Posts Tagged With: Prime Minister of Thailand

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 6 Shadow 0002 (June 26,2013)

 

“destiny doesn’t do home visits,”
Zafon, Carlos Ruiz . The Prisoner of Heaven (Cemetery of Forgotten Books) (p. 204).

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN BANGKOK:

Sometimes it feels like Thailand is more a prison than a refuge. I rarely get to talk to anyone anymore beyond necessary exchanges with people in stores and restaurants. LM speaks rudimentary english and I virtually no Thai so I spend most of my day reading bad novels. Some travel might help but I do not that much anymore. It has become too expensive and tiring. I could start hanging out in some of the local bars again. Unfortunately, they have become bad novels themselves. In addition to returning to Thailand for visa reasons, I had expected to spend the time baby-sitting Hayden. Alas, I am competing with the bright lights and excitement of the city and he has found many more ways to entertain himself than hanging out with a wheezy old ex-lawyer.

**********
Almost every morning for the past year or so during my swim at the health club another man did his laps alongside me. He appears to be a few years younger than me. He never smiles. For that matter neither do I. He breast strokes up and down the pool close to one of the sides. I swim more in the middle. He wears sunglasses as he swims. I have on goggles. We swim in silence. After finishing his swim, for the rest of the morning he lies on one of the lounges in the sun. I usually return to the locker room after about a five or ten minute rest. We have never spoken or acknowledged each others presence. I always thought of him as a lonely old man.

About a week ago when I arrived at the pool, I noticed him talking to another man, a guest at the hotel. The guest was accompanied by two Thai women who seemed to wait on him. Overhearing him speaking I guessed this other man was Irish. For about five days, whenever I went to swim, I saw the two of them standing in the water at the shallow end of the pool in animated conversation. My co-swimmer no longer swam his laps. He seemed happy and smiled a lot. Observing this, I thought perhaps that is what I am missing here. I need a friend. Someone to talk to and laugh with.

Bonding with another person may be, next to breathing and eating, a person’s most basic need. Some may think bonding has something to do with sex. You know, here in this case there are two guys happily spending time in each other’s company. Is there some overt or latent sexuality manifesting itself here? Actually, who cares how or with whom someone messages his or her sexual organs (except a few Republican Legislators and a a lot of priests, ministers and mullahs) or for that matter whether or not a person does it at all?

Yesterday he was back swimming laps. His Irish friend had left.

**********

This morning I woke up feeling as good as I have felt since January. It rained very hard last night, washing the ever-present pollution from the air. The air itself was thick and warm like on a pleasant summer day. The walk to the health club added to my sense of well-being. Most of he ladies and ladyboys of the morning I passed as I strolled along smiled and waved at me instead of calling out the irritating “massage?”, “Short Time?”. I expected that my swim itself would exhaust me and along with the coating of my lungs from the pollution as the incessant BKK traffic heated up eventually dampen my mood. By then the heat of the day would have grown too oppressive for life also. I assumed I would eventually stumble exhausted and depressed back to my apartment and crawl into bed.

That did not happen. I still felt good when I left the hotel. I decided to walk to Terminal 21, the seven or so floor shopping center nearby, to get a hard to come by ice cream soda. Each floor of the shopping center is named for a city, like Istanbul, Paris or Tokyo. San Francisco has two floors with a cable car teetering over the escalator and a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge spanning the open area between the two floors. The Swenson’s Ice Cream shop is located on one of the SF floors between the aisles designated Jackson and Ashbury.

After downing my drink I walked back home. The extra half mile to Terminal 21 and back did however tire me out. So I took a nap anyway.

**********

I Want to see what now has become my new favorite movie, The Sapphires, a low budget film that takes place in the late 1960’s. It is not great as movies go but it certainly brought tears to these old eyes. I am sure it means more to those like me who experienced that era. And also, I fell in love with Gail (Deborah Mailman) too.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. A murder most foul.
For the past week or so, the discovery of sensational murder and the political speculation surrounding it has gripped the media here in Thailand.

A billionaire (Thai baht) Thai business man was reported to have disappeared. The man had been convicted of and served time for fraud and for promoting ponzi-like schemes. He also was a vocal critic of another convicted felon, the ex-Prime Minister of Thailand who I have referred to in the past as Thaksin the Terrible. Thaksin the Terrible moreover is a fugitive, living in exile and also the brother of the current Prime Minister, Princess LuckyGirl.

Within a day of the billionaire scumbag’s reported disappearance, his driver was arrested. The driver immediately confessed that he murdered the tycoon in order to steal $150,000 that the victim had just withdrawn from his account. In Thai fashion, a massive media event was held starring the confessed killer surrounded by what looked like a thousand cops. The suspect led the hoards of police and trailing reporters and cameramen to the spot where the body was buried. There along with several other men he implicated, he re-enacted the gruesome crime for all the world to see.

As could be expected, the political party out of power led by the military coup installed previous prime minister Abhisit the Unready (and some think the Incapable), members of his party, and the attorney for the deceased scumbag all have suggested that somehow, Thaksin the Terrible, was behind the murder.

Now normally allegations of conspiracy like this I find as believable as Rambo movies. However, there may be more here than meets the eye or perhaps even less. The confessed murderer, obviously someone so dumb as to believe that as the last person to have seen the deceased before he went missing the police somehow would not immediately suspect him, nevertheless had the presence of mind to remove and destroy all the disks in the security cameras. In addition, he carefully arranged for co-conspirators to wait in the car to help him carry the body out of the house and bury it many miles away. Also, how the driver, a slender young man was able to single-handedly subdue and strangle a seemingly fit sixty year old has not been clearly explained. The re-enactment in front of the press was notably unconvincing. Finally, the deceased withdrew the $150,000 from his account only a few hours before he disappeared. No one seems to know why.

2. Voting:

The Thai constitution prohibits Buddhist monks and other religious officials from voting in national elections. It seems like a good idea to me.
MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Note: the following continues my series about four governmental agencies that I had some role in developing.

A. The State of New York’s Mental Health Information Service (1965):

6. Problems and insights.

b. Problems raised by the psychiatric process.

I divided in my mind the patients brought before the intake panel into three categories. The first and by far the largest were the elderly poor suffering severe dementia who were found the night before abandoned and unable to care for themselves. In 1965 these elderly poor were immediately shipped out to spend the remainder of their lives in the massive state hospital complexes. The elderly, given their long term hospitalization, were gradually overwhelming the hospitals abilities to provide beds for treatment of anyone else.

In 1965 also Medicare passed in the Congress and was signed into law. We did not know it then, but ultimately it had a great deal to do with resolving the crisis. Medicare provided funds that allowed these same elderly to now be treated in private medical facilities. It effect Medicare transferred the cost of treating the elderly poor from State and local budgets to the Federal budgets and the care from public to private institutions.

MHIS was not set up to deal with this category of patient. Also, it was extremely rare that a receiving hospital, given the lack of beds, would not discharge an elderly patient still capable of expressing a desire to leave the hospital.

There was little I could do, other that urge the hospital’s social services staff to redouble their efforts to find family members who may wish to undertake care of the patient.

The second category were those patients I chose to call the “uninteresting.” They were those suffering symptoms that made them unresponsive, such as catatonics and those hallucinating visions of Jesus or angels and the like or other obsessive behaviors coupled with communication difficulties such as those caused by language, education or cultural impediments.

The third Category I called the “interesting group.” It was the smallest group.These patients were most often were suffering from some manifestation of a classical psychiatric category (sexual deviation or obsession, use of “crazy” behavior to protect their real crazy behavior [like believing they were someone actually else usually someone famous] and the like). These patients tended to be more educated, articulate and almost inevitably of trans-mountain, middle european, germanic or eastern european descent.

Since the receiving hospital was also a teaching hospital, those chosen to be admitted into that hospital received by far the best treatment and had the highest chance of a quick recovery. Inevitably those chosen to be admitted to the wards in the teaching hospital were from the “interesting group.” And, there was my problem. The quality of treatment was being apportioned, whether intentional or not, on racial, ethnic and other cultural grounds. The poor latinos often manifested their problems through visions of Christ standing at the foot of their bed. With Jesus in the room they rarely had interest in anything else and thus were sent to the state hospitals to be left mostly alone with their savior until he decided he, like the psychiatrists, had more rewarding things to do elsewhere.

Although it was not within the scope of my duties, I made it my goal to sensitize the medical administrative personnel the importance of exposing their students to the full range of pathologies thereby opening the better treatment programs to a broader range of ethnic and social groups. By the time I left the job, I felt satisfied that I had succeeded with this.

Patients in the interesting group were the also ones most likely to object to and request hearings on their incarceration. This prompted me to institute changes in the MHIS operating procedures to encourage more direct communication between MHIS personnel and patients on the wards.

JOEY’S NEW MYSTERY NOVEL:

ENTER THE DRAGON

Dragon’s Breath:

Philip Marlowe: Oh, Eddie, you don’t have anybody watching me, do you? Tailing me in a gray Plymouth coupe, maybe?
Eddie Mars: No, why should I?
Philip Marlowe: Well, I can’t imagine, unless you’re worried about where I am all the time.
Eddie Mars: I don’t like you that well.

