Not a pretty picture

The Belfast City Council and the do-gooders from away are at it again. The folks that brought us Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day are working on a plastic bag ban. They want us to pay 5 cents per bag when we buy our groceries.

Here is a scenario — to save money I tell the bagger to put as many items as possible in one bag. But wait — when I get outside, the bag breaks and my adult diapers and hemorrhoid cream and my laxative medicine are all on the ground for all to see. Not a pretty picture.

Apparently big government is not the only problem we have. Small government that is out of touch with the people is a problem, as well. I wonder where the 5 cents per bag is going.

Richard F. Dinsmore

Belfast

Grange thanks

The members of the Branch Mills Grange 336 of Palermo wish to extend their most sincere gratitude to the numerous volunteers who gave so generously of their valuable time, skilled labor, and construction know-how to repair the foundation of our Grange Hall.

We would like to formally recognize Gary Dyer, Jeffery Grady, Jamie French, Reggie French, Brandon Haskell, Tony Tuttle and Colin Dyer, who collectively donated several hundred hours of their time. Many thanks also to Dusty Haskell, who voluntarily performed all earthworks-related excavation, back-filling, grading, foundation removal, and temporary underground anchor placements.

We'd also like to recognize Blane Casey Building Constructors of Augusta for the loan of needed construction equipment, and Mattingly Concrete Products of Anson for their help and support in pouring the concrete. Thanks to S. D. Childs of Palermo for providing gravel for the footing drains, and to Gerald Pottle and James Grady for cables and turnbuckles to stabilize the building.

Thanks also to Gary Robinson and Scott Bailey for removing the brick hazard from the chimney to allow for safe egress from the basement. Additionally, we thank Mrs. St. Pierre for the use of her land to access the building's basement.

The dedication of these selfless volunteers, as well as the generous donations from the residents and businesses of Palermo will ensure that our Grange Hall will proudly stand for another 100 years.

Pam Swift, Grange Secretary

Palermo

The end is near

The many stupid stumbles causing the radical permutations associated with the apparatachiki of Donald Trump's White House and news media operatives have Americans everywhere trembling with anticipation, or fear, or both. "Big government" is a disaster, and a danger to us all.

But the real game that will determine America's future is far offshore. What happens to the fragile democracies in the former Soviet Union client states of Eastern Europe will ultimately determine the future in all of Europe, Asia and Africa. And everything else.

Even one stumble back into Russia's control will quickly set all the dominoes tilting the wrong way. Eventually they could all fall, and in doing so set off NATO's and then America's own collapse. Global nuclear war could be the consequence.

However, before that finality, Congress will begin impeachment proceedings. Worse things may also ensue given the seething anger of Washington's insiders against Trump and no doubt Bill and Hillary Clinton as well.

But don't forget The People of the United States ("TPOTUS"). Only a fool ignores the evidence that America's military past and present largely despises Washington elitists as do many "law enforcement" actors plus many if not most ordinary Americans — the core of TPOTUS.

Who was targeted for illegal actions by federal officials at Ruby Ridge in 1992? A reclusive former Army Green Beret soldier and his family. And who then planned and executed the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995? Again, former Army soldiers.

How about many of the "lone wolf" "domestic terrorism" attacks across America over the past decade? Again, links to military service is common. A seething, deep-seated anger across America is palpable, with police increasingly targeted. "Shoot to kill" gone endemic.

As is obvious from the daily news feeds — "real," "fake," and otherwise — much more is festering in Washington, in the military and "intelligence agencies," and across the nation. But, those protecting all those Washington insiders — President Trump included — are seldom "insiders" much less the "elite" of America's power centers. Again, largely either active military, or retired military, all trained to kill. Ironically, "duty" is a double-edged sword as every soldier has been trained since Vietnam.

The anger that still seethes in certain circles over the killings at Ruby Ridge — all started by the illegal "entrapment" of Randy Weaver by an undercover federal agent — is really no different than the anger within the vast army of Americans "of color" and others incensed by government actors killing Americans. A very sharp double-edged sword.

Most Americans have been victimized in some way by corrupt government action that has routinely assaulted and even killed Americans with relative impunity thanks to shyster lawyers, judges and associates, all funded by taxpayer dollars. The resulting anger infects a very dangerous majority of Americans. The once substantial and complacent Middle America is fading fast.

2017 will almost certainly go down in history as the year the world changed for the better, or — more likely — far worse. The End is very near. What goes around comes around, and now the world will get is just desserts.

But, you already knew that, didn't you. After all, you were warned that the future began before Donald Trump even ran for president. It didn't even matter who became the 45th president, but it certainly now looks even worse as combatants everywhere prepare for the end.

Good luck! Choose your path carefully.

Randall B. Hofland

Maine State Prison

Warren