Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Sunday Pickle

Alexander Hamilton would have loved blogging--because he loved to tell people what to do.

At least that's what Richard Brookehiser of National Review fame had to say in an appearance to plug his new book on C-SPAN 2's Afterwords. (The idea for the book is actually pretty intriguing: What would the Founders say about something like 60 current hot topics? The link to the May 27th interview is here--RealPlayer. C-SPAN 2's BookTV is the best.)

There was another fun fact of sorts from the interview. At the time Aaron Burr killed Hamilton in their 1804 duel, the law was pretty clear just about everywhere that it was murder plain and simple to kill someone in a duel. If so, why were murders by duel never prosecuted? No jury would have convicted, Brookhiser says.

Hmmm. Times have changed. Anecdotally, from the tales of the true trial lawyers I encounter, it seems to me that modern juries will convict anyone of just about anything once the prisoner is in the dock. There have, of course, been some notable, notorious, and very public exceptions. (The best lawyer I know--who also taught me just about everything I know worth knowing about lawyering--said once upon a time that if she were innocent, she'd want a bench trial; if guilty, a jury. I think I agree with her with one proviso: I'd want a bench trial if I could prove my innocence.)

I'm not going to plug Brookhiser's book for him. I haven't read it. But the interview was entertaining. And I will give his blog a link.

I don't post much about blogging itself. But it never occurred to me that blogging is about telling people what to do. I'll have to think about that.

But Alexander Hamilton as blogger. There's a concept. The Federalist Papers as blog posts. Hmmm. I guess we should be grateful that blogging wasn't then on the menu. We might today be talking about the Founding Bloggers.

Which reminds me of what my now-six-year old said a year ago or so when, to his shock, he heard that I didn't have video games when I was growing up: "Why not, Poppa? Didn't you have electricity?"

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