Thursday, February 29, 1996

And despite Laurence Taylor's comment that no matter how useful this is supposed to be for our research we all wind up looking first thing in the Frisky Lesbians section, 1) it was the second thing I look for, 2) it doesn't seem to exist.

Nothing in the British papers today except learned disquisitions on how Diana can be Princess of Wales but not be Her Royal Highness. Well at least she still has the castle.

And does anyone think that those Cubans were looking for boat people in February?

I trust you've seen the story about the Salt Lake school district banning all student clubs.

Dole has a new ad accusing Lamar Alexander of being too liberal. "He even signed a bill allowing violent criminals to be eligible for parole after serving less than half their prison sentence." Actually that was an increase....

Tuesday, February 27, 1996

The Times suggests that Quentin Davies (I love British politicians' names. Esp compared with US, where MacNeil-Lehrer today talks with Congressman Zack Wamp [pronounced womp]) voted against the gov. on the Scott Report out of pique with one of the 2 ministers in question, William Waldegrave, who was Minister of Agriculture when Davies was fined for cruelty to sheep. For the past 5 yrs, Labour MPs always "baa baa" whenever he speaks in Parliament.

And the new 11th Duke of Atholl is a South African, who now becomes the only man in Britain allowed to keep a private army, the Atholl Highlanders. The guy confesses that he doesn't even own a kilt.

Thursday, February 22, 1996

I am watching the college championships of Jeopardy as I write. One category is Winona Ryder films. Sigh.

Director of CIA Deutch says CIA agents will only use journalistic cover if it's really gosh-darned importance. There was a piece in the NY Times by someone once held by Iraq for a week who thought this was not a good idea.

If you haven't been following school desegregation in South Africa, now would be a good time. I'd suggest the Jo'burg Star, if that's on-line.

Friday, February 16, 1996

The Guardian material is great. The problem is that the government refused to let anyone in the opposition see the Scott report before its release, except the Shadow Foreign Secretary, who was locked in a room with it 3 hours before its release, which is fairly useless for an 1,800-page document, especially when it's written in that excessively tentative, convoluted style so beloved of the British civil service. It's hard to tell yet how much damage this report has inflicted. The government is claiming exoneration, which is fairly laughable, but depends on those double negatives and subordinate clauses, and statements that Scott accepts that ministers really believed what they were saying, despite mountains of evidence that what they were saying was horse puckey. In drawing conclusions, this guy goes to the opposite extreme of Al D'Amato.

Did you see where Yeltsin announced that only he could save Russia from authoritarianism on the same day he fired the head of state television for critical reports on Chechnya?

Thursday, February 08, 1996

I understand that Henry Hyde included in the Communications Bill a provision extending the Comstock Act to the Internet. How could the Comstock Act possibly still be on the books?

I'm enjoying the beginning of the primary season. Evidently Gramm's goose is cooked based on the 21,500 representing the 5% of Louisiana's Republicans who showed up at the caucuses.

Speaking of geese, Forbes said that if all the people in China ate two more eggs a week, it would take all the grain produced in a year in Australia. Gramm said if everybody in China ate one more chicken a year, it would take the entire soybean crop of Illinois to feed that chicken. As the New York Times puts it, "That's some chicken." Lamar Alexander says that if Chinese ate more chicken and pork, they'd require the entire Nebraska grain crop. Sounds like the SATs to me.

OK, just to test the provision that it's illegal to mention abortion on the Internet (which the BBC caught about 5 days before the New York Times, I might add), did you know that last year the governor of New Hampshire vetoed a bill to ban the use of force, threats and intimidation by anti-abortion protesters?

And speaking of China, last year they extended the death penalty to the offense of faking value-added tax forms, according to the Economist.

Speaking of which, I've noticed that I have access to some sort of editing program, the sort that checks for grammar and syntax
and...sexism. Ah, Berkeley!

Tuesday, February 06, 1996

There's a Charles Addams cartoon. Under a banner saying Class of 1954 stand an assortment of bums, winos and the like, and one says to another, "You know, I always thought it was just me, but maybe the school's no damn good."