Still angry, Colin?

“I am angry that so many sons of the powerful and well placed . . . managed to wangle slots in Reserve and National Guard units. Of the many tragedies of Vietnam, this raw class discrimination strikes me as the most damaging to the ideal that all Americans are created equal and owe equal allegiance to our country.”
— Colin Powell in his 1995 autobiography, An American Journey

They said it

“If we know Saddam has weapons of mass destruction – and we do – does it make any sense for the world to wait to confront him?
It [the Iraqi regime] possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons … we know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, and VX gas.”
George Bush
7 October 2002

“His [Saddam Hussein’s] regime has large, unaccounted-for stockpiles of chemical and biological weaponsand he has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons.”
Donald Rumsfeld
20 January 2003

“Every statement I make today is backed up by sources, solid sources. These are not assertions. What we’re giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence. In fact, they [the Iraqi regime] can produce enough dry biological agent in a single month to kill thousands upon thousands of people.

“Saddam Hussein has never accounted for vast amounts of chemical weaponry: 550 artillery shells with mustard, 30,000 empty munitions, and enough precursors to increase his stockpile to as much as 500 tons of chemical agents. If we consider just one category of missing weaponry, 6,500 bombs from the Iran-Iraq war. …
“Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent.
Even the low end of 100 tons of agent would enable Saddam Hussein to cause mass casualties across more than 100 square miles of territory, an area nearly five times the size of Manhattan.”
Colin Powell
address to the UN Security Council
5 February 2003

“It is right [going to war] because weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, are a real threat to the security of the world and this country.”
Tony Blair
House of Commons
15 January 2003

Mini iPod Mania

Just before the Macworld Expo last month, I speculated about what new product Apple would or would not unveil in SF. I guessed it wouldn’t be the mini iPod. I was wrong, but since that day, I’ve been getting loads of visitors to this blog who came via a search engine (usually google), searching for the words “mini ipod”. It’s now become the top referrer to ridey.net. Very weird, as I come way down the results for such a search. So either something very strange is going on, or else Steve Jobs has done it again. I reckon it’s the later.

The second leading referrer is also Apple related. Many come here searching for panther and perl. I somehow come top of the list of 50,500 results. Which is nice for me, but not such good news for Mr Jobs.

In Britain, It’s No Big Deal

Meanwhile, here in Blighty, while all of America was getting bent out of shape about a breast, John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols), has been a contestant on the UK version of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! The other night, Lydon reacted to his not being voted out by viewers by loudly and clearly saying: “the f—ing c—s”. On live television. With 11 million people watching. ITV, the broadcaster of the show, received a total of 70 complaints.

Land of the Weird

The longer I spend living outside America, and it’s now been more than 14 years, the harder it gets to defend my country when it is criticised, or perhaps worse, laughed at by the rest of the world. And the world is howling with laughter again.

>And who could blame them? How could anyone fail to laugh at a country where in the same week that the Bush administration was forced to admit that Saddam Hussein had posed no threat to America, and did not possess any so-called weapons of mass destruction (thus exposing as entirely fraudulant its motives for going to war in Iraq), is it possible that the event which has outraged the nation be Janet Jackson’s breast being exposed on national TV?

How could the latter be considered an obscenity but not the former? How could a brief glimpse of a woman’s breast be taken as evidence of the nation’s moral decay, but not that same nation’s slaughter of innocent men, women and children for no other reason than George W Bush wanting to go one better than his father? If you have answers to these questions, please share them.