Sunday, October 15, 2017

Are you ready for this? Scratch that; it doesn’t matter.

Whether you’re ready, that is, because it won’t make any difference.  The powers that be have decided what your new property taxes will be, and that’s that.

Brunswick residents should be aware that the town has been undergoing a complete revaluation in the last year, and that the results will determine the property tax bills arriving in our mail boxes any day.

If you don’t already have the information necessary to figure out what your new bill will be, this should be enough to let you do that.  All information presented here was found on the town’s official web site.

First, the new tax rate:

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Now  you’ll need to know your new property valuation, if you don’t already have that info.  Go to this web page, and you should find the information you need:

http://www.brunswickme.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Value-and-Tax-Changes-By-Street-081017.pdf

And that’s all we have to say about that.  At least for now.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Brunswick Town Government to address noise violations at Downeaster layover facility

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Since the overwhelming majority of town residents don’t read The Ostrich, unless you’re directly effected by the noise issue referred to above,  you probably aren’t aware that a formal complaint has been filed, and that the town council will soon hold a formal workshop on the subject.

The passage below is copied from the official agenda for this Monday’s regular town council meeting:

Town Council workshop with railway officials

Notes: A Council workshop with railway officials has been scheduled for Monday, October 30, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Council Chambers. The objective is to identify measures to reduce noise from train operations and establish an implementation plan. In the interest of having adequate time to define specific actions to be taken on train noise, in lieu of public comment, constituent concerns will be summarized and presented by Town Manager Eldridge. Any additional comments or concerns regarding noise received by October 17th will be added to the list presented to Council and the railway officials in advance of the workshop. Comments received later can be introduced by Councilors or the Town Manager at the workshop.

The image above is a snip from the complaint filed in August.  It contains detailed noise data collected adjacent to the layover facility.  You can find the full report here:

https://www.scribd.com/document/361591521/Noise-Complaint-form-8-21-17-1

Here’s an example of the data presented, which will be easier for you to look at and understand if you download the actual document.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

Oh you kids!

             

We find much that goes on at Bowdoin to be absolutely maddening, insane, and dissonant on any number of levels.  Thankfully, those precious little Polar Bear Teddies are also capable of tickling our funny bones, especially when their antics invite interpretation in the context of their privileged, elite, super-bright qualities.

           

Herewith the latest example of Friday Night Funzies, Fresh from Friday’s edition of the Bowdoin Orient.  In the official campus Security Report, no less.

Sunday, October 1

  • Students in Osher Hall reported that someone threw a poutine container at a first floor window.

We don’t know whether this outrageous act will be referred to Brunswick’s Human Rights Task Force, but the ethnic and cultural appropriation implications of the act certainly raise a red flag for attention by elected and appointed Municipal officials.

Tuesday, October 3

  • A fire alarm at Fairley (sic) Field House was apparently caused by shower steam and overpowering men’s cologne.

Here again, the HRTF may want to take a look at this incident, and the insensitivity of Bowdoin’s security personnel.  The use of overpowering fragrance is troubling enough for its microagressive potential, but the stereotypical characterization of the fragrance in today’s gender non-normalized world is particularly troubling.  This one may call for bringing in specialized consultants to conduct language sensitivity training, along with a fragrance desensitizing class.

Friday, October 6

  • An officer checked on the wellbeing of an intoxicated student sleeping on the front lawn at Quimby House at 1:00 am.

Finally, the kind of good old-fashioned campus hi-jinx we can relate to.  No word on whether the responding officer asked if the student found a towel over the door-knob to his room, and in keeping with age-old roomie messaging, felt he had no other choice but to hit the lawn.

                      

Monday, October 9, 2017

Have you renewed your National Geographic subscription?

Having grown up in the 40’s and 50’s, before television became the all consuming distraction for the entire family, we remember magazines and newspapers as the dominant forms of media in our house.

Side’s parents subscribed to and/or purchased multiple newspapers.  We lived within eyesight of the New York skyline, and numerous dailies were available.  They held little interest for us in our elementary school years; way too adult and serious.

                        

Magazines, on the other hand, were glossy and fascinating, loaded with high quality photography and carefully composed ads for all sorts of glamorous products and post-war breakthroughs in domestic convenience.  The Saturday Evening Post even featured cartoons.

