Your Wednesday Daily Outrage was right to call out the authorities in Thailand that charged a man with lèse majesté, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison, for insulting the Thai king on Facebook.
But there is an even bigger outrage: In May, Thai authorities charged a U.S. citizen, Joe Gordon of Colorado, who was visiting his native Thailand, with lèse majesté because he allegedly translated and posted links to a banned biography of the king on his website — while he was in the United StatesGordon has been denied bail and remains in the atrocious Bangkok Remand Prison awaiting trial. (The banned biography is no hatchet job; it is “The King Never Smiles” by Paul Handley, published by Yale University Press.)
Perhaps the worst outrage of all is the U.S. State Department took three months to make any public comment and then only said it was “disappointed” by the detention of its citizen.
Tul Saksith, Los Angeles
No laboring on Labor Day
For the three days of Labor Day Weekend, not a shovel, truck or crane was operated at the new Transbay Terminal expansion site. Sitting idle were millions of dollars worth of equipment funded by millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money. And we wonder why we can’t compete with China?
Theodore Carl Soderberg, San Francisco
Demographics skew stats
Wednesday’s San Francisco Examiner cited The City’s low rate of enlistment in the Marines. Unfortunately, you overlooked a major cause. In family-unfriendly San Francisco, the percentage of people of prime enlisting age — around 18 years old — is unusually low.
Indeed, San Franciscans aged18 or less are only about 14 percent of the population, among the lowest in U.S. cities. So it stands to reason that The City would have a low turnout for Marine enlistments, anti-war sentiment or not.
Russell Bratburd, Pleasant Hill
Atrocities still happening
Amnesty International this past week documented outrages committed by the victorious Libyan rebels upon sub-Sarahan black migrant workers living in Libya’s cities. In one instance, scores of Eritreans were huddled in a hovel without water or electricity, fearing what would befall them if they ventured out in public.
So this is the Arab Spring? There are racist killings in Libya, al-Qaida trying to take over Yemen and Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood pushing to abolish the Egyptian peace with Israel. If this is Arab Spring, I wonder how bad the “Arab Winter” was.
Scott Abramson, San Mateo