Posts Tagged With: South Asia

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 14 Papa Joe 0005 (October 2, 2016)

 

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.”
~ Jimi Hendrix

 

 

Happy Birthday to my granddaughter Athena and Happy Anniversary to my sister MaryAnn and her husband George.

 

 

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

 

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

One afternoon when it was not raining, we decided to walk to Lumpini Park, Bangkok’s central urban park. LM liked to feed the birds (mostly pigeons and a few large crows) and the fish (gaping toothy jaws large enough to swallow your arm).

As we began to climb the steps to the sky-path over the freeway and into the park, we were stopped by some police who told us to wait. After a little while, I saw a cavalcade of automobiles from the Royal Family’s fleet come speeding down the freeway. “Oh look,” I said and pointed to the cars. “It must be a member of the Royal Family.”

After the motorcade passed by, one of the policemen approached and got into a heated conversation with the Little Masseuse. “What’s going on,” I inquired? “They want to arrest you for pointing at the Royal Family entourage,” She answered. According to LM, they felt that what I did was disrespectful and they could possibly mistake my pointing for a gun.

I guess, unlike in the United States, the police in Thailand first announce their reasons for possibly killing you instead of waiting until after you are dead.

It was agreed, eventually, that I was adequately warned and could spend the rest of the day neither behind bars nor dead.

img_2436-version-2_2

Lumpini Park, like many great city central parks, is magnificent in concept but a bit seedy and down at the heel in places. Recently, the large Monitor Lizards that inhabit the lake have taken to the land and eaten a few joggers……. No, I’m kidding. They have not eaten any joggers but have frightened a few tourists, so there is a highly publicized effort by the authorities to capture them and transport them to a more appropriate location. Some have suggested that location is probably the woks in the kitchens of some of the authority’s families.
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One day at lunch, I asked the Gemologist how the cultures of those lost tribes of Burma that he spent so many years photographing are holding up. He said their cultures are mostly all gone. It happened faster than he had expected. Surprisingly, except for the Muslim Rohingya tribe, it has not been by the force of arms of the Burmese government but through the introduction of modern fashions and technologies. If the Naga people still go headhunting, they do so in Old Navy knock-off tee shirts and find their way through the jungle using google maps on their iPhones.
pasted-graphic-2

The next few days were spent trying to get some exercise in between the rains, struggling all one morning to get the presidential debate on my iPhone, and listening to more stories from the deep sea diver. One of the tales was a harrowing story about accompanying his flying instructor, a stunt pilot, to Columbia to pick up a small plane and fly it back to Key West. When they arrived, they found that although the plane lacked ignition, brakes and several other important mechanical parts, it carried a load of made in Columbia product and a baby ocelot (who got loose in the cockpit somewhere over Panama). The flight back to Key West included stops in Nicaragua, Mexico and one or two other places along the way. Apparently, there was also some problem with the gas since they had to fly with a fifty gallon can of gas in the cockpit along with a jury-rigged hose passing through the dashboard into the engine. Oh, and now and then there were women (there always are in stories like this) who had to sit on their laps because there were not enough seats. (What they did with the Ocelot during those times I never found out.)

And then, it was time to leave the teeming and steaming streets of Bangkok and return to the Golden Hills where the air is clean, the stories and people are few, and where the indigenous wildlife of pigeons, rats, and wandering packs of soi dogs are replaced by turkeys, coyotes, and tiny steam cleaned pedigreed canines on leashes.

 

B. From Bangkok to El Dorado Hills:

My return to America was long but nowhere as traumatic as the flight out. I had an entire row to myself on the flight to Beijing and so I stretched out and slept. I had a nine-hour layover in Beijing but luckily they have a by-the-hour hotel in the airport so I rented a tiny room, showered, slept — and dreamed.

