Saturday, January 15, 2011

HOT5 Daily 1/15/2011

1. "The Dangling Grand Bargain" Diplomacy & strategy.

Representative Sample: In today’s West, dominated by those high on the heady drug of global meliorism, the mere act of talking has somehow become an end unto itself. Whether it’s a “peace process”, “six-party talks”, “quartet”, “agreed framework”, “security council resolution”, or some other high-falutin’ hogwash, Western diplomacy resembles is more the decrepit liturgy of a dying baroque cult than the hard-nosed power brokering beloved by naïve realists.

2. "Where's the rest of the libertarian movement on Radical Islam?" Good question.

Representative Sample: numerous other left-leaning libertarian sites completely avoid the subject for obvious reasons; sites like,, and many of the Ron Paul sites. To talk of the threat of Radical Islam, would bring up the uncomfortable subject of what to do about it, for these hard-line non-interventionist/isolationists.

3. "How Does the Vatican Decide What's a Miracle?" You might think an actual miracle would be so obvious and clearly verifiable -- say an amputated arm growing back -- that it wouldn't need such a long, involved process. But amazingly enough that isn't the case.

Representative Sample: In an ideal version of the process, a grassroots movement grows in a community as people come to the conclusion that the person lived a saintly life. The local bishop then "opens a cause" and performs his own investigation. If he's satisfied, the cause is then referred to Rome.

4. "Speaking Rhetoric and Pulling Triggers" It's nice to see that this liberal atheist, whose blog I read pretty often, has not abandoned reason regarding the Tucson case.

Representative Sample: hip-hop doesn't cause gang violence, heavy metal doesn't create self-destructive teens, pornography doesn't instill in men an immoderate interest in sex, and "because I was offended by that cartoon / work of art / pointed question" is not a valid excuse for god-addled violence. Accordingly, it must be true -- mustn't it? -- that right-wing bluster, up to and including Lady Also's idiotic cross-hairs, Sharron Angle's "2nd amendment remedies," and Glen Beck's insipid tear-soaked paranoid rants -- do not, in any important way, cause mass shootings.

5. "A cartoon worthy of a stand-alone post" Definitely.

Representative Sample: It's a cartoon.

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