Take Lyme seriously
Meg Haskell has done BDN readers a fabulous service in writing the recent story about Lyme disease in Maine.
I am the facilitator of several support groups in Maine for Lyme disease patients, including an online group for over 300 Maine patients. I hear stories every day from people who are unable to get a diagnosis or treatment for their illness, even after a known tick bite and resultant symptoms.
It is our mission to educate about awareness and prevention with the intention of getting early treatment to prevent a chronic condition where medical solutions become much more controversial and complicated.
This week I heard of a patient whose Bangor physician who said that despite the patient having had a known tick attachment, she would not treat her multiple symptoms without a positive test. I also heard of a mother who was told by an ER physician that she did not have to bring her child to the ER, and that she should have waited until Monday to have her own MD remove the tick.
These are both bad practices and not recommended by the Federal CDC, yet our Maine CDC repeatedly claims they are doing all they can to educate Maine physicians. We applaud our journalists who help our grass roots efforts at exposing the political nature of Lyme disease which divides the medical community and leaves our citizens sick and unable to continue their usual healthy and productive lives.
And never pull a tick off with your fingernails!
Constance Dickey RN
MaineLymeDisease support groups
Study first documents
Regarding the recent “We, the Tea Party” letter to the editor (BDN, May 11): Get your history straight before throwing stones.
The suggestion that our Founders kept “religion out of government” is false. Look at the Declaration of Independence (1776). The first sentence mentions “God,” the second that all men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” The final paragraph appeals to the “Supreme Judge of the world” and states a reliance upon the “protection of Divine Providence.”
There is no mention of God in the Constitution, but neither is there mention of gravity, oxygen or sunlight. That does not mean that our Founders intended for government to ignore God any more than to ignore the world around us.
To suggest that our rights are “gained through our Constitution” shows a misunderstanding about the nature of our rights. Would our rights cease to exist if the Constitution disappeared? No. Surely you must agree that Americans held these important rights before the Constitution was ratified in 1788 and before the Bill of Rights was added in 1791.
Our rights exist simply because we exist. What do you think unalienable means? Our founders believed that these rights came from God. If you are uncomfortable with the term “God-given rights,” then use “natural rights.”
The writer’s revisionist views on history are mistakenly held by many Americans and are the result of poor history education in our schools. BDN readers, please think critically about the things you’ve been taught and grab copies of our founding documents to study.
The recent tragedies with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the coal mine disaster remind us that all the energy we use comes at a great cost. These costs are beyond the financial; they include environmental and social impacts and international security issues.
Here in Maine we use very little energy from coal, but the costs of coal energy are profound to our state. The fact that we can no longer safely eat fish from our lakes and streams and the degradation to our forest from coal pollution is more subtle, but equally tragic as these other events that have recently attracted headlines.
Thus the timing is ideal for us to celebrate the leadership Maine has employed to develop alternative means of clean energy. Gov. Baldacci has proclaimed this week as Maine wind week. We should all be very proud that Maine is creating clean solutions that will increasingly displace our reliance on dirty carbon fuels.
The major cost to Maine for wind energy requires using our available land for wind project development. And then the benefits include economic growth, job creation and clean energy. It is really quite a windfall to celebrate and to continue to support. For more information, see mainewindindustry.com.
Remember Main Street
As the U.S. Senate continues to iron out a financial services reform bill, I’m pleased to see both Maine senators take an active role in making sure small businesses are not over-regulated.
The bill in its current form creates a new regulatory agency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) with over-reaching powers.
Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are fighting to clamp back on the huge bite of the new CFPB by assuring non-financial services small businesses are not overburdened by new, duplicative and costly regulatory requirements.
They both understand that changes to the financial services sector should focus on the specific problems caused by Wall Street firms — fix what is broken — and should not target Main Street small businesses that did not create the problem.
The broad scope of the new bureau would allow federal regulators to write rules for non-financial companies that provide direct credit to their customers when they purchase goods or services.
Sen. Snowe wrote an amendment to clarify that these non-financial services small businesses are not intended to be gobbled up by this new regulatory agency, and Sen. Collins voted for an amendment that would turn the focus of a new regulator toward financial services companies and away from non-financial small businesses.
Small businesses appreciate the support of Maine’s senators. We need them to keep the pressure on their colleagues and insist the bill’s provisions are clear that the focus will be on Wall Street problems, not on imposing new, costly and burdensome regulations on Main Street small businesses.
David R. Clough
state director — Maine National Federation of Independent Business
What’s in a name
Attention potential white supremacists: Be careful of joining a group whose leader calls himself “Proprietor Mutt.”
Webster’s defines a mutt as a dog of unknown breeding, a mongrel. A secondary definition is a stupid person, short for muttonhead, slow-headed or a simpleton.
Now what self-respecting white supremacist would want to be led by Mr. Mutt? His choice of name shows his long suit is not brains or breeding.
Julia Grimsley Edelblute