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Everything posted by Flashermac

  1. HANOI: Vietnam's aviation authority said on Monday it had grounded all Pakistani pilots working for local airlines, amid concern from global regulators that some pilots may have been using "dubious" licences. Pakistan said last week it will ground 262 airline pilots whose credentials may have been falsified, after global airlines body IATA said that irregularities found in pilot licences at Pakistan International Airlines represent a "serious lapse" in safety controls. "The head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has ordered a suspension for all Pakistani pilots working for Vietnamese airlines," the CAAV said in a statement on Monday. The suspension will be in effect until further notice from CAAV, it said, adding that the authority is coordinating with Pakistani authorities to review the pilots' profiles. Vietnam had licensed 27 Pakistani pilots, and 12 of them were still active, while the other 15 pilots' contracts had expired or were inactive due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the CAAV. Of the 12 active pilots, 11 were working for budget airline VietJet Aviation and one for Jetstar Pacific, a unit of the national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines. In a statement, VietJet said it had stopped assigning work to its Pakistani pilots as soon as news of the licence issue emerged and no pilots with Pakistan-issued licences were currently flying for the airline. Vietnam Airlines and Bamboo Airways were not using any pilots from Pakistan, the CAAV said. Vietnamese airlines currently have 1,260 pilots, with nearly half of them holding foreign citizenship, according to the CAAV. https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/1942812/vietnam-grounds-pakistani-pilots-over-licence-concerns?cx_placement=recommend#cxrecs_s I wonder how much a pilot's license costs at KSR.
  2. The National Anti-Corruption Commission has found police guilty of dereliction of duty in their lenient handling of the fatal hit-and-run case against fugitive Red Bull heir Vorayuth Yoovidhya. Mr Vorayuth, who has been seen at public sporting events and elsewhere overseas, is accused of been driving when his Ferrari hit and killed a motorcycle policeman in the early morning of Sept 3, 2012 on Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok. An NACC investigation found intention to exempt Mr Vorayuth, now aged 35, from prosecution on charges of drug abuse and speeding. Forensic police concluded he had been driving at 177 kilometres per hour. The commission found negligence on the part of Pol Lt Col Wiradol Thabthimdee, chief interrogator at Thong Lor police station, and held him accountable for mild malfeasance - a light disciplinary offence. For failing to seek a warrant for the arrest of Mr Vorayuth, the NACC ruled it was a light disciplinary violation on the part of Pol Lt Col Wiradol, Pol Col Chumphol Phumphuang, former chief of the Thong Lor police station, and the station's interrogators, Pol Col Samrit Ketyam and Pol Lt Col Wibul Thinwatanakul. NACC also found light disciplinary violations by Pol Maj Gen Krit Piakaew, former commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 5, and former deputy commanders of the division Pol Col Sukhun Phrommai and Pol Col Tramet Uthai, for failing to guarantee a thorough investigation and interrogation in the case. NACC will send its findings to the officers' supervisors, who will decided on disciplinary action. Mr Vorayuth, then 27, is accused driving his black Ferrari when it hit the rear of a policeman's motorcycle at high speed, and dragging his body along Sukhumvit Road before speeding away. The victim was Pol Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, who was based at Thong Lor police station. Mr Vorayuth delayed hearing the charges seven times. It was not until April 27, 2017, that prosecutors finally charged him with reckless driving causing death and failing to help a crash victim. The NACC also found light disciplinary violations by Pol Maj Gen Krit Piakaew, former commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 5, and former deputy commanders of the division Pol Col Sukhun Phrommai and Pol Col Tramet Uthai, for failing to guarantee a thorough investigation and interrogation in the case. The NACC will send its findings to the officers' supervisors, who will decided on disciplinary action. Mr Vorayuth, then 27, is accused driving his black Ferrari when it hit the rear of a policeman's motorcycle at high speed, and dragging the policeman's body along Sukhumvit Road before speeding away. The victim was Pol Sgt Maj Wichian Klanprasert, 47, who was based at Thong Lor police station. Mr Vorayuth delayed hearing the charges seven times. It was not until April 27, 2017, that prosecutors finally charged him with reckless driving causing death and failing to help a crash victim. He fled on a private plane two days before he was due to face the charges. The speeding charge was later dropped when the one-year statute of limitation expired. A second charge - failing to stop and help a crash victim - expired on Sept 3, 2017. The third and most serious charge, reckless driving causing death, remains on the books until 2027. Mr Vorayuth, whose nickname, is Boss is the son of Chalerm Yoovidhya whose family co-owns the energy drink megabrand Red Bull and ranks second on Thailand's richest list with net worth estimated at US$20 billion (about 617 billion baht). https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1941492/nacc-lays-light-blame-on-police-for-red-bull-scions-escape It's all right, since everything was "light".
