Look Out For That Tumbleweed

Okay, so I fell ill last week. And then, over the weekend, my computer’s motherboard blew several capacitors. Apologies for updating the blog on a rather sporadic basis. Perhaps normal service will return shortly…

currently playing: Prefab Sprout — When Love Breaks Down

Er yeah, well, maybe we'll get around to doing something, eventually…

Bin Laden determined to strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Laden implied in U.S. television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After U.S. missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a -- -- service.

An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told - - service at the same time that bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative's access to the U.S. to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of bin Laden's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the U.S.

Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that in ---, Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own U.S. attack.

Ressam says bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation. Although Bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveyed our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al Qaeda members -- including some who are U.S. citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the U.S. for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks.

Two al-Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were U.S. citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a bin Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ---- service in 1998 saying that Bin Laden wanted to hijack a U.S. aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Sheikh" Omar Abdel Rahman and other U.S.-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full-field investigations throughout the U.S. that it considers bin Laden-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group or bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.

currently playing: The Clash — Every Little Bit Hurts


Spending the Easter weekend in bed, it seems…

currently playing: Gene — To See The Lights

He Was So Checking You Out There

Back, but still getting used to things. Just to confuse myself, I thought I’d post some music today, instead of Friday. I’m using a new server, so let me know if you have problems getting the files…

Big Audio DynamiteThe Bottom Line

This song popped into my head during the ride to the airport on Saturday (a certain section of the lyric, especially ;-)), so I thought I'd share it here today. It's very 1980s, so consider yourself warned.

Wilco — Muzzle of Bees

This is from "A Ghost Is Born", their new album which will be released in June. Thank goodness for Internet leaks…

Morrissey — Irish Blood, English Heart

I think this has been released to radio now, but I can't seem to find a proper version at the moment, so here's a live version instead. I suppose it's a thinly veiled response to the NME's "Union Jack" angle of the past ten years, but I also think it fits alongside Dexy's "My National Pride" as an examination of the struggle between English and Irish identities. Or it might just be a fun pop song.

currently playing: Kate Rusby — Polly

One Careful Owner

Delivery not included.  Buyer must pick-up from current location and incur collection costs.  Return not accepted.

currently playing: Wilco — Hummingbirds


Little things I’m going to miss about Chapel Hill: I was walking down Franklin Street yesterday afternoon to get something to eat, when I see the owner of the Jersey Mike’s Subs on Columbia up ahead. Now, I ate there about five times last year, including during The Ice Storm where it was one of the few places open. I wasn’t exactly a regular. But he sees me and recognition flashes across his face. He comes over, eager to know how I’m doing these days. Admittedly, the accent probably helps to make me stand out a little, but it was a nice feeling nonetheless.

This flight's SkyMall intrigue is an advertisement for temporary tattoos. It has a child proudly showing off his tattooed arm, with a speech bubble saying "Look! I'm a walking billboard!" Someone get that kid a copy of No Logo, stat.

Annoyingly, I broke the display on my CD player yesterday. I was walking back to campus after a rather long and pointless trip around Airport Road (no, I don't know either, to be honest), when the cable wrapped around a fire hydrant. I didn't notice, so I had one of those moments where I end up looking dumb, trying to walk forward and then getting pulled back by the tension in the cable. After I'd picked myself up, I discovered that the LCD display was no longer working. Grr.

Ooh. Turbulence. Fun.

I don't think I took enough pictures. I walked around with my camera at all times, but kept on forgetting about it whenever I was with people. I have lots of scenery, but little else. Although, considering some of the situations, that may be a blessing in disguise.

Time to go to sleep, I think. Goodbye again, Chapel Hill. Hello, Britain. How have you been?

currently playing: The Clash — London Calling

Leaving Again

Time to say goodbye once more.

currently playing: New Order — In A Lonely Place

23 Hour Party People

I deleted the last entry because it sounded a bit too “You don’t have the first album? Well, it is quite rare.” Anyway, last night I discovered just how bad I am at making things with play-doh, and that I really can’t draw with my eyes closed.

Today, I have new glasses, thanks to Leigh, who came along with me to make sure I didn't choose anything too hideous (she did pick out a few Elton John-esque pairs, includiing a weird red and white striped abomination…)

One more full day left…

currently playing: Mint Royale — Don’t Falter


I have been keeping up with the Richard Clarke story, as it has provided me with no end of laughs over the past two weeks. No matter what the Administration throws at him, he just keeps on coming. And now, he’s managed to get them in a position where Rice is testifying under oath, despite the howls of protest last week that doing so would split the Liberty Bell in two, set the Declaration of Independence aflame, and turn the Statue of Liberty a splendid shade of pink. ho ho ho.

currently playing: nothing, because I left my headphones back at Kavi's house

And don't mention the Catholics, either

This is Gary. Gary used to be a Hell's Angel. He was running dope across Arizona in the late 1970s, until one day, in 1979, he found God. He's now a born-again Christian preacher, who comes to the campus to assail the students in the Fall and Spring. Gary intrigues me, because he's never going to make headway on campus telling everybody that they're going to hell, that homosexuals will burn in eternal damnation, that woman's place is in the home, and that white people should stay separate from black people. He's not prepared to have a reasoned argument; he ignores people who are making well-thoughtout points, instead choosing to twist words and jump on slips of the tongue.

And yet he keeps coming back. The techno-listening girl who I teamed up with said that he gets paid for this, but still, after a while you'd think he'd get a little discouraged…

currently playing: Aimee Mann — Save Me