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Old 09-12-2015, 10:22 AM
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Monty: What if anything is your point about Thailand's royals?


In GQ Monty posted some very ignorant malarkey about Thailand's royal family. I couldn't even figure out what his point was. Here are the last two posts in the exchange, though without multi-quote you'll want to click to see what I was responding to. (Yes there's some obvious anger in my post here; this was after Monty had continued to bluster, despite my more gentle ignorance-fighting.)

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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Hi Monty. I find it very hard to reconcile your two posts. Do you have anything at all but empty rhetoric and the Lèse-majesté law? Did you even read my comment on that law?

Constitutional Monarchs are sometimes thought of as just decorations. There is a socialist perception that their huge wealth is undeserved, but it was acquired in due course. Do those who want to confiscate the wealth of royals, also want to confiscate the wealth of the Walton family (larger than the wealth of Windsors and Thai royals together)?

If you compare the political history of Thailand over the past half-century with that of its neighbors (Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Phillipines) it's hard to avoid concluding "one of these things is not like the others."

I strongly believe that the Monarchy has provided much stability for Thailand. You might differ from this conclusion, but still your "Thailand is the country in the most need of getting rid of royalty" is utterly devoid of any merit.

So If I like the King, I'm "blind"? And you're incapable of comparing Thailand's history with its neighbors?? Do I need cites that Burma, Cambodia, etc. have suffered far worse tragedies than anything in Thailand???

It is true -- and I have a hunch this is the ONLY tidbit of knowledge backing up your assertions -- that the military removing civilian governments is not the American way. However it sounds like you are unaware what contemptible kleptocracies these civilian gvernments have been.

Where I live the move away from corruption now that the kleptocrats are deposed is palpable. Recently a joint army-police task force conducted a search for weapons and fugitives in the estates of our regional crime overlord -- a search that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago when he and his cronies ruled the country.

Fight ignorance. One inch forward, 2.5 centimeters back.
Monty responded with this:

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Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Wow, sept. You added a lot of malarkey and pretended that's what I said and/or feel. Since this is in GQ and not the Pit, let's just say I'm not going to respond again to you in this thread.
My guess is that he's repeating some twaddle he picked up somewhere, and knows he can't defend it, so announced he wouldn't respond in GQ. I don't think he has anything of substance to add, but will use a different excuse for not responding in the Pit.

I'll ask other Dopers to review the thread and see which of the two (Monty or Septimus) had a coherent position, and which was just confused.

I'm not asking whether Monty or I is a more likeable person. (I'm sure I'll lose that fight. ) I'd just like the factual exchange reviewed. My impression is that I presented facts and arguments and Monty had nothing at all but ignorance.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:01 PM
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Thailand still has a monarchy?



d&r
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:17 PM
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The king of Thailand is that dude from Westworld, right? I thought he died.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:38 PM
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The king of Thailand is the longest-sitting living monarch, in 21st place overall as of today, more that five and a half years ahead of that British girl.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:42 PM
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...longest-sitting...
That's begging for a thrombosis. We should buy him a fitbit.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:45 PM
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That's begging for a thrombosis. We should buy him a fitbit.
Or at least another magazine.
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:53 PM
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The king of Thailand is the longest-sitting living monarch, in 21st place overall as of today, more that five and a half years ahead of that British girl.
If he stands, does that break his record?
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:31 PM
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The king of Thailand is the longest-sitting living monarch
If he ever stands up, they'll hear his joints cracking in Winnipeg.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
My guess is that he's repeating some twaddle he picked up somewhere, and knows he can't defend it, so announced he wouldn't respond in GQ.
Originally I thought he might have in part been giving an example of an attack on the monarchy, followed by an inquiry about its penalty. But I wasn't sure. Today's posts went a little beyond that.

That said, I hope Monty drops by and clarifies. There's nothing wrong with from suffering from the malady of only a little knowledge. Given my shakier knowledge, I frankly find both sides defensible.

Also, I'll note that the discussion of Thai royalty was a semi-hijack in the linked thread. No worries, just an observation. Also, it would be nice to have this discussion in a thread where Thai residents are not posting, given the Terms of Use on this message board and other salient issues.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:03 PM
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I know little about the Thai monarchy but I do know Thailand has some draconian punishments for those who show a lack of proper respect for the king, and the Government isn't averse to using them.

From the Thai Criminal Code, Section 112: "Whoever defames, insults or threatens the king, queen, heir-apparent, or regent shall be punished with imprisonment of three to fifteen years."

This is total bullshit in a supposed modern constitutional monarchy and democracy.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:33 PM
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Though the current government of Thailand seems to be using the Lèse-majesté laws to punish dissent in general instead against of the Royal family specifically.
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Old 09-12-2015, 06:37 PM
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Gosh, how lucky Yul Brynner, or whoever sits the throne these days, is to have you here as his pit bull calling Monty to task. Monty isn't nearly as astute as he believes himself to be, but At least he isn't wasting lifespan asskissing a king who doesn't even know he exists.
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Old 09-12-2015, 07:59 PM
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The Economist criticized Thai royalty in 2008 (sub req): http://www.economist.com/node/12724800

