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Posted on 24/11/2008 | 1421 reads
Things are getting worse. Scumbags on motorbikes are lobbing the occasional grenade into the crowd of protestors in downtown Bangkok. Yes, that's right, grenades. And still, they aren't moving.

Another unhappy development is that Thaksin (the former PM kicked out by the military) has publicly declared two things:

1. The UK would be 'sorry' for cancelling his visa.

I *really* don't think so. Say what you like, but the UK doesn't tolerate being used as a safe haven for criminals bent on destabilising developing countries, but that seems to have escaped his notice. Also, it seems that he didn't understand the difference between 'persecution' and 'prosecution' in his application for political asylum.

2. He would 'return to Thailand as Prime Minister.

There's a few problems with this. Not the least of which are:

a) He is a convicted criminal with a 2 year jail term he hasn't served yet.

b) He's presently on a 5 year ban from politics due to electoral fraud.

c) Even in Thailand convicted criminals aren't allowed to be PM.

I think the army would probably also fall something short of welcoming him with open arms.

Asian Despots are a source of constant amusement to me. They say the most jawdroppingly stupid and maniacal things. Thaksin isn't quite up there with my favourite tyrant, Kim Il Jong, who is pretty much the living State of The Art in despotism, but he's trying pretty hard :)


Can't take a hint (time to bounce your head off the pavement)

Posted on 19/10/2008 | 1346 reads
Hypothetical time: You are the Prime Minister of Thailand. There is a very large anti-government protest, which in all probability, you deserve. They occupy Government House. HM the King grants you an audience and recommends that you resolve the issue through peaceful means.

You choose to ignore the King's advice, despite the fact that he is Head of State and commander of the armed forces, and order a violent crackdown against the civilian protestors. 400 people are injured. Some lose limbs. Some die.

The heads of all branches of the armed forces and the police give a joint one-hour television interview. They suggest that you should resign, noting that 'the country is in ruins' and 'no government can continue in a pool of blood'.

You refuse to resign.

You also happen to be the brother-in-law (and nominee) of the last Primer Minister of Thailand that was thrown out by the armed forces.

Now, What do you think might happen next?


The tanks on the front lawn are for decorative purposes only (time to leave)

Posted on 17/10/2008 | 1277 reads
Now its really starting to get ugly. Army Chief General Pojinda just gave an hour-long TV interview during which he stated that if he were Prime Minister, he would resign to take responsibility for the recent violent government crack down.

Sitting next to General Pojinda during his interview were:

* Supreme Commander of the armed forces, General Songkitti Jakkabatr.

* Navy Chief Admiral Kamthorn Phumhiran.

* Air Force Leader ACM Itthaporn Supawong.

* Police Chief Police-General Patcharawat Wongsuwan.

There will be no coup, they said, but the government needs to take responsibility for its actions. You can figure the rest out yourself.


Another coup?

Posted on 10/10/2008 | 1337 reads
What a week in Thailand. It started with a police crackdown on the anti-government protestors blockade of government house. Two deaths, 400 injured and many questions about how 'only tear gas' cannisters could possibly sever people's arms and legs.

Then a Thai airways pilot refuses to carry government MPs. Doctors at leading public hospitals start refusing to treat police injured in the crackdown. The Deputy Prime Minster resigns to take responsibility for the violence, and then this morning publicly calls for the army to stage a coup against his own party!

Could it happen? Last week I would have said no way. But this week, I'm not so sure. The government's defiance of the 'no violence' approach advocated by the Head of State is clearly unwise. The army has stayed out of things thus far, but you'd have to think they'd be drawing up a few contingency plans at the moment. And there seems to be a very deep rooted streak of civil disobedience forming. Add the 9.6% fall in the stock market today and I think basically we now have a pretty good mess.

Probably, it is going to get a lot worse, too.


Testing Flickr

Posted on 20/9/2008 | 1393 reads
Just having a play with Flickr. I've never been terribly happy with any of the gallery modules available in XOOPS (or now, Impress) so I thought I'd see if its feasible to 'outsource' the hosting of photos to a third-party specialist provider like Flickr, and link them back in to the site when I need them. The photo below is one that I just uploaded straight into Flickr just to see what it would do with it.

So far, so good. So now I basically just need to set up a static html template that I can use to create my own albums (or allegedly, Flickr can do this for you but I am sceptical), and I'm in business. The other major attraction is the prospect of being able to upload a massive folder full of files to Flickr in one big batch dump instead of having to enter the damn things manually one at a time.

I think Flickr did a pretty good job of resizing and compressing the photo above, no? Click on the photo for the larger version. If the batch upload works well (edit: it does) it will be easy to get my photo collection online - something I've been avoiding for the last couple of years due to the massive amount of work it would entail.


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