Patiently awaiting the Golden Years

The global community

By Randall Poulton | Feb 14, 2018

When I hear or read a report that the “global community” condemns something (usually President Trump) or, for that matter, supports something, I shake my head and tune out.

Why?

Since there is no such thing as “the global community,” whatever is being reported is, at best, opinion and more likely fake news. Even if you believe in the so-called global community, how would anyone know what this unorganized mass of humanity thinks? And who is its legitimate spokesperson?

By definition, a community is a group of reasonably unified like-minded people sharing a common environment (common plus unity equals community!). It is hard to see how the world’s inhabitants have much in common when many are trying to survive on less than $5 a day (as are the citizens in 30 percent of the world’s countries), or worshiping different gods (only about one third of the world’s population is Christian), or are ruled by corrupt, ruthless tyrants. (Rocket Man and “Gas Man” come to mind — are North Korea and Syria part of the global community?)

And, of course, countries have different laws, morals and mores. Any unity on this globe is isolated to relatively small geographic areas, for example, the United States. In truth, the so called global community looks far more like the sketchy, extraterrestrial crowd at the Mos Eisley Cantina (the bar scene in Star Wars) than some imagined utopian world of like-minded political correctness.

Speaking of Star Wars, the last interminable stretch of Arctic cold, which the media says was caused by global warming, drove me to camp out near the wood stove for weeks. Lack of outdoor activity makes me a bit insane. So, to get out of the house without risking frost bite, my wife and I decided to go to the movies.

I had not been to see a “picture show” since the late 1970s when I saw the original Star Wars at the Brewer Cinema! The movie we selected, “The Darkest Hour,” tells the story of Winston Churchill’s rise to power. It is educational, entertaining and thought provoking. From a state of political rancor, where neither party wanted Churchill as Prime Minster, a great leader emerged. The key to Churchill’s success was ignoring the political elites and listening to the voters in the local community. Sound familiar?

Which brings me to our own local community. Did you see the announcement that, because of the new tax laws, Camden National Bank will be giving its employees a $1,000 bonus? This on the heels of the announcement that Walmart, one of Maine’s largest employers, is raising its starting wage to $11/hour and giving its employees a bonus of up to $1,000 based on longevity. Employees at Waste Management are getting $2,000 bonuses. And so on.

The list of companies that are responding to the new lower tax rates by raising wages, adding jobs or giving bonuses grows by the day. Already millions of workers have gotten a late Christmas present, including many right here in our local community.

So what were the members of our local community doing on Martin Luther King Day? Unfortunately, for the vast majority of people, the answer is nothing special. Government offices were closed (what — you didn’t notice?) and banks were closed. Other than that — business usual.

Oh, and schools were closed which is a travesty. Why not take the MLK “holiday” and use it to teach kids some history. Instead, the holiday was another unfettered opportunity for children to feed their addictions to “social media,” texting and gaming…a true American holiday. Just think what could have been. After a half-day of learning about MLK, a trip to see “The Darkest Hour” would have rounded out a very educational day for our kids.

Speaking of closing schools for no good reason, since when do schools close the moment a snow flake falls from the sky? If I were a serious student at UMaine (is that an oxymoron?), I would be looking for a rebate for all the classes that have been canceled. Simply put: I paid for the teacher’s time and this service was not delivered.

Would you pay to see a movie and accept it being cancelled without a fuss? Of course not. If you are on the golf course, and it rains, you get a rain check. The same should apply at colleges and universities.

I need to interrupt this rambling story with the following breaking news: I just heard Norah O’Donnell (CBS morning news anchor) state that it is impossible to believe that associates of Dr. Larry Nassar did not know he was abusing the young female gymnasts under his “care.” I agree. Those close to Nassar (or close to any pervert), had to know something was not right. Hold that thought.

To refresh your memory, Nassar, the former team doctor for USA Gymnastics, is serving 60 years in prison after pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges and was sentenced to another 175 years for far worse behavior.

There is no doubt in my mind there is a cover-up at USA Gymnastics. They had to know. And Norah O’Donnell? She is the same “reporter” who claimed she had “no idea” the man she worked next to for over five years, Charlie Rose, was a pervert. Yeah, right.

At a minimum, O’Donnell and her peers should be ashamed of themselves for condoning sexual abuse and taken off the air for lying about it. Actually, I believe the fair thing to do is charge all pervert enablers with criminal accessory, much like the driver of a get-away car is charged with being an accomplice. Unfortunately, news people who lie to us are now all too common.

OK, back to the “global community.” Sens. Rubio and Van Hollen have introduced legislation to forbid the global community from doing anything to influence USA elections. They have called their bill DETER, an acronym for Defending Elections from Threats by Establishing Redlines (no, I am not making this up!). Just what we need: another stupid “redline”!

DETER is a case study for what is wrong in Washington. First, I am a big believer that we should make no laws for others that we, ourselves, cannot abide. The fact is, the USA has a history of influencing foreign elections, or just decapitating governments. “We came, we saw, he died,” laughed Hillary Clinton when describing the killing of Muammar Qaddafi. (I guess Libya wasn’t part of the “global community” that day!)

Second, this stupid law, if passed, is totally unenforceable. The USA doesn’t own the internet, so how will we police its content? Will we allow misinformation campaigns only if they originate on our home soil or on the set of the evening news?

And, lastly, while Congress wants to make another stupid law to stop foreign actors from interfering with our elections, we do not even require an ID to vote! What a bunch of foolishness.

What I would really like to see is someone introduce a new law called STUPID - “Stop The Unnecessary Politically Instigated Dumbness.”

Finally, in other news from the global community, it seems global warming is in full retreat in the Arctic. Recently, temperatures in Siberia bottomed out at minus 88 degrees, causing sea ice to form at alarming rates.

In fact, there were 108,000 more square miles of sea ice on Dec. 31, 2017, than on the same date in 2016. For perspective, the state of Maine covers 35,000 square miles; 108,000 square miles is a lot of new ice!

While on our side of the North Pole, the USS Little Rock, a brand-new Navy warship, will be months late arriving at its home in Mayport, Florida. The Little Rock is unexpectedly ice-bound in Montreal, and has been since Christmas. Stay warm, my friends. May the Force be with you.

Randall Poulton lives in Winterport. He writes a monthly column for The Republican Journal.


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