I dreamt I was in a small kingdom in ancient China, appropriately. The king’s comely daughter had taken a liking to me. (In my dreams, I am usually younger and far more attractive than I am in real life.) Suddenly, a faction of the king’s retainers organized a coup and killed all the royal family except the Comely Princess who I saved. Together we organized a resistance, fought back and eventually killed all the coupsters only to find, at our moment of triumph, the Emperor with all his troops lined up outside the wall of the city wondering why there was so much turmoil in this tiny little kingdom in his empire and whether he should just burn it to the ground and kill everyone and be done with it. The Comely Princess suggested we set up two thrones on the top of the city walls in which she and I would sit and shout down at the Emperor that we were now firmly in control and were his loyal subjects. Well, he bought that little bit of theater and marched away. In celebration, the Comely Princess and I agreed to get married that evening. As I was preparing for the nuptials and drinking a glass of rice wine, the enraged princess stormed into the room and accused me of sacrificing one of our most beloved retainers to the cause. I tried to explain to the now not so Comely Princess that it was his choice but she was having none of it. So, I soon found myself seated on the horse I rode in on looking back at the city. I wondered whether the whole thing was simply a ruse by the Comely Princess to make herself a Regal Queen. It wouldn’t be the first time in my life something like this happened. For a moment I thought about gathering supporters, killing the now Regal Queen and taking back the kingdom. I decided against that. I am pretty good at fighting my way out of any imbroglio I find myself in, but starting from scratch was always too much work, so I rode off.

In case you are interested, I was dressed in Chinese boiled leather armor over my jeans with my straw fedora on my head. I may be young, handsome and competent in my dreams but I still dressed funny. By the way, my horse was gray.

During the ten hour flight from Beijing to SF, I watched two movies, The Huntsman, because I adore Charlize Theron, especially when she is tearing up the scenery, and the old Gary Cooper, Burt Lancaster film Vera Cruz. Coop is an aging plantation owner and ex-Confederate Army officer who believes he fought for freedom and that the southern plantation life was built on land and big houses and not on slavery. Being freedom loving, he eventually supports the Mexican peasants against the Emperor Maximilian. Since they were peasants and only seemed able to sing and dance and throw themselves blindly at the Emperors machine guns, they obviously needed Cooper and Lancaster to save them. I will also see any movie with Lancaster in it just to see his insane smile.

Other than that, I took some valium to sleep the rest of the way. It took about 5 hours to get from SFO to El Dorado Hills where everyone seemed uncomfortable because I arrived a day sooner than expected. I also learned that my 99-year-old mom fell and broke her hip.

As I have said often, “Getting there is often far more interesting and pleasant than being there.”

 

 

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

 

This is a continuation of my somewhat irreverent retelling of some of my favorite eras of history:

It was Judea and especially Jerusalem that gave Herod agita. Most other the other parts of his kingdom seemed to accept his harsh but relatively peaceful administration with what passed for equanimity. But, in faction-riddled Judea, it seemed everyone hated everyone else and that all they seemed to agree on was that they all hated him, mostly for being Idumean and not Judean. So he did what all competent rulers do in cases like this, he threw money at them. He first lavished it on those who made up what passed for the upper class, the priests and Sadducees who he reasoned would then keep the other malcontents under some control.

When that didn’t work, he struck upon a more audacious scheme. He would rebuild their Temple and he would make it the greatest temple of the time and people from throughout the Levant and even the known world would flock to Jerusalem to see this wonder, worship there and spend their money. This he thought, reasonably so, would make everyone happy.

With his usual vigor, he set upon this task. First, he built a mountain in the city enclosed in walls so that it could be seen from everywhere and on the top of this mountain he built the most magnificent temple of his time.

While it made believers far and wide proud they had such a magnificent thing, alas, it did not stop the Judeans and especially the Jerusalemites from arguing even more about things they had been arguing about for at least a century and to his dismay they even found more things to argue about.

