation’s major financial institutions absorbed, we cannot get out of this mess. Increased public spending on infrastructure without an increase in production of goods and services is at best a temporary, and, in my opinion, necessary stop-gap.

Unfortunately, mature economies with stagnant population growth like in Europe or Japan do not require new production; only replacement production for worn out goods. They must live mostly on exports. Although US population continues to rise, so long-term demand may continue to grow for a while, current demand is stagnant. Alas, the US has catabolized its industrial capacity in favor in an orgy of asset securitization and has replaced its industrial economy with a service economy. A service economy regrettably has a limit to how many hamburgers per person can be consumed or insurance policies acquired.

So, what can the average person do about it? Nothing, except to prepare oneself for a relatively low-income existence. In the foreseeable future, those with the least needs will probably do better than those with the most wants.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S SNARK:

Obviously Winston Churchill was equipped with more than just balls [Alternative title: Winnie’s Junk]


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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 8 Capt. Coast 0001 (April 28, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Alas, Cordt has decided to move from BKK back to Chiang Mai. I say alas because friends are few and far between for me here. Losing one as gentle, artistic and interesting as Cordt is bad enough but it also reduces to about one the number of people here with which I can have a conversation of more that 3 words in English. Nevertheless, I wish him well.

In the good news category, the Good David has returned to BKK after receiving negative results on his state-side medical tests. Following a few celebratory days and another few required to sleep it off, he called to invite me to have lunch with him.

Now, up until five years or so ago, I enjoyed excellent dental coverage. As a result I still have most of my teeth or at least their original roots. Nevertheless, behind my 12 or 16 front teeth, my back 12 or 16 teeth are either solid or heavily plated gold. It has been pointed out by more that one person that my teeth are probably worth more than all the rest of me (they certainly are worth more than my current bank account). Even so, despite the heavy gold plating, here and there a tiny bit of the original tooth enamel peeks through and it is here that mean old Mr. Tooth Decay still lurks.

So, after accepting the Good David’s invitation, I informed him I had a toothache and needed to first stop at a dentist before proceeding to lunch. He agreed to accompany me. We found a nearby dental clinic and the David offered to treat me to a new filling. It took the dentist not much more than 5 minutes to clean the cavity and pack in the filling (all without Novocaine). David paid the approximately $30 for the service and we set off for lunch.

So, thank you Good David. My newly restored tooth now has a name, “The Good David’s Molar.” And to the remarkable but mysterious dentist who neither removed his surgical mask nor spoke a word throughout the procedure, good job.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. What porn?

In a previous post I mentioned the sudden appearance of some porn photographs on the overhead projection screen during a debate in the Thai Legislature and the appointment of a committee to get at the bottom of it. After it was revealed that at least one legislator was enjoying some porn on his iPhone during the debate, the committee tried to pin everything on a low-level technical employee. When that failed they terminated the inquiry altogether claiming that once the screen was shut off and everything erased. Therefore no further analysis was possible.

The legislator caught ogling porn during the debate, apologized and blamed it all on some unnamed friend who sent him the photographs that he was struggling to delete when he was discovered.

2. The latest Thai Fashions:

According to Vice.com, in Thailand, braces on ones teeth are becoming a huge teenage fashion statement. Which is pretty strange considering in the West, braces are ruthlessly stigmatized and pretty much a metaphor for adolescent awkwardness.

Braces are considered a sign of wealth, status, and style. The reasoning is fairly straightforward—genuine orthodontic braces are very expensive. In Bangkok, for example, a set of tinsel-teeth will cost you roughly $1200, a substantial sum. So all the kids want to wear these things, because anything worn by the young and rich is obviously super cute. It has gotten so that in some cases the youngsters wear faux braces in order to appear fashionable.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY, MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES, THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

In For Repairs.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

The Parable of the Gazelles and the Lions II:

What! Another Parable?

Well, perhaps not really a parable. It seems that recently I have come across, in various guises the concept that the essential driving force of humanity or at least individual humans following their descent from the safety of the trees to lift their heads above the savannah was; Is it good to eat? Can I have sex with it? And, will it kill me? From these three elemental interests, it has in various ways been argued that our psychology and social arrangements can be deduced.

Now we all may agree that this is a bit simplistic. On the other hand, if we assume that these or some similar urges prompted our remote ancestors to forgo the safety of the trees and take up life on the dangerous grassy world of the savannah, then I maintain there are at least two other impulses that at this important moment marked man from the other fauna around him (more if we were to discuss women, the more subtle gender. But I will leave that for another day.)

The first is the remarkable facility of humans to confuse images with reality and find some utility in it that we call thought or ratiocination. This I also will not discuss here.

The second unique ability of humans is that when they raised their heads above the swaying frond of grass they also thought, “Now, who can I get to bring me my food, procure my sex for me and die instead of me if need be.”

What, you say that it is not separate from the first three but simply a mechanism to deal with them prompted by confusion of metaphors and symbols that we later called thinking. I disagree.

Naked Molerat Heterocephalus glaber eating

Naked Molerat Heterocephalus glaber eating (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is distinctly rare in the animal kingdom for any species to behave in that way. Few if any species for example sit around and choose one or more of their members to die for them. Even the noble Naked Mole Rat, when the group faced with a predator too strong to deal with, refuses to send one of their number out to die. Instead one of these heroic, if decidedly ugly, creatures nobly offers himself or herself for the intruders dinner.

Humans do not behave that way. Generally with humans, only someone conditioned by others who prefer not to die will make the ultimate sacrifice and offer himself instead for their benefit.

Take the example of the lions and gazelles sharing the same grassy world as the early humans. The lions are hungry. They stalk the gazelles through the grass. The gazelles see them and run away leaving to the lions the slow of foot, the sick and the lame.

English: Thomson's gazelles in the central Ser...

English: Thomson’s gazelles in the central Serengeti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now suppose for some reason the gazelles are struck with the same sickness as humans and a group of them stop and say to each other. “This is stupid. All this running around so that the slowest get eaten by the lions. It is exhausting, it interferes with our grazing and it is wasteful. Let’s choose someone we do not like very much or is not, you know, really one of us, hamstring him and leave him for the lions.” And so they do just that.

Lo and behold the lions fall upon the surrogate and the gazelles go back to eating the grass.

Now assume this goes on for generations, the lions lose their hunting skills and become fat and lazy. The clever gazelles realize this and begin leaving a little less each feeding time. After a suitable number of generations the lions become little more than the gazelles pets, useless for anything more than scaring other predators off; after all they have little enough of their own food. The gazelles, recognizing a good thing, realize that they do not even have to sacrifice one of their own; they could hamstring a Gnu or a Zebra just as well.

Eventually the lions are controlled and the gazelles increase and eat the savannah grass until almost none is left but a few clumps here and there as the land begins to turn into a desert. The gazelle leaders meet to try to figure out what to do. They decide, reasonably, to reserve the remaining grass  for only the leaders. The less successful will have to shift for themselves.

“But,” cries one of the soon to be starving gazelles, “it is us, the gazelles, who turned this paradise into a desert by over eating and over populating it and unless we all, gazelles, lions, gnus and zebras get together and do something all the grass will eventually be gone.”

“Ha,” laughed the gazelle leaders, “do not be ridiculous, gazelles could not be the cause. Why a thousand years ago this land was a desert, then the rains came and the grass grew and the gazelles and the lions came and made the savannah a paradise through the efforts of the leaders who naturally and rightfully should enjoy the remaining grasslands until the rains come again.”

This infuriated the other gazelles and the lions who were listening so much that they attacked the leaders in order to take the remaining stands of grass away from them, but in so doing the ensuing battle destroyed those remaining few tufts grass anyway and the gazelles died and so did the lions.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

The richest man who ever lived:

In his book The Haves and the Have Nots, Branko Milanovic tries to discover who was the richest person who has ever lived. Beginning with the loaded Roman triumvir Marcus Crassus, he measures wealth according to the quantity of his compatriots’ labour a rich man could buy. It appears that the richest man to have lived in the past 2000 years is alive today. Carlos Slim could buy the labour of 440,000 average Mexicans. According to Milanovic, this makes him 14 times as rich as Crassus, nine times as rich as Carnegie and four times as rich as Rockefeller.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

a. Lets start here:

b. Then take a look at this:

c. And perhaps consider the wisdom of the following:


d. then think about this:

2. Feel the Christian Love:

A Christian women’s prayer group has decided to pray that all the women involved in a liberal organization called MRFF get fast-moving breast cancer.

In a recorded telephone call to MRFF’s president to inform him of their decision, a spokesman for the so-called Christian group said:

“Now for our prayer, we pray that the women who work in your MFRR and the women in your family will befall fast-moving breast cancer which can not ever be cured. …we pray this for Bonnie Wiensten (the MFRR president’s wife) and Amanda and Amber Wienstein (his female children) and the woman lawyers … and all women who work at with for Military Freedom Against Religion Foundation. know that we pray and pray hard all the days until you stop your destruction of our American army and accept Christ Jesus as Lord and join His army.”

Jesus had an army? He prayed for people to die of incurable cancer instead of raising them from the dead? I always suspected that somewhere, sometime the Commies, Muslims or Obama got hold of the Christian bible and took out all the good parts.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Pookie’s statement to the No Party Party Party regarding Defense spending:

“It is time we spend our defense money on defending our country not defending other countries. I propose using the defense budget to build a 20 foot wall entirely around the US with only a few easily secured gates, none of which opens on to Mexico. Then I would pass a national “Stand your Ground” law that would authorize any American citizen to shoot anyone he believes is a threat to American security. In this way we can increase our homeland security and reduce the Defense budget at the same time. No one can defend America as well as its well armed citizenry carrying concealed weapons.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

A. Louis C.K.:

B. Kitten Natividad star of “Eroticise”:

“Any guy who says he doesn’t like a pair of plastic tits can go fuck himself.”

Now some of you may ask what is a statement like that doing in a family publication like this. Well, it is here for two reasons. The first is to see if you have actually read this far. The second is to highlight the sheer brilliance of Ms Natividad’s observation.

The magnitude of the commonplace acceptance by modern society of plastic mammaries and vibrators (of which I mentioned in my previous post) as well as  availability of artificial insemination have altered the method of species procreation and nurturing greater than at any time since over 115 million years ago during the Mesozoic era when nature discovered the superior benefits of gestation of progeny within the body rather than inside an egg. As a result I believe this is clear evidence that we may have come to the end of the Holocene Epoch on earth, the era of the rise of mammals to dominance.

