Saturday, June 07, 2014
Judging Edward Snowden, Part 2
Last week, I noted that Peter Schwartz and Amy Peikoff had commented on the possible motives for Edward Snowden's release of sensitive documents (including evidence of illegitimate government spying on American citizens) and his subsequent actions. This week, Schwartz answered his critics, starting with the following:
If Edward Snowden truly valued individual freedom, here is how he would have proceeded. He would recognize that America, when compared with the rest of the world, is a haven of liberty. He would understand that America has enemies and that the use of force against them, whether in the form of military attacks or covert surveillance, is a means of safeguarding our freedom. He would therefore clearly distinguish between the unjustified, wholesale spying on American citizens and the justified spying on foreign threats to us.I have found this discussion instructive, not just regarding its immediate subject matter, but also more generally, with regard to making calls on difficult questions regarding the behavior of others.
That is precisely what Snowden did not do. [bold added]
"The need for tidiness and organization is often a need for control, and this is not necessarily a bad thing." -- Michael Hurd, in "OCD and the Perils of Risk Aversion" at The Delaware Coast Press
"[L]ying can be hazardous to your mental health." -- Michael Hurd, in "What Honesty Really Does for You" at The Delaware Wave
"[Michael] Rubin's case studies are replete with officials downplaying, whitewashing, and evading their adversaries' flagrant duplicity and brutality." -- Elan Journo, in Review of Dancing with the Devil at The Middle East Quarterly
In More Detail
In his review, Journo helpfully suggests that we learn from the diplomatic mistakes we made in our Cold War diplomacy with Russia and China -- and apply the lessons to our current failed dealings with state sponsors of terrorism.
A Rare, Documented
A comic strip writer (and fan of Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson) recently managed to get a few installments of his strip drawn by the man himself. Here's the dialog from the strip that got the ball rolling:
Panel 1To see the above strip, and to read the incredible and amusing story behind the collaboration of Watterson with Stephan Pastis, go here. Pastis also provides links to the first three of the collaborative strips.
[A man and a woman are seated next to each other at a bar. Caption: Newly-single Stephan tries picking up women.]
Stephan: Couldn't help noticing you're reading the comics page ... You know, I draw a comic strip.
Woman: Oh yeah? Which one?
[The two characters stare at each other.]
Stephan: Ever heard of Calvin and Hobbes?
[The two are lying next to each other in bed.]
Stephan (thinking): That was wrong.
Last but Not Least
As I sometimes joke to my friends about my very limited writing time, as a father of a toddler and an infant:
Blogs? I barely follow my own!I have even less time to monitor such things as site statistics, or I would have noticed some time ago that Gus Van Horn surpassed half a million unique visitors.
Thank you very much for your part in helping me reach this milestone.