Separate God, state

The editorial “Church and state” (BDN, March 18) moved from citing examples of what I see as clear violations of the traditional separation of church and state to note that our Declaration of Independence and our currency and coins make reference to God. Isn’t that a bit of a stretch? Is “God” the same as “church” or even “religion”?

It seems to me that is exactly what’s been going on and in fact it is a very dangerous and destructive thing to do. Separation of church and state is, on the other hand, a very wise tradition to keep and reinforce.

Glennice Cline


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Have we been had?

Our corporate-owned government stopped watching and regulating financial corporations and so now we face financial collapse with a $10 trillion debt over the next 10 years. Well, all we need to do to restore prosperity is to trust in the economy and buy, buy, buy. Right?

In many European social democracies the government (the people) provides universal healthcare, public education through the college level, and retirement security. People work eight hours a day and many have six weeks off a year, yet their economies were no worse off than ours. In social democratic societies, CEO’s don’t make 60 times what workers make.

Our corporate puppeteers’ mantra is: Socialism deadens motivation and steals personal wealth through excessive taxation. Isn’t paying out of pocket for daycare, college, healthcare and retirement a drain on our prosperity and hidden taxation? Aren’t all the extra, often uncompensated, hours of work another kind of taxation? And if motivation were deadened, how did these countries manage to provide all these public services?

Is it just coincidental that when people are under-educated and desperate enough, we will work for next to nothing with no benefits? It’s a corporate dream come true.

Hmmm. Have we been had?

Mariah Williams


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Bee organic

As I read Sharon Kiley Mack’s report, “Down East berry grower aids research into fatal bee disorder,” (BDN, March 27) I found myself thinking: “Does this pass the straight-face test?”

As a former conventional blueberry farmer who transitioned to organic methods, I’ve seen firsthand the effects of pesticides on our farm. Where before there were no native pollinators, there are now a wide variety of beneficial insects, happily pollinating our fields. We buy a few hives of bumblebees annually, but the native population is growing.

It isn’t rocket science — insecticides kill insects. They don’t discriminate between beneficials and pests. Mr. Flanagan stated in the article, “The family of chemicals most suspect in CCD is neonicotinoids, and we don’t use them on blueberry crops.” I refer Mr. Flanagan to the Wild Blueberry Fact Sheet No. 239, distributed by UMaine Extension, which states that the majority of insecticides used by conventional growers, such as Malathion and Imidan, are highly toxic to bees.

It would be interesting to know the quantity of pesticides used by blueberry growers. As a grower, I would comply with any request for information as to what I put on our fields as it affects not only our land but our neighbors as well.

Would Mr. Flanagan be as forthcoming?

The bees may not recover. Stop using the chemicals that are highly toxic to them. Leave some beneficial flowering plants in the fields to encourage and feed all types of beneficial pollinating insects. Become caretakers of your land. It’s well past time.

Deborah Aldridge


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Ban career politicians

The fact that an outrageous number of earmarks accompany nearly every bill that makes its way through the legislative process leads me to think that most, if not all, of these earmarks are there simply to garner votes for those who add said earmarks. In addition, it would seem that the majority of these would never be submitted were it not for the unquenchable desire to be reelected.

Therefore, it is my opinion that every federal office should be limited to one term, no exceptions. The career politician often seems to take on an attitude of entitlement with a hint of royalty, and frankly they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Mark Frost


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