Letters, Sept. 15, 2016

Sep 15, 2016

Remember Malcolm

If I were going to make a sign to take to a protest rally, it would say “Remember Malcolm.”

A recent editorial here listed a series of historical social failures on the part of America, going back to the Civil War and continuing to the present. The American Civil War put an end to slavery at a cost of 600 thousand casualties suffered by the Northern armies. I think quite a lot of the debt of slavery was paid with the war itself.

Native Americans are not without guilt. Read the Wikipedia article on slavery practiced by Native Americans on other Indians, which also included torture.

America is a nation of immigrants, most of whom immigrated after the Civil War. A lot has happened since then. We have had immigrants from Japan, Germany, Russia and Rwanda, to name a few. The Japanese killed as many as 10 million people during World War II and we are all aware of the German atrocities. Stalin is said to be linked to 35 to 50 million Russian deaths during his reign.

Black people have their own history as we all do. As many as one million Tutsi people were killed by the Hutus in 100 days in Rwanda in the 1990s while we watched. About half of the murders in this country are committed by black people (FBI statistics) and 83 percent of those victims are black people. As many as 16,000 black people have been murdered by black people since President Obama was elected, more than our soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

The history of mankind is the history of atrocity, including America. I do not understand the righteous repentance of the media and editorials like in this paper that recount American social failure like it is somehow unique to the world and a chain to be carried around the necks of citizens today. This chain is a chain of mankind — all men have a history; there is no innocence.

A better focus is to look forward and make a difference today. Do black lives really matter to you? If so, are you involved in ending slavery today (30 million slaves right now)? You can write a letter or wave a sign in Belfast square and check off the box that you made a difference. There is injustice here and now. There are tens of thousands of shootings a year, now, many of them people of color. And you say black lives matter. It appears they matter more when they are killed by the police. The only authority left to protest is the police, as the hippie generation now actually is the government. To use the deaths of young black men to promote feelings of anti-authority is sad.

In summary, the moral outrage at the killing of a dozen young black men by the police is opportunistic. You can’t say you care about black lives if you are not talking about the 16,000. There are no signs for Malcolm, no editorials, no white yuppies marching in protest. Malcolm died last night, shot to death, and so did Jamal, and Eddie, and Shalena, and many others. Sad.

Brian Cooper

Belfast

Troubling editorial

Your Sept. 1 editorial "Time to take government to task" is very troubling indeed and plain to see was meant to stir up strife again as this "mystery" writer threw in the "race bait" card again at the very end. We all know our governor is not a racist, so that was a lie as well as many other untruths throughout this editorial. Nothing in it to help draw us together in unity, for who has the right to judge another man's servant?

Just eight years ago we had news media that were fair and balanced. Now we have shrunk from 50 large media companies to just six — NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, FOX and viacom — UPN. There are other media entities, not as big but still influential, that follow the same exact set of directives. All it took to seize total media control was money and eight years.

But all is not lost; we outnumber the "powers that be" a million to one! They know it more than you do. Our best weapons are courage and truth. Use them wisely and we will finally get the "change" that we were falsely promised and so desperately need in this world.

A new coalition of independent reporters, film makers, broadcasters and authors has formed the American Truth Network (ATN), a good site for finding alternative news. Just for the sake of curiosity, why not go to George Soros' own website, the Hungarian Jewish billionaire who says, "You have freedom and we want it now," and claims he can make Obama destroy whole economies without moving his lips. He has a residence there as well as here. Go to his website and read it for yourself.

Rupert Murdoch is another billionaire but not as wealthy as George Soros. He instructed his FOX News debate moderators — Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace — to hammer Trump on a variety of issues because he didn't like his stance on immigration. On the night of Aug. 6, in front of 24 million people, the FOX moderators peppered Trump with harder-hitting questions. But it was Kelly's questioning about crude comments toward women that he seemed personally wounded. How fair and balanced is this? (Your Sept. 1 editorial perhaps could be categorized with this same group.)

It is time for the silent majority to stand up and start being vocal, because silence means consent, and time is running out. Remember the signs years ago to join the Army and the words: "Uncle Sam needs you"? Now, in this moment of history it's "God needs you." Something weighing on your heart that you cannot shake off? That is God calling you. Do what he is asking. Together we have the answers.

Put down the TV remote and do some research on your own for once, instead of being spoon-fed your news, or "disinformation" as it truly is. Former CIA Director William Colby says, "The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media."

And former CIA Director William Casey: "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

Ruth Treworgy

Knox

Electronic waste disposal

The Belfast Rotary Club will be conducting an electronic waste equipment collection event Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Belfast Public Works Department parking lot at 115 Congress St. Event hours will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine. Most all electronic and electrical equipment will be accepted. This is a free event. No fees are required. Donations would be appreciated. Go to belfastrotary.org for more details.

