Sunday, October 31, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/31/2010

1. "Sunday Funnies (Halloween Mid-Term Election Edition)" Happy Halloween! 

Representative Sample: It's a series of cartoons.

2. "Kaplan on the Other Muslims" Asian Muslims. Links to an interesting article.

Representative Sample: Whereas 20% of Muslims live in the Middle East, 60% are in Asia, according to the Pew Research Center. The Arab world plus Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan — the geographical summation of our own wars and trepidations — comprises 632 million Muslims. But in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the southern Philippines, there are an additional 565 million Muslims.

3. "Biblical Halloween Costumes: It's time to take it back from the pagans!" If you need any last-minute costume ideas.  10 possibilities.

Representative Sample: Here are some costume ideas from the Bible.

4. "Dracula orchids and goblin spiders" Everyday is Halloween for these creatures. 

Representative Sample: Dracula orchids tempt flies by masquerading as mushrooms. Goblin spiders lurk unseen in the world’s leaf litter. The natural world is often just as haunting as the macabre costumes worn on city streets.

5. "for some people, halloween never really ends…" Good point.

Representative Sample: the important thing to keep in mind is that while most of us see Halloween as a quick, fun escape from reality, there really are people who believe the stuff we mock and treat scary stories as fact.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

No HOT5 Today

It will return tomorrow.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Leftists Upset at Even the Joking Suggestion that an Enemy of the U.S. Might be Eliminated

Jonah Goldberg of National Review, who is pretty good at riling up the left, wrote an article in the Chicago Tribune called, "Why is Assange Alive?" Despite the provocative title, if you actually read the column you will see that Goldberg is not calling for the Wikileaks head to be killed. Instead, he is making fun of those who see the CIA and U.S. intelligence in general as some sort of evil entity wreaking havoc throughout the world.
if you read left-wing accounts of the intelligence community, two versions dominate. The CIA and similar outfits are either evil and incompetent, or evil and supercompetent. Sometimes the folks at The Nation will mock the CIA for trying to blow up Fidel Castro with an exploding cigar. Other times some Oliver Stone type will insist that the military, or the CIA, or the National Security Agency or rogue elements from those quarters, managed to assassinate John F. Kennedy and pin it on a Marxist dupe named Lee Harvey Oswald.

Under either scenario, you'd think Assange, super-whistle-blower of the international left, would be a greasy stain on the Autobahn already.

He uses the fact that nothing has happened to Assange -- a mysterious disappearance or death in the case of the super-competent evil CIA, or a bungled assassination plot in the case of the incompetent evil CIA, as a tool to debunk either view of the agency. But that's going way too far for the left. Look at some of the hilarious reactions. Here's reading-comprehension challenged DougJ posting at Balloon Juice.
Jonah Goldberg calls for Julian Assange’s murder. ... If you don’t think that the right is serious about using violence to take power, you’re not paying attention.
Uh no, he didn't. And even if he had, advocating violence against an enemy of the U.S. has nothing to do with taking power and using violence against political opponents in America. But understanding that would require not just reading comprehension, but logical reasoning ability, something in short supply at Balloon Juice and similar blogs.

Then there is Talk Left, which is usually a bit more rational.
It's not a serious question of course. And Goldberg is not a serious person. But for all the fainting couches the "progressive elite" pundits fell on regarding Markos' book American Taliban, it is remarkable that this column was published by a major newspaper in the United States.
The left really hates Goldberg. There's not even the slightest comparison between Markos' ridiculous book, which even the left panned, and anything Goldberg wrote in that column. Why wouldn't it be suitable for a major newspaper? Most of the left is so far out of touch with mainstream American thought, that they are easily shocked by things that come from differing perspectives.

Here's the always laughable Alex Pareene at Salon.
The point of the column is to assert that Assange should be murdered, because he is obviously horrible, while also saying that Goldberg is "OK" with the government not assassinating a foreign national guilty of no actual crime, so that people can't say Goldberg called for Assange to be killed.
Goldberg specifically says he isn't calling for Assange to be killed, the point of the column is entirely obvious, but Pareene prefers to just make up his own interpretation in order to attack Goldberg.

Those are just a couple of the hysterical leftist reactions. They are horrified at even the joking suggestion, used to make an entirely different point, that the U.S. should do anything about a foreign national waging an information war against America, doing everything possible to undermine the U.S. war effort, and serving as a useful idiot for Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

HOT5 Daily 10/29/2010

1. "Obama on the Daily Show: How the Political Class Thinks" They'll do the thinking and deciding for us, because they know better.

Representative Sample: Elected officials aren’t supposed to vote for what is right in their minds alone. What seems right in the halls of power amidst meetings with tax-eater special interests and arm-twisting White House political hacks is quite likely not what’s right for the people elected officials are supposed to represent. This sort of backwards thinking, internalized even by the President, is exactly why the American electorate is upset with the political status quo.

2. "The GOP will take back the House. But can they stay in power?" Good question.

Representative Sample: The real issue for the GOP will be in the transition from opposition party, a much easier job, to that of being in-charge and actually having to govern. The new Republican speaker–probably John Boehner–and his party will have to find a way to not get voted out of power in 2012. The GOP has been talking about cuts, both in taxes and government spending, but now they’ll have to deliver.

3. "Why Is Osama bin Laden Going After the French?" Reasons and speculation.

Representative Sample: Bin Laden's remarks demonstrate this conflation, equating France's military involvement in Afghanistan with restrictions on Muslim religious expression in public, France's strong business and political interests in Africa, support for local regimes, and recent (if limited) armed intervention in Mali.

4. "Control" For those interested in military history/theory/strategy.

Representative Sample: The primary aim of the strategist in the conduct of war is some selected degree of control of the enemy for the strategist’s own purpose; this is achieved by control of the pattern of war; and this control of the pattern of war is had by manipulation of the center of gravity of war to the advantage of the strategist and the disadvantage of the opponent.

5. "Liberal Learning Process" Short but good.

Representative Sample: So back in Bill Clinton’s first term, the Democrats tried to create government health care which caused huge anger which led to Republicans gaining both the House and Senate in 1994. Democrats decided their problem was that they didn’t successfully pass health care

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/28/2010

1. "Political Violence is an Indictment Against the Cause that Motivates it… Except When We Do It (Update: New Video)" Right on target

Representative Sample: Both men who assaulted women at the Paul-Conway debate should be prosecuted and no excuses should be made. But the fact is that the selective condemnation and hysteria coming from the left demonstrates that this really isn’t about human compassion toward Lauren Valle. It’s about politics and nothing more. Americans can and should see through this for what it is.

2. "All About Freedom Of Choice - Democrats Want Your Vote" Choice only matters on a couple issues. For most others, they'd rather make choices for you.

Representative Sample: They aren't really about securing your freedoms and the freedom of choice. Just the opposite.

3. "The Humanist Ten Commandments" New & improved commandments.

Representative Sample: in Good Without God, Epstein has a chart of the ten commandments. I wanted to share it with you because I thought the Humanist version was pretty good

4. "Japanese Navy Tests Sea-Based Missile Defense" Japan's significant defensive capability.

Representative Sample: With this fourth ship converted to shoot down ballistic missiles Japan now has 100-percent redundancy in the minimum number of missiles needed to fend off a North Korean launch. Japan really only needs two ships for the job, but warships are often in port, or in dock for upgrades, etc. Japan would need at least three ships to protect the country from a launch from China.

