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About nisakiman

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  1. When I was in Ubon earlier this year I was fully loaded with duty free from Doha, so didn't have to look. I'd suggest trying a few of the central seven-elevens. I picked up a pack of GV in a 7/11 in Kanchanaburi, which I know is more farang orientated, but I'm sure you'll find that a 7/11 where farang tend to go (near Big C, or something) will stock it. Failing that, get your local 7/11 to order it in and tell them that you'll be a regular customer.
  2. Succinct and to the point. One of the best posts I've read on the subject, and entirely concurrent with my point of view. I've been saying the same for fifty years, but the narrative deployed by the prohibitionists, with all the emotive BS is the only one that is heard. It's not drugs per se that are the problem, it's the drug laws that create the misery and perpetuate the problem.
  3. If you read what I've written, I suggested a system whereby the Thai government takes 15 billion baht per annum to cover basic hospital costs. They should end up with a profit, not a loss.
  4. It's all very well saying that 'everyone must have insurance', but as already pointed out, anyone over 60 will find it both difficult and expensive to get any insurance, and if they have any pre-existing conditions, it becomes almost impossible. And how many people who come to Thailand are over 60? A high percentage, I would imagine. And they probably put more into the Thai economy than young families who don't have the same disposable income. I said this in the other thread, but the only way I see around it is to have a mandatory fee that must be paid on entry (or exit, which might be easier) by everyone - 500 Baht perhaps (500 Baht X 30 million visitors = 15 billion Baht) which would cover everyone for basic healthcare at a state hospital. The majority of visitors would prefer to have insurance that will provide a higher level of care in a private hospital, so only a small percentage would, if the need arose, have to be treated under the state scheme. It's not a perfect system, but 500 Baht is not so much that people would refuse to pay (or refuse to come to Thailand). We used to have a 500 Baht departure tax, and everyone just paid it. We may have grumbled a bit, but it wasn't a bank-breaking sum. Also, the idea of having to check everyone's insurance is just a non-starter.
  5. Are we talking about this: or the real thing: Now the arrival of Czech Budweiser really would be something to celebrate! American Bud is distinctly underwhelming - I'd rather have a Beer Lao.
  6. If they really want to cover unpaid medical bills, as has already been suggested, a fee of 500 Baht on arrival for all tourists would be the easiest to administer. That money should then be ring-fenced to pay any medical fees in a government hospital for the uninsured. Most people will still prefer to have private insurance anyway and be treated in a private hospital. I don't know what the estimated costs of treating uninsured foreigners is on a yearly basis, but 500 Baht times 30 million(?) arrivals is 15 billion Baht. I would have thought that would cover it. And 500 Baht isn't a huge sum of money that people would recoil in horror at paying. It would, of course, require the airports to install enough ticket / token dispensing machines that can take multiple currencies throughout the whole arrivals area of the airport, which would be the sticking point, probably. There's no way they would be able to check the insurance of each and every arrival. It would be an impossible task.
  7. The only place I know is Jay-Jay in Nakhonban Road. I've never used them - I only know because the in-laws live just down the road from there, and I walked past it often. They've been in operation for at least ten years (which is when I first saw the shop), so I guess they must be fairly reliable to have stayed in business that long. Scam artists don't tend to hang around.
  8. Smokers contribute little? Are you serious? Have you any idea what the figures are? According to the (doubtless exaggerated, but we'll take them at face value for now) NHS figures, 'smoking related' diseases cost the NHS £2.7 billion per annum. The UK government collects £12 billion per annum in tobacco taxes. So smokers pay more than four times as much in taxes than they supposedly cost the health service. So in effect, smokers are subsidising the health care of everyone else. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. And the reason the NHS is on it's knees has absolutely nothing to do with smokers, drinkers, fatties or footballers. The biggest cost to the NHS (which they desperately need to address, and soon), is the money paid out in compensation claims. Of the total NHS budget of £116 billion, fully HALF goes on compensation claims. Yes, HALF THE TOTAL BUDGET. Just think what they could do with an extra £58 billion a year!
