The other Muslims
Nine years ago, a week after the 9-11 attacks on the United States, I was walking down the streets of a small town in Borneo. Muslim shopkeepers came out of their stores to ask if I was American, and when I answered in the affirmative, they bowed their heads and said how sorry and saddened they were about the attacks on our nation and wished God to have mercy on our country.
For Americans to paint all Muslims with the brush of fanaticism would be like assuming that all Christians are like the Gainesville pastor who threatens to burn non-Christian holy books. Such intolerance and hatred mirrors that of the Taliban and creates a very sad image of America and Christians in the eyes of the world.
Withdrawal Bush’s idea
President Obama in his Aug. 31 Oval Office speech tried to make the American people believe that the schedule for the cessation of American combat action, the withdrawal of combat troops and the removal of all American forces from Iraq was based on a plan that he had put in place. This is not true. He had nothing to do with it.
The timetable for America’s disengagement stemmed from the 2007-08 bilateral negotiations between the Bush administration and the Iraq government, which culminated in a Status of Forces Agreement, or SOFA. The SOFA was approved by the Iraqi Parliament on Nov. 27, 2008, then signed by former President George W. Bush and the Iraqi Prime Minister on Dec. 14, 2008. Among the provisions contained in the SOFA is for the withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.
Nor did Obama give credit to the successful Bush-initiated and General Petraeus-led surge that is enabling the United States to withdraw from Iraq in a responsible manner. The reason Obama did not refer to the surge in his speech is because when then-President Bush announced the surge in January 2007, Sen. Obama declared the escalation of troop levels a mistake. Even when it was evident the surge was working, the junior senator from Illinois still was in denial.
Ironically, now-President Obama has adopted the successful Iraqi surge as the basis for his Afghan policy, even to the point of appointing the same general who led the surge in Iraq to lead the surge in Afghanistan.
Help the bog walk
The senseless trashing of the Orono Bog Boardwalk, one of the area’s treasures, carefully nurtured by volunteers over the years, is impossible to understand. But the outpouring of support for the bog and boardwalk has been truly heartening and a real silver lining.
Thanks to Bangor Savings Bank and all those who have stepped up.
If you would like to show how you value this unique place, it’s easy.
Checks can be made out to the University of Maine Foundation with Boardwalk on the memo line and mailed to P.O. Box 12, Orono, ME 04473.
Cutler is the one
I am a sophomore at the University of Maine looking forward to having a rewarding career in my home state. However, I fear that without a governor capable of turning things around, that dream will never become a reality. We need Eliot Cutler as governor, because he will improve conditions in our state to draw investment and jobs here so students, myself included, can find rewarding careers in Maine.
It will be difficult to turn things around before I graduate, but it is clear Mr. Cutler is up to the task. His experience in the private sector provides an understanding of the problems a business can experience through taxation and legislation, and he is committed to removing undue governmental burdens.
His government service, including working on the federal Clean Air and Clean Water acts, demonstrates his passion for our environment and is a testament to his understanding the value of Maine’s natural resources.
As the independent candidate, Mr. Cutler can use his experience without restraint to find solutions based on fact, not party ideology. He offers workable solutions and will bridge the gap between Democrats and Republicans.
I grew up appreciating Maine as an independent and resilient state, with my father always telling me to “do it now and get it done.” With our support, Mr. Cutler will “do it now and get it done” so my generation and those to follow can experience Maine as the way life should be.
Clarify charter changes
I take issue with the way the city has presented the proposed changes to its charter. There is no differentiation between what is new, what is the same and what has been deleted. The city has left us citizens to do a lot of research to know what we are voting on.
We deserve better from our city administration.
Charles L. Boothby
In her Sept. 1 letter, Valerie Cartonio questions the right of pro-lifers to expose her to the disgusting photo posters of aborted babies “The Constitution does not permit government to decide which types of otherwise protected speech are sufficiently offensive to require protection for the unwilling listener or viewer” (Erznoznik, 422 U.S. 210). Rather, the burden rests with the viewer to “avoid further bombardment of (his) sensibilities simply by averting (his) eyes” (Cohen v. California).
The U.S. Supreme Court is clear on this: Content- and viewpoint-based restrictions of speech are unconstitutional. Therefore, the government cannot restrict a pro-life demonstrator’s speech because of the content of her sign or the message it conveys. Obscenity is speech that appeals to one’s prurient interest in sex (Miller v. California). Simply put, photo posters depicting graphic images of aborted babies are not obscenity.
These photo posters prove that in all three trimesters, it is a living baby who is tortured to death by abortion. It is not logical to argue that the photo posters are disturbing, disgusting, etc., but that the act of abortion is somehow OK. They make it impossible to maintain the perception that abortion is a trivial evil. Anyone with a functioning conscience is appalled by injustice of this magnitude.
What a pathetic people we are if we want to tolerate the torturing to death of the unborn, but become outraged at the display which proves their suffering.
Ron J. Stauble Sr.