  3. Operators of nightlife entertainment venues have cried foul over a set of proposed regulations to be enforced when they reopen, saying many social-distancing rules will threaten their livelihoods. A total of 22 articles are listed in the draft, which was unveiled on Monday. The draft will be submitted to the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) on Friday. The CCSA is set to consider the fifth phase of the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions, which includes nightlife venues Operators have been hoping to reopen next month. The novel coronavirus outbreak has brought the curtain down on pubs, karaoke outlets, massage parlours and other types of adult entertainment venues sinceMarch.Operators have been hoping to reopen ext month Musicians and entertainers last week made an emotional appeal to the government to allow them to return to work. They said the closure has been long and the situation has placed them in dire financial straits. On Sunday, CCSA promised to allow nightlife venues to resume during the fifth phase in July. However, operators have expressed concern over rules that prohibit dancing, mingling and having more than a certain number of customers. The operators say limiting customers to five per group may keep them from coming. Sanga Ruangwattanakul, president of the Khao San Business Association and CEO of Buddy Group, said the rules for entertainment venues are stricter than the ones imposed on eateries and filming crews. Due to the economic impact of Covid-19, people tend to cut unnecessary expenses, and spending on nightlife entertainment is at the top of their list, Mr Sanga said. "We want them to be more flexible, otherwise people will not go out," he said. He admitted the operators will have no choice but comply with the rules, but they will urge CCSA to revisit the situation and consider relaxing the rules one week after the implementation. Thailand has seen no local transmissions for 28 days and if no local cases are reported by then the CCSA should consider easing the regulations for the nightspots, he said. According to Mr Sanga, it will take time before the industry, where up to two million people are employed, rebounds from the economic fallout of the outbreak. Of the estimated 100,000 nightspots in the country, only 20,000 are properly registered, while the rest operate without licences. Supawan Thanomkiatphum, chairwoman of the Thai Hotels Association (THA), said business operators must be patient. "If the measures can reduce the risk of a second wave, we may begin to allow overseas visitors," Ms Supawan said. "Even though hotels are allowed to reopen, most of us depend on foreign tourists." Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam said the government is likely to consider by Friday the lifting of the emergency decree, two weeks after the implementation of the fourth phase of lockdown relaxations. Mr Wissanu said the decision to lift or extend the emergency decree will be made based on the assessment of Covid-19 risks. If the country does not face a second wave of infections, then the Communicable Disease Control Act is adequate to contain the virus, he said. The emergency decree was touted by the government as a necessary tool to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections as it enables swift action and coordination among state agencies. It has been extended twice since it was invoked on March 26. Mr Wissanu said if the emergency decree is lifted, all closure orders will automatically end, but noted that Sections 34 and 35 of the Communicable Disease Control Act can still be invoked to close down certain businesses. "If the emergency is lifted, we can [use the Communicable Disease Control Act to] close certain shops or malls until they fix problems. We can't impose lockdowns," he said. Democracy activists led by Parit Chiwarak on Monday renewed calls for the lifting of the emergency decree, saying the situation has improved significantly and this justified the lifting the decree. https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/general/1939228/nightspots-cry-foul-at-curbs-list How do you keep your "social distance" in a massage parlour or a bar?
  4. Travellers entering Cambodia will be required to pay a US$3,000 deposit by cash or credit card for “Covid-19 service charges” at the airport upon arrival, and have $50,000 in travel insurance cover, the government has announced. A message posted on the Twitter account of the Office of the Prime Minister and dated June 16 contains a list of related charges approved by the Ministry of Health and the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation. Upon arrival at the airport, travellers will have to pay a $5 charge for transport to a testing centre, followed by $100 for a Covid-19 test. An overnight stay at a hotel or “waiting centre” while waiting for results costs $30, and a further $30 per day is charged for three meals. Other charges include $15 for laundry, $5 daily for medical surveillance and $3 for security services. The remainder of the deposit will be returned provided the passenger, and the rest of the people on their flight, have negative test results. Even so, they must self-isolate for 14 days after arrival in their chosen accommodation. Travellers must report daily to medical officers and have a second Covid-19 test on the 13th day. A health certificate to leave the country will cost another $30. The charges apply to all travellers except those on diplomatic or official government business, authorities said. A traveller who tests positive and shows symptoms requiring hospital treatment will be taken to a state hospital and have up to four tests for Covid-19 costing $100 each. Should the traveller die, a funeral and cremation will cost $1,500. All of these costs will also be automatically deducted from the $3,000 deposit. https://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/easy/1938124/visitors-to-cambodia-must-pay-3-000 deposit?fbclid=IwAR0wYV4qqKJ4GYqJ7GC4Zb5H6Y9uzxEHyeoFbPu3sKxDZMve2FpAhfGNfmQ#cxrecs_s
  5. Plenty of us have switched from a marriage visa to a retirement visa, since it is so much easier. Years ago, a marriage visa required all sorts of paperwork and the wife showing up in person - but only for the first time! After that renewal was easy. Nowadays every renewal is just as complicated as it was for the original visa. I saw an immgration sergent actually ask a man why he didn't change to retirement, since he didn't work in Thailand and had no need for a work permit. She was right.
