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Will Conservative Islam Result in Another Year of Living Dangerously?

Nov 18, 2019 | 0 comments

When Indonesian President, Joko Widodo, found the depth of his Muslim faith being questioned in his April 2019 presidential re-election campaign, he burnished his credentials by selecting Muslim cleric Ma’ruf Amin as his running mate. The Nikkei Asian Review covered that event in a March 19, 2019 article and then followed it with one on October 19, 2019 entitled New Indonesian Vice President’s Islamist Agenda Draws Scrutiny raising the concern of using radical religion for political purposes. That political ploy has been and continues to be an effective concept all over the world including the Crusades of the Middle Ages....

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The Year of Living Dangerously Never Ends in Indonesia

Nov 11, 2019 | 0 comments

"The Year of Living Dangerously'' is a 1982 film directed by Peter Weir based on Christopher Koch's 1978 novel by the same name. The story is about a love affair set in Indonesia at the time of the overthrow of President Sukarno from 1965-1966. As the author was working for a company with a significant presence in Indonesia, the first-hand accounts from associates regarding the deaths of over one million people were unbelievable. An internal strife between the post-colonial ruler, President Sukarno, and General Suharto focused on the Indonesian Communist Party with which Sukarno was very cozy and specifically Indonesians...

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From the Hot Tub to the Hot Seat

Nov 04, 2019 | 0 comments

Most folks outside of Bangkok have never heard of Chuwit Kamolvisit and would be unaware that a high percentage of reasonably affluent, young Thai males visited one of his famous massage parlors long before they completed their formal schooling. Prior to going legit, Chuwit controlled the Davis Group which owned and operated six Bangkok massage parlors that are listed below for any of our foreign readers who may have visited Bangkok: Copacabana, Victoria’s Secret, Honolulu, Hi Class, Emmanuelle and Julianna. These establishments employed some 2,000 women that operated within a “grey area” of Thai law - massage parlors are legal,...

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Bending Buddhist Precepts in Bangkok

Oct 28, 2019 | 0 comments

There are five precepts of Buddhism which are the core of that practice-do not kill, do not lie, do not steal, do not fornicate and do not use intoxicants. For more liberal Buddhist precept followers, the “do not” section is replaced by “refrain from.” As we will be heading out to Bangkok in the near future, there was a news alert in the Nikkei Asia Review entitled Thailand Bars to Stay Open Later to Counter China Slump. That would have been an attention grabber fifty years ago when that sort of thing had appeal. In fact, during the Vietnam War...

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Too Many Planes - Too Few Trained Pilots

Oct 21, 2019 | 0 comments

Thanks to airline frequent flyer accounts, which were a later addition to personal international flying adventures that began over fifty years ago, the author has accumulated miles in several airline accounts that approach ten million. That crazy statistic coupled with emergency landings, near misses and the odd crash should qualify one as an experienced traveler and pundit on airline safety. My first known experience of pilot error was an attempted landing in an Air China Boeing 737 into Ulan Bator, Mongolia on a cold winter night many years ago with a one wheel/one wing landing touch down and an immediate...

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