Tuesday, June 30, 1998

Clinton keeps talking about China entering the 21st century. Of course, by the Chinese calendar, that would be 698 B.C.

Yesterday, Kenneth Starr argued in Federal appeals court about whether lawyer-client privilege was more important than getting at the truth. Some of the truth which his people have been trying to get out, include these questions to Sidney Blumenthal before the grand jury: did you and Hillary Clinton ever discuss whether Bill had a sex addiction? does Bill believe that oral sex is sex? does his religion include sexual intercourse?

The Post Office is to give some of its workers the day off in honor of Nixon's funeral, 4 years late. These were the people who already had the day off that day, and so didn't get the day off that the people who didn't have the day off got off. Head...hurts.

Speaking of Nixon, I saw a Nixon scholar on C-SPAN saying that the technology now exists to recover the missing 18 1/2 minutes, but a) it would cost about $10,000, b) the archives won't let anyone do that sort of thing to the originals.

Kentucky is to stop letting people below the age of 16 get married.

Monday, June 29, 1998

The Northern Irish Assembly has been elected. Of 108 members, 14 will be women and 8 will be terrorists. 3 will be survivors of terrorist attacks. Buckle your seatbelts.

Just when you thought Texas would execute anyone at all, they spare the life of a guy for one of the 600 murders he's confessed to. Seems he was at the other end of the country at the time. Not that that's ever stopped Texas before.

One present the Chinese presented Clinton with, that seems to have gone unremarked in the US press: the execution of a Chinese who killed an American tourist.

Wednesday, June 24, 1998

If, like me, you read the NY Times and Washington Post and actually expect to get the news, you've been driven crazy by reports that John McCain told a joke that no one in either paper is willing to print, although they're all willing to talk about it. So here it is: "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Janet Reno is her father." Big deal.

Monday, June 22, 1998

I knew that story about the military using sarin gas against defectors in the Vietnam war was too good to be true.

So there was a Polish Jewish family whose land was expropriated by the Nazis. Decades later they try to reclaim their land, only to find out that, hey, they own Auschwitz.

Last week, Trent Lott, the former cheerleader, a) killed the tobacco bill, b) said that homosexuals need treatment for their addiction. Right. So, take that penis out of your mouth and try a cigarette instead. (Or, if the penis in question is like mine, a cigar.)

Sunday, June 21, 1998

The US is pushing Colombia to use a chemical to kill coca crops that its manufacturer, Dow Chemical, the good people who brought you Agent Orange, says really shouldn't be used in Colombia and will certainly contaminate the ground water.

Monday, June 15, 1998

Somewhere in the Senate legislative process, the tobacco bill has lost all its funding to help smokers quit smoking, keep people from starting and keeping children from buying cigarettes.

Christopher Hitchens was on C-SPAN last night. One of the things he said was that the president of Pakistan had written to Clinton and Albright weeks before the Indian nuclear tests warning of their imminence and asking what the US was going to do about it. The US never replied. When asked what happened to the letters, State & White House said that they passed them on to the CIA. Which was then blamed for not warning the White House. Hitchens thinks the story of an "intelligence failure" was accepted a little too readily, when complicity seems more likely.

Saturday, June 13, 1998

Some British teenage hackers got into the Indian nuclear computers and erased a bunch of files and told them exactly what they thought of nuclear weapons.

Kenneth Starr finally admits that he regularly leaks to the press, but says it is necessary "to engender confidence in the work of this office." The interviews are of course on a not-for-attribution basis. I feel more confident already.

A racist party does very well indeed in the Queensland elections, as I'm sure you've all been following.

The US government finally apologizes and pays off those Japanese we kidnapped out of Latin American countries during World War II. Of course they only get one-fourth what Japanese-Americans got, and only when the latter are paid off, if there's any money left. But, hell, they were illegal aliens.

Jewish settlers on the West Bank are now to be allowed to form their own armed civil guard units.

Creepy medical procedure of the week: babies with two mommies for real. You take nutrient from the egg of a young woman and mix it in with the egg of an older woman, ensuring that 50-year olds can give birth, like that's a good idea. No one's quite sure how much of the DNA from the donor gets mixed in, but some of it definitely does. 2 women are pregnant by this technique now.

Republicans in the Senate are blocking a judge (big news there, huh?), one Sonia Sotomayor, a hispanic woman, for the 2nd Circuit. They can't find anything in her record to object to, but they're afraid that if she gets this slot, she'll be appointed to the Supreme Court by Clinton or Gore, and they don't want Dems to have any viable options for the Stevens seat (or whomever), especially a hispanic woman.

The Flemish regional government has voted to give state aid to Nazi collaborators on the same basis as war victims.

Ireland still has a list of banned books: H.G. Wells, Upton Sinclair, The Second Sex, Marie Stopes, etc etc. That may change this week.

Is everybody ready for another Balkans war? I thought not.