  6. Even though military pay is quite good these days, and the pension and other benefits are enticing, the military has trouble getting enough recruits. I know a retired drill sergeant who said recently, "There are a lot of 'garbage soldiers' in the Army these days," meaning people he felt had no business being there. The recruiters had taken them just to fill up their quotas, and this is the result. Bo Bergdahl, who had laid down his rifle, abandoned his post, and gone off to join the Taliban, had been discharged from Coast Guard boot camp as being mentally unfit. Still, a year later an Army recruiter signed him up. "Chelsea" Manning is another one, a wacko who physically couldn't make it through basic combat training but was given another chance (and squeaked by). Manning was openly gay and was reduced in rank because of a fight with another gay soldier, yet the Army gave him its highest security clearance, and you saw what happened. I expect this neo-Nazi nutcase got in for the same reason. Got to make that quota!
  7. Woodrow Wilson had a stroke in 1919 and was left incapacitated. His wife was running the country during the last year and more of his presidency. My grandfather had a close friend whose wife had been a sort of maid/companion to Wilson's wife, and she knew quite a bit. However, she had been forced to sign an agreement never to reveal anything about what she had seen and heard. She kept her word and wouldn't talk about it. As to Reagan, while he may have been a bit out to lunch, he never spoke such jibberish as Biden does. Can you imagine Biden meeting world leaders and spouting such nonsense? President for Life Xi would be splitting his sides with laughter. At least Wilson and Reagan were mentally competent when they entered the office. Joe Biden certainly isn't. Would you willingly board a plane with a pilot you knew was not qualified, even if he did have a co-pilot to help him? I certainly wouldn't.
  8. The 25th Amendment to the Constitution provides for removing the President from office for disability and replacing him with the Vice President. If the Dem Convention really does pick Joe, then watch the struggle to become his running mate. The running mate would be the real candidate, with Biden either becoming simply a puppet president or actually being sent to the funny farm. If that's not dishonest politics, then what is? As usual, both parties suck.
  9. Biden obviously has dementia and should withdraw from the race NEW YORK – The Democrats ought to be ashamed of themselves. They spent the last four years criticizing Donald Trump in no small part for his mental state, and rightly so. The founding fathers included an impeachment provision in the Constitution in large part as a contingency to remove a president exactly like him, whose temperament and personality and mental state are incompatible with the requirements of the highest elected office in the land. Trump is not merely a jerk. Psychologists have been so alarmed that they have violated a core ethical principle of their profession by attempting to diagnose him from afar. Narcissistic personality disorder is their universal conclusion and it fits like a glove. Among the characteristics of NPD is a lack of empathy — not something one wants or needs in a leader. Now Democrats are conspiring to gaslight the American people by engineering the presidential election of a man clearly suffering from dementia, Joe Biden. This is no time to be “polite.” We are talking about the presidency. As always, we need a frank, intelligent discussion and debate about the issues and the candidates. It is perfectly fair to talk about Bernie Sanders’ heart attack as well as Biden’s and Trump’s mental acuity. Contrary to current ridiculous Democratic talking points, it is not ageist to point this out. One out of seven Americans over the age of 70 suffers from dementia. (Biden is 77.) If it’s ageist to talk about dementia among the elderly, it’s ageist to talk about immaturity among the young. It is neither necessary nor possible to scientifically determine whether the former vice president has dementia. On the other hand, you don’t need an astronomer to know that the sun rises in the east. If you have encountered dementia, you know Biden has it. There is so much blame to go around for this BS that I can’t figure out what order to put it in. I’ll go chronologically. There are the Democratic Party bosses who, terrified at the prospect that Sanders might win the nomination, recruited former Vice President Joe Biden out of a comfortable retirement to run yet again. There is Biden himself. His family should have known better than to allow a campaign by the guy who inspired the headline “Biden allies float scaling back events to limit gaffes.” Not that gaffes are the issue. Or stuttering. Or being old. Many Americans are as old or older than Biden, they stutter, and they’re mentally competent. Biden is not. Of course you also have to cast the stinkeye at Biden’s former rivals Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris and Mike Bloomberg. Just because the DNC probably urged them to endorse Biden doesn’t mean that they had to. No Cabinet position or even a position as vice president should be enough inducement to set aside common sense. Elizabeth Warren earns an honorary mention for her failure to speak out against Biden and to endorse Sanders. None of the media seem interested in the truth about Biden. Democratic media allies like CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post are running interference for the Democratic establishment and Biden by failing to ask any questions about the candidate’s mental fitness. Right-wing outlets like Fox News are gleefully trumpeting Biden’s mental decline, but they would say that even if it wasn’t true. The fourth estate has abdicated its duty to follow the truth wherever it leads. .... https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2020/03/11/commentary/world-commentary/biden-obviously-dementia-withdraw-race/?fbclid=IwAR2FNTb60QzWXKaJ_PhlOX_SdoZfbhfKcatLCnNEMCIE03TbQ7WXb8Vxeds#.XvFpb6YuCpp Are the Democrats really going to nominate Joe, or is something else going on? Will we suddenly see a change of heart at the convention and Hillary once again gets the nomination?
