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Dec. 17 Letters to the Editor

No more war tax

In reference to Dr. Charles A. Stevenson’s “Time for a War Tax?” (BDN OpEd, Dec. 10) I ask: More war tax? The War Resisters League has calculated that 54 percent of the 2009 federal budget was to be used to sponsor “our” wars, past, present and future. That’s $1.4 trillion of war tax in a single year. See warresisters.org.

Where I’m from, that’s a lot of money. Forget about additional war taxes. At what point do our government’s spending and our own values diverge? Perhaps now is an appropriate moment to question our individual and collective consent to federal taxation. Perhaps the process of questioning taxation will bring about $68 billion of voluntary contributions to the Pentagon from people who realize how proud, prepared and able they are to work hard to earn money to pay for war.

Jason Rawn



Senators on track

Within the discussion of health care reform, the voices of local individuals are often lost over the commotion of D.C. lobbyists who have no personal opinion.

Recently I was able to go to Washington with fellow Mainers who feel very strongly that health care reform should include all women’s rights and a public option.

I was glad to hear that both Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins voted to table the Nelson-Hatch amendment making them the only two Republican senators to do so. For this I am incredibly proud of our senators. As a student in Maine, I urge that health care reform needs to be passed with a public option.

Our elected representatives have been hounded by individuals who have a misconception of what the public option is. I would hope that they would not be scared away from voting for a health care reform bill with a public option because of some uneducated individuals.

Mainers are struggling to pay for their heath care and are often forced to choose between essential things such as groceries or health care. The public option would make sure that private insurance companies are honest and would help cover many of those who do not currently have health care.

We are counting on our elected officials to represent our voices in Washington where we have little or no say.

Our senators did the right thing last week, and I hope they do the same now.

MaKayla Reed



Moving to Bangor

In 11 months and two weeks, my lease will be up. I have regretted every moment since my decision to move to Bangor.

I have lived in many cities such as San Francisco, Oakland, Washington D.C., Boulder, St. Petersburg and the whole of my disillusioning experiences in these cities have not amounted to the number of negative experiences I have had in this past month in Bangor.

Apparently it is “suspicious” to walk this city’s streets after the sun sets at 4 p.m. Apparently it is “suspicious” to be a passenger in the back seat of a car, having done nothing lawbreaking. Obviously just cause for running a check on the innocent passenger. Profiling is alive and well in Bangor.

Since living here, my boyfriend has been stopped several times when walking home from work. Of course he must walk, for the public transportation system in Bangor is ludicrous.

He has been screamed at by passersby with tiny, little minds yelling “faggot.” What if he were homosexual? Hatred of anyone different, discrimination and bigotry are alive and well in Bangor, Maine.

I was propositioned by a stranger following me in his truck while I walked from downtown to my apartment two blocks away.

Perhaps I am wrongfully singling Bangor out. After all, it was Maine that voted Yes on 1. How terrifying to think that this hateful conservative movement, led in part by the Catholic church which took up collections during Mass for the Yes on 1 campaign, has more power than the social movement for equality and justice.

Noelle Wingate



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