Our dubious Constitution (continued)

Bob Sheridan bobsheridan at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 19 08:25:06 PST 2006


The discovery that there are fairies pulling the strings of important 
Con-law doctrines, making sure that cases are decided correctly, is a 
significant contribution to the understanding of our Constitution, 
perhaps as important as the discoveries that there are Founding Fathers, 
aka Framers, who can be consulted at will, and that the Constitution is 
made out of rubber, capable of being stretched as far as legal 
Darwinists require under the pressures of Constitutional Evolution.

Hats off to m.c.

rs

michael curtis wrote:
> It is even worse than Daniel Hoffman suggests.  Most get most of their 
> news from TV.  Even most the heavily visited internet news sites are 
> major networks' sites.  The trivial drives out the substantive much of 
> the time--a sort of Greshham's law of  political discourse.  Gore's 
> making faces at some of Bush's more remarkable assertions of fact 
> during the TV debates, his mis-statement about who he discussed a 
> Texas disaster with, Bush's failure to pass the name this leader quiz, 
> Cheney's shooting accident, etc. are big issues--more substantive 
> questions took a back seat to "character" in 2000 which unlike taxes, 
> environment, etc talking heads thought they had unique insight into 
> and could be discussed with very little homework. If recent experience 
> does not disprove the we are experts on character claim, nothing 
> will.  I know, I know.  These concerns prove I am elitist.  Criticism 
> of the corporate media system proves one is an elitist because people 
> are voting in a fair and free very democratic election with their 
> remotes.
>
> Then the political system requires huge amounts of money to run the 30 
> second spots.  The funding narrows the debate from both sides.  Over 
> 85% of campaign costs are for TV.  If we wanted a robust democracy and 
> were setting one up, we would explore free TV (and cable)  time for 
> candidates.  Of course, the system would raise serious problems--but 
> everything is comparative.  We would also have rules to keep the 
> internet a very inexpensive open-to-all public free speech zone.
>
> Since it appears that the internet will soon go the way of the old 
> downtown free speech forum and become a shopping mall or a toll road, 
> the claims that it will save us are probably premature.  In the brave 
> new free speech world, the pipes that carry the internet (unlike the 
> old phone lines of yesteryear) are speakers who have free speech 
> rights to censor, prefer, etc.  This raises the prospect that the 
> internet will become more like TV, or worse. Of course, in its 
> infancy, TV was touted as a great democratic revolution too.
>
> I know of course that The Market Fairy will not permit such things.  
> Those with unbounded faith in the Market Fairy might do well to 
> consider the history of the telegraph and how it was used to censor 
> and prefer certain papers and views.  The story is briefly told in 
> Starr's, The Creation of the Media.  According to Start, there was a 
> place where the telegraph did faciliate a discussion of a broad range 
> of news systems.  This was in Great Britain where the govt--in a move 
> supported by Conservatives, Liberals, and Labor as a free trade 
> measure, took over the telegraph, made it part of the post office, and 
> open to all on equal terms.  Unlike the US with the AP monopoly aided 
> by the telegraphy monopoly, a wide range of news services with a wide 
> range of views flourished.  Those who have unqualified admiration of 
> the Market Fairy might also consider how, in response to market 
> forces, major US internet companies are helping the Chinese autocrats 
> censor the internet.  These skills will come in handy here as the 
> internet is transformed into a private corporate preserve.
>
>
> Michael Curtis
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "guayiya" <guayiya at bellsouth.net>
> To: <DavidEBernstein at aol.com>
> Cc: <CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu>; <SLevinson at law.utexas.edu>
> Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2006 1:23 AM
> Subject: Re: Our dubious Constitution (continued)
>
>
>> The free speech/free elections package has changed greatly since the
>> founding, but failed presidencies have been with us always.
>> Judging competence is hardly an objective science.  But it is pretty
>> clear that, no matter how one understands competence, the modern
>> election system (e.g., scripted 30-second sound bites and negative ads)
>> is an obstacle to making such judgments..
>> Parts of the problem are constitutionally entrenched.  Whatever may be
>> said for current First Amendment doctrine, it seems captive to the
>> assumption that in our "free marketplace of ideas," all relevant points
>> are apt to be heard.  As if mass media were accessible to all who have
>> something to say, and all relevant messages were available and
>> intelligible to all.  To the extent that this assumption is false, the
>> election system loses much of its lustre.
>>
>> Daniel Hoffman
>>
>>
>>
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
>
>
>
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