But while all this arguing and faction building is important, it is not important here for our story at this time but will be a little later. What is important is that Herod the businessman (like the not so successful but equally insane businessman or our time Donald Trump) did not want to use his own money to fund his largess. And what he came up with would change the world.
(to be continued)

 

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

 

Below is reproduced one of my favorite flights of fancy stories I wrote about six years ago. I also like it because its literary references could only be identified by people over sixty and so the piece effectively was born dead. I do, however, recommend reading O. Henry. He really was a con man, embezzler, and pharmacist until he joined the literary world and became a liar for hire.

Posted in FRACTURED FACTOIDS, VOYAGES IN MY MIND:
FROM RUBAIYAT TO RUBY OTT ON THE RUBY YACHT AND HOME AGAIN

All my life I have often taken voyages of the mind as I have pursued some research thread or another. Anyway, the internet is a marvelous vehicle for anyone who enjoys traveling without leaving one’s bed.

In my most recent voyage, I had been traveling north, escaping from the devastation of Ninth Century Southern Italy, with some Jewish merchants and settled with them in the Rhine Valley only to be forced to move eastward into the Pale, when the armies of Western Christendom had made that land too dangerous for my Hebrew brethren.

Shortly thereafter, I was at the home of the local Rabbi in a shtetl deep within the Pale somewhere in eastern Poland when that good man began to become quite emotional and upset about a radical Sephardic Rabbi named Maimonides who lived among the Muslims and was obviously corrupted by them. According to the Rabbi, this Maimonides was attempting, in his erroneous writings on sacred subjects, to humanize the faith of their fathers.

I decided to visit Maimonides at his family home in Egypt where he was working as the physician to the Sultan, Saladin. One evening shortly after I arrived, I asked the honorable doctor-rabbi to instruct me in his teachings. He responded to my request by saying“Pookie, before embarking on a voyage into Hebrew esoterica, you should first travel to Persia and stay a few evenings in a caravansary called ‘The Perfumed Garden.’”

I did so and one evening while relaxing in the hot tub after the day’s debauch, I met a fellow traveler who introduced himself to me as Mercury Ali. We got to talking about this and that and after swapping some tales of our respective voyages, he suggested that that evening we attend the salon of the well-known Hori, Scheherazade where he assured me that the finest stories in all of Persia could he heard. “Be careful,” he warned me, “the tales are so beguiling they can become addictive.” It has been rumored that some of the attendees at the salon had become so besotted that they remained there for over 1000 nights.

Assuring him that I will take his warning seriously, I accompanied him to the salon. I admit, I soon began to find myself becoming hooked on the conversation. After a few nights with Haroun al-Rashid, Delilah the Crafty, and any number of men named Sinbad (Aladdin and Ali Baba, to my regret, were off on some adventure or another), I met up with another attendee, the besotted tent-maker, mathematician and astrologer Omar Khayyam. He invited me to spend the next few days with him and a couple of Horis, and a few bottles of Napa Valley’s finest jug wine under some trees in the desert somewhere.

One morning, having finished off the jugs of wine, I found myself with Omar banging on the door of a local tavern demanding the proprietor open the premises so that we could resume our drinking.

After a downing a few cups of chardonnay in the cool common room of the tavern, I fell asleep on the table and woke up in the early part of the Twentieth Century in Greenwich Village in New York City at the house of two hippies who were dancing with each other while reciting Omar’s verses.

It seems that Bob Babbitt and his wife, Jessie, were having a party to celebrate the end of their short unhappy experiment with sobriety. Among the guests was a gentleman who went by the obvious alias of O. Henry. I was later to learn that he was a convicted embezzler, ex-con and drunken pharmacist from North Carolina who was hiding out in New York in the witness protection program under an assumed name.

He suggested that since the current party was winding down, that I join him at another get-together in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana hosted by a friend of his called Idaho. It was a reception in honor of the newest residents of the valley, Homer K. M. and, his girlfriend Ruby Ott.

The following morning, we joined Rocky and Bullwinkle on Bullwinkle’s boat the “Ruby Yacht” and traveled down the Bitterroot to Veronica Lake where we spent the day.

