Feb. 20 Letters to the Editor

Posted Feb. 20, 2009, at 6:21 p.m.

No license for illegals

After reading the story about opponents trying to change parts of the new driver’s license laws, I was concerned and disappointed. It seems Sen. Dennis Damon, D-Trenton, would like to remove a requirement that an individual prove that he or she is in this country legally.

Why would anyone want to make it easier for an illegal person to obtain a Maine driver’s license? These licenses can be used for identification purposes and certainly should not be held by persons who are illegally in the United States.

Sen. Damon said this law erodes our freedom and liberties. Mandatory seat belt laws, auto insurance and auto inspections also erode our freedom but serve a useful purpose. I think the key word in the whole article is “legal.” If a person isn’t legally in this country, they shouldn’t be here and certainly shouldn’t be getting a Maine driver’s license.

Merle Cousins

Southwest Harbor

···

Yawn or wince?

In his 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language,” George Orwell examines the complementary relationship between language and thought: Our language, he says, “becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.”

After listening to George W. Bush’s eight-year unilateral assault on clear and cogent English, I welcome the articulate speech of President Barack Obama. It’s as if an interminable siege has at last been lifted, and now our liberator stands at the podium responsive to the people, directly, clearly, thoughtfully answering the complex questions of our time.

Thanks to Obama’s election, I am now hopeful, as was Orwell, that the decline of our language is “reversible.”

BDN columnist Kent Ward (Feb. 14-15) is apparently less sanguine. He finds Obama’s thoughtful responses during his recent press conference too longwinded and imagines TV viewers changing the station as their “eyes begin to glaze over.”

If such a thing did happen, it would say more about American attention spans than it would about Obama’s rhetoric or the extent of his knowledge.

But I suspect the mass clicking of remote controls Ward imagined did not happen. Ward was merely projecting his own impatience onto the American people, most of whom, I’m sure, welcome the improvement in presidential language as much as they do the reform of administrative policy.

Ward may find himself yawning in boredom during the press conference, but surely a yawn in one’s living room is preferable to a national wince on the world stage.

William Murphy

Belfast

···

Yield to traffic

In a recent letter to the editor, the writer talks about the close calls she has seen because people slow down or come to a stop while merging on the Interstate.

I saw an accident in which a small car with three teenage girls in it didn’t yield to the oncoming traffic and was struck by a one-ton truck.

Luckily, the truck slowed down when the driver saw that the teenager wasn’t going to yield. He couldn’t pull over as he was being passed at the same time.

Other states have merge lanes that keep going or finally merge after a half mile or more. So please yield to on coming traffic, even if it means you have to stop for a few seconds. You may save someone else’s life or your own.

Roger Seamans

Millinocket

···

Maine deserved better

This week we saw the largest spending package in the history of the world rammed through Congress without debate, consideration or public input.

Setting the merits of the bill aside, what we saw was a failure and abdication of responsibility by our congressional delegation. Sens. Collins, Snowe, Pingree and Michaud did not read the bill. (They could not digest 1,100 pages in the 12 hours allotted them before the voting began). They did not insist on hearings on the bill. They did not do the most elemental analysis of the matter.

This was not representation. It was personal indulgence based on party, perks and self interest. Susan Collins capped it off with her Saturday OpEd piece in which she lauded the process and repeated the “fear” mantra that drove the legislation.

This was not representation of the people of Maine. They failed us. I repeat: They did not read the bill. They are working for themselves, not the people of Maine. We deserve better.

Paul Trommer

Bangor

···

Four-day school is cruel

Not one human being who sincerely loves children would consider compelling them to endure a 10-hour day, four-days a week.

College kids and clam diggers can conceivably accomplish their goals within a four-day workweek. My first grade great-granddaughter should not be compared to them.

Most of us know all youngsters need more sleep in the morning. They are already sleep deprived. Too many board a school bus at 6:30 a.m., and return home after 4 p.m.

I suspect one of three things about those who promote a four-day school week: They are forgetting children’s basic needs. They have a vested interest in private schools. They are far more interested in dollars than they are in the health, happiness and education of Maine’s youngsters.

David A. Richards

Dover-Foxcroft

···

Let God judge

I have been reading letters to the editor on the gay marriage debate and have been very disappointed. Some writers have referred to gay marriage as “indecent,” “immoral” and “unacceptable.” I have read several letters that included religious beliefs and usually a quote from Scripture. These letters condemn others and inflict upon us the writer’s interpretation of what is “wrong,” an act of judgment.

I was taught by my parents to treat others as I would want to be treated, and that I do not have the authority to judge another human being.

Why are so many of us judging others and their personal lives? If my brother wants to kiss his boyfriend, that is his business. If my lesbian friend wants to marry her partner of 10 years, so long as she is happy, then that is not my business, and it is surely nobody else’s.

And it is not the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities that have caused the decline in moral standards in this country. It is we who allow our children to play video games that promote crime, that everything we come in contact with is super sexualized, that we can allow a woman and her child to sleep under a bridge in the winter, that fatherless homes have somehow become acceptable.

There are far more pressing issues we need to worry about than the relationships of people we don’t even know. Let your God be the judge of them, and remember, one day, your God will judge you, too.

Abbie Wickett

Hampden

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/02/20/opinion/feb-20-letters-to-the-editor-2/ printed on September 21, 2014