Posts Tagged With: Wall Street

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 12 Papa Joe 0007 (September30, 2018)

[R]eality is partially composed of irony in its various forms.
Pike, J. Zachary. Son of a Liche (The Dark Profit Saga Book 2) (p. 34). Gnomish Press LLC.

 

Happy Birthday Richard McCarthy

Congratulations to Brendan and Ashley on their upcoming wedding.

Happy Birthday Ann Vita

 

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

 
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST:

 

So, on Friday we attended “The Sock Hop” at the Community Center in the Enchanted Forest at Campus Commons. Every month there is a themed TGIF party at the Center. This month it was the 1950s. I had been volunteered to bartender and Naida was a cashier. We were in costume. I more or less like a skinny rogue biker and Naida in crinoline and a poodle appliqué on her vest. We danced to 1950s tunes.
IMG_0478 - Version 2
The Biker and the girl in crinoline.

A group of ladies began things by dancing the Hokey Pokey.
IMG_5690<I
Doing the Hokey Pokey.

Now you may think we live in a senior center. Not so, there are a lot of younger people who live here. It is just the old birds who seem to flock together for events like this.

One old girl came up to the bar several times and asked me to “fill it to the rim with gin.” Senior fun.

Speaking of fun, a few days ago, while driving HRM somewhere or another, I asked him if he had done anything enjoyable recently. He said, “Yesterday, I thought it would be fun to walk up to random people and hand them a few dollars so they will feel something good happened to them that day. So I did.”

I never did anything like this for amusement. Perhaps I should worry.

A few days later while driving him somewhere, HRM suddenly exclaimed, “I am going to ace history in high school.”

“Oh, how so,” I replied.

“I already know everything about the Sikhs, even how to tie on a turban. I also know the history of Arabia and the names of all their leaders.” He then went on to name the current leaders of the UAE, Dubai and several other states in the area.

“That’s great,” I said. “How did you come by this knowledge?”

“Well,” he said, “don’t tell anyone but, I learn it in class when I am bored with what’s going on.”

“Oh,” I said, “I too used to read history books in class when I was bored.”

“I don’t read books,” he explained, “I get it all on my smartphone.” Then he added, “What do you think the accent of Sikhs living in Australia sounds like?”

Should I worry?

As for my health, The PET scan showed three places with a high probability of cancer. Tomorrow, I go for a biopsy again.

I am now back in EDH for a while. Dick has left for Asia for two weeks and I have resumed my nanny duties along with my ongoing chauffeur responsibilities. Mon, a young man from Thailand, is living there also. His job is to cook and clean.

On the way to school one morning. I mentioned to Hayden that he lives like one-percenters of old with his own nanny, chauffeur, and Asian houseboy. “Yes, I know,” he responded. “Don’t forget you are my lawyer also,“ he added.

Ok, now I am worried.

After I drop HRM off at school in the morning, I usually drive to The Enchanted Forest. There, to spend the day with Naida. She working on her memoir and I wasting time on my computer like I am now writing this. Then about 2PM, I leave for EDH to pick up Hayden from school and with a brief break at the Skateboard Park, drive him home. He to do his homework and me to waste more time.

Went to my biopsy appointment today. Told the Doctor that my previous appointment was inconclusive because that doctor’s sonogram could not penetrate the scar tissue on my neck. This doctor said his sonogram should have no trouble. I then told him that the subsequent PET scan report showed three high probability sites. The Doctor said he thought there was only one.

Then he got down to work and stuck a needle full of Lidocaine into my throat. After fooling around awhile, he said, “Oh-oh there was some air in the needle and it is now lodged beneath your skin. Let’s wait a half hour and maybe it will go away.” And with that he strode out of the room.

Since the mass is lodged between my muscle, tendon and my carotid artery, I had the pleasure of lying there imagining my sudden death from a brain embolism. After a half hour or so he returned and applied his sonogram to my neck and after some more fooling around said, “I can’t see anything. The air bubble is probably still there. Let’s schedule another try at it next week.” And he walked out.

After dressing, I approached to nurse to schedule a new appointment. She was giggling. After we agreed on a date she said, “Oh Good, a really good doctor will be there then.”

A few days ago on Wednesday, I picked up the entire Scooter Gang and brought them to the house to wait there until it was time to go to the teenage get together held every Wednesday in an overly large modern church complex labeled the Community Church. I do not know what denomination it is, probably Baptist. I know they sometimes like to hide their affiliation.

Anyway, the Gang consisted of five burgeoning adolescents – Haden (HRM), Jake (Big tall longhaired Jake), Graham (the Genius), Tyson (who gets blamed whenever anything goes wrong) and Ethan (the first one to have a girlfriend).
IMG_5702
HRM, Ethan, Graham, and Jake
(Hayden is wearing something he picked up in Dubai when he visited there this summer. He is holding a magic lamp that he also bought there.)

\
Ethan has an interesting history. His mother and father had made a good deal of money in a trade that recently became legal which will soon end the growth of mom and pop millionaires as the industry consolidates and becomes a subsidiary of something like General Foods or Coke or some super large drug company — alas, so it goes.

Anyway, about three or four years ago, Ethan’s mom was murdered. His father discovered who did it, tracked him down and beat him almost to death with a large iron rod. Ethan’s dad was arrested and sentenced to two years in prison. He got out a month ago. Ethan, who has been living with his grandparents leaves next week to stay with his father for a month or two so they can become reacquainted. HRM decided to throw him a going away party at the house on Saturday.

After picking them up at the Church event, They talked about Christianity and Heaven. Hayden thinks there were many heavens a person lives through, here on earth is the most recent one and the next one is the last. Graham said he was a professional atheist but now he decided to become a Christian —whatever that is.

Okay, now I am really very worried.

After an evening back in the Enchanted Forest, I returned to the Golden Hills to chaperone the going away party. Actually, it was not so much a party — about six or seven boys gathered to spend the night. After giving them the rules of the house — no bragging things, no spilling of liquids on the floor and no getting hurt — they joked with me awhile about the various things that were included or excluded in the rules. For the rest of the evening, they stayed quietly together in HRM’s room except for when they came into the kitchen for Pizza or coke.

The next morning I drove one of the gang, Caleb, home. He lives in the “low-income” side of town, a group of apartments hidden in a depression, behind some trees and on the far side of Town Center. During the drive, I ask Caleb what he wanted to be when he grew up. He quickly responded, “A forensic scientist.” “Interesting,” I responded. “What made you decide to do that?”

“ Well,” He answered. “My uncle was murdered. He died in 7/11. He was one of those people who you saw on television that jumped of the top of the buildings.”

“Oh,” I said. “I am sorry to hear that.” Then, unable to think of anything else to say, said, “Well I guess that will be a good profession for you.” Then, with my feeling like an idiot, we drove on to Caleb’s house in silence.

Well, I finally had the biopsy and now wait for the results. The next day, I met my new primary care doctor, my previous one retired as of September 1. His office is in a gym. Apparently, he doubles as a sports physician He is in his late 30’s and looks more like an ex-NFL linebacker than a doctor. We set a follow-up appointment for next week when the results of the biopsy become available.

After the appointment with the doctor, I rushed to a regular Parent teachers meeting at HRM’s school. The day before the school changed his classroom schedule to separate him from the rest of the Scooter Gang because the teachers felt that the socializing that went on in the classroom was adversely affecting his school work. Although it was done for his benefit, he took it as an attack on him specifically. Frankly, I thought they could have handled it better by reassigning several members of the gang instead of just him.

