Thursday, February 17, 2005
World Bank says 1981-6 Japan’s non-tariff barriers fell, while EEC’s rose 20%, US ¼. And many studies show Japan importing as much as expected given its GNP, lack of raw materials & high transport costs.
E Ger CP’s theorist says perestroika unnecessary there, as they already were open (exposed to W propaganda), economy fine. Also rejects Hungary’s statement that unemp would have to be accepted in restructuring. Prof. Reinhold said, “Socialism & unemployment are not compatible.”
John Tower admits to adultery, in context of his pledge Sunday & statement that he’d never broken a pledge. Says he can’t release his FBI report, to protect people questioned
The candidate for Dept Veteran’s Affairs once tipped off SK that someone was going to defect to US & tell about corruption
US tells PLO to stop attacks on Israeli military & civilian targets inside Israel--non-terrorist attacks, that is. Moving the goal-lines again. By the way, next article in NYT: “Israeli bomb strikes a Lebanese school; 22 pupils wounded.” Incidentally, 3 dead. The 7th attack in S Lebanon this yr.
UN decides to buy as little as possible from SA for peacekeeping force. US delegate said that only price should be a concern.
Nunn says Tower sold info on probable outcome of arms talks shortly after he helped negotiate. Makes pt that anon. data the Sen. used, from FBI, is same info used by Bush. Says Tower never acknowledged drinking problem or sought help.
North trial was stopped over secret data that turned out not to be, having been used in the Christic Institute case. Info inc names of Costa Rican officials--minister pub. security, a col. who helped Robert Owen, that he & North engaged in secret ops, & observation by Owen that Honduras military might have siphoned off $.
1986 fy, US seized 1.6m aliens entering the country, 1987 940,000
USG says (w/no fanfare) that Libya converting its chemical plant really to drugs.
John Tower’s idea of “defense” is not surprisingly, offense. Accused Senate of low standards for itself. Can Senators drink & vote on nuclear policy the next day, should they take $ from special interests? he asks. Ernest Hollings says the FBI report is a bad one & that it says Tower pledged to 1st wife not to drink, which Tower denies.
John Singlaub at North trial says North knew Boland applied to him.
Br Foreign Sec Howe says Satanic Verses offensive to Muslims, & Br (which the book compares to Nazi Ger). “We are not upholding the right of freedom to speak because we agree with the book.”
-US State say USSR using the Rushdie affair to improve ties w/Iran, hadn’t criticized Iran.
Sec Transport said will not tolerate secondary boycotts in Eastern Airline strike
Rob’t McFarland got suspended sentence for Iran-Contra, $20,000, community service.
Labor Dept proposes raising min wage to the dizzying heights of $4.25 over 3 yrs, w/a $3.35 submin. training wage. Kennedy proposes $4.55
Fed appeals court upheld using RICO against anti-abortion demonstrators. 26 demonstrators held liable for $43,000 damages, $65,000 lawyer fees. NOW is using RICO. Threats & force are being termed extortion. Employees harassed at homes. Videotape showing pushing, blocking cars. But no one charged w/assault.
To discredit a retired Air Force sgt who made possibly false accusations against Tower, Pentagon & Sen. McCain leaked a selective, misleading version of his mental health records. Failed o say that review finds no evidence of neurosis. And rebuts McCain’s version that he was retired for psych reasons. Sgt had told of Tower drunk & fondling 2 servicewomen. CIA training will out.
W Ger Greens elected a moderate leadership to talk w/SPD
Cape Times on DeKlerk: “he is very much essence of the modern Mr. National Party, advocating reform in a way that does not affect the position of whites.”
Muslims also pissed at Dante, threatening to blow up his tomb.
Satanic Verses delayed in Neth, Greece, Fr, Turkey, held up Canada & Japan. Ger publisher decided not to, so will be brought out by consortium of writers inc Günter Grass
Time Inc & Warner are merging into largest media comp in world. Time isn’t covering it.
Eastern Air’s mechanics are on strike, w/pilots in sympathy. Frank Lorenzo is presenting it (largely successfully, at least in CNN & NYT) as struggle to keep Eastern alive. In fact, Lorenzo has been bleeding E. dry, transferring its resources to Continental, whose unions he broke by declaring bankruptcy.
