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Jan. 6 Letters to the Editor

There is hope

The beginning of the second decade of the 21st century is a good time to reflect on decades of signing petitions, making phone calls, writing letters to Congress members and attending marches and rallies. Sadly, it has become obvious that a government “of the people, by the people and for the people” is neither practiced nor recognized by most elected and appointed officials. From the president on down comes a vast assortment of crimes against humanity.

Inside America’s institutions, “business as usual” includes lies, corruption, greed and abuse of office. Corporations “too big to fail” receive on every level greater support from government than most Americans.

It is no longer believable that most politicians have America’s best interests in mind.

With increases in homelessness and unemployment, politicians and the wealthiest are content to sit back, receiving free health care and fantastic retirement benefits, and leaving only the tiniest crumbs for the rest. Shame on presidents, past and present, Congress members, corporate executives, and all who have promoted “trickle down mean spiritedness.”

But we have reason to remain optimistic. America is a great country with a great Constitution. The vast majority of Americans are honest, hard working, loving human beings with an uncanny ability to cope under the stressful, insecure conditions forced on them. They will endure, and they will not stop working until a just political agenda is achieved. Maybe it will happen this year. If not in 2011, then perhaps by the end of this decade.

Les Simon



Drugs too easily had

After reading the story about how Maine is the top-ranked state for painkiller addiction I would like to explain why.

Since October, I have been in constant pain due to a back injury and have been to both emergency rooms at the two local hospitals in Bangor for pain relief. I was shocked when I was seen by a physician at Eastern Maine Medical Center who did not examine me, ran no tests, never put a hand on me, just asked a few questions and then asked me, “What do you want for a pain med?”

Is it any wonder why our state is ranked No. 1? We may have plenty of doctors, but we do not have enough doctors who care about the patients. Instead, we have doctors showing up for work and just getting through their shift, asking us patients, “What would you like?”

Laurie Bjork



Choose peace

In his letter about the Middle East, Roger Greene says we can only hope for a miracle for the Palestinian cause because it is in conflict with “Israel’s evil agenda.” This portrayal of Israel as evil is no more true that the portrayal of all Palestinians as terrorists.

The Middle East tragedy has been long and complex with extremists on both sides driving their agendas to the detriment of their peoples. Even so, most Palestinians and Israelis believe that a two-state solution is their best opportunity for peace and security.

It is time to stop hoping for miracles and double our efforts in support of peace. You can join J Street (www.jstreet.org), which offers opportunities for Americans to actively advocate for real peace and security for Israel, the Palestinians, and the entire Middle East.

America’s longstanding relationship with Israel and historical role in the region allows the U.S. to urgently lead toward a two-state solution. Our congressional leaders need to hear from us.

Barbara Kates



Smart shopper

Years ago the Bangor Daily News had a feature on the editorial page called “Graffiti.” I remember one in particular, it said “Unemployment, Made in Japan.” Now it would say “Made in China.”

So, I decided for Christmas 2010 I would purchase only products made in the U.S.A. or Canada. With the exception of three items (I was told they were made in the U.S., but when I got them, they weren’t) I was successful in finding all I wanted. Quite a few were products actually made in Maine, purchased at local craft fairs. A lot of my gifts were purchased online, using free shipping, but with a bit of effort and research, I found everything I wanted.

Peggy Mahar



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