You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Friday, July 30, 2004

FIRST TOM CLANCY GHOST-WRITES GENERAL ANTHONY ZINNI'S BOOK SLAMMING BUSH... and now this. It's enough to put the US Republican Party off the name "Jack Ryan" for another generation.

Mr Ryan just withdrew as Republican Senate candidate for Illinois (against a Democrat opponent, Barack Obama, who's now the Tiger Woods of US politics, [*] notwithstanding that his name is easily mixed up not only with you-know-who but also with Amiri Baraka, the looney left State Poet of New Jersey). Mr Ryan crashed and burned after a scandal that erupted when a newspaper demanded and got access to sealed court records of his divorce from his ex-wife -- Jeri Ryan née Zimmerman, perhaps better known to our average reader as the actrice who played "Seven of Nine" in Star Trek: Voyager. In her divorce papers, Ms Zimmerman accused her ex-husband of pressuring her to boldly go where she had not gone before, and of believing (incorrectly, it turns out) that her resistance would prove futile. However, neither side wanted these he-said, she-said allegations made public, for obvious reasons (they have a young son). The divorce court agreed, but a later judge sided with the newspaper's claim that the public interest in knowing the moral fibre of one's future Senator outweighed the right to privacy.

Herewith the state of the right to privacy under US law: it guarantees your right to run an abortion clinic on main street, and to demand that Right to Lifers not show photographs of aborted foetuses anywhere nearby. But it does not mean that you and your ex-spouse can agree, by mutual consent, to keep your marital dirty laundry (so to speak) un-aired in public.

[*] Correction: Obama is not the Tiger Woods of US politics.

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