Sunday, October 09, 2005

June 1993


Polish gov loses vote of confidence, but Walesa will keep defeated PM Hanna Suchocka several mos. until early elections. She now wants special decree powers from Parl. There are 30 parties in Parl now, but next election will have a 5% threshold

Israel’s shutting of Occupied now over 2 mos old & looks perm

Fed appeals court allows Miss. to require parental consent for abortion for minors from both parents, as do ND, Mass. 20 require just 1 parent

Br goes to court to overturn EC decision for max 48-hr work week (Br would be allowed to delay 10 yrs). Only Br objected

Fed law has mandatory 30-yr sentence for those using a gun in connection w/a drug offense. What does “use” mean? Sup Court 6-3 says it inc trading a gun for cocaine. Scalia asks what happened to common sense. Can “using” a gun to scratch your head get you 30 yrs?

Texas to execute Gary Graham today. Though 17 when the crime committed, it was not used as a mitigating factor. He was convicted on strength of 1 witness 40 ft away. Since the trial, 6 witnesses to the crime & 5 to his alibi have come forth but of course Texas has that 30-dy rule. Alibi witnesses have passed polygraphs. No one talked to the people at the time
-Texas is 1 of 8 states not financing lawyers in capital cases. Counties do, but in varying amounts. Reversing a conviction in Texas, US Court of Appeals said Texas got what it paid for – $11.84/hr

Guatemala pres. Serrano’s attempted coup fails, as army throws him out. It remains to be seen whether they will keep power

A Sup Court that thinks even coerced confessions can constitute harmless errors finds that wrong instructions to jury on reasonable doubt can not

New trend: time limit on welfare. Fed gov allows VT to use 30 mos, but it would guarantee a job at end. Proposals in Fla, Wisc wouldn’t

SA court thinks Winnie Mandela’s conviction for 4 kidnappings is not worth 5 yrs, but a fine

Clinton to delay raising min wage until next yr, then not much


Warren Christopher said Bosnia “involves our humanitarian concerns, but it does not involve our vital interests.”


Clinton drops nominee for civil rights dept of Justice, old friend Lani Guinier, a 2-fer black woman (and a Jew), saying he’d never read her academic papers, which have been concerned w/tyranny of majority issues in racist areas (cumulative voting, super-majorities, whatever, to make white majority bargain w/minority) (esp amusing given how Sen. Republican minority’s been behaving). Many of her ideas on interp of Voting Rights Act pushed in courts by RR & Bush admin & Sup Court. But she’s also talked about “authentic” black leaders, meaning not those elected w/white votes like Douglas Wilder. Clinton made leaks, but she refused to go quietly, going on Nightline to plead for her day in court. She was taken out by a vicious smear campaign while Admin kept her silent

WHO condemns female circumcision, which doubles chance of death in childbirth

UN approves safe areas Bosnia & use of air strikes. US says this just means in defense of troops, but Eurs & the actual measure indicate in defense of the zones. Evidently, troops still dependent on Bosnian Serbs guaranteeing them safe passage

Guatemalan army now supporting the VP for pres., which no one else does. VP Espina supported Serrano’s coup

Cambodia royal squabbles replace the demo process rather quickly. Thursday Sihanouk announced a coalition gov of the old Hun Sen people & his son’s royalist party, which won the election. The coalition was a violation of the 1991 peace treaty. Friday the gov collapsed. Sihanouk blaming his son for refusing to work w/Hun Sen or his own half brother, Depty PM under Hun Sen. The son is as unpredictable as Sihanouk. My conspiracy mind notes that power transferred from Hun Sen to Sihanouk under false pretenses, & now Sihanouk has complete control


The Hun Sen gov may not accept the elections, and ask UN to re-do it in several areas. Given that the UN said in advance it would do this election hell or high water, fraud or intimidation, fat chance. Sihanouk is playing 2 sons (of dozens & dozens) off against each other

Christian right has taken over SC Republican party & VA

New Guatemalan president seems to be its human rights ombudsman


Russians claiming Ukraine trying to gain operational control of nukes. US trying to get them under internat control, Russia wants us to butt out, or support them

