Monday, June 30, 1997

I believe I sent a brief item last week about Oklahoma City police seizing copies of the movie the Tin Drum, which won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1979, and whose sex scenes are nowhere near as offensive as the one where people eat eel. Those Germans! As long as it's phallic they'll eat it. It seems they actually got Blockbuster to release the names of people who had rented it, including a local ACLU official who had known what was coming, then went to their homes and grabbed the tapes.

Another follow-up: a Belgium court reprimands 2 soldiers who roasted a Somali boy over a brazier. They said it was just a game. A photo of the incident is on the June 24th cover of the Village Voice.

If you want to buy a piece of the moon or mars, try

July 1 in Hong Kong, celebrating the principle that sovereignty over human beings can be leased. All that partying reminds me of Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of the Red Death, written the year Britain acquired HK.

Saturday, June 28, 1997

The NY Times says 70% of deaths in hospitals are "passive euthanasia" in which treatment is deliberately withheld, and still more are from pain medication given at lethal levels. The problem is, the doctors don't seem to be discussing any of this with the patients, it being illegal and all. I'm in favor of euthanasia and all, but isn't this just a tad too much unchecked power in the hands of people who already think of themselves as gods?

Friday, June 27, 1997

Disney's records company, whatever it's called, just pulled a new CD from Insane Clown Posse (I think I heard that right), which evidently has unpleasant lyrics of the sort which which they do not wish to associate the Disney name. Funny, I'd have thought that a group called the Insane Clown Posse would produce tender love ballads.

You're all probably wondering if I've forgiven the Supreme Court, and the answer is no. The opinion on the internet indecency act was more broadly protective of the 1st Amendment than I'd have expected of this court, and unanimous too. And while I disagree with them politically about assisted suicide, only a loon or a lawyer could find an actual right to assisted suicide in the constitution. I'm also willing to allow it to kill the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, since we already have a perfectly good 1st Amendment. But what is this nonsense about congresscritters not having standing to challenge the line-item veto? If they don't have standing to ask the court to protect the separation of powers, who does? Evidently if Clinton had vetoed their free parking spaces, they could have sued because they lost something tangible, but if their legislative powers are stripped from them, they have no recourse in the courts. An interestingly materialist way to look at something as abstract as constitutional powers. This means Clinton will actually have to veto something before the Court acts. And if he vetoes, say, money to the UN or foreign aid, then no one at all has standing to challenge it, since furriners don't count.

Thursday, June 26, 1997

It has been discovered that one of the, er, um, "fellows" at the all-women Newnham College, Cambridge, in fact once was a fellow before one of those operations we men don't like to think about.

From the AP: "Prosecutors have dropped aggravated sexual battery charges in the case of a 9-year old boy who was accused of pressing himself against a girl in a lunch line."

Wednesday, June 25, 1997

The Kansas case that led to that stupid Supreme Court decision on sexual offenders was worse than I realized. The prisoner involved had served 10 years on a plea bargain. A plea bargain! He could have been sentenced to 180 years if it had gone to trial, but the prosecutor pled it and then, the very same prosecutor went back to get more time via civil commitment.

The Whitewater prosecutor's drones have been interviewing Arkansas state troopers and every woman Clinton's ever been rumored to have slept with (that should drag it out until Clinton's Strom Thurmond's age) about his various affairs. What does Kenneth Starr plan to do, prosecute Clinton for adultery?

Tuesday, June 24, 1997

Way out there

This week is the 50th anniversary of both Roswell and the murder of Bugsy Siegal (who has a street named after him, although misspelled, in Las Vegas). A coincidence? I think not!

The truth is out there.

Fuck the Supreme Court

Right now I am so pissed off about the sexual predator decision that I don't have room to be pissed off about the decision allowing state teachers to teach in parochial schools.

First, let me point out, as neither the NY Times nor the Washington Post had the bad taste to, the incredible irony of Clarence "Pubic Hair in My Coke" Thomas writing a decision about so-called sexual predators. So people without the legal definition of mental illness can be incarcerated in mental hospitals forever, after serving criminal sentences. Nice to see mental hospitals (doesn't that word imply treatment?) being used for criminal purposes, just like the Soviet Union used to. Thomas says this is not punishment, hence subject to some sort of constitutional protection, such as that against double jeopardy, because it doesn't involve retribution or deterrence. Sure it doesn't. And it's ok that no treatment is on offer, by definition making the incarceration life-long. The people covered by the Kansas law are defined as suffering a mental abnormality or personality disorder that prevents them exercising adequate control over their behaviour. And who in prison does this not apply to? Including most of the guards.

