March 25, 2019

While You Were Sleeping, Congress Further Destroyed Your Second Amendment Rights

AND YOU LOVE IT!!!!

Quietly and with little fanfare, the U.S. Congress stuck a knife in the back of all Americans, something the lying, cheating, bastards do on a regular basis, and stole away even more of your right to own a gun and buy and sell, or even loan a gun. Congress passed HR 8.

We can thank radical progressive totalitarians for this action, an action that was prompted by a government so corrupt for so long few even have enough wherewithal left in them to recognize it. But, it’s not just the progressives to blame. Blame must also be made on those fake claimers who say they are Second Amendment supporters. These are the ignorant fools who are the useless eaters who enable the far Left by supporting “reasonable” destruction of the Second Amendment. How many gun rights advocates (wink-wink) support “Universal Background Checks?” Yeah, check em off. Millions! Rome burns and your water bucket is riddled with holes.

Well, now they have those “reasonable” limits in the form of “Universal Background Checks.”

What HR 8 means in short is that nobody can buy or sell without having the mark of the beast. That’s right. The mark of the beast consists of first obtaining a background check. Keep in mind that you and I have absolutely no control over a background check or the information contained in that check that determines whether or not we “qualify” to buy or sell a gun.

Just wait!

If I want to sell a gun to someone, I must, according to the beast, pay a fee to have a government licensed, government controlled seller first run a background check on the buyer and the seller(?).

There is only one way this can be enforced. The government must keep a registration of all firearms. How else would they even know, until perhaps after a crime was committed using an illegally sold or stolen gun when they checked the serial number, that a gun had changed hands.

What most don’t know and/or choose not to believe is that the U.S. Government ALREADY has a registration of every firearm that has ever been sold by a licensed seller in recent years. What they don’t have, and what they really want, are the serial numbers attached to a person’s name of all those guns that have existed for a long, long time and have never been registered. How else can they confiscate them all when the time comes? HR 8 helps to accomplish that task. (Think about what powers the president has been given through the Defense Authorization Act when a National Emergency has been declared. Oh, wait. I forget. You’ve never read that have you. Probably never heard of it either.)

But the biggest question of all is just exactly what is this going to do to prevent all those violent crimes scared servants are fearful of? The answer is it is going to do nothing except further prohibit anyone from honestly owning a gun and having the ability to do with it as one pleases.

Supporters of these “Universal Background Checks” buy into all the lies and false promises made about how you can “gift” a gun to a family member or loan one to a friend for hunting, while choosing to disregard the fact that government, yes, your filthy, disgusting, dirty, rotten, lying, cheating, stealing, government, controls every aspect of your ability to own and/or sell a firearm. This makes them tyrants. Tyrants I said, and the very reason the Second Amendment was crafted was to make sure no tyrannical government can ever turn you and I into the slaves we have become. Too late now!

But you don’t see that do you. If you did, we wouldn’t be to the point we are now.

I hope you continue to enjoy your slavery to YOUR tyrannical fascist government. After all, this is all “reasonable” isn’t it?

Oh, by the way. The link above will take you to the text of HR 8. But I know you won’t even take 10 minutes to read it because you don’t care. You either support it blindly or reject it blindly. So, what else is new.

SHEEP! Baaaaaah…Baaaaaaah…Baaaaaaaah

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Maine Leg. Committee Up and Down of Bill Votes

I recently wrote of the Maine Legislative Joint Standing Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s unanimous vote of “ought not to pass” on a bill that would have allowed for a Spring bear hunt. The JSC has been up to more tricks.

In a bill (LD27) that will allow the use of crossbows during the bowhunting season on deer was unanimously approved. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s (MDIFW) commissioner, Judy Camuso, argued in favor of the crossbow use and even supported its use for turkey hunting. The JSC did not vote on such a move.

LD 79 is a bill that would grandfather any shooting range that existed before a recent bill banning shooting ranges within 100 yards of any building. The JSC was unanimous in its recommendation to pass.

