កិច្ចព្រមព្រៀង ទីក្រុងប៉ារីស, ២៣ តុលា ១៩៩១ | Paris Peace Agreements , 23 October 1991

Monday, February 20, 2017

សម រង្ស៊ី / Sam Rainsy: ខ្ញុំ អនុញ្ញាតិ ឲ្យគណបក្សនេះ បន្តប្រើប្រាស់ រូបថត ឬរូបគម្រូ ទាំងអស់ ដែលបង្ហាញ លោក កឹម សុខា និងខ្ញុំ កាន់ដៃគ្នា | Photo of unity

Image may contain: 4 people, people standing, crowd and outdoor

២០ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៧ / 20 February 2017

Photo of unity 

ទោះ ជាខ្ញុំ បានចាកចេញ ពីគណបក្ស សង្គ្រោះជាតិហើយ ក៏ដោយ,   ក៏ខ្ញុំ អនុញ្ញាតិ ឲ្យគណបក្សនេះ បន្តប្រើប្រាស់ រូបថត ឬរូបគម្រូ ទាំងអស់ ដែលបង្ហាញ លោក កឹម សុខា និងខ្ញុំ កាន់ដៃគ្នា, ហើយ លើកដៃ ទាំងពីរ ទៅលើ ដូចបង្ហាញ ដោយរូបថត ភ្ជាប់មក ជាមួយនេះ។  ខ្ញុំ បានបញ្ជាក់ រួចហើយ ថា, គ្រប់កាលៈទេសៈ ខ្ញុំ នៅតែ រក្សាឧត្តមគតិ សង្គ្រោះជាតិ ជានិច្ច ក្នុងបេះដូង របស់ខ្ញុំ។   ដូច្នេះ ខ្ញុំ សូម អំពាវនាវ ឲ្យបងប្អូន ជនរួមជាតិ ទាំងអស់ បន្ត គាំទ្រ គណបក្ស សង្គ្រោះជាតិ យ៉ាងពេញទំហឹង ដើម្បី នាំមក នូវការ ផ្លាស់ប្តូរ ជាវិជ្ជមាន សម្រាប់ ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា។


Even though I have left the CNRP I authorise this party to continue using any photo or logo showing Mr Kem Sokha and me holding hands and raising our joined hands as shown on the attached photo. As I have already stated, in all circumstances I continue to cherish and to uphold the CNRP’s ideals in my heart. Therefore, I call on all Cambodians to wholeheartedly support the CNRP in order to bring about a positive change for Cambodia.
សម រង្ស៊ី / Sam Rainsy
www.facebook.com/rainsy.sam

រដ្ឋសភា អនុម័ត​ច្បាប់ ​ស្តីពី គណបក្ស​ ទាំងចម្រូង​ចម្រាស ដោយគ្មាន ​វត្តមាន​ បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង | NatAss adopts law on political parties without presence of opposition party

តំណាងរាស្ត្រគណបក្សប្រជាជនកម្ពុជា លើកដៃបោះឆ្នោតគាំទ្រច្បាប់ស្តីគណបក្សនយោបាយនៅព្រឹកថ្ងៃទី២០ខែកុម្ភៈនេះ

រដ្ឋសភា អនុម័ត​ច្បាប់ ​ស្តីពី គណបក្ស​ ទាំងចម្រូង​ចម្រាស ដោយគ្មាន ​វត្តមាន​ បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង

VOD | ២០ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៧

រដ្ឋសភា កម្ពុជា បាន​អនុម័ត ច្បាប់ ​ស្តីពី ​គណបក្ស​ នយោ​បាយ ដែលរងការ ​រិះគន់ និង​ចម្រូង​ចម្រាស ​ដោយ​គ្មាន វត្តមាន ​បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង នៅព្រឹកនេះ។

ការកែច្បាប់ ​ស្តីពី​ គណបក្ស​ នយោបាយនេះ ​​​ត្រូវ​ បានគាទ្រ ដោយសមាជិក​ សភា​​ បក្ស​ប្រជា​ជន ​៦៦ លើ​៦៦​ សំឡេង ​ដែល​ចូល​រួម​ ប្រជុំ។

