“The trigger gave; I felt the smooth underside of the butt; and there, in that noise, sharp and deafening at the same time, is where it all started. I shook off the sweat and the sun. I knew that I had shattered the harmony of the day...”, Albert Camus, L'Étranger.
In early March, the Project for a Social Democracy launched its national media campaign with two major op-ed columns in the national English-language media. The first, in the Bangkok Post of Monday 6 March, was followed the day after by another in The Nation.
The recent announcement that the Ministry of Commerce is pursuing 20 billion baht in allegedly ‘fake’ rice deals in terms of compensation from six senior individuals, namely former commerce minister Boonsong Teriyapirom; his former deputy Poom Sarapol; Manas Soyploy, a former director-general of the Department of Foreign Trade; his former deputy Tikamporn Natvorathat; and Akrapong Theepvajara, ex-director of the Foreign Rice Trading Office, makes one wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is the Thai junta’s least favourite international human rights non-governmental organization, just below Amnesty International (AI). HRW’s 2017 report, covered in this recent Prachatai English news report, which includes some choice quotes from Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, is quite damning.
As reported in this excellent ABC News column drawing on a Matichon Online story, the Royal Thai Military has begun the systematic militarized indoctrination of kindergarteners. Systematic Military Indoctrination of Thai Kindergarteners Begins
“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections. IQ Redux
The McNamara Fallacy: The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK as far as it goes.The second step is to disregard that which can’t be easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can’t be measured easily really isn’t important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can’t be easily measured really doesn’t exist. This is suicide.
"All so that it would be a stronger world A strong, though loving, world To die in" John Cale
This column was first published as a lead op ed on October 14, then was overtaken by events. It asks the key question about Rama IX’s legacy, the Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy. Unlike Bhutan’s Buddhist-economic-based theory of Gross National Happiness, the PSE has made no progress internationally. The Prayut Administration controls the message regarding the PSE domestically. Whether it actually cares about the PSE can therefore only be measured by whether it makes the PSE work internationally. Gentile or Jew
In the past months, dozens of multilingual signs have been installed across Khon Kaen province in Northeast Thailand. Part of an innovative cultural maintenance and revitalisation project, the signs bear messages in three languages - Thai, Isaan (Thai Lao) and English.