The Ati-thesis , Marxism


"By that definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production.[3] Friedrich Engels, in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, argues that state capitalism would be the final stage of capitalism consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state.[4]"

Quoted from Wikepedia

Sunday, January 14, 2018

And Now For A Brief Intermission



I am loving our new location. It feels like living in the Mists of Avalon, which is a book that was very popular some decades ago. It is the only book I ever read that has an indescribable but very pronounced internal effect on beingness.

We moved from a view of the mill pond to a view of the rolling hills and forests, one would think. But as the sun breaks through the clouds as it rises over the tree tops in the morning, a landscape of shining seas surrounding a structure on a mountain top forms as an interaction between clouds and sun. This is a calling to do Chi Gong and other exercises. I am listening to John Meyers album, Contimuum as I do so. Its a challenge not to dance to this enchanting album while doing Chi Gong, which are stillness exercises. I am now a John Meyer fan. He has a voice so free of tension that his humanity shines through.

Related Content: Russian Artists, Eugenia Dudnikova, uses trees as a rural version of street art

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Inc VS the Maine Constitution

The dispute between Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens INC  and the Town of Boothbay entered a new chapter as 2017 came to an end. Lawyers for CMBG filed a lawsuit on Dec. 20 in U.S. District Court in Portland, claiming the Town of Boothbay denied CMBG its constitutional right to due process.

The Coastal Gardens Inc thereby places the dispute in a constitutional context, which is where it needs to be, but for other reasons than those for which the Garden's lawyers have filed suit.  I submit, as a citizen of Maine, that if the Maine Constitution is honored, the town ordinances cannot give special treatment to one type of organization over another, based on whether the developer is codified as an educational facility, a museum, a big box store, or whatever.

The premise of my argument is found in the preamble of the Maine Constitutions which articulates the objects of government, one of which is to "promote our common welfare".

The adjective "common", as used in the Maine Constitution is arguably intended to mean, within constitutional context, shared in common by all of the people of Maine. Compare the difference in language between similar paragraphs in the Maine Constitution and the US Constitution:
CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MAINE
2013 ARRANGEMENT
(Arranged by the Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court
and approved by the Maine State Legislature, Resolve 2013, chapter 75,
pursuant to the Constitution of Maine, Article X, Section 6)
PREAMBLE.Objects of government.  We the people of Maine, in order to establish justice, insure tranquility, provide for our mutual defense, promote our common welfare, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of liberty, acknowledging with grateful hearts the goodness of the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe in affording us an opportunity, so favorable to the design; and, imploring God's aid and direction in its accomplishment, do agree to form ourselves into a free and independent State, by the style and title of the State of Maine and do ordain and establish the following Constitution for the government of the same
Preamble United States Constitution:We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The phrases “common good” and “general welfare” and are similar sounding phrases which have  caused much debate over how they are to be interpreted.  In the United States Constitution, the adjective “common” is applied to defense, while the adjective “general” is applied to welfare. The phrase “common good” is not used, but has been used abundantly in discussions of the meaning of the phrase “general welfare” It is reasonable to suppose that the founders of the US Constitution included the phrase "general welfare" with "common defense" to mean general in the sense of other benefits, in addition to national defense, which are shared in common by all of the people, such as protecting the water supply from contamination.

The use of the term “common good” is derived from the conflation of the terms “common defense” and “general welfare”. It was introduced when the Maine Constitution came into being in 1820, replacing the dual terms "common defense" and "general welfare". By the time the Maine Constitution was ratified, there was ample time for there to have been much debate over how the term "general welfare" is to be interpreted, with an alternate interpretation to the one I have cited, being one which mirrors the way that the term "public benefit" is used today to signify a benefit to special factions of the public rather than a benefit which is shared in common by all of the people. In conflating the two terms used in the US Constitution- "common defense" and "general welfare" to the single term "common good" , the Maine Constitution clarifies that it is the object of government to serve the interest which all of the people share in common.

In 1876 Article IV Part Third Sections 13 and 14 were added to the Maine Constitution. Governor Seldon Conner had just taken office. His inaugural address railed passionately against special interests and abuses of governmental powers which Article IV Part Third Sections 13 and 14 of the Maine Constitution were intended to cure.
Maine Constitution
Article IV.
Part Third.
Legislative Power
Section 13. Special legislation. The Legislature shall, from time to time, provide, as far as practicable, by general laws, for all matters usually appertaining to special or private legislation.
Section 14. Corporations, formed under general laws. Corporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained; and, however formed, they shall forever be subject to the general laws of the State.

These days I find examples of historical revisionism taking place abundantly throughout our common political dialogue, one example is Ballotpedia's list of Maine Amendments. Although the Maine Constitution was ratified in 1820, Ballotpedia's list of Maine's Amendments begins in 1910, as if to say there were no amendments to the Maine Constitution in the 90 years previous and eliminating Article IV Part Third Sections 13 and 14 from the list. I have submitted a complaint to Ballotpedia and ask that my readers do the same as more voices give more power to the re-institution of our real Constitution and the fundamenal importance of Article IV Part Third Section 13 & 14 which if honored would protect Maine against the current transformation from our constitutional form of government into a corporate state which was institutionalized in the mid-seventies under Governor Longley.

The founders of the United States Constitution wrote a great deal about the problem of fairness and factions. The solution was a system designed with internal checks against tyranny and totalitarianism. In that context, the term “general” takes on the meaning of “that which is common to all factions- or individuals”. National defense is such a common good and so the term “common” has been used in the Constitution as a qualifier of defense.  All the colonies benefited by the Union of the States in shared defense, making national defense a matter of “common welfare”.

