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  • Go West, Young Outfielder

    Darryl Strawberry only wants what every man has wanted since time immemorial: his native soil, the love of his family-and Jose Canseco-type bucks. So maybe now, after eight strife-filled seasons with the New York Mets, he's happy. Last week, with his wife, Lisa, and children Darryl Jr. and Diamond standing by, the Los Angeles native signed a five-year, $20.3 million contract with the Dodgers. To some, this seemed excessive for a .263 lifetime hitter, especially one who has a record of fistfights with teammates, an arrest on weapons charges and Jose Canseco-type sulks. But Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda thinks Strawberry is a much stronger individual than anyone believes. "This is a guy," says Lasorda, "who can literally carry a team."
  • Surprises From Uncle Sam

    It's no surprise that so many Capitol Hill incumbents won cheers from their constituents last week. After all the Sturm und Drang about spending cuts and tax increases, the politicians blinked. Cuts turned out to be modest; some popular programs like child care got a big leg up and no one laid a glove on the average voter's income-tax return. For most Americans tax rates won't change, nor will exemptions and deductions. Virtually all of the increases affect a tiny minority of taxpayers--the 2.3 percent whose adjusted gross incomes stretch from $100,000 up. ...
  • Letters In The Sand

    They don't sell flowers out in the Sandpile. So one day Pfc. John Duggan, 24, a United States Marine who worked as a nightclub bouncer before turning his attention to Saddam Hussein, picked some dry weeds and mailed them to his fiancee. "These weeds are my roses," he wrote her. And he sent them with his love. ...
  • Looking For Lessons

    Before the polls even opened, presidential spokesman Marlin Fitzwater--the nation's spin doctor in chief--puckishly admitted that the White House would declare a GOP triumph no matter what. Sure enough, Washington strategists were busily snatching victory from the jaws of defeat last week. GOP leaders boasted of inroads into Democratic strongholds, Republican National Committee spokesman Charles Black managed to keep astraight face when he crowed, "It's our best midterm election in decades." Not to be outdone, Democratic National Committee Chairman Ronald Brown declared the ballot "a no-confidence vote" for George Bush, cutting off the president's coattails once and for all. It was, in other words, business as usual among the revisionists on the Potomac. ...
  • Backlash?

    Some liberal Saudis are worried that last week's women's "drive-in" in Riyadh could trigger a backlash in the kingdom. On Nov. 6, 40 Saudi women piled into 15 cars and drove around for half an hour, challenging the Saudi ban on driving licenses for women. The drive-in was primarily the result of frustration: Saudi women generally must rely on their husbands or chauffeurs to get around and that can be quite an inconvenience. While they are generally sympathetic to the cause, many Saudi women doubted that such odd demonstrations are really the best way to change men's minds. Said one woman: "Many of us believe that it is better to work with the system than against it."
  • The Failure Of Feminism

    The other day I had the world's fastest blind date. A Yuppie from Eureka penciled me in for 50 minutes on a Friday and met me at a watering hole in the rural northern California town of Arcata. He breezed in, threw his jammed daily planner on the table and shot questions at me, watching my reactions as if it were a job interview. He eyed how much I drank. Then he breezed out to his next appointment. He had give us 50 minutes to size each other up and see if there was any chance for romance. His exit was so fast that as we left he let the door slam back in my face. It was an interesting slam. ...
  • 'Somebody In Saudi Arabia Loves Me'

    One night last week, more than 300 Army wives and children crowded into a meeting hall at Fort Campbell Ky., desperate for news about U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia. The speaker was Col. Greg Gile, just back from the Persian Gulf. He patiently described everything--from their husbands' diets to a Saudi Sears store. Afterward, the families anxiously gathered around monitors to watch tapes of their soldiers. Every time they saw someone they recognized, the wives hugged. A soldier: "Hi, K.C. I love you and miss you, baby." A wife: "Oh, that's so sweet. Please let my husband be on this." Soldier: "Send me a new watch, 'cause this one's broken." Wife: "Oh Lord, please let my husband be on this." Soldier, holding up rations: "Send food. Look what they feed us. " A wife: "Oh, that's my husband!" She paused. "God, he's gotten so skinny." ...
  • Big Birds! Leapin' Lizards!

