Posts Tagged With: President Obama

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 14 Capt. Coast 0004 (May 1, 2015)

 

“We live in a distressed culture where anything like a conspiracy theory will be embraced by more people than will the simple and obvious truth,”
Koontz, Dean. Odd Hours: An Odd Thomas Novel (p. 178). Random House Publishing Group.

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

Another weekend rolled down from the Sierras bringing cool rainy days until Sunday when the warmth slowly returned. The dregs of my cold kept me wheezing and coughing and in and out of bed. Saturday we attended HRM’s flag football game.
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On Sunday, we visited the Archery shop where we bought HRM some new arrows and watched him shoot at targets for almost an hour.

That evening, feeling outdoorsy but unwilling to submit myself to the whims of nature, I began to re-read one of my favorite novels Blood-Sport: A Journey up the Hassayampa. It is a comic novel about manly men at play (see below).
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Speaking of manly men, I learned from Facebook that this weekend Bill Yeates ran in the Big Sur Marathon and won Best in Class. Way to go Bill. I hear that after the race he rode his bicycle all the way back to Sacramento stopping only to clean out a nest of meat-eaters attending a barbecue somewhere near Vacaville.
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Karen Cogan, Dick’s long-time administrative assistant and someone who I have known for almost as long as I have known him, has achieved what I call the “Delightful Life.” She travels to exotic places she likes and paints. When she paints a picture of, say a restaurant, she tracks down the owner and gives them her painting. This has allowed her to meet many interesting people ( e.g., the Cipriani’s of Harry’s Bar fame).
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The office manager of one of the law firms of which I was a member (and a recipient of T&T), Aline Pearl, also spends her vacations traveling. In her case, often places rich with wild nature, like Africa. Her art is professional quality nature photography. I remember the pleasure I got from sitting in her office and looking at the wall full of well-mounted pictures of African animals in the wild. Alas, I have no examples of her photographs to post.

Ruth Galanter, on the other hand, likes to add the truly exotic destinations like Antartica and Mongolia in between trips to Nantucket.
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Ruth by her Ger
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Regarding travels, it is time for me to begin to seriously focus on this summer’s trip to Italy, Sicily and Thailand. I hope to spend a few days in New York also. This year I will be traveling through Italy and Sicily with my son Jason who, although he spent much of his childhood there, has not returned in almost 30 years.

In Milan where I will begin the Italian portion of my trip, Expo 2015 Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life will be under-weigh. Marco Gallo the son of my good friend Gigi and a renown expert in sports nutrition has invited me to attend the festival. Marco sometimes posts a few of his recipes on my Facebook page. If you would like me to forward them to you, please let me know.
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On Tuesday, it was warm enough and the severity of my cold had diminished enough for a swim. The next day we all went to the passport office to submit the complicated application for HRM’s passport. And so it went until another weekend rumbled around again.

Meanwhile, the valley heat slowly crawls up the slopes making the golden hills appear like old melted wax candles slumping beneath a deep deep blue sky empty but for columns of brilliant white mushroom clouds standing motionless on the mountains far to the east.

B. BOOK REPORT:

In 1974, Robert F. Jones an editor for the magazine Field and Stream, wrote a critically acclaimed but relatively unknown satiric novel on acid (it was 1974 after all) about a manly man obsessed with hunting and fishing who takes his almost pubescent son on a camping trip in order to toughen him up. The trip takes them up the mythical but mighty Hassayampa River to its headwaters and back. The Hassayampa winds its way from eastern China through upper Wisconsin until it flows into Croton Lake near the sleepy town of Valhalla in Westchester County NY. During their trip, they manage to slaughter and eat a goodly number of representatives of most species that now live on earth, some that do not and never did and a few such as aurochs and mastodons that no longer exist anywhere other than along the river. They also dispatch a few Communist Chinese troopers and various criminals until they run into the famous, feared and immortal bandit, “Ratanous.” Ratanous persuades the son to abandon his father and join his band of brigands. In order to save his son’s soul, the man tracks down the bandits and challenges Ratanous to a deadly duel to the death by fly rods with poison hooks.

This is not a novel for the esthetically, intellectually and morally squeamish. Its violence would make William Burroughs proud and its gonzo style cause Hunter Thompson to blush. There is a certain amount of cannibalism complete with recipes. Also there is a morbid fascination with vaginas and their infinite variety. After all, to manly men a woman is merely a vagina with tits, everything else is superfluous. It is a man’s book even as it satirizes them. There is no sentimentality about killing and little risk avoidance — and almost no women (other than participants in orgies) except for an absent wife and daughter, a lusty Ukrainian laundress and a young bandit named Twigan.
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Pookie says, “Check it out.”

“My madness was total: sublime, ecstatic, unmarred by any doubts or sulks. At no point during the months I roamed that mean, lean country, killing for food and pleasure, do I recall one moment of reason, one instant of unhappiness. It was as if a caldron of liquid laughter had come to a slow, steady boil behind my eyes, perking joyfully there, sending shots of giggly steam down my nostrils and up my throat, exploding from time to time in scalding, superheated guffaws that left my vocal cords raw and aching with delight. I felt no fear, no hunger, no worry— only the immense, ridiculous power of my freedom.”
Jones, Robert F. Blood Sport: A Journey Up the Hassayampa . Skyhorse Publishing.

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

During the past decade or so in America, we may have witnessed an extremely rare event in history. Not since the hay-day of JP Morgan and his cronies has such a small group of oligarchs managed to stage a, more or less, bloodless coup over a major democracy. What makes it so unusual is that this time they have captured control of two of the significant instruments of ideology in the society — the media and religion — while silencing perhaps the most potent voices in opposition, the scientific and intellectual community. In doing so, and with the assistance of the Supreme Court, they have arranged to assume almost absolute control over one of the two major political parties in the country such that all policies of that party must now meet the needs of that select group.

In order to achieve this coup, it was essential that growth of certain groups underpinning the middle class be halted — such as those in the intellectual trades (teachers, researchers, artists and the like), the technocrats (engineers, scientists and technicians) and very small business owners (shops etc.) and replaced with a smaller middle class primarily made up of clerks, financial analysts, and accountants, in other words those servicing the financial and service industries. As a result, the middle class not only has collapsed but what remains lacks the vibrancy to even be considered a politically significant class. The poor and the working class and in between what used to be called the lumpen proletariat, as they always have been, are usually servants of the dominant ideology that is now firmly in control of this small group of oligarchs.

 

DAILY FACTOID:

Today: In the state of Kansas, poor people soon may be prohibited from swimming in public pools but not from buying guns.

(I wonder if they can trade in their food stamps to buy guns?)

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Quigley on Top:

“The state is a good state if it is sovereign and if it is responsible. It is more or less incidental whether a state is, for example, democratic. If democracy reflects the structure of power in the society, then the state should be democratic. But if the pattern of power in a society is not democratic, then you cannot have a democratic state. This is what happens in Latin America, Africa and places like that, when you have an election and the army doesn’t like the man who is elected, so they move in and throw him out. The outcome of the election does not reflect the power situation, in which the dominant thing is organized force. When I say governments have to be responsible, I’m saying the same thing as when I said they have to be legitimate: they have to reflect the power structure of the society. Politics is the area for establishing responsibility by legitimizing power, that is, somehow demonstrating the power structure to people, and it may take a revolution, such as the French Revolution, or it may take a war, like the American Civil War. In the American Civil War, for example, the structure of power in the United States was such — perhaps unfortunately, I don’t know — that the South could not leave unless the North was willing. It was that simple. But it took a war to prove it.“
Carroll Quigley, Weapons Systems and Political Stability,

 

 

B. Xander’s Perceptions:

“I was an idealistic 13-year-old who went with my mom to a Democratic Party club in Southeast San Diego. The United Community Democratic Club met on Sunday evenings at Johnson’s Barbecue, and it was there that I began my keen interest in politics. But when Bobby Kennedy campaigned that June in the California primary, it was for all of the marbles. Kennedy’s win in the hotly contested primary election on June 5th, 1968, presaged the movement that would carry hm to the White House and restore Camelot — the representation of the hope of a nation that we could be better and needed to be better.

Kennedy made a mad dash through San Diego on Monday, June 4th, even including a swing through the South Bay Plaza shopping center in National City. When school ended that afternoon, I ran the approx. 1 mile from my junior high to where Kennedy’s car was making its way slower than a snail, through the throng of people who had showed up to see Bobby in person. In fact, just as I had my hand grabbed by Kennedy, I was shoved off my feet by the crowd pressing against his car, and I dangled for a split second before Kennedy made sure I landed on my feet.

Kennedy’s victory celebration and speech at the Ambassador Hotel in L. A. was more of a sports story — Dodgers ace Don Drysdale had set a major league record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched, and THAT seemed as much a part of Kennedy’s victory as anything else. He congratulated Drysdale, quickly thanked everyone for their support, and said “. . . and it’s on to Chicago!” He flashed the peace sign to the crowd.

Minutes later, he had his head blown apart by SIrhan Sirhan, and America was never the same . . . nor was I.”
Pete Xander

 

C. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

“Today the absence of government simply means government by private corporations.”
D. Today’s Paraprosdokian:

Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

(A Paraprosdokian is not an extinct species of bird.)

E. Today’s Poem:

Moses was a strange man

Moses was a strange man.
He lost his way
in the desert
for forty years.
He told his people
they were better off
in the desert
for forty years
than in Egypt
where they had
running water
and food.

There was no food
in the desert.
Moses did not know
how to farm so,
God had to feed
his people.

Moses told his people,
he would,
lead them out
of the desert
to a land
where people
had milk and honey.
He said
they should kill
those people,
take their land,
drink their milk
eat their honey.

When some of his people thought
another God
might get them out of the desert sooner,
he killed them.

Moses brought God’s law
to his people.
One law said
“Thou shalt not kill.”

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I’m feeling sorry, believe it or not, for the Speaker of the House as well. These days, the House Republicans actually give John Boehner a harder time than they give me, which means … orange really is the new black!”
– President Obama

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:

CalWater1

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Django&Grappelli

Django&Grappelli

 

Categories: April through June 2015, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 10 Papa Joe 0001 (September 28, 2012)

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

First things first; my most recent blog post for Smart+Connected Communities Institute has been published. It is about technological improvements in earthquake warning systems instituted by California’s Seismic Safety Commission. Click here if you would think you might be interested in reading it. Even if you are not interested in it click anyway (several times if you feel up to it) so that they may feel encouraged to continue to employ me.

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Alas my time here in California is rapidly approaching its end. I will leave for Florida on September 29 and then in quick succession on to DC, NY and Italy before returning to Thailand sometime around the third week in October.

