LETTERS

Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013: Holy days, Mike Michaud and jobs overseas

Posted Nov. 29, 2013, at 10:14 a.m.

No jobs

Both political parties are claiming to create jobs and put the unemployed back to work. They both are blowing smoke. When they passed the Free Trade Act, almost all of our industry moved out of the U.S. to foreign countries. They are still doing it today, leaving their workforce unemployed.

When the U.S. rescinds the Free Trade Act and forces these out-of-country companies back home, there will be jobs.

Wendell Geiger

Houlton

The holidays are coming

The holidays are coming! But what exactly is a holiday? Holidays are a day or time period set aside by law or statute as exempt from regular labor or business activities — usually to commemorate or celebrate something that happened on or near that date.

But holidays are also holy days. This is sacred or sacramental time within ordinary time. We come apart from the regularly scheduled labors to sustain our lifestyle. We now participate in the ritual celebrations and practices that make time special and unique; we celebrate life. When was the last truly festive time in your life?

Most can remember childhood memories of the magic of the seasons; parents took care of making the preparations of food and gifts, observances and dedicated clothing or colors. Everyone respected the traditions and heritages. It was not conformity that united us. It was the spirit! Spirit gives life and imbues restoration, community and harmony. Humanity and nature join together in recognizing something amazing has changed everything. Holy days make us pause.

It is simple to see barriers to harmony and community and feel disenchantment. Making magic for others takes time and patience. But that is the power of the holy days to transform our myopic survival concerns to care for others. It is no coincidence that the holy days (holidays) are the most charitably profitable times for organizations involved with care of the indigent and powerless.

This year, lose yourself in the power of the holidays and be transformed-back into the wide-eyed innocence that believes in miracles and accepts the possibility of tomorrow. It really is … a wonderful life

James Weathersby

Augusta

I like Mike

I think the timing of Rep. Mike Michaud’s sexuality announcement was key to his campaign. The slogan regarding the campaign read, “I Like Mike,” sounding promising of citizens trusting his likable character. After the approval of same-sex marriage in 2012 (which Michaud supported), there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to make this statement.

Based on the votes, Mainers are supportive of this. As people of this country, we look to leaders of our communities who see the world similarly through our eyes. Someone who identifies and relates to crises and issues that the everyday American faces is essential to a successful democracy. Michaud is portraying himself as a strong individual by admitting a controversial topic so personal to his own life, knowing it is relatable to many of his people.

By coming out to the public, he is demonstrating acceptance. When this article refers to questions he answered about marriage and the Employment Non Discrimination Act, all in all it helps his case. I think he slowly illustrates the progression and acceptance of our nation’s feelings toward LGBT rights.

He stated that he is willing to take on larger repercussions for this decision if necessary, proving he is not embarrassed about his life rather than surprising it on the state like other former members of Congress, leaders of our nation. It doesn’t affect his job, only provides insight to who he is and that he’s not afraid to take a stand for something so important to individuals.

Danielle Perry

Orono

LePage outrage

It’s not just the Maine legislators who are outraged by Gov. Paul LePage hiring a conservative consulting company at the cost of $1 million to study the Medicaid program in Maine.

As a taxpayer, I am outraged as well. I have witnessed severe cuts to social services programs, even at a time when the rate of poverty and homelessness in Maine has increased. The demands from LePage and many of the Republican lawmakers have been to make cuts to these programs in order to balance the budget. Yet, suddenly, $1 million is available.

This money is not being put to good use to help those people who have seen their benefits cut to zero — but to pay a group to make additional cuts to our health and human services budget.

Once again, the extremist behavior of this governor is evident. His loud-mouthed bullying, verbally abusive language reaches world-wide attention. Yet, in this case his secretive

no-bid contract was signed in September without the knowledge of most legislators. With this kind of inconsistent behavior, trust is compromised.

My hope is that our legislators will keep this issue alive, expose the details, and hold the governor accountable.

Phyllis Coelho

Belfast

Impact statement

Legislators and local officials are wise to urge a cautious approach to the proposed scheme to enlarge the channel to Mack Point in Searsport. Those who encourage measures to exceed the usual maintenance dredging are interested in more than accommodating the deeper draft of newer vessels.

As the discussions of a few years ago about the fate of Sears Island made clear, those who support the relentless development of Penobscot Bay are keen to build a container port on the western shore of the island. Deeper and wider dredging is an attempt to put one more piece in place so as to be ready to set this project in motion as soon as possible.

The ecological integrity of the bay has already been compromised far too much to allow the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed with this just to please some corporate interest groups. At the very least, we need a comprehensive environmental impact statement.

Larry Litchfield

Belfast

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