After the meeting, I was as exhausted as I have ever been and so I returned to the Enchanted Forest and slept through to the following morning.

Ha, Ethan returned from his uncle’s house where his father was living. He stayed only one day there before returning to EDH. He told me his uncles house burned down and so he had no place to live. After a little more prodding the story emerged. He said that the room in the attic of the house where he was to sleep also contained the circuit-breaker for the house’s electricity. His uncle fiddled around with it. He went for a walk. On his way back, he heard an explosion and saw that the house was on fire. He rushed back to the house, woke up his three cousins who had been sleeping in other bedrooms, and lead them out of the house. Almost as soon as they emerged the entire building exploded. It seems that Ethen’s prospective bedroom, the one that contained the exploding circuit breaker also contained 5000 assorted fireworks (yes — 5000) that also exploded and leveled the house when the fire that was consuming the heat of the bedroom reached the fireworks. Ethan seemed relaxed about the fact that only by a stroke of luck he escaped death.

One evening we went for dinner at a Czech-Italian restaurant on J. Street, after which, as we walked down the street we passed a group of young people one of whom said as we walked past, “You two are adorable.” We are now old enough that doing what people normally do is considered “adorable.”

Watched the Kavanaugh/Ford hearing. I do not know about the assault but he lied in just about everything else — a Golden Triangle is not three glasses of beer.

And then the weekend came drifting by as I waited to find out whether I am a dead man walking.

 

 

 
.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

 
“Identity politics,” a meme, used by the media and commentators to describe a social movement demeans what is actually occurring. It is not “Identity Politics.” It is good old dissent a fundamental element of a working democracy.

Social arrangements, including governments, although they may begin by pursuing valid social goals, gradually become institutions serving their own purposes and needs. Without constant reform, those institutions eventually disintegrate.

Protection of minority rights may be even more important to a society than suffrage because suffrage not only is often less than universal but, even where it is broad and inclusive, groups other than the majority of the voters routinely wield the actual power. It is minorities seeking their place in society that ultimately engenders change and reform in a society.

Dissent is necessary to an organized society if that society is to remain capable of reforming itself to meet the challenges of the ever-changing and evolving environment which it must constantly confront and adapt to if it is to survive.

Ideology or labels are not significant determinants of the nature of the dissent but convenient tools for its expression (fashions if you will). For example, the US Communist Party, first funded by Wall Street and then by the US government for their own purposes, nevertheless still functioned as a mechanism of dissent, even against their paymasters.

First of all, we must understand that allegiance and dissent are the opposite sides of the same coin. Without allegiance, an organized society cannot continue to exist for long. Nevertheless, a society also cannot continue to exist for long if it is incapable of reforming itself. The prerequisite to reform is dissent.

 

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

 

 

I went to Georgetown University about fifteen years before Kavanaugh. At that time Pat Buchanan was a student there.

I knew Pat and many other boys from Bethesda and from Georgetown Prep.

They were Catholic as was I.

They went to all boys schools as did I.

I grew up on the streets of New York.

They were raised in an upper-middle-class suburban lifestyle.

I was used to the hardscrabble morality of poor communities.

I believed that my morals and those from poor neighborhoods like mine were more flexible (read lower) than those of the wealthier and more educated class.

When I arrived at school in Washington, I was shocked at the rigidity with which the boys from Bethesda, Georgetown prep and places like that maintained the rituals of their religion and the ease with which they ignored its moral precepts. (On the streets, among the poor, it was usually the opposite.)

Brett Kavanaugh comes from that milieu.

 

 

 

 

 

DAILY FACTOID:

 

 

“Right from the start, brewing, a kitchen task, was women’s work. Both the Sumerians and Egyptians praised beer goddesses and associated brewing with women. In addition to Ninkasi as a woman to look up to, the Sumerians also had Kubaba. She is the only woman on the Sumerians’ list of kings, and she earned her ruling role not through birth, but through her work as a brewer. The Egyptians worshipped a goddess of beer Menqet, and celebrated sun god Ra’s daughter, Sekhmet, whose bloodthirsty ways were calmed by beer.”
.https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-making-beer_us_5b914f13e4b0cf7b003d8263

“In Bruges, the first association of brewery workers met in 1447 to protect themselves from ‘innkeeper, woman, and provost.’”
[Ibid.]

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 
A. Krugman on Top:

 

“A thought: the Kavanaugh mess has structural roots. Rs needed someone who was both ideologically reliable and at no risk of developing a conscience when it came to defending Trump against rule of law. So it had to be a bad person, which meant good odds of nasty stuff surfacing.”

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

 

Trickle down economics is an enviable thing. It affords those who promote it the appearance of concern for the people while not burdening them with any responsibility to deliver anything.

 
C. Today’s Poem:

 

Haroun Al Raschid

One day, Haroun Al Raschid read
A book wherein the poet said:–

“Where are the kings, and where the rest
Of those who once the world possessed?

“They’re gone with all their pomp and show,
They’re gone the way that thou shalt go.

“O thou who choosest for thy share
The world, and what the world calls fair,

“Take all that it can give or lend,
But know that death is at the end!”

Haroun Al Raschid bowed his head:
Tears fell upon the page he read.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

“But did it matter whether it was authentic or not? Hasn’t this country been built on the promise of avoiding this very question?”
          —KARL OVE KNAUSGÅRD, in The New York Times (2015)

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

Historically, Populism like most mass movements scours up both the worst and the best in a society as it scrapes across its depths. It is prompted by a deep mistrust of a community’s most powerful individuals and institutions who, its adherents believe, have misused and mishandled the trust they had been granted, violated the social contract if you will. As the indefatigable realist Machiavelli pointed out; on the broad areas of public policy the general populace is almost always more reliable than the élite.
Trenz Pruca

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1.


2. Ann Coulter to a gathering of gay conservatives:

“Marriage is not a civil right — you’re not black.”

1. is written by Borowitz to mock Gingrich’s post Clintonian* morality, 2. is not a joke.

*Shouldn’t we be thankful to Bill Clinton for his successful efforts to liberate adulterous politicians so that they are now free to come out of the closet and unashamedly run for political office?

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1. First Century AD:

a. Early terrorists, known as Sicarii or “dagger-men” were an extremist group that opposed Roman leadership over the Jews and wanted to take back Jerusalem. The Sicarii were famous for using small daggers and stealth tactics to murder their enemies in crowded places before slipping away.

b. Most men and women in Ancient Rome wore a basic undergarment called a tunic, which they belted at the waist. The length and design of the tunic distinguished the wearer’s social status. Elite Romans wore longer tunics with stripes, whereas slaves and manual laborers generally wore tunics that came above the knee and allowed freer movement. Only male citizens were allowed to wear the togas. These draped over the body on top of the tunic.

c. Only about 75% of babies in the first century AD survived their first year; half of all children died before the age of 10. It was also up to the father to decide whether or not the family would keep a newborn baby. If the baby was deformed or the family could not afford to keep it, the baby would be abandoned in the street where someone might take it in as a slave or servant.