The welfare of Maine's water supply is indisputably a matter of common welfare. Everyone commonly shares the need for water. There is no argument to contest this fact.

Today the terms “common good” and “general welfare” are often replaced with “public benefit”, a term which removes the reference to something commonly shared and replaces it with the concept of something which is “public”. “Public” is related to the terms “common” and “general” but does not require that all factions share in the benefit. A public benefit need not be a common good but a common good is always a public benefit. A common good leaves much less to interpretation than does public benefit. Public roads are a common good because one way or another everyone benefits by public roads even those who never drive on public roads, receive mail and goods that have been delivered on a public road. Job creation by the government is declared to be a public benefit but it is a benefit for some while its cost is a only a burden for others and in some cases can affect one person's economy adversely while tax-payer subsidizing that of a special faction.

In Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine Constitution it is stated that all corporations, however formed are subject to general laws. If the purpose of a Constitution is to establish the basis for a rule of law, it follows that general laws should be consistent with the purpose of government established by the Constitution. Rhetorically, there is no argument in Maine, at either the state or municipal government levels, that the protection of our water is a primary purpose of government. In this blog, I have frequently quoted sections of  Maine statutory law and Town Reports expressing this ideal. Based on governmental rhetoric, there should be no debate that there should be general laws protecting our watershed which apply to all in common, making no exception for reasons having nothing to do with environmental welfare. All in common should be governed by one set of general laws written first by the State and expanded upon at the local governmental level. All should be governed by the principal laid out in our State Constitution that the purpose of government is to promote the common welfare, an idea which is diametrically distinct from special interests, if we are still a state governed by it's Constitution.

While the "economic development benefits used in arguments by Coastal Gardens Inc and supporters may benefit some, those benefits cannot be said to serve the "common welfare" and have only a potentially detrimental impact on the protection of our watershed. Yet, in defending its position, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Inc, cannot help but assert that it is a great boon for our economy implying that there is a choice to be made between alleged benefits to the economy and known impacts on the well being of our watershed. This choice is codified in the town ordinances by making a distinction between an educational institution and a museum. As such the town ordinances violate the Maine Constitution. Our current statutory laws also violate the Maine Constitution but that does not justify the town doing the same. The Maine Constitution is the ultimate rule of law if we are still to regard ourselves as a state as opposed to a corporation. The Maine Constitution is based on the United States Constitution, which is founded on principals of individual liberty, which extends to the importance of local government and limitations placed on the federal government restricting its powers to those enumerated in the Constitution. In Maine the enumerated power of our State Constitution is to promote the common good.

As I have been writing about for years on this blog, the Maine Constitutional government was transformed from within in the mid-seventies, Under the administration of Governor Longley. Without firing a shot,as they say, a board was created, composed exclusively of  the heads of Maine's largest and wealthiest businesses whom were invited to "lead the Legislature" and thus government by a public-private hegemony was instituted in Maine, to be further entrenched by every administration since. That new form of government codifies laws written specifically for public-private relationships, protecting trade secrets over the  public's right to know about toxins used in public-private projects, a clear violation of our constitutional purpose of government. If we are still a state governed by our Constitution, there should be instead a general law, governing all, in the interest of protecting our watershed, a good shared by all in common.

In that case CMBG Inc would be governed by a general law protecting the watersheds of Maine and distinctions between educational facilities and museums would have nothing to do with it.
.


Friday, November 17, 2017

Is Fiscal Sponsorship the Key to Revitalizing a Middle Sector Economy?

In a recent blog post, I promised to continue the investigation into whether or not Andersen Design, a ceramic art, design and hand crafted production company, established as a free enterprise in 1952, can fit  NEA guidelines as part of the new "creative ecosytem"which connects the "arts" with the non-arts".and "investigates how support systems for the arts are changing, explores how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity, and invests in innovative projects to spark new, collaborative ideas"

Of course not, because eligibility requirements for a NEA grant have remained unchanged for decades.
National Endowment for the Arts’  "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. (All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor are not allowed. See more information on fiscal sponsors.)
ART WORKS Guidelines
As the National Endowment for the Arts champions itself as agents of change for others, and fancies itself collaborating with the world of business and economic development, the NEA is stuck in a rut concerning the effect of its eligibility policies on the economy. Eligability is tied to a 501 (3)(C) tax exempt status and explicitly excludes fiscally sponsored projects, now accepted by many private foundations. The difference between a fiscally sponsored project and a 501 (3)(C) organization is that the latter is tax exempt and the former is not, while both can accept tax deductible contributions. The NEA is yet another example of how the wealth redistribution systems in America work to tax some without representation while representing and exempting others from taxation and, in some cases, empowering the tax exempt entity with private taxation authority using the guise of refundable tax credits.

There is a popular call in the non-profit sector to discourage new non-profits. It may have started in 2010 with this post from Don Griesmann's Nonprofit Blog and transformed into the rhetoric of official policy in places like Redrooster.com and the Guidestar Blog. Don Griesmann offers a single reason for not starting a non-profit. It is because there are already a lot of non-profits. He does not expound further but the concern is apparent that should the ratio between tax exempt organizations to tax paying organization become over burdened on the side of tax exempt organizations, government resources for non-profits will dry up, and that will only be the beginning of larger economic problems.

There is also the competition factor, based in a conception of a fixed amount of wealth to be distributed. In this paradigm every non-profit donation received takes it away from another non-profit. The common sense solution to both concerns is to distribute more funds to fiscally sponsored social enterprise projects. Social enterprises are free enterprises and part of  the wealth creating economy. Fiscally sponsored projects pay taxes, producing more government revenue,a primary source of non-profit funding.

