Brought to you by...


SeaViews: Insights from the Gray Havens 
September 1999

(formerly the _Rochester Rag_, formerly the _News from Detroit_)

Motto: The surest way to get a reputation for being a trouble maker these days is to go about repeating the very phrases that the Founders used in the struggle for independence.

-- C.A. Beard


email Steve
Anon ftp site
News Archives

Standard disclaimers apply. In addition, the author makes no guarantees concerning the grammatical accuracy of his writing. Submitted text files must be in raw or compressed (.Z, .gz or PK Zip) ASCII. Image files must be in raw or compressed (see above) GIF89 (or older).

On last month's Fix;

the answer to last month's Fix,
"Not only have they got our weapons, not only have they got 12/20 missiles pointed at us
      (the other 8 are at Taiwan), but the Chinese are also arming the Pakistanis, Iran and Iraq.
      So how much longer should the Clinton Admin continue to support MFN trade status with

In case any of you missed the loading of the question, the correct answer should be not much longer.  In all likelihood, historians 50 years from now will look back at the Clinton Administration and realize that he was clearly a tool of the Republic of China.  I don't make this claim lightly.  There are too many events that can only be explained by an administration wide policy to either appease, or outright except brides from, the Chinese government. Chinese heads of state and military leaders were given tours of our national labs.  Chinese leaders and military heads were invited to sleep over at the White House Lincoln bedroom.  Computers, satellites, and other high-tech equipment that was for banned for export to China by the Commerce Department was permitted to be exported by the Clinton controlled State Department.  And when some of those satellites provided by the Loral Corp. were blown up atop rockets that were launched within China,  Loral and Boeing engineers helped the Chinese to correct their rocketry problems, thereby allowing them the capability to launch an ICBM. And now finally, we find out that because of an ongoing intelligence operation within our national weapons labs, the Chinese now have the capability to put multiple warheads atop the ICBM technology which we so generously provided them.  It is clear that the coin which was exchanged for all this technology was bribes in the tens of millions of dollars for the Democratic national committee.

The fact that's so little attention has been paid to this defies explanation.  I don't know whether it's the complexity of the transactions, the time over which the events took place, the natural tendency of a liberal press to defend this administration, incompetence, or a combination of the above.  However, it is clear that because of this administration a new Cold War will emerge sooner rather than later.

On the Department of Justice and the tobacco industry;

In case any of you missed it, on 22 September Attorney General Janet Reno announced that the federal government will now sue  the tobacco industry for the tens of billions of dollars  that she claims is due because of Medicare and Medicaid payments that U.S. taxpayers have made on behalf of sick smokers.  The argument goes something like this, the industry knew that its products were dangerous and addicting, but denied this in order to continue sales of their product. Thousands of attorneys, health-care workers, and victims of cancer applaud the decision.  Yet those of us who think might ask a few questions.  Didn't the tobacco industry agree to put the U.S. surgeon general's warning on all of their products for the past 25 or 30 years?  And hasn't the U.S. government itself been an accomplice in all this death since the agriculture department has supported tobacco prices (funded by U.S. taxpayers) to actually buoy up the tobacco industry? And isn't it true that much of the existing taxes on cigarette sales are already used to fund research at the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health?

A person who is ignorant of law, but somewhat possessed of a shred of common sense (such as myself) might reasonably ask, "why shouldn't we sue the federal government?"  Ah yes, there is the rub. In yet another case of misreading the Constitution, the Supreme Court has decided that via a "sovereignty" doctrine, no citizen can sue the United States.  Actually, the sovereignty argument goes back to at least the Middle Ages, when Kings and Queens said that since they served in the name of God, they were beyond  the reach of human law.

This is not to say that the U.S. government has never been sued.  It has been when the federal courts have agreed to allow themselves to hear a case.  This has occurred a couple of times in modern history such as in the case of busing in the '70s, when liberals who wanted better school integration (but were unable to get it via the legislation process) decided to allow a case in the Supreme Court which ultimately held the U.S. government responsible for racial integration in schools.  Thus, the precedent has been set to allow the federal government to be sued when it suits the political aims of judicial activists who cannot get laws passed via the legislative pathway.

However, when it comes to actually getting money from Uncle Sam, forget it.

