Posts Tagged With: War

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.

photo
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 They have been replaced by employees.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.

300px-York

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.

photo_1
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 ..”

1__#$!@%!#__photo
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.”
photo copy
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:

73275_10151137109081244_1793259856_n

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:

261504_10151165435406275_701173453_n

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:

533913_519982724679377_1581156659_n

TODAY’S CHART:

16123_10151159654361275_1721784171_n

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

44889_10151167724301275_2049260601_n

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.

unknown

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.

1__#$!@%!#__unknown

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.

2__#$!@%!#__unknown

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.

3__#$!@%!#__unknown

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:

4__#$!@%!#__unknown

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:

5__#$!@%!#__unknown

TODAY’S CARTOON:

6__#$!@%!#__unknown

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPH:

7__#$!@%!#__unknown

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

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. September 19, 2011

TODAY’S FACTOID:

The US Army Corps of Engineers estimates it will cost more than $2 billion to repair the damage to the nation’s levees, dams and riverbanks caused by this year’s excessive flooding, a sum that dwarfs $150 million it currently has to make such repairs and that doesn’t account for damage from Hurricane Irene or Tropical Storm Lee.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

1. Fair and Balanced Update: In my last post, I speculated about the reason behind the Media assault on the new Administration of Princess LuckyGirl as well as her party’s rapid implementation of some of its policies (especially on amnesty for Princess LuckyGirl‘s elder brother, the fugitive ex-prime minister Thaksin the Terrible). I guessed it had something to do with possible  military co-option by the new government.

An article in today’s english language press (definitely not on the front page), reported that recent poll results showed an overwhelming majority (over 80%) of Thais opposed another military coup under any circumstances. In a related story, interviews, with a number of members of the military general staff have elicited the opinion from most of them that the previous military coup was a mistake and damaged the Thai economy. In still another associated story, the Yellow Shirts, the citizen group whose protests against the Thaksin associated government brought about the military coup and who strongly supported the Military’s war with Cambodia announced they intended to stay out of politics for a while.

It sounds as though the return of Thaksin the Terrible is imminent and people are beginning to line up to get on his good side.

2. Political Gibberish: Meanwhile, the man himself, Thaksin the Terrible, is spending a leisurely week in Cambodia, Thailand’s neighbor and recent opponent in a comic war over ownership of a temple in a disputed area along the countries’ border. He is there ostensibly to play golf and give a few lectures to a business conference. The newspapers published a photograph of him hugging “his good friend,” the prime minister of Cambodia, Thailand’s enemy only two months ago. When interviewed by the press during his sojourn and asked whether if he did return to Thailand would he reenter politics and assume the Prime Minister’s job, he responded with a string of political gibberish of which even I could make no sense.

3. Amnesty: It was also announced today, by the governmental agency responsible for making such announcements, that according to Thai law, anyone over 60 years of age convicted of a crime that requires incarceration for less than 3 years qualifies to petition the King for amnesty. Thaksin the Terrible, is 63 years old and has been sentenced to serve two years in prison.

Have we seen this movie before?

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

Although I remain mostly in bed treating my illness, I still must bustle about to prepare for my return to California on Wednesday, September 24. Regrettably, a lot of what I had hoped to get done before departure will not get done.

The flooding in Thailand moves ever closer to Bangkok and is expected to arrive in the next few days. Bangkok like New Orléans is a city located for the most part below sea level. In the next decade, as a result of rising sea levels and increased precipitation it will face its own city altering catastrophic floods like New Orléans did. But unlike New Orléans, allowed to flood for political reasons, Bangkok being the capital city will struggle to divert the onslaught of the waters through massive public-works projects already under weigh or in planning. Technical exchanges with Holland and other countries to try to address the problem have increased recently.

While the public-works projects will have a beneficial effect on the Thai economy, I am dubious about their efficacy given the area’s geography and the speed and extent of sea level rise and climate change. I would be surprised if by 2050 Bangkok as we know it will even exist. But, alas, I will undoubtedly not be around to experience the accuracy of my prediction.

While lying awake one night unable to sleep due to the aches and miseries associated with my current malady and unwilling to watch another Steven Seagal movie or Thai soap, I turned on my Mac and reread the “This and thats” that I have written over the past few months. Usually when I finish a post and send it out, I generally find myself embarrassed and disgusted with what I imagine is the poor grammar, infantile emotions, self-indulgence, foolish assertions and many other things contained in it. While my rereading of the posts did not disabuse me of those feelings, I have to admit I enjoyed looking through them again. I was especially amused coming across some of my long forgotten obsessions. For those of you who may have actually read them, you have my sympathy.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

“What do you mean,” said the Vince character in response to Isabella’s expression of concern?

“Well, the way I see it, it is like your character said when we met at Ike’s house, what we have here is simply a third-rate business screw up, so what’s the big deal?”

“Go on,” Vince encouraged. “I still don’t see what you’re so concerned about.”

“These type of business failures and frauds happen every day, but people don’t go running around committing suicide, killing people or setting up fall guys.”

“Well, maybe the Brethren are publicity shy.”

“Maybe,” she continued. “But their involvement is easily dismissed publicly as only another case of some abused and defrauded investors. No, it is something more, something bigger that if it came out would threaten everything,”

“So, I still don’t see what you’re so upset about. This is a thriller. The author, if he knows what he is doing, would want a conspiracy, the bigger the better.”

“No, no that’s not it,” she exclaimed, her voice rising. “What’s our role, your role?”

“I’m the reluctant but courageous hero who after many harrowing adventures prevails over the forces of darkness,” he responds smugly. “And you, why you’re my doxy,” he adds with a smile and leans forward to peer more closely at his face in the makeup mirror.

“That would work,” she responds derisively, “if you knew something that threatens them, whoever they are, which you don’t. Or they think you know something, which you don’t . Or you could stumble over something which you won’t because everyone knows the only reason you were brought into this novel was to die.”

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. I Didn’t Know That:

During the Middle Ages in Europe, the floor of most homes was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, “dirt poor.”

