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Everything posted by Bob

  1. Bob

    US Role in Sept. 11

    I do hope, however, that there are enough intelligent people in Texas to shun this woman. Not only did she say something extremely stupid, then she retracted it and said she didn't believe what she already said. I've known a couple of guys who actually believe and say that the US was involved in the 9/11 attacks - they often argue that the planes couldn't have caused the collapse of the buildings and that's somehow proof that the US government planted explosives there ahead of time (knowing, of course, which buildings the terrorists would hit with the airplanes....). Real wackos (and, yes, I called them that to their faces).
  2. Ditto. And he (and the US) were really blessed that he had Robert Rubin as his Secretary of the Treasury. Fairly good times and some fairly intelligent managing of the economy and budgets.
  3. Right on! First, for me, was the hula hoop - and, yes, I and millions of other yanks looked dumber than hell playing with that. But the frisbee was not only fun, it was cool! (especially since the older generation at the time was totally clueless and uncoordinated as to how to properly throw the damn thing...hehe). In my dinky city in northern Michigan, they have a few of the frisbee golf deals set up and there seems to be quite a few kids (mostly college age) that play it. So, I guess it's still cool.
  4. I'm not sure about that but I'd like to distinguish between "French Canadians" in general and the french who live in Quebec. My first experience up there was when I was 19 and the people in the province of Quebec, excepting for those in the city of Quebec, seemed friendly as hell; but, I was absolutely appalled at the snotty and rude jerks in the City of Quebec. As soon as you speak English to them, their attitude changes and then you get this snotty "looking-down-their-nose" attitude from them. Rude as hell. [And I don't think this relates to my being an "American" as several non-french Canadian friends tell me they experience the same bad attitude when they go to Quebec, i.e., they seemed to equally despise anybody that speaks English] Not too dissimilar to what I've heard from friends over the years who visited France. I've been told by almost everyone that everybody outside of Paris was genuinely friendly; however, many have told me they will never go back to Paris itself due to how they were treated by the citizens there. I know there are good french tourists or I at least believe there must be; however (and this has been something I've said to friends for over a decade), when I run into rude tourists here in Thailand (especially in the Phuket area), more often than not they are french. I don't know if that's generally true but it's been my experience.
  5. Bob

    Forever Roman

    Lol. Nope, everybody has to right to post whatever they want as far as I'm concerned. Perhaps my wording was a bit awkward but what I meant to say was something to this effect: If you want to post something about Polanski that is flatly contradicted by his sworn testimony in court, go right ahead but expect somebody else to call you a pinhead for doing so. For example, somebody surely would have the right to post the following: "I believe he stated he did not know she was underage. If my memory serves me right, in the photo I saw she had rather large breasts. In my opinion and judging from the photo I saw, she could have easily passed as an eighteen year old." Before I even read the sentencing transcript, I do believe that I made some comment that there was no possible way that the judge could accept the guilty plea without Polanski admitting in court that he knew the girl was a minor at the time. Hmmm, guess I was right. And I do sincerely hope that we don't have to hear any more of the "Oh, but Polanski said...." explanations given we've got his sworn testimony; besides, if what you said is true (that Polanski said he didn't know she was a minor), then I suppose we can add "serial liar" to the other lovely attributes that Polanski can claim title to.
  6. Always amazing to see people that have earned millions piss it all away. But a lot of them were young and stupid (versus "old and stupid", I suppose), had no clue how to manage money, and presumed it would last forever. I remember when my home state started the state lottery some 30(?) years ago or so. The original deal was for a million dollars (but paid at the rate of $50,000.00 a year for 20 years) and too many of the winners were dumb enough to think they were millionaires. Supposedly, 4 out of the first 7 winners ended up filing bankruptcy.
  7. Hmmmm....not sure where to begin. Depends on what kind of food I'm looking for. Okay, I'll do breakfast only. For falang breakfast here in Chiangmai, my favorite undoubtedly is Bake & Bite. They've got at least two places here (one on Soi 6, Nimmanhaemin, and another east of the Nakornping Bridge). Great staff, the food is prepared very well, and the bread (whole wheat, white and/or 7-grain) they use for toast is most excellent. For Thai breakfast (for me, read: kao man gai!), the best place in town in my view is on the east side of Sirimankalajarn (that's the next main street east of Nimmanhaemin) around Soi 3 or so. But, while that's the best place, I've enjoyed eating kao man gai (rice with chicken on top, usually some cucumbers on the side, and usually an accompanying bowl of chicken soup/broth) just about everywhere I've found it including the cafeterias at the mall.
  8. Bob