There has been but one serious biography of the King, by the American journalist Paul_1_Handley%% entitled Teh King Nvver Smiles (2006). It is listed at wikipedia: Thai officials have blocked access to websites advertising the book. From the Economist:
Perhaps his gravest charge is that in 1976 the king seemed to condone the growth of right-wing vigilante groups that, along with the army, were later responsible for the slaughter of peaceful student protesters. As has happened often in modern Thai history (and could easily happen again now), the 1976 unrest was used as a pretext to topple the government and replace it with a royally approved one.
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Old 09-12-2015, 08:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
There has been but one serious biography of the King, by the American journalist Paul_1_Handley%% entitled Teh King Nvver Smiles (2006). It is listed at wikipedia: Thai officials have blocked access to websites advertising the book.
And yet it's on Amazon in several formats, available to anybody with a friend on the Vietnam border. Shows what good being a king is.
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Old 09-12-2015, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
Gosh, how lucky Yul Brynner, or whoever sits the throne these days, is to have you here as his pit bull calling Monty to task. Monty isn't nearly as astute as he believes himself to be, but At least he isn't wasting lifespan asskissing a king who doesn't even know he exists.
If Monty isn't as astute as he claims to be, that means he is spreading ignorance in GQ. And it he's being obstinate about it, that's a Pit-able offense.

Are you sure you didn't mistake this for a different board?
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Old 09-12-2015, 10:31 PM
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If Monty isn't as astute as he claims to be, that means he is spreading ignorance in GQ. And it he's being obstinate about it, that's a Pit-able offense.

Are you sure you didn't mistake this for a different board?
You are always at your most ridiculous when you think you have a gotcha.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:20 PM
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If Monty isn't as astute as he claims to be, that means he is spreading ignorance in GQ. And it he's being obstinate about it, that's a Pit-able offense.
First sentence: that follows not. Second sentence: it was a semi-hijack. Bringing the discussion elsewhere makes some sense.

To be clear BigT, there's a huge subtext here. Insulting the king is a grave offense in that country: people have and will go to jail for it. That government has effectively shut down a fair amount of debate among foreigners as well: the whole matter is swept under the rug by deeming it a foreign custom.

Also, it's within Monte's right not to have to sort through weird accusations about wanting to expropriate royal wealth.
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Originally Posted by dropzone View Post
And yet it's on Amazon in several formats, available to anybody with a friend on the Vietnam border. Shows what good being a king is.
It's lonely at the top.

The book is banned in Thailand, though reportedly available in photocopy. There are also unauthorized translations into Thai on the internet, reportedly.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:26 PM
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I strongly believe that the Monarchy has provided much stability for Thailand. You might differ from this conclusion, but still your "Thailand is the country in the most need of getting rid of royalty" is utterly devoid of any merit.
Narrowly speaking, it's arguably true depending upon what you think of Qatar and Oman. Personally, I think the Dutch Monarchy is run rather well.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:03 AM
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Also, it's within Monte's right not to have to sort through weird accusations about wanting to expropriate royal wealth.
Since the King of Thailand, like the Queen of Britain, is a constitutional monarch I couldn't understand what Monty's objection was. Just as some complain about money wasted on the Windsors, I thought Monty might object to the Thai royal wealth. Of course I should have objected to whatever his real complaint was, but he never told us what it was.

As I explained, the Lèse-majesté laws are often applied in prosecutions unrelated to royalty. It isn't the King who brings such prosecutions. I don't approve of those laws, but when one examines the totality of problems and associated solutions in Thailand, the Lèse-majesté laws aren't even a "blip on the radar" -- to focus on them as key to Thai governance shows baffling ignorance.
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:47 AM
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As I explained, the Lèse-majesté laws are often applied in prosecutions unrelated to royalty. It isn't the King who brings such prosecutions. I don't approve of those laws, but when one examines the totality of problems and associated solutions in Thailand, the Lèse-majesté laws aren't even a "blip on the radar" -- to focus on them as key to Thai governance shows baffling ignorance.
I thought there couldn't possibly be anyone more unlikeable than Monty but then you came along. Every word of your opinionated snotty crap annoys.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:39 AM
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Since the King of Thailand, like the Queen of Britain, is a constitutional monarch
Well, technically, he's not, because Thailand is in between constitutions right now, thanks in large part to a coup against the democratic government that the king supported. They've got an interim constitution that will last until the people of Thailand agree on a new constitution. The government made it illegal for people to discuss a new constitution, so that might take a little while.

So, right now, he's an interim constitutional monarch.
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Old 09-13-2015, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Since the King of Thailand, like the Queen of Britain, is a constitutional monarch I couldn't understand what Monty's objection was. Just as some complain about money wasted on the Windsors, I thought Monty might object to the Thai royal wealth. Of course I should have objected to whatever his real complaint was, but he never told us what it was.
Ok, I see.


Going from memory, the Economist has indicated that Thai royalty has in fact played a role in the country's repeated military coups and the country has become addicted to them in a way. That's a source of dysfunction. There's a pro-royalty case to be made as well. The problem is that there has never been a full airing of the issue in Thailand and outsiders aren't sufficiently interested to press the case. It's a systemic problem and Thai royal family are implicated.

Personally, I lack sufficient basis to make a judgment. I will say that there's a real need in Thailand to bring together the interests of the countryside and city and that ISTM that the royal family has had their thumb on scales when they should have focused on reconciliation. Or even truth.
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:17 PM
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Don't know much about thailand or it's monarchy, but fairly sure the saxe coburg/windsors haven't demanded people being locked up like this:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/ne...-royal-family/
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:30 AM
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The present King is old and very weak, almost confined to hospital; the future is uncertain. My comments are specific to H.M. Bhumipol himself, and especially when he was a younger stronger man.

