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  THE WEEKLY RUNDOWN FOR JUNE 27.  
   
   
   
 

 

Wait, so we're still looking for him? President Bush assured the world on Tuesday that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein will eventually be killed or captured and that finding them "is only a matter of time." The Black Table doesn't know about that. If the best trained and best-equipped army in the world hasn't found you yet, you're not going to be found. The announcement came in a joint press conference with Bush and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who pledged to continue the hunt for Al Qaeda in Pakistan as long as the U.S. made good on its promise of $3 billion in military and economic aid. Musharraf suggested that bin Laden could be along the Afghan border, but said he "wouldn't like to venture a guess" as to his actual location. The Black Table suggests that if the U.S. is still looking for weapons of mass destruction, it take a little trip to Pakistan. The Pakistanis don't even bother hiding their nuclear weapons.

 

 
   
 

 

Race counts, but no bonus points allowed. In one of a flurry of opinions this week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld affirmative action at the University of Michigan Law School, though quashed Michigan's admissions system at the undergraduate level. The court ordered admissions offices to conduct "highly individualized, holistic review[s]" of students, in which race may be a factor. However, the court also ruled that minority students may not be given points toward admission simply for being a minority (Michigan awarded minority students 20 admission points out of a possible 150). It has been pointed out by many that, um, that decision doesn't make much sense, but hey, we're The Supreme Court, and that's a tough question … leave us OUT of it!

In other opinions released this week, the Supreme Court found that Congress could force libraries to install Internet filters on computers and that gay people can have sex however they want in the privacy of their own home. The vote was 6-3, and Justice Antonin Scalia was a little upset, as shown by this statement from his dissent: "Today's opinion is the product of a Court, which is the product of a law-profession culture, that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda, by which I mean the agenda promoted by some homosexual activists directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct." The Black Table hopes Scalia is the justice looking to retire this year.

 

 
   
 

 

So how long will this last? Three Palestinian militant groups supposedly agreed to a three-month cease fire on Wednesday. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade (it must be hard to fit that on a T-shirt) were said to have agreed to the truce in an announcement by a senior Fatah official, the faction to which Yasir Arafat belongs. Hamas leaders denied they had agreed to such a truce and said the announcement was only diverting from another Israeli strike on the Gaza Strip. The truce is part of an attempt to follow the U.S.-backed "roadmap" for peace in the Middle East. The first part of the plan calls for Palestinians to stop attacks on Israel and for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory and disassemble settlements created in the past two years. Whether an actual truce exists won't be revealed until Hamas says so, or another shot is fired. Hope the former comes first.

 

 
   
 

 

Sharing's for communists, not music fans. The Recording Industry Association of America ran a full-page ad in The New York Times on Thursday saying it planned to sue those who illegally distribute copyrighted music via the Internet. The patronizing ad wagged its finger at computer-users everywhere, telling them that "stealing music over the Internet is no different that shoplifting CDs out of a record store" and then threatened that filesharing "is a very public activity -- meaning that offenders can easily be identified." The music industry blames the Internet for a 14 percent revenue drop, instead of blaming itself for things like giving Mariah Carey tens of millions of dollars twice in one year. Either way, The Black Table is sure that people are rushing to record stores this instant, properly chastised by the paternal recording industry that still sells CDs for $15 and up, a good 10 years after promising the prices would drop.

 

 
   
 

 

Cast Bill Bixby in the ironic TV movie. A 24-year-old New Jersey man pleaded guilty to copyright infringement in federal court on Wednesday for uploaded a deficient copy of The Hulk to a Netherlands Website a few weeks before the Ang Lee blockbuster opened. The bootleg movie had an incomplete soundtrack and unfinished special effects, but that didn't stop a bunch of nerds from downloading the crap of it. Kerry Gonzalez, who wore a green suit to court, will be sentenced in September.

 

*BT*

Aileen Gallagher, author of three children's books, (and another one, about muckraking, on the way!) writes Weekly Rundown every Friday.