Couple that with the observation that one of the primary thrusts of evolution, in order to enhance a species ability to efficiently maximize its acquisition of energy and survival of offspring, is the ability to efficiently move about. Humans no longer need to travel the woods nor walk through the rows of ripening crops in search of sustenance. In the beginning we domesticated a few other mammals to assist our mobility, then we developed and made extensive use of artificial mechanical means of movement. Now, however, most of us pursue our energy needs sitting in a chair for 8 or so hours a day.

Recently we have progressed to creating perhaps the first symbiotic entity capable of acquiring most of our various energy needs; a symbiont between several organic beings, waves of radiated energy and a few wires and metal. We soon may no longer need to move at all.

Given the 2 to 3 hundred thousand years it takes evolution to produce significant changes to organic beings, we may see in that future that humanity becomes a species rooted to a place like a vegetable but still able to travel and experience the universe on the wings of energy waves. What we may be experiencing today is not just a change in epoch but the end of the Quaternary Period and the beginning of the fifth period of the earth. I guess it could all be considered a bit like the end of the Third Age of Middle Earth.

I am sure that the academics of that future time will look back and discovering Kitten Natividad’s observation marvel at its prescience and consider her one of the seminal minds of humanity since it is evidently true that whoever “doesn’t like a pair of plastic tits,” will undoubtedly have to “go fuck himself.” And we all know where on the road to evolutionary adaptability that inevitably ends up.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 33 Cold Tits 0001 (March 20, 2012)

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Much has happened over the past few days; too much to cover and still too unsettled for this post. I guess it would be safe to say that, “This and That…” appears to be coming to an end. What began with my departure from the United States to attempt to assume the care of a bewildered little boy seems to be becoming resolved with that same bewildered but now two and a half-year older little boy leaping into an unknown future. Should that be the case, it appears to me as good a place as any to end this record.

When I began “This and that…” almost two and one half years ago I thought of it as merely a travelogue and tales of my missteps and foibles as I settled into retirement in another country and culture. Something with which to amuse myself and a few friends and family.

Recently I have begun posting them into a blog and adding excerpts from my Diary and email exchanges with those of you who read them and chose to comment. Although I have entered a year or so of posts, I have completed entering everything, the posts, Diaries and comments, on only the first quarter of 2010. In rereading it, I find myself somewhat disturbed, because I, as I see them for the first time all together, am meeting someone I did not know. Someone who I think even less of than I did. The Posts recorded my somewhat self-centered and self-indulgent adventures intending to be slightly amusing and to some extent artificial. The Diary entries, reveal an even lesser person, perhaps even more self-indulgent and erratic. The exchanges of comments, show, in my opinion an insensitivity on my part that at times revolts me.

Much of modern art often called serious by some, whether by those who benefit from the artists production of by artists themselves in their eternal struggle to break from the past and garner success of their own, has become not too much more than the so-called artists infatuation with his or her own experiences, assuming therein exists novelty. Alas, there is no novelty only recognition. As a society that no longer needs to move from cocooned comfort and travel the world like Burton or Stanley for physical or mental adventure, we now look within and wonder if we are different, unique and find too often we are not. In fact, we are less, less unique and less interesting than we feared. Does that make us feel better? Perhaps it is a cultural thing, the descent of Western man (and it is definitely both western and men) from their Procrustean cross into their all too soon to be despoiled grave.

B. 2012 Predictions and March update:

War:

December Prediction: The Near East:The chaos in Iraq, Syria and Egypt will require Turkey, Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia to act. International solutions will not succeed until Iran is neutralized. By the end of January, there may be a confrontation over the Straits of Hormuz. There currently is no reason for either Russia or China to join in any military action, so the US, Britain, Israel and a few other non-muslim nations will take the lead (with the tacit support of Turkey and Saudi Arabia). At about the same time, Turkey will probably move into Syria and northern Iraq to protect their interests. Iraq splits into three countries. These will be the first of the climate wars to begin in and around the desertifying areas of the globe. The Middle East: The war in Afghanistan winds down as the US and other interested parties realize what would be empire builders over the ages have learned, that there is nothing in Afghanistan worth fighting for and attention focuses where it should have been all along in Pakistan. Pakistan, declines into an anarchic failed state and economic basket case as the mujahideen elements of the military take over by years end.

March update: Near-east: Correct predictions: 1. Israel, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have begun to react. 2. Straights of Hormuz confrontation has occurred and died down mostly because of the American clever show of force. 3. Turkish troops have beer reported moving into Syria. Middle East: Correct prediction: Afghanistan war winds down, Pakistan problems increase. All the predictions remain on track.

New issue: Iranian nuclear program: Expect US (including almost all of the worlds nations including Russia and China) to try to resist Israel’s insistence on attacking Iran in response to Iran’s claim of a breakthrough in its nuclear program. Expect Russia and China to pressure Iran to return to bargaining table to further politically isolate Israel. Meanwhile, political pressure on Obama administration to support Israel will increase. Expect Obama to rally the international community, especially Turkey (who envisions an increased role in the near east now that its aspiration for acceptance into the EU has been stymied [For many reasons]). It is not very good politics for Israel to play sides in the American election. Increasing evidence of Obama’s potential victory will either compel them to accede to another round of futile negotiations or they will act precipitously and risk another indecisive military result. Expect Obama’s pro-Israel rhetoric to rise, for Bibi’s home consumption.

Since the above new issue was written a few weeks ago, Obama’s rhetoric has risen to the occasion and the recent joint announcement that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon signifies Obama’s strategy seems to have worked on Israel. Probably Bibi came to his senses regarding his hope to use the US election to his advantage.

Academy Awards:

December prediction: I haven’t any idea.

March update: I still am not sure who won what.

Social:

December prediction: Living frugally will become in. Surplus funds that were invested in financial instruments will begin to be used to purchase tangible usable assets that can be owned free and clear and used. Although this will exacerbate the financial crisis, it can reduce some of its extreme social impacts. Most of those who considered themselves rich will be less so (but not as much as the poor and middle class, but they do not count) because intrinsic value of money and financial instruments are eroding. This erosion will not be reflected immediately by inflation as much as an absence or things to buy while the money is parked and interest is almost non-existent.

March update: While living frugally seems to becoming the norm. The increased purchase of personal assets have not yet become apparent. Many of those who considered themselves rich have become less so. The super-rich have regained much of their lost wealth. No-one else has done so. Nevertheless, expect some increase in inflation as the administration attempts to deal with public and private debt, having been denied most other tools by Republicans in Congress.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

In process.

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES and JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Perhaps this is where they should end. The Naked Mole Rats awakening to the breach in their secure tunnel universe are forced to confront their destiny as the “successors.” While Vince must confront the relativity of identity in a world that may have changed more than he can imagine. Then again maybe not.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Shouldn’t we worry about this?

Or this?

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

“No man demands what he desires; each man demands what he fancies he can get. Soon people forget what the man really wanted first; and after a successful and vigorous political life, he forgets it himself. The whole is an extravagant riot of second bests, a pandemonium of pis-aller. Now this sort of pliability does not merely prevent any heroic consistency, it also prevents any really practical compromise. One can only find the middle distance between two points if the two points will stand still. We may make an arrangement between two litigants who cannot both get what they want; but not if they will not even tell us what they want.”
CHESTERSON

“Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies.”
Barry Goldwater.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“From our industry’s perspective, the footprints of climate change are around us and the trend of increasing damage to property and threat to lives is clear,”
Franklin Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America.

If the insurance industry now believes climate change to be true, than I guess that means it must be. In fact, the whole climate change denial thing can probably be summed up in the leading climate change denier in the US Senate, Senator James Inhofe’s statement,

“I was actually on your side of this issue [climate change supporter] when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.”

Ah yes, as always, truth or falsity or whether we live or die is a question of cost.


TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (1 Cold Tits 0001) February 15, 2012

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Odds and ends:

(Yesterday was one of the two free days in my new calendar during which one can do whatever they want. I hope you enjoyed yourself.)

The day before yesterday was Valentine’s Day. I trust it all worked out for you.

It rained as I wrote this, so I spent the day in my room and worked a bit. I have now completed the entries of “This and that…” from January through March 2010 into my blog of the same name. They can be viewed at “This and that….”

A few days ago my grandson Aaron cooked dinner. He barbecued several different kind of meat. It was quite good. He was proud of himself.

Here is a photograph of the Villa in Umbria that we are considering renting for the family vacation during spring of 2013. What do you think? It is located a few miles from a little village with the quaint name of, Bastardo. The town grew around an inn and stabling station in the 17th or 18th centuries, and was once known as Osteria del Bastardo, or “Bastard’s Inn.” For some reason the village’s residents are reputed to be quite proud of that name.

News from Thailand:

As I mentioned in a previous post, notwithstanding capturing a muslim terrorist and finding thousands of tons of explosives in BKK, the Thai government furiously condemned the US travel advisory to her citizens traveling in Thailand. The Thai’s steadfastly maintained that there is no evidence of terrorist activity aimed at tourists in the country.

Yesterday in BKK, an Iranian man carrying hand grenades tried to flag down a taxi following the detonation of explosives in the man’s lodging, leaving him injured and bloody. The Taxi driver refused, the Iranian threw a hand grenade at him which bounced off the car exploded and blew off the throwers legs.

Darwin is at work again.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

In my last post I mentioned my current infatuation with the stand up comic appearing on late night cable TV named Louis (not the Fat Louis but the bald one with a fringe of red hair). I thought it would be amusing to some of you especially those lacking the pleasure of late night US cable TV if I relate one of the episodes.

It seems Louis had gotten a job appearing in the lounge of the Trump casino in Atlantic City. His act consisted primarily in warning the customers who tire of his act and walk out, not to gamble and lose their money in the casino, insulting “The Trump” and telling his audience to fuck off. Later the casino manager read him its policies prohibiting such behavior and insisted he agree to avoid it in the future or be fired. He refused and resigned.

That evening he attended the performance of the ancient (she must be approaching 100 years old by now), widow humped, marble faced comedienne, Joan Rivers, headlining in the casino night club. He went backstage after the performance to tell her how much he enjoyed her show. She invited him to “hang out.” They went to her suite in the casino hotel for drinks and to talk. When Joan learned that he had quit his job, she went off on a riff about how people in their business did not quit and went on at length about her own career ending with the question, “Do you know how many blow-jobs I had to give to get where I am?” Finally in response to the crone’s panegyrics about their profession, he became overcome with passion and tried to jump her aged bones. She resists him, arguing that she is old enough to be his great-grandmother. She later, however, relents and leads him off to the bedroom warning him not to tell her daughter because, “She still believes her mom is a virgin,” and informing him that she is up for anything but, “sado.”