Israel, which has no civil marriage or divorce law, working on a bill to impose civil penalties (w/drawal of driver’s licenses, credit cards, etc) on spouses who fail to abide by rabbinical divorce decrees. Actually, rabbis now have ability to imprison. But don’t. One guy has been in jail 30 yrs rather than grant a divorce

Surprisingly little noise on Iraq’s alleged plot to assassinate Bush. US waiting for Kuwait to try everyone. 2 already confessed, but a CIA report (leaked) says Kuwait may have faked it, turning one plot into another

D’s lose a Senate seat. Clinton took all viable Texas D’s into Cabinet, so Bob Kruger, last seen desperately dressing as Arnold Schwarzenegger, lost to Kay Hutchison, who went to law school because she hadn’t found someone to marry in college, & who allegedly hit an aide

Sup Court 9-0: if schools let community groups use schools after hrs, must let relig groups
-Worse, allows graduation prayers if led by students (refuses to hear case)

Sup Court 9-0 says police don’t need warrant to seize drugs detected by “plain fell” during legitimate weapons frisks

Panama gives asylum to escaped Guatemalan pres. Serrano

Somalis kill 24 Pakistani UN peacekeepers

In It. local elections, traditional parties-in-power do badly. The neo-fascist Northern League dominates N, inc 40% of Milan, the ex-CP the center, no one the S

Sp’s semi-corrupt Socialists win a plurality in Parl


4 artists suing NEA after being denied grants 1990 have uncovered a letter from Bush to NEA head Frohnmayer telling him to turn down the grants. NEA settles, at $¼m

CA: law passes Senate stopping police depts selling seized guns


US signs Biodiversity Treaty


Barry Goldwater supports lifting ban on gays in military

“Luck is the poor man’s God.” – Jonathan Carroll, After Silence


UCLA gives in to hunger strikers & ests a Chicano Studies proto-dept

Fed judge orders Clinton to remove HIV Haitians from Guantanamo

Khmer Rouge now supporting the election they had threatened to disrupt, and threaten renewed fighting, as if they stopped, if opposition royalists don’t take power. The old gov has rejected an election the UN rubber stamped unsurprisingly given they said in advance it was ok if only 3 people able to vote, they’d hold elections anyway

Kuwait ends blacklist of comps trading w/Israel

Fr to have its 1st crimes-against-humanity trial for Vichy. In meantime, René Bousquet, police chief in Vichy gov, who was banker & comp director after war, assassinated at 84

A Maj. Gen. in a speech in Holland says Clinton draft-dodging, pot-smoking, womanizing, gay-loving. Clinton admin too embarrassed to call attention to it, much less fire his ass. Air Force will deal w/him – that is against military code of conduct

Clinton’s energy tax dies, after he made House D’s (barely) vote for it. The new guy in Gergen’s spot on McNeil-Lehrer says a cardinal principle when making your kids eat lima beans is to make all of them eat it.


Florida paroles for morphine-users to be barred from poppy seed bagels as condition of parole – so as not to affect drug tests


Clinton to send 300 troops to... Macedonia

The LAPD credit union’s ATM card is called “Quick Draw”

CA Senate passes law denying (new) drivers licenses to those not proving citizenship

Randall Terry of Operation Rescue gets 5 mos for conspiracy to give Clinton that fetus during convention

Walter Mondale to be ambassador to Japan

Sup Court 9-0 allows additional punishment for “hate crimes”

Sup Court struck down Miami law against animal sacrifice (this differs from previous rulings on peyote & reflectors on carts by not being general, but targeting Santeria directly)

UN 3 days of retaliation raids in Somalia for the killing of 23 Pakistani soldiers. US participates in bombings. UN orders arrest of leader Mohammed Aidid. Culminates in Pakistanis opening fire on a demonstration, killing 20 civilians. US copters may have tried to kill Aidid


Hun Sen gov of Cambodia talking about creating a breakaway state in E, and exclude UN


