Land of the Free, Home of the Slave

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Every now and again, to keep myself up with the global economy, seeing as how my work in the global economy waxes and wanes. I thought that I would look at the “land of smiles,” Thailand. I Googled Thailand and I found there was a lot of slavery there. I was shocked, shocked to learn that this land that is so blessed and praised by WB writers as having more freedom and far less corruption than the godawful America actually is plagued with slavery and corruption.

According to theguardian there is a plague of bad events that Thailand is suffering from. Reported in theguardian: “Slavery, trafficking, murder and corruption at all levels of government still pervade Thailand’s billion-dollar fishing industry, activists claim, despite recent arrests linked to human rights abuses and the threat of an EU-wide boycott.” Nice to have industries based on corruption and slavery, that’s where I want to live.


A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), the Environmental Justice Foundation found that: “Our investigations at sea and across the Thai seafood sector continue to find extensive violence, corruption and abuse,” according to director Steve Trent, who is working with the Thai government. Explaining further, Trent said: “Slaves are still on the boats; nationals of neighbouring states are still trafficked in to provide cheap or free labour, and Thai fishing vessels continue to fish illegally and unsustainably, thereby reinforcing the economic incentives to use bonded, forced and slave labour to keep the costs down.” Here I was set to move there, to escape the intolerable grip of corruption that pervades the U.S., and I’m reading this disturbing information from theguardian dated February of 2016.


By the way, Thailand is ruled by a military junta that came to power in 2014. The thought of a military power rather than, you know, a representative democratic republic sounds a lot better. I mean, after all, what could go wrong? Thailand has had 17 constitutions since 1932, illustrating the flexibility if the Thai government. But it gets better.


The Australian news service reports that “There are between 20,000 and 40,000 children scattered over Thailand being used for sex, some young women have even been forced into the industry by their own mothers.”  Further reporting states that: “Thailand is one of the sex capitals of the world and the industry contributes more than four billion dollars to the economy.” It’s nice to know that the Thai government has a “live and let live” philosophy, that freedom there means exploiting children. 


The U.S. Department of State paints a rather bleak picture of Thailand, but that is probably propaganda because life there is so good if we, in America, really knew how good it was we would all go there and leave the U.S. and its corrupt government. At any rate, the Department of State is on the record describing Thailand as: “Thailand is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Thai victims of trafficking and some of the estimated three to four million migrant workers in Thailand are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labor or sex trafficking.” All of this sounds really good and obviously lots better than the U.S. where the laws only protect the rich and the poor are relentlessly exploited.


Further advice is don’t do drugs there. Apparently, the penalty for some drugs is life in prison. There apparently are a lot of drugs in Thailand, but the punishments are rather harsh. In all, we’re talking paradise here. Warm climate, apparently a lot of sex, (listed as one of the sex capitals of the world) some drugs, corruption in both industry and government. All of this, of course, putting the U.S. in deep shade, because of all the corruption in the U.S.


The answer to this is that all of what I read is nothing but jealous people wanting to have a country like Thailand. It’s all propaganda. It’s all a conspiracy, even though I have met people who spoke with people from Thailand and said if you are a young woman you need to be very careful, because of the slave traders. The news is all fake, don’t believe it, they’re just jealous. Sometimes I think WB people are being paid by some of these corrupt governments to say nice things about their countries, like they are PR people. But yeah, I’d go with the conspiracy theories if I were them. Sounds better.


Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 7:40am
Not entirely unexpected from the rah rah rah brigade. Of course your "sources" are the rabidly anti-kingdom and pro-Thaksin vipers that inhabit the Foreign Correspondent Club. Were Thailand as corrupt as you claim that bunch would have been run out of town. 
Typically you think a few hours searching and reading on the internet gives you greater insight than living here. 
Truth Before The Storm
Read this article and the others he has written. You likely won't change your opinion but at least you'll be better informed.
Lastly, whether Thailand is corrupt and has its own problems or not doesn't change the fact that DUHmerica is an existential threat to the peace and dignity of the people of this planet.
Jeff Jackson Added May 8, 2017 - 7:58am
Yup, nothing predictable here.  "The news is all fake, don’t believe it, they’re just jealous. Sometimes I think WB people are being paid by some of these corrupt governments to say nice things about their countries, like they are PR people. But yeah, I’d go with the conspiracy theories if I were them. Sounds better."
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 8:32am
You are simply butt hurt I and others slag your precious "greatest bestest most wonderfulest country in the whole big wide world ever ever ever". You have that right.
That you won't even attempt to become better informed reveals the agenda of your article. 
Your article doesn't offend me as my comments on your and other articles so clearly offends you. 
I have lived in both places an equal number of years. You have spent a few hours at most looking at other's agenda driven reportage. 
Do have a great day. Don't break your arm patting yourself on the back. Don't forget to mind the gap between train and platform.
Jeff Jackson Added May 8, 2017 - 8:55am
Well thank you Jeffry. I am teaching high-schoolers today as well as doing research for some undergrads, so lots of information to digest and transfer to the young minds. I shall try to be fair, and offer both sides of the issues. After all, it is the truth I seek, and share with my students. 
Stone-Eater Added May 8, 2017 - 9:12am
 I Googled Thailand and I found there was a lot of slavery there.