2. September 1986 (Who is our enemy?):

James Atwood, an American with strong CIA links and Gerhard Mertins, a former senior Nazi officer and arms trader company executive, supplied weapons to the Nicaraguan Contras as part of the Iran-Contra affair. Iran-Contra was the highly controversial and illegal arrangement whereby the US sold weapons to Iran – then run by the hard-line Islāmic regime of Ayatollah Khomeini and subject to a global arms embargo — and used the proceeds to fund right-wing Nicaraguan rebels who were fighting to overthrow the left-wing Sandinista government.

Ah, the wonders of outsourcing; do we really want to privatize National Defense?

3. Japan Inc. How they do it:

A 92-year-old japanese blue chip company falsified financial statements for two decades, possibly with  cooperation from auditors, to hide over $1 billion in losses, which weren’t uncovered until the company’s first-ever foreign CEO took a second look at the accounting.

Is that how it is done on Wall Street too?

4. Einsatzgruppen Operational Situation Reports #156:
“A major Jewish action took place on November 23, 1941, after the Jewish population, on the previous day, had been requested by means of posters to assemble. In all, 1,538 Jews were shot. Their clothing was handed over to the mayor of Poltava who gave special priority to ethnic Germans when distributing it.”

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND AMERICA:

1. To pee or not to pee:

The Nation, the tabloid option of the two main english language newspapers in Thailand noted that during Prime Minister Princess Lucky Girl’s absence due to an attack of food poisoning, a cabinet meeting was held chaired by the First Deputy Prime Minister. When the First Deputy Prime Minister stepped out to take a pee (as reported), he handed the gavel over to Cheeky Chalerm until his return. Since Cheeky Chalerm is the Third Deputy Prime Minister, the Thai and English language media erupted with rumor and speculation as to why the First Deputy Prime Minister did not pass the gavel to the Second Deputy Prime Minister who also attended the Cabinet meeting. The weight of opinion is that it signifies Cheeky Chalerm‘s move against his competitors (and no I do not know how many deputy prime ministers there are in the Thai Government).

I have it on good authority that Obama does not allow pee breaks during Cabinet meetings, thereby pissing [so to speak] everyone off and shortening the meetings considerably.

2. A hero by any other name:

The media in Thailand has tried to focus attention on some of the many heroes who acted with valor during the recent crisis. Recently they zeroed in on a policeman who had waded through the rising waters pushing a small boat containing a matronly woman until it reached a place that allowed the woman to step out on to dry land. When the woman offered a gratuity to the policeman he refused. Even when she tried to leave the money behind in the boat the policeman surreptitiously slipped the tip back into the woman’s purse.

Now I applaud the cop who did his duty and undoubtedly deserves commendation as do many others who behaved selflessly during this crisis. However I simply wish to note that it appears the press in this case may be implying that in Thailand a policeman refusing a gratuity truly is a newsworthy event. It would be as newsworthy as a Wall Street investment banker refusing his fee because the investors in the instruments he was peddling lost their money.

3. Good US economic news for a change:

ADP JOBS REPORT SMASHES EXPECTATIONS AT 206K: Analysts were expecting 130K new jobs, but instead ADP just reported that there were 206K new private payrolls added in November. Also the previous month was revised up from 110K to 130K. Combine that with the big global coördinated intervention among the world’s central banks, and you’ve got the brew for a gigantic rally today. S&P futures are up 2.7%…

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Having finally shook the effects of jet lag, one day, I set out to accomplish a number of things. Due to my absence from the country, I had forgotten the rule that in Thailand a westerner can accomplish no more than one significant thing per day (if that much). I had planned to visit the Italian consulate to obtain the visa application forms for the Little Masseuse, do some banking at the Bangkok Bank branch near the health club on Sukhumvit Soi 11 and have a long lunch with a very attractive young woman.

Actually the attractive young lady is my most recent wife of five tears or so. Although we had not seen each other for well over a year, we have spoken over the phone now and then. Before leaving on my most recent trip to the US, she called to croon about her affection for me and how much she wanted to get together with me again and asked me to bring her back a bottle of DKNY perfume. Now you need to understand that when I first met her she was a beautiful 18-year-old and when I last saw her 10 years or so later she was a beautiful 28-year-old woman. 10 years or so ago, I was a relatively vigorous old man with some financial resources. Now a decade later, I am a very old man, virtually penniless and well I guess you could call it, performance deficient.

So I thought why would this still attractive woman want to get back with me again? This is Thailand after all, my age and physical capabilities are irrelevant but my absence of financial resources and prospects are an insurmountable obstacle. So what is she after? Being a muslim married to an infidel and burdened with an illegitimate child, I assume her remarriage prospects among men of her faith is nil. It could be she wants to use her marriage to me as a way to emigrate to the US, but that seems far-fetched. She has several times these past two years suggested we meet but whenever we agree to do so, at the last-minute she cancels or doesn’t show up.

Nevertheless when two days ago she telephoned and asked to meet, curiosity, as always, got the better of good sense and so I agreed to have lunch with her.

Before setting out for the bank, I called to confirm. She said she was too ill.

When I got to the bank I found it did not open until 11AM so I waited. It took about an hour to transact my simple business resulting in me being unable to get to the consulate before it closed for the day. So, satisfied at having accomplished my one thing for the day, I headed back to my apartment for a nap.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Editor’s note: Now I know you are wondering what has Isabella’s shorts all in a knot and eager to know if Vince scores, but I am afraid this edition of “This and that…” has gotten too long so you will just have to wait a few days.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Differences between Americans and Western Europeans (according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project (via Patrick.net))

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

1.

Image unavailable at this time.

2. See c. below.

3. The Occupy protestors are forcibly suppressed while:

Banks have illegally foreclosed on nearly 5,000 military members according to the US Comptroller of the Currency.

I get it, the Bankers have jobs while the protestors supposedly do not.–No? Then because the Bankers wears suits? Cologne? Are true American Patriots?

c. Excerpts from Bill Moyer’s (America’s last true patriot) speech to Citizens United:

“…on August 23, 1971, a corporate lawyer named Lewis Powell – a board member of the death-dealing tobacco giant Philip Morris and a future Justice of the United States Supreme Court – sent a confidential memorandum to his friends at the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. We look back on it now as a call to arms for class war waged from the top down. ”

Let’s recall the context: [By 1971 as a result of citizen activism and resulting legislation by both parties] Big Business was being forced to clean up its act. It was bad enough to corporate interests that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal had sustained its momentum through Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson. Suddenly this young lawyer named Ralph Nader arrived on the scene, arousing consumers with articles, speeches, and above all, an expose of the automobile industry, Unsafe at Any Speed. Young activists flocked to work with him on health, environmental, and economic concerns. Congress was moved to act. Even Republicans signed on. In l970 President Richard Nixon put his signature on the National Environmental Policy Act and named a White House Council to promote environmental quality. A few months later millions of Americans turned out for Earth Day. Nixon then agreed to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Congress acted swiftly to pass tough new amendments to the Clean Air Act and the EPA announced the first air pollution standards. There were new regulations directed at lead paint and pesticides. Corporations were no longer getting away with murder.

And Lewis Powell was shocked — shocked! — at what he called “an attack on the American free enterprise system.” Not just from a few “extremists of the left,” he said, but also from “perfectly respectable elements of society,” including the media, politicians, and leading intellectuals. Fight back, and fight back hard, he urged his compatriots. Build a movement. Set speakers loose across the country. Take on prominent institutions of public opinion — especially the universities, the media, and the courts. Keep television programs under “constant surveillance.” And above all, recognize that political power must be “assiduously (sic) cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination” and “without embarrassment.”

