Friday, November 27, 2009
Who amongst us can deny, that our government officials at both the State and National level, are out of touch with the people? Can anyone with honesty look to Augusta and Washington and say that they are doing a good job? I think not my friends. Not only have the politicians forgotten what it is like to earn one’s daily bread, but so too have they betrayed the very trust of those who elected them to office in the first place. What am I talking about? Strangely enough I’m speaking of hope, in my own convoluted way.
This past week governor Baldacci announced a sixty three million dollar budget shortfall. The vast sum, which boggles my mind, must be “made up” through departmental budget cuts alone. According to Gov Baldacci no new taxes or fees will be imposed on the people of this good state. As much as I would like to applaud the governor for his fine rhetoric, I’m afraid my hands sit idle.
The reality of the situation is this; the legislature will resume session in January and as they look to cut budgets, department heads from DHHS, and DOT, will protest loudly. Those departments will at first say “we are already cut to the bone”, a most favored line of government agencies when asked to make cuts. Secondly, if the legislature and the governor insist, the bureaucrats will come back with a list of cuts to the most dramatic and oft times crucial programs within their budgets. This we saw a few years ago when DHHS bused homeless veterans, mentally disabled persons and elderly pensioners up to the state house to display the impact of the legislature’s demands.
This type of display has a great effect on the legislature especially during election years, which by the way 2010 is. No Representative or Senator in his/her right mind would openly deny services to homeless veterans or the elderly, not if they wanted to be re-elected for another term. If there was a legislator who did happen to point out how viciously false the display is and how utterly disingenuous the reasoning, that legislator’s next opponent would be a fool not to take advantage of it. I can see the campaign slogan now, “Senator so and so hates veterans.”
So to perpetuate their hard won seats, those representatives in Augusta who seek reelection in 2010 will waver and wane in the face of such protests. They will place self interest over what little interest they are supposed to have in their constituencies and state as a whole. Intellectual honesty will be ignored for the sake of their positions. In the case of the missing $63,000,000 from the budget, that means the revenue will have to come from another source won’t it?
This type of politicking is not exclusive to Maine but to the Federal system as well. Chellie Pingree, Maine’s 1st district representative, has all but admitted that most of her time is spent fundraising for her next election bid, which leaves her not much time to do the work of legislating. This must explain why she has chosen to be naught but a cheerleader, shouting on the sidelines, on the healthcare reform debates. For how could she have the time to read all 2000 pages of that bill before voting for it if she is spending all her time on the phone and at fundraisers asking for money?
Dire times indeed.
However, there seems to be a glimmer of hope on the horizon, for the people of Maine, as I know of no less than three persons, who are of honest, strong, character who are looking at serving in our government. Ellie Espling has declared she is running for district 105 out of New Gloucester, Gary Foster plans to run for the District 109 seat out of Gray that is being termed out by Sue Austin, and last but not least Dean Scontras has created an exploratory committee to examine the possibility of running for the 1st district for US Congress. Each and every one of these people understand that to serve in government is to serve the voters. That they are the stewards of the seat not the owners, and that intellectual honesty, though not politically expedient, has great value. Perhaps, with luck more good people will come forward and we the people may have the chance to take back what was once ours. I have hope, as this is going to be an interesting year indeed.
*This article was written for and printed in Lakes Region Weekly newspaper*
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
The above article by Dean Scontras is well worth a long hard look. For in it he explains fully the implications of our current and former governments failure to act responsibly. I cannot help but applaud Mr. Scontras' grasp of the problems facing our troubled nation.
I won't even complain that through this article he managed to undermine my Column piece for the Lakes Region Weekly that is due out this Friday.
Take a warning from the words of Mr. Scontras, for in this he is most definitely on the mark.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
No Health Care in the Constitution
The above is an important and well written piece on the legality or better yet the illegality of the current Health Care Reform proposals. Would that I wrote it myself perhaps, if I had the money to retire I could have had the time. In any event it is worth the read, for it shows quite clearly that Congress and the Administration are in violation of the Constitution of the United States.
As these elected officials are bound by oath to uphold said document they are by this act, breaking their oath, which is grounds for dismissal from office.
