Time to get tough
I agree wholeheartedly with the Feb 11 Editorial, "Army security needs review", about abuse of power between the higher echelons and their subordinates.
I can't imagine that the military in any developed country would permit financial dealings of any type between senior officers (or their families) and the men under their command.
Yet financial dealings of this type, including informal money lending, are reputedly commonplace in the Thai military and police.
One even hears of policemen having to borrow guns from colleagues to go on duty.
This is because their personal weapons are taken as security for loans by senior officers' wives.
A new law mandating instant dismissal without pension for any officers caught engaging in such practices or allowing their families to do so would surely be a step in the right direction.
Army should wake up
It is extremely sad that someone has to go berserk and kill and wound so many innocent people to wake up the army to make them aware of an injustice.
In a country with so much poverty and an extreme inequality of wealth, I wonder how many more people there are out there who would do the same thing if they had easy access to such weapons.
Put it into perspective
Let's put the coronavirus into perspective using some statistics.
A rough estimate on the number of deaths per month from the new coronavirus is relatively low.
Aspirin kills about the same number each year.
But in the United States alone, approximately 20,000 people per month die of iatrogenic causes (deaths caused by medical treatment).
Worldwide about 38,000 per month die from influenza, 50,000 from HIV, 90,000 from automobile accidents and 1 million from heart disease.
Furthermore, some effective preventive measures include taking vitamin D3, and greatly reducing sugar in the diet.
Of course, the mainstream medical establishment will not tell you this.
There is a reason for me to suggest referring to the statistic on iatrogenic deaths in the US.
The medicine business is economically interested only in the relief of symptoms, not in preventative or curative medicine.
Readers may notice how focused the medical news is on how soon a vaccine may become available to treat a coronavirus infection.
No mention is ever made of how to prevent the virus and strengthen the immune system.
A year's prophylactic treatment with 10,000 units of vitamin D3 gelcaps costs about 600 baht, much more than a single doctor's visit.
Lives come first
Anyone who has run a large organisation will be very familiar with the basic need for disaster planning. This may be computer failure or hacking, fire, flood, infection etc. A detailed disaster plan is documented listing who to contact and what actions to take.
How can it be that after Sars, Mers, H5N1, Ebola etc, Thailand can be so unprepared and indecisive.
For example, there are insufficient masks available and the ones that are, are of dubious effectiveness. Unforgivable.
Are flights from China to be banned or visas just be a little less convenient to obtain? Should sport and spectator events be banned? Should schools be closed?
I don't know but it is clear that neither do the authorities.
There appears to have been no pre-planning.
Discussions about riverside walkways, bridges to Samui and proxy voting may all be very interesting but people's lives come first.
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