5. "What Both the Coke and The Pepsi Parties Have In Common" Unfortunately true.

Representative Sample: Legislators in both parties share one common belief — that after millions of dollars and years of effort getting elected to their position, they don’t want to hear anyone tell them their power is somehow limited.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Please Don't Vote

Every time we get close to an election there are all sorts of messages encouraging people to vote. Unfortunately, the people that need to be encouraged to vote are exactly the ones that shouldn't be voting. If you are the type of person who doesn't pay attention to politics, has only a rudimentary grasp of major issues, doesn't see much difference between the parties and only votes because you feel obligated, please do us all a favor and stay home. Avoid the lines and the hassle. Don't bother voting. It's ok, really. Ignore the people who say it's your civic duty to vote. It isn't. If you just don't care enough to vote without being prompted, it's your civic duty not to vote. Think about those of us who do care, and don't dilute our votes with your uninformed and uncaring selections. Just go about your normal routine on election day, avoid the polls, and we'll all be better off. Thanks.

HOT5 Daily 10/27/2010

1. "If Iran Gets the Bomb" Interesting interview.

Representative Sample: I sought out Martin Kramer in Jerusalem because I knew he would give me an analysis well outside the box on Iranian nuclear weapons. He’s a scholar, not a politician or pundit. And while he certainly has his opinions, he doesn’t conveniently fit into anyone’s ideological category.

2. "The True History of American Church/State Separation" Link to a good article in Smithsonian magazine.

Representative Sample: From the earliest arrival of Europeans on America’s shores, religion has often been a cudgel, used to discriminate, suppress and even kill the foreign, the “heretic” and the “unbeliever” — including the “heathen” natives already here. Moreover, while it is true that the vast majority of early-generation Americans were Christian, the pitched battles between various Protestant sects and, more explosively, between Protestants and Catholics, present an unavoidable contradiction to the widely held notion that America is a “Christian nation.”

3. "Smite Our Enemies!" Someone what Obama understands regarding politics doesn't translate to foreign policy.

Representative Sample: The President finally recognizes that we should support our friends and punish our enemies! I'm very heartened by this stunning grasp of the bleeding obvious.

4. "Will Medicare Bankrupt the U.S.?" Links to a long but informative analysis.

Representative Sample: In a lengthy, excellent piece over at the Center for Public Integrity, David Nather says that, the way things are going, it just might

5. "Incompatibility of science and religion? Who says?" Some good points.

Representative Sample: It is the preachers and theologians who have been crying ever since Darwin about the incompatibility of reason and religion. It is them who have forced this decision on people and they are coming to find out that the tactic has backfired. Yes, there are some who will stick to religion no matter what, but millions of others, faced with the choice given to them by religion, not science, that they must choose between faith and reason, will go where the evidence leads them.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughts on the Latest Wikileaks Documents

I haven't had anything to say about the latest Wikileaks document release because the material that has gotten the most attention is the least interesting. A huge amount of information was released, so I'm sure there are plenty of things to note. But the big stories are no great surprise to anyone who has paid attention and knows anything of war and military history.

First up is the Iraqi torture story. Is anyone surprised at all the the Iraqis have been abusing prisoners? How many countries in the region don't abuse prisoners? The only reason this story has been pushed is to create some anti-American propaganda, and to pretend that the U.S. is somehow responsible. The U.S. is damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we kept tighter control over the Iraqis it would be used as evidence that we were running a puppet government, imperialism and all the other things enemies of America at home and abroad already accuse us of.   Given the scale of the problem, there'd probably still have been abuses. And even nation-building proponents tend to recognize some limits on nation-building. Once you grant a new government sovereign rights, you have to let them exercise them.

Then there are the civilian casualties. Civilians die in wars. When it's an irregular war where identification of enemies is difficult, people switch sides, terrorists deliberately target civilians and the war itself is primarily fought in heavily-populated areas, many civilians are going to die. Because of the nature of the war there are going to be all sorts of accidents and incidents where the wrong people are killed. Focusing on the civilian deaths and various incidents is used by anti-American propagandists to obscure the fact that the U.S. military has bent over backward to minimize civilian casualties -- to the point of putting it's own forces at far greater risk. But there's only so much you can do given the nature of this sort of warfare.

Some on the right have also seized on the Wikileaks documents to pretend that since we found some WMD in Iraq, this justified the prewar intelligence assessments and the Bush administration's assessment of the potential threat. Let it go people. The Wikileaks revelations are nothing new in this area. We already knew that there were some WMD found in Iraq. But left-over, aging chemical artillery shells were definitely NOT what U.S. intelligence and the Bush administration expected. The U.S. military went into Iraq fully expecting to face a significant chemical weapons arsenal. What we actually found did not in any way match the prewar intelligence estimates. The estimates were so far off that it is unreasonable to pretend that what we did find in any way validates them.

One final point... Control of information and propaganda are important components of warfare, particularly irregular wars in which the U.S. is not employing its full military might. I've seen people actually arguing that we shouldn't classify things just because they might be embarrassing to the U.S. That's exactly why they should be classified. When we are fighting a war, we want our spin on events to prevail as much as possible. The same people who think secrets should be revealed would be happy to admit that the Abu Ghraib scandal seriously hurt the U.S. war effort. They'd talk about how it was a recruitment tool for the enemy, and so forth. It wouldn't have been, had we been able to keep it secret. Ugly incidents and even justifiable actions that can be spun a certain way to attack the U.S. are going to happen in warfare, especially over a years-long irregular conflict. Having secrets dumped into the open is a massive propaganda coup for the enemy.Those doing the dumping are directly aiding our enemies, regardless of whatever their particular motives might be.

HOT5 Daily 10/26/2010

1. "Impertinent Questions: What Are The Resources Of The State?" Force as a resource. 

Representative Sample: The government might be able to make a little money from fees for services rendered, or leasing property it owns. As it turns out, most of the government’s attempts to turn a “profit” are dismal failures – the Post Office and Amtrak spring to mind as examples. It always ends up using compulsive force to subsidize its losses, or rig the market against private-sector competitors. The vast majority of its funds are collected through compulsory taxes

2. "Protectionism’s temptations"  We need to resist temptation. 

Representative Sample: Record-high government spending, a hostile tax environment for individuals and corporations, takeovers of large sections of the economy (mortgages, automakers, healthcare), and protectionistic policies are a recipe for disaster.

3. "What you can't say about Islam - the backlash against Elizabeth Moon" Science fiction writer dis-invited from convention over some largely accurate and reasonable remarks on Islam. Note the leftist tools in the comment section hyperventilating and spouting the usual nonsense.

Representative Sample: Whether or we agree with them or not, I find it extraordinary that her remarks would lead to her no longer being welcome as a guest of honour at a science fiction convention. If Moon's remarks now count as hate speech, such as to make the speaker unacceptable at venues such as Wiscon, many of us are in deep trouble.

4. "Will Obama Learn Anything from the Midterms?" I doubt it. 

Representative Sample: Obama’s ideological rigidity and policy preferences ran headlong into Americans’ skepticism about big government and their sense of moral outrage. The Tea Party is a movement grounded in the belief in limited government. But it was also born out of a sense that we have lost track of fundamental values — thrift, discipline, and humility, for starters — and as a result are seeing irresponsible spending, massive debt, and liberal statism.

