Nov. 28 Letters to the Editor

Posted Nov. 27, 2009, at 6:10 p.m.

Look at home for facts

Maybe someone could go to Olympia Snowe’s office and loan them 75 cents so they could pick up a copy of Monday’s Bangor Daily News. On page one, a story about the health care bill in Congress quoted her as saying she will vote against it, citing possible drawbacks for small business.

The front page of the State section in the same edition has a headlined story about small firms facing big insurance hikes. This story features a law firm with Portland and Bangor offices that, as a point of pride, has been providing their employees with full health insurance coverage. The premium on their HMO plan is set to rise 25 percent, which would push up the cost of insuring their employees by approximately $60,000, making it unlikely that the firm will be able to offer full coverage to its 37 employees.

How can the Senator make such blatantly ridiculous statements in the face of such facts? She needs to vote for health care for all the people of this country. Sen. Snowe has long held firm that the public option should only kick in if insurance companies do not make a good-faith effort to further reform.

Guess what — they’ve had decades to get it right, and they still go on getting it wrong, even in the face of mandated reform. The insurance companies evidently feel they’ve paid enough into her political coffers to insure status quo.

Gary Guisinger

Perry

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Show trial for terrorists

I must disagree with the BDN editorial regarding the decision to try Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others in civilian court in New York (“Return to Justice,” Nov. 19).

They are not criminals, they are terrorists. A definition of terrorism is the use of violence to intimidate. They were not robbing liquor stores.

Remember, these terrorists attacked the Pentagon as well, and the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania was bound for either the White House or the Capitol.

The intent was to decapitate the government of the U.S. Of course national security secrets are in danger. The court can protect secrets, but may not. Naturally, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and others will make “inflammatory speeches” in order to defend themselves.

Make no mistake, this is a show trial, not a fair trial. Both Attorney General Holder and President Obama have stated that the defendants will get a fair trial and then, if found guilty, will be executed. Sounds like the Old West. Really, it is the previous administration that the left-wing Democrats want to put on trial.

It is interesting that the BDN wants the terrorists to walk if found not guilty. I suppose we should pay their airfare back to the Middle East and compensate their families also. Eliot Spitzer said on MSNBC not to worry about the money needed for security for the trial; the federal government will pay. Where does he think the money comes from?

Richard F. Dinsmore

Belfast

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Television alternatives

That was a good article by Frazier Moore on pop-ups (“Pop-up promos littering TV screens,” BDN, Nov. 24). TV ads in general are taking over our TV viewing time. I have a few simple solutions: Turn the TV off or boycott channels that show too many ads, read a book, talk to your family, go for a walk, get a hobby.

The alternatives to TV are almost endless.

Ron Woodvine

Newport

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Lockstep senators

How can Sens. Snowe and Collins claim a mantle of bipartisanship when, in lockstep with all Senate Republicans, they voted to prevent even a floor debate on health care reform? An open debate?

It is inconceivable to me that all Republican senators opposed a health care reform debate as a matter of principle. It is very conceivable that they did so as a matter of politics — denigrating, petty, destructive politics.

And all the while I thought senators were elected to consider the welfare of all Americans, not the interests of party affiliation. How naive!

Michael F. Garrett

Lamoine

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Shelters, not courts

I just had to write this letter to express my sadness and frustration at the lack of financial support given to the homeless people in Bangor.

I read with great interest the article titled “Homeless in Bangor” by Eric Russell in the Nov. 21-22 edition of the Bangor Daily News. The article was well written and gave the personal side of being homeless. The article very clearly states the lack of beds and services available for our homeless.

But the article right under this one was “New courthouse provides judiciary 21st century stage.” Why is it the state’s budget can find $34.4 million for a building, but the state can’t find funding to provide beds for all the homeless men and women in Bangor?

A building that cost $34.4 million is an outrage. What makes a building made of brick, steel and wood cost that kind of money? Are the floors paved with gold? Did the toilet seats cost $300 apiece? Is a building more of a priority than the basic needs of a human being?

As a taxpayer and a citizen of Maine, I am ashamed and outraged that we would spend this kind of money on a building, but we can’t find money to provide a bed for a homeless man or woman.

Patricia A. Clarke

Exeter

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Nixon-Bush parallels

Robert Roper’s letter (“History lesson,” BDN, Nov. 24) was right on target.

Comparing the Nixon-Agnew administration to George W. Bush-Dick Cheney showed remarkable parallels. Both were right-wing Republican. Agnew complained about unfavorable mass media coverage, so does Cheney. Nixon bombed Cambodia covertly, Bush justified his “shock-and-awe” bombing of Iraq with nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Nixon’s Watergate subverted the U.S. Constitution, as did Bush’s wire tapping and torture.

Thank God for freedom of speech and a free press. They are the best guard against dictatorship.

Elbridge Gagnon

Houlton

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No way to win

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” That’s what Jeanette Rankin, the first woman to serve in Congress, said about all wars.

I agree.

Barack Obama will soon be making a decision about whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. There’s no way to “win” this invasion and war.

Thousands will die — Afghanis and U.S. troops. The Afghan people won’t trust the government because it’s dominated by U.S. puppets like Hamid Karzai. As long as U.S. troops are there, the Taliban will oppose them.

Constant occupation and war has destroyed any short-term hope for security; a police state, whether made up of U.S. or NATO forces or Afghan soldiers, will not bring real security.

We should never have been in Afghanistan in the first place — the Russians can vouch for that. The best strategy is to pull troops out, not send more in. I hope all readers will tell Obama that, and that he’ll follow our advice.

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

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