Bowe Bergdahl, Tiananmen Square, and exchanges

Danger invites rescue

Chinese lantern
One of the most eloquent judges ever was a New Yorker named Benjamin Cardozo.

He had a case called Wagner v. International Railway where a fella and his cousin are tossed from a train. The first guy goes to look for his cousin and is injured himself. He then sues the train company, which says, “We didn’t ask you to search for your cousin!”

To which Cardozo said, “Danger invites rescue. The cry of distress is the summons to relief […] The emergency begets the man. The wrongdoer may not have foreseen the coming of a deliverer. He is accountable as if he had.

Essentially, Cardozo said, “You made the situation happen where a normal guy did the normal thing: tried to help. You can’t create a situation that causes danger and then say, Well, we didn’t ask you to help!

Danger invites rescue.¬†Because, while human beings – by and large – are animals, there are those that aren’t. There are those that point at burning buildings to laugh and those that run in to help. We are in need of all you dormant warriors for justice, the people need you.

That was very first thought three years ago when I first heard about Bowe Bergdahl. It remains my thought now.

While we’re on a rare political bent I note that today is also the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protest massacre.

Him: But don’t they have freedom now?
Me: When it happened, the government said, “Holy crap, we’re in trouble – give them everything they ask for, except the one thing we really want.”

Property ownership? Done. Capitalism? Done. Private industry? Done.

Everything but what really mattered to the government, which was power. Political freedom was the one thing that mattered to the government and the one thing that should have mattered to the people.

Whenever you trade X for Y – $499 for a toy called iSomething, freedom for basic rights, one man for five, etc – you’re making a conscious choice of what you really want.

Only afterward do you ever find out if it was really worth it.

It’s the lawyer in me that always wonder what’s really for sale.

Location: in a new laundry room
Mood: injured
Music: you’re taking these pills for to fill up your soul
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