A bill (LD 490) to expand the trapping season up to 21 days also passed the committee, while a bill (LD 525) to raise the registration fee for snowmobiles failed.

Next week the committee will vote on a brand new proposal from the Humane Society of the United States that would require all female bears to report to MDIFW headquarters in Augusta to receive the yearly supply of birth control pills. Bears wishing to avoid ingestion of chemicals can option for an IUD. (This is a joke. Ha Ha)

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Maine Leg. Committee Nixes Bill for Spring Bear Hunt

The Maine Joint Standing Committee for Inland Fisheries and Wildlife voted 9-0 that a bill to allow for a Spring bear hunt “ought not to pass.” (Note: 4 members of the committee were absent. Were they out hunting piping plovers?)

Okay, so now we know that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) opposes a Spring bear hunt. Does MDIFW oppose that bear hunt because the Maine Guides Association is telling them to oppose it? Hmmmm.

So, what is the MDIFW going to do? Sounding like a broken record, they keep telling us that more bears need to be taken during bear hunting season to mitigate the growth of the animals that are presenting more and more public safety issues each year. And yet, there appears to be little MDIFW is willing to do to solve the problem. Maybe if they wait long enough, Global Warming will take care of the bears.

Who knows?

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Can We Make Schools Safer By Using the Same Totalitarian Demands for More Government Control?

*Editor’s Note* – This is not an attempt at discrediting David Trahan. He does great and useful work with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. He is to be commended and applauded for the effort he puts in to right wrongs and carry out the wishes of the members of SAM. In my work, I work tirelessly attempting to cause people to see the wrongs, the insanity of how we have been programmed to operate. As a result, I may come across as harsh and/or unfair to some. It is not my attempt to attack the person but to reveal and address truth and to cause people to think for themselves by giving alternative or additional thoughts to a problem.

In a second effort at addressing gun control and public safety, David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), pens another article to address school safety. You can read Trahan’s first editorial about “Red Flag Laws” and my comments here.

Trahan writes: “…policy makers and Americans have not focused on coming together to institute universal security changes at all schools capable of stopping or minimizing the success of future attacks.” Huh? What does that mean, if anything?

What are “universal security changes?” Are they anything like “universal background checks?” Why are they called universal? In this context is the word used as an adjective or a noun? Are these actions “universal” because any oppressive laws were devised by a group of like minded people? Or do these same laws have an effect on everybody? Perhaps both. If so, maybe it is more correct to state that we have failed to come together to “institute universal, universal security changes.”

Regardless, the statement sounds more like a politician who refuses to give an honest answer with any meaning.

In this same article, Trahan explains his previous attempts at addressing school safety by formulating groups to conduct “studies” as well as creating a task force that will listen to complaints and examine recommendations from these “study” groups.

Useless!

None of that worked and so it appears the solution is to try it again and change the name a little bit.

Isn’t it insanity to think that you can fix a rigged system by working with the rigged system to fix the rigging? A system is rigged because it doesn’t want outside interference. In order that any government entity can continue to operate within their rigging they must learn how to continue to fool the people into thinking something is being done. An example of that might be just what you are seeing here – a call for “universal” security changes. Even Trahan tells readers, “…because most of the report was made confidential in an effort to protect vulnerable schools, we have no way of knowing whether our schools are safer…” How convenient, but that’s how rigged systems continue to operate.

He also writes: “They should be directed by the Government Oversight Committee to examine statewide whether we have adequate school security.”

Ah yes. That “Government Oversight Committee.” Ah yes. The insanity of it all. Government anything is a corrupt useless existence of nonsense. Let’s completely remove government interference and then maybe something constructive could happen. The insanity shows itself when people lament the curses of government and then in the next breath cry out to the same government demanding an answer. Isn’t this the product of the Hegelian Dialectic – create a problem, embellish it, and rush in with an answer? Ah, brainwashing! Isn’t it also a full display of cognitive dissonance – the inability to understand and relate rational thought in making decisions? Ah, programming!