Could Seinfeld top that?

_________________________
Now I owe everyone an apology. Louis who goes by the moniker Louis C. K. is more well-known than I thought. He just won the Grammy for “Best Comedy Album” beating out Weird Al Yankovic (who may be outrageous but also is definitely not funny). Obviously living in the jungles of Thailand has severely limited my exposure to modern American culture.

Apparently Louis recently self published a new album on the internet and made $500,000. He rewarded each person who paid him five dollars to download the album with the following personal message:

“Hi. This is LOuie. It seriously is me. Im even going to leave the O stuipdly capatalized because who would pay an intern to do that?? Okay so you bought the thing with my fat face on it and you clicked the button that said i could email you. And i know that now you are thinking “aw shit. Why’d i let this guy into my life this way?” [sic].

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

1. In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

The first meeting of the California State Coastal Commission.

The meeting was to be held in Southern California. Despite living in the State for almost three years, I had never been to Los Angeles, or for that matter south of Big Sur, so I looked forward to the trip almost as much as to the meeting.

Joe Bodovitz and I flew on PSA. As we passed over the LA basin, I looked out of the window and saw something puzzling. I could see the grid streets running off into the horizon and the freeways, but diagonally crossing the northernmost section of the basin from the ocean almost to the mountains was something large and grey, like a giant freeway with no cars.

“What is that?” I asked Joe.

“The Los Angeles River,” he replied.

I was stunned. Coming from the Northeast where the rivers were broad, even the smallest brooks had water running through them as well as vegetation littering their banks until they disappeared under some urban detritus, a cement river was beyond imagination. I sat back and thought, perhaps things were the same back east, but the great northeastern forest hid the ravages of human occupation like polite conversation masked the violence of normal economic pillage. Here, I thought, nothing was hidden, rape was out in the open. No one needed to hide behind a veneer of civilization or the abstractions of financial paper. I thought it was cool.

I do not remember the conduct of the meeting too much except that whenever a new agenda item began, Joe would inquire of me in a whisper to tell him what it was about. As I whispered back, something wonderful occurred. I could hear my words come out of Joes mouth literally as I spoke them, but transformed into things of elegance and beauty. I was stunned. There are many talents abroad in the world, but this I thought was transcendental. To be able to instantly transform bureaucratic dross into poetry, to me ranked right up there with creating sublime music from pieces of thin over-varnished maple, cat gut and horsehair.

The Commissioners themselves were pretty much as one would expect representatives of the establishment would be. A basically relatively self-satisfied lot with almost no particular axes to grind other than to be cognizant of and responsive to the wishes of their appointing authorities and otherwise act in a public-spirited, but not too spirited, manner. Except for Jeff Frautschy, a scientist from Scripps Institute that seemed to have almost a monopoly on those making a living from studying coastal processes and teaching them to those hoping to also achieve tenure at the Institute, who I always suspected saw himself as the guardian of that monopoly. Ellen Stern Harris was another Commissioner who slightly varied from the norm. As far as I could tell at the time, she seemed to be a wealthy matron from LA’s West Side who occupied herself by playing at politics and pursuing whatever causes were dear to her heart, in this case the coastal environment. She represented that species of upper middle class cause oriented women that were beginning to transform the Democratic Party.

The unquestioned leader of the Commission was Mel Lane, publisher of Sunset Magazine, the quintessential California magazine for those hoping to acquire enough money to make their homes and gardens pretty enough to photograph and to vacation at elegant pseudo-rustic resorts like the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park. (to be continued)

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles:

The soldiers nosed about waiting for word from the Queen on the creatures request. The healer moved closer, rubbed her body against the creature’s, nosed it to make it more comfortable and then moved a short way off.

“What is your name,” Gladys IV asked gruffly. Gladys IV was one of the larger females and one of the leading contenders to replace their aging Queen once she dies of grows too feeble to reproduce. She was also the captain of the Queen’s Own Guard.

“Gorys XIV,” he whispered.

By now every member of Barrow Burrow sensed the alien smell of the intruder and all wondered if this marked the beginning of an attack by a marauding clan looking to take over the tunnels.

The soldiers cautiously had surrounded Gorys to inhibit either his escape or his movement deeper into the burrow. Other soldiers had cautiously nipped in and out of the breach checking for predators or to see whether Gorys’ had come alone or was accompanied by a band of marauders.

Workers had begun squeezing into this stretch of tunnel, climbing over or crawling under the others as they began to go about their business of closing the breech.

Gladys IV discerned the tremor and the subtle eddies of tunnel breezes indicating someone rushing through the tunnel towards them, isolating them from all the other breezes, tremors and smells that surrounded her. She recognized the distinctive odor of Glabtorix II the Queens eldest consort and recognized how agitated the Queen must be to risk him rather than one of the other workers.

Glabtorix II squeezed by the mass of seething soldiers and workers and without a glance at Gladys IV said to Gorys, “What do you want?”

“The Queen, the Queen, danger, I will only speak with the Queen,” Gory’s wheezed.

Glabtorix II stared for a moment, scratched the ground to inform the Queen, than waited a moment more and said.

“Bring it along then. Carefully. Gladys, take your cohort back to guard the Queen. Others will transport it.”

2.Heterocephalus G awards: Awarded to those who most contribute to paving the way for the rise of The Naked Mole Rat.

To Calvin Breisner, creator of the Cornwall Alliance and a self-declared “expert” adviser on environmental maters to conservative and right-wing religious organizations for opposing the new animated film, “The Lorax” about a tiny creature created by “Dr. Seuss” who “speaks for the trees” and fights environmental degradation. According to Breisner:

“What you’ve got there is the mixing of taxpayer dollars into the promotion of a clear ideology that has a particular religious flavor to it,” the Cornwall Alliance spokesman concludes. “And frankly, I think that this is a violation of the separation of church and state.”

Way to go Cal.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Vince gets a surprise (continued).

Light is not the fastest thing in the universe. It is the operation of the mind when faced with the conflict between ones rational mind and emotions in situations like that now faced by Vince. Often in these cases the pressure is so great both ones mind and emotions shut down as they did with Vince at the restaurant earlier in the evening. In the moment between realizing what it was that he saw and Isabella’s almost imperceptible shrug and lowering of her eyes in preparation to bending down to retrieve her discarded pajama bottoms, he experienced something comparable to the Lincoln-Douglas debates over his soul. His militant liberalism went to war with his long suppressed adolescent fears; the strident demands of childhood with the social mores of adulthood while some bizarre chivalric ideals lay ready to ambush all to assuage his overwhelming panic.

Before she could get beyond whispering, “I expected as much,” he had crossed over to her, wrapped his arms around her shoulder and said, “I wanted you from the moment I saw you come into my office. An now, I have you and a little bit more.”

He prayed she could not hear the screams of the disintegrating pieces of his psyche.

The next morning he awoke in her bed. She was gone but a tray containing hot coffee and a bagel with lox and cream cheese lay on the table. He guessed Lina must have just brought it in. He did not move but let his mind wander over the images of the most amazing, frightening and disturbing night of his life.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

19th Century:

Some late 19th-century authorities and physicians believed very sincerely that any woman who was interested in having a man perform oral sex on her was a sadist, and any man who complied was dangerously passive and submissive. Performing oral sex on women, they believed, was a “gateway drug” that led inevitably to ever more depraved acts of submission, and could possibly drag men all the way down to what they saw as the bottom of the heap, making them into the kind of men who provided oral sex to other men.

20th Century:

Though men and women have engaged in various forms of non-intercourse sexual activity since time immemorial, the idea that there was a necessary opening act to sexual intercourse called “foreplay” is something we owe to Sigmund Freud and a handful of other psychologists and medical types around the turn of the 20th century.

Today:

Never mind the question of whether there’s such a thing as distinctively “gay genes” or “gay brains”; we don’t even know if there’s such a thing as straight ones. Physical and biomedical science have yet to define or even confirm the empirical existence of heterosexuality… no one’s ever even tried.

This means that scientific research being conducted on the question of what makes people gay is being done without a properly characterized control to compare with. That’s bad science.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

The wealthiest Americans have collected the bulk of the past three decades’ income gains. The share of national income of the richest 1% more than doubled between 1980 and 2008: from 8% to 18%. The richest 1% now makes an average US$1.3 million of after-tax income (compared to US$17,700 for the poorest 20% of US citizens). During the same time, the top marginal income tax rate dropped from 70% in 1981 to 35% in 2010. This is not only perceived as unfair and a harbinger of social unrest but may have exacerbated the effects of those perceptions and fears by diminishing the potential for sustained growth as shown in the following chart:

2. The real reason why local governments often have to raise taxes or revenue or go bankrupt (Hint, it is not from spending on social programs, education or public security):

The first generation of suburbia was built on savings and investment, but the second was built and maintained using tons of borrowed money – we are now in the third cycle.

(The above chart applies to countries also. What we build and pay for with debt [whether public or private] generally has not included accounting for replacement costs or operation and maintenance beyond the infrastructure’s estimated life cycle, which as a rule is less than the payback period on the bonds used to build it in the first place. This would be like borrowing for your weeks food agreeing to pay it back in installments over two weeks, then borrowing the following weeks food on the same terms hoping that somehow the nourishment can be converted into increased earnings. The syndrome compulsive gamblers suffer resembles this.)

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

“President Obama is for income equality. That’s socialism. It’s worse yet, it’s Marxism.”
— Des Moines Register, December 20, 2011

TODAY’S QUOTES:

1. “The Intuit shall inherit the earth.”
Peter Grennel

2. “There is no ‘Tree of Life,’ life more resembles a cancerous tuber.”
Collaboration with PG.

3. “The pride of man makes him love to domineer, and nothing mortifies him so much as to be obliged to condescend to persuade his inferiors.”
Adam Smith “Wealth of Nations”

4. “Spinoza was the first to argue that the Bible is not literally the word of God but rather a work of human literature; that “true religion” has nothing to do with theology, liturgical ceremonies, or sectarian dogma but consists only in a simple moral rule: love your neighbor; and that ecclesiastic authorities should have no role whatsoever in the governance of a modern state.”
–Steven Nadler, A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

1.

