Time for climate talks
As the worst man-made environmental catastrophe in history continues to dump millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf Coast, it has never been clearer why we need real energy reform. Maine people want comprehensive clean energy solutions for our country that will create jobs, cut pollution and put us back in control of our energy future.
Although I was very disappointed with our senators’ support for the Murkowski resolution to eliminate the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases, I was heartened by Sen. Collins’ acknowledgment that America faces international competition to lead the world in alternative energy technology and that we can prevail in that effort if Congress enacts legislation.
For all senators who stated during the Murkowski debate that they believe it is Congress’ responsibility to craft energy policy, this summer is the time for them to get on with the real work of enacting a comprehensive clean energy and climate policy that reduces our dependence on oil, enhances national security and protects our environment.
Both Sens. Collins and Snowe have shown leadership on clean energy and climate change policy in the past, and we need them to reassert their leadership now.
No economic justice
I can’t believe our two supposedly independent senators could keep on protecting the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans and voting against the jobs bill. I guess one of them has too much wealth to care about the unemployed, and the other is working hard to reach that status.
Can senators be recalled for obstruction of justice?
Expect the best
My sincere congratulations to Rebecca Ye, and I wish her continued success in Sweden (“Maine teen wins prestigious prize,” June 22).
But I must give my thumbs down to Bangor High School Principal Norris Nickerson, who was quoted in the article saying, “You never expect something like this to involve someone from Maine.”
Such a comment is a slap in the faces of all Maine students who strive to take on more than they can possibly accomplish in order to find their true potential.
Health and the climate
President Obama is meeting with members of the Senate, including Sens. Snowe and Collins, about the viability of moving comprehensive climate and energy legislation this year. It will take the fortitude and flexibility of our two senators to ensure we get a bill passed.
An energy-bill-only solution will not take us far enough to curb the damaging effects of a warming planet including the environmental health hazards of our addiction to oil. Maine’s health professionals are seeing the negative health effects with increased allergens and their related illnesses and pest-borne diseases, which is likely just the beginning of the illness burden we will be seeing as a result of global climate change.
The Maine Medical Association passed a resolution on the importance of addressing climate change last year at its annual session. Our Public Health Committee is working to educate Maine physicians and the patients they serve about these topics. The time for action is now.
David B. McDermott, MD, MPH
Maine Medical Association
You can say no
Summer is here, and filling out school paperwork is the last thing on the most parents’ minds. But beginning next school year, there will be an important addition to those forms: a request by the school for a student’s Social Security number. But, parents do not have to supply those numbers. Before disclosing your child’s Social Security number, there are a few things you should know.
First, providing a Social Security number is not a condition of enrollment. Your child is not going to be penalized if you refuse to disclose a Social Security number.
Second, the Federal Social Security Administration warns people to be careful about disclosing these numbers. It cautions, “You should ask why your number is needed, how it will be used, and what will happen if you refuse.” In this case, the numbers are being used for a study connecting student performance and employment, but there are no consequences if you refuse.
Third, Congress has found that the “misuse of personal data, including Social Security numbers, can have a negative effect on the ability to secure employment, insurance and credit.” Nobody plans to be the victim of identity theft, but even the most secure database is subject to breach.
The Maine Department of Education should be disseminating information about rights of parents to refuse to participate in Social Security number collection later this summer. But, as Maine’s privacy rights watchdog, we wanted you to hear it from us, too.
Zachary L. Heiden,
Maine Civil Liberties Union
Mother against pride
I’m a mother against pride; that is, the self-destructive pride which says that you must accept that I’m right, no matter what.
The homosexual community has brought this kind of pride to the front page. Our president has brought it to the nation this June. Not the pride of accepting a God-given identity, but a pride that says that no one can tell me that I’m wrong.
I have more compassion today than ever before for the psychological and emotional issues that cause someone to be attracted to the same sex. I understand how it can happen. I can’t agree that it’s genetic. I don’t believe that we suffer from an epidemic of sexual-attraction gene mutations.
I believe that same-sex attraction is wrong. There is hope in that. A wrong can be corrected. In our stubborn pride, we destroy bodies, minds, friends and families by abusing substances. In prideful, self-righteous anger, relationships are destroyed, and anger may even result in murder.
We’ve been deceived to believe that pride is a good thing. It’s just the opposite. Humility is a good thing. It has saved the world.
Humble leaders have led nations to victory. Soldiers and good parents everywhere are willing to lay down their life humbly for another.
It isn’t about demanding what we want; it’s about doing what’s right. The best authority to define what is right is the God who created us. He helps. Humility says that I can be corrected.
Let’s find humility, and get life right.