August 21st, 2004


Happy Birthday Me!

I am now officially old enough to legally have sex with people half my age.

In 18 months I'll be old enough to legally be a grandfather.

Let's all just thank God that I'm not one. Brrrrrrr.

Weather tomorrow looks to be half-reasonable, with some cloud and temperatures that are bearable. Will attempt to round up usual suspects mid-morning, if any of them are awake...

Conspiracy? Or something more sinister

This is fascinating. A bunch of facts that could be considered the basis for conspiracy if you added them up. Of course you'd have to be paranoid. Or would you?

That Jonathan Bush’s Riggs Bank has been found guilty of laundering terrorist funds and fined a US-record $25 million must embarrass his nephew George, but it's still no justification for leaping to paranoid conclusions.

That George Bush's brother Marvin sat on the board of the Kuwaiti-owned company which provided electronic security to the World Trade Centre, Dulles Airport and United Airlines means nothing more than you must admit those Bush boys have done alright for themselves.

That George Bush found success as a businessman only after the investment of Osama’s brother Salem and reputed al Qaeda financier Khalid bin Mahfouz is just one of those things - one of those crazy things.

That Osama bin Laden is known to have been an asset of US foreign policy in no way implies he still is.

That al Qaeda was active in the Balkan conflict, fighting on the same side as the US as recently as 1999, while the US protected its cells, is merely one of history's little aberrations.

The claims of Michael Springman, State Department veteran of the Jeddah visa bureau, that the CIA ran the office and issued visas to al Qaeda members so they could receive training in the United States, sound like the sour grapes of someone who was fired for making such wild accusations.

That one of George Bush's first acts as President, in January 2001, was to end the two-year deployment of attack submarines which were positioned within striking distance of al Qaeda's Afghanistan camps, even as the group's guilt for the Cole bombing was established, proves that a transition from one administration to the next is never an easy task.

That so many influential figures in and close to the Bush White House had expressed, just a year before the attacks, the need for a "new Pearl Harbor" before their militarist ambitions could be fulfilled, demonstrates nothing more than the accidental virtue of being in the right place at the right time.

That the company PTECH, founded by a Saudi financier placed on America’s Terrorist Watch List in October 2001, had access to the FAA’s entire computer system for two years before the 9/11 attack, means he must not have been such a threat after all.

It goes on...

Quote of the day

Ask people about God nowadays and they usually reply "I'm not religious, but deep down I'm a very spiritual person."

What this phrase really means is: "I'm afraid of dying but I can't be arsed going to church."

- Colin Ramone


Spent the day wandering the Water of Leith with Bekka, Meredith, Hugh, Susan and Lilian (in reverse order of height). Started in Stockbridge, ended at the Gallery of Modern Art, where we lay on art and read the papers until chased off at closing time.

Now back at Lilian's playing scrabble with her and Susan.

Losing badly, of course.

MSN thoughts

The use of a smiley in sentence makes it seem somehow lighter and fluffier. It injects a note of humour.

In MSN the smiley button sits just below the text area. Which means that if you glance at it quickly tyou get subliminal smiliness in _all_ the text you read.

Which is sometimes very disturbing.