ClickBack on spending, pot

Posted Dec. 01, 2008, at 7:05 p.m.

This week’s ClickBack focuses on state spending, terrorism in India and highway fatalities. To share your thoughts, go to bangordailynews.com and look for ClickBack on the Opinion drop down menu. Some responses may be printed on Friday’s OpEd page.

State spending — what should go?

Maine’s 124th Legislature will be sworn in this week. What should be lawmakers’ top priorities? Balancing the budget, in the face of declining revenues, will be a major focus. Where should they cut? Are there department that should be merged? What are the criteria for eliminating programs?

Legislative leaders have asked lawmakers to limit the number of bills they submit to save money. Is this appropriate? Or should lawmakers be able to submit as many bills as they want, especially to solve problems their constituents have raised?

Terror in Mumbai — what’s the appropriate response?

The United States is searching for the appropriate response to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, without souring relations with India and neighboring Pakistan. Should more pressure be put on the Pakistani government to root out terrorist groups there and along the border with Afghanistan? Would more U.S. air strikes help?

Driving Miss safety?

Highway deaths are down in Maine. Are Mainers becoming better drivers? Or did they simply drive less (in part because of high gas prices earlier this year) and, therefore, have less chance of being in an accident? Seat belt use is up. Did that make people safer?

Church of the holy joint

Is a religion anything its adherents say it is? Members of the Temple of Advanced Enlightenment in Bangor consider smoking marijuana a sacrament. They must also perform community service and are considering providing medical marijuana to people who need it but can’t get it legally. Would Jesus approve?

What do you think? Look for responses online and on Friday’s OpEd page.

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