Posts Tagged With: Pygmy Forest

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 12 Cold Tits 0005 (February 24, 2016)

 

“Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo” (“I was not; I was; I am not; I do not care”)
Epicurean epitaph

Happy Birthday, Giannantonio.

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

A. POOKIE’S CONTINUING ADVENTURES IN MENDOCINO:

The Pygmy Forest.

One day I decided to hike through Mendocino’s Pygmy Forest Reserve. Saving the Pygmy Forest was what got me into coastal resource preservation many years ago. A chance meeting with John Olmstead beneath the shadow of San Francisco’s Transamerica Pyramid caused me to spend the next fifteen years of my life trying to protect the coast of California. John, the grandson of Fredrick Law Olmstead of Central Park fame, is one of the unsung heroes of the conservation movement.

To be perfectly honest, when he showed me the scrawny little trees that made up the forest, I was less than impressed. But, after passionately explaining to me how they came to be and the importance of preserving the Mendocino Ecological Staircase, as he so poetically described it, on which they grew, I threw my hat into the ring so to speak.
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John was my idol. There was little he would not do, no amount of money he would borrow with little hope of paying it back, no lie, no level of begging he would stoop to, no machinations of government and individuals he would not engage in, all in order to preserve these forlorn little twisted trees from disappearing beneath the bulldozers blade — all with no benefit to himself, no wealth, no fame, and few real friends.

The Lost Coast of Cape Mendocino.

On another day, I decided to drive up to Westport and into Cape Mendocino and the Lost Coast.
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Westport is a tiny town on a bluff above the Pacific supposedly riddled with ghosts. It is the last town before Highway 1 turns inland in order to avoid the dark mountainous terrain of the Lost Coast. I always liked this stretch of the highway. It is one of those places in the world where calling it somewhere that time forgot is justified.
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Passing beyond the town and turning inland, I found one of the dirt roads that lead into the heart of Lost Coast.
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Over forty years ago Joe the Hippie and his flower child girlfriend driving a beat up Plymouth 1957 sedan would also turn off here and brave the ruts and washouts to hike, camp, smoke and then drive on through to Ferndale and beyond. We would sometimes pass through Whitethorn and Honeydew, two of the tiny towns hidden in the Cape Mendocino forests, where the cultivators of the major cash crop in the area, big fierce bearded men and long-faced and long dressed women, would stand in front of their clapboard home and silently stare at us as we drove by.
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The road I chose traversed two ridges and passed high above the surf. I traveled through dark redwood groves festooned with signs that warned “No Trespassing. Area Patrolled.” I chose this to mean “shoot on sight,” not because I believed I would be shot if I wandered about but to persuade myself not to park the car and go hiking into the forest just for spite — and get lost.

I drove by a moss encrusted redwood that I called the “Old Man in the Tree” for obvious reasons.
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Finally, descending from the ridge, I entered a relatively broad valley with a creek (Usal Creek) running through it. A bridge crossed the creek into a sprawling primitive campground containing a few tents and some vans fitted out for camping.
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After parking my car at the edge of the black sand beach, I went for a hike through the woods that bordered the creek. As I sauntered along I ran into this:
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There were at least six bucks in the herd and two does. Not wanting to disturb them, I made my way back to the beach and walked along it until I feared the rising tide would cut off my return.
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After wandering around a bit and sitting on a log staring at the surf, I returned to my car and began the drive back to Mendocino. Along the way, I stopped at the store in Westport to buy a cream soda and a bag of potato chips.
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A Stroll along South Noyo Headlands Park.

On Saturday, we visited South Noyo Headlands Park. If anything, it is even more spectacular than the North Park. When they are connected in the next year or two, the park system will extend almost 12 miles along the coast passing through several magnificent landscapes. I have no doubt this park is destined to become one of the great urban/rural oceanfront parks of the world.
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The Druid Sisters’ Tea Party.

That evening, we attended the Druid Sisters Afro, Celtic, Belly Dance Tea Party at the Hill House in Mendocino. The group Soul Elixir, with Pilar Duran (daughter of the great jazz guitarist Eddie Duran) and Claudia Paige (who played drums for the Grateful Dead and other groups) was the first to perform. They were magnificent. The Second group the Druid Sisters (vocals, drums, and fiddle) followed with a marvelous fiddle player (Kathy Buys) and a strong-voiced singer with red hair that the princess in “Brave” would envy (Cyoakha O’Manion). Claudia Paige played the drums here also. Both groups also performed together while the belly dancers wound their way through the audience.

Many of those attending the festivities were of a more advanced age and dressed like they thought Druids would dress — lots of beads and crystals, flowing clothing and even sandals on some. They also danced to the music with the undulating abandon I had last seen at the hippie encampment on the beach below the Mendocino bluffs over 40 years ago. It was great.

One woman, perhaps even older than I, done up in a long flowing dress with a hunting knife hanging from her belt, danced the entire night or at least swayed about waving her hands like she was casting a spell on us all. My sister thought that with her long slender hands and knobby knuckles she was a Witch and not a Druid. I expressed no opinion on the matter.
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The Druid Sisters and Soul Elixir Together on Stage.

The B. Bryan Wildlife Preserve.

Our veneration of nature having been reinforced by the Druids, we set off the following morning for Point Area and a 200-acre estate dedicated to endangered African hoofed animals. We toured the reserve in a safari vehicle, saw the grazing gazelle, antelope, zebra and giraffe herds, fed the giraffes carrots held in our mouths and learned a lot — that certain types of Zebra, are not only obnoxious, but they plan their births during the rainy season so that they could hide their foals from predators in the newly grown brush; all the things one can tell about the health of wild animals by examining their poop; and, that there are only 760 Rothschild Giraffes, the tallest on earth, left in the wild.
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Pookie and the Rothschild Giraffe.

As we left the preserve I thought California with its large open grasslands, the demise of its logging industry, and relatively strong environmental and land use laws could be a wonderful place for establishing large preserves in order to save many of the world’s endangered ruminants and perhaps some of the large predators.

SAVE THE ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFES.

Leaving Mendocino.

I spent my last few days here trying to figure out how I would occupy myself during the four days between when I had to leave here and when I was scheduled to return to El Dorado Hills. Camping for a night or two seemed attractive. I always liked short turns of camping. Many years ago I did a lot of it. I was never a “gear” person. Usually just throwing down a sleeping bag under a tree sufficed.

B. BOOK REPORT: SWAN’S WAY.

Actually, this is not a report about a book I have read, but it is a report about a book. While rummaging through the marvelous little bookstore on Main Street in Mendocino, I happened upon a graphic novel pro-porting to tell the story, Swan’s Way, that makes up the first part of Marcel Proust’s seemingly endless magnum opus about memory. According to the book jacket, the graphic novel was created so that those who found wading through Proust’s rumination’s on social minutia tedious would find this format more interesting and thereby be able to enjoy the marvel that was Proust. As I leafed through the book, however, I found it to contain mostly panels of people sitting or standing in various Edwardian rooms along with the visibly unhappy little Swanie sulking somewhere. I could not understand how that was supposed to alleviate the tedium.

Fiction is the art of the storyteller. Should you read something written by a storyteller and find in it anything transcendental, it is likely that the transcendence you find lives in you and not in the words of the storyteller — unless, you are responding to a reviewer who insists that if you do not see in the work what he or she sees you are clearly defective.

That is why we read fiction, not for what the storyteller or even the erudite reviewer brings to it but what we take away from it. It is ours alone.

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. Quigley on Top:

Communities and cooperation:

“In the most general terms ,we might say that men live in communities in order to seek to satisfy their needs by cooperation. These needs are so varied, from the wide range of human needs based on man’s long evolutionary heritage, that human communities are bound to be complex. Such a community exists in a matrix of five dimensions, of which three dimensions are in space, the fourth is the dimension of time, and the fifth, which I shall call the dimension of abstraction, covers the range of human needs as developed over the long experience of past evolution. This dimension of abstraction for purposes of discussion will be divided into six or more aspects or levels of human experience and needs. These six are military, political, economic, social, religious, and intellectual. If we want a more concise view of the patterns of any community, we might reduce these six to only three, which I shall call: the patterns of power; the patterns of wealth; and the patterns of outlook. On the other hand, it may sometimes be helpful to examine some part of human activities in more detail by subdividing any one of these levels into sub-levels of narrower aspects to whatever degree of specific detail is most helpful.

In such a matrix, it is evident that the patterns of power may be made up of activities on any level or any combination of sub-levels. Today, in our Western culture we can deal with power adequately in terms of force, wealth, and ideology, but in earlier history or in other societies, it will be necessary to think of power in quite different terms, especially social and religious, which are no longer very significant in our own culture. The great divide, which shunted our culture off in directions so different from those which dominate the cultures of much of Asia and Africa down to the present, occurred about the sixth century BC, so if we go back into our own historical background before that, we shall have to deal with patterns closer to modern Asia or Africa than to our own contemporary culture.

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

“One of the most important things in deciding which candidates to vote for in an election is whether you believe you can persuade them to your position after the election not whether or not they agree with you before it.”

C. Today’s Poem:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
‘I live with my brat in a high-rise flat,
So how in the world would I know.’
Roald Dahl

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me; if I am only for myself, what am I, and if not now when?”
Rabbi Hillel

 

 

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:
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Pilar Duran

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Cyoakha O’Manion

 

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Categories: January through March 2016, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. Free Day 0004 (December 21, 2015)

“Rumor is always more exciting than truth.”
Bruen, Ken. Purgatory (Jack Taylor series Book 10) (p. 186). Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

Joyous Saturnalia, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, Kwanza, Holidays and New Year!

Today is a Free Day on Pookies Calendar — so, do whatever you like as long as it does not hurt you or anyone else.

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

Since returning to the Golden Hills, it has been overcast and cool with brief episodes of light rain. Mornings, as usual, after I drop HRM off at school, I eat a breakfast at Bella Bru Cafe of toasted cinnamon-raisin bagel with cream cheese accompanied by a cafe latte. I sit at the booth by the window with a view of the fountain. The gray skies turn the usual gaily sparkling water glum and somber along with my mood.

I have changed into my winter outfit. Instead of the yellow fisherman’s vest I usually wear, I now sport a green wool vest over which I usually put on the suede leather Italian jacket I purchased at Denio’s flea market. Gone is my yellow straw hat, replaced by either one of LM’s creations or a crumpled leather hippie fedora. I wear jeans of course. I have only one pair that I usually wear every day. A second pair, too small in the waist, I wear whenever the other pair is being washed. When the sun is out and often when it is not, I put on brown-gold aviator sunglasses that turns the colors of the trees and hills beautifully brilliant, which pleases me no end as I drive around.
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In spite of the cloudy skies, it seemed almost warm enough to swim — so I did.
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Upon completing my laps, I noticed the clouds had darkened the sky considerably and the pool was empty except for me. This made me anxious, so I scurried inside, showered, changed and returned home to nap.

