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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Maine’s Tea Party-aligned governor Paul LePage made a stunning comment at a town hall meeting Wednesday, slamming drug dealers for not only coming from out of state to ruin the local communities with drugs — but also to create a whole other kind of “issue.”

“Now, the traffickers, these aren’t people that take drugs. These are guys that are named ‘D-Money,’ ‘Smoothie,’ ‘Shifty,’ these type of guys that come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home,” LePage told the audience in the town of Bridgton, according to the Portland Press Herald.

“Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave — which is a real sad thing, because then we have another issue that we’ve gotta deal with down the road.”

The key question on the heroin problem is at the 1:54:00 mark in the video below.

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The privilege of beholding the corals of Belize, the second largest reef system on earth, is a complete marvel that can never be taken for granted. The school of nine squid in perfect alignment that stared at us like transparent sentinels ,the green barracuda that floated as if in suspended animation, looking for prey. Those moments of utter awe were soul transformative not only for a child, but also for parents nurturing a young human to the ultimate reason to exist on this earth, to care for life.

Over the next few years, a battle was waged between environmentalists and those who saw dollars in the form of oil extraction in the reef. Thankfully on December 1, 2015, right after the Cop21 Paris Climate Accord, Belize made the tremendous decision to ban drilling outright -- and is working hard to restore coral. The same cannot be said for many other fragile parts of the world particularly the warming Arctic, where Russia has a near stranglehold of more than half the Arctic Ocean.

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The saturation of the ranks of our police forces with far-right extremists is one of the harsh realities of American life that bubbled up during the police brutality protests of 2020 and was laid bare by the January 6 insurrection. The presence of these extremists not only is a serious security and enforcement threat—particularly when it comes to dealing with far-right violence—but has created a toxic breach between our communities and the people they hire to protect and serve them. Too often, as in Portland, the resulting police culture has bred a hostility to their communities that expresses itself in biased enforcement and a stubborn unaccountability.

Much of this originates in police training, which are the foundations of cop culture. And a recent Reuters investigative report has found that police training in America is riddled with extremists: Their survey of police training firms—35 in all—that provide training to American police authorities found five of them employ (and in some cases, are operated by) men whose politics are unmistakably of the far-right extremist variety. And these five people alone are responsible for training hundreds of American cops every year.

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