Jan. 10 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 09, 2009, at 6:30 p.m.

Give us the money

Watching the Sunday morning news shows, I get the feeling that the stimulus package will be closer to $1 trillion than the billions so often mentioned.

It seems to me the taxpayer is buying a pig in a poke. He will be waiting for the trickledown theory to work. It hasn’t yet, and it never will.

The government wants to help the auto industry, which already had proved it is incompetent and unable to flourish successfully, and to save the real estate market that sold homes to people who couldn’t afford them.

What if, instead, the government gives every household earning $75,000 or less a check for $100,000. This must be used to pay off mortgages, car payments, credit cards, small business loans, bills that had been accrued before Dec. 31, 2009.

If they don’t have bills the money must be spent on a down payment on first-time home, purchasing an American-made car, spent on American-made durable goods, but it must be spent.

My proposal will result in a “Gush Up” effect that will really stimulate the economy.

This program will need intense, unrelenting monitoring on the federal, state and local levels, but no more so than the absurd government proposal.

Jean Van Wart

Orrington

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Bush a godsend

The BDN’s religion page has changed, and is now just more Bush-bashing and left-leaning columns.

President Bush is the most religious and pro-life president we have ever had. President Clinton was for abortion and evidently with his admitted adultery was not much of a Baptist. President Bush was a godsend. He signed the partial-birth abortion act which Clinton vetoed twice. He put back in place Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City agreement, which Clinton had done away with, that prevented our tax dollars being used for overseas abortions. He signed a bill that will prevent employers from firing or penalizing employees, doctors and pharmacists for not performing abortions or selling abortifacients that take the life of unborn babies.

Now Barack Obama promises to sign by executive order repeals of all our president has accomplished. He has also promised to sign a bill that would eliminate any pro-life laws that we have been able to get though in the last 30 years. The change we will get under Obama will be back to the pagan days before Christianity.

Tom Coleman Sr.

Dedham

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Sow seeds of peace

The Palestinian-Israeli situation has burst into flames again. We, in America, stand by watching, unwilling to protest with one clear voice the loss of civilian life and the terrible fear occurring on both sides. In our failure to do so, we sow the seeds of future conflicts in the Middle East. For those children, whether Palestinian or Israeli, now suffering the trauma of violence will be the carriers of that violence, and like generations before them, will hear the call for revenge.

We, as a powerful force in Middle East politics, can change that story.

If we care to use it, we do have the influence to demand a cease-fire and to demand that the considerable foreign aid we give be used for economic development, no longer for destruction. It was the promise of a brighter economic future that brought an end to the violence in Northern Ireland.

In the Middle East, a renewed commitment to economic investment would reduce the influence of militant factions, who prey on people’s fears and vulnerabilities, and motivate ordinary citizens to find a workable coexistence. Why ask the children of that long-suffering area to carry on the ideologies and hatreds of the past, when we could offer them the hope of peace? What would we want for our own children and grandchildren?

Joanne Boynton

Belfast

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Undoing torture

The BDN’s Jan. 5 editorial “V.P. For Torture” rightly points out the significant role that Vice President Cheney and the Bush administration have played in allowing the torture and arbitrary detention of detainees.

As the nation looks forward to the Obama administration’s promise of Guantanamo’s closure, it is important not to underestimate the damage a lame duck president still can inflict on the nation’s human rights record.

President Bush retains the power to pardon any number of people potentially responsible for the egregious acts committed in the war on terror. That means those who might have participated in torture, indefinite detention without charge or trial and the CIA’s secret detention program could go unpunished.

Just as important as accountability is the truth about human rights abuses. The American people have a right to know what abusive, unjust actions were taken in their name. An independent commission of inquiry should be established to tell this sad chapter of U.S. history, and then close it for good.

President Bush still has a chance to do the right thing. Nine human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, have called on the president to reject impunity for crimes committed in the war on terror. I urge him to heed their calls, and set the stage for the U.S. government to counter terror with justice, not abuse.

Caitlin Katsiaficas

Amnesty International member

Portland

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Wrong cuts

Here we go again with state budget cuts and the layoffs in education and other job cuts that will follow.

Then there is health care. Take away preventive dental care? Certainly our low-income families with children don’t need to have their teeth cleaned, right? Then the money saved will be put into the methadone program, because we have to make sure our local drug addicts have transportation paid for. Then there is the cost of the methadone. We must be sure we pay for that, too.

Does anyone else see the problem here? We must stop paying for drugs for drug addicts.

Sarah Brown

Veazie

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‘Not without a fight’

The BDN’s coverage of older drivers on our highways hits a bad nerve with me. How often do you see, in the paper, a person over 70 getting stopped for speeding, drunken driving, driving without a license or in an accident? Certainly not the way you do the younger drivers. Yet all of us over the age of 65 get a black eye and they want to take our licenses.

I will be 80 on my next birthday. I had a license at age 15, started hauling logs at age 16 with a trailer, and have never had an accident of any kind, not a traffic ticket of any kind and have driven 2 million miles in all 50 states. I drove 5,000 miles in Korea on roads that were not fit for a four-wheeler and still some would like to take away my license. No way, not without a fight.

Searle Sweet

Lincoln

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