B. POOKIE’S TRIP TO AND FROM MENDOCINO:

On Friday, I left for Mendocino. I usually plan for up to four rest stops along the way. The first is at the Nut Tree on Route 80 for a coffee at Peet’s, exploration of the Jelly Belly store for their newest flavors, and a walk around the kids park. The second stop, which I skipped on this trip, is the overlook by route 37 where one can view the old Marine World Park and San Francisco Bay beyond, followed by a pause at Cloverdale for a gas-up and a Cafe latte at Starbucks. Then I took 128 over the ridge past the sad sight of the oaks dying from blight caused by an inattentive logger. The Spanish moss and other parasites that were slowly killing them made the dying trees appear iridescent in the gloom.

When I arrived in Booneville my last rest stop, I learned that the road was closed due to flooding. I chanced driving further unwilling to make my way back to 101 (never back) for an additional two-hour drive over the Coast Range. I arrived at the Navarro where, being famished, I enjoyed a late lunch of a salami and cheese sandwich, a bag of Joe’s Salt and Vinegar Potato Chips that I could not resist and a pepperoni stick. In the autumn, they hold a Charlie Musselwhite festival there.
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Navarro Store and its monument to music in the redwoods.

Further along, I ran into the road closure so I backtracked a short way and took a side road over the ridge to Elk about 20 miles south. I happily drove on, eating my potato chips and licking my fingertips, until I reached Highway One and headed north to Mendocino. The sun played hide and seek with the line of squalls that threw up giant waves against the rocks and cliffs of the coast leaving the water a blazing white froth that flashed almost painfully brilliant ivory when struck by the sun.

The Car Crash

I arrived in Mendocino and had just begun my turn into the short private street that led to the driveway of my sister’s house when a large pickup truck driven by a middle-aged man who had obviously been enjoying the view of the turbulent white-foamed ocean waves as they swirled into the nearby cove slammed into me.

My car was driven across the road and totaled. I suffered significant bruising to my chest from the exploding airbags. I was lucky my brother-in-law George the Mensch, a member of the local fire and rescue squad, showed up a minute later and handled things since I was in shock and too much pain to do much of anything for myself other than to sit in his truck and moan.

I was also lucky that a few weeks ago, in response to a recall, because the airbag company originally installed airbags that ejected shrapnel as well as the airbag when they discharged, we had the air bags replaced. Fate is funny that way.
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The next morning the pain in my chest was a lot worse and my emotions at a low ebb. I could not move my upper body much at all. I notified Dick and thankfully he seemed more concerned with my health than with the fate of his car.

Nikki called me the next day to see how I was feeling. SWAC, on the other hand, sent me an angry email blaming me for losing her ability to use the automobile registered in Dick’s name that I paid for. She demanded I move permanently to Thailand so that she could come to the US and take care of HRM. I did not respond to the provocation.

The following day, Jason and family arrived. That evening, well drugged up on pain suppressors, I accompanied them to the Christmas Lights Display at the Ft. Bragg Botanical Gardens.

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Almost 40 years ago, the Coastal Conservancy, through a timely grant for the purchase of some adjacent ocean front land and the upgrade of their facilities, rescued the Gardens from imminent foreclosure. The Gardens are now an important part of the Fort Brag Community. The Display concluded with a community marshmallow toast.
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On Sunday, I dragged myself to accompany them on a trip to the magnificent Pacific Star Winery to buy some wines for Christmas dinner and to pass an hour in conversation with Sally the irrepressible winemaker and her partner the redoubtable Mark. I bought a bottle of Charbono and one of Charbera before another squall struck driving us into the car and back to Mendocino.

That night, seriously drugged up, I sat immobile in the corner, a heating pad clutched to my breast with one hand and a glass of Champagne in the other while George and Maryanne’s Christmas open house whirled around me. Many of the revelers were the same members of the Mendocino Fire and Rescue group that responded to my crash. Several them came by and inquired about my health.

After that, I spent the next three days mostly in bed feeling sorry for myself and complaining a lot. Dark ugly purple bruises began to creep across my chest.

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By Wednesday, I felt sufficiently better so as to be able to breathe deeply enough to hopefully forestall the buildup of liquid in my lungs that might cause pneumonia. I left with my sister for San Francisco where I took the train to Sacramento and waited at the station for Dick to come by and drive me back to El Dorado Hills.

Alas, the car I use to drive HRM back and forth to school and run errands when the Honda is not available has broken down and cannot be driven until it is repaired. Dick has gone off for three days of hearings taking his car with him. As a result, I am stuck in the house, dependent on HRM’s schoolmate’s parents to bring him back and forth from school. The nearest shops are two miles away so I spent the day trying to walk around the neighborhood while persuading myself that pain makes me stronger.

On Friday, feeling muzzy and disoriented, I finally decided to visit the doctor. Not having an automobile, I walked over three and a half miles to his office, stopping only for breakfast at Bella Bru. While walking along, I happily took photographs of the Oaks of Winter, including one of a massive tree whose brown desiccated leaves refused to drop and who still showed some green ones furiously resisting death. I named it, The Obstinate Oak.
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The Obstinate Oak

The doctor, after listening to my symptoms and learning of my walk, said that I needed to have my head examined. He insisted that I take a nap in one of his examining rooms while his staff arranged for a taxi to take me to have my head examined and then back home.

The results of the CT-scan showed I had suffered a concussion in the accident. The doctor advised me to take it easy for another week or so.

This hopefully ends Pookie’s Delightful Car Crash Adventure.

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Quigley on Top:

“In the American system ‘costs’ are fiscal or financial limitations that have little connection with the use of scarce resources or even with the use of available (and therefore not scarce) resources. The reason for this is that in the American economy, the fiscal or financial limit is lower than the limit established by real resources and, therefore, since the financial limits act as the restraint on our economic activities, we do not get to the point where our activities encounter the restraints imposed by the limits of real resources (except rarely and briefly in terms of technically trained manpower, which is our most limited resource).”
Quigley, Carroll. Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time. GSG & Associates Publishers.

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

“As for things like GM crops, GM is merely a more efficient and safer method of improving crops than the radiation method we have been using for the last 100 years. Yes, there is probably not a single bite of food that you eat today that has not been genetically modified. The problem is a question of adequate regulation. Those who already are fearful resist putting their safety in the hands of others. As someone having been intimately involved in difficult regulation from all vantage points, I am sympathetic to their concern.”

C. Today’s Poem:

The Germ
A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than a pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
Ogden Nash

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Human society is not a deterministic system but a collective learning process”.
Victor Ferkiss

 

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:

The chart below depresses me. It shows the US producing STEM graduates at a lower rate than almost all other developed countries and many less developed ones as well. No country can maintain its financial, military or ideological dominance while standing in the ashes of its education system.

This is what occurs when a political party or interest groups demean education and science. As a result, in order to maintain any claim to being a technologically advanced and financially innovative country, we may be forced to import many of our scientists and engineers — perhaps even from Syria. (See also Quigley quote above)
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Categories: October through December 2015, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 6 Pops 0001 (August 21 2012)

Today’s Question: Do you know where your wampeter is today?

TODAY FROM THAILAND AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND CALIFORNIA:

I returned to Sacramento on Wednesday and resumed the ambiguous life of living in someone else’s house and caring for a child rapidly assuming his own identity and beginning his life voyage; a voyage that I and others can at best be only temporary observers.

As I settle into my regime of nanny and part-time tutor, the distinction between days have begun to fade. The absence of readily available access to an automobile in this automobile oriented environment makes me feel like I am imprisoned in a velvet (or more appropriate manicured lawn) jail.

I look forward to next weekend when we plan to travel to SF to see the preliminary America’s Cup races.

Regarding the custody litigation, the hearing on the motion to dismiss has been tentatively set for August 30. Chances of success look very promising at this time. We are awaiting the responsive pleadings, if any.

Should we be successful, I assume my welcome as guest nanny will be withdrawn and I will, not completely regretfully, scurry off to eventually return to my room without a view adjacent to the BKK red light district where I will soon enough get to complaining about, followed by making plans to leave again.

B. NEWS:

My first paid post for a blog has been accepted and published. You can read it here. (If you would rather not read it, please click into the site once or twice anyway so that my new employer may be led to believe that I have a popular following and keep me on payroll for at least another post.)

As minuscule a success as it is, I am pleased, given that it is what I set out to do when I started “This and that…” (bucket list?). Now that I have done it, consistent with my history, I will soon tire of it, drift along for a while, get into arguments with everyone, quit in high dudgeon and set about searching for something else to occupy my time. In between I will be depressed.

C. THAI OBSERVATIONS:

Thai View Olympic Success:
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(complements of Gary)

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

I have written at length regarding the 10 millennium subjugation of woman even to the point of half-jokingly suggesting that the survival of humanity requires men stepping aside in favor of woman assuming control our species destiny given the fact that we men have so placed that survival in jeopardy. I suggested in another post that the current US presidential election could represent the last hurrah of the white male. Perhaps, despite the fact that no woman heads the ticket of either party, instead it could be looked at as the first election in the emancipation of women, given the stark differences in approach on gender issues between the two parties.

In the 1930s the NAZI’s had a number of simple solutions to the problems rampant in German society at the time. Among them was to cure the unemployment problem by sending women who had jobs back to their homes. Today among the simple solutions proposed for addressing the problems facing US society one party proposes returning women to the role as mere machines for reproduction.

Perhaps one of the more perceptive articles, and one that I highly recommend, on how even the most accomplished women are not so subtly silenced by many men was written by Rebecca Solnit in which she commented:

“A Freudian would claim to know what they have and I lack, but intelligence is not situated in the crotch—even if you can write one of Virginia Woolf’s long mellifluous musical sentences about the subtle subjugation of women in the snow with your willie.”

For at least 10,000 years or so virtually every political system, economic system and religion has been designed by men for men. There is no natural or divine law that requires any of these structures to be designed in the way that they have been. During those same 10,000 years every justification of those structures have been developed by men to benefit men.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

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

Detritus 35 years later.

During our recent trip to the Mendocino County Coast, Peter Grenell and I decided to look at some of the projects in the area that we had developed about 35 years ago during our stints running the California State Coastal Conservancy.

