Totally off base on Tea Party

Regarding your very inappropriate cartoon in [the July 21] edition of The Republican Journal, I think you owe an apology to any of the readers you have offended through your lack of education. This is not an unbiased item at all.

By printing a cartoon depicting the KKK as asking the Tea Party members for a cup of hate, it shows you clearly don’t have a clue what the real Tea Party members are all about. The Tea Party members are made of Republicans, Democrats and undecided voters who are tired of the way the system works in Congress and in the government.

Tea Party members don’t label people by name-calling and untruths. Most Tea Party members want to get rid of all the congressional members — be they Republicans or Democrats. Most believe strongly in the right of less government control in our lives. We believe in term limits for all. If we had term limits, politicians would not be allowed to lobby and get perks from special interest groups (this pertains to both parties). Tea Party members believe that all congressional members work for the people who pay their salaries — not the other way around.

I think it is a shame when people have differences of opinion but cannot be civil to the opposing side. Each individual is guaranteed their opinion. What has gotten out of hand recently is that, from my vantage point, the very liberal members are afraid of the Tea Party. Why? Come to our meetings and learn more about us. There are so many misconceptions, untruths and just plain slander that it is sad.

While there is a law about hate speech in our country, I would suggest that the next time you want to run an inflammatory cartoon that is incorrect, you might ask your artist to depict a cartoon that is true.

I have not met one Tea Party member who is filled with hate. I have met many who are saddened by what is happening to our country.

I feel an apology is warranted. I think you are doing at least half of your readership a disservice. That is how you make your money. Bias shows.

I am a proud Tea Party member, who is proud of my country, proud of my heritage, proud of America and its decent people and proud of its wonderful servicemen and women who defend our country.

You will find no hate here, only sadness that smear tactics are used to depict the Tea Party in an erroneous light.

Susan W. Russell

Unity

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Patriots rising

During the 1750s names like “Thomas Jefferson,” “John Adams,” “Patrick Henry” and “George Washington” were just people’s names. They were “Tom,” “John,” “Pat” and “George” to their friends, with no special significance given to them. But the events of those days caused them to stand up and speak out against the high taxes and oppressive government of King George. They believed that their lives, their liberty and their pursuit of happiness were being taken from them. Their preachers told them that these rights were God-given and not provided by the government.

How wonderful it is that that simple truth is alive and well today and that 10 people in the Belfast area stood up and spoke out against high taxes and an oppressive government. As with our country’s founders, they were unknown but to their friends, until evidence of coercive oppression in the form of a political cartoon compelled them to action.

Their names won’t be familiar to you but their convictions are the very foundations of our democracy. Their names are Barbara Berry, Hope Fox Coates, Linda Hoeschle, Nancy Hamilton, Stuart Phelps, James Horsey, James Clayton, Mary Kivel, Richard Kivel and Andrew Carpenter. Will their names go down in history? Probably not, but their beliefs are the growing convictions of hundreds of thousands and probably millions of patriots rising.

David Huck

Swanville

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Tea Partiers ‘will not surrender’

I apologize for being late in writing this letter, probably due to the overwhelming number of e-mails, books, magazines, etc. that I read. However, I feel it extremely important that I do so at this time.

I am appalled at the recently published despicable cartoon in [The Republican Journal]/VillageSoup with hooded “visitors” at the party “Headquarters” (which is itself false, there is none), depicting the Tea Party movement as a racist organization. I am a Maine-born, freedom-fighting and patriotic grandfather, and attend many “Tea Party,” and other such educational functions.

I have not heard a single remark or seen any action at any of these functions that would indicate that such inappropriate actions or dialogue are a part of this group. From what I have observed, we are simply an issue-oriented educational group that’s attempting, through information dissemination, to restore constitutional governance to this rapidly deteriorating nation.

Simply because some of the “complaints” are directed towards someone with different ethnicity, race, sex (or related activity) does not indicate that those characteristics are the target of the complaints. It is the policies of which we complain, and at which the remarks and actions are directed. It is the policies that are tearing this beautiful nation of sovereign states apart.

We will not surrender, especially to those who continue to support the destruction. My grandchildren, and those of all future generations, deserve better — much better.

Wayne Leach

Warren

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Emily offers thanks

Hi, this is Emily Bonin, and it has been four weeks since I returned from my Italy/Greece trip. I had an amazing time. Our itinerary was very full, but there was still time for some downtime and shopping. I was very excited that my mom was also able to go on this trip with me; she didn’t tell me for a few weeks that she was going with me, but I’m sure glad she did. We were able to do things on our own at times, instead of with the group, which made it very special. She also upgraded my room so that she and I shared a room together, and we didn’t have to bunk with anyone else. So we got to talk and discuss what we had seen that day, which was a lot of stuff, so it was really great.

I have a lot of people to thank for helping me to go on this trip. First and foremost, I want to thank my parents, Tammy and Francis Bonin, and my brother, Matt. Mom did a lot of the fundraising while I was in school and wasn’t able to help her. Thanks, Mom. My Dad and Matt were very helpful in doing a lot of moving and lifting for us. Thanks for the use of your truck, Matt.

