Planet News Views

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Which Direction Is Thailand Going?

Bangkok traffic - Sept. 2005
Photo by Scott McLean

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Is this a Noontime or Bedtime Blog?

Actually it's both. For example, yesterday's article on Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi Airport was posted at lunchtime in Thailand, which was around 11 pm here. However, articles are posted at other times, too.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thailand Has a New Airport

By N.P., MBA, Thailand

Suvarnabhumi Airport opened today, September 28, after it opened for a test on Sept. 15.

The new national airport is larger than the old airport, Don Muang Airport, which is too small now because many people used it, and business in Thailand is growing beyond the size of the old airport. It will be the main airport for Thailand's developing economy.

The Thai government expects Suvarnabhumi Airport will be the main airport of Asia and Southeast Asia.

Suvarnabhumi Airport was named by King Phumiphon, King of Thailand.

Suvarnabhumi Airport has the highest traffic control building,132.2 metres. The passenger building is very large at 563,000 square metres. The 8 floors include an underground floor and will accomodate 45 million people per year.

The new airport is very large and has 360 points to check-in and passport check areas are numerous; 124 points (check-in areas) for incoming and 72 points for outgoing passengers. In the future it will have an electric car railway path in the passenger building, too.

The parking garage for the airport has two buildings. Each of the five floors links with the passenger building. There is room for 5,000 cars in the main lot, and 15,677 cars in the other parking lot.

For a warehouse system it has a service area of 568,000 square metres. They intend to do service work by free duty ritual, 24 hours a day and can handle 3 million tons of goods per year.

I think this new airport will be an important airport for Asia and Southeast Asia. In my opinion this airport will make it so Thai people can work and will be able to help Thai businesses grow.

Have a Nice Week!

Hi! I'm here now. Just leave me a message in the comments section, and I'll stop by your blog, too. Take care.

Terrell Owens Deserves a Fresh Start

Sports Editorial

Terrell Owens held a press conference this afternoon to answer questions regarding news reports that he had tried to commit suicide. Owens, who had been hospitalized, said he did not try to commit suicide and was not depressed.

Owens, the Dallas Cowboys star wide receiver, may or may not need help. However, it's obvious the media who violate privacy just to get a big story do.

Reporters seem to have no concern for privacy rights. Where do the editors draw the line on what can be published? Maybe they don't give a damn about people. It sure looks that way to me.

Moreover, it's time for sports reporters to quit writing about what happened last season. Owens deserves a fresh start in Dallas.

Owens is an outstanding athlete and one of the game's top wide receivers. But he's human. He could be in need of a little more kindness and understanding. Like many of us.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thailand News and Commentary

Editorial Note: Last evening an article was posted showing it's necessary to prepare for extreme humidity and rain when traveling to Thailand. Links to weblogs about Thailand and other countries are being added today and all week. I'll also have more articles on Thailand, and possibly touch on other topics.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Bangkok Humidity 'Oppressive', Military Coup 'Mild'

By Scott McLean

Bangkok - This morning in Bangkok (I was just told by telephone) it's very humid, like yesterday. In the middle of the night it was raining hard, which is typical this time of year in Thailand.

It's the kind of oppressive heat that makes people want to seek out the nearest air conditioner, whether that be in a shopping mall, convenience store, or a fast food restaurant. I know this from experience.

Last September I was in Bangkok and really enjoyed myself. But I'm telling you, the weather was a bit of a shock to my system, so I'm thankful my body got used to it after a short time.

Also, according to the person I spoke with by telephone, Bangkok remains calm not even one week after a coup, which everyone in Bangkok has said was nonviolent, and even peaceful.

Thai people are busy going to work and living their lives, when they're not having their pictures taken with soldiers, many of whom they've given flowers to and even brought food and water.

The only thing I know for sure is, if I were in Bangkok right now I'd be looking for something cold to drink, almost every hour.

Continuing to Add More Thailand Links

Hi. Today I'm continuing to add more weblogs about Thailand. Feel free to leave me a message in the comment section. Have a nice Day!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thailand Links

Note: For some reason yesterday's post was taken off the blog. I just restored the post. I will continue adding relevant links today. Continue to check back. I've decided links are important because it's so difficult to remember the web addresses.

