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Oct. 4, 2008 Letters to the Editor


ONE against poverty

Mr. Gratwick is dead-on when he says, “Change is best effected by many people speaking with one voice …”(BDN Sept. 22). I too am passionate about speaking out regarding injustices and the “larger issues” facing us. That is why three years ago I joined the ONE Campaign — The Campaign to Make Poverty History — and the CARE Action Network. Using my voice along with millions of others, CARE-ONE has been able to educate key policymakers about legislative issues that affect global poverty.

CARE wants to achieve long-lasting solutions by strengthening people’s capacity for self-help, providing economic opportunities, delivering emergency relief and addressing discrimination in all its forms. They share their experience on the ground in over 60 countries with decision makers, and we “the citizens” use our voices to support their work. Each year in June, CARE holds a national conference where advocates like me from all over the United States go to D.C. and meet with our representatives. We are well-informed, polite, articulate citizens and are passionate as to how these larger issues affect us in our hometowns.

On Oct. 17 I will be hosting a screening of the film “A Powerful Noise,” at the Ellsworth Public Library. The film documents the lives of three women who overcome barriers and spark remarkable changes in their lives and the lives of others.

Please join us and join ONE and CARE to add your voice to the millions. Log on to www.one.org or www.care.org.

Alison Johnson

2nd District chairwoman CARE

Birch Harbor


The war we lost

The greatest conservative minds, William F. Buckley, Milton Friedman, Henry Hyde, figured out long ago that the government’s War on Drugs was lost. Their conclusion was that replacing one scourge — private drug-alcohol abuse — with another scourge — a vast and unconstitutional government pogrom that imprisoned millions, enriched criminal gangs, seized billions of dollars in private property, cost trillions of dollars and weakened the Bill of Rights — was not progress. After billions spent and lives destroyed, we have the same problem we had before this war: rising levels of private drug abuse.

John Frary said on MPBN: “You’re asking a conservative Republican whether he wants to legalize marijuana. Charlie, I have to tell you that I’m inclined more and more to favor that. That it should be treated like alcohol and regulated like alcohol. That people who sell marijuana to minors should be penalized like those who sell alcohol to minors. I think this has been going on and on, has cost huge sums of money. We’re not winning this war on drugs. The whole thing may have to be given a whole new look.”

Frary is not for drugs, but [is] opposed to the War on Drugs, and [is] tired of people pretending marijuana is heroin.

Frary not only thinks for himself; he tells you what he thinks. Why aren’t we building a refinery at Loring or using helicopters that should be in Afghanistan looking for Osama bin Laden rather than looking for weeds in Maine?

William Reid III

chairman, Frary for Congress

New Sharon


Who needs Palin?

It is clear why John McCain chose Sarah Palin: He hoped that Palin would give him the Clinton voters because she is a white woman. If voters are voting according to gender and race instead of according to issues, then, yes, Palin was a good choice. Gender and race have nothing to do with analysis of the facts. They are nonthinking criteria that the Republicans need. Because if the electorate thinks about the Republican record, the Republicans are in big trouble.

Republican protection of the oil industry has not helped the American people. Sarah Palin claims that the oil in her native state is clean energy.

My fifth-grade students know that oil is not clean energy. The people of Prince William Sound know that oil is not clean energy. Even if you had no human errors in the process of drilling, refining and transporting oil, even if the oil was surgically removed from the earth, you would still be faced with the problem that you can’t use the oil unless you burn it. When you burn it, you add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. My fifth-graders know this. Palin is either happy to protect her own ignorance on such topics or she is a shameless salesperson. Just what the Republicans need, because the truth is they are the party of old oil, not new clean energy. The Republicans may need Sarah Palin, but the American people don’t.

Irene Jackson



Palin the president?

Eight vice presidents have gone on to be president because of the death of the president, and one became president after the resignation of the president. John McCain is 72 years old and has been diagnosed with invasive melanoma. If McCain wins this presidential contest, there is a real possibility that Sarah Palin will become the president. John McCain and his campaign are asking us to buy a “pig in a poke.”

Now for those voters who are a bit too literal, I’m not saying Sarah Palin is a pig and I’m not saying that John McCain is literally carrying her around in a poke. The “poke” she is in is the overly managed and controlled environment that prevents the media from asking her questions and prevents the electorate from making a decision based on anything except the most superficial criteria. John McCain’s latest campaign slogan is “Country First.” His actions don’t match those words.

Joanne McNally



Who bails out us?

I am very concerned about the bailout of the banking industry that is being shoved down our throats. It seems that the people who just a short time ago were assuring us of the stability of the banking industry are the same ones that are insisting we have to bail them out. It doesn’t seem to me that these are the people who I can trust with my money.

Who is looking out for the taxpayers’ money? Are our interests being looked after in the bailout of the banking industry? I know when I go to a bank for a loan they want all the assurances in the world that the loan will be paid back. Will the reverse be true in this case?

Where are the personal assets of these big bankers being put? Are they putting their money into the bailout? Or have they already put them into shelters that can’t be touched?

The news has just informed me that the bailout at $700 billion will put every living soul in this country in debt for $3,000. Is there any chance that we will be paid back? If not, what assets will we be able to recover?

I personally don’t understand why we have to rush into this or any other bailout blindly. They don’t seem to think we have any right to think things through. Where are the people who have our interests at heart?

Thomas Bonner


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