Golden for Congress
We need a representative in Washington who will fight for the interests of the 2nd Congressional District. Unfortunately, Rep. Bruce Poliquin has demonstrated time and again his unwillingness to even face some voters in the 2nd District.
Jared Golden offers a better alternative: joining the Marines after 2001, he served tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He later returned to teach in Afghanistan schools. Here’s a man who is not afraid to fight for Maine and America. Unlike Poliquin, he will fight for health care and Social Security and put individuals ahead of corporations and financial institutions.
He’s got my vote.
Trump’s appalling behavior
The Aug. 16 BDN editorial, which was one of more than 350 coordinated editorials published across the country, only reinforces the sense of unreality that many of us have had since the election of Donald Trump. Newspapers across the country, and indeed around the world, are emphasizing the central role of a free press in a democracy — and are doing so because of the words and actions of the president of the United States.
Our president has banned citizens of a number of countries from entry to the U.S. based solely on their nationality (and effectively their religion), ordered the separation of young children from their parents on very questionable legal (not to mention moral) grounds, instigated trade wars that are a threat to our (and the world’s) economy, and sided with Vladimir Putin over our own intelligence services.
His administration is not only not filled with the “very best” individuals as promised, but is likely among the most corrupt in our history. President Trump has also repeatedly behaved in petty and vindictive ways unbecoming of a president, setting a tone for public discourse that involves insults, name-calling, personal attacks and most recently the creation of an “ enemies list” far too close to that of Richard Nixon for comfort.
Finally, it is increasingly clear that the president not only lies openly and repeatedly, but that he does so on a daily basis. When will enough be enough?
Russia a clear threat
As retired senior special operations military analyst, Russia has demonstrated to me it has the ways, means and ends to disrupt U.S. elections. This is evident in Russia’s proven will to influence the 2016 U.S. elections. Multiple U.S. government agencies and utilities now detect Russia has infiltrated critical U.S. infrastructure with the ability to disrupt or deny services. Are Maine’s state and local political leaders preparing for and exercising mitigation plans for infrastructure disruptions?
The U.S. federal agencies have detected an aggressive Russian refocusing to conducting network reconnaissance and collecting information on critical U.S. infrastructure. For the next decade, senior officials believe these offensive cyber capabilities far exceed the United States’ ability to defend key critical infrastructures.
Russia’s means and ways of engaging in cyber political and cyber warfare is to subvert the authority of the U.S. government. The end objective is to discredit and destabilize the confidence in democracy.
Russian political leadership has the capability to attack U.S. infrastructure and disrupt our economy and elections. The question is, do they have the political will to conduct coordinated cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns with supporting coordinated infrastructure attacks? Such attacks occurred during the 2014 eastern Ukraine elections. Such actions are consistent with Russian political and military doctrine. The question is do we and our political leadership have the will to confront this clear and present threat?
Heed Margaret Chase Smith’s words
Words spoken by the best Maine senator:
“I speak as an American. I would like to speak briefly and simply about a serious national condition. It is a national feeling of fear and frustration that could result in national suicide and the end of everything that we Americans hold dear. …
“The United States Senate has long enjoyed worldwide respect as the greatest in the world. But recently that character has been debased to the level of a forum of hate and character assassination … I think it is high time … to do some real soul searching and to weigh our consciences as to … the manner in which we are using or abusing our individual powers and privileges. …
“Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism: The right to criticize, to hold unpopular beliefs, to protest and the right of independent thought. …
“I do not want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny — fear, ignorance, bigotry and smear.”
As the Maine senator sitting in the seat of the honorable Margaret Chase Smith who spoke these words, I implore Sen. Susan Collins to spend a couple hours with this quote in hand walking the halls of the Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan. And I hope she doesn’t forget to take a rose.
Lawmakers must fight for us
I have been working professionally in the health care field for more than 40 years. We need health care to be available for all. Owing to special interests and greed influencing all levels of government, health care is becoming drastically more expensive. Private companies dominate all decisions in pharmaceuticals in insurance.
We need Sen. Susan Collins to stand up for affordable health care for all, for the elderly, the poor and single parents. Rather than corporate tax cuts and Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, we need our lawmakers to fight for us.
Church in spiritual ruin
After the Pennsylvania revelations of more sexual abuse by pedophile priests, I doubt that repeat apologies from bishops will to save the Catholic Church from its final spiritual ruin.
Do we want more of a powerless Pope Francis’ solemn masses and useless encounters with victims? More prayers? Perhaps a massive resignation of all Catholic bishops might be a first step since many bishops knew about the abuse and few did much to prevent it.
Or, should the church clearly identify itself as a criminal enterprise, a Mafia specialized in sexual abuse of children with a veneer of charitable activities?