Thursday, April 23, 1998

The pope says that the end of the world is not nigh, so far as he knows. I know I'll sleep better tonight.

Texas screws up a lethal injection. So the guy gets two sets of last words. Neither of them interesting.

A new book says that pirates were actually democratic, not especially violent (only one documented instance of someone being made to walk the plank), multi-racial, egalitarian, and all that other good '90s stuff.

In a few hours, the big show-down in the Russian Duma. To recap, the boy wonder Yeltsin appointed as Prime Minister only needed to be named because Yeltsin never bothered to read the constitution under which he allegedly operates, and thought he could fill the position himself. If the Duma rejects him a 3rd time, which seems to depend on whether or not they can vote secretly, Yeltsin gets to dissolve the Duma, at which point he has threatened to have all its members evicted from their Moscow flats, which means eviction from Moscow, since the mayor, who doesn't believe in the constitution either, retains Soviet-era residency permits. Yeltsin also plans to unconstitutionally rewrite the election laws in the absence of the Duma, and the puppet he named to head the electoral commission has threatened to keep all existing parties out of the elections. The Communists don't want early elections, but they don't want to try to face the electorate in a year having given in to Yeltsin now. Childish, vindictive, petty, calculating, arrogant: I think they've finally mastered the principles of democracy.

That couple in marriage counselling in Fresno: you have to question how seriously they were trying to make it work when they both came packing heat.

Of the major candidates running for governor of California, Harman, Checchi and Lungren have never had any children in the public school system (Davis has no children). Do they at least buy lottery tickets?

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