Note that lèse-majesté prosecutions (which are not brought by the royal family themselves) have increased only in this time of his very poor health. I do not support the lèse-majesté laws per se, but let's point out again that disrespect for the royals is often not the real reason such prosecutions are pursued.

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I will say that there's a real need in Thailand to bring together the interests of the countryside and city and that ISTM that the royal family has had their thumb on scales when they should have focused on reconciliation. Or even truth.
The idea that the Thaksin governments were populist supporters of the rural poor, while the Democratic Party is the party of Bangkok's elite is a huge oversimplification. Yes, Thaksin got a lot of rural votes, but one is reminded of U.S. politics: people don't always vote for their enlightened self-interest.

One of the most important ways to help rural farmers in a country like Thailand would be to provide them with legal deeds for their land. (I found it interesting to hear this same message both from the head of the World Bank and from Thailand's small farmers.) It was the Democratic Party that worked to provide such deeds; indeed it was that issue that brought down their government in the 1990's -- denying such deeds (which also denies access to commerical bank mortgages) is one way for criminal overlords to retain power.

The American press gives a very distorted view of Thai politics. Many civilian governments, especially the Thaksin governments, are controlled by an alliance of criminal overlords. It is often governors, police chiefs, mayors, etc. who are the major drug traffickers, loansharks, etc. It is vote-buying and politician-buying that largely affect elections, not ideologies.

I don't have simple solutions to propose for Thailand's problems, but when the King was younger he was part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Based on reports I get, the present military government has made progress in a sincere fight against crime and corruption. The new government has been visiting villages and trying to improve grass-roots democracy. (Thailand does have some local democracy, with many decisions made by a show of hands in village meetings. Thaksin, by the way, wanted to replace elected local officials with his appointees, saying "Democracy doesn't work at the local level." )

The next time I read the N.Y. Times ignorantly prattling that the Thai political crisis is about "Bangkok's elite" versus "the rural poor" I'm afraid I'll puke.
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Old 09-14-2015, 12:17 PM
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I don't know much about the political climate of Thailand but what I do know is that there has been some disproportionate punishment meted out to those who insult the king. Not only that, I remember some youtube videos getting removed because they put a bunch of feet on his face. This article says that youtube did remove some videos mocking the king but kept others. The article also mentions that a Swiss man received a 10 year jail sentence for spray painting graffiti over pictures of the king on his birthday, but that he was pardoned and deported.

If they want to keep that shit to their own county, fine, but WTF are they doing trying to bully youtube into removing stuff? Look at the picture of that guy in the article, he looks like the spent head of a match. If Bumblefuck Abduljabbar wants to fuck with how other countries depict him, then he can shove his own feet up his ass and so can the whole country of Thailand
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by YogSosoth View Post
I don't know much about the political climate of Thailand but what I do know is that there has been some disproportionate punishment meted out to those who insult the king.

... The article also mentions that a Swiss man received a 10 year jail sentence for spray painting graffiti over pictures of the king on his birthday, but that he was pardoned and deported.
I also prefer unlimited free speech, but it should seem like a minor objection. IIRC, Nazi paraphenalia are banned in parts of Europe. Do you object to those bans, and are you honestly going to suggest that desecrating an image of the King n Thailand's culture is less severe? As I say, I don't advocate lèse-majesté laws per se, but I can't blame them for trying and deporting that Swiss. Of course it was His Majesty who pardoned the man, very soon after his conviction.

But the real question which occurs to me is: Why do those posting on this topic give such importance to the lèse-majesté laws? Surely these are almost irrelevant in importance compared to other issues: raising lower incomes, and improving schools, governance, healthcare and the economy. Setting aside lèse-majesté, is there some other issue Dopers have with the King?
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Old 09-14-2015, 02:15 PM
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I also prefer unlimited free speech, but it should seem like a minor objection. IIRC, Nazi paraphenalia are banned in parts of Europe. Do you object to those bans, and are you honestly going to suggest that desecrating an image of the King n Thailand's culture is less severe? As I say, I don't advocate lèse-majesté laws per se, but I can't blame them for trying and deporting that Swiss. Of course it was His Majesty who pardoned the man, very soon after his conviction.

But the real question which occurs to me is: Why do those posting on this topic give such importance to the lèse-majesté laws? Surely these are almost irrelevant in importance compared to other issues: raising lower incomes, and improving schools, governance, healthcare and the economy. Setting aside lèse-majesté, is there some other issue Dopers have with the King?
Speaking for just myself, I find such arrogance personally annoying to the degree that I will rant about it on a board. It bothers me on some intrinsic level that a law can be made and upheld where you cannot make fun of someone. Call it a pet peeve. That the Thai law is one of the more famous examples with very public fights over it makes that particular law the target of my ire.

I don't accord it more or less importance than those other issues you mentioned, however this is much simpler to understand and have an opinion on than income levels or healthcare. So on that level, there's a much lower ceiling to be able to understand and provide a solution to the issue.

Also, I'm sure that psychologically, as an American, I have a special distaste for monarchs putting themselves above the people in terms of special protections like this.

Lastly, I've actually defended on this board European laws against positive depictions of Nazis. I don't live in a vacuum, and some of my American opponents seem to think that US notions of free speech must be present or else that country cannot truly be free. I reject that, knowing that much of the horrors of the world wars happened in their back yard. I think if Germany wants to ban all mentions of Nazis that are positive, then they are just as free as America who allows the likes of the Nazi party to exist. They had concentration camps in their neighborhoods, one cannot imagine how knowing your friends and neighbors were taken to be gassed to death can affect someone.

