Category Archives: Commentary

Maine is lying to itself about the economic health of its cities

For the past decade, we have been hearing about the supposed “rebirth” and “revitalization” of Bangor. They have the waterfront concerts. New bars downtown. New, trendy restaurants. They have a new civic center. The economy is developing and improving, there is a new, chic, younger crowd doing things in town, and things are looking up. […]

Why worshiping at the altar of self-esteem fails

Speaking to a group of Little Leaguers on Saturday, Washington Nationals phenom Bryce Harper had a simple message. “As much as they might tell you, ‘It’s OK you guys lost today,’ no Johnny,” he began. “No participation trophies, OK? First place only, alright?” He, of course, said it in a lighthearted — but also serious […]

Ranked-choice failure was avoidable

Well, I hate to say I told you so. But, I told you so. I tried. I tried to warn you all that ranked-choice voting was unconstitutional. Said I, in late October of last year, “The language [in the Maine Constitution], however, is not about defining the upper limit of vote totals necessary to win. […]

Times columnist goes off the deep end with Trump

When it comes to President Donald Trump, the only thing you can really count on is that people are going to completely lose their mind and any sense of rationality when they talk about him. Opponents have been screeching “Impeachment!” any time the president fails to properly make use of the Oxford comma, or is […]

A false sense of internet privacy

What is privacy on the internet? Well, a smart person would probably tell you that it doesn’t exist, and you should probably assume as much as you spend time online. But according to the spin from the Obama-era Federal Communication Commission, privacy on the internet does exist, thanks to them. That’s what they say they did […]

Is partisanship really the problem?

Moderate is a word that is thrown around a lot, usually by self-interested politicians who want to appear rational, reasonable, and independently minded. Usually, you are defined as a moderate if you step outside your political party’s orthodoxy with relative frequency, and assert some opinions that are closer to those on “the other side” than […]

More money for Maine schools won’t fix a broken system

Since the passage of Question 2 on last November’s ballot, the debate over it has centered around the question of taxes. Does Maine want to have, depending on how you count it, the highest or second highest income tax rate in the country? Is that what Maine people voted for, or were they just trying […]

There are no good solutions to the Syrian civil war

The question about whether or not to engage in military action abroad is very often a highly philosophical one. Statecraft and foreign policy is not a terribly good place for ideologues to sit. It doesn’t have neat and clean answers that are verifiably right or wrong very often. Intervention is often a tragic mistake. Non-intervention […]

Angus King’s phony independence

Stop trying to fool us, Angus. I’ll admit, you are a talented salesman. You have built a carefully crafted image over the years, and have created a very successful personal brand. You have used that mythos to make quite a career for yourself. But what you have built is a phony house of cards, and it is […]