August 28, 1989

NOTEBOOK: Free Wuer Kaixi
12:00 AM

Oh, no! Wuer Kaixi, the student hero of Tiananmen Square, who escaped to America, spent the first weekend in August sailing with the Kennedys in Hyannis Port. Next, Vegas with Sinatra? Wuer understands and courageously opposed the corruptions of his country’s system. But who will protect him from the more subtle corruptions of our country’s system? In China he used celebrity (with that natural p.r. sense inherent in all great leaders, martyrs, and saints). In America celebrity will use him if he’s not careful.

July 31, 1989

Washington Diarist: Up to Speed
12:00 AM

The great Philadelphia Phillies amphetamine cover-up.

June 19, 1989

The Wrong March
12:00 AM

The recent events in Peking call irresistibly to mind Bertolt Brecht's famous epigram: "The people have lost the confidence of the Government; the Government has decided to dissolve the people, and to appoint another one." Whatever may be the immediate outcome of the demonstrations—and I fear it will be grim—one thing is already certain: May 1989 will remain as one of the most momentous periods in the history of 20th century China, and as a landmark in the Long March of mankind toward democracy and away from totalitarianism. The demonstrations may have appeared confused, vague, and muddled i

May 28, 1989

Glory Days
12:00 AM

I rarely hear of strikes now, except those that end in disaster. None of the unions I represent has gone on strike in ten years, and I wonder if any of them ever will. Until the Eastern Airlines strike this year, I thought I might never see a strike again. Strikes in the United States last year fell to their lowest level in four decades. In 1974, which was no great year for strikes, there were 424 of them. In 1988 there were just 40, which is about the same as the number of prison riots. A few months ago I saw my friend V., who is a lawyer with the Mine workers.

April 24, 1989

That’s Oil, Folks

One in 28,000 would be a pretty good failure rate for a condom manufacturer. It’d be a spectacular for a method to prevent prisoner recidivism. But in fields like nuclear deterrence and ecological disaster prevention, one little mistake can spoil the whole darn program. What is happening in Prince William Sound is a horrible catastrophe. The place looks even worse than Boston Harbor did in those Bush for President TV commercials. Tens of thousands of oil soaked birds and animals are dead or dying, but that’s only the beginning.

January 09, 1989

Correspondence: Frankly Speaking
12:00 AM

On the ACLU, Dukakis, and gun control.

November 21, 1988

The Afghan Ayatollah
12:00 AM

Meet America's new fundamentalist allies.

October 31, 1988


Despite his pee-pants performance in the Omaha debate against Lloyd Bentsen, it looks as if Dan Quayle, 41, will be president one of these days. Consider the politico-actuarial probabilities. Assuming the Republican lead endures, the junior senator from Indiana will be elected vice president. This alone will give him an even chance of becoming president. Three out of the last five presidents were vice president first. Seven out of the last ten vice presidents have ended up heading a national ticket, and four (five if you presumptively count George Bush) got all the way to the Oval Office.

February 29, 1988

Deeper and Deeper
12:00 AM

In early February 1984 E. Robert Wallach, a close friend and legal adviser of Edwin Meese, paid one of this occasional visits to the Bronx headquarters of the defense contractor Wedtech, a company that has since grown infamous for bringing and corrupting its way to fabulous success. Only a few weeks before, on January 23, President Reagan had announced the nomination of Meese to replace William French Smith as attorney general.

First Returns

Hendrik Hertzberg comments on the 1988 campaign.