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Electro vs. Barker and the Future of the Internet

Thursday, November 30, 2006

File sharing seems to be in the news again. In this post, I want to make it clear that I do not wish to put forward my position on the actual subject of file sharing, but rather I want to highlight an event that may be detrimental to all who use the internet. There's a case that's being argued where the question of merely possessing files that are accessible to others is copyright infringement. Below is a portion of an article which I've copied (copyright infringement?) that addresses this:

Now, there's a case called Electro vs. Barker which has become very important. This is a nursing student who was sued in her name. We made a motion to dismiss the complaint because [it] doesn't specify any acts or dates or times of copyright infringement as the law normally requires. We've made several arguments like that before this motion and the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) put in an argument which basically fudged it. However, in this case they basically decided to go for the gold and they made a bold argument claiming that merely making files available on the internet is in and of itself a copyright infringement. It was a shocking argument because if it were accepted it would probably shut down the entire internet.

As a result of that bold argument, certain organizations came in putting in an amicus curiae brief to support Miss Barker's motion to dismiss. In reaction to that the Motion Picture Association and the United States Government put in briefs supporting the RIAA trying to... Well, the Motion Picture Association directly supported that extreme argument. The US government didn't quite go that far but it tried to support the RIAA by attacking another argument that had been made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

I can't help but to imagine all the ramifications that could spring from this case if it were decided in favor of RIAA. To be sure, they would be far reaching. Imagine having copies of your favorite CD's in your car. Your car gets stolen and then recovered by the police. After taking back your car, you discover you're being charged for having copies of copyrighted materials in your vehicle. Just try and sort that one out under this broad interpretation of the law. My advice for anyone with shared folders or anyone who uses file sharing software: protect yourself right now. The pending ruling could be so broad that it is really impossible to determine what would be considered unlawful. 
Good luck!
(See also Electronic Frontier Foundation's petition to Congress.)

Snowus Interuptus

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

So, there I was Sunday night, kicking around this idea for a blog post when all of a sudden, "Boom!" No power. I think a tree limb came down and knocked out the power. 'Twas about six o'clock I think. (Never mind the snow that was causing the bows to break.)

Anyway, about 47 hours later the wonderful folks charged (<--pun!) with getting the power back on came through. Must be why all power utility trucks are white.

Here's a quick photo log of the last couple of days. Click on each for a larger image.

Here's your author clearing the snow off his truck in an attempt to go to work Monday morning. Thank God for four wheel drive!

Not wanting to stop the truck 'til after I got to the highway, I trudged out to open the gate. I don't know if you can see it, but I love the way the snow collects on the fence. It looks cool.

The next morning (Tuesday) while waiting for the sun to come up, I snapped this picture of Bandit, our oldest "child", trying to keep warm on my chair. Can you see him?

After being without water for over 24 hours, we finally had to have some. As the grocery store was sold out, we had to get creative. Here's what we came up with.

It was pretty cold in the house which is evident by Abby burying her nose under her paw to keep warm.

Here's another look at our water production plant. That's a propane weed-burner surrounded by landscape bricks. After a quick modification, April managed two pots (second not shown) at a time... Mass production!

Here's a shot of a group of trees across the street. Bows laden with snow threaten the powerlines below.

Hope it melts before the rains come!

Have you ever noticed you can't find a tape measure when you need one?

Around 1:30pm I decided to take a measurement. It says 11 inches. Really, it seemed like more when I got up.

Here's a final shot of the shed by our vegetable garden. You can see how much snow sits upon the roof.

Well, that's where I've been and what I've been up to. What's sad about all that is that I've got a pretty decent generator. Unfortunately, it runs like its possessed. It'll run fine for about ten minutes, then it starts surging up and down, up and down. I really am at a loss as to why. I've really got to get that darned thing fixed, though. Being only the end of November, I have a feeling I may need it again before it turns to Spring.

We now rejoin our regularly scheduled blog...

