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Dec. 3 Letters to the Editor

Wiki embarrassment

In “Wiki Hysteria,” the editorial of Dec. 1, the BDN joins the official chorus claiming that WikiLeaks was both trivial and damaging, putting lives at risk.

As I understand it, both WikiLeaks and receiving media thoroughly vetted the material, removing names that might put people at risk — unlike Karl Rove, when he deliberately exposed Valerie Plame.

As for triviality, I do believe that the U.S. media in general regard information about the casual slaughter of innocent civilians by Iraqi allied troops, the U.S. army and contract soldiers to be unimportant; that the longest war in U.S. history has degenerated into an exercise to keep a corrupt puppet government in place is of scant interest; that the U.S. has violated international law and norms of conduct by having diplomats act as spies while being protected by those same laws is only embarrassing.

The Vietnam War was front-page news during its entirety. In this past election, no candidate addressed either Iraq or Afghanistan; when they spoke about the deficit, candidates spoke about reducing entitlements, not military spending, although the U.S. military budget (for present and past wars) accounts for more than 50 percent of the budget and is as large as military spending by the rest of the world combined.

Bradley Manning will be remembered as one of our great heroes and, unfortunately, great martyrs.

Karen Saum



Newsworthy paper

Today, my wife and I were in Houlton, and I happened to buy a Bangor Daily News paper. I found it amazing that the editors of the BDN have managed to fill just about every page of today’s edition (Nov. 30) with news, including local, Maine and national news articles. Imagine picking up a newspaper and finding just about every page filled with news.

In contrast, since the makeover by Richard Connor, the Portland Press Herald has become mostly advertising, with the reporting of news a secondary goal. If Connor were to eliminate all the advertising, the entire Press Herald would be reduced to five or six pages. And as far as I am concerned, Publisher Connor has turned the Press Herald into propaganda machine for the right, leaving little doubt as to his political philosophy and affiliation.

If the BDN were more accessible and had better circulation here in southern Maine, I would terminate my subscription to the Press Herald and the Sunday Telegram.

Peter Greene



I say, ‘Merry Christmas’

Up until the day after Thanksgiving, I don’t have too much of a problem when I hear “Have a nice holiday.” But once Thanksgiving is behind us, it bothers me greatly to hear “Happy holiday.”

Watching the TV news tonight, they’re lighting the holiday tree in downtown Bangor. People are doing their holiday shopping. Holiday parties. Holiday music. Enough, already!

It is Christmas. I am buying Christmas gifts, and I just decorated my Christmas tree. And when I come through your register at Kohl’s, Target, Wal-Mart — wherever it may be — if you say have a nice holiday, I will be responding — lovingly — “Have a nice Christmas.”

We celebrate the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ, on Dec. 25. It’s a wonderful time of the year, and we live in America. Despite what President Barack Obama says, we are a Christian nation, founded on biblical principles, and all the political correctness has to stop. If you feel the way I do, take a stand this year and shout it from the rooftop: Merry Christmas!

Linda Wilber



Earmarks help midcoast

On behalf of the board of trustees of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, I want to commend Sen. Susan Collins for her recent vote against a sweeping amendment that would not only have placed a binding, three-year prohibition on congressional earmarks but also would have eliminated funding next year for important Maine projects already approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

One of these projects includes funding for a small-business incubator and technology innovation center at Brunswick Landing, which represents a significant opportunity for job creation at redeveloping the Brunswick Naval Air Station.

The federal decision to close NAS Brunswick has had a dramatic effect on the Maine economy. The employment decline and related economic dislocations associated with the base closure, combined with the general malaise of the state and national economies, have profoundly affected families, businesses and communities in the midcoast region and throughout Maine. Projects such as the technology innovation center represent a light at the end of the tunnel for future job creation opportunities at NAS Brunswick, which are critical to Maine and the nation’s economic recovery.

Sen. Collins once again has demonstrated solid leadership in Congress in support of Maine’s businesses and families.

Steven H. Levesque

Executive director,



Arctic anniversary

Monday, Dec. 6, marks 50 years since President Eisenhower established what would become one of America’s most beloved natural treasures: the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Big mammals, such as the iconic polar bear, and millions of the world’s birds come here each year, seeking refuge from a world of encroaching hazards to receive their most sacred needs: sustenance and safe harbor for bearing their young. The Arctic Refuge remains wild, so the cycle of life continues. As Americans, we have a moral and civic duty to ensure that this cycle is not broken.

This anniversary presents a historic opportunity to finally protect this last, vast American wilderness. I urge our representatives in Washington, D.C. to close the book on a debate settled by the American people long ago: America’s arctic is more valuable for what lives upon the land than what lies under it.

Claire Agoliati



Wrong side of picket line

Regarding the strike-breaking nurses and the follow-up letters as to what to call them, such as “travel nurses,” “carnie nurses,” etc.

How about “scabs”?

Jack Lally



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