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What worked well 224 years ago is no longer the best we can do.

According to researchers who analyzed all 729 constitutions adopted between 1946 and 2006, the U.S. Constitution is rarely used as a model. What's more, "the American example is being rejected to an even greater extent by America's allies than by the global community at large"...

"There are about 30 countries, mostly in Latin America, that have adopted American-style systems. All of them, without exception, have succumbed to...constitutional crisis[es]—your full range of political violence, revolution, coup, and worse. But well short of war, you can end up in a state of "crisis governance," he writes. "President and house may merely indulge a taste for endless backbiting, mutual recrimination, and partisan deadlock. Worse yet, the contending powers may use the constitutional tools at their disposal to make life miserable for each other: The house will harass the executive, and the president will engage in unilateral action whenever he can get away with it." [Juan Linz] wrote that almost a decade and a half ago, long before anyone had heard of Barack Obama, let alone the Tea Party.
The Atlantic's Alex Seitz-Wald makes a case against the U.S. Constitution: The U.S. Needs a New Constitution—Here's How to Write It.
posted by zardoz on Nov 5, 2013 - 78 comments

 

"I have never been custodian of my legacy."

In Conversation: Antonin Scalia "On the eve of a new Supreme Court session, the firebrand justice discusses gay rights and media echo chambers, Seinfeld and the Devil, and how much he cares about his intellectual legacy ("I don’t")." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 6, 2013 - 89 comments

DHS Checkpoint Refusals

Here's a Youtube video of people refusing to submit to questioning and searches by the Department of Homeland Security and California's produce checkpoints. [more inside]
posted by deborah on Feb 27, 2013 - 122 comments

Survey Says . . .

A recent survey indicates that Americans are split on whether Supreme Court Justices should be elected, and a majority favor expanding constitutional protection of rights, incuding gender equality. The survey, based on recent interviews of 1000 Americans, was just presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival by Mark Penn , CEO, and Don Baer, Chairman, of Penn Schoen Berland, the market research and consulting firm that conducted the survey. The margin of error is 3.1% overall.
posted by bearwife on Jul 9, 2010 - 44 comments

The Future of Snail Mail

Shrinking the United States Postal Service: What happens to Netflix? [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy on Feb 2, 2009 - 117 comments

CaliFilter

AmendforArnold&Jen
Founded by a libertarian-turned RINO and a member of the Green Party
posted by magullo on Nov 18, 2004 - 63 comments

Founder's Chic

Historian H.W. Brands argues in this month's Atlantic that we over-venerate our Founding Fathers. John Adams and co., he surmises, were no wiser or more virtuous than our current crop of politicians, but their numerous flaws have been rendered invisible through the rosy glasses of time. What today's politicians could learn from their predecessors, he says, is bravado, the courage to take risks. Why not call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the rules every so often?, he asks.
posted by grrarrgh00 on Aug 7, 2003 - 40 comments

A New Constitutional Convention? Well, as we are all aware it's election days. Time to reshape our government as we see fit. And we have an remarkably robust blueprint for our government, one that has stood the test of time. But is it time to change? What would your suggestions be if you were present at a new creation? I know these links have a lefty feel, there what I could find. But I'm interested in reasoned perspectives from left and right. Is this process necessary or desirable? What Would You Do?
posted by pjgulliver on Nov 5, 2002 - 39 comments

Americans against World Empire.

Americans against World Empire. This Conservative/Libertarian coalition presents analysis, articles, links, opinions and rants from every corner of the political spectrum. ""Perpetual war serves a number of purposes.....It is under wartime conditions that the U.S. state will, at least initially, face the least resistance as it finishes the......process of gutting the Bill of Rights and voiding inconvenient parts of the U.S. Constitution......It is under wartime conditons that all opponents of U.S. policies anywhere in the world, including within the U.S. itself, can be most easily labled 'terrorist.'" This statement would have come from a conservative in 1940. Today it is from the Left. (Alternative Press Review, spring 2002).
posted by Mack Twain on Jul 14, 2002 - 6 comments

President Bush seems to think that abortion is unconstitutional.

President Bush seems to think that abortion is unconstitutional. Does anyone smell hypocrisy here? I would suggest that he examine the constitutionality of his own actions before throwing stones.
posted by jack-o on Jan 20, 2002 - 78 comments

"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately."

"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately." (NYT link) 12 Michigan (natch) nutcases shout the same four questions over and over during their fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion trial. Seems they believe the four questions shield them from government authority. They also believe the U.S. Constitution was invalidated when FDR took us off the gold standard, and the federal government has no power over them. I wonder if they'll come to feel differently after a few years in the federal penitentiary?
posted by pardonyou? on Dec 13, 2001 - 43 comments

Which type

Which type of Constitution is better? A MeFi thread earlier discussed the room for error which the US Consitution leaves. So, here's the question: Do we like the very specific but restrictive 136 Article Mexican version or the brief but dynamic 7 Article plus Amendments American-style versions?
posted by Kevs on Jun 18, 2001 - 11 comments

Yay! The flag burning amendment is dead

Yay! The flag burning amendment is dead, at least for another year. What offends me most is: why did 63 Senators vote for this? Second most: do these people actually believe themselves when they preach that people have fought and died for the flag? I *hope* that no soldiers have fought for the flag, per se; I would hope that our military fights for the ideals of which the flag is a nice, abstract representation.
I've put up a short page with links to the official Congressional Record transcripts of the debate, for those who are interested. (It gives me reading for my plane ride tomorrow, if I can avoid the calling of my Sims family.)
posted by delfuego on Mar 29, 2000 - 5 comments

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