May 12 Letters to the Editor

Posted May 11, 2010, at 6:32 p.m.

Tea Party patriot

In response to Mr. Nathaniel Crowley Sr.’s letter to the editor in the May 8-9 BDN, the 1773 Boston tea party protesters were not opposing a foreign government, but as British subjects, the illegal Boston mob was committing treason and violating local law and order.

The contemporary Tea Party patriot of the 21st century is seeking to defend the U.S. Constitution.

George Montee

Tea Party leader

Fort Fairfield

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One-sided story

Pete Warner’s story “UMaine athletes making the grade” (May 1-2) is illuminating but incomplete. The administrators, coaches and academic advisers for our varsity athletes surely deserve praise for their commitment to academic as well as athletic success, as do the athletes themselves.

But it is misleading to attribute the athletes’ allegedly superior performance vis-a-vis other UMaine students to the athletes’ greater discipline and time management. Conveniently left out of the article are the rather important points that no other students enjoy the special tutors, the special study hall, the special computer clusters and the special twice a semester faculty reports on classroom performance.

Moreover, all varsity athletes, including first-year students, receive first pick of courses for the next semester ahead of all other students; and not just for one semester, regardless of when their sport is played, but for both semesters. Varsity athletes also sometimes get priority for on-campus housing assignments.

I don’t know if graduate students in some departments are paid to take notes for introductory courses along with the varsity athletes enrolled in those courses — a disincentive for the athletes themselves to take notes.

Anyone familiar with ordinary UMaine undergraduates knows that thousands work on campus and off for many hours during the school year without any of these perks. If those nonathletes had them, their overall academic performance, I am sure, would rival those of their privileged varsity classmates.

If I were grading Warner’s one-sided story, I’d flunk it.

Howard Segal

professor of history

University of Maine

Orono

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Tea Party facts

Mr. Nathaniel Crowley Sr.’s letter to the editor (BDN, May 8-9) is just another attempt to smear the Tea Party movement by rewriting history. Mr. Crowley Sr. states that “The 1773 patriots were protesting against a foreign government, the British, while the right wing in 2010 is protesting against the U.S. government.”

Foreign? Mr. Crowley, may I call to your attention that in 1773 all colonists were British subjects.

Let me quote a more fair and balanced statement from Wikipedia: “The Tea Party was the culmination of a resistance movement throughout British America against the Tea Act, which had been passed by the British Parliament in 1773. Colonists objected to the Tea Act for a variety of reasons, especially because they believed that it violated their right to be taxed only by their own elected representatives.”

The germane idea of the original Tea Party was to protest against their “elected representatives.” Does that not sound like today’s Tea Party movement? I would say that is a no-brainer!

Jim Miller

Pittsfield

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Your brat, my cherub

From reading newspaper editorials, the adjectives used to describe the Republican members of Capitol Hill, one might draw the conclusion that no Democratic senators are wealthy “fat cats.”

None is part of, or associated with, the much-despised corporate America. No Democratic senator ever sat down with a lobbyist, or reaped a benefit from knowing one. No Democratic senator ever committed a crime, bought or sold a vote, engaged in hate speech, or sought to realign a voting district to benefit their party.

And certainly no Democratic senator ever turned a blind eye to a member of their party who participated in these types of behavior.

But, of course, we all know these things are not true. However it does reaffirm the teachings of my father, who defined a “brat” as the kid down the road who is doing the same thing your child is doing.

Jeff Davis

Stockton Springs

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Education, social change

I am deeply upset by the plan to suspend UMaine’s women’s studies major. As a women’s studies and mathematics double major, I know firsthand how valuable the women’s studies major is.

One way my women’s studies major has helped me is in regard to my future career. I have learned much about what obstacles I will, in all likelihood, face in the work world as a woman planning on entering into a nontraditional field, and I have also learned much about how to combat these obstacles.

The women’s studies major addresses many of the most pertinent social issues of today, such as work and family relations, health care, globalization and body image. If we really wish to understand why women constitute a minority of engineers, physicists and mathematicians or why so many girls and women try to live up to unattainable beauty standards, we need women’s studies programs.

A few women’s studies courses here or there is not going to bring about the social changes we need for a better and more equitable world.

Amber Hathaway

Veazie

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Changing the culture

As an educator for Spruce Run Association, the domestic abuse and violence project serving Penobscot County, I am constantly thinking about ending domestic abuse. I know that it is going to take more than advocates and educators to end abuse; it will take many people deciding to think, talk and act in ways that challenge abuse and promote healthy, equitable relationships.

Thoughts, words and actions create the culture we live in. The culture we live in is currently a culture where it is estimated that one in four women experience abuse by a partner in her lifetime. We need that culture to change.

That idea, that individuals can change culture, is what I have been thinking about as I have followed the news stories on the women who subdued Horst Wolk, and called for help as he allegedly attacked another woman on the Husson campus.

Horst Wolk, according to police, attacked a woman who had a protection order against him. The bystanders at Husson did a wonderful thing; they used their actions to communicate, “This cannot happen here.” Culture does not change overnight, but it does change. Thank you, women, for acting to create a culture of involvement.

Kati McCarthy

Bangor

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