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Thailand, (remember: “The King and I”) is a beautiful country full of really nice people, ruled by King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has sat on the throne many years. He loves animals. In 1998, he adopted a stray dog: Thong Daeng. He really likes the dog.

In the year 2002, he wrote a book about the dog. It was a bestseller in Thailand. In May of 2014 , a military junta seized power and is ruling by decree, backed up by force. They are fiercely protective of the royal prerogatives. It has always been a crime in Thailand to speak ill or disrespectfully about the monarchy, but now it has been carried to a new level: a citizen has been arrested and is awaiting trial in a military court over a sarcastic Facebook post joking about the dog.

That joke resulted in a charge of sedition and insulting the king, and the citizen is facing a possible sentence of 37 years if convicted, due to his Facebook comments. This, for joking about a dog. In Thailand, the maximum penalty for rape of a human female is 20 years in prison; insulting the king’s dog: 37 years. We have always done well in collection of debt in Thailand. You can see why