An option for everyone
After 30 years of consistent camaraderie, a group was still able to be shocked by one of its own. About 10 years ago, at the bachelor party for one of our group, someone announced, “Well, Ed, you’re the last one to get married.” To which I nonchalantly replied, “I can’t, it’s not legal.”
Nobody had any idea that I was gay. I always had a girlfriend when apropos. That was how I was raised, but that was not who I innately am.
It is easier being straight in a world that refuses to broaden its vision. But the reality is that there is life beyond the periphery. We all like to have options: oil, wood or wind energy; pagan, Jew, Muslim or Christian; straight, bi- or gay; live alone, live together or … wed?
People are born either straight or gay, although some gays live as straight because life is easier. Only straight people currently have the option to marry.
Currently, there is legislation proposed to allow marriage for same-sex couples. It is important that Mainers show the rest of the country we have a fair mind-set. There will be a lot of loud, out-of-state funded opposition. As we have just seen in the November ‘08 referenda, well-funded is not necessarily in the best interest of life in Maine.
Support for the laws allowing the option of marriage for same-sex couples is needed from every Mainer. Please contact your legislator. Think of your own marriage. If you are happy with your life, shouldn’t everybody have that option?
Find common goal
History is in the making, but it hasn’t been written yet. What has been done in the past can’t be undone. What is about to happen will greatly affect our future. If we can continue to move forward together for a common goal, we can all benefit equally. If we keep trying to undo yesterday by overcompensating tomorrow, I fear severe damage to any progress that has been accomplished.
Please don’t misread what I am saying. I sincerely want and wish complete success for our new administration, for what affects one will affect all, and I hope we all want the same end result. Change has been long needed, and now that it is here, let’s pray that it works out for the good of our country so the last chapter of this story has a happy ending.
Bail out hospitals
Instead of voting against the whole $700 billion bailout bill, as Sen. Susan Collins did last week, Congress should seek ways to use these enormous funds for more than banks, investors and auto manufacturers.
How about including hospitals and doctors? Many of Maine’s hospitals and doctors are in desperate danger of bankruptcy and job loss — just the type of corporate ills that the bailout bill is designed to remedy.
Medicare and Medicaid (MaineCare in Maine) are grossly underpaying individual doctors and large and small hospitals for services rendered.
Already the state, which administers MaineCare, owes our hospitals $400 million for services going back many years. These funds, when they are available, originate with the federal government.
What better emergency use of federal bailout funds to help make whole the doctors and hospitals in Maine and throughout the country? Essential corporations and many jobs are at stake.
When the dust finally settles on last week’s love-fest known as the Obama inauguration, the final tab will be an estimated $150 million or more.
In 2005, congressional Reps Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and Jim McDermott, D-Wash., alarmed about a $40 million inauguration, wrote to President Bush, requesting a modest ceremony, since President Roosevelt’s 1945 wartime inaugural included “cold chicken and plain pound cake.”
Apparently such budgetary concerns are not relevant anymore. As a matter of fact, some Democrats (including a Jan. 6 BDN letter writer from Bar Harbor) are in such a festive party mood that they plan to cap off the epic, historic celebration by throwing Bush and Dick Cheney in jail.
Incredibly, House speaker Nancy Pelosi has lent some credence to this hyperpartisan crusade of trumped-up rhetoric and unvarnished hatred against the Bush administration by suggesting prosecutions could be forthcoming.
I’d like to suggest that the idea of trying Bush and Cheney for the “crime” of defending us from further attacks after Sept. 11 is a horrible one and would certainly not “bring us all together.” It would divide America like nothing we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes, all while our economy and financial system teeter on the brink of disaster, Iran goes nuclear and Mexico and Pakistan may soon catastrophically implode.
This vengeful debacle of trial would, in reality, be a poison pill from which our nation would not recover anytime soon. Nancy Pelosi and others should think about that first.
David D. Wilson
Godspeed, Mr. President
During the week of Martin Luther King Day, people gathered for Tuesday’s inaugural ceremony of the country’s first biracial president. Did I ever think I would see this happen in my lifetime? No. Am I thrilled, heartened, moved to tears, filled with hope and willing to help? Yes.
I am a 65 year old white woman, who lived in Connecticut until 1965. I moved to Maine in 1989. The U.S. Supreme Court mandated the end of separate but equal education for African Americans and whites in 1954. Then, I asked my father what he would do if a black man came and sat next to him at the movies – he said he would move.
What a special time — see it on the faces of people of all races, ages and countries as they stood together with huge smiles to celebrate our country’s renewal. Hear it in the words of leaders from both parties and from around the world as they reach out, even tentatively, toward each other.
The inauguration is more than a turn from sad, mean times. It is about a turn toward committing to help our new, smart, pragmatic, caring leader address the needs of our beautiful and beloved country and our troubled world and planet.
Thank you, America, for electing Barack Obama as our 44th President. I wish him and our other leaders Godspeed, safety, health and success and I will do what I can to help them restore our country and planet.
Driving record should rule
There is a lot of chatter recently with regards to elderly drivers and what means should be used to determine qualifications that would permit them to continue operating a motor vehicle. I have yet to see mention made of what should be a major factor in making this decision.
I am referring to a person’s driving record.
Should a person with a record of no accidents and no traffic violations be subjected to the same scrutiny as a driver whose record is peppered with motor vehicle violations and convictions?