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Everything posted by Bob

  1. True they were different times but not true that none of the press knew. But, back in the 60's and before, the press didn't print a lot of the private crap. After watergate, there seems to be nothing that's not fit to print about the President. I'm surprised they don't tell us if/when he has diarrhea (and, no, I have no clue if I spelled that right).
  2. I don't mind the shows that tell you ahead of time that nobody was seriously hurt in the particular videos they are going to show you. If they were seriously hurt or killed, it's nice to know that somebody would have the taste not to show them for somebody else's entertainment value.
  3. Correct. 60 votes to end a filibuster (debate) in the Senate (without the 60 votes to end it, nobody's voting on that bill ever). Presuming a filibuster is ended by 60+ votes, then the bill rises or falls on a majority vote (and, if it's 50/50, the President of the Senate - Joe Biden - gets to vote). House rules are different and a simple majority can ultimately jam something through.
  4. GW can't be totally ignorant simply because he's had all the privileges and education that money can buy; however, there were reports from classmates about his difficulties at Yale (which maybe in part were due to more of a lack of common sense and a whole lot of abuse of alcohol). But, face it, daddy did indeed get him the job at the oil company and his position with the baseball team. Those positions, along with being governor of Texas (which, yes, came to him because of his name and wealth and rich Republicans) were his sole background for becoming the President. Rather sad in my view (his daddy, given his background, was eminently qualified to be President). Not all troubles can be laid at the feet of GW or any President. But it'd be fairly easy to list many major FU (you can figure out that acronym) that GW did.
  5. Au contraire. If Obama and Clinton and others wouldn't have made these last ditch efforts, the polls reflected that she surely would have lost. We'll know tomorrow who wins/loses. Rather difficult to explain how the same state that elected Teddy Kennedy so many times also would vote for either Romney or any Republican. But it's happened before and will happen again. Inexplicable to me as Massachusetts isn't generally thought of as a swing state.
  6. Actually, the fact he decided to do the bj in the oval office only showed to me his tackiness. His real screw-up (figuratively speaking, of course) was to do it with an intern who was an employee of the White House. Not trying to be too crude here but doesn't everyone know about the maxim against messing with the hired help? (and/or haven't they read about all the lawsuits against bosses/supervisors for messing with their employees). And, then again, Clinton's real and only crime was lying about it under oath. Another example of what the woman comedienne used to say about men: There ain't enough blood in the world to fill both heads and have them both work properly at the same time.
  7. Most surgeons are very capable guys and the vast majority of surgeries are properly done. But, it doesn't make good news to print: "200 successful surgeries" were done at "x" hospital today." So, what they print is the odd bad one (yea, there are stupid and incompetent surgeons out there) and, because that's about all we see in print, one gets the false notion that the incidents of medical malpractice are more common than they actually are. Sorta like reporting car accidents in my dinky city. They report the two accidents - they don't report anything about the 200,000 safe trips made that day. Human nature.
  8. It absolutely is their procedure and required to double and triple check that they're going to operate on the correct knee. If your answer was any different from what their records showed, there would have been a grinding halt until that was straightened out. And it's also standard procedure for them to use a dry marker and write on the correct knee something to the effect "yes, this is it" and on the other something to the effect of "don't even think about touching this one, you bonehead!). The various people didn't ask because they didn't know.....they were just trying to make sure they knew 100%.
  9. Well, he is and he was. If you'd only read the books which have emanated from members of his own administration, I think you'd really believe that calling GW "dumb as a post" is rather kind.
  10. Especially if their ace reporter/photographer can get some really gross photos of a body wrapped around a street sign or something. I've always been fascinated by the different cultural views of various countries. Thai culture doesn't cotton nudity on the beach (which would look a heck of a lot better here than seeing the elderly and bloated bodies on nude or semi-nude beaches in Europe, for example)or public displays of affection (it's still rare to see young Thais kissing in public or even holding hands - although that later taboo is slowly going away); yet, they print photos in main-line newspapers that would rarely be shown in the west (other than, perhaps, in some of the worst rag sheets). Come to think of it, Thai movies weirdly are a bit more gorier than what one typically sees in the West too.
  11. I always understood "third-world" countries are undeveloped countries whereas "first-world" countries were the advanced countries (economically, anyway) in the world. While it may be logical to have "second-world" countries, I've never heard that term before. Not sure of the derivation of the term, but throughout my lifetime I've heard the term "third-rate" to describe something that's not very modern, cheap, or lowbrow. So, in general, I don't think the term "third-rate" or, for that matter, "third-world" generally means it's actually "third" but, rather, backward or not very developed.
  12. The only time that I get irritated is if/when the touts physically touch me or grab me by the arm. That hasn't happened in a few years (it used to happen to me quite a bit a decade ago in the Patpong area of Bangkok). A lot of the hassle, I think, is caused by how you look. I don't tend to make eye contact with them anymore nor do I hopefully carry that "geez, I'm new to Thailand and looking around for something to do" look which is sure to get you hassled a bit. And looking them straight in the eye and saying no ("mai ao" - which effectively means "I don't want") also seems to stop the barrage.
  13. Wino: If your friend attempts to get the extra 15 days at immigration (which I'd suggest he does solely to avoid the cost and hassle of the trip to Cambodia - and, if it doesn't work, he can still head to Cambodia), let us know the results, ok? I'm just curious as to whether it's truly possible.
  14. Damn, I have to get with it. I don't think I heard of POTUS before (except, maybe, on a tv show or in a movie) and I sure as hell have never heard or seen MILF before. Guess I'm FUCKED (stands for Fogey Under Constant Kinetic Energy Drain). By the way, anybody remember the line Robin Williams used in the movie Good Morning Vietnam in a bit of sarcasm to the geeky senior officer using too many acronyms. What he said: "Excuse me sir. Seeing as how the VP is such a VIP, shouldn't we keep the PC on the QT, because if it leaks to the VC, you could end up an MIA, and then we'd all be put on KP."
  15. Your logic flies over my head. Yes, the politicians (almost all of them millionaires) are elected by the "little" people but the little people don't have the connections or the financial wherewithall to run for political office. Let's see....Bloomberg (Mayor of New York) spent over a $100,000,000.00 (yep, that's right!) to just get elected. The US isn't that different from anywhere else - the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. And the studies show that the gap between the poor and the rich has been growing at an alarming rate since the early 1990's. Yea, I'll demonize the rich and feel fully justified in doing so. They keep getting a bigger slice of the pie and, if the trend keeps going, we'll see another revolution some day (and it damn well might be justified).
  16. I've been told that it is possible to get an extension of that length. It's totally up to the discretion of the immigration officer but it seems like your friend has a very good reason. He ought to try'll save him the necessity of making the long trip to Cambodia (yea, that's the closest place from Pattaya).
  17. Hey, watch that! Just wanted you to know that a post consulted with me today about filing a defamation suit!
  18. Absolutely. Like you said, any good relationship involves some effort by both parties. In Tiger's case, given the young age of the children, both parties should be exerting maximum efforts to get along for the sake of the kids. Even if they get divorced, they still need to support each other and be respectful of each other as life is simply too damn short to do it any other way (and, besides, they'll do a huge favor for the kids by doing so).
  19. Occasionally I am too.....and I take that as a positive sign. I'd recommend you not look at many of the Haiti photos floating around as some of them are really hard to take.
  20. I understand the natural inclination to look at a burning building or a bad accident; however, occasionally I feel a bit embarrassed by having done so. My guess is that a newspaper would substantially increase it's readership by showing graphic photos of accident victims; however, that wouldn't make it right.
  21. I'd support a flat tax for personal income taxes only if it's a graduated flat tax (where, maybe the first $15,000.00 of income is 0 tax, the next 10k is 5%, next 10k is 6%, etc.). Out of the millions of pages of the US tax code (with amendments), 99% are there to benefit the wealthy. With a flat tax, at least everybody would be treated the same with respect to the income reported. However, there's also a problem with the reporting of income - with the little guy having all his income being reported for him and the wealthy dudes the opportunity to simply not report a fair amount of their incomes (because they have a lot of sources other than a check from an employer).
  22. As usual, the Thai press does a lousy job of reporting the relevant facts (although it does the usual pathetic job of printing gross/inappropriate photos). It also seems every newspaper wants to be the National Enquirer (reporting that the diver died from serious injuries caused by the boat's propeller is probably okay but I don't see why a reader wants/needs to know the guy was almost cut in half....). Unknown if the divers were floating the usual bouys/flags that let others know they are diving in the area (if not, can't blame the speedboat that did the dirty deed; if so, then it's just another example of unqualified idiots driving boats).
  23. Bob