But simply insulting a king? I cannot be convinced that such a thing should be banned. It should be ok to insult anyone in history for any reason
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Old 09-25-2015, 02:55 AM
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If septimus can take a momentary break from giving a blow job to the entire Thai royal family for a moment, maybe he'll be interested in facts as opposed to his asinine rant here.

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Originally Posted by septimus View Post
In GQ Monty posted some very ignorant malarkey about Thailand's royal family. I couldn't even figure out what his point was. Here are the last two posts in the exchange, though without multi-quote you'll want to click to see what I was responding to. (Yes there's some obvious anger in my post here; this was after Monty had continued to bluster, despite my more gentle ignorance-fighting.)
I am not ignorant about Thailand's king and his family. I have also been to Thailand a number of time and seen how the populace holds them in high esteem. I have also seen how the royal family has basically done not a damn thing that would actually be helpful for the country.

My point is that Thailand is in dire need of not having a royal family. As it's set up now, the royal family is a joke. And the various juntas that come into power know full well it's a joke. That's why they manage to have a revolving door with the type of government ruling the country. And the king certainly isn't ruling anything at all.

Quote:
My guess is that he's repeating some twaddle he picked up somewhere, and knows he can't defend it, so announced he wouldn't respond in GQ. I don't think he has anything of substance to add, but will use a different excuse for not responding in the Pit.
No, you jackass; you made up shit and pretended that was what I said. The board rules here prohibit me calling you a lying sack of dung outside the BBQ Pit. You are a lying sack of dung.

Quote:
I'll ask other Dopers to review the thread and see which of the two (Monty or Septimus) had a coherent position, and which was just confused.
At least one other poster explained to you in this thread that your post in the other thread was in Bizarro-Land.

Quote:
I'm not asking whether Monty or I is a more likeable person. (I'm sure I'll lose that fight. ) I'd just like the factual exchange reviewed. My impression is that I presented facts and arguments and Monty had nothing at all but ignorance.
Nope. You went on a bizarre defense of that joke of a family. Let me explain something to you--and given some of your posts on the subject, I do find it hard to believe that you are not aware of that family's joke status:

1. The king is useless. Pretty much the only thing he's called into play for is to grant a royal pardon. A number of those people seeking such royal pardon are in prison for violating the Lèse-majesté law. That proves the king thinks that law is hunky dory. It also proves that he's perfectly fine with the hell that people go through in Thailand's prison while they're waiting--years, sometimes--for the king to decide, "Well, he did insult me, but I'll be nice and let him go."

2. Thailand doesn't really have a constitution. Well, yes, they do have the paper and a legislature voted to have it. But, in reality, the rebellions which keep cropping up in Thailand basically piss all over it. Which constitution they'll be using next week may very well be something you need a prophet to determine. A real king would stop that crud from happening, and he certainly wouldn't tolerate it happening as often as it does in Thailand.

3. When the king does bother to get involved in stopping the violence, it's after the constitution's been pissed on, it's after people have been killed, it's after the government of the day--said government supposedly already having "royal approval"--is either in danger of collapsing and being replaced by a whole new style of government or that's already happened. If the people in the know (such as the generals) about the king's actual effectiveness (zero) really did honor, support, defend, and even revere that joke as much as they demand the rest of the populace to do, there would never be a rebellion in the first place.

4. So the royal family doesn't actually bring the charges of violating the lèse-majesté law? Big deal. Those scum don't have to do that. All they do is let people get charged for real or even imagined slights against them. And then they let those people rot in jail, sometimes for years. And then they pretend to be magnanimous when they pardon the poor sods. If the king wants to prove he's not a joke, but rather is a decent person, he can announce that anyone, anyone at all, who gets charged under that asinine law is automatically pardoned.

5. The status of governments in other countries is irrelevant to the status of Thailand's king. Other countries, even other countries bordering Thailand, have their own jokes in government to deal with. Thailand, though, has their royal family with a horrible law that the government enforces and the royal family obviously supports.

So, in case you missed it: the Thai royal family is a joke. I'm on vacation in South Korea right now. Tomorrow, maybe tonight, I'll get myself some Thai baht and drop them into the toilet in the entertainment district just up the hill from my hotel as my personal protest against those scum.

Just for fun, how about a personal anecdote? On my first ship, there was a Thai immigrant to the US who joined the US Navy. He never left the ship whenever we had a port-of-call in Thailand. I asked him why he stayed aboard. His answer was that he can't stand the royal family and doesn't want to chance voicing his personal opinion in Thailand. Like that sailor, I love Thailand and the people I've met there. The royal family, though, can rot as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 09-25-2015, 04:08 AM
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As I've said several times already, I don't support the Lèse-majesté law; I just don't consider it to me a major practical issue. Many different countries have different takes on Freedom of Speech. If you want an example where "freedom of speech" has led to poor outcome in practice, look no further than Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission in the United States of America.

Well over 99.9% of Thailand's prisoners were convicted for something other than lèse-majesté. I guess they don't matter.

