Diversity history

Because of a recent, excellent BDN article, I visited the sixth floor Diversity Collection at the Glickman Library in Portland yesterday. Since it was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, I asked for information on Maine’s participation. Photos of Portland leaders were shared with me from their collection. Every religious group and every racial group was represented in the photos.

Thank you, BDN, for informing me of the special collections nearby. Our state of Maine is diverse in its own way.

Martha F. Barkley

Belgrade Lakes

No attack on Syria

A dozen years ago, we heard the exact same message from former Secretary of State Colin Powell that we are now hearing from Secretary of State John Kerry.

My reply: Forget it.

President Barack Obama, who I voted for, doesn’t get my support for intervention in Syria — because he refused to prosecute George Bush and former Vice President Dick Cheney for lying to get us into Iraq. How do we know his “intelligence” is any different than Cheney’s “intelligence”? Both of which have shown a lack of respect for the average American’s intelligence and universal love for the military and industrial complex.

Obama claims strikes will be surgical. What happens when Syria, Hezbollah and Iran attack Israel? You know, and I know, what happens next.

Say “no” to military attacks and “yes” to boycotts of any country supporting Bashar al-Assad, including China and Russia. Say “yes” to prosecution of any U.S. companies that do business with any country we boycott. The rich see a chance to make billions off another war. Let’s not buy into it.

John Richardson


The people’s festival

The Folk Festival of 2013 was without a doubt the place to be last weekend. As I walked among the hundreds of festival goers, I kept running into what I can only describe as ignorant and neglectful dog owners. I know that every year there are warnings and suggestions that attendees leave their pets at home. So why, then, do people still insist on bringing their beloved dogs to this gathering, dragging them through the festival streets, forcing them to walk around for hours, while their owners sip on a frozen drink and visit with some old friend they happen to run into?

It seemed that everywhere I looked there was a dog with its tongue hanging out, panting from the heat, looking for a drink or a cool place to hide.

Do people really think it’s a good idea to subject their dogs to conditions that are not intended for them? Why do they think officials suggest that they leave their pets at home?

Perhaps it’s because they figured anyone with a little common sense would know better than to place an animal in a situation that is not only cruel but, quite frankly, stupid. I would like to suggest that anyone who brings their animal be turned away. It is after all a “people festival.”

Vivian Axmacher


War questions

It seems a “pinpoint” bombing attack on Syria for using chemical weapons on its people is inevitable. Bashar al-Assad is without doubt a ruthless leader, with the backing of Russia and China. Removing him from power may not be that easy. Given these factors, would a limited strike work against Assad? If not, will we escalate the bombing? What are the limits to our attack strategy in terms of loss of life, destruction and cost? Are we starting another war?

Bombing may not be enough, and no plan B or follow-up options have been suggested. For the U.S. to embark on this strike seems naive and open ended. Have we learned nothing?

David Spaulding


Eating out

Over the past few months, my wife and I have heard about Four Points BBQ & Blues House, in Winterport, including a letter to the editor raving about how good the food is. So, on a Saturday afternoon, my wife and I drove to Four Points BBQ for lunch.

When we arrived, the front door was open, which we soon found out is not a great idea. We picked a seat and were immediately joined by six to eight house flies. Our waitress explained that if they shut the front door, it gets too hot, so they leave the door open and flies come in.

Maybe a screen door or air conditioning would be a good investment (and more sanitary). I killed three flies with a rolled-up comic book that was on the windowsill beside our table. I ordered a fountain drink with my meal. By the way, the food and service were pretty good.

I finished my drink and was offered a refill and asked for just half. When my refill was almost gone, I noticed something moving in my cup. I used my straw to fish out a squirming black ant. The waitress removed the cost of the drink from our bill.

I just have to wonder, if there are flies in the dining area and ants in the soda, what’s in the kitchen? This was our first and last visit to Four Points BBQ in Winterport.

Tim Hewes


Inside Syria

There’s so much online and in print about the U.S. and Syria with President Barack Obama taking the issue to Congress — to avoid a U.S. Security Council veto by either Russia or China — that of one thing alone we can determine: Individually we may not be able to distinguish the truth from propaganda.

Yet if I can dare to suggest a solution: It seems to me that Obama ought to turn to the Saudi-Arabian king and ask him to clean up what is essentially an Islamic mess.

Let the Muslim king determine if he should use all the armaments we have provided him. We have done our part in providing the king the weaponry to deal with the inside Muslim problem if armaments are to be the means of resolution to the Muslim quandary.

Let all the information be set before the Arab-League and say, “Look folks, this is what Muslims have done to Muslims.”

Guy Dubay