N.B.: Like our country, as of November 15, 2000, we are under construction and making improvements for a few days. Please bear with us as we switch to a new server and adjust links accordingly. You may also access the site in America (where we've all gone) without broken links, until this location is completely transferred. And remember: Your vote counts! Want to have some fun? Read Federalist Paper No. 68, "The Mode of Electing the President", by Alexander Hamilton (who was never president) at Thomas and call your Congressman (and also maybe Tom Brokaw). Mr. Hamilton, incidentally, died by code duello, (cf. Britannica: "duel" and PBS: "The Duel", especially "Rule 9"), in Weehawken, N.J., (where, some say, "everything's legal as long as you don't get caught..."), July 11, 1804, at the hand of Mr. Burr; too bad Mr. Hamilton didn't live in Tennessee, which became the first state to ban the practice, on November 10, 1801. ...So why don't we just rush right along here so that we can get back to "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and car sellin'-- or, as some call it, chasing Chevys through "The Lady of the Lake"...? Seen any half-seen deer in the hills of Cheviot? Read Poe's "Gold Bug" lately? Looked at Bosch's "Hell"? Sometimes, the truth hurts. Want some more fun? Run "electoral" in this site's earch engine.

And, in all seriousness, perhaps we ought realize soberly, thoroughly, and deliberatively that, based on Mr. Hamilton's own words, the electoral college was never meant to thwart the informed will of the American people; it was by design to prevent an uninformed public of that time from electing a despot. As Mr. Hamilton, who had argued for a president who would serve for life, put it in his defense of including the electoral college as part of the Constitution which he had helped draft: "Talents for low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honors in a single State; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole Union, or of so considerable a portion of it as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States." At the time, as Mr. Hamilton makes clear in the defense which led to ratification of that Constitution, electors were intended not as a political slate voting party lines but as true selectmen of their respective states to whom would be entrusted by a populace who knew them the duty of exercising informed, unbiased judgment in selecting a president. It was not meant to be a football game with a clock and touchdowns and crowds cheering and jeering on either side. And it was put forward in a time when the bulk of the country was illiterate and, in any event, separated from the organs of information dissemination of immediate developments by days if not weeks. And as Mr. Hamilton died in the archaic practice of the art of duelling, so perhaps should there be long and due consideration provided to whether we defeat democracy and its ideal altogether by electing a president through an archaic institution by two electors' votes cast on the popular will of a handful of votes in one state which would by its result thwart the predominant will of the people of the entire United States in a time when the public of this country is the best informed and best educated and has at its disposal the most immediate and direct lines of access to information and debate ever known to humankind.

As of December 5, 2000, we are experiencing an elementary problem. Please bear with us. We are having trouble counting. Perhaps someone who has advanced mathematical skills could lend us a hand. The problem is this: When we add 215 items + 51 items (if we assume, that is, that we obey the law in issue) + 157 items (assuming, that is, that we should not recount these items, too), we have reached the sum of 423 items. We subtract that figure from 537 other items and get a difference of 114 items. We then have to factor into our problem the known premise that there are 9,000 other items left to be counted because the machine cannot read these 9,000 items. (Now some will say that if we know there are 9,000, then obviously those 9,000 must have been "counted". Those students were obviously not in class and missed the lesson because we know that "counting" here means also differentiating.) Now, one probable reason the machine cannot read some or all of these 9,000 items is that little squares of paper fold back into punch holes while passing through the machine and obstruct the light from passing through the items such that they cannot be differentiated by the machine (at least that's what the inventer of the "device" by which the holes are punched told the U.S. Patent Office in 1981 before this present problem arose). Thus the law wisely provides that a human being must examine the items in order to see the light. Yet we have still a problem: It would appear that some disagree with this assessment and believe indubitably that the 9,000 items need not be counted because they have no probable stock in store to overcome the aforementioned difference of 114 such as to place the outcome of the contest in doubt. We think this latter result improbable. We suggest counting again--by ones-- as we did in the first grade. After all, we did learn that each of us has a unique contribution --far above any contribution ever made by a machine, or even a thousand machines, or a million machines. And so, as we each do count, let us count. In so doing, we will be a happier nation in the long run and our immediate problem will be solved readily. Or so it would seem.

(It might also be noted as a sidebar, so to speak, that the following seems true and not at all a departure from the concepts elucidated in Marbury v. Madison: There is a fallacy to the notion that legislatures have unfettered "plenary" power to determine the manner of appointment of electors (as suggested by current readings of the Blacker Court of 1892 (five members of which also participated in the majority infamous decision of Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 (and though there was a dissent in Plessy by Justice Harlan, the author of the majority opinion, Justice Brown, was an appointee of the last president, Benjamin Harrison, to accede to the office by less than a plurality popular vote))). That fallacy is this: According to 3 USC 5, State legislatures pass laws, which to have "safe harbour", must be in place prior to the appointment of the appointed electors, and any "controversy or contest" "by judicial or other methods or procedures [emphasis added]" with regard to that appointment must be concluded six days before the electors make their selection; but if true plenary power exists to the extent that the legislature itself may not abridge its own plenary power and grant authority expressly or implicitly to other branches, then the executive may not certify an election under Article II, Section 1, clause 2. And, Congress may not allow for the chief executive officer of the state to send the certified election results, certified by the executive branch of the state, to the National Archives (see Marbury) and maintain "safe harbour"; nor may a state surrender this right to Congress, for doing so abridges the so-called plenary power of the state legislatures and therefore all slates of electors so certified and forwarded would of necessity be invalid. Not only that, but there is a great degree of further argument that "plenary" power to the legislatures of the states is such that even the Congress could not grant to itself, without being in violation of the Constitution, any authority to intervene and resolve a conflict in the slates so submitted, notwithstanding Article II, Section 3, allowing Congress to determine the time of choosing the electors, i.e., election day, and the time of meeting of the electors to cast their votes. (See Marbury.)

