Get out now
I believe that we should get out of Afghanistan. In the past, no one has been able to conquer Afghanistan — not Alexander the Great, the British or the Russians. A war in that country never has been winnable.
Having practiced gastroenterology at Eastern Maine Medical Center for 30 years, where the issue of inadequate staffing causing increased risk to patients is concerned, I have more confidence in the assessment of the nurses on the floor than that of the hospital administrators.
John J. McDevitt
Welcome back, GOP
The Grand Old Party, including Maine’s two senators, is back, and so are the party’s values. In the one month since the election, these values can be seen clearly.
Better nutrition for kids in school? Blocked by Republican lawmakers in Washington. Unemployment compensation for unemployed workers in the middle of winter? Vetoed by the GOP.
The only committee in Maine’s government working for Maine’s working class? Dissolved by LePage’s minions in Augusta. Gasoline prices rising 11 cents in one week despite a stronger dollar? Why not, Big Oil is in charge again now that the GOP is back in power.
Our small but steadily recovering economy? Kiss it goodbye very soon, except for the rich. Welcome back, GOP!
Who’s to blame?
Here are a few facts to contemplate: From 1978 to 2005, spending by the federal government increased by 9.9 percent during the years when a Democratic president was in office, by 12.1 percent during Republican presidential years. But the Republicans say that Democrats are responsible for ballooning the size of government. During these years, the debt incurred by federal spending increased by 4.2 percent under Democratic presidents and 36.4 percent under Republican presidents. But the Republicans say that Democrats are bankrupting this country and burdening future generations.
The federal debt in 1960 was $2 trillion and still $2 trillion in 1980, a period in which we went to the moon, started Medicare and Medicaid, Johnson’s War on Poverty (welfare), conducted a 10-plus year war in Vietnam and suffered through the oil embargo of the 1970s. From 1980 to 2010, a period when we had 20 years of Republican and 10 years of Democratic presidents, the debt increased from $2 trillion to $13 trillion. And the only balanced budget occurred during a Democratic administration.
Federal spending under our last Republican president increased from $2 trillion per year to $3 trillion, a 30 percent increase, and the debt went from $5 trillion to $10 trillion.
So you want to blame President Obama for making life bad? You want to put the Republicans back in power? I think we all need to think before casting that vote.
Opponents, ease up
Although recent polling indicates Mainers support wind power at a ratio of 7 to 1, wind developers are amending their projects to satisfy concerns of the small vocal minority that opposes them. In response to opponents, wind power companies have scaled back the number of turbines, reduced potential impacts, rearranged access and service road locations, funded conservation projects, agreed to post-construction monitoring, provided free electricity or direct funds to host communities and in general given opponents a say in their projects.
What have the opponents done in recognition? They have redoubled their efforts to kill these projects, refusing even to consider a compromise that allows these beneficial projects to move ahead. Regulators must make decisions based on the standards set by the Legislature and not on the basis of whether all groups are fully satisfied.
Too often, regulators expect applicants to make everyone happy before they grant approval. This is a recipe for empowering opponents, not for repowering Maine with wind-generated electricity. The Legislature wants to see 2,000 megawatts of wind-generated electricity produced in Maine by 2015.
Three years in, we are not even close to reaching it. Meeting the Legislature’s goal requires that fair and reasonable review be the rule, not the exception.
Now is not the time to let a few activist opponents hijack Maine’s energy future and jobs and economic prosperity it can bring.
I am a disabled veteran. I go to bed each night thanking whatever gods there might be that I was born in America.
Some veterans complain about the Veteran’s Administration but I am not one of those. With the economy being as it is I consider myself blessed to get the services and medical care that I do. Many of my brothers and sisters did not return. This is why the recent story about the arrest of ten people for selling American citizenship with five being Mainers is so difficult for me to understand.
I do not know what punishment is involved for this crime but I hope it is severe. The sacrifices of so many takes a slap in the face when Americans can sell for their own private gain what we as Americans hold so dear. When I consider the bloodshed and the pain of families to secure what we have, the thought that an American could even consider doing such a thing is staggering.
Greg Boober Sr.
Adapt or move
I would like to respond to the recent OpEd by Cheryl Lindgren regarding the Fox Island Wind Project. This is America. If the wind turbines bother you, move away. You have every right to do so.
If not, adapt. I lived on an Air Force base for eight years. I lived in the dorms that were around 500 yards from the flight line, where crews spun up the turbines on C-130s until 11 p.m.
At Davis Monthan in Arizona, our house was located directly under the final approach flight path of A-10 Warthogs. Quite a few people lived on base, and yet not one of them was bothered enough to lodge a complaint with the base public affairs office. In fact, the only complaints were from people off the base, people who had all the choice in the world to move at any time, yet preferred to play the victim card and claim outrageous mental anguish from something that literally thousands of people who had little to no real choice in their living arrangements were able to cope with.
So you have a choice: Cope with it or move away; you and the half-dozen or so naysayers of the project will not be missed.