Too old, too young?

John McCain is 72-years-old. Isn’t that the age a person should be finishing their term as president, not starting it?

And is Sarah Palin really the person you want a heartbeat away from the presidency?

Sandra Fitts


• • •

Senators: quit the GOP

During the years I lived across the border in New Hampshire, I envied the citizens of Maine their opportunity to vote for senators who exercised common sense and independent competence on issues affecting our nation.

Now, as a new resident of Milbridge, I have the opportunity to do so. But I will not while Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe belong to the Republican Party that has acted so irresponsibility toward all Americans. Nominating Sarah Palin as a candidate for vice president was not only degrading toward our residents and our institutions, but extremely dangerous.

With our country and indeed the world teetering on the edge of recession, possibly depression, and the current administration flinging our military and billions in aid hither and thither across the globe without any overarching policy, the naming of this person to high office is sheer folly. No matter if the motivating force was ignorance or malice, such an act cannot be condoned.

By remaining within that party, the senators from Maine add their good names to those who have failed in their responsibility, and indeed, have violated their sworn oath to this nation and the American people. Only by declaring themselves independents and thereby repudiating this smear on our great nation can they retain my respect and win my vote.

Martha Barron Barrett


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Boost private sector

Ben Goodman’s op-ed (BDN, Aug. 24) regarding young people for Obama speaks volumes about our youth. Republican youth are also out knocking on doors, making phone calls and whatever is necessary for John McCain’s campaign.

It is certainly inspiring to see young people involved in political affairs. Years ago few young people of either persuasion knew or cared what was going on in the political field.

I am concerned about is one part of Ben’s thinking. He is all for education being available for all. A good thing, but he suggests following in Barack Obama’s footsteps – forgoing working for corporate America for the role of public service. All well and good, but who is going to be paying the high cost of government if no one is in corporate America?

The change we need is a loosening up government rule and an opportunity for change in the private sector by giving entrepreneurs more freedom to exercise originality and the drive to make our country more diverse. Allow freedom of ideas in the private sector without the heavy hand of governmental directives. Now that’s change!

If we want change, we need to think beyond Obama’s words and probe his motives. Is he enamored of governmental power as change, or is he seeking change based on private entrepreneurship?

Catharine K. Leobwitz


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Ozzie-Harriet ticket

As the American economy deteriorates, the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin surges. Perhaps our economic pain, and the grim outlook for the future, help explain the rising poll numbers for the Republican ticket.

During this difficult time, many Americans understandably yearn for a simpler, more tranquil era, when a man could support his family with the income from one job. When that man did not have to worry about his job being outsourced, or losing his house because he had taken out a subprime mortgage. When we bought only American cars and American clothing, because they were the best in the world.

The current Republican ticket embodies that earlier time. They look like a team drawn from “Ozzie and Harriet” or “The Brady Bunch.” Their political rallies resemble a pep rally before the big game, McCain as the beloved high school principal and Palin as the English teacher who also coaches the cheerleaders. However, they offer virtually no solutions to deal with an economic crisis that may become a true catastrophe.

I urge Americans who long for a simpler past to watch reruns of television shows from the 1950s and 1960s. The only team that offers even a partial cure of our economic sickness is that of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Alan Ginsberg


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Maine needs Collins

In November I will be voting for Sen. Collins. The reasons are simple. She is one of the most influential leaders in the Senate, she has proven her ability to work in a nonpartisan manner for the good of our country and her effectiveness is unsurpassed. Maine needs such a leader now more than ever.

Her work in homeland security, helping small businesses, advocating realistic energy policies and supporting our veterans has been outstanding. As a veteran and an active member of veterans service organizations I can say she is the most responsive member of the Maine congressional delegation.

As with all important issues of our time she looks forward and works with Republican and Democratic colleagues to develop effective legislation that works. She is tireless in resolving problems that face Maine. Sen. Collins spends much of her time in Maine, is well-connected with the people, and understands the problems we are facing. One has only to observe her with veterans, firefighters, sportsmen, educators or seniors groups to understand the deep appreciation these diverse groups have of her service on our behalf. She is one of our country’s great leaders.

Pete Johnson


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Bishops unequivocal

The Catholic Bishops’ document, “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility,” has been misrepresented in the media lately. Abortion and euthanasia are presented as no more important than other serious life issues.

