What the framers meant by ‘the people’

Even though the framers were pretty bad about race, and they certainly didn’t understand sex equality, the one thing the framers got was class. They understood that the biggest risk was to create an aristocracy. And so they insisted, as Madison said, that ‘the people’ meant ‘not the rich more than the poor.’ We’ve completely betrayed that commitment.

— Lawrence Lessig

Watch Lessig’s entire 12-minute interview with Bill Moyerswhen Lessig was on a march to end corruption…






Driving Through a Snowstorm

Snow pounding. Visibility nil.
Windshield is as far as I can see.
Treacherously slow,
Sometimes lost.
I’ve even slid off off the road a time or two.
But as the hours (and days) pass,
I slowly make progress.

As it is in snow, so it is in life.






In some ways, Canada is a small country

When it comes to land mass, Canada is slightly larger than the US — 3.9 million square miles in Canada vs 3.8 million for the US..

But when it comes to population and the economy, the is US much bigger. Consider this:

  • California has more people than Canada.
  • California’s economy is larger than Canada’s.






Calculating the Distance to California

Something like 90% of the nations fruit and vegetables are grown in California’s Central Valley. Here is a simple calculator to determine how far you are from this fertile land:

  1. Buy a 1/2 pint of raspberries from your local supermarket
  2. Count how many raspberries are moldy
  3. Multiply the number of moldy raspberries by 250. This is your distance in miles from California.

For example, I am in Northern Michigan this week. I counted at least 9 moldy raspberries in the pack. 9 x 250 = 2,500. This is the approximate distance from my location to California’s Central Valley.

Q.E.D.






If You’re Alive…

Look, I really don’t want to wax philosophic, but I will say that if you’re alive, you’ve got to flap your arms and legs, you got to jump around a lot, you got to make a lot of noise, because life is the very opposite of death. And therefore, as I see it, if you’re quiet, you’re not living. You’ve got to be noisy, or at least your thoughts should be noisy, colorful and lively.

— Mel Brooks






We just decided to go

From now on, we live in a world where man has walked on the moon. And it’s not a miracle, we just decided to go.

— Jim Lovell

There is a scene in the movie Apollo 13 in which astronaut Jim Lovell is hosting a dinner party at his house. At some point in the evening he escapes the hubbub of his guests and takes a seat in a lawn chair in the back yard. When someone comes out to join him he utters the phrase above.

The moon landings were the culmination of a gargantuan series of tasks. Thousands of people invested hundreds of thousands of hours coordinating and delivering on thousands of tasks. It wasn’t a miracle that we landed on the moon. We just set our minds to it and decided to go.

Theme of the week: Just decide to go.






Impulse Control

My dad was always trying to make people laugh, often with corny jokes and bad puns. His standard farewell when departing a social gathering was always, “We’ll see you in the spring if we get through the mattress.” Ba-dump, bump! He often proclaimed that he was on a “see food” diet. Reaching for whatever food was in sight, he would explain simply, “Whenever I see food, I eat it!” Ba-dump, bump! Always there would be the slight pause and the nascent grin as he waited — and hoped — that you would get the pun. My dad passed away this…




Just Be

Sometimes the best thing we can do is to stop “doing” and just be. You don’t have to “be” anything. We don’t have to “be” quiet, or productive, or useful, or nice. Just be.

In his brilliant album that gave music and lyrics to Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Neil Diamond wrote:

Be, as a page that aches for a word that speaks on a theme that is timeless.