Chapter: 19

We arrived at IHOP about 10 minutes late. Martin Vihn had not yet arrived. I took a seat at a booth against the back wall and sat down facing the entrance. Joe slipped into the seat opposite me. A window was on my left through which I watched a man assemble a sidewalk stand. The waitress brought the menus. Joe got right down to studying it. I watched the man struggle with some pipes that held up an awning over his stand while I thought about my upcoming meeting with Vihn. My usual bouts with fear and uncertainty slithered through my mind like minks in heat. The worst part was wondering about what people, like Mavis or Fat Al would say if I was wrong and died. I imagined something like, “What on earth possessed him to take such a risk.” Last night I thought I had good and compelling reasons, but now I realized they were mere rationalizations for whatever was so deeply imbedded in my psyche that impelled me to act as I did.

Nothing new in that, I have become convinced most of the reasons we tell ourselves that we need to do something have little to do with why we do whatever it is we end up doing. They are merely a handy thing, whenever we are successful, to tell ourselves and others. You know, “I knew what I was doing all along.”

Joe brought me out of my musings. “I’m having the Belgian waffles. What about you?”

“I’ll probably have the blueberry short stack and fried eggs. For some reason I always get the same thing when I come here.”

Martin Vihn entered the restaurant followed by two of the young men I had seen before. One was dressed like Joe in tee-shirt and windbreaker. The other had on a dark hoodie. Martin had on a dark blue jacket over a white button down shirt and jeans. He came over to our table.

“Sorry I’m late. Traffic and parking”

Joe slid out from his seat. Said, “I’ll sit with Vinnie and Chang.” He walked over to the table where the other two young men who accompanied Vihn sat. Vu’s arrival prompted a lot of laughing and fist bumping.
Martin nodded to him and sat in the seat Joe vacated. The waitress arrived and we ordered. She then went over to the table where Joe and the others sat.

“Any word from the police on the cause of Clarence’s death?”, he asked.

“The autopsy scheduled for later this morning. The cops are being close-mouthed.”

“How do you think he died?”

“I’m not paid to guess.”

Martin rarely raises his voice but his anger blazed out of his eyes like campfire embers poked with a stick. “I’m paying you and if it is your opinion I want than then it is your opinion I’ll get.”

“He could have been walking along the shore reciting poetry tripped and fallen into the bay and drowned. I doubt whether it makes much or a difference to anyone how he died, even to the murderer, if he was murdered.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I can’t see you shipping drugs or anything else illegal this way. By reputation, you’ve been able to bring thing like that into the States with no problems in the past. There’s too many better ways. Dropping packages into the water offshore at night, trans-shipping through Alaska. Even if you were to do something like this, certainly not through the Port of Oakland. There are other less watched small ports like Eureka and Redwood City. So, I can’t figure you for something like a dope deal in this case. So, I ask myself, although he is such a prick I am sure a lot of people would like him dead, why would anyone involved in this case kill Clarence? Then there is the hiring of me. It can’t be all that important to hire a second rate shamus like me.” I stopped there and stared at him.

Martin’s silence lasted a long time as he stared at me. Our orders arrived before he answered and we began eating. After swallowing his first bite, Martin sat back and said:

“Look, whatever you think I may also be mixed up in, I am also a legitimate business man. I invested in a business to import into America furniture made in south east asia. Now the man who talked me into the investment and was supposed to manage the business is gone along with he merchandise.”

“But even so, two containers of furniture could not have been valuable enough for all your interest, not to mention knocking off Reilly if in fact he was killed.”

“You figured it out already. You’re cheap. I only spent $1000 dollars so far.”

“What about Joe?”

Vihn looked down at the table for a while. “He’s my brother’s son. I care about him. He refuses to go to college and is too interested in the wrong part of the family business. I thought following you around a while would help to get him interested in something else. That was a spur of the moment thing, I’m afraid.

“So you hired me as a babysitter?”

“A thousand dollars a month is pretty cheap for baby sitting these days,”
he said with a smile.

We ate our breakfasts in silence. Over coffee I assured him, I will try to find out how Reilly died and what happened to the furniture.

I then asked, “What’s Lilly’s role in this?”

“She’s my lawyer.”

“Nothing else.”

“It’s none of your business.”

I smiled, got up, collected Joe and left Vihn to pay the check.

On the way back to the car, I called Mavis. Told her that I would come by that afternoon and that we were going to attend Reilly’s wake.

For some reason the thought of Mavis, death and my current role got me ruminating about God and humor, God’s humor to be precise.

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 was always male) found presiding over the rest of the universe dreadfully dull and craved some amusement. While growing up I always thought that God was the Good Humor man. 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?

I was pulled from my reveries by Joe shouting “Boss, boss!’

I stared at him as the world around me came into focus.

“Is there something wrong? You were talking on the phone and then you just stopped staring off at nothing. Are you OK? You thinking about the case? ”

“Yeah. I’m OK. Rule whatever number… in private investigations there are no cases only assignments. And your current assignment is to find us some ice cream and drive me to Crissy Field.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Biblical Family Values:

“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

B. Testosterone Chronicles:

Pill v Condom

The pill is almost exclusively a birth control device. A condom is primarily protection against STD. It also protects against conception.

The Pill is used by women to prevent unwanted conception freeing them to enjoy other aspects of their life. A condom allows a man to resist STD and avoid the bother of child support payments.

The Pill liberates women. Condoms do the same for men.

Condoms are sold over the counter in almost every drugstore in America. Women need a doctor’s prescription to buy the Pill.

Certain Republican and conservative legislators have proposed legislation making it more difficult for woman to learn about and to purchase the Pill. There has been no legislation proposed that I know of that requires a man to get a prescription to buy a condom or that prohibits anyone from teaching him how to put on a rubber.

C. What Shakespeare should have written:

“The quality of mercy isn’t worth as much as it used to.”
Trenz Pruca

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Banks always win.

The mere hint that the US Federal Reserve may at some unknown time in the future take actions that may cause a minuscule rise in the interest rates on US federal debt, caused equities markets around the world to crash as investors removed their money for possible reinvestment in the US treasury paper. As a result the exchange rates on many countries plunged in relation to the dollar.

In Thailand the exchange rate increased from 28 baht to the dollar to about 32 to the dollar (almost 10%) putting pressure on the liquidity of the Thai banks. The banks were unperturbed. In retaliation or in order to maintain the lifestyles of its managers, they reduced the amount of money that can be withdrawn at an ATM using an American issued credit or debit card from about $700 per transaction to $350 per transaction and increased the fee for the transaction from $5 per transaction to $6. Thus increasing their fee revenue for a $700 transaction almost 150%.

Of course my more conservative ex-pat friends probably will blame it all on Obama because I surmise they believe Banks being the private guardians of capitalism and free enterprise (their free exercise not yours) can be trusted to voluntarily act in the public interest when not subject to government interference especially when that government is run by a black, non-citizen socialist.

They have a point, not about black, non citizen, socialists but about government interference in this case. If the Bush administration had just let all the banks fail in 2008 and plunge the world into a depression rivaling the crash of 1929, the banks would have gone out of business and much of the financial industry splattered on the cement of Wall Street, leaving the rest of us free to try to figure out how to get most of us back to work and not worry about whether some bankers kid can afford the tuition at Amherst.

Yes, the black, non citizen, socialist ultimately went along with it. Proving thereby not only is he a true American political leader, and ardent Capitalist but a Democrat as well. Alas, he is only half-black.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I read an article once that said that when women have a conversation, they’re communicating on five levels. They follow the conversation that they’re actually having, the conversation that is specifically being avoided, the tone being applied to the overt conversation, the buried conversation that is being covered only in subtext, and finally the other person’s body language. That is, on many levels, astounding to me. I mean, that’s like having a freaking superpower. When I, and most other people with a Y chromosome, have a conversation, we’re having a conversation.”
Butcher, Jim (2012-11-27). Cold Days: A Novel of the Dresden Files (pp. 346-347).
TODAY’S CARTOON:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

DSCN1371

Harley Haystack Hayden (H’s new self chosen name) at the health club pool.

 

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Categories: April 1213 through June 1213 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r meny, by 3Th. September 14, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1941, September 1: Yellow Star: A decree, promulgated on this date, provided badges to be issued to Jews within Germany as well as occupied and incorporated Poland. This badge was the yellow Star of David with the word “Jude” (“Jew”) and worn on the left side of one’s chest.

Never again!

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Guns or Deep Fried Insects: A few says ago the newly elected Prime Minister of Thailand, Princess LuckyGirl, spoke at a conference, regarding countries defense policies, attended by the students and faculty of the nation’s five élite military schools . She urged the conference to consider the country’s need for rural economic development and technological improvement to compete in the modern world. (She avoided any mention of her party’s policy to seek amnesty for her brother the deposed exiled fugitive ex-Prime Minister, Thaksin the Terrible.)

The students responded that what they really wanted was more guns and more modern armaments.

Free and Fair Elections: The english language newspapers in Thailand report that a number of political canvassers employed by losing candidates have fled the country in fear for their lives. It seems the losing candidates, seeking the return of the money paid to the canvassers to buy votes, have retained hit men to handle the collection.

