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Monday, February 18, 2019: Tourney time, the case against Columbus Day, Green New Deal a lifeboat

Tourney time

The Maine Principals Association High School Basketball Tournament is upon us. A very exciting time of year for many. It sure helps break up a long Maine winter and rewards student athletes for several months of hard work. No matter what seed you enter the tournament as, anything can happen. The atmosphere of the bands, cheering, signs, banners, the smell of popcorn and community spirit is the best.

Go and have fun. Be passionate and show your support; but try not to be extreme. Be respectful to the players, coaches, officials and people around you, and be thankful for such an outstanding event.

Carl Bragg

Columbia Falls

The case against Columbus Day

There are many Italians who have achieved global renown for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, etc. With so many illustrious figures to choose from, it’s inexcusable that our nation continues to honor an Italian who introduced human trafficking to our shores.

Christopher Columbus, on his first voyage to the Americas, kidnapped several indigenous people who he took back to Spain as slaves. In later voyages, having not found the gold or spices he set out for, he pursued a deliberate policy of shipping Caribbean Indians back to Spain to be sold as slaves, using the proceeds to finance further exploration and colonization.

Miguel de Cuneo, a member of Columbus’s second voyage, wrote that 1,600 slaves were taken in a raid in 1495, but only 650 fit into the ships. Many did not survive the voyage.

In the light of Columbus’ human rights abuses, he surely doesn’t rate being honored with a holiday. Let’s instead use this day to honor all surviving indigenous peoples and their cultures.

John H. Curtis

Surry

Green New Deal a lifeboat

During the Great Depression, America dealt itself a New Deal that, though imperfect, transformed jobs, energy and more. The FDIC still insures our deposits and Social Security is the most popular federal program.

Today we face a new, creeping catastrophe: climate change. Droughts, floods and heat are already more common and the Pentagon called climate change a national security threat.

In Maine, ticks now abound, the sea may rise 6 feet by 2100, our boreal pine forests are threatened and the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than 99 percent of the global ocean.

Enter the Green New Deal. This ambitious program would boost our prosperity while putting the brakes on environmental chaos. It would shift our carbon-spewing energy system almost entirely to renewables and efficiency (already marketplace winners) and offer training, health care and jobs.

The Green New Deal is supported in outline, H. Res. 109, by Maine’s Rep. Chellie Pingree. Let’s ask Rep. Jared Golden and Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to do the same.

Can we afford it? A trillion or so dollars pumped directly into the economy would build us, not bleed us, just like the original New Deal. In any case, can the Titanic afford lifeboats?

Larry Gilman

Southwest Harbor

Non Sequitur nonsense

Bring back Non Sequitur! This comic strip by Wiley Miller is by far the most insightful and often the funniest in the paper. Clearly Miller deserves a slap on the wrist for including an obscenity in one of his entries, but to stop publishing his comic entirely is over the top and a disservice to your readers. Delicate sensibilities can be protected in the future by more careful editing.

I am a long-time subscriber and can remember when Doonesbury was consigned to the editorial page because Garry Trudeau was deemed offensive to conservative Republicans. Perhaps your editors can conceive a similar, less draconian solution to the “Non Sequitur problem.” Please do not give me yet another reason to consider canceling my subscription.

David L. Levy

Orono

 



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