Friday, April 07, 2000

Some must-reads in the Friday Washington Post (which can be accessed at least a day or two later, if need be). In the world section, there's a story about massacres of Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War, by, of all people, South Korean troops. And a story about Quebec, which I've mentioned before, about how all the orphanages turned into insane asylums because there was more federal money in it if they were, and the nuns (all social services in Quebec being run by the Catholic Church, which from all reports was represented in Quebec entirely by paedophiles and sadists) started treating these perfectly normal orphans and illegitimate children like mental patients, drugging them and electro shock and so on. In the national section of the Post, there's a long but entertaining story about St. Elian of Little Havana and exile politics, with guest appearances by famous Cubans like one of Nixon's Plumbers. No one mentioned Ricky Ricardo, though. Hey, isn't it about time Bush or Gore named Elian as his running mate?

In other horror stories, Israel finally released one of its Lebanese hostages, this one after 10 years (and 4 years held by the Lebanese Christian militias before that). The only country in the world in which torture is a recognized aspect of the judicial process and hostage-taking is announced government policy. I saw Netanyahu a few days ago in an interview with Israeli tv, telling improbable stories about how he happened to have in his possession all these expensive gifts given to the nation of Israel by foreign leaders.

Thus proving that all politicians are criminals. More cases in point: the Republican who asked Bill Gates, now touring D.C. (the Washington he owns only half of) drumming up support, why Microsoft hadn't given more money to Republicans. It hardly gets more blatant, unless you count Japan, which has chosen as its new prime minister one of the thieves in the Recruit scandal a little over a decade ago, one who walked away with a million dollars in ill-gotten gains. And Helmut Kohl, now trying to suppress Stasi tapes of him taking bribes as long ago as the mid-70s.

The good news: Tennessee did not execute anyone this week, making it still the only Southern state not to have executed anyone recently. One of the targets was a man who was involved in a shoot-out with police, although it's pretty damn clear that the cop who was killed was actually shot by another cop. By the way, if and when Pennsylvania gets around to executing Mumia, remind me to tell you what I know about that case; no one story ever includes all the sordid details, of which there are a great many.

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