Monday, August 23, 2010

HOT5 Daily 8/23/2010

1. "The Professional Left vs. the Amateur Right" A bit over the top, but still an interesting essay. 

Representative Sample: Of all the slips of the tongue and unintentional admissions by this administration, Robert Gibbs’ “professional left” comment may well be the one they wish they could squeeze back into their collective windpipe the most

2. "NATO: The Search For Relevance" When you have to search for relevance it's a pretty good indication that it is no longer there. 

Representative Sample: If you don’t want to read the report, you should at least take a look at the table on page 29 that shows how much weight the US, UK, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe place on different strategic concerns. It’s noteworthy that Eastern Europe really doesn’t care about Afghanistan, Pakistan, or the Middle East given their proximity to Russia (which was what originally justified NATO in the first place). The US is obsessed with those plus deterring China, which the rest of NATO couldn’t really care less about.

3. "is this the golden age of conspiracy theories?" It does seem that way.  

Representative Sample: Stop me if you’ve heard any of this before. The government is plotting to institute a New World Order and every war, terrorist act, and a case of the sniffles anywhere in the world is just a carefully planned step in their quest to rule this planet and use its people as a workforce, which is why they distract us with meaningless celebrity news and human interest stories in the media, to keep us from talking about their crimes and conquests and sinister plots. Oh you’ve heard that too? Really?

4. "More Special Forces Battalions" We need them. Given the types of wars we are fighting, there aren't enough special ops troops to go around. 

Representative Sample: All this is part of a SOCOM expansion that is adding several thousand more military and civilian personnel. This includes the additional U.S. Army Special Forces battalions, and 400 more troops for the U.S. Marine Corps special operations forces. Another battalion is being added to the army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment.

5. "More Evidence that Acupuncture is a Placebo" Also has an interesting discussion in the comments section.

Representative Sample: there does appear to be a significant placebo effect, in addition to non-specific effects from relaxation and therapeutic attention, to the ritual of acupuncture. Does this mean “fake acupuncture works?” No – it means acupuncture does not work, but there are known placebo effects from the process of getting treated.

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