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Monday, Dec. 30, 2013: Mental health, Bowers wind, Duck Dynasty

Leading nation?

As a new father starting a family here in America, I reflect on my studies at the University of Maine System — a bachelor’s in criminology at USM and master’s focused in counselor education at UMO. My thoughts reflect on comparing America’s crime rates and mental health with other countries.

Let’s just say America is known to have higher crime rates and worse mental health statistics than other countries, including but not limited to Norway, Sweden and France. A major comparison here reflects on Freud, the father of psychology; Freud understood the importance of the family, and had many followers who developed various guiding theories, who agreed that the first three years of an infant’s life are of the utmost importance for human growth and development.

Is it a phenomenon to understand that the countries mentioned above offer longer paid maternal and paternal leaves for parents of newborns, with better health care available, not excluding mental health? I have spent my time working from various avenues of mental health, which never excludes law, understanding and accepting crime ratios, where the mind is always the precursor to (criminal) behaviors.

I recently had a talk with one of my elders, and we discussed “bullying” for “school-aged” individuals here in America. One of my questions for him was simply, “Does bullying at the individual level happen to reflect America’s bullying of other countries via military services?”

To simplify this educated opinion, is America putting their focus in the right place?

Greg Stacy



Stacked deck

Jackson Parker’s Dec. 19 OpEd is one more replay of First Wind propaganda. He says, “These projects provide immediate and long-lasting economic benefits … increasing our energy independence and stability, and lowering electricity costs.” False!

Wind power construction lines the pockets of contractors and visiting out-of-state workers, but it does nothing to free us from needing oil products to heat our homes and fuel our vehicles. And he says it lowers electricity costs? Central Maine Power customers have seen a big transmission rate increase in their bills due to the instability of wind power. Wind-generated electricity is exorbitantly expensive compared with every other electricity source and cannot stand on its own without subsidies (our tax dollars) propping it up.

Parker says: “The Bowers Mountain Wind project … is exactly the kind of investment in our energy future that Maine should be encouraging.” Our energy future? First Wind plans to export the kilowatts out of Maine. Ask the guides, and lodge and camp owners, about their future: Permanent blight on the landscape and the decline of the Down East tourist industry, to power Rhode Island and fatten Boston-based First Wind’s bank account.

It is borderline ridiculous when Jackson Parker whines about unfair treatment and regulatory inconsistency. Unfair treatment? The wind lobby and First Wind have politically steamrolled their way to overturn every regulatory ruling against them. And they cry foul when the residents of Maine want fairness and consistency. Why have LURC and DEP decisions been completely ignored? How stacked against us is the deck in this game?

Jack Gagnon


Harsh words

By now, most everyone has read or heard about the comments made by Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” fame. I won’t reiterate what he said, just that he had harsh words for homosexuals. He was suspended by A&E, which caused an uproar among fans.

First of all, let’s examine the merits of the suspension. Many supporters of Robertson brought up the question of free speech. He has the right to say whatever he wants, they say. That’s true. It’s also true that A&E has the right to take corrective action against Robertson. The First Amendment is a legal protection. No one is suing Robertson over this. He is a celebrity and was doing an interview. His employer, A&E, took action against him, just as any business would against an employee who made derogatory comments.

Lastly, no matter how you feel about the substance of what Robertson said, the way he said it shows a lack of understanding relating to homosexual relationships. Robertson believes that because he enjoys women, all men must enjoy women, a woman’s body is more “desirable” than a man’s. Well, of course he would think that. He is heterosexual. Because he is not homosexual, he demeans homosexual behavior as something unnatural, akin to bestiality.

Homosexuality is not comparable to bestiality. There are many examples of committed homosexual couples who love one another deeply. Just as the heterosexual couple next door lives happily, raising a child, playing in the yard with their dog, snuggling on the couch watching a movie, so too does the homosexual couple.

Harold Hull

Presque Isle

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