The Framers [of the Constitution] were cynical about the future of democracy. They studied failed democracies like Greece and Rome. They read Demosthenes. They designed a Constitution on the assumption that democracy might well deteriorate into demagoguery, and they created these complicated systems in order to filter the will of the people from being directly expressed. So all of these new media technologies – the idea of presidents tweeting directly to the people would’ve appalled [James] Madison, who thought direct communication between representatives and the people was the main potential source of tyranny, to be avoided. All of these filtering mechanisms are being undermined by technology, by reforms over the years, by the growing populist forces that are sweeping the world, and maintaining these Madisonian values in the face of these populist forces is something that liberals and conservatives increasingly should converge around.
Jeffrey Rosen, President of the National Constitution Center, with Terry Gross
As a former member of Congress representing New York’s 3rd congressional district, I want to chime in. I’ve seen activism from both ends — as an ordinary citizen and an elected official — and I’ve seen what works and specific actions we can all take that will truly resonate.
1. Show up
I recently recorded a video for Mic about the most effective action you can take to influence your lawmakers. To sum it up: In 2010, we saw the Tea Party quickly rise to power across the country as the Affordable Car Act was being considered. I remember some of my colleagues in Congress reporting back to me that they had held town halls, which usually attracted maybe 20 constituents, and walked into rooms filled with hundreds or even thousands of people. I saw for myself when I held a town hall on Obamacare and had to answer to hundreds of constituents asking me questions about the legislation.
You may not agree with their politics, but the Tea Party was effective in getting members of Congress to answer their questions and consider their opinions.
My call to you: Show up to events that your local congressperson or senator (on both the state and federal level) are hosting. Don’t know how to find that information? Call 202-224-3121 and asked to be connected to your member of Congress or senator. Ask them when their next public event is. Then show up and ask them why they voted a certain way, voice your support if you agree with what they’re doing, tell them why you disagree if you don’t agree with how they voted.
2. Join a civic organization
Yes, I likely have many years on you. I remember a time when there was no such thing as a home computer, never mind the internet. We are so much more powerful these days. We have access to an incredible amount of knowledge and can be part of networks without even leaving our couch. But, this is also a disadvantage. We don’t talk to each other face to face, and we hide behind a screen that allows us to retreat into our corners.
My call to you: Join an organization. Maybe it’s a church, synagogue or mosque. Maybe it’s a volunteer group. Maybe it’s a political organization or maybe it’s simply a book club. Talk to new people. Get to know what scares them and what motivates them. Don’t let the bullying and name calling that dominates public discourse detract from your own humanity. We need more opportunities to connect with each other in our increasingly polarized country.
3. Learn about how the government works
According to an Annenberg Public Policy survey done in 2015, only 31% of Americans can name all three branches of our government. There’s hardly a statistic that scares me more. We can do all the yelling and opining we want, but if we don’t understand how our government works, how can we expect to affect any positive change? Imagine an electrician showing up to your house who doesn’t know how the wiring works.
My call to you: Educate yourself! Re-read our Constitution, understand what it is our Founding Fathers were creating, know which branch controls which function of government. Read books like George Orwell’s 1984 or Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 to understand the warnings they share. We are all affected by government and laws at every level in our daily lives (Did you drive on roads today? See a law enforcement officer patrolling?). It’s imperative we understand its inner workings.
4. Devote half an hour every day to reading diverse sources of news
I get it. Reading news can be hard these days. In fact, it seems hard to separate fact from fiction. But Thomas Jefferson was right when he said, “An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.” We cannot expect to hold the president and Congress accountable if we don’t know what they’re doing.
My call to you: Read the news. Devote a half an hour a day. Diversify your sources, but stick to real journalism. Avoid overly partisan rants on both sides. Get the facts. Support our journalists — their jobs are more important than ever.
This is a no-judgement zone, but I must ask: Did you vote this past November? Only 55% of Americans did. And that number gets even lower when we look at years in which there’s no presidential election. In 2014, only 36.4% of Americans took the time to make their voices heard. And we’re worse off because of it. Even though we only vote for a president every four years, we vote for state and local officials, congressmen and women and maybe your senator or governor on other years. Make sure you’re voting whenever there’s an election. All elections matter.
My call to you: In 2018, there will be a midterm election. Every member of Congress will be up for reelection, as well as many senators. Make sure you vote. Make sure your voice is heard. There’s nothing more important you can do as a citizen.
Legally a house can be haunted and failure to disclose that the property is haunted can constitute fraudulent misrepresentation and is grounds for recession of contract. Meaning poltergeists are legally treated the same as termites or other pests.
The issue came up in a case where a family bought a house and later discovered it was on a ghost tour. The buyer had no way of knowing the house was haunted since that’s no something buyer’s usually ask, but the previous owner knew and should have disclosed it. Since the owner had reported paranormal activity in both local and national publications describing at length how haunted the house was court decided they couldn’t very well say there’s no such thing as ghosts now.
This resulted in legal president that recognizes the existence of haunted houses. Also the court’s opinion is probably the most entertaining legal opinion you will ever read.