Since returning to Sacramento, I have resumed my nanny duties, usually with little to distinguish one day from the next.

On Saturday I spent my morning at a local coffee house. Weekend mornings brings parents from the surrounding subdivisions taking their children there for breakfast. While waiting on line to give my order, the man in the line in front of me with two sub-seven year olds in tow, having heard the man in line behind me call out the name of one of his own three sub-seven year olds, commented to him that he thought it was an unusual name (I did not hear the name). The other man explained that he was a wine collector and had named all his children after wines. This one he explained was one of his favorite varietals grown in Napa Valley.

Later that day, Dick, Hayden and I traveled to the Mekouleme Hill ranch of Congressman John Garamendi for his annual BBQ. On the way we stopped at Bill and Naida’s ranch in Rancho Murietta because I wanted to say goodbye to them before leaving for Thailand. Both Bill and Naida looked remarkably well. That made me happy.

While at the ranch we toured Bill’s classic car collection that included this wonderful Woody:
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Bill also had a classic red pickup from the 50’s that I lusted for. All of his cars are up for sale, if any of you are interested.

After leaving the ranch we travelled down route 49 that bisects the “Gold Country” and stopped at a place in Jackson called “Fat Freddy’s” where we sat at the counter eating lunch washed down with malted milkshakes and listened to the woman behind the counter’s stories about Jackson Phil (as opposed to Phil Jackson the legendary Lakers basketball coach) the legendary gold hoarding squirrel who stole one nugget too many and is now stuffed and adorns a shelf on the wall behind the counter.

We eventually arrived at the Garamendi ranch. The festivities featured country and western music, gold panning, petting zoos, aging politicians and more. The following is a photograph of Hayden on the tractor posing with the Congressman himself.
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I remember him (Garamendi) from his first days in the State legislature in December 1974. He had come to Senator Jerry Smith’s office to be mentored in legislative process because Smith was assigned as his mentor. I thought he was a dick-head. Someone described him as a real boy-scout. Like I said a dick-head. Since then I am told he has mellowed out a lot.

After spending some time at the event reminiscing with Norbert and Stevie, we left and returned home.

The next day I watched the 49rs lose, plunging me into such deep depression that it required me to lie in bed and sulk for the rest of the day.

During the following week I settled back into executing my nanny and chauffeur duties and began packing for my departure on Friday. As usual, contemplation of leaving someplace where I have become relatively content made me sad enough to mist my eyes now and then as I folded my clothing into the suitcase. Nevertheless, the idea of staying here too much longer filled me with as much dread as leaving did sadness.

On Thursday morning we headed off to the courthouse in Placerville in hopes that this morning’s hearing would end the child custody case. Opposing counsel had notified us that repeated attempts to contact the petitioner for instruction regarding a response to our motion to dismiss failed and he had no choice but to not appear at the hearing. At the hearing the petitioner, without notification to anyone, called into the court and claimed no knowledge of his attorney’s attempts to contact him. The judge put the hearing off until the second week in October to allow petitioner to straighten things out with his attorney or to find new counsel.

The law is pretty clear on the subject. If a woman is married at the time the child is born, the husband at the time is the presumed father. In general the presumption is absolute unless the party wishing to be declared father can demonstrate an intimate nurturing relationship with the child the sundering of which would be catastrophic for the child’s well being. I cannot see how Petitioner reaches the threshold required in the published opinions to overcome the presumption. It seems to me that seven years of taking no for an answer does not an intimate parental relationship make.

While waiting for our case to come up on the agenda, we listened to a hearing on a dispute between a husband and his wife. It seems that the husband, who has an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Arizona, and his girlfriend, a medical marijuana user who admits to being stoned day and night, are living in the house that the wife previous lived in with the husband. The husband has not paid on the mortgage for 18 months or so and the mortgage company has not moved to evict him because the house is worth less than the mortgage. The wife, who has a series of arrests of her own on her record for shoplifting and other things, is pissed and wants the husband to be forced to sell the house and pay rent somewhere. When the judge hesitated, the wife produced a letter from a doctor claiming the loving couple’s 41/2 year old daughter had been sexually abused presumably while spending time with the husband and the stoner. The judge said he will have to read everything before deciding anything. Sheriff’s deputies had been called to protect the wife because the girl friend had made physical threats against the wife.

Humans are a fascinating species. I am convinced God created us because he or she (I refuse to take sides on the issue of God’s gender — although the Good Humor Man of my youth [see below] was always male) found presiding over the rest of the universe dreadfully dull and craved some amusement.

Later on in the day I took Hayden to his Taekwondo class. Sometimes parents while waiting for their children to finish their lessons read magazines and books to while away the time rather than to stare at their white uniformed loved ones jump around and grunt in make-believe mayhem. The place has accumulated a fairly well stocked library of bad novels and back issues of People Magazine left behind by the proud but bored parents. For the last few sessions, I had been reading a well thumbed through novel by John Gresham entitled The Bleachers and serendipitously I finished it up that but evening.

I normally avoid anything by Gresham. He writes with a very well written drab spare stylessness that passes for a style. His characters are one dimensional defined by the events around them. I think of him a similar to Elmore Leonard but without the wit and the humor. This novel was not his usual mystery, but a tear jerker for males about ex-football jocks returning to their small town to await the death of their high school coach. It was good enough to make me cry now and then. I like to cry when I read.

The following morning I hugged Hayden before he went off to school and we said our goodbyes. I cried some more. Than I left Sacramento on the first leg of my trip that may even eventually take me back to Thailand for the next few months.

TODAY’S MISLEADING FACTOID:
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The yield per acre for wheat in England, France, and Germany and the yield for rice in Japan. These top-producing countries for the two most important cereals for direct human consumption have failed in the last 10 or more years to increase productivity.

(This chart was used by one of my otherwise generally reliable analysts, Jeremy Grantham, as evidence of one of the inevitable crises exacerbated by the effects of climate change and population growth; the leveling off of productivity increases for major food crops eventually breeding shortages and rising prices. [Grantham is an investment advisor after all.] What is misleading about this graph is that it shows the leveling off in four countries whose populations are not growing. Left unstated is whether or not per acre crop yields are increasing in countries with growing populations or whether additional acres of farm land are being devoted to these food crops in response to rising demand.

I expect crop yields are not increasing in any way as much as they did during the so-called “Green Revolution” of 30 or so years ago that, by keeping agricultural prices low, staved off wide spread social dislocation that could have been caused by rampant population growth at the time . Yes, hunger is a question of cost every bit as much as it is a question of ethics.

Similarly, I suspect that removal of crop land from production due to urbanization and climate change more than balances the unused acreage put into production due to the promise of higher prices.)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. The Hundred-and-nineteenth Calypso of Bokonon (Vonnegut):

“Where’s my good old gang done gone?”
I heard a man say.
I whispered in that sad man’s ear,
“Your gang’s done gone away.”

B. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
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C. What Republicans say about Republicans:

Want to know just how crazy all sides — including mine — in this “hell debate” are? Watch the movie “Hellbound?” and take a peek into the asylum that is housing the people who are destroying the world. They now own a major political party and are running a Mormon opportunist who believes in nothing and his Ayn Rand/Jesus/God-nut sidekick who believes in way too much and who wants to take what little the poor have away in the name of opportunity.
Frank Schaeffer. His father was one of the founders of what we now know as the Religious Right in this country, and he write about his experience growing up in that family in the superbly written Crazy for God.

D. Electioneering:
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E. Testosterone Chronicles (“Men, Who Needs Them” Edition):

When I explained this (the biological irrelevancy of men to human species reproduction) to a female colleague and asked her if she thought that there was yet anything irreplaceable about men, she answered, “They’re entertaining.”
Taken from the NY Times opinion page article, Men, Who Needs Them? By Greg Hampikian.

The entertainment quality of men in general, in my opinion, is highly overrated.
F. Investment advice for those of us who are so foolish as to invest in anything Wall Street is peddling:

20 Ways Wall Street is Ripping Off Small Investors:

1. Providing nominal returns, not real returns.

2. Encouraging too much diversification, if that’s possible.

3. Hiding fees and expenses.

4. Turning you into a passive investor.

5. Convincing you that money markets are the same as cash.

6. Telling you that bonds are safer than equities.

7. Explaining that in the long run equities outperform bonds.

8. Simply by lying about their products.

9. Convincing you that their bank is a large, stable, safe operation to deal with.

10. Recommending products that have enormous sales commissions attached to them.

11. Cheating you on bid/ask spreads.

12. Selling you what they don’t want.

13. Measuring your success in dollars.

14. Lending your securities to others.

15. Ripping your eyes out if you ever try to close your account.

16. Grabbing any slight positive real return for themselves.

17. Sticking toxic waste to small investors.

18. Pretending they can pick stocks.

19. Acting like they are your best friend and they have your best interests at heart.

20. Knowing next to nothing about the value of holding real assets like gold and real estate.
John R. Talbott is a bestselling author and financial consultant to families whose books predicted the housing crash, the banking crisis and the global economic collapse.

TODAY’S QUOTE:
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I always liked Wilde. That one could write a passable jail-house poem, a reasonably good book, insult everyone, dress like he did and still become famous even before the creation of the internet, confirms my belief that God is the ultimate humorist.

Speaking of God and humor, did you know that while growing up I always thought that God was the Good Humor man. [For those that get this — you are showing your age.] Every afternoon the Good Humor man rang his bells in front of my house. The sound of those bells filled me with hope. Would your God do as much for you?

TODAY’S CHART:
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TODAY’S CARTOON:
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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
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This is accurate except that it omits the importance of Occam’s Razor to scientific theory. That is, in its most basic terms, Occam requires that the simplest explanation that accounts for all the observable facts be preferred over the more complicated [However, as Einstein pointed out, “Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.”.

Nevertheless, Occam’s Razor does not apply to fantasy, religion, politics, economics or sales. Perhaps it should, but if it did so, those worthy examples of human endeavor probably would soon disappear. I would miss fantasy though.

Categories: July through September 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 34 Pookie 0002 (December 16. 2013)

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Wonderful New Year.

(Remember December 20th is a free day during which you are allowed to do whatever you want.)

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS AND MENDOCINO:

Murmurs and Grumbles

It has been a while since I have written T&T. For some reason during the past few weeks I seem to have lost interest in it, preferring instead to sit around contentedly watching the trees shed their leaves and winter settle in. Perhaps the increased dosage of my happy pills have turned my frustrations with life away from an acute pain needing immediate attention to simple dull aches that soon disappear. I guess artists and those who seem compelled to do things beyond simply maintaining their existence are not a particularly happy lot but do what they do in an effort order to find it. Don’t we all?