The Numbers Don't Lie

Saturday, November 25, 2006

There's been this thought kicking around in the back of my mind that says gas prices fell rapidly leading up to the election, then turned and headed back up. After a quick check at, I think I've found the proverbial "smoking gun" on this one...

I went ahead and penciled in the Election day over the chart. What do you think? I'd call it a pretty clear-cut case of placating the voters.

Congrats, Mark!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Look who got a notable mention...

One of's "Best Libertarian Blogs". Way to go, Mark!

I Vote for a Change in Voting

The maxim is Qui tacet consentiret: the maxim of the law is "Silence gives consent".
~ Sir Thomas More
You've probably seen those clubs--CD of the Month or DVD of the Month--where they offer you some ridiculously enticing introductory offer. Then, after 12 months, they hit you with the fine-print which states something like: We will ship you one CD every month at full price. It is your responsibility to cancel orders within 5 days of receipt or you will be billed for said items plus shipping and handling.
The following was cut from BMG Music Service's 'About Membership' page to illustrate what I'm talking about:
Freedom Of Choice.
You will receive updates via email or postal mail, whichever you choose, about every 3 weeks (18 times a year) with information on a Featured Selection tailored to your specific listening interest. If you want it, do nothing; it will be shipped to you automatically. If you don't want it, respond online or through the mail by the date specified. If you receive an unwanted Featured Selection, return it within 10 days at our expense and we will credit your account.
The catch is that you've got to do something or else you end up buried under a mountain of CD's or DVD's or whatever it was that you were suckered into buying. This is a perfect example of the above quote: Qui tacet consentiret. By your silence you consent to purchase CD's... and you're contractually on the hook for every last one of them. Most people I've talked to hate this sort of fine-print deception. It's purposely geared to default the purchaser into debt if he doesn't act. Most people agree that the default should be to let the purchaser out of the deal. In other words, it would require his action instead of his inaction to continue with the contract. I couldn't agree more. It's deceptive and assumes that the purchaser will always be attentive to what shows up in his mailbox.
After looking at this sort of sales tactic, I can assume that we all pretty much agree it is a loathsome way of doing business. If we feel this way, then, may I ask why do we put up with it as our way of government? I see all the eyebrows go up. Whaaa?!? Let me explain. Mark, host of South Puget Sound Libertarian, recently posted "Democracy: Tyranny of the Minority" in which he explains that it is often times not the majority that decides the fate of the whole population, but a majority of those who took the time to vote. Our system of government has been perverted into Qui tacet consentiret. If you don't vote, you give your consent to whatever those who voted-and won--decide to do to you and your pocketbook.
Let's look at some real numbers. I whipped these up yesterday to illustrate what Mark touched on in his post. These numbers were taken from the Snohomish County General Election Results webpage. The text in blue indicates the winner in each vote, while the last column takes into consideration all registered voters--not just the ones who cast a ballot:
Snohomish County Election Results
Registered Voters Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Election Day Turnout 392 0.19% 0.12%
Absentee Turnout 206,706 99.81% 61.82%
Total 207,098 100.00% 61.94%
INITIATIVE 920 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Yes 77,679 38.54% 23.23%
No 123,861 61.46% 37.04%
Totals 201,540 100.00% 60.27%
INITIATIVE 933 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Yes 78,742 39.04% 23.55%
No 122,929 60.96% 36.76%
Total 201,671 100.00% 60.31%