For those unfamiliar with it, the Coastal Conservancy was a novel concept at the time that I introduced it into California’s Coastal Plan in 1975 or so. It was proposed in response to the recognition that regulation alone could not deal with the deleterious impacts of pre-existing development that had prompted the call for regulation in the first place, nor with the continuing degradation of those resources that those pre-existing developments engendered. Nor could it effectively deal with many planning issues, such as setting firm urban limit lines (they almost always are ignored for a host of political, legal and equitable reasons). Similarly existing public acquisition agencies (Parks Departments or wildlife agencies) were unsatisfactory for dealing with these issues either because of the nature of their function (recreation or wildlife preservation) or absence of focus (e.g., creation of public ownership strips along urban limits, urban water from restoration and restoration of all kinds, individual access-ways to the coast and the like). And, finally there was no agency specifically dedicated to providing solutions to the often vexing conflicts between regulation, economic development and simple equity.

JUGHANDLE CREEK HANDICAPPED ACCESSIBLE NATURE TRAIL

One of the principle objectives of the California Coastal Program in general and of the State Coastal Conservancy in particular was to preserve and enhance access to coastal recreational resources for all. This included the poor as well as the handicapped. At that time providing facilities of any sort for the handicapped was a relatively novel concept. Over the next decade or so the plethora of regulations and programs for the handicapped that we are familiar with became prevalent.

Early in the existence of the Conservancy, I as Executive Officer was approached by John Olmsted to fund a handicapped accessible trail system along Jughandle Creek in Mendocino County. (For those who have read my previous posts on the subject, it was John and the issues surrounding the Jughandle Creek natural environment that got me involved in coastal resource protection issues in the first place.) He was busy trying to establish a cross California Natural Heritage Trail on which he spent the rest of his life working. He believed a trail on the coast with a handicapped accessible component would be appropriate beginning.

The Conservancy Board and I agreed and we funded the program. Designs were drawn up and the trail constructed. It was a bit of an engineering marvel since it had to traverse the terrain from ridge top to stream side as well as follows the winding path of the water course in a way that was accessible to the handicapped, environmentally sound and un-intrusive enough so that the visitors experience of the natural environment remained. It was completed relatively inexpensively with the help of volunteers.

Although constructed on lands owned by the non-profit educational entity run by John we expected that the State Department of Parks and Recreation would buy the farm as part of its Jughandle Creek State Reserve and Pygmy Forest State Park and assume the operation and maintenance of the trail. Alas for some reason, after I left the Conservancy, the acquisition was never completed.

Now over thirty years later Peter and I searched for the trail system but could not find it. We asked around, but nobody seemed to know what I was referring to. As we started to leave the area, I noticed some rotting wood along the path we were walking on. Upon closer examination I realized that this was all that was left of the trail system that had extended almost a mile through the forest. I assume without the park acquisition, the maintenance of the system became too great for the non-profit. Unfortunately my successors at the Conservancy failed to monitor their projects.
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All that is left of the Jughandle Creek Handicapped Access Trail

Next: Point Cabrillo Lighthouse.
TODAY’S FACTOID:
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PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Pookie’s puerile epigrams:

A philosopher is someone who rationalizes from no evidence whatsoever. It saves the effort of going out and finding out what’s happening. It is an especially good occupation for old people. They can claim it has something to do with experience.
B. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
LobbyingRoi

C. Electioneering:
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This chart also explains why Republicans in Congress try to ban funding for NPR. I suspect they would like to ban MSNBC also.
D. Bokononism (Kurt Vonnegut):

1. Principles of Bokononism:

Bokononism is based on the concept of foma, which are defined as harmless untruths. A foundation of Bokononism is that the religion, including its texts, is formed entirely of lies; however, one who believes and adheres to these lies will have peace of mind, and perhaps live a good life. The primary tenet of Bokononism is to “Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

2. The Books of Bokononism: Excerpts from Book One.

Warning from title page: Don’t be a fool! Close this book at once! It is nothing but foma!

Verse 1: All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.

Verses 2-4 (?): In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close as mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely.

“Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.

“Certainly,” said man.

“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.

And He went away.
3. My Favorite Bokononism Quotes:

1. Referring to one’s karass:
Man created the checkerboard; God created the karass.
If you find your life tangled up with somebody else’s life for no very logical reasons that person may be a member of your karass.
Likes and dislikes have nothing to do with it.

2. Referring to the wampeter:
No karass is without a wampeter, just as no wheel is without a hub.
Around and around and around we spin, with feet of lead and wings of tin…
Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god.

E. Testosterone Chronicles:

Differences between men and women: no woman would ever utter the word apotheosis in a conversation.

The essence of Abrahamic religions: My penis is mine and your vagina is mine also.
TODAY’S QUOTES:
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They are still all white guys except with less facial hair and hats. Note: Only the guy from Goldman Sachs is smiling, as well he should be.
TODAY’S CHART:

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TODAY’S CARTOON:
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Categories: July through September 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Odds and ends:

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

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

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

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

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

News from Thailand:

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

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

Darwin is at work again.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

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

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

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

Could Seinfeld top that?

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

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

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

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

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

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

The first meeting of the California State Coastal Commission.

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

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

“What is that?” I asked Joe.

“The Los Angeles River,” he replied.

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

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

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

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

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles:

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

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

“Gorys XIV,” he whispered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Way to go Cal.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

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

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

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

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

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

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

19th Century:

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

20th Century:

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

Today:

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

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

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

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

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

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

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

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

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

TODAY’S QUOTES:

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

1.

2.

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

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

TODAY FROM CALIFORNIA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

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

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

The litigation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

Chronicles:

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

Any suggestions??

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Rachel (continued).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2012: Child poverty in the US:

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

2012: Net worth:

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

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

2012: National Efficiency.

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

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

The insufferable ignorance of the right:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S QUOTE:

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

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

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (January 30 2012) 13 Mopey 0001

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

I left the Little Masseuse standing in the lobby of Savrunbhumi Airport in Bangkok and passed through customs and security. My flight to Taipei was delayed due to a maintenance problem and then, after we boarded, delayed some more until finally we were asked to return to the terminal for dinner. I had pizza and a coke.

We were then herded back onto the plane for our flight to Taiwan and my transfer to the flight to LA that had been held at the airport. The flight itself was no more uncomfortable than usual. I occupied myself by intermitting episodes of napping and viewing movies on the personal screen provided each seat on EVA. I saw a movie about a man, his son and robot boxing starring Hugh Jackman; a film, with De Niro about governmental assassins killing each other and, a story about Mossad agents in post-war East German kidnapping an ex-Nazi doctor wanted for war crimes, that goes horribly wrong. The last film starred Helen Mirren who for some reason always turns me on, a fact I am sure she will be pleased to know.

Arrival at LAX was a nightmare. Of all the international arrivals I have been through all over the world, this had to be perhaps the worst. At one point, having taken over an hour to work my way through passport control, I had gotten to the baggage carousel that, of course, was not the same one at which I was repeatedly advised my baggage would be deposited and retrieved my suitcase. I proceeded to where the signs informed me that the line for customs began. The line itself snaked about 3/4 of the way around the terminal. As I approached the end of the line, a woman, clearly an airport employee, dramatically and firmly attempted to wave me off from joining the end of the line located about two feet behind her. She insisted that I turn around and go back through the entire terminal, circle around the baggage carousels and approach the same spot from another angle, saying that this way was blocked. I ignored her and pushed my way onto the line while she scurried ahead to shoo away other travelers seeking to join the same line.

After almost another hour, I emerged, met Monty and proceeded to the currency exchange desk to exchange baht for dollars. They charged me a fee that amounted to almost one-third of the value of the money exchanged.

I slept the night at Monty’s house. The next morning, after breakfast, he and I went to the local High School to exercise. Torrence High School’s athletic fields have recently been redone in the modern style that passionately obliterates any form of natural life. The track was an attractive rust colored rubberized material, the field in shiny green Astroturf and the stand’s silver aluminum bleachers had replaced wooden ones.

Following our walks around the track eight or ten times, stretching and pushups on the Astroturf and a few very slow wind sprints, we took off to visit with Ben at his new apartment where I talked extensively and excessively on the subject I like most, me.

After leaving Ben in peace, Monty and I eventually ended up in a high end clothing store in Redondo Beach owned by Jimmy and imaginatively named “Jimmy’s.” Jimmy, who is originally from Pakistan, served us wine and mixed nuts and stories about growing up Muslim in Pakistan as a virtual orphan, gaining a scholarship to study in America, becoming wealthy, raising a family, and in the end, like Ben, Monty and I ending up as members of the M3WBNB Club. At least he still has a bankrupt clothing store where he serves good wine and mixed nuts.

The next day, it was off to meeting other members of M3WBNB regarding a South East Asia distributorship for a product called “Blue Cow,” a specialty drink that’s supposed to calm the drinker down as opposed to something like “Red Bull” which makes them crazy.

This was followed by a brief get together with Pete another member of the club, who in his previous life raced at Indianapolis and in the Baja 500. Pete was at the garage he leased in order to refurbish auxiliary vehicles that move containers around the nearby Port. He, Monty and I swapped stories about when we were somebody.

Then off to Union Station for the train to Sacramento that is scheduled to arrive in Sacto at midnight only to discover I had nowhere to stay for the night.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

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

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

Back at the cabin we ate a lunch of elaborate home made trail mix and some locally grown fruit while John explained how to, “use the techniques of the private real the estate market to protect resources.” It seems, he had managed to cajole many of his neighbors into selling him relatively low cost options to purchase their land. He raised the money for the purchase of the options from various endeavors including peddling “Jughandle Creek” Christmas cards. His goal was eventually to sell the options to the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Unfortunately the Department did not see Jughandle Creek with the same urgency and significance as John.

Nevertheless, John’s approach of using the private market to preserve nature impressed me a lot since, among other things, it indicated some creative thought regarding getting something done beyond simply pressuring government to figure it out and do it. This approach affected some of the implementation policies that several years later I wrote into California’s Coastal Plan.

Since I had already been hooked, the remainder of the afternoon was spent discussing, planning and plotting our strategy for preserving and protecting John’s beloved Staircase.

It was clear to me that John was a lover and while he, like any lover, believed he would fight to preserve from harm every strand of his beloved’s hair, he was not, a defender. The difference to me was that the defender operates more or less by the following rules:

1. If the conflict is severe, damage is inevitable. (The lover often cannot neither conceive nor tolerate of the slightest harm to his beloved.)
2. You cannot protect anything if you are dead. (The lover, on the other hand, swears he would give his life for his beloved, but in fact rarely does, and because of that is prone to rash and foolish decisions.)
3. The opponent has to know right down to his shorts that he is in the battle of his life.
4. The defender will be disposed of the moment those defended believe the threat is past. Any songs that will be sung will be sung only about the lovers or those who merely survived the enemy’s rout.

(If this all sounds a little Seven Samurai and the Magnificent Seven, it is.)

Anyway, eventually we began the defense using all the traditional methods; protests, demonstrations and the like (John had may allies and supporters he could call on) and I joined in. Then came the litigation.
(to be continued)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles:

I am sorry, I have run into a form of writers block over tales for Old George to tell about the “Dark Times,” in the NMR colony. If anyone has some simple plot suggestions of tales that fit NMR society I would appreciate it.

2. H. Glaber fellow travelers.

To, Paul W. Sherman, Stanton Braude and Jennifer U.M. Jarvis, who in the August 1999 Journal of Mammalology reported that there are no food fights among baby mole rats. Although unlike any other mammal, the Mole rat Queen births as many as twice the infants as she has mammaries, there is no problem because the normal greedy behavior of other mammal infants is absent and they willingly take turns sucking on a tit.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Rachel.

Rachel was a very attractive woman. Perhaps one would not consider her drop dead gorgeous, her nose was a bit too pointed, her hair an undistinguished shade of brown, her shoulders a bit too angular. Nevertheless these minor imperfections aside, from anyone’s perspective she was a very pretty woman. She was smart too. Having gotten her advanced degree in finance from Wharton, she spent a few years on Wall Street as an up and coming financier. But she was not especially happy doing what she was doing and when her mother got sick, she returned to San Francisco to take over the family’s flower shop on California Street near posh Pacific Heights and in the past three years opened a second outlet in downtown and transformed the small business into one of the cities leading event planning operations.

But still she was not completely satisfied. Her personal life, as it had been since high school, was pretty barren. She worked long hours and on her few dates she found that her brusk no nonsense manner and intellectual attainments put off most of her suitors. At 34 she had begun to accept the fact that in the long run she was destined to be alone. This in itself did not bother her too much. But there was a gnawing sense that she was somehow at fault in the paucity of significant relationships. No matter how much she told herself that she was an independent modern women making her own life, she retained a deep seated feeling that she was, in some way, failing.

This evening she had just finished dinner with her friend Janice who had left soon after dinner to hook up with a guy she had met a few days ago at Cafe Americano located a few blocks away. Perhaps, she thought that’s whats bothering her, she needed to get laid but instead she was going home like most nights to watch a little television, catch up on some work, review her investments, read a book and then go to bed.

It was a beautiful San Francisco night. She stood for a moment on the sidewalk in front of the McWerter building in which the restaurant was located and took a deep breath then began walking down Steuart Street away from busy Mission Street toward the little cul-de-sac into which Steuart Street ended where she had parked her car. As she walked along she could hear sirens wailing from somewhere toward Market Street. She thought that there must be a fire in one of the stores or office buildings on Market since so many sirens appeared to be howling all at once.

As she crossed Howard Street she fished out her keys from her pocked and jingled them absent-mindedly as she walk along toward the end of the Cul-de-sac. Her car was parked in the last space before the road ended. To her left toward the Embarcadero and the bay was a small plaza, a remnant undevelopable piece of land turned into a forlorn paper strewn park. To her right across Steuart, rose the 8 or so level parking garage that serviced the area, while in front of her the plaza narrowed as the Embarcadero slashed across in until it ended at the entrance to the new main offices of the Gap, a well known clothing manufacturer. She smiled slightly when she thought about one of the sayings she remembered from her classes at Wharton that went something like, “you could always tell when a company is about to fail; it is almost always soon after the leave the place that served them so well during their growth for their signature headquarters building that inevitably was built to feed the CEO’s ego.” She mused that that appeared to be happening to the GAP which had experienced dramatically declining profits almost ever since moving in.

She arrived at the car, pressed the unlock button on the key and opened the diver’s side door. Suddenly a large dark shape rose from in front of the car where it had apparently been crouched and hiding. Before she could react, she was grabbed flung against the side of her automobile and her keys snatched from her hand. The suddenness of the attack and the pain as her body struck the metal stunned her and she found herself dragged toward the door. She regained some control over herself and began to resist. Her attacker pushed and pulled her even harder, he was quite strong and he shouted “get in the car before we both get killed.” Just then she heard a loud sound like something exploding and the rear window of her car shattered.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

During the days when I had somewhat of significant impact on the planning and implementation of California’s coastal program, I often found myself on one side an ideological divide among environmentalists; between those that focused on the protection and rehabilitation of coastal resources (my leanings) and those that believed that no development is good development. The no development side had a valid point, they argued that, if all development were eliminated along the coast (or at least all new development) the natural environment would return to the state nature intended.

As with most absolutist ideologies, it overlooked several inconvenient facts among which was that no part of California’s shoreline no matter how remote was free of impacts caused by the vast migration of population to California over the last hundred years or so. Unless all or most of those people were driven off, the resources would continue to degrade simply from their continued presence no matter how much future development was restricted.

My position was prompted by concerns about the continuing impact of economic conflict on coastal resources as well as questions of simple equity.

A little story may help explain the evolution of my views. Early in the program, we received a proposal for development of a small resort hotel on the shores of one of the myriad of inlets along the coast. There was no other development along this section of the coast and the resources that could be impacted were especially sensitive. The developer was someone largely self-financed and could not by any means be described as a “large developer.” In fact, I believed that essentially his entire financial resources were tied up in this property. During a meeting with him, as I discussed the various concerns we had with the proposed project, he became visibly agitated. Finally unable to contain himself, he jumped out of his seat, rolled up the sleeve of his shirt to reveal the telltale tattoo of identification numbers that indicated a survivor of the Nazi death camps. He shouted that he was being treated almost as badly as in the concentration camps.

Now without getting into the appropriateness of his analogy or whether or not it was simply a cynical ploy to play upon my emotions for his benefit, it did place in hard contrast the nature of my actions.

Ultimately we denied this project, as we were required to so that the Coastal Plan could be completed without compromising its effectiveness, by actions that could be inconsistent with that plan. Although the denial was ostensibly temporary, I am sure the impact on the developer was devastating since he probably was not financially strong enough to maintain his position and may have been forced into bankruptcy or worse. I also knew that any plan that we came up with would have as one of its goals the maintenance of this short stretch of the coast free from development.

I realized then that our decisions, did not simply preserve resources, albeit temporarily, but also often penalized the economically weak, while favoring of the financially strong. Our actions actually gave an advantage to the large landowner or the well funded development corporation, who could lie in wait for political fortunes to change or could spend whatever it took on political and economic consultants to obtain the economic reward from the exploding value of an entitlement for development along the coast that we had created.

Because a permit to develop along the coast became immensely more valuable as a result of our regulation, those with the wherewithal to wait for a politically propitious time or to purchase the political and technical consultants (of which I was a reasonably successful one following my departure from governmental service) to acquire the prized permit, were often successful. Those without the wherewithal lost, sometimes everything.

As a result, it became my approach to instruct the Commission staff to inform the prospective developers early in the project approval process as precisely as we could what we wanted the development to do, what resources to be protected and equally important what resources needed to be restored or expanded. The latter because I believed that absent such action, environmental resource degradation and loss from the ongoing effects of already existing development would continue. If you are not increasing the extent and health of the resource base you inevitably are losing them. This the “No Development” ideologues simply failed to understand or appreciate.

If the Permit to develop was as valuable as we apparently had made it, then not only were we using that increment in value to improve the resources but, I believed, we also reduced the inequities between the economically powerful landowners and developers and the much more common small entrepreneur. Now the burden was no longer on the agency to maintain an often untenable position but upon the applicant who must decide if the value in hand was worth more that the uncertain future value that may be obtained by fighting on.

The question can be raised whether or not we are merely forcing current development to bear the costs of past errors by government. The answer is, yes and no. Land use regulation does not simply shift property values it, in fact, increases the value of the entitlement itself. In other words the land values have been shifted to some extent from the lands potential development value to its value entitled. On the other hand costs to develop are increased and therefore may represent an increased societal cost, but perhaps not to the extent of the costs of environmental degradation flowing from a failure to regulate. These costs (in either case) often fall heaviest on those least able to bear them. To deal with this several commentators on the process urged and a number of us on the staff agreed that included among the so-called coastal resources were those things that can be considered replacements in whole or in part for some of the societal impacts. These included increased access to coastal recreation by the general public, preservation and expansion of lower cost facilities and the like.

The plan and the legislation that ultimately emerged attempted to address most of the issues mentioned above without surrendering its strong focus on coastal resources as follows:

a. The creation of a regulatory agency with specific, not general, policies to focus the regulation on the particular unique resources of the coast and to encourage their expansion.

b. Funding for acquisition of those areas of great value for recreational, environmental and even equitable goals (such as the resort developer referred to above) and,

c. An environmental redevelopment and public access agency to begin the process of undoing the damage already done.

Following in the passage of the massive California Coastal program, alas, those ideologically committed to the belief that no development is good development gradually prevailed in the regulatory program resulting in the favoring the large and powerful developer over the small and financially weak producing a hodgepodge of poorly designed projects, both large and small, a spate of inequitable decisions falling primarily on the economically defenseless, and a slowing down of resource preservation and restoration even to the point of interfering with the ability of other agencies to carry out the policies they were charged with in the coastal legislation.

So does this make me a “liberal” on environmental matters. Not to that certain segment of the environmental community that opposes all or most development. I consider myself, if tags are necessary, more an environmental populist who believes that, even in environmental matters, the statement I have made several times before, should qualify every social, political, environmental and collective action we make and perhaps individual actions as well:

“Why would anyone be morally bound or wish to be morally bound to a civil society that does not share the goal that its citizens deserve a fair distribution of wealth, income and power? If the civil society is not dedicated to that end what else could it possibly be dedicated to? What is freedom to those without wealth, income or power?”

Anything less in my opinion is neither patriotic, good public policy nor moral.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

2010: Prescription drug dangers.

In a report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, study authors said that in looking over records that spanned from 1976 to 2006 (the most recent year available) they found that, of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter-million deaths were coded as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors.

An estimated 450,000 preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the US every year.

The costs of adverse drug reactions to society are more than $136 billion annually — greater than the total cost of cardiovascular or diabetic care.

Adverse drug reactions cause injuries or death in 1 of 5 hospital patients.

The reason there are so many adverse drug events in the US is because so many drugs are used and prescribed — and many patients receive multiple prescriptions at varying strengths, some of which may counteract each other or cause more severe reactions when combined.

2012: Headphone danger.

