More on the Harry Nicolaides Affair

In the 29 July, 2009 edition of Eureka Street, Australian writer Harry Nicolaides reported on a market at Tachilek in eastern Burma where child pornography is openly sold.  The authorities in Burma and Thailand must know about this market; Mr Nicolaides certainly had no difficulty finding it.  Yet, Mr Nicolaides writes, “unless you are a saffron-robed monk, you will not be searched on the way back across the border into Thailand.”  Nicolaides’ report was reprinted in the December  January issue of Chronicles (which I noted here.)

The Thai police have still done nothing about the trafficking of child pornography from Tachilek through their country.  But let it not be said that they have simply been idle.  No indeed.  In August, four weeks after the publication of the report, they arrested the reporter.  Monday, he was sentenced to three years in prison.  The court did not of course say that Mr Nicolaides was being punished for exposing the Thai government’s complicity in brutal crimes against children the world over.  Instead, the authorities cited a brief passage in an extremely obscure (sold only seven copies) novel Nicolaides self-published almost four years ago, claiming that the fictional character of a Crown Prince described there reflected badly on Thailand’s actual Crown Prince and thus violated the country’s strict laws against lese-majeste

Here is an online petition asking for the release of Harry Nicolaides. 

More information about the case, including links to several sites offering downloads of the novel which the Thai authorities cited as the cause of their action against Mr Nicolaides, can be found here

On 24 September 2008, a friend of Harry Nicolaides posted a piece about Mr Nicolaides’ arrest.  On 20 January 2009, the same friend posted about Mr Nicolaides’ plea and sentence; I commented on this latter post, bringing up Mr Nicolaides’ investigation into the child pornography industry and asking his friend whether he thought the prosecution might be the Thai government’s way of hushing that issue up.

Ancient Gas Warfare

From the BBC, a report that ancient Persians used poison gas in a battle with the Romans.

Conspiracy theory

Thanks to haha.


Harry Nicolaides

The man who told the truth

The man who told the truth

Recently, I posted on Australian writer Harry Nicolaides’ gut-wrenching expose of the complicity of the Thai and Burmese governments in the worldwide market for child pornography.  Now, Harry Nicolaides is in a Thai prison.  The official charge against him is that a novel he wrote and self-published in 2005, a novel which The Economist says sold “fewer than ten copies,” showed disrespect to Thailand’s Crown Prince, a man who is in fact never named in the novel.  Here’s an article on the case from Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, and here’s one from The Sydney Morning Herald about an Australian senator who is calling for action to free Nicolaides.

Rabbit in a Wheelchair


Ethel, the Special-Needs Rabbit

Marilyn Horne sings “Simple Gifts”

Ever since I heard the super-complicated arrangement of “Simple Gifts” John Williams prepared for the inaugural, I’ve been wanting to hear Aaron Copland’s arrangement of the song.  So here it is, sung by Marilyn Horne.  There are some other songs after it.

Day 1 in Office!

I am glad to see that President Obama has already started working on keeping promises.  Maybe an elected official can tell the true. 

“Obama’s new lobbying rules will not only ban aides from trying to influence the administration when they leave his staff. Those already hired will be banned from working on matters they have previously lobbied on, or to approach agencies that they once targeted.

The rules also ban lobbyists from giving gifts of any size to any member of his administration. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the ban would include the traditional “previous relationships” clause, allowing gifts from friends or associates with which an employee comes in with strong ties.

The new rules also require that anyone who leaves his administration is not allowed to try to influence former friends and colleagues for at least two years. Obama is requiring all staff to attend to an ethics briefing like one he said he attended last week.”

A New Song- Langston Hughes


“I speak in the name of the black millions
Awakening to action.
Let all others keep silent a moment
I have this word to bring,
This thing to say,
This song to sing:
Bitter was the day
When I bowed my back
Beneath the slaver’s whip.

That day is past.

Bitter was the day
When I saw my children unschooled,
My young men without a voice in the world,
My women taken as the body-toys
Of a thieving people.

That day is past.

Bitter was the day, I say,
When the lyncher’s rope
Hung about my neck,
And the fire scorched my feet,
And the oppressors had no pity,
And only in the sorrow songs
Relief was found.

That day is past.

I know full well now
Only my own hands,
Dark as the earth,
Can make my earth-dark body free.
O thieves, exploiters, killers,
No longer shall you say
With arrogant eyes and scornful lips:
‘You are my servant,
Black man-
I, the free!’

That day is past-

For now,
In many mouths-
Dark mouths where red tongues burn
And white teeth gleam-
New words are formed,
With the past
But sweet
With the dream.
Strong and sure,
They sweep the earth-

Revolt! Arise!

The Black
And White World
Shall be one!
The Worker’s World!
The past is done!
A new dream flames
Against the

original ending:

“New words are formed,
With the past
And sweet
with the dream.
Tense, silent,
Without a sound.
They fall unuttered–
Yet heard everywhere:

Take care!

Black world
Against the wall,
Open your eyes—

The long white snake of greed has struck to kill!

Be wary and
Be wise!
The darker world
The future lies. “

” . . so help me Dyēus.”

Dyēus Bless the USA

Bush Jr. Ends Illegal Occupation of White House

January 20, 2009