I could not help but take notice of the Dec. 4 letter “Give Barrett a sendoff.”
The writer did give great recognition for bringing up the good points that Ed Barrett will leave behind. I did not follow all the achievements that he is leaving behind, but now and then I enjoy walking along the area that runs from Harlow Street to the upper part of Valley Avenue along the Kenduskeag Stream.
If Ed Barrett designed this scenic area for Husson University students to jog, and our own residents to watch canoes and kayaks race every spring, then from now on I will refer to this parcel of land as “Barrett Park.”
No more money
President Obama’s decision will increase the troop presence in Afghanistan to roughly 100,000 by 2010 with a total cost of more than $1 billion to fight the war next year. This figure is only the beginning and the least of the total costs. Personal costs are worse: costs of soldiers’ lives, both ours and theirs; lifelong financial and emotional costs to families of people who are physically and mentally wounded; lifelong emotional and mental costs to disrupted families, both military and civilian. And we will live with the cultural costs for generations, specifically, effects on the U.S. economy of long-term debt to finance war and its collateral expenses; financial and other resources diverted from critical social problems such as education, health care, clean energy; terrible effects on our national ethical position about war.
Obama is wrong in this decision. With his prestige around the world and his Nobel Peace Prize, he has a window of opportunity to influence warring parties everywhere to find more peaceful solutions to international conflict than this decision reflects. War always perpetuates and creates more problems and conflicts than it resolves.
This season of celebration for the coming of the Prince of Peace, please reflect on what that coming should mean for our national priorities. Please join the forces for peace and urge Congress to vote no more money for fighting war. Join with your local peace movement to make your personal voices heard.
In response to Ken Horn’s anti-gun tirade, “Proliferation of guns threatens security” (OpEd, Dec. 4,), I grew up at a time when the military turned over surplus weapons to the National Rifle Association.
Citizens such as my dad had access to those weapons at very little cost. Most of those weapons Mr. Horn would refer to as “assault weapons.”
Everywhere we look today we see evil leaders perpetrating violence against their own people. There are millions of gun owners in this country. Every year there are hundreds of acts of violence where guns usually stolen or illegally obtained are used. Yet Mr. Horn sees fit to take from law-abiding citizens the weapons that would willingly be used to defend him if tyrants attempted violence against the people of this country.
It would be wonderful if we lived in a world where those in power were not corrupted by that power. Sadly, that is not the case. I believe the Founders gave us the Second Amendment so that we the people could have the ability to defend ourselves against an abusive government.
That is what the colonists did. They were not soldiers or Marines but citizens armed with the assault weapons of the day who defended one another from their oppressive government.
I, like Mr. Horn, agree that there is far too much gun violence. Most is committed by repeat offenders. Our society is far too willing to waste resources on leopards who will not change their spots. Lock them up and throw away the key.
Autism in Maine
I’m writing about a workshop that was held in Bucksport. Matt Brown was the speaker from Portland. It was held to help the police and firefighters learn how to deal with people with autism.
It seems as if this would be a good idea for all the towns and cities around, since Maine has the second-highest incidence of autism in the U.S.
I’ve also heard that when people with autism become victims of abuse, etc., the prosecutors won’t be bothered to take their cases because of the poor excuse that they make poor witnesses.
Also, after they’ve aged out of the childhood services they end up in jail because there isn’t any place for them. With all the murders around, I’d think it would make sense to save what bit of jail space we have for the most serious felons.
Sheila M. Crocker
‘PC’ holiday wishes
“Peace on earth, good will toward men.” Oh, what a nice song and thought. Too bad it never happened and I doubt it ever will in most of our lifetimes.
Without peace on earth, i.e. “no wars,” all other problems become secondary.
As a hawk all my civilian and military life, it dawned on me one day: What would the world be like without war? Answer: no hunger, no homeless, no illness. And all the treasures spent on war, i.e., money and mostly our men and women in service, could be redirected for the common good.
Before closing, I will quote a minister who said, (children excepted), “Don’t ask God for things you want, ask God for things you need!”
To everyone and their families, plus all our men and women serving our country at home and overseas, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,” no matter how politically incorrect it sounds.
Bangor council vision
Regarding the Dec. 2 BDN report “Bangor council begins work on vision,” I was pleased to read that the City Council was in agreement that the city needs to be more aggressive when it comes to economic development. Apparently, the council was also in agreement that Bangor’s best asset is its quality of place.
With all due respect, I would suggest that Bangor’s best assets are the dedicated, loyal, hardworking residents who are ready, willing and able to contribute to the success of businesses that will bring jobs to the city.
I would also suggest that the quality of place be broken down into its components such as world-class educational opportunities, first-class health care facilities and vibrant neighborhoods.