Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Monday, February 18, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Techniques against terror

OK, George, make with the friendly bombs

To prevent terrorism by dropping bombs on Iraq is such an obvious idea that I can't think why no one has thought of it before. It's so simple. If only the UK had done something similar in Northern Ireland, we wouldn't be in the mess we are in today.

[via gordon.coale]


Prepositions to end sentences with: debunking the myth that sentences should not be ended with prepositions. My 8th grade English teacher would be spinning her grave in. [via Kiplog]


Two interesting sites with similar names but quite different in their own way:

Chomsky wins in Turkey

Chomsky wins case for Turkish publisher

A Turkish publisher accused of disseminating separatist propaganda was acquitted yesterday after one of his authors, the celebrated American linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky, appeared in an Istanbul court and asked to be tried alongside him.


As the U.S. moves to increase training of military units in the Philippines and Columbia we must keep in mind that we need to be careful who we train and arm. The El Mozote Massacre in El Salvador is a perfect case in point. From the U.N. Truth Commission report:

On 10 December 1981, in the village of El Mozote in the Department of Morazán, units of the Atlacatl Battalion detained, without resistance, all the men, women and children who were in the place. The following day, 11 December, after spending the night locked in their homes, they were deliberately and systematically executed in groups. First, the men were tortured and executed, then the women were executed and, lastly, the children, in the place where they had been locked up. The number of victims identified was over 200. The figure is higher if other unidentified victims are taken into account.


The Atlacatl Battalion arrived at El Mozote in the course of a military action known as "Operación Rescate", which had begun two days earlier on 6 December and also involved units from the Third Brigade and the San Francisco Gotera Commando Training Centre.

The Atlacatl Battalion was a "Rapid Deployment Infantry Battalion" or "BIRI", that is, a unit specially trained for "counter-insurgency" warfare. It was the first unit of its kind in the armed forces and had completed its training, under the supervision of United States military advisers, at the beginning of that year, 1981.

See also: Mark Danner's article from The New Yorker, The Truth of El Mozote [via Liberal Arts Mafia]

Jon Frum

The Last Cargo Cult: : on the Jon Frum Movement on the island of Tanna.

To anthropologists, John Frum was an example of one of the strangest and most exotic phenomena to be observed in traditional cultures: the cargo cult. All across Melanesia, from New Guinea to the Solomon Islands to Tanna's archipelago, the New Hebrides, dozens of unconnected communities, thousands of miles apart and speaking unrelated languages, seemed spontaneously to generate the same set of bizarre beliefs. A new dispensation was on the way, when the white man would vanish from the islands, and his cargo - Western goods - would be diverted by magical means to the local people, who were its rightful owners.

See also:

[via GoodShit]

Wait, what font is that?

You're watching a great historical movie. Then you see a jarring flaw that breaks the mood entirely. That font didn't exist until the 80's! Typecasting looks at typographic anachronisms. [via the null device]

Earth photos

The Blue Marble: in true-color and 1 kilometer/pixel resolution. [via missingmatter]

What's that word?

They Have a Word for It: words with no English equivalent, based on Howard Rheingold's 1988 book. [via Rebecca's Pocket]

Porto Alegre reviewed

The end of the beginning?: Paul Kingsnorth reviews this year's World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, which shows the anti-globalization movement is turning more and more constructive.

In just a few years, this movement has instituted a real debate about values, economics and power. Through our numbers on the streets, through the work of key dissident thinkers and through the actions of vast grassroots movements in the Global South we have gone from being ignored, or sneered at, to being grudgingly respected.

Already, less than three years after the "Battle of Seattle", we are at the stage where the president of the World Bank can be turned away from our Social Forum (oh, the joy!); at the point where the French government sends twice as many ministers to Porto Alegre (six) as to New York (three).

See also Anti-globalization - a spreading phenomenon, where the Canadian Security Intelligence Service surveys the anti-globalization movement.

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Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley