Monday, Oct. 1, 2012: Anti-Semitic graffiti, GOP platform and MaineCare

Posted Sept. 30, 2012, at 6:20 p.m.

No to anti-Semitism

On behalf of the education committee of the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine, I am responding to the recent Nazi anti-Semitic swastikas and other graffiti spray-painted on Beth Israel and Beth Abraham synagogues in Bangor. At this time, we do not know whether this is an isolated act of anti-social ignorance and bigotry or whether it expresses a more serious problem of anti-Semitism in our community. In any case, both the contents and targets of this abhorrent act make clear that it is a hate crime, and those responsible should be brought to justice.

As active members of the Peace and Justice Center, we are dedicated to educating ourselves and others about the many forms of violence, intolerance, hatred, oppression and injustice. We work with others to create communities in Maine, our nation and the world that express values of nonviolence, peace, compassion, love and justice. We know only too well from the horrific lessons of history that anti-Semitism is a humanly caused cancer. When decent human beings are not vigilant and remain silent and uninvolved, we become complicit, and the results are sick societies with unspeakable suffering and death.

We express our solidarity with the members of Beth Israel and Beth Abraham synagogues, with the entire Jewish community and with all Mainers who are dedicated to preventing and eliminating anti-Semitism and transforming our lives and communities toward greater tolerance, mutual respect, peace and justice.

Doug Allen

Orono

Republican Party platform

The major parties’ platforms, although seldom examined by the general electorate, reveal much about the respective souls of the parties. It is urged that every prospective voter read both major parties’ platforms. These platforms are available online. Only then can the consequences of voting to put a party in power in Augusta be determined.

The Republican platform, when seen through my eyes, is best characterized as being harsh, intolerant and authoritarian. However, because of space limitations, only one 2012 Republican platform plank will be examined. This plank should be of deep concern to all Maine voters, both Democrat and Republican.

Art. II-b of the Republican platform states, “Reassert the principle that ‘Freedom of Religion’ does not mean ‘freedom from religion.’” This assertion should give pause to a thoughtful person as to what would be the meaning of not possessing “freedom from religion.”

Does it mean a person must have a religion? Does it mean citizens are subject to the state preaching religious dogma at civic events? Does it mean that religious dogma will be foisted on our children in schools? What and whose dogma will the state mandate? If the Brave New World envisioned by the drafters is enacted, will atheism and agnosticism be outlawed? The questions could go on and on.

Perhaps local Republican State Senate and House candidates will clarify their positions on this platform plank.

Stephen Melchiskey

Camden

Graffiti shock

I was shocked to read your article about the graffiti that was painted on two of the three Jewish synagogues in Bangor. I would like to add my voice to the thousands in this community who are outraged by this type of behavior.

My sentiment to my Jewish friends in this area is to consider the source: ignorance. We should not have to be reminded of the dastardly actions of the Nazis of the World War II era. I am chagrined by this type of conduct, especially at this time of year, close to the Jewish high holy day of Yom Kippur.

Ed Armstrong

Hampden

Fight for freedom

I support Republican Sam Canders for District 15 of the Maine House of Representatives for a few reasons. First, I believe Canders’ combat veteran status proves his devotion to the seven Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.

These principles are the cornerstones of any veteran’s life and are values that would well serve the people of District 15 and Maine. Secondly, Canders understands the importance of protecting individual rights, property rights, the Constitution and ensuring that the people of Maine get to keep the fruits of their own labor.

I also believe his international, and intranational, experience as a serviceman and pilot gives him invaluable insight into the issues the country, and Maine, is facing.

Freedom isn’t free, and as the representative for District 15, Canders will fight for our freedom now and for generations to come.

Cody Morgan

Exeter

Thank a government

I am five months pregnant with my first child. I recently received my MaineCare insurance card in the mail and cried with relief.

Regardless of where you stand on the entitlement debate, I would like to thank my fellow Maine taxpayers, the Legislature and Gov. Paul LePage for their continued support of women and children.

Jenny Tibbetts

Jackson

2012 decision

Many of you know I’m not a partisan guy. I don’t cast my vote based on party politics.

For all the years that I’ve been honored to serve the people in District 2, I’ve always tried to do what was right for you, even if it meant breaking with party leaders.

That’s why I was very surprised to see an attack on me that incorrectly said I voted for a Democratic tax reform package that was repealed by voters two years ago. The truth is I split with my party then and voted against that tax reform package — not once but twice.

It’s hard to understand why anyone would blatantly lie about my record. The best explanation I can think of is that Republicans want to distract people from their poor record on job creation. Maine has 54,000 people looking for work. Nationally, we are one of only a handful of states where the economy slid backwards last year. While all of our neighboring states are emerging from the recession, Maine is still losing hundreds of jobs.

While Republicans promised job creation, they haven’t delivered. Instead, we’ve seen them pass huge tax cuts for the rich, undercut teachers and our public schools and allow insurance companies to raise rates by 500 percent more on middle-aged Mainers, especially in rural places.

People in District 2 can always count on me to stand up for them and to tell the truth.

Rep. Ken Theriault

D-Madawaska

 

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/09/30/opinion/monday-oct-1-2012-anti-semitic-graffiti-gop-platform-and-mainecare/ printed on September 22, 2014