5. "Armchair Warriors" 10 proposed schemes that were never executed.

Representative Sample: Many proposals -- while informal or semiserious -- are preposterous and overlook even a basic understanding of political objectives, military strategy, geography, and logistics. Here are the top 10 most ridiculous military options offered up by U.S. government officials or civilian commentators over the last few decades.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Monday, October 25, 2010

UN Peacekeepers Actually Fight

Standard UN peacekeeping procedure in the Congo normally involves sitting idle while massacres take place. But peacekeepers were actually in combat on Saturday. Were they engaged in some sort of peacekeeping operation? No, they were defending their base against an attack by "about 50 men armed with AK47 rifles and locally made weapons" from the "tribal Mai-Mai militia." The UN forces tried to avoid fighting, firing "repeated warning shots," but ended up having to kill eight of the attackers and wound two others.

The moral of this story is that if you are a member of some murderous gang in the Congo, stick to raping and massacring helpless civilians. That way the UN peacekeeping forces can sit tight in their bases, and find some excuse for not intervening. But if you actually attack their bases, even UN troops will fight back.

HOT5 Daily 10/25/2010

1. "What's The Model For Our Lifetimes: World War Or Cold War?" A pretty good analogy. 

Representative Sample: The key year here, then, is not 1939, when Germany launched war, but the far less-well-known year of 1946, when most of the West had not yet awoken to face the challenge and was riddled with apologists and would-be appeasers. America and Western Europe were exhausted from too many battles

2. "Liberal Dogma on Social Security Redux" Which prevents reform.

Representative Sample: Left-wing voices also continue to repeat the mantra that introducing private Social Security accounts would be a bad idea. Ronald Brownstein’s recent recent column in the National Journal is a case in point. However, Brownstein’s readers may come away thinking that he believes breaking promises is a good idea.

3. "Religious answers are easier than advanced physics" True.  

Representative Sample: If someone says "God made it" - that's a lot easier to understand or accept than a complex explanation like the ones provided by Hawking and Krauss. If you read "The Grand Design" you can see how modern physics has proved that our day to day thinking processes are not useful when trying to understand the cosmos or very small things like atoms. Things don't happen as we'd expect 

4. "17,000 Reasons To Respect China" Chinese artillery. 

Representative Sample: The Chinese 1st Artillery Division, which is stationed near the coast, opposite Taiwan, is one of the best equipped, and ready-for-combat units in the army. It's five regiments contain 152mm howitzers (both towed and self-propelled), 130mm guns, 100mm assault guns, 300mm rockets and ATGMs (anti-tank guided missile).  

5. "How Wikileaks Exposes a New Mission for the Infantry" Drone recovery.

Representative Sample: Scanning through the leaked documents over the weekend, it’s interesting to note a new mission that UAVs have helped to invent for infantrymen – UAV recovery. The relevant documents tell the tale of Quick Reaction Forces and patrols being sent out, or rerouted from ongoing missions, to try and recover or locate UAVs

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/24/2010

1. "In Two Years Obama Moves from Hope and Change to Fear and Scare" Things to remember the next time some leftist tool starts whining about Republican "fearmongering." 

Representative Sample: In 2008 Obama lied to the American people by selling a false vision of himself and who he was. Now that he's been exposed, he has no where left to turn but to the same vile politics he once denounced!

2. "We Are All Perceived As Security Threats" An excellent point. 

Representative Sample: This might come as a shock to Nihad Awad but Muslims are viewed as a security threat as are all other people who choose to fly. Everyone MUST go through security at the airport and be screened because we are all viewed as a security threat.

3. "Is Atheism A Belief?" No.  It's an absence of belief and it doesn't require faith. Things that unfortunately must be pointed out over and over again.

Representative Sample: One of the most common accusations aimed at atheists is that atheism is an article of faith, a belief just like religion. Because atheism can't be proven with absolute 100-percent certainty, the accusation goes, therefore not believing in God means taking a leap of faith -- a leap of faith that's every bit as irrational and unjustified as religion.

4. "More real ObamaCare costs emerge" You mean Obama and Congressional Democrats were just making up cost numbers? Shocking, I know. 

Representative Sample:I guess this is one of those “benefits” Bill Clinton was talking about that hasn’t quite made an impression yet – exploding costs well above the nonsense the Democrats used to “justify” the abysmal ObamaCare bill.

5. "Jihad By Vuvuzela" Anti-semites discover a new tool to use against Jews.

Representative Sample: Muslim youth have discovered a new weapon to counter the dissemination of unwanted ideas: the vuvuzela. Pro-Palestinian activists used the African noise horn to try to silence a Jewish professor in Brussels.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/23/2010

1. "America is Wikileak’s true enemy — by guest blogger Steve Schippert *UPDATED*" Yes it is. And in turn we should recognize that Wikileak's is an enemy organization and treat it accordingly.

Representative Sample: when they say they expose documents on “government abuse,” what they mean — almost exclusively in practice — is that they fish for folks to send them secret operational documents potentially damaging to the US military and intelligence. They create entire waves of news cycles. The intent is to damage military ops in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The reality is that they get people killed.

2. "Will Moderate Muslims Please Stand Up" That would be nice.

Representative Sample: Be the surgeon of your own religion. Declare a Jihad on the those you claim are perverting your precious message. If those at war with human freedom are truly your religion's cancer, cut them out!

3. "Five Silver Linings of ObamaCare" Sort of. I'm not convinced that most of the worst aspects will be reversed.

Representative Sample: In a perverse sort of way, ObamaCare may be the best thing that could have come out of Obama’s first term as President. Had he and the Democrat leadership opted to push a more limited program that only extended to those who couldn’t afford health insurance, Americans may have gone for it, thus locking in yet another entitlement program that would metastasize beyond its original scope. But by overreaching they made the water so hot that the frog of public opinion can’t wait to leap out.

4. "Does Ignorance Of Tax Law Make Tim Fernholz A Moron?" Pretty much. A nice take-down of the left-wing idiocy du jour.

Representative Sample: First things first: Timmy, if you're going to discuss corporate taxation, it would serve you well to understand one of the most fundamental aspects of taxation: The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. Doing so will allow you to avoid being called out as a complete moron on the internet by a Certified Public Accountant.

5. "Let’s stop lying to ourselves" I'm pro-death penalty, but this argument against makes a lot of sense.

Representative Sample: Once again, a jury is being asked by the prosecution to express the outrage of the community for a terrible crime. But, in reality, expressing outrage is all they are being asked to do, because regardless of what sentence is handed down, the greatest probability is that Rasheed Scrugs will die in prison, of old age, of natural causes, or because some other inmate kills him. The least likely end for Mr Scrugs will be execution by the state.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Friday, October 22, 2010

No Compromise for the GOP

According to The Hill, "GOP says compromise not on the agenda if they retake the House." I'm skeptical, but I hope they mean it. The vast majority of people voting Republican in this election are not voting to have people compromise with President Obama and the Congressional Democratic leadership. We are voting in an effort to roll-back their policies if possible, or to block anything worse if that's all that can be accomplished. 

