Comments by Ajhalllpn04240

Andrew Hall's picture

Why Bother

Why does the Sun-Journal even bother to post articles like this? The headline leads one to believe there is a fairly in-depth story being offered -- and indeed it's a topic that would make excellent material for a longish piece -- but when we open it we have -- four paragraphs that might act as a lead in a real article. That's it. Where's the rest of the story? You can't tell me a bylined AP article is four paragraphs long, basically restating the headline.

This begs the question: why did the Sun-Journal even bother with the story? The same thing happened further down, with an "article" on the release of 911 transcripts ordered released by the Maine Supreme Court. Headlines promising much, squib giving us a few empty paragraphs, and abruptly ending. It's something the Sun-Journal is notorious for. At least once in each paper, especially noticeable in the Sunday edition, we have articles that just... end in the middle.

Why bother? What is the point? If the editors don't think anyone really cares, why put the story or column out there in the first place? And to think, we're going to have to pay for the online version of this laziness.

Once more -- why bother?

Andrew Hall's picture

Not again

Not again! Another catechism on the doctrine of the Neo-Luddite Church of Fear. Normally certain key phrases or code words in an opinion piece will flick a switch in my head and anything the writer says thereafter does not register. Some of these terms are "large multinational corporations" (and by extension "concentrated animal farming operations") "wealthy corporations" "tax breaks for the rich," etc etc ad nauseum. These key phrases and other like them tell me someone is simply parroting dogma they've been taught in their Enviro-Church's holy book. The switch must be broken, because this one really irritated me.

"Studies on GMOs have proven they cause many health problems, allergies, stomach problems and infertility." I want to know what studies "prove" these effects, most of which are vague psycho-somatic symptoms. Is the proof more vague pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo of the kind used to "prove" alien astronauts built the Pyramids? Please cite these studies so I can read them myself and see if they "prove" anything of real value.

One of the most important tricks in the Enviro-Church's little bag is the impressive sounding phrase, "studies have proven", tossed out in the usually correct belief that nobody will ask them to cite the sources. I want to see the studies proving these assertions. Or it all so much more Chicken Little Nonsense (I suspect Chicken Little didn't come from a "concentrated animal farming operation")? All of this is utter nonsense from people who want to drag us kicking and screaming into some pre-industrial Utopia that never existed in the first place.

If you really truly want to know if you're eating food from a CAFO, it isn't that hard to figure it out. If you see a Purdue chicken in the store, I'd say it's a safe bet it didn't come from somebody's backyard brood.

Andrew Hall's picture

Wow!

This is a heckuva way to facilitate urban renewal. In the words of the inimitable Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on out there?" God forbid, is Little Canada next?

Andrew Hall's picture

Inherently immoral

So you're arguing poor people are inherently immoral? That the poor are automatically drunken smokers who use drugs and are work shy? That given the opportunity. poor families wouldn't inherently reject a college-bound path for their children? That's astonishing set of beliefs if they are accurate.

There are indeed laws in towns like Falmouth that ensure people who are at the low end of the socio-economic cannot live in that or similar towns: zoning laws. When a town has zoning laws that do not allow multi-unit, low-income housing, that's a law designed to keep out the poor an other undesirables. When zoning laws are used to keep out potential home-owners by excluding the presence of homes they actually can afford as they try to move up and meet the socio-economic standards that are the price of admission to the elite club, that's flat wrong.

The situation is made much worse when the people using these laws are the ones who proclaim to love multi-cultural diversity the loudest. You are welcome to live in a neighborhood of your own kind, but when laws of any kind are used to keep others you dislike out, that's a problem. That's a value I want no part of.

Some years ago, Lewiston's mayor pleaded with the leaders of the Somali community to slow down the influx of more refugees because the social service system was strained to the breaking point. People from wealthy communities were up in arms, tossing around charges of racism. I remember thinking, "Surely these towns -- Falmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth -- will open their arms and welcome the refugees." But it was not to be -- I was still naive then. They were more interested in the showing their faux support of multi-culturalism. It was much easier to cast Lewiston as racist then to do something real and honest -- it was a serious case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Andrew Hall's picture

Doldrums etc

I'm really not sure what your point is the previous comments. Values? Is it a positive value, a virtue, to preach one thing then actually live the opposite? Is it a good thing to use laws to keep the less fortunate from your neighborhood? Separate but equal is a value to strive for? If those are your preferred values, spare me.

Andrew Hall's picture

Talking the Talk

Rex Rhoades pointed out an interesting and valid demographic fact in his editorial: One of five Lewiston students is an ESL learner, whereas in Falmouth, the rate is more like one in a hundred. This begs the question, why is this so? Towns like Falmouth are hotbeds of people who preach the dogma of multi-cultural diversity. Like the evangelical preacher who pontificates on proper moral behavior while having three mistresses on the side, there is something disingenuous about people who talk the multi-cultural talk but don't walk the walk.

Again, why are the liberal prophets prophets of multi-cultural diversity so lily white, with no poor population? Why are these towns so homogeneous, so lacking in the diversity its resident claim to value? Why does diversity in these towns consist of a mix of Federal vs Colonial style houses? The why is pretty simple. Because ethnic diversity is nice in theory as long as it doesn't apply to them.

So how do they maintain their hypocritical facade yet keep their liberal multi-cultural credentials? Zoning laws and environmental laws. You will never see a low-income family, Somali or native-born, in a town like Falmouth. Zoning laws don't allow multi-family, low-income housing. Nice, neat way to keep out the undesirables while still pretending to value them. You'd think these town would actively seek to have the less fortunate join their ranks. Is that going to happen?

