Saturday, November 24, 2012

Snakes and Ladders

The Thai elite can’t win elections so they thought they’d try playing another game:  Snakes and Ladders.

The Thai elite couldn’t win that game either.

For those who don’t know about the traditional board game of Snakes and Ladders, it is played between two or more players on a game board having numbered, gridded squares. A number of "ladders" and "snakes" are pictured on the board, each connecting two specific board squares. The object of the game is to navigate one's game piece, according to die rolls, from the start (bottom square) to the finish (top square).  Along the way, players will find ladders to help them advance (representing good acts) and snakes which will cause them to move backwards (representing slides toward evil).

So ladders are good and snakes are bad in this game.

On November 14th, government officials prepare ladders to act as a potential get away exit at a wall near Parliament in case the neo-fascist mob known as Pitak Siam are able to surround the compound.  

Preparedness is a good thing so Phue Thai receives ladders.

Then on November 23rd, a large number of snakes were released near the encampment of one of Pitak Siam’s evil minion groups known as the Dharma Army. 

Overthrowing a democratically elected government is a bad thing so the traditional Thai elite receive snakes.

Phue Thai wins again and fascism craps out.

Perhaps the Thai elite might have better luck in the political chess game known as the censure debate which will be held in a few days. This is very doubtful as all games have morals; which is why the fascists in Thailand will never truly win anything. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Attack of the Abominable Snowmen

It would appear that General Boonlert Kaewprasit, leader of the Pitak Siam group, is in a hasty retreat. Only a few weeks ago he was infamously calling for a coup to topple the democratically elected government and to place democratic rule in the "deep-freeze" for five years. Thailand would be governed by an appointed government. It's the complete opposite of the Arab Spring protests where people demanded democracy from dictatorships. Consider it the "Thai Winter" where people demand dictatorship from democracy.

"If a coup did take place, an interim government would be set up. If this was not acceptable to other countries, we could close the country. I don't know for how many years, but the closure should remain until all the bad politicians have been driven away. I have never seen a good politician. Soldiers are needed to take care of the country." - Gen Boonlert, October 31, 2012

Then on November 16 after a severe mocking by pro-democratic groups and other right minded people, the general stepped back a bit.

"We will have a period of caretakers in control. It's like basketball. If there is an accident, can't we have a short timeout of 2-3 minutes? If it's on the time scale of politics, it will maybe be 1 year 2 years 3 years or 5 years, then we can have elections again. If it's just one year [without elections] such as in 2549, it will be ruined because as soon as 'he' leaves he'll be back." - Gen Boonlert, November 16, 2012

Two days later, the general was totally denying everything.

"I've never called for the country to be closed or frozen for a period. I only want to stop corrupt politicians." - Gen Boonlert, November 18, 2012

But the general has gathered all his fascist friends to help him rally this weekend for a military coup.  Of course, front and center is the yellow-shirt People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD).  Right behind them is the multi-colored-shirt gang led by Tul Sitthisomwong. The list goes on and on and is quite impressive: Peace-Loving Thais group led by Kanchanee Walayasevi, PAD’s Chamlong Srimuang’s Dhamma Army, etc...

One of the latest groups that say they’ll be attending is the New Politics Party led by former PAD co-leader Somsak Kosaisuk.  They’re such a neo-fascist group that their logo is a “blinged up” swastika.

Personally, I think these people really do want to “freeze” Thailand.  If they didn’t then why does Somsak resemble the snowman narrator from the seasonal Christmas television classic “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer?”

Then there’s Prasong Soonsiri, who probably was alive during the last climatic ice age. That pipe looks very familiar…

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thai Media Bias Shows Its Ugly Face

And it is the face of Channel 7’s reporter, Somjit Nawakruasunthorn.
Somjit Nawakruasunthorn
Nearly every day, the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand, Chalerm Yubamrung, holds a small, informal press conference. Usually these question and answer sessions are humdrum and uneventful but the one held on Nov 15, 2012 was quite entertaining and illustrates the typical media bias there is against the current government there… specifically, the bias shown by Channel 7’s reporter, Somjit Nawakruasunthorn.

The topic of the questioning was the security preparations for handling the next Pitak Siam rally on Nov 24-25 at the Royal Plaza. 
Mr Chalerm was simply trying to inform Somjit that a political party was behind the rally was the main threat. 

