Yearly Archives: 2012

Gary Johnson anti-bipartisan ad has subliminal message

Libertarian candidate for president Gary Johnson’s campaign have now twice — and we expect more — inserted subliminal statements into a lightning strike b-roll of DC’s Washington monument. Previously, the words “1776 KICKS 1984′s ASS” were blipped by, but now this time Johnson’s message is that he’s taking no duff from the other major parties on the “wasted vote” syndrome invoked every four years against third party contenders.

In the video, Johnson tells voters, “For those of you worried I’ll take votes away from the Democrat and to those of you worried I’ll take votes away from he Republican, I say good.”

“They deserve to lose your vote. Take as many votes as possible away from the people in both parties keeping us in a state of perpetual war, increasing unsustainable debt, record joblessness, and a bipartisan economic death wish ruining America for 330,000,000 of us.” That’s some pretty powerful rhetoric.

Added to the end of the latest one, “Obamney is the new Bradgelina.” I of course deduct points for getting it wrong, but it’s a great pop culture shot across the bow of The Obamney: Failboat 2012.

More, please!

( -)-(- )4 comments

Obama prepping thousands of lawyers for election…

Foley said. “We’re in an era of increased litigiousness over the voting process.”

He said lawsuits after Election Day may occur only if votes in a battleground state are within the “margin of litigation.” That would probably be a difference of just hundreds of votes, a result that would be rare.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Gary Johnson’s headache for the GOP

He’s peeling voters away left and right, but especially right:

There hasn’t been a single poll out of Colorado this year that’s shown Mitt Romney ahead of Barack Obama. Tuesday’s Public Policy Polling poll is no exception: Obama leads Romney in a head-to-head matchup by 49 percent to 42 percent.

But add libertarian Gary Johnson to the mix and the numbers are slightly different: Obama leads 47-39, with 7 percent going to Johnson, according to the PPP poll.

At that level of support, if Johnson qualifies for the ballot, he could end up having a significant impact in a three-way matchup — not only in Colorado but across the Mountain West, where he figures to run strongest.

And it’s clear from a recent NPR interview that Johnson is intent on picking up the Ron Paul revolution torch:

“You know, I think that the message that I’m delivering is really identical to that of Ron Paul and Ron Paul, being a messenger, this would be coming out of his mouth, I’m the same thing. I’m a messenger here of the whole freedom/liberty agenda and the fact that I don’t think Ron Paul’s going to be the nominee – that would be by his own admission.”

“So this message comes to an end, unless I switch parties, become a Libertarian and, yeah, I get to continue this message. And I think it’s really important.”

If Johnson were to put on his political hat and seriously offer Ron Paul the Treasury Secretary position beforehand, it would be just due course for the Paul campaign organism to veer into the Johnson camp. At this point though, it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to meet the 15% threshold requirement for admission into the dreaded Commission on Presidential Debates (the corporate outfit that’s been keeping it two-party only since Perot’s 1992 bid nearly derailed the duopoly).

( -)-(- )3 comments

Google’s 16,000 cluster bot: It’s all about cats

It’s a neural network developed by “X laboratory” (which is an awesome sounding secret lab and they also are working on self-driven cars in Nevada, fuck yeah) that is one step closer to constructing artificial intelligence in computers. They turned it on, gave it very little direction except to recognize faces and pointed it in the direction of the YouTube thumbnail archives to feed on input — the “answer” it spit out was that it also recognized the composite face of a cat, in addition to humans.

Originally reported by the NYT:

And then, of course, there are the cats.

To find them, the Google research team, led by the Stanford University computer scientist Andrew Y. Ng and the Google fellow Jeff Dean, used an array of 16,000 processors to create a neural network with more than one billion connections. They then fed it random thumbnails of images, one each extracted from 10 million YouTube videos.

The videos were selected randomly and that in itself is an interesting comment on what interests humans in the Internet age. However, the research is also striking. That is because the software-based neural network created by the researchers appeared to closely mirror theories developed by biologists that suggest individual neurons are trained inside the brain to detect significant objects.

Currently much commercial machine vision technology is done by having humans “supervise” the learning process by labeling specific features. In the Google research, the machine was given no help in identifying features.

“The idea is that instead of having teams of researchers trying to find out how to find edges, you instead throw a ton of data at the algorithm and you let the data speak and have the software automatically learn from the data,” Dr. Ng said.