Given the obvious complete disregard for the basis for our government coupled with the lack of understanding of "Limited Government" we are faced with no recourse in this matter. The Supreme Court will not easily dismiss the take over of such a large part of our economy as the faulty argument of "General Welfare" was used by FDR in setting up Social Security. The reasoning goes: If the Health Care reform package is proved unconstitutional through it's use of the general welfare clause then so too would the whole Social Security program.
Sad but true, and that will leave the court with quite a sticky situation indeed! One in which they will have neither the grit or fortitude to step out of.
Essentially what I'm saying is that if we are saddled with this law, the courts will lie down and die before it out of fear of the consequences of following the actual law. For those consequences are far too great. A challenge on Social Security would threaten the lives and livelihood of far too many people in this nation, no matter that those entitlements were given illegally in the first place.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I’m not usually surprised by the outcome of elections, but this past run at the polls really stumped me. Two items in both Windham and Gray respectfully threw me curveballs and I “whiffed” at bat. I did manage to call all the other referendum questions correctly however. Under normal circumstances, by November 2nd, I can pick who is going to win a seat, large or small, or what issues and referendums will pass or fail. This is not due to some supernatural power that propels me to heights of consciousness and understanding unknown to mere mortals. No, I base my choices on mundane observations and history.
For example: Mainers love to approve bonds, one cannot doubt this fact, for the evidence of it lies in every election since 1995. Each time we go to vote on town or state issues sure enough, there will be a finely worded bond package nestled within the ballot. Its old news to be sure. Everyone knows that any bond proposal for roads, bridges, water quality, or just about anything else will pass here in Maine; after all don’t bonds come with matching funds? What could be finer than a bit of “free money” as those funds are commonly called? So bond packages are pretty much an easy guess when it comes time to decide. They get a hearty “thumbs up”, or at least they used to.
Even though the 71 million dollar state transportation bond was given the voter’s blessing, the Clark Farm bond proposal was turned down in Windham. The one and a half million dollar proposal was rejected by the voters 3,515 to 3,164. It was a close one but a huge surprise to me. I thought for sure it was a lock because when it comes to borrowing money most towns and definitely the state just can’t say no. Stunned does not begin to express my reaction, but happily so, for it seems the voters of Windham understand that their community cannot afford to incur that kind of debt at this time. I wonder if perhaps this decision is some kind of indicator which shows that fiscal responsibility in government is becoming a real voter concern. I can only hope it is, and I applaud the fine people of Windham for exercising prudence and foresight on this issue. I’ll happily take the loss on this pick.
The other ballot question I missed on was the proposal to eliminate the annual Gray town meeting. This one really threw me for a loop as I thought for sure this bit of nonsense would have been rejected out of hand. Yet in a landslide decision of 2,633 in favor to 809 opposed, the people of Gray eliminated this very old and very important part of their government.
I am sure that many were confused by the wording of proposal itself, which was in essence nothing more than a part of the town charter with lines crossed out. I personally had to read it twice to be sure my vote was cast (against) correctly and I had known ahead of time what I was going to do! However confusion alone cannot explain the overwhelming numbers in favor of eliminating open and accountable government. Perhaps it is a lack of understanding of the importance of the institution itself that caused so many to call for its demise? Maybe if we couple this ignorance with the apparent apathy of the citizenry we might begin to scratch the surface of why this came to pass.
Regardless, what happened in Gray this past November 3rd, is shameful.
The loss of town meeting means less accountability not more, as some would say. It means the Town Council can no longer be “compelled” to amend the budget at the request of the people, it means they can accept or reject at whim any suggestions one might put forth. And I ask where are we the people to go and act the part of supplicant, rather than legislator?
To the budget workshops where we will be welcomed, I am sure, with open arms and hearts, all voices will be given fair hearing, well maybe, if that voice exceeds not three minutes. Oh wait! I’m talking about Town council meetings there sorry, separate discussion.
I missed hard on the issue of town meeting, by misjudging my neighbors and fellow citizens. Don’t worry though, I’ll not fall prey to such foolishness again.
* This article was written for and published in the Lakes Region Weekly newspaper*
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Two months ago at a breakfast meeting someone I admire very much looked me dead in the eye and said “You are unique because you are so patriotic, yet have never served in the military.” I was a bit taken aback by this statement as I felt that my love and concern for our country was not something remarkable. I’m no different from the next fellow down the road, or next door or even in my family, for I believe there are few amongst those people who can say they love not this nation. Yet, here was my friend Jack, a proud Navy veteran casually expressing surprise. I dismissed his statement with a weak joke and a change of topic, but something has been gnawing at the back of my brain since and I feel that today, being Veterans Day, it would be appropriate to flush it all out. For it is through the Veterans of my family that this ardor came to be.