What a concept! Losing candidates getting their money back from their campaign consultants.

The Public Trough: The current average pay for a university educated civil servant in Thailand is about US $300 a month. A proposal to raise it to US $500 a month is claimed would cause national economic calamity.

$300 a month pay for someone with a university education! The sex trade pays better. Did you know that Thailand has the best educated prostitutes in the world? That’s OK, I guess. The Sex trade in the US pays way better that teaching.

Either-Or: The opinion pages of the english language press in Thailand are criticizing the new administration, that has been authorized to begin operations about two weeks ago, for proceeding too quickly to carry out their agenda. Those same opinion pages and sometimes the same writers have also claimed that the new administration is proceeding too slowly in acting on their campaign pledges.

The newly elected Prime Minister Princess LuckyGirl has been rumored to exclaim in frustration, “What’s a poor girl to do?

Cheeky Chalerm: The Deputy Thai Prime Minister, Chalerm, whose outspoken comments about people and policies delighted the Thai press corp, has been labeled by that same press as “impolite” for his outspokenness.

Did you ever wonder why, “Politeness,” is not a desirable trait in an American politician?

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Anyone who has spent any significant time living in another culture eventually discovers that no matter how much they enjoy and love their adopted society and its people there remains a few things they cannot stand and can never understand about the alien culture in which they have chosen to live. Among the many of the latter I have found, is the tendency of the Thais to view the farang (foreigner) as little more than a mobile ATM. I know that the Thais are not unique in this and in fact this tendency is universal. Nevertheless, one seems always to expect that they are immune or at least resistant to it.

My special bane is Thai taxi drivers. It is not so much their attempts to gouge me that troubles me, but why it bothers me so much. After all, if a supposedly prestigious institution like the Bank of America can happily rip off a nation of homeowners, why would a poor Thai taxi driver barely making a minimum wage so infuriate me?

For example today, I had to go to the Thai immigration office to get a re-entry stamp added to my passport so that my visa would not lapse as a result of my upcoming visit to the US. After furiously negotiating with the Taxi driver over an exorbitant flat fee or use of the meter, I began to fuss and fume when I felt he was going the long way in order to increase the charges on the meter, the little Masseuse turned to me and asked, “Do you have to get there by a certain time?”

“No” I said.

“Then why are you giving yourself a headache?”

When I pointed out my concern about running up the fare she said, “Mai pen rai,” the Thai version of “be cool”. She explained the situation to the Taxi driver, who agreed to stop and let us out without paying. After a bit of a wait took another taxi.

Another trait of the Thais that has come to frustrate and annoy me is their refusal to admit to a foreigner that they do not know the directions to a place. Again, today’s trip to the immigration office required that we travel to the new Thai government center, at a place inconvenient to any public transit whatsoever. In my mania about Taxi fare gouging, I had come prepared with a map from the internet precisely showing the location of the building, among the many in the huge center, that the immigration office was situated in. The map also had a photograph of the building itself.

When we arrived at the center both the little Masseuse and the taxi driver insisted that the map was wrong and the driver proceeded drive to the opposite end of the center. Once there, we asked the guard if the building before us was the immigration office. The guard assured us it was. We got out of the Taxi and walked into the building. Security informed us that this in fact was not the immigration office but that it was located in the building next door. When we arrived at that building, it appeared to be a military installation. The guard at the gate said that it was not the immigration office either but directed us to a third building. At that building we were told that it also was not what we were looking for and the person we asked directed us with absolute assurance to another building altogether. Finally we located the motorbike station where one of the drivers claimed he knew what we were looking for. We rode on the back of the motorbikes all the way across the center to the building located precisely where indicated on the map and which I had pointed out from the taxi as we passed it on the tollway.

Now any of you who have read this far may wonder why I wrote all this. Well, actually this week is International Bitch and Moan (IBM) week. So feel free to expose your recent experiences with life’s minor annoyances on the social communications network of you choice.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

New chapter:

“Yarggggghhhh!” screamed the Isabella character as she ran into the characters dressing room. “That’s it! That’s fucking it! That’s his idea of adding female characters, one bull dyke in a shrink-wrapped police uniform?…”

Sheriff”

“Police, sheriff whatever. …And, one frozen popsicle French tart?”

Belgian

“What?”

“Belgian, she’s a Belgian, Walloon actually , French-speaking Belgians.”

“Who gives a shit, Belgian or loony, who cares? Is that the best he can do to add woman characters to the story? And he keeps adding fat men”

“Actually,” said the Vince character, “Big Flo is better described as husky, not fat.”

She looked at him and wrinkled up her nose as though something smelled bad, then grinned and asked, “Well, how was she?”

“Who”

“The frozen French popsicle.”

“How should I know? First we were in bed. Then I wake up in her hotel room. Fiction authors do that you know, avoid describing the specific mechanics of the sex act itself… except for porn authors. Just once in my career in fiction, I would like my author to recount the simple give and take, so to speak, so that I can get to experience it. Maybe when you and I get to do it, he’ll do that.”

“Fat chance of that. I doubt if he knows himself. Besides, I am now your damned bodyguard not your bed mate.”

“Well, it could be like that movie where Costner plays the bodyguard to the singer and gets it on with her. Anyway, whats up? You seem out of sorts. Are you having your period?”

“Ohhh! that is such a man thing, always bringing that up to explain a woman’s moods.”

“Well,” he said grinning?

“How should I know? Most authors don’t write about that either, at least what the women really feels…only the jokes. …But something doesn’t add up” she continued.

“What do you mean?”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Up until the 1500s or so in Europe, Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

b. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“Nearly half of Muslims in the US say that they think of themselves first as Muslims rather than Americans. Now that’s a problem. It’s not a problem when a Christian says that. For the Christian to say, “I am a Christian first and an American second,” that’s what we all ought to say. Our ultimate allegiance is not to country, not to the Constitution, it’s to God and the Scripture. If you have to make a choice between the two, we must obey God rather than man.

But when a Christian says, “I’m a Christian first and an American second,” the fact that he is a Christian first, he’s got devotion and allegiance to Jesus Christ means he’s going to be a better American. He’s going to be an asset to his country, he’s going to love his country, he’s going to become more fervent in his patriotism. His love for his country and for its traditions are going to deepen because those traditions are rooted in the soil of the Judeo-Christian tradition.”
Dominionist preacher Byron Fischer.

Wow! Should Muslim’s wear badges? Atheists? What about Jews, Catholics and Buddhists, can they be real Americans? It is so difficult knowing what to believe these days.

c. Testosterone Chronicles:

Then and now:

TODAY’S QUOTE :

The following was sent by my grandson, Anthony, though Facebook. While I believe it is not original with him (Pac-Man was way before his time), I send it on because I think it is clever and because, alas, in his case I suspect it is true.

“Me, behave? Seriously? As a child I saw Tarzan almost naked, Cinderella arrived home after midnight, Pinocchio told lies, Aladdin was a thief, Batman drove over 200 miles an hour, Snow White lived in a house with 7 men, Popeye smoked a pipe and had tattoos, Pac-Man ran around to digital music while eating pills that enhanced his performance, and Shaggy and Scooby were mystery loving hippies that always had the munchies. The fault is not mine! “

TODAY’S CHART:

I guess this edition of “This and that…” is a family affair. Today’s chart was provided by my daughter Jessica and pretty accurately graphically expresses how our economy got to where it is today:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3 Th. September 8,2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2008: The US Federal Reserve in its efforts to stave off a depression during 2008s financial crisis, loaned $1.2 trillion to an assortment of US and foreign banks, an amount “more than the total earnings of all federally insured banks in the US for the decade through 2010.”

Interestingly, that $1.2 trillion according to Bloomberg, is “about the same amount US homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages.” Nevertheless, it’s the “Wall Street aristocracy,” as Bloomberg labels them in a bit of welcome class warfare, that got the massive bailouts.

Mama, don’t let your children grow up to be cowboys, tell them to become bankers instead.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

a. Chief of Police – Musical Chairs: It seems the existing Secretary General of the National Security Council who is due to be replaced by the disgraced Chief of Police, himself superseded by an ex in-law of the fugitive ex Prime Minister of Thailand, Thaksin the Terrible, is furious at this turn of events. As well he should be since he in turn will be transferred to an “inactive position.” in the office of the new Prime Minister, who herself is the younger sister of Thaksin the Terrible. The inactive position apparently is one in which one gets paid but has nothing to do. The soon to be replaced Secretary General said that he would prefer to be transferred to the position of permanent secretary of another ministry so that he would have something to do beside coming into the office now and then to collect his pay check. Princess LuckyGirl‘s Deputy said that it would be inappropriate for the Secretary General to be transferred into an “active” position in the new government, since before he became Secretary General he was in charge of the agency responsible for putting members of the party of the new government in jail.

Members of the opposition party including Abhsit the Unready, the recently defeated Prime Minister but still head of his party, said it was unfair to hold the Secretary General’s prior position against him since he was, “Only doing his job.”

