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April 11 Letters to the Editor

A scarlet ‘P’?

The BDN should apologize to the women featured in the April 7 front-page article “Internet used in Brewer prostitution sting” for callously and unnecessarily publishing their pictures. This article was not about law enforcement’s use of the Internet; it was, plain and simple, an effort to sell papers using the tabloid shock value of prostitution. As such, the BDN has inexcusably exploited these women and acted more like a pimp than a news organization.

Perhaps the BDN would also like to sew scarlet “P’s” for “Prostitution” on them and parade them through town in front of friends, family or their children’s teachers. If we are subjected to seeing their clientele similarly treated — as would only be perversely fair — I trust the BDN will embarrass everyone equally, regardless of social status or financial means.

In addition, that prostitution is illegal and considered by many to be immoral does not make it appropriate for Detective Sgt. Jay Munson to downgrade these individuals from women — that is, adults — to “girls.” Girls are children, and calling women “girls” in this context is clearly demeaning.

Nor does it become necessary for us to know that they “had things they wouldn’t do” for money. Shockingly, even prostitutes might have some standards. Everyone involved in this article should be ashamed and should publicly apologize for their lack of respect for human dignity.

Laura Millay



Bush’s achievements

While Rodney Lynch of Rockland was listing some of President Bush’s achievements, “Bush’s successes” (BDN, April 4-5), he failed to mention others that we all remember.

Bush ran up a national debt of $10.5 trillion, more than that of all other presidents combined. Quite an achievement.

He also gave us the Medicare Part D supplement, written by drug company lobbyists, which gives seniors the opportunity to purchase drugs at prices up to four times what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays.

Also, no other president has had the distinction of being named in an arrest warrant issued in another country. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld are named in warrants issued in Spain. It seems some of the torturees were Spanish citizens.

As I recall, most of Barack Obama’s campaign contributions came from small donations from many people. Most of Bush’s came from special interests — oil, gas, coal, pharmaceuticals, and of course, Wall Street.

It’s kind of nice to have “well-educated, articulate” people running our country.

June Stiller



Taxing the retired

I believe the tax reform proposal contained in LD 1088 will be a disaster. Nowhere in the discussion of lowering the state income tax from 8.5 percent to 6.5 percent is there any mention of what the adding of new taxes to products and services will do to the retired people who aren’t paying state income tax in the first place because of a fixed income. These people are going to stop discretionary spending to pay more to cover the loss from the lower state income tax.

With all the retired people and the lower-income people in Maine, this can only help the higher earners of the state.

Denny Honey



Career Center: Now

I am writing on behalf of those people of southern Aroostook who are in need of employment services comparable to those being received in most other parts of the state.

Last week, the reality of the “closed” Houlton Career Center was brought forcefully to my attention when I met with Northern Maine Community College administrators, Aroostook County Action Program personnel, and Maine Department of Labor personnel to discuss strategies to cope with the increased unemployment, career changes and retraining issues that we are facing.

As the adult education director whose classroom is less than half a mile from the career center, I have seen how the reduction of the Houlton Career Center services this year has affected our adult education students, but we have “gotten by” for 10 months with this reduction of services.

However, “getting by” is not an option in the months ahead as we cope with double digit unemployment rates and the resulting personal uncertainty and turmoil.

Those who have suffered job loss or other economic setbacks in this area must be able to have consistent access to the level of services that is available in the rest of the state and nation through traditional and emergency funding. Please join me in contacting your local legislators and the state Department of Labor to ask that the Houlton Career Center be re-opened.

Otis Smith



Relative achievement

After a turbulent eight years of incompetence, arrogance and greed, Rodney Lynch, in “Bush’s successes” (BDN, April 4-5), has the audacity to call the Bush-Cheney administration a success and Barack and Michelle Obama fashionable millionaires who send their children to elite private schools.

George W. Bush, who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a product of the elite schools that Lynch refers to, although he never learned anything would have not gotten where he is now, if it was not for his family connections, while Barack and Michelle Obama got where they are today on their own abilities.

Dee C. Brown Jr.



Gone gun crazy

The recent rash of senseless killings graphically shows the need for some level of gun control. Gun control is very different than banning guns.

I come from a long line of gun owners. I was taught at a very young age the responsibilities of having a gun. As far as I am concerned, elected officials who knuckle under to the National Rifle Association and pad their pockets with their money have an equal share of the responsibility for the deaths we have all heard about in the past few weeks.

My grandfather, a real gun person, used to tell me that any honest person who wanted a gun for personal protection could very easily strap a 12-gauge shotgun over his shoulder for all the honest world to see. In America there are six guns for every man, woman and child. We hear the hysterical cries that “guns don’t kill, people kill.” Yet everyone knows that guns have no power of independent thought. Many people should not have guns and many guns have no place in our society. Just what good is an AK-47 that can break down an 8-inch cement wall? What good is a Glock that can have a magazine that holds 15 to 30 bullets? This goes well beyond personal protection.

I am not unaware of the rogue police that we read about from time to time. Our forefathers saw this danger and provided for that. We as a society have gone well beyond what our founders would have wanted.

Gregory Boober Sr.


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