I want fireworks

By AL DIAMON  |  February 16, 2011

In year's past, whenever a bill to legalize fireworks turned up, so did John Dean, the state fire marshal. He was there to warn of the dangers to people and property inherent in letting idiots like me play with pyrotechnics. For instance, in 2009, Dean said, "Nationally, the average fire loss [caused by misuse of fireworks] is $15,600 per fire. Any financial gain the State might realize from the sale of consumer fireworks could easily be wiped out in a single fire — and that doesn't even account for any injuries or deaths."

This year, Dean didn't show up. That wasn't his decision. GOP Governor Paul LePage told the fire marshal to stay away from the hearing. Asked why, LePage's legal counsel, Dan Billings, told the Bangor Daily News, "I don't think it would be fair to [Dean] to express an opinion contrary — well, not exactly contrary — to what he has said in the past."

Which goes to show that there are limits to the libertarian LePage's laissez-faire attitude. In the governor's opinion, people are capable of making up their own minds about fireworks, just as businesses can decide for themselves how much pollution is too much. But when it comes to public-safety experts like the fire marshal, they need to be told when to shut up.

I hope this new policy of censorship won't blow up in the governor's face. Although, there's something to be said for anything that keeps that mouth from popping off.

Light my fuse by e-mailing aldiamon@herniahill.net.

< prev  1  |  2  | 
  Topics: Talking Politics , Politics, Bill, Dan Billings,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY AL DIAMON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   TAKE THE GAMBLE  |  September 19, 2014
    Governments need stuff to regulate. Otherwise, we wouldn’t need governments.  
  •   THE E.C. PLAN  |  September 12, 2014
    Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler has proposed a much-needed change in the way Maine chooses its governor. Under the Cutler plan, the only people allowed to run would be those with the initials E.C.  
  •   PIMPING AND PANDERING  |  September 03, 2014
    And so, the excitement of the fall political campaigns begins.  
  •   BEAR WITH ME  |  August 31, 2014
    It’s the fall of 2015. A bear walks into a doughnut shop in Portland and says, “Give me two dozen assorted to go.”  
  •   LOOK OUT, CLEVELAND  |  August 21, 2014
    Eric Brakey is an energetic guy. But as an admirer of sloth, I have intense disdain for the excessively active.  

 See all articles by: AL DIAMON