Posts Tagged With: Thomas Jefferson

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 19 Pops 0001 (September 3, 2012)

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I arrived back in Sacramento only to discover that my East coast-Italy travel plans have been hopelessly screwed-up because the only date available for me to travel from NY to Italy with Nikki at a discount would be on the 12th of September. That would be too early for me to accomplish what I want on the East-coast. I am now considering the possibility of a separate East-coast trip after the 15th of September and returning to Thailand at the end of the month or in early October through LA.

The hearing on our motion to dismiss in the custody case was held yesterday. The judged scheduled a hearing date for the 28th of September to allow for the filings of the various responsive pleadings. The plaintiff has ten days to respond to our motion so I will not leave for the East-coast until after we receive his response and file our reply. In the meantime I plan a visit to the Bay Area next week for visits with my son and various grandchildren, my sister and her progeny and Peter, Jerry Smith and Gates.

I recently, and I expect briefly, have settled into the pleasantly mindless life of chauffeuring Hayden to school and Taekwondo lessons and reading with him before bedtime.

On Sunday Dick, Hayden and I travelled to “Apple Hill,” a tourist area near Placerville manufactured by a few apple growers and wineries as a family vacation destination. I would not recommend it to would be tourists with or without families. We then went to Coloma (where gold was first discovered in California) to pan for gold (bucket list item).
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Dick and Hayden looking for color

We found none and went home.

The following day Hayden and I visited Bill and Naida at their ranch on the Cosumnes River. Bill appears to be recovering nicely from his recent brushes with death. Naida has returned from a trip to market her historical trilogy about the settlement of central California during the 19th Century. I consider the books some of the finest historical novels ever written.

Hayden, Bill and I went fishing for crawdads in the canal that runs along the river (bucket list?) and then with Naida went black berry picking before heading home.
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Bill and Haden hunting crawdads

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Liberals are “unnatural”.

According to Psychology Today, liberalism is evolutionarily novel. Humans (like other species) are evolutionarily designed to be altruistic toward their genetic kin, their friends and allies, and members of their deme (a group of intermarrying individuals) or ethnic group. They are not designed to be altruistic toward an indefinite number of complete strangers whom they are not likely ever to meet or interact with. This is largely because our ancestors lived in a small band of 50-150 genetically related individuals, and large cities and nations with thousands and millions of people are themselves evolutionarily novel.

Examination of the 10-volume compendium The Encyclopedia of World Cultures, which describes all human cultures known to anthropology (more than 1,500) in great detail, as well as extensive primary ethnographies of traditional societies, reveals that liberalism is absent in these traditional cultures. While sharing of resources, especially food, is quite common and often mandatory among hunter-gatherer tribes, and while trade with neighboring tribes often takes place, there is no evidence that people in contemporary hunter-gatherer bands freely share resources with members of other tribes.

My first reaction to the above is to note that it is mostly bullshit.

It fails to account for the common (mostly male) urge to have others in his community support him or his cabal by claiming that they have some superior abilities over the rest of them; an open channel to god, cleverness, strength or ruthlessness. All of these claims sooner of later demand creation of a threat from the “other” in order to be maintained.

On the other hand, if we assume the observations of the researchers are accurate and their conclusions relatively true, then it could be concluded that much of history has been characterized by the creation of ever larger cultural groupings within which the individuals are persuaded they are different from those not in the group. Usually this conversion occurs because it is to somebody’s advantage to have everyone else believe so.

Characterization of the perceived difference in outlook between “liberal” and “conservative” is misleading. If the distinction were as they describe it, then those businessmen pushing for free trade could be seen as Liberals and those leftist concerned about its deleterious effects on the health and livelihood of those in their own country considered Conservatives.

2. So are conservatives.

a. A Lake Park Florida man “obsessed with Fox News and the Republican party” is in jail today after he allegedly said that he felt he was going to have to kill his girlfriend because she was a “liberal.”

(As I pointed out that this election may be the last hurrah of the white male in America. They know it and may be willing to kill to prevent women and “others” from taking over what they believe is theirs by right.)

b. Also from Florida. “After 2007, all the work here disappeared,” Mike a construction worker told a reporter. “Now, if there’s work in town, they only hire Mexicans, and they pay ’em eight bucks an hour,” or about 30 cents more than the state’s minimum wage of $7.67. “I refuse to work for $8 an hour. I’ve been doing construction for 20 years, and I won’t take being paid nothing.”

I feel for Mike. He represents the quandary faced by the poorly educated white male in America today. He will probably vote for Romney. If Romney wins, the minimum wage may drop (to encourage growth of the economy) and Mexicans and other “immigrants” discouraged from “taking” American jobs. Unfortunately for Mike, he still will refuse to work for minimum wage and will remain out of work.)

C. THAI OBSERVATIONS

Although it hasn’t been called Bangkok for around 200 years, the city’s day to day name is actually Krung Thep (pronounced Grung Cape), and is referred to as such throughout Thailand. Only we ignorant foreigners call it Bangkok. Krung Thep means ‘City of Angels’ (the same as Los Angeles) and is an abbreviation of the full name, which is possibly the longest place-name in the world. The full official name is ‘Krungthep Mahanakhon Amorn Rattanakosin Mahintara Yudthaya Mahadilok Pohp Noparat Rajathanee Bureerom Udomrajniwes Mahasatarn Amorn Pimarn Avaltarnsatit Sakatattiya Visanukram Prasit’.

In Thai, this is written as a single word of 152 letters. It translates roughly as ‘Great City of Angels the supreme repository of divine jewels, the great land unconquerable, the grand and prominent realm, the royal and delightful capital city full of nine noble gems, the highest royal dwelling and grand palace, the divine shelter and living space of reincarnated spirits’.

In fact it is none of those.

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 (PART II):

POINT CABRILLO LIGHT HOUSE (continued)
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Through sleight of hand including a land trade, the Coastal Conservancy and Peter Grenell managed to arrange a transfer of the 300+ acres of the headland including the lighthouse and several other buildings that housed the light keeper and other personnel from the US Coast Guard to the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

At about the same time as the land transfer was being arranged, the Conservancy arranged for a non-profit to come in and operate the hostels and provided funds to begin conversion of the structures to visitor serving (not remodeling or significantly altering them, but simply maintenance repairs and painting and things like adding bathrooms where necessary). The result has been the creation of a marvelous place to stay and experience the California coast.

Unfortunately, there appears to have been limited follow-up by the Conservancy. Despite the multiple bond acts containing hundreds of millions or dollars available to them they appear to have not provided any additional funds to complete rehabilitation of the units. I suspect that once the jurisdiction changed, in true bureaucratic fashion, they assumed it was the Department of Parks and Recreations problem.

Also it seems that operation of the facility as a hostel has been transferred from the original non-profit to another entity that may be a for profit entity with the result that although the main house is well run and still not too expensive (about $400 per night for 4 to 5 bedrooms), the less costly more hostel type units appear to be languishing.

Nevertheless, for those interested in getting away from it all and vacationing on the beautiful Mendocino Coast, it is a bargain.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

France 1785:

“The enormous mass of the French citizenry were illiterate day laborers, beggars, mass unskilled people scraping for a tiny wage, all heavily taxed, leaving barely enough to purchase a daily loaf of bread…well, half bread, half plaster filler. Of course, with no food quality regulation there was no guarantee that your bread wasn’t infested with ergot fungus or other microbes. On occasion, whole villages would go mad and commit mindless sexual violence or kill themselves. The life expectancy was about 40. For girls, that meant they had to be “plugged and planted” as soon as the first pubescent signs appeared. There was no birth control. A family had to have at least eight children in hopes that the good Lord would let two of them actually survive childhood.”
Audreybeardsley Diary, Daily KOS.

For those eager to return to the “good old days,” please note; they were not so good. In case one thinks despite the privations it was a society that encouraged the enlightenment:

“For someone like Voltaire to escape grinding poverty and be independent enough to write, he had to practice insider trading on a lottery and support piracy, commit trading fraud, and engage in usurious loans, move to Switzerland, and finally have the freedom to express himself.”

On the other hand, I guess one could argue that Voltaire and the others like him were simply the Wall Street traders of their day and like Soros and Buffet became traitors to their class.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Pookie’s puerile epigrams:

Who the hell invented the concept of honor, and more importantly why would anyone invent something that cannot be explained and probably does not exist and then encourage others (mostly young men) to die for it?

(Note, perhaps this explains it:

THE CREATION OF THE WORLDS FIRST MAN OF HONOR

To me, humanity’s predisposition to warfare is explained not by simply whether they were originally predator or prey but by the fact that when they first dropped from the protective trees and trembling stood upright so that they were able see above the grasses of the veldt, they looked warily about for four things; predators, prey, sex and someone to do the dirty work or to take the fall.