When I said we have a maid in Senegal doing the cooking or washing for us, some said: Ah, you've got a slave there ? Those idiots don't understand that societies are different, a "slave" in US or European eyes is not necessarily the same in Africa (or Asia).
Do you like to tell our maid: "Hey, free yourself of that slave job and get back on the road trying to sell some fruits ?"
Stone-Eater Added May 8, 2017 - 9:21am
BTW  Jeff
Sometimes I think WB people are being paid by some of these corrupt governments to say nice things about their countries
How much do you get paid by the US government LOL
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 9:23am
As we both know Stone it's difficult enough to understand a new place and new culture after only a couple of years living among those who have lived there their entire lives.
For a so-called journalist to arrive and begin pontificating from within the foreign correspondents bubble according to the story his editor or personal bias wishes will necessarily be faulty 
Jeff Jackson Added May 8, 2017 - 9:41am
I would think that "sex capital of the world" would be bragging rights, at least for some people. Does everyone new to the place simply pick that up even if it is a fallacy? 
Ric Wells Added May 8, 2017 - 10:13am
Whether one wishes to admit it or not all governments enslave their people. Sometimes for the common good sometimes for the common evil. America's gretest sin was and is its proponderance to enslave others under.  the guise of freedom. America is certainly not the only government to do so but is one of the top three at the moment. The push back by people is a true indication of this. And yet actions to settle this issue on an international basis as shunned ridiculed and destroyed by those with the most at stake to lose.
Thomas Sutrina Added May 8, 2017 - 10:40am
Stone Eater  most of the people that write on WB are giving the personal opinion.  They spend no time investigating the subject before they tap on the key board.   I do not mind a person that investigates but does not find the less obvious facts.  This article is an example of a person that have found the less obvious facts because much effort is put forth to hid facts.  Facts are hidden not only by the country but those that gain from what they are doing.  Those that go for a sex vacation.   PS I bet Bill Clinton is fully aware.
Jeff Jackson Added May 8, 2017 - 10:54am
Thanks for recognizing effort Thomas. Yes, there were a lot of things that I would not encourage that go on in Thailand, and therefore are omitted for the sake of decorum, a decorum that I maintain, while others ignore. One of the recommended articles (and yes, I did read it) made no mention whatsoever about some of the negative aspects of the culture. I just don't criticize the U.S. to the satisfaction of some people, who think I should just be condemning it every chance I get, which is what they do. While I don't always offer solutions, at least I try to point out the flaws, as I did for Thailand, "land of smiles." Maybe that sex capital and "land of smiles" have some relationship. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 11:07am
Jeff, I have been to more than 60 countries. Paid sex is available in all of them. In Asia its more prevalent and more out in the open than many other places and even more so in SE Asia. Its no less open and available in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Taiwan and Japan than here in Thailand. I will posit the sheer number of sex workers is likely, and this is purely anecdotal, much greater here than the other places I listed. 
Ten to twelve years ago there was a scandal that was front page news in both Bangkok Post and the Nation about several Thai girls attending the most prestigious private high school in the country all having multiple foreign "boyfriends" sending them a couple thousand a month after the girls stayed with them when holidaying here. 
Esan, the NE part of the country is extremely poor. They have money only once a year after the crop comes in. Many of the sex workers originate from that part of the country. In many families prostitution is the family business with both grand mother and mother teaching their daughters the mindset and details of the business and sending them off to the cities and resorts to work. Lots of money goes from foreigner's pockets into the family coffers of these women. 
A young woman late teens can go from subsistence living on $500 a year busting her back in the rice paddies to sending $3000 a month back home to the family in a matter of weeks whether she speaks more than a few words of English or not. Those that can speak English and are clever (minority of them clever) can and do make $6000 to $9000 a month. They are of course of exceptional beauty even in a country where "ugly" girls are much better looking than most western women at the higher number.
There is a venue where one can have a few hours with women that appear in Thai television and movies at very high prices. 
Years ago I met a woman from Esan here in BKK, a teacher, graduate of a prestigious Thai university with a degree in law at a networking event. Very cute even by Thai standards, smart, articulate and a lot of fun who after a month moved on to a richer guy after explaining she couldn't love me anymore because she wanted to be rich and I wouldn't, in effect, buy houses and cars for her entire family. 
Theseanecdotes and circumstances are not limited to Thailand of course. 
Its difficult for a foreigner to find much less establish a relationship with a legitimate woman here. I have done it twice now. Both women sacrificed a lot to be with me taking a lot of flak from their families and from their government as a result. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 11:26am
One of the recommended articles (and yes, I did read it) made no mention whatsoever about some of the negative aspects of the culture
Read all of the articles under the Landestroyer banner under the link "Thailand" as well as under the NEO Journal banner by several different authors. 
Jonathan Head, the worst of the foreign correspondent lot and many of his Aussie "journalist" cohorts have been and are co-opted by the forces behind convicted criminal fugitive from justice former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin. There was also the BBC (Buggering British Children) correspondent that was shown to have been similarly co-opted. 
You want to do your homework and come to a fair conclusion? Really? Look into the relationship between the convicted criminal fugitive from justice former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin and the Council on Foreign Relations going back to Thaksin's undergrad days at Kentucky. And his employ by the Bush family while he was Thai PM! Look at the 6000 level class descriptions of the US War College and ask why a second generation "diplomat" would take those classes and then be deployed by the same state department you quote to become ambassador here? Look at Murphy's first act as Ambassador - he flew to the heart of Red Shirt country for meetings with Thaksin's high level employees and operatives in Thailand to discuss among other things Thaksin's re-installation as PM!!!
