1. Torture is good for two things: intimidation and extracting false confessions. As an intelligence-gathering mechanism, it’s much worse than worthless. You get no good intelligence, while what you do get is decidedly bad, including a corrosion of the legitimacy of security agencies and a weakening of the foundation of liberal democracy itself.
     

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  3. To be sure, a national government’s primary responsibility is to serve the interests of its own people. And national interests — say, in security and material prosperity — can be morally legitimate. But the pursuit of those interests to the exclusion of all other considerations would amount to the kind of ruthless nationalist realpolitik that Vladimir Putin is now playing so successfully.
    — Nigel Biggar, in Yes, war can be just
     

  4. (BILL DAY | Copyright 2014 Cagle Cartoons)

    The week’s best editorial cartoons

     


  5. Americans are already too inclined to believe in their own righteousness. Their tendency toward what Alexis de Tocqueville called ‘the perpetual utterance of self-applause’ often leads them to make foolish mistakes. They certainly don’t need theologians telling them that their good intentions entitle them, over the inevitable objections of billions of their would-be subjects, to appoint themselves the world’s benevolent despot.
    — Damon Linker, in Is war ever morally justified?
     

  6. "In my dreams, sometimes I see people shooting people. Sometimes I see myself walking over dead bodies. And after dreaming about it, I feel very scared."

    5 haunting portraits of former child soldiers 

     

  7. CAIRO, EGYPT — On Sunday, a bomb ripped through a tourist bus in the resort town of Taba, killing at least three foreign tourists and the Egyptian bus driver. Taba is located in Egypt’s restive Sinai Peninsula on the border with Israel, a region as well known for its beautiful beaches and amazing coral as it is for its smuggling routes, rebellious residents, and homegrown terrorist groups.

    Egypt’s violent spiral is only getting worse

     

  8. "Obviously, nothing out there is going to make it so that it’ll be enjoyable to get shot.  But with our suit, if you happen to get caught in a gunfight, you’ll at least look great running away."

    The bespoke bulletproof suit

     


  9. There’s no denying it: The National Rifle Association has won — again. Even though more than 3,000 Americans have died via gun violence since 20 children and six adults were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary in December, the NRA has somehow managed to triumph. The victims’ families and gun-control advocates have lost. Forget an assault weapons ban — or any other serious gun regulation. It’s not happening.
    — Joe Gandelman says the NRA has already won
     

  10. Jacob Lippincott is on the ground in Cairo. Here’s his latest update:

    Violent street fights are tearing apart the downtown area, the capital’s economic and cultural nerve center. Secular activists, football hooligans, and grubby street children fight police on the Nile Corniche, an open promenade that runs along the famous river. Meanwhile, gangs of thugs prey on peaceful activists, local businesses, and passers-by in the city’s shadowed side streets.

    Women are being viciously targeted. Over the last week, there have been more than a dozen brazen gang rapes and sexual assaults in and around Tahrir Square. In one particularly harrowing case, a gang of youths took turns raping a 19-year-old woman, mutilated her vagina with a knife, and left her naked on the street. She is reportedly still in critical condition in a Cairo hospital, suffering from internal injuries.

    I personally witnessed one of these assaults in Tahrir. Some tried to help the woman, while others joined in the assault. There were masses of people pushing past each other to get away, and I, along with everyone around me, was pressed against a wall, unable to help, flee, or move.

    Keep reading

     

  11. Wrenching new photos from Iran appear to show a thief having four of his fingers severed by a “finger-chopping machine.” The court-ordered public amputation reportedly took place on Jan. 24 in  the southern Iranian city of Shiraz after the 29-year-old man was convicted of burglary and adultery. In the photos, the prisoner is blindfolded and surrounded by three masked officials who hold his hand under the device. His face shows no pain, indicating that perhaps he was drugged before the procedure. 

    Iran’s brutal new ‘finger-chopping machine’ 

    Photo: AP Photo/Mohsen Tavarro

     

  12. She should have called the culprits brothers and begged before them to stop … This could have saved her dignity and life. Can one hand clap? I don’t think so.”

    Self-described Indian “spiritual guru” Asaram Bapu told his followers that “guilt is not one-sided” in the case of 23-year-old medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey who was brutally gang raped on a bus last month. She later died from her injuries. 

    Unfortunately, Bapu is not alone in his mindset. Here, 6 examples of politicians blaming the victim

    Photo: AP/Saurabh Das

     


  13. You have hoards of people burning down cities and beating old women’s brains out everyday. They arrest people in England if they defend themselves, that’s on record. My God, you have a total police state. Everybody is fleeing the country because — you’ve had to flee, bud. Yeah, you fled here. Why don’t you go back and face the charges for the hacking scandal?
    — On Monday night, Piers Morgan tried to have a conversation with Alex Jones, the man behind a White House petition to have Morgan deported. What started with a simple question from Morgan (“Why do you want to deport me?”) quickly escalated into a heated tirade from Jones, punctuated by lots of finger-pointing and fist-shaking. When Morgan tried to interrupt, Jones hollered, 1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!” He went on to mock the host’s British accent and, at one point, invited Morgan to a face him in a boxing match.