Since 1990, CA Sup Court has upheld 94% of the 89 death penalty cases, highest rate in US. Upheld last mo. a case where lawyer did no legal research & waited till day of trial to interview his client. Since 1987, court upheld 147 of 177 death sentences

UN World Conf on Human Rights starts. UN excludes Dalai Lama, on Ch demand

For Sup Court, Clinton floated every possible name, from Mario Cuomo (didn’t want it) to Bruce Babbitt (environmentalists happy with him at Interior) to Stephen Breyer (failed to pay Soc Sec for a part-time housekeeper). So Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Jewish. Ex-ACLU. 60. Professor & on appeals court since 1980. Moderate, boring (say students), acerbic. I don’t think she believes in right to privacy: 1) a recent speech said Roe v Wade should have been more gradual, 2) failed to join objection to fellow appeals judges (inc Scalia) decision against gay rights. Husband is Ross Perot’s tax lawyer


Commiewealth’s military commander admits there are no CIS armed forces

AIDS #1 killer of men 25-44 in CA, 24% of deaths 1990. Leading cause of death in young males in 64 cities

New LA major Richard Riordan elected 89% by white votes. ½ transition team doesn’t live in LA, none s. of Santa Monica Freeway

A major military rebellion in Azerbaijan last month has captured ¼ country & 2nd largest city. Country turns to same old CP/KGB head Geidar Aliyev


Bits of the JFK “magic bullet” may be retrievable – Gov. John Connally has died. (Family refuses, gov doesn’t press it)

Owen admits his Bosnian peace plan dead & wants them to accept being divided in 3 – as Serbs want

FEMA turned down 56% of applications after LA Riots


Special counsel claims there is nothing to Inslaw case

UN issues arrest order for Somali “warlord” Aidid, but arrest him under what law? Even they don’t know

Russia & Ukraine finally to divide Black Sea Fleet, down the middle

Uzbekistan still arresting people for anti-gov activities, for insulting president. Izvestia is banned & all local papers censored. Pres. Karimov refused to sign Dec91 CIA charter guaranteeing human rights & said “We are prepared to set straight the brains of hundreds.”


Norway resumes commercial whaling

Lack of money means UN guards pulling out of Kurdish Iraq, down to 182. Kurds hit by UN embargo of Iraq, & Iraqi embargo of Kurds. Hussein eliminated the 25-dinar note which Kurds used to store cash; while border closed so they couldn’t exchange notes. 40% Kurdish assets gone

President of Azerbaijan flees, leaving Aliyev in charge. The military rebellion led by the special commander in Ngorno-Karabakh, fired Feb. for losing

Sup Court 5-4 allows tax money to be used for deaf interpreter at priv schools. Claim it is a neutral program (vouchers, anyone?) & subsidizing relig instruction ok & any benefit to schools “is attributable to the private choices of individual parents”. Reverses a 1985 case

In case that suggests being a cell-mate w/a heavy smoker might be unconst cruel & unusual, Sup Court 7-2, but the 2 (Thomas & Scalia) thought 8th Amend only applied to sentences, not to cruel conduct of jailers

The general who said nasty things about Clinton is quietly retired (or just decided to?) after being reprimanded & fined $7,000 in pay. He retires at $65,000/yr

CA Sen. allows victims of domestic violence to claim justifiable homicide in killing husbands

Treasury Dept computer bulletin board giving out the source code to computer viruses & password crackers. To anyone with a modem...