              

We’re guessing that at the age of 3 when WW II ended, we probably learned to read by thumbing through these magazines, along with help from parents and older siblings.

Then there was that more refined looking magazine – National Geographic – that looked like it was intended primarily as an educational journal.  It had a consistent and highly recognizable cover theme, and was considered an item to be saved for future reference.  There were stacks of them all over the house.                  

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We think this is where we first saw horrible images from The Holocaust, and truth be known, is also the first place we saw bare-breasted women, albeit from places far, far, away.

We subscribed to “Nat Geo” in our early married years (the ‘60’s), but before long, too many other things were taking our attention, and we never could get around to reading the saved stacks, so we gave it up.  None-the-less, we continued to think of the monthly as a high-tone, semi-academic journal of exotic places, fauna, and flora.

Fast forward to last week.  We had a routine Doctor’s appointment, and arrived a bit early.  The magazine selection in such waiting rooms seems intentionally biased away from male interests, especially for those of us in our golden years.  We resigned ourselves to other distractions, until we noticed the telltale yellow binding of the old reliable National Geographic.

We pulled it from under the stack of other periodicals, and what to our wondering eyes should appear but this:

To say we were stunned by the apparent change in National Geographic editorial focus would be an understatement of ginormous proportions.  You’d think our habit of staying abreast of the interests of the Bowdoin College student body and administration would have prepared us for this.  But it didn’t.  Clearly the world is changing around us, not least because the attitude formation industry is force-feeding us with the latest cultural restructuring and linquistic transformation.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, as they used to say on Seinfeld.

Above is an illustration that accompanied the cover article, and below is a secondary cover visual.

Suffice it to say that based on this single sample, National Geographic has re-invented itself, no doubt in a last ditch attempt to find relevance in the bizarre media climate spawned by rampant social justice warfare.

And disdain for objective reality, as emphasized primarily by academia, like the faculty “teaching” at our very own highly selective, elite, liberal arts college here in town.

We had a brief chat with our Doctor on our find, and it’s probably best that we spare you the details.

But make a note to yourself; if you’d like to buff up your smarts in the area of world geography, National Geographic may not be your best bet.

And chances are good that there isn’t a single horse in the race at this point in the history of humanity.  (Please pardon our use of that sterotypical term; we hope it didn’t trigger you.  We just didn’t have an alternative term approved by Big Brother handy.)

Friday, September 29, 2017

The hell with it; it’s time for Brunswick to go big in the virtue signalling sweepstakes.

     

In yesterday’s post, we made this declaration:

We’ll close with a proposal of our own.  In keeping with the times, we propose that the town council, town manager, and anyone else in attendance at council meetings “take a knee” for recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings.

This would be a way for all attending to “show solidarity” with those who have no appreciation for the country in which they live, or those who dedicate their lives to protecting it from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Surely everyone at the meetings is oppressed in some way or another, just like the students at Bowdoin.

Upon the due reflection that suggestion warranted, we realized how underwhelming it is, especially for a “get right with the world” town like Brunswick.  We’ve got to signal our humility and deference to the high command of the Social Justice Warfare Brigade that occupies our territory.

        

While taking a knee at council meetings is a start, if an amateur one, it’s time to step up our game…to move up to the pro ranks in showing our disdain for all things oppressive, traditional, historically based, offensive, patriotic or otherwise associated with what used to be called the Land of the Free.   You know, the one time “Good Old USA.”

God Bless America?  Yankee Doodle Dandy?  George M. Cohan?  Binary genderism?  Lady Justice and blindness before the law?  It’s time they all be tossed aside in a great tidal wave of political correctness, and washed out to the sea of yesterday.  We believe we have just the kind of leadership here in America’s perfect little town to make it happen.  Our one time Lake Basebegone can become a “shining city upon a hill” - Lake Justicebecoming.

The new plan we envision is multi-pronged.  With assistance from the local social justice militia, Brunswick can be the first to celebrate an annual Abject Humility Day, in which every town resident, visitor, and worker will take a knee for four hours.  Kids in our schools, all the teachers, and the administration are expected to show us the way.

  

The second facet should be a weekly Abject Humility Hour.  While the day of the week and the hour should be a matter of public discussion, we prefer the daylight hours so all can be seen in their observance.  Perhaps Fridays from Noon to 1 pm as a start.

This would be a perfect time for members of Sanctuary Brunswick to lay their gifts of food, housing, clothing, and other necessities of life upon an appropriate altar under the Gazebo on the Mall.  Afterwards, they can hear confessions from the truly penitent on how they transgressed in just social behavior in the week past, and hand out lists of penitent offerings required to atone and “get right with the left.”

    

We’re confident that leaders amongst our governing and peace and justice elite will want all outdated symbols of the “Old Brunswick,” like American Flags, Maine Flags, and other relics of the old way, be flown at half-staff, if not burned, during the weekly hour of humility and the annual day of penitence.

We hope, and beseech these same thought leaders to grant exemption to active and retired members of our armed forces, and active and retired first responders, even though they have all too often been used as the tools of oppression.  At least in the minds of those who hold sway in public opinion these days, along with the emerging cultural revolution, and purge of all things emblematic of old school American and Western history.

      

As for us, we hope you won’t mind if we stick our necks out in resistance to the “new way” being imposed upon us.

Perhaps one or two of you will even join with us in a celebration of the best that American once was, and especially honor those who carry her banners, no matter the personal sacrifice it requires.

Maybe we can fend off the end of American History for a little while longer.  It won’t be easy, will it.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Brunswick Town Council gives short shrift to indigenous peoples, and other signs of the times. Plus a proposal of our own.

   

Observers in town were given fair warning by local cultural elites that they would press the town council to pass a resolution declaring the second Monday in October to be Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Brunswick.  And so lookouts were posted to watch for smoke signals above the McLellan on Monday, September 18th indicating the outcome of the proposal to do so.

As we might expect, our town councilors signaled their virtue by approving the resolution proposed by the gaggle of community organizers who carried this forward.  Surprisingly, however, the vote was not unanimous.  The BDN opened their article with this:

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Adding to a roster of Maine communities passing similar resolutions this year, the Brunswick Town Council on Monday voted to adopt a resolution recognizing the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, while continuing to acknowledge the federal Columbus Day holiday.

The council officially voted 8-1, with Councilor Dan Harris opposed, to adopt “a resolution to acknowledge Maine’s Indigenous Cultures,” and to recognize the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Harris, a prime mover behind the creation of our town’s Human Rights Task Force, inexplicably voted against the proposal.  We can only wonder what hidden anti-nativist bias hides deep within his otherwise multi-cultural, social justice driven soul.

The most troubling aspect of the council’s action, however, is the lack of respect they showed towards the indigenous peoples relative to the Cubans who prospered here before unknown invaders massacred them and drove them away.

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http://www.timesrecord.com/news/2017-03-24/Ticket/Cuba_Week_in_Brunswick_March_26_April_2.html

The Cuban peoples, or Cubanistas as some call them, are honored with a full week of celebration every year in Brunswick.  Restaurants feature Cuban dishes in tribute to these pioneers, and there is even a monumental art piece in the downtown area – the “Dance of Two Cultures” mural on the side of the former Treworgy furniture store.

We don’t know how this shameful imbalance in reverence towards those who courageously occupied these lands before the modern era was allowed to pass without objection from our betters who pride themselves in their multicultural bona fides and unquestioned impartiality.  We trust that appropriate correctives will soon be prescribed for all who perpetrated this injustice.

     

As if this major breakthrough in community standards wasn’t enough, we now learn that some of the very same cultural beautifiers of our once fair town have another proposal to put forth if we are to achieve the greatness they have in mind for us.

This report appears in today’s Ostrich:

Advocates want Brunswick to welcome immigrants

No push yet for sanctuary status in the community

BY NATHAN STROUT

Times Record Staff

BRUNSWICK

An advocate group wants the town of Brunswick to adopt a resolution welcoming immigrants but stopping short of declaring the community a sanctuary city.

Sanctuary Brunswick organizer Rosalie Paul called the resolution “a step beyond just a feeling of goodwill” at a meeting with advocates and town officials on Wednesday.

“It’s important for our immigrant communities to feel welcome not just in Lewiston, but anywhere in Maine,” said Bright Lukusa of the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine.