Princess LuckyGirl, upon hearing about the soon to be transferred ministers threat indicated that she would be open to meeting with him if she could spare the time from her busy schedule of running the country. She added that, in any event transfers of officials are the responsibility of the appropriate cabinet secretaries. The next day the cabinet met and transferred the disgruntled bureaucrat anyway.

It should be noted that the incoming Chief of Police has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Eastern Kentucky University in the US.

I hope this now ends this whole sordid business.

b. Red Comedians: Yoswaris Chuklom also known as red comedian Jeng Dokjic was made assistant secretary to the Interior Ministry.

I do not know what this means, but I guess everyone could use a good laugh now and then.

c. Passport follies: The United Kingdom which recently privatized its passport and visa offices world-wide no longer provides passport renewals for its citizens in Thailand and other countries.

Hooray for privatization.

d. Gambling with the story: Given the brouhaha over illegal gambling, one of the recipients of my “This and that…” posts has pointed out that during the period when the predecessor of Princess LuckyGirl‘s party was in power, before it was removed by judicial decision or coup, I do not remember which, the prime minister at the time, who was not Princess LuckyGirl‘s elder brother Thaksin the Terrible (3T) proposed legalization of gambling, (restricting the number of casino’s in BKK to five). He announced that he intends to give the Thai people their right to gamble if it is the last thing he did. Gambling was not legalized. He soon died of cancer.

Rumor has it the casino’s were to be awarded to 3T or friends of 3T or relatives or whatever.

e. Red Villages: The newspapers report that several hundred “red villages,” villages populated by “Red Shirt” members have been created in Northern Thailand.

What does this mean? Are they like new subdivisions? Why would anyone move there?

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

The afternoon Monsoon rains still drench the country flooding much of it.

During the Monsoon season, a series of low pressure areas stabilize just north of Thailand and I guess most of South Asia. The lows act on the atmosphere like lower elevation does on water. The warm wet air from the Indian ocean flows over South Asia toward the low pressure areas and drops its moisture as it rises into the mountains. Climate change models conflict as to whether we will see increased rains or movement of the stationary lows producing increasing drought. I suspect seasonal variation simply will be accentuated with more precipitation from the warmer ocean evaporation during the Monsoons and even greater heat and less rainfall during the dry season in the interior.

I continue to plan to come back to the US at the end of this month. It seems that my return through Italy and the East Coast has been cancelled, so I will fly directly from Bangkok to either LA or SF. I have no idea where I will be staying since I have not been made a party to Hayden’s schedule.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Conjecture,” Vince opined. “It is all conjecture. I do not know if I was asked to return because of any perceived abilities I may have or some more nefarious reasons. I have heard both theories. And, while I admit the latter is probably more reasonable, I haven’t the slights idea what the nefarious plot could be — although there have been several bizarre alternatives seriously suggested. For example, does this all have something to do with the reason Sam took his life and his wife died in what to some is a suspicious accident? Or, does it have something to do with “Red Star” or a shadowy group referred to as “The Brethren?”

“Red Star, “interjected The Great One. “That’s the little fraud Sam and the management committee pulled on the rest of the partners, that I and others were furious about and why I tried to get the lot of them thrown out and a new committee elected, but then you came along and simply dispensed with the existing committee. A lot of us believe that you were brought aboard simply to stifle our little rebellion.”

“Do you?”

“Well, to some extent. Not in so many words or even consciously. Let’s face it Vince, you may see yourself as spokesmen for the downtrodden and talk a good game, but no one knows if you have any administrative skills whatsoever. You remind me a bit of Hamlet. You cannot act unless you are sure beyond a doubt.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence. But even Hamlet once he was sure, acted decisively.”

“Yes, and everyone died. That’s what worries me.” She hesitated a moment then continued, “But, Red Star, is there more there than just stealing some profits from the other partners? There’s a rumor that the Federal Government is investigating.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Where did that come from?

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were “PISS POOR,” but worse than that were the really poor folk, who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot, they “DIDN’T HAVE A POT TO PISS IN” and were the lowest of the low.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

b. Department of, “I could not resist passing this on”:

It was reported last week by the Military Times that Marines are no longer allowed to fart in Afghanistan, as this is considered very offensive by the Afghan people.

For those of you interested in gaseous digestive residue, attached is one of America’s founding fathers’ take on the matter:

“Permit me then humbly to propose one of that sort for your consideration, and through you, if you approve it, for the serious Enquiry of learned Physicians, Chemists, etc. of this enlightened Age.

“It is universally well known, That in digesting our common Food, there is created or produced in the Bowels of human Creatures, a great Quantity of Wind.

“That the permitting this Air to escape and mix with the Atmosphere, is usually offensive to the Company, from the fetid Smell that accompanies it.

“That all well-bred People therefore, to avoid giving such Offence, forcibly restrain the Efforts of Nature to discharge that Wind.

“That so retained contrary to Nature, it not only gives frequently great present Pain, but occasions future Disease, such as habitual Cholics, Ruptures, Tympanies, &c., often destructive of the Constitution, & sometimes of Life itself.

“Were it not for the odiously Offensive smell accompanying such Escapes, polite People would probably be under no more Restraint in discharging such Wind in Company, than they are spitting, or in blowing their Noses.

“My Prize Question therefore should be, To discover some Drug wholesome and not disagreeable, to be mixed with our common Food, or Sauces, that shall render the Natural Discharges, of Wind from our Bodies, not only inoffensive, but agreeable as Perfumes.

“That this is not a chimerical Project, and altogether impossible, may appear from these Considerations. That we already have some Knowledge of Means capable of Varying that Smell. He that dines on stale Flesh, especially with much addition of Onions, shall be able to afford a Stink that no Company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some Time on Vegetables only, shall have that Breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate Noses; and if he can manage so as to avoid the Report, he may any where give Vent to his Griefs, unnoticed. But as there are many to whom an entire Vegetable Diet would be inconvenient, and as a little Quick-Lime thrown into a Jakes will correct the amazing Quantity of fetid air arising from the vast mass of putrid Matter contained in such Places, and render it rather pleasing to the Smell, who knows but that a little Powder of Lime (or some other thing equivalent) taken in our Food, or perhaps a Glass of Limewater drank at Dinner, may have the same Effect on the Air produced in and issuing from our Bowels? This is worth the Experiment.

“Certain it is also that we have the Power of changing by slight Means the Smell of another Discharge, that of our Water. A few Stems of Asparagus eaten, shall give our Urine a disagreeable Odour; and a Pill of Turpentine no bigger than a Pea, shall bestow on it the pleasing Smell of Violets. And why should it be thought more impossible in Nature, to find Means of making a Perfume of our Wind than of our Water?

“For the Encouragement of this Enquiry (from the immortal Honour to be reasonably expected by the Inventor), let it be reasonably considered of how small Importance of Mankind, or to how small a Part of Mankind have been useful those Discoveries in Science that have heretofore made Philosophers famous. Are there twenty Men in Europe at this Day, the happier, or even the easier, for any Knowledge they have picked out of Aristotle? What comfort can the Vortices of Descartes give to a Man who has Whirlwinds in his Bowels? The Knowledge of Newton’s Mutual Attraction of the Particles of Matter, can it afford Ease to him who is racked by their mutual Repulsion, and the cruel Distensions it occasions? The Pleasure arising to a few Philosophers, from seeing, a few Times in their Life, the Threads of Light untwisted, and separated by the Newtonian Prism into seven Colours, can it be compared with the Ease and Comfort every Man living might feel seven times a Day, by discharging freely the Wind from his Bowels? Especially if it be converted into a Perfume: For the Pleasures of one Sense being little inferior to those of another, instead of pleasing the Sight he might delight the Smell of those about him, & make Numbers happy, which to a benevolent Mind must afford infinite Satisfaction. The generous Soul, who now endeavours to find out whether the Friends he entertains like best Claret or Burgundy, Champagne or Madeira, would then enquire also whether they chose Musk or Lilly, Rose or Bergamot, and provide accordingly. And surely such a Liberty of Expressing one’s Scent-iments , and pleasing one another, is of infinitely more Importance to human Happiness than that Liberty of the Press, or of abusing one another, which the English are so ready to fight & die for.

“In short, this Invention, if compleated, would be, as Bacon expresses it, bringing Philosophy home to Men’s Business and Bosoms. And I cannot but conclude, that in Comparison therewith, for universal and continual Utility, the Science of the Philosophers abovementioned, even with the Addition, Gentlemen, of your “Figure quelconque” and the Figures inscribed in it, are, all together, scarcely worth a FARThing.”

Ben Franklin, presentation to the Royal Collage.

c. What Adam Smith really said:

“The government of an exclusive company of merchants is, perhaps, the worst of all governments for any country whatever.”
Adam Smith. The Wealth of Nations Book IV, Chapter VII, Part II, p. 615]

d. Testosterone Chronicles:

“A few years of big profits from risky derivative bets drove Wall Street traders crazy from testosterone poisoning. So it’s not really alpha males who blew up the global economy, it’s just a bunch of guys who overdosed on naturally produced steroids.”
Andrew Leonard, How Testosterone Poisoning Wrecked the Economy, SALON 5/19/2009.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

Barbara Stanwyck: “We’re both rotten!”