The document itself instructs against applying “a moral equivalence that makes no ethical distinction between different kinds of issues involving human life and dignity.” The document continues: “The direct and intentional destruction of innocent human life is always wrong and is not one issue among many.” The Bishops singled out abortion and euthanasia as “intrinsically evil” matters that “must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. Human cloning and destructive research on human embryos are also intrinsically evil and must always be opposed.”

The document says Catholics should ask political candidates how they plan to “address the pre-eminent requirement to protect the weakest in our midst – innocent unborn children – by restricting and bringing to an end the destruction of unborn children through abortion.”

Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities said: “That is the core of the document – that the obligation to oppose intrinsically evil acts has a special claim on our consciences and our actions.”

Pope John II wrote: “The moral gravity of procured abortion is apparent in all its truth if we recognize we are dealing with murder.”

Ron J. Stauble Sr.


• • •

Palin more of the same

Do Republicans have no pride? Last winter the Republican presidential candidates (including John McCain) ridiculed Obama for running on the theme of “change.” Now, they have grabbed the idea as if they are going to bring the changes America so desperately needs.

Apparently they think Americans are stupid or have short-term memory problems and don’t remember it was the Democrats who first had the slogan. John McCain has been in office for 26 years; wasn’t that long enough to create change? We had a Republican president and a Republican controlled Congress for the last six to eight years, but only now they speak of change?

Do you suppose they even realize that the reason this country needs a change is because of their disastrous policies of the last eight years? Probably not, but by picking Palin as his running mate (and she was not his first choice), McCain’s ensuring that there won’t be change. She leads the far right which has controlled Republican policies for too long and helped to bring the nation to this dark time in its history. She does not represent change; she represents more of the same.

Sylvia L. Tapley


• • •

Proud of Orono council

On the evening of Sept 8, rushing off after our family dinner, I was rewarded by the sight of the Orono Town Council voting unanimously to adopt a resolution opposing a preemptive attack on Iran without congressional approval. About 20 residents were present at the meeting — a small proportion of the 290 who signed the petition to the council supporting the resolution circulated by members of the Orono Peace Group and the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Discussion of the motion by the public and council members included the question of whether it was appropriate for a small town in Maine to be considering this matter. However, all council members were convinced that rather than Orono getting involved in making laws on foreign policy, this was a reflection of the fact that every citizen is affected (financially, increased security threats and more) by our country being at war. A comment was also made that this resolution is ultimately only requesting the federal government to adhere to the Constitution.

I am proud to know this resolution will be sent to President Bush and the Maine Congressional delegation. It is the third such resolution from a Maine town, but hopefully more will follow. Orono is a small community but perhaps if we put our voices together we can avoid another disastrous military engagement in the Middle East.

Dr. Fiona Sorensen Hamilton


• • •

Bush made us safe

The pictures of the 9-11 attacks, shown on TV during the anniversary, make you remember how it felt back then. I remember wondering what kind of world my children would grow up in. At that time I don’t think any of us thought we would make it seven years without another major attack.

Through history we will see that President Bush made the right call when he decided not to treat the attacks as crimes but as acts of war. History will remember the days when decisions were made for what they were, not by looking back as a Monday quarterback.

History won’t forget that a tyrant who killed and tortured his own people and held the world hostage with threats both real and made up. It won’t forget that a monster who had started a war just 10 years before was breaking almost every U.N. agreement.

Say what you will; but you can’t deny that Bush has made us safer. I hope we as a country can change the political culture that tears down anyone with whom we disagree, so that the next president at least stands a chance of defending us.

Jonathan Worthley


• • •

Collins works for state

Recently, I have seen some letters to the editor that have questioned the integrity of Sen. Susan Collins.

I first met Susan 14 years ago. I’ve seen her work for us in and out of the government to do the best for Maine. Since she was elected to the Senate in 1996, I have followed her career closely and I have been so proud of her and the work she has done.

Whether it is diabetes funding, education issues, postal reform, or her work as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, she has proven herself to be a leader not afraid to reach across the aisle and work with Democrats to get things done.

She has worked hard for the people of Maine.

Anyone who knows Susan knows she is a person of great integrity and strength of character. She has worked every day to do what is best for her constituents.

Betty Lee Comstock