Thursday, March 11, 1999

Has anyone seen a story that says precisely what was unique about this week’s municipal elections in Qatar? This is not a rhetorical question.

And shows just how slow a news week this is, although Lafontaine’s resignation should make things more interesting. Here is another sure sign of press excitement, from the London Times:
LUCY, David Blunkett’s guide-dog, made parliamentary history yesterday when it was sick on the floor of the House. The rare example of canine weakness came shortly after the Education and Employment Secretary finished a speech on the education provisions in the Budget.

The House voted 398-12 to prevent nursing homes that drop Medicaid participation from shoving the existing Medicaid patients into the snow to make way for private patients paying more money. They are, however, free to make their lives a living hell until they “voluntarily” leave. Who on earth are the 12?

Clarence Thomas testifies to a House committee that the Supreme Court would really like to have minority and women clerks but that the Court is just too darned important to be tinkering around with stuff like equity. He says that when he wants clerks, he asks for the cream. Jokewise, there are two possible ways to go here. One is that it’s probably the sole woman clerk who has to go out for the cream. The other has something to do with pornography.

Some mathematician killjoy with too much computer time figured out how to win at Monopoly. I’d tell you how, but I read the story in one of the British papers, so the streets all have different names. But don’t get the expensive properties, and get the ones near the Jail.

Best obit of the week: Sidney Gottlieb, the former mad scientist of the CIA 1953-73. If it was an exploding cigar or a poisoned handkerchief you wanted, he was your man. He was also in charge of the MK-ULTRA (that’s LSD to you) program, experimenting on countless mental patients and inmates (did anyone see that great Canadian tv-movie on the program that ran on Lifetime a few months ago?) and, by the way, himself. What the London Times obit in tomorrow’s paper says that the NY Times’s Wednesday did not is that the man admitted that everything he did at CIA was a complete failure. None of the attempts to poison Castro or Lumumba or make Castro’s beard fell out ever worked, the LSD stuff was completely pointless. When Gottlieb retired from the CIA, at age 55 or so, he went to India with his wife and ran a leper hospital. Then he tried to start a commune in Virginia, and later ran a hospice, and, quote: “practiced two of his lifelong hobbies, folk dancing and herding goats.” Did I mention he dropped a whole lot of LSD?

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