    A Miracle

    My mother had a condition where every so often her heart would start beating so rapidly they couldn't get a beat count (several hundred beats per minute). On one occasion, while my mother was sitting in a chair in the hospital hallway and, a bit tired but certainly alert and responsive, a young nurse (intern, probably) performed a blood pressure check on her. When her blood pressure essentially measured "zero" (there has to be a pressure differential to measure something), the young nurse started running down the hallway towards the nurse's station yelling "that lady is dead" (a somewhat strange diagnosis given the nurse was talking to my mother when she concluded my mother was indeed dead!). Although my mother did get a bit red in the face over all the attention, she, like everyone else in the vicinity, managed to laugh a bit over the young nurse's slight overreaction.
  24. I'm not sure....but it would seem a responsible thing for the hotels/resorts to advise their guests about that issue...especially if there's a rather dangerous section right near their establishment.
  25. I'm back home by the end of April so there's no way I'm going to try to handle filing the return from here. The accountant will file an extension for me and I'll get him the paperwork by the first week of May. Since I've paid some estimates, hopefully there won't be anything/much due (if so, "mai bpen rai"). By the way, while this has been mentioned before, it bears repeating: Any US citizen with a bank account out of the country which at any time in 2009 held the equivalent of $10,000.00 or more must report it to the US Treasury by June 15, 2010. There's a form at the Treasury website to handle this reporting.