Category Archives: State

A look back to the early days of coronavirus in Maine

I don’t typically write follow up columns to things I wrote, but in this case I’m going to have to make an exception. A couple weeks ago, the column I wrote in these very pages declared in rather concrete terms that I was not worried about the coronavirus. What I was more worried about than […]

The government spending spree continues

There are good times, and there are bad times. One thing in this life is certain: if you are currently living through one of those, the other will come eventually. If an economic boom is happening, there will be an eventual slowdown and recession. If you are in the middle of economic calamity, there will […]

Should the government force you to take your medicine?

“Do you want to reject the new law that removes religious and philosophical exemptions to requiring immunization against certain communicable diseases for students to attend schools and colleges and for employees of nursery schools and health care facilities?” That’s a mouthful, but if you want me to translate for you, I’m happy to help. A […]

Why are we so afraid of speech?

Principles are pretty easy to have. It doesn’t take much effort to say that you believe in things like free expression, multiculturalism, religious tolerance, a limited government, social justice or fiscal austerity. All it takes is a broad philosophical agreement with the tenets of those principles. The problem, though, is that living out those principles […]

The 2019 Conifer Awards

Call me conservative, but I love tradition. And there is no finer tradition on these pages than the month of December, when I get to make predictions for the coming year, and — as I’m about to do now — I hand out superlatives for the year that was. 2019 came and went all too […]

20 bold predictions for 2020

I will begin this annual tradition of mine by acknowledging a failure of my final prediction of 2019. You see, in last year’s column, I told you that this year I would simply do a top 10 list of my predictions, as the number of required predictions each year was getting unwieldy. Alas, there is […]

Beware of more new taxes when the Legislature returns to Augusta

Lawmakers want your money, and they never stop wanting your money. At any given opportunity, they will dream up new ways of identifying it, taking it from you, and then using it. When they can’t get it, they just take it from you anyway by spending money they don’t have and covering it with debt. […]

If there’s anything worse than excessive spending, it’s excessive debt

In June, Gov. Janet Mills proposed a package of bonds that amounted to a whopping $239 million in new debt for the state of Maine. On Monday, Mills called for a special session of the Legislature to vote on many of these bonds, highlighting the most popular and widely supported among them by emphasizing the […]

Symbols are not defined by the worst people who use them

Have you ever been in a room with a group of people who are held in a metaphorical prison by one person? Let’s say you are in a meeting or class, and it is somebody’s turn to speak. The person is long winded and frequently wastes everyone’s time with unproductive babbling. What follows is as […]

A rare victory for ballot initiative reform

Late last week the Maine Legislature, for a change, did something that I am very happy about. They took action to reform Maine’s broken initiative and referendum process. That process is — as I have argued for years — hopelessly broken. Even those who routinely vote yes on certain referendum questions will admit that they […]