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I travelled to Mendocino with HHH, my sister and her husband George to spend the Thanksgiving holidays there. The weather was perfect, clear blue skies, sparkling waves, the temperature brisk but not cold. One day we walked along the Fort Bragg ocean-front from Glass Beach almost all the way to Ten Mile Beach a distance of several miles.

Fort Bragg is sad little coastal town that had consumed at least a score of years trying to recover from the disappearance of the logging industry responsible for its foundation and the mainstay of its economy. The ocean front, tucked behind blocks of decaying commercial buildings, moderate priced motels, and some small homes, is a magnificent stretch of coastal dunes, and meadows, small coves and large sandy beaches.
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A view of the Fort Bragg oceanfront

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Winter has struck El Dorado Hills today, freezing cold, grey lowering sky and rumors of snow. I spoke with my son Jason yesterday. It seems that the City had restored most of the salary a wage cuts to employees instituted during the recession and his bitter struggle for the basics of material survival have lessened a bit. Alas, holiday season is coming and for most of us the forlorn hope that the festival of lights will illuminate our lives with joy often leaves us only disappointed and more in debt.

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Speaking of Christmas and the Festival of Lights, one of my pleasures of the season is observing the competition among the residents of the neighborhood to adorn their homes with the most garish and elaborate displays of lights. Having watched my friend Al’s weeks long obsession with mounting of his display and the misery to which he subjected the rest of his family while doing it, my enjoyment of the spectacles is somewhat diminished. When I was a kid, and even now, I hated the Holiday Season. What began for me as greedy hope for Santa’s promised riches, ended in listening to loud bitter arguments often ending in tears.

I liked, however, hearing the carols and songs of the season especially those sung in latin by the choir of the little Italian Church I attended. I enjoyed the pomp and color of Christmas High Mass much more than what went on under and around the Christmas tree in my home.
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Mornings in Mendocino we spent walking along the ocean bluffs and into the town where I would enjoy my caffe latte and brioche. Later I would accompany HHH to the local book store and then to the two delightful toy stores in the town. One toy store boasted of no electronic toys whatsoever and the other was devoted exclusively to science.

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Hayden in Mendocino standing in front of the “science” store and the book store.

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One day recently I spend most of the day in the Roseville Galleria, a mega shopping mall a few miles from where I am staying.

For much of my time there I sat staring at the Santa Claus exhibit where children and their parents, for between $20 and $40, can have their picture taken sitting on Santa knee. The red-faced Santa had a real beard and would try to cop a feel from many of the good-looking moms who had their picture taken with him. Triple H at almost 9 years old still fervently believes in Santa. He told me that the Santa’s in the malls are all fake and the real Santa lives at the North Pole and is too busy to sit all day at the mall. Interestingly he also believes that Santa does not begin making his list and checking it twice until December 1. Presumably one can do whatever one wants the rest of the year.

I stopped believing in Santa when I was six or seven after my older cousin explained that the whole thing with Santa was a fake. As a result I stayed awake that Christmas eve to find out if what he said was true. I was convinced after catching my father placing the presents under the tree.

I began believing in Santa again when I turned seventy. There must be, I reasoned, something transcendental that rewards unmitigated greed since that seems to be the way of the world. Santa is as likely a culprit as anyone or thing. I call my religion Santaism. And, if Triple H is correct only worrying about doing the right thing for one month every year seems to be a pretty good deal.

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While traveling to Mendocino we stopped off in Healdsburg for dinner. The town has changed a lot since I had last seen it almost 30 years ago. At that time it was a run down hippie magnet, art pottery shops and tie dye emporiums. In the hills surrounding the town were situated helter-skelter quaint little shingle houses overlooking various streams housing counter-cultural types of all varieties. With the advent of the wine bubble, the town now looks more like Rodeo Drive in the boonies. I assume the creek side shacks have mostly morphed into multimillion dollar designer homes.

I used to spend a lot of very happy time there with my son and a woman I knew. She lived in a cute little cottage on the edge of a bank overlooking a pretty stream. She was a teacher. I met her while introducing some novel lesson plans into the Santa Rosa School District based upon Bucky Fuller’s various manifestoes. Bucky was one of the heroes of the counter-culture. I had run his San Francisco World Games Workshop sometime in the early 1970’s. After that I had a brief career consulting with local school districts preparing lesson plans based upon Fuller’s geometry concepts and history lesson plans derived from his insights regarding integration of large systems into historical analysis, an approach different from national politics and great man biographies that passed for history at the time. This latter course was directed at high school students. The mathematical course was aimed at elementary school. Interestingly the geometry engendered a surprisingly positive reaction from some of the students in the so-called at the time 600 classes, the extremely slow learners. These students eventually were recruited as teaching assistants to help with the advanced students who in many cases were experiencing difficulty with the concepts.

Anyway, after my relationship with the woman ended, she went back to school to acquire a PhD in geology and eventually joined the US Geological Survey and ultimately was stationed in Alaska. I few years later I read in the newspaper that she had been out on a field survey when a bear  attacked her. It an effort to save her life she played dead. It worked as far as her life was concerned, but not before the bear had chewed off both of her arms. A few months later I saw a photograph of her in the newspaper right after she had been fitted with a prosthesis on both of her arms. She was always a very positive and upbeat person and in the story that accompanied the photograph she had indicated that her misfortune would not deter her from proceeding on with her life doing whatever it was that she enjoyed doing.

**************************************

One day while driving I was listening to the local classical music station when the announcer indicated that the next piece, a concerto or something like that, was written by my old client Danny Elfman. The music was tinkly and repetitive but seemed as good to me as much of the other music played by the station.

Danny was the brother of another client and friend, Rick Elfman, a director of some notably bad movies one or two of which were so bad they became cult classics. Rick was the father of the actress Jenna Elfman. He made his professional boxing début as one of the oldest boxers to make their début in Canada (he was too old to be allowed to do so in the US). The match was terminated before it began when he injured himself stepping into the ring.

Danny had exhibited scant aptitude for music in his childhood, however, during his mid teens he picked up a guitar and found he could play it quite well without instruction. He promptly disappeared with his guitar into Africa and emerged two years later with a vast knowledge and repertory of African music and musical techniques. Thereafter he and his brother created the rock group Oingo-Boingo which led eventually to Danny writing the music to Pee Wee’s Playhouse and fame, ultimately winning him a couple of Oscars for his music.

The last time I saw Danny was at a warehouse in Venice or Santa Monica or Malibu, I cannot remember which, but it was in the Coastal Zone in any event. Now that he was an “artist,” Danny wanted a studio worthy of his fame. He planned to convert the warehouse into a series of studio’s where he could enhance his artistic capabilities. He wanted separate studios for his music, painting, sculpture and who knows what else. He wanted my advice on securing a Coastal Permit for his dreams. I told him he would be better off to keep the changes he had planned internal to his existing building making only minor changes to the outside of it.

***************************

 
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
image005
This fascinating group of charts demonstrates that over the past 50 years or so we have truly lived in a golden age (At least in the West) but we are also rapidly approaching the crisis of our times. Each of the smaller charts shows a rate of growth that the science of physics tells us is unsustainable and must soon taper off. They also imply that Global Warming and Climate Change are merely artifacts of the Great Acceleration.

World population has increased almost six fold in the last 60 years while all the other charts show increases of at least seven fold. Except for population most of that growth has occurred in the West and in Japan, with the rest of East and South Asia now struggling to catch up.

B. A Little Bit of Twain:

“That is a simple rule, and easy to remember. When I, a thoughtful
and unblessed Presbyterian, examine the Koran, I know that beyond any
question every Mohammedan is insane; not in all things, but in religious
matters.

“When a thoughtful and unblessed Mohammedan examines the
Westminster Catechism, he knows that beyond any question I am
spiritually insane. I cannot prove to him that he is insane, because
you never can prove anything to a lunatic–for that is a part of his
insanity and the evidence of it. He cannot prove to me that I am insane,
for my mind has the same defect that afflicts his.

“All Democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the Republicans and Mugwumps know it. All the Republicans are insane, but only the Democrats and Mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane.
Mark Twain

(Twain was a Mugwump [Middle Way Democrats of the time] and he believed they were definitely not insane.)

 
TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Obama himself can cease to exist – in the pornographic fantasies of birthers, he has never actually been president — gay people and their marriages can melt back into the closet and women can vanish from corporate boardrooms, only to reappear in the kitchen with an apron and a spatula. Civil-rights laws will unwrite themselves, millions of immigrants will turn out never to have come here, the entire federal government will be revealed as a useless and unnecessary fiction. The Civil War itself can be relitigated by other means, with a different outcome (accepting, for the moment, the conventional view that the North actually won). None of this is even remotely coherent, except that it all belongs to a fantasy narrative in which white heterosexual males are history’s most persecuted and marginalized group, having absorbed all the suffering of the African-Americans and Jews and Indians and women and improved upon it in their inimitable style.

Forces that we thought were dead in American public life, like the ideology of white supremacy and the legacy of the Confederacy, have returned in zombie form, imbued with bathos and victimology. If they’re not half as powerful as they once were, they’re still too ugly to be ignored. As we’ve seen all too recently, the deranged American minority that longs to “take our country back” from unspecified usurpers is zealous, well-organized and determined to befoul our political life into the indefinite future. Those forces remain dangerous,
Andrew O’Hehir, Solon.

TODAY’S CHART:
image006

This is an interesting map. Someone had taken a number of sociological studies and mapped the results. Apparently, there emerged in their minds the separate Americas pictured above. In political terms, the Democrats predominate in New Netherlands, El Norte, The Left Coast and Yankeedom and split with the Republicans in the Midlands and Tidewater. Republicans are concentrated in Greater Appalachia, the Deep South and the Far West while splitting with the Dems in New France.

If accurate, this map seems to indicate that contrary to the belief of many liberals and media types, the Republican Party is not a regional party restricted to the South but predominates in much of the center of the country. This is reflected to a great extent in the current makeup of the House of Representatives.

I suspect in the future El Norte to expand in the South West and the Dems to increase their political ascendancy over the Tidewater leaving the ongoing battle over the Midlands and Western Yankeedom the key to control of the nation’s political power.

Categories: October through December 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 20 Pookie 0001 (December 4, 2012

(Happy Birthday Jason [24 Pookie] and Annmarie [21 Pookie])

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’SPookieandHippy2 ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

My favorite Thai holiday is Loi Krathung. It falls on the night of the full moon of the 12th month of the year. On that night Thais launch, into the nearest suitable body of water, tiny boats adorned with candles, flowers incense and sometimes nail clippings an bits of hair for good luck. It is also the same day as the Lanna (the old Thai kingdom centered at Chiang Mai) Yi Peng festival when thousands of sky lanterns are launched into the air. LM and I went to the lake beside the Emporium shopping center on Sukhumvit Road to launch our boats and plead with the gods and goddesses for good luck. As with most holidays, it was much more pleasant in the anticipation than in the actual experience.