2.

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. ( 26 Mopey 0001) February 12, 2012

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN SAN FRANCISCO:

I begun to search the City for quiet cafe’s that offer free wi-fi connection, located two; Mama’s in the Excelsior district on Mission Street and; Cinqe Terre on Van Ness near Pine. Both are old style coffee houses, slightly run down and thankfully lacking the insistent Bohemianism of similar places or the efficient spanking industrialism of SB and its wannabes. Mama’s claims some connection to the arts and three or for evenings a month offers poetry readings and the like, while during the day it caters to a few latino locals who periodically drop in. Cinqe Terre, on the other hand, is owned by an Italian immigrant and offers a number of vaguely italian sandwiches and a few deserts imported from Italy.

My evening television fare at Jason’s house had been broadened from the usual diet of reality shows and movies with WWII sized body counts, to include something called Louis to which I am becoming addicted. Louis is a stand up comic who headlines at a basement comedy club in NY’s Greenwich Village. His claim to fame is that his brand of stand-up is even less funny than Jerry Seinfeld’s. It fact it is relentlessly unfunny. He produces short videos of his adventures for cable TV (sort of more interesting, amusing and visual version of “This and that…”) which are also unfunny but almost rise to poignant. It is sort of what we used to call humor (like the humor that used to appear in New Yorker magazine which was unfunny too).

My ex daughter-in-law and I went to dinner at my sister and her husband’s house in the Berkley Hills in order to discuss our planned family trip to Italy next spring. My sister, who works on education initiatives for a high-tech company described some of the innovations in social media being developed. Several posts ago, I mentioned the potential economic effects of our inevitable move from a physically mobile society to an electronically mobile one. What she described seemed likely to take us a long way closer. All in all we spent a pleasant evening, mostly discussing family history and swapping those stories one or another of us had not heard before and many that we had.

The day before yesterday, I moved from my son Jason’s apartment to my daughter-in-law’s home where I have use of the bedroom during her and her husband’s one week jaunt to Paris and then on to Venice to experience Carnavale and frozen body parts. Attending Carnavale being one of those things I imagine Anne envisions as an early start on her bucket list.

Today, I walked along Cortland Street the main drag of the slowly gentrifying Bernal Hights neighborhood to have lunch at the local overpriced sandwich shop. Along the way I purchased a discounted copy of Jonathan Franzen’s semi-autobiographical work “The Discomfort Zone”(2006) and began reading it as I wolfed down a hot pastrami sandwich and washed it down with a glass of ginger lemonade. Franzen is one of that new breed of writers (like Bolano) that believes modern fiction is essentially the author’s memoir.

Like most modern fiction deemed “serious” ever since the 1950s, it deals with resigned acceptance of alienation. That is why I stopped reading serious fiction in favor of genre, like mysteries, science fiction and fantasy. I hate reading about resigned acceptance of alienation. To me alienation should be approached with a sense of the absurdity of the mental derangement that so often prompts it or with pure fury at the injustice that may have engendered it.

Anyway, he does come up with a few quotes worth repeating. As you know I am obsessed with collecting quotes. Sort of like Don Neuwirth who used to carry a notebook everywhere with him in which he copied things he heard or read that appealed to him; much like collecting stamps. I, on the other hand, always feel an unstoppable compulsion to move those quotes immediately from my possession and, welcome or not, into the consciousness of others.

In writing about his flight from his childhood home in St. Louis close to the nations geographic and demographic center to its fringes on its coasts Franzen observes:

“…so the country as a whole has fled the center economically, ending up in a system in which the wealthiest one percent of the population takes in sixteen percent of total income [up from eight percent in 1975]. This is a great time to be an American CEO, a tough time to be the CEO’s lowest paid worker. A great time to be Wal-Mart, a tough time to be in Wal-Mart’s way, a great time to be an incumbent extremist, a tough time to be a moderate challenger. Fabulous to be a defense contractor, shitty to be a reservist, excellent to have tenure at Princeton, grueling to be an adjunct at Queens College; outstanding to manage a pension fund, lousy to rely on one; better than ever to be bestselling, harder than ever to be mid-list; phenomenal to win a Texas Hold ‘Em tournament, a drag to be a video-poker addict.”

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

1. In the Beginning: an oft told story

Off to join the Crusade (continued).

Now the question Bodovitz addressed to me could be interpreted in two ways; was I an accomplished writer or was I literate. Choosing the later so as not to begin the relationship with a flat-out lie, I responded, “Quite well actually.”

Two days later I found myself sitting in one of the empty and not quite fully constructed offices, drafting the Commission’s interim regulations, agenda for its initial meeting and appeal forms. I had been hired as a graduate legal assistant, a classification that fell outside the normal civil service hiring procedures and for which I qualified by having spent at least two years in law school.

I no longer recall if the first appeals of projects approved by the regional commissions set up by the initiative were heard at the initial State Commission meeting or at a later one. I will assume that it was later because I cannot see how it could have been the first meeting since we had not adopted the interim regulations containing appeal procedures yet. Also, although I drafted the appeal form, I do not recall involvement in development of the coastal development permit application forms and so will assume they had been developed by the regional commission staff.

My theory of writing regulations was based upon the reality that since everyone games whatever they perceive limits their objectives anyway, simplicity and directness were best. It later became obvious to me that most entities, public or private, adopt procedures and regulations primarily to benefit the staff that administers them. That is, to use the regulations to shield them from making specific difficult decisions or to design them to reduce workload responsibilities (e.g., research).

The initial regulations were only few pages long and directed at how to simply get the project application into the Commissions hands, basic time lines and the few special rules for the conduct of hearings required by the governing law and not included in Robert’s Rules of Order.

There also had been no forms drafted yet for appeals of approval of those claiming to be exempt from the Commissions jurisdiction. I tried to keep them to one page or two, limiting, in the case of appeals, the information required to basic items, such as the identity of the appellant and the project, trusting the regional commissions file to provide the starting point for any staff analysis. In other words I wanted to make it as easy as possible to get the things into our hot hands. I did not want things going away because someone, applicant or concerned citizen believed the process appeared to be too daunting. To me this approach was not just an exercise in governmental simplification and responsiveness but was also a means of control.

As so, we began, as did I and moved inevitably toward the first meeting of the State Commission.

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles:

To the citizen’s of Barrow Burrow, perception of their world differed substantially from that of those species that relied upon the dictatorship of sight; on unobstructed straight line transmission of information through lenticular organizers into the neural apparatus governing the essential awareness necessary for the survival of most living things. Those living in Barrow Burrow and those in other burrows “saw” instead, a web of impressions unaffected by those mere physical impediments that obstruct one’s line of sight; much like those Polynesians “saw” the islands beyond the horizon.

Everyone in Barrow Burrow, “saw” almost everything, the rushing of the soldiers through the tunnels, the workers already digging cross tunnels so that the breached area could be cordoned off and filled without interruption to the burrow network, and the creature lying there barely moving.

Arriving at the breech, the first soldier nosed toward the intruder sniffing and poking it.

“Help me to your queen it pleaded weakly. I have a message from the northern burrow runs. You are in danger.”

2.Heterocephalus G awards: Awarded to those who most contribute to paving the way for the rise of The Naked Mole Rat.

To Rick Santorum for having said on the Rush Limbaugh Show, on June 8, 2011:

“There’s a variety of factors that contribute to the earth warming and cooling, and to me this is an opportunity for the left to create — it’s a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm.”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Vince gets a surprise (continued).

Offended at her rejection, Vince blurted out, “What don’t I understand? The weird little war, you and Russell have me involved in?”

“No, not that, although you involved yourself. It’s just… our relationship… you do not understand,” she said her eyes though maintaining the implacable level almost expressionless gaze seemed to soften along with her voice.

The hormonal, intellectual and emotional tripartite war that fogs rational sense compelled him to persist in his assault. “What do you mean,” his voice rising? “This body-guard thing, is that it? Another man, maybe? Whats going on?”

She stood for a moment her face tightened, than softened as if she were debating with herself and reached a decision. She turned, put down the drinks, walked to the dimmer switch on the wall, turned down the lights to what Vince interpreted as a romantic glow and returned to stand, expressionless a few feet away from him.

He started to move toward her, stopped as she held out her hand palm out vertical to the ground.

Without taking her eyes off of his she removed her robe and let it slip to the ground. She slowly, mechanically unbuttoned her pajama top and dropped that to the ground also.

He could see her almost too perfect breasts partly shadowed in the diminished light.

Not moving her head or her eyes, she loosened her pajama bottoms allowing them to fall and lie bunched at her feet.

Vince had been virtually mesmerized by her stare. He now removed his eyes from hers and allowed them to begin their descent taking in her body. He was hard as he passed his gaze over her breast and nipples. He could feel his breathing quicken as he continued down, then stopped, froze. His breath stopped, the blood rushed away and he shrunk. There was something else.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

2012: February.

CHEERS to February! For the shortest month, it sure packs a lot of goodies in it. Highlights: More daylight, Super Bowl Sunday (Patriots by 3. Hundred.), Waitangi Day in New Zealand, Heritage Day in Canada, Valentine’s Day, Cordova Ice Worm Day, Mardi Gras, blessed comic relief at the CPAC convention, George & Abe’s awesome mattress sale, Black History Month, Charles Dickens Day, the Oscars, and tomorrow is Groundhog Day. Plus there’s only one Republican debate this month. And best of all, if you make it through the first 28 days you get the 29th FREE! Now that’s what I call FAB-uary!

–From Bill in Portland Maine.

13th Century AD:

Rabbits first introduced into Ireland.

1969-2009 wage decline:

According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-snyder-economic-collapse-2012-1#ixzz1lGGTZuaJ

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

1. You may not like paying taxes, but shouldn’t those with the greatest share of income and wealth pay their fair share.

2. This is not change we should live with:

The United States has the fourth-highest inequality level in the OECD, after Chile, Mexico and Turkey. Inequality among working-age people has risen steadily since 1980, in total by 25%. In 2008, the average income of the top 10% of Americans was 114 000 USD, nearly 15 times higher than that of the bottom 10%, who had an average income of 7 800 USD. This is up from 12 to 1 in the mid 1990s, and 10 to 1 in the mid 1980s.

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

And so it continues:

The Conservative Political Action Conference at which all the major Republican presidential contenders will speak, as well and prominent Republican members of Congress is co-sponsored by several organizations including “Youth for Western Civilization” whose founder, Marcus Epstein, was arrested and pled guilty to a hate crime after karate chopping a black woman on a street while calling her a “nigger,” and who is reputed to have strong ties to European Neo-Fascist organizations (according to People for the American Way).

