Tuesday, May 18, 1999

So what happened in the world while I was gone? Well, I only had the L.A. Times, which is fewer steps up the evolutionary ladder from the SF Chronicle than it used to be, so I don’t really know. My favorite Times headline was “Man with One Leg, Not Accepted by LAPD, Sues”. You laugh, but he passed the physical tests. Turkey dealt with the new woman MP who insists on wearing Islamic headgear by revoking her citizenship. NATO bombed a bunch more refugees and the Chinese embassy, notably the only time it really took credit for its own accidents. This week it is saying that the Serbs are to blame for the refugees our bombs killed because they were, allegedly, used as human shields. “Stop hiding behind those refugees so we can bomb you from the safety of our airplanes.”

The D’s & R’s of California, after ordering the voters of the state to take back the open primaries and failing, have decided to simply ignore them, taking separate counts according to party affiliation. That is not what we voted for, twice.

Milosevic offered to pull half his troops out of Kosovo. The US called it a half measure. Duh.

The US, never learning from its past mistakes, is to train the Indonesian police in riot control. One of the biggest under-reported stories of the last few years is how the US has gone back to this sort of thing, especially in Latin America under cover of the “drug war”. In just this way, the US trained the security forces of the juntas in the 1970s and the
Central American death squads in the 1980s.

The Kuwaiti Parliament is dissolved because the government printed some Korans with typos.

While I was gone, Russia got a new prime minister, a man whose university thesis was on The Ideology of Firemen. And speaking of death squads, Israel’s new prime minister is famous for having led revenge attacks on Palestinians in the 1970s, wearing a dress and disguised as a woman. When all the news reports refer to him as Israel’s most decorated general, I think they mean best accessorized.

A deer almost stepped on my cat today.

Speaking of animals, the fields along I-5 are getting increasingly exotic. On this trip, in addition to the ostriches I’ve noticed before, I saw llamas. I think it’s becoming the world’s longest, narrowest petting zoo.

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