P.S. Omar (who was previously a member of the Taliban) and Scheherazade now are living together in an apartment in North Beach San Francisco with another illegal alien couple from Guatemala who formerly served in the Sandinista army. Omar and Sherry (the name she goes by now) are strong supporters of Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Barbara Boxer when they are not out campaigning for the “Green Party”. 

(https://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/)

NOTE: If you read this far, here is the connection to the complete collection of O. Henry’s tales: (http://www.gutenberg.org/author/O._Henry), You can read his short stories, “The Rubaiyat of a Scotch Highball” and “The Handbook of Hymen” should you want to take my voyage in reverse.

 

 

 

 

DAILY FACTOID:

Forty percent of all women who are married to police officers are abused.

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

In the United States, we have often elected to public office the stupid and at times The crazy. It has only recently, however, that most of those we elect happen to be both stupid and crazy.
B. Today’s Poems:

1. Virago

I am Wo — Man
I break stallions to harness
They ride me for my pleasure
They tend my flocks
And in the end
I paste their memories
in my scrapbook.

2. Seize the Day.

“So seize the day! hold holiday!
Be unwearied, unceasing, alive
you and your own true love;
Let not the heart be troubled during your
sojourn on Earth,
but seize the day as it passes!
Ancient Egyptian poem 1160 BC

 

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Metaphysical naiveté always ends in murder. It fragments the world. Little acts of kindness and charity mask the monstrous evil they abet. And the system rolls forward. The polar ice caps melt. The droughts rage over cropland. The drones deliver death from the sky. The state moves inexorably forward to place us in chains. The sick die. The poor starve. The prisons fill. And the careerist, plodding forward, does his or her job.”
Chris Hedges, Truthdig

 

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Categories: October through December 2016, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 28 Pookie 0001 (December 9, 2012)

“It is requisite for the relaxation of the mind that we make use,  from time to time, of playful deeds and jokes.” 

Thomas Aquinas

 

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. An author speaks:

I read an interesting article in one of the local english language newspapers recently.

A fairly well-known British author on a speaking tour of Southeast Asia was asked how he got into writing. He explained that after university he was working as a geologist in South Asia when he read a travel book written by another well-known writer, John Morris, about his experiences accompanying an expedition to climb Mt. Everest. Impressed, he decided he wanted to become a writer also and promptly wrote to Mr. Morris for advice. Mr Morris wrote back that, if he wanted to become a writer, he should first get a job as a newspaper reporter.

The author returned to England and got a job as a reporter for a newspaper in a small english town. He then wrote back to Morris asking what he should do now. Morris advised him to gather up a suitable number of articles he had written, and send them to him for his review and comment. The author did and after an exchange of letters asked permission to visit Morris in his home. It was granted and a few weeks later the author found himself in front of the door to Morris’ home. Upon entering he saw someone with long hair kneeling in the vestibule. Assuming it was Mrs. Morris he enquired, “Mrs. Morris?” To which the person responded, “no, she is upstairs and will be down in a moment,” and left.

Mrs. Morris and her daughter did indeed come down and after a pleasant chat invited the author to spend the night in the guest room.

That night before retiring he noticed a note on the bed addressed to him. The note explained that the person who met him at the door was John Morris and that he had always believed he was a woman in a man’s body and was leaving in a few weeks for an operation that would rectify the situation. The note added that if the author was not offended by this and still wanted to be the writers friend, they could meet again in the morning. He did and they did. The operation went on as planned and the now Jan Morris has been the authors best friend since then.

2. A passing:

Today while at the health club the Little Masseuse told me that her ex-husband had died suddenly yesterday. Her eyes were glistening through her blurred mascara as she explained the he was found slumped in his seat on the bus he was riding. No one knew he was dead until the bus had gotten to its last stop. The other passengers thought he was just another old man sleeping off the day’s exhaustion.
He had been living with their son after the relationship he had left LM for broke up. Before that he was a member of the Thai Coast-Guard.

LM asked me for 1000 baht (about $30) to defray funeral and burial costs. I agreed.

