Knock on wood
While on a recent shopping trip I realized how passive the American public must be, myself included.
I was shopping for dining room furniture and got a lesson in economics.
Going to four furniture stores, I collected a lot of information. Most of what we the public believe to be solid wood really is laminated wood products. If you are lucky enough to find truly solid wood furniture it is most likely not made in the U.S.A.
It may be made with American wood, but the wood was shipped to another country, manufactured and shipped back to the U.S. for sale.
The laminates are made from strips of almost any kind of wood, from oak to rubber tree. Rubber tree which is very abundant in other countries and is cheap to manufacture. If you didn’t ask what kind of wood the furniture was made of you could very likely end up with a rubber tree dining room table with an oak finish and not be any wiser.
I try to buy quality and this was a real eye opener. I just wonder how many people we could put back to work if Americans could do business in the United States.
Birds on the wind
I am tired of reading about bird deaths by wind turbines. I have been a hiker and skier on Mars Hill Mountain for years since the 28 turbines were installed. I have never seen a dead bird at the base of the towers.
Further, while downhill skiing in January at Big Rock, I watched with pleasure and awe at a dozen large ravens playing around the slowly spinning blades. They were using the lift created by the blades passing by the tower to shoot them higher and return for another push of air. It was lovely to watch!
I have seen no statistics that truthfully and factually support the claim of bird deaths, only opinions.
Unless those claims can be proven, let’s enjoy the energy created by wind power like the ravens who play safely around these turbines.
Torrey A. Sylvester
Foreign policy integrity
The situation in Egypt offers the U.S. a stark and clear choice. Do we support democracy and human rights for the Egyptian people, or do we maintain a cooperative dictator, Hosni Mubarak, and his cronies in power?
Mubarak is just one of many dictators we’ve supported in recent decades; it’s no wonder that the U.S. is so disliked and criticized in Egypt, throughout most of the Middle East and in many other parts of the world. We care more about stability and having a friendly head of state than about rights to freedom for the people of that country.
By putting U.S. interests first instead of the interest of the people of other countries, we lose support. If we took the high road and put their needs for democracy and human rights ahead of our own needs, we would gain credibility and be trusted and respected, not feared and hated by most of the world.
The evidence is in. Jeb Bush and Newt Gingrich are still out of their simplistic minds.
To suggest that the states should be allowed to go into bankruptcy ignores the reality of states’ financing and borrowing with state issued bonds.
All states, including Maine, issue bonds to raise necessary money to financially exist and to carry out their many necessities and programs, all to benefit their citizens. For instance, our new Penobscot Judicial Center would not exist if not for state bonds. Allowing state bankruptcy would kill this tried and true source of funds, not to mention put the many people and institutions who have invested in these bonds in the poor house, if not into bankruptcy themselves.
Shame on the Bangor Daily News for even printing such foolishness.
Frederick J. Badger Jr.
Little Deer Isle
Being a non-resident of Bangor, I “have no dog in the fight” as it relates to the goings on of the Bangor School Committee. However, I found the unanimous vote streak and inner workings of the committee intriguing to read about (BDN story, Jan. 22).
As a former educator, I understand very well the political machinations of school committees, and I also understand the pressure those committee members are under, especially in this age of austerity. Putting the 300 or so unanimous vote streak aside, it’s tough to argue with the success of the Bangor school system.
But being the student of history that I am, I would like to echo the words of the great Gen. George S. Patton Jr. who once said so eloquently: “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”
Thomas K. Stewart
Who are they?
I’ve noticed in recent months the Maine Heritage Policy Center has increasingly become a featured source of information and opinion in Maine.
In the Bangor Daily News and other Maine newspapers, much of what this organization pronounces appears to be regarded as fact, often without question. Would it be possible to provide us with more information about this center and its functions?
For example, what is the background of its director? What are his political ties and those of his staff? What is the center’s source of funding? If its agenda is followed, who in Maine stands to gain and who stands to lose? When this center provides us with information, is anyone in the media doing fact-checking to determine if the information is indeed factual?
Since the Maine Heritage Policy Center appears to be playing an ever-increasing role in attempting to describe, critique and define state government, I believe the public would benefit if the BDN and other media outlets would engage in a more thorough attempt to describe, critique and define the Maine Heritage Policy Center.
Spring is just around the corner, so let there be light!
For 10 percent more
Several people have noted the recent finding by the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices which fined an out of state PAC $40,000 (only 10 percent of the amount it injected into five state Senate campaigns) for violating our laws. Some people took comfort in that, apparently believing that such a seemingly serious consequence would deter future violations.
Unfortunately, there is another interpretation.
You can be a sucker and play by the rules or, for a mere 10 percent more, you can ignore our state statutes. You can, with luck, buy control of the Legislature by last minute, deceptive and, in part, completely dishonest ad campaigns.
And all for just 10 percent more.