Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Poorly considered decisions

"I am not in support of this until we take care of our own people". That was Commissioner Terry Brann's reason for protecting the northern tier of our county from the 500 immigrants he is convinced are on our doorstep. The hyperbole of his statement would be laughable if the consequences of his decision-making were not so serious.

In the same issue of The Bulldog we read that Wilton Town Manager Rhonda Irish is concerned about the loss of necessary transportation services for her residents. That is the result of the Commissioner's decision not to fund Western Maine Transportation along with Western Maine Community Action and Seniors Plus, all organizations with long histories of providing essential services to local residents. The savings from this decision amounted to a few cents per resident per year. Further, this was contrary to the expressed will of the community.

Regarding the immigrant horde they are apparently afraid of I'll ask the commissioners, whose charge it is to look out for our economic interests, just how they plan to address the aging and shrinking Franklin County population. We are in negative growth, folks. The young are steadily leaving this area and we are well on our way into the demographic death cycle of an aging population and declining worker base. An infusion of immigrants might be just what we need. In fact communities that have welcomed them have seen improved tax bases, revitalized school systems, and the vitality that comes from small business creation.

These poorly considered decisions may be examples of how the Commissioners plan to take care of themselves but not how they are going to take care of the rest of us.

Steve Bien, MD

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56 Responses »

  1. Well said and thank you, Dr. Bien. Ours is and always has been an immigrant nation, and those who build barriers, walls, obstacles, and objections would do well to dust off are carefully examine their own family trees less they forget how they and theirs arrived and assimilated.

  2. Many thanks for this! Sometimes I make the mistake of reading Daily Bulldog comments and become equal parts angry, frustrated, and depressed over the zero sum game world view of some of my neighbors. This was a great reminder that there are many of us out there that realize that we're all in this together and act accordingly. Most of us cannot live an entire life without help at some point and we'd do well to remember that.

  3. When my family first got here there was no welfare nobody was going to listen to any excuses why you should not work, teachers and doctors were not always paid with cash. There were farms everywhere which made the people on them self reliant and everything was done by hand which meant there was plenty of work to go around. Veterans unless they were wounded in action were given nothing but a thank you. The VA we know today did not come into existence until after WWI, by a liberal congress I might add. Dumping people into the middle of a depressed economy today is just going to cause a financial nightmare for small towns and cities that have allready lost a large part of their manufacturing base and are dealing with service industries paid by the taxpayers that just want more,more, more,and more. Our young people realized this even if some of us do not.

  4. Franklin county maine, unemployment rate less the 4%, average age 45 years old, average income $45,000 (low income) with approximately 30,000 residents with an rough fluctuation of 1,000 over the last 15 years ( actually on a uphill swing now) and around 200 unfilled positions available I don't see a reason to bring in refugees. We are already strapped financially, we have just about enough positions to unemployment rate to even out and that's not even considering no available housing.

  5. Stop taxing us to death, and there will be jobs available with good pay. "Progressive" (regressive) tax policies are gutting this state, that is why the young leave. Stop blaming businesses and everyone else for Democrat policies that make people say "Maine? No way, bud!".

    "The Refugees" are Mills and Portland's problem...they invited them here without consulting US, who must SUPPORT an ever-increasing load of ppl, at all. We know nothing about the 'status' of these 'refugees'. Are they truly legal refugees, or playing the system - claiming asylum when captured? How did they get all the way from Congo, thru a dozen countries, to here, where they claim that status? You are supposed to request asylum from the nearest safe nation! No...they should remain where the resources are, with the people making BIG bucks...right in Portland, thanks.

    We can't take care of our own, are being milked more and more for pet projects...we simply CANNOT take in more people who are dependent. It's called being sensible and protecting your own interests. Countries that don't do this suffer for it. There is only so much 'being selfless' that a family/town/state/nation can give, before they are HURTING THEMSELVES.

    We've been 'extra benevolent' for FAR too many decades. I agree whole-heartedly w/the commissioners on BOTH issues. I am a taxpayer, and I vote. Doesn't my voice count? For once, they are representing ME, "Mr. Common Working Man"....TAKING CARE OF US who are not Dr's, lawyers, big earners. The D party used to say they did, funny that....not anymore!

