Online ad distracting

I read the online version of the BDN with pleasure daily. However, recently an ad for arrest records featuring endlessly flashing faces has driven me away.

This ad will keep me away from the website for as long as this distracting nonsense is there to ruin the otherwise wonderful website.

James Hall

North Yarmouth

Statement true, misleading

The Feb. 2 article, “ Tar sands cause heated, environmental, economic debate in Maine,” included the sentence “Oil sands, commonly referred to as ‘tar sands,’ consist of bitumen, which is a solid or semisolid petroleum deposit, mixed with sand, water and clay.”

This statement is true in one sense and misleading, or prejudicial, in another. What’s misleading is the suggestion that the term “oil sands” is more scientifically accurate and editorially neutral than the term “tar sands.” The dirt-laced bitumen to which the author refers resembles tar more nearly than it resembles liquid oil.

In choosing to refer to tar sands as “oil sands,” the BDN is adopting the language that executives of Imperial Oil, Shell, and Suncor Energy want the news media and the rest of us to use. The choice is not scientifically justified or editorially neutral.

While the risks of pumping liquefied tar through Maine dominated the discussion at the recent rally in Portland, the ongoing process of extracting the tar in Alberta is an unqualified environmental disaster.

Thousands of acres of the boreal forest — home to more than 300 species of birds and one of our planet’s last, best defenses against global warming — are now a heartbreaking, muddy mess where nothing grows.

Jonathan Frost


Birth control coverage

I realize that birth control has been a large issue for many years. I believe that birth control should be fully covered by insurance plans.

As a fiscal conservative, I support it because it is less costly to the economy and potentially to the government that might have to pay benefits to someone with a low income who becomes pregnant.

There are also the philosophical questions to be answered: What businesses are and are not exempt from providing insurance plans that include birth control? How are the criteria determined? Will many employers find loopholes in the law, and claim they are exempt?

I believe that all women in our society who want birth control to be covered, and are working for an employer who will be exempt, should quit those jobs and find another organization that is not exempt.

Another solution would be for the law to require those employers that are exempt to support the children, throughout their lives.

Jon Greenberg


Understanding the 2nd Amendment

Everyone should read what the founding fathers said about the Second Amendment, not what the government wants people to believe they said.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution was never about hunting; it was for the peoples’ militia made up of private citizens.

George Mason once said, “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”

Patrick Henry said, “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.”

Lewis Beal


Handle with care

I know that newspaper headlines are a special genre designed to impart news quickly and dramatically, but for that very reason they should also be constructed with care.

The BDN headline, “Maine seeing deluge of preventable fires,” that ran Feb. 4, for example, was rather disconcerting.

The word “deluge” is typically associated with water and with flooding. Indeed, the word is derived from the Latin noun “diluvium,” which means, “flood.”

Since water or floods typically suppress fire, to say that Maine is afflicted with a “deluge” of fires strikes me as a poor, illogical word choice.

William J. Murphy