Most all of us of the conservative bent, dislike liberals (progressives) a lot and have an intense dislke for the fact that they mostly think with their "emotions" (If it "feels good" it must be OK) instead of using "logic and reason" as we say/think that we do.
There is an onging topic, on AMG, that has put an interesting twist on this old caveat that we have accepted for some time. There is a venture proposed to build a "privately owned toll road" from Calais to Coburn Gore, the east/west highway as it is known. Those who are promoting this are claiming this to be a "private venture" with "willing buyers/willing sellers, to produce a "highway" that government cannot build, and that will "revitalize northern Maine" and "bring needed jobs to the area". Those who oppose this project have been painted, here on AMG, as "radical enviros" who have destroyed much of Maine in the past 40 yrs, a very blanket statement.
So just for fun, lets look at this and try to think logically about it for the moment.
"Private venture": This is how this is described, and this is what is believed by many of its supporters, right here on this blog. But is it.......truly a "private venture"?
Legislation was passed, a very few years back, relating to "public-private partnerships" as it pertains to "transportation facilities in the State of Maine.
From Maine Title 23, new laws enacted in 2009-2010: ........"A. "Agreement" means a contract between the department and a private entity to create a public-private partnership that allows for private sector participation in the financing, development, operation, management, ownership, leasing or maintenance of a transportation facility and that sets forth rights and obligations of the department and the private entity in that partnership"..........
........""Project" means the initial capital development of a transportation facility".........
........""Proposal" means a conditional offer of a private entity that, after review, negotiation, documentation and legislative approval, may lead to an agreement as provided in this subchapter"........
........""Transportation facility" means a facility that is or if developed would be within the jurisdiction of the department including a highway, bridge, railroad line, pier, airport, trail, ferry vessel, building or other improvement"........
Under the heading of "applicability" it goes on to further describe these proposals as: ........" a proposal or agreement for a private entity to form a public-private partnership when the department estimates that the initial capital cost of a project is $25,000,000 or more or when the proposal includes placing tolls on existing transportation facilities that were not previously subject to tolls".......
[url=http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/23/title23sec4251.html]Read the statutes yourself, don't take my word for it[/url]
Boy that sounds an awful lot like the "proposed" east/west highway to me! But Senator Thomas, has said here on AMG that this is "not a public private partnership" as the legislature has not voted to make it one, nor, in his opinion, would it pass the legislature right now.
But now there has been an interesing twist in terms of just who is "thinking with their emotions". Supporters of this proposal say that this is needed in order to bring "jobs and new economic developments to northern Maine". Most of us can see that would be a good thing to have happen, but is that what this project will do? No one seems to know. Despite repeated requests, just for people's "opinions" as to what kind of jobs might be "created in this area" from this project........bring no good hard answers just "well we need jobs and this will do it". Is that thinking with "logic" or thinking with 'emotions"? It seems as if the shoe is on the other foot here.
Those who strongly state that "radical enviros have destroyed Maine in the last 40 years" paint any and all opposition to this project as part of that movement. But is that true? What have radical envros actually done in Maine?
They have worked hard to create lots of regulatons/laws that require environmental considerations to come into play, particuarly with, but not limited to, businesses. So what, in reality does this mean? It simply means that those who believe in this enviromental movement have been able to create the "conditions" where the "power of government" is used to enforce those particular beliefs on everyone else. And I am not saying that I necessarily support all of that, in fact I don't.
According to supporters, this latest proposal is "willing sellers/willing buyers" and nobody will have to sell that doesn't want to. This is strictly "private enterprise at its best"!
Logic again: Peter Vigue, the main promoter of this project, and he is very good at it, has said that "we now have the 'public/private partnership laws" in effect, that are needed to build this project! His words, as closely as I can recall them. Yet Sen Thomas, when i suggested that this is a "public/private partnership" called me out for suggesting such a crazy idea, and that that argument had been debunked enough already!