Also, social enterprises are often micro economy enterprises. Why does this matter? An economy with many small parts is a hedge against an economy dominated by fewer and fewer organizations. More importantly, an economy with many small businesses, as well as larger ones, provides greater opportunity that every individual can find a compatible and productive place within society.

Fiscal sponsorship opens a door to funding possibilities for micro businesses, which make up the middle sector of the economy, a sector which has been drained of capital resources by policies implemented to advantage public-private relationships (corporate welfare) and by the corresponding growth of general welfare. A fiscally sponsored project pays into the tax stream which funds the NEA. What goes around, comes around.That's old school, economic development 101. But instead the NEA compounds upon the mission to discourage newcomers on the scene by its funding policies for museums, which is for established museums,only, reinforcing the movement which calls for discouraging the creation of new nonprofits.

Upon reading the guidelines for NEA museum funding, I made a comment via email about how the support system for the arts is changing. I asked "What happened to the America which is about opportunities for all?"

I received a personal phone call which offered information about associations. One is called the American Association of State and Local History which I am told has a special group for businesses that start museums. I was not aware of this organization, which I hope will be helpful in my own historical research. Even though our government seems to have lost track of the founding intentions of Publius, that of a government that strives to serve all factions equally, still, every one who works for government is an individual trying to serve in their job to the best of their own understanding of what that means under the United States Constitution. So when we speak up with our own individual voices to those individuals, we reinforce the principle that government exists to serve all of the people. and like the butterfly that flaps its wings we change the system when we interact with it, in ways we cannot know. Keep the faith.




Monday, November 13, 2017

Why Support the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen?

The first in a collection of iconic wild life sculptures, The Andersen Design Floating Gull was created in the early sixties and has maintained its marketability ever since, establishing Andersen Design's work as genuine classics in their field.
#GivingTuesday is NOVEMBER 21- Please consider this:

I started this blog as an alternative voice, long absent in Maine's media, particularly since the Longley Doctrine of "a centrally managed economy by public private relationships" was established over and above our constitutional form of government in the mid seventies. In the tradition in which this blog was created, preserving the American political philosophy, which by its commitment to individual liberty, can be none other than a free enterprise system, I am defining one of the missions of the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen as shining light on the character of a  free enterprise system.

While The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen has belatedly gotten past the $1000.00 required in personal contributions so that we can begin the process of applying for foundation grants, we still need to raise funds quite immediately to procure a space and operations budgets tp get us through the interim between applying for foundation funding and receiving it.

The following is a general fundraising appeal describing Andersen Design's historical contribution to local economic development and why you should support it, with a contribution, large or small,as consistent with the founding purpose of this blog.

This blog is called Preserving The American Political Philosophy and in that respect is often about the subject of economic development with a special focus on local economic development.



Andersen Design is a ceramic designer craftsmen enterprise, established on Southport Island, Maine, in 1952 by my parents Weston and Brenda Andersen. Our enterprise has a long history which has produced an abundance of ceramic creative work over the course of sixty-five years. Andersen Design’s classic wildlife sculptures and functional forms are iconic representations of Maine for our collectors from all over the globe. Because our company was started with a mission to create hand crafted art and design affordable to the middle class, our work came to be collected by families of all walks of life and handed down from one generation to the next. Today there exists many collections dating back to the 1950’s, hidden away in the many folds of American and world culture.

Since Andersen Design is a ceramic production company distinguished by using art glazes and individualistic hand decorative techniques, there is an overwhelming abundance of variety in our historical work which deserves to be archived and presented to the public in curated displays. You can view samplings of our vintage history in two videos found on the home page of Andersen Design

My sister Elise and myself have inherited the business and responsibility to preserve the legacy and to use Andersen Design’s unusual intellectual assets to seed the ground for a blossoming ceramic designer industry of the future which we envision as located in Maine’s rural areas.

This post is a request for support during the first formational months of the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen.  We are hoping to procure temporary quarters for the museum in a location central to a cluster ceramic industry, both fee enterprise and non-profit, which grew up or about the Boothbay region in the wake of the establishment of Andersen Design. The location we would like to rent on the road that leads to the Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts and centrally located between Edgecomb Potters and Sheepscott River Pottery.

The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen is the fiscally sponsored entity which will be dedicated to the task of historical documentation of Andersen Design’s vintage work, and eventually to archive and document the greater history of selected American Designer craftsmen, with a special emphasis on our local region.

The archival project is very ambitious, and we would hope to generate adequate funding to train and hire others to photograph the work and maintain the data base, with eventual plans to include works of other American designer craftsmen in the data base. It’s an exciting historical narrative to produce in these changing times.

Funding of of $5000.00 or more to the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen, will pay for moving and location expenses and contribute to other startup cost such as establishing a website, and hiring legal and accounting services.

The Andersen Design American Phoenix is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-­profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of The Andersen Design American Phoenix must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. You can also donate online, the fastest and easiest way.

"If you prefer, you can also donate by check. Please send contributions to Andersen Design. PO Box 246,5 Andersen Rd, East Boothbay, Maine 04544. Checks should be made payable to Fractured Atlas, with ANDERSE DESIGN AMERICAN PHOENIX PROJECT in the memo line."

Donations can be made online at Fractured Atlas.com. Search “Andersen Design” and the project link will display.

A Tradition of Innovation



In 1952, when, Weston and Brenda Andersen, started Andersen Design, then called Ceramics by Andersen, there was no National Foundation for the Arts, and there was no ensuing wealth re-distributive non-profit arts industry. Even the trade shows had not yet been invented. Andersen Design was started as a leap of faith.

