Alien Thoughts

3 Dec 2015
Sorry, but are we living under a military dictatorship or not? This morning’s paper has a lead that says the military are about to throw Deputy Defence Minister, former Army Commander-in-Chief and chairman of the Rajabhakti Park Foundation General Udomdej Sitabutr to the anti-corruption wolves (or at least those of them who are less selective in their outrage). 
17 Nov 2015
The Thai Health Promotion Foundation has fallen foul of the anti-corruption vigilantes, who claim that the Foundation has been supporting all sorts of activities that are beyond its mandate, wilfully and wantonly squandering the taxpayers’ hard-earned money. Well, no.
9 Nov 2015
Acharn Thitinan ‘the Quotemeister’ Pongsudhirak produces a Bangkok Post op-ed with an exemplary regularity that makes a Friday read of the page most worthwhile (though maybe not as entertaining as on a Saturday).  His recent offering on Thai trade policy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), however, was a sad disappointment.
23 Oct 2015
It is a commonplace of police procedurals.  Somewhere around page 180, the hero detective, stymied by a lack of clues, the stupidity of his superiors and his personal failings (alcoholism, troublesome family relations, unreliable car) stays awake ruminating obsessively on the case.
15 Oct 2015
It is reported that the policy steering committee of the National Council for Peace and Order has sent a proposal on fisheries for the approval of the Cabinet (which contains a number of NCPO members).  The idea is to pay 228.4 million baht in compensation to 4,800 fishing boats that have been operating without a licence or with illegal fishing gear.
9 Oct 2015
A number of government offices were forced to close their doors yesterday after coordinated DDoS or ‘Distributed Denial of Service’ attacks by tour guides, travel agents, hotel owners, taxi-drivers, Grand Palace ‘it’s closed today’ touts, the Patpong ladies ping-pong team and countless others. 
2 Oct 2015
People not getting jobs is becoming a regular feature of the news. First ultra-royalist Boworn Yasinthorn failed in his bid to become a National Human Rights Commissioner, where one assumes he would champion the right to file lèse majesté charges against anyone he disagreed with.  And now Chitpas Kridakorn, once a Bhirombhakdi but still a Boon Rawd beer heiress, has decided to withdraw her application to join the police force. 
23 Sep 2015
Thai universities have just started their delayed academic year, but bang on cue, the articles pour in about what happens to new students at institutes of higher education. In the English reports, the preferred term is normally ‘hazing’, but take a moment to look at the Thai term – ‘rab nong’ – which carries none of the connotations of a potentially dangerous or embarrassing rite of passage.
18 Sep 2015
Editor’s Note:  Harrison George wishes to apologize for his temporary absence from this website.  This was due to an illness of a medical nature and not, contrary to the scurrilous innuendos on various social media, of a psychological nature.  Mr George’s psychiatric carers have assured Prachatai that his mental state is stable (as long as he keeps taking the meds), consistently unusual, and terminal. Oh boy!  3 articles about education on the same page of the Bangkok Post.  Could educational reform finally be among us?
10 Aug 2015
Thai education has been thrown into tumult by new regulations governing the siting of schools, colleges and universities. A ministerial order from the Prime Minister’s Office will ban any establishment from offering formal tertiary educational services within 300 metres from a military facility.  But this order, based on the Critical Thinking Prohibition Act, has not yet been published in the Royal Gazette and enforcement will not start until 30 days after that.
30 Jul 2015
Examination on Civic Leadership and General Sense of Superiority To be taken by Prime Ministers, Test Writers for Civic Duty classes, Administrators of Triam Udom Suksa School who are not psychiatrists but can still diagnose mental illness from test answers, and True Believers in True Thainess.
21 Jul 2015
Witness testimony has ended in the defamation case brought by the Royal Thai Navy against two fruit vendors in Phuket, with the verdict set to be delivered at the end of the next month. The case rests on a misspelled English sign, written in marker pen on a scrap of cardboard, which the defendants displayed on their fruit stall last year.  The sign read ‘Naval oranges cheep’. 

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