July 17, 2019
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Thursday, July 11, 2019: Our failing democracy, bill would not ‘save the internet,’ keep citizenship question out of the Census

Our failing democracy

I believe that Congress lets the president do anything he wants to do, whether reasonable or not. Poor judgment and lies aside, if someone doesn’t agree with the president, then they are either fired or the President, through his tweets, makes threatening or wrongful comments so that in the end the person quits.

Congress is supposed to provide checks on the Executive Branch, however Congress doesn’t do anything, and as such, the President is gradually turning this country into his own private fiefdom where the citizenry pays homage to him.

Tanks on the National Mall, give me a break! The President seems to needs total control and for those that are closest to him bow to his every command. After all they are his generals, it is his Federal Reserve, and the Judiciary is his to command. Let’s not forget, he is always right!

He knows more about everything and anything than far more educated people. He knows more about war and conflict than all the generals, yet has never served this country in the military. He knows more about business than anyone, yet has been bankrupt some four times.

If he is voted out of office in November 2020, my bet is he won’t leave and instead contest the election, saying it has been rigged against him. What would this failing democracy do next?

Richard Barclay

Holden

Bill would not ‘save the internet’

The House of Representatives has passed legislation that could have a devastating impact on high-speed internet access, particularly in rural parts of our state. Lawmakers should scrap the deceptively titled “ Save the Internet Act” and work instead toward passage of internet rules that will both protect consumers and preserve investment expanding broadband access in all corners of our state and our country.

The Save the Internet Act would create needless bureaucracy, essentially ceding control of the internet to the federal government. That would have a stifling effect on investment and innovation, two of the founding pillars of a free and open internet. In fact, the last time these Obama-era net neutrality rules were enforced, investment in high-speed internet dropped for the first time in our nation’s history outside of a recession — primarily in rural areas that need enhanced connectivity the most.

As an insurance agent operating in rural Maine, the prospect of another drop in internet investment worries me. We rely on access to high-speed internet day in and day out to process claims, respond to policyholders, and serve our customers. Businesses like mine and countless others operating in rural communities cannot afford to jeopardize high-speed internet access or investment — and unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Save the Internet Act would do.

Our legislators should come together to establish a set of rules that apply to all companies operating in the internet ecosystem, while protecting the investment we need to keep expanding high-speed internet across the state and the country.

Gary Blackwell

Corinth

Keep citizenship question out of Census

I urge Senator Collins to speak out against a potential citizenship question on the 2020 Census. Our country remains a beacon of hope for many people willing to risk their lives to come here. Regardless of citizenship, everyone should be counted in the 2020 Census.

The Census is required by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution. The “whole number of free persons” is used to determine the number of Representatives for each State. The data are also used to determine federal funding for the states.

Thus, federal funding for Maine is increased when our population increases. Immigrants who may not yet be citizens should be counted in the Census because they use the services provided by the municipalities and the state. In return, Maine benefits from the influx of new people into our communities.

A census question that asks about citizenship will likely dissuade people from answering any of the census and will lead to an undercount of Mainers, thus impacting federal funding.

Ninety-four years ago, my grandmother was one of those immigrants, fleeing religious persecution in Hungary. She never learned to read or write in English, yet she was able to raise my mother, who earned a master’s degree and worked in administration at a major university. My mother gives back now, at age 87, by volunteering to help immigrants study for their citizenship test.

The inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty says in part, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” We should honor that sentiment by counting all who live here regardless of their citizenship.

Lisa Buck

Orono

 



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