Perhaps "common sense" is the best guide to extrication from such non-sensical logical conundrums which shall inevitably result from the fallacious reasoning, not tested since, interpreting a clause of the Constitution as granting "plenary power", in a case decided when only white males over the age of 21 enjoyed the unfettered franchise in a very different time and place and manner, the 19th century, to which no one of sound mind would wish to retreat. That, at least, would appear to be the case on December 8, 2000. The Blacker Court was in fact so out of touch with our concept of universal suffrage and general principles of equality, and reality generally, that it cited with approval the case of U.S. v. Cruikshank, an 1875 case holding that some Ku Klux Klansmen, operating as part of a mob of hundreds who rioted and murdered in Louisiana, were not properly indicted on numerous offenses alleging the deprivations of the rights of two African-Americans, one Levi Nelson and Alexander Tillman, because the right implicated, the right to vote, was granted if at all by the grand largesse of the individual states and not by the United States under the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, the express language of those amendments notwithstanding. Such an interpretation of voting rights might just tend to shock our conscience, morals, and common sense today such that we might wish to construe things a bit differently in light of the passage of 108 years since Blacker. (See, e.g. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 and cases upholding its constitutionality.) Indeed, that "compelling justification" might just be at hand to overcome any stare decisis effect of Blacker and its predecessor cases which would contravene and do violence to holdings in subsequent cases which make clear the superceding notion of one-man, one-vote as being sacrosanct and as plainly existing as a federal constitutional right. (See, e.g., Baker v. Carr, Reynolds v. Sims.) Else, those who would wish to deny it shall stand before us in person outside their sanctums and tell us why it is that we have no federal constitutional right--not one of us--to vote. Tell us. Tell us much about that, with lots and lots and lots of wonderfully florid citations of law. Yes, tell us as the Romans of old told us. Tell us. Let us state it in plain, unadorned language, not cloaked behind robes of mystery and circumlocution and plain intellectual dishonesty as did those disreputable courts which held forth in cases like Blacker, Cruikshank, and Plessy in disgraceful days of olde. Tell us plainly that those who wish this wish to return to those good olde days. Tell us. Tell us much.

There is no right to attend integrated schools stated plainly in the text of the Constitution, but it is there. There is no right of privacy stated plainly in the text of the Constitution, but it too is there. And there is no federal constitutional right to vote stated plainly in the text of the Constitution, but it is plainly implied in the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments, each of which was won in blood and each of which speaks of the "right of citizens of the United States to vote". (Cf. the Tenth Amendment, and its references to the "United States" as a sovereignty distinct from the "States".) Yet, Blacker, engaging in intellectual deceit, stated in 1892 for all to see today, that such was not the case, that "citizens of the United States" meant not that, as it appears, but rather citizens of each individual state comprising the union, not "United", no, but under that broad and simpering rubric of those good olde days, that burning-cross phrase--"Stets' riiiiits". When was the last time we heard that one?

"Hanging chads" and jokes about them be damned. The right of certain people--those who for want of benefit of the best education, the best eyesight, the best prescription corrective lenses, the best hand-to-eye coordination, the most time on election day to labor over the ballot, as is more easily obtainable in smaller communities and among those with more leisure time, those who for want of benefit of their younger years, those who were tired, those were hungry, those afflicted with the pain of arthritis or other conditions causing difficulty in holding a small stylus in a precise and coordinated manner, those who for want of ready understanding of a language not native to them, or those suffering from any number of other difficulties and maladies causing a ballot to be produced which is simply deficient in one way, that one or more attempted punches of tiny holes, holes which can be seen by some only with a magnifying glass, did not cleanly go through the ballot or cause the tiny flap of paper covering the hole to separate to the extent necesssary for the machine to differentiate it--the right of these, yours and ours, to vote, and have that vote count, is at issue. And it is a right under the laws of the United States, not the states as Individual States for that is not the clear import of the language unless one happens to fancy himself or herself a citizen of the nineteenth century or earlier, in which event, we might wish to question that person's fitness to serve in whatever capacity they might be presently engaged --for it is nearly 2001, the beginning of a new millenium and the beginning of the twenty-first century.

It seems clear that common sense suggests that courts may, in accord with well-established principles which guide us regularly through uncharted waters and glitches and gaffs which inevitably occur in legislation by virtue of its process, review all acts of the legislature, including laws enacted pursuant to this so-called plenary power, unless specifically some statute, passed by the legislature restricts such power of the courts in a way not contravening the well-established concept of the Supremacy Clause (or, where federal law does not supervene, the state's constitution). And as Justice Jackson posited wisely in Joiner Leasing in 1943, "...[C]ourts will construe the details of an act in conformity with its dominating general purpose, will read text in the light of context and will interpret the text so far as the meaning of the words fairly permits so as to carry out in particular cases the generally expressed legislative policy." The legislature of the state in question, when it passed its statutory scheme for its manner of appointing electors and for judicial contests of elections, including presidential elections, was well aware of the English language, its own statutes and common law, long-standing principles of statutory construction, and provisions of its own state constitution setting up requirements for jurisdiction for review of cases in the normal course by the state supreme court. If that legislature meant to restrict to itself review or meant to make adjudication exclusive to the trial court, it would, with all the other laws and rules in place, have done so expressly; but it chose to defer to the courts, including review in the normal process, as most states now do in an informed time. And this appears to preserve the superceding concept by which we live in this democratic society, government by three carefully balanced co-equal branches of government, two elected and one appointed and confirmed by those elected (or, in the states, sometimes by the people directly)--some of Alexander Hamilton's peculiar notions of semi-royalty and chivalry notwithstanding from his grave dug, as it were, by himself two centuries past. Again, to follow a man who died duelling down the primrose path would say something rather profound about us. Would it not?

(And as one little note, which hardly ought bear mention to anyone thinking through it, (though we are having to think fast through it), if a state which has set up a "manner" of appointing electors in accordance with Article II, Section 1, clause 2 then determines at some point that it does not like the result of that manner and decides to appoint of its own volition a second slate, apart from the manner by which one slate is already duly and legally appointed, even if through subsequent judicial contest properly set up by the legislature as part of the manner of appointment, the legislature thereby necessarily exceeds the power granted by Article II, Section 1, clause 2 which expressly limits that power of the state to appoint only a number of electors equal to its senators and representatives in the United States Congress. In a particular case in point, there would be therefore 50 electors appointed, all with apparent authority of the legislature, but only 25 with the imprimatur of the Supreme Law of the land, the plain English language of the Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 1, clause 2. The result is not contemplated by the document as there is no language therein which speaks to competing slates of electors. (Wonder why?) The resolution however appears clear; the slate appointed in accord with the regular laws effective at the time of the election are recognized and the second slate is ignored (much as 3 USC 5 contemplates) or the state must perforce be deemed to have forfeited its right to name electors by having named too many. But perhaps the English language has lost its appeal as a proper device by which we may understand symbolic thought and symbolic logic. Who knows?))

