Counter Trump on Russia
I’m writing to express my extreme disapproval of President Donald Trump’s denial on Monday that Russia was responsible for the 2016 election attacks. I ask that Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Poliquin immediately counter these dangerous and unpatriotic comments by:
— Supporting a joint resolution stating that Russia was responsible for the 2016 election attack;
— Pressuring Trump to have the 12 indicted Russian nationals extradited to the U.S.;
— Holding hearings with U.S. intelligence officials on what has and has not been done to prevent further cyberattacks;
— Passing legislation to combat election cyberthreats and adequately funding all election security systems;
— Formally censuring the president for his treasonous behavior with Vladimir Putin;
— Calling the national security team before Congress to account for what went on in Finland;
— Passing formal protection for the special counsel;
— Blocking appointment and confirmation of judges, including to the Supreme Court, until after the Mueller investigation is complete;
It is disgusting to think that our elected officials will fail to uphold their sworn duty to protect this country from its enemies, foreign and domestic. They need to do their job.
If Emera Maine is your utility provider, you will notice an increase in your next monthly bill. In June, the Maine Public Utilities Commission granted Emera Maine a 5.34 percent distribution rate increase, effective July 1.
While any increase is too high in my opinion, the increase could’ve been much higher. Thanks to the efforts of AARP Maine and the citizens who spoke up, the original request of a 12 percent increase was significantly reduced.
The 5.34 percent rate increase represents $4.48 million in extra revenue for Emera Maine, the state’s second-largest utility company. But for many Mainers, especially seniors who live on a fixed monthly income from Social Security, a bill increase of even a small percent can cause stressful financial insecurity. Every extra penny put toward an electric bill means less money for important things like food or medicine that seniors depend on to survive.
The decision has been made, but we must remain vigilant. This marked Emera Maine’s third rate increase in only five years. How much will Emera Maine ask for next time? How soon will that be? Today, I’m thankful for the hard work of AARP Maine and the many Mainers who raised their voices to support our most vulnerable. I hope the utilities commission will listen more closely next time.
Build a nonviolent society
The core of American society is built on violence. It is in our national history and the collective attitudes and cultural views we perpetuate from generation to generation. Racism, sexual and gender-based violence, war, imperialism, homelessness, poverty, environmental destruction and domestic abuse plague our nation. These issues may appear separate in nature, but they are more interconnected than one may think. Violence begets violence, and no form of violence is divisible from its broader cultural context and causes.
I sometimes look around and feel a deep sense of helplessness and resignation. I sit down and think, “This is just the way things are; I can’t do anything to make a change. I’m just one person.” It is easy to let cynicism push us deeper and deeper into apathy.
On Sept. 15, The Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine and Pax Christi Maine will bring our community together for their 5th annual End Violence Together rally. The rally brings dozens of community organizations and hundreds of individuals to West Market Square in downtown Bangor. All of these people share a common vision: we all want to plant the seeds of nonviolence on a local, national and global scale.
Contrary to popular belief, nonviolence is not some passive ideal, but an active way of life. In practicing nonviolence toward ourselves, others and the planet at large, we bring a culture of nonviolence into the mainstream. This is what matters most. We cannot undo our national history, but the future is ours to change.