November 1-6, 2004
Last night ... Halloween ... our greeter (like last year) was Resusci Anne. No one seemed afraid; though one pubescent girl said "... it looks kind of creepy ...".
Our tallest 'guest' had the best costume, for sure.
PS: Is this Sandra?
A LeeAnna Yater original:
Come back after the election ...
Sort of a PS:
Reader P.F. from Washington State writes:
I wonder how it's all going to shake out tonight. I've been so obsessed with this for so many, many months, it's hard to believe that it's actually here ... and it might all be over in a few hours!
Did you have your traditional election night dinner?
I'll be watching those Florida results closely!
Yes, we went to Sukhothai for dinner ... like we did exactly four years ago! But, this year there were no predictions from the restaurant staff as to who would win. But the food was good ... as it was last time. Perhaps THAT (the food) is better than who won what ... [what tastes better ... and where it is best found ... for in the long run it is the stomach that counts].
Tomorrow THOCBDC will return with trivia.
BANGKOK - The United Nations has warned its staff in Thailand to be careful following threats by a separatist group to stage attacks in Bangkok in revenge for the deaths of 85 Muslim protesters in the south last week.
The UN said in an e-mail to more than 1,000 staff in Thailand, which Reuters obtained on Wednesday, the threat "cannot be dismissed or be taken lightly".
"It is entirely possible that an attack is being planned against a soft target in Bangkok," said the two-page note from chief security officer Russel Radford.
"It is important that staff exercise caution when moving about the city and be aware of what is happening around them."
Security in Bangkok malls and public transport was "designed to combat petty crime and would not be that effective in preventing an attack", he said.
Seven protesters were killed during clashes with security forces at a police station in the southern province of Narathiwat last week and 78 suffocated or were crushed in army trucks after they were detained.
Following the deadly incident, the Pattani United Liberation Organisation (PULO), a separatist group largely dormant since the 1980s, said on its Web site at www.pulo.org that insurgents would now take their fight to Bangkok.
The deaths unleashed Muslim outrage and grisly reprisals in the past week, including the decapitation of a Buddhist village leader in the restive Muslim-majority region where more than 450 people have been killed since violence erupted in January.
Violence continued on Wednesday when militants shot and wounded a Buddhist garbage collector. Two colleagues escaped unhurt, police said.
In an attempt to ease Muslim outrage and reprisals, a government-appointed panel to investigate the deaths promised its probe would be free and open.
"We will do our best to conduct our probe independently and transparently," Pichet Soontornpipit, head of the nine-member panel appointed by the government, told Reuters.
"We understand that this incident is not only being followed closely by Thais; foreigners are also paying close attention," said Pichet, a former parliament ombudsman.
The investigation team comprises six retired state officials and three Muslim scholars.
Pichet said the panel would talk to all parties involved in the protest which sought the release of six village militiamen accused of handing over government-supplied weapons to militants.
It would focus on how protesters died during the 150-km (90-mile) journey into army detention, he said.
"When we know what caused the deaths, we will find out and rule on who should be responsible," he said.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra told investors in Singapore on Tuesday; "This is something that should never have happened."
"Nor was it the government’s intention to shoot its own foot by creating an incident that would cause such great trouble for itself," Thaksin said from Bangkok via a video conference.
On Wednesday, he told reporters the government was trying to restore peace and stop attacks on civilians in the region, but it needed support from all sides, including Muslim clerics.
"We have to do our best to stop cruelty against innocent people," Thaksin told reporters. "Therefore I would like to ask the media not to attack authorities for their previous mistakes. Give them some sympathy. They are human beings who have made mistakes."
Thaksin also called on Islamic leaders to help mend ties between authorities and Muslim communities in the region.
"Now we have to pinpoint individual clerics and seriously ask for their cooperation if they think they still love this country and think they are Thai," he said.
Post Election PS:
A frequent contributor to THOCBDC writes:
I've been such a total news junkie for so long ... reading lots of newspapers, watching hours of television talk shows every day (especially every Sunday). It was through being informed that I became desperate over the horrible mess Bush was making of our country and our planet.
There is an obvious solution that only hit me this morning: Be completely uninformed about everything! I'll stop reading the papers, I'll stop watching the news, I'll stop worrying my pretty little head over such things as whether we're killing the right people, etc. Millions of Americans do this - they all voted for Bush because the ONLY thing they know about him is that "he seems like he'd be a nice guy to have at a barbeque party" - and those millions of people are all totally happy in their complete and utter ignorance. I'm not going to be able to survive four years knowing what's actually happening, so I'll just stop paying attention and be like them. I think this will work! I'm in the process of canceling all my Tivo Season Passes for informative programming, and I'm keeping only the entertainment. I'll only read the sports, the TV listings, and the non-political cartoons in the papers. Hell, maybe I'll move to Texas!
Post Election PPS:
Another reader writes:
We are still reeling from the horror! This administration is feeding a religious movement that is taking over America. I am getting an Irish citizenship by foreign birth for me and the kids. [My husband] has it, and I have a few months left in which to apply ... who knows where this is going.
If Osama strikes again, he should aim for the heartland.
Depressed and outraged,
[P. from Seattle]
Post Election PPPS:
"Lighten up, guys, he is our Prez!"
Post Election PPPPS:
Last night our friend Susan and her boyfriend came over for dinner. Suz loves her new 'flagship'.
PS to the Thursday, November 4, 2004 pre-journal
Reader A. P. from 'old Europe' writes (*):
"Mini Cooper siv vous Plais?"
(*) Apparently in reference to today's click-point on the home page, which refers to a "Cooper Mini".
PPS to the Thursday, November 4, 2004 pre-journal
From the editor:
On the other hand, his French is definitely worse than my English! :)
"STOP FIGHTING, you guys!"
The 'girls' are going to stay in the USA ... tending the bar ... while Watcharee and I go back to our Buddhist world (*).
We may have a goodbye for tomorrow ... otherwise we'll see you in Bangkok.
(*) "What about those machine gun bullets in the belt ... Buddha and ammo do not belong together?", writes one of the very few anti-gun THOCBDC readers.
PS: Readers B. F. and J. K. from Lesbos, Greece write:
"Silly ammo man ..."
PPS: You guys in the Blue states feel blue?
BAGHDAD (Nov. 5) -- U.S. warplanes pounded Fallujah late Friday in what residents called the strongest attacks in months, as more than 10,000 American soldiers and Marines massed for an expected assault. Iraq's prime minister warned the "window is closing" to avert an offensive.
"You Blues are SO blue!"
In a couple of hours we are leaving for home: Bangkok. We'll see you in about 40+ hours as we have a 12 hour layover in London.