Nov. 19 Letters to the Editor

Posted Nov. 18, 2009, at 6:09 p.m.

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After President Obama’s meeting with 386 tribal Indian nations, (“Obama to renew relations with Indians,” BDN, Nov. 6), the president stated: “I get it. I’m on your side.” It would be reassuring if the president could listen to former Attorney General Ramsey Clark in his support to free Leonard Peltier. The justice system allowed “fabricated and utterly misleading circumstantial evidence” in his 1977 trial. Much essential background pertaining to this case was excluded, including much of the government-instigated violence in and around Pine Ridge Reservation. It seems sadly suspicious that even his appeals have been turned down.

President Obama, as a new voice of American government, can certainly soften not only Native American but also all American government paranoia.

According to Barack Obama’s own admittance, he is an “outsider,” who is connecting with the struggles of all Americans. In the name of justice, President Obama can commute that sentence.

Let’s make sure Leonard Peltier will not be forgotten.

Donald A. Joseph

Orono

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Snowe: It’s time

While traveling through southern Maine last week, Sen. Snowe stated that she has argued against what she calls “artificial time limits” on health care reform. The issue was first raised 100 years ago by Theodore Roosevelt. Our current health care debate is almost a year old now.

She also told constituents that she opposes a public option and favors a trigger option. I think that Anthem has pulled that trigger by suing the state to ensure that its high profits continue. This action should make it clear to her that affordability and increased coverage are not priorities for them. The insurance industry as a whole has already promised that rates will increase because the penalties imposed on people who can’t afford insurance won’t be heavy enough. If this isn’t enough to convince the senator that the need for a public option has already been triggered, then I would like to hear what it would take.

She spoke about her concern that the most commonly purchased policy for small-business owners is one with a $15,000 deductible. I am glad that she understands the kind of burden that places on small-business owners in Maine. I hope the ad that appeared in the Bangor Daily News Nov. 13 will help reinforce for her that we have waited long enough for reform. Denying the public option in favor of a trigger option will only delay relief even longer and force many policyholders to drop coverage when Anthem proceeds with its promised rate increases.

Shelly Mountain

Mapleton

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Emergency ignored

At the Legislative Council Meeting on Nov. 15 an appeal was made to the council’s decision on Oct. 15 to not allow into the session the bill to prohibit mandatory vaccinations. The appeal was to allow the bill into the session; not about paranoia, not about vaccine safety or individual rights over health choices. It was to allow the bill into the session where those topics and more could be discussed.

This council allowed “emergency measures” like Rep. Perry’s bill concerning malt liquor on a golf course, or “An Act to Regulate the Transportation of Firewood” into the session. But a bill that generated public interest illustrated by Rep. Pingree’s acknowledgment regarding the intense lobbying resultant of her prior vote and demonstrated by 75 people, some traveling from up to three hours away, to attend the hearing itself, didn’t merit the deliberations that would result if the bill was allowed in.

These public servants ignored their constituents; seeing fit to waste time and money while junking the concerns of the public.

Sen. Courtney observed 19 minutes of discussion indicating the need to allow the bill in, commenting that they were entering a work session. Useful that meeting was, though. Rep. Berry taught us that “mandatory doesn’t mean involuntary.” And we saw first-hand demonstrations of ascendancy and arrogance as Sen. Marrache, Sen. Bartlett and Rep. Berry tossed a puck of malarkey around distracting from the topic at hand; allowing the bill into the session.

2010 cannot come soon enough.

Cynthia Rosen

Washington

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Time served

Amber Cummings, the woman sentenced for killing her husband in Belfast, has already served her time: 10 years of spousal abuse. She took a potential terrorist out of circulation single-handedly. Set her free to raise her daughter, wish her luck, and give her a medal for valor.

Jerry Metz

Addison

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