Fred MacMurray: “Yeah – only you’re a little more rotten.”
Double Indemnity (1944)

TODAY’S CHART:

Is God punishing Texas? It’s about time.

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

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2011: Since 9/11, the expensive and time-consuming screening now routine for passengers at US airport boarding gates has detected plenty of knives, loaded guns and other contraband, but it has never identified a terrorist who was about to board a plane.

Also since 2002, 75 billion dollars per year has been spent on domestic security, setting up sophisticated radio networks, upgrading emergency medical response equipment, installing surveillance cameras and bomb-proof walls, and outfitting airport screeners to detect an ever-evolving list of mobile explosives. Over 32 billion dollars alone have been spent in Homeland Security grants, much on Hollywood-style tactical gear, often with little or no connection between risk and outlay . During that time 14 Americans have died in about three dozen instances of Islāmic extremist terrorist plots targeted at the US, outside war zones — most of them involving one or two home-grown plotters.

So if your chance of being killed by a terrorist in the United States is 1 in 3.5 million, the question is, how much do you want to spend to get that down to 1 in 4.5 million?

Gay muslims

Gay muslims (Photo credit: hebedesign)

It has been estimated that the number of people worldwide, outside of war zones, killed by Muslim-type terrorists is basically the same number of those who die in a bathtub each year.

Shouldn’t we also spend 75 billion dollars per year to improve bathtub safety? Is someone less dead from a fall in a bathtub than being shot by a Muslim or shot by an irate husband for that matter. Of course if we don’t stop the Muslims they will soon kill us all and take away our freedoms, while bathtubs are just that, bathtubs. But, what about irate husbands?

Hmm, I think if I could choose, my first choice would be to be shot by an irate husband, in second place to die in the bathtub. Clearly my least favorite way to die of the three is to be shot by a Muslim. So I guess there you have it, I support spending 75 billion taxpayer dollars a year to protect me from being shot by a Muslim, but not a penny to protect me from irate husbands or to fix my defective bathtub.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Cabinet meetings: The Bangkok Post reported that Princess Luckygirl, the newly elected Prime Minister of Thailand runs her cabinet meetings like a corporate board meeting. She requires the cabinet ministers to make the presentations themselves and answer questions without assistance of their staff; allows no additions to the agenda  that have not been accepted into the agenda more that 4 hours before the meeting; and once an agenda item is completed, allows no revisiting of the issue. Apparently this has cut cabinet meeting time in half.

2. Chief of Police: The new administration asked the holdover national chief of police  to resign after it was revealed that illegal gambling casinos and other illegal and immoral activities, some actually operated by the police themselves, were occurring in the nation’s capital city, Bangkok right under the nose of the current chief. The discredited police chief is to be punished by appointment as permanent Secretary of the nation’s Tourism Department (sounds reasonable). His replacement is reported to be the ex husband of a cousin to the wife of the deposed fugitive prime minister Thaksin the Terrible. The new appointee’s only experience outside of family politics seems to be as an officer in the police internal affairs unit.

The reaction of the opposition to this has been swift and consists of two salient points. The first, posed in the english language newspapers, claims that it is unfair to fire the existing chief on the assumption that he must have known of the illegal activities since the new administration supervising the police must have known about it also and did nothing about it. Unfortunately for this argument, the new government has actually been in office for only about a week.

The second argument posits that if they are going to replace an experienced officer like the present chief if should be someone with more experience than an ex in law to the deposed Prime Minister. This argument has been put forth by several commentators including the defeated prime minister Abhsit the Unready. Unfortunately for Abhsit, when he appointed the now disgraced (but soon to be rehabilitated as tourism chief), chief of police about a year ago, he was asked what experience his chosen candidate had that recommended him for the post over any other candidate, he acknowledged that he did not know of any.

3. Chief of Police Update: Since I wrote 2 above (yesterday) the Current chief of Police has sent a letter to Prime Minister Princess Luckygirl resigning as police chief and requesting a transfer to the position of, Secretary-general of National Security Council and not as the permanent secretary of the Department of Tourism as I previously reported. (Wow! how’s that for falling on your feet?). In his resignation letter he stated that he was doing this of his own free will and has not been forced to seek the transfer.

Princess Luckygirl’s Deputy, commenting on replacement of the current police chief with deposed fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin the Terrible’s ex-wife’s elder brother (not as I reported above the ex-husband or the wife’s cousin — it is difficult to keep all these family relationships straight) stated, “Police General Wichean (the departing chief) looks like an academic, while a drunk can get sober just by looking at Police General Priewpan (the anointed chief). So who do you think I should use?”
This comment is all the more confusing when one realizes that existing chief is short and stocky, looking like he could stand in for Edward G. Robinson while the anointed one looks like the second coming of Mr. Rogers.

So, what do you think this all means?

 

A kathoey dancing

A kathoey dancing (Photo credit: thaths)

4. DODT Thailand Style: The Defense Ministry is expected to formally change the term for transsexuals and transvestite (Katoey in Thailand) in conscription records from “permanent mental disorder” to “gender identity disorder.” Also, a Thai court recently prohibited applying the term “mental illness” to a Katoey who has not yet had a sex change operation, because the judge reasoned he could still come to his senses and change his mind. After a sex change operation, since a change of heart is proscribed, a Katoey can still be referred to as “mentally ill.”

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Delayed because the onset of the monsoon rains has flooded Pookie with ennui.

However, I have decided to use this space to introduce the replacement for the next few posts of the “Eponymous Laws” section of “Pepe’s Potpourri” with “Where did that Come From?” a history of some common english phrases and idioms.

I am ending the Eponymous Laws section because I have run out of E-laws for which I had a smarmy, smug response that I self-righteously assumed would amuse everyone as much as they amused me.

The new section was prompted by a listing of interesting, I guess they could be called, etymologies, recently sent to me by one of the recipients of these posts who I sometimes refer to herein as Density. Now and then, I have also received similar items from others, especially Ruth.

Now some may wonder why, if I thought they were so good, I did not simply forward them en-masse instead of dribbling them out one by one over several months. Well, I thought about doing that, but then I recalled that my fiend Cordt sent me a listing of Groucho’s greatest bon-mots that I forwarded on to all and more as one does in this e-mail age, (soon, if it hasn’t already, to be replaced by the social networking age). I realized I was dissatisfied with that and recognized a benefit (slight though it may be) to limited character communication. When one has only to review one item, one must first decide to read it. Then if one so decides and actually reads it one usually attempts to understand it. And if one understands it one must decide whether one agrees with it or not and finally whether one likes it at all.

In the case of a list of items one usually skims them all looking for which one likes the best, making simple entertainment the highest quality recognized.

In other words, I was unhappy with my lesser level of influence over the reader’s attention provided by the list approach.

With that as an introduction, I can now get to the initial item.

But first a word about Groucho. Now I know it may sound unbelievable to many of you but for those under 40 years old, Groucho Marx may be virtually forgotten and I doubt if any of my grand children reading this have any idea who he is.

Well, to me Groucho Marx is the greatest philosopher of the 20th Century.

“Wait a minute,” some of you may exclaim. “Groucho was a comedian, not a philosopher.”

To which, by way of response, I direct your attention the Greeks of classical antiquity. To these progenitors of many “Western” cultural and intellectual beliefs, comedy and tragedy were just two ways of expressing truth. In the radical dualism of which the ancient Greeks were so fond, humanity’s experience was of only two types; either all your hopes and dreams turn to shit or, if you survive, they still are shit but you can laugh at them. There is nothing more in the cards for humanity except terminal boredom.

Before Groucho, the worlds greatest comedian was Machiavelli, who I have sometimes quoted in these posts. Before him, in my opinion the world’s greatest comedian was Socrates. Plato was a fascist jerk and Aristotle a woolly headed liberal.

Now some of you may say whoa,” Aristotle a liberal?” “How can that be, over the years some of the most autocratic people and institutions (like the Catholic Church) relied upon Aristotle to crush the human spirit?

As Leo Rosten said, “A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they’re dead.” There is nothing so liberal that a few centuries later a conservative could not find useful to beat away challenges to his prerequisites. For example nearly 50 years after Marx, that arch-conservative Lenin saw in Communism something with which he could beat up a group of doddering superstitious autocrats and take over their empire (and while he was at it crushing the inept liberal Mensheviks along the way). Later Stalin had Trotsky killed to make sure Marx received the same treatment that Spencer gave Darwin.

Why do modern conservatives reject Darwinism when Spencer and his “survival of the fittest” did so much to make him their favorite scientist through most of the last century? I guess they found God. He is after all the ultimate survivor. As one supporter of conservative causes has written, “Jesus was against the minimum wage,” and the Bible “absolutely condemned” the estate tax, and opposed the progressive income tax also. This, of course, leads me back to Groucho and his immortal line, “I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll make an exception.”

On to Density 1.

There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch, London , which used to have a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged

The horse-drawn dray, carting the prisoner, was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like ”ONE LAST DRINK.”

If he said YES, it was referred to as ONE FOR THE ROAD.

