Changing the System

If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.

— attributed to Emma Goldman
(but I’m having a hard time sourcing it)

In this week’s Sift:

  • ConConCon: Can the Grass Roots Find Common Ground? In the current money-dominated system, neither the liberal nor the conservative grass roots can pass any kind of fundamental change through the bottleneck of Congress. What if the two sides could trust each other long enough to reform our democracy, and then have the kind of democratic struggle the Founders envisioned?
  • Execution Without Trial. Anwar al-Awlaki was an American citizen who supported al Qaeda and may have been actively plotting to kill Americans. Friday he was killed by a drone missile, despite never having been indicted or convicted of any crime. How should we feel about that?
  • The Brilliance/Pointlessness of Occupying Wall Street, and other short notes. Does it make sense to have a protest movement but no demands? More poor, poor bigots. You still don’t know how bad paperless voting machines are. 85K Americans died last year because they weren’t French. Christians face the failure of abstinence. Plus more depressing stuff, leading to baby pandas. Because who doesn’t like baby pandas?
  • Last Week’s Most Popular Post. At 146 views, Poor, Poor Bigots and other short notes was the first short-notes post ever to out-draw the week’s longer articles. Everything I posted last week ran well behind Six True Things Politicians Can’t Say from September 12 (438 views last week, 67,000 total).
  • This Week’s Challenge. A college teacher says civics education has gotten so bad we all need to work on it: “Each one of us who does know how the system works, who votes, who has strong feelings about democracy and justice, has a responsibility to teach someone who as of yet doesn’t know this.” That means you, right?
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