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Everything posted by Flashermac

  1. Here you go ... not the same without Darel, but still a good bar. https://www.facebook.com/The.Dollhouse.Bangkok/
  2. Around 75 brands and 24,500 distribution channels under the Thai Retailers Association will stop providing plastic bags from January 1 in a bid to reduce the whopping 9 billion, or 20 per cent, of plastic bags used in Thailand. According to the Pollution Control Department, 45 billion plastic bags are used each year in the country – 18 billion, or 40 per cent, by local markets and street vendors, 13.5 billion, or 30 per cent, by retail shops, and another 30 per cent by department stores and supermarkets. Each Bangkokian uses eight plastic bags daily on average, which totals 80 million plastic bags per day. Association president Worawut Oonjai said that 75 brands under its umbrella joined forces to reduce plastic waste and signed an agreement to stop providing plastic bags on the fourth day of each month last year. Retail shops and department stores have from December 4, 2018, until August 31, 2019, been promoting non-plastic use with reward points. The effort resulted in a reduction of 2 billion plastic bags – a 4.6 per cent decrease. After discussions with department stores, convenience stores and retail shops in November, the association decided to introduce a campaign titled “Every Day Say No to Plastic Bags”, under which all its members will stop providing such bags. Worwut believes this campaign will produce more effective results than the government’s road map to eliminate plastic bags from Thailand by 2028. https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30378996?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=internal_referral Better get yourself an old fashioned cloth bag to take shopping with, the way it used to be in the UK and Australia around 50 years ago.
  3. So veterans aren't part of the public any more?
  4. Yo, Coss ... Pew survey: Vets’ support of Trump as commander exceeds public’s, but some question his military judgment https://www.stripes.com/news/veterans/pew-survey-vets-support-of-trump-as-commander-exceeds-public-s-but-some-question-his-military-judgment-1.598182
  5. The currency's rise is expected to continue well into 2020 and bring far-reaching consequences to an already sputtering economy. More than two decades ago, the baht suffered heavy devaluation as a result of speculation, forcing Thailand's central bank to de-link the local currency from the US dollar and adopt a managed floating exchange rate. Fast-forward to the present and the baht's value has become a challenge for the trade-reliant economy. This time the local currency's strength is the issue, as opposed to drastic depreciation during the 1997 financial crisis. The last time the baht's value against the greenback touched 29 was in 2013. The currency appreciation irked many businesses and policymakers to the point that there was a public rift between Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong and former central bank governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul, as the latter did not acquiesce to the former's demand to cut the policy interest rate to curb the appreciation. The strong baht in 2019 is a result of Thailand's massive current account surplus. The surplus, worth US$26.4 billion (797 billion baht) on a year-to-date basis as of September, stems from lower import value compared with export value, inflows of tourism revenue and near-record foreign reserves of about $222 billion. Ample foreign reserves have made Thailand stand out as a safe haven to park capital, either for actual investment or speculation, amid the US dollar's significant retreat, rattled by the shaky future of the global economy, the Federal Reserve's monetary easing and a tit-for-tat trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies. The baht is the top-performing currency in Asia, gaining nearly 8% against the greenback year-to-date, even as Thailand bears the brunt of subdued growth yet again. Domestic economic growth was 2.4% year-on-year in the July-to-September period, up slightly from the second's quarter 2.3% reading but down from the first quarter's 2.8%.Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said recently that the baht was surging beyond the economy's fundamentals and the central bank was concerned about its strength. Given that capital inflows should be balanced against outflows to ease pressure on the baht, the central bank aims to radically overhaul the Exchange Control Act. The act, which has been in place for more than 70 years, was drafted based on a perspective of positive risk, referring to how local investors, who are eligible to invest abroad, must meet the stipulated criteria. The existing paradigm of global financial developments should register negative risks, since investors can freely invest in overseas assets as long as they are not involved in prohibited activities such as speculation. This fits well with the modern world because there is a high degree of flexibility, Mr Veerathai said. The central bank is also poised to change its outdated foreign reserve management, as asset allocation is restricted to traditional asset classes. To curb the baht's strength, thinking outside of the box is needed because Thailand is a small economy, said Jittipol Puksamatanan, chief strategist at Krungthai Bank. He suggested the central bank encourage banks to offer cheap-rate loans to importers or any companies planning to invest or acquire businesses outside the country to accelerate capital outflows and ease pressure on the baht. The central bank could also offer to absorb foreign exchange hedging costs for institutional investors, including the Government Pension Fund and the Social Security Fund, to encourage them to plough more money