One of the many good things about an Obama presidency will be his style of masculinity. No yelling, chest-thumping bravado and no swagger. Obama treats his wife as an equal and he respects strong women. He is graceful and athletic and strong without being overbearing.
In fact, Obama is the kind of man I would enjoy having a cognac with.
Watch out, boys
Nov. 4 was a dramatic day in politics in the U.S.A., and some of the drama is owed to Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska.
John McCain did not take a risky step in selecting her as his running mate. He knew exactly what he was doing. His instincts are such that he knew this lady has a great future in politics for all the right reasons.
Win or lose he knew that he had an opportunity to give the American voter a candidate who will stand through any kind of trouble to do what is right. When the dust settles she will be remembered, never to be forgotten, for her contribution to the Republican Party. Her charisma, her speaking ability and her ability in uniting not only the party but the public at large will make her a formidable candidate in the future.
Sen. McCain will have paved the way for an outstanding woman to take her place in American politics. Watch out boys for 2012.
Shirlee Connors Carlson
Placement of Abby
The Bangor Daily News touts itself as a family-owned paper. It’s unfortunate that the BDN doesn’t also pride itself on being a “family friendly” paper.
As my family eats breakfast together we all take our favorite sections of the paper. My 7-year-old daughter goes right to the comics. Her 5- and 3-year-old brothers are often leaning across the table asking her to read particular comics to them. Not once, but twice this week, Dear Abby, nestled in right under Beetle Bailey and next to For Better or For Worse, Wizard of Id and Zits, featured lead letters of a sexual nature.
As my daughter’s reading improves and her curiosity grows, it is only matter of time before she also wants to read Dear Abby. Often she will ask me to explain a comic that she doesn’t understand or get the joke. If she had read Dear Abby today I would have had the pleasure of explaining a man’s “one night stand with his brother’s girlfriend” and a “threesome.” Letters of this sort are frequently the lead letter in Abby’s column. I have written once before asking the editor to consider moving Dear Abby to a more appropriate part of the paper — the lifestyle section would be an obvious choice. I received no response and nothing has been done. So I will ask again. Would you want your 7-year-old reading Dear Abby alongside the comics?
Let’s work together
On Nov. 4, I watched the crowds in Chicago on television, wishing I could be in Grant Park amid the incredible euphoria rising from thousands of hopeful Americans listening to the next president of the United States.
It was time to let go of cynicism and skepticism about our political process and cheer the potential of a new leader. Even though my optimism is tempered with awareness that we face overwhelming problems in this country and the world, I can’t help but think that if we crowded into parks, sat on our front porches, walked along the streets of our communities and engaged in dialog with neighbors and strangers, we will create the kind of world we’d like for our grandchildren.
On my way home from work the next day I thought about saving our Obama sign for our granddaughter who will be privileged to remember Barack Obama as her first president. Sadly, I found the sign slashed and crunched on our front yard. Why? Did the person who felt compelled to destroy our sign listen to John McCain or Barack Obama speak with respect for each other on Tuesday night?
My hope is that by inauguration day this person and others who are angry or fearful will realize that if we believe in our democracy then we must participate in it, not by tearing down, but by speaking up. I believe in our collective potential. If only we could talk to each other!
LURC and Plum Creek
Plum Creek Developers, an out-of-state company with a horrible environmental record including clear-cutting and watershed violations and a history of broken promises comes to Maine. It buys up thousands of acres of land, promising to keep it in tree growth. Then it applies to rezone that land to allow the creation of hundreds of house lots, golf courses, resorts and roads.
During the initial public comment period, thousands of people called, testified or sent letters to LURC to oppose Plum Creek’s plans, presenting strong evidence of the dangers to the land, water, resources and people of the region if the proposal were to be approved. Only six spoke in favor of the plans. LURC staff submitted recommendations to amend the original plan. While LURC did reduce some of the acres allowed for development around Lily Bay, these changes did nothing to address the real problems with the development: wilderness sprawl, wildlife habitat destruction, water quality issues, increased traffic, and increased danger posed to endangered species.
It appears that LURC has decided to accept the staff recommended changes, those that did little or nothing to address the impact of the development. LURC is basically telling Plum Creek that if they accept the changes, their application will be approved.
As I see it, LURC totally disregarded the standard review process and its own rules. This whole process has been flawed and the wishes of the people have been disregarded.
Protection of the wildlife and land is important and necessary for the continuation of the Maine that we know and love. Protection of the natural and historic character of the Moosehead Lake region is protection of everything that is good about Maine. The Plum Creek development will significantly destroy that way of life. And once it is gone, it is gone forever.
Marie Louise Morandi Long Zwicker