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July 20 Letters to the Editor

Catholic Charities

This is in response to Howard Segal’s July 9 letter to the editor, “Know them by their works,” and his reference to Bishop Malone and the Catholic Church. Mr. Segal is obviously unaware of Catholic Charities and its numerous programs that assist people, not only in our state, but also across our nation and in Third World countries. These programs help those in need regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation.

Two of our grandchildren have participated in programs similar to the one recently completed by All Souls Congregational Church in Honduras. These are wonderful programs and a great experience for teenagers.

Also, in regard to the July 13 letter by Brian MacFarland, because people disagree with the definition of marriage does not mean they “hate” anyone. Christ loves all people regardless of orientation and this is what is taught in all Christian churches.

Ellie Bertolaccini



Guns rights explained

In response of Ronald Jarvella’s July 10 OpEd, “Right to bear arms is a relic,” I must ask, what part of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” does he not understand?

Our Founding Fathers put that in the Constitution because of their dissatisfaction with British rule. It is to protect our rights as American citizens in defense of control government.

Mr. Jarvella writes that it is no longer necessary for a private citizen to protect himself or his fellow man. I have the utmost respect for our local police departments and they do a great job. Unless you have a police officer follow you around 24 hours a day or living at your house, you are not protected. The police department cannot be everywhere at once. They will get there just in time to put up the crime-scene tape and help the coroner zip you up in a body bag.

Michael McEwen



Court ruling on guns

Why does Ronald Jarvella thinks he’s qualified to comment on the constitutional rights of gun owners (“Right to bear arms is a relic,” BDN OpEd, July 10)? Rather than revisit the Second Amendment, he should revisit the Supreme Court ruling of June 27, which unequivocally stated that individual citizens have the right to keep and bear arms, and that the right to bear arms is not based on the need or lack of need for a civilian militia.

The ruling also specifically clarified the private citizen’s right to own a handgun for personal protection and protection of property. Mr. Jarvella’s idea that the Second Amendment is a relic reflects a dangerous and naive attitude toward our basic rights. If we followed his convoluted reasoning, maybe the right to free speech should be revisited so we’d have a way to silence him. And who needs the right to free assembly when we have the Internet?

Jack Gagnon



Green Party cure

It is a sad commentary on the state of the U.S. Congress when it refuses to allow single-payer health insurance to be considered in the health care reform process.

Two reasons are stated for this omission: Single payer has no chance of passing. Single payer would bankrupt the insurance industry.

Both problems could be resolved easily if Congress, including Maine’s Republican senators, and many congressional Democrats, were not so dependent on campaign contributions from the insurance industry. Single payer (Medicare for all), which is supported by a majority of doctors and the public, is the most efficient and cost-effective health insurance plan but the all-powerful insurance lobby, and its subservient politicians, will not even allow it a place at the table.

Only the Green Party supports single payer in its platform (gp.org) and does not accept donations from corporations.

It is time for a new politics.

Nancy Allen



The ‘common good’

The health care debate is a sham, carefully orchestrated by those poised to win. The rules have been fixed offstage: no public option, no public opinions. I had expected more of Obama. It’s clear now greedy corporations own and operate the United States of America. You saw the results on Wall Street. Ironically, this type of usurpation is what began the American Revolution.

Capitalism has many freedoms to offer us but not predatory capitalism. Expensive PR campaigns have been launched to deceive witless Americans into fearing a government-run program — clearly our best solution. People miss the critical point — insurance companies profit by denying care, not providing it. They’re morally bankrupt and an ethical disgrace. The notion that the wealth and personal extravagance of CEOs and shareholders is somehow critical to our well-being is the height of arrogance.

Our culture has become poisoned, dominated by greed and consumption, our laws written by lobbyists for corporations, our leaders corrupted by political blackmail. The government’s job is to protect the common good, not sell it to the highest bidder. We are the only modern country to allow such nonsense. Trading in human misery (I include our two phony wars) destroys our civility and our democracy. But worse can come. Just wait until they get hold of your food and water (Google “Bechtel and Bolivia”).

Dennis Lopez



Calling all recent grads

With summer halfway over, thousands of Maine college graduates are coming to the realization that landing a job is not as easy as they might have hoped, and that student loan repayment period is fast approaching.

I urge graduates not to overlook the opportunity national service can provide. AmeriCorps VISTA is a branch of the Corporation for National and Community Service that focuses specifically on poverty alleviation by placing full-time volunteers in nonprofit organizations serving low-income communities. VISTAs, or Volunteers in Service to America, serve in a full-time professional setting, working through indirect service to implement sustainable new programs and increase the capacity of nonprofit organizations.

These positions are available all over the country, with many available in our state. VISTAs receive a small monthly stipend to cover living expenses. But perhaps more enticing is the $4,725 education award that can be used to repay federal loans or future tuition. And drum roll, please, federal loans are deferred with acceptance into AmeriCorps. Why not answer the new administration’s call to service, reduce your debt, expand your network and gain one year of valuable professional experience that will put you ahead of the game when want to land that job next year?

Visit americorps.gov/for_individuals/choose/vista.asp for more information and to apply.

Craig DeForest

AmeriCorps VISTA

University of Maine

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