Everything's For Sale
WASHINGTON (AP)--The recent trend of renaming public spaces in order to raise revenues came into its own today as the White House announced that the presidential mansion will from now on be called the Exxon House.Chief-of-Staff Leon Panetta said that the international petroleum corporation paid $175 million for the name change, which will go to service interest on the national debt. Vice President Al Gore applauded the move, saying: "When we talk about reinventing government, this is what we're talking about. When we sell off our national heritage, we're selling something that never cost us a cent!"Panetta also said that other presidential icons were for sale. "Everything from presidential tie pins to the Oval Office itself is either for sale or long-term lease," he explained. "You wouldn't believe how many paintings we have of presidents nobody even remembers, like Fillmore and Jackson...it's all first come, first serve." Please see editorial, "Smart move for Clinton," page 12. *NEW YORK (UPI)--Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Donald Trump have unveiled a $75 billion project to develop New York City's famous Central Park.Under the plan described today, the 153-square-block park will be leased to Mr. Trump for 99 years for $1 per year. In return, Trump will construct Trump Park Garden City Towers, a completely-privatized "city within a city" composed of hundreds of luxury high-rise condominiums and office buildings.Manhattan's numbered-grid street configuration will be extended through the park. For instance, the Avenue of the Americas, which now ends at the southern border of the park at 59th Street, will continue north until it meets Lenox Avenue at 110th Street in Harlem."It was an outrage to allow hundreds of billions of dollars of prime Manhattan real estate to go to waste so some self-centered yuppie could walk his damn Dalmatian," Mr. Trump said.City officials say that the rising cost of real estate in the city no longer allows the luxury of public parks located in central areas. To replace the land occupied by Trump Park Garden City Towers, New Yorkers who present proof of city residency will still be granted access to a quarter-acre public plaza at the northwest corner of the project.Consumer advocate Mark Green criticized the fact that Mr. Trump has received a 50-year tax abatement for the project. "I wasn't even consulted," he complained. "I'm definitely writing some letters over this one." Please see editorial, "New York rejoins civilization," page 12. *SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)--Sharon Walsh doesn't ask her 16-year-old son Brad where he's been. She knows he was shooting pool from 3:45 to 4:53, trying to scam beer at the 7-11 from 5:02 to 5:07 and halfway home at 5:33. "I don't know how I'd parent without this information," Ms. Walsh says.Brad's movements are monitored by a microchip that tracks a person's every movement, a device developed by a Silicon Valley company. Tekgeex, a subsidiary of Conglomco of Mountain View, California, has already planted the tiny chips into over 10,000 people."We started with microchips that track and identify animals. This was the next logical step," said Justine Nowicki, CEO of Tekgeex. The chips are planted just under the right shoulder blade and are so tiny that a sleeping trackee can be injected without being awoken, as in Brad's case. Each microchip is encoded with the person's name, address, Social Security Number and other information. Satellites can pinpoint an implant's precise location up to 200 meters below the earth's surface. Unruly teens are only the beginning. AT&T, IBM and other Fortune 500 companies are ordering the implants to increase their productivity. Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, mused aloud: "When I pay my employees, their time belongs to me. I don't want to pay them to make personal phone calls or go to the bathroom. Now I don't have to."Please see editorial, "On the right track," page 12.