Saturday, October 08, 2005
In 50 local council by-elections Eng & Wales 1st ¼ 1993, LibDems 34%, Labour 35, Tories 29
Fr’s last socialist PM, Bérégovoy has shot himself in the head
Poland’s new abortion law specifies life starting from conception & state’s involvement from that pt. As in US antiabortion mvmt, treats medical care as being for 2 separate beings. And while drs can get 2 yrs, mother exempted – as in US where women not treated as adult moral agents. Beating a pregnant ♀ & hurting the “conceived child” gets 8 yrs. Priests are now pressuring ♀ who only have a couple of children or deny sacraments unless wife signs pledge not to use IUD. The # of women in Parl was 20% 1987, an E Eur low, 14% 1990. So, Anne Snitow writes in Nation, abortion the new clandestine experience, like old undergrounds, secrets, cynicism about a just rule of law
Demonstrators clash w/police in Moscow after May Day march banned & Red Sq closed off. Leaders were CP & leaders of the 1991 coup
Bosnian Serb pres Karadzic signs Vance-Owen plan. Sure, but Parl must ratify
Symmetry. One week after Sri Lanka’s opposition leader assassinated, so is the president
Ave time served for rape (1989 survey): 29 mo.
Peru. Fujimori’s new tame Congress tried to investigate human rights abuses. The Army Commander refused to answer q’s about disappearance of 9 U. students & a professor. Then he sent tanks onto the streets of Lima for 2 dys
Bush’s sub-min. wage expired Mar. 31. Labor Dept says it was a failure as a “training wage”
HK governor Chris Patten asks US to renew Ch’s MFN status unconditionally
Ger’s SPD head Björn Engholm, also PM of Schleswig-Holstein, resigns both. Something about having known that Schleswig’s previous PM was spreading false accusations about him (of an unstated nature) earlier than he was supposed to have known, evidently because he bribed the man’s press sec. Just as well, since Engholm supported using Ger troops abroad & excluding asylum-seekers
George Shultz’s book also says Kohl told RR the Ger gov would fall if he didn’t visit Bitburg
Clinton admin wishy-washy on War Powers Act. Stephanopolous said on troops for Bosnia, “If any authority is needed from the Congress, he will get it.”
Sup Court unanimously decides that partners in crime can’t challenge illegal searches on each other, even if share control of prop or one directs the other. In practice, I assume this means the gov can deliberately do illegal searches of the small fry, who will overlook it as part of a deal
Sw. has jail allowances of $8/dy. They have a problem now of Russians coming in & committing crimes to be sent to jail
Salvador has started the officer purge the UN report called for
Clinton to compromise – what else – on vaccination. Rather than making gov the sole buyer, gov would pay just for kids on Medicaid or whose vaccines not covered by insurance. So the priv mkt remains. Cost for all shots now $244, which 40-60% now get, 10% in inner cities
E Ger steel workers demanding employers keep promise to raise their wages this yr. They want parity w/W. (or wages that ensure higher unemp benefits when their mills closed). They work 40 hrs, v. 36 in W.