Honor, Duty, Country.
My uncle, Master Sergeant Frank Butler, was a combat Veteran who fought through three tours of duty in Vietnam including the Tet offensive of 1968. He went to war because his country asked him to, and to be blunt because it was the right thing to do. Frank watched as his friends and comrades were torn to shreds in ambushes and on patrol. He experienced the hardship, sacrifice and pain of warfare first hand, privations he would hint at, only rarely, when drunk.
While he slogged through the Jungle his friends and family back home continued on with their peaceful every day lives. They had jobs, built families, and got married all while Sergeant Butler was half a world away fighting for his life and the lives of his comrades. He was married too, not out of love, but necessity. He was wed to his 12 gauge pump action shotgun, which he explained was the finest bush fighting weapon ever devised. His job was to “Demoralize, murder, and maim” the enemy into submission, which he did without fail every single day.
When he returned in the summer of 1971, the world he had left was changed considerably. There were no parades, which I don’t think he would have marched in anyway, or general support for the troopers coming home. The only attention you were likely to receive from the media would be if you were unlucky enough to be in a body bag. Outside of that, no one seemed to notice or care, except loved ones and family. After three years of fighting, Frank was just happy to be at home where no one was trying to kill him.
I know the pain of those years wore heavily on Uncle Frank, I could see it in his eyes every now and again. Darkness would shadow his piercing gaze and a sense of melancholy would overtake him, these spells lasted not long, perhaps five to fifteen seconds or so, but they were frightening all the same. Once he caught me staring and noticed my concern. “Don’t worry Allen, it’s nothing.” He said and then he cracked a crude joke to make us laugh.
Frank instilled in me a respect for the military and its purpose. He taught me that it is the trooper, airman, and sailor that secure the freedoms and security of our land. Without whom we very well may be subject to the barbarities of warfare here in our very homes. He hated communism and socialism with a personal passion as he had witnessed what those systems could bring about, which was explained to me in some detail.
Sergeant Frank Butler was a great man, and I am proud to say I knew him. He went to serve his country because he knew it was the honorable thing to do. He understood that to maintain freedom, and liberty, one sometimes has to fight, and it was his duty to answer the call of his country. This was and is a very important lesson to learn especially at a young age, a lesson I have carried with me my entire life.
From the toils of my forebears I have received the gifts of liberty and opportunity, for generations my family has fought in the wars of this nation, without complaint, from the American Civil war to Vietnam, they answered the call of duty and gave their all. Frank was but one man of many who share my blood, and it is my duty, and my honor to remember them all with gratitude.
From such comes my ardor and love of this country it was passed to me by a hand strong and a heart true. Look to those of your family today and thank those who are either serving or have served, for they are examples of what is good and right.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Election Day, has to be one of my all time favorite days of the year. For me it even trumps holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July. It is on this day that we the people of this nation give voice to our thoughts and cast votes. Whether that ballot be for a referendum, initiative or a candidate, we come out by the millions to participate in this grand experiment.
Not many of my friends and family can say with such enthusiasm that Election Day is of such status. For most, it is but a chore, one to be endured rather than embraced. They cite the long lines at the polls, the traffic, or the seemingly endless list of confusing questions on the ballot itself. Many are even apathetic to the whole process itself and they simply refuse to participate in any measure.
How oh so wrong they are!!!!
This day is a manifestation of two hundred plus years of blood, sacrifice, toil, and generosity. Each and every person who goes forth today does so beneath the watchful gaze of generations past, who gave their all so that this Republic could continue on. As I look towards the booth, prior to entrance, I always take note of the fact that it is not I nor my wife nor my neighbor who has made this possible. It is through the labor of millions who went before us that affords us this opportunity, for which I give revered thanks.
