In other news: no more death, all taxes repealed
I can't leave you people alone for five minutes, can I? I leave the computer to take a walk, and lo and behold:
The Australians apologize to their Aboriginals and Fidel Castro retires.
I am very happy that Australia finally apologized. When John Howard was prime minister, he reminded me of that scene in A Fish Called Wanda where Otto (Kevin Kline) knows he has to apologize to Archie (John Cleese) and practices, while sitting in a lotus position: "I'm so ssssss. I'm so very very ssshh. I'm so very very FUCK YOU."
And Castro? Well, there's a discussion over at Crooked Timber which is very... old. And to anyone who wishes to engage in this debate, or the many many many like it which will no doubt follow in the course of the next few days, I have this to ask, nay, beg:
Brothers, sisters, comrades: can't we just all come together as one and agree that while Fidel Castro's Cuba was (and is) a totalitarian dictatorship responsible for human rights abuses, and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms, they also managed to pull off some remarkable feats of humanism and social development in areas such as literacy, health care, etc.?
And since I'm rereading Arne Næss' philosophy of debate these days in my copious free time, I feel obliged to tell you that if we call the statement in the paragraph above T0, a completely accurate rewording of that statement is T1, which is as follows:
Can't we just all come together as one and agree that while Fidel Castro's Cuba has managed to pull off some remarkable feats of humanism and social development in areas such as literacy, health care, etc., it was (and is) a totalitarian dictatorship responsible for some terrible human rights abuses and should be condemned in the strongest possible terms?
See? See? It doesn't matter which order you say it in! It's the same statement.
I call it the "a plague on both your houses"1 school of political debate.
1 Not to be confused with the "a plaQue on both your houses" school of debate. That stuff is mostly for the historical societies.