davidl on August 9th, 2013

A letter from Ladar Levison: My Fellow Users, I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could […]

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Brian Nygaard on April 8th, 2010

Brian NygaardIn the February 16th, 2010 Wall Street Journal, Gerald F. Seib wrote an article called Senate Woes Flag Wider Disease.  The premise of the article is that the center of the political continuum has been eroded and that the bridge historically connecting the left and the right is being dismantled.  He goes on to indicate that the result is a Senate without an ability to accomplish anything.  The Framers, along with many who have followed, have long-since understood the power of the majority in a democracy.  Accordingly, they have inserted safeguards against the potential “tyranny of the majority” that are now coming into clear view.  Mr. Seib also points to the rapidly expanding use, over the last twenty years, of filibusters and cloture votes used to end those filibusters.  In the end, the article concludes, “The broader political system, more than the filibuster, is the problem.”

The notion of the “broader political system” is an interesting focal point for the current situation.  And while I am not certain what Mr. Seib intended by his use of the words, I am certain that the problem we have is much greater than a purely political problem.  To cast blame on the system is to address a second-order cause, as opposed to any level of fundamental or first-order cause.  The issues we face today are simply a proxy for the broader existential and self-identification issues we face as a nation.  We face an array of ontological problems that have been emerging over several decades, but are now, for the first time, exhibited for everyone to see.  The fundamental issue we face today is one of determining whether we as a nation are going to be governed by the use of power, or whether we will continue to be governed via “authority.” The distinction is becoming essentially clearer with every passing day.  And the distinction could not be more significant.

Our nation was built on […]

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