According to Chris Woodyard at USA Today, serious injuries have increased 300% in the last six years for pedestrians wearing headphones. Even more worrying, 70% of the people in these instances were killed.
Nearly 70% of those that died in the accidents were under the age of 30.

Surprisingly, almost half of the vehicles involved in the accidents were trains and not cars. The rapid increase in these accidents directly correlates to the rapid growth of the MP3 player market.The loud volume of the headphones blocking engine and horn noise coupled with the distraction of the music seems to be a fatal recipe. It just might be time to turn down the volume when on the move.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/headphones-may-kill-you-2012-1#ixzz1jlx9uwLV

2012: Olive oil.

Italy sells three times as much olive oil as it produces.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fake-olive-oil-2012-1#italy-sells-three-times-as-much-olive-oil-as-it-produces-15#ixzz1k3LIeCcs

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. : You might be conservative if (by Bruce Lindner):

1: You’re irate over the president taking so many vacation days on the taxpayer’s dime (61 thus far), but you thought George W. Bush earned every minute of his leisure time (196 days at the same point in his presidency).

2: You’re happy with your 40 hour work week, paid vacations and company-provided healthcare, but you’re strongly anti-union, because those commies haven’t done anything for you lately.

3: You strongly support the First Amendment and its guarantee of religious freedom to all, but you don’t think Muslims have a right to build an Islamic Community Center in Manhattan.

4: You believe Ronald Reagan was a devout Christian, even though he hated going to church, but any president who spends twenty years going to the same Trinity United Church in Chicago must be a Muslim.

5: You believe when a Republican governor creates a healthcare package with an individual mandate for everyone in his state, that’s a good idea. But when a Democratic president does it, suddenly it’s unconstitutional.

6: You’re so enthused about demonstrating your Second Amendment rights, you can think of no finer place to brandish your pistol in public than at a presidential rally.

7: You believe Bill Clinton was responsible for Osama bin Laden’s escape ten years ago, but thankfully George W. Bush caught up with him and killed him in Pakistan.

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


“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“When a man tells you he got rich through hard work, ask him: Whose?”
– Rousseau

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. ( 6 Mopey 0001) January 22 2012

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. Pookie’s Adventures in Thailand:

Last night unable to fall asleep, I looked around for things that would help me do so. I decided to calculate, with the help of the word counter program on one of my applications, the number of words I had written over the past two years. It turned out I had written about one million words.

Now what’s that all about? One Million words. That seems like a lot of words.

Why would anyone in their right mind write so much and not get paid for it? It’s like standing in a closed room and talking to yourself; that’s the definition of nuts.

One million words. That would be like writing 10 slim books or 5 longer boring ones.

And why was I awake at night adding up all this stuff about words I have written? Who cares?

That’s like figuring out how much I shit over the past two years. Since I shit about a little over pound a day, after two years I would have shit about 800 pounds. That is four times my weight.

So after two years, what I have to show for it all is one million words and 800 pounds of shit.

At least you can do something positive with the shit, spread in on some farm land and grow things. But, what does one do with used words.

What happens to all these words anyway? When you press the send button on your computer or whatever it is that you do, where do they go or where are they before or after someone reads them? Somebody once told me they are in a server someplace. Does that mean somewhere there is a server with a little electronic compartment called “Joey’s words?” Someone else said they just float around in the ether. Wouldn’t these trillions and trillions of words floating around overhead eventually become too heavy and come crashing down burying us all under tons of broken letters?

Frightening, no?

If I wrote all one million words on pieces of paper instead of into a computer, besides a bad case of writers cramp, I would have about 5000 pieces of note paper covered in scribbled words lying around my room.

That doesn’t seem so bad.

My little bookcase with my thirty or so books have more than that. My personal libraries over the years probably consisted of about 15,000 books containing over a billion words.

Why do we need so many words? Why would anyone read a billion words?

Think about it, every day probably 100 billion words are written and that’s just those written down. There must be a million times more words than that spoken. Why?

Maybe we are all made up of just words.

You know, if you ask a physicist what the universe is made of he will tell you “energy.” What the hell is that, “energy?” Well, the physicist probably will explain, it is like sunlight or electricity all waves or pulses. What the hell does that mean? Nothing.

Why not words? After all the Bible says in the beginning there was the Word. Maybe way back in the beginning all was silent. Maybe there was a prior universe and in that universe they said everything that could be said and so there was nothing more to talk or write about and everything became very quiet . The universe was sort of like a big deathly silent library.

Then, all of a sudden, someone said something like, “Oh shit, I dropped my fucking pencil,” and then everyone started talking a once.

“Boom” the “Big Bang,” words spreading out at the speed of light creating word galaxies, stars and solar systems.

And what about the “dark energy” the physicists tell us makes up most of our universe? Could it actually be “Dark Words?” Could they be those words floating around in people’s minds that no-one ever hears or sees?

Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

So what about my 1 million words? Don’t I have something better to do with my time?

The Little Masseuse spends much of her time knitting wool scarves. She does it while watching television, riding on a bus or at work. After all, there is not that much to do at a health club but hand out towels and give a massage now and then.

But wool scarves? This is Thailand for God’s sake. What would a Thai know about wool scarves? It never gets cold here. If they actually wore them, they would probably die of heat prostration. They probably saw them in some old western movie about rich people at some expensive resort in the Alps and thought they were fashion accessories beloved by westerners. It had to be old movies. Nowadays, when one goes skiing, one wears a sleek brightly colored outfit made of plastic that makes one look like an idiot robot or a cartoon character.

Anyway, sometimes she sells them to westerners at the health club.

What’s that all about?

Why would someone come all the way to Thailand and buy a woolen scarf instead of one of those fake traditional Thai handicrafts sold on the sidewalks along most of the streets in Bangkok? Or, one of those carved wooden penises that the Thai’s seem to like so much and carry around in their pockets or attached to a key chain or dangling from a string tied around their necks?

And, what is all that about penises being good luck? Come on guys when has your penis actually brought good luck; a little fun perhaps, but good luck, probably not. More than likely, the damn thing brings you a lot of bad luck if you ask me,

Anyway, there are wool scarves stuffed everywhere throughout my apartment. I bought a bunch of them from her just to bring them to the US to get rid of them.

No, I am not going to take up knitting instead of senselessly spewing out words to pass my time.

Perhaps I can go and play checkers in a bar somewhere every day.

Does anyone play checkers anymore? Probably not, they now most likely play video games on their iPhones complete with sound effects.

I could grow tomatoes. That’s what old Italian men do. My father did it and his father before him. They were not farmers, they grew the tomatoes in their back yards or along the side of the driveway.

My father loved his tomatoes, obsessed over them. At times I thought he loved his tomatoes more than his family. Between my father and my grandfather they must have grown a million tomatoes. That’s a lot of tomatoes.

It’s frightening really what people chose to do with their lives.

B. News, Straight or Slightly Bent:

Today I had my first piece published in anything other that my own blog or some other blog that accepts everything submitted. True, it was only in the letters to the editor section of one of the two national english language newspapers in Thailand, The Nation. Nevertheless, my letter completely filled all the space allocated for the section (in other words it was long, very long). I will send a copy in my next post along with what I am sure will be outrage at my comments since I claimed, in that pseudo intellectual language that I affect and like so much, that the Thai national flood control plan is crap and doomed to fail.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

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

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

The next morning John took us on a tour of the “Ecological Staircase.” In some ways that hike changed my life as much as anything has. Never before had I experienced anyone that seemed to have such a passionate love of nature, or of anything really; musicians or those sexually bewitched maybe. Perhaps those who met John Muir or explored the marshes with Mrs. Terwilliger (“Spend the day at home and you’ll never remember it. Spend the day outdoors with me, and you’ll never forget it.”) may have been equally affected as I was during this walk. For me it seemed both revealing and somewhat disquieting.

I grew up on the East Coast in and around New York City. I could be included among those who that passionate cynic Don Neuwirth said get nose bleeds when the soles of their feet are not in contact with cement. To us the “Woods,” as we called it, was somewhat forbidding and dangerous, a place approached with care and where possible avoided.

As we walked along, John pointed things out like a tour guide in the Sistine Chapel. He would stop, dip his hands into the mulch of the forest floor breathing in its earthy smell then urging us to do so also. At times he tenderly touched this or that shy plant explaining its particular remarkable attributes. I soon realized I was experiencing someone who appeared to be speaking about his beloved.

To John nature was nothing less that a symphony of renewal. I on the other hand could not go quite that far, the smell of the earth although pleasant still possessed the faint odor of decay. Where he saw in a green shoot pushing up through the browned fallen leaves as the miracle of regeneration, I saw only the catabolism of the dead.

And yet, and yet, I could not resist his infective enthusiasm and hoped, no wanted it all to be true.

Or, I suddenly thought, was this in fact just another example of something I once read, of, “…our peculiar American phenomenon of seeking guidance or redemption within nature.” From what could John be seeking redemption? Not being “The Olmsted?” Something that happened during recess in grammar school? A secret life perhaps?

Among the stunted trees John explained how the nitrogen depleted soil encouraged the plants in the area to evolve to trap insects from which to obtain that chemical so necessary for life.

As we trudged along we passed through the towering redwood forests that grew where the hard-pan had been broken at what could be called the staircase’s risers, crushed by the incessant geological forces as they thrust one step above the other.

As we walked in the silent spaces between the giant trees, John referred to it, as many do, as a cathedral. Like a cathedral’s columns, the massive trunks climbed up to where far above sunlight filtered through the branches as it does through a cathedral’s stained glass clerestory windows. Far below, in shadow the ground revels in silence.

But, in reality, even I knew the trees grew that high in order to expropriate the sun’s energy at the expense of everything below, just like, I assume, the builders of the great cathedrals sought to expropriate the grace of God, leaving the few worshippers scurrying about in the gloom and quiet below. Whenever I visited one of those churches, enjoying the brief respite from the vicissitudes of existence offered by the silence, I, nevertheless, soon found myself longing for the excitement and distraction of life’s bazaar outside.

As we turned to go back to the cabin for lunch, I was a bit relieved; fatigued from scrambling across the wild terrain and somewhat overwhelmed by my sudden imersion into the intricate mysteries of nature. Mostly, I guess, because although we usually simply absorb our momentary experiences with Mother Nature in unthinking contemplation, wandering about with John, however, was more like a post-graduate course in ecological transcendentalism. It was made even more exhausting by exposure to a lovers passion that you, the observer, could not really share.

Still, unless one is simply hateful or irredeemably cynical one usually hopes the lover succeeds and perhaps thereby you gain some vicarious empathic connection to what you could never experience directly.

Watching them plod on ahead of me, Jeanne determined to wring all that could be wrung from her experience and John, in the lead, shinning like Gandalf the White, I felt a chill and I thought again about redemption.

