Friday, July 3, 2009

HOT5 Daily 7/2/2009

1. "Obama Finding The Same Tough Issues Bush Had" And also bungling them.

Representative Sample:Rushing in without thinking seems to be a pattern with this guy. He rushed on Gitmo and then he rushed the stimulus bill through so quickly that he broke promises about transparency in so doing. In addition, no one had a chance to read the thing and there have been unintended consequences.

2. "Send my mother to Swat Valley: fixing America's global gratitude deficit" He doesn't make this argument, but his examples illustrate why it is better to be feared than liked. Fear is much easier to inspire than gratitude.

Representative Sample: the Pakistani government and the Pakistani people are not the only ones who don't seem to appreciate our aid (or who are happy to take it but would like to continue hating us just the same). In Afghanistan, the Karzai administration would not exist without the United States. Is it showing its gratitude by combating the corruption via which our aid is wasted? Is it showing it by making even the slightest effort to embrace the most fundamental universal values

3. "The effects of a Japanese head of the IAEA"Some interesting speculation.

Representative Sample: Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat and long-time government specialist in arms control and nuclear nonproliferation, has been elected to be the next director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The end of three terms of Mohamed ElBaradei is an important change in itself.

4. "Do Suicide Bombing Bystanders Save Lives?"An interesting look at how bystanders can affect these situations.

Representative Sample: Bystanders interventions, such as challenging the attacker or informing security forces, is common. Out of the 103 Palestinian suicide attacks from 2000 to 2003, 40 experienced interventions by bystanders.

5. "Proposed costs are always lower than actual costs" Especially when the proposed costs are pretty much completely made up and based on nothing more than wishful thinking.

Representative Sample: the price tag slapped on any proposed legislation is irrelevant: because it is arbitrary and unrealistic. It fails to take into consideration incentives and human nature. It bases the figures on current data, which is based on people acting in their current circumstances.

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