Bush has been wonderfully out of step. Russians leave Afghanistan, but we’ll cont. funding the mujies. Cent. Americans negotiate to eliminate the Contras, but we’ll still fund them. Angola-SA-Cuba negotiate for Cubans to leave, but US will cont. fund UNITA. Sort of a non-negotiation, no reassessment, no thinking position.
Br Independent 12/27/88 reported secret Tory companies, named after rivers, set up from 1949 as conduit of funds to Tory party. Jan. Labour got through an amend compelling shareholder ballots on comp pol donation. 8 comps, 6 est 1949, 3 survive. Also a curious 1981 sale of CP’s site to one comp, Bourne gave latter a £2.5m profit.
Sen. DeConcini (D) says Tower was drunk on Sen. floor, but not to pt. of incompetence. Nunn sent own investigators.
India will aid the Afghan gov. Evidently has in past.
Hungary joins W countries in demanding UN Human Rights Commission investigate Romania.
PM Takeshita admitted to Japanese guilt of “aggression, by militarism” 2 weeks after saying it was “up to historians.”
Bush in Jan. said there would be no tolerance for “even the appearance of impropriety.” March on Tower: “I don’t think it’s fair to permit perception to be the standard.”
The argument on Tower is overly focused on president’s right to have who he wants, a theory Tower didn’t hold to when he was Senator & voting on Carter’s appointees. He thought then it was legitimate to vote against for pol disagreement.
A Soviet nuclear powered container ship denied entry at 4 Soviet ports in Far E. by pub protests.
John Sununu, now chief of staff, spent last yr criticizing Dukakis for Mass.’s budget deficit. In fact, he left NH with quite a large one, ignoring warnings because he wanted it as a pol issue
The New Statesman has been deploring the pitiful reactions of Neil Kinnock to the Rushdie affair, comparing it to Labour’s lack of challenge to Geoffrey Howe’s inaccurate version of the Gibraltar shootings, etc
Sen. votes 53-47 not to confirm Tower. 1 Republican crossed, Nancy Kassenbaum, 3 D’s--Bentsen, Howell Hefflin & Christopher Dodd, whose father Tower voted not to censure way back when
Eastern files for bankruptcy. TWA may take it over. One example of Lorenzo’s asset-stripping was seeking a $250m computer system to Texas Air (his comp) for $100m in junk bonds payable in 20C. Also sold shuttle for ½ value of whole airline.
USSR to accept binding arbitration of World Court over human rights treaties: genocide treaty, slavery, prostitution, pol rights of ♀, racism, torture
Bush calls for mandatory fed death penalty for killing law enforcement officers.
Bush nominates Rep Dick Cheney, Wyoming, Sec Defense
Quayle accuses D’s of McCarthyite tactics
Louis Sullivan, Sec HHS, proposes to help fund local needle-exchange programs
Poland will restore its Senate, by election, will have an office of president, w/real powers, 6-yr term, 1 possible renewal
Dutch Reformed Church finally says apartheid is wrong
Amnesty Int. has been told that Savimbi has opponents burned as witches. UNITA’s London rep says burning witches is common & they do it in their areas.
Head of INS says illegal immigrants will be housed in jails & military stockades.
In North trial, Robt McFarlane testified that RR told him not to tell Congress about 3rd-country contribs to Contras (Saudi Arabia)
Quayle praised the R. party’s censorship--his word--of the views of David Duke.
A fed law on child pornography will hit all movies, etc, w/frontal nudity on sex by saying that if ages of all not known, presumption will be of minors.
Botha just told by his party to retire already. He evidently didn’t like their choice of deKlerk to replace him & decided to serve out his term. Cabinet & NP caucus calling for retirement. His term is until Mar90
Bush is demanding PLO end violent demonstrations in Occupied Territories, stop distrib of inflammatory lit. & block raids from s. Lebanon. Israel should release prisoners & reopen schools
US is supposed to be buying back (!) Stingers from Afghan rebels, who said they wouldn’t return them.
-Refugees are becoming an internat issue, with intolerance increasingly acceptable. ASEAN nations--Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore & Thailand will stop providing automatic refugee status to VN boat people. Non-refugees to be sent back. VN itself says will only take those who return voluntarily. Asean says it will then put them in holding centers sufficiently uncomfortable -- by Vietnamese standards?
-Leading to the q, where is the refugee policy we know will be needed for Afghanistan?