“We never told it during the training, ‘This is a cat,’ ” said Dr. Dean, who originally helped Google design the software that lets it easily break programs into many tasks that can be computed simultaneously. “It basically invented the concept of a cat. We probably have other ones that are side views of cats.”

There’s a long and rich history of cat worship dating back to the Egyptians and further so correlation is obviously something to consider.

Still, I suspect this could go down as the first undeniable “42″ moment in AI computer science, where the answer once again ends up baffling researchers more than the initial question.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Obama should keep his big mouth shut on baseball

If you or I were to talk smack about the Red Sox in Boston, we’d get what we’d deserve from die-hard fans. A lot of grumbling and a Bawstin accent-laden tongue-lashing, or worse. Well Obama is clearly no better:

Being booed was probably the last thing President Barack Obama expected from the crowd at a Symphony Hall fundraiser Monday night, but that happened when the president “thanked” Boston for Kevin Youkilis, who was just traded to the Chicago White Sox.

“I’m just saying, he’s going to have to change the color of his socks,” the president said laughing.

Youkilis was traded from the Red Sox, to Obama’s favorite team on Sunday for infielder Brent Lillibridge and pitcher Zach Stewart.

“I didn’t think I was going to get any boos out of here,” he said. “I should not have brought up baseball, I understand, my mistake, you got to know your crowd.”

I then presume he had the wherewithal to put on his trusty White Sox hat and strut out, flipping the crowd the bird. Haters gonna hate and whatnot.

Now ironically, as much as Obama claims to love his beloved White Sox, he’s actually terrible at throwing a baseball. He’s not just terrible, mind you, he literally throws like a girl.

At the July 2009 All Stars game in St. Louis, Obama was loudly booed before anyone could possibly have noticed what he was wearing (a White Sox Jacket). He of course threw the ball into the dirt after a pitifully high arc: see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

I ran away from sanctions

The US Congress has been considering tougher sanctions against Iran in “response” to Iran’s nuclear program; a nuclear program designed to produce energy, not to produce bombs. Though even if Iran were attempting to build a nuclear weapon, do they have a “right” to nuclear weapons? And who gets to decide?

This question is much more in depth than it may appear; thus giving an answer is much more difficult than may be expected.

Libertarians (and anarchs) generally believe that no groups of people have any more right than any individual. For instance, I do not have the right to steal your car. Thus, no group – regardless of size – has a right to steal your car; though groups known as government claim such an illegitimate right. In a similar fashion, every individual has an inherent right to defend themselves (including their friends, family and others from imminent attack) in any manner they see fit. That includes the right to own any weapon they believe is necessary to defend themselves.

Whether or not this right includes the right to own a nuclear weapon has been the subject of many debates. I believe that, as stated above, no group has more rights than any individual. Therefore, if any group claims the right to own a nuclear weapon, every individual has the same right to own said weapon. Though, I do not believe that anyone could legitimately use a nuclear weapon in a manner purely consistent with self-defense. Any discharge of a nuclear weapon would, no doubt, kill or injure someone not involved in any attack leading up to the supposed self-defense discharge of said weapon.

I realize this doesn’t exactly answer the question, but the subject needs a bit more explanation and historical perspective. Before the “Civil War” began in 1861, James Buchanan was criticized for not doing anything to prevent the southern States from seceding. Buchanan believed that while no State had a right to secede from the Union, the federal government had no right to prevent the State(s) from doing so. I take a similar approach in regards to nuclear weapons. While I believe that every person and group of persons have a right to own any weapon they believe is necessary to defend themselves, and I do not believe that any nuclear weapon can be used in legitimate self defense, I also do not believe that any person or group has the right to prevent anyone else from creating, building or owning such weapons unless the person or group attempts to use the weapon.

One final question that I will not answer: since the U.S. is the only country to ever use a nuclear weapon in war; why should that government be responsible for deciding who gets to own such a weapon?

( -)-(- )Comments Off

For Obama, almost a free lunch

A Father’s Day photo op for President Barack Obama went sour after the tab had to be settled. Here’s the flowery notice by ABC pre-fiasco:

The “Fatherhood Buzz” campaign is designed to “reach out to dads with positive information through barbers and barber shops as a part of the administration’s longstanding Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative,” according to the White House.

“The more information we’re getting out there to folks about how they could take responsibility for their kids, make sure that they’re in their child’s lives, help support their mother even if they’re not living with the mother, makes a huge difference,” the president told the men over heaping plates of barbecue.