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.

As the winter wore on they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a “thresh-hold.”

By the way, this common use of dirt and thresh flooring is also the reason why we in the West, unlike in the East, customarily remain wearing shoes when entering a house.

b. What Adam Smith (considered by some as the “father” of Capitalism) Really Said:

“When masters combine together in order to reduce the wages of their workmen, they commonly enter into a private bond or agreement, not to give more than a certain wage under a certain penalty. Were the workmen to enter into a contrary combination of the same kind, not to accept of a certain wage under a certain penalty, the law would punish them very severely; and if it dealt impartially, it would treat the masters in the same manner.”
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations [Book I, Chapter X, Part II, p. 164].

c. From God’s Mouth to Your Ears:

“… I believe God was waiting for the biblical government of the Church to come into place under apostles and prophets. But this happened in 2001, when, at least according to my estimates, the Second Apostolic Age began. What more? I now think that in order for us to be able to handle the wealth responsibly, we need to recognize, identify, affirm, and encourage the ministry of the apostles in the six non-Religion mountains. They may or may not want to use the term `apostle’ but they will function in Kingdom-based leadership roles characterized by supernaturally empowered wisdom and authority. We have more work to do here.”
C. Peter Wagner (an ardent Rick Perry supporter), The Reformers Pledge.

Is he implying that  George Bush’s election ushered in the Second Apostolic Age? Why that would make good old George the modern Moses! Poor George, he gets blamed for everything. Hmm, is there somewhere one can go to sign up for one of those apostleships?

d. Profiles in Presidential Courage:

“As for the other six and a half billions of the deficit we did not just spend money; we spent it for something. America got something for what we spent—conservation of human resources through CCC camps and through work relief; conservation of natural resources of water, soil and forest; billions for security and a better life. While many who criticize today were selling America short, we were investing in the future of America.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936.

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

The Hamer people in Ethiopia have a formal rite of passage for boys before they can formally marry. They must run naked over a row of cows four times. In the Brazilian Amazon, the Satere-Mawe tribe have a more painful–and dangerous–manhood ritual. Boys must wear a glove woven with bullet ants twenty times.

f. The Trolley Test II:

Let us assume that in the example given in my last post, instead of the option of switching to an alternative track to avoid the trolley killing the five people on the track, you are on a bridge above the track, beside you stands a fat man. You know that the fat man, if he fell on the tracks, would stop the trolley and save the five people. Would you throw him off?

Now right here I must stop and admit I have a problem. Describing this person as a “Fat” man would, because of my liberal leanings force me to hesitate while I examine whether or not my progressive values are offended by the stereotype, causing me, in true liberal fashion, to do nothing resulting in the inevitable death of five people.

Now in order to avoid the sticky emotional problem of physically touching the person you intend to kill, assume the fat man is suspended in a basket above the tracks to be released to fall upon the tracks and stop the Trolley by you pressing a button.

1. Would you press the button now?
2. Would your answer be the same if the person in the basket was:
a. Adolf Hitler (or if you need a person in being, say Moammar Gaddafi),
b. Mother Theresa or Albert Einstein (or, Suu Kyi),
c. Michelle Bachman, (or the Republican of your choice)
d. Barak Obama (or Michael Moore or some other liberal you find obnoxious)
e. A young pregnant woman,
f. A child or,
e. One of your close relatives or friends?
3. Would you throw yourself off that bridge instead of any one of the above?
TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Everything we’re seeing [the current financial crisis] makes sense if you think of the right as representing the interests of rentiers, of creditors who have claims from the past — bonds, loans, cash — as opposed to people actually trying to make a living through producing stuff. Deflation is hell for workers and business owners, but it’s heaven for creditors.”
Kuttner.

BONUS QUOTE:

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Yoda
TODAY’S CHART:

Before and after September 11.


Do you think Osama bin Laden achieved his goal to destroy America’s economic might?

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1) 2011: 734 out of every 100,000 people are behind bars in the US — far and away the highest number in the world. Russia and South Africa are our nearest competitors.

Hooray for us! We’re number one.

2) 2011: for those interested in an analysis on who won and who lost in the Debt Ceiling crisis resolution:

Republican ‘Wins’:

GOP achieved a debt limit increase that requires almost dollar-for-dollar spending cuts ($2.4 trillion).

• Revenues aren’t part of the first step in the two-step process.

• Republicans get to keep up the appearance that they are fighting for a balanced budget amendment (but it won’t ultimately pass — the enforcement clause of the deal sees to that).

White House/Democrat Wins:

• Spending cuts ($2.4 trillion over 10 years) are a little more than half of what was originally on the table.

• Nearly 40% ($350 billion) of the initial $900 billion in cuts comes from the defense budget. The remaining $550 billion over 10 years results from caps on discretionary spending (not itemized cuts), so expect the President and Dems to fight to spread those losses out to places where they’ll have the least impact.

• Of primary importance to Obama’s base, all entitlement benefits and many programs for the poor are exempt from current cuts and the trigger cuts.

• The “triggers,” or fail-safe plans, heavily favor Democrats. If the bi-partisan commission fails to agree to a balanced plan — or Congress fails to pass a balanced plan — the Defense budget alone will take half the spending cuts ($600-750 billion). This trigger gives Democrats significant leverage.

• The process is gimmicky and allows Congress symbolic votes of disapproval, but essentially the agreement will raise the debt ceiling through 2012, one of Obama’s biggest sticking points — meant to settle financial markets and to avoid repeating this charade before the election.

• Did you notice that repealing the health insurance individual mandate – Boehner’s big last-minute sticking point — is no longer part of the deal? Don’t think that wasn’t a hard-won battle.

Apparently, as is usual in politics, all is not as it appears.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:

I usually find in my daily copy of the Bangkok Posta steady stream of

English: All Seasons Place, Bangkok, Thailand ...

All Seasons Place, Bangkok, Thailand with China Recoures Building. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

humorous anecdotes. Either my sense of amusement has deteriorated along with my mental faculties or the nation is holding its breath for some reason.

