T.I.T Episode 16: Go “Loy” Your “Krathong”

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•    Welcome to episode 16
•    November begins the cool season!
•    The crazy folks on my street
•    I finally got cable TV last week
•    The new James Bond just isn’t the same
•    Loy Kratong festival was last week
•    Tom finds the festival a bit hypocritical
•    Comments and emails
•    Voicemail from Craig at the Royal Pains
•    Aj and Forrest are back….hooray!
•    Sweet & Sour victory for us
•    Tom gets a bit emotional and swears
•    tired of being marginalized
•    My “exile” by choice seems indefinite
•    I’ve considered Australia or Canada
•    What makes our love any different?
•    The holiday season and depression
•    Job hunting window is next month
•    Closing remarks and love
•    Email or Comment!
•    Please call and leave me a message on the listener line

Email me at tomnthai@gmail.com, comment or call my voice line and leave me a message!

Also, you need to go check out my fellow podcasters at the Rainbowpodsquad and the Freak Network cause there is some quality entertainment on our shows over there to suit every taste.

Download Tom in Thailand: Right Click Here | The Freak Network | The RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

T.I.T. Podcast Episode 15: Progress and a Victory for Hope!

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Is everyone out there still celebrating?  I know here in Bangkok we’re in shock with huge smiles on our faces at the historical significance of this tremendous victory for anyone who has ever dared to hope for something better.  There are not really any show notes for this little T.I.T. cast I did yesterday evening but I had to put together a little something to mark the occasion at the election heard round the world.  I sincerely hope you enjoy and I got some nice emails and even a voice mail so Tom in Thailand will be back over the weekend with a more organized show for sure.

Meanwhile, email me at tomnthai@gmail.com, comment on the blog or you can call my voice line and leave me a message.  A new age has finally come after nearly a decade of waiting!

Download Tom in Thailand: Right Click Here | The Freak Network | The RainbowPodSquad

Subscribe to Tom in Thailand in Itunes: Click here

Sunday Morning Politics…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when in the wide world this finds you.  It is a quite, subdued Sunday morning here in steamy Bangkok, and all I can hear is the sound of the air conditioner and some soi dogs barking in the distance.  I’m sitting here  contemplating things to write about as I finish a yummy bit of raspberry jam on toast and a coffee  flavored with caramel creamer…(Yes, I have a sweet tooth).   I actually feel like turning on a bit of Jazz music to accompany my Sunday morning, but our house guest is still asleep and I’d hate to be inconsiderate, being the good southern boy that I am.

Anyways, enough ramblings about my life and on to the topic I wanted to write about today.  I actually had quite the humorous story to tell, but I think I’m going to keep that for another day.  Now, I ‘VERY’ rarely dive into politics here on my blog, as I was raised to think of politics as a very personal thing.  We were always taught that one’s politics where no one else’s business and to this day I rarely enter into meaningful political conversations aside from the occasional barbed comment or two with my family.  Sooooo, to the small amount of right wing Republican readership I wish a wonderful week ahead, right now.  I’m going to talk about my liberal politics a bit today, so you can stop reading right now and come back to visit me here another day.

I was watching CNN last night and was lucky enough to stumble across Senator Clinton delivering her concession speech to all her supporters.  I watched the speech very closely, and I felt a sense of great pride in seeing her ability to still hold her head up high after losing such a long hard competition.  She and Mr. Obama have run a good race, but in the end he garnered enough support to pull just ahead.  It could not have been easy for her to give that speech, but it was definitely something she needed to do.  I would have expected Mr. Obama to do the same were he in her position.  I sat here hearing her drum home her support behind Barack Obama time and time again and cringed every time I heard “boos” in the crowd.  She talked about how the Democratic Party is like a family  and how we need to pull together now to push towards a common goal and I couldn’t agree more.  We are the underdogs, the minority voice, or the little guy against all those bullies out there in the world so lets put aside our slight differences.

As I said, I heard a lot of boos from the audience to begin with and such was to be expected I guess after such a close hard race.  Yesterday, I also saw a female Clinton supporter in New York tell a reporter that she would rather vote for McCain than vote for Obama.  So, to all you would be turn coats out there in the Democratic party I’ve just got one thing to say.  GROW UP!  This sort of behavior reminds me of the kid who tips the game board over when they lose, or packs away their toys and go home.  This isn’t chutes and ladders  or Monopoly here and there is SO much more at stake than pride.  After all, we are a like minded family and I’d hate to see the engine of bigotry win because of the loss of a little face.  It saddens me to think that we couldn’t all pull together and work towards toppling this right wing regime currently holding the country in the iron grasp of bigotry.   Gosh, you can almost see the  Disney villain sitting back to smile and rub his hands together when I see us fight amongst ourselves like this.  Enough is enough, so again I whole heartedly applaud Mrs. Clinton for taking this defeat in such a dignified way and making an effort to bridge the divide.  Don’t turn your back on us now, because the common goals and dreams we all share are bigger and more important than your broken pride.  Sooooo, let’s work together to put the bully out of the school house!