Until the courts step in an order an end to the inherent discriminatory intent behind these laws, perhaps the state should implement an education funding process where all districts are given state aid based on a flat per pupil reimbursement, say $4000 a year (arbitrary number). For every dollar a town like Falmouth spends from municipal funds above that $4,000, it's subtracted from the state aid, so ultimately every district is funded at the same level as every other.

Will that happen? Will the Falmouths of the state ever actually walk the walk instead of just talking the talk? Will pigs fly?

In the meantime, they should stop their hypocritical preaching.

Andrew Hall's picture

Fire

Yup, another meth lab bites the dust. The cops won't do anything about them, but eventually the meth-heads will burn down every dump they infest and self-destruct. It's sad only when innocent people are affected. I could not care less about what happens to the meth-heads.

Andrew Hall's picture

Oh My God!

I'm shocked... shocked I say! ... to learn from Abigail King's screed that I'm going to die someday! All of us will be done in by all those Teflon fry pans and plastic drink bottles.Wait a second... isn't the threat to immortality and national security obesity? Or is it High blood pressure? Lack of exercise? Defective cars? Hairy eyebrows? Well, whatever it is, you can bet Large Corporations are behind it.

I mean look at it? People are dying and we have chemicals all around us. Post hoc ergo proctor hoc, baby. So surely.... uh wait a minute. Since the Toxic Chemicals became ubiquitous, our life expectancy in the last 100 years has gone from 61 years at birth to 78 years. How can that be? Those Toxic chemicals are killing us.

Look, people like King are propagandists, Neo-Luddite demagogues terrified of the modern world. The NRCM would have us return to the squalid hand to mouth existence of the 1880s and earlier, when we died of simple cuts, befouled drinking water, food crusted in e. coli, and diseases now rare. Their fantasy world is a very unpleasant, if nostalgic place, but it is a fantasy.

Sadly, these chicken little's will scare people eager to be frightened, who will then eagerly spread the NRCM's Gospel to an easily frightened population. It's best to remember people of King's ilk are mindless demagogues preaching a Gospel (much as they wish to protest, their Gospel is a religion). We do ourselves no earthly good validating their pulpit pounding.

For the record, these toxic chemical concerns are about number 5,763,913 on my list of things to worry about, somewhat further down the line than worrying about what I'm going to do with all that Powerball money I won't win.

Andrew Hall's picture

Op Ed Piece Not News

Any wonder why the media isn't trusted? This piece is carried on the front page as news, with a headline that is a flat out falsehood -- not even wishy-washy. The first paragraph of the op-ed piece it's leading tells the reader the headline is a lie.

The headline says the tax breaks in question "cost state $100 million per year." Not "might cost" or "could cost", but actually does cost... The first paragraph of the opinion piece says "...it is also spending more than $100 million a year on tax breaks for businesses that an audit has criticized as risky investments." There is nothing there that says the tax breaks did cost $100 million per year. It says the tax breaks are "risky investments."

And I should trust the SJ to be honest and accurate with other stories? Where did your editor get his/her journalism degree? Fox News University?

The entire piece is an opinion by a lobbying group with an agenda. It belongs on the op-ed page. If that doesn't satisfy the editors urge to lobby for his/her agenda, then it at least needs to be labeled "Opinion". To pass it off as hard news on the front page is an insult to readers, the kind of nonsense one would expect to see on Fox News.

Sad, sad, sad, and shameful.

Andrew Hall's picture

Ask The Right Questions

Cynics? A safe bet in the the aftermath of the massacre last week would have been it would take all of 30 seconds for the proponents of banning the possession of firearms would leap on the tragedy to reinvigorate their longstanding crusade against the Second Amendment. With their media cronies well in hand, the crusade erupted with a fury. Sadly, these cynics care not one iota for the lives of those children.

Most people know that firearms jump into the hands of other good people and whisper, "Use me to kill," until the murderer complies, right?

In reality, ought we not be asking WHY this evil boil on the butt of humanity did what he did rather than how? Would it have been somehow been less tragic if he'd filled a van with readily available materials arranged in such a way that they became a bomb a la Timothy McVeigh and detonated it to kill those children?

If we don't find out why, we can ban firearms, but the atrocities will continue. I would venture most of the recent mass killers shared common threads. Why not start with a look at video games and the senseless, mindless thrill killing that Hollywood spews out as entertainment today? Why not look at video games where murder is the goal, a celebrated virtue, alternate realities where kids like the oozing, putrid wound in Connecticut spend most of their free time? Kids wallow in computer generated worlds and have trouble seeing the real world as separate from the fantasy world the spend so much time inhabiting. Why not, for starters, restrict the sale of games rated ""M" to those over 18 and require an ID? Hold parents responsible, just as we do when they buy minors alcohol, for kids possessing and using these game? Mandate that video game players have a V-chip mechanism where parents can prevent them from playing games rated "M" ? Insist that Hollywood develop voluntary measures to reduce the number of movies glorifying murder and violence?

After all, it seems to me every bit as reasonable to suggest violent media entertainment had/has as much influence as that firearm whispering demands to be used as a WMD had in that senseless tragedy. Sadly, we won't see people like the editor of this paper insisting we look for the reasons why this happened rather than how, simply because looking at the why might hit a little too close to their media homes.