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What about the common good
The front page of the Sept. 8 Bangor Daily News reported that COVID infections in Maine more than doubled over the past two weeks, that hospitals were stressed by a majority of non-vaccinated, non-seniors, and that our health care workers were exhausted.
Beside this report was the headline: “Coalition sues Maine over COVID vaccine mandate.” It is a lawsuit against the state’s top elected officials for mandating that our health care workers be vaccinated.
What has happened to the common good? What has happened to a community that puts aside personal preference to protect the health and welfare of all of our children, elders, and neighbors, not just ourselves?
In a functioning democracy, we agree to work together for the common good with well considered compromises. We have created the greatest country on earth not by suing our elected officials. We are a nation that believes in justice by enabling as many citizens as possible to vote, electing leaders by a majority. These elected leaders try to represent all of us while at the same time carrying out goals they promise voters.
Thank you to Gov. Janet Mills and e Commissioner Jeanne Lambrew for your dedication to slowing the spread of COVID infections. I thank them for working everyday to protect health and safety as favored by a majority of Maine voters.
Heidi Sampson should resign
Sen. Joe Baldacci’s column in the Aug. 31 BDN, along with 11 other signatories, calling for Rep. Heidi Sampson’s resignation was right on. I totally agree that Sampson’s comments about Gov. Janet Mills were “far beyond the pale of any normal political discourse.” They had no basis in reality and seemed to be meant only to engender hate and appeal to the basest among us.
As an educator for more than 30 years at the high school and college levels, I would always tell my students, “You don’t have to agree with everything I say, but you will disagree politely, please. Name calling and insults, that’s for third-graders. Time to grow up and act like adults.”
Heaven knows we need adults running our state and country. I therefore respectfully join those who are asking Sampson to resign and make room for an adult who can discuss reasonably to fill her post. To me, she does not represent the best among us Mainers.
Don’t let oil companies off the hook
The BDN’s Josh Keefe wrote “Today’s Maine child will see a different state as climate warms” about a bleak future. Already climate scientists have been shocked by the rapidity of climate degradation and the climate related injustices like effects on children’s respiratory health, agricultural workers, biodiversity, mental health and family farms. But Keefe and his experts didn’t place blame on anyone but “humanity.” Does that mean I have to judge my elderly neighbors for their long-ago personal choices? Does that mean I have to blame myself? No!
There’s evidence that the fossil fuel companies want you to do just that: focus on your own personal behavior as the main source of the problem. The majority of fossil fuel emissions come from big oil, which is still heavily subsidized by the federal government. Shamefully, President Joe Biden just asked OPEC to produce more oil and approved 2,100 leases for oil and gas drilling on public lands.
We should no longer call these climate catastrophes by people’s or place names. They should be called the ExxonMobil Drought, Hurricane BP and the Chevron Wildfire. Maybe then people would know where to point the finger.
Big oil needs to be held accountable for their fair share of taxes and for covering up their crimes. They should pay for our climate adaptation and climate mitigation. Biden needs to stop enabling them, and start by cutting subsidies.