It's Sunday, a day of rest for many people, but there's nothing I'd rather do with my free time than help you and other people all over the world find news and commentary on what's happening in Thailand, as well as other current events.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

New Links Added Today

Check the new links added the last two days. I'm busy adding more links, so please check back later, too. There you will find more information on what's happening in Thailand.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Thailand's Restrictions on Media Difficult to Measure

If you are going to Thailand soon or live there now, you should avoid using your mobile phone to send text messages political in nature, as martial law is still in effect. The online publications Pattaya Daily News and Southeast Asian Press Alliance Friday reported the new restrictions on the media.

While I was unable to pull up the new rules or so much as a news release on the Thai government website (parts of the site might be shut down or under construction), it's clear that freedoms of the press and personal speech, including written, have been curtailed, especially political opinions, though the extent is impossible to measure.

Still, my sources tell me Thailand appears to be a safe, peaceful place, only a few days after a nonviolent military coup. And most people have gone back to their daily routines.

Thailand Coup

Please feel free to read articles on the Thailand coup (below). Also, some of the links are to websites that provide news and commentary on the current situation there.

Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Thailand After Nonviolent Military Coup -- People Return to Daily Life

By Scott McLean

In the few short days since the nonviolent military coup in Thailand, the kingdom has begun to set out in a new direction, although at this point that direction remains uncertain. There seems to be differing reports on public opinion, politics and what might happen in the days and weeks ahead.

The National News Bureau Public Relations Department reports that ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra arrived last night in London, England. What he will do next is anyone's guess.

Some political observers speculate as to the ex-prime minister's future and wonder whether he might stage a political comeback, which was brought up in a Reuters news report and later discussed in Bangkok Pundit.

However, a recent public opinion poll in Thailand shows little backing among the people for him to return as prime minister. "A Suan Dusit Poll (indicates) 80 percent of the Thai people like this change", according to a Planet News Views advisor on Thai issues, who lives in Thailand.

"Social problems in the South of Thailand and business problems everywhere in Thailand" and accusations of corruption by the ex-prime minister are among the reasons people wanted change. At the same time, there is strong support for the King of Thailand, "because he is at the center of our Thai people heart. We love the King."

The word "coup" or "coup d'etat" is usually thought of as violent overthrow of a government. However, this military takeover has been characterized as "non-violent", as the person being removed from power, the prime minister, was out of the country and there was no major opposition to the coup.

"It's a safe situation (in Bangkok)... Some people take flowers to the soldiers. Some people take photographs with the soldiers, too." What's more, the military leaders said "They will hurry to give back power to the population.... They said on Thai television, 'do as simple life' or do as always," the Thai issues advisor added.

Wednesday was a holiday in Thailand, and life seemed to go about their lives almost as though nothing earthshaking had occurred. Leisurely activities -- including shopping and eating out at restaurants-- appeared unaffected by what some observers perceive as a potentially life-altering event.

What was happening on Wednesday? "This day many people were in Zeer Rangsit (shopping mall) like a happy day, because many people want this situation to change." For the most part, restaurants were open as well.

While it appears to be calm in Bangkok, people traveling to Thailand are advised to check with their embassy in Bangkok.

U.S. Embassy in Thailand has provided the following details regarding the military coup in Thailand and what people should know concerning the present situation:

"On September 19 a military group calling itself the Council for Democratic Reform Under the Constitutional Monarchy (CDRM) seized control of the Thai government and declared martial law. The CDRM banned any political gathering of more than five persons. The CDRM also banned the hoarding of goods or the increasing of the price of goods of any kind. The CDRM announced it will appoint a civilian government within two weeks as the first step to returning the country to democratic government."

For additional information please visit the following website:
U.S. Embassy in Thailand.

Note: Planet News Views advisor on Thai issues contributed to this article

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bangkok's Rangsit McDonald's "Open" and Busy As Usual The Day After Military Coup

By Scott McLean

Zeer Rangsit McDonald's is open -- and very busy--despite a military coup occurring in Bangkok less than a day ago. That's the "tasty" tidbit of information my friend told me a little more than an hour ago.

Nothing seems to stand in the way of fast food, although it's true that most businesses in the Rangsit area were open, something I'll describe more fully later today.

For the moment I'd like to reflect on my visit to Bangkok a year ago and how I spent a good deal of time in the Rangsit area.

Actually I have quite a fondness for that McDonald's and the entire area because I spent happy times there with my friend. If asked, I would have to give that business district a very high rating.

The only downside was a few times when we, along with many other people, were stuck in the restaurant because the monsoon rains came without notice and the street was flooding.

It reminded me of years ago when I had to take photos of a flood for a newspaper. One of the pictures was of a McDonald's, and the drive-thru sign barely poked out above the water and rescue boats were freely maneuving between trees and around the internationally famous fast food restaurant.

