December 10 Letters to the Editor

Posted Dec. 09, 2009, at 5:35 p.m.

Skin in the game
I’ve heard several members of Congress speak in the last couple of days about a war tax. They say that Americans won’t be against the war until they have to pay for it with “some skin in the game.” This, I believe, is the stupidest thing I have ever heard any politician say. Exactly who do they think has been paying for it?
These people are so out of touch with the American citizen that it is just sickening. Every family I know has someone they love and care about in the military. Every family I know has someone who has been laid off or is fearful of it. Every family I know has someone who has lost most of their savings and will now have to work well into old age. Maybe instead of a war tax politicians should be forced to live like real citizens — so they can have a little “skin in the game.”
Diana Downs
Blue Hill

 

Cultural competency
I am a senior nursing student at the University of Maine and I recently had the opportunity to see Circo Aereo at the Collins Center for the Arts.
Circo Aereo is a Finnish traveling circus group. This amazing show provided cultural enrichment and reminded me of the importance of humor.
As a nurse, I will work with many different cultures many of whom, if it were not for shows like this, I may never have the opportunity to learn about until they were in crisis. The show also reminded me that some of the simplest things can make people laugh and reminded me that humor can help people through tough times.
In a time when the price for anything is on the raise and cutbacks can be seen everywhere, I am grateful the University continues to allow the students to have two free tickets to the Collins Center each semester. It is truly a unique way to further our education and cultural competency.
Katherine Estey
Bangor

 

U.S. overextended
The war against Afghanistan was undertaken as a result of the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban controlled Afghanistan at that time. From the beginning, the Allied Force was a NATO operation. It is still officially a NATO force engaged there. Yet to read the conflict discussed in the media and by the U.S. administration and Congress, one is left with the impression that the war is a U.S. obligation to prosecute and pay for.
If indeed it is a NATO supported conflict, should not the troops be supplied proportionately by NATO member states? Britain’s population is about 60 million. The U.S. is about 300 million. On that basis Britain should contribute one-fifth as many forces as the U.S. and so on down the list of NATO member states.
Paul Kennedy in his “The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” documents the demise of powers since 1500 because of their overextension of international obligations that cause their economies to falter in support thereof. The U.S. may have come too close for comfort and could ignore the issue at our peril.
John Lyman
Orono

Birth of Jesus
Christians and others celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. While most citizens celebrate Christmas, a small group of extremists refuse to tolerate and attempt to disrupt the peaceful expression of the Christian faith. That small group of negatively focused and intolerant individuals have been effective at making some folks feel uncomfortable saying Merry Christmas, Joy to the World or Praise Jesus.
What harm is there in celebrating the birth of Jesus and sharing the joy of the season? Those who want to take Christ out of Christmas are attempting to control and restrict the freedom of others. We Christians love Jesus and we honor God by celebrating his birth.
We feel sad for those who are hostile, angry and destructive toward people of faith. We pray that they will change their ways and know that they are each welcome in the family of God. Christians will continue to celebrate God and the greatest gift to this world — His son Jesus who offers us Salvation and Eternal Life with God.
My friends, do not be intimidated by those who want to silence Christians. Praise Jesus! Share your faith and love one another. Pray for those who persecute you and stand up strong and sing out loud for Jesus.
Our founding Christian values built this country into the most free, tolerant and generous in the world. Protect our liberty — our freedom of speech and of religious expression.
Peter Alexander
Etna

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