On global warming;

The USA weekend insert in my Aug. 27 Sunday paper carried a cover story entitled "is the weather getting worse"?  In the article, the authors  asked several questions including:

  2. Is the weather getting warmer?  The answer is a definite yes but the amount varies between one and 1.5 degrees (depending upon whom you ask) over this century.
  3. Is the weather getting wetter?  Yes.  Records show that in the U.S., Canada and Europe precipitation has increased approximately 20 percent over this century.  This is in large part due to the slightly higher temperature increasing evaporation of surface water.
  4. Are there more hurricanes?  No.  In the 1950s, an average of 9 hurricanes per year made land fall in North America.  In the 1990s, the figure has been closer to 4 hurricanes per year.
  5. Are there more tornados?  There are more reported tornados, but meteorologists regard this as an outgrowth of the development of Doppler radar.  The number of reported tornados is approximately twice as many (10,000 per year) as there were in the 1950s.

In studying changes global temperature in the distant past, Richard Alley from Penn State University discovered from ice core measurements that in the past few thousand years abrupt temperature changes have occurred in as little as 10 years.  His measurements lead him to suspect that the past two millennia have been a period of abnormally mild weather, and wilder weather may actually be more normal.

Guest Editorial:

Waco investigation: Round 2
by Linda Bowles

   We are going to investigate the Waco tragedy once again, based on new evidence that
      lies were told in defense of the government's armed assault on a religious compound. Unless
      there is some change in direction, this investigation will be as fruitless as the first one.

           We are being set up to believe that if the FBI did not start the fire, the demonized David
      Koresh did, so everything that happened was his fault. This is more than a wrong
      assumption. This is a lie posturing as an assumption. The truth is that the safety of the
      children should have been the top priority guiding the hands of the U.S. government and its
      agents. It was not, and that is the everlasting shame of Waco.

           Of all the events of the past decade that led to cynicism of the government and alienation
      from it, none had the impact of the Waco tragedy. Over 80 American citizens died horrible
      deaths, including two pregnant women and 25 children, 17 of whom were under 10 years
      of age. They burned to death in a lantern-lit, wooden structure that had been violently
      rammed by armored tanks and assaulted by chemical weapons. The attack was authorized
      by President Clinton and ordered by Attorney General Reno.

           It was a tragedy that would have toppled most civilized governments, or at least resulted
      in the resignation of a few top-level scapegoats -- but not in an America where justice is
      routinely mangled, the Constitution is ignored, and corruption thrives in high places.

           The behavior of the mainstream media was revealing. In every other instance, if 25
      children died horrible and arguably unnecessary deaths, the reporters and cameras would
      have been all over the story. News editors, particularly TV news editors, would had sent
      teams of ace reporters and cameramen down to the scene, with the usual instruction not to
      come back until they had captured on film the faces, words and tears of bereaved family
      members. Every lurid detail and aspect of the carnage would have been tediously exploited.

           But that didn't happen. We didn't view the funerals, hear the gospel music or listen to the
      praise heaped on the dead by those who knew and loved them. There was no national
      mourning. President Clinton did not show up to deliver the eulogy. He didn't plant a
      dogwood tree on the White House grounds in memory of them as he did for the precious
      children who died in the Oklahoma City bombing. This time, honoring the victims served no
      political agenda.

           It is as though it would have been politically incorrect to have covered the story with
      attention-getting intensity. To make too much of it might have aroused sympathy for the
      victims, or even worse, aroused questions about why "getting" the "evil" Koresh outweighed
      the endangerment of the children.

           This was not like Columbine or Oklahoma City. This was not like the deaths of John
      Kennedy Jr. or Princess Diana. This time, we were not taken to our knees by a burden of
      grief too heavy to bear. This time, you see, we were dealing with religious "nuts" and

           Before the fire, huge tanks had rumbled up and rammed gaping holes in the walls of the
      buildings. Heavy volumes of gas were pumped into the structures, saturating the air, burning
      the skin, blinding the eyes. The plaintive wails of frightened, coughing children filled the air.
      They were held close, and told to be brave.

           Outside, loudspeakers blared, "This is not an assault! This is not an assault!" --a
      message so ludicrous that those inside must have doubted their own senses.

           There were, no doubt, screams of fear and pain from the children and babies, cries of
      horror, shouted prayers and supplications ... thick black smoke ... the rising heat of fierce,
      wind-driven flames ... panic ... confusion ... child-calls for "mama!"... chaos ... the end of
      the world.

           When Attorney General Reno accepted full responsibility for all of this, she became a
      hero to the Washington establishment. Rather than an indictment for criminal negligence,
      reckless child endangerment and violation of the civil rights of innocent children, she was
      congratulated for her courage in saying "the buck stops here." She still insists she has "done
      nothing wrong."

