Monthly Archives: October 2004

Osama's back

Oooooh, diss!!! (more)

It's not the October surprise most people were expecting. One thing about modern terrorist and insurgency groups is they really understand how to play the media… A few years ago I saw Robert Pelton talk, and one of the things he described was travelling into the jungle to meet with rebels, talking to their media departments, and staging events that would make for effictive TV. Weird world we live in.

Rough transcript; read it and understand it:

“You American people, my speech to you is the best way to avoid another conflict about the war and its reasons and results. I am telling you security is an important pillar of human life. And free people don't let go of their security contrary to Bush's claims that we hate freedom. He should tell us why we didn't hit Sweden for instance. Its known that those who hate freedom don't have dignified souls, like the 19 who were blessed. But we fought you because we are free people, we don't sleep on our oppression. We want to regain the freedom of our Muslim nation as you spill our security, we spill your security.

I am so surprised by you. Although we are in the fourth year after the events of sept 11, Bush is still practicing distortion and misleading on you, and obscuring the main reasons and therefore the reasons are still existing to repeat what happened before. I will tell you the reasons behind theses incidents.

I will be honest with you on the moment when the decision was taken to understand. We never thought of hitting the towers. But after we were so fed up, and we saw the oppression of the American Israeli coalition on our people in Palestine and Lebanon, it came to my mind and the incidents that really touched me directly goes back to 1982 and the following incidents. When the US permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon with the assistance of the 6th fleet. In these hard moments, it occurred to me so many meanings I cant explain but it resulted in a general feeling of rejecting oppression and gave me a hard determination to punish the oppressors. While I was looking at the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it came to my mind to punish the oppressor the same way and destroy towers in the US to get a taste of what they tasted, and quit killing our children and women.

We didn't find difficulty dealing with Bush and his administration due to the similarity of his regime and the regims in our countries. Whish half of them are ruled by military and the other half by sons of kings and presidents and our experience with them is long. Both parties are arrogant and stubborn and the greediness and taking money without right and that similarity appeared during the visits of Bush to the region while people from our side were impressed by the US and hoped that these visits would influence our countries. Here he is being influenced by these regimes, Royal and military. And was feeling jealous they were staying for decades in power stealing the nations finances without anybody overseeing them. So he transferred the oppression of freedom and tyranny to his son and they call it the Patriot Law to fight terrorism. He was bright in putting his sons as governors in states and he didn't forget to transfer his experience from the rulers of our region to Florida to falsify elections to benefit from it in critical times.

We agreed with Mohamed Atta, god bless him, to execute the whole operation in 20 minutes. Before Bush and his administration would pay attention and we never thought that the high commander of the US armies would leave 50 thousand of his citizens in both towers to face the horrors by themselves when they most needed him because it seemed to distract his attention from listening to the girl telling him about her goat butting was more important than paying attention to airplanes butting the towers which gave us three times the time to execute the operation thank god.

Your security is not in the hands of Kerry or Bush or Al Qaeda. Your security is in your hands. Each state that doenst mess with our security has automatically secured their security.”

Some of you may remember that about two years ago I predicted that in thirty years, American kids would be wearing Osama Bin Laden shirts, just like today they wear Che Guevara shirts. I stand by that claim.

Convention day

Great first day!

A not very good picture of me, Aldo_Booth, and Komando. So many nice friendly people at this convention, and a fair number that I know from here as well which is always good. It's funny, I was going to write that “modified people” are the same wonderful folks all over the world, but I think I'm seeing with tunnel vision — there are wonderful people of all sorts all over this world, and meeting them and hearing their stories is rewarding.

A quick look at the convention floor. Full coverage coming up in BME of course on our return — Rachel's shot a lot of photos even though she's totally tired out and sick right now.

It really takes a lot of guts to do this on stage.

Anyway, sorry for being brief but I'm off again. Totally looking forward to the Pain Solution show tomorrow as well. American artists — you really should consider coming down to these conventions. Costs are cheap, and it's a great and lively vacation with wonderful people and a really nice culture in this city. I wish I could stay longer and explore both more of the city and the country as well.

Bad Microsoft!

So, according to the folks at The Lancet, over 100,000 people have died because of US action in Iraq (more). Now, maybe that's not that high but it's still a lot of people that didn't need to die. How many people needed to die for this you ask? My best estimate: zero.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Bush Cabal chose several times to not arrest Zarqawi before the war, even though they had several opportunities to do so (more). Why would they do that you ask? I don't know, but I can tell you that by not doing it, the corporations involved are making a lot more money due to the increased violence. Private mercenaries and reconstruction efforts don't come cheap.

Remember those weapons that Bush claimed were gone before the war, and how he attacked Kerry for “jumping to conclusions”? Well, it turns out that the Al-Karar Brigade claims to have them (more) and promises to use them against the US. In a series of events that sounds very similar to Bush's WMD scandal, video footage exists of the explosives after US troops were there (more), and both Iraqi (more) and UN agencies (more) specifically warned the US to watch them. That said, those 400 tons of high explosive are only the tip of the iceberg of weaponry that's passed into the hands of insurgents and terrorists since the US occupation began (more).

The reasons for the weapons losses can easily be the same as the decision to let Zarqawi go — it's highly profitable. Sure, a lot of Iraqis and Americans die and become impoverished because of it, but that 2% at the top making the decisions becomes fabulously wealthy. Now, you may want to ask yourself, did this happen because of evil or incompetence? I don't see that there are any other options, and neither is fit to run a nation, let alone a superpower nation.

