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Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013: Hacking reports, Maine’s senators and water dumping

Lost faith in dealerships

While reading the letters to the editor recently, I came across one by Debra Toothaker referring to “Bumper2Bumper” dealership, which used to be the Bangor Car Care in Brewer.

My son purchased a Mitsubishi Galant for $7,000. It looked like a real nice car, but when my son took it for his first inspection, it failed terribly.

The trunk and rear end had been bonded so much that it would not pass, and he was told it should never have been on the road to begin with.

We contacted the attorney general’s office and were told to take them to court, which we did. Car Care offered another car if my son gave them another $1,000. My son works four days a week and is just making it.

He parked the car in a garage and paid off the rest of the loan. See, honor is important to him.

I met the owner of Bangor Car Care in court. He told me he is a Christian. My son lost faith in people quickly, and so did I, especially dealerships.

Please be forewarned and have your own mechanic check out the car before buying anything.

The price of even second-hand cars has doubled from even two years ago. My heart goes out to everyone who this dealership has abused. Maybe a class action lawsuit is warranted.

Deborah Paradis


Journalistic hacks

The BDN and other members of the U.S. media are reporting numerous instances of cyber-attacks blamed on Chinese sources.

Suffice it to say, Apple, Facebook, other U.S. cyber firms, along with The New York Times and Wall Street Journal newspapers have made provocative claims recently without providing proof beyond what private security firms attest.

Meanwhile, China, too, makes similar claims about U.S. cyber-attacks on its networks.

Mandiant, a private security consultant, on Feb. 18 claimed that China’s army controls some of the most prolific hackers in the world and that a host of cyber-attacks was traced to a building in Shanghai.

In People’s Daily, China retorted: “The Shanghai building trace, if true, also showed the firm [Mandiant] hacked the building in Shanghai.”

It is foolish to blame one and not another if both are acting similarly.

It is of no benefit to America or China to start a “hot war” in order to salvage an existing “empire” and prevent the emergence of another.

But with ongoing financial issues and now cyber wars, coupled with coordinated, fear-inciting campaigns about “China threats” issued by the government, I wager people of both nations are being primed for just such a possibility.

Ironically, the end product foreshadowed here and arriving after turbulent years ahead might result in a consolidated America-China. Meanwhile, war is not a solution.

Michael T. Bucci


Protect Mainers

There is no better time to shield the identities of concealed weapons permit holders than when there is talk of background checks on every gun purchase.

I go to the University of Maine, and a friend in one of my classes said that her neighbor from her hometown in New York got published in their local newspaper. His name and address were published, saying he was a concealed weapons permit holder.

Because of the newspaper publishing the names of everyone who had their permit, his house was broken into, and his gun was stolen.

Maine has thousands of permit holders. If the universal background check for purchasing all guns goes through, then it will be harder for criminals to obtain guns. In addition, if concealed

weapons permit holders’ addresses are given out to the public, it makes people and their homes vulnerable to the threat of robbery.

We need to protect Mainers.

Felicia Farnham


Senators preserving democracy

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, along with nine other senators, have demanded that the Obama administration show Congress the secret legal memos that supposedly give legal justification to the administration’s targeted killing program.

Maine’s senators understand that secret law is contrary to democratic self-government, especially when policies that operate in the dark determine who lives and who dies.

They deserve a thank you from Mainers and all Americans for maintaining their principles despite pressures to abandon them.

As the nomination of John Brennan for director of the Central Intelligence Agency moves forward, Collins, King and other allies on the Intelligence Committee should continue pressing for more accountability and transparency. This is especially true for a program that raises glaring questions about the president’s authority to kill American citizens far from any battlefield.

This highly suspect program is taking place in our names, and we have the right to read the legal opinions about it for ourselves. The rule of law can’t function if citizens don’t know what the rules are.

We are thankful Collins and King are taking steps to preserve this essential tenet of democracy.

Rachel Healy

Communications Director

ACLU of Maine


SNAP perspective

I would like to respond to the Feb. 21 BDN article, New rules will penalize food stamp recipients for ‘water dumping.

So, a few people are desperate enough to buy bottled water and dump it out for a small amount of cash. Then, if people are caught doing this repeatedly, they risk losing their benefits, possibly for life.

Couldn’t we come up with a more compassionate response to this “problem” than denying benefits to needy families? By the way, how many of these needy families are supporting children?

Let’s keep things in perspective here. As USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon points out, the rate of rule breaking in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is relatively small. Somehow, I just can’t get outraged by this form of waste.

How about the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on an unnecessary war in Iraq? Now there is something to be outraged about!

Carol Rosinski


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