Rainy Mondays always get me down...isn't that the line from a popular song? Well it's certainly rainy here, but I've managed to avoid the Holiday Blues this year. One thing that has helped is finding a radio station that DOES NOT play Christmas songs! I found a great station that plays only hits of the 1980s, and love it.
I am a fan of almost all the popular culture of the 1980s. Those were some of my happiest years: I was working as a journalist, I traveled a good deal, I felt very independent and carefree. It was, in some ways, the childhood I never had. I also had a burning love affair with an unconventional man during most of that era, and that made it all seem so...much more romantic and beautiful.
At any rate, I'm finding that simply ignoring a large part of the "Christmas Hype/Mania" has allowed me to feel much better this year. Of course, most of my melancholia stems from the awful childhood I had, and the atrocious behavior of my alcoholic father during this time of year. It's always amazed me that most people who have a great childhood simply are incapable of realizing that living a hellish childhood will affect you for the rest of your life. And MOST OF US do not ever get over it. What's the old quote: "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." That applies to society trying to stop people who are incapable of parenting from breeding. But that will NEVER happen, so the cycle goes on and on...
I still haven't decided definitely if I'll go to my mother's house for the family gathering at Christmas. I don't want to, but wonder if I'll feel guilty if I don't? See my Live Journal Entries for last Christmas, if you're curious about why I feel this way. Click HERE to read about that.
Now...to the news. It looks as if bin Laden is still missing in action. Here's some interesting excerpts:
Mujahideen commanders declared victory in the battle against al-Qaeda forces in Afghanistan on Sunday, as Donald Rumsfeld, US defence secretary, made a surprise visit to the US Bagram Airbase in the country.
But after coming down from the Tora Bora mountains at the end of the battle to drive al-Qaeda from its final stronghold, the Mujahideen said they had not found Mr bin Laden.
"He is not here," said Haji Zaman, one of the commanders of the three Mujahideen forces fighting with the US. "Osama is not in my pocket. I cannot show him to you."
Mr Zaman said he had seen the cave where Mr bin Laden was thought to be hiding, and that his body was not among the many left there after Sunday's fighting.
Senior U.S. officials admitted that they were not certain of bin Laden's whereabouts.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday that bin Laden was most likely in Afghanistan, but acknowledged he "can't ignore the possibility that he might not be -- that he might have gotten out."
Makes you wonder if he'll ever turn up? Or will he manage to just vanish, disappear...with no proof of whether he's alive or dead? IF no body is ever found, his legend is going to be greater than Elvis! Can you imagine the 'sightings' all over the world?
I also found this interesting tidbit of opinion about that tape the US government released of bin Laden:
Tape doesn't prove bin Laden's guilt
Contrast this tape with tapes that are sometimes introduced in organized-crime or drug cases that are self-proving. Such tapes contain information that is not in the public domain and could be known only by the criminal. Such information might include the calibre of bullets used, the location of transit points for drugs, the names of undisclosed associates, etc. The bin Laden tape, in contrast, includes only information known to everybody. For example, bin Laden's assertion that Mohammed Atta was the leader of the hijackers has been widely reported and cannot be independently confirmed.
It could be argued bin Laden's statement that several of the hijackers were unaware of their mission until just before they boarded the plane is precisely the kind of information that would be known only to the planner. But there is no independent evidence that this claim is true. It is exactly the sort of statement that would be made by someone falsely seeking to claim credit for something he did not plan, since it suggests unique knowledge that can never be disproved. It, too, had been widely reported in the press before bin Laden made his statements. In other words, it is entirely possible bin Laden is boasting and claiming credit for a "success" for which he had little personal responsibility and no advance knowledge.
-- Alan M. Dershowitz, a professor of law at Harvard University and an appellate lawyer, has represented such clients as Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson and O.J. Simpson. In an exclusive to the National Post, he analyzes the legal merits of the Osama bin Laden videotape, released on Thursday
And concerning our allies in Afghanistan this dismal news:
Unpaid Alliance soldiers spark crime wave in Kabul
Gangs of Northern Alliance soldiers have unleashed a crime wave of looting and killing in Kabul which is awakening nostalgia for the Taliban.
Lawlessness is creeping into daily life, after six years of Taliban order, in the form of robberies, extortion and murder aimed at the few Kabul residents with visible wealth.
Parts of the city have become no-go areas for taxi drivers after a spate of abductions and roadside executions of their colleagues by soldiers loyal to the new Afghan government.
Many of the fighters have not been paid since July and admit they are hungry for spoils after last month's sweep into the capital.
And on the anthrax front, I found an article that is thought-provoking about the source of the anthrax. Could it have come from our own military facilities? Perhaps a military person who is the culprit? I've always maintained that some of our own military (not all, just a few) will be our terrorist of tomorrow. Such as McVeigh.
Here's some food for thought:
WASHINGTON (AP) - Anthrax spores that contaminated U.S. mail in October were apparently produced in the United States, the White House said Monday.
Press secretary Ari Fleischer said the evidence is not conclusive but it is increasingly "looking like it was a domestic source."
He said officials still did not know who delivered the anthrax.
Army officials are doubtful that potentially deadly anthrax in letters mailed to Congress originated at a military medical research center, even though spores in both places were a genetic match.
The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease obtained its supply from the Agriculture Department and shared it with five labs in the United States, Canada and Britain, spokesman Chuck Dasey said Sunday.
He was reacting to a report in The Washington Post that the genetic makeup of the anthrax used in the letters mailed to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., matched the anthrax in the Army's stockpile.
And that's enough for today!