Cambodia lawmakers approve law threatening opposition party

Cambodia lawmakers approve law threatening opposition party

AP / Sacramento Bee | 20 February 2017



Cambodia's legislature amended a law governing political parties on Monday to allow the government to apply to the courts to have a party dissolved, an act clearly aimed at the sole opposition group in parliament.
The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party boycotted Monday's 90-minute debate on the legislation and the subsequent vote that saw all 66 lawmakers from the ruling Cambodian People's Party vote in favor. It now needs approval from the ruling party-controlled Senate, a simple formality.
Long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen suggested the amendments earlier this month, in what is seen as an attempt to shore up his party's strength ahead of local elections this year and a general election in 2018. The opposition staged an unexpectedly strong challenge in 2013's general election.
The new provisions will allow the Supreme Court to dissolve parties whose leaders have criminal convictions, and bar those same leaders from political activities for five years. Critics charge that Cambodia's courts are under the political influence of the ruling party.
In addition, the Interior Ministry will be allowed to suspend parties whose activities incite national disintegration, a catch-all clause similar to those in other laws that are used against the government's critics.
"The passage of these amendments marks the final consolidation of absolute power in the hands of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People's Party," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of New York-based Human Rights Watch.
"Hun Sen's election strategy is clear: bulldoze what's left of Cambodia's democratic institutions by using laws like this one, while simultaneously intimidating civil society into silence with arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders and threats to de-register troublesome NGOs," Robertson said.
The Cambodia National Rescue Party, in a statement issued before the debate, said the changes violated the principles of liberal and multiparty democracy.
"The proposal of the amendments was done too quickly and with the aim of intimidating and destroying the rival party," said the opposition statement.
There were political consequences even before the amendment was passed, with longtime opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who has been in self-imposed exile since late 2015, resigning from the Cambodia National Rescue Party because he was convicted in one defamation case and has several other cases pending.

Cambodian MPs alter law, enabling dissolution of foes

Cambodian MPs alter law, enabling dissolution of foes
FILE PHOTO

Cambodian MPs alter law, enabling dissolution of foes

Amendments to law on political parties made by majority members of ruling party after opposition lawmakers boycott session

Anadolu Agency | 20 February 2017

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia
Lawmakers from Cambodia’s ruling party on Monday amended legislation that would enable the Supreme Court to dissolve political parties and ban party leaders, in a move that was decried by Human Rights Watch as “the triumph of a dictatorship” over the multi-party democracy model.

Cambodia changes political rules in 'triumph of dictatorship', critics say

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
PHOTO: Prime Minister Hun Sen has led Cambodia for more than three decades. (Supplied: The Phnom Penh Post)

Cambodia changes political rules in 'triumph of dictatorship', critics say


ABC (Australia) | 20 February 2017


Cambodia's authoritarian government has changed the law covering political parties, in what some commentators are calling the "final triumph of dictatorship".

Key points:

  • The change makes it easy to dissolve a political party if it threatens 'national unity'
  • Two senior opposition figures would be barred from politics under the laws
  • Prime Minister Hun Sen has led Cambodia since 1985
The amendments make it easy for Cambodia's Ministry of Interior and Supreme Court — both widely seen as controlled by the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) — to dissolve a political party on the basis that it threatens "national unity".
A new ban on people with criminal convictions from holding senior political party roles or standing for office effectively bars opposition figure Sam Rainsy.
"The passage of these amendments marks the final consolidation of absolute power in the hands of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People's Party," said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.
Hun Sen has served as Prime Minister for more than three decades.
"This day will be remembered for the triumph of dictatorship over the dream of the Paris Peace Accords for a rights-respecting, multi-party democracy," Mr Robertson said.
The National Assembly vote was never in doubt after the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) boycotted the vote.
Approval by the Senate and the King is considered a formality.

Laws could have 'chilling effect' ahead of elections

The amendments outlaw foreign donations which will starve the opposition party of money from the diaspora, including Cambodians living in Australia.