Last night or perhaps the night before, I could not get to sleep, terrorized by the fear I would pass through my declining years alone; perhaps still here in my little room in BKK. Estranged is an odd word and yet I wonder why it feels so appropriate to me. My choice I suppose.

LM must be suffering now. Although it was long past their time together, it was still a big part of her life for as long as it lasted. Now permanently severed. Scary.

I know I am a little more than a mobile ATM. Could there be a mutual dependency there? Of course there could.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Ladies only parking

In Bangkok, several parking structures have a “ladies only” parking floor equipped with female guards to enforce the mandate. The walls and columns of these exclusive domains usually are highlighted in pink.

Pink, as everyone knows, is the color more adored by women than any other. As opposed to grey which men prefer because they are all color blind.

It is unknown at this time if Chazz Bono will be allowed to park on these floors.

2. Choose your ring tone

An international cell phone company recently announced that they are developing a magnetic tattoo ink that would cause a person’s skin to vibrate whenever he or she has an incoming call.

Where would you choose to place your vibrating tattoo?

3. Dangerous occupation.

Today the Bangkok english language press reported the death of two rubber tappers working on separate rubber plantations in Thailand. One involved a woman who, while engaged in tapping the rubber trees to collect the latex, was killed by a herd of stampeding wild elephants. On another plantation a woman engaged in the same activity was eaten by a tiger.

Do not allow your children to grow up and become rubber tappers.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

I ran across an interesting commentary by the ever insightful Brad Delong regarding Nick Eberstadt’s Book, A Nation of Takers. I thought I would share it with you.

“It is a curious and remarkable thing. Go to Nick Eberstadt’s A Nation of Takers and you discover him writing about:

‘The breathtaking growth of [personal] entitlement payments…. In 1960, U.S. government transfers to individuals from all programs totaled $24 billion. By 2010, the outlay for entitlements was almost 100 times more… the nominal growth in entitlement payments… was rising by an explosive average of 9.5% per annum for fifty straight years…’

But of that 9.5%, 6.9% simply matches the growth of potential nominal GDP from inflation, labor-force growth, and productivity growth.

That leaves excess entitlement spending growth of 2.6%/year.

That excess has three causes. First, 38% of federal transfer programs are health programs. Few indeed drop out of work today and become moochers because they want to qualify for Medicaid, or they look forward to Medicare. A government that pays doctors for treating sick people does not a nation of takers make.

Second, an aging population since 1960 is responsible for 1/10 of today’s non-health transfers. And the depressed economy is responsible for another 1/7: more old people, families that don’t normally qualify for food stamps qualifying for them because of unemployment, and workers who paid into the unemployment insurance system using it for what it was intended for. This is not a shift in the generosity of our safety net.

Subtract off these, and you are left with the third cause: our non-health safety net has become more generous over the past two generations.

By how much?

The non-health aging- and cyclically-adjusted transfer spending of the federal government has grown since 1960 relative to potential GDP at a rate of 0.9%/year.

That is less than one-tenth of Eberstadt’s headline number.

It is that less than 1%/year growth rate is supposed to have turned us from a self-reliant entrepreneurial people in 1960 into ‘a nation of takers’, an ‘an incoherent amalgam of interest groups … vying for benefits … at the expense of other Americans’ today?

That dog won’t hunt. That fish won’t swim. That bird won’t fly.

The systemic crisis in right-of-center use of arithmetic runs far deeper than just polling.”

Recently, I have received a number of e-mails and and have come across several other references to articles, graphs and the like that in one way or another attempt to make the same point that Eberstadt tries to make, prompting me to share this response. All of DeLong’s assertions are easily verifiable from standard reference sources.

DAILY FACTOID:

us-oil-production-has-now-hit-its-highest-level-since-1994

The US in the past four years has gone from an also ran in the petroleum production sweepstakes to being on the verge of becoming the worlds largest producer. Yet, the price of gasoline has not gone down. It may also help to understand what is going on to know that the per person fossil fuel use in the US has been decreasing irrespective of its per unit price.

