Ban toxic glyphosate
According to a May 24 report, the Hazardous Substance Committee, in reference to a ban on three toxic pesticides, said "there were insufficient studies confirming they were health hazards", and thus have allowed their continued use. One of the three is glyphosate, known as "Roundup".
The evidence against glyphosate as a serious health hazard is overwhelming, and the latest studies show that among its many proven hazards are genetic damage and impairment of brain functions. A summary of the scientific evidence against Roundup may be found by entering .
Conflicts of interest among committee members notwithstanding, allowing the continued use of glyphosate in Thailand is a threat to the well-being of all Thai people, including the children of committee members.
Genetic damage harms future generations of all Thai people, and brain damage cripples the performance of everyone exposed to this highly toxic chemical today.
As a health professional who loves and lives in Thailand, I suggest this chemical be banned here immediately.
Vocational training key
Re: "BAAC to begin job training as welfare", (Business, May 23).
Vocational training for the underprivileged is the key for the circulation of capital. If a poor family gets more income, their children may have an opportunity for education. The Thai government needs to set up more vocational training centres especially in the North and South for the enhancement of job opportunities. A classless society comes true.
A most generous PM
I see our very generous prime minister has invoked Section 44 to declare a three-year moratorium on the billions of baht of debt of our poor digital TV companies (BP, May 24). I hope that while he is in this very generous mood his next use of the draconian law will be to declare a three-year moratorium on the household debt of the approximately 60% of the population who are burdened by the worst household debt in the last 10 years, to the tune of about 140,00 baht each. Thank you, Uncle Tu!
Great Admirer of Generosity
US experiment fails
Isn't it time we all faced the unpalatable truth: The American experiment looked very promising for much of the first 240 years, give or take the odd civil war and Jim Crow apartheid system, but it is becoming increasingly clear it just hasn't worked out.
As Donald Trump, his crime family and his cronies feed noisily at the trough of corruption, in plain sight of every sentient being in the cosmos, over 40% of Americans see absolutely nothing to worry about. Trump's foreign policy positions shift in ways that seem only logical when viewed from the bottom line of the Trump organisation's accounts, yet the citizenry of the US are either oblivious or impotent or in many cases both.
Checks and balances? Ahh, perhaps that refers to the retirement home known as the Supreme Court, where, I believe, a group of OAPs watch a chimpanzee throwing darts at a board with court rulings written on it. Or perhaps, you mean Congress, where replacing one or two representatives with chimpanzees might actually raise the average IQ and would certainly raise ethical standards. These are the only explanations I can fathom for the complete inability of these bodies to pass sane laws on gun ownership and rein in a demented president.
Monks not above law
At last, no immunity for low-ranking or high-ranking monks. "Senior monks arrested for embezzlement, robbery" in the May 25 edition was a refreshing read. Now, let's see if the punishments fit the crimes.
I hope this sends a signal and acts as a deterrent to those monks contemplating public fraud. I am sure the police are working diligently and silently to apprehend that fraudster from the infamous Wat Dhammakaya and bring him to justice as well. Now, if only the same swift justice would fall on that rich brat in the fatal hit-and-run Ferrari case. But, we'll leave that for another time. Even wealthy and powerful monks are not wealthy enough to buy their way through the system.
'Big Joke' is hilarious
Re: "'Big Joke' lands officers in hot water", (BP, May 23).
Is the whole "Big Joke" police promotion scandal as hilarious to anyone else as it is to me? It seems like we have the corrupt version of the Keystone Kops right here in Thailand.
A taxi driver impersonated Surachate "Big Joke" Hakparn and set up a Line account using Surachate's name. Several of these Keystone Kops believed the account and bribed the fake "Big Joke" to ensure their promotions. These weren't lowly street officers, by the way. These were lieutenant colonels, colonels and major generals.
When they found that their corrupt ambition was exceeded only by their own stupidity, what did they do? They reported the taxi driver's crime of impersonation to the police, naturally. In terms of stupidity, I equate this action to a drug dealer reporting a drug supplier to the police for selling him flour instead of the real thing. Just what did they actually think would happen?
Now they're facing the loss of their jobs, as well they should be.
FGM happening here
Re: "Hassle over hijabs", (PostBag, May 24).
After Vint Chavala and the Bangkok Post's advocacy for Muslim schoolgirls to wear the hijab at school in the name of freedom of religion and Muslim customs, I am looking forward to their ringing endorsement of and advocacy for female genital mutilation (FGM). As quoted in the Al Jazeera article "female genital cutting in Thailand" in April, 2015, Imam Abdullah of the Committee of Islamic Council of Yala explains that female genital mutilation is something all women should do and is key to a Muslim's cultural identity: "You must peel a banana before you eat it and for women, it will reduce their wildness, making them clean and strong". If this is not a constitutional right worth fighting for, what is?