Some have disparaged the GOP as the "Party of No," but that's exactly what they should be as long as Obama is in power. With a strong Democratic majority, the administration has been able to ram its policies down our throats. Whatever happens in November, it is almost a certainty that the Democratic majority will be reduced, whether or not Republicans take the House and/or Senate. Those of us voting Republican expect the GOP, whether in minority or majority capacity to do everything possible to obstruct the president's agenda. If the GOP miraculously takes control of Congress, it should attempt to force the president to compromise, and sign on to elements of a Republican-driven agenda. If he won't, they should send up bill after bill and force him to veto. We aren't voting for Republicans in order to have them compromise with Obama. The Republican leadership claims to understand that. Let's hope they've really gotten the message.

HOT5 Daily 10/22/2010

1. "Who Really Puts Islam in a Bad Light?" Answering that question accurately supposedly makes you a bigot.

Representative Sample: When the United Arab Emirates passes a law stating that it’s not domestic abuse to beat your wife just so long as she bears no bruises, that doesn’t paint Islam in a bad light?.

2. "BREAKING: Conference facility caves to pressure from Islamic groups, bans Mark Steyn from speaking" One of the many examples of why people worry about Islam. Terrorism is not the only threat. The attempt to silence those who give some sort of offense to Muslims, in conjunction with the politically correct left, is a major problem north of our border.

Representative Sample: received a phone call from the LCC telling us that our venue had been pulled, and that Mark Steyn would not be permitted to speak there. The reason offered by the LCC was that they had received pressure from local Islamic groups, and they didn’t want to alienate their Muslim clients.

3. "Sainthood" Some good points.

Representative Sample: here’s a topic near and dear to my past. As many of you know (or perhaps don’t), I’m a recovering Catholic of the Roman variety. When I was just a wee one, throughout my prepubescent years, I was indoctrinated, primarily by nuns, but often by priests, with the concept of the Society of Saints. Just about every day was dedicated to some Saint, and we were instructed to pray to that saint to intercede with God or Jesus or Mary or someone (never fully explained) to give us whatever it was that was that particular saint’s specialty.

4. "The Gettysburg Strategic Operation and the Future of Operations?" Interesting.

Representative Sample: What’s the future of the operation? Recent military writing seems to place it within the complex operations paradigm, rooted in holistic cooperation, design, and the use of systems and framing. While I don’t doubt that systems, design, and complexity are in the future of Anglophone operational theory, we should also be cautious about projecting our perceptions from the current wars into the future.

5. "RiotBot -- Armed for Close Combat" Robotic riot police. It looks pretty nasty.

Representative Sample: The Spanish company TechnoRobot has introduced here the RiotBot – a new class of unmanned platform designed for intervention in riots, prison disturbances, or other civil disorders, where neutralization of specific elements is required by law enforcement agents, avoiding direct contact with the crowd.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Juan Williams Political Correctness Firing

I was going to write more about this incident, but Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic, someone I often disagree with, has the best piece I've seen about it. As he calls it, "Juan Williams Fired by NPR For No Particular Reason." Williams made the fatal mistake of admitting that he gets nervous seeing Muslims on a plane, and that's essentially what got him fired. Here's Goldberg.
The first quotation reflects the views, I'm guessing, of the vast majority of people who fly in this country (and in Europe and Asia and other parts of the world, as well). With some regularity, Muslim men associated with radical Islamist organizations have been trying to kill American civilians, here and abroad. A group of 19 Muslim men succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in their mission nine years ago. The majority of Muslims abhor terrorism, and Muslims are the disproportionate victims of Muslim terror, but the essential truth remains that most of the world's spectacular terrorism today -- thwarted and achieved -- is committed by Muslims. Juan Williams misunderstands one crucial fact: Muslim terrorists who are attempting to commit acts of terror seldom if ever dress in "Muslim garb"; they dress, for obvious tactical reasons, in a manner meant to help them blend in with surroundings. So Williams is wrong, I think, to be particularly suspicious of traditionally-dressed Muslims. But is he wrong to worry about Islamist terrorism? Of course not.
Fear and nervousness as a reaction to seeing something are not the same as cool rational analysis. The reason many people instinctively associate Muslims with terrorism is not bigotry, it's because of the numerous terrorist acts and attempted acts of terrorism committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. But Juan Williams should have known better than to dare admit that he shares this reaction to Muslims on a plane. When you work for a liberal outfit that puts a premium on political correctness you know that you have to censor yourself.  Free speech is not valued on the left at all, unless it is speech they agree with. Daring to offend groups the left panders to, which definitely includes Muslims, simply cannot be permitted.

HOT5 Daily 10/21/2010

1. "What Do You Get When You Run Out of Other People’s Money? Riots!" That's the problem with entitlements. After they are in place for even a short while, people feel entitled to them.

Representative Sample: Socialist states are going broke. They’re running out of other people’s money. The people are being asked to wait until they are – I hope you are sitting down for this – sixty two years old to retire! It’s as if an entire generation has lost its ability to think and reason.

2. "$320k Salary Paid Out to Jersey Turnpike Employee" Somehow a base salary of 73k turned into 320+. My state government in action.

Representative Sample: Auditors say the New Jersey Turnpike Authority wasted $43 million on unneeded perks and bonuses.

3. "Michelle Obama 'Cleaning Up the Spirits'" Wait for the press to jump on this comment as an example of lunatic religious beliefs. Oh wait, she's not a Republican. Nevermind.

Representative Sample: let me just tell your listeners that it means all the world to us to know that there are prayer circles out there and people who are keeping the spirits clean around us.

4. "The Individual Utility of Incompetence" This could explain a lot.

Representative Sample: the promotion and retention of incompetent workers would seem to run counter to the rational interests of the larger organization. So why does this behavior persist? Why are less competent workers able to retain their positions and, in some cases, obtain promotions?

5. "Prosecutor Wants To Jail Parents For Skipping School Conferences" It's for the children. Another apostle of big government nanny-statism.

Representative Sample: This is exactly the sort of mentality that leads Americans to be fearful of government-run anything and everything.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Torture Successfully Extracts Accurate Information - Again

A Russian businessman, Viktor Grishin, was kidnapped and tortured for information. The criminals were after the PIN numbers to his ATM cards. Unfortunately this type of incident happens occasionally, because criminals -- unlike many anti-torture activists -- understand that in some cases torture can quickly and effectively extract accurate information. The victim was murdered and the body disposed of after the torture took place. But police tracked down the criminals after they withdrew "large amounts of money" from the murdered man's various accounts. The killers apparently forced him to give up multiple PIN numbers. PIN numbers are typical of the type of specific, independently verifiable information that torture can be extremely effective at extracting. As always though, it depends on the situation. There are people who will die or risk greater torture rather than give up their money. But the next time someone tells you that torture doesn't work, tell them that Viktor Grishin, (along with countless thousands of others forced to divulge information about their valuables by torture), begs to differ -- or he would if he were still alive.

HOT5 Daily 10/20/2010

1. "O'Donnell and Coons on the separation of church and state" A good analysis.

Representative Sample: The 2 were talking past each other, trying to look good and make the other look bad. It is a disagreement about law between 2 individuals who are not running for judge. It's not detailed legal analysis. It's a political debate and this is a political disagreement.

2. "A roadmap for revitalizing the U.S. partnership with India" Useful suggestions, but they'll probably have to wait until we have someone other than Obama at the helm.

Representative Sample: whereas the values and interests of India and the United States frequently pulled in opposite directions during the Cold War -- when India pursued a policy of non-alignment that evolved into tacit alliance with the Soviet Union - today our interests and ideals reinforce each other in a number of areas.