(One more note (at least one more) and promulgated at the risk of someone saying in response, "What Ho! What Ho!...": In closely examining the entire fabric of the Constitution, one can come to a conclusion that indeed the electoral college no longer properly exists in our law at all. (What Ho?) While never having gained traction because the issue has never come before the courts in a modern time when we have recognized a federal right to vote as "citizens of the United States", sound principles of construction of the Constitution and conflicting provisions of it, when brought to bear, suggest nothing less. The argument is thus: Article I, Section 1, clause 1 says, "The House of Representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several States, and the electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature. [Emphasis added.]" (The latter phrase means simply that the qualifications for people to vote for their Representatives is determined by the qualifications set up by the most numerous house of the state legislature for voting for members of its body.) Article I, Section 3, clause 1 says, "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six years..." [Emphasis added.] That clause was then amended by the Seventeenth Amendment ratified in 1913 to read, "The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years..." [Emphasis added.]

Now, we already know what Article II says in Section 1, clause 2, regarding electors, but let us look at Section 1, clause 1: It says, inter alia, "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." Now, let us flip pages from the first Wednesday in March, 1789 to a time more of us recall, July 1, 1971. The latter is the day that the States ratified in their and our collective wisdom, "The right of the citizens of the United States, who are 18 years of age or older, to vote..." The reason promulgated most popularly at the time and the reason this amendment only took three months and a week to ratify was that at the time the Vietnam War was raging; and it was determined rather succinctly that if one was old enough to die in a rice paddy in Southeast Asia after having been drafted into the military by the Government, then one had a right to self-determine that Government by his or her right to vote. While it was never an issue at the time, that amendment, as well as the aforementioned Fifteenth, Nineteenth, and Twenty-Fourth Amendments, protestations by disreputed and overruled decisions of the ancien regime in other respects notwithstanding, probably conflict with the aforesaid Article II, Section 1, clause 2, that is, the foundation of the electoral college.

Perhaps we did not realize it then, for we had other more pressing matters upon our minds, but perhaps in the three months prior to and including July 1, 1971, we collectively and quietly cast our votes in each of the respective States and blew up once and for all an antiquated convention which caused our country many problems in the nineteenth century, that convention being the electoral college.

Give it some careful and judicious consideration. If "the citizens of the United States" have a federal constitutional right to vote for the "President of the United States of America" and that right was in fact added to the Constitution after its original ratification, then there are conflicting provisions. The amendments granting the right to vote are consistent in their wording with Article I, Section 2, clause 1, regarding Representatives, as quoted above, because that provision, refers only to "the people of the several States, [emphasis added]"--"several" here having its ordinary meaning, plain in the context of the whole document, as "separately"-- or in the case of Senators, now elected under the Seventeenth Amendment, "by the people ['from each State']". Thus, reading these provisions together, "the citizens of the United States" plainly have the right to vote as granted by the Constitution for the offices of President and Vice-President. The "people" of each of the several States have the Constitutional right to vote for Senators and Representatives within their own States and congressional districts. But the qualifications for so voting for Senators and Representatives are determined by the most numerous body of the individual state legislatures, provided that each such state may not abridge those rights on the basis of being under 21, sex, failure to pay any poll tax, race, color, or previous condition of servitude. (Compare the language of the Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments to that of the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 2, respecting "The right of citizens of the United States to vote..." in the former four ratified later, and that of the latter, ratified in the wake of the Civil War, "[T]he right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice-President of the United States...")

Succinctly put, the four later amendments in time, taken together, eliminated the earlier's qualifying language on the right to vote as that language limited the right to vote for electors from each State--as the Fourteenth Amendment, after all, circumscribed that right to "male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States..., [emphasis added]", a right significantly expanded by the later ratified Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-Fourth, and Twenty-Sixth Amendments, but without the qualifying language of the Fourteenth Amendment, viz., the right to vote being limited also to "electors" for President and Vice-President and the further distinction of "inhabitants of such State", meaning each state severally, and this phrase logically in no way being extended to the entire general population of "citizens of the United States" as that phrase would then import to the previous one that unless non-citizen male inhabitants over 21 could vote, the penalties specified accrue, and that would obviously be illogical. Thus, in the Fourteenth Amendment, "citizens of the United States" plainly was meant only to modify the phrase, "inhabitants of such State" and not to extend, as the later amendments do, the right to vote to all "citizens of the United States", as opposed to citizens of the "States" taken severally, importing by the latter and earlier language the electoral college and hence Article II, Section 1, clause 2.

And, with perfect opposing logical symmetry, therefore, the language of the latter amendments eliminates the electoral college as there would otherwise be no meaning to the phrase contained in each such amendment, "the citizens of the United States". Were it contrary, those amendments, and especially the most recent Twenty-Sixth Amendment, ratified after the federal constitutional right to vote was plainly recognized in decisional law and federal statutes, would simply utilize the earlier language of the Constitution regarding "people" or "citizens" of the "States" as contained in Article I, clauses 1 of Sections 2 and 3, and in the Fourteenth Amendment, Section 2.

Lending further force to the argument is an additional phrase added to the Twenty-Fourth Amendment, Section 1, not found in the Fifteenth, Nineteenth or Twenty-Sixth Amendments: That amendment, sent to the states in August, 1962 and ratified January 23, 1964, abolishing poll taxes, which were commonly used in the post-Reconstruction South to keep African-Americans and other poverty-stricken persons from voting, says, "The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress... [emphasis added]" While this amendment's language might at first be read consistent with Article II, Section 1, clause 2 in that it appears to provide for two means of electing the President and Vice-President, both by direct election by "the citizens of the United States" as that could be the only "other" election for President and Vice President it contemplates besides primary elections, and in its added disjunctive phrase, "for electors", by the electoral college process. That appears then to revive the viability of the electoral college within the framework of the Constitution.