A Fed District judge refuses to sentence based on mandatory drug sentences (in this case 30 yrs for possession of ¼ ounce of heroin & cocaine). Drug cases in fed courts tripled to 12,833 in 10 yrs to 1992
Whatever happened to... Yugoslav refugees. A yr ago, story after story. Bosnian refugees in Croatia. Br taking 3 refugees, It., Ger... But as ethnic cleaning cont. apace, w/UN help, but no idea where even the UN-assisted ones go. Nor any more stories about Serbs colonizing. It’s all war & diplomacy now. Thus, no pressure on Clinton to take any refugees, since evidently in 1992 there are none
Marc Cooper Village Voice from Moscow. Part of Nat. Lenin Museum rented out to a “model agency.” Says Nat Salvation Front lit. inc swastikas – in Russia. Everyone talks about Pinochet as the dictatorship plus capitalism model. Thinks the nether regions with all the oil, gas, etc will stop obeying a distant cent. gov. No free mkt while 10s of millions of workers kept on in unproductive plants. The subsidies go & you have real disaster. A journalist comments that under communism banners promised a communist paradise the people never got. Now they promise Colgate-Palmolive & Reeboks they don’t get either. Everything Russian is considered 2nd class & yuppies wear sunglasses w/Rayban stickers on the lens. Mkt research shows they want Eng. labels. At the famous McDonalds, kids help people avoid lines, for a commission, by bribing employees
Estonia names an American Army colonel (ret.) as chief of its 2,000 strong military. US threatening his citizenship & pension
Walt Disney was a secret informer to FBI on communists 1940-66. Allowed access to scripts & made changes in movies & Mickey Mouse Club. After a 1941 strike by animators, he named some strike leaders to HUAC
Br gov to acquiesce & accept Social Chapter
A guy who killed people in NY & Okl tried 1st in NY, which gave him 20 yrs, then sent him for trial in OK. There he pleaded guilty & asked to be executed. OK refusing to return him, under extradition laws, but NY insists he serve his 20 yrs before being executed
Just what SA needs: a new fascist group, the Afk People’s Front, demanding an Afk bantustan. It will start peacefully, it says, but if failed, they already threaten armed resistance. Led by 4 retired gens., inc chief of military intelligence, 1 chief of defense force 1980-5. It will unite separatist groups inc white unions.
Bosnian Serb parl decides not to vote on peace plan, but will hold referendum in 10 days (of whom?). Serb & Yug. gov say (giggle) they’ll cease supplies to Bosnian Serbs – exc humanitarian. Can’t wait to see where they hold referendum.
US has evidence that Ch. is breaking last yr’s promise not to export missiles (in this case, to Pakistan)
Energy Dept agrees to be supervised by OSHA
Sen. 95-2 approves disclosure rules for lobbyists – must report their gov contracts, employers, cost, gifts to senators or staffs
Br: 1st by-election since last yr gen. A 33,000 swing kicked out Tories at Newbury for Soc Dems. And in cty elections, Tories lost 15 councils, of 47, retained 1 (Buckinghamshire).
Hawaii Sup Court says marriage is a basic civil right, so will probably allow it for gays under ERA (pending review by trial court)
UN dec 6 Bosnian cities inc Sarajevo, Srebrenica “safe areas.” As long as they’re safe, I’m planning my vacation there. UN also says war is peace & black is white. No enforcement provision, of course
Corp for Pub Broadcasting to est an $800,000 plan to insure “balance & objectivity” inc an 800 number to intimidate affiliates
“History does not repeat itself – but it does sometimes rhyme.” – Mark Twain
Norway has decided to start whaling again
The greatest debating body in the world: “Heterosexuals don’t practice sodomy,” shouted Strom Thurmond.
Comps no longer give references, afraid of lawsuits for slander, discrim. So comps now hire priv investigators instead, & have applicants sign releases
Ger-Poland agreement where Ger bribes P. $76.4m & P. takes refugees trying to get into Ger. Next yr, Ger can deport unltd #s. So this is where many Yug., Romanian, gypsies will wind up
When military integrated 1940s, bases shut down pools & dances, afraid of being polluted. War Dept policy (until 1948) considered the *presence* of a black man & white ♀ to constitute statutory rape (w/death penalty)
SA: I’d been wondering about the weapon the Polish immigrant used to assassinate Chris Hani. The fascist who stole the weapons from air force 1990 was arrested 1991. He said he’d distributed them among Boers for self-defense
CA budget cuts such that we will soon (& already in San Joachin) stop prosecuting misdemeanors. Cops in San Joachin no longer making arrests for fear of false arrest suits
-CA is also missing school libraries, ½ of which closed in last decade. We have 1 librarian/6,400 students – nat ave 1/722
China mostly keeping US embassy staff out of prison factories, though last yr had agreed to inspections. In one case, diplomats were shown a site across the street from the real one. Also haven’t allowed all dissidents out of country, as pledged 1991
Clinton compromising w/everyone on the energy tax, down from #22b/yr to maybe under $1, exempting home heating oil, ethanol, coal used to make steel, airplane fuel for internat flights, etc. And every else wants exemptions
Bush visited Kuwait last mo. Kuwait & evidently CIA claim Iraq tried to blow him up
Fr to change immigration laws so children of foreigners born in Fr don’t have auto citizenship, and tighten up on marriages of convenience. And no one jailed over 6 mos
Jo’burg Star says it knows of a plot to kill Joe Slovo next week, along lines of Chris Hani assassination
Eur prefers to wit for the meaningless Bosnian Serb referendum before doing anything. One of the UN’s “safe areas,” the town of Zepa, turns out to be totally deserted. Clinton doesn’t mind waiting & is not deploying aircraft or personnel
Peru is selling citizenship at $25,000 for head of family, $2,000 additional (Hong Kongers, presumably), giving a passport w/out having to set foot them. But also because Peru often nationalizes comps owned by foreigners. Everyone does a variation. If you bring $1m into US you get perm resident status, $500,000 Canada. Taiwan pretty much gives it to a Hong Kong Chinese who buys prop.
