The way things are done

This past January, I was proud to give testimony in Augusta on LD 20, a bill to give thanks and recognize the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans. The day was to be March 29, commemorating the end of the war and at no taxpayer expense.

Prior to the afternoon testimony, I had to endure the whoopie pie state dessert proposal. All committee members were in attendance for that bill.

In the afternoon Chairman David Cotta, R-Albion, was not present to hear our heartfelt, emotional testimony. It appeared the bill, proposed by Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico, was well on its way.

Without hearing our testimony, Rep. Cotta is now attempting to kill the bill.

Is this how Augusta does business?

If you form your opinion before being asked to be a juror, aren't you dismissed?

If you choose not to listen to testimony, should you be able to render a decision?

Is this how Augusta works?

God help us.

Al Pelletier, Norway

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RONALD RIML's picture

And Nobody here is Informed - Who read the Bill??

It appears that besides myself and Mr. Pelletier, there's a lot of folks in here that don't have a dog in this fight, and then when I ask them about their service or bring up 'Chickenhawks' they get all bent out of shape.

Well you should. Like your hero Paul LePage, once he graduated from Husson College and ran out of student deferments, he got his azz over to Canada during the Viet-Nam War.

Here's the Bill. And the let March 29 Pass. Well fuck you and them all to hell.

Ron Riml; Viet-Nam '66-'67'-'68-'69


An Act Designating March 29th Vietnam Veterans Day

Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and

Whereas, it is important that this legislation take effect prior to March 29th, which is designated as Vietnam Veterans Day by this legislation; and

Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 1 MRSA §150-F is enacted to read:

§ 150-F. Vietnam Veterans Day

In recognition of the service and sacrifice of those veterans of the United States Armed Forces who served during the Vietnam War, the State designates March 29th of each year as Vietnam Veterans Day. The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation urging the people of the State to observe the day with appropriate celebration and activity.

Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.

Joe Morin's picture

Jeez Ron

Ron, it is clear that we have different idealogical views and that is necessary in our Republic, state and even municipalities. I respect the enthusiasm and the considerable time you take researching and creating these posts but lets be honest. Your post borders "Red Herring" status and has created a soapbox for your vitriol. The issue that Mr. Pelletier is bringing to everyone's attention is that a representative is casting judgment on an issue without being fully informed. I believe the harm comes from the process but not the issue. You can replace the subject at hand with a noise ordinance or perhaps funding for a parade. I believe Al is right and that the representative needs to be accountable to the information, which includes personal testimony. I believe our veterans deserve every respect available. This politician, Ron, Isn't crying out for war. He is a proponent of a bill honoring Vietnam Veterans. You are pretty transparent and it hurts all of your valid arguments and makes posts like this tiresome.

RONALD RIML's picture

Yes Joe???

Who said this politician was crying out for war? That's your misinterpretation of what I wrote.

In reading Al Pelletier's letter describing how Chairman David Cotta was "MIA" when he was needed most by the Vietnam Veterans at the Hearing, it's obvious that his actions most closely mirrored the Chickenhawks of my era than it did we warriors.

So what have you done for the Flag which you wave as an Icon???

Joe Morin's picture

Don't be that guy

Don't be that guy Ron. I respect your service for our country. I respect anyone who dons the uniform. Miltary service is not a pre-requisite for national pride or for flying the stars & bars. Mr. Pelletier was bringing to light in a public forum issues that are important to him. This will be the last distraction from Al's original message from me. I felt compelled to call you out on yours.

RONALD RIML's picture

Nice 'Side Step'

Now simply - What have you done for our country or all the little people who inhabit it??

 's picture

Nice Straw Man

Doesn't further the discussion to get bogged down in someone's bona fides or lack thereof.

Like the saying goes, "On the internet no one knows you're a dog."

Get back to the discussion at hand and make some points, instead of trying to tear down someone who disagrees with you.

RONALD RIML's picture

You Make One Good Point, Chris

You might very well be that "Dog" you mention, Chris - until you fill out some more information in your profile and put an actual photo up for your picture.

 's picture


Again you willfully fail to see the point. I don't have to prove myself to you. I have a little green verified around my name just like you do. I don't need to put out information about myself online just to satisfy a discussion board bully who can't make an argument and has to resort to classic forum trolling tactics.

Say what you need to say about the topic at hand succinctly and without hyperbole. When people disagree with you, defend your position on the merits of your points, or god forbid listen to what someone has to say. Stop obfuscating and picking fights about irrelevancies.

RONALD RIML's picture

Now to get back to business.

This bill was to honor Viet Nam Veterans. And the State backed out of it.

What have you done for your country, Chris???