But not so fast, for if that is so, why does this same amendment not include the earlier language of citizens of the "States", but instead utilizes the phrase referring to the citizens of the sovereignty of the United States as a whole? This amendment seems therefore to recognize the problem vis a vis the potential constitutional vitality, if tested, of the electoral college inherent in the fabric of the previous voting rights amendments and seeks to address the eventuality that the electoral college might be held unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, when and if a challenge to its constitutional vitality would become ripe for adjudication--such as the present. The fact that the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, ratified seven years later, reverts to the simpler language of the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments indicates the circle as complete, that the intent indeed was to exclude language about the individual "States" and the "electors" and thereby set the ground for an appropriate challenge to the constitutionality of the electoral college should its quaint convention ever prove again problematic by rendering a result different from the popular vote of the "citizens of the United States" as it did last in 1876 and 1888.

Such would obviate the need for an expensive and time-consuming amendment process during any of the last several decades when the electoral college had never proved to be a problem within anyone's recent memory; and therefore an attempt to amend directly might have, without exigent circumstances demanding its unconstitutionality, proved so fraught with yawns that the amendment, even if sent to the states, would have languished and died a natural death short of ratification, subtracting force from any subsequent legal challenge on the presently postulated basis, under circumstances where it threatens to erode the vitality of the presidency itself and flips backwards the original intent of the framers who sought its inclusion in the first place. (See Federalist Paper Number 68 by Hamilton.) One cannot challenge the constitutionality of laws or test the vitality of apparently conflicting provisions of the constitution unless there is a controversy involving the provisions which is ripe for adjudication. Thus, the present circumstance would be the first such opportunity for ripeness and challenge in the courts in 112 years.

And, after all, when all of this fancy meandering through the language of the document is boiled back down to its most simple essence, there is only one election in which all "the citizens of the United States" participate and that is the one we have every four years for President and Vice-President. Thus, what, pray tell, else would the words, "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote", as opposed to the citizens or people of the "States", otherwise import?

Perhaps, therefore, we have some important news to impart. There may not be, in law, an electoral college surviving in our present Constitutional framework, as subsequent amendments to the document always presumptively eliminate contrary language in earlier ratified provisions and, under well-established rules of construction, may not be deemed to have surplus language. (Compare, e.g., Article II, Section 1, clause 2 and the Twelfth Amendment.))

But, instead, perhaps, in our reading of all this law a little too closely, for the comfort of our democracy and the notion that the person wins who has the most popular votes within the constituency represented being the basic idea of the whole thing, we all need to take some deep, deep breaths. And remember this next time anyone rather foolishly remarks to the effect, and sometimes, we think, most seriously, "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers...", tell them first that it violates the law rather egregiously to advocate or encourage violence, especially murder. But, moreover, please inform them that they should read up on old Jack Cade who in 1450, thinking himself the cousin of Richard, Duke of York, sought to stage a coups against the supposed unlawfully enthroned Henry VI, in whose stead Jack sought to place himself as lawful king, or at least plant himself protector of the throne, and to whose friend and unindicted co-conspirator, Dick the Butcher, Shakespeare in Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scenes 2-8, ironically ascribed the aforementioned words. Well, tell them to bear in mind that old Jack Cade and his crazy friends were not content with killing only lawyers, nope; Jack found that the Clerk of Chatham, one bearing the name Emmanuel, was found to have a book in his possession, a book with red letters in it, and could write and read and sign his name on paper, and therefore would also be a menace, like lawyers, in the kingdom of old Jack Cade. Jack therefore ordered Emmanuel hung. And so, you might inform that wisher for the killing of all lawyers that if he or she can read or write, they best beware, as likely they would be next in old Jack Cade's world.)

It seems now that we have before us, all of us as a nation, two and only two choices: All of the votes legally cast and discernible under the laws set up by the various legislatures will be counted in accordance with the laws and rules set up by those various legislatures, including as reviewed by the courts properly overseeing those legislatures by laws passed and approved by those legislatures; or none will be counted--not one. Those who are now charged as final arbiters in making that choice need choose wisely for they have not the luxury of telling all of us that we do not count unless they do so plainly and then be prepared to step from their lofty perches and tell us precisely why that is. For if some do not count, then likewise do none of us.

And with all due respect to distinguished jurists doing their best and wisest under absurd time constraints, no one has "run out of time" unless time itself has run out. There is no clock but that which exists in our collective imagination. Wound too tight, it has stopped momentarily, perhaps two minutes to midnight, perhaps earlier or later. But we do know that we have been granted time to sit and contemplate this thing which we are ignoring regularly, this thing for which so many have fought and died but which now seems little more than a means to sell corn flakes and jokes, passes as something which quickly bores us, and makes us anxious to turn the dial to the sporting event or the newest quiz show or soap opera--this thing which we call democracy.

To say that we "ran out of time" is a statement with portent. It would not be understood by those who crossed the Delaware in the bitter-cold, small hours of Christmas Eve, and who stood the winter at Valley Forge. It would not be understood by those who became spirits of the Marne. It would not be understood by those who stood watch for the Zero over Pearl. It would not be understood by those who marked their end at the 38th parallel. It would not be understood by those whose breath turned crimson defending from a slaughter at a place called Hue. It would not be understood by those who marched and stood for their rights in Little Rock and Selma and other hot places disturbed by pre-possession of illusions of ancient demesne. It would not be understood by any citizen who bravely fought for his or her rights at the risk of losing reputation or life in his or her community of peers at any time in our history. It would not be understood by many. If we stop counting votes, the clock, indeed, has run out.

Thomas Jefferson, in his last years, when he designed the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, placed in a circular enclosure three ovate rooms on each of two floors of lecture and learning, arts and letters and history on top, applied sciences and mathematics below at ground level, all topped by the Dome Room wherein stood the library and formal banquet hall. These three ovate-shaped rooms on each floor contrapose and complement each in origin such that the inevitable central corridor turned concave from their common points forms loam to the shape of an hourglass. Having learned in these rooms and matriculated from them, each student, by the design of the structure would pass through the main door of the Rotunda at the base or south-facing end of that hourglass and would from there descend a grand staircase out from the Rotunda. Many years after Jefferson's death on precisely the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence from the Crown, the same day on which, many hundreds of miles away, John Adams also breathed his last, students of this university formed a secret society and chose to place the emblem of that society in front of and below that grand staircase on yet another staircase so as to give the illusion to the viewer standing afar that the emblem was in the area immediately below the steps into the time of infinite space and wisdom, beyond that hourglass. But that emblem remains, as to its meaning, a mystery.

