Oct. 5 Letters to the Editor

Posted Oct. 04, 2009, at 5:09 p.m.

UMS disincentive

The University of Maine System’s “New Challenges, New Directions” initiative aims to cut the $42.8 million budget deficit shortfall by 2013.

Great idea, but at what price?

One of the recommendations is “curtailment of employee compensation and benefits” (BDN, Sept. 30). Curtailment is nothing but a euphemism for cutting. What message does that send to current and prospective employees? Who wants to apply for work at an institution that is already lagging behind national averages and is now promoting cuts?

Roger A. Martin

Madawaska

Loves Levi Bridges

It is with eager anticipation that I reach for Saturday’s edition of the BDN. I have thoroughly enjoyed each of Levi Bridges’ articles chronicling his bicycle trip across Russia. As a recent traveler to Eastern Europe myself, I can identify with many of the observations he has made and I am vicariously enjoying every minute of his adventure.

Thank you for printing his writing. His pieces are exciting and his writing style is excellent.

Click here to view all of Levi Bridges’ Russian Bike Tour articles and photos.

I have saved each of Levi’s weekly updates because I hope to reread them often. I hope he writes a book — it would be an awesome read.

Susan Greeley

Morrill

No public option

In reply to a recent letter to the editor, the only poll I have seen that shows people favoring a public option for health care was conducted by the New York Times. Anyone believing anything it prints is very naive.

The last Rasmussen poll says that the majority of Americans oppose the public option. If the Democrats would leave Medicare alone I might agree.

There isn’t any way to pay for Medicare under their plan without making massive cuts. I happen to be under Medicare, and opted to use Advantage Plan instead of Plan B. I would lose that under their plan or plans.

My wife is Canadian and has a health plan card from Canada. I am very familiar with its system and it is not good. My wife recently fell and broke her arm. We weren’t far from the border in Houlton. We never had any discussion about where to take her for treatment. Why, when this country has the best medical care in the world, do we think the government can make it better?

The only part of our system that is broke is its cost. Let’s fix that.

Robert Nightingale

New Limerick

Health care fix needed

What worries me most about the heated debate over health care reform is the lack of attention given to getting our soldiers out of harm’s way in illegally occupied Iraq and Afghanistan. “Support our troops” is no longer the catch phrase of the day.

Also a worry is the fact that much of Congress is at odds over allowing us decent, affordable health care and preventive care. A simple bill for health care reform is needed, one that would give everyone equal access to health care, like what Congress has.

It might go like this: Every U.S. citizen is entitled to free medical and dental care, free prescription drugs and free preventive care.

Imagine the boon to the economy if this were the case. Not having to pay outrageous insurance and medical rates would then allow us to pay our heating bills and put wholesome food on our tables; we would then be able to pay our mortgages and buy a new car from GM or Ford; we would have more to spend at shopping malls. The ailing economy would heal. We would heal and become more productive.

In the past two years Congress handed to crooked executives and their “ailing” corporations more money than would have been spent on providing health care to us all for many years to come.

Sadly, Congress does not show as much concern for their constituents as they do the lobbyists. Leadership in Washington is failing ordinary Americans.

Les Simon

Jonesboro

Snowe out of touch

How can anyone still believe that Sen. Olympia Snowe represents the people of Maine?

Polls show that 70 percent of Americans want a public option in the health care bill, an alternative to HMOs. More than 45 million Americans are currently without health care and that number is growing at the rate of at least 10,000 each day.

Sen. Snowe, while acknowledging that health care in this country is in dire straits, wants to give the insurance companies another five years to clean up their act, to stop denying claims, stop canceling coverage when someone gets sick; these tactics are how HMOs make their profits.

Our senator — recipient of $1,147,000 from these HMOs — wants to give them another five years of profits and then we’ll get tough and take care of the people’s needs.

The HMOs are spending millions of dollars each week on lobbying to make sure the public option is defeated; thanks to our senator, it looks like they’ll get their way.

Call her office and let her know it’s time she started looking after our interests.

Tom Prescott

Belfast

Deceptive ad

In a TV advertisement against marriage equality, it is implied that Charla Bansley is a public school teacher rather than a Christian school teacher and activist who is against many progressive things including stem cell research. In fact, in 2000 Mrs. Bansley called for the abolishment of the Maine Department of Education.

She and an out-of-state couple, the Wirthlins, create straw dogs to strike fear in the hearts of Mainers using the tactics of “the big lie” that Hitler used to convince Germany to unite. This is nothing less than anti-American and insults the independence that we Mainers have always been known for.

The father in the ad, a grandson of an elder in the Mormon Church, is, in fact, a member of a group that Massachusetts has classified as a hate group.

To say that these religious zealots are anti-constitutional may be extreme, but in a democracy such as ours, to have people who are against public education, against freedom of the press and against equal rights, shows that they are.

As an American, I support their right to express their views. However, if I had thought of voting any other way, this ad that is trying to sway us by fear, convinces me that I must vote no on 1 to uphold Maine’s independent thinking and the Constitution.

David Berg

Searsport

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/10/04/opinion/oct-5-letters-to-the-editor-2/ printed on July 28, 2014