Saturday, July 17, 2004

Policyholder Disclosure.
This was the title of one of the numerous "disclosures" I seem to get in the mail these days.  However, this one was mandated by the federal government.  What?
 
It seems that my insurance company, Allstate, by virtue of the "Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002," has "deemed" my coverage to include losses caused by "acts of terrorism" to which the federal program applies ("subject to policy terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions.")
 
The federal law mandates that the insurance carrier "disclose" my portion of the premium that is attributable to such coverage.  What is my "portion" of the premium?  A big whopping goose egg, $0.00.  Is Allstate giving me a break here?  It would seem very altruistic of them - not to charge me for "terrorism" insurance.  What a deal!
 
Well, hold on here.  What is this other disclosure: "Disclosure of Federal Share of Compensation for Insured Losses?"  Oh!  Now I see.
 
It turns out that the federal Act establishes a formula whereby the
"United States of America pays 90 percent of covered terrorism losses exceeding the statutorily established deductible paid by the insurance company providing the coverage."
Great!  Another federal program - lobbied for, no doubt, by the insurance companies.  I wonder how much of my tax dollars goes to this?

Friday, July 16, 2004

Out for dumb.
I have no idea what that phrase actually means, but I had a P.E. teacher who used to tell that to students who were being obviously dumb during class.  "Bob, you're out for dumb."  I think its lack of clear definition makes it so appealing, so effective.  I have no idea what it means; it's great!
 
I use this phrase today to describe the prosecutors in the Martha Stewart trial.  She was sentenced a little while ago to five months in prison, plus five months of home confinement and two years of supervision.
 
What galls me the most is that Stewarts sale of ImClone saved her about $45,000 in capital losses (which, actually, was a poor move, anyway, as ImClone subsequently double in value), but the assault on her has cost her shareholders far more than that, as tarnishing her image has caused share values of Martha Stewart Omnimedia to decline.  If anyone here is doing shareholders a disservice, it isn't Martha Stewart; it's the prosecutors in her case.
David, continuing on your previous post
about the Ninth Amendment, one of the things that irritates me about many conservatives is that they often take an extreme textual view of the Constitution when it comes to our rights.  Take, for example, Taranto's comment, "One wonders which of the first 10 amendments Kerry thinks guarantees the right of gay couples to marry."  Well, the Constitution says nothing about my right to sit in the comfort of my home eating butterscotch pudding, but would anyone argue that the government has the right to ban that because it's not in the Bill of Rights?
 
This was actually one of the principle fears of some of the Founders.  The introduction of the BoR was a compromise issue to ensure passage and support of the the new Constitution.  Supporters of the BoR demaned inclusion, fearing that the new, powerful central government would soon trample over everyone.  Opponents of the BoR argued that its inclusion would cause problems in the future, as people reading the text would think that rights not listed in the BoR were no longer guaranteed to a free people.
 
Seems the opponents of the BoR were pretty far sighted people.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

And the answer is
the ninth amendment, thank you very much. The question can be found here, under the topic "A Manatee and a Woman".
Delaying Elections
Right Thinking wonders what would qualify as an election-delaying event and doesn't like the implications. Neither do I.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Delayed Elections?
I'm with David on this one. Even the Civil War didn't stop the elections. Not only does this play into the hands of terrorists, it creates even more fear. Moreover, it would create an extremely dangerous precedent.
Delayed Elections.
My guess, honestly, is that someone asked for a worst-case scenario position paper. Someone high up probably asked: If terrorists successfully blow up a bunch of stuff and anarchy is reigning supreme, could we delay elections until order is restored? This is the sort of thing one would hope our officials are doing in response to potential attacks: Assuming some potential attack and then coming up with responses.

Now, I agree that it would be a mistake to do this, but this is likely being blown out of proportion.
Delaying the elections?
This is a gigantic mistake, a mistake to even talk about. It plays right into the hands of those that believe President Bush is dictator wanna-be, and frankly I find it troubling myself. We can't let anything get in the way of the election - our democracy must still function regardless of the threats. What do you guys make of this?