The proposed resolution states that Brunswick “welcomes immigrants and all new residents and visitors to our community, and supports their paths toward citizenship, recognizing the extraordinary efforts and resilience of the individuals who move to our community under the most difficult of circumstances, and who face barriers including unfamiliar language, culture and divisive political rhetoric.”

The loaded words in the report are “no push yet for sanctuary status….”  Which is another way of saying the water drop treatment is just beginning.  Turns out Selma Sternlieb had authored an op-ed in The Ostrich on behalf of Peace Works Brunswick that ran on September 20th.  It included this passage:

With the belief that we must not stand by and allow brutal immigration policies to go forward while our brothers and sisters are suffering, a group of us, calling ourselves Sanctuary Brunswick, is planning a Community Conversation on Wednesday, September 27th at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church to address this question: What would it mean for Brunswick to become a welcoming community offering sanctuary to immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees?

And then this further detail:

The panel will consist of representatives of the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project, the American Civil Liberties Union, the town council and town manager’s office, the Brunswick police department, the Lewiston High School International Club, United Somali Women of Maine, and the religious community.

In fact, eye-witness accounts report that councilors Sarah Brayman and Kathy Wilson, Town Manager John Eldridge, and Police Cmdr. Mark Waltz were in attendance from Brunswick Town government.

We note that neither today’s article nor last week’s op-ed suggest that those promoting the approach are volunteering their own funds, vacant bedrooms, personal food supplies, or other signs of welcome to those they propose to help.  As the old saying goes, it’s pretty clear that what they really want is to be generous with the shirts off others’ backs.  In other words, they wish to impose their voluntary kindness as an obligation upon town residents.

It’s clear they will soon push for sanctuary city status, regardless of Cmdr Waltz’ view that doing so would be problematic.  This is tantamount to proposing that laws that have been on the books for decades not be enforced because they don’t like them and consider them to be unfair.

So much for being “a nation of laws,” and “equal protection under the law.”  It used to be that if you didn’t like a law, you were supposed to work with the lawmakers to have it changed.  But that can be a big pain in the butt, so why not just have officials vote to ignore the law so you can feel better?

We won’t even discuss the Maine Open Meetings Law, which on the face of things, appears to have been violated here.  At least four town officials attended the “panel meeting” which clearly discussed town policy.  Three officials makes it a meeting requiring official public notice by the town, and we didn’t find the session on the town calendar, or any other indication that the town was fulfilling its obligations for public notification.

Hey; as long as we’re in the mood to comply onty with those laws that we like, what’s the big deal?

     

We’ll close with a proposal of our own.  In keeping with the times, we propose that the town council, town manager, and anyone else in attendance at council meetings “take a knee” for recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance before meetings.

This would be a way for all attending to “show solidarity” with those who have no appreciation for the country in which they live, or those who dedicate their lives to protecting it from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Surely everyone at the meetings is oppressed in some way or another, just like the students at Bowdoin.

Come to think of it, have they taken down all the US Flags on campus yet?  And is each day begun with the student body taking a collective knee on the quad?

Let’s hope so; Brunswick could use the good publicity.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

AABBB: All Aboard Brunswick’s Breez Bus!

               Image result for All aboard brunswick

We know it’s a bit early to judge the success of the new Metro Breez service between Brunswick and Portland, but we can’t help but wonder how the lovely ladies of All Aboard Brunswick are coping with the new approach to inter-city transport.  Are local pharmacies running short on smelling salts?  Or bicarbonate of soda?  Is Hannafords seeing a decline in demand for bubbly and caviar? 

If nothing else, at least Staples should see slight growth for printing new stickers for the ladies to hand out to Brunswick’s always faithful but unrealistic transport groupies.

If so, we wouldn’t be in the least surprised.  The schedule and route flexibility of the Breez service simply blows away Downeaster service between Brunswick and Portland, and by extension, between Brunswick and Boston.  Not to mention the same for Freeport and Yarmouth.  The Breez will get you to Portland for $3, with far greater schedule and stop location than the Downeaster could ever hope to offer.  We can think of no credible reason to choose taking the Downeaster to Portland over the Breez other than fanatical devotion to trains, which in many places in the world, makes one a “foamer.”