    Jurassic Park. By Michael Crichton. 400 pages. Knoph. $19.95.Ever since Dr. Frankenstein lost control of that monster, novelists have been firm on one point: in the hands of the greedy or corrupt, science is a fearsome business. In his new thriller--his best so far--Michael Crichton warns us that we should be afraid, of unregulated genetic engineering in particular. A dotty old multimillionaire has bought a large island off Costa Rica which he has transformed into the world's largest theme park, devoted to dinosaurs. From fossils and giant computers that work out genetic codes, technicians have re-created the real beasts: carnivorous Tyrannosaurs, poison-spitting Dilophosaurs and, most ominous of all alarmingly intelligent Velociraptors. Computers, electrified fences and constant surveillance keep everything under control, of course, and the brutes are all females so family planning can't be a problem. Can it?This island, says a specialist in chaos theory, is "an accident waiting to...
  • India: Gandhi Pulls The Strings, Again

    Being prime minister of India is one of the most thankless jobs in the world--a bit like being mayor of New York City. But for more than 20 years, veteran Indian politician Chandra Shekhar has coveted it. Last week he got his wish--inheriting the vast nation's worst crisis since independence. Shekhar, 63, faces a rising tide of Hindu fundamentalism, separatist violence, caste conflict and skyrocketing food prices. Just what he plans to do about them he's never really said. ...
  • Crimes And Misdemeanors

    Burning Down the House: How greed, Deceit, and Bitter Revenge Destroyed E.F. Hutton. By James Sterngold. 305 pages. Summit. $19.96.Now that this third and latest book on the fall of E.F. Hutton is out, maybe it's time for the movie. How about Jack Nicholson portraying the maniacal Robert M. Fomon character, the CEO whose womanizing, drinking and plotting devours his time? Monty Python's John Cleese could be cast in the Robert Rittereiser role of a befuddled executive addicted to sports metaphors. And Peter Ueberroth, the baseball commissioner and Hutton board member, with an uncanny ability to duck the dirt, could play himself.Business books like "Burning Down the House" face the unhappy prospect of comparison to "Barbarians at the Gate," the huge best seller about the RJR Nabisco takeover. This one, lacking the drama and color of "Barbarians," falls a bit short, too. Yet author James Sterngold, a New York Times reporter, adroitly tells a chilling tale of one of America's best...
  • Made In Japan: Better Baseball

    OK, it was just a "good will" tour--a select team of Japanese baseball players up against a team of professional stars from the United States. Americans weren't supposed to take it seriously, and God knows hardly anyone here--or almost anywhere else--did. There were more important things going on in the world, and as Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent declared piously: "An exhibition is an exhibition is an exhibition." But long before the series ended Sunday in Tokyo the United States had lost something important--namely the right to say of our Japanese allies, "At least we can kick their butts in one thing." ...
  • Higher Ante

    NEWSWEEK has learned that the U.S. Marines will practice an amphibious assault in the Persian Gulf this week near the border between Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The exercise will be conducted within range of the Silkworm antiship missiles the Iraqis have positioned at the border against a possible U.S. invasion. U.S. officials say that the operation is not meant to provoke a conflict with Iraq, but Washington wants "intentionally to raise the ante to show we have the capability and we're ready to take it right to their border." If the Iraqis attack, the sources say, U.S. troops will respond with force to protect the Marine battalion.
  • Cities On The Brink

    Every bag of mail these days brings Philadelphia officials new postcards from the edge of insolvency In September a child-care agency under contract to the City of Brotherly Love threatened to drop 150 foster children on the doorstep of the welfare department. The reason: $1 million in unpaid bills. A check was rushed the next day. Two road contractors fed up with late payments, recently walked away from several major street-resurfacing jobs, leaving hundreds of city blocks in rutted disrepair. A repo man visited the police department and hauled away a $32,000 van. Faced with a $229 million deficit. no credit and the prospect of bankruptcy by Christmas, Philadelphia is running on fumes. ...
  • Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay

    They stink, they snore, they slobber. And they're adorable, San Francisco's noisiest waterfront attraction: 150 blubbery, belching male sea lions who've set up housekeeping on K-Dock near Fisherman's Wharf. ...
  • The Voters Speak: Read Our Lips, If You Can

    With 45 education initiatives on ballots in 24 states last week, the public had its best chance this year to speak about education reform. And it responded with I a resounding maybe, showing unmistakable skepticism I about both new reforms and the more conventional tactic of throwing more money at the problem. Most of the balloting was heavily influenced by state and local factors. There was, says Michael Kirst, a professor of education at Stanford University, "no backlash on education." But neither, says Frank Newman, president of the Education Commission of the States, was there any "willingness to do something radical." Here is how several of the most significant initiatives fared: ...
  • How The West Was Lost

    The romantic tradition is alive and well in Hollywood, embodied in the ambitious presence of Kevin Costner. Like Gary Cooper or Jimmy Stewart, he cannily converts self-effacement into a larger-than-life moral statement. The modest ingrown decency of the heroes he played in "Bull Durham," "The Untouchables" and "Field of Dreams" allowed him to reach for the grand gesture without embarrassment. Encased neither in cynicism (like Bruce Willis or Eddie Murphy), superheroic musculature (Schwarzenegger, Stallone) nor dewy youth (Cruise), he's set about reinventing the tradition of diffident nobility. ...
  • The Bush Blueprint Bombs

    That new economic populism Democrats mustered on Nov. 6 has already displayed a revealing diversity. Tuesday's big winners in the South--Florida Governor-elect Lawton Chiles, who ran against big money politics by refusing to take contributions more than $100, and Texas Governor-elect Ann Richards, who criticized George Bush for defending the rich in Washington and then campaigning for a Texas multimillionaire who didn't pay any income taxes in 1986--speak with a familiar, generally centrist, corn-pone accent. ...
  • The Homeless

    Out of bounds: Three Gastonia, N.C., police officers, for allegedly pouring warm cooking oil over some homeless people as they slept outdoors. Following a disciplinary hearing last week, city manager Gary Hicks followed a police department recommendation and fired officers Stacey Trull and David McKinney; officer Timothy Bass had already resigned. Trull has denied wrongdoing, and McKinney and Bass still face criminal-assault charges filed by one of the homeless.
  • Is It Panic Time Or Not?

    Never in recent U.S. history has an economic downturn been so widely advertised--and feared--before it even began. Output may indeed be slipping into reverse; even George Bush last week hinted as much. But the latest numbers still show business advancing. Gross national product rose in the third quarter, and so did industrial production. The jobless rate marked time. So why has consumer confidence suddenly sunk to levels seen only in the depths of harsh recessions (chart)? Are Americans overreacting? Or are the government's numbers not showing how bad things really are? ...
  • It's Not Easy Being Green

    It was going to be quite a conference. "Eco-Glasnost!" promised to bring together the strangest of bedfellows: representatives from industrial giants like 3M, General Electric and Dow and members of The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund/Conservation Foundation and other groups. Together they would discuss how businesses can protect Mother Earth and make a profit besides. The Florida-based Environmental Institute had set up the two-day forum, and Environmental Protection Agency head William Reilly was on the program. There was one major problem: Eco-Glasnost! flopped. Too few companies signed up and Environmental Institute president John Paling had to cancel the event. ...
  • Moscow's Two-Edged Plowshare

    There aren't many statesmen who have discussed the Persian Gulf crisis in depth with both George Bush and Saddam Hussein. One who has, Soviet envoy Yevgeny Primakov, has become a professional optimist. "I am confident that a peaceful solution is possible," he said last week during a reception in the Kremlin. Soviet sources concede that, after two sessions with the ubiquitous Primakov last month, Saddam shows no sign of actual movement toward a compromise. Even so, the role of peacemaker has paid off handsomely for Primakov and for the Kremlin. ...
  • Big Macs In South Africa?

