Friday, January 30, 1998

Republicans, pissed that Clinton is still popular, going on offensive, including William Bennett, the brother of Clinton's lawyer.

Deja vu all over again: Iraq to use UN officials as human shields, ordering them into Baghdad hotels. Also, Pentagon touting its new smart bombs.

There is a campaign afoot in Britain to get a pardon for Helen Duncan, the last convicted witch. In 1941 at a seance she revealed the sinking of a ship that the government had covered up. She got 9 months, fortunately being sentenced under the 1735 Act which liberalized the law of witchcraft. The last execution was in 1712. The pardon campaign is being supported by Mrs Duncan, who died in 1956, although she says it's more important down here than up there.

Assisted suicide in Pennsylvania: Robert Smith executed. In jail for a robbery, he helped kill a man in jail for, and repeatedly bragging about, beating the 2-year old daughter of his girlfriend to death. The suicide part: Smith fired his lawyers and plead guilty, which he conditioned on getting the death sentence. The prosecutor had not asked for it: Smith did. He wanted to sell seats at his execution for $1,000 to benefit the family of his victim's victim; I assume Penn. didn't allow that.

Thursday, January 29, 1998

The Clinton counterattack is not off to a good start. The Cum-back kid is not well served by his advisers. Dick Morris suggests that Hillary is a lesbian, and an unnamed White House aide tells the Washington Post, and I swear I'm not making this up, "She'd take little things and blow them up."

A new method that may help infertile men involves having his sperm developed inside...mice.

The most interesting bit in that Hillary Clinton interview was not the line about the vast right-wing conspiracy (Rush Limbaugh all by himself is a pretty vast right-wing conspiracy), but when she was asked about gifts Clinton is supposed to have given Ms Lewinsky. She said that it's “possible”. So one week into the scandal, we're expected to believe that she hasn't asked him about some of the basic facts.

Kenneth Starr, who once publicly rejected Clinton's arguments in the Paula Jones case that it should be postponed because the president is too busy to deal with such trivialities, today went to court to get Jones's lawyers to stop subpoeanaing his witnesses. The presidency may not be too important to be interfered with, but the investigation of the president, that's another matter.

Wednesday, January 28, 1998

The State of the Union address went on too long, in that people (well, me) got bored and started looking for hidden meanings. For example, he said something about people having the chance to get ahead with hard work. When he mentioned after-school programs, I figured it was because he was running out of interns of college age...

Monday, January 26, 1998

There are more INS agents with guns and the power to arrest than there are FBI agents with same.

Line from London Times story: "Middle America is blasé about oral sex." So that's ok, then.

Clinton is responsible for another atrocity: the word penis was spoken in the House of Commons today. Still, in the process, the next bombing of Iraq has been given a name: The War of Clinton's Penis. (For the historically-challenged among you, and you know who you are Kevin, that's a reference to the War of Jenkins’ Ear)

Saturday, January 24, 1998

Toy for the boys

All the President's Bimbos: Most loopy line in the New York Times coverage of Zippergate: "It was not known whether the special prosecutor has subpoeoneaed the dress." CNN's coverage today, which mentioned resignation a dozen times before the first commercial, featured a Clinton counsel saying Gee, thanks for the question, Judy, now my kids will ask me what oral sex is when I get home." Arabs think this is all a Jewish ploy to kill the Israeli peace process. So Starr says that Lewinsky was free to go during all those 8 or 9 or 10 hours he detained her, and they even watched a movie on tv (There's No Business Like Show Business) and went out shopping (Crate and Barrel) while waiting for her mommie to arrive. Gee, doesn't that sound a whole lot like they weren't willing to let her out of their sight for a minute? Speaking of mommie, she's evidently famous for a book blowing the lid off the simmering cauldron of corruption that is the Three Tenors, promoting the book by hinting at an affair with Placido--it's a family thing, they just like chubby men.

Germany is now running genetic tests on people who want to immigrate there claiming to have relatives in the country.

Friday, January 23, 1998

The Swiss Supreme Court orders a motorist to pay a prostitute he ran over for loss of earnings.

The Unabomber's guilty plea includes a provision in which he gives up his right to appeal. Can that be constitutional?

A Florida judge orders a man w/HIV who had sex with a 16-yr old when he was 18, big deal, to get written consent before having sex.

So after all that talk about the pope's visit to Cuba being the Beginning of the End, what the pope really wanted to talk about was abortion and divorce. Who ever thought he was interested in democracy, anyway? They must not have been paying attention the last 20 years.