  9. Well, my goodness! So many misinformed / brainwashed posters on here tonight! The smoker-haters are really out in force! Propaganda is a powerful tool indeed! I don't suppose it's ever occurred to any of you indoctrinated ones that the 'Baby-Boomer' generation, of which I am one, grew up in a constant fug of tobacco smoke. And many of us went on to smoke ourselves for years, if not all our lives. And that we are the fittest, healthiest, longest-lived generation ever. Fitter and healthier than the current generation, who seem to be plagued with allergies, asthma and obesity. And I suppose it's just one of those oddities of life that the majority of super-centenarians were for most of their lives smokers. And that the countries with the highest smoking rates are for the most part leaders in the longevity stakes. And that as smoking rates have fallen, the numbers of non-smokers getting lung cancer has inexorably risen (80% or thereabouts of lung cancer cases are now in non-smokers). It couldn't be, perhaps, that smoking wasn't the cause in the first place, could it? And it's odd, too, that before the 1940s, lung cancer was a rare disease, and then in the late 1940s, it suddenly spiked. Now that could perhaps be because diesel engines were being increasingly used: Or it could have something to do with this? But with either of those scenarios being a possible reason for the sudden rise in cases of lung cancer, the governments of the day had a very strong motivation to find a red herring to explain it away and avoid very expensive litigation. And what better than smoking? We can blame it on what people are doing to themselves! Brilliant! That absolves us of all responsibility! Plus we can tax the hell out of it and tell people we're doing it for their own good! Magnificent! Win win! And the fact that the connection between smoking and lung cancer is still only a hypothesis which has never been demonstrated under scientific conditions only lends weight to that theory. Personally, I would imagine that if someone is genetically inclined to contract lung cancer, or has been exposed to known carcinogens like radioactive plutonium fallout, then smoking will quite possibly exacerbate the situation and is probably not a good idea, despite all its benefits. Although when a cohort of rats bred to be susceptible to cancer, and who when exposed to tiny amounts of radioactive plutonium died 100% of the time were found to be protected from that cancer if exposed to tobacco smoke first, it makes one wonder. That finding was accidental, by the way. There was a mix up with the cohorts being used for experiments, and the rats who were smoking the equivalent of a hundred or so fags a day were accidentally sent to the plutonium experiment. Imagine the consternation when 60% of the cohort survived! Ha! I bet some heads rolled! It was hushed up, of course. Mustn't send the wrong message, must we now? Smoking is BAD! BAD! BAD! Ok? I realise that all you indoctrinated ones are going to pile in now with all your propaganda soundbites that you read in the Daily Mail or New York Times or wherever, but that's because you don't understand the nature of the beast known as Tobacco Control. Tobacco Control has grown into a huge global industry, drawing its billions of dollars budget from the massively overtaxed smoker, the vested interests of the pharmaceutical industry and the unsuspecting taxpayer via the WHO. There are so many snouts in the Tobacco Control trough that it's budget is more than most small countries. So of course, the gravy train must be kept rolling. And the propaganda machine must be kept funded. And because people get tired of being shouted at, they are constantly having to ramp up the shrill rhetoric. Whereas originally it was enough to tell people that smoking gave them lung cancer, as that palled, the stakes had to be raised. "Smoking clogs your arteries!"; "Smoking gives you gangrene!"; "Smoking causes diabetes!"; "Smoking makes you infertile!"; "Smoking makes you impotent!"; "Smoking turns you blind!"; etc etc etc. Every time they think interest is flagging, they commission some new 'research' (the results of which are preordained) and churn out yet another 'smoking-related disease'. They're running out of stuff to blame on smoking now, but it doesn't half make the figures for 'smoking-related deaths' look good! Just about everyone dies a 'smoking-related' death now! Doubtless we'll be told that smoking causes ingrown toenails and mountaineering accidents next. Because that's what Tobacco Control do. They lie. Blatantly. And if anyone calls them out on any of their lies, they immediately accuse the whistle-blower of being in the pay of 'Big Tobacco'. The anti-smoking issue isn't about health. It never has been about health. It's about social engineering, It's about money. It's about power. And it's about control. And the people directing the anti-smoking pogrom are completely devoid of morals, honesty or compassion.
