Feb. 25 Letters to the Editor

Posted Feb. 24, 2011, at 12 a.m.
Last modified Feb. 24, 2011, at 11:52 p.m.

Under his thumb

Gov. LePage is a controller. Controllers manipulate others using a variety of tactics. Controllers refuse to share pertinent information vital to the other party’s interests. This allows them to make decisions affecting others without their input.

I cite Gov. LePage’s recent statement that he knows of Maine towns on the brink of insolvency. When pressed for information, his response reminds one of the childish “it’s for me to know and for you to find out.” Without saying where those at-risk towns are, the state, under Gov. LePage’s leadership, delays its responsibility to take action.

Another controlling tactic Gov. LePage uses is to humiliate others, then refuse to apologize. I cite the governor’s now-famous “kiss my butt” and “go to hell” comments. Rather than apologize, controllers wait for the injured party to reach out to them. Note the NAACP spokeswoman offered the olive branch. Yet, the governor continues to call the NAACP a special interest group, words he used as part of his infamous insult.

Controllers detest compromise. They see themselves as great leaders despite the facts. I cite Gov. LePage’s determination to overturn the national health care act, cut welfare funding and undermine environmental protections. Those who have a deeper understanding of these matters can’t persuade the governor to reconsider his decisions.

For Gov. LePage, it’s his way or the highway. I wonder if the governor remembered to budget enough money for anyone wishing to take up his offer on that free one-way ticket out of Maine. Or was that axed in the budget cuts too?

Marie Sims

Presque Isle

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Focus on middle class

As Mr. LePage mulls over the tough task of creating a new state budget, he seems most concerned about how to lower taxes for the wealthy and how to provide taxpayer-backed “incentives” in an effort to make Maine’s economy grow.

I wish Mr. LePage and his advisers understood that jobs never are created by lowering taxes, providing “incentives” or cutting regulations that may protect the public or the environment.

Real capitalists and investors don’t create jobs because they get tax breaks, they get a deal on a new access road or because they can pave over a wetland. They create jobs because there is a demand for the goods and services that they provide.

Without a strong, well-paid middle class there isn’t much demand for anything. If there is not demand among the populace, there is no local market. With a weak infrastructure or a poorly educated work force, the difficulty of creating goods and services for out-of-state markets is not worthwhile.

Continuing to weaken the infrastructure and cutting back on education, Maine has become an inhospitable place to do business. Companies are not attracted to places with a crumbling infrastructure and a poorly educated work force.

Instead of saying “it could get worse,” Mr. LePage should focus on ways of making things better.

The rich people who are attracted by government giveaways tend to pocket the money and move to Florida. They might need servants, but those are the only real jobs they will create.

Will Bradbury

Eastport

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Media and democracy

Let our senators know that you oppose HR 1, the first of many bills that would effectively eliminate federal funding for noncommercial public and community media. Federal funding provides critical support for MPBN and WERU Community Radio, two of Maine’s most reliable media resources.

Over half of Americans rely on public media. That’s Republicans, Democrats and independents. And rural communities such as ours in Maine are disproportionately reliant on public media. Eighty percent of Americans consider public media a good investment.

The amount of money being considered, $430 million, is a tiny fraction of the overall budget. Public broadcasting costs $1.35 per person per year and is locally leveraged to six times that amount. Locals give generously to WERU and MPBN because they are great investments in the public interest.

If the proposed cuts were to pass, local noncommercial media would be hurt badly. The shoestring operation of WERU, for instance, would lose 25 percent of its annual income.

And at the end of the day, doesn’t freedom of the press and informed democracy require that at least some of our press is free from corporate control? Free choice in music, entertainment and children’s programming requires the same.

HR 1 has already passed the House of Representatives, but there is still time to do something about it if we move quickly. Please let Sens. Snowe and Collins know that you oppose HR 1. Learn more about who relies on public broadcasting and how to preserve it at http://170millionamericans.org.

John Zavodny

WERU board member

Belfast

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Marathon sentences

Question: does the Associated Press still employ proofreaders?

If so, they all must have been AWOL when the article “Wisconsin Senate still in stalemate” was submitted for publication. Otherwise, one of them surely would have rejected the lead — make that the only — sentence in the third paragraph. It is a 37-word monstrosity in which the subject (“Democrats”) is separated from the verb (“remained”) by a mind-numbing 26 words. There 26 words include an infinitive phrase, a participial phrase, a subordinate clause and four prepositional phrases. Yikes!

The 13th paragraph is no prize, either, consisting of 49 words. Can anyone say “run-on sentence”?

Our seventh-grade teacher Miss Browne taught us that a sentence too complicated to be diagrammed easily was a sentence that needed to be overhauled. She would not have harbored kind thoughts about the AP article or its author.

David Dean

Sangerville

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Cue cards for LePage

It is difficult to imagine that President Lincoln and Gov. LePage belong to the same political party.

LePage’s recent remarks regarding BPA indicate that he more properly belongs with the Know Nothings.

Not only were his remarks about women growing beards offensive, they also highlighted his lack of knowledge about the research in question. If he is going to continue making these off-the-cuff “jokes,” perhaps he should carry a little sign to hold up announcing he is about to spring one of this witticisms.

Once again LePage has made our state the butt of jokes countrywide. These continued forays into humor indicate that even if he were in possession of a Ph.D. he would still be ignorant.

Barbara Bowler

Bradford

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