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An election must be close in Thailand.

The Thai government recently announced plans to reduce crime by 20%. As an election will be called this year, an anti-crime campaign is popular. Voters like the idea of the government cracking down on criminals. No one has thought to ask how those in government arrived at 20% as opposed to 17.5% or 22.3%. Maybe they just like nice round numbers. A fortune-teller’s consultation might be another possibility as numbers are often selected in this fashion for the lottery. And when anyone talks about reducing crime, they are in the same realm as predicting the winning lottery number.

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Posted: 1/14/2011 1:25:11 AM 

 

When someone says the past is a foreign land, they describe a lot of old movies and TV shows. Minorities were cut out figures in films and TV that played to our collective prejudices. The black kid named Buckwheat in Our Gang, the North American Indian Tonto in the Lone Ranger, Chinese women in the World According to Suzie Wong, and Chinese men in Charlie Chan.

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Posted: 1/6/2011 9:55:53 PM 

 

The ebook edition of 9 Gold Bullets is now available at Kindle and all other ebook vendors. This is the 12th in the Vincent Calvino series, and I think one of the strongest books that I’ve written. You can order by clicking here: http://www.cgmoore.com/ebooks.htm

 

Here’s a summary of 9 Gold Bullets:

 

A priceless collection of 9 gold bullet coins issued during the Reign of Rama V has gone missing along with the Thai coin collector. The local police find a link between the set of missing Thai coins and one of Calvino’s old friends, Josh Stein, who is in Bangkok. The friend, a lawyer represents a client, a famous Russian mathematician, who has asked Josh for a favor. Josh looks up his old friend, Calvino. The two of them haven’t seen each other for years. Calvino is surprised when Josh asks him to standup as his best man. Josh has private reasons for choosing Calvino. The wedding is scheduled for the autumn in New York.

 

The gritty, dark vision of 9 Gold Bullets is tracked through the eyes of a Thai cop operating on a foreign turf, and a private eye expatriated long enough to find himself a stranger in his hometown. As the intrigue behind the missing coins moves between New York to Bangkok, and the levels of deception increase, Calvino discovers the true nature of friendship and where he belongs.

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Posted: 1/6/2011 3:06:18 AM 

 

Over the weekend a well-known Thai fortune-teller predicted that Andaman coastal provinces will be hit by a tsunami on Thursday (30 December 2010). The Bangkok Post reported that some tourists reportedly canceled hotel bookings as a result. In Thailand, people take astrology and fortune telling as seriously as Americans who believe, based on the bible, that the earth was created 10,000 years ago. Well we all know the earth was created at least 15,000 years ago so we can dismiss the contrary view. As for going up against the received wisdom of fortune-tellers, what is Thai government going to do when a seer predicts gloom and doom at a major tourist spot at the height of the tourist season? After all, almost everyone in the government wears amulets, visits fortune-tellers to consult for the most auspicious time to call an election, open Parliament, get married, get divorced, and that is just the beginning.

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Posted: 12/30/2010 8:04:53 PM 

 

Crime fiction pulls back the sheet and looks at the bodies. People commit acts of violence against each other. Government commits acts of violence against people. The occasional shark eats a person, or a grizzly does. But the large scheme of violence, such incidents are rounding off error compared to human against human carnage. When it comes to violence against other species, most cultures draw distinctions between a gold fish and a dog. You won’t likely win any hero awards for flushing your gold fish down the toilet, but intentionally killing a dog is an order of different magnitude.

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Posted: 12/23/2010 9:23:58 PM 

 



My review of Walt Whitman's Secret by George Fetherling has been published by Evergreen Review.
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Posted: 12/22/2010 12:03:11 AM 

 

We are a map drawing species. To get from A to B in a strange land requires a map, a local guide, or the investment of considerable patience and trial and error. Maps have long been part of our world. And maps are a medium in themselves; classifications, terrain, and borders. We are familiar with such geographical maps. The map we talk less about is the map that charts violence, danger and instability. Most of us try not to stumble into the middle of a civil war when our attention is to sign on for a holiday.

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Posted: 12/16/2010 11:57:46 PM 

 

BOOK SIGNING!!
At Texas Lone Star Saloon
Saturday December 18, 2010: 13.00 - 17.00 Hrs.
Mark your Calendar!

Get your own signed collector’s copy of Father, I Have Sinned, first printing, by James Aaron Parmelee. Just stop by the Texas Lone Star Saloon in Washington Square, Sukhumvit Soi 22, Bangkok, and enjoy a beer or four (while getting your book signed, of course!) in the friendly ambience ofTexas Lone Star Saloon, where the drinks are cheap, the girls are friendly, the food is good, and foreigners are appreciated! 

Don’t know where it is? Okay, here’s a link to the exact address, with a brief description of the place and a map, so you can’t miss it: The Texas Lone Star  location.
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Posted: 12/12/2010 7:55:20 PM 

 

There is a general feeling that transparency is inevitably good and that secrecy, if not bad, leads to a dark road where evil acts are buried among the flower gardens. We believe that what distinguishes a totalitarian society from a democratic one is that the former has a political elite that largely sustains its power through secrecy and public relations. Democracy, so the theory goes, is superior because openness allows citizens to judge the actions of those representing their interest.