Imagine, if you will, a small band of proto-humans are set upon by a ravenous saber-toothed tiger. One of the men guarding the tribe turns to the one next to him and says, “Quick Smith run over there and punch that thing in the nose.”

Smith in his manly exuberance does so.

“Oh-oh” says the first man. “Too bad for Smith, brave of him though. Well, lets push on while the cat is busy with him.” He turns to the rest of the tribe as they prepare to run away and shouts, “We shall remember Smith’s sacrifice for all eternity.”
B. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
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Another example of liberal bias. Obviously a CEO is more important to our society’s well-being than the soldier who defends our liberties, the teacher who instructs our children, the police and firemen who protect our homes or the emergency room nurses who treat us when we are injured (especially if they belong to a union). We would not pay him so much if he were not. I am sure that the CEO would not work so hard for the benefit of everyone else should he make only 250 times more per hour than the median wage worker instead of the 280 times he now does,

C. Electioneering:

1. Democrat’s exaggerate, Republicans lie dept.
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You see if Romney were a Democrat he instead would have said something like:

“Since President Obama assumed office three years ago. federal spending has accelerated at a pace that if it continues could bring on the end of the world as we know it.”

Hmm.. I am sure he said that too, but being a Republican he couldn’t leave it at that and had to lie as well.)

2. Is God Republican or a Democrat?

“Heaven sent a hurricane to hold off Gov. Romney’s coronation, so today we’re urging pro-life GOP delegates to abstain from any voting on Romney’s nomination until all GOP financial support for Todd Akin is reinstated and details of Romney’s income tax returns in connection with Bain’s Stericycle investment have been mad public,”
Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

D. Nevertheless they remain God’s elect:

A study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, released recently, indicates that the middle class is much more charitable than the wealthy. According to the study, households earning between fifty-thousand and seventy-five thousand dollars annually gave 7.6% of their net income to charity on average, while households earning over a hundred thousand gave only 4.2%. When income broke two hundred thousand, the percentage given to charity dropped to a measly 2.8%.

Mathematically this means that a person making seventy-five thousand dollars per year gave $1700 more per year to charity that the average person making two-hundred thousand.

A political note: Although Mitt Romney’s only released tax return shows that he claimed about seven million dollars as charitable contributions out of a total Adjusted Gross Income of somewhere between twenty-one and forty-million dollars; a somewhat higher average rate of giving than most in his income class. However almost three million dollars of that amount represented his tithing to the Mormon Church much of which goes into church business investments and not social welfare, leaving four million in traditional charitable contributions, still perhaps a little higher than the average of even the middle class giving. Good for Mitt.

Unfortunately, he (Mitt) also bragged that he contributed more to charity [including to the Mormon Church] than he paid in taxes.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

” I just can’t go anywhere without bumping into someone who has been inside me.”
Sex and the Shameless.

TODAY’S CHART:
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TODAY’S CARTOON:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
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Saturn

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

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

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

1. The Continuing Saga:

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

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

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

2. Travel Plans:

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

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

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

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

On again, off again:

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

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

B. Obamacare:

C. Testosterone Chronicles:

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

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

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

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

TODAY’S QUOTES:

1. The US Treaty of Tripoli signed in 1797

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

2. Thomas Jefferson

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

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

“Take your inspirations where you find them.”

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 12, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. Political leaders then and now:

Then:

“It’s time America realized that there is no gay exemption in the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence.”
~Barry Goldwater

Now:

“The problem is that sexual activity with people who you are in close quarters with who happen to be of the same sex is different than being open about your sexuality … They’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people.”
Rick Santorum

2. Democrat behaves badly:

In the past few days John Corzine ex-Democratic Senator and former Democratic Governor of New Jersey in testimony before an US Senate committee investigating his conduct as CEO of a company involved in perhaps the largest bankruptcy in the US since ENRON, claimed he ” did not know” what was happening in the company.

For those accusing me of one-sidedness, I pledge that should Corzine eventually run for the presidency of the US, I shall ridicule him with the same vigor as I did the candidate that said he did not need to know anything about foreign policy to be president because he will have people to do that sort of thing, and the candidate who, at the time he announced his candidacy, when questioned about immoral and corrupt personal and professional life, promised that he “learned his lesson” and would not do it again.

No, not good enough? What you really want is for me to criticize President Obama and Nancy Pelosi directly? Ok here goes—-Both of them have demonstrated the same fortitude and courage in opposing the thugs in the leadership of the opposing party as Neville Chamberlin did with the thugs at Munich.*

Happy now?

* For those of you who do not know who Chamberlin is and what happened in Munich, I suggest reading the Wikipedia account at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Agreement.

By the way, this item confirms the validity of Godwin’s Law

3. Another Republican decides something is very wrong with his Party’s leadership:

“Basically we’re still stuck in the situation we were three years ago and we haven’t made any progress at all except that our problems are much worse because of political reasons, because we now have a crazy party in charge of one of the Houses of our Congress and they won’t allow anything to happen because it’s in their vested interest to make things worse,” Bartlett explained in his typically exasperated way. “Plus they have a theory that is completely nuts…. I’m very depressed. […] The most we can hope for is that a complete crazy person like Newt Gingrich gets the Republican nomination, the Republicans lose so badly that they lose control of the House and don’t get control of the Senate and then maybe in a year we can finally talk about doing something rational. […]”
Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett

Is it unfair and one-sided to quote a Republican leader who criticizes his party in language no Democrat elected official could or would dare use? Do I also have to find a Democrat critical of his own Party to be fair? Or a Republican who blindly loves his Party? Would the possibility that the Democrat I chose could be more radical than the main-stream Democratic Party be considered fair? Is fairness really what is wanted here? Remember, the Faux News, network logo “Fair and Balanced” is not just a marketing slogan asserting that their news reporting meets that standard, but also implies the claim that all other news networks are both unfair and unbalanced. That means for example, if they (Faux) for some reason have an objection to the assertion that the world is round, they could consider it to be fair and balanced for them to maintain that in fact the world is flat.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. Education matters:

Even in the lowest paying industry, “Hospitality and Tourism,” the average difference in average yearly earnings between someone with only a high school diploma and someone with an advanced degree is almost double and over a 30 year career can total about $800,000 or more.

And, if there is a question about finding employment during hard times, employment opportunities increase significantly with education.

Even if a person is underemployed relative to his or her educational attainments, studies have shown that he or she will still earn more on average than those with less education.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. American are not as wealthy as they think:

Figures from Credit Suisse’s World Wealth Report show that the typical American is a lot poorer than generally believed. In the US the mean average wealth is only $53,000. Compared to the typical Japanese or European, the typical American is only half as rich. Half the people in the US have less than $53,000 net worth. You can imagine what the bottom 20% have.

The reason for this is that although their raw average individual wealth is higher (but less than Britain’s) it is skewed by the very very wealthy. The mean average wealth, the wealth of the average American is much much lower (it drops from about $250,000 to around $50,00).

What this means is that for the average American, they are quite poor compared to other developed nations and the country is no longer the land of opportunity.

This is a devastating and grim insight. It explains why so much of America seems, well, so poor. Because it is poor. People don’t have any money. They dress poorly. Eat poorly. Live poorly.

Compared to Britain and Europe, much of the difference can be explained by the housing bubble, and subsequent housing crash in America. If we remember correctly, the US housing stock was valued at about $20 trillion in ’07. It lost 33% of its value, putting a quarter of mortgaged houses underwater and wiping out about $7 trillion of “wealth.”

It should also be noted that the US Federal Government, through the Federal Reserve and TARP paid out over twice the amount homeowners lost in wealth to the banking industry ($15 Trillion) to save the banks from collapse. Is anyone asking why we did not give the Homeowners $7 trillion instead to buy down their mortgages and bail out both for one half the cost?

2. Thailand, Cracked News from “Not the Nation”(the Thai version of “The Onion”):

Prosecutor Offers ‘Uncle SMS’ Reduced Sentence In Exchange For Acting More Evil

3 Dec 2011 BANGKOK – Following the high-profile conviction of Ampon Tangnoppakul for allegedly sending lèse-majesté texts last year, government prosecutors have offered the 61-year old grandfather a new deal. Under the proposed agreement, Ampon’s sentence will be reduced from 20 to only 5 years if he agrees to act more evil between now and his incarceration.

“We are experiencing a lot of negative press coverage for this case,” explained a spokesperson for the DSI. “By acting like such a sympathetic character, Mr Ampon is doing irreparable harm to the entire system. We would like to therefore ask his co-operation in being less sympathetic, for which we are willing to reduce his sentence.”

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Yesterday was the last day of the week-long celebration of Kings birthday and the little masseuse and I went to the palace grounds for the evening. Unlike his birthday itself when there were almost a million people in attendance and the evening was occupied mostly with pomp and speeches, there were fewer people yesterday and the emphasis was on entertainment. The absence of the overwhelming masses allowed us to visit the several pavilions at the site that mostly contained photographs about the king’s reign and Thai history.

