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Dec. 28 Letters to the Editor

Secession prescience

The negative reaction of South Carolina’s NAACP to the “Secession Ball” sponsored by an all-white group in Charleston (BDN, Dec. 21) is predictable and understandable, but let’s think about it. After all, it was a South Carolinian who said his state was “too small for a republic, but too large for a lunatic asylum.”

Its secession led to the secession of the rest of the Confederacy, which led to the Civil War, which led to the destruction of slavery. Not only that, but after the war, the Constitution was amended three times, not only to abolish slavery, but to guarantee “equal protection of the laws” for all citizens, including former slaves.

It was Ulysses S. Grant who said years later that the South Carolina secessionists were “the greatest practical abolitionists of all.” Maybe the NAACP should join in the celebration, not oppose it.

Lynn Parsons



A Christmas reflection

Christmas is God coming to us in humanness to give himself totally to us in our great need.

Christmas is a time we could reflect on who the Christ-child was and also how he came to us, the only begotten Son of God coming to us in a stable as a baby. God the father, I believe, wanted to tell us something through this — that humility and trust came to us in the form of a vulnerable child. The greatest child ever — born in a stable.

Today, the world is on a head-trip, the accumulation of knowledge is the world’s answer to all our troubles. I believe Christmas is a time to realize that this is the opposite message that the Christ-child brings. He invites us into a heart-trip of humility and trust to take on weakness, to become strong. Jesus’ entire life truly exemplified humility and trust from his very birth to his crucifixion. There can be no stronger message at Christmas, than for us to embrace these two great virtues.

Each Christmas may we be invited to allow the humility and trust of the Christ-child to be born again within our hearts, to surrender to God’s will for our lives, and see what God’s love wants to do with us.

Peter Pinette



Definite degradation

I find it very disappointing that the BDN would equate wind turbines with trucks and gas stations when it comes to aesthetics “LePage Right on Wind” (BDN, Dec. 20).

Trucks and gas stations are part of an urban environment and, although they may not enhance the beauty of a town, they certainly don’t detract from it either. Wind turbines on mountain ridges are an entirely different matter. They very definitely degrade what is probably Maine’s greatest asset (apart from its people), its natural beauty.

Perhaps the BDN editorial board need to spend more time outdoors and develop a better appreciation of the environment that makes Maine such a special place.

George H. Elliott



Meet the new boss

The LePage administration hired Gov.-elect LePage’s daughter, Lauren LePage. Lauren is 22 years old. She will be paid about $41,000 a year. We want government officials who have integrity, not who practice nepotism by hiring their relatives.

Before he even took office, LePage ensured that taxpayers would pay for his daughter’s salary and benefits. We need government officials who hire people strictly because of their job qualifications.

Gov.-elect LePage’s communication director Dan Demeritt wrote a letter to the BDN editor that appeared on Dec. 25. He claimed, “The goal is great jobs for working Maine families. It is the top priority of the LePage administration.” But actions speak louder than words.

Gov.-elect LePage abused the voters’ trust by giving his daughter a great job at taxpayer expense. Maine voters want elected officials who will help ensure well-paying jobs for working Maine families, not for their own families.

Maybe LePage thinks voters don’t care if elected officials hire their family members. Maybe he thinks voters will forget about it by the next election. Let’s remember. And let’s vote. Next election, as the band The Who sang, let’s hope “we won’t get fooled again.”

Bruce Smith

Fort Kent


LePage’s judgment

I am concerned about the obvious lack of judgment already demonstrated by our new governor.

Only last week he complained about not being able to hire the commissioners he wanted because the salaries for these positions are too low.

He ran a campaign largely on a pledge to reduce the size and expense of state government. Yet here he begins by hiring his daughter as an assistant at $41,000.

There are administrative assistants in schools and school systems all over this state who are running principal, guidance and superintendent offices. Many have been working for years, are now in their 50s and 60s and essentially keep schools and school systems running.

Most are lucky if they are making $25,000, and they have to pay a substantial portion of their health insurance.

In what Maine universe does a 22-year-old with no experience garner an “entry level” assistant position at $41,000?

Martha Beiser



Back to 1941

Are you gay? The military started asking that question of potential recruits back in 1941. It wasn’t because of an act of Congress, but an executive order from the commander in chief. The U.S. government was the original bigot.

After 50 years of asking, Congress passed a law prohibiting the question. The 1993 law was good except for the dumb, hateful “don’t tell” rule. Recruiters can’t order a civilian not to tell anything. Even after induction the “Don’t Tell” rule would be nearly impossible to enforce. Don’t ask was all that was needed; gays could have served openly or not, as they pleased.

Congress spent boodles of money and time fighting among themselves and questioning generals, some with more stars than brains, on the effect of gays serving openly. Most of them said known gays would cause consternation in the ranks, meaning they wouldn’t be welcome. Without the stupid “Don’t Tell” rule, military could have allowed to serve, if they wanted to.

Unless there is wording I’m not aware of, the new law has us back to asking, the only reason for asking is to deny. We’re back to 1941.

Don Howard



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