           Perhaps it is possible to ask a question about Waco without being labeled a dangerous,
      anti-government crazy. Officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell were sent to prison for
      violating the civil rights of ex-felon Rodney King by using excessive force while arresting
      him. Was not the whole Waco operation, including the gassing of infants and children, an
      excessive use of force in making an arrest?

           Who protects the civil rights of the innocent when it is the government itself who violates
      them? Why isn't Janet Reno in jail?


1. Dave Gay writes;

Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 22:38:33 -0500
From: "David H. Gay" <>

Hi Steve.

Not only have they got our weapons, not only have they got 12/20
missiles pointed at us (the other 8 are at Taiwan), but the Chinese are
also arming the Pakistanis, Iran and Iraq. So how much longer should the
Clinton Admin continue to support MFN trade status with China?

The correct answer is not much longer. However, I suspect Clinton's
answer is based on how much more money can he and the Democrats get by
keeping MFN status with China.

At least our children aren't being targeted by any nuclear weapons
anymore... (paraphrase of statement made by Bill Clinton)

I have a question for next month's letter. I keep trying to find a
public statement made by Bill Clinton during his Presidency that is both
meaningful and verifiably true. Does one exist? If so what was it?

Perhaps it was the one about how it felt to be impeached, when he said
he felt fine. However, this isn't really verifiable.

I recently looked up the statistics about deaths due to guns and
automobiles in the United States. The ones I found weren't in a terribly
useful form. However, I can summarize them. Guns kill approximately
15,000 people a year, automobiles 45,000. It took 10 years of war in
Viet Nam to kill 50,000 Americans! If somebody says that if only 1 life
is saved, then it is worth it, ask them why they are worried about guns
instead of automobiles.

For your anti-gun friends, you can suggest they get a gun free household
sign to put in a prominent place on their lawn or in their window near
the door.

Ed: In fairness, I think he did once point to Hillary and say that she is his wife. I think that is probably verifiably true. As for Chelsea being his daughter ...

Quote(s) of the month:

The Ambivalent 30 % "hold the balance of power in American politics."

-- David Broder in the 26 Sept. Washington Post, describing how the swing voters are actually made up of people who like to hear conservative rhetoric, but are liberal when the talk gets to cutting funding for specific programs.

Fix of the month:

The Rep. candidate for President is all but ordained over a year ahead of time. Is this good? Is this fixable?



1. Sept 9, Seattle: She danced. She swayed. She stripped to the waist and even spit fire.In the end, Ara Tripp, 37, of Olympia, was lucky she didn't die. As 120,000 volts of electricity coursed past her shins,    and as yesterday morning's commute reached its apex, Tripp stood atop a 180-foot-high transmission tower off Interstate 5 at the south end of Ship Canal Bridge. Topless much of the time, Tripp, a transvestite, took a  bow and gave up to waiting police.

2. Sept. 18, Bainbridge Island: some of you probably thought that I was joking when I in the last issue that we've had no summer here.  Well, its now official.  The local newspaper's resident gardening expert says it's now time to plan the full bulbs.  And in her column she says:

"Summer came and went,  or didn't you notice?  I know some people have been saying we didn't even get a summer this year, but that simply is  not true.  Summer was indeed kind of spread out, I kept track: it occurred on May 12, July 5 and again on Aug. 26.  Plus we had at least three days in September.  I rest my case."

3.  Sept. 18, Bainbridge Island: For those of you on the Island who are afraid that your children may not know how to behave properly in the woods, be sure to send them to the Eagle Harbor book Co. next weekend.  Planned parenthood lecturer Louan Columbus will give the low down on contents for backpacks, first aid kits, the optimal site for tents and the effects of massage oil on sleeping bags in a discussion based on her book "How to have sex in the woods".

4. Kent, 18 September: Washington state can now lay claim to another dubious first.  We've become the first state in the nation to have a chapter of the Parent-Teachers Association composed entirely of gay or lesbian couples with children.


1.  Sept. 16, Huntsville: for those of you who are finally ready to move your investments or maybe yourselves offshore, check out the Artemis project.  A consortium consisting of both commercial and private citizens, the Artemis project's goal is to establish an independent lunar colony.  For more information go to


1.  Columbus, Sept. 18: A seventh grade student was ordered to sit in a corner for the duration of the school day because he wore a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey to school when it was Cleveland Brown day. The outraged parents later demanded, and received, an apology from both the teacher and principal.

Washington D.C.

