Here's Toby & Lessig's conversation (happening at the same time Igor & Vlad are having their conversation): Lessig says he picked up a few phrases -- the language isn't all that different from Polish. Toby notes that they're still eating lunch. Lessig says they love the roast beef. Toby says Lessig wasted the morning talking about a government system that'll never work for Belarus, & now he's given them an extended lunch break. Lessig doesn't think his discussion was a waste. Toby reminds him that the 2 delegates have to leave the WH on Friday w/ a set of laws to take back to Minsk. Lessig corrects him: it's not a set of laws, but a sense of the rule of law. Toby asks him if he's planning on writing a Constitution this week. Lessig asks him if he's familiar w/ Meyer v. State of Nebraska. Toby says Nebraska passed a law making it illegal to teaching anything other than English during WWI. Meyer wanted to teach German, & the Supreme Court declared the law was unconstitutional. Lessig asks where in the Constitution does it say you have a right to teach German in school. Toby: "Okay, & if Oliver Wendell Holmes were alive to serve as President of Belarus maybe they wouldn't need a constitution". Lessig says Holmes dissented on the case. Toby says the 2 delegates need a magna carta w/ real checks & powers. They need a "strong judiciary, a limited executive, a vital press". Lessig replies that a constitutional democracy only works if it reflects demoractic values already existing in the citizenry. Toby says the Belarusians lack those values. Lessig thinks that the most important job they have is to instill those values in the leaders through discussion & debate. Toby says he's talking about 8 people on a DC sightseeing trip. Does Lessig think he's going to reverse 50 years of brutal dictatorship by teaching those 8 people democratic values? Lessig says the 8 are all the President's men & they're teaching them how to scrutinize power. How many people does Toby think it takes? There's a pause, then Toby looks at Igor & Vlad. Then he looks past them & sees Gordon & Miss Universe. A note says, "Tick tock, tick tock".Link (Thanks, Alex!)
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.