And please do figure out whether your complaint is that Bhumipol is an absolute despot, or that he is a fully constrained Constitutional Monarch like Elizabeth of Britain. Your post baffles on that question. Elizabeth remains the Head of State no matter the excesses of any Labour or Tory government. It sounds like you're complaining that H.M. Bhumipol did not illegally overthrow elected governments.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:09 AM
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You're freaking insane, septimus. My complaint is that that joke of a king has not prevented illegal overthrowing of the government. Or do you think that whenever the military decides the constitution isn't worth the paper it's written on is kosher? Your posts sure seem to support that concept.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:43 AM
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Just to see if your elevator goes all the way up to the top floor, please post a synopsis of your views on the policies of Thaksin's govenments. Pay particular attention to the extrajudicial executions, the slaughter in the South, and enrichment of the crime bosses allied with him. Since "democracy" seems involved in what pass for your "thoughts," please comment on the quote about local democracy I gave earlier.

Only after this will it make sense for us to debate democracy as it applies to Thailand.
  #32  
Old 09-25-2015, 01:08 PM
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I just want ordinary Thais to be able to call their king a shithead and spray paint over his pictures without fear of punishment. Is that too much to ask?
  #33  
Old 10-04-2015, 09:31 PM
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More proof that the king is useless. (All quotes in this post refer to this link.)

Read through the article and you can see that in Thailand's democracy, the military gets to make up both rules and punishments on the fly and apply them to the civilian populace with absolutely no oversight. Of course, if the king gave even one half of a damn about the people, that crud would not have happened in the first place, let alone be done the way it.

Let's examine:
  • Fully clothed university students perform a dance.
  • The military decides the dance is offensive
  • The military decides the dancers must go through hazing administered by soldiers.
  • The hazing is known as "attitude adjustment".
  • And how is the attitude adjusted?
  • Telling the students at the beginning of the "attitude adjustment" that they are not civilized people.
  • Forcing other students to pick on/haze an overweight student as a "hippopotamus".
  • Forcing other students to "dance like a hippopotamus in front of said overweight student.
  • "Team building" exercises in which the losing teams must face a type of corporal punishment (physical punishment).
  • Freaking explosives used for hazing the students.
  • No actual medical care for those forced to undergo this nonsense.

And how did these students end up going through these punishments? Were they arrested, tried by a jury of their peers, and then a civilian judge levied a sentence pursuant to law? Oh, hell no!

Quote:
The junta summons politicians and others who voice dissent to military bases where they are typically incarcerated several days, interrogated and made to "confess" to their transgressions and sign a contract to not repeat them — a practice that has been widely criticized by human rights groups.
Nice, huh? Detention (if Thailand really had a constitution, I'd say unconstitutional, but Thailand's constitution has about as much validity as the USSR's did) by the freaking military--not the police, interrogation and forced confession, then extra-judicial punishment. And did you notice that civilian politicians are included in these nifty summonses?

Thailand is not a democracy. It is not even a constitutional monarchy. It's a military dictatorship hiding--and not hiding very well, at that--behind the king who is doing absolutely nothing other than hanging out in the palace like Sihanouk did all because the actual people in charge keep calling him "majesty". Hell, he's no different that Sihanouk in that regard.

How can anyone say that the family that is permitting this to continue is not a joke? Oh, the answer to why people like septimus is giving a public blow job, so to speak, to the rulers might be found in the very same article:

Quote:
The former army chief who led the coup, Prayuth Chan-ocha, and is now serving as interim leader has launched a crackdown on dissent and has blocked public discussions about democracy. He regularly lashes out at those who question his authority and warns the public to stop asking for elections, which he says won't be held until 2017.
Go ahead. Tell me again how Thailand is a democracy. I live in China and there's more freedom of speech against the government there than there is in Thailand.

Once again, Thailand is not a democracy. It's a military dictatorship with exactly zero control on the actions of the ruling junta. The king has done nothing to help the people. The king is a joke, a convenient idol for the military junta to use to hypnotize the people. Of course those people who are not hypnotized face the risk of decades in prison for voicing their concerns.

Every single day the king does not abdicate in favor of a civilian legislature is one more day that he proves Thai royalty is not only a joke but is also detrimental to Thailand.

Go ahead, septimus; try to dispute this with actual facts.

Last edited by Monty; 10-04-2015 at 09:35 PM.
  #34  
Old 10-04-2015, 09:50 PM
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On a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being Denmark and 7 being North Korea, Freedom House offers the following rankings for Thailand:
Thailand’s political rights rating declined from 4 to 6, its civil liberties rating declined from 4 to 5, and its status declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to the May military coup, whose leaders abolished the 2007 constitution and imposed severe restrictions on speech and assembly.

https://freedomhouse.org/report/free.../2015/thailand
Cambodia has the same rankings as Thailand. Nepal and Indonesia are much better, though they are not free countries. Saudi Arabia and North Korea of course are worse.
  #35  
Old 10-04-2015, 09:58 PM
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Thanks, Measure for Measure. It's perhaps worth repeating this from what you quoted:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Measure for Measure View Post
[I]ts status declined from Partly Free to Not Free due to the May military coup, whose leaders abolished the 2007 constitution
A certain other poster has asserted that Thailand's royalty is a constitutional monarchy. With no constitution, it is no such thing.
  #36  
Old 10-07-2015, 01:12 PM
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Monty, you're a fool.

" I have also seen how the royal family has basically done not a damn thing that would actually be helpful for the country."

http://www.thaimain.com/eng/monarchy/project.html
  #37  
Old 10-08-2015, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shin Ji View Post
Monty, you're a fool.