"The prophet, Isaiah..." Nov. 18--cancelled. Centennial of the Gettysburg Address. Doubleday. Page. Love, Mockingbird, Turtle Creek...Main, right, Houston, hard turn left, Elm, "Stemmons...", Triple Underpass, Trinity River, the gantlet, the crossroads, the place where the first house was built in the town, a town where the Mayor was named Cabell, Lincoln, a blue Lincoln, a date thrice confirmed, the hill, the copse, the picket, the long street, an olde deal, a plaza built in the 1930's, anathema to some, for it was the result of the New Deal, that plaza a death-head of a hard-left steer or maybe much more of a 10-point stag, the fear of a young rabbit who would run scared, Scott as the fore-man, four times paired (8:8), (e.g., "Which spills the foremost foeman's life, that party conquers in the strife, [all caps. in orig.]"; "In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark,/ The deer half-seen are to the covert wending,/ Resume thy wizard elm! the fountain lending...", etc.) Fairman Rogers' Four-in-Hand (a.k.a.?). Windows with targets. "O.K." "O.K." "O.K." "Pretty good crowd there." "Big crowd, yes." "KKB". Hartz Mountain, hurts, Cheviot, Bosch. The Trade Mart appointment. The Bells... One bell. Corbel. 12:30. Gunsmoke. Pigeons roll at flank-speed. The looks away. Smoking guns. A balance tipped. It--the id, raw and conclusive.

"Soldier, Rest!", "The Rover's Adieu", a whistling gypsy, sanguine, walking away, living to fight yet another day. In a vest, unseen, the eye avers to rue. To the whole frame, obscene, by the press Mercury, quite untrue. "Just as the minstrel sounds were stayed,/ A stranger climbed the steepy glade;/ His martial step, his stately mien,/ His hunting suit of Lincoln green...", etc. "A doublet of the Lincoln green" out of place...badly out of place. 'Twas Lord Snowdoun's Knight, and whom be he might?

And for present purposes of double-cross reference, where might "Loch Katrine" be of late? The "rule of law"? Where's the law, Drew? Aren't we in the wood? We see through your brain, once a-gain, and it appears from here not fair, but lame. In fact, mostly full of lying sin, once upon a time and now again. Why, you even had your cloudy cuckoo clock... Bet you always liked watching Bud Collier, eh?

Or maybe some just do not see. Maybe we need to understand what "Sagitarius" means, maybe even take a look at a chart of the stars and rays--the two Hertzsprung-Russell Diagrams (with greater detail observable in the print version of The Columbia Encyclopedia, 5th or 6th Editions, though not listed in the 1963 3rd edition), (Dr. Russell having been born in Oyster Bay, and Mr. Hertzsprung having been born in Frederiksburg (though not the one in Virginia, but it seemed to suffice for the purposes of some), you see), these diagrams having been published first in 1914, a critical date to some for it marked the start of World War I, followed by an Encyclopaedia Britannica article, "Stellar Evolution", in 1929, another critical year to many; and then consider how people react and how easy it is to manipulate, especially in the era of the 1960's, but still of late, when someone of apparent knowledge and importance tells a person that he or she will become an instant "star" if they simply stand at a certain place and take a photograph (or be taken in one) re the passing parade or do some other thing, such as it is when being made an extra in a movie; consider why some cameras shake at critical moments but others remain remarkably steady; consider why some dive, some merely sit looking in opposing directions, some stand, and some, one of whom was apparently cast as Arcturus, one with "Proper Motion" and, like Artemis, i.e., Diana, the guardian of the bear, coolly, even superciliously, look away and walk away--and, yes, see how they run, also.

Ask a question, too, which, while seeming obvious, is perhaps too obvious, which may explain why we have never heard it asked: Why is it that the area of the main sequence is depopulated to a great extent, that is the open field comprising the plaza, not to mention the open hill opposite, places which one would have thought, were one looking in advance, would have supplied the best view of all, not the crowded Houston or the corners at the left turn. But again, the H-R diagram and its description may supply us with the initial blueprint explanation as to why some were permitted within the zone and most obviously were not.

Understand Texas history, understand the Alamo and the vengeance obtained for it by Sam Houston at San Jacinto. Understand that Jacinto is spanish for hyacinth. Understand that Hyacinthus has a myth in Greek mythology. Understand the game of quoits. Understand who Apollo was in this game. Understand who Diana, the goddess of the hunt, was. See again or for the first time a movie released in 1959 set at Mt. Rushmore, and freeze-frame that movie just before the crop-duster flies and read what it says on the truck as it whizzes past the unconscious mind at the cross-roads, frozen for a moment in time--and look. And, finally, look at the picture which has within it more than meets the eye, the picture of the aftermath. Look at this picture in the mirror if you must. Read and look and listen and think and maybe just understand and see--and before it is too late not to understand and see in compressed time frames rushing on, idiotically, to God knows what. And then ask the one simple question: What is the rush? Where is it that we are going? Why are we accelerating, ever accelerating? Throttled up. Maybe then, insight.

But the mystery, alas, the mystery, the mystery still remains--not the mystery of hate, of murder in the streets, of blood and brains shed before the eyes of children, on film; for those, and he, who conceived this "mystery" had in mind the leader as "Ruder" and apparently saw in a mirror the one at one with a myth, an ancient clan myth, cloaked in mystery and disguise and secrets--involved in unreality. But that mirror did not reflect, for there was no light in them. They died--not the spirit they sought to murder. They blinded only themselves, not those who saw--not the children who saw and recorded and live to tell the tale. For those who see, there is no night there. There is only the mystery and the art of heart and mind and heaven and earth, the finite and the infinite--Alpha and Omega.

Let us not awaken soon to the portents come all too true of those old songs about hard rains and stained, arch-framed coo coo u. Nor will us be imprisoned by the Sheriff-Depute of the jail, though we come so, so late to see the holes where babies once did wail. For the pigeons on the roof should never fly again. And the goods anent the purses must be returned-- lest perhaps we ride a river far too nigh the end.


Guess not. For on December 12, 2000 as we approach midnight, eastern time, we have reached one of the deepest pits in our history as a nation. Our founders, all of them, would no doubt be blushing. For it is now a violation of equal protection of the laws to count all votes. We have just retreated 100 years. "Blind justice" does not mean blind justices...

