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Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011: Choice, tar sands and profanity

Gay choice

As American citizens we enjoy the freedom of choice. With that freedom, however, comes the responsibility of accepting and living with those choices — good, bad or otherwise. It makes us who we are inside.

If we are of legal age we can vote, operate a motor vehicle, purchase alcohol and tobacco products and do countless other things regardless of our sexual orientation. It’s my belief that the gay and lesbian community, in a concerted effort to push its social agenda on the American people, have chosen to purposely distort facts and mislead us.

Men and women make a conscious choice to be either gay or lesbian. From what I’ve seen in recent years, I’m convinced that instead of accepting the reality of that conscious choice, gays and lesbians expect us to bow and conform to their way of life and demand special treatment from not only the state and federal governments but from ordinary citizens like you and me.

Liberals in this country and the mainstream media are continually badgering Christian conservatives for pushing their social agenda on the American people. If that is indeed true, why should the gay and lesbian community get a free pass? Aren’t they guilty of the same thing?

The majority of this country has been and always will be heterosexual. This is another reality to remember should a referendum on same sex marriage again be put to voters in Maine.

John Henderson

Pipeline protest

At the end of this month, I will travel to Washington, D.C., to participate, along with at least 1,000 others, in a civil disobedience action to protest the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

If built, the pipeline would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta down to the Gulf of Mexico. This is a project with massive site specific-environmental impacts — due to pipeline oil spills and the destructive, energy-intensive extraction process itself — but, more than that, it is a climate nightmare.

NASA climatologist Jim Hansen has said that if we have any chance of getting back to a stable climate, “the principal requirement is that coal emissions must be phased out by 2030 and unconventional fossil fuels, such as tar sands, must be left in the ground.” In other words, “if the tar sands are thrown into the mix it is essentially game over for the climate.”

The ultimate decision to grant or deny approval for the project lies with President Obama. As Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org and a leading environmental writer, said, “This is a stark choice for the administration to make. They can go with the fossil fuel industry or they can go with the scientists who’ve told us it’s ‘game over’ for the climate if these tar sands get developed.”

I’ll be going down to take part in this action and I am hoping to see other Mainers there as well. For those interested in learning more about the action or signing up, the website is tarsandsaction.org.

Greg Kimber

Free vocabulary lesson

I must chime in with my two cents worth about the noise and profanity emanating from the Bangor Waterfront Concerts.

Profanity is not unique to last weekend. During the concert that took place while the Bangor YMCA fair was going on at the auditorium, the “F-bomb” was frequently, distinctly and loudly heard — sometimes in rapid succession — and my wife and I were pondering about how much the parents and children at the Y fair were enjoying the free but unsolicited vocabulary lesson.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, a beautiful Maine summer evening, we were forced to sit inside with the windows closed in a vain attempt to shut out the noise. And we get a not-quite-48-hour respite before the KahBang Festival starts its extended run.

We’re not new to the neighborhood. We can’t complain about the noise from the racetrack and fair — they were here when we moved in 35 years ago. But who would ever, at that time, have anticipated the concert intrusion on our neighborhood?

I think that the city should seriously consider a tax rebate for all households within earshot of the waterfront — it’s a remarkably extensive area.

Michael P. Gleason

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