3. "Thankfully, someone is keeping a watch on those very scary atheists" They're watching us. Links to a site called Atheist Watch that claims to be watching "hate group atheism," whatever that might be.

Representative Sample: It's all red because atheists are dangerous and must be watched. Or something will happen!

4. "Long distance, top secret messages" Interesting.

Representative Sample: Quantum cryptography is an emerging technology currently used by both military and financial organizations to send information as entangled particles of light. In theory, anyone who tries to tap into this information changes it in a way that reveals their presence.

5. "Come friendly bombs and fall on Abbey Wood " British Strategic Defense and Security review not a big hit.

Representative Sample: It’s a dreadful mess, a dog’s breakfast, a bugger’s muddle, an appalling nightmare, a train wreck on a cruise ship drifting into an iceberg with a jumbo jet crashed on top, to paraphrase some of the coverage.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Strange Argument About Teaching Evolution

Over at Secular Outpost there is an article by Taner Edis called, "Evolution as a liberal cultural weapon." Since that title looks like something you might find on a creationist site, or a hardcore religious conservative one, it got my attention. If you have time, read the article before you read the rest of this post, and see if you can spot the glaring absence of one basic argument that should be made by anyone supporting the teaching of evolution.

Edis is essentially arguing that he supports the teaching of evolution because it's good propaganda for liberals. Seriously. He starts out by debunking common arguments made in favor of teaching evolution, such as the need to maintain economic competitiveness. And he makes some reasonable points. But the rest of the article is off the rails. Here are some prime examples.
the people who deplore creationism need not have any professional involvement in science or education. They need not even be all that skeptical about supernatural beings. They just have to be, broadly speaking, liberal in their outlook.
Really? You have to have a politically liberal outlook to deplore creationism? This is complete nonsense. There are plenty of people on the right, such as myself, who have nothing but disdain for creationist pseudo-science.
The deeper reasons we liberals support evolution are, I think, specific to liberal cultural ideals. Most immediately, we want evolution in the classroom for purposes of the culture wars.
This is possibly one of the worst arguments I've ever seen for supporting evolution in the classroom, and one that actually gives ammunition to creationists. Evolution is just about advancing a liberal agenda. Yeah, that's a great message to put out there.

The main reason to support evolution in the classroom is the same for anyone who cares about teaching science in science classes. It's the same reason we support teaching chemistry and not alchemy, and astronomy not astrology. We support teaching evolution because we want science taught in the science classroom, not pseudo-science based on religious beliefs. I cringe anytime some religious ignoramus on my side of the political spectrum, with a ludicrous caricatured view of evolution attacks it, or advocates teaching creationism. It makes conservatives look like idiots, and causes people such as Taner Edis to actually believe that you have to be a liberal to care about teaching science.

HOT5 Daily 10/19/2010

1. "Venezuela-Russia nuke deal a new headache" Following in the footsteps of Iran, also with Russian help.

Representative Sample: The problem isn't so much the introduction of nuclear energy to the Latin American country, which has growing electricity needs, but the unpredictable policies of populist President Hugo Chavez.

2. "Homer Simpson 'is a true Catholic'" Ok, I had to link this.

Representative Sample: He is an idle, pea-brained glutton with a permanent craving for doughnuts and Duff beer, but Homer Simpson has been declared a true Catholic by the Vatican's official newspaper.

3. "Swiss Suicide Clinic Advocates Suicide for Victims' Healthy Relatives Too" Crossing the line from assisting suicides to encouraging them.

Representative Sample: Swiss suicide clinic Dignitas has called for the healthy partners of chronically ill euthanasia patients to be allowed to kill themselves too.

4. "Your Beliefs Are Crazier than My Beliefs" I encounter this attitude all the time. Religious people routinely derided the ridiculous beliefs of other faiths while believing in all sorts of nonsense of their own.

Representative Sample: Funny how one religion’s myth is ridiculous and laughable, while one’s own myth is “logical and scientific.”

5. "Japan Launches New, Stealthy Destroyer " Includes some good links. Things to keep in mind the next time someone overrates Chinese naval power.

Representative Sample: Japan has just launched the first in a new class of stealthy destroyers that outweighs and outguns anything in the Chinese fleet.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Monday, October 18, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/18/2010

1. "Why God Makes Middle Fingers II" Right on target. 

Representative Sample: After years of witnessing the customary liberal accusations of racism, homophobia, evil, and just plain stupidity at their political opponents, it prompted me to respond with the rhetorical “Why God Makes Middle Fingers“. The left routinely denigrates the right and should they later find themselves on the losing end of an election, liberals then demand the demeaned now reach out to them.

2. "Myth Busted? Obama, Dems Use More Foreign Money…" What, you mean Obama is a lying hypocrite? Who knew? 

Representative Sample: At this point, it is really in doubt why anyone takes anything that our President says at face value. At this point, this has transformed from simple election year political grandstanding to something far, far worse.

3. "Most Think Federal Workers Are Overpaid" And those who don't are probably federal workers and their families.  

Representative Sample: More than half of Americans say they think that federal workers are overpaid for the work they do, and more than a third think they are less qualified than those working in the private sector

4. "Are atheists aggressive?" Excellent points. 

Representative Sample: why do people think we are aggressive? Are they afraid of being "converted"? Are they afraid of a different opinion? Why not label door-to-door proselytizers like the Mormons and Seventh Day Adventists as aggressive?

5. "The right to voter fraud" It almost amounts to that.

Representative Sample: Democrats have so cowed people on civil rights and racism that voter fraud is now a right.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/17/2010

1. "BELTWAY ADVENTURE" Obama's presidential term as a text adventure. If you've ever played one this is a must-read.


2. "$900 Million for What?" For our enemies. 

Representative Sample: It's well worth our while as Americans to pay more attention to what the so-called Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is doing. That's because we American taxpayers are footing the bill for much of it. President Obama and Sec. Hillary Clinton have promised $900 million in U.S. funds to the PLO, our supposed "peace partners" in the latest round of Mideast peace talks.

3. "It is Congress that is exporting American jobs" Along with the anti-business administration.  

Representative Sample: What’s the sense of the nation exporting anything or expanding overseas if the profits are not reinvested here? China repatriates its earnings. Taxing foreign income is the equivalent of a business encouraging investors to put their money into competitors across the street.

4. "Thoughts on Arguing" Something to think about. 

Representative Sample: I have been wondering about arguing lately. How we argue, how we get set in our world view and dig in like a donkey sits back on its hind legs and won’t budge.

5. "Memo to GOP: The national debt wouldn't be where it is now without your active participation" Good points.

Representative Sample: The GOP needs to understand that many of the people who will be voting for them this time will be doing so as the most efficient means of stopping the runaway Democrat train, and not necessarily because they trust the Republicans.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How Progressive Am I? Guess.

Left-wing operation Center for American Progress has an interactive quiz called, "The Progressive Quiz," that evaluates how progressive or conservative you are. Let's see what they think of my answers.  According to the quiz I got 102/400, with 400 being a full-blown communist progressive. This makes me "very conservative." Supposedly the average score for Americans is 209.5.

Either this quiz is horribly designed, or is yet another representation of just how clueless and out of touch the activist left is with ordinary Americans. If someone like me qualifies as "very conservative," what does that make Rush Limbaugh? This type of attitude is typical of the fringes on both left and right, the tendency to label even moderate political opponents as far right or far left. When people are ideological extremists themselves, anyone who disagrees with some of their fundamental beliefs is automatically labeled as an extreme political enemy.

