August 2 Letters to the Editor

Posted Aug. 01, 2010, at 7:26 p.m.

Arrogant hubris

The recent U.S. government documents released by the whistle-blower WikiLeaks underline the unwinability, absurdity and unjust nature of the Afghan war. “Nothing we didn’t know,” responds the military. Ah yes, you knew — but we didn’t. They seem to miss this small point. More secrecy and nonsense, like Johnson, like Nixon, like Bush II.

Afghan corruption, “modified” civilian casualty reports, previously unreported offensive powers of the Taliban, etc. The reports plainly show a reluctance of our government to share publicly the real facts about the war.

In fact, it’s a disaster.

Nine years to control an area little bigger than Ohio? The world’s top military force held at bay by a scattered bunch of barefooted guerillas, for nine years?

No one has ever won in Afghanistan. The British failed, the Soviets and yet the stupidity and arrogant hubris of the White House and our military urge that we plod on. Congress just allotted billions more for the effort, with hardly any debate. Anti-war voices are squelched, kept off TV. War profiteers, who’ll pocket most of dough, quietly cheer.

This is madness. You don’t become the world’s leader, as we profess to be, by going into helpless countries, uninvited, and wreaking havoc on the citizens with the old John Wayne tough-guy bit.

Americans are sick of pouring billions into a black hole. No money for the unemployed, the undereducated, the uninsured but we can support this debacle, so much like Vietnam, the second of the five wars we have lost since 1950.

Dennis Lopez

Rockport

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Live music snub

Recently, I received a schedule of events for Guilford’s Piscataquis River Festival. It seems that there are all kinds of events all day long that involve local people and local organizations, but where is the local music that played all day long at no cost to the festival? That’s right, the live music was free!

There have been at least a half-dozen bands that donated their time and equipment through the years to entertain anyone who wished to listen. To my knowledge none of the bands was asked to play any music this year nor were any of them thanked for their previous years of entertainment to the crowds of people that gathered in front of the stage to listen to some good old down-home music.

I personally know of some people who travel many miles to hear the bands play at this event; aren’t they going to be upset! A lot of people have already said they weren’t attending because they looked forward to the live local music played there for the past five years. So, I guess for all of us local musicians that have played at the River Festival we can say: “Been there, done that, but didn’t get a T-shirt.”

Hillier Artman

Sangerville

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Junk food ban fan

I receive food stamps and try to buy healthy foods. Why wouldn’t some type of ban on junk food work? You can guide food stamp consumers to eat healthier all you want, but it doesn’t mean they will listen.

I would appreciate a ban if I could add essential nonfood items such as toilet paper, shampoo, soap and personal hygiene items to the food stamp list. Then I could save for nonessential items such as chips and soda for just once in a while.

We need to think of priorities.

Robin Buckley

Bangor

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Johnny Depp maligned

Pat LaMarche, like so many of her far-left friends, want the rich to pay more taxes so the government can spend the money rather than the person who earned it. Her July 28 column was headlined “Homeless Americans need a break,” but the ones who really need a break are working Americans. They are the ones who pay all the bills for those who don’t or can’t work.

She goes quickly into how Johnny Depp earned $50 million for his role in “Alice in Wonderland” and that he should pay more taxes for being so successful. After all, he is part of the 3 percent of our nation’s wealthiest, and he can afford a tax increase.

She doesn’t mention anything about how Johnny Depp spends the money he earns. I encourage everyone to check out projecthome.org to see one of Johnny’s major benefactors. You should also check out looktothestars.org/celebrity/126-johnny-depp to see the other 15 charities that he voluntarily contributes to.

I would much rather have my money, your money and Johnny Depp’s money go to the charity of our choice than to the federal government. I think we can all do a better job of spending our hard earned cash than any government at any level.

If taxes keep going up like they have been, we all will be “homeless Americans” soon. Then Pat LaMarche can visit more homeless people, write another book and advance her liberal agenda even further.

Thomas E. Slattery

Hartland

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LePage’s leaner state

If I were a state of Maine employee or a retired state employee, I certainly would support Paul LePage for governor. Since the state is underfunded and may be in jeopardy for future payouts of benefits, I would vote for someone who knows how to balance a budget and cut programs that do not work so that we may keep our great state out of bankruptcy.

It is important that we see a lean government in Augusta that is able to pay its bills without raising taxes. Chasing private businesses (which create jobs and pay taxes) out of our state is not the answer. Democrats and Republicans who believe that spending money is the way to solve Maine’s problems have to be voted out.

Maine is a great state to live in, but with our low population and its size, we need to look more carefully at how we spend our hard earned money.

Stop balancing the state budget by passing the responsibility to local governments that have to raise property taxes. It is forcing retirees to leave the state six months and one day of the year to go to states with lower taxes such as Florida.

A vote for Paul LePage is a vote for a leaner and kinder government that will enable small businesses to stay viable thus creating jobs which will, in turn, help state government to pay its bills.

Bob Berube

Fort Kent

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http://bangordailynews.com/2010/08/01/opinion/august-2-letters-to-the-editor-2/ printed on August 2, 2014