A few days later we went to the movies to see The Impossible, a film about an european family’s experiences while vacationing in Thailand during the 2004 tsunami. The scenes showing the fury of the water and the devastation caused by the inundation were riveting. Even more so were the images of its aftermath – the makeshift hospitals, the body bags, the injured, frightened, lost people and the frenzy of those searching for their missing loved ones. The movie brought back to me some long forgotten memories.

One evening, about four years after the tsunami, a friend and his wife invited me to join them at a reception in a home in Mill Valley, California. The homeowner’s family and another family, like the family in the movie, were vacationing in Thailand when the tsunami struck. The purpose of the reception was to raise funds for the ongoing tsunami relief efforts that the two families were heavily involved in.

The host’s family had been vacationing in Phi-Phi Island in the heart of the Andaman Sea. They had their two children with them, both girls; one about six or seven years old and the other perhaps eleven. They had just walked from their hotel to one of the two main beaches on the island about 200 yards apart on opposite sides of its wasp-waisted middle. They arrived at the beach just as the water suddenly rushed away exposing the sea floor almost to the horizon. Many people were standing around dumbfounded, staring at the curious phenomena. When the wife wondered aloud “What do you suppose that is all about,” an older Thai woman standing next to her responded, “I do not know, but if I were you I would take your child and run.” And so they did, as soon did almost everyone else when they noticed a ten meter high wall of water surging across the uncovered sea bed toward the shore. They all turned and ran toward the beach on the opposite side of the island where they thought they would be safe.

For some reason the oldest child yelled “no not there, up here,” pointing to the nearest of the two high hills sitting at each end of the tiny island. And so they ran up the mountain with the water literally lapping at their heels. Up they ran until, near the peak, they found a grove of trees in which they took refuge and there they remained along with a number of other survivors for the two or so days it took to be rescued.

Those that ran to the opposite beach all died as the second of the two tsunami waves struck that beach from the opposite direction.

The other family was not so lucky. They had been vacationing at Khao Lak (the site depicted in the movie, where over 4500 people died). In addition to the husband and wife, the family included a daughter, 14, and a son about 12 years old. They were all avid scuba divers and had spent much of their vacation happily diving off the dive boats that took them out to the reefs and the nearby islands where the water was clearer for diving than it was closer to the mainland. It was the final day of their vacation and the father wanted to spend one last morning diving before they left. The children did not. They preferred to spend their last day relaxing near the hotel. So early in the morning, the parents took the dive boat with a few other committed divers to a favored spot over a reef out of sight of land.

While diving, they felt a slight but powerful up thrust of the water. When they rose to the surface and looked about, they discovered that they were hundreds of yards from the boat. The other divers, who had been close by, now had been dispersed as much as a mile away from each other. After they were all picked up by the boat, they decided to head back to the mainland. As they came in sight of the land, they saw the ocean in front of them thickly covered with debris extending several miles out from shore.

As they slowed and got closer to the debris they noticed what appeared to be hundreds of dead dogs floating amongst the refuse. Closer still they realized that these “dead dogs” were in fact many types of dead animals including dogs and to their horror humans as well. A few were still alive and the boat trolled around a bit picking up those that they could locate.

When they arrived at the shore, they found much of the hotel destroyed and the casitas, in one of which the family had been staying, utterly demolished. The parents desperately spent the next few days searching for their children. The boy was eventually located alive, lying in a field about two miles inland from the hotel with a piece of fencing driven through one of his thighs.

The boy told his parents that he and his sister had been lying on separate beds in their room, he reading and she napping, when they heard a noise like hundreds of freight trains roaring together down the tracks. Water suddenly burst through the walls, picked him up and carried him out the open door at the back of the casita. For some reason, he was borne on the top of the leading edge of the wave as it roared inland through the village and then out into the countryside. He was unable to move until the flood spent its fury and gently deposited him in the field where he was discovered.

The daughter was not found. The father, in much the same way as the father in the film, spent the next month in a lonely search for his daughter through the hospitals and the refugee camps. And, one by one he went through the thousands of body bags opening each one to see if his daughter was inside. They never found her body.

The family that invited me to the reception also experienced the tsunami but in a slightly different way. They too were vacationing in Thailand at the time but decided to fly off to Sri Lanka to spend some time at a recently opened resort on that islands southeastern shore owned by an acquaintance. After they landed, they learned that the Tsunami had just hit. Not knowing the extent of the destruction, they decided to rent a car and drive to the hotel. As they drove along the coastal roads, they were perhaps the first outsiders to view the devastation (33,000 Sri Lankans died). When they realized the full extent of the damage the wife and children returned to the airport and left to go back to the US. He remained behind for several weeks helping to co-ordinate the relief efforts.

I had forgotten about all this until the image on the screen of the desperate father wandering through the ruins in search of his family jogged my memory.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

You get what you pay for:

A recent study, the results of which were published in the Bangkok Post, examined the incidence of HIV from those engaged in different high risk activities and compared to male on male sex, intravenous drug users, infidelity and the like and found that sex workers and those who engage them had by far the lowest rate.

Thus, you get what you pay for…or since this is Thailand, you get what you overpay for.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

A recent report indicated that President Obama has received 43,830 death threats during his first four years in office. If true, this would make him the most threatened president in the Nation’s history. Included in those threats was the plot by white supremacists in Tennessee to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history. Some people say that these threats have nothing to do with race but merely reflect ravings of the deranged or an unfortunate over exuberant disagreement about policy. They accuse those that disagree with this assessment of “playing the race card.”

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Old man’s memories: Donald Lundy (cont.)

I had gone off to college at Georgetown and Don went off to Idaho. About two years later during a school vacation, I got on to a bus somewhere in Westchester County and saw Don sitting in a seat about half way toward the back, staring out the window. I was happy to see him. I slid into the empty seat beside him and started jabbering away about how good it was to see him, how exciting it must be to go to school out west and things like that. After prattling on like that for a while I asked him, “What’s Idaho like?”

He turned to me. His eyes were cold and angry. I had never seen him like that before.

“You have no idea what it is like. You haven’t the slightest idea about anything,” he said. And with that he turned back toward the window and resumed staring out of it. We sat there in silence a few minutes until the bus arrived at my stop. I said, “Good to see you again Don.” He nodded slightly without turning from the window.

As I left the bus, I glanced back to where he was sitting, for a moment his eyes shifted in my direction. They seemed to me to lose their anger for a moment. He appeared to me at that moment just a young man suddenly realizing he was alone in a hostile world.

I later learned that he left Idaho for another University. I lost all connection with him from then until a few months ago when I received his son’s comment on my blog informing me that Dondi had died a few years back.

228717_1016937468285_5599_n

Don Lundy and his wife (Photograph taken from the Facebook page of Don’s son.)

DAILY FACTOID:

Since 1980, the insured losses due to natural weather related catastrophes in the US amounted to $510 billion, and some 30,000 people lost their lives. According to several insurance resellers, the size and frequency of these weather related catastrophes are increasing.
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

“We used to have a framework for understanding the time dimension of inequality in the United States: we called it the “Kuznets Curve”. The United States starts out as a country that is relatively equal–at least among white guys who speak English. Free land, lack of serfdom, the possibility of moving the west if you don’t like the wages you’re being offered in the east–all of these produce a middle-class society. Then comes 1870 or so, and things shift. The frontier closes. Industrial technologies emerge and they are highly productive and also capital intensive. So we move into a world of plutocrats and merchant princes: people in the cities, either off the farms or from overseas, competing against each other for jobs. And we get the extraordinarily stark widening of American income inequality up until the mid-1920’s or so.

This then calls forth a political reaction. Call it progressivism, call it social democracy, call it–in Europe–socialism. The idea is that the government needs to put its thumbs on the scale, heavily, to create an equal income distribution and a middle class society. Progressivism and its candidates are elected to power in democratic countries in the North Atlantic in the twentieth century–in spite of everything you say about Gramsci and hegemony and the ability of money to speak loudly in politics. Thus from 1925 to 1980 we see substantial reductions in inequality in the United States–the creation of a middle-class society, at first only for white guys and then, gradually, for others.
In 1980 things shift again. Since 1980 we have had an extraordinary explosion of inequality in the United States. This explosion has taken place along two dimensions.

First, we have seen extraordinarily rapid growth between the top twenty percent and the lower eighty percent. The benefits to achieving a college education skyrocket–for reasons that I don’t really have time to go into, and for reasons that are still somewhat uncertain.

Second, we have an even larger explosion of inequality between the top .01 percent, the top 15,000 households, and the rest of the top twenty percent. This second explosion is the most puzzling and remarkable feature of the past generation. It puts the American political system under substantial long term threat, if only because equality of opportunity in the next generation will require substantially greater equality of result in this generation than we see today: a world in which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney puts his wealth into a blind trust but that blind trust then decides just as a matter of chance that what it should fund Tagg Romney and he then raises money from interests that want the Romney clan to think well of them. That is not a society fulfilling a democratic commitment to equality of opportunity, not at all.
Brad DeLong

B. Can you still trust these guys:

In 2001 the conservative think tank Heritage Foundation opined in support of the pending Bush Tax cuts:

•Under President Bush’s plan, an average family of four’s inflation-adjusted disposable income would increase by $4,544 in fiscal year (FY) 2011, and the national debt would effectively be paid off by FY 2010.

•The plan would save the entire Social Security surplus and increase personal savings while the federal government accumulated $1.8 trillion in uncommitted funds from FY 2008 to FY 2011.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

479772_10151150557171275_1084507000_n

TODAY’S CHART:

True_Size_Of_Africa

This map shows the actual size of Africa relative to many countries of the world. It corrects for that misperception caused by the Mercator Projection map you had in your grammar school classroom that showed the continent as smaller than Greenland. To me one of the more interesting thing about the map is that India with over 1.2 billion people fits comfortably within the Horn of Africa an area that currently supports a population of less than 10% of India’s.

 

Categories: October 2012 through December 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 9 Pookie 0001 (November 22,2012)

TODAY FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA AND THAILAND:

At some point shortly before one leaves on a trip or the like, whatever else you may do it still feels like waiting for the trip to begin. I do things now just like before, chauffeur Hayden, play on my computer, eat and sleep but in my mind I have already left and am just waiting for my body to catch up.

The sudden change in the weather has left the trees undecided between in dressing in red or brown leaves for the season and so, in sadness, they just decided to drop them and enter the holidays naked. The rains came for a few days grey and cold. Then it was time to leave. I teared up at the station as I hugged H. He asked me not to cry. Then I shook Dick’s hand and they drove off. While standing on the platform I remembered that I had left my glasses on the table by the bed. I called Dick, He returned and we drove back to the house retrieved the glasses and repeated the leave-taking.

