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Mills’ veto mistake

Gov. Janet Mills’ veto of the bill that would have banned the spraying of the weedkiller, glyphosate, shows a complete disregard for the health of Maine’s environment, wildlife and people. It is shocking.

The science is clear: Two of the most widely used agrichemicals in the United States — a class of insecticides called neonicotinoids and glyphosate, also known as Roundup — are among the leading potential factors in the devastating decline of bees and monarch butterflies. One out of every three bites of food, including fruits, vegetables and nuts depends on bees and other pollinators. Fewer pollinators equals less food and the potential for soaring food costs.

A study published by Rutgers University in July 2020 found that healthful foods such as apples, cherries and blueberries are already “pollinator limited.” U.S. beekeepers report that the country lost more than 43 percent of its honeybee colonies over the past year. Meanwhile the population of monarch butterflies has plunged by more than 80 percent over the last two decades and continues to decline.

This is in addition to the growing concerns about the human-health impacts of exposure to glyphosate and neonicotinoids. The former has been  linked to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and the latter to higher rates of developmental and neurological damage.

To sanction the continuation of this destructive practice is unconscionable.

Jean Marston Cobb

St. Agatha

Collins and voting rights

Sen. Susan Collins’ vote to not allow the voting rights bill to be debated in the Senate is shameful. She  argues that individual states are best qualified to determine voting procedures for their citizens. This “states’ rights” argument is on a moral continuum with arguments made by Southern Democrats in the 19th century, first to continue slavery and later to disenfranchise freed Black people.

In the 21st century, these same southern states, now dominated by Republican Legislatures, are passing laws that I think are blatantly aimed at suppressing the votes of Black and brown voters. Disenfranchisement 2.0.

While Collins falls down on moral leadership, Maine legislators demonstrate the right stuff, passing laws that encourage voting.

John Epstein


Appreciation for Milley

It is fashionable to mock or discredit any serious inquiry about American racial history by simply calling it “woke.” Comparing white American mythology with what actually happened is not patriotic.

It was therefore noteworthy to hear an i mpassioned defense of racial inquiry coming from our Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley who testified before a congressional committee last week. A Green Beret and Trump appointee, he was characterized as “pathetic” by the ex-president following his testimony.

The general said:

“… I do think it’s important, actually, for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read. The United States Military Academy is a university and it is important that we train and we understand. I want to understand white rage. And I’m white, and I want to understand it. So what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this [Capitol] building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America? What caused that? I want to find that out… I’ve read Mao Tse-tung. I’ve read Karl Marx. I‘ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding, having some situational understanding about the country for which we are here to defend? And I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the U.S. military… of being ‘woke’ or something else because we are studying some theories that are out there… I do want to know… It matters to our military and the discipline and cohesion of this military.”

Thank you to Gen. Milley.

George Mason