Peace Prize for Edward Snowden

The other interesting email I got from Melanie Jones is in support of the proposal that Edward Snowden be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his actions.


Dear David Hoffman,

Edward Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Two Norwegian MPs have put forward the whistleblower’s name for one of the world’s highest honors for “[contributing] to a more stable and peaceful world order” and speaking out against abuses of power.

If President Obama, a man responsible for mass drone killings, can win the Peace Prize, then there’s nothing barring the man who helped expose his unconstitutional overreach and threat to international transparency.

Please, join us in calling on the Norwegian Nobel Committee to listen to these MPs and put Snowden on the shortlist in March, helping him secure asylum in sympathetic nations and showing Obama he deserves to be pardoned.

PETITION TO NORWEGIAN NOBEL COMMITTEE: Put US whistleblower Edward Snowden on your shortlist for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

Click here to sign — it just takes a second.


— The folks at

Image representing Edward Snowden as depicted ...
Image via CrunchBase


Since the main criteria for recent winners of the Nobel Peace Prize seems to be acting against the interests of the United States and the West, I suppose Snowden is as good a candidate as any, especially since unlike a certain recent Nobel Prize laureate, he has managed to do something before being nominated.


To tell the truth though, I am not sure to what extent Snowden should be regarded as a hero. He has indeed helped to expose some of the more egregious abuses of power by the NSA and other agencies. I would fell more comfortable assigning him the role of hero  if he were not currently residing in a country that has been historically known for spying and abusing its citizens. I also can’t help but consider that he has done more to help the bad guys in the world, terrorists and authoritarian nations like China and Russia than he has helped any Americans. It’s good to oppose the misdemeanors committed by the US government, provided you don’t aid and abed felonies committed elsewhere.




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European Union Wins Peace Prize

As if to prove what a joke the Peace Prize has become, the Nobel Committee awarded the prize to the European Union this year recognizing its important role in keeping the peace in Europe for the last fifty years. I read the story in Yahoo News.

The European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for promoting peace, democracy and human rights over six decades, a morale boost for the bloc as it struggles to resolve its economic crisis.

The award served as a reminder that the EU had largely brought peace to a continent that tore itself apart in two world wars in which tens of millions died.

The EU has transformed most of Europe “from a continent of wars to a continent of peace”, Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said in announcing the award in Oslo.

“The EU is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and considerable social unrest,” Jagland said. “The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU’s most important result: the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.”

Jagland praised the EU for rebuilding Europe from the devastation of World War Two and for its role in spreading stability after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

If keeping the peace qualifies one for the Peace Prize, then why not award it to the US military? They are the ones that freed Europe from the threats of Nazism and Communism. Why not give the prize to NATO? How do you give an award to a whole country or a confederation of nations anyway?

Personally, I think that Paul Ryan should get some kind of peace prize for resisting the temptation to punch Joe Biden.

Norman Borlaug

Dr. Norman Borlaug

Here I want to bring a little bit of attention to the greatest hero that you have never heard of, Norman Borlaug. What did he do that was so great. He only saved about a billion people from starvation. I know that is not quite as important as the latest celebrity antics but I think he deserves more recognition than he has gotten.

Borlaug lived from 1914-2009. He was an agronomist. He worked with wheat in Mexico, producing dwarfed varieties that had thicker stems, which effectively double the yield. He brought his expertise and his dwarf wheat to India and Pakistan averting the mass starvation predicted by Paul Ehrlich and other Malthusians. From there, he played a key role in launching the Green Revolution which helped to feed millions of people in Asia and Africa.

Naturally the environmentalists hated him. They tried to prevent his work in Africa. They condemned his methods as producing unnatural and possibly harmful crossbreeds. They objected to his bringing  large-scale agriculture to poor countries, which led to profits to large agricultural companies, and incidentally helped lift the subsidence farmers out of poverty. They didn’t like the development that his methods brought to previously undeveloped regions because roads, etc hurt the environment. Borlaug didn’t have much patience for this kind of criticism.

Some of the environmental lobbyists of the Western nations are the salt of the earth, but many of them are elitists. They’ve never experienced the physical sensation of hunger. They do their lobbying from comfortable office suites in Washington or Brussels. If they lived just one month amid the misery of the developing world, as I have for fifty years, they’d be crying out for tractors and fertilizer and irrigation canals and be outraged that fashionable elitists back home were trying to deny them these things

Norman Borlaug did get some recognition during his life. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, back when the Peace Prize was actually awarded to people who promoted peace. He also won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and a Congressional Gold Medal in 2006. Still, it would be a nobler world if his name were a household word.

Here is an interview which appeared in in 2000.