If you're ever in Somalia, don't drink the water, since every UN soldier sent there in 1992 seems to have gone insane in a way that prevented them exercising adequate control over their behaviour. The meek, mild Canadians tortured Somalis, so did the Italians, Belgians roasted a Somalian boy over a brazier (and they will be sentenced this week to as much a month in jail and a $300 fine), and that's the most polite thing I know of Belgians doing; I will spare you the rest. Operation Restore Hope, wasn't that the name?

Hong Kong's currently illegal shadow legislature will not only implement all those awful laws you've been hearing about, but doing so retroactively to the first minute of Chinese rule, so that the demonstrations on the stroke of midnight July 1 will be illegalized ex post facto. The day after this announcement, Britain caved in to Chinese demands that it's troops be allowed in early, presumably so they can be in place to Tiananmen the Hong Kongese.

It's now clear that JFK had truly lousy intelligence during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and that armageddon was a lot closer than he ever realized. It also now comes out, from the Russian archives, that there were still 98 tactical nukes in Cuba when Kruschev was promising there weren't. They'd have stayed there, too, but the Cuban foreign minister couldn't keep his mouth shut about them.

I trust you're all following the tobacco settlement ($2 billion for the lawyers! Money so well spent) and the Louisiana implementation of two-tier marriage law (married, and really really married) without my prodding. And of course, the Russian justice minister videoed frolicking with naked women in a mafia sauna. And the sudden realization that since no one ever did anything about a crimes against humanity tribunal, if Pol Pot is ever really arrested, there's no place to try him.

Oh, I think I forgot, when I was making fun last week of the House analysis of the CIA, to mention that one provision of the new intelligence budget is whistleblower protection, for anyone who brings to the attention of Congresscritters, and only those on the appropriate oversight committees, of crimes, fraud and lying to Congress by the intelligence agencies. Clinton has the nerve to threaten to veto the bill because of this provision. Evidently it interferes with his authority to, well, um, presumably to order crimes, fraud and lying to Congress. He gets more Nixonian every year.

Monday, June 23, 1997


During the British McLibel suit just ended, Micky D's senior VP for marketing, answering the charge the their food was not nutritious, said that Coca-Cola is nutricious because it is "providing water, and I think that is part of a balanced diet."

Thursday, June 19, 1997

The House Committee on Intelligence thinks the CIA should have more money. Its report says that the CIA lacks analytic depth and that information is collected but not analyzed. Asked to respond, a CIA spokesman, and I am quoting the NY Times here, "said the agency had not seen the panel's report and could not comment on the criticisms it contained." Point taken.

OK, a couple of days ago two Orthodox rabbis in NY were arrested for laundering Colombian drug money, yesterday it was two SF interior decorators. I'm sure there's a pattern here, but I can't think what it might be.

Cardinal O'Connor joined the anti-Disney bandwagon, criticizing the new movie Hercules for I guess promoting the worship of pagan deities. Also, it lacks the homoerotic element he so enjoyed in all those badly-dubbed Italian Hercules movies. (Joke courtesy of the Daily Show)

The Russian Duma passes a bill, sponsored by a Communist yet, establishing the primacy of the Orthodox Church and establishing registration of religions with an aim to illegalizing any activities, including publishing and missionary work, by any sect they dislike. Especially the Baptists.
Probably a joint Disney-Russian Orthodox plot.

Not content with a Prime Minister who models himself after Clinton, Britain's Tory party elects itself a vibrant (cough) young leader, one William Jefferson Hague (yes, really). Mr. Hague was more ambitious at a younger age than even Clinton. When other kids were memorizing football team lineups, he knew by heart the names and constituencies of all 650+ MPs and regularly read Hansard. His mother (who is not a Tory and thinks he should have gone into business) still gave him a Tory party membership for his 15th birthday. When he was 16, he was annoited by Thatcher in a moment akin to little Billy Bob Clinton shaking hands with JFK. He vowed not to have a girlfriend until he became a cabinet minister. By an amazing coincidence, he became the youngest cabinet minister in quite some time. OK, that part's not that much like Clinton, but he has been called Hague the Vague, and now Hague the Younger. But remember, he is completely bald, and that makes me feel better.

Tuesday, June 17, 1997


I think it's CNN that has rented the actual room of the break-in, 25 years ago today, and hired G. Gordon Liddy. What a great career move that burglary was for him; I wonder how the Cubans are doing? The Washington Post is still wallowing in Watergate nostalgia, so you might check out their web-site. I wonder if I'd feel less of a personal connection to all this if Nixon hadn't chosen my birthday to resign on.