The entertainment began with a big band orchestra made up of either high school or college students and a number of singers, two of whom appeared  professionals and the rest students.

While most of the singers sang pop tunes in Thai, a young man, who clearly appeared terrorized to be performing, sang a pretty good blues tune. Its minor cords seemed to require a lot of effort from him. He later sang a fine rendition of “My Way” in english but he blew the last note and seemed to die right there on the stage. I felt like crying for him. He did not come our for the finale.

A group of musicians followed playing traditional Thai instruments mostly hooked up to amplifiers and included two heroic drummers who banged on their drums with what seemed like every part of their body except their penis, and I am not so sure about that. They were followed by a team of traditional Thai dancers equally divided between young women in traditional costumes and tall thin young men dressed in attire that looked like it came out of the late middle ages in Italy. Although they appeared to be tall thin young men, in Thailand you can never tell. This was followed with a dance that looked like a Thai boxing match between monkeys (they had furry tails) and young men. There was a lot of jumping about and pushing each other. Finally, just before we left, we watched a dance with the long sticks (I am sure many of you have seen a version of it) where some of the dancers rhythmically strike two long sticks together and the other dancers jump in and out of without getting their ankles broken.

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

Old man memories; Donald Lundy:

Sometime between about second grade and junior high school, I lived in a village in New York, called Tuckahoe. The village  nestled in a wide spot in the valley carved by the Bronx River. In the village resided a collection of poor people, mostly italians and blacks along with a few middle class jews. We lived there because the high income towns that surrounded us restricted individuals of those three ethnic groups from living there. A number of Tuckahoe residents however worked in those other towns as gardeners, domestics and the like. Others worked in the industrial plants in nearby Yonkers while the remainder mostly occupied themselves with the shops and business that serviced the residents of the village.

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

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

Several of the village boys in my age group,including me, as boys tend to do, began to spend most of our play time together and began to envision ourselves as a gang much like that in the “Our Gang” comedies that were popular short features shown with the double features that on Saturday mornings we watched in the local movie house referred to as The Itch.

As we grew older, we modeled our gang on Leo Gorcey and the Dead End Kids. In fact the leader of our group, Peter Cirrincione, referred to as “sir rinse” even adopted Gorcey’s walk. I guess I would have been the good-looking skinny sullen guy in the movies who was always somewhat alienated from the group. Unlike some of the other characters like Huntz Hall, the actor who played my part often changed during the decade or so that their movies were popular.

Like that character, I was always a bit moody, aloof and estranged. I could never simply follow whatever “sir rinse” wanted to do and so would go off on my own a lot. At that time I was quite small for my age, quick to take offense and so I fought a lot. Also because I preferred to spend my time reading, I appeared arrogant often correcting things the others would say. In other words, I was a bit of an asshole. (To be continued.)

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Something about the fan and feces (cont.)

She grimaced and pulled the purse closer to her as though she feared that Vince would pick it up and play with it.

“Damn it Isabella, did you expect me to stand idly by and do nothing?” he said.

No,” she responded curtly, “but I expected you would think about the others you may have put in danger'”

That silenced him. He really hadn’t thought of anyone else. Now he wondered if Ike or Fat Al were at risk; or anyone else. Still he was not convinced that this was much more than government security paranoia.

Nevertheless, he blurted out, “I apologize, I did not think about that. It was inconceivable to me that my office would be bugged.”

“What else didn’t you think of,” she said sarcastically?

“I did not think I would find myself as attracted to you as I am,” he let slip and immediately regretted it.

Her eyes widened and she gazed at him until the door to the kitchen opened disgorging a waiter pushing a small food cart and her eyes slid over to study him.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

GEOMAGNETIC REVERSAL

The Earth’s magnetic field provides a shield against harmful radiation from our sun that could rip through DNA and overload the world’s electrical systems. Every so often, Earth’s north and south poles switch positions and, during the transition, the magnetic field will weaken or disappear for many years. The last known transition happened almost 780,000 years ago and it is likely to happen again.

Danger sign: Electronics stop working.

b. Profiles in Presidential courage:
“A few years after World War II, a child who was born into poverty had a slightly better than 50-50 chance of becoming middle class as an adult. By 1980, that chance fell to around 40%. And if the trend of rising inequality over the last few decades continues, it’s estimated that a child born today will only have a 1 in 3 chance of making it to the middle class.

It’s heartbreaking enough that there are millions of working families in this country who are now forced to take their children to food banks for a decent meal. But the idea that those children might not have a chance to climb out of that situation and back into the middle class, no matter how hard they work? That’s inexcusable. It’s wrong. It flies in the face of everything we stand for…”
Barack Obama in Ossawatomie, Kansas.

Recently someone told me that Obama doesn’t really believe this but is just saying it to get votes and that when he proposes laws and programs to address poverty, unemployment and inequality he is also doing it to be re-elected. Hmmm, I think I can live with that kind of hypocrisy, don’t you?

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

“But if you want to see the story pulled together in one compelling narrative, read this — perhaps the best book on politics of the last two years: Winner Take All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class. Two accomplished political scientists wrote it: Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson – the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson of political science, who wanted to know how America had turned into a society starkly divided into winners and losers.

Mystified by what happened to the notion of “shared prosperity” that marked the years after World War II; puzzled that over the last generation more and more wealth has gone to the rich and superrich, while middle-class and working people are left barely hanging on; vexed that hedge-fund managers pulling down billions can pay a lower tax rate than their pedicurists, manicurists, cleaning ladies and chauffeurs; curious as to why politicians keep slashing taxes on the very rich even as they grow richer, and how corporations keep being handed huge tax breaks and subsidies even as they fire hundreds of thousands of workers; troubled that the heart of the American Dream – upward mobility — seems to have stopped beating; astounded that the United States now leads in the competition for the gold medal for inequality; and dumbfounded that all this could happen in a democracy whose politicians are supposed to serve the greatest good for the greatest number, and must regularly face the judgment of citizens at the polls if they haven’t done so;

Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson wanted to find out “how our economy stopped working to provide prosperity and security for the broad middle class.” They wanted to know: “Who dunnit?”

They found the culprit: “It’s the politics, stupid!” Tracing the clues back to that, “unseen revolution” of the 1970s — the revolt triggered by Lewis Powell, fired up by William Simon, and fueled by rich corporations and wealthy individuals — they found that, ‘Step by step and debate by debate America’s public officials have rewritten the rules of American politics and the American economy in ways that have benefitted the few at the expense of the many.”

There you have it: they bought off the gatekeepers, got inside, and gamed the system. And when the fix was in, they let loose the animal spirits, turning our economy into a feast for predators. And they won — as the rich and powerful got richer and more powerful — they not only bought the government, they “saddled Americans with greater debt, tore new holes in the safety net, and imposed broad financial risks on workers, investors, and taxpayers.” Until – write Hacker and Pierson – “The United States is looking more and more like the capitalist oligarchies of Brazil, Mexico, and Russia where most of the wealth is concentrated at the top while the bottom grows larger and larger with everyone in between just barely getting by.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

I assume we all remember how effectively, “the right to choose” was used during the debate on Obamacare. I also assume those of us who used that phrase thought we used it because it was factually accurate and not cynical political manipulation. But then, I guess both sides resorted to “cynical political manipulation.” They did didn’t they, or does someone cynically want us to believe that?

e. The difference between Americans and Europeans :

Americans are more likely to believe in unilateral military intervention.

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:
“This and that…” is written for my own enjoyment. I send it on hoping that those of you who actually read it enjoy it also. If not you are free to erase or avoid reading those sections that you find objectionable.

Not too long ago, one of you objected that a graphic sex scene in my mystery novel since might be read by the teenagers who are on my mailing list and requested that if I could not refrain from that in the future, I at least warn her so she can do whatever she thinks appropriate on her end. I am ok with that and will try to honor the request. (By the way, in the next few chapters of the so called Mystery Novel, there will be a considerable amount of gratuitous violence, obscene language and a little kinky sex. You may want to be prepared.)

More recently, in response to my increased coverage of Republicans during their debates and the news coming out of the Occupy protest, I find myself accused of a one sided hatred of Republicans. I am embarrassed that I actually responded to that. I am even more ashamed that I unknowingly had been subjected to what I call “Faux News Think,” and fell into the trap.

“Faux News Think,” as I should have realized, is a method of political discourse that anyone who had taken Rhetoric 101 would recognize. It is a gussied up version of school yard debate techniques, that demands that one side explain themselves while the other never has to do so. The genius of it is that Faux News and those that developed it, whether knowingly or unknowingly, managed to inculcate it into enough of the population that some believe they thought it up themselves and it is reasonable and natural.

