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Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013: Natural gas, food insecurity, Susan Dench’s column

Natural gas

The BDN’s Oct. 20 article regarding Bangor Natural Gas says “natural gas companies are scrambling to hook up their last new customers of 2013.” One place they’re not “scrambling” is Walter Street. We’ve been trying for three years to get natural gas, and they won’t bring the line on Third Street just 100 yards down onto Walter Street. They told us earlier this year that there are “no plans for Walter Street in 2014,” either.

There will be gas in Lincoln, Maine, before there’s gas available on Walter Street. Why did they call themselves “Bangor Natural Gas” if they’re doing all of eastern Maine before they’re doing Bangor?

Michael P. Gleason


Trickle-up economics

Elected federal and state officials enjoy free health care, free travel, a more-than-decent living wage, a more-than-ample retirement package, maybe two or more places to live, food security — they all know where their next meal is coming from — no worries about paying their heating bills, a white collar job, a comfortable lifestyle and numerous other perks.

Meanwhile, more than 50 million Americans have no idea where their next meal is coming from (food insecurity). More millions of Americans will not be able to eat and pay their heating bills this winter, again. The minimum wage in the U.S. is appalling, an insult to all decent hard-working Americans. The collapse of food stamps and other social services is sinful. The threat to education and Social Security is yet another debacle congressional leaders would like to add to their silken hats. Trickle-down-mean-spiritedness combined with trickle-up economics is alive and thriving in America, a cruel disaster run amuck.

Les Simon


Doubting Thomas

Sen. Doug Thomas’s letter about rights-based ordinances shows he has very little understanding of them. He claims they take property rights away from landowners, when they actually declare a list of rights claimed on behalf of town residents, and nowhere do they take away any town resident’s rights. He scaremongers about a resident having “to fight a wealthy environmental group in court if they want to stop us from building or using our own land.” The only thing Sangerville’s ordinance prohibits is a transportation and distribution corridor. It prohibits nothing else. Thomas has flipped the logic on its head to suit his purposes.

Rights-based ordinances actually protect residents from having to fight wealthy corporations, or the state, when they want to build a transportation and distribution corridor through our towns without our consent. We who are seeking to have these ordinances passed in our towns want our neighbors to read the ordinance. We know that when they do; they will see that it does the opposite of what Thomas claims.

It gives back to municipalities control over what giant corporations or the state can do to them without their consent — control that has been lost, gradually, over the past 200 years. Contact Sangerville at 876-2814 if you would like to get a copy of its rights-based ordinance.

Bob Lodato


Job force

While a small legitimately needy population of disabled Mainers (people we can rightly afford to help) are denied Medicare/Medicaid by the Democrat leadership in Augusta, the Dems continue to ignore them and try to expand welfare benefits to able-bodied Mainers. Now the dirty dealers are deliberately breaking the rules of the process. Rule 217 says that a law cannot be reintroduced for two years after it has been voted down to reduce the flood of proposed bills, most not asked for nor created by us Mainers, from obscuring the bills we do need passed.

Last session, they tried to overwhelm the system with more than 1,500 bills in one session. This round, they’re just plain steamrolling us taxpaying Mainers, ignoring the process by which we’ve already told them, “No!”

A wise person said, “Stop stealing, get a job, and give generously to others.” We wouldn’t even need welfare if families and friends were doing their jobs. Rep. Ken Fredette’s welfare reform bill will see to it that if able-bodied people are going to take from the wallets of Mainers, then they must at least apply for three jobs before they get anything.

I think this falls short of the wise words above, but it’s a start. I’ll support Fredette’s efforts. But the Dem’s already failed bill, illegally forced into the process again, neglects the real needy and opens the doors wide for folks who deliberately alienate themselves from their proper family and community support systems, benefitting the rebellious, the lazy and the quitters.

Pat Keyes


Offensive to women

Susan Dench’s Oct. 30 OpEd piece is as offensive to modern women as it is disrespectful to feminists throughout history who have fought to win rights women – including Dench – now take for granted. To declare that “women aren’t … women any more” is comparable to deciding that, because women in another society have different behavior from that extolled in “How Feminism Undermined Itself,” they are also not women.

Dench shows disdain for the many abilities women have as human beings; moreover, she essentially declares that the female people she does not consider to be real women are not real people, either. Similar arguments have justified slavery and genocide. Non-people are not afforded rights.

The stereotype of feminists as “angry, defensive and treating men as the enemy” is a method for discrediting women’s opinions. This itself merits anger — something rather less condemned in men. As for defensiveness, all minority groups must fight to make their voices heard. The First Amendment defends exactly this right; popular opinions do not need protection.

Finally, men are not an enemy to feminism. Ignorance and bigotry are the enemy, and as demonstrated on the 30th, these are not only male attributes. Women are, after all, people, with the capacity to be as good or evil as men.

Dench would not have the education to write her column, nor would it be published, if not for feminists. Feminism has not gone too far: It has not reached far enough. Dench’s column is ample evidence of this.

Imogen Page

East Blue Hill

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