I cannot express how deeply filled with pride I become when I see my fellow citizens lined up at the polls. Chattering away, catching up with one another as they wait their turn. Some discuss the issues others their families, and others stand silently still contemplating their upcoming decisions. These persons from all walks of life are testament to the greatness of this fine nation. They may not know it, but the small sacrifice in time and community spirit they give over freely breathes fresh life into my lungs as I watch them. Life much needed after all the screaming, heated debates on issues large and small.
I need not presents to feel joy, nor feasts nor firework displays. No parade could instill the emotion of happiness I enjoy upon seeing a family bring their wee child to the polls. Through example they pass along the gifts bestowed unto us all, and teach the importance of civic duty. It is a fine moment indeed when I hear a child ask questions about the process at hand.
Today is a day that I hold dear to my heart, for I know what sacrifice has gone before to allow me this freedom. And tonight as I go and do my duty, and express my views on the issues at hand, I hold in my breast a feeling of gratitude. Put aside the angst of rhetoric and hateful speech, let the facts come to the fore and give power to your thoughts, perform your civic duty and be proud, for today, above all others is ours.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
By HENRY J. PULIZZI
WASHINGTON -- The White House isn't concerned that increasingly vocal protests around the country are frustrating its push for health-care legislation.
Briefing reporters Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs suggested that the opposition is being organized by a small group seeking to create "manufactured anger."
"I hope people will take a jaundiced eye to what is clearly the AstroTurf nature of so-called grass-roots lobbying," Mr. Gibbs said. Wall Street Journal Article
Until today I have not given Press Secretary Robert Gibbs much thought or attention at all. His speeches and press conferences have to date been unimpressive and his eloquence leaves much to be desired. Every announcement to the press is filled with “Ahhs” and “Um’s”, used as so many fillers to help convey the message of the day. Personally I find the use of such fillers very irritating, as I was taught that to use “Umm” while speaking, over and over, represents a lack of intelligence. So I have tried to block out the stuttering uninspired rambling of the President’s mouth piece.
Yet I am unable to keep ignoring this man and his glib, if unimpressive, tongue any longer.
The above article in which the Press Secretary insinuates that the grass roots movement that is taking hold here in America is naught but “manufactured anger”, has had my ire up all afternoon. I simply cannot get over the arrogance of such a statement especially from one who has great difficulty in forming and speaking in complete sentences. Even if he did happen to have a silver tongue and a fine voice the dismissive nature of his statement still could not be excused.
For, Secretary Gibbs has just insulted the intelligence of every citizen who these past weeks has confronted their “Representatives” in town Hall meetings. He has said to them that they “Know not what they do” for obviously they are being led about by some “Fringe” fanatics.
I object to this strongly.
Just because Mr. Gibbs is but a dog on a leash forced by his position to speak and act only as his master allows does not mean the American people are of the same stock as he. Contrary to the popular Beltway mentality, many of the citizens of this fine nation have the ability to use reason. It may be that these lowly people have not the benefit of an Ivy League education (for which they should be thankful) but they do know right from wrong when they see it. These citizens also understand that they are guaranteed a representative Government by a pesky little document that most of the Washington elite wish never was written. That document being the U.S. Constitution.
The people so dismissed by the arrogant lap dog and his leash holders, are not dupes or puppets of some dark, sinister conspiracy. They are but concerned citizens performing their civic duty by telling those who purport to represent them what they want. They are genuinely angry over the constant barrage of lies and half truths being foisted upon them and they are finally sick of it. This is the movement of which Gibbs Speaks. One founded in anger yes, but also in tradition. The tradition of our fore bears who believed in a government “For and By the People.”
So Gibbs, Obama, Pelosi and all the rest can bark away like little dogs and try to defame those Americans who have successfully exposed them for what they are. It will be to no avail, for the Intellectual elite have been bested publicly by farmers and clerks in a battle of wits and will. Take heart America, the egalitarian ideals which this country is famous for have not been completely stripped away, as evidenced by the actions of your neighbors.
The photo is of Secretary Gibbs waiting patiently for his walk in the park.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Do you know who I am?
Most probably not, and more than likely even if you did happen to know me, you would not be admitting it freely. Perhaps it is my face which is by no means a pretty one or the all too common sneer that pulls back my right upper lip as I take in my surroundings. Regardless, the fact remains I personally am not a likeable fellow, nor might I add, have I ever tried to become such. In essence, I am nobody of import or of status and that is just fine with me.
