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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Friday, February 17, 2012
The Politic - More on Syria from Karam Nachar

Juan Cole - General Assembly Condemns Syria as Regime Bombards Homs Again

Arthur Silber - On Behalf of Life: Occupy, Authority, and The Obedient Dissenter

Susie Madrak - Child Hunger

Susie Madrak - Mark Perry on Israel & Iran

Violet Socks - My letter to Governor Bob McDonnell on the state-mandated object rape bill

Violet Socks - Through the looking glass and down that slippery slope
Huffington Post:
. . .“[I]t’s unbelievably broad,” said Judy Waxman, vice president for health and reproductive rights for the National Women’s Law Center. “I hear some people framing this about religious freedom, but I think it’s really about undermining health insurance in an extremely dramatic way and letting individual people decide what is moral for everybody they employ or insure.” . . .

No one is preventing anybody from following their conscience on birth control. All people are being prevented from doing is forcing their views on others via economic coercion. And everybody is forced, everyday, to pay all kinds of taxes & fees for things they'd rather not pay for.

Let me just state the obvious: the recent attacks and attempted attacks on Israeli citizens and non-Israeli bystanders in Georgia, India, Thailand, as well as older attacks in Argentina, were evil. I hope the people who planned, ordered and carried out these attempted murders are caught, and held to account for their crimes.

Al Gore - May 26, 2004 speech against torture
. . .Listen to the way Israel's highest court dealt with a similar question when, in 1999, it was asked to balance due process rights against dire threats to the security of its people:

"This is the destiny of democracy, as not all means are acceptable to it, and not all practices employed by its enemies are open before it. Although a democracy must often fight with one hand tied behind its back, it nonetheless has the upper hand. Preserving the Rule of Law and recognition of an individual's liberty constitutes an important component in its understanding of security. At the end of the day they (add to) its strength.". . .

Juan Cole - Santorum Hypes Iran ‘Threat’
. . .The medical reactor was given to Iran by the United States and was inaugurated in 1967. The reactor is being regularly inspected by the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure it is being used only for civilian purposes, and the IAEA was present Thursday to watch the insertion of the fuel rod.

The reactor actually has no conceivable military purpose, and its fuel, uranium enriched to 19.75 percent, is used up when run through the reactor, so it cannot be used to make a nuclear warhead. Nuclear bombs need the uranium to be enriched to 95 percent, typically. Iran is not yet able to achieve that level of enrichment, and says it is not trying to. . .

Juan Cole - Indian Investigators do not Suspect Iran in Israel Embassy Blast

Re: "Islamist resurgence"
The article “Prospects of Pakistan's Islamist resurgence” (Feb. 16) by Praveen Swami follows the predictable pattern of detailing the horrifying speeches and deeds of a few extremist leaders and portraying them as powerful forces which, if we are not careful, may at any time start a major jihad that will swallow all of us, ordinary folks. . .

. . .The use of terms like “toxic Islamism” is deeply offensive. The world is full of Muslims who are kind and compassionate, and Islamic political movements that have given the poor and dispossessed a voice.

S. Goga,


Hindu letters: Iran & US

JOHN MUELLER - False nuclear fears cloud judgment on Iran

Hindu editorial - Encounter at mid-sea

I do not think the Italians personnel who killed the Indian fishermen should be treated like criminals. It was an accident, and while they have been negligent, while they may have shown tragically poor judgment, while they may have been inexcusably trigger-happy, it was an accident, not a crime.

next post: 2/24/2012

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