hard heads soft hearts

a scratch pad for half-formed thoughts by a liberal political junkie who's nobody special. ''Hard Heads, Soft Hearts'' is the title of a book by Princeton economist Alan Blinder, and tends to be a favorite motto of neoliberals, especially liberal economists.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2002
more elegant baseball prose from "The Bill James Baseball Encyclopedia"

“In the army, or in any fascist or totalitarian state, they have laws against most everything, laws that are never enforced so long as you behave yourself. Then you make somebody mad, or the captain wakes up on the wrong side of the cot, and whammo. You just broke fifteen laws. Having laws on the books that are not enforced puts every policeman in the robes of a judge, empowered to decide who the guilty are today. In a free society, since the law cannot be arbitrarily or capriciously enforced, a statue that is not enforced is not enforceable. "

". . .Cobb was a five-time American League batting champion, with more or less seven seasons under his belt-and yet he was also a twenty-four-year old hick from Nowehere, Georgia, a little in awe of Matty, of the photographers, of the crowd. He had no weapons, at that moment, to defend himself against his inadequacies-no spikes, no bat, no glove. He was so crude and unpolished that he must have felt that whenever they took those things away from him, he became nothing, his shortcomings glowed like a hot piece of iron in the dark. And whenever he saw them glowing, he got angry. You can see it in his face, I think, that if he could just put on a uniform and go out on the field it would be such a relief to him, out where manners and taste and style were all defined by bases gained and lost. And everyone else, for a change, would have to apologize to him.

from The Simpsons

"Why should the race be only to the swift and the prize to the quick-witted? Why should the more fortunate forge ahead with the gifts God gave them? Well I say cheating is a gift that man gives himself!"