THEN, get off your sizable bum and come here to see for yourself.
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 11:36am
I just don't criticize the U.S. to the satisfaction of some people, who think I should just be condemning it every chance I get, which is what they do.
You don't critize it at all Jeff. You do get all butt hurt when I bang on about DUHmerica though. 
While I don't always offer solutions, at least I try to point out the flaws, as I did for Thailand
As I do for DUHmerica. Its only different because you choose to become upset that anyone would have the temerity to critize your beloved homeland especially someone born there. DUHmerica right or wrong! DUHmerica love it or leave it! AND! Its different because I have nothing to lose or gain by your opinion of Thailand, Thais or me. 
George N Romey Added May 8, 2017 - 11:58am
From my visits to Thailand prostitution is seen less harshly than here in the West.  I understand people will always have different views of prostitution and its not up to me to dictate how someone should feel on that subject.
Its very easy to criticize but put yourself in the shoes of that young Thai lucky enough to be born very attractive.  Does he or she settle for poorly paid backbreaking work in the field of flee to a major city and make 15x in prostitution? 
We all can wish that the world was such that no one should be forced to sell their body to sustain themselves let alone being groomed by a family in desperate need.  However, that is not the world we live in. The truth is that we humans have a long way to go to get our character and compassion for our fellow human beings to catch up with all of the nifty technology we keep creating.  A sad commentary on the human race. 
I can only provide an account of my return in 2002 from Thailand through SFO. As I was coming out of the customs halls with my bags as an ICE officer approached me and asked me to follow him to a sterile room.  In that room all of my possessions were gone through bit by bit while I was grilled with question after question about my background.  The entire process took nearly an hour and was very, very unnerving (but I kept my cool).  Afterwards when I was cleared the ICE officer explained (at least in his opinion) how Thailand was the child porn capital of the world and that a single male traveler back to the US fit the profile as someone that might be bringing back child porn for distribution or running a child prostitution running.
All that being said Thailand is a beautiful country with wonderful people.  Thails believe very much in the belief of karma.  Maybe one day I will make it back there as I get older I look for peace and serenity.  I don't follow local politics in Thailand so I have no informed opinion to state.
Jeff Jackson Added May 8, 2017 - 12:27pm
the ICE officer explained (at least in his opinion) how Thailand was the child porn capital of the world and the sex capital of the world, which would naturally follow. I'm not adverse to victimless crimes. We spend too much money pursuing people who commit crimes where no one was injured and both parties leave satisfied. (Oh wait, that is a criticism of America!) If Thailand wants to raise hookers as an industry, I have no objection, that is their choice. I am not one to pass judgment on them for that, it is their choice. I didn't condemn them for that, it is their choice, like being the Holland of Asia. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 12:47pm
I can only provide an account of my return in 2002 from Thailand through SFO.
You may recall my description of the last time I went to DUHmerica seven years ago for a funeral and my treatment at LAX. For those who don't:
Twenty-six hours after entering a secure environment at BKK departure I landed in LAX. One hour before landing the FA began the hour long threats about this that and the other regarding our arrival to the land of the formerly free. Immediately upon deplaning (a Cathay Pacific aircraft) there were dozens of heavily armed men in sight and even more lightly armed gov't agents in white shirts yelling and screaming a nearly unintelligible patois often referred to as Ebonics ostensibly to assist we the great unwashed to our first indignity - mandatory removal of belt shoes etc and walk through the metal detector. AFTER WE GOT OFF THE PLANE!!!!! All the while getting the evil eye from even more heavily armed gov't agents. Happiness abounded. Yes indeed.
We then proceed to the 45 minute wait for passport control. I drew a 20 something in dredlocks and an attitude. Lucky me. After taking my passport and turning 90 degrees from me and 3 feet behind him he sits and begins leafing through the 100 plus pages of stamps and visas back and forth and back and forth comparing dates. After several minutes of this with his back still to me and his head down he asked me two questions. As I tried to decipher them from Ebonics to English his head swiveled around like Linda Blair and he screamed those questions at me again. At the same time he screamed three very large heavily armed fellows materialized next to me suggesting I go with them. 
Once we arrived at the roped off area they ordered me to sit down which I refused citing fear of Deep Vein Thrombosis and showed them the special hose designed to reduce DVT occurring. One of them stepped right up to me in drill Sargent fashion inches away from my face demanding to know if I had a problem with authority. I answered "Only when I'm forced to exert it". His eyes went to blinking 10,000 time a minute and without another word he, my passport and his two compatriots disappeared behind a door. 
Forty some minutes later another of his compatriots tried the same drill instructor sthick on me. That time I stepped a foot back stuck my finger out and replied to the same question about authority with "Asked and answered" and further suggested as they were such sticklers for rules that henceforth they will address me as Captain because I damn well earned it. Eyes as large a saucers on this gov't agent who turned and pissed off behind the same door. 
Another 30 minutes and a guy with an eagle on his collar came through the door with my passport held in out to me telling me I was free to go and started to turn away. I bellowed at him "Free to go WHAT!?!?" to which he turned around and said Free to go SIR" and then added in a snide "Welcome home" for good measure. 
Never once was my person or carryon inspected during the whole incident. 
