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Monday, Feb. 6, 2012: Outsourcing, test score privacy and Americans Elect

I choose liberty

President Obama has a clear vision for America — government can do anything and everything in the name of fairness. Listening to his State of the Union address was painful, if you believe in liberty.

Liberty doesn’t promise equal results, it doesn’t eliminate greed, it can’t make us all content and happy. But it does unleash the human yearning to better ourselves.

If individuals are free to pursue their dreams, society is lifted. This is the fundamental premise of America. Our Constitution protects our individual liberties like no other document on this earth. Our founders understood the lure of socialism, they chose liberty, and so do I.

Travis Beal


Unions hurt manufacturing

The BDN’s Jan. 27 editorial “Why all the outsourcing?” was extremely interesting. It used Steve Jobs as an example as to why American companies are moving to foreign soils to manufacture their products.

The editorial failed to also include the impact of trade unions in facilitating the transition of an American-based company to a foreign-based company. The demands of unions today in the workplace are staggering. In the last 20 years, manufacturing companies have almost disappeared. Those remaining, well, the death watch is near.

Ronald Ferri


Color me human

The AP article regarding Americans resisting the race labels offered on the U.S. Census (BDN, Feb. 1) failed to include my personal write-in under “other.” While the article described some blacks describing their shade or color tone, some Americans listing their national origin and others their cultural ethnicity, my choice was not mentioned. I listed “human” under “other.”

Racial differences will continue to matter and separate us until we (and the government) realize that we are all fellow members of one race — the human race.

George Montee

Fort Fairfield

Tank means jobs

I have worked in construction for 22 years and these last few years have been incredibly hard. I went to the Searsport town hall meeting last week because I need work and wanted to hear what DCP Midstream, the company that wants to build a propane tank in Searsport, had to say.

We learned that they have signed a community work force benefit agreement, which means they are already committed to hiring local people. That’s important. I live in Waldo County and we need jobs now. I think we should stop the moratorium because it will mean fewer jobs for all of us in Waldo County.

Ron Flewelling


Test score privacy

I would like to call readers’ attention to a bill that will be coming before the Legislature: LD 1690, An Act to Protect the Privacy of Social Workers.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Hayes of Buckfield, seeks to ensure that the licensure exam scores of social workers are kept private. I’m working on my MSW at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast right now, and this bill brought to my attention that any scores I receive on licensure exams would currently be publicly available. Provided I obtain the score deemed necessary for licensure, that precise number of the score is no one’s business but my own.

When I take the LMSW exam upon graduation in 2013, I resent the potentially added stress of making sure that my score is three points higher than someone else’s. Provided I pass, I should be judged upon my licensure, experience and accomplishments, rather than an exam score. Neither doctors nor attorneys have licensure exam scores available for public knowledge; why should social workers be treated any differently?

I commend Rep. Hayes for sponsoring this bill. I urge all social workers as well as those who utilize social workers in some aspect of their lives to support this bill. A public hearing on the subject is scheduled for Feb. 7 at the State House in Augusta.

Jessica Falconer


Be a wise buyer

I read the Jan. 28 BDN editorial “Why all the outsourcing?” with great interest.

Right now about 3 percent of the clothing that is purchased in the United States is manufactured here. Our family owns a seasonal cotton clothing store in Bar Harbor, and almost 70 percent of the clothing in our store is manufactured in the United States. It is part of our mission statement to support the cotton farmers, spinners, sewers, dyers and suppliers in the United States.

We believe that with effort and awareness, we can make a contribution and support the local and national economy. However, it also takes awareness and commitment on the part of the consumer.

We urge you to look for the “Made in the USA” label as you shop. Question store owners about where their products are manufactured. You don’t need to accept the status quo answer that manufacturing is obsolete in this country. And please support stores that are making an effort to revitalize manufacturing jobs in the United States. We can only continue this mission with your support.

Joyce Mallery


Another way to elect

Mainers now have the opportunity to participate in the first-ever national online primary that is open to everyone. This week, the Secretary of State certified that Americans Elect collected the required signatures to place a qualified candidate for president on the ballot in November.

When I first heard about Americans Elect, I was skeptical about what it was, who was involved and what they were trying to accomplish. Once I dug further and met the staff and volunteers, I was excited to see people with such differing views come together to change a problem we all agreed on — that the two parties don’t represent us. In fact, a Jan. 15 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that two-thirds of Americans are open to supporting a qualified independent candidate. With this new online primary, the entire nation can weigh in on the issues we face and draft the candidates we wish to lead our country forward.

Americans Elect is for people like myself who believe our two-party system has become more polarized, dysfunctional and corrupted by the influence of money and power. Americans Elect is a tool to bring about positive change. It is up to us to seize this moment in history and vote for who we want as president, not for the candidates that have been chosen for us.

We can make Americans Elect a success! With a two-party system that is already broken, we have nothing to lose. To sign up, visit AmericansElect.org.

Christopher Kessler

South Portland

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