Tuesday, November 25, 2008










Reference: 52 abuse victims per day, Bangkok Post, November 26, 2008

The Thai government's advice to women "not to walk through dark and isolated areas alone at night" as a way of combating violence against women and children appears to be strangely disconnected from the data. The data show that most cases of such violence occur at home and that "most of the abusers were people whom the victims loved and trusted" (52 abuse victims per day, Bangkok Post, November 26, 2008). Staying away from dark and isolated areas is necessary but not sufficient and it does not address the issue of domestic violence.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Monday, November 24, 2008









Reference: Hindus seek peace, Bangkok Post, November 24, 2008

It is reported that a two-year ritual is to be held in India involving thousands of priests chanting ancient religious verses and lighting a ceremonial fire in order to keep the world from going into economic recession (Hindus seek peace, Bangkok Post, November 24, 2008). At a time of relative weakness and vulnerability of the Western economic system it may seem that the time has arrived for Asia to take the lead as global economic powers. Yet, deep down in the foundation of Asian societies we find goofiness and superstition that are so profoundly congealed in the Asian psyche that the Western economic powers need not fear real changes in the global economic hierarchy any time soon. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Sunday, November 23, 2008










Reference: Commentary, Bangkok Post, November 24, 2008

So much has been made of the color of Obama's skin that we have overlooked the obvious. The singular characteristic that sets Obama apart from US presidents in recent memory is not that he is black but that he is smart. Not only that, it now seems obvious that in this administration brains will trump politics and pork. The unikely confluence of a transition to a competent adminstration and an economic shock of historical proportions is a strange case of reality mimicking fiction. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand









Reference:Malaysia's Muslims told not to practice yoga, Bangkok Post, November 23, 2008

Yoga is a form of stretching and slow motion sustained movements of the human body that has been shown to have enormous health benefits. It is not a religion. Foribidding Muslims to participate in this healthful activity simplly because it is thought to have been derived from another religion is cruel and ignorant if not sinful. The alternatives to yoga proposed for Muslims - cycling, swimmming, and eating less fatty foods - though certainly healthy, and possibly good complements for yoga, are not by any stretch of the imagination substitutes for it. Muslim clerics who eschew helpful knowledge from sources deemed unislamic are cheating themselves and their brethren. One can only hope that sanity and rational thought will eventually prevail down there in Malaysia and Muslims there will be allowed  to take advantage of all proven healthful practices, even those that did not originate in Islamic culture. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand








Reference: Fantastic green rally 2008, Bangkok Post, November 23, 2008

Driving a car with the "pedal to the metal" means that the accelerator has been pressed all the way down and that the car is travelling as fast as it is capable. This kind of driving is not fuel efficient and creates road hazards besides. There is nothing green about it. Incidenally the word in this phrase is pedal as in the gas pedal and not peddle, a word that refers to sellling trivial items or things that require salesmanship. 

Cha-am Jamal
'Thailand

Wednesday, November 19, 2008









Reference: Uproar over drilling leases next to US parks, Bangkok Post, November 19, 2008

The reason for the uproar by environmentalists over the leasing of government lands in Utah for oil drilling is reported in the Post as follows: "If you are standing at Delicate Arch, like thousands of people do every year, and you're looking through the arch, you could see drill pads on the hillside behind it" (Uproar over drilling leases next to US parks, Bangkok Post, November 19, 2008). The irony is that all of those thousands of arch viewers drove oil fueled automobiles for hours through the moonscape of Utah to get there. Without oil they would not be there in the first place. Since they have bought into the oil economy they may as well get a glimpse of the activity  - many kilometers away - that made it possible for them to see the blessed arch.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Tuesday, November 18, 2008










Reference: Glaciers falling faster into sea, Bangkok Post, November 18, 2008

Mt. Erebus along with most of the mountains in Antarctica are volcanic mountains and it is now known with certainty that volcanic activity under the ice there is causing great amounts of ice to melt and to form gigantic masses of liquid water under the ice that would naturally cause glaciers to flow faster. The attempt by global warming protagonists to represent these events as climate change phenomena (Glaciers falling faster into sea, Bangkok Post, November 18, 2008) is fraudulent and inconsistent with the data that were made available to Bangkok Post readers earlier this year (The fire below, Bangkok Post, April 28, 2008). 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Monday, November 17, 2008








Reference: Crime does not pay, Bangkok Post, November 17, 2008

The story reports that shoplifters are fleecing the average household to the tune of 1,879 Baht per year. These data show that crime does in fact enrich the criminals and therefore that crime pays, the title of the story notwithstanding. 

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Thursday, November 06, 2008










Reference: The dream is still alive, Bangkok Post editorial, Bovember 6, 2008

The editorial says that, given a new administration, the US should "no longer shirk its responsibilities when it comes to climate change". It is probably for good reason that the phrase "global warming" has quietly morphed into "climate change" since evidence for warming is becoming harder and harder to come by. The world has not warmed since 1998 and in recent years we have seen a steep cooling trend, steeper than the pre-1998 warming trend. If we accept the Kyoto Protocol hypothesis that mankind is able to micromanage the planet's climate change phenomenon by changing fossil fuel consumption - decreasing consumption to cool down the planet and increasing consumption to warm it up - exactly what action do you propose that the new US administration should take now that the earth has entered a sustained cooling trend?

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand

Wednesday, November 05, 2008









Reference: India's hidden fragility, Bangkok Post, November 6, 2008

The nation of India has been a stable secular democracy of great cultural heritage and diversity since independence from Britain in 1947 wthout any non-democratic interventions in government. India is home to more people, more ethnic groups, more languages, more religions, both home grown and imported, and more cultural traditions than there are in North America and Europe combined. India's size and diversity are two of many measures of its greatness and importance in the global community of nations. Cultures often clash in this immense collage but the nation endures and that relationship is not a measure of India's fragility but of its robustness. The vicious negative spin put on India's diversity from an extremely narrow perspective (India's hidden fragility, Bangkok Post, November 6, 2008) appears to be blind to these more important global realities that India represents.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand





Saturday, November 01, 2008










Reference: A hope named Obama, Bangkok Post, November 1, 2008

The oped piece on the US presidential election first paints George Bush as the root of all the evil in the world and gushes effussively about Obama as the coming messiah who will deliver the world from evil (A hope named Obama, Bangkok Post, November 1, 2008); and immediately thereafter recants saying that it is not George Bush but the "political and economic establishment" in America that is the root of all evil in the world and that "one must not succumb to irrational hopes" or "entertain illusions" with respect to Obama. To that I would like to add that one must not write opinion pieces until one actually has an opinion.

Cha-am Jamal
Thailand