1) National Security: The General in charge of National Security Council stated in a recent speech: “In the past, national was all about military and defense affairs.” He continues, “…national security must be extended…[to]…people’s well being, human dignity, public harmony and national prestige.” He goes on to state that the monarchy is part of the country’s prestige and has come under attack from political players during the past few years, and “The public must return security to the institution.”

I take it from this comment, that it may be a not so subtle warning to the new government, that the military remains ready to undertake another coup under tguise of protecting the Monarchy, if they should attempt to do something that the military finds to be not in their interests.

2) Family Values: A recent column in the english language newspaper in Thailand points out that in the newly elected Thai legislature over 10% of the successful candidates have close relatives who were either also elected to the legislature or are high governmental officials. I would guess if one added relatives high in the national security forces the percentage could approach 100%.

For those who think the US is above this, if one would add family members who are members of congressional staffs, the nepotism in American politics is probably equivalent to Thailand’s.

3) Weird: In the Sunday magazine section of the Bangkok Post in was reported that a past Thai Prime Minister was Weird. No, not strange but actually Weird. Apparently when he was born, this individual’s father noticed that his ears were located entirely below the line of his eyes and exclaimed, “This is weird,” or something like that. In Thai culture, a childs father gives the child a first name (actually nickname) usually based upon some physical feature (e.g. Daeng (red) or Nok (bird)), so Weird it was. Anyway, Weird as he was fondly known grew up to become a general in the army and one of the leaders in the coup that forced Thailand’s change from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one. During WWII, Weird played footsie with the Japanese, hoping to ride on the coattails of their conquests. As the war was coming to a close and the Japanese did not look like winners, he was overthrown by a civilian led government.

This did not deter Weird, two years later he switched sides to become and ardent supporter of the Monarchy and with the generous assistance of his military cohorts, swept back into power.

Weird is noted for having introduced into Thailand such innovations as; having all Thai’s sing the National Anthem twice a day, and declaring Pad Thai the Thai national dish.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:

I have just returned from my brief visit to “Paradise by the Sea Two Miles from the Outskirts of Hell.” I went there to meet with Vittorio and his Thai wife Anita who were spending a few days of their Thailand holidays at the beach.

Since I have given up my apartment in Paradise by the Sea for a while, I settled for low-cost budget accommodations nearby in a place interestingly called “Low Cost Budget Hotel.” My room was small and windowless but had A/C and a separate fan, hot water and a surprisingly comfortable bed.

I took Vittorio to the BBQ at Kinneree or, for those of you who recall, to the Oval Table that was the meeting place of the Geriatric Knights. It was sausage BBQ day. Given that my current diet has been quite light on meat and the variety of sausages inviting, I managed to eat too many too quickly and gave myself a massive case of indigestion that, of course assumed was the onset of a heart attack. After stumbling around for a while, receiving neither sympathy nor assistance, I flopped down of one of the red sofa’s that rest in one of the darker corners of the place and awaited my demise.

Eventually one of the hostesses noticed my distress and brought me some cold towels for my head, loosened my belt and lightly massaged my aching tummy. As I began to feel slightly better, she suggested a far older cure that surprisingly worked quite well.

Later as the sun was setting, Vittorio and I walked the mile or so along the beach front between Kinneree and our respective hotels.

Fear strikes the ex-pat community: Recently, there have been a spate of stories in the Outskirts of Hell (and in Bangkok) of men being given knock-out drops by young ladies they meet and take to their hotel rooms or apartments. The next morning they wake up having lost everything of value they may have had that the lady could stuff on her person or in her purse. The police seem disinterested, viewing these complaints from aging white men in what I imagine is not so different from the way a cop in Arizona views a Mexican complaining of an immigration scam.

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://paptajoesfables.wordpress.com/

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Delayed until it is determined if my ennui is terminal.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Segal’s law“A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

Steven Segal doesn’t wear a watch. Is that is why see he beats people up and makes bad movies?

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

“The outsourcing of governmental services is the road to tyranny.”

c. Are Men Needed:

In my blog (See, Trenz Pruca’s Journal ) I have suggested that perhaps men are the source of much of the threat to our species survival (See also, Testosterone Chronicles below) and proposed that they should be reduced in number and replaced in all things by women. Science is now discovering that possibly nature also recognizes that women may no longer need men:

“According to researchers at Oxford University, hermaphroditism and self-mating among cottony cushion scales [Icerya purchasi] is leading to the disappearance of male members of the species.”

I guess if I had a “cottony cushion,” I’d try self-mating too.

According to NewScientist: “A battle of the sexes is also occurring among African bat bugs, which…, turn transsexual to avoid stabbing penises.”

Well, wouldn’t you?

d. From God’s Mouth to Your Ears:

Clarence Darrow once wrote:

“And Joshua; you remember about Joshua. He was a great general. Very righteous and he was killing a lot of people and he hadn’t quite finished the job and so he turned to the mountain top and said to the sun, “Stand still till I finish this job,” and it stood still.”

e. Testosterone Chronicles:

A study from Royal Society of Biological Sciences The Royal Society of Biological Sciences in Britain showed data that men who have children also have less testosterone in samples of their saliva than men who don’t have children.

They no longer can afford to.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“After all, what is your host’s purpose in having a party? Surely not for you to enjoy yourself; if that were their sole purpose, they’d have simply sent champagne and women over to your place by taxi. “
~P.J. O’Rourke

TODAY’S CHART:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

2011: In the United States, John Boehner took over as speaker on the House of Representatives and soon after the Weiner affair commenced, proving once again the domination of American politics by men’s obsession with their sexual member.

