No Simple Solutions
In his January letter ‘Cars out of the Moat’, Mr. Bourne puts forward the idea of banning private cars from the inner moat area, although he does not give any benefits or reasons for this suggestion.
I presume he thinks that the lesser traffic flow will make everything calm, less polluted and safer. Unfortunately his idea is based on false assumptions; namely that private cars from outside the moat make up a significant proportion of the traffic and that they are the major cause of everything unpleasant.
He mentions exemptions for ‘residents, business, disabled and public transport’ which actually make up the major part of traffic and are the worst polluters. As a resident inside the moat, I have not seen serious traffic problems in the area; the main traffic seems to be concentrated around the moat roads, something he does not address.
So it seems that banning private cars would not achieve much except annoy anyone wishing to visit those inside the moat. As for permits, judging by the wearing of motorcycle helmets, most people would not bother getting a permit and would take their chances of getting caught.
All in all, this is a scheme that does not have drawbacks, as he mentioned, but has no hope of achieving anything positive. A little more thought may lead him to the conclusion that a campaign to enforce the laws on exhaust fumes more strictly would be much more beneficial.
Not Quite a Full Bucket
Flight of the Gibbon should have been on your bucket list. Went there for the first time last week and it was bar none the best experience I have ever had in Thailand.
Gay and Secure
Very best wishes for happiness, health and prosperity for you and your company in the coming year.
I want to thank you for all your work and active voice in Chiang Mai. Your positive deeds and words have reassured many in the gay community that some of the frightening ‘hate’ rhetoric and threats of violence, coming from some elements, will not be allowed to go unchallenged by the mainstream media. Bless you. After some of the past abuses I have suffered in Washington, DC from a ‘faggot’ bashing, in addition to my family experiences, I easily become anxious and frightened for my and others safety. In Washington, I was given two black eyes and robbed by a man that went on to do the same to dozens of other gay people. The police only incarcerated him after he stabbed and killed one of us, despite being repeatedly reported and identified by me and others. Knowing that the mainstream population here just ‘won’t look the other way’ makes me feel better and allows me and others to feel safer and lead our daily lives with a bit of dignity. Knowing that we are not thought of as a blemish on society from someone who is highly educated and part of the leadership of this country, is reassuring.
I read with great interest your interview with the head of the NACC [National Anti Corruption Commission] in the January edition and had to laugh out when he talked about how we all love living in Thailand because it was a ‘flexible’ society. For the head of the corruption commission to say this, I found it very funny. But funny aside, I was actually very impressed with this man who seems to have a dollop amount of common sense along with a spoonful of integrity. Many times you read in the newspapers interviews with government officials and they just tow the party line and don’t say anything original. This man seems to believe in what he does and is dedicated to it, while being sensible enough to understand the country he lives in and the ways of his people. He gives us a little bit of hope that there are some people in Thailand who simply will not tolerate corruption.
And on a side note, I liked the theme of the Thai Youth Anti Corruption event held recently, ‘Hear it, See it, Speak up!’