Sunday, January 23, 2011

Victims of Totalitarianism Have A Special Concern for Bureaucratic Lists

The following video is a portion of an oral argument before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, concerning litigation involving the Transportation Security Administration's No-Fly List.  One wonders what role, if any, Judge Kozinski's personal background as a child of Holocaust survivors affected his jurisprudence in this case.  I wonder if the Justice Department considered Judge Kozinski's possible personal bias in its preparation for this case?

The following is excerpted from my book, Significant Moments.  The book When Rabbit Howls is about child abuse.

Freud . . .
E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime.
. . . died never knowing how his sisters would end:
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . the eldest one . . .
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment.
. . . a frail woman . . .
E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime.
. . . must have been arrested in the street . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
She just disappeared one day . . .
Truddi Chase, When Rabbit Howls.
. . . without a trace and probably died . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
. . . of starvation at the Theresienstadt camp, . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . forgotten as a nameless number on a list that afterwards got mislaid . . .
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.
. . . while the other three were murdered, probably at . . .
Peter Gay, Freud: A Life for Our Time.
. . . one of the innumerable mixed or women's concentration camps in the north.
Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago.

Incidentally, the Talmud quote that Judge Kozinski referenced, "If not now, when?" was used by Jerry Seinfeld in the episode of his TV series titled: "The Scofflaw."

GEORGE: Well, I wanna talk to him about this.

JERRY: That's right, you let him have it.

GEORGE: Mmm-mm.

JERRY: Who is he not to tell you about his life-threatening illness?

GEORGE: That's what I'm saying.

JERRY: His illness is your business.

GEORGE: If not mine, whose?

JERRY: If not now, when?

The door opens and Elaine enters. She senses a conversation has just ceased.

ELAINE: Were you just talking about me?

GEORGE: No, an old friend of ours, Gary.


Gary Freedman said...

I live in a world of quotes. I'm a walking Bartlett's Quotations.

Gary Freedman said...

"I wonder if the Justice Department considered Judge Kozinski's possible personal bias in its preparation for this case?"

My guess is -- probably not. As I say the DOJ doesn't like getting involved in details. Further, it's a sign of severe mental illness to attach a negative meaning to trivial events. See Freedman v. D.C. Dept. Human Rights, no. 96-CV-961 (Sept. 1, 1998).

But see: Of Geniuses and Crackpots

Gary Freedman said...

In the Seinfeld episode "The Race" Elaine Benes is dating a Communist, which provides occasion for bits at several points in the show about being blacklisted by a Chinese restaurant.

Gary Freedman said...

From Freedman: The Musical

"Freedman, why is it that with you everything turns into a research project?"