6 former Romanian CP officials sent letter to Ceausescu attacking human rights policies & econ mismgmt. Inc ex-ambassador to US & UN, ex-foreign minister, ex-Dep. PM, a 94-yr old founder of CP. Criticize relocation
Hesse elections: Christ. Dems fell 12% in Frankfurt, 7% Hesse. Far right, anti-foreigner Nat Demo Party 6.6% Hesse. Greens 10% Hesse. 1/5 Frankfurt = foreigners.
CA bans assault rifles, barely
US asked Honduras to let Contras stay until next yr, despite Cent. Am. agreement. Will Bush be able to ask for funds to maintain Contras in Honduras against that country’s will?
Funny I should mention. Pakistan says 17,000 Afghan refugees entered since beginning of month, giving them 3m, Iran 2m.
Empress Zita of Aust-Hungary dies at 96.
McFarlane in North trial said there was a deal for extra aid to Honduras for Contra support
NSA Scowcroft can’t make proper disclosures, because Kissinger Associates wouldn’t release list of clients. Has removed himself from decisions affecting 70 comps
James Baker says Khmers Rouges will have some role in any new Cambodian gov, but Pol Pot must not return--opposite of what he said in confirmation hearings.
Dutch Reformed Church decides apartheid not quite that bad.
USSR pressing for contacts w/SA. “We doubt that revolution in SA is possible” said foreign minister.
Cheney approved 92-0 by Senate.
Nicaragua released 1,900 ex-Nat Guardsmen. 39 still in jail for rape or whatever, killing children, pushing Sandinistas out of helicopters
El Salvador rebels attacks on the elections (Sunday next) will prevent them in 24 towns they control, 11 where poll workers quit, so 35 of its 260 municipalities
Elayne Boosler says of Bush’s opposition to abortion but support of death penalty, “Spoken like a true fisherman. Throw ‘em back when they’re small, kill them when they’re bigger.”
North trial shows that RR Apr85 approved a plan to condition aid to Honduras on Contra help, Oct85 approves airdrop of intelligence material & weapons to Contras--both when banned.
Fr muni elections. PS won Strasbourg, Dunkirk, Oreans etc, proejcted 788 cities (30,000+) up from 66 in 1983, Gaullists 84 down from 88, PCF 48, down from 53, Nat Front up
Arena’s Alfredo Cristiani wins Salvadoran prez elections
-Army killed at least 2 reporters
An essay by Solzhenitsyn pub. in USSR in a mag. not under a state censor (now it is!)
SK: Roh Tae Woo postpones indefinitely the referendum promised on his admin, citing violence that would occur
Sup Court allows mandatory drug testing of RR workers in accidents 7-2, and for law enforcement 5-4. Thornburgh says the Const makes no distinction between real suspects & innocent, just against unreasonable searches. Indeed, he seems to divorce it from law enforcement altogether.
Israeli intelligence report says only PLO leads in Occupied Territories & it had moved to moderation. Secret report leaked.
Salvador: Arena controls Nat Ass, Sup Court, 2/3 mayors, 12 of 14 provincial capitals. Christ Dem says it’s the fault of the rebels who stopped transportation. Cristiani is a businessman w/no pol experience, a good puppet for d’Aubuisson. A Christ. Dem: “He was chosen as a mask for a monster, and like any mask he’s totally plastic.”
IRS has had policy for 3 yrs of not telling those who overpaid
Newt Gingrich, the most obnoxious R in House, after Dornan, elected whip. Considering his job is to attack Jim Wright’s ethics, it turns out he also had a book backed by conserv supporters.
In the drug testing ruling, Kennedy: “The expectation of privacy of covered employees are diminished by reason of their participation in an industry that is regulated pervasively to ensure safety.” In other words, drug testing is legal because it exists.
House votes 248-171 to raise min wage to $4.55 by 1991 & 60-day submin wage.
USSR wants to release test data from 2 nuke tests but US opposes & has veto. The 2 tests are in each country. US says it can be (mis)used by critics to soften US verification demands.
Honduras succumbed to US pressure to allow Contras to remain. Which also means Honduras has to want aid for them.
-USG admits that Contras tortured & raped prisoners--also in Honduras. Spokesman at US Embassy said reports it had been uncooperative were “sillly.” Some of the torturers are paid family assistance by US
SK, after postponing referendum to prevent violence, is issuing M16s to police w/orders to shoot at legs of protesters against decision. Oddly, opposition supports, hard right wanted it to give Roh power over Parl.