Explaining his administration’s efforts to support families, the president said that children with involved fathers are “are less likely to do drugs… girls are less likely to get pregnant.”

“That message is something that we want to make sure gets out there,” he said.

The president delivered brief remarks to the press before diving into a platter of ribs, collard greens, black eyed peas and rice and a corn muffin.

“We’re going to eat in peace now,” Obama said as the cameras were escorted out.

Aww, make sure you get the good political parts on camera before the one-on-one pandering gets going. Such a great politician we should all emulate.

Later ABC posts a new story that between Obama and at least those two (not to mention the entourage of security, government staffers and press) they managed to leave behind an unpaid bill of $55.58.

Apparently Obama keeps trying to prove that he actually can eat a free lunch.:

Amid the bustle of President Obama’s surprise stop for barbecue Wednesday the White House apparently overlooked one key detail: the bill.

[...] The bill for the president and his four guests was $55.58, but was left unpaid at the point of sale, according to pool reports.

The White House corrected the oversight and settled up the tab by the end of the business day.

Which means the owner probably called the White House and press to complain. I imagine it was a bit awkward.

“YEESH OBAMA, THIS IS HOW YOU TREAT A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER IN THIS ECONOMY?” Or something along those lines. After all it’s a BBQ joint, we know they work hard for every dollar and have to look at ugly fat customers with sauce on their faces all day long.

I would have called to confirm a quote like this, but I have no idea which one of the Google results is the actual restaurant. If you’re bored, feel free to call them all and ask them for free food and see how that works out.

Well, no free lunch for you on Father’s Day or any other day Obama. Please stop trying to steal from hardworking small businesses.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Defending my pro-peace message

On June 16 the Keene Sentinel published a letter to the editor regarding my participation in the local Memorial Day Parade.

The letter reads, “I was angered and saddened to have to bear witness to the protesters that felt it necessary to be at the end of the parade. I do respect and understand their right to protest the war… they can do this every Saturday in Central Square.”

It seems Ms. Szoc wants to limit dissenting speech to a single day and to a single location in town. I’d like to remind her and others that free speech means just that FREE SPEECH. It does not mean popular speech or limited dissent only when other approve of the time and place of the dissent.

She continues, “Yet I found it very disrespectful to those who have or are serving our country to do this not just on Memorial Day but at the parade.” see more…

( -)-(- )2 comments


21/25: Ron Paul wins the Iowa Caucuses, at last

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Bristol Palin sued by bar heckler

Back in 2011, Bristol Palin was in a bar in Los Angeles when she was confronted by a heckler during the filming of her reality show Life’s A Tripp. The heckler, a guy named Stephen Hanks, called Bristol’s mother, Sarah Palin a “whore” and called her “evil”. Instead of walking on by, Bristol confronted him and asked him if he’s gay. All of the footage was used for her reality show, but he now claims that he never gave permission to be featured on the show. As a result, he is suing Bristol and the Lifetime Channel in federal court.

His lawyer Michael Gulden said that his client is seeking more than $75,000 in the lawsuit. Apparently, she referred to the bar incident as one of the reasons she left Los Angeles for her home in Wasilla, Alaska. He claims that she defamed him by claiming that their encounter was to blame for her decision to leave L.A.

He also said that he suffered emotional distress and invasion of privacy because of Bristol’s questions about his sexuality. The lawsuit said, “Bristol Palin’s conduct was outrageous. Bristol Palin first accused Plaintiff of ‘being a homosexual’ in a degrading manner in front of others…she then in a magazine article blamed Plaintiff for her decision to leave Los Angeles for Alaska even though she had purchased her home in Alaska…more than two months before the encounter.”

Life’s A Tripp is scheduled to premiere on the Lifetime Channel on June 19th. His lawyer added, “He has communicated with A&E regarding use of the footage, and they were non-responsive. He felt [filing the lawsuit] was all he could do to protect his rights.”

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Joe Scarborough on why he voted for Ron Paul

If the Libertarian Party doesn’t capitalize on this, oh my gosh I’ll be disappoint:

It was the first “protest” vote I’ve ever cast, and it felt … well, it felt good. Suddenly I understood a bit better why the Ross Perot or the Pat Buchanan or the Ralph Nader voters did what they did.