I’ve written often about how so-called Second Amendment supporters make hypocrites of themselves when they actively seek “reasonable” restrictions to a granted right that has no restrictions. In their arguments to support the right to keep and bear arms, they always fall back on the theory that gun laws only limit the law-abiding citizen and do nothing to stop violent crime. And yet, they disregard that same philosophy when it comes to things like school safety. Are we to believe that in this instance laws designed to make schools safer, that is for the law-abiding, will only affect the violent criminals that might enter a school and do harm?

Perhaps if we exerted as much energy into addressing the real problem in this perverted, violent, immoral society to end the needless violence, violence that is grown and perpetuated in this out-of-control society of progressives who seek more decadence and immorality, then much of what totalitarians, disabled by cognitive dissonance, are now attempting to do would become unnecessary. But that’s never been the American way. The American way is to somehow try to find a cure for the symptoms so that they can continue, uninterrupted, carrying out their indecent and obscene lifestyles.

But, it will never happen that way. So, all you people who know not what you do, you keep working hard at getting those “UNIVERSAL” changes that are going to make everything better.

I think creating concentration camps was a “universal” change.

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Proposed Deer Hunting Bills for Maine

Deer hunting bill proposals are making there way before the Legislative Joint Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Here’s a look at some, with links for you to view the text of the bills, and some comments that I may have.

LD175 – An Act to Extend the Deer Hunting Season by 2 Saturdays.

In my opinion this is not a good idea. Let me explain my position.

As I understand the bill, the intent here is to give rifle deer hunters 2 extra Saturdays to hunt. These two Saturdays would run the following two Saturdays after the last Saturday of hunting in November. This usually occurs right after Thanksgiving.

It should be noted that the two weeks following the regular firearms season is muzzleloader season. These 2 extra Saturdays being sought coincide with the muzzleloader season.

I am not a very big proponent of the muzzleloader season falling when it does. It is my opinion that running any deer hunting season that late into the season puts an added stress on the deer which are either on their way to winter yard up or are already there.

Adult male deer have undergone a great physical strain through their rutting season. They have eaten little, have lost a lot of weight and stored fat. Further stressing the animal puts it at greater risk of survival during the winter months.

Adding 2 Saturdays of rifle hunters in the woods stressing further the deer population could cause serious damage to the deer herd, of course, depending on what Wildlife Management District (WMD) we are talking about. Certain WMDs would be not under the strains of winter during that time while others, like this past season, deer would already be yarded up. Perhaps changes to this bill might specify WMDs that would not be greatly affected.

It is not that I am opposed to offering hunters extra opportunities. My concern is for the deer herd. When examining hunter opportunities, it must be considered whether the deer herd can withstand the extra strain and the resulting reduction in the herd.

LD188 – An Act To Provide for an Expanded Muzzle-loading-only Deer
Hunting Season

This proposed bill will make it mandatory that the Muzzleloader Season on deer be extended for “12 hunting days” following the close of regular firearms season.

There’s a couple of things that need to be explained here. First, the current laws regulating the muzzleloader season give the commissioner authority to close a season if conditions warrant the need.

Second, the commissioner also has authority to set the season dates. The new proposal would mandate 12 hunting days (two calendar weeks) and remove authority from the commissioner to set the dates. It would not take away the authority of the commissioner to close the season if conditions warrant.

There is little that changes here from the current conditions except taking the authority away from the commissioner to set the muzzleloader season dates and makes the season mandatory. As long as the commissioner can still close the season due to detrimental conditions, I see little difference.

Neither for nor against this bill until such time as more evidence is presented.

