‘Don’t ask’ worked
With due respect for Lady Gaga, Adm. Mike Mullen and the BDN editorial board, after 26 years of active duty I thought the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy worked well.
Homosexuality is about sex. My experience in maintaining the morale of the troops is to have the sexes work well together but have separate living quarters and-or a private life off post. What they did on their own was their business.
Do we provide separate quarters for gay soldiers? In the field, the situation becomes more complicated. Showers are provided when possible and arranged by time for each sex.
How does one accommodate gay soldiers? Will straight soldiers be uncomfortable knowing that they are sexually attracted to the person next to them? Should the gay soldier be equally concerned about having their sexual preference revealed at that time?
Many soldiers are married and are faced with forced separations. The military does its best to assist families and make military life compatible with family life. This would be difficult if the military encouraged cohabitation while on duty, either in garrison, the field or in combat. The gay partner of a soldier serving afar would also be concerned about promiscuity if there was no “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
Military housing for young families is always at a premium. Will same-sex couples now demand equal access to housing? It is important to understand that there are many homosexuals serving today under this policy with promising careers and still a private life.
Col. Theodore Raia, M.D., retired
Republican for Cutler
I am a registered Republican, a former Republican candidate for the Legislature, and I was an alternate delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1988. I have worked for countless Republican candidates. This year, I am enthusiastically supporting Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for governor.
Maine must make changes in order to become a viable place to work and live. We simply cannot afford the failed “same old, same old” way of running the government, nor can we afford a candidate who lashes out at others and resorts to temper tantrums when things do not go his way.
We need an intelligent, strategic and judicious leader who can work on a bipartisan basis with the Legislature. Eliot Cutler is the only candidate who fits all of these criteria. He has the leadership ability to implement the structural changes that are necessary if Maine is to have any hope of coming out of its dubious status as one of the worst places in the nation to do business.
Eliot does not sugarcoat the harsh truths about life in Maine. He has a realistic plan for what Maine must do. His specific proposals relating to welfare reform, education, lowering the cost of government and other issues can be found on his website, cutler2010.com
Clare Hudson Payne
Bus ticket for LePage
A recent BDN headline proclaimed Paul LePage the front-runner in the gubernatorial race. I find it at once amazing and shocking that a person of such apparent overweening greed as to claim residency in two states for the purpose of bilking each state out of a paltry sum in real-estate tax money ($200 in Maine, $1,500 in Florida) should be in serious contention for governor of Maine. If Mr. LePage has no stronger moral compass than to stoop so low, what will it be if and when, Lord forbid, he should manage to get elected?
To elect Mr. LePage to that vital office would be tantamount to giving him a license to steal, for, without a doubt, to do so would be to give a pusillanimous mind all the approval it would need to concoct further corrupt enterprises. Horace, the Roman poet (65-8 B.C.), perhaps said it best: “He who is greedy is always in want.”
I say buy Mr. LePage a bus ticket and send him off to Massachusetts!
Osama bin Laden won
We’ve recently had another anniversary of 9-11, the ninth. If we look at what has happened since that horrendous event, we can determine Osama bin Laden’s success or failure in obtaining his goals.
One goal was to spread fear among the populace. One was to punish the U.S. for supporting Israel’s subjugation of the Palestinians. Another was to remove “all the army of infidels” from his country, believing Saudi Arabia’s sanctuaries were being desecrated by the U.S. military’s presence. President George W. Bush then evacuated our military from Saudi Arabia.
Osama bin Laden sought to weaken our economy. He has caused the U.S. to spend many billions of dollars in shoring up national security. And, in seeking to encourage the U.S. into a war, he got not one but two intractable, and probably illegal, wars that have cost us well over a trillion dollars (see www.costofwar.com) as well as more than 5,000 U.S. troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Afghans killed.
The cost of war has not only caused a serious neglect of our infrastructure but also a severe recession with 9.6 percent unemployment. It would appear to this writer that Osama bin Laden has been quite successful and still not captured.
Eliot J. Chandler
Don’t blame the poor
I have noticed a general theme that most of the candidates for governor are using to get elected. That is the strategy of blaming the sick, weak and poor for what they see as the state’s political and economic problems.
If the various candidates really want to overhaul the welfare system, they should start with corporate welfare. The small amount of welfare given to the poor pales when compared to the billions given to big business.
And why not blame the poor? After all, they are the segment of our population that has the least and is the most powerless. Historically, the demographic votes the least and is the most disenfranchised in our population.
There are many real issues they could talk about. I suspect that they are clueless about how to deal with the jobs issue or the economic problems, so let’s blame the poor, setting one part of our neighborhoods against the other and disguising the fact that real issues are being avoided.
Gregory Boober Sr.
Regarding the Bangor Daily News’ Sept. 22 article about a Bangor family that was allowed to keep their home, “one more month,” I have to applaud the decision, especially given the circumstances. It is nice to hear statements such as, “It’s only by the grace of God that we’re not sitting in her chair.” It is also nice to read the councilor’s statement about the city’s “responsibility to 33,000 other taxpayers,” and that “everyone deserves a second or even a fifth chance.”
These are difficult times. Tough decisions have to be made. But it is nice to know that we have some public servants who are willing to show compassion, however short-lived it may be. We can only hope and pray that the resident is able to work her way through this difficult financial crisis.
Rev. Gregory Jackson