MLK and the NRA

In reference to the Martin Luther King holiday: He was a leader who made real progress, along with the millions of Americans that support justice. His compassionate and focused approach to educating Americans to the horror of segregation and other racial inequality was unparalleled. Today’s “civil rights leaders” are race hustlers and divide Americans rather than unite folks.

There were many attacks on blacks during this period, until brave men and women returned the fire. Did you know that the National Rifle Association supplied civil rights leaders and their security teams with weapons and ammunition to defend their leaders and the lives of many black citizens? Rev. King, while threatened along with his family many times, was refused the right to a concealed gun carry permit; however, others did protect Dr. King and other leaders with pistols, rifles and shotguns.

Rev. King was a conservative and a member of the Republican Party. Of course, today many Republicans are progressive, like their Democratic counterparts.

Dr. King believed in freedom, personal responsibility and God. He was an honorable, faithful Christian man and a leader in the image of President George Washington. God bless Rev. King and those who stood and stand today for liberty, such as the Tea Party, Sons of Liberty, Oath Keepers and many citizens of diverse ethnicity, religious beliefs and those who are unbelievers as well.

Today more than ever, we must unite to defend and restore our rightful liberties.

Peter Alexander


Snow job

In his letter on Jan. 15, a gentleman from Tenants Harbor was complaining because they were working too hard to keep his road open and safe. It isn’t often that people express dissatisfaction with a job done too well. Or, maybe he owns a towing business or body shop and is unhappy that no one is crinkling their fenders.

I’m sorry he has too many plows going by his house. Maybe he could send a few here to Pembroke. We could put them in the 4th of July parade.

Linda Gralenski


Government of wrath

Government by wrath? Sounds like bullying to me. And this from a governor who claims to be against domestic violence? No question who was the adult in the room in this latest situation regarding the president of the Maine Community College System.

And what is this extremely regressive budget and tax proposal? Raise property and sales taxes while eliminating aid to communities. Tax nonprofits and take away charitable deductions while cutting basic services to the poor, ill, elderly, addicted and immigrant groups, who will now be even more dependent on services form the nonprofits. Hopefully, the next four years will fly by quickly.

Pamela Taylor


The need for immigrants

A recent letter to the editor by Richard Rhoda faults Attorney General Emeritus Jim Tierney for suggesting a racist motive by Gov. Paul LePage in his attempts to restrict assistance to needy Portland area immigrants. A careful reading of the BDN coverage of Tierney’s Portland remarks makes no such connection. Rather this effect of the governor’s position was an apt insertion by BDN reporter Seth Koenig in his coverage of the event.

The focus of the Portland remarks was the urgent need for Maine to address its aging workforce

by encouraging migration to offset our declining birthrate. The letter writer was distracted by his

concern for the governor’s priorities (and perhaps prejudices?). Jim Tierney, who as AG gave Maine a much needed and generous settlement with the tobacco companies, had been speaking to this issue for over a decade and expresses a serious issue that is vital to Maine’s economic future. We ignore his warning at our peril.

James B. Wagner


Time for carbon tax

In Charles Krauthammer’s Jan. 11 column, he says the time is ripe for a revenue-neutral gas tax with the recent plummeting cost of gas and the huge production of oil here in the U.S. He proposes that the tax would be revenue neutral by being entirely returned to consumers via a cut in the Social Security tax.

He correctly states that a tax increase would constrain oil consumption by curbing driving and influencing car-buying habits towards more fuel-efficient vehicles. He also states that the lower consumption of gasoline leads to less pollution and greenhouse gases and ultimately reduces CO2 emissions.

These are all valid statements, but let’s take it one step further and not only apply a gas tax but rather a tax on all carbon at the point of entry to the market. A revenue-neutral tax on carbon meets all of the above criteria and also stimulates the creation of alternative energies. And yes, a tax on carbon will increase the cost of fuel and other greenhouse gas-producing products. However, a national carbon fee, with full revenue return to citizens via a monthly dividend, and border adjustments, will do four things: internalize the social cost of carbon-based fuels, rapidly achieve large emission reduction, stimulate the economy and recruit global participation. And it will do so for free. To learn more about this policy proposal, check out

Connie Potvin


Don’t scrap Bucksport mill

If this great paper mill in Bucksport is allowed to be sold to a scrap dealer in Canada to be destroyed, then something is surely wrong with our system. Verso is evil to sell this mill to a company that wants to scrap it and sell the iron to some other country like China.

Gov. LePage should show who the boss is. He had plenty to say before the election.

Eugene Bowden


Want to learn French?

Rural Maine can be a tough place to really learn French. Only rarely, in my experience, do we have a teacher who teaches intensively and orally as a native speaker. Usually classes bounce back and forth between French and English and rarely have the excitement of absolute immersion.

Alain Ollier is a Parisian physical therapist who has moved to Damariscotta to create an organic farm with his American wife. Surprisingly, he’s an inspired teacher of French as well, and the Penobscot School in Rockland hosts his teaching on three different levels.

Alain loves the precision of well-spoken French. I’ve often been threatened with expulsion by throwing in a handy English translation during class. He discourages note-taking and focuses entirely on speaking and listening in French. Whatever your level of proficiency, here is a rare chance to really move ahead and enter this doorway to another culture.

Jory Squibb