Solution-oriented opinion: Thailand, teacher layoffs, Middle East, placebo, graffiti
1. What Thailand needs for itself and from abroad
From The Nation newspaper in Bangkok: "One of the most important items on the national agenda is to improve the quality of the political system so that it can address the ongoing political conflict. At the moment, Thai democracy lacks a dispute settlement procedure that addresses the social problem of inequity."
2. A way to save the best teachers from state budget cuts
From The Washington Post: "The imminent layoff of as many as 275,000 of the nation's roughly 3 million public school teachers has called forth the usual responses.... Luckily, there's a third way that can rejuvenate America's teacher corps while charting a path toward fiscal sanity.... In cash-strapped states, don't fire newly hired teachers first. Give buy-out to senior teachers."
3. Middle East needs secular, democratic rule over religious authority
From The Japan Times: "The Middle East desperately needs effective and efficient governments that treat everyone equally. By committing itself to this principle, Lebanon might regain its status as a home for peaceful coexistence between peoples and religions and send a message to the Middle East and the world."
4. Healing without medicine? Doctors use the placebo effect for cures
From The Boston Globe: "You’re not likely to hear about this from your doctor, but fake medical treatment can work amazingly well....In a health care industry fueled by ever newer and more dazzling cures, this phenomenon is usually seen as background noise, or even as something of an annoyance."
5. Graffiti in legal places can help boost urban areas
From The Detroit Free Press: "Public art can stimulate urban redevelopment, the way Chazz Miller’s murals are doing in northwest Detroit.... No doubt, some graffiti is amateur scribbling – junk. Some is real art. But with even the best of it, there’s a problem, legal and social, with messing up public spaces that everyone has the right to enjoy."