Sept 20 Letters to the Editor

Posted Sept. 19, 2010, at 6:48 p.m.

Faux quotes

Jody Mullis, in his Aug. 31 letter, “The real myth,” claimed that Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.” He also asserted that Benjamin Franklin believed that “lighthouses are more useful than churches.”

In fact, neither of these quotes have ever been found in any original documents. The Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia, edited by Monticello researchers and Jefferson scholars, states that not even a variation of this quote has been found “in any of Jefferson’s known writings.” The pseudo-quotation by Franklin appears to have been in circulation for a long time.

When I asked him directly about sources, Mullis told me, “I am an attorney. I don’t need to prove [my claims] to anyone,” and hung up his telephone. Maybe not. But then, neither should discerning readers be expected to believe them.

The irony of an evangelical Christian minister repudiating quotes wrongly attributed to Jefferson and Franklin, neither of whom ever claimed to be evangelical Christians, does not escape me. But because they are unable to do so in this day of unscrupulously circulated Internet legend, I am happy to attempt the same, while concurrently defending the honor of the church.

Daryl E. Witmer

Monson

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Levesque is wrong

Jason Levesque is 100 percent wrong when he says we cannot spend our way out of a recession. Spending is the only way to get out of a recession.

There are several ways to spend. Consumers can increase their spending, but with high unemployment, falling home prices, and low investment returns, they’re not in the mood. Businesses can increase their spending, but with consumers in a tight-fisted mode, they have no reason to do so.

That leaves government spending. States and local governments must balance their budgets, so government spending means increasing federal spending. Infrastructure is a very productive way to invest this money — better roads, schools, energy delivery, etc. will strengthen our economy as we move out of recession. Federal money can also be passed to state and local governments to be spent on their most pressing needs.

Yes, there will be federal budget deficits. Yes, the debt from the deficits will need to be repaid. But the amount of debt will be manageable, and it will be so much easier to pay off when people have jobs and the economy is growing. Inflation will not be a problem until the economy is growing rapidly again, and it can be dealt with by raising interest rates.

Trying to save our way to prosperity will doom us to years of high unemployment and declining prices for our homes and everything else, which is deflation. It is very difficult to deal with deflation once it takes hold of a nation’s economy.

Doesn’t anyone take Econ. 101 anymore?

Tod Foster

Bar Harbor

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Mayor backs Baker

I will be supporting Lewis Baker to represent Belfast, Northport and Belmont in the race for House District 43. Erin Herbig is a nice young woman. I, however, support Lewis Baker for a number of reasons. Lewis’ experience in serving on various boards and committees is very important, given the difficult issues facing state government.

I have served with Lewis on the Belfast City Council during the past two years. I have seen his ability to work with his fellow councilors to solve problems facing the city.

I believe that Lewis will work to reach across party lines to achieve bipartisan solutions to the many issues that the state will be dealing with.

I hope you will join me in voting for Lewis Baker as the representative for District 43.

Walter Ash

mayor, city of Belfast

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Collins deserves credit

Kudos to the BDN for consistent coverage of Maine’s common-sense struggle to get commercial truck traffic off our secondary roads and onto the interstate system, culminated by your Sept. 17 editorial “Trucks and Highway Safety.” You correctly point out the reasons our current truck weight pilot project is a good thing — it’s safer for our communities and our infrastructure, it will cost taxpayers less, and it provides meaningful economic benefit to Mainers at a time when it’s desperately needed.

The one thing that’s missing is the name of the person responsible for not only introducing the pilot project to Congress, but also effectively convincing the president of the program’s merit so he would include it in a federal spending provision — that person is Sen. Susan Collins.

To accomplish this, she worked with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and went toe-to-toe with many who were strongly opposed to this Maine solution. The people of Maine and the safety of our roads are better off due to Sen. Collins’ tireless efforts to accomplish her goal, and she deserves credit.

Brian Parke, president & CEO

Maine Motor Transport Association

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Sister-in-law’s support

I support Shawn Moody for governor of Maine, and I challenge and encourage all voting citizens of Maine to spend some time getting to know Shawn. He is definitely a person who thinks outside the box, which is what Maine — and the nation — need at this time. As Shawn says, “We’ve tried it their way, let’s try it ours.”

If you have access to a computer, visit www.moodygov.com and learn about Shawn and what he can do for this great state of ours, or call 839-2244 to ask questions and have literature sent to you so you can come to know a great man — someone who can accomplish things, someone who is as honest as the day is long and works just as hard as he expects anyone around him to work to get the job done, whatever that job may be.

Family, business or community, Shawn gives more than 100 percent. Yes, I am family and have been for 35 years and watched Shawn grow up with my younger sisters; all I’m asking is that you get to know the man, you’ll like what you see.

Let’s get a person in office who knows how to get things done — done right — and doesn’t shy away from hard work.

Roxanne Hanscom Moody

Gorham

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