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Everything posted by Flashermac

  1. "Suan Dusit Poll this week released findings from its poll on the impact of the economy's sluggishness on the public. The majority of the 1,174 respondents surveyed between Nov 19 and 23 said they had tightened their belts amid the economic slowdown. They are trying to cut unnecessary expenses, stay home and cook their own meals, and buy second-hand clothes or swap clothing with friends. Almost 70% said they refrained from going to parties or buying luxury goods. About 20% were planning to find extra jobs to make ends meet." ... https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1805424/white-elephant-spotted-on-new-walking-streets#cxrecs_s
  2. Ploenpote Atthakor The latest resolution on the ban of the three hazardous chemicals is even more toxic than the chemicals themselves. Yes, I'm talking about paraquat, chlorpyrifos and glyphosate that are being manufactured and distributed by global agro giants. The resolution on Wednesday by the panel, chaired by Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit, saw the ban on paraquat and chlorpyrifos being postponed for six months and the use of glyphosate being given the green light. This scandalous decision only goes to show that the panel is shamelessly not committed to its declaration that it will make food in Thailand safer by banning these dangerous substances, which have already been phased out in a large number of countries. Actually, the committee's strong love for these toxic chemicals comes as no surprise -- the agro giants producing them are very powerful. However, with this decision being made, a new can of worms has been forced open. To begin with, some committee members have bravely taken the stand to dispute the panel chair's claim that the U-turn decision was unanimous. Asst Prof Jiraporn Limpananond, a lecturer at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Pharmacy, even quit the panel in protest. She served there as an expert. Her argument was that there was no consensus, and no transparency in this decision. Kudos to her for sticking up for the truth. Those representing the Public Health Ministry have also maintained their stance against the chemicals, which totally contradicts Mr Suriya's claims. I hope Ms Jiraporn's resignation and the health authorities' firm position on the matter can be used as grounds for environmentalists to further push their crusade against the toxic chemicals. Of course, we realise that banning these chemicals will not be easy, especially since it will have a serious impact on farmers following conventional farming methods. Also, the Department of Agriculture will have to work hard to help them make a transition to farming without these chemicals. There are plenty of options available, but the department's sheer lethargy makes the ban a mission impossible. Given the foul play on Wednesday and some irregularities before that, plus the sheer power of the agro giants, there is no guarantee that the ban on paraquat and chlorpyrifos will not continue being postponed. We already know that it's a piece of cake to get a thousand or so farmers to come to Bangkok for a so-called protest, as we witnessed this week. As for the brouhaha about regulating and restricting the use of glyphosate, no further proof is required to show how some unscrupulous Thai mandarins are being held hostage by the agro monsters. With a wishy-washy prime minister, who clearly has no political will to make the right decision on this matter, we are indeed in a helpless situation. I remember how one farmer, a staunch proponent of the chemicals, voiced anger about the possibility of a ban. He tried to convince the media about the chemicals' "safety", saying: "I have used them for so long and nothing bad has happened. I can still sell my produce." The farmer even boasted that "there is no rejection [from foreign buyers], so far". He may be right, but it won't be for long. In fact, he should count his blessings, because there's still time for him to adopt safer farming practices. Imagine, if one shipment of produce was to be rejected due to chemical contamination, will this farmer and his pro-chemical associates take responsibility for the damage done to the farming sector and the country? Not to mention the damage this farmer and his fellow chemical proponents are doing to the soil and the country's water resources. As for the constant, clichéd response one gets to hear about non-chemical or organic vegetables being too expensive, has anybody ever thought about the amount of money the state spends on poor farmers who suffer from side-effects and consumers who fall ill from these chemicals? Even the Public Health Ministry has admitted that these chemicals harm human health. However, now that we are being forced to continue living with these three chemicals, I want to propose a fair practice -- clear labelling so consumers have the right to choose. And I'm deadly serious! If the state allows the use of these extremely toxic substances -- paraquat (also known as Gramoxone), chlorpyrifos and glyphosate -- it should also make it mandatory for them to be listed. However, if that farmer is right, and some people still have that couldn't-care-less mindset, then all I can say is: bon appetite. https://www.bangkokpost.com/opinion/opinion/1804509/we-will-keep-eating-poison-for-a-while-yet#cxrecs_s
  3. Well, the skies aren't so blue in Bangkok and it does get down to around 20C at night. Also, it is just too dry. There is a fine dust over everything in Bangkok, and the northeast is having a drought. But here's some winter scenes for you.
