Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Friday, February 15, 2002 Permanent link to this day
The patriotic thing

The Threat to Patriotism

What has al-Qaeda done to our Constitution, and to our national standards of fairness and decency? Since September 11, the government has enacted legislation, adopted policies, and threatened procedures that are not consistent with our established laws and values and would have been unthinkable before.

[via dangerousmeta]

Barlow on sharing

John Perry Barlow on The crime of sharing and the thread to freedom of expression. [via also not found in nature]

Milosevic trial

The Milosevic trial, part of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague has been underway for a few days. Transcripts seem to be posted each day for the preceded day's session.

Rebelling against the rebels

Rebels Without Weapons: on civil resistance to FARC in Columbia

In a normal country, the police take care of the civilian population. In many Colombian municipalities it is the other way around. Disarmed citizens are the ones who end up saving policemen from being gunned down by guerrillas.

Oaxaca corn research

Environmentalist Biofraud?: on challenges by the Center for the Improvement of Maize and Wheat to research by Ignacio Chapela and David Quist, who warned last year in a Nature article that corn in Oaxaca, Mexico had been contaminated with genetically engineered corn from the U.S.

Bush learned from Harding?

The Company Presidency: Kevin Phillips compares the Enron saga to the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding administration.

Both Teapot and Enron involved energy policy, privatization and corruption. And like Teapot Dome's "Ohio gang" of ethically loose Harding cronies, oilmen and administration officials--energy deregulation during the first Bush administration, through the Clinton years and George W.'s time as governor of Texas on up till today has been warped and feasted upon by a Texas-led "Enron gang." In both scandals, some Democrats were involved, but the power centers of misbehavior were Republican. Yet, there has been nothing quite like the rise and fall of Enron in U.S. history, certainly no plausible comparison since the late-19th-century heyday of railroads and robber barons. The sums in Enron's collapse certainly overshadow those in Teapot, much as a space shuttle does a Model T Ford. More important, not in memory has a single major company grown so big in tandem with a presidential dynasty and a corrupted political system. Indeed, the Bush family has been a prominent and well-rewarded rung in Enron's climb to national political influence.

[via Cursor]

Afghan chess

The Taliban's War on Chess

When the Taliban caught Haji Shirullah, a Kabul businessman, playing chess in his office with his brother they burnt the chessboard and the pieces. "They put us in jail for two days," he recalled with a rueful smile. "The Taliban believed chess was a form of gambling and distracted people from saying their prayers."

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Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley