Posts Tagged With: War

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th.    14 Mopey 0008. (January 30, 2019)

 

“The index of punditry in a society is inversely proportional to its intellectual solvency”

Ruiz Zafon, Carlos. The Labyrinth of the Spirits (Cemetery of Forgotten Books) (p. 426). Harper.

 

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

 

 

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST:

 
These are gloomy days. Moody skies cover the Enchanted Forest as the winter storms pass over the Great Valley. Threatening they may look, but they leave behind only a ceaseless cold drizzle and little silver droplets on the branches of the trees — the only bright spot in the muted and silent landscape. I assume the storms reserve their wrath for the mountains depositing layers of new snow to the delight of skiers and those who fret about reservoir levels.

My mood is bleak also. There are three daggers aimed at me now. My cancer of course, but also an enhanced threat of infection and a shut down of my ability to pee threatening irreparable damage to my kidneys.

Naida had a bad cold. We walk around the house with masks on, wash our hands constantly and I try to avoid touching places she has touched as though…well, as though a dread disease lurks there — which of course it does. As Rosanna Rosannadanna says, “It’s always something.” And, at my age, that is probably truer than ever.

My daughter Jessica is in San Francisco, thanks in part to the government shutdown and to attend a funeral she is hesitant to talk about. I am very excited to see her. It has been a long time, perhaps two years, maybe more.

(Note: As I type this, I am also watching a movie about Giant carnivorous rabbits attacking a town in the western US. This has got to be the nadir of my existence.)

During the past few days, a lot of the usual annoyances of life sped by — towing my car and the rush to get it out of the pound, confusing discussions with pharmacists and medical professionals, and so on. Naida remains sick, Trump remains not my president, life continues as it usually does until it doesn’t, and I find myself unusually bored. But, tomorrow is another day (Scarlett O’Hara).

On Sunday, my daughter Jessica arrived. She drove up from San Francisco to see me. Seeing her after almost three years made me very happy. It has been too long. She looks well. She’s recovering from a series of concussions she experienced playing soccer over the years. The concussion injury to her brain caused several perception and other problems. We talked about our various maladies and other things. He Who is Not My President’s governmental shutdown has had one good result, my daughter, furloughed by the shutdown, was able to return to California and visit with me.

It is now Tuesday night. What I wanted to write here since that time has passed on from when I thought it important or at least depressed enough to think so. It appears another of my medicines had caused an allergic reaction that resulted in me wanting to simply give up. It has passed.

I don’t often give up. Not giving up has always been important to me. In the almost incessant fights I found myself in during my youth, I would not give up no matter how badly I was beaten. And, I was beaten most of the time.

During my years as a trial lawyer, I asked only to be assigned cases no one in the office would touch because they believed those cases were losers. I still managed to amass the third longest string of consecutive victories at the beginning of a career in the history of New York (while also losing my marriage because of my obsession).

I refused to be daunted by opposition from the medical profession and my own colleagues in setting up NY’s Mental Health Information Service that reformed NY’s mental health hospital system from the horror it inflicted on my mom and innumerable others. It became the model for the nation. That agency still exists today.

There was no option for me other than the approval of California’s Coastal Program as it was expected to be, and the successful establishment and financing of the innovative California Coastal Conservancy no matter the cost to me (another marriage) and to those that worked for me. That occupied 13 years of my life.

The same can be said for the law firm on whose management committee I served and obsessively fought against often unanimous opposition to alter the economic and social mores of the firm for the benefit of the workers, women attorney’s and the firm as a whole by, among other things, demonstrating that the health and profitability of the firm did not depend solely upon the efforts of those with the largest books of business who inevitably end up plundering the firm for their own benefit. The health of a firm depended as much upon the lowliest of paralegals and junior partners and that balanced practice groups are necessary in order to weather the effects of the various business cycles and that those groups adversely affected by a business cycle should not be punished by those groups benefiting from the cycle (e.g., bankruptcy and real estate often operate on opposing cycles).

As a member and later Chairman of California’s High Speed Rail Commission during a period when it appeared to be foundering, I put it back on track so to speak, by pushing through its EIR, changing its tendency for locating its stations at the edges of the cities to bringing them downtown where they would revitalize the communities, developing the concept of the HS network as a backbone transportation system for California whereby multiple regional transportation systems could connect to the downtown stations and service the entire region; and finally fighting against the rapacious efforts of the four of five large engineering firms who sought to control the process for their own benefit and who, I believe, can be blamed for much of the criticism HSR has been subject to since I was removed by Governor Schwarzenegger over the issue.

On the other hand, when I lost (most often a marriage), I usually ran away and started again and again somewhere else. From New York to Pennsylvania, to Rome Italy, to back to the US, to San Francisco, to Thailand, to The Golden Hills and now to the Enchanted Forest. In each place, often penniless, I licked my wounds, struggled with despair, indulged in excess and dreamed of renewal, a new life somehow somewhere, and ultimately I moved on. There was, however, even during these times always something I could not give up on, first Jason, then Jessica and now HRM. I may not always have been successful in their view, but I tried and they kept me more alive and happy than I am sure they believe I have benefitted them. But no more now, they are grown (perhaps not HRM) and despair now is reserved for those times when the pains and discomfort of my various maladies become too much and instead of not giving up, I sometimes long for the peace of oblivion.

Talk about depressing things, the HAC just towed our automobile again. I left them a nasty message and threatened to sue them.

 

 

B. UPDATE ON THE MYSTERIOUS ORB.

 
For those interested in the odd adventures of the Mysterious Orb, it has moved slightly from when it emerged from the bush behind which it had been hiding to show Nikki the way to our house. It has now rolled on a short way and appears to be intending to hide behind another bush to await for whatever the orb waits for next.

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The Mysterious Orb —Photograph Taken From Our Garage.

 

It moved from its hiding place behind the smaller bush on the right where it had hidden for a few weeks to the center of the space where Nikki saw it. The Orb has since then moved on toward the bush on the left. Whether it will choose to hide behind that bush or proceed on up the alleyway, I can only guess. I await the next episode in the adventures of the Odd and Mysterious Orb.

Today about four days after the above was written, the Orb made its decision and is now well hidden behind the bush on the left.

A few days later, during an early morning walk, I passed by the alley where the Odd Orb was hiding. I noticed one of the Turkey Gangs pecking around that part of the alley near where the Orb was hiding. It got me thinking. Do you suppose it is the Turkey Gangs that are moving the Orb around? The birds are big enough to do so. If so, why? Another mystery.

 

 
C. OFF TO THE BIG ENDIVE ON THE BAY.

 
First, we bailed the car out of impoundment. I grumbled and plotted revenge on those I believed targeted me specifically. On the drive home in response to my complaints, Naida said, “I guess we know now that there is a wicked witch in the Enchanted Forest.”

Then we spent some time on our computers doing last minute things. Finally, we and the dog set off to the Big Endive on the Bay. We arrived at Peter’s house in late afternoon. My daughter arrived soon after. We had a pleasant evening reminiscing. Jessica planned to leave on Friday to go back to Washington DC. I will be sad to see her go I do not know when I will see her again.

The next day I met with my doctor and received the first glimmer of good news in at least the past three months. He said that cancer had shrunk enough to bring the possibility of an operation to remove it before the board of surgeons. They then efficiently scheduled all tests and my infusion to occur the remainder of the day.

That night we had dinner at a local Italian Restaurant that I used to enjoy when I lived in that neighborhood years ago. It used to cost about $10 for the same meal I enjoyed that night. Now, that same meal cost me $70. Nothing had changed but the wealth of those that now live in the neighborhood.

Later, Hiromi and my granddaughter Amanda arrived at Peter’s house for a visit.

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D. BACK TO THE ENCHANTED FOREST.

 

We returned to the Enchanted Forest on Friday. On Saturday I drove into the Golden Hills to drive the Scooter Gang around. While we were driving HRM turned to me with a big smile on his face and said, “Pookie, I have a girlfriend.” How does one respond to that? I settled on, “Good for you” and high-fived him. Now I worry.

Among the books I have read so far this month was James Lee Burke’s most recent Robicheaux and Purcell saga. The boys are getting old — and they know it. They still, however, act like adolescents while Burke places in their minds the sorrows and sadness of aging heroes approaching their end. Although, the novel takes place by Bayou Teche in Louisiana and Monument Valley Arizona, the epilogue has Dave, Clete and Dave’s adopted daughter Alifair recovering from their efforts and injuries in a motel in Bodega Bay California and traveling up and down Highway One for entertainment.

Alas, I just got word that Lucia’s bar in Sacile, a place I always considered the happiest place on earth, is no more. It has succumbed to the downsizing of the nearby American military base and the Italian economy’s multi-year depression. Lucia is now working as a barista in one of the other cafes in the town. This is all so sad.

I am losing my hair as a result of the chemo. Great gobs of hair flitter down from my head often falling into my food as I eat, making it even more unappetizing than usual. It all amuses me. If it continues I will become the first person in my direct ancestry to go bald in at least five generations. My head looks like it is covered with down.

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PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

 

 
Let’s face it, the United States and the West, in general, lost the Fourth World War or what can be called the First Cyber War.

The Third World War between the Russian-Soviet Empire and the American Empire ended in 1989 with a victory by the American Empire and the destruction of the Soviet Empire. The war was conducted through proxy wars (Korea and Viet Nam for America and Afghanistan for the Soviet Union) and competition between the empires to amass more and more expensive and technically advanced armaments that would be rarely ever used except for a small percentage in the proxy wars. In effect, the war was an economic competition to see who could produce the most weapons of war without suffering an economic collapse.

Instead of attempting to engage the American Empire in another war of military hardware show and tell, Vladimir Putin the Russian President and chief Oligarch decided to do what he knows best to undermine the American power and resorted to cyber warfare in an effort to split the western hegemony apart.

After forays into destabilizing the European democracies by overt and subversive support for the nationalistic opposition to the more internationalist leaning parties currently leading them, he then found his metier by affecting the successful Brexit vote to split England from the European Union.

He found gold however in launching a cyber attack of the US 2016 Presidential election campaign in support of either a willing idiot or a suborned asset. His candidate won and proceeded to alter 100 years of American policy in favor of the international goals of the Russian Oligarchs.

Since then, America’s role on the international stage has shrunk considerably as we have abandoned our traditional allies and Fascist regimes steadily gobble up the world’s democracies.

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

 

 

 

June 2011, My First Visit to Sacile and Tamai in the Veneto Region of Italy.

 
About four hours later we arrived at Nikki’s condominium in Busto a small working-class town located just outside of Milan adjacent to Malpensa Airport. We unpacked, cooked dinner and went to sleep. The following morning I was awakened by a lot of shouting and banging of things being moved about. I left my room to find SWAC in the midst of packing and shouting. It seems that her period commenced (Her statement not mine) the previous night and that according to her, it was an absolute necessity we immediately depart the messy and cramped condominium for the supposedly spacious and elegant farm of her friends located almost completely across the top of the country from Milan, somewhere near Venice.

She insisted that I accompany them, stay the night and return to Milan the next morning, leaving Hayden and her to spend two or three weeks there. I demurred, explaining that I had had enough traveling for a while. Following somewhat emotional discussions and a series of telephone calls to the so-called friends, it was agreed that I would accompany them to the Veneto and remain with Hayden lodged at the farm while she returned to Milan with Nikki and departed for Thailand to return in about two weeks.

So, four or so hours later we drove into Sacile (pronounced Sah Chili) a town about 40 kilometers north of Venice. It is also known as “Il Giardino del Serenissima,” or something like that. It translates as “The Garden of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.”

Before reaching the center of town we stopped on a side street at a coffee shop/bar operated by a friend of SWAC and Nikki, a tall slender middle-aged woman named Lucia. Outside the bar were a few tables, one of which was occupied by several locals playing the traditional Italian card games of Scopa and Bresaola. They and the other patrons were generally drinking Prosecco, not the sweet bubbly crap one gets in the US but the refreshing local, hot weather afternoon, kick back and enjoy life drink. It was very good. We had two glasses and spent about an hour in pleasant conversation with Lucia, her strange boyfriend and some of the customers.

We then walked to the main plaza of the town that has a river running through it. Apparently, during the heyday of La Serenissima, barges from Venice would travel up the river to the small falls that made further travel difficult. The barges, carrying, I guess, things like Murano glass souvenirs, porcelain Carnivale mask and things like that would be offloaded and replaced by agricultural goods from the area and other things like cuckoo clocks carried over the alpine passes from Switzerland and Austria. The town sprung up to service this barge traffic, I assume to provide food, drink, and entertainment to the lonely bargemen as they awaited their consignments.

The town is a picture postcard of what someone would imagine a Venetian town should look like. At first blush, it appears that the ancient town has reemerged from history. A closer look reveals something a bit more like one would find at the Venetian in Las Vegas, a use of post-modern architectural design flowing seamlessly into the few remaining vintage structures.

Post-modernism despite the acres of intellectual drivel generally written by those hoping to make some money off of it, is merely a form of colorful mostly straight edged Moderne (with pitched rather than flat roofs) as it existed before Walter Gropius sex crazed with Anna Mahler tarted it up into Bauhaus (Or had Gropius become a sexual deviant before the advent of Moderne, I never could remember which). Essentially it consists of a series of rectangular planar facades painted or otherwise colored in earthy reds, yellows and beiges adorned with simple architectural elements, like plain arches ( now and then festooned with architectural artifacts). It was concocted by Venturi and Graves hungry for commissions out of their impression of the reconstruction of traditional domestic and small commercial structures in post-war Italy as the local people filled in the bombed-out spaces between the surviving historical structures with simplified copies of traditional design and painted them with a brighter version of the standard stucco. It spread back to Europe and It works here in Italy since that was always the local vernacular architecture anyway.

In NY, Johnson, tired of living in glass houses and unable to diddle Anna himself, nevertheless attempted to capitalize on the post-modern craze by creating the worlds largest and perhaps ugliest misrepresentation of a piece of obsolete junk furniture as a New York skyscraper. San Francisco, ever ready to slavishly follow East Coast fashions adopted postmodernism as the design element of its planning code thereby converting something generally simple into the gross monstrosity of pink-tinged architecture that graces the City today.

Ah well, I liked Sacile a lot, even if it seemed a little bit like an urban version of Danville.

As we walked about, I noticed that this was a town populated by people with prominent noses, from fleshy cyranoesque proboscis to hawk-like aquiline appendages cleaving the air as they walked along like axe heads cleaving a log. These notable features adorned generally slender well dressed men and equally fashionable and sensuous women. Unlike the drab dark colors, I found ubiquitous in the US, here both the men and women were more colorfully attired. Although there was the usual excess of pre-stressed jeans and off the shoulder tank tops, there was nary a velour exercise outfit to be seen,

After wandering around the city for about an hour our hosts arrived and we followed their automobile to their farm on the outskirts of a village with the pleasantly sounding name of Tamai.
https://josephpetrillo.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/this-and-that-from-re-thai-r-ment-by-IMG_4761
A View of Sacile

 

 

 

 

DAILY FACTOID:

 

 

 
Raven (Dotson ‘sa or Dotson’sa in the Koyukon/ Denaakk’e language): Raven is the creator god of the Koyukon and other Alaskan Athabaskan tribes. He is a revered and benevolent transformer figure who helps the people and shapes their world for them, but at the same time, he is also a trickster character and many Koyukon stories about Raven have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble. http://www.native-languages.org/…

 

 

 

 

 PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

 

 

A. Melinda Cooper on Top:

 

That conservative parties’ policies redistribute wealth and power upward while distracting their mass base by focusing them on internal or external enemies has long been the point of Toryism—since before the Gordon Riots, in fact. And now Tucker Carlson is surprised that there is gambling going on, and is just asking questions? Does he want us to take him seriously?: Eric Levitz: Why Tucker Carlson Plays a Critic of Capitalism On TV: “Melinda Cooper… explains:

Writing at the end of the 1970s, the Chicago school neoliberal Gary Becker remarked that the “family in the Western world has been radically altered—some claim almost destroyed—by events of the last three decades.” … Becker believed that such dramatic changes in the structure of the family had more to do with the expansion of the welfare state in the post-war era than with feminism per se… a consequence rather than an instigator of these dynamics…. Becker’s abiding concern with the destructive effects of public spending on the family represents a key element of his microeconomics… that is consistently overlooked…

…Thus the bedrock logic of the alliance between social conservatives and reactionary capitalists was this: One valued “small government” because it (supposedly) enabled the patriarchal family (and/or racial hierarchy), while the other valued the family because it enabled “small government.” Social conservatives have paid a price for hopping into bed with the worshippers of mammon. But social conservatives were always the junior partners in the GOP coalition. And when the dual objectives of rolling back the New Deal bargain—and reviving cultural traditionalism—came into conflict, the former took priority. As a result, the logic of social conservatives’ alliance with capital has fallen apart… Thanks to a combination of global supply chains, corporate consolidation, and network effects, capital has been fleeing rural counties and concentrating in big cities—taking many conservatives’ kids along with it… Capital has paired its literal abandonment of culturally conservative areas (and concomitant undermining of family formation in such places) with more superficial slights. As upper-middle-class millennials have become an immensely valuable consumer block, corporate brands have begun advertising their “wokeness.” Television commercials now regularly sing the praises of social liberalism, feminism, and ethnic diversity…
#noted #orangehairedbaboons

 

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

 
He Who is Not My President places us squarely in that age-old bind. Is our leader an ideologue or an idiot?

 

C. Today’s Poem:

 

Warm Summer Sun
BY MARK TWAIN

Warm summer sun,
Shine kindly here,
Warm southern wind,
Blow softly here.
Green sod above,
Lie light, lie light.
Good night, dear heart,
Good night, good night

Twain and Jonathan Swift were born on the same day. The following bit of doggerel was written to commemorate that fact.