  10. Muhammad Ali’s son says dad would have hated ‘racist’ Black Lives Matter On the fourth anniversary of his death, Muhammad Ali’s only biological son says that his father would be against Black Lives Matter, calling the movement “racist” and the protesters “devils.” The legendary boxer and activist stood up against racism throughout his life, but Muhammad Ali Jr. says his dad would have been sickened by how the protests have turned to violence and looting after the death of George Floyd. “Don’t bust up s–t, don’t trash the place,” he told The Post. “You can peacefully protest. ‘‘My father would have said, ‘They ain’t nothing but devils.’ My father said, ‘All lives matter.’ I don’t think he’d agree.” Of the BLM movement, Ali Jr., a Muslim like his father, said: “I think it’s racist.” “It’s not just black lives matter, white lives matter, Chinese lives matter, all lives matter, everybody’s life matters. God loves everyone — he never singled anyone out. Killing is wrong no matter who it is,” Ali said during an hour-long interview with The Post. On police brutality, Ali defended law enforcement in general. “Police don’t wake up and think, ‘I’m going to kill a n—-r today or kill a white man, he said. “They’re just trying to make it back home to their family in one piece. Speaking of Floyd’s killing at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer, Ali said, “The officer was wrong with killing that person, but people don’t realize there was more footage than what they showed. The guy resisted arrest, the officer was doing his job, but he used the wrong tactic.” He agrees with President Trump that Antifa fomented violence during the Floyd protests and should be labeled a terrorist organization. “They’re no different from Muslim terrorists. They should all get what they deserve. They’re f–king up businesses, beating up innocent people in the neighborhood, smashing up police stations and shops. They’re terrorists — they’re terrorizing the community. I agree with the peaceful protests, but the Antifa, they need to kill everyone in that thing. “Black Lives Matter is not a peaceful protest. Antifa never wanted it peaceful. I would take them all out.” A father of two, Ali, 47, lives in Hallandale Beach, Florida, and has struggled to make ends meet in recent years working as a landscape gardener and construction worker. He’s previously said he gets only a $1,000 monthly allowance from his father’s estimated $60 million estate. “The Greatest” had nine children — Muhammad Jr., eight daughters and an adopted son, Asaad Amin — with four wives. Junior was the fourth-born to first wife Belinda Boyd, who converted to Islam and now goes by Khalilah Ali. After the retired champ married his final wife, Lonnie Williams, in 1986, relations between son and father began to fray and, in the last decade of Ali’s life, completely fell apart. Ali blames his stepmom for the estrangement. While Ali spent his final days at his estate in Scottsdale, Arizona, Ali Jr. lived in a dingy two-bed flat in Englewood on Chicago’s crime-ridden South Side. He split from wife Shaakira shortly after his father’s death on June 3, 2016. Despite strong tensions between the black community and the Chicago PD — especially after 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was shot dead in 2014 by a cop later convicted of murder — Ali says he was never singled out by cops for his skin color, and defends them against charges of institutional racism. “Not all the police are bad, there’s just a few. There’s a handful of police that are crooked, they should be locked up,” he said. “I never had a bad scene with a cop. They’ve always been nice and protect me. I don’t have a problem with them.” This despite twice being held and questioned by the TSA under Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations. Ali was released both times. Instead, Ali goes a step further, calling out Black Lives Matter as a divisive movement. “It’s a racial statement,” he said. “It’s pitting black people against everyone else. It starts racial things to happen; I hate that.” Ali said he supports Trump and that his father — who went to jail for refusing to be drafted during the Vietnam War on the basis of his religious beliefs — would have too. Ali, who was ravaged by Parkinson’s disease and died at 74, appeared to be politically ambivalent most of his life, once endorsing liberal Democrat Jimmy Carter but supporting the re-election of conservative Republican Ronald Reagan (who was backed by only 9 percent of black people). https://nypost.com/2020/06/20/muhammad-alis-son-says-he-wouldve-hated-black-lives-matters/
  11. What has 4 letters, sometimes has 9, and NEVER has 5. Moist Millennials would never notice that this is NOT a question. They have no appreciation for punctuation.