1. Sept. 10: In one of his more bizarre actions, Clinton pardoned the members of FALN, a terrorist Puerto Rican group, that were imprisoned in NY state over 20 eyars ago for bombings in their home country. Whilte House insiders claim that CLinton's actions were aaimed at helping wife Hillary get more support from NY Puerto Ricans in her possible senate campaign against Rudolf Guilianni. If the  president was pandering, as his critics contended, he was pandering to a constituency already pretty safely in his wife's corner, while making her appear soft on terrorism in the suburbs and upstate, and alienating all the other ethnic groups that failed to get their political prisoners sprung.

Sure enough, the Puerto Rican prisoners had not even gotten out of their cells before Jewish supporters of the Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard were demanding that Mrs. Clinton get behind his release,  too.

2.  Sept. 16: The current issue of Scientific American reports a finding that is somewhat contrary to the view of the global warming crowd.  While everyone expected that global warming would cause melting of polar ice caps and thus raising of the level of the world's oceans, in fact  the ocean level is dropping.  The theory currently in vogue among geologists is that the rate at which the oceans water is slipping through subduction cracks in the earth's crustal plates is exceeding the rate at which the water is coming back out of wells.  As a result, water is actually disappearing from the surface of the earth.

3.  Sept. 5, Minneapolis Star Tribune: The Congressional Budget Office released figures today that show that, contrary to the natural expectation with a Democratic administration, the gap between rich and poor in the nation is greater than it has ever been.  This year, the richest one percent of Americans will have an after-tax income equal to the total after-tax income of the bottom 100 million citizens.  Since 1993 the economy has boosted all income groups, however the incomes of richest Americans are rising twice as fast and as those of the middle-class.  This disparity is wider than it is ever been since 1977.

4. 24 September: President Clinton vetoed the current congressional budget, claiming that as written the Republicans would raid Social Security to pay for their "tax cut for the rich". Strangely, the tax cut would've only amounted to approximately one trillion dollars over the next ten years and Clinton's own budget numbers showed that there was to be a 700 billion dollar surplus over the next five years alone (although he counted the Soc Sec surplus to get his numbers - strange how the same trick didn't work for the Reps).  Nevertheless, this action throws the ball back into the court of Congress to try to come up with a budget before September 30.  If they don't succeed within this time frame, Congress will have to pass a series of continuing resolutions to prevent the country from going broke.

5.  23 September: Patrick Buchanan, currently still a republican nominee for the presidential race, continues to hint that he may jump ship to the reform party and become their presidential candidate.  Claiming that the Republicans have left the true path of conservatism, Buchanan says that he will  forge ahead if he elects to join the reform party.  Yet, there are numerous inconsistencies in Buchanan's plank.  For one, he has been noted to be considering both Lola Faloni (a well-known East Coast Socialist who approves of federally subsidized housing and education through graduate school) and leaders of the Democratic Party as running mates. Further, he is known to be a devout opponent of free trade agreements such as NAFTA.

6.  26 September: In today's New York Times there is the report on a Supreme Court decision which occurred during the week of 24 June 1999.  In an unusual twist for this court, they actually voted to limit federal power over the states, by strictly reading the U.S. Constitution's 11th amendment.  That amendment, which prohibits the federal judicial system from interfering with lawsuits against states, says:

" The judicial power of the United States shall not be construed to extend to any suit in law or equity, commenced or prosecuted against one of the United States by citizens of another state, or by citizens or subjects of any foreign state."

The current case, Alden vs. Maine, involved the enforcement of the fair labor standards act of 1938.  Alden's case argued that discrimination took place in a promotion for a state job,  and that the Supreme Court should compel the state of Maine to review the case.  However, in upholding the Middle Ages principle of sovereignty, the court held that Mr. Alden did not have standing to sue the state which was immune.  Further, in citing the 11th amendment, the court argued that the federal judicial branch could not intervene. In writing the majority opinion, Justice Kennedy wrote the following:

"... In England, the rule was well established that no lord could be sued by a vassal in his own court, but each petty lord was subject to suit in the courts of a higher lord.  However in this case, the higher court is prevented constitutionally from intervening ..."
Ed: A classic Catch-22.Let this be a lesson for all state employees.

Net News;

1. From the 22 Sept. Onion

Missing the Point Entirely

      WASHINGTON, DC--According to a Georgetown University study released Tuesday, 79
percent of Americans are missing the point entirely with regard to such wide-ranging topics as
politics, consumerism, taxes, entertainment, fashion, and professional wrestling.

