TABOR to the rescue
I read in the Bangor Daily News that according to the census bureau Maine ranks second in the percentage of households receiving food stamps. Maine should be proud of this. But do not worry, we are only 2.5 percent behind Louisiana.
The state of Maine’s economy is so poor that we have been reduced to putting more than 13 percent of our residents on food stamps. How long will this go on until something will be done?
This is not a national trend either. Our neighbors to the west rate as one of the lowest at just a little over 5 percent. The state of Maine is in an economic crisis and this new data prove it. We need to attract more businesses to the state to get more jobs into Maine’s economy.
Maine has lost 13,000 jobs in the private sector in the last 10 years.
In contrast, state and local government has grown by 3,400 jobs. It is time to starve the beast.
I will be voting yes on Question 4, the TABOR proposal, to limit government spending and help Maine become more favorable to business. It has been long enough that the state has been taxing businesses until they leave.
When TABOR passes, it will send a strong message to Augusta that we have had enough. TABOR will help fix our broken economy.
Concern for children
I feel that I should respond to a television ad that I find particularly offensive, namely: “Prevent homosexual marriage from being pushed on Maine school children.” I am a registered nurse and was the director of a leading child care center in Bangor for 24 years. I take issue with children being used as weapons to justify the divisiveness that has been created in this state. Over the years, my child care center served many groups of children in terms of their parenting.
Our largest groups were those children being raised by their single mothers, and those living with their divorced mothers, some of whom did not have their fathers in their lives, and others who were shuffled back and forth from one divorced parent to the other. (So much for “traditional marriage”).
Of children brought to us by their same-sex parents, I had no reason to believe that they were anything but well cared for, well adjusted, and happy. I am concerned for how those children must feel hearing their parents referred to in such demeaning, hateful terms.
People of conscience
As a Christian and as a teacher in an alternative public school in Maine, my personal values sometimes come into conflict with our so-called “legal” rights in this country as defined by our judicial system, as in the legal right to an abortion and the proposed legal right to homosexual marriage. How do I deal with it? Mostly, I do not broach the topics. I identify them as too political and I have avoided conflict. After all, I teach traditional subjects such as science and math, and I stay away from subjects such as health where I may be asked or required to say something opposed to my beliefs.
I suspect not all teachers are so lucky, and that some curriculum developer in some school could very well require a concept to be taught or an attitude to be put forth, or a book to be used that would reflect the current state of civil rights in this country including homosexual marriage if it were to become legal. Then one would have to decide whether to follow their conscience or the state.
I would have to choose my conscience. I disagree with Janet Mills, the Maine attorney general, who says that schools would not be affected. She is taking a political position. Voters beware. The division between church and state will widen and the conflicts will deepen, as the people of conscience are marginalized.
Borscht, beets, bicycles
I am enjoying your series by Levi Bridges and Ellery Althaus cycling across Asia and Europe. I look forward every Saturday to getting the Bangor Daily News. The sports section is the first I read. Glad to see them featured on the front page of last week’s paper.
I made borscht from beets in my garden on the week they wrote about having different kinds while traveling through some Russian villages. It’s a wonderful series!
Lillian Tweer Harwood
Though we appreciate the civics lesson, I found Hayes Gahagan’s piece “Shift to left leaves GOP centrists labeled as radicals” (BDN OpEd, Oct. 19) inept and misleading.
The Republican viewpoint seems to ignore completely the corporate infiltration of the civic sphere and its threat to democracy. Mind you, this is the viewpoint that has brought us two endless and unwinnable wars, 7 million jobs lost, stagnant wages, major financial collapse and a system lucrative only to those in the upper 10 percent of the populace.
There are still enough uninformed Americans, however, willing to sing the “entrepreneurial spirit” theme song, somehow thinking the benefits include them. A complicit media owned and operated by the same clutch of predatory businessmen eases the deception upon us.
We have a representative government in name only. It is largely corporatists who dominate the action, hermetically sealed from the populace through fancy connections and egregious bonuses even when they fail. Their eagerness to feed off public ignorance and the public treasury, while contributing nothing to the body politic, is a national disgrace. The Democratic leadership is not much better.
But this is old news to students of American government. The Senate’s structure, wherein a few sparsely populated states can defeat any progressive change, was intentionally designed by the Founding Fathers to defeat the will of the people whenever it transgressed on the aims of “honorable men.” What we have is an oligarchy masquerading as a democracy.
History proves this system eventually collapses under its own weight.
Time for TABOR
I recently received my annual property tax bill from the town of Sebec and was shocked to see that it has gone up $400. This at a time when property values have declined sharply and many people are struggling financially.
This has made a believer of me. I’m voting for TABOR and urge everybody to do the same. In a dozen years my taxes have doubled.