For those who want to go to Boston, there is no reason to select the Downeaster as the way to get to Portland as part of that journey.  Taking the Breez to Portland, aside from its far more frequent runs and drop off choices, will get you to the Portland Transportation Center (PTC) where all the options for heading further south open up.  You can choose a Concord Bus to take you directly to your gate at Logan Airport, or choose the Downeaster to drop you off at North Station, where you can get to your downtown Boston destination by other means.

Let’s be honest.  Frank Lee, the combination of the Breez to Portland with the options for getting to Boston from the PTC simply cannot be matched by Downeaster service.  We expect the latter will soon have to put special fare discounts in place to compete with the Breez.  This would increase the annual subsidy required for the train, which if Portland North service were discontinued, could be used to more than cover Breez operations.

This situation is a perfect illustration of why passenger rail service has all but died over the last several decades; it simple doesn’t make sense from any perspective in all but the very fewest cases.  Digging heels in and demanding that no matter the evidence, the Portland North train service must continue, is a breach of the public trust, hanging on to a legacy boondoggle that benefits the few at the expense of the many.

The condition of our roads, bridges, and the rest, especially locally, should make it clear to all but the most gullible and intransigent that it’s time to acknowledge the mistake that was made and correct it.

We don’t see how anyone could look at the details available here and conclude otherwise:

http://gpmetrobus.net/

We could simply copy the schedules and route graphics, but that won’t suffice.  You need to look at the information yourself.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Admin Note

If you signed up for email notification of new posts on Other Side, but have not been receiving them, be sure to check your spam folder to see if they’ve ended up there.

We’ve been puzzled ourselves by this, and just found several notifications from recent weeks in our spam folder.

This has been the source of other problems for us over the years.  Somehow the email app decides to change its knowledge base on spam, without telling us.  So it’s good to take a look every now and then.

The editors.

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Bowdoin spares Brunswick from national embarrassment

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Although in truth, their actions may draw attention to our lovely and perfect little town, given the nature of the “news industry” (formerly journalism) these days, and its scouring of the internet for juicy tidbits.  Especially if they come on the backs of other blockbuster stories.

 

Out of an abundance of concern, we presume, and no doubt paralyzed by fears of incoming student unrest, a shortage of safe spaces, places of refuge, a run on counseling services, stuffed animals and coloring books, and other stability and tranquility preservation modalities, Bowdoin administrators must have conducted a “tossing” of the campus in a manner worthy of official thought police.  They must have been looking for the slightest mention of or artifacts that might be construed as official recognition of any person, act, or portrayal relating to or referencing the Civil War era, and specifically, those who were on the side of the South.

Intent on signaling their virtue, and to prevent this elite and harmonious area from becoming a stop on the road out of Charlottesville, the Administration contacted Maine’s major print media outlet to tell them of their due diligence and resulting purge from public display of anything that might cause shame to rain down upon “Fort Bowdoin – Headquarters of the 1794th Northeastern Social Justice Warfare Command.”

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/08/19/bowdoin-college-is-moving-confederate-memorial-plaque/comments/

We can’t help but wonder whether the process also discovered all sorts of things that will require degendering. 

Calling the HRTF!  Have you scrubbed the town from stem to stern?  Shirley there must be numerous offensive items everywhere if you look hard enough.  And those looking to be offended victims will, we assume, look hard enough if not too hard in their search for validation and new-found stature in the pantheon of PC.  Curtis Library, here they come!

What about the 300 year old First Parish Church?  Is your record clean?

How about those of long ago who wore cotton clothing?  And who dug up the clay to make all the bricks in Brunswick buildings?  What basics of our lives back then originated in the south, and were the fruits, at least in part, of slave labor?  Did anyone eat citrus grown in the south?

Well, you should get the point.  It’s like the game “Seven degrees of Kevin Bacon.”  If you think about it enough, you can usually connect one thing to some other random thing with fewer logical steps than you might guess.

And cultural purges, in particular those driven by political correctness and social justice concerns, could easily become the subject of party games and chit chat nationwide.