I am thinking of writing an article about it. In my next Post I will explain what it is in some detail.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

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

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. Theodore Roosevelt, Populist Republican President:

“The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows. That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now.”

2. David Frum, Republican political strategist attempting to save the party from itself.

“This past summer, the GOP nearly forced America to the verge of default just to score a point in a budget debate. In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed. In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners.”

3. Ruth Porat, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, a member of the 1% urges and a Republican:

“The wealthiest can afford to pay more in taxes. That’s a part of the deal. That makes sense. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t agree with that. The wealth disparity between the lowest and the highest continues to expand, and that’s inappropriate.We cannot cut our way to greatness.”


TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. September 2011:,

According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, more Americans than last year believe the world is warming and the change is likely influenced by the Republican presidential debates. The percentage of Americans who believe the Earth has been warming rose to 83 percent from 75 percent last year in the poll conducted Sept 8-12.

Now a new Pew poll provides further support for that finding. From 2009 to 2011, the percentage of moderate or liberal Republicans who say there is “solid evidence” the earth is warming jumped 22 percentage points, from 41% to 63% — 15 percentage points just since last year (from 48 to 63).

See, who said Republicans can’t learn? They simply might, however, be just a bit slow. Unfortunately, their elected officials seem a lot slower than their base.

2. Education matters:

Careers that require at least mid level skills or higher will grow faster.

3. China has 64 million empty apartments.


TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. Thailand, Flood Aftermath:

As the flood water recedes and the clean-up gets under-weigh, proposals for dealing with future flooding abound. Almost all, if not all, imply continued development of the flood plain, which the King warned against two decades ago. Each of these proposals seek to handle future water flow from storms similar to those recently experienced. Without getting into the impacts of climate change or the ongoing debate over whether the recent floods were 100 year or 1000 year floods and whether it is cost effective to size your infrastructure to handle something that only occurs every century, no proposal that I have seen so far accounts for future development of the flood plain, but instead ignores what it makes more possible.

For example, the channels, canals, drainage structures and retaining basins are all proposed to be sized to handle future flooding. But they also allow even more development in the flood plain that would overtime increase the amount of water the infrastructure must handle, undoubtedly overwhelming them. Developers are proposing projects in which cement walls built to a hight of a certain level of flooding (significantly less than that recently experienced) surround the homes. Since these would be built in the flood plain, the result would be higher and more sever flooding because the water would have less area to spread out into.

The only way to avoid this is either to prohibit future building in the flood plain, which is impossible, or require all structures be built, as they have been traditionally, on stilts leaving the ground level free for water flow and drainage. Any impervious surface necessary would have to be compensated for with something like a drainage ditch of equal size as that covered by the impervious layer and dug down to a depth of one or two meters and filled with permeable material so that future flood water can be held and drained into the subsoil. This won’t happen either.

2. Thailand, petrol:

Thailand has ordered the use of petrol (for cooking primarily) phased out in one year and  replaced by ethanol produced from sugar plants. The petrol companies support the move, so do the sugar growers.

3. Thailand, pardons:

In honor of the his birthday The King has pardoned 26,000 inmates, but not Thaksin the Terrible who nevertheless remains at large.

4. Thailand, cuisine:

The number of Mr Donut stores in Thailand are expected to double in five years.

5. America:

According to Felix Salmon, without the Fed and the Treasury, the shareholders of every single money-center bank and shadow bank in the United States would have gone bust. He adds that he does not understand why officials from the Fed and the Treasury keep telling him that the US couldn’t or shouldn’t have profited immensely from its TARP and other loans to banks. Somebody owns that equity value right now. It’s not the government. But when the chips were down it was the government that bore the risk. That’s what a lender of last resort does. That’s why Bagehot’s rule is to lend freely but at a penalty rate. The bankers should not profit from the fact that they were over leveraged, and compelled the government to act as a lender of last resort.

6. American weather disasters:

America suffered a record 12 weather disasters this year that each caused at least $1 billion in damage.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Today December 5 is the Birthday of The King of Thailand, King Bhumibol. It is the end of the seventh 12 year cycle of his life which makes it special. It is also poignant for many Thais because the precarious nature of The King‘s health may mean it is possibly his last birthday celebration.

Although the celebration lasts for about a week, on his birthday itself a grand festival was held near the palace with 100s of thousands of people attending, fireworks throughout the city, interminable speeches by politicians and endless chanting by 100s of monks. Also there was a short speech by the obviously very ill monarch where he asked everyone to behave themselves.

As Kings go, Bhumibol in my opinion, is one of the best. Not that Kingship is one of the better systems of governance. It is not, being essentially a reward to the original biker gang-leader who slaughtered and raped his way to the top to allow his mostly inept descendants to have a free ride while participating in elaborate ceremonies, eating things too rich to be good for them, dressing uncomfortably and every now and then putting someone they did not like to death in very horrible ways. As in everything, experience and expectation to the contrary, every now and then the system throws up an exemplary individual. King Bhumibol is one.

During most of Bhumibol‘s reign, major political power in the country was exercised by some of the strangest dictators known to history (One dictator even had the improbable name of “Weird”). Nevertheless, Bhumibol carved out an exemplary niche for himself. Rarely, if ever, during his reign have the other political powers in the country concerned themselves with anything other than the welfare of the small group that exercised control over the military and commercial resources of the country who resided primarily in the nation’s capitol, largest city and commercial center, Bangkok. Until recently Bhumibol was not only the spiritual leader of the country, but its conservationist, environmentalist, cultural preservationist, water policy czar and rural development maven. He established and managed the nations national park system, developed and promoted the nations folk art, designed its water and flood protection systems, instituted a means of promoting village products throughout the country and the world and much much more.

He appears to be a most humble man. Most Kingships and nobility systems depend upon a system of religious deification, preservation of dignity, elaborate rituals and cultivation of support from the most powerful and conservative institutions in the nation. Bhumibol understood this but maintained only the slightest interest it, only as much as necessary. On formal occasions the rituals or prostration and the like were observed and noted. During his visits around the country pursuing his interests such rituals disappeared. For example, when reviewing a flood control site he often would roll out his maps and plans on the hood or the nearest vehicle oblivious to the usual pomp that surrounds royal excursions.

He is a scientist and inventor with many patents to his name (mostly for water projects), musician and composer, sportsman (won a gold medal in sailing in the Asian Games on December 12th which has become National Sports Day in Thailand) and much more.

Nice going big guy. Happy Birthday.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Again I regret the post has gotten too long and as usual, the saga of Vince and Isabella loses out.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange apocalypses:

MEGA TSUNAMI

Geologists worry that a future volcanic eruption at La Palma in the Canary Islands might dislodge a chunk of rock twice the volume of the Isle of Man into the Atlantic Ocean, triggering waves a kilometer high that would move at the speed of a jumbo jet with catastrophic effects for the shores of the US, Europe, South America and Africa.

Danger sign: Half the world’s major cities are under water. All at once.

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

1.To end the lie that Americans are overtaxed.

The above chart suggests that those that believe US taxes are too high may wish to move somewhere else. Clearly they would be very unhappy in Denmark, Sweden, Italy or a number of other countries, but perhaps they would enjoy moving to Mexico. America, love it and support it by paying your taxes, or leave it. Haven’t I heard something like that before? [By the way, I do not pay taxes any more, so I left]

2. To end theft of our tax dollars and erosion of our military strength by defense contractors.
“In the 1980s, there were legislative efforts to make contractors keep data on any should cost [Alternative to grossly more expensive ‘did cost’ pricing for military hardware] they did and make it available to the DoD, but those standards, especially Military Standard 1567A were finally vaporized by 1995 [during Clinton administration] with the historical cost advocates winning full control of the pricing in the DoD… this has lead to paying more for less and less weapons — more bucks for less bang.”
Dina Razor

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

“No wonder the US Chamber of Commerce feels right as home with the landmark designation of its headquarters. 1615 H Street now masterminds the laundering of multi-millions of dollars raised from captains of industry and private wealth to finance — secretly — the political mercenaries who fight the class war in their behalf.

Even as the Chamber was doubling its membership and tripling its budget in response to Lewis Powell’s manifesto, the coalition got another powerful jolt of adrenalin from the wealthy right-winger who had served as Nixon’s secretary of the treasury, William Simon. His polemic entitled A Time for Truth argued that, “funds generated by business” must “rush by multimillions” into conservative causes to uproot the institutions and “the heretical strategy” [his term] of the New Deal. He called on “men of action in the capitalist world” to mount “a veritable crusade” against progressive America. Business Week magazine somberly explained that ,“…it will be a bitter pill for many Americans to swallow the idea of doing with less so that big business can have move.”

I’m not making this up.