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Brain Candy:

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“There are two types of Republicans: millionaires and suckers.”

(Phil T Duck)

“Because inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.”
Terry Pratchett

“There’s a crack in everything; that’s how the light gets in.”
–Leonard Cohen

“By evening’s end, they had melted into an indistinguishable mass of privatizing, tax-cutting opponents of Sharia law. ”
–NYT on 2nd Republican debate

“If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.”
(Onomastic)

“Newt’s not a conservative. It’s just that conservatives assume that someone so mean and hateful has to be one of their true believers and not just an awful person.”
(Inland)

“Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat! ”
(Fury)

“Dear Congressman West: Check your watch — it’s been 15 minutes.”
(here4tehbeer)

“On the Internet, nobody knows if you’re a dog… but everybody knows if you’re a jackass.”
(stevemb)

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

My mom at 94 in Mendocino taken by my sister. When after posing mom and taking the picture, my sister showed her the resulting photograph and inquired if she liked it, our mom responded, “My sandwich got cold.”

On the subject of moms, this was sent to me by Phillip:

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (24 Mopey 0001) February 9, 2012

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

During the train ride from Sacramento to San Francisco, I continued to work on my comments to the draft Seismic Safety Commission report. Once I realized that the consultants failed to review existing California disaster recovery programs to determine if the state already offered post event recovery assistance to business, I began to do the research myself.

I spent the night at my son Jason’s apartment. It had been my granddaughter Amanda’s birthday a few days ago and I had brought her some presents and was rewarded with a big hug.

The next day, I had lunch with Peter in a deep dish Chicago style pizza place that had just opened in Noe Valley. Later we watched the first half of the Superbowl, at first in the bar in which years ago I was a partner (perhaps my only investment that ever made money) and later a few doors away where we watched the game and listened to the Sunday Live Jazz performance featuring Pete Voukavich. For some reason at about half time, I began feeling exhausted so I returned to Jason’s apartment to rest and watch the rest of the game. The NY Giants won in the last few minutes as they seem to have done in each of their previous six games.

In the evenings, I spend much of my time being introduced to the puzzling wonders of reality television, including scenes of crazed cooks attempting to make the bizarre tasty; tattooed men and skinny girls in what appears to be moderately insane and dangerous activities including the gastronomic pleasure of swallowing things like live cockroaches and; moronic bearded men usually from the Southeast portion of the US (including Texas) killing anything that moves usually, but not necessarily, with a shotgun and then cooking (or not) and eating it. There appears to be a direct connection in the American psyche between violence and food with at best a brief side-trip into sex and wealth.

In between these bouts of visual lunacy and mayhem, Jason and I talk. For the first time in our lives we tried to avoid the father-son communication barriers. We told each other things we had never shared before. He mentioned how devastated, as an eight year old, he was when we learned of Jeanne’s death. “I wanted her to be my mother,” he said and began to cry. He recalled how brave and kind she was. He told about how difficult it was to be sent to an all black school and having to fight and defeat the schools biggest bullies to survive. And much much more I never knew. He recounted some of the things he had done as a child that enraged me at the time and admitted they were intentional. For what reason? To get my attention? A cry of loneliness and desperation perhaps?

At night lying in bed, I thought about how much I have missed out on; how much the tensions between fathers and sons drain out of both lives.

Today, it rained slightly. Perhaps this means that winter is finally beginning. In the Bay area, winter is usually marked by almost daily drizzles beginning in about October and ending at the end of March or so. This year like much of the rest of the world we are experiencing a year without winter.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

In the Beginning: an oft told story.

Off to join the crusade.

I rarely ever apply for anything. I assume that I will be turned down and am unwilling to endure the self loathing that follows. I did not apply for either college or law school but rather showed up in the dean’s office the day before registration and talked my way into one of unfilled slots.

So I went directly to some State office that managed the civil service exam process and asked them what I had to do to get hired by the Coastal Commission. They told me that I did not qualify even for an interview since the application criteria limited employment to experienced “planners” only. They explained that they were looking for landscape architects or urban planners.

Now at that time I knew very little about planners of any kind. I guess they must have existed in NY but I could not recall ever meeting one and assumed it was something California-ish. Now, a landscape planner or architect I surmised had something to do with flowers and trees in parks, sort of what “the Olmsted” did. An urban planner, that was something else again. I, of course, was aware of those who had the authority and political power to tear down large areas of major cities in order to impose their esthetic, military or dynastic objectives on the community. People like Pope Sixtus insisting he and the other worthy Romans of the Baroque Age have unobstructed views of monuments of their choosing up and down the central city’s thoroughfares; or, Baron Haussmann executing Napoleon III’s obsession with grandeur; or even L’enfant’s proposal for the development of the vacant land designated to become the nations capital. All had the power, will and national wealth behind them to do what they will, but what did that have to do about stopping some motel developer from peeing on John’s garden of stunted trees and flesh eating plants?

I was pretty annoyed, not only at being rejected, something I had learned to expect, but also because I could not even get an interview to talk my way in. It appeared to me to be quite silly to so restrict who gets hired. It seemed destined to have little to do about preserving the coast or the environment and more to do about producing a coffee table book about it. And, certainly almost nothing to do with protecting the “Jughandle Creek Ecological Staircase” from ruin.

So the day the Commission was slated to commence operations, (I think they were to begin on March 1, 1973, or February, I do not remember which) I found myself standing in front of the building in which their new offices were located preparing myself to make my pitch.

At that time San Francisco’s main thoroughfare, Market Street, was torn up to construct the tunnels that would carry the new regional transit rail line (BART) through the City as well as several of the City’s trolley lines in hope that, by removing most public transportation from the main thoroughfare servicing the commercial hub of the City and adding some landscaping along the sidewalk, the street would somehow evolve into the Champs Elysees of California; a dream that was destined to fail, lacking the will, power, unlimited funding or imagination necessary.

The area in front of the California Coastal Commission (as the new governmental entity created by the initiative to carry out its objectives was called) had been torn up as part of the beautification portion of the Market Street renovation. Sickly looking Sycamores, not all that much larger than John’s pygmies and certainly no more attractive, stood forlornly in their burlap root sacks every 30 feet or so waiting to be buried in the unforgiving soil beneath the holes in the sidewalk opened to receive them.

This area of the City at that time could best be described as downtrodden commercial. The building itself was a small nondescript two story office building whose previous tenant had fallen on the dreaded hard times. The Commission’s offices were located on the second floor.

As I pushed through the door and entered the office, I observed that the tenant improvements were far from complete. The walls of the future individual offices were just metal stripping still awaiting sheet-rock. The occupants were clearly visible through the spaces.

There were just three people working there at that time. In one office sat an older gentleman whose name I no longer remember and who I eventually learned had been a naval officer and also had worked in state government and supposedly knew a lot about the ins and outs of the movement of paper and forms among the various governmental entities upon which, whatever governmental effectiveness one expected of an agency, stands or falls. A tall, rather imposing and efficient looking middle aged woman (I have forgotten her name also), who told me she was the private secretary to the Executive Director. She had relocated with him from his previous position with an agency that earlier had been created to do in the Bay of San Francisco things similar to what the initiative proposed along California’s coast.

Through the walls I could see the third person, the Executive Director himself, Joe Bodovitz, a man I, at that time, knew nothing about other than his name as revealed in a name plate sitting in its holder on the secretary’s desk. His office was tiny and irregular. He had black framed glasses, was slender, wore a striped white shirt and a yellow tie.

I walked into his office and decided to get right to it and I said something like:

“The personnel people tell me that it will take about a month or so to get any of your permanent employees hired. You have to begin meetings and promulgating regulations before they show up. You and your secretary alone will have a hard time doing that. I used to be a practicing attorney in New York, perhaps I can help until then.”

Then he did something that surprised me, but which I learned later was a common habit of his, he grabbed the bottom of his tie and began running it through his fingers. After a moment or so he inquired, “Can you write?”
(to be continued)

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles:

To those working in the tunnels nearby it was no more than a slight lightening of the comforting gloom followed by the tremors of the earth giving way and something living falling and heavily striking the tunnel floor soon followed by the stifling wisps of oxygen rich air and the stench of an alien presence. As the tremors reverberated through the burrow, all work ceased as each citizen stopped what they were doing and turned towards the source of the tremors that they each felt climb out of the burrow walls, through the hairs of the sensitive down covering their bodies. All chatter ceased.

Like the Polynesian navigators of another time lying silently at the bottom of their dugout canoes, eyes closed, feeling the subtle shifts of the oceans swells until a picture emerged in their minds of islands and reefs far beyond the horizon, each resident of the burrow sensed the scene playing out in the far off tunnel. Then the chatter began again, now centered on the event and the burrow’s reaction. This was followed by the shuffling of hundreds of feet; the age old signal of danger.

The Queen, looked up from the lessons she was giving to her latest brood, then heaved her great bulk out of the royal chamber and began shouting to her soldiers, pushing them with her great head until phalanxes of soldiers from throughout the burrow began to move toward the breech.

She stopped, felt with every sense she had. Above the chatter and shuffling she could feel that the creature whose heavy breathing and weak heart beat was not a Rufus dragon or another terror out to ravage the community, but seemed like one of the people, alien but recognizable nonetheless. She butted one of the soldiers rushing by to a standstill and instructed him to tell the others that if it is not a predator to let her know what it is before doing anything.

2. H. Glaber fellow travelers:

E.B. Kim and others who unravelled the Naked Mole Rat’s gene sequencing.

According to Nature Magazine, the gene sequences revealed:

“…unique genome features and molecular adaptations consistent with cancer resistance, poikilothermy, hairlessness and insensitivity to low oxygen, and altered visual function, circadian rhythms and taste sensing. This information provides insights into the naked mole rat’s exceptional longevity and ability to live in hostile conditions, in the dark and at low oxygen. The extreme traits of the naked mole rat, together with the reported genome and transcriptome information, offer opportunities for understanding aging and advancing other areas of biological and biomedical research.”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Vince gets a surprise (continued).

The cooling water in the bath woke him up. He looked around, a bit dazed and stared a moment puzzled at the mug balanced at the edge of the bathtub. Somehow he had finished drinking the liquid in it. Although deep down the chill from the water made his body ache, he felt somewhat more relaxed and calm than when he got into the tub however long ago.