LD190 – An Act To Provide Antlerless Deer Permits to Senior Resident
Lifetime Hunting License Holders

The intent of this bill is within its title. It is my understanding that there are currently some 36,000 senior hunters. Many are not aware of the fact that the overwhelming majority of “Any-Deer Permits” (ADP) are already predestined to special interest groups. Adding another 36,000 ADPs to the list will effectively use up all the permits. The ADP system is a tool that is used to manipulate the deer populations per WMD. If the total number of ADPs required to be issued exceeds the biological need, then what? In addition, this bill allows for the holder of a senior ADP to use his/her tag anywhere in the state. This runs contrary to the theory behind utilizing ADPs.

Not only would I oppose this bill but I might suggest another bill that would effectively repeal the issuance of most all other special interest groups’ awards of ADPs.

LD265 – An Act To Increase Opportunities for Hunters, Anglers and
Sporting Camps by Extending the Seasons on Upland Game

The intent of this bill is to open the season on Upland Game on the last Saturday of September in order to better utilize a Saturday to coincide with fishing season. It is stated that this bill would be perhaps an economic advantage for sporting camps.

I think this bill makes sense and not only assist sporting camps but might provide better opportunities to hunt snowshoe hare, gray squirrels, ring-necked pheasants, ruffed grouse, and bobwhite quail. Provided that such a move doesn’t jeopardize the management goals of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, this bill appears reasonable.

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Maine: LD 31 has been brought back from the dead today

SAM ILA — LEGISLATIVE ALERT 

Attention! Attention! Attention!

LD 31 has been brought back from the dead today – Call Your Legislator!

The SAM ILA’s Bill, LD 31, RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Require That Signatures on a Direct Initiative of Legislation Come from Each Congressional District is back from the dead and could be re-voted today and tomorrow in the House and the Senate.

Democrats have offered to support LD 31 as a way to kick start negotiations and end the Legislative stalemate that is gripping Augusta.  The deal would be to place the important ballot access fairness Resolution on the 2019 fall ballot.  Finally, a chance for the “other Maine” to have a say in what appears on the ballot as an initiative.  Help us stop special interests and their money from monopolizing southern populated areas to push their agendas and divide our state into the haves and have nots!

The House Republicans have supported us time and time again in our fight to bring fairness to the initiative process!  Ask them to do it one more time by joining Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans as well as House Democrats in making LD 31 a priority in any deal to end the stalemate.

Your support is needed ASAP as time is running out!  Ask your Representative to support LD 31 as key part of a final leadership compromise that brings northern and southern Maine together.

This bill would finally bring fairness to rural and suburban Maine by giving them a voice in what appears on the ballot. If this is approved, Maine would become the 13th state of 24 states with a referendum system to adopt such a voter fairness law.

Click here to contact House members and ask them to support LD 31 as part of the leadership compromise.

Below is a little history about LD 31:

Our organization has introduced this important Constitutional change as a way to bring fairness to rural and suburban areas of Maine that are generally ignored when organizations are collecting signatures for Citizen Initiated petitions.  In nearly every campaign, mostly paid signature collectors, funded from out of state, are targeting heavily populated areas in the First Congressional District.  Simply put, it is all about the money, the more people, the more profit. 

Petition signatures are valuable, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being spent with companies and special interests to buy their way onto the ballot and their job is easier when their campaigns can concentrate their efforts in and around cities like Portland.  This may seem okay when you live in Portland and the surrounding area, but, it is blatantly unfair for the remainder of the state.  Why? You ask. Because some initiatives originating in heavily populated areas can disproportionately and negatively affect rural areas that feel powerless in the qualifying process. 

For instance, over 80 percent of the signatures to put the bear referendum question on the ballot came from the First Congressional District, yet virtually no one in that area would have been affected by its passage.  Half the states, around the nation that have referendum systems, (24) have adopted geographical distribution policies, (12) like the one proposed in LD 31 to help bring ballot access fairness to the people living in rural and suburban areas.

The Federal Ninth Circuit Court ruled that this policy is fair and reasonable, http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/03/14/10-16707.pdf

NCSL Report-Geographical Requirements

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/signature-requirements.aspx#Geo

I encourage you to read the Appeals Court ruling at the above link, it is very enlightening and should help answer any questions or doubts you may have about supporting this policy change.