" I have also seen how the royal family has basically done not a damn thing that would actually be helpful for the country."

http://www.thaimain.com/eng/monarchy/project.html
Belated greetings Shin Ji and welcome to the board.

I was less than overwhelmed by your link to The Government Public Relations Department of Thailand. While it's clear that the King was involved in a number of charitable endeavors and while the page claimed that he had a certain amount of leverage with the public and private sector, there were no budget figures. Nor was there any third party review of these projects. It's difficult to evaluate the success or net benefits of the Thai monarchy based on those webpages. Worse, it's apparently impossible to have the proper sort of discussion or polite debate on that subject in Thailand, on pain of imprisonment.

As for Monte's comment, I believe he was discussing Thailand's unfortunate habit of letting its military overthrow popularly elected governments and the royal family's alleged complicity in the same.

Your defense of the Royal family is noted though and has provided food for thought.

Last edited by Measure for Measure; 10-08-2015 at 02:19 AM.
  #38  
Old 10-08-2015, 08:47 AM
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Well, I, for one, got a kick out of Shin Ji's link saying the Thai king rules. That's demonstrably false.
  #39  
Old 10-08-2015, 09:39 AM
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Monty -- all you got is more misconception and ignorance? It would help if you could overcome your attention deficit disorder to even remember what the debate is about. Let me help by outlining areas of agreement. I'll use a larger font in hopes that will help.

I do not approve of the lèse-majesté law. But surely your own recent post should make clear that, by itself, this is just not one of the top problems here. Yet some of the King's detractors in this thread prattle on and on and on about it, as though that were the only relevant issue.

I agree that Thailand has serious problems. My heart aches that I'm raising my children here (yet in total context it is clearly my family's best option). When I visit Cambodia and see young people thriving and intellectually curious despite their recent horrendous past, and poverty far worse than Thailand's, I compare and am saddened for the Thais. No one disputes these problems, yet Monty has lost the thread and attacks a strawman.

Every Thai government has been incompetent. No one is defending stupid actions of the present military government. But, in Monty's examples, they are addressing a real problem -- physical mistreatment of university freshman (hazing) has been a very serious problem here, which is recently improving markedly. I'd rather a government address a real problem ineptly than focus their energy as many previous governments did -- stealing from the public treasury as fast as they could. In this country the set of top criminal ringleaders and top Thaksin-allied politicians are almost the same set. Police chiefs and provincial governors have been supervising the distribution of methamphetamine, loansharking business, etc. The junta has made inroads against this. But Monty wants to focus on an anti-hazing incident. What an ignorant dolt.

Our dispute wasn't about junta competence. Our dispute was about the King. A King who is approaching his 88th birthday, is confined to wheelchair, and has a wide variety of severe medical problems. Perhaps some 88-year olds retain youthful vigor, but not this King. With fading health, his only major public activity is his annual birthday speech. In 2013 he could barely read his speech. In 2014 he was too ill to appear in public at all on his birthday. For this coming 5th of December ... we can only hope. Yet Monty insists on blaming this very frail old man for the shortcomings of the present government. I wouldn't be able to respond to Monty's ignorant abusive views anywhere but in the Pit.

But let's take a random paragraph from MNonty's linked article:
Quote:
The boot camp incident sparked little public uproar in a country where the education system has always had a militaristic streak — public schools have mandatory uniforms, hair must be kept short and some teachers still wield bamboo canes to enforce discipline through secondary school. Problem teens in violent high-school gangs have been sent to boot camps in the past.
"Mandatory school uniforms" -- My God! -- How un-American! Monty, you say you've traveled in Thailand. Your parochial attitude makes me think you just stayed in tourist hotels.

The 88-year old man is too frail now to affect Thailand much one way or the other. In the unlikely event Monty wants an intelligent dialog, why not talk about what the King did or didn't do when he was a youthful 65-year old. Otherwise ... stifle!

Sheeeesh.
  #40  
Old 10-08-2015, 03:37 PM
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And where did I complain about mandatory school uniforms?
  #41  
Old 10-08-2015, 09:49 PM
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I'll recap the debate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Thailand is the country in the most need of getting rid of royalty,
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Certainly news coverage of the Royals here is, by law, universally favorable but it doesn't necessarily follow that a lot of bad news is being covered up. Here's a list of awards (Stanford's Woman of the Year etc.) given to the Queen by foreign agencies, not sycophantic Thais. Each member of the Royal family should be judged on his/her own merits and the King's only son is widely criticised; is there some specific allegation against some other Royal I don't know about?

Certainly there are admirable works that can be pointed to. Although, like Britain's Queen, he's a Constitutional Monarch with no direct governmental power, His Majesty's resolution of the 1992 crisis was impressive.
In 1992, the King, by sheer force of his personality, forced a despised junta leader to resign. He was replaced with a widely respected civilian Prime Minister and new elections were soon called. When the King was in good health, he was surely a force for better governance.

Yet, Monty never responded to any of this. His case seems to revolve around alleged royal support for the coup against Thaksin's sister. He's never made it clear which "royal" he's talking about. The frail 88-year old? The heir apparent who's seen by some of the populace as a Thaksin supporter?

In any event, Monty's case seems to be based on the assumption that the military government is worse (more corrupt? more incompetent?) than the government it overthrew. Yet Monty has, wisely, never pursued that debate. The corruption and incompetence of Yingluk's government is laughably bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
And if the monarch had been on the ball over the years, there would never have been a military coup in the first place. I don't care how many awards his wife gets or how many people blindly say "He's wonderful". The simple fact is that Thailand having a monarchy really hasn't worked out all that well for them. The man is not capable of keeping the country from falling into disorder.
As I pointed out, the King solved the crisis (with extreme disorder) of 1992. But his efforts, in old age, to reign in Thaksin's abuses a decade later fell on deaf ears.