After spending a few hours with my sister and brother-in-law I flew off back to Thailand. Upon arrival, I immediately went to my apartment and went to sleep for the next 20 hours. The tail end of the rainy season hovers over the city leaving the temperature comfortably in the high 80’s. I a few days I hope to bestir myself enough to venture beyond the one block from my apartment to the restaurant where I eat.

Local television news is filled with images of Obama’s visit; meeting with the King, visiting temples, traveling to the newly liberalized Myanmar and attending the ASEAN conference in Cambodia. It is interesting to see how much he appears to be admired by most people in Southeast Asia in contrast to the hatred directed at him by the opposing party back in the US.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1.Thailand’s best:

Thailand is the world’s second-largest pick-up truck market after the US. It also holds the Guinness records for longest condom chain, most couples married underwater and most Mini Coopers in a convoy (444 cars parked to spell out ‘Long Live the King’). Thailand has a 92.6% literacy rate though reading anything other than the newspaper or comic books is regarded as an eccentric.

2. Where have you gone Bevo Francis?

Sixty eight years after the great Clarence “Bevo” Francis of Rio Grande college set the single game scoring mark for basketball by scoring 113 points, a sophomore at Grinnell College bettered that mark by scoring 136 in a single game. I am crushed. Does anyone still remember Bevo?

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

An old man’s memories: Donald Lundy (Cont.)

I always felt that I wanted to be Don’s friend more that he wanted to be mine. Everyone liked him, as well they should. During that time, when we were children, he had not yet blossomed into the star athlete he became during high school. He was just Don. He seemed to find the world about him somewhat humorous. He smiled at almost everything. A sly smile that came on with a rolling of his lips as though he had first to enjoy its taste before sharing it with everyone else.

By the time we began Junior high school we became friends with a boy named Dean Wilkes. Dean lived in one of the houses on top of the ridge adjacent to Bronxville. It was a small tract home with a family room in the basement. As far as I recall none of the other members of our group lived in a house owned by their family. To us Wilkes house was the closest thing to a palace that we knew of. We formed our official gang in Wilkes basement. We cleverly named it, “The Skull Gang.” Each of us sported a cheap ring made into a skull as evidence of our membership. Despite the fact that as gangs of the era go we were one in name only, the cops in the town began to stop and question us whenever we walked down the street.

Wilkes wanted to become a soldier. He liked to play war in his back yard, an overgrown weed filled lot. We thought he was weird to be still playing games like that at that age. But, we humored Wilkes and played along. Interestingly, Don who was the most amused of all of us was the best at it.

My parents sent me to different schools than the other children I played with. They would lie about our address in order to get me into the “better” schools usually in Eastchester a town that bordered Tuckahoe and was not restricted too much. Later they sent me off to a parochial high school named after a fascist Cardinal suspected of war crimes during WWII. I only went to the same school as Don and the other kids for one year when I attended junior high school. As a result my relationships with the other members of our gang was often tenuous. We also moved around a lot eventually moving to the nearby city of Yonkers.

It was a surprise to me and I imagine to the rest of us to to discover what a superior athlete Don proved to be in High School. Before High School Don rarely participated with the rest of us in the ceaseless rounds of sports through the year.(continued)

I received the following comment from Don’s son in response to my post to him that I share with you in my previous “This and that…” post.

“Great Story. And I can picture you guys doing that and rattling the cages of the Bronxville residents. My parents were married in 1966 and lived in Yonkers (near cross Country Shopping Center) where I lived until I was in the 6th Grade, then Hartsdale then we moved to Pasadena, CA. My mother was from Bronxville and my brother and I spent many a day after school hanging out at my grandmothers house next to the Bronxville HS. Having one grandmother living in Tuckahoe & one in Bronxville I understand the contrast between the two towns. I still remember some of my friends in Bronxville being afraid to go into Tuckahoe, as though it was worst or most dangerous place in the world.

Would be an honor to meet you too. But it will have to happen in Los Angeles. Unfortunately have not been to Tuckahoe in years.

-DL”
DAILY FACTOID:

2012: “The latest estimate shows life expectancy for white women without a high school diploma was 73.5 years, compared with 83.9 years for white women with a college degree or more. For white men, the gap was even bigger: 67.5 years for the least educated white men compared with 80.4 for those with a college degree or better.

The dropping life expectancies have helped weigh down the United States in international life expectancy rankings, particularly for women. In 2010, American women fell to 41st place, down from 14th place in 1985, in the United Nations rankings. Among developed countries, American women sank from the middle of the pack in 1970 to last place in 2010, according to the Human Mortality Database.”
Paul Krugman

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

“You are not a loan.”
Occupy

0415web-leonhardt2-popup

Exclusions from adjusted gross income are the largest drain on tax revenues at this time (even larger than the Bush Tax cut on the wealthy [only about $1-200 million yr.]). They are also one of the primary means by which the wealthy avoid paying the same rate of taxes as most of the rest of us (I can assure you, I took full advantage of them in the past). They probably are as much to blame for the increasing disparity of wealth in the nation as the Bush Tax cuts. For example, costs of carrying out a trade or business for non-employees could include things like yachts excluded from gross income by claims that they are used to conduct business meetings. Except perhaps for low-income self-employed individuals, it is difficult to conceive an individual (not a corporation) honestly requiring more than 15% of his and her income to carry out a trade or business. Instead of searching for supposed specific tax “loopholes,” that could be closed, one approach has been to urge that Congress simply consider capping of these exclusions at say 15-20% of Gross Income? This would discourage the most outrageous tax avoidance by accounting scams in one fell swoop and reform the tax code as well. It should not affect most taxpayers since it would fall most heavily on those who can afford high-priced tax attorneys to argue that the above mentioned yacht is a business necessity.

Similarly, Itemized deductions and lower dividend and capital gains rates allow people like a recent candidate for President to pay taxes at a lower rate than a secretary or almost anyone who actually works for a living and earns a salary or wages. Why not, some urge, limit the itemized deductions, dividend and capital gains rates to 15-20% of taxable income for people earning over $150,000? This will have the unintended but probably positive consequence of encouraging those earning less that $150,000 to invest more. It would not have the negative impact on housing construction as those who oppose eliminating the deduction fear, but instead provide a premium for lower cost middle class affordable housing and discourage the unwary from spending more than they can afford on their homes.

Obamacare already addresses the above in part. In order to pay for the program, the legislation imposes a 3.8% surcharge on investment income (dividends etc.) for those earning over $200,000. Also, the program places a cap on flexible spending plans and a tax on “Cadillac” medical plans, two programs that discriminate among employees of corporations allowing the wealthier to reduce their tax burden in excess of and at the expense of those less so.

According to one analysis, unless Congress compromises, on January 1, dividend taxes for those in the top tax bracket will jump from the current 15% back to the Clinton-era 39.6%. Add to this then the new 3.8% surcharge to pay for Obamacare, the top bracket for federal dividend taxes will nearly triple on January 1, from 15% to 43.4%.

Caps or limits on deductions and other tax avoidance options could reduce Congressional disputes about the appropriate rate for taxing unearned income or whether the middle class should be entitled to a tax deduction on the mortgage interest they pay on their homes. This also avoids forcing Boehner to identify those so-called specific tax loopholes he would be willing to close.

Note: the refundable tax credit was a Republican (Reagan) tax program to discourage the working poor from choosing to go on to welfare when their wages on the private market dropped below what one could make on the dole. I would keep that program intact even though it is an indirect subsidy to business. At least everyone sort of benefits.

The administrations plan actually does a little of both; increase the tax rate for the most wealthy and close some of the loopholes like those described above.

goldman-sachs-obama

According to Goldman Sachs they expect the following to happen:

The agreement that policymakers will (hopefully) reach before year end seems likely to involve an increase in tax rates from current levels and it could also involve a limitation in tax preferences. Our fiscal assumptions for 2013 include a tax increase equivalent to allowing the upper income tax cuts to expire. This amount–$56bn in 2013 and a little more than $800bn over ten years–is halfway between the President’s proposals and what Republicans would prefer.

The White House seems likely to succeed in raising at least this much revenue, though it remains to be seen whether it will come in one agreement at year-end, or a two-stage process involving a debate on more comprehensive tax reform next year.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/goldman-sachs-on-obama-taxes-for-wealthy-2012-11#ixzz2Cq4yaLE2

B. God speaks:

“Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you bald head! Go up, you bald head!” So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.”
5. Kings 2:23

Do not mess with bald men they are beloved of God.
Does this includes gay bald men and bald liberals as well as Gary Williams?

C. More nouns of association:

1. A flush of plumbers
2. A Rand of Objectivists
3. A yap of Chihuahuas
4. An ogle of office boys
5. A descent of relatives
6. A flourish of strumpets.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The things that we love tell us what we are.”
Thomas Aquinas

“Twinkies are to food what Lindsay Lohan is to culture.”
Joe Wicht
TODAY’S POSTER:

o-GENTLEMANS-GUIDE-TO-AMPUTATION-570

TODAY’S CHART:

396358_4856468769128_600775260_n

This proves beyond a doubt that education like science and truth are liberal plots. Actually, like many charts such as this one, it is mostly a set up since it fails to indicate how those over 25 with a college degree actually voted in each state. On the other hand, it was based on data from Faux News so it should be ________. Choose one from: correct, incorrect, full of shit, ordained by God.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

189627_10151135425756275_1130717667_n

She also is an immigrant and has balls. Instead of moving to Australia, how about just moving their Prime Minister into the White House? I love Julia Gaillard. She is a right-wing liberal who takes no prisoners.

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 24 Pepe 0001 (November 10, 2012)

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

The election in over. The world is saved to stumble along as it always does from crisis to crisis hopefully liberated for a few weeks from those voices trembling with indignation (including mine) in fear of catastrophe if things did not go the way they wanted.

This week I head back to the Bay Area for more medical tests. When I return to El Dorado Hills, I will begin preparation for my return to Thailand on the 19th of this month. It is always a sad time for me when I leave. I will be leaving friends and relatives who I keep promising myself I will visit or call and do not. Whatever guilt that I have been able to forestall by promising myself that I will get around to calling or visiting them the following week I now get to replace with the even less believable promise to myself that I will surely do so on my return.

While whiling away my time in the golden hills, I noticed the rafter of turkeys (see below– somehow I always thought it would be a gobble or a basting) that live on our street have taken up roosting in the dying oak tree in our front yard. I learned this one morning when, as I was leaving the house to drive Hayden to school, I commented upon observing the state of the driveway that we must have had a light dusting of snow the night before. Hayden set me straight.

