Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Archive for December, 2014|Monthly archive page

Think for Yourself

In Opinion on December 24, 2014 at 4:26 pm

By my lights, there are two versions of the Golden Rule.

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Most people have concluded, have been taught that they are contradictory. I submit that they are perfectly congruent, even redundant if read properly.

» Both establish love of one’s self as the highest moral standard for the treatment of one’s fellow man.

» Both affirm the self-evident axiom that a person’s understanding of his rational self interest is the benchmark of all social interaction.

» Both reject the injustice of any man’s life being subordinated to another’s.

» Both rebuke treating Peter’s life merely as the means to Paul’s ends, absent mutual, volitional agreement.

That one has been misconstrued as a moral obligation to pursue self-immolating altruism and the other wrongly decried as the mantra of soulless, greedy egomaniacs is the victory of tyrants, a.k.a. preachers and politicians. The fact that statists have made both objects of derision ought to be a warning.

 

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Sony and South Korea: It’s not about the movie.

In Opinion on December 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is no more offended by an offensive movie than were the Islamists who raided the US embassy in Benghazi in 2012. The WSJ (see photo) Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 12.06.12 PMand others have suggested that the US government buy the movie from Sony (i.e., confiscate $44 million from taxpayers and compensate Sony for it’s poor business judgment) and distribute it ‘for free’ so as to “turn North Korea’s victory into an own-goal [I’ve heard that’s a soccer reference] and show [whom?] the West won’t bow to threats” and . . . and, er, nothing! I guess I was mistaken to believe that the editorial board was comprised of people with an average age greater than nine. What makes them think that spreading sophomoric humor around the globe is or ought to be part of a serious national security strategy? They, like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, must be taking advice from Tommy Vietor and Ben Rhodes. Or maybe it’s George Clooney calling the shots.

Get a grip. If the FBI, DoJ or DHS has evidence that North Korea is guilty of theft and extortion, fire up the B-52s. If our president is not prepared to defend the country, he should resign. In turn, if the country at large is not prepared to have the president stand up to such a pathetic tyrant, disband the armed forces, run up the white flags, and let’s see where the chips fall.

Similarly, if there is not credible evidence to substantiate the purported threats against Sony and American movie audiences – a threat communicated by something comparable to a Twitter post, by the way – we should either (a) ignore the threats or (b) stop wasting 100s of billions of dollars on “Homeland Security.” If DHS can’t distinguish between a high school prank and a legitimate national security threat from a rogue foreign power, what good is it? And I want a refund.

In a nutshell: Sony made some questionable business decisions, among them to produce another tasteless, slap-stick comedy and then to pull it from distribution. End of story – unless there’s a bona fide national security threat, in which case, see above. It is asinine for the federal government to be involved at any level other than confirming (or not) the existence of a threat against American lives and responding accordingly.

Where are the adults?