The recent submission Thai Corruption Exported to America by Anonymous struck a raw nerve with me, because the author associates
Thais with the corruption in Los Angeles, where I've lived for more than 23 years. As Anonymous points out, Los Angeles has a large resident Thai population of roughly 100,000. When he visited LA, he was disappointed by the smallness of Thaitown,
but might not realize that most Thais don't live there, and are dispersed into North Hollywood, and elsewhere. For the record, I'm farang. The Thai Americans I know aren't trying to exploit the welfare and immigration system any
more than the general population. Anonymous' wife has friends that live in the underbelly of society, but I think that reflects more on his wife's Thai friends than on Thai society in general. Just like his wife, I know only a very small
sample of the Thai population of LA, which is not statistically significant.
Over the past 10 years, I've spent perhaps a year of accumulated time in Thailand, and I've read the complaints about Thailand written by other farang authors on this site. Thailand has serious problems, but Los Angles is worse. If Thailand is a snake, then Los Angeles is a lawyer, and perhaps Anonymous is unfair to the snake. I sometimes snicker at farang complaints of Thais even when they are valid, because I see worse behavior in Los Angeles by non-Thais. I'm no expert on Thai culture, but when I am in Thailand I know to avoid farang-friendly Thais. I avoid farang neighborhoods altogether, because the Thais who hang out there are complete assholes. How many of these submitters are too stupid and lazy to learn a new language, thereby confining themselves to farang neighborhoods with English-speaking Thais? It's good practice to avoid English-speakers in any part of the underdeveloped world, not just Thailand.
Los Angeles is the name of both a city and a county in the state of California. Just as Anonymous implies, California is both fiscally and morally bankrupt, full of entitlements that dishonest people exploit. I have a farang ex-wife who twice collected welfare benefits for our common children but for whom I, not she, had custody. Both times I reported this case of welfare fraud to Los Angeles County, and both times she was forced to pay the money back. Was she prosecuted for fraud? No, but I was served with an Order to Show Cause (OSC) to appear in Welfare Court in order to collect the money from me that she had already paid back. I had no part in this scam. I paid a lawyer $1200 to accompany me to Court, whereupon we were told by the Deputy District Attorney to which the case was assigned that she had lost her paperwork. (This was a number of years ago, and the attorney fee today would be much higher.) My attorney immediately left the Welfare Court with me, and we filed a new OSC in “regular” family court to request a child support order from my ex-wife. As both my attorney and I knew, I had zero chance of actually obtaining support from my ex-wife even though I was the custodial parent. This was just a subterfuge to prevent the County from filing another OSC against me.
In Los Angeles it's unusual for a father to be granted child custody. I knew this when I filed for divorce, so I proceeded very carefully. After filing, I remained in the same home with my ex and the children, because if I unilaterally moved out, I would almost automatically lose custody. Meanwhile my soon-to-be ex-wife began trashing my personal belongings and physically assaulting me. I knew that if I lifted a finger to defend myself I would be hauled off to jail, subject to a restraining order, and forced out of the home, thereby losing custody. I couldn't take the kids and go to the nearest men's shelter because they don't exist. Those are for women. Instead, I rented commercial office space near the home, and surreptitiously moved my possessions. I lived in the office, but my soon-to-be ex couldn't prove it. Whenever I walked between the home and the office, I walked in circles and made certain I wasn't being followed.
During this period of time, which lasted several months, I was at great risk of arrest by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD). My ex-wife repeatedly called the cops on me, claiming that I had beat her up. Usually nothing came of this. On one occasion, they came into the home and put me in handcuffs, but subsequently released me. On another occasion the home was staked out by a swat team. I only heard the sirens, but I was told by a neighbor that sharp shooters were poised behind barricades with rifles aimed against the front of the home.
Finally came a custody evaluation by a feminist social worker, who recommended that the children should be with their mother. I moved out, but my ex's custody did not last long, because her boyfriend moved in after I left, and she repeatedly beat him up in front of the children. The LAPD was at the home about once a week breaking up fights. Multiple times, the boyfriend was hauled off to jail. Finally the court figured out that the children would be better off with me.
I am amazed that I emerged from this ordeal with custody of my children and no criminal record. She's sent at least two men to jail, but has never been arrested herself.
The bottom line is that Los Angeles is a hyper-feminist paradise that would even put the country of Sweden to shame. Thailand isn't.
For what it's worth, my reason for filing for divorce was adultery by my ex. However, this makes no difference legally, because California has no-fault divorce, as do almost all other states. Thailand doesn't.
My ex-wife was bitter after losing custody. On one occasion she phoned a child abuse hot line to claim that I was neglecting the children. Specifically, she alleged that my then 12 year old daughter had babysat her 5 year old sister. Two cops accompanied by a social worker knocked on my front door one midnight and demanded to speak to my children. I blocked the front doorway and declined to allow them to enter the home because my children were asleep. I also requested that they produce a search warrant. They didn't have a warrant, but moved out of the doorway after a cop waved a flashlight in front of my face and threatened to arrest me. The social worker questioned my children after they were woken and asked them which parent they liked the best, and then left, but did not remove them from the home. Those of you familiar with the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution know that the LAPD and social worker acted illegally. I had great fun suing both Los Angeles' (city and county) in Federal District Court under the Civil Rights Act. This was a pretty simple case, which I handled myself without a lawyer. I walked away with enough money to cover about two years of private school tuition (which incidentally is a necessity in Los Angeles, not just Thailand, thanks to the teachers union.) America still has a Federal court system with enough integrity to redress such a grievance against intrusive government. I can't say the same about the California system, which is quite corrupt. The point here though, is not the integrity of the court system, but intrusive government. I believe this insanity would never have happened in Thailand, or almost anywhere else that we euphemistically call the free world.
Anonymous also touched on the subject of illegal immigration by Thais, but doesn't seem to understand the root cause. In America, most immigration violations such as overstaying your visa are civil matters, not a criminal offense. Criminal prosecutions are quite rare. When the neighboring state of Arizona criminalized immigration violations, the Los Angeles City Council issued a proclamation imposing economic sanctions against the city doing any business in that state, but made an exception for a particular Arizona company that sells tasers to the LAPD. (I consider myself very lucky never to have been tasered, shot, or choke-held by those morons. Compared to the LAPD, the boys in brown are almost innocuous.) Imposing civil rather than criminal penalties for overstaying your visa means that only people with nothing to lose will violate the law. The civil penalties are quite severe, including blacklisting for life. People from many underdeveloped countries, not just Thailand, are willing to take the chance that they will be barred from ever entering the US again, and wait for a general amnesty which is granted every few decades when enough left-wing nuts get elected to Congress to pass such a law. Immigrants from more developed countries usually have more to lose, and are not willing to accept the risk.
Interesting but it would have been nice to read more about Thailand than LA.