But we now see, viz.: "The individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors of the President of the United States unless and until the state legislature chooses a statewide election as the means to implement its power to appoint members of the Electoral College. U.S. Const., Art II, Sec. 1. This is the source for the statement in McPherson v. Blacker, 146 US 1, 35 (1892), that the State legislature's power to select the manner for appointing electors is plenary; it may, if it so chooses, select the electors itself... The State, of course, after granting the franchise in the special context of Article II, can take back the power to appoint electors. See [Blacker] at 35. ('[T]here is no doubt of the right of the legislature to resume the power at any time, for it can neither be taken away nor abdicated') (quoting S. Rep. No. 395, 43d Cong., 1st Sess.)" [Emphasis on "abdicated" added here] Bush v. Gore____ US _____, (2000), slip op., pp. 5-6.

The 43d Congress, incidentally, which this opinion quotes, sat in the years 1875-76, the years immediately preceding the stolen election in which Republican Rutherford B. Hayes became President by one electoral vote after Democrat Samuel J. Tilden won the popular vote, that one electoral vote having come from the State of Florida, (though Rutherford's brother was not the Governor), together with South Carolina and Louisiana, based on a deal to end Reconstruction in the South. Reconstruction in the South did end in 1877. And it was that election, as we will soon see demonstrated, which broke the fabric for decades hence.

But in 1876, the election was decided by a 15-member commission, five of whom were Supreme Court justices; the United States Supreme Court, as a judicial body, even then, had the good judgment to stay out of a partisan election.

So let's talk law a moment again: The Constitution does not grant authority for Congress to set "safe harbor" or to presume the validity of or to settle disputes between slates of electors. If it does, ask your Congressman to point out the language. Better, just read Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution and realize that is the limit of Congress' power regarding electors unless a majority of the electors do not vote for one candidate for president when they meet. And, according to the above, in a very recent decision of the United States Supreme Court and fully five justices of it, this "plenary power" which our Royal states' rights legislatures seem still to have over all of us, may not be abrogated or abdicated, not even therefore to Congress.

Again, the electoral college, based on our reading, is unconstitutional as of July 1, 1971, if not earlier. (See discussion above.) That premise has never once been tested before the United States Supreme Court. If it has, ask your Congressman to show you the decision. We say it is time to bring that unadjudicated proposition before the Supreme Court of the United States while it is ripe--now.

Otherwise, it would appear that in fact we have no duly constituted Government at all starting at noon January 20, 2001, for if there is a violation of equal protection under the law by counting votes of the remainder of us uncounted in one state, leaving the election determined to the national popular vote loser by two electoral votes, based on 154 highly disputed popular votes in that one state, then so it must be, in accordance with equal protection, a violation for all of us--and thus none of our votes count in the year 2000. Certainly, 51,000,000 (and counting) do not.

To quote one of the most honorable justices ever to serve on the high Court, Justice John Paul Stevens, from one of two dissents to Bush v. Gore: "Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law." Slip Op., p. 32.

Tomorrow, we shall tell you the story of Justice Abe Fortas--something you will not ever hear much about on television--and how he was run from the Supreme Court by States' Rights advocates and disgraceful Southern Senators in 1968 at a crucial moment in our history and why his derailed nomination for elevation to Chief Justice to succeed Earl Warren is especially interesting today. That is especially interesting because, you see, the nomination was so Delayed that, well, Richard . Nixon was able successfully to take office prior to the appointment being fulfilled, meant by Warren, an appointee of President Eisenhower in 1953, to have been fulfilled by President Johnson because Warren, a Republican from California, thought Nixon, also from California, crooked. And therefore, Republican Nixon was able instead of Democrat Johnson to appoint the new Chief Justice, a man named, interestingly, Warren Earl Burger--not to be confused with Earl Warren, who was instrumental in forming the unanimous Court in Brown v. Board of Education, which, you see, reversed Plessy v. Ferguson. What a coincidence that Justice Warren and Justice Burger have such similar and interesting names. (Have you ever, in your spare time, reverse-syllabicated the name "Erlichman"?) And, then to fulfill the spot vacated by Justice Fortas when he left the Court in disgust over the manner of his hearings for confirmation, Nixon sought first one conservative Southerner, turned down by Congress, and then another, also turned away--let's see, Carswell and...later. (And, incidentally, if we exclude Belair, Malibu, and El Camino, for the message is inevitably no CA. car, it would seem that we are left with only one car from another state, not Corvette, not Corvair, not Nova, not II, not Impala, SS?--yes, one, possibly quite insane, in Key...) Finally, Nixon and Congress settled together on Justice Harry Blackmun, confirmed in 1970. Justice Blackmun wrote Roe v Wade, among many other decisions, and served the Court most honorably, retiring in 1994. Chief Justice Warren Earl Burger retired in 1986. That brings us to the present, pretty much.

And for those rather high in position adverting of late right on television, for all to see, for some odd reason, to the supposed "stealing" of an election in 1960, apparently, it would seem, to justify something happening here now of which they have or should have intimate knowledge, after all, well we advert this: Read pages 70-71 of Theodore White's 1975 book, Breach of Faith. That indicates rather plainly and succinctly that while mischief may well have occurred in the close election of 1960, there was an over-arching reason why Mr. Nixon did not take the advice of Mr. Rogers and others to contest the election. The over-arching reason was that it would have uncovered fraud on the Republican side of the ledger. It certainly, as we saw plainly later, was not some patriotic romance worthy of some Walter Scott novel. Hardly. In fact, it led to sickness as we drifted into a river, an oily golden river, of darkness at the behest of sickness of mind and heart.