We all seek redemption for something. For me, perhaps it was absolution for that morning long ago, hearing my wife screaming over and over again, “My baby, my baby is dead” while I tried to breathe life back into that tiny purple and red splotched body and failed, or later, feeling nothing but anger at the stares of the mourners and the somber burial on some forgotten hilltop?

Could an innocent excitement about the future and a lovers enchantment redeem anything?

I followed them back to the cabin.

B. Postscript: Monty.

Undaunted by this tragedy and the collapse of his hopes and dreams at that time Monty applied the personal skills that made him successful as a prize-fighter to go on to other careers including a stint as a radio sportscaster. Eventually like so many during that time, he found himself in California and like many of those who eschewed the burgeoning and disruptive hippy sub-culture went into Real Estate and development, primarily shopping centers. He became quite successful, married had two children and a large estate in Rancho Palos Verde overlooking the ocean. Then things began going bad.

Someone, suggested Monty consider buying some property in San Luis Obispo County; eighteen hundred acres right by the water. Monty went to see the property. It was an old cattle ranch astride Pacific Coast Highway. It had been heavily overgrazed and denuded of most flora and fauna except for the stunted grass. Yet, the gently rolling golden landscape was attractive in a desolate sort of way as it rose up into some low hills that on one side flowed seamlessly back toward the grazing lands and on the other fell precipitously onto the rocks and breakers of the Pacific Ocean. Standing there on the top of one of the hills, Monty fell in love in a way he had not experienced for many years. To some, falling in love means redemption or peace, to others it is the gateway to destruction. Alas, for Monty although he had hoped it was the former, it unfortunately turned out to be the latter.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

1. Chronicles: Unfortunately, I believe we have had enough dark tales for one post, so I guess we will have to wait a few more days to hear Old George’s Tales of the Dark Times.

2. H. Glaber fellow travelers:

The “Urban Dictionary” which defined the phrase Naked Mole Rat as someone looking particularly unattractive, usually early in the morning or late at night. Characteristics include squinty eyes, hair pressed flat against head, puffy features. Usually the result of poor or no sleep and/or way too late/early to be up and moving around.

“She washed her face and brushed her hair, but a naked mole rat still stared back at her in the mirror.”

“After playing video games all night he was more naked mole rat than human.”

“That’s not a baby! That’s a naked mole rat!”

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Don’t Piss Off Meg (continued):

Meg climbed the cliff face toward the road above while the wreck below still blazed. For a moment she wondered if killing a potential witness would make finding Stephanie’s killer more difficult. She dismissed that figuring he would have been dead anyway before he could be questioned and the automobile probably was a rental so it most likely had nothing helpful in it. Whatever there is to be gotten, she was confident the technical people will be able to extract it even from the burned scraps. Besides she thought, whoever killed Steph and tried to kill her made a big mistake, they got her pissed her off.

As she passed the emergency rescue team on the way down, she told them she was unable to get the driver out of the vehicle before it exploded and thought he was probably dead. She said she would send a technical investigation team down to sift through the wreckage.

Arriving at the top, she saw that no one from the Sheriff’s office had arrived yet. She recognized, Mike Williams of the Pacifica PD who seemed to be in charge. She told him the same story she told the emergency rescue team and added that she believed that the automobile and driver may have been connected to a previous incident being investigated by the sheriff’s office that would send a technical investigation team to assist the Pacifica group. She promised to call Mike tomorrow and coordinate the investigation. As they walked back to her cruiser, Mike joked about the crushed bumper when he saw it.

“Yeah,” she said laconically, “got to get that fixed.” She then got into the car radioed her office to bring them up to date and get things rolling. Picking up her cell phone she called Ray.

She told him everything that happened including with the lighter. He remained silent.

She then said, “Ray, I want to talk to everyone on your list starting with that fucking minister in Blackhawk. About 10 AM OK with you? Can you get it started?”

Ray agreed but insisted he come along on the interviews. She assented. Then following some discussion about coordination she put down the phone, started the car and drove to her home in Half Moon Bay.

She did not go directly into her house but walked the block or so to the beach, sat on a driftwood log watching the foam of waves shimmer in the moonlight and allowing the roar of the breakers drown out all thought. After a while she got up, took a deep breath, returned to her home, went in and slept deeply and unperturbed.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 2012: Giant Rats Trained to Unearth Dangerous Landmines.

Buddhist monk and Ashoka Fellow Bart Weetjens has trained sub-Saharan African giant pouched rats to detect land mines. Last year alone, in Gaza Mozambique 36 HeroRATs and 14 locally trained handlers cleared nearly 800,000 square meters of land, safely destroying 861 land-mines, 373 items of unexploded ordnance (UXO), 6,216 small arms and ammunitions (SAA), and one cluster bomb RBK-250-275. By the end of this year, APOPO hopes to clear an additional two million square meters of land.

In 2010, the Thailand Mine Action Centre (TMAC) asked APOPO to conduct land release surveys along its Cambodian border, in partnership with the Thai NGO Peace Road Organization (PRO). Ten weeks of sweeps uncovered 165 anti-personnel mines and 17 anti-tank mines. APOPO will maintain a presence in Thailand to assist the country’s compliance with the 2018 AP Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) deadline.

2. The good old days:

Does anyone long for the “good old days” when Lysol was marketed as a feminine hygiene product with ads like these:

3. Olive oil:

70% of “extra virgin olive oil” is probably a fraud.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/fake-olive-oil-2012-1#70-of-extra-virgin-olive-oil-is-probably-a-fraud-17#ixzz1k3KyOYG2

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

What passes for political discourse in today’s United States of America:

In a letter to his colleagues, Kansas Speaker of the House Mike O’Neal ® regarding President Barak Obama called for his death writing:

“At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!

Let his days be few; and let another take his office

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.”

As far as I know, not a single Republican or conservative political leader or commentator objected to this. Had a politician of this rank called for the death of a Republican president, Faux news and the entire right-wing amen choir would have accused him of treason and screamed for his removal from office.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“There are two sustainable ways to make money in finance: find people with risks that need to be carried and match them with people with unused risk-bearing capacity, or find people with such risks and match them with people who are clueless but who have money. Are we sure that most of the growth in finance stems from a rising share of financial professionals who undertake the former rather than the latter?”
Brad De Long

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

The mouse-sized naked mole rat is the longest-lived rodent known, surviving up to 31 years in captivity. Scientists are studying its longevity, including its ability to maintain good health and reproductive potential well into its third decade. (Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies/The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio)

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

This and That from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (27 Joseph 0001) January 16, 2012

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

Chronicles: Workers.

Hi, my name is Gail. I am a worker and I have been asked to show you around the burrow. Workers like me are smaller than the other naked mole rats in the community, like the Queen and the soldiers. That is a good thing, I think. It helps us get around and through all of the tunnels. Although all of us can run forward and backward equally fast and our skins are loose enough we can almost turn around in them, it is a bit easier for us to move about the smallest of the tunnels than it is for the bigger soldiers and the Queen, may she reign forever.

First a word about us workers. We work almost all the time, except when we eat or sleep or use the toilet. Although each of us can do whatever any other one can, some of us specialize. For example, when we dig a tunnel one of us, of course, is in front doing the actual digging. Behind the digger are one or more sweepers sweeping the refuse back to the last of us in the line who sweeps it out of burrow altogether where it forms a volcano like mound about five inches high. That’s what I like doing best, volcanoing and I am pretty good at it.

Some of the others are good at other things. Take Old George, he is one of the oldest citizens in the burrow. He is so old he remembers the Queen before the current Queen, my mom, may she reign long and prosper and may she be not as irritable as usual. He sometimes tells the younger workers stories about the Dark Times after the prior queen died and the other females fought often to the death throughout the tunnels until one emerged victorious, Old Horror, Glabix XI calls her, my mom, Eleven’s too, may her reign be fruitful.

Anyway, in addition to telling stories and being old and all, Old George is a tool-maker. He finds and shapes bits of wood that the workers doing the digging can use to make it easier and faster. With or without tools we workers can build a super tunnel over a mile long in three months. A super tunnel is one that two of us can walk side by side of pass each other going in opposite directions. These super tunnels connect the important places in the burrow.

Well, here we are at one of those important places, the Restroom or Loo.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1938, November 12: The “Jewish Question.”

‘I have received a letter written on the Führer’s orders requesting that the Jewish question be now, once and for all, coordinated and solved one way or another… I should not want to leave any doubt, gentlemen, as to the aim of today’s meeting. We have not come together merely to talk again, but to make decisions, and I implore competent agencies to take all measures for the elimination of the Jew from the German economy, and to submit them to me.’
Hermann Goering.

Goering’s statement followed the infamous Kristallnacht. Also, shortly after the Kristallnacht Martin Sasse, bishop of the Thuringian Evangelical Church and leading member of the German Christians movement, published a compendium of Martin Luther’s writings ; Sasse “applauded the burning of the synagogues” and the coincidence of the day, writing in the introduction, “On 10 November 1938, on Luther’s birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany.” The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words “of the greatest anti-Semite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews.” Diarmaid MacCulloch argued that Luther’s 1543 pamphlet On the Jews and Their Lies was a “blueprint” for the Kristallnacht.

One of the few public demonstrations of opposition to Kristallnacht was led by, William Cooper, an Aboriginal Australian whose people also had experienced racial based extermination attempts by a Germanic people, who along with a delegation of the Australian Aboriginal League marched through Melbourne to the German Consulate to deliver a petition which condemned the “cruel persecution of the Jewish people by the Nazi government of Germany.” German officials refused to take the document.

However, lest we forget and thereby minimize the true evil of right-wing hate, in addition to the Jewish Holocaust, Gypsies were often killed on sight, especially by the Einsatzgruppen [mobile killing units] on the Eastern Front. The total number of victims has been variously estimated at between 220,000 to 1,500,000; even the lowest number would make the Porajmos (Gypsy genocide) one of the largest mass murders in history. Homosexuals were hunted down like vermin and over 12 million Poles simply were slaughtered to make room for the planned expansion of the German race.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Airport Fracas:

A few days ago an official of Thailand’s Customs Department set off the security alarm as he passed through the security machine at the BKK airport. A security officer asked to pat down official before passing further into the airport. The official objected, pointed to his name tag, slammed both hands against the security officers ears rupturing one of his eardrums and walked off. It was all caught on tape by a security camera and received significant play on the local news.

A Customs Department spokesman said it is investigating the incident but did not think it was a big enough deal to remove the investigation out of local hands.

Thailand in now experiencing national soul-searching about how far, if at all, they have come from feudalism.

2. Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl tours the military:

In keeping a campaign pledge to get to know them better, the Prime Minister has begun a series of lunches with leaders of the various branches of the nations armed forces, who were instrumental in executing the coup that removed her brother, the exiled, fugitive ex-Prime Minister Thaksin the Terrible.

3. Thailand’s “Sufficiency” economy:

On December 23,1999, His Majesty the King of Thailand announced his goal of a sufficiency economy for Thailand. The country’s political leaders ignored him on this just as they did on flood control, rural development and the need to protect the Monarchy from criticism. They do however claim undying loyalty to the Royalty Family.

It sort of resembles those in the US who express unabashed reverence for those in military service, even to the point putting on huge displays in their honor, while often opposing almost every program intended to provide those same servicemen and women, health care for war related injuries, job retraining and education, family assistance and just about anything else that would actually help those who put their lives on the line for the rest of us a little more than hollow hypocritical celebrations.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have little to report about my activities here. I am still planning to leave on the 24th of the month to return to the US. I arrive in LA for a day or two, then go to Sacramento. This is different from yesterday when SWAC wrote to tell me that I should not go to Sacramento because Dick in whose house she and Hayden lives (he actually lives in another house) did not want me to stay the month. This morning she emailed me that I should go to Sacramento so that she could return to Thailand to sell her condominium. Tomorrow I am sure it will change again.

I have begun transferring these “This and that…” emails into a new blog. It takes a lot of time to do so. In my next issue of “This and that…” I will explain all about it.

Although I still go to the health club six days a week, I now only swim for my workouts. Since I had my most recent lingering illness, I have found myself too exhausted for extensive gym exercises.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

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

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

The tall skinny apparition led me through the columns into the sparsely furnished lobby of the newly completed building where several large easels were set up in some sort of an ad hoc exhibition. My guide introduced himself as John Olmsted. I was later to learn that he was a descendent of “The” Olmsted, the high school dropout from Connecticut who became a journalist and in the latter stages of the Nineteenth Century parlayed his journalistic abilities and his political connections to win the competition to design NY’s Central Park becoming thereby one of the most successful landscape designers of his generation.

John stood me before easels and proceeded to explain to me all about something he called an “Ecological Staircase,” and about the “Pygmy Forest.” Now, at that time, I was vaguely familiar with the word “Ecological” at least enough to know it had something to do with nature, but what it had to do with staircases had me mystified and curious. To explain it, he had a large chart set up on one of the easels. The best I could make out was that logically it had something to do with “The Pygmy Forest,” and that John was going to connect it all up for me.

John then pointed to a photograph of what appeared to me to be one of the ugliest plants I had ever seen. Had it grown in my garden, I would have pulled it out by its roots hoping I acted quickly enough to prevent it infecting the rest of the place. To John however, the sight of it seemed to have instilled in him an almost religious ecstasy.

He enthusiastically explained that the stunted monstrosity was a full-grown tree. My excitement at that revelation was muted.

Unperturbed by my lack of response, John continued with his presentation.

It seems the ground around a place called “Jughandle Creek” located somewhere along the coast in Mendocino, a county lying about 100 miles north of San Francisco, according to John had, over the eons, risen and fallen beneath ocean and each time it rose the incessant waves carved out a ledge. About five or so times this happened sculpting the land to appear, to the imaginative obsessive, as a giant staircase, hence the Staircase to which Ecological was appended. It was all beginning to make sense.

John explained that the ground on the top of each step (for some reason that I have forgotten), became packed as hard as cement. Over the years the soil settling on top of that cement became more and more hostile to just about any living thing except for flesh-eating plants, these benighted trees and marijuana.

Apparently, the roots of the trees could not push through the cement-like hard-pan causing the stunted growth of these three-foot high monstrosities. “Natural Bonsai,” John crooned. They did not look like any bonsai I ever saw, but hell, who was I to argue with the crazed hippie descendent of “The” Olmsted.

The looming tragedy that prompted John’s hysteria and resulted in the exhibit and the selection of me as a potential acolyte, was a developer’s plans to build a motel right in the center of the first step of John’s beloved Ecological Staircase, thereby ruining it for future generations of, I assumed, people like John, as well putting the existence of the nearby forest of stunted trees at risk.

While I thought that any trees that could thrive in that soil was a match for any developer, I nevertheless heard myself say those eternally fateful (and often regretted) words, “That’s awful, I used to be a practicing attorney, what can I do to help.”
(To be continued)

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR: Chapter, Don’t Piss Off Meg (continued):

Meg had not spent the greater part of her non-working, waking hours taking innumerable high performance driving courses for no reason. It was her hobby. So, she calling upon that expertise, quickly manipulated brake and steering wheel to regain control of her vehicle, even on the crumbling unstable verge along the unbarricaded edge of the cliff and soon found herself behind her attacker. She speeded up, drove to the outside close to the cliff-face and began to pass him. As she came abreast of the other driver, she could see him glance at her and hunch over the steering wheel. She guessed he intended to try to drive her against the escarpment that rose up alongside the road. Before he could act, she floored her cruiser’s accelerator to speed up. As the nose of her vehicle edged pant his, she sharply pulled of her steering wheel, turning her wheels so it appeared the nose of her car would cross in front of his bumper and crash into him, forcing him toward the cliff edge. It was a bluff as she almost immediately righted the car again. As she expected her bluff worked. He panicked, swung he steering wheel hard to the right to try to avoid contact, broke into and uncontrolled skid and tumbled over the cliff edge and onto the rocks below.

Meg slowed to a stop then backed up to where the other car left the road. She carefully parked on the shoulder, put on her blinking emergency lights, calmly report the accident on her two-way. Then she got out opened the trunk, took out some emergency flares and reflectors and laid them out for about twenty feet along the edge of the road where the other car had gone over.

She then for the first time looked over the edge down to the tangled hunk of metal far below wondering why it had not burst in flame and muttered “Fuck you, asshole,” and slowly began the climb down the precipice to the wreckage.

By the time she arrived she could hear the sirens of the police cars and ambulances from Pacifica to the north and Half Moon Bay to the south as they converged at the crash site.

The gas tank had ruptured. Escaping gasoline dripped onto the rocks and ran off into the surf a little way below. She was thankful it had not ignited.

The driver’s door had sprung open from the impact and the driver appeared still alive. She gingerly extracted him and both dragged and carried him far enough from the wreck to be sake from any explosion.

He was in bad shape. He was bleeding from a nasty head room and both his legs and one of his arms appeared to be broken. She figured several ribs also had his lungs had been punctured since he was spitting up blood. He did not look to her as though he would make it until the medical team arrived.

He was conscious though. She knelt leaned in close to him and said, “I will try to help keep you alive until the emergency team get’s here, but first tell me who sent you?”

His pain wracked eyes hardened and he responded in a whisper through the blood, “Go to hell you fucking Dyke.”

“Wrong answer cock-sucker.”

She grabbed him by his shirt, dragged him back to the wreck and threw him back in, took out a plain zippo lighter, stepped back a few steps, flicked on the flame and tossed it into a puddle of the leaked gasoline. She quickly retreated a safe distance and the gas flamed up and upon reaching the tank exploded.

She stood for a moment watching the flames devour the automobile then looked up. The emergency vehicles had arrived and the first of the medics were beginning their descent. She turned and began to climb to meet them.
(to be continued)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

How about giving US workers a break?


“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

What passes for political discourse in modern America:

“Obama and his radical homosexual mafia plan to sodomize the world and make such perversion seem as wholesome as apple pie and vanilla ice cream. In reality, such perversion cannot be printed in a family publication or broadcast on any FCC regulated TV or radio stations.”
Summit Ministries founder David Noebel attacking the Obama administration for pushing back against attempts to criminalize and persecute gays and lesbians abroad.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“The very rich on today’s Wall Street are now so rich that they buy their own social infrastructure. They hire private security, they live on gated mansions on islands and other tax havens, and most notably, they buy their own justice and their own government. But citizens of the stateless archipelago where people like Schwarzman live spend millions a year lobbying and donating to political campaigns so that they can jump the line. They don’t need to make sure the government is fulfilling its customer-service obligations, because they buy special access to the government, and get the special service and the metaphorical comped bottle of VIP-room Crystal afforded to select customers.”
Matt Taibii, Rolling Stone

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S GRAPHIC :

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (21Joseph 0001) January 10, 2012

THE NAKED MOLE RAT CHRONICLES:

“And so it begins, a historic departure, the Voyage of the HMS Bagel, in search of further documentation of this next evolutionary tour de force.”
Peter G

1. Chronicles: A soldiers life:

I am called Glabix XI or Eleven for short. Being a soldier is not too bad a life. Once the Old Horror, The Queen, may she long live and reign in peace and prosperity, chose her consorts (one of whom was my father) the rest of us were free to go about our business without all that hustling about, preening and fighting for poon-tang so to speak. It takes a lot of pressure off guys. The ladies still have to hang around the nursery and the old Queen waiting for her to sicken so that they can beat each other up to see which one gets laid and takes over running things. Not us guys though, we just keep doing what were doing until one of the ladies wins the fight and in her sex-crazed madness jumps our bones. Then, for the lucky two or three guys it’s an even softer job than being a cop like me. In return for giving it up, so to speak, to the Queen whenever she is in the mood, the consort gets to boss everyone else around just like the Queen.

Most of my days are spent wandering the tunnels searching for things that do not smell right, usually that means there is an intruder to deal with. It is pretty easy stuff really, except when the Old Horror, The Queen, my beloved mother, may her reign be long and glorious, is up and about pushing everyone around for whatever it is that itches her tooth at that moment. If truth be known most of us soldiers are a big and lazy lot, but when the time comes we do our job. Our job…? Well primarily, it is to push out from the tunnels those things that do not smell right. Sometimes when it is something too big and too dangerous to push out, it is the job of one of us soldiers to, well, give ourselves up to be eaten so that the intruder busys itself dining long enough for the rest of us to wall off the tunnel the intruder used to get in. I know it is a thankless job, but someone has to do it.

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

Today’s award goes to Kevin DuJan a gay man from Chicago’s Boystown who it is reported claimed in his blog that, because of his opposition to Gay Marriage and support of right-wing politicians such as Sarah Palin, leftist gays are secretly conspiring to deny him dates with “hot twinks” and are poisoning his cocktails at his favorite bar.

(Keep on fighting the good fight Kevin.)

