Some of you may remember that my New Year’s resolution was to read the Constitution. It’s surprisingly short and powerful. Thinking about a handful of men sitting down and conceiving a government it is awe-inspiring. What’s surprising is how few powers it gave to the newly envisioned federal government, basically the power to coin and regulate money, provide for the common defense, regulate foreign trade and immigration (including punishing piracy), set up courts, grant patents, and establish the postal service and “post roads.” Everything else was left to the states.
When we were talking about this, Larry mentioned that Rutherford Hayes vetoed a bill proposed by Congress to appropriate 15 million dollars for Civil War widows, saying, “I see no place in the Constitution that authorizes the Federal Government to give charity.” Hmmm, I wonder what Pogo would say about that.
In regards to the postal service here’s a conversation I had with Larry about mailing a copy of Poems from the Stray Dog Cafe to someone in Russia.
Me: “I wonder how much it costs to send a book to Russia?”
Larry: “Twelve dollars and seventy-five cents.”
Me: “That’s not too bad.”
Larry: “I wouldn’t want to compete with them.”
In other news, Larry is managing his softball team this season, and they’re in first place.