Sunday, November 13, 2005

August 1994


Not only does US ignore Macedonia’s numerous breaches of sanctions on Serbia, but our troops there count them. US has failed to send an ambassador, giving in to Greece. 1,000 trucks cross the border/week. In fact, US will ask UN for new sanctions on Serbia for US to ignore violations of.

French Const Council overturns ban on foreign words in broadcasting & ads (exc for pub. authorities & comps)

Senate votes 63-36 to cut off Fed money to schools that teach that homosexuality is acceptable (Heather Has Two Mommies). Ted Kennedy counters w/another amend to cut money to schools that encourage any sexual activity, passes 99-0 (Kennedy!). Helms amend would cut to schools that referred a student to an organiz that affirms a homosexual life style

Romania objects to new Moldovan const which says the nat language is “Moldovan”


UN Sec Council gives US permission to invade Haiti. Oh, and Russia can put “peacekeepers” in Georgia

Clinton to deploy fed marshals at some abortion clinics

Treasury Dept’s gen counsel testifies that she was ordered to brief the White House by Roger Altman & had told Bentsen about it, contrary to what both said. Bentsen’s chief of staff disavows his diary, which talks of pressure from White House & Altman ducking q’s

US gives up, for time being, plans to send Haitian refugees to 3rd countries

Mat Coward on Tony Blair as candidate for the people who wouldn’t normally be caught dead voting Labour: the problem is that they never will. Such people aren’t looking for a reason to vote Labour but an excuse not to. At the moment they just feel silly about voting Tory, like someone who’s bought a perpetual motion machine from a door to door salesman, & doesn’t want the neighbors to find out


Russia threatening Chechnya republic (again) & backing an opposition

Senate passes resolution requiring Cong. approval for any invasion of Haiti. Clinton says he’ll ignore it

Fed commission on immigration reform calls for a registry of all citizens & aliens authorized to work

Fr gov bill to allow “preventive searches” of all vehicles parked w/in 10 km of planned demos, video surveillance of pub places. Fr secret police eavesdropped on the PS meeting where Rocard was ousted


Yugoslavia claims to be cutting links w/Bosnian Serbs (what, again?) for rejecting UN map of Bosnia. Russia also pissed off. Serbia is mostly just trying to head off sanctions that might be real this time.
-Bosnian Serbs trying to seize heavy weapons under UN control – a tank, 2 armored personnel carriers & anti-aircraft gun


In response to that, US fighters bomb a Serb anti-tank vehicle in the exclusion zone, the first action to enforce the zone, though sniping & such have cont. Serbs promise to return the heavy weapons, which they had parked by a school & a hospital to avoid attack

Pope knights Kurt Waldheim

Senate defeats 64-31 banning Clinton from invading Haiti w/out Cong. vote, after a non-binding resolution to that effect passed a couple of days ago
-Haiti gov talking about trying Aristide for treason for writing UN calling for “swift & decisive action” (const prohibits him calling for invasion)

Fed appeals panel under the re-enacted Special Prosecutor Law, replaces Robert Fiske, appointed by Atty Gen while law expired, as head of Whitewater investigation w/Bush Solicitor-Gen Kenneth Starr. Starr can go back over ground where Fiske cleared White House officials of criminal wrongdoing, which I think is iffy, since on that basis no one invoked 5th before House & Senate hearings

Israel apologizes for one of its recent attacks in Lebanon, mistakenly hitting a civilian house inc 4 children, c.10 total

Seymour Hersh, Atlantic Monthly Jun94 on Russian mafia. DOE Office of Threat Assessment report figured mafia have corrupted 40% of priv business Russia, 60% state-owned, may own ½ commercial banks, 50-80% Moscow shops, hotels, service industry
-Soviet bases had minimal security because the old internal controls, now gone. Paul Goble, former State Dept adviser on Soviet nationality issues, says for $25m he could buy a warhead & launch code. Indeed, in 1991 Greenpeace negotiated w/a lt. to buy a Scud. To prove it could be done, not to use on France. The base only guarded by 12. They actually planned to do it, but after the Aug91 Moscow coup, nukes pulled out of E Ger (where the base was). 1993 a Moscow newsweekly sent a reporter undercover, who was shown an SS-20 for $70,000 (photos confirmed it looked like one). Russia has made arrests in 3 attempted diversions of weapons-grade uranium, in one of which 60 kg seized, one 36 kg
-N Korea may have gotten 56 kg of plutonium, says Stern. 64 missile experts stopped at Moscow airport 1993 attempting to fly to Pyongyang for jobs at $3,000/mo. This when scientists at the nuclear-weapons lab have to stage demonstrations to get paid. Scientists are splitting w/high-tech components
-Of the vouchers issued in privatization, millions more showing up than printed, and being reused
-Also says that giving all our communications-intercept to Yeltsin during the Aug91 coup allow them to shield communications. We knew that coup was coming months in advance, but next time?


