Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yes Vejjajiva, There is a Santa Claus… And He’s a Red Shirt

The American satirist, Henry Louis Mencken once wrote that “democracy is only a dream” and that it should be put in the same category as “Santa Claus.”
Of course Mr. Mencken was one of those people "who had been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age." He did not believe except what he could actually see. But nevertheless, Mr. Mencken may have inadvertently stumbled onto something with his comparison of the “dream of democracy” and “Santa Claus.”
As an admirer of Martin Luther King Jr., I believe in dreams. They are very real.
And American writer, Francis Church, assured us all that Santa Claus really does exist too.  In his famous 1897 newspaper editorial, Mr. Church wrote that Santa exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus?”
The answer to Mr. Church’s question could very well be that “It would be as dreary as if there were no democracy - much like Vejjajiva and his ilk have turned Thailand into.”
No Santa Claus!  No dream of democracy!  Thank God!  They both live, and they’ll live forever.  A thousand years from now, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, they both will remain in the hearts of the people.
Vejjajiva has proven that he can shoot Thailand’s citizens, but Thailand’s citizens have proven that this dream of democracy for Thailand is bulletproof.  Vejjajiva has also proven that he can repress Thailand’s citizens, unfairly lock them away, deprive them of free speech and justice, but Thailand’s citizens have proven that this dream of democracy can’t be locked up and can’t be silenced.
By the way, Santa Claus KNOWS WHO has been naughty or nice and he has something for Vejjajiva and the rest of the murderers involved in the 2010 Bangkok massacre.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thai Generals Don’t Wear Flip Flops

They wear jack boots (water resistant but not blood stain resistant).

Does anybody really believe the Thai generals are these great campaigners for Thailand, the white knights on white horses riding out to save the Kingdom? They are bloated, overpaid, power mad and inherently corrupt.

The de facto leader of Thailand, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, is no exception. This ‘waste of a hyphen’ has wasted no time since he took power last month in letting everyone know who is in charge.

Last Friday, General Prayuth signed an order banning “subversive goods” within Bangkok and adjacent provinces still under an official State of Emergency. The ban includes clothing and all consumer goods expressing opposition to or contempt for PM Abhisit Vejjajiva and his government.

The following is a translated excerpt from the ban, which took effect on November 19th: 

Item 1: Individuals are forbidden to have in their possession, or possess with intent to sell or otherwise distribute, products, clothing, consumer goods, or any other objects that contain printing, writing, drawing, photography, or any other method that conveys a meaning which provokes, incites, agitates, or causes disunity in the general populace, or acts or supports acts which cause a state of emergency.

Item 2: Authorities are authorized to order the seizure or confiscation of products, clothing, consumer goods, or any other objects as outlined in Item 1, and are authorized to act as necessary to maintain the security of the state or the safety of the public.

Item 3: These orders are to be made by authorities of commissioned officer level or equivalent.

Item 4: Any person violating this order is subject to up to 2 years imprisonment or a fine of up to 40,000 baht, or both. This order is enacted under Article 18 of the 2005 State of Emergency Administration Act and is effective from 19 November 2010.

General Prayuth Chan-ocha 

According to the Bangkok Post : CRES bans souvenirs that 'cause disunity', “an army source said Gen Prayuth was upset when he came across T-shirts and sandals carrying photos mocking important figures.” So in Thailand, a general decides he doesn't like a T-shirt and the next minute he implements a ban (along with fines and prison time) upon the nation. If that doesn’t scream military dictatorship, I don’t know what does. 

In the same Bangkok Post article, General Prayuth was also quoted as asking “the media to clearly state in their news reports the name of specific red shirt groups. He insisted that groups adopted different standpoints and it would be misleading to lump them together.” 

Friday's ban is reminiscent of the order from General Prayuth against political protest during the visit of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in late October after it was learned that political groups and human rights activists wanted to air their grievances before the Secretary General. General Prayuth took it upon himself to outlaw demonstrations not for security reasons, but because HE FELT they would embarrass the country.

What to do, what to say, what to wear; the general decides. It's that simple. Not a judicial body or a government group, but the head of the army - the same army that has no trouble at all with coups. The same army which has always made the rules in Thailand and does not serve the people, the government nor the electorate. Nor does it care about human rights, fairness or equality and neither do the people that control it. 

Remember back in August that then Deputy Army Chief Prayuth pledged to steer the army away from politics once he takes the helm. “I will try to keep the army out of politics,” he said (Bangkok Post : Prayuth sets agenda). Well, instead of staying out of politics, it looks like the General jumped right on in with both feet - wearing jack boots, of course.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Disorder in Thailand’s Constitutional Court

The expressions of shock made by some people about the latest court scandals in Thailand are laughable.  Did they not believe the Constitutional Court was just as broken as all of the other government institutions?  

They must have forgotten that this is the same court that has become so politicized that it outlawed the ruling pro-Thaksin parties and their members, not once but twice, while it threw out all charges against Democrats. It went so far as to order an elected prime minister out of office for appearing on a TV cooking show! How could anyone possibly be shocked by what these same judges are seen and heard doing on these tapes?

The rampant and destructive disease known as “Double Standards” has infected the highest level of the Thai justice system just as it infects the rest of the government systems in Thailand.  In fact the “disease” has progressed so much more at the Constitutional Court that the “Double Standards” virus has mutated into the “No Standards at All” virus.