If he declined, that prisoner was ON THE WAGON.

So there you go… More bleeding history.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Also delayed due to the above mentioned deluge of lethargy.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Where did that come from?

Please see above, “Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand.” For those of you who waded through all that above, I have a bonus story told to me by Ruth Galanter. It comes from Australia, so let’s put some ‘strine’ on the barbie, shall we?

It seems that at some point the inmates of the penal colony that was Australia decided that they wanted to improve their image in the world so that they would no longer appear to be what they were, criminals. They discovered that it was fashionable in certain circles to adopt the appearance of being civilized to cover the rough edges, so to speak. They decided that this was a good idea and they would do so too.

The first thing civilized thing they did was to start killing the aboriginal inhabitants that they were sharing their country with or driving them off the land that they, the civilizers, wanted for themselves. The second civilized thing they did was for a few of them to become as rich as Midas by destroying as much or the land as they could and where necessary killing anyone who stood in the way. The third civilized thing they introduced was gambling venues at which these new rich could flaunt their money. Since gambling casinos were considered immoral at the time, the most civilized gambling activity they could consider was horse racing.

Soon a lot of money was spent to find the fastest horse of them all so that someone could boast that he owned it. At one time that horse was named Favor.

Now, there is a comb or brush used to remove tangles or burrs from a horses coat. It is called a currying comb or brush. Now I assume at the time people were lined up for the chance to brush the famous horse much like groupies lined up at a Rolling Stone concert for a chance to be shagged by Keith Richards. And that’s were we get the expression to “Curry Favor.” ——- No. to brush the horse, not get shagged by Keith Richards, that’s called something else.

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

Remember, if you have to ask, “Who won the class war?” the correct answer is, “Not you.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land — of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.”
D. James Kennedy, “Changing Of The Guard”

I bet Jimmy never bathed his goat in mother’s milk.

d. Testosterone Chronicles:

Men don’t read fiction — men account for less than 20 percent of all fiction sales.

What is worse in the last decade 1 in 4 people in the US have not read a book at all.

Yes but, LMAO.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Things that Really Matter in 2011 and Beyond (in one person’s view) for Investments and Real Life
Resources running out, putting strong but intermittent pressure on commodity prices
Global warming causing destabilized weather patterns, adding to agricultural price pressures
Declining American educational standards relative to competitors
Extraordinary income disparities and a lack of progress of American hourly wages
Everything else.”
Jeremy Grantham former Chairman and now Chief Investment Strategist of Grantham Mayo Van Otterloo (GMO), which has more than US $107 billion in assets under management as of December 2009.

TODAY’S CHART:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 30, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1 Million BC: A homo erectus skull from Daka, Ethiopia, from this time was identified in 2001 as an ancestor to all modern humans.

As Hayden asked me after I tried to explain things like this, “Was this before or after God died?”

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

Political quotes of the day:

a. Thaksin the Terrible: The deposed fugitive ex-prime minister, inching ever closed to his Thai homeland, said from his hotel in Japan, “I have no immediate plan to return to my country.”

b. Abhist the Unready: The defeated former Prime Minister of Thailand in speaking about the spread of “red villages”, villages set up by supporters of the current government, declared, “It is not necessary to divide the Thai people in this manner.” Moments later in objecting to the proposed review of the Constitution by the new government he exclaimed, “The group against this may be ready to take to the streets again.”

c. Yingluck, Princess LuckyGirl: The newly elected Prime Minister, sister of Thaksin the Terrible and opponent of Abhist the Unready was heard to mumble, “My Government is determined to rebuild solidarity and national reconciliation.”

She generally says that and little else in answer to any question.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring Henry David T...

1967 U.S. postage stamp honoring Henry David Thoreau. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Henry David Thoreau decided that it would be a good thing to take Horace Greeley‘s advice to, “Go West Young Man.” However, our Henry being the imaginative sort decided that instead of fording rivers, climbing mountains and crossing deserts to get to some fabulous place like California, to confine his westward migration to a few mile walk from his home to his cabin on the shores of a small nearby lake. There he was able to spend his mornings allowing his mind to wander as it will and be back home for lunch. It the afternoon he would return to his not so remote and not so rustic cabin and further indulge himself in the conceit that his perceptions of the natural world around his retreat revealed to his mind and imagination all of the wonders that others experience in old Californy or wherever.

After about a year or so, tiring of the rigors of the remote country life, Henry then took a rowboat trip up the stream affectionately called the Connecticut River and dreamed he was traveling down the Mississippi. Among his other adventures, our Henry travelled for a while in remote Cape Cod where he met a man who had seen George Washington riding his horse and recalled something or other about the attractiveness of George’s leg.

Now I write this, not to make fun of Henry, but as an explanation as to why I have always viewed him as a role model. Day dreams can be adventures too.

My tale of my morning walk to through my Bangkok neighborhood to the health club and back is intended to elicit similar transcendental impressions as old Henry experienced in his New England perambulations. Alas, I am not Henry. I cannot write as well as he, nor are my impressions as…well transcendental. (Henry during his boat trip marveled at the humanity of a man standing on a bridge as his boat passed under, spitting in our Henry’s face.) In fact as often as not, I can find nothing particularly interesting memorable or romantic about what I see, hear or otherwise experience. Sometimes a dirty, boring street is just that, a dirty boring street.

So it is with Today’s Photograph which shows, well, a dirty boring street. It is the street that I turn  on to after leaving my cul-de-sac and before arriving at Soi Nana, the neighborhood main drag. There are two hotels and a cement wall that comprise the visual horizon and little else. The man with the blue shirt standing on the right, (or another similarly attired) is always there, day or night. I haven’t the slightest idea why. Sometimes a motorbike, or taxi or the Boss Suites Tuk-tuk goes by. Now and then a ying (young woman) who works nearby passes, going to or from work; outside of that nothing.

Oh once I saw an injured bird hopping about on the street. I did not touch it since I have an aversion to touching small living things other than dogs and cats and some humans. Large animals I have no aversion to and can be persuaded to touch a horse or even an elephant. Other large animals are ok too except bears. I am pathologically afraid of bears. I did touch one however, once.

I was walking along one of the seedier parts of Istanbul when a couple of Russian Gypsies came along leading a bear on a rope that led to a ring in the bear’s nose. I was allowed, for a price, to pet the bear. I paid and did so. It made me sad. The sight of the creäture who so terrorized my nighttime dreams as the personification of arbitrary and unlimited power reduced to such a state repulsed me. I still have terrifying dreams of ursine ravening. I used to run away as the beast bursts from shadows, but now I turn and apologise for the ring and the rope.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

He sat in a small booth with a tiny table in the darkened dinning room of the outrageously expensive restaurant waiting for the Great One, Arrogant Bella to arrive. He wondered if any of the other diners or any of the wait staff was one of the “agents” that Russel promised would provide him protection. “What a joke,” he thought. He still could not believe Russel’s warning. He wondered is Isabella was on the job too, lurking somewhere outside or in the shadows. It was all so grotesquely absurd he though and began to chuckle to himself when he became aware of Arabella La Grande’s entrance into the restaurant and purposeful stride toward his table. Tall and slender with a gallic nose and short mannish hair just beginning to become dusted with grey, she wore a dark business suit with a skirt and a white ruffled blouse. He began to rise, but she curtly motioned him to remain seating.

“It is good to see you again Vincent,” she said while smartly snapping oped the napkin and placed it on her lap.

“I’m as well as can be expected under the circumstances,” he responded. “How are you, and how is Alec?” Alec being Arabella’s husband.

She looked at him for what seemed like a long time with those expressionless grey eyes of hers and finally said, “I’m fine. He is fine. Everyone is fine. But I am not here to talk about domestic bliss.”

“I expected as much. So why are you here?” Vince said through clenched teeth.

“Ah, good,” she said. “Let’s order first and then get down to it shall we. I am famished.”

“Good idea,” he said, “but if you’re hungry, this is not the place, the portions are too small for even a mouse to feel full.”

She smiled frostily and examined the menu.

After ordering and the arrival of the first glass of wine, he leaned back in his booth and said to her, “So?”

She leaned forward her eyes boring into his. “How are you doing, Vince?”

He cocked an eyebrow.

“No,” she responded to his expression. “I am not interested in you emotional well-being,” she continued with an almost girlish giggle. “How, and more to the point what are you doing with the firm? You know I was the logical choice to succeed Sam.”

She hesitated awaiting his response, but Vince knew this game and remained silent. She continued, “You’re a bright guy Vince, we all know that , but you are neither a manager or leader. Why you? No, one on the management committee is talking. They refer me to David. All David tells me is that, under the circumstances they thought you would do a good job. That’s Bullshit.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” Vince interjected.

“Ha,” she laughed. “You know what I mean. Something is going on and I need to know what it is. I have my own career to think of.”
(To be continued)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Zipf’s law — In linguistics, the observation that the frequency of use of the nth most frequently used word in any natural language is approximately inversely proportional to n, or, more simply, that a few words are used very often, but many or most are used rarely. Named after George Kingsley Zipf (1902–1950), whose statistical work research led to the observation.