Recently it seems people take great stock in who they are or better yet who they believe themselves to be. I put up the cases of Henry Lewis Gates Jr. and Maine State Rep. Richard Blanchard (D-Old Town) respectively to make my point. Both of these men were in confrontations involving the authorities over this past month. In each of these instances the officers involved were very professional and courteous, however Mr. Gates and Rep. Blanchard were anything but. I have linked the Police reports for you to read yourself.
So we must ask ourselves what exactly was the purpose and intent of those statements?
Friday, July 24, 2009
That's when Deputy William Greer grabbed Phillips until Deputy George Thornton yelled "Taser," then Greer backed away and Thornton fired.
Defense attorney Jay Lambert said he thought the situation was handled appropriately.
Friday, July 17, 2009
My name is O'Hanlon, and I've just gone sixteen.
It's nearly two years since I wandered away,
I joined a battalion from dear Ballybay
This Ireland of ours has long been half free.
And now as I lie here, my body all holes
Thursday, July 9, 2009
A curious fellow died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss a soul off to one side into a small pile.
After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow's curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over and asked Satan what he was doing.
"Excuse me, Mr. Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn't help wondering, why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?"
"Ah, those," Satan said with a groan. "They're all from Maine... They're still too wet to burn."
Monday, June 29, 2009
Panem et circenses ( Bread and Circuses)
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
U.S. and regional authorities were watching closely for signs that North Korea might fire short- or mid-range missiles during the June 25 to July 10 timeframe cited in a no-sail ban for military drills sent to Japan's Coast Guard. Source
First, we must look at “Why” has N. Korea become so belligerent?
The argument that the Koreans are making is that nuclear arms are not a commodity exclusive to the United States and that their little nation has every “right” to posses the capacity to bring forth nuclear Armageddon just like us. You will note that within this argument, they never mention either Russia or China. That is because those two powerful nations are N. Korea’s oldest allies. They would not dare offend such strong neighbors, nor do I blame them for leaving the other two super powers out of it. No they focus their attention on the United States and say they have a “right”.
I feel there is some validity to said argument for why can one country have missiles of utter destruction and not another? This seems to go against the very basis of that most wonderful of catch phrases “Global community”. If all are truly equal, as far as nations go in a Global Community, then the point would be moot and the world would have to allow the tiny dictatorship to build a shiny new toy of mass destruction.
However, all nations are not equal, nor for that matter are governments. I find it interesting that a country built upon the backs of the proletariat (yes I’m using Marxist terms here) ruled by mandate and not law, and which thrives upon the subjugation of its own people, can possible argue that they are Equal in the eyes of the world.
A nation that abhors equality pleads for equal status? Does this not strike anyone as odd? Does not the very fact that the Government of N Korea is in essence a dictatorship ruled by a despot disqualify that nation as equal?
Tyranny and dictatorship go against the basis of true government, that being the safety of the lives and property of the citizenry. This is but a fact handed down from Aristotle to Locke. Tyrants and despots violate this basis as they rule by whim and whip not by law or the consent of the people.
Therefore, N.Korea does not have a “right” to nuclear weapons based upon their weak argument of equality. For, they are not equal unto the other nations of the world as they are not a valid government in the first place.
Yet even though their reasoning is faulty, the North Korean government pushes forward with their aspiration to be a nuclear power. I suppose they somehow feel they have the moral upper hand in the matter but I cannot see how they can conclude such. Be that as it may, their motivation is clear, their determination is resolute and they will do everything and anything they can to further their goal.
The second part of the question “why now?” is addressed by not looking towards the far east, but right here in this country, and we can easily attribute the aggression to none other than, your messiah and mine, President Barack Obama.
How so? Simple.
Dictators, Tyrants and Despots are not complete fools, and it is dangerous to think them so. They all have one common ability and that is the way in which they size up the competition and base their postures and attitudes upon their assessment. Not unlike a school yard bully who knows exactly who to push and who to leave alone. They seek out those they perceive as weak or cowardly, and then attempt to inflict their will upon the victims. The more a bully gets away with, the more victims he has, the more powerful he feels which is the goal.
