Dear Huan Yi,
I read the article and I saw the video.
As for Rush Limbaugh owning an NFL team, I simply don't know. In baseball, I think there's supposed to be some sort of morals clause for ownership, and I believe one or two owners had to see because of that. Am I wrong there? I don't know if the NFL is the same way or not. Certainly Rush himself would be upset about an addict running one of the shining bastions of moral values in our great land. Even one who had manage to escape the punishment he had so justly deserved.
Oh, I can just hear the great round plummy notes a-flowing out of that golden microphone now, a mighty river of righteousness. Richly deserved or not, that is pretty much how Rush Limbaugh would have presented the situation had there been a Liberal on the other end of it, as I suspect you know. Mr. Steyn's not a particularly great guy to complain, because in addition to his gig at The National Review, he is a frequent substitute for Mr. Limbaugh, and his rhetoric is no improvement over Mr. Limbaugh's or anybody who is as nasty on the Left. In this particular article, he appears to function as Mr. Limbaugh's human sock puppet.
I was very upset about the allegations you made about the White House spokesperson. Having reviewed the article and the tape, I see that I need not have worried myself. The praise of Mao that I had read into the situation was not there in the least, nor was any comment about his human rights, nor was, in fact, any approval of his for of government, simply that he was an effective leader. Hate him as much as you wish, to suggest him to be ineffective would likely be a mistake.
Considering that he was being used to illustrate the same point that Mother Teresa was being used to illustrate, and that the point was one worth paying attention to does not suggest that Mao was wrong, or that the point was ill chosen. The fact that the point might be illustrated from two such widely disparate points of view, both reaching the same conclusion, would actually contribute to the usefulness.
The fact that Mr, Steyn might use hyperbole to ridicule the point speaks of Mr. Steyn's apparent preference for avoiding rational discussion when he can use humiliation and innuendo in an attempt to discredit the person rather than the logic instead. He doesn't quarrel with the truth of the proposition. He strives to befoul the messenger instead.
Is Mao a guy that modern Americans should seek to model their human rights or civil liberties policies upon? Do you even have to think about that?
Was Mao a deep and thoughtful thinker about the ways of power and the uses and abuses of authority. Did he understand motivation as well as any man in this century?
Did he earn the right to have his thoughts considered on these subjects?
Well, yeah. You don't have to love a guy to understand that what he has to say might be worth listening to, even if you have to work pretty hard to get it.
Bluster all you will about what a wretched guy the man was. He was a wretched guy. You don't read him to find out how to be a wretched guy and kill 30 million people. He's not off the hook for them, by the way; he will never be. If there's an inferno, I suspect we have a good idea where to forward his mail. That doesn't mean he doesn't have smart things to say, too; and that we're at a disadvantage if other people know what they are and we're simply shrugging our shoulders and saying, sorry, he's too evil for me to understand him. And maybe too practical as well.
How would you know, if you won't read him and discuss the ideas?
Yours, Bob Kaven