    While many American companies have kept a high profile in South Africa by franchising arrangements with local white businessmen McDonald's has been conspicuously absent. That may change--to the benefit of black South Africans. Johannesburg sources say McDonald's is considering entering that market by franchising black entrepreneurs once U.S. economic sanctions are lifted. A group of black South Africans has visited McDonald's headquarters and says it received a "positive" response. McDonald's didn't return calls.
  • Who Dares To Be Bare?

    The most talked-about newborn in the dance world these days is the White Oak Dance Project, brainchild of a distinctly odd couple, Mark Morris and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Morris, the preening naughty boy of modern dance celebrated for his idiosyncratic, down-home choreographic style, and Baryshnikov, the greatest male ballet dancer of our time, teamed up to create a small but classy touring company that has been playing to packed houses across the country ever since its recent debut in Boston. Named after the 7,500-acre Florida estate where the dancers rehearsed, White Oak is chiefly a vehicle for Baryshnikov as he winds down his performing career. The challenges in Morris's choreography are nothing like the pyrotechnics that made Baryshnikov a star, and that suits him fine. ...
  • That'll Teach The Rascais

    On the political Richter scale the election registered a measly 3.5. It rattled the crockery but broke little. The electorate was surly last Tuesday. Not as irascible as, say, the woman who sent a wreath to the grave of the heifer that knocked down William Gladstone, but America's voters boxed some ears by reducing many incumbents' margins (in 1988 only 47 House incumbents won with less than 60 percent of the vote; in 1990 106 did), then sent them back inside the Beltway to get to work on getting re-elected. That'll teach the rascals. ...
  • Venom And Violence

    After Mikhail Gorbachev took power in 1985, he wanted nothing more than to be associated with the ideals of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Gorbachev's model was Lenin the pragmatist, who could preserve the vision of a socialist utopia while accepting the contributions of private enterprise and markets. This was at least a more realistic Lenin than the deified mummy put on display by Stalin. But you no longer see his heroic portraits in Moscow, and Gorbachev seems to have forgotten his name. Where is Lenin now? Richard Pipes has redefined him for the postcommunist era in The Russian Revolution (944 pages. Knopf. $40), a masterful and timely distillation of Lenin's destructive genius. ...
  • The Wrong Tanks

    NEWSWEEK has learned that one reason President Bush may not force a military showdown with Iraq until December at the earliest: the U.S. troops in Sauti Arabia are equipped with outdated M1 tanks that have no built-in protection against chemical weapons--a major threat in Saddam Hussein's arsenal. More modern M-1A1 tanks, with integral anti-CW air-filter systems, are being shipped to the Persian Gulf from Western Europe where they had been prepositioned against the Soviet Union. Pentagon sources say the Army is sending about 760 M-1A1s, enough to "replace the M1s on a one-for-one basis." ...
  • Goodbye Jerry?

    Whatever the outcome of this week's California gubernatorial race, the news may not be good for former Democratic governor Jerry Brown. Elected state party chairman in 1988, Brown promised to rebuild the party from the grass roots. But Democratic leaders grumble that he's spent too much on media blitzes and not enough on voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. Party insiders expect a nuts-and-bolts administrator to replace Brown in 1992. Brown denies that he's spent unwisely.
  • On Madison Avenue, Daddy Sells Best

    He was advertising's man of the '80s. You know, the good-looking businessman rushing from a power lunch to the health club, briefcase in hand, hungering for big-bucks success. You saw him again and again, in TV spots and print ads. Now, like so many icons of the age of excess, it seems the powerbroker image is going the way of Gordon Gekko. Advertising's new male icon for the '90s? Dear old Dad. ...
  • Bad Blood In Germany