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Posted: 12/9/2010 7:25:57 PM 

 

The release by Wikileaks of hundreds of thousands of classified US documents has been in the news around the world. It is as if 300 Pulitzer prize winning investigating journalists dumped their story onto the Net on the same day. This is dizzy making, laugh in your hand, howl at the moon stuff. It seems every country waits its turn to see what the Americans really think about them, and what cartoon characters will be drawn upon by embassy staff to characterize local politicians and leaders.

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Posted: 12/2/2010 11:19:19 PM 

 

The social contract in the West provides that representative governments are elected to enact laws to make certain conduct (or absence of conduct) criminal. The law breaks us down into three general categories: natural, artificial and potential persons. You and me, we are what the law calls ‘natural’ persons, thank you very much. Not like a corporation which is a construct, an abstraction and while very much an artificial person, nonetheless the company is a person for many purposes and can commit crimes, too. Not like a potential person, which is that clump of protoplasm that divides and grows and at some stage (hence the hot debate) becomes a natural person.

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Posted: 11/26/2010 12:03:44 AM 

 

Arguably there is nothing less ‘authentic’ than a sales pitch. Someone who is trying to sell us something is going to say all kinds of things to close the sale. Flattery and guilt are marketers’ and bargirls’ best allies. When selling moved in a big way to online, the mentality of those seeking to sell you the latest remedy for erectile dysfunction had found a new place to nest.

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Posted: 11/19/2010 1:05:53 AM 

 

His thinning hair was totally white. He wore a ruffled shirt displaying the kind smile of your favorite uncle. He looked perfectly ordinary. Nowhere near like a multi-millionaire. At least the one’s you see in movies, TV, and gracing Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. No one would mistake him for J.P. Morgan or Warren Buffet.

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Posted: 11/12/2010 1:05:55 AM 

 

The fact is that, in the not too distant past, sleaze sold books like hotcakes to horse racing Quakers. So what? Sleaze sells a lot of things such as music, software, perfume, wetware, nail polish, comedy acts, TV reality shows, high heel shoes, fashion channel (after midnight), cars and pickups, Victoria Secrets, Playboy, and then there is the story about the hooker and the former governor of New York. Like pornographic, famously defined by a US Supreme Court justice, as something you know when you see it, sleaze fits in such mental handbag.

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Posted: 11/4/2010 10:13:13 PM 

 

The main thing I look for in any society/culture/country is how power is restrained, controlled, managed. Otherwise, the elephant smashes the ant. Let’s face it 98% of us fall in the ant category. Years of schooling, TV, newspapers and magazines instill in us the goodness, generosity and kindness of elephants in their care of ants but that mainly creates delusional thinking. Accepting our ant-like status ought to make us far more sensitive to the rules of the road for the elephant, where they can walk, and where they can run and what happens when they decide to have a little fun and get the herd to stamp on an anthill. Just to bring the fear needed to keep the ants marching in a straight line. For the ant, his hill isn’t a molehill but a mountain to be protected. For an elephant, mountains are, well, mountains with ridges and gullies, forest and snow. This difference in perception leads to odd results.

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Posted: 10/28/2010 10:55:43 PM 

 

You know that you are going to die sooner or later. Authors are no exception. Like their books, they have a shelf life. After you get over the shock and accept your fate, one of the first orders of business is put your affairs in order. I’ve always like that expression. Especially in Thailand where that can be a tall order during one’s life let alone on one’s death.

What caught my attention was an article in the New York Times about Franz Kafka:

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Posted: 9/30/2010 11:24:39 PM 

 

How do you feed a one-year-old baby?

Mind you this isn’t about what you feed him or when you feed him. This isn’t a trick question. It’s actually a quite profound cultural issue. Feeding a baby is an activity that takes planning. At this age they are like activated jelly with no hard bone structure to slow them down. Babies at feeding time are all waving arms and hands, and the mouth is a moving target. In other words, babies are pretty much the same around the world, but how we go about growing them into self-sufficient adults is highly dependent on the culture where they are born and raised.

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Posted: 9/24/2010 1:40:45 AM 

 

At times it seems in Thailand (and large part of Asia, including China) nothing in the public or private sector advances, no decision is made, no event announced until an ‘auspicious date’ and “auspicious time” have been calculated. Setting a wedding date, opening parliament, launching a new aircraft, meeting a client, opening a new business, and on and on.

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Posted: 9/16/2010 10:30:09 PM 

 

Horror stalks us wearing a cultural mask. So how does one explain the commercial success of writers like Stephen King and Peter Straub who have written horror stories that have sold around the world and have been turned into blockbuster movies? King and Straub have a reputation for pushing the right fright buttons to make an international audience wince, sweat, and shiver with fear. But nothing beats the local boogey man to put the torch of fear into young children.

When I first came to Thailand more than twenty years ago, Thai parents trying to control a child who misbehaved or refused to go to bed at the appointed time, had a surefire way of ensuring See Uey. “If you don’t do what I say, then See Uey will come into your room in the middle of the night, cut you open and eat your liver.” That’s not an exact translation but reasonably close.

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Posted: 9/9/2010 10:07:02 PM 

 

While fellow blogger Colin Cotterill has his hounds lined up on the beach conducting a seminar on the finer points of the Trotsky movement inside the dog world, I am reporting from Eel Swamp. I am light years behind Cotterill’s mind-meld that merges him into oneness with his dogs. The truth be told, I don’t have all of my ducks in a row. ...
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Posted: 9/3/2010 3:00:41 AM 

 

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