Thursday, October 30, 2008

Chris says it all

Substitute "PAD" for "Republican" and "UDAD" for "Democrat" and Chris Rock gives the perfect analysis of the current mess in Thailand.....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The sort of people involved in Thai politics Pt.5

It just doesn't get any better for Sodsri does it? Remember the (taxpayer salaried) election commissioner's various predicaments? She couldn't vote in the Democrat MP case because she "had" to take a (taxpayer funded) trip to the US.

Well lo(w) and behold, Sodsri is back! But wait....she still can't make the meeting because....errr....she's only just back....:

" .......chairman Apichart Sukhagganond said the panel met yesterday with four out of five commissioners present. Therefore, they decided not to rule on the case in which Mr Vithoon, a Democrat list MP, was accused of buying votes with movie tickets ahead of the Dec 23 election last year.

The absentee commissioner was Sodsri Satayathum who could not attend the meeting as she had just returned from an official trip to the United States. " (source)

I shall have to try that one myself! 'Hello, work? Err, sorry I can't come in to school this week, I've only just returned from Phuket....."

Sodsri isn't the only one who appears to be a cymbal short of a drum kit though. Former (taxpayer salaried) Pol Gen Salang Bunnag who threatened to besiege PAD members at Government House and spoke of a "special weapon" to use against them is now trying to Jedi mind trick the entire nation and international press by denying he ever said it....

"Pol Gen Salang Bunnag claimed that he has never spoken about the plan to seal off the Government House to cut off food supplies of People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) supporters.

He insisted that he has never talked about anything like that.

Pol Gen Salang then blamed it on reporters, saying they made the news up themselves to cause rifts in the country. " (source)

I guess this report is made up, and this one too , as is this article. and this picture of him weeping as he speaks.

Interestingly, PAD leader Sondhi claims Salang owes him 60 million baht.

Salang also headed a foundation that distributed an "aids pill" that has been declared useless.

Salang was once charged with having his officers act unlawfully when they shot dead six alleged drug traffickers. Salang said his men acted in defence:

Friday, October 24, 2008

""I believe in the Thai justice system, especially the court system. Normally in justice systems everywhere, a person is innocent until proved guilty."

Before the trial (link)

`They don't use the rule of the law as evidence, they follow the politics,'' he said. ``They try to use the court to manage politics. I think the British people and the world understand that isn't democracy.''
``I'm very happy for her, but my wife has done nothing wrong and is not a politician, This court is for politicians _ it's not a normal court.''

After the trial (Potjamon was convicted on other charges). (link)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Phuket and the Baiyoke Sky Tower

My parents, the wife, Dylan and I have recently returned from Phuket. We stayed at The Amari Coral Beach resort which is probably one of the best hotels I have ever stayed in. Not because of the top notch room service, the very welcoming staff or the stunning views of the sea and the fishermen within......

.......not even because of the beautiful walk through what would have been jungle just a few years ago towards the jetty. On this jetty, visitors can feed the fish and watch the tropical fish instantly swarm towards the food. Swordfish and various coloured cichlids are on display. The area itself features a natural stream, rare insects and a horde of angry crabs.......

No, the reason it was the best hotel ever was because of the breakfast. Everything from pancakes to chicken tikka, cornflakes to fresh fruit, bacon to boiled potatoes. It was culinary heaven.

There are two swimming pools in the complex. Dylan enjoyed swimming......

..........but he also spent a whole lot of time with this half Chinese half Japanese girl who followed him everywhere. People watched them everywhere they go.

On our return to BKK, we stopped by the Baiyoke Skytower. This is the tallest hotel in Bangkok and features a revolving platform that provides a stunning view of BKK. It's an exhilarating experience that makes the viewer feel fortunate to live in a time when we can enjoy such privileges.

We had a lot of fun and I can heartily recommend the Amari Coral Beach resort, the Crystal Grill in Baiyoke Tower and the Pratumwan Princess to anyone.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another prediction

Following Anupong's clear hint at Somchai today - don't underestimate the amount of pressure the army chief can apply with just words - and the planned march of PAD supporters from National Stadium (at the top of a popular tourist section of Bangkok) I am predicting Somchai will be forced to dissolve parliament within a week.

You heard it here first.

