A role for government

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." What a lousy quote. It excludes the possibility that you might need to do both or that there may not be any fish to catch at all.

I've been surprising a lot of liberal friends lately with my enthusiasm for free-trade, my lack of enthusiasm for localism, and tolerating political gaffs by right-wing leaders, etc. It might be time I repent by explaining how I fall on the "left" side of the aisle.

Poverty, like most things we deplore, is a seriously misunderstood societal malady. Its affects reach beyond the homes of those who suffer its grasp. Poverty is a common prerequisite for crime. Poverty spreads squalor in our streets. Poverty breeds more poverty by passing on poor circumstances to later innocent generations. While I feel it's important to bring people up out of poverty - it's more important (and more practical) to prevent people from being sucked into it. I work at a private food-bank out of compassion for the down-trodden, it is for the rest of us and society as a whole that I advocate a government role in minimizing poverty.


Dear Senator

I recently learned of legislation that is making its way through Augusta to change the law that allows officers to pull people over for not wearing a seat belt. Honestly, if someone is foolish enough to not wear one, I agree with most libertarians that there's no need to waste a police officer's time by enabling them to pull people over because of it. But I don't care (well, I do, but... ) about the adult driver. This law does however protect innocent children from negligent parents.

My senator, Lois Snowe-Mello (R), is a co-sponsor of the bill. I sent her the following message:


United we boo (err... stand)

In response to the assassination attempt against Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, some members of Congress have proposed that congressional leaders sit together regardless of party during the 2011 State of the Union address. It's been a tradition - though not a rule - that members sit apart during the speech and it's always highlighted partisan division as one party applauds loudly and the other sits in quiet protest (usually.)


Green Chairship

It's been a bit of a drawn out affair due to my inability to attend the last two meetings, but I've been officially selected to serve the rest of this term (till May 1) as Chair of the Maine Green Independent Party Steering Committee. Former chair and legislative candidate Anna Trevorrow was elected to replace my seat as secretary.


Liberals in Maine can "kiss my butt" (PS I am a Liberal)

Alternative title: I'm not making any friends today.

Are liberals and democrats angry for the right reason? Honestly - had Governor Paul LePage said "kiss my butt" to George W. Bush instead of the NAACP, Democrats wouldn't be freaking out. In fact, they'd probably be praising him for speaking publicly what many of them have felt for years.

It has angered most people simply because he was so rude to an organization they support, not just uncivil in general. That doesn't excuse LePage from what he said. His behavior was uncouth and hope his economics makes up for it. A short note to the NAACP respectfully declining their invitation and apologizing for having too big of a work load (uh, taking over the governorship ain't a walk in the park) would have sufficed. It's one thing to speak candidly as a private citizen, it's another to serve as governor - as a role model for aspiring politicians. In office he sets a precedence.


Hey big spendah!

According to Governor LePage's inaugural address he would like to add a fifth year of high school for students in Maine with an emphasis on vocational training. Education spending is on par with military expenditure, and while I'm not against investing a lot of money on education, after pontificating throughout his campaign about the need to reduce spending in Augusta, this move seems antithetic.


Hello 2011

I feel good. I feel optimistic. I think 2011 is going to be a good year. It's just a hunch tickling me in the gut. No particular reason or evidence - just a supposition.

2010 was an interesting year for me. I got a new job (at the same organization.) I was elected to the State Steering Committee of the Maine Green Independent Party - and subsequently elected as committee Secretary. I lost about 50 pounds (and plateaued a bit, I need a new infusion of fitness in my life.) I've unfortunately, practically abandoned MaineWebAid.org, due to lack of time and energy. I lost a cat, and gained a kitten. I began my experiments with vegetarianism and can count on one hand the times I ate meat this year - a success, I think. Oh, and I started this blog.