Sunday, February 28, 1999

Lockheed Martin is developing the latest technology in troop transport: a really big blimp, capable of moving 4,000 soldiers.

The Times has an obit of a trader in port wine, who “elevated the act of spitting to almost an art form.”

In another example of an increasing problem, a Russian nuclear sub went out of commission because one of the sailors had snipped some wires and sold them to another submarine. This happens to elevators in Russia all the time. Also, units of the army have been selling some of their soldiers to the Chechens as hostages.

Australia’s deputy chief censor is now in the porno business. Just another example of the Hey I can do better than that! phenomenon. His films all seem to have the words “Down Under” in the title.

In 1954 the Catholic orphanages in Quebec were converted into psychiatric institutions in order to qualify for federal funding. They had 3,000 illegitimate children in them at the time. So what did they do with the kids? Re-classified them as mentally ill, put them in straitjackets, drugged them...

Britain is still working on their own little Rodney King story, after six years. A teenager named Stephen Lawrence was stabbed by a bunch of white teenagers. Reports at the time suggested that police arrived while he was still alive and stood around letting him bleed to death. That doesn’t seem actually to have been what happened, but that ensured that media attention stayed on the case. Everyone knows who did it, and everyone always knew. One newspaper even printed the names, which is unheard of, given the libel laws. The police screwed up the case beyond description so that no charges were ever brought, were nasty to the family, who got more and more upset as the years went on. Anyway, a report came out last week which blamed the London police for being racist (who knew?) and incompetent. Unfortunately, they also accidentally released the names and addresses of all their secret witnesses. And then the memorial to Lawrence was vandalized and it turned out that the police video cameras monitoring it were fakes, with no film. The Home Secretary Jack Straw, a man with all the passion for liberty of Antonin Scalia, has proposed doing away with double jeopardy protection and making it illegal to say racist things in your own home.

You’ll all hear this sooner or later, so why wait for the media hand-wringing? Clinton has been accused by unreliable sources of 2 more rapes, one in Britain in 1969, a British woman, and one while he was at Yale Law School, which brings to mind a fairly obvious joke.

Friday, February 26, 1999


The war goes on. And those damned Serbs refuse to play ball and send up their planes and missiles. Since the missiles are still in reserve, the real bombing can’t begin, which means the whole campaign drags on while NATO falls apart, or so Milosevic hopes. The Italian government came very close to collapsing over Kosovo today. And the Greeks were never on board. More ominously for the future of this thing, Macedonia is not especially thrilled either, and Milosevic could easily start the usual civil war there just by sending a stream of refugees their way. See Macedonia has a large Albanian minority with whom Macedons don’t get along, and the last they want is more of them.

Still, isn’t it nice to see us killing Christians for a change?

And isn’t it nice to have a war that isn’t a distraction from a Clinton sex scandal?

Thursday, February 25, 1999

Party dude

Another creepy-twins story: twins in Sicily give birth at the same time.

The Japanese consul to Canada, a wife-beater, says it’s no big deal, it’s a cultural thing. The Japanese prime minister is asked if he beats his wife, but says he is a pacifist.

Speaking of pacifists, that guy in Jasper is sentenced to death. They figure that in terms of re-education, nothing will be more effective than putting him in a place in which he is part of a small racial minority, the Texas death row. He is the first of hundreds of Texans sentenced to death to be a white person convicted of murdering a black one.

Speaking of people you don’t mind too much being executed even though you don’t support the death penalty, Texas executes the first of those Germans who thought choosing the gas chamber over lethal injection would keep the sentence from being carried out. As a Jew, the thought of a German in a gas chamber is kind of a giggle.

The Supreme Court rules that illegal aliens have no first amendment rights.

The Watergate burglars evidently carried out another break-in no one knew about until now, at the Chilean Embassy, for no good reason except for someone to link it with the planned Watergate break-in so that both would be blamed on a CIA operation. Something like that. Even Nixon thought it was a stupid idea.

Nigeria has its parliamentary elections. Corruption is such a way of life that it is carried out even when there is no reason. One election official reported 100% turnout in his area, where 250 people voted for one party, and 250 for the other party.

Monday, February 22, 1999

Another American victim

Bye to the skinny one.

And hello to Woo Yong Gak after 41 years in a South Korean prison.

The Washington Post says that one up and coming idea is the restoration of civil rights to ex-felons, given that 13% of black men are ineligible to vote, 31% in Florida.

I have some comments about the elections for leader of the Welsh Labour Party, but I doubt anyone wants to hear them.

Monica’s interview has been taped. She says she was raped by the constitution. Incidentally, although Starr finally allowed her to speak, she isn’t allowed to say anything bad about him or his crew. And what does that have to do with an immunity agreement, exactly?

In Arizona, which is weird, two prisoners, German brothers, one scheduled to die I believe Wednesday, the other one next week, having been given their choice of poison, as it were, chose the gas chamber so that they can appeal their own decision as cruel and unusual.

Saturday, February 20, 1999

So Jane Doe #5 has finally gone public with claims Clinton raped her. The most curious aspect is her supporting evidence. At the time she is supposed to have told a) her husband, b) her best friend, whose father was murdered by someone whose death penalty was commuted by Governor Clinton.

