Thursday, September 28, 2006

Spitting Chinese not welcomed here!

The Nation has a survey of Thai's and their view on tourists. Hightlights:

... 28 per cent naming mainland Chinese as the least polite visitors, followed by tourists from India (20 per cent) and the Middle East (19 per cent).

...When asked which tourist behaviour they find impolite, 29 per cent said damaging the local sights was the most offensive, 21 per cent cited cultural insensitivity and 20 per cent cited spitting.

At least they realize they have a problem, just hope we see some improvement before this:

Last year, 31 million of China's 1.3 billion people traveled abroad. By 2020, that number is expected to rise to 100 million a year.

Website: Council for Democratic Reform

The Council for Democratic Reform website is up. Looks like they specalize in Coup's. Maybe you can hire them for your party. And check out the Ban on Eavesdropping. Could this be directed at loyalists in a special room somewhere inside an AIS building listening to certain converstaion? Hmm...

In cases where the violator is also the provider of telephone or communication services, or is the concessionaire holder of such services, apart from the punishment stipulated under paragraphs 1, 2 or 3 as the case may be,the violator’s license or concessionaire for such services shall also be revoked.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Award: first news source to use "Coup" and "Go-Go dancers" in the same headline

The headline writers at International Herald Tribune go for senationalist gold with the headline: "Thai soldiers take a break from the coup to watch go-go dancers " - to bad it wasn't really go-go dancing, and just a sad excuse for a headline. Hey IHT... THIS... is go-go dancing. More from Bangkok Pundit. Photos here and here.

Also, a nice editorial by formerUS Ambassador to Thailand, Darryl N. Johnson:

The U.S., Thailand's formal ally and long-time friend, should urge the early restoration of democratic institutions and call for calm. The U.S. should also express regret that the new rulers resorted to unconstitutional means to overthrow an elected leader...
...The U.S. should criticize the process, but not the results.

And finally.. is the Bangkok Post, still the worst online newspaper in the world? They still don't understand that Google will link to their story, and that they should use a Permanent Link to that story. So please, if you reference a Post story, copy the entire story, as you may never find it again.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Test: Chinese, Japanese or Korean?

Take the test at I got a 10 of 18 right btw, and the average is 6.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Why the Coup happend

This story (also here) in The Nation by Thanong Khanthong offers the best insight I have read so far into the Coup. If true Sonthi Boonyaratglin could go down as one of the great Thai heros. Taksin had planed to use a bloody protest as pretext to declaring a state of emergency...

an intelligence report reached General Sonthi's camp stating that there would be bloodshed on Wednesday. The People's Alliance for Democracy had planned to hold a political rally that day at the Royal Plaza in order to force Thaksin out of politics. Had that rally taken place, there would have been clashes between the People's Alliance for Democracy and Thaksin's supporters and blood would have been spilt on Rajdamnoen Avenue.

Once the situation was under his complete control, Thaksin had planned to fly back yesterday in order to declare victory over anti-democratic elements in society. He had a military reshuffle list in hand that would have further consolidated his control over the military. With that accomplished, everything would have been easy. Virtually all institutions in the country would have been under his directive.

Let's not forget it is Taksin who bought his current seat of power.
  1. A 1m baht bribe called "the village fund" that persuaded vilage headmen to convince those in their village to vote Taksin.
  2. The 40baht health care plan.
  3. Loans for farmers that they did not have to pay back.
He knew he could do the same thing again, but he just needed a tighter grip on power.

If Thaksin were to run in the next election, he would have won. With 12 million votes or so, he would have claimed a democratic majority and he also would have stayed on as prime minister. After that he could rewrite Thai history by turning Thailand into his own regime.
There is no reason suspect Taksin was planning on giving up power Getting rid of him may have given Thailand it's only hope of remaining democratic.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Some Coup action shots

Check out the Coup in action. Some good action shots from a good friend of mine:

"My first Coup!"

"B2 ready for action"

Motherfuck!n' Tanks on a Motherfuck!n' Street!

The business end of the Coup

More photos Coup Photos. Thanks John!

Fisrt bad news of the Coup - elections in one year?

Thailand's new military ruler, winning crucial royal backing for his bloodless coup, announced Wednesday that he would not call elections for another year. - Washington Post

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bangkok Post front page Sept. 20, 2006

Thai property sizes: 1 Acre = 2.5 Rai

Been looking for this for a while (thanks 1Rai) - Thai land sizes:

1 Rai = 4 Ngan = 1600 Square Meters
1 Ngan = 100 Talang Wah = 400 SqM
1 Talang Wah = 4 SqM

Common Western Conversions:
1 Acre = 2.5 Rai
1 Hectare = 6.25 Rai

Huston Cron Editorial - Wrong

Huston Cron:" Thailand would be better off with a deeply flawed leader ultimately accountable to the electorate than what it has now: a military dictator who has revoked the constitution."

You forget he is the richest man in Thailand. The only other two forces that could possible oppose him are the military and the King. He bribes the poor to his will. It was not a real democracy before and taking him out, paves the way for a real election.

Coup D'Tetat in Thailand - see ya Taxsin

This could be both good and bad. Hopefully the Baht will loose some strength against the dollar, and make a bit of a buying opportunity. Also lets hope this finally means a return to fair closing times, and if we are lucky… a repeal on the this visa situation.

Troops loyal to army chief Gen Sonthi Boonyaratkalin last night staged a coup d'etat to oust caretaker Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was in New York and due to address the United Nations General Assembly.

And Taxsin is stuck in New York:

Thaksin is in New York at a hotel, where he has reportedly been watching the United Nations General Assembly and keeping abreast of developments here.
And then he sraps his UN speach, as not he is just a guy, well the richest guy in Thailand, but still:
After getting the United Nations to rearrange the schedule of its most important annual meeting, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra Tuesday cancelled the talk that was to be delivered later in the day.

And the Bangkok Post fails us again, it's server unable to handle the large amount of traffic.

A Bangkok native makes this statement, which pretty much sums it up:

"Allowing Thaksin to carry on will ruin the country more than this. The reputation of the country may be somewhat damaged, but it's better than letting Thaksin stay in power."

Unfortunately, this is nothing new, there has been no fewer than 23 coup attempts in the past 74 years. But the last one in Thailand was 15 years ago.

The news also topped Goggle News. Track all the news here.

A nice rundown of Taxsin's accomplishments.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Welcome to

Going to talk about tech, about privacy, about living in Asia and about making it all work.