Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Too much going on at once

Cuba Cuba Cuba. No, Sen. Rubio, America will not "be less safe as a result of the president's change in policy" because dictators in Venezuela, Iran and North Korea will try to take advantage of the United States. That is probably the stupidest thing anybody has ever said. In the first place, neither Venezuela nor Iran have threatened the United States in any way, nor could they, nor could North Korea, nor could Cuba have done so at any time in its history. And how normalizing relations with Cuba has anything whatsoever to do with those other countries is inexplicable. Just completely idiotic. There is zero economic or national security interest of the United States in not having normal diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba, and the policy certainly wasn't doing anything to promote human rights there. This was long overdue.

As for Sony cancelling release of a movie (which by all accounts sucks a moose) over threats from North Korea (and no, they weren't encouraged by the deal with Cuba, duhhh) that is definitely unfortunate. As Peter W. Singer says at the link a) North Korea has no capacity to carry out any threats (and believe me, if they did, they would be sorry, Obama would have cover under international law to take out Kim Jong Un with a Tomahawk missile, and he would). b) This just says to any crackpot that they can censor any speech they like with an empty threat. But listen up folks: it wasn't Hollywood liberals or the wimpy American people who caved, it was Japanese business executives. They are capitalists whose only purpose is to make profit. People staying away from movie theaters out of paranoia is not profitable.

This is incredible to me. U.S. ground forces have engaged in combat in Iraq, but as far as I can tell this is not being reported in the United States. Explain that!

I could go on -- interesting times, as they say. But the Dow is up 300 points, so I'm cool.


Don Quixote said...

How come everybody isn't reading your blog? Oh, yeah, I forgot . . . a lot of people are illiterate, or listening to/watching the TV. Duh.

robin andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
robin andrea said...

I deleted my comment because I thought more about the First Amendment and assassination threats. Threats have to be believable, and really, Seth Rogen and James Franco are unbelievable in any context. It sounds like a ridiculous movie, but they have every right to make it. It's really a shame that such silliness has provoked such serious consequences.

Cervantes said...

The movie is not a threat, it's a satire. South Park killed Sadaam Hussein and sent him to hell.

robin andrea said...

I just remembered something that happened many, many years ago when I was Assistant Director of Student Media at a UC. The campus newspaper had a weekly question they would ask a couple of students. One week in April 2001 the question was: If you could break any law and get away with it, what would you do?

Well, one student responded that he would assassinate the president.

This was several months before 9/11 and only a few months into GWB's first term. The Secret Service came to campus, took the student out of class, questioned him for hours, made him sign papers that said he would do such and such...

I think that experience made me very wary of assassination jokes. Still, the freedom of expression must preserved.