Kuwait started arrests in the alleged plot on Bush even before Bush arrived, but didn’t tell US until already there. CIA warned of potential plot last yr, but not with any evidence. US had wanted extradition, but Kuwait intends to keep them, no doubt figuring if US can’t punish the indivs, it’ll go after Iraq itself.
Clinton allows rehiring of PATCO air traffic controllers, 12 yrs on. But FAA doesn’t need many
EC foreign ministers reject Clinton proposal to arm Bosnians. They suggest US might get some troops in w/theirs to keep peace. They’re pretending that Milosevic’s alleged blockade on Bosnian Serbs is serious. Eurs want “safe zones” which means disarming one side.
-US thinking of sending troops to Macedonia, where there is nothing going on
Motor Voter passes 62-36 over R filibuster. All 36 are R’s
Russia vetoes UN peacekeeping fund for Cyprus, its 1st veto since 1984, the 1st since 1990.
Nunn & other Sen. homophobes thinking of a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in military. In other words, one would be fine if gay but not if said gay. No one seems to notice this is violation of 1st Amend
Saudi Arabia bans 1st human rights organizs, as contrary to Islamic law – my mistake – the group is itself fundamentalist
It. arrests head of largest pub. corp, one of Mussolini’s monstrosities. Also arrested: 2 communists, for the 1st time, inc former admin sec, for taking kickbacks from state Rrs
Texas executes Leonel Herrera, whose proof of innocence was never heard by any court, because of Texas’s 30-day rule on new evidence & Sup Court decision that it is const for an innocent person to be executed. Witnesses to Herrera’s brother (deceased) confessing, joined Herrera in passing polygraphs, 4 or 5 people
3 days before the planned Bosnian Serb referendum, no ballots printed, no voting lists, polling places
The internat community has decided that Paraguay has a democracy now. What it had was an election that it is believed would have returned the Colorado party candidate even w/out attacks on opposition tv, cutting phone lines of opposition parties & ind vote counters; threat by army not to accept any other winner
Feminists oppose appointment of fiercely anti-abortion Mayor Flynn of Boston as ambassador to Vatican
Les Aspin declares Star Wars dead. The king is dead, long live the Ballistic Missile Defence Organiz (but not in space itself) at $3.8b 1994
Egypt pardons & deports 3 Amers in jail since Feb for preaching Christianity
9 Soviet republics to form econ union (customs, currency etc) – GA, Azerbaijan outside Commiewealth, Turkmenistan not signing
Clinton expected to resume nuclear tests when the moratorium expires in July. Why? Br can’t either when we don’t, as they use Nevada. Evidently another Clinton compromise
Trade rep Mickey Kantor organizes an obviously illegal lobbying group of state & local officials to support NAFTA
A gay army sgt who came out 3 weeks ago demoted for wearing a ribbon they say he hadn’t gotten. He says he’d been told he had, anyway had 5 others, and the whole pt was about not living a lie
Br gov slashes legal aid, throwing out ¼ pop. Now only below £61/week, and contrib by the indiv up to £1,500/yr
Erwin Rautenberg ran a CIA front air carrier from 1956. 1981 CIA closed down the connection, leaving him w/unpaid bills, taxes, mysterious cargo. He sued the larger E-Systems, which works for CIA & Pentagon. E-Systems counter-sued, which was declared a malicious prosecution, he awarded $4.8m damages. Under appeal, he hasn’t collected. During his suit, for breach of contract, gov ordered him to sign a secrecy order about dealings w/CIA, the existence of the order, or that CIA demanded it. Somehow, he still won, awarded $6.2m 1986. Which he hasn’t gotten. The RR-appointed judge met privately w/CIA while the case pending. He was reversed by Fed appeals, but before a new trial, Sup Court must decide about the secrecy order. (Update: Sup Court decides not to review the secrecy order, so case will have to go ahead w/out it)
Bosnian Serb “President” Karadzic, who signed the UN Peace Plan & said he’d resign if the “referendum” rejected it, now that the referendum has predictably enough done so, says the peace plan is dead; “Bosnia never existed, and it will never exist” and there will be a Greater Serbia.
