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Change Washington

By February 20, 2008Uncategorized

Let’s make some significant changes in Washington, like this one proposed by Larry Lessig.

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  • Ernie says:

    I don’t think his principles told him that Microsoft was the bad guy. I’m not sure that is the optimal way of describing how he approached the situation. Microsoft made a huge swath of mistakes, not the least of which was trying to use its power to crush an emerging business. Perhaps that was not illegal, but it certainly wasn’t prudent. Microsoft has made a number of imprudent moves, and Larry Lessig has—like many observers of technological trends—been keenly aware of that. Probably that was due to his bias. But as the old saying goes, “just because your paranoid it doesn’t mean that they’re not out to get you.”

    If you don’t like his principles then that’s understandable. I wouldn’t compare Lessig to Buchanan, but maybe that’s fair if you think of them as equally polar. I believe that Lessig is sometimes too dogmatic, but he’s smart and well-intentioned. No doubt, so is Buchanan. I’m not a fan of Buchanan, first because I don’t prefer his orientation, and secondly because his views are offered in a tone that is too brassy for me. I suppose people who don’t like Lessig might derogate his tone as being shrill.

    But all of that’s mustard and mayonnaise. The core problems is: Washington is overly influenced by money. That’s the message that Lessig is putting forth now. I don’t find that to be the slightest bit controversial. I take it as self-evident. The question now is: what are we going to do about it? If Pat Buchanan has a proposed solution I’d like to hear it. Same for any other political mavens out there. Greed rules too many things in life, and that’s especially true in Washington.

    If people come forward and offer solutions I’m less interested in examining their past than I am in examining their proposal. I think Lessig is well intentioned and smart, and I believe he’s learned that it takes more than good intentions to bring about significant change. Bottom line: I want change in Washington. There is too much influence from money. Lessig has a proposal to change that. And as Ross Perot used to say: I’m all ears.

  • Tom O'Connor says:

    I applaud Mr. Lessig for admitting his mistake. What concerns me is the 10 year response time: electing officials who don’t realize their mistakes until after their term limits have expired doesn’t seem to me to improve upon having elected officials who don’t admit thier mistakes. Shouldn’t we try to find candidates who are mentally flexible enough to admit their mistakes while they are in office?As for principles … do mistaken principles do the public any good? His principles told him Microsoft was the “bad guy” when he accepted an appointment as a special master … would you want Pat Buchanan appointed a special master on a school prayer case? I’d rather have a Congressman (or court officer) who is willing to not let his personal beliefs dominate his public service and seek the truth BEFORE he acts.

  • Ernie says:

    Yes, Tom that’s the same Lessig. He made a mistake, and he admitted it publicly. As he did when he lost the Eldred case before the Supreme Court. I don’t know many law professors—certainly not any prominent ones—who admit they made mistakes, and I’m not sure I know ANY politicians that do. All the more reason to send Lessig to Washington. I know one thing about Lessig: he is one of the most principled people you’ll ever meet. Which means he’ll probably have a hard time getting anything done in D.C., but that’s okay by me.

  • Tom O'Connor says:

    mmm, is this the same Lessig who so eagerly accepted the appointment as “special master” by U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson in the DOJ-vs-Microsoft antitrust suit and then 10 years later wrote an article in Wired magazine admitting his bias against Microsoft and how wrong he was to assume that market forces were incapable of changing the Microsoft business model and government action was the only way to counter them?( )

  • Chuck Newton says:

    Has anybody stopped to think that (1) change for the sake of change is not always good. And, (2) that what is good change for one person is not good change for another. I would bet that most all of those people at these big change rallies do not agree on the outcome of particular sets of changes. It is the old adage, give me a dollar and I will give you change. But, apart from this, what are we talking about exactly? To the extent that Bush will be out of office, that change is inevitable. If Obama wins the presidency (and I intend to vote for him if he gets the nomination), I can assure you that it will bring big changes to minorities in this country. All of the preference systems, government set asides, Congressional gerrymandering, affirmative action programs, are all hanging by a thread based upon the assumption that these are needed to bring diversity to a disadvantaged people. If an African-American can win the presidency with a majority of the white vote, as well he should be able to do, based upon his background, the continued argument for set asides, minority based congressional districts, affirmative action programs, and preferences will all lose their justifications. I think it is a great day when we can see the changes as to racism change in this Country. However, when it can be conclusively proven that blacks, Hispanics and Asians should be able to win without regard to these issues, we no longer need excluded congressional districts. The system of integration will have finally worked and these are no longer needed.

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