There are two giant holes in Monty's case:
  • He's unwilling to compare the present military government with Yingluk's government. Anyone so stupid as to defend Yingluk would get laughed off of even the ignorant SDMB. But this is all irrelevant anyway, since the debate isn't about the present government, it's about the King , and
  • to credit or blame this frail old man for the present government is to pretend His Majesty, whatever his past greatness, is some Superman.

So Monty seeks refuge in a silly Internet article that complains about Thailand culture, giving school uniforms as an example ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monty View Post
And where did I complain about mandatory school uniforms?
... and then complains when I quote from his own cite. Yes, Monty, when you're unwilling to make your own case, just linking to others' instead, quoting your cites is fair game.
  #42  
Old 10-09-2015, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
So Monty seeks refuge in a silly Internet article that complains about Thailand culture, giving school uniforms as an example ...

... and then complains when I quote from his own cite. Yes, Monty, when you're unwilling to make your own case, just linking to others' instead, quoting your cites is fair game.
You're certifiably insane. Yes, the link I provided did mention the uniforms; however, those of us able to read and actually understand the English language like sane people will have understood that I did not address the bit about school uniforms because I have no issue with that. What I addressed was what was clearly in my post.

Also obvious is that I did not "just link to others' instead". I clearly addressed the issue at hand.

Again: You're insane. Get help.
  #43  
Old 10-10-2015, 07:40 PM
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Very wise of whoever is giving you hints, Monty, to steer the insults away from stupidity to mental health.

You've doubled-down on you stupidity, and now tripled-down. You've blathered on and on without ever answering the question in thread title. WTF does the King have to do with the present government? As a constitutional monarch he formally endorses every Thai government.

You blame the King for any misbehavior of the present government. Do you blame him for any excesses of the Yingluk goverment, which he also endorsed? Do you also blame the King for whatever is stuck so far up your rectum it's interfering with your brain?
  #44  
Old 10-10-2015, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
You've doubled-down on you stupidity, and now tripled-down.
I'm not sure why I'm adjudicating this, but sorry septimus. Your school uniform shtick was a red herring.
Quote:
You've blathered on and on without ever answering the question in thread title. WTF does the King have to do with the present government? As a constitutional monarch he formally endorses every Thai government.
Yeah, I think Monte has. The answer to the 2nd question is obvious: the King hasn't spoken out against the coup meisters. He's not a constitutional monarch because there's no constitution.
Quote:
Do you blame him for any excesses of the Yingluk goverment, which he also endorsed?
That said, I'm going to dodge this line of questioning. The international press has reported on these intermittent coups with some sympathy, given the craven nature of the opposition. Cite: Hell I just read an article in the Economist on the subject maybe once per year if that. Cite2: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/wp-co...-doing-dog.jpg

The problem is that these coups are addictive. Frankly Monte has not yet cemented his claim that the Royal family is useless IMHO. But I'm not blown away by their track record. Constitutional monarchs are suppose to support, you know, the constitution. I see little evidence that King has nudged Thailand along to a stable political system, notwithstanding as yet insufficiently substantiated claims about good works.

I'm guessing that a sober take would characterize Royalty's legacy as mixed. But there apparently have only been a couple of books on the subject, incredibly. The Thai people deserve better.
  #45  
Old 10-11-2015, 03:11 AM
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Thank you, Measure for Measure. I much prefer to discuss the topic than follow Monty's lead and just indulge in an insult-fest. Let me start with two points.

(I) I used this site to compare Phillipines and Thailand for life expectancy (le) and per capita GDP (pcg). (This was the first comparison I tried; you're welcome to try others.) In 1950, Phillipines had 65% higher pcg than Thailand and several years higher le. By 1985, Thailand caught up with Phillipines on pcg and was several years ahead in le. By 2000, Thailand had well over twice the pcg of Phillipines and still led in le by a few years!

Yes, during the 50 years of the comparison, Thailand's adjusted GDP per capita increased eightfold while that of the Phillipines barely doubled. It's hard to see this comparison as anything but spectacular.

What does this prove? I don't know, but surely one might guess that Thai institutions played a role. If nothing else, it suggests that
Quote:
Thailand is the country in the most need of getting rid of royalty,
is, at least as it might apply to the latter half of the 20th century, to be laughably ignorant.

(II) I'm 100% certain that the following will be met with derision. I'm posting it partly to see if anyone reading this thread has an open mind.

The United States has an institution called the Supreme Court which functions as a check on other branches of government. Thailand has its military. Obviously the idea that the military might step in to curb the excesses of other institutions will strike some as absurd, but Thailand has corrupt police, corrupt civilian government, largely incompetent press, and a poor education system. But somehow the Army has retained a level of integrity (probably because there is much less opportunity for corruption). However absurd the idea may seem, Thailand has benefited from this "check and balance." Military coups have occurred very frequently, almost always in response to blatant corruption of elected civilian governments. And yes, the Army respects and consults His Majesty.

In this thread we do not predict or advocate any particular future for Thailand. But its past performance hasn't bad too bad, overall, as seen in (I) above. Only an ignorant person would be confused whether this was because of, or in spite of, the Constitutional Monarchy.