  6. The dividing lines are pretty clear, those who supported the foreign policy decisions that put our economy on its current course and caused many of the refugees in question to flee their home countries generally oppose immigration while those who resisted the same foreign policy support it. Not surprisingly, the same fear of the unknown that caused a refugee crisis in Africa and the Middle East is cited as a reason to oppose their placement here. It's a lot of nonsense as usual.

    According to anthropologists my earliest ancestors migrated here about 15,000 years ago. They truly built lives from nothing. My earliest European ancestors arrived here in the 1530's. They borrowed land and technology from indigenous peoples to survive here. Everyone who has come since received some kind of help from the Euro-American communities that replaced indigenous ones.

    That being said, immigrants to this land typically face resistance. In the late 1800's the KKK burned crosses along the Androscoggin in Livermore Falls in an attempt to scare away Catholic immigrants. I was recently told that similar scare tactics were used to drive French Settlers from Farmington at one time. Long before that English colonists would drive indigenous communities away by burning their crops and raiding their villages. I guess that's a case of the immigrant driving away the local though.

    The point I'm making is that our Euro-American community has always held frightened people who resist people who are even a little different. You may or may not be surprised to learn that the same communities haven't experienced an event that may have justified those fears since clashes with indigenous peoples ended here in the late 1700's. We aren't exactly a land of the brave.

    We are community of roughly 30,000 considering an influx of just a fraction of those refugees coming to Maine. If we take in 30, there will be 1,000 locals for each refugee. If we take in 300, there will be 100 for every refugee. If you're afraid of those odds you're probably not going to be much help under any but the best of circumstances, so I'm not convinced any of us should heed your warnings. The rational among us will handle things as we always do, in spite of you not because of you.

  7. Not afraid of the odds!

  8. Realist, The Europeans had Steel, matchlock rifles, wooden ships, navigational tools, and better building skills when the Spaniards showed up in the 1550s after playing around in what would be South America and were superior to any stone age peoples living in the new world, the British got here in 1607 and the Norse got here first in the 930s and were also superior to the stone age people living here, so what is this technology you speak of the locals having?

    And it has nothing to do with people being different, it has to do with people who can at least offer things that help the country improve. A poor, non educated, non English speaking person who refuses to assimilate, has nothing to offer us and just becomes a burden on us, that, our country doesn't need. Every state in the country has a homeless problem, until that problem is solved, it is best not to increase the population of dependents any further.

    Other countries have to step up, right now in Saudi Arabia, there is a tent city, it has air conditioning, electricity, running water, medical facilities, security and housing for 2 million people, it is currently empty.

  9. To Realistic,
    In spite of you, we are changing the country by unraveling the mess the progressive swamp creatures have created.
    Including the lies about throwing innocent kids in cages.
    Your fear mongering and blaming everything bad that's ever happened on US is old news and just a progressive version of hate.

    Now,, immigration is a wonderful thing. I love how our country is built with diversity.

    Diversity Yes.
    Haters No.

  10. Realist when did anyone say they are afraid of refugees? The only thing I see people saying here is how are we supposed to pay for them to stay here. Where is the housing for 300 people? Where will the funds come from to feed and house and educate them ? The people on here slamming those of us asking common sense questions need to start answering these questions instead of calling us names. We know where the money ultimately comes from it’s our paychecks the most important question is where is the housing for 300 people ???

  11. @Realist, there's a certain logic and style to your comment that I really appreciate. But I disagree with your frightened comment. My concern with taking refugees in Franklin County isn't because I'm afraid of them, I'm afraid for them. And it's not specifically refugees, it's anyone not fully prepared to embrace life here in rural Maine.

    While I love it here, it's not an easy life if you don't have much money. Cost of living statistics don't include some of the added expenses for the 2-8* months of winter we experience here. (*if you didn't chuckle, we can't be friends) This year has been pretty easy as far as snow fall totals but even I struggle to stay positive after the 3rd time I shovel 2 feet of snow off my deck in 1 week.

    I've had the opportunity to talk to several people that moved here saying I "wouldn't believe how cheap this place was" and left after the first winter. I hear the tone of their voice change from joyous optimism to dull discontent as their landscape changes from winter wonderland to hell froze over.

    I've also had the opportunity to talk to people who "never thought they'd live in a place like this" because "what is there to do around here?" who go on to tell me about this great little fishing hole they found since we last spoke. I prefer the latter as my neighbors, given the choice.

