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Dec. 9 Letters to the Editor

Solving state’s woes

Regarding articles in the Nov. 26 BDN, it’s so discouraging; Augusta just doesn’t get it!

One article talks about cutting red tide monitoring. That would be harmful to the health of many people, income of fish markets, restaurants and fisherman. Raising fees by 25 percent would be detrimental to fishermen who now are just getting by. Instead, lay off people from the tourism department and use that money to pay for the monitors.

Another article was about the cost of legislators sponsoring so many bills, especially duplicates. Sen. Dennis Damon bragged in his hometown paper that his name was on 68 bills, some of which he wished that it wasn’t, but they were his friends’ bills. Sen. Peter Mills has said he will not cut down on the number he submits.

Gov. John Baldacci could sell the expensive gas hog he rides in to every ribbon-cutting ceremony in the state. There is so much trouble in Augusta he should stay there, do his own speaking to the press and terminate all the spokespeople.

Also, the airplanes owned by the state — sell them and rent as needed. Commissioner Pat McGowan rents his personal plane to the state when his department wants one even though a fully equipped plane, owned and insured by the state, sits idle at Old Town Airport all summer never being used.

These situations are just the tip of the iceberg.

Someone once told me “When they get to Augusta they lose all common sense and that certainly costs us big cents.”

Jacqueline W. Huggins


• • •

Right to bear arms

In response to a series of letters in the BDN regarding assault weapons, what the writers fail to see is what the real intent of the Second Amendment was. It was written for “the right of an individual to keep and bear arms.” Now what does the term arms mean? Does it imply only the weapons that people hunt with? No, in fact, it does not.

The fact is the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, or sport except to say that since firearms are legal then you can use them for these purposes. In other words, when these guys are out hunting, the only thing they have a constitutional right to do is carry the weapon they choose. The actual hunting is not a right but a privilege given by the state. We can argue about whether hunting only being a privilege later, but this notion that we should only have hunting weapons is incorrect.

To prove this, one must look at the weapons that were being talked about at the time of the writing of the Bill of Rights. These were, in fact, the very weapons we just won a war with. In other words they were the assault weapons of the day. The people who wrote the Bill of Rights were talking about protecting yourself, your family, your property and country. They were not talking about hunting as I am sure they never considered there would be a restriction on it.

Please, if you don’t like so-called assault weapons, don’t buy one. But leave my right to have those and other firearms alone and I’ll leave your “non-right” to hunt alone.

Chris Williams


• • •

Stand up for equality

Thanks for your reportage on the Temple for Advanced Enlightenment. Reactions on Web posts show that Maine has yet to achieve a tolerant, diverse culture. The Rev. Kevin Loring is a brave pioneer treading in the steps of Vin de Louria, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. Stop the snickers. Loring may not yet be of equal stature, but in his time and place he walks the same path.

The prejudice and hatred against “druggies,” “stoners,” “potheads,” etc. is a direct legacy of the same directed against blacks, Latinos and gays. The first cannabis prohibition laws specifically targeted these groups at a time when white people (supposedly) did not use cannabis.

Approximately 20 percent of Mainers use cannabis for spiritual, therapeutic, creative, experimental, social and recreational reasons. Many of these are patients who break no state law under the Maine Medical Marijuana Law. They are not criminals. All of them are people.

If you stood up for equality in the case of blacks, gays, women and others, you should stand up for Loring and his community of faith. As a Unitarian, I feel that this young man represents our principles: The worth and dignity of every person, justice and compassion, acceptance, respect, reason and science, Earth-based traditions.

Dave Wilkinson


• • •

Bigger fish to fry

Regarding “Knee-jerk reaction: (BDN, Dec. 2): What a refreshing letter. Where are all the Linda Shaids when the voting booths are open? Need we take “common sense” out of the dictionary? Conservative, common sense folks need to stop this “liberal, politically correct” agenda. As Linda said, in my words, “We have bigger fish to fry.”

Robert Polo


• • •

Evolution of marriage

It always focuses my attention when a supposed “Christian” group of “leaders” gets together to impose their interpretation of the Bible on groups that they wish to discriminate against and then insist that they are doing it for the good of the community. As I read, “Group fighting same-sex marriage,” I couldn’t help but notice how one of these “leaders,” the Rev. Ken Graves, is quoted as saying, “Marriage is God’s idea. It is his institution. It belongs to him.” I’m pretty sure, according to my History of Western Civilization professor, that marriage was conceived as a legal agreement so that property could be passed from one generation to the next. I suppose the next step in that argument would be that, “Marriage has evolved.”

It’s funny how for some people evolution can be a sometime thing. If your heterosexual marriage dissolves because two men or two women marry in your state, I’ve got a feeling things weren’t going so well in paradise.

I’ll make a deal with these religious leaders: No gay marriage if there’s a death penalty for divorce. And then they can get back to hatemongering and divisiveness against the next group that demands to be treated equally.

Arthur Morison


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