11.30.2010

Big is OK

I just found this gem by Michael Lind, Policy Director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation which is particularly timely after my debate on Corporate and Government power. Lind does a better job than me at pointing out the flaw in conservative criticisms of Big Government and corresponding liberal criticisms of Big Business and how thinking small (or local) is dangerous in our current economic predicament when growth is needed most.

11.29.2010

Wikileaks reinforces my thoughts on military reduction

Wikileaks has done it again by exposing thousands of secret US documents, this time Diplomatic cables. (The Guardian has done a great job dissecting this information.) Honestly, there's not a whole lot in it that should come as a surprise and very little game-changing details were leaked. In fact some bits are actually just plain entertaining. Actually, there are quite a few damning truths revealed in the leaks.

Nonetheless, it did reaffirm my opinion that we can comfortably reduce military expenditure as a means to either reallocate that wealth to other government programs, cut taxes or start making significant reductions to our deficit - a wonderfully nonpartisan solution.

Some things just aren't partisan

From the 'frontpage' today of Pine Tree Politics comes this Op Ed from Cynthia Dill, state representative from Cape Elizabeth.

The Republican Speaker-elect’s baggage is now widely known. Stories abound in the news that as the owner of True’s Pharmacy, Robert Nutting was found to have overcharged the State of Maine $1.6 million for rubber gloves, incontinence pads and liners between 1997 and 2001. He spent “over six figures” on fancy lawyers, counter-sued the state, and then declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy after paying back only $433.188, leaving Maine taxpayers holding the bag for $1.2 million.
Speaker-elect Nutting maintains that overcharging the state repeatedly using a formula that marked up some products 143% instead of 40% an “honest mistake.” He blames complicated rules and the stranglehold of government bureaucracy for his troubles.
Don’t take it personally, Mr. Speaker, if some of us can’t push our green button next week and vote to usher you in. You see, this isn’t really about you, but rather what you stand for, and what we are elected to do.
More... 
He will take it personally and so will every Republican in the State House, as well as the new resident across the street. But don't take that as a partisan attack. Democrats would respond the same way.

11.28.2010

In the spirit of debate

I have the pleasure of knowing several people on friendly terms with whom I constantly disagree on matters of politics and economics... and it’s awesome. Unlike media pundits or politicians, we’re able to have and enjoy civil debates, usually via Facebook (or sometimes in World of Warcraft between raiding dungeons. That’s right, I’m a Kingslayer.) At best our discussions will lead at least one of us (preferably all of us) towards enlightenment of some sort, but I think the main purpose of our deliberation is to amuse ourselves and perhaps tickle our egos.

11.16.2010

Fair Elections

The Sun Journal posted my letter to the editor in response to one of their editorials on Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff voting:

11.11.2010

Armistice Day

Today, around the country we celebrate our veterans' service to the United States. My grandfather is a great guy and paid a large price to protect our country during the second World War. Proudly lying about his age at 17 he enlisted in the Army and shortly after joined the fight in Normandy.

He almost never talked about his experience abroad. My mother says he suffers from post-traumatic stress. What I do know is from stories shared by my grandmother. Grampy witnessed the death of his best friend and subsequently suffered ankle injuries from shrapnel.