OK, back to the Clinton sex scandal of the week. Evidently Starr offered Tripp immunity solely on account of her taping Lewinsky illegally. Which is interesting, because he can't just waive Maryland's laws like that. Now just because the tapes were made illegally evidently doesn't mean Starr can't use them, because they weren't illegal under federal law.

So how did the Whitewater (remember that?) prosecutor wind up with control of this investigation as well? Evidently because he was already investigating Vernon Jordan for getting a job for Webster Hubbell, and now Jordan has gotten a job for Lewinsky (at Revlon! At least it wasn't for Paula Jones.). All of which makes Starr sound even more weaselly than Clinton.

The Slate notes the one thing absent in Clinton's semi-denial denial on MacNeil-Lehrer: any sense of outrage, such as an innocent man wrongly accused might have exhibited.

As I understand it, Tripp was previously working on an anti-Clinton book, dropped it, and has spent part of this week negotiating a contract for it. Her literary agent, according to Al Kamen of the Post, is a woman who in 1972 acted as a spy inside the McGovern campaign, where she posed as a reporter, for the RNC for $1,000 a week.

Nightline suggested that the particular weasel words Clinton's been using indicate that what he does with all these women is oral sex (well, has done to him), and that to him, that doesn't count. That's two images in this paragraph that you really didn't need to have in your head.

Saddam Hussein must be laughing his ass off.

What must Arafat have thought as he sat next to Clinton as he answered all those questions?

Thursday, January 22, 1998

Bimbo eruptions/ jingle bells?

Billy Bob, Billy Bob, what will we do with you? Well, I have a few questions: 1) I keep hearing that Kenneth Starr offered Ms. Tripp immunity in exchange for wearing the wire, but I can't figure out what she needs immunity for. Anyone?

2) The FBI and Starr seem to me to have cooperated with Paula Jones's lawyers, in that the timing of their activities suggest they were waiting for Clinton and Lewinsky to perjure themselves, sitting on evidence in the meanwhile. Is this the proper role of either of them?

3) If Tripp was talking openly about the last mistress last summer, why was Lewinsky confiding in her more recently?

4) No one's yet asked Clinton about Gennifer Flowers. If it is true that his deposition admitted an affair with her, then he lied to the public about it and has no credibility over Lewinsky.

Wednesday, January 21, 1998

A Grateful Dead museum is planned for San Francisco. Expect to see a sign saying, "You must be this high..." (Will Durst)

In Britain, an obvious solution to a problem: the date-rape drug Rohypnol will no longer be colorless, but turn blue if put if liquid.

The latest Clinton scandal didn't move as fast as I thought it had, according to a piece in the Slate, which shows how the story moved through usenet groups into television without a mention in any of the papers for days, and was in fact killed in some of the weekly news magazines.

Tuesday, January 20, 1998

Republicans are going after another Clinton nominee to the federal bench, a black woman, for evidently having told a prosecutor in 1985 to shut her fucking mouth. Can't have a potty mouth in district court, now can we?

The FDA insists that it has the authority to regulate human cloning. No one seems to have asked whether clones are a food or a drug. But, of course, soylent green *is* people.

A 12-year old boy in England will get the day off school to attend the birth of his child.

A camel has been successfully bred with a llama. The result is a cama.

The world's interest in refugees continues to decline. How many stories have you seen about the sudden outpouring of Kurds from Turkey two or three weeks ago? It has now stopped, since the Europeans asked Turkey if it wouldn't mind cracking down on these people, as if Turkey actually needed an invitation to repress Kurds.

There are several stories in the Wed. Guardian about the rise of fascism among E German youth. Well, xenophobia at least. Half the country is now "foreigner free" zones.

Saturday, January 17, 1998

This has been ancestors day in the British newspapers. Gandhi's great-something-grandson is running for the Indian parliament. Stalin's 2 grandchildren are profiled in the Times. One's a military man and rabid Stalinist, the other a theatrical producer who very much isn't. I sent an item a couple of months ago about the first creating a hit list of people who have said bad things about Stalin. The other grandson is on the list. William Gladstone's great-grandson is to make a 1,000-mile expedition in Tibet to find a duck previously thought to be extinct. It has a pink head. And what have we got? Michael Kennedy runs into a tree playing ski-football. I can't wait for the next generation of Kennedies. I foresee a series of running-with-scissors fatalities.