Friday, February 19, 1999

Those Israeli Embassy guards in Berlin who shot 19 Kurds, 3 fatally, which strikes me as a fair number of bullets to be letting off, are themselves let off because they have diplomatic immunity. Does this sound like a good idea?

Threats of violence from the Japanese right prevent a publisher going ahead with a Japanese edition of an American book about the Rape of Nanking.

Yeltsin, who claimed yesterday to have spoken on the phone with Clinton, which he didn’t (American sources say he probably meant Madeline Albright, which is a mistake I think we’ve all made at some time), today meets Gerhard Shroeder for the first time, or at least what he seems to think is the first time.

The Pope intervened with Britain, asking them to let Pinochet go free. What’s interesting, aside from the inappropriateness, is that the Vatican has been lying about it ever since November. Aren’t they not supposed to do that? Isn’t there a commandment, or something?

Speaking of which, Monica’s blue & semen dress may go into the National Archives, which will at least spare us the knowledge of how much someone would be willing to pay for it at auction, but will mean that the dress is never going to be cleaned. They can put it next to Jackie Kennedy’s pink & blood & brains dress, which has also never been cleaned.
3 top members of the Greek government have to resign over the Greek role in the Turkish capture of Ocalan. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Madeline Albright to resign for the same reason. The Turks have already denied his lawyers entry into the country and refuses to let the trial be monitored. Oh, and some of those strange comments he made after his arrest suggest to me that they drugged him.

Kurd who most needs to be bitch-slapped: the guy who is so proud of his 15-year old daughter’s setting herself on fire in protest.

The Secret Service secretly funded a private company’s efforts to gain access to state driver’s license photos and create a Big Brother database without the states being aware of the fed involvement. Not that such a db in private hands is any better, of course.

The Czechoslovak divorce isn’t going that well after all. It seems the Slovak intelligence service has been busy stirring up anti-NATO and anti-Gypsy sentiment in the Czech Republic (the latter to make it seem less acceptable for NATO and EU membership).

Yesterday the US and Serb negotiators at that conference took a little break and flew to Beograde to talk with Milosevic. What the press didn’t bother mentioning is that this was a violation of the ground-rules which said that everyone stays there, and incommunicado, until a deal is reached. The Kosovar and I believe Russian delegations literally engaged in a car chase trying to head off the others as they drove to the airport.

Tuesday, February 16, 1999

Death of an honest man

John Ehrlichman’s obit says that he’s been a VP in a firm that does hazardous waste handling. You can take the boy out of the Nixon White House, but I guess you can’t take the Nixon White House out of the boy.

Monday, February 15, 1999

Washington’s birthday

Ah, the simpler days, when “interns” came not from the West Coast of North America but from the West Coast of Africa, and when... well, it’s a holiday, why don’t you all just write your own joke, utilizing the following elements: wooden teeth, oral sex.

Sunday, February 14, 1999

oops (Valentine Day’s story)

The South African government has handed out tens of thousands of condoms--stapled to a helpful pamphlet.

Saturday, February 13, 1999

According to the Sunday Times, after the US offered the use of its U2 spy planes to Unscom to monitor Iraq, the first thing it did was to refuse to tell when and where photos were taken and deliberately fuzzy them up to disguise the U2’s capabilities.

Trent Lott says that Clinton is untrustworthy. This from a man with the least trustworthy hair in the US Senate, bar none, including Strom Thurmond.

Real estate notice from Halifax Property Services: First floor bedsit in generally good order. Drug dealers next door.

Thursday, February 11, 1999

Tough justice

An article in tomorrow’s Washington Post says that the Chinese are solving their girl-shortage problem by buying brides from North Korea.

The Italian supreme court rules that a woman wearing tight denim jeans can’t be raped. The all-male judges, never having heard of a zipper, insist that a woman must cooperate to get them off, especially Italian women with large asses. Alright, they didn’t say the last part. They reject the idea of threats possibly being a component of rape, because there is nothing worse than rape with which to threaten women. In protest, women MPs and a lot of other women will be wearing jeans until the court of cassation, tired of seeing fat Italian asses, reverses itself.

Today Pluto passed beyond Neptune’s orbit, resuming its position as the 9th planet, having escaped an impeachment resolution and removal from office as a planet. If anyone is asking my position, I haven’t considered Pluto to be a planet since Charon was discovered.

And yes, I do have a position on Pluto being a planet. I have a position on everything, haven’t you noticed?

George Dubbya knows foreign affairs like Dan Quayle knows spelling

A “Draft George W. Bush” campaign opens. They think he has the principles, the something, and the something else to win the next election. He’s also an ignoramus. William Hague, leader of the British Tory party, is visiting the US including Texas. And while the Washington Post was too polite to mention it, it was clear that Dubbya had no idea who he was, first confusing him with Alexander Haig, and then evidently thinking that Hague was something in the current British government.

