Sunday, December 8, 2013
Amid all the hyperbole coming out of the media about the government shutdown, all the finger-pointing from both sides of the political aisles, the doomsaying, the weeping and gnashing of teeth that the world is coming to an end – in all of this lies hidden an opportunity for reflection on what should be an obvious question: Doesn’t this make it crystal clear that we have allowed ourselves to become far too dependent on the federal government for practically everything we do?
As gray skies hang over the U.S. Capitol, letter writers say the federal shutdown shows there’s too much government and too much dependency on government.
The Associated Press
In a sane world, if Washington were shut down, it would be weeks before anyone even noticed, and then it would be a paragraph on Page 3 of the newspaper. But instead, we turn our sad, imploring gaze toward Washington as the answer for everything from education to Medicaid.
Instead of fighting for federal subsidies, let’s fight to earn back our independence, and start reducing our reliance on the ruling class that has imposed itself upon us.
The so-called shutdown of this nation is indirectly enlightening the citizens that a significant portion of government activities are not really necessary for our country to effectively operate.
Therefore, it would seem that when spending bills come up for consideration, a wise politician should question the need for the government to allocate further funds for such “unnecessary” activities!
Hopefully, the news media will also take up the argument to cut back unneeded government expenditures,
Support business and reject harsh waterfront ordinance
I write to express strong concern for Greater Portland’s business health and to encourage South Portland voters to vote against the overly restrictive and overreaching Waterfront Protection Ordinance.
I write as president of the WH Shurtleff Co., a South Portland industrial distribution company and landlord to other commercial and industrial businesses that depend on South Portland’s infrastructure.
The proponents of the Waterfront Protection Ordinance want to prevent Canadian tar sands oil from transiting South Portland. They claim that the only means they have of achieving control and restricting tar sands oil is through land-use ordinance change.
Additional regulation at the municipal level is unwarranted and restricts commerce. While it is worthy as a community to discuss the merits of this product’s movements, handling and environmental risks, this poorly written citizens initiative broadly blankets specific land areas and the petroleum industry for scrutiny and control beyond the scope of the city’s capabilities and comprehensive plan.
The business activities targeted and land areas impacted are among the most regulated and controlled at the federal, state and local level.
The permitting process for new construction is rigorous. Creating an additional municipal responsibility to control all activities as a way to address the highly politicized tar sands oil product movement is excessive and unfair. Tar sands oil may be bad; pre-emptive, overreaching and controlling regulation is worse.
I urge South Portland residents who support private business as the backbone of a healthy economy to vote against the Waterfront Protection Ordinance. It is a measure that does too much to too many in the interest of stopping a single product that is not mentioned by name, nor is it currently proposed for commercial transit of South Portland.
president, WH Shurtleff Co.
Pass waterfront ordinance to protect precious planet
With the tar sands oil issue now looming in South Portland, many of us at Congregation Bet Ha’am and in other faith communities across Maine are concerned about the impact of the potential project on our congregational home community and on the Earth, air and water we all share.
Tar sands processing poses enormous risks to the environment, raises a host of troubling, still-unanswered questions about long-term impact, and boasts a troubling, unimpressive safety record – all with minimal economic benefit to our community.
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