-Serbia is indeed not boycotting Bosnia, but letting lots of trucks through. No one knows what they carry
The US will skip a Security Council meeting of foreign ministers on Bosnia & peacekeeping. UN says it will drop its rather lukewarm support of the Vance-Owen peace plan because the Bosnian Serbs don’t like it. Gosh, did Iraq want to be bombed?
The only subsidy Clinton promised during election campaign to kill was to beekers. House Ag Cmte killed that idea.
An Anglo in Quebec taking its French-only law to the UN as violating Internat Covenant on Civil & Pol Rights
Internat Whaling Commission under great pressure by an increasingly arrogant Japan, which is buying votes w/aid: St Vincent, Dominica, Grenada, Grenadines
More Nixon tapes released. “I don’t think you’re going to see a great, great uproar,” he said 4 days after Watergate. And he operated vendetta to kill funds for MIT for not supporting him in vN. Casper Weinberger at OMB came up w/plan to kill contracts w/out allowing MIT to prove it
Senators’ power to hold up appointments is entirely unofficial, often anonymous. Bill Cohen held up Ag appointments for weeks until got aid to Maine potato farmers. Bob Dole held up Customs Commissioner until Customs hired one of his protégés. Hank Brown held up someone to get a water project. Several held up Asst Sec Treasury for Tax Policy until get info on tax policy. These are all R. Senators
US to recognize Angolan gov, only 9 mos late
Denmark referendum this time clearly for Eur unity, by 56.8%. Some of Br Tories went to campaign against
Clinton admin has dropped idea of making Bosnia a fair fight, now confined to containing it w/in Bosnia. It is no longer portrayed as an internat conflict, but Christopher now calls it a “morass” of ancient hatreds, where all sides commit atrocities. If there are no innocent victims, there is no Holocaust, no moral imperative.
-Evidently, the Serbs are not really much of a force, w/drunkenness, absenteeism, & only 21 planes, 30 copters, 300 tanks, 500-1,000 artillery pieces & mortrays
Fr to change law to allow random demands for papers by police. Now requires suspicion of a specific crime
US official on why US not sending peacekeepers to Bosnia: “We don’t want troops on the ground who are not there at the invitation of all the parties.”
Clinton has a new haircut, done in Air Force One at LAX, keeping 2 runways shut down (security) over an hr
R’s attacking Roberta Achtenberg, lesbian for Asst Sec HUD, mostly claiming she’s intolerant, like of Boy Scouts, but Jesse Helms: “I am not going to put a lesbian into a position like that.” Ahem.
