Selective Constitutional Ignorance

Why is it that some parts of the Constitution folks seem to be okay with either ignoring or interpreting as they see fit, but others they seem to accept even when they disagree with it?

For example, many interpret Article I, Section 8, which specifies the powers of Congress, as they see fit.

Many completely ignore Article V: Amendment and seem to be okay with effectively amending the Constitution through the Supreme Court, rather than with approval of state legislatures.

Yet, while many people don’t seem to like it, they accept the method for electing the President (electoral college), rather than ignoring it or interpreting it to their liking.

We also respect the specified methods for electing congressman and senators, the latter of which was changed by the very amendment process (in Article V) that we ignore.

I just find it odd how people pick and choose which parts of the Constitution are to be followed and which parts are malleable.


Netflix for eBooks?

Over three years ago, I wondered when the Netflix business model would be applied to ebooks. 

I thought it was a huge step forward when I could checkout ebooks to my Kindle apps from my library. That is, until I read the five books that I wanted to read in the limited checkout library.

Then I thought Amazon Prime might be the answer, until I became a Prime member and realized I would need to buy a Kindle device to check out the books. I almost did, until I started trying to find books I could check out. I haven’t found one.

Maybe Oyster Books will do it. But, judging from my first glance at the library, it has even fewer books available for electronic checkout than my local library.

My understanding is that the limited available titles for electronic borrowing is caused by publishers weary of losing revenue. Could be. Too bad someone hasn’t figured a way around that yet.

Is it just me?

…or is expecting fiscal responsibility now considered radical and extreme, while expecting government to spend like crazy the norm?

…or is expecting government to follow the Constitution considered too extreme, while expecting government to make it up as they go along the norm?

I agree with Barack Obama?

Driving around at lunch today, I heard a conservative talker on the radio play an Obama sound bite where he said something like, For those who don’t agree with the direction we’re going, make your argument and get out and win an election.

The conservative talker attacked this by saying that the conservative congressman and senators did win elections.

But, I know what Obama meant. Don’t just win a half of one branch of government. Win at least one branch.

I agree.

For those who don’t like the direction government is going, the issue isn’t Barack Obama or any individual in the House or Senate. It’s that more people voted for them. Those voters seem okay with their politicians making up the powers of government as they go along.

Even if you didn’t vote for Obama or a Democrat, there’s a good chance that you voted for a Republican that isn’t much different.

When you hear someone say that a politician is more worried about getting re-elected than doing what’s right for the country, there’s an overlooked truth in there that says more about the electorate than it does about the politician.

“Throw them all out”

For all the folks I hear say that we should throw everyone out of Congress and start over, I’d like to see who they vote for to be their representative and senator in the next election.

Wisdom of the crowds

This week had a good example of why I don’t like or trust awards given out by small groups of people. The smaller the group, the more prone that group is to be biased and wrong, making the reward meaningless. It turns out that the Nobel committee is just a set of humans, it’s not made up of supernaturals conferred with some higher degree of judgement than the rest of us.

Personally, I have no opinion on who should have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but the media seemed disappointed that Malala didn’t win.

The media should keep that in mind when they appeal to the authority of other Nobel Prize winners.

I think Nelly captured the sentiment in his song, Number One:

You aint gotta gimme my props
Just gimme the yachts
Gimme my rocks
Keep my fans coming in flocks

In other words, he agrees — awards are cheap, crowds speak.