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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
  • Wednesday: Maureen F. McHugh
  • Thursday: Bradley Denton
  • Friday: Steven Gould
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Obama & Change; Crypto & the 2nd Amendment

November 15th, 2008 by Morgan J. Locke

Thought the first: Apropos Obama and change. He’s getting flak for choosing experienced politicians to flesh out his administration. For instance, in the NYTimes today, in an article regarding his meeting with Clinton to discuss her taking the Secretary of State role:

… there are clear dangers for Mr. Obama as well … her appointment could undercut his argument that he is bringing true change to Washington.

I get why people are concerned that choosing Washington insiders might undercut Obama’s message. We’re all sick to death of the secret memos, the corruption, and the spinelessness we’ve seen over the past eight years. But change is not simply about the people. It’s about the process.  Obama’s message was that he wanted to change the way politics is played in Washington. Reaching out to former rivals in substantive ways is, guess what;  a change! And using people who have experience in getting things done when the country is in this current state of crisis seems like a wise move to me…. As long as he combines this reaching out with a willingness to hold the criminals accountable.

Thought the second: I got a grin out of xkcd’s latest comic. I’m so there…

Remember, kids: you read it here first. As I said then:

The Second Amendment was clearly intended to protect from seizure the tools the citizenry need to defend themselves from tyranny. Muskets and bullets were the tool of choice back then, but it’s quite clear that the underlying intent was to uphold ordinary people’s ability to defend themselves from a government gone wrong.

In a very real sense, the right to privacy and a free internet is the new “right of people to bear arms.” Even the expression “forewarned is forearmed” gives this notion a nod. Access to information is the new equalizer. There may be no way an ordinary citizen, even armed with an uzi, can stand against the assembled might of the US government, as our founders intended, should our government fail in its duty to not abuse its authority. But we can keep them honest, with access to information and the right to protect our personal information from unreasonable search and seizure.

The struggle against tyranny has graduated from bullets to bits.

Posted in Art, Comics, Dammit!, Morgan, Politics, Technology | 3 Comments »

3 Responses

  1. Sean Craven Says:

    Well, while Obama’s election is a genuinely radical event, politically he strikes me as what would have been called, pre-Reagan, a liberal Republican. And right now I have no problem with that.

    But I will admit that I am concerned about whether or not the current administration will be charged and tried. I suspect that Obama may not want to go there — which means that it may wind up being the responsibility of the citizens to demand justice. We shall see.

    And that neatly segues into your next point — I may have mentioned this in another comment, but how much worse would the last eight years have been if it weren’t for the journalistic efforts of bloggers? It seemed as though every major scandal broke in a blog before being picked up by the mainstream media — how many of those stories would have never emerged without the internet?

  2. will shetterly Says:

    My concern is Obama seems awfully fond of people with Clinton experience–you know, the guys who killed half a million Iraqi children with “sanctions,” who gave us NAFTA, who failed to fix health care, who caved on gays in the military….

  3. Morgan J. Locke Says:

    Amen on the blogosphere managing to save our constitutional bacon over the past eight years… if it’s saved, about which I am slightly more cautiously optimistic than I was before. (But not ready to break out the celebratory champagne…(paranoid, much?))

    I agree that Obama has shown signs of being a lot less progressive than I’d like — but like you, Sean, I’m OK with that for now, as long as he walks us back from the precipice. If he’s smart, and bold, he can rebrand liberal ideals as the good thing they are.

    But to do so, I believe that it’s crucial for the president and Congress to prosecute some of the crimes the Bush regime committed. Regardless of the political hazards of pursuing the crimes of the Bush administration, I still believe that American democracy is teetering and can yet collapse, unless and until our leaders show a commitment to the rule of law and police their own.

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