Cowlix Wearing my mind on my sleeve

Friday, February 22, 2002 Permanent link to this day
Spoke of evil

How a president's words can lead to war

Ideas have consequences, wrote conservative Richard Weaver. So do words, when uttered by the most powerful man on earth.

By threatening war against Iran, Iraq and North Korea in his now-famous "Axis of Evil" address, the president painted himself into a corner. Either Bush now goes to war against one of these regimes, or he will be humiliated and exposed as a bellicose bluff.

Let me say it again: Whoever fed Bush those lines, or did not argue against his delivering them, disserved the president. For that speech has blown our coalition against terror to smithereens.

It's not often I agree with Pat Buchanan. [via Follow Me Here]

Roots of terror

Roots of terror: suicide, martyrdom, self-redemption and Islam

After 11 September 2001 I was frequently asked, as many scholars of Islamic studies probably were, why certain people are prepared to hijack an aeroplane and plunge themselves and all the other passengers to certain death. I do not have an answer. What I have done instead is to tell three stories - about the cult of martyrdom in Shi'ite Islam, about modern fantasies of salvation through self-sacrifice, and about power politics in the Middle East - which together assemble the elements of a fourth : the unfinished story of the modern world.

[via wood s lot]

Myth of competition

Merger endgames

Hidden beneath the chaotic surface of mergers and acquisitions lies a distinct pattern that resembles an S-shaped curve (see figure 1). Each consolidating industry passes through four stages:

  • Opening
  • Focus
  • Accumulation
  • Alliance

[via nettime]

Energizer terrorists

Al-Qaeda: After Afghanistan: a series from the Financial Times. [via Red Rock Eater]

Spy flights over the Philippines

Spy Planes Seek Out Philippine Guerrillas

The U.S. military has begun intelligence-gathering flights over the southern Philippines in a significant expansion of its war on terrorism in that country, a senior U.S. defense official said yesterday.

The surveillance flights, which have not previously been disclosed, are meant to complement the growing presence of U.S. soldiers on the ground, projected to peak at 660 troops in coming months.

[via Red Rock Eater]

Quantum Information Theory

Fundamentals of Quantum Information Theory, Michael Keyl:

In this paper we give a self contained introduction to the conceptional and mathematical foundations of quantum information theory. In the first part we introduce the basic notions like entanglement, channels, teleportation etc. and their mathematical description. The second part is focused on a presentation of the quantitative aspects of the theory. Topics discussed in this context include: entanglement measures, channel capacities, relations between both, additivity and continuity properties and asymptotic rates of quantum operations. Finally we give an overview on some recent developments and open questions.

Comic science

In a collaboration network, nodes represent people and links represent some kind of collaborative effort between them: actors appearing the the same movie, scientists co-authoring papers, etc. A group of mathematicians have built a collaboration network based on the Marvel Comic universe where nodes are comic book characters which are joined when the characters appear in the same comic. The relationships are built from the Marvel Chronology Project, which cross references each character with the issues it appears in. The group found that in many ways this network acts similarly to a real-world collaboration network.

Oil addiction

An Oily Quagmire

Buy drugs, support terrorism. That was the unsubtle message from federal drug policy officials as they launched a multi-million dollar advertising campaign during Sunday's Super Bowl.

Certainly, they have some evidence on their side. Terrorist groups from southeast Asia to South America are in the drug trafficking business. But in the meantime, another hazardous American addiction goes unchallenged. No crusade has been launched against a national dependency that delivers billions of dollars each year to foreign powers whose support for terror is far from fanciful: Oil.

The organization of anti-globalization

Today, Porto Alegre. Tomorrow ...?

Can the World Social Forum have a meaningful impact without adopting a more formal structure? The counter-summit's organizers insist it can.


Grajew says he conceived of the forum as a positive alternative to protesting at the closed doors of the WEF, normally held in the Swiss resort town of Davos. But would reorganizing the forum into a body -- a democratic body, of course -- that votes and drafts sweeping statements be a more effective means to challenge the WTO and the WEF? Some of the thousands who gathered in Brazil think so.

[via Alternet]

Electric salvation?

The Electric Christian Rapture Test: on the Dennis Lee and the people buying into his free energy scheme.

They say all it takes is a little bit of faith, some cash and a signature, and if everything goes as planned, subscribing Christians (and maybe a few trusting infidels) will be free of Nevada Power--and their power bills--for life.

Call it the Electric Christian Rapture Test.

"I sold all my stock last year because I would rather put it into this company than the stock market," says Conrad Sorensen, who owns Henderson dealership Grassroot Enterprises of Tesla, Inc. "I feel my money's going to be safer here than any stock market."

Sorensen is part of a network of disciples of self-proclaimed anointed one, inventor and Christian evangelist Dennis Lee, who-- though he has actions pending against him by attorneys general and alerts filed by Better Business Bureaus in various states--has been traveling the country, registering people for free power. The would-be, modern-day miracle-maker says that the Fourth of July will take on an extra special meaning this year. This July 4 will not just be Independence Day for our nation. It will be America's Declaration of Energy Independence Day. The day when their fabulous invention will be unveiled and the faithful will receive the free electricity that Lee's brethren have been promising for years.

See also:

[via Alternet]

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Copyright © 2001-2002 by Wes Cowley