Jan. 24 Letters to the Editor

Posted Jan. 23, 2011, at 5:52 p.m.

Fixed Constitution works

I found the BDN’s Jan. 17 editorial “The Living Constitution” much less than successful. There are significant reasons to approach constitutional issues with strong regard for original intent. First of all, we have a method for changing the Constitution — namely, the process of amendment.

While that method is difficult to realize, it assures us of continuity. The ending of slavery in the United States is, among other things, a matter of constitutional law, i.e. the 13th Amendment. The 14th Amendment guarantees that the individual states cannot impose slavery.

Second, altering the Constitution absent the proper method of amendment assures that no one knows what the law is at any given time. Surely, you cannot find that to be a desirable state of affairs. In addition, I refer you to Kelo v. New London, in which the Supreme Court allowed eminent domain to benefit private interests clearly inconsistent with the Constitution as written. True, we no longer live in the end of the 18th century and conditions have changed. However, the inalienable rights of men and women remain.

Let us return to constitutional government and enjoy the blessings of liberty.

Hans Schmidt

Lamoine

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Close school for winter

The new policy of canceling school and other activities for the next day on the basis of weather forecasts is ridiculous. What’s next — choosing our snow days for the year in September on the basis of tea leaves and chicken entrails?

Anyone who has lived in Maine for any length of time knows our weather changes quickly and that forecasts are often wrong.

If Maine is going to become like our neighbors to the south and panic at the first sign of a snowflake, perhaps we should consider rearranging the school year. If schools were closed in January, February and March instead of June, July and August, we would avoid most snow issues. The original reason the long vacation is in the summer was so children could work on the family farm, and there isn’t much of that anymore. Closing schools in the winter would save millions of gallons of fuel as well as avoid the terror of traveling when weather is less than perfect.

Lawrence E. Merrill

Bangor

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Attitude, not duct tape

It matters not how proficient a leader may be in conducting business if a leader lacks integrity, respect and humility for the people served. Countless citizens were raised in ungodly circumstances but are graced to rise above those behaviors. Our words and actions reveal what is in our hearts and minds. No one has permission to curse, swear or use coarse language in our interactions with others. There always will be people introduced in our lives who act as sandpaper to smooth our rough edges. If we are wise, we will learn and grow from them.

In record time, Gov. LePage has made local and national attention with the use of his words. Duct tape will not cure the problem. There needs to be a drastic change of attitude in the manner in which he interacts with people and situations. For his own sake and that of his family, government and faith, he would do well to reflect upon his purpose as a leader of the fine state of Maine in these United States.

Ruth Rooney

Hermon

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Try another language

Perhaps Gov. LePage should do his press conferences in French. It is, after all, the language of diplomacy.

Ralph McDonough

Presque Isle

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Cynic or not?

I am delighted at Rep. Giffords’ continuing recovery. But on the day I read that every single Republican in the House voted to repeal the health care legislation, I cannot help wondering — did the Republicans include in that repeal their own health insurance coverage or only our health insurance coverage?

Similarly, as Gov. LePage includes Maine in the suit against the health care law, do he and his staff plan to refuse health care insurance provided to state employees?

Of course, I know the answer to those questions, just as I know that no tea party seniors ever will burn their Medicare cards. Is this a textbook case of hypocrisy or have I, in old age, simply become too cynical?

Stefan Nadzo

Bangor

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Beware of China

The new Chinese military is very impressive and no doubt will be very useful as China projects its power in the Pacific Rim. The communist Chinese government has been very successful with its new strategy to defeat the imperialist Americans — just take advantage of our capitalist system.

U.S. companies have outsourced manufacturing to China to cut costs and maximize profits, closing domestic factories and laying off American workers. As a result, Chinese leaders have been able to use U.S. dollars to improve their military capability. They demonstrated their new military strength to President Obama with the first flight of their new stealth fighter.

In addition to confronting the U.S. militarily, the Chinese government can wield significant economic influence as well. With reduced U.S. manufacturing capability, we are now dependent upon outsourced capability. Further, China has become the single largest holder of U.S. government debt.

I’m a firm believer in the capitalist system, but I also believe that our elected representatives should make sure our national security is not sacrificed for quarterly profits.

Michael Drake

Monson

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Governor’s new gig

Former Gov. Baldacci apparently hopes to teach at the University of Maine (BDN, Jan 4).

Never mind that he’s never shown any previous interest in teaching and that he has no experience. Or that his degree (a bachelor’s in history from UMaine) does not even qualify him to teach undergraduates.

Never mind that his policies have put the University on a starvation budget and that positions have to be cut, not added. Never mind that, so far as the newspaper report tells us, no one actually has asked him to teach.

How hard could it be? After all, it’s a job that takes no particular skill or talent or ability or training or knowledge. You show up. You sit down. You regale the eager young minds with a few war stories from your decades of distinguished service to the people of the state of Maine.

You hand out the A’s. You collect your paycheck. You go home.

You are now a teacher, governor!

John Goldfine

Swanville

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