It's just one of my more interesting fast food stories, which really has little to do with today's news, or commentary for that matter. However, just seeing businesses survive in the face of the storm or military coup must be some kind of good sign.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Please Check Out The Links On Thailand

More information on the military coup in Thailand should be released during the next few hours, as it's almost 8 am in Bangkok at the time of this post.

From my understanding, the country is now under martial law. But the coup leaders told the country they will return the power to the Thai people. We will have to wait and see exactly what will result from the military taking control. What next?

There are many ways to get updates on what is happening in Thailand. Some sites have been listed in the links sections to make that reading easier. Please scroll down the page and look under the heading "Blogs, Many Countries". I'll add to those links as I discover other sites.

Thanks for dropping by...

I'll be back later tonight. If you leave me a comment, then I can look at your site, too. Take care.

Thailand Military Coup Is Today's Big Story

The big story today is the military coup in Bangkok. Please read the article below, and check out some of the links to information on Thailand.

Military Takeover Materializes In Bangkok, Thailand

By Scott McLean

Bangkok, Thailand reportedly is undergoing a military takeover that began in the late evening hours Tuesday, according to many news sources in the U.S. and Thailand. A state of emergency was declared by the government.

A source in Thailand tells Planet News Views that Bangkok television stations are providing details, and according to translation over the telephone, "the soldiers are taking power from the government and want to give it back to the people."

Furthermore, the military coup appears to be directed at ousting Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he is out of the country attending the United Nations meetings.

In an attempt to verify the information, calls were made to The Nation, a major English-language newspaper in Bangkok, but no one could be reached for comment.

Hello. Have a Nice Week!

I wish you the best wherever you live. And if you have a site, good luck. Let me know and I'll stop by your blog, too. Take care.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

An All New York World Series is Possible, But Don't Count Out Other Playoff Teams

Sports Opinion
By Scott McLean

Look out! Here come the Yankees! They are going to be tough to beat (Boo! Mets fan here) in the playoffs. Okay, I'll try to be objective, but it kinda takes the fun out of baseball...

Are you thinking about another subway series between the Mets and Yankees? First they must win their playoff and league championship series.

Actually, as a Mets fan I'm afraid of teams with lesser records going up against the Mets in the playoffs.

The teams that barely get in to the playoffs usually are playing their best baseball in September and October. In other words, they win big games under pressure. So, if your favorite team reaches the playoffs as a wild card, they have a slight edge.

In the NFL, the Philadelphia Eagles lead the NFC East, as they were the only team in the division to win last week.

In their games against teams outside the division, the Washington Redskins didn't have enough offense, Dallas Cowboys had too many turnovers, and New York Giants weren't able to outscore the Indianapolis Colts.

The Chicago Bears pounded the Green Bay Packers. Is Brett Favre ready for NFL retirement, or is he going to lead a Green Bay turnaround? I'm not going to count them out, but so far the other three teams -- Bears, Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings -- are playing the stingy defense necessary to win the NFC Central.

Seahawks fans, I said your team would be very, very good this year. However, last week they couldn't score a touchdown. I'm wondering, were the Lions really that good on defense, or was the Seahawks offense having a terrible game?

I think Seattle is going to be tough again soon, once they start running the football like they did last season.

Enjoy today's games!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Follow U.S. Constitution and Existing U.S. Laws Protecting Rights of Accused When Questioning Terror Suspects

By Scott McLean

President George W. Bush held a press conference this morning, the main topic was the President's call for Congress to bring "clarity" with a new law regarding how terror suspects can be interrogated.

In my opinion, we should treat every suspect the same in that they should have the right to a lawyer, they should not be punished until they are convicted of a crime, which means they should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Of course convicted terrorists who have murdered innocent people should get the harshest punishment the law allows, so don't think I'm "soft" on terrorism.

However, if the president and Congress approve a law providing (uh, well) "clarity" which really just gives the Central Intelligence Agency permission to use interrogation methods that are either clearly torture, or perceived as torture, then we will have lowered our high standards to a despicable level.

Instead, America must continue to take a strong opposition to anything that would violate the human rights of individuals. I believe we have a responsibility to show the rest of the world the United States treats all people under the law.

In a few words I can sum up my alternative to the President's call for providing "clarity" regarding methods which can be used to get information from terror suspects:

Follow the U.S. Constitution and laws that apply to criminal suspects in the United States.

That said, efforts need to be stepped up to capture Osama bin Laden and all other terror suspects in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Most people would agree they must be tried and punished for their crimes.