Not only that, but if truth be known, it really was all about size. Boehner (which spell checks as boner) and the Republican Party were so astounded by Weiner’s sudden prominence that they demanded Weiner’s withdrawal before the public began expecting the same eminence of all politicians (that would unfortunately put the Republican party at a disadvantage). Unhappily for Boehner and the Party, a recent poll indicates that the public once having seen it, are having difficulty forgetting the Weiner.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND AND ITALY:

a. Thailand:

The political party of the “Red Shirts” have won a substantial victory in the Thai elections, garnering an absolute majority in the legislature. It now remains to be seen how the current military leadership will react. While the élite troops stationed in the eastern provinces of the country will probably remain loyal to their leadership, the vast majority of the ordinary soldiers in the army are probably supporters of the “Red Shirts” and probably could not be relied upon in a coup.

Although I expect that the current military leadership will hesitate taking any immediate action but will concentrate on fomenting civil unrest allowing them to step in at a later date “to restore order,” they must be cognizant that this time the new government may more careful in their actions, undermining the Military’s long-term power.
Since I am returning to Thailand on Thursday, I would be fascinated to know if I will me met with a coup in progress.

b. Italy:

Between their horrendous defeat at Caporetto and the stabilization of the new defensive line on the south bank of the Piave River, the italian high command decided that the strategy of driving the troops into battle through fear (by, for example, shooting any trooper who waivers during a charge) was not working and instituted the tried and true motivation for young men to risk death, an abstraction, in this case patriotism. So, learning from their allies, they cranked up their propaganda forces, directed it at their own people and managed to assemble a new army, slightly more willing to die.

A little side note as to why the Italian government was so obsessed by this stretch of terrain, after all it was mountainous and arid and at that time produced little more than emigrants. The reason was that about 60 years or so ago the movement to reunify Italy (although there never had been an “Italy” to re unify) called the “Risorgimento,” envisioned the historical Italy to include everything up to the crest of the Alps and for some the Tyrol beyond. It also included western Slovenia where many so-called ethnic italians resided*. Apparently the idea was to restore some semblance of ethnic homogeneity (although the people of the peninsular were anything but homogeneous and to this day have little in common with each other except corrupt governance) and restore some aspect of the Roman Empire (although the old Romans never let anything as puny as the Alps stop them).

Also the people in this area were in constant rebellion against the efficient tax collection administration of the Austro-Hungarians, preferring the culture of tax evasion endemic to Italian society.

Anyway, Diaz, the Allied commander, rather than attack, gambled on the Central Powers exhausting themselves assaulting his increasingly strong defensive position. The Austro-Hungarian Central Command recognized that by waiting it would only give the Italians time to strengthen themselves further, struck on June 1918 attempting to force a crossing of the river. The blitz failed with their already stretched forces losing 100,00 more men.

Diaz had prepared a counter-attack should the assault by the Imperial Armies falter. On October 24, 1918, (exactly one year from the commencement of the festivities at Caporetto), the strengthened Allied Army punched, across the river and a few days later decisively defeated the Austro-Hungarian army near the town of Veneto (Veneto was later reamed Vittorio Veneto in honor or the victory and the date made into on one of Italy’s major patriotic holidays).

That same day, following the defeat of their army, the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed with Austria and Hungary forming their own national states and Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia declaring independence.

The Imperial forces that had lost between 300,00-500,000 men, split in two like their countries and signed an armistice on November 3. The Imperial commander requested that the Italians terminate their advance since the Imperial Armies had already laid down their arms. The Italians were having none of that. They realized they were faced with an opponent that a military leader could only dream about, a non-existent army for a non-existent nation, and promptly advanced, occupied the Tyrol and Western Slovenia and settled down to await developments elsewhere.

The German Empire seeing its southern front dissolve almost over-night and recognizing that shifting a portion of their already beleaguered troops from the Western Front to protect their southern border spelled disaster on both fronts, sued for peace two weeks later. Although, the history books in the United States (and to some extent Britain and France as well) appear to claim that almost magically the sudden appearance of American troops in France futilely flinging their bodies on to German barbed wire caused the Germans to surrendered in terror, it was the collapse of the Southern Front that prompted the German high command to recognize that further resistance was futile.

*As a footnote to the Horrors of War, a little less than 30 years later following the collapse of the Italian Fascist State in 1943, the Yugoslav Army under Marshall Tito marched into western Slovenia and cleansed it of its ethnic italian population by shooting those who had not fled their homes in terror. In order, I guess to save bullets, those unfortunates who surrendered or were otherwise captured (about 20,000 in all) were tied together and marched to the mouths of several deep mine shafts where the first few were shot and toppled into the mine shaft pulling the rest of the wretches in with them.

Given the brutal imagination applied to ethnic cleansing by peoples everywhere (e.g., Throwing smallpox blankets into Native American towns, or slaughtering those Irish unwilling to die of starvation in Connaught, or machine gunning the Greek and Armenian residents who failed to depart their two thousand-year old ancestral homes quickly enough) one wonders if gas chambers were not more humane. Perhaps someone can propose a treaty in which only genocide by lethal injection would be allowed.

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND)ITALY:

Cellina River

Cellina River (Photo credit: Marius!!)

One day Vittorio invited me on an excursion into the Valcellina (Valley of the Cellina River) a small remote valley extending from the outwash valley of the Piave River to the edge of the Dolomite and the pre-alps. In its natural state it is virtually inaccessible, yet it has been inhabited for at least 10,000 years or more (Cellina is a pre Indo-European word still common in the mountains from the Pyrenees to the Carpathians). Throughout the millennia and up until the latter part of the 19th century , the Valley’s residents have lived much the same as they always did; hunting, gathering, wearing animal skins or homespun, starving, emigrating and selling their bodies or some rude handicrafts that they carried on their backs out of the valley across the mountains.

(It is interesting to me that sometime ago I had my DNA ancestry traced back on the female side [the Y chromosome tests had not yet beam perfected] to somewhere in the area north of Venice about 20,000 years ago. I like to think that there the ancestor of the Sicilian race and many of the Ashkenazi, plied her trade soliciting comfort for the traveler and breeding races and nations from the relative safety of this remote mountain valley.)