There are some organizations that are opposed to this change, I understand they use the referendum system to promote their organization’s agenda and it is easier to leave the status quo.  I find their opposition stunningly hypocritical.  Your vote on this bill is not to adopt this proposed change, but to allow Maine people an opportunity to vote on the issue.

The opposition argument is: we want Maine people to have the ability to vote on the referendum questions of our choosing, but, we don’t want them to have an opportunity to vote on a policy that makes that system fair for all Mainers.  Do they trust Maine people to do the right thing or not?

I encourage you to read this important Appeals Court ruling, LD 31 is fair and reasonable and I hope you will support allowing Maine people to hear the debate and make up their own mind.

Click here to contact House members and ask them to support LD 31 as part of the leadership compromise.

Please share this with your friends and family!

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Secretary Zinke Proposes Expansion of Hunting and Fishing Opportunities at 30 of America’s National Wildlife Refuges

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

WASHINGTON – Continuing his efforts to increase access to public lands, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced a proposal to open more than 248,000 acres to new or expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 30 national wildlife refuges.

Opportunities include places like Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in Illinois and Wisconsin, and deer hunting in Philadelphia at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge being proposed for the first time. The proposal also outlines expanded hunting and fishing opportunities at 136 national wildlife refuges. If finalized, this would bring the number of units of the National Wildlife Refuge System where the public may hunt to 377, and the number where fishing would be permitted to 312.

“As stewards of our public lands, Interior is committed to opening access wherever possible for hunting and fishing so that more families have the opportunity to pass down this American heritage,” Zinke said. “These 30 refuges will provide incredible opportunities for American sportsmen and women across the country to access the land and connect with wildlife.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) proposal would open more new acres to hunting and fishing than in the past and takes steps to simplify regulations to more closely match state hunting and fishing regulations. The changes would be implemented in time for the upcoming 2018-2019 hunting seasons.

Hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156 billion in economic activity in communities across the United States in 2016 according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101 million Americans – 40 percent of the U.S. population 16 and older – pursue wildlife-related recreation – such as hunting, fishing and birding.

“Ensuring public lands are open for multiple uses supports local economies and provides important opportunities for recreation. Further, this proposal means that families and individuals across our nation will be better able to participate in our nation’s tradition of hunting and fishing. We appreciate Secretary Zinke and the Interior Department for advancing this priority, and we will continue to work to improve access to public lands for our sportsmen,” said Senator John Hoeven.

“Public lands should be open for the public to enjoy,” said Chairman Rob Bishop of Utah. “The Department of the Interior’s latest decision to expand acreage and access for hunting and fishing on wildlife refuges was the right move. Secretary Zinke’s decision will help our economy grow and enable those who hunt and fish to spend more time catching game and less time caught in red tape.”

“North Dakota is a sportsman’s paradise. The decision to expand access to public lands by opening more than 248,000 acres across the nation to hunting and fishing will provide new economic opportunities for local communities as well as open up new areas for anglers and hunters,” said Congressman Kevin Cramer. “For the first time, the J. Clark Salyer and Lostwood National Wildlife Refuges will be open to moose hunting. I commend the Secretary’s decision and look forward to working with the department.”

“Hunters, anglers and shooting sports enthusiasts play a crucial role in funding the management and conservation of North America’s wildlife,” said Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “We are providing sportsmen and women with more access to our national wildlife refuges and streamlining regulations to more closely align with our state partners. And that’s good news for our customers.”

The Service manages hunting and fishing programs to ensure sustainable wildlife populations while also offering other traditional wildlife-dependent recreation on public lands, such as wildlife watching and photography. The Refuge System is an unparalleled network of 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts. There is a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive of most major metropolitan areas.