Democratic President Jimmy Carter, incidentally, was the first President ever to serve four years without the opportunity to appoint a justice and the first president since Andrew Johnson to serve at all without an appointment. And Democratic President Bill Clinton was the first President since James Monroe, who appointed only one justice, to serve as long as eight years with as few as two appointments. By contrast, for instance, the aforementioned Benjamin Harrison was able to appoint three justices in one unremarkable term. Rutherford B. Hayes was able to appoint two justices in one term full of party in-fighting, leading to the election of President Garfield who was then assassinated by a disappointed office seeker from within a faction of his own Republican Party. And that was followed by the rather strange and interesting elections of President Cleveland, Harrison, and President Cleveland again, Cleveland being the only Democrat to succeed to the White House between President Andrew Johnson, impeached by purely political forces, and President Woodrow Wilson who began his terms in 1913. In between, President McKinley was assassinated by an anarchist in 1901. President Theodore Roosevelt appointed three justices and President Taft, in one term, appointed five and later acceded to the Chief Justice post himself under Warren Harding who became president after President Wilson. Then Drs. Coolidge and Hoover, Herbert, then... Well, the rest one can glean pretty much herein from the Charlotte News. So read on.

But, for posterity's sake, and posterity, for all its problems, does have a sake--Did anyone else make note of the fact that a certain individual who gave a speech before a certain state legislature on December 13, 2000, provided at the end of that speech an interesting gesture with his hand, involving, as it were, the raising of three fingers? This was not, we think, a Boy Scout salute. It appeared to form the letter "w", meaning "walker", we presume, when viewed vertically. But, we wonder, especially as it was reflected back from a member of that legislature, with three fingers held aloft in each of both hands, just what it does mean. Is this "reaching across party lines"--old party lines? Probably not, or at least probably not so intended. But it is worth noting that we have seen that little hand before, yet turned horizontally. We have seen that hand on the second row back in a rather famous photograph from 1964. A big, big boy chewing Red Man in a courtroom, simpering as a kookaburra within the fore, a hand behind individuals named Rainey and Price, those who were at the Kore. Perhaps, now we understand why it is that this individual who addressed this legislature December 13, 2000 seems to have far too many friends in one particular region of the country, friends who seem to possess for him nearly apoplectic, Apocalyptic?, ardor, possessed, as it were, consciously or, more probably, unconsciously, based on a long, long macadamized road of dodging and looking away. Yes, perhaps we now understand. OK. OK. OK. But it's not really--not before, and neither this time. Texzuz...arrrigins.

There is goodwill and there is bad will. And sometimes, there is simply what some call "will", but that which boils down, we think, to that concept is normally kept in proper check by a healthy ego, overborne intrinsically by a proper respect for superego--what most of us call a divinity or higher moral precept beyond our "self"--usually represented symbolically by a form of art. But some learn, at, we fear, a too young age, to conquer this superego and then, in turn, do damage to the ego to the extent that the id may at a critical moment of seeming divine proclamation--which in essence instead is no more than an unconscious mind, (i.e. forgotten or unnoticed but stored conscious experience and thought), turned upon itself and working out its own inevitable survival complex against what has become a hostile world--do an untoward act. This complex sometimes occurs in individuals; sometimes in groups of similar individuals who have sought a type of diversion or "therapy", en masse, which of itself, is unhealthy to the mind as a whole--which by its angelic nature, 'twould seem, functions as the ego, the concept of superego, and the id, acting in harmony and in balance.

Sometimes, as maybe in Rockville, it may occur by experiment, deliberately performed to determine an outcome by other than chance or divine proclamation, experiments by their design, adopted from another time and country, to try to better understand the origins of imbalance and disharmony--but in the concatenation of human conglomerates, subject to going terribly awry at the hands of the unbalanced or stressed and thereby producing, as "experiments", the very result they are by design established to prevent--throwing the baby out with the bathwater, as 'twere--and when the bathwater itself was most tainted for its lack of a properly constituted and counter-balanced deliberative body floating within it in accord with basic natural principles of the universe. That latter phenomenon occurred in a country in the 1920's and 30's, more or less, we think. It is most of the time ascribed to the reaction of the need to ascribe to others the blame for one's pain and decline in times of alienation and depression, and then to find a handy repository for this sadness and guilt born of sadness, as with Aaron's lots--but, you see, Aaron's lots dealt with goats, not people. That, it seems to us, was the whole point. But some did not understand that because they failed to learn to read and reflect on what they read--and to count. Instead they looked at particles, dangling particles. But, in present times as before, we think there might be more to it than that, the casting of lots in a country in the 1930's, that is. For, such alienation and depression and sadness occurred here too in the same time but without the same effect, at least not to the same extent. Perhaps, because this country had already learned most uncivilly reasonably recently, and lasting for far more years than merely four, such that some living exponents of it still recalled for the most part that it was foolhardy and, in the end, it was no remedy, but rather it was sickness and darkness. We think therefore that it has other aspects which can best be summarized in the concept of light and absence thereof and thus the failure to reflect in the moment--a failure to remove in the moment from it back to the superego, or at least to the ego, awaiting the inevitable equalizing naturally by the superego, but rather becoming exultant in joy and joy only, ignorant of others not joyful or exultant at the same result.

In the present time, perhaps, such a phenomenon may be witnessed in its effect; it is best discerned by understanding that film, edited and constructed "reality", and artificially compressed humanly devised events viewed on commercial television and elsewhere, are always inevitably staged by a puppeteer in the unseen hand--a few persons boxed in a studio saying what the string-pullers who pay the salaries have not edited away from the speaker's script or set of mind. It-- even the string pullers and their marionettes will tell you, when honest and not so much with it, for inevitably even they cannot be with it for long periods and so become frustrated and complain aloud to the audience to let them out of it, (and being human, we only necessarily feel sorry for them and wish to comply)--is not a substitute for thought and reflection and discernment--perhaps a stimulus, but not a substitute or a means by which to adopt a position from it without recognition of the ego and superego of each of us healthy in mind and spirit as individuals and parts of communities around us. For the puppets, when acting as puppets under those acting as puppeteers, in their respective roles, perhaps to earn too much of a living, but a living nevertheless, have only a limited amount of time in which to think and say what they think, scripted or not-- in between segments interspersed by others adverting to totally disparate content--and to do so without hesitation, for hesitation is to blink and to blink is to be edited or have the camera pointed to another object, you see--for the sake of a smooth ride. By its nature, it manipulates reality to the point reality is not. For in reality, we blink and hesitate--and we do so to think and replenish and deliberate. And we often hit bumps along the way. And thus we must sometimes ask the meaning of "is"--if, that is, we are not insane. For to laugh at that is also to fail to understand, "To be or not to be", as the question. And to deny that question as the essence of being is the definition of insanity, is it not?