Turns out the questions the dredlocks clerk asked were "You seem to spend a lot of time in Asia" and "Why"? Never mind my passport was issued at at the Embassy in Bangkok as were both addendums and there were hundreds of stamps in it. DUH. Why is none of that fucker's business. 
George N Romey Added May 8, 2017 - 4:22pm
I was asked family members names and addresses.  Any interaction with children back home (coach, teacher, scout leader, etc.)   Why would a younger guy be going to Thailand (in other words I could get laid with paying for it)?  Did anyone give me something in a wrapper to take back home?
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 5:05pm
Any interaction with children back home (coach, teacher, scout leader, etc.) 
Sounds like the ICE asshole questioning you was the perv. Sick fuckin' feds. Yeah, nobody goes to Thailand to get laid by beautiful fun adults. I'd have asked him if he gets off on it and did his preacher diddle him when he was alter boy. 
POS fed is jealous he can't afford to go there even if his wife would let him. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 8, 2017 - 5:09pm
You got to realize, George, a lot of people operate on envy. Guy like that jerk would never spend the money to buy a a ticket to Thailand, let alone the cost of quality pussy, no matter how much he had in the bank. Even if someone gave it all to him, he wouldn't have the nerve to go, which is also why he'll never have any real money in the first place. He works for some steady wage, and always will. Guy like that gets very uncomfortable at the notion of someone who makes things happen for himself. Suddenly he feels like his own life is pretty shabby. Problem is, people like him, they get half a chance, they'll do their level best to screw it up for anyone else. You got to watch out for them all the time. Envy and resentment are terrible things.
Eileen de Bruin Added May 8, 2017 - 6:00pm
Hello Jeff. Thankyou for that perspective, it does help. Whilst it is a terrible thing to address and face, we should do so whilst being able to see the flaws in our own governments and values. Slavery is not a thing of the past. It has been with us since time immemorial and will continue to be so for as long as we have slavers ans the enslaved. I am fully aware of the more visual slavery throughout the Middle east and Asia, in varying degrees including the different nationalities and their rankings. It is all out there to realise and to learn from. What is interesting, also, is Jeffry's lady who couldn't "love" him anymore because she wanted more materialistic support, or could get it, elsewhere. Is it really so different from the basic human desire to do "better" which usually means get more from elsewhere! Indeed, what is her understanding of what love is.
But it doesn't feel right. It feels at odds with being just who you are, respecting others without wanting something from them.  Is that an ideal impossible to attain or should we all just continue dreaming and aiming for it? It is as good an aim for living and a reason for living isn't it? 
My question is, how do we stop judging what is good, bad or ugly?
Patrick Writes Added May 8, 2017 - 9:23pm
Americans cheered Bush on as he tried his best to turn the U.S.A. into a Police State while in office. 
Al Queda was a little group that the government knew well. They tried to take down the World Trade Center once before. Hit 2 embassies overseas, bombed the U.S.S. Cole. 
It was a handful of smart guys with some good financing. Government agents used 9/11 as a pretext for the War on Terror, the Patriot Act (spying on you), two Middle East, and years of "they're coming to get you" paranoia. 

Anyone involved with air travel actually has the right to beat you up and haul you into a cell because, you see, they are single-handedly preventing the next terrorist attack. 
But it's all theater. The underpants bomber from Nigeria, his father went to a U.S. embassy and told them weeks in advance his son was trying to bomb an airline and they did nothing. He boarded an airliner and nearly blew up the craft, hindered only by his own incompetence. 
I conclude it's because the government doesn't care. They are aren't actually trying to prevent anything. Because they know there has been little real threat. It's all theater to make people feel safe and afraid at the same time while traveling. And to get people to cheer on the loss of their personal freedom. 
Leroy Added May 8, 2017 - 9:36pm
I saw a program a few days ago which claimed there are 60,000 slaves in the US. It's no justification of the slavery that might exist in Thailand and I am not making light of it.  But, we do have to be careful about reports on slavery.  Not everyone in a bad situation is a slave.
I've worked with people from Thailand for decades and I have known many people who have lived there.  Without exception, they all say it is paradise.  From a visitor or expat point of view, I imagine that it is.  If I could convince my wife, we would live there.  Sure.  There might be bad things that go on, but would a guest and it is not my problems to fix.
Having lived for a number of years outside the US, I can tell you, relative to China, the US is a police state.  Most people who live in the US are numb to it and do not realize what the US has become.  It is a hassle just to live in the US.  Around every corner is someone in authority trying to catch you doing something wrong.  I can only imagine Thailand being even a better place to live than China.  Just like China, if you want to make trouble, I suppose you will find it.  For the most part, it is live and let live.  You take care of your own problems. 
Jeff Jackson Added May 8, 2017 - 10:15pm
There is no doubt that there are slaves in the U.S., mostly imported, from, well, you know where. There are efforts to catch the people who import slaves, and they catch people, but not all. By definition, "Under federal law (18 USC § 1589), it is a crime to make people work by use of force, coercion or fear." I freely admit there are lots of laws in the U.S., too many, yes, too many. But slavery isn't one of them, now is it. Freedom does not mean the ability to exploit others, at least not to the extent that they are slaves. The laws protect the weak from that, or they are supposed to.
America has too many laws, and our freedoms have gradually been whittled away. There I said it. I am aware of it. That is criticism of the loss of freedom that has happened in the U.S.
