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Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011: Occupy Wall Street, liquefied petroleum gas and welfare reform

Women can’t judge

The Nov. 23 letter to the editor “Flawed decision process,” by William Bunting, correctly notes that there has been a flood of wrongful convictions. But if one has paid attention, they would have noted that it’s only men who get wrongly convicted, which is why there is no national outcry.

When did this start? It was right after a jury changed from one of a person’s peers to an ad hoc jury including women, who are simply unable to fairly judge a case when it involves an alleged woman victim. The outcry would be heard around the world if women were wrongfully convicted at the same rate as men.

When a man is convicted simply based upon the word of a woman or a girl, under the guise that they would not lie, it’s not only wrong, it corrupt. This needs to stop.

Harry Boone


Privacy lost follows help

I cannot emphasize enough the urgency our country should place on welfare reform.

When an individual asks for help it should be expected that some privacy’s will be surrendered. I believe that drug tests should be required of anyone asking for federal, state or local assistance.

This is not about “catching” people. It’s about being proactive in identifying those at risk. At present, most abusing drugs aren’t identified until problems occur. If a person tests positive they aren’t thrown off assistance. They are directed to the appropriate help. Once this occurs the person is monitored monthly, what happens from there can obviously differ greatly depending circumstances.

At present, few recipients are worried about a state monitor stopping at the house. That needs to change. Some may disagree but wee need to greatly increase the work force in our social services. Half measures serve no purpose.

Please understand, I’m not talking about a police state. I want those in need to get more. More direction. More handholding to make sure that those unable to deal with the bureaucracy are given what they deserve. More attention to the millions of children who are currently at a great disadvantage in life simply because of who their parents are.

This isn’t about making people feel badly about themselves, it’s about giving them every opportunity to succeed. Here’s the help. Now do your part.

Gregory Bouchard


Out of the way, GOP

I am an experienced executive. I am also a 99 percenter.

I have been looking for a job for the past 2.7 years; I will not and cannot quit. I will keep looking until I succeed or die.

I work more looking for work than I would ever do at that job.

Millions find themselves in the same boat: out of work. Ironic that there is so much work that needs doing, but is left unattended to because our legislators — read Republican — believe the “trickle-down effect” of their corrupt supply-side economics will create jobs. History and the present horrible performance say otherwise.

These representatives in the House oppose any economic solution the Obama administration proposes, calling it socialism. Additionally they seek to cut anything — safety nets, a jobs program, development — that would stir the economy back to life. Their goal is to cripple any effort to get us out of these economic doldrums except those benefiting only the 1 percent.

The government creation of jobs was brilliantly done during the Roosevelt administration, getting America out of the Great Depression and making us strong enough to emerge victorious in World War II. In contrast, the Republican Harding, Coolidge and Hoover administrations, which robbed the poor and gave to the rich, failed completely, leading to that depression.

Sound familiar? You bet it does. Folks, it is time to stand up, get rolling and move, with courage, strength and hope, to turn around these utterly ridiculous and tragic economic and political policies of the Republican Party.

Wil Tibby

Mount Vernon

Incremental creep

There are so many reasons to deny permission to build the liquefied petroleum gas storage tank in Searsport that one wonders about the judgment of all those bodies busily granting such permission.

It is dangerous and in a congested area. It will be a visual monstrosity with its size and constant flares on the shore of Penobscot Bay, a tourist area. It furthers our dependence on fossil fuel from the Middle East. There will be increased truck traffic along routes 1 and 3.

But it isn’t so much any one particular thing about the project which is so alarming: the height, the flares, the danger or the trucks. It is the totality. This is why supposedly neutral decision makers can be duped into giving a pass to each specific objection. LPG is not as dangerous as lots of industrial materials used in this area. We already have lots of trucks carrying explosive fuels. We already have lots of traffic on routes 1 and 3. What’s a little more?

This is the way the champions of endless development always argue. It is difficult to argue against any one specific problem because none of them are new. Thus we are subjected to the constant incremental creep at the expense of our air, water, space and sanity.

The simple logic of the process is that ultimately there will be nothing to protect. An economic system which depends upon increasing development at the expense of the biosphere is an economic system which needs to be changed.

Larry Litchfield


Enough of OWS

Unless I’m mistaken, I’m not the only one who could get by with less media coverage of Occupy Wall Street, Bangor, etc. I have little doubt that if media coverage stopped entirely, the occupiers would soon slink away into the darkness, seeing no reason to continue their vigils.

If what they were doing produced some real news, that would be different. However, their only message seems to be that corporations and their executives make what they think is too much money, and I haven’t heard any creative ideas coming from them to do anything about it. In fact, I haven’t heard any positive ideas coming from them at all. Their message is entirely negative.

The funny thing would be if the occupiers got what they claim they want, and every corporation went out of business. When we have no electricity, no phones, no computers, no gas or heating oil, no groceries, no fast food and no automobiles, they will be at the head of the line demanding that corporations return to take care of them.

Lawrence E. Merrill


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