Wednesday, December 10, 2008

U.S. Constitution Assessment

With Governor Blagojevich's recent arrest, I can't think of a better time for us to watch this video, entitled "Corruption", used with kind permission from Stanford Law Professor, Lawrence Lessig. A link to a transcript of this portion of his talk will allow you to utilize the actual text. Note any vocabulary words you struggled to understand and please bring them to class.



We will be discussing and critiquing this provocative argument, along with an excerpt from Gore's book, The Assault on Reason as one way to better understand the US Constitution.

Do you agree with his thesis? In order to answer that question, you will need to bring your textbook to class, or at least bring an unabridged copy of the US Constitution with you every day this week. What parts of the Constitution seem most relevant to this inquiry?

6 comments:

Adam said...

This entire video was extremely confusing. Lawrence Lessig begins with the case of a male chid abuser. He brings up how their were to sides to this case and uses the following quote to describe the man accused of abuse. "The one who we couldn't reform." He refers to the man who is pathological, we cannot change what he did or what he will do. Then there is the other side, those who did nothing and had the oppurtunity to stop this. He then talks about how the others were immunized. This is where I got confused. Immunized means to be immune or not responsive. Something does not effect you. That is where I was able to realize that he may be trying to say these people were immunized beacuse they were not affected. He then compares the abuser to George W. Bush, saying both men cannot be reformed. And then he says the democrats are the immunized. I somewhat agree with what he is saying. People were against our president, they knew he was doing things that were wrong, though they did nothing about them. I think I may have to watch this several more times for me to fully understand this. Though Lessig ends the video with an interesting question. Where does responsibility lie? From the passage and his thesis, he clearly thinks it lies in the congress with the democratic majority.



Where does responsibility lie

maddie hilbrant said...

I thought that this video was a bit confusing as well, but I thought of it more as an open-ended question. Lawrence Lessig kind of left it up to the viewer to decide who is at fault in this case, the pathological character or the bystanders? I believe that both are at fault but if I had to pick one of the two I'm not sure I could do it! It's such a tough thing to argue, on both sides.

Matt H said...

Because I'm not that good at reading deeply into things, the video made me pretty angry at the Child Abuser. I can see how all the teachers should be blamed for not telling anyone that this was going on. This is a tragedy that will be stuck with the kid for the rest of his life. However, in Bush's case, people agreed with Bush. They [Congress] supported Bush in his increasingly militaristic presidency. I don't think that the other teacher's supported the Child Abuser. Now I really don't support Bush at all. I can't stand the guy. This is all you can blame Bush for: proposing these absurd acts that empower the Executive Branch over the government. We should be blaming Congress for passing the acts. It's their fault. It's not Bush's fault that Congress passed it.

Frettzilla said...

i also thought that this video was very confusing the first couple of times i watched it. but after learning what some of the words that were used meant, this really cleared it up for me. in the case of the child abuser i believe that both parties should be guilty, the so called immunized and the abuser. because the bystanders just stood by while this person did horrible things to children. in the case of bush and and his bystanders i believe that once again the president and the immunized should both be found guilty. bush was abusing the constitution and people stood by just like the child abuser case. i dont know about you but if i knew a pathological character that was doing something wrong i would try to stop them. but that is just me.

Miles said...

Mr. Lessig has come up with a great question, but at some point the madness has to stop. In the case brought up about impeaching Bush and Al Gores book, why not stop at Congress if your going to pursue those that let this president abuse power. How about all those that didn't vote Democrat, why not arrest and try the Republican voters. Seriously, come on. When you allow for the pursuit beyond the accused, your setting up abuse of power in the court system. This vagueness can and will bring down all reason behind the theory of law. The point is to try and incriminate the accused, but when you move further down the line and attack those that surrounded the accused, your allowing for the imprisonment of the innocent. That's all, no big deal, right? Wrong.

Kate H said...

When I whatch this over again I had noticed that this boy that was getting abused was not the only one getting abused there were hundreds of young boys getting abused by this pathlogical man. I think to better understand this video you have to know what Pathological means. here is what i found off of dictionary.com. Of, relating to, or manifesting behavior that is habitual, maladaptive, and compulsive: a pathological liar.
So this man was a pathological abuser it sounds compleatly wrong how could some one purposly infilct harm on more than 100 young boys and say its a habit?