By the turn of the 20th Century a rough path had been hewn from the rock of the steep canyon walls. Then with the advent of Mussolini, a treacherous one lane technical marvel was constructed to allow workers into the valley to dam the river so as to provide electricity and irrigation to the arid but more populous Piave River plain below. The aqueduct and the electric transmission lines were buried beneath the road. The road also opened up the Valcellina itself, although less to augment the economy than to assist in emigration.

While the irrigation water and the electricity did much to begin to lift the region along the Piave out of poverty, it was the construction of the large American military base at Avieno the raised it to prosperity.

An American base, no matter how much we Americans view it relative to our national security, to the residents of the area in which it is located, it is essentially massive American foreign aid into the economy of the small region surrounding it.

Despite the American military’s attempts to provide for military personnel on base, the private consultants* as well as the teachers and other highly paid civilians for the most part preferred living in the life accommodating society of Italy rather than the life limiting environment of the base and thereby your dollars and what used to be mine benefit the happy citizens of Fulli.

Anyway, Vittorio and I travelled into the valley along the new road built recently to accommodate tourists that replaced the old one. We turned off on to a limited stretch of the old (most of it now only accessible to hikers and bicyclists) to visit an old osteria built almost 100 years ago to service travelers along the old road. It perches on a small ledge on the sheer walls of the canyon and has a parking area that can accommodate only about 4 small automobiles. It was empty of customers. Its proprietor was a tall thin young women, taller than I, with a traditionally large nose and a suspicious large Adam’s apple. We had a drink of wine and she told us that she had a hangover from drinking all night at the little town of Barcis that we planned on visiting. (To be Continued)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

See: http://papajoesfables.wordpress.com/
TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

Pookie the intrepid at Barcis in Valcellina (Do I look presidential?):


Barcis the picturesque (Yes, the water is that color):

 

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This and that from re Thai r ment, by 3Th. July 4, 2011

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

8th Century: Ivar the Boneless, a Danish leader began his conquest and colonization of England.

Remember not every conqueror requires a name that strikes fear in the enemy some succeed by having their opponents die laughing.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) ITALY:

As long as I am in Italy, I thought I would skip the charts I have normally posted here demonstrating, over and over again, the dire straights the US (and the world) has found itself in and write something about the country in which presently I am idling away my time,

Since I have not kept up on Italian current events, I thought I would venture into some history of the area around the farm on which I temporarily reside, the Veneto and Friuli area of Northeastern Italy. Specifically the battles of WW I that brought this area into the then Kingdom of Italy

Following the disastrous defeat and collapse of the Italian Army at Caporetto a year before that I mentioned in the previous “Today’s Factoid” the supreme commander of the Italian military forces was cashiered and a new general staff put in place.

Battle of the Piave River

Battle of the Piave River (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Italian army was reconstituted with troops and officers from other parts of Italy and rushed north to the River Piave, a few miles from Venice, to form a defensive line about 140 kilometers west of Caporetto. The Piave was a river on a semi-arid outwash plain and drained the Dolomites, and the foothills to the Alps. Rejecting advice that the Italian forces retreat even further south, the new Italian general in charge, named Armando Diaz, believed that the Austro-Hungarian troops were exhausted from their rapid advance from Caporetto. Their supply lines he reasoned were stretched so thin that along with the effects of the Allied blockade of Germany’s ports, they effectively limited the supply of men and material to the army of the Central Powers in the quantity necessary for a prolonged campaign. In addition, the Piave River bed was generally a wide stoney generally empty expanse providing clear sight lines and with the river bisecting it, it seemed to him a relatively strong position to defend.

The war on the Western front (essentially France and Belgium) for the past few years had degenerated into a contest between the homicidal maniacs on the Allied side (France, Britain and recently the US) and their counterparts from the Central Powers (Primarily Germany) to see how many of their troops they could slaughter by pitting flesh against machine guns in a futile attempt to gain a few yard of militarily worthless ground, a strategy a grammar school child could soon recognize as silly. While both Britain, France and Germany were gradually exhausting themselves by the horrendous loss of manpower and material, the interjection by the US of the almost unlimited supply of cannon fodder and war material, although not actually altering the war on the ground, prompted the German High Command, which in general was smarter than their counterparts among the allies, to realize that they will exhaust their men and material sooner than their opponents.

Map of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, in which...

Map of the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, in which the Italian Army decisively defeated the Austro-Hungarian invader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The southern flank of the war was fought basically by Italy on behalf of the Allies and the Austro-Hungarian Empire on behalf of the Central Powers. It was somewhat more mobile, but no less wasteful of men and material and if it were at all possible conducted by general staffs even more homicidal and less competent that their Western and Germanic allies. (To be continued…)

 

 

POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) ITALY:

Having introduced ourselves to this family of strangers and having completed a pleasant tour of the farm we settled down to dinner with SWAC assisting in the cooking. Our hosts make their own wine from their vineyards and manufacture their own pressed meats such as pancetta, sopressa and salami. While the region is noted by gourmets for its cheeses (Parmigiano) the local variety of which is even more piccante, pressed meats (prosciutto) and wines, its basic cuisine is much less distinguished than that further south or west, consisting mostly of overcooked meats, bland pasta and beans.

We slept that night in various rooms vacated for our use. The next morning Nikki left to return to Milan. That evening SWAC cooked a portion of the meal. The following day, I guess tiring of domestic activities SWAC skipped lunch for an exercise session at the local health club, then meeting a male patron of the club, she also excused herself from joining us at dinner preferring to spend that time with her new friend rather than at the farm. The next day she departed for Milan and then on to Thailand leaving Hayden and I in the company of these strangers, albeit pleasant and enjoyable ones. She promised to return by the end of the month or so.

We enrolled Hayden in a local sport camp run by Vittorio’s sister and her husband, italy’s judo team coach. Every morning I drop him off at the camp and then spend the remainder of the morning sitting in a café in Tamai searching for stray wi-fi signals, drinking coffee and sipping prosecco.

One evening Vittorio invited me out for a night on the town and to accompany him to the rehearsal of one of his ensembles.

