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Some News Important to the World and Some More That is Really Big

This blog could have well been linked at the “In the News” section but I wanted to make a few comments about it from the get go. First,I wish to say that I have  watched Heather Hurlburt at Bloggingheads many times and admire her intelligent commentary. I don’t always agree with everything she says but on the other hand she sometimes makes me reconsider a position which I have set in my mind.  She has some important things to say here, and more expansively in a long article which is referenced, about humanitarian interventions, for example.

The P5+1 and Iran Nuclear Talks Alert

I subscribe to the mailing list of  The Arms Control Association and received this today. t answers or or gives their opinion on several pertinent questions regarding the proposed agreement on nuclear development by Iran. I cannot find a direct link so I am posting it here in full. 

A Critical Week in Lausanne

Nuclear talks between Iran and the P5+1 (China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) are entering the final days before the end-of-March target date for reaching a framework agreement.

Snark, Opinions, One-Liners, Links, and maybe Something Creative

There is not any single subject contemplated at this blog. It is intended to be on-going as a place where I will mostly put links and short observations or questions. Any subject may come up including movies and music, as well as my own poetry and short fiction. It is mainly intended as a place for short comments which I see as having relevance to ongoing events but am too lazy to expand upon unless they gain some traction. I may refer here to ongoing conversations  at Dag when what they bring to mind is too far off topic or might be otherwise disruptive.

Evolving Thoughts Which Conclude with, 'I Am Not Charlie'

The short quote which most nearly describes my opinion of the “Je suis Charlie.” knee-jerk fad-fest is a tweet I saw somewhere which I paraphrase as, "I am [insert the name of the murdered Muslim cop].  it is a statement in agreement with a saying attributed originally to Voltaire but which has been repeated ad nauseam through the years. "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." I depart from the sentiment somewhat because I, personally, would not voluntarily die in defense of any abstract belief if I could possibly avoid it. And, I would not march with the  leaders who amassed in Paris to give lip service supposedly, but I believe for most of them hypocritically, defending  that concept. That said, I sincerely appreciate the freedom of speech I have to the extent that it exists.

Reading Steven Salaita

I have followed Corey Robin online for about a year through email notices to his frequent blogs at his own site. He also contributes at Crooked Timber and has done so at many other places including The New York Times. For about a month he has been pushing hard on an issue of academic freedom which I have followed there but was un-aware was gaining the traction it has. It is even being covered internationally, at least in England and Israel. As my title indicates, it is the issue of the firing of Steven Salaita by the University of Illinois.

About Human Shields

I lost a longer version of this and that is probably for the best. Here is the shorter version in which I don't try to cover every possible nuance but just hit the high points to make my point.

The phrase “human shield" has, IMO, become Orwellian in its use in relation to the ongoing conflict between Israel and either Hamas or the Palestinian people as a whole. One aspect of actually using humans as shields is emphasized while another equally important aspect is ignored. The complete, true, and honest implications of the phrase itself, regardless of whether Hamas actually does use humans as shields, is intentionally obscured. A narrow and less than complete understanding of the implications of the charge is intended to be mentally embedded while the full implications are distorted or, hopefully, un-noticed.

Giddy up, Horse

  I assume that anyone reading this notices, like most Americans who are either literate or have a TV, or who listen to drive-time AM radio, that we are heavily involved in the Middle East. We have at least a general knowledge of how the last thirty years or so have played out. If we are intellectually honest [IMO] we admit and acknowledge that the USA has no business being there as an influential power except for the business of business.

Ramblin, Blabberin, and Confabulatin'

Color coded revolutions right and left, so to speak. So many different points of view. So many reasons to guess one way or the other at what is happening and why.

A One Day Quick Blogroll About "Who Ya Gonna Believe"?

It is my observation that in any online discussion of politics, a discussion which is usually more narrowly about a particular facet of politics such as international diplomacy, an important factor in that discussion is always that of the credibility of the sources of information that one person or another chooses in order to form and then defend their position. It comes down to , "Who ya gonna believe"? I am aware of how 'confirmation bias' affects that judgment. I don't claim to be immune.

The Phone is Ringing

The phone is ringing and Hillary is not deaf.
I would like to believe that anyone with two brain cells working, and also a working conscience, would want the negotiations with Iran to achieve a successful agreement that avoids war. But, what I do believe is what is obvious, there are powerful individuals and groups within the U.S and our allied countries which are working hard to prevent that outcome and they might very well be successful.


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