Former White House budget director David Stockman apparently has some not-so-nice things to say about his ex-boss. According to U.S. News & World Report, Stockman writes in his new book, "The Triumph of Politics" (to be published later this month by Harper & Row), that President Reagan is a "terminal optimist," explaining, "There was not a thing you could tell him to shake his absolute faith that these massive deficits were simply going to vanish."

Though there has been tight security over the finished book, which Newsweek is scheduled to excerpt, U.S. News also reports Stockman writing that in 1983 Reagan ignored the "overwhelming, unassailable arguments" for a tax increase to help deal with the federal deficit. "What do you do when your President ignores all the palpable, relevant facts and wonders in circles?" he asks.

Caldicott Burned Out

Peace activist Dr. Helen Caldicott says her 16-year campaign against nuclear weapons is coming to an end. Physically and mentally drained from her global speaking tours, the 46-year-old physician said, "I can't go on if I've got nothing more to give." She said her decision to stop the campaign doesn't mean that she no longer cares, but "the fate of the world doesn't rest on my shoulders; it rests on everyone else's."

Caldicott, who cofounded the group Physicians for Social Responsibility, is currently in Vancouver, beginning a six-month tour of North America. When she completes this tour, she plans to return to her native Australia for a long rest, after which she will decide whether she will return to the peace movement or seek political office.

End Notes

Mohammed Iqbal Butt, information minister at the Pakistan Embassy, thought his tour of service in the U.S. was over on March 30. He'd already had his farewell party and said his goodbyes. But the following morning he learned that the ambassador had received a telex asking him to stay on indefinitely. Later that evening, Indian Ambassador K. Shankar Bajpai learned in the middle of his farewell party that his government planned to extend his American tour. Said Butt: "It happened to me the morning that it happened to him in the evening" . . .

On the Prince Andrew wedding watch: Maj. Ronald Ferguson, father of Andrew's fiance' Sarah, said he doesn't have any problems with his ex-wife's Argentine husband attending the royal wedding. "I don't mind him coming," Ferguson said of Hector Barrantes. Andrew, a Royal Navy helicopter pilot, fought against Argentina in the 1982 war over the Falkland Islands . . .

Much to the surprise of Mississippi scholars, the University of Texas has purchased a large collection of historical papers providing a detailed picture of the daily lives of blacks in 19th-century Mississippi. The documents, which were sold for $900,000, may be the most significant Mississippi collection to go out of the state. Several Mississippi scholars say they did not know the Natchez Trace Collection existed. But they add that even if they had known, the state probably lacked the money to purchase the documents . . .

The cartoon characters and clowns handing out balloons this week at shopping centers all across the United States and Canada have a serious mission: to help teach children how to avoid being abducted. As part of the KIDS Safety Week program beginning today, police officers will fingerprint children and provide information on basic rules of safety to follow at home, in school and on the streets. The one set of prints made for each child participating in the free program is intended for use by parents as a means of identifying their children. Sponsored by the International Council of Shopping Centers, the program is aimed at children 13 and under, who are most vulnerable to abduction. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there were at least 562 abductions of children by nonfamily members in 1984.