Egyptians need to come up with their own government. A people becomes free either when a tyrant is forcibly stripped of power (see U.S.A., Japan ca. 1945, France ca. 1789, Russia ca. 1919 and 1991) or after a very long time of gradual changes while suffering under marginally less tyrannical governments (see England).
The Egyptians have the chance to secure liberty and prosperity for themselves and their posterity. Either they can handle it, or they can’t. There’s no foreign army there to enforce good behavior; it’s all up to them.
In 1787, when America faced a constitutional crisis, some of its greatest citizens gathered in Philadelphia and, illegally, drafted a brand new constitution and seized control of the country through strength of argument and popular referendum. I’m not saying that Egyptians must do the same to earn self-government; frankly, holding anyone to the standards of The Founders is preposterous. But that’s the ideal to which popular uprisings should aspire.
Either the Egyptians can handles self-government – in which case some group will assemble and peaceably seize control – or they cannot. In either case, they shall get the government they deserve. I hope our national leaders understand that now is the time for all good men to STFU, and I hope against reason that Egyptians rise to the occasion. But the more we get involved in Cairo, the worse things will be.
Apollo posted this at 8:21 PM CDT on Thursday, February 10th, 2011 as Politics, Those Wacky Foreigners, Tragedy
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Ten false philosophies will fit the universe; ten false theories will fit Glengyle Castle. But we want the real explanation of the castle and the universe.
—Father Brown, in G.K. Chesterton’s short story The Honor of Israel Gow
Hubbard posted this at 2:36 PM CDT on Monday, January 10th, 2011 as Tragedy
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I recently had something of a personal victory in the criminal justice system. I played a very small role in the prosecution of two murderers who picked up a girl at a bar on Mardis Gras, killed her, dumped her body in the country, and set her on fire. The murderess got 60 years, her husband got life.
Seeing the inside of such a prosecution shows the true inadequacies of the legal system. We got, more or less, as strong a punishment as the law allowed for these two. Yet Christy’s still dead, her mother still mourns her, her friends still miss her, and, something that is frequently overlooked, the murderers have a young child who will grow up without his parents, and who will one day learn that his parents are monsters. In a murder case, there is no justice to be done; there is only vengeance to be had, and a society that needs protecting.
What is subtly horrifying about the case is that most of the investigation seems to have revolved around clues left from the attempt to burn the body (video surveillance from a gas station where they bought gas and a can; the murderess’s ID left beside the body, evidently in a hare-brained identity theft scheme). Had they just picked the girl up, murdered her, then dumped the body, there’s a decent chance they would have gotten away with it.
Getting away with murder is not at all an uncommon thing in America. About 1/3 of murders seem to go unsolved, and this is an improvement from a few years ago, when 40% went unsolved. With any “luck” – if you will – these cases may be solved at a later date. Or they might not be; viewers of Cold Case would be disappointed severely to learn the actual clearance rates for cold cases.
But of course, those clearance rates reflect only those murders we know of. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people, mostly juveniles, are reported missing. The vast majority are found, and returned home in one piece. But thousands of people each year simply disappear and are never seen again. Perhaps they run away, perhaps they’ve lost their memory, perhaps they died in an accident in the woods, or perhaps they were killed by people more adept at disposing of bodies than the Hernandezes. We can guess, but we can’t know.
459 murder victims have been found in the last 40 years along our nation’s interstates. Nearly all of these cases go unsolved because they appear to be committed by long-haul truckers who pick up people in one place and dump them in another. The FBI seems to think many of these crimes were committed by serial killers, and that may be correct.
It seems to me that if you’re going to kill a prostitute or hitchhiker and dump the body in west Texas, simply driving one or two miles off of the interstate would allow you easily to leave the body in a place where it wouldn’t be found. We can only calculate the number of such bodies in our nightmares.
It’s a dangerous world out there, probably more dangerous than most (any?) of us realize. Sometimes we can have to look at the crimes we solve – and how easily they could have slipped through the cracks – to get a terrifying glimpse at how many we don’t.
Apollo posted this at 2:03 PM CDT on Sunday, December 12th, 2010 as Tragedy
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