Despite my best efforts, I didn’t manage to write posts about all the topics that caught my fancy during my turn as Student Blogger of the Month. So I’m treating (subjecting?) you to some quick hits on topics that I wanted to blog about but didn’t get to. What this boils down to is linking to some of the contents of my “blog” folder in my Internet bookmarks. I’m sharing these because I think I found some interesting topics that I didn’t get a chance to write about in a complete post.
1) I tried several times to put together a post inspired by a Chuck Klosterman article in Esquire entitled “You Say You Want a Revolution.” I never quite managed to make it work. In his article Klosterman wondered “what would have to happen before the American populace would try to overthrow its own government?” A little less dramatically, I wonder what would have to happen for the citizens of the country to amend our Constitution? We’ve had several events in the recent past (Bush v. Gore and the elections that led to it, the Clinton impeachment and perjury situation, Hurricane Katrina, 9-11) that might have been an impetus to fundamentally change the way our federal government works by amending the Constitution. But, we, as a country, have not chosen to take that step. What type of event would have to happen to lead to a Constitutional Amendment that could actually be ratified?
2) Why do we have an electoral college again? My vague recollection of U.S. History from high school calls to mind a compromise between the large and the small states. I suppose conducting state-by-state elections made sense for a mostly rural, mostly agrarian country made up relatively independent states. Does it still make sense for an urban, non-agrarian country made up of citizens with a national identity that supersedes any state identity? (OK, except for Texas). Shouldn’t the only elected national office be decided by a national election? Why do the voters of New Hampshire and Iowa get to serve as gatekeepers for the rest of the country? If I voted for John McCain in the last election, why did all of Wisconsin’s electoral votes go to Barack Obama? Does that mean my vote didn’t count?
Sports Law thoughts
1) If I were to link to a Sports Illustrated article about the effect of performance enhancing drugs on sports, you would probably shrug your shoulders, assume you’ve read enough about A-Rod, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, et al., and move on. Even if I told you the article was well-written and its thesis was that athletes take drugs “for dubious purposes, they take them in a situation of debatable morality, they take them under conditions that range from dangerously experimental to hazardous to fatal. The use of drugs-legal drugs-by athletes is far from new, but the increase in drug usage in the last 10 years is startling. It could, indeed, menace the tradition and structure of sport itself,” you would still probably move on.
But what if I told you the article was written in 1969? Is that something you might be interested in? So take the time, read the excellent article by Bil Gilbert, and rethink whether performance enhancing drugs in sports is a problem that started around 1992. (And then go ahead and read the Peter Gammons piece that pointed me to the Gilbert article in the first place. He’s a Hall-of-Famer himself and always worth reading.)
2) Federal prosecutors indicted Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada for lying to Congress, but decided not to prosecute Acting Assistant Attorney General Bradley Schlozman after he “gave false testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee (both in his oral testimony and in written supplemental testimony) regarding his partisan misuse of his office and his violations of the Civil Service Reform Act.” I don’t have anything profound to add, but I do wonder what the public benefit will be from all the prosecutorial time and effort that has gone into both the Tejada case and the Barry Bonds perjury trial.
1) I feel bad about everyone who lost money to Bernie Madoff. But with apologies to Gregg Easterbrook (the Honorable Frank Easterbrook’s brother), if an investment plan (formula, scheme, strategy, paradigm, opportunity, etc.) sounds too good to be true, it’s probably too good to be true.
2) Unfortunately (fortunately?), Jon Stewart and the Daily Show are at their best when something has gone incredibly wrong.
3) As something of a counterpoint, a reminder from Louis CK on Late Night with Conan O’Brien that despite the economy we still have it pretty good.
1) Wikipedia: not a source, but one heck of a starting point.
2) The 2009 Name of the Year bracket, just because it is (was) March and I need a bracket link. I’m pulling for Canadian construction manager, Taco Vandervelde. I don’t think it’s NSFW, but there is some juvenile humor if that isn’t (or is) your thing.