No HOT5 Today

It will return tomorrow.

Friday, October 15, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/15/2010

1. "Follow Napoleon’s Advice on the Chamber Pot ‘Scandal’" A nice take on the Democrats' amazingly stupid campaign against the Chamber of Commerce.

Representative Sample: the harder he presses this the more he’ll alienate the middle. That’s a surefire losing tactic. There’s no better way to make the Republican majority even larger than it’s going to be than to press arbitrary charges against millions of small businessmen.

2. "A Glimpse At The Coming Post-November Mythology... " There has to be some reason for Democratic electoral losses other than their own failures.

Representative Sample: Yep, it's 2010's variation of the Stolen Elections of 2000 and 2004 Thingy that remains so near and dear to Democratic PWCPs (Partisans Who Can't Process).

3. "Diplomatic Muscle" How's a 7000-person private State Department army in Iraq sound?

Representative Sample:All this is nothing new. For nearly a century now, the Department of State has been building a security organization, to provide guards for embassies, bodyguards for key personnel and, more recently, quick reaction and commando units for emergencies. This operation is currently called the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).

4. "Robert Gibbs Shrugs Off Michelle Obama’s Illegal Campaigning – Update: Video Added" Laws only matter if it's a Republican who appears to be breaking one. Then it's a really big deal. Besides, any criticism of Michelle Obama is obviously racist.

Representative Sample: Members of the ruling class don’t believe rules and laws apply to them. Michelle Obama was in Chicago and went to her polling place to cast an early vote. While there she was seen campaigning for the agenda of her husband. In doing so, she violated Illinois law.

5. "Should I lick this?" Just in case you were wondering.

Representative Sample: When I lived in Northern California, I would often hear stories about people scouring the back country for psychedelic toads. In popular imagination, these toad wranglers would then gather around bonfires and with great ceremony and earnestness, they would lick hapless bufoids

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Re-Rape in the Congo

The Congo continues to cement its reputation as one of the worst hellholes on earth, as well as serving as a prime exhibit for the uselessness of UN peacekeepers. According to the BBC, an area that suffered mass rapes at the hands of rebels back in July and August now has to put up with rapes from the government forces sent to secure the area.
the UN special representative heard directly from locals on her visit last week and said UN peacekeepers in the area had also told her of rapes, killings and lootings perpetrated recently by government soldiers.
The UN peacekeepers who stood by helplessly while 300 women and 50 children were raped in the summer, are now doing nothing but reporting still more rapes. The UN representative made a couple of comments illustrating that she might be out of touch with reality.
She urged the DRC government to investigate the new attacks and "swiftly hold any perpetrators to account".
Yeah, good luck with that.
"The possibility that the same communities that were brutalised in July and August are now also suffering exactions at the hands of the FARDC troops is unimaginable and unacceptable,"
Unfortunately, it's not at all unimaginable. When you have a situation where rape is endemic, and employed as a standard tactic by all sides, it's actually likely that there are going to be instances where women are raped by one side and then raped again by the other. And what's unacceptable are troops that are supposed to be keeping the peace doing nothing to intervene even in major atrocities such as mass rape.

HOT5 Daily 10/14/2010

1. "Vietnam, Israel and the Left’s Delusional Narratives" A point by point parallel.

Representative Sample: As with Vietnam, the delusion narrative used by the left originates primarily from the propaganda of the non-democratic actors. All the delusions of the “Peace” movement in Vietnam came first from communist, usually transmitted via Europe and then mindlessly accepted by leftists in America. The left in America swallowed communist propaganda as mechanically as a python engulfing a pig. Likewise, the left today will swallow any accusation against Israel.

2. "Sowell: Which one is more greedy? The private sector or the federal govt? " Guess. Links to an excellent article.

Representative Sample: Those who are always accusing people in the private sector of “greed” almost never level that charge against the government, no matter what it does. Indeed, the question of whether the government is greedy almost never comes up, so most of us probably never think about it.

3. "Allah’s existence to be debated at UK’s leading mosque" I just saw a flying pig. Opening up to debate sure beats the usual attempts to silence criticism.

Representative Sample: For the first time, the doors of a British mosque will be open to the public to critically discuss Islam, in particular the Muslim concept of God. The event has been hailed as a confirmation that the British Muslim community is willing to engage in critical dialogue concerning their faith, with their fellow non-Muslim citizens.

4. "A New Plan for Afghanistan" The subtitle is "Less counterinsurgency, more killing and capturing."Killing more enemies is a faster way to end the war? Imagine that.

Representative Sample: This new twist in the strategy seems to be having some effect. One senior officer said (and other officials confirmed) that 300 midlevel Taliban have been killed or captured in the last three months, including a number of shadow provincial governors, district commanders, and trainers or facilitators in the use of roadside bombs. In addition, more than 800 rank-and-file insurgents have been killed, and more than 2,000 have been captured.

5. "The Honest Chilean Miner" Something we probably won't hear.

Representative Sample: It's a cartoon.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No HOT5 Today

No HOT5 today. It will return tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/12/2010

1. "Liberals need a lesson on liberalization." Excellent points. 

Representative Sample:  Through the massive amounts of codification that are required to achieve social egalitarianism, the Left has knowingly or unknowingly opened the flood gates of burgeoning legislation and regulation. Thus creating an environment which is exponentially growing into the anti-thesis of a true liberal democracy.

2. "Atheists and Anger" Legitimate reasons for angry atheists to be angry. 

Representative Sample:  One of the most common criticisms lobbed at the newly-vocal atheist community is, "Why do you have to be so angry?" So I want to talk about: 1. Why atheists are angry

3. "Lawfare in Austria: Is Truth Illegal?" Yes, if Muslims and their leftist enablers don't like it.  

Representative Sample: Although the trial of Dutch MP and critic of Islam, Geert Wilders, and its serious implications for free speech in Europe, is once again creating a furor in the press, another high-profile trial of a critic of Islam — Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, in Austria — is being overlooked.

4. "Why Videogames are not Real War" Also links to an interesting interview with a marine combat veteran commenting on video games. 

Representative Sample: While critics of videogames would have you believe that they are efficient little murder simulations, an NPR editorial from Benjamin Busch begs to differ. Who is Benjamin Busch and why does his opinion carry more weight than most? Because he is an United States Marine Corps infantry officer who has served in Iraq on two combat tours.

5. "Socialism: Building a Bridge to the 18th Century" The latest example in Greece.

Representative Sample: Never mind the ways that they could be cut up, redistributive policies lead to degeneration of the WHOLE pie. It’s something that brings the motive and outcome of candidate Obama’s exchange with Joe the Plumber into sharp focus. Redistributive policies even shaft the people they try to help.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Blow-up Weapons

Not exploding ones, weapons that are filled with air. There's an interesting article at BBC News about Russian inflatable weapons.
A turret appears, then out pops a long plastic gun barrel. This is an inflatable Russian tank. ... When the men pump up their next piece of plastic, this one expands into a S-300 rocket launcher, complete with giant truck and inflatable rockets. ... waiting to be blown up are inflatable MiG fighter jets - even entire Russian radar stations. ... They are made of a special material that tricks enemy radar and thermal imaging into thinking they are real weapons.
One thing that the Soviet military was very good at in World War Two was deception. They call it maskirovka, and it has been a fundamental feature of Soviet and now Russian military doctrine. As points out,
The goal of maskirovka is to make the enemy concentrate his forces against false threats and uselessly expend his means of destruction on them. ... they also do it actively, through the use of dummy structures, electronic warfare, false maneuvers, and various other methods.
These blow-up dummies are cheap and have the potential to be extremely effective, not just in manipulating enemy intelligence/observations, but in causing significant diversions of resources away from real threats. These dummies might actually cause more problems for an opponent than some real weapon systems.

