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Moral conundrum

Re: "Bill on media council gets cabinet nod," (BP, Jan 13). When we read in "Bill on media council gets cabinet nod" that "the exercise of media freedoms must not infringe on social mores", all who value good public morals will be deeply concerned. This must be so since being a social mores never has and cannot of itself guarantee that any belief, custom, or attitude is morally good.

But not only does the proposed bill on media ethics oppose good public morals, it directly contradicts foundational democratic principle. You cannot claim to support democracy if at the same time you deny the expression of ideas merely because they are unpopular, because they "infringe on (existing) social mores".

Good persons who value sound ethics will reject legislation that both panders to unquestioned social mores that may well be in need of correction, and that blatantly contradicts democratic principle.


Puff the magic dragon

Re: "Time for weed to bloom," (Editorial, Jan 14).

In an economy that could use any economic stimulus at this point to bolster the nation, legalising marijuana for recreational use would be a great factor on many levels.

First, it would reduce the amount of resources expended on criminal prosecutions and incarceration.

Second, it would be a major draw and attraction for tourism. Not only would travellers enjoy having the same freedoms they have at home, it would attract those that would like to try it. Whether Thailand likes it or not, there exists a global cultural narrative about "Thai Stick". Capitalising on this with a marketing strategy through hosting an annual "Thai Stick Cup" would be easy.

Third, it would add untold revenue to the national coffers through taxation. Most of the political resistance to this comes from criminal elements that avoid taxes through the product being illegal and the higher prices that illegality demands.

Finally, as a social lubricant, there are no deaths directly associated with usage unlike with alcohol consumption. It is one of the safest substances that mankind has used for millennia before the Drug Acts of the 70s.

When compared to the total benefits from medicinal and recreational usage, there is no logical reason to continually resist this for purely political and misguided morality ideals.

After all, how can Nature be illegal? If your brain has natural receptors for cannabinoids, then the usage is naturally expected and part of the design.


Kansas no more, Dot

Re: "Migrants seek better times closer to home," (Opinion, Jan 7).

Thana Boonlert gets nostalgic during the New Year's holiday, noting how many people were going back to their hometowns during this period, and how he himself would like to go there permanently (Klaeng district, Rayong).

Alas, he, like many others, cannot, since there are few job opportunities in the small rural towns. It should be noted that this is a worldwide phenomenon, not specific to the kingdom only.

Yet, who does Mr Thana blame for all of this? Why, it's that most convenient of scapegoats -- foreigners!

As he states: "In my opinion, rural migration is emblematic of structural problems, a mirror of how unequal development in Thailand has been. Lopsided development is a footprint of the post WWII legacy of the US, which used Thailand as an anti-communist base in Asia".

Well, considering how many Thais still live "upcountry", I'd say the Americans were not very successful in their efforts!

Rather than too many Thais living in big cities such as the capital, I'd say the problem is that too many Thais still live in the country.

The inhabitants in the vast amount of nations in the world have migrated to the cities since WWII; Thailand remains one of the few exceptions, although it must be admitted that the process has occurred here also, but in a smaller scale.

If Thailand is to become a developed nation, the rulers would be wise to note how formerly poor countries such as Taiwan and Singapore became rich almost overnight by industralising and developing policies that encouraged citizens to rapidly move to the cities.


Houdini jabs

Re: "Smarten up to fight Covid," (PostBag, Jan 9).

So everything is okay in Thailand, according to Burin Kantabutra. Then why can I not get a booster shot in this country. I live in Ratchaburi province, and have not been able to get a shot here. I had to go to Bangkok to get my first two shots. Now I go to Ratchaburi Hospital and they tell me no. This poor foreigner can not get a third shot here unless I pay for it myself with Moderna which I believe finally arrived but nothing has been said by the hospitals.


Ill logic

Re: "Indonesia launches booster campaign to stem the tide of Omicron," (Online, Jan 12).

The article claims that because Indonesia has a low vaccination rate it is vulnerable to spreading Covid-19. So I did a little googling and found that the infection rate in that country was roughly 2%. By contrast, in America and Western Europe where you have much higher rates of vaccinations Covid is spreading like wildfire.

I am serous when I ask the media: Are you deliberately lying or you're completely incapable of thinking for yourselves?


Covid chaos

Having arrived in Thailand recently using the Test & Go Thailand Pass I was quite impressed with the efficiency of clearing the Medical and Immigration areas. We were given a small form to fill out and sent to a kiosk where our QR code was checked. No additional documents were asked for. We proceeded to Immigration where the normal passport and ID checks were made and in less than 30 minutes, I was on my way to the arrivals hall.

Finding my hotel on the five or six kiosks I was soon heading to my SHA+ hotel. That's when things got weird. At no point were we separated from the other guests in the lobby area at the hotel. I filled out a three-meal food request and was taken to my room. The doctor showed up a few hours after I arrived and took the test samples. Again, at no time was I isolated from the normal hotel population. In fact, I was able to leave my room at any time and travel throughout the hotel at will, even going outside to a local 7-11. The doctor showed up a few hours after I arrived and took the test samples. Meals were delivered and instead of leaving them in the hall the valet knocked and brought them into the room. Finally, the next day, almost 28 hours after I checked in, I received a call asking if I was checking out. I indicated I was waiting for my test results and the person checked and said they were available in the lobby. Upon checking out I was not given the required RTK for reporting my status 5-6 days later. The only mention of the Mor Prom app was a small sign on the lobby desk.

The one day (non)quarantine needs to be much better managed with the travellers isolated in a secure area and not allowed to leave their rooms until their tests come back.


Ashes to ashes

Everyone who has been in Thailand a few years knows that smoke and dust are the causes of pollution and know the sources. The burning of huge amounts of plant waste by the sugar and corn growers is well known by anyone living close to the growing areas. Whole hillside forests are also set on fire for the hopeful conversion of land into private hands or if you believe the stories for mushroom growth. The liberation of dust from road construction is obvious to anyone who lives near a large highway project where mud and dirt carried onto the road is then transformed by the thousands of wheels that send it skywards. Some factories have constantly smoking chimneys and many vehicles have dangerous exhaust emissions. All this we know. Sadly none of us really believe that the present, or even any of the past governments, would try to rein in the sugar industry, the animal feed business, construction companies, industrial zones and the vehicle driving population. Until the people's needs are considered to be greater than that of business and making profits we are doomed to suffer air pollution every year.


Unhappy meals

Re: "Fries' size matters," (PostBag, Jan 8) and "Burger economies," (PostBag, Jan 5).

Regarding S Tsow's concerns about comestible nomenclature for Bangkok, exotic sandwiches have grown in popularity in the Big Mango in the last few years, especially in establishments that have been under lock and key since the onset of Covid and for some time before, ahem.

Perhaps we could consider the BBLT (Bangkok's Bloody Loss of Tourists) or the Bahrt Burger (to recognise this worthy's modesty).


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