    Mainers, natural or assimilated, are a hearty bunch. As a group we are comprised of the rich, the resourceful, and the reliant. We need the first two categories to increase or atleast stabilize before growing the third. And to do that we need to encourage people to move here rather than implant them.

    Before you criticize me for saying refugees are just going to be a drain on the economy, please understand that is not what I'm saying. I fully expect people of all cultures to be positive contributions to society but the immediate impact of moving someone here from whatever they are escaping is going to be difficult on them. Convince me otherwise.

  12. I posted the following information on the earlier referenced story, and think it's still well worth considering. On February 8th the Sun Journal ran a story regarding costs of assisting the 100 asylum seekers who have moved to the Brunswick area. Brunswick Assistant Town Manager Ryan Leighton says, “We now estimate that the annual cost related to the asylees living in Brunswick would be in excess of $400,000,” Brunswick hired a cultural broker, Nsiona Nguizani, at $70,000. He says he could use 2 people to help him. He said, "Can you imagine? You have to deal with school, health, legal matters. I mean, they rely on you to live.” Brunswick cites problems with infrastructure to navigate and provide appropriate support to the asylum seekers.
    Added to that, after all the time and taxpayer money spent, an asylum seeker has an estimated success rate of about 35% in immigration court. Far from considering asylum seekers as future contributors, the reality is that when all is said and done most of them will be returned to their home country, again at taxpayer expense.
    I am all for *legal* immigration. But I think it is wise to consider how realistic it is for this area to be able to financially support an influx of asylum seekers. I think people in this area have no real idea of the needs of these folks.

  13. As for the Commissioners' decision to stop funding WMT, etc, Charles Webster said this decision was made years ago. My question is, was this a hush hush thing or was the information available to the public and affected organizations and lefted unaddressed until now?

  14. HB - In anthropological terms technology includes survival skills like those the indigenous shared with Europeans which allowed them to survive. The Basque arrived here before Columbus set sail and came ashore to prep their catch of cod for the return trip. An iron artifact found buried in Mantle, Ontario (an artifact carried there along a well established trade network by indigenous, presumably along with news of the new arrivals) confirms this, as do ships logs and diaries kept by some of those early "guest workers". The artifact itself bore a maker's mark that was traced back to Basque country.

    European life was changed by the addition of indigenous foods and other materials exported from the continent. The canoe definitely influenced life here and abroad, for instance. My Iroquois ancestors taught my French ancestors to use them when they arrived in the Saint Lawrence River Valley in the 1530's. My Mi'kmaw ancestor saved the lives of Champlain and his men when they arrived in 1604, before escorting them to an area more capable of meeting their agricultural needs than the thin top soil of Saint Croix Island was. They even helped build fortifications while Champlain returned to France for supplies. Along with iron tools the European brought disease that killed off a great portion of the indigenous population.

    As far as there being a need for those who come to offer you something goes, I can understand your concern because all the English did in Western Maine was destroy lives, at least until they'd driven the Abenaki from the region in the late 1700's. They forced those indigenous and French who attempted to remain here to live under desperate conditions throughout the 1800's. French speakers were beaten and the books used to teach the language were removed from classrooms in the 1900's, leaving few who bear French names able to speak the language today. And while conditions for those with French surnames may have improved greatly, the same can't be said of the indigenous even now.

    What I see behind all the rhetoric are the same prejudices that destroyed the multicultural communities that existed here from the mid 1600's to the mid 1700's. At that time communities of French, Indigenous, and Metis (mixed blood) peoples could be found in what became Maine in 1820. Those communities were productive and self sustaining in ways that current communities are not. Most here fail to understand that they rely heavily on foreign aid (albeit from other states not counties) to meet their energy and food needs. And many provide services we can certainly do without even though some would call them productive.

    Immigrants work here. They always have and they always will, just as there will always be those who say they are unproductive and unwelcome.

  15. @Amanda - "afraid for them" - very apt!

  16. Amanda - Life is hard for refugees, that's why they're refugees not immigrants. Imagine for a moment what challenges they will have faced before ever arriving in Maine. War, disease, famine? I've met quite a few of the refugees we've created with our foreign policy since returning from service overseas supporting it. Had I remained supportive of that policy after the Bush administration began to make a mess of it I'd have told you that you'd be responsible for accepting a number of those displaced if we were to make that foreign policy work.