Unless it doesn't happen, in which case I'll delete this blog :-)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

My latest reads

The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Dawkins' first book remains popular for a reason. While pretty much every great scientist of the age is eventually found to be fundamentally wrong on at least one point in future times, Dawkins probably represents the best and most comprehensive argument for Darwinian evolution theory in our era.

The book is not particularly difficult to understand in terms of scientific jargon or understanding - the author wisely avoids that pitfall - but it does take a certain amount of abstract thinking on the part of the reader. Dawkins is aware of this and as he describes the reason for greater promiscuity amongst men, the concept of selfishness being a survival trait and so on, he constantly reminds the reader that he is talking from a strictly genetic evolutionary standpoint.

As such, this work from the seventies is still as fresh and valid as ever and offers a tremendously convincing argument for how we humans came to be and why we do the things we do, and it's accessible to anyone. Dawkins is one of those scientists who reminds us that reality can be as mind blowing and fascinating as any religious fiction, and I think he is right.

Early Childhood Education by Eva L. Essa

A modern, comprehensive and well designed book. ECE is a large guide to all aspects of teaching young children. The book covers topics as wide ranging as the history of ECE, theories of ECE, laws governing child care centres, theories of play and the benefits of toys and the challenges that lie ahead for the field of ECE. The book is designed for Americans but as we all know, children across the world all have common needs and characteristics, and this book covers them well. It also has some excellent bonus material such as a list of useful web sites for teachers. While this book is very highly rated, its size, its price and its scope mean I can only recommend it to someone who is a teacher or at least seriously interested in ECE.

Speeches that Changed the World
An excellent compendium. This book contains exactly what its name would suggest. Each speech is proceeded by a short explanation of the situation and the person involved. Naturally the book is somewhat western biased but this is not a major drawback. There will be lines in here that pretty much everyone will know ("I have a dream.....") but there will also be many that are less popular but no less important. Each oratory is but a few pages long and since the book starts with Jesus Christ and ends with George W Bush, the reader can open it at any page and be entertained with a great speech from a random era. Easily readable for anyone and highly educational.

The English by Jeremy Paxman
Jeremy Paxman is known for being the presenter of the very famous "University Challenge" show and is known for getting impatient and ordering students to "Come on! Come on!" when they are slow to answer. In this book, Paxman looks at the history and the modern state of the English people and their culture. He is a funny and witty writer and his work makes light reading at times, but he also addresses serious issues such as the Notting Hill Carnival riots and the current confusion over the English as a nationality and identity. Definitely entertaining for anyone interested in English people.

The Seven Ages of Britain
Let's face it, most of us employ the logical fallacy of looking at history from the point of view of the major players - Kings, Queens and explorers. But most of us are not related to royalty or noblemen, we are related to common people who saw events in their time from a very different perspective. That is the great thing about this book which is based on a TV show, it tells us about history through the eyes of my ancestors, common people who managed to survive and reproduce through several different ages on Britain.

This book is, for me, gripping and highly educational but perhaps it only appeals to British people. Let me make this point though: wouldn't it be great if people from every national could learn about history through the eyes of their common ancestors - the people that got us here - in addition to the history of the small group of elites?

My next planned purchase is Robert Fisk's "The Great War for Civilisation" but I really should read my way through my backlog of twenty odd books first.

A few thoughts and questions

Photo from

It's hard for me to comment on the ongoing crises as so many other bloggers do it much more promptly, often I would be simply recycling their own links and comments. That's why I tend to stick to longer, more thoughtful blogs where I can at least add my own considered opinions into the matter.

It seems to be a generally accepted fact in Thailand - even more so than elsewhere - that politics is played out behind the scenes, while the general public just get to see small parts of the script. Whilst there seems to be a large debate concerning excessive police force and the possibility of grenades being used, I see this as - in one sense at least - specious.

Don't get me wrong, I abhor violence and violent people. Yet the fact is this - the protesters knew what was coming. They had been warned and they responded by surrounding themselves with arms and security guards. Regardless of whether the PAD are right or wrong, the fact is they knew that their ideology and demands meant they had to challenge the police and receive a police response. Still, the guy who drove that car at the policemen should be locked up.

A more intriguing question for me lies in the thoughts and actions of General Chamlong. Nobody can doubt he knew he would be arrested but what were the circumstances? Were the police tipped off (if so, by which side?) or did they follow him? Did Chamlong strike a compromise? Did he even want talks with his long term acquaintance Chavilit to be successful? Did he want the PAD response to be violent? Did he expect so much bloodshed?

