Thursday, July 11, 2013: Minimum wage, Big Brother and heroism

Posted July 10, 2013, at 12:25 p.m.

Governor minimum

Our governor justified his veto of the minimum wage hike by saying that “Mainers deserve more than the minimum” and that we should “reduce our tax burden” instead of raising wages for those who get paid the least for their work.

This is nonsense. While we can all agree that it would be good for people to have jobs that pay more than the minimum, there is nothing that prevents us from both wishing for better jobs and, at the same time, raising the minimum wage. Having a job should enable someone to afford to live.

I don’t know what LePage’s real reasons are. He himself grew up poor. But his actions, such as vetoing this minimum wage hike and vetoing the expansion of Medicaid, hurt the poor people of this state, time after time.

People need both a living wage and insurance coverage. Neither of these vetoed bills increases our Maine tax burden. Why does our governor deny people this?

Sol Goldman

Bangor

Big Brother

Edward Snowden, the whistle blower who informed us that Americans are under surveillance by our government, is being hounded by the authorities who want to arrest him. The Gestapo is back, violating our Bill of Rights.

It all started with the George Bush and Dick Cheney administration and their knee-jerk reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks. It has continued under President Barack Obama’s watch and the Department of Homeland Security.

As we found out from the IRS scandal, this sort of power is inappropriate for the government to have. It has been repeatedly abused.

J. Edgar Hoover kept information on members of Congress, the Kennedys and later, President Richard Nixon. They all used the power of government inappropriately.

As Patrick Henry, a colonial patriot, once famously said, “Give me liberty or give me death.” We Americans have always valued freedom above complete security.

For example, the number of deaths we have sustained from all the so-called terrorist attacks pales in comparison to the number we lose every year on our highways and to gun violence. Yet, we value the right to bear arms and to drive our cars fast.

We don’t need Big Brother watching our every move. It certainly didn’t stop the Boston bombings recently.

Owen Sear

East Machias

Heroic community

The tragedy that occurred last week in Calais and left one person dead and two others wounded, has left a mark on many here in our corner of the state that most will always remember. In our small community, an event such as this affects so many people. The ripple of heartache and disbelief has a far reach.

It is also at these times that we realize what treasures our small town has. How our law enforcement, emergency medical staff and hospital personnel have the ability and skills to handle such a crisis. We are fortunate to have them dedicated to our community, willing to perform heroically to deal with such a tragedy.

I especially want to commend the hospital staff in the emergency room and support departments who rose to the occasion to care for and support the injured and their loved ones. While I have known what highly skilled and professional staff we have at Calais Regional Hospital, now many in the community also know.

They came together with Calais Fire, first responders, Maine State Police, county sheriffs, LifeFlight and Capital Ambulance to display great strength in providing exceptional care and services. We are truly fortunate to have the staff that we do. I am so proud to be associated with so many wonderful individuals.

Michael Lally

Calais

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/10/opinion/letters/thursday-july-11-2013-minimum-wage-big-brother-and-heroism/ printed on August 1, 2014