    I'm sure I've met more problematic locals than I have refugees. The latter are far more willing to change than the former are, that's part of the reason why Maine rejects many economic opportunities for growth. I don't recall all of them but in the ongoing discussion of CMP's proposed upgrade to the electric grid a number of other ventures rejected due to aesthetic concerns were noted. Aesthetics might be the real culprit here too, as the unemployment rate among refugees is statistically lower than that of citizens

  17. We all hear the Hypocrite Politicians,
    Sanders saying there are too many millionaires when he is one of them.
    AOC telling blatant lies (that she actually believes(clueless)), who went to a pretty nice college "somehow",,,,,
    They are not out to make this country stronger,
    They want to tear this country completely down and start a socialist society under their dictatorships...

    I say stealing is wrong.
    Leave my stuff alone.

    I'm in favor of accepting hardship people here and providing assistance until they no lo get need it.
    This takes a lot of money.

    I'm not in favor of stealing people's stuff and handing that stuff to everyone and anyone with their hand out.
    Destroying ourselves in the meantime.
    The only people in favor of that are the ones who hate this country in th be first place.
    The progressive socialist aren't about helping anyone,,, they're about destroying for personal power.
    History repeats..... thus has failed everywhere its ever been tried.

    Give US your tired and poor,,
    Keep these tired and poor away from the socialists, they won't help anyone but themselves.

  18. Marie, you still haven't said how many refugees you'll take in?
    I'm shocked, not really.

  19. All this back and forth is pointless. This is a simple case of right or wrong, as are most things in life.

    Is it right to help all people in need, no matter where they are from and what it might cost you?

    Is it wrong to turn your back on any person in need no matter where they are from and what it might cost you?

    Any thing else is just a effort to obfuscate the fact that it is a very simple question.

    It is high time people here and all across this country stop with the pointless political party nonsense and self serving bs and start using right and wrong to judge their actions.

  20. Democrat/Leftists have a serious problem with hating and trying to destroy their country and their culture. This isn't a joke. "The Fundamental Transformation of America" (Barack Obama) is well underway. There is no 'fear' or 'xenophobia' in liking your nation as it is! Help takes many forms - how about helping oppressed peoples to fight for their country, as we did for ours??

    "Diversity", as exampled by recent years' mass migrations in Europe, simply causes divergence, disunity, and the death of cultures. Sure, some is fine, acceptable, normal and proper....people migrate, they adopt their host country and a blending occurs. But what we're now talking about is pretty much cultural genocide, importing masses of people with no allegiance to the place they're going. I sure don't see China inviting in 30 million Koreans. Or Kenya asking for 50,000 Dutch to set up shop there. Or American Liberals asking for oppressed South Africans. Why is it only "the West" that is being openly colonized this way, and by cultures that in many cases are diametrically opposite of the one already here? Why do Liberals want their way of life to disappear, and that of their children? They hate this place that much?

    We ALREADY have 29 to 35 million illegal aliens in this country. 10% of our population. Assimilation is a joke today. This is NOT the immmigration of yesteryear, OH NO. I, for one, like my culture, traditions and heritage and choose to keep it....I suppose that means I'm a racist. Ok, so be it.

  21. Different opinion.

    Pointless is very simple indeed.
    Life is very simple and easy when you believe you are always "right", and those who disagree with you after wrong,,, regardless of any facts.
    Hey,,, that's what AOC does and YES, THAT IS BS.
    Accomplishes nothing.

    Sorry to step on your righteousness Pointless but it was the right thing to do.

  22. Pointless makes the point that if everyone agreed with his misled oversimplified" opinion, problem solved.

    Reality gets in his way unfortunately...

    Seems you're in over your head here.
    Kinda like some politicians...

  23. I find it hilarious and highly hypocritical that the same people are on here defending their words with more whining about those with real concerns, yet offer zero answers or resolutions to any questions being asked. Where are these people going to live ?? Realist ? Marie E ? Any other liberal whine bag calling us racist misogynistic ? Start giving us a few resolutions or zip it !!!!
    Pointless you have a point yet you haven’t offered anything besides lets just give everything we have to people that offer zero in return. Both sides get hypocritical from time to time but the left are experts!!

