Comments Posted By Michael L. Cook
Displaying 11 To 20 Of 26 Comments


The obvious fault with the theory of natural selection is that its alleged mechanisms are so broad they can explain absolutely everything, from why Stalin eliminated 20 million Soviet citizens, to why Americans challenged by the heirs of Stalin found it necessary to send men to the moon. Good night and good luck to the question of why any Americans (outside of Hollyweird) would be sympathetic to and protective of Communism in any guise.

Better yet, President Bush in the next few days is going to fly to Pakistan and motor to Islamabad. This has to be the most outright dangerous excursion ever undertaken by an American president, yet in natural selection terms it doesn't count for anything, because Dubya and Laura are past their reproductive years and their children are grown.

Mitochondrial DNA informs us that present-day humans were at relatively recent points in our journey very close to extinction. Seemingly superior types of hominids actually did become extinct. The wild card in all of this is that some extremely catastrophic things happen to this old world from time to time, asteroids slam us, volcanos rock us, and ice ages are always lurking so closely as to defy explanations as to why our planet ever really tends to be above "March of the Penguins" type conditions.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 2.03.2006 @ 10:31


The only time the Democrats get real traction is when they manage to move to the right of Dubya on something, like the Dubai deal. I think the Republicans are going to do just fine in November.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 11.03.2006 @ 03:52


Some of the few moments in my life when I was actually paying attention in real-time and observed a historical event unfold before my eyes as it happened.
1) When Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, I yelled at my mother (I was 15) "somebody just shot the jerk!" It took walter cronkite another five minutes to figure that out.
2) I was eating cereal and watching Challenger ascend, when "boom". Once again, it took the stunned commentators a full five minutes to speak the obvious.
I believe my immediate comment to my wife was, "Uh, you better come here and see this!"
3) The second airplane hitting the World Trade Center. This time, everyone knew what it was.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 30.01.2006 @ 09:25


Any real military action versus Iran will have to involve a coalition with substantial European nation involvement, even leadership. The reason is simple--the first use of an atomic WMD is much more likely to be someplace like Paris, London, Berlin, or Athens, then anyplace in the U.S. The U.S. will not act unilaterally on this unless some part of the U.S. military proposes a plan that is time-sensitive and might actually work. It is hard to imagine what such a plan would be.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 20.01.2006 @ 04:07


Then there's the riddle: Brezhne and all his top advisors are on an airplane, when it suddenly noses over at top speed and dives straight into the ground. The question is: Who is saved? the Russian people.

Or the even older one about Krushchev visiting New York City. Krushchev is being driven down Broadway to see the sights when his limosine is cut off in traffic by a carload of drunken men who make rude gestures.
"America has too much tolerance for such loatishness, I'll show them how it is done properly!" Krushchev fumes, and he orders his body guard to get out and shoot everyone in the offending car. The bodyguard hasten to do his assignment, then jumps back in the limosine, which gets away in the confusion.

The next day the headline in The New York Times proclaims, "Entire Russian trade delegation killed by mystery assassin!"

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 15.01.2006 @ 11:43


Alas, there is nothing new under the sun. Our tools have improved, but we really still do not understand very much at all about absolutely anything, from why the Y chromosome needs to exist at all to how the honey bee evolved a "dance" in order to communicate to other bees how far and in what direction to fly out.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 6.01.2006 @ 10:59


Bonus prediction--if the U.S. does have a go at Iran, it will be staged out of Iraq.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 5.01.2006 @ 04:11


I think a case can be made that many conservatives have become the romantics and the dreamers. In a sense, one always has to be a dreamer to start a business. The challenges, ill omens, and outright hostility that face any new enterprise always loom larger than life (and sometimes turn out even worse than anticipated!)

You have to be a romantic to wish to have more than one spoiled-as-hell child. You have to be a dreamer to choose a career because it interest you, whether or not you will ever be able to buy a Bentley.

You have to be a Walter Mitty romantic to run into a burning building before the fire department gets there, on the chance there are sleeping children inside.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 3.01.2006 @ 00:29


I work in criminal corrections (google search Why the Innocent Plead Guilty to see my synopsis of American justice)and I have long been an advocate for the idea that the greatest counter-terrorism device we could employ would be a lie detector machine that really works well.

Along that line, some years I began investigating the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging machines on subjects'skulls during an actual interrogation session. My idea was that the process of creating a lie (which often has to be done ad lib in order to defend a major lie already on the table) must fire up the creative portions of the mind. Functional MRI should actually show this shift of metabolic activity in the brain.

The actual truth and well-rehearsed lies are both stored in the long-term memory. My idea is that when new ad-lib lies are created to embellish and defend a false story, they first have to be stored in short-term memory before they can convert to long-term in a couple weeks.

The thing is, we know that certain drugs completely fry the short-term memory process. So, immediately after interrogating someone under Functional MRI, all we have to do is give them such drugs and put them in a distracting environment where they do not even have pencil and paper for a month.

This could be done someplace like Guantanimo rather easily. After a month is passed, we interrogate them again over the same ground. When we come to the places where they had to generate ad-lib lies they will not be able to remember the exact lies they created. So they will make up new lies, probably differing significantly in details. By repeating this process we should be able to shake their confidence that they can lie successfully at all.

Incidentally, when I started researching the Functional MRI lie detection concept, I discovered that in the mid-1990's the CIA began funding such research at the University of California, Berkeley.
I have not found what the results of this study may have been.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 29.12.2005 @ 01:00


Of course, this president and even Clinton well knows that even tinkering with the second amendment sets up a huge outcry. Cancelling the second amendment by executive decree would cause America to start resembling Iraq at its very worst within a matter of hours.

But the fourth amendment, well, most second amendment people do not place overseas phonecalls to suspected terrorists or send e-mails to them. If they could, they would be harassing the bad guys or sending hate mail to them. So this is one huge part of the American public that isn't too concerned about being spied upon should they take up communicating with folks at Al Quaida.

Probably a lot of Americans are pretty indifferent about this type of spying and when it would ever matter in their lives.

Comment Posted By Michael L. Cook On 23.12.2005 @ 21:18

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