Touch water, get taxed
Rep. Jane Eberle of South Portland, with the support of Maine Audubon, the Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Council of Maine (shame on all of you!) has proposed levying a new tax on kayakers and canoeists. How anti-“the way life is supposed to be.” One of Maine’s endearing qualities has been the refusal to tax or license hand-powered boats. What a dumb idea, Jane!
Just watch, folks. Next on her list will be a tax on skis, snowboards, children’s sleds, inflatables, toboggans, ice skates, waders and waterproof boots (woods workers and fisherman). They all touch water, too.
Public interest doesn’t always translate into users’ pay.
Hendrik D. Gideonse
I really enjoy the column by Sarah Smiley. Being a lifelong Mainer, it is interesting to read someone else’s take on the whole experience of living in Maine. Opinions from non-natives are welcome as long as they don’t look down on us or try to change us to what they left. And when they make a nice story of their experience, it is entertaining.
Bring back integrity
It is with outrage that I read that the same financial geniuses who plunged AIG and our nation into a financial crisis are being paid large bonuses. Without the taxpayer money used to bail them out, this company would be bankrupt and they all would be out of work. Our leaders want to keep these same geniuses working? So their greed and avarice can surface again? The entire leadership at AIG should be fired as a stipulation of our taxpayer assistance. The notion that these people are needed to lead this company because there are only a small number of people who can do this work is misguided and self-serving.
As long as these financial wizards can play with other people’s money without oversight and major risk to their own wealth and welfare these abuses of financial manipulation will continue.
As a friend of mine observed: “It’s easy to gamble with other people’s money!” Let’s put some teeth in the government’s assistance and insist that these people pay in full, and never work in the industry again.
Bring back the integrity and honesty that has made America great.
Down the wrong Trail
I have been disturbed by the recent story line for the comic “Mark Trail.” It started off as a story about a woman, her husband and a wild deer she is keeping as a pet, but progressed into a story of domestic abuse. Rather than discussing the abuse story line, the resolution for this couple was the release of the deer, an apology and the decision to have a baby. Mark Trail wished them well and seemed to feel that now things would be fine.
I feel that this story line sends a negative message, especially in light of the recent discussion of domestic and dating abuse brought on by the arrest of Chris Brown for allegedly assaulting Rihanna. The answer for someone being abused is not to have the abused party give up a source of comfort and agree to become pregnant. If the abuse was the result of business pressures and anger, as was stated in the story’s apology, that does not mean that the abuser’s remorse will prevent this pattern from occurring when future pressures build up. Adding a child into the mix only adds more pressure on both sides and will probably make it more difficult for the abused person to leave the situation if violence occurs again.
Usually the violence escalates unless both parties step back and really look at the dynamics of the relationship with appropriate counseling. An opportunity was missed by the usually responsible comic strip.
‘Worldy wisdom’ suspect
Much is being written about homosexuality in our culture. It is not surprising, with mores moving ever more to the secular, to read that homosexual marriage is valid and deserves equal-rights protection. What is surprising, at least to me, is that Christian ministers buy into and promote this position.
A recent BDN OpEd by an ordained United Church of Christ minister openly quoted Scripture — “homosexual conduct is an abomination” — then immediately called it a slippery slope to use this as an argument against same-sex marriage.
He clearly has the slippery slope concept upside down. Our culture has long been sliding down that slope rationalizing ignoring biblical morality. One aspect is that sex has become an idol — total and unrestricted permissiveness.
In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “Woe to the teacher who works to win converts to evil ways. You hamper them from entering heaven, and make them sons of hell.”
“Hypocrite!” Jesus says.
I oppose making legal homosexual marriage simply because it is not God’s design. The long-term consequences of that are bound to be negative, no matter what worldly wisdom proclaims.