Bosnian Serbs institute compulsory work for all adults


And demand 64% of territory

UN Commander in Bosnia offers Serbs their heavy weapons given up in Sarajevo, for use elsewhere, if Sarajevo de-militarized

Br to give only temp shelter to the homeless, killing their priority on housing lists

PM Berlusconi ordered ads on how wonderful his gov is. State tv has suspended them as illegitimate

Sen. Intelligence Cmte pissed that the Nat Reconnaissance Office (spy satellites) was able to hide in the black budget a new hq 1/5 size of Pentagon at $350m

Rupert Murdoch says he’s considering supporting Blair, maybe


Ag Sec Mike Espy took illegal but small gifts from the ubiquitous Tyson Foods. Ag has stopped work towards tougher poultry inspections, and killed CA attempt to stop frozen chickens (that legislators went bowling with to show how frozen they were) being labeled fresh. Espy got a birthday party from a lobbyist for Sun Diamond (almonds & raisins), travel, lodging, football tickets

VA. judge denies candidate Ollie North a permit for a concealed weapon, as he is not of good character

½ in Spain eligible for draft claim to be Cos. So draftees are now given weekends off, power to appeal to ombudsman, not salute when off duty...

Last week I said Arafat ordered a paper & a magazine closed down. The remaining Palestinian daily failed to report this. He fired the mayor of Jericho for suspending a large landowner – and FOY (Friend of Yasar) – monopolizing a communal canal’s water. Arafat has est several intelligence & security forces. And one arrested & tortured a collaborator to death, which the police admit. Arafat ordered the remaining daily paper to fire a columnist who signed petition against the closing of the other

#2 Saudi man at UN defects w/some evidence that Saudis tried to buy nuclear research reactors 1989 from Ch & a US comp, to build nukes. Signed Nonproliferation Treaty 1988 but refused to dec & allow inspection of facilities as required. He also says they gave $5b to Iraq’s nuclear program after trying to buy into Pakistan’s program

Some in White House inc Clinton’s lawyer say Starr should step down as ind counsel for his role advising Paula Jones on her sexual harassment suit. Starr was picked by a 3-judge panel, 2 in semi-retirement, dominated by a Jesse Helms protégé

Clinton will accept as if it were univ coverage the Mitchell health plan, designed to cover 95% by 2000 by voluntary means (since everyone is concerned about employer mandates rather than, say, cost containment) & then a commission to try to get it to univ by 2002. And would decide how many residents med schools should train & in what fields


Clinton accepts the bill’s premise that getting 95% by 2000 means you can get univ coverage w/out a mandate
-The thing about residents deleted (threat from Moynihan, NY having many residents)

Ger highest court lets out a Holocaust doubter, 1st for quoting someone, then because now that he knows it’s illegal, he surely won’t do it again

Senate & House agree to ban enforcement of arms embargo on Bosnia Oct. if Serbs don’t agree to a peace settlement

Clinton files for immunity against Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit, citing 1982 Sup Court decision that a president can’t be sued for official actions. And says his interests “far outweigh the asserted private interests of a plaintiff who seeks civil damages.” I.e., he is too important to be sued


New Ukraine president Kuchma by decree asserts right to appoint gov officials, take more power in Cabinet, essentially shoving PM aside in a more subtle version of Yeltsin’s coup

Speaking of Russian coups, despite amnesty, 1 of its 91 coup leaders insisted on a trial. Was acquitted, after state prosecutor accused Gorbachev of encouraging the coup against himself

Safire suggests Clinton’s firing of all US attorneys was intended to stave off Whitewater investigation, the new US atty in Little Rock being a Clinton law student & campaign worker, who refused to give immunity to a Small Business Admin official who says the Clintons pressured him to make a fraudulent $300,000 loan to prop up Whitewater


UN warns Bosnian Serbs & Bosnians to stop violating weapons exclusion zone around Sarajevo. A touch unequal, since we didn’t stop Serbs tightening net around the city recently. This is 1st threat of air strikes against Bosnians. UN insists Bosnians will do better from the peace process than from a military offensive. Right.

