China

Brickbats

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? No, he wasn't happy just to see them. Police arrested Ohio resident Brian Dawson for speeding and for driving with a false license. He couldn't make bail, so officers at the police station asked him to get into jail garb. That's when the one-and-a-half-foot-long boa constrictor he had in his underwear popped out.

? Owners of the ship once known as the Exxon Valdez have applied for a federal subsidy. SeaRiver Financial Holdings, an Exxon subsidiary, says that since the ship has been banned from Alaskan waters, they have had to use it in international shipping. The subsidy they want is available to U.S. ships engaged in overseas trade.

? When Benazir Bhutto visited Washington, D.C., earlier this year, she was introduced to the Senate by Jesse Helms (R-N.C.). Helms announced, "The Foreign Relations Committee has had the honor of welcoming the distinguished prime minister of India, and I wish to bring her to the floor." Helms then went on to tell his colleagues that he and Bhutto had just completed "a delightful hour-and-a-half conversation" about India. This all must have confused Bhutto, who is actually the prime minister of Pakistan.

? At the urging of Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.), the Defense Department, the U.S. Postal Service, and Amtrak have pledged not to buy advertising time on excessively violent television shows. Lord knows the armed forces wouldn't want to attract anyone with an interest in violence.

? Earlier this year, the State Department sent to Congress its annual human rights report, a listing of the world's thugs and oppressors. On the list is Syria, for, among other things, having no laws mandating access to public buildings for the handicapped.

?  A Texas judge has issued an arrest warrant for radio shock jock Howard Stern. He has charged Stern with disorderly conduct. Stern's crime: He criticized the music of the late Tejano singer Selena.

? Leftist lawyer William Kuntsler, famous for defending unsympathetic high-profile clients, has his limits. Kuntsler ruled out representing Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh, claiming, "This crime is so evil, so senseless, I wouldn't want to engage my talents in defending this client." Besides, Kuntsler is a busy man: He is currently representing the alleged World Trade Center bombers.

? In 1992, James Nichols, the Michigan farmer who has been indicted as one of McVeigh's co-conspirators, informed the government via the U.S. Postal Service that he no longer considered himself a citizen of either the Great Lakes State or the United States. In March 1995, he got back in touch with the government–to complain that he was not getting all the farm aid he was due. According to U.S. News and World Report, Nichols received $89,950 in farm subsidies over six years. That made Nichols the fifth-largest beneficiary of such aid in Sanilac County.

? The Australian immigration office has ruled that an American woman is too fat to become a permanent resident of that country. Charlene Boot has to lose 24 pounds before she can join her new husband down under.

? Two second graders in Massachusetts's North Brookfield Elementary School have been suspended for violating a school ban on "dangerous weapons." The two brought rubber Mighty Morphin Power Rangers swords to class. The pair spent their suspension time playing Nintendo games. Said one, "I've learned my lesson. It would be fun to get kicked out for another day."

? There may be only one way to get honey from a bee, but America's beekeepers know that there are plenty of ways to get money from taxpayers. Two years ago, Congress ended the decades-old subsidy program for beekeepers. The beekeepers responded by asking the International Trade Commission to approve duties on Chinese honey under a Cold War-era law allowing sanctions on Communist countries. China supplies 20 percent of America's honey. The ITC agreed to 25 percent tariffs, but that wasn't enough for the bedraggled bee farmers. They accused the Chinese of dumping honey below cost in the United States. The Clinton administration then proposed tariffs of up to 157 percent.

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