3. H. Glaber fellow travelers:

Rufus (voiced by Nancy Cartwright) is a naked mole-rat, the pet friend, and soul brother of Ron Stoppable in the Wiki (Disney) cartoon Kim Possible (http://kimpossible.wikia.com/wiki/Rufus). Rufus lives almost full-time in Ron’s pocket, and accompanies him everywhere. He is exceptionally intelligent for an animal, but average by human standards, and is capable of limited speech.
In the episode Oh No Yono!, he was the first one to be turned into a statue by Yono the Destroyer.

H. Glaber says, check it out.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 2012: Five statistics about today’s America:

1. A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low-income” or are living in poverty.
2. Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low-income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low-income jobs.
3. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
4. A higher percentage of Americans are living in extreme poverty (6.7%) than has ever been measured before.
5. According to a study that was just released, CEO pay at America’s biggest companies rose by 36.5% in just one recent 12 month period.

2. 1789: The American Constitution was Drafted. What do you think our Founding Fathers were smoking while they wrote it?

“Some of my finest hours have been spent sitting on my back veranda, smoking hemp and observing as far as my eye can see.”
~Thomas Jefferson

“Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere !”

~George Washington

“Hemp is of first necessity to the wealth & protection of the country.”
~Thomas Jefferson

“We shall, by and by, want a world of hemp more for our own consumption.”
~John Adams

Was it possible that the patriotic boys of the Continental Army, marched off to battle the British Red Coats while stoned on weed? No wonder they won.

I can picture General Georgie the Washman, just before stepping on that boat prior the surprise attack on the British troops in Trenton, knowing he was going to freeze his ass off during the crossing, taking a toke or two to help him weather the voyage. How do you think the Continental Army was able to survive that bone-chilling winter at Valley Forge?

And what about TJ living large and enjoying it on that back veranda at Monticello watching his sweating slaves work his fields through the haze of smoke curling up from the joint he is holding in one hand while his other hand snakes under Sally Hemming’s skirt to stroke her rump. Now that’s what patriotism is all about.

The Real Birth of a Nation.

3. 2011: It’s against the law to lie on television in Canada.

Canadian conservatives tried to change that law so FOX could broadcast in Canada. They were unable to get the law changed, so FOX does not operate in Canada!

(eh!)

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

The Nation:

Of the two national English language newspapers in Thailand, “The Nation” is considered the tabloid, and until recently I have always assumed was the more conservative of the two and the one most strongly supportive of the party opposed to Thaksin the Terrible, the exiled fugitive elder brother of the current Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl. My perception may have been wrong. I recently noticed a decided shift in its editorial and headline policy to be more sympathetic to the current government.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Not much to report. I have begun preparation for my return to the US on January 24. Other than that I have continued to swim every day and have gone to see,”The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” and “Tinker, Tailor…” at the movies. I enjoyed both very much although how one could comprehend “Tinker, Tailor…” without reading the book or having seen the Alec Guinness version, I will never understand.

I thought “Dragon Tattoo,” was worth seeing for Rooney Mara’s retaliatory rape alone. When she looked down at her now cowering tormentor with the black rings around her eyes and explained to him that he should fear her because her social service investigators opinion was true, she was insane, it brought tears to my eyes.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

In prior posts and in my blogs, I have repeatedly warned of the inevitable crises and economic and political turmoil resulting from impending mass migrations of populations displaced by war, revolution, climate, political or economic disruption. It is already being felt in many parts of the world today. According to Michael Wertz and Laura Conley:

“The United Nations’ recent Human Development Report stated that, worldwide, there are already an estimated 700 million internal migrants—those leaving their homes within their own countries—a number that includes people whose migration is related to climate change and environmental factors. Overall migration across national borders is already at approximately 214 million people worldwide, with estimates of up to 20 million displaced in 2008 alone because of a rising sea level, desertification, and flooding.
One expert, Oli Brown of the International Institute for Sustainable Development, predicts a tenfold increase in the current number of internally displaced persons and international refugees by 2050.”

(The US is not immune. Historically once migration begins, resistance, no mater how violent has rarely, if ever, proven effective for long. The only options are, either accept it and do the best one can to assimilate the migrants into the host culture with minimal turmoil or to affirmatively relieve the causes for the migration in an effort to slow or stop it. Jingoistic and nationalist policies only causes the receiving culture greater short-term and long-term damage. The greatest disruption is from the creation of an increasingly isolated and resentful minority population that reacts by refusing to assimilate while by the sheer force of its numbers demands a share of political and economic control over the host society.)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

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

In the Beginning: an oft told story.

In the autumn of 1972, I was a card-carrying, pot smoking, alternative life style living, unemployed, hirsute Hippy San Franciscanus. It was about noon on a glorious fall day. I was wandering about in downtown San Francisco wondering about what I was going to do about lunch. I was just passing the newly built Transamerica Building on my way to North Beach, hippy central during those times. Out of the corner of my eye I catch sight of a very tall, very skinny bearded man emerging from the forest of columns supporting the somewhat pyramid-shaped building who was rapidly approaching me.

He was dressed more or less in the style of my cultural sub-group. That is, he was not wearing a business suit or clothing purchased from any retail store not dealing in second-hand garments. His outfit was accessorized with a red bandanna around his neck and an aluminum Sierra Club drinking cup dangling from a rope belt tied around his waist. He grabbed my arm with his long skinny fingers and Moses like, but in a surprisingly squeaky voice, said:

“You must help save the Pygmy Forest.”

Now the societal fringe movement to which I belonged at that time was very sensitive to anything that could be considered a portent of an emerging transcendental experience. Here, the sun was at its zenith and I was standing at the base of an almost pyramid like the wedding guest detained by the ancient mariner, clearly a portent portended. So in the polite manner of the denizens of New York where I was born, raised and had so recently left, I answered:

“What the fuck is a Pygmy Forest?”
(To be continued)

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Don’t Piss off Meg:

It was late, Meg had spent a few hours a Fat Al’s offices reviewing with him the chaotic and seemingly unconnected information he had assembled. She was sure there was something in that mess of documents could help her to clear up the cause of Stephanie’s death. Later they had dinner together at a little restaurant near the office where they swapped cop stories. They were interrupted by a call from Ray. Vince Biondi and someone else were involved is a shootout at a posh hotel in downtown.

They drove down to see for themselves. Fat Al’s retired cop badge and her uniform got them past the police lines. Fat Al spoke with a few of his old colleagues in homicide. It seems the police believed that it was a gangland shooting of some sort. Three people were dead. The hotel’s restaurant staff and four diners had been herded into the large freezer in the kitchen by five armed men. The three dead bodies had been identified as some of the intruders. Apparently their target had been some other diner or diners at least one of whom was a middle-aged man seated by the maitre’d before he was hustled off into the freezer by the gunman. He had recognized the man because he had eaten there a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the reservation book page had been torn out. Al was sure they would go through the prior reservation to try to identify the diner who they both agreed was probably Vince. It would take them a few days Al guessed.

As she approached the incline that rose to pass along the edge of the cliff referred to as Devil’s Slide, where Stephanie’s automobile, like so many others, had slid off the road and crashed into the rocks and surf below, she was convinced Stephanie’s death was not an accident and somehow connected to tonight’s events at the restaurant. Stephanie had begged Vince to meet with her so that she could share some information about her husband’s death. But, she died the night before they could meet. Now someone had tried to kill Vince, or was it the woman he was with and why?

Preoccupied with her thoughts, her car climbed the hill and entered the narrow winding and often impassable road that traversed Devil’s Slide itself. The fog had begun to creep across the road making it slick and the looming curves hard to see. But she had driven this road many times before and knew it like the back of her hand. She chuckled and wondered where that expression came from. Did anyone really know the back or their hand all that well. She raised her hand to look at it and glanced into her rear view mirror. She saw a car following her closely, too closely. Stupid for someone to follow a police patrol car that closely; just looking for a ticket she thought. Then she noticed the car speed up and felt the impact as it plowed into her rear bumper. Her vehicle skidded and went out of control.
(To be continued)

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

1. From “Not the Nation”(Thailand’s version of “The Onion”) :

Fortune Tellers Predict Record-Breaking Stupidity, Profits In 2012

BANGKOK – As the year draws to a close, Thailand’s professional soothsayers and astrologers have issued their annual predictions. Their unanimous verdict is that 2012 will be a great year for their industry, concurrent with it being a poor year for human intelligence, rational thought, and deductive reasoning.

2. You may be smarter than you think you are:

According to Psychology Today, people who use more drugs are more intelligent. “Intelligent people don’t always do the right thing,” they write, “only the evolutionarily novel thing.”

According to a study conducted by National Child Development, “more intelligent children in the United Kingdom are more likely to grow up to consume psychoactive drugs than less intelligent children.” These drugs include marijuana, cocaine, heroin, alcohol and tobacco.

“Very bright individuals (with ID above 125) are roughly three-tenths of a standard deviation more likely to consume psychoactive drugs than very dull individuals,” says Psychology Today. They ran the same study in the U.S. and found similar results.

(I always suspected my grandsons were geniuses.)

“POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT”

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

This is what we have become:

Gordon “Chaps” Klingenschmitt is joining other right-wing activists in defending the Florida Family Association and Lowe’s, which bowed to the extremist group’s pressure to stop advertising on TLC’s All-American Muslim. Klingenschmitt prayed for God to “grant Lowe’s their greatest financial profits” and asked God to bless the FFA for “exposing the deeds of darkness.” He also labeled All-American Muslim “Islamic propaganda” and said people who oppose FFA’s pressure campaign against the reality show’s advertisers are “terrorist sympathizers.”

And yet, I still receive email correspondence from those who claim that posting this is merely “liberal” propaganda. I just have to sigh and assume they perhaps also believe “Kristallnacht” never happened. We need to remember that not all terrorists are Muslim. Some terrorists (alas much too many) claim to be God-fearing American Christians. Also, not all Muslims are terrorists or even sympathize with them although, I am sorry to say, when it comes to sympathy for terrorists the same cannot be said of conservative punditry, Faux News and the right-wing religious hierarchy all of whom at one time or another have been known to, if not urge, than at least condone terrorism and killing of those with whom they disagree. Again, I suggest we recall the words of “Mr. Conservative,” Barry Goldwater:

“I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?

And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”
~Barry Goldwater

Isn’t it about time we ask some of our elected officials to show the same courage is opposing these thugs as Barry Goldwater did?

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams.”-
Mary Ellen Kelly (anthropologist) (found in Whatever It Is, I’m Against It, Nat Hentoff, ed.)

TODAY’S CHART:

From Robert Frank, author of The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good, who argues that unfettered competition may be good for individuals but can be hell for the common good.

TODAY’S CARTOON”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Southern California at night.

See if you can find the bright lights of Disneyland.

Categories: January 2012 through March 2012, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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