Thai politics is always a complex, tortuous affair, but it seems to be particularly exacerbated by intrigue right now. Yet throughout the twists and turns, I struggle to disagree with the person who observed that it boils down to a struggle between just two people. Yet even if we can accept such a simplification, my mind echoes with an even greater thought: what are their children thinking?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Teacher's Diary: final day

The "big" news that hits me as I turn up for breakfast (yes they provide breakfast! not a bad place, this!) is that last night there was an accident right outside school. A power cable had been knocked out by a swaying tree and had been ripped right out. It fell down through the hammock - luckily nobody was in it at the time - and the resulting power surge blew various pieces of equipment in the serviced apartments. The apartments in question have a very high teacher occupancy rate. It turns out the swaying tree had been an obvious threat but the local authorities had only cut it down yesterday after the accident, and apparently there is no buildings insurance to speak of. It remains to be seen what will happen in way of recompense.

Today is a 'marking day', with no classes for me. I get my marking done fairly quickly and once the peer checking is completed, I announce scores to the students. On the whole, I'm delighted. Scores were far higher than I expected for many students. Either they, or I, or all of us have exceeded ourselves. It gives me a boost for the rest of the day.

The school is eerily quiet though, as only the upper grades are here. Now I have nothing to do, I take some time watching other teachers finish their work. With no classes to attend, the teachers become more talkative and the room echoes with three distinct languages.

There are three "groups" of teachers in our establishment: Thais, Filipinos and westerners. It would be nice and idealistic to think of it as a multicultural working wonderland, with everybody happily mucking in together but this is not how life works, at least not in any country I've been to. Each staff room can be almost literally zoned off by the three groupings, despite the fact most teachers can sit where they wish. Naturally perhaps, each group tends to stick together and have the occasional whine or spat with the other groups. That's not to say it isn't harmonious mind you, on the contrary, Englishman especially are often happiest when they are complaining. We sit and moan about the noise from the Thai staff, who sit and moan about the laziness of the westerners, who moan about the cliques of the Filipinos, who sit and moan about the arrogance of the westerners and the bossiness of the Thais.

For the most part, it's pretty harmless and I can honestly say that nearly every teacher will put petty differences aside when it comes to doing anything to help the students. On occasions such as Christmas, everybody works and has fun together. What's more, there are plenty of relationships that cross the imaginary divide.

Working in Thailand is rarely boring (though today comes close due to lack of work) and often rewarding. Some teachers become so bogged down in day to day grumbles and gripes - just as we all do - that they forget the bigger picture. We are the guests, and we can be grateful or get lost.

And that's all for the teacher's diary, bar the occasional 'one off' perhaps. Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 03, 2008

The sort of people involved in Thai politics Pt.4

"I am ready to apologise and get fined. But as a media professional, he should have ethics."

Chuwit Kamolvisit, candidate for Bangkok Governor after punching and kicking a TV anchorman. (link)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sodsri at the grindstone again

Good old ECC member Sodsri Sattayatham is setting a shining example of professionalism to everyone yet again. We already know about her tragic illnesses that occur at times she is due to face criticism, and her refusal to apologise for blatant (some might say slanderous) false statements and of course her threats to do......nothing. We know all that already.

But today, when the ECC was due to rule on the conduct of a Democrat MP - a case that could have huge implications for Thailand - the group could not reach a quorum because Sodsri "had" to go to the US embassy to apply for her visa.

No, she couldn't go yesterday, tomorrow, at 7am this morning or next week (apparently she left it until today to apply for a visa she needs before October 7th) , and no she couldn't "rush" back in time.

Hey, let's be fair here. Sodsri needed the visa to go to the US to "observe preparations for the presidential election". No Disneyland, Empire State Building or Grand Canyon required, then.

It wasn't clear if taxpayer funds will be used to pay for the trip, but I'm sure the benefits of "observing preparations" for the US election will be of huge reward to the Thai political system.

Teacher's Diary: day five

It's Saturday, and Saturday means two things: one, my favourite team will slide further down the Coca Cola Championship and two, it's private school day.