  4. "Hey, Jeff ... looks like school just let out."
  5. And for three years nobody bothered to check on him? "Stevens allegedly reported White missing to multiple police departments and even considered trying to hire a private investigator but didn’t have enough money to do so. " .
  6. Queens Park Plaza is a long way for me to go, but the few times I have been there, it struck me as the closest to what I remember Bangkok's nightlife being like back in the 1970s. I'd be sorry to see it go.
  7. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg, who must be about a thousand years old, is back in a Washington hospital again. Will Trump get to appoint another new justice? Which takes priority in Congress - impeaching a president or appointing a justice for life?
  8. CS, I have no problem with FDR domestically, but internationally he was a disaster. He was determined to get the US into the war against Hitler, so much so that he goaded Japan into attacking the US in hopes of doing so. The Pacific war did not need to have been fought. FDR was just lucky that Hitler declared war on the US after Pearl Harbor, because if he hadn't, FDR would have be f*cked. But by the last days of WWII, FDR was a hollow shell of a man, so out of touch that he let Stalin (who had entered the war as Hitler's ally) have everything he wanted in eastern Europe, including the half of Poland which he had annexed in 1939, all three Baltic States (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), the 700 year old Prussian capital of Koenigsberg, the easternmost province of Czechoslovakia, and a big hunk of Romania. He also allowed Stalin to give Germany's eastern provinces to Poland (expelling its entire population), and let Stalin annex whatever Japanese territory he wanted; he chose Karafuto (southern Sakhalin) and the Chishima (now Kurile) Islands. If FDR hadn't died when he did, we would probably have a divided Japan today, with a capitalist south and a communist north. Truman was shocked when he saw all that FDR had agreed to, but it was too late for him to do much about it, other than keeping Japan intact as one country. I have a friend whose father was an Royal Canadian Navy intelligence officer. Hhe told that his father said he couldn't believe how naive FDR was about his "kindly Uncle Joe", who was just as evil SOB as Hitler ever was.
  9. More fun and games. So is this recent enough?
  10. BB, it obviously seemed like a good idea in the late 18th century to the upper class gentlemen who were drawing up the Constitution, since back then you could still always challenge your opponents to a duel and settle arguments permanently. Maybe deuling isn't such a bad idea after all.
  11. I remember hearing it back when Moses was still in the bullrushes, and three score and ten is 70. (Except of course when counting votes in elections, when numbers can mean anything the party counting them wants them to mean.)
  12. The Check Inn 99 was evicted from it's old location a few years ago when the building owner got greedy. It moved out to Soi 33 and did well enough for a while, but then the great trio of Filipina singers quarrelled and finally broke up. After that the Check Inn fell on hard times and more or less closed its doors earlier this year. Some new Jazz club is at that location and as far as I knnow has nothing to do with the old Check Inn 99. https://coconuts.co/bangkok/features/check-out-time-say-goodbye-historic-bangkok-expat-spot-checkinn-99/
  13. Not that I know of. https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurants-g293916-c23-Bangkok.html
  14. So what do you think of FDR, who actually tried to pass legislation allowing him to appoint up to six more justices on the Supreme Court to ensure he could do whatever he wanted? "During Roosevelt's first term the Supreme Court struck down several New Deal measures as being unconstitutional. Roosevelt sought to reverse this by changing the makeup of the court through the appointment of new additional justices he hoped would rule his legislative initiatives did not exceed the constitutional authority of the government. Since the U.S. Constitution does not define the size of the Supreme Court, Roosevelt argued that it was within the power of the Congress to change it "The legislation was viewed by members of both parties as an attempt to stack the court, and was opposed by many Democrats, including Vice President John Nance Garner.[4][5] The bill came to be known as Roosevelt's court-packing plan."