HUD expects $11.9b in defaults on gov-insured mortgages, of $43b

The top CA workers’ comp judge & others held seminars for money for lawyers who appear in their courts

UN in Somalia destroys Aidid’s hq. Problems w/UN taking over from US: 1/3 of troops arrived not at all or too late for departing Amers. to train. US took its intelligence ops w/them. Troops from Pakistan, Nigeria etc badly equipped (US can’t arm Pakistanis because of its nukes). UN peacekeeping troops there for 1st time allowed to shoot at will, not just in self-defense. The retaliation operation cut short for public relations. Among other things, UN fired on a hospital which snipers using. UN puts bounty on Aidid’s head


US planning Radio Free Serbia. Ooo, interventionism

Gov has written off $270m it was supposed to charge polluters for cleanup (Superfund). EPA lacks manpower to file lawsuits, it says. And there’s a statute of limitations

Sup Court 8-1 allows Clinton to exclude Haitian refugees by naval blockade. This is a narrow interpretation of UN Protocol on Refugees of 1967 & Refugee Act of 1980. Court says it limits atty gen’s power but not President’s! And that it only applies to domestic procedures, not to keeping them out of US. Blackmun in dissent says this violates intent & spirit

Economist estimates of 1,205 voting peers (26 Lords spiritual, 4 royal peers, 385 life...), 477 take Tory whip, 111 Labour, 59 LibDem, 272 crossbenchers. Of the 775 hereditary peers (largest vote 509 on EC 1974, 501 on poll tax 1988), 334 say they’re Tory, 164 cross benchers, 27 Lib dems, c.14 Lab, 1 CP. Lords defeated gov 179 times since 1979


R’s in Senate come up w/a budget plan w/no tax increases at all. Amazingly, they all vote for the silly thing, which inc $49b in unspecified cuts

Health plan, postponed yet again, now inc tax on benefits in excess of a standard plan


Court (appeals) rules Hillary is a de facto fed official, so her health care task force can be secret

Tories accepted up to $10.5m from people w/ties to Saudi gov before 1992 election. Not illegal, but banned by party rules. This follows a businessman who gave $600,000 fleeing country as his comp collapses

Kohl supports arming Bosnian Muslims, under assumption Clinton told him to. State Dept says Clinton just supports it in principle, wouldn’t consider actually leading on the issue

Pentagon leaks its gay plan, which would stop asking question, just throw out gays who ever had sex, or say anything, & dec homosexuality incompatible with military service

Fr amend passed 463-96 allows police to make identity checks on any one whose behaviour, but not appearance, suggests he is foreign. Reading New York Times is mentioned

Nigerian dictator Babangida annuls yet another election, disqualifies both front-runners from running again. One would think that continually claiming corruption in elections would throw negative light on Babangida’s own competence

US won’t send troops UN asked for to dig up evidence of war crimes in Croatia


Kurds take hostages & blow stuff up, Turkish, all over Eur

7 of 10 members of Bosnian collective presidency (only 1 Muslim) are trying to take over as gov – and negotiate dismemberment

Sup Court 7-2 says those competent enough to stand trial are also competent enough to fire lawyers & plead guilty, that there can be no higher standard (in this case, a cocaine addict under treatment w/an anti-depressant)

Sup Court 5-4 says defendant can win damages for malicious prosecution if evidence fabricated or if he is called guilty at a press conf, but generally immune for statements in courtroom

New Estonia law on citizenship requires non-Estonians to learn Estonian & become citizens w/in 2 yrs, or lose permission to work. Russia stops natural gas (but they were now charging mkt prices anyway), & suspends w/drawal of Baltic Fleet

Aspin affirms idea of fighting 2 wars at once, as opposed to “win-hold-win”


Gore breaks tie in Senate to pass budget – Quayle never broke a tie

Sup Court 5-4 again makes it harder to win discrim cases. In cases where there is disproportion shown in treatment of employees, burden thrown back on employer to prove business reason. Sup Court says lying at this stage does not constitute proof of discrim – they might just hate you personally. So you need proof of actual discriminatory intent

There is a Junior ROTC program in high schools, training 245,000 cadets 1991. 1992 Congress authorized doubling & eliminated min age of 14, now down to 8th grade. Clinton requests $150m for 1994 for 318,000 cadets. Inc local spending, that’s $400 each

Ruth Ginsburg on fed court voted more w/R’s than D’s, 1987 85% of time w/Bork

Br Min for NI Michael Mates resigns over his intercedings for businessman Asil Nadir, Tory party contributor & fugitive

