Animal rights hyperbole

It took only a day or so for animal-rights zealots to spread their hyperbole in the BDN letters section, following the shooting of a black bear in a quiet residential part of town.

Julie Lisnet of Bangor wrote: “the only solution in this situation is to get a gun and blow it to bits.” The bear was not blown to bits. Also, it strikes me as odd that Lisnet was aware of “all those kids who gathered to watch” yet she never considered that the bear could have become really agitated by a growing crowd of gawkers and killed a child.

John Picone of Bangor in his letter hoped that “wardens have a better plan … before they go running through the bushes shooting.” Running through the woods shooting. Really, Mr. Picone. How can we take such outrageous exaggeration seriously?

I am tempted to engage in some hyperbole of my own regarding such senseless butchery of the truth. Would the letter-writers wail and moan if the story had been of a toddler ripped limb from limb by a wild animal as parents watched helplessly? But that is gross exaggeration. Bears only maul people to death and almost never rip them limb from limb. Please pardon my exuberance.

John Hubbard


‘ Harvested’ bears innocent

How anyone could seriously question Warden Jim Fahey’ s decision to shoot the bear in Bangor is beyond me. Had the warden not shot the animal and it had attacked and killed that same person’ s dog or cat or worse, a child, they’ d probably be screaming for his resignation for not acting. This bear was not likely to simply enter a home in Bangor while the family was out back in the pool, sample everyone’ s porridge, muss up their beds, leave dents in their LaZ-Boys and then leave peacefully.

This naive sentiment for the unfortunate bruin is all the more ridiculous in light of the fact that “sports” killed 2,659 bears in 2006 bringing in over $8 million in revenue through license fees, guide fees, camp rentals, and the endless purchase of paraphernalia that they get from local merchants.

Yet, the bears I refer to here are the innocent ones. Content to stay where they belong and only coaxed and baited into man’ s orbit by donuts and pizzas and French fries. Do you see the irony here? A bear that posed a very real danger to pets and humans is “murdered” while the truly innocent ones that did all they could to stay away from humans are “harvested.”

When a referendum was launched a few years ago to outlaw the practice of baiting, it raised such a torrent of protest from the beneficiaries of this annual genocide that they organized and lobbied and were successful in defeating it. Where were the PETA voices of righteous indignation then!

Nathan White



Move to Iraq

The BDN’ s editorial about the timetable for withdrawral from Iraq (“Iraq’ s New Horizon,” July 23) notes that Sen. Obama says he wants to be out in 16 months. Sen. McCain is quoted as saying we should leave after winning the war.

Success in Iraq will be a hard thing to define, but I would think that whoever is responsible for the pullout should be required to take up residence there for a time after the troops are gone. That would be a good criteria to use in gauging the war on terrorism’ s success.

Steve Crouse


Pingree’ s insincere concern

I agree with Rep. Hannah Pingree, “Bold energy policies are critical for Maine,” (BDN. July 15). Maine is in a real energy mess. Lots of people will not be able to afford heating oil next winter, and the winters after that could be even worse. One has to wonder if Maine will remain a place where anyone can afford to live.

Unfortunately for Rep. Pingree, her words of concern ring hollow to me. As a leading Democrat in the state, she belongs to a political party that has ruled the Legislature for decades. During that time, we have seen our taxes rise to obscene levels, leaving us with little money to actually pay for these higher oil bills.

Her party also has created a disaster in health insurance, which costs working families thousands of dollars a year in unnecessary premiums. If they just gave us the kind of health insurance system that most states use, we would have much more money to pay for fuel. But the Democrats absolutely refuse to reform our insurance debacle.

You’ ve probably heard the saying that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Perhaps after ruling this state for 30 years like it was their own little kingdom, Rep. Pingree and her fellow Democrats can’ t even recognize the damage they have done to our beloved state. Now that they have taken so much of our money, they express sympathy that we won’ t have enough left to heat our homes.

Gail E. Lynch


Money and methadone

Some years ago I served on the board of a company that was offered an opportunity to buy a small chain of methadone clinics in another state. The profit margin was unbelievably huge. It was pretty obvious that being a drug dealer is lucrative whether you are a legal or illegal operation.

It would make sense that any community that houses a methadone clinic should be able to charge a tax, license, impact fee or whatever of at least $2,000 per license per year. After all, the costs of having this population move into a community is high and it makes sense that the businesses or hospitals that profit so handsomely from this should pick up a share of the cost of the problems they bring to the community.

Donald Lewis


Healthy diet details

Regarding the recent headline claiming that the low-carb Atkins diet was found to be competitive with the low-fat and Mediterranean diets concerning weight loss and lowering cholesterol, the most important point was buried deep in the article, which I’ m afraid most folks will not see.

Contrary to the traditional Atkins regimen of heavy meat and dairy consumption, the people involved in this new study were told to obtain their fats and proteins from vegetarian sources.

This is the major reason the low-carb diet was able to hold its own with the others. Unfortunately the majority of people who will only be glancing at the headline or even the front page paragraph will have no idea of this critical fact, and may continue to consume a diet high in animal products, which is a direct cause of high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke and colon cancer.

Tom Winton


Friends in high places

Larry Doughty’ s letter “Cashman and cronyism,” (BDN July 23) reminded me of a conversation that I had with my young niece just before Baldacci’ s first election for governor. The schools in Bangor held mock elections and my niece’ s class participated. I asked her who she voted for — her answer was “Baldacci”. When asked why, she said “My friends’ dad is a friend to Mr. Baldacci and Baldacci said he would give him a job if he is elected.”

Out of the mouths of Babes!

Jacqueline W. Huggins