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Journal Journal: What is the Koran?

This article from The Atlantic Monthly provides an informative overview of the current state of Koranic textual scholarship. This kind of textual analysis is as controversial today in Islamic societies as Biblical scholarship is among fundamentalist literalists; it's more problematic even because the Koran has a creation mythos about it (all received literally from the angel Gabriel by Mohammed) which the Bible as a collection of scriptures of varying dates does not have.
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Journal Journal: The future of warfare is information warfare

This article from Insight Magazine discusses the Chinese Military's current thinking on how to win a war against the United States: since a developing country has no chance to beat the US on a battlefield -- change the theater. Fight information warfare; cause financial chaos; attack key infrastructure using terrorist tactics. US military thinking is "a slave to technology". By thinking "outside the box" as it were, China can try to neutralize the superior gee-whiz weapons of war; instead of matching the US missile for missile, they'll match it mind for mind.
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Journal Journal: Terrorists in the Pentagon

Undernews linked to this ABC News Story detailing plans laid in the early '60s by the Pentagon to fake terrorists incidents in the U.S. in order to incite the American public against Cuba.

DAVID RUPPE, ABC NEWS: In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba. Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities. The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.

America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." Details of the plans are described in 'Body of Secrets,' a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.

The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years. "These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing," Bamford told ABC News . . .

This is why the military needs strong civilian oversight -- and why Heinlein was on crack when he suggested in Starship Troopers that only veterans get to vote.

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Journal Journal: Garrison Keillor couldn't make this up...

Two stories of small-town Minnesota life which seem like they come off the stage of the Fitzgerald theater. First, the town of Nicollet is shocked when two entrepreneurial college students open up a strip joint -- the town of 800 never even thought to pass an ordinance or zoning rules.

Second, Prior Lake High School let a journalist in for a whole year, and were dismayed when the subsequent book aired all the dirty laundry. Sex, pot, and rebellion, in a Minnesota school? Who would have thought ...

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Journal Journal: Holistic Computer Medicine 1

This web site provides information on using holistic and naturopathic remedies for the problems that ail your computer.

Reminds me of the "Alternative Veterinary Medicine" clinic just up the road from my house...

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Journal Journal: WTC photography

This picture, probably taken from a helicopter or overflying airplane, is the best aerial view of the WTC disaster site I've seen yet. Note the bright red plastic sheeting on the buildings to the bottom and left. I wonder how many of the surrounding structures took so much damage they'll have to be demolished. [Update: The page is now 404, but I have a copy of the image on my home machine, which I will upload later today.] [Update, 10/25: The picture is now available at this location.]
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Journal Journal: John's Weblog 1

Just was put onto this new feature of /. by a friend; maybe this is a good way to keep track of weblog-type entries -- better than keeping it in an e-mail folder, because it goes on someone else's quota...

If you look at the comments, you can see previous weblog entries excerpted from my mail file.

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