  15. Here you go. Here's today's read. Alleged Ukraine whistleblower Eric Ciaramella was close friends at the White House with an official who is now a key aide to Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman leading the Democratic push to impeach President Trump. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/bro-like-schiff-aide-was-white-house-friend-of-alleged-whistleblower-eric-ciaramella
  16. I just remembered something else about the Thai Room. There was a sign over the entrance to the men's room that said ... "Beware of low door flame." They never did correct it, though many people must have commented to them on it. I even took my mother to dinner at the Thai Room when she came on a visit in 1983. She quite liked the Thai Room, though her German nurse friend wasn't too thrilled by Patpong. p.s. I used the green Santa because this afternoon I heard Christmas being played in the Tesco for the first time this year. Ho ho ho ...
  17. There you are, I knew Stickman would have it. "We opened the Mississippi Queen in October 1972. At that time there were quite a few ordinary shops in Patpong, travel agencies, airline offices, tailors' shops and assorted restaurants including Mizus Kitchen and Tip Top. The Thai Room restaurant was very popular on Patpong 2." https://www.stickmanbangkok.com/weekly-column/2013/04/the-patpong-of-old/
  18. The Thai Room on Soi Cowboy. It was there from VN War days to about the beginning of the 21st century. It had a fantastic menu of Thai, western, and vegetarian food, and waiters told me that foreign visitors sometimes asked to make a copy of the menu. I'd go there occasionally in the '70s, but in the early '80s it became my regular stop whenever I went to Patpong. A friend often went with me, and we would order a chicken in a basket and a large pizza, and split the meal between us. The food and service were consistently good, and the waiters remembered you. Someone bought it in the early 2000's, but they ruined it by changing the menu and cutting back on the portions and quality. Finally, the new owner turned it into just another go-go bar. The men's room was decorated with Trink the Dink sketches, plus the truthful statement "Joggers die healthier." (I knew two senior US Army officers who died of heart attacks when running in the States so they could keep and shape and not be forced to retire.) Here's part of the Trink the Dink graffiti. I met the "artist", an American who worked in Sow-Dee as it said on his T-shirt. He later wrote to Trink to apologise, saying he just did it for fun and didn't mean to insult him.
  19. As you said, I don't know if this constitues a crime, but it isn't exactly praiseworthy. Of course the Kennedys, Clintons and Bushes are gilty of the same thing. Joe Biden’s Family Has Been Cashing in on His Career for Decades. Democrats Need to Acknowledge That. While Democrats pursue the impeachment of President Donald Trump for pressuring foreign countries to investigate Joe and Hunter Biden, they are left making an argument that is at once true and electorally and ethically compromising: What Trump did — and continues to do — was an impeachable abuse of power, and it should be considered separately from the question of what Hunter Biden did. The problem for Democrats is that a review of Hunter Biden’s career shows clearly that he, along with Joe Biden’s brother James, has been trading on their family name for decades, cashing in on the implication — and sometimes the explicit argument — that giving money to a member of Joe Biden’s family wins the favor of Joe Biden. Democrats have been loath to give any credibility to the wild rantings of Trump or his bagman Rudy Giuliani, leaving them to sidestep the question of Hunter Biden’s ethics or decision-making, and how much responsibility Joe Biden deserves. Republicans, though, have no such qualms, and have made clear that smearing the Bidens as corrupt will be central to Trump’s reelection campaign. The Trump approach is utterly without shame or irony, with attacks even coming from failson Eric Trump. ... https://theintercept.com/2019/10/09/joe-hunter-biden-family-money/
  20. Burisma ... a Ukrainian oil company. "Its founder, Mykola Zlochevsky, served as Ukraine’s minister of ecology and natural resources under President Viktor Yanukovych, who was swept from office by mass protests in 2014. Following that uprising, Western governments pressed Ukraine’s new leaders to investigate corruption. One of the initial subjects was Zlochevsky, who was accused of money laundering and abuse of power. Zlochevsky has denied any wrongdoing." Biden's son was a lawyer for Burisma, receiving a heft salary for whatever it was that he did. Burisma was under investigation, and Trump claims that Pap Joe, then the Vice Pres, used his influence to keep his son from being investigated. However, that has never been proven. "Trump has said and tweeted that the Biden family “was paid off, pure and simple” and accused the family of corruption, extortion and “pillaging” foreign countries. He’s called them “stone-cold crooked” and publicly urged Ukraine and China to open criminal investigations of them." Bloomberg is the source for all of the above quotes.
  21. Looks like Marty Feldman. p.s. Here you go, Cav. Something to make your day.
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