May 28, 2015

Maine Senate OKs bill to allow concealed handguns without permit 

AUGUSTA, Maine – On a 21-14 vote, a bill allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit gained approval in the Maine Senate on Thursday. The bill LD 652, sponsored by Sen. Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, would do away with Maine’s requirement that individuals wanting to carry a concealed […]
Source: Maine Senate OKs bill to allow concealed handguns without permit — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

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I Don’t Think Anybody “NEEDED” The Last Piece of Meat

Slimming Down for Summer Fun

RedNeckSlide

I Am a Lineman for the County

Many years ago, we learned that some would “walk a mile for a Camel.” What will this bear do for a snack?

Maine Deer Harvest Trends

A reader took the time to do some sampling of data taken over several years to help Maine hunters better understand deer harvest trends. Below you will find a blow-up of one squared-out region of Central Maine, numbered and labeled with town name. Within each of those boxes is a number that shows the number of deer harvested for 2014. You can see the entire map of Maine and the deer harvest report by visiting the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife webpage.

The second graph requires a bit of study. It shows certain comparisons of deer harvest, beginning in 2005 and up until the latest – 2014. The number of deer kills is taken from the Maine map and recorded according to the matching town. These numbers are then compared with other years by straight numbers and percentages. I found it very interesting.

2014TownDataHarvest
TownHarvestData
ToughFallDeer

How Long Does it Take to Count 22,490 Dead, Registered Deer?

I’ll go out on a limb here, but mind you I’m quite conservative, unbrave and often resort to just laughter, and say that 99% of Maine deer hunters are pretty much only interested in how many deer get tagged each deer season. All deer that are shot and handled legally, are tagged at a volunteer (that gets paid a small fee) tagging station and reported to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). So how long can it take to count registered deer? (See the 2014 deer harvest report just posted.)

Evidently quite a long time (see chart below).

There’s very few people, other than a couple of biologists at MDIFW (maybe), who care about how many bucks, how many does, what the weather was like or whether or not Aunt Mabel wore her thermals this year when hunting. Aside from interest in “trophy” deer, hunters just want to know how many deer were taken so they can compare it to many things…the most of which MDIFW couldn’t give a dried up deer bladder for.

Why then, do Maine deer hunters have to wait for a report that includes the number of deer tagged in each town, etc.? Perhaps a few like to have that information and wouldn’t bother them too much to get it in June or July even, and I question why that would take so long. (Note: I like every piece of data that COULD be gotten from MDIFW but still is like a slippery eel trying to get it.)

We live in an age where information is available in just about real time. “Unofficial” deer harvest numbers should be available, at a minimum of once per day; once a week would be nice or even one or two days after the conclusion of all the deer hunting seasons around mid-December. (Another note: Many states have near-instant reporting of deer harvest now. Maine doesn’t need to invent this on their own.)

Over the years, I have heard probably all the excuses of why it takes so long to report. The two that seem to rise up to the surface the fastest are: 1. The tagging stations take so long to report, and 2. It takes deer biologists(?) a long time to process all the data in order to put the report together. Both excuses are BS.

You and I could have a discussion about the hows, whys and wherefores of devising a deer harvest report but at least consider this. If MDIFW is still living in the dark ages, i.e. they can’t get registered deer information to August in a timely manner and it takes months to draft a report, then by God it’s time for a change – a change that would save license fee payers lots of money. Aside from the initial outlay of a handful of computers and Internet modems, if service is not available in remote areas, a tagged and registered deer should be on MDIFW’s hard drive in a matter of hours from the time the deer is tagged. A simple computer program can accomplish all tasks assigned to it. This becomes electronically accomplished, instead of hours of man-hours paid – how much per hour?

Any business taking 3-7 months to take data and devise a report has inefficiency and unnecessary costs plastered all over it. It is also destined for failure.

I’ll leave this rant with another thought. I hear unending calls for more money for MDIFW. Some work tirelessly to get general tax dollars to prop up MDIFW. I’m not necessarily against responsible funding of MDIFW. However, I have called for a complete audit, made available to the public, BEFORE any more money is thrown at MDIFW. The above example might just be proof of one incident where money is being wasted and could easily be corrected through efficiency.

Who knows. Maybe combine this with some sound deer management and Maine could once again have deer to hunt. Cheer up. According to many of these managers, global warming is going to save the deer.

DeerHarvestReportDates

Open Thread – Thursday, May 28, 2015

AlSharpton3

Coded Message or Blathering Idiot? Sharpton Tweeted about the flooding in Texas asking if it was the result of climate “CONTROL” or God’s punishment.

Please use this open thread to post your ideas, information and comments about issues not covered in articles published on this website. Thank you.

ObamaCare Death Spiral is on the Horizon

Leftists Claiming ObamaCare Critics Were Wrong About Death Spiral Jumped the Gun

Exorbitant Premium Hikes By Some Insurers for 2016 Show Insurance “Risk Pools” Do Not Have Enough Young and Healthy People

Washington, DC – Leftist claims that an ObamaCare death spiral won’t happen are premature, argues a new National Policy Analysis paper from the National Center for Public Policy Research.

“Pundits like Paul Krugman saw the tiny premium increases for the second year of the exchange and concluded that predictions of the death spiral were wrong,” says Dr. David Hogberg, senior fellow at the National Center and author of the paper. “But there is no rule saying that because a death spiral doesn’t happen in the first year it isn’t going to happen.”

In “The ObamaCare Death Spiral Rears Its Head,” Dr. Hogberg points out that ObamaCare’s “risk corridors” encouraged insurance companies to keep premium increases low in the first year.