The fact that Andersen Design was born in the age before government and non-profit support for the arts spread across the land, and even before the trade shows provided a venue for reaching national buyers, is an important aspect of Andersen Design's historical significance- it was the extraordinary realization of an artistic lifestyle created on a shoestring at a time when there was no larger social structure supporting the arts. My parents created the lifestyle within the free enterprise system, which has, since the emergence of the non-profit arts industry, been widely characterized as a choice motivated exclusively by profit.

Today the concept of "public benefit " is undergoing transformation with the introduction of the social enterprise. Social enterprises are defined as private enterprises, having a primary reason to exist for which their wealth creating function is the means to an end and not the end in itself. In an age when entitlement systems of every sort are overburdening governmental systems with ever escalating deficits, it is important to bring to life the stories of the free enterprise system which was the natural economic system emergent from the American political philosophy, when it was first formulated during colonial times.

The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen will bring such a history to light as it focuses not only on the exquisite and individualistic end products of Andersen Design and the greater American designer craftsmen movement. but also present educational shows and forums about the hand crafted making process in many disciplinary fields.

A Value Placed On The Work Process In and Of Itself

In 1952, Weston Neil Andersen resigned from as the Dean of the Akron Art Institute to start a ceramic production company because he loved making pottery more. It was the first step in a long tradition of taking the road less travelled. I have posted Dad’s  1952 statement to that effect on andersendesign.biz. You will also find the 1964 letter in which Dad is dealing with a circumstance which mirrors our own. He has expanded his production facility and is seeking capital for operations.
Shortly after arriving in the area, 

Dad was the last acting president of a local craft organization. We have in our possession a handwritten journal of that organization. Dad was also a founding member of the Boothbay Art Foundation, which is an important cultural icon of the Boothbay Region, supporting the work of many artists, both locally and state-wide. The Andersen Design Museum is the continuation of our family history of involvement in supporting the communities of arts and crafts.

Sleeping Sandpiper by Elise Isabel Andersen 2016


Andersen Design (as distinct entity from the Museum) is the ceramic art, design and ceramic slip casting, free enterprise s-corporation, established by Weston and Brenda Andersen in 1952, the legacy inherited by my sister, Elise, and myself. Andersen Design established production as an art form in the early fifties, a decade before Andy Warhol invented the idea.

Our company has produced an unusually abundant quantity of classic and market proven ceramic slip cast designs in functional ware and wild life sculptures. With its founding philosophy of creating a hand-made product, affordable to the middle classes, Andersen Design was established on social enterprise terms, before the concept of social enterprises was articulated by Freer Spreckley in 1978.


  • Andersen Design’s assets are the vintage work and intellectual property comprised of an unusually large inventory of ceramic slip cast designs, as well as the Andersen Design brand itself. 

We are planning on launching a Kickstarter project to fund operations of our new ceramic slip casting studio, currently under construction. Our Kickstarter project is still in the planning stage, but we hope to launch it in a matter of weeks. Part of the planning process is to line up promises to pledge to the Kickstarter project on day one. If a Kickstarter project is successful, it must start with a great show of support on the first day. Please email us if you are able to commit to pledge on the first day of our KIckstarter fundraiser- or have another interest in supporting our Kickstarter project.


  • We are also looking for video making talent to make the video for our Kisckstarter project, young talent looking for exposure will be considered.

Bob and June Rose will be The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen. June Rose is currently the manager of the Boothbay Region Art Foundation, which was founded in 1964 by a group which included my Dad. Both Bob and June are genuinely generous and good hearted.

We are seeking other board members with complimentary talent and a mutually compatible vision and philosophy.

Your donation to help us with the initial expenses of getting this Museum started will be greatly appreciated impetus at this crucial formative moment. Help us to get to $5000.00 in the next week!

It is our hopeful dream that the Andersen Design flagship location can be bought back from the bank and made into a historically preserved location for The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen, similar to what has been done with Russel Wrights former home,.(see Manitoga.org/ ). preserving the memory of a culture that seems to be receding from the Boothbay Peninsula to make way for the plans of new and well financed interest groups. That is, however, currently beyond the scope of current transitional needs.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider our request for funding.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Navigating Through A Landscape of Linguistic Constructs And Other News



First the News!

THE OFF TOPIC NEWS ! This summer was a strange season for the garden. The field of poppies, a perennial subject of local social conversation, did not make its appearance. In the front garden, poppy pods dried up and fell to the ground without blooming. This fall there were hardly any fresh new poppy leaves in the front hill side garden. I foresee a scant display next spring. If the property falls into the hand of someone who will nurture the poppies, they will return.

It is our hopeful dream that the Andersen Design flagship location can be bought back from the bank and made into a historically preserved location for The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen, similar to what has been done with Russel Wright's former home,Manitoga.org, preserving the memory of a culture receding from the Boothbay Peninsula to make way for the plans of new and well financed centralized development groups. Otherwise the house and garden may be torn down to be replaced with the new homes of the new Boothbay and gardens composed of many annuals lined up in military formation, and not inviting to the free spirited Poppies.

THE WATER NEWS! Once the Knickerbocker Lake water supply was turned off and replaced with Adams Pond water, our issues caused by using the local water supply to mix ceramic casting slip disappeared. All is normal until next year when Boothbay goes back on the Knickerbocker Lake water supply. I reported the problem to many institutional sources to no avail. No one cared, preferring to relegate the issue to a problem specific to mixing ceramic casting slip and not a warning sign of a more far reaching problem with the water sourced from Knickerbocker Lake.