Born today were Mark Twain and Jon Swift.
For skewering sarcasm, each had a gift.
Which of them was more profane?
You make the call. Was it Swift or Mark Twain?
http://www.chicagonow.com/…

 

 

 

D. Giants of History: Another Snag from Brad DeLong.

 
Brad DeLong (https://www.bradford-delong.com/2019/01/eg-ben-alpers-_a-far-right-anti-semitic-conspiracy-theory-becomes-a-mainstream-irritable-gesturehttpss-usihorg2.html#comment-6a00e551f080038834022ad3866887200c) directly takes on the attempts to rehabilitate the anti-Semitic canard of “Cultural Marxism” by some contemporary. conservative pundits

Where did David Brooks learn to use the term “cultural Marxism”? From Alexander Zubatov and his attempt to rehabilitate it from its anti-Semitic not just connotation but denotation. How does Zubatov do this? By taking Russell Blackford out of context: Zubatov claims that Blackford’s bottom line is “in other words, [cultural Marxism] has perfectly respectable uses outside the dark, dank silos of the far right”. Blackford’s actual bottom line is that the modern

The conception of cultural Marxism is too blunt an intellectual instrument to be useful for analyzing current trends. At its worst, it mixes wild conspiracy theorizing with self-righteous moralism… Right-wing culture warriors will go on employing the expression ‘cultural Marxism’… attaching it to dubious, sometimes paranoid, theories of cultural history… Outside of historical scholarship, and discussions of the history and current state of Western Marxism, we need to be careful…. Those of us who do not accept the narrative of a grand, semi-conspiratorial movement aimed at producing moral degeneracy should probably avoid using the term ‘cultural Marxism’…

Why does Zubatov misuse Blackford? In the hope that he will pick up readers like Brooks, who will take his representations of what Blackford says to be accurate. Why does Brooks take Zubatov’s representations of what Blackford says as accurate? Because Brooks is too lazy to do his homework: Ben Alpers: A Far-Right Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theory Becomes a Mainstream Irritable Gesture: “At the heart of this largely rote piece of Brooksian pablum is a claim that deserves a closer look. ‘The younger militants’, writes Brooks, ‘tend to have been influenced by the cultural Marxism that is now the lingua franca in the elite academy’. This is interesting both for what Brooks appears to be trying to say and, more immediately, how he has decided to say it… Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik… murdered sixty-nine people… William Lind… associated with both the Free Congress Foundation and Lyndon LaRouche… Lind’s conception of Cultural Marxism was explicitly anti-Semitic…. Over the course of these years, the idea of Cultural Marxism spread across the American far right… [with] a big boost from Andrew Breitbart…. Why would a columnist like David Brooks, who is himself Jewish in background (if, perhaps, no longer in faith) and who has tried to build his brand identity by peddling in respectability and civility, adopt the term?…

…Brooks… defended his use… Alexander Zubatov entitled “Just Because Anti-Semites Talk About ‘Cultural Marxism’ Doesn’t Mean It Isn’t Real”… For Zubatov, it wasn’t so much the Frankfurt School, but rather György Lukács, Louis Althusser, Herbert Marcuse, Edward Said, Judith Butler, Stuart Hall, and, above all, Antonio Gramsci who are at fault… Zubatov… maintains that Cultural Marxism is “a coherent program” and accuses it of many of the same things that Lind does:

It is a short step from the Marxist and cultural Marxist premise that ideas are, at their core, expressions of power to rampant, divisive identity politics and the routine judging of people and their cultural contributions based on their race, gender, sexuality and religion… Public shaming, forced resignations and all manner of institutional and corporate policy dictated by enraged Twitter mobs, the sexual McCarthyism of #MeToo’s excesses, and the incessant, resounding, comically misdirected and increasingly hollow cries of “racist,” “sexist,” “misogynist,” “homophobe,” “Islamophobe,” “transphobe” and more that have yet to be invented to demonize all those with whom the brittle hordes partaking in such calumnies happen to disagree.

Zubatov prominently cites the English philosopher Russell Blackford… But in the very piece Zubatov cites, Blackford concludes that the phrase is so marked by its connection to anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that it is, in practice, largely unusable:

In everyday contexts, those of us who do not accept the narrative of a grand, semi-conspiratorial movement aimed at producing moral degeneracy should probably avoid using the term “cultural Marxism.”… Like other controversial expressions with complex histories (“political correctness” is another that comes to mind), “cultural Marxism” is a term that needs careful unpacking.

Of course, Zubatov, much less Brooks, is not very interested in carefully unpacking anything. Zubatov and Brooks are attached to a pejorative which they’d prefer to be uncoupled from the anti-Semitism to which it has been usually attached…. “Cultural Marxism” is a toxic expression that entered our national discourse as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. It ought to be avoided on that basis alone, especially given the more general mainstreaming of anti-Semitism…

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

 

“Krugman also points out how justifications for austerity were invented on the fly, and maintained in the face of contrary evidence. In the US, this perhaps presaged a more general collapse of respect for evidence and expertise on the political right. This collapse raises questions as to whether the role of ideas in politics is undergoing a fundamental shift in the US (and perhaps UK), in which the whole idea of expertise becomes an issue of partisan contention.”
Henry Farrell and John Quiggin. Department of Political SciePaulnce and Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University and School of Economics, University of Queensland

http://www.dhnexon.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ISQ-Keynesianism-and-Great-Recession-Symposium-1.pdf

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This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 25 Pookie 0006 (December 9, 2017)

 

 

 

 

“Religious insanity is very common in the United States.”
Alexis de Tocqueville. Democracy in America.

 

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:
It’s been ten days or so since my last post before I got around to begin this one. Usually, I at least print out the headings for a new post when I send out the previous one. I do not know why it seems so hard to get started. Perhaps I need to adjust my medicines — or maybe it is the coming holiday season. I always found the holidays to be more stressful than joyful.

The intermittent rains have stripped the leaves from most of the trees except for the Indomitable Oak which the remains fully clothed while the other oak trees all around it stand spindly and naked.

On the weekend I traveled to SF — stayed the night with Peter, Barrie, and Ramsey. On Sunday I had a thoroughly enjoyable lunch with Peter, Ruth, and Don at a local French restaurant in Noe Valley. We discussed, old times, old friends and getting old. We laughed a lot.
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Ruth and Her Boys

Meanwhile, back in the Golden Hills life crawls on. HRM, now in the first blush of adolescence, spends his free time among his peer group in what now is referred to by most as “the Scooter Gang.” When not touring the fake hills and valleys of the local skate parks they gather in one or another’s family garage endlessly disassembling and reassembling their outrageously expensive scooters.

For the past few months, my dreams have been especially enjoyable. The difference between the usual ennui of my days and the excitement of my nightly dreams were such that I could hardly wait to go to bed in the evenings. Last night things changed.

I dreamt I was at a very enjoyable party. Eventually, some friends and I decided to leave to get something to eat. After walking through some dark but crowded San Francisco streets, we passed through a busy elegant cocktail lounge where I somehow got separated from them. A youngish (anyone under 60) man with sandy hair called me over to his table. He was a psychiatrist —mine apparently. We discussed my psychological problems at length which I will not bother you with here. Eventually, his sister arrived at the table. She was attractive but blind in one eye which was all dark and milky. This should have warned me.

Anyway, she left and the psychiatrist and I and another gentleman departed from the bar to go somewhere else. As we walked along, I tried to talk to the psychiatrist but he ignored me and continued walking on like he was in a trance. He then climbed up an outside staircase of a building and disappeared inside (second warning). I and the other person continued on and then the shit hit the fan. As I write this, I no longer remember what happened but it was enough sufficiently frighten me that it forced me to wake myself up.

Since I could not go back to sleep fearing I would fall back into my nightmare, I decided to read a book.

The book concerned a man working for a secret British agency combatting the depredations on humanity by beings from the supernatural. The agency’s offices were accessed through a secret door behind a toilet stall in a London train station. Our hero was attending an agency training session when a creature of the underworld, or another dimension or something like that escaped and took over the body of one of the other students (“there were luminous worms writhing behind his eyes”), an agency accountant attending the class to better familiarize himself with the agency’s activity and procedures. Our hero had to kill the accountant in order to save the professor and the other students and was promptly suspended from active duty pending a thorough review of the matter. He arrived back home distressed only to find his roommates, Pinky, and Brains by name, attempting to cook an omelet without breaking the eggs.

At this point, I decided the dream could be no worse than the book so I turned out the light and slept soundly until morning.

Sometimes I speculate whether or not there is any difference between dreams and awareness, reality and fiction, mind and matter. After all, consciousness is located somewhere at the base of our brain stem. The brain stem controls our perception and thought. Didn’t the poet say, ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.’ I wonder if we dream after death, the sleep from which we never wake.

Will we eventually know what is consciousness? Do we care? Will we eventually be able to break it down into some irreducible bits like the Meletians insisted comprise reality? Even if we do, it is basically simply descriptive and perhaps even predictive but it does not tell us what it is. Like quantum theory when it tells us that time is broken into bits and in the space between the bits there is no time. Well, what actually is no-time?

The theory certainly is descriptive, we can assign numbers to it, and it has proven to be predictive. Beyond that, whether it makes any sense to anyone remains a question. Maybe that is one of the failures of a pure science like physics, it is only descriptive and predictive and sometimes we somehow feel that is not enough. Mostly, I think most of us don’t care. Some people believe in God in order to avoid the effort of thinking about things like this. Others probably think that those who think like this need a little God or a drink. Certainly, God is little more than place-saver for whatever we wonder about but do not know and do not want to spend too much time on it. Perhaps, Science, as we have come to perceive it, has become an itch deep within our minds. It may be inventive, provide physical comfort and expanded knowledge and more efficient ways of producing the energy we require to survive as a species, but do we really feel we know what we always have wanted to know — why us and who am I? On the other hand, does anyone really care? Perhaps we need to consider a “NEW SCIENCE.” On the other hand, perhaps ennui and disassociation many of us are feeling have less to do with who we are than what we are. Or maybe I just read too much fantasy fiction.

The next evening Dick returned from wherever he had been the past two days and suffering from a bad cold. HRM, after a day of scootering, arrived with three members of the scooter gang for a sleepover. They were very well behaved. In the morning HRM cooked breakfast for everyone. HRM was fascinated by one of the new members of the gang. He lives on the top of the hill in Serrano “where the rich people live.” “All the houses have double doors,” he marveled

This is all new to me. When I grew up boys never had sleepovers, girls had slumber parties, however.

Anyway, Dick retired to treat his cold. The scooter gang piled into HRM’s room, the heavy stench of pre-teen sweat and emerging testosterone crept out from under the door like miasmatic swamp gas. I returned to reading the adventures of the silly supernatural spy until I could feel bits of my brain turning to rot. So, I closed the computer, shut the light and went to sleep.

When I go for my morning walks lulled by the click of my walking stick on the path and the rasp of my breath in my ears, I sometimes pass into a state a lot like dreaming, except here my mind-voice keeps up a patter of words into my mind, like a boring lecturer going on about something until you pass into a trance hearing only the buzzing of the phonemes — click, breath, words —click, breath, words and so on. Sometimes these lectures I give myself seem quite good and I try to remember them so that I can post them here in T&T. At other times they are just trash, detritus to be left on the side of the path like a pile of leaves.

On Friday morning, dawn flung its delicate rosy fingers along the eastern horizon above the golden hills. As I drove HRM to school we played silly buggers and laughed a lot. Then it was off to breakfast at IHOP followed by a short trip down Bidwell for my doctor’s appointment before heading off to my sister’s house in Mendocino. I was in a great mood looking forward to the drive and the week on the coast.

After a bit of an annoying wait, the doctor arrived and announced that the CT scan I took last week showed the lymph nodes in my neck were enlarged. “This is bad, very bad,” he said. He sounded like he was angry and it was my fault his precious chemotherapy may not have worked. “You will have to get a PET scan, probably followed by a biopsy of the lymph nodes and if the biopsy is positive we will have to do immediate invasive surgery on your neck.” I was, to say the least, thunderstruck. Only two weeks ago the doctor managing my treatment, after shoving a tube through my nose and down my throat, announced that I was still in remission. What the hell happened in those two weeks?

The doctor then told me that everything has to proceed very quickly because if cancer has spread it will move rapidly throughout my system. I was devastated. I have appointments with my other two doctors on Tuesday and Friday of next week and await a call to set up the PET scan. I am worried, frightened depressed and angry.

 

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

 

The following is a work in progress. I am trying to find some generalizations that I can get my mind around that may help to give me some meaning to what we are experiencing in the US today. Any assistance will be appreciated.

A. The Five World Wars and Who Won Them:

World War I — 1914-1918 (The War to End All Wars)
Protagonists: German Empire (Allied Austria-Hungary Empire, Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria) vs British Empire (Allied with French Empire, United States of America, Russian Empire, Italian Empire and the Empire of Japan)
Causes: Political opportunism by the armaments industry, lust for control of nearby resources and industries, corrupt and weak hereditary autocracies
How fought: primarily men, guns and tactics.
Winner: British Empire et.al.
How won: Superior manpower, and economic strength.
Result: Overthrow of hereditary autocracies and replacement with elected business autocracies, crushing economic burdens on the losers with a weakened autocratic leadership guaranteed to encourage resentment and search for a strong leader who would restore the nation’s glory. The collapse of the Russian Empire, German Empire, Ottoman Empire and the disappearance of the Austria-Hungarian Empire.

World War II — 1939-1945 (The Second World War)
Protagonists: German Empire, Italian Empire and Empire of Japan vs British, American and French empires and the Russian Communist Empire (The Soviet Union).
Causes: Mismanagement of economies and corruption by the business autocracies that emerged after WW I. Emergent “strong-man” leadership and ideologies.
How conducted: primarily guns, men, ships, technology (air power, sonar, rockets, etc.) strategy.
Winner: American Empire (Allied with British Empire, French Empire, Chinese Empire ) and The Communist Russian Empire (The Soviet Union)
How Won: Manpower, economic strength, superior applied warfare technologies.
Result: Overthrow of Axis Fascist autocracies and replace with business autocracies. The world divided between business and financial elite led governments and bureaucratic dominated ones. The demise of German, Italian and French Empires followed soon by the disbandment of the empires of Britain and France.

World War III — 1948-1945 (The Cold War)
Protagonists: The American Empire (allied with client states in western Europe and military treaty organizations) vs The Soviet Empire (Allied to all so-called Communist countries including the Empire of China)
How conducted: Through economic competition to finance and assemble largest military organizations.
Winner: American Empire (Allied with NATO Nations and other US treaty nations)
How won: the economic collapse of loser due primarily to unsustainable defense budget competition and cost of sustaining allied regimes.
Result: Collapse and dismemberment of much of the Russian Communist Empire and hegemony.

World War IV — 2016-2017 (The Cyber War)
Protagonists: The remnant of the Russian Empire vs The American Empire.
How conducted: Cyber warfare, corruption, and bribery.
Winner: remnant of the Russian Empire.
How won: Application of cyber technology, bribery of political leaders lusting for power.
Result: American hegemony collapses.
B. Advice
Even a placebo can cure an imaginary illness. If you still feel sick then you should see your doctor or your psychiatrist. Similarly, when you are fearful or anxious you should confront those emotions. If they remain after you do so, then perhaps, you have something to be truly afraid of.

 

 

 

 

MOPEY JOE’S MEMORIES:

 

The following is the last post in the Gun Girl series that I wrote several years ago. If you want to read about my wild week-long trip across Thailand you can find it at https://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/category/the-adventures-of-gun-girl-and-pookie/.

 

GUN GIRL’S RETURN (ALMOST) – AND CELINE DEION SINGS

A few day’s ago, Gun Girl called inviting me to join her for dinner at a restaurant she likes nearby. She offered to pick me up at my condo at 7 PM that evening.

Following my late afternoon nap, I showered, shaved, powdered and scented myself, brushed my teeth, swirled some mouthwash, put on a new pair of pants and a just laundered shirt and waited.

At about 7:20 she called and said she had gotten into an accident with a motorcycle at a street corner close to my condo and asked me to assist her. I left and walked to the intersection of the street she mentioned and Beach Road. I did not see her and called her cell phone. She said that she was actually at the corner of the street a few blocks down from Beach Road but that she was getting things in order and no longer needed my help. She asked me to go back to the condo, promising to call when she had finished. I told her I would wait for her call at Cafe Le Mar instead.

I walked back to the restaurant and sat at the bar, ordered a coke and watched a music video of Celine Deion in concert. She would often stop between songs and speak to the audience for a very long time. As she spoke, the audience would alternately, cheer, laugh or cry. I had no idea what she said since I do not understand French.

She impressed me as a remarkably ungainly woman. She moves with all the awkwardness of a 13-year-old girl.

Her songs all sounded eerily the same. The same breathy two or three notes over and over again.

After watching and listening to her for over an hour, I thought I had gone insane.

 

 

 

DAILY FACTOID:

 

In about 1992 fewer than 2 percent of Americans used the Internet. By 2002 most Americans were online. This seismic social change we must remember is now only a little over 15 years old.

But once the Internet came along, we were definitely on a superhighway to a certain destination with no likely looking exits. Before the Web, cockamamie ideas and outright falsehoods could not spread nearly as fast or widely, so it was much easier for reason and reasonableness to prevail. Before the Web, institutionalizing any one alternate reality required the long, hard work of hundreds of full-time militants—the way America’s fundamentalist Christians spent decades setting up their own colleges and associations and magazines and radio stations. In the digital age, every tribe and fiefdom and principality and region of Fantasyland—every screwball with a computer and a telecom connection—suddenly had an unprecedented way to instruct and rile up and mobilize believers, and to recruit more.

In every pocket, there is now a library, a phonograph, a radio, a movie theater, and a television, as well as a post office, a printing press, a telegraph, a still and video camera, a recording studio, a navigation system, and a radio and TV station. It is advanced technology indistinguishable from magic.
Andersen, Kurt. Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History (p. 260). Random House Publishing Group.

 

 

 

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

 

A. Anderson on Top:

In his remarkable recent book Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History, Kurt Anderson quotes a conspiracy theorist during the Civil War commenting about spiritualism and Abraham Lincoln.

“[I]n an 1863 exposé called Interior Causes of the War: The Nation Demonized and Its President a Spirit-Rapper, the author, a ‘resident of Ohio’ said it was no coincidence that abolitionism and the craze for communicating with the dead had taken off simultaneously during the late 1840s and 1850s. The spirits, dead people, “have a magnetism peculiar to themselves, fired with vengeance [and] hatred.” In other words, ghosts and their living American interlocutors—the spiritualists—were scheming to destroy the nation. “For a number of years before the war, the spiritualists were promised, by spirits, a president of their own faith.” Lincoln “sprang mysteriously from the prairies,” “selected by spirits for the very work—the equalization of white men and negroes—which he is now endeavoring to perform.” “These spirits…are now in control” of the Union. By means of “a secret hole in the White House, a rapping table,” “Mr. Lincoln, and at least a portion of his cabinet…are now holding spiritual circles in the executive mansion, and consulting spirits in regard to the prospects and conduct of the war.” The spirits had essentially hypnotized Lincoln and the Union leaders into thinking they’d win the Civil War in order to send America “down the broad road to ruin.”
Andersen, Kurt. Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History (p. 94). Random House Publishing Group.

As Anderson points out conspiracy theories are as American as apple pie and baseball. Well, thankfully, at least Lincoln was not accused of being a member of the Illuminati.