  12. Meanwhile, in Canada ... https://globalnews.ca/news/7026186/video-2018-edmonton-police-officer-knee-neck-black-arrest/ And in Seattle ... https://fox6now.com/2020/06/01/seattle-cop-removes-fellow-officers-knee-from-neck-of-man-detained-during-riots-video-shows/
  13. Maybe it's a good way for him to get sent back to the Philippines.
  14. My Experience With Prejudice as an African Priest in Thailand A Catholic missionary priest from an African country shares his personal encounters with racial discrimination in Thailand. His identity is concealed to protect him from possible repercussions from the Thai authorities. I’ve been working in Thailand as a Catholic priest since 2012. Many times, I have been bullied and subject to discrimination just because of my black skin. Despite my effort to learn the Thai language, to try to know the Thai culture and as a missionary to contribute to the development of the villages I have been assigned to, I always felt rejected or looked down upon. But I am happy to learn through your news agency’s article that most Thai treat us badly out of ignorance, and not because there is systemic racism in Thailand. I really hope that through education all of us will learn to treat each other with respect. Thailand is the second Asian country I have been assigned to work in as a missionary. Before coming here, I spent six years in the Philippines. I arrived in Thailand in February 2012 and just after few days, I discovered that it was not easy to be a black person in this country. In fact, when my confrere — an Italian — and I went to meet a Thai priest who was in charge to introduce to us our jobs in Thailand, I remember that he greeted my Italian confrere with a welcoming smile and then looked at me and said, ‘I don’t like black people, they are bad people.’ I was very shocked and I phoned my parents who are my faithful fans to get some words of encouragement. Before that I could not have imagined that a man of God could go so low. Maybe I was very naive. ‘Many Times I Was Tempted to Give Up’ Another humiliating experience happened when I was studying the Thai language. Many young Thai people were willing to help my European colleagues do their assignments and improve their knowledge. But no one accepted to help me even while I asked for their help. Many chose to keep making fun of my pronunciation instead. I also realized that during the meetings of priests and nuns, there seems to be the assumption that I am an ignorant; my Europeans peers were welcomed to give their opinions and I have to struggle to make my voice be heard. When I was assigned as the priest in charge of a parish, I remembered that at the beginning, some people have difficulty accepting me as their pastor. Some even said that I will not stay there more than 6 months (thanks be to God, at the end I spent 6 years there before moving to Khlong Toei where I am working now). I could see that other people were reluctant to introduce me to their friends as their parish priest, or to invite me to their house; they preferred to be seen with European priests. It was not easy. I have to swallow my pride, and accept to be made fun of by some people who kept asking some strange questions, or making offensive remarks. Like may I touch your hair (as if I am a pet), do you have water in your country, do people wear clothes in your country, and so on… Many times I was tempted to give up, but I kept praying, asking Jesus to help me to be perseverant, to love Thai people and to be faithful to the mission He has entrusted to me. My faith tells me that He is the One who wanted me to be in Thailand and to love Thai people. Treated like a Criminal Thai security officers also appear to be suspicious of me. I used to work in a parish located in Mae Sot in the far north. At a checkpoint on the way there, the police asked for my passport, but did not ask anything from my European friends. It hurts me a lot when I remember that I brought my little contribution to the development of the villages by paying the tuition fees of some students (with money from my family), building a Church, building houses for some elderly people, and buying wheelchairs for people with disabilities. Another experience I don’t look forward to is when I have to apply for the extension of my visa. have the same type of visa as other Europeans priests in our mission, but every time at the immigration office, they keep asking for many documents to justify my presence in Thailand. I felt humiliated to be treated as a criminal, as you know, people from African are requested to go first to the section for criminal verification before renewing their visa. As part of the criminal record vetting process, I must present my fingerprints and extra documents from the owner of my residence. The requirement doesn’t extend to the European priests, even though all of us live under the same roof. But, please don’t get me wrong, I am not judging the Thai people – I am just sharing with you some experiences I have been through as an African person in Thailand. Beautiful Memories I always tell myself that not all Thai people are racist. I believe that there are many Thai people, even among priests and nuns, who are welcoming and kind. In fact, with time I came to meet very nice Thai people, and there are many who not only accepted me as a fellow human being, but also welcomed me as a friend. They felt at home with me. In the parish I work for, many Thais also overcame their prejudices about me and treated me as an equal person. Before I flew home for holidays 2 years ago, many people in the villages gave me presents for my parents such as bags, traditional Thai dress, Thai sweets etc. When I returned, they were happy to see me back and they asked for news about my family. These gestures meant a lot to me, they showed me that they see me as their brother, and they love me. I also remember with joy when Thai people helped me raise funds and collect gifts for Christmas in the villages. Some families also brought me to their house and shared Christmas meals with me, giving me an opportunity to know each other and build a better friendship. In those moments, I see the goodness and generosity of Thai people. I prefer to keep those beautiful memories, because as you mentioned in your article, some behaved badly out of ignorance, and I want to believe that change is possible. https://www.khaosodenglish.com/opinion/2020/06/18/my-experience-with-prejudice-as-an-african-priest-in-thailand/ Wow. Insulted by another priest!
