technology politics: Lessig's Declaration for Independence... member of the audience told Lessig that "I was with you for 80% of it..." and that Lessig's examples using only Republicans and Democrats a was a slap in the face to third party candidates like himself. The man, you guessed it, was Mark Rauterkus. I give Mark a lot of crap for his support of Sara Palin-esque mayoral candidates like that Libertarian guy, Tony what's his name, but he is really a nice guy, and I have to say after meeting both of his sons (ages 13 and 10) I have to give him credit for doing heck of a job raising too really smart kids. During my conversation with Mark about McCain and Obama his sons were joining the debate - and they had plenty to say. They were more knowledgeable on the issues than Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin - and I'm not exaggerating. Following our conversation Mark's youngest son came up to me and asked me which issues that Obama was supporting were most important to me. When I meet 10 year old who can come up to me and discus foreign policy, energy independence, and the Iraq War - that gives me hope. Great work, Mark.Nice words. Great post. Wonderful talk too. Must read re-cap as there are many themes in this discussion that need to sustain in our discussions.
Couple of minor points. Erik is 13 for another couple of weeks. Grant is 10 and a half. Eighth and fifth graders.
I am happy you enjoyed the conversation with the boys. They are 'tuned in.' Our friend, Joe Jencks, who came to the house last week and gave a house concert spoke some kind words about the boys as well. He said that his conversations with the boys gave him a great deal of hope for the future. Reassuring.
Tony Oliva was the L candidate for mayor in the 'special election.' Tony is a Pitt grad in POLITICAL SCIENCE. He has had a passport for years. And, Oliva jumped out of many airplanes carrying a gun wearing a uniform ready to face whatever was on the ground. In a nutshell, he's more experienced than many. And, he hustled to meet with hundreds of voters/citizens to get their signature to get himself and me onto the ballot.
The defense of Tony, not a placekicker when he played DI football, is important for history's sake -- and for the conversation that unfolds at the lecutre with Professor Lessig.
Lessig rails, rightfully, against corruption. Pittsburgh, like other local situations, has corruption. On the federal level there is less "crude corruption" -- but Lessig feared that that flavor of corruption could still have roots within the local political scene in America.
Crude corruption is an important concept. For starters, there is no hint of any flavor of corruption resting on the back of Tony Oliva. And, for that alone, the pinnacle of Lessig's preaching, means discounting Tony isn't prudent.
Crude corruption is old-school corruption and has nothing to do with 'crude oil.' Crude corruption offers an interesting double meaning, perhaps confusing. But, given the 'War for Oil' and price of gas, yet alone "peak oil" plus global warming, Crude Corruption makes heads scratch.
Lessig's crude corruption was more for the type that Bonusgate delivered. Paying a women via the state payroll who delivers sexual services, for example. As well as the Luke Ravenstahl and Pat Ford type of corruption -- more money, more gifts, more jobs, more favors (parking the RV) for the person and family.
Pittsburgh is filled with crude corruption. One party rule helps to deliver this old-school, crude corruption, IMHO.
Lessig makes the point that the Feds are with a new breed of corruption. More sophisticated. They are able to skirt the ethics laws and still get re-elected plus use extortion for gains for favorite, pet endeavors (i.e., endowed chairs and namesake library donations). He is on the mark about the ills of the system as it is today with the Feds.
His quote got to me: "Under today's system, there is no way in hell we'll be able to throw the bumbs out."
Lessig is not inclined to mess with today's system. His solution is but a tinkering around the edges so as to hold off a real revolution that is brewing.
"Under today's system" is sacred ground that won't be challenged by Lessig and his cronies. Now, I have to be 'c a r e f u l' and close this posting and say I'll get back to this topic with any and all others -- so as to really make my point understood.
Lessig is about "Ds" and "Rs" and also about "right" and "left." One slide was with "Red" and "Blue" and a blending of the two.
Lessig is worried about 'competition' and he states an old-school adage. "It takes 50% + 1 vote to win an election." Sorta. But, in a 3-way race, Lessig's formula breaks. In a 4-way race, the winner could be with 3 out of 10 or less! Do the math.
Lessig stated a Newt quote saying that there isn't much difference between the two parties. In D.C., in the halls of congress, in the Fed circles, and in time of crisis on matters that are really important -- there is NO DIFFERENCE. Newt is right. Nearly everyone of them voted for the invasion and 'war' (except, of course, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich). This financial bailout of $700B is another one of those "bi-partisan" times when they are being slammed into the same lock-step booster-ism where they crave and pressure a unified voice.
Presently, G.W.Bush is saying Republicans and Democrats are going to rise together to make a deal. Jeepers. The Ds and Rs are going to craft a deal in D.C. and the rest of America is in fits and upset.
My wild-eye prediction for the future: This Wall Street Bailout and call for UNITY is boing to be the death of the R party. The Ds and Rs are merged into one Corporate Party. Obama and Biden will be the leader.
We need and Lessig wants, like me, the corrupt candidate to loose the election. In a 3, 4, or 5 way, competitive, open-minded race, with performing watchdog media, the corrupt candidate does NOT win. That's the key that rids our system of corruption.