Yes, on Saturdays I work at a private language school. The most expensive one on the "shopping mall" market in fact. I was offered the post of Head Teacher at this school about eight months ago. I accepted the job and then changed my mind, causing problems for some staff there that I liked and admired very much. Since then, I've done my best to do whatever I can to help without complaint. Whatever they ask me to do (on Saturdays), I do. I don't mind, I'd just be out spending money otherwise and extra cash is always welcome.

My first class is hardly a break from the strains of teaching teenagers: it's a small group of eight and seven year olds. The usual pattern for this class is that in period one, the students will arrive throughout the fifty minute class and we will do some speaking. In period two, we will do some activities from the workbook to keep them calm and in the final period, we will play some games.

One girl turns up late and in tears. It transpires another boy ran up behind her and pulled her skirt. She spends the rest of the class interrogating the boys in the room who all profess innocence and I believe them. As I try to resolve this, another girl decides that today, the fun should start early and decides to beginning hitting me with her metal pencil case. This is regular occurrence from this student and she certainly enjoys inflicting damage, I sometimes wonder if she has been paid off by an ex-girlfriend or something. After I have persuaded her to disarm, we return to the topic. Today I'm teaching the kids about disabilities.

"So students, if I cannot see, I am blind, If I cannot hear, I am deaf. But if I cannot walk, what am I....?" is my question.

One student jumps up out of his seat and is bursting with pride as he belts out his answer...."A FISH!" he yells at the top of his voice.

We continue on. The first two periods go well and the third is typically rowdy. At this age, children have natural concentration spans and the lessons go beyond that time. The trick is to save something fun for the final period and find a way to reward them for speaking English during that time.

The afternoon class is very similar. A group of ten children. The only difference is that this class has a hyper confident girl named JJ. JJ is an only child who has been taught English since she was born. She can speak English better than any of her friends and she knows it, and frequently remind her friends of it. JJ will often talk over me in class and demand that I do certain things at certain times.

The best response I have found is to give her extra responsibility. I periodically remind JJ in private that she is my "super student" and that if she speaks English, the other children will copy her and she can help me so much by setting a good example to the others. This ploy typically works well for some time before it wears off towards the end of a class. Today, I call JJ over for our regular chat:

"JJ Are you going to be a good girl today?"

"Teacher I want play Bingo!"

"Later JJ, but are you going to be good today?"

"I love mum and dad a lot but I love teacher little bit" (I guess this is her way of telling me mum and dad have already warned her today, but they aren't here to warn her now! This kid is smart!)

"OK but if you are good today and help the teacher, we can play bingo in period three, OK?"

"OK But I can I do one thing now?"

"OK JJ, what is it?"

"Give me a chewing gum"

She saw the pack of gum in my shirt pocket!

The class survives without any casualties and I'm done for the day except my final, adult class.

My adult class are brilliant. If you could design your own class, you wouldn't go very different from what I have here: two university students and two working adults. All excellent at English, all with great attitudes and all seem to trust me, which makes it easier when introducing new ideas or tasks.

I have to consciously stop myself from teaching too much grammar: it's good for me because after a day of crowd control, I want to get into something semi-academic, but it's not what the students want from me, they want to study pronunciation and vocabulary. Today's class includes the classic "balloon debate", the scenario is several characters are on board an overloaded hot air balloon, the students must debate who is to be thrown out. They vote for the politician (naturally) and the priest.

And so my day is done. Working a six day week is a little tiring but I'm so lucky to do a job that I nearly always enjoy and is not physically demanding. I ave my areas for improve marked down: these days, I should perhaps spend less time working and more time preparing lessons and thinking up new concepts and ideas. Apart from that, things are going well. I'm looking forward to my holidays though.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Reforming Thailand's Politics: an evening at the FCCT

The FCCT event was entitled "Reforming Thailand's Politics".

Before the night started, I overheard a discussion involving a colleague of Jonathon Head and discussing the recent charges against him. As it was personal, I will not discuss the conversation but it made me feel very sad for a number of reasons.

The night started with JH introducing the speakers:

- Kasit Piromya, former Ambassador to Washington and Tokyo, and now a supporter of the People's Alliance for Democracy. Also a Democrat shadow cabinet minister.

- Korn Chatikavanij, Deputy Leader of the Democrat Party

- Chris Baker, author and lecturer on Thai politics

JH invited each speaker to discuss their views on the PAD and the proposals for new Thai politics.