And so it came to pass; came to pass despite your heroic efforts and those of other kindred citizens; came to pass because those “men of action in the capitalist world” were not content with their wealth just to buy more homes, more cars, more planes, more vacations and more gizmos than anyone else. They were determined to buy more democracy than anyone else. And they succeeded beyond their own expectations. After their 40-year “veritable crusade” against our institutions, laws and regulations — against the ideas, norms and beliefs that helped to create America’s iconic middle class — the Gilded Age is back with a vengeance.”

d. How To Talk Like A Republican (the new American Lexicon):

e. The differences between Europeans and Americans:

f. Testosterone Chronicles:
1.

In an effort to be fair to both sides of the political divide I thought I would share this publicity photograph of my favorite political commentator.

Some of Apple Annie’s most endearing and courageous quotes:

“… just remember the lesson from my book: it just took a few shootings at Kent State to shut that down for good.”

“This is the first time they got bullets back… and that put an end to the protests pretty quickly.”

“I don’t really like to think of it as a murder. It was terminating Tiller in the 203rd trimester.”
(Dr Tiller was the head of an abortion clinic assassinated two decades ago by anti-abortion activists)

“I am personally opposed to shooting abortionists, but I don’t want to impose my moral values on others.”

Sounds a lot like man talk

2. Also to read about a real “Bad Ass” go to:
http://www.badassoftheweek.com/shrestha.html
TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:


“Extreme weather like the droughts in Russia, China and Brazil and the flooding in Pakistan and Australia [in 2010] have contributed to a level of food price volatility we haven’t seen since the oil crisis of 40 years ago. Unfortunately, this could be just a taste of things to come because in the next few decades the build-up of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere could greatly increase the risk of droughts, flooding, pest infestation and water scarcity for agriculture systems already under tremendous stress.” — John Beddington, UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser (March 2011)


TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

Because we will always have Paris.

TODAY’S POSTER:

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 1, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. September 28, 1941: German troops massacre 40,000 Ukrainian Jews at Babi Yar.

Let us not forget the consequences of hate. Without a doubt everyone has had ancestors slaughtered for little more reason than their racial, religious, ethnic heritage, migration in search of a better life or simply because they stood in the way.

2. Statistics: Statistically you are likelier to be executed by Rick Perry than hit by a falling satellite.

And, I bet most of you are more terrorized of falling space junk than the Messiah from Texas. You shouldn’t be.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I travelled by train to San Jose to have lunch with my good friend Bill. The day was warm and sunny and the train ride was pleasant and boring enough that I slept through most of it. Bill met me at the station and we drove in his new black Jag to a nearby Italian restaurant called “Paesano’s”. It is owned and operated by a man from Palermo Sicily called Pino. The food is a pastiche of dishes from several regions in Italy with an emphasis on the south of the country and adjusted for American tastes. We drank a bottle of Nero d’Avola wine from the area on the island near my mother’s native town. The food was quite good and I suggest that if you find yourself in San Jose and hungry for good Italian food this place will fit the bill.

After lunch we drove over to a new Restaurant/night club called “Myth” in which Bill is part owner. It is a very nice place that serves Greek food during the day and is a night-club on certain nights, with a live jazz group on Saturdays. What I especially like about it is that about one half of the place is out doors, for dining and partying al fresco. It apparently has become quite popular.

Bill and I sat at the bar and ordered some Greek wine. They had no “Retsina” so I ordered a white and Bill had a red. The bartender was a tall attractive young woman named Nichole. For reasons that I refuse to examine, I have a soft spot for woman bartenders especially those with tattoos. Nicole did not have any tattoos that I could see.

While we were drinking, a woman entered the place, walked up to the bar and offered to buy us a drink if we could give her four quarters for the parking meter. Bill and I rummaged through our pockets and found the change but declined the drink. She returned, sat a few stools down from us, ordered her own drink and told us that she was waiting for a friend.

Bill and I resumed our discussion that just happened to be about Cairo and smoking a Hookah. Our new friend then spoke up and said something like, “You’re talking about smoking. I like that.” Now, although reference to smoking can have many connotations not to mention meanings, Bill and I assumed she was speaking about Marijuana. Bill pointed out that we were discussing tobacco in a Hookah and I opined that perhaps she may have been thinking not about tobacco in a hookah but about rolling some weed in cigarette paper. “No,” she replied, “I prefer my smoke coming out of a pipe. This is California after all.”

Yes, it certainly is.

Bill had some client meetings to attend so he dropped me back at the train station and I made my way home.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Chapter: Because I can no longer remember the chapter numbers, I have decided to start naming the chapters rather than numbering them. This one is called “Meg.”

Meg was naked, her steroid enhanced, chiseled body poised kneeling above him on the bed.

Outside the room the surf at Half Mood Bay rumbled, drowning out the sounds of automobiles on Highway One located about a hundred yards behind her home.

She lowered her head and with her tongue, gently explored Jack’s one eye. Ray moaned slightly and drew in his breath, She slowly licked the head and then Jack’s eye again. Then, placing her lips lightly on the tip of his penis, she gradually drew it into her mouth until her lips slid over the corona and lingered in the sulcus while she flicked her tongue again over the glans, then she proceeded down the shaft of his cock. He moaned again, his muscles going rigid as he entwined his fingers in her hair pulling it violently out and down while he thrust up forcing his cock deep into her mouth.

She loved the silky smoothness of the skin of his member, soft like velvet with the iron-hard prick beneath. She liked the pain as he pulled on her hair. She liked the ache in her sphincter where an hour or so before he brutalized it, thrusting deep within her. For the entire night they had gone without break from bed to shower to floor in an unending symphony of brutality and passion.

His moans grew louder as he drew her faster and deeper on him until with a sudden thrust the hot, bitter, salty brew sprayed into her mouth as he spasmed and then relaxed, his fingers falling from her hair.

As his breathing slowed and his erection wilted, she moved up and across his body bestowing light kisses on his body as she passed until she lay alongside him, her head nestled in the crook of his arm with her lips pressed against his neck.

She lay there a few moments, thinking first of Ray and languid ache in her that he brought on, than drifting off to confront the disturbing specter of Stephanie. Stephanie, her beautiful porcelain white skinned Stephanie. The night she died she had called Meg. Told her she couldn’t spend the night alone in that house and she was coming over the hill to spend it in Meg’s arms. She sounded upset, as she should be, not because of her asshole husband Sam’s death but because of its violence. But she never arrived. Then Meg got the call about the crash at Devil’s Slide.

When she arrived at the site, she found out it was Steph. The idiot medical examiner claimed it was an accident or suicide. Meg knew that it could not be. Devil’s slide was not on the route from Steph’s home to Meg’s place. Ray also expressed doubts about the official reported cause of Stephanie’s death.

She felt his breathing slow. He was drifting off into sleep.

“Not yet,” she whispered. “Once more for me.”

He smiled and with his eyes still closed he pulled her up towards him. She straddled his head with her knees. Her hands she pressed against the wall behind the bed. He gently ran his tongue along the sides of her clitoris and labia. She could feel her wetness. Her muscles tightened. He held her cheeks tightly. A finger fluttered around her aching asshole, prying it open and slipping the tip in and out. Suddenly he withdrew his tongue and sucked her steroid swollen clit into his mouth hard while plunging his finger deep into her ass. She felt the rush of blood and warmth spread throughout her body. Her muscles tightened until she became as rigid as a granite statue. As the flood of ecstasy swept from the fringes her body and plunged toward her cunt, she raised her face up toward the ceiling and let out a deep guttural scream.
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people, so they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (“the graveyard shift”) to listen for the bell; thus someone could be,”Saved by the Bell’‘ or considered a ”Dead Ringer.’
b. What Adam Smith (considered by some as the “father” of Capitalism) Really Said:

“All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.”
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations [Book III, Chapter IV, p. 444].

c. From God’s Mouth to your Ears:

“They must be dividing the spoils they took: there must be a damsel or two for each man, Spoils of dyed cloth as Sisera’s spoil, an ornate shawl or two for me in the spoil.”

(Judges 5:30 NAB)

Well, there you are, God is good to his guys, especially if they are very good at raping and killing.

d. Profiles in presidential courage:

e. American Exceptionalism:

” . . . the only way to drive the US from the Muslim world and defeat its satraps is by drawing Americans into a series of small but expensive wars that would ultimately bankrupt them.”
Osama Bin Ladin

Of course, no American government or political party would be so dumb as to fall for that.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Our riches, being in our brains, die with us…unless of course someone chops off our head, in which case, we won’t need them anyway.”
W. A. Mozart

Wolfie, stick to your music.

BONUS QUOTE:

“I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military.”
Rick Santorum

Huh! An army of eunuchs? Will we restore the draft or ask for volunteers? What would happen to our military if this man became president? Remember, it was Genghis (Wolfie) Mozart, owner of the candy store in the village that I grew up in, who said, “An army that can’t fuck is an army that kills its own officers.”