  24. Pretty sad when an honest opinion with first hand facts doesn't get printed.
    I will try this again.
    Think of our area/town like a Dr.s office. You call to make an appointment and they tell you that they are not taking new patients because they don't have the resources.

  25. Didn't take long for the obfuscating to commence.


    Your fear of change is astounding, do you really believe that change is not the natural progression of things? Do you think if you yell loud enough and use enough buzz words like cultural genocide that you can stave of the inevitable?


    At no time did I say I was right and you were wrong, that was up to you to decide by answering the simple questions I posed.


    Saying that anyone coming to the area offers zero in return is about as laughably disingenuous as you can get, making blanket statements like that falls into the "self serving bs" category I mentioned above.

    There is no better measure of a man than how he treats his fellow men . I don't care what party you support, what kind of car you drive or where you send your kids to school because it does not matter in the least bit. I do, however, care if you follow the simple wrong or right thought process. We have entirely too many people willing to do things that they know are wrong, simply because it has become socially acceptable to be a terrible person. Right or wrong may be a simplification, but that does not negate its validity.

  26. Realist, you lost me. Mostly because you were more interested in tooting your own horn. I'm sorry to tell you this but your accolades and lineage make you no more of an expert here than the rest of us.

    I understand that life as a refugee is hard. That's pretty much my point. These people have been through hell. Imagine for a moment being forced to leave behind everything you know to relocate to a foreign land where you have to learn a new way of life. Would you really prefer to do so here?

    If you think you would I'm going to assume you've never really had to struggle. It's okay. Unless you've lived in poverty you don't really understand how hard Maine winters can be.

  27. Marie, we often disagree, here as well, so I hesitate to say this in the event I misinterpreted your comment to me, but I'd like to reach over the fence and shake your hand. By no means do I feel like I've changed your mind but it's encouraging to find a little square of common ground in such a heated debate.

  28. Welcoming refugees into this country is turning the USA into a third world country

  29. A doctor campaigning for adding a captive audience of 500 people with free health care....
    Coming soon a letter of support from section 8 landlords.....
    Those of you that work hard every week might want to pick up a few extra hours.....

  30. The author of the letter is a MD. Of course he is in favor of anything that could put money into his pocket. One of the poorest counties in Maine, will open its door to take as many of them as we can? Really? If they are here legally, can contribute to society in a positive way, so be it. Just to bring people here to give them free housing, free food, free health care and free clothes, my tax dollar can be spent more wisely than wasting it on immigrants. Lets build an infrastructure, some good jobs that a person can work 40 hours a week, lets get the working poor that we have on their feet, and then see what is left over.

  31. "Welcoming refugees into this country is turning the USA into a third world country"

    Citizens who do get out and look around might come (reluctantly) to the conclusion that we've already made it!

  32. Realist, I never said others didn't come to North America, those others are of little concern when it comes to those who came to what would become the US. John Rolf brought soldiers, farmers, carpenters, and other able bodied people. Spain to south America brought Soldiers, farmers, builders, and other able bodied people. The Pilgrims, never should have survived, they were city folk incapable of farming, building, fishing, if it wasn't for the few ship's carpenters, the Pilgrims would have had zero shelter and zero chance of survival.

    And everybody knows the British were bad, why do you think everybody and his brother was at war with them. And it is a huge difference in coming from British soil as a British citizen to sovereign British soil in the British colonies, than it is being from an entirely different country and trying to force or expecting the established people to aid them as refugees. Only AFTER the Colonials proved themselves to be separatists and not Tories or Loyalists during the Revolutionary War did France intervene and aid the Colonials and smooth things over with the First Nations to aid the Colonials who in turn would aid them against their enemies, like the Iroquois and the Five Nations.

    Refugees are not in any way, shape or form on par with immigrants, immigrants are fully vetted and have gone through the process of legal entry. Refugees seek us out and expect us to take care of them while they run from problems they have caused in their homeland. Somali Muslims who come here in droves are not running from an oppressive government, they ARE the oppressors. And most of them don't work because if they did, they would be screaming for increases in their state benefits, which Gov. Mills was all to happy to oblige when she expanded Mainecare benefits to 20,000 refugees, while only 1200 Mainer's were granted Maincare.