After all, what is the top priority in the war on terror if not to bring the most dangerous terrorists to justice?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sorry if you haven't been able to find this site

I'll try to figure out what's wrong and get it fixed. Hope you will have a good week. Take care. Scott

Sunday, September 10, 2006

NFL Teams Play Today

Have a nice day. Please see my article (below). Thanks.

Turning Up The Volume on the Redskins- Cowboys Bitter Rivalry

Sports - Opinion
By Scott McLean

Do all football fans hate the toughest opponent of their favorite team? Okay, hate's a strong word, but certainly the NFL games wouldn't be as much fun to watch if we weren't wishing "the enemy" (stongest division rival) would lose games.

When I was growing up, for example, the Dallas Cowboys got all the national attention because, let's face it, they won, won and won some more. A Redskins fan since I was a kid, I used to daydream about Washington getting some great player on the team so they could beat Dallas and win the NFC East.

I loved the bitter rivalry between the two teams, even though Washington almost always lost and finished second, or worse, in the divison. That was before people said things sucked... but it did!

Then, unbelievably, the Redskins won the Super Bowl! Wow! Washington's previous losses to Dallas no longer hurt so much, and Cowboys' media hype started to fade. Thank goodness!

At the same time, the New York Giants were improving their already respectable defense, they became the Redskins strongest rival in their division, and it wasn't long before they, too, won the Super Bowl. (As a side note, I always liked the Giants.)

Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells was the coach that led the Giants to their first Super Bowl victory. The interesting rivalry continues this season as Redskins coach Joe Gibbs is going to have come up with a way for Washington to beat Dallas, a team that has stingy defense and a good offense with the addition of Terrell Owens, an outstanding wide receiver.

And then, of course, the New York Giants could make the hype surrounding the Redskins-Cowboys rivalry disappear altogether, as was the case last season.

Predictions are getting harder and harder to make, but I'd have to say the Cowboys will win the division, although the race ought to be close and could go down to the final week of the season. One of the teams will finish below .500, but the other three will have winning records. I'm just not sure which three.

I'm not sold on the Redskins ability to score touchdowns when they are behind, especially late in a game. They didn't do it in the playoffs, where the offense struggled to get first downs and put points on the board.

Anyway, rather than make predictions in each division, I'll simply say the Cowboys will win the NFC East. I could be way off, but I think the Giants will finish second, followed by the Redskins and Eagles.

SeaHawks fans, I don't want to jinx your team by saying they're going to be better this year, so I won't. I'll just say Seattle will be very, very good again this season.

I'm liking the chances of Seattle and Dallas to meet in the playoffs, possibly even in the NFC championship. I said that I like the Cowboys chances, but didn't say I like them... Remember, I'm a Redskins fan. Forever... But in all honesty, I'm hoping the Cowboys are a good team this season. And I wish you the best, accept for when you play the Redskins.

Just trying to keep the rivalry interesting. Well, no matter who's your favorite team, I hope you have a fun time watching the football games today and all season. Take care.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Have a nice weekend!

The blog is having some technical problems. Hopefully I can solve them and be back again soon. Have a nice weekend. Take care.

Friday, September 08, 2006

My Sister Used to Say I Watched Too Much Star Trek

By Scott McLean

On the 40th Anniversary of Star Trek, I'd like to say:

"There's no such thing as too much Star Trek."

Although I did watch the show every time it came on TV, I could never get enough of Captain Kirk, Spock, the Enterprise crew and all the planets they explored.

The series was the best thing on TV in the 70's, when I first watched the reruns. Sci-fi is exciting. Indeed! It's a lot of fun. However, the genre also stretches the imagination about what could be out there in the universe. Is there intelligent life on a distant planet? I believe so.

Next time I'll publish a short list of my favorite Star Trek episodes. I've only seen every episode 10 times (though none in the last few years), so I'll do my best.

Just wish we could have studied Star Trek in high school. Wouldn't you have paid better attention if your physics teacher had been wearing pointed ears? For example, just think how many of us guys could have gotten an "A+" from a beautiful Vulcan woman, such as the babe (some of you will recall) Spock was fighting for in one episode. Spock, you were almost one lucky dude.

Do you think maybe my sister had a point? Then I guess you ought to come back again to be sure. :)

Note: I'm only joking (above) for the purpose of entertainment. I had an outstanding physics teacher in high school, and he is a nice guy.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

NFL Eagles' Marketing Campaign Can Win Over Fans If Team Wins

By Scott McLean

In 2005 the Philadelphia Eagles championship hopes were over long before the season ended. The one player blamed most for the team slipping from the top of the NFC was superstar wide receiver Terrell Owens, now a member of the Dallas Cowboys.

