Democrats have targeted several Republican Maine Senate and House members this year because, they say, those legislators support Gov. Paul LePage and, by inference, do not listen to their constituents. Apparently that is a crime for which a legislator should be voted out of office, while a history of supporting all issues presented by former governor John Baldacci and voting lockstep with the wishes of the Democratic leadership is a reason to elect someone to a office.
One of those targeted by Democrats is Sen. Chris Rector of Thomaston, a free-thinking, hardworking legislator who is well known for listening to one and all in his district and on several issues has disagreed with LePage. I want someone in Augusta who listens to the people, not someone who answers to the strong-arm tactics of the Democratic caucus. That is why I will be voting for Rector in November.
Helen A. Shaw
Two choices in 2012
We want a president who will uphold the constitutional functions of government. President Barack Obama’s record shows that he has upheld these Constitutionally-mandated government functions:
“Establish justice” by strengthening equal opportunity and protection for all.
“Promote general welfare” by saving the auto industry, creating 4.5 million jobs, signing health care and banking reform, protecting Social Security and Medicare, energy independence, proposing a fairer tax system and tax breaks to industries bringing jobs and protecting the environment.
“Provide for the common defense.” Obama has kept the United States the strongest nation militarily. He stopped the war in Iraq and is starting to withdraw from Afghanistan. Thanks to his leadership, most top leaders of al-Qaida are now dead.
Republican challenger Mitt Romney’s proposals show a different philosophy:
“Establish justice.” Romney does not support Roe v. Wade, does not support marriage equality, wants self-deportation of illegal immigrants and backed anti-union laws in Ohio.
“Promote general welfare.” Romney’s plan would reduce taxes for the wealthiest plus add $5 trillion to the federal debt. He said “I like firing people,” and “don’t stop the foreclosure process.” He stated he would repeal the health care and banking reform laws and would not have lent government money to the auto industry. He wants to cancel the wind energy tax credit but keep oil subsidies. Cut education, social service, Medicaid and Medicare spending while maintaining tax loopholes for wealthiest.
“Provide for the common defense.” He proposes growth in the defense budget, increasing troop levels and Navy ships for yesterday’s threats.
We will be proudly voting for Obama.
Phil and Pam Person
An OpEd in BDN’s Aug. 7 edition by James Hansen reports that the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies has concluded that climate change is indeed causing the extreme weather occurring over the past few decades. Environment Maine’s report in the Aug.1 edition also discusses the “extreme” weather in the United States.
Wildfires are raging in the west, drought plagues the south and heat waves have taken lives in our East Coast as well as in Europe.
Maine has remained relatively cool and wet compared to the rest of the country this summer, but we are rated as the eighth-fastest warming state in the country by the National Climate Data Center.
Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency is charged with protecting public health from dangerous air pollution. One way to achieve this is to set standards to limit carbon and other global warming pollutants.
This past March, the EPA took its first steps to limit carbon pollution from industrial sources by proposing the Carbon Pollution Standard for New Power Plants. Ensuring that newly constructed power plants are using the most advanced technology to limit carbon emissions is critical. Over 2.8 million Americans have submitted comments to the EPA in support of this carbon standard.
I urge Congress to quit stalling and to implement this important standard. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins could serve their constituents well by voting to support these new initiatives.
Lobster price fixing
Despite reporting in the BDN and other Maine media, the glut of soft-shell lobsters that is creating a crisis in Maine’s lobster industry does not reflect inadequate market demand but inadequate processing capacity. This, in turn, reflects monopoly power that Canadian processors exercise over the industry.
They control access to the market. They have worked to preclude a processing industry in Maine. They have depressed the price of lobster in Maine. Now they are taking advantage of that depressed price to buy cheap shedders from Maine at the expense of Canadian lobstermen.
The recent “agreement” in Canada to establish minimum prices for soft-shells is indicative of price fixing that has become the norm in the lobster industry. When Maine lobstermen attempt to organize again, however, it is they, not the Canadian processors, whom our own Department of Marine Resources threatens with legal action.
The question we should ask is why anyone in Maine wants to collude with this monopoly at the expense of Maine’s economy. Is it because there are those in Maine who benefit from the status quo, even when it impoverishes Maine people?
Adults can help
The classic profile of a sex offender can be seen in the person of Robert Carlson. Fitting seamlessly into the community, wearing a clerical collar, gaining trust and access to victims, all carefully managed by him for many years.
Kudos to the courageous victims of Carlson’s sexual abuse who have come forward to tell their stories. Those who were allegedly abused by Carlson, Sandusky and many others are unfortunately only the tip of the iceberg. Like the portion of the iceberg that remains hidden under the water, other victims’ abuse by their perpetrators may never come to the surface, and they suffer in silence. Will the recent disclosures give these individuals courage as well?
Maybe parents of young children will use these disclosures as teachable moments. No child is immune from sexual abuse. Children are not too young to learn about touching that is OK and touching that is not OK. Children can be told that it is safe to tell about not-OK touches, even if the person is a family member, teacher, priest, neighbor or babysitter who says, “Don’t tell.”
Parents and other adults can be alert to the grooming process too, whereby an adult singles out one child for special attention. Such grooming actions can occur in any setting where children are present. Children cannot stop sexual abuse, but the adults who care about them can and must.
Kathy W. Walker