BOOTHBAY'S MINI_TURNPIKE POST GOES VIRAL! My post on the new obstruction planted in the middle of the roadway going to and from Boothbay Harbor,was my first ever viral post. likely helped along by the fact that it was the only media commentary on the local disaster. Although the town selectmen used taxpayer money to create a video to promote a yes vote for the mini-turnpike, and Wendy Wolf, spokesperson of the JECD group advocated for the construction of the obstacle, not a peep was to be heard from any of them once the concoction of transportation design was paid for by taxpayers from every corner of of our state and the deed was done. Only the corporate state's propaganda journal, Maine Biz, had anything to say about it, calling it Boothbay’s Route 27 roundabout revitalization. The article features Paul Coulombe talking about his purchase of the clipper mart which he bought only to clean it up of all the oil and grease that comes with gas stations needed to serve the predicted ever increasing traffic. The alleged heavy traffic was used to justify the use of state and local taxpayer money to create the tiny merry-go-round in the middle of a formerly rational road way. This is surely a testimony to Paul Coulombe's heart felt concern for our environment. Perhaps I should have appealed to Mr Coulombe to use his all mighty power to get local politicians to pay attention to changes in the Knickerbocker Lake water supply as revealed in the inability to use said water supply to mix ceramic casting slip

THE LONG ARM OF THE MAINE PROPAGANDA MEDIA NEWS !  My post How the MPERS Contract Came To Be Embedded in the Maine Constitution,was approved on Stand Up Republic Facebook page  but it is empty, except for a message that says "attachment unavailable", the attachment being my post How the MPERS Contract Came To Be Embedded in the Maine Constitution, a development which is recurring in many social media forums where I posted this post. Apparently I have not given myself permission to re-post my own post!  This is yet another example of how long the arm of propaganda is in Maine. The power of suppression can reach across the web and have my post vanished from Stand Up Republic, a Facebook page started by supporters of Evan Mcmullin! I am continually discovering how deeply Maine has become a state governed by fear. All the more reason to be fearless ! This is still America - NOT Amerika!

WE PASSED A MILESTONE ! The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen has gotten past the $1000.00 personal contribution required before we are permitted to apply for foundation grants. Locally, many thanks to Kathleen Cook for her generous contribution of $100.00. We are hoping to take a place in Edgecomb where we can set up a preview gallery and temporary working offices for the Museum. We still need to raise $1700.00, quickly so that we can procure the space. If you are reading this blog and appreciate an alternate voice, even if you do not agree with every thing I say, but just because you believe we should have a Maine media which gives voice to many different sides, then please consider showing your appreciation for freedom of voices, by making a contribution to The Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen

Now that the gate  to our path to applying for grants,has finally opened, most of my writing time is dedicated to that mission. At the same time it is an eye-opening experience to the way our two tiered economy works I will be writing about those revelations in posts to come, commenting here only that there is a new political rhetoric that should qualify Andersen Design for a NEA grant, The new rhetoric- straight from the NEA website is about connecting the "creative" community with the ' non-creative" community. This is an interesting paradox when one considers that the "creative" community has come to be construed as the non-profit community by state government agencies such as the Maine Arts Commission,whose functions were radically expanded in direct correlation to the creation of the National Endowment For the Arts, a wealth re-distributive function of the federal government.The free enterprise economy is the wealth creating economy, a creative function, but in the linguistic constructs of the wealth re-distributive sector, the wealth creating economy is relegated as "the non-creative" sector. This informs why, in the dictionary used by boards of the wealth re distributive sector, the word "production' signifies one who is only in it for the money, part of the "wealth producing (creating) economy upon which the wealth re distributive economy draws. There is no rational explanation for why the boards have decided that one can only be one thing and not many things except for that is the way the grid mentality works,and why Andersen Design has never found its place on the grid. Consequently, to my view one has to extrapolate reality into a linguisitic construct and back again. If one can become a master at this new art form, one can artfully reinvent it in such a way that the linguistic construct mirrors the reality- an act of highly accomplished magic!  Until one masters this craft, one has to understand the conventions of the rhetorical art form, such as if one uses "production" to signify "making process", one will be rejected, but if one uses "making process" to signify "production", one will likely be rewarded. Something to be considered as one attempts to fit into this new rhetorical mindset, which, as seen below in a quote from the NEA website, has accomplished conflating everything with everything,Yet still the interpretation is up for grabs and anybody's rhyme or reason.
ART WORKS Guidelines: Creativity Connects Projects
Grant Program DescriptionCreativity Connects* is an initiative that shows how the arts contribute to the nation’s creative ecosystem, investigates how support systems for the arts are changing, explores how the arts can connect with other sectors that want and utilize creativity, A key component of Creativity Connects is a grant opportunity in the Art Works category that supports collaborative, mutually beneficial partnerships between the arts and non-arts sectors, specifically:

  • Agriculture
  • Business and Economic Development
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Community
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Military
  • Transportation 
After many years of being both accepted and rejected as an art form and as a craft by various boards, the question still remains "Will Andersen Design be accepted as a legitimate element of the newly emergent "creative ecosystem"?   Stay tuned for the next chapter to find out.

Monday, October 30, 2017

When the Maine Legislature Openly Plotted to Undermine the Maine Constitution



Refundable tax credits (redistribution of wealth) came into use in the USA in the mid seventies. Look what happened. Is it time to start letting the economy manage its self?
Quote from a Facebook conversation about the New Boothbay Round About:

Here's the deal. I don't care one way or another whether there is a frigging roundabout or not but i do think we need to look twenty or thirty years forward when we plan because growth is coming whether we like it or not. I'm not pushing it but i accept that it is coming. A threat? No just just that we haven't even begun to see the changes that will come. Apparently you all have mistaken me for someone who actually gives a shit what happens on the peninsular . as long as my property increases in value I'm good- local Boothbay person on Facebook
Many people and politicians conflate economic development with increasing property values. In that case the town is nothing more than a business investment for its stock holders (property owners) and economic development is only that which benefits property owners, a special interest group.