RONALD RIML's picture

Hey Pal - You're the one who trotted out that 'Dog' - not I

And now you're getting all whiney because I exposed your hypocrisy.

So perhaps you should have followed your own advice to begin with.


 's picture

I did

Obvious troll is obvious.

I did follow my own advice. I agreed with the comments of the person who wrote the letter and I made a succinct comment regarding the fundamental flaw in your "chickenhawk" argument. You're probably right that I should have left it at that, because clearly you're an unrepentant troll who doesn't even live in the circulation area for this paper, but gets off in coming to this website to derail discussions then try and bully people who call you on it.

I'm not your pal, buddy.

RONALD RIML's picture

I'm here to screw expose folks like you.....

And your 'Dog Comment' was easy.

So I'm not in the circulation area? Funny, I saw a copy at my local Hannaford yesterday. So I once didn't live in Lewiston? So you are now the Grand Arbiter of Forum Membership? Wow...who'da thunk all those things!!??

 's picture

Truth in advertising

So you try to refute what I said because I don't have info in my profile, while your's contains inaccurate information? Says East Boothbay there, hypocrite.

RONALD RIML's picture

Write some life history about yourself

As though your life meant something.

You should move to East Boothbay; I did from Lewiston in '99 after living there six years. And they sell Lewiston Sun Journals at the Boothbay Harbor Hannaford. Along with New York Times. You should broaden your horizons.

So you're squirrelly, and proud of it.

 's picture

Some things to learn

There's a difference between where a paper is available for sale and what it's circulation area is. Feel free to call Bill McCarthy at the SJ and ask him if they consider East Boothbay part of their circulation area. The word of the man in charge of getting those papers out every day ought to be good enough for you. Tell him I said hi.

As for my life story, you don't get it do you? You keep trumpeting about who you are and what you've done, and demanding everyone does the same, as if that makes you more right or more qualified than anyone who doesn't. That's what I meant when I said on the internet no one knows you're a dog; it's that no one knows or cares about who you are. You can say anything you like and no one can really prove it. You persist in using a logical fallacy called the Appeal to Authority, instead of bothering to have a real discussion with anyone. I've seen you do it time and again on these comment threads, and that's a shame.

It's a classic form of internet trolling, and I'm only engaging you in it to let you know that not many people are fooled by it, and because if anyone is, my comments can clue them in. You don't seem like a stupid man. It would be nice to have a reasonable discussion with you. But a discussion is about having your say and listening to other people have their's not just shouting down anyone who disagrees with you.

RONALD RIML's picture

"No one cares" - Fits you and LePage to a 'T'

Interesting that you refer to "Appeal to Authority" - for that is certainly the symbiotic relationship which has been bred between the Governor and his many ardent follower here -and also the Republican Party.

And the problem with referring to what one's field of expertise or experience when one is discussing a subject related to that field? Business people here tell us their opinions, as do those in retail, data analaysts, ex-city councilors, etc.

All we've got from you is the canine half of a 'Dog & Pony Show' That makes you much more the troll than I, Chris. The pages in my book are open.

 's picture

I was wrong

There's nothing wrong if a poster wants to rely on their own expertise to inform their statements on a subject. I did that when you decided to argue with me about what the circulation area for the Sun Journal is, because I worked there for years.

What's wrong is when you demand it from other people as some kind of proof of right to speak or have an opinion (or govern). It's wrong when you make a big deal about how awesome you are until people stop talking instead of listening to them.

I think I was wrong about you being someone worth having a conversation with. You're too wrapped up in your goal of discrediting everyone who doesn't agree with you to ever have an exchange of ideas with anyone who doesn't measure up to your standards of whatever.

RONALD RIML's picture

SJ has obviously extended their parameters....

Have you?? I merely asked you what you've been proud to do, and you go off on a tirade.

I obviously struck a nerve. You not only failed to state what you've done - you then found it necessary to criticize and tear me down. Hey, I can't help you with your program - that's your purgatory. Have a ball, Buster.

AL PELLETIER's picture


Ron, it looks like the new title of this bill will make it law. As a brother I invite you to the bill signing, ( I'll keep you posted ). Sheryl Briggs has asked me to sing my tribute to Vietnam Vets, "The Wisdom That We Gained" at the ceremony. I will do it for the last time.
To you and all who served, God Bless.

 's picture

Got me

You got me, dealing with people who gleefully pass judgement on others and twist what they say so they can remain willfully ignorant of the perspective of other people makes me sooooooo angry.

Not really.

AL PELLETIER's picture

get some sleep

Hey Chris, your invited too. Please give yourself a break and get some sleep.

