Tuesday, June 24, 2008

College Football's Most Memorable

I am a college football fan, and specifically I am a HUSKER fan. I was born and raised in Nebraska, so what else could I be. Recently Sports Illustrated did an article on the names that have survived long after their playing or coaching days were done -- legends of the game. If you came up with 10 names, what would your list be?

After you have thought about it, check out the live link by clicking on the title. You can see who they chose and who they did not. I was NOT HAPPY when Tom Osborn did not appear on this page, but most of the names were not surprising at all. 

Nuts Rule

I get a lot of grief from my friends about always chewing on peanuts, almonds, cashews, or any other squirrel feed I can find. I've just always liked it. But recently I read an article that has defended my love of this natural food. The article comes from National Public Radio's website and was entitled, CAN "BLUE ZONES" TURN BACK THE BIOLOGICAL CLOCK? It was an interesting piece about a study done on some of the oldest people alive today. Most of it was stuff I had heard before, such as exercise in small amounts often during the day seems to prolong life. Living in regions with less stress of course helps. Having an extended and supportive family is seems to give people a reason to live, but I had honestly never heard this one before. The quot below is very optimistic for me:

"One of the idiosyncrasies we discovered is that people who eat nuts four to five times a week, 2 ounces at a time, tend to live two to three years longer than people who don't eat nuts. That was a big surprise for us," Buettner says.

Two to three years is not bad at all!
CHECK out the story on super old people by clicking the title of this article.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bangkok Protests Getting Bigger

Phot provided by the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7466221.stm

The tension is rising in the capital of Thailand. Please check out this link to see some video footage from yesterday's protests. It is looking like something is going to happen. I hope violence is not going to follow, but without a doubt tension is rising and people are starting to push it. You'll see in the video the protesters charged through a police checkpoint line and seem to be moving without any hard line resistance. I fear this may change soon. 

The basic issue at hand is that the congress, made up of Taksin supporters, want to change laws that will make it possible for Taksin to return to Thailand without facing any legal penalties. This group is out to stop that once and for all. It is an issue that is dividing Thailand nearly 50/50. It would seem the protesters are winning over a lot of people, but we can't forget that this government just WON the election a few months ago.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Could I be Wrong about McCain?

I really do not like politics, but it is an election year in the nation of my birth. I did a great deal of thinking about the economics of a new president and, wanting the American economy to go further down so that my Thai baht will continue to climb, I had thought that McCain was the natural choice. I know he will continue to force the dollar lower, the price of oil higher, and the housing market will completely collapse. Now this is bad, I know, but then I could afford to come back to America and buy a house really cheap and that would be cool for me. A summer house in the United States and a winter house here in Thailand, this would be awesome.

BUT, Iraq is the other issue at hand in this election and honestly this is of far greater consequence than me having a cheap house back in the states. I am proud of my friends who have gone to Iraq and fought, risking all for a cause that our nation has seen as necessary to protect our freedom. Still, enough it enough. Iraq is never going to be stable. Sorry to be the voice of doom here, but we could stay there for 1 year or 30 years and Iraq will still be fighting. The only thing we have to chose between is this, will Iraqis be killing Iraqis or will they be killing Americans? I don't have a clue what the proper exit plan is, but I do know we need an EXIT plan -- now! As the saying goes, "Sometimes its better to be nowhere than to stay some place your not wanted."

I cut and pasted this from the John McCain website and this is the last straw for me. Please read below to see his views on the war of Iraq. Please click on the title to see all of John McCain's views on his official website.

Strategy for Victory in Iraq The Importance of Succeeding John McCain believes it is strategically and morally essential for the United States to support the Government of Iraq to become capable of governing itself and safeguarding its people. He strongly disagrees with those who advocate withdrawing American troops before that has occurred.It would be a grave mistake to leave before Al Qaeda in Iraq is defeated and before a competent, trained, and capable Iraqi security force is in place and operating effectively. We must help the Government of Iraq battle those who provoke sectarian tensions and promote a civil war that could destabilize the Middle East. Iraq must not become a failed state, a haven for terrorists, or a pawn of Iran. These likely consequences of America's failure in Iraq almost certainly would either require us to return or draw us into a wider and far costlier war.The best way to secure long-term peace and security is to establish a stable, prosperous, and democratic state in Iraq that poses no threat to its neighbors and contributes to the defeat of terrorists. When Iraqi forces can safeguard their own country, American troops can return home.