Although Monica is still on Starr’s leash, not allowed to speak to the press, Linda Tripp, who also has an immunity agreement with the Office of Independent Council (motto: We’re not holier than thou. We’re holier than you) (from Matt Groening), is somehow allowed to go on tv. Must have been the same oversight where they forgot to tell her not to talk with Paula Jones’s lawyers.

Although it just came out this week that Janet Reno is planning to investigate some of Starr’s abuses of power, including lying to her, the decision was evidently made in mid-January. Now here’s something: it didn’t leak. That was before the trial started in the Senate and details might certainly have affected it, but Reno didn’t leak it. The Justice Dept didn’t leak it. And Starr’s office didn’t leak it. So it is possible for something not to leak: it just has to be helpful to William Jethro Clinton.

Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Hasn’t even cleared her throat yet

Henry Hyde said over the weekend that it isn’t over until the fat lady sings, and she hasn’t even cleared her throat yet. Now the first part of that quote I myself used as a subject line a couple of weeks ago when Monica was called, and felt a bit cheap in so doing, but even my mind wasn’t filthy enough to think of the second part. Guess it takes a Congressman.

When they were debating whether to make their speeches in open session or not, Daschle suggested that grandstanding could be cut down by limiting the speeches to 10 minutes instead of 15. My suggestion: for all the value any of this has, we could save still more time by leaving the speeches at 15 minutes, but having all 100 Senators recite them at the same time.

Phil Gramm, in opposition to censure, notes that Andrew Jackson’s censure was expunged from the record an election or two later, and that Jackson is now on the twenty dollar bill.

Meanwhile, the Treasury Department has announced plans for a sixty-nine dollar bill....

The 4th Circuit eliminates Miranda rights.

In the “why do we bother to vote” department, California’s new more caring Democratic governor fries his first felon.

Yeltsin almost makes it to King Hussein’s funeral, but has to go home early, tired, as the Daily Show put it, after handing out invitations to his own upcoming funeral. Back in Moscow airport, Yeltsin’s plane clips the plane with the Italian prime minister, and spokesmen rush forward to say that Yeltsin wasn’t trying to fly it, like that bizarre conducting incident.

Saturday, February 06, 1999

Clichés in the Trial of the Century

The New York city police shoot an unarmed Sierra Leonean 24 times. Almost as worrisome to the city’s innocent bystanders, they also missed 17 times.

The surgeon who amputated the wrong leg a while back in Florida, and was assessed a jolly big fine ($2,500, probably less than he tried to charge Medicare for the operation), who then missed the target by an even larger margin by putting a chest catheter in the patient in the wrong bed, is back at work.

The anti-abortion web site ordered to pay $107 million in a questionably constitutional decision for almost advocating the deaths of doctors, announces plans to install web-cams at abortion clinics. Its provider then pulls it.

In her deposition, Monica Lewinsky objects to her affair being described as “salacious”. The Daily Telegraph says she’s lucky she wasn’t asked to spell it.

Thursday, February 04, 1999


The municipal employee who used the word “niggardly” is hired back in D.C., but you’ll notice it took a week for it to be realized how stupid that was. I also didn’t notice any black leaders standing up to say that of course blacks aren’t so stupid that even if they didn’t already know the word they couldn’t have it explained to them, and that it was an insult to suggest otherwise.

Oklahoma executed the guy who committed the murder when he was 16, a new low in the death penalty biz. His was the 12th or 13th execution of the year. The Philippines resumes the death penalty tomorrow.

After the Senate today voted not to let the White House know in advance what clips from the depositions the prosecutors are planning to use on Saturday, Tom DeLay had to have explained to him twice the suggestion that there be a break before the defense responds to this surprise evidence, as if the whole idea of fundamental fairness was alien to him. But then often enough in this farce the White House was supposed to respond to charges not even made yet. I kept waiting for David Kendall to put on his Karnak hat but he never did. DeLay may have been distracted by Newsweek reports that he himself lied under oath in a civil suit deposition.

Wednesday, February 03, 1999


The lower house of the Dutch Parliament has voted to legalize brothels, which is a surprise to everyone in the universe, who thought they already were.

Today Sidney Blumenthal, the chief proponent of the vast right-wing conspiracy, will have his deposition overseen by Arlen Specter, who invented the single-bullet theory.

Monday, February 01, 1999


Margaret Thatcher says that Tony Blair is too bossy.

The 1st Circuit appeals court upholds the idiotic federal law outlawing computer kiddy porn created by computer manipulation rather than by using actual naked children.

Prince Charles finally goes public with Camilla. Mr. Lucky’s photo op was ruined by too much flash photography, making it impossible to air on tv for more than 5 seconds at a time without sending epileptics into spasm.

A piece in today’s Wash Post talks about Barbara Durham, who was forced on Clinton as a nominee to the 9th Circuit in exchange for his getting a judge he actually wanted. Durham broke the Washington state canons of individual conduct during her election in 1996 to the state supreme court by running a partisan campaign (Republican, if you hadn’t guessed), and by having the state attorney general as her campaign’s co-chair--no, no conflict of interest there. And she endorsed Dole on the grounds that he would get the executions moving.

Netanyahu’s election slogan is causing some controversy: “A strong leader for a strong people.” It probably sounded better in the original German.