Friday, March 9, 2012: Gas prices, unions and Planned Parenthood

Posted March 08, 2012, at 3:52 p.m.

Motel musings

I’m staying in Jesup, Ga., for a couple of weeks, while I explore the local area.

In the afternoon I see the school bus drop off children loaded down with heavy backpacks. They run as best they can, chattering excitedly, to the single room where their single-parent mother raises them.

At night, after 9 p.m., prostitutes knock at my door, asking me if I want company. I’d like to talk with them, but realize how strange that would sound. So, I never open the door.

I have opened my heart to the schoolchildren, though, and helped their mother out with school supplies and needed clothes.

I wonder what happens to prostitutes when they get too old? I think perhaps, that bitterness knows.

Ron Warner

Bangor

The gas price game

Like other essentials, gas supply and price are closely manipulated to produce maximum profits. The narrative is high demand and low supply, but nothing could be further from the truth. There’s plenty, at least for now.

Demand is down in the U.S., yet price jumps persist. Any excuse will do. Unbeknownst to most Americans, finished gasoline and raw fuel are currently our No. 1 export. “Drill, baby, drill,” an easy slogan to sell to the anti-environmentalists, is a fool’s errand. The public will be gouged on our own oil, like any other oil.

George W. Bush (and his top aides, all oil executives) managed to double the price,

while telling us the Iraq war would “pay for itself.” Untold billions were raked in

by the U.S. oil cartel. Of course, you and I paid for the capture of Iraqi fields. Now they

can sell its gas back to us at top dollar.

Most countries nationalize at least a part of their oil infrastructure, to prevent this type of scenario. Not us. Set up again and again, Americans continue to fall for the game, even though it’s rigged. Even though it isn’t even real capitalism. That’s supply and demand, remember?

Dennis Lopez

Rockport

Protect workers

It’s time to reset the priorities of this legislative session in Maine.

Instead of focusing on creating good jobs and trying to improve workplace conditions, legislation has targeted injured and unemployed workers in attempts to try to “fix” systems, when in reality it would make these systems much worse. Time and resources are being spent to worsen the quality of life for these workers and that is simply unacceptable given the high unemployment and the compensation system for injured workers that is already against the workers as it exists now.

Unions, the last line of defense for the middle class and working people, also have been targeted in this session with legislation that either tries to weaken existing unions, or make it impossible for certain workers to unionize if they so choose. Organized labor has fought for decades to raise the quality of life in Maine, especially at the work site. Lowering that standard now by weakening or disallowing unions in a time where good jobs are needed is also unacceptable.

The future of Maine’s work force depends on our actions today. I urge you to contact your legislators and tell them that they need to oppose these attacks on working people and instead use the time left in the session to focus on creating and keeping good jobs and putting Maine back to work.

We can make a difference and we have the voice to do so, but it’s up to all of us to use it.

Jonathan French

Augusta

Selective outrage

I read the AP article in the BDN about Rush Limbaugh losing advertisers over his use of the term “slut” in relation to the girl who testified on birth control. In her testimony she said she was having sex over 20 times a month and was not married. That may not excuse Mr. Limbaugh’s use of the word but it does change the perspective. Rush can be chastised for his remarks but the whole story should be presented.

This is about the opportunity to silence a powerful conservative voice, not about outrage or fairness. If that were not the case, all of the vile things said about Andrew Breitbart last week would have been major news pieces. Where was that outrage then?

The story is about intolerance, not just for Rush, but for those of us who pay attention, it shows also the intolerance of the media. The media routinely reports half-truths and slanted news to influence their point. There is outrage over conservative gaffes and silence or explanations over liberal ones. That is why so many folks like me seldom buy your papers or watch your programming anymore. We do not trust you to give us honest reporting.

The AP article was not an honest reporting of the story.

Bob Mercer

Bucksport

Mammogram clarification

In her column of March 3, Renee Ordway stated that Planned Parenthood has always provided mammograms to its clients and funding for these recently was threatened due to action by the Susan Komen Foundation. In reality, Planned Parenthood has never offered mammograms. Mammograms are a type of X-ray and therefore require a radiologist to be on duty to read the film. Planned Parenthood does not employ radiologists and therefore does not offer mammograms.

It has offered manual breast exams, simple exams that can be done by any provider anywhere. They are part of every physical for females and are covered by insurance and Medicaid.

Claiming that PP provides mammograms is simply not true and PP has in the past year stopped stating that they do, but for years it spread this untruth. Whatever your views on abortion, the least the BDN and all other news outlets should do is be clear on what exactly goes on at Planned Parenthood.

Patricia Claus

Orrington

Invest, don’t punish

This legislative session we have seen a number of bills targeting the middle class and families. Right now there are three under consideration that affect workers’ compensation, unemployment and overtime at the former DeCoster egg farm in Turner.

Why is the Legislature spending so much time being punitive when it could be looking for creative ways to invest in Maine people through increased access to education, job training efforts and the like? I for one feel like there is a bully in Augusta who wants to punish. Anyone can do that. We need a leader who is working on behalf of all of us and in fact most of us — the middle class.

Jacquelyn Roach

Oakland

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/03/08/opinion/friday-march-9-2012-gas-prices-unions-and-planned-parenthood/ printed on July 24, 2014