Sunday, September 9, 2012


Today, as every Sunday, I had lunch with my girlfriend's family.  As per usual, the chat with her father derailed into politics.  Sometimes the conversation gets heated, today was one of those days. To give a little background her father is a "dye-in-the-wool republican," who owns a small business.

We started talking about the proposed East/West Corridor and the misrepresentation of facts by both opponents and proponents.  The big seller for this highway is "build it and the jobs will come."  I can agree with this to a degree.  Jobs will come. They will be in the form of gas station attendents, and fast food workers.  These are not skilled labor jobs, thus not good paying jobs.  Well let's just say this hit a major nerve.

I was informed that "there should be no minimum wage.  That pay should be based on the market."  So if the market dictates that someone should only make $5/hour, "well that's what they'll get paid."  I was told that the market and supply/demand will even everything out so that pay is relative to area markets, such as real estate, fuel, and grocery.  I don't see how this is even close to possible.

My argument went as follows: So, you mean to tell me that your products will cost less if the demand is down? His reply . . . yes.  I ask if you receive your product from a warehouse that supplies your store and one in Boston, where demand is obviously greater, is the warehouse going to give you lower prices on your goods because your demand is lower? "Obviously," he says, "no they can't do that." If cost for someone in northern Maine is the same as someone in Metro Boston, how will the market even this out?

I attempted to break this down for him without taken a tuna sandwich to the face: A person living in Boston will need to make more money, because the cost of living is more expensive than Maine.  So the cost of goods to business is the same, how can one lower prices as to compete in it's market and still make money?  I'm not a business person, but it seems to me that if you can't sell goods because cost is higher than market demand, then you're not going to be in business very long.

When you don't pay someone a living wage, they will not be able to do business at your store.  Their money will be tied up in living expenses.  This is the problem we have right now.  A good number of Americans are not paid a living wage.  Without a living wage our economy will continue to suffer, because no one has money to buy more then essentials.  The question remains though what is a living wage?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Elitist of Our Nation Have a Real Problem

After reading the bilge that Ted Nugent wrote in the Washington Times today, I felt anger first, confusion second which turned back into anger.  What the hell is wrong with our nation?  It seems that since we have elected an African-American as our president, the Republican party has lost it's damn mind.  Yes I am playing the race card here, because frankly it is real.

I look sane Next to Ted Nugent.
What I can't understand is why so many people are having a hard time wrapping their heads around the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare.  This is not a socialist program.  It is a program that designed to protect us and our youth from the insurance industry.  Right now if someone has cancer their insurance can drop their coverage and cause the patient to pick up the tab for all of their care. If they survive, they will be saddled with debt in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. While the insurance company who has been receiving money from this person for their coverage walks away.  This is a bill designed to help families with children who are born with illness or develop illness over time. This child's family will not be told that their child will not be covered because they suffer from a pre-exisiting condition.

Does this shirt and head dress make me look racist?
Our nation has become so blinded by hatred for each other that we cannot see how this bill is designed to help people.  Sure it may make our taxes go up a percentage.  Is that a bad thing to help the ones in need?  We have lost our way as a nation and It makes me sick.  I hope that one of these people that are railing against the ACA, that they have a child refused insurance or that they themselves are denied.  Until then they will not understand how important this bill really is.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

living wages

In the course of discussion people say things that don't really make sense. This happened today in a discussion I was having about wages with a business owner.  His comment to me was minimum wage is not a living wage and it is not meant to be.  What does this mean?

He was correct with one part of his statement, minimum wage is far from a livable wage.  It is impossible for two people to work a 40 hour week at $7.25/hr and be able to even consider raising a family. Between the two they would bring home less than $600 a week, and that is before figuring in taxes.  Check out this graphic below and decide for yourself.

The part that confused me though was the comment that it's not supposed to be a living wage.  I guess what he meant was someone is supposed to work multiple jobs to make ends meet.  To which I got no reply.