Powell imagined the US Chamber of Commerce as a council of war. Since business executives had “little stomach for hard-nose contest with their critics” and “little skill in effective intellectual and philosophical debate,” they should create new think tanks, legal foundations, and front groups of every stripe. It would take years, but these groups could, he said, be aligned into a united front (that) would only come about through “careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and united organizations.”

You have to admit it was a brilliant strategy. Although Powell may not have seen it at the time, he was pointing America toward plutocracy, where political power is derived from the wealthy and controlled by the wealthy to protect their wealth. As the only countervailing power to private greed and power, democracy could no longer be tolerated.

While Nader’s recruitment of citizens to champion democracy was open for all to see — depended, in fact, on public participation – Powell’s memo was for certain eyes only, those with the means and will to answer his call to arms. The public wouldn’t learn of the memo until after Nixon appointed Powell to the Supreme Court and the enterprising reporter Jack Anderson obtained a copy, writing that it may have been the reason for Powell’s appointment.”

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

From Frank Luntz Republican Party consultant in a memorandum to Party leaders and regulars:

Although all lawyers have a lot to apologize for, from my experience the ordinary citizen has far more to fear from the “Corporate Lawyer” than the “Personal Injury Lawyer,” but then Corporate Lawyers probably on the whole vote and contribute much more to the Republican Party than to the Democrats.

e. Strange Apocalypses:

STRANGELETS

Quantum mechanics contains lots of frightening possibilities. Among them is a particle called a strangelet that can transform any other particle into a copy of itself. In just a few hours, a small chunk of these could turn a planet into a featureless mass of strangelets. Everything that planet was would be no more.

Danger sign: Everything around you starts cooking, releasing heat.

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

I have mentioned that at times I have received criticisms of some things I may have posted here. I also mentioned that I receive many, many emails containing things I do not agree with and even find their content objectionable (but not the porn – that’s a man thing). I would like to make clear that I am not signaling in any way those posts should stop. God no, I enjoy each one. I also find that they encourage me and provide me with content. In addition, I find, as anyone should, that criticism is sometimes beneficial, . While I may not agree with the comments they often highlight gaps or seeming bias in my thinking. So please keep them coming.

g. Testosterone Chronicles:

Sex adds years to your life. Researchers at Queens University in Belfast followed about 1,000 middle-aged men over 10 years and found that males with a high frequency of orgasms lived twice as long as those who did not experience pleasure.

I love science.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“we want a virgin to do a hooker’s job.”
Lori Klein, an Arizona State Senator and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s Arizona state chairman defending her candidate.

TODAY’S CHART:

Is it because the continuation of the Payroll Tax Cut benefits the rich so little that the GOP opposes it, or is it just because Obama supports it? Oh, in case some believe that the GOP opposition to continuing the tax cut is because of its budgetary implications, forget it. Continuation of the Bush Tax cut for those in the highest income bracket (the very wealthy) has a much greater impact on the budget deficit.

TODAY’S MAP:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:


TODAY’S POSTER:

TODAY’S CARTOON:

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

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

Tea Party my ass. This was nothing other than the Republican Party stealing the anger of a population that was fed up with the Republican Party’s own theft of their tax money at gunpoint to bail out the robbers of Wall Street and fraudulently redirecting it back toward electing the very people who stole all the **ing money!”
Tea party co-founder Karl Denninger

Pissed off are we? What did you expect to happen when you crawled in bed with them — that they wouldn’t steal your wallet?

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Parody this:

If you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”
Herman Cain (The Pizza Man), candidate for Republican nomination for US President and Tea Party current favorite.

And he intends if elected to make sure that government assures that the rich stay that way. See above and see below.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Cover of "The Fall of the Roman Empire: A...

Cover via Amazon

“The Huns’ second-greatest contribution to imperial collapse, in fact, was their sudden disappearing act after Attila’s death in 453. This was the straw that broke the western Empire’s back. Bereft of Hunnic military assistance, it had no choice but to build regimes that would include at least some of the immigrant powers. This started a bidding war in which the last of the west’s disposable assets were expended in a futile effort to bring enough powerful supporters together to generate stability. But by the late 460s, the more ambitious leaders of these outside groups, particularly Euric, king of the Visigoths, could see that what purported to be the central western authority now controlled too little to prevent him from establishing an independent kingdom. It was this realization that led to the rapid unravelling of the last strands of Empire between 468 and 476…”
–Peter Heather: The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

Sounds a little like what appears to be happening to Financial-political empire of the West, most recently led by the US.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

Deportation: The Obama administration this year quietly has deported 400,000 illegal immigrants, a record number.

Yet, I still get emails from those who shake with indignation at his supposed inaction and his sympathy for the would be immigrants and who send me speeches from so-called patriots whose inflammatory words mask their glaring bigotry and opportunism.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

This morning I went with my daughter-in law Annemarie to visit my mom at the rest home. She seemed understandably weak, a bit frightened and a little depressed. Although at 92 years of age, obviously her heart is growing weaker, the cause of her chest pains apparently is inflammation of some chest cavity ligaments close to the heart.

Later I ran some errands and wound my way home. I will return to Sacramento this weekend to attend Hayden’s basketball game and to accompany him on an overnight camping trip Friday afternoon. I expect that, barring any adverse news about my mom or a change in Hayden’s situation, I will leave for LA the latter part of next week and visit, I hope, with Ruth, Monty, Greg, Lina and Joan. By the early part of the following week, I will return to Thailand. Meanwhile, I am eagerly anticipating enjoying lunches and dinners with some of my ex-colleagues and few remaining friends during the couple of days I have left before departing.

Although I have recently cut back substantially on my reading of novels in favor of computer play, I have been able to complete reading Pratchett’s latest, Camillieri’s newest (thanks to Stevie Dall) and a recent novel by Ruth’s old classmate Alan Furst. Furst writes espionage or spy novels that are set in Europe throughout the lead up to and during the early days of WW II. I consider his work to be every bit as good as LeCarre’s.

Today I had lunch with my friend and ex-colleague Mike Wilmar at a restaurant called Tirimisu in Belden Alley in SF. Mike is one of those people whose positive attitude towards others makes the worked a better place. Tirimisu is owned by Pino another friend who also owns three other establishments in Belden Alley and who I partnered with in a failed attempt to salvage his investment in a restaurant in Thailand.

Mike and I spent the lunch discussing what men usually discuss at lunch, sex, business, food, drink and general gossip.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:
See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed because some readers have indicated that they avoid it because they cannot remember the plot and previous episodes.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:
Q: Why are people in the public eye said to be ‘in the limelight’?
A:Invented in 1825, limelight was used in lighthouses and theaters by a burning cylinder of lime which produced a brilliant light. In the theatre, a performer ‘in the limelight’ was the centre of attention.
b. Human “Fingerprints” on Recent Climate Change:

(Image unavailable at this time)
c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

God has nothing to say today, as he is off on vacation in Pattaya Thailand to recharge his batteries.

d. News from Diskworld:

 

Samuel Vimes as he appears in The Pratchett Po...