Harvard is withholding an MBA to a student indicted for insider-trading before he returned to school
1st case of a man winning a sexual harassment suit
While US tightens up sanctions on Cuba, 26,000 have been partly or wholly blinded by Strachan syndrome, vitamin B1 deficiency
US goal in Bosnia now not to roll back Serb gains, but contain. And has dropped opposition to “safe havens.” But we’re not partitioning, har har. Yug pres. rejects monitoring of the alleged blockade of Bosnian Serbs by UN on border. Says world must trust his gov
Br Parl votes 292-112 for Maastricht. Labour officially neutral, though 66 voted against, as did 41 Tories
Clinton thinking of eliminating indiv malpractice suits, instead suits against insurance comps, HMOs. This would mean even more control of drs by insurance comps, HMOs
Congressional Office of Technology Assessment says 68% of random sample of US-made drugs sold in 3rd World have omissions in label, unsupported claims. The Pharmaceutical Manuf Assoc says US standards would be “cultural imperialism”
Clinton fires all 7 in White House travel staff, citing improprieties, to be replaced by... Clinton’s cousin. Tried to put in a travel agency that he was associated with & which paid some of his campaign debts. Then backed away from the accusations, didn’t use the Ark agency & it was found that his cousin proposed this 3 mos ago – before any accusations. But got FBI to say an investigation was warranted, which FBI never does. Money is supposed to be missing. Clinton also forcing out non-partisan low-level aides, phone operators
Fed judge issues contempt order on White House & Archivist of US for failing to carry out his order to preserve computer records, many of which were damaged. And Clinton has also failed to write guidelines – and is defending Bush officials to maintain own power
Eritrea is an ind country today.
Library of Congress allowing access to the Thurgood Marshall papers. One thing out is how close the Court was to overturning Roe v. Wade 1989. A draft dissent by Blackmun said “Roe no longer survives.” Then O’Connor refused to sign on to Rehnquist’s opinion which would have eliminated trimester division
Where ideally, ½ drs should be in primary care (GPs, pediatricians), only 33%. And 14.6% of 1992 med students, so declining
UN will vote to est Bosnian “safe havens,” but no one has promised the needed troops, though UN only wants 3,000. Bosnian president calls havens “reservations.” 3,000 means UN not planning on being attacked. And why not, as Bosnian Serbs welcome this as a codification of their gains & of ethnic cleansing. No country giving money either, nor for refugees. Clinton promising air power, but only to protect UN forces, if attacked, not to defend the safe areas from, say, shelling. And US not promising troops.
-No one asked Bosnia what it thought 1st.
-US, Russia & others announced they did not support ind for Kosovo
Colombian drug cartels already setting up warehouses & trucking comps in Mexico to take advantage of NAFTA for drug smuggling
An Israeli soldier sentenced to 3 mos work detail for shooting a 12-yr old Palestinian in the back. He was guilty of death by negligence
Clinton gives up idea for $15,000/couple breakfast w/lobbyists
Christopher hasn’t changed his mind that save havens aren’t good, but Eur want it so US will go along
-OK, the Bosnian Serb state is... the Srpska Republic. Buy a vowel, guys.
Sup Court rejects Justice assertion that all FBI sources should be exempt from FOIA.
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless, a special prayer given Arthur Dent by a seer: “Protect me from knowing what I don’t need to know. Protect me from ever knowing that there are things to know that I don’t know. Protect me from knowing that I decided not to know about the things that I decided not to know about.” (p.111)
-And, “Lord, lord, lord, protect me from the consequences of the above prayer.” pp.111-2
Mandela calls for vote for 14-yr olds
US sent Libyan rebels, 100s of them, to be trained in Iraq 1980s
Guatemala pres. Serrano does a Fujimori & stages a presidential coup, dissolving Parl & Sup Court, sending military. He’s trying to distance this from being seen as a military coup, claims the system paralyzed by corruption from drug traffickers. He’s been criticized as unconst by Efrain Ríos Montt, quite a blow.
SA arrests 73 leaders of Pan Africanist Congress, then releases 11. DeKlerk said it was a police decision only. 4 charged w/possession of illegal weapons, but that’s it. Gov claims rest implicated in terrorist ambushes
Milosevic has reversed himself, since a month ago, on allowing internat observers to confirm his alleged embargo on Bosnian Serbs. Serbia has pretty much dec victory in the war, and indeed, Eur & US seem to be hoping the Bosnians give up quickly. Bosnian Pres. refuses to accept safe haven proposal w/out a timetable for Serbs giving up captured territory.