And yes, it's just being silly or pedantic to say that a country without a constitution cannot have a constitutional monarch. Britain has no particular written constitution! The term "constitutional monarchy" refers to the level of royal powers, and not to the presence or absence of any particular document.

As to the debate with Monty, I'm sorry that I found myself "putting words in his mouth." But I did this of necessity: he refused to answer my questions or even explain his peculiar views: I had to guess.

Finally he posted a link: The Army punished some university hazers. As I've mentioned, the Army has done much good and there has been very strong and tangible reduction in corruption where I live. I'll gve specific examples by PM to anyone interested.

As for whether the King's interventions are good for the country, I notice Monty still has not deigned to comment on the royal intervention of 1992, which led to the replacement of an Army Prime Minister by a respected civilian caretaker Prime Minister, and general elections.

Will you comment on the 1992 intervention Monty ? Or is insulting me all you got?
  #46  
Old 10-11-2015, 08:00 PM
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Part of what's happening I think is that Thailand got a free pass for many years because it was a third world country. I checked the numbers at your website and I see that Phillipines and Thailand were basically tied in 1985. In 2007 Thailand had double the GDP per capita of the Phillipines (PPP basis, adjusting for exchange rates), if I'm reading the table correctly. Latest data puts them solidly in the middle income range. The World Bank no longer has programs there: they are too rich.

Which I suspect is why The Economist and at least one independent author are putting the heat on the country. There are a number of Latin American countries with an analogous role for the military. But they are called banana republics. So to some extent Thailand is a victim of their own success. But I say if they want to take their country to South Korean levels or above, they will have to up their game. Yes, yes: Singapore. But they are a city state. And frankly I'm guessing that Thailand's performance has had more to do with their common law tradition than their frequent coups - though that's just a WAG.

Just skimmed the Economist for closing quotes. This will do (sub req):
An empirical analysis of the impact of coups on other national economies shows that growth slows, on average, by 2.1 percentage points in the year of a coup, 1.3 and 0.2 in the first and second year after the coup. But in Thailand the idea that the recent coup might not be good for the economy simply does not arise. It tends to be pushed aside with references to the country’s uniqueness—a kind of all-season pass familiar to authoritarians around the world.

... Paul Collier, a professor of economics at Oxford who has noted that coups “are not a cheap way of replacing a government”, calculates that the cumulative effect of a coup, tracked over several years, is to reduce incomes by 7%.
A video at the Economist (again sub req) suggests that the Thai military receives its legitimacy not because of any foreign wars it has fought, but because it protects the King. That suggests that the head Monarch has a certain amount of leverage in these matters.

Last edited by Measure for Measure; 10-11-2015 at 08:00 PM.
  #47  
Old 10-12-2015, 02:12 AM
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I should apologize to Monty. I wanted to discuss Thailand and its King, but the conversation descended into an exchange of insults. I started this thread because I was sincerely curious what Monty's brief remark meant; he's answered that by now. No more gratuitious insults of Monty !

And thank you, Measure for Measure. While it might not be legal for me to fully predict or advocate for its future, Thailand certainly does have problems, and is in need of structural changes.

One of the major problems is a cycle of criminal corruption: Criminal wealth accumulation leads to vote-buying, which leads to a Parliament dominated by criminals, feeding the cycle. Something that gives me hope is that the present government is making a serious attempt to reduce crime and corruption. I can see this personally.

Sooner or later, the military government will call for general elections. Let's hope a new civilian government earns as much respect as the present military government has.
  #48  
Old 12-29-2015, 11:43 PM
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Bumped because of this recent news:
Quote:
The favourite dog of Thailand's ailing monarch has died, days after a man was arrested under the kingdom's strict royal defamation laws for allegedly making a satirical online remark about the beloved canine.
Yeah, right. Chucking someone in prison for making a joke about the dog should really show how much respect the actual government, the junta, deserves. It's long past time for the monarchy to go away and for the junta to quit. But, hey, as long as the king isn't bothered with people dying in prison awaiting charges (different case than the one in the link above), then all's cool, right?
  #49  
Old 12-30-2015, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Monty View Post
Bumped because of this recent news:


Yeah, right. Chucking someone in prison for making a joke about the dog should really show how much respect the actual government, the junta, deserves. It's long past time for the monarchy to go away and for the junta to quit. But, hey, as long as the king isn't bothered with people dying in prison awaiting charges (different case than the one in the link above), then all's cool, right?
To be even-handed, he also "defamed" the king, or at least "liked" defamatory images, so he got 15 years for the dog and 15 years for the king, and a few additional years for some sort of satirical infographic about graft and kickbacks related to the building of a park. Which should be the disturbing part, that he is being punished for criticizing the military, under the mantle of the lése majesty law.

But that is not the disturbing part. I looked around, casually, for the material he posted/liked. I mean, heavy searching might turn it up, but the media sites do not readily offer it for our perusal. Media sites not based in Thailand. That is seriously fucked up. Thailand is exporting their censorship. That should not be forgivable.
  #50  
Old 12-30-2015, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus View Post
Just to see if your elevator goes all the way up to the top floor, please post a synopsis of your views on the policies of Thaksin's govenments.
your unhealthy obsession with the Thai royal family means you have no right to cast aspersions on others' mental states.

I mean, for fuck's sake, this is what you want to hang your hat on? Some king in a country which can't keep a functioning government to save its life?
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