First the headline-
Linking President to Penis May put Pole in PrisonWhich Pole are we talking about? For a surgeon may be needed.(Sarcastic laughter time)
Now as Paul Harvey might say, here's the rest of the story.
WARSAW (Reuters) - A Polish computer programmer could face up to three years in jail for linking a Polish word for penis to the presidential Web site.This should be a matter of free speech, and a criminal offense. I always feel there's danger when the government or any official can decide what is allowed and what isn't.
Marek W., 23, created a programme that caused the official home page of Polish President Lech Kaczynski to rank first in the list of results on the Google search engine when "kutas", a vulgar term in Polish, was typed in by an Internet user.
The computer programme did something similar to a practice known as "Google bombing" that links the Web sites of politicians and companies to insulting words or phrases.
He has been charged with insulting the president and prosecutors said on Friday he could face up to three years in jail if convicted.
"This is not a matter of freedom of speech," said Andrzej Holdys, a regional prosecutor in the southern town of Cieszyn, where the programmer lives.
"If somebody uses a derogatory word to libel the head of state than it's a clear insult which violates the law."
Police said the suspect confessed to writing a programme to test his skills at creating a Google bomb. Police and prosecutors did not give the programmer's full name, as is usual when someone faces charges in Poland. He has not been detained.
President Kaczynski and his twin brother, the prime minister, have been popular targets for jokes and caricatures both in Poland and abroad. They are referred to as the "ducks" because their name is related to the Polish word for the bird.
James Joyner notes-
More seriously, this isn’t exactly a strong indication that Poland has fully embraced liberal democracy. The former Warsaw Pact nation was one of the first to stand up against Soviet domination and has been admitted to full membership in the EU and NATO. It’s about time for them to get on board the free speech bandwagon.Yes one Russia is enough. I guess old habits are hard to break in that part of Europe. Polish politics were much simpler when this man was President. I got to look through our old photo albums. My wife had her picture taken with Aleksander Kwaśniewski in 2000 when we visited Poland.
Update- The photos we have of Kwasniewski don't include my wife but I have put them below. The Polish President signed a postcard for Leonita, but the signature is hard to decipher. Leonita did talk to the President for like two sentences. Something about her being from Florida.
The photos were taken in Hel Poland, August 2000. See how close we got to a President. I'll never be that close to whomever is elected in 2008. Go to the
wikipedia link above if you don't believe that is President Kwasniewski. Besides don't all those men in sunglasses remind you of the US Secret Service?
If you want to see my Filipina wife ride a Polish pony, click here. LOL.
Linked to- Adam, Morewhat, Right Wing Nation, Third World County,