Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013: Red lobster ad, monumental shutdown, pain patients and right-wing health care

Posted Oct. 08, 2013, at 12:34 p.m.

Fav food

My first thought upon opening the state section of my morning paper recently and seeing the bright red lobster was, “Yum.”

And, after reading the message from PETA, I could only shake my head. What were they thinking? Surely they must know that the bright red lobster is quite cooked. And, as we all know, that bright red lobster was cooked alive. Why wouldn’t they have used an unboiled, live lobster for their poster child?

I still say “yum” no matter how you serve my favorite food.

Kate Tuck

Bangor

Monumental shutdown

One should take a good look at our country’s current administration. It’s draconian to close memorials and open spaces, such as the World War II memorial and the National Mall in Washington D.C., just to make a political point. It’s atrocious. And when attempts to enforce the closure of the open air WWII memorial failed — using barricades — the administration doubled-down by installing fencing and guards. Can people not walk on sidewalks unattended any more? We need a park ranger for that?

Most folks know that government could be much smaller and still provide the services and protections guaranteed in our Constitution. Government has become a behemoth of corruption, cronyism, waste, etc., while continually gouging us for higher taxes to pay for their follies of control.

For one side to intentionally hurt the citizens for political posturing and potential media propaganda is pathetic. Wake up and pay attention to what can happen the next time some politician, land trust proponent, or non-governmental organization spokesperson talks about “open space” and “public access.” It is only open when the rulers want it to be.

Marcia Jacobs

Calais

Taking offense

I strongly take offense to a recent headline, ” Addict gives rehab a 2nd try.” First things first, the woman in the article says she started using opiates at a young age because of menstrual cramps, then later because of a car accident and surgery. That is not an addiction issue; that is dependency on a medication to control pain that should have been handled by her doctor. It’s called quality of life.

Her abuse from her husband should be handled by a counselor. I have family and friends who are both drug dependent from living with chronic pain (and will always be on opiates to control the pain) and who just abuse drugs. Don’t mix up the two. Do not label a pain patient as an addict. If she feels her pain can be handled without opiates, great. But if she finds herself needing to be on them again because of chronic pain, she has nothing to be ashamed of.

Live your life to the fullest, get in touch with a doctor who can help you and will prescribe you a proper level that will help you maintain the quality of life you deserve. And yes, file for disability.

Laurie Cole

Rockland

Big lies

In the latest screed by Susan Dench, “ The Democrats real ‘war on women ’ in Maine, the nation,” the Manhattan Institute is cited as a source of “information.” The Manhattan Institute is a right-wing think tank associated with the State Policy Network, an organization funded by donors like the Koch brothers, billionaires who underwrite many far-right organizations and political candidates.

For tea partiers, these sources are to be taken at face value. However, for those more interested in truth than ideology, here are truths about the Affordable Care Act.

Thirty million uninsured and those with preexisting conditions can now get health insurance. Insurance premiums will vary. The national average price for a high-deductible plan is $249 a month, not counting subsidies — but coverage like that would cost $144 in Minnesota and $425 in Wyoming.

Tax credits are available to people who earn $11,500 to about $46,000 for a single person. Extra discounts are available to those who earn up to 250 percent of poverty, or $28,725. ACA expands Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, if you earn up to 133 percent of poverty, or about $15,300 for a single person. Only about half of states are using ACA money to expand Medicaid, though. Unfortunately, thanks to Gov. Paul LePage, Maine isn’t one.

The big lie is the use of a lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” Dench and the right-wing are hoping we will believe their big lies.

Kendall Zeigler

Eastport

Shutdown, recovery

I am a 28-year federal employee representing nearly 400 Customs and Border Protection officers and non-uniformed employees in Maine, New Hampshire and Halifax, Nova Scotia. We daily protect our national security, trade and commerce. CBP has ordered officers to work without pay during the government shutdown. Some of my non-uniformed colleagues are furloughed.

National Treasury Employee Union Chapter 141 members I represent want to work. Serving the public is important to us. It weighs heavily upon us that we are being forced to work without pay and the adverse effect this will have on our families’ well-being and the communities where we live that rely on our incomes to support local economies.

This government shutdown is causing those I represent and our economy serious financial harm. Federal employee pay has been frozen for three years — and many federal employees suffered unpaid furlough days from sequestration earlier this year. Though historically Congress has retroactively paid federal employees who have suffered wage losses during a shutdown, there are no guarantees in law that will occur this time.

NTEU members I represent want to work. We will work without pay for now because protection of our nation is far more important than the inability of Congress to do its job. The country is depending on us. We are depending on the country to help us persuade Congress to end the shutdown promptly, so we can be properly compensated for our work, pay our bills, and support our communities and economic recovery.

Alan Mulherin

Limestone

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