In other words, all languages end up only with the equivalent to the english word “fuck”. Zipf this George; get a life.

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

“As with most essential freedoms, preventing those who wish to curtail the fundamental rights of others is a more important role of government than encouraging the exercise of those rights. Exercising our rights are our individual jobs, protecting us from those who would abridge our rights is the duty we collectively give to government. If “government is not the guarantor of Freedom then it is a tyranny.

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“Now what do you do? What do all of us do? We get ready to take dominion! We get ready to take dominion! It is all going to be ours–I’m talking about all of it. Everything that you would say is a good part of the secular world. Every means of communication, the news, the television, the radio, the cinema, the arts, the government, the finance–it’s going to be ours! God’s going to give it to His people. We should prepare to reign and rule with Jesus Christ.”
Pat Robertson

d. Profiles in Presidential Courage and Traitors to their Class:

1. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936

“Let me warn you and let me warn the nation against the smooth evasion that says ‘of course we believe these things. We believe in Social Security, we believe in work for the unemployed, we believe in saving homes, cross our hearts and hope to die. We believe in all these things but we do not like the way the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us, we will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better and most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything,'”

What has changed in 70 years except the scope of the danger?

2. From Warren Buffett, Another Traitor to his Class:

“Let’s just say, Charlie, that you and I agreed that after we left the studio here we were going to go out to a track near here and I was going to get at one end with my car and you were going to get at the other end and there’s this line down the middle and whichever one flinches loses his net worth to the other guy. Do you want to play?
Whether you want to play depends on how crazy you think I am….So what do we do?
Right as the engines start I throw out my steering wheel. Now you believe me, right?
Well, Boehner didn’t throw out the steering wheel, McConnell didn’t throw out the steering wheel, but a group behind them said, “Throw out the steering wheel, Mr. Speaker, and make those people realize that we’re not going to agree to anything unless we get our way.”
And if you have a sane person dealing with somebody that you feel may be insane by that point when they throw out the steering wheel you feel they’re insane.”
e. Testosterone Chronicles:

“Testosterone may therefore underlie a financial variant of the ‘winner’ effect, in which a previous win in the markets leads to… increased (and eventually irrational) risk taking in the next round of trading. This effect, even if confined to a small number of people, could cause financial markets to deviate from the predictions of rational choice theory.”
Taken from a study entitled, “Endogenous Steroids and Financial Risk Taking…” by Coates and Herbert.

Participation in high-reward, high-stress occupations like derivatives trading warps your brain chemistry. People with unbalanced brain chemistry make bad decisions. Every time Wall Street bubbles over, it becomes a factory for producing hopped-up-on-steroids madmen who think they are chasing woolly mammoths, but are actually stabbing themselves in the kidneys.

TODAY’S QUOTE :

“…Vicksburg is the key. Here is the Red River, which will supply the Confederacy with cattle and corn to feed their armies. There are the Arkansas and White Rivers which can supply cattle and hogs by the thousand. From Vicksburg these supplies can be distributed by rail all over the Confederacy….Let us get Vicksburg and all that country is ours. The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pockets….”
A. Lincoln

Another profile in presidential courage.

BONUS QUOTE :

“I don’t need bodyguards. I’m from the South Bronx.”
Al Pacino

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 11, 2011

“We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.”
Franklin Roosevelt, 1936

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1991 Sep 19: Frozen Fritz as he was later called, a well-preserved prehistoric corpse dated to about 3.300 BC, was discovered by German hikers Erica and Helmut Simon. He was found in a glacier on the Hauslabjoch Pass, about 100 yards from Austria in northern Italy.

The corpse was kept at the Univ. of Innsbruck for study. In 1998 analysis indicated that the Frozen Fritz the Ice Man had internal parasites and carried the woody fruit of a tree fungus as a remedy. Tattoos on the body were also found  placed over areas of active arthritis. A flint arrow was also found in his back. In 2007 forensic researchers said he died either from hitting his head on a rock when he passed out or because an attacker hit him in the head.

I ask myself, what is it that was so interesting in Italy that a man with an arrow in his back, internal parasites and arthritis would climb over mountains and wander about on a glacier. It seems fishy to me. Perhaps he was in search of a bronze age version of a medical spa and a massage.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

The new Prime Minister of Thailand has just released the list of the names of the 35 or so people who would make up her cabinet. While the list contains a few family members and political associates of the her brother, the deposed and exiled Prime Minister Thaksin, it also includes a good number of relative unknowns and people from outside the government, prompting the complaint from several senior members of the civil service they could not see how the new government could work well with them since they (the civil servants) did not know many of the appointees and had not worked with them before.

This criticism of the new cabinet, that they do not have adequate experience, has been picked up by the english language press. It rings a little hollow when one realizes to choose “experienced”ministers would mean choosing ministers with either connections with the old Thaksin administration or the recently defeated administration.

Every afternoon about this time(4pm) it begins to rain heavily for an hour of two.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I, at times, find myself reminded of some of the images that I came across in Naida West’s wonderful historical trilogy that I have mentioned and recommended here before. Recently the image has been “Indian Mary’s” vision of the “Americanos” as a flock of blackbirds (crows), who together sweep across the sky here and there apparently in unison and without goal, but when they land to feed, it is each bird for himself often pecking violently at ones cohorts in their madness for personal satiation. Then, almost without warning, they take off again in unison. To Indian Mary it represented both their strength and the horror in it.

I wonder if that is not an apt metaphor for our American culture. If so, it is no wonder that we can be admired and feared at the same time.

Recently at the hotel in which my health club is located, a Thai governmental ministry held a three-day symposium for selected high school students from all over Thailand on sex education and safe sex. It really was quite impressive. Here is a photograph of the sign used to mark the event:

 

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Big Flo sat at his usual table in the back of the chic restaurant located on the street level of the McWerter Building called “Alice and Zooey’s,” featuring New York-California fusion cuisine (Gourmet bagels, organic cream cheese and local free range lox). He had just returned from his interview at the Department of Justice in the Federal Building at Civic Center. Sitting with him was Stavos Kaplan, his friend and a named partner of the law firm that that shares the building with his company (Stavos mom was Greek and named his sister Helena). It was well after lunch and there were no other customers and the staff was busy setting up for the dinner trade. Big Flo and Stavos were investors in Alice and Zooey’s along with the chef, Wilson Asomuaga and a few others including Damon Morley. Big Flo was drinking a double espresso coffee and Stavos had his usual milk, untouched in front of him.

Big Flo had just finished briefing Stavos about the DoJ meeting which consisted in the DoJ bullying Big Flo with threats of prosecution in the Red Star matter based upon secret evidence that they refused to disclose. His attorney Kitchen, who big Flo considered a bit of an idiot, spent most of his time shouting back at the DoJ people and making his own threats. The meeting ended with the DoJ promising to bring the case to the Grand Jury. Later Kitchen claimed the meeting was a victory because he believer the Feds as he called them do not use Grand Juries for indictments where they feel they have enough evidence for conviction.

This did not make Big Flo feel any better since he felt that he was only an investor in Red Star and knew next to nothing about its operations and all this talk of indictments and Grand Juries began to unnerve him. So, he asked Stavos to meet him and talk him through it. Stavos’ already on retainer to several of McWerter’s companies of course would be on the clock as they call it. This did not bother Big Flo since Stavos was one of the few people he was in awe of.

After patiently listening to Big Flo unburden himself for a while, Stavos angrily broke in on his monologue, “Flo, why the hell are these guys at McKenzie Reed doing still representing you. They are under investigation just like you and are into this mess up to their necks?”

“I know,” Big Flo admitted, “but they represented the Company and the investors up until now. I guess I just wasn’t thinking clearly.”

“That’s not your job, its theirs to point out any conflicts.”

“Will your firm take over and represent me? I need your help.”

“Well, if not us, I’ll find the best attorney I can. Let me get back to you on that tomorrow after I make a few calls.”

“How the hell did you get roped into this secret society or what was it ‘Prayer Group’ business?”

“I guess I thought it would be good for business contacts. You know how that goes.”

“Yeah, I guess. They probably have none of my co-religionists as members?”

“No, they told me that the Jews have their own prayer group.”

Back in his office, Stavos immediately put in a call to his favorite PI. If his firm agrees to represent Big Flo, they would need a good investigator. Fat Al answered the telephone on the first ring.
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Szemerényi’s law — A Proto-Indo-European phonological rule, named after Hungarian linguist Oswald Szemerényi, according to which word-final clusters of vowels (V), resonants (R) and of either */s/ or */h₂/ are simplified by dropping the word-final fricative (*/h₂/ was phonetically itself probably a back fricative), with compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel.

I never could have guessed. Fricative you Ollie! By the way, is that how you got your last name?

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

“As with most fundamental freedoms, preventing those who wish to abridge the fundamental rights of others is a more important role of government than encouraging the exercise of those rights. Exercising our rights are our individual jobs, protecting us from those who would abridge our rights is the duty we collectively give to government. If government is not the guarantor of Freedom then it is a tyranny.”

c. The Tea Party 70 years ago:

In August 1941, Burton Wheeler US Senator from Montana… announced that he would direct his Senate Committee to investigate “interventionists” in the motion picture industry. Most studio heads, he would soon be surprised to learn, were Jews.

