Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013: Grabbing headlines, inedible rabbits and hiding history

Posted Jan. 29, 2013, at 11:44 a.m.

More awesome photos

I know that newspapers are struggling to survive in this economy. I understand thin papers and appreciate those auto dealers who help support the paper’s publication.

But I think the BDN can find better, and maybe cheaper, ways to fill the pages than the many advice columns in the living section, long pieces about food written by no one from around here and other “canned” filler.

Thank you for restoring some poetry. Now couldn’t the paper run more photographs by its awesome photojournalists? The correspondents and regional bureau chiefs also take some fine pictures — let’s see them in print.

Many readers also take great photos that are easy to send in high-resolution digital formats. Just ask. Those readers would be happy to replace articles about how to make Twinkies and could give more advice than Dear Abby.

This newspaper is important to its loyal readers. I encourage the editorial staff to keep the BDN local and beautiful.

Sharon Bray

Orland

LePage’s political maturity

Gov. Paul LePage is a bully. He yells, slams his fists and calls people names when they don’t agree with him – just ask the three independent lawmakers he verbally abused in a recent meeting.

He started a headline-grabbing labor mural fight that was finally resolved after two years. He picks on the weakest and most vulnerable — take a look at his current budget proposal, which

disproportionately cuts programs for the elderly, sick and poor.

He gives the silent treatment to an entire group because they aren’t deferential and compliant; he has refused to talk to his Democratic colleagues since they took control of the Legislature.

If any 8-year-old on a playground acted like this, he or she would be scolded and sent to the principal’s office.

LePage should keep in mind that as governor, it is his duty to represent all the people of Maine, not just the 38 percent that elected him.

Instead of acting like a schoolyard bully, he should show the leadership, humility and political maturity needed to fix the enormous problems we are facing here in Maine.

Jessica Masse

Medway

Rubbery rabbits

Oh dear, I expect now Wendy Andresen will have to march at Fathom restaurant in Bar Harbor, since the Chef Series dinner will also be serving rabbit.

Poor Andresen shouldn’t worry about anyone eating her pet bunny though. Her concern about rabbit eating brought to mind the time I accepted two pet rabbits my co-worker’s child had tired of.

“I’d just eat them,” I said in my naivete. She was fine with my carnivorous fantasy.

Well, fantasy it was. For no matter how long and slowly I cooked them, no matter how much wine I wasted to tenderize them, those adult pet rabbits were too tough to eat. Sadly, I gave the rubber rabbits to the dog to chew on.

So don’t worry, Andresen, no one with any experience in rabbit cookery would want to fricassee your pet bunny.

Kate Tuck

Bangor

Concentrate on current laws

One idea that has been proposed since the tragedy at Newtown is mandatory background checks for all gun sales between private individuals — like is presently required for guns sold by licensed gun dealers.

This would even include all sales and gifts between friends and relatives.

When you stop to think about it, there is only one way the federal government could regulate compliance of such a law. It would require the registration of all firearms to all the citizens who presently own them.

Otherwise, a universal background check law would not be enforceable. It would just be an “on your honor” system between law-abiding citizens.

Transactions between those who care nothing about obeying such a law would happen off the record.

If firearm registration became mandatory because of a universal background check law, there would be a federal government list of all private U.S. citizens and the firearms they have registered to them. This has always been a goal of those who wish to greatly restrict private ownership of firearms in this country.

State and federal laws are already in force that prohibit felons, those who have been committed to a mental institution, those convicted of domestic assault and those with bail or probation conditions from purchasing or possessing any firearm.

I believe a better use of our resources would be to concentrate on enforcing the firearms laws we already have. We could strictly penalize those who violate these laws, take better care of the mentally ill and beef up school security against all types of violence.

Mike Marshall

Big Lake Township

Mural ruling destructive

Replacing the mural that Gov. Paul LePage removed does not negate the court’s disturbing ruling that a political party may hide, permanently or temporarily, the publicly owned cultural heritage of its citizens.

By removing the mural, LePage attempted to hide the labor history of Maine and promote his anti-union agenda. The court called this “lawful government speech.”

By dynamiting the Buddhas of Bamiyan, the Taliban obliterated the Buddhist history of the Afghans. According to the Maine court decision, this would have been “lawful government speech.”

Does this right to lawful government speech extend to other state-owned museums and libraries? Could a pro-union governor remove all references to Maine’s non-union engineering accomplishments and industries?

Where does a political party’s right to lawful government speech end and the citizens right to know begin? Has a court really decided that LePage’s political agenda takes precedence over the people’s right to their cultural heritage?

The court’s decision does not address these questions. It only says history and heritage may be held hostage to lawful government speech.

Knowing our history gives us something in common, makes us a nation and helps us learn from our past. Stability comes from knowing who we are and where we came from. This court ruling is deeply destructive to our commonality, stability and ultimately to ourselves as citizens.

Janet M. Alexander

Old Town

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/01/29/opinion/wednesday-jan-30-2013-grabbing-headlines-indedible-rabbits-and-hiding-history/ printed on September 2, 2014