Football protests not helping

Someone ought to remind these so-called professional athletes that they make more money in an afternoon than most people earn in a lifetime. One would think they could find some social program to support with their money that would do a lot of good for a lot of people they feel are being left out or ignored. Sitting on their butts during the national anthem is not helping anyone.

Russ Irwin

Hampden

Clinton a strong candidate

I know of no one in public life who has been subjected to such vicious personal attacks over such an extended period of time as Hillary Clinton. Propagandists know that any assertions, however unsupported by evidence, gain credence through repetition. Judging by the increasingly ugly rhetoric of the “hate Hillary” crowd, that has been her fate. The other factor is that many Americans seem to instinctively distrust an intelligent, successful, assertive woman. That Clinton has been undeterred by years of slanderous abuse testifies to her toughness and courage.

Clinton’s qualifications are solid: former first lady, twice elected U.S. senator from New York, secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s first term. As secretary of state, she visited more than 100 countries around the world. She is widely respected abroad as an ambassador for American values, in particular, the human rights of women and children.

If elected, Clinton will defend Bill of Rights guarantees of freedom of speech and of the press. She will not condone torture. She will not repudiate our longstanding NATO alliance with our European allies. She will honor our international commitments on climate change. She knows that only totalitarian states build walls. She does not admire dictators and owes no favors to Russian President Vladimir Putin. She will not play fast and loose with nuclear weapons. She will nominate to the Supreme Court jurists who will defend the public interest rather than the selfish interests of corporations.

And, no, she will not “take our guns away,” though I expect she’ll balk at open carry for school children.

Phil Locke

Bangor

Coverage of third-party candidates

I would love to see more reporting on who the third-party candidates are during this year’s presidential race. The bulk of press has been dedicated to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and I am not interested in either of these candidates. Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party also are in the running, and folks barely know a thing about either of them. They are basically never mentioned in the media, or they are marginalized severely if they receive mention.

Neither of these third-party candidates benefit from big money corporate contributions to their campaigns or the media connections that candidates like Clinton have, so they need all the exposure they can get.

I would really like to know how the presidential debates can be opened up to include these candidates. They are not currently allowed to participate, and this seems absurd to me. The people of this country should be able to see all the candidates debate their positions and then vote for who best earned that vote.

Janane Tripp

Portland

Ignore political ads

I am very concerned and downright annoyed at the tone of the political ads in recent years. And the disturbing trend is coming from all political parties and ideologies. The worst offenders are out-of-state political action committees that spend money to influence our state, and it shouldn’t be.

It would be one thing if the ads stated facts fairly, but most of the ads take a tiny element of truth and then skew it to malign a candidate’s character and intentions or a referendum’s purpose. By the time the candidate can reply, the damage is done.

I urge my fellow Mainers to let these ads go in one ear and out the other and realize they are trying to manipulate them. Better yet, if we all took a minute to log onto the website of the offending PACs and tell them to take their money and lies someplace else, maybe it wouldn’t be so attractive to spend their money here.

Lisa M. Norsworthy

Bangor

Baxter-monument conflict

Baxter Park State Director Jensen Bissell has expressed concerns about the impact that the new national monument could have on the park and the “difficult conflict” the park has had with the Appalachian Trail community.

Ultramarathon runner Scott Jurek, who set a speed record for finishing the trail in July 2015 and was cited for having a summit party and the recent release a movie based on Bill Bryson’ Appalachian Trail hike highlighted the growing tension between park officials and Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.

Now we have this amazing new opportunity for the economically distressed Millinocket and Patten region, and here we have Bissell again expressing concern that more visitors to the region could create problems for Baxter. From my experience, park officials are not overly welcoming to hikers who hike in the “back door” of the park. I have long given up having Baxter State Park on mine or my families camping list. There are plenty of other more user friendly places to camp and hike.

Peter Duston

Cherryfield

Fulford for Maine Senate

When I first met Democratic Maine Senate candidate Jonathan Fulford last winter, I was impressed right away with his positions on a variety of topics, from health care for all Mainers to renewable energy, fulfilling our commitment to veterans, LGBT rights, preserving the environment and more. He seemed calm, intelligent, very thoughtful and sincerely eager to hear from others about what is important to them.

I was pretty sure I’d vote for him in November, especially since his opponent, Republican Senate President Mike Thibodeau, stands on the other side of many issues that are important to me. Now we’ve seen Thibodeau and others effectively stonewall any effort to formally censure Gov. Paul LePage’s most recent explosively vulgar and impulsive outburst, and I am certain I will vote for Fulford.

The people of Waldo County and Maine deserve legislators and a governor who understand that the pathway forward is through civil discourse, even in the face of strong disagreement.

Rolf E. Olsen

Searsport