      "From the overweight housewife who eats bag after bag of reduced-fat Ruffles, to the
school board that bans Huckleberry Finn for using the word 'nigger,' to the Manhattan stockbroker who uses
recycled-paper checks to pay for gas for his behemoth SUV, the tendency of Americans to really just not get it
transcends all boundaries of class, color, religion, sexual orientation, and political persuasion," said Dr. Ronald
Shaw of Georgetown's Center For American Studies.

      Polling nearly 8,000 Americans on a variety of subjects, the study found that only 21 percent of those
surveyed had even the slightest clue. "Our research revealed that the thought processes of a large majority of Americans are profoundly and fundamentally flawed," Shaw said. "We came to define this peculiar deviation as 'having one's head up one's ass.'"

      Offering an example, Shaw said that when a group of people who had undergone cosmetic surgery were
asked, "Why do some individuals feel the need for cosmetic surgery while others do not?," 54 percent of them
responded that people who opt for such procedures have greater self-worth than those who don't.

      "In other words," Shaw said, "they believed that people who don't feel the need to spend thousands of
dollars on facelifts and collagen lip injections lack pride in their looks, failing to acknowledge their own
wholesale buying into the notion that in our society, a person's value is determined by his or her appearance."

Another manifestation of the missing-the-point phenomenon,  Shaw said, is college students' habit of purchasing posters that advertise products. "Companies normally pay to have their wares touted," Shaw said. "But an incredibly high number of college undergraduates are willing to plunk down $15 for a poster of the Taco Bell chihuahua or Budweiser lizards, enabling companies to generate revenue from something that is supposed to be an expense."

 The study also cited the public's constant call for more wholesome, family-friendly movies that do not insult their intelligence, as well as its failure to patronize such films when they are offered.

"To date, Adam Sandler's Big Daddy has grossed $161million, with a majority of its audience consisting of children under the age of 14," Shaw said. "Contrasting this is the challenging, critically lauded flop The Iron Giant, which has barely broken the $20 million mark."

      Despite the preponderance of evidence supporting its findings, the Georgetown study has drawn
widespread criticism from the American public.

  "If I want to miss the point, that's my own business," said Ernie Schayr, a Wheeling, WV, auto mechanic.
"If I want to complain about having to pay taxes while at the same time demanding extra police protection for
my neighborhood, that's my right as an American. Most people in other countries don't ever get the chance to
miss the point, and that's tragic. The East Timorese are so busy fleeing for their lives, they never have the
chance to go to the supermarket during the busiest time of the week and complain to the cashier about how
long the lines are and ask them why they don't do something about it."

2. From,4586,2340158,00.html

Microsoft's NT Web Server Risk to National Security

The U.S. Army's recent switch to a Mac OS server instead of Windows NT for its public Web site may be just the beginning of a major shakeup in the Army's platform strategy. The Army, which has set up a Power Mac G3 running StarNine Technologies' WebSTAR Server Suite 4.0 in a locked vault in the Pentagon, is considering using more Apple products, Army Webmaster Stephen Bates told MacWEEK.

Bates said the switch to WebSTAR is going "remarkably well."

Sources said the choice of WebSTAR on the Mac OS originated with the lower ranks instead of the top levels of the Army and generated flak from Microsoft Corp., which complained bitterly about the Army's highly publicized move. Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Jeff Phillips emphasized that the platform switch "is an exploratory move by one group and does not signal a policy change."

The Army decided to use WebSTAR and Mac OS after its Web site was hacked in late June. Working with the U.S. Army's Criminal Investigation Command, the FBI late last month arrested 19-year-old Chad Davis of Green Bay, Wisc., for the attack on the Army Web site. The Army cited security concerns raised by the incident as the impetus for its switch to the Mac.

To determine its platform strategy, the Army reviewed the security analysis provided on the MIT-based World Wide Web Consortium site and evaluated security issues for its own Web site.In addition, the Army's Computer Emergency Response Team tested a variety of software packages, according to WebSTAR Product Manager Eric Zelenka, who said he began working with Army personnel in June, assisted by the federal group in Apple's sales force.

Zelenka said the Army was swayed by security features in WebSTAR Server Suite 4.0, such as Secure Sockets Layer Level 2 and Level 3 encryption for increased security, a proxy server for network security and access control, and integrated FTP and e-mail servers.

With Windows NT, "system administrators can't know what is going on when there is a problem and have to keep up with all the security patches from Microsoft, which can create more problems," Zelenka said. With WebSTAR, "we could create a feature to watch for problems and alert a system administrator that action is needed, so people don't have to monitor the server all the time."

In the wake of the Army's switch from Windows NT to the Mac OS for its Web site, other U.S. military branches may decide to use Apple technology more widely.

© Steve Langer, 1995-2000