Allen a clear choice
Voters in Maine can choose to serve themselves after 12 years, but they will have to retire Susan Collins to do it.
Finding an affordable and universal health care system is at the top of the list for Mainers. Tom Allen offers a comprehensive and achievable approach. Susan Collins offers Mainers nothing, unless, of course, securing money for defibrillators counts.
Tom Allen talks about the fundamental unfairness of Bush’s tax policies. Collins’ unwavering support for them and for Bush’s reckless spending demonstrates she has not had Mainers in mind. If you think that’s in Maine’s best interests, go ahead and vote for her.
Tom Allen would never renege on the responsibility to hold agencies and corporations responsible for their performance. Collins, on the other hand, failed to hold accountability hearings for contractor performance in Iraq despite strong evidence of multi-billion dollar failings. If you think that’s OK, vote for her.
Tom Allen promises to restore American ideals and the rule of law. Susan, on the other hand, has slavishly supported the Bush administration’s Iraq misadventure, including policies that embraced torture and ignored some of our most sacred constitutional rights. If you think that’s OK for Maine, vote for her.
Susan promised two terms. Now she’s running for a third. If you think it’s OK for politicians to break their promises, then vote for her.
If, on the other hand, you think, as I do, that Maine can be far better served than it has been, then cast your vote for Tom Allen for Senate.
• • •
Look into Putin’s eyes
After gazing into Vladimir Putin’s eyes and declaring his soul was good, George Bush invaded the sovereign country of Iraq, killed thousands upon thousands of innocents, created havoc in the already unstable Middle East, made plans for ballistic missiles to be placed on the Russian border, trained Georgian fighters and provided military assistance to them, and encouraged them to stand up to Mr. Putin.
While he played the fool with the American bikini-clad volleyball team at the repressive Chinese Olympic Games and made chit-chat with Putin at the opening ceremonies, people were being killed because of his inadequate response. Did he do the right thing and return immediately to Washington? Did he tell Secretary Rice that she must return from her vacation and head right over there to help quell this newest war? No.
When I look into Putin’s eyes I always see a cold-blooded KGB killer intent on playing this president for a fool. And so he has. He has played us all for fools. Impeach this imperial president now and restore America’s constitutional checks and balances. We have no moral high ground now. The hypocrisy in Washington is overwhelming and tragic. The world must stand up to Bush because we Americans do not seem able or willing to do it. We prefer to sit on our couches and watch the Olympics.
• • •
The future of the world
How do you picture the future of the world? I can picture everyone with food, clean water, shelter, education, health care and a healthy environment. I can also picture global warming and environmental refugees, wars over food and water, mass starvation and disease. I doubt if anyone wants the planet to control the population in such a cruel way.
Consider the following: in 1930 our planet had 2 billion people, now there are 6.7 billion and we are likely to hit 7 billion by 2012. By 2050, three quarters of the world will face scarcity of fresh water. 20 percent of the world lacks basic sanitation, 852 million people are hungry and half the world lives on less than $2 a day. Most of the world’s population growth is in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and two-thirds of women in developing nations do not have access to birth control.
All of these conditions are likely to worsen if the world population keeps growing.
Ninety percent of Americans support international family planning programs. Under the Bush administration, U.S. family-planning funding has been cut by 40 percent. The administration has refused to release tens of millions of dollars that Congress appropriated to the United Nations Population Fund. I urge our congressional delegation to call for an international summit on population growth and to fully fund international family planning.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Dr. Kathryn Bourgoin
Physicians for Social Responsibility
• • •
About labor unions
The “big lie” is alive and well in Maine. Some backers of political ads assume that the bigger the lie, the more likely people are to believe it. I don’t think Maine voters will fall for the big lie in the current ads on TV and radio that portray organized labor as organized crime.
The Employees Free Choice Act would improve workers’ chances of organizing a union in the face of intimidation and threats by employers.
Giant corporations that have a long history of opposing basic worker rights are spreading the lie that EFCA forbids secret ballots. That is not true. EFCA provides that once a validated majority of workers has signed a union authorization card, the National Labor Relations Board shall certify the union as representative of the workers. Workers still have the option of calling for an election.
Read the bill for yourself by going to http://thomas.loc.gov and searching on Employee Free Choice Act of 2007. This bill passed the House by a large margin and stalled in the Senate. Tom Allen supported EFCA in the House and as our senator, would work to see that it passes the Senate. Susan Collins opposes it. Both support a strong economy, but only Tom Allen seems to understand that worker rights are basic to building a strong economy.
Susan Collins stands with big corporate interests that oppose worker rights.
Be informed and vote for Tom Allen in November.
• • •
Maine’s national ranking
We hear a lot of negative news about Maine’s economy, out-migration of youth, our aging population, etc. Maine’s ranking across a number of sectors suggest a different picture: Maine’s bankruptcy filings are one of the lowest in the nation, with 2,304 for personal and business filings. This is remarkable compared to Georgia, one of the highest at over 50,000. One hypothesis could be that Mainers manage money better than others.
Although our papermaking industry has declined in recent years, Maine ranks 19th nationally, just below Michigan. Almost half of the states comply only with the national minimum wage of $6.55. Maine’s minimum wage of $7 is well above that, with Washington at $7.63 being the nation’s highest. Maine also ranked well when comparing the number of residents with amount of retirement income; we are 10th.
Maine’s ranking for safety is second nationally, behind New Hampshire, with Nevada the most dangerous.
We educate our students well. Maine is in the top 10 in ACT scores for 2007. National Assessment of Educational Progress reading scores give Maine students high grades: Our fourth graders came in 11th and eight-graders came in fifth.
Mainers also value their natural resources, placing us 12th nationally.
Our livability rating placed us 20th, just ahead of Hawaii which markets itself as paradise.
I did find many instances where Maine ranks in the middle of the pack. On some levels we are nearer the top and there are instances when we rank on the bottom tier. It’s encouraging that statistics show nationally Maine has a lot going for it.
Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce