Feb. 9 Letters to the Editor

Posted Feb. 08, 2009, at 7:32 p.m.

Future and choice

When President Obama was campaigning last year, he promised that if the Freedom of Choice Act were passed by Congress, he would sign it into law.

If Congress passes this bill, it would mean that abortion in all states would be legal. It would mean that killing partially born children would be permitted nationwide and that taxpayers would have to pay for abortions.

Any doctors, nurses or hospitals that oppose abortion would be obligated under law to perform any and all abortions.

I believe that to kill the most defenseless babies is a very serious matter. Like you and me, all babies should have a chance to be born.

James H. Tweedie Sr.

Blaine

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‘Fairness’ is liberal sour grapes

In response to a recent letter about re-introducing the fairness doctrine, I find it interesting how fast liberals are throwing out this outdated Draconian concept. I guess the freedom of speech part of the First Amendment to the Constitution is OK when it’s big media in control and espousing liberal propaganda, but when the other side speaks, it must be quashed, controlled, or in the case of the fairness doctrine, it must be countered.

So where is the counter to NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, MPBN and all the other left-leaning media outlets? I hardly think that Rush Limbaugh vs. all the formerly mentioned is hardly fair. However, Mr. Limbaugh is the dissenting voice that liberals don’t want to hear, so he and those like him start their propaganda machine and spin doctors to try to discredit the right.

In a free society supposedly governed by our Constitution, we do not need a fairness doctrine. Liberals are simply angry that there is one piece of the information dissemination highway that they don’t control: talk radio.

Allan F. Smallwood

Bradley

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Suggested fixes

The BDN’s excellent Feb. 4 editorial “Stimulus Standards” provokes some additional points. Billions in tax cuts now may transfer a heavy burden to future generations. In fact, those with comfortable incomes should pay a temporary defense tax. They should share the costs of two wars and the rehabilitation of the infrastructure — costs that have contributed to the current fiscal crisis.

I hope also that the new administration will economize by cutting the bloated budgets for defense and homeland security. For example, bring home the American civilian contractors in Iraq and replace them with locals.

Eliminate excessive and expensive foreign bases and weaponry (aircraft carriers, atom bombs, land mines, etc.).

Discontinue intensive airport searches of most American citizens en route to American destinations. Reduce the number of security personnel assigned to domestic commercial flights. Concentrate primarily on foreign visitors. Finally, along with the temporary defense tax, simplify the federal tax code.

Arthur A. Dole

Trenton

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Sully still a hero

It galls me to read pontifications laced with highbrow know-it-all-isms, misinformation and just plain aviation ignorance. I am referring to Jonah Lehrer’s January OpEd “US Airways pilot ‘Sully’ ignored primal emotions.” Capt. Sullenberger did not “pretend the river was a runway.” He knew darn well what he was doing in the water. It was his only viable choice given the altitude, airspeed and position.

Metacognition, primal emotions, “deliberate calm” are all fancy sounding academic words written while sitting comfortably behind a desk. However in the real world of the cockpit, suddenly finding yourself low and slow and suffering simultaneous loss of power of his only two engines, Capt. Sullenberger took command from his co-pilot, maintained best glide ratio airspeed, quickly ran though his options and concluded his only alternative for salvaging this potential catastrophic situation was to put the A320 in the water. This he did expertly, professionally, successfully.

With loss of engine thrust-power, an airliner becomes a very heavy glider. You can fly it, maneuver it, land it; but know you are going down. Mr. Lehrer’s statement “would he be able to steer the plane without thrust” displays a complete lack of aviation knowledge. If one is to write about something he or she knows nothing about, it is advisable to consult with someone who knows the subject.

One never knows how they will react during any emergency situation. We all hope and pray we will perform as well as Capt. Sullenberger did when our time comes.

Harald A. Smedal

Brooksville

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Other side of EFCA

Lisa Feldman described the card check facts accurately in her recent OpEd, “Stripped of hysterical rhetoric, EFCA worth a look” (BDN, Jan. 29), but then entirely misstated the implications.

It is true that currently employers can waive the secret ballot election, if 50 percent of its employees have signed an authorization card in favor of unionizing. However, it is untrue that the current system is unfair or nonsensical. To the contrary, the system is designed to ensure that decisions to unionize are completely free of union coercion or influence. Indeed, it is telling that a significant number of secret ballot elections are lost by unions, although these elections were triggered by 50 percent of workers signing a card to start.

This fact just shows that not all who sign the authorization card truly want to unionize. After having an opportunity to hear both sides of the story — meaning businesses and unions have a chance to talk to the employees — those voting very often think it over, and decide that they don’t want to unionize. Also, it is easy to understand that unions often exert inappropriate influence on employees in the public forum of authorization cards. The rest of the work force, and all the union organizers, know who has not signed the cards. When free of this influence in secret ballot elections, the workers vote against unionization.

Curtis Picard

Executive Director

Maine Merchants Association

Augusta

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Obama’s snub

Our president, the commander-in-chief of all military forces, has done it again — insulted the military. He is the first president in 56 years who did not attend the “Salute to Heroes” inaugural ball. This was the ball to honor the Medal of Honor recipients, of which 48 of those brave men were present. He did however, find time to attend 10 other balls.

My guess his reason for ignoring the Medal of Honor Ball was that there were no celebrities of Hollywood elite present. He has the “honor” of being the first one since 1953, when it was started, not to attend.

Cynthia Rump

Bangor

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