  15. I remember seeing half-Caucasian kids called names and made fun of back in the back in the 1970s and '80s. I also met an older half-German Thai woman who told me that when she was a child during the 1940s the half-Farangs were shunned and had to socialise with each other, since no one else would even talk to them. Ironically, in the late 1990s the luk-krueng suddenly became popular, when singers like Tata Young were becoming popular. But the half-Black Thais have a long way to go before they are excepted everywhere. p.s. Thais used to say Tiger Woods looked Thai "from the eyes up."
  16. BANGKOK — From being fired for her skin color or being mocked everyday at school by teachers and peers, it’s not easy being black in Thailand. Discrimination and bullying is a daily reality for 25-year-old Thai-Mali vlogger Natthawadee “Suzie” Waikalo, who has been gaining media coverage and TikTok followers among Thais since the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. “They let me go from my job and wouldn’t say why,” Suzie said. “I found out later that it was because they thought my characteristics and demeanor made the company look bad.” She was speaking at a panel organized by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand on Thursday night to discuss the ongoing U.S. protests and how they ignited local conversations about race and skin color. In Thailand, whiteness, next to skinniness, is the number one factor for beauty. Many celebrities and even beauty queens are half-Caucasian, including both Miss Universe Thailand 2017 and 2019. Soap operas or lakorns regularly employ blackface to play black characters, such as “Khao Nok Na” (2013) where “E Dum” (blackie) is half-Thai and half-Black. “Thai society still treats black skin as something unacceptable. You cannot shine with this skin color,” Suzie said. “The media, lakorn, and even children’s textbooks are responsible for this. …Beauty pageants should also be more diverse. If you are only beautiful by your own limited definitions, you can’t compete on the world stage.” It’s an anomaly, then, that there is even a famous Thai-Black star – but Suzie’s TikTok: where she proudly lists herself as a “Blasian ML&TH Chocolate Girl” has more than 166,000 followers with one of her videos reaching 2.5 million views. Her Facebook page, Blasian Chick has more than 114,000 followers, her Instagram, 33,000. https://www.tiktok.com/@suziewadee/video/6820484469749828866 Political science professor Thitinan Pongsukhirak said that Suzie’s videos are “more impactful than a thousand laws” in raising awareness against discrimination against black people. “Thais’ discrimination are from ignorance, rather than hatred as we are seeing in America today. Racial prejudice from ignorance can be rectified easier than deeply ingrained racism.” Suzie says if she sat next to someone on the bus, they would immediately get up. “I thought they were getting off, but they just didn’t want to sit next to me. That felt awful,” she said. Many Thais have limited contact with black people – but almost all in state education will have had to read “Ngo Pa: Romance of the Sakai” (1906), a Romeo and Juliet-inspired verse narrative by Rama V about dark-skinned the Semang people in Phatthalung. “As soon as they opened [the book], I wanted to go home,” Suzie said. “It made my learning experience at school very bad.” Suzie said not only students at school, but teachers would bully and discriminate against her and her sisters for having dark skin. “I would hear new things everyday. After school, my sisters and I would talk over dinner about how we were made fun of, even though it shouldn’t be a dinnertime topic,” she said. “It’s a terrible feeling that you never forget.” When asked about the discrimination her mother faced in marrying a Malian man, Suzie said, “Everything I faced, my mom faced too. But she fought right back. She taught me that when we are bullied or discriminated against, there’s no one to help us. We have to deal with it there and then.” In tiffs, either online or offline where people would call her racist things, Suzie said she’s following in her mom’s footsteps. “If they use nasty words with me, I use it right back as well. But I won’t attack their looks or skin color. I will say something about their upbringing that causes them to be so ignorant,” she said. The good news is that Thais are more understanding and accepting of minorities and other non-Thais in recent years, Thitinan said. He attributed the progress to more conversation that makes people realize what is appropriate to say. “As Thailand becomes more cosmopolitan, raw racism has not been eliminated, but there is lot less than there was in the past,” Thitinan said. https://www.khaosodenglish.com/culture/net/2020/06/12/what-its-like-to-be-half-black-half-thai-suzies-story/
  17. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    British-Norwegian Study Calls COVID-19 Man-Made in China A British-Norwegian study alleges COVID-19 has "inserted sections," calling it artificially manipulated "chimera" made in the Wuhan virology lab and not occurring naturally, according to a report by Taiwan News. Pointing to the lack of virus mutation since it has spread worldwide, the scientists suspect it was already fully adapted in the lab before being released, per the report. University of London Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian virologist Birger Sorensen conducted the study and published it in Cambridge University's QRB Discovery. Sorensen told Norway's NRK, per the reports translation, it is "quite unusual for viruses that cross species barriers" and has properties vastly different than SARS and "which have never been detected in nature." Sorensen added the belief COVID-19 is the result of "gain of function studies" being conducted in China, saying the both the U.S. and China have been conducting such research for years. "I think this started as an accident," according to former M16 Chief Sir Richard Dearlove, Taiwan News reported. "This raises the question of whether China will assume responsibility and whether China should pay compensation." Gain of function studies artificially manufacture the virus so it can be replicated easier to conduct a multiple of scientific studies, according to the report. "The inserted sequences should never have been published," Sorensen wrote, per the report. "Had it been today, it would never have happened. It was a big mistake the Chinese made. The inserted sequences have a functionality that we describe. We explain why they are essential. But the Chinese pointed to them first." https://www.newsmax.com/scitech/covid-19-wuhan-chimera-man-made/2020/06/10/id/971586/?fbclid=IwAR32YTKCUm0R7etwkKr7tEs34BJiRAf5I_sul1V0LZgBnHE2Bnob9OBaQ5U But Taiwan is anti-communist, so you can't believe it ...
