Editorial response

I would like to respond to the July 30 Washington Post editorial, “ Death without dignity.” It bordered on blaming the public for botched, expensive and unnecessary executions, even for depraved criminals. Tell this to broken-hearted families who have lost loved ones from depravity and cruelty beyond comprehension.

Monsters are not creatures conjured up in someone’s imagination. They are real. They look like us and they walk among us, seeking their prey. When I read about a heinous crime committed by a monster, do you think I care how he is executed? No, I do not. The Post ended the editorial by calling the death penalty cruel and unusual. Maybe next time the author will be the victim of one of these monsters. Maybe it will be a beloved daughter, son or grandchild who is found dead.



Congress works?

As I write, there are fewer than 95 days before Election Day. Congress has set a work schedule for 12 days.

There are a number of pressing issues that could be addressed. Don’t bet that any will deal with jobs, infrastructure, minimum wage, equal pay for equal work, unemployment or immigration reform, unless in the case of immigration reform they can work a poison pill in.

In the majority’s view, the only way they can best serve the American people is to sue the president for doing something, while they continue to waste taxpayer dollars doing nothing.

Nothing, that is, unless you believe the president is guilty of being elected to the highest office in our nation twice while being black.

George W. Bush delayed implementation of Medicare Part D by executive order — no problem. President Barack Obama delays the business provision of ACA — impeachable offense.

Chris Young


Border thoughts

The Aug. 2 BDN article about Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King’s trip to the Texas-Mexico border is a perfect example of how our leaders are completely out of touch with reality.

The story intimates that they both believe unaccompanied children will be sent home, even after they see that along with being fed and cared for, they “even take English classes, according to Collins.” Obviously sending them home is not in this administration’s plans. Is this not plain to see?

As this news article winds down to the final two paragraphs, both of them suggest we should “work with” Mexican officials to help secure their southern borders, and King even suggests that we need to “collaborate” with South American countries to help fix the problems that cause parents to send their children away.

In other words, throw millions of hard-earned U.S. taxpayer dollars at the problem. Please spend our money here on our border and on our “social and economic” problems. I thought Collins and King swore an oath to uphold our Constitution?

Steve Williams


Cracking the code

As a health professional, I have renewed respect for anyone outside of health care forced to navigate the private insurance system. If your insurance is bad, mine is worse.

My employer selected self-insurance designed by out-of-state businessmen whose knowledge of medicine was the first aid badge in Boy Scouts. Next they outsourced prior authorization to somewhere in the southwest. The customer service agent “Angela” refused to reveal her last name, and I suspect she is part of the witness protection program. My call was monitored.

Angela has even less medical knowledge than the creators of my insurance plan, so she was not discouraged by the lack of documentation upon which she denied my authorization. More phone calls, faxes and emails resulted in the arrival of two letters on the same day, one denying and one authorizing my procedure.

Finally, in its infinite wisdom, my insurance company rejects all capable medical talent at a “competing” hospital four miles from home but will approve providers 200 miles south. The formula used to calculate in-network and out-of-network reimbursement exceeds my calculus II education, but the unknown is the allowable customary reimbursement for a procedure. This is a closely guarded secret, kept by all front-line customer service representatives. Kudos to anyone who can crack that code.

I envy those with Medicare, Medicaid and Obamacare. Someday I may be as fortunate.

Dale Gordon


Nation response

I am responding to Matt Manahan’s Aug. 6 BDN OpEd about the Penobscot Nation and the Penobscot River lawsuit. Matt represents several corporations that for generations have been polluting the Penobscot River to the maximum extent allowed by law. He also represents a number of towns bordering the river that he solicited, like George Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing” in Iraq, to provide cover for the true interests he represents.

Corporations may bring jobs to some of our communities, but the under-regulated drive for profit has also brought us terrible pollution and, at one point, a river near death. The Penobscot Nation, like any family or close-knit community, may have its own dysfunctions, but it has always worked to preserve the natural flow and ecology of our priceless river. I would much rather trust that resource to the Penobscot Nation than to the companies that are responsible for polluting it and their paid propagandists.

Judd Esty-Kendall


Puzzling bear letter

The logic behind Gilbert Rossignol’s July 30 BDN letter is puzzling at best. He and other opponents of fair chase hunting simultaneously argue that, without unsportsmanlike methods for finding them, bears will both be (1) impossible to locate and (2) overrun our state. So, will the bears be everywhere, or will they be nowhere?

If the bears will be everywhere (which is doubtful) couldn’t a hunter find one without any semblance of tracking skills or knowledge of their natural behavior, as easily as by baiting and trapping? Wouldn’t it give sportsmen like Rossingnol a greater opportunity for fair chase bear hunting?

Far more likely to bring bears to your garbage cans is the practice of bear baiting, giving bears a taste for human food. The baiting season just began, and for 30 days bears will be trained to visit sites stocked with human foods — stale pastries, moldy bread, rotting meat, hard candies, popcorn, molasses and more.

Providing 7 million pounds of unnaturally calorie-dense food by baiting can grow the bear population and put bears on the lookout for more human food, increasing the likelihood of human-bear encounters.

A “yes vote” in November will restore fair chase to bear hunting and remove this bizarre exemption from Maine law for providing grotesque amounts of human food to wildlife.

Cheryl Avis