INITIATIVE 937 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Yes 99,378 50.16% 29.72%
No 98,726 49.84% 29.53%
Totals 198,104 100.00% 59.25%
HJR 4223 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 154,833 79.21% 46.31%
Rejected 40,641 20.79% 12.15%
Totals 195,474 100.00% 58.46%
CHARTER 1 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 140,652 73.64% 42.06%
Rejected 50,344 26.36% 15.06%
Total 190,996 100.00% 57.12%
CHARTER 2 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 102,412 55.12% 30.63%
Rejected 83,376 44.88% 24.94%
Total 185,788 100.00% 55.56%
CHARTER 3 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 89,510 47.40% 26.77%
Rejected 99,329 52.60% 29.71%
Total 188,839 100.00% 56.48%
CHARTER 4 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 169,606 89.55% 50.72%
Rejected 19,783 10.45% 5.92%
Total 189,389 100.00% 56.64%
CHARTER 5 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 155,319 83.88% 46.45%
Rejected 29,854 16.12% 8.93%
Total 185,173 100.00% 55.38%
CHARTER 6 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 85,669 52.51% 25.62%
Rejected 77,480 47.49% 23.17%
Total 163,149 100.00% 48.79%
*Note: Snohomish County had 334,369 Registered Voters of which 207,098 voted.
As you can see, all but one item actually failed when the whole voting population is factored in. Our way of voting is to disregard those who don't show up at the polls or who don't bother to mail in their ballots. Their silence is their consent. That's why we see measures pass by what appear to be decent margins, but you can never find anyone who actually voted for it. Most of the numbers in the left column show that just three out of ten or four out of ten voters get to impose their will on the rest of us. Mark is absolutely right when he said it was tyranny by the minority!
Let's take a quick look at some numbers from King County's election results:
King County Election Results
INITIATIVE 920 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Yes 202,538 33.61% 20.79%
No 400,065 66.39% 41.06%
Totals 602,603 100.00% 61.85%
INITIATIVE 933 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Yes 197,039 32.88% 20.22%
No 402,257 67,12% 41.29%
Total 599,296 100.00% 61.51%
INITIATIVE 937 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Yes 352,063 59.36% 36.13%
No 241,044 40.64% 24,74%
Totals 593,107 100.00% 60.87%
HJR 4223 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 475,997 81.93% 48.85%
Rejected 104,975 18.07% 10.77%
Totals 580,972 100.00% 59.63%
KING CO PROP 1 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 370,340 68.64% 38.01%
Rejected 169,183 31.36% 17.36%
Total 539,523 100.00% 55.37%
KING CO PROP 2 Vote Count Percent Actual Percent*
Approved 325,277 56.44% 33.38%
Rejected 251,027 43.56% 25.76%
Total 576,304 100.00% 59.15%
*Note: King County had 975,340 Registered Voters of which 618,755 voted.
Not a single initiative or proposition passed in King County when you factor in all the non-votes. Why do we exclude their numbers when we count up the votes? Why is it decided only amongst those who voted? Should those who voted be allowed to foist their will on those who chose not to participate? Do we not have participatory democracy? Do we not remove our consent to be governed by removing ourselves from participation? It seems to me that the only avenue left to the non-participants would be to take up arms against those who impose their will on them. Is that what we really want?
I propose that all future items that are put up for a vote are structured in such a way as to make a yes vote the only way it can pass. That is to say, "If you want Proposition 920 to pass, then you better vote 'Yes' at the next election." The default position would have all items fail if not enough voters (50% + 1) vote for them. That way if an item really is wanted by a true majority of the people--not just of those who voted--it passes. We need to stop these "Vote of the Month Club" type shenanigans and get government back to its legitimate purpose: protecting the rights of the individual--not imposing the will of a tyrannous minority.