Ankur Mithal Added May 9, 2017 - 2:50am
Have to confess that I had to read the article more than once to try to understand its purpose. Also have to confess I failed miserably. Why this informed fascination for Thailand? Instead of telling girls not to volunteer themselves into prostitution, would it not be better to tell foreign men, largely white as per my limited knowledge, to not buy sex? 
Patrick Writes Added May 9, 2017 - 5:00am
I'll add that Destiny Rescue is one Christian organization that I know of that works in Thailand and a few other Asian countries and helps young teen girls from the countryside who were forced into the sex trade by family or simply kidnapped from Laos or neighboring country. 
There are half-way houses run by the org where the girls can detox, learn a trade, and go onto a different life if they choose. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 9, 2017 - 6:52am
Have to confess that I had to read the article more than once to try to understand its purpose.
Its purpose was to tweak me for slagging DUHmerica mercilessly. 
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 - 6:57am
Why the fixation on Thailand ?? Sex for sale is available anywhere on the planet, and pointing the finger at Thailand is pure hypocrisy. The situation in Africa is comparable to what Jeffry tells us about the poor areas in Thailand. And I'm sure it won't be different in South America or any country that has no functioning job market, or is in a sphere of influence where it is exploited rather than a real business partner.
Take Venezuela at the moment. Take the Philippines. These countries fight for fair trade and economic independence, no less. The situation they're in enforces poverty and therefore prostitution.
And the West is the last who has a right to accuse and damn that since it's their policies and meddling which caused the situation.
Again - hypocrits.
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 9, 2017 - 7:08am
Again - hypocrits.
The author pushed the "sex capital" meme then claimed in a later comment he's got no problem with "victimless crimes". 
Again, he was impotently attempting to attack me for having the temerity to criticize DUHmerica mercilessly.
In his own words he cannot wrap his head around being more free under a military junta here than there under the utter lie of so-called democracy in DUHmerica.
He's the proverbial frog in the pan of slowly boiling water and damn proud of it. Rah rah rah sis boom bah go team go we're number one USA USA USA BLAH Blah blah.
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 - 7:19am
Rah rah rah sis boom bah go team go we're number one USA USA USA BLAH Blah blah.
I'll always remember you by this one LOL
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 - 7:22am
By the way, Thailand is ruled by a military junta that came to power in 2014
Funny that there's not thousands of people killed there daily ;-)
By the way, the USA is ruled by a military junta that came to power in 2001
Nice fit, eh ? Remember the MIC ? And that junta doesn't restrict itself to its own country.
Leroy Added May 9, 2017 - 7:42am
Americans could learn a little humility.  I don't mean like the apologist and bootlickers such as O, but to not display such arrogance.  I went to a volleyball match between France and the US when I lived in France.  The US was obliterating the French team, scoring the first 13 points.  The Americans in the audience began taunting and belittling the French because their team was destroying the other.  I'm talking about culturally belittling the French.  They were obnoxious.  Whether the taunts encouraged the French team or whether they finally got their game plan together, I don't know, but the US didn't score a single point after that.  The US team was obliterated.  You didn't hear any English spoken after that. 
Jeff Jackson Added May 9, 2017 - 1:41pm
Prostitution via slavery is not a victimless crime. I have never suggested that victimless crimes be punished, in fact, quite the contrary, that the U.S. does far too much enforcing victimless crimes when it ought to let them go and take the time to enforce the laws that matter. It has always been my position that victimless crimes be left alone, despite claims of hypocrisy to the contrary, by, well, why bother describing them. 
That Thailand is one of the "sex capitals" of the world was quite a compliment, although I suppose the compliment was far too subtle for some of the more developmentally challenged, who are still using cheerleader language here on WB. The developmental problems are obvious. 
It appears that some are doing their own research, which is something that I encourage.  Research is expensive, time consuming, and sometimes tells us what we don't want to know. Be careful. It's best to ignore government agencies, NGOs, and the United Nations, they're all part of the conspiracy, you know. 
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 - 3:41pm
Prostitution via slavery is not a victimless crime
What is a "victimeless" crime ? NO crime, no ? When I marry a woman in Europe and I provide her a home and I work for it and then get sex once in a that legal prostitution ? Does the fact that people are married exclude "prostitution" ? The difference is that marriage is a bond between people (by some CHURCH), finally registered on paper, that they will ever be together and never look elsewhere for...satisfaction.
Humans are not made that way. There are people who are happily with one woman for 50 years, others aren't.
Prostitution is not only the lady on the road you pay. It can very well be your wife. Look closely LOL
George N Romey Added May 9, 2017 - 3:44pm
As my brother says we are all whores in one way or another.  Either to a corporation or a john.  At least with the latter the deed is over in 30 minutes.
Stone-Eater Added May 9, 2017 - 3:55pm
How many times I told you, hey, you write your ass off and are unsatisfied over there ? Come to Senegal. We need people who know how to work. I was in the same situation as you here in Europe, but we're on the run there.
Don't continue to blame and regret (although you're right). Come and try it. What's to lose ?
George N Romey Added May 9, 2017 - 4:08pm
Unfortunately for now I am flat broke.  Need to get money in the bank to cover costs and establish myself.  So I work for the man for a bit.  Not afraid of hard work even laborious work.