Which party, she asked?

"The one that loses elections," he answered, clearly referring to the opposition  Democrats who haven’t won a national election in over 20 years. Clearly Somjit is not the sharpest tool in the tool shed.

When she persisted in her questions, challenging him to provide evidence, he pointed out to her that she was a Democrat supporter, causing her to misunderstand the situation and the government's progress in dealing with it.

The reporter said she could sue him for the remark. Mr Chalerm said he had done nothing wrong.

‘‘I’m just saying that you sympathize with that party. There is nothing wrong with that,’’ Mr Chalerm said. ‘‘Sue me if you want,’’ he added.

Somjit retorted: ‘‘If your calling me sympathetic to that party is not defamatory, would calling your servitude to Thaksin Shinawatra amount to defamation?’’

Mr Chalerm said: ‘‘That’s definitely defamation.’’

The reporter then challenged Mr Chalerm to file a police complaint against her.

Here’s the video of the event:

Now I don’t think we need to bring this to any Thai court.  Why waste their time?  Besides, everyone knows Thai courts are both incompetent and corrupt.  I will be more than happy to be the judge here… and know that I don’t just pass judgment.  I lay on the horn and flip it the bird.

Is Somjit sympathetic to the Democrat Party?  Let’s look at the evidence.

Somjit has admitted that she participated in the PAD’s terrorist takeover of Suvarnabhumi International Airport in 2008. This terrorist action was supported by the Democrats which helped bus in participants.

One Democrat Party leader who openly supported the PAD is Korn Chatikavanij. In 2008, Korn said the following in the Bangkok Post after the siege of the NBT station by the PAD:

Let’s be clear I am a PAD sympathizer. I attended the very first Thammasat “seminar” organized by Sondhi Limthongkul back in 2005. I remembered thinking at the time that something special was happening.

Of course, one can read more about the Democrat Party Bankster, Korn, from a syrupy book written by an obvious ass kissing author, none other than Somjit herself.
Somjit's Book About Korn 
Somjit has also written two other books practically worshipping former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva, the most recent one which Abhisit helped promote with personal appearances at book signings. It must have been quite a feat writing these books while her tongue was half-way down the backside of Abhisit’s trousers.
Somjit's Two Books About Abhisit 
So I think it is fairly obvious that Somjit is a Democrat Party sympathizer which automatically makes her uninformed and ignorant in my judgment.

Is Somjit biased in her reporting? Again, let’s be fair and look at some evidence.

In her first month after being taking office, democratically elected Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra refused to answer questions at a press conference from Somjit. The first question the PM refused to answer was: "Do you ever think of doing something for the country or the people sometimes or not?" That question was preceded by this one: "Do you think the cabinet is uglier than the PM?"

There is a difference between asking hard questions in an interview and asking questions intended to put someone on the spot and embarrass them in public with the cameras rolling.  Journalistic ethics say the later is not acceptable practice, in Thailand or anywhere else. Obviously, we are not dealing with Barbara Walters here.

But this doesn’t mean Somjit is biased against the Pheu Thai led government. She’s only biased if she doesn’t ask similar type of unethical questions of the opposition Democrats. However, all I could find is "soft and sugary" questions to the Democrats coming from Somjit. I wouldn’t be surprised that she gets cavities while interviewing Democrats, which is really saying something based upon her enormous set of “chompers.”

And come to think of it, I thought I spotted some tooth anomaly in one of her photographs.

Closer inspection reveals a possible small cavity on the upper first molar.

So I think it is very fair to say that Somjit is a biased propaganda outlet and has prostituted herself to the service of the Democrat Party and other right wing reactionaries who are desperately trying to sleaze their way back into power. There! I said it. Sue me. 

But there is a point to be made. Somjit accuses Chalerm of corruption… of being the servant of Thaksin Shinawatra. And many people feel that Thailand can’t exist as a democracy because of the extreme corruption there.

But although corruption is a scourge, it is not as big of a barrier to democracy as the unethical behavior that has become commonplace in the Thai news media.  Journalism is a necessary piece of the democratic structure itself, making reporters “democracy’s stewards”.  Public enlightenment is the foundation of democracy and the forerunner of justice. The duty of all journalists is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.   