However, our constitutional form of government grants all inhabitants of the municipality, a vote in town matters. Maine has been a home rule state since 1969.  The Home Rule Amendment grants the power of municipal referendums, which Governor Longley's board of 1976 sought to eliminate.

Municipal Home Rule (1969)
Section 1. Power of municipalities to amend their charters. The inhabitants of any municipality shall have the power to alter and amend their charters on all matters, not prohibited by Constitution or general law, which are local and municipal in character. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure by which the municipality may so act.
 Section 2. Construction of buildings for industrial use. For the purposes of fostering, encouraging and assisting the physical location, settlement and resettlement of industrial and manufacturing enterprises within the physical boundaries of any municipality, the registered voters of that municipality may, by majority vote, authorize the issuance of notes or bonds in the name of the municipality for the purpose of purchasing land and interests therein or constructing buildings for industrial use, to be leased or sold by the municipality to any responsible industrial firm or corporation. (emphasis mine)
The Task Force for Economic Redevelopment, Recommended Legislation for an Economic Development Program -110th Congress, called for the elimination of local referendums on municipal bond issues without identifying that the source of the power the Legislature sought to eliminate is the Maine Constitution, which every Maine legislator and governor takes an oath to serve.
2: eliminate the requirement for a local referendum on municipal bond issues (emphasis mine)
(The Report on the Governors Task Force of 1976 is not available on line but can be requested from the Legislative Law Library)
Astonishingly,  Seven Years after Maine became a constitutional home rule state, the Maine Legislature is on record as plotting to undermine  the municipal referendums provided by the home rule amendment.
This was the era when the Maine economy became centrally managed by and for public private relationships. The new system of government was created with the intent to over ride the Maine Constitution as the Report on the Governors Task Force of 1976 declares by the nature of its two primary goals. The source of the power of the authors of Maine's new public-private government is the Maine Constitution, but in order to implement a centrally managed economy by public private relationships, it was necessary to over write the Maine Constitution. Today we have statute after statue written for government by public private relationships, the method by which public funds for the Department of Transportation are distributed being but one example.The power group which initiated this change was the  Longley board, composed exclusively of the leaders of the wealthiest businesses in Maine. It is well worth requesting the Report of the Governor's Task Force of 1976 from the Maine Legislative Library. In my opinion it is a blatantly self serving document written in the interests of the wealthiest among us.

The author of the Facebook quote above suggest we think thirty years ahead. We cannot  know what changes will incur in the world in thirty years but the future of 1976 is unfolding in the contemporary moment. 

The Governor’s Task Force report recommended that two complimentary corporations be chartered by the Legislature, The Maine Capital Corporation and the Maine Development Corporation. The statute chartering the Maine Capital Corporation would attract stockholders by offering a 50% refundable tax credit, accompanied by a 100% tax exemption. The board used the following rationalization to justify funding a private investment company to the tune of 50% with taxpayer money:

This impediment ( lack of capital) to the development and expansion of viable Maine businesses affects all the people of Maine adversely and is one factor resulting in existing conditions of unemployment, underemployment, low per capital income and resource underutilization. By restraining economic development, it sustains burdensome pressures on State Government to provide services to those citizens who are unable to provide for themselves.
To help correct this situation, it is appropriate to use the profit motive of private investors to achieve additional economic development in the State. This can be accomplished by establishing an investment corporation to provide equity capital for Maine businesses and by establishing limited tax credits for investors in the corporation to encourage the formation and use of private capital for the critical public purpose of maintaining and strengthening the state's economy. The Governor's Task Force of 1976
This philosophy which justifies tax payer subsidization of the upper crust of the economy, and the transformation of our constitutional form of government into government as a state investment company in partnership with special private interests- aka oligarchy, has been advanced and entrenched by every administration and congress since. Central management is another name for totalitarianism, thus central management seeks to undermine local government and drive all components of society to be governed by central management (the state). Today it is hard to tell the difference between a private non-profit and government as all organizations follow the money orbiting the state investment bank. Government, using taxpayer money as pawns in the game can offer deals with which no private investment bank can compete.

This system has created targeted sector economics, which implies an un-targeted sector, "quality jobs", which implies that there exists jobs with no redeeming quality, and "certified retained businesses" which implies businesses that are selected to be discontinued by the overlords of central management.The government by public-private relationships system has created a class society that is not far different than communism as depicted in the current NetFlix drama, The Same Sky.Those who serve the state agenda are rationed the best perks-the real meaning of "quality jobs". Jobs serving in the State's industrial armies are just as subsidized as general welfare, but they are glorified, where as the growing population dependent on general welfare, which has increased as the middle became the beast of burden subsidizing both the top and the bottom, are denigrated. The top of the system is exploitative and the bottom is oppressive, designed to keep those at the bottom exactly where they are. We see this reflected in the Boothbay region rental housing situation. Houses which were once first homes are now summer homes or rented out as vacation rental, while the JECD's solution to the lack of homes for year round residence is "place more under one roof"- grid housing, which is usually highly regulated. Now that Boothbay has its own turnpike, perhaps we can  build some skyscraper boxes on the peninsula- that's looking thirty years ahead!

