Nov. 22 Letters to the Editor

Posted Nov. 22, 2009, at 6:14 p.m.

The Trojan horse

The Trojan horse was a tale from the Trojan War as told in Virgil’s Latin epic poem, “The Aeneid.”

This story is taking place again today. It is the stratagem that has allowed the for-profit health industry to finally enter the nonprofit Medicare program and spread its tentacles.

After more than four decades of attempting to gain access and destroy the government-run Medicare program, the for-profits constructed a huge horse they called Medicare Advantage inside which was a plethora of goodies to lure the most hardened skeptics. The progressives pulled the horse into their nonprofit site as a victory trophy.

That night, the for-profits crept out of the horse and began dispersing the wonderful treats to tempt the gullible in the morning. All the for-profits then entered the Medicare program, corrupting it as they went.

Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich had guessed the plot and warned the progressives that the horse would be the downfall of Medicare, in Virgil’s famous line “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes” (Do not trust [conservatives] bearing gifts), but his party and the media campaigned against him, and he was not believed.

A Trojan horse has come to mean any trick that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place, presented as useful or harmless, in order to induce the user to welcome them.

Eliot Chandler

Bangor

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Series ‘hatchet job’

The BDN’s five-part series on guns in Maine was another “hatchet job” on Maine’s gun owners, disguised as fair journalism.

Sly twists of language fill Kevin Miller’s story — such as Maine Rep. Anna Blodgett’s attempt to push an anti-gun law, “what she thought was a common-sense bill.”

“The powerful gun owners’ lobby figures heavily” in Blodgett’s failure to get legislation passed, Miller says. What is powerful is the gun owner who contacts legislators and demands protection of his rights.

Next to Miller’s article, Christopher Cousins recaps Perley Goodrich Jr.’s killing of his father, Perley Sr. It is known that Perley Jr. suffers from mental disease. But perhaps he should have received treatment for his illness.

Miller says that Maine has a “controversial history” of protecting gun owners. And Maine, he says, received a low score from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The Brady Campaign is notorious for wanting to round up all the guns and do what Australia or England did.

Both those nations now suffer from increased violent crime and lawmakers in London are scrambling to blame knives for some of that increase.

Maine is painted as a gun-owner’s haven that harbors danger for others.

Yet our crime rate is very low, even if it is increasing. Gun controllers want more gun control, yet cannot enforce laws already in effect, and criminals, now forbidden firearms, obtain them illegally. They always will. Only people who obey laws will be affected by gun-control laws.

John Hubbard

Bangor

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Cavalier decision

Concerning the BDN’s Nov. 18 report, “Mount Desert manager’s contract not renewed”: I think the reporter missed the point as well as a good opportunity for a story. These Board of Selectmen meetings are generally so sparsely attended that the very fact that 125 or so residents attended should say something about the strong feelings of the electorate in Mount Desert.

It is strange that the reporter apparently didn’t interview some of the attendees, which might have clarified the real issues which the town is grappling with. In the opinion of most folks I know who live on the more populous (western side) of Mount Desert, Mr. MacDonald has done a fine job as town manager and we are devastated at his contract not being renewed and angry at the arrogance of the selectmen in not considering the opinions of the residents and making this decision so cavalierly.

M. Christine Breedlove

Mount Desert

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Start early

I read with great interest the recent article in the Bangor Daily News about the alarming number of young Americans unable to serve in the military either because they lack a high school diploma, are obese, or already have a criminal record.

The military leaders who spoke out on this issue are absolutely correct that the best remedy for these challenges is starting kids off right with high quality early education and care.

As a law enforcement leader, I know firsthand that at-risk kids start life behind the eight ball. I have seen too many young people who get involved in crime, because they feel they have few other options. Getting them on the right track early, with programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start, pre-K and high quality child care improves graduation rates, lowers special education needs, reduces later crime and gives them the best chance at success in school and life.

The earlier the boosting of academic achievement and social development starts with a young child, the higher the returns to our society. It helps young people achieve their goals, whether that’s a military career or some other field. It also helps them to make good decisions that can keep them out of jail.

Ronald K. Gastia

Chief of Police

Bangor

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Health care, now

The reform of health care is not about ideology, death panels, socialism or government takeover. It is about finding the best solutions for some serious shortcomings and implementing them. One problem is that access to care is not universal. People with more resources receive more care. Some get no care at all.

Another problem is spending two to three times as much per person as all other advanced nations. This might be acceptable if we weren’t ranked 37th in health outcomes. Clearly some countries are doing better than we are. Isn’t it our responsibility to find out why, and fix it? Now.

James Olson

Penobscot

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