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Saturday, July 5, 2014: Ted Nugent, carbon tax, moped drivers

Start of life

Science says that it is a fact that each human life begins at fertilization (conception). According to embryologist C. Ward Kischer, “Virtually every human embryologist and every major textbook of Human Embryology states that fertilization marks the beginning of the life of the new individual human being.”

A June 30 BDN article quoted congressional candidate Emily Cain accusing her opponent, Bruce Poliquin, of believing that human life begins at conception.

Could candidate Cain have a “theory” that human life begins other than at conception?

Although various theories as to when human life begins may be interesting, I believe that Mark Twain was correct when he remarked, “How empty is theory in the presence of fact.”


Gerald Thibodeau


Nugent’s sportsmanship

The new face for hounding, baiting and trapping is more laughable than the supposed merits of these practices themselves. Ted Nugent is a one-time rock ‘n’ roller who traffics in hate-mongering and depravity.

His constant spewing of hate speech and so-called values are repulsive — not to mention often illegal.

— He was caught illegally baiting deer in California.

— He illegally killed a bear in Alaska and knowingly possessed and transported it.

— He supports canned hunting and owns high-fenced hunting facilities, one in Michigan and one in Texas.

— He hunts endangered animals in Texas, during the off season, including Pere David’s deer and Barrasingha.

This is the poster child for cruel and unsporting — and just plain lazy — methods of killing our black bears.

Sportsmen don’t use dogs, jelly doughnuts or leg-hold traps to hunt bears; they use fair chase still-hunting or stalk-and-shoot methods. Mainers don’t use these cruel methods on any other game species in Maine. Why treat our iconic bears with so much less respect than our deer or moose?

I find Nugent disgusting. And I find it disgusting that any Mainer would share a platform with him. But this isn’t just about me. Every Mainer should be offended by his blatant disregard for sportsmanship and basic human decency.

Mainers deserve better than practices Nugent would align himself with.

Stuart Cushman


Bear quotes

In a June 27 letter to the editor, the Maine state director for the Humane Society of the United States stated it “is not an anti-hunting organization.” This is either an outright lie or she does not know what her boss, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of HSUS, plans for this country. Here is a quote from Full Cry Magazine, Oct. 1, 1990: “We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States. … We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state.”

This issue has very little to do with protecting bears or dogs. It is just an emotional toehold the anti-hunters can use to crawl into our wonderful state. Even those who don’t hunt bear should be wary of the HSUS. Don’t give them an inch.

Another Pacelle quote, from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, Oct. 8, 1991: “Our goal is to get sport hunting in the same category as cock fighting and dog fighting. Our opponents say that hunting is a tradition. We say traditions can change.”

Steve Williams


Best option

Charles Krauthammer’s recent column had a shrill tone but made a point worth considering on climate change. He balked at the Environmental Protection Agency’s move to regulate greenhouse gas emissions as part of the Clean Air Act, even though carbon dioxide poses a greater threat to humanity than almost any other pollutant. The real question is: “What is the best policy option to stop global warming?”

Up until last week, a movement was quietly building support for a market-based solution, advanced by groups such as Citizens Climate Lobby and a former Republican Secretary of the Treasury, George Schultz. Then Hank Paulson sounded the alarm in his Risky Business report — and suddenly revenue-neutral carbon taxes are on the radio every day.

For those who oppose heavy-handed regulation or bloated government, a specific version of this policy, called carbon fee and dividend, is the way forward. It taxes fossil fuels at the point of extraction and returns all the money to American households as a monthly rebate.

The tax infrastructure already exists, so bureaucracy is minimal. A price signal ripples through the economy, making carbon-intensive products more expensive and bringing our moral preferences, such as renewable energy or organic local food, into the realm of affordability.

The dividend offsets the increased cost of living while we adapt to less carbon-intensive consumer choices. Neighbors in northern Maine will soon launch a chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby here. In addition to pursuing the policy that climate scientists and economists on both sides of the aisle agree on, CCL provides opportunities for breakthroughs in personal and political power.

Amelia Potvin


Mom moped

Summer has arrived, and I have logged 165 miles on my moped in the past three days alone. I have noticed, as I ride my moped back and forth to work and church, that many drivers seem unsure of how to handle encountering a moped. In accordance with the state of Maine motorist handbook, please treat moped drivers much like those who are riding bicycles.

I ride as far to the right as is practical so that passing me is as easy as possible for motorists. Some cars seem uncertain about passing me. Please do — especially if there is a hill coming up because my speed is going to greatly reduce on a hill.

Trust me, if I could go any faster, I would. The other extreme is that some drivers pass within a foot of me, which is rather unsettling. Remember, treat me like I am riding a bike. I am just a mom on a moped, trying to reduce my gas use.

Wendy Smith


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