A system in which there are winners and losers cannot be said to serve the common good. Among the citizenry the only winners are those who land the high paying jobs targeted by the Legislature. General taxpayers must cover the burden of capitalizing the high paying jobs. The taxpayers of Maine do not see an individual benefit from the burden they share other than what hypothetically occurs through the trickledown effect, but the burden of costs also have a trickledown effect. In targeted sector economics, the bottom half of the economy subsidizes the upper half of the economy It is not surprising that the gulf between the haves and the have nots has increased in Maine and across the USA since the late 1970's when refundable tax credits first came into use.

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found that between 1979 and 2011, the top one percent in Maine captured 60 percent of all income growth

Between 1979 and 2007, the top one percent took home well over half (53.9 percent) of the total increase in U.S. income,” the EPI report found. “Over this period, the average income of the bottom 99 percent of U.S. taxpayers grew by 18.9 percent. Simultaneously, the average income of the top one percent grew 10 times as much— by 200.5 percent.
…EPI reinforces MECEP’s own analysis which shows that wage inequality in Maine is growing,” Martin said. “While Maine has some of the lowest levels of income inequality among states, the economy continues to fail too many hard working Mainers who are experiencing very little income growth. MECEP’s report, The State of Working Maine in 2013 , released in November 2013, highlights this fact showing that between the late 1970s and the mid-2000s, the average income- after federal taxes and programs such as food stamps -for the poorest fifth of Maine households grew just 27 percent, from $18,720 to $23,825 Middle-income households fared slightly better, growing 47 percent over the same period. Meanwhile, average income for the top 20% of Maine households grew by 67 percent. Maine Center For Economic Policy February 2014 [
Factor in that the purchasing power of the dollar decreased by 70% between 1979 and 2007.

I am not a tax accountant, however I will point out that the analysis counts welfare programs for the bottom as income but makes no mention of corporate welfare programs for the top. Corporate taxes are often passed through as individual taxes and so the question becomes, is the divide even greater than is reported if welfare is reported as income for the bottom but corporate welfare is not reported as income for the top ? 

Now we see the JECD group making vague references to the 73 stakeholders, a term that sounds very similar to stockholders. The JEDC group tells the public only what it wants them to know and that does not, to my knowledge, include the identity of the 73 "stake holders" Least of all does the JECD share with the public any information about the terms of agreement between the JECD and the "stakeholders". Private privacy is protected in government by public private relationships.



Saturday, October 28, 2017

JECD Group Holds Master Plan Pow Wow for Boothbay Peninsula

The most honest statement to come out of the ringleaders of the Joint Economic Community Development Group in their first workshop program was "none of us are experts on economic development", which in my most humble opinion is evident in the fact that the JECD begins with the premise that economic development can be master minded by central management.

The article in the Boothbay Register begins with this paragraph:
The Joint Economic Development Committee master plan workshop on Thursday, Oct. 12 discuss findings from stakeholder interviews conducted early last month. The interviews centered around building an overall economic development strategy for Edgecomb, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport.
Who are the stakeholders?  A search for articles in the Boothbay Register comes up short. Why is the public not told who the stakeholders are. Since the taxpayers of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor footed the bill for the JECD's consultants, why are they not the stakeholders?
stake·hold·er
1.
(in gambling) an independent party with whom each of those who make a wager deposits the money or counters wagered.
2.
a person with an interest or concern in something, especially a business. Google dictionary

In an  October 3rd article in the Boothbay Register,  announcing the work shop, we are told that Camoin Associates, the New York consulting firm, hired by the JECD,  spent a full hour and a half touring the region and interviewed the mysterious 73 stakeholders, still not explaining why 73 people are the stakeholders in a project financed by local taxpayers.
In June, the JEDC hired Camoin Associates to draft a regional economic development master plan. Camoin began examining the region’s potential for expansion on July 14 during a 90-minute van tour of Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Edgecomb and Southport. During the tour, Camoin interviewed 73 stakeholders in the region’s economic development. The firm also separately interviewed Bryer and Boothbay Harbor Town Manager Tom Woodin. 
Although the JECD was formed by the selectmen of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor, without the consent of inhabitants of the two municipalities, the stated purpose of the JECD group is to advocate for a centrally managed economy of all four municipalities on the Boothbay Peninsula, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Southport, and Edgecomb. In the articles I have been following about the JECD, there are recurring mentions of  taxpayers from Southport and Edgecomb not chipping in to pay for the JECD's unsolicited services Why are the 73 stakeholders not responsible for the financing the JECD's designs for our communities, since they clearly have their own special interests being represented over and above the general inhabitants of the peninsula?

The economic development pow wow was conducted by Camoin Associates. When I learned about Camoin Associates, I took it upon myself to inform them about the Andersen Design Museum of American Craftsmen. Having been dismissed by three members of the JECD group when I approached them for advice or assistance, I knew that if I did not speak for our own interests, no one else would. I received what came across as the usual formality in response, a conclusion confirmed when Caimon Associates did not stop by to interview Andersen Design in their trip around the region, which as stated targeted the club of mysterious shareholders, exclusively.

NEDA’s Core Philosophy:“We believe economic development is inseparably intertwined with both community development and the leveraging of community assets to drive change. By forming collaborative partnerships pursuing goals similar to ours, local resources are maximized and the foundation for community sustainability is established from local stakeholders and small businesses committed to their common future”.https://www.nedaonline.org/

Jim Damicis was the spokesperson for Caimon Associates I googled Mr Danicus and learned that Jim Damicis is the past President of the Northeastern Economic Development Association, a non-profit organization in the economic regionalism business. I oppose regionalism on the grounds that regionalism is a device sometimes used to supplant the public referendums, required by the Maine Constitution, with governing boards, as the JECD appears ambitious to become.
2: eliminate the requirement for a local referendum on municipal bond issues
 Governor’s Task Force for Economic Redevelopment, Recommended Legislation for an Economic Development Program -110th Congress
I was attracted by a webinar listed on Northeastern Economic Development Association website THE CASE OF DISAPPEARING MAIN STREET RETAIL, composed in part by Jim Damicis.

