Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

The power to help our neighbors

A minimum of 265 million people globally are at risk of starvation due to the impacts of COVID-19. It is a daunting number, but the United States has the power to help those individuals. The U.S. can help them and many more by continuing to fully fund the International Affairs Budget. The budget is  less than 1 percent of the overall federal budget, but its impact is incalculable.

This budget provides funding for the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Peace Corps, and more. During President Donald Trump’s time in office, he proposed many cuts to the International Affairs Budget, but each time they were rejected bipartisanly by Congress.

The International Affairs Budget protects our allies and those in need. It grants the U.S. opportunities to develop jobs internationally and implements agricultural programs that work to counteract food insecurity and end hunger. This budget has the power to improve the U.S.’s role as a provider of assistance in times of need and shows the nation to be a reliable source when our neighbors call for help.

Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have repeatedly rejected the cuts proposed to the budget because they recognize the dangers that will befall if the cuts are to pass. Without the International Affairs Budget, job facilitation can fall, and attractions to acts of extremism can rise. Acts of a desperate people can be detrimental to society’s development, and the U.S. has the power to help neighbors take steps forwards, not backward.

Clara Mulvihill

Raymond

One more thought about Confederate flags

I would like to give people one more thing to think about when considering whether to display a Confederate flag. Two of my great-great-grandfathers fought for the Union, which is the United States, in the Civil War. I’ll bet many Mainers also had ancestors who fought in the GAR, Grand Army of the Republic.  

Walk around some of Maine’s cemeteries and you will see the graves of these soldiers. Read the stones. They tell many stories, such as their regiment, where they fought and where they died. The stones around theirs tell us about the people they fought for: family members and neighbors who had to carry on without them. Whether they died in the war or not, they are true American heroes who sacrificed for their country and you and me.

I think displaying a Confederate flag, an anti-United States symbol, insults these American patriots and brings the loyalty of the displayer into question.

Julie Brownie

Stetson

Egregious eminent domain action

I have been following the news about negotiations between the City of Belfast and Nordic Aquafarms, Inc. to acquire, through the  process of eminent domain, the personal property owned by a number of Belfast residents.

These recent actions by the city councilors, city mayor and city attorney have reached an all-time low point in their duty to serve and honor the people of this beautiful city.

Their determined pursuit of what is clearly a benefit to a foreign corporation has undermined public trust. They have shifted allegiances to fully support an international venture capital -backed plan for an already antiquated and environmentally destructive method of raising fish on land.

It is astounding that they have unanimously agreed to pursue such an egregious action as eminent domain, hand-in-hand with Nordic Aquafarms, Inc.

I wish them a hearty and full failure in these efforts.

Conny Hatch

Belfast