 

B. Trenz Pruca’s Observations:

One’s good deeds belong to someone else. Only one’s mistakes are truly one’s own.

 

C. Testosterone Chronicles:

“There’s a correlation between men in high-testosterone lines of work and women in adult industries.”
Mayne, Andrew. Name of the Devil: A Jessica Blackwood Novel. HarperCollins.
D. Today’s Poem:

Y Gododdin

I’m no weary lord,
I avenge no wrong,
I laugh no laughter,
Under crawlers’ feet,
My legs at full length
In a house of earth,
A chain of iro
About both ankles,
Caused by mead, by horn,
By Catraeth’s raiders.
I, not I, Aneirin,
Taliesin knows it,
Master of word-craft,
Sang to Gododdin
Before the day dawned.

This is the beginning of a lengthy late Sixth Century poem by Aneirin commemorating a battle in Northumbria where the Breton Gododdin tribe and nation was wiped out by the Picts and their allies and in which, the bard describes in exquisite detail how each member of the tribe’s war-lords met their death on the battlefield. This is one of those rare cases that history was written by the losers. In it is also the earliest mention of Arthur, the once and future king.

 

E. Correspondence:

1. Sadness:

I am always glad to see TNT from Re Their r meant. I lean back in my chair knowing entertainment will ensue and hoping no bad news about you comes with it. You look good in the photo, and we are very glad that the horrendous bout with mouth-throat cancer is over. We would enjoy having you drive down to Sacramento to visit us in our new digs: Campus Commons.

Having not written, really written, for nearly a year, I am rusty. So this: We sold the ranch while I recovered from open-heart surgery. During the time I docu-signed seemingly endless forms (Bill continues to be cyberphobic and now can’t read small print) and I disclosed the problems of our old place, the ones that came to mind — lying only about having read and understood rafts of boilerplate — Bill’s vascular doctor told him he must have both his legs amputated above the knee. Distracted, I continued to stumble through the paperwork. For a couple of weeks Bill refused the surgery, but during escrow 3 specialists lined up to inform him that his condition had worsened and leg amputations would kill him promptly due to his weakened heart, lungs and kidneys. He tried to negotiate with them to amputate one leg only, the one with the gangrene spreading quickly on the heel of the toeless foot. But they stuck to their guns, claiming that one leg amputation would probably kill him, and if not, the strange wounds in the remaining leg would develop gangrene too and need to be amputated. The day the money arrived in our bank Bill was assigned to Hospice. Palliative care only, and likely 6 months or less to live.

 

2. From Neal:

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve been trying to gin up interest in putting money into a fund through the Coastal Conservancy to buy up fire prone lots and redesign development potential. I make sure to tell people that the Conservancy was conceived of as an environmental redevelopment agency patterned after Robert Moses authorities in New York. I recount how the creator of the Conservancy, one Joseph Petrillo, was a New Yorker who loved “The Power Broker”. I’ve got Doug Bosco and others on board. We may have a play. Your legacy survives!!!

 

Response to Neal:

I should relate a tale of how small is our world. My sister, as you know, runs an economic development non-profit in Mendocino County and advises the County on marketing. Today while discussing various matters including your initiative with the county CEO, the CEO suggested my sister contact the communications director of the organization of the counties in the state.

After the meeting, she called him and the first words out of his mouth were, “Are you related to Joe Petrillo?” Her response was, “It depends on who’s asking.”

As you have probably guessed, the person my sister was talking to was your brother.

 

Neal’s response:

And yes, my family does now control the world….. Greg works for the League of Counties. My brother Bill’s wife is chair of the Santa Rosa Junior College Board. Bill is a lawyer in Petaluma. Their son Scott is a public defender in Santa Rosa. Their son Brian is the key terrorism expert at Facebook. Brother Leland owns the biggest Janitorial supply business in Sonoma County with both his sons working with him. My daughter Jessica works for a startup in Seattle called UTRIP. It’s a travel website and she is the content director. My son Sam just got a job with the World Bank after spending a year in Kenya.

And we just keep plugging along, trying to stay relevant.

 

3. From Burma Richard:

Hope all is well. A very unique opportunity came my way last week when some Ethiopian tribal elders came in with a half kilo of uncut Emerald crystals.
The material as you can see below is fantastic, and all natural ( no oil treated) because they are the folks mining their deposit themselves the prices are excellent.
For those interested, the stones are ethically sustainable mining by hand and profits are returned to the community under the tribal elders.
We are just beginning to cut this crystal and are looking for private buyers, wholesalers, Jewelry manufactures,

If you have any leads please let us know.
As for pricing I can provide a list once there is interest but the stone on the left certified as 3.88ct would be $10,000 total.
Incredible value.
This emerald simply glows.

IMG_0741IMG_0741.PNG

 

More from Burma Richard:

You know Junko reminded me of a guy recommended for us to meet a couple of years ago who was a French documentary filmmaker. We went out to dinner and the guy asked me all kinds of questions about access to Chin State which I gave him.
He ate almost the entire dinner by himself including our portions and then proceeded to fill his pockets with the complimentary nuts on the table.
Then he was reluctant to pay.
Sounds like the same name.

Hope all is well and we miss you!
Much love.

 

4. Adrian:

Wanted to say thanks ….. reading your blog today gave me a brief interlude from a hectic and often tedious schedule of meetings, stress, and worry. I continue to pursue my dream of wealth and happiness.

I am in Hong Kong and leave tonight for Bangkok and I am hoping for a calming few days at Temple where I hope to recharge my overloaded batteries.

Back USA with she who must be obeyed December 7.

You may be interested to know that I will be entertaining an Oncologist friend (Alessandra) and possible business partner in EDH December 10-12. She is quite well known and is resident at a cancer hospital in southern Brazil. She also dreams, not so much of wealth but of creating technology that truly helps her patients to lead more productive and longer lives. She is a very pleasant lady.

Have a great day

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:

 

Aye, aye! and I’ll chase him round Good Hope, and round the Horn, and round the Norway Maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give him up. And this is what ye have shipped for, men! to chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out.”
Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. US: Harper & Brothers. 1851.

 

 

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:
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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
10513493_10152264805321179_638993306951998294_n

 

 

 

Categories: October through December 2017, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 1 Mopey 0004 (January 19, 2015)

 

“…the brave are merely the stupid who live through their poor decisions.”
Fuller, Brian. Trysmoon Book 4: Sacrifice (The Trysmoon Saga).
_______________________________________________________
TYSON UNDERWOOD rest in peace. We will miss your ever-present smile.
_______________________________________________________
TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

After resting a day, swimming was a pleasure. A half an hour without becoming tired is better than the exhausted feeling that follows Exercycle or weight training — perhaps because they both are so boring. Completing a lap seems like successfully meeting a challenge — completing a set, not so much.
__________________________________

Research and some analysis indicate that it is probably better to tackle the nodule question aggressively. Even if the Dr. proposes a test, wait and see approach, people over retirement age are not likely to get any stronger therefore, even if there is any ambiguity as to diagnosis and prognosis, it would be preferable to get it over now and take the risk rather than waiting to be absolutely certain that radical steps need to be taken later. Beyond 70, the chances of even currently benign nodules turning cancerous increases substantially over time. Let’s see what the doctor has to say Monday.
___________________________________

Tyson Underwood has died after a long battle with cancer. Kathleen’s ex-husband, an artist and a long time director of annual art festivals in Marin, was one of the most upbeat and unreservedly optimistic persons I have ever known.
________________________________

It is uncomfortable to swim late in the afternoon while the sun goes down behind the clubhouse casting a shadow over the pool and you are the last person still in the pool. Ending the planned laps a bit early and getting into to the hot tub that still had three people in it, even if no one talks to anyone else makes one feel less alone and vulnerable.

A woman of indeterminate age wearing a white-billed cap and one-piece bathing suit with a tiny flower pattern sat in the hot-tub reading a book about Paris. Another older somewhat rotund woman, who had been swimming laps previously, seemed an athletic type since she continued to flex her arms and shoulders while she sat in the hot water. Our fourth companion in the tub was a middle-aged man with blond hair going gray who mumbled to himself as he sat in front of a water jet.
________________________________________

On Monday, the doctor was thoroughly engaged in reviewing the various test results in an unsuccessful effort to determine what was causing my low blood pressure. He ignored the CT scan Pulmonary Nodule discovery. “Oh that,” he exclaimed. “They usually are not a problem.” After additional in office tests on the low blood pressure, he concluded, by a process of elimination, they probably were neurological and referred me to a neurologist. When pushed again on the nodule, he explained that he would first need to see whether it appeared in prior chest x-rays and the like to determine whether or not it existed before or was something new. A few days later he secured a copy of the tests performed two years ago during my hospitalization for a pulmonary embolism. They showed a nodule in the same place. That is a good sign. He recommended a pulmonary specialist and arranged an appointment.

The two-year-old hospital report on the pulmonary embolism indicated that all the arteries into the lungs were blocked and that only a small part of the upper right lobe worked to keep my body alive until the other passages could be cleared. That’s a little like falling out of a plane without a parachute and surviving. Come to think of it, it was a long plane ride that probably caused the embolism. Could falling out of the plane been a better option than remaining seated in the middle seat in coach class for 12 hours and then rushing to the hospital a few days later in order to save ones life?
_____________________________________________

One of the delights of retirement is that you get to enjoy the pleasure of standing freezing on the sidelines for and hour or so as the child you are responsible for plays football or some other organized activity. The activity is generally designed by other adults in order to extract money from those legally responsible for the child’s welfare who agree to pay the con so that they can avoid self-reproach for their inability to otherwise get the child out of the house to play.
__________________________________________________

IMG_20141127_163530_566
A selfie
B. BOOK REPORT:

Sometime in the late 60’s and continuing for a decade the Swedish husband and wife team of Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö embarked on an ambitious scheme to write one mystery book a rear for ten years. The books were to be interconnected in a series called “The Story of Crime.”

Ruth turned me on to the series. Where most modern mystery stories over the past forty years generally feature a brilliant if somewhat odd sleuth who solves the mystery usually by either cleaver deduction or by the impact of his or her particular psychosis (for example by beating people up or getting drunk), these are stories about Swedish police detectives who solve cases using the routine that are the lot of most public employees. They get bored, sick with colds and have bad marriages. The criminals more often than not are sympathetic, driven to murder by social circumstances they cannot control and now and then they even get away with it.

Despite being over 40 years old, the novels grapple with issues pertinent today such as the militarization of policing, the social desperation that drives people to crime and the impact of replacing personal interaction between the police and the public with impersonal violence that begets even more violence resulting in the collapse of the morale of both.

“More and more often one was obliged to initiate an investigation by trying to sort out what the police had been up to. Not infrequently this proved harder than clearing up the actual case.”
Sjowall, Maj; Wahloo.The Locked Room: A Martin Beck Police Mystery (8).

My two favorite books in the series are The Laughing Policeman and The Abominable man.

Pookie says, “check them out.”

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

What is occurring in the Near-East right now I believe is misunderstood. It is not a religious conflict, but religious conflicts certainly exist. It is not a clash among incompatible ideologies and economic interests, but ideological and economic strife are rampant.

What is happening now has happened before at least twice and perhaps more. In both of those previous situations, a drying of the climate had reduced the grassland on either side of the more urbanized and productive fertile crescent that had supported the way of life of the grassland inhabitants. With this climate crisis, populations began to migrate from the grasslands to the more fertile and settled regions. Along with this came the functional equivalent of biker gangs. Under employed young men with weapons with nothing more productive to do attempting to acquire the surplus production of their more settled neighbors usually under the unifying impetus of an ideology to which they gave real or feigned allegiance.

Today the rural economy of the middle east is in shambles as the area desertifies and the population increases beyond sustainability for the area. (to be Continued)
DAILY FACTOID:
300px-Normans_possessions_12century_es

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

A. Mendacity:

Republicans, in general, neo-liberal and supply-side economists reject the Keynesian prescription that during times of insufficient demand (recession and depression) expenditures of public funds even if it results in a governmental deficit is needed to restore the economy to health. Democrats, progressives and Keynesian economists disagree. On the other hand, Republicans, etc., appear quite happy to steadily increase the expenditure on military procurement and benefits and tax benefits for hydrocarbon-based energy production. This has been described as Weaponized Keynesianism and Carbonized Keynesianism.

If there was a third hand, Democrats et al., seem quite happy, during times of insufficient demand to decrease military expenditures and petrochemical public benefits and apply the funds thus saved to governmental welfare schemes.

While I personally prefer the latter, it appears there is an element of hypocrisy on both sides.

We may disagree about whether or not a military dollar gives a greater bang for the buck than a welfare dollar but to some extent we still are agreeing on a Keynesian solution to insufficient demand. The difference seems to be that the Repubs, etc., believe the emergency expenditure should be generally supply side in nature usually including tax relief for equity.

The Dems et al., however, usually propose road, bridge and infrastructure improvements as part of their recession recovery packages (along with middle-class tax relief) and these are also definitely trickle down.

So, it seems to me that it all comes down to a question of politics and not economics. Unless, of course, you consider who ends up with the money is a question of personal destiny and not of social choice.

B. Some past effects of a change in climate :

“In the west with which we are concerned here, there was a climate change after A.D. 200, marked, it would seem, by a retreat of the polar icecap and the polar area of high pressures; this allowed the prevailing westerly winds and rains to move northward so that they passed over the Baltic Sea and Scandinavia, with great growth of forest in all northern Europe, and with greatly reduced rainfall in the Mediterranean, North Africa, and east of the Caspian Sea. In the same period, war and disease resulted in a decrease of population of up to 60 per cent in Europe or in the Roman empire from about 200 to after 800, that is to say over six hundred or more years. Careful studies of the population of the Roman empire seem to indicate that its population fell from about 70 million persons at the time of Christ to about 50 million in 300. The wars, migrations, spread of plagues, and abandonment of much family life, including the spread of chastity for religious reasons and of sexual perversions for other reasons, all contributed to this decrease. This had a very adverse influence on economic production as well as on defense, especially when it was combined, after 200, by a flight from the cities to the rural areas, and a movement of economic activities toward self-sufficiency. One of the chief characteristics of an economic depression is a reduction in roundabout modes of production by a decrease in investment, although not necessarily in savings, along with a reduction in the specialization of production and exchange of products. The links in any chain of activity from the original producer to the final consumer are reduced in number; individuals retreat from very specialized activities to more general ones; the use of exchange and of money decreases. All of these changes are to be found in weapons systems and in defense, where we find a similar tendency to fall back on the simpler, less complex, and more general forms of weapons, tactics, and organizational arrangements, including, for example, the belief that the same man should produce food and fight (peasant militia) or a reduction of defense to a single weapon or only two. We may not notice these military consequences when the depression is brief, as the world depression of 1929-1940, but these effects do appear when such an economic collapse continues for centuries, in a dark age.

The effects of such a change are also important on the non-material aspects of the society, where we find a tendency for people to turn toward a more personal and existential life, with emphasis on day-to-day interpersonal activities, decreasing emphasis on planning for the future in this secular world, and a decrease in abstract thinking and generalizations, but instead, a great emotional and intellectual emphasis on a few symbols and words. Life tends to polarize into almost total absorption in momentary empirical activity, with intellectual life reduced to a few large symbols.
Carroll Quigley. Weapons systems and Political Stability.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“we don’t get to choose our own hearts. We can’t make ourselves want what’s good for us or what’s good for other people. We don’t get to choose the people we are.”
Tartt, Donna. The Goldfinch.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:
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Interior — St John Lateran, Rome

 

Categories: January through March 2015, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th.    12 Joe 0003 (July 29, 2014)

“An ignoranus, is someone who’s both stupid and an arsehole.”

Hearne, Kevin. Shattered: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book Seven (p. 225). Random House Publishing Group.  

Happy Birthday: Brendan Dreaper, Katie Dreaper and Bruce Kittrell

 

 

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. RED FACADE WITH GREEN SHUTTERS

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B. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN EL DORADO HILLS:

For the past few weeks I spent my weekday mornings driving Hayden to his swim team practice and then to the archery range so that he could shoot at the various targets while I sit in the shade.

One morning as we returned from swimming practice, the car crested a hill exposing before us a vista of the great valley and the clear cerulean sky. He stared at it a moment and then asked, “How did everything begin? Did God do it?” 

I knew this was going to be one of those seminal child – adult conversations of at least equal weight with, “Where do babies come from?” It made me a bit nervous. I did not want to screw it up.

Given my background and predilections, I labored to explain the “Big Bang Theory.” HRM broke in to my struggles by asking, “Yeah, but who caused the Big Bang?”  Suddenly I realized that I was presented with the problem of refuting the “uncaused cause” arguments of medieval philosophy that even its major proponent Fat Tom Aquinas believed was a weak proof of God. Nevertheless, I felt inadequate to disprove scholastic theology at this time in my life despite having virtually bathed in it in college 50 years ago. “Well,” I said, “some people believe that, but scientists on the whole agree that most things in the world can be explained without bringing God into it.”

HRM with a dreamy look in his eyes ignored me and said, “I’d like to meet God some day. I think that would be fun.” Unable to come up with a satisfactory response, I changed the subject to Archery.
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HRM at Archery Range.

On Saturday I attended the regional swimming championships with HRM. Youth swimming teams are a Sacramento cult with the championships the high mass. I do not think I’ll do it again. Oh, H won his heats.

The drought continues in California and the high temperatures in the lower foothills have exceeded 100 degrees for most of the week. Nothing else has occurred in El Dorado Hills for the past few weeks of note… in fact, nothing much ever occurs of note here except tea party meetings, NRA banquets and now and then the appearance in the otherwise solid blue sky of the odd cloud or two that flutter about a while and quietly disappear. The study of scholastic philosophy is more exciting. I sleep a lot.

C. EL TOPO AND JEANNE

In my never-ending quest for something to do in suburban El Dorado Hills, one afternoon I watched Alejandro Jodorowsky’s early film, El Topo. El Topo is said to have had a major influence on David Lynch, Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Mason, George Harrison, John Lennon, Peter Gabriel and thousands of other stoners.

Jodorowsky  like many artists from Mexico and South America is addicted to symbolism in his art.  To many Americans and Northern Europeans all that symbolism appears a bit loopy. Unlike the Spanish artists who also favor strong colors and symbolism, the Central and South Americans seem to have a great affection for including the many meanings implied in blood and death. One of the main differences between Italian and Spanish and South American visual arts besides how they use symbolism to tell their story is that to the italians shadow is very much a part of the color palette.

Interestingly, when I ran my district of the New York Mental Health Information Service, I noticed Spanish, South American and recent Italian immigrants at the time of their breakdowns often spoke of seeing the suffering Christ. The Northern and Eastern Europeans tended to hallucinate Hell. Not a religious Hell, but a place of darkness, shadow and threat.