Citizen activism is as American as apple pie. Whether you call it a protest, a parade, a tea party, a town hall, a march, a sit-in, a patriotic rally, a picket line, a free speech event, or a nonviolent demonstration, your right to stand up peacefully for what you believe in is protected by the US Constitution. Read the First Amendment:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
All these people who are saying that the students at Yale are spoiled beats who don’t get the first amendment need realize that the freedom of speech protects you from prosecution by the government, not facing consequences for your words.
So Jason’s on an interview once, bc he’s Bruce Wayne’s kid and all, and he gets asked about why he thinks what he thinks about Trump and this is what he says:
“Well, before I say anything else, for all of you who are mad that I was shit talking the president, I want to point out that I did the reading, and according to the constitution it’s my right to call Trump a dick because all the first ammendment says it that I can’t threaten his life. I can destroy his self-esteem all I want. But I digress.
“You guys know that Bruce adopted me, took me off the streets. What you don’t know is that before that, I grew up in the worst part of Gotham - Crime Alley. Crime Alley like if you took all the crime in Gotham and Bludhaven, and threw it into one really long alleyway, and there’s still more crime than that. Growing up, my dad was god knows where, and my mom was an addict. I spent more time on the streets than anywhere else. Living in crime alley allowed me to see the worst in humanity. I’d seen people who did unspeakable things, drug dealers on every corner. But the thing is, there weren’t just criminals there. There were kids and teenagers, people barely older or younger than I was, and they were homeless. They were all drug addicts, abuse victims, homeless children and adults,?part of the lgbt community, teen parents, people suffering from mental illnesses, and more. They were my friends. But the way people looked at them was horrible. I saw how they were treated. People would walk by, hurrying down the streets, turning their heads away or spitting at them or making them feel inhuman. It’s the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen.
"Some of these people didn’t make it. They died of starvation, hypothermia, disease… some ended their own lives. I watched one of them stab themself, because of the way people were treating them. They’d been kicked out of their home, just because they weren’t a straight, cis kid like their parents wanted. It’s so, so messed up. And that’s why I hate Trump. I see the way he looks at, talks to, and talks about LGBT people, women, everyone. I see how racist and horrible he is and he reminds me of the way people treated the Crime Alley kids. How they looked at me differently, because I was basically homeless and because I didn’t have the privilege they do. I don’t understand how people can be so fucking blind. There are people out there who have killed themselves over the way Trump and everyone like him treats them. That’s fucked up. That’s so fucked up. So I am so fucking sorry, Mr. President, if I hurt your feelings here. But I don’t give a SHIT what you think. You’re a total dick, and I hope that someday you’ll realize that, but let’s be honest: you won’t, because you’re too busy throwing hissy fits when you don’t get want you want handed to you on a silver fucking platter. Fuck you. I’m done with this interview.” He walks out after, pissed off and twenty minutes later Red Hood’s killed three more rapists.
(There was half an hour left in the interview, too, and it was being aired live)
20.1.16 Doing some bullet journal planning and uni reading today on the constitutional framework in France from my shiny new textbook. Can’t wait to start French Public Law in the new semester next week! (French nerd alert)
On Monday, Trump will be hit with a lawsuit that alleges he’s in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, which prohibits politicians from receiving payments from foreign governments.
The lawsuit alleges Trump’s business empire violates this clause, as foreign leaders and governments spend money to stay in Trump hotels and live and rent space in his various other real estate holdings,
The lawsuit will be filed in New York by a group of legal powerhouses that includes former White House ethics lawyers from both sides of the aisle, Supreme Court litigators and well-known constitutional scholars.
Trump’s team, for its part, is dismissive of the lawsuit, claiming he’s not in violation of the Constitution. Read more
Have you read any well written Sonamy fics Greeny? It's so hard to find good fics for this ship without the author demonizing other characters, turning it into an angsty soap opera, or it just being flat out sappy (I'm definitely not against shameless fluff, but sometimes it goes way overboard! x-x); I feel you have a really nice grasp of these two and how they'd function as a couple, so I'd be very interested in reading any fics you'd recommend (if you're okay with linking them of course!)
“Steal you Away” is pretty amazing. It’s based in the Sonic X continuity but does it’s own thing with some amazing SonAmy-rich additions and it makes adaptations of certain episodes. I strongly recommend it.
is a great SonAmy fic. In short, Sonic and Amy are separated from their friends and have to manage on their own with Sonic in a horrendous state due to injuries from the accident that separated them from the others and Amy needing to watch his back and care for him. It has tense parts, heartwarming parts and one part that really got to me in chapter 7. Just read Sonic’s reflection on what constitutes a “hero”. You might cry.
is a really sweet SonAmy fanfic. It’s not particularly long but it’s emotionally resonant and both characters are portrayed well. The emotion is well done
and whilst I’m not a big fan of affording Sonic a tragic past admittedly, it
actually works really well here.
is a somewhat comedic SonAmy fic that is overall well written. Amy
finds Sonic passed-out in the snow due to a bad cold/flu and takes it
upon herself to make him feel better. Gotta love Sonic’s eagerness to
All these fics may come-off as sappy on occasion but IMO, it’s not overbearing.