(My usual disclaimer and a note: I am not a journalist, I can't do freehand. For the sake of clarity I have paraphrased and edited out less interesting parts of the discussions. Also note that tonight's forum was particularly unfocused and verbose at times from both the speaker's and the questioner's sides. If speakers seem to jump from topic to topic and be a little disjointed, it's not just my editing to blame, that's how it happened)

Kasit: "I'm impressed that so many Americans are here supporting democracy. After all, their own government can design a totally fake war and keep it going while their economy collapses as their regulators look the other way." (Murmurs from the audience).

"We would like to see a Thai model based on the Finnish model of politics or even the Chinese or South Korean models. The Democrats are the closest we have in Thailand."

"New politics is coming to Thailand and everyone should be represented, including hill tribes, disabled people, poor people and others."

"Some of our ideas for new politics include the concept that anyone can take a complaint to court without having to go through police or other civil servants. There should be complete press freedom in a similar style to the German model, however the monarchy is above politics and should never be discussed negatively."

[How can he advocate both 'total' press freedom and having a monarchy above politics?]

"Police chiefs should be regionally elected and under the jurisdiction of a local governor.The Ministry of Interior would be downsized. De-centralisation would be made more powerful under new politics."

"All parties and their candidates must sign a code of conduct agreement. They must promise their candidates try to control local mafia bosses and serve the people. Any breech of the COC would result in automatic disqualification for the candidate without the need to wait for a court decision."

Korn Chatikavanij: "
The Democrats have come under pressure especially here [at the FCCT] for allegedly not being vocally opposed to the coup. Some people have suggested that the PAD are undemocratic purely because they took Government House. I think this view is narrow minded."

"I believe there is a consensus that change is needed in Thai politics.. The PAD's 70/30 proposals [that politicians should be 70% selected by an official body and 30% elected by popular vote] seemed unpopular, now they have a 50/50 proposal, I wouldn't necessarily oppose this."

"My party want both the lower and upper houses to be one hundred percent elected. I personally oppose this. If both houses are fully elected, you will get the same type of people in both houses. Often they will be related, literally. I would like the upper house to be scrapped. I understand there is debate on this in the UK, and nobody accuses them of being undemocratic."

[I think he's
referring to a debate on upper house reform in the UK, I'm not aware of any debate for upper house abolishment, which would be a terrible idea].

Compromises on the electoral system can happen and don't have to be undemocratic, it could help democracy by pushing a free press, etc."

Chris Baker: "Kasit makes 'new Politics' seem so exciting,but I want to know: how do we establish the legitimacy of all this? Moves such as scrapping the MOI are big moves, how do we give authority to such a move?"

"The other speakers talk of a consensus, we all know there are very few consensuses in Thailand right now. The opposition against 'one man one vote' (OMOV) is nothing new, it is an old idea. We should also be careful when discussing 'middle class' , it is hard to define 'middle class' in Thailand.

"These days, people are more politically educated thanks to moves by the Chuan government and TV. "

[I disagree with him there]

"Some people either don't understand or fear the growth of a mass electorate. Vote buying does not explain why people get elected. People do consider the candidate. Buying politicians is a far bigger problem than buying votes, and Thaksin massively increased the budget for buying politicians."

"A genuine crises is coming. In the past we had The Democrats as a reasonably liberal party on one side, on the other side we had the old 'godfather' parties. There was a real difference in ideology. Then came Thaksin with a philosophy of 'me as leader and no need for human rights , democracy or opposition' etc. This idea did have some appeal. The Democrats' response to this new philosophy is to support a group that - however much they talk of democracy - really boil down to hitting people with golf clubs. I think that is sad."

Kasit responds: "
As a democrat, I feel the change in political culture is a moral response to Thaksin and his methods. I have been talking to many people about this. I note 60 - 70% of PAD activists are women. This could be because they have a more moral grounding against behaviour such as that of Chalerm Yobramrung and Samak's verbal abuses. This is about morality."

JH -
Korn, why can't Democrats get more votes in the north east?

