Don’t end refugee resettlement
My grandparents were not official refugees, though there was the pogrom in the town one grandfather came from, and the threat of 20 years in the czar’s army. My mother’s mother left Eastern Europe for personal reasons, but the passport of the last sister she brought over is embossed with a swastika. I keep that document close. It reminds me that we are each other’s protectors, that I am here because this nation admitted my ancestors, and so it is upon me to look out for others.
Today’s headscarves are hardly different from my ancestors’ babushkas; the Arabic and Somali as incomprehensible to many as was their Yiddish. In dark apartments and crowded sweatshops, these unskilled immigrants sewed cotton and fur, some never adding English to the three or four languages they spoke in Europe.
Their success was not immediate, nor was it ever assured. Yet half a century later, when first ladies, presidents and stars wanted jewels for themselves or gifts for others, they often turned to that man who fled the pogroms of czarist Russia to travel here in steerage.
Monetarily, we are a much wealthier country today than when my grandparents arrived. Spiritually, though, should we not extend a hand to at least some of those in need, we will be a starving nation devoid of the nourishment that makes us great.
Carbon tax a bipartisan solution
It is good news that Republican elders are taking the initiative to address climate change. The Climate Leadership Council, a newly formed group of senior Republicans, is advocating for the adoption of a carbon tax. Co-authors of this proposal include James Baker III, Henry Paulson Jr., George Schultz, Thomas Stephenson and Rob Walton, all well-known and experienced leaders in government and business.
It is urgent that our nation’s commitment to address climate change find a new expression. I agree with Baker when he states that it is important for the Republicans to have a place at the table where this crucial issue is being addressed. Indeed, it is urgent that we seize every opportunity to act together, in a bipartisan manner.
The carbon tax that is being proposed would, over time, fulfill our commitment to the Paris climate agreement. Fulfilling that commitment is essential if we are to continue to be leaders internationally. Climate change is affecting many nations in dramatic ways. If we fail to keep the promise we made in Paris, our nation’s capacity to deal with scientific fact and to respond to a threat that affects all humans will be drawn into serious question for the whole world to see.
I hope that Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King will take up this proposal and bring it to the Congress. It is time for the Congress to address this issue. This proposal offers our senators the opportunity to lead the way.
Trump has no mandate
The accession of an ill-informed, mendacious narcissist to the office once held by George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan is an established fact. It’s something we will have to explain to our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the future. It won’t be easy.
But we need to move on because while Donald Trump may have won the presidency last year, he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Democrats and others need to do a better job of reminding people of that fact.
What needs to be challenged is not the result, but the mandates claimed from the result. There was no mandate by the voters to poison American culture with an unending flow of lies, distortions and “alternative facts.” The American people didn’t vote to overhaul this country’s image as a world leader into a world pariah.
They didn’t vote to eviscerate health care, to allow the Wall Street predators who brought grief and misery to millions 10 years ago to have another shot at it, or to allow the fossil fuel industry to pump more carbon into the air we breathe and carcinogens into the water we drink.
Now is the time to write letters, to make phone calls, and to protest locally and nationally. It is not too early to organize, to publicize, to recruit women and men of good will to run for office at all levels of government. Next year may be too late.
Trump attacks truth
The fundamental dishonesty emanating from Donald Trump and his White House is ripping apart our national fabric. Whether it is Trump’s lies about the size of inaugural crowds, about voter fraud in the election, about a lack of terrorism coverage, about murder rates, or fake news, each time another lie spews from this man, it puts our nation on edge.
It has been said, with good reason, that truth is the first casualty of war, even before the first bullets fly. Governments at war lie to bolster up morale on the home front and to deceive the enemy.
Trump’s administration is attacking the American republic that I’ve known for my 70 years — one not perfect but striving toward ever greater truth, justice and fairness. Truth has been the first casualty. Justice and fair dealing are right behind, their destruction coming clearly in view.
And where have Trump’s Republican backers been in all of this? Where are House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell? Are they not patriots and men of principle? For that matter, where are Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Poliquin? Why do they sit quietly while these lies spew forth across our land?
Bangor airport parking
With the addition of new flights and the increase of activity at Bangor International Airport, has the administration thought about building a long-term parking facility?
This would invite passengers who drive to Portland in the winter months to avoid having to dig out of snow drifts after a day’s flying.
It appears that the time has come to build such an addition.