May 23, 2018
Opinion Latest News | Poll Questions | Lunch Debt | Robert Indiana | Stolen Shed

Monday, October 14, 2013: Extortion talks, CO2 emissions, Acadia National Park

Budget extortion

Let’s say I tell you, “Give me what I want, though I can’t get it properly, or I’ll set fire to your house.” When you resist, I say “OK, if your house burns down you have only yourself to blame, especially if you won’t even compromise and give me some of what I demand!” Isn’t that just what House Speaker John Boehner and the minority he is serving have done?

Then, when he justifies his extortion attempt by saying the deficit is too high, might we remember that we got here because Republicans launched two wars without raising the money to pay for them, while also reducing the government’s income by cutting rich people’s taxes?

President Barack Obama is correct when he calls this extortion, and if he should give in to it, there will be no end to it.

Peter Rees


CO2 emissions standards

Despite the continued denial of the science by many, the most recent assessment by the very conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has stated with 95 percent certainty that human carbon pollution is largely responsible for the present climate change seen around the world. The United States in 2011 and 2012 saw 25 extreme events that each caused more than $1 billion in damages for a total cost of $188 billion. The federal government spent another $62 billion to help communities recover.

In order to help counteract these trends and their increasingly high cost, the Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed federal limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. Since nearly 40 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions come from power plants, this proposal is a necessary step in trying to protect the health and well-being of Americans, as well as help our economy and infrastructure withstand further climate induced disasters. According to the best science, continued delay in implementing such measures will only make the situation we face that much worse.

The EPA was inundated with more than 3.2 million comments in support of action to curb carbon pollution. The proposed CO2 rules for new power plants are a small positive step in this direction. We should all support the President’s Climate Action Plan. As a retired meteorologist who has watched these alarming changes over the past 40 years, I urge Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to support the CO2 standard.

Edward Hummel


Bureaucratic citation

I read with a renewed sense of security that our intrepid U.S. rangers have admirably risen to the challenge of keeping visitors out of Acadia national park. The unauthorized incursion of citizens into that government mandated protected landscape must be forcefully discouraged.

Heaven forbid, once inside that beautiful, now sparsely controlled area, those interlopers might avail themselves of unsupervised breathtaking vistas, leisurely hiking trails, a tasty lunch or gift purchase at Jordan Pond. That they may have come from long distances to capture that experience is of no concern to the diminished police force.

The government’s edict is the law of the land. Its enforcement is obligatory. Toward this end our hard-nosed enforcers serve the country well by protecting our cherished corner of Maine against the scofflaw. Violators should be relieved that they will only suffer a bureaucratic citation or vehicle towing. Meanwhile, along the southern border of the U.S. …

Ron Goldstone


Release the hostage

The blame for the government shutdown lies squarely in the Republican-controlled House. Obamacare, formally known as the Affordable Care Act, should be a right for all citizens. It was voted into law but is constantly attacked by the Republican right.

We talk about people relying on government for their support, but every politician I know receives his or her paycheck from us through taxes and fees. One difference between welfare recipients and politicians is that at the end of the year those on welfare or assistance do not receive a bonus from large corporations.

The Republican Party would take the country down rather than to allow our president to succeed. We call ourselves a Christian nation but are willing to sacrifice our poor and working poor to further our politics. We provide funds to build more prisons but fail to fund programs to deal with the problems. We support military efforts, even in oil-rich countries, but fail to deal with poverty, homelessness, mental illness, hunger and abuse within our country.

Please call on your congressperson to end this bitter battle, return to civility and do what is right for this country before they take us down with their disservice. Think with your head and your heart. I hope the House will come to their senses and release the hostage.

Len Haseltine


Someone else’s fault

I had to chuckle when I read Timothy Grant’s Oct. 8 BDN letter to the editor placing blame for the shutdown on the president and Democrats in Congress. He must have missed the numerous articles and addresses on the issue of the shutdown and why the Democrats are holding a firm line on this. Both sides are to blame for the total inability of our government to get anything done even if it means excessive hurt at home and abroad.

The Republicans have tried passing funding of the government and possibly increasing the debt ceiling to defunding all or part of the Affordable Care Act. And the president and his party won’t accept the government being held hostage by a few extremist Republicans that do or die, who want to hurt the country for no reason other than their own self image. I should add, the Affordable Care Act is a law already in place, not some idea that can be changed just because a minority doesn’t like the president or his party.

This has nothing to do with government being conducted as it should be or was designed. It is an “us against them” situation, and both sides are to blame.

Richard Barclay


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like