Maybe Microsoft is evil. They broke my TV, didn't they?

According to Dr. Robert M. Nelson, senior research scientist at NASA and JPL, “an international authority on image analysis” who's currently analyzing photos of Saturn's moons to determine their shape has some interesting things to say about the “bulge” on Bush's back during the debates (more):

"I am willing to stake my scientific reputation to the statement that Bush was wearing something under his jacket during the debate. This is not about a bad suit. And there's no way the bulge can be described as a wrinkled shirt."

But hey, what does some egghead from NASA know about science. Bush is our buddy, he'd never betray the world… Well, time to go memorize the Bush pledge now (more), seeing as the latest GOP polls predict him winning 99.7% of the popular vote… Anyway, I'm off to the tattoo convention.

More travel notes

Rachel was feeling wiped out so while she was having a nap I decided to go for a walk. I'm not really a brave fellow and don't tend to go places I shouldn't, but at the same time, I'm not known for common sense — as I was leaving, half asleep she said to me, “if you get hassled, just say 'No tengo ningn valor como rehn. Nadie me desea.'” I'm not sure what that means. Her Spanish is a lot better than mine. That said, I think I could become fluent within a month of being here; with my French, German, and English there's a surprising amount of overlap.

I was meeting Havve at 21:00, so I knew I had to be back for 7 PM — two hours to do about a 10 km walk if I'm guessing the distances right. Here are a few photos from along the way.

This is the city just before I left for my walk. I still can't get over just how big this place is. I think my only complaint — the level of air pollution — is in part a byproduct of this, along with cars and busses with less smog control than they probably should have. Of course, I live in the most air polluted region on the planet — the lower great lakes basin — so I'm in a bit of a glass house on that one.

Cables are strung everywhere, and as far as I can tell they're “official” since they're fuelling traffic lights and so on. Or I'm seeing them backward, and people are lifting power from the lights.

One of the new condo developments down by the waterfront. Those of you who live in Toronto may find it disconcerting just how familiar this looks. There are a lot of similarities between Canada and Argentina I think… when Rachel was buying shoes yesterday, we mentioned we were from Canada and the sales guy commented as well about how similar Canada, Australia, and Argentina all are.

A really funky little house down by the shore. I can't believe I said “funky”. I wish I'd taken more shots from other angles, it was a very funny building.

Ducks in a canal. On the other side of the palms is the ocean.

I took a wrong turn down what looked like a nice alleyway. When I'd walked about four hundred feet and noticed people suspiciously glaring at me, and then almost tripped over a dead pitbull, I decided I should probably choose an alternate route. I guess it was a little shanty down — sorry to keep drawing Toronto comparisons, but it reminded me of “tent city” that used to be down by the Toronto waterfront.

A modern bridge crossing one of the canals, and a tall ship behind it. The main avatar I've got up right now is a picture I took right in front of that bridge as well.

Come on — you must be seeing the Toronto parallels by now! The waterfront area really was disconcertingly similar in areas. As long as you keep the palm trees out of the shots, I'm sure there are photos one could take that would easily fool Canadians into thinking it was a local photo.

Yes, it's a TGI-FRIDAYS. Aparently those are more common in Argentina than they are up north.

Anyway… I know these travel entries are a little lame (and because of editing them on my laptop, the pictures may not look so great) and I'm not much of a travel writer — really, there's not much ranting involved, and I'm best when my revolutionary fires are ripping my brain to shreds — but I hope some of you are finding it at least marginally interesting.

But really, you've got to do this as well. I dread travelling every time before leaving, but almost always enjoy it once I'm there, and I'm definitely enjoying Buenos Aires so far. There are things you learn about the world that you can not learn by any other method than going out and travelling.

Oh, and while I was gone Rachel kept having dreams that there was something wrong with the clock. As some of you may have clued in to, 21:00 is 9PM, not 7PM, so I rushed back for nothing, and felt a little dumb after Rachel pointed it out — after we'd sat in the lobby for half an hour waiting!


Well, we're at a new hotel now. This one is super swank — we knew we had a good one when we saw that this is where all the international pilots stay — and the price is still a fraction of what our room in Vegas cost. That said, the high speed internet access is broken so I'm actualy connecting through a WebTV type device.

I did manage earlier to upload a picture of the skyline view from our window. Buenos Aires is a truly monstrous city, perhaps even dwarfing Los Angeles or NYC. It's kind of embarrassing that us North Americans are almost totally unaware of what a vibrant and modern culture exists to the south of us. Click below for a big zoom:

For a guy that doesn't really like travelling, I've got a lot of places I want to go… I definitely want to spend a few more weeks in Argentina, as well as the rest of South America… I keep hearing more and more good things about Namibia and really want to check out Africa… And Eastern Europe… And Australia… And Rachel has her eyes on Japan also…

But Namibia is where my head's at right now. I'm so utterly convinced at this point that things in city life are not going to magically correct themselves. When the US, a nuclear superpower, finds itself without fuel, and Russia is sitting on what's left, I don't really want to be in the path of those ICBMs… I keep having fantasies that will get people “Jim Jonesing” me a bit too much about buying a 6,000 acre ranch in Africa and just inviting anyone here who's willing to work the land to come and escape.

It's probably a pipe dream, but I haven't stopped thinking about it since I first proposed it three or four years ago…