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I always wished to travel to North Korea as a tourist.

I have always wanted to travel to Cuba as a tourist.

I did travel to East Germany before the wall came down.

I have been to North Vietnam before the influx of tourism and US recognition.


I just like to view how Communism screws things up so badly.



It's bigger than that. A government propping up failed enterprises.


Think General Motors. Think all the Wall Street criminals and their banks that tax payers had to pay to keep them alive.


That is the Communism, unseen in self declared communist countries.

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Singapore is SE Asia, does it fall into that "as in the rest of SE Asia"?


Good point, but Singapore wasn't inherently 'corruption free'. Whatever his faults, I often wonder if Australia could use a benevolent dictator like 'The Father of Singapore'.




Like many countries, Singapore had problems with political corruption. Lee introduced legislation giving the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) greater power to conduct arrests, search, call up witnesses, and investigate bank accounts and income-tax returns of suspected persons and their families.


Lee believed that ministers should be well paid in order to maintain a clean and honest government. In 1994, he proposed to link the salaries of ministers, judges, and top civil servants to the salaries of top professionals in the private sector, arguing that this would help recruit and retain talent to serve in the public sector.


I found the 'well paid' paragraph interesting - several here have pointed to the low pay that most Thai cops get as prime motivation for ongoing corruption, particularly as the gap between rich and poor widens in Thailand. Somehow I cant see the middle class agreeing to higher taxes to increase the pay packets of the boys in brown.

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Cheetah, real star of the Tarzan movies, is dead at 80: The chimp that made Weissmuller look wooden


There were the occasional tantrums, of course, but, old trouper that he was, he liked to put smiles on people’s faces right up until the end.


Cheetah was every inch the Hollywood star – though just how many inches depended on whether he was walking on two legs or four at the time.


Now, Cheetah, who played Tarzan’s chimp companion in the classic black and white Johnny Weissmuller films of the 1930s, has peeled his last banana. The primate sanctuary in Florida where he lived has announced that he has died of kidney failure.


The sanctuary says he was aged ‘roughly 80’, which would make him the world’s oldest chimp by some margin as they don’t usually live beyond 60 in captivity. Animal lovers and film buffs are united in mourning an icon that last year was hailed by Entertainment Weekly magazine as No 1 in its Top Ten Monkeys at the Movies.



King of the movies:Johnny Weissmuller, right, as Tarzan, Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane, and Cheetah the chimpanzee, in a scene from the 1932 movie Tarzan the Ape Man


‘It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member,’ the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbour announced on its website.


According to spokesman Debbie Cobb, Cheetah – aka Mike – had been there more than half a century and spent his twilight years indulging his passions for finger painting and football. He listened to ‘non-denominational’ Christian music and entertaining visitors.


Adorable when young, male chimps generally become very aggressive in adulthood. Not so the primate who, in the 1934 film Tarzan and His Mate, nursed his man-friend back to health after he was critically wounded; or who five years later, rescued a baby from a crashed plane in Tarzan Finds A Son.


Cheetah lived at the sanctuary since 1960.


He was never a chimp that ‘caused a lot of problems’, Miss Cobb said.


‘He was very compassionate, very in tune to human feelings. He could tell if I was having a good day or a bad day,’ she said.


‘He was always trying to get me to laugh if he thought I was having a bad day.’


Ron Priest, a volunteer at the sanctuary, said Cheetah stood out from the sanctuary’s 14 other chimps because of his ability to stand up with his shoulders straight, and walk like a person. The chimp, who never fathered any offspring, had another unusual habit, he added. ‘When he didn’t like somebody or something that was going on, he would pick up some poop and throw it at them,’ he said. ‘He could get you at 30ft with bars in between.’


Such technical precision will not surprise those who have watched Cheetah in action in what was the golden era of Tarzan films.


Hollywood has been churning out films about the jungle wild man since 1918 – the most recent, No 89, came out in 2008. But while Weissmuller was not the first screen Tarzan, he was the longest lasting and is generally regarded as the definitive one.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sad announcement to make:\


English Paul, the manager at the Moonshine Pub (Suk Soi 22, Queens Park),

his father (Ned) passed away very unexpectedly a few days ago.

Ned was 75 years young and for those that knew him, he was a real trooper!


Ned will be moved from the hospital to the Wat tomorrow morning.


More info as it happens.

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Good Lord, who would have imagined Cheetah was still around. :rip:


Exactly - I just assumed that there were several chimps playing 'Cheetah'. Jane Goodall, probably the foremost authority on chimpanzees, claims their personalities mirror humans in every way. Her biggest disappointment was when she realised they will kill their own kind, just as we do. I'm not an authority on Darwin, but didnt we get said personality traits from the apes ?


One thing she said that I didn't realise is that you can safely transfuse blood from a chimpanzee with the same blood type as the human recipient. Something very dark about that, IMO - shades of the Chinese milking bears for their bile.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Surprised I didn't see Etta James on here. She was 're-discovered' when a Jaguar car commercial had her hit 'At Last' as its theme song. I didn't know who she was but loved the song. I asked my parents about her when I first heard it and my dad said I should know who she was but had my head filled up with that rap stuff to appreciate good music (sidenote: why am I sorry I ever ask them anything? They only criticize me...arghhh!!)


Anyway, I read her life story and hers was basically a poster child story for how a lot of black singers career was in those days. Glad she could re-capture some popularity before she died.

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