Monday, October 18, 2004

It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority..... from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason.
-- Lord Acton - The History of Freedom in Antiquity (1877)

What follows is a conversation between Kurt Vonnegut and out-of-print science fiction writer Kilgore Trout. It was to be their last. Trout committed suicide by drinking Drano at midnight on October 15 in Cohoes, New York, after a female psychic using tarot cards predicted that the environmental calamity George W. Bush would once again be elected president of the most powerful nation on the planet by a five-to-four decision of the Supreme Court, which included “100 per-cent of the black vote.” Requiem for a Dreamer

Eye on Politics & Law Lords: How deep the divide?
Thanks to the power of the image--namely, those brightly colored maps used by TV analysts--the 2000 presidential election has come to be seen as the birth of two nations, one red and one blue. But what do those colors really tell us about American voters and the election that lies just ahead? The answers range from almost everything to almost nothing. For even on the question of our divided condition, Americans, it seems, are strongly divided.
• Jay Tolson: Scholars and pundits don't agree on the meaning of red and blue [Presidential Endorsements Around the country newspapers are taking a position on the upcoming election. This site seeks to archive some of these positions]
• · Bush Judicial Nominees Bring Close Corporate Ties to the Bench; CIR Posts Judges' Financial Data Online: Courting Influence's database of judges and nominees from 2001 to the present, covering Circuit and Federal Claims courts. Includes biographical data from nominees' Senate questionnaires, and downloadable financial disclosure statements. Courting Influence Federal Judicial Nominees and Their Ties to Special Interests; What is judicial independence? ; [The inmates at the Allred Unit, a tough Texas prison, mostly go by names like Monster, Diablo and Animal. They gave Roderick Johnson, a black gay man with a gentle manner, a different sort of name when he arrived there in September 2000. They called him Coco Under the protocols of the prison gangs at Allred, gay prisoners must take women's names. Then they are assigned to one of the gangs ]
• · · Paul McGeough: Washington bills him as the spearhead of the bloody insurgency that is wrecking virtually all efforts to impose security in liberated Iraq Zarqawi: the new bin Laden
• · · · Katherine Keating, daughter of former prime minister Paul Keating and adviser to the Minister for Infrastructure, Craig Knowles, will be the next star witness at State Parliament's Orange Grove inquiry [Freedom From Information: One of the documents which is being denied is the official register of visitors to the premier's suite at the top of Governor Macquarie Tower]
• · · · · Capital Punishment For the Liberal Party Labor had achieved a fantastic victory, receiving a swing of at least six per cent in the election
• · · · · · Liberal Ross Cameron last night conceded defeat in his bid to retain his seat of Parramatta, and blamed his revelations of infidelity for destroying his political career and his family life ;
[K. A. Taipale, Technology, Security and Privacy: The Fear of Frankenstein, the Myth of Privacy and the Lessons of King Ludd, 7 Yale J. L. & Tech. (forthcoming Dec. 2004, 88 pages, PDF):
Article Maintains Security and Privacy Are Not Mutually Exclusive ]