សមាជិក​ សភា​ បក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច​ អនុម័ត​ សេចក្ដី​ស្នើ​​ វិសោធនកម្ម​ ច្បាប់ ​ស្ដីពី ​បក្ស​នយោបាយ | Members of ruling party adopt amendments to law on political parties

សមាជិក​សភា​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា លើក​ដៃ​គាំអនុម័ត​សេចក្ដី​ស្នើ​វិសោធនកម្ម​ច្បាប់​ស្ដីពី​គណបក្ស​នយោបាយ នៅ​ក្នុង​កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​សភា​វិសាមញ្ញ នៅ​ព្រឹក​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២០ ខែ​កុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ​២០១៧។ RFA/Yang Chandara
សមាជិក​សភា​គណបក្ស​ប្រជាជន​កម្ពុជា លើក​ដៃ​គាំអនុម័ត​សេចក្ដី​ស្នើ​វិសោធនកម្ម​ច្បាប់​ស្ដីពី​គណបក្ស​នយោបាយ នៅ​ក្នុង​កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​សភា​វិសាមញ្ញ នៅ​ព្រឹក​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២០ ខែ​កុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ​២០១៧។ RFA/Yang Chandara

សមាជិក​ សភា​ បក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច​ អនុម័ត​ សេចក្ដី​ស្នើ​​ វិសោធនកម្ម​ ច្បាប់ ​ស្ដីពី ​បក្ស​នយោបាយ

RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ២០ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៧


សមាជិក​ សភា ៦៦​រូប  មក​ពី​ គណបក្ស​ ប្រជាជន​ កម្ពុជា (អវត្តមាន ២​រូប) លើក​ដៃ​​ អនុម័ត ​សេចក្ដី​ស្នើ​​​ វិសោធនកម្ម ​ច្បាប់ ​ស្ដីពី​ គណបក្ស​ នយោបាយ នៅ​ក្នុង​ កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ​ សភា ​វិសាមញ្ញ នៅ​ព្រឹក​ ថ្ងៃ​ទី​២០ ខែ​កុម្ភៈ។   ចំណែក ​ឯ​សមាជិក​ សភា​ គណបក្ស​ ប្រឆាំង មិន​ ចូល​រួម ​ប្រជុំ​ នៅ​ព្រឹក​ នេះ​ទេ។

មន្ត្រី​ គណបក្ស​ កាន់​អំណាច​ លើក​ឡើង ​ថា, ការ​អនុម័ត​ វិសោធនកម្ម​ ច្បាប់​នេះ ដោយសារ​ ច្បាប់ ​ស្ដីពី​ គណបក្ស​ នយោបាយ​ ឆ្នាំ​១៩៩៧ មិន​ ស្រប​តាម​ ស្ថានភាព ​សង្គម​ កម្ពុជា បច្ចុប្បន្ន ដែល​ត្រូវ​ កែប្រែ​ ជា​ប្រញាប់។


ទោះ​យ៉ាង​ណា មន្ត្រី​ គណបក្ស​ ប្រឆាំង លោក សុន ឆ័យ កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ ​ទី​១៩ ខែ​កុម្ភៈ បញ្ជាក់​ ថា, តំណាង​រាស្ត្រ​ គណបក្ស​ សង្គ្រោះជាតិ​ មិន​ ចូល​រួម​​ កិច្ច​ប្រជុំ ​វិសាមញ្ញ​​ របស់ ​រដ្ឋ​សភា​នេះ ដោយសារ​ ការ​ធ្វើ​​ វិសោធនកម្ម ​ច្បាប់​ ស្ដីពី គណបក្ស​ នយោបាយ មាន​​ផល ​ប៉ះពាល់​ ច្រើន ដូចជា, ការ​គាប​សង្កត់​ គណបក្ស ​ប្រកួត​ប្រជែង,  មិន​ឆ្លុះ​ បញ្ចាំង​ ពី​ឆន្ទៈ ​ពលរដ្ឋ, បង្ក​ ឱ្យ​មាន​ ការ​ប្រេះ​ឆា​ ជាតិ​ ធ្ងន់ធ្ងរ, និង​មិន ​ស្រប​តាម​ គោល​ការណ៍​ ប្រជាធិបតេយ្យ ជាដើម។


Cambodia parliament backs change that bars leader's rival

"death knell for democracy" in Cambodia.
New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch said it marked the consolidation of absolute power.
"Cambodia will become a sham democracy going forward," said Phil Robertson, the group's Deputy Asia Director. "The silence of foreign governments and aid donors to this move has been profoundly disheartening."