So just exactly why was this "public/private partnership" set of statutes passed recently?
It comes from pretty good authority that Peter Vigue had considerable input into the language of the statutes involved. How come he did that if it has "nothing to do with this project" as Sen Thomas implies?
I believe that logical thinking, as opposed to "emotional thinking" compels one to believe that the new statutes, and this proposal, are inextrictably connected together! I belive that the logic of that is so obvious, that I, not being a lawyer, could pretty easily convince a normal jury that this connection is obvious. I believe that what the developers of this project, and their supporters want to do is nothing different from what the radical enviro movement has managed to do in the last 30-40 years as many have suggested, and that is to "use the power of government to help build this proposed corridor" using the power of eminent domain, that the MDOT is able to use, and is addressed in Title 23 (above) to help overcome any "objections" from unwilling sellers!
Ask yourself why, otherwise, would this language in these statutes, and their connection to Mr Vigue, the aknowledged leader of the forces behind this project, have occured otherwise? I believe that Sen Thomas' statment that it is "not a public/private partnership now" is technically correct, but is "hair splitting" at its finest. I believe that, if this corridor project ever gets developed and the road built, it will definitely be a "public/private partnership" as described in the statutes as I have listed them above. I believe that most anyone, thinking logically about all of this, could conclude no other possibility whatsoever!
So right now, just who is thinking with "logic" and just who is thinking with "emotion"? The supporters, in a strange twist of circumstances appear to be using every "emotional argument" they can come up with (radical enviros have destroyed Maine, private development, willing sellers, willing buyers, northern Maine needs this because we need jobs and economic opportunity) yet when it is asked of people who use these arguments, "just how would this "economic development and new jobs happen" hard data, or even good strong anedoctal suggestion of how this might happen, are notably absent. It seems that all the "conservative backers" of this project appear to be the ones thinking with their "emotions" rather than logic, a strange twist of events for sure. But this "emotional thought" is exactly what is being used in the ballyhoo employed to sell this project to the people! Promises of jobs and economic opportunity are the standard tactic. It is very easy for those who have something to sell, to try and capitalize on people's emotionsand many, desperate for anything that might help the situation, are willing to buy into the arguments without thinking a whole lot about it logically!
I started this new thread, not because I am opposed to this "corridor development" as much as I am very moved by how the tables have been turned around on this issue and those who routinely accuse others of thinking with "feelings" rather than "logic" now are doing the same themselves.
I am willing to be shown that I am wrong on all of this, if someone can come up with compelling arguments to the contrary. Good questions are: 1) Were the "public/private partnership laws passed because this particular proposal was in the pipeline, or is that just a coincidence? 2) Do you think this project will have to be developed under those satutes as already mentioned, or is that not the case? 3) What did Mr Vigue mean when he stated that the "public/partnership laws, required for this project, are already in place? 4) Do you believe that if this project is built, that it will revitalize northern Maine, and just how would that happen and what might it look like? 5) What evidence is there that such a road would bring any new economic development to northern Maine?
And I am sure that there are lots more questions that one could raise, and try to look at logically, if so inclined.
It is truly amusing to watch some of this. Those promoting it are supposedly "conservatives" yet are using every emotional argument that they can come up with, in order to win support for the project and at the same time, "demonize" any and all opposition. The spiritual leader of this movement has publically stated that the "public private partnership laws" are "required to build this" yet other supporters deny that, saying only "willing sellers, willing buyers", and denying that eminent domain, an inherent part of the Title 23 statutes, will ever be used, yet this is clearly defined in those same statutes, and it is even stranger to watch Sen Thomas, a very strong supporter of this project, say, with a straight face that this is "not a public private partnership, and never will be", after admonishing me, and all other opponents for even thinking such a thing!
I am sure that stanger twists of logic and emotion have happened in this state before, but I cannot think of one right off that can rival this one for strange twists and turns.