Speaking of rafter’s of turkeys, the golden hills are full of them. Some of them are quite large. The largest that I have seen struts around in our own rafter. It appears to be almost 4 feet tall from toenail to head feather. It scares me a lot.

 
PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

The US election came and went. The President was reelected, the Democrats increased their representation in both the House and the Senate while increasing their majority in the latter. The pundits when not castigating Romney personally have begun to echo what I have been writing here for months now, this election could be seen the last hurrah of the straight (and unfortunately too often uneducated) white male that had dominated American electoral politics since Andrew Jackson. Remember, the combination of women, latino, black, homosexual and Asian men currently makes up over 70% of the electorate. This election marks the first time they have been recognized as the nation’s majority, courted as such and have become aware of it themselves.

What this means is that the major economic interests, specifically the extractive industries and the financial transactionalists that have effectively dictated the economic and fiscal agenda of the nation since 1980 will have to ally themselves with this new majority and abandon their old allies if they wish to preserve and expand their wealth. I suspect wedge issues such as illegal aliens, and contraception and the like will disappear as attempts are made by those who set the political agenda to connect things like a women’s right to choose and reducing regulation of financial transactions with the concept of reducing governmental intrusion into people’s lives.

It will take at least a generation however for that new rhetoric to coalesce into a new majority to benefit those who currently own our natural resources and control our access to money.

O’Reilly, that old reprobate from Faux News sums it up in a rant of racist fury:

“The white establishment is now the minority. And, the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them, and they want stuff. You’re going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate between the two is going to give them things?”

Yes Bill, these people, this new majority, will clamor for just about the same things, entitlements as you phrase it, from their elected officials as the old majority did…that is whatever they thought they wanted or needed. It is nothing new. Live with it.

It also should be noted that Romney’s electoral vote throughout the nation outside the South totaled about 1/4 of his entire vote. More than ever it appears the Republican Party is not a national party but regional one. Only in the South, does the Republican Party claim any credibility as a viable political party. The Southern Republican style of conservatism and the so-called Southern strategy appears to be little more than continuation of the South’s belief that they are still fighting the Civil War. Perhaps this is finally the time we put that lost cause behind us?

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

In my last post I mentioned a comment that I received from the son of a friend of mine from when I was child living in a small town called Tuckahoe in New York. He had read what I had posted about his father in my blog, “This and that…”. I promised him and you to republish them and complete the series that I inadvertently did not do at that time. Here is the first post:

Old man’s memories; Donald Lundy:

Until I entered junior high school when we moved to the nearby city go Yonkers, I lived in a tiny village in New York, called Tuckahoe. The village nestled in a wide spot in the valley carved by the Bronx River as it careened through Westchester County, a mostly wealthy suburb adjacent to New York City.

Unlike much of the rest of the county, the village residents were mostly poor people; italians and blacks along with a few middle class jews. We lived there because the high income towns that surrounded us restricted individuals from those three ethnic groups from living within their borders, even if they could afford to do so. A number of Tuckahoe residents however worked in those towns, where they could not live, as gardeners or domestics and the like. Others worked in the industrial plants in Yonkers while the remainder mostly occupied themselves with the shops and business that serviced the residents of the village.

Like most low-income areas on the East Coast at that time, the village had an industrial past. The vast marble quarries that attracted the italian immigrants had by the late forties and early fifties played out leaving the village a relatively impoverished residential enclave surrounded by great wealth.

Immediately after school we kids would run and play in the streets until dinner time and then again after dinner until bedtime. My parents insisted I return home before dark and go to bed shortly thereafter. Most nights I would lie in bed and jealously listen to the other children playing under the street lights near my home well into the night.

our gang valentine

our gang valentine (Photo credit: carbonated)

Several of the village boys in my age group spent most of our play time together. As boys tend to do, we envisioned ourselves as a gang much like that in the “Our Gang” comedies that were popular short features shown with the double features that on Saturday mornings we watched in the local movie house we called the Itch.

As we grew older and outgrew “The Little Rascals,” we modeled our gang on Leo Gorcey and the Dead End Kids (also called, The East Side Kids and the Bowery Boys), a series of mostly humorous movies about a teenage gang in the Lower East side of Manhattan. In fact the leader of our group, Peter Cerrincione, referred to as “sir rinse,” even adopted Gorcey’s strutting walk. I guess the character I would have been considered most like was the good-looking skinny sullen guy in the movies who was always somewhat alienated from the rest of group. He probably had less of a role in the plots than the appropriately named

screenshot of Leo Gorcey and James Cagney from...

screenshot of Leo Gorcey and James Cagney from the film Angels with Dirty Faces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

character, Whitey” who as far as I recall never spoke. My character’s only purpose seemed to be to warn the others that Gorcey and Huntz Hall’s plans were faulty. In the “serious’ episodes of the series he was the one who most often was in trouble requiring the others to rescue him. Unlike some of the other actors in the series like Hall and Gorcey, the actor who played my character often changed during the decade or so that their movies were popular. Like me, he was mostly irrelevant to the lives of the other gang members.

Much like that character, I was always a bit moody, aloof and estranged. I could never simply follow whatever “sir rinse” wanted to do and so would go off on my own a lot. At that time I was quite small for my age, quick to take offense and so I ended up fighting a lot with the rest of the kids. I also preferred to spend my time reading. As a result, I appeared arrogant to the others because I often corrected things they would say. In other words, I was a bit of an asshole (probably more ig than it).

(To be continued.)

 

DAILY FACTOID:

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correlation is not causation

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

“… over the past generation the U.S. government has decided more or less by accident–in the same way, that Britain decided by accident to conquer two-thirds of the world starting in 1750–that it wants to shift seven percent of GDP out of manufacturing and other sectors and into what the market was telling us were the sectors of the future.

So we shifted three percent of GDP into health care administration, and four percent of GDP into finance.

Now even at the time we noticed that shifting an extra three percent of GDP into health care administration was a huge mistake. What the extra three percent of people working in health care administration are doing was working for insurance companies trying to find ways not to pay for the treatment of sick people. They are not only not producing anything useful, they simply increase risk and fear–and make people scared that if they do go to the doctor they then will not understand the bill they get and will not be able to pay it.

There is also the four percent increase in the share of GDP going to finance. This, too, is surely a zero or a negative sum game.

Anthony Scaramucci, Wall Street mogul thinks that what the world really needs is far less regulation of Wall Street, and far more room for Anthony Scaramucci to go about his business.

What is his business? His business is charging people one percent of their wealth each year for the privilege of hearing him tell them which hedge funds will do best over the next year and thus which hedge funds they should invest in.

Now if Anthony Scaramucci actually knew enough about hedge funds to know which would do best over the next year, he would be making even more money by running a successful hedge fund himself. He would be competing with Renaissance or Bridgewater. He’d be up there as someone who was making money for his clients. But he doesn’t.

He’s in a position where lots of people want an expert to tell them what to do, have been told by their friends that he is the expert to listen to.

As near as I can see, what the extra four percent of U.S. GDP devoted to finance is doing is taking money not so much from the bottom eighty percent but from the rest of the top ten percent that wants to know where to put their money–through price pressure, through arbitrage, through fees. It doesn’t do anything productive in terms of spreading risk, improving corporate governance, or diminishing moral hazard in the credit channel–rather the reverse. But it does increase uncertainty. And it has brought us our current depression.

So we have moved seven percent of the U.S. economy into activities that are at best completely unproductive. Now we have to figure out how to move resources out of these sectors. At the moment we’re unable to do so because we’re still fighting the lesser depression and trying to keep it from turning into a greater depression.
Brad DeLong

B. Nouns of Association, Part II:

1. A thought of barons
2. A knot of toads
3. A parliament of owls
4. A covey of quail
5. A passel of piglets
6. A rascal of boys
7. A rafter of turkeys
8. A skein of geese (in flight)
9. A shrewdness of apes
10. A cete of badgers

D. Electioneering:

In what I hope will be my last comment on the subject until 2014, I believe Rachel Maddow best summed up the effect of the election when she said:

We are not going to have a supreme court that will overturn Roe versus Wade.
We are not going to repeal health care reform.
Nobody is going to kill medicare and make old people fight it out in the open market to get health insurance.
We are not going to give 20% tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires and expect programs like food stamps and children’s insurance to cover the cost of that tax cut.
We will not need to consult our boss if we need to get birth control
We are not going to amend the US constitution to stop gay people from marrying
We are not scaling back on student loans because the government’s new plan is that you borrow money from your parents.
We are not vetoing the dream act, nor are we self deporting.
Ohio really did go to president Obama and he really did win.
And he really was born in Hawaii and he really is the legitimate president of the United States, again.
And the bureau of labor statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month.
And the congressional research service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.
And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections to make conservatives feel bad. He was doing math.
And climate change is real
And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.
And evolution is real.
And the Benghazi was an attack on us, not a scandal by us.
And nobody is taking away people’s guns.
And taxes have not gone up and the deficit is dropping, actually.
And Sadam Hussein did not have weapon of mass destruction.
And FEMA is not building concentration camps
And moderate reforms of the regulations of the insurance industry and financial services industry are not the same thing as communism.

 

TODAY’S QUOTES:

“How is it they live in such harmony the billions of stars – when most men can barely go a minute without declaring war in their minds about someone they know.”
Thomas Aquinas

“Who are these people?” Hertz Shemets says. “They’re yids. Yids with a scheme. I know that’s a tautology.”
Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

“You are as unhappy as the least happy of your children.”
Mary Anne Petrillo

 
TODAY’S CHART:

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TODAY’S CARTOON:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

o-SIENNA-MILLER-NUDE-570
Sienna Miller

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 19 Pepe 0001 (November 5.2012)

DON’T FORGET TO VOTE.

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Halloween came and went with Hayden dressed as “the Scream” and me handing out candy to whatever goblins and ghosts might ring the door bell.

DSCN0481

I was quite anxious, fearing that no one would come begging at the door. I could not face the humiliation of failing at the simple task of providing children something to rot their teeth and endanger their health. I kept jumping up and down from sofa and running to the door to see if anyone was coming.

Finally a shy tiny little blond girl dressed all in bandages showed up. Overcome with excitement and with a big nervous and undoubtedly scary smile on my face I held out to her the bowl of candy. She hesitatingly reached into the bowl and timidly plucked out one piece and dropped it into the bag she was carrying.

Interpreting her hesitation as  rejection of my sincere efforts to corrupt the innocent, I shouted “no,” stepped suddenly toward her and in one quick move dumped the entire contents of the bowl into her still open candy bag.