The title of the Guardian's article of April 1, 2015 on the prevalence of FGM was: "In Thailand's Muslim south, authorities turn a blind eye to FGM". So does, unfortunately, the Bangkok Post. In its May 19 article on government-sponsored male circumcision, not one single word on female genital mutilation of almost every Muslim baby girl. Thai doctors cutting them are breaking the guidelines of WHO which has banned FGM and considers it a violation of both children's and women's rights.
Appealing to masses
Re: "The world according to Trump, Xi," (Opinion, May 25).
Brahma Chellaney's brilliant analysis can be extended to domestic policies. Thus Xi is now effectively president for as long as he likes and China's civil rights abuses are ignored. Trump, on a daily basis, invents conspiracy theories to feed his own ego and to ensure his base takes up pitchforks and muskets should the Leader's tenancy of the White House ever be threatened by "the Swamp".
Doubtless Trump will soon be engineering a terrible crisis to justify why the 2020 elections in the US need to be postponed -- if he thinks he might lose.
Gwynne Dyer is quite fair in his May 23 article "Enemy of my Enemy," but his last four paragraphs do not stand up to scrutiny. Some of his statements are based on statistics built on other dubious statistics and unreliable polls to back up his claims on the age demographic at the UK/EU referendum. Also to say the mandate was narrow at almost 4% is misleading as it was the largest voter majority for over half a century in the UK.
His final two paragraphs are of course his own "Project Fear" opinions that neglect to see the other side of the coin. Many in the "Populist Revolt" against the EU see it exactly for what it is and the consequences of its stated intentions.
Several of the ex-Soviet bloc countries that have joined the EU have indeed elected a more "right-wing" government after decades under Soviet control, but I suggest that this has happened because many people have realised they are now being bossed around by another outside power.
I would add that Nato has been the defender of peace in Europe not the EU and with the rise of Russia once again that role should continue in Nato's hands.
The proposed EU Army would be extremely expensive and ineffective against Russia for many decades, so what purpose would it serve I wonder?
Malaysia no lesson
Re: "Lasting lessons from Malaysia for SE Asia", (Opinion, May 25).
There is a common thread that links all Asean members. Historically speaking, some are autocratic, a few of them are authoritarian and others are ruled by a combination of corrupt elite and military rulers. I am not sure what kind of lesson Thailand can learn from Malaysia where Mr Najib was on the top of the list of most corrupt politicians in the region. What sort of lesson can Thai people learn from Malaysia when the duly elected governments in Thailand are uprooted, not at the ballot box, but by a junta?
There is a very little prospect of a tsunami or an outburst against the military because its role has been glamourised as a saviour. In a country where politicians are bundled together with corrupt civil servants, police force and mafia, there is little hope of cultivating any form of a democratic system. Hence the use of force and fear will continue to shape its politics and culture. Democracy is not just about conducting elections, it is about empowering citizens.
Re: "Judges' housing pull-down hits hitch", (BP, May 24).
Treasury Department deputy chief Amornrat said that "removing or dismantling accommodation built using state money can only be done if the buildings are decommissioned, have been in use for more than 25 years, or are carried out for the purpose of concealing military secrets". What absolute rubbish and poppycock. General Prayut has moved mountains with just one word. Regardless of judicial haggling, legal or illegal, he can just say "demolish", and, presto, it would happen. Since when has legality been a stumbling block or issue here?
'Boodling' trumps trust
In his May 24 letter, Kuldeep Nagi writes: "The American polity and media which was built on the foundation of trust, decency and civility is in grave danger."
What American polity and media is he talking of? Might I suggest that he read Lincoln Steffens' The Shame of the Cities (1904) which analyses the systematic and entrenched 'boodling' (corruption) in the government of the major US cities of the time. One searches with great difficulty to find any trust, decency or civility.
TIP of the iceberg
It's a surprise to see the TIP report, which usually comes out in June, on the internet in the third week in May. Every year there are people who get to say things about TIP that are positive. The other point of view -- which is quite good too -- is ignored. How about if someone attempts to tell the bigger story and explain TIP in a different way? TIP and America's hysteria about sexual issues should be America's problem, not the problem of everyone else in the world.
I am retired after 22 years with the US State Department and now I am a grad student in Demography at Chulalongkorn University. Trafficking is a migration issue, not an issue only for criminal justice.
Paper straw days
It is interesting to note that there is now a "war" to eliminate the use of plastic straws. While growing up in New York City in the 40s and 50s, straws were made of a stiff paper, easily crumbled up, easily put into the garbage. They'd last in a soft drink, egg cream, ice cream soda or 2-cents plain, for about half hour, more than enough time to finish the drink. Plastic straws were introduced as a way to make more money, nothing more, nothing less.
Old Bronx Dog
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