Whether it be “fixing” cases or discussing ways and means to cover up and find a scapegoat for an alleged exam leak to favor friends and relatives of judges in the recruitment of court officials, Thailand’s Constitution Court Judges have become so corrupt that they don't even know what ethics are anymore.

And it is all about a question of work ethics. The Constitution Court rules on wide-ranging issues.  If a judge is deemed to be unfair, he is unfit to rule on any case.  If he is involved in a scandal, he must be removed from office.  If he is accused of wrongdoing, he must prove beyond reasonable doubt that he is clean and can continue to provide unbiased opinions and judgments."

I wonder if the Constitution Court judges ever look at and reflect upon their own court seal proudly displayed on the bench from which they sit behind.

Clearly displayed on seal are the “scales of justice.”  I had always thought that the “scales of justice” were a worldwide symbol for equality and fairness. This is not so in Thailand. Evidently this symbol better represents the new product out in the market place called the “Thai Constitutional Court Scales of Justice Bra.”

Yes, the symbol on the Constitutional Court Seal is one that supports and covers up a bunch of boobs.

By the way, maybe everyone should stop calling Thaksin “a fugitive from justice” since obviously there is no justice from the boobs running Thailand now. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The European Colonization Legacy of Thailand

I read this a couple of weeks ago in an article from the Bangkok Post:

"The Education Ministry has scrapped a plan to make English the country's second language, saying it could lead to misunderstandings that Thailand had been colonized in the past.

The ministry will make English the main foreign language instead of the second official language, Education Minister Chinnaworn Boonyakiat said yesterday. . . Other countries that have declared English a second official language were normally viewed as former colonies, he said. Thai is the only official language of Thailand.”

Most reasonable people who follow current events in Thailand would think that Abhisit’s illegitimate government should have more important things to work on right now but then again it is known as “Amazing Thailand.”

Honestly, I really couldn’t care any less if Thailand makes English as the country’s secondary language or not.  What is “amazing” to me is the government’s great concern about Thailand’s appearance as to have never been colonized before. The Thai government evidently doesn’t mind their appearance as being a bunch of corrupt and authoritarian thugs suppressing freedom of speech, civic, and human rights.

But let’s get back to the appearance of colonization issue. Thailand, of course, is the only nation in Indochina that did not fall to one of the colonial powers and the Thai people should rightly be proud of that fact. However, a European colonial legacy might be inferred by some famous landmarks around Bangkok to those ignorant of Thai history.  Here’s a brief list:

1.) The Bangkok Central Train Station.  Obviously a Dutch style building which could imply that Thailand was once a Dutch colony.

2.) The King Rama V Equestrian Monument.  Obviously a British style monument which could imply that Thailand was once a British colony.

3.) The Democracy Monument.  Obviously a French style monument which could imply that Thailand was once a French colony.

4.) Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall (old Parliament House).  Obviously an Italian style building which could imply that Thailand was once an Italian colony.

5.) Abhisit Vejjavija. Obviously a Nazi Germany style leader which could imply that Thailand was once a Nazi colony.

Well, it wouldn’t be feasible to get rid of landmarks 1 – 4, but removing #5 would certainly be a great boost to Thailand’s reputation.

Monday, November 1, 2010

McCarthyism in the Thai Government: Both the Joseph and the Charlie Types

It’s been nearly two years since the military made Abhisit Vejjavija Prime Minister in Thailand and things don’t bode well for democracy there. Abhisit is the perfect example of both types of McCarthyism.

On one hand, the Abhisit government is the most fervent drummer of royal hysteria. Anyone who is pro-democracy (pro-Red) is subject to intimidation or even arrest. Political opponents of the military-run regime are even falsely targeted under the very strict and unreasonable lèse majesté laws.  These laws are used to suppress criticism, expression of opinions, and public scrutiny—the hallmarks of any minimally functioning democracy.

This type of repressive government behavior is the most commonly known type of McCarthyism – The Joseph Type, named after the former US Senator, Joseph McCarthy.  His communist witch hunts in the 1950s defined the term as demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents.

I believe Abhisit to be worse than Joseph McCarthy in that McCarthy actually believed he was actually protecting democracy.  He was wrong in that his actions weakened the institution and endangered its future. Oxford educated Abhisit knows better. He fully understands that what he is doing is wrong and he propagates the same old corrupt system of governing in Thailand.

The other type of McCarthyism which Abhisit exhibits is the Charlie type.

Charlie McCarthy is a famous ventriloquist dummy, a puppet controlled by Edgar Bergan, son of Swedish immigrants (speaking of Sweden - I want to give a hearty “shout out” to my good friends and fellow supporters of democracy at Thai Red Sweden).  

Abhisit is clearly a puppet controlled by “the invisible hand” in Thailand. In fact, Abhisit is always drawn as a puppet by our favorite Thai political cartoonist, Zia at Thai Rath - see here.

However, we politely disagree with Zia’s interpretation of “the invisible hand” controlling Abhisit by strings from above.  A better comparison is “the invisible hand” placed up Abhisit’s backside controlling both his actions and his speech – like a ventriloquist and his “dummy.”

What else would make Abhisit say what he did to defend the military against:  1) their use of the fraudulent GT200 explosive detection devices, 2) their atrocities against the Hmong and the Rohingyas, and 3) the deadly use of snipers against their own people?

It’s not just Abhisit either. The entire Thai Democratic party are just a bunch of “dummies” with “the invisible hand” up their backsides controlling them as well.

Thailand desperately needs democracy!