Looking for life in all the wrong places

The Feb. 22 Washington Post article that appeared in the BDN online about the discovery of seven Earth-like planets circling Trappist-1 made me think that we’re looking for life in all the wrong places.

Indeed, the discovery of planetary systems is wonderful news, yet the one God and creator — Jesus Christ — stooped to our planet to seek us. Is that not the mystery we need to unravel? Christ made many outrageous statements, including a favorite of mine: “the kingdom of God is within you.” Another one is, “I am the bread of life which came down from heaven.” Of a truth, only God can make these claims.

God has an intimately specific plan for each of us. I surely don’t know how he does that, only that his word says it is so. When I chose to throw myself upon him, to trust that he laid down his life for mine, he put his spirit in me. And that is the kingdom of God in me.

Long ago he breathed the breath of life into Adam and Eve, and they turned away. They lost their breath. That spirit, that life can only be regained by us in Christ. God reaches beyond any dimly seen universe we can imagine. To seek life anywhere but in him is foolishness.

Arnold Stevens


Where is Poliquin?

Where is Rep. Bruce Poliquin? Congress was on recess last week, and he did not schedule any town halls to meet with his constituents.

Perhaps because he is afraid he would get an earful from a crowd angry they may lose their health care coverage?

Shame on the congressman.

Lynn Murphy


Trump’s misguided immigration policy

A common political expression says, “Your best opportunity to kick a person is when that person is down.” President Donald Trump is doing just that. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is rounding up scores of immigrants and implementing deportation.

For many decades, U.S. businesses used undocumented immigrants for harvesting crops, nannies for children, doing landscaping, roofing and food preparation. People referred to it as “capitalism.” Many immigrant workers were paid under the table after they repaired someone’s hail-damaged roof or cooked a restaurant meal. “No harm, no foul,” was the entrepreneurial belief.

Our amoral president has decided these immigrants are a threat to society. This makes no sense. The majority of undocumented workers are doing jobs that unwilling Americans choose not to perform. Trump may legally get away with his witch-hunt, but it is not what the U.S. stands for.

Do we want a legacy of heavy handedness under a misguided rationale of border security or do we want to stand for fairness and give a pathway for citizenship? I favor the latter.

Todd Russell

Presque Isle

Marijuana oversight

As the Legislature prepares to consider a proposal to keep oversight of recreational marijuana in the hands of the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations, the people of Maine ought to recall the catastrophic contract signed with Maine Beverage Co. in 2004.

Gov. Paul LePage has already transferred oversight away from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry by executive order. The voters spoke in November when they approved marijuana legalization, and the oversight of the industry belongs to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, which is perfectly suited to the task of licensing, overseeing and maintaining compliance of producers, especially with regard to expertise in pesticides.

Transferring oversight of marijuana production to an entity with no understanding of pesticides is dangerous. We must demand that the Legislature redirect its efforts to create the safest and most affordable marijuana industry.

Tyler Morrison


LePage’s fiscal management

I am so proud of Gov. Paul LePage and his fiscal management in building the $1 billion cash pool for the state of Maine. As a retiree, I have had to tighten my spending habits and rethink how I buy and spend.

I agree with our governor that control and wise decisions must be made in how our state determines its spending. I was so pleased to see him on Fox & Friends Monday morning. He looks fantastic, and I agreed with him that the cuts made to Medicare spending under Barack Obama’s deplorable Affordable Care Act need to be reversed. Like many my age, I paid into the Medicare and Social Security systems all my working career. Our government required it of us. I anticipate reaping these hard-earned benefits.

These are not entitlements, like so many in Congress like to call them. I paid for and earned them. I have paid my taxes and never received a handout. I hope Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King call LePage to congratulate him on a job well done.

I look forward to seeing if our esteemed governor will run for the U.S. Senate when King is up for re-election in 2018. LePage always had and always will have my support. I look forward to the next four years under President Donald Trump as he works hard to make America solvent and great again.

Martha Nickerson


Targeting student voters

I am writing on behalf of a group of six college students in support of the BDN’s Feb. 14 editorial, “Efforts to improve voting system’s ‘integrity’ aren’t solving any problems.” We were disappointed to hear about the introduction of LD 155, which unfairly targets college students’ ability to exercise their right to vote.

The bill imposes an undue burden upon many college students who may not be able to meet the excessive standards for voter registration it proposes. It is disheartening to hear Gov. Paul LePage accuse students of voter fraud when studies have shown that voter fraud is virtually nonexistent in Maine and nationally.

When out-of-state students choose to vote in Maine, we are engaging with our communities. We spend the majority of our year in Maine — we consider these to be our local politics.

Millennials aren’t turning out to the polls, especially in local elections. We shouldn’t be punishing those who do. If we want young people to stay in Maine, we should wholeheartedly welcome their participation in our communities.

Uma Blanchard