June 25 Letters to the Editor

Posted June 24, 2010, at 6:57 p.m.

Israel’s apartheid

By now, I’m used to the U.S. government’s pandering to the Israel lobby, to the point of endangering our own security. (Will the Zionist neocons in our government push us into war with Iran, like they did with Iraq?)

And National Public Radio’s biased coverage in favor of Israel has become depressingly routine. But I was dismayed to hear MPBN’s recent series of interviews (basically) promoting more economic ties between Israel and Maine.

Since its inception, Israel has consciously and systematically stolen and occupied Palestinian land, bombed its civilian population and walled off the survivors (with as few resources as public opinion, hobbled by press blackouts, would allow).

South Africa was boycotted by the civilized world for its apartheid policies. Israel should be too.

Melodie Greene

Calais

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Invest in green energy

Maine can give our president the solution to his green energy problem.

The president recently announced from the Oval Office that he does not know how we are going to do it, but we will find a way to replace imported oil in this country.

Now, using off-the-shelf technology, our state could give the nation that answer. Does our country wish to continue spending billions on part-time job creation or can it provide loan guarantees to a private firm to invest up to $100 billion and create up to 20,000 construction jobs for a period of years?

This project could generate enough power to replace up to 10 nuclear power stations within 10 years.

Let’s stop the debate and build our future.

Edward Greenblatt

Camden

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Memorial Day records

Frank Slason’s June 18 letter, “Poor Memorial showing,” takes President Barack Obama to task for not laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day. He feels this is the sudden cause of people forgetting the meaning of the holiday.

Just for the record, Ronald Reagan missed four out of eight years.

George H.W. Bush was zero for four during his tenure. George W. Bush missed 2002.

So I find it hard to blame President Obama for the decline of civilization as Mr. Slason knows it. And I would ask all detractors of a president who doesn’t attend: When was the last time you went there?

George Hartmann

LaGrange

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Call it a loan

The results of the June primary election seem to clarify one point – voters don’t mind spending, they just don’t want to pay for it. In passing all the bond issues, voters authorized millions of dollars in state borrowing for many worthwhile projects, however, we all will pay a heavy cost for those loans.

At the same time, voters defeated a tax reform bill that would have created more than 100 new categories of taxable services while reducing income tax rates. Opponents of the tax reform did a good job explaining that this was a cost shift and that over time many taxpayers would actually be paying more. Proponents failed to make their case for this complicated proposal. Underlying the outcome was a growing distrust of government.

By defeating the tax reform, Maine maintains its higher than average income tax rate and volatile revenue stream for state government. Both are impediments to getting Maine on a competitive footing among other states in the region and across the nation. The incoming Legislature and new governor have an obligation to figure it out and get to work solving the problem. As for more borrowing, it would help voters if bond issues were clearly called loans and the cost of the loans were explained in greater detail.

Nothing in the foreseeable future suggests that the course Maine has traveled is going to change without changing the people who sit in the Legislature and governor’s office. That’s what is so great about elections.

We all get a chance to change history one vote at a time. Make yours count.

Tony Payne

executive director

Alliance for Maine’s Future

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National debt debacle

It seems strange that U.S. citizens are now concerned with the national debt. The national debt has increased by more than $4 trillion in the past 28 years. We should have been and should be concerned.

Who is to blame for the credit mentality of our government?

Should all blame be placed on presidents (Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton and G.W. Bush) or should we blame members of Congress?

From 1981 through 2008, 24 out of 28 years, the federal government operated with fiscal deficits. The last three years of the Clinton administration and the first year of the G.W. Bush administration, the government operated with a surplus. The three largest deficits in history were in 2003, 2004 and 2005, when we increased our national debt by more than $1 trillion.

The major problems causing that huge three-year debt were the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and the 2003 tax cut. President George H.W. Bush, during the primaries against Reagan, claimed that the Reagan economic plan was “voodoo economics.” I wonder what he thinks of his son’s plan?

Now, for a change, we can kick President Obama around. Being a 1934 high school graduate (during the Great Depression), it seems like the expression “been there, done that” seems to apply to the fiscal insanity we are experiencing in this century.

It’s strange that we still complain about taxes, wars, recessions, unemployment, schools, politics, etc. and yet we have done nothing to resolve this deficit-debt problem for 29 years. Why?

Nathaniel Crowley Sr.

Stockton Springs

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Head South, young man

For years I’ve been told that it is more expensive to live out of state and it’s hard to get a job. In my journeys out of state, I’ve noticed no shortage of jobs. In fact, on a recent trip to Virginia, practically every business I visited, from department stores to legitimate offices, was hiring.

Where are the jobs in Maine? I currently make $8 an hour with a college degree. There are no decent jobs for at least an hour from where I live. I only make $900 a month. I can’t even get assistance because I make too much.

As for expenses, gas is on average 30 cents less a gallon in the South. Apartments are about the same if not less than the ones in the Bangor area. Food as well as entertainment seems to be about the same cost in the South, and with more to do I am sure that my recent problems in getting a relationship would be solved. Everyone there is career minded, it seems, and not dead set on getting pregnant so they can get on Daddy’s wallet.

In essence, what do I have to lose?

If you want to fix Maine, make it business friendly and encourage development. It’s the only way that you’ll get anyone my age to stay here and not become a Dover-lifer sitting at the local bar watching some deadbeat band play. Wake up. Please.

Thomas Housman

Dover-Foxcroft

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