Below are a few snippets from the code of ethics from the Society of Professional Journalists that I'm sure Somjit or anyone at Channel 7 (or even anyone from “The Nation”) never bothered to read or embrace (of course, I doubt they're members):

Act Independently

Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.

Journalists should:

* Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
* Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility.
* Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
* Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage.
* Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media.
* Admit mistakes and correct them promptly.
* Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media.
* Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others.

The expectations are set. We have to hold them to it. 

Deputy PM Chalerm is holding Channel 7 to it. He has stated that he will not answer questions from the media if a Channel 7 reporter is among the interviewing group.

Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist's credibility. Somjit Nawakruasunthorn never had any.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Boonlert’s Boondoggle

Retired Thai General and extreme royalist fruitcake Boonlert Kaewprasit has goose stepped into the political spotlight and possibly something else.  

General Boonlert Kaewprasit
As the organizer of a pro-military coup movement, he has his fascist crew called Pitak Siam leading a parade of virtually all the ugly Nazi-like groups in Thailand against the democratically elected government.

These groups include the Group of 40 Senators, Dr. Tul’s multi-colored group/Network of Citizen Volunteers Protecting the Land, the Siam Sammakhi nutjobs, Network of Monarchy Protection Volunteers, and even Santi Asoke’s Dhamma Army. I suppose we can call this a “movement” if we associate the word “bowel” with it.

General Boonlert's latest numbskull plan is to try to mobilize at least 1 million people to gather at the Royal Plaza next weekend in an attempt to topple the government by triggering a military coup.  

Why do these idiots bother to organize and participate in mass demonstrations?  After all, they can vote (although they don’t believe in voting), and public opinion surveys convey their views on public issues. A mass demonstration symbolizes something more than popular opinion to governments, to other citizens and to the demonstrators themselves. When citizens assemble, they signal an intensity of commitment, a tangible collective strength that is absent in the voting booth or on the poll-taker’s clipboard and the more “massive” the demonstration, the more intensive the signal.

With apologies to the Military, Democrats, and the Privy Council, the most massive and wackiest of all the fascist groups in Thailand is the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD). They have “opened the floodgates”… or to be more sensitive to the Thai flood victims last year and more descriptive of the PAD followers, they have “opened the cattle gates.”

The Grand Poobahs of the PAD have cancelled the group’s political activities (hate speeches, terrorism, propaganda, etc…) for the weekend of Nov 24-25 to allow its supporters to join Boonlert’s pro-coup rally planned by the Pitak Siam group.  Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang, a PAD core leader and fanatical nut job, announced that PAD leaders will not take part in the Pitak Siam rally, but will give it moral support and that “rank and file supporters could take part at their own discretion, as is their right under the constitution.

I think the irony is lost on the PAD. Even though their name suggests that they are “for democracy”, they support military coups against a democratically elected government. They’re proud to exercise their constitutional right to protest, albeit to overthrow the same constitution which gives them that right.

Nevertheless, even with the addition of the PAD members, will this be enough paste-eating morons to make Boonlert’s fascist dream come true of rallying a million pro coup supporters? Does Boonlert have a snowball’s chance in Bangkok that there will be 1 million people at the Royal Plaza?

One million people is a “shoot the moon” number by Boonlert and is simply unreasonable.  For one thing, it’s physically impossible to cram that many idiots in an area the size of the Royal plaza. Boonlert is obviously unaware of how much space is required to hold 1 million or even 100,000 demonstrators. 

Firstly, he needs to know the area of the space he plans to have his fascist rally. The Royal Plaza does look like a large area. Of course, there’s the large King Rama V Equestrian Statue which takes up some space (BTW, for those "looky loos" who will attend:  if there is PAD around you should avoid the area near the statue based upon past history). There is also the need for some of the area to be taken up by a stage and a segregated VIP area. Also, some of the area will be taken up by things like medical stations and “PAD think tanks” (in the US, we more commonly refer to them as “porta potties”). 

PAD Think Tanks
I’m going to be generous, though, and state that the Royal Plaza offers an area of about 140,000 square feet for a mob (yes, I looked it up). 

