the COGENT PROVOCATEUR
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ... taking an imposing analytic toolkit out of the box, over the wall and into the street ... with callous disregard for accepted wisdom and standard English
reading tea leaves from original angles, we've led with uncannily prescient takes on the federal surplus, the dotcom crash, the "Energy Crisis", the Afghan campaign, the federal deficit.
More where those came from ... stay tuned.
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NOTE to READERS:
All "major" articles of older material have now been imported, some with updates worth perusing. We'll keep it all on the main page for a while, will add a few loose pieces of history, will trim the main page and index the archives for convenience later.
the COGENT PROVOCATEUR:
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ...
... gateway to the next Progressive Era?
Some say it's nothing but a train wreck ... roll in the big cranes, clear the track, see what the crew was smoking. If I thought so, I'd not be writing this ... and if they thought so, they'd not be drumming so hard.
OTHER GOOD STUFF:
Many thanks to Tony Adragna and Will Vehrs, still shouting 'cross the Potomac at QuasiPundit. Early Camp Enron material can be found in QP's Dispatches department.
Tuesday, March 26, 2002
--- Tom's Amazing Technicolor Dreadcoat: This Helps Which Side? ---Quantifying, publishing (and color-coding) our current terror threat assessment is a fine idea -- for the terrorists.
It provides no actionable information for you or me, except possibly at level RED (meaning "stay home" and/or "run away").
It does provide useful intelligence and control opportunities to an organized foe.
In the simplest case, an elevated alert level signals "busted"; a low alert level gives the green light: "proceed with Operation Jihad".
Higher up the scale, a serious foe can plant false alarms and track response levels to
(a) time, calibrate and decode our alert and alarm mechanisms;
(b) flood and eventually extinguish our responses (the "cry wolf" effect);
(c) validate their own containment systems, test suspected loose wheels and double agents, and "dry run" operational protocols.
Even current non-hostile forces can use this window of instrumentation to probe our reflexes. As a rule, we should play dumb -- maximizing uncertainty in the opposing camp -- except possibly when we possess specific lifesaving information ... and maybe not even then.