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About wwest5829

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    Chiang Mai, Thailand
  1. And certainly, for some, the relationship trips are nothing more than junkets. On the other hand, I would defend the thousands of folks participating in the Sister Cities exchanges I directed for my home city over a 20 year period. The exchanging of doctors, police, Scouts, musicians, Rotary, high school students, university summer study program students, fire, city services, etc. are very important for a mid-west American city where folks have little direct contact with others in the world. No one people have a lock on the best practices. With the US having a strong global military presence, the US citizen learning directly about peoples in other lands is critical. We need more direct contact, not more nationalistic isolation.
  2. I certainly condemn the stance of the Alt-right and the associated groups focused on Charlottesville. That established, as a student of history, I have to disagree with the removal of these symbols of US history. No problem with erecting statements at these monuments, if it is insisted, explaining what happened and the condemnation in current times but the explanations are best left in the hands of competent educators. 12 US Presidents held slaves, I do not want those associated with slavery in their times to be removed from long established public monuments. Educate ....
  3. Not a pipe dream, although it comes about from the wealth holders recognizing it is in their own best interest to lesson the wealth/control gap ( faced with this dilemma, the Roman patricians were known to acquiesce to a point). The steadfast defense of the status quo? No stopping the migration seeking believed better oppertunities elsewhere. Bottle them up? 1.) can't 2). the resulting strife, wars that we see and have seen in history... IMHO. The "balancing" I speak of is a return to historical norms, by the way, not an absolute individual economic equality...
  4. Guilty as charged, an American. Redeeming social value, in that, I have friends posting to my FB page from 5 continents including one FB friend in Italy who lets me know, in no uncertain terms the problems Italy is facing. I do not view the economic migration as much a problem of overpopulation as much as the economic issues you also have pointed out. It is not only corrupt officials in those countries ripping off the people and country resources. There is a long history of western economic interests ripping off the peoples of those lands. My point is that, in order to address the force behind the migration, an economic balancing must come about or the flow to regions rumored to have better economic potential. I do not know gov't policy in the EU as to support for illegal immigrants, in the US (never mind the right wing reports), the law does not allow public money support.
  5. Yes, and it will get worse and there is no stopping it with The Donald's wall, wealthy Americans buying guns, voting for Brexit or otherwise. Now, do we wring our hands or look for what is causing the mass migration? Wars ... gee, what a surprise people flee to safety. Economic income wealth gap ... gee people flee to where they believe there is better economic times. The income/wealth gap has grown too wide. It is not sustainable at this level. You do not want Middle Eastern migration? Stop bombing the people. Not rocket science ... read some history....
  6. Current road travel advice

    I am planning on driving from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, on to Hua Hin and then Krabi. Having a difficult time find current major highway problems (flooding closures). Your knowledge of current conditions appreciated. Departure August 9. Return trip from Krabi about August 22. Driving my Honda CR-V.
  7. 555 Go easy on the elderly over 70 ... When asked my age now, my phonetic answer is, "my yuum gay". "I have no age" or "I am ageless"! Well, retiring to Thailand has caused the aging to slow down. Thai females are surprised at my age. Yes, of course we all know, they are being kind to an old man.
  8. Have used U.S. Consulate Affidavit stating 65, 000 Baht monthly income since retirement here in Chiang Mai since 201. No issues.
  9. China hits back at Trump criticism over North Korea

    Unfortunately, too many Americans think the more guns make them safer, by extension...
  10. I do think I will follow the opinion of 97% of the world's scientists.
  11. Not suffering from testosterone poisoning but support international law. No China, or Russia do not have the right to seize sovereign or disputed territory unilaterally. Claiming 80 - 90% of the South China Sea for its resources and telling other countries they no longer have "freedom of the seas" in international waters? Nope, sorry China I support multinational action of sending ships and planes through international waters/airspace. The case has been adjudicated China does not have this as national territory. China takes action and she will ruin years of work that has been done to bring her into the community of nations. Great potential as a leading nation but...wrong headed action here.
  12. Fruit-"Wine" going up in price massively??

    Reminds me of my years with, "Reunite". If true...hard times for us, "oenophilists" (hey leave me alone, with an M.A. I am supposed to use this term rather than, "wino"!
  13. Humbling and balancing to realize we humans do not know nor control all in the universe around us.
  14. Do you get bored with your condo?

    Just a little other consideration I am looking at currently. I rented a house for 2 years when first coming to Chiang Mai but when opportunity came along to buy, refurbish and decorate my own condo, I bought. I have been very happy with the approx. 100 sq. m. condo but .... Currently I live alone and am over 70. Everything is fine but what happens when I croat? My Sons, in the US, come to Thailand to settle things here, including the sale of the condo, car, etc. Don't think so. Easier to go back to renting. A bit cleaner exit.
  15. "...probably unpleasant surroundings..." you think? Not a Hawk by any means but heroic deeds are well fulfilled under POW conditions. That said, we probably share the thught that the term, "hero" has been used to such a degree that everyne seems to qualify as a hero.