Friday, September 30, 2011

A Short Quiz: Does Plagiarism Pay?

What do you do with someone who clearly, and unquestionably, plagiarized large portions of his thesis?

Well, if you are the CSIS, you make a "Distinguished Statesman" position for Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg.

To be fair, the ability to say "I stole a bunch of stuff and pretended it was mine" is a reasonable prerequisite for being a statesman, distinguished or otherwise.

Lagniappe: Germany's Foreign Minister is Guido Westerwelle. Yes, Guido. And he is openly gay, a brave man to come out and still serve in public office. I do admire him for that.

Now, you might think that being Foreign Minister for Deutschland would be pretty easy. All you have to do is say "no" whenever someone suggests that you should have a military, or any role in any foreign country. After all, having the Foreign Minister of Germany start muttering about "lebensraum" makes everybody jittery. So Herr Westerwelle should be able just to take naps and have a nice Kaffee mit Sahne at the Balzac on Friedrichstrasse, just a short walk from Ministry building.

But when Weserwelle supported the government decision to stay out of Libya (a decision the US should have taken also, btw!) he actually gets in trouble.

The moral of this story is: if you want to be promoted and revered as a statesman, steal stuff. If you want to be abused and criticized, do the right thing.

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