Thursday, December 18, 2014

Letters to the Editor

by Laina Farhat-Holzman

Shades of the Satanic Verses outrage! The Ayatollah Khomeini did not like this book and he put a price on the author Salman Rushdie and threatened translators (killing one in Japan) and bookstores. The world stood up to this bully and I remember going into a bookstore and whispering that I wanted 30 copies of the book for a class I was teaching. The clerk answered loudly “OK!” More people bought that book than were capable of understanding it (it really is a great work, but requires effort to get into it).  Rushdie is still alive and well, and the Ayatollah dead.

Now the North Korean dictatorship has become the next bully. Sony has produced a very silly movie that offends the North Koreans (no sense of humor) so they hacked Sony's internet, stealing private communications and records and publishing them. Our own press has done it again: publishing stolen materials, just as they did when Wikileaks and Edward Snowdon violated American government classified files and published them. Shameful and should be illegal.

When will we learn not to yield to bullies?  When will we learn not to oblige them by publishing stolen material? And when will we respond to the likes of North Korea by damaging their own internet or their electric grid? And when will Sony get some courage and release that silly movie on the internet?

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