‘Relief and skepticism’
As we examine the choices being made by President Obama, both relief and skepticism flood our minds and hearts. Most agree, however, that we have a chance, for the first time in more than a decade, to be heard by “the powers that be.” There are many outlets for citizens to express themselves, including, President Obama’s Web site: change.gov/page/s/yourvision. But the most important thing we must do is gather together to combine our strengths and energies in order to convince our congressional delegates to support the changes we most passionately want to see happen. All over the country, communities are organizing themselves to do just that.
An occasion open to all in the midcoast area has been planned for that purpose. A “speak-out” will be held 3-5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Troy Howard Middle School cafeteria on Route 52 in Belfast. It is an opportunity to share our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. Each speaker will be given three minutes initially to introduce themselves and share their ideas.
Working group sign-up sheets will be created reflecting the topics raised and follow-up meetings will be scheduled. The organizers have invited our congressional delegation to send representatives, and the forum will be videotaped and distributed to those representatives who attend. Other follow-up ideas may emerge as well. For more information, contact Peter Stewart at 322-7099.
Senators on our side
Sens. Collins and Snowe actually listen to the American people. They are to be commended for supporting the president and showing us they can think on their own.
The vote in the House, 176-0 against the stimulus package, reflects Mr. Boehner’s lemmings will follow anywhere — even to self-destruction. That is exactly where they are headed.
We elected Mr. Obama because he listens and is fed up with “this-side, and that-side,” of the aisle, politics. We want it known as “our side”!
Albert W. Metz
Love it or leave it
I write in response to the Feb. 3 letter by Mark Tardif, “Fairness doctrine urged.”
I have been listening to talk radio shows and the Voice of Maine most of my life. All they do is bring out the truth. They expose the crooks, thieves, bandits and crooked politicians (and there are quite a few).
The only people who should be scared of freedom of speech are dictators and thieves.
If people are anti-American and don’t like the Constitution and a free country, they should go to China — it will be paradise for them.
New ice age
While in Germany in December 2008, Al Gore warned that the entire north polar ice cap will disappear in five years. On Jan. 1, the Arctic Climate Research Center, University of Illinois, which monitors both polar regions by satellite, reported the 17.5 million square kilometers of global sea ice is at the same level as in 1979.
Also, 2008 was predicted by computer models to be the hottest year in the last 100 years. Instead, it was the coldest in a decade! The threat to the polar bear population also didn’t happen as predicted. There are currently 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from only 8,000 to 10,000, 40 years ago.
New predictions claim the warming 12,000-year-long halocene period will soon come to an end and the “new fear” is a coming ice age. Perhaps this is why Al Gore refuses to debate anyone on his global warming scam.
Sherman L. Currie
‘Think anew, act anew’
Robert Kagan’s OpEd, “Five reasons not to cut defense budget” (BDN, Feb. 6), is a wonder to behold. He says that a (proposed) 10 percent cut would put people out of work, make the world believe that an “’American retreat has begun,” spoil negotiations with Russia and Iran, undermine Republican support for foreign aid and weaken our military forces.
The Center for Defense Information tells a different story. It says that annual American military expenditures exceed those of all other nations combined, that we have military forces stationed in more than 100 nations, and that we have thousands of nuclear weapons (many on missiles which could be fired on a few minutes’ notice) It adds that our defense budget is loaded with waste and much of our foreign aid is military.
Now we have a national financial emergency, tremendous unemployment, a horde of urgent domestic needs and a sky-high national debt, much of which is financed by foreign governments.
Recall Abraham Lincoln’s words in 1862: “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
It is time for all of us to think anew about our nation’s military posture. Why do we have such large armed forces and expenses?
Karl K. Norton
Pushing winter along
In recent months the Bangor Daily News has been subjected to criticism for some of the photos on the front page of the paper. Many of these have not been front page material and should have been included on an inside page.
On Monday, Feb. 9, we were greeted on the front page by the photo of the “Beef Stew and Biscuit” celebration in Palmyra. The photo of Carol Collins on the sled with the dog Chance was a very cheerful greeting on a cold morning. What an event to enjoy: “Beef Stew and Biscuits.” Wouldn’t it be fun to have a ride on the sled with Chance? What a way to push winter along. You are commended for including a nice piece of news about life in Maine in a long winter.