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


TODAY’S CHART:

(I bet a lot of people believe that the oil companies are holding on to all this cash so that they can do something good for them.)

Categories: October 2011 through December 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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

SUPPORT PAIGE SULTZBACH

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

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

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

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

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

1. We are number one:

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

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

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

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

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

I see a PhD thesis in the making.

2. Don’t cry for me Argentina:

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

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

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

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

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

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

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

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

Now why is that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Picture of Jesus with American flag

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Twentieth Century:

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

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

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Do you trust these men?

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

As Abraham Lincoln said:

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

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

PHASE THREE

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

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

When possible, treat immigrants as criminals.

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

Make college education unaffordable.

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

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

Enact laws restricting the voting rights of possibly unruly constituencies.

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

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

C. What thoughtful Republicans think of their party:

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

TODAY’S QUOTES:

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

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

TODAY’S CHART:


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

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

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

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

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

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S SNARK:

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


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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. June 20, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Admittedly it needs some work. It has also been suggested that I change “Pookie” to “Papa Joe” since Papa Joe sounds more presidential. What do you think?

TODAY‘S FACTOID:

2009: In Africa this year nearly 60 million hectares — an area the size of France – was purchased or leased by large international agricultural conglomerates and Sovereign Wealth Funds in comparison to an average annual expansion of global agricultural land before 2008 of less than 4 million ha.
http://media.oaklandinstitute.org/sites/oaklandinstitute.org/files/OI_FAQsjune5.pdf

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND ITALY:

After spending one day in San Francisco following my trip to Sacramento, I set off agin, this time to Southern California. I arrived at LAX and was met by Monty Ormsby, a friend and ex-client who I accompanied and ineffectually represented in his slow, sad voyage of descent from great wealth into bankruptcy at the hands of the Coastal Commission, but that is another story. Monty also, as a young man, was a ranked middle weight boxer until he lost an eye in a street fight, but that also is another story.

Monty agreed to lend me his car for my trip to Disneyland to meet up with Hayden and SWAC who had spent the previous two days there. The automobile was an old black Mercedes that had previously been owned by Sid Luft, who had been married to Judy Garland. Sid, Judy and Judy’s daughter Liza Minnelli had been close friends of Monty (another story). After he died, Sid left Monty the car .

Recently the car had been in an accident, its hood  tied down with rope. Monty uses the car as his everyday car and in addition to its damaged exterior, its interior showed the ravages of constant use, strewn with piles of cigar ash and bits or paper, old styrofoam cups and the like.

After dropping Monty off at his home in Torrence, I drove to Disneyland managing to get lost several times and arriving there in time only to take in the fireworks display.

The following morning as she got into the car, SWAC noticing the condition of its exterior and interior commenced a rant that continued throughout the trip back to Los Angeles increasing in both volume and invective as I proceeded to get lost again. Finally I dropped both of them off at a hotel near the airport and continued on by myself to lunch with Greg McWilliams and Ruth Galanter. For those of you not familiar with either Greg or Ruth, Greg in a friend and was a client of mine for whom I assisted in obtaining entitlements for a large development in San Francisco. The process was no less difficult than Monty’s, but more successful. At least it did not end in bankruptcy. Ruth has been a friend for over thirty years, since the early days of California’s coastal program. She spent several years as one of the most effective members of the Los Angeles City Council.

Over lunch at a good restaurant in Marina Del Rey, we talked mostly about politics. After lunch, I drove to Monty’s house in Torrence to pick him up for dinner. We exchanged the forlorn Mercedes for Monty’s 1985 cherry red Rolls Royce convertible and returned to the hotel to collect Hayden and SWAC. SWAC was much happier in the spiffy and cleaner Rolls as we set off to Venice Beach for dinner.

We strolled through Venice Beach. Hayden loved it. Venice Beach is like an adult Disneyland, except more interesting with its diverse species of humanity, its muscle park, medical marijuana parlors, skate parks and the like (See today’s photographs below). After dinner, Monty dropped us off back at the hotel and he returned home.

The hotel in which we were staying and whose name unfortunately I forgot, had been the old Airport Marina hotel at which in the 1970s the Coastal Commission often used to have its meetings when in Southern California. The hotel has been remodeled into a wonderful boutique hotel and is now part of the Joie de Vivre chain of hotels based in SF.

The following morning we departed for Italy. (to be continued)
PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Vince’s first call of the morning was to Fat Al to tell him about Stephanie’s death and ask him to look into it. He then called Ike. After recounting the morning’s call from the San Mateo County sheriff’s office, he asked whether Ike thought that he should accompany Vince to his meeting with the Sheriff later that morning.

Ike felt there was no reason for Vince to risk suggesting to the Sheriff that he felt any possible involvement in Stephanie’s death that being accompanied by a criminal lawyer would imply. He recommended instead Vince take Ray along with him if he should need any assistance.

Vince’s third call was to Isabella.
————————
Ike received Vince’s call while working with his orchids in the greed house on the roof of his Mission District home. After completing his ministrations on his beloved orchids, Ike sat in his study drinking tea from a delicate 19th century Korean Celadon tea set and contemplated his phone call earlier with Vince. Fifteen minutes or so later he nodded, grunted picked up one of his special cell phones and dialed.

“Yes,” he spoke into the phone when his call was answered. “I assume he has called you by now?”

“This evening? Good. I think it may be time for him to meet the old man.”

“No, I do not think this is a Brotherhood operation. Just a third rate scam among some of their greedy operatives.”

He then hung up the phone and returned to sipping his tea.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Gall’s law“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.”


No kidding Gail.

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

“The last refuge of scoundrels is not patriotism but the claim that no one could see it coming.”

c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”(Isaiah 45:7)

(Now we know who to blame.)

d. You must be a Republican ( http:/trenzpruca.wordpress.com/):

“If you believe that warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is constitutionally protected, but a women’s right to choose is not.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

John Coates, a former trader turned student of neuroscience, performed an experiment on the trading floor and found out that if a trader’s testosterone levels reach a little higher than the peak, their brain goes haywire.
According to Coates, “During the dot-com bubble, people who were working with me displayed all the classic symptoms of mania: They were euphoric, delusional, and overconfident; they couldn’t put a coherent sentence together; and they were unusually horny, judging from the number of lewd comments and the amount of porn that was showing up on their computer screens.”
Source: Discover Magazine

(This explains everything.)

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Another means of silently lessening the inequality of property is to exempt all from taxation below a certain point, and to tax the higher portions of property in geometrical progression as they rise. Whenever there is in any country, uncultivated lands and unemployed poor, it is clear that the laws of property have been so far extended as to violate natural right. The earth is given as a common stock for man to labour and live on. If, for the encouragement of industry we allow it to be appropriated, we must take care that other employment be furnished to those excluded from the appropriation. If we do not the fundamental right to labour the earth returns to the unemployed. It is too soon yet in our country to say that every man who cannot find employment but who can find uncultivated land, shall be at liberty to cultivate it, paying a moderate rent. But it is not too soon to provide by every possible means that as few as possible shall be without a little portion of land. The small landholders are the most precious part of a state.”
Thomas Jefferson; 1785 letter to James Madison.

Today’s Photographs:

Monty, SWAC and Hayden at Venice Beach

:

Dope at the Beach:

Categories: April 2011 through June 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 5 Capt. Coast 0001 (April 24, 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Well, some good news, my weight has dropped and has remained stable at under 200 lbs. Whether this is due to my diet or exercise regime or merely my body being catabolized by the ravages of age that will ultimately result in me growing shorter while I lose weight, I do not know. But whatever the reason, since losing the weight was a goal of mine, hooray for me.

The temperature has hovered about the 100+ degree mark in BKK and has reached as high as 108 in other parts of Thailand. No relief is in sight until the monsoon rains come. On a positive note the local weather bureau reports that so far the heat wave has been slightly less than normal in BKK for this time of year. On the other hand, the drought (yes a drought has followed on the heels of the floods) has set in hard in the north and northeastern portions of the country and could have a significantly negative impact on the area’s rice crop. So stock up on rice before prices rise.

As I have mentioned previously, I have become a devotee of Thai soaps even though I do not understand the language. My current obsession is with a soap about a team of heroic bus drivers (one of whom for some reason sometimes dresses up in a mask and a vest with no shirt underneath and beats up bad guys). There is also a ghost like creäture with tiny horns, acne, bad hair, a large mouth and over whose body red and black lights alternately play. He flies through the air and can appear or disappear at will. He seems to talk a lot but otherwise does not actually do much even though he turns up more often than any other character. Then there is the bad guy (who also bares his chest but most often wears a white T-shirt) with a pencil thin mustache who beats people up with a magic umbrella. There are also additional characters in an exceptionally large cast whose roles I cannot figure out except that the men are sometimes angry and at other times anguished and, when they are not fighting with one another, often get beat up by the masked guy or the guy with the magic umbrella. Then there are the women, some who are annoyed and yell a lot at which ever other women seems to have attracted the attention of one or another of the guys that get beat up a lot. No one appears to have had any sex in a while. Maybe that is why they are always fighting and yelling at one another. Oh, I almost forgot there is also at lot of opening of doors to rooms with no one in them, accompanied by spooky music.

