Editorials: Public property; and US voting rights

playa blanca
Questionable collateral: the would-be Aqua Tower when it was being built on the sand of Playa Blanca. Years later it’s just a shell: the money was not spent on proper foundations so the 13-story structure would thus be at risk of collapse and unable to get an occupancy permit. Bank loans and corporate bond issues, some of the former from a public bank, funded this nonsense. The Bible warns of fools who build on the sand. So does a recent condo collapse in the Miami area. Has Panamanian jurisprudence finally gotten some old-time religion?

The high court said…

“It is inadmissible that it is attempted to allow public domain assets to be transferred to private legal entities for the purpose of concessioned works.”

WHOAH! Did the Supreme Court really mean that? The money laudering towers with private marinas taking over the beaches? The landfill off of Punta Pacifica with its upscale private homes? Those will fall as the plain meaning of the constitution all along gets upheld?

It’s a positive development, but much has gone on and some adjustments will need to be made. There are equities to be upheld for communities that were displaced. There are investigations to be had, truths to be reported and penalties to be imposed for things like the willful destruction of the oystering rocks at the east end of San Carlos’s Playa Grande.

With an economy in collapse, there will need to be a new economic deal even if the people who have been running the show don’t want one. These hard times lead toward to a good time to adjust old inequities and set clear rules for the future.


Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. under arrest for protesting the filibuster against voting rights. Reverend William Barber and 200 others were also arrested at the Capitol Hill protests. From a Black America Web video.

New tactics and old in a drive for voting rights

Let all their overpaid and underperforming consultants say that it’s time to wait, that unless we reach across the aisle to people who sneer at us there is nothing to be done. They don’t have a public record that justifies rank-and-file Democrats or progressive independents following their advice.

Some old folks, and some young folks, have better ideas. Taking it to the streets and to the courts and the halls of government, for sure, but most of all marching to register en masse and then vote en masse. Some of us may be arrested and some of us may die, but the basic thing is to overwhelm the white supremacists and their enablers at the polls. The full-court press? That may be part of it, but this is not a basketball game. To save the country Americans must now play the contact sport of political hardball.


Graça Machel. Wikimedia photo by Vaner Casaes – Fronteiras do Pensamento.

Preventing the conflicts of tomorrow means changing the mind-set of youth today.

Graça Machel


Bear in mind


A functioning, robust democracy requires a healthy educated, participatory followership, and an educated, morally grounded leadership.

Chinua Achebe


There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.

Arthur C. Clarke


It’s only when we’re relaxed that the thing way down deep in all of us – call it the subconscious mind, the spirit, what you will – has a chance to well up and tell us how we shall go.

Frances Perkins


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