We traveled to Sacile and stopped first at Lucia’s bar where I met an American named Brian, originally from South Dakota, married to a Korean woman and living in Sacile. He worked as a chemistry teacher in the school at the local US air force base. While we conversed, Vittorio and Lucia’s boyfriend, who I was informed was a local architect and who always wore a dark suit, white shirt unbuttoned at the top and at the sleeves, a three days growth of a dark beard and stringy hair, argued over how best to free up the bar’s security gate that had jumped its tracks.

Later, after the gate was repaired and Lucia closed up her place, Vittorio, Brian and I strolled to another café operated by an extremely short stocky woman in a jeans jacket. One of the regular patrons of the bar was a man suffering from the same disfiguring disease as the “Elephant Boy.” He had a deep melodious voice and upbeat manner. I still found it difficult to look at him without staring. He also had a bitching, pimped out gigantic silver and chrome motor scooter that appeared larger than a Harley and probably producing more horsepower .

After drinking a few more glasses of wine, we accompanied Brian home to his condo building. It had originally been a centuries old villa on to which was grafted seamlessly a modern extension. He showed us the building’s modern garage equipped with elevators upon which to stack the cars and then gleefully demonstrated its use.

Vittorio and I then went to the rehearsal Hall where Vittorio’s ensemble practiced. The town, small as it is, had a building dedicated exclusively to music.

Vittorio’s group was called the Sacile Symphonia.

Actually, it consisted of about eight saxophone players one of whom also played the alto and bass sax, and two tuba players one of whom doubled on the trombone. It also had a trio of trumpet players, the oldest of which, a man who appeared to be in his mid eighties, was the soloist. A somewhat overweight young woman played the drums and other percussion instruments with gusto. Sometimes she would get carried away on a riff driving the rest of the ensemble into silence until she finished and sheepishly apologized. An elderly man with white hair and dressed in a dark suit and tie looking more like a professor than a musician played the flute. Next to him sat a very thin middle-aged woman whose role I could not determine as she appeared to play no instrument what so ever. Rounding out the players was a young man strumming on an electric guitar.

The conductor, appropriately alternatively dictatorial and put upon, managed the session with vigor.

They played a lively version of Glen Miller’s “In the Mood,” a couple of American show tunes and several marches before calling it a night.

After practice Vittorio and I returned to the farm. (To be continued…)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

My sincerest apologies to my devoted readers who wait anxiously for the latest installment of the trials and tribulations of Vince and Isabella that alas once again I must ask their forbearance in another delay. Unfortunately, my garrulous investment in other sections of this post, I fear will leave the reader too exhausted to wade through another red herring.

PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

I think here I should interrupt my usual narrative and share with you (well to be honest, impose upon you) my recent musings about traveling.

My approach to traveling is somewhat like my approach to life; it is not arriving at your destination that is important but what happened along the way.

For example, assume that I depart from San Francisco intending to travel to, say Rome to visit the Vatican and see the Sistine Chapel. If that is what I efficiently did and returned home equally efficiently, I for one would be unsatisfied indeed.

If on the other hand I were to depart on that same voyage and along the way be diverted by circumstances outside of my control or through my stupidity and thereby facing perhaps danger, or passion, beauty or tedium and return home without ever getting to see Michelangelo’s frescos (the chapel would probably be closed anyway, for repairs or for some obscure holiday), I would consider my trip a success.

I guess, one could consider it something like Buddhism, but from somewhat the opposite viewpoint. Where Buddhism urges one to withdraw from the unreality of perception, Pookieism suggests you revel in it.

When I look back into my own life, anytime I single-mindedly pursued a goal and overcame many obstacles to achieve it, I almost always came away dissatisfied, became depressed and soon decided to spend my time doing something else. On the other hand whenever I was diverted from my path, or failed in achieving my goal or found myself hopelessly lost, I often was overjoyed. Why, because there was so much experience, so much pathos and so much joy. And, oh the stories…

Yes, of course there were things that to this day I wish never happened and if I could, I would want not to have occurred, but they did and the exquisite, if odious, memories of the experience accompanies me like tattoos on the skins of generation Xers.

For those males of a certain age, some of you may recall that time when you were a kid and in you imagination played the announcer of your life. “The great slugger stands at the plate. Here comes the pitch. He swings. He misses….” Or, “Here is the world famous runner running through the woods. Will he break the record? Oh no! He trips. He falls. Will he be able to get up, finish the race and break the record? Stay tuned.”

Well, I still do that. “Here is the aging hero walking along the side of the road recalling past loves, triumphs and failures. Out of the corner of his eye he spies a small yellow flower, stops and contemplates its beauty for a moment and then walks on, crosses the street, the freshly painted striping glowing so whitely in the sun it hurts his eyes. Suddenly he remembers he forgot to buy that bottle of milk. Should he return to the store or proceed on toward home? He stands there at the edge of the road, like the brave Ulysses on the beach contemplating whether to return home to the aging but loyal Penelope or spend another night in the arms of the beautiful Calypso?”

Speaking of Ulysses, Homer’s account is not quite how it happened.

One night the short, bandy-legged, scraggly bearded young man named Ulysses, who lived in a subdivision on a small island in the Adriatic, left the home on a cull-de-sac he shared with his wife, young son, various hangers-on, and a pack of dogs, telling everyone he was going to the store to buy a carton of milk, or an amphora of wine or new sandals or whatever. Now twenty years later he stood on the corner of the block down from his old home, broke, hungry and older. He contemplated the excuses he would tell his wife for his long absence. He concocted stories about ships and strange wars, jealous gods, wooden horses, one-eyed monsters and to cover up the long periods of time he spent living with a succession of comely young women, he fell back on the tried and true excuse of philandering husbands of the time, bewitchment.