He walked to the shower stall, rinsed himself off lingering in the hot water until it restored the warmth to his bones. Then he moved to the sink, searched around, found mouthwash and a deodorant stick, but no shaving paraphernalia. He gargled and applied the deodorant, put on his robe, walked out of the bathroom through the bedroom and down the short hall into the main room. There he found Isabella sitting on one of the sofa’s in front of the faux gas fireplace reading what looked like a report of some kind.

Her hair was hidden beneath a turban like thing and she had changed into satin beige pajamas and a matching thigh length robe. She looked stunning to him and he sensed movement in his groin as he stood there and silently watched her.

As though she sensed his presence, she suddenly looked up, smiled and said, “Oh there you are, finally. I was afraid you had drowned. I was about to go in and check on you.”

She smiled warmly.

“No, I guess I fell asleep. Sorry it took so long.”

Her smile widened and her normally cold placid eyes he believed showed a little warmth and sympathy. He remained standing where he was.

“I hope Lina’s drink did you some good. It is supposed to calm one down. She and I concocted it after an assignment.”

“She…” he got out.

“Yes, she and her husband were partners with me in some operations in the Philippines.”

“Oh,… yes it seemed to work,” he said deflating slightly as he was reminded about his performance earlier in the evening. “Look I am really sorry for…” He only got that far before she broke in.

“Don’t bother even thinking about it. My sphincter lets go almost every time things get hairy,” she laughed. “It is what they do. It’s a pretty weak muscle. Hard to strengthen.”

“Yeah, but I panicked, you didn’t.”

She got up asked, “Do you want a drink?”

“Mineral water, if you have it.”

As she moved to the low cabinet that contained a wet bar, she continued, “Everyone panics, we are trained to hide it to gain time. We were lucky tonight.”

She opened the cabinet poured two glasses of Pellegrino sparkling mineral water into glasses added some ice then turned and walked towards him. “Strange though, they seemed inept, almost amateurish.”

“I wouldn’t know,” he said dryly.

She chuckled and held out a glass to him.

He didn’t know why, but he suddenly moved toward her, put his arms around her waist, pulled her against him and kissed her. Her hands being otherwise occupied, she pushed against him with her forearms, stopped, kissed him back hungrily, then shoved him away.

“Stop,” she said, “you have no idea about how things are.”

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

2012: Racism, conservatism and intelligence?

A study, published in Psychological Science, showed that people who score low on IQ tests in childhood are more likely to develop prejudiced beliefs and socially conservative politics in adulthood.

2012: Global warming is a socialist plot.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Give us back our money you welfare cheats.

2. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

Ruth pointed out that Bloom’s Day occurs on June 16 and not in September (see my previous post). I do not know where September came from. I arrived in Europe on that trip sometime between late June or July. I stand before you repentant.

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

We’ve seen this before department:

“Jewish activity collectively, throughout history, is best understood as an elaborate and highly successful group competitive strategy directed against neighboring peoples and host societies. The objective has been control of economic resources and political power. One example: overwhelming Jewish support for non-traditional immigration, which has the effect of weakening America’s historic white majority.”
Kevin MacDonald, VDARE.com, Nov. 14, 2006

(VDARE is a White Nationalist website, run by Peter Brimelow, which frequently publishes the works of anti-Semitic and racist writers and is named after Virginia Dare, who is believed to be the first child of English parents born in the Americas. Brimelow, an immigrant from Great Britain, expresses his fear of the loss of America’s white majority, blames non-white immigrants for social and economic problems and urges the Republican Party to give up on minority voters and focus on winning the white vote. He also said that a New York City subway is the same as an Immigration and Naturalization Service waiting room, “an underworld that is not just teeming but also almost entirely colored.”

Brimelow is a featured panelist at this years American Conservative Union’s Political Action Conference at which Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, McConnell and Bachman are scheduled to address the delegates. Will any of them denounce the anti-semitism and racism? Will any of them refuse to appear at an event that features a racist anti-semite? Don’t bet on it.)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

1. “People know what the news is. You’re not coming to cable news for news anymore. You’re coming for either validation of your opinion or you’re looking to find out what the other side is saying. It is analogous to the debates that break out on peoples’ Facebook walls. It’s almost like we’re social media, live. They’re just talking to each other. They’re just posting.”
Mr. Domal, [the vice president for eastern ad sales at Fox News].

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fox-news-people-dont-watch-cable-news-to-get-news-2011-12#ixzz1hmmP4DcW

2. “Political figures who talk a lot about liberty and freedom invariably turn out to mean the freedom to not pay taxes and discriminate based on race; freedom to hold different ideas and express them, not so much.”
—Paul Krugman

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (17 Mopey 0001) February 1. 2012

TODAY FROM CALIFORNIA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Thanks to the generosity and quick thinking of Stevie and Norbert Dall (may they live long and prosper), I found a place to stay the night after arriving in Sacramento at about midnight. The next morning they picked me up and we drove to El Dorado Hills where we had lunch in a lakeside restaurant located in a vast shopping center designed to look like a traditional french village with parking.

After lunch they dropped me off at the house that I would be staying at to await Hayden’s return from school. SWAC arrived before he did and explained that instead of coming home, Hayden was spending the weekend at the apartment of SWAC’s friend Joey who the last time I was here she was furious with for calling her, in effect, a tart. He would return on Sunday morning at about the same time she leaves for the airport in San Francisco on her way to Thailand to remain there for about a month. Joey will drive her to the airport and then go on to Fresno to visit his family for a week leaving Hayden with me until he returned. Hayden then would resume living with him until SWAC’s reemergence. Although Dick, SWAC’s husband in whose house she lives (Dick lives at his mother’s home in Roseville), could have minded the boy for the week, he unfortunately had to go out of town for business and so the job fell to the default nanny, me.

Anyway, on Saturday we went to Joey’s house. Both Joey and Natalie were going off on separate errands and I was importuned to watch over Hayden and Joey’s two adopted boys for a few hours. The boys had constructed a rough treehouse in a gnarled chestnut tree located behind the apartments. I spent my time enjoyably watching the boys running back and forth from the tree to the apartment’s refuse bin, rooting out treasures to carry back and boost into the treehouse to enhance that mysterious ambience coveted by small boys.

Hayden decided he did not want to spend the night at Joey’s and returned with SWAC and me to Dick’s house where both Dick and SWAC spent an inordinate amount of time instructing me on my duties even though I had done them all innumerable times during my previous visits.

Hayden, himself, seemed to have advanced from the wounded neediness of the insecure child to the dreamy independence of the seven year old to whom the vagaries his life had become normal reality.

That night while trying to get to sleep, my mind drifted here and there as I tried to gain, if not understanding of things, the comfort of post hoc rationalization. I realized that since stopping my psychopharmacological drugs (happy pills), my tolerance for accepting circumstances that I find objectionable has diminished to at least what it was prior to beginning the medication regime. It is time for me to get on with things.

The following day, after SWAC left for the airport, Hayden, Dick and I visited with Bill and Naida at their ranch. Hayden rode one of the horses for a while. We then all went for a wonderful walk along the Cosumnes River to a rocky area downstream containing 19 or more grinding holes that Naida believes were made by the ancient predecessors to the indians featured in Naida’s novels that settled about a mile up river. Bill, who is still recovering from open heart surgery, heroically accompanied us. We stopped at the golf course club house for lunch and to give Bill the opportunity to rest and recover from the exertions of the hike.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

The litigation:

Before coming to California, I had practiced law in both New York and Italy. In New York I amassed one of the longest streaks of consecutive victories in jury trials in the history of the state until that time. In Italy, I practiced International tax law, a subject I knew nothing about.

I had given up the practice of the law in favor of hippiedom when I migrated to California and, therefore, at that time was not a member of the bar. For that reason, with regard to any litigation affecting Jughandle Creek, I could only operate, more or less, as a volunteer clerk or unofficial paralegal. I worked with two distinguished and very good attorneys; an older man named, if I remember correctly, Ferguson and a young attorney, Dick Gutting (or Cutting, I no longer remember which). Ferguson was a well known volunteer of his time and efforts on behalf of environmental causes, while Gutting, although at that time an associate in a distinguished law firm, had set his sights on a career in the emerging field of environmental law.

Like I said they were very good attorney’s while I, even with my enviable record that might mark me as a successful advocate, was at best a mediocre attorney. Almost immediately disagreements arose as I prepared the first draft of the briefs to challenge the Environmental Impact Report on the proposed motel development at Jughandle Creek.

Before addressing the disagreements, a little background on the issues. A few years previously the California legislature passed a law requiring that prior to taking an action governmental entities prepare a study of environmental impacts that may flow from that action. The law was more or less modeled on a similar Federal law enacted at the urging of then President Nixon. At the time it was assumed that the requirement applied, like the Federal law, only to governmental projects. In California however a court subsequently had held that it applied to private projects requiring governmental authorization also. The Jughandle Creek litigation would be one of the first that addressed the issue as to what if anything was demanded of the governmental entity should the report indicate that substantial adverse environmental impacts could be caused by the project.

The law suit was dismissed at the trial court and was now on appeal.

The disagreement between those working on the brief was over, not only my ability to frame the legal agreement itself (which for this discussion we will skip over), but also the nature of advocacy itself.

You see during my career as a trial lawyer, I discovered that no matter how polished and convincing my presentation or how devastating my cross examination of opposing witnesses, whenever I questioned the jury following a verdict as to what it was I said or did that convinced them, they would say, “nothing” and insist that the facts themselves were overwhelmingly in my clients favor.

Confused, I demanded that my firm give me only those cases the other lawyers did not wish to try because they believed them to be losers. I still won and the juries still gave the same explanation for their decision.

I deduced from this many things, most of which are quite obvious. The most significant insight was that no-one likes to admit his or her actions were based upon the urging of others. I had stumbled on to this truism inadvertently and had conducted my advocacy accordingly. For example, I rarely cross-examined my opponents witness in an effort to damage his credibility since it risked juror dissatisfaction with the domineering lawyer putting words into the witnesses mouth. Rather, I would try to lead him into expanding his story so as to stretch the bounds of credulity.

The legal argument we were, in part, trying to make was over the technical and often arcane issue of divining legislative intent. You see, without some prior legislative authorization to do so, a governmental body is never obligated to act, even in the face of obvious substantial adverse impacts (with the exception of gross human rights violation). To do so whenever an adverse impact is perceived invites chaos. This is one of the fundamental tenants of the rule of law. Even the human rights exception relies upon the fiction that somehow these rights are fundamental and exist even if not written down and adopted by a legislature.