    Forever Roman

    Rucus, thank you very much for posting that. And I'd suggest that anybody that doesn't read it ought to quit commenting substantively about what happened or what Polanski admitted to. As I noted before, the Judge went through an exhaustive effort to not accept any plea until there was a clear admission of all of the elements of the crime. For brevity, I'll only quote a couple of the comments (again, folks, Polanski is under oath here!): On Page 14: Question: Did you understand that she was 13 on March 10th, 1977, when you had sexual intercourse with her? Polanski: Yes. A few pages before that, you'll notice that the Judge told him quite explicitly that Polanski could get 1-20 years in prison for pleading guilty to the offense and Polanski answered "yes" to whether he understood that the Judge had not as yet determined what the sentence would be [so much for Polanski's claim that the Judge was going to violate a plea deal - as there was no plea deal with the Judge!]. Polanski also answered "yes" to a question as to whether he understood that the prosecutor could argue for county jail or prison time [Again, so much for what Polanski claimed was a "sentencing deal" with the prosecutor!]. Finally, the Judge told Polanski that, before sentencing, Polanski had to go for a 45-day examination at the state hospital to determine if Polanski was an MDSO (Mentally Disordered Sex Offender} and, if he was determined to be one, that Polanski could be sent to a state psychiatric prison hospital for an indeterminate period of time. Again, Polanski said "yes" to whether he understood that potential problem. Polanski went for the 45-day examination at the state hospital and it was right after that when he fled the jurisdiction. I don't know (but I smell) that Polanski maybe didn't like what they determined. We'll know for sure if/when Polanski returns to California. In any event, I would hope that anybody who reads this sentencing transcript will not believe a single word Polanski has uttered outside of Court. End of story.
  9. For guys like Jagger, it'd be hard to contemplate that he would need the money. But I would imagine that they simply have to get the adrenaline rush, as you say, of performing live before adoring fans. And, for some of them, it's probably fun in part to perform and to be around your long-time friends. While most of them probably love their home life and private time, the urge to essentially go party and be treated like royalty has to tug at their hearts occasionally.
  10. My guess is we've all been in buildings (discos, for example) in Thailand that, if you really thought about a fire happening, you might leave the building before that ever happened presuming you had a fair amount of common sense. There are many unlicensed establishments in premises that haven't been inspected (plus, as you may have noticed, the presence of a fire suppression system such as a sprinkler system is extremely rare). The Santika fire in Bangkok last year is an example of a disaster waiting to happen. Not inspected, not properly inspected, overloaded with people, etc. And what's worse sometimes is the practice of some establishments to block, lock, or chain the few emergency exits that a place might have (presuming there are any). But, like everybody else, we expats rarely worry about such things. Typically we're in an open-air bar or restaurant and that poses little risk to anybody (easy to get out of there). I've on rare occasion noted to a friend that the place we were in at the time sure seemed like a fire deathtrap but, frankly, that hasn't stopped me yet.
  11. This board has been great so far as most posters have been fairly respectful and adult in their discussions and disagreements. This particular post (which I think is rather stupid and childish), I hope, is not a sign of things to come.
  12. If that's possible (other than the case where the insurance company providing the coverage chooses to allow continued coverage), I'm not aware of it. One of the big issues in the current health care debate is that currently an insurance company can deny you coverage if you have any underlying condition that they don't want to insure. If somebody already has a heart issue or some cancer condition, they simply won't currently insure you (or they will take your money and exclude from coverage certain pre-existing conditions). A single insurance company shouldn't be forced to accept pre-existing conditions while other insurance companies won't do that - and, to cover anybody and to economically spread the risk, that's why the current legislation requires every insurance company to accept every applicant regardless of pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, it currently looks like there will be no significant change in how the health insurance system works (badly in many cases) in the US.
  13. Bob

    Forever Roman

    Until you read her testimony, why speculate. Fairly easy to do. And she was still 13 when she testified. I'm not sure which photo you're referring to and I also don't know how old she was when it was taken. Regardless, part of the issue is what she looks like in person versus what a photo might show (and both of those might be rather different). Besides, even if she was 80, it was still the crime of rape when it was non-consensual. As to the paedophile comment I made about Polanski. Sorry, I stand by that comment and he can try to sue me (that'd be a laugh). He photographed this particular girl more than once in varying stages of undress and that alone, along with his rape of this girl, qualifies for that term. But I also happen to believe that he's shown an unusual interest in very young girls otherwise. And I'm sorry again that you simply don't understand how the plea system works. A judge cannot accept a guilty plea unless the person pleading guilty acknowledges all the elements of the crime (i.e., Polanski couldn't have just said "guilty" without acknowledging that he was aware he was having sex with an underage person - as that was a significant element of the crime he was charged with). He did not say in court "well, I guess now I understand she was 13 but, at the time, I thought she was of legal age" because, had he said that, then the Court could not have accepted the guilty plea. So Polanski admitted under oath in Court that he was aware he was diddling a minor. Any comment Polanski makes (like zillions of other criminals) afterwards not under oath that contradicts what he said in Court ought to be ignored and, frankly, laughed at.
  14. Bob

    Forever Roman

    I simply don't understand the problem here with understanding what happened. The grand jury testimony of the girl is online and I'd suggest that anybody that might even harbor the possibility of any sympathy for Polanski read it. Polanski met the girl at her mother's house (and the mother was younger than Polanski). And we're not talking about consensual sex with a 13-year-old either - we're talking about rape here. Her testimony was that she told him no repeatedly but he continued anyway. And she was telling him no repeatedly even after he gave her champagne and a qualude. And he shouldn't go to jail for that?
  15. Mick Jagger's in fantastic shape for his age. But it doesn't matter to me, every time I see him I'm aware he's over 65 and I wonder why he's still at it.
  16. Yea, it's the same coverage but you pay for that coverage as if you were a single-payor (one person) policy - which is why the "Cobra" rate is so much more than what the employer paid.
  17. I think everybody agrees with you (although it was accurately noted that black Americans in the US on occasion use the term between themselves in a different manner - though there are some black Americans that object even to that).
  18. Lol. I'll go with that too so long as they're permanently put out of our collective misery.
  19. Having been to hundreds (thousands?) of hotel buffet breakfasts over the years, it all seems rather hit or miss most of the time. Usually, but not always, it seems the food is better earlier rather than later. Probably depends on a whole lot of things - who's on duty cooking at that time, how long it's been since they cooked the stuff, how sloppy some customers are mixing this with that, etc. But, you know, it really can't be easy to run a buffet line. First you gotta cook the stuff right and make sure it looks presentable. Then you've got to try to keep it hot/warm while not drying it out or overcooking the stuff. It is probably a somewhat impossible task.
  20. If at all possible (when the time and ability arises), could you please extend the right to edit for at least 10 minutes or so(actually an hour would be even better). Like everybody else, I end up reading what I've posted within a few minutes of posting something and see that my spelling or grammar was a bit off and/or that I omitted something - only to find out that the system won't let me edit it. I can understand a time limit but it's way too short with this board.
  21. Any analogy which would infer that Hitler "looked good" compared to anybody is a choice of words I'd never employ. I'm not criticizing anybody else's right to say things like that but there are just some people whose evil is so deep and ingrained that they don't deserve anything but pure condemnation. Hitler and Pol Pot are a couple of examples that come to mind (but the world, unfortunately, has had so many other monsters that deserved nothing more than a swift killing).
  22. Yes, it's happened years ago....but, of course, there are those that argue that not enough has been done (there ain't enough money in the world to make everything perfectly safe).
  23. All repressive regimes (i.e., dictatorships) need to control what information goes to their citizens - that's how they "keep 'em down on the farm." But, thankfully, eventually (as Russia learned) the citizens seem to see the light although some of the really repressive regimes that tightly control information (North Korea being a good example of that) can last for many, many, decades. The North Koreans, for example, are indoctrinated that they are actually better off than their South Korean counterparts and the average North Korean has no access to all the information out there that would prove that claim totally false! (which, given reality, is an unbelievably incredible job of duping your own citizens)
  24. Correct.....although I trust you know that Cobra only applies in those situations where a company has 50 or more employees (the vast bulk of the small businesses in the US have less than 50 employees) and the company provides health insurance (and, as noted, not all do). And Cobra really is only for those with a significant pre-existing condition. Cobra, when it applies, allows an ex-employee to continue the coverage for 18 months but at the single-payor rate (a cost that is much higher, often double or more, than what the employer had to pay for the same coverage). So, if you're fired while you're getting cancer treatment, you really have no choice but to pay the higher rate for the continued coverage (for 18 months anyway) as no other company will cover you for your pre-existing coverage. So, effectively, Cobra coverage is only worthwhile for those with pre-existing conditions (other than that, the terminated employee can usually find cheaper or more suitable health insurance coverage elsewhere).
  25. Yep, drug dealing has been increasing especially within the last year. There's an enhanced operation going on now near the Burmese border to try to slow it down (even if successful, millions of yaba pills are still getting through each month). I'm heading up closer to the border this afternoon and I'm curious to see if the various highway checkpoints will be enhanced. We'll see. As concerns what "farangs seemed to think", I don't quite go that way. I get my information (as sparse as it may be given the usual lack of good investigative reporting in the Thai press) from various Thai newspapers which I tend to read every day. Most falang don't even do that and get much of their "information" while pounding down some beers (i.e., believing what the average falang over here thinks is probably worse than knowing nothing).