Sept. 23 Letters to the Editor

Posted Sept. 22, 2010, at 5:47 p.m.

Frontier mentality

Regarding the Sept. 15 front page “bear attack” story, bear hunting has its place and it seems that Mr. Shepard acted appropriately.

However, to compare a shot and wounded bear (almost all wounded animals fight for their lives) to other black bear attacks with non-wounded bears in North America or Maine makes no sense. And to describe this bear as a “roaring beast” shows a frontier mentality that is inappropriate under the circumstances.

Frederick J. Badger Jr.

Little Deer Isle

• • •

Stem cell research

I believe the BDN may be using outdated or misleading information when its Sept. 14 editorial on taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research stated that “A strong majority favors the research.”

According to a recent Rasmussen Report Survey (Aug. 26) 57 percent of Americans oppose the tax funding of embryonic stem cell research while only 33 percent favor it.

In spite of spending over $500 million of our tax dollars for embryonic stem cell research over 10 years, the Associated Press in an article on Aug. 2 reports that embryonic stem cell research has not helped anyone (except of course the researchers who got the funding).

Meanwhile, AP reports that hundreds of thousands of people have been helped by standard lifesaving therapy provided by adult stem cells for people with leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood diseases, and show promise in the areas of multiple sclerosis, heart damage and blindness — in other words all the things that embryonic cells were supposed to do 10 years ago.

Why should taxpayers pour millions more of our tax dollars into embryonic stem cell research that kills the donor, [stem cells that] are highly unstable, have a propensity to morph into tumors, and are likely to be rejected by the patient? This is ridiculous — not to mention morally objectionable.

As Dr. David Scadden of Harvard told AP, adult stem cells have helped patients with a wide range of diseases and conditions while embryonic stem cells have never helped a single person.

Gerald E. Thibodeau

Brewer

• • •

Drop out, Mitchell

Mr. Bourgoine’s BDN OpEd piece (“For good of Maine, Cutler should exit race,” Sept. 16) is almost flawless in its lack of logic. First of all, it is clear that this is political sniveling, since Mr. Bourgoine is plainly trying to pump up the Mitchell candidacy.

That’s to be expected; it’s campaign talk.

But the real issue isn’t Cutler; rather it’s Mitchell.

Mr. Bourgoine framed this race as an event isolated within the borders of Maine. But given the characterization of Mr. LePage as the tea party candidate, which he is, the context of the gubernatorial race isn’t confined to the borders of Maine.

Rather, if one is aware of local, state and national races (hey, what happened in Delaware?), the tea party is making gains based not on candidates like Cutler, but rather based on incumbents like Mitchell. Yes, she’s an incumbent and has been entwined with a series of administrations and a fluctuating set of state legislators that have failed to make the welfare of the citizens of Maine a priority. The incumbents have contributed seriously to the rise of the tea party.

It’s “throw the bums out” time.

So it seems more reasonable that Mitchell should withdraw, not Cutler, and that those Democrats who would then become friendly to Cutler, because of being “the enemy of the enemy” would help Maine avoid the devastating reign of LePage, as Mr. Bourgoine so specified with rousing rhetoric.

The national context cannot be ignored.

Mark Schwartz

Stillwater

• • •

Libby’s cheap trick

What kind of a cheap Democratic trick is it for Libby Mitchell’s campaign to bring to Maine former President Bill Clinton? Ms. Mitchell, instead of wasting voters donations and other people’s money, would be much further ahead if she got out and saw what an ill-fated Democratic leadership has done to Maine and its residents.

We don’t need a gubernatorial candidate trying to buy votes in Southern Maine. If Ms. Mitchell really cared about Maine and its residents, then she should get out into the reality of Maine and see it without blinders on.

We’ve had eight years of bad leadership with John Baldacci. Do we need another four with cheap trick politics?

Delmer Terrill

Newburgh

• • •

Churchill’s Iraq

Perusing an old encyclopedia, I found it interesting to learn that Sir Winston Churchill helped create Iraq in 1921. I wonder just how he would react to developments over the past few decades there.

Bill Sawtell

Brownville

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