Vote Yes on Maine Q1 (2021)

I have taken a long time to come to this decision about ME Ballot Question 1:

“Do you want to ban the construction of high-impact electric transmission lines in the Upper Kennebec Region and to require the Legislature to approve all other such projects anywhere in Maine, both retroactively to 2020, and to require the Legislature, retroactively to 2014, to approve by a two-thirds vote such projects using public land?”

There have been lots of ads on both sides of the issue, funded by both earnest and questionable sources. Both sides backed by local earnest well-meaning people and megacorps with millions if not billions of dollars on the line over the next 20 years. So, which side is right? Which choice is better? For that matter, is Hydro Quebec’s power generation really a clean energy?

However, what decided for me is that I note that over the last month or so, they have given up on arguing for the corridor on its own merits and gone over to what I can only describe as bad-faith arguments about the wording of the question.

One argument is the retroactivity clause. “Say no to retroactive laws”, as if they are afraid that this will set a precedent. The precedent was set no later than 1870, according to the Portsmouth Press Herald.

Another argument is that it forces the decision about public land use changes out of the hands of the experts in the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and into a political decision of the Legislature. Well, the fact of the matter is that is already how it’s supposed to be. The Dept of Ag, etc, conduct their studies and then make their recommendations to the Legislature. That was not done this time because former Governor LePage made a closed-door agreement with CMP WITHOUT the Legislature’s input, and possibly without their knowledge.

The Corridor is already illegal on the face of it and should be repealed. This is why I am voting YES on Maine question 1.

On top of that, Vermont has an approved corridor mapped out with all of the proper legal procedures followed. The Vermont plan is entirely within existing right of way corridors, and most, if not all, of the lines will be underground thus eliminating the prospect of power-line sparked forest fires like the kind that Pacific Gas And Electric’s lines have been doing the last few years in California. If this electricity is needed, the Vermont path is the superior choice.

The Voice of the Choir

Alone, I am but a single voice calling out. Calling out for others to hear, for others to listen to my song. Each of us alone, we are each but a single voice calling out to be heard, for others to listen to our songs. Alone, I sing my own tune. Each of us, alone, sing each our own tunes. Alone together, though our songs be the same, the tunes clash and are discordant. There is no choir.

Slowly, as each of us sings, we also listen. We hear that the songs are the same, but different parts. Some sing melody, some sing bass. Some sing tenor, others sing soprano. Still others just listen, listen and yearn to join, but the choir is not yet.

Slowly, as each if us sings, and listens, we join together. Some who sing melody adjust to match each other, others adjust to compliment. Those who sing bass or tenor or soprano or baritone or alto adjust to each other and harmonize with the other parts. And still, others just listen, listen and learn because they want to join. The choir is becoming.

Alone, each of us alone, we are each but a single voice calling out. Together, we are many voices calling out. Calling out for others to hear, for others to listen to our singular song. Our singular song with many parts in harmony. The choir is.

We Are One

G’Kar’s Interstellar Alliance pledge from the show Babylon 5, written by J. Michael Straczynski.

Adapted for here and now from a speech in my favorite SF show of all time:

The universe speaks in many languages, but only one voice.
The language is not English, or Spanish, or Hebrew, or French or Arabic
It speaks in the language of hope
It speaks in the language of trust
It speaks in the language of strength and the language of compassion
It is the language of the heart and the language of the soul.
But always it is the same voice
It is the voice of our ancestors, speaking through us,
And the voice of our inheritors, waiting to be born
It is the small, still voice that says
We are one
No matter the blood
No matter the skin
No matter the state
No matter the country:
We are one
No matter the pain
No matter the darkness
No matter the loss
No matter the fear
We are one
Here, gathered together in common cause, we agree to recognize this
singular truth and this singular rule:
That we must be kind to one another
Because each voice enriches us and ennobles us and each voice lost
diminishes us.
We are the voice of the Universe, the soul of creation, the fire
that will light the way to a better future.
We are one.

Recreating my blog

A year after moving my domain to a new (well, old as I’ve been here before) host and letting my blog die, I’ve decided to recreate it.  I’m starting over from scratch so none of my old content will be here.  I’m not ashamed of it in any way, it’s just not worth the bother of trying to import it.