  18. I went to a mall today and it looked like Bangkok is almost back to normal. Temperature checks at the entrance, but those were the only ones I saw. Most of the restaurants are open again with couples and groups sitting together again. Masks on except when eating, but overall it is much more relaxed than even two weeks ago. Filled with people, but of course the swimming pool and cinema were still closed. New Zealanders "proud" to have their lives back New Zealanders hugged and kissed, shopped, and planned parties on Tuesday as the country took off all coronavirus restrictions for the first time in more than three months. - REUTERS https://www.bangkokpost.com/vdo/world/1931924#cxrecs_s Did they stick out their tongues at each other?
  19. I was at a mall today. People's temperature was checked as they entered, but no more signing in. The restaurants were mostly open, and no temperature check. Couples and even groups were sitting around the tables as in pre-virus days. The bank tellers as some shops hgad plastic shields for the tellers and sales personnel and that was about it. Masks required inside the mall, but outside many people went barefaced.
  20. Racism in Thailand is a prevalent problem[1] but is only infrequently publicly discussed. The United Nations (UN) does not define "racism"; however, it does define "racial discrimination": According to the 1965 UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, "...the term "racial discrimination" shall mean any distinction, exclusion, restriction, or preference based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin that has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life."[2] Thailand has made two submissions to the Convention,[3][4] with ongoing issues including government policy towards ethnic groups, especially the Thai Malays, and the country's lack of racial discrimination legislation.[4] Thailand's ethnic minorities have been subjected to persecution in Thailand, especially the one million plus members of Thailand's hill tribes.[5] They are frequently viewed as illiterate drug peddlers and opium-growers, with Thai mainstream media perpetuating this image. A 2013 article in the Bangkok Post said, "Nearly a million hill peoples and forest dwellers are still treated as outsiders—criminals even, since most live in protected forests. Viewed as national security threats, hundreds of thousands of them are refused citizenship although many are natives to the land".[6] According to Dr Chayan Vaddanaputti of Chiang Mai University, this was not always the case: "Earlier, they were seen by ordinary people in the lowlands as friends and trading partners in a mutually symbiotic relationship between the hills and the valleys. But growing environmental problems after Thailand's national social and economic development plans took off in the late '60s and early '70s, and an influx of Vietnamese migrants during the Vietnam War changed this relationship forever. Then they became the enemies, the 'other'. The demonization and criminalization of ethnic minorities and the perpetuation of the myth that they are non-Thai has been embedded in Thai textbooks, in Thai history and in the mainstream media."[7] Extrajudicial killings, torture, disappearances, and intimidation of members of Thailand's hill tribes by Thai police and military was rampant under Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's "War on Drugs", which started in 2003.[8] The Muslim Malay Patani Kingdom of southern Thailand was incorporated into the Thai state in 1785. Being called khaek ('foreigner' or 'guest'), the Thai Malays were subjected to discrimination and political suppression, especially during the regimes of Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram and the Thaification policies of the mid-20th century. The south Thailand insurgency of the past 10 years, has repeatedly been met with brutal force by successive Thai governments, especially under the Thaksin Shinawatra administration.[9][10] Thai Chinese, who now make up 14 percent of Thailand's population, also have had to bear xenophobic sentiments in the past. Besides having had their language and writing suppressed during the Thaification period of the mid-20th century, those of Chinese descent were also required to change their surnames to Thai names. As a result, many younger generations of ethnic Chinese can only communicate in Thai and self-identity solely as Thai.[11] Light skin, dark skin As in much of Asia, dark skin is equated with outdoor labor conditions and the lower classes.[12] Thai culture shares this skin-tone bias with the rest of Asia.[13][14] In Thailand, this bias is exacerbated by the fact that many of the wealthy Thais in Bangkok are of Chinese descent and have naturally lighter skin than the indigenous Thais from the countryside.[15][16] There are no laws within the Kingdom of Thailand which outlaws racial discrimination inclusive of racist cliches known in the Western world. Unlike its neighboring nations which have been under colonialism, Thailand's heritage as an uncolonized state also shaped its existing laws unlike its Westernized counterparts after decolonization[citation needed]. This also includes signage promoting racial segregation as was common in the southern United States prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and South Africa under apartheid. A Dunkin Donuts blackface ad aired on Thai television in 2013, causing a stir in Western media, was met for the most part with incomprehension in Thailand. The ad, says Thai cultural commentator Kaewmala, may be controversial, but "it's not a comment on black people in general, it's about concepts of beauty and social snobbery in Asia."