Article Recommendation: E-Passports

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I just finished reading one of the best articles to cover the E-Passport topic and wanted to share the link with you. I highly recommend you go read it so that you'll have the knowledge in mind when you go get yours. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Here's a teaser...
E-Passport: Doorway to the Panopticon
by Scarmig
November 21, 2006
panopticon - a circular prison with cells distributed around a central surveillance station; proposed by Jeremy Bentham in 1791 (  
Part I
Several years ago word got round that the US government was going to put an RFID chip into a passport.  Privacy advocates rallied and ranted about the insecurity of the technology, the lack of standards, the foibles of technological advance, and the massive infrastructure expenses required to build a system to support an RFID passport, and pronounced the idea Dead On Arrival.  Congratulations are due to those intrepid folks, because their voices were heard, their concerns noted, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) returned to the drawing board and has now issued specifications for an RFID-enabled biometric passport that focuses on the technical concerns and addresses them quite handily.  The concept remains intact and is now much stronger for the technical tests it was subjected to, rather than weaker for its violations of human rights principles.  I found myself with the opportunity to dig deep into the issue directly from the horse's mouth, so to speak, and if you're interested, I'll tell you all about it.
You can continue with this article by clicking here. Again, I highly recommend it.

Benefits, Selective Service, and your Soul

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quick, recite the Thirteenth Amendment to our U.S. Constitution... Can't remember it? Well, here it is so you don't have to look it up:
Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
We all should be familiar with slavery, but lets take a quick look at involuntary servitude. First, their definitions which can be found at the American Heritage Dictionary website:
  1. Acting or done without or against one's will: an involuntary participant in what turned out to be an argument.
  2. Not subject to control of the volition: gave an involuntary start. See Synonyms at spontaneous.
  1.     a. A state of subjection to an owner or master. 
        b. Lack of personal freedom, as to act as one chooses.
  2. Forced labor imposed as a punishment for crime: penal servitude in labor camps.
  3. Law A right that grants use of another's property.
To put it simply, there shall be no forced or coerced service (For more, see conscription.). If it's not your wish or desire to serve in your country's military, you supposedly can't be forced. Keeping that very basic explanation in mind, we read this off of Reuters news feed:
An influential Democratic lawmaker on Sunday called for reinstatement of the draft as a way to boost U.S. troop levels and draw a broader section of the population into the military or public service.
U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, the incoming chairman of the House of Representatives' tax-writing committee, said he would introduce legislation to reinstate the draft as soon as the new, Democratic-controlled Congress convenes in January.
Asked on CBS' "Face the Nation" if he was still serious about the proposal for a universal draft he raised a couple of years ago, he said, "You bet your life. Underscore serious."
"If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft," he said.
The Democrats are already looking ahead to more wars with Iran and North Korea. If you voted for them because you thought they were for less war, I'd be asking for a refund.
Getting back to our discussion about the prohibition on involuntary servitude, let me ask you a question. Do you remember filling out a Selective Service card when you turned eighteen? You probably didn't think much of it at the time, did you? From the above article about Charles Rengal's draft proposal, we find this little gem hiding at the bottom:
The draft was in place from 1948 to 1973, when the United States converted to an all-volunteer army. But almost all men living in the United States - including most male noncitizens - are required to register with the Selective Service upon reaching 18, and federal benefits, including financial aid for college studies, are contingent on registration.
While I believe they've got all the facts correct in that paragraph, I believe they may be out of order. By that I mean that if you want to take advantage of federal funds (aka benefits such as Social Security), you must register for the Selective Service. But, by doing so you've moved the subject of servitude from involuntary to voluntary. Its kind of like selling your soul to the devil. So, I guess you can't point to the Thirteenth Amendment to get out of the draft... unless you never signed your Selective Service card, that is.
Additional Reading:

Anonymity Swiped

Sunday, November 19, 2006

You may have seen the new Visa commercial where people are buying their lunches in what can only be described as an assembly line lunch service. The goal of the commercial was to demonstrate how paying your bill by swiping your credit card was much more efficient than paying with cash. After seeing this commercial the first time, I was inspired to make the following public service announcement to remind us about data mining, databases and the extraordinary access which government now has to our private banking records. Keep this in mind as you go about your business. Each time you swipe your card you're leaving an electronic 'I was here' tag for everyone to see...
I hoped you liked it. If you want to share this video with your friends you can visit it's YouTube page here.

Firearms Refresher Course

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I normally don't respond to those emails which ask you to "pass this on" to all your friends, but I'll make an exception for this one email I received from my neighbor...