“The proposed expansion of hunting and fishing opportunities through working partnership with the states is a demonstration of Secretary Zinke’s commitment to our nation’s outdoor heritage and the conservation community,” said Virgil Moore, President of the Association of the Fish and Wildlife Agencies and Director of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. “These efforts reaffirm the tremendous value of quality wildlife habitat and outdoor recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing, in connecting millions of Americans to the outdoors.”

“We applaud Secretary Zinke and the Fish and Wildlife Service for their continued commitment to increasing opportunities for hunting and fishing within the National Wildlife Refuge System,” said Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation President Jeff Crane. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Department of Interior on increasing access for sportsmen and women.”

Hunting and/or fishing will expand or be opened on the following refuges:

Arkansas

California

Florida

Illinois

Illinois and Missouri

Illinois and Wisconsin

Indiana

Maine

Maine and New Hampshire

Maryland

Michigan

Minnesota

Montana

New Jersey

New Jersey and New York

New Mexico

North Dakota

Ohio

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Utah

Wisconsin

  • Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge: Open hunting of certain gamebirds, small mammals and furbearers for the first time, and expand existing migratory game bird and big game hunting.

The Service will seek comments from the public on the proposed rule for 30 days, beginning with publication in the Federal Register in coming days. The notice will be available at www.regulations.gov, docket no. FWS-HQ-NWRS-2018-0020, and will include details on how to submit your comments. An interim copy of the proposed rule is now available at https://www.fws.gov/home/pdfs/Proposed_2018-2019_Hunt_Fish_Rule_signed.pdf.

More than 53 million Americans visit refuges every year. National wildlife refuges provide vital habitat for thousands of species and access to world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and boating to nature watching, photography and environmental education. In doing so, they support regional economies to the tune of $2.4 billion dollars per year and support more than 35,000 jobs.

Under the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act of 1997, the Service permits hunting and fishing along with four other types of wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife photography, environmental education, wildlife observation and interpretation, when they are compatible with an individual refuge’s purpose and mission. Hunting, within specified limits, is currently permitted on 337 wildlife refuges and 37 wetland management districts. Fishing is currently permitted on 277 wildlife refuges and 34 wetland management districts.

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What’s This? Wolves to be Removed From Protection Nationwide?

*Editor’s Note and Update* (5/21/18) The below link to the Appropriation Committee’s Draft Bill does not work at this time. I was able to track down a copy of that Draft at this link. Once reaching the PDF of the Draft Bill, scroll down to “Gray Wolves Range-Wide” 

Appropriations Committee Releases the Draft Fiscal Year 2019 Interior and Environment Bill

GRAY WOLVES RANGE-WIDE – SEC. 117

(a) Not later than the end of fiscal year 2019, and except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of the Interior shall issue a rule to remove the gray wolf (Canis lupus) in each of the 48 contiguous States of the United States and the District of Columbia from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in section 17.11 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule.

(b) Such issuance (including this shall not be subject to judicial review; and shall not affect the inclusion of the subspecies classified as the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) of the species gray wolf (Canis lupus) in such list.

 

Draft bill:

https://docs.house.gov/meetings/AP/AP06/20180515/108314/BILLS-115HR-SC-AP-FY2019-Interior-SubcommitteeDraft.pdf

 

Press release:

https://appropriations.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=395297

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Political Partisanship is Caused by Term Limits?

I got quite a kick out of reading former Attorney General Jon Lund’s and former Executive Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, George Smith’s perspective on term limits and the call to get rid of them. A clear example of seeing the glass either half empty or half full or long-term “experienced” politicians vs. greenhorns who don’t know how to play the game devised over many years by “experienced” members of the Maine Legislature and leadership.

Perhaps the real problem with “term limits” is they are not term limits at all. If it takes more than 8, 10, or 16 years learn who’s palm gets greased and who does the greasing and what it is that is getting greased, isn’t that the real reason for term limits? The other argument is that no legislative position, once designed to be filled by part-time volunteer community service, should be recognized and treated as a career. Has one’s imagination and reality become so clouded that we cannot see the problems with career politicians at every level? Evidently. Try blowing the smoke away or remove yourself from the accepted status quo long enough to see what the rest of us see.

