Balance Sheet



? Sound Diagnosis. Unconventional cancer physician Stanislaw Burzynski's 14-year battle with the FDA is over. (See "Malignant Law Enforcement," May.) After Burzynski's first trial ends in a hung jury, federal prosecutors drop all charges but a single contempt-of-court citation for allowing shipments of his unapproved drug across state lines. The jury acquits unanimously, noting that Burzynski got his staff and patients to sign waivers saying they would not send the drugs outside Texas.

? Southern Comfort. Privatization moves forward in Argentina. The government will privatize 30 commercial airports by September. Current employees will receive a 14 percent stake in the newly established company that will operate the post office. And the Buenos Aires province expects to get $1 billion by selling its electric utility.

? Defense Mechanisms. Once derided as science fiction (or little more than a license for military contractors to print money), missile defense finally becomes cost-effective. Instead of the $20 billion land-based detector program pushed by the White House, the Congressional Budget Office suggests that as many as 650 mobile missile interceptors could be deployed for as little as $5 billion. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) suggests putting them on existing Navy Aegis destroyers, already patrolling worldwide.

? Without Reservations. American Indians discover the wonders of making money. And it's not just from gambling. Forbes notes tribes branching out in such areas as cellular telephone services, banking, and medical device manufacturing. And such enterprising tribes as Wisconsin's Oneida Nation place the paternalistic Bureau of Indian Affairs on notice: Its governing councils are dominated by people who want BIA regulators to quit stifling tribal entrepreneurship.


? Grand Old Patsies. New York Republicans give rent control new life. Trolling for votes, Sen. Al D'Amato, Gov. George Pataki, and Big Apple Mayor Rudolph Giuliani pledge to stop State Senate Majority Leader (and fellow GOPer) Joseph Bruno's plan to let New York City's rent control laws expire this summer. "Rent control must be protected," said Pataki, "and it will be protected."

? People's Front. Statism makes an electoral comeback. Clintonian Tony Blair and Labour rout the pathetic British Tories. France throws out its center-right government in favor of a Socialist/Communist/green coalition. And Mongolia, which established a massive privatization initiative and abolished all tariffs last year, elects a former (unreformed) communist president.

? Comp Stomp. Congressional Republicans defy Bill Clinton's promised veto and offer a bill letting employees choose comp time off rather than getting overtime pay. But labor unions, with the White House's blessing, counter with a proposal that would exempt construction workers from any comp time substitutions. Engineering News-Record notes that if construction is exempt, unions in other businesses will demand similar treatment, thereby gutting the bill.

? Hard Target. Gun controllers target ammunition sales. L.A. City Councilman Mike Feuer introduces a measure that would force people buying ammunition to get a license and pass a background check. He would also force gun dealers to sell child-proof trigger locks with each firearm and increase business taxes on gun stores. Other Southern California cities plan to follow suit. Meanwhile, in Washington, anti-gun nut Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) backs a bill to outlaw "cop killer" bullets.