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Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012: The body is a temple, prayers in the State House

Searsport’s atomic bombs

A DCP Midstream spokesperson said she “did not want to speculate what would happen” if an accidental BLEVE (boiling liquid expanding vapor) explosion occurred in its proposed 22.7 million gallon liquefied petroleum gas tank at Searsport.

We should not speculate what would happen, but we should try to predict what could happen.

The Mack Point LPG tank could be ignited by accident or sabotage in at least 19 ways. When completely full it would contain 549 kilotons of TNT energy, equivalent to 27 Hiroshima, Japan, atomic bombs.

Today, 16 Mack Point fuel tanks contain aggregate 50 million gallons of gasoline, kerosene and heating fuel energy energy equivalent of 97 atomic bombs. If an LPG tank is added, aggregate energy would be equivalent to 124 atomic bombs.

BLEVES create enormous forest fires. Since the atomic bomb destroyed everything in a one-mile radius, what would the destruction of explosion of 124 atomic bombs be? Class B fires involving existing flammable Mack Point gasoline, kerosene, heating fuels and LPG cannot be extinguished with water. Putting them out requires smothering retardants, such as foam.

A Mack Point disaster could destroy Searsport, Stockton Springs and many other Maine towns. A 22.7 million gallon Searsport LPG tank could increase fire suppression costs, increase insurance rates, lower property values and increase Midcoast-area living costs.

Because these LPG risks are far higher than any conceivable benefits, the Searsport LPG tank project should not be approved.

Randall Parr


Rights panel overreached

Does anyone else wonder whether the Human Rights Commission has outlived its usefulness? Its recent decision about landlords leaves me scratching my head. It voted 3-1 that a landlord violated the law by not preventing some tenants from calling other (gay) tenants names, and is subject to being sued.

I’ve seen hundreds of real estate leases over the last 40 years and I’ve never seen one that would authorize a landlord to resolve squabbles among tenants, much less require him or her to do so. A tenant rents a space. That space becomes his castle, and he can do pretty much what he wants to in it, with very little control by the landlord. If you don’t believe it, try evicting a tenant on grounds that he called his neighbors names.

The Human Rights Commission seems to operate on the theory that if one person’s life isn’t totally perfect, someone else must be to blame and should pay. Requiring landlords to keep peace among tenants when they have no legal obligation to do so and no way to do so is ridiculous. If I were still a landlord, this would be another reason to get out of the business.

Lawrence E. Merrill


Body is temple

It appears that same-sex marriage will once again be scheduled on the Maine ballot in November. Hopefully, there are enough Mainers with the good sense to go to the voting booth and reject, once again, the same-sex marriage referendum.

Apparently, same-sex marriage supporters do not know the purpose for sexual intercourse. Homosexual behavior has absolutely no useful purpose. If all male homosexuals were isolated on an island and all lesbians were isolated on an island they would become extinct.

The primary intent for heterosexual sexual intercourse from a natural perspective is for procreation. From a theological perspective, and mankind would be very wise to take the divinity of Jesus Christ very seriously, sexual intercourse is not just for procreation but to give to God a vessel for the Holy Spirit.

St. Paul asks, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit … Therefore, honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). In the contemporary culture, particularly the sex-minded, “sex sells” West, the human body, especially a physically attractive, very attractive one is definitely, at first thought by most people, not viewed as a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Richard Mackin Jr.


Homework due now

This letter is in response to the Jan. 24 op-ed piece titled “The MEA’s Ideological Overreach.”

As a retired teacher with 40 years of experience, I respectfully suggest that Rep. Jonathan McKane needs to do his homework!

The taxpayers have never paid for my membership in the MEA. I paid for that membership myself, as do all teachers. As a part of our membership, we can elect (or not) to participate in political action. There are many other inaccuracies in this article, such as the suggestion that teachers buy their insurance through the MEA. We buy it through BC/BS Anthem.

I found this article disturbing to read, coming from one of our elected legislators. How does this help education? And does he know if charter schools will be required to accept all special education students, as public schools do? There are lots of unanswered questions.

Please, Rep. McKane, do your homework!

Janet W. Varnum

Bar Harbor

Off your knees, please

Jesus Christ, as far as I can tell, wasn’t one to involve himself in state politics. And I wonder if the designer, creator and manager of the entire universe and everything in it (assuming that such an entity exists beyond our human imaginings) would really bother himself or herself to look over the shoulders of Gov. Paul LePage and the Maine Legislature as they wrangle over mainly earthly issues on the State House floor.

It’s a sure sign of desperation in Augusta when our elected officials must resort to conjuring ghosts (holy or otherwise) for spiritual guidance or psychic comfort. Not much good has ever come of public servants performing their services on bended knees, be it our state Capitol or the White House.

The proper place for “a call to prayer” is in a church, where God-fearing folks can pray, worship, speak in tongues, get born again and believe whatever they want to believe. Our government officials are elected to work for all of us. That’s what they are paid to do. Surely they can devote as many off-hours as they want to “preserve the Judeo Christian heritage” for those Christians and, presumably, Jews who feel that the government should be the intermediary between them and their Heavenly Father.

If not, then perhaps we should elect more people to office who can think for themselves, freely, independently and intelligently about the important issues of the day rather than those who simply want to hope to heaven and pray for guidance from above.

Charles Rasmussen

Bass Harbor

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