(Revision: Since I wrote the above, things have gotten interesting. One of the women has gotten pregnant. So I assume she must have had sex with one of the angry guys. Her father, the bad guy with the magic umbrella, is furious. She is also a twin. She knocked out her twin sister by hitting her over the head with a telephone for dissing her about her pregnancy. She then switched clothes with her, ran off to yell at one of the guys and cry a lot. The knocked out but not up sister was then kidnapped by the horned Ghost who tied her up and hung her by her hands from a large tree. The Ghost himself has taken to inhabiting the bodies of a few of the other characters and turning their eyes red and giving them an uncontrollable urge to eat raw flesh usually stolen from a butcher shop. I guess this may be the Thai version of “The Game of Thrones.”)
B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Minimum wage:

Shortly after her election last year, Princess LuckyGirl the Thai Prime Minister announced a rise in the minimum wage from about seven or eight dollars a day to about 10 dollars per day with the predictable cries from the business community that the economy will collapse, the sky will fall and the nation will be wracked with floods. Well, in response to their concerns Princess LuckyGirl decided to ease the pain by introducing the raise gradually, starting first in those provinces most capable of bearing the claimed economic strain. As a result, minimum wage workers in those provinces not receiving raises left their jobs and flocked to those provinces that did, causing an uproar by those who now no longer could find workers unless they paid them the higher rate. So Princess LuckyGirl now has agreed to raise the minimum wage throughout the entire country. The economy did not collapse, the sky did not fall, but the floods came anyway.

2. University Graduate Pay:

In addition to raising the pay of minimum wage workers, Princess LuckyGirl increased the salary to be paid to university graduates working for the government from about $400 per month to about $500 per month. This however has been met with a more positive response from the business community, several of whose spokespersons thought it was a good thing for them to have to raise their salaries to university graduates in order to compete with the government for talent. I have no idea why they feel this way.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Secret Service Follies:

The US media seems all a twitter about the revelations that Secret Service members engaged the service of prostitutes during the Presidents visit to Columbia for a conference with leaders of many of the countries in North and South America. Now, forgetting for a moment that prostitution is legal there in Columbia and the rather common practice world wide of cops taking advantage of something without paying for it, it seems odd that the “scandal” appeared to be such a surprise to the media and the leaders of the Republican party who pretended to be shocked. First it should be noted that, since I know that all the cops attached to the embassy in Thailand are Republicans, it is safe to assume that in all likelihood, each and every secret service member involved in the Columbian caper is also a Republican. It should also be understood that it is well known that throughout the world federal cops stationed in foreign countries whether Secret Service or DEA agents have consorted with prostitutes.

Age of Consent sv

Age of Consent sv (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Thailand during the Bush administration’s Faith Based Initiative the DEA agents who could usually be found in the Thai bordellos when not at their desks, were removed from their drug interdiction assignments and transferred to work as contractors for a so called non-profit receiving taxpayer money to track down Americans in SE Asia who have had sex with persons below the age of consent under American law, whether or not it was consistent with the age of consent laws within the SE Asian country itself.

Now overlooking whether or not this was a reasonable use of tax money or whether it was a better use of it than for interdicting the illegal drug trade, or even whether or not the miscreants targeted were morally reprehensible, the fact was that these same, now rent a cops, at the time were also openly frequenting prostitutes in the country, many of whom were under the age of consent in the US. During this time I was told that a local Bangkok businessman was approached by these guardians of American morals and asked to set up other Americans so that they could make arrests. It was easier than tracking them down.

It has been reported that, after the arrest and subsequent conviction of an American Marine officer for having sex with underage persons in Cambodia based primarily on testimony of the alleged victims obtained through the use of an interpreter, it was discovered that one of the rent a cops was himself having sexual relations with the interpreter. Despite this, the team involved in the arrest received a commendation from the Obama administration for their exemplary work.

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

Still waiting for inspiration.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Jesus healed the sick and helped the poor, for free.
3. Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors.
4.The Founding Fathers were liberals.
5. The Earth is round.
6. Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President.
7. Reagan legalized abortion as Governor of California.
8. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency.
9. Ronald Reagan supported gun control.
10.Global warming is real.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

2. Believe it or not:

Plato described the uterus as a living being unto itself — a kind of wild animal inhabiting a woman’s body, on an endless quest to make itself pregnant. If the uterus was “neglected” by the over-stimulation of other less important female organs (i.e., the brain) it would detach itself from the pelvic cavity and go on a meandering journey throughout the body, wreaking all kinds of havoc along it’s way. Eventually, its journey would end in the brain where it would sit and greedily sponge up all of the blood-flow. By thus blocking the circulation, the brain would then atrophy, which in turn resulted in the strange neurological symptoms of hysteria; the fainting spells, the convulsions, and the trance-like alterations of consciousness. Every ailment afflicting women could therefore be attributed to a single underlying cause, a displaced uterus.

In the Nineteenth Century, in an effort to discourage the wandering uterus, the male medical establishment at the time came up with something intended to calm women down and reduce their hysteria called “pelvic massage” and created a whole new industry and profession, the “Pelvic Massage Therapist.

Alas, private enterprise ever seeking to eliminate labor costs and thereby increase profits soon developed something that is now commonly referred to as a “vibrator” causing hundreds of “therapists” to find another field of work.

Now you know the rest of the story.

It should be noted that after at least 10,000 years of treating women as not much more than domesticated animals, men the physically stronger [or at least more senselessly violent] but much less intelligent gender, presented women with the means of emancipation from the one thing that men thought they needed a women for [other than cooking their food and washing their underwear]. Don’t you think that Historians should consider the current era as the beginning of “The Age of the Revenge of the Vagina?”

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Buddy Roemer announced his third party candidacy for the Presidency of the United States a few weeks ago and said at that time:

“Tomorrow, I will formally end my bid for the GOP nomination for President of the United States. As the GOP and the networks host debate number twenty-something this evening, they have once again turned their backs on the democratic process by choosing to exclude a former Governor and Congressman. I have decided to take my campaign directly to the American people by declaring my candidacy for Americans Elect. Also, after many discussions with The Reform Party, I am excited to announce my intentions of seeking their nomination. It is time to heal our nation and build a coalition of Americans who are fed up with the status quo and the partisan gridlock that infects Washington. Together, we will take on the special-interests that control our leaders and end the corruptive influence of money in politics so we can focus on America’s top priority — jobs.”

Pookie also announces the end of his attempt to wrest the GOP nomination from party regulars and proclaims his third party candidacy on the No Party Party Party Ticket.

Pookie says:

“In ending my campaign for the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States and accepting the nomination of the ‘No Party Party Party’ I pledge myself to ending governmental waste by ending government. All politicians but Pookie (who is not a politician anyway) will have to find a real job just like the rest of us.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

It is fascinating how the religion with the largest number of followers in the world’s many sects all proudly trace their heritage back to a tent dwelling, slave-owning, polygamous, goat herder with a notoriously bad temper and bizarre obsessions with pigs, penises and shellfish.

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

 

Four ex members of the 1% hold a reunion.

Categories: April 2012 through June 2012 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 27 Joey 0001 (April 17. 2012)

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

The Songkran holidays have ended. In other good news, the Good David’s medical tests have been negative. Cordt unfortunately (not for him) is returning to live in Chiang Mai. Hayden called to report to me that although he has been good, SWAC has not.

The water in the health club pool that I reported a week or so ago was delightful has become unpleasantly warm. Nevertheless, today for the first time I have been able to match the effort level I had obtained before I left for the US in January.

The business plan I have been working on with my sister Mary Anne has been put on hold while her company considers her ideas.

Bangkok has become unbearably hot in the afternoons (it is the “mad dog” days after all) so I spend them napping in my apartment, air conditioner on high.

I try to read the english language Thai newspapers every day so I could be up to date on things like politics, business and fashion in the country. I have been disappointed. It seems as though the entire country has decided to spend its afternoons like me, napping. Local politics seem to have gone into a lull ever since it appeared that Thaksin the Terrible, the deposed fugitive exiled ex-Prime Minister and brother to Princess Young and Lucky, the current Prime Minister, and Prodigious Prem, leader of the coup that ousted him, have come to some sort of agreement that Prodigious Prem would suffer no reprisals should Thaksin the Terrible be allowed to return to the country and assume some sort of power.

