the COGENT PROVOCATEUR


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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COGENT PROVOCATEUR Archives
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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.


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the COGENT PROVOCATEUR:
free agent, loose cannon, pointy stick ...
CAMP ENRON:
... 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, May 21, 2002

 
--- Foresight, Hindsight, Insight ---

In a universe of imperfect information, failure is not proof of error ... nor is success necessarily proof of correctness. [Also true in most universes of perfect information, for reasons that need not concern us here.]

Terrorism is not a strategic threat to the US. It wasn't on September 10, it wasn't on September 11, and it isn't today. Terrorists can harass us, they hurt us, they can cost us lives and fortunes, but they can't knock us over or turn us around.

Will Terrorism advance to the rank of strategic threat in the century to follow? Conceivably ... but it doesn't register on my 50-year spread of "Top Ten Threats to Our Way of Life". In fact, Microsoft could deal us more severe setbacks by accident than al Qaeda can on purpose.

Declaring War on Terrorism boosted the reward structure behind terrorist enterprises. So did crying too much about the last hit. So does our "with us or against us" posture. So does unilateralism. So does our out-of-hand rejection of "Moral Equivalence". So does our overwhelmingly successful projection of force in overt conflict. So does the evolving seamless global commercial culture. So would world peace, assuming we were in any serious danger of that.

But the foremost threat elevated by our response to Terrorism has almost nothing to do with Terrorism.