What bokononists whisper whenever they think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.

By Elton Beard

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who divide people into two kinds and those who don't. I don't.

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11/02/01 11:03pm link

On the heels of yesterday's entry regarding Mr. Bush's side-stepping of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, this issue has been picked up by none other than Larry Klayman's Judicial Watch, Inc., with this statement:

Judicial Watch, the public interest law firm that investigates and prosecutes government abuse and corruption, expressed grave disappointment in President Bush’ decision to issue an executive order allowing the White House or former presidents to veto the release of presidential papers.
Being who they are, they couldn't resist a dig at President Clinton while applying gentle pressure to the current occupant of the White House:
The Clinton Administration improperly used executive orders to thwart the people’s rights. We expected more from President Bush. He should now retract this executive order to avoid a legal fight, added Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.

A legal fight between Mr. Klayman and Mr. Bush would certainly be amusing.

11/01/01 08:00pm link

Under the Presidential Records Act of 1978, the public owns the official records of Presidents and Vice Presidents. These documents can be accessed through the Freedom Of Information Act beginning five years after the end of an Administration (the law allows a President to postpone this for another seven years under certain specific circumstances, but at the end of twelve years the documents must be made available to the public).

Last summer the Bush administration decided to hold up the release of 68,000 pages of presidential records from the Reagan/Bush White House. This appeared to be a clear violation of the Presidential Records Act.

In a Fox News article dated June 07, 2001, Anne Womack, assistant White House press secretary, is quoted as saying that the delay in releasing the documents was temporary: "We've asked for a short extension in order for the documents to undergo a legal review at the Justice Department,".

The other shoe has now dropped. Today's Washington Post reveals that the administration has drafted an executive order that would allow former and incumbent presidents to " keep their records locked up for as long as they want," according to Bruce Craig, executive director of the National Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History. Says Craig, "it reverses the very premise of the Presidential Records Act, which provides for a systematic release of presidential records after 12 years."

Why would the current administration want to suppress the release of non-classified documents from a previous administration?

The Fox News story may provide a clue:

'Historians ... say they think President Bush is worried about what some of his top aides might have written when they worked for Reagan in the 1980s. "I think what Bush is doing is protecting the people who were in the Reagan administration and his father's administration who are still around," said American University historian Anna Nelson.'
A historian would probably remember that the Reagan/Bush documents immediately at issue cover a period when two of our favorite dictators were Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein. The Reagan administration also secretly sold weapons to Iran in order to finance terrorists - pardon me, freedom fighters - in Nicaragua, ignoring certain legal niceties like the Boland Amendment. During the resulting Iran/Contra investigation, then Vice President and former CIA Director George Bush (Sr.) famously declared himself "out of the loop", and Ronald Reagan's memory of the affair conveniently lapsed during subsequent Grand Jury testimony on the matter.

It's not difficult to see why the son of George Herbert Walker Bush might prefer to hide information about that disgraceful period. Its harder to understand why Congress, the press and the rest of us let him away with it.

10/30/01 09:20am link

Even as the Administration appears incapable of effectively investigating or responding to the Anthrax attacks, it seemingly has no shortage of law enforcement resources when it comes to protecting society from the evil of medical marijuana. Last week, federal agents in California raided and shut down the cannabis club in West Hollywood, where over 900 people with ailments like cancer and AIDS had been buying the drug. The club had operated with the approval of city officials and in compliance with California law.

Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden is quoted in the NY Times today saying that "the recent enforcement is indicative that we have not lost our priorities in other areas since Sept. 11".

Why is raiding medical marijuana providers still a priority for federal agents? Shouldn't they be doing something productive, like inspecting checked baggage at airports?

Just asking.

10/15/01 08:00am link

Tabulation and publication of the results of the NORC Florida Ballot Project, a count of 180,000 "invalid" Florida votes from the 2000 presidential election has been postponed indefinitely.

"Right now, we don't have the time, the personnel or the space in the newspaper to focus on this," Catherine Mathis, vice-president of corporate communications at the New York Times Co., said in an interview. "There's a much bigger story right now."
But right now, today, the NY Times contains six full pages of sports reporting, replete with lots of statistics. This tends to make the claim of lack of space or personnel sound rather dubious. Given the media focus on point scoring to the virtual exclusion of real issues during the 2000 election, it would seem that the sports statisticians are the perfect crew to handle the analysis of the NORC tabulation.

10/11/01 10:00am link

I'm so glad that our government has convinced the networks to spare me from viewing any video clips issued by the bad guys. Why, that recent broadcast of Osama bin Laden's nasty speech was so incendiary that I barely restrained myself from hurling both my slippers at the television set! I feel so much safer now that my government is actively protecting me from the locution of evil-doers.

I think its time to start a me-zine of my own.


July      8th - July     14th, 2002
July      1st - July      7th, 2002
June     24th - June     30th, 2002
June      3rd - June      9th, 2002
May      20th - May      26th, 2002
May      13th - May      19th, 2002
May       6th - May      12th, 2002
April    22nd - April    28th, 2002
April     1st - April     7th, 2002
March    25th - March    31st, 2002
March    18th - March    24th, 2002
March    11th - March    17th, 2002
March     4th - March    10th, 2002
February 25th - March     3rd, 2002
February 18th - February 24th, 2002
February  4th - February 10th, 2002
January  28th - February  3rd, 2002
January  21th - January  27th, 2002
January   6th - January  13th, 2002
December 10th - December 16th, 2001
December  3rd - December  9th, 2001
November 26th - December  2nd, 2001
November 19th - November 25th, 2001
November 11th - November 18th, 2001
November  4th - November 10th, 2001
October  11th - November  3rd, 2001

Busy, busy, busy.

What bokononists whisper whenever they think of how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.


The floggings will cease when morale improves.
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