In the EIR statute no specific language existed that in anyway directed the local government to do anything once they had accepted the document.

I argued that the brief had to strongly highlight the significance of the damage (not really an issue in the litigation other than it was so) and that the legislature specifically provided a mechanism for uncovering that impact and failure to act on the information would render the legislative action futile (not really a legal argument) and then lay out the various legal arguments by which the appellate court could find a legislative intent to justify what I hoped appealed to the judges sense of equity.

Ultimately we agreed on some form of the above approach, the briefs submitted, the case argued and the judgement rendered in our favor. Alas, I was not there to savor the victory, my six year old son Jason, Jeanne and I had departed on a several month tour of Europe when the decision was announced. (To be continued.)

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

Chronicles:

The more I struggle with my attempts to fashion stories and tales fitting an imagined evolution of NMR’s unique society, the more frustrated I become. It is not simply some “Watership Down,” imagining a recognizable human culture reduced to fit little furry creatures that live in burrows. Nor is it like some fantasy author postulating some spacefaring Panthera Leo community. NMR society is alien to almost all recognizable mammalian cultures. I searched through hundreds of tales and stories hoping I could find one or more to adapt. None that I found was adaptable to NMR society. How does one write a tale if the sex and survival instincts are unrecognizable? Only the NMR queen seems to fit our archetypes. Yet, the other individuals in the NMR community lacking either sex drive, or competitive urgings, nevertheless seem to live relatively self directed social lives lacking among insectoid species.

Any suggestions??

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Rachel (continued).

Without thought, Rachel threw herself into the car diving across the transmission hump separating the front seats seeking whatever protection from impending doom the automobile offered and hoping the hulking stranger’s self preservation instincts were somewhat higher then hers at this moment. He slid in behind her, miraculously inserted the key into the ignition without fumbling, started the motor and plunged directly ahead as two more bullets bit into her car and shattering the front window.

The automobiles tires struck the curb and the car lurched across the sidewalk, traversed the plaza, careened off a parking meter and sped off down the Embarcadero. He squealed around the first corner he could heading west throwing her body against the dashboard. He did not seem to notice. Then he zigzagged back and forth from street to street apparently believing it would somehow put off pursuit or make him difficult to find. They continued like this until arriving near the intersection of Van Ness and Mission Streets by the hulking Goodwill Industries store where he pulled over by an unoccupied meter. He placed his head on the steering wheel, breathing deeply, hands shaking.

Rachel silent until now said, her voice deep and cracking slightly, “City Hall’s a few blocks away. The police are there.”

He turned toward her as though just noticing her. His round face shiny with sweat. Blue eyes wide with fright. He dug into his pocket pulled out a business card and handed it to her. Said, “Here call me I will pay any damage.”

She almost screamed, “Are you nuts? We have been shot at, almost killed. You highjack my car kidnap me and you give me your business card and offer to pay for damage to my car. I want the fucking cops.” She realized she was beginning to lose it. Whatever hormonal cocktail her body had mixed to carry her this far was evaporating.

Her outburst, on the other hand, seemed to shake him from wherever he was at. His eyes cleared and what appeared to be the beginnings of smile played with his lips.

“You’re right. I am sorry. You saved my life. I cannot ever pay you enough.”

“I did not save your life. You attacked and kidnapped me and you are right you can never pay me enough.”

“Listen before we bring in the cops, let me try to explain what happened,” he pleaded.

Although clearly the large hulking man sitting across from her seemed at the end of his rope, she nevertheless was unsure, whether from fear or curiosity, to open the door and run to the police or to stay and listen. Curiosity got the better of her and she said, “Ok go ahead, but make it quick.”
(to be continued)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2012: Child poverty in the US:

Child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

2012: Net worth:

According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.

If you can believe it, 37 percent of all US households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

2012: National Efficiency.

The US uses about 221 tons of oil equivalent to produce every million dollars of GDP, while the comparable number for Britain is 141, for France 170 and for Germany 164.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

B. : You might be a conservative if (by Bruce Lindner) [continued]:

8: You believe in putting American jobs first, except when president Obama rescued 1.5 million GM and Chrysler autoworkers, because that was socialism.

9: It angers you that you can’t communicate with the Mexican busboy at your local Olive Garden, but when you took a vacation to San Francisco’s Chinatown, you thought it’s quaint that so many Chinese-Americans are holding fast to their traditional language. Because that’s America!

10: You deny that the lunatic who tried to murder Gaby Giffords was a conservative, even though he targeted a Jewish, pro-choice, pro gay rights, Democratic Congresswoman.

11: You thought it was perfectly normal that every president in history had an untethered right to raise the debt ceiling when warranted, but when Obama asked the GOP held congress to do it, you thought it only natural that it be tied to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

12: When the new 112th Congress was sworn in, you swooned as they promised to focus on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But when they pivoted, and went after NPR, Planned Parenthood and gay rights, you cheered.

13: You accuse president Obama of raising your taxes to the highest point ever, even though they’re lower today than at any time since 1950.

14: You believe the wealthiest Americans are “job creators,” and they are — but it doesn’t bother you that all the workers in those positions are in India, China and Malaysia, and they’re doing the jobs that our fathers once did.

15: You believe gays are anti-American, because their lifestyle is a threat to the children… unless they’re married to Tea Party-backed presidential candidates from Minnesota.

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

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

The insufferable ignorance of the right:

My right wing correspondents are at it again. If you recall these are the same persons who among other things floods me with emails containing what no rational person one could possibly deny are racist images of the First Lady or the President and then when challenged deny, in high dudgeon, any racist intent insisting they were forwarding them because of its substantive and humorous intent.

A few days ago, I received a video of the very right wing Congressman King, calling for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to leave the United States. Now not only would my correspondents probably shake with indignation (and probably did) at calls for W’s impeachment or for war crimes trials of members of his administration, but they go on to maintain that those who object to King’s statement are left wing racists because King is black. They forget that only 3 years ago, they nag their cohorts were apoplectic regarding the then candidate’s black pastor’s sermon that Blacks have had little benefit from the Constitution. They claimed their outrage was not racist in nature but indignation at the insult to America.

I mention it here, not because I am surprised or shocked, but to further indicate the level to which any sensible political discourse has fallen due to the pervasive nature of Faux Think and ditto-heads.

To again quote David Frum who remains a life-long committed Republican and thoughtful consultant to conservative causes:

“The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much.”

“But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics.”

King subsequently recanted his outburst. I guess that proves he must be a racist also.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“We have now, it seems a National Bible Society, to propagate King James Bible, through all Nations. Would it not be better, to apply these pious Subscriptions, to purify Christendom from the corruptions of Christianity; than to propagate those Corruptions in Europe, Asia, Africa and America! “

John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson’s response:

“These Incendiaries, finding that the days of fire and faggot are over in the Atlantic hemispheres, are now preparing to put the torch to the Asiatic regions. What would they say were the Pope to send annually to this country, colonies of Jesuit priests with cargoes of their Missal and translations of their Vulgate, to be put gratis into the hands of every one who would accept them? and to act thus nationally on us as a nation?”

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (Frbruary 2, 2012) 17 Mopey 0001

TODAY FROM CALIFORNIA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Thanks to the generosity and quick thinking of Stevie and Norbert Dall (may they live long and prosper), I found a place to stay the night after arriving in Sacramento at about midnight. The next morning they picked me up and we drove to El Dorado Hills where we had lunch in a lakeside restaurant located in a vast shopping center designed to look like a traditional french village with parking.

After lunch they dropped me off at the house that I would be staying at to await Hayden’s return from school. SWAC arrived before he did and explained that instead of coming home, Hayden was spending the weekend at the apartment of SWAC’s friend Joey who the last time I was here she was furious with for calling her, in effect, a tart. He would return on Sunday morning at about the same time she leaves for the airport in San Francisco on her way to Thailand to remain there for about a month. Joey will drive her to the airport and then go on to Fresno to visit his family for a week leaving Hayden with me until he returned. Hayden then would resume living with him until SWAC’s reemergence. Although Dick, SWAC’s husband in whose house she lives (Dick lives at his mother’s home in Roseville), could have minded the boy for the week, he unfortunately had to go out of town for business and so the job fell to the default nanny, me.

Anyway, on Saturday we went to Joey’s house. Both Joey and Natalie were going off on separate errands and I was importuned to watch over Hayden and Joey’s two adopted boys for a few hours. The boys had constructed a rough treehouse in a gnarled chestnut tree located behind the apartments. I spent my time enjoyably watching the boys running back and forth from the tree to the apartment’s refuse bin, rooting out treasures to carry back and boost into the treehouse to enhance that mysterious ambience coveted by small boys.

Hayden decided he did not want to spend the night at Joey’s and returned with SWAC and me to Dick’s house where both Dick and SWAC spent an inordinate amount of time instructing me on my duties even though I had done them all innumerable times during my previous visits.

Hayden, himself, seemed to have advanced from the wounded neediness of the insecure child to the dreamy independence of the seven year old to whom the vagaries his life had become normal reality.

That night while trying to get to sleep, my mind drifted here and there as I tried to gain, if not understanding of things, the comfort of post hoc rationalization. I realized that since stopping my psychopharmacological drugs (happy pills), my tolerance for accepting circumstances that I find objectionable has diminished to at least what it was prior to beginning the medication regime. It is time for me to get on with things.

The following day, after SWAC left for the airport, Hayden, Dick and I visited with Bill and Naida at their ranch. Hayden rode one of the horses for a while. We then all went for a wonderful walk along the Cosumnes River to a rocky area downstream containing 19 or more grinding holes that Naida believes were made by the ancient predecessors to the indians featured in Naida’s novels that settled about a mile up river. Bill, who is still recovering from open heart surgery, heroically accompanied us. We stopped at the golf course club house for lunch and to give Bill the opportunity to rest and recover from the exertions of the hike.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

On the Edge: Stories about the Creation and Early Years of California’s Monumental Coastal Protection Program.

In the Beginning: an oft told story (continued).

The litigation:

Before coming to California, I had practiced law in both New York and Italy. In New York I amassed one of the longest streaks of consecutive victories in jury trials in the history of the state until that time. In Italy, I practiced International tax law, a subject I knew nothing about.

