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Aug. 23 letters to the editor

Integrity on display

Integrity is one of our basic American values. At the PGA golf tournament on Aug. 16, Dustin Johnson admitted that he had erred and broken a basic rule of golf by grounding his club in a hazard, thus incurring a two-stroke penalty. Another golf-related event happened this past weekend in Brewer.

At the annual “MJ’s Caps Connections” Relay for Life golf tournament to benefit American Cancer Society, the team of Tom Winston, Dennis Kiah and Jerry Goss played hard and laughed many times on their quest to do the best they could do. When they finished, they turned in their score card and ended up finishing in third place. When checking the results the following day, they saw their posted score was wrong. They brought the error to the attention of the tournament committee. In doing so, they forfeited third place.

Honesty and integrity meant more to these gentlemen than a victory in golf. Thus, another team — Ollie Alley, Troy Alley and Dave Wardwell — who played their hearts out to do the best they could, now receive the recognition that they truly earned that day.

The real winners this past weekend are those who experienced these events at the national level and the local level. I am humbled by the integrity of these individuals and pleased to make all aware of the values people display in their daily lives. If everyone in this world would follow these examples, the world would be a much happier place to inhabit.

Robert Sekera



Day of reckoning

It seems our leaders in Washington have lost whatever common sense they may once have had when it comes to international trade. Most everyone you meet will tell you that much of what we buy today comes from China or some other far-off place. They will also tell you that the reason is because we don’t make much here anymore because we can buy our stuff cheaper overseas. The public is also well aware that decent jobs, especially jobs that involve making things, are very hard to find.

Does it take a rocket scientist to recognize that as our factory jobs disappear not only does our local employment suffer but also our debts to foreign suppliers also continue to grow? Trade experts say things should balance out by our exports, which will create good jobs here and a favorable income stream from overseas buyers. However, even the most casual glance at our highly negative national trade balance and our continuing high unemployment rate will show that the so-called experts can’t seem to see the forest for the trees.

Our experts say we will have a trade war if we restrict imports but the common man can surely tell them that if we continue to buy things, that we must borrow from China to pay for, there will surely be a mighty unhappy day of reckoning somewhere down the road.

David Spaulding



Mosque is an insult

Two supposedly even-handed columns in the same issue of the BDN — by Kathleen Parker and Pat LaMarche — totally miss the point of the proposed mosque at ground zero.

No rational person can doubt the intention behind the construction is a symbolic and subversive slap in the face of those murdered by Muslim terrorists, and all who care about them.

Rather than the “moderate Muslim” described by Parker, Faisal Abdul Rauf, the “face” of the mosque, has written a book, whose partial title is “…Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11.” Dawa is “stealth jihad.” The book was published in the U.S. by a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose stated aim is “destroying the Western civilization from within, and sabotaging its miserable house.”

Parker fears that by hurting Muslims’ feelings we may feel their depredations; this is defeatism. LaMarche, missing the point completely, says religious tolerance in Israel allows churches, synagogues and mosques in close proximity, forgetting this would never be allowed in an Islamic state.

Perhaps there is nothing prohibiting the mosque’s construction, but to have our president go out of his way to defend it demeans those who died, offers encouragement to our enemies, and continues the administration’s policy of ignoring the danger radical Islam poses to the U.S., and to all nations that believe in tolerance and freedom. Radical Islam will allow neither where it holds sway.

The mosque is an insult, and a way should be found to prohibit its construction.

Donald Lodge

Southwest Harbor


Where was Paul?

The University of Maine at Machias hosted a forum for Maine’s candidates for governor on Thursday, Aug. 19, but only four of five candidates made the trip Down East — Paul LePage failed to attend.

The questions asked by the moderators and the attendees were thoughtful. The candidates’ answers were interesting. Unfortunately, not being able to hear Paul’s response to the many issues facing the next governor was disappointing. Does Paul not care about Washington County?

Since Paul seems to be leading in the polls, is he simply taking the voters for granted? The question is: Does Maine want a governor who ignores the issues facing the resudents of rural Maine?

Wayne A. Peters

Roque Bluffs


Free labor bad deal

It was somewhat unsettling to read the Aug. 18 BDN article “Cash-strapped towns, agencies line up to receive free inmate labor.” I do not agree that this is a free service, nor do I feel it is a good deal for anyone.

Not only are we paying to train, house, feed, medicate and otherwise provide for the day to day needs of the prison population, there is also the impact that the prison industries has on the rest of the state’s economy.

Presently, we are recovering from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Thousands of jobs have been lost, especially in the manufacturing sector. Included in that sector are very talented, experienced and honest law abiding citizens in the woodworking industries, the very same industries competing for the work being performed by these prisoners.

I wonder how workers who have lost their jobs feel about competing against a work force not being paid anywhere near minimum wage, much less a wage competitive with what these workers previously received. And what about the owners of the millwork and similar businesses who have seen their businesses fail or suffer during these hard times?

How does it make sense for someone to work hard, pay their taxes and obey the laws only to lose their job or their business to someone who chose not to do any of these things?

Yes, educating prisoners is important, it is important to turn them into productive members of society. But is it necessary to punish honest, law-abiding citizens in the meantime?

Bob Burleigh

New England Regional Council of Carpenters

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