  33. @ Amanda: "I understand that life as a refugee is hard. That's pretty much my point."

    YES, exactly! Reaching over the fence and shaking your hand!

  34. Hrtlss, you nailed it on the welfare medical (maine care) free riders. How nice of our tax and spend gov to give free 100 percent medical care to these somali claiming to be fleeing oppression. The same somalis that killed Sargents Shughart and Gordon. I’ll wager that most here don’t realize Sgt. Gordon was from Maine or that he was awarded the CMH. Disrespect runs deep in this “refugee” community for both the United States and Mainers. Note the hatred and disrespect that flows from the Minneapolis congress rep, ilmah and her cohorts. Reference the murder in Lewiston that occurred, now, almost two years ago. They can’t seem to get this case to trial. Wonder why? Should needy “real” Mainers from our own communities be our first priority or doesn’t that matter to the liberals over taxing us in Augusta? Yes they should, they deserve it and frankly the free loaders, do not.

  35. Marie, there are multiple churches and other organizations locally that go to other countries to assist them in making life easier in their home countries so they can stay. If you like I can get you and anyone else some phone numbers to volunteer? In a prior post of mine you failed to answer my question to tell us how many refugees you would be willing to take into your home to feed, clothe, insure, teach English, take them to appointments.
    I'm sure you will fail to respond asking for the phone numbers or information as you and others just want to have a feel good moment rather than really helping anyone but your ego's. Typical of the left.

  36. Pointless you just proved my point. You come on here ridiculing what I say instead of offering any answers.


    Taxpayer don’t hold your breath the panderers on here just like to argue and point fingers at the scary conservatives.

  37. Is there a sign-up sheet for church volunteers to go to Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan?

    Please note that usually refugees have fled their "home countries" due to war/civil unrest, famine, etc., but here's a chance to visit Spain, Italy or Greece where they are in camps!

    Volunteer in Refugee Camps

  38. Pointless i am pretty sure the way the world works is the weak die and the strong survive. The reason we are becoming a weaker people is because we try to save everyone or help everyone. In nature the lazy and weak die. i may sound heartless but we are over populated.

  39. Marie, I think you answered your questions with your link, question is, are you willing to go, or take them in here? Here meaning your home? It's very easy to type words on a computer but if you want to make a difference a real difference go abroad and put your money where your mouth is or sponsor a family here in your home.

  40. Awww,

    There was no ridicule, only facts. Your statement was disingenuous and self serving at its very core. To be clear, I never said I had the answers to all the worlds problems. I simply was raised knowing right from wrong and understanding that a good person does the right thing no matter the cost. I posed two simple questions that would help folks know if they are making a decision because it was right thing to do, or to see if maybe there were more than right and wrong that was clouding their judgment.

    Typing things in all caps, does little more then show your inability to argue your point. Yell all you want, the question remains the same.

    I will ask again, Is it right to help all people in need, no matter where they are from and what it might cost you?

    Is it wrong to turn your back on any person in need no matter where they are from and what it might cost you?


    That's they way it used to work, Thankfully we as a race have come a long way from those days long long ago and no longer live in such a scenario.

  41. Pointless, "Thankfully we as a race have come a long way from those days long long ago and no longer live in such a scenario."

    The weak have become a commodity and are being exploited. I'm not thankful for that.

  42. Amanda - I learned of the relationship between foreign policy and the asylum program very early in my military career. As a Marine I was also taught that I was one of the first Americans the people I interacted with would meet and should therefore act as a good ambassador to my country. I had to adapt to life among a number of foreign cultures over the course of that career and I have known hardships the likes of which I am certain you've never considered.

    When I address the challenges facing refugees in this nation I typically do so with an understanding for how their treatment impacts foreign relations. As I'd prefer to reduce the threat faced by those positioned overseas I encourage folk here to care for those refugees sent their way by a federal agency that also serves in support of the same foreign policies that our military and intelligence agencies serve. Too many Americans fail to understand that foreign policy is supported by a multifaceted apparatus, the parts of which must all function well if our goals are to be met.

  43. Realist, your experiences are different than mine. Your intentions are honorable, I see that. But what you are saying is exactly why I'm saying Not here, not now.

    Our resources are limited, there are more people drinking from the cup than filling it. We are not in a position to help effectively and we're in an area that requires more help than urban areas.

