Saturday, May 21, 2005
Russian control of state bank means there are sufficient rubles for its switch to free-mkt prices, but other republics are stuck w/scrip
CA added 1-3 yrs to prison terms if body armor worn during crime
USSR gets to see “It’s a Wonderful Life” for 1st time
Israel to deport 12 more Palestinians
Bush in Australia, defending US agric subsidies while criticizing Japan: “We’ve never said we’re totally pure.”
Georgian opposition forms new cabinet, but refuses to call new parl elections
1984 Israel authorized an astronaut to fly as sabbath doesn’t exist in sidereal time
Afghan rebels (remember them?) release a US aid worker held w/out anyone mentioning it for 6 mos
6 of Soviet republics to have own armies
Imelda Marcos decides to plead not guilty, and run for president
President of Georgia flees to Armenia & good riddance
Ukraine got its army today. But the 40% of army there asked to swear allegiance are ethnic Russians — who may be deported if refuse
The witness Oct90 who anonymously claimed Iraqis ripped Kuwaiti babies from incubators turns out to have been the daughter of Kuwaiti ambassador. 7 Senators cited the incident in speeches before vote on war Jan91. She was allowed to do so by Tom Lantos & John Porter of Congressional Human Rights Caucus, who have close relationship w/Kuwait’s PR firm, which promoted the girl. Lantos & Porter head the Congressional Human Rights Foundation, which got $50,000 from Kuwaitis before war dec. The foundation also ignores human rights in Turkey & Indonesia, which contribute to the PR firm
EC observers’ helicopter shot down in Yugoslavia by fed gov
Honeymoon over in Georgia. New gov fires on demonstrators
Bush’s speech on 200th anniversary of Bill of Rights: “Today, respect for the founders’ ideals of freedom of conscience still drives us as we seek to restore the freedom of voluntary praryer in the public schools.”
UN “strongly condemns” Israel for 12 expulsions & US supports a resolution that “strongly condemns” it for 1st time. And no one but Israel sowed up at Mideast talks
Iran re-arming rapidly, buying cut-price from Russia, evidently
USSR (?) will keep 200,000 troops in Baltics for years, it says. They demanded immediate withdrawal
In Cuban missile crisis Kennedy never really promised not to invade Cuba, just if it “commits no aggressive acts against any of the nations of the Western hemisphere.”
When Yugoslavia shot down EC copter, nothing military should have been in air under the cease-fire. Yug. Defense Minister replaced today by an even harder-liner
Worst phrase of the day: “Vice President Quayle has been informed of the president’s illness.”
A deal for Aristide to return, w/a strong opponent as his PM
Wilder gives up run for presidency
Where Yeltsin previously said that Black Sea Fleet belongs to the Commonwealth rather than to Ukraine, now claims it for Russia.
-Maj. Gen. Bashkirov, commander of air forces in Ukraine, confronted by demand to swear allegiance to the republic, warned that “I have more buttons than the president.”
Quayle, neo-populist, complains of bank “stupidity” for bad loans 1980s & for timidity now in not making business loans
Serbia, having troubles w/its puppet state-let in Croatia, Krajina, whose President refuses to allow in UN forces & who has banned CP activity
Ger pressing Russia to restore an autonomous republic for Volga Germans
Russia to embargo buying of consumer supplies by other republics
George “Willie Loman” Bush’s trip to Japan did not go at all well. Didn’t help that he went with over-paid execs of the incompetent US auto industry. And, of course, he barfed on the Japanese PM
Red Cross says there are still 30,000 Iraqis in camps in Saudi Arabia, some POWs who don’t want to return, some Shiites who fled after civil war
-Meanwhile in Iraq, Kurds creating their own state quietly. Hussein sort of econ blockading them, & not paying civil servants
After Islamic fundamentalists win 1st round Algerian elections, president resigned yesterday & elections cancelled today. Sort of a military coup.
