Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Insurance greed

One of the most outrageous examples of corporate greed is property insurance in Florida. Although there were substantial claims from storms a few years ago, the insurance companies seem to want to make sure that their premium income every year will provide for substantial profit as well as cover claims from the most extreme storm scenario imaginable and, if those storms don't occur, well that is just that much more profit.

One of the largest and most greedy insurance companies operating in Florida is Allstate. When the insurance industry (including Allstate) claimed that skyrocketing property insurance rates were due to increases in reinsurance costs, the state acted to provide low-cost reinsurance and dircted the companies to pass along the savings to policyholders. Instead of doing so, Allstate put in for a 42% rate increase -- this after previous years of huge increases. The state responded by denying the increase and by requesting detailed documentation of Allstate's justification.

Now, several months later, Allstate has still not provided the information so the state of Florida has now restricted Allstate from writing any more highly profitable auto polcies in the state. This is great news! It turns out that the state could have fined Allstate $10,000 per day for refusing to provide the data but Allstate is already being subjected to $25,000 per day penalties in another state for also failing to provide required information. Allstate is crying the blues that the ban will hurt its agents which is true but those agents need to blame the company and greedy management and not the state which is trying to reduce outrageous insurance company premiums and profits. Perhaps the agents can put some pressure on Allstate management to correct its practices -- so far, nothing else has slowed down the greed.

taking privacy a step too far

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is apparently supporting Idaho Senator Larry Craig's attempt to withdraw his guilty plea relative to the infamous sting in which he was alleged to have solicited homosexual sex in an airport bathroom.

The ACLU is claiming that a previous Minnesota court decision provides for the expectation of privacy of individuals taking part in sexual encounters in public bathroom stalls. By extension, I guess the new theory is that the solicitation for sex cannot be a crime since the ensuing act would presumably be protected by some privacy right.

This seems like a strange and bizarre position to take. While it is reasonable to have an expectation of privacy in a public bathroom in using those facilities for their intended purpose, to extend that privacy right like this makes no sense at all. Does a public restroom stall now become some extension of one's residence?

A public restroom stall is not sealed off from the rest of the world. It would be noticeable to a casual observer if there are two individuals in a stall and who knows how much noise and commotion would ensure from the kind of activities advocated by the ACLU. If the ACLU's position is to be upheld, people would be reluctant to use the restrooms for their intended purposes.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The "real" Clintons

As it becomes apparent that Barack Obama is a real threat to Hillary Clinton's march to coronation, the fur is starting to fly. Most interesting is the claim that the Clintons are now starting to try to play the race card against Obama. Some Clintonistas in the media claim that is not possible, isn't Bill Clinton the self-described "first black president". Well, the most important things to the Clintons are power and money. The Clintons love blacks -- blacks that are subservient to the Clintons -- but blacks like Obama who threaten the goals of the Clintons are fair game for any of the dirty tactics they are famous for.

Arkansas during the Clinton years was a poor state but the Clintons looted it anyhow and Bill Clinton acted like a Middle Ages monarch towards women who attracted his interest.

But Bill Clinton was also about wanting love, whether from the intern-de-jour, the media, or the public at large. That desire moderated his political views to a substantial extent. With Hillary, there is no respect or desire from affection from anyone, especially the public at large. Hillary is all about the raw desire for power. Yes, she can occasionally act like she is a real person but only a fool would believe it.

Hillary Clinton is the most devisive political figure in a long, long time. If she becomes president, it will be bad times for the county. Even slimy, greedy John Edwards would be better than Hillary.