They thought the system was so broken that they couldn’t sit out but also couldn’t stomach voting for a conventional candidate at a time of unconventional problems.

Do I think a Ron Paul presidency is ever possible? No, I don’t. But I do want some of the Pauline virtues of candor and non-poll-tested conviction to play a larger role in our politics.

So now I’ve cast my protest vote. It felt good.

What I really want, though, is a party and a politics that’s commensurate with the problems and possibilities of the country. We’ll get there one day — and then we can focus on progress, not protest.

With Ron Paul semi-officially out of contention, the only credible third party or independent candidate left is going to be Gary Johnson. The only question is if everyone on the fence will once again wait until it’s too late to breathe life into his “brand awareness” campaign either financially or in-kind volunteering.

The tsunamis of voter discontent with the two-party system have been slamming higher and higher into public life on a regular basis every four years since Perot proved it could almost be done (you still need ridiculous amounts of money to be a threat to the party establishment). Around the world this is playing out with regularity as the masses discard their old political parties.

Maybe this is the year the tsunami of discontent topples a U.S. presidential election.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Rand Paul’s Romney endorsement

It’s, how shall we say…

It’s going over like a hot turd in the punch bowl.

Here’s a compilation of shit people on the internet are saying, with the Ron Paul campaign issuing one, two, three separate blog posts on our rootin’ tootin’ internet tubes trying their best to tell everyone the punch is still fine. There’s more smatterings of Rand Paul in other releases.

Their blog’s main page tell the story well enough as a visual:

Of course with clockwork predictability, an angry internet mob has formed and are now dropping additional turds in the punchbowl as they switch parties to the official Gary Johnson individual served libertarian weed and snacks party (The GOP could be stomping on Obama’s nuts over the war on freedom, but everyone high in the ranks of party life is too much of a professionalism pussy to acknowledge these wars are over when We the people say they are, but I digress). You fuckers still over at that popped collar debauchery lovin’ GOP party can quote me on that.

The punch is of course the GOP party, and the turd is… well let’s say replacing the turds isn’t what’s going to get this country out of it’s corporate überhomeland mode super wartime fun games xbox financial meltdown any time soon. The technocrats already have their starbucks residential compounds built in plain sight. It’s called La Jolla.

Okay, enough of my shit, on with the turd fiesta a bunch of other people plopped. see more…

( -)-(- )8 comments

Politicians Say the Darnedest Things

Politicians and bureaucrats are known for sticking their foot in their mouth and for simply making outlandish remarks. Rarely do so many instances happen in such a short period of time.

Early last week, it was revealed that the Bureau of Labor Statistics states a green job is either: a business that produces goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, or a job in which a worker’s duties involve making their establishment’s production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. This broad definition includes bus driver, bicycle-shop clerk and other unexpected lines of employment such as thrift store employee. Rep. Darrell Issa said the Labor Department “has jeopardized the integrity of employment data in some cases for clearly political reasons.” As if the Labor Department would manipulate employment data for any other reason!

President Obama caused a little bit of controversy during an LGBT event when he said Ellen DeGenerese “accepts a little bit of teasing about Michelle beating her in push-ups – but I think she claims Michelle didn’t go all the way down.” After an extended pause, Obama continued, “That’s what I heard. I just want to set the record straight — Michelle outdoes me in push-ups as well.”

A day later, Obama actually told the truth, yet wrapped it in a lie. “We’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the past 27 months. The private sector is doing fine,” said Obama. “Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don’t have the same kind of flexibility of the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.”

The truth of that statement being, “Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government.” However it was wrapped in a lie that the private sector is doing fine and the implication that more government spending can fix the weaknesses caused by state and local government. Huffington Post reports, “Since Obama took office, about 607,000 fewer people work in the public sector. State and local governments, unlike the federal government, generally have to balance their budgets, and with fewer revenues, spending cuts have forced layoffs.”

Yet, the most unusual thing said recently came not from a congressman, but from thousands of libertarian-leaning voters who claim Senator Rand Paul “betrayed” them by endorsing Romney. I would disagree.

I never expected much from Rand Paul mainly because Rand Paul is a Republican and has done everything in his power to distance himself from libertarians. Additionally to claim that Rand Paul betrayed a person or group implies that he owed allegiance to that person or group. Rand Paul is first and foremost a Republican, and that party is where his allegiance lies; not with a group of voters who hoped he would act like his father. Arvin Vohra writes, Rand Paul’s “choice was to swal­low a dis­gust­ing pill and live to fight another day, or end his polit­i­cal career in the Repub­li­can Party.” It is for that reason that I could never join or affiliate myself with the GOP (or the Democratic Party either, for that matter). I would encourage more people to leave the two major parties, as both parties support theft, war and destruction of rights.

