Feb. 2 Letters to the Editor

Posted Feb. 02, 2009, at 6:34 p.m.

Fairness doctrine urged

Only hours after the inauguration of Barack Obama as America’s 44th president, Fox “Republican” News and right wing radio propagandists were busy reframing the day into an unrecognizable, anti-American mess.

Americans unfortunately have short memories concerning organized Republican efforts to propagandize the political process, dating back to Richard Nixon, who clearly stated the value of skewing information to split apart coalitions for political gain. Not many Americans realize that during the 1988 election, the Willie Horton advertisement about a “furloughed” murderer tied to the policies of Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis while governor of Massachusetts, actually related more to Ronald Reagan than Dukakis.

The fact is that though Republicans smeared Dukakis as “soft on crime” with the effective Horton advertisement that gave George H.W. Bush the lead for good, the Massachusetts prison furlough policy upon which Republicans based their attack actually was modeled after a California Department of Corrections program created when Ronald Reagan was governor of that state.

Fast forward to the North Carolina primaries in 2000 when George W. Bush was battling John McCain for the Republican presidential nomination. Fliers flooded that state accusing McCain of various unsavory activities, even suggesting he sired a daughter out of wedlock. The Bush campaign denied responsibility.

Bush took office only to mislead America into an unnecessary and costly war in Iraq, then “Swift Boated” John Kerry in 2004.

The pattern of ongoing Republican deceit must be more clearly revealed if America is to recover. A Fairness Doctrine is sorely needed.

Mark Tardif

Waterville

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Marriage redefined

In 1960 a fundamentalist pastor told his congregation, “If John Kennedy is elected president, he will close all the Protestant churches in America within a year.” Of course this was not true.

You would think we would learn. But Donald Mendell makes the same kind of wild statement in his letter to the editor of Jan. 22, claiming that “passing a law that redefines marriage will make it discriminatory speech if one … refers to the union of a man and a woman as unique, right or special.” Again, not true.

We have redefined marriage many times. In many books of the Bible we see that polygamy was once commonly accepted. Not long ago it was legal for a man to beat or rape his wife, and it was illegal in many states for blacks to marry whites. It is time to look again at what is fair and right.

Giving gays and lesbians the same right to marry that I already have will not take any rights away from me or from any other person. You will still have the right to your opinion, right or wrong.

The question is, shall we continue to treat some people as second-class citizens? As a Unitarian Universalist clergyman, my religious tradition promotes justice, fairness and equal treatment. My gay and lesbian friends, neighbors, church members and family members should have the same right to marry that I have. It’s as simple as that.

Rev. Mark Worth

Penobscot

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More on marriage

A small, well-organized group with lots of money from outside Maine is attempting to redefine marriage and will attempt to intimidate Mainers into accepting the redefinition of marriage.

God ordained the institution of marriage 5,000 years ago and defined marriage as one man and one woman. In Matthew 19:4-5, Jesus said: “Don’t you read the Scriptures? In them it is written that in the beginning God created man and woman, and that a man should leave his father and mother, and be forever united with his wife. The two shall become one — no longer two, but one!” The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:2: “But usually it is best to be married, each man having his own wife, and each woman having her own husband, because otherwise you might fall back into sin.” In Leviticus 18:22, God said: “Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin.”

For those who believe that the Bible is the word of God, it is our responsibility to honor and witness God’s word and live by His commandments.

All citizens will need to decide if our 5,000-year tradition is something we should consider changing because a small group of folks decided they want the world to change our American values.

Those who support the radical homosexual agenda have been successful at influencing or intimidating some residents to legitimize and accept their lifestyle. Should we redefine marriage or not? Let your voice be heard.

Peter Alexander

Etna

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Rush’s army

Re: the BDN’s Jan. 28 editorial, “Dr. Dean’s Cure”: Since Rush Limbaugh has about 20 million listeners a day I think more than “guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks” are listening to him.

Ron McArdle

Presque Isle

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Delta’s role in BIA numbers

The BDN’s Jan. 21 article “BIA passenger numbers down again” implies that ridership at Bangor International Airport is down because passengers are using other airports rather than BIA. It never mentions that Delta Air Lines has cut the number of fights in and out of the airport, thus automatically causing fewer passengers to be able to use the airport.

For example, Delta Air Lines flights to Cincinnati and Atlanta have been discontinued. Those flights were always full and their elimination automatically affects ridership numbers. Their elimination has made air travel west and south more cumbersome by adding additional connecting flights and-or long waits for connecting flights.

Delta’s “poor showing” is not because of lack of interest in flying; it is because Delta itself took away the option of flying out of BIA and made using the airport more cumbersome.

Airport officials owe it to the residents of eastern and northern Maine to work to restore those discontinued flights and not use the economy as the sole cause of ridership problem

Marion Foss

Deer Isle

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