A ConConCon and other short notes

In April I told you (“How Money Talks“) about Lawrence Lessig’s organization RootStrikers, which believes that Congress’ dependence on rich donors is the central issue.

Because the Supreme Court has decided that money is speech and corporations are people, Lessig believes the only real change possiblity is to amend the Constitution. And because Congress is the problem, he doesn’t imagine getting an amendment through Congress.

So: a constitutional convention, called together if 2/3s of the states request it. The ConCon’s amendments become law if 3/4s of the states ratified them.

Lessig believes this issue could draw a left-right coalition, which it needs. First step: Together with Tea Party Patriots, he’s hosting a conference at Harvard Law School on the ConCon idea. September 24-25, $40.

I really do want Dick Cheney to tell his story — on a witness stand, not on talk shows.

Cheney and Bush have confessed to crimes: ordering torture, spying on American citizens, denying due process to terrorism suspects like Jose Padilla.

Yes, some dire situations may justify government officials breaking the law and seeking absolution later. But the only American institution that can provide that absolution is a jury. Until 12 ordinary Americans hear all the evidence and conclude that Cheney was justified, I’m going to view him as a criminal at large.

I like Code Pink’s protest: When you find Cheney’s book in a store, move it to the Crime section. Andy Borowitz’s fantasy of Satan writing a foreword is hilarious.

Geo-engineering: If human activity is interfering with the climate, why not interfere some more and undo it? That’s either a brilliant idea or an updated version of “The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly“.

What could go wrong? In a few months we’ll start to see: A British research team is going to release a bunch of water-vapor into the stratosphere to see whether (1) they can do it, (2) it makes clouds whiter and reflects more solar energy into space, or (3) it unleashes the wrath of God in some unforeseen way.

I’ve been pounding the drum about voter suppression. This week Rolling Stone published The GOP War on Voting. This is the telling detail:

In April 2008, the Supreme Court upheld a photo-ID law in Indiana, even though state GOP officials couldn’t provide a single instance of a voter committing the type of fraud the new ID law was supposed to stop.

A humorous instance of the same phenomenon:

[Kansas Secretary of State] Kobach also asserted that dead people were casting ballots, singling out a deceased Kansan named Alfred K. Brewer as one such zombie voter. There was only one problem: Brewer was still very much alive. The Wichita Eagle found him working in his front yard.

While researching genetically modified corn, I found the blog Techdirt. Check out this post on how convoluted music copyrights are.

No American soldiers died in Iraq in August. Meanwhile, 67 American soldiers died in Afghanistan— about half in one helicopter — a new monthly high.

What does amenable mortality mean? This guy.

Libya: Ruthless dictator gone. No dead American troops, costs estimated under $1 billion at the end of July.

Iraq: Ruthless dictator gone. 4400+ American soldiers killed, $750 billion in direct war costs, another trillion in lifetime medical expenses for injured veterans.

Some follow-ups on Why I Am Not a Libertarian.

If all Libertarians sounded as reasonable as this Will Wilkerson article, we’d have a lot more to talk about. Wilkerson sees property rights as “a means to a peaceful society of mutual benefit, not an end in itself.”

Salon’s Michael Lind explains Why Libertarians Apologize For Autocracy. Short version: They’ll never be a majority, so democracy is out. As if to prove Lind’s point, American Thinker published Michael Vadum’s Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American.

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  • Maggie Pax  On September 5, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Good stuff again.Great selection and great commentary. Why can’t more folks like you be on the TV and in major print media? Thanks for doing what you can.


  • By Strategies « The Weekly Sift on September 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

    […] A ConConCon and other short notes. Lawrence Lessig tries to make common cause with the Tea Party. Cheney’s book tour. Geo-engineering. Rolling Stone covers voter suppression. Convoluted music copyrights. Relative costs of the Libyan and Iraq interventions. More on Libertarians. […]

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