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August 25 Letters to the Editor

Liberal myth

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise of.” Where in this statement in the Constitution does it say anything about the separation of church and state? There is none. John Langerak in his letter to the editor of Aug. 20 should get his facts straight.

Any law, regulation or ruling that states that creationism can’t be taught in the public schools, prayer not allowed, the nativity scene not allowed on public property, etc., by any local, state or the federal government is violating the Constitution. According to the Constitution, no law can be made against religion or anyone prac-ticing their religion. Period.

Any of these laws on the books now should be overturned. They are all based on the liberal myth of the separation of church and state and the liberals’ war against Christianity.

Janice Bodwell



Prison plantation

I just wanted you to know that sometimes I write when I agree with the editorial position of the paper. The BDN’s Aug. 19 editorial, “Private Prison Break,” addresses a long-held belief of mine that only the state has the right and duty to confine people or take away their freedom, and hold them until such time as the court orders them released.

A private entity begins to look like a plantation in the old South (particularly considering the racial make-up of our prison system) and someday private prisons will be ruled unconstitutional.

Harry H. Snyder III



Stereotyping the poor

This summer, the Bangor Daily News has twice reported about food stamp recipients purchasing bottled water in order to collect the 5-cent bottle return and spend the money on something else. While this is clearly an unfortunate misuse of public money, it is also a rare occurrence.

The newspaper’s continued focus on this issue is portraying a fraud practiced by a small minority of food stamp recipients as a widespread problem. In doing so, the BDN is perpetrating negative stereotypes about poor people by presenting food stamp recipients as cheats and frauds.

In my experience, the vast majority of food stamp recipients are poor people struggling to keep themselves and their families fed. They are not wasting time and money by sneaking behind a grocery store to dump out water in order to collect a very small sum of money. The BDN should focus on the real story: hunger and pov-erty in Maine.

According to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, 13.3 percent of Maine households, representing over 175,000 people, are unable to consistently access adequate amounts of nutritious food; 19.5 percent of Maine children are included in this number.

The 2008 USDA Household Food Security in the United States Report revealed that Maine was one of 10 states that exhibit significantly higher household food insecurity rates than the national average.

We are talking about real people — our neighbors, children and senior citizens — who are going hungry. Please examine your newspaper’s priorities. Hunger and poverty in our state are the true story here.

Brook Minner



Little League, big fun

As I returned home from the final game of the Senior League World Series, I couldn’t help but be proud to be a lifelong Bangor resident. The days of Little League games played at the end of Webster Avenue where the city golf course now exists are long gone but Little League is alive and well.

The success of the tournament held at Mansfield Stadium this past week is an indication of just how hard so many people have worked. The volunteers, the workers, the coaches, the teams and the fantastic crowds all played a huge role in the success of this spectacular event.

We are fortunate to have hosted the Senior League World Series and I trust the citizens of the greater Bangor area will continue to support it in the years to come. Thank you for a great week of baseball.

Catherine Cox



Veteran for LePage

Maine citizens have an opportunity this year to elect a governor who has actual lifetime executive experience as Waterville’s mayor and as Marden’s general manager.

His proven record and high success rate is attributed to his intensity in getting things done right for the people he serves. No other candidate can claim this success.

Mayor Paul LePage is the only candidate who is qualified, certified and has the fortitude to be the next chief executive in our great state. I firmly believe that Mayor Paul LePage is the best candidate to head our state with hope and direct us toward prosperity.

My family and I are honored to vote for Paul and I ask and urge you to join us in voting for Paul to be our next governor.

Gil Pelletier



More energy context

I read the BDN’s Aug. 18 editorial “Energy in Context” and could not help but think how out of context it really was in order to push the wind agenda or anything but fossil fuels for that matter. If you really want to look at it in context you will examine all the facts, not just the ones that benefit your argument.

Let’s look at the facts and put them “in context.” You state the fact that fossil fuel subsidies were 12 times higher than those for alternative energy. While true, this does not look at the subsidy as it relates to overall energy products.

According to the Federal Energy Information Agency, for every million megawatt hours used to produce electricity from natural gas or petroleum the government subsidizes it 25 cents. For every MWH produced by wind the subsidy is $23.37. The federal government subsidizes wind power 100 times more than fossil fuels.

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not point out that you make the absurd claim that there is $3 to $8 in hidden cost in every gallon of gasoline sold. I would love to see the facts to support this broad claim. Instead of fossil fuels why don’t we focus on saving Maine people money. Thirty years ago people burned 1,500 gallons to heat their home, today they burn 850. With new boilers and weatherizing their home people can burn less than 600. All done without government subsidies but with free market forces.

James Robinson



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