Kenya to charge ex-VP for spreading rumors
No peace dividend in FBI either, which is redeploying agents from counterintelligence to gangs
Dow Corning put breast implants on mkt 1975 w/out bothering to make proper tests. FDA only asked for safety data 1988
Bush again names director of Legal Services Corp by recess appointment. None of his people yet have had confirmation hearings
Additives to cigarettes only disclosed to gov at all 1984, then by comp, not by brand. And gov has to treat it as secret. Additives listed in Canada & Br inc carcinogens, turpentine, shellac. When Canada insisted on disclosure 1989, Philip Morris pulled out altogether & RJ Reynolds temp did, then changed recipe so different from US
Speaker Russian Parl demands resignation of Yeltsin’s gov for anarchy of price reforms
Canada gives refugee status to a homosexual fearing persecution in Argentina, where it’s illegal
Japan admits forcing 1,000s of Koreans to serve as prostitutes WW2 (100,000-200,000)
Algerian gov also voided 1st round of elections, and ended election for president. Power resides in a place not set out by the const. Will try to outlaw the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) & will lead to civil war
Israeli settlers painted Stars of David on a Palestinian leader’s house & smashed its windows. What a lovely sense of history.
Jerry Brown is the Grumpy among the Democratic dwarves
Edith Sitwell: “Everybody is somebody’s bore.”
Latest country into the flag-of-convenience racket for ships — Luxembourg
U-2 goes down, allegedly lost at sea off... South Korea. Evidently the spy plane was being used over a friendly gov w/its permission
EC recognizes Slovenia, Croatia. Not US.
Bush accuses EC of lowering an Iron Curtain of Protectionism
Gates says Iraq could rapidly rebuild nuclear, chemical & bio & missiles
Someone said Iraq war began á la Wilson & ended á la Nixon
Commonwealth navy to be split. Black Sea Fleet Russia/Ukraine; Caspian Russia/Azerbaijan
Gamsakhurdia has returned to Georgia & is holding rallies. Civil War?
Alaskan native villages, says Court of Appeals, should be treated as sovereign Indian country though not reservations
Shamir loses 2 right parties & his majority. May soon have to fight elections as a... “peace” candidate
In Wilson’s CA State of State message, his examples of people hurt by recession were actually “allegory.” Evidently the Republican knows no one affected by recession
Br local gov: after poll tax reduced & funding transferred to 2.5% VAT increase, local govs only raise ave. 14% of their budgets, which makes raising spending difficult — a 1% increase in spending would require 6% poll tax. All councils to be subject to poll-tax capping which should require cuts, at least in real money, to ½ councils
CA Dems still trying to screw the Green Party, which has qualified for ballot status. Sending post cards, 1st class, to all registrants, hoping to have them returned as undeliverable
Israeli land is held by the Jewish National Fund, which holds it on behalf of “the Jewish people” — not Israelis. JNF gets tax-deductible contributions in US.
-Since Gulf War, confiscation in W Bank up to 2%/month. Own 80% water rights. Greatest excuse being building w/out impossible-to-get permits
Algerian gov wants to change const to ban relig parties, but would have to reflect “real” currents of opinion
After Clarence Thomas hearings, Bush’s revenge was to restrict Senate access to FBI reports, making confirmation impossible. None have occurred since to fed courts. 1/6 of district court judgeships vacant, 12% appellants will have to conduct own investigations.
Japanese PM says he never really promised Bush to buy US cars & car parts. And Jap. Speaker of Parl said US workers lazy & illiterate. Actually, the part thing would just mean Jap. car firms will est more parts factories in US, giving them greater flexibility against US firms
To get the most recent W. hostages out of Lebanon, Iran paid c.$1m each
Yesterday’s Demo. debates: Brown called for flat-rate fed income tax. Harkin said he was the only real Democrat
Sharon plan for W Bank: if Palestinians get autonomy (really, even if they don’t), Israel would annex settler-occupied lands, leaving only scattered Palestinian enclaves, none contiguous & all quite small. Sound familiar?
-Meanwhile, Sharon says God promised this land to Jews & is Israel’s “forever and ever.” “No power in the world will prevent this construction.” Says would rather forgo the $10b from US than stop settling.
