Give Maine’s monument a chance

It’s really unfortunate that opponents of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument and all the various recreational and economic opportunities it offers, have to thwart every effort to promote it, and then complain about being “underwhelmed” at the turnout in its first full year of operation.

Let’s hear their brilliant proposals for improving economic opportunities in northern Maine. Until then, they should stop whimpering and give this generous gift the time and resources it deserves to grow its reputation as a destination worth visiting and preserving.

This, and other national monuments, is just another victim of sabotage, a thick chapter in the Republican playbook.

Kathy VanGorder

West Tremont

Collins on wrong side of history

I’ve supported Sen. Susan Collins throughout her entire career, and I’ve cheered her strong-willed commitment to Maine and its people. But she’s missed a chance to join Maine’s political giants in the annals of history.

Collins has chosen to support President Donald Trump by refusing to call out his continued unacceptable behavior, destructive political actions and plain awfulness. Trump is a monstrosity that I would not even allow in my house, much less want to be president.

Collins has had her opportunities to stand up for what is right. To step up to the mic and and join Margaret Chase Smith, Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, Olympia Snowe and William Cohen as giants in Maine’s political hall of fame. She has failed.

I will never vote for her again. And, if she votes again for Trump’s tax cuts, it will prove to all that she has become a shill for corporations and the wealthy 1 percent. I thought she was different. I hoped she would be the ray of light in this administration’s sea of darkness. I was wrong.

History will judge her, and she will be placed on the long list of people who could have stopped a historic catastrophe but failed to act.

Anthony Winslow


Trump attacks America’s soul

President Donald Trump’s decisions to shrink Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monuments has likely violated the Antiquities Act of 1906, which grants presidents the power to create national monuments but not to shrink or end them.

On a deeper level Trump slashed at the core of the American identity and part of what has made America so special for the last century. He desires to make America great again. Instead he attacks the very foundation of what makes America great — our dedication to the protection of natural lands for posterity and reprise from the hectic noise of our modern world.

If the president claims the power to destroy national monuments in Utah, it is only a matter of time before he turns to the east and does the same to our own Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

Republicans say they are attempting to check what they see as the overreach of the federal government into our daily lives. Instead they are empowering one man to singlehandedly destroy the United States’ environmental legacy.

It is all too likely with the current administration that the recent decision to attack national monuments will lead to a domino effect, slowly but constantly toppling other natural and cultural landmarks that bind us together as Americans.

Our soul is in the mountains, the rivers and streams, meadows and fields, not the oil fields or coal mines. The attack on our national monuments is an attack on the soul of America.

Ben Wyman


Shame on Collins

We cannot say how disappointed we are by Sen. Susan Collins’ vote on the GOP so-called tax reform bill. We have read that donors are telling her to pass this tax bill, or don’t bother asking them for more money.

Well, we are two voters who have consistently supported her in the past, and we are telling her, now that she has decided to pass this tax bill, to not bother asking us for any more votes.

As for the IOUs she got from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan, every voter in Maine knows what they’ll be worth when push comes to shove in the conference committee, so please do not insult us by waving them in our face.

Francis and Anna Sinclaire


Trump not above the law

It wasn’t long ago that we were forced to ponder the question: Can a president pardon himself? Now it seems that the question is moot because the president’s lawyer just declared that presidents are above our laws in the first place.

Yeah, you read that right. The president can’t obstruct justice because he’s the head of law enforcement according to this “argument.” I put the word argument in quotation marks because I don’t want anyone to confuse this sophistry for reasoned argument.

So, now the questions we have to answer are: How long do we let this go on? How far do we let this man go? How long does this man defile common decency before our country’s conscience demands that he go?

Ed Woods


Collins’ tax vote justification

The BDN reported on Dec. 5 that Sen. Susan Collins’ reply to protests against her tax reform bill vote included this: “A single mom with one child earning $35,000 would receive $1,100 back from the government, rather than owing income tax.”

How disappointing. Usually Collins analyzes every aspect of proposed legislation and makes careful, independent appraisal of its merits. But now it appears she has drunk the trickle-down kool-aid. She is letting the small benefits projected for struggling working people soothe her conscience about the many injustices in this bill.

If this tax reform becomes law, and Collins needs more salve for her conscience, here’s a suggestion she can ponder. Go find a single mom earning $35,000 a year, perhaps an employee in the Collins’ family business, or a staffer in one of Collins’ Senate offices, and trade tax breaks with her.

David Paul Henry