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About plachon

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    Khon Kaen

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  1. It's called globalisation and trade liberalisation...... "Are we witnessing the gradual evacuation of certain parts of the world?" - Yes, as years of failed globalisation and development policies, natural resources rape on a massive scale and futile wars perpetuated by the Anglo-American pact come back to haunt the West. The entrance of China and other fast-growing economies into the development mix, is only exacerbating the problems. "Will most of Africa be trees and animals by the middle of the century?" No - probably not, because the sheer rate of population growth, deforestation and general ecological destruction in Africa will ensure it remains heavily populated with resource-hungry people and wildlife scarce into the future, with the exception of a few heavily protected parks for rich tourists.
  2. plachon

    Vietnam Visa Info

    Anybody know if the visa exemption policy for up to 15 days stay for UK and other EU nationals is likely to be extended past 30 June 2018, or is it likely to revert to ordinary tourist visas, irrespective of length of stay once more?
  3. Oh, I don't know. Given the current penchant for commodifying everything in Thailand, that includes turning that magnificent piece of historic real estate and raintrees into another hi-so shopping mall and matchwood respectively, I could see Queen Vicky being profitably repositioned near the new Embassy shoebox on Sathorn and charging barren women 100 B a shot to rub her crotch, as was once the custom when she sat proudly out front on Chidlom. She could become the new Erawan Shrine for infertile couples across Asia - tourists could be double-charged for a furtive rub, as is the quaint custom elsewhere in LOS.
  4. No, more likely something he learned from superstitious parents or relatives, and then reinforced further at the temple and various other animist traditions and ceremonies that are part and parcel of Thai and Isaan cultural life. But don't think that superstitions are confined to "third world" (NB: an outdated and inappropriate term) countries alone. They are very much in evidence in everyday life here in UK and the West in general. People avidly reading horoscopes, not walking under ladders or touching wood when they need reassurance or crossing themselves is no less irrational or superstitious than a lot of the things that are superstitions in Thailand. And ignorance is alive and kicking in every Western nation - Brexit and Trump as president is living proof of that truism. In fact, Idiocracy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiocracy) has come to the US 500 years sooner than Mike Judge imagined. The Simpsons creators were mighty prescient about how quickly mass ignorance would speed the decline in America, however. So don't imagine for one second that Thailand has some sort of monopoly on ignorance and superstition, but look more critically at your own homeland, wherever it happens to be.
  5. Weren't these the women that the Khon Kaen cops queued up to have selfies taken with? I guess they are just mimicking the sense of gravitas around the crime from law enforcement officials and how (not) to behave correctly in public spaces and govt buildings.
  6. Klong Dan - the project that continues to run and run, even though it "had been deemed unlawful because it violated multiple relevant laws" and was widely recognised to be "corruption ridden" from top to bottom, conception to end point of utter failure in its objectives. What the article fails to mention is that it was financed through an Asian Development Bank loan and was signed off and approved as a first rate public-private partnership problem by a raft of foreign consultant "experts", all of whom should also have been made to face the music of a Thai court, but seemed to all vanish into thin air, when the shit hit the fan. That these corrupt companies could even consider that they deserved compensation is utterly beyond belief, but at least the Central Administrative Court has come to the correct decision over this. The real losers in this case are the locals who lost their mangrove swamp and fishing grounds, along with the entire Thai public who have ultimately bankrolled this mega-disaster of a project.
  7. Exactly. Just like the requirement to use motorbike helmets, unless police or authorities enforce it 24 hours a day without grace or favour, then a ban on a given pesticide is meaningless. Thailand is known to have a thriving pesticide industry with connections in high places. It needs enforcement from top to bottom of a corrupt chain. Even when some pesticides have been banned in Thailand, they are still produced here, for sale to neighbouring countries where regulations are even laxer than Thailand. And then there's a good chance, if a certain pesticide is deemed to be effective by poorly-educated farmers, that it easily finds its way back across the Mekong or Cambodian border through informal markets. Thus, the control of dangerous pesticides is a societal-wide problem that needs to be tackled by all agencies in a coordinated manner, alongside lots more public education and awareness raising across the board, to cause a shift in behaviour and attitudes towards the easy route of spraying everything which has now become the norm.
  8. plachon

    DNP: Wild tiger population in Thailand increases

    Sounds like an advert for rich industrialists to head off to the forests with their rifles....mind you, note the absence of black panthers in the pics. On a more serious note, Thai wildlife rangers should be congratulated for doing their bit to make this happen, as across the rest of the region, tigers are either extinct (Cambodia) or down to pitifully low numbers (Laos, Vietnam and Burma). Hope the upward trend continues in Thai NP's.
  9. In Hartford, CT. Large imposing monochrome buildings with few or no windows on the outside, no playgrounds visible, just a Stars n'Stripes flag hanging out front and no obvious signs to say they were schools; more like borstals or prisons in the UK. I honestly was confused at first as to what they were, as no kids visible.
  10. I fail to see how spraying water on the pavements will remove PM2.5 particulate matter from the air, but if it gets the boys in green out on the streets and showing how much use they are to society and who runs the show, who am I to complain about the logic of Army Region 1? Perhaps the next step will be, like with the Chao Phraya floods solution, will be to install a line of giant fans heading towards the Gulf of Siam and just blow the smog out to sea.......
  11. Have you ever been to America? They already have them. When I went to the US, I mistook the first 3 schools I saw for prisons. No wonder the kids are all so <deleted> up over there, when they are virtually incarcerated in penal institutions for much of their childhood. And then they wonder why a few of them turn into shooters and decide the best solution is to just arm the teachers......it all makes perfect sense:
  12. Trump said his administration would emphasize background checks and mental health in an effort to make schools safer. "We're going to be very strong on background checks, we're doing very strong background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health," Trump said. If he's true to his word, that would at least rule Trump himself out from being able to own a gun, so that's something at least. Sociopathic narcissists would definitely fail at the background checks.
  13. plachon

    What type of snake is this ?

    Too late for that. It's spine looks broken it at least 2 places and it will not be keeping vermin at bay any longer. I used to have this urge to bash snakes that came near our house many years ago, but gradually learned they do more good than harm and are a vital part of the local ecosystem. So unless it is in the house and directly threatening me, my reaction is to let them go with a verbal warning these days....
  14. The right to free speech, peaceful protest, breathe clean air and the right of children to grow up in a healthy environment. This will test Prayuth's new found commitment to promoting human rights.
  15. I suspect that what he forgot to mention that these only apply to human rights with "Thai characteristics".... a pick n'mix "Thai niyom human rights" if you will. Freedom of speech, rights to gather peacefully and electoral democracy will be three of the immediate exclusions, no doubt.