Have a good week ahead, and I promise another dose of my usual rambling lightness in a couple of days.  Thanks so very much for stopping by as always, and check back again in a couple of days if you feel so inclined.  I’m off to enjoy my Sunday!

Things you should know about this guy….

Happy Tuesday to you wherever this finds you and I hope your week is already treating you well.  I’m on day 4 of my between term vacation time, and already I’m starting to slip into that routine of sleeping till noon, and staying up till 3AM…Ahhh the good life!  Last Friday we had a little staff party around a colleague’s pool with lots of good conversation and red wine.  We had quite a mixed group nationalities represented like a South African, New Zealander, Mexican, Thai, and of course myself and one other being the Americans.  As the afternoon progressed the topic of conversation turned to American politics, and this wouldn’t be the first kind of these conversations I’ve had recently.  People of every walk of life from every country in the world are paying closer attention to this presidential election than any we’ve had before in recent times.  I think most citizens of other countries believe America has this one chance to redeem itself and do the right thing.

When i traveled outside the US five years ago to work, I learned something I had never known before.  My country’s reputation outside the US was and is very low.  Despite what the media in the US feed us at home, the world at large is tired of the America being the big bully, or the police force of the world.  Our leader is seen as arrogant, a war monger, and just ignorant of the responsibility of the duty of his position.  Now is finally our chance to correct and take steps to mend the damage that have been done.  Obama isn’t a miracle worker and I don’t think anyone expects him to be parting any Red Seas, but I think he is truly a step in the right direction.  Now, I’ve heard some fellow Democrats say that if Hillary doesn’t get it, then I’ll just vote for McCain.  I want you to know that the thought of that literally sends shivers up my spine, and this article I read the other day reinforces my belief that McCain will just be at least 4 more years of the same if not worse.  Have a read of the article below, and really think about where you want our country to be in 4 years.  I feel I should almost beg, but please allow your self to make the right choice when the time comes.  Enjoy your week as always and will speak to you again soon!

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don’t):

1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has “evolved,” yet he’s continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain “will make Cheney look like Gandhi.”2

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3

4. McCain opposes a woman’s right to choose. He said, “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”4

5. The Children’s Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children’s health care bill last year, then defended Bush’s veto of the bill.5

6. He’s one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a “second job” and skip their vacations.6

7. Many of McCain’s fellow Republican senators say he’s too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He’s erratic. He’s hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”7

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his “spiritual guide,” Rod Parsley, believes America’s founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a “false religion.” McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church “the Antichrist” and a “false cult.”9

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

Sources:
1. “The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day,” ABC News, April 3, 2008
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/04/the-complicated.html

“McCain Facts,” ColorOfChange.org, April 4, 2008
http://colorofchange.org/mccain_facts/

2. “McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq,” Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aF28rSCtk0ZM&refer=us

“Buchanan: John McCain ‘Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'” ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/06/buchanan-gandhi-mccain/

3. “McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill,” ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/20/mccain-torture-veto/

4. “McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned,” MSNBC, February 18, 2007
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17222147/

5. “2007 Children’s Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard,” February 2008
www.childrensdefense.org/site/PageServer?pagename=act_learn_scorecard2007

“McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion,” CNN, October 3, 2007
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/mccain.interview/

6. “Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady,” Associated Press, April 3, 2008
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h-S1sWHm0tchtdMP5LcLywg5ZtMgD8VQ86M80

“McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'” Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHMiDVYaXZFM&refer=home

7. “Will McCain’s Temper Be a Liability?,” Associated Press, February 16, 2008
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=4301022

“Famed McCain temper is tamed,” Boston Globe, January 27, 2008
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/27/famed_mccain_temper_is_tamed/

8. “Black Claims McCain’s Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: ‘I Don’t Know What The Criticism Is,'” ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/02/mccain-black-lobbyist/

“McCain’s Lobbyist Friends Rally ‘Round Their Man,” ABC News, January 29, 2008
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4210251

9. “McCain’s Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam,” Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008
http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/03/john-mccain-rod-parsley-spiritual-guide.html

“Will McCain Specifically ‘Repudiate’ Hagee’s Anti-Gay Comments?,” ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/12/mccain-hagee-anti-gay/

“McCain ‘Very Honored’ By Support Of Pastor Preaching ‘End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'” ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/28/hagee-mccain-endorsement/

10. “John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record,” Sierra Club, February 28, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/environment/77913/

Courtesy of our friends at moveon.org

Weekend rambles…

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Happy Sunday everyone! So sorry for not posting for a few days, but I like to wait and post when I’m feeling a bit inspired. I thought I should start this post by responding to the great comments i received on my last post. I feel that I should correct myself though, and just want to say to you guys that I rarely feel like I am in danger living in Thailand. I feel much much safer walking the streets here at night, than i would walking in cities this size at home. I just was trying to get the point across about how terrible the police are here and how untrustworthy they are. I’ve been the victim of petty crime in Bangkok like thieves, but never once felt threatened by any sort of violence. Anyways, the responses I got were sweet and It sure does make me feel good to be cared about so much.