Samuel Vimes as he appears in The Pratchett Portfolio, illustrated by Paul Kidby 

1. The Wit, Wisdom and Sometimes Discomfort of Sir Samuel Vimes.

“…it’s an item of faith with me that once you get past the trousers all men are the same.”

2. Snippets from ‘Unggue Theology,’ by Pastor Oats.

“A moment’s distasteful thought will tell us that this (the storing of bodily fluids in “Unggue Pots”) could not be achieved by any creature, unless in possession of great wealth, considerable storage space and compliant neighbors.”

 

Havelock Vetinari as he appears in The Pratche...

Havelock Vetinari as he appears in The Pratchett Portfolio, illustrated by Paul Kidby 

3. Aphorisms from the Oblong Office:

“…I have no problem with smuggling, It involves qualities of enterprise, stealth, and original thinking. Attributes to be encouraged in the common man. In truth, it doesn’t do that much harm and allows the man in the street a little frisson of enjoyment. Everyone should occasionally break the law in some small delightful way…. It’s good for the hygiene of the brain.”
Lord Vetinari

 

 

 

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

“I will sweep away everything in all your land,” says the LORD. “I will sweep away both people and animals alike. Even the birds of the air and the fish in the sea will die. I will reduce the wicked to heaps of rubble, along with the rest of humanity,” says the LORD. “I will crush Judah and Jerusalem with my fist and destroy every last trace of their Baal worship. I will put an end to all the idolatrous priests, so that even the memory of them will disappear. For they go up to their roofs and bow to the sun, moon, and stars. They claim to follow the LORD, but then they worship Molech, too. So now I will destroy them! And I will destroy those who used to worship me but now no longer do. They no longer ask for the LORD’s guidance or seek my blessings.”
– Zephaniah 1:2-6 NLT

Even God has testosterone fits now and then.

f.Sage investment advice:

“Climate and weather are hard to separate. My recommendation is to ignore everything that is not off the charts and in the book of new records. The hottest days ever recorded were all over the place last year, with 2010 equaling 2005 as the warmest year globally on record. Russian heat and Pakistani floods, both records, were clearly related in the eyes of climatologists. Perhaps most remarkable, though, is what has been happening in Australia: after seven years of fierce drought, an area the size of Germany and France is several feet under water. This is so out of the range of experience that it has been described as “a flood of biblical proportions.” More to the investment point: Russian heat affects wheat prices and Australian floods interfere with both mining and crops. Weather-induced disappointment in crop yield seems to be becoming commonplace. This pattern of weather extremes is exactly what is predicted by the scientific establishment. Snow on Capitol Hill, although cannon fodder for some truly dopey and ill-informed Congressmen, is also perfectly compatible. Weather instability will always be the most immediately obvious side effect of global warming.”
-Investment advice from Jeremy Granthem in his 2011 newsletter, “Pavlov’s Bulls.”

TODAY’S QUOTE :
“They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Taino, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles. Fuku americanus, or more colloquially, fuku—generally a curse or a doom of some kind; specifically the Curse and the Doom of the New World. Also called the fuku of the Admiral because the Admiral was both its midwife and one of its great European victims; despite “discovering” the New World the Admiral died miserable and syphilitic, hearing (dique) divine voices. In Santo Domingo, the Land He Loved Best, the Admiral’s very name has become synonymous with both kinds of fuku, little and large; to say his name aloud or even to hear it is to invite calamity on the heads of you and yours.

No matter what its name or provenance, it is believed that the arrival of Europeans on Hispaniola unleashed the fuku on the world, and we’ve all been in the shit ever since. Santo Domingo might be fuku’s Kilometer Zero, its port of entry, but we are all of us its children, whether we know it or not . . . .”
—Junot Diaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

TODAY’S SIGN:


TODAY’S CHART:

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

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

Reasons why I had to temporarily give up attempts to parody the far right and the Republican candidates:

“Much of what you see in the Catholic Church today doesn’t come from God’s Word, it comes from that cult-like, pagan religion. Now you say, ‘pastor how can you say such a thing? That is such an indictment of the Catholic Church. After all the Catholic Church talks about God and the Bible and Jesus and the Blood of Christ and Salvation.’

Isn’t that the genius of Satan? If you want to counterfeit a dollar bill, you don’t do it with purple paper and red ink, you’re not going to fool anybody with that. But if you want to counterfeit money, what you do is make it look closely related to the real thing as possible.

And that’s what Satan does with counterfeit religion. He uses, he steals, he appropriates all of the symbols of true biblical Christianity, and he changes it just enough in order to cause people to miss eternal life.”
Dr Robert Jeffries, minister and ardent supporter of Rick Perry and most other Republican candidates except Mitt Romney (and probably Newt because of his recent conversion to Catholicism) and leading light of the fear and hate caucus. Jeffries was prominent at the recent Values Voters Summit as well as Perry’s prayer shindig.

If I tried to put words like that into Pookie’s mouth or into the mouth of one of his imaginary supporters, it would and should be derided as not credible for a thinking human being to say, much less for anyone to believe or follow. Sort of makes you feel a little sorry for Mitt and Newt.

Then we have: Rick Santorum who, in response to a question regarding the difference between the civil rights movement and gay rights, said:

“You are black by the color of your skin. You are not homosexual, necessarily, by the color of your skin.”

Now I understand. I really do.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Cost Cutting For Our Times: Officials in southeast Georgia are considering a money-saving program that would put inmates in fire stations. Officials say the inmates would respond to all emergencies — including residential fires — alongside traditional firefighters.

For some reason my liberal bias assumes that the officials referred to are Republican. Maybe not, since this appears to be one of those examples of politically generated foolishness that knows no party label. How about putting them into police stations while we’re at it? They could learn a lot there. Have we really come down to this?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

Thailand: From the newspaper reports here in American it appears that the floods in Thailand have reached epic proportions and have begun to impact Bangkok directly.
(See Today’s Photograph below)

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I went to Crissy Field with Nikki, Hayden and my granddaughter Amanda to view the Fleet Week Blue Angels show in the air over SF Bay. What appeared different about this from other Fleet Week extravaganzas that I have attended, was that the airline sponsors took it into their heads to garner some good public relations by flying their jumbo jets over the Bay at heights that appeared at times  only sightly higher than the tops of some of the masts of the larger sailboats. The ghostly appearance of these behemoths flying in and out of the fog so close to the ground was a bit frightening to me. In fact the Blue Angels themselves had the good sense to cancel their show because they felt the thick fog would make flying dangerous.

Before departing for the show over the Bay we visited with my mom at her retirement home on Lake Street called St. Anne’s. My mother who is 92 and relatively spry is experiencing the onset of the more serious memory problems that commonly afflict people at that advanced age. She could not understand why I did not visit her more often, despite the number of times I answered that question by telling her that I lived in Asia now. She did however suggest that I return from Asia and move into St. Ann’s. “This place is great,” she said. “They take care of everything.”

“What about Sex,” I inquired?

“They don’t care about that as long as you’re quiet and go to mass on Sunday,” she responded. “In fact, I wish I had a new boyfriend,” she added.

Nikki, marveled at her paintings, especially her newest, a large impressionistic landscape primarily in blue and greens, that hangs on the wall of the Home.

