Friday, November 19, 1999

The future smells like socks / Party like it’s 3111

A name has been put to the author of the Protocols of Zion. Something Russian, you could look it up. The guy had quite an interesting life in the secret societies and secret services of Tsarist Russia, exile and whatnot.

I think this is a follow-up, since I think I remember some time ago mentioning a California woman who got a lottery ticket worth over $1 million, promptly divorced her husband of 25 years without telling him, and got sued by him. The judge just awarded all the money to him.

California will allow homosexual couples to adopt.

This week’s Dave Barry column is about his visit to his son’s dorm room. An enjoyable trip down memory lane, except that it sounds like my apartment. Barry says that it’s ok, because they are not there to do housework, they are there to prepare for the future. Which is going to smell like socks.

Congress accused IRS agents of having a quota system. So it set up an inspector general’s office, which will evidently have more investigations of IRS agents next year than there will be audits. How do we know this? Becuase the inspector general’s office has set up a quota system. Before you laugh too hard at the irony of it all, realize that the Republicans’ castration of the IRS means that it is no longer willing to do almost any audits, and those only of poor people (really), and that many rich people now cheat on their taxes with impunity. By by budget surplus. I guess Forbes will get his flat tax after all, but the old-fashioned way, through individual deceit and government complicity.

Trent Lott killed the new organ donation rules in a flat-out grab by the less-urban states for organs. Unseemly and it will kill people, but changing the system so that the more needy get the organs would also mean killing off the transplant expertise in the smaller states, which wouldn’t be good either. We should look at how the blood supply works to see if that system, which is the free-market version, works. Did you know that, by the way? Blood is siphoned off from donor-rich states like Iowa, by the Red Cross which operates as a rather vicious Microsoft-type monopolist, and sells it to the highest bidder, places like NY City.

This is a very important day, the last day on which all the digits of the date (11/19/1999) are odd numbers, until New Year’s, 3111. Party appropriately (oddly, I guess).

Russia has severely chastised the Czech Republic, whose, I forget, president, foreign minister, whatever, met the foreign minister of the Chechen Republic. Russia says this constitutes interference in its internal affairs. Irony is just lost on the Russians, isn’t it?

In Interview, a Little Help on Chechnya
Friday, November 19, 1999; Page A34
(Washington Post)

Texas Gov. George W. Bush has spent much of this week promoting the foreign policy speech he will deliver today in California, giving numerous interviews to television and print journalists to talk about his worldview.

In a telephone interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, the Republican presidential front-runner read from a draft of his speech that said he would take action “if the Russian government attacks innocent women and children in Chechnya.”

Asked whether that was now happening, Bush moved the phone away from his mouth and shouted, “They are attacking women and children, aren’t they?”

Answer in hand, he resumed the interview and said, “Condi Rice is shaking her head in agreement.”

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