Hmmm… increasing energy production leading to energy independence; stable, if high, fuel prices and a declining use of climate changing fossil fuels….something here must be Obama’s fault.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Model of Money Management or why Wall Street is untrustworthy.

According to a study by Gennaioli, Shleifer, and Vishny:

“Trust in the money manager reduces an investor’s perception of the riskiness of a given investment, and allows managers to charge higher fees to investors who trust them more.

Money managers compete for investor funds by setting their fees, but because of trust the fees do not fall to costs.

Managers consistently underperform the market net of fees, but investors still prefer to delegate money management to taking risk on their own.

Fees involve sharing of expected returns between managers and investors, with higher fees in riskier products.

Managers pander to investors when investors exhibit biases in their beliefs, and do not correct misperceptions.

Despite long run benefits from better performance, the profits from pandering to trusting investors discourage managers from pursuing contrarian strategies relative to the case with no trust.”

Or, as John Maynard Keynes wrote: “in banking it is often better to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally”.

Or, you give them your money – they give you nothing in return, but you feel good about it.

Does this mean we should fire our financial advisors and brokers or that we should just not believe anything they say?

Did we really need a scholarly study to tell us that brokers rip us off?

 

B. Yiddish words everyone should know:

nu
A general word that calls for a reply. It can mean, “So?” “Huh?” “Well?” “What’s up?” or “Hello?”
oy vey
Exclamation of dismay, grief, or exasperation. The phrase “oy vey iz mir” means “Oh, woe is me.” “Oy gevalt!” is like oy vey, but expresses fear, shock or amazement. When you realize you’re about to be hit by a car, this expression would be appropriate.
plotz
Or plats. Literally, to explode, as in aggravation. “Well, don’t plotz!” is similar to “Don’t have a stroke!” or “Don’t have a cow!” Also used in expressions such as, “Oy, am I tired; I just ran the four-minute mile. I could just plotz.” That is, collapse.
shalom
It means “deep peace,” and isn’t that a more meaningful greeting than “Hi, how are ya?”
shlep
To drag, traditionally something you don’t really need; to carry unwillingly. When people “shlep around,” they are dragging themselves, perhaps slouchingly. On vacation, when I’m the one who ends up carrying the heavy suitcase I begged my wife to leave at home, I shlep it.
shlemiel
A clumsy, inept person, similar to a klutz (also a Yiddish word). The kind of person who always spills his soup.
schlock
Cheap, shoddy, or inferior, as in, “I don’t know why I bought this schlocky souvenir.”
shlimazel
Someone with constant bad luck. When the shlemiel spills his soup, he probably spills it on the shlimazel. Fans of the TV sitcom “Laverne and Shirley” remember these two words from the Yiddish-American hopscotch chant that opened each show.
shmendrik
A jerk, a stupid person, popularized in The Last Unicorn and Welcome Back Kotter.
shmaltzy
Excessively sentimental, gushing, flattering, over-the-top, corny. This word describes some of Hollywood’s most famous films. From shmaltz, which means chicken fat or grease.
shmooze
Chat, make small talk, converse about nothing in particular. But at Hollywood parties, guests often schmooze with people they want to impress.

Yiddish developed among the Ashkenazi, one of the three main branches of Judaism. The other two being the Sephardim (primarily originating on the Iberian peninsula) and the Mizrahim comprising most of the others. The Sephardim and the Mizraham, if they spoke it at all, did not speak yiddish as their mother tongue as did many of the Ashkenazi before emigrating to the US.

They all more or less can trace their patrimonial heritage through the male Y chromosome to a single individual living somewhere in the middle east about 5000 years ago, about the time when Abraham was reputed to have lived. A recent study of the Cohen, the traditional priestly class descended from Aaron, Moses’ brother, using DNA from males with that surname world-wide, indicates that most of them are descended from a middle eastern male alive about 3000 years ago; about the time the Bible indicates that Moses and Aaron lived. Given that several hundred years of the most intensive archeological investigation in the world, while turning up scads of evidence of the other Peoples and nations mentioned in the Bible, failed to turn up much evidence at all of Jewish history older than somewhere between 200 and 600 BC, it is remarkable that modern genetics has been able to confirm at least this part of the story. (Not that it proves that Abraham, Moses and Arron actually existed, but it does confirm that during those times there was in all likelihood some horny goat-herd in the Near East busy shtupping a shikse or two thereby giving birth not only to the great Jewish nation but, in all likelihood, a significant portion of the population of the entire Mediterranean basin. I guess it could fairly be observed that Arron wielded a mighty rod.)

The Ashkenazi male line descends primarily through southern Italian and Sicilian Jews who migrated into Northern Europe about 400-600 AD to escape persecution by the newly dominant Christians. Genetically Southern Italians and Sicilians and the Ashkenazi appear to be closer related to each other than to most of the rest of trans-montain Europe. Unlike the other branches of Judaism, the Ashkenazi seem to have picked up a small but strong Central-Asian component primarily from the Caucuses and the area around the Caspian Sea, the ancestral home of the Khazar’s, the almost legendary medieval Jewish empire.

On the matrilineal side DNA testing shows that although there is strong evidence of middle eastern origins among the women, there is significantly more evidence of non-middle eastern origins then among the men (Again with the Shikses.)

Among the Ashkenazi there is a high incidence of Tay Sachs an inherited and inevitably fatal disease. The Sephardim and the Mizrahim seem to have no greater incidence of the disease than the general population, an indication that the effects of natural selection and genetic drift happen quite rapidly and do not require the eons that mutations take to be reflected in a population. The Tay Sachs’ discovery may have revealed another startling fact, that the genes causing Tay Sachs may be related to those controlling for intelligence.* Based on standard IQ testing as much as 20% of the Ashkenazi score 120 or higher, scoring higher in verbal and mathematical elements and lower in spatial than the general population (in other words, great scientists and writers but lousy athletes). In the general population the average is about 4-5% including for the Sephardim and Mizrahim. It is not so hard to guess why that is the case. The Christian pogroms and prohibitions against land owning for the Jews and against charging interest for the Christians coupled with high literate demands of the rabbinate made those excelling in abstract thought high quality breeders so to speak.

On the other hand, among the Christian West, strangely enough, those who were most literate were prohibited from breeding. From the fall or the Roman empire until the success of the Protestant revolt, for the most part, the most literate of the Western Christians were forced into the clergy who, unless they were Popes or Cardinals, were strongly discouraged from breeding.

Instead we placed our genetic basket on the shoulders of homicidal maniacs whose claim to fame was their preternatural ability to take someone else’s technology and turn it into a more highly efficient means of slaughter.

As luck would have it, due to the plague almost wiping us out, and our short-term tendency to compensate by breeding like rabbits, coupled with our forced procreation of prescient psychopaths equipped with proficient killing machines and a resistance to disease, we in the West were able to conquer the world. Hooray for us.

*Note: Contrary evidence for the genetic connection between Tay Sachs and a certain type of intelligence is provided by the fact that the Irish appear also to be prone to the disease. On the other hand, perhaps the Hibernians were one of the lost tribes of Israel like the American Indians and just about everyone else, except for the Mormons, who never get lost.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

178961_10151157090571275_278398912_n

TODAY’S CHART:

23945_463686023672848_1239777113_n
TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

248204_507424759278540_1896979507_n

Turritopsis nutricula is an immortal jellyfish. Some people believe it may hold the secret of immortality for humans.

After reaching sexual maturity, this jellyfish is able to reverse its aging process and become a polyp again. The ability to reverse the life cycle is probably unique in the animal kingdom, and allows the jellyfish to bypass death, rendering the Turritopsis nutricula biologically immortal. Lab tests showed that 100% of specimens reverted to the polyp stage.
I fucking love science.

But, do I want to be a polyp – even an immortal one?

 

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

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