Clock is ticking
Re: "Charter rewrite vote delay," (BP, Sept 25).
Given the absurdly high salaries we are paying our "representatives" and their aides, one would think they could at least fake representing the people, but apparently not, as they slink out the back of parliament to avoid the people and head to their mansions after basically failing to do anything about a charter rewrite.
It seems clear to me that parliament has no intention of making any changes to the constitution that will even come close to satisfying the people, but I suspect they will go on dragging this out for as long as possible, so they can go on living the good life on the taxpayer's money.
I don't know how long this government can go on doling out miniscule amounts to the millions of poor to keep them from revolting while they collect big salaries for basically doing nothing but I imagine the money will run out one of these days and the students will be less than pleased to find they are heavily indebted for the rest of their lives because of this big nothing that they are now being forced to pay every day now.
Bullies in every way
The Bangkok Post's timely editorial on the pressing issue of cyber bullying ("Stop the cyber bullies", Sept 24) was much appreciated.
It highlights aptly the apparent partiality of Thai authorities, whose perceived double standards in applying the law are exactly the sort of traditional moral failing of decades against which the better part of Thailand's youth are today protesting for long-overdue reform.
And well done to Pacharaporn Chantarapradit for standing firm on the moral high ground despite the bullying.
Such a courageously patriotic act on behalf of all Thais against the traditional bigotry of the past is a light for all.
Good people, including good Thais, are pro-democracy. The bullies are wrong.
Their bullying but proves their position is barren of right and reason. Worse, the abusive language that some use, speaking, for example, of "hating the nation" and labelling expressions of opinion they dislike as "an incurable disease" cast the very Thainess they pretend to champion as something fit only for the places whence their own language comes.
Some people, it appears, need to be sent back to school that they may be taught to speak politely in society.
The articulate youth protesting out of love of their nation teach Thailand a far better example of respectful inclusivity and willingness to respectfully consider opposing opinions.
The key to reform
I agree with the issue of having "self-esteem 'key' to preventing repeat offences" (BP, Sept 16). It's still not easy for society to accept drug offenders even if they are users, not drug dealers.
It seems that their unemployment or inadequate income for their lifestyle (very few of them get the opportunity to work as employees on a minimum wage) pushes them to take risks by reentering the drug trade. A broader perspective about self-worth rather than direct income -- like their steadfast determination not to return to their drug cycle before having self-employed careers -- would be the vital starting point for them to have a choice and not return to this cycle.
Re: "Groups draft wellbeing plan LGBTIQN+", (BP, Sept 24).
The article says that "LGBTIQN+, according to ThaiHealth, stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer, and Non-Binary -- gender identities that are identified outside the gender binary of masculine and feminine". This is utterly false and outrageous. L, G and B are sexual orientations, not gender identities, and the vast majority of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are perfectly comfortable with their gender being the same as their biological sex (feminine for lesbians, masculine for gays, etc).
Telling them they are not of the gender they have identified with all their life is what they call mis-gendering. It is unfair treatment and discrimination, and can only be detrimental to their physical, mental and intellectual health. Children that have different sexual orientations are most vulnerable to this and should be protected.
Lesbian, gay and bisexual groups (which are not gender groups anyway) should denounce this, boycott and block this plan, and, wherever possible, file complaints against ThaiHealth and groups and academics with these discriminatory views under available laws and statutes that ban gender discrimination and protect public health.
Big Joke, no joke
Re: David James Wong's comments in his Sept 25 letter that Big Joke did not go far enough. Big Joke represented all that is harmful to Thailand's politics, its reputation, the tourist industry and to those living in Thailand on various visas. His policy to encourage Thais to report any "suspicious Westerners" was a page out of a Russian Komsomol handbook during the Stalin era in the old USSR.
While visiting Myanmar many years ago, I was cautioned to be super careful about what I said near students, children and those adults who casually introduced themselves in the streets and at the Shwedagon Pagoda. The students reported what they heard, the children reported what their parents talked about and those "casual adults" were security staff on the look-out for any tourist who said anything unfavourable. Yup, Big Joke would have gone full Monty, given enough time and leeway. The PM is right to be wary of any politicians, police or generals who consider themselves indispensable, and declare themselves the true guardians of the nation and the preservation of national interests.
No common sense
Re: "Feeling unappreciated", Khun Samanea Saman is so right when saying, (regarding the Immigration Bureau) "… you are hereby authorised to use a modicum of common sense and rescind your threats and intimidation against stranded tourists, perhaps even taking measures to make them feel welcome and appreciated." The Immigration Bureau is used to using intimidation and threats, learned from that king of jokers, former Immigration Bureau chief, Big Joke. His trademark was both threats and intimidation. As for Khun Samanea's plea for a modicum common sense, ha! The Bureau has not used common sense since it moved to bigger premises at Chaeng Watthana. The only thing that got bigger were their heads, egos and power displays.
Caution over Covid
The Israeli government announced last week that it was locking down the country for a second time. This should serve as a cautionary tale for all other nations.
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Jewish state was looked upon as an exemplar of how a country should deal with the coronavirus, as the rates of infection were very low.
But jump six months later, and the country now has one of the highest rates per capita of coronavirus in the world.
As your paper has emphasised here, due diligence must continually be practised when dealing with the coronavirus.
It does not matter how low that the rates were previously; once the virus takes hold it will start spreading quickly if proper precautions are not taken against it, no matter what the country.
Eric Bahrt may be factually correct in both his recent letters concerning the polio vaccine. However, he has missed at least one important point. As I understand it, the vaccine delivered orally contains an attenuated virus, which stimulates an immune response without giving you polio. This attenuated virus may be passed from one person to another. Thus, although not everyone receives the vaccine, they may still benefit from the vaccination programme by "catching" the attenuated virus strain. This would explain why herd immunity may be achieved without necessarily vaccinating everyone.
Perhaps more importantly, Mr Bahrt seemed to be implying in his first letter that vaccination is some kind of weird conspiracy, though I may have misunderstood him. It is not entirely clear precisely what he believes. Perhaps he might care to state his views explicitly.
A worthless Bahrt
I would like Mr Eric Bahrt to quote his source regarding polio vaccination in Europe and give reliable statistics instead of making unverified assertions. At a time when a pandemic is ravaging the world, I find it unconscionable for some people to denigrate the work of scientists and to sow doubt about the usefulness of a vaccine to put an end to it. If you were bitten by a rabid dog, Mr Bahrt, would you rush to the hospital to get an anti-rabies shot?
A for audacious
As the US election draws nearer, Donald Trump's claims are becoming ever more audacious and brazen. Trump now assigns himself a grade of "A+" for his performance in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the reality the country has suffered more deaths and more deaths per capita than any other nation on the planet. I wonder if the families of the more than 200,000 Americans who have died as a result of Covid-19 infection would agree with the grading system adopted by Trump.
I want my cake
I have just read that President Trump will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election. To the US embassy, please treat us to more of your delicious cheesecakes.
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