Another Tory cover-up: during the last general election, a UFO was spotted hovering over Home Minister Michael Howard's house, but the party got the local papers not to report it. The Truth is Out There.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum, which is largely taxpayer-financed, refused to extend a welcome to Arafat, who the State Dept had convinced to go, unless you can count as a welcome a comment to the effect that he could stand in line and buy a ticket like anyone else. Nice to see the museum performing its function of alleviating hatred (of everyone except Germans).

Our country of the week, almost in the news because Prince Charles will visit there: Bhutan. Population 600,000, one intersection with traffic lights. Evidently it is compulsory to wear the national costume, which for me is a dressing gown with argyle socks (if you don't believe me, try the Telegraph web site). And no TV. Oh, and the king is named Wangchuck.

Montana figures that as long as states are getting into the gambling business in a big way, they'll go even further into Mafia territory, and have legalized money laundering. Numbered accounts with Swiss-type secrecy, taxed at 1.5% (hell, it's not like any of that money will be taxed wherever it came from). No US citizens or convicted felons, minimum balance $200,000.

I was right about ethnic clashes in Asia. Chinese shopkeepers in Indonesia have been threatened by angry mobs.

Friday, January 16, 1998

Fri, 16 Jan 1998

According to Michael Reagan's book about Ronnie, he was deliberately projecting himself as a "trigger-happy cowboy" to fool the Russians, and that line about the bombing beginning in 5 minutes was part of a clever plan that ultimately brought about the collapse of Communism. No sarcastic comment of mine could add to this.

Texas settles its product liability suit with the tobacco companies, and its lawyers get $2.2 billion (and all the 'baccy they can chaw, it being Texas). Here's an idea: why don't the states stop hiring outside counsel, and keep the extra piddling small change that might save?

The oldest woman to give birth in Britain (60 at the time) is now also a single mother, as the father has gone back to his wife. Here's a creepy image for you: she's breast-feeding. Sure, you're all completely grossed out, but think about how the poor kid feels.

Thursday, January 15, 1998

Hallmark is to develop sympathy cards for the relatives of suicides. The mind boggles.

Those of you who were with me in cyber-land in 1996 will remember I said at the time that the alleged traces of Martian life found on the meteorite in Antarctica would turn out not to be Martian. Far be it from me to miss a chance to say I told you so. I told you so.

Jamaica to resume executions.

More on that sex survey: PBS watchers have more sex than average, Catholics more than Protestants but less than Jews or agnostics (no word about atheists--they're the ones who are not saying Oh god oh god oh god during it), the richest have sex 5% more than average. Jazz listeners have more sex than rap listeners (unless you count what happens in prison). While the average may be 58 sex episodes (episodes?) per year, 15% of adults are having half the sex. The figure about the highly-educated having less sex actually means that women are having no sex, concentrating on their careers. Men have wives. People who go to concerts and sporting events have more sex, also those who smoke and drink, or own a gun. Adjust your lifestyles accordingly.

Those tobacco company documents make fun reading. Today they're claiming it's a typo, that they weren't going after 13-year olds, but 18 year olds. Don't let any kids read these documents: they'll be delighted to read that someone thinks of 12-year olds as "younger adults" (well, you can also be executed in Texas, I suppose those counts). They are also referred to as beginning smokers and, my personal favorite, replacement smokers.

Tuesday, January 13, 1998

Tue, 13 Jan 1998

The Supreme Court refuses to hear the case of a lesbian whose job invitation the Georgian Atty General revoked after hearing that she planned to marry her girlfriend. The ex-atty general says she might be perceived as not intending to uphold the state's laws against sodomy, showing himself to have as much clue as you'd expect of an official of the state of Georgia. He is now running for governor, despite an admitted adulterous affair with an employee--not that that has anything to do with hiring a young woman and then firing her when he found out she was a lesbian, no sirree bob.

A completely unrelated Georgia story:

Atlanta: Zell Miller, the Governor of Georgia, proposed that the state should provide the parents of every newborn with a classical music cassette or compact disc in order to boost the infant's intelligence later in life. Mr Miller proposed a $105,000 (#65,000) allocation for the programme in a $12.5 billion budget proposal, citing research showing that listening to a Mozart piano sonata led to an increase in students' IQ scores. (Reuters)

Of course if it does increase their IQ they have to leave the state--it's the law. Besides, Mozart leads to ballet which leads to sodomy, as we all know.