The conversation then turned to vocations and trades and training people to work jobs that pay more than minimum wage.  This sounds good in theory, but business owners aren't as willing to train people for jobs as they had been in the past.  One comment I've heard from an owner of a logging operation is, "why should I invest time training an employee so they can leave and take the skills to another job?"  If you treat that employee with respect and dignity they will be more likely to stay with an employer.

Hell what do I know though I'm just a poor working slob who works three jobs 7 days a week to make my ends meet.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Why Do You Care So Much?

My brother asked the other day when we were once again talking about the prospects of an East-West Highway in Maine, why do care so much about this damn thing? I couldn't really say with much conviction at that time. I just knew I cared about the fact that I do not like the idea of it and all the side effects that come with it.

After much thought I came up with this conclusion.  If this highway is built we are just allowing corporations more power.  This is a project that will be privately financed and built. They plan on coming through the most impoverished parts of the states knowing that people on hard times are going to be easier to convince to sell their land. Mr. Vigue is also not telling anyone about the exact route of the proposed highway, because he is worried about land owners being bullied and intimidated by opponents.

The law of eminent domain has been bandied about for the past few months as a way of obtaining the land for this proposed corridor.  Mr. Vigue claims that eminent domain will not be exercised, but you can bet your last dollar that if a group of small landowners band together to decide not to sell, that the state will step in and claim the land for "economic development".  There has been a precedence already set for this. 

This really once again boils down to a case of class warfare. We have the 1% who want this road to help line their pockets. Whilst the little man will be left in the dust to deal with whatever is left.
My question is, do we want to fight this, or roll over and let our corporate masters decide for us? Let them paint the future landscape for the great state of Maine? This is why I care so damn much about fighting this highway.

Do you want this?

To look like this?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Highway To Nowhere

The Republicans in Maine like to call this the welfare state.  They make ridiculous claims that other states pay for bus tickets to send their welfare recipients here to help lessen their load, because Maine has no waiting period for benefits.  Well today the "welfare state" went corporate.  Governor LePage signed the East West Highway Bill today authorizing the feasibility study for a privately built and owned highway connecting the towns of Calais on the eastern border, and Colburn Gore on the western border.  The cost of this study is at $300k, but this is a chance that this could become more costly. 

When and if this highway is built the cost of the study will be repaid by the private entity that is going to build the highway.  So you ask, why would the state be interested in funding the study initially?  The answer is quite simple, eminent domain.  With the state funding this study it opens the door for the land to be obtained through eminent domain. They will be able to come in to towns along the route and snatch land for pennies on the dollar.

We have said this in a previous blog about this topic, but the real beneficiary of this project will be the Canadian provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick..  The governor said he has been in communication with premiers of both New Brunswick and Quebec, which straddle the state, “and they’re very excited about this opportunity. It is good for commerce” between the United States and Canada, the governor said. In reality it's good for Commerce between Canadian provinces. They will be able to move their natural gas through Maine, instead of up around the top of the state and into the ports of New Brunswick.

So will taxpayers get caught paying for any of this? You better believe it.  With the increased traffic at the Corburn Gore crossing, that border station will need to be rebuilt costing tax payers.  The Road will have to be patrolled as well, most likely by State Troopers. Oh and then there is EMT/Rescue from towns along the highway that will need to respond to accidents.  What is the environmental impact of building a 220 mile highway?  That remains to be seen, but we hope we won't have to see it.  This highway will be crossing many of the major watersheds of the state, The Penobscot River, the Kennebec River and the Piscatiquis River are all in the direct line of this road.  These waters will become subject to increased salt, as the roads are treated in the winter.  Don't forget the garbage that will be flying around as well.  Lastly it will also be crossing a section of the Appalachian Trail.  We understand that many roads and highways cross the trail, but how many have pipelines and electrical conduits along with them?

In the end Maine is going to lose and lose big with this highway.  The communities along the route are going to suffer when families are kicked off the land they own, some of which has been family owned for generations. As more info comes out about this project, we will see more opposition to it. - Mr. Salty

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

And In This Corner.. The Democrats

A  few weeks ago we started to blog about the race for Olympia Snowe's senate seat in Maine.  We highlighted the republican candidates, so it's time to see who the democrats are in this race. 

