I remember when Friday was one of the best days of the week. It ended my main job work week. Just about everyone I knew at work looked forward to Fridays. It signaled that two days of relaxation were almost upon us. Now that wasn’t true for everyone, like me for example. Fridays signaled the end of one job’s work week but the beginning of a work weekend at a second job. I’m not complaining, mind you, that’s just many of us older folk did to provide for our families. We did not depend on the state, and thus you, to just give us things.
I mention this because of a news story I heard on the radio this morning. As the new school year in Portland opens next week, the report said than 33-hundred of the 72-hundred Portland students are eligible for free breakfast. That’s outrageous! Not the free breakfast program but rather it is the fact that nearly a half of all Portland children live in families that meet state welfare assistance guidelines for the program.
How sad that our state government has created a society in this state that is so dependent on welfare to make ends meet. Jobs are leaving Maine at a tremendous pace. Just this week, for example, we learned of several hundred jobs being eliminated in at least two and possibly three paper mills. Drive around the area and see all the empty store fronts. Because we live here many of our citizens believe this is the way it is country wide. After all, they’ve been told the poor economy is the result of President Bush’s programs and has nothing to do with our state.
Of course we no longer have a news media here that tells us about the growth in other areas of the country or about the growth in consumer confidence elsewhere and the growth of the national economy. Our news media simply parrots the press releases from our state government telling us not to worry; it will take care of us. Meanwhile the people of Maine trying to maintain good employment and provide for their families see taxes and fees rising so they have to contribute more to folks not earning and take it away from their own families.
We have a chance in just a few weeks to start making changes. Will we? It appears Mainers like their taxation.
I’d like to be able to comment on last night’s conclusion to the Democrat convention and the acceptance of Barack Obama and Joe Biden as the party’s nominees for the country’s top offices. I can’t comment, though. No surprise here: I didn’t watch. But it’s fun to ask my Democrat friends just what Obama has ever accomplished? Just how he will make change? Just what he will do for America? I’m not interested in the rhetoric because both parties promise us the world. I’d just like to know real accomplishments that can demonstrate he can lead.
Meanwhile, before this day is over, we’ll learn who Republican John McCain has chosen to be his running mate in November. That announcement is expected about noon. Then it’ll be off to the Republican Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul. That convention begins Monday and continues through the acceptance speech Thursday. I’ll probably see about as much of that convention on television as I did the Democrat one. Edited to add: It's now later and we have learned that John McCain has chosen Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska to be his running mate. I'll discuss this more next week.
We have a long weekend coming up. It’s the “last hurrah” for many Mainers as Labor Day comes on a real Monday this year. Camps will be closed, families will gather for cookouts, and most amusement areas will close down, except for a few more weekends. Even though it has been in full swing for more than a year, it is the traditional beginning of the election season. At least it’s the beginning of the campaigns for local and state politicians.
Listen to those candidates carefully and ask them the key questions that affect your taxes, way of life, and Maine’s future. Getting yourself educated is the only way to make informed decisions when you enter the booth in November.
I’ll be back tomorrow, but if I miss you, I hope you have a super Labor Day Weekend.