Taking umbrage to laugh lane
I read the article that you allowed to be printed written
by Mr. Jones (Life in the Laugh Lane). I assume he is an American and I hope
it’s not so. I am not a 30ish old American, I am 63 yrs old and recently
retired, living here in Sankamphaeng with my Thai wife who has lived with me
in the USA!
I find Mr. Jones article in bad taste, you Mr. Editor
would not have allowed such an article like this to be written about HM the
King of Thailand and printed in your paper, now would you!
Scott Jones replies: Mr. Mayo thinks I’m 30ish.
Let’s see, I’m 55, a little younger than him, “retired” as well, but
about as busy as I’ve ever been in my life helping rural children and
less-fortunate people here in Thailand. No, we wouldn’t print “an
article like this about HM the King,” because I wouldn’t have written
one. I respect what he does and am honored to be in his country. It seems
that since Mr. Mayo has left America, he’s forgotten about things like the
Bill of Rights and Freedom of Speech, values I still love about America,
though I choose not to live there. I also choose not to live there because
people like George W. Bush can somehow become the leader of the country. Mr.
Mayo is free to speak for the half of America that voted for Bush and I am
free to speak for the half that didn’t. But I’m not speaking for anyone
else but me, and that’s what freedom of speech is all about. Yes, I am an
American, though this is disappointing to Mr. Mayo, and I’ve taken the
liberty to retain some of my American rights here in Thailand.
The heart of America mourns with you
Thank you for sharing the news firsthand with us. All
over town, flags are still at half mast, clubs, TV stations and other
organizations and churches are collecting money and praying for those who
are helping to save lives. Kids are setting up lemonade stands. Auctions,
luncheons, and fund raising of every kind are going on.
The heart of America mourns with you. From our blessed
bounty we offer money, but we also offer profound sympathy. We cannot
imagine losing so many dear ones, and without warning. We especially are
concerned for those families who have lost their beloved children.
From a friend in south Florida, which has seen its share
of disasters (not the least of which is Jeb Bush, did I say that?) - Very
seldom do I become involved in what happens abroad. Although I grieve for
the losses and pain that others experience far away, I usually concentrate
my giving to causes here in the U.S., which are plentiful and also needy.
This time, though, I have been overwhelmed by the news. We have sent money,
but also send our hearts to all who have suffered so terribly.
From a daughter - Please tell me that precious little
girl in the photo with the Bam-Bam hairdo didn’t lose her family.
And from our son - We are so grateful to those who went
immediately to the Thai Red Cross to give blood, to the beaches to help
clean, to the camps to offer not only donations of food and clothing but
also gifts of their hearts. It makes us proud.
And from a writer/childhood friend - I saw those
message-boards on TV and was reminded immediately, as you were, of the
response in NYC to 9-11. I went into the city every day, dreading every
second of the trip, not out of fear but misery, and I saw those
message-boards on street corners and in the subways and knew that, a week
later, all those pleas for help were hopeless. Still, there they were, on
display, and it was truly heartbreaking. I fear you will have the same
experience when you are in Phuket.
North Carolina, USA
Thanks to everyone who supported tsunami charity party
Ref: Tsunami charity party - We raised a total of 637,000
baht for H.M. The King’s Foundation for the Tsunami relief fund in
Thailand - thanks to all those who supported us. Us being residents of
Hillside 4; Dr. Howard Graves, John Morgan, John Wright, Bart Sutton, Phil
Wharfe and Mark Walder also Marion and Michael from the Chiangmai Mail
and Pim from City Life. Thank you to those who donated such great prizes and
I would like to thank Khun Wachara - owner of Hillside
who paid for all the expenses and his staff who did a great job. If it had
not been for Marion and Michael of the Chiangmai Mail (Marion whose
contacts for raffle and auction prizes are great and Michael who was
brilliant as the MC along with Pim - her usual bubbly self and JJ) the
evening would not have raised nearly so much money.
Most of all though - the evening certainly belonged to
John Morgan - he kept me on the right track and sorted out all the problems.
If I have forgotten to thank any individual - it is only because there were
so many people who helped.
I have been told - same time next year plus one day.
Thank you all! It was exceptional.
No noise is good noise
In his recent birthday speech, His Majesty the King
expressed his growing concern about the increasing noise pollution in the
country. Prime Minister Thaksin sought the co-operation from owners of
discotheques and entertainment centers to reduce noise levels to a maximum
of 91 decibels.
This was obviously ignored by the organizers of the
Chiang Mai Winter Fair, whose decibels during the nightly performances of
various singers and rock bands must have been well off the scale, since in
our residential area over two kilometers away from the site the noise was
already intolerable. This, alas, was an unwelcome repeat of previous years.
If the Winter Fair has already received criticism of
being devoid of any cultural status or touristic value, it is further
degraded by catering to juvenile tastes in excessive noise at the expense of
the local community. Your recent report headlined “Unruly Teenage Gangs
Disrupt Fair” may indicate the direction this unsophisticated annual event
To add to this, the Royal Thai Army’s “Soon Feuk
Wicha Tahan” has sprung back into action after a long period of welcome
silence. The noise of weaponry from this military training ground located
close to the 700 year stadium has tormented residents for many years, and
although it is clearly unacceptable in any civilized society to have a live
firing range located within the city limits, this unfortunately now looks
set to continue. Through your newspaper, perhaps an army spokesman may wish
to advise us of our fate? To make things worse, weapons practice is not
restricted to daylight hours. Between 0300-0330 hrs on the morning of 9th
January 2005 we were treated to loud machine-gun fire, and several
detonations of high explosive, which shocked our hearts and shook our
houses. Gentlemen, whatever your night training requirements are, this is a
Despite His Majesty’s well-placed concern, the truth is
that Chiang Mai is now a burgeoning noise factory. Loudspeakers and
amplification systems are used with impunity everywhere, and hundreds of
cars, motorcycles, and songtaews with loud exhausts roar through the city
streets unchallenged, 24 hours a day.
Mr Prime Minister, in addition to the choking and toxic
fumes we breathe, your once charming and enchanting birthplace is now being
ruined by noise pollution. On behalf of all of us who live in and love this
northern capital, please do something immediate and decisive to save the
environment, and restore quiet dignity to our historic city.
Soi Chang Khian