Over the last several years, the Florida Legislature repeatedly has stripped municipalities of the authority to act on a wide range of policy matters. The legal term for this activity is state preemption. We might simply call it state control. It seems reasonable to ask why. But it may be more useful to ask ourselves, […]

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I love ice cream. My current favorite flavors are Mint Chocolate Chip and Cappuccino Chocolate Chip. Sometimes, I take a scoop of each. Your preferences may differ, dear Reader, and that’s just fine. Our tastes in treats are . . . our tastes. If we can afford to act on our preferences, it’s hard to […]

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In the 21st century, a new phrase has entered into the American lexicon of family life: helicopter parent. Helicopter parents constantly hover over their children. Even with young adults, they preempt choices about education, careers and relationships. They intervene aggressively when complaints are brought against their children and when their children have complaints. This kind […]

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Many years ago, I wrote a commentary for Quality Cities about ordinary people bearing extraordinary burdens for the good of others. I marveled at my pastor preaching the funeral Mass of his father. And I reflected on Kate Hale’s blunt criticism of the emergency response in the wake of Hurricane Andrew: “Where the hell is […]

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I recently “experienced” the Boston Tea Party with my wife and two youngest children. We attended a community meeting at which “Samuel Adams” spoke. Then, we boarded a tea ship and pitched tea into Boston Harbor. We also listened to others debate the merits of being a colony or being independent, heard “the shot heard […]

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