AL PELLETIER's picture


Thank you Joe for understanding the meaning of my letter. I appreciate Ron's enthusiasm and support, but your response is a little more of what I had in mind regarding this issue. Thanks again.

AL PELLETIER's picture

good thought

Robert, I think you have an excellent point and perhaps Mr. Cotta had other commitments, but after giving my testimony I was so emotionally stressed I told Rep. Briggs that I could never go through that again. Myself and a dozen Vietnam Vets had tears streaming down for three hours recounting what we went through and how we were received when we came home.
How could we possibly relive this pain especially for Mr. Cotta? Please read part of my testimony:
After serving 2 1/2 years in Vietnam with Commander 7th Fleet Operations I came home to a totally different country. My work had been top secret so I couldn't speak of it and, after living the horror of being spit on and called a pot smoking baby killer, I felt like I just didn't belong in the country I love. My 6 years of Naval service was never to be mentioned again.
I tried to put those years behind me and go on with my life but the memories wouldn't go away. Three years after the fall of Saigon I was in a bad mental state. I sat down with my guitar and tried to make sense, in song, of my existence for those 2 1/2 years.
Suddenly the words were there, I had lived them, and the music just went with the words. At that moment I knew us Vietnam Vets were not forsaken and God was intervening to help me and all Vietnam Vets to cope with their feelings.
30 years after writing the song and with help from my brother I recorded the, "Wisdom That We Gained"
And in 2007 I was invited to sing my song in the opening ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
I pray my 58,256 fallen comrades heard my song that cold November day at the Wall.
I then proceeded with the song.
For myself and all the other Vets who gave equally and more compelling testimony, doing it again especially for Mr. Cotta is not an option.

Good news---The point of contention for the opposition is having the word Veteran in the title so the bill will be amended to call the day,"Vietnam Rememberrance Day". What do you all think ??

RONALD RIML's picture

I never got spit on or yelled at, Ed

At 6'4" with a crazy-azz squid-look on my face, it just didn't ever come close. But I got invited to some neat parties.

RONALD RIML's picture

Not the 'Way Augusta Works' - but 'Chicken-Hawks' act....

Those politicians who most cry out for war, but choose not to partake in it themselves. For the most part they have always been Republican.

"When an American male (or an especially belligerent female) makes the challenging transition from late adolescence into early adulthood, he is faced with many decisions. One certain, specific combination of choices will result in his becoming a chickenhawk: choosing to “support” war, while also choosing not to serve in the military. His motto becomes: “Let’s you and him go fight; I’ll hold your coat.”

Spencer Abraham

Elliott Abrams

Ken Adelman

Roger Ailes

Lamar Alexander

George Felix Allen

Richard Keith "Dick" Armey

John Ashcroft

Harvey Leroy "Lee" Atwater

Haley Reeves Barbour

Bob Barr

Roscoe Bartlett

Robert Leroy Bartley

Joseph Linus "Joe" Barton

Charles Foster "Charlie" Bass

Gary Lee Bauer

Glenn Lee Beck

William Bennett

Richard B. Berman

Wolf Isaac Blitzer

Richard Blumenthal

Roy Blunt

John Andrew Boehner

Clint Bolick

John Bolton

Pat Boone

Neal Boortz

Max Boot

James Paul David "Jim" Bunning

George Walker Bush

John Ellis "Jeb" Bush

Carl Cameron

Andrew "Andy" Card

Gerald Posner Carmen

Clarence Saxby Chambliss

John P.H. "Pecker Head" Chandler

Richard Bruce "Still Dick" Cheney

Thomas Leo Clancy

Thomas Allen "Tom" Coburn

Roy Cohn

Norman Bertram "Norm" Coleman

John Cornyn III

Ann Hart Coulter

Larry "Wide Stance" Craig

Dinesh D'Souza

Thomas Dale "Tom," "The Hammer" DeLay

Steven James Doocy

Charles Gwynne "Chuck" Douglas III

John Mathias Engler

Donald Louis Evans

Jerry Lamon Falwell

Don Feder

Douglas J. Feith

Jim Finnegan

Malcolm Stevenson "Steve" Forbes

Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama

Frank Gaffney

Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich

Rudolph Wiliam Louis "Rudy" Giuliani

Alan Gottlieb

William Franklin "Billy" Graham

William Phillip "Phil" Gramm

Lee Greenwood

Judd Gregg

Sean Hannity

Paul Harvey

Dennis Hastert

John Edgar Hoover

Brit Hume

Asa Hutchinson

Young Timothy Hutchinson

David R. Ignatius

Frederick Walter Kagan

Robert Kagan

Joyce Kaufman

Francis Anthony Keating

Ronald Kessler

Alan Lee Keyes

Brian Kilmeade

Charles De Ganahl Koch

David Koch

William "Bill" Kristol

Jon Llewellyn Kyle

Wayne LaPierre

Michael Arthur Ledeen

Irve Lewis "Scooter" Libby

Joseph Isidore "Joe" Lieberman

David Limbaugh

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III

William "Bill" Loeb III

Chester Trent Lott, Sr.