    The entrance to the military base at Wunsdorf, headquarters of the Soviet Army in Germany, is known locally as "Little Mexico." As olive-drab transports rumble through the gates and helicopters clatter overhead, soldiers wheel and deal in a booming black market. Conscripts from the Ukraine and Azerbaijan crowd around a red minivan, ogling Japanese VCRs and boom boxes. Polish traders hawk jeans and porno magazines; East Germans swap cigarette lighters and bottles of schnapps for military caps and insignia. More serious business goes on at the train station, just steps away. Reporters from Tempo, a German monthly, recently procured a small arsenal of Soviet weapons--a surface-to-air missile, a Kalashnikov assault rifle, a dozen antitank grenades and an assortment of mines. The price: 6,000 marks--about $4,000. ...
  • You Gotta Have Cart!

    Here's just the thing a teed off golfer needs to get that pokey foursome moving: a cart with a five-foot honker. The Bob Hopemobile was commissioned by the comedian in 1970 for use in his Desert Classic tournament (it also had a run in several of Hope's Texaco commercials). Later this month it will be auctioned off in Newport Beach, Calif, along with a variety of other customized cars built by George Barris, including the original Munster Koach. Those who have a hankering for the Hope cart should expect to blow at least $20,000. That doesn't include gas.
  • Manhattan Cannibals

    Joni Evans is unrelated to Harry Evans, and they are both unrelated to Red Sox outfielder Dwight Evans If those facts are unrelated (or uninteresting) to you, please refrain in the future from gossiping about the gossipy world of New York publishing. It demands attention to such details. ...
  • I Hear America Scratching

    They were at it again last weekend, the flower of America's youth, bent over test papers, scratching in answer boxes as though their lives depended on it. And they did, for this was the inexorable fall ritual known to six decades of students as the college boards. Each year more than 2 million kids take the Scholastic Aptitude Test and companion achievement tests, the scores of which allow admissions offices to decide among the fuzz-faced supplicants at their gates. -Such clout has inevitably brought criticism of the tests' accuracy and fairness. After three years of study by the College Board, a blue-ribbon panel announced changes last week which will significantly alter the exams but stop short of requiring that most frightening of prospects: a mandatory essay. ...
  • The Latin 'Techno-Yuppies'

    What comes to mind when you think of Latin American leaders? A generation ago it would have been right-wing dictators in medal-covered military jackets, molding themselves in the images of Benito Mussolini and Francisco Franco. Or leftists who wore beards like Che Guevara and quoted Castro and Lenin. These days, members of Latin America's governing elites are more likely to wear designer suits and to tap on personal computers. And instead of quoting wild-eyed revolutionaries, they're uttering homes-spun American sales tips. "Your don't get a second chance to make a first impression," says Jorge Quiroga, Bolivia's 30-year-old under secretary of planning. ...
  • Going Against The Grain

    The Iran-Iraq war was still raging when several members of the Iraqi Grain Board paid a visit to De Valls Bluff Ark., three years ago. Describing grain silos blown apart by Iranian shells and severe food shortages, the Iraqi emissaries wanted to know if American farmers could meet their country's rice needs. By last year Iraq was buying 500,000 tons of U.S. rice--half of America's annual export production. The lucrative market vanished this summer, when George Bush imposed a trade embargo on Iraq after Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. These days farmers sit around the John Deere showroom in Stuttgart, Ark., bemoaning their plight. "I'll tell you what the problem is," says a rice grower who goes by the name Doopey. "Ain't no money in it." ...
  • Olmos's Got A Brand New Bag

    For Edward James Olmos, doing a movie about baseball was a natural. At 14 the actor was a catcher in a winter league for professional players. In "Talent for the Game," costarring Lorraine Bracco and due out next spring, Olmos plays a baseball scout on the lookout for another Roy Hobbs. But Olmos admits he lacked the gift of grab. "I didn't have any natural talent [for baseball]. I didn't have any for acting either. It just took time." Look's like he's found his swing.
  • The Soldier-Parent Dilemma

