Sign of the times: Ohio man gives Barry the bird


[photo credit: Chronicle Telegram]

The Libertarian Party of Ohio is was hilariously treading out there by posting this on their facebook wall (see update). With the context and the great framing, I am certain this man’s symbolic discontent will ultimately haunt us over and over.

Taken by Bruce Bishop at the Chronicle Telegram during president Barack Obama’s July 5th visit to Amherst, the newspaper for some reason decided not to post it in their own website’s photo gallery of the visit. The photo — which was apparently only posted to facebook and now technically now belongs to them as well — had the following caption:

What do you think of this picture Bruce snapped yesterday? Clearly not everyone was happy with the president coming through Lorain County.

This Elyria man said that “I’m not against Republicans or Democrats, I don’t like any of them.” When the President’s motorcade made the short jaunt through Elyria he raised both arms over his head and gave the presidential bus the finger.

This is one time where I’d ask Barry to autograph something.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Marty Readling for the heads up, Hammer of Truth brings you news that the LPO decided to pull the photo.

According to the page’s account holder, it was removed after “a string of vulgar comments” was posted in the comments.

They added, “It was a very popular image to share all well as opened people up to a bunch of comments. I didn’t do it for publicity per se. It was a provoking image to stimulate thought and discussion. Unfortunately it allowed a forum for nasty comments. Sometimes it’s best to just move on.”

Why they couldn’t just remove those comments is beyond me, but I’ve included the original photo they posted below to show that there was a major difference between the unedited version we posted on Hammer of Truth and what the LPO put out there.

A word of advice to the LPO: when it comes to getting egg on your face, you can’t delete shit on the internet — especially this clumsily — without having said shit end up all over you in the process. What started as a somewhat cool, hip move on the LPO’s part now leaves us wondering what kind of vulgarity necessitated the entire facebook photo’s removal.

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And don’t replace

Mitt Romney will ultimately go down as a contender who was running against himself.

Romney’s campaign sloganeers have firmly established that they don’t even understand how the left/right paradigm even works on this podium placard. We leave it to Gary Johnson to hit him from the right, as he promised.

UPDATE: I agree with most everything Tim Brown says here:

In my opinion, today’s ruling will give ammunition to the GOP for good campaign rhetoric, but will it produce anything of substance when it comes to actually repealing Obamacare? That is the issue. We’ve heard enough rhetoric. Let’s see some action on it that the Constitution affords and leave people alone to make their own choices when it comes to health care, insurance and any other thing that involves their private property. Just get government out of our lives and don’t replace it with anything.

I know it’s hard to wake up. I know how it feels to be safe in our dreamland, but reality is crashing in. What real solution is being pushed forward here? There really is only one, full repeal and don’t replace Obamacare with anything. The American people don’t want it. It isn’t demanded in the Constitution and people should be left to their own pursuits of healthcare should they desire it.

If the Republican Party falls in lockstep with Romney on the replacing rhetoric, that “ammunition” will end up in their own feet.

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Some changes in the matrix

I’m switching a few things around in the Hammer of Truth control tower (see our dev log), so while we figure out how long it takes to fix our hilariously broken Piwik stats server (which was awesome until we did some migration stuff and then kablooey), enjoy the open registration here. If you know someone who knows someone who has libertarian tendencies and hasn’t already won the somewhat coveted login ability at our online pillow fort then tell them all about it with your ESP or whatever kids have these days.

As for me, I’ll keep doing what I can around here to keep you informed, while at the same time wearing a lot of other professional(-ish) hats and attempting to drive the liberty sucker empire of information nodules into the sun. Wish me luck.

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Pauls’ now fight for “Internet Freedom”
Manifesto…

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New consulting firm created to help Libertarian candidates…
Liberty Torch Political Consulting, LLC…

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Slow rEVOLution: With ‘freedom’ in fashion, is libertarianism back?
Something’s going on in America this election year: a renaissance of an ideal as old as the nation itself – that live-and-let-live, get-out-of-my-business, individualism vs. paternalism dogma that is the hallmark of libertarianism.

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Pentagon to fight leaks with ‘fog of disinformation’…

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Bad cops, bad cops: watchoo gonna do when we come for you?

Every encounter between police and moral law abiding citizens has devolved into a Mexican standoff. They have the power to inconvenience most of us, and we have that same power… to what end?

Here’s a funny story about the latter end of that equation for one unfriendly cop:

Despite an impressive criminal record and his latest suspension, Bosque maintains that he’s on the positive end of the good cop/bad cop spectrum. “I’m an excellent police officer but I break the rules,” he told The Herald. Hard to argue with that coming from a man who in August 2000 told a teenager, “I am the law, if I feel like it right now I can fuck you up and no one will say anything about it.” Charming.

Here’s a few of Bosque’s greatest hits, as reported by The Herald:

May 22, 1998: Bosque calls in sick for work, claiming food poisioning. Takes a vacation in Cancun, Mexico.

Sept. 5, 1999: Excessive force accusations filed against Bosque by a man who claims the officer kicked and punched him repeatedly while handcuff. Police authorities reportedly took no action on the case.

Jan. 19, 2004: Suspended for 45 days after beating a handcuffed suspect into a pulp. According to The Herald, “The victim was beaten until bloody and there was blood spilled all over the station house floor.”

July 22, 2004: The Herald reports that Bosque was “accused of fondling a corrections officer in his squad car.” But he was not punished. Why? According to investigators, “the woman involved admitted she refused to say ‘no.’”

