Loving couples inspire

At church on Sunday our pastor told us that Bishop Malone needs us to join him in protesting against the proposed bill to legalize gay marriage at a legislative hearing in Augusta. The bishop may protest, as a private citizen before the Legislature but to do so in his role as a church leader exhorting his followers is a clear violation of the separation of church and state.

Then this morning before a cup of coffee woke me up, I was jolted awake by a TV ad showing a number of couples of different ages and races promoting “traditional marriage.” The real shocker was the caption that the ad was paid for by the Catholic Diocese of Portland. I was saddened to think that my church family would do this. Even the scripturally despised Judas mustered up enough moral fiber to think of the poor.

Monday’s BDN showed a group of Catholic men from Pennsylvania protesting against gay marriage at the mall. I’m “from away” but I have been here long enough to know that Mainers resent having people from out of state telling them how to live their lives. They make decisions based on their conscience, a God-given right, that church leaders sometimes forget.

After 38 years of marriage, I have learned that many things can threaten a marriage: infidelity, selfishness, domestic violence and more. But a committed, caring same-sex couple next door or in the same pew can only inspire.

Leonard Davis



Don’t bash ‘Donuts’

The Camden residents protesting a Dunkin’ Donuts downtown are misguided. Our town is in no position to turn away employers; we desperately need new businesses and new jobs. Beautiful scenery and charm only go so far; people have to be able to earn a living.

The lack of jobs in the area is now translating into declining school enrollment and laying off teachers (just as our expensive new elementary school nears completion). It is short-sighted to oppose this business, just as it was foolish to oppose MBNA coming to Camden and then to prevent MBNA’s proposed expansion in town. Eventually MBNA left town and took its hundreds of jobs to Belfast.

Too many businesses in Camden have closed, left town or downsized in recent years for people to turn up their noses even at a doughnut shop. Maybe a Dunkin’ Donuts isn’t ideal, but a specially designed store can blend in with down-town just as the specially designed Rite Aid does. And while Dunkin’ Donuts may not enhance our town’s charm and quaintness, neither do the numerous empty storefronts or the many houses for sale that no one can afford to buy.

Jamey Bumbalo



‘Wonderland’ views

During a speech broadcast on MPBN, Sen. Collins expressed concern about congressional Democrats and President Obama’s handling of the economic crisis, suggesting cur-rent stimulus legislation is inherently flawed if it is unable to garner bipartisan support from the Republican Party. She criticized Democrats’ tendency to “toe the party line.”

Are we falling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland? Over the past eight years the Republican Party, Collins included, mastered the strategy of politicizing legislation with little regard for the consequences to America. Under Bush, cooperation and bipartisanship were an illusion and Republicans expressed contempt for parties and opinions other than their own.

The senator fears, reasonably so, the crushing impact of our exploding deficit on future generations. She and her Re-publican cohorts offer unfettered capitalism as the antidote to our depression. It was the greed of mad cow diseased capitalists that plunged us into the abyss. Of course we Americans, like our politicians, are not known for critical thinking or for our willingness to assume responsibility for our behavior.

Since our military industrial complex consumes about 50 percent of our national budget and far exceeds spending by the world’s nations combined, reduce it by half. Health care spending is obscene, another casualty of unregulated capitalism and is projected to explode over the next decade. Why not follow the will of the American people and join the ranks of Europe in promoting a profit-free single-payer system? Also, regulate the costs of medicine. Just three ideas that would ease suffering and save us billions of dollars.

James McDonald

Reesa Greenberg



Student-athletes pay

This is in response to the re-cent cutting of the volleyball and men’s soccer teams at the University of Maine. I under-stand that we are having tough economic struggles right now and everyone is trying to find ways to save a buck. As a student, I have always been told that it was important to take part in extracurricular activities and a good example was being a student athlete. Now UMaine is cutting sports that athletes, coaches, and many other people have put their lives into just to save money.

It seems that everything the school does to save money affects the students who pay extreme amounts of money in tuition and other college funds.

If the school needs money then why can’t it negotiate new contracts with coaches or lay off some of the so called “extra” employees in the athletic department?

I think that it’s sad every time the school needs to cut back it’s the kids who are affected while some people who aren’t necessities are being paid millions of dollars each year. The university needs to stop taking more from the kids, and start taking more from the administration.

Lance Lajoie



Tax youth bad habits

While I applaud President Obama’s focus on children’s health care, I take issue with his raising taxes on cigarettes. The amounts levied can only cause a negative effect on funds that are raised. Such a high tax on an increasingly decreasing tax base will ultimately cause the president to tax other con-sumer goods. While most citizens do not like smokers and don’t care about this tax, they certainly would not like their real estate or capital gains taxed to pay for children’s health problems.

Tax, instead, the video and computer games that youth are glued to during their waking hours. Tax or impose a fee to use such Web sites such as MySpace and YouTube. Tax the junk food that hang like feed bags around their necks as they text their friends and cruise the Web.

Juvenile diabetes and obesity and other ailments are due to their lifestyle. Once parents accept financial and moral responsibility for their children, then perhaps this country will have healthier children and more well-adjusted youth. Let the parents bear the brunt of keeping their children healthy.

Smokers already pay too high a tax on an addiction most would love to kick — but I am not the reason, because I smoke, the kid next door is obese and has health problems.

James Zarrilli