    Mary Wax of Rohnert Park, Calif., isn't a soldier, but in September she found herself in one of the Army's toughest battles. On one side were her three children; on the other were two nieces and a nephew recently arrived from Fort Benning, Ga. The visitors were her sister's kids, and they desperately missed their mother, Sgt. Lori Moore, whose unit was about to leave for the Persian Gulf. When her orders came through, Lori and her drill-sergeant husband, Fred, decided to ship the kids out, too--at least until the sand settled in Operation Desert Shield. ...
  • Targeting The Emperor

    For most of the world, the death of Emperor Hirohito in 1989 closed the book on the controversy over Japan's imperial traditions. But in Japan the battle rages on. In January, a right-wing fanatic shot and nearly killed the mayor of Nagasaki, who said the late emperor bore responsibility for Japan's role in World War II. Now leftist radicals have vowed to attack the palace during next week's formal enthronement ceremony for Hirohito's heir, Akihito. At first many Japanese dismissed the challenge as a last gasp of some aging radicals. No longer. Police now say they have uncovered detailed plots to blow up the emperor's train and to jam all live broadcasts of the ceremony. And late last Thursday two bombs exploded in a police dormitory, killing one officer and injuring six others. ...
  • Love Letters

    The latest woman to turn Douglas Brackman's head is vowel vixen Vanna White. In a future episode of "L.A. Law," the uptight attorney fulfills a lifelong dream by taking a spin as a contestant on "Wheel of Fortune." It's a red-letter day for him. "I get a good hunk of cash, a dinette set and meet Vanna," says Alan Rachins, who plays Brackman. And is he smitten? "Not untrue," is Rachins's lawyerly reply.
  • There's Blues In The News

    It starts, this strange album, with the mournful plunk of a mail-order guitar set against a backdrop of soft static. Think of rain falling and fish frying. Now consider that this double disc set so totally unsuitable for major radio playlists, costs about twice as much as, say, the new Whitney Houston album. If all that doesn't discourage the average consumer, there's the format, which seems geared for a specialized market--namely, six people who work in the basement of the Smithsonian. One song ends and Take Two of the same song begins; sometimes you can't tell what's going on, precisely, without wading through the 47 pages of liner notes. It would be hard to imagine a more obscure musical enterprise than "Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings," 41 blues cuts set down more than 50 years ago. Yet there it is: the boxed sets piled high at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, where Robert Johnson was the third best seller, behind Paul Simon and George Michael. And, have...
  • 'Pretty Woman'

    During a Varig airlines flight between Lisbon and Rio de Janeiro last week, 39-year-old Brazilian transvestite Afonso Felipe dos Santos--clad smartly in a wig, pumps and black skirt--entered the cockpit under the pretense of wanting to take a picture. But once inside, he sprayed Mace on the pilots. A relief pilot rushed in to take control. The plane--and the 348 passengers--then landed safely in the Canary Islands. The transvestite w as arrested and his sister said that Felipe dos Santos had a death wish. The in-flight movie that day: "Pretty Woman."
  • A Battle Over 'Correct Thinking' At Harvard

    Once upon a time geometry was something that highschool and college students quietly wrestled with in the classroom. But at Harvard University, it's the source of a bitter campus dispute. The pink triangle, once used by Nazis to identify homosexuals and now a symbol of pride for gays and lesbians throughout the country, has competition in Cambridge: the blue square. The new symbol is the creation of AALARM (the Association Against Learning in the Absence of Religion and Morality), a conservative student group that purports to represent "faith, family, country and community." AALARM has left its square logo on virtually every sidewalk, wall and kiosk where the pink triangle appears. The message is that traditional viewpoints have been unfairly squelched at Harvard. "We were really fed up with the one-sided campus environment that was closed to ideas that were not 'politically correct'," says founder Adam Webb. "There's an attitude on campus that just discounts any arguments that have...
  • Again, It's A Wonderful Life

    Everybody wants to be Jimmy Stewart. In Hollywood, the land of lemmings, it seems as if every other film out this season offers up that facile formula in which death or near death leads to redemption and/or a change in values. First there were "Ghost" and "Flatliners." Now we have "Mr. Destiny" and "Jacob's Ladder." And December will bring us "Awakenings," in which Robert De Niro comes out of a coma, and "Regarding Henry," starring Harrison Ford as a lawyer who is shot and yes. rediscovers life.
  • Wanting Out Of Russia