One can only wonder how long it will take Bowdoin’s bleachers to go through the library, faculty offices, the bookstore, student housing, administration buildings, and any other places where books and other materials may contain reference to historical events or individuals that could be an embarrassment to modern day sensibilities, and more importantly, to the pristine reputation of the college as a leader in political correctness, no matter what that might entail in knowledge management.

And we’re just talking about one old college in Maine.  The search for virtue has only just begun, as demonstrated here:

http://www.pressherald.com/2017/08/19/whats-a-jefferson-davis-plaque-doing-in-joshua-chamberlain-territory/

                               

Let the games begin!

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Who you gonna trust….your lyin’ eyes, or the ???

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Anyone who knows us is aware that we are anything but apolitical.  In fact, we might even qualify as a “political junkie” at the JV level.  We readily and happily admit that we have strongly held partisan preferences and principles.

None-the-less, we’ve worked hard to keep Other Side out of partisan political battles, as distinquished from local issues of a political sort, which are for the most part not overtly partisan.

Every now and then, however, we observe things in our midst that are dripping in and shaped by partisan bias, and this was one of those weeks. As your faithful correspondent, we feel a duty to tell you about them, and you can be the judge of whether we’re off base.

We’re talking about two articles that appeared on The Forecaster web site this week, both reporting on local events that were organized in response to the violent clash in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend.  Neither appeared in the print edition we picked up yesterday.

We found both to be extremely deficient in their references to the facts of that clash.  In the past, we’ve generally found The Forecaster to be pretty accurate in their reporting, especially when judged by those stories in which we have first hand knowledge.  We won’t go so far as to say that the lapse this week results from them becoming a branch of the Portland Press Herald media conglomerate, but we will certainly be watching more carefully from here on out.

We can’t be sure what coverage of the Charlottesville activity you watched, but the coverage we saw, in video form, clearly portrayed that there were two “sides” or factions on the scene and engaged in pretty serious physical ‘rumbling’ involving various forms of cudgels, shields, helmets, flame throwers (whether working or not), hurled items, and all the other modern day accoutrements of civil unrest, as some like to call it, or rioting, as others might call it. 

Clearly, the violence involved two opposing groups, because it was violence against individuals, rather than violence against property.  At least in the coverage we saw.

Now to The Forecaster reports posted on their web site.  We really don’t want to give you the links and generate more clicks than they deserve, but we suppose we have no choice.  We’ll begin with the content that jumped out at us as intentionally and blatantly one sided.

First, their coverage of a rally in Portland on Sunday published on their web site on Monday the 14th.   Here’s a snip of the article’s opening lines:

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Here’s the passage that tweaked us:

In Trump’s Aug. 12 response to the violence that began as white nationalists, Confederate sympathizers and neo-Nazis objected to the planned removal of Lee’s statue from a Charlottesville park, the president said “many sides” were responsible for the fighting, injuries and death.

But for the people in downtown Portland, there were not two sides to be considered, only a growing presence of intolerance abetted by the Trump administration that could only be confronted at the most basic levels.

One of the photos in the article is below, and as you can see, it centers on a sign claiming that only one side was involved.

You can take this two ways….blatant distortion of the facts behind the actual Charlottesville event, or an “inadvertent” error of omission.  Clearly the nation is divided on how they see it.

But arguing for The Forecaster becomes more of a challenge when you look at the second item, which reports on a far smaller event in Yarmouth.  Here are the relevant points.

Yarmouth responds to Virginia violence

By The Forecaster on August 15, 2017
About 40 people gathered in downtown Yarmouth Sunday evening, Aug. 13, to show their opposition to bigotry and racism after a demonstration last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Confederate sympathizers turned violent and deadly. The Yarmouth marchers heard statements by local lawmakers and then marched together singing “We Shall Overcome.” (Roger S. Duncan / For The Forecaster)

This coverage clearly describes the Virginia event as a “violent and deadly” affair in which only one element on the political spectrum was involved, as if the fighting shown in the video coverage was between friends just to generate news reports.  Gimme a break, will ya?

We’ll stop here, rather than inflame any local passions with our essay.  But you can bet we’ll no longer accord The Forecaster the respect we have since we first started reading it.  And we know many in our midst once did as well.