Himmler's appointment diary has been discovered, and historians are debating whether it contains the long-awaited smoking gun for the start of the Holocaust. He met with Hitler 12/18/41, subject: "the Jewish question." Himmler's note on the meeting: "To be exterminated as partisans." The order was given on December 12, the day after Germany declared war on the US.

Monday, January 12, 1998

The navy, taking its usual laid-back approach to don't ask-don't tell investigations, fires sailor Timothy McVeigh-No Relation. Mr No Relation's AOL profile said that he was gay, but it also only gave his first name. AOL is not legally allowed to give out information on customers to investigators without a warrant, but evidently the investigators didn't identify themselves, so it's ok to give out information to anyone who happens to call up.

Saturday, January 10, 1998

Dole says illegal Democratic ads made him lose the election. Just keep telling yourself that.

Personal ad from *New Statesman*: "Angry young man, socialist, trade unionist, seeks angry young woman, rich, blonde, for mutual political awareness and more."

Cloning successfully creates a length of human blood vessel suitable for bypass surgery. Maybe Clinton, whose grasp of biology can be seen by his calling Socks "she" last week, could shut up about what he doesn't understand. That said, Dr. Richard Seed (Dick Seed, I mean really!) is without question the scum of the earth.

It seems that the Germans proved the link between tobacco and lung cancer back in 1941, but the report was never released. It's amazing what research can be done when the fuhrer really doesn't like smoking.

It is estimated that there are now 35,000 people living in polygamous families in the US, more than during Mormonism's heyday.

Charles Dickens caught VD from a French prostitute. Thought you'd like to know.

The age of puberty is still declining in this country. Black girls routinely (about half) have secondary sex characteristics by their 9th birthday. White girls 15%. Fat girls hit it early (the ratio of body fat fools their body--many of them also stop growing at that age). And girls in divorced families.

(from the Times):
Two NOP focus groups convened by The Sunday Times last week said that the Queen's handbag provoked more antagonism to the royal family than almost any other issue.

Wednesday, January 07, 1998

Wed, 7 Jan 1998

Quote of the day: You know, a long time ago, being crazy meant something. Nowadays, everybody's crazy.
--Charles Manson, in a 1994 television interview

Nice try:
Bonn: German finance officials provoked howls of protest when they suggested offering cash rewards to people who inform on big-time tax evaders. The Federation of German Taxpayers said offering such bounties would revive the denunciation culture exploited by the Nazi Gestapo and East German Stasi secret police forces. (Reuters)

Tuesday, January 06, 1998

Slow news day

The California Supreme Court rules that juries hearing cases of people fired "for cause" can hear only whether the employer had a reason to believe the charge was real and had conducted an investigation. In other words, innocence does not count. Someone tell the justices that this is not Texas, please.

Profile of a slow news day, from the contents page for the UK news section of the London Times:
[7]Muslims want name change for Mecca bingo
Community leaders say name is causing offence

[11]Fat is fanciable, says the body of evidence
Academic went on a high-calorie diet to discover how people would react to her at 15 stone

[15]Bonds of the Navy recruit 007 fans
Royal Navy's recruitment of Commander James Bond proves an unprecedented success

[20]Anger made me stab woman in head, says homeless teenager
19-year-old tells how he thrust knife to its hilt into woman's head in "rush of anger" on train

[21]Health risk to staff who say: Have a nice day
Strain of telling people to have a nice day can be fatal, according to study

[22]Robbers raided wrong shop [an optician!]
Paul Wilkinson reports on a hold-up doomed by criminal stupidity

[30]Car trek to circle world in 80 days
Motorists planning to drive classic cars around the world in 80 days to celebrate millennium

Monday, January 05, 1998

Mon, 5 Jan 1998

An American has just been elected president of Lithuania. He used to be a regional head of the EPA, controlling a larger budget than the whole nation of Lithuania has, so it's basically semi-retirement as far as he's concerned.

The pope says for the first time that he thinks Bulgaria and the commies were behind the 1981 assassination attempt.

You may remember a story I sent out several months before the stock market collapse in Asia which said that the Thai president had fired 5 cabinet members and was showing up at work in 5 in the morning (seriously pissing off his staff) and so on, because his lucky number is 5. Does anything that's happened since then give anyone the feeling that most of these countries are managing their economies any better? The response includes such measures as providing free funerals (Thailand), asking everyone to give their jewelry to the government (S Korea, Thailand), and of course, racism: Malaysia announced that it will expel one million foreigners, and no one's very happy about the United States either, although they're not exactly sure why, but they're sure it's our fault. I predict major ethnic conflicts over the next few years. But at least all that smug talk about the superiority of the Asian Way will be muted, although a commitment to democracy won't be enhanced in consequence.