Armenia says would take Russian peacekeepers on Azer. border

Alan Greenspan, chair of Fed, says gov inflation figures are useless, so he bases interest rate decisions on anecdotal evidence

Ger finds more Russian uranium, evidently a sample

Crime bill dies in House 225-210, killed by black D’s, NRA (both parties) & R partisanship. Hallelujah. The 38 R’s who had voted for the assault rifle ban were told party would deny them party funds

CA paddling bill for juvenile graffitists dies in cmte 12-11

NY atty gen goes to court (and fails) to get Woodstock 94 to have sign language interpreters. At a music festival?

The judge responsible for appointing Starr as Whitewater prosecutor had lunch w/Helms & Sen. Faircloth, the leader of effort to replace Fiske

It. neo-fascist labor minister says lire is falling because of NY’s Jewish lobby.
-Berlusconi admits that his comp bribed tax officials, but only small bribes

Ger sells most of the E Ger navy for $1.1b to Indonesia, now cracking down on pres & E Timor


Tony Blair won in all 3 sections of the party (MPs joined by MEPs, by the by). Turnout in unions c.20%, constituencies 70%


Japanese minister of environment resigns for saying that in WW2 Japan liberated countries & was highly beneficial

Newt Gingrich says “You cannot get to universal coverage without a police state.”

US won’t take Haitian pol refugees unless they stay in Haiti, but there are 1,800 trapped there now, since the sanctions inc air travel. The last airline Air France had 100 refugees booked on one of its last flights, but they were bumped by paying customers
-Update, 8/17/94: so we close the refugee processing center

S Korea offers nuclear reactors (that can’t be used for weapons) to NK if it agrees to inspections. This is supposed to be the 1st step toward reunification, SK gov says. It also sends 10,000 police into Seoul U. to prevent a demo calling for reunification


In Guatemalan congressional elections, Gen. Efrion Ríos Montt’s party gets 32 of 80 seats

Serbs refuse to allow monitors of their alleged blockade of Bosnian Serbs
-The UN plan (Mari VIII or whatever) would retain Serb supply lines to Serb Croats

The Treasury investigator who 1st inquired into what became Whitewater, her superior & his, are placed on leave


The Russians are denying the most recent uranium sample, seized from a Moscow-Munich flight, could possibly be theirs. Dep Minister of Atomic Energy was on the flight. Aeroflot, yet. Personally, I suspect alchemists

Justice Dept is appealing a case in which it won in lower court (under Bush Admin). Can it work w/a plaintiff & then reverse? I’d say not. Clinton wants to allow racial considerations in laying people off, as well as hiring & promotion

The new head of Polish intelligence was convicted by US of spying, sentenced to life 1981 (exchanged back 1985)

A Salt Lake City judge reduces a murder sentence to 6 yrs because the victim was gay


Vatican courting Iran & Libya to fight birth control at UN Pop Conf

Robert Altman resigns


Ditto Treasury gen counsel Jane Hanson, whose testimony contradicted Bentsen’s. Bentsen replaces both w/cronies

Clinton’s Justice continuing trying to deport 8 Palestinians, people INS tried to deport 1987 for advocating world Communism, then for supporting terrorists (giving money to a group). Justice says immigrants’ 1st Amend rights are “deferential to the Executive,” i.e., it can selectively deport those whose opinions it dislikes

Clinton finally pushing a bill – the Crime Bill. Will cut crime prevention programs – Republicans have been making fun of midnight basketball programs – one of Bush’s 1000 Pts of Light. And eliminating a $10m criminal justice program Jack Brooks snuck in for Lamar University in his district. Would require disclosure of sex offenders’ identities, another R demand. And while Clinton doesn’t remove ban on some assault weapons, Congress would have power to review the regs, giving NRA shills of both parties what they want, to be able to vote on that separately. Nothing is given to the Black Caucus, several of whom cave to the White House anyway

Poland’s new head of intelligence (8/16) steps down. All but 1 senior intelligence post held by old CP security people

Fr w/drawing from Rwanda as always said it would , and refugees are fleeing. Not helped by gov saying it will move into the former “safe area”

Castro letting refugees out, as Clinton wanted. Clinton pissed. May lose Florida to Jeb Bush. Not talking about detaining them

LA. will lose $3b in Medicaid unless allows use for abortions for rape & incest, which Edwards says is 15/yr

Mexico election this weekend. Gov trying to say it will be clean without admitting to stealing previous election. Despite NAFTA, Clinton has been v. quiet

Justice joins Clinton’s too-important-to-be-sued motion


There is a rabbi in Arafat’s gov. He claims to be Minister for Jewish Affairs & is an orthodox type who prays for Israel’s demise. Wants to vote in Palestinian elections, as refused to in Israel, & inclusion of a Hasidic neighborhood in Jerusalem in Palestinian self-rule