Jeff Jackson Added May 9, 2017 - 4:36pm
Stone-Eater, Whore yes, slave no. I understand the distinction. Errol Flynn, colorful and very sexual Hollywood icon (in more ways than one) was asked why he hired prostitutes. Flynn said he didn't pay them to perform, he paid them to leave when he was done!
Thomas Napers Added May 10, 2017 - 5:25am
Ankur Mithal
“Have to confess that I had to read the article more than once to try to understand its purpose. Also have to confess I failed miserably. Why this informed fascination for Thailand?”
Allow me, an anonymous user by the name of Expat speaks terribly about America and glowingly about Thailand.  He pissed off Jeff Jackson in some comment thread and Jeff gave him a taste of his own medicine in writing this article.  The article has not point other than retribution.  One could pick a part any country and only focus on the bad stuff and come to the conclusion it’s a terrible place.  So both Jeff and Expat are essentially hypocrites in getting upset when it’s done to them and not when they do it to others.  Maybe “hypocrites” is a bad choice of words…pansies?
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 6:52am
I have some slight problem to see the connection, frankly....
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 6:54am
I know what it's like. I'm flat broke too because I've put everything in my company. But better that way in hope than another way to put it into OTHER people ;-)
Jeff Jackson Added May 10, 2017 - 9:54am
Thomas, the essay is a "look at Thailand." It is mostly a stream of consciousness look at facts, considering some of the more corrupt aspects of the country. It was not a "rose-colored glasses" look at the country by any means, nor does it claim to be a comprehensive examination of the country. I'm sure that there are good things as well as good people there, WB writers included.  
The psychological side of the essay was to examine the reactions and allegations of the WB people, and it was as expected, and that is hardly rational, laced with obscenity and the usual challenges of sources. This is fodder for my book, and I thank the many who shared their obscenity and irrational reactions. 
Ian Thorpe Added May 10, 2017 - 10:35am
I'm not sure it is fair to pick on Thailand for its sex industry, although I understand the author's reasons. In Greece, the cradle of civilisation, in recent years, because of the ruling elite selling out their country to the EU and joining the Euro single currency system, things are so bad economically and socially that highly qualified professional women in the cities, doctors, accountants, teachers etc. are having to prostitute themselves in order to feed their families.
And yet for most Greeks life goes on and they do the best they can to live decently and preserve their culture and way of life.
Jeff Jackson Added May 10, 2017 - 11:02am
Holland has had a thriving sex industry for a long time. The issue was more of slavery and enslaved prostitutes (see above postings), and the fact of all the slaves and corruption. Some of the folks just can't stand anything good said about the U.S., so I got a few digs in on them. As stated, the obscenity and challenging of facts was typical of their internet ilk. The book is getting closer...
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 12:58pm
The psychological side of the essay was to examine the reactions and allegations of the WB people, and it was as expected, and that is hardly rational, laced with obscenity and the usual challenges of sources
I wouldn't advise you to write a book on such. You have to live in places you describe or talk about for LONG until you can judge. Whenever you decide to write about Africa I'll tear you apart on arguments, my friend :-)
But you're invited to come down and learn LOL
John Minehan Added May 10, 2017 - 1:30pm
A friend of mine, a retired Army officer, whose wife is Thai, retired there some years ago.  He had a very balanced perception of the place.
He said it is an old society, but an emerging nation.  He liked things like the "40 Baht" healthcare program.
As a devout Deist (First Cause and Prime Mover but religion is generally BS), he found the background Buddhist culture about as unappealing as our Christian one and the Muslim minority's impact to be somewhat troubling.    
A lot of the issues with sex-trafficking are not things the average Thai is exposed to, it is largely a big-city phenomenon.  However, you see it in the big cities and it is both stranger and more repellant than you can really imagine.
he liked the people and he said that he was making Salsa Dancing (his hobby) a paying business and something of a craze in the part of rural Thailand where he helped his wife's family run their Guesthouse"/little neighborhood restaurant.
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 3:21pm
I stayed in the hotel Rex in Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia. When I was approached by a very beautiful woman on the street my (Swiss) girlfriend sneered at me by saying: Are you queer now ? I said: Huh ? What's wrong ??
The lady was a guy. I had no clue, but she sensed that somehow ;-)
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 3:24pm
BTW: Maybe I was too young the at 21, but I never really connected with Asians. Unlike with Africans years later. So I can't really judge them. And I don't like to, either. Superficially I was always treated well, be it in India, Nepal or elsewhere in Asia. And nobody ever wanted to get me to prostitutes or order an underage kid for my pleasure....
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 3:29pm
...sometimes I sit back and get a bit sad because I know that I'll never be able to get back to all the places I've been....;-)
Jeff Jackson Added May 10, 2017 - 4:02pm
A very beautiful woman on the street- it's the hormones. They know.
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 6:32pm
Nope. Sex in my age requires a bit more upping :-)
Ric Wells Added May 10, 2017 - 6:40pm
Stone I get excited about what might hapen around the next bend. 
Stone-Eater Added May 10, 2017 - 6:51pm
Bend ? I'm lucky if I find my way to bed tonight LOL
Ric Wells Added May 10, 2017 - 6:55pm
Just follow the bread crumbs or pop tops. LOL
John Minehan Added May 10, 2017 - 7:34pm
Given the circumstances of how I visited many of the places I did, it is just as well that I will never go back.
Peter Corey Added May 10, 2017 - 9:12pm
>You likely won't change your opinion but at least you'll be better informed.
