Double Down Double Standard (Non-Poetic Version)

 

It seems my recent poem has caused many to have an attack of the giggles. Perhaps they think its unmanly to write a poem…or…something. If so, then by all means stay away from such girlish pursuits as The Iliad , Beowulf, or even that silly little National Anthem of ours. We wouldn’t want to clutter your “open” mind. Just keep that wind tunnel of yours wide open and clear of any obstruction between both your ears and behind those vacant eyes.

Once again let me remind people, that my reason for the angst is not the picking of berries blue and red or the foraging of fiddleheads. Uh-oh, did I just rhyme again? Get over it! It’s the lack of respect for private property and ambivalence to the double standard conservatives portray.

Did you know that long before our foraging and hunting traditions here in Maine, our Founding Fathers put a high premium on private property? Yes, so much so they were willing to die for it. They challenged the most powerful Nation in the world at that time, Great Britain, for Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

Oh, I can hear giggles the more. “Idiot! Not only does he write poems but he screwed up the most famous line in American History!”(giggle snort) I am well aware the line reads Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, but do you know that line was originally drafted Life, Liberty, and Private Property.

I’m sure there are different reasons why it was changed. I can imagine they realized that one is not necessarily born endowed with private property, hence, the pursuit. Still, this shows that our Founders placed private property on a very high pedestal, a thing to be protected.

Much of the anger by conservatives here in Maine against landowners who asked for this foraging bill is really seeded in the fact that most of these major landowners are of a liberal persuasion. They have bought up large tracks of land and have begun to block hunting , foraging, and recreation on their land. Yes, it makes me angry, too.

But the fact of the matter remains, they still own the land. Still, the anger remains and the desire to use or block the legislature from defending their rights because they appose our will and our want seems, ahem, poetic justice. The question remains, what of the Constitution?

According to the Constitution, private property rights trump all including the Bill of Rights. For example, when I was campaigning during the Q3 referendum if a homeowner took exception to what I was saying they could order me off their property. I had to go and exercise my 1st Amendment rights elsewhere. If a homeowner objects to my sidearm on their property and demands I remove myself, I need to remove myself and exercise my 2nd Amendment rights elsewhere. The rights of the private landowner overrule our rights to hunting, foraging, and recreating. So take your various pursuits of happiness and pursue them elsewhere.

Sadly, it seems we are willing to preach the Constitution when it works in our favor but trample it when it doesn’t. The issue is more than foraging and hunting traditions, berries and fiddleheads. The question should be asked: Is the Constitution the foundation of the Republic for all citizens or just a weapon to wield against our opponents to win elections?

Whenever I write against this double standard among so-called conservatives, the immediate retaliation is, “No! We are going to teach them a lesson!” or “Now, they can know what it feels like!” I have been a conservative all my life but this double standard on so many issues, not just this, is not conservatism. It’s something I don’t recognize. The politics of retaliation and me first, the future be dammed. It seems we are not interested in winning elections to make the Republic stronger but simply to gain the power to inflict our double standard on our opponents, payback. And faster the pendulum swings…

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Sponsoring Betrayal

 

 

Strange things, strange reports coming out of Augusta.  Yes, there are reports of unanimous bipartisan agreement on a bill; no, two bills in committee.  Democrats and Republicans alike found common ground to kill two bills in committee that would have increased the financial burden upon the people of Maine; more specifically, the hunters and sportsmen of Maine.

The first bill to discuss was LD 89.  This bill was put forth to establish a penalty for Mainers if they did not register their snow machines by a certain date.  The sole sponsor of the bill was Senator Doug Thomas.

If LD 89, An Act to Establish a Deadline for Snowmobile Registration, had been approved by the committee, it would have set a deadline for snow machine registration at December 31st and, if any Mainer had been so disobedient to mother government as to miss the set deadline, they would be punished with an additional $20 fine added to the registration fee.  This is just another blatant money grab by our government.  Thankfully, Paul Davis, the rest of the Republicans, and amazingly, all the Democrats on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee voted in unison to kill the bill.  At least someone had the backs of rural Maine.

But there’s more.  Doug Thomas has co-sponsored a bill with Dennis Keschl , LD 153, that would create a comprehensive hunting and fishing license.  Sound’s like a great idea at first glance and some sportsmen’s’ blogs were in support, but, when one delves into the bones of the bill, the details reveal just another money grab.

Further, research shows that hunters will lose more than they will gain. First of all, studies show that over 70% of hunters, a strong majority, only hunt deer, so for a majority of hunters, this is a  $13 increase. Bow hunters would be excluded from further deer hunting if they harvested a deer during bow season.

The long lists of items that are excluded from the “comprehensive” license belie the title.  One thing is sure; deer hunters would be targeted for an increase.  They are getting the proverbial…antler.

Remember hunters; there was a comprehensive license at one time.  Government kept cutting specific hunts out of that license bringing us to this point today.  They would repeat that process again.  It’s always about getting more of your money.

Again, thankfully, the Republicans and Democrats voted with one voice, in the IF&W, to kill this bill.  It is amazing that a Senator who is supposed to represent the voters in the foothills of the 100 mile wilderness would sponsor bills that could penalize businesses so integral to the 2nd District: hunting and snow machining.  Senator Thomas can find some solace in the fact that he had a unifying influence in Augusta.  He sponsored and co-sponsored bills that were so egregious and punitive to the people of Maine that there was unanimous and bi-partisan consent to kill the bills in order to protect the people of Maine.