She began painting in her late 80’s and now her paintings sell for as much as $8000 in auctions held by the religious order that runs the facility.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed in order to reset the authors interest button.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q. Why do X’s at the end of a letter signify kisses?
A: In the Middle Ages, when many people were unable to read or write, documents were often signed using an X. Kissing the X represented an oath to fulfill obligations specified in the document. The X and the kiss eventually became synonymous.

b. Human “Fingerprints” on Recent Climate Change:

c. From God’s Mouth to your Ears:

The Book of Mormon on:
Catholics: “I beheld this great and abominable church; and I saw the devil that he was the founder of it.”1 Nephi 13:6
Jews: “For I, Nephi, have not taught them many things concerning the manner of the Jews; for their works were works of darkness, and their doings were doings of abominations.”2 Nephi 25:10
People of Color:And he [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them … wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.” 2 Nephi 5:21
Non Mormons: “…all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil (Non-Mormons) are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.”1 Nephi 22:24

d. The Oligarchs Strike Back:

“…Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.

Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose. And they benefit from tax loopholes that in many cases have people with multimillion-dollar incomes paying lower rates than middle-class families.

This special treatment can’t bear close scrutiny — and therefore, as they see it, there must be no close scrutiny. Anyone who points out the obvious, no matter how calmly and moderately, must be demonized and driven from the stage. In fact, the more reasonable and moderate a critic sounds, the more urgently he or she must be demonized, hence the frantic sliming of Elizabeth Warren.”
Paul Krugman (sometimes also referred to as Obi Wan Kenobi, at other times “the Only Truly Noble Economist”).

NOTE: Did you know that the so-called Nobel Prize for Economics was not set up by Alfred Noble. It was a later addition to the awards set up and funded by the banking and financing community to provide the cover of intellectual respectability for their favored advisors (They chose economists because they realized a Nobel Prize for Lawyers would never fly).

e. Testosterone Chronicles (Historical manifestations):

“Each of [the foremen] had made it a practice to sleep with the Indian women who were in his workforce, whether they were married women or maidens. While the foreman remained in the hut or the cabin with the Indian woman, he sent the husband to dig gold out of the mines; and in the evening when the wretch returned, not only was he beaten or whipped because he had not brought up enough gold, but further, most often, he was bound hand and foot and flung under the bed like a dog, before the foreman lay down, directly over him, with his wife.”
A Dominican monk, on conditions in the mines in Santo Domingo following European conquest.

Interestingly, Naida West in her great trilogy about California in the 19th century, describes similar behavior toward Native American women by the miners during the gold rush with similar results; extermination of the native population and culture.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“I’m like Casper the Friendly Ghost, man. I give it all away.”
A drunk on the MUNI bus #24 as we passed the corner of Andover and Cortland Streets in SF.

BONUS QUOTE:

“Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equaL”
~ Winston Churchill

TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S CHART:

Of course we all know the private insurance companies re-invest their profits for our benefit while medicare only squanders its money on…well, medical care.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

CONNECTICUT EXECUTIONS
1600-1699…….12
Sodomy……..4
Witchcraft……7
Murder………1 (Native American)

1700-1799……. 16
Murder………11
Native American…….7 (2 woman)
White…………………4 (2 Women)
Treason…….2
Rape………..2 (Both Black)
Robbery……1

1800-1880…….19
Rape…………3 (All Black)
Murder
Native American….2

1881=1960…….78 (all murder)
Italian……….25
Black…………3
Asian…………2

This supplies a snapshot of America’s racial, ethnic and other obsessions since European colonization. Although it is only one state, I would guess that except for some changes in ethnic composition (e.g. Mexicans in California, American Indians in the upper Mid-west and so on) it provides a fair representation of our national psyche, newcomers or outsiders especially if they were poorer and darker were feared [Indians were looked on as newcomers in that they were new to the vast migrations from Northern Europe and blacks always have been outsiders.]

In a somewhat more positive note since 1800 more white Americans (almost all from the lowest classes) were executed than darker ‘foreign’ (including indians, Southern Europeans, Mexicans and blacks) people. Perhaps this could lead one to the conclusion that we Americans are more willing to kill and demean those who are poorer than we are than for racial, gender or ethnic reasons [and Americans we are, once our particular group passes through the ordeal of greater or lesser discrimination and humiliation imposed upon us by our adopted homeland as Italians did in the 60’s, blacks and Mexicans in increasing numbers are beginning to do today and indians, well, although they are mostly dead, their remnants may also be beginning that long climb to respectability where they can look down on those now just beginning their climb for reminding them from where they came and hating them for fear that the ambitions of this next group threatens their precarious and newly won grasp on respectability.]

Note: It seems the legalized killing in general increased somewhat faster than population.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

1. The rise and fall of western civilization: Western civilization as we know it arose in the city-states of Greece in about the Sixth Century BC. It reached its apogee during the age of the great Athenian political leader Pericles shortly thereafter. It could be argued that from its beginnings in this small peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean we have witnessed the expansion and incipient decline of Western Civilization. Some would even argue that we have been in decline since Pericles died.

This amazing civilization once again finds itself focused on this tiny bit of land, while the Greeks decide if they have had enough and whether to pull the plug on what they created.

Some have suggested that should they, the Greeks of today, decide to ring down the curtain on Western Civilization, it is because intermarriage with their long time rulers, the Turks, have made them wary of the rational religion of their ancestors. I do not agree. I think they are just pissed at the mess we have made of their invention.

2. The pot calling the kettle something or other: I have been reading in the local newspapers about the federal crackdown on California’s medical marijuana growing and distribution industry for their failure to even comply with the State’s own laws on the subject. This has prompted a frenzy by the less reflective and knowledgable left that this is just another example that Obama is just a Conservative in Liberal’s clothing. In fact, the Obama administration’s announced policy has always been basically to not enforcing federal marijuana laws where the operation is complys with local state law. The federal claim is that these operations being raided clearly violate state law and regulations.

Forgetting for a minute, whether the President’s daily national global concerns even allowed him to be more than peripherally aware of one of his agency’s enforcement of federal law in a state or the reality that the DEA is riddled with extreme right-wing holdovers on the phony war on drugs, all is not as it seems.

Several years ago as my legal career wound down and my self-confidence plummeted and I inevitably (and mostly happily) slid into poverty, I had involved my self with a number of clients (few of whom paid their bills) interested in entering into the burgeoning Medical Marijuana business. At that time the few attorneys who claimed to specialize in the area generally advised their clients on the technicalities of the State process and the vagaries of local and Federal enforcement. They, and I as well, developed form books to assist the would be entrepreneur through the process.

What most of us cautioned our clients about was the clear intention of the law as written to limit the industry to non-profits operating for medical purposes as well as the strict limits on the permitted size of the operation.

Of course as to be expected the fledgling marijuana millionaire was usually only interested in getting around those limitations and developing ever larger, more efficient and profitable growing and distribution companies and reaping some of the huge profits now going outside our borders or to the so-called criminal element, shotgun in hand, guarding their wilderness pot plantations. Some of us attempted to strongly advise them to stifle this ambition since, in terms of Federal enforcement, size matters. Alas, to no avail. They ignored the advice, ignored California’s laws and went big and bold. Thus the Federal crackdown.

Recognizing this addiction by private entrepreneurs to indulge themselves in the ego satisfaction of becoming wealthy plantation owners and the creators of the marijuana version of Sam’s club and its obvious questionable legality and unacceptable risk, I developed an alternative business approach, based upon the compound growth power of fees and financial manipulation.