into overseas markets, Mr Jittipol said. He agreed with Mr Veerathai that the central bank should change the way foreign reserves are managed and focus on investments other than US treasury bills. "The baht is managed against only the US dollar, and the dollar's weakness is the problem as market players shun it," Mr Jittipol said. He gave Singapore as an example. The Monetary Authority of Singapore will do nothing if the US dollar becomes weaker or firmer, as the regulator manages the Singapore dollar against a basket of currencies of major trading partners. Moreover, the Bank of Thailand should clearly communicate with market participants that it will manage the currency until the baht moves to a level considered appropriate and seriously take action to thwart a one-sided bet, Mr Jittipol said. "I think the central bank might be concerned that the US will include Thailand on its watchlist of currency manipulators, so only a handful of activities in managing the baht have been spotted," he said. Monetary policy easing has a minuscule effect on the baht against the backdrop of an existing low-rate environment, but a negative policy rate would blunt the baht's gain. "The central bank, however, would avoid cutting the benchmark rate to below zero because it could pose a threat to the economy," Mr Jittipol said. [more and more] https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/1806469#cxrecs_s
  6. The Doll House in Soi Cowboy. Meanwhile ... Rain, cold weather forecast for next week Rain from a tropical storm will precede cold weather from China next week, with temperatures forecast to drop up to 5C in upper Thailand. Several northeastern and eastern provinces have been warned about the rain brought by the Nakri tropical storm, which will make landfall in Vietnam on Sunday and Monday. Another wave of cold weather from China will follow, resulting in thunderstorms in all regions from Wednesday to Friday, according to a Meteorological Department forecast issued on Saturday.Tropical cyclone Nakri in the middle of the South China Sea weakened to a tropical storm on Saturday morning. It is moving westward tothe Vietnamese coast at 13km/h. Its influence will affect the weather in Thailand from Monday to Wednesday. Slight to moderate rain is forecast in Mukdahan, Yasothon, Amnat Charoen, Ubon Ratchathani, Si Sa Ket, Surin, Sa Kaeo, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat. From Wednesday to Friday, strong high pressure from China will cover upper Thailand, resulting in thunderstorms, initially in the Northeast and East, and then in the North and Central region. After that, the temperature will drop with strong winds, by 3-5C in the North and Northeast and more up mountains. Mercury will drop 2-4C in the Central region and the East. The Northeast monsoon which is covering the Gulf of Thailand and the South will gain strength, resulting in heavy rain in some areas and high waves up to 2m. https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1790799/rain-cold-weather-forecast-for-next-week
  7. At least the writer has the decency to admit that FDR had concentration camps too.
  8. So to be fair, let's look at the responses from veterans. I would say veterans by a huge majority back Trump over his opposition. This is not to say that Trump isn't crude, rude, and egotistical. There is much to fault in his behavior. But he has simply done more for the US military and the veterans than most other presidents going back quite a few years. Whoever Paddy McCabe is, he certainly isn't typical of other veterans. Trump actually is pulling our military OUT of conflicts, which is quite a change in itself.
  9. I knew a guy years ago who had both US and UK citizenship. The only time it caused a problem was when he left on his UK passport and came back on the US one. Immigration looked at his US passport and said, "How can we let you in when according to your passport you haven't left yet?"
  10. How did he get here without a passport? Can they also nail him for illegal entry?
  11. I haven't been in quite a while, but the DH when I went there looked about the same as before. They still had a good crop of dancers and had even put up a photo of Darrel. The downside was that no one welcomed customers any more, the way Darel and Mark always did. Under Darel's guidance, the DH had plenty of repeat customers who spent most of their time in LOS at the Doll House. I didn't get that feeling any more. p.s. I used to spend every NY Eve at the Doll House, but I haven't for several years since the people I used to go there to be with have mostly passed on to their reward.
  12. Soi 7? Good luck to them. I hope they've carefully checked all their leases. Remember what happened to Clinton Plaza.
  13. Which Pattaya are they talking about? The nightlife goes on as usual. But Pattaya is a large city these days, and the nightlife is only a very small part of it. Outside of the nightlife areas, Pattaya late in the evening has always been "dead". Meanwhile, back on the topic ... https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-asia-china-50596011/hong-kong-protesters-celebrate-thanksgiving I'm sure that one of Emperor for Life Xi's biggest fears is that the evil notion of human rights and democracy may infect other parts of the PRC and destroy the easy life that the Communist Party poohahs have so long enjoyed.
  14. "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
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. "Hey, Jeff ... looks like school just let out."
  18. 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. " .
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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.
  22. More fun and games. So is this recent enough?
  23. 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.
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