When politicians talk about security, they almost always mean military security from terrorists, either abroad or at home. It is time to remember that real security includes:
A home not threatened with foreclosure; Social Security when you retire; Medicare when you retire; not fearing bankruptcy if you get sick; not having a huge debt on graduating from college; a good job when you graduate from college; not losing your job to someone overseas; Wall Street regulated so that it can no longer threaten the entire financial system of the world; bees to pollinate our food crops; drinking water that won’t catch on fire because of fracking for natural gas; oceans that are not so acidic that the plankton will die, along with all creatures that feed on the plankton; oceans that will not rise 6 feet in our children’s lifetimes, making many of our coastal cities uninhabitable; temperate weather with few droughts, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes or fires; life on Earth safe from a nuclear accident; safe food without dangerous pathogens or chemicals; safe products without dangerous chemicals.
Our military security spending does not exist in a vacuum. Money that goes to our military and homeland security is money that we cannot spend on other kinds of security like the ones above. We need to rethink what security really means.
Support Occupy Wall Street.
Send LePage to The County
One of the fastest shrinking job sectors in the U.S. is logging. From July of 2010 to July of 2011 we lost 5.7 percent of that job sector.
Now Gov. Paul LePage comes to The County and tells us we need to hire more Canadians. I can see us using imported labor when needed, but not with such high unemployment.
Send LePage back to Aroostook and face our loggers. Maybe we can educate him.
Many of the Occupy Wall Street participants ask that they be relieved of the responsibility to repay their college loans. I wonder why these protesters are not “Occupying Harvard” or “Occupying UC Berkley.” Those are the places where the debts originated, not the banks.
I have an idea for those students: Ask the colleges and universities that actually charged those outrageous fees to pay for the college loans from their gigantic endowment funds.
In 2009 after the worst of the downturn Harvard still had $26 billion in just that one fund. The Wiki site lists 62 colleges and universities that have endowments that are at or above $1 billion. Included are some of the state universities such as: California, $5 billion; Michigan, $7 billion; and the University of Texas at $14 billion and yes the University of Maine has almost $150 million in its endowment fund.
After the loans were repaid the big money donors, like Warren Buffet and Micheal Moore — those who say they are not paying enough in taxes — could make tax free donations to replenish the endowment coffers. So all the students would get free educations that the taxpayers would not have to directly pay for and Buffet and his followers could feel good about making some huge charitable donations. That way once the loan was paid off the money would go back to the college’s operating budget so the taxpayer contribution might actually go down.
Perhaps if the protesters could go after the real reason that their education cost so much they might just get some support from the taxpayers too.
Not in vain
As I celebrate and thank God for our freedoms this Veterans Day, I am reminded of the tremendous sacrifice that our great nation has endured. Will this generation be labeled as a “greatest generation” as our World War II veterans so deservingly are known?
Men and women of all ages have stepped up to the plate voluntarily since 2001 in the fight against terrorism. Many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have done multiple tours and continue to re-enlist. Our own Maine Army National Guard continues to do great things for not only our great state, but also for our nation.
The sting of giving the ultimate sacrifice has touched every community in Maine in some way or another. I think of my own area, with the loss of Spc. Dustin Harris of Patten and my cousin 1st Lt. James Zimmerman of Oakfield.
As we continue the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, I know many ponder the question, was it worth it? Having served two tours in Iraq I personally believe it has been. Some Americans have short memories of the images of 9/11. I feel that we had no choice but to make a stand and I believe former President Bush’s decision to send troops was the right and noble thing to do.
Yes, it may take years to realize it, but I have to believe that all our blood, sweat and tears will not have been in vain!
Cold turkey time
I just returned from a 40-hour bus trip and protest with over 100 Mainers in Washington, D.C. We were there to urge President Obama to do the right thing for this country and the planet by rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, a 2,000 mile pipeline through our heartland that threatens water aquifers and farmland from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico, adding extremely dirty fuel at a time when we need cleaner sources of power.
This is a special issue because it combines so many problems in one: environment, good government, jobs and fairness. There are other dangers here beyond oil spills and water contamination. Unlocking the carbon in those Alberta forests is basically throwing the dice on the global climate and hoping for the best. I can’t accept that.
This project is another example of the collusion between money and politics that is polluting our government. The Occupy Wall Street folks see this and they showed their support for our protest.
Young adults were out there in force because they know that this is their fight more than anyone’s. They can’t count on the older generations to find jobs or offer a clean and safe place to live. We are taking away their future and they’re going to fight us for it. It’s time for some cold turkey on our oil addiction. We may even like what we’ve become when we get out of detox.