Saturday, March 31, 2007

Back up 100 years ... New Wagon for New Century

The image above is from 1915 and was captured down in Ozark. It's essentially the local dealer trying some marketing to show how strong this Studebaker model is. It is surely toting a load. For that time I expect it might have been a top drawer tool. Reckon the fellow that bought it would still think it the best tool for the job, even if in 1915 it would have been? Who'd have thunk it would have wound up on the Internets? Guess there's been plenty of changes since then and in fact the Mobile Press-Register's take on the latest legislation to perhaps replace our dreadful 1901 Constitution makes that exact point. The editorial begins with

IF THE Alabama constitution were a truck, it would be a 1901 wooden wagon pulled by big mules, because no one made a pickup before 1902. The mules would be old and skinny, hardly capable of pulling the bloated constitution that has acquired so many amendments (more than 700) that it has become the longest constitution in the nation.

The wood slats and bottom of the 1901 wagon would be rotted, mildewed and broken. The wheels would be rusted and bent, the harness decayed and patched together.

It wouldn't serve the needs of 21st century Alabamians any better than the real constitution does.

And it ends with

But what a shame it would be for Alabama to remain burdened by a dysfunctional constitution that makes home rule for counties nearly impossible, contains racist language, works against economic development, and enforces an unfair and inadequate tax system.

The 1901 constitution doesn't serve the people of Alabama. Indeed, it was written to serve the interests of the 19th century planter class, which no longer exists.

Legislators can let Alabama progress and do the public's bidding by allowing a vote for a constitution convention. Opinion polls have shown that more than 50 percent of voters in both political parties favor rewriting the state constitution.

It's time to put the mules out to pasture and get a new motorized vehicle of a constitution that can drive Alabama into the 21st century.!

Also, the same paper gives us Mark Berte looking at the historical FACTS of the circumstances giving Alabama this document of repression, racism, ... Mr. Berte then provides several very clever arguments that I'd missed in the past. I wasn't aware of some of what he conveyed and now feel even more certain, and that's getting into the exponential areas given my prior position, of the need for immediate reform. The planters got exactly what they wanted then and for us today to continue governing under this Constitution is outrageous.

Highly recommended piece and I commend the Press-Register for their willingness to publish. Call Montgomery and demand that these bills move forward ASAP. Peace ... or War

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