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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Monday, March 26, 2012
Arthur Silber - Thanks, Regrets
Many thanks to those who responded with such generosity and kindness to my last plea for donations. I'm deeply grateful. For the moment, I don't have to worry about basic living expenses, which is an enormous relief.

Unfortunately, I have to report that my health has taken a severe turn for the worse. It's very bad, and it makes it almost impossible for me to do anything. Last week, I couldn't make it to the corner store. I got halfway there and had to turn around, make my way home very slowly, and then collapse into bed. I guess my condition merits calling 911, but my experience with all that and with the hospital a year ago was so incredibly awful, that I simply can't make the call until I'm convinced something very extreme is about to occur momentarily. It appears I haven't quite reached that point, although I suppose I might any time now. Of course, I have no means to access ongoing medical care, so now I wait to see what happens. Hopefully, I'll feel at least a bit better sometime soon.

I offer my gratitude once again, and I'll get back to writing as soon as I'm able. All good thoughts are appreciated. I'll keep you updated as I can.

Jesse Taylor (Pandagon) - A Young Black Man, Being Late

Violet Socks - Understatement of the week

Ariel Edwards-Levy (HuffPo) - Newt Gingrich Calls Trayvon Martin Case A 'Tragedy,' Defends Stand Your Ground Law
. . .Gingrich said that while he didn't know all the facts of the Martin case, he didn't feel the stand your ground law would ultimately apply.

"The young man apparently was not following the person who's being investigated," he said. "Apparently, the shooter was following the young man. That's not a stand your own ground, that's a chase the other person into their ground. . .

David Taintor (TPM) - Rep. Allen West: Zimmerman Had ‘No Authorization’ To Shoot Trayvon Martin

JOHN F. TIMONEY (NYT) - Florida’s Disastrous Self-Defense Law

Susie Madrak - Elizabeth Warren

Oliver Willis - Killabuster
Ezra Klein’s article in the New Yorker makes a pretty good case, in my opinion, for totally killing the filibuster. . .

. . .Killing the filibuster will allow both parties to get things done and for the opposing party to appeal to the electorate in response — deciding to go ahead with or repeal legislation.

Let’s finally get some things done, for better or worse.

Jeffrey Goldberg (Atlantic) - An Interview With Jeremy Ben-Ami on Settlements, Beinart, Obama, the Whole Nine Yards

Michael C. Moynihan (Tablet)- Racial Profiling

Anshel Pfeffer (Haaretz) - Preventing the next attack on the Jewish community
. . .This is not a solely Jewish concern, of course. Think of the U.S. high schools occasionally swept by murderous gun rampages by disgruntled former students, a phenomenon that now seems to have become a peculiar part of modern American life. How do you ensure safety for students without instilling paranoia and installing metal detectors in every corridor to protect them against an appalling (but still exceptionally rare ) outcome?

Ultimately, the most effective form of security is the hidden one - a heightened awareness on the part of intelligence and police services of the sources of hatred, and the potential threats and willingness to take measures preventing the threats from materializing. This is what Jewish leaders around the world should be pushing their government to emphasize. Not only would it guarantee more safety than armed gendarmes at school gates and barricading children in fortresses, it would also be for the good of all children, Catholic and Protestant, Muslim and Jewish.

Niva Lanir (Haaretz) - Amos Oz: 'I get up in the morning and ask: What if?'

Doctor Science (Obsidian Wings) - Faulkner's past and Trayvon Martin

Paul Krugman (NYT) - Lobbyists, Guns and Money

FRANK BRUNI (NYT) - Rethinking His Religion

MATT BAI (NYT) - Scott Ritter’s Other War

DIANA B. HENRIQUES (NYT) - Broken Trust in God’s Country
. . .But the most intriguing aspect of Monroe Beachy’s story is how different it seems from Bernie Madoff’s — and from almost every other story with a “Ponzi scheme” headline over the years.

While victims of Mr. Madoff’s fraud, like most Ponzi victims, condemned their accused betrayer in court as a monster, many of Mr. Beachy’s investors have said in court that it is more important to forgive him than to recover their money. . .

. . .“A hundred years from now, what will be the difference about how much money we had here?” asked Emery E. Miller, a village resident and a proponent of the alternative plan, at the first creditors meeting. “But a hundred years from now, there will be a difference in how we responded to this from our moral being, from a moral level — the choices we made to forgive or not to forgive.”

MJ Rosenberg (Al Jazeera) - The case for bombing Iran is quickly collapsing
Common sense dictates that war with Iran would be devastating for the region - and common sense must prevail. . .

Freddie Deboer (L'Hote) - there.

Freddie Deboer (L'Hote) - Up with Chris Hayes
. . .I'm conflicted on nuclear power, given its dangers but also its potential as a non-carbon producing energy source. However: I am just as opposed to nuclear weapons and power in Israel and the United States as I am in Iran. I didn't hear, and haven't heard, a statement of equitable political principles that explains why it is somehow more legitimate for Israel to have nuclear technology than Iran. Worse, there appears to be a consensus opinion that no such principle needs to be articulated.

I would very much like for Hayes to have asked that question yesterday, why Israel is entitled to a nuclear arsenal and Iran is not. . .

Diane Ravitch (NYRB) - Schools We Can Envy (3/08/12)

Diane Ravitch (NYRB) - How, and How Not, to Improve the Schools (3/22/12)

Kenneth Kolson (NYRB) - What Can We Learn From Finnish Schools? (4/05/12)


Jeffrey D. Sachs - Prof Sachs strongly supports Dr Jim Kim and expresses gratitude to world leaders and all supporters

next post: 4/05/2012

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