Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues



No Beyond Labels on Monday, Jan 15

The Blue Hill Public Library will be closed this coming Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Day, so we won’t be meeting.

The next meeting will be on Jan 22, to discuss “new Federalism”–in a world that has difficulty coming to grips with the Trump Administration’s actions, some have argued that states (such as California and New York) can take the lead both domestically and globally in taking the high road vis-a-vis climate change, global “citizenship,” education, health care, etc. when the Federal government (a la Trump) isn’t being as aggressive (or progressive) as they’d like.

So we’ll revisit the question of what functions/activities should be driven by a uniform Federal mandate/control and which can be more local?

See you on Jan 22!

Special Session: December 27

Given that the library will be closed on the next two Mondays (Christmas and New Year’s Day) and many of us cannot go three weeks without a Beyond Labels discussion, we’ve booked the Bass Room on Wednesday, December 27 for a special session.

The topic will be “Net Neutrality.”

There’s been a lot of recent reporting around the FCC Commissioners’ recent decision to rescind an Obama-era regulation that was intended to ensure that all internet sites, services, etc. get equal access to the “last mile” of network (i.e., connections to actual users) which is owned by the likes of Time Warner Cable (now Spectrum), Verizon, Comcast, AT&T, etc.

Most of the reporting (and petitions, campaigns, etc.) have suggested that the demise of “Net Neutrality” regulations will be “the end of the Internet as we know it;” very little of the recent coverage and public lobbying efforts have argued for the other side (i.e., allowing ISPs like Time Warner, Verizon, AT&T, etc. to provide preferred access to certain services (think video streaming companies who require large amounts of consistent bandwidth to provide a high-quality service to users) in return for payments by those traffic sources.

We’ll discuss.

If I have time, I’ll try to identify and post a couple of “pro” and “con” articles (or “impartial” analyses of both sides). If you find something you think the group should read before Wednesday, post a link as a comment below.

For 18 September: Marijuana

As a warm-up to this evening’s “Community Conversation” and the Town of Surry’s public hearing on the subject, we’ll be discussing marijuana, legalization in Maine, and Peninsula town’s reactions to the opportunity to decide whether to regulate certain commercial marijuana activities.

Here’s a link to a recent Denver Post article, provided by Richard Jacoby (who spends a lot of time in Colorado–resident?), that should help to get us started. Richard notes that the Denver Post has generally been sympathetic to marijuana legalization. He also adds:

Note it is only a correlation but does underestimate the impaired problem because the samples have usually been taken several hours after the fact and in many cases once a legal limit of alcohol has been detected the coroner doesn’t bother with testing for other drugs.  It points out the difficulties of addressing the effect of drug impaired driving.

See you later today!

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