The Rule of Law

 

 

Chaos in Bangkok's Airport

Terminal I in Bangkok

I used to despise overregulated western bureaucracies, Nile-long incomprehensive official papers, and I cursed when I needed a notarized birth certificate to get married.

 

 

Well, I thought it over! Our airport is shut down by mob, people drive unlit bikes in the dark on the wrong side of the road, the dead cow in the canal competes with the stench from the uncollected garbage, my neighbor runs a brothel, and I would appreciate a bit of the rule of law.

Make no mistake: overflowing sewers, poisoned rivers and spoiled food were once standard fair in London too. The city stank and killed. People were worth only the money they had. Peasants, untouchables, children and animals, all were slaves to others and their little food.

We have come a long way from marauding nomads. Many still have a long way to go, be it on a personal level or as a people. Even if the devil’s advocate claims the last century to have been “truly his” – that is not correct. Genocide is a new word but an old habit. We only started to see evil for what it is.

Bad stuff happens all the time but we are working on it. So, when you fill out the next form, remind yourself, that it is the price you have to pay to live in a better world.


No money for GM or Citi

Give them anything: cold water, a beating, unpaid holiday in Siberia but no cash. They will pay each other more retainers, boni and retirement funds; and go home at 5.30.

Help the people who really got in trouble, pay workers, scrap or reduce VAT for December, pay health services, cut farm subsidies, allow more qualified immigration, invest in small companies, anything, but do not let the fat cats sleep one minute longer. Wake them up. It is market judgment day.

The Citibank sold my grandma a real estate fund as safe investment for her age. Now they froze the fund and ask her for new money.

Simple truth is they didn’t do their job. Out of greed and/or stupidity they ignored a basic universal law: Risk and profit are partners.

Let them suffer!


Don’t buy all that stuff!

Many people suffer three problems: 

1. They have to work very hard to earn money.

2. Then they have to endure ignorant (cheap) or arrogant (expensive) sales people to drag stuff home and decipher maddening manuals.

3. Finally they get a headache from all the broken or unfashionable belongings in their garage and backyard.

That makes live hard work only: A garage full of old handbags, shoes, toasters and TVs, cupboards, tools and toys, tea sets, pans and pots, jackets and pants.

Mark that no good gem or jewelry will ever end there!

Don’t buy all that stuff.

It is only trouble.


Single mothers and fathers

Respect and awe! How do you it?

These little fellows are such a handful that even a parent with no other responsibility sinks whining into the sofa every night; until the baby phone goes off.

To take care of a household, run errands, let alone earn money at the same time seems a Herculean task beyond human strength.

And yet, they do it every day.

Respect and awe.


 

OK, very good, and now:

Let’s get back to work!



America, m
ake no mistake this week! Don’t be afraid.

 


Sick on CNN

Unless I have a very good day, watching the news makes me sick. I had a friend; she lived on a beach in Brazil. Every evening she would double-lock herself inside the house and watch the world go crazy on CNN.

She was a very paranoid creature. Her world was a terrifying, hostile place and she was always in trouble. She’d call me with news like “They found Glukomoxamil in lemons!” or “The north pole shrank 5%!” or “Barbaristan has attacked Autistan!”

Those days on the beach in Brazil, I ignored all news. I read no papers and had no TV. And you know what? The world was doing just fine as far as I could see. I knew of no problems for months. The sun shone, the waves crashed, people did what they always did and I simply didn’t know. The stuff they mentioned on CNN was not visible on that beach.

One day my friend called me and said: “They fly airplanes into the world trade center.”

I laughed: “Ja, ja, sure” and hung up. Paranoid stuff.