Why Republicans Will Not Miss Obama

Jonathan Chait has an article in the New Republic called, "Republican Clinton Nostalgia." It can be quickly summarized as follows: those crazy Republicans hated Bill Clinton, and believed the worst of him at the time, and now they like him; today they are unhinged about Obama, but someday they'll look back on him with nostalgia just like Clinton. Chait helpfully demonstrates once again that many liberals are simply out of touch with reality.

There are a couple of reasons some, and only some Republicans, now have a more positive view of Bill Clinton. The most obvious is that he is not in power and no longer a threat. But more importantly, the economy was good under Clinton. Regardless of his personal problems, some Republicans view Bill Clinton as a competent politician who had a generally successful two-term presidency. And of course he looks good by comparison with the current occupant of the White House. Unless Obama's job performance changes drastically, there is no way he's going to be looked back on with nostalgia.

A much better comparison than Clinton, which Chait completely ignores, is Jimmy Carter. If anything, most Republicans despise Carter more now than when he was president. The vast majority of Republicans -- and others -- see a similar level of incompetent leadership. At the moment it is far more likely that Obama will be viewed as another Jimmy Carter, a figure of derision among Republicans and an example of the worst of Democratic leadership. If a GOP or partially GOP Congress is voted in, Obama moderates his views, works with Republicans, the economy turns around, the wars are brought to successful conclusions and various other major changes take place, Chait might have a legitimate point. But that's a whole lot of if's. As of now though, his assertion is pretty laughable.

HOT5 Daily 10/11/2010

1. "Obama's Janus-faced campaign against American businesses" And people wonder why Obama gets accused of being a socialist.. 

Representative Sample: Obama's recent attack on The Chamber of Commerce reveals his underlying disdain of private enterprise, and how he believes there is a cabal of businesses not yet pleased being under government control which are fighting against the progressive agenda. 

2. "The Double Standard of the West Toward Israel" Pretty much nails it. 

Representative Sample: when a Jew sneezes on a Muslim, it is reported in the Israeli newspapers, Israelis discuss the right and wrong of it, the UN severely condemns the action, Muslim sympathizers call it a massacre, and self-loathing American idiot Jews write articles about the Israeli apartheid state.

3. "Forget the Trinity – America Has 4 (Or More) Gods!" Very interesting analysis that breaks down categories of belief about God, and how those beliefs affect other attitudes.  

Representative Sample: In a new book entitled, America’s Four Gods, Professors Paul Froese and Christopher Bader, of Baylor University, contend that American conceptions of their god tend to fall into four distinct types: authoritarian, benevolent, critical and distant.

4. "When We Decided to Lose" In the words of Napoleon, "The moral is to the physical as three to one."

Representative Sample: On such decisions are victories and defeats made. They are not inevitable. The results may seem clear and inevitable after the fact, but when the result is in the balance, our choices can make the difference.

5. "Why [is] China's Air Force in Turkey?" A look at the implications.

Representative Sample: Sometime during September, an unknown number of China's People's Liberation Army Air Force Russian-built Su-27 and Mig-29 fighters landed at the huge Konya airbase in Turkey's central Anatolia region.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/10/2010

1. "They can’t handle the truth" Democrats just can't figure out why people don't like their message. 

Representative Sample: Most people have seen plenty enough evidence by now of what they really stand for: more government, more spending, more bureaucracy, more regulation, more taxes, less freedom, and ever-shrinking horizons and possibilities.

2. "Who Are Israel’s Friends?" Breaking down a recent survey. 

Representative Sample: I’ll begin with a general observation: almost all the support for Israel statistically comes from non-Jews. This is simply a mathematical reality. The poll sampled 1,000 voters, only 1.6 percent of whom were Jewish (slightly below the commonly used 2 percent figure). Fifty-eight percent were Protestant, and 25 percent were Catholic. That means the overwhelming number of those who support Israel, as is the case in the general population, are non-Jews.

3. "I Feel Sorry For John Amato" A nice take-down of leftist idiocy.  

Representative Sample: This mindset, simplified, is that whatever you say that I don't like is racist, and therefore, I win. It is their ultimate, catch-all defense mechanism, now worn to the point of toothlessness.

4. "2010 Physics Nobel Well Deserved" Includes interesting link to article about graphene. 

Representative Sample:  this year the Swedish Academy has really done themselves proud, granting the prize to two University of Manchester researchers (Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov) who did pioneering work on graphene.

5. "Why The B-52 Got $11.9 Billion" Actually it's very unclear. But the B-52's longevity and versatility is amazing.

Representative Sample: When the Air Force announced an $11.9 billion sustainment contract to Boeing last week for the venerable and enduring B-52 eyebrows shot up along the Potomac, especially on Capitol Hill.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/9/2010

1. "Obama: Nothing to Offer But Fear Itself" That's pretty much it, along with a big dose of incompetence.

Representative Sample: Barack Obama is now hiding behind the children. You can virtually guarantee next week's screed with be aimed at seasoned citizens and how those mean old Republicans will be taking away their Social Security.

2. "Goodbye, Mr. Jones" And good riddance 

Representative Sample: Gen. Jim Jones will go down in history as the least successful national security advisor since Adm. John Poindexter was forced out of office during the Reagan administration. This fact alone illuminates just one of the many miscalculations that were made in hiring Jones.

3. "Donilon’s the Wrong Man for the Job" Can Obama  hire someone even worse than Jones as national security advisor? Yes he can. 

Representative Sample: Donilon may not know much, but he possesses the surefire cockiness of a lifelong pol; and he is determined to set policymaking in a far-left direction.

4. "They shoot migrants, don't they?" The UN continues to be a joke. 

Representative Sample: Egypt, a state that over the past four years has allegedly shot and killed more than 80 African migrants trying to cross into Israel over the Sinai Desert border, became chair on Friday of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees executive committee

5. "Fluffy Finds God?" Animal spirituality?

Representative Sample: A neurologist and other scientists argue animals are capable of having spiritual experiences

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spreading a False Religion

I just saw a news story that caught my attention. It's only a snippet so the actual situation is unclear. An Australian citizen, Safaa Al Awadi, took part in some sort of religious debate on television. Whatever happened caused him to be arrested by Egyptian authorities, who accused him of being a terrorist and "spreading a false religion."

This is pure speculation, but I wonder if he was advocating violence/terrorism in the name of Islam, and that's what the "false religion" charge is all about. If so, he'll probably be sorry that he attracted the attention of the Egyptian state.

HOT5 Daily 10/8/2010

1. "Was TARP Good for the Taxpayers?" No. A must-read analysis for anyone wondering about that question.

