Monday, Sept. 9, 2013: Math, seniors, rules of war and pride

Posted Sept. 08, 2013, at 12:04 p.m.

Shame, shame

It has been weeks now since your paper carried the comments by Gov. Paul LePage. The subject was comments made in reference to Sen. Troy Jackson.

“Coeur Noir” is a term used in the Franco community. It is used for people who have no conscience, someone who will say things that are hurtful or mean. Coeur noir is not a respected behavior. I guess in the English language if you say or do something that is hurtful and not true, no one really cares other than the person affected.

Not using Vaseline is another term often used. In the dairy industry when tending to your herd often some of them have sores. Lubricating the udder with Vaseline is a humanitarian way of dealing with such matters. Again, it is hurtful if you don’t use good judgement and care tending to your stock.

I am not surprised that no one in the editorial department tried to get “the rest of the story.”

The disrespectful way your newspaper has covered the governor shows me you have Un Coeur Noir. And as to tending to your stock, your readers, I have seen no Vaseline used when it comes to the governor. Not the same when it comes to Rep. Mike Michaud, Rep. Chellie Pingree and Sen. Angus King.

Shame on you.

Tom Deschaine

Presque Isle

Math praise

I’m not connected with the students or teachers on the Bangor High Math Team, but I think it’s time for someone to shout a loud “congratulations” for their remarkable performance in the state math meet this year. They beat out 94 other Maine schools, including the excellent team from the Maine School of Science and Math, gaining the highest score in more than 20 years. Both the BDN and the school department newsletter told the story, but the outstanding performance by our young people merits praise as well as coverage. One more reason why so many of us are proud to live in Bangor.

Bill Sullivan

Bangor

Rules of war

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed a measure to wage war on Syria. The measure says President Barack Obama can kill Syrians and Russians for 60 days, but if he doesn’t feel he has killed enough after 60 days, he can do it for another 30. It says there will be no U.S. boots on the ground. However, it doesn’t specify four things: Where the Syrian and Russian boots can be; whether Russian naval vessels can also fire missiles; whether Syrian or Russian planes can attack U.S. naval vessels; and once the U.S. forces go back to their barracks, are the Russians and Syrians required to go back to their barracks?

Please take care of this oversight, President Obama. The Syrians and Russians anxiously await your rules of war.

David Dubovy

Bangor

The real agenda

Any U. S. military action against Syria and authorization for it would be a grave mistake.

The evidence suggests that opposition forces released the gas that Assad ordered. (See William Polk’s thoughtful analysis in the Atlantic.)

If Assad did order it, attacking Syria will not punish him — it will only rally support for him.

There is no strategically coherent military goal proposed for the strikes — precisely because we don’t want to support the Al Qaeda-linked opposition.

The U.S. is not a legitimate agent for enforcing international sanctions against chemical weapons. Rule of international law can only be supported through international agencies. A U.S. attack would be a vigilante act — undermining rule of law and real justice.

It will isolate the U.S. internationally as a rogue state and provide Assad an opportunity to rally Arab countries to his side by counter attacking against Israelis, which will lead them to respond and reframe the civil war in Syria as a war of U.S.-Israeli aggression against Arabs.

A military strike is so irrational we can only wonder why it is really being proposed. What is the real agenda underlying this? Provide authorization for attacks on Iran? Distract from something else?

Urge Congress to vote against any authorization and investigate what the real agenda is.

J. Gray Cox

Bar Harbor

Hail to seniors

On May 24, Gov. Paul LePage officially named the second Saturday in September to be celebrated as Maine Seniors Day. Given the major role that senior citizens play in our state, it seems only appropriate.

Maine being the “oldest” state in the country affords us a large, and growing, population — a “natural resource” to draw on.

Many seniors are capable of remaining or becoming responsible and reliable employees, and their capabilities are often overlooked.

Volunteerism, vital to our country and communities, is kept alive by the vast experience and caring of seniors who are willing to give their time to others.

They present a large consumer base in our state. Let’s not forget that “older” people still like to shop, dine out, enjoy entertainment and partake in sporting activities. In short, they like to live life.

Others in our senior population may find that their later years are difficult for any number of reasons. Can they be helped? Absolutely — by all of us. If you care, you’ll find a way.

We can begin by honoring Maine Seniors Day with a phone call, a gift, a visit, a lunch date, a flower or anything else you come up with.

Lois Nealley

Bangor

Paychecks and pride

Like columnist Heather Denkmire, I, too, swallowed my pride after two years of living through my hours and paycheck being whittled down to practically nothing. My hours were just slashed again, eliminating $400 a month in one shot. Less income, same bills.

I applied for help through the state of Maine, especially the coveted medical insurance for my two children and me. I was told I qualified for MaineCare due to my medical condition and kids, but for only $37 a month in food assistance. I was told if I made $1,300 less (roughly my monthly income to include child support), they could help. What incentive do I have to work?

Answer: I still love what I do, plus the tiny bit of pride (and dropping credit score) I have remaining.

Thanks for addressing a similar experience and situation. I have a feeling we will be sharing the boat with many others for a long time to come.

Melissa McDonald

Orono

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/09/08/opinion/letters/monday-sept-9-2013-math-seniors-rules-of-war-and-pride/ printed on October 2, 2014