  10. Ha! Love it! :) I'll remember to start drinking lots of green tea!
  11. Countries don't have drugs problems, they have drugs laws problems. Had the moralistic, self-righteous finger-waggers not prevailed nearly a century ago, there wouldn't be a 'drugs problem'. I've seen the results of the heavy-handed prosecution of drugs laws unfold before my very eyes. I arrived in Melbourne in the early part of 1971. When I got there, there was loads of home produced grass on the streets. Zombie grass, they called it, and it was cheap and plentiful and good. Ok, it may have demotivated some of the kids somewhat, but it was basically a benign alternative to booze and did no-one any harm. The Australian authorities, in their wisdom, decided to crack down hard on all this grass on the streets ('can't have people enjoying something we personally don't approve of, can we now'), and over the course of the next year or so managed to pretty well eradicate all the growers and the dealers and remove it as a choice. Of course, busting people for grass is pretty easy, because it's bulky and it has a pungent aroma. To turn a good profit, you need to ship truckloads of the stuff. Inevitably, as supplies of grass diminished, supplies of heroin increased. When the grass was around, the heroin users were a tiny subset that were so few in number that you wouldn't have known they existed. But heroin is concentrated, easy to conceal (you could fit a king's ransom's worth in a small suitcase), easy to cut with other stuff like sugar, and high profit margin. So where the grass disappeared from the streets, it was largely replaced by heroin. Over the next few years I lost several good friends to it (people who I know would never have been tempted to even try it had they had access to their buzz of choice; grass), and heroin addiction was reaching almost epidemic proportions. This was a direct result of drugs laws. Without those laws, nobody would have been interested in taking heroin. Without the demand, there would have been no supply. And the same applies to Thailand. When I travelled through Thailand in '71, I was offered a bong (bamboo water pipe) nearly everywhere I went. It was part of the culture, and nobody thought twice about it, even though it was technically illegal. The police didn't seem interested. There was no meth on the streets in Thailand then, or if there was, I never saw any evidence of it. It's only since there has been a crackdown on grass that the more easily concealed and higher profit margin drugs have made an appearance, to devastating effect. Portugal has been mentioned several times in this thread, and not without good reason. They (the Portugese) have looked at the problem, and have come to the (correct) conclusion that the problem lies more in the law than it does in the drugs themselves. As long as drugs are illegal, they will continue to be an escalating problem. Prohibition doesn't work. It never has, and it never will. And that applies equally to drugs, tobacco and alcohol. All you achieve with prohibition laws is to drive the trade underground, lose any semblance of quality control and create a highly profitable criminal network. All laws criminalising drugs should be abolished, and then the huge problems those laws have created should be addressed in a pragmatic and humane way. It would take a generation or two, but it's the only hope we have of dealing with the human cost of the stupidity of prohibition. Drugs, per se, are not the problem. It is the drugs laws that are the problem.
  12. Indeed; and most certainly better than the stupidity of declaring that all street traders were to be cleared off the streets. Yaowarat in particular is probably one of the finest street food markets in the world, and to destroy that would have been vandalism beyond comprehension. Still, it seems the outcry following the proposal to clear street vendors hit home, thankfully, and brought them to their senses. The plan to police the hygiene and waste disposal is good news, and won't adversely affect the traders to any great degree. All the situation required was a bit of common sense, which as Voltaire said, is unfortunately not very common.
  13. The plaque itself is irrelevant. What is of importance is what the plaque represented to the Thai people, the way in which it was removed (and by whom), and the actions / reactions of the incumbent administration to the questions raised by its removal. The directive forbidding the FCCT to discuss the subject merely serves to confirm what a sensitive issue this is, and how the government was complicit in the skulduggery that was employed in its removal and replacement. The whole affair doesn't bode well for Thailand.
  14. Just a thought directed at admin. This thread would be very useful if it was pinned. In fact perhaps a general live music thread, maybe subdivided into musical categories for the Bangkok members (and others) to keep updated. There's some great information here, but because the thread drops back down through the pages, it doesn't get updated, and a lot of the stuff listed back in 2013, when the thread started will now not apply. When I'm in Bangkok, it would be great to have an up-to-date thread to check to see what's going on in the Bangkok music scene, and where. And there are many TV members living in the city who know that info and would be happy to keep the thread updated, I'm sure. People who are into music like to share their enthusiasm. Like I say, just a thought
  15. Just think, if he hadn't been a heavy smoker all his life he'd probably still be alive now. Poor chap, cut down in his prime by the evil weed.