Where the Founding Fathers Went Wrong
When I read about judges reaching back as far as the Nineteenth century to define State laws restricting or even banning abortions, as occurred recently in Arizona, I think of how the Confederacy, defeated on the battlefield, was allowed to maintain its federal, as opposed to national, approach to government, with power resting in State Houses rather than in the national Capitol, through judicial means. (See Federalist Paper #39 by Madison for more on this distinction.) Today, this is still going on, made possible by the Constitutional compromise stated in the first sentence of Article 1, Section 3, giving each state two Senators, regardless of population. That's where the Founding Fathers blew it. Seriously.
|The Compromises the Framers Made |
Have Come Back to Hurt Us
This undemocratic compromise was one of the things that made possible the ratification of the Constitution, but it also made possible the Civil War, the failure of Reconstruction, as well as our present out-of-touch Supreme Court and dysfunctional Congress. The tragedy of this compromise went beyond the Senate’s voting on legislation and also metastasized to (1) the Electoral College's role in choosing a president and (2) the confirmation of judicial appointments, including Supreme Court Justices, both made into undemocratic mechanisms by Article I, Section 3’s first sentence.
Correcting it will be a revolutionary task, which I doubt the nation will undertake, even via the Constitution's Amendment process.
Disinformation is Dangerous.
Disinformation is the last remaining tool of the Republican Party, other than specifically inciting violence. On the side of truth, however, there is a lot of real information available about what our government is accomplishing. Our problem, and solving it is the challenge facing us, is that millions of Americans, including elected Members of Congress, cannot tell the difference between real information and disinformation that is often based on plain and simple lies.
Their confusion is helped by the First Amendment, which provides undeserved credibility to disinformation. On September 27, Congressman Jaime Raskin distinguished between disinformation ... he calls it a myth ... and real information about the Second Amendment in an essay published by the New York Times. For those of you who won't bother to visit the link below to read Congressman Raskin's essay, here's a brief quote from it: 'Many Republicans in Congress agree with Representative Matt Gaetz that the Second Amendment “is about maintaining within the citizenry the ability to maintain an armed rebellion against the government, if that becomes necessary.”
That is where such ‘disinformation’ led many Americans on January 6, 2021. And here is the link to Congressman Raskin's essay:
Florida's Homeowners' Insurance Crisis Continues -
Will Hurricane Ian Claims Make it Worse?
There is nothing wrong with a business in the private sector earning a profit. That’s what businesses are all about. But when insurance companies go belly up, leave, or reduce their participation in the homeowners’ property insurance marketplace, they do so because of their fear of facing or actually experiencing unanticipated financial losses. I believe that unpredictable hurricanes like Ian and thinly-disguised insurance fraud by contractors and avaricious lawyers precipitate such losses in Florida.
Their normal incentive, as with any business, to make a profit is taken away, replaced by merely trying to survive, and that in turn, reduces the industry’s capacity to provide a service that is essential to the public. That is why governments have responsibility for providing those essential services to the public that are not expected to produce a profit such as police and fire departments, schools, water supply, trash collection, roadways, and so forth.
|Is This an Essential Service, |
Worthy of Government Subsidy?
In Florida, we had better find some solutions to the homeowners’ property insurance market crisis quickly, and they better not hinge on dipping deeper into homeowners’ pockets in Florida, where homeowners’ insurance is already among the most expensive in the nation, or else we should start thinking about moving the task of providing homeowners insurance, so important to the real estate market, from the private sector to the public one. Losses from Ian or another major hurricane might make that shift a necessity.
If that should happen, I am doubtful that Florida’s State government is capable of handling it. The Federal government can do a better job, possibly by going into the non-profit business of selling unlimited reinsurance to private insurance companies, enabling them to sell their products at a fair price. Government subsidies in agriculture, mortgages, and manufacturing have existed for years. Such help to the homeowners insurance business would benefit the people as much as the companies it saves.
39 Days Until Election Day - My Recommendations
The following is the message posted on this blog on September 25, 2022. As we draw nearer to Election Day, its importance grows and therefore, it is repeated here.
* * * *
- If you support the right of a woman to choose to have an abortion, or
- If you support increased gun control measures to reduce the frequency of mass murders, or
- If you support a broadening, not a narrowing, of access to voting for all Americans, regardless of race or ethnicity,
In Florida, your choice is a simple one. Governor DeSantis, Senator Rubio, and almost all Republican legislators in Congress and State legislatures OPPOSE these things. Democrats, like Val Demings and Charlie Crist SUPPORT them.
(And if you are not a Florida voter, the same kinds of simple choices will be on your ballot in your State.)
That is why you should only vote for Democrats and get your like-minded friends and relatives to do the same. Forward this message to them. Please remember that a vote for any Republican who does not denounce the defeated former president, in any election whatsoever, is actually a vote for the replacement of democracy with the authoritarian rule he represents.
In addition, you should make a commitment to personally work hard to bring about the election victories on November 8 that are necessary to help democracy survive in the United States of America. Your help is sorely needed. Without your efforts, these victories just will not happen, and democracy will suffer.
It comes down to:
· Registering voters,
· Making telephone calls,
· Sending emails,
· Writing postal cards,
· Knocking on doors.
Here is some contact information to help you do these essential things:
activateamerica.vote …. Visit this website to connect with national phonebanks, email, and postal card writing campaigns keyed to crucial races.
Palm Beach County Democratic Party - 561 562 8102 (sign up for local programs in which you can participate.) Elsewhere, just call your local Democratic Party.
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections - 561 656 6200 (for registration and voting location information). Elsewhere, just call your local Supervisor of Elections.
The websites of candidates such as Val Demings and Charlie Crist both offer the opportunity to make donations to pay for their campaigns. TV ads and signs are not inexpensive.
Get to work now. Don’t put it off until tomorrow. Too much is at stake. I’ve given you all the contacts you need. Democracy depends on you!
* * * *
To How Many People Have You Forwarded This Blog Posting?
* * * *
The Future of Mailboxes
People in the gated community in which I live have been engaging in back-and-forth commentary about replacing our mailboxes. Postal service of one kind or another has been going on since the days of the Persian and Roman empires. Since then, the world has expanded upon and followed that pattern. Lately though, the USPS, because of manpower issues, has been insisting on inconvenient and usually disliked ‘cluster mailboxes’ rather than individual ones for each home in newer housing developments, making us fortunate to even still have them over which to argue.
Today, nearly everyone with whom we do business is begging us to choose email communications instead of paper sent through the USPS. (We even are starting to send holiday greetings that way.)
When banks and other businesses start charging a really hefty premium price to those who prefer to continue to receive bills, statements, legal notices, etc. by ‘paper’ mailings, the USPS will go out of business. Newspapers already charge about triple the price for their traditional ‘paper’ versions than they do for the same material sent ‘online,’ but that isn’t saving them from going out of business. Advertisers will have to find another distributor for their generally ignored paper sales pitches once the USPS is no more. At that point we can take down our mailboxes and replace them with about a square foot of sod.
Without even 'cluster' mailboxes, the computer illiterate will then have to bank and pay bills ‘in person’ and need to be able to visit a bulletin board where public notices will be hung, just as Martin Luther put his ideas on a church door in 1517, not being able to go online with them. Ah, for the days of Cyrus the Great and Augustus Caesar who first created employment for the mailman. In those days, that was an innovation!
* * * *
To How Many People Have You Forwarded This Blog Posting?
That’s Not Enough!
* * * *