Better informed? By reading the propaganda BS of Anthony Cartalucci?
You should be treating your Parkinson's-related dementia, and not posting nonsense on WB.
Eileen de Bruin Added May 11, 2017 - 10:57am
"And the West is the last who has a right to accuse and damn that since it's their policies and meddling which caused the situation."
Yes, indeed, Stone Eater.
Jeff: the Errol ".....Flynn said he didn't pay them to perform, he paid them to leave when he was done!". is absolutely brilliant and honest!
Between these two comments lies the truth about the human condition and perhaps we should just be honest about it.  If anyone is slammed as "...son of a whore..." then it is always taken as derisory. So what if any of us are sons or daughters of whores? They/we/he/she deserve the same respect as anyone else and they do a good job and earn an honest living satisfying a need. Whether is is right or wrong is irrelevant. 
Perhaps it is about stopping judgements altogether.
Jeff Jackson Added May 11, 2017 - 11:11am
Please tell that to the people that take every opportunity to disparage the U.S. and claim anyone who likes it here is a stupid piece of excrement. Reveal the ugly side of their favorite country and they go to great lengths to defend it, and, the obvious claiming the sources of facts are bogus.
Jeffry Gilbert Added May 11, 2017 - 11:36am
Poor butt hurt Jeff Jackson. So. Damn. Sad. 
Did you learn your neener neener neener sthick from the teenagers you spend so much time with? And what's up with that? 
Jeff Jackson Added May 11, 2017 - 11:55am
Yes that's it, The cheerleaders and all that, the chants. I love teaching the kids to hate, well,  I can't say that now can I.
Eileen de Bruin Added May 14, 2017 - 4:27pm
The US is a great place to tour. I mean, not in an RV, just a car heading here and there, to ordinary towns as well and chatting to people along the way. We called in on Flint on our last trip which began in New York and ended in Chicago, with Salem, Maine and New England and also Canada ... niagara falls both sides and then the wonderfully, windy city of Chicago. A few bumfuck towns in between but always great scenery on the open road and the mountains. Always great travelling, nice people and lots of discussions.  Flint sticks in my mind because of its historically commemorated early resistance to slavery, because of its wonderful statue of Gandhi and because of its poisoned water. Throughout our travels, we always feel safe, welcomed and enjoy our discussions with all sorts of people. 
It is a great place reflecting its history and diversity of people. It has its problems, of course. Its political system is its worst one and no amount of comparing America to other countries and their corruptions or faults can make this at all justifiable Jeff.  Just by trying to say that, well, it is not too bad here and there are worse places means that you are perhaps making excuses and defending the indefensible.  Good thread, much learnt.
Jeff Jackson Added May 14, 2017 - 5:36pm
Eileen, while I understand your point, there are other nations that the politically correct of the U.S. would be going into convulsions and have massive cerebral hemorrages if they had to face a country like that every day.The U.S. is not perfect, although many WB writers insist that I am an authoritarian U.S.-loving proponent of all things U.S. and never, ever have anything bad to say about the U.S. That is not true in any sense of the word, but as long as they believe it, it will remain an fact in their tiny minds. I accept criticism of the U.S., a nowhere near perfect state. Read my latest post of behavior I find abhorrent of the U.S. governmental agencies.
I have big problems with India, where prejudice and discrimination are cultural traditions, and I have mentioned that in other essays and no one took issue. But then, no one has moved to the country that has almost a billion people, many of whom choose to leave and millions of others who would like to leave but simply can't.
I was interested in seeing what  reaction a bare-bones look at Thailand would get, and low and behold, many of the internet behaviors that are so predictable came about. The psychological behavior (did I mention I am a contributor to a psychology textbook?) of internet users (specifically WB trolls) has become quite predictable. What am I going to make of that? We'll see. Perhaps it was an experiment, and the mice found their way through the maze to the cheese.
John Minehan Added May 14, 2017 - 6:09pm
India, with its faults, is one of the places where the future is happening.  If that future will be an improvement or not, we have to discover.
Jeff Jackson Added May 14, 2017 - 6:28pm
The future may be happening but not so much for the untouchables, who are treated in ways that the U.S. treated minorities in the 1800s. If you research what happens to untouchables, you will not look favorably upon India. Sorry. You asked.
Eileen de Bruin Added May 15, 2017 - 1:19am
Yes, Jeff, I understand. The untouchables and the caste system which is endemic and, also in their modern times, because people in India continue to practise their outrageous prejudice with impunity. I am fully aware of the crass hypocrisy of immigrants into the UK, who carried these wrong behaviours with them whilst practising the rights and demands for equality. These contradictions and hypocrisies perpetrate division and prejuduce. Any European or American model made up of, generally, caucasion and various mixes cannot be cited as the peoples totally responsible for active prejuduce and discrimination.  It happens everywhere and in every nationality, race and, sadly, the Indian caste system perpetuates. When some of the untouchables came to the UK in the sixties they expected to be free of thse shackles, at last! But their compatriots brought it with them and so it continues.  
I spent only three months or so in Singapore, teaching children in a private school, but very quickly witnessed, and felt, the crass and keen hierarchical system of the predominant Chinese there! The traditional Tanglin Club, originally of the British officers, now 90+% Chinese with a few ex pat stragglers, still has its Winston Portrait and decors of colonialism. The cigar smoking Chinese love this decor and atmosphere!
