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Overdue National Organization for Marriage disclosure shows deep unpopularity of anti-gay Movement

It was apparent in 2009 that almost all of the money used to oppose marriage equality in a Maine ballot initiative in Maine that year came from outside the state. 86.4% of the $1,193,323.83 raised by Stand for Marriage Maine in the 3rd Quarter of 2009 came from just four sources:

1. The Knights of […]

A New Low in Race-Based Immigrant Bashing: “Proving” Somalis Have Lower IQs Without Measuring Somalis’ IQ

Since I moved to Maine six years ago, I’ve heard a fair number of people tell the story that Somali immigrants have turned Lewiston into the most crime-ridden city in Maine. Two years ago, I decided to stop listening to stories and start looking at actual crime statistics. The truth is that the city of […]

Have Crime Rates in Androscoggin County been “Doubling or Higher” Since Somali Immigrants Arrived?

For a few years now, I’ve been looking into the persistent notion some people have that Somali immigrants have somehow plunged the city of Lewiston, Maine into an unprecedented crime wave. If you look into actual crime statistics, you’ll find out pretty quickly that this anti-immigrant perception is simply not based in systematically observed fact. […]

Has Crime in Towns around Lewiston, ME been “Doubling or Higher” Since Somali Immigrants Arrived?

Read the comments to this 2013 Irregular Times article if you’d like to see some cognitive dissonance at work. A lot of people “know” (by which I mean think) that Lewiston, Maine has become a much more crime-ridden place since Somali immigrants arrived there. The trouble is, this is demonstrably untrue. As a matter of […]

Two Fairy Houses on Monhegan Island

  

Maine’s Monhegan Island, May 23 2015.  Two different kind of fairy houses referring to two not-so-different kinds of fairy tales.

(After this weekend it’ll be people season, not proper for visiting until later.  Try a visit after September 1 and the woods will be yours again.)

[…]

Through “Level the Playing Field,” Americans Elect Wades into Ranked Choice Voting

During its nine-year history, the privatized-presidential-election corporation called Americans Elect has taken on many names: Americans Elect, Change the Rule, Level the Playing Field, Unity08, Unity12 Task Force. In a post yesterday about the group’s resurrection for 2016, I noted how its recent activity featured a “charitable donation” to a mysterious 501c4 corporation called “The […]

Behind Americans Elect’s “Level the Playing Field” Donation to “Charity”

(Tip of the pen to Richard Winger for getting me started down this path.)

Earlier this year Americans Elect leaders popped up with a new organization, a new name (“Level the Playing Field”), and two mysterious payments from that group. The first mysterious payment was made out to “Imaginary Friend.” It turns out “Imaginary Friend” […]

The Maine Airport Coffee Economy

Maine has its faults, but this is one of the reasons I love living here:

 

This is how you get coffee at the local airport:

The tin-can economy is a great antidote to my gloomy cynicism.

Meet Rand Paul’s Protege in Maine: State Senator Eric Brakey

In the 2014 election cycle, Rand Paul’s “leadership PAC” Reinventing A New Direction sent funds to just one candidate for the Maine State Legislature: Republican Eric Brakey of New Gloucester. With that kind of specificity, it’s fair to say that Rand Paul’s organization singled Eric Brakey as his kind of candidate. Brakey won office and […]

South Portland tells Students to Celebrate Freedom through Coercion and Silence

What did you learn in school today?

Brad Rogers writes in the Bangor Daily News about a simple choice by high school seniors in South Portland.  The senior class President of South Portland high school noticed that teachers were harassing students who chose not to say the Pledge of Allegiance, so she looked up state law, […]

After Arrival of Somali Immigrants, was Lewiston a Crime Outlier for Maine?

Up here in Maine, if you ask a bunch of people on the street which is the most dangerous, crime-ridden town in the state, more than half will name Lewiston. Lewiston, Maine has a reputation for crime that many people blame on immigrants from the country of Somalia. There’s just one problem with that claim: […]