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July 26 Letters to the Editor

Truth in headlines

President Obama is not running against former President Bush anymore.

Yet the BDN obviously wants to play that political game.

An editor chose a misleading statistic to feature as a subheading to David Broder’s July 19 column. This statistic (which appeared in the 10th paragraph of a 14-paragraph column and therefore was not its featured detail) said that a poll showed that Obama’s economic agenda is preferred over Bush’s. Huh? Are you pretending that Bush is still president?

Poll numbers are so easily twisted or excerpted to support whatever you want them to support. The same poll also noted that “a generic conservative approach, pitting a leader who will ‘start from scratch with new ideas to shrink government, cut taxes and grow the economy,’ beats one committed to sticking with Obama’s policies, 64 percent to 30 percent.”

Doesn’t that say that conservative policies are preferred 2-1 over Obama’s policies? Now that’s fair; in 2010 Bush is not running, nor is Obama. But conservatives are running against Obama’s economic policies.

The more balanced subtitle would have been “Conservative economic agenda is preferred over Obama’s, 64 percent to 30 percent.”

But even that wasn’t what the column was about. By and large Broder was suggesting the Democrats are in trouble, and that some polls suggest that the only way to win is to keep making war on George Bush. So the BDN subtitle did just that. Did you think no one would notice? Think again.

Barbara Sosman



Answer is in newsprint

Some of the members of the Bangor City Council believe that an audit of the activities of the Bangor city police and fire departments is in order. Analysis is definitely needed.

The reason for concern is financial. There appears to be an $800,000 overtime payment to police; why is that?

The city may hire someone from outside, at a substantial cost, to analyze the activities and priorities of the police department. I think I know what they will find.

As a good resident, I always read the court reports and police reports in the Bangor Daily News. All of the information is right there in print. It tells anyone who is paying attention where the police priorities are directed. It also tells where the overtime money is being spent. Hello.

I pay attention. I know where the money’s being spent because I can read and reason.

Patrick Quinn



Consider vouchers

The July 20 BDN article, “Delegation cool to $23 billion teacher aid bill” notes that “Congress is considering proposals to reduce the teacher layoffs expected next year as Recovery Act Funding runs out.” Rep. Michaud said that “he is concerned about adding to the federal budget deficit because of local budget decisions. I am always concerned about a bill that isn’t paid for and adds to our budget deficit.”

Maintaining the status quo of funding state supported public schools continues to add to the states’ funding problems. An educational voucher system in each state is the approved solution suggested by Milton Friedman.

After each state determines the amount of money it has for K-12 education, an equalized voucher system would be generated. An equalized scholarship fund education voucher shall be used solely to buy education services from any school that provides the basic English, mathematics, geography and American history. No other government source of funds shall be supplied to any school.

The local privatized county educational choice offices shall be paid for by the vouchers it receives. An equalized scholarship fund education voucher shall be supplied to parents, who shall use it to purchase the services they desire from their choice of schools.

Existing public schools shall be privatized within three years of this program. No government body or agency shall own or invest in any school under such a program.

All states’ constitutions shall be modified accordingly.

Wesley G. Matthei

Bar Harbor


Arizona’s invasion

Any discussion of the new law in Arizona must begin with awareness of the federal government’s deficiencies. The U.S. Constitution clearly assigns the federal government the responsibility to protect the states “against invasion.” (See Article IV, Section 4.) If that duty were faithfully being carried out, there would be no need for the recently passed law in Ari-zona.

Note that the Constitution didn’t say “military invasion,” just invasion. And the millions who have broken our laws and inundated our country constitute an invasion.

A large percentage of Arizona’s crime wave, welfare and medical costs, narcotics problem, etc., is traceable to the border-crossers. How else to deal with the situation when practically no help comes from those assigned to cope with the problem?

The John Birch Society reports on a U.S. soldier serving in Iraq who said that his unit was given the responsibility of sealing the border between Syria and Iraq. He added, “We did it, and if we could do that at the Syria-Iraq border, it can be done at our nation’s southern border.”

What’s missing is the will to do the job. This missing will should be a topic for discussion.

Oklahoma enacted tough laws against hiring illegal immigrants when it became obvious that a federal law enacted to target this problem wasn’t being enforced. Many of the illegal immigrants fled the state.

Critics will insist that Arizona has gone too far. Why don’t they criticize the federal government for not going far enough?

Robert Bruce Acheson



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