My question about the Cubans might be significant, for all I know. Remember Mohammed Hashemi, one of the lesser figures in the Iran-Contra affair? He's been talking to the Sunday Times (of London), and I think has a book coming out. It seems that in 1984 the CIA spirited him out of the country to London after he was charged with 56 counts of various malfeasci (or whatever the plural of malfeasance is), where MI6 put him to work at what he did best, arms dealing. 1st they were trying to buy some Chinese Silkworm missiles, to see how to counter them. They aborted that purchase when the US did it first, but Hashemi wound up brokering the delivery of Chinese weaponry to Iran, in breach of the UN embargo and with MI6's permission for every deal. He sold them those fast motorboats that were used to attack American and British freighters, and the Silkworms used for the same purpose. Basically, he made possible the tanker war of the mid-80s, with all that lead to.

I hope everyone is breaking the barriers in their heart, as Clinton has suggested we do to rid the country of the scourge of racism. I have put "breaking the barriers in my heart" on my To Do list, right after washing the car and having sex with a supermodel.

Hollywood needs another pet cause now that the Dalai Lama has said that homosexuality is a bad thing, along with anal and oral sex (I leave it to your imaginations where these are on my To Do list), but that prostitution is okay, as long as you pay for it yourself. This was presumably to placate Richard "Pretty Woman" Gere.

Clinton is thinking about apologizing for slavery. Bill Maher says he wants to start off by apologizing for things that happened 200 years ago and work up to Paula Jones. Gingrich thinks we shouldn't apologize for slavery because that would just be meaningless "emotional symbolism." He said this the day after the House again passed the flag burning Amendment.
Speaking of which, the shadow Hong Kong legislature has already passed a law providing a penalty of 3-years prison for defacing the Chinese flag.

Sunday, June 15, 1997

Stupid criminal tricks

A judge in Michigan resigns after newspaper finds he phoned sex lines 124 times from the courthouse. He says he's quitting "due to continuing difficulties with my hearing." That's probably how he was found out: "SPEAK UP, GIRLY! YOU WANT TO DO WHAT TO MY WHAT?"

And while a Santa Rosa real estate person can't benefit from the insurance he had on the partner he strangled, evidently his son can get the $500,000. This is the famous case where the victim's parrot was heard to utter "Richard, no no no no."

Friday, June 13, 1997

What is it with Alabama politicians lately? How many items have I sent out in the last few months about Alabama? Well, here's another one. Sleazy former governor Guy Hunt is pardoned by the Pardon Board, most of which he appointed, on the grounds that he is totally innocent and didn't really mean to steal $200,000. The only previous time the Board has ever pardoned someone on the grounds of innocence was one of the Scottsboro boys, in 1976, a tad late. But the interesting bit to me was that his original fine was $211,000, payable at a rate of $100 per month. You do the math.

A Spanish court just issued the first ever sentence for cruelty to animals. I forgot what for. But I know it wasn't for bullfighting. Or those people at the festival who force-fed a cow whisky until its heart exploded. Or that guy who likes to hang greyhounds. Or that town that has the festival (hey, this is tourism, folks!) where every year they put the fattest person in town on a donkey and beat the donkey to make it move. Or....

100 years of the Swiss army knife. And remember, if it doesn't have that loud click, it's a cheap Chinese knock-off.

George Bush has decided to be the first president since Truman who didn't actually have his brains splattered all over his wife's pill-box hat not to write his memoirs. On the other hand, Kato Kaelin's memoirs are forthcoming...

Tuesday, June 10, 1997

Desert droop, indeed

A recent Village Voice movie review said that Wesley Snipes is a very versatile actor who works well with a variety of weapons.

From the Sunday Times (London), which has been doing sex lives of the rich and famous for several weeks now. The last couple of weeks it was Hitler and his niece, and Bertrand Russell at 79 with his son's wife. Beats real news. By the way, does the name Bertie Ahern not sound exactly like someone clearing their throat? The only interesting thing about the Irish election is that Ahern has been shacking up with a woman not his wife.

Jeez, how can I get any work done when the cat is doing her Elmer Fudd impression all over the living room. "Be vewwy vewwy qwiet. I'm hunting dwagonfly."

Thursday, June 05, 1997

Duplicity, senility

And you can decide which is which:

Item the first: Yesterday Hong Kong held its probable last-ever commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Amazingly, it was covered by the Chinese media. Oh, of course they reported that it was a celebration of the end of British colonialism, but they did cover it...

Item the second: Strom Thurmond, 3rd in line to the presidency, wrote the foreword to a book which says that all of recent American technology was adapted from the crashed Roswell UFO. The author, who evidently participated in this program while in the military, was an aide to Thurmond, now chair of the armed services committee, so he must be in on it too. Which explains the hair.

The truth is out there.