Thursday, February 25, 2010
Two on Tiger Woods
The recent public apology by Tiger Woods for his marital infidelity has, like other celebrity news generated mostly banal commentary, but I stumbled across a couple of people with interesting things to say about it (or because of it) yesterday.
First, Brian Phillips, who has followed Woods since he was in high school, considers the ethical and psychological dimensions behind his behavior.
[Woods] believed that his accomplishments on the golf course, which resulted from an unparalleled devotion to his values, allowed him to [act] against his values in his personal life.Thomas Sowell takes the Woods apology as his point of departure, and discusses the inappropriateness of most public apologies. While I suspect that Sowell might disagree with me that Woods does owe an apology to his fans for his disappointing behavior, he eventually brings up an excellent point I'd never heard before when he moves on to recent "apologies" for slavery.
This conflict remained hidden from the public until last November, at which time Tiger's carefully honed image disintegrated. Tiger's soul was exposed as that of a second-hander, that of a man who lived one way in public and another in private. In public he was presented as a devoted husband and father; in private he was a philandering scoundrel. The reason, Tiger claimed, was because he thought of nobody but himself. But the truth is, Tiger did not think of himself--in fact he did the exact opposite.
[S]lavery is not something you can apologize for, any more than you can apologize for murder.This, of course, is on top of the absurdity -- which Sowell also mentions -- of today's non-slave-owning politicians apologizing to today's non-slaves for the instiution of slavery.
Fascist Pig ... gy Bank
Paul Hsieh has written an excellent op-ed about Barack Obama's latest fascist scheme to steal from the productive -- don't worry, el Presidente is asking for
[R]egardless of the precise method employed, the basic principle would be the same: Your money would no longer be your money. Instead, the government would claim the right to redistribute your wealth to pay for others' retirement on the grounds that they needed it more. In essence, the government would be implementing the Marxist principle: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.""Your money would no longer be your money." Aspects of this retirement scheme remind me of a medical "Flex" account I tried a few years ago. For the ability to claim less tax income, I set aside pre-tax dollars for medical expenses. No, I couldn't keep whatever I didn't spend, so I had to budget by predicting the unpredictable -- or go on a medical spending spree at the end of the year. I had to keep track of an annoying, ATM-like card. I had to periodically send medical receipts to the company contracted to run my account in case I was really trying to defraud Uncle Sam by spending my own money. Yes, I had to waste lots of time whenever my billing got screwed up, which it predictably did. And yes, it was so much trouble, I got out of the program because I figured that more time and less hassle were worth far more than the trivial amount of money the Flex account saved me.
Guess what any "private" retirement option would be like under such a scheme.
The image above is from Despair, Inc. Other images, many hilarious, can be found here. I believe I've seen their take on government somewhere before.
According to the Blog Carnival web site, Secular Foxhole will be hosting this week's Objectivist Roundup.
I haven't had time to look at it much, but through HBL, I have learned of yet another pro-freedom health policy organization, the Galen Institute.
Quote of the Day
I don't agree with all the advice here on starting a political blog, but I found this comment quite wise as a general policy:
[N]ever bother to explain yourself. Your friends do not need it, and your enemies won't believe you.The point being addressed is a common manifestation of determinism affecting how one interacts with others. (HT: Glenn Reynolds)
The World's Most Useless Device
As seen at Unclutterer...
Insistent thing, isn't it?