Friday, August 31, 2001

Unclear on the concept

The woman who sent a tape of Bush preparing for debates to the Gore campaign is sentenced. The judge tells her that what she did is very serious--"Our whole system of government depends on free elections."

Wasn't paying a lot of attention, was he?
Two stories in yesterday's paper. That woman in the Oklahoma city police lab testified in one guy's trial that his DNA was found in the semen found at a crime scene. There was never any semen. He was executed last year. And a guy in jail for burning down his family's house killing his children--the prosecutor whited out bits of the material they turned over to his lawyer that clearly a) exonerated him, b) put the blame on his
firebug son.

A federal judge for the first time upholds the ban (Florida) on gay adoptions. He says that homosexual unions are not as stable and are more stigmatizing. Like this ruling helps that. But he did turn out the rationale amazingly enough offered by the state of Florida that the law expressed the state's moral disapproval of homosexuality.

Thursday, August 30, 2001

The list of side-effects and so forth with my antibiotics say that I should consult my doctor before breast feeding. I don't know if that means giving or receiving breast milk, but I decided not to ask my doctor anyway. If the issue comes up, I'll just risk it.

Some idiot theologian is bringing out a book called The Gospel According to the Simpsons. Evidently, the Simpsons is the most religious tv show there is.

Still, it has to be doing a better job than the Church of England, whose Birmingham bit is bringing out a series of ads designed to bring in the two teenagers who still use the word "hip", while pissing off everyone else. My favorite: "Body piercing? Jesus had his done 2000 years ago."

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

One of my favorite Doonesbury's from the 1980s features several aides talking to Reagan. They tell him there's a theory going around that his ridiculous insistence that he could cut taxes and raise defense spending at the same time was actually a cunning plan to force cuts in the welfare state. Gee, asked Reagan, am I that smart? That's what we were wondering, sir; try to think back.

Bush last week actually said that the collapse of the always-fictional budget surplus is a good thing because it puts Congress in a fiscal strait-jacket. Trust Bush to find the bright side of recession.

Jamaica is thinking about legalizing marijuana. The US is threatening to impose sanctions. On another country for having its own legal system.

The Interior Department names the Fresno municipal dump a national historic landmark. Plan your vacations accordingly. But don't forget your Visa because they don't take American Express. They do, however, take AOL discs.

The 11th Circuit says that race doesn't count as diversity. So it's not ok to award points to U of Georgia applicants for being black, but it is ok to do so for children of previous students. Like, say, from the time it was all-white.

Well, if they can't get into the U of Georgia, they can get into the newly accredited Astrological Institute, with federal student loans. The accreditation people say that they're not validating astrology, just saying that the school fulfilled its promises to students.

Iranian schools are to reintroduce sex ed. The mind boggles.

Friday, August 24, 2001

Jesse Helms is history, Linda Tripp is broke and all is right with the world.

Zimbabwe's invasions of white-owned farms, beyond destroying this year's harvest and Zimbabwe's economy, is now spreading foot and mouth disease.

Last year Utah's Republicans stopped the legislature passing a bill to ban guns in schools and churches. This year, they've
decided to allow them at the state Republican convention, which Dick Cheney will address.

Thursday, August 23, 2001

Well I'm still enjoying the Tory party leadership battle, now going into what seems like its third year. Ian Duncan Smith, it seems, has padded his lack of resume. See, he's been bragging that he has been so disloyal to his party leadership that he turned down offers of government jobs to be able to fight the Major government on Europe. But he was never offered any such job. Kenneth Clarke, on the other hand, has had a day job, as deputy chairman of a tobacco company, BAT (the 2nd biggest in the world), in which capacity he lied to a parliamentary committee about his knowledge of cigarette smuggling operations.

Don't know if anyone else is following Zimbabwe, which gets nastier and nastier. Today it threatened editors and reporters,
including one editor who reprinted a Sunday Times story about Mugabe being haunted by ghosts of his former aides. Anyway, he's now looking to buy 30 riot control vehicles. From Israel.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Recently, I think in the last News of the Weird, there was mention of a St Louis filibuster in which the alderwoman had to use a bucket while a quilt was held around her. She has been charged with public urination.

The LA Times reports that Bush is getting around the Congressional limit on civilian contractors used in Colombia by having the State Department hire foreign pilots, and not reporting the fact to Congress.

Coincidentally, that bill I mentioned some weeks ago in which Colombian military authorities are given supreme authority, and many other nasty provisions, was just enacted.

Prince Edward and Princess Sophie have gone on strike. To quote the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, "Who would that inconvenience?" They have no royal engagements scheduled for
the rest of the year, but evidently still plan to keep the $250,000 or so they are paid by the British public each year.

Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Headline from a while back, "Canadians Flee in Spanking Dispute." Actually, I never heard more about that. Some cultists left Canada for the US, hoping their belief in rather stern corporal punishment of their children would be protected under the 1st Amendment.

A letter to the LA Times that I clipped as quintessentially SoCal calls for controls on immigration because the guy has to spend 4 hours commuting from Orange County to his job in Culver City, which is much longer than he thinks it should be. The letter doesn't say, but somebody like that has to drive an SUV.