Doug Smith

Belfast Rotary Club

Legislators, issues and answers

On Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the University of Maine's Hutchinson Center in Belfast, starting at 6:30 p.m., the Waldo County Municipal Association will be hosting a candidates forum, where all of the above can be addressed.

There will hopefully be all of the 15 candidates representing Waldo County present to give you answers to all the issues that are of importance to you, all under the same roof, sitting elbow to elbow. There's no better chance to really find out where the candidates stand, what they believe in and what their priorities are, then when you sit face-to-face.

Please take the time and attend this forum, bring your questions or just come to listen. This is the time to let your candidates know what matters to you, your family, and your community. This is your opportunity to stand up and be counted.

So, do it!

Kathy LIttlefield

Waldo

Caldwell for House

I am sure that most citizens of Maine are dismayed by the coarsening of our political discourse. We are looking for leaders who can rise above vulgarity, profanity and self-promotion. I want someone to represent my district in Augusta who will listen to constituents and vote with an informed and rational perspective. That is why I am supporting Dotty Caldwell for state representative from District 131.

Throughout her professional career, Dotty has shown that she cares deeply about the well-being of all Maine families. Her experience as a mental health counselor has trained her to be an attentive and engaged listener. She has demonstrated her commitment to ending domestic violence by being a co-founder of the Next Step Domestic Violence Project. As a Master Gardener, she has a finely tuned dedication to preserving the special place that is Maine.

Dotty will be a calm, reasonable voice for us in Augusta. Legislators face many complex and emotionally charged issues. We need someone who is intelligent and thoughtful enough to consider multi-faceted questions and to vote with the best interests of the people of Maine in mind, and not from a narrow ideological bias. We need a fresh, knowledgeable and hard working representative in Augusta. Please join me in voting for Dotty Caldwell Nov. 8.

Laura Flagg

Stockton Springs

Addresses Waldo County needs

Mike Thibodeau has one aim in Augusta — and that is to meet the needs of Maine people while balancing fiscal responsibility. He has worked with both political parties to prevent a government shutdown. He is sincere and honest. I would stake my reputation on his integrity. I have nothing whatsoever against his opponent but believe Sen. Thibodeau — who is term-limited after the next legislative session — deserves to have that last term.

I first met Mike Thibodeau when he successfully ran for the House of Representative in 2006. During his service in the House I was impressed and thankful for the attention he paid to my concerns as a Brooks selectman and as the assistant director of a state agency.

He was elected to the state Senate in 2010. In 2014 he was selected unanimously to serve as Senate president, a position not held by someone from Waldo County for more than 90 years. It takes years of work in the Legislature to build the relationships and earn the respect and leadership role that Mike has achieved.

What exactly does having our state senator be Senate president mean for Waldo County?

The job of the Senate president is to preside over the daily sessions of the Senate, refer bills to committees, sign legislation, and act as the official spokesperson for the Maine Senate. Additionally the Senate president appoints committee chairmen and members for the work done in the Legislature.

He also works with all members of leadership to develop policy for the Legislature, its facilities and employees. The position also appoints members of the public to various commissions as vacancies occur throughout their two-year term.

Senate President Thibodeau has assured that the interests and needs of Waldo County are addressed. His appointments include addressing the needs of EMTs, firefighters, and other volunteer municipal personnel, the Palliative Care and Quality of Life Advisory Council, the Commission to Study Public Lands Management. The Task Force on School Leadership Issues and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women are examples where someone from Waldo County now has a voice on these important committees.

When the Belfast Municipal Airport needed a deed transfer, he submitted legislation to see that it happened. When the Group Home Foundation fell apart and those in our community with the greatest need didn’t have a voice at the state level, Sen. Thibodeau convened various department heads and invited the city of Belfast to be present at the table. When two local hospitals wanted to merge at the management level and faced challenges, Sen. Thibodeau sponsored legislation to make the process simpler. He listens to the needs of his district and makes things happen.

My respect for Sen. Thibodeau went even higher when, in the face of a likely state government shutdown in June 2016, he worked with Democrats and Republicans to keep state government functioning without interruption. This should be a minimal expectation of our representatives in Augusta, but not all people share this view.

A vote to re-elect Sen. Thibodeau will allow his legislative experience and leadership to continue to benefit Waldo County.

Linda H. Lord

Brooks

Someone to support

This election season has been brutal. The corruption in both the RNC and the DNC is not new, tragically. But this cycle thousands of us awakened from our slumber due to the Sanders campaign and WikiLeaks revelations, in particular. The dishonesty continues as I write — every day a new disclosure about election fraud, foundation shenanigans, email erasures, and more. Personally, my faith in “the system” has nearly been destroyed, though I realize I’ve been naïve.

