Sept. 23 Letters to the Editor

Posted Sept. 22, 2008, at 4:43 p.m.

Goodman vs. GOP

Telling the truth is risky these days. Ask Amy Goodman. Amy, a gray-haired grandmother with Maine roots, spoke in Bangor on Saturday, Sept. 13. An award-winning reporter, Amy covers events not normally covered by mainstream media.

At the Republican Convention she was called from the convention floor to a disturbance. Without warning, she was attacked by two brutes who took her press card, wrestled her to the ground, cuffed her, and dragged her by one leg across the pavement until her face bled. They hauled her off to jail to join dozens of other arrested reporters. Their crime? Doing their jobs. One reporter from the Post yelled, “Hey, don’t arrest me, we’re a Republican paper!”

Here’s the clincher: Amy tells how the Republican Party made a cozy deal with the Minnesota police before the convention. Some judge who forgot to read the Constitution issued a warrant so police could arrest certain reporters and confiscate their “weapons” such as cameras, cell phones and tape recorders. Many of these reporters will sue and win but the Republican convention fund will pay millions to compensate them.

In effect, the Republican Party bought an entire state police force to do its dirty work. You didn’t know this because a reporter in jail can’t report. What is done to Amy today can happen to any of us tomorrow if we continue to allow the government to use military containment tactics against law-abiding American citizens.

Karen Johnson

Machias

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Evaluating candidates

It’s election time again. Each candidate blurts out personnel slander, back-stabbing, making fun of each other, and the list goes on. Just once I would like to see a clean election, an election in which candidates talk about the issues facing this country. I don’t care about the other things that they are talking about. I want to know how they will persuade Congress to pass the necessary bill to make it happen.

I think the people of these United States of America forget one thing about all the promises made by the candidates. These promises must first be made into a bill, debated on, sent to both the House and Senate for a vote. If members of Congress don’t think it’s a good bill, it won’t pass.

I hope we don’t get caught up in the frenzy and emotions so we forget who we should be voting for. We need to make a choice for the candidate who will be the best president for this country. We need to make choices for candidates, both on the national and state levels, who will listen to the people and vote accordingly.

Becky Wiers

Palmyra

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McCain’s commission

Sen. John McCain has proposed a commission to reform Social Security. Recently, he proposed a similar solution to the current financial crisis.

I am not against commissions. In fact, I was staff director of the National Economic Commission, a high-level bipartisan group established in the last year of the Reagan administration, when the budget had “deficits as far as the eye can see.” The President, with Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders, chose the members. It included the chairmen of both the House and Senate budget committees and luminaries such as Donald Rumsfeld, Chrysler Corp. CEO Lee Iacocca and the president of the AFL-CIO.

The commission failed. Out of deference to the sitting president, the commission agreed to study, but not discuss, the huge budget deficit until the election was over. During the election campaign, George Herbert Walker Bush frequently repeated his slogan, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” With taxes off the table the Democrats lost many of their bargaining chips and the commission never even tried a constructive negotiation.

As I said, I’m not against commissions. They can establish a common set of facts or assumptions and provide a forum for public discussion. However, they support leadership but do not substitute for it. They are also slow.

And by the way, Sen. McCain has stated recently that under no conditions would he consider a tax increase as part of a solution to the Social Security problem.

David G. Mathiasen

Castine

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Collins Constitution

Recently I discovered that John McCain and Sen. Susan Collins share a common attribute: dissembling, sometimes called bending the truth.

In Sen. Collins’ case, in the Sept. 13-14 BDN, when asked why she supported John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, she simply did not answer the question.

Alito and Roberts share a peculiar theory that emasculates the intent of the founders of our Constitution by elevating the role of the presidency over Congress and the courts, thereby undoing constitutional checks and balances. Our founders wanted our president to be accountable; they did not want another George III or worse. Collins knew this about Roberts and Alito before she voted. Perhaps, that is why she does not want to remind Maine voters of this.

It would be inconvenient to see that she supports the president rather than the Constitution. This is not lying but evading the truth, a lie by omission.

John McCain’s dissembling has been more blatant but not necessarily more problematic. At bottom, Collins and McCain believe the voters will believe anything, however false, if the falsehood is perpetuated long enough. This is the policy elevated to a high degree by the current administration in Washington. I hope and believe we Mainers, if not the rest of the electorate, are more savvy than that, come November

Kathleen DeSilvey

Belfast

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Butterfield has vision

On Nov. 4 I will be voting for Steve Butterfield as my District 16 representative. I know Steve personally and I can’t think of a more honest, hard-working person who cares about issues affecting the citizens of Maine.

As an aspiring organic farmer, I asked him what his thoughts are on small farms. He is a huge advocate for buying locally grown food. He said as gas prices rise it just makes sense for Maine to capitalize on small, local farms that are not only good for the environment but for the economy as well. He has an idea to build an indoor farmers market along the waterfront in downtown Bangor which would be a venue for craft persons, bakers, and farmers.

I have discovered that Steve does more than just talk – he always has a plan to go along with his ideas. He has the foresight, ingenuity and drive to take his fresh ideas and make them realities. I, for one, have realized the importance of acting locally and I’m starting right here on Ohio Street and giving my vote to someone who will work tirelessly for me and the state of Maine. I urge you to join me in voting for Steve Butterfield – a man with true vision and the plans for positive changes.

Hannah Todd

Bangor

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