On the other hand, the also aging but still zaftig and supposedly loyal Penelope wanted no part of the smelly midget bastard’s return. She had happily spent the past 20 years screwing the Mexican pool boy and every young stud in town. The assholes return would only mean she would have to give up the good life and return to working on that Goddamn loom. Besides, she needed an excuse of her own to explain why for the last 20 years the same old piece of cloth hung on that machine with no further work done on it since he left. She told all her boyfriends that she would choose one of them to settle down with when she finished weaving the cloth. They were so stupefied with the thought of getting into her toga whenever she lifted her skirt for them they forgot all about the status of that rotting rag.

She believed however that she would need something better to convince the crafty asshole of her unbelievable 20 years of fidelity. She decided to elaborate on the story and planned to tell her returning husband, if unfortunately he should ever return, that she weaved at the loom all day and every night she tore out what she had done during the day. If the simple and unbelievable story had worked on her lovers why wouldn’t this expanded version work on that scheming lying bastard Ulysses?

Nevertheless, she still was surprised when the testosterone poisoned dwarf suddenly and unexpectedly showed up at her door and started killing all of her boyfriends and the Mexican pool boy as well.

Sadly, Penelope was forced back to working all day at the Goddamn loom and at night diddling herself while the drunken scumbag lay snoring among his dogs after buggering some prepubescent boy-chick.

As Holden Caulfield would say, “Crummy.”

TODAY’S QUOTE:

If you cannot answer a man’s argument, all it not lost; you can still call him vile names.
~Elbert Hubbard

One of the most important rules for living a good life.

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

Sacile Symphonia in rehearsal

Lucia with a mysterious young man.

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

POOKIE FOR PRESIDENT:

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

TODAY’S FACTOID:

1917 October 24:The battle of Caporetto begins in which the

General Count Luigi Cadorna, Italian Chief of ...

General Count Luigi Cadorna, Italian Chief of Staff, visiting British batteries Español: General Conde Luigi Cadorna, Jefe del Estado Mayor italiano, visitando las baterías británicas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Central Powers (the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany) administers a divisive defeat to the Italian Army (a member of the Allied forces, Britain, France and the US).

The Italian commander Marshal Luigi Cadorna prepared for the battle by sacking 217 generals, 255 colonels and 355 battalion commanders. He also believed that soldiers fought better out of fear than out of commitment resulting in his troops intense hatred of him. He assembled his forces in a defensive line with no mobile reserves. As a result when the Central Powers launched the world’s first blitzkrieg there were no forces to move into action at the point of the breakthrough. Finally, he firmly believed that the place for a general was far enough behind the lines to be safely out of danger and mobile enough to be able to retreat faster than the rest of his army.

Map of the Italian Front, Battle of Caporetto.

Map of the Italian Front, Battle of Caporetto. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a result the Italian army dissolved, losing over 300,000 men. Marshall Luigi was fired instead of shot, which only proves how much better it is to be a member of the ruling class than say a trooper who Marshall Luigi would have had shot for faltering in an advance into the throat of machine-gun fire. As a result over 250,000 Italian troops immediately surrendered as soon as the enemy blitzkrieg broke through their lines.

Ernest Hemingway in his novel A Farewell to Arms,” immortalized the battle.

TODAY’S NEWS FROM (THAILAND) AMERICA:


POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN (THAILAND) ITALY:

Tamai is a tiny but apparently prosperous village nestled among the cornfields about six kilometers or so from Sacile. I was told that its name is derived from the sheds that populated the area at a time when the land thereabout was useful for little more than grazing cattle. The sheds were used to drive the cattle into to feed and from which the resulting dung was collected to be processed into fertilizer. Thus Tamai could be translated as “Town of the Cow Sheds” or I guess even “Cow Shit Village.”

Anyway we arrived at the “Farm.” It consisted of about 10 acres of which about two-thirds was planted in the cash crop for the area, corn. The main house, the various farm buildings and sheds, a chicken coop and extensive garden in which the family grew all their fruit and vegetable needs and some of their aesthetic needs in the form of a large variety of flowers occupied the remainder of the property.

I was introduced to the family that lived on the farm and learned that SWAC actually had never stayed with them before but had learned of their existence from one of our employees at our bar in Thailand whose mother had married our host. SWAC previously had visited them briefly while spending a few weeks with a wealthy italian boyfriend in nearby Sacile. This I assumed she believed qualified her to impose upon them for shelter and sustenance for the better part of a month. I also learned that she did not know their names and referred to the Thai woman and her italian husband only as Mama and Papa. I later learned their actual names were Anita and Vittorio.

Living in the house in addition to the aforementioned Anita and Vittorio were and older man and woman referred to as Nono and Nona. I still do not know if they were Vittorio’s parents or aunt and uncle.

Nono is 87 years old and extremely vigorous putting in full days working on the farm. He speaks with the gravelly voice of Brando’s Godfather and seems to see humor in everything. For example he laughed uproariously when I struck my head on a branch I was trying to duck under. During the Second World War he served in the Italian Army under German command on the eastern front in Russia. With the collapse of the Italian Fascist Regime in 1943, he along with most of the Italian soldiers fighting on that front were arrested by the Nazi’s. He spent the remainder of the war in various labor camps in Poland until liberated by the Americans before they were ordered to vacate the land in favor of the Russian Army.

Nono is also one of those fortunate creatures who always manages to look well dressed no matter what he wears. Where most of us tend generally to look a bit like an unmade bed, Nono, even in his work clothes consisting of a straw had, a Thai floral shirt, culottes and sandals, always looks like he just stepped out of a gentleman’s magazine (if there were a gentleman’s magazine for men over 70). When I used to be able to afford Brioni, Kiton or bespoke suits, Church or Ferragamo shoes and various designer shirts, ties and the like, I still managed to look like a basket full of soiled laundry.

Nona on the other-hand looks very much the farmers wife with her sack dress. She spends much of her day working in the garden primarily tending the tomatoes that are ripening nicely.

Both Nono and Nona when they are not working the grounds or gathered with the rest of the family for meals, spend their time occupied, pencil in hand, unraveling problems in various puzzle books.