It seems as though Thailand like the rest of the world is just waiting to see how things turn out since no one seems to have any credible idea of what to do about anything.

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

1. Fantasy Maid Service of Lubbock Texas:
Melissa Borrett, 26, began Fantasy Maid Service of Lubbock as a way to make extra money. She charges customers $100 per hour to clean their homes, and at their request, she can do the dusting in lingerie or in the buff, according to ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The young entrepreneur started the service in February. Now, just a few months later, she has three other women working for her. The Lubbock Police Department has announced that they are keeping a close eye on Ms Borrett’s enterprise.

I bet the whole town would like to also.

2. Lawrence Deptola Of Utica New York Attempts To Rob Three Banks With A Toilet Plunger.
About a week ago, Utica Police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a Key Bank location. Deptola, plunger in hand, entered the branch and started screaming obscenities, demanding that bank employees put money in a bag. He threatened tellers with the suction-stick, police said.

3. Vampires in Politics:
In 2010, CBS reported that Jonathon “The Impaler” Sharkey ran a little-known campaign to become America’s first vampire president. As for presumed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, he’s firmly anti-vampire, according to Washington Monthly. President Obama, meanwhile, at least in one filmmaker’s view, is capable of becoming a vampire hunter.

4. St Stupid’s Day

In case you missed it, on April 1 San Francisco celebrated St. Stupid Day with the annual St Stupid’s Day Parade.

(Graphic unavailable at this time)

I apologize for the chauvinism, but I will take St. Stupid’s Day over Songkran any day.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

The Financial Industry continues to believe that gambling with your money and taking a substantial house cut is good for the economy. Many political leaders seem to have become sympathetic to the idea that war in Iran is good for the economy. In the US John Kyle and several other Senators have taken the position that lowering taxes on the wealthy and raising them on the less wealthy is good for the economy. There appears a consensus is building that encouraging global warming by increasing the use of hydrocarbons then later embarking on a “Manhattan Project” style crash program to remove them from the environment can be good for the economy. Limiting availability of health care, it has been argued, is good for the economy. More guns are obviously good for the economy.

With so many things that are good for the economy how come the economy is so bad?

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

Still in hiding

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. Asia Rising:

2. Public opinion on environmental proposals:

3. What is really newsworthy:

Recently Reuters reported on a study that found 12 percent of men aged 16-24 wanted sex less often.

The world will end soon.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Wait, it costs more to drive in Canada? Well, there you are; that just goes to show what socialized medicine does to a nation. In fact, all those high gas cost countries have socialized medicine. Perhaps they are healthier than we are, but we get to drive more. Then again what we save on gasoline we can spend on health care. It all works out.

2. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

A few posts ago I confused Songkran with Songkhla. Songkran is the water festival celebrated in Thailand in April. Songkhla is a city and province in southern Thailand noted for its beaches, large fresh water lake and occasional bombings. I could not keep my songs straight. I am sorry.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Pookie believes that separation of church and state does not mean a President of the US should completely ignore  the nations religious leaders opinions. He might wish to consider the following 10 policies suggested by leaders of the Catholic Church while still disagreeing with proposals to impose limitations on personal choice based upon sectarian religious doctrine.

1. War in Iraq. Pope John Paul II was against anyone going to war against Iraq.
2. Health Care. The Conference of Catholic Bishops requires that health care be provided to all Americans.
3. Death Penalty. The Catholic Church opposes the death penalty for criminals in almost all situations.
4. Minimum Wage. The US Conference of Bishops has urged that the federal minimum wage be increased, for the working poor.
5. Welfare. The bishops want welfare for all needy families, saying “We reiterate our call for a minimum national welfare benefit that will permit children and their parents to live in dignity.
6. Right to Work.The US bishops say that “the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions…”.
7. Near East. Catholic bishops demand the withdrawal of Israel from Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
8. Immigration. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops ripped into Arizona’s law on treatment of immigrants, Cardinal Roger Mahony characterized Arizona’s S.B. 1070 as “the country’s most retrogressive, mean-spirited, and useless anti-immigrant law,” saying it is based on “totally flawed reasoning: that immigrants come to our country to rob, plunder, and consume public resources.”
9. Illegal Immigration. The Bishops have urged that illegal immigrants not be treated as criminals and that their contribution to this country be recognized.
10. War with Iran. The US Conference of Bishops has denounced, as has the Pope, the Bush idea of ‘preventive war’, and has come out against an attack on Iran in the absence of a real and present threat of an Iranian assault on the US.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

Why is it that Republican politicians seem to always run against “big government,” but grow it the most when they are in power? It must be like Dick Chaney said of the size of the deficit; that it really does not matter when Republicans are in control.

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. (13 Joey 0001) April 4, 2012

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I made it to Mendocino, but whatever illness it is that I caught laid me low, so I spent almost two days in bed hoping for it to pass while outside the wind and the rain battered the house. It rained ever since I arrived, so I felt it was just as well that I curl up under the blanket and feel sorry for myself. I also thought about Bill and Naida and how much more serious and real were the difficulties they now are facing than mine.

On my last night in Mendocino following a pleasant game of scrabble at which I lost horribly, I made my way to bed feeling a bit better in that the cold, flu or whatever I had been laboring under for the past few days appeared to sit a bit lighter upon my chest .

I stacked the blankets, electric and conventional, to cover me so as no hint of chill could penetrate. For the first time in about a week I fell asleep without tossing about from coughing and other discomforts.

I dreamt deeply about the events of my last week in El Dorado Hills in that metaphorical, time place and character shifting way with dreams. There even appeared a character who announced that he had just returned from a week of introspection on the Iles of Tikkun who promised to aid me in some way but who I deeply distrusted. It did not matter, it all ended in frustration, sadness and despair anyway. And so it went on interminably replaying the same things over and over until some stray morning light penetrated my cocoon and I awoke, rolled over recovered my head and drifted back to sleep where shards of despondency attacked my reverie like angry crows. And so I gave in, got up and went downstairs for coffee.

After weeks of cold, overcast and rain, the sun was shining and for the first time in weeks I went for a walk. I hiked a short way along the Mendocino Headland bluffs and stared down at turmoil of the glaring white waves breaking upon the dark rocks.

Back at the house my sister and I worked on the business plan for a while and then we drove back to Berkley where we had dinner with Brendan my sister’s son, his girl friend, a Hastings law student, and two friends. I was pleasantly surprised by a quick succession of telephone calls I received from Jason, Jessica and Hayden. Whatever melancholy I had been feeling for the past few weeks dissipated.

We all watched the first episode of the second season of Game of Thrones,” and then George and I dashed off to the airport for my flight back to Thailand.
PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

The above chart represents the responses of a large group of economists to the question about the efficacy of current economic policy. It demonstrates what I and many other people have been saying and what many others believe, that economists do not know that they are doing and to bestow upon their area of study the title of a “science” whether modified by the word “social” or not is ludicrous. In fact, to me the predictive power of their field of study is not appreciatively greater than divination of the future from goat entrails. It has all the indicia of a religion. One might just as well flip a coin as ask an economist for advice on what policies to pursue to achieve a healthy national economy.

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

Still in process.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1.

2.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

Alas, Obamacare will probably end our splendid isolation wherein we in America pay far more for health care and die younger than in those awful socialist nations. Just another example of Obama’s anti-American policies. Paying more and dying younger is one of the things that made America great.

2. THE BANALITY OF EVIL:

World War 2: March 27, 1942, Joseph Goebbels’ Diaries:

“Beginning with Lublin, the Jews in the General Government [of Poland] are now being evacuated eastward. The procedure is a pretty barbaric one and not to be described here more definitely. Not much will remain of the Jews. On the whole it can be said that about 60 per cent of them will have to be liquidated whereas only about 40 per cent can be used for forced labor.

The former Gauleiter of Vienna, who is to carry this measure through, is doing it with considerable circumspection and according to a method that does not attract too much attention. A judgment is being visited upon the Jews that, while barbaric, is fully deserved by them. The prophesy which the Fuehrer made about them for having brought on a new world war is beginning to come true in a most terrible manner.

One must not be sentimental in these matters. If we did not fight the Jews, they would destroy us. It’s a life-and-death struggle between the Aryan race and the Jewish bacillus. No other government and no other regime would have the strength for such a global solution of this question. Here, too, the Fuehrer is the undismayed champion of a radical solution necessitated by conditions and therefore inexorable. Fortunately a whole series of possibilities presents itself for us in wartime that would be denied us in peacetime. We shall have to profit by this.

The ghettoes that will be emptied in the cities of the General Government now will be refilled with Jews thrown out of the Reich. This process is to be repeated from time to time. There is nothing funny in it for the Jews, and the fact that Jewry’s representatives in England and America are today organizing and sponsoring the war against Germany must be paid for dearly by its representatives in Europe – and that’s only right.”

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S CHART:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

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