Instead of going into the marijuana growing and distribution business, I advised my clients and developed the forms and procedures for entering the Medical Marijuana financing and equipment supply business. Briefly it required the prospective grower-distributor, in return for obtaining the financing from the Company, to enter into a contract, much like that used in contemporary franchise operations, requiring them to strictly comply with all laws and regulations and to buy all supplies as well as consulting services from the Company or risk losing their operation. The entrepreneur would then provide the grower-distributor the financing and a turn-key operation including consulting services and contract labor.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

Sometimes it appears to me that my life is little more than a movable feast of self-indulgence. Perhaps it is the times that make me think so. Look at “Facebook” it is marketed as a so-called social media bringing people together. Not so. Facebook seems to me to be little more than “look at me” writ large.

Today I went for lunch with my friend Peter. We were both wearing our yellow Panama style hats. We ate at a little restaurant on Valencia Street in San Francisco where we discussed the humor and pathos of aging. After lunch we walked to a bakery on Guerrero for coffee and pastry. While sitting at the table, Peter told me about the time he lived in South Boston many years ago. He had a neighbor, a tiny aged Litvak man who each day that the sun was out would stand for several hours on the sidewalk outside his apartment to bathe in the warm sun’s rays. He would always wear a hat made from a paper bag, crisp and unwrinkled.

Once a month the little Litvak would stand outside his house until a large black chauffeured limousine would come by and stop. He would get into the back of the limo and they would take off. A few hours later he would return, the chauffeur would hold the door open for him, then remove several bags of groceries from the trunk and follow the little Litvak into his home emerging a few minutes later and after climbing into the front seat, drive off.

I asked Peter if he thought I would look ok with a paper bag for a hat instead of my Panama, at which point a woman sitting at the next table and obviously listening to our conversation leaned over and handed me a paper bag with handles. The bag fit perfectly on top of my head with the handles hanging below my ears. Those that chose to comment said that I looked quite fetching. I still have the bag and intend to take it with me on my return to Thailand.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Vince in Frenzy:

As he rode up in the elevator to his office on the 24th floor Vince decided he was through with half steps and waiting. He was going to act even if it put him in danger.

As he passed Nina’s desk after leaving the elevator he asked her to have Ray sent to his office.

“He’s not coming in until later today,” she responded. “He sais he was in bed with something, but hopes to be rid of it by early afternoon and will come in then.”

“Well, in that case please get Annabella LaGrande on the line for me.”

His phone rang as soon as he sat down at his desk.

“It is Ms. LaGrande on the line,” announced Nina.

“Annabella, how are you, how’s the jet lag,” Vince asked?

“I am fine. Why are you calling Vince? I have a busy day.”

Feeling bit miffed and a little cowed by Isabella’s brusk way of controlling the situation, Vince nevertheless rallied and said, “I would like you to email me a request for an immediate election for a new firm management committee. I don’t care about the reasons. Make them up yourself.”

There was silence from the other end of the line, then she said, “OK you will have it in a few minutes,” and hung up.

His next call was to Ike. When Ike pitied up the phone he said, “Ike, this is Vince, I’d like you to call the DOJ attorneys handling the Red Star investigation and tell then that I am willing to answer any questions they may have in return for immunity and protection.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I didn’t know that:

Q: Why are zero scores in tennis called ‘love’?
A: In France , where tennis became popular, round zero on the scoreboard looked like an egg and was called ‘l’oeuf,’ which is French for ‘egg.’ When tennis was introduced in the US Americans (mis)pronounced it ‘love.’
b. Human “Fingerprints” on Recent Climate Change:

c. Annual English Teachers’ awards for best student metaphors/analogies found in actual student papers:

The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

Only the nectar was in her heart, not her bladder.

He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.
d. Profiles in Presidential Courage:

(Thanks again to Cordt)

e. Wall Street Jargon Explained:

Bull Market:
A random market movement causing an investor to mistake himself for a financial genius.

Bear Market:
A 6 to 18 month period when the kids get no allowance, the wife gets no jewelry and the husband gets no sex.

Bear:
What your trade account and wallet will be when you take a flyer on that hot stock tip your secretary gave you.

Bull:
What your broker uses to explain why your mutual funds tanked during the last quarter.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Fight boredom at all costs.”
Peter Grenell.

BONUS QUOTE:

“Always remember, a cat looks down on man, a dog looks up to man, but a pig will look man right in the eye and see his equal.”
~ Winston Churchill

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. October 7, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Currently:

52 percent of Silicon Valley‘s tech companies were started by immigrants, who also contributed to 25 percent of US global patents.

24 percent of science and engineering workers with bachelor’s degrees and 47 percent of those with doctorates in the US are immigrants.

25 percent of ninth graders in the US fail to complete high school. Only Mexico, Spain, Turkey and New Zealand, among major industrialized countries, have higher drop out rates.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA:

1. Steve Jobs: Steve Jobs, perhaps the most effective and creative innovator in modern America, has died. He was born in San Francisco to single mother. His father was a Syrian immigrant. His unmarried parents gave him up for adoption to a family named Jobs who lived on the Peninsula .

I guess to some, this would make him not quite American, as he was born in San Francisco to an unmarried woman and an immigrant father [who may or may not have been illegal] from the Near-east.

2. Apple Stock: Following the death of Steve Jobs, Apple’s management announced that its business plan was to expand the company’s existing products into new markets. No mention was made of developing “insanely great” world-changing products. This resembles Apple’s business plan that forced Apple to the brink of bankruptcy a few decades ago, after they had forced Jobs out of the company. Jobs purchased the struggling company from the accountants and business experts and restored it to concentrating on developing innovative products.

I guess this probably means that Apple stock is not a good long-term investment.

3. Interest Rates and the Insanity of the Economists: Recent reports have indicated that mortgage rates in America have fallen to below 4% their lowest rates in years.

Economists have told us that a major component of interest rates, if not the major component, is risk as reflected by the various rating agencies (Moody’s , etc.). This theory applies to private and governmental debt equally. But at no time in recent history has the risk to lenders of default on mortgages been greater. So what’s gong on?

Simple, risk has only a small part to play in setting interest rates, except when demand is highest. Then, it becomes a legal way to set prices to receive premium returns on certain loans.

So how does this translate to the governmental debt crisis in Europe and elsewhere?

We are told by these same economists that governmental default on debt will result in increased borrowing costs. Not true! The purpose of the so-called theory is to protect existing profits. Future interest rates will be set on demand irrespective of past events. While some banks my go out of business as a result of their unwise loans, the remaining banks will need to compete on interest rates to stay in business, as demand drops so will interest rates. This is more in keeping with traditional economic theory than what we are told about the impact of risk on lending.

And what will the result be if defaults occur? Well, probably the deadwood on Wall Street and the financial institutions will be walking the same unemployment lines as the industrial worker they have been so free to ridicule and fewer of the latter will be walking with them.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN CALIFORNIA:

I am writing this sitting on the Sacramento to SF train as I return to the City for at least a few days. We have just crossed the bridge over the American River (or is it the Sacramento River)? The beginning of the Skies are a dappled grey and white marking the beginning of the rainy season signaling the coming of winter to the Northern Sierras.

Before boarding the train, Nikki and I spent a frantic hour or two running about to the shops we visited yesterday looking for my lost phone, the one that had just been repaired. We finally located it under the seat of the car.