1979-87 ave. family income of poorest 1/5 pop fell 6.1%, highest rose 11.1% after inflation. Poorest fell even in nominal terms.
Bipartisan Contra plan and hey guess what they get $4.5m/month until Feb90, “humanitarian” aid, & full Bush support for peace. Will need approval from 4 cmtes for aid after November (legislative vetoes are unconst, remember?) Wright says Bush agreed that Contras would not engage in any offensive action.
4m (6.5% of workers paid by hr) earn min wage or less, 1.4m aged 16-19.
Israel promised police would stop posing as journalists
1986 Oakland voted itself a sanctuary for refugees from Guatemala, El S., Haiti, SA. Now votes to allow an INS detention center in W Oakland
I should talk about Sam Nunn’s domestic draft proposal. The idea is for some sort of domestic peace corps, emptying bed pans and whatnot. Enrollments for 1 yr, pay of $100/week + health benefits. At end, would get voucher for $10,000 towards college, or training or house. The killer is that regular financial aid would be phased out. Only really applies to poor, probably lead to university price inflation, make priv institutions again the preserve of the rich. Blacks & whomever who have to be convinced to go to college now would hardly jump through a 1-yr hoop
Contras claim to be expelling 6 torturers--1 murder, 2 rapes, 11 tortures.
Russian elections: the commander of Soviet forces in E Ger, a general, opposed by a lt. col. campaigning for abolition of draft. In Estonia, KGB chief defeated by ind. For 1st time, voting is voluntary, expected to be 80%.
Refugees. W Eur has >200,000 asylum-seekers/yr, up from 100,000 1st time 1980. Acceptance 7-14%, many turned back at borders. W Ger denied 124,000 entrance 1988. Switz had 70% acceptance before 1980, now 7%. W Ger 16% 1986, 12% 1988. France 40% 1986, 32% since.
-US turned back 18,000 Haitians at sea
Of 20,000 interviewed at sea since 1981, 5 brought back for asylum hearings.
Iraq will pay $27m to families killed in its 1987 attack on Stark.
Serbia given control of Kosovo police, courts, civil defense, official appointments. Sparked rioting Albanians to force martial law, which is preferable.
Cape Town asked gov for exemption from Group Areas Act & become an open city. City Council voted 17-2
Losers in USSR elections: head of Leningrad CP, Kiev CP, mayor of Kiev, Lvov CP, Pres. Lithuania, PM Lithuania
Sup Court says people can’t be denied severance pay for not working on Sabbath, even if their religion doesn’t require it. Extends 1st amend to personal relig beliefs in addition to formal doctrine
Cheney said RR “oversold” effectiveness of SDI.
Meese, testifying at North trial, says North told him the diversion was entirely an Israeli project.
US to encourage Contra leaders in Miami to return to Nicaragua & run in elections. Admin will cut $400,000/mo subsidy to leadership in ½ & eliminate payments for Contra pol operations in Washington.
A USSR Politburo member failed to win 50% in Leningrad, and so lost, despite no opposition.
-Yeltsin won 89%.
-20% of CP members lost
-Press in USSR not being too detailed about losses or size of Yeltsin’s victory
Bush rejects tuition tax credit for priv schools
D’s win Quayle’s old seat in House (its occupant Dan Coats appointed to Quayle’s Sen. seat)
Hong Kongese human rights people came to China w/petition signed by 24,000. Customs seized it.
Barbara Ehrenreich in March Z says left is getting dumber. Before RR, critiqued liberal policies. Now have to “convey ideas that my children grasped before they could tie their own shoes, such as Don’t kick people when they are down. Hungry children need food. Pick on someone your own size.”
-Says my generation skilled in technology of social change, but deeply indifferent to goals, theories, hist. precedents for change
Judge won’t force RR to testify in North trial
Shamir will propose elections in Occupied Territories but only after intifada ends.
Baker, following up on demand that USSR end aid to Nicaragua: “This [W hemisphere] is not a dumping ground for their arms of their failed ideologies.” How they can ignore such blandishments is beyond me.
Bush had nice things to say about Herbert Hoover.
Afghan gov called for cease-fire, w/rebels est regional admins in their areas
After ind, Namibia will still have segregated schools, separate local govs. SA wants a voting age of 21