Monday’s Links

Hmm, it seems like there’s quite a lot that’s happened over the weekend – namely, qassams falling in southern Israel and the predicatble IDF reaction. I’m not here to debate politics – and I will add, for full disclosure, that I have lived under qassam fire for a week during Operation Cast Lead (the first time I heard a siren while back in the US, it took me a minute to realize I didn’t have to run to the bomb shelter), but it seems remiss of me not to mention this event at all, and to take a moment to wish for peace. They say that a peace truce has been announced, to commence at 1 am, so here’s to hoping. (If only we could join hands and start singing Kumbaya. Can you do that over the internet?)

President Obama has recently come under fire for a hug he gave to Derrick Bell. I don’t really care about the hug or the hug-centered political brawl, but I wanted to share this article because it gives a concise definition of critical race theory, which I think is a theory worth pondering, whether or not one agrees with it: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/03/derrick_bell_controversy_what_s_critical_race_theory_and_is_it_radical_.html?fb_ref=sm_fb_like_chunky&fb_source=profile_multiline Please do not take this link as my condoning any of Bell’s political views. There are many things worth reading about, that one can disagree with – which goes for my posting links in general.

On that note, two articles on Syria that a friend shared, both of which are worth reading, neither of which I completely agree with: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204781804577269132065997466.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203986604577257201200177274.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

This is an article I do agree with: It posits that poverty places psychological obstacles that make it harder for one to make good-decisions, particularly regarding finance, which makes one more likely to remain trapped in poverty. That is not to say that it is impossible to make good choices while poor, but that it is harder -meaning that blaming poor people for their predicament, is to ignore that making good decisions for them, means surmounting psychological barriers not faced by the non-poor. Is this theory patronizing however? Does it discriminate against poor people in its attempt to defend them?

http://www.haaretz.com/business/the-psychological-poverty-trap-1.414260

I am a member of change.com, which ocassionally sends me petitions. Here is one petition, concering the use of forced labor in the cotton industry in Uzbekistan: http://www.change.org/petitions/tell-european-parliament-to-stop-supporting-forced-child-labor-in-the-cotton-industry

More info on this issue can be found here: http://www.cottoncampaign.org/ and here: http://www.antislavery.org/english/campaigns/cottoncrimes/forced_labour_in_uzbekistan_background.aspx

Meanwhile, here is a cute article on religious tolerance and Purim: http://www.haaretz.com/weekend/week-s-end/exploring-religious-tolerance-through-the-heroines-of-purim-1.417519

Also, here is a short video that gives different views on the Kony 2012 scandal, from Ugandans themselves: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/46711744/#46711744

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