Another member of the Committee, Gerald Nye, a conservative Republican US Senator from North Dakota accused Hollywood of attempting to “drug the reason of the American people,“ and “rouse war fever.“ For some reason he was particularly hostile to Warner Brothers.

Wheeler questioned why so many foreign-born were allowed to shape American opinion, causing Roosevelt to observe that the Bible, too, had been written “by mostly foreign-born and Jewish people.”

But the movie industry knew how to fight back. It retained Wendell Willkie, the Republican party’s 1940 presidential candidate, as counsel. He soon ridiculed Wheeler’s Committee into silence.

Where is Wendell Wilkie when we need him?

d. Testosterone Chronicles:

Is this trick photography or is Shaq really that big? The woman is said to be 5’3″ tall.

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The concerts you enjoy together,
Neighbors you annoy together,
Children you destroy together,
That keeps a marriage intact.”
—Stephen Sondheim

INSTEAD OF TODAY’S CHART, TODAY’S COMMENTARY:

From Jeremy Grantham who is rapidly becoming my favorite commentator:

“So now (July 30), the U.S. – with a dysfunctional Congress – has to decide between two of the ugliest choices seen in a long time. Should they cut government expenditures and therefore cut aggregate demand at a time of a critically weak economy on the cusp, perhaps, of a double dip? Or should they do nothing and allow a technical default, compromising the integrity of the dollar and sending a powerful signal to the world that the U.S., at least for now, is not a serious country and is probably past its prime. Ouch!

Nobly trying to resolve this impasse, a small chunk of Republicans has seized the mantle of blackmailers and turned out to be very good at it. Certainly too good for President No-Show. Come to think of it, the choice was between technical default and looking like a Banana Republic and technical blackmail and looking like a Banana Republic! Just different bananas perhaps?”

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. August 2, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1) 2011: 734 out of every 100,000 people are behind bars in the US — far and away the highest number in the world. Russia and South Africa are our nearest competitors.

Hooray for us! We’re number one.

2) 2011: for those interested in an analysis on who won and who lost in the Debt Ceiling crisis resolution:

Republican ‘Wins’:

GOP achieved a debt limit increase that requires almost dollar-for-dollar spending cuts ($2.4 trillion).

• Revenues aren’t part of the first step in the two-step process.

• Republicans get to keep up the appearance that they are fighting for a balanced budget amendment (but it won’t ultimately pass — the enforcement clause of the deal sees to that).

White House/Democrat Wins:

• Spending cuts ($2.4 trillion over 10 years) are a little more than half of what was originally on the table.

• Nearly 40% ($350 billion) of the initial $900 billion in cuts comes from the defense budget. The remaining $550 billion over 10 years results from caps on discretionary spending (not itemized cuts), so expect the President and Dems to fight to spread those losses out to places where they’ll have the least impact.

• Of primary importance to Obama’s base, all entitlement benefits and many programs for the poor are exempt from current cuts and the trigger cuts.

• The “triggers,” or fail-safe plans, heavily favor Democrats. If the bi-partisan commission fails to agree to a balanced plan — or Congress fails to pass a balanced plan — the Defense budget alone will take half the spending cuts ($600-750 billion). This trigger gives Democrats significant leverage.

• The process is gimmicky and allows Congress symbolic votes of disapproval, but essentially the agreement will raise the debt ceiling through 2012, one of Obama’s biggest sticking points — meant to settle financial markets and to avoid repeating this charade before the election.

• Did you notice that repealing the health insurance individual mandate – Boehner’s big last-minute sticking point — is no longer part of the deal? Don’t think that wasn’t a hard-won battle.

Apparently, as is usual in politics, all is not as it appears.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

I usually find in my daily copy of the Bangkok Posta steady stream of

English: All Seasons Place, Bangkok, Thailand ...

All Seasons Place, Bangkok, Thailand with China Recoures Building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

humorous anecdotes. Either my sense of amusement has deteriorated along with my mental faculties or the nation is holding its breath for some reason.

1) National Security: The General in charge of National Security Council stated in a recent speech: “In the past, national was all about military and defense affairs.” He continues, “…national security must be extended…[to]…people’s well being, human dignity, public harmony and national prestige.” He goes on to state that the monarchy is part of the country’s prestige and has come under attack from political players during the past few years, and “The public must return security to the institution.”

I take it from this comment, that it may be a not so subtle warning to the new government, that the military remains ready to undertake another coup under tguise of protecting the Monarchy, if they should attempt to do something that the military finds to be not in their interests.

2) Family Values: A recent column in the english language newspaper in Thailand points out that in the newly elected Thai legislature over 10% of the successful candidates have close relatives who were either also elected to the legislature or are high governmental officials. I would guess if one added relatives high in the national security forces the percentage could approach 100%.

For those who think the US is above this, if one would add family members who are members of congressional staffs, the nepotism in American politics is probably equivalent to Thailand’s.

3) Weird: In the Sunday magazine section of the Bangkok Post in was reported that a past Thai Prime Minister was Weird. No, not strange but actually Weird. Apparently when he was born, this individual’s father noticed that his ears were located entirely below the line of his eyes and exclaimed, “This is weird,” or something like that. In Thai culture, a childs father gives the child a first name (actually nickname) usually based upon some physical feature (e.g. Daeng (red) or Nok (bird)), so Weird it was. Anyway, Weird as he was fondly known grew up to become a general in the army and one of the leaders in the coup that forced Thailand’s change from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one. During WWII, Weird played footsie with the Japanese, hoping to ride on the coattails of their conquests. As the war was coming to a close and the Japanese did not look like winners, he was overthrown by a civilian led government.

This did not deter Weird, two years later he switched sides to become and ardent supporter of the Monarchy and with the generous assistance of his military cohorts, swept back into power.

Weird is noted for having introduced into Thailand such innovations as; having all Thai’s sing the National Anthem twice a day, and declaring Pad Thai the Thai national dish.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have just returned from my brief visit to “Paradise by the Sea Two Miles from the Outskirts of Hell.” I went there to meet with Vittorio and his Thai wife Anita who were spending a few days of their Thailand holidays at the beach.

Since I have given up my apartment in Paradise by the Sea for a while, I settled for low-cost budget accommodations nearby in a place interestingly called “Low Cost Budget Hotel.” My room was small and windowless but had A/C and a separate fan, hot water and a surprisingly comfortable bed.

I took Vittorio to the BBQ at Kinneree or, for those of you who recall, to the Oval Table that was the meeting place of the Geriatric Knights. It was sausage BBQ day. Given that my current diet has been quite light on meat and the variety of sausages inviting, I managed to eat too many too quickly and gave myself a massive case of indigestion that, of course assumed was the onset of a heart attack. After stumbling around for a while, receiving neither sympathy nor assistance, I flopped down of one of the red sofa’s that rest in one of the darker corners of the place and awaited my demise.

Eventually one of the hostesses noticed my distress and brought me some cold towels for my head, loosened my belt and lightly massaged my aching tummy. As I began to feel slightly better, she suggested a far older cure that surprisingly worked quite well.

Later as the sun was setting, Vittorio and I walked the mile or so along the beach front between Kinneree and our respective hotels.

Fear strikes the ex-pat community: Recently, there have been a spate of stories in the Outskirts of Hell (and in Bangkok) of men being given knock-out drops by young ladies they meet and take to their hotel rooms or apartments. The next morning they wake up having lost everything of value they may have had that the lady could stuff on her person or in her purse. The police seem disinterested, viewing these complaints from aging white men in what I imagine is not so different from the way a cop in Arizona views a Mexican complaining of an immigration scam.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://paptajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed until it is determined if my ennui is terminal.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Segal’s law“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

Steven Segal doesn’t wear a watch. Is that is why see he beats people up and makes bad movies?

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

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

c. Are Men Needed:

In my blog (See, Trenz Pruca’s Journal ) I have suggested that perhaps men are the source of much of the threat to our species survival (See also, Testosterone Chronicles below) and proposed that they should be reduced in number and replaced in all things by women. Science is now discovering that possibly nature also recognizes that women may no longer need men:

“According to researchers at Oxford University, hermaphroditism and self-mating among cottony cushion scales [Icerya purchasi] is leading to the disappearance of male members of the species.”

I guess if I had a “cottony cushion,” I’d try self-mating too.

According to NewScientist: “A battle of the sexes is also occurring among African bat bugs, which…, turn transsexual to avoid stabbing penises.”

Well, wouldn’t you?

d. From God’s Mouth to Your Ears:

Clarence Darrow once wrote:

“And Joshua; you remember about Joshua. He was a great general. Very righteous and he was killing a lot of people and he hadn’t quite finished the job and so he turned to the mountain top and said to the sun, “Stand still till I finish this job,” and it stood still.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

A study from Royal Society of Biological Sciences The Royal Society of Biological Sciences in Britain showed data that men who have children also have less testosterone in samples of their saliva than men who don’t have children.

They no longer can afford to.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi. “
~P.J. O’Rourke

TODAY’S CHART:

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

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