Killer Storms in Nebraska

Photos by Stacey Owens

Killer storms are hitting my homeland. It is terrifying. Many people are blaming global warming, which of course was caused by George Bush, but I think perhaps it is not his fault but rather the beginning of the end of days. In the past 2 weeks Kearney Nebraska has been hit by tornadoes, and close to Curtis Nebraska there was hail the size of softballs. We truly are in a very dangerous time. We don't even need to mention the hurricanes in Burma, the mud slides in India, or the earth quake in China. The planet Earth is unstable, perhaps angry with us for our lack of care, and now its impossible for anyone to argue that instability is the norm. As the salamander king said, "None of us will get out alive."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

siminoe.com announce's support for McCain

I attempt to live a life basically devoid of politics. In my voting history I am yet to vote for a winner other than Bill Clinton. I am very proud of that vote, because he was a president who actually stopped terrorism with CIA operatives and spooks instead of plunging us into an all out holey war. He also created a nation so prosperous that our economy, for once, was BOOMING to the point of a word most republicans can't even spell -- surplus.
I also love Clinton because he had serious foreign policy. He drew limits that our foreign allies didn't cross, unlike our current administration who get pushed into doing everything the Arab world tells them to do.
"So why, SIM, are you putting your support behind McCain when he would appear to be ready to follow all the same leads which have brought the US economy to a certain collapse?"
Simple. I just love the absolute absurdity of the trickle down economics that plague the Republican party -- it's like watching a cat run into a glass door at full speed. I mean does anybody actually believe this insanity? "Um... you see we give tax breaks and government kick backs (which is collected tax money) to the rich, because they give the poor jobs."
Can they even believe the rubbish which is coming out of their mouths? If so they obviously never met any rich people. I have a lot of rich friends and I got news for you trickle down folks -- the rich don't spend money whether you give it to them for free or not. That's why they are rich! They don't spend money in hand, nor do they spend money on credit. The rich have, innately, a kind of gag reflex to paying a check or to buying something that is over priced or to giving jobs (which pay big salaries) to anyone.
"So Sim, if you don't believe in trickle down and you think tax breaks for the rich actually make the rich richer, why McCain -- cause this guy is an economic fossil."
Again, SIMPLE, my job here in Thailand pays me in THAI BAHT, and as long as the Republicans are in office the US Dollar is going to sink and sink until basically it will be worthless. This is good for me, because then I can send lots of Baht home and build a small fortune in the US. When I moved to the Thailand six years ago the baht was 43 to 1 dollars. Now, thanks to George Bush, it's 32 to 1. I love it. I was never going to make any cash in the US, but now I can make just a little baht and send it home and become RICH.
So it is official, we at Siminoe.com are voting for McCain so that the collapse of the US dollar continues and homes back in America because so cheap that even I, with my little teacher pay, could go home and purchase a really cool house.
Good luck Mr. McCAIN!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tension in Thailand

Photo by Apichart Weerawong
All around the world political tension is rising. We have all become accustom to seeing protesters clamoring for change and soldiers or police officers being forced to confront the rage which is meant for the ruling party. But I must say it is becoming tense in the capital of Thailand.
Thais are, in general, passive and accepting of others. Still, they have a long tradition of protesting and picketing in order to bring pressure on the government. They had, just over a year ago, a very peaceful coup -- not one shot fired. Elections were guaranteed and those elections put right back into power the party that had been ousted by the coup. Frustrated as many intellectuals and scholars were, the vote was the vote and it was honored. Taksin, the ousted prime minister, is enjoying life in England. He bought a football team over there and is enjoying his time abroad while his followers prepare to change the constitution so that he will not face criminal charges for his money schemes. It is so in the face of the Thai people that there were bound to be protests.
SAMAK, is his long time follower and is now our current prime minister. He is a hard line guy, who most people blame for one of the few protests which did turn bloody back in the 70's when he was a younger politician. By all media accounts he was the one who gave the order for soldiers to FIRE ON UNIVERSITY STUDENTS who were peacefully protesting against him and his party. The number of dead and wounded has been disputed since it happened.
SAMAK is sabre rattling again. He has said, of the 6,000 protesters meeting and making noise in the capital, he has the military power to STOP them if they do not disband soon. All weekend the fear of violence was high, but the group did not go away.
As a foreigner in this land it is difficult for me to know who is the best government for these people. I only know that Thai nature, peaceful and calm, is the best hope we have for avoiding a war. I believe their love of peace will win out over this trouble. Still the tension in some quarters around the city is truly palpable.