April 25, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Posted April 24, 2009, at 7:35 p.m.

Gun numbers

Eric Goodale’s letter “War on our border” (BDN, April 3) is based on an outright lie being perpetrated on the American people by the Obama administration. He repeats statements from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others designed to encourage the repeal of our Second Amendment right to own guns.

Goodale claimed that 90 percent of the weapons confiscated from drug cartels in Mexico were traceable to the U.S. The real number is closer to 17 percent and none of those traced to the U.S. are the fully automatic assault rifles such as AK-47s, Uzis and the like, including some 150,000 M-16s manufactured in Belgium the Mexican army has lost through desertions.

More than 30,000 weapons have been confiscated in Mexico in the last couple of years. Of that, about 11,000 had serial numbers (mandatory on all weapons manufactured or sold in the U.S.). The Mexican government sent those to the U.S. to be traced. Of those 11,000, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had records on about 6,000, meaning that about 5,000 had never been in the U.S. Of the 6,000 that the ATF had records on, 5,114 were traced to a U.S. manufacturer or had been imported for sale in the U.S.

And 5,114 of the 30,000 confiscated is closer to 17 percent than the ridiculous 90 percent quoted by the Obama administration — the real culprit in this attack on the American public and their constitutional rights.

Ellen Greeke

Tenants Harbor

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Close the door

I heartily agree with BDN columnist Pat LaMarche (April 15) concerning the shamefulness of our nation’s treatment of “detainees” suspected of terror. It is unconscionable to resort to torture even if it was deemed necessary in order to defend our way of life.

Those who participated in such activity should be held accountable for their actions. There is a sanctity to all human life that decent and honorable people should respect.

What many fail to consider, though, is that a precedent for this depreciation of human dignity was established several decades ago with the recognition of abortion on demand as a legal practice here in America.

Every year since then, more than a million defenseless Americans have been meeting a horrific end of life at the hands of abortionists, with the support of our legislature, defense of our judiciary and approval of many of our citizens.

Granted, a small percentage of abortions are associated with saving the lives of mothers, but most are essentially for the purpose of preserving the lifestyle of those who claim a right to this choice. Pro-lifers have long been warning that the precedent of defending the lifestyle of one group at the expense of the lives of another group would end up expressing itself in other ways. Once we rationalize the devaluing of some human life, we open the door to the devaluation of any human life to suit the ends of those in power.

This is a door that needs to be closed all the way.

Peter Sprague

Bangor

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Protesting what?

You would think people would have better things to do with their time and money than to buy tea and complain about taxes, then throw the tea in the Kenduskeag Stream to boot. What a waste of time and money. Now if you want to protest the fact that corporations get a post office box offshore in order to not pay their taxes (estimated to be about $120 billion a year) — taxes that we as average taxpayers have to pay — then I will be glad to show up and stand with you.

Get real, conservatives. The only reason the tea-baggers showed up was because “fixed” news promoted it. At this point in time, I’m sure I don’t want to take advice from the people who caused the problem in the first place, namely the Republican Party. Why not give this administration a chance to fix the problem caused by the Bush policies? He certainly can’t do any worse.

Bob Clark

Bangor

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Values, wisdom

This letter responds to the column, “Same-sex parents share ideals of heterosexual moms, dads” (BDN, April 15) by Diane Schetky, a psychiatrist who argues that homosexual couples share similar values to heterosexual couples.

While it is undoubtedly true that some values are shared by all, the liberal, anti-family, anti-Christian educational milieu which fostered her opinions has apparently left her with a world view that prevents her from honestly assessing what it means for a society to turn its back on traditional families and on God. To modern psy-chiatry, we are all products of our environment, with little or no responsibilities for our actions. Thus, she trumpets the oft-disproved radical homosexual agenda chimera that homosexuals are born that way, and are thus absolved from their decisions to reject God and traditional morality.

If her conclusions were true, people would not be able to escape that horribly destructive lifestyle, and yet I have seen it happen repeatedly through the love, compassion and prayer of those who care.

Nationally, God believes in absolutes, and He’s the ultimate arbiter of what’s true and what isn’t. Historically, those nations who have honored Him and His laws have prospered, and those that have rejected Him and His laws have failed. It’s truly that simply. If we honor homosexual marriages on a par with marriages that God has ordained, we put our wisdom above His, and had better be ready to suffer the consequences.

Stephen J. Martin

Maine State Republican Committee

Amity

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Losing tax scenario

I want to take issue with a recent OpEd promoting a proposal to lower the income tax rate from 8.5 to 6.5 percent for “all Maine people,” broaden the sales and use tax base and raise the meals and lodging tax, under the misguided belief that overall taxes for Maine residents will be reduced while at the same time increasing state coffers.

Most residents now pay less than 6 percent tax on their income (many a lot less), so that those in the higher income brackets will be the only ones to benefit from a flat rate of 6.5 percent, while the majority of us will see a tax increase.

The expansion of sales and use taxes will include amusement and recreation services, repair and maintenance, transportation and long-distance telephone services, etc. Also included is a 21 percent increase in the meals and lodging tax as well as a 50 percent increase in vehicle rentals. All this when we are trying to promote one of our leading products, tourism, at a time when the national economy is in shambles. Surprisingly, Mainers, as well as tourists, like to vacation here, eat out here, require repair and maintenance here, occasionally have the need to rent a vehicle here, make long-distance phone calls here, etc., and we will have to pay these additional taxes 12 months of the year.

This tax proposal will be a lose-lose-lose proposition for Mainers, Maine businesses and the state of Maine at a time when we can least afford it.

Joe Bertolaccini

Orrington

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