Jan. 27 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 26, 2009, at 5:01 p.m.

Dedicated carrier

The Bangor Daily News has at least one very dedicated delivery person. Monday morning, Jan. 19, with a foot or more of new snow and not a driveway or sidewalk cleared on Wintergreen Court, there were footprints leading to and from our homes. It wasn’t very difficult to determine that it was our carrier, Diane Parent, who was stomping through the snow to see to it that we all received our newspaper on time.

Russ Irwin

Hampden

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Bush no ‘godsend’

In response to the recent letter to the editor, “Bush a godsend”: George W. Bush cannot walk out of the office of president lily white and he will not even blink an eye on the par-dons he is going to dole out like candy to kids attending a parade. The handfuls of pardons will go out to his political base and they are demanding them. There is not one crime committed on his behalf that will not be pardoned: wire tapping, torture, market manipulation, and just about anything that was good for the rich and bad for the middle and lower class.

His record shows how he really feels about veterans and how they are only of use to him if they are actually fighting in the field. After that, those veterans have to go fend for themselves. His backing of the VA is all you need to see how hollow his defense of veterans has been.

How the folks on the right think that George Bush was a godsend to America I will never understand. Somehow, President Bush thinks he has a firm record to stand on but from my perspective I see him about to stand on the quicksand of history. And it may take three or more Democratic administrations to fix all the damage he has done to the Constitution.

Diane Mitchell

Orrington

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Another TV option

For all those who cannot get MPBN over the air now that it has gone digital: cable service providers have to offer a “broadcast cable” service (but they apparently don’t have to tell anyone about it). Such service functions rather like a really good antenna without having to climb on a roof or constantly fiddle with directional focus.

Broadcast includes local VHF and UHF channels. Call your local cable provider and insist on broadcast cable (don’t let them “upgrade” you to basic, which costs at least twice as much per month).

Christine Kreider

Orono

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Age stereotypes

Should an elderly person’s driver’s license be taken away from them on the basis of stereotypical views of aging, like some of the totally unsubstantiated opinions expressed in recent letters to the editor?

The notion that elderly drivers are a risk to themselves and to others is not borne out by Department of Motor Vehicles data.

Quite the contrary! In every single category of vehicular offense, including “failure to obey a stop sign,” “OUI liquor,” “speeding,” to name a few, the number of convictions for drivers over age 64 is significantly lower than for males and females in younger age groups. In fact, the motor vehicle operator who is most likely to injure or kill you, by far, is not a “confused 80 year old,” but someone in the under 20 years old to 54 years old age category.

So why the recent emotional outpouring about elderly drivers? What we are seeing is evidence of attack by stereotype. I would advise any who would impinge upon my and other older individuals’ rights and freedoms by codifying age discrimination into law to exercise care.

In the America that I know the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — and, in a largely rural state such as Maine, with its paucity of public transportation, the right to drive is difficult to separate from those other inalienable rights — are not reserved for people under 65.

Dr. Josephine A. Bright

Bangor

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Israel’s dilemma

In her OpEed “No more free passes for Israel” (BDN, Jan. 10-11), Nancy Oden calls on American and specifically Maine Jews to condemn Israel’s recent military actions in Gaza.

The Israeli-Palestinian political situation in Gaza is complex and sad. Certainly a peaceful solution is preferable to war, and every effort should be made to avert a humanitarian crisis. But we are not sure how Israel should best respond to missile attacks from a movement whose avowed purpose is destruction of the nation and the expulsion of Jews from the Middle East. History has taught the Jewish people to take such threats seriously.

We suspect Israelis have made strategic and tactical errors in Gaza and are reacting exactly as hoped by Hamas, whose leaders have little regard for the lives of Palestinian civilians in the region. Hamas deliberately places Gaza’s citizens in harm’s way and then blames their suffering on Israel in order to manipulate world opinion. Articles such as that written by Nancy Oden suggest that they are succeeding.

Do the Israelis have to wait until the rockets supplied by Syria and Iran are accurate and powerful enough to destroy Israeli cities? Is there any question that this is the goal of Hamas? The mind-set in Israel is that Jews will no longer go meekly to their death. Does anyone doubt that Israel will stop firing when Hamas halts its missile attacks? We believe it is the responsibility of the Palestinian people to put forward leaders who renounce violence, will participate in peaceful negotiations, and recognize Israel’s right to exist.

Valerie and David Levy

Orono

Ellie and Michael Pancoe

Bangor

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