Cambodia parliament backs change that bars leader's rival

Reuters | 20 February 2017

Cambodia's parliament amended a law on Monday to stop anyone convicted of an offense from running for office, effectively barring long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen's main rival.

Critics said that the changes approved would undermine the multi-party democracy established in the Southeast Asian state by 1991 peace accords and could turn Cambodia into a de facto one-party state.

Opponents accuse Hun Sen, a former Khmer Rouge guerrilla, of unfair maneuvering to try to retain his three-decade grip on power at local elections in June and a general election next year.


The ruling Cambodian People's Party voted to change the 1998 election law to ban parties that engage in activities that include incitement, promoting secession or anything that could harm national security.

Politicians convicted by a court are banned from standing for election and their parties can be dissolved.

That would exclude veteran opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who has been convicted of a series of defamation charges and has lived in exile in France since 2015 to avoid them.

He resigned from the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) this month, saying he wanted to save his party in the face of the potential ban. He rejects the charges against him as politically motivated.

The CNRP's 55 lawmakers boycotted the National Assembly vote on Monday, saying it had targeted them. But Hun Sen's party has a slim majority in parliament so it was able to pass the change.

Welcoming the change to the election rules, ruling party lawmaker Chheang Vun said it would allow the interior ministry to start closing some of Cambodia's 76 political parties. He said only 45 were properly registered.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Parliamentarians for Human Rights group called it the "death knell for democracy" in Cambodia.

New York-based advocacy group Human Rights Watch said it marked the consolidation of absolute power.

"Cambodia will become a sham democracy going forward," said Phil Robertson, the group's Deputy Asia Director. "The silence of foreign governments and aid donors to this move has been profoundly disheartening."

Cambodia has been transformed during Hun Sen's rule from what was essentially a failed state after decades of conflict.



Postcards from Nearby

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing, night and outdoor
Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling

ទោះបី លោក បានលាលែង ដំណែង ពីមេដឹកនាំ គណបក្ស សង្គ្រោះជាតិ ក៍ដោយ, តែ លោក នូវតែ ជាមេដឹកនាំ ស្ថិតក្នុងបេះដូង ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ និងយើងខ្ញុំ ជានិច្ច។

[Vietnamization: Indochina, Military, Border] Forces Build Up on Laos Border Over Construction Dispute

Forces Build Up on Laos Border Over Construction Dispute

The Cambodia Daily | 20 February 2017

More than 400 Laotian soldiers have crossed into Cambodian territory to block military engineers from constructing a road, sparking an armed buildup in the border area over the past two weeks, Cambodian officials said on Sunday.

Cambodia’s Border Protection Military Unit 101 reported that the incursion of Laotian forces in Stung Treng province had caused a halt to road construction near the border since February 8, a statement posted to the National Police website says.

Cambodian and Laotian soldiers speak near the border, in a still image from a video posted to the Fresh News website.
“After the Laotian military sent reinforcements, the Cambodian side also prepared forces to defend the border, including Border Protection Military Unit 101, Border Protection Police Unit 701, the provincial military, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces’ Military Region 1 and military engineers,” the statement says.

The Cambodian officers advised their Laotian counterparts not to bring arms into Cambodia, “but the Laotian military did not agree to Cambodia’s request, and they responded that they were following orders,” it says.

CNRP to boycott Party Law vote

Opposition acting president Kem Sokha walks out of the CNRP party office after a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh.
Opposition acting president Kem Sokha walks out of the CNRP party office after a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

CNRP to boycott Party Law vote

Phnom Penh Post | 20 February 2017

Controversial amendments to Cambodia’s Political Law are set to sail through the National Assembly today after the opposition party announced yesterday it will boycott the vote.
The news comes in the wake of a joint statement from the Electoral Reform Alliance and a number of NGOs who on Friday “vehemently request[ed] that the amendment to the law on political parties not be adopted, especially by the ruling party acting alone at a time of upcoming elections”. 