There are so many brushfire wars these days, I can't keep track of them all. Whatever happened to the Namibia-Botswana border dispute? What's going on in Kashmir? Start looking out now for the next one, Cyprus, due to commence sometime in July.
That offer everyone reported from that nice Mr. Habibie to give autonomy to East Timor? The price tag was that the UN, Portugal and everyone have to recognize that Indonesia owns it. No thanks.

Thursday, June 11, 1998

With Reagan, it was ketchup

If Bill and Hillary are Southern Baptists, does that mean she has to submit to him? Isn't that what interns are for?

With Charlton Heston leading the NRA, does that mean they have to spend 40 years in the desert? Soylent green, I mean the NRA, is people!

Ethiopia and Eritrea are not terribly impressed with the US's attempt to get them to settle the war by sending a 33-year old woman from the State Department to sort it all out for them. Where is Warren Christopher when you need him?

'Let Them Eat Grass' -- the Pakistani Elite's Solution
Impoverished Public Is Skeptical of Patriotic Belt-Tightening Urged by Leaders Amid Costly Arms Race

By John Ward Anderson and Kamran Khan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, June 11, 1998

With Pakistan facing bankruptcy because of sanctions stemming from its nuclear weapons program and defense spending likely to rise because of a new arms race with India, top leaders have asked their countrymen to do their patriotic duty and "eat grass" so money will be available for national security. ...

Sunday, June 07, 1998

So the neutrino has mass after all. Well I'm pleased to hear it.

CNN & Time magazine say that during the Vietnamese War the US dumped sarin gas on a Laotian village, killing at least 100 people, in order to kill some US defectors they thought were living there.

Bumper sticker on sale in Berkeley: Will be President for food.

And a special thank you to whoever it was chopped off most of the parking meters south of the Berkeley campus.

Friday, June 05, 1998

Check out, and you'll have to take my word on this one, www.godhatesfags.com. Go to their list of pamphlets and read it.

So, do we have to start calling it Spaceship Oakland now?

The school prayer & subsidized religious schooling amendment only gets a majority in the House of Representatives.

The Department of Health and Human Services found the money it needed to fix its Y2K problem. It raided a program for homeless teenagers. Good priorities, guys! Congress would have objected but it was too busy voting on school prayer. By the way, they did sneak through a change to the law of debt as it has existed for many centuries, allowing bankrupts to give to charities rather than pay off the people they owe money to.

The Daily Show tonight had a segment on a sheriff who, unlike Sheriff Joe in Phoenix who believes in bologna sandwiches for prisoners, serves lots and lots of good fattening food, because he likes his prisoners chubby and complacent.

Thursday, June 04, 1998

Clearly what has to be done is just to flood the world with Viagra. In Third World countries, the fake stuff has been killing people. And there would be a benefit I hadn't even thought of until today: think how much safer African rhinos and Chinese bears will be if no one's killing them for their horns or testicles (um, respectively, of course).

Hey, Kevin, I've also just thought what to get you for a wedding present!

Will Durst says of the end of the primary and the beginning of the actual election race: $64 million down, a gazillion to go.

But at least we have B1-Bob to kick around again.

Speaking of insane right-wing losers, Alabama governor Fob James is in trouble. The primary was not conclusive and will require a run-off. His opponent Winton Blout 3rd (yes, the third) says that Fob is an embarrassment to the state of Alabama, as if that was possible. Fobbio replies that Blout is a fat monkey.

Wednesday, June 03, 1998

Factoid of the day: the word cannibal was coined by Christopher Columbus.

If you watch a late broadcast of today's MacNeil-Lehrer, you will hear a debate of sorts between on tomorrow's vote to amend the first amendment to allow school prayer (and loads of other stuff). No atheists present, so there was no one to suggest that perfect religious freedom is not guaranteed by the amendment's phrase about letting people "acknowledge God". The fun part of the segment is watching the Baptist guy in favor of the amendment continually fail to come to terms with the idea of a non-Christian religion. The opponent was a rabbi, and the Baptist kept referring to him as "Reverend, I mean rabbi.." or "Mister, I mean rabbi".

Still not much talk about punishing Israel for having the atomic bomb, as we have India and Pakistan. I'm waiting to see if there's any coverage in the US of the fact that the top Indian nuclear scientist, who is the new national hero, has spent a lot of time visiting Israel in the last couple of years. By the way, the Japanese think that North Korea has the bomb as well.

Tuesday, June 02, 1998

Last month Israeli spy planes flew over Pakistan, presumably looking for the "Islamic bomb". Pakistan was sure Israel was about to bomb it. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

As much as I really felt I needed to know about this story:

[56]Better Access to Gravesite Of Stonewall Jackson's Arm
SPOTSYLVANIA, Va.The National Park Service, responding to the interest of Civil War buffs, is making it easier to find the spot where Stonewall Jackson's arm is buried.