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July 27 Letters to the Editor

States have the power

The United States was founded by people who were determined to give only very limited powers to a central government. Our nation was intended to be a union of individual, sovereign and self-governing states, not a conglomerate under one central governing body.

According to the Articles of Confederation (which sanctioned the Congress of the time), “each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every power, jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this Confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.”

The “union” was a mere convenience for unified protection from invasion, to settle problems between nations and sovereign states.

That is why specific powers granted to the central government were enumerated, and laws to be enacted were for administering only those specific powers. They weren’t a blanket covering anything that the central government could imagine through reinterpretation, claiming a connection to those limited powers.

Some Founders had concerns with portions of the Constitution. We have found those concerns were justified. The “necessary and proper” or “elastic” clause was of great concern — fearing that it would lead to abuse. Alexander Hamilton and many other prominent Americans believed it was unnecessary.

There have been many abuses of other constitutional clauses. Space does not allow further discussion.

States ratified the Constitution individually. People must demand that state government enact legislation to refute and nullify these abuses.

Wayne Leach



Driving tutorial

Have you ever pondered what that middle lane between the two-lane traffic is that is outlined usually in an orange color — yes, that lane that sits idly between north- and south- or east- and west-bound traffic? If you have not witnessed one, there are examples in Bangor on outer Hammond Street, Broadway and even Stillwater Avenue.

Those lanes allow us to wait safely outside the lanes, hoping for our chance to dive into traffic, when there is an opening.

Now for the faint of heart, I am not asking you to defy death and pull out if you do not feel safe enough. Simply pull aside for the other drivers who have somewhere to be in the next 24 hours, especially on these busy roads. Take all the time you need — there will be a hole after rush hour.

However, this middle lane is not for passing, or at least I plead with you not to do so. I think the purpose of that lane is to reduce accidents, not cause them. So everyone who is wondering if it will work, give it a shot — you may get home a little sooner than you expected.

J.A. Theriault



Hummingbird query

I have a small flower garden and every year the hummingbirds take it over, sometimes three or four are in there at a time. But not this year. I haven’t seen one bird; how come?

Does anyone have any idea why this is?

Barry McSorley



Can’t relax in Arizona

I would like to correct some of the comments made in the BDN’s July 19 editorial, “The Immigration Mess” by your editorial writer.

There are many legal Hispanics viably employed in Arizona, where I live for part of the year, who applaud this law. They do not approve of their brethren coming here illegally.

The statement that the new law “criminalizes undocumented immigrants and legalizes the behavior of Joe Arpaio” is flawed. When a public offense has been committed, peace officers will ask for verification of residency. This is not unlike being asked for your driver’s license when you are in an automobile accident. The sheriff does not randomly stop someone because they look Hispanic.

A further aspect of the law deals with those who knowingly employ illegal aliens. All employers must subscribe to the federal E-Verify program. And it deals with the huge problem of human smuggling.

The Arizona law is patterned after the federal law and states that “the purpose is to protect the civil rights of all citizens.” I heartily disagree with your editorial that suggests that Arizona should be forced to “relax” and wait for a national immigration policy. We who live there have waited for at least 20 years cannot relax and wait; the infrastructure and quality of life diminishes daily.

Jean Miller



Gulf not Maine

The Obama family vacationing in Maine is yet another slam to our Southern states by our president.

Recently, there was a missed opportunity to prove to America that there are still beautiful, oil-free beaches and resorts in coastal communities in our Southern states. Our president chose to take his family as far from the gulf as possible and came to Maine for vacation.

This disaster in the gulf affects the future of all of our children, including the president’s. Look at all the publicity that has occurred over a three-day period and all the missed opportunity to help the many reaching out for it.

Paula Logan



Justified or murder?

James Popkowski was a very fine man, very much loved by his family and friends. He touched the lives of many people. He loved life and loved raising his wolf puppies. Bing was a fine man and hailed from a very fine family.

Bing was a retired Marine officer. He struggled with a life-threatening sickness that he was keeping under control the best that he could only to be put down by a trigger-happy lawman. Whatever happened to a round to warn or a round to wound, not emptying a full clip and kill the victim. This is murder.

Let’s not let the state rule and say that the shooting was justified. Let’s keep this honest and truthful. This was done on federal land and requires a federal investigation. An independent investigation will yield the truth and not butter it up for the officer and warden involved. Let’s get the truth out.

The police and wardens have too much authority; let’s have some of it stripped from them.

Everyone you talk to about the incident says it was murder. If found guilty, let’s have them charged with murder.

Let’s bring them to justice with a true investigation.

Terry Brackett



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