Sunday, January 04, 1998

Best quote on California education system (LA Times): "Dead last in reading . . . is nothing to write home about," added another official, noting that California's fourth-graders tied with Louisiana's as the worst in reading on the 1994 National Assessment of Education Progress test.

Stupidest Pete Wilson idea on how to pay for a longer school year: stop paying teachers for the 5 minutes between classes.

Civil rights story of the week:

Hunkering down in parkas and blankets under skies that threatened rain, several gardeners began a hunger strike Saturday evening on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall to protest the city's imminent ban on gasoline-powered leaf blowers.

Saturday, January 03, 1998

An Israeli kibbutz is the last to end a creapy kibbutzim tradition, close its childrens' barracks and return the kiddies to their parents.

The most bombed nation in the history of warfare is...anyone? That's right, Laos. Not only was it bombed in its own right, but US planes returning to Thailand from aborted bombing missions on North Vietnam dumped their payloads in Laos so as not to land with bombs on board. 30% of those bombs failed to go off, and continue to kill hundreds of children and others every year. It isn't as sexy as landmines, but they are a bitch to defuse. Mostly because the US refuses to tell anyone how to do it.

Most unfortunate sentence in a eulogy: someone at Michael Kennedy's funeral said that he'd touched a lot of people. Yeah, but he was never convicted! Nice to see a Kennedy in a story that would otherwise grace a Dave Barry column or News of the Weird. I guess he shouldn't have tried to punt.

I trust everyone's following the new twist in our Cuban refugee policy, where some refugees were given exemptions to the usual policy of not allowing any boat people into the US, which applied to others on the same raft. To quote the NY Times, these Cubans "had a big advantage over their compatriots. They can pitch, catch or hit a baseball really well." Baseball been berry berry good to me.

Unfortunate headline: "Officer Shot by Man Celebrating New Year".

Dan Quayle being Dan Quayle last year: "You need to take these life-threatening drugs seriously and get them on the market."

You-are-tampering-in-god's-domain headline, from London Sunday Times: "Scientists build living breasts". Evidently it's a natural process something like cloning, I guess, that should replace silicone.

Friday, January 02, 1998

For some reason this hasn't made the American papers yet, but Pol Pot seems to have "escaped" into China.

Newest thing in India: bamboo dentures.

Syria's defense minister in 1983 (and possibly still defense minister, the story is unclear) told Lebanese resistance leaders at the time that they could kill as many American or British UN troops as they liked, but not any Italians. He had a crush on Gina Lollobrigida.

Thursday, January 01, 1998

The ban on smoking in bars even made the international news (well, it was a slow news week), but what else did Calif's legislatidiots get up to in their nearly 1000 new laws? Some excerpts below. Remember, breast feeding good, cloning bad:

Welfare overhaul--Among many changes in welfare law, no welfare recipient can be on welfare for more than five years. During any one stint, new welfare applicants will be limited to 18 months of aid. Able-bodied recipients must work or participate in job training for 20 hours a week, and make sure their children attend school. (AB 1542 by Assemblywoman Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego).

Testing--Students in grades 2 through 11 will have to take a standardized achievement test. Until now, districts had a choice of many tests. (SB 376 by Sen. Dede Alpert, D-Coronado).

Threats--School authorities acquire the authority to expel students who make violent threats against school personnel or property. (AB 307 by Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian, R-Carlsbad).

Executions--Immediate family members of victims must be allowed to witness executions if they want. (AB 566 by Assemblyman Tom McClintock, R-Northridge).

Adult sex offenders--People found not guilty of a sex crime by reason of insanity must register as sex offenders. (AB 290 by Assemblywoman Barbara Alby, R-Fair Oaks).

Rapists--Convicted rapists are prohibited from obtaining custody of, or visiting without supervision, children conceived as a result of the rape. (AB 1222 by Assemblyman Roderick Wright, D-Los Angeles).

Cock fighting--A bill backed by Sheriff Sherman Block makes it easier to seize roosters and other fighting animals and the paraphernalia associated with such pursuits; also allows judges to order the animals killed. (SB 196 by Sen. Pete Knight, R-Palmdale).

