Thailand-based Flexoresearch Group has developed a method of extracting pulp fibers from laminated paper products, which are difficult materials to recycle. The process conserves virgin pulp and reduces toxic wastes. The reclaimed pulp is used to make paper, building materials and vehicle brake pads. (Do you really want your brakes made from virgin pulp? Only in Thailand.)
“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly — it must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”
Joseph Goebbels. (For example, “Fair and Balanced”.)
Today’s news from Thailand:
The Thai army numbering just a few hundred thousand soldiers and that so far as I know has almost never fought a foreign war has 550 generals while the US a country that has been at war almost constantly for the past 100 years with an army of about 1.5 million has 302 generals. (Does this mean the Thai military is top-heavy and rife with corruption and nepotism or that the US has too few generals to keep us out of war?)
Pookie the Invincible’s update:
I have not written for about a week because I have been in Bangkok discharging my baby sitting responsibilities. The care and feeding of a hyperactive 5-year-old left this 70-year-old too exhausted for much else. I was called to duty by SWAC because she claimed to be too busy packing for their departure to be able to also mind the effervescent creature that is also her son.
They finally departed for the US last night, Sacramento California I believe. I have returned to Paradise by the Sea to rest and recuperate.
I can look at their departure as either the end of a story, except perhaps for an epilogue, postscript or even an afterword written by someone else, or as simply another chapter in the Hayden-Pookie melodrama. Or, in the immortal words of the divine Sarahpalin, “I didn’t really had a good answer, as so often — is me.”
Meanwhile I must make a decision regarding my residence since my lease is up this month. I have to decide between the lonely rich widow, the poor but good-hearted masseuse or something else equally irresponsible and self-indulgent. Should I remain here in Paradise by the Sea close to the sybaritic capital of South-east Asia or move to Chiang Mai or out of Thailand entirely, perhaps to a beach villa in Ghana or summer in the leaky old boat in Maine and winter in a leaky old boat in say the Bahamas or travel off to El Petrillo in Ecuador where, through the generosity of my correspondents and friends, I now have a wealth of information or take a nap and by doing so blissfully escape this sea of choices? To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay there’s the little nubbin. How much better it is to drift in dreamland and awake with the decisions made by fate than actually take responsibility for one’s own mistakes. (My thank-you’s to Shakespeare and Sarahpalin.)
But first I have to look into the state of my health. In my past emails the only medical problems I mentioned were bouts of depression, mild colds and breathing difficulties due to the air pollution occasioned by the burning of the rice fields in Chiang Mai, but in the last few weeks I have been generally exhausted, suffering multiple joint pains and one or two increasing discomforts of the aging male that I will not go into. Even my naps have become more of a necessity than an eccentricity. I always looked at myself a somewhat robust if overweight and out of shape, but now when I look into the mirror I still see the overweight, out of shape guy but he appears to me to be becoming frail. I do not know if it was due to the exertions of caring for a rambunctious 5-year-old or not. The first thing I need today is a nap, then it is time for my annual check-up anyway.
A note added to the above September 6 post:
For those of you who wrote to me requesting more information regarding Phattalung, I am sending along this blurry satellite photo of Pan Tae, the village outside of Phattalung where the events described in my prior email took place.
Pan Tae is a Village (Muban) and an administrative organization (Tambon) of about 6000 people located in the district (Amphoe) of Khuan Khanun (also the central market town) in the Provence of Phattalung, Thailand.
The grayish/brownish/greenish larger areas generally are rice paddies. The denser green areas are either rubber trees or jungle. The gleaming white structures are houses with corrugated tin roofs that reflect the sunlight. The village temple is located in the sort of brownish spot along the road just above the little temple symbol.
My house can be found along the road at the top of the photo. It is the large grayish structure on the south of the road just to the right of the large grey brown mass. To the left of the large grey brown mass is a white blob. That is the house of the mayor who was shot and killed by someone standing in the trees across the road. As I mentioned in that prior email I was residing in the house that night and attended the funeral a few days later.
Natalie’s father mother and sister live in a small compound of two houses located in the small grey mass just north of the Temple on the inland side of the road on the right of the photo. Across the street is the soup shop.
Directly adjacent to my house between in it and the brown mass is a mostly unpaved road. It passes between three white spots identifying tin roofed buildings. The southern most of which to the left of the road is the house that Natalie says is where she used to take refuge to escape her father’s beatings.
Just south of that house, also on the left side of the barely visible road is a grayish greenish area with what looks to be a large black rectangle in its midst. That is the compound in which lived:
The poor kids, in the small white spot just above the black area.
The brother (in the grey area just to the left of the black). He was killed while peeing in the black area (a cleared gravel space between the buildings). He left a wife and three children who still live in the house (Except for the oldest child [Faun] who lives in Bangkok at the bar and goes to school in the city).
In the bright while spot to the bottom of the black,the brother-in-law, husband to the wife, Natalie’s older sister who allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a tree behind the house. He murdered the brother and about 5 other people we know about. He still lives in that house and vows to kill the rest of the family someday.