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Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017: Government by narcissism, responsible gun ownership, why did Steed wait?

Government by narcissism

When President Donald Trump was criticized for leaving so many top positions throughout the federal government unfilled and especially for systematically dismantling the State Department, he replied that there was no problem because, ” I am the only one that matters.”

This response perfectly encapsulates his approach to governance based upon his extreme narcissism. A French king famously proclaimed, “L’etat, c’est moi,” before a revolution swept away the monarchy. Trump’s claim of royal prerogative is comparable.

What need of diplomats, scientists, experts, experienced civil servants? Trump runs the federal government like a family grocery store as if he and his kids and cronies can carry out all necessary tasks. The only constants in this White House are ignorance, boastful self-inflation and mendacity.

The most dismaying and dangerous aspect of our current situation is that Trump is, indeed, “the only one that matters.”

James Matlack


Why did Steed wait?

As a former police officer, I was wondering why Alex Steed waited so long to call the police. He recounted in detail in his Nov. 17 BDN column watching an altercation between two men and a woman unfold from across the street during a visit to Los Angeles. He chose to wait until the woman was about to get thrown in the trunk of a car.

What if the police officers were not just a couple of blocks away and on another call and could not get there in time? I am not making excuses for police brutality on people of color, but the generalization that “these stops don’t tend to end well for people of color” or “I don’t want them to end up dead” are ridiculous, considering the impending peril of the young woman involved.

Ron McArdle

Presque Isle

Responsible gun ownership

A good measure of how casually and irresponsibly we are managing firearms is a recent Transportation Security Administration report that they are finding about 12 firearms daily in pre-boarding checks of carry-on bags. More than 3,700 have been found so far in 2017. In the majority of these cases, the passenger declares that they forgot the gun was in that bag.

Anyone who doesn’t know where their firearms are at all times should be banned from possessing them. A person cavalierly stating they didn’t know he had a handgun in their bag is dangerous. My understanding is that many of these firearms are found loaded. Since everyone knows those bags are X-rayed, and almost nobody would attempt to conceal a firearm in carry-on luggage, we should assume the passenger is being truthful. That doesn’t make this negligence any less dangerous.

It’s time to build responsibility and accountability into our gun laws and into the chain of access. “One strike and you’re out.” How are you managing firearms in your home in you don’t know you’re carrying one? It’s time to turn in your firearms if you are so distracted by life that you forget where you put them.

William Skinner


Outstanding health care

I have been employed by Eastern Maine Medical Center and Eastern Maine Healthcare System for the last 35 years. Until recently, I have been fortunate to have never been in the hospital as a patient.

After experiencing chest pain for several weeks, I went to a primary care provider at Husson Family Medicine who in turn scheduled me for a stress test at Northeast Cardiology. After failing stress test, I was immediately admitted into Eastern Maine Medical Center. I was taken for a catheterization, where it was discovered I had three severe blockages, which meant a emergency triple bypass. I spent the next few days in the intensive care unit, then a few more days in the Penobscot Pavilion.

Through this entire process, I would like to give praise where praise is due. The doctors, nurses, dietary, housekeeping were outstanding. I am very proud to be a member of this organization.

Fred Littlefield



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