“The risk corridors were going to use taxpayer money to cover a larger portion of the losses than any insurer incurred on the exchanges,” says Dr. Hogberg. “That would relieve them of any need to hike premiums in order to cover larger than expected medical claims.”

But in last year’s budget Republicans stopped any taxpayer money from being used for the risk corridors.

“Now that insurers don’t have access to that money, they have little alternative but to hike premiums if they incurred losses on the exchanges,” says Hogberg. “And given some of the premium hikes they are requesting for 2016, it’s pretty obvious that they had big losses.”

For example:

• Five insurance companies on Oregon’s exchange are proposing average premium increases ranging from 25.6 percent to 52 percent.

• In Tennessee, Blue Cross/Blue Shield is asking for an average increase of 36.6 percent and Community Health Alliance is proposing a 32.6 percent increase.

• In New Mexico, Health Care Service Corp. is requesting a premium hike of 51.6 percent.

“Once premiums go up like this, you’ll see younger and healthier people begin to drop out, leaving the insurance risk pool older and sicker and even more expensive to cover. Then premiums will increase again, and the process repeats,” says Dr. Hogberg. “It’s off to the races for the death spiral. With laws like community rating and guaranteed issue governing the exchanges, this was all but inevitable.”

David Hogberg is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. His forthcoming book, Medicare’s Victims: How the U.S. Government’s Largest Health Care Program Harms Patients and Impairs Physicians, will be available July 6.

The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations, and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 96,000 active recent contributors.

The National Center for Public Policy Research was founded in 1982. Sign up for free issue alerts here.

Bill would allow Maine Amish hunters to wear red instead of orange

*Editor’s Note* – Let’s forget about the “religious” aspect of the whats and whys of the Amish request to be exempt from wearing blaze orange when they hunt. That is a day-long debate with no end in sight. Consider what we have been told when the government forced hunters to wear blaze orange. And now consider what we are being told in regard to why a proposed exemption for the Amish bill should be passed.

The idea of blaze orange, we were told and everyone believes, was to be “safely” spotted by other hunters in the woods during deer season. It wasn’t just good enough that hunters HAD to wear an article of bright orange, it had to meet certain luminous minimum standards and cover head and a major portion of the torso. In addition to this forced requirement on the people, the law was changed that basically said a hunter was 100% responsible for any decision to pull the trigger and what happens to the bullet once it leaves the breech.

If all of this government intrusion is so important to the safety of everyone, why then should there be any exemption from participating in a government-mandated program?

If we look at the article, linked to below, read what lawmakers and others are telling us now about how there shouldn’t be any concern if Amish hunters hit the woods in red instead of hunter orange.

1. The Amish faith prohibits the use of bright colors
2. Amish hunters are forced to use the bright, fluorescent hunter orange to comply with safety regulations
3. the requirement to wear orange clearly conflicts with the Amish’s religious beliefs.
4. We should all be free to stick to our religious convictions
5. They just want to have the same opportunities as other hunters in Maine. (They do already.)
6. remedy the situation in the Legislature “while at the same time maintaining high hunting safety standards in Maine.”
7. The senate president said he did not believe safety would be an issue.(emboldening added).
8. “With all of the current laws and the hunter safety classes, we are past the time when people just point a gun at anything that moves and shoot it,”(emboldening added).

If the Maine Senate president and the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee’s “some concern for safety,” are right, then why is there a requirement by the government to make anybody wear hunter orange? This makes no sense at all.

One might even ask if a “religion” prohibits wearing bright colors but allows for killing wild animals, what kind of “religion” is that? In addition, it would seem to me that if hunting is so important to certain members of the Amish faith, then the Amish “religion” needs to draw up their own exemptions to laws. Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to ask of another something they are not willing to do?

If the Maine Legislature agrees to pass legislation exempting the Amish from wearing hunter orange, then one of two things, or both should also happen: 1. Wearing of blaze orange should become optional for everyone, and 2. Hunters who might accidentally shoot an Amish hunter, not wearing orange, will not be held responsible for “accidentally” shooting someone.

Mind you these suggestions are based on what we have been told about hunter safety, the effects of being forced to wear hunter orange clothing and what we are being told now about safety should not be an issue if the Amish don’t wear orange. Evidently we have moved beyond that requirement.

Hunting is a privilege and is deeply ingrained into the fabric of Maine’s heritage. Everyone, of legal status, has the right to purchase a license and hunt…legally, and all participants must abide by the laws that regulate hunting…this includes the wearing of blaze orange. A person chooses their religion. If providing an exemption to the Amish to not wear bright colors is good enough for the Amish, then it should be good enough for everybody.

I suggest that if the Amish provide their own exemptions to allow their followers to hunt.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Emergency legislation was submitted Tuesday to allow Amish hunters to wear red items of clothing instead of the standard orange during hunting season. The Amish faith prohibits the use of bright colors, but Amish hunters are forced to use the bright, fluorescent hunter orange to comply with […]

Source: Bill would allow Maine Amish hunters to wear red instead of orange — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Maine Gov. Percival Baxter’s vision did not include national park — Opinion

It’s been nearly 46 years since Gov. Percival Baxter’s ashes were scattered through Baxter State Park, but he’s still protecting his life’s work. So it’s sad to see Buzz Caverly, who served the park faithfully for 45 years, support a national park right on Baxter’s border.   “There are […]
Source: Maine Gov. Percival Baxter’s vision did not include national park — Opinion — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine