Feb. 4 Letters to the Editor

Posted Feb. 03, 2011, at 11:42 p.m.

Yes to keep it clean

It’s that time of year again — time to file our tax returns, and I’m checking “yes” for clean elections on Line 1 of my Maine income tax form.

Checking yes lets me support the clean election system, but it doesn’t add to my tax bill. It’s a way for me to direct three of my tax dollars to the Maine Clean Election Fund. This year, tens of thousands of Maine people will check “yes.” That sends a strong message of support for the clean election system.

And I want to support clean elections. Our citizen-initiated, groundbreaking, nation-leading law makes me proud to live in Maine. Thanks to clean elections, all kinds of qualified, public-spirited residents can run for the Legislature without raising private money from wealthy donors.

We get a Legislature of, by, and for the people. Ordinary Maine voters are in the driver’s seat of our democracy, and our legislators are accountable to us.

I want to keep it that way, so I’m checking “yes” for clean elections on my Maine income tax form, and I hope lots of you will join me.

Ann Luther

Trenton

Stand against dictators

Our government has supported President Mubarak of Egypt for 30 years. Mubarak is a dictator who has brutalized Egyptian citizens through torture and repression of their freedom.

Why did our American media not inform Americans of this dictatorship and the crimes against the Egyptian people? Why did our media not inform us of our government’s support of such a repressive government in Egypt and other dictatorships?

This brutal dictator has been slaughtering and torturing thousands of Egyptian people with the support of the American government and more than $2 billion in American tax dollars every year, so in our name this dictator has stayed in power through Republican and Democrat administrations.

Shame on every president and Congress that allowed this atrocity to continue for 30 years. And shame on our media for failing to inform and keep the focus on these atrocities.

I pray for the peace of the Egyptian people and that they not allow themselves to be used by the Islamic Brotherhood to establish another fascist, murderous regime. President Mubarak must leave or be removed from office and a new government formed to heal the nation and establish a free society, not another dictatorship.

Every American must insist that our government discontinue immediately the support for dictatorships around the world. Our nation must stand for and support freedom.

Peter Alexander

LePage view on whoopie?

When I opened up my Feb. 1 issue of the BDN and saw the headline on page B-1, “Lawmakers debate whoopie pie as state dessert,” I immediately thought someone had confused Feb. 1 with April 1 and published an April fool’s joke.

At this time in our state’s history, when the government is broke and in debt at all levels, many people are out of work and some are worrying about how to pay for the next meal for their family, why do legislators devote any time at all to considering what the “official state dessert” should be? It was interesting for me to read that there was only one “lone opponent to Davis’ bill, Rep. Don Pilon” and his opposition was based on the obviously questionable nutritional value of the whoopie pie.

When will our new governor weigh in on this?

C.H. Breedlove

Mount Desert

Context, please

The article in the Jan. 29-30 BDN headlined “Execution-drug shortage a problem in many states” left out the answer to the problem until the last line. It’s only after reading the whole thing that we find out why there’s a shortage.

The “lone U.S. manufacturer” actually has the stuff made in Italy, and Italian authorities “demanded assurance the substance would not be used in executions.” Apparently, being made party to the execution of prisoners is distasteful to Italians.

If the article had led with this sentence, we readers would be exposed to this implicit criticism of the American policy of sentencing criminals to death. The BDN is thus following the all-too-prevalent habit of the mainstream media in not presenting alternative points of view held by much of the rest of the world. We expect more from the BDN.

Diane O’Brien

Lincolnville

Proud of petitioners

Congratulations to the Bangor residents who participated in circulating two successful petition drives. The drives were caused by the resistance of many people to city council decisions regarding building a new arena and its questionable $65 million to $70 million 30-year mortgage cost to replace our auditorium and transferring our local emergency fire and police dispatch system over to Penobscot County.

Thirty-five residents assisted in circulating 2,570 arena signature papers led by Bob Cimbollek, Ken Wicks and Steve Sleeper. And 15 residents assisted in circulating 2,800 dispatch signature papers led by Bangor resident and dispatcher Jim Morrill.

Petitions were proudly circulated by concerned residents under “the right of the people peaceably to assemble” and “to petition the government for a redress of grievances” under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Residents should be proud and thank all petition participants for their efforts and time  on behalf of our people which gives them the opportunity to carefully consider and vote on these two very important issues affecting the future financial ability and security of our city and the safety and security of our people.

Charles J. Birkel

Bangor

View from Van Buren

So, John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi didn’t annihilate the universe by coming in contact with each other at last week’s State of the Union address and the inter-party mingling should continue to throw off our seemingly weekly rampaging gunmen’s target acquisition.

More important than a show of bipartisanship are the substantive steps our nation has taken toward its hyperbole. Turns out, Obama Care isn’t so bad after all now that the corporate media shareholders got their tax break extensions and the health insurers are assured a steady stream of mandated revenue. GM can’t keep up with demand for electric cars as its big government management team and $3 gas return it to profitability. And it seems the Bush and Obama administrations’ TARP bailout and new financial regulations — which kept most of us from wearing sandwich boards and selling pencils for shower money — may actually show a return.

Here in Van Buren, we’re getting a new border crossing over the St. John River thanks to the Recovery Act and Aroostook County’s unemployment rate fell from 10.7 percent in February 2010 to 9.1 percent in November 2010, just in time, along with our recent snowstorm, for internationally televised World Cup Biathlon North American Tour in Presque Isle and Fort Kent. USA’s top biathlete Tim Burke was ranked No. 1 for much of the 2009-2010 season.

Put down the Glock and c’mon up!

Keith Taft

Van Buren

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