Subtract "one" major distraction, and a year later the Eagles are opening the 2006 season with a new marketing campaign the "Power of One", unvailed on PR, which refers to the team's close relationship with the fans. I like the idea and hope it works for them, but it will take some effort to win back the fans after the disastrous 2005 season.

Now the Dallas Cowboys, a strong favorite to win the NFC East this year, will find out whether Owens makes them that much better. It's my opinion, but Cowboys coach Bill Parcells is going to reward players for making plays, as he has a history of doing with other winning teams. He's a great coach. That's one reason his teams win divisions and championships.

Owens is going to continue to be a flashy kind of player. That's cool. However, to keep his job, he will have to play within the Cowboys offense, and not question team leadership. If the Cowboys get the best Owens has to give, they could find their way to the Super Bowl.

The Eagles don't seem to be a contender if you look at last year's inability to get the ball in the endzone, and keep opponents from crossing the goal line.

For Philadelphia to get back to the playoffs and possibly regain their earlier championship form, some holes will have to be filled, which remains to be seen. And quarterback Donovan McNabb will have to become the kind of team leader that has been expected of him. Throwing the football won't get the job done unless the Eagles improve their running game to provide a more balanced attack on offense.

Last season, the New York Giants and Washington Redskins had the NFC East's best combination of running and passing the football. Of course the Pittsburgh proved to have the most balanced offense in the NFL, plus a tough defense, as they clobbered playoff opponents, and won it's first Super Bowl since the Steelers football dynasty more than a quarter century ago.

The best marketing strategy in the NFL or any sport for that matter is called winning, which leads to increased ticket sales. If the Eagles play as "One" and win games, they will get increased support from fans. The same can be said of the Cowboys and the rest of the NFL teams, about to begin the football season with the goal of getting to the playoffs and winning the Super Bowl.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Check out Fast Food Yummy :)

Hi There!

Hope you had a nice weekend. Today is a holiday in the United States, so I'm just going to hang out, possibly do a little writing, and post a few photos over at my fast food blog. You can click on Fast Food Yummy , or please check back here whenever you have time. Take care. Scott

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Where's the Concern For Privacy Rights From the Mainstream Media These Days?

By Scott McLean

Posters of a beautiful bikini model, whose name is on the tip of my tongue, were all sold out. It was just my luck years ago when I was a senior in college and my walls were bare... but actually I was talking about my feelings of disappointment a few hours ago.

I'm smiling. And thanks for reading this far. I'll be serious now.

Just wanted to get a little attention in the lead of my article, which will cover several topics before reaching a (whew! thank goodness he's finished) conclusion. I suppose in order to prevent anyone from not finishing the article, I could stop this very minute, and finish writing a paragraph at a time, when you least expect it over the the holiday weekend. But that wouldn't be fair.

Ah, fairness... now that's the word (no, it's not the model's name) I couldn't think of yesterday, and it's too often absent in the reporting of high-profile criminal cases.

We all know the case in which the "mainstream" news media reported everything they possibly could, even to the point of making us feel sick to our stomachs. The authorities and news media thought they had the right person, only to be jolted by a major twist in this overdone suspense.

Despite the expense of bringing John Mark Karr back to the USA from Thailand-- as the reported suspect in the JonBenet Ramsey case-- Karr was cleared in the case when his DNA was not a match, according to many media sources.

In my opinion, it's awful that the authorities and the media didn't do a better job of controlling the details that were reported.

Obviously it's not the first time the "major" news media showed an extreme amount of irresponsiblity in reporting, which if the man been tried for the crime, could have prevented him from getting a fair trial.

Ratings and money seem to be more important to some television stations, radio stations and newspapers than fairness to the people they report on to the public.

Here is the major problem, the way I see it: This man's privacy rights were violated by journalists reporting on gender issues, which as far as I can tell had nothing to do with the case. This time it seems as though the media were a part of bigotry by violating medical privacy and reporting details of irrelevant information that should stay in the doctor's office.

Few writers criticize the media when they do something awful. While some people might say who cares, just remember reporters could invade your privacy or anyone else's for that matter.

Reporters also didn't give a complete picture of Thailand as it relates to gender issues. There are good people and good news everywhere, but the mainstream media report mostly bad news.

Next time I'll write about Thailand, United States, the world, and maybe even the universe...