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Wednesday, April 21

Mr. Sandman, give me a dream....

I wouldn’t expect my 90 year old grandmother, if she were alive, to understand how to program in C++ or even BASIC. And I wouldn’t expect that of any other 90 year olds.

I would, however, expect someone in their early 50s and 60s or even a person in good health in their early 70s to have a basic understanding of how life is in this new age. After all they didn’t get to be that age by being ignorant of the issues of the day or those new-fangled pictures on the dashboards of cars or even the computer-laser scanners at supermarket checkouts. And I wouldn’t even hold it against any of them to not be able to set the clock on their VCRs let alone do more than pop a DVD into a machine and press play.

But that’s the whole point: that at least they are aware of DVD Players; that VHS’s have gone the way of habeas corpus; that 6 guys no longer rush out to let you “Trust your car to the men who wear the Star…The big, bright, Texaco Star” and fill your tank, clean your windshield and check your oil.

Nearly all Americans today are hopefully aware this is the 21st Century and things have changed since “I Like Ike.” But maybe not all. And maybe the ones who need to be aware this isn’t 1955 with the Chordettes and Davy Crockett and Your Hit Parade...aren’t!

I expect the people who make the decisions that impact the lives of all Americans for years to come to be at least AWARE that this is, indeed 2010 and pay phones are as extinct and Palin’s Dinosaur Rides in Bedrock.

But I may be premature in that premise. Our own imitation of Papal Infallibility, the SCOTUS, may just be waiting to go home after a long day of making corporations as important as people or allowing sex-fetished crazies to legally kill animals, to turn on their old DuMonts and watch Chet and Dave show news film of the Andrea Doria and Stockholm collide then enjoy the “64 Thousand Dollar Question” or “21” after which they fall asleep to Steve Allen or Jack Paar only to awaken to the subdued tones of Dave Garroway.

In a case in front of supposedly educated, aware and prepared men and women who have the power to change elections and reverse the Constitution, a number of these “educateds” needed clarification on items 7 and 8 year olds understand today.

Oh It’s not that they need to understand that C++ language or how to create fission or even how to set that VCR Clock, it’s that it’s incomprehensible any of these powerful deciders of men (and women and children and animals) could be so out of touch with the lifestyle of even the last 10 years not to mention the last 25. Excerpted from Huffington post:

Sexting Case Befuddles Supreme Court

The first sign was about midway through the argument, when Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. - who is known to write out his opinions in long hand with pen and paper instead of a computer - asked what the difference was “between email and a pager?”

At one point, Justice Anthony Kennedy asked what would happen if a text message was sent to an officer at the same time he was sending one to someone else.
“Does it say: ‘Your call is important to us, and we will get back to you?’” Kennedy asked.
Justice Antonin Scalia wrangled a bit with the idea of a service provider.
“You mean (the text) doesn’t go right to me?” he asked.
Then he asked whether they can be printed out in hard copy.
“Could Quon print these spicy little conversations and send them to his buddies?” Scalia asked.

This involves a rather cut and dry case of people using company provided equipment for their own personal use and complaining when their boss reads the private, sensationalist data of theirs on company provided equipment these people misused in the first place. Be that as it may, the disturbing part of this is two-fold.

First, that these Justices, these people charged with the power of life and death over all of us, these justices whom we expect to be if not informed, at least aware of life today have shown they have no business with the power to do what the Constitution gifts them. Arguments could be made that they simply wanted clarification. Bull! They had no problem understanding the differences between getting involved in a presidential election they knew to be none of their business; they had little trouble evidently understanding that Wall Street is more important than common people. I’m sure there are other examples (that’s sardonic wit for the sarcasm impaired!)

Second and more frightening is the implications for our future once these contemporary ignorants make decisions and how their new-found (late 20th, early 21st century) knowledge will impact their blatantly partisan opinions.
Scalia doesn’t understand that a text message (or probably any electronic message) doesn’t “go right to him” but rather, to his dismay, might be channeled through other vehicles that could jeopardize HIS privacy…or that of the corporations and CEOs he holds dear. You mean someone in the press or common population might learn in advance that Blankfein was planning to screw the public? Heaven forbid!

Roberts wants to know the difference between a pager and email. He should ask his grandson…or any kid on the street. Is he really 52? He didn’t live in a monastery, did he?

Imagine now the ramifications of some corporation interested in curbing and/or controlling information over the internet. One like, say, AIG, Wall Street…the U.S. Government! Now Scalia in his shock and stupification decides that it might just be better if either this medium didn’t exist, or more probably, that someone specifically control it – to prevent kids from getting printed out text of some joke about Bush or nasty comments about Cheney or, gasp, criticism of the (his) church! How would that affect his decision? Guess! And if he or the other fops on the bench couldn’t initialte such legislation, then they certainly could render a decision if the Republicans sued over Dandelion Wine being a threat to France’s Vineyards!

It’s time that a litmus test (the favorite Republican creedo) be administered to those on the bench and those seeking appointment to the bench. Let’s call it the FACTS of today’s life and let a group of 20 somethings ask the questions. Couldn’t hurt to employ that for Congress, too!

I don’t know about you, but I’d hate to be hauled before guys who thought that stealing a few songs from the internet was a more horrendous crime that bilking millions of Americans of their money.

It’s time for younger, more time-aware justices. And it’s definitely time for term limits on them.

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