I also want to thank my mom’s best friend, Pat Bunce. She did a huge amount of fundraising for us. When Mom was laid up for a few weeks, Pat went out and collected donations from a lot of local businesses, she also did a lot of the prep work with Mom to get ready for my spaghetti supper fundraiser, and she was one of the servers at the supper. Thank you very much, Pat.

I also want to thank the Redman Hall for letting us use their hall for the spaghetti supper, also thanks to Tom and Brenda for cooking the supper for us. Thank you to Tammy Watts and her boys, Chris, Matt, Nick and Bradlee, for helping with the raffles. Thank you, Gram and Grampa, for all the raffle donations and helping with the supper.

I also want to thank a lot of people for their donations of returnable bottles, they include: Bill and Cindy Enos, Missy Sobey, Jane Patten, Trudy Munson, the nice lady who lives beside Family Traditions Restaurant (I apologize for not getting your name) and David and Denise Lindahl.

To all the people who made monetary donations, including: Mom and Dad, Jane Patten, Ken and Pat Jones, Rachael and Matt Jones, Lynn DeGrenier, Cheryl Small, Sandra Bonin, Larry Moses, Darlene Whitcomb, Judy and Forrest Warren, Robin and Ralph Webster. Also thank you to Dylan Webster for helping the day of the spaghetti supper. Thank you, Bill Benner, for donating back your 50/50 raffle winnings.

Also, the local businesses were very generous with their donations; they include: Dockside Restaurant, Belfast Soup and Sandwich, Colburn Shoe, Belfast Frame, New Wave Hair Salon, Bell the Cat, EBS, Alexia’s Pizza, Searsport Hair Salon, Hideaway Diner (rolls), Northern Country Rafting Co., Family Traditions Restaurant (spaghetti), M.T. Redemption of Searsport, Ocean’s Edge Restaurant, Weathervane and Pemaquid Campground.

I hope I didn’t forget anyone. Just know that I had an amazing trip and I encourage all students to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity provided by Belfast Area High School. Mr. Guy Hamlin is a great tour leader, and very funny. Thank you Mr. Hamlin, for making this a very fun trip.

P.S. from my mom: Everyone should take advantage of these trips offered through the school; they are well worth the money. Your cost includes airfare, hotel accommodations, breakfast and dinner (you buy your own lunch). The itinerary is very full and extremely well organized, you get to see a lot of things in one day — we were on the go most days from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. But we also had enough downtime to do some sightseeing and shopping on our own. The hotels we stayed at were very nice, and the food was great. We had an air-conditioned tour bus and a very knowledgeable tour guide.

So from a mom’s perspective, these trips are a great experience for the children, and if you are able to go with them, so much the better. The kids may think that this is just a school assignment, but it isn’t. These are just fun trips, no notes to take, no stats to remember, just a great trip that you will remember for a lifetime. So start saving your money, because there will probably be more trips coming up.

Thanks again to everyone.

Emily Bonin

BAHS student

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Failure to lead

This week the Democratic-led U.S. Senate has admitted that it cannot, in fact, will not even attempt to pass an energy and climate bill this year. This is yet another entry into a thickening file of job description failures on the part of that elected body.

Given the prospects for more Republican senators likely to populate the creaking halls of the Senate after this next election, with the sole mission of unseating a Democratic president, this is tantamount to admitting that climate and energy are not issues that our Senate feels it can take action on. It is as ugly an example of our political leadership’s unwillingness to weigh public good and vision over brand-building and blatant job security as one could find.

Making this moment even more of a lost opportunity is the fact that we have spent the last 150 days watching our personal addiction to fossil fuel play out in real time with the collapse of coal mines and the ruptured BP wellhead. We have not been witness to freak accidents, but rather an open and blatant warning for us to wake up.

One billion dollars a day we Americans export in oil dollars alone, often to our most hated enemies, for the privilege of this addiction. Even though for some time now scientists have been telling us that our fossil fuel use is risking the very atmosphere that supports life on earth. Shame on those too afraid to put their precious lifestyles at risk and instead confuse the debate about global climate change and make doubters of some in the face of overwhelming evidence.

I have been a strong supporter of our president, but never expected to agree with this administration on everything it did. I would not have re-upped in Afghanistan as Obama did, nor would I have allowed untried “unlawful combatants” to linger in prison in this democracy . But these are more policy and tactical choices.

An energy bill is a clear necessity. We have got to begin to reduce our carbon output. We have got to begin to reduce our conventional fossil-fuel use and mandate that through a national renewable portfolio standard with teeth. We have to plan and put in place the incentives to jump-start renewable energy as a viable alternative towards this reduction. It‘s not overstating the obvious to say that our national security depends largely on this and our planet’s long-term health requires it.

If you are as disappointed as I am over this dereliction of duty on the part of these spine-challenged senators, write to them, to all of them, and ask them to do the work they were sent to Washington to do. Make hard choices. Think long term. Do not put yourself and your job longevity ahead of your obligations to serve. We will fire you for that.

Des FitzGerald

Camden