These truths are realized by too few today.....


1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. "Free" men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don't know your rights you don't have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights reserved.

11. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911 -- government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the "gun control laws" we ALREADY have, don't make more.

24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

26. "A government of the people, by the people, for the people..."


The Wisdom of Ronald Reagan

Monday, November 13, 2006

(NOTE: Some of you may have already seen this list, but its new to me. A friend faxed the following to me where I work. I liked it so much I decided to post it...)
"Here's my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose."
"The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so."
"Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."
"I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."
"The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."
"Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."
"The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."
"I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting."
"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."
"Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."
"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."
"No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

An Other Cup (of Terrorism?)

Saturday, November 11, 2006

An Other Cup by Yusuf Islam. Click to purchase.I understand that Yusuf Islam--formerly known as singer Cat Stevens--has released a new album. It occurs to me that, under our vague and broad-reaching anti-terrorism laws, if you bought one of his records you may find yourself charged with "knowingly provid[ing] material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization." (See USC Title 18, ยง 2339B)
Remember that Yusuf Islam was stopped while trying to enter the United States in September, 2004. It seems that he has the dubious distinction of being on several government watch lists, including the no-fly list. Quoting from this article found at
According to a CNN report, a government official said Islam was on the watch list because of "known associations and financial support to organisations (sic) believed to be aiding terrorism".
So it stands to reason that if you buy one of his records, you are indirectly "associat[ing] and [giving] financial support to organizations believed to be aiding terrorism."
How's that for some twisted logic? I wouldn't put it past our government officials to make this stretch, though. Logic, it seems, poses no barrier to them. So, go buy his newest album, An Other Cup, and live free.

Party Promises

Thursday, November 09, 2006

With election day safely behind us, I thought it fitting to reproduce for you the following from the book I just finished, The Spirit of American Government. The author is headed in another direction with the chapter on political parties, but the words--when ripped from the whole--may shed some light on why those elected never seem to perform as well as they promised to do. I'll give you a hint: its by design.
The political control, it is true, has come to play an important role under our constitutional system; but its power and influence are of a negative rather than a positive character. It professes, of course, to stand for the principle of majority rule, but in practice it has become an additional and one of the most potent checks on the majority.

To understand the peculiar features of the American party system one must bear in mind the constitutional arrangements under which it has developed. The party is simply a voluntary political association through which the people seek to formulate the policy of the government, select the officials who are to carry it out in the actual administration of public affairs, and hold them to strict accountability for so doing. Under any government which makes full provision for the political party, as in the English system of to-day, the party has not only the power to elect but the power to remove those who are entrusted with the execution of its policies. Having this complete control of the government, it can not escape responsibility for failure to carry out the promises by which it secured a majority at the polls. This is the essential difference between the English system on the one hand and the party under the American constitutional system on the other. The one well knows that if it carries the election it will be expected to make its promises good. The other makes certain promises with the knowledge that after the election is over it will probably have no power to carry them out.

It is this lack of power to shape the entire policy of the government which, more than anything else, has given form and character to the party system of the United States. To the extent that the constitution has deprived the majority of the power to mold the policy of the government through voluntary political associations, it has defeated the main purpose for which the party should exist.

The fact that under the American form of government the party can not be held accountable for failure to carry out its ante-election pledges has had the natural and inevitable result. When, as in England, the party which carries the election obtains complete and undisputed control of government, the sense of responsibility is ever present in those who direct it. If in the event of its success it is certain to be called upon to carry out its promises, it can not afford for the sake of obtaining votes to make promises which it has no intention of keeping. But when the party, even though successful at the polls may lack the power to enforce its policy, it can not be compelled by a sense of direct responsibility to the people. Promises may be recklessly and extravagantly made merely for the sake of getting votes. The party platform from the point of view of the party managers ceases to be a serious declaration of political principles. It comes to be regarded as a means of winning elections rather than a statement of what the party is obligated to accomplish.
Truth in advertising? Hardly! So don't be surprised to find that all those things you were promised "if only Democrats regained control of Congress" don't ever get done. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you were duped yet again. This is why it is so important to send men of integrity and character to Congress. If you fall for any silver-tongued fox that comes along at election season, you'll end up with--well to be quite honest--you'll end up with a government that looks much like ours right now.