Kim Jong Il has watched the leader of the free world, he who will save us all, President Barack Obama and concluded that he is weak. I am sure he watched with surprised interest as the European Tour was taking place during the election campaign and clapped his hands as the senator apologized to Europe for America’s existence. Since being elected, President Obama has not done a single thing to show that he will stand up to the bullies of the world. He apologized to the Muslim world for our arrogance in Cairo; he has not taken any kind of stand on the Iranian situation as he is afraid of being accused of meddling. Let’s not forget the infamous bowing incident, in which the President of the United States paid homage to a foreign King. (An act of Prostitution unworthy of any person who is free no matter his station in life)
North Korea has been silently watching all of these actions ,or lack of action, by the President of the United States and has come to the only conclusion any schoolboy tough guy could come to. America is no longer the land of the “free and the brave” but of the “dependant and the gutless”.
So when the UN, (that most useless of institutions) imposes sanctions and our President says with a stern voice “I am very concerned about nuclear proliferation”. The North Koreans laughed, and went on their merry way, confident that Barack Obama will, try to appease rather than fight. I wonder if the President has ever heard the story behind Czechoslovakia of 1938 and the appeasement policy of the Western powers?
I suppose not, and more than likely he will end up baring his neck before the little bully of North Korea.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Usually when I read a bill proposal put forth by our legislators in Augusta, the not so subtle music of a circus begins to flow through my mind. Barnum and Bailey’s quick paced and chaotic theme which plays when the clowns race out to perform their acts of amusement, pounds away as I take in the words so carefully contrived to confuse by our leaders. In all actuality, the music helps me understand what is written and makes me smile as I come to grips with another form of mischief manufactured by the “best of our society”.
Sometimes, you just have to laugh.
Much to my surprise, the last bill that came to me arrived without the expected music. A complete and utter silence surrounded each paragraph as I read along through LD 290 "An Act to Allow Maine Residents to Purchase Health Insurance from Out-of-state Insurers."
Allowing Maine residents and small businesses to go out of state to purchase polices would be of great benefit to thousands of citizens. They would receive coverage at a reduced rate thus premiums would so too go down. This in turn would make insurance more affordable for the individual. However, I believe that the projected savings will not be huge, for the cost of health care in Maine still ranks very high in the nation. If the cost of administration is higher here in Maine than, let’s say Massachusetts, the insurer will have to take that into consideration when assessing the risk. They will be forced to roll that figure into their rates and pass that on to the consumer. So the idea that our new fought freedoms would produce savings of up to 50%, as some have suggested, cannot be sustained. I would surmise it will be more like 10-15%, if that. Of course, a savings of 10-15% is nothing to sneeze at, especially during these trying economic times.
Circumventing the virtual monopoly of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in the individual and small group market, LD 290 will force that company and its affiliates to either abandon the market all together like it did in New Hampshire in 2005, or change its rates to compete and retain its market share. Conceivably they just may spend hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying the State legislature for a bail out, which seems likely considering the mania for bail out programs these days. Rest assured, Anthem will not favor this bill one bit, nor will those legislators who receive campaign contributions from the insurance giant.
We all know what a terrible mess Maine’s insurance market is. Guaranteed issue, Community Rating, Guaranteed renewal, and outrageous mandates have all combined to drive rates and premiums through the roof. The individual and small group market has essentially been destroyed by these laws and insurance carriers have been forced to leave the state because of them. We are in a quagmire, of well intentioned folly which has strangled the citizens of this state far too long.
In 2005, to correct the problems surrounding the failed polices of guaranteed issue and community rating, Maine introduced the Dirigo health plan instead of deregulating the state insurance industry. This too has failed though it is well intentioned like all such programs; it was based upon the very same theories that caused the insurance industry collapse to begin with i.e. guaranteed issue and community rating. So the Dirigo fix to the fix sits in the corner not fulfilling even a tenth of its promise to insure 130,000 people whilst our legislature keeps throwing money into the burning heap hoping that somehow this will quell the flames.
LD 290 does not address the issues of community rating, mandates, or guaranteed issue.