I had given up the practice of the law in favor of hippiedom when I migrated to California and, therefore, at that time was not a member of the bar. For that reason, with regard to any litigation affecting Jughandle Creek, I could only operate, more or less, as a volunteer clerk or unofficial paralegal. I worked with two distinguished and very good attorneys; an older man named, if I remember correctly, Ferguson and a young attorney, Dick Gutting (or Cutting, I no longer remember which). Ferguson was a well known volunteer of his time and efforts on behalf of environmental causes, while Gutting, although at that time an associate in a distinguished law firm, had set his sights on a career in the emerging field of environmental law.

Like I said they were very good attorney’s while I, even with my enviable record that might mark me as a successful advocate, was at best a mediocre attorney. Almost immediately disagreements arose as I prepared the first draft of the briefs to challenge the Environmental Impact Report on the proposed motel development at Jughandle Creek.

Before addressing the disagreements, a little background on the issues. A few years previously the California legislature passed a law requiring that prior to taking an action governmental entities prepare a study of environmental impacts that may flow from that action. The law was more or less modeled on a similar Federal law enacted at the urging of then President Nixon. At the time it was assumed that the requirement applied, like the Federal law, only to governmental projects. In California however a court subsequently had held that it applied to private projects requiring governmental authorization also. The Jughandle Creek litigation would be one of the first that addressed the issue as to what if anything was demanded of the governmental entity should the report indicate that substantial adverse environmental impacts could be caused by the project.

The law suit was dismissed at the trial court and was now on appeal.

The disagreement between those working on the brief was over, not only my ability to frame the legal agreement itself (which for this discussion we will skip over), but also the nature of advocacy itself.

You see during my career as a trial lawyer, I discovered that no matter how polished and convincing my presentation or how devastating my cross examination of opposing witnesses, whenever I questioned the jury following a verdict as to what it was I said or did that convinced them, they would say, “nothing” and insist that the facts themselves were overwhelmingly in my clients favor.

Confused, I demanded that my firm give me only those cases the other lawyers did not wish to try because they believed them to be losers. I still won and the juries still gave the same explanation for their decision.

I deduced from this many things, most of which are quite obvious. The most significant insight was that no-one likes to admit his or her actions were based upon the urging of others. I had stumbled on to this truism inadvertently and had conducted my advocacy accordingly. For example, I rarely cross-examined my opponents witness in an effort to damage his credibility since it risked juror dissatisfaction with the domineering lawyer putting words into the witnesses mouth. Rather, I would try to lead him into expanding his story so as to stretch the bounds of credulity.

The legal argument we were, in part, trying to make was over the technical and often arcane issue of divining legislative intent. You see, without some prior legislative authorization to do so, a governmental body is never obligated to act, even in the face of obvious substantial adverse impacts (with the exception of gross human rights violation). To do so whenever an adverse impact is perceived invites chaos. This is one of the fundamental tenants of the rule of law. Even the human rights exception relies upon the fiction that somehow these rights are fundamental and exist even if not written down and adopted by a legislature.

In the EIR statute no specific language existed that in anyway directed the local government to do anything once they had accepted the document.

I argued that the brief had to strongly highlight the significance of the damage (not really an issue in the litigation other than it was so) and that the legislature specifically provided a mechanism for uncovering that impact and failure to act on the information would render the legislative action futile (not really a legal argument) and then lay out the various legal arguments by which the appellate court could find a legislative intent to justify what I hoped appealed to the judges sense of equity.

Ultimately we agreed on some form of the above approach, the briefs submitted, the case argued and the judgement rendered in our favor. Alas, I was not there to savor the victory, my six year old son Jason, Jeanne and I had departed on a several month tour of Europe when the decision was announced. (To be continued.)

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

Chronicles:

The more I struggle with my attempts to fashion stories and tales fitting an imagined evolution of NMR’s unique society, the more frustrated I become. It is not simply some “Watership Down,” imagining a recognizable human culture reduced to fit little furry creatures that live in burrows. Nor is it like some fantasy author postulating some spacefaring Panthera Leo community. NMR society is alien to almost all recognizable mammalian cultures. I searched through hundreds of tales and stories hoping I could find one or more to adapt. None that I found was adaptable to NMR society. How does one write a tale if the sex and survival instincts are unrecognizable? Only the NMR queen seems to fit our archetypes. Yet, the other individuals in the NMR community lacking either sex drive, or competitive urgings, nevertheless seem to live relatively self directed social lives lacking among insectoid species.

Any suggestions??

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Rachel (continued).

Without thought, Rachel threw herself into the car diving across the transmission hump separating the front seats seeking whatever protection from impending doom the automobile offered and hoping the hulking stranger’s self preservation instincts were somewhat higher then hers at this moment. He slid in behind her, miraculously inserted the key into the ignition without fumbling, started the motor and plunged directly ahead as two more bullets bit into her car and shattering the front window.

The automobiles tires struck the curb and the car lurched across the sidewalk, traversed the plaza, careened off a parking meter and sped off down the Embarcadero. He squealed around the first corner he could heading west throwing her body against the dashboard. He did not seem to notice. Then he zigzagged back and forth from street to street apparently believing it would somehow put off pursuit or make him difficult to find. They continued like this until arriving near the intersection of Van Ness and Mission Streets by the hulking Goodwill Industries store where he pulled over by an unoccupied meter. He placed his head on the steering wheel, breathing deeply, hands shaking.

Rachel silent until now said, her voice deep and cracking slightly, “City Hall’s a few blocks away. The police are there.”

He turned toward her as though just noticing her. His round face shiny with sweat. Blue eyes wide with fright. He dug into his pocket pulled out a business card and handed it to her. Said, “Here call me I will pay any damage.”

She almost screamed, “Are you nuts? We have been shot at, almost killed. You highjack my car kidnap me and you give me your business card and offer to pay for damage to my car. I want the fucking cops.” She realized she was beginning to lose it. Whatever hormonal cocktail her body had mixed to carry her this far was evaporating.

Her outburst, on the other hand, seemed to shake him from wherever he was at. His eyes cleared and what appeared to be the beginnings of smile played with his lips.

“You’re right. I am sorry. You saved my life. I cannot ever pay you enough.”

“I did not save your life. You attacked and kidnapped me and you are right you can never pay me enough.”


“Listen before we bring in the cops, let me try to explain what happened,”
he pleaded.

Although clearly the large hulking man sitting across from her seemed at the end of his rope, she nevertheless was unsure, whether from fear or curiosity, to open the door and run to the police or to stay and listen. Curiosity got the better of her and she said, “Ok go ahead, but make it quick.”
(to be continued)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2012: Child poverty in the US:

Child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4% of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1% of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6% of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6% of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.

2012: Net worth:

According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.

If you can believe it, 37 percent of all US households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.

2012: National Efficiency.

The US uses about 221 tons of oil equivalent to produce every million dollars of GDP, while the comparable number for Britain is 141, for France 170 and for Germany 164.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

B. : You might be a conservative if (by Bruce Lindner) [continued]:

8: You believe in putting American jobs first, except when president Obama rescued 1.5 million GM and Chrysler autoworkers, because that was socialism.

9: It angers you that you can’t communicate with the Mexican busboy at your local Olive Garden, but when you took a vacation to San Francisco’s Chinatown, you thought it’s quaint that so many Chinese-Americans are holding fast to their traditional language. Because that’s America!

10: You deny that the lunatic who tried to murder Gaby Giffords was a conservative, even though he targeted a Jewish, pro-choice, pro gay rights, Democratic Congresswoman.

11: You thought it was perfectly normal that every president in history had an untethered right to raise the debt ceiling when warranted, but when Obama asked the GOP held congress to do it, you thought it only natural that it be tied to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

12: When the new 112th Congress was sworn in, you swooned as they promised to focus on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But when they pivoted, and went after NPR, Planned Parenthood and gay rights, you cheered.

13: You accuse president Obama of raising your taxes to the highest point ever, even though they’re lower today than at any time since 1950.

14: You believe the wealthiest Americans are “job creators,” and they are — but it doesn’t bother you that all the workers in those positions are in India, China and Malaysia, and they’re doing the jobs that our fathers once did.

15: You believe gays are anti-American, because their lifestyle is a threat to the children… unless they’re married to Tea Party-backed presidential candidates from Minnesota.

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


“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

The insufferable ignorance of the right:

My right wing correspondents are at it again. If you recall these are the same persons who among other things floods me with emails containing what no rational person one could possibly deny are racist images of the First Lady or the President and then when challenged deny, in high dudgeon, any racist intent insisting they were forwarding them because of its substantive and humorous intent.

A few days ago, I received a video of the very right wing Congressman King, calling for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi to leave the United States. Now not only would my correspondents probably shake with indignation (and probably did) at calls for W’s impeachment or for war crimes trials of members of his administration, but they go on to maintain that those who object to King’s statement are left wing racists because King is black. They forget that only 3 years ago, they nag their cohorts were apoplectic regarding the then candidate’s black pastor’s sermon that Blacks have had little benefit from the Constitution. They claimed their outrage was not racist in nature but indignation at the insult to America.

I mention it here, not because I am surprised or shocked, but to further indicate the level to which any sensible political discourse has fallen due to the pervasive nature of Faux Think and ditto-heads.

To again quote David Frum who remains a life-long committed Republican and thoughtful consultant to conservative causes:

“The business model of the conservative media is built on two elements: provoking the audience into a fever of indignation (to keep them watching) and fomenting mistrust of all other information sources (so that they never change the channel). As a commercial proposition, this model has worked brilliantly in the Obama era. As journalism, not so much.”

“But the thought leaders on talk radio and Fox do more than shape opinion. Backed by their own wing of the book-publishing industry and supported by think tanks that increasingly function as public-relations agencies, conservatives have built a whole alternative knowledge system, with its own facts, its own history, its own laws of economics.”

King subsequently recanted his outburst. I guess that proves he must be a racist also.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“We have now, it seems a National Bible Society, to propagate King James Bible, through all Nations. Would it not be better, to apply these pious Subscriptions, to purify Christendom from the corruptions of Christianity; than to propagate those Corruptions in Europe, Asia, Africa and America! “
John Adams letter to Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson’s response:
“These Incendiaries, finding that the days of fire and faggot are over in the Atlantic hemispheres, are now preparing to put the torch to the Asiatic regions. What would they say were the Pope to send annually to this country, colonies of Jesuit priests with cargoes of their Missal and translations of their Vulgate, to be put gratis into the hands of every one who would accept them? and to act thus nationally on us as a nation?”

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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