This race began with some big names taking about papers to run for this seat.  We had Congresswoman Chellie Pingree from North Haven. Pingree represents the 1st district which encompasses the southern half of the state.  Then Mike Michaud congressman from East Millinocket. Michaud represents the 2nd district which covers the northern, less populated half of the state.  Former congressman and governor John Baldacci also took papers.  Michaud and Pingree both decided that they were better served continue their campaign for their current positions.  Governor Baldacci also decided at that he would not pursue this nomination any further.  Many here say that the entry of former governor and Independent candidate Angus King caused these candidates to drop out.  With these big names out of the race, we still have Matt Dunlap, Cynthia Dill, and John Hinck.

Matt Dunlap is a former Secretary of State from 2005 until 2011 in the Baldacci administration.  He now currently serves as the Executive Director for the Sportsman Alliance of Maine (SAM). Dunlap served in the Maine house of Representatives from 1996 to 2004.  He was a strong advocate for wildlife and environmental issues.  In 1999, he proposed restructuring the Atlantic Salmon Authority. He also supported legislation that increased moose hunting permits. He also sponsored a bill that would allow the Department of Inland Fisheries to contract with a consulting firm for the fisheries evaluation.  Elected by the Legislature to serve as Maine’s 47th Secretary of State, he oversaw the modernization of the department’s electronic delivery of services to the public. In 2010, under his direction, Maine’s implementation of the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act was the swiftest and most effective in the country, enabling military personnel and others abroad rapid and secure access to Maine’s voting process.

Cynthia Dill is a noted civil rights lawyer who resides in Cape Elizabeth.  Dill was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2006, where she served as a member of the Judiciary and Ethics Committees. Among other things, Dill sponsored the legislation that created the Broadband Strategy Council and was appointed Chair. As a leading proponent of the expansion of broadband, Dill was instrumental in obtaining over $35 million of investment for the Three Ring Binder Project, a nationally recognized private/public partnership that will bring high-speed Internet access to rural parts of Maine and widely expand the potential for good jobs, enhanced educational opportunities, health care and public safety.  Dill was elected to the Maine Senate in May of 2011 in a special election for district 7.  Dill founded the Friends of the Maine Woods, a statewide organization that advocates for the study and creation of a Maine Woods National Park. Now this is an Organization that many democrats and republicans in the northern tier of the state do not care for.  They feel that it is not a true representation of how most Mainers feel about the the North woods, but it's the feel of the "urbanites" and "flat landers", also known as residents of southern New England.

John Hinck has spent his life as an advocate, teacher, and champion for working people. He co-founded Greenpeace USA, fought for commercial fishermen after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and helped secure a ban on MTBE in order to preserve Maine’s clean water. In the Legislature, he is a driving force for energy independence promoting clean, homegrown power and promoting efficiency to lower energy costs for Maine homes and businesses.  Jon worked for a decade with the environmental group Greenpeace, including as campaign director for Greenpeace International in charge of the organization's worldwide program.  He was instrumental in building Greenpeace USA into one of the largest environmental groups in the U.S. and spearheaded major efforts in marine ecology, energy and toxic issues. He has chaired the legislature's Energy & Utilities Committee and is active with the national Council of State Government's Energy & Environment Committee.

The Primary for the Democratic Nominee will be June 2nd.


Saturday, March 31, 2012

Woof Saturday

Woof to you Intellectual Allies. What a week, still reeling from a teenager being stalked/gunned down by a Neighborhood Watch terrorist, we had to stomach the Supreme Court taking a gander at the Affordable Care Act. Mostly the same group of f*cknards that gave the election to Dubya back in 2000.. oh damn.. here goes the heart palpitations, time for Woof Saturday before I head into the light, this week we take a look at the Cairn Terrier.. woof woof Toto!!
Hellooooo ladies
goooooodness we want one
Like you didn't envision this.

BOOOOM!! Take that Caturday!!
As always at the Greed.Oppression.Piety you've fallen in love and it is time to look into your options. We recommend looking for one of these babes via a RESCUE group.