Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Back in the cockpit, in a manner of speaking….


Regular followers of Other Side know that we’ve rapidly transitioned in the last year or two from a more or less daily to weekly to monthly to quarterly posting schedule.  A number of things have caused this, not the least of which is age, and a sort of wearying of the enterprise and whatever obligations it imposes on us.  In the nine years this publication has existed, we’ve published more than 1200 items, and from time to time “broke” a story that might otherwise not have seen the light of day.  But you are no doubt of the “yeah, but what have you done for us lately?” persuasion.

Further, we’re more or less resigned to the fact that Brunswick governance, and the other regular targets of our analysis and insights, are essentially irredeemable, incorrigible, and completely immune to published commentary.  No matter how embarrassing it might be, at least by what use to be normal standards.  In so many words, most of what we’ve done here has been a complete waste of time. 

We’ve long been fond of banging our head against any nearby wall in order to retain a smidgeon of self-respect, even if some in elected office like to call us “Mr. Grumpy.”  That’s a darn sight better than being known as “Mr.  Pushover,” as we see it.

The last “excuse” we’ll offer is a 10 month old Springer Spaniel named Snoopy who is an attention junky.  He finds it difficult to allow us more than 10 or 15 minutes of reflection, let alone focused writing, at a time.  And he’s not particularly helpful when it comes to our desire for regular naps.

We should add that most of our posting over the years has been a matter of being compelled by some item in the news or a personal concern over the state of affairs.  We have rarely posted out of any sense of obligation.   In the last year or two, inspiration has been coming at a slower and slower pace.

Which brings us to the reason for this post.  Recent news has crossed the wires on three of our most favored targets for comment.  These are the abject looniness that is the Amtrak Downeaster, the truckloads of “corporate welfare” delivered to the former BNAS, and the profligate capital spending of Brunswick.

We’ve often referred to Brunswick as “the richest little town in America.”  The taxpayer spending on the Downeaster and the former Navy base makes it clear that we are the richest state and national governments in the world, even it if takes printing and borrowing funds to do so.  In so many words, we don’t think governments at any level give a flying fig how much they spend, because it’s not their money!  And they know that resistance is weak and futile.

To quote an oft cited truism, “nobody spends other people’s money as carefully as they spend their own.”

So dear readers, loyal or not, reality has finally stuck enough pins in our generous but curvaceous butt to get us back at the keyboard.  Whether or not this is a passing phase remains to be seen; we’ll simply see how the muse of irritation directs us.


For purposes of the moment, we’re simply going to introduce the latest in appalling funding of capital work at Brunswick Landing, and in particular the so called Brunswick Executive Airport.  I was fuming as I read the article:


Brunswick Executive Airport will receive $6.2 million from the Federal Aviation Administration to build a new hangar, install fencing and make other improvements to the airport.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the chairwoman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced the funding through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program, which sets aside funding for the Military Airport Program, on Monday.

“Brunswick Executive Airport is home to multiple aviation and aerospace companies and has been a major catalyst for the redevelopment of Brunswick Naval Air Station,” said Sen. Collins. “In addition to improving safety and making important infrastructure upgrades, this investment will help the airport continue to attract businesses and good-paying jobs to the region.”

The funding will be awarded as follows:

 $3,636,800 for the construction of a new hangar to accommodate general aviation aircraft;

 $1,029,445 to install perimeter fencing;

 $330,255 to repair utilities, and

 $1,219,320 to improve airport drainage

At this point, you’ve likely forgotten the post where we itemized the annual pork rations doled out to MRRA for airport enhancements.  You’ll find it here:


It lists nearly $13 million in grants for the “private airport.”  As of last summer.  With this latest barrel of lard, you can start using $20 million as a round number.  Which is irresponsible and obscene on so many levels, though the good Lord knows, as do we all, that the former BNAS has always been short on hangar space.

The full article contains other words that strain belief, especially if you compare details given in the cited Other Side post.

We’ve decided to defer any further comment until such time as we receive related information requested under FOIA/FOAA provisions.  We fully expect the information will get the juices flowing…and perhaps nearing the boiling point.

Those who examine the figures listed above, and who have any sense of perspective on such “improvements,” should already be fuming.  Any plans you had for taking your kids and grandkids swimming and fishing at the base lake will have to look elsewhere.  We assume the drainage work will eliminate it from the landscape.

When you come right down to it, is it any wonder that many of us just throw our arms up, and think in terms of tossing all the Washington careerists under the bus?  As we’ve said before, if this is what goes on in our little speck in the world, imagine the scale of things on a nationwide basis.

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money.  Watch the mail for the bill for your share.

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