An Inclusive Litany


Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan told the Washington Post that he had been carried up into space by a UFO.

Los Angeles police chief Daryl F. Gates told the Senate Judiciary Committee that casual users of marijuana and cocaine "ought to be taken out and shot."

Literary critic Henry Louis Gates, Jr., writing on the lyrics of the rap group 2 Live Crew in the New York Times, said "Their sexism is so flagrant... that it almost cancels itself out. In this, it recalls the inter-sexual jousting in Zola Neale Hurston's novels."

When testifying as an expert witness on behalf of the rappers at their obscenity trial, Gates delicately explained to the court the difference between mere vulgarity and a double entendre. Gates, a professor with a doctorate in English literature, offered as an example "Shakespeare's 'My love is like a red, red rose.' " The line he quoted actually came from the Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Daniel Rakowitz, accused of murdering his girlfriend and boiling her body parts, asked a New York judge to impanel a jury of marijuana smokers so he "could get a fair trial." "I just want everybody in New York City and the world to be happy and have a smile on their faces," he explained. "If everybody smoked marijuana, there would be no violence in the world."

Congress approved a $500,000 appropriation for renovating the birthplace of Lawrence Welk.

A correction that appeared in the Fresno Bee, July 21, 1990:
An item in Thursday's Nation Digest about the Massachusetts budget crisis made reference to new taxes that will help put Massachusetts "back in the African-American." The item should have said "back in the black."