I may be dense, but I have not understood all the hoopla about federal funds for abortion. From what I read in the BDN and see on television, it seems that it is being seen as a moral, pro-life v. pro-choice issue and consequently emotionally charged.
Consider this. No one would prevent me having a facelift, or debate it as a moral issue; but I wouldn’t expect Medicare or my supplemental insurance to pay for it. It’s elective surgery.
In my view, abortion, except for the age-old rape, incest and danger to woman’s life, is, pure and simple, elective. I’m not so naive as to think all unwanted pregnancies could have been prevented, but abortion should not be used for birth control. And taxpayers shouldn’t be expected to pay for it.
Thelma H. White
It may be true that pictures — including editorial cartoons — can speak louder than words, and it is certainly true that they can leave very misleading and even dangerous impressions. The BDN’s March 22 editorial cartoon depicts George Mitchell as a “Mission Impossible” agent in a phone booth receiving his instructions for bringing peace to the Mideast. He is surrounded by TNT. Behind the booth with his hand on the detonator is a sinister-looking Arab.
The clear impression is that the Palestinians are the culprits intending to blow up Mitchell’s efforts to find peace. Mitchell’s task may be next to impossible, but it is not the Palestinians alone who are undercutting the peace efforts.
The Israeli government has used its incredible military power to oppress the Palestinian population through a brutal 43-year occupation. It refuses to accept international law and the Geneva Conventions. It will not allow the critical issues — borders, Jerusalem, control of the Jordan valley, the right of return, settlements — to be on the table for serious negotiations.
The Palestinians have stated since 1988 that they will accept Israel as a neighbor if the 1967 borders are observed and Israel allows a legitimate state.
Clearly, the Palestinians are not faultless. Mitchell has a formidable task. But printing a biased cartoon at this critical time is irresponsible in conveying a false impression to the public that undermines the peace that Mitchell seeks.
The BDN can do better.
Robert W. Tobin
Ends justify means
The President says that “the American people are not interested in the process.” In other words, “the ends justify the means,” even though 60 percent of us are disgusted with the bribery that envelopes that “process” in the House of Representatives. The will of the people be damned!
Almost immediately, all Americans will be paying higher taxes to fund Obamacare even though it will not be implemented for another four years.
Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are bankrupt yet they will slash $500 billion from Medicare to pay for this disaster. As baby boomers begin to retire they will betray an entire generation of citizens when they’re most vulnerable.
Everyone will be required to purchase a health care policy under threat of fine or imprisonment. And they’re hiring 17,000 IRS investigators to make sure you do! Members of Congress are not included, only you and I. It is so blatantly unconstitutional that attorneys general of several states are filing suit in federal court to stop this.
Which of you is happy to bury your grandchildren under debt they have no hope of paying off?
Everyone agrees that something has to be done about access to affordable health care. A cautious step-by-step process with measurable results at every turn is what is needed. Scrutiny to avoid unintended consequences is what is called for. But the Speaker of the House says, “We’ll release the details after we pass it.” In other words, “Shut up, sit down and we’ll tell you what’s good for you.”
Teeth are essential
People who live in Washington County, like me, live here knowing we are going to give up some of life’s little luxuries in exchange for living in one of the most beautiful places in Maine. For instance, we live here despite knowing our Internet and cell phone coverage is lacking. We trade longer winters for the most beautiful summers in the world. There are other luxuries we give up, but the trade-offs are worth it. However, there is one item that is lacking in Washington County that is not a luxury but a necessity: dental care.
Living here, it is difficult for us to find quality, convenient and timely dental care. Dental care is essential to Washington County residents and all Mainers. Lack of dental health only leads to more expensive and poorer health in the future. Dental care has been a long standing dilemma in Washington County, but now there is a solution.
There is a bill in the Legislature to create a dental school here in Maine. A Maine-based dental school will foster new dentists who will practice in Maine providing desperately needed dental care. I urge our elected officials to support LD 1798.
Ask the public
The Waldo County Commissioners are pleased with themselves at finding reserve monies to fast-track building a sheriff’s office without going out for public referendum, without returning those reserves to the county’s needy towns, and without seriously considering alternatives which might cost less or make more sense.
They have a damn-the-torpedoes mindset, in which the only consideration is money, not quality of life, not preservation of the county’s heritage, not even what it will need in the future.
It’s time this kind of decision-making included all residents; it’s time for a long-term plan; and it’s time for good government.
Round one over, but…
Political duplicity has a moment of clarity with the health care vote.
It is the largest expansion of government power since the Great Society. Universal in scope, it will profoundly impact the personal lives of more than 300 million Americans. It is a restriction of personal freedom while undermining the independence and authority of your state.
It gives unprecedented congressional control over the content of health benefit packages. It provides more regulation along with more price fixing.
This imposition of legislation is intolerable for at least a few reasons: People do care about the process and the outrageous way that the massive restructuring of one-sixth of the economy has been pushed narrowly through.
People do care about the huge financial obligation being shifted to future generations.
Fortunately, nothing is permanent in Washington, including the recalcitrant and petulant politicians. Round one is over but that only means the bell has been rung.