Jan. 24, 2011: Promoted to sergeant.

July 2012: Internet Shitstorm as his career of underachieving is exposed.

Think about how hard it’s going to be for Sgt. German Bosque, “the South Florida cop who won’t can’t stay fired” after this series of stories is permanently attached to his digital dossier? I’m sure the increased insurance premiums a city or county must now fork over for hiring rogue cops can make it less attractive should he receive even the slightest further investigation (which could lead to even more corruption, if the department is willing to overlook citizen complaints).

Even now, the mayor of Opa-Lock appears to be a willing player in the power trip tale — someone who Bosque had driven around as a personal cheufer — as he’s still pulling in a paycheck and “sleeping late and watching telenovelas and Cops reruns,” according to his lawyer. I’ve seen plenty of Cops reruns, I would not encourage anyone who is seeking a healthy respect for humanity to look to them for guidance.

I’m not glad he’s got free time to sit around on his duff on the taxpayer’s dime, so I heartily laughed at his comeuppance to him via facebook.

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The good, the bad and the ugly: Supreme Court style

During the last week of June, the Supreme Court issued two major rulings, one regarding Arizona’s tough immigration law and the other the much awaited verdict of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called “Obamacare.”

The court rightly ruled 3 provisions of Arizona’s SB 1070 to be unconstitutional. SCOTUSblog reports, the court invalidated “sections [of the law] making it a crime to be in Arizona without legal papers, making it a crime to apply for or get a job in the state, or allowing police to arrest individuals who had committed crimes that could lead to their deportation.” Essentially the court ruled that employers can’t be forced to act as law enforcement and that individuals are not required to carry identification at all times.

The court allowed the worst provision of the law to remain intact, that being the provision allowing police “to make a ‘reasonable attempt . . . to determine the immigration status’ of any person they stop, detain, or arrest on some other legitimate basis… The law also provides that ‘[a]ny person who is arrested shall have the person’s immigration status determined before the person is released’.” [PDF] In layman’s terms: if you see a cop in Arizona and say “hi” or ask him a question, he then has the authority to determine whether or not you are legally present in that jurisdiction.

Sadly, upholding the “papers, please” provision of SB 1070 is not the worst ruling by the Supreme Court. On June 28, the court upheld the most offensive provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. see more…

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Bill to audit Federal Reserve moves to floor vote this month…
Who will pick up Ron Paul’s role of chief Fed critic?

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EIT reminds us it’s all about blowing shit up on July 4th…

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Immortal Technique builds orphanage in Afghanistan…

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Miami CBS caught with pants down over ‘bath salts zombie’, no bath salts found…
FLASHBACK: CBS pushed Drug War connection…
“We have seen, already, three or four cases that are exactly like this where some people have admitted taking LSD and it’s no different than cocaine psychosis”

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Gov. Gary Johnson opposes Supreme Court ruling on health care

{reprinted from the Gary Johnson campaign blog}

GOV. GARY JOHNSON CALLS SCOTUS HEALTH CARE RULING AN “INCREDIBLE BLOW TO BEDROCK PRINCIPLES”

June 28 2012, Santa Fe, NM – Libertarian presidential nominee and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s health care ruling:

“It has been clear for a while that we need a new President and a new Congress. Now it appears we need a new Supreme Court.

“Whether the Court chooses to call the individual mandate a tax or anything else, allowing it to stand is a truly disturbing decision. The idea that government can require an individual to buy something simply because that individual exists and breathes in America is an incredible blow to the bedrock principles of freedom and liberty. It must be repealed, and Congress needs to get about doing so today.

“There is one thing we know about health care. Government cannot create a system that will reduce costs while increasing access. Only competition and the price transparency that competition will bring can accomplish the imperatives of affordability and availability. Whether it is the President’s plan or the Republican prescription drug benefit, the idea that anyone in Washington can somehow manage one of the most essential and substantial parts of both our quality of life and the economy is, and always has been, fundamentally wrong.

“We can never know how many Americans are out of work today because of the uncertainty the monstrous health care law has caused. The Court has done nothing to remove that burden.

“Nothing about today’s decision changes the basic reality that it is impossible to eliminate deficit spending and remove the smothering consequences of federal debt without dramatically reducing the costs of Medicare and Medicaid. And neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have given the slightest hint of willingness to do so.”

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Report: Drones could be hijacked by $1000 ‘GPS spoofing’

UPDATE: The research comes from the Radionavigation Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. It’s evident from the publication listing that they are pretty much the authority on GPS spoofing and spoof detection techniques, for anyone who wants to dive into the technical side. /UPDATE

Fox News:

A small surveillance drone flies over an Austin stadium, diligently following a series of GPS waypoints that have been programmed into its flight computer. By all appearances, the mission is routine.

Suddenly, the drone veers dramatically off course, careering eastward from its intended flight path. A few moments later, it is clear something is seriously wrong as the drone makes a hard right turn, streaking toward the south. Then, as if some phantom has given the drone a self-destruct order, it hurtles toward the ground. Just a few feet from certain catastrophe, a safety pilot with a radio control saves the drone from crashing into the field.

From the sidelines, there are smiles all around over this near-disaster. Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the University of Texas at Austin’s Radionavigation Laboratory have just completed a successful experiment: illuminating a gaping hole in the government’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones.

They could be turned into weapons. see more…

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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!

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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…

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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?

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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.

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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…

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