Alien Thoughts

5 Mar 2015
The many and various oversight mechanisms of the new constitution became ever more tangled over the last week with the revelation that the National Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated an investigation into alleged irregularities at the National Ethics Assembly after a petition by members of the Senate.  In turn, the Senate announced it would pursue impeachment proceedings against the National Ethics Assembly in response to a report from the National Anti-Corruption Commission looking into unethical behaviour by the ethics watchdog.
25 Feb 2015
If you haven’t already caught it, I do recommend the clip of an incident on the Paris Metro just before last week’s PSG vs Chelsea game.  For his dignified confrontation against wilfully ignorant loutishness, the actions of M. Suleymane would be hard to best. After a 10-hour day, he just wanted to get home, but was pushed out of a train, twice, by Chelsea supporters chanting ‘We’re racist, we’re racist, and that’s the way we like it.’  He lost his phone in the incident.
17 Feb 2015
You see, we need martial law so that we can enjoy the calm and order that has been achieved since the coup.  (Well, as long as we ignore the south, but then everybody always ignores the south.)  If we didn’t have martial law, who knows what mayhem and anarchy would result. And when the odd bit of mayhem and anarchy does occur, then we need martial law to put an end to the very thing that martial law was supposed to prevent.
10 Feb 2015
It is easy to become dispirited in these dark days. So let’s have a joke or two. *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     Once seated in a fairly upmarket restaurant, the customer looked about him and noticed that all the waiters appeared to be carrying a spoon in the top pocket of their jackets.  When his waiter came to take his drinks order, he questioned him about this. 
3 Feb 2015
The selective NCPO ban on demonstrations, rallies, and any other form of public assembly is beginning to cause concern following recent disturbances of just the kind that martial law was supposed to prevent.
27 Jan 2015
In a move that caught observers completely unaware, the National Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated moves to impeach the National Legislative Assembly. Fresh from its victory in impeaching former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, the NACC seems intent on purging Thai politics of all forms of corruption.  And in their way of thinking, voting constitutes a form of corruption. 
22 Jan 2015
OK, next item on the agenda, the Torture and Enforced Disappearance Prevention and Suppression Bill, for approval before it goes to the Council of State and the NLA.  I don’t know if anyone’s had chance to go through … Sorry for interrupting, but did you say ‘prevention’? Er, yes, that’s what it says.  Prevention and suppression. What on earth for?  I mean, I have no objection to a law regulating torture, you know, who can do it, what methods are OK, etc, etc, but are you seriously talking about banning it? Yes, that’s what it seems to say.
13 Jan 2015
Fresh from their resounding victory in the National Reform Council over the calculation of mobile phone fees, the guardians of consumer rights are turning their sights onto other blatantly unfair pricing strategies by large corporations.  Such practices threaten national economic stability, exacerbate income inequality and imperil civilization as the Bangkok middle class knows it.
5 Jan 2015
Coast guards have been struggling to take control of an abandoned cargo ship heading for the Thai coast on automatic pilot.  The ship is thought to be carrying hundreds, if not thousands, of unregistered human rights violations.  International maritime authorities believe that the ship and its desperate cargo have been left to their fate by unscrupulous National Human Rights Commissioners.
31 Dec 2014
The stalled mediation attempt by the National Human Rights Commission is the latest in a series of failures to settle a long-standing dispute between the Supreme Council of Motorcycle Taxis and a group of women who want to offer motorcycle taxi services, with neither side willing to budge from their well-entrenched positions.
17 Dec 2014
Weeks of rumour and speculation were partly confirmed this week with an announcement by the Foundation for Community Educational Media, the organization which produces Prachatai, which acknowledges the resignation of Harrison George from his position as columnist.  All titles and honours attached to this position have also been withdrawn, such as ‘Advisor on Satire’, ‘Sarcastic Sod’ and ‘Perpetrator of Impenetrable Muddled Prose’ (the much sought-after PIMP decoration.)
10 Dec 2014
I am a responsible consumer.  When I get to the checkout, I flourish my cloth shopping bags. And the first time out in a new shop you can expect to be met with bemusement.  Many will try to ignore the existence of the bags and start loading your purchases into the regular plastic.  So you ask them not to do that and draw their attention to the cloth bags.  One 7-Eleven employee immediately saw the light and pulled out another plastic bag into which he stuffed my cloth bags.  At no extra charge, I hasten to add.


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