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Saudi Vegetables

So apparently Saudi Arabia is likely to do an Iran and just splinter after the current King pops his clogs (he’s currently a virtual vegetable hooked up to a vast array of medical machinery). What kind of goodies will the squabbling Princes and religious factions in Saudi get their mitts on?

120 British-made, ultra advanced Tornado ground-attack fighter aircraft
108 U.S.-made F-15 Eagle air superiority fighters and fighter-bombers
3 U.S.-made C-130 Hercules troop transport aircraft
315 U.S.-made M-1A2 Abrams main battle tanks
150 U.S.-made M-60A3 Patton main battle tanks
48 Black Hawk and other combat helicopters
2,500-plus armored fighting and troop transport vehicles of various classes
8,500-plus anti-tank missiles
1,000-plus SAM surface-to-air missiles
2,500-plus air-to-air missiles
900-plus air-to-ground missiles
126 Exocet and Sea Eagle anti-ship missiles

While not being as lavishly accessorized by the West, of course, Pakistan has nuclear weapons

Dogged Taliban

The Taliban are moving into civilian areas to use them as human shields and have surprised the Pentagon planners by doggedly hanging onto power.

Did He Fall?

So I see that a Pakistani guy being held by the INS who had “no connection” to the attacks died in his cell. I wonder did he fall or was he pushed?

Cone Conspiracy

While in Portland me and Lisa noticed that cones seemed to have taken over great swathes of Oregon. We’re not the only ones to have stumbled onto this attempt at world domination by the cones!

Movement is Forbidden!

This is, apparently, what the Israeli army announces over loudspeakers to the inhabitants of Bethlehem and other towns it has invaded. Snipers are at work, picking off those who do not comply: shoppers, children playing, people walking by windows. Meanwhile, antiwar rabbis form human shields to stop fundamentalist Israeli ethnic cleansers shooting Palestianian olive tree gardeners.

Some Rights Reserved

The Washington Post increasingly sounds like some sort of Nazi Party ragmag. What’s their best idea to ‘protect freedom’?
some are beginning to that say that traditional civil liberties may have to be cast aside

Since the civil unrest entered its modern phase in Northern Ireland in the late 1960s, almost one million (!) Irish people have been detained without habeus corpus under the terms of the UK’s notorious PTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act). A staggeringly small percentage have ever been charged with any offence, never mind a terrorist one. The PTA was introduced as a “temporary measure” but in 1998 was made permanent. This is despite the European Court of Human Rights finding it illegal under EU law. PTA detainees have sometimes been held for days or weeks without access to legal counsel, food and water, and medical care. Under duress and torture, dozens of Irish people were forced to sign fraudulent confessions that resulted in them spending years, sometimes decades, illegally imprisoned and denied trial by jury.

Britain does not have a written constitution and denies its citizens even the basic protections inherent in a Bill of Rights. People in the US are lucky that it’s more difficult for State-sponsored abduction and torture to be legalized. But it’s not impossible. It’s so sad to have seen this happen in Britain and Ireland and then to see the same fascist impulses overcome people’s better natures here as well.

Portland Orgies

Looks like I missed the real fun in Portland: Mind-Numbing Orgy Excess.

The monthly orgies I organized and oversaw in Portland last winter and spring created a power dynamic between us that was, for lack of a better term, cult-like … Intoxication is one of the keys to a successful orgy. Even though everyone has agreed to participate, there are still barriers that need to be brought down … The Roman emperor Caligula, one of history�s truly mind-boggling party animals, gave orgies that lasted for days, during which hundreds of gallons of wine and hundreds of pounds of food were consumed, along with piles of hashish and opium … I lit candles and burned incense. I�d laid out plates of fruit, cheese and bread and put soft music on the stereo.

XP Confidentiality

So Windows programs crash, this is nothing new. But now with XP, when they crash they can send the contents of your confidential documents directly to Microsoft servers. Now that’s progress!

Bitter Desires

General Van Tien Dung defeated the US in Vietnam after 15 years of relentless warfare on both sides. He doubts the US/UK alliance can carry through to victory in Afghanistan.

War cannot stamp out hate, instead it is like pouring petrol on a fire and it will provoke greater hatred and a bitter desire for revenge, especially among those prepared to die for their religion.

Long Term Talibanis

This war’s a weird morass. The Chinese are buying dud, unexploded cruise missiles from Bin Laden for several million dollars a pop, while a Taliban leader, interviewed in a Pakistan paper, is already planning for a retreat from the cities and a war of attrition against “invaders” expected to last years.