Lund describes term limits as causing the loss of “the opportunity to develop and retain experienced and skillful leadership and a cadre of experienced legislators.”  There’s more than one way to look at this. Why is there a need to “develop” politicians? It is made to sound like when a person enters the fray in Augusta for the first time, they are told what they will do and how they will do it…or else. Oh, wait a minute. That is exactly how it is done according to some former Maine legislators that I have talked with. Once you have proven that you are agreeable to play politics according to the whims of those who got “developed” and “retained” by the previous good-ole-boys, then you can become one of them and with this, evidently, it is what Smith and Lund describe as “credibility.”

Lund further states: “…in order to gain credibility with their peers, a first-term legislator needs to say very little and carefully develop expertise.” Need I say more. What is wrong with a system in which when a perfectly intelligent person walks into the halls of the Legislature on that very first day and is expected by the sitting leadership to “say very little and carefully develop expertise?” There’s that word develop again. And what is expertise? Is that conforming to the way it’s always been or you’re outta here?!?!?

The author claims it takes time to “…learn the legislative process, develop leadership skills, and gain the confidence of fellow legislators.” For what purpose? How many brains does it take to learn a legislative process unless that process includes learning how things get done in Augusta? Isn’t the argument, or at least part of it, that carrying out the legislative business the way it’s always been carried out, complete with doing what you are told for long enough to “earn credibility” the problem?

And lastly, Lund blames the partisanship in Augusta on term limits: “…we did not experience the paralyzing partisanship that appears to mark the State House today. I attribute the difference, in part, to the presence of a larger proportion of experienced members in the Legislature.” (Note: I’m guessing this is a typo. Either the author meant to use the word “inexperienced” or he just seriously contradicted his entire argument of attempting to blame partisanship on term limits.)

According to Mr. Lund then there are two options available – get rid of term limits and fill the seats in Augusta with all the most experienced “politicians” completely bought and paid for so that they can get done only those things they want to be done, or, implement real term limits of one term of four years in either house…period – end of discussion. The way Smith and Lund describe it there’s only a handful of robotic puppets capable of carrying out the business of running the State of Maine. The rest of us are just too stupid. Some have argued that nobody wants the job. That may be true but have you ever considered that there would be little desire for a job that once you get there you are told to sit down and shut up because you haven’t learned how WE do things around here?

Smith mostly parrots what Lund says and says being in Augusta isn’t “fun” anymore because of term limits. He too says that lack of “experience” doesn’t make it fun anymore – no more going out to lunch and socializing like the good-ole-days.

Confusing to me, Smith cites an example of a friend of his who “in just his second term” and made the head of the Fish and Wildlife Committee, was a lone dissenter on a bill being discussed. This friend “fought his committee for several hours in a House debate, angering many of them.” And because this guy had a mind of his own and argued his case, he is unqualified to be a legislator? Would he then have had “credibility” if he just sat down and shut up and went along to get along?

The longer politicians spend in office the potential becomes exponential in the amount of corruption that can and does take place. There are many Maine citizens very capable of carrying out the business of the Maine Legislature without having first to pay tribute to the rank and file “credible” and “experienced” politicians. Isn’t this the very reason there is no respect among the citizens for politicians and they find the idea of serving in a legislative position akin to walking on hot coals?

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Zinke Signs Secretarial Orders to Increase Recreational Opportunities on Public Lands and Waters

Press Release from the Department of Interior:

*Editor’s Note* – Please note the actual intent of the Secretary’s orders. Nothing he is establishing creates any new or expanded recreational opportunities on Public Lands. He is merely designating certain Interior personnel to come up with some suggestions.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today signed two secretarial orders continuing his efforts to prioritize the Department of Interior’s recreation mission and increase access to public lands.

