Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gary Hart: Rushing Towards a Constitutional Crisis - Yahoo! News: "Gary Hart: Rushing Towards a Constitutional Crisis Gary Hart
Tue May 30, 7:15 PM ET

By Gary Hart and Joyce Appleby

We are in the midst of a political crisis that goes right to the heart of our constitutional government. Yet, without a depression or civil war on the horizon, we have been slow to respond to this threat to the future of our democracy
The Founding Fathers made interpreting the Constitution easy. Gouverneur Morris, the delegate tasked with polishing its prose, preferred clear expression. Where the framers wished to be specific, he made the document transparent. Where they preferred to be vague, he produced felicitous phrases like the famous 'necessary and proper clause.' Where they utterly failed to anticipate a development like the emergence of political parties, there was an amendment process that could separate the elections of president and vice president, as did the 12th.
However easy to interpret, sustaining a consensus around any particular interpretation of the Constitution has proved more difficult. Our Supreme Court justices have never failed to fill up their docket. Against this background of successive and contending interpretations of the Constitution, it's important to distinguish between differences of opinion and a crisis. The differences arise over how to apply the Constitution in specific cases. When a development threatens the heart of our Constitution, a crisis looms. And it does so now with a president who explicitly and consistently works to extend his power in a way that upsets the balance of authority among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our government.
Like some wasting diseases, this"

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Honda says brain waves control robot - Yahoo! News

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Rockridge Institute - The Framing of Immigration: "The Framing of Immigration by George Lakoff, Sam Ferguson
Framing is at the center of the recent immigration debate. Simply framing it as about �immigration� has shaped its politics, defining what count as �problems� and constraining the debate to a narrow set of issues. The language is telling. The linguistic framing is remarkable: frames for illegal immigrant, illegal alien, illegals, undocumented workers, undocumented immigrants, guest workers, temporary workers, amnesty, and border security. These linguistic expressions are anything but neutral. Each framing defines the problem in its own way, and hence constrains the solutions needed to address that problem. The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, we will analyze the framing used in the public debate. Second, we suggest some alternative framing to highlight important concerns left out of the current debate. Our point is to show that the relevant issues go far beyond what is being discussed, and that acceptance of the current framing impoverishes the discussion.

The Framing of Immigration By George Lakoff and Sam Ferguson (c) 2006 The Rockridge Institute (We invite the free distribution of this piece) On May 15th, in an address from the Oval Office, President Bush presented his proposal for �comprehensive immigration reform.� The term �immigration reform� evokes an issue-defining conceptual frame � The Immigration Problem Frame � a frame that imposes a structure on the current situation, defines a set of �problems� with that situation, and circumscribes the possibility for �solutions.� �Reform,� when used in politics, indicates there is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed � take �medicare reform,� �lobbying reform,� �social"