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The U.S. Constitution on your iPod

“Carrying a paper copy of the U.S. Constitution is so 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century. Now you can tote a hyperlinked copy everywhere on your iPod. The free download, dubbed iCon, comes courtesy of the American Constitution Society, a national organization made up of moderate and progressive law students, lawyers, judges, academics, policymakers and advocates.”

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Comments

21

“You’re both right - just about different things”

That’s the great thing about “democracy” - there are many, many ways of doing it. The US system works well in some ways, not so well in others. And some European versions of “democracy” work better for consensus and plurality, but less well for rapid decision-making.

I do think, however, that it took the US and most European countries several *centuries* of small advances to transition from what we today would call authoritarian or dictatorship regimes to their current mostly universal suffrage and liberal democratic operation.

Imagining that you can just go in and drop a full-scale, operational democracy on a country with no historical precedents is wishful thinking.. It doesn’t just happen because you give someone a Constitution. THe US has had a pretty good one for centuries, but for most of that time it was not what we today would call democratic.

Likewise, the Soviet Union had a fine Constitution… on paper, but as we all know it operated as a viscious thugocracy. It takes more than just fine words written on paper to make a functioning democracy! The People and the Institutions have to have evolved a sense of themselves, and their power, and grown used to exercising this.

Posted by Democracy on June 10, 2004 at 12:44 PM (CDT)

22

good. so when our government decides to COMPLETELY throw the constitution out the window, at least those of us with ipods will have something to remember it by.

and by the way. i certainly hop that “i, claudius” was joking when he said “The last thing this country needs is a bunch of people familiarizing themselves with the Constitution”. if not, i’m really scared that people like you exist. god forbid everyone is able to understand what this country was founded upon and what rights everyone is SUPPOSED to have.

Posted by wide awake in america on June 11, 2004 at 1:53 PM (CDT)

23

“so when our government decides to COMPLETELY throw the constitution out the window”

This has already happened.

Didn’t we just find out this week that President Bush was instead characterizing himself as “King Bush” and his flunkies in the Justice Department decided to say that he was above the law? This is the “Divine Right of Kings” updated for the 21st century. L’etat c’est mois and all that.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23373-2004Jun7.html
“In order to respect the President’s inherent constitutional authority to manage a military campaign . . . [the prohibition against torture] must be construed as inapplicable to interrogations undertaken pursuant to his Commander-in-Chief authority.”

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_06_06.php#003046
To protect subordinates should they be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue a “presidential directive or other writing” that could serve as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is “inherent in the president.”

Posted by martial law on June 11, 2004 at 2:29 PM (CDT)

24

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_I_of_England

They make and unmake their subjects, they have power of raising and casting down, of life and of death, judges over all their subjects and in all causes and yet accountable to none but God only. I conclude then this point touching the power of kings with this axiom of divinity, That as to dispute what God may do is blasphemy, so is it sedition in subjects to dispute what a king may do in the height of his power.

Posted by King James the 1st on June 11, 2004 at 2:35 PM (CDT)

25

?I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.?
http://www.usconstitution.net/franklin.html

Posted by whynot on June 11, 2004 at 6:29 PM (CDT)

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