It by passes these issues cleverly, and would ultimately bring some relief to many Maine citizens. It is “a step in the right direction” on the road to rebuilding an equitable deregulated insurance market in our state. By opening the door to competition, and delivering unto the Maine people the opportunity to save some money, it will also stimulate our economy. The saved premium dollars for individuals will be spent in their communities, and for businesses those dollars will be reinvested in their companies, possibly saving if not creating jobs. There is no down side to this bill which I can see, and I hope with all my heart that this passes committee and then becomes law.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
When the pig farmer calls his hogs to the trough, he yells Sooeyyy, Sooeyyy, as a notice that its time to feed. The hogs come a running through the muck and mire, jostling one another and squealing as they race to be the first. Little nips and bites occur as each tries to establish his or her place at the bin of food. If the herd is comprised of larger animals for breeding this event can be quite violent. We have all heard the tales of people falling into a pig pen during feeding.
Well it seems its feeding time.
As Chellie Pingree, Mike Michaud, Sue Collins and Olympia Snowe all dance around in glee over their support for the Porkulus package they are screaming Sooeyyy, Sooeyyy, calling our towns and cities to the bin. Ms Pingree has even assigned a point person to help some of the more feeble piggies get to the feast. Titled “Recovery Czar” this new bureaucrat will “field inquiries from municipalities, businesses, individuals and organizations interested in funding or how it will work.”
Interesting choice of name, Czar. If my history studies are correct the Czars of Russia where what we might call Kings. They ruled Russia as a Monarchy for 300 plus years until through their decadence, and foolish handling of the economy the people rebelled. That rebellion, brought on by hunger, injustice and loathing of the aristocratic class and its lifestyle was the beginning of one of the most terrible nations our earth has borne witness to, the Soviet Union.
I do not like the idea of a Czar, in any form, any more than I like the concept of a King. The term brings up images of one like Czar Alexander II who thought he was directly ascended from God, and that his word was the will of God himself. I suppose for those who know not what the term means using the title flippantly could be excused. Not unlike excusing a child of their ignorance on matters worldly, when they attempt to explain concepts beyond their reach.
Mike Michaud, has created two different two guides -- one aimed at municipalities, the other at small businesses and individuals -- to answer questions about how the stimulus will affect Maine and how different groups can use it.
How nice, though at first Mike stood tall against this bill, it seems he is now on board fully. For sure Lewiston, that fairest of Maine cities, along with Portland will be the biggest beneficiaries of the Stimulus/taxpayer dollars as they have 72 ready to go projects between them. Perhaps this was what changed his stance, for we all know Mike has a soft spot in his huge heart for Lewiston, that gem beside the Androscoggin.
Governor Baldacci licking his thin lips in anticipation of new funds to pilfer, rubbed his weak hands together and smiled……….
So come all ye hungry piggies, line up to the call, and take another bite out of what made this Nation great. Your master is calling ye……
Friday, February 20, 2009
Drivers tempted to slow down -- or even tap their brakes once or twice -- when a vehicle behind them is tailgating, might want to think again.
If either a tailgater or a driver of a vehicle being tailgated is deemed to be driving to endanger, that person could lose his or her driver's license. The same goes for a driver who commits an assault in connection with a driving dispute. Source…
It sums up, or is supposed to sum up, all the various feelings of frustration that some drivers experience. It also places a label upon the actions of those drivers who, when feeling wronged, act out in a way some perceive as offensive. I am sure there are people out there who do feel rage behind the wheel on a consistent basis. Individuals whose contempt for their fellow human beings know no bounds, and they lash out by honking their horns and displaying a middle finger or two. How frightful!!!!
Yet, I believe that the majority of the populace is not so mentally deranged that they feel the need to physically assault someone for being “Cut Off” or “tailgated”.
Can you with real conviction say that not once have you ever wanted beat the brains out of the driver before you because they could not maintain a speed? Fluctuating between 20 and 40 mph every 13-30 seconds for miles on end does not do well for the patience. Try not tailgating in that situation…. I personally endure this aggravation 2-3 times a week as some inconsiderate weenie in a Subaru (It’s always Subaru’s) lolly gags along at various speeds while I’m trying to make my way home. I have even tried to take another route to avoid the idiots, but sure enough, I get behind another Git, and another Subaru wagon no matter which way I go.
My rage, legendary and entertaining as it may be, is a natural inclination, it is part of my very being and no law or statute will disperse or diminish that. You cannot legislate nature and as not all human beings are happy go lucky dolts driving around in Subaru wagons, you cannot presume to know what all the other drivers out there are feeling and thinking. Maybe some people feel aggrieved when they are forced to obey the rules of the road while others are not? Perhaps inconsiderate behaviors such as, cutting people off, failing to pass in the passing lane, and not yielding at yield signs, are contributing factors in certain cases of “Road rage”. Just a wild guess on my part but I’m betting this to be the case.
