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Dec. 19 Letters to the Editor

Smiley, Adams fan

I tend to be hypercritical of some of the BDN’s features, particularly those invitations to comment and ClickBack, but the paper has two redemptive regular columnists whose weekly efforts I would not miss if they were the sole features in the paper.

I just finished Sarah Smiley’s (to be continued) piece on her anxiety problem with flying. I will read anything Meg Adams writes — whether it’s about the South Pole or the outskirts of Baltimore — because each of them has the knack of making even the simplest subject matter absorbing. And, they do it with attention to spelling and syntax as well.

Take a hard look at what they do so well. I have no doubts about the paper’s awareness of their success, but I suspect you may not know how miserably threadbare those other features are compared to professional writing.

Robert C. Dick



Curb health care costs

To reduce health care costs, we must reduce the growth of the uninsured. Immigration is a leading factor in the growth of the uninsured. And we need to discuss it without accusing each other of “blaming the immigrants” for health care costs.

The fact is immigrants and their children account for one-third of the uninsured and a whopping 85 percent of the increase in the uninsured since l999. But neither politicians nor journalists are mentioning these numbers.

Forty million immigrants have arrived in the last three decades, and they’ve added more than 35 million children. The majority are poor and unskilled. Most are good, hardworking people, but many are not insured. We need to pay for their health care, when they’re legal, and do the right thing.

President Barack Obama has said he will introduce immigration reform legislation next year. While most of the debate will focus on illegal immigrants, we will need to examine the bigger picture, the role of legal immigration and the question of numbers.

Immigration is not an entitlement. It’s a gift from the American people. And we need to decide how generous we want to be, and how many people we can reasonably absorb, employ and provide basic care for.

Jonette Christian

Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy



Father-child meeting

I am thankful to Stephen and Tabitha King this holiday season. Because of them, my husband will be able to meet his son. I am pregnant and due anytime now, and my husband and I planned on buying a plane ticket for him to come home, so the Kings saved us at least $400 that we can put toward our baby.

There are not any powerful words to express my appreciation, so I offer a simple thank you for their generosity. They have made my Christmas wish come true this year by allowing my husband to meet his son before deployment, without the financial stress that comes this time of year.

I know there are soldiers less financially fortunate than my husband and I, and my heart was breaking for them with the thought that they may not be able to make it home for Christmas, but mostly breaking for the children that many of them left behind.

Losing a dad for an entire year is tough, and as many of us know, not having them home for the holidays makes it that much harder.

I am grateful for the gift the Kings provided to our military families, and I am proud of them for their patriotism and support.

Angela M. Baker



Lesson learned

I was among those stuck in the traffic jam in the Texas Roadhouse-Kohl’s parking lot on a recent Saturday afternoon. My Mom and I took turns manning the vehicle while the other did shopping.

We were in the parking lot for almost an hour and a half without ever parking the vehicle. It was insane!

The bright point came when I was sitting in the traffic for many minutes and I had pretty much zoned out to everything but the radio and the car ahead of me. I sensed someone was looking at me and trying to get my attention and when I looked around, there were three (I would guess about 13-year-old) boys in the car next to me waving and smiling.

I waved back and smiled and a little girl in the front seat broke into giggles. The woman driving kind of shook her head, I think hoping I was taking it all in stride.

Then the vehicles moved so we were no longer side-by-side. A few minutes later, I noticed in my rearview mirror those same boys performing a perfectly executed Chinese Fire Drill. I sat there laughing in the middle of what was otherwise a frustrating situation.

I am grateful to those kids for relieving my anxiety and reminding me the day was not about shopping, traffic or things not going right, but rather about being able to laugh and have fun even though I wasn’t in the perfect situation.

I had a great day with my mother and it was largely due to the lesson taught by those kids.

Linda K. Eaton



Weapons check

The U.S. Constitution states that there shall be no standing army without the approval of three-quarters of each branch of the Congress. The Continental Army was disbanded in 1783, leaving only a small regular army. This army would be increased in time of war and decreased in size in peace. Local protection came from local militias.

When the Second Amendment was written the country was sparsely populated and faced a hostile environment. If communities were attacked the militia could be days away and citizens would defend themselves with single-shot revolvers and rod-primed long rifles. In an average home you would find only one, maybe two weapons.

Today’s issues are different. People own several weapons that are not for common defense but mayhem. Uzis with “cop-killer” armor-piercing bullets are not for self-defense, they are used to kill, frequently against the very people sworn to defend us.

I do not fear foreign invasion one-tenth as much as the militias that have sprung up around the country to protect “real Americans,” the angry drunk who wants to settle a score, or the family abuser who has been “pushed to the limit.” More people are injured with their own weapons then they are by invaders.

I spent time in the Army, my husband served 30 years and we have a son serving as an officer in Iraq. I consider myself a patriot but I do not believe every fool should be armed to the teeth and allowed to attend political rallies, take weapons into bars, or buy any weapon without proper authorization or training.

Roxann M. Bennett

Old Town

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