Jim Tobin is a victim

It was with sadness that I learned of the new indictment brought against Jim Tobin. I have known Jim for many years through our children’s school and our church. My family and I have volunteered with him repairing homes in Eastport, on mission trips to Honduras and in church board meetings. Jim Tobin is one of the finest people I know. He is a real gentleman, kind, thoughtful and always concerned about the welfare of others. He gives much to the Bangor community as an active parent, a reliable friend for many, and perhaps most of all as a role model for countless children and adults in the Bangor area.

Jim Tobin is a victim of the worst kind of partisan politics. He has been acquitted once, and the same prosecutors are going after him again. The facts upon which they base their new indictment have been known for five years, so why are they waiting until now to bring charges? This indictment is an insult not only to Jim and his family, but to the entire Bangor community. Enough is enough.

Mary Warner

Holden

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History lesson

We, the 6th grade class at Machias Valley Christian School, think everyone should vote this year. Years ago thousands of people didn’t have the right to vote and struggled for the right to vote. The 15th Amendment said that African American people could vote. Then in 1920, women became able to vote thanks to the 19th Amendment. Then in 1978, the 26th Amendment stated that 18 year-olds were allowed to vote. Another law was passed in 1924 that American Indians could vote.

Think about it; is it fair to the people who fought for this right and to our country if all of us don’t use this privilege to vote? Vote! Make the difference you want to see.

Katelin Davis, Seth Gatcomb, Chelsea Moore, Luke

Nehrings

Machias

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Nuclear weapons worries

With our neighbors at Dirigo Pines Retirement Community, we have discussed the history of international attempts to control nuclear weapons. We believe it is urgent to mobilize anew to confront the nuclear threat to all peoples. The threat is no longer just between nations, but also from small, mal-contented groups with hostile ambitions.

As a nation, we need to take a first step toward a new image of “the city on a hill” We need to direct attention to root causes of this malcontent. The next administration must set as a goal the adjustment of American policy and behavior to demonstrate that we stand for respect for differences and the right to decent, secure living conditions for all peoples.

We must undertake initial steps toward these ends: lead the UN in active, meaningful responses to genocide; promote agriculture policies which assure distribution of affordable food to all societies; advocate for worldwide “full employment: opportunities through international trade agreements.

We must re-energize policy efforts to: renew and ratify the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty; ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty; with Russia, immediately speed up destruction of surplus nuclear weapons; set a goal of Zero Nuclear Weapons for the world by 2020.

To put our money where our mouth is, include funds in the U.S. budget to address these goals. For a start, we suggest an initial sum at least equal to what is already in the State Department budget for “foreign military financing”.

David Felix

Stanley Freeman

Orono

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Proud of Bangor Vets Home

In these times of gloom and doom, it is exciting to discover some place that is good, forwardlooking and constructive. The Bangor Veterans Home is truly such a place.

When I learned an old friend was in the Bangor Veterans Home, I dreaded visiting him because of reports I had heard of the poor conditions in such places. But my fears were allayed by the modern, cheerful, well-designed and well staffed facility I found on turning left just short of the Hogan Road Fire Station: plenty of windows and light, beautifully colored and decorated walls, people at the reception and nursing stations who were proud of the place and knew what they were doing and who, where and how their patients were.

My friend had been in and out of the Eastern Maine Medical Center and said the operations of the two organizations were dovetailed and coordinated perfectly. This is the sort of treatment our veterans, young and old, deserve. They have put themselves on the line for us, and we should give the best short- or long-term care we can. The Veterans Administration is doing just that in the Bangor Veterans Home, and we should all be proud of it.

Oliver Crosby

Hancock

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Two-thirds condemned?

In the BDN’s Oct. 11 “Voices” column, Daryl Witmer declared that “A Life Without Christ is a Life Without Hope or Meaning.” I can’t help but wonder why a loving God would condemn two-thirds of the world’s population (about 4.5 billion) to such a fate simply because they weren’t born into Christianity. Witmer’s harsh judgment conveys an unabashed Christian superiority.

History has repeatedly shown us that, taken a step or two further, such superiority leads to discrimination, segregation, imprisonment, state-mandated religion, and ultimately ethnic cleansing. Is it through this superiority that some now speak as though the words Muslim and terrorist are one and the same? Could it be that Witmer himself is “living in a bubble of irreligious self-deception,” as he stated, since his words convey the kind of judgment that the Bible warns us against?

Duane Hanselman

Bangor

Iran disinformation

Is history about to repeat itself? Recalling that in the run-up to the Iraq war, a secret report found its way out of the Middle East, and surfaced by way of the British intelligence service, alleging Iraqi acquisition of weapons of mass destruction. The document turned out to be planted misinformation (a.k.a. disinformation) but not before the U.S. and United Kingdom went to war waving it.

In spite of all indications one can not know, for certain, that one is in the run-up to a war, until the shooting starts. But war or no war, history may be about to repeat itself, in the form of another clandestine intel report.

British intelligence (MI6) has reportedly surfaced a document alleging that a Russian missile scientist has helped Iran design detonators whose only use could be in a nuclear weapon. This document is reportedly one of a number of secret reports surfaced by British intelligence alleging that Iran is in the advanced stages of building a nuclear weapon. Without speculation as to the ultimate source or validity of this intelligence, whether it is bona fide or bogus, it does not tend to improve relations with Russia. Nor does it diminish the prospects for an Israeli attack on Iran before the end of 2008.

Richard Gay

Blue Hill