Representative Sample: even if we put aside all the above complications and concede that the TARP injections into the banks "made money," it was for the politicians, not the taxpayers. I certainly don't remember getting a dividend check in the mail for my share of the $7 billion profit

2. "Muslim Brotherhood Declares War on America; Will America Notice?" It might get in the way of pandering to Islam.

Representative Sample: This is one of those obscure Middle East events of the utmost significance that is ignored by the Western mass media, especially because they happen in Arabic, not English; by Western governments, because they don't fit their policies; and by experts, because they don't mesh with their preconceptions.

3. "The ObamaCare Tumble….Obama Can Now Pick & Choose Who Must Play By The Rules" Only the little people have to follow the rules.

Representative Sample: David Whelan asks the obvious question. If all it takes for these companies to get out from under the ObamaCare monstrosity is to ask…can individuals ask and receive the same kind of generosity from our Socialist leaders?

4. "Think Again: The Afghan Surge" Just in case you aren't pessimistic enough about Afghanistan.

Representative Sample: the Afghan Army continues to suffer from high turnover rates and will not be ready to face the Taliban without support anytime soon. The Afghan Army's disastrous offensive in the northeastern Laghman province in August, which left dozens of Afghan soldiers dead or captured after a Taliban ambush, was a stern reminder of the military's lack of trained officers and fighting spirit.

5. "Democrats Stimulating Dead People" Government efficiency in action.

Representative Sample: Here’s a thought: Maybe instead of collecting taxes from us and then redistributing those tax dollars back to us in a clumsily-administrated mailing of checks…they should just let us keep more of our own tax dollars to begin with. Saving us not just the price of the taxes but the price of administering their collection and redistribution as well.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Chris Christie Continues to Make Me Glad I Voted for Him

As I've mentioned before, when I voted for Chris Christie it was just a typical lesser of two evils vote. I had no idea he'd actually keep campaign promises and be a governor I'd be glad to have voted for. Today he killed the bloated, wildly over-budget Hudson River tunnel project.
“I have made a pledge to the people of New Jersey that on my watch I will not allow taxpayers to fund projects that run over budget with no clear way of how these costs will be paid for,” said the governor. “Considering the unprecedented fiscal and economic climate our State is facing, it is completely unthinkable to borrow more money and leave taxpayers responsible for billions in cost overruns.
That's not the kind of statement you hear from too many major politicians -- unless they are just making campaign promises.

HOT5 Daily 10/7/2010

1. "Free Speech on Trial, Continued" In Russia & the Netherlands. 

Representative Sample: as always, as people's freedom slips away, the churches are there working hand-in-hand with the powerful, ordering the masses to obey and gladly trading their alleged spiritual authority for temporal rewards.

2. "Civilian Terrorism Trials... What Could Go Wrong?" The obvious as expected. 

Representative Sample:Unlawful enemy combatants held "for the duration" in executive, Article II detention should not be subject to ordinary judicial rules, just as enemy soldiers in wartime have no "right to life."

3. "Would Pakistan Shoot Down NATO Helos?" I wouldn't put it past them, especially since we've been utterly spineless in dealing with them.  

Representative Sample: There are reports emerging from Pakistan that the country has bolstered its air defense equipment along the border with Afghanistan in the wake of an incursion of NATO helos into its territory.

4. "#32: Implant Memory Chips in Our Brains" I won't be surprised to see such cyborg-type enhancements available at some point. 

Representative Sample: Dr. Gary Marcus, a psychology professor at New York University, tells Big Think that we should develop a "Google-like" chip to implant in our brains that would use our neurons like a search engine and enhance human memory.

5. "God’s Cure for Leprosy" For anyone who wonders why atheists make fun of religion and don't take the Bible seriously as a guide to much of anything.

Representative Sample: It's a biblical excerpt.

To submit a blog post for HOT5 Daily, please e-mail me at Put HOT5 in the subject.

Being Against Illegal Immigration is Not the Same as Being Anti-Immigrant

In the last HOT5 I linked a post on intellectual honesty. Today I read several pieces written in response to a new ad by Sharon Angle in Nevada. The usual suspects are accusing her of racism -- there's a big surprise, leftists making racism accusations -- but the responses also provide examples of one of my pet peeves: the blatant intellectual dishonesty of most illegal immigration supporters. Liberal hack Alex Pareene at Salon helpfully offers the most striking example, right in the title: "Sharron Angle's ridiculous new anti-immigrant ad." If you look at the ad you will find that there is nothing about it that is in any way "anti-immigrant." Being opposed to illegal immigration, no matter how stridently it is opposed, has nothing to do with being opposed to all immigration, or to legal immigrants.

It is of course possible to be opposed to all immigration, legal & illegal, and to be against it on racist, nativist or other grounds. But the vast majority of people opposed to illegal immigration are opposed to having people illegally enter the country, not to legal immigration, which is a different matter. Even someone that thinks we should have stricter controls on legal immigration doesn't necessarily qualify as anti-immigrant. There is no question that writers like Alex Pareene understand the distinction between opposing illegal vs all immigration, or that there are various positions that can be taken on immigration in general. Pareene and others like him, are simply intellectually dishonest propagandists, deliberately conflating opposition to illegal immigration not just with immigration as a whole, but even with racial animus to immigrants. It's just another variant of the common left-wing smear tactic of false accusations of racism, which is deployed regularly against political opponents. Like much of what is found at Salon, there's simply no reason to take it seriously as any sort of rational analysis. When you engage in such obvious intellectual dishonesty as Pareene, you immediately identify yourself as a ideological hack whose writings should be taken with a big grain of salt.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

HOT5 Daily 10/6/2010

1. "Why Corporate Executives Get the Big Bucks" A simple, easy-to-understand explanation. Should be read by all class-warfare promoters.

Representative Sample: The reason that American executives continue to pull down so much dough relative to the rest of the world is that in America you can walk out the door, start your own business and rise to the top of an industry. You can’t do that in corporatist systems like those in Europe, because the state protects large corporations from internal and external competition. It is much, much more difficult to grow a business into a giant in Europe than in American. That lack of freedom reduces the choices of executives and keeps executive compensation down.

2. "Taxes to Rise, Unless..." Bad things that will happen unless the Bush tax cuts are extended/made permanent. 

Representative Sample: When combined with inaction on the Bush tax cuts affecting marginal rates, taxpayers would be hit with a tax increase that easily tops $4 trillion over the decade if all the tax issues are untouched. Next year’s increase alone would amount to over $200 billion

3. "Michael Kinsley on intellectual honesty" Something many people could benefit from reading.

Representative Sample:  the media — the supposed watchdog — is unequipped, unable, and unwilling to live up to its duties and defined purposes. This isn’t necessarily the result of a diabolical scheme, its the result of market forces. We’ve demanded and approved of intellectual dishonesty so long as its “our” guy being dishonest. This type of behavior has become deeply entrenched in government and mass media and now permeates throughout public life.

4. "100% of the 25 most crime-infested neighborhoods in the USA are longtime Democrat controlled districts" Not a bit surprising. Links to the list of most dangerous neighborhoods. 


5. "Tolerance? Not so much in the Muslim world" Based on a new study in Indonesia.

Representative Sample: Recent surveys indicate that Indonesian Muslims are increasingly intolerant of other religions, this according to a report published by the Jakarta-based Islamic National University (UIN). This has taken the form of non-acceptance by Muslims of non-Muslim teachers in public schools and opposition to new churches or non-Muslim places of worship.

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