One of the greatest myths, and evils, in our contemporary societies is that the leaders of the free world are totally blameful for all ills which occur.  No, but they could set higher minded examples of how to live, perhaps? Perhaps not using war and arms as a constant in achieving "world peace" might be a helluva breakthrough!
Jeff Jackson Added May 15, 2017 - 4:59am
Read Eileen's comments above. They not only practice it, they take it with them wherever they go I don't think there are any untouchables in the U.S. and if there were any and the Brahmins pulled that behavior they would be in the justice system for discrimination. I'm sorry but in the21st century this is unacceptable.
The U.S. is " waging a permanent war of aggression against the world's people." Yes, that must be why we give more than almost any other country to the poor all over the world. John, your brilliance is matching that of your other cohorts here on WB who cannot see anything good about the U.S. The comparison to Nazi Germany is so anemic, misguided and appalling that it merits no significant response, other than universal generalization, untrue on the face and in-depth, irrelevant and immaterial.
Eileen de Bruin Added May 19, 2017 - 6:17am
Hello there, yes, the US does send money abroad, but please be aware that monies in "aid" is often linked to political or trade stipulations. Herein lies the greatest control mechanisms of which we should become aware. With all kindness and respect, from someone who loves travelling to the US and has good contacts there, we need to open our eyes. Bowling for Columbine, however exaggerated, tells the true underlying story. Who are the warmongers? Is it I? Looking at the UK I am astonished at my compatriots' rabid racism and nationalism and its awful aggressive stance to everything foreign, its European neighbours and all. There is no such thing as aid without steings. And I still love the US and the UK. 
Eileen de Bruin Added May 22, 2017 - 9:36am
The Lady in the Cupboard.  I was thinking about her because of this thread and the implications of slavery. Or perhaps "tied" worker.  In Dubai, someone I know very well indeed and whom I have visited out there at least six times in the past ten years, has a "lady who does" in her house. This lady who "does" is a Filipino.  I have met her on a few occasions. She lives in a room behind the kitchen. She has her own, small, bedroom and shower.  She is "lucky".  She has one day per week to herself to go and see her friends.
Many of her compatriots do not get this at all. Some of them have to sleep on the floor in the kitchen or in the utility room.  This lady, who is in her late thirties, has a husband, a daughter, a sister and a farm back in the Philippines. The money she earns in Dubai - about five hundred GBP per month - is way beyond what she can earn in the Philippines. She has been working for my friend out there for about the past six years now and she was employed, previous to this, by other people. I spoke to her about her situation, oh about three years' ago now and asked her why she didn't go to the UK where she could earn much, much more and, therefore, be able to settle back home sooner. She told me that, in order to get a visa to go into the UK for work, it is necessary to pay a bribe in their home office or interior ministry and that she didn't have the money for that. She asked me if I would like to employ her and then I could sponsor her visa etc. I told her that, in our lives, my husband and myself have managed throughout by sharing the domesticities and that, in terms of child care, when my son was growing up, I found someone to help and paid her the going rate. If we ever needed any other help, in the garden or in the house, we paid someone to come in once a week or a month, whatever was needed. The concept of having someone in the house, on this basis, is alien to us.  It was always alien to my friend out in Dubai, as she grew up in the UK and never would have contemplated such an arrangement. Now, it is the norm to her after seventeen years of being out there and having had "this lady that does" in her home for more than six years now. She looks after the two children, clears up after them, takes care of them; I
This lady cannot just leave her employer.  Permission has to be sought and the new family employer will have direct contact with the previous one. Therefore, permission to leave can be denied and/or the employer can then arrange to have the lady sent back to the Philippines and ensure that she cannot get another job in Dubai.
She goes home once per year, for a month, and these costs have to be paid for by my friend. Conducting a marriage from afar, in such circumstances of these does make one wonder, of course. There is her sister in the same household in the Philippines so, perhaps it is as it is.
Whilst I was over, with my husband, the lady was in situ. She did everything including our laundry (which was great!); explicitly asked her not to call me "ma'am" and not to call my husband "Sir" which is how she calls my friend and her Pakistani husband (they are about eighteen years younger than I am). I told her to call me by my christian name and drop the fuss.  She told me that she had worked for other "westerners" in the past and that the Americans who would be in Dubai for a couple of years would treat her as an equal and insist on informality. Not in my friends household though. After being out there for so long, my friend is totally dependent on this very, very cheap "help" and doesn't give it a second thought nowadays. It has changed our relationship.
I recall, when there was just one child and we all went to the beach. The lady came with us to look after the little girl.  Her responsibility, mainly, is to look after the little girl in every way.  At the beach, I ordered three sun loungers and a couple of parasols.  I laid out the towels and, as the little girl was under three years of age, she would sit on the towel on the sand or with one of us on the lounger.  But the lady mistakenly thought that I had ordered the three loungers for us and the little girl and not for her!  She was very surprised at what I did. She was clearly highly subservient.
My husband went off with the little girl for an hour in the park there and she fell and grazed her forehead, slightly. When he got back with her, the lady whose responsibility was to take care of the little girl, was absolutely terrified about this graze.  I assured her that it was nothing and that my friend (the Mother of the little girl) would understand this to be a normal, playground injury, nothing bad at all! The lady was visibly terrified and implored me to make it clear to my friend that she had not been responsible for this. O