So, It is Sunday evening here in the “Big Mango,” and that old familiar uneasy feeling is starting to creep into the back of my mind as the hours pass leading up to Monday morning. It’s not that I don’t enjoy my job, but just the thought of waking to that same old full day’s routine tomorrow in the intense Bangkok Summer heat isn’t exactly thrilling. However, I’ve had a great weekend and thus i guess i shouldn’t complain. Last night I shared a couple of bottles of wine, cheese, and great company with my dear friend Damob. (You should go check out his blog) We chatted as i sunk glass after glass of fine Australian red wine, and one of the topics that came up as drank our way through our Saturday night was the Obama/Clinton debate.

Now, at the beginning of the campaign I was an avid Hillary supporter and nothing could sway me. However, as time has progressed my support for her has begun to wane and I’ve started to turn a curious eye towards Mr. Obama and what he represents. I’m just not feeling Hillary anymore to be honest, and I like what I’ve heard in some snippets of Obama speeches. It didn’t sit well with me when i found out Hillary was once on the board of Wal-mart, as once upon a time I slaved my days away there on a pittance wage. Then there is the business of the pharmaceutical companies funding her campaign, and i read somewhere that she is receiving the most money from them than any other candidate, democrat or republican. Then there is the recent problem with her completely fabricating events that took place overseas. To shrug off a lie as a “mistake” just isn’t good enough for me. Therefore, I’m going to be watching Mr. Obama much more closely now and perhaps when the time comes he just might get my vote.

On a different note, I watched the movie “Casino Royale” tonight on the Star Movie Channel. It was the first time I’d seen the movie, and unfortunately I have to say it was a disappointment. It just didn’t feel like a James Bond movie to me. I think it was the actor Daniel Craig in the role as the legendary 007 that just seemed to fall short of carrying off the suave martini drinking Bond character well enough. Few people in my life know this, but actually I am a huge James Bond fan. I used to stay up late as a kid and watch James Bond marathons on television. Just loved the movies growing up, and this latest version just didn’t feel up to standard. That’s only my opinion though, cause I’m sure the movie got good reviews. The clock here has just rolled past midnight, so I should probably make my way to bed. Wish everyone a great week ahead, and will post again soon! Have a good one and thanks for taking the time to stop by for a read.

Where have the Republicans gone???

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Told you i’d be posting a lot more this week.  So I’m sitting here having a bit of marmalade on toast with my coffee and watching CNN.  I’m not sure why, but I only like to sit and watch CNN in the mornings when I’ve just woken up over a bit of breakfast.  Occasionally I might turn it on at night if I’m doing a bit of ironing, but most of the time I seek viewing entertainment elsewhere.  I thought I’d take a stab at politics today, though I’ll be the first to admit that It’s not a topic I enjoy.  I usually avoid talking politics like the plague, as my fear of confrontation is usually to strong to allow healthy discourse on controversial topics.  However, that’s what this is all about, right?  I started this blog to help me find my voice so why not throw a bit of controversy out there.

It is funny yet strange to turn on CNN here in Thailand and the only news stories that are running deal with American politics.  Lately, stories about the presidential race are taking up the majority of air time on news channels here and across Asia.  The CNN we have here originates from Hong Kong and serves the Asian community with their dose of western news.  The first news story to greet me this morning was of course more Hillary and Obama.  Something about someone being accused of plagiarism or something, and even though I was watching….I wasn’t paying close attention.  I was thinking about how that’s all I hear on the news.  It’s a constant loop of Hillary and Obama over and over and over.  It seems like once the primaries are over, that’s It…..we’re done.  The race seems to only be between the 2 Democratic candidates if one watches the news to get their information.  McCain and the rest of the little old men running for the Republican nomination don’t seem to be getting a fraction of the coverage from the media.  Where are the Republicans?  The only Republicans I know these days are like the mean sad little toadies you would see following around the bully at school with their head down laughing with the bully, all the while hoping not to get hit themselves.  Who do they have to look forward too?  McCain?  He is even older than Reagan when he took office at 69.  Do you really think he’s going to be in touch with the current needs and issues.  I know the last thing on earth I would want to do if I reach 70 is take the helm of control and take the responsibility of leadership for America.  Think about it?  Would you want to even take the CEO position at your place of employment at 70?  It just doesn’t sit well with me, though i will be the first to admit I’m a bit biased.

Following the endless stream of Clinton/Obama stories, I got to watch everyone’s favorite leader give an address from Africa.   “W” the train wreck is apparently “touring” Africa at the moment and was giving an address of support for Kosovo declaring independence from Serbia.   They were showing scenes of him hugging native villagers, while looking very casual in his ethnic colored shirt and it made me think.  Seems “W” is getting the most out of his last year as President and making sure to get those long extended exotic vacations out of the way before his term is up.  If your going to do a ‘tour’ of African nations, then might as well do it on the tab of taxpayers, right?  I mean its not like the U.S. is suffering under financial problems, right?  Anyways, I don’t want to ruin the rest of my day with these thoughts of failed administrations so I will close this entry here.  Much love as always and see you very soon!