Tea party sentiment

Interesting. The very words used by English Whigs in the House of Commons against providing relief for the Irish during the potato famine of the 1840s were used Thursday in the United States Congress by tea party Republicans against our food stamp program. The arguments were identical.

On that occasion, The British government did exactly what the tea party wants us to do today: They refused to provide aid, favoring a strict marketplace response, even blocking America’s very first effort at foreign aid from reaching the Irish people.

The result? More than 750,000 Irish men, women and children died, 2 million were forcibly exiled by wealthy English landlords, with most to the United States — A quarter of the population. All while their own Irish grain and Irish beef was taken from them to feed the wealth of England.

Charles Trevelyan, assistant secretary of the British Treasury in charge of Irish relief, seems to echo the sentiment of today’s tea party Republicans. According to him, starvation was God’s judgment against the “selfish, perverse and turbulent” (the poor).

Charles Dickens, paraphrasing Trevelyan, put it most succinctly, “Let them all die and relieve the excess population.” Is that, too, the tea party sentiment? It certainly seems so.

Mark Humphrey


Smarten up

I am upset at the constant criticism of the Republican Congress that continually tries to kill Obamacare. There are national benefits derived from their hobby. Here are a couple:

1. We know where they are.

2. They have part-time jobs as representatives and part-time jobs as employees of health insurance companies. In their spare time, they are working for the National Rifle Association, currently trying to arm members of AARP over 80 with AK-47s. Because they are employed, they are not collecting unemployment checks. At least, I don’t think they are.

Smarten up, “old lefties” – if it weren’t for their obsession with Obamacare, they could be meddling with Social Security benefits and Medicare.

Charlie Cameron


Welfare check

Last week, when Gov. Paul LePage personally distributed oversized replica checks as payment from the state to hospitals for old MaineCare accounts, he scored another big one.

One check in particular ended up at Eastern Maine Medical Center to represent payment to the Bangor hospital, one of the largest employers in the city. The amount was in the millions of dollars, but what was significant was the notation on the memo line: “welfare payment.”

This replica of the actual check was posted in the lobby of the EMHC corporate office in Brewer for all to see.

Rep. Joe Brooks


Physics class

Perhaps the University of Southern Maine should change the curriculum to “engineering physics” and offer combined degrees with other engineering curriculums. In my case, I have a chemical engineering degree and an engineering physics degree, both granted by Lehigh University in 1959. A number of people have combined engineering physics degrees with other curriculums at Lehigh, most notably electrical engineering.

The chemical engineering program fit nicely with the engineering physics due to the fact at the time the nuclear engineering courses were taught in the chemical engineering curriculum with certain prerequisite courses from the physics department. Also, the electrical engineering courses provided by the engineering physics curriculum were more extensive and rigorous than those taught for chemical engineers.

William W. Gorman Jr.

Seal Harbor

King of Maine

I am proud to have Sen. Angus King serve as my senator. He gave an outstanding speech in the Senate on climate change recently and the need for action, which was only partially summarized by a Sept. 18 BDN article. King pointed out the dangers abrupt climate change presents by highlighting how sea level rise will affect our nation’s entire east coast and how warming water will destroy Maine’s lobster industry.

King began his speech by comparing pre-World War II history when Winston Churchill’s warnings about Germany went unheeded to today’s climate change when scientific conclusions about climate change go unheeded. King emphasized that dealing with Germany was a hard issue because it meant changes people didn’t want to make, especially since they had just finished fighting World War I. King stressed that climate change is also hard because it will require changes and international cooperation.

In spite of the hardship, we must act. As King said, we are acting like an oblivious generation, not like the Great Generation of my grandfather, the generation that fought World War II even though they did not relish another world war.

I call on Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, to face the problems that climate change presents us. I call on her to co-sponsor with King a revenue-neutral carbon tax bill so that Maine can say we are the great state.

Benjamin Weiss


Black Bear championship

A two-touchdown loss to highly ranked Big Ten Northwestern is something to ponder regarding UMaine football classification. They might make plans to move up to the Football Bowl Subdivision by joining one of the less spotlighted and relatively weaker conference compared with teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, PAC 12, SEC, and other major conferences.

Like UMass, they would have to grow into the FBS. But if they consistently improve year to year, the Black Bears might find themselves on TV playing for a Football Championship Subdivision national championship.

Richard Mackin, Jr.


No brainer

Unfortunately, two more bicyclists were killed in New Hampshire. How long is it going to take before a law is enacted allowing bicyclists to ride against traffic? Common sense would tell me at least they would have a fighting chance to see what is coming at them and react. In today’s world of distracted driving, in whatever form it may be, I would think it’s a “no brainer.”

Pat Catlin