Friday, August 14, 1998

The Union Bank of Switzerland, which conveniently lost its records of money deposited by Jews before and during World War II, spent years trying to collect the rather piddling sums it lent to British and other Allied soldiers who escaped from POW camps and arrived without money or food and unable to get their British pay.

OK, it was the Oakland City Council that deputized the cannabis buyer's club to make its activities legal, not Berkeley. What does that tell you?

The 9th Circuit rules that people on Medicare have constitutional due process rights not to have claims turned down without a reason giving and a hearing by those HMOs the Feds are trying to force everyone on Medicare into. The decision is sensible and obvious enough, which means it will be reversed by the Supreme Court, which hates sensible and obvious almost as much as it hates the 9th Circuit. The interesting part is the Clinton Administration's position, which is that the decisions of the HMOs aren't subject to court review because they are not the actions of government. This is where privatization leads us, to a world where the Constitution no longer applies to actions taken by people working for the government because those people are alleged to be private. I know there are privatized federal prisons whose managements claim not to be bound by federal rules on things like excessive force and not killing prisoners and stuff.

I'll say it again: just when I think I have no expectations of Clinton left to be disappointed, he manages to disappoint me. Who would have thought they actually didn't want to find any evidence of Iraqi "illegal" arms programs because it would mean, I don't know, all that paperwork, I guess.

Finally, according to the LA Times, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ellen deGeneres, Madonna, Andie MacDowall, and I forget who all else, are turning 40 sometime this year. Feel old, feel very very old.

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