Frank I. Luntz

David Martin McIntosh

Joseph "Joe" McQuaid

Gerald McRaney

Michael Medved

Don Nickles

Grover Glenn Norquist

Theodore Anthony "Ted" Nugent

William "Bill" O'Reilly

Patrick Jake "PJ" O'Rourke

Marvin Olasky

John M. Olin

Ted Olson

Richard Norman Perle

James Danforth "Dan" Quayle

Michael Reagan

Ralph Eugene Reed, Jr.

Robert James "Kid Rock" Ritchie

Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson

Willard Mitt Romney

Karl Christian Rove

Antonin Gregory Scalia

Charles Joseph "Joe" Scarborough

Melvin Floyd "Mel" Sembler

Richard Craig Shelby

Alan Kooi Simpson

Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra

Willard Cleon Skousen

Robert Anthony "Tony" Snow

Britney Jean Spears

Sylvester Gardenzio "Sly" Stallone

Kenneth Winston Starr

Michael Stephen Steele

Benjamin Jeremy "Ben" Stein

Mark Steyn

David Alan Stockman

Roger Stone

Thomas Gerard "Tom" Tancredo

James Taranto

Clarence Thomas

Fred Thompson

Meldrim "Mel" Thomson

Donn Tibbetts

Clyde Anderson Tolson

Robert Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.

Jon Vincent Voight

Christopher "Chris" Wallace

John P. Walters

John "Duke" Wayne

John Vincent "Vin" Weber

Michael Alan "Michael Savage" Weiner

William Floyd "Bill" Weld

George Frederick Will

Walter Winchell

Paul Dundes Wolfowitz

RONALD RIML's picture

What wars and conflicts were created to

"bolster their sagging popularity" as you allege, Robert?

By the way - Robert, you never did respond to this comment of mine early yesterday morning --> - where I expose you for the blatant liar which you are. No reason to believe you'd change within a few days.

 's picture

So what?

Even at a time when we have the largest military in the world, the number of people on active duty and in the reserves combined is still less than 1% of the population. The simple fact that someone has or hasn't served doesn't instantly invalidate their opinions on military service, foreign wars, soldier memorials, or the governing of veteran's affairs.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"For the most part, they have

"For the most part, they have always been Republican."
Veritas, that old saw just won't cut wood any more. You served, I believe, in the Navy during the Viet Nam era. For that, we as Americans, are grateful for your service. But, for you to suggest, and I don't care how many Republicans you can name, that only democrats and liberals are willing to go and fight for America is ludicrous, and a slap in the face to any non-democrat that ever served with you and/or beside you in the military. Just out of curiosity, how many years of military service do Joe Biden and Barak Obama have between them?

AL PELLETIER's picture

not a party issue

Guys, my letter was not meant to chastise Republicans or Democrats regarding their military service. If Rep. Cotta would have a (D) and Rep. Briggs would have an (R) my letter would have been the same. My point is, as a state policy maker if you do not sit in chambers and listen to testimony, how can you render an educated opinion. Rep. Cotta chose not hear testimony because his mind was already made up and that just ain't right. Myself and many other Vets traveled to Augusta from all over the state, spent 5 hours in the morning listening to whoopie pie crap bill, paid for our dinners and when it was our turn (and there was virtually no opposition to Rep. Brigg's bill ) the Chairman and most important decision maker was absent. That is not fair, it's not right and that is the crux of my letter.
Weather you a a Vietnam Vet or not, contact Rep. Cotta from Albion and express your opinion. The bill is going back to the floor next month and Rep. Briggs needs all the help she can get. Guys and Gals, if you have,(or had), a Dad, Mom, Brother, Sister, Friend and if You served in Vietnam please express your support for this bill.

RONALD RIML's picture

Have Joe Biden & Obama lustily called for War??

That's one of the Requisites I mentioned that you conveniently neglected in your above post. You obviously didn't peruse the link.

If a politician shies away from that, they don't get the "'Chickenhawk" label; Republican or Democrat.

And that saw is still as sharp as hell....

 's picture

How dare he?

How dare he ignore your carefully crafted attempt to obscure the issue at hand and derail the discussion of the topic of the letter?


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