For years we’ve referred to our local print media as The Ostrich; maybe this is the start of The Forecaster’s campaign to take that title away from them.  We hope not, but these are perilous, uncertain, and unpredictable times, 

Come to think of it, we haven’t even considered the effect these events will have on the mental stability of Bowdoin students as they show up on campus.  We suggest the Counseling Service “brace for impact,” as they say in the Navy.

And then there’s this:

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.”

Oh yeah:

The Portland event coverage link: http://www.theforecaster.net/hundreds-denounce-racism-in-downtown-portland-rally/

The Yarmouth event coverage link: http://www.theforecaster.net/yarmouth-responds-to-virginia-violence/

Friday, August 18, 2017

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah and Bowdoin’s High Anxiety Levels

 

Humor us as we make another delayed observation on Bowdoin and self-evident truths.  It turns out the term “Zip” has taken on a new interpretation in today’s world of instant gratifcation, no matter what your desires may be.  That’s the truth, it’s actual; just lookee here:

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In a sense, zipcar is a modern day parallel to renting motel rooms by the hour.  And communicating with tweets of 140 characters or less.  Or hooking up on campus.

In hooking up, you start a relationship and end it in one party or less.  Sounds like fun, unless you think beyond your libido and the next 12 hours, which today’s brightest and best apparently see as passe.  You know, so yesterday, and so confining.  So restrictive…so, well, suggestive of commitment.  Who wants that?

So perhaps we should think of the student body at our nearby paragon of small, elite, highly selective, very expensive liberal arts college as zipguys, zipgirls, zipqueers, and any other fashionable term for hook-up partners.  And when we do, given the high level of stress and neuroses among the student body, we think it’s right to wonder whether such rampant serial hook-up promiscuity could result in relationship and itnterpersonal anxiety.  Not that there’s anything wrong with it….

Unless you consider that when you dehumanize yourself to the sum total of your erogenous zones, gay abandon, and willingness to chug-a-lug, smoke, and swallow whatever is offered to you, in copious amounts, you don’t really have much claim on victimhood or wanting to be respected for who you are, do you?  Either in the morning, or the night before.

Call us old-fashioned in such things,

But you know what?  As we recall our lifetime of experiences, in which we somehow escaped the need for regular visits to a therapist, we’ll accept that designation with great joy and satisfaction.

We’d just like to suggest the current Bowdoin student body reflect on how they’re going to view their scrapbook of random hook-ups 10, 20, 30 and even 50 years from now.  And how a cavalier view of the mysteries, pain, and pleasure of such things diminished or expanded their appreciation of all life has to offer.

PS on Brunswick’s Santa Claus

Recall this post a few days ago: http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com/2017/08/yes-brunswick-just-like-we-told.html

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As we were driving home from lunch today, Mrs. Side remarked on how bad the conditions of Brunswick’s roads are.  And Shirley she is right.  We are the bane of auto owners and a delight to auto mechanics.  Lots of salt, and lots of washboard (and worse) paving, and you have auto mechanics full employment circumstances.

  

Suddenly we remembered our two Senators in Golden Egg land.  And we thought, if these laying hens can squeeze out millions for runways, taxiways, and hangars at BXM, which averages about 3 aircraft arrivals and/or departures a day, surely they can squeeze out an egg or two annually for Brunswick’s roadways.  And taxiways. of course, as we recall the fine fiscal largesse Brunswick Taxi has managed to squeeze out of public coffers.

If the winners, the chosen few in town, can latch on to public dollars so easily, isn’t it time for the rest of us, the thousands of unchosen, to have someone bring home the bacon for us?  Last time we checked, this town, with total spending of more than $60 million a year, was spending in the range of 1% of that for road surfacing/paving. 

Considering the importance of connecting us all via our infrastructure, we find this figure horribly underwhelming.  At the same time, it points out how a few million a year in crumbs from King, Angus and Senator Susan could make an incredible difference in our municipal byways.  And we’re pretty sure we average well over 3 personal, commercial, and public safety trips per day.

Hell, we’re all subsidizing the Downeaster at the level of nearly $10 million a year.  Compare what it means to you on a daily basis, compared to the use of our roads.

  

When you come right down to it, who doesn’t like bacon and eggs?  Especially when it’s free?

Two over easy, please, with bacon crisp!