March 30 Letters to the Editor

Posted March 29, 2010, at 4:42 p.m.

I will remember

Unfortunately the health care bill passed. This bill is an abomination at best.

For those who supported it, here is what you got: more than $940 billion in new spending; $450 billion in new taxes; $500 billion in cuts to Medicare (unless you live in Nebraska or Louisiana; those states get special funding); more than 16,500 new IRS agents to assess fines if I don’t have government-approved health insurance; fines and penalties for businesses; no tort reform; no requirement for states to allow me to shop for insurance across state lines; taxes on my existing health insurance (unless you are a member of the UAW, you get a special exemption).

How does any of this help the people of Maine who already have the highest health insurance and tax burden in the country? I will be forced to buy overpriced, gold-plated insurance from Anthem, because our leaders in Augusta refuse to let me shop outside the state for health insurance, so they can defend the failed Dirigo plan.

More than 60 percent of the people in this state were against this bill. But once again, our elected representatives in Washington sided with Nancy Pelosi, voted the party line and sold the people of Maine down the river.

I will remember this vote in November.

Timothy Grant

Glenburn

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Dumbing down UM

Once again Bob Kennedy and the administration of UMaine have affirmed their belief in the market economy and the university as vocational education. Give the customers (students) what they want; only majors that lead directly to jobs are important.

As a university, and especially as the flagship university of the state, the University of Maine must not only prepare students for the world of work, but also must prepare them to be citizens and well-rounded human beings who can think critically and creatively. These skills are as essential to the future of the state of Maine as the mastery of wood composite technology. These skills are what the arts, liberal arts and humanities teach.

In making these cuts based only on past enrollment numbers, the university has abrogated its responsibilities to provide students and the people of Maine with what they need in favor of giving them what they want.

No longer will thoughtful adults who have given their lives to research and teaching make these critical decisions. Eighteen-year-old freshmen will.

The dumbing down of higher education reaches its logical conclusion. I am ashamed of my alma mater and, for the first time in my life, of my state.

Pamela Dean

Bangor

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Tea Party not violent

As a member of the Tea Party movement here in Maine, and as a strong supporter of the American political system of democracy, I find it appalling that people would threaten our representatives. The Tea Party members in Maine are mostly parents and grandparents who are concerned with the direction our country is going, which is away from fundamental American principles.

We, along with many other residents, believe our government is usurping our rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and are willing to stand up and speak out about these encroachments. We are awakening the residents to these actions by our government.

To be successful we debate each issue, such as the health care bill, and encroachments coming, such as cap and trade, the illegal immigration-amnesty debate, voter rights and petition bills, for example, here in Maine, along with many other state issues that we face. We cannot win taking ourselves out by using 1960s tactics used by Bill Ayers and other radicals back then.

People with revolutionary ideas of violence, and such values that promote such tactics are not welcome to be a part of our movement. The Tea Party movement understands the only way to win is at the ballot box, with candidates that share the same values of the fundamental principles passed down to us by the greatest generation, and our Founding Fathers.

So, please join the Tea Party movement, and help us restore the Constitution and save our republic.

Carter Jones

Tea Party leader

Amherst

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Wrong time, senators

I am just disappointed in Sens. Collins and Snowe and their lack of leadership in the area of health care reform.

It is very easy to say what one is against, much riskier to propose change. Maine’s senators have chosen the way of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, only to tear down. Now they make “amendments” to the new legislation instead of their own proposals.

According to the Bangor Daily News, each senator has several amendments they would like to see added to the bill. They may fool some, but, of course, the minimally informed know that adding amendments at this point would start the whole process over again. The amendments are not intended to improve the bill, but to pre-vent it being finished.

Additionally, the senators were invited by the White House to work on health care reform when the bill was being crafted.

Eight years ago, the Republicans had full control of the Senate, the House and the White House. Why did the Maine senators not propose their amendments as bills then?

Martha Williams

Bar Harbor

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Cocktails on Potomac

Sens. Snowe and Collins have served a combined 44 years in Washington. That’s 44 years of playing the go-along to get-along game and hobnobbing with the well-heeled lobbyists, but never in that near half-century of service finding the time, inclination or guts to take a lead in tackling the health care crisis in this country.

President Obama has injected more life and energy into that giant cocktail party on the Potomac than we’ve seen in my lifetime. He has proved that politicians are good for more than just self-important talk, and we should salute him for his commitment to solving our most pressing problems.

Rick Langley

Augusta

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Supports art, theater

I cannot express how disappointed I am to read in the BDN that UMaine is considering cutting the music and theater departments.

The arts are of great value to an academic institution, and no university should have such a void.

We often hear complaints about some of the best of Maine’s students going out of state to attend college. Well, where do you suppose the talented Maine high school students who wish to major in music presentation or theater will be going?

Perhaps the committee that came up with this list of cuts should reconsider, and give thought to just what it means to offer the youth of our state a well-rounded education, one that includes the grace and depth of music and theater.

Constance McCarthy

Belfast

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