Bangkok's Royal Plaza
Next, he needs to know about crowd density. Near the front of a rally, people may stand shoulder to-shoulder and belly-to-buttocks. One person per 2 square feet is about the density of a packed elevator or sky train car, leaving hardly any space to wriggle through. Packed elevator rides are mercifully brief, but rallies last much longer. People shift their weight, twist and turn, sit and even walk around.

Further away from the stage, 2.5 square feet per person is akin to each person standing on the front page of “The Nation” newspaper. Toward the side and rear edges of a gathering, 5 square feet per person gives each the equivalent of two pages of “The Nation” newspaper, allowing slow passage through the crowd with repeated apologies. On the gathering’s margins, 10 square feet per person allows passage by zigzagging through at a measured pace without touching anyone.

The following table gives values for the “mob” capacity of some familiar spaces.

So even if the mob at the rally were crammed in close together and stood more or less perfectly still, they would at best only hit only 56,000.  And if these fascists think that they can fit one million of their ilk in the Royal Plaza then they must have their head up each other’s asses.

Wait a minute!!! "Heads up each other's asses." Now there’s an idea to fit more fascist yellow shirts into Royal Plaza by "going vertical" and increasing the number of people which can fit in a confined area. 

These Thai generals may be smarter than I give them credit for...  Not!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Queen for a Day

Earlier this week the democratically elected Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, was on an official visit to the United Kingdom where she was given an audience with Queen Elizabeth. 

It was a great honor to be granted such an audience by the Queen of England,” the PM said. Speaking on behalf of all Thais, she congratulated Queen Elizabeth on her Diamond Jubilee, marking 60 years on the throne.

This must make the former PM, Abhisit Vejjajiva, very jealous.  Abhisit, who was not democratically elected as PM but rather was installed into that office by the Thai military, visited the UK during his term but wasn’t granted a royal audience.  And he’s even a British citizen!

I doubt the Queen grants too many audiences to heads of government who murder their own people protesting wanting elections.

Abhisit must not be feeling too happy nowadays. The International Criminal Court Prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, was in Bangkok recently talking to the Foreign Minister about the possibility of the ICC looking into the 2010 massacre of innocent civilians by the Abhisit regime.

He was also found recently to have evaded the mandatory Thai military draft and was stripped of his fake rank.

Perhaps, Abhisit could go over to Prem Tinsulanonda’s house where they could dress up and play “meet the Queen”. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Fascist Dinosaur Herds Yellow Cattle

The Royal Turf Club of Thailand is a horse racing stadium. But on Sunday, October 27th, there wasn’t an equine event scheduled.  Instead it was more of a bovine event led by a group of fascists calling for yet another coup in Thailand.

Although protests like this are nauseating to me, I do believe in free speech.  I have always felt that even the most repugnant ideas should receive the same freedom of expression as more accepted ones.  And freedom of speech should be less a "free marketplace" of ideas than it is a playground.  And the best way to dispense with unpopular ideas is to let them roam free, so they can have their asses kicked up and down the jungle gym by the cool ideas.
And healthy democracies usually handle these types of protests.  Unfortunately, democracy hasn’t been healthy in Thailand since the last coup six years ago.  That one didn’t work out too well, I’m not sure why these bozos think a new one would.

The rally was organized by the newest fascist group in Thailand called Pitak Siam, or Protecting Siam, led by retired General and fruitcake Boonlert Kaewprasit.

And true to the old saying, “fascists of a feather flock together (and I'd like to tell Boonlert to get the flock out of here).” There were many other anti-democracy groups represented. A New Mandala article stated that several second generation People’s Alliance for Democracy leaders, members of the Group of 40 Senators, General Pathompong Kesornsuk, Dr. Tul, and several groups allied with the Siam Sammakhi network, such as Boworn Yasinthorn, leader of the “Network of Monarchy Protection Volunteers” were in attendance. Santi Asoke’s Dhamma Army even organized the food (vegetarian pa thang ko shaped like swastikas).

And guess who also attended? None other than Prasong Soonsiri, organizer of the last coup.

He seems to pop up at all kinds of fascist events.  If we go back a few years, we can see him with Sondhi Limthongkul in 2009 when they launched their so-called political party.

Who knows what other fascist events we may find Prasong at if we looked hard enough?

Oh dear.  Let’s go way, way, way, back and see if we find him.

Just as I suspected! One dinosaur unfortunately survived extinction – Tyrannosaurus Sux.