Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mickey Mouse Wears an Abhisit Vejjajiva Watch

To say that the Prime Minister of Thailand Abhisit runs a “Mickey Mouse” organization in Thailand is an insult to the Walt Disney character. Almost immediately after Abhisit had just finished telling the world, in a speech in New York, that no one was being arrested under the emergency decree, the police arrested a street vendor for selling flip-flop sandals bearing the likenesses of Abhisit and Thailand’s Deputy PM Suthep Thaugsaban. The flip-flops are sold in pairs. The left foot has the image of Suthep and the right has a photo of Abhisit. And since then there have been other arrests of vendors of these flip-flops in Thailand.

Using likenesses of political figures on products has long been a form of free speech. Even the police could not find an actual law against this type of free speech so they arrested her anyway. Evidently, Abhisit’s government is making things up as they go along or perhaps Abhisit and Suthep have promoted themselves to Thai Royalty in order to apply those strict lèse majesté laws Thailand is infamous in abusing.

Although these particular flip-flops may be in poor taste, they’re certainly not any more insulting than some of the other products we’ve seen. I wonder when the Thai regime will get around to prohibiting other allegedly offensive products.
Take for instance, the new line of baby and adult diapers. You’ve heard of Pampers? Well this product is called Prem-pers after the one who is mainly responsible for the lack of democracy in Thailand today; former dictator now Head of the Privy Council: Prem Tinsulanonda.

Very absorbent but unfortunately it tends to scare babies. Plus, it leaves a rash – but at least the rash is red.

And who can forget the ever popular sanitary pads made famous from the leader of the PAD himself, Sondhi Limthongkul,
in a televised speech given on October 29, 2008.

Then there is the Somsak Kosaisuuk urinal cake. I don’t think it works any better than any other urinal cake but it at least offers an alternate reason why the PAD wear yellow.
Here’s one of our favorite products; the Chamlong Srimuang fly swatter.  This one works really well because it actually draws flies in making them easier to swat.
Another special PAD product is the Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya toilet paper. A bit abrasive but just like shutting down Suvarnabhumi airport, it makes cleaning up after yourself “a lot of fun.”

And we can’t forget about the Thepthai Senpong dog poo scooper.  This works great in cleaning up after dogs and it got great publicity when the personal spokesman of the PM received dog poo in the mail.

One of the many, many problems Abhisit has is that he doesn’t understand the people who he is supposed to govern over. I offer Abhisit this well known piece of advice:

“Before you abuse, criticize and accuse. Then you should walk a mile in their shoes.” 

Well, here’s a pair for Abhisit to get started walking:


Halloween is fast approaching and I am already starting to see the decorations of corpses and ghosts in my neighborhood. They are a dreadful reminder to me of the victims of the terrible massacre in Bangkok earlier this year committed by the Thai regime. People of Thailand came from all parts of their country to the capital city of Bangkok to protest. The Thai regime responded by using snipers for crowd control and nothing short of a massacre occurred.

But the tragedy didn’t end there. History will officially record the total number of casualties at 91 but these are only the human deaths. But we mustn’t forget that “in war the first casualty is truth.” This is especially true in this instance with extreme censorship and a massive propaganda campaign that tries to blame the victims.

Please don’t be misled by the Thai regime’s plot to deflect the heinous actions of the military towards the people.

We’re constantly bombarded with excuses to try to discredit the protests. The Thai regime and their apologists repeatedly tell us all that the protesters were all paid by Thaksin Shinawatra and that the protests were only about bringing Thaksin back to power.

Tiresome, pathetic, and illogical! So what the Thai regime wants us to believe is that in order to keep out of power someone they feel is corrupt and repressive, they have to use more corruption and repression.

The protesters were known as the Red Shirts and, for the most part, they are very poor and live extremely hard lives. Naturally, they look to the government for help. But the government they had voted for twice was ousted by a military coup and that the party they'd voted for a third time had been disbanded by judges put in place by that coup and they ended up with a Prime Minister who hadn't won the election, strong armed into place by backroom deals and pressure by the same unelected military leaders. That is why the Red Shirts went to protest and it is a very valid reason. We would do the same if this were to happen in our nation.

Another sign that Halloween is approaching is that I am also seeing more and more of those orange pumpkins carved into Jack-O-Lanterns. Their color reminds me why I have decided to join the American Orange Shirts and start this blog.

It would be easy for me I love to say “I don’t care. It doesn’t concern me.” One could also make the argument that it would be politically correct to stay out of another country’s troubles. However, I do care. I love Thailand and its people. I want them to have the political stability that is needed there. I support a proper and well functioning democratic system which unfortunately is not present there. Why am I supporting democracy? Every Thai citizen, regardless of poor they are or how little education they have, should be able to decide the direction their country is heading and that a small group of the establishment shouldn’t be the ones to do it. This will lead to better stability in the country, something Thailand desperately needs.

Being an outsider, I don’t particularly support “who” in this case. That is rightfully up to the Thai people and I shouldn’t and won’t interfere. My only opponent is the outdated and corrupted governing system there.

So when Halloween commences on Sunday night and the children, dressed in their costumes, come knocking at my door with an enthusiastic “Trick or Treat,” I will of course give them their deserved “Treat.” But I’m afraid I will also be reminded of the valiant Red Shirts and their protests in Bangkok earlier this year. They came enthusiastically asking for ballots but they received bullets instead.