The reforms, which threaten to dissolve political parties led by people with criminal convictions, prompted the resignation of long-time opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who was dogged by a string of defamation cases brought against him by government officials.

[Vietnamization: Military, Border, Indochina] ឡាវ​ បញ្ជូន ​យោធា ​រារាំង​ កង​វិស្វកម្ម​ កម្ពុជា​ មិន​ឲ្យ​ ស្ថាបនា​ ផ្លូវ​ តាម​ព្រំដែន | Laos sent troops to block Cambodian military from building road (inside Cambodia) along the border

យោធា​របស់​កម្ពុជា ដែល​កំពុង​ឈរ​ជើង​នៅ​តំបន់​ព្រំដែន​ឋិត​នៅ​ឃុំ​ថ្មកែវ ស្រុក​សៀមប៉ាង ខែត្រ​ស្ទឹងត្រែង កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១៧ ខែ​កុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ​២០១៧។ Photo Provided
យោធា​របស់​កម្ពុជា ដែល​កំពុង​ឈរ​ជើង​នៅ​តំបន់​ព្រំដែន​ឋិត​នៅ​ឃុំ​ថ្មកែវ ស្រុក​សៀមប៉ាង ខែត្រ​ស្ទឹងត្រែង កាល​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១៧ ខែ​កុម្ភៈ ឆ្នាំ​២០១៧។ Photo Provided

ឡាវ​ បញ្ជូន ​យោធា ​រារាំង​ កង​វិស្វកម្ម​ កម្ពុជា​ មិន​ឲ្យ​ ស្ថាបនា​ ផ្លូវ​ តាម​ព្រំដែន

RFA / វិទ្យុ អាស៊ី សេរី | ១៩ កុម្ភៈ ២០១៧


សមត្ថកិច្ច​ ការពារ ​ព្រំដែន​ ខែត្រ ស្ទឹងត្រែង ឲ្យ​ដឹង ​ថា, ប្រទេស ​ឡាវ បាន​បញ្ជូន​ កង​កម្លាំង​ យោធា​ ប្រដាប់​អាវុធ មក​រារាំង ​កង​កម្លាំង​ វិស្វកម្ម​ របស់​ កម្ពុជា មិន​ឲ្យ​ ស្ថាបនា​ ផ្លូវ​ តាម​បណ្តោយ​ ព្រំដែន​ នៅ​ចំណុច ​អូរ​ តាក់​ឡាវ នៃ​ឃុំ​ ថ្មកែវ ស្រុក​ សៀមប៉ាង ខែត្រ ​ស្ទឹងត្រែង។  ចំណែក​ មេ​បញ្ជាការ​ ប្រតិបត្តិការ​សឹក ​រង ​ខែត្រ​ ស្ទឹងត្រែង អះអាង​ ថា, កម្ពុជា កសាង​ផ្លូវ​ តាម​បន្ទាត់​ ព្រំដែន​ លើ​ទឹក​ដី​ របស់​ខ្លួន​ ផ្អែក​តាម​ ផែនទី​ របស់​ បារាំង។

[Vietnamization: Rice, Border] Agricultural festival in Vietnam

Agricultural festival in Vietnam

 Khmer Times | 20 February 2017

The Ministry of Commerce is calling on local agriculture-related businessmen and enterprises who wish to exhibit their products and are looking for trading partners to join the International Agricultural Festival of the Mekong Delta from March 9 to March 13 in Vietnam’s Can Tho city.
 

The festival is being organized by the Vietbrand Center for Research, Application and Development and the Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Agency for Technology Entrepreneurship and Commercialization Development of Vietnam.
 

Cambodia’s Commerce Ministry spokesperson Soeng Sophary told Khmer Times that expository and other related business events inside and outside the country were one of the ministry’s objectives on trade promotion to boost trade between Cambodia and Vietnam.
 