I first saw El Topo in 1970 shortly after arriving in San Francisco. I went with a woman I had just met on the bus. The theater was located near the Civic Center. It does not exist anymore.

The woman and I stayed together for three years. Her name was Jeanne. I was in love with her. She wanted to go to medical school and had to take extra  courses in science to do so since she had graduated from college a few years before with a liberal arts degree. She worked hard.  Eventually she succeeded in getting accepted. During the summer before medical school began we broke up. I tried to get back together with her. She by then was also seeing another man much younger than I.  I asked her to marry me. She said she would need time to decide. That weekend she went hiking in the Trinity Alps. She fell off a cliff and died. The young man and I accompanied her body back to Iowa where her family lived. Two weeks after the funeral the young man went swimming in a lake somewhere in the East Bay and drowned.

There is probably some symbolism hidden in there but I am too far removed from my roots and too close to death to see it. As we age, the past and future grow more shadowy only the present remains colorful. That’s a good thing I think.

 

 

 

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

In today’s newspaper there was and article that pointed out that Jet Blue which was rated one of the best in an Airline Quality analysis based substantially on customer perceptions. However, for no apparent reason other than it was rated among the lowest in that same analysis, Spirit Airlines stock was up over two times more than Jet Blue’s. According to a stock market analyst, the reason for this anomaly is that, “Some analysts view them as focussing more on the customer rather than the shareholder.”

Doesn’t this turn neo-liberal economics on its head? Wasn’t competition in the market supposed to produce better products and services at lower prices?

Perhaps this incongruity is best  explained by a Dilbert’s cartoon in the same paper that shows the bald pointy headed manager announcing to Dilbert that the Board of Directors debated between “creating fantastic products or attracting dumber stock holders.” They decided to do a stock split. The manager explained that it was the easier of the two options.

 

 

 

DAILY FACTOID:
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When times were good and good times rolled.

 

 

 

 PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

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It wants the US economy and governance to move closer to achieving Franklin Roosevelt’s proposed “Second Bill of Rights.”

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

B. Testosterone Chronicles:

1. Khutulun, Mongolian Warrior Princess

“In the 13th century, when khans ruled Central Asia and you couldn’t go 10 minutes without some Genghis, Kublai or Mongke trying to take over your steppe, women were well-versed in badassery. In a society where skill on a horse and with a bow and arrow was more important than brute strength, Mongol women made just as stout herders and warriors as their men.

One woman, however, had the combination of both skill and might. Her name was Khutulun, and she was not only a devastating cavalry-woman but one of the greatest wrestlers the Mongols had ever seen. Born around 1260 to the ruler of a swathe of what is now western Mongolia and China, she helped her father repel — repeatedly — the invading hordes commanded by the mighty Kublai Khan, who also happened to be her great-uncle. Her favorite tactic was to seize an enemy soldier and ride off with him, the explorer Marco Polo recounted, “as deftly as a hawk pounces on a bird.”

Off the battlefield and in the wrestling ring, Khutulun went similarly undefeated. She declared that she wouldn’t marry any man who couldn’t beat her in a wrestling match; those who lost would have to give her their prized horses. Suffice it to say, Khutulun had a lot of horses. By the time she was in her 20s and a spinster by Mongol standards, her parents pleaded with her to throw a match with one particularly eligible bachelor. According to Polo, she initially agreed, but once in the ring found herself unable to break the habit of a lifetime and surrender. She overpowered her suitor who, humiliated, fled; she eventually chose a husband from among her father’s men and married him without submitting him to the evidently impossible challenge to out-wrestle her.”
Salon

2. Smedley Darlington Butler, a Profile in Courage

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 – June 21, 1940) a United States Marine Corps major-general obtained the Corps highest rank authorized at that time.  At the time of his death he was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. During his 34-year career as a Marine, he participated in military actions in the Philippines, China, in Central America and the Caribbean during the Banana Wars, and France in World War I. He also won two Congressional Medals of Honor.

Butler is well-known for having later become an outspoken critic of U.S. wars and their consequences. He also exposed the Business Plot, a purported plan to overthrow the U.S. government and assassinate Franklin Roosevelt. After retirement from the military he ran for Senate as a Republican but was defeated. In 1932 he supported the military bonus marchers at their encampment in Washington DC and was there when Gen. Douglas MacArthur led the attack on them killing several veterans. He later became a spokesman for the “American League Against Fascism.”

Smedley Butler wrote a book called “War is a Racket.” In an interview he said:

“War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

According to Wikipedia, in his penultimate chapter of “War is a Racket,” Butler argues that three steps are necessary to disrupt the war racket:

“1. Making war unprofitable. Butler suggests that the owners of capital should be “conscripted” before other citizens are:

“It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war. The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labour before the nation’s manhood can be conscripted. … Let the officers and the directors and the high-powered executives of our armament factories and our steel companies and our munitions makers and our ship-builders and our airplane builders and the manufacturers of all other things that provide profit in war-time as well as the bankers and the speculators, be conscripted — to get $30 a month, the same wage as the lads in the trenches get”

2. Acts of war to be decided by those who fight it. He also suggests a limited referendum to determine if the war is to be fought. Eligible to vote would be those who risk death on the front lines.

3. Limitation of militaries to self-defense. For the United States, Butler recommends that the navy be limited, by law, to within 200 miles of the coastline, and the army restricted to the territorial limits of the country, ensuring that war, if fought, can never be one of aggression.”

Alas, todays war profiteers have learned how to earn enormous profits even in peacetime and therefore the wars we do have tend to be localized in extent and useful primarily for getting rid of unneeded inventory.

 

 

 

TODAY’S QUOTE:
Robert F. Kennedy speech regarding a nation’s true GDP:

“We will find neither national purpose nor personal satisfaction in a mere continuation of economic progress, in an endless amassing of worldly goods. We cannot measure national spirit by the Dow Jones Average, nor national achievement by the Gross National Product. For the Gross National Product includes air pollution, and ambulances to clear our highways from carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and jails for the people who break them. The Gross National Product includes the destruction of the redwoods and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads…. It includes… the broadcasting of television programs which glorify violence to sell goods to our children.

And if the Gross National Product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry, or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials… The Gross National Product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile, and it can tell us everything about America — except whether we are proud to be Americans.”

 

 

 

TODAY’S CHART:
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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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New York Harbor at Night a Century Ago.

Categories: July through September 2014, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 23 Capt. Coast 0002 (May 12, 2014)

“In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.”
Terry Pratchett

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GEORGE DREAPER

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE VISITS THE STATE CAPITOL:

1. A walk in the park:

A few days ago the car needed to be serviced. After dropping off the automobile, Dick drove me to Sacramento where I waited for the repair shop to complete the repairs.

He left me by the Capitol. After some coffee at a café with tattooed lady baristas, I walked into Capitol Park located directly behind the Capitol building. I love Capitol Park. It is one of my favorite urban parks. Although smaller than Central Park or Golden Gate Park, I find that I enjoy my time there as much as I do in those larger parks. Basically it is a large arboretum with hundreds of fully mature trees from all over the world. I wandered around for an hour or so contemplating each tree and reading the little information plaque identifying its species and common name. It is a little known fact that there are three or so redwood trees in the park that were grown from seedlings that traveled to the moon on one of the Apollo missions. They are referred to as the “Moon Trees.” For years their location was a secret in order to forestall eager collectors from removing the trees until they got big enough to fend for themselves.

Another thing I enjoy there is visiting the small memorials to various wars and other things nestled among the trees. They’re a lot more humble than the garish marble mausoleums demanding our worship that abound Washington DC.

2. BT and me:

While walking I came upon a plaque dedicated to BT Collins embedded in the concrete in front of a bench. I sat down on that bench to reminisce.

For those who did not know him, BT lost an arm and a leg leading a Guerrilla team in the early days of the Viet Nam War when we were still assisting the South Vietnamese government defend itself before deciding to take over the entire war. He returned, was fitted with prothesis’ attended Santa Clara Law School and was working in the first Jerry Brown administration in the Governor’s office when I met him. Ultimately he served in many capacities in State government most often as the person who actually got things done. He was outrageous in word and deed. While Director of the State’s Civilian Conservation Corps during the controversy over aerial spraying of pesticides to combat a fruit fly invasion, in order to prove its safety he famously drank a glass of the pesticide in front of reporters.

One day while sitting in a bar with BT and getting seriously drunk, we, as drunks often do, became sloppily nostalgic about our past lives. We traced our paths from those adjacent bar stools back to NY, to Westchester County, to Stepinac High School and into the same classroom. Until that point neither of us and recognized the other as having known each other previously. He sat in the back of that classroom at one side among the Irish toughs and I sat on the other side of the back row among the Italian thugs.

Every year while I was working in Sacramento he and I would collaborate on a bill to reform portions of the Civil Service law. We would appear together before the appropriate legislative committee each year and never receive a single vote in favor of our proposal.

A life-long Republican, he could teach many so-called liberals about compassion for the underdog.

Rock on BT….

3. I know a Reuben when I see one:

At about lunch time I sat at some outdoor tables on L Street directly across from an entrance to the Capitol. I thought that as the people in the Capitol left for lunch I would recognize some and perhaps have lunch with them and talk of old times. I recognized no one and no one recognized me.

I then tried to guess which of the people walking by was a legislator. I identified one by the sneer he wore on his face when he thought no one was looking at him.

I ordered a Reuben sandwich for lunch that turned out to be fried chicken.

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A Selfie of Pookie at the Capitol

4. On monuments and things:

In the afternoon I resumed my walk through Capitol Park. I sat for a while at one of my favorite monuments dedicated to those that served in WWII. The monument itself is an elongated pyramid with a broken top and a crack down the middle. Its smooth facades are imprinted with actual photographs of scenes from the war that appear like ghosts emerging from the mists of time.

World War II I consider one of this nation’s three “good” wars.The other two were the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. For whatever other objectives one can also ascribe to these wars, a major purpose of each was to establish a transcendental ideal of freedom.

The Revolutionary War was fought to free the nation from government by hereditary wealth and power by those who controlled the nations resources. The sons and daughters of the homicidal maniacs who established the dynasties managed one of the greatest PR coups of all time by persuading everyone to refer to them as “Nobles.”

The Civil War engaged in an effort to end that pernicious institutional representation of the concept that human beings were merely economic objects that could be bought and sold at will.

In World War II the allied nations took up arms against the ideology that humanity can be divided into classes in which some enjoy the full rights of citizenship and respect and others were not quite human and so forfeited their rights even to their own lives solely because of the accident of their birth or the nature of their beliefs.

Of course these wars against those three curses of humanity: Government by inherited wealth; Monetizing a person’s value and; Classification of groups of people where some groups enjoy fewer rights, including the right to live (racism is but one aspect of this) did not end those scourges. They only addressed the clear and present danger presented by those institutions that promoted or represented them. The scourges are always with us only their names change over time. They always change their names.

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The World War II Memorial in Capitol Park

B. POOKIE’S DREAMS (Continued):

I called someone over to run and find one of the paramedics that worked in the village. We bundled the injured child into an old Land Rover and drove him to the hospital.

The hospital located about 10 miles away on the other side of the valley was quite new and surrounded by a small town. I assumed the town was peopled by medical personnel who worked at the hospital and those who worked in the preserve but were unwilling to live the spartan lifestyle enforced by Mama in the village.

Tre, Yu and I sat outside the emergency room waiting. Mama arrived a few minutes later and waited silently with us.

The child, all bandaged up and still unconscious was placed in a hospital room after emerging from the emergency ward. There we spent the night. Tre, Yu and I alternately napping and talking quietly among ourselves. Mama sat in a chair rigid and silent, never moving her eyes from the child as though she was willing him to recover. Recover he did and we all returned to our various duties.

Following this I learned that the preserve had been under political, economic and physical assault for many months. Terrorists, resource extraction organizations and the like all hungered for access to the reserve and its resources.

It was a though having fouled every place else (their own nests so to speak) they now ravenously looked at this unspoiled place like the rapist observing his next victim.

Many preserve workers had been injured and some killed. On one of my visits another child had been attacked and Mama and I spent another sleepless night at the hospital.

I noticed on each of my visits the stress on her exacted a greater and greater physical toll. Then on day when I returned to the village I learned that she had been taken to the hospital. I rushed there and into her room. She was lying in bed. He body was horribly shriveled. Her skin had lost its luster and appeared dry and brittle like a piece of cardboard.

I stayed there with her day and night. She still ran the preserve from her bed. She continued to decline. Finally I told her that I had some experience it managing organizations like the Preserve and I would be happy to do so until she got better. She said, “No, this is my life, my world. Your life is somewhere else.” I woke up back in my bed. I knew she had died.

I returned to the village two more times after that to visit with my friends. But, the colors of the place seemed washed out and I had trouble holding on to the dream for more than a few moments. Eventually I stopped going there.

Since then every once in a while in that period between sleep and wakefulness the image of us in the hut, or on the rock outcropping or even in the hospital hovers for a while before disappearing. It comforts me knowing that this is not a dream but a memory. END.

C. ABOUT PEIG, A BOOK REPORT:

“I am an old woman now, with one foot in the grave and the other on its edge. I have experienced much ease and much hardship from the day I was born until this very day. Had I known in advance half, or even one-third, of what the future had in store for me, my heart wouldn’t have been as gay or as courageous it was in the beginning of my days.”
Peig Sayers, Peig,

Peig Sayers’, Peig, is considered one of the classics of Gaelic literature as well as all literature. She lived much of her life on Great Blasket Island off the Western Coast of Ireland. The island at the tip of the Dingle Peninsula is bleak and barren. It housed between 100 to 150 souls until in the 1940’s the Irish Government in a fit of uncharacteristic responsibility removed the remaining twenty-two of them and resettled them in other parts of the country. As far as I know, none of the islanders objected to the relocation.

Peig was an old woman when approached by a representative of the Irish Folklore Commission and asked to write the story of her life on that forlorn island.
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Peig in her cottage

40 years ago I travelled to Blasket. I was ferried there from the mainland in one of those tar covered little leather boats that used to be common in the western part of the country.
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Drying the boats

I met the ferry-man in the pub that stands on the bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and persuaded him (for a few dollars) to row me there. There is a regular motor ferry now.

Although the passage between the islands is no more than a couple of miles wide, it was too stormy and impassable during much of the year for the small traditional row boats available at the time the island was inhabited. So, the residents of Blasket were often marooned and had to live exclusively on what they could glean on the island.

The tiny village on the lee of the island lay in ruins and deserted. I climbed through the ruins and into Peig’s cottage. It was little more than rocks piled on one another for walls with more rocks to make the roof (I understand it has been made into lodging for a small hostel now). Peig’s home contained a single room in which she spent most of her life.
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Peig’s cottage today

Beyond the village exposed to the fierce winds off the Atlantic the rest of the island was covered in a thick mat of furze, Irish gorse and heather, with peat (or bog or turf) beneath much of it. When I walked on it it supported my weight. It felt as though I was walking on a springy mattress. There were no trees or bushes. I climbed part way down the cliffs on the island’s north side where the residents would scramble down to pilfer the eggs of the shore birds that nested there. I did not go further than perhaps 10 feet or so because the cliff quickly became much steeper. It was on those steep cliffs according to Peig that several of Blasket’s citizens met their death trying to secure enough food to carry them through the winter storms.

As hard as life was on Blasket, during the Irish persecutions and famines several mainland families settled on the island, “Because life was better there.”

Perhaps the most astounding thing about Blasket was that Peig was not the only one from there who wrote a Gaelic literary classic. Two others, Twenty Years a Growing and The Islandman, were written by Blasket natives also.

How hard was life on Blasket? Tomas O’Crohan in The Islandman wrote the following about his children:

“Ten children were born to us, but they had no good fortune, God help us! The very first of them that we christened was only seven or eight years old when he fell over the cliff and was killed. From that time on they went as quickly as they came. Two died of measles, and every epidemic that came carried off one or other of them. Donal was drowned trying to save the lady off the White Strand. I had another fine lad helping me. Before long I lost him, too.”

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Blasket Village ruins. Ireland in the distance.

DAILY FACTOID:

2013: During this year 146 American children were given the name Khaleesi at birth. Khaleesi is the word for “Queen” in a made up language found in the “Game of Thrones.” Before 2013 no one in real life had ever borne that name.

In about that same year a Restaurant named Khaleesi’s was opened in Mission Texas featuring pizza.

Pizza was the favorite food of the Targaryan nobility. They cooked the pizza in dragon fire.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:
A. What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants:
MilitarySpendingSince1947

It is often said that generals (and countries) fight new wars using the strategies and tactics of the last. Unfortunately for the generals and many politicians alike, it appears that the real wars of today among the major powers are economic and not military.
B. Apologies, Regrets and Humiliations:

Re: The NEW YORKER

As you know I like to post some of the well written and interesting comments I receive about things I have written in T&T. This from Stevie:

“Over half a century ago as an 11-year-old growing up in a California railroad town that, for all I know, still doesn’t have a book store, I had the good fortune to make friends with a recent transplant from New York whose mother subscribed to The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Republic, The Saturday Review AND (always my favorite) , The New Yorker.

This was definitely a horizon widener over the Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Boys Life (my brother’s), True Magazine (my father’s — and mine), True Story Magazine (my mother’s), Saturday Evening Post, and Newsweek (mine) that we received at my house, and my grandparents’ Life, Look, and Reader’s Digest, all of which I read from cover to cover.

The one thing they (almost) all had in common were cartoons, and I attacked every new issue from the back thumbing through quickly to read every one of the cartoons as quickly as I could. In The New Yorker, though, I would again go through, once more starting from the back, to read the poetry, followed by the book and movie review.

Only then would I turn to the fiction (there were frequently multiple stories, as I recall, at that point) to savor it the way I do the last morsel of lobster or abalone, leaving everything else to be read (of course I read everything else — there were just so many books one could carry back and forth to the library on a bike!) haphazardly, in no particular order.

That’s still the way I read The New Yorker. I did attempt reading the electronic version on my iPad but gave it up when I couldn’t even muster the interest to make it through the cartoons, which don’t seem to read as well from front to back…

This past issue had a Shirley Jackson story — almost 50 years posthumous — but I keep hoping something new and exciting will come along, and I’ll read it in The New Yorker :o)”

The Huffington Post reports:

“The New Yorker led the pack Thursday night at the annual National Magazine Awards, winning four prizes…

Love the magazine as I do I still find its Poetry inept, the articles too long and at times insipid and the cartoons, amusing but not funny. I suggested to Stevie that some rap lyrics could greatly improve things.

big_mac_rap_lyrics_by_nicoletheawesomehog-d5m59xv

According to Matt Daniels (http://rappers.mdaniels.com.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com) a designer, coder and data scientist at something called Undercurrent in New York City, after analyzing the percentage of unique words used by various rap artists with Shakespeare, fifteen rappers use of unique words exceeded The Bard’s for roughly equivalent sets. Aesop Rock came in first by a mile followed by Wu-Tang Clan, Kool Keith and Cunnlynguists.