Throughout the search Nikki had to field hysterical phone calls from SWAC. Last night she spent with one of her friends. Before leaving she announced that she would be gone most of the day and instructed us to get Hayden up and to school. She also informed me that I should return to SF for a few days since the owner of the house was returning and there was not enough bedrooms for all of us.

In the morning just as we were putting Hayden into the car to take him to school, she called in a frenzy announcing that she needed the car right away. Although Nikki explained that it would be impossible since we had to drop the child off, eat breakfast, look for my phone and drop me off at the train station as she had instructed. Nevertheless Nikki had to field a call from the overwrought SWAC every two minutes or so. She would not tell him why it was so important for her to have the car at that specific time.

This evening I went with my daughter-in-law Annemarie to the San Francisco Film Society Theater to see a movie directed by John Tuturro called “Passionare.” It is a film about Neapolitan traditional music. I loved it. It was especially poignant to me because many of the artists in the film were the same ones that I enjoyed listening to when I first visited Naples over 40 years ago, much older now but perhaps even in better voice. For those who remember, one of the singers was Mina. I used to collect all her recordings.

I also enjoyed the film because most of the performers were older and the women still had their strong unreconstructed faces. It was like the Buena Vista Social Club,” but with older women rather than old male musicians.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Blackhawk Down:

If one of the golfers playing along the 17th fairway looked up at the house above them they would be able to see through the sliding french doors that looked over the fairway the three kneeling men.

The oldest of the three men, bony and balding with liver spots showing through his wispy grey hair was outfitted in the garish clashing colors of the golfer, in this case a bright red polo shirt and violent yellow short pants. The tallest of the men looked to be in his mid thirties.  He was quite tall and slender looking with the taut wiry muscles of a professional athlete. He was dressed in a deep blue Brioni jacket, white silk tee-shirt and dark pants. The third a man in his late forties or early fifties was dressed as though he had just returned to camp from hiking through the woods, canvas jacket, red and black checked Pendleton shirt and tan canvas pants tucked into a pair of hiking boots.

The old man was speaking his prayer:

“It is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice. It is dominion we are after. Not just influence. It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time. It is dominion we are after. World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must use strength to win the world with the power of the Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less. Jesus give us the strength of your power to achieve your kingdom on earth at this time so that we the elect can bring forth the end of times and share in your sovereignty forever. Amen.”

“Amen,” the other two mumbled. Then they all rose up off their knees and sat down. The oldster on an overstuffed arm-chair with a brown and yellow floral pattern. The other two sat on opposite ends of the large dark brown sofa situated at right angles to the chair.

After a few moments of silence, the wife of the older man quietly entered the room as though she were entering a church. The woman was quite thin, had greying brown hair and wore a relatively shapeless grey dress. She came in with a tray holding three tall glasses filled with ice and lemonade and set it on the low table in front of the men.

“Thank you my dear,” said the oldster.

“Yes, thank you Mrs Boone,” said the Brioni dressed man rising as she entered.

“Oh, please don’t get up for me. I know you all have important things to discuss. I thought you could use some refreshment.”

The third man neither rose nor said anything.

After Mrs. Boone left the room the older man said, “Charles, thank you for flying all this way to meet with us.”

“No problem Reverend Michael,” the outdoorsman responded. “I believe this meeting is now necessary. Anyway, thank you for the use of your jet. I will be returning to Alaska right after this meeting. I think it’s time I reappear from out of the wilderness.”

“What’s your story for the press,” asked the younger man?

“I will tell them I slipped and fell and struck my head and had a touch of amnesia and that I luckily found that cabin with enough provisions for me to nurse myself back to health and recover my wits.”

“Do you think that will work?”

“Yes, my disappearance I am afraid was not of much interest to the press so I think they will be satisfied with that especially when I also thank God for bestowing his divine providence on me.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Last Words:

“Go Raiders!”

Last words of Robert Charles Comer, who was executed for murdering a camper east of Phoenix in 1987 and for raping a female camper.

At least he died a football fan.

b. More I didn’t know that:

The following, was taken from an email sent to me by my good friend Phillip Cheresh.

Q: Why do men’s clothes have buttons on the right while women’s clothes have buttons on the left?
A: When buttons were invented, they were very expensive and worn primarily by the rich. Since most people are right-handed, it is easier to push buttons on the right through holes on the left. Because wealthy women were dressed by maids, dressmakers put the buttons on the maid’s right! And that’s where women’s buttons have remained since.
c. From God’s Mouth to your ears:

“And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods (hemorrhoids): and the cry of the city went up to heaven.” 
1 Samuel 5:12

I admit it, I too cry to heaven whenever I am smitten [a good word for the occasion] with hemorrhoids.

d. The difference between a traditional conservative and the modern version of those who call themselves conservative:

The traditional Conservative believed that social change is inevitable and often beneficial but that it should evolve slowly so that the citizenry can adjust to it. The modern Conservative believes that the only valuable social change is the violent, immediate return to a social order that never existed.

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Through size, corporations, once merely an efficient tool employed by individuals in the conduct of private business have become an institution-an institution which has brought such concentration of economic power that so-called private corporations are sometimes able to dominate the state. The typical business corporation of the last century, owned by a small group of individuals, managed by their owners, and limited in size by their private wealth, is being supplanted by huge concerns in which the lives of tens or hundreds of thousands of employees and the property of tens of hundreds of thousands of investors are subjected, through the corporate mechanism, to the control of a few men. Ownership has been separated from control; and this separation has removed many of the checks which formerly operated to curb the misuse of wealth and power. And, as ownership of the shares is becoming continually more dispersed, the power which formerly accompanied ownership is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few… [and] coincident with the growth of these giant corporations, there has occurred a marked concentration of individual wealth; and that the resulting disparity in incomes is a major cause of the existing depression.”
Dissent, Liggett Co. v. Lee, 288 U.S. 517 (1933), at 565-67. Justice Louis Brandeis

To me, Brandeis identifies the critical element that is missing in the current debate regarding our political system, the economy and the environment. While economists wax wroth over which theory of financial exchange is real, and conservatives and liberals are engaged in a fight to the death over whether government is the problem or the solution, the institutions that so troubled Brandeis, have continued their legislative and judicial march, increasing their wealth and power until now they stand on the verge of acquiring all the rights of an individual with a few of the duties. For all extents and purposes there has ceased to be a distinction between very large corporations (VLCS) and nations except that in many cases the VLCS have greater economic and political power than many if not most countries, as well as greater control of their dependents (worker’s and customers) than most countries have over their citizens.

With the impending collapse of liberal democracies under the influence of these institutions (VLCS) and climate, religious and ideological pressures, I can foresee a time in the not to distant future where in some cases the fiction of Democracy will be done away with and the VLCS will reign again as did the British East India Company in India.

We must never forget that to a great extent it was these types of commercial companies, with much less economic and political power [no one thought they were individuals] who created colonial America. Also, remember a nation-state originated as a commercial enterprise based upon the exploitation of land and managed by a small group of self perpetuating individuals. Liberal Democracy was an idea borrowed from city-states not nation-states.

TODAY’S CHART:

A huge share of the nation’s economic growth over the past 30 years has gone to the top one-hundredth of one percent, who now make an average of $27 million per household. The average income for the bottom 90 percent of us? $31,244.

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

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