March 17, 2009 Letters to the Editor

Posted March 16, 2009, at 5:35 p.m.

Fairness a threat?

In a Feb. 18 letter comments by Tom Doyle of Newport equating a resurrected Fairness Doctrine to “censorship” illustrate why the Republican propaganda radio echo chamber is so destructive to precisely the principles of free speech that Doyle claims to value.

The central premise of Doyle’s letter, that a Fairness Doctrine equates to “censorship,” is not only false, it is precisely opposite of what such a measure would ensure. Apparently right-wing radio propagandists such as Sean Hannity, who use the public’s airwaves and are subject to Federal Communications Commission regula-tions, cannot exist unless they are allowed to run a one-sided monopoly where opposing viewpoints are not allowed. That is the key issue, their continued ability to offer unchallenged, one-sided political information that is so often proved false or seriously skewed.

Callers who disagree with Republicans are not allowed access or deliberately maligned, and that is “censorship” because they too should have a right to access the public airwaves.

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Irresponsible right-wing propagandists have convinced listeners such as Doyle that to ensure multiple viewpoints when examining public policy is in fact the equivalent of “censorship.” It is they who are seeking a continuation of the one-sided monopoly that is a lot more like government control in communist countries, which Doyle correctly says rely more on “censorship,” than open political dialogue over FCC airwaves.

Hannity recently claimed that calls for balance were attempts to silence the voices of conservatives. What an insult to conservatives, who apparently cannot express themselves when opposing viewpoints are allowed.

Mark Tardif

Waterville

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Keep it clean

Maine was the first state in the nation to stand up to big money special interests when it passed the Clean Election Act in 1996. We told them we did not want our legislators to cater to their interests.

Since then, Arizona, New Mexico, North Carolina and Connecticut have gotten on board and followed our lead.

The system works well for Maine and hopefully soon Congress will use a similar system. We need to fund it forever and right now we all have an opportunity to help.

When filling out your Maine income tax form, check yes for clean elections on line 1. It will direct $3 to the Clean Election Fund to ensure we can keep the program alive.

Also, contact your legislators and encourage them to support full restoration of the Clean Election Fund. Earlier legislatures borrowed funds which must be returned to insure the viability of the program.

Timothy Conmee

Orrington

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Don’t mimic FDR

Let’s all hope our new president doesn’t follow everything FDR did in the 1930s. Creating jobs was helpful but still didn’t’ solve the Depression. What did?

FDR was looking to get into England’s war with Germany but Congress and America wanted no part of it. So FDR started a lend-lease program, thus gearing our industry up to build war materials to lease to England. Next he convinced our relevant Congress to put an embargo on Japan, thus starting the war drums beating.

With North and South Korea testing each other and China flexing its muscles in the South China Sea recently, let’s hope we don’t get into another trumped-up resolution like the Gulf of Tonkin.

The present scene is too reminiscent of FDR’s presidency. Let’s hope and pray our new president, with a majority of his party in power, don’t mimic FDR.

Frank D. Slason

Somerville

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‘Sanctified hypocrites’

My wife and I will have been married 50 years in May. It’s been a grand adventure, this journey from youth to old age, and one I’d gladly do again and not change a laugh or a tear. That said, I am hard-pressed to understand how a gay couple wanting to make the same trip that we have made could possibly threaten our relation-ship. A further question occurs to me. Who or what gives these pious prigs the right to suggest how others should live?

What others choose to do in the privacy of their own houses is not my business. Is it theirs? I think not.

I have to consider who these sanctified hypocrites are. They are the same group of twice-born souls who advocate the murder of ever more Muslims.

They have a history of racial bigotry. They have a record of political activity that is clearly against the law with impunity because they have supported the robber barons who have been in power the last eight years.

These are the same folks who wish the worst for a president who is trying to change the downward plummet of a nation that belongs to all of us — gays or straight.

James I. Scroggy

Blue Hill

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Limbaugh’s rights

An editorial writer, a United States citizen, wrote in the March 11 BDN criticizing Rush Limbaugh, who also is a U.S. citizen. He objected to Limbaugh’s failure to support President Obama’s economic policies. However, almost all congressional Republicans —two exceptions being Maine’s senators — and some Democrats agree that Obama’s financial bailouts and stimulus initiatives are dangerous, are not likely to be effective and are leading us on the path to socialism.

We were warned when our experiment in democracy began more than 200 years ago that a loose fiscal policy is very likely to lead to a dictatorship. This happens when a majority of citizens are content to remove more from the public treasury than they are willing or can afford to put into that treasury.

Criticism is critical to the survival of a democracy. The editorial writer should know this. We who read the BDN can think back to the time of the Bush administration when this newspaper published countless editorials, headlines, political cartoons, etc., bashing President Bush’s Iraq policies. We heard over and over that the war was lost and the surge would not work. Yet, a violent tyrant was removed from power and 25 million citizens of Iraq are starting their own experiment in democracy.

Citizen Limbaugh and citizen editorial writer both are protected by the U.S. Constitution to criticize whomever they want to criticize. Freedom of speech must not be taken away from either of them or from any American citizen.

Bob Frank

Hampden

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