Letters to the Editor for Jan. 16

Posted Jan. 15, 2010, at 7 p.m.

Dancing and diversity

It is no longer acceptable to dominate others with an authoritarian style of management. We now work together, exchange ideas and lead by example. The Bangor High School principal does not appear to buy into the 21st century philosophy.

Although I understand his desire to impress a certain moral upon today’s students, the method of teaching used is simply archaic; he will not reach the students to adequately do his job. It then becomes our job to ensure the students grow to respect diversity and lead by example. The next generation, our future leaders, should not be exposed to his style of management other than to study history.

Student government options proposed sound mature with a positive outlook for mediation resolution. When a principal’s behavior is unacceptable, the community needs to guide him toward another occupation or retirement instead of allowing him to manage people. Does he treat faculty and parents in this same manner — or is another separate personality displayed?

Everyone has a boss. It appears Bangor will lose just as much as the students if he is allowed to continue reigning in his little empire.

Jane Ellis

Southwest Harbor

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Dancing: ‘a true threat’

As a recent graduate of Bangor High School attending a top university, I attribute all of my success to the values I was taught at Bangor. Bangor cannot prevent all degeneracy, but they surely pick their battles wisely. I was proud to read of continued battle against today’s threat, inappropriate dancing.

Unfortunately, many of the students at my university didn’t receive the same moral education. Even at the smallest chem-free gatherings, I have become a victim to girls trying to grind on me. Yes … the ladies do it too. I, of course, push the girls away. Unfortunately, I see others that do not push the girls away and may even form a relationship with them.

I fear that these relationships could take the small step from grinding to procreation. Imagine the horror of children created and raised by these people. Even thieves and crooks would turn their noses up at these children.

As one can see, the time to act is now. Before taking on health care or the environment, we must worry about the true threat to our future prosperity. More citizens and communities need to have the courage to step back from homeless issues and possible social service cuts. Just as Joe McCarthy battled to eradicate the evil that threatened 20th century America, we must have the bravery to eliminate the current torment.

Bangor High should applaud itself for being one of the first in our community to show the same bravery in the fight against dirty dancing.

P.J. Adams

Bangor

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Dancing and Haiti

The front-page story “A grinding halt to BHS dances?” (BDN, Jan. 13) makes this reader wonder why this was the lead story when the real news, the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti, was published on page 3.

The short-term problem of “some student behavior” in testing the limit and boundaries at a high school dance seems to pale against the reality of news and information of a serious nature. How can we encourage students to make good choices when our newspaper chooses the titillating story over the real news?

Amy Lemieux-Nisbett

Bangor

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Profit motive

In the midst of a basically reasonable editorial about health insurance (“Health Insurance Failure”, BDN, Jan. 12) is the sentence “Anthem, of course, should be able to earn a profit.” Why?

Before Anthem, before its owner Wellpoint, before many other health insurance companies, there was the not-for-profit Blue Cross-Blue Shield. The explosion of costs in health care has come with the profit motive across the spectrum, including insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, private for-profit hospitals and HMOs, medical labs and medical device manufacturers.

Now we have people such as Sen. Susan Collins saying she is against the current health care bills because they don’t do enough to contain costs. But the most basic (certainly not the only) means of cost containment cannot be done without upsetting the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, and this she, and almost everyone else in Congress, refuses to even consider.

A market-based economy assumes that people are buying something they need, and that if they have a range of choices, they also have the information they need to make the best choice, balancing their desires with their budget. Health care doesn’t work that way. If you need heart surgery, you can’t decide to have something else done instead because its affordable.

You also aren’t likely to shop around for the cheapest doctor. And you can’t choose an insurance plan that meets your needs, because none of us knows what we will need.

The entire premise of market-based, for-profit health care is critically flawed and should not even be considered as a solution to the crisis we face.

Bonnie Preston

Blue Hill

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Check your dictionary

How can an embryo or fetus be called a human being? Of course it is living, but not every living thing is human. Some religious sects claim that an embryo is already a person because something called a soul gets into it at the moment of conception. That is clearly a religious belief, as it is not subject to any demonstrable proof.

The general population cannot be controlled by that doctrine, as our Constitution states that everyone is free to practice his or her own religion if any, but that the law cannot favor any religion. There are countries where religions do make the laws, but this is not one of them.

Referring to embryos and fetuses as “unborn children” and to abortions as “the murder of babies” is simply not factual, however earnestly believed.

Check your dictionary. When a human egg and sperm unite to form a cell, the result is called an embryo for the first eight weeks, and after that a fetus. It is not a baby or a child until it is born.

Of course a human embryo is a potential baby, as a hen’s egg is a potential chicken, but people don’t say they had scrambled chickens for breakfast. An honest discussion requires honest language.

My freedom to swing my fist around stops before it impacts you.

Your freedom to practice your religion stops before it impacts others.

Abortion is a legal medical procedure, and it should not be excluded from insurance coverage because some people think God disapproves.

Peter Rees

Trenton

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