Thursday, April 06, 2000

Today's NY Times had an article about consultants who help school districts make Medicaid claims (some of them semi-fraudulent) in exchange for 20% of the rake-off.

The street betting in Pakistan on deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif getting the death penalty tomorrow is 4:1. His wife is already threatening to take his place. We've seen a lot of these Asian widows/daughters taking over from dead male relatives, but this may be the first time it's been suggested before the event.

I haven't decided yet how I should feel about the situation in Zimbabwe, where Mugabe is encouraging squatters to terrorize white farm owners into giving up their land. Put that way it sounds clear enough, and ex-colonialists or not, some of these families have no doubt been there since most of our ancestors came to America, but they do own a rather huge percentage of the good farmland. If the government seizes it, as Mugabe failed to get approved in a referendum just a month or two ago, it will all go to Mugabe's friends where it will be left to rot. Still, it's hard to have to side with the imperialists. Britain is making plans to evacuate the country of whites, and Mugabe keeps calling them gay, today specifically naming junior foreign office minister (something like an assistant secretary of state in the US) Peter Hain of being gay, which I'm pretty sure he's not. Hain earlier in his life was an anti-apartheid activist forced out of South Africa, where he was born (I should probably say that he's white).

In theatre news, Kathleen Turner appears naked in a production of a stage version of The Graduate.

Dubya thanked Kansas for voting for him in the primary yesterday, except there was no primary yesterday: it was cancelled in February.

The Wall Street Journal points out that while Gore piped up on the issue of Elian Gonzales, he won't express an opinion on the fate of Microsoft. I think a truly Solomonic decision would involve splitting up Elian and sending Bill Gates to Cuba.

A mother went to testify to the character of her 18-year old son, just convicted of murder in North Carolina. Except they stopped her at the door for being 3 times over the legal limit.

The Project Censored report is out. You can find it in this week's Bay Guardian and no doubt on its own site. Some of the top censored stories you heard from me, on Kosovo and such. They mention the relationship between multinational companies and 3rd World violence, a recent theme of mine. The one story that was new to me said that the American Cancer Society not only spends most of its money on its own bureaucracy but also won't say anything about the actual chemical causes of some cancers and that it sides with drug companies. Another story is about the neglect of research into drugs for tropical diseases like malaria.

Dubya: "Reading is the basics for all learning."

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