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Feb. 14 Letters to the Editor

Stealing from the kids

After nearly two full terms as treasury secretary to FDR during the Great Depression, Henry Morgenthau admitted: “We have tried spending money; we are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises.”

After eight years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started, and an enormous debt to boot.

Obama’s New Deal will not work any better than the old one did. Every dollar lawmakers pump into the economy must first be taxed or borrowed — and so pumped out of the economy. Moving money from one pocket to another does not stimulate anything. Any borrowed money not spent specifically on capital improvements will have no effect on future prosperity other than inflation. And only 8 percent of this spending occurs in budget year 2009, and only 41 percent occurs in the first two years. The time to stimulate the economy is when it is on its back, not years down the road.

This is not a stimulus bill. It is a Generational Theft Act.

Robert Shaffer



GOP, return to roots

I’m responding to the BDN’s Feb. 9 article, “GOP must change to climb wall.” We grass-roots Republicans don’t need to change. We need to start insisting that our leaders start acting like Republicans.

None of the article dealt with our message. Most Republicans have conservative beliefs — the kind that historically have won us elections. Most Americans are conservative, and as the depression deepens they’ll see clearly that printing money does not make things better. Totally socializing the economy solves nothing. It only deepens the depths into which our economic house must fall.

We need sound money and to stop playing Santa Claus to the world with our policing, and interventionism, “free trade” technology transfers, etc. Republican leaders in this state and nationally too often just ignore the platform and vote like closet Democrats. Our two Republican senators’ support for the stimulus bill is instructive. Apparently, these two think more socialism is good.

We need leaders who support our platform, and Republicans need to add some teeth to our platform so when our leaders won’t follow it, out they go.

It’s time to move back from globalization and “Rockefeller Republicanism” and just follow the Constitution.

If people want to vote for more socialism there’s already a party for that. Why wouldn’t they just go and pull the lever for the real thing instead of voting “Democrat Lite,” i.e., the current Republican Party?

Steve Martin

Maine State Republican Committee



Usury, greed and hope

The BDN’s “Voices” column (Feb. 7-8) contained some inaccuracies. Mr. Shariff said the Old Testament condemned charging interest for money loaned. Had he studied further what all the scripture says about the subject, he would have come to the whole truth. Deuteronomy 23:20 says, “Unto a stranger thou mayest lend unto usury; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend unto usuary.”

He referenced Ezekiel 18:7 but did not include it in the article. It states, “And hath not oppressed any but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment.”

I believe it is saying not to profit by a brother’s misfortunes. I do agree that our current financial problems stem from greed. There were laws banning exorbitant interest rates at one time, but now credit card companies have a license to steal with rates up to 30 percent. Our federal and state governments have created this mess along with the Federal Reserve Bank. For all those with the mantra of hope and change, our leaders have demonstrated they don’t plan to change and hope is steadily being stripped away.

Joe Phillips



February garden visions

“Grounds for appeal,” the column by Ardeana Hamlin (BDN, Feb. 9) was a wonderful description of two of the most beautiful gardens in Maine. If you have ever visited either the Asticou Gardens or the Thuya Gardens on Mount Desert Island, you know what I mean.

I have had the good fortune to see Letitia Baldwin’s two-volume book, “Two Island Gardens.” The histories of the two gardens and the stories of their creators are excellent. I know the book designer is not usually mentioned when a book is reviewed but I would like to give credit to my friend and colleague, Joanna Young, who was the designer for these two breathtaking books.

Joanna is a graphic designer of exceptional artistry. She has a talent for pulling all the best pieces together to create an inspiring graphic design. These books are a must-read if you love flowers or gardens. They are a must-look if you want to relax your snow-weary eyes on a vision of summer’s delight.

Janet Spencer



Fishy politics

The administrators of the Department of Marine Resources are on a mission, and it appears the mind-set is that the end justifies the means. In a thinly veiled attempt to subvert the oversight authority of the department’s advisory council, Commissioner George LaPointe cooked up a claim of crisis in the scallop fishery and very questionable claims of imminent depletion of the resource.

Using pronouncements of dire straits in the scallop fishery, LaPointe is pushing forward with an effort to do what was rejected last November by the advisory council. In the process of getting what he wants, the commissioner has utterly dismissed the credibility of the fishing community with his recent actions regarding the scallop season and scallop management.

The introduction of legislation regarding area management of the scallop fishery by Sen. Kevin Raye is a good start toward self-governance of the fishery. Without specifics enabling that self-governance, the folks in Maine’s commercial fishing industry have little trust in LaPointe and his underlings acting in good faith. The commissioner’s current blatant end run of the advisory council’s oversight authority is only one example of the reasons for that lack of trust. If the end run succeeds, that lack of trust will justly be extended to the political leaders that allow it to happen.

William Sutter


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