So, no apologies this time.

TODAY’S QUOTES:

“Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all the pestilent nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such abominable business.”
Albert Einstein

“Once guns were made, who would unmake them?”
Hough Howey. Wool Omnibus Edition (p. 319). Broad Reach Publishing.
TODAY’S CARTOON:
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Categories: April through June 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 29 Pookie 0001 (December 12, 2012)

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

TODAY FROM THAILAND:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

A Soi Cowboy story: Memories of Sergeant Alvin York.

A few mornings ago, I had coffee with Gary, he of the bald head, beloved of God and protected by the deity’s own she-bears (See below (*) 5. Kings 2:23).

We met up at a pub at the corner of Soi Cowboy. It was early morning. I walked through the Soi to get there. At night the street is lit up with an unholy glare and flooded with noise imparting a frisson of excitement that causes your heart to beat as though someone suddenly set off roman candles in your living room. In the tenuous morning light, however, the excitement had long siSoi Cowboynce dribbled away and the street now was seedy looking, quiet and deserted except for those cleaning up the refuse from the night before.

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Soi Cowboy – Photograph taken from the pub that morning by Gary.

Soi Cowboy is one of Bangkok’s three main “red light” districts originally set up to cater to allied soldiers on RR during the Vietnam War. It now serves the erotic needs of mostly Western and Japanese tourists. The other two are Patpong and Soi Nana. Patpong, built on land owned by the Royal Family, had long ago gone into the sexual voyeurism business; ping-pong balls, darts and balloons, razor blades, frogs, simulated sex acts and the like. Soi Cowboy, a block long alleyway with bars and go-go establishments on each side had more recently graduated from a run of the mill carnal emporium to a required stop on packaged Asian sex tours. Nana for the time being, has remained what it has always been since the soldiers left, a low-class hang-out for the typical ex-pat reprobate.

A girl working on Soi Cowboy, because of its up-scale status, can earn as much as $10,000 or more a month. In the villages they come from the average income is something less than $100 a month. I sometimes wonder what most people would be willing to do to make over 100 times more than they make now. Alas with the upscaling, gone are the independent entrepreneurs working the bars. They have been replaced by employees. And, with that comes the real exploitation.

But this post is not about the Soi, Bangkok’s seamy undersides or the Girls and their clients, but about what Gary told me as we sat there at the tables outside the pub drinking coffee and watching the Green Bay-Detroit Lions football game on television.

During our exchange of stories, recent medical histories and comments on the game, for some reason Gary mentioned that his great-uncle was Sergent Alvin York. This news intrigued me, so I asked him to tell me more.a

For those for whom his name is unfamiliar, Sargent York was the US most famous hero of WWI. He received the Medal of Honor for leading an attack on a German machine gun nest, taking 32 machine guns, killing 28 German soldiers and capturing 132 others.

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Sergeant Alvin York

From York’s diary:

“The Germans got us, and they got us right smart. They just stopped us dead in our tracks. Their machine guns were up there on the heights overlooking us and well hidden, and we couldn’t tell for certain where the terrible heavy fire was coming from… And I’m telling you they were shooting straight. Our boys just went down like the long grass before the mowing machine at home. Our attack just faded out… And there we were, lying down, about halfway across [the valley] and those German machine guns and big shells getting us hard.”

And:

“And those machine guns were spitting fire and cutting down the undergrowth all around me something awful. And the Germans were yelling orders. You never heard such a racket in all of your life. I didn’t have time to dodge behind a tree or dive into the brush… As soon as the machine guns opened fire on me, I began to exchange shots with them. There were over thirty of them in continuous action, and all I could do was touch the Germans off just as fast as I could. I was sharp shooting… All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn’t want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.”

Before the war York was a violent alcoholic and prone to bar brawls. Nevertheless, after his best friend died in a bar fight, he eventually joined a pacifist church opposed to all forms of violence and reformed his ways. At the time he was drafted he claimed contentious objector status stating:

“I was worried clean through. I didn’t want to go and kill. I believed in my Bible.”

The story of his life was was made into a movie starring Gary Cooper. It was nominated for 11 Academy awards and won two, one of which was by Cooper for best actor. Gary said, that he was named after the movie star. I guess because Alvin was already taken.

The Yorks lived in the Town of Pall Mall deep in the hollows of Tennessee, Smokey and the Bandit country were moonshine was king and law non-existent. In fact, the only law that existed in that county was provided by the York’s kin since out of respect to York, they were usually not run out of the county like all other representatives of law-enforcement.

As Gary explained:

“The lawless county would not tolerate any law officers whatsoever, although York thought he could (uphold the law and maintain order), he was wrong . Moonshine whiskey and marijuana came along in the late sixties there in the poverty stricken mountainous area.”

“My grandmother, Vicey ( Frogg) Williams mothered her first when she was fourteen and all of them had first names beginning with L and middle names of Presidents . One was actually shot and killed in a feud. All of their middle names were names of presidents..”

York married Gracie Williams (played by Joan Leslie in the movie), Gary’s grandfather’s sister.

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Gracie and Sgt. Alvin York taken when Gary was about 6 years old.

“I recall Aunt Gracie had three boys . Andrew Jackson York, Woodrow Wilson York , and Thomas Jefferson York… I heard , but never verified as I never went down again after 1970, that Thomas Jefferson may of been killed by moonshiners. They were serious about that stuff..

...it would be interesting to know if the Jamestown , Pall Mall area still is lawless. It certainly was in 1970… My mom told me that Thomas thought he could bring law and order to the hill country…”

My grand father, Wesley was a teasing fun skinny guy who had been a share cropper. Many of those folks down there were… they would have many children hoping to use the children to ease their labors…Pensions are not big in lawless counties in America.”

After York’s death, Gracie, his widow, kept a shotgun in every room in the house because of the practice in that county of raiding any large home soon after the dominant male departs those good green hills.

York himself as Gary remembered him was a quiet soft-spoken man who looked nothing at all like Gary Cooper.

In Gary’s own words:

“…he (York) was a classic Mountain Democrat and that was a bone of contention in those days with the Froggs ( my grandmother’s family )…

York refused to benefit from the honors awarded to him including the funds received from the movie and book about his life, choosing instead to donate the money to charities he favored. Most of the money and York’s efforts went into educating the children of his home county. Despite, donating the money from the movie to charity, the IRS rejected his claim and hounded York for several years, until shortly before both their deaths then President John F. Kennedy cancelled the debt calling the IRS actions in the matter a “national disgrace.”

Gary again:

I was there that summer (the summer that York died) at fourteen..we lived in Springfield, Illinois and had (many) seemingly endless drives down to north central Tennessee ..”

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Sergeant York bed-ridden. The boy is Gary’s cousin. Gary was between 10 and 12 years old at the time this photograph was taken.

“In Springfield I was a page-boy in the State Senate and developed my disdain for Illinois politicians… In 1965 , I was 19 and got my draft notice then left those assholes in August . I delivered their hookers, drove their wives around shopping, fixed little logistic issues for them and realized they never did their homework, only what the lobbyist paid them to say and do. I still remember a slick haired guy walking up to me back then and saying, “Hi, I’m Al Green with the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association.” He put a five dollar bill in my hand. I vividly remember his features. A few months later I was earning $78 per month in the USAF…

In 1970, I returned from the military and worked there again as a bill clerk. Across the hall from my parent’s apartment lived Paul Simon who I often walked to work with, a very nice man who always wore a bow tie and had terrific dandruff…he had risen in politics after being a newspaper editor down south in Troy, Illinois … I was 25, (when) I did the bill clerk thing and walked with Paul to work at 9 AM. I considered him among the kindest of those characters…”

Most of York’s male descendants as well as Gary’s uncles served in WWII with the 82th Airborne, the successor to York’s old outfit. None of them, even York himself, would talk to Gary about their experiences during the war, even when Gary specifically asked them to. Finally shortly before he died one of his uncles opened up to him.

“My father’s twin brother served in the 82nd when it was known as Airborne . It was only the 82nd division in WWI ..Uncle Lloyd is still alive living across the river from St. Louis . He still has hair and blue eyes .. My father was bald and had brown eyes.. In college they told me not to worry about baldness as it is a gene that comes from mothers. My mom had thick dense hair, so I figured I would never face the dreaded cue ball look. When it came I didn’t care as I could not see it anyway…”

Gary told me some of what Uncle Lloyd told him. Two images stood out in my mind:

One day Gary and his Uncle Lloyd went together to see the movie Saving Private Ryan. A cow roaming in a pasture appeared in one battle scene. His uncle laughed. After the movie Gary asked him why he laughed at that particular scene. He said because, “in the war there were no cows, there were no birds they were all dead. After the armies came through there was nothing left alive for people to eat and so they starved.”

On another occasion he told Gary that there was nothing good in war. At the end, he said, he saw children and old men dressed in German uniforms because all the young men had been killed and they were all that was left of the German Army. What choice did he have? Kill them or be killed.

(*) – 5. Kings 2:23 – “Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you bald head! Go up, you bald head!” So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the Lord. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.”
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Gary

B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:

Peter’s variations on the theme of ladies only parking floors in Bangkok.

“Kolkata has ladies only trolley cars; one car for ladies only, other for anybody. San Francisco now has buses only for GLBT non-smoking artificially inseminated anti-death penalty anti-charter school non-union-but-love-Harry-Bridges, recall the Sheriff, who shot the sheriff, naked in public (bring your own towel) people. These buses hardly ever stop.”
DAILY FACTOID:
Along time ago:

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G. Blaki, the original boogy-man, roamed what eventually became China when the Homo Saps came upon him. He left them plagued with nightmares ever since.
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

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OK, but are they worth 10 times more than the Japanese and German execs who regularly out compete them? Shouldn’t the market correct the discrepancy? Could it be the CEO’s do not believe in the “invisible hand” of the market either?

TODAY’S QUOTE:

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TODAY’S CHART:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Why is that man smiling?

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. 22Papa Joe 0001 (October 11, 2012)

 

TODAY FROM AMERICA:

A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND WASHINGTON DC:

TRAVELOGUE TWO TOO (TUTU): GETTYSBURG AND BEYOND.

English: Gettysburg, Pa. Headquarters of Gen. ...

English: Gettysburg, Pa. Headquarters of Gen. George Meade on Cemetery Ridge. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An overcast sky brought a good day for checking off bucket list items. I have always considered myself something of a Civil War buff. Not so much because of an interest in the professed ideologies that prompted the slaughter, or for that matter any morbid fascination with the slaughter itself (ok I admit to a slight fascination) but an abiding curiosity about the stupidities and chicanery that often prolonged the mayhem and increased its savagery.

As a nation the US is somewhat of an anomaly among the world’s aggressive nations in that, except for the wholesale extermination of its indigenous population and the Mexican and Spanish wars, the US has generally eschewed engaging in those traditional wars whose goal usually was to acquire resources, human or environmental, without otherwise having to work for them. That is, until the beginning of this century when we decided in Iraq to revert to something most other nations had rejected as historical folly.

The Civil War was different, however. Certainly economic issues were there. The loss of markets on one side and fear of increased production costs on the other. Both were wrong. Then as now they masked their goals in ethical and patriotic claims for which many would die. Slavery was the inconvenient truth at the time. Both sides failed to understand it. When military hostilities ceased the peculiar institution disappeared without addressing the fundamental question of what is it that we are due as humans that cannot be taken away by another or by an institution. Although the Union triumphed on the field of battle, the war itself never really ended. We are still engaged in the same war except that now it is conducted by other means than guns and bayonets.

To me there were three fundamentally significant battles fought between Ft. Sumner and Appomattox. Shiloh where the Union was victorious but failed to do what Sherman had to do two years later to end the war. Vicksburg and control of the Mississippi by the Union that along with the naval blockade, most likely would have eventually strangled the South into submission no matter what else happened on other battlefields.

And finally, Antietam/Gettysburg, the twin battles, a little over a year apart that together

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg (seated, center)...

Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg (seated, center). Ward Hill Lamon is seated to Lincoln’s right. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

represented a ritual slaughter beyond anything experienced before or since in our nations history. A slaughter whose sole function, it appears to me, was to generate two of the fundamental documents of human rights and aspiration produced by this nation, The Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address.

In both battles the Southern armies moved into the North knowing they could not ultimately emerge militarily victorious but they proceeded nevertheless on the purely unmilitary hope that whatever interim successes they may have would have enough significantly large political effects to cause the clearly superior forces of the Union to sue for peace. In both battles, Lee, the Southern General, lost and had to retreat. In both campaigns, the Union Commander failed to follow-up his victory and destroy Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. In both situations, the Northern commander was replaced. In both circumstances, the battles enabled the North to go on the offensive. In both cases, the Southern hopes for foreign support and aid were dashed.

I had never been to Gettysburg and feared I would never get to see it. So I was happy as can be, when Sunday morning we set off.

On the way there we stopped to visit Glen Echo Amusement Park near Georgetown where in the early sixties the operator of the Amusement park conceding to massive protests agreed to integrate the park. So upset was he with this surrender that he subsequently ripped up the Glen Echo trolley tracks in the belief that lack of low cost transportation from the city would discourage black patrons. Instead, it discouraged all patrons and the previously popular amusement park promptly went bankrupt. Nostalgia being what it is, the government and private sources eventually bought the property, retained some of the more popular rides, like the carousel, and turned the rest of the buildings over to a collection of artists workshops, dance studios and experimental theater troops.

Upon arriving in the town of Gettysburg we ate lunch at a diner named “the Avenue” and toured the souvenir shops.

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Pookie in the town of Gettysburg standing in front of a house that was fought over during the first day of the battle.

During the entire battle only one civilian in the town was killed. A young woman who was baking a pie when an errant minie ball struck her and killed her instantly. Her fiancé was a union soldier from the town who was killed at Chancellorsville. As he lay dying he was found by a close friend of his from Gettysburg who had joined the Confederates. The dying man asked his friend to carry a message to his fiancé in Gettysburg should he ever get back there. The friend was killed in the battle on the outskirts of the town before he could deliver the message.

The battlefield itself surprised me as I am sure it surprises others who visit it. The famous “ridges” Seminary and Cemetery were little more than undulations that many would consider minor irregularities on a billiard table. However even on a billiard table to the players those irregularities could mean the difference between victory and defeat.

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Me on top of Little Round Top with Seminary Ridge in the background and the Wheat-field by my right shoulder.

Devil’s Den is a collection of large boulders that are not so much larger then those I see on some of the lots in the subdivision in Eldorado Hills where I stay while babysitting Hayden. Little Round Top was well, little. The southern point of the left flank of the Union line where 20 Maine made their stand was remarkable in that it showed the ease with which it should have been taken by the Southern forces. Had 20 Maine been overrun not only would the Union left be outflanked but also Round Top itself would have been encircled and would probably fallen. Instead Longstreet the rebel general in charge of the attack chose a frontal assault on the much steeper slope of the hill that was also repulsed.

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Devils Den

In is interesting to note that while the fighting at Little Round Top and Chamberlin and 20 Main’s stand has justifiably received great attention, over on the right wing of the Union forces an even more remarkable battle had taken place. On Culp’s hill Union General Greene defeated a Confederate force over three times the size of his own in a brilliant successful defense of the Union right. Alas, for purely bureaucratic reasons the actions of he and his troops failed to make it into General Meade‘s report of the battle and so their efforts were lost to popular history. Sic transit gloria.

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Jessica with Little Round Top behind her

The Wheat-field where the mad General Sykes chose to place his troops in a salient rather than stationing them on Cemetery Ridge behind them, thereby leaving the Union left flank exposed. The Wheat-field itself proved to be a smallish piece of land surrounded by thick woods from which, for no apparent tactical reason that I could see, the forces on both sides periodically would emerge slaughter each other for a while and retreat until over 4000 casualties littered those few acres and the Union forces were in retreat.

English: Incidents of the war. A harvest of de...

English: Incidents of the war. A harvest of death, Gettysburg, PA. Dead Federal soldiers on battlefield. Negative by Timothy H. O’Sullivan. Positive by Alexander Gardner. Deutsch: Vorkommnisse im Krieg. Die Ernte des Todes. Gettysburg, Juli 1863 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Back on Cemetery Ridge Hancock, in my opinion one of the wars most capable generals, hastily organized the defense of left flank of the Union line left undefended by Sykes curious theory of military tactics. Hancock was among the few officers on either side who understood that, with the advent of breech loaded rifled barrels, the days of massed frontal assaults were over.

At Chancellorsville after crossing the Rappahannock, Hancock bore the brunt of repeated attacks from Lee and Stonewall Jackson. Although the Union forces were pushed back they decimated the Confederate forces and killed Stonewall Jackson. Eventually they formed a defensible salient protecting the ford through which massive Union forces were preparing to cross. Lee would soon have to split his forces to attack Union General Sedgwick’s army coming down on him from the north. Leaving Hancock in a strong position in his rear meant ultimate defeat. With victory so close at hand Hancock was shocked at the Union Commander Hooker’s (whose name has gone down in history not so much for his failure or nerve but for the significant transfer of wealth he and his troops provided to the ladies of the night) order to surrender the salient and to retreat back across the river.

It was Hancock who organized the hasty defense of the now exposed Union left at Gettysburg and repulsed the Rebel assault. On the next day it was troops under Hancock’s command who repulsed the shamelessly stupid charge across almost two miles of open ground that ended the battle with a Union Victory.

As a side note it was here on the ridge where a Catholic priest who later became Dean of

The battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d. 1863, d...

The battle of Gettysburg, Pa. July 3d. 1863, depicting the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1—3, 1863. The battle was part of the American Civil War and was won by the North. Hand-colored lithograph by Currier and Ives. Español: Batalla de Gettysburg Magyar: A gettysburgi csata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notre Dame University notoriously told the members or the “Irish Brigade” before setting off to meet the Confederate charge that, “the Church would deny a christian burial to anyone who died not facing the enemy.” While I could understand the God of the Old Testament saying such a thing, after all he was a serial killer drenched in blood, but could anyone conceive of the Good Gay Messiah of the New Testament clutching his bible in safety while he sent his followers off to die?

On the third day of the battle, the now thoroughly deranged Lee decided to sacrifice 10,000 of his troops in what the Southern Historians who mostly wrote the history of the war described as a heroic but futile example of Southern chivalry and honor. It was not. It was mass murder.