Living also at the house is a 70-year-old or so women who is Vittorio’s aunt. Although she does not exhibit any of the physical deformities of those retarded from birth, nevertheless she seems to have terminated intellectual growth when she was about six. I do not know if it was genetic or caused by injury or disease. She is also a third stage diabetic and requires two shots of insulin every day as well as constant monitoring of her blood sugar levels. At dinner time, while the family is gathered around the table and before starting to eat, instead of saying grace, we watch Vittorio administer her evening insulin shot.

She always has lived with the family and their relationship is characterized by a lot of shouting (I assure you from experience, a common trait among italian families. We tend to be a loud race) as the family members try to get her to do those things, such as exercise (on an Exercycle on the porch), drink lots of water and avoiding fried foods necessary to keep her diabetes under control.

She tends to shriek rather than talk and Hayden who is a bit of a mimic has learned to copy her shriek and they seem to spend several more of less happy hours together during the day screeching at one another.

SWAC has told Hayden that the aunt is “not 100%,” so he now refers to her as the “100% lady” as he, like me, does not know her actual name.

Anita has two daughters from a prior liaison, one who used to work at Ava, married an American man and moved to Rochester NY. They subsequently divorced but she continued to live in Rochester, why, I have no idea. Her other daughter is married to a Thai man and has two children. They live in Italy nearby to the farm and visit almost every day. Anita also has a twenty something year old daughter with Vittorio. She looks more italian than a full-blooded italian with her unfeigned indolent sensuousness and permanent pout.

Vittorio is a wonderful 50 something farm boy, generally quiet and gentle. He always lived within a few miles of the farm, served as a Marine in the italian army, plays the Tuba in several local ensembles, all in all one of earths good guy’s. He retired last year from whatever work he was doing to supplement his farm income and loves to tell everyone, “I work to live, not live to work.”

It addition to the people and chickens the farm supports a tribe of feral cats and two dogs, actually more insects than dog. I truly believe I have discovered a new species indigenous to the farm, Canis Insectai. Luckily, like mules they are unable to breed otherwise they may be discovered by celebrities as fashionably grotesque pets and flood the world with them causing the human race to die out from revulsion.

One of the insect-dogs has patches of something that looks like a cross between used toilet paper and rusty wire that passes for hair or fur while the other has several teeth missing so that his tongue hangs grotesquely out of the side of its face. I, who am an inveterate dog petter, never missing the opportunity to scratch behind the ears or under the chin of just about any dog I come across even at times the Soi dogs of Bangkok, have not touched these creatures for fear it is catching. (to be continued…)

PAPA JOES TALES AND FABLES:

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

JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:

Vince looked up from examining the piece of note paper in the transparent evidence envelope the sheriff had placed on the desk in front of him, stared into Megs milky blue crazed eyes and said, “I haven’t the slightest Idea why she wrote this. I only know that yesterday she asked me to meet with her sometime today.” He realized too late that he had violated one of the rules every attorney learns by the time he finishes law school, never volunteer information unless you already know how it will benefit you.

“Well,” said the well endowed Sheriff smiling slightly, “perhaps you can educate me on what this meeting was to be about.”

“Uhh… I have no idea. She did not say.”

“Come now Mr. Biondi,” she said sounding more and more like a parity of a bad television crime show detective, “you must have some idea. Could it have been something about the recent death of her husband or perhaps something you and he were up to?”

Vince now felt himself getting angry at this muscle-bound Barbie Doll and was about to say something thoughtless in response when to his surprise he heard Ray’s voice asking a question.

“Sheriff” he inquired, “would you mind if I took a photograph of this note?”

Megs turned her head towards him and stared as though he had somehow just crawled through the transom. “Why,” she growled?

“I thought maybe we could save the County some money and have the handwriting analyzed. It seems pretty unusual all shaky ant the like. If we find it was not written by her that could change the focus of your investigation.” He stared back at her a broad innocent smile on his face.

After a few moments her stoney face softened, a slight smile appeared on her face. “Thank you, I think that may be a good idea.”

Ray took a small,l but to Vince a complex, looking digital camera from a large pocket in his camouflaged cargo pants and a six inch ruler. The ruler he carefully placed along side the note then snapped a series of photo’s, returned the camera and the ruler to his pocket, leaned back and smiled again at Megs. “Thank you.”

Megs smiled as though she had just received a birthday present.

Once again Vince found himself wondering at his own reactions. On the one hand he was relieved that Megs attention had swung from him to Ray. On the other hand he was nonplussed that Ray seemed to handle the situation better that he did. Finally, he was a bit jealous of Ray’s obvious effect on women.

“Well, Mr. Biondi,” she said, “I guess we will just wait to resume our conversation until your kind associate produces his report.”

As they walked down the steps outside the sheriff’s office. Ray noticed a tall thin man in a tee-shirt and jeans taking their picture. He quickly ran across the street toward the man, took the camera from his pocket and began snapping photographs of the man who in turn shot photographs at him, until the skinny photographer retreated to a late-model silver Lexus and drove off.

Ray returned to the stupefied Vince.

“I find that usually scares them off for a while,” he said.
PEPE’S POTPOURRI:

a. Eponymous laws:

Hanlon’s razor — A corollary of Finagle’s law, and a play on Occam’s razor, normally taking the form, “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.” As with Finagle, possibly not strictly eponymous. Alternately, “Do not invoke conspiracy as an explanation when ignorance and incompetence will suffice, since conspiracy implies intelligence.”

(Don’t let Fox News hear about this.)

b. Testosterone Chronicles:

Researchers found that, “young male” CEOs — younger than 45 — “are more likely than older men or women to both initiate and kill M&A deals.” And they concluded that it was testosterone that caused that behavior.

Testosterone decreases in men as they age, which is another interesting fact in itself.

c. Department of abasement, apology and correction:

Cow Shit Village” can never be considered and appropriate translation for Tamai. I was just having some fun.

TODAY’S QUOTE:

TODAY’S PHOTOGRAPHS:

Hayden, the 100% lady and Nono and Nona working on their puzzles.

The insect-dogs:

Categories: July 2011 through September 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: