Mining inevitably pollutes our water
I am among many Maine residents who feel betrayed by the Natural Resources Council of Maine and other environmental groups who have rallied around a mining bill, LD 820, that would allow the pollution of groundwater, inevitably leading to pollution of surface water.
What LD 820 would allow is shaft mining with monitoring wells 100 feet away so when the inevitable contamination occurs it will be too late. This does not prevent arsenic in our water, it only lets us know when it has occurred. And there is no fix when it happens.
LD 820 does nothing at all to address public health. The financial assurances in LD 820 only cover property damage, not sickness caused by the water and air pollution from an inevitable mining failure.
We need to stand up to the mining interests and the legislators who back them and say “no.” Our health and our aquatic resources are too precious.
GOP bill reduces health care access
As the debate over health care goes on, I find it amazing how much easier it is for politicians to stand in front of a microphone and repeat almost boldface lies with just a tiny sliver of truth included for wiggle room. There is no better example than the health care vote and discussion.
Both parties know, as should we as voters, the only way to get the country’s medical care crisis under control is to take the obscene profit out of insurance, health care delivery, pharmaceuticals and tort laws, or reduce the amount of health care being delivered. There is no other way regardless of what our leaders say.
The Republican bill, recently passed by the House of Representatives, does the latter by design and by default. Insurance companies are not going to rush into any state and offer cheap insurance unless there is a profit. In order to make a large profit, they need to reduce risk (get rid of pre-existing conditions) and take in more premiums than they pay out.
There is no question the free-market, for-profit health care system has given us the best medical care in the world, but that is only true if one can afford it or someone else’s taxes are paying for it.
Poliquin’s shameful health care vote
It is a shame that Rep. Bruce Poliquin did not have the heart to vote no against a health care plan that will result in 24 million Americans losing health care.
By voting for the American Health Care Act, Poliquin has also made it possible that Mainers may not be able to get guaranteed services for pregnancy care, addiction treatment and preventive care if the bill passes in the Senate and is signed into law. Insurance companies would be allowed to charge more for people who have pre-existing conditions and charge up to 30 percent more for any type of coverage if your coverage lapses for more than 63 days. Older Mainers could be charged up to five times as much for insurance.
All this means it will be more expensive for Mainers to get coverage. And if fewer Mainers have health insurance, small hospitals in rural settings will have to cope with more uninsured patients. Hospitals cannot turn away patients even if they cannot pay, and the hospitals end up eating those costs. Smaller hospitals, already operating on thin financial margins, may be forced to close, leading to job losses in those communities.
Instead of trying to fix the problems with the Affordable Care Act, Poliquin has endorsed a plan that will be worse for Maine.
Lisa Buck, M.D.
American empire is dying
America is an empire. All empires eventually fall, and all fall by same formula. A people become an empire through six “ages” in the same order every time: the Age of Pioneers, the Age of Conquest, the Age of Commerce, the Age of Affluence, the Age of Intellect, and finally, the Age of Decadence.
The Age of Decadence has six common features every time: a bloated, over-extended military, the gross display of wealth, a massive disparity between the rich and poor, a desire to live off a “bloated” state, an obsession with sex, and currency debasement. These are historical facts. Sound familiar?
The final sign an empire’s end is a last-ditch, distracting tactic. Leaders always increase the wealth and prestige of two specific groups: sports figures and chiefs. Citizens will focus on them instead of what is happening in society. And it eventually fails.
Citizens’ angst and issues override the smokescreen, they then rise up and, sometimes with the help of opposing countries and peoples, violently overthrow their wealthy leaders. The latest example was the French Revolution. This is happening right now in America. An unnecessarily massive military. Wealth is gloriously displayed. The 1 percent versus the 99 percent. Our massively bloated political system. Sex and pornography is prevalent in our TV shows, movies, books and computer screens. And our money is just paper with nothing to back it.
You may scoff but don’t take my word for it. Read your history. The American empire is dying.
PTC show engaging
What a shame that Judy Harrison chose to so thoroughly pan Penobscot Theater’s production of “I Loved, I Lost, I made Spaghetti.” Reading her May 4 review I couldn’t believe that we had seen the same show. My husband and I found it to be the most engaging, fun show we had seen in a long time.
Every show is not for everyone, but to dis this production so soundly was unfair. Was it deep, heart wrenching and feminist in its portrayal? No, but then neither was “Seinfeld,” the show about nothing. “Seinfeld” was entertaining, funny and highly successful, and we found this production to be the same.
The one-woman show, featuring an animated Michelle Damato, never lost our attention. It felt like we were sitting with a chatty, female Seinfeld telling stories of her past with an engaging smile on her face and never ending energy. Damato’s banter flowed seamlessly while cooking and reminiscing, to answering the phone and serving eye-watering food.
We were fascinated to see someone make pasta from scratch. Do people really do this? After the show we just had to go out to eat at a local restaurant.