( -)-(- )1 comment

Time to Wake Up: A Brief History of the 21st Century

So 9-11 happened.

19 losers decided to end their lives in the most pathetic way possible, but they did so in a contemptibly clever way. Rationally speaking, their actions called for one thing. Locks on Airplane cockpit doors. Afghanistan had to happen too. But logic and reason don’t really come into it.

We were hurt and angry. I was certainly angry. Personally and, I think, as a nation we saw the world through a red haze of rage. This Onion Article from September 26, 2001 describes where we were pretty well. We wanted to break something. The mess the first George Bush made of the cold war peace dividend provided an easy option. So we went into Iraq. In its way it was effective. Gaddafi sheepishly handed us his nuclear program years before we killed him. The only state sponsored organization planning terrorist attacks in the United States today is the FBI.

Remember the Washington Metro bombing plot? The New York subway plot? The guys who planned to blow up the Sears Tower? The teenager seeking to bomb a Portland Christmas tree lighting? Each of those plots, and dozens more across the nation, was led by an FBI asset.

We have convincingly demonstrated that anybody who has anything at all to lose should know better than to fuck with us. Is that all we are though? The red haze of rage is dissipating. American Casualties are falling as we outsource the fighting to contractors and robots. We have stopped caring. We shouldn’t.

The past week’s news has been horrifying. The machinery we built up in anger is still working very very hard. We are killing people in countries most of us couldn’t find on a map. We’re killing people for saying things and for listening to ideas we don’t agree with. We are making martyrs out of morons. Is that what we want to be?

The war on Terror is over. We won. Anybody who tells you different is trying to defend an appropriation or a talking point. We have won and it is terrible. What it has cost us is sometimes hard to see, but vast.

There will be real terror attacks in the United States again. We have shown that those who perpetrate them, and all who surround them, will suffer mightily. Who benefits from keeping up a constant level of suffering? Again, we are making martyrs out of discredited fools. Our current policies are making the inevitable next terrorist act more likely rather than less likely. Are we slowly turning into something that should be fought? My country, right or wrong, but I would rather be right.

It is time to wake up, look around and realize that our half-forgotten anger has taken us to some new and nightmarish places. It is time to wake up.

Robert Morris has written in a similarly hopeful fashion about the drug war

( -)-(- )1 comment

Gary Johnson ad: “Be Libertarian with me” one election

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson released a very well done web ad this week which has a distinctly Anonymous influence in its delivery and content, minus the usual voice synthesis. In the ad, he implores everyone with a pair of eyes smart enough to see the craptastic view of America as it is today to switch from the two major parties, but for just one election. And if it doesn’t work out, phooey on all of it you can have your tyranny back.

Here’s a transcript of the megaphone driven audio:

My name is Gary Johnson. Today I reach out to you: members of all political parties.

I reach out to everyone with a vote and an axe to grind.

From the Tea Party to the Constitution Party, Green and Libertarian Parties: I call out to all of you. Including the disaffected and disillusioned among the Republicans and Democrats.

Today, there’s a handful of people in Washington ruining America for three hundred and thirty million of us. They’ve kept our nation in a state of perpetual war; and increasing, unsustainable debt. This small group has presided over the elimination of our Bill of Rights, and the systematic dismantling of our freedoms guaranteed us under our constitution.

It is them we should be fighting, not each other. We the people will never agree on the small things, but let’s agree on the big things.

Our leaders have blown it. if we don’t get control of this ship together, and fix it together, we all go down with it together. see more…

( -)-(- )8 comments

Google plans to warn users of state-sponsored hack attempts…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

China forbids international tourism to Tibet indefinitely…
“In a matter of days, the number of expected foreign visitors to Tibet has gone from millions to zero”

Spate of self-immolations at root of closure…

( -)-(- )Comments Off


Tea Party and Occupy activists rub shoulders at Bilderberg protest…
PHOTOS…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Danger for Obama re-election: “media freak show”…

Another danger for the President: the media freak show. Stalking that circus’ center ring is Matt Drudge, whose caustic website continues to help drive the news cycle with an emphasis on negative, mocking items about Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and their wives. The latest sign of Drudge’s potency: Ed Klein, the author of the virulently anti-Obama book The Amateur, was barred from major TV appearances and mostly ignored by the mainstream media, but the book’s prominence on Drudge’s website propelled it to the No. 1 slot on the New York Times nonfiction list.