With a surprised squeak and eyes so wide I feared they would fall out of her head and follow the candy into the now almost full bag, she turned and ran off into the darkness.

I spent the remainder of the evening wondering if I were going to receive a visit from the police and questioning whether Halloween candy maven was a suitable career choice for me.

In the days following the trauma of Halloween, I returned to my role as nanny and in my spare time threw myself into my newest career as URB.im’s Bangkok Bureau Chief. That impressive title requires me to write four posts a month about those who believe they are saving the world by interfering in the lives of the poor and destitute of Thailand.

My pay would be barely adequate to keep a homeless Bangkok street beggar in two bowls of rice and broth a day. It was suggested that, as soon as possible, I find someone who otherwise is unemployed to take over the job, preferably a young local woman living at home with her parents since that was the usual situation of the other Bureau Chiefs. My new employers seemed dubious about entrusting their important work to some overweight broken down old attorney ex-pat who in his dotage would likely slip into some hole in the sidewalk and disappear into the city’s sewer system leaving them without their man or woman in Bangkok.

My first assignment is to write about organizations providing parks for squatters living in tar paper shacks perched on stilts over the same sewers it was expected that I would fall into.

On Saturday I drove to Cameron Park for H’s first Taekwondo Tournament. I believe it is one of the functions of the elderly to assume periodically the role of chauffeur of children and relieve parents of that obligation. God knows it is not that we (the elderly), have so much else of interest to do that we cannot spare the time.

I was somewhat anxious on the drive. This was my first time driving my charge to a tournament. I worried I would get lost and he would be disqualified (I did but he did not).

Taekwondo is one of the those Asian so called martial arts that makes one less competent in a street fight then if you knew nothing about it. At least if one were ignorant, he would not believe throwing long distance bombs would help him against a stronger opponent but instead would grapple with him in hope that he could pin down his arms before having his lights punched out. The martial art seems to be a cross between an athletic sport and dance; the quick controlled explosiveness of most athletic endeavors coupled with the grace and formalism of dance.

H. whose athleticism and technique leaves a lot to be desired, surprised me with his aggressiveness, chasing one of his opponents all over the gym to win 5-0. After the bout the other boy dropped to ground and started to cry. H went over to him and told him he should not feel sad because he, Hayden, had a secret. He explained that his Pookie told him that as soon as the referee signaled the bout to begin he should rush his opponent and hit him as hard as he can. “Now,” that you know the secret,” Hayden continued, “I am sure you’ll win your next bout.”

Flushed with excitement and with H clutching his medal we drove back down the hill, ate a pizza lunch and went to the movies to watch Wreck-it Ralph attempt to redeem his life in 3D animation.

DSCN0499_2

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Some time ago in this section of “This and that…”, I wrote about a childhood friend of mine who I discovered had died not too long before. I never finished the story, having been distracted by one or another of my reoccurring ADD attacks. As most of you know, I eventually republish these emails in my blog of the same name “This and that…” Recently, I received a comment from the son of that deceased friend. Here is a copy of his comment and my response:

Mr. Petrillo – My name is Donald Lundy Jr. and from time to time as I get bored at work I Google my name or my dad’s name and I happened to come across your blog and the Mopey Joe’s memories (December 15, 2011) discussing Tuckahoe, the Old Gang and my dad. What really brought back memories was the mention of my dad enjoying the Italian cuisine. I remember him saying how you guys would trade lunches as the Italian kids were tired of eating the Italian meal of the day and the black kids tired with whatever they were given to eat.

Dad passed away in 2005 but would be honored that the recollection of him would prompt you to begin your post of Tuckahoe and your old gang. He has always had a special place for the town as any kid would growing up there. With that in mind since 2006 I have worked on providing a small scholarship at Tuckahoe High School in his name that provides $1,000 per year to a Scholar/Athlete each year. This past June we had our 7th recipient.

Anyway I wanted to say hello and say I enjoyed your story and I hope you continue the story of Tuckahoe & my dad.

Sincerely,
Donald Lundy, Jr.

Dear Donald,

I am so happy to receive your comment. Your dad was a special friend to me while growing up. I left Tuckahoe to live in Yonkers before the 10th grade, so I did not experience his athletic prowess in high school. To me he was always just “Dondi,” a kid I hung out with and liked a lot. Thank you for reminding me that I forgot to complete my reminisces about him. I will return to them as soon as I can.

I do not know if I mentioned it in my reminisces, but we kids in Tuckahoe could not afford a boy scout troop so we made one up of our own. We put together enough money to buy most of a single uniform that we distributed among us. Once a year we would troop over the hill to Bronxville, at that time a white community in which we were not allowed to live and were discouraged from visiting, to have our own Boy Scout Jamboree. We would set up camp on the lawn of the Bronxville City Hall until the local cops kicked us off. Our troop flag, hung on a broken tree branch, rose proudly above our encampment. On our march over the hill, Dondi, in front, always carried that flag.

I do not know when or if I will get back to Tuckahoe again, but if I do, I would be honored to meet you.

Joe…

In my next issue of “This and that…”, I will repeat my prior posts about Don Lundy and hopefully follow it up with  continuation of where I left off.

DAILY FACTOID:

1. 1865 – Today

Over 600,000 Americans were killed in during the American Civil War a full 2% of the population at the time. The war was begun by the Southern states of the Union to protect the right of 1% of the population of those states to keep fellow human beings in slavery. The South insisted that liberty required that states rights trump human rights and that whether a person should or should not live life as a slave be dictated by the market.

Compare this with WWII fought 90 years later where 416,000 (less than .1% of the population) Americans died. WWII was fought by the allies against perhaps the most evil government on the planet since establishment of the Confederate States of America.

2. Today

Even though women are 51% of the U.S. population, they hold only 16.8% of seats in the House of Representatives and 17% of seats in the Senate. And this year, the Fortune 500 had more female CEOs than ever before! Eighteen. Out of 500.
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Kos-85-teaser

B. Readings from the Bible: The Good Host.

“Look, I have two daughters, virgins both of them. Let me bring them out to you and you could do what you like with them. But do nothing to these men because they have come under the shelter of my roof.”
11. Genesis 19:8

C. Nouns of Association:

1. A clowder of cats
2. A parenthesis of cellists
3. A coalition of cheetahs
4. A shock of corn (with stalks included)
5. A brace of dogs (2 dogs)
6. A leap of leopards
7. A coterie of Orchids
8. A dray of squirrels
9. A midden of shells
10. A murder of crows

TODAY’S QUOTES:

“By nature all men are equal in liberty, but not in other endowments.”
Thomas Aquinas

“I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted.
Mae West

“Humans are simply bipolar apes.”
Trenz Pruca

“A willingness to kill members of ones own species is apparently correlated with high intelligence. It may be that chimps and people are the only species able to figure out that the extra effort to exterminate and opponent will bring about a more permanent solution than letting him live to fight another day.”
Before the Dawn by Nicholas Wade

TODAY’S CHARTS:

1. Map of the land of OZ

400px-map-of-oz

2. Life on OZ

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 17 Shadow 0001 (July 7 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. The Continuing Saga:

I guess it is about time in these emails for another edition of “The Hayden and Pookie Saga.” For the past week or so SWAC has a considerable amount of time rationalizing why I should not be permitted to see Hayden. However, due to Hayden’s insistence on spending time with me when Joey is not around, and her absence of acceptable baby-sitters, again when Joey is not around, Hayden and I have found ourselves sharing a number of adventures appropriate for an old-man and a young boy, like toy shopping, inventing nonsense songs and splashing each other in the pool. A few days ago, however, the first official document from the court regarding the custody hearing arrived along with an attorney’s retainer agreement. The court document contains a record of the complainants statement to a child protective agent. Now, I am perhaps the last person in the world to commend SWAC’s child rearing abilities or mental balance, but this person seems  a menace to society. Not only did he lose visitation rights to his daughter by a prior marriage regaining it only after the woman committed suicide, I suspect encouraged by his harassment, but he claims that although he had not visited or sought to visit the boy for five years he has evidenced his paternal devotion by recently been sending him emails every day. In reviewing those emails, they appear to consist primarily of this man urging this young boy of 6 of 7 to become a Republican because Obama and the Democrats are scum (remember this guy is a Federal government employee). Hayden told me that during one of his visits to this man, he wanted to shave Hayden’s head so that he would look more like a man. Another time he threatened to cut Hayden’s eyelashes because they were too long and made him look like a ladyboy.

Suddenly, I find myself in SWAC’s temporary good graces, because I might be able to testify on her behalf. I have never been that good at lying under oath but in this case if need be, I may make an exception.

For the past two days Hayden and I have shared a hotel room and spent our time swimming, watching National Geographic television programs generally featuring large animals killing and devouring smaller ones or making up silly rhyming songs.

2. Travel Plans:

My on again off again travel plans are on again. We plan to depart for Italy on the 14th remaining there for about two weeks. Nikki and I have discussed taking Hayden with us on a brief trip to Sicily, taking the overnight ferry from Naples to Palermo.

On the 38th or so of July we will travel to NY where I will spend about five days. I hope to be able to visit with Terry and with my daughter Jessica. I would like to get all the way to Williamsburg and see Ann but I am not sure I have the time to do so.

Another possible change of plans: Since I wrote the above, it seems that the both the Italian and the NY portions of the trip have gotten much briefer so I am contemplating skipping them on this trip and going directly to SF in early August. This will allow me to spend some time with Gates who is in Thailand for two weeks and with another friend and her son who is visiting until the end of the month.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

On again, off again:

It seems as though the so-called national reconciliation proposals suggested by the current government that would have in effect pardoned everyone involved in one way or another with the events surrounding the various coups of the past few years including Thaksin the Terrible, exiled, fugitive ex-Prime Minister and according to the opposition party de-facto ruler of the country are to be abandoned by the ruling party because the opposition strongly objects to the fugitives return. So it appears that the oppositions approach to reconcile the political division that has kept the country in political and economic turmoil for almost a decade to do nothing and see what happens has prevailed. The Red Shirts will not reconcile without the man who led them to victory and the opposition will not reconcile with him.

It sort of resembles the US Republican Party‘s approach toward dealing with the nation’s unemployment crisis. They will do nothing for the unemployed if it may assist in Obama’s re-election, and Obama alas, insists on running.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1942 June: Friedrich Paulus WWII German general wrote to the corps commanders of VI Army on the Eastern Front in Russia:

“Recently numbers of reports have come to my attention and that of the higher leadership in which division commanders have described the condition of their divisions with extreme pessimism. This I cannot tolerate.
The personnel and material deficiencies afflicting the divisions are well known to the higher leadership. Nevertheless, the higher leadership is determined to carry out its intentions in the eastern theater of war to the full. Therefore it is up to us to get the most out of the troops in their present condition.
I request that you exert influence on the division commanders in this sense.”