About one year previously the Union General Burnside when faced with similar circumstances (a well entrenched force on the heights above Fredericksburg) launched a similar attack with similar results, except that in Burnside’s case he had the good sense to choose a route for the attack where his troops had some protection from the ordinance hurled down upon them from above. Burnside was summarily removed from his command by Lincoln following the debacle. Lee, on the other hand has been glorified.

The 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument on Cem...

The 72nd Pennsylvania Infantry Monument on Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Think about it, what could possibly have been on his mind when he sent 10,000 of his troops across and open field with no protection behind which the troops could shelter, knowing that every step of that two-mile charge his troops took they would be directly exposed to fire from Union guns. How many men did he expect to make it, 1000, 3000, 5000 and what were they supposed to do there if they did? It was the center of the Union encampment. There were 50,000 Union soldiers within 500 yards of where the attack was focused. Did he expect them to throw down their guns and run away?

Night arrived as I stood on the low stone wall of the angle where the few remaining Confederate troops made it over the wall and were immediately overwhelmed by the Federals. A light rain had begun falling. We got into our car and drove back to Washington.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

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

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TODAY’S QUOTE:

“…The capitalist bourgeois calculates: While I have in my hands, lands, factories, workshops, banks; while I possess newspapers, universities, schools; while—and this most important of all—I retain control of the army: the apparatus of democracy, however, you reconstruct it, will remain obedient to my will. I subordinate to my interests spritually the stupid, conservative, characterless lower middle class, just as it is subjected to me materially. I oppress, and will oppress, its imagination by the gigantic scale of my buildings, my transactions, my plans and my crimes. For moments when it is dissatisfied and murmurs, I have created scores of safety valves and lightning conductors. At the right moment I will bring into existence opposition parties, which will disappear tomorrow, but which today accomplish their mission by affording the possibility of the lower middle class expressing their indignation without hurt therefrom for capitalism. I shall hold the masses of the people, under cover of compulsory general education, on the verge of complete ignorance, giving them no opportunity of rising above the level which my experts in spiritual slavery consider safe. I will corrupt, deceive and terrorize the more prviileged or the more backward of the proletariat itself. By means of these measures I shall not allow the vanguard of the working class to gain the ear of the majority of working class, while the necessary weapons of mastery and terrorism remain in my hands.”

Leon Trotsky, “Terrorism and Communism”, 1920

 

TODAY’S CHART:

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TODAY’S CARTOON:

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TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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Pookie by the monument to 20 Maine on Little Round Top.

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 23, 2011

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL.

Attached is my Holiday gift to you. Your own personal calendar with which you can replace the Gregorian version if you have a mind to.

You can name your own months and days of the week if you want. It cinsists of 12 months of either 28 or 35 days (I got the Idea from Social Security. You may not know it but they pay you on a schedule of one 35 day month for every two 28 day months. That is why on certain months you feel you have run out of money a week before the next check is supposed to arrive.)

You can name the months whatever you wish, I did using the many things people have called me over the years. The days of the week always fall on the same days every month. I have included the regular calendar days for reference and a copy of my personal version. I am writing this on Tuesday Joseph 3, 0001. Christmas falls on Thursday Joseph 5, 0001. (Oh and the world ends on Sunday, Joseph 1, 0002.)

I know it is silly, but what else can an old retired guy do while he is spending a few days in a sick-bed? There is only so much time one can spend on the internet without going bonkers and I think I passed that about 3 months ago.

Have fun and enjoy your holidays.

Your Personal Non-Gregorian Calendar:

Image not available at this time

Pookie’s:

Image not available at this time.

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. What Anne Coulter might say if she were running for President:

“Give the park police more ammo.”
~Newt Gingrich, responding to a reporter who asked what to do about the homeless a few days after the police shot a homeless man in front of the White House.

No, I have not yet found a Democrat or a Liberal politician or commentator advocating shooting those whom they disagree with or dislike. I seek your help in locating one. Perhaps I could point to the Obama administration killing bin Laden and many of the al Qaeda leadership as the functional equivalent.

2. The Buddy Roemer Republican alternative:

Politics has been completely corrupted by “Super PACs” and other special interest money, and the worst offender is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who received $1.8 million from Freddie Mac, the troubled government sponsored mortgage giant, for providing dubious strategic advice. “I want as president a woman or a man who is clean, who has the power to lead and who tells the truth,” Roemer says. “Newt does not fit those characteristics.”

3. David Frum Republican Party consultant explains Faux News Think:

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

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. 5000 BC until now:

If you ask me this is all too much light. Can’t we have a little more darkness? Does that make me an Atheist?

2. 2001 to 2012:

$1.26 Trillion – Total amount appropriated by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of Fiscal Year 2011 (September 30, 2011), — $797.3 billion for Iraq and $459.8 billion for Afghanistan. See NPP’s “Cost of War” Counters.

$7.6 Trillion – The total amount spent on “security” by the US government since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, (through the end of Fiscal Year 2011). See NPP’s analysis “US Security Spending Since 9/11.”

3. 2011: Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered  “low-income” or impoverished.

4. 1941, December 18:

Heinrich Himmler‘s notes on his meeting with Adolf Hitler:
Jewish Question / to be exterminated like the partisans.

The banality of evil

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

My schedule seems to be changing once again. I will not be coming to the US until mid-January.

PETRILLO’S COMMENTARY:

Has anyone realized that the sudden reversal of the Republican House Leadership to the compromise legislation extending the payroll tax cut for most Americans may have been because they recognized that they made a political mistake on the Keystone amendment? No, they have not decided to oppose the pipeline and signed up for the Sierra Club. But, after collecting whatever industry contributions they could for introducing the amendment shortening the decision time for approval to three months, they have become aware that it positions Obama, at the very commencement of his reelection campaign,  able now to collect campaign contributions from this same industry who now may hope they will sway his decision with the money. Currently under the amendment, Obama is empowered to play coy with the industry forcing them to disgorge even more in contributions into his campaign while leaving him the freedom to decide the fate of the project based on how it benefits his reelection or god forbid on the merits. No wonder they have gone bat-shit crazy. Their unpalatable options appear to be:

a. Hold hearings, collect more money from the industry, insisting the legislation includes actual approval of the pipeline, then allow the bill to fail blaming Administration or Democratic inflexibility. They will have collected contributions a second time and denied them to the administration, but it would give Obama a campaign issue.

b. Hold hearings, collect more money, somehow putting off the decision on the pipeline until after the election, pissing off their contributors (but they have already collected the money twice) thereby denying Obama both a campaign issue and potential contributions.

c. Cave and allow the contributions to drift in Obama’s favor and hope for the best while planning a strategy to reverse the political fall-out when the package comes back to Congress in March. This is the least appetizing but realistically the only reasonable alternative. They cannot refuse the tax-cut in March without giving the Dem’s a huge issue with which to campaign on against the Demos in November. Look for them to try to fashion a poison pill (one that includes gifts for large contributors) when the extension bill emerges.

I suspect a lot of midnight oil is being burned in the speaker’s office to find another alternative. This may be either Boehner’s finest hour, or if he fails, his fall as disgruntled members of his own party seek to replace him. Of course, he could be gambling upon Obama and the Democrats caving (as they seem to always do) on the issue and agree to the approval of the pipeline in return for preserving the tax cuts.

And for those of you who did not think politics works this way, spend a year or two in any democratic legislature in the world and find out for yourself.

***This morning I read that the Republican House Leadership caved. If that is true, then can Boehner’s remain leader for long? What will be the poison pill? Will it work? Stay tuned.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed for the holidays.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

TRANSHUMANISM

What if biological and technological enhancements took humans to a level where they radically surpassed anything we know today? “Post-humans” might consist of artificial intelligences based on the thoughts and memories of ancient humans, who uploaded themselves into a computer and exist only as digital information on super fast computer networks. Their physical bodies might be gone but they could access and store endless information and share their thoughts and feelings immediately and unambiguously with other digital humans.

Danger sign: You are outcompeted, mentally and physically, by a cyborg.

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

1. Return to a marginal tax rate that more reflects the share of wealth and income in the country.

 

As far as I can tell, this chart points out that in the past 40 years or so the only President exhibiting any political courage on the issue was George H. W. Bush, and look what happened to him.

2. End militarization of the Federal budget:


c. Signs you are smarter than average:

Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa found atheism is linked to higher IQs.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/signs-you-are-smart-2011-12#you-dont-believe-in-god-4#ixzz1grepe8vq

d. Commentary:

The religious right and Christians in general should remember that Jesus judged only two groups harshly: religious leaders who were hypocrites and those who profited off the sacred. For everyone else he urged compassion.
e. Testosterone Chronicles:

The survey of 1,031 participants revealed that 42% of women believe that sex is important to their overall health, but 66% are engaging in sexual activity once a week or less often.

The new research demonstrates that most people don’t really understand the physical health benefits of having a regular, active sex life. In fact, an active sex life could decrease stress, strengthen pelvic floor muscles, increase immune system function and burn calories.

Although some people do understand these health benefits, most probably don’t know that a regular sex life can also have the youthful effects of a very expensive anti-aging cream.

“Women who had sex at least four times a week were scored as looking up to 10 years younger than their actual age,” the author of the report says. “While pleasure and intimacy with your partner should be a primary motivation to have sex, the health and wellness benefits are a big bonus.”

And where does one find that lusty, youthful looking and probably happy lady?

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Republicans approve of the American farmer, but they are willing to help him go broke. They stand four-square for the American home–but not for housing. They are strong for labor–but they are stronger for restricting labor’s rights. They favor minimum wage–the smaller the minimum wage the better. They endorse educational opportunity for all–but they won’t spend money for teachers or for schools. They think modern medical care and hospitals are fine–for people who can afford them. They consider electrical power a great blessing–but only when the private power companies get their rake-off. They think American standard of living is a fine thing–so long as it doesn’t spread to all the people. And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.”
~Harry S. Truman

What this quote tells me is that it is plausible that the present incumbent President may be neither a Liberal nor a Democrat and that in the 2012 election for President the Democrats may not run a liberal candidate but will support the moderate Republican they currently have.

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

I understand the words. I do not understand the photograph. I assume the words are Rachel Maddow’s but did she choose the photograph? If so why? If not why again?

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. December 21 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

1. Buddy Roemer, a Republican candidate for President worth considering:

The one-time Democrat first won election to the House in 1980, the year Ronald Reagan was elected president. Roemer frequently supported Reagan’s initiatives and fought with the Democratic leadership. Riding a populist, anti-incumbent tidal wave in 1987, Roemer toppled the colorful but highly corrupt governor Edwin Edwards in a crowded Democratic primary field. As governor he pushed through reforms, eliminated a huge deficit and passed some environmental measures. But he frequently quarreled with the state legislature, made a lot of enemies, and lost a bid for a second term.

2. Presidential wives:

“She isn’t young enough or pretty enough to be the President’s wife.” ~Newt Gingrich, talking about his first wife after divorcing her.

But then there is Bill Clinton who seemed not to care how his wife looked but appeared determined that none of his mistresses be pretty enough to be a President’s wife.

4. Someone not running for President on the Republican Party ticket:

“When people pick up their families and get rid of everything they know and leave it behind and move, walk, drive, fly, swim to a place for a better life where they can practice their religion and be in control of their destiny they come to the United States they don’t go to China, which we complain about, but we shouldn’t, we should just worry about ourselves, or any other place. They come to America.

It’s the great strength and if you want to fix the problem with these big decaying cities, bring in immigrants and you can fix that problem overnight at relatively zero cost. If you want to have a better life you have to keep adding to what made America great and the public around the world wants to do that. We are sitting here and keeping them from doing it. It’s what I call national suicide.”

Michael Bloomberg, Republican Mayor of NY.

TODAY’S FACTOIDS:

1. We are number 1:


2.DECEMBER 11, 1941. Adolf Hitler’s speech declaring war on America:

ADOLF HITLER LIVEBLOGS WORLD WAR II: DECEMBER 11, 1941

Adolf Hitler:
Germany’s Declaration of War Against the United States: Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag! A year of world-historical events is coming to an end. A year of great decisions is approaching. In this grave period I speak to you, deputies of the Reichstag, as the representatives of the German nation. In addition, the entire German nation should also review what has happened and take note of the decisions required by the present and the future.

After the repeated rejection of my peace proposal in 1940 by the British prime minister [Winston Churchill] and the clique that supports and controls him, it was clear by the fall of that year that this war would have to be fought through to the end, contrary to all logic and necessity. You, my old Party comrades, know that I have always detested half-hearted or weak decisions. If Providence has deemed that the German people are not to be spared this struggle, then I am thankful that She has entrusted me with the leadership in a historic conflict that will be decisive in determining the next five hundred or one thousand years, not only of our German history, but also of the history of Europe and even of the entire world. The German people and its soldiers work and fight today not only for themselves and their own age, but also for many generations to come. A historical task of unique dimensions has been entrusted to us by the Creator that we are now obliged to carry out….

 
Compelled by bitter necessity, I decided in the fall of 1939 to at least try to create the prerequisite conditions for a general peace by eliminating the acute tension between Germany and Soviet Russia. This was psychologically difficult because of the basic attitude towards Bolshevism of the German people and, above all, of the Party. Objectively, though, this was a simple matter because in all the countries that Britain said were threatened by us and which were offered military alliances, Germany actually had only economic interests. I may remind you, deputies and men of the German Reichstag, that throughout the spring and summer of 1939 Britain offered military alliances to a number of countries, claiming that Germany intended to invade them and rob them of their freedom. However, the German Reich and its government could assure them with a clear conscience that these insinuations did not correspond to the truth in any way. Moreover, there was the sober military realization that in case of a war which might be forced upon the German nation by British diplomacy, the struggle could be fought on two fronts only with very great sacrifices. And after the Baltic states, Romania, and so forth, were inclined to accept the British offers of miitary alliance, and thereby made clear that they also believed themselves to be threatened [by Germany], it was not only the right but also the duty of the German Reich government to delineate the limits of German interests….

Already in 1940 it became increasingly clear from month to month that the plans of the men in the Kremlin were aimed at the domination, and thus the destruction, of all of Europe. I have already told the nation of the build-up of Soviet Russian military power in the East during a period when Germany had only a few divisions in the provinces bordering Soviet Russia. Only a blind person could fail to see that a military build-up of unique world-historical dimensions was being carried out. And this was not in order to protect something that was being threatened, but rather only to attack that which seemed incapable of defense. The quick conclusion of the campaign in the West meant that those in power in Moscow were not able to count on the immediate exhaustion of the German Reich. However, they did not change their plans at all, but only postponed the timing of their attack. The summer of 1941 seemed like the ideal moment to strike. A new Mongol invasion was ready to pour across Europe. Mr. Churchill also promised that there would be a change in the British war against Germany at this same time. In a cowardly way, he now tries to deny that during a secret meeting in the British House of Commons in 1940 he said that an important factor for the successful continuation and conclusion of this war would be the Soviet entry into the war, which would come during 1941 at the latest, and which would also make it possible for Britain to take the offensive.

Conscious of our duty, we observed the military build-up of a world power this last spring which seemed to have inexhaustible reserves of human and material resources. Dark clouds began to gather over Europe.

What is Europe, my deputies? There is no geographical definition of our continent, but only an ethnic-national and cultural one. The frontier of this continent is not the Ural mountains, but rather the line that divides the Western outlook on life from that of the East. At one time, Europe was confined to the Greek isles, which had been reached by Nordic tribes, and where the flame first burned that slowly but steadily enlightened humanity. And when these Greeks fought against the invasion of the Persian conquerors, they did not just defend their own small homeland, which was Greece, but that concept that is now Europe. And then Europe shifted from Hellas to Rome. Roman thought and Roman statecraft combined with Greek spirit and Greek culture. An empire was created, the importance and creative power of which has never been matched, much less surpassed, even to this day. And when the Roman legions defended Italy in three terrible wars against the attack of Carthage from Africa, and finally battled to victory, in this case as well Rome fought not just for herself, but for the Greco-Roman world that then encompassed Europe.

 
The next invasion against the home soil of this new culture of humanity came from the wide expanses of the East. A horrific storm of cultureless hordes from the center of Asia poured deep into the heart of the European continent, burning, ravaging and murdering as a true scourge of God. On the Catalaunian fields, Roman and Germanic men fought together for the first time in a decisive battle of tremendous importance for a culture that had begun with the Greeks, passed on to the Romans, and then encompassed the Germanic peoples….

Just as Rome once made her immortal contribution to the building and defense of the continent, so now have the Germanic peoples taken up the defense and protection of a family of nations which, although they may differ and diverge in their political structure and goals, nevertheless together constitute a racially and culturally unified and complementary whole. And from this Europe there have not only been settlements in other parts of the world, but intellectual-spiritual and cultural fertilization as well, a fact that anyone realizes who is willing to acknowledge the truth rather than deny it. Thus, it was not England that cultivated the continent, but rather Anglo-Saxon and Norman branches of the Germanic nation that moved from our continent to the [British] island and made possible her development, which is certainly unique in history. In the same way, it was not America that discovered Europe, but the other way around. And all that which America did not get from Europe may seem worthy of admiration to a Jewified mixed race, but Europe regards that merely as symptomatic of decay in artistic and cultural life, the product of Jewish or Negroid blood mixture.

My Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag!

I have to make these remarks because this struggle, which became obviously unavoidable in the early months of this year, and which the German Reich, above all, is called upon this time to lead, also greatly transcends the interests of our own people and nation. When the Greeks once stood against the Persians, they defended more than just Greece. When the Romans stood against the Carthaginians, they defended more than just Rome. When the Roman and Germanic peoples stood together against the Huns, they defended more than just the West. When German emperors stood against the Mongols, they defended more than just Germany. And when Spanish heroes stood against Africa, they defended not just Spain, but all of Europe as well. In the same way, Germany does not fight today just for itself, but for our entire continent….

My Deputies! Men of the Reichstag!

When I became aware of the possibility of a threat to the east of the Reich in 1940 through reports from the British House of Commons and by observations of Soviet Russian troop movements on our frontiers, I immediately ordered the formation of many new armored, motorized and infantry divisions. The human and material resources for them were abundantly available. I can make only one promise to you, my deputies, and to the entire German nation: while people in democratic countries understandably talk a lot about armaments, in National Socialist Germany all the more will actually be produced. It has been that way in the past, and it is not any different now. Whenever decisive action has to be taken, we will have, with each passing year, more and, above all, better quality weapons. We realized very clearly that under no circumstances could we allow the enemy the opportunity to strike first into our heart. Nevertheless, in this case the decision was a very difficult one. When the writers for the democratic newspapers now declare that I would have thought twice before attacking if I had known the strength of the Bolshevik adversaries, they show that they do not understand either the situation or me. I have not sought war. To the contrary, I have done everything to avoid conflict. But I would forget my duty and my conscience if I were to do nothing in spite of the realization that a conflict had become unavoidable. Because I regarded Soviet Russia as the gravest danger not only for the German Reich but for all of Europe, I decided, if possible, to give the order myself to attack a few days before the outbreak of this conflict…. I may say this today: If this wave of more than 20,000 tanks, hundreds of divisions, tens of thousands of artillery pieces, along with more than 10,000 airplanes, had not been kept from being set into motion against the Reich, Europe would have been lost….

