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Tuesday, August 13, 2013: Bipartisan ethics, complacency and fossil fuels


Gov. Paul LePage has given us, the citizens of Maine, another priceless gift. First he publicly self-anointed himself as the potentate of petroleum jelly. Then it was revealed that Miss Maine was his choice for a newly created state patronage job at a time when he was laying off qualified education department employees.

Now, when seated in a make-believe jet fighter cockpit, he shares with us his fondest wish: “I want to find the Portland Press Herald building and blow it up.”

Yes, he’s completely off his bean.

Michael Grunko

Chebeague Island

Ethical Dems?

Are today’s progressive Democrats ethical? Do they believe in American democracy? For instance, the “Democrat establishment’s legacy” of protecting civil liberties has all but vanished now that President Barack Obama assumed command and control for a second-term. In addition, Maine’s elected Democrats have voted for the expansion of the federal government powers to spy on Americans.

Also, other Democrats who are recently in the news don’t portray a favorable image of leadership. For example, there’s New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, the Democratic mayor of San Diego who received behavior therapy, and Obama’s schizophrenic leadership. This recent declaration was made only weeks after his stated intent to hold accountable those responsible. Which Obama is correct? The one who declared, “We have al Qaeda on the run”? Or the later message sent by closing dozens of Middle East-based U.S. embassies?

Unfortunately, the “Republican establishment’s” message seems complicit and cowardly. For instance, after nearly 60 years of fiscally irresponsible Democratic governance of Detroit, and its mayor’s recent declaration of bankruptcy within a healthy democracy, shouldn’t the opposition make a cogent argument about why Democrats make lousy mayors, governors and fiscally irresponsible presidents?

I find myself oddly in agreement with former Ohio Democrat Congressman Dennis Kucinich who purports that our American democracy is in serious decline.

Dale Ferriere


Moral mess

America is in a moral mess, and it’s our own fault. Our complacency is destroying us.

President James Garfield made this statement in 1877, and I believe it holds true today: “Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.”

Why aren’t professing Christians speaking up? It is time for the body of Christ to awaken from its apathy and act responsibly.

If we fail to express our opinions, others will be more than happy to make decisions for us. It is essential that we educate ourselves about potential government officials and legislation. To be uninformed is to take a chance with our country’s future.

The Bible never encourages Christians to be complacent. We have the responsibility to stand up, speak up and be strong about our convictions.

Let us never forget that this is a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

We pay taxes. We’re citizens. And we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be disenfranchised from the same citizenship and First Amendment rights that everyone else enjoys.

I think philosopher Edmund Burke made it plain: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Gene Graves


Keystone XL backtrack

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama made some disparaging remarks indicating a renewed opposition to final permitting for the Keystone XL Pipeline. The president has previously indicated a likelihood to approve the final pipeline permit, specifically during election season in 2008 and again in 2012, only to backtrack once the Oval Office was secured each time.

The president is in a difficult place because he must serve two masters — the environmental lobby that overwhelmingly supported both his campaigns and the reality that Keystone is a shovel-ready project that could help the country through this economic recovery.

Opponents of the project in the renewable energy lobby reject the initiative claiming that pipeline construction is not “green.” But, when other alternatives are considered, Keystone XL is clearly the best option for the environment in both the short and long-term.

If Obama fails to approve the final permit to allow construction to begin, Canada has made it clear that it will proceed with developing Alberta’s oil sands with or without an American partnership. If the U.S. rejects the pipeline, the energy sources will likely be piped to Canada’s west coast for tanker shipment to China, causing higher emissions than pipelines.

There are more than two million American construction workers out of work right now. These are the middle class jobs held by working families that return the greatest portion of their income back into the market. I implore Obama to put the best interests of the country first and allow construction to begin, now.

Nicholas Popovich


Fossil fuel fury

My reaction to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to deny an application for turbines on Bowers Mountain was grateful relief.

Cheri Walton’s Aug. 9 BDN letter to the editor has a point about wind farms being needed, but it is far more important to stop the increasing use of oil and gas and save our mountains, which means changing our lifestyles.

The energy industry is pouring money into fossil fuel projects exploiting unconventional oil and gas preserves that are despoiling drinking water and heating the planet. Hydrofracking, using carbon dirty heavy oil and tar sands, is accelerating.

The terrible truth is investment in unconventional fossil fuel extraction is expected to outpace spending on renewables by a ratio of at least three-to-one in the years ahead, according to Michael T. Klare, author of “Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet” and “Blood and Oil.”

The demand for fossil fuels is expected to rise in the next 30 years. This is what has to stop. Then, we can save what is left of our planet. We cannot just build more wind and solar and tidal installations. We have to change the way we live, too. And we need our untouched mountains.

Jane Sanford


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