This and that from re Thai r ment. May 25, 2010

I did not mean for my last post to spark a controversy. I only was trying to thank those (like my daughter Jessica) who expressed concern for my safety . I did not mean to imply that they or anyone had criticized the subject matter of the emails. My bad.

On the other-hand, I am pleased to learn that there are those who read this stuff and feel passionate about it.

You know, there are a lot of reasons why I write these emails. One of them is that being alone here as I am, seeing your names in the “To” box makes me feel that in some small way you are here and I am talking to each of you. Another reason is that I often get bored writing in my journal, like earlier this afternoon when I recorded how long it took me to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Yes, old habits die hard, even though the cost of obtaining american peanut butter and jelly raises the price of the sandwich to rival a lobster diner.

Of course, I do not write everything that I record in my journal. For example, as a parent whose children and grandchildren are recipients of these emails, it had been impressed upon me that in order to be a good parent, I should never let my children know, that I use foul language, that I have sex of any sort, that I doubt just about everything that I do and that I know next to nothing about child-rearing. As for the last, those of you who are parents probably, like me, had the worst teachers imaginable, their own parents who in most cases married too young to know anything and had to muddle through it like everyone else. Or in the case of my parents who were so poor and ill-educated they had to fumble through old world nostrums to figure out which fit the new order they found themselves in.

Anyway, I am no longer your reporter from the front, since there no longer is a front. Each of the contestants have retreated to their respective corners (and in Thailand there are a lot of corners) plotting their next moves. And make no mistake about it there will be more moves. Rumors of new demonstrations and crackdowns flood the daily press reports.

Recently in the english language press, there have been a number of articles calling for the government to crack down on the police for their alleged sympathy and assistance to the Red Shirts. This reflects the ongoing conflict between the police and the military in Thai society. They along with the Monarchy, the government and the Chinese-Thai business community make up the more or less independent institutions that govern Thailand (no checks and balances here).

The police resent the military because its officer corps are reasonably well compensated and comfortably housed on their military bases and the military has never had to fight a real foreign invader since almost the beginning of the creation of modern Thailand, while the police must confront corruption (often their own), politics, violence and criminal gangs on a daily basis for very low pay. The resentment and jealousy increases by the fact that the military officer corps is mostly immune from responsibility to the police and the country’s court system for any civil crimes that they may commit.

Until this fundamental conflict between the forces of order in the country is resolved one can expect to see the Red Shirts, the Yellow Shirts and the other institutions of Thai society try to take advantage of that conflict for their own advantage.

In short, little has been resolved except that now one can get to most of the major shopping centers in downtown Bangkok to shop.

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Categories: April 2010 through June 2010 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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