The first of the five trends that the report says will influence the future of retailing are consistent with my pitch for the Andersen Design of American Designer Craftsmen as a focus for attracting designer craftsmen to a region. as told,separately, to the deaf hears of three representatives of the JECD group.

Main Street Retailers need to provide an authentic
local experience through products AND services

  • Hard to ship items
  • Freshly prepared foods with local ingredients
  • Items that highlight local pride or community spirit
  • Experiences that are dependent on local setting or social interactions THE CASE OF DISAPPEARING MAIN STREET RETAIL

Three out of four of the high lighted points are advantages which an  Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen can deliver, the more so because of the Andersen Design brand itself. Our customers are very loyal and will travel many miles out of their way just to come to our gallery. Our customers often spend a great deal of time deliberating which seal's eye's speak to them, which one can only do as an in-store experience. From the very first day, in 1952, that Andersen Design opened its gallery in a 200 year old barn on Southport Island, we offered a completely unique product which could not be found else where and was instantly successful with locals and summer visitors alike. We frequently hear from our customers that they are so glad we are still here, which may not be the case for much longer.
The downtown development table wished to see a longer tourist season, a more vibrant diversity of shops, restaurants, and lodging, and a downtown that is not virtually shut down after tourists leave until the next season. Master plan workshop gets communities talking
In the section on advise for community leaders, the report recommends:
Understand and Play to Your Strengths
  • Every community has a unique portfolio of hidden assets
  •  Culture
  •  History
  • Geographic location
  • Local industries, etc.
  • & People
  • Recognize which assets could be better leveraged
  • Historical architecture is often neglected
  • Target under performing or vacant space
In the TOWN OF BOOTHBAY, ME COMPREHENSIVE PLAN 2015, it is advised that if the town works with the state agenda, it can get state money. That may be so but in so doing the town betrays the function that local resources are supposed to serve as representatives of the local community. The State early on excluded the retail sector from its economic development benefits, despite the fact that the State reels in money through sales taxes.

Title 5: ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES AND SERVICES
Part 18-A: ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Chapter 383: ECONOMIC AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
Subchapter 2: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
Article 2: BUSINESS ASSISTANCE REFERRAL AND FACILITATION PROGRAM: PROGRAM RESPONSIBILITIES AND DELIVERY

§13063-C. Job Retention Program

2. Definitions.  As used in this section the following terms have the following meanings.
A. "Certified retained business" means any for-profit business in this State other than a public utility as defined by Title 35-A, section 102 that retains 100 or more qualified employees in this State and that meets all of the following criteria to the satisfaction of the commissioner:
(1) The business is not engaged in retail operations; or, if it is engaged in retail operations, less than 50% of its total annual revenues from state-based operations are derived from sales taxable in this State or the business can demonstrate to the commissioner by a preponderance of the evidence that any increased sales will not include sales tax revenues derived from a transferring or shifting of retail sales from other businesses in this State; and
(2) The commissioner determines that the business is a successor to a business that would have ceased operations in this State but for the acquisition of that business after September 1, 1996 by the applicant by any means and the applicant demonstrates to the commissioner its intention to continue to operate and employ qualified employees in the State.
For purposes of this paragraph, "retail operations" means sales of consumer goods for household use to consumers who personally visit the business location to purchase the goods. [1997, c. 393, Pt. A, §13 (RPR).]
B. "Qualified employees" means full-time employees who are employed by a certified retained business, for whom a retirement program subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 United States Code, Sections 101 to 1461, as amended, and group health insurance are provided, and whose income, calculated on a calendar year basis, is greater than the average annual per capita income in the labor market area in which the qualified employee is employed. Qualified employees must be residents of this State. [1997, c. 393, Pt. A, §13 (RPR).] 

The above is taken from the statute governing the Department of Economic and Community Development, which serves as the planning board for the FAME corporation, a Maine government corporation which concentrates and redistributes capital to its targeted sector offering "quality jobs".

The first definition A, shows a fundamental fallacy of centrally managed economic development policy. The economy either consists only of  businesses hiring more than 100 employees or those businesses are the only ones targeted for retention by central management. Further more the policies of central management are extremely biased against the retail sector, which are do not offer "quality jobs" pursuant to central management's definition, which is found in. definition B. Imagine how the cost of everything would rise if the retail sector conformed to state "certified retained business" specifications! Imagined how difficult it would be to capitalize a retail business if retail businesses had to conform to state "quality jobs" definition- a term also used by the JECD group ?

By the policies of the state, a "certified retained business" employs over 100 employees, who are paid higher than average wages and receive retirement benefits and health care. If a business can meet those requirements,then it is eligible for the whole package of corporate welfare entitlements distributed by the state to make all of those benefits affordable to the states targeted sector. Imagine what an economy composed of only "certified retained businesses" would look like. This is why we need The System Outside the System more than ever. Visualize a society with no small businesses, in which everyone must necessarily wok for a large corporation and the large corporations orbit around the state with each one vying for their handouts from big daddy.

As Andersen Design faces relocation, getting beyond the $1000,00 in personal contributions required by our fiscal sponsor before we can apply for foundation grants is more important than ever. Contributions made to the Andersen Design American Phoenix Project are tax deductible. All contributions made can be used to fund a space where Andersen Design can have its 65 years of vintage work on display and organized, as well as office, photography, and graphic design space needed to carry on the archival data base. Additional funding will allow us to hire and train assistants,