[17] As most Thai people traditionally have never encountered people of African descent, prejudice toward and stereotypes of people of African descent were absorbed by Thais through the Vietnam War and literature[18] and then movies from the West.[19] Common brands featuring people of African descent include mops, toilet brushes, and tooth paste.[20][21] Although Thailand has incorporated certain Western ideals concerning beauty,[14] Asian attitudes regarding skin tones have been around for a long time. Prior to contact with the West, Indian culture permeated the early civilizations of Southeast Asia, which possibly included the ideal of fair skin over darker skin. The 20 million strong Isan population, for instance, many of whom are of Laotian and Khmer descent, traditionally had darker skin and studies show that many view themselves as less desirable than those with lighter skin.[22]Skin whitening products have proven increasingly popular in most of Asia, including Thailand and are marketed in such a way as to promote light skin as beautiful and desirable.[23] Yukti Mukdawijitra, a Thammasat University anthropology professor, observes that the idea that light skin is good and dark skin is bad is "embedded in Thai culture".[12] Xenophobia Thai attitudes towards Burma have been formed by the Thai ethnocentric media of the 1990s and a nationalistic school system, which teaches that Burma is Thailand's traditional enemy, based on repeated wars between the two from the 16th century CE onward.[24] This negative view was further popularized in novels and films, presenting heroic Thais fighting against villainous Burmese invaders. Examples of recent films that portray this are Bang Rajan (2000), The Legend of Suriyothai (2001),[25]King Naresuan (film series, 2007 onwards), and Siyama (2008). Thailand has had long standing racial issues with Middle Easterners,[citation needed] who collectively are also called khaek, meaning "foreigner" or "guest". "There is some debate as to whether the meaning of foreigner / visitor entrenches prejudices against Malay Muslims and Muslims more generally".[26] The condemnation of the 2014 Thai coup d'état by countries such as the US and Australia have given rise to an "anti-foreigner sentiment" with those Thais who are in favor of the coup.[27] In March 2012, Ombudsman Prof. Siracha Charoenpanij, a public advocate appointed by the government, blamed foreigners for the difficulties that Thais faced in owning land, incorrectly claiming that a third of the land area of Thailand, some 100 million rai or 160,000 km2 of premium land, primarily in established beach resorts, was now owned by non-Thais through proxy, and obtained through corruption and the use of legal loopholes. The National Institute of Development Administration supposedly provided these numbers.[ Due to an increase of Russian and Eastern European tourists in Phuket, Russians have also been the target of xenophobia, with protests and banners saying "Russians Get Out" in Phuket, and "a taxi blockade over suspected Russian transport drivers; illegal shops and businesses".[30] Other issues include the Singapore Tourism Board organising a Songkran festival in Singapore without the endorsement of either Thai expats in Singapore, or sponsorship from the Thai authorities.[31] Singapore was accused of "stealing 'our' (Thailand's) Songkran",[32] with Thai officials threatening lawsuits.[33] In 2014, Thai officials cracked down on Chinese tourists visiting the campus of Chiang Mai University due to their using buses reserved for students, attending lectures, and eating at the student cafeteria.[34] Anti-Khmer sentiment, already high due to border clashes over the Preah Vihear temple, has been fanned by Suthep Thaugsuban, a Yellow Shirt leader.[35][36 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_Thailand
  21. And no protests over this? He had actually called the polce for help.
  22. As to ambassadors ... "In most cases, career foreign service officers serve a tour of approximately three years per ambassadorship, whereas political appointees customarily tender their resignations upon the inauguration of a new president. As embassies fall under the State Department's jurisdiction, ambassadors answer directly to the Secretary of State." (Wikipedia) I can only recall seeing one Black foreign service officer at the US embassy in Bangkok, and that was years ago. That suggests the Foreign Service (which is hard to get into) is not very racially representitive of the US population as a whole. There also seems to be a bit of nepotism in the foreign service. A Peace Corps colleague had a BA and MA from top rated Cornell University, besides being very fluent in Thai. He told me he took the foreign service exam twice, but never could quite score high enough to pass it. We were in a Bangkok bar one night, when talking to the American seated next to us revealed he was from the embassy. My friend commented on how hard that exam was and asked how he'd managed to pass it. The embassy guy replied, "Oh, I didn't have to take the exam. My father worked at the embassy and he got me hired." I've heard similar stories snce then, and it is even worse at the UN.
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