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Nov. 3 Letters to the Editor

Honoring veterans

Veterans Day is approaching and what do we do about it? A few dedicated people meet, pray and acknowledge what they have done. That being said, it’s just another holiday celebrated by the masses, not for our veterans, but to most a day off if their bosses let them.

I won’t chastise all, but I wish people would remember those who have gone before us as those who come after us will also hopefully be remembered. So remember on this day to honor all veterans who served their country; if not for them, you would be speaking German or Japanese.

I had the honor of serving with the finest people this country has ever produced, and to our adversaries, beware!

Frank D. Slason



Help veterans

I watched a recent piece on “60 Minutes” regarding homeless veterans. What a disgrace to our government in allowing for this to happen. We have soldiers coming home from Iraq who are not getting help. It’s bad enough we never took care of Vietnam vets.

We allow those on welfare to purchase pretty much what they want on their EBT cards then turn around and withdraw cash for cigarettes, beer and drugs, but we cannot get these vets some help? It is time to review the system. I understand some need help. Make sure they are not riding the system.

It’s time to stop sending so much money to other countries until we take care of those who have served the U.S. These people deserve a lot better!

Mike Small



Tea party explained

The tea party movement has focused attention on the importance and relevance of the 1773 Boston Tea Party, which was not a revolt against taxes. It was a demonstration against Britain’s “taxation without representation.” As residents of a democracy (i.e. republic), American voters determine what costs and investments to share nationally. As Lincoln observed, we’re a government of the people, by the people and for the people — not big government versus the people.

Colonists rejected King George protecting business interests of companies profiting from trade in America. Currently, we need to guard against corporate and global business interests. Did deregulation and Supreme Court appointments under Ronald Reagan and the recent Georges undermine health care, credit and politics for the average citizen in favor of corporations?

Reasonable questions include what happened to health care costs when it became increasingly a for-profit enterprise, how much credit crisis would have been prevented with better regulation, and what is to prevent corporations (or foreigners) from buying elections through their undisclosed contributions to political action committees? Are we a government of the people (and corporations), by the people (and corporations) and for the corporations (oops! and people)?

We should view taxes as investments we make and track responsibly to recognize the difference between capitalism (economic system for those with capital) and democracy (political system for citizens), to take responsibility for ourselves and for being good neighbors rather than thinking in terms “the government,” and to elect candidates who represent this.

Mark Rains



Christian serpent?

As I read the Bangor Daily News Oct. 17 editorial about Christians and public policy, I fear the newspaper has fallen under the spell of the Maine Family Policy Council, formerly the Christian Civic League. This organization may have changed its name and its leadership, but rest assured, its focus remains one of hate, bent on marginalizing and destroying a whole segment of society until the leadership gets its way. Like all serpents, they are quite meek and mild until they are ready to strike.

Brian McFarland



Brewer schools

This school year marks the last years of service for four of Brewer’s public schools. Beginning with the 2011 school year, Brewer elementary and middle school students will attend the new pre-kindergarten through middle school campus on Parkway South, site of the former Pendleton Street School.

The four schools that will be vacated and their dates of construction and building area square footages are: Capri Street School (1961, 11,970), Washington Street School (1955, 24,384), State Street School (1945, 19,600) and Brewer Middle School (formerly Brewer High School) (1925, 69,330). Campus land area acreage is: Capri (6.88), Washington (8.18), State (5.49) and Middle (5.49). Upon closure of these schools, the buildings and campuses will be turned over to the City Council for disposition.

In some instances, zoning restricts the use of these properties. The Washington Street School site is encumbered under a federal land and conservation fund project agreement limiting its use to educational and recreational purposes.

In anticipation of the eventual closures, the council appointed a committee of citizens and city officials to evaluate each property for potential reuse. Committee members toured the facilities, reviewed the architects’ analysis and studied how other municipalities adapted closed school buildings.

The committee is expected to make its recommendations on the future use of these schools and grounds to the council in early 2011. A public meeting to hear citizen comments and suggestions on the future uses will be scheduled before the committee presenting its recommendations.

Arthur C. Verow

City Council Chairman



Questions with tea

I have a few questions for tea party activists. Are they aware that the original Boston Tea Party event was, in part, a protest against corporate power (the East India Trading Company) and its ability to influence government policy?

Where in the Constitution does it say that corporations have the rights of individuals or that money equals speech? Which Constitution do they revere: the Constitution of 1789, 1864 or today?

Are they aware that Thomas Jefferson once wrote derisively of “men [who] look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the ark of the covenant, too sacred to be touched” and “who ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment”?

If you want government to be answerable to citizens rather than corporations and special interests, why aren’t you working your hearts out to remove the corrupting influence of money and lobbyists in politics? Why aren’t you strengthening third parties by advocating for instant run off elections and campaign finance reform?

I await the answers.

Laurie Nicholson



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