If the German Reich, with its soldiers and weapons, had not stood against this opponent, a storm would have burned over Europe that would have eliminated, once and for all time, and in all its intellectual paucity and traditional stupidity, the laughable British idea of the European balance of power. If the Slovaks, Hungarians and Romanians had not also acted to defend this European world, then the Bolshevik hordes would have poured over the Danube countries as did once the swarms of Attila’s Huns, and Tatars and Mongols would, on the open country by the Ionian Sea, force a revision of the Treaty of Montreux. If Italy, Spain and Croatia had not sent their divisions, then a European defense front would not have arisen that proclaims the concept of a new Europe and thereby powerfully inspires all other nations as well. Because of this awareness of danger, volunteers have come from northern and western Europe: Norwegians, Danes, Dutch, Flemish, Belgians and even French. They have all given the struggle of the allied forces of the Axis the character of a European crusade, in the truest sense of the word….

As of December 1, the total number of captured Soviet Russian prisoners was 3,806,865. The number of destroyed or captured tanks was 21,391, of artillery pieces 32,541, and of airplanes 17,322. During this same period of time, 2,191 British airplanes were shot down. The navy sank 4,170,611 gross registered tons of shipping, and the air force sank 2,346,180 tons. Altogether, 6,516,791 gross registered tons were destroyed.

My Deputies! My German people!

These are sober facts and, perhaps, dry figures. But may they never be forgotten by history or vanish from the memory of our own German nation! For behind these figures are the achievements, sacrifices and sufferings, the heroism and readiness to die of millions of the best men of our own people and of the countries allied with us. Everything had to be fought for at the cost of health and life, and through struggle such as those back in the homeland can hardly imagine…. From June 22 to December 1, the German army has lost in this heroic struggle: 158,773 dead, 563,082 wounded and 31,191 missing. The air force has lost: 3,231 dead, 8,453 wounded and 2,028 missing. The navy: 310 dead, 232 wounded and 115 missing. For the German armed forces altogether: 162,314 dead, 571,767 wounded and 33,334 missing….

And now let me speak about another world, one that is represented by a man who likes to chat nicely at the fireside while nations and their soldiers fight in snow and ice: above all, the man who is primarily responsible for this war. When the nationality problem in the former Polish state was growing ever more intolerable in 1939, I attempted to eliminate the unendurable conditions by means of a just agreement. For a certain time it seemed as if the Polish government was seriously considering giving its approval to a reasonable solution. I may also add here that in all of these German proposals, nothing was demanded that had not previously belonged to Germany. In fact, we were willing to give up much that had belonged to Germany before the World War. You will recall the dramatic events of that period — the steadily increasing numbers of victims among the ethnic Germans. You, my deputies, are best qualified to compare this loss of life with that of the present war. The military campaign in the East has so far cost the entire German armed forces about 160,000 deaths, whereas during just a few months of peace more than 62,000 ethnic Germans were killed, including some who were horribly tortured. There is no question that the German Reich had the right to protest against this situation on its border and to press for its elimination, if for no other reason than for its own security, particularly since we live in an age in which other countries regard their security at stake even in foreign continents…. During those days in August, when the Polish attitude steadily hardened, thanks to Britain’s blank check of unlimited backing, the German Reich was moved to make one final proposal… to enter into negotiations with Poland….

The former Polish government refused to respond to these proposals in any way. In this regard, the question presents itself: How is it possible that such an unimportant state could dare to simply disregard such proposals and, in addition, carry out further cruelties against the Germans, the people who have given this land its entire culture, and even order the general mobilization of its armed forces? A look at the documents of the [Polish] Foreign Ministry in Warsaw later provided the surprising explanation. They told of the role of a man who, with diabolical lack of principle, used all of his influence to strengthen Poland’s resistance and to prevent any possibility of understanding. These reports were sent by the former Polish ambassador in Washington, Count Potocki, to his government in Warsaw. These documents clearly and shockingly reveal the extent to which one man and the powers behind him are responsible for the Second World War. Another question arises: Why had this man developed such a fanatic hostility against a country that, in its entire history, had never harmed either America or him?…

America is a republic led by a president with wide-ranging powers of authority. Germany was once ruled by a monarchy with limited authority, and then by a democracy that lacked authority. Today it is a republic of wide-ranging authority. Between these two countries is an ocean. If anything, the differences between capitalist America and Bolshevik Russia, if these terms have any meaning at all, must be more significant than those between an America led by a President and a Germany led by a Führer. It is a fact that the two historical conflicts between Germany and the United States were stimulated by two Americans, that is, by Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt, although each was inspired by the same forces. History itself has rendered its verdict on Wilson. His name will always be associated with the most base betrayal in history of a pledge. The result was the ruin of national life, not only in the so-called vanquished countries, but among the victors as well. Because of this broken pledge, which alone made possible the imposed Treaty of Versailles, countries were torn apart, cultures were destroyed and the economic life of all was ruined. Today we know that a group of self-serving financiers stood behind Wilson. They used this paralytic professor to lead America into a war from which they hoped to profit. The German nation once believed this man, and had to pay for this trust with political and economic ruin.

 
After such a bitter experience, why is there now another American president who is determined to incite wars and, above all, to stir up hostility against Germany to the point of war? National Socialism came to power in Germany in the same year that Roosevelt came to power in the United States. At this point it is important to examine the factors behind the current developments.

First of all, the personal side of things: I understand very well that there is a world of difference between my own outlook on life and attitude, and that of President Roosevelt. Roosevelt came from an extremely wealthy family. By birth and origin he belonged to that class of people that is privileged in a democracy and assured of advancement. I myself was only the child of a small and poor family, and I had to struggle through life by work and effort in spite of immense hardships. As a member of the privileged class, Roosevelt experienced the [First] World War in a position under Wilson’s shadow [as assistant secretary of the Navy]. As a result, he only knew the agreeable consequences of a conflict between nations from which some profited while others lost their lives. During this same period, I lived very differently. I was not one of those who made history or profits, but rather one of those who carried out orders. As an ordinary soldier during those four years, I tried to do my duty in the face of the enemy. Of course, I returned from the war just as poor as when I entered in the fall of 1914. I thus shared my fate with millions of others, while Mr. Roosevelt shared his with the so-called upper ten thousand.

After the war, while Mr. Roosevelt tested his skills in financial speculation in order to profit personally from the inflation, that is, from the misfortune of others, I still lay in a military hospital along with many hundreds of thousands of others. Experienced in business, financially secure and enjoying the patronage of his class, Roosevelt then finally chose a career in politics. During this same period, I struggled as a nameless and unknown man for the rebirth of my nation, which was the victim of the greatest injustice in its entire history.

Two different paths in life! Franklin Roosevelt took power in the United States as the candidate of a thoroughly capitalistic party, which helps those who serve it. When I became the Chancellor of the German Reich, I was the leader of a popular national movement, which I had created myself. The powers that supported Mr. Roosevelt were the same powers I fought against, out of concern for the fate of my people, and out of deepest inner conviction. The “brain trust” that served the new American president was made up of members of the same national group that we fought against in Germany as a parasitical expression of humanity, and which we began to remove from public life.

And yet, we also had something in common: Franklin Roosevelt took control of a country with an economy that had been ruined as a result of democratic influences, and I assumed the leadership of a Reich that was also on the edge of complete ruin, thanks to democracy. There were 13 million unemployed in the United States, while Germany had seven million unemployed and another seven million part-time workers. In both countries, public finances were in chaos, and it seemed that the spreading economic depression could not be stopped.

From then on, things developed in the United States and in the German Reich in such a way that future generations will have no difficulty in making a definitive evaluation of the two different socio-political theories. Whereas the German Reich experienced an enormous improvement in social, economic, cultural and artistic life in just a few years under National Socialist leadership, President Roosevelt was not able to bring about even limited improvements in his own country. This task should have been much easier in the United States, with barely 15 people per square kilometer, as compared to 140 in Germany. If economic prosperity is not possible in that country, it must be the result of either a lack of will by the ruling leadership or the complete incompetence of the men in charge. In just five years, the economic problems were solved in Germany and unemployment was eliminated. During this same period, President Roosevelt enormously increased his country’s national debt, devalued the dollar, further disrupted the economy and maintained the same number of unemployed.

But this is hardly remarkable when one realizes that the intellects appointed by this man, or more accurately, who appointed him, are members of that same group who, as Jews, are interested only in disruption and never in order. While we in National Socialist Germany took measures against financial speculation, it flourished tremendously under Roosevelt. The New Deal legislation of this man was spurious, and consequently the greatest error ever experienced by anyone. If his economic policies had continued indefinitely during peace time, there is no doubt that sooner or later they would have brought down this president, in spite of all his dialectical cleverness. In a European country his career would certainly have ended in front of a national court for recklessly squandering the nation’s wealth. And he would hardly have avoided a prison sentence by a civil court for criminally incompetent business management.

Many respected Americans also shared this view. A threatening opposition was growing all around this man, which led him to think that he could save himself only by diverting public attention from his domestic policies to foreign affairs. In this regard it is interesting to study the reports of Polish Ambassador Potocki from Washington, which repeatedly point out that Roosevelt was fully aware of the danger that his entire economic house of cards could collapse, and that therefore he absolutely had to divert attention to foreign policy.

The circle of Jews around Roosevelt encouraged him in this. With Old Testament vindictiveness they regarded the United States as the instrument that they and he could use to prepare a second Purim [slaughter of enemies] against the nations of Europe, which were increasingly anti-Jewish. So it was that the Jews, in all of their satanic baseness, gathered around this man, and he relied on them.

The American president increasingly used his influence to create conflicts, intensify existing conflicts, and, above all, to keep conflicts from being resolved peacefully…. Starting in 1937, he began a series of speeches… with which this man systematically incited the American public against Germany…. Starting in November 1938, he began systematically and consciously to sabotage every possibility of a European peace policy…. On April 15, 1939, Roosevelt made his famous appeal to me and the Duce, which was a mixture of geographical and political ignorance combined with the arrogance of a member of the millionaire class…. This man revealed his true attitude in a telegram of June 15 to French premier Reynaud. Roosevelt told him that the American government would double its aid to France, on the condition that France continue the war against Germany. In order to give special emphasis to his desire that the war continue, he declared that the American government would not recognize acquisitions brought about by conquest, which included, for example, the retaking of territories that had been stolen from Germany. I do not need to emphasize that now and in the future, the German government will not be concerned about whether or not the President of the United States recognizes a border in Europe. I mention this case because it is characteristic of the systematic incitement of this man, who hypocritically talks about peace while at the same time he incites to war. And now he feared that if peace were to come about in Europe, the billions he had squandered on military spending would soon be recognized as an obvious case of fraud….

As early as December 19, 1939, an American cruiser that was inside the security zone maneuvered the passenger liner Columbus into the hands of British warships. As a result, it had to be scuttled. On that same day, US military forces helped in an effort to capture the German merchant ship Arauca. On January 27, 1940, and once again contrary to international law, the US cruiser Trenton reported the movements of the German merchant ships Arauca, La Plata and Wangoni to enemy naval forces. On June 27, 1940, he announced a limitation on the free movement of foreign merchant ships in US ports, completely contrary to international law. In November 1940 he permitted US warships to pursue the German merchant ships Phrygia, Idarwald and Rhein until they finally had to scuttle themselves to keep from falling into enemy hands. On April 13, 1941, American ships were permitted to pass freely through the Red Sea in order to supply British armies in the Middle East. In the meantime, in March all German ships were confiscated by the American authorities. In the process, German Reich citizens were treated in the most degrading way, ordered to certain locations in violation of international law, put under travel restrictions, and so forth. Two German officers who had escaped from Canadian captivity were shackled and returned to the Canadian authorities, likewise completely contrary to international law. On March 27 the same president who is against all aggression announced support for Simovic and his clique of usurpers, who had come to power in Belgrade after the overthrow of the legal government. Several months earlier, President Roosevelt had sent Colonel Donovan, a very inferior character, to the Balkans with orders to help organize an uprising against Germany and Italy in Sofia and Belgrade. In April he promised lend-lease aid to Yugoslavia and Greece. At the end of April he recognized Yugoslav and Greek emigrants as governments in exile. And once again, in violation of international law, he froze Yugoslav and Greek assets. Starting in mid-April US naval patrols began expanded operations in the western Atlantic, reporting their observations to the British. On April 26, Roosevelt delivered twenty high speed patrol boats to Britain. At the same time, British naval ships were routinely being repaired in US ports. On May 12, Norwegian ships operating for Britain were armed and repaired, contrary to international law. On June 4, American troop transports arrived in Greenland to build air fields. And on June 9 came the first British report that a US war ship, acting on orders of President Roosevelt, had attacked a German submarine near Greenland with depth charges.

 
On June 14, German assets in the United States were frozen, again in violation of international law. On June 17, on the basis of a lying pretext, President Roosevelt demanded the recall of the German consuls and the closing of the German consulates. He also demanded the shutting down of the German “Transocean” press agency, the German Library of Information and the German Reichsbahn office. On July 6 and 7, American armed forces acting on orders from Roosevelt occupied Iceland, which was in the area of German military operations. He hoped that this action would certainly, first, finally force Germany into war [against the USA] and, second, also neutralize the effectiveness of the German submarines, much as in 1915-1916. At the same time, he promised military aid to the Soviet Union. On July 10 Navy Secretary Knox suddenly announced that the US Navy was under orders to fire against Axis warships. On September 4 the US destroyer Greer, acting on his orders, operated together with British airplanes against German submarines in the Atlantic. Five days later, a German submarine identified US destroyers as escort vessels with a British convoy. In a speech delivered on September 11 [1941], Roosevelt at last personally confirmed that he had given the order to fire against all Axis ships, and he repeated the order. On September 29, US patrols attacked a German submarine east of Greenland with depth charges. On October 17 the US destroyer Kearny, operating as an escort for the British, attacked a German submarine with depth charges, and on November 6 US armed forces seized the German ship Odenwald in violation of international law, took it to an American port, and imprisoned its crew.

I will overlook as meaningless the insulting attacks and rude statements by this so-called President against me personally…. I simply cannot feel insulted by Mr. Roosevelt because I regard him, like his predecessor Woodrow Wilson, as mentally unsound. We know that this man, with his Jewish supporters, has operated against Japan in the same way…. I am sure that all of you have regarded it as an act of deliverance that a country has finally acted to protest against all this in the very way that this man had actually hoped for, and which should not surprise him now. After years of negotiating with this deceiver, the Japanese government finally had its fill of being treated in such a humiliating way. All of us, the German people and, I believe, all other decent people around the world as well, regard this with deep appreciation. We know the power behind Roosevelt. It is the same eternal Jew that believes that his hour has come to impose the same fate on us that we have all seen and experienced with horror in Soviet Russia. We have gotten to know first hand the Jewish paradise on earth. Millions of German soldiers have personally seen the land where this international Jewry has destroyed and annihilated people and property. Perhaps the President of the United States does not understand this. If so, that only speaks for his intellectual narrow-mindedness.

 
And we know that his entire effort is aimed at this goal: Even if we were not allied with Japan, we would still realize that the Jews and their Franklin Roosevelt intend to destroy one state after another. The German Reich of today has nothing in common with the Germany of the past. For our part, we will now do what this provocateur has been trying to achieve for years. And not just because we are allied with Japan, but rather because Germany and Italy with their present leaderships have the insight and strength to realize that in this historic period the existence or non-existence of nations is being determined, perhaps for all time. What this other world has in store for us is clear. They were able to bring the democratic Germany of the past [1918-1933] to starvation, and they seek to destroy the National Socialist Germany of today….

Since the beginning of the war, the American President Roosevelt has steadily committed ever more serious crimes against international law. Along with illegal attacks against ships and other property of German and Italian citizens, there have been threats and even arbitrary deprivations of personal freedom by internment and such. The increasingly hostile attacks by the American President Roosevelt have reached the point that he has ordered the U.S. navy, in complete violation of international law, to immediately and everywhere attack, fire upon and sink German and Italian ships. American officials have even boasted about destroying German submarines in this criminal manner. American cruisers have attacked and captured German and Italian merchant ships, and their peaceful crews were taken away to imprisonment In addition, President Roosevelt’s plan to attack Germany and Italy with military forces in Europe by 1943 at the latest was made public in the United States [by the Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers on Dec. 4, 1941], and the American government made no effort to deny it. Despite the years of intolerable provocations by President Roosevelt, Germany and Italy sincerely and very patiently tried to prevent the expansion of this war and to maintain relations with the United States. But as a result of his campaign, these efforts have failed. Faithful to the provisions of the Tripartite Pact of September 27, 1940, German and Italy accordingly now regard themselves as finally forced to join together on the side of Japan in the struggle for the defense and preservation of the freedom and independence of our nations and realms against the United States of America and Britain. The three powers have accordingly concluded the following agreement, which was signed today in Berlin:

With an unshakable determination not to lay down arms until the common war against the United States of America and Britain has been fought to a successful conclusion, the German, Italian and Japanese governments have agreed to the following:

Article 1. Germany, Italy and Japan will together conduct the war that has been forced upon them by the United States of America and Britain with all the means at their command to a victorious conclusion.

Article 2. Germany, Italy and Japan pledge not to conclude an armistice or make peace with either the United States of America or Britain unless by complete mutual agreement.

Article 3. Germany, Italy and Japan will also work very closely together after a victorious conclusion of the war for the purpose of bringing about a just new order in accord with the Tripartite Pact concluded by them on September 27, 1940.

Article 4. This agreement is effective immediately upon signing and is valid for the same period as the Tripartite Pact of September 27, 1940. The high contracting parties shall inform each other in due time before the expiration of this term of validity of their plans for cooperation as laid out in Article 3 of this agreement.
Deputies! Men of the German Reichstag!