What this Piece of legislation does is:
1. It allows the inconsiderate drivers out there who are the cause of so much discomfort to continue on their merry way.
2. It criminalizes the actions of certain citizens while ignoring the criminal activities of others ( Not Yielding is an offence but lets write the ticket for the guy who protests and gets angry)
3. It removes any and all personal responsibility on the part of the complaintant.
4. Lastly, this Bill allows our Legislature to avoid addressing the real issues such as economic development.
If this Bill passes, I will most assuredly be losing my license to drive at some point. As I said before I am forced to tailgate by the inattentive and poor driving of the other commuters on my route and through no fault of theirs (for how could they be wrong?) I will become angry.
While we have begun the process of Legislating Emotions and Personality types, why not take it to another level and start denying those who are deemed A Type personality the right to drive? Let’s revoke the licenses of all who show any type of emotion, no matter that being happiness, depression, or rage. Better yet, for the crime of being a free thinking human perhaps we could add a small stretch in a labor/re-education camp as a condition of renewal? That would subdue many a citizen into compliance with the State’s wishes.
I guess I’m going to be angry driving home tonight, maybe you should be too.
Friday, January 16, 2009
As it is essential to liberty that the government in general should have a common interest with the people, so it is particularly essential that the branch of it under consideration should have an immediate dependence on, and an intimate sympathy with, the people. Frequent elections are unquestionably the only policy by which this dependence and sympathy can be effectually secured.
Alexander Hamilton Federalist papers # 52
I recently had the good fortune to read the 124th Maine State Legislatures proposed LD108 a RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Change the Terms for State Senators and Members of the House of Representatives to 4 Years.
As we the general populace, suffer the cruel and bitter consequences of the failing economy, and are focused upon those personal interests closest to our existence, those who we have elected to represent our combined interests have decided the time was ripe to try this again. For lest we let our memories fade through worry this very bill has been tried before. But I'll not go overmuch into the particulars of that history for it serves no purpose in my present argument.
I fully believe that the current two year terms of service are more than sufficient to fulfill the purposes of representing the Maine citizen. Who among us has not had occasion to wonder at seemingly "out of touch" proposals and ideas that filter down to the masses? Have we not all felt that those very same legislators are too far distant from their constituents and that they understand not the real woes and needs of the voters? If you find yourself with no examples of such wonderment as you look back at the past two years, then I daresay you have just been released from some kind of institution, or that your care and concern for our democracy is minimal.
The proponents of four year terms are simply undermining the principle put forth by Alexander Hamilton that the representatives should have " an immediate dependence on, and a sympathy with the people." Which can only be fostered and maintained through Frequent elections. Though Mr. Hamilton was speaking of the US House of Representatives at the time, if we look closely at the Maine State Constitution we can see that it's form mirrors the Federal Constitution quite closely. The ideas and theories used to create the Federal Constitution, being sound and well thought out, must have been agreeable to the citizens and Legislators of Maine when they wrote their own or they would not have chosen to copy the forms so closely.
If, the philosophy behind Maine's choice of Constitutional Articles, was so influenced, which I believe it was, by the writings and beliefs of such men as Madison, and Hamilton, then LD 108 not only turns it's back on the first Maine Legislature but that too of our founding fathers.
To what good will a further distance of two years be to you the voter of Maine if this resolution comes to pass? I say no good or benefit will you derive from such a scheme, for those who are already so far removed from the every day existence of the populace will become even more distant. They will need not to look to you, their employer, for guidance, acceptance nor will accountability for misdeeds and poor work be a worry to them.
As it stands right now, the only true power each and every voter in Maine has to influence the government which rules above him or her is the vote. The power to vote into office those we wish to represent our interests and to remove those who through laziness, deception or even simple misfortune have failed to look after their constituents. I for one am loathe to give over that power, or even to delay the use of the only tool I have available to me to further Democracy.
I will be writing another piece concerning the supposed reasoning behind LD 108 and it's Proponents. Stay tuned.... this bloody mess is going to get very big and nasty when all is said and done.
Alexander Hamilton Image compliments of http://www.foundingfathers.info/