Julian Assange and Edward Snowden

Edwatd Snowden seemed to be just a guy who believed that the Constitution of the United States was being violated by its very government.

Chris has thought about Julian Assange a lot more than I have:

What drove Julian Assange to start WikiLeaks? Do you think he’s white, gray or black hat? Has your opinion of Assange or Snowden changed at all due to the leaks and Russian involvement?

I’m going to assume Assange started Wikileaks for the reason he said he started it. From a recent Bloomberg story I can’t locate presently:

“A decade ago, when Assange founded WikiLeaks, it was a very different organization. As Raffi Khatchadourian reported in a 2010 New Yorker profile, Assange told potential collaborators in 2006, ‘Our primary targets are those highly oppressive regimes in China, Russia and Central Eurasia, but we also expect to be of assistance to those in the West who wish to reveal illegal or immoral behavior in their own governments and corporations.’ Continue reading “Julian Assange and Edward Snowden”

Baseball bans, Edward Snowden, and other things

Geoffrey Lewis was the classic character actor.

ShoelessJoeJacksonThe new Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred is revisiting Pete Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball. Clearly one of the greatest players in the game, with more base hits than anyone, Rose was banished from the sport by the late Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti for wagering on baseball.

But as the Wall Street Journal noted: “The rules were put in place to prevent cheating, not betting. And cheating is something that no thinking person, then or now, has suggested Pete Rose would do.”

While he’s at it, I’d like the commissioner to reexamine Continue reading “Baseball bans, Edward Snowden, and other things”

To boycott or not to boycott; that is the question

The traditional idea that international sports events should be a place to create cooperation through competition is damaged by boycotts, as are the athletes that have trained for years for the opportunity to participate.

There is a movement to have the United States and other nations boycott the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and I’m a bit conflicted about it.

One group wants to boycott because of the country’s highly repressive new law banning any speech that equates the social status same-sex relationships with heterosexual ones. I agree with the intent of the boycott in this case. But we’ve had Olympics in repressive regimes before; the dissidents in Beijing were just locked away for the Summer Olympics in 2008, and let’s not even talk about Tibet.

Another group wants to boycott because Russia has given sanctuary to Edward Snowden, the leaker of all that NSA classified information Continue reading “To boycott or not to boycott; that is the question”