Letters to the editor March 7, 2011

Posted March 06, 2011, at 8:21 p.m.

Help us, Congress, survive gas prices

Considering the rise in gas prices:

It seems to me that when the cost of raw materials go up, eventually the end product should increase in price. However, I don’t understand why it is that when crude oil might go up, the gas that is already in storage containers goes up so rapidly. Could it be that the American people are being cheated? Could it be that nobody in Washington, D.C., cares?

It seems to me that the only questions of importance in Washington is “Who can I blame” and “How can I get re-elected.” God forbid anyone in Congress should do anything to help the average American.

Bradford Ingerson

Millinocket

Dreading St. Patrick’s Day

Those of us who are seriously Irish dread St. Patrick’s Day.

Like New Year’s Eve, it’s amateur night with morons looking for an excuse to get drunk and drive drunk. Please, stay home. Besides, the Guinness served in the U.S. is brewed in Canada, not Ireland. If you haven’t had Guinness in Ireland, you haven’t had Guinness. Get over it.

Corned beef and cabbage? It’s not Irish. Irish immigrants fleeing to America in the 1840s during the potato famine were informed by their Jewish neighbors that if you boiled a cheap piece of brisket to death, it would become edible. No one in Ireland eats corned beef. Get over it.

If you want something traditionally Irish to eat and drink on St. Patrick’s Day, bake soda bread, concoct shepherd’s pie (with lamb, not beef, and, please, no corn kernels) and brew a cup of strong tea. No alcohol required. Get over it.

In Ireland, where I’ve lived and worked, they don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. If you live in Dublin, you might spend your March 17 lunch hour on O’Connell Street, watching American high school bands from Boston, New York and other Irish-American enclaves march over the River Liffey bridge, tooting out “Danny Boy” and “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.” The folks who sell tours make out like bandits. The Irish couldn’t care less.

There’s lots to savor about being Irish, like surviving 700-plus years of racist suppression. But green beer and corned beef are not among them.

Please. Just stay home.

Tom Walsh

Gouldsboro

LePage’s attacks on health

I was 12-years-old when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. I remember her telling me, “There’s nothing more important in life than having your health.” Sadly, the truth of those words often escapes people who have their health. It’s when you lose it that you understand how much it mattered.

There’s a common thread in the agenda of the LePage administration and some legislators, and it’s a terribly misguided attack on health. Kill the health care reform act that just gave my 24-year-old son affordable health insurance on my policy?

Deprive 14,000 other Mainers of their health coverage through Dirigo Health? Impose a short statute of limitations on pollution violations, making the state either pay for cleanup or just leave toxic dumps to pollute for generations? Take away Mainers’ rights to notification of pesticide applications near their homes? Repeal the proposed ban on toxic, estrogen mimicking BPA in children’s products, and weaken the Kids Safe Products Act?

Professor Mary Davis at the Maine School of Economics estimated that reducing toxic exposures to Maine children could save the state over $380 million a year in health and economic costs from asthma, childhood cancers, neurobehavioral conditions and lead poisoning. Good health saves money.

This agenda, driven in part by the companies that manufacture the toxic chemicals that Maine wants out of children’s products, ignores the importance of health. As my mother knew, it’s when we lose it that we will know how much it mattered.

Sharon S. Tisher

Orono

Enough is enough from Planned Parenthood

Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director, resigned after seeing for the first time an ultrasound-guided abortion at her clinic. She writes in her book “Unplanned” this description:

“The details startled me. At 13 weeks you could clearly see the profile of the head, both arms, legs, and even tiny fingers and toes … As the cannula (a straw-shaped instrument attached to the end of the suction tube) pressed in, the baby began struggling to turn and twist away.  …The cannula was already being rotated by the doctor and now I could see the tiny body violently twisting with it.

“For the briefest moment it looked as if the baby was being wrung like a dishcloth, twirled and squeezed. And then the little body crumpled and began disappearing into the cannula before my eyes. The last thing I saw was the tiny perfectly formed backbone sucked into the tube.

“The image of that tiny dead baby mangled and sucked away kept replaying in my mind.  What was in this woman’s womb just a moment ago was alive. … This was a human baby, fighting for life. A battle was lost in the blink of an eye.”

That battle was lost by 332,278 babies in Planned Parenthood clinics in 2009. Planned Parenthood has now killed over five million unborn children. Enough is enough.

If taxpayers must subsidize organizations that provide medical procedures, let it be to organizations that do not kill.

Gerald E. Thibodeau

Brewer

We’re top heavy with the rich

I have a list of names: Bell, Browning, Colt, Carrier, Ford, Fulton, Goodyear, McCormick, Morse, Salk and Wright. These world-famous inventors came from America’s middle class.  They created real jobs and real wealth for America, not just for Wall Street and the bankers.

Their creativity came from living middle-class lives, doing things regular Americans do and going to American schools. They didn’t live in mansions with others doing their chores for them.

Today with 8.9 million millionaires and 312 billionaires we’re top heavy! Yet paid-for politicians cannot vote for taxing their benefactors. There is really enough taxable money to put everyone back to work immediately. The gluttons are getting richer while we’re losing our livelihoods and our children are dying in phony foreign wars. How could we forget the wisdom of Dwight Eisenhower?

Instead of voting to help each other we’re voting away each others’ hard-fought for benefits.  If we can’t relearn the lessons of the past, then we are doomed. Wars backed by God aren’t lost, and the selfish aren’t really blessed with peace. If we can’t change, we are already defeated. We might as well drink the Kool-Aid.

Curt Fordyce

Ellsworth

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