Korn - "I could talk about that all day. Northerners are less politically active and money politics is more prevalent there, and we have less money than the PPP. However I agree with Chris, money is the price you pay to play the game but it doesn't decide if you win or lose. In some areas
Puea Pandin outspend PPP by three to one and still lose. "

"Our predicament is this: do we leave the system as it is and hope that it will improve and evolve as many people believe [including me] or do we reform it? I'm a pragmatist, I support the later idea but I don't support removing anyone's vote." (Whoever said you did, Korn?)

Floor opens for questions.

Question 1
- (Pravit, The Nation):

Why did the PAD make the 70/30 proposal? Second question - could Kasit be accused of being a Democrat proxy or nominee for the PAD?

70/30 idea was floated simply to get a reaction and spark debate. I've always been open about my dual roles. I never mention The Democrats when I'm with PAD.

I used to be Thaksin's ambassador in Tokyo. During that time many Japanese companies complained to me about corruption at
Suvarnabhumi Airport. I sent many letters to Thaksin but they were all ignored.

That's why I fell out of friendship with him and joined the PAD.

Question two - Chris Baker, do you think The Democrats have not been firm enough about their democratic values during the political upheaval?

Chris - I agree, I don't like people suggesting the Chinese government has a 'democratic model'.

Korn responds: We will not back away from OMOV. The reason why so many Democrat supporters also support the PAD is due to frustration. they have tried to stick with Democrats and get reform but they cannot. So they take to the streets to make their point more directly. We ourselves are still here, supporting democracy.

Question three - What are your thoughts on north eastern politics, especially in relation to Udon [Thani]?

Kasit - The incident [of fighting between pro government and pro PAD factions] at Udon was not from real Udon people. The [pro government] people came from Bangkok and were trained near a military base. They were paid.

Question four - I was shocked to see Chamlong suggest disenfranchising seventy percent of the people that he fought so hard to protect in 1992. I want to suggest a more powerful senate with regional representatives that can control the government's budget.

Korn - But how can you complain about disenfranchisement and then support a more powerful unelected upper house?

JH - What about a more powerful elected senate?

Korn - We are discussing this. We also like the idea of an EU style regional assembly.

Question five - Chris, do you see the military as the ruling force in Thai politics for the foreseeable future? Do you believe Anupong [ the general who says there will be no coup]?

Chris - You can never rule out another coup, but right now the army are at a low point due to their poor government. They have low political capital right now so there should be no more coups at least for now.

JH- Kasit, do you support the PAD's call for more military involvement in politics?

Kasit - The military believe themselves to be guardians of democracy and Thai values. We can't reconcile that with true democracy, though.

Question six - [introduces herself as a "trained lawyer". Why is it that whenever someone introduces themselves as a 'trained lawyer' or something similar, my BS detector starts going off?]

I can't accept the criticism of the US made earlier, the PAD have timed major events to coincide with SET crashes. Why are they working outside the system?

Kasit - We don't have the sophistication to work in tune with the SET, only Sonthi worries about the SET.

follow up - Concerning your idea every complaint can go to court, how do you legitimise this? Wouldn't the court get clogged up?

Kasit - It's just an idea at this stage. People feel helpless because true complaints are purposely blocked by bureaucracy. People feel angry and hurt.

Question seven: (Andrew Burke) You have discussed making politicians up from professional associations, etc. how would you choose them?

Kasit - We are undecided. It could depend on how much tax they pay, for example. (gasps from the audience)

follow up - So you are saying the richer people get to choose more politicians?

Kasit - It's just an idea, we need to do more research

follow up - But you have so many ideas, don't you need to explain some of them?

Kasit - In time we will, now they are just proposals.

Question eight - (Mirakim, North Korean reporter for South Korea.)

[She starts with a strange set of comments including the statement: "There are only three countries in the world without a constitution - UK, Israel and New Zealand" which is totally wrong]

Can we get Thaksin back to court in Thailand?

Kasit - The government are scared to do so, Somchai is his brother in law. To extradite, we need to send an official letter to the UK. This letter has not been sent.

There are further questions but I'm tired out. The night was interesting, if uninspiring. All parties seemed slightly unfocused. Kasit had some nice ideas but no substance behind them, Chris took a role as "critique" of the other two so couldn't offer a lot things we hadn't heard before, but I was particularly unimpressed with Korn. Not only did he have little to offer but his duplicity was remarkable. Throughout the night he displayed clear support for the PAD and their proposals, but also tried to walk the Democrat's official line without ever being honest about where he stood.