Brad DeLong commented, “Can anybody imagine a worse commander than Friedrich Paulus? To announce before the start of the campaign that you do not want to hear about reality…”

2012: An analysis by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, founded and funded by the long time backers and supporters of Republican and conservative causes, Annenberg family, conducted for the Center for Responsive Politics found that from December 1, 2011 through June 1, 2012, 85% of the dollars spent on presidential ads by four top-spending third-party groups known as 501(c)(4)s were spent on ads containing at least one claim ruled deceptive by fact-checkers at FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com, the Fact Checker at the Washington Post or the Associated Press.

From December 1, 2011 through June 1, 2012, the four top presidential campaign-spending 501(c)(4)s spent an estimated $24.9 million1($24,916,690) of their $29.3 million ($29,320,110) presidential ad dollars on ads containing deceptions.

All four were conservative and Republican oriented third-party groups and associated with Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and other well know conservatives.

Not a single deceptive claim was found presidential ads put out by Democratic Party organizations. This is hard to believe.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

B. Obamacare:

C. Testosterone Chronicles:

Alas, it finally happened as it had to happen, the Sauna Nazi, decided to bump chests with me and scream because I put my bathing suit in the sauna to dry (as does almost everyone) so I punched him in the jaw. He staggered back and did something almost comical, he started dancing around and flicking out his leg like some asian martial artist expert. As expected, the health club security intervened before things got further out of hand. After things quieted down they wanted to know if I intended to press charges. I declined, but requested that they instruct him in the value of the word, please. I am amazed at how much pleasure I get, even at seventy-two, from involving myself in adolescent male adventures in foolishness.

Hayden asked me if that was how attorneys do it; insult their opponents in court before throwing punches. I explained that we generally refrained from the physical part, but that slander and defamation are our stock in trade. He said he still wanted to become an airline pilot when he grows up.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Alas, even though I am sympathetic to Obama’s statement, this is just a political piece. Romney’s statement is reprehensible for ignoring the need for Americans to be prepared with the knowledge and training to meet the future challenges to the nation. To some extent he seems almost Un-American in his abandonment of our children’s future. America’s public education system has been one of its proudest accomplishments.

On the other hand, Obama is disingenuous in that he avoids mentioning where he will get the resources to properly educate the next generation of Americans. Even if the Republicans stop trying to destroy our nation in order to defeat him, any resources freed up will have to go initially to rebuilding the economy, debt repayment and rehabilitating the nations social and physical infrastructure after years of neglect by Republican administrations.

TODAY’S QUOTES:

1. The US Treaty of Tripoli signed in 1797

“As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen (Muslims); and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any nation, it is declared by the authorities that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

2. Thomas Jefferson

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law”

3. Peter Grenell, July 1 2012. (11 Shadow 0001)

“Take your inspirations where you find them.”

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: July through September 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.

Attached is my Holiday gift to you. Your own personal calendar with which you can replace the Gregorian version if you have a mind to.

You can name your own months and days of the week if you want. It cinsists of 12 months of either 28 or 35 days (I got the Idea from Social Security. You may not know it but they pay you on a schedule of one 35 day month for every two 28 day months. That is why on certain months you feel you have run out of money a week before the next check is supposed to arrive.)

You can name the months whatever you wish, I did using the many things people have called me over the years. The days of the week always fall on the same days every month. I have included the regular calendar days for reference and a copy of my personal version. I am writing this on Tuesday Joseph 3, 0001. Christmas falls on Thursday Joseph 5, 0001. (Oh and the world ends on Sunday, Joseph 1, 0002.)

I know it is silly, but what else can an old retired guy do while he is spending a few days in a sick-bed? There is only so much time one can spend on the internet without going bonkers and I think I passed that about 3 months ago.

Have fun and enjoy your holidays.

Your Personal Non-Gregorian Calendar:

Image not available at this time

Pookie’s:

Image not available at this time.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. What Anne Coulter might say if she were running for President:

“Give the park police more ammo.”
~Newt Gingrich, responding to a reporter who asked what to do about the homeless a few days after the police shot a homeless man in front of the White House.

No, I have not yet found a Democrat or a Liberal politician or commentator advocating shooting those whom they disagree with or dislike. I seek your help in locating one. Perhaps I could point to the Obama administration killing bin Laden and many of the al Qaeda leadership as the functional equivalent.

2. The Buddy Roemer Republican alternative:

Politics has been completely corrupted by “Super PACs” and other special interest money, and the worst offender is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who received $1.8 million from Freddie Mac, the troubled government sponsored mortgage giant, for providing dubious strategic advice. “I want as president a woman or a man who is clean, who has the power to lead and who tells the truth,” Roemer says. “Newt does not fit those characteristics.”

3. David Frum Republican Party consultant explains Faux News Think:

“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.”

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 5000 BC until now:

If you ask me this is all too much light. Can’t we have a little more darkness? Does that make me an Atheist?

2. 2001 to 2012:

$1.26 Trillion – Total amount appropriated by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of Fiscal Year 2011 (September 30, 2011), — $797.3 billion for Iraq and $459.8 billion for Afghanistan. See NPP’s “Cost of War” Counters.

$7.6 Trillion – The total amount spent on “security” by the US government since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, (through the end of Fiscal Year 2011). See NPP’s analysis “US Security Spending Since 9/11.”

3. 2011: Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered  “low-income” or impoverished.

4. 1941, December 18:

Heinrich Himmler‘s notes on his meeting with Adolf Hitler:
Jewish Question / to be exterminated like the partisans.

The banality of evil

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

My schedule seems to be changing once again. I will not be coming to the US until mid-January.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Has anyone realized that the sudden reversal of the Republican House Leadership to the compromise legislation extending the payroll tax cut for most Americans may have been because they recognized that they made a political mistake on the Keystone amendment? No, they have not decided to oppose the pipeline and signed up for the Sierra Club. But, after collecting whatever industry contributions they could for introducing the amendment shortening the decision time for approval to three months, they have become aware that it positions Obama, at the very commencement of his reelection campaign,  able now to collect campaign contributions from this same industry who now may hope they will sway his decision with the money. Currently under the amendment, Obama is empowered to play coy with the industry forcing them to disgorge even more in contributions into his campaign while leaving him the freedom to decide the fate of the project based on how it benefits his reelection or god forbid on the merits. No wonder they have gone bat-shit crazy. Their unpalatable options appear to be:

a. Hold hearings, collect more money from the industry, insisting the legislation includes actual approval of the pipeline, then allow the bill to fail blaming Administration or Democratic inflexibility. They will have collected contributions a second time and denied them to the administration, but it would give Obama a campaign issue.

b. Hold hearings, collect more money, somehow putting off the decision on the pipeline until after the election, pissing off their contributors (but they have already collected the money twice) thereby denying Obama both a campaign issue and potential contributions.

c. Cave and allow the contributions to drift in Obama’s favor and hope for the best while planning a strategy to reverse the political fall-out when the package comes back to Congress in March. This is the least appetizing but realistically the only reasonable alternative. They cannot refuse the tax-cut in March without giving the Dem’s a huge issue with which to campaign on against the Demos in November. Look for them to try to fashion a poison pill (one that includes gifts for large contributors) when the extension bill emerges.

I suspect a lot of midnight oil is being burned in the speaker’s office to find another alternative. This may be either Boehner’s finest hour, or if he fails, his fall as disgruntled members of his own party seek to replace him. Of course, he could be gambling upon Obama and the Democrats caving (as they seem to always do) on the issue and agree to the approval of the pipeline in return for preserving the tax cuts.

And for those of you who did not think politics works this way, spend a year or two in any democratic legislature in the world and find out for yourself.

***This morning I read that the Republican House Leadership caved. If that is true, then can Boehner’s remain leader for long? What will be the poison pill? Will it work? Stay tuned.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed for the holidays.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

TRANSHUMANISM

What if biological and technological enhancements took humans to a level where they radically surpassed anything we know today? “Post-humans” might consist of artificial intelligences based on the thoughts and memories of ancient humans, who uploaded themselves into a computer and exist only as digital information on super fast computer networks. Their physical bodies might be gone but they could access and store endless information and share their thoughts and feelings immediately and unambiguously with other digital humans.

Danger sign: You are outcompeted, mentally and physically, by a cyborg.

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

1. Return to a marginal tax rate that more reflects the share of wealth and income in the country.

 

As far as I can tell, this chart points out that in the past 40 years or so the only President exhibiting any political courage on the issue was George H. W. Bush, and look what happened to him.

2. End militarization of the Federal budget:


c. Signs you are smarter than average:

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa found atheism is linked to higher IQs.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/signs-you-are-smart-2011-12#you-dont-believe-in-god-4#ixzz1grepe8vq

d. Commentary:

The religious right and Christians in general should remember that Jesus judged only two groups harshly: religious leaders who were hypocrites and those who profited off the sacred. For everyone else he urged compassion.
e. Testosterone Chronicles:

The survey of 1,031 participants revealed that 42% of women believe that sex is important to their overall health, but 66% are engaging in sexual activity once a week or less often.

The new research demonstrates that most people don’t really understand the physical health benefits of having a regular, active sex life. In fact, an active sex life could decrease stress, strengthen pelvic floor muscles, increase immune system function and burn calories.

Although some people do understand these health benefits, most probably don’t know that a regular sex life can also have the youthful effects of a very expensive anti-aging cream.

“Women who had sex at least four times a week were scored as looking up to 10 years younger than their actual age,” the author of the report says. “While pleasure and intimacy with your partner should be a primary motivation to have sex, the health and wellness benefits are a big bonus.”

And where does one find that lusty, youthful looking and probably happy lady?

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home–but not for housing. They are strong for labor–but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage–the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all–but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine–for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing–but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing–so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.”
~Harry S. Truman

What this quote tells me is that it is plausible that the present incumbent President may be neither a Liberal nor a Democrat and that in the 2012 election for President the Democrats may not run a liberal candidate but will support the moderate Republican they currently have.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

I understand the words. I do not understand the photograph. I assume the words are Rachel Maddow’s but did she choose the photograph? If so why? If not why again?

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

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

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

See, libs do criticize libs

2. Why parody is impossible:

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

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

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

A. 2011 Food costs:

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

B. 2011 Black Friday:

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

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

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Teflon Prime Minister:

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

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

2. The benefits of Teflon:

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

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

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

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

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

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

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

RUNAWAY BLACK HOLE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

d. The chart that explains a lot:

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

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

e. Profile in Presidential courage:

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

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

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

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

TODAY’S CARTOON:

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

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Because there is more to be frightened by today.

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

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