Thus, I feel fortunate to have found a candidate here in Waldo County who has renewed my trust, albeit cautiously, in politics. Jonathan Fulford is someone I greatly admire for his forthrightness, earnestness, intelligence and integrity. I became interested in his positions in 2014; but this time around, having heard him speak and answer questions at more than a half a dozen events, I believe more than ever that Jonathan is someone to support, thank goodness.

Rather than list his views, as others have, I urge you to visit Jonathan’s website at fulfordforme.org to read his position statements on the economy and jobs, taxes, healthcare, education, labor unions, veterans and more. Jonathan’s commitment to family, community, and the welfare of our state is firm.

I may have major reservations about the presidential candidates, but I have no reservations about casting my vote with conviction in November for Jonathan Fulford. I urge you to join me.

Mj Viano Crowe

Belfast, Maine

Fulford sees big picture

When someone asked Jonathan Fulford why he was running for state Senate from Waldo County, he said: “I’ve got five grandchildren. We have to take care of our problems and challenges today to leave a decent world for them tomorrow.”

As a Registered Maine Guide, I see ocean levels rising in Maine and beaches eroding. I see animals and plants I’m familiar with moving north, and new ones appearing from the south. We all see ticks wintering over and increasing the level of tick borne diseases to levels never before seen in Maine.

We need someone representing us in Augusta who understands that our future and our children’s future begins today. We need someone who understands we need to develop solar and wind energy not only for the good living-wage jobs they will generate but so that we don’t make global warming worse for those who will come after us.

We need someone who runs as a Clean Elections candidate and whose campaign runs on people power, not out-of-state corporate-big-money power; many of whose donors are fossil fuel industries.

We need someone who understands that we need fair taxes for all, equal educational opportunity for all our kids, and that these and all of our other challenges have to be thought of and dealt with in a “big picture” way.

In short, we need Jonathan Fulford as our Waldo County state senator in Augusta to represent us — and our grandchildren.

Cloe Chunn

Waldo

Civility we need

When people talk about Jonathan Fulford — the builder who’s running for Maine’s Senate District 11 — one thing that comes up over and over again is his integrity. As someone who’s known Jonathan for over 25 years, I can emphatically vouch for that.

Another thing that strikes people about Jonathan — and this is somewhat unusual — is his capacity to listen. People find that instead of dominating the conversation with his own ideas, he’s actually paying attention to what matters to them, including their concerns about those parts of government that don’t serve their intended function, which is to serve the people.

Jonathan’s character results in an attitude of civility that we all know is sorely missing in today’s politics, at both the state and national level. Personally, I believe that the poisonous attitudes that dominate the news every day are a serious threat to the happiness and well-being of our society and, indeed, the world.

Our children and grandchildren are watching, they’re listening, they’re learning. We desperately need courageous and hard-working people like Jonathan Fulford out there building the bridges necessary to deal with the challenges ahead.

He’s getting my vote. I hope you’ll seriously consider giving him yours.

Chris Wright

Belfast

North Dakota pipeline

Dogs attacking Indian children — in 2016?

The more southern route of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline is a selfish, racist attempt to prevent any risk to Bismarck, North Dakota's water supply; it is racist, because it willfully threatens instead the water of the Standing Rock Sioux community.

The sadistic mercenaries hired by Enbridge to bully through this territory are not "security guards." Running roughshod over sacred sites and unleashing their dogs on Indian young people, elders, and horses, cannot to be tolerated. They might as well be 1930s Pinkerton guards brought in by mine owners to harass and kill striking miners. Or Bull Connor in 1963, setting dogs and firehoses on idealistic young black children. They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for these assaults.

We will not tolerate this environmental injustice, nor will we tolerate the victimization of Native American citizens whose aboriginal right to their sacred spaces and traditional natural resources are guaranteed by the United Nations in the Declaration that the United States signed in 2010.

There is no such thing as an aspirational right. The federal government must honor its trust relationship with the federally recognized Standing Rock Sioux tribe and its Sacred Stone Camp, and guarantee this community's safety with a protective force sufficient to do the job. Suspend this pipeline construction permanently; jobs that depend on poisoning water, land, and lives with Bakken crude are not the jobs we need.

Diane Oltarzewski

Belfast

 

Comments (1)
Posted by: JOHN FORD | Sep 17, 2016 08:45

I fully agree with the letter written by Linda Lord in support of Senator Mike Thibodeau.

Mike has served our area well under some rather adverse times. In doing so, he has managed to hold his grounds in what he felt was right for the people of Maine. That is why he is in a leadership roll.

Maine needs a leader - and Mike has proven he fits that position. I urge you to vote for Mike and allow him to continue doing the peoples work.

 



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