Ms. Sophary said that products are exchanged between Cambodia and Vietnam even though there is no exhibition. However, she said Cambodian agricultural products will be showcased to Vietnamese consumers at this exhibition, giving them more information about the kingdom’s products.
 

“Compared with Vietnamese products, Cambodian products lag behind in terms of packaging and manufacturing capability, but our product quality is comparable with Vietnam,” she said.
 

In late December, Prime Minister Hun Sen paid a two-day state visit to Vietnam in an effort to boost trade. In October, Cambodia called on Vietnam to withdraw quarantine and biosecurity measures for its exports. Both sides are eager to hit the $5 billion trade target, of which both governments pledged in 2012.
 

Last year, trade between Cambodia and Vietnam decreased slightly, dropping to a total of $3 billion – $2.2 billion in exports to Cambodia and $725.7 billion in imports.  Each represents a decline of eight percent and 24 percent respectively, compared with 2015, according to the Vietnamese embassy’s trade office in Phnom Penh.
 

To reverse their decline in trade with Cambodia and Laos, Vietnam will build 116 warehouses near border gates they share with their neighbors, expecting to finish by 2035. Vietnam also organizes other trade promotion activities including the International Agricultural Festival of the Mekong Delta.  

[Vietnamization: Rubber, Logging, Ratanakiri] Timber Stash Seized in Wildlife Sanctuary

 [Background / related]

http://truth2power-media.blogspot.com/2015/12/vietnamization-grand-concessions.html
http://truth2power-media.blogspot.com/2015/11/vietnamization-rubber-barons-report-by.html
...

Timber Stash Seized in Wildlife Sanctuary

The Cambodia Daily | 20 February 2017
Ratanakkiri provincial authorities have seized hundreds of logs and three trucks full of wood from the Lumphat Wildlife Sanctuary and are investigating the possible involvement of a nearby rubber plantation, officials said on Sunday.

Angelina Jolie on Cambodia, politics and a 'difficult year'

Angelina Jolie on Cambodia, politics and a 'difficult year'

 BBC News | 20 February 2017

Angelina Jolie has spoken about how Cambodia was her "awakening", as she premiered her new film in the country.

The actress was speaking exclusively to the BBC before the screening of First They Killed My Father, a true-life account of the Khmer Rouge genocide through the eyes of a child.

She said she hoped the film, which she directed, would help Cambodians to speak more openly about the trauma of the period.

Two million people died.

Jolie, now a UN refugee agency special envoy, first visited Cambodia for the filming of 2001 hit Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

She later adopted Maddox, her oldest son, from Cambodia.

"I came to this country and I fell in love with its people and learned its history, and in doing so learned, how little I actually knew about the world," she told the BBC's Yalda Hakim.
Angelina Jolie and her son, MaddoxAngelina Jolie says her first trip to Cambodia was an "awakening", and later adopted her son Maddox (pictured together) from the country
"This country, for me was my awakening.

"I'll always be very grateful to this country. I don't think I ever could give back as much as this country has given me."

'Not properly understood'

First They Killed My Father is based on a book of the same name by Loung Ung.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

John Lennox: "Seven Days That Divide the World"


John Lennox, Professor of Mathematics at Oxford University, at the Union Club in New York City on January 31, 2013. Dr. Lennox explores a method for reading and interpreting the first chapters of Genesis without discounting either science or Scripture.

Genesis New International Version (NIV)

The Beginning

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food. And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

Footnotes:
  1. Genesis 1:26 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text (see Syriac); Masoretic Text the earth

[Vietnamization: "Yuon", Propaganda, Language] Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again

"...Yuon, a term for Vietnamese most consider derogatory" -- despite the fact: 

(1) the term is neutral; 

(2) has only been propagandized to be "racist" during the Vietnamese occupation;

(3) many Cambodian scholars and leaders have formally responded to its neutral meaning, reminding us all the distinction between what is "politically correct" and what is "offensive" (derogatory);

(4) it is the same term Yuon / Yuan that the Thai have for Vietnamese but it's a non-issue there as it should be a non-issue anywhere;

(5) only written "most consider derogatory" a stock phrase in the English-language papers -- mainly written, all edited by non-Cambodians AFTER OCCUPATION; the use of the term was never or rarely called out as "derogatory" prior to occupation; and 

(6) whereas "most" Cambodians do not consider it derogatory, save the CPP for obvious reasons and the one or two non-CPP loners because they want to be politically correct with their foreign friends and interviewers.

