Nero did not, in fact, fiddle while Rome burned, but it is credible that he ransacked the people’s coffers to build and to revel in the lap of luxury and splendor, while the common people struggled.

I am reminded of this example of audacity every time I travel within the perimeter of the state Capitol. Rising above the empty streets, the closed and abandoned stores, the dome shines in its new copper splendor, like a big jewel, as if shoving a huge diamond ring under the noses of those jobless, homeless and struggling taxpayers, who are trying to eke out a living.

A million dollars’ worth of copper to repair the dome is like putting pearls on a pig. It won’t change the way our representatives behave beneath it.

Dirigo is our state motto, meaning “I lead.” I suggest a new motto: Elatus — it means arrogance.

Gary Levine


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