Saturday, August 29, 1998

As I predicted right off the bat, the Sudanese factory was probably not what the US said it was. Oops. Incidentally, soil samples from where? The land around it is evidently all paved.

And in the camp in Afghanistan, we killed mostly, well, those of in the big UC campuses should have expected this--foreign exchange students from Asia (in this case Pakistan). We've managed to push Pakistan further into Islamism, with the prime minister announcing a total shift to sharia law with mandatory five-times-daily prayer. Oh, and they have one of our intact cruise missiles now and are taking it apart. Fortunately, this one already missed its target by 400 miles, so they may not be learning anything all that useful. That's the thing about Afghanistan: chickens always come back to roost there. That was my first thought when I heard that foreign-financed terrorists were operating out of Afghanistan: boy, must the Russians be laughing up their asses at us over this one. The lost cruise missile (or maybe two) is like those stingers we gave to the Mujahadin and then spent years trying to buy back at inflated prices after the Russians left. And Iran is massing its army over the Afghan border because the Taliban seems to have taken a bunch of Iranian officials--yes, including embassy officials--hostage.

New game for reporters: figure out which Russian businessman seems to be giving Chernomyrdin and Yeltsin their marching orders this week and write an article calling them the new Rasputin. Hours of fun.

Not helping Russia any is that its chief foreign banker, Germany, is having an election in which another fat leader who way outstayed his welcome is going to be booted out.

Speaking of terrorist targets, Radio Free Iran begins operating in a couple of days. There would have been a Radio Free Iraq too but the US decided to operate it out of Prague without actually bothering to ask the Czechs whether they'd like this future ground zero in the middle of their capitol. Next to a nursery school. So it's been postponed a bit.

Britain is thinking about changing its law to prevent anonymous sperm donation.

OK, since the Church of England allowed the ordination of women, a lot of clergy have defected to Rome, but there's one whose wife is one of the new priests. And you thought Clinton's home life was a little frosty.

Speaking of which: cigars?

From the Sunday Times (London): "Eleven garden gnomes have been found hanged from a bridge in northeastern France in what appeared to be a mass suicide. Police at Briey found a suicide note in which the gnomes said they wanted to "quit this world" and join a "sect of the temple of submissive dwarves". The gnomes' origin remains a mystery: local gardeners report nothing suspicious.

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