All speak to foreign hubris, particularly this last one dismissing the bulk of the Cambodian population and giving credence only to themselves the guests
Seen and heard on Ms. Theary C. Seng's Facebook accounts: 
www.facebook.com/theary.c.seng

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Want to Make a Lie Seem True? Say It Again. And Again. And Again

Wired | 11 February 2017

You only use 10 percent of your brain. Eating carrots improves your eyesight. Vitamin C cures the common cold. Crime in the United States is at an all-time high.

None of those things are true.

But the facts don’t actually matter: People repeat them so often that you believe them. Welcome to the “illusory truth effect,” a glitch in the human psyche that equates repetition with truth. Marketers and politicians are masters of manipulating this particular cognitive bias—which perhaps you have become more familiar with lately.

President Trump is a “great businessman,” he says over and over again. Some evidence suggests that might not be true. Or look at just this week, when the president signed three executive orders designed to stop what he describes—over and over again—as high levels of violence against law enforcement in America. Sounds important, right? But such crimes are at their lowest rates in decades, as are most violent crimes in the US. Not exactly, as the president would have it, “American carnage.” 

“President Trump intends to build task forces to investigate and stop national trends that don’t exist,” says Jeffery Robinson, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. He’s right that the trends aren’t real, of course. But some number of people still believe it. Every time the president tweets or says something untrue, fact-checkers race to point out the falsehood—to little effect. A Pew Research poll last fall found 57 percent of presidential election voters believed crime across the US had gotten worse since 2008, despite FBI data showing it had fallen by about 20 percent.

So what’s going on here? “Repetition makes things seem more plausible,” says Lynn Hasher, a psychologist at the University of Toronto whose research team first noticed the effect in the 1970s. “And the effect is likely more powerful when people are tired or distracted by other information.” So … 2017, basically.

Brain Feels

Remember those “Head On! Apply Directly to the Forehead!” commercials? That’s the illusory truth effect in action. The ads repeated the phrase so much so that people found themselves at the drugstore staring at a glue-stick-like contraption thinking, “Apply directly to MY forehead!” The question of whether it actually alleviates pain gets smothered by a combination of tagline bludgeoning and tension headache.

Repetition is what makes fake news work, too, as researchers at Central Washington University pointed out in a study way back in 2012 before the term was everywhere. It’s also a staple of political propaganda. It’s why flacks feed politicians and CEOs sound bites that they can say over and over again. Not to go all Godwin’s Law on you, but even Adolf Hitler knew about the technique. “Slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea,” he wrote in Mein Kampf.

The effect works because when people attempt to assess truth they rely on two things: whether the information jibes with their understanding, and whether it feels familiar. The first condition is logical: People compare new information with what they already know to be true and consider the credibility of both sources. But researchers have found that familiarity can trump rationality—so much so that hearing over and over again that a certain fact is wrong can have a paradoxical effect. It’s so familiar that it starts to feel right.

“When you see the fact for the second time it’s much easier to process—you read it more quickly, you understand it more fluently,” says Vanderbilt University psychologist Lisa Fazio. “Our brain interprets that fluency as a signal for something being true”—Whether it’s true or not. In other words, rationality can be hard. It takes work. Your busy brain is often more comfortable running on feeling.

You are busy, too, so let me get back to Trump’s latest executive orders, which are mostly symbolic. They certify that the government will do what it can to keep law enforcement officers safe. They contain vague language that civil rights advocates worry could lead to the criminalization of protest. But while perhaps unnecessary, the orders are hardly pointless—they reinforce the idea that America is unsafe, that law enforcement officers are at risk, that the country needs a strong “law and order” president. Data be damned.

As with any cognitive bias, the best way not to fall prey to it is to know it exists. If you read something that just feels right, but you don’t know why, take notice. Look into it. Check the data. If that sounds like too much work, well, facts are fun.