A moment for conscience

Now is the time for courage and leadership, not the time for moderation and gamesmanship.

I call on Sen. Susan Collins to have the courage and conviction of her late predecessor, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith, R-Maine, who in 1950 rose in the U.S. Senate to deliver her “Declaration of Conscience” speech. Denouncing the abusive tactics of McCarthyism and speaking to her fellow Republican senators, she declared that “it is high time for the United States Senate to do some real soul searching and to weigh our consciences as to the manner in which we are performing our duty to the people of America” and to remember that “we have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution”.

Smith’s declaration had an immediate and historical impact, not only because of her eloquent and passionate plea but also because of her timing, her courage. As all of her fellow Republican senators sat quiet, she rose.

I’m not calling on Collins to arrive at an impeachment verdict at this time. I understand and agree with her decision to see all of the evidence and to remain impartial. That is our American system of justice, to be preserved as mandated by our Constitution. However, one cannot claim to be impartial while standing by watching as witnesses are prevented from testifying. She should insist on full disclosure, full testimony and full transcripts. An impartial juror would want to know all of the facts.

It is high time to show the courage and leadership that the people of Maine and the people of America deserve.

John Nale


Patients over profits

As our health care delivery deteriorates — lacking the quality and outcomes found in other advanced nations at twice the cost — the hospital conglomerates, the government and the press are sometimes claiming progress. And, in spite of this, the growing national outrage is being met by policymakers scrambling to hold our nation’s bloated health care money pit.

Health care is now an industry, a venture for profit. Hospitals, clinics, insurers and drug manufacturers — many on the stock exchange — make billions. Rather than being guided by what it best for patients, corporate-driven medical care leads to driving administration costs and over-priced drugs where doctors and patients are trapped in a system that financially exploits their relationship. Billions of dollars are extracted by the medical industry and shifted to shareholders to grow and increase market share. Patients pay obscene bills and often blame their doctors. As medicine becomes more corporatized, patients resent their doctors more without realizing the true cause of the problem.

The ultimate threat to corporate health care is for patients and doctors to align with each other to get the greed out of American medical care.

Linda Bennett


Another successful book sale

For four days in early October, the Camden Public Library held its Fall Harbor Arts and Books book sale on the library’s front lawn. We would like to thank everyone involved for making this another successful event benefiting the library. Most especially, we would like to thank the boys and men of Scout Troop 200, which is sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Camden, for helping us shift more than 400 boxes of books from our Book Shed to the sale tents.

Over the course of the seven days that it took to set up, run and breakdown the sale, more than 35 other folks volunteered, and we thank them all. We also want to thank everyone who donates books, DVDs and CDs to the Camden Public Library throughout the year — without them, there would not be a sale. And, finally, we would like to thank those who shopped with us. We hope they found something to treasure, at least for a little while, and when they are finished with it, well, they know where you can drop it off.

As a result of our collective effort, we were able to raise $8,327 for the library during this sale. These funds will be used to keep the lights on, the books on the shelves and the programs going. Last year, working together, an astounding $36,000 was raised for the Camden Public Library through its used book sales — truly an astonishing sum for two large sales and five smaller sales over the course of twelve months. We could not have done it alone.

Nikki Maounis

Executive director

Camden Public Library