    For Lithuanians, Georgians and others trying to break away from the Soviet Union, it may seem hard to believe. But there's actually one place that's trying to become a Soviet republic. The former "autonomous" republic of Tataria, 460 miles due east of Moscow, was part of the Russian Republic until Aug. 30. Then, at the goading of Tatar nationalists, the local parliament unanimously changed the region's name to Tatarstan, declared its laws supreme over those of Russia and claimed its natural resources on behalf of its 3.7 million people. "We want to be on that list of members of the Soviet Union. And in alphabetical order--ahead of the Ukraine," says Vladimir Yermakov, an aide to Tatarstan's Supreme Soviet chairman, Mintimir Shaimeyev. ...
  • 'You're Here. They're There. It's Simple.'

    Brig. Gen. Tommy Franks surveyed the Saudi Arabian desert from the headquarters of his newly arrived First Cavalry. It was, he said, "pleasantly different," even "a delightful experience." It was different certainly from the first time he went to war, in Vietnam 20 years ago. The First Cav then was a combat-hardened unit, careering around the DMZ in choppers emblazoned with the endearing motto, "God Saves--Cav Kills." And the life was anything but delightful. I remember the induction of a new Cav helicopter pilot at the base in Quang Tri. His comrades, clad in off-duty black Stetsons with silver hatbands, drenched him with beer while singing, to the tune of "De Camptown Races": "You'll go home in a body bag, oh doo dah day." Around noon the next day, on the airstrip at Khe Sanh, I watched medics lift a body from a cripled Huey. The new man had taken 15 hours to find his body bag. ...
  • Whose Death Is It Anyway?

    Jacob's ladder is the ultimate example of a movie whose ending you don't want to know before you see it. In fact, with this movie you don't want to know the middle, and hardly even the beginning. Made by the provocative team of director Adrian Lyne ("Fatal Attraction") and screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin ("Ghost"), "Jacob's Ladder" has so many surprises that you undergo the jolting experience of having to use your head as well as your eyes and viscera. At first it looks like the second coming of "Platoon," opening in Vietnam with a savage attack that decimates a group of GIs. Among the wounded is Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins), a smiling, bespectacled type whose buddies call him Professor. Jump-cut to Brooklyn, where Jacob has spurned his Ph.D. and is working as a mailman. He's also left his wife and kids and is living with a co-worker, Jezzie (Elizabeth Pena). "After Nam I didn't want to think anymore," is how Jacob puts it. ...
  • One Big Mcbow To Environmentalism

    For years McDonald's insisted its containers didn't hurt the environment. Last week it ate those claims. The fast-food giant announced it will trash its familiar "clamshell" boxes, made of polystyrene, for good. "All of us as citizens of this country have to have some sensitivity to environmental issues," said Ed Rensi, president of McDonald's U.S.A. ...
  • Headless

    Newsweek has learned that the ad hoc resistance movement that sprang up in Kuwait immediately after the Lraqi invasion is slowly being replaced by more effective clandestine efforts using terrorist tactics. According to Palestinian sources, some agents are from the Kuwaiti Army, police and intelligence forces. Others are said to be members of Amal, a Lebanese Shiite group closely allied with Syria and smuggled into Kuwait to aid the resistance. The sources say the underground recently exploded two car bombs killing more than 150 people, including 100 Iraqi soldiers and a collaborationist Kuwaiti professor. Resistance agents, the sources say, also planted bombs in videocassette recorders and sold them to Iraqis. "After five minutes, every video--boom," says a source. "You saw a man carrying a video without a head."
  • Buzzwords

