What the PPH won't do
Thank you for finding out and reporting on the scurrilous concealment by the Blethen Newspapers of their inviting Plum Creek’s CEO onto their board of directors (see "Plum Creek Watchdog," by Jeff Inglis, December 21, 2007). Incredible...

Ron Huber

No answer at the Press Herald
Nice piece on the Portland Press Herald’s disclosure lapses re: Plum Creek (see “Plum Creek Watchdog,” by Jeff Inglis, December 21, 2007).

Isn’t it ironic that the PPH’s reason for being is to call folks up and ask them questions, but won’t answer questions asked of them? And their question avoidance extends well beyond media inquiries. I’ve been trying to get editor Jeannine Guttman to answer my questions for a year.

When you have a chance, check out pressingtheherald.blogspot.com.

T. Cushing Munjoy

Channelling Naomi Klein
Where Lance Tapley surveys his past columns in “Everyone’s A Neo-Con Now” (December 21, 2007), he channels Naomi Klein. Privatize, deregulate and — for those who still don’t get it — imprison, taser, and torture.

In Shock Doctrine Klein documents democratic societies time and again destroyed by corporate power and elected leadership that seeks only its self-enrichment. It’s not a far stretch from the broken promises of Russia’s Yeltsin or South Africa’s African National Congress to the Democratic Party and Maine: the neo-liberal theology is the same. The effects differ in degree, but perhaps — as Milton Friedman might have argued — we here have not yet had a big enough shock to give up our pensions, health care, civil rights, and warm homes.

The Democrats in this state are beholden to the piranhas. They no longer represent the family cold at home, but the suburban wealthy campaign contributor and the newly hired environmental lawyers at Pierce Atwood — lawyers hired to negotiate around any restrictions on environmental destruction. They represent the developers of the Maine State Pier and out-of-state casino operators. In Maine as in Russia or South Africa, never mind what the community needs, the goal is to extract as much as possible.

Klein writes globally how the extreme free-market policies destroy the public sphere. Tapley writes locally of the failure of tax reform and health care, of discount sales of state assets, cronyism, and prisons. And violence — both systemic and personal — is integral to this extreme free-market theology.

That’s why Plum Creek had not only the Portland police but its own private security force on hand at the recent LURC hearing in Portland (see "Plum Creek is Afraid of You," by Dave Brady, December 21, 2007). Plum Creek knows better than anyone how this has already come to violence. How we destroy not only our own communities, but the planet and the web of life on which we all rely.

The end of the Holocene will not be a good time for man or polar bear.

Chris Miller

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