April 27 Letters to the Editor

Posted April 26, 2010, at 6:11 p.m.

War tied to economics

Dee C. Brown Jr. (Letters, BDN April 20) is correct in asserting that the cause of our Civil War (1861-65) was plain economics. But slavery was plain economics. Southern wealth was tied up in ownership of land and slaves, not invested in banks, industry, infrastructure, ships or education. Slaves were needed to open new lands for agriculture, could be rented out for income in slack periods, or sold to pay mortgages and debts. Only 3 percent of Southern whites owned 20 or more slaves — 75 percent owned no slaves at all, according to “The Story of America” by John A. Garraty, a public middle school textbook. In the Southern economy and culture, slaves and land were so much equated with success that poor, nonslaveowning whites were willing to fight a war for that opportunity.

Our modern sensibility views slavery only as a moral issue. The immorality of slavery genuinely mattered to very few Northerners. Most, including Abraham Lincoln, who announced emancipation only to bolster the war effort, feared the social and economic implications of free blacks.

So, yes, it is all about money.

Amy Fradel

Belfast

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BDN lacks substance

Your “news” paper has made no mention of the World Peoples Conference on Climate Change, being hosted by Bolivian President Evo Morales in Bolivia. Your participation in this news blackout speaks directly to the lack of substance in your paper. You, like our government, have chosen to completely ignore this conference.

Is it because the Bechtel corporation was kicked out of Bolivia, along with the U.S.-backed government that ruled Bolivia 10 years ago, because it wanted to privatize the country’s water system? Or is it because your method of reporting is to pay The Associated Press and Bloomberg News to publish their “news” stories, and you do no actual reporting yourself?

Do you really think the trials and tribulations of a University of Maine assistant professor, attempting to return to Maine while staying in a hotel in England, because she chose to ignore warnings about the ash cloud last Thursday, constitutes reporting? Was it truly a hard-hitting, front page story?

Your coverage of the media- created “Tea Party,” is never ending and shameful. It is a shame that you do not take your role as the “free press” of this country more seriously. It is because of “news” papers such as yours that our country and the world face a dire future.

Peter Dellamattera

Morrill

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Limited charity

Ms. Susan Yaruta-Young’s letter to the editor (April 19), wasn’t very “charitable” to Tea Party members who believe in their right to “share” their earnings with whomever they want.

Ms. Yaruta-Young takes that to mean Tea Partiers are against charity and cites biblical references to illustrate their hypocrisy. Unless Ms. Yaruta-Young does not understand the meaning of the word “share,” how can she come to that conclusion?

The answer is very simple. Ms. Yaruta-Young knows the meaning of “share”; she is using the same liberal logic used in the past health care debates. She pretends to see only two positions on this issue. Either you agree with her and embrace the idea that government is the dispenser of charity or you don’t and therefore are an un-charitable person. Sound familiar?

Remember, those against the health care law are for the “status quo.”

That logic is disingenuous. Tea Partiers can be charitable by giving time, money, goods, etc. Anyone can be against both the new health care law and the “status quo.” There are ways to have fixed health care by allowing sales across state lines, tort reform, using the congressional health care plan, health care accounts, tax credits, etc. Ms. Yaruta-Young’s believes government dispensing charitable donations is best and not by individuals.

I’ll bet Ms. Yaruta-Young’s position on the health care debate was for the new law. Maybe she will explain how the takeover of the student loan program relates to my health care. Or, maybe not.

Jim Miller

Pittsfield

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Good ideas for Maine

In politics, as in life, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Perhaps Pat McGowan had this in mind when, in his recent OpEd (BDN, April 17) he unveiled his “long-term plan — a 2020 Vision for Maine’s economy.” On Jan. 12 of this year, Steve Abbott announced his candidacy for Maine’s next governor. With his eyes firmly on the future, Steve said, “In the months ahead, I’ll be talking about ideas for Maine’s future. To discuss, shape, and direct new ideas, I am launching an initiative focused on our 2020 bicentennial. I am calling that effort Maine Vision 2020.”

I welcome all the candidates to review all of Steve Abbott’s good ideas for the people of Maine. Feel free to help yourselves. There are many more where they came from.

Tim Woodcock

Bangor

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Church’s defense

The letter by Tom Coleman in defense of the Catholic Church is commendable, but we have to distinguish secular and religious functions of the church. If Catholics believe in the Holy Spirit influencing cardinals’ conclave in decision-making, how come we now are questioning Vatican II, especially the vernacular Mass?

Vatican’s political activity is very much secular and therefore similar to that of a small state, which in fact it is, and therefore can be questioned as we question any political decision of any entity. Extending an olive branch to the Russian Patriarch is purely political and, may I add, at the expense of Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church. This activity is especially demeaning to the Church of Christ, since it is well-known that Russian patriarchs were working hand in glove with every existing government. So it becomes “Christian” to forgive the Russian patriarchs for prohibiting printing Ukrainian prayer books for decades during Tsars times, for Stalin’s genocide against Ukrainian people known as “Holodomor” and now Putin’s attacks on Ukraine from ethnic, religious and economic aspect.

The Russian church was, is and always will be hand in glove with every existing government, and its “mea culpa” is not worth the paper it may be written on. I wonder how would Mr. Coleman like it if he were in the Soviet Union during WWII and his Church was liquidated, the churches were handed over to Moscow’s Patri-arch and the priests and bishops that resisted were incarcerated or murdered? One should not forget that Russia’s Patriarchate was created by the Kremlin policy.

Bohdan Slabyj

Brewer

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