Secretarial Order 3366 directs certain Interior bureaus to create and deliver plans to the Department within 90 days that focus on developing or expanding recreational opportunities on public lands and waterways. This order also directs bureau heads to designate one full-time employee charged to oversee recreational opportunities.

“From my first day on the job, I have made it abundantly clear that we are going to refocus on Interior’s long-standing but recently forgotten recreation mission,” said Secretary Zinke. “We are incredibly fortunate, as Americans, to have amazing public lands and waters to carry out our tradition of outdoor recreation but the Department must continue to create opportunities to increase access for these pursuits.”

“We are delighted by the Secretary’s actions to put in place what he has pledged: a system that will elevate the priority of outdoor recreation on public lands and waters managed by the Department of Interior,” said Thom Dammrich, the President of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. “The Secretary’s action recognizes the importance of outdoor recreation for our economy, particularly rural economies, and for the physical and mental health of all Americans. His actions today will help grow outdoor recreation and ensure that fun in the outdoors remains central to the American lifestyle. The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable pledges our support to the Secretary in his efforts to elevate the Department’s commitment to outdoor recreation.”

“Outdoor recreation is an economic engine that produces 2% of the U.S. GDP and is growing at a faster rate than the U.S. economy as a whole,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, the President of the RV Industry Association. “With the right public policies, outdoor recreation will continue to be an American economic engine for years to come. Which is why the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and its member associations applaud today’s announcements by Secretary Zinke as a common sense plan to elevate the importance of outdoor recreation on public lands and waters throughout the Department of the Interior. This is an important step towards improving the visitor experience on public lands and waters across the country.”

“The recreation industry looks forward to cooperating with the department to offer visitors to parks, refuges and other special places great experiences,” said Derrick Crandall, President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable. “The result of better and modernized visitor infrastructure which will contribute to a renaissance of rural communities and a renewed commitment by all Americans to the strong conservation ethic our nation has shared with the world. We thank Secretary Zinke for putting a new emphasis on welcoming enjoyment of our public lands and waters and embracing new skills and new ideas to make visits compatible with protecting our natural and historic resources.”

The bureaus are also asked to provide recommendations for improving and streamlining relevant permitting requirements for guides and outfitters and facilitated outdoor recreation providers and to improve contracting processes for recreation-specific concessioners.

“Whether your favorite activity is kayaking on a river, riding an ATV on sand dunes, jogging on a trail or hunting on a refuge—recreating on public lands and waters is good for the mind, body and soul,” said Secretary Zinke. “And it is also incredibly vital to local economies who rely on recreation spending to help create jobs.”

Secretarial Order 3365 establishes the position of Senior National Advisor to the Secretary for Recreation to ensure deliberate and active coordination of recreational policy in the U.S. Department of the Interior. The position will be filled by Rick May, who currently serves as a Senior Advisor to the Secretary.

May, who joined Interior in November 2017, is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL Captain and decorated veteran who served in the Iraq War. Since his departure from active duty in 2010, he has worked with wounded Veterans in various types of recreational activities, helping them to reintegrate back into mainstream America. May is a graduate of Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and he also holds a Master of Arts in Human Resource Management.

“Rick is the absolute best person for this job,” said Secretary Zinke. “The work he has done in helping disabled veterans connect with the outdoors through recreation opportunities speaks for itself. As a former SEAL, he has the leadership needed to help the Department chart its course in making recreation a priority again.”

“First, I’m truly honored and grateful for the confidence that Secretary Zinke has placed in me to hold this position,” said Rick May. “The power of recreation can not be overstated, and its ties to overall health and well-being are undeniable. It is my mission to get more Americans out to enjoy our great public lands, and I look forward to increasing access and opportunity for each and every one of them.”

The Secretarial Orders come on the heels of Secretary Zinke selecting members of the newly created “Made In America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee. A primary charge to the committee is to advise the Secretary on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving the infrastructure on public lands and waters.

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