So Israel, pissed with the way Palestine has been policing its terrorists, keeps flattening police stations, presumably pour encourager les autres (which is a French historical reference, translating as "to exercise the Darth Vader School of Management").

Presumably by now little Napoleon Beelzebub, or whatever his name is, has been executed in Texas. Killed the father of a federal judge, who used every contact to have him offed in return. For the first time in history, Supreme Court justices have to recuse themselves from a case, and 3 of them have to, leaving only 3 willing to stop the execution, and evidently ties are resolved in favor of death. Was a minor. Was a black tried by an all-white jury, judge, prosecutor, etc. who had the son looking over their shoulders. [Actually, after I wrote this a stay was issued, but I don’t know on what grounds]

Tuesday, August 14, 2001

The British suspend the Northern Irish government, in order to reactivate it one day later. The IRA withdraws its disarmament offer from 6 days ago. If you can grab this marble before my hand closes, Grasshopper....

Bush thinks India has suffered long enough for starting that whole nuclear arms race and violating the nuclear test ban,
and lifts sanctions. Also pardoned: the Indonesian military, poised to do who knows what in Acheh.

According to the NY Times of a day or two ago, the drug OxyContin of which so much has been said lately (the high of choice in 2001, for those of you who keep up with those things) could easily have been engineered so that abusing it (snorting or injecting it) would have produced no high at all. The drug company decided not to. I'm sure it was just an oversight.

Monday, August 13, 2001

I'm home again. At two spots on I5, there was only one lane because of what they laughingly called construction. Added an hour to the trip, which I will never get back. After the merger at the second one, we had gotten back up to half-speed when there was a sudden slow-down. Well, not really that sudden, but the truck behind me wasn't paying attention and didn't have time to stop. That’s ten years scared out of me that I’ll never get back.

It would be fun to sheherezade that story and pick it up in an e-mail tomorrow, but I guess I won't, and just tell you that the truck swerved onto the shoulder, avoiding pulverizing me.

So what did you think of Spurious George's stem-cell speech? His very first address to the nation, if you can believe it. Hardly worth interrupting his or my vacation for, if you ask me. It was very Clintonesque, in that it compromised his principles but still undercut the people it was supposed to help, while pissing off both sides. Very gays-in-the-military. My mother pointed out that he was wearing seriously thick makeup to disguise his recent skin cancer procedures. Come to think of it, why is moron-boy outside playing golf every day after that? The New York Times points out that his policy turns out to be more liberal than Clinton's because it dumped all the ethical protections for acquiring stem cells, like not asking permission exactly at the moment they're trying to impregnate a woman, when she is emotionally vulnerable (not least from all the hormones they pump her full of in preparation) to such pressure.

Friday, August 10, 2001

This morning as I was reading the LA Times, a peahen and 4 little peafowl came up to the door, just like Jehovah's Witnesses. I told them I didn't want any.

Germany is looking for a new but really long name for gay
marriages. The new registered homosexual unions (and if you were gay would you be wanting the German government to have your name on a list?) are called Eingetragene Lebenspartnerschaft. There's a bad pun in there, but far be it for me...

Bush is torpedoing yet another international agreement, this one on land mines.

Wednesday, August 08, 2001

After all that fuss about a new Japanese textbook that whitewashed Japanese atrocities, none of the local education authorities adopted it. It will be used by only 1,300 children (in schools for the mentally handicapped and chronically ill).

From the Daily Probe:


Last night I watched a made-for-cable movie in which someone attempts suicide the day before his birthday. Think Showtime was trying to tell me something?

Bush on his month-long vacation in Texas: "I am the kind of person that needs to get outdoors.... it keeps my mind whole." Bush, who is not good with fractions, was of course rounding up.

According to today's LA Times, Ariel Sharon thinks that the whole problem with Israel's current world standing is one of PR. He thinks that besides stressing security, they should repeatedly stress that the land is theirs by divine right. I bring this up to emphasize how out of touch with the universe Sharon is, making an argument based on theology only Jews and a few fundamentalist Christians believe in.

Sunday, August 05, 2001

Germany is shocked that the incoming US ambassador, former senator Dan Coats, who has not even been confirmed, is speculating aloud that Germany needs to raise its military spending. In the same story (in the Daily Telegraph) is a side-bar that German soldiers have been ordered to use less toilet paper. German soldiers have become such wimps. It used to be traditional for them to wipe their asses on France.

Dick Cheney says there is "some justification" for Israel's assassination policy.

The Italian parliament passes a law decriminalizing false accounting--coincidentally one of PM Berlusconi's crimes.

A region of China (Huaiji) population unfortunately not named in the article, has been ordered to conduct 20,000 abortions and forced sterlizations by the end of the year.

Wednesday, August 01, 2001


I'm in LA, where gas prices are even higher than up north, and indeed even higher by a full dime than what I paid in Kettleman City on I5.

LA is actually more densely built up than ever before, what I saw of it on either side of the SD Freeway, so most of that expensive gas is used in idling. That's the thing about LA: it's laid-back, but even laid-back is expensive here.