China is trying to get MFN status renewed (decision due next week) & the 2000 Olympics. So they’ve released a democracy activist after serving only 12 of his 15-yr sentence, 11 in solitary. They also get Boutrous-Ghali to prevent a dissident holding a news conf at UN hq, posted guards, banned tv crews. Opponents of govs have not been excluded before and the UN Charter says states can’t give instructions to UN. Boutrous-Ghali also threatened to expel the UN Correspondents’ Assoc if it gave more invitations to “objectionable people” w/out clearing in advance
Former Br Atty Gen Sir Patrick Mayhew, now NI Sec, accused by former MP Sir Hal Miller of covering up arms for Iraq. Miller says in 1988 execs of a comp approached him worried about tubing they were selling Iraq, allegedly for pipelines. He told the gov. But 1990 Customs charged 3 execs w/aiding Iraq w/this very tubing, for the supergun. Miller told Mayhew he’d say what he knew if trials went forward, and it was dropped
White House reinstates 5 of 7 in the travel dept & even claims they were never fired, just put on leave. Actually the 5 not now getting their jobs back, just their salaries
Fr to privatize 21 comps inc Air Fr, Renault, Crédit Lyonnais, Elf Aquitaine. Unlike last right-wing gov, this time there will be no limit on foreign holdings. Volvo is expected to take over Renault
Fed judge allows defense comps (Gen Dynamics) to violate the 60-day notice of plant closing law, saying that knowledge that a program over budget & delayed did not mean, under the law, that they knew it would be cancelled. In the real world, they did.
Ger votes to restrict asylum, meaning among other things Poland gets them in huge numbers, and anyone to be sent back to Romania, Bulgaria, where there is no pol repression, Ger says
Pakistan Sup Court orders restoration of PM fired last mo by president
Cambodian elections going on, w/less Khmer Rouge disruption than one would have guessed. Sihanouk w/draws offer of coalition w/the Rouge
There are deaf people who oppose an operation that can restore hearing to some, an implant. Evidently, this is genocide of the great deaf culture
Clinton to renew Ch’s MFN status 1 yr w/out conditions – but next time? Actually, Ch. complains anyway, because of threat against them next yr
Clinton endorses “don’t ask, don’t tell” for gays in military, so as not to appear to endorse the gay lifestyle
Clinton passes his budget in House 219-213, w/no R’s in favor, 38 D’s against. All sorts of taxes, all sorts of cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, etc
-House added $1.2b Pentagon didn’t ask for, inc for exec aircraft for generals, jobs in aircraft plants, weapons systems
-By the way, Somalia cost $750m, overflights of Iraq $100m
Major shuffles Cabinet, firing hated Chancellor Norman Lamont
SA frees another 43 PAC
Ger’s Const Court overturns the new E-W compromise abortion law, saying it violates protection of human life. But won’t prosecute women, or drs for 1st 3 mos, requiring counseling, explicitly intended to deter her – “The woman must be aware that the unborn child has its own right to life.” Since abortion would be officially illegal, health insurance won’t pay for it, nor state-supported hospitals perform them. In practice, rich people will still get them, E Gers won’t. All justices are W Ger. It’s also a W Ger imposition in that W Gers are Caths, E Gers not
Clinton says he wouldn’t allow selective conscientious objection, ya know, like he did
RR speechwriter David Gergen the new White House communications director. Safire says he’s buying Clinton stock at an all-time low
Rural capitalism in Ch.: a rural factory since 1988 washed & resold over 1m used needles, killing no one knows how many, as the gov doesn’t wish to have a figure that might leak out
Milosevic gets another rival fired – Yug. Pres. Cosic, the father of Serbian expansionism
As part of the fascization of Eur, in which Fr & Ger will extend their immigration laws to all Eur (and same day as a 16-yr old Ger sets firebomb that kills 5 Turks), Winston Churchill, the grandson, invokes spectre of a Muslim Br & says ½ of pop in some N cities are immigrants
NYT headline: “Turks Kill 68 Kurds in Search for Rebels Who Attacked Bus.” Quite a search.