Should Talk Be Cheap?
William, Lord Beveridge (1879–1963)
The Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government has come up with a controversial speaker to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11th attacks on New York and the Pentagon. It is to be wondered if this is a harbinger of a new course of study.
Inviting former Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, who oversaw torture and the murder of dissidents, as well as Iran's secret nuclear program while in office from 1997 to 2005, may seem like just a graceless gaffe. However, Porcupine is convinced by his topic, The Ethics of Tolerance in an Age of Violence, that there is indeed method in Harvard's madness (which would have sickened the namesake of the school, the late President Kennedy).
While we have lost the chance to have Pol Pot and Dr. Mengele speak on the Value of Accurate Identification a Managed Health Care System, Harvard can still seek out Baby Doc Duvalier, late of Haiti, to speak on Election Reform and How to Get to 100%, and perhaps President Joseph Kabila, architect of the warlord strife in the Congo, to speak on the Importance of a Well Trained Local Militia. I am sure Harvard would be proud to include them in their lecture series, perhaps along with Kim Il Jong on the Strategies of Rearmament.
Meanwhile, an angry Gov. Mitt Romney has ordered all state agencies to refuse any assistance for the former president of Iran, when he visits Massachusetts this weekend.
"State taxpayers should not be providing special treatment to an individual who supports violent jihad and the destruction of Israel," Romney said in a statement.
Porcupine imagines that former President Khatami will be guarded by the Secret Service, as all hell would break loose if something happened to him while in Boston. Still, that means that the state’s taxpayers are still footing the bill to some degree. Porcupine has another solution.
Gov. Romney has had heads of state visit before, and must know the cost of the security details incumbent upon such an operation. Porcupine suggests that he present his alma mater, Harvard University, with an invoice, payable in advance, for these services and thus take the burden entirely away from the taxpayers for the school’s repellent misjudgment.
Porcupine is certain that Harvard and its endowment will be pleased to foot the bill for what the university is pleased to refer to as, “the tradition of the free exchange of ideas that is a central part to the life of the University.” Perhaps the school will learn that not all exchanges are free.