It can be understood in our time perhaps too by examining closely the popularity of a "sport" which everyone of discernment knows is fake in that there is no sport to it but provides apparently to its zealots a sense of immediate gratification; for that for which they scream, like ice cream, is given without hesitation, so that they will come back for more and more and more, like certain forms of television, actually. And if we examine the increased popularity today of another type of contest--popular in the early 1960's among only a subset of Southerners for the most part, but which first obtained gravity at the turn of the century in another country, this "sport", though, too, really not that, being born in this country, and probably that country, too, of those running moonshine through the hills of Thunder Road, involving the hypnotic effect of machines roaring and riding around and around and around and around a track inevitably fraught with death... until something happens to break the monotony--maybe we can discern something happening here, also. It, which breaks the monotony, being thereby learned in a most guilt-ridden manner, then becomes the product, seemingly to the participant in it, of the collective id brought to bear on a recipient, a casting of Aaron's lots, you see, we think, in a Fireball, perhaps, not mere accident, or so it would seem. And there, in this rushing contest, the accident often has dire consequence, unlike a mere tackle, blocking of the basket, kick of the ball, or homerun. And it is the seeming and the guilt from it producing the artificially induced hand-wrenching and tears which then compounds the problem and so it occurs again and again and again... For what it's worth...

Wheels which turn 'round and 'round tend to be hypnotic, by consequence of which, it may be unleashed in all its power, unfortunately, because the spinning of it is the gravity, you see, centrifugally. Moon-shaped wheels, like an old mobile--not standard equipment in the showroom. Targets for the unconscious mind. Targets for sights bent deliberately and precisely to the gleaming, dodging reality, with a straight shot raised and made on hands opposing, one above a vested chest, in a double-crossed line, on time. An emblem, a cross, a square around a cross upon the center of the hood of a moving target named for the enemy in the color of the enemy. An emblem audaciously similar to another emblem, a circle 'round a cross, a red one, a kuklos circle, visible to those who look on the corners of each of the pages of a book, a book of the poetical works, in rounds, of one Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire, Sir Walter Scott, Baronet, in poesy, made so by Geo. IV, that book published in 1857 by Geo. Routledge & Sons, London, having been written in its parts between 1796 and 1817, and carried to battle by some who did not see. Steel. Oil, bloody oil.

And putting it back in the bottle is the essence of balance restored. For the particle universes, that which we do not differentiate, but which nevertheless we can see, must remain a mystery. Else, we ride the tiger. Yet, that which we can differentiate, even if at first we do not look, we must see, for if we do not...well. Perhaps then we become Man de 2001. A blank, staring monolithic Wall. No mid-summer dreams, no love. No chinks through which to see. Just walls. For, "he made the trains run on time", is actually a joke, a dark, diminishing, ironic joke--relatively speaking, that is. (One question, Zap-at-a-..., who took up arms with the Agrarian cry, "land and liberty", extremism in defense of which, we recall, is no vice, at least said some anyway: Was that Halle supposed to be Montezuma or Trip-OH-Lee? Astex, Ol' Ho SC, Ryot Is Oped? (Maybe the latter was not intended, but it sure is interesting, for the subconscious unwittingly grasps things and leaves the tell-tale heart behind, sometimes, you see.) And if one is familiar with the game of football, as was the Boss, do we not realize the formation of an onsides kick when we see it?--holder up front of the line, as the line rushes forward with the kicker, the Four Horsemen drop back, dispatched perfectly, just in time to avoid the rush, the Football Kicked, and kicked deliberately a short distance to the other side, with the hope and desire and expectation fully of recovering it in good field position shortly thereafter. It is sort of like the conclusion of a postponed game played on Thanksgiving Day, 1963, the winner to meet the Air Force in the Gator, in which one was able to say in the aftermath as but a child, Sing, Tar Heels, 16, Weep, Devils, 14, after some young sad players, all children in a game on the stage, exerted themselves to relieve a burden on their subconscious minds, a burden of questions regarding pictures and formations which rang bells just on the tip of the tongue in an abnormally constructed line. But maybe yet those who planned the Game and gave lending to its Fountain will reap their reward, and with justice, cold and mighty. A hid ell? Try driving up Constitution Avenue toward the Ellipse sometime on a map, starting around 6th, which gives us the right to trial by a jury of our peers, after all, and take a sharp right turn, oh, at around 10th, the one which reserves to the States that which is not prohibited to them or delegated to the United States, and see what you can see, especially after a short, quick tour of recent history. We assure the trip will be most worthwhile in the long run, though not necessarily a splendid time guaranteed for all in the short...)

Relativity?--viz., each person acting in harmony with the other. Not really that complicated in practice--in each home, each home in each neighborhood, each neighborhood in each town and village...and so the great globe itself, comprising thereby a unified field.

Has anyone ever stopped to wonder what President Kennedy meant when in summer, 1961, when discussing the refusal to accede to the Soviet Union's demands to withdraw United States troops from the protection of West Berlin, he stated, without explanation, "Three times in my lifetime, our country and Europe have been involved in major wars"? Was this statement simply a trip of the tongue, was it, as some actually tried to suggest, a prediction of the coming of World War III, or was it, instead, intended to make us stop a moment from the humdrum listening to another humdrum speech by a political leader and actually think?

Is not the battle at the fields of Megiddo one which has already literally been fought many, many times? So many, in fact, that unless one were insane or blind to history or both, one would readily realize that the fallacy in hoping to fight and become victorious in such a literal battle is coldly self-evident. It is so in the law and the testimony--in the pictures, the records, and the testimony of the dead and those who survived the attempt, and in the law which achieves its truth, irrespective of the messenger at any given time, by a whole reading in context within the fabric, the parchment, the scroll.

Oh tomorrow... December 18, 2000. Well, quite frankly, tomorrow is just another Day...

And for those who did not catch the news--Final Score in Bush v. Gore: 50,456,167, or 47.88% to 50,996,064, or 48.39%, not unlike '68 in reverse--the year, and, perhaps, the Federalist Paper also. But the game, if that sadly it has come to be, was called early this time, a little too soon, on a technicality--that being that some of the judges apparently could not see. Popocatepetl, arising from its sleepy slumber on December 18, 2000 to emit its largest plume in 1200 years, seems to agree. That's for you to see in your own mystery. But we think the answer may be in Jonah's poetry.

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