The author of the book advocates giving more power to political parties. I'm not so sure that's the right answer. The parties have been fooling us for so long they may have forgotten what honesty really means. No, our system of government was built on the foundation of personal liberty, respect for property, and the guarding of individual rights. Sending someone to Congress--regardless of party affiliation--who does not understand these basic concepts is to send him on a fool's errand. Oh, occasionally they'll manage to secure something for the majority like Social Security, but on the whole, they'll be thwarted at every turn. As Martha Stewart would say, "And that's a good thing."

I Voted Sticker

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Last night my wife and I sat down with our ballots and began the process of figuring out who and what we were voting for. The longer it took, the more frustrated she became; but we made it through it. When we were finished and were assembling out mail in ballots, she discovered the "I Voted" sticker. Fueled by her annoyance of this new mail in ballot procedure, she commented that this all seemed pointless. She asked how any of us were to know whether anybody even opens our ballots let alone counts them. She then said the sticker should say, "I Voted, but nobody will count it and it really doesn't matter anyway."
Obviously, that's way to wordy for a sticker; but I came up with this one instead:
This reminds me of a couple quotes...
  • If voting worked, it would be outlawed.
  • He who counts the votes calls the election.
I printed this off after I discovered that my wife--crafty as she is--has a sticker maker. Guess what we're wearing to work today!

Why the Libertarian Party Never Wins

Saturday, November 04, 2006

While looking over the Snohomish County Auditor's web site it occurred to me they've made no real effort to include third-party candidates in their reports (such as the Official Election Canvasses). As a matter of fact, my impression is that the Snohomish County Auditor pretty much lumps all third-party candidates into an 'other' category. I think I may have found out why...
Mystery solved!

The Spirit of American Government - A Book Review

Friday, November 03, 2006

Would you believe that in 1906 almost no one referred to the United States as a democracy? Odd, but true!
I have on my desk a book published in 1912 written by J. Allen Smith, LL.B., Ph.D.. J. Allen Smith was a University of Washington political science professor. His book is titled The Spirit of American Government - A Study of the Constitution: Its Origin, Influence and Relation to Democracy.
Smith believed that a system of government was intentionally created by the framers of the Constitution to deliberately hinder the growth of true democracy. He goes on to show how the Constitution obstructed majority rule by placing checks and balances on the different branches of government which severely limited the voice and will of the people. He also explained the rational behind why the president and senators were not originally popularly elected or why the people had no hand in the appointing of judges. He then closed the book by laying out a road map showing how America can find her way to true democracy. I must admit that after reading his recommendations for getting to a true democracy I had an eerie feeling I'd been down this road before.
In his own words:
Our political writers have for the most part passed lightly over the undemocratic features of the Constitution and left the uncritical reader with the impression that universal suffrage under our system of government ensures the rule of the majority. It is this conservative approval of the Constitution under the guise of sympathy with majority rule, which has perhaps more than any thing else misled the people as to the real spirit and purpose of that instrument. It was by constantly representing it as the indispensable means of attaining the ends of democracy, that it came to be so generally regarded as the source of all that is democratic in our system of government. It is to call attention to the spirit of the Constitution, its inherent opposition to democracy, the obstacles which it has placed in the way of majority rule, that this volume has been written.
~J. Allen Smith, Seattle, Washington. January, 1907.
All and all, I must say I rather enjoyed reading this book. For me it was very much like going back in time to the doorstep that lead to where we are today as a nation. It was especially interesting when you consider the fact that we are almost exactly one hundred years from the time he wrote this book.

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