Sex offenders--Juveniles convicted of some types of rape must register with police as sex offenders. (SB 314 by Sen. Ruben Ayala, D-Chino).

Victims--Victims of juvenile crime can submit written statements about the impact of the crime on their lives in reports to judges who sentence the delinquents. (SB 1195 by Sen. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank).

Identity--By approval of a juvenile court judge, police can publicly identify minors who are sought for arrest in various felonies. (SB 1058 by Sen. Adam Schiff D-Burbank).

Tattoos--The California Youth Authority must buy laser equipment to remove tattoos from juveniles leaving custody to seek jobs. The procedure will occur at sites to be selected in Los Angeles County and the Bay Area. (SB 526 by Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles).

Hearsay exception--Sworn statements from witnesses who later die under suspicious circumstances are admissible in gang crimes--an exception to the usual rule barring of hearsay testimony. (SB 941 by Sen. Tim Leslie, R-Carnelian Bay).

Gun crimes--In a bill dubbed the "10-20-life" measure by its backers, criminals who carry a gun during the commission of a crime will face an additional 10 years in prison. Anyone who fires a gun faces an extra 20 years in prison. If the bullet injures a victim, the criminal faces life in prison. (AB 4 by Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro, R-Paso Robles).

Ammo sales--It's now against the law to sell ammunition that can be used in concealed weapons to persons under 21. (AB 1221 by Assemblywoman Dion Aroner, D-Berkeley).

Gun noise--Shooting ranges are exempt from liability for the noise they generate. (SB 517 by Sen. Ray Haynes, R-Riverside).

Grenades--It no longer will be legal to possess practice military hand grenades, or replicas, that can be altered to explode--a source of weaponry used by some Los Angeles gangs. (AB 202 by Assemblyman Jack Scott, D-Altadena).

Drugs and driving--The Legislature extended until 1999 a law requiring that anyone convicted of any drug offense will lose his or her license for six months, whether or not the offense was related to driving. (AB 74 by Assemblyman Larry Bowler, R-Elk Grove).

Breast feeding--Women can breast feed their children in public without fear that they will be asked to leave business establishments or face other repercussions. (AB 157 by Assemblyman Antonio Villaraigosa, D-Los Angeles).

Self-esteem--The state Department of Social Services is required to disseminate information to foster homes and child welfare organizations declaring the importance of self-esteem. (SB 916 by Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara). [Jerry Brown lives!]

Cloning--No person may clone a human being or purchase or sell an ovum, zygote, embryo, or fetus for the purpose of cloning a human being. Violators may be fined by health authorities. (SB 1344 by Sen. Pat Johnston, D-Stockton).

Pain relief--Doctors are required to offer patients the option of taking opiates such as morphine to relieve severe and lasting pain, even if the doctor does not personally wish to write the prescription. (SB 402 by Sen. Leroy Greene, D-Carmichael).

Body piercing--It's now an infraction for anyone to pierce the lip, tongue, nose, eyebrow or body part other than ears of someone under age 18 unless the child's parent is present, or provides consent in a notarized letter. (AB 99 by Assemblyman George Runner, R-Lancaster).

Cyber-seduction--Use of the Internet to distribute material calculated to sexually seduce minors becomes a crime punishable by jail or prison time. (AB 181 by Assemblyman Steve Kuykendall, R-Rancho Palos Verdes).

Endangered species--Developers, miners and other landowners may kill or harm an endangered species or its habitat if they compensate fully for the loss, through habitat creation or other means. (SB 879 by Sen. Patrick Johnston, D-Stockton).

Farmers--Growers may kill an endangered species without penalty if it is an accident that occurs during routine agricultural practices. (SB 231 by Sen. Jim Costa, D-Fresno).

State dirt--"San Joaquin soil" is now designated as the official California state dirt. (SB 389 by Sen. Dick Monteith, R-Modesto).

Pig menace--People don't need to get a permit to kill wild pigs, so long as the porker is threatening life, livestock or property. (SB 329 by Sen. Bruce McPherson, R-Santa Cruz).

Tobacco crimes--It's now illegal for youths under age 18 to attempt to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products. Previously, Tobacco crimes--It's now illegal for youths under age 18 to attempt to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products. Previously, it was illegal for them to possess tobacco products. (SB 198 by Sen. David Kelley, R-Idyllwild).

Tobacco liability--Tobacco products lose their automatic protection from liability lawsuits charging damage to health. (SB 67 by Sen. Quentin Kopp, I-San Francisco).