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Content ID run amok: Isaac’s lip-dub proposal removed from YouTube…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Life after a total hack

Life After A Total Hack is a short sci-fi story where everyone (yes everyone, on the entire planet) has their personal data and identities hacked and their habits posted online to a site called Schadenfreude.

Originally posted at BuzzFeed, here’s the fallout after six months:

Molly Newton began taking anti-depressants after it grew obvious Facebook would never be the same again. No one could ever trust that what they clicked and spied on would not be made public. Most of her other friends were already taking medication; she knew because she had read through the purchases on their bank accounts. The past several months had been difficult to maintain friendships at all. Everyone had secrets and no one had wanted them exposed. Since the hack, everyone was nervous and suspicious.

Molly missed her online communities: Facebook, SoundCloud, MyLife, Goodreads (though she hated to read), Twitter, Google+, Meetup, Foursquare, Pinterest, CafeMom (even though she did not like children), StumbleUpon, Flickr and LinkedIn, all of which she used to visit daily. When the hack occurred, she was nervous about visiting any of the sites lest more of her personal life get leaked online. She had been spending her time instead reading books and exercising; she had lost eighteen pounds and was in the best shape of her life. She had never looked better and could not feel good about it, because what she really wanted more than anything – more than being healthy and well-read and attractive – was to go on Pinterest and pin beautiful things to boards. The world was so much prettier and less cluttered on Pinterest, and she preferred it to the alternative of real life. see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

Charlie Sheen, winning chemical freedom his way

Charlie Sheen, apex of winning and launcher of verbal torpedoes of truth, has issued a statement about his alleged relapse into illicit substance use. Oddly enough, it’s in a pseudo ee cummings style, because apparently that’s just how the words flow for him:

I can’t speak to anyone’s opinion or judgement.
I was there
they were not.
their tepid
hearsay is a baseless
static drone.
a mantra.
their theme.
I refuse to be held hostage by their ‘constitutional’
privelidge,
to judge those
who can and who do.

nabobs.
CS

Walking the walk, and holding the throne as the Malibu Messiah, Sheen apologizes for nothing (not even the atrocious misspelling of privilege). see more…

( -)-(- )Comments Off

The Conviction of Hosni Mubarak

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was recently sentenced to life in prison for complicity in the killing of unarmed demonstrators during the first six days of protests that ended his rule last February. Reuters reports, “There were celebrations in the streets when the verdict was announced, but it was short-lived, as protesters learned of the mixed verdict: While Mubarak was sentenced to life in prison, he and his two sons were acquitted of corruption charges.”

Many of those gathered in Tahrir Square shouted and waved banners calling for the execution of the former dictator. Ramadan Ahmed (whose son was killed on Jan. 28, 2011) said, “justice was not served, this is a sham.”

Human Rights Watch called the verdict a landmark, but criticized the prosecution for failing to fully investigate the case.

“It sends a powerful message to Egypt’s future leaders that they are not above the law,” Human Rights Watch spokesman Joe Stork said. “These convictions set an important precedent since just over a year ago, seeing Mubarak as a defendant in a criminal court would have been unthinkable.”

The Boston Globe reports, “With the nation still awaiting the ratification of a new constitution, the election of a new president, and the handover of power by its military rulers, the decision is Egypt’s most significant step yet toward establishing the principle that no leader is above the law.”

Though I’m not convinced that this conviction proves that “no leader (or government official) is above the law.” If the “law” meant anything then those who carried out the actions would be held responsible in court. While Mubarak is certainly liable to some extent, he was not the one to kill any protesters. The Nuremburg Principles state: “Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefor and liable to punishment.” Based on this principle, every police officer, every member of a military and every other government official should be held criminally liable for any violation of the law.

The Badger Herald reports, “police are very rarely held accountable for deaths they cause on the job… on-duty police who shoot citizens are prosecuted less than 2 percent of the time.” Not to mention the minimal percentage of military personnel who are charged with killing civilians.

While it makes people “feel good” to symbolically chop off the head, the people who commit the acts are ultimately responsible for their own actions.

( -)-(- )1 comment