Ever since my peace proposal of July 1940 was rejected, we have clearly realized that this struggle must be fought through to the end. We National Socialists are not at all surprised that the Anglo-American, Jewish and capitalist world is united together with Bolshevism. In our country we have always found them in the same community. Alone we successfully fought against them here in Germany, and after 14 years of struggle for power we were finally able to annihilate our enemies. When I decided 23 years ago to enter political life in order to lead the nation up from ruin, I was a nameless, unknown soldier. Many of you here know just how difficult those first years of that struggle really were. The way from a small movement of seven men to the taking of power on January 30, 1933, as the responsible government is so miraculous that only the blessing of Providence could have made it possible. Today I stand at the head of the mightiest army in the world, the most powerful air force and a proud navy. Behind and around me is a sacred community — the [National Socialist] Party — with which I have become great and which has become great through me.

Our adversaries today are the same familiar enemies of more than twenty years. But the path before us cannot be compared with the road we have already taken. Today the German people fully realizes that this is a decisive hour for our existence. Millions of soldiers are faithfully doing their duty under the most difficult conditions. Millions of German farmers and workers, and German women and girls, are in the factories and offices, in the fields and farm lands, working hard to feed our homeland and supply weapons to the front. Allied with us are strong nations that have suffered the same misery and face the same enemies…. When we think of the sacrifice and effort of our soldiers, then every sacrifice of [those here in] the homeland is completely insignificant and unimportant. And when we consider the number of all those in past generations who gave their lives for the survival and greatness of the German nation, then we are really conscious of the magnitude of the duty that is ours. But whoever tries to shirk this duty has no right to be regarded as a fellow German. Just as we were pitilessly hard in the struggle for power, so also will we be just as ruthless in the struggle for the survival of our nation. During a time in which thousands of our best men, the fathers and sons of our people, have given their lives, anyone in the homeland who betrays the sacrifice on the front will forfeit his life. Regardless of the pretext with which an attempt is made to disrupt the German front, undermine the will to resist of our people, weaken the authority of the regime, or sabotage the achievements of the homeland, the guilty person will die. But with this difference: The soldier at the front who makes this sacrifice will be held in the greatest honor, whereas the person who debases this sacrifice of honor will die in disgrace.

Our opponents should not deceive themselves. In the two thousand years of recorded German history, our people have never been more determined and united than today. The Lord of the universe has been so generous to us in recent years that we bow in gratitude before a Providence that has permitted us to be members of such a great nation. We thank Him, that along with those in earlier and coming generations of the German nation, our deeds of honor may also be recorded in the eternal book of German history!

Fascinating and remarkable example of the misuse of facts and the rhetoric of evil.

3. IQ and political beliefs:

According to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa at the London School of Economics and Political Science, people who have liberal political views have higher IQs.

So why do they keep losing elections?

4. More about rats:

African naked mole rats never cease to amaze. Not only are they exceedingly ugly, but they are the longest living rodents. Moreover, none have ever been observed to get cancer. And they are the only known vertebrates that are not bothered by acid. A report in Science explains the molecular basis underlying this acid insensitivity, and suggests that it might be an adaptation to their oxygen-poor living conditions.

And they shall inherit the world. I knew it would be the rats that get us in the end. On the other hand wouldn’t it be great to name a sports team after something other than an ethnic group or species we have driven almost to extinction but after something that will probably replace us. “The Naked Mole Rats” has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

5. 2011: A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered “low-income” or are living in poverty.

Does this mean, 48 percent of Americans are too lazy and shiftless and dependent on governmental handouts to better themselves?

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

There was an interesting opinion piece in “The Nation”, Thailand’s other english language news paper. It was written by Bjorn Lomborg one the three Climate Change deniers often trotted out in the name of fair and balanced whenever an actual climate scientist refers to recent changes in the world’s weather and its long-term trends. None of the three have ever done any climate research themselves. There used to be a fourth. Unfortunately, when he scored the money from an oil company funded foundation opposed to actions proposed to deal with the effects of climate change that enabled him to do his own research, his findings confirmed existence of recent human induced impacts on the world’s climate. So, he lost his job as a professional testifier.

What Lomborg seemed to argue is that Climate Change does not exit because Climate Change is not so bad and may even be good for you. He points to a recent UN sponsored study that asserted that both existing warm areas and cold areas will warm and as everyone knows there are many more people who die of freezing to death in the cold than there are people who die burnt to a crisp in the sun. (He is probably right. Score one point for him.)

He also argues that floods happen in places prone to floods and that there is no evidence that increased moisture in the air actually will fall in these areas. (Another point for him. Climate scientists agree when they caution that although increased flooding is consistent with climate change one should refrain from concluding that any single flood is the effect of changes to weather patterns.)

He then refers to the finding in the report that suggests that we should expect hurricane storms’ strength to increase, but that there should be fewer of them as a positive. (I am equivocal on this, so no points for either side.)

He then continues that the only reason there are damages from hurricanes including the predicted stronger ones is because humans persist in living is places they shouldn’t. (Another point for him. Radical environmentalists agree that people should not be encouraged to live in flood plains and other hazard areas by governmental action like subsidized flood insurance. Now if we can get them together with the conservative economists who argue unemployment does not exist because the worker is simply unwilling to move his life and family somewhere else to search for a job, we can for example, eliminate economic development funding and tax benefits to Florida and Texas and refuse public assistance to them following natural disasters because people shouldn’t live there and if they were not so lazy and subsidized they would pick up and move to a more accommodating environment, like Canada. Damn, he gets two points here.)

Score: Lomborg 3, hysterical climate scientists 0.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have begun to emerge from the miasma of fever, coughs, sneezes, and sleeplessness and begun preparations for the Holidays. Unfortunately I have just learned that I will not be going to Italy. Apparently the free ticket that I was expecting did not materialize. That is a shame, I was looking forward to it. My plan now is to fly directly to the US during the first or second week of January and remain there until after Hayden’s birthday in early March. This also regrettably eliminates my trip to NY and Washington to see my daughter, Jessica.

As for my illness, this has been the first time that I can recall being so sick it drove my emotions to the point of despair.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Something about fans and feces (cont.):

With mild curiosity, Vince watched Isabella pick up the salad fork. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the waiter bend down to retrieve something from the serving cart, straighten up and begin to turn around.

Suddenly, with what seemed to Vince like a single fluid motion, Isabella grabbed her purse in one hand, slid out of the booth, exploded towards the waiter and plunged the fork into his eye. As the waiter spasmed from her assault, he pulled the trigger of the gun emerging in his hand. An explosion assaulted Vince’s ears deafening him. The bullet pounded into the back of the booth a foot or two above Vince’s head. A fountain of blood shot out from the waiter’s eye spraying Isabella as she grabbed the falling man in what looked like a lovers embrace. Another discharge of fire and smoke erupted from the shadows near the kitchen, the hapless waiter-assassin Isabella was using as a shield jerked as the bullet struck him. She fired her own gun and the shadow lurched back, struck the wall and slid to the floor.

A long wail emerged from Vince’s mouth as he pressed himself into the back or the booth desperately trying to escape the violence erupting around him. The scene before him disappeared into a pinpoint of light as if a camera lens suddenly closed. He felt his sphincter and bladder give way and the wetness run down his legs. He could hear no sound except his own wailing while his consciousness like the light shrunk to only admit a flood of shame over his incontinence.

Suddenly, he felt a powerful tug on his arm. At first he feared he was under direct attack and desperately tried to escape further into the booth. A sharp pain from a slap to his face jolted him. Light appeared turned on again. It was Isabella. She seemed to be yelling something at him. He felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude with her being there, that quickly faded into embarrassment once more. Her surprisingly strong grip and tug extracted him from the booth. She pulled and pushed him across the room toward the kitchen. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” he mumbled over and over again. (to be continued).

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Strange Apocalypses:

INVASIVE SPECIES

Invasive species are plants, animals or microbes that turn up in an ecosystem that has no protection against them. The invader’s population surges and the ecosystem quickly destabilizes towards collapse. Invasive species are already an expensive global problem: they disrupt local ecosystems, transfer viruses, poison soils and damage agriculture.

Danger sign: Your local species disappear.

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

1. Reverse the assault on the progressive income tax.


2. Demand the wealthy pay their fair share because it is good public policy.


3. Reform Wall Street so that the ordinary investor gets a fair deal.

“The worst part by far is that the government ‘encourages’ you to put your money into your 401k through ‘tax exemptions’, which basically puts your money with the lowest tier of the financial industry — pension funds, retail wealth managers, and retail asset managers. These guys have sh-t strategies like long-only or domestic equity (which means they only invest in American stocks), and have nowhere near the capability and reach of hedge funds. These guys are even more likely to lose your money than you are, and even worse is they will take a 2.35% cut while doing so. And you get penalized when you try to take your money out early. How f***ed up is that.”
Wall Street insider.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/’#ixzz1gUe4oND2

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

“No wonder so many Americans have felt that sense of political impotence that the historian Lawrence Goodwyn described as “the mass resignation” of people who believe in the “dogma of democracy” on a superficial public level but whose hearts no longer burn with the conviction that they are part of the deal. Against such odds, discouragement comes easily.

But if the generations before us had given up, slaves would still be waiting on these tables, on Election Day women would still be turned away from the voting booths, and workers would still be committing a crime if they organized.

So once again: Take heart from the past and don’t ever count the people out. During the last quarter of the 19th century, the industrial revolution created extraordinary wealth at the top and excruciating misery at the bottom. Embattled citizens rose up. Into their hearts, wrote the progressive Kansas journalist William Allen White, “had come a sense that their civilization needed recasting, that their government had fallen into the hands of self-seekers, that a new relation should be established between the haves and have-nots.” Not content to wring their hands and cry “Woe is us” everyday citizens researched the issues, organized to educate their neighbors, held rallies, made speeches, petitioned and canvassed, marched and marched again. They ploughed the fields and planted the seeds — sometimes in bloody soil — that twentieth century leaders used to restore “the general welfare” as a pillar of American democracy. They laid down the now-endangered markers of a civilized society: legally ordained minimum wages, child labor laws, workmen’s safety and compensation laws, pure foods and safe drugs, Social Security, Medicare, and rules that promote competitive markets over monopolies and cartels. Remember:

Democracy doesn’t begin at the top; it begins at the bottom, when flesh-and-blood human beings fight to rekindle the patriot’s dream.

d. Profiles in presidential courage:

Another damn socialist!

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Today’s so-called ‘conservatives’ don’t even know what the word means. They think I’ve turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That’s a decision that’s up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right. It’s not a conservative issue at all.”
~Barry Goldwater

TODAY’S CHART:


TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. November 5, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

 

WikiWorld comic based on the article "Ann...

WikiWorld comic based on the article “Ann Coulter” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OMG, Ann Coulter again proves that parody of the far right is impossible:

“I mean that’s why our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican you don’t just roll into it, you’re not just going with the flow. You have fought against probably your family, probably your neighbors, you have thought everything out. And that’s why we have very impressive blacks in our party.”

This as opposed to Obama, who Coulter says, “is half black, and is not a descendant of the blacks that suffered these Jim Crow laws…I am not contesting that he was born in America or anything, but he is the son of a Kenyan not the son of American blacks that went through the American experience.”

What will the Tea Party do now with their assumption that Obama was a black non-citizen has been demolished by Mr. Coulter’s claim Obama is really a white American citizen? Do you all agree that your blacks and better than their blacks? Are Republican blacks better at house cleaning than Democratic blacks? Would Lincoln still agree black people remain property? Does Mr. Coulter have her own blacks or are they just owned by the Party? So many questions, so few answers.

TODAY’S FACTOID:

Researchers from the University of Virginia report that women driving cars are much more likely than male drivers to be seriously injured in a crash even when both groups wear seat belts.

And no, it has nothing to do with driving proficiency. It does have something to do with relative upper body strength especially in the neck.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM AMERICA AND THAILAND:

America home of the brave: “There is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly, highly illegal: murder,”
“When it comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people have got to die.”
Frederick Thomas, 73, of Cleveland, Ga., American Patriot and senior citizen who along with 3 others was arrested by the FBI for planning attacks on Police stations government buildings and employees of the IRS.

He was not a Muslim. Should the building of the houses of worship of whatever denomination they belong to be banned? Should all old men be profiled as possible terrorists? Come to think of it that would probably be a good idea, especially after they lose their Social Security and Medicare.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN LOS ANGELES:

Following the Day of the Dead party, I spent the next day in bed arising only to check my emails, eat some stuffed peppers and stare out of the window at the grocery store across the street.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

The most recent chapter of The Adventures of Pookie and Gun Girl has been posted.

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

RED STAR

Chapter: Vincent Harried (cont.):

“Perhaps she suspects something more than an accident,” said Ray smiling broadly.

“Why would she do that? There’s nothing to suggest it was anything else. Besides what is it to her? It’s just another automobile death on Devil’s Slide. Anyway, why does she want to talk to me again? I have already told her I know nothing.”

“Maybe, she thinks you know more than you are telling her, or maybe she thinks there is something that you know, that you don’t think important but that she can figure out being a detective and all.”

Vince just stared at him.

After Ray left Vince took Ike’s call. Ike related the substance of his conversation with the US Attorney. After listening in silence, Vince said, “Good, but tell him that I would prefer to make any statements here in my office and not at the DOJ office. That would probably take a day or two to negotiate and something may happen in the meantime.”

Then Ike told him about his conversation with Russell.

Vince felt both his anger and elation arise at the same time.

“I thought that old bastard was playing his own game at my expense.”

After discussing procedures, tactics and strategies for a while, Vince hung up. He was still fuming at Russell’s threats when Nina put through to him a call from David Kitchen.

“David,” he said before Kitchen could speak. “If this is about the election, I am not about to change my mind.”

“No,” Kitchen responded, “it’s not about that specifically. You and I have to talk soon. There are some things about all this that you are not aware of. Things that may put you and me and the firm in danger. When can we meet?”

This got Vince’s attention and he sat upright in his chair.

“I am expecting the sheriff in a few moments to talk to me about Stephanie’s death, so we may only have a few moments.”

“Stephanie and Sam’s death may have something to do with what I have to tell you.”

“Well then,” said Vince, “it is better that I don’t know until after I meet with her. How about tomorrow, say at 11 AM?”

“OK, but not in your office. How about at Harrington’s, I’ll reserve a booth?”

After the call with David, Vince had difficulty controlling his emotions fear and excitement warred within him.

Finally he picked up the phone to call Fat Al, but before he could speak, Nina came into his office and said, “I am sorry to bother you Vince but there is a policewoman her to speak with you and I thought you would want to know right away.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Cracked News from “Not the Nation“:

Tourist Child Terrified Of Thai Women With Colored Contact Lenses

Eight-year-old Australian boy refusing to come out of family’s hotel bathroom

PHUKET – A young visitor to the Kingdom has been irrevocably emotionally scarred by his repeated encounter with local women wearing colored contact lenses, sources report.

Dylan Mussberg, aged 8, from Vancouver, has been holed up in his family’s hotel room at the Phuket Sheraton since 8am this morning, refusing to unlock the bathroom door until his parents, Marty and Vanessa Mussberg, promise him that they won’t make him go out to “where the werewolves are.”

According to child psychologist Dr Morgan West, a specialist in colored-contact related child traumas, the proliferation of oddly colored irises is especially damaging to first-time visitors to Asia. “A caucasian woman with obviously fake eye color is merely gaudy and cheap-looking,” she said. “But an Asian woman wearing them doesn’t even look human. Children are very intuitive when they see something that’s just wrong.”

b. Real Headlines and Ads:

CLASSIFIEDS: CARS FOR SALE: “2003 PONTIAC VIBERATOR ONE OWNER, POWER MOON, CD” “’97 FORD MUSTARD”’99 FORD EXPLODER XLS. LOADED.”

AD: “SMOKE AND FIRE ALARM/WITH SILENCER”

CLASSIFIED: “PUPPIES FREE TO GOOD HOME. MOTHER GERMAN SHEPHERD, FATHER ALSO A DOG.”

AD: “HIBERIA INN BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL! FREE BIC PEN WITH SECOND MARTINI”

HEADLINE: “Senior Luncheon will no longer include lunch”

c. What Occupy Wall Street is all About:

1. Who gets heard:

What is interesting about this chart in not simply the disparity between the primary contending interests struggling with each other for influence over distribution of the nations largess, but the sheer scope [1.5 billion dollars] of the industry [lobbying and influence peddling] with its own interests not necessarily aligned with that of their clients.

The chart also highlights the extent of the corruption within the political system itself. If those Wall Street and corporate titans who benefit from the tax breaks, contracts and subsidies granted to them supposedly on behalf of us, the 99%, are in reality merely welfare queens in expensive suits, then what are those politicians to be called who sell their integrity from the shadows in the halls of government?

2. Where most governmental waste and fraud is found (and surprisingly it is not in operations, teachers salaries, unemployment payments or welfare). It is in governmental contracting to private enterprise, primarily for defense.

An August report, prepared after a three-year study of contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, estimated that between $30 billion and $60 billion has been lost to waste and fraud so far in those conflicts, representing 15 to 30 percent of all that Washington has spent on contractor-provided security, civil reconstruction, training, and other nation-building work.

The commission warned that additional billions may be lost in the years ahead if Defense Department and State Department contracting authorities let remaining management problems fester or fail to safeguard contractor programs and projects that remain uncompleted.

Note: The DOD acknowledges the problems identified above. Their suggested solution is for Congress to allocate more funds to the department so that they can hire additional auditors.

3. Victory:

Bank of America is dropping its controversial $5 debit card fee, Bloomberg reported citing a bank spokesperson.

4. Action: Occupy Oakland’s General Assembly did something that is likely to catch on with occupations across the country. They voted to encourage the occupation of foreclosed properties across their city. After all, the bursting of the property bubble is part of why they’re on the streets right now.
d. How To Talk Like A Republican (New American Lexicon):

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

Don’t you feel better believing you have some control over your retirement benefits rather than some inept faceless bureaucrats? Did you ever stop to consider who is it that wants you to think that way?

e. Profiles in presidential courage:

Today Goldwater would be viewed as a liberal. The tragedy is that the modern Democratic Party is little more than the reincarnation of the 1950s Republican Party of Eisenhower and Goldwater.

f. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

I apologize for getting so much of the facts regarding Dominic Petrillo, as portrayed in Sheldon’s book, wrong. However I think that, “beg” may be too strong a word. I remember it more as a “suggestion.”

Also, while I appreciate Stevie’s kind defense, I admit that there have been meetings at which my adversaries have offered similar opinions, sometimes to my face.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“We are not who we think we are. We narrate out lives, shading every last detail, and even changing the script retrospectively, depending on the event, most of the time subconsciously. The storyteller never stops, except perhaps in deep sleep.”
Doctor Michael S. Gazzaniga, Neuroscientist.

TODAY’S CARTOON:


TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

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

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