Israel widens “security zone” in s. Lebanon
2 E Ger guards convicted of shooting the last refugees Feb89. One suspended sentence, 1 3½ years, setting precedent for trying E Ger officials for doing their jobs
Sup Court to review harsh Penn. abortion law, around summer, which should make the election more interesting. Penn. demand parental consent, 24-hr waiting per., notification of husband, notification of alternatives to abortion. Appeals Court held most of that ok, saying Roe v Wade no longer fully accepted by Sup Court.
When Bush travels (abroad?) he takes Halcion to sleep, a drug w/mental effects like forgetfulness & overconfidence.
Prosecutor of Soviet coup leaders says they expected Gorby eventually to join them
UN Sec Council tells Libya to “cooperate” w/the investigation of 2 airplane bombings by Fr, Br, US, implicitly meaning extradition of 2 Libyans. UN has never before interfered in extradition or accused a member of terrorism. Sanctions no doubt to follow. Libya has offered to send them for trial by World Court
NJ “Family Devt Initiative Act” refuses additional benefits if ♀ on welfare has another (or a) kid. They are accused of having babies to get that $64/month. and all welfare recipients must attend school or job training, or lose benefits.
Now that SA is no longer officially race-based, whites are resisting the draft, which is.
Current EEOC backlog is 4 yrs. It’s budget keeps getting cut by Congress from Bush’s proposed budgets. Staff training 1990 came to $16.82 each, cost for litigation $4,375 per case
Sup Court 6-3 turns down conscientious objection to conscriptions as grounds for asylum — inc drafts by guerillas (case is from Guatemala). Scalia says these people persecuted not for beliefs, but for refusing to join a guerilla army — failed to prove guerillas likely to persecute him for pol views “rather than because of his refusal to fight with them.” That’s ok, then. Court will no doubt also overturn a case of Jehovah’s Witnesses fleeing draft in El Salvador, which has no CO status — Admin position is that they would be prosecuted for a gen law, not because of their beliefs [see 3/6/92]
Peace Now says Israel constructing 13,000 housing units Occupied 1991, increasing total units 65% 1991, cost of $1b. And plans to build 140,000 more units for 500,000 people. Ariel Sharon calls this report “informing of the worst kind.”
As UC to raise tuition next yr to 75% more than last yr, the highest paid state employee is UCLA’s football coach — $359,000 (2nd highest is UC president)
Senate 57-36 defeats Bush plan to aid poor children in parochial & priv schools
Estonia’s PM & gov resigns. Failed to get emergency powers
Dallas retains ban on gay cops
Austria changes law to allow prosecution of neo-Nazis. Penalties were too high for juries to convict — denying Holocaust could get you 5 yrs. Now possible just 2. Calling for re-est of Nazi Party down from life to 1 yr-life
Gov. Clinton of Ark., the frontrunner the tabloids say screwed everyone in sight, allows an execution of someone whose brain a bullet went through and may be severely impaired.
-Kerrey & Tsongas also support death penalty
Salvador judge sentences 2 officers to 30 yrs for the Jesuit killings. And somehow sentenced 2 acquitted lts. & 1 who had no trial (3 yrs each).
DeKlerk says const changes will go to referendum in which blacks can vote but whites will have veto (note: race-based).
Yeltsin says he intends to stop targeting nukes on US cities
Bush looking for a full-time “image czar”
Seymour Hersh says US gave intelligence to Iraq as early as spr82 & allowed arms sales. Gov did not inform Congress of either. From 1983, CIA did not interfere w/private arms sales of Soviet arms.
-A US comp, Terex, seems to have made armor-plated trucks for Iraq in Scotland — from which mobile launchers fired Scuds at Israel during Gulf War.
The newest Iran-type Enemy seems to be Sudan since an Islamic military coup 1989. Has been assisting fundies Egypt, Algeria, may be becoming terrorist safe haven
Other supporters of the Iraqis-ripping-babies-from-incubators story testified to UN under false names, w/out saying so, all coached by Hill & Knowlton
1990 state of Arkansas, under Clinton, gave loan to a car parts firm to help it build up stocks to break a forthcoming strike — ultimately a lock-out. No Ark. unions support Clinton
Sup Court 6-3 says Voting Rights Act doesn’t cover cases in Alabama where blacks elected to all-white boards which then stripped powers (over roads) from indiv members
Sup Court 6-3 limits ability of union organizers to have access to factories, parking lots, etc, citing employers’ prop. rights. Say only ok for mining comps & such
Redistricting is largely being done by R’s. In Texas, a fed court, all RR appointees, took over. In CA, Wilson vetoed Leg. bill, sending it to CA Sup Court, 6 of 7 of whom R-appointed. Mass. R’s want Fed courts to redistrict
State of Union Address: Al Franken on Comedy Channel said he’d get an Elvis reference in, and he did.
