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The Land of Smiles and Equality

Mar 30, 2020 | 0 comments


For the past fifty years or so, the author has always believed there is both racial and sexual equality in Thailand. Most Thai men would deny that. From the beginning of this time period, there were strong and successful Thai women in business; the black GI's on R&R from the Vietnam War fit in well with the local scene and every bar had one or more transgender performers. Since that time, the acceptance level has reached one that is unlike many more allegedly open and tolerant societies. In 1995, the Story clan took a trip to northern Thailand and, when...

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Where Is the Covid-19 Border?

Mar 23, 2020 | 0 comments


Having been near "Ground Zero" throughout Thailand, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded from January 14 through February 6, it is unusual viewing the situation back in the United States. What is even stranger is sitting in London watching the infection exploding in Europe as it invades the UK ... despite the success of Brexit. Moreover, there has been considerable confusion as to the U.S. approach to the pandemic. The medical advice that it would pass as soon as the weather got better does not seem to be happening. Strangely, we were due to be in Milan and...

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It Is Not Over Until the Black Swan Poops

Mar 16, 2020 | 0 comments


As the world frets over pandemic health concerns, tumbling stock markets and falling economic indicators that threaten future employment and life as we know it, it is amazing that Emperor Xi actually predicted the catastrophic event in his address to the Politburo in January 2019. The Nikkei Asia Review recently published an article entitled Xi's Prediction of a Cursed Year Came True. XI warned his Chinese Communist Party cadres in late January 2019 to be prepared for unforeseen incidents (black swans) and highly probable, but uncontrollable, rampages (gray rhinos) in the year to come. As the official name COVID-19 suggests,...

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Japanese Manga Mania Is Contagious

Mar 09, 2020 | 0 comments


The author lived in Japan from 1970-1973 and was captivated by the Japanese Moomin cartoon features on Japan TV which was a relief from the troubles in Southeast Asia. In actual fact, the dialogue and plots were simplistic enough for children to understand as well as both "geijian" -- foreign and Japanese adults. In actual fact, Moomin escapism most likely appealed equally to both age spectrums. Many years prior to then, the original Moomin characters and story were created by Swedish-Finnish illustrator, Tove Johanson, in a series of comic strips that began following World War II. In all likelihood, most...

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