Respect for the law
I never thought of the law as a calling like being a priest or a nun. Justice is such a difficult concept because the pursuit of justice is not merely an intellectual exercise. It is a wrestling match that involves both your brain and your heart. It requires not just an understanding of the current situation, but also the history which brought us to that point.
That is why it was so upsetting to me as a lawyer to see William Barr, the attorney general of the United States and its chief legal officer, in a procession walking to a church for a photo opportunity for the president. The path was cleared by dispersing a lawful assembly of people exercising their First Amendment rights by riot police using tear gas and pepper balls.
While Hunter S. Thompson may be an unlikely source for insight in the essence of the law, he was absolutely correct in stating: “We cannot expect people to have respect for law and order until we teach respect to those we have entrusted to enforce those laws.”
Democratic Senate primary needs debates
As a voter, I have been increasingly concerned and frustrated by the lack of debates with all three Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate: Betsy Sweet, Sara Gideon and Bre Kidman. This is a massively important primary in which voters need the benefit of debates to decide which candidate will best represent our needs and will fight vigorously for them in the Senate — especially in this time when the country is in severe crisis on multiple fronts. With ranked-choice voting in this primary, it is even more incumbent on voters and candidates to ensure voters are well informed before filling out our ballots.
Apparently NewsCenter Maine has been working to schedule a debate, but have been unable to obtain confirmation from all candidates. With mail-in voting imminent, it is indefensible, unconscionable and unfair to voters and the candidates to delay debates any further. Debates need to be scheduled — if a candidate declines to participate, let voters decide what that says about that candidate.
Democrats have revelled in criticizing Sen. Susan Collins for refusing to hold town hall meetings. This behavior is no different.
Please proceed with these debates in such a crucial race and make them free and easily available to the public.
Men can’t claim a sport
The article “UMaine stars relive longest Frozen Four game in NCAA history” published in the June 1 edition of the BDN, while a great trip down memory lane, was not in fact the longest Frozen Four game in NCAA history. The longest Frozen Four game in NCAA history was a game on March 21, 2010, with Minnesota Duluth defeating Cornell, 3-2.
The UMaine-Michigan game (100:28) is the longest game in men’s Frozen Four history.
The Minnesota-Duluth-Cornell game (119:26) is the longest game in women’s Frozen Four history.
The Minnesota-Duluth-Cornell game (119:26) is the longest game in Frozen Four history.
Men cannot claim a sport. It’s not hockey and then women’s hockey. It’s men’s hockey and women’s hockey, or even just hockey. Men’s sports are not the default.
I understand more than most the limitations that the Bangor Daily News is under in terms of staffing, funding, etc. And while I strongly disagree, I understand that the powers that be may have made the decision and hold the opinion that covering and writing about men’s sports is more important and will garner more eyeballs than writing about women’s sports.
So if you can’t dedicate page space to it, the least you can do is at least acknowledge with four little letters (“men’s”) that women’s sports exist.
A new approach for voting in halls of Congress
All my life I’ve heard it said that “It has to get worse before it can get better,” and, while I’ve never given that statement much credence, the events of the last three years of the Trump Administration have elevated that utterance to a level of high resonance in my mind.
Looking back to the time when I returned home from the Korean War, with memories of guys I knew who didn’t make it back fresh in my mind, I was able to explain the substance of that experience as being the price we must pay to support our democratic system. Little did I realize then that the system I so revered was vulnerable to rat infestation.
I believe the cascade of corruption that we as a nation are currently enduring emanates from the fact of the open ballot in the houses of Congress, for, if balloting in those lofty chambers were secret, then the Mitch McConnells and Donald Trumps of this world would not be able to control and manipulate our senators and congressmen.
In the year 1858, things got so bad in Australia that the open ballot was replaced with secret balloting. That was 162 years ago. I say that, thanks to the McConnells and the Trumps, it is time for America to adopt the Australian Ballot approach when members of Congress cast their votes.
Better late than never.
Taxpayers shouldn’t pay for Trump’s photo op
I read earlier this week about President Trump coming to Maine with little advance warning for the state, against our governor’s wishes during a pandemic, and potentially at significant cost to taxpayers in Maine. I hate to disabuse the residents of Guilford, but this does not seem to be a compassionate trip by him to praise factory workers making swabs, but rather a campaign strategy for which he is willing to create havoc, act in unsafe ways and create a financial burden for Maine (that is not reimbursed by the federal government) just to have a photo op.
I suggest that in the future that Maine not provide additional security for him at great expense because these photo ops are not needed, are in fact a problem for our state, and unfairly makes Maine residents essentially support his reelection campaign.