-US will produce no more B-2 bombers, sear-based warheads, MX, cruise. Will de-MIRV Minuteman. Will cut $50b over 5 yrs from Defense, big wow. But still need Star Wars.
-Hey, he wants to cut capital gains tax in ½. Compares those who dislike rich to the Mencken quote about puritans.
-Wants line-item veto
-Proposes tax credits for home-buying
-And tax incentives for children — inc more raiding of IRAs
-Welfare “being passed from generation to generation like a legacy.” Says those on welfare have obligation not to have illegitimate children
-Bush caves on extending welfare benefit.
-Will change withholding to make c.$25b available now instead of after the election — stimulation by accounting trick
Clinton is the most electable Democrat like Moe is the smartest stooge
Yeltsin disappeared again for several days, so we can all enjoy those drinking rumors. Actually, he just popped out to the 7-11 for a loaf of bread.
Yeltsin says won’t target US military targets either. Now closing down ICBMs
Bush wants 90-day moratorium on fed regs
-Wants his “plan” approved by Mar. 20. Then he goes to war.
-Wants next budget frozen
-Wants to end luxury tax on yachts & priv planes
PM of new state of Thuringia ousted for collaboration with E Ger gov. Was officer in security police, etc. That makes 2 (of 5) & 1 soon to follow. Replaced by a W Ger hack. He was a Christ Dem, by the by
SA arrests head of Pan-Africanist Congress & the whole leadership of fascist AWB, the 2 holdouts from negotiations. The charges for AWB from violent protests last August, so timing is political
Bush ‘99 campaign spent $300,000 more than legally allowed in Iowa, NH
Iran will sell draft exemption (draft = 2 yrs) for $5,000
Buchanan’s coordinator for NJ fired because compared interracial marriages to animal cross-breeding
$17b of defense spending defends northern Norway, $90b to defend Ger from surprise attack by troops Ger pays $90m to house in ex-E Ger
2 days before Bush visited a computer parts factory in NH, mgmt ordered there to be no complaints
Bush’s budget is $1.52t: $400b deficit (+$30b in smoke & mirrors hiding of Fed insurance for banks & S&Ls. To cut home heating assistance, housing for elderly & disabled, Amtrak, mass transit, TVA, Appalachia, school asbestos removal
Mich. judge gives a man his driver’s license if he only drives Amer. cars
Croatia screwing up UN peace plan, demanding say in appointment of local officials & police in Serb areas of Croatia. Also threatening to invade Bosnia-Herz. to save ethnic Croats
China will only take part in nuclear talks if everyone else cuts to their level.
-Bush is to meet Li Peng, rewarding them for selling missile technology to Syria & Pakistan after saying they wouldn’t. China says will only abide by internat agreement on missile technology if US lifts sanctions
Haughey resigns as Irish PM, for 1982 bugging of journalists & corruption among his friends
US sold high-tech dual-use staff to Iran 1990-1
Russian VP Rutskoi, a real charmer, accusing ministers of incompetence. And he will now advocate a Greater Russia, borders reflecting a “glorious page” of past, meaning recovery of Crimea from Ukraine
Bush’s military budget calls for designing weapons, & delaying when they are built until I guess they are needed. This is the opposite of how indust comps do things & would ensure delays & higher costs if built
1990 Japan 3rd largest importer $235b, up 84% from 1985. 1980 23% manufactures, 1990 ½. Per cap $1900, US $2,050
Clinton evidently supports parental notification of abortion
Cheney insists US needs at least 4,700 warheads
US delayed issuing State Dept Human Rights report, so as not to jeopardize meeting between Bush & Li Peng