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Monday, July 25, 2011: Alternative therapy, debt and police

Insurance must go alternative

Kudos to Dr. Stephen Blythe (“Better pain management,” BDN letters, July 20) for advocating that MaineCare cover alternative therapies for pain management.

As a veteran yoga teacher who has studied and taught the therapeutic benefits of yoga, I can report that these days more and more physicians, chiropractors and psychotherapists are sending their patients and clients to me than ever before.

In his letter, Dr. Blythe mentions yoga, acupuncture and physical therapy as alternative modalities; Thai yoga massage and Reiki are two more treatments to add to the list of effective alternatives to drug therapy.

Western medicine has begun to embrace and promote these time-tested practices. It’s high time our health insurance system did the same.

Sandy Cyrus

Full Circle Yoga


Unequal justice

What has happened to the justice system?

A recent BDN story reported a mother who abused her 20-day-old daughter by breaking her arm and a rib plus choking her until she turned blue and slapping her. The judge gave her 12 years in prison with all but two years suspended plus six years probation. It doesn’t seem that is an appropriate amount of time.

The case of Casey Anthony going scot free makes one wonder what is wrong with the legal system. How could the jury have found her not guilty with the evidence brought forward?

My wife and I worked with a young man in a home for sexually and physically abused kids. A year ago he got a 50-year sentence at 19 years old for a home invasion. He injured a father and his daughter. What he did was certainly wrong and he deserves punishment but 50 years is a lot more than two years for abuse, or going free in a murder case.

Donald N. Scott


Hard to swallow

Spending and tax policies authorized and passed in legislation by Congresses over the years are the reasons why the administration requires the debt limit increased to meet obligations voted by Congress.

The hypocritical posturing by Congress to justify such a charade over the debt limit is hard to swallow.

John Lyman


Republicans failed history

Waiting for the Republican Party to learn from the past seems fruitless.

This emphasis on balancing the national budget has been its theology for at least 100 years, if not forever. It came up in the Depression, 1929-1940. It was a bad idea then, it’s a bad idea now.

John Kenneth Galbraith in his book “The Great Crash” (1929) points out why Republican fixation on a balanced budget prevented the government from taking necessary steps to correct the recession caused by the 1929 Wall Street crash.

The large inequality of incomes was another factor for the crash. What effects the wrong policies had at that time have been studied and documented. Paul Krugman has been telling us what we need to do now. Republicans still don’t listen.

They were stubborn then; they’re stubborn now. But this time we know they’ve been told.

Cheryl Lovely

Presque Isle

Likes Levi

A pleasant surprise awaited me on Saturday when I saw that Levi Bridges is writing for the BDN once more.

It is great having him back describing his adventures visiting the islands on the Maine coast. Keep his stories coming, they are enlightening to young and old.

The new journalists keep all informed of the happenings in Maine.

Madeline R. Clay


LePage job evaluation

Our governor continues to amaze us with the vastness of his incompetence as chief executive.

He crudely undercut his marine resources commissioner by going behind his back to make deals with the fishing industry and punish perceived enemies in Portland.

His handpicked press secretary had to resign because of foreclosure problems. His environmental commissioner had to resign because of a serious conflict of interest but stayed around to lead another department.

His budget director overlooked an illegal sale of state property.

Without batting an eyelash, Republicans nearly passed a bill allowing weapons in the State House even after a first-term Republican almost shot a news photographer in Augusta. Meanwhile, the majority party passed new gun laws to allow employees to bring concealed weapons to work and public citizens to hide guns while visiting state parks.

LePage signed onto a prayer day proclamation sponsored by Texas Gov. Rick Perry without understanding its transparent political intent. Apparently, our governor didn’t pay attention in history class. This day of prayer is Aug. 6, the day we “Christians” bombed Hiroshima in 1945 killing almost 200,000 fellow human beings.

This is a governor who supposedly cares about “the people.” Which people? He refused to sign LD 860 that would have funded a low-income children’s summer free lunch program, but passed tax laws that primarily favor those making over $120,000 and penalized teachers and retirees for the state’s negligence of the pension system.

Anyone still want the tea party to run the state?

Mac Herrling


Debt has been constant

Pat LaMarche must be one of those that think that the National Debt really doesn’t matter. In her July 20 column, “Constitution allows debt, not national religion,” she thinks that the current attempt to rein-in the debt is a “cost-cutting snow job.” She also treated us to a history lesson, telling us “we have had periods of high debt” and over “time — most recently by the Clinton White House — we’ve always paid that debt back.”

Oh, really?

Looking at our nation’s historical debt on TreasuryDirect.gov, it seems that on the nation’s fiscal year-end date for all years between 1950 and 2010, our national debt was greater than the year before — except for 1951, 1956 and 1957. In those years, we did not pay the debt back, as Ms. LaMarche might say; rather we paid it down by a small percentage — we still had a sizable national debt in all those years.

In most years all we did was pay the interest on the national debt and borrow some more. What do we do when the interest becomes more than we can afford?

Douglas M. Flagg


Impressed with police

I recently witnessed the response of the Bangor Police Department to a particular drug situation in my neighborhood that needed to be addressed. They dealt with this situation over a period of several weeks, and their efforts were eventually successful.

Like many other people, I have watched crime shows on TV. But even the best of them don’t fully give a full idea of the skill involved in effective teamwork or of the amount of time and resources that may be required to deal with even one of many of the situations that arise in a community such as ours.

So, from me and several of my neighbors, sincere appreciation for a job well done.

Ellen Richards


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