July 31-August 1 Letters to the Editor

Posted July 30, 2010, at 7:07 p.m.

Groundhog daze

I read with interest the caption to the “Groundhog’s Way” photo in the July 24-25 BDN. I must take issue with the information provided by www.nationalgeographic.com that groundhogs “climb trees.”

I have lived in the County 30 years and have seen groundhogs on lawns, in holes in fields, in roadside ditches, but never in trees. They are, after all, called groundhogs, not treehogs.

Where did the sighting of a groundhog in a tree occur? Other than the tornado states, I suspect Massachusetts. Possibly tree climbing evolved as a survival skill for groundhogs inhabiting the roadsides of the Bay State. Was it seen perched next to an Ivory Billed Woodpecker? One has to wonder if alcohol or other mind-altering substances were involved. A groundhog in a tree? When pigs fly!

Dale J. Gordon

Caribou

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Thank you, WikiLeaks

Hooray and thanks to WikiLeaks for releasing documents about U.S. policies toward Afghanistan, Pakistan and the region. These policies are misguided and destructive, and shining a light on them can help to end them.

What we are doing there is cruel and immoral, from “accidental” deaths to targeted suicides to rapes to destruction of the land and economy of Afghanistan. (We continue to do these same things in Iraq.) We have killed tens or hundreds of thousands of Afghanis, sent U.S. soldiers home in body bags or messed up for life, and bankrupted our country.

The truth of these documents puts the lie to government claims of “national security” in preventing their release. Consistently, our government has claimed the fig leaf of “national security” to cover up the embarrassment of its unethical and often illegal actions.

WikiLeaks has helped to disprove the saying that, “In war, truth is the first casualty.” We shouldn’t be afraid of the truth, and neither should the U.S. government.

Larry Dansinger

Monroe

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PFD privileged

Why is it OK (legal) for President Obama’s children to not wear life jackets on a lobster fishing-type boat under power in Bar Harbor in plain view of Coast Guard? It is certainly illegal for the rest of us parents and boat operators.

I was on my lobster boat tied up at the mooring a few years ago with my 80-year-old father and 9- and 12-year-old daughters. We all had lobster licenses. The Coast Guard boarded our boat, and gave us a hard time, reducing my 9-year-old to tears. Then they gave us a summons for the girls not having life jackets.

I was required to pay a fine for this. I think the Obamas should be charged and fined for this infraction, just like ordinary citizens would be.

Erik Garland

Robbinston

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Another choice

Last weekend, Republican gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage felt it worthwhile to bring up his Democratic rival Libby Mitchell’s age as a campaign issue. Mitchell, nine years LePage’s senior but unfortunately none the wiser, saw fit to expend her efforts and the precious time of her supporters to dignify and address LePage’s comments.

I’m not sure how either candidate’s campaign rhetoric elevates the race for governor or addresses any of the substantive issues facing Maine.

Fortunately for the voters of Maine, there is another viable candidate in the race, independent Eliot Cutler. While LePage was slinging barbs and Mitchell was cracking jokes, Eliot Cutler spent his time visiting several Maine-based manufacturing businesses, talking to local business leaders about health care costs and describing his plans to bring new investment to Maine.

There is a stark difference between the campaigns being run by the major party candidates and the campaign Eliot Cutler is running. If the manner in which one campaigns is any measure of how one might govern, voters need to give Eliot Cutler serious consideration in the race for governor.

I’m encouraged that there is at least one candidate in the race treating the campaign with thoughtfulness and professionalism, Eliot Cutler.

Geoffrey Wingard

Orono

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Immigration no joke

Martin O’Connell states sarcastically in “Vanishing logic” (BDN, Letters, July 28) that he has not heard news of any vanishing Americans along our southern border and that he finds no reference to this phenomenon on the Internet.

I found scores of references on my Internet search, including an article from the New York Times, one from CNN and one from a Mark Getty, who says: “In the Mexican borderlands, hardly a week goes by without news of current or former policemen being linked to organized criminal activity. The recent exposure of members of the Chihuahua State Judicial Police (PJE) as the probable murderers of 12 men whose bodies were recovered from a ‘narco-grave’ in Cd.”

There are serious problems with our southern border, including narcotics smuggling, human trafficking, kidnappings and murders. Several instances of Arizona citizens being murdered by illegal aliens have been in the news during the past several months. A Google search supplied me with more than 28 pages of links listed for “border disappearances.”

John Hubbard

Bangor

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Catholic rights LePage

A recent BDN article quotes Paul Lepage responding to MPBN’s Susan Sharon’s question, “He is saying that because of your French Catholicism you are not fit?” Mr. LePage replies, “Yeah. He calls me a creationist.”

As a Catholic Mr. LePage should know better. There is no question that the Catholic church fully supports the scientific theory of evolution.

In his Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on October 22, 1996, Pope John Paul II clarified the Church’s stance on evolution saying, “Today … new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.”

A creationist does not a Catholic make, Mr. LePage.

Jonathan Hatch

Bradley

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Right to know in Addison

Why would anyone possibly object to open access? There seems to be misinformation circulating in our little town by at least one committee chairperson that the Maine Freedom of Access Act (Right to Know) is somehow an infringement of free speech. It isn’t.

It protects our rights as citizens and taxpayers to know what is going on and how our tax money is being spent. By requiring posting of all board, committee and sub-committee meetings, it protects us against secret deals, government takings and loss of our rights.

I’m an Addison native, live on land my family farmed for five generations and work hard for our money. We pay a large tax bill every year. The economy is not good and all of us need to know where and how our money is spent.

Timothy H. Thompson

Addison

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