    Loggers' argot is colorful, particularly about adversaries: Spikers: Environmentalists who drive spikes into trees so loggers will break their chain saws.Preservationists: Pejorative for environmentalists; activists who don't want any trees cut, even if they are to be replanted.Terrorists: Members of the environmental group Earth First!Flatlanders: Stumble-footed city dwellers.Boing boings: Deer.Speed goats: Antelope.Jag-on: An impressive load of wood being hauled by a trucker.Bullprick: A mechanized stump splitter for tough cases.Bullbuck: A logger's boss.
  • Bush's Latest Demonology

    George Bush, as a political matter, often tries to manipulate powerful symbols. Remember the flag, cops and Willie Horton? Those were nothing compared with his Saddam Hussein/Adolf Hitler demonology: Oct. 15: "We're dealing with Hitler revisited."Oct. 20: "When Hitler's war ended. there were the Nuremberg trials."Oct. 23: Bush compares the alleged murders of Kuwaiti youngsters to actions by Hitler's Death's Head battalions.Nov. 1: "[Saddam is engaged in] brutality that I don't believe Adolf Hitler ever participated in."A noted German-born historian at Columbia University, Fritz Stern, called the last remark "an insult. . . to the [Holocaust] dead."
  • Fraudulent 'Diversity'

    Diversity is a special word these days, especially on college campuses. It's a catchy word that appeals to most people's sense of pluralistic idealism. As such, achieving diversity has become the much-touted mission of many institutions of higher learning. Everywhere student-admissions officers and faculty-appointment committees are clamoring to acquire "diverse" students and "diverse" faculty members. At law schools alone, for example, hundreds of students and faculty members from more than 40 different law schools participated in a nationwide day of protest last spring demanding greater diversity. ...
  • Costly Kids

    Day care is already expensive and the costs are going up. Following are the 10 suburban areas in the United States where it is the most expensive. This ranking is for the suburbs only. The costs in downtown areas generally run even higher.[*] ...
  • Say Goodbye, Mister Hip

    A generation ago at the contemporary art museum, Dad and Billy could admire the big, bright outdoor sculpture, Mom could bathe her eyes in color field painting and little Sue could buy a board game designed by a conceptual artist. Now the same institution is seen by many as a nuisance if not a menace. The art on display either hectors the viewer about social problems or baits the vice squad. Civic funding is being cut back, corporations are bailing out on controversial shows . . . so who wants the aggravation? ...
  • 'Say, Warden, Couid I Pay More For A View?'

    Zagat's Guide to Prisons: $47.20 per night (single rate) Secure blocks, diverse clientele, meal plan. Free exercise' room and safe for valuables.He's been videotaped, convicted and ordered to serve six months in prison. But a fortnight ago when Washington Mayor Marion Barry was sentenced for cocaine possession, he suffered one more humiliation: he'll have to pay for his stay in the pokey.Actually, U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's order that Barry pay $9,653 for jail time and one year of supervision on top of a $5,000 fine--was fully in accord with the law. Since U.S. sentencing guidelines took effect in late 1987, all federal prisoners are supposed to ante up for their confinement. "Why should the taxpayers have to cover an inmate's room and board and medical services when the defendant can afford it?" asks William Wilkins, the federal appeals judge who is chairman of the U.S. sentencing commission. Judges are supposed to waive the rule for inmates who are indigent or...
  • Let's Blame The Media

    Just about the wackiest idea in circulation these days is the notion that the press is talking the country into a recession. The theory has a superficial appeal and also panders to the popular impulse to despise the media (that crude amalgam of newspapers, magazines and television). All the gloom-and-doom stories, the theory goes, create gloom and doom. Suitably scared, people cut spending, and the economy goes into the tank. ...
  • Beagle Rays

    Question of the week: why have 828 beagle corpses been plunked into a Washington state storage site? Because for 27 years, the Department of Energy conducted experiments in which 3,700 beagles were exposed to radiation in order to study its effects. The dogs were fed radiation-laden food for a year and a half, then left to live out their lives. Many lived as long as as 18 years--leading some researchers to conclude that exposure to low-level radiation ins't so dangerous. One problem: disposing of 27 years' wowrth of radioactive dog poop.