    Driving in winter is difficult for even seasoned drivers. Do we expect refugees to navigate our winter roads? Depend on Western Maine Transportation perhaps? Or maybe they can just be confined to whatever housing is available? And that's only one of many concerns I have.

    You continue to focus on the big picture, it's commendable. But don't criticize me for focusing on the details because it's the details with which the refugees will have to live.

  44. Amanda - You speak of obstacles that have been overcome by people from regions not that different than those today's refugee comes from. It is certainly easier for those who move to urban settings, but if you look closely the next time you're out and about you'll see that a few are doing it already. Further north, in regions far more rural than ours, migrants from arid climates can be found. Many have been there for a decade or more already, demonstrating that they can adapt to our ways and settings.

    When I became a Sergeant of Marines I found the confidence to assess our preparedness to confront the challenges we'd have to confront if we were to rout those guerrilla fighters who carried out terrorist attacks while training for war in the Middle East. I wanted to take the fight to them instead of destabilizing Iraq so sought commission and the authority to do so. I did not want the instability that our civilian leaders caused there, nor the flood of refugees I knew they would create.

    I can't undo the many errors that our civilian leaders forced upon us. I can speak of my experiences in an attempt to correct the many misconceptions they spread to get their way. One of those misconceptions is that we can support those elements of that apparatus which serves our foreign policy that we like and reject those we do not. I hope 20 years of war will convince many to rethink.

  45. Years ago our family sponsored a refugee family of seven from Vietnam. Our decision to host the family came from believing that if found in the same circumstances we might find refuge. Their family like ours wanted freedom, a place to raise their children in peace. This experience for our children helped to form them into the women they are today. They have a vision of a world that is much larger than just themselves. Are these refugees living the American dream? Perhaps not, but that is not what they expected. They wanted life, freedom, and peace. These are gifts that we so take for granted as Americans because we have always had them. We often try to solve life’s problems our way. It is the paradoxes of life that truly make us the men and women we need to be. Give and you will receive, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would want others to do for you.

  46. I'll be glad to answer this "simple" question..

    "I will ask again, Is it right to help all people in need, no matter where they are from and what it might cost you?

    The simple answer is no.
    Because of the way you purposefully phrased it.

    Now my question to pointless.
    Is it "right" to take from one needy person to help another?

    See how easy is to ask oversimplified questions that have no shed of reality attached to them?

    I guess if you're a socialist or racist you have a different answer.

    Robin Hood (Bernie Sanders) is a hypocritical millionaire...
    In my opinion.

    Btw, I would love to see these poor people in need "helped".
    And I mean "all" of them..

    Excluding the needy locals is just plain "wrong"..
    In case you didn't know..

  47. I should add that the guerrilla fighters I wanted to go after had set up camp in Afghanistan but were not Afghani. They were mostly Egyptian and Saudi Arabian. One of the first mistakes made by the Bush administration was to make an enemy of the Taliban who accepted payment from those guerrillas in exchange for allowing them to train in Afghanistan. The decision to make war with them was foolhardy, as it did nothing to make us safer and was seen as locals as an unwarranted attack on communities that had nothing to do with attacks perpetrated by a foreign element. The very forces we had hoped to demoralize gained influence and increased their membership throughout the Middle East as a result. The decision to invade Iraq would only further the efforts of those guerrilla fighters.

    Guerrilla wars are won on the missteps of arrogant leaders. The British learned this when they lost control of the American Colonies to fighters who used tactics borrowed from Native American warriors to defeat a far better equipped and seasoned foe.

  48. Pointless my other comment was not allowed apparently so I will try again. I wasn’t yelling using all caps. I wanted to be sure people were actually able to see my questions. So since you only want to ridicule people for not wanting to throw our money away on a whim to make liberals feel good feel free not respond anymore. I would like someone to answer me. I would like someone to tell me where these homes are for 300-500 people. We have homeless kids in our school district that would lime to stay there as well. Keep pandering folks.

  49. Realist & Amanda: AMEN

  50. Realist, we aren't discussing migrants. Your comments, while enlightening, do nothing to alleviate my concerns. They are only more cause for concern.

    I've done my best to explain my point of view. If nothing else I hope I've proven that some of us who support the County Commissioners' decision are doing so in a thoughtful rather than callous manner.