Jan. 29 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 28, 2010, at 7:53 p.m.

Irresponsible America

The U.S. government is controlled by wealthy special interests getting richer by keeping Americans distracted, divided and disillusioned. Thus the election of Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate changes very little in the big picture.

There’s still no money to create jobs, but $450 million a day for car crashes because drivers won’t slow down, back off, hang up, or wait their turn.

Health care costs are still bankrupting the country, yet Americans still smoke, eat junk food and don’t exercise. Americans are still whining about jobs going overseas, yet still buying products from overseas.

Foreign terrorists are still getting funding from oil revenues, and Americans are still wasting gasoline and electricity at record rates. Food stamps still buy bottled water, expensive steaks, lobster, shrimp, potato chips, candy and soda.

Hundreds of thousands of nonviolent Americans are still in prison, each at an annual cost twice that for a year at a state university.

There’s still little supervision of welfare recipients. Many still have cash for cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets, cable TV, fancy cars, motorized recreational equipment and tattoos. Waste, waste, waste! The U.S. is trillions of dollars in debt and Americans are still wasting billions of dollars a week in goods and services, all the while blaming the government for America’s demise.

The election of a nude model turned lawyer from Massachusetts will not change any of this. Change will come to America only when Americans start taking responsibility for themselves and their actions.

Joe Anderson

Cushing

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‘We the corporations’

An old political axiom is that “money always wins elections.” The U.S. Supreme Court decision last week removing the prohibition on corporations spending unlimited amounts on candidate advertisements means that what remained of true political power held by voters has been transferred to corporations. More than ever before, corporate America now owns the political process and future election results will be predetermined by its money.

Can one possibly believe that these multinational behemoths will use this power for the public good? Look at the recent record. This current recession is due largely to the unregulated power of corporate greed. This additional power will be used to crush candidates and issues that do not support corporate agendas. To be elected and re-elected, politicians will have to succumb to the corporate will.

As difficult as it is already to determine real facts from untruths and distortions in political advertising, tens of millions of additional corporate dollars poured into election campaigns will make knowing the truth impossible. Misrepresentations and outright lies are guaranteed to become louder, more confusing and more overwhelming than ever. Votes will end up being cast exactly as the corporations want.

An earlier generation of Congress understood that corporate America must not be allowed to buy elections. With the stroke of a pen, this court has both erased that generation’s wisdom and silenced the voice of the individual voter.

I only hope they don’t declare my mute button unconstitutional.

Mike Lerch

Hampden

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Tort truths

I would like to respond to two recent letters to the editor in the BDN concerning tort reform. One was written by Bob Walker, M.D., and another by Scott Farnham, who is chairman of the Bangor High School Republican Club.

Farnham states that it can be “assumed” that anywhere from 10 percent to 20 percent of health care costs can be attributed to malpractice litigation. What Farnham assumes is, like his Republican peers, that the rest of us will take that as factual information. With a little research you will find that the numbers are more like 1 percent to 2 percent. You will also find that 85 percent of claims against doctors and their insurance companies result in no awards to the plaintiffs, and not because the claims were frivolous; it is mainly due to the insurance companies’ tactics of outspending the plaintiffs by paying for a host of so-called experts to testify on their behalf.

Putting a cap on malpractice lawsuits does very little to help defray health care costs and only serves to take away people’s rights to protect themselves from shoddy medical practices, such as a recent case where doctors operated on the wrong side of a man’s brain.

Their other brainstorm is to buy insurance across state lines. Other insurance companies can compete for our business if they want, but they won’t because Maine has the good sense to protect its people against unfair practices by the insurance companies.

Mike Avery Sr.

Milford

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Government not problem

I can understand the anxieties of people with relatives and friends in Haiti. But I do not understand how the AP article “Relatives of Americans missing in Haiti angry” passed an editor’s review.

An embassy does not have the staff required to find individuals in cases of significant disasters. Rescue teams are doing their best. How can the embassy respond until the persons or the bodies are found? The information about the rescue teams hired by Lynn University in Boca Raton is noteworthy. But expressions of anger against the U.S. government that is spending millions of dollars to find and assist victims of the natural disaster just because information about missing persons is not available is shameful.

What is even more shameful is the publication of these expressions, given the magnitude of the effort to help the Haitians find and treat the survivors. It would be more appropriate to laud the governments that are providing assistance.

Thyrele Robertson

New Limerick

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Money’s influence

Concerning Rush Limbaugh’s remarks on how good our current health care system is — just who is he trying to bluff? No health care provider or hospital will turn away anyone making as much money as he does.

There is a saying that money talks. Well, if it does, it is perfectly capable of telling lies and concerning this, the worst is yet to come, now that the Supreme Court has ruled that large corporations will have the right to spend countless millions of dollars to influence the political process in Washington, D.C.

Just how much corruption can a nation take before it completely destroys itself? Such destruction comes from within. Civilizations of the past have arisen only to fall with the passage of time. Will the same thing happen with this country? No nation can claim immunity from the law of cause and effect and the moral laws governing our universe.

Irvin Dube

Madawaska

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