Bank of America is allowed by a Superior Court judge to require those w/credit cards & checking accounts to use arbitration rather than courts. Arbitration has ltd discovery

US now to treat Cubans as badly as Haitians, keeping them in what Clinton calls “safe havens” in Guantanamo, & any country we can get to take them. Will also step up sanctions on Cuba, banning charter flights & cutting amount that can be sent to Cuba by a family in half, to $600/yr

Whitewater ex-counsel Fiske was looking at financing of Clinton’s 1990 gov campaign, inc use of cash a bank failed to report as cash transactions

Sign protesting Stonewall 25: “Free the Gerbils”

Gers also seized Lithium-6 – from H-bombs


Tony Benn on defense spending: we have the best-defended dole queues in the world


Natural Resources Defense Council, whoever they are, says much less uranium or plutonium needed to make a bomb than is gen. thought & than IAEA guidelines

Really, what is the pt of Radio Free Europe if it can move to Prague?

Iraq bans pub sale of alcohol. Last yr compulsory relig ed. in schools


Clinton abandons plan for a nat vaccine warehouse as part of his compromised immunization program. Now they don’t know how they’ll do it

New CA law allows schools to require uniforms


Castro letting Cubans leave in larger craft, 7,000 picked up since Friday. Guantanamo ain’t that big

GA suspends a teacher who refuses to have a moment of silence

US admits its plan is to keep Cubans in detention until Castro is gone. They keep calling it “save havens”

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif confirms that Pakistan has nukes. Gov denies it.


1965 AEC staged a nuclear rocket accident in Nev., sending a radioactive cloud to L.A. And 1960 military planes were sent through radioactive rocket exhaust

Ag Sec Espy got free Super Bowl tickets from an Atlanta Museum, & the gov paid his travel, hotel & expenses ($849). It was official because the half-time show inc a salute to Smokey the Bear

Israel hands over to Palestinians schools, health & welfare & tax collection in W Bank

Crime Bill inc allowing admission of prior sex offenses at trial – even w/out conviction. Reports AIDS test of rapists to their victims. Registers sex offenders 2 yrs or forever – & authorities can share that info w/local community organizs. Allows 13 yr olds charged w/violent crimes to be tried as adults


Castro offers to stop letting his citizens out if there were wide-ranging US-Cuba talks. US says will only speak to him about immigration. The amazing bit is the spokesmen saying that Cuba knows our views – they same as they’ve been for 30 yrs

Br High Court says privatized utilities operate under state control, so have to implement EC directives

India’s film censors ban pelvic gyrations, double-entendres, fights w/chains & stabbings

A letter to NYT says there is no UN arms embargo on Bosnia, just a 1991 one on Yugoslavia. That one can only be lifted after consultation between Yug. & UN Sec Gen, but since then Yug. has been dec an aggressor


India increases penalty for pre-natal testing for sex of fetus. But fails to register ultra-sound machines. Entrepreneurs take these things on the road to little villages w/out electricity

When a neighborhood group in Berkeley protested creation of a facility for addicts & mentally disabled, HUD demanded its mailing lists & writings, threatened fines & jail under Fair Housing Act, as if it were intimidation or harassment rather than pol activity. HUD has now dropped it


Since US decoupled human rights in China from MFN, Ch. stopped talks w/Red Cross to open prisons, stopped talks w/VOA to end jamming, increased arrests, pressured news organizs, forcing UPI to pull out one journalist, added new conditions to talks about its sales of ballistic-missile technology to Pakistan – i.e., US stops fighter sales to Taiwan. Human Rights Watch says executed prisoners a principal source for organ transplants. They also stopped discussion of rights w/US. Commerce Sec Brown now there w/corporate execs to sign contracts, and there has been the usual round-up of dissidents. Clinton has yet to name an ambassador, using Bush’s. They may deliberately botch the executions to keep the organs fresh. The stuff goes to rich Hong Kongers. And new conditions on improved trade w/US – getting into GATT, we ignore their textile exports to US through 3rd-countries.


Brown will only make “priv representations” to Ch. on rights. And our new policy is “commercial engagement”

A test of whether Israel really controls Palestinian foreign policy. Pakistan PM Bhutto, still looking for Muslim credentials, wanted to drop by Gaza. Rabin said he would teach her manners (Rabin!) for not wanting to see any Israelis, and she has cancelled.

Safire on Clinton’s bedrock principle: Don’t run until you see the whites of their eyes

US wants Cuba to end boat people if we accept the 27,485 we’re supposed to under quotas (2,700 residential visas last yr), inc cousins & grandparents

Bosnian Serb referendum on peace plan map rejects it 90%

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