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Letters to the Editor March 26, 2011


Defund Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood, in my opinion, is not worthy of being funded by taxpayers, and this should never have been done! Founded nearly 100 years ago by the evil Margaret Sanger, this outfit’s idea of “family planning” is that if you don’t think you want a baby right now, or for any other reason one might conjure up for ridding oneself of that precious little baby who never asked to be born in the first place, they’re more than willing to oblige by killing the child.

Do they ever think of the horrific emotional trauma this action very often causes the mother? I know a young lady who is constantly tormented by the memory of having her baby killed.

I just want to say to women who have aborted one or more children, you are not some wicked creature who can’t be forgiven. Just ask for forgiveness from God. He loves you, and so do I.

Let’s encourage our congressmen and senators to defund Planned Parenthood.

Rosalie Welch-Johnson


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Honor labor history

Gov. LePage has ordered the removal of a mural depicting the history of Maine labor from the Maine Department of Labor. The mural presents 11 images including a pre-industrial shoemaker, child labor, female textile workers, labor achieving the right to a secret ballot, the first Labor Day in Maine, an attempt to organize woods workers, the 1937 Lewiston/Auburn shoe strike, FDR’s labor secretary Frances Perkins (who had roots in Maine), World War II female workers known collectively as “Rosie the Riveter,” the Jay strike of 1986, and a final panel that represents current Maine workers.

How can these historically situated labor images be offensive, especially in the Department of Labor? What is offensive is the idea that the Department of Labor should erase this history from the public. We call on the governor and Department of Labor to leave this mural in place. We need to honor Maine’s labor history, not erase it!

Betsy Beattie

Mazie Hough

Carol Toner


• • •

Arena a win-win

I am writing to express support for the construction of a new arena for Bangor. I have lived in this city for nearly 25 years, and I have seen tremendous growth and development. If you have attended the American Folk Festival or any of the concerts on the waterfront, you have seen the crowds that will show up for quality entertainment. A facility like this would mean that we won’t have to drive to Portland or Boston. Conventions and concerts draw crowds that generate revenue and support local businesses.

The new arena would host events that would attract folks of all ages and would attract people from all over the state and beyond. I do not see a down side; the arena is a win-win proposition.

This project is an overwhelmingly positive step forward for the city and the surrounding communities, and I encourage everyone to get out and vote arena yes!

Melanie Klein-Robbenhaar


• • •

Start worrying

A March 23 letter to the editor takes Charles Krauthammer to task for his view on the Social Security Trust Fund, which basically contains IOU’s (bonds?) rather than the actual money collected in the form of FICA taxes.

I agree with the writer that these may be regarded as bonds, but am not so sure they are legally equivalent to government bonds sold to creditors and investors. Those bonds can have a number of bad effects on the U.S. credit standing, the dollar and the economy if they reach a level of debt load that puts repayment in doubt or jeopardy.

The trust fund bonds are simply money the government owes itself. If this amount were to become unsustainable and the government chose or had to default it would have no effect on the U.S. credit standing.

It’s like me telling myself I owe me money because I borrowed it from myself. That would not affect my credit rating!

We all hope that somehow this house of cards will not collapse. Krauthammer suggests it is likely. He may be right. We should worry!

David Anderson


• • •

From Peter to Paul

In response to the op-ed written by Larry Lockman (BDN, March 17). Mr. Lockman claims that public unions are the cause of Maine’s fiscal problems and defines the issue as “us” (taxpayers) versus “them” (union members). He cites the propaganda film “Waiting for Superman” as his “clear and convincing evidence” that public sector unions have a “stranglehold on educational policy” in the state of Maine.

He also claims that collective bargaining is “not an inherent or natural right of workers” and such bargaining is a “corporate monopoly that infringes on individual rights.” However, teachers and other public union members are taxpayers, too.

Mr. Lockman states that “simple arithmetic” shows the wealthy among “us” with incomes over $18,000 have been getting taxed at 8.5 percent. I don’t believe $18,000 is wealthy. Neither does Gov. LePage. That’s why he is raising estate tax exemptions to $2 million from $1 million and lowering the corporate tax rate.

Maine’s pension fund liability is equal to 0.21 percent of future Maine state income (Center for Economic and Policy Research, Feb. 2011). This means that public pensions will consume only 21 cents of each $100 of Maine state income. This deficit has mostly disappeared since the stock market has recovered.

If Maine can’t afford to pay public pensions, why is LePage cutting corporate tax rates and giving huge tax cuts to the wealthiest among us? Where’s that money coming from — public pensions? Sounds like we’re stealing from Peter to pay Paul LePage’s friends.

Gary Walcutt


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I heard about the removal of the Augusta mural this morning on MPBN; the news of the removal is also headlining the BDN this morning. Indeed, as the newspaper suggested, this does seem like the governor’s second blow in a week against the working people of Maine, the history of Maine, and the struggle for justice in general.

Where does the governor get the right to do things like this, things that affect us all?  Shouldn’t there be some sort of referendum or legislative process involved instead of just LePage’s personal pro-Marden’s agenda? I mean, “Open for Business” on Interstate 95 implies that the entire state of Maine, with all its economic and cultural diversity, is simply one big department store: Maine-Mart, perhaps.

And then, what’s next? As a friend of mine suggested, perhaps we should change the name of Labor Day to CEO Day.

William J. Murphy


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