Friday, September 28, 2007


(PICTURE:There are some pretty ladies here but that has nothing to do with my decision to live here. No, really.)
(You can read the article referred to *HERE*.)

Okay, on that last piece I was mostly funnin’. But think about it. If the sun comes up at 3AM on June 30 in Copenhagen, what time does it come up on Dec. 30? I’m not going to research this. Why research when guessing is so easy? So I would guess the sun comes up about 9AM and goes down around 6PM. Just the thought of that depresses me. And Copenhagen is the southernmost of the Scandinavian major cities. Why the hell would anyone want to live in places like those?

But The Reader’s Digest has decreed, based on U. N. statistics and the Environmental Sustainability Index drawn up by Yale and Columbia universities and the World Economic Forum, that these are the best places in the world to live. They must be right because they have the statistics. How dumb can research get? They never cease to amaze me.
Also in this “valuable” study they rate the major cities of the world. Here’s some of that:

European countries -- again, led by Scandinavia -- also top the Reader's Digest assessment of 72 cities for their quality of life. The criteria for this include public transport, parks, air quality, rubbish recycling and the price of electricity.

The winner is Stockholm, followed by Oslo, Munich and Paris.

Asia's mega-cities fare the worst. At the bottom is Beijing, preceded by Shanghai, Mumbai, Guangzhou and Bangkok.

Again this is based on statistics. Why go look around when statistics are so available and you don’t have to get out of your comfortable chair? (Hmmm, sounds like me.)

Here’s one point, when I traveled my work usually required me to live far from population centers. That taught me that major population centers are the worst places by which to judge the people of the country. Would you want The United States to be judged by the inhabitants of NYC? Well, I found the same to be true of almost every place I’ve been. If you want to find friendly people, get away from the population centers.

Another thing, when my company sent me to a large city they always booked me into a nearly first class hotel. I got pissed off in Tokyo because, except for the size of the room, there was no way to tell what town I was in. I got out of there and into a hotel with all those sliding panels and the rest of that Japanese stuff.

In Hong Kong I didn’t change hotels because there were a few great restaurants very near. But I did go to the docks and eat with the workers just to get a feel of the place. Can you imagine a U. N. researcher doing something like that? The food down there was pretty good by the way.

So when the realization that I was finally retired sank in, I began exploring for the best place to live. I did not look into statistics. I knew how to truly find out about a place. Bangkok was far from the first place I visited, but after only two days I knew this was the place for me.

Isn’t it odd that number one on my list would be near the bottom of The Reader’s Digest’s list?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


The Reader’s Digest has done a valuable (valuable meant to be sarcastic) study to rank the best places to live on earth. For this exhaustive study they used most of the politically correct (that means dumb) statistics they could find.

The ranking combines environmental factors, such as air and water quality, respect for biodiversity and greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as social factors, such as gross domestic product, access to education, unemployment rate and life expectancy.
They probably weighted all these dumb statistics and gave them point scores and added everything up and there you go.

I have traveled a lot and came up with my own criteria for finding the best place to live which I will write about later. In the meantime here is their partial result:

Nordic countries take the greatest care of their environment and their people, according to a ranking published on Thursday by the publication Reader's Digest.
Finland comes top of the 141-nation list, followed by Iceland, Norway and Sweden, and then Austria, Switzerland, Ireland and Australia.

Well sir, let me say something about that. The Scandinavian airline, SAS, put me up in a Copenhagen hotel when I was enroute to an even worse place. The date happened to be June 30. What does that have to do with it? Well I didn’t bother to close the window curtains and the goddamned sun came blasting into my room at three o’clock in the morning, local time.

I called downstairs to find out what was going on. “The sun is shining in my room,” I told them, “and it’s three o’clock in the morning.”

The guy on the phone spoke pretty good English as everyone should. “Did you try closing the curtains, sir?”

“What the hell does that have to do with the sun shining at 3 in the morning?”


“Can you do something about it? I mean, is the world coming to an end or something?”

“The sun always comes up at 3 this time of the year, sir. Would you like someone to come up and close your curtains?”

Well there you have it. How can you deal with people like that? The sun comes up at 3 and they treat it like an everyday thing.

Who would want to live in a place like that?

Monday, September 24, 2007


(PICTURE: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and friend.)

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made this statement at Columbia:

'In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. We don't have that in our country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I don't know who has told you that we have it.'

I think this may be a problem of defining our terms. He may mean “flaming” homosexual. I spent eighteen continuous months in Iran and never saw a “flaming” homosexual. On the other hand I would estimate that over 90 per cent of the adult male population has had homosexual relations, many, if not most, on a regular basis. When contact with unmarried women is banned, what would you expect?

It’s funny when a man is brought before a judge for having sex with another man. The verdict is easy. “Of course he is guilty. We all do that.”

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


This is from the Boston Globe:

Weight-loss surgery extends life spans by years

New research could spawn major shift in who is eligible for surgery

By Stephen Smith, Globe Staff August 22, 2007

For the first time, researchers have convincingly shown that losing weight through stomach surgery can extend the lives of severely obese patients, dramatically reducing deaths from heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Physicians said the findings are so persuasive that they could spawn a major shift in who is eligible for weight-loss surgery, a procedure once relegated to the most dangerously obese because of fears about complications. Now, patients typically have to be at least 100 pounds overweight before doctors will consider the operation and before health plans will pay the bill, which can exceed $30,000 a patient.

So here’s the plan: We eat like m****r-f****rs, get morbidly obese, our health plan will then pay for an operation to staple our stomachs, and then we live longer.

What could be more perfect than that? It’s foolproof.

The full article is *HERE*