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Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013: Hook-up culture, marijuana, Obamacare

King is right

It would be theoretically possible, I suppose, to write a more misinformed and misleading letter than that written by Maine Sen. Doug Thomas, R-Ripley, on Nov. 2 about “ rights-based ordinances.” He raises a specter of a totalitarian government stripping landowners of their property rights and dictating their every use of their own property. He threatens that environmentalists could come “from anywhere” and bankrupt humble, well-meaning Mainers with massive lawsuits. He suggests that if your neighbor doesn’t like your use of your property, he can make you stop.

I’m no fan of bureaucracy, and I find much regulation absurdly counterproductive, but his letter is filled with threats, misinformation and alleged information, apparently invented to bolster his idea of a utopia where any individual can do exactly as he likes, regardless of any effect it may have on others, while the government sits quietly by and watches helplessly.

Sen. Angus King said something to the effect that the difficulty with running the government is the strong influence of people who just hate government as a matter of principle. Thomas seems to be evidence that King is right.

Brent R. Slater


Hook-up culture

This letter is in response to the Nov. 3 BDN OpEd “ Blame consumerism, not feminism for hook-up culture.”

This OpEd, like many others, brings up the newly popular “hook-up culture.” But unlike others, it does not blame feminism for this craze. The author, Ruby Nash, has it right when she places this blame on our consumer-driven society.

Look around you today, and you will see millions of advertisements using seduction, lust and irresistibility to draw in not only male consumers but females as well. Women are under constant bombardment to be sexy, intelligent, powerful and now less emotional all the time.

Nash states it perfectly that, “If we’re being taught by advertising to treat the opposite sex like a commodity, then it’s no surprise ‘hook-up culture’ is all the rave.”

In addition, women are now expected to be able to do all that men can, while also being the caretaker of the family at home. This leads to time commitment conflicts. In today’s high-achieving world, it is often the maternal goals of women that get lost in translation. To agree with Nash, today’s women shouldn’t just be told to become all they can be in the career world but all they can be as women as a whole. This includes motherhood and becoming the role of the “mother.” Because let’s think, where would we all be without our mothers?

Tamra Wallace


Effective treatment

In response to the recent activity around the Bangor City Council enacting a moratorium for more distributed suboxone treatment, one must tread carefully. As an addiction counselor, I struggle with the “disease” of addiction being compared with illnesses such as cancer. Cancer patients can’t correct their disease by changing their behavior or undergoing cognitive treatment.

Addiction does have this advantage, and, even though it does “hijack” the brain, people overcoming addiction have the opportunity to sustain in recovery with effective treatment. Does addiction significantly affect the frontal lobe? Yes, every addiction does. It initially insets itself behaviorally by way of dysfunctional survival techniques from environmental stressors. I feel as a professional that we lack the ability in the field to review addictions in a more behavioral perspective. There are an unlimited variety of addictions.

If we change the way that we see addiction and lean away from the disease model a bit, we can hold the individual more accountable to their treatment and the change that would improve the quality of their lives. Their response to stressors needs to not be a drug as a solution; rather it needs to be a response of strength and intelligence. I am working on a pilot program that embraces this perspective. This form of treatment will prove to be accountable to everyone. Should this above described treatment be available more locally to reduce traveling expenses and risks? Absolutely.

Carolyn Blackfeather Rae



If cigarettes and alcohol are legal, why not marijuana? I wonder how much money the state spends on law enforcement searching for illegal growers. Cigarettes and alcohol kill. Marijuana does not. The laws concerning marijuana have long been totally outdated.

Jane Sanford


Won’t get fooled again

Maine Democrats are pushing to get our state to sign up for the Obamacare train wreck by expanding taxpayer-funded Medicaid to tens of thousands of able-bodied adults. President Barack Obama promises that this will be free for the first few years and that the feds will cover 90 percent of the cost after that.

Kind of like how he promised that if we like our health insurance plan, we can keep it. Now he’s apologizing for that lie but only after countless thousands of people have seen their health insurance disappear under the disastrous health care law.

Since when is federal money free? That’s still money they are taking directly out of our pockets. This Maine taxpayer won’t get fooled again.

Liz Walker


Bond thanks

Maine voters in every one of our 16 counties approved passage of a $15.5 million bond to help strengthen the community colleges and the state’s economy. The vote was an affirmation of the strong support our colleges enjoy all across Maine. Clearly, Mainers believe in the importance of the state’s community colleges and in their ability to prepare Maine people for good jobs and a more prosperous future.

We are grateful to all of you who supported the bond over the past several months: by contributing your time and resources, by speaking out about the importance of the bond, by planting a sign on your lawn and, finally, by voting in large numbers for key investments at each of our colleges. It was a grassroots, statewide effort that paid off and will help grow Maine’s economy by increasing access to higher education.

On behalf of our thousands of current students and generations of students to follow, thank you.

John Fitzsimmons

President, Maine Community College System


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