Wednesday, May 2, 2012: Chuck Colson, immigration and Ronald Reagan

Posted May 01, 2012, at 5:13 p.m.

Chuck Colson was a changed man

This nation has lost a great and kind man and there are countless people who loved him and owe their changed lives to his faithfulness and loving concern for prisoners and other broken people.

Timothy M. Phelps, who wrote the article about Chuck Colson’s death in the BDN (April 23), went to great lengths to elaborate on his past. The man who died was a changed man, “born again.” As the Bible says in II Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.”

I and many others will always revere and love the man we knew as Chuck Colson. And that is the Chuck Colson who God knew and welcomed home.

Lois MacGregor

Orrington

Mainers Understand

As the BDN editorial states in its title (April 13, 2012), we do indeed need more “understanding” concerning immigration policy.

Since most of this editorial was apparently based on conversations with Maine businesses who employ many foreign workers and are advocating for even more immigration, some questions are in order: Why do these employers need to recruit workers from other countries rather than from Maine? Do we need a better connection between the training and education of our own people and the needs of these employers? Maybe the governor could help. If we currently lack workers with the right skills in Maine, why aren’t employers recruiting from the 20 million unemployed and underemployed Americans in other states?

Is there really no one else in America who can process Barber Foods chickens? I’m especially puzzled about why Barber Foods, your editorial’s example of a “balanced approach” to immigration, is advocating for more foreign workers at the same time that they are laying people off.

Mainers understand that importing low-skill workers from away while thousands here lack jobs doesn’t make sense. They understand that with recruitment and training, Mainers would fill those jobs. They understand that common sense workplace enforcement would protect Maine workers, their legal immigrant co-workers and their law-abiding employers from unfair competition from illegal workers and their unscrupulous employers. And enforcing immigration laws would make a huge dent in identity fraud. Mainers understand that a subject as important as immigration policy and employment deserves discussion of facts rather than slogans and platitudes.

Jonette Christian

Mainers for Sensible Immigration Policy

Holden

Postal Service

The Postal Service’s plans for massive closures and cuts are still on the table, though postponed ( “Postal Service”, April 26). We should be enhancing not reducing the value of post offices, making them one-stop government service centers — DMV licenses, hunting and fishing licenses, utility and traffic ticket payment centers and more — along with other community services such as small-deposit banking and Internet access.

The immediate financial crisis facing the USPS is just an accounting problem. The USPS does not need a taxpayer bailout, just a transfer of postal monies (derived from postage — the postal service receives no tax money) from the overfunded pension and retiree health benefit accounts. No elimination of Saturday delivery or closure of post offices and sorting facilities is needed, just action by Congress (HR 3591) or an executive order of the president.

Renee Overlock

NALC president

Central Maine Branch 391

Hampden

Reagan did raise taxes

Ramesh Ponnuru (Friday, April 27) charges that “Obama, Republicans Ransack Reagan.”

Why not? The Reagan of Ponnur’s column is a myth and myths are meant to be ransacked.

Myth No. 1, that he didn’t raise taxes. Reagan did raise taxes but only on the very poor. He raised the FICA tax, which funds social security and Medicare, a totally regressive tax only on low income.

Reagan didn’t so much make government look easy as turn the responsibilities of office over to others, including astrologists, as his mind was ravaged by disease.

What has grown like a malignancy in the U.S. since Reagan is the military budget. While it can be argued that revving up military expenditures and supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan did cause the collapse of the Soviet Union, it looks as if the strategy is now doing the same for us.

It is not the demands of the poor that ransack the U.S. economy but rather a health care system that functions to create profit, a for-profit system now being adopted for prisons, education and war.

Taxpayers now pay private corporations to make a profit to imprison people, to educate children and to wage war across the globe.

Whoever was in charge during the Reagan years did much to develop this trajectory for the U.S., but the process was set in motion under Carter and greatly accelerated under Clinton. It has been a bipartisan transformation.

Karen Saum

Belfast

Woman, Women 2012

As a woman, I would like to thank Michael Montgomery ( “Women 2012″, April 26 BDN) for telling us what we should think. Left to our own devices we might look at, for example, the fact that all of the job losses during the Obama administration were in his first year, when the stench of the Bush economic policies were still ravaging our economy.

We would be fooled by the more than four million private sector jobs created since that first year, the largest increase in manufacturing jobs in more than a decade, and the near doubling of the Dow Jones Industrial average. As an member of the University of Maine economics department, he shows us that we should stop looking at the economy and employment after 2009 or worrying about things male Republicans like him tell us we don’t need to know. On our own, we’d never compare this recovery to the one in 2002, which followed a dramatically smaller recession than the one Bush unleashed on America.

He regards the four million new jobs and the largest increase in manufacturing jobs in more than a decade as “spinning” the data and thinks the Obama people are using the good news in the economy to fool us. Mr. Montgomery, along with that other great feminist thinker of the right, Rush Limbaugh, are needed to show us why the staggering job losses (700,000 a month) during the Bush years are better than millions of newly created jobs under Obama. Makes you wonder why Romney trails Obama by more than 20 percent with women voters.

Dale Kimball-Kocot

Belfast

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