Profit motive is top priority
There’s a great quote I came across recently that I think some people might recognize: “Sell a man a fish and he eats for a day; teach a man to fish and you miss a great opportunity to make money.” It’s a saying that I simultaneously found both funny and terrifying, particularly in its eerily relevant application to the nature of today’s health care debate in Congress.
The fact of the matter is that we’re living in nation whose most prominent politicians are struggling to defend the merits and motives of an industry whose primary objective is to maintain and expand the size of its profit margin. We have already left health care up to the markets, equilibrium has been found, and it’s left 15 percent of the country without health care and millions more with insufficient coverage.
Socialist paranoia aside, we really have arrived at a crucial juncture in the history of American politics, and like or not, public health care is, and will remain the only viable option for a developed, functional society capable of providing for its people. It’s time we ignore of the pleas of an industry in death’s throes and embrace the tools necessary for a sustainable future.
Grocer as guru
Kudos to Downeast grocer, Basel Soukarieh (“Down East grocer cuts profit, adds loyalty,” BDN, June 11). I hope his business benefits greatly from the story the BDN published about his operating philosophy.
What a tremendous example he provides in that hard-hit region. I found myself wondering that if he were interested in elected office that his attitude toward life and community would greatly benefit the sate as a whole.
Then again, maybe he should be offered the opportunity to teach a business course at the University of Maine at Machias, or UMaine in Orono, if he can find the time. Perhaps business majors could intern under Mr. Soukarieh.
I looked at the next story on the page, about the “rescuing” of the auto industry and thought, “If only he were in charge!” But obviously nothing is that simple. I guess for now he is just where he ought to be, being what he ought to be: good neighbor, good businessman, and good guy.
Bashing Bush over safety
Doubtlessly, the selective release of the CIA and military memos by Obama and the ACLU on enhanced interrogation techniques have accomplished their intended propaganda purpose of bashing the Bush administration and playing to their extremist base. Now that the damage has already been done to national security, there is no reason for Obama and the ACLU to withhold the remaining memos describing how these interrogation methods have prevented another 9/11 attack, as well other attacks both here and in other countries.
Apparently Speaker Pelosi and her Democratic colleagues have long known about these interrogation methods, even to the point of endorsing them. Now that Obama is in the White House, Pelosi and friends have suddenly come down with a case of amnesia.
In summary, keeping us safe needs to have a higher priority with the new administration.
Civil rights and sermons
I would like to express my opinion about a couple of matters.
I have always appreciated the Bangor Daily for placing articles, sometimes with pictures, in the church news, of upcoming special speakers and events. Thank you!
I am, however, upset over some recent developments. The headline of the Bangor Daily on the day after the public hearing on the same sex marriage amendment suggested that this was about civil rights vs. traditional values. In my opinion, this has nothing to do with civil rights laws. This is about granting special rights that is a violation of the spirit of the Constitution of the state of Maine and of the United States of America.
And I was appalled upon hearing that a letter to the editor written by a concerned citizen giving her opinion on the same sex marriage amendment was rejected out of hand and the reason given “it sounded too much like a sermon.” How many letters have been printed, “sermonizing” on a given viewpoint? This sounds to me like a violation of the free speech principle that I always though the Bangor Daily News has espoused.
Pastor J. C. Gall
Searsport Full Gospel Church
Obama’s reckless spending
Our new president is breaking the back of the U.S. economy with his reckless spending. Not only has he quadrupled the deficit in just six months in office, but his health care reform proposal could be the one that breaks the bank. We are printing and borrowing money at a phenomenal rate with no idea how we are going to pay it back.
I am calling on Sens. Collins and Snowe to stand up and fight back. We need a voice to be heard and the time is now. Forget about the re-election process and fight for the people of Maine and this country.
It is not a matter of left or right at this point, it is a matter of doing what is right for America.
Kudos to Legislature
Over the past year of this painful recession, these pages have very thoroughly described some of our region’s most pressing needs, including jobs, improved energy efficiency and affordable housing. Kudos to the Legislature for tackling all three at once: the green affordable housing bond approved last week will help build housing that people can afford, and do it in a way that both increases our energy efficiency and jump-starts the devastated construction sector.
Better still, the bond initiative could generate more in revenue for the state – in the form of increased income and building supply sales tax receipts – than it costs in debt service payments.
Special thanks are owed to Senate President Libby Mitchell, Sen. Phil Bartlett and House Speaker Hannah Pingree for their leadership and commitment to making this bond a reality. The members of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Energy Future, including Rep. Michael Celli of Brewer, also deserve special recognition.
Sometimes we can be quick to criticize actions that state leaders take or fail to take. It’s important that we move just as quickly to commend them for taking bold action that responds to real community needs, especially in such a difficult year.
Charles R. Newton