Greece expelling thousands of Albanians, supposedly illegal aliens, but this is retaliation for Albania expelling a priest


GAO investigation says Pentagon systematically lied in 1980s about weapons systems. Overstating radar-evading ability of Stealth B-2 & B-1B (still never in air). Air Force says it accidentally said b-1B had 1% the radar cross-section of B-52. The B-2 Stealth, by the way, at $2b each, costs 3X its weight in gold. Also exaggerated Soviet threat. Also unrealistic testing, bad reporting

Serbs & Croats now fighting together to dismember Bosnia

US again bombs Baghdad, this time for the alleged assassination attempt on Bush in April. Done the usual no-risk way, by cruise missiles, targeted on Iraq’s intelligence hq (& nearby housing). Done at 2 a.m. so as not to kill anyone important. US claims this under UN Charter Article 51, “self defense.” Why this week? Probably because another terrorist plot in NY failed. No relation to Iraq, but what the hell. CIA & Clinton claim conclusive proof, but it’s no better than it was in April. No dir link to Hussein, just similarity in technique to previous Iraq bombings & belief of terrorists that they were hired by Iraqis.
-Clinton says he crippled Iraqi intelligence capacity but this is unlikely, esp given the existence of several competing agencies.
-2 dys later, US bombs a radar site, not in operation at the time. Have ignored earlier targeting by radar several times. 1st strike in 2 mos
-Congressional report says Eur comps have allowed rebuilding, inc return to service of most planes & tanks that survived the war

Sup Court restricts gov authority to seize prop of criminals & suspects as 8th Amend “excessive fines.” Gov argued forfeitures not fines but “remedial,” so guilt or innocence of prop owner “constitutionally irrelevant.” So when they took the business & mobile trailer of a guy who sold 2 grams of coke, they said it was to remove the tools of the drug trade & to repay expense of law enforcement & soc costs. But court weak – did not say whether innocence irrelevant or spell out what is excessive, leaving it to lower courts – so we’ll see it again. And rejected 5-4 the 1st Amend grounds against seizure of whole chain of bookstores & movie houses & $9m for selling obscene material & destroying thousands of books

Sup Court 5-4 says designing Cong. districts to increase black repres can violate rights of white voters. O’Connor says this is apartheid. Actually under it NC has 1st black Congresscritters since Reconstruction, 2 districts of 12 (whites had 76% pop, 83% districts). One of the districts literally followed I-85 across the state. The ruling seemed only to apply to weird-shaped districts. Court doesn’t say intentional creation of majority-minority districts always a problem, but are subject to strict scrutiny. Said District Court might decide that Voting Rights Act unconst if required such districts. Argues against race-conscious remedial action, but what else is Voting Rights Act? O’Connor bizarrely talks of “an effort to segregate the races for purpose of voting.”

Sup Court 7-2 says judges can decide on merits of scientific testimony, ignoring whether ideas have gen acceptance, & keep evidence from jury or overturn jury, based on own scientific “expertise”


George Wallace thinks he was not the victim of a lone assassin, & wants fed inquiry

House kills Selective Service

Romania wants to re-imprison a former diplomat who spied for US, was sentenced summer 1989 & released under a gen amnesty after Ceausescu fell. Gov says his release was illegal. It’s academic since he left the country, but amazingly the US is threatening Romania over it

The 4 tv networks agree to offer warnings of violence, under threat from Congress

UN Sec Council refuses to lift arms ban on Bosnia

Anti-immigrant laws arising in a reverse domino process as Eur countries afraid of being stuck with the refugees being thrown east, starting from Ger. Czech will now require visas for people from Bosnia, Yug, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, GA; others would require a Czech sponsor & money. Gov will reinforce border w/Slovakia, which is actually undefined – they plan to deport people to Slovakia sent them by Ger. Poland plans to send refugees elsewhere by the sort of arrangement it has w/Ger. Hungary also making agreements to return refugees from Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria. Hungary turned back 321,000 at borders Jan-May for not having $15/day of stay or proper papers

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