Decay from within

The headlines from [the Nov. 24 edition of The] Republican Journal are a success story — but for whom? “Brooks man busts out window with child in truck.” “Woman arrested for assault puts up a fight.” “Student-teacher scuffle sends juvenile to youth center.” “Man claiming to be on the job busted for OUI.” “Local man cooks up trouble at hardware store.” “Convicted child molester’s body found in Vassalboro woods.”

Go back 30 years and find an issue of this newspaper that had four pages of “Cops & Courts” and I’ll buy your lunch.

Yes, society has come a long way and the sponsors of its decline can be truly happy. Happy that self-respect and moral behavior have fallen to — “If it feels good, do it.” Happy that “separation of Church and State” is achieving its planned goal of separating the population from its belief in God and the acceptance of his commandments. Happy that political correctness works relentlessly to destroy the icons of our heritage as exemplified by their efforts to replace “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays.”

It is logically inescapable that the moral society of 30 years ago with fewer law-breakers contrasts with the less moral society with more law-breakers today. A democratic society can only exist if the members police themselves, and they are obviously not doing that.

While some rejoice at our country’s decline, those of us who still hold to the Christian principles of our founders have a responsibility to defend those principles — out loud — every day.

David Huck

Swanville

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Thanks, and an update, from Habitat

On behalf of Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County, thank you to everyone involved with our recent Taste of the World celebration and birdhouse auction. Many of our board members and their families and friends spent hours preparing dishes from different parts of the world to share. And even with the unfamiliar flavors that we served, we heard many compliments on the food. We were thrilled to have more than 100 community members attend the event.

The creativity and artistry shown by those who decorated the birdhouses — from the children at the Starrett Center to the Senior College students and so many in between — was incredible. We thank everyone who made the birdhouse parts from wood donated by Robbins Lumber to those who decorated them and everyone who purchased them. Helping with those houses designed for our feathered friends will help Habitat of Waldo County provide a home for a family who needs a decent and safe place of their own.

As our first home, built in partnership with the Christina Johannes family, nears completion, we are fundraising for our second home. Other Habitat affiliates have told us that the second home is the most difficult, as the newness of donating and volunteering begins to wear off. Based on the enthusiasm for Taste of the World and the birdhouse auction, we don’t believe that will be true in Waldo County. However, we are still looking for a piece of land to be donated for our next home so we can get started looking for our second partner family.

We still have volunteer opportunities available at our first home as we race to work with the Johannes family to try to get them in for Christmas. We also have Christmas and Hanukkah cards on hand if you would like to donate funds as a holiday gift for the person on your list who has everything. To learn more about volunteering, donating land or the cards, visit our Web site: habitatofwaldocounty.org.

Randolph Mailloux, chairman

Board of Directors

Habitat for Humanity of Waldo County

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With gratitude

The Our Town Belfast Holiday Promotion Committee thanks the following people and organizations for their tremendous support in creating ‘An Old Fashioned Belfast Christmas’ Saturday, Dec. 4:

Mayor Walter Ash; the Rev Joel Krueger, First Church of Belfast;, Greg, the amazing outdoor sound man; Weavers Bakery; Therese Bagnardi of The Colonial Movie Theatre; Belfast Bay Fiddlers; Marjie Byers, Chris, Joe, Mylissa, The Belfast Co-op; Jane, Belfast Free Library; John Butler, Light in the Forest Photography; Deb and Blake, Bell The Cat; Judy Judkins, Funky Junk; Mike of the New Belfast Walgreens and the 17 Walgreen Elves; Jim LeClair, Maine Coast Welcome Center; Hannaford Bros.; Lisa Newcomb, The Belfast Dance Studio; Shana Bloomstein, Danseur Extraordinaire; Ben Hall, Artist; Dennis Harrington, Actor; David Erickson, Penobscot Bay Singers; Dee Bielenberg, Nan Borton, YMCA of Belfast; Deb Hall and Bryant Hall, Out on a Whimsy; Maine Celtic Celebration; Robert MacGregor, Sara Shute, Penobscot Bay Fiddlers; Bruce Thomas, Jim Bell, Parks and Recreation; Elaine Bielenberg, Waterfall Arts; Charlie, Baywrap;  Steve Drake, Jeannie Hurd, Camden National Bank; Belfast Area Re-entry Center; Mike Hurley; Mallory Dalto; Belfast Fire Chief James Richards; and Reny’s Department Store.

These extraordinary people, groups, businesses and nonprofits gave of themselves, their resources and their time so generously, to create window performances, roasting chestnuts, toys for tots, decorated cookies, dancing, tree-lighting, photographs, candy canes, free movies, and live acts and music all over town, singing around the tree, fiddling, cider sipping, caroling.

Much more to come during December. Meantime, thank you most sincerely for helping all of us to have so much fun and to love our town even more than usual. Happy holidays!

Larraine Brown

Our Town Belfast Holiday Promotions

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Tanglewood says thanks

On behalf of the board of directors, staff, and campers from Tanglewood 4-H camp in Lincolnville and Tenants Harbor (Blueberry Cove), a heartfelt thank-you to the Samoset Resort for their recent generous donation.

It is through the support of local organizations, individuals and civic-minded businesses like the Samoset that our vital work of providing outdoor experiential learning opportunities for many hundreds of Maine children is made possible.

Our school programs and summer camps have become an essential formative experience in the lives of countless youngsters. Because we take seriously the expression “It takes a whole village to raise a child,” we reach out to the community to help sponsor our richly diverse programs of outdoor education and leadership training.

Our camps, situated along the banks of the Ducktrap river in Lincolnville and on the south shore of Tenants Harbor in the town of Saint George, offer ideal settings for safe, guided explorations in nature and in group dynamics, while assuring that individual learning styles are honored and differences respected. The sound of laughter and shrieks of excitement, balanced by moments of silent wonder and reflection are what we strive to achieve. Those who have visited our camps in session can attest to the fact that these things happen in full measure every day.

We know that our future communities will also be in capable hands, because some of our future leaders will have had the “Tanglewood Experience.” With the support of our community, and the added support of those who are new to the area or may not have heard of our work, we can continue to provide and expand these services.

If you would like to know how you can become involved in our development, through volunteering or donations, please contact us at Tanglewood 4-H camp headquarters.

John Pincince

President, Board of Directors

Tanglewood 4-H Camp

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When will we learn?

On Dec. 24, 1979, the Soviet Union deployed its 40th Army in Afghanistan, with the final troop withdrawal that ended the war on Feb. 15, 1989. A total of 3,342 days, or nine years, one month and 23 days.

On Oct. 7, 2001, the United States attacked Afghanistan in early combat operations, and on Nov. 30, 2010, we will have been engaged in that war for 3343 days, or nine years, one month and 24 days, longer than the Soviet Union.

During the Cold War the U.S. wore down the Soviet Union by outspending it, beyond what it could afford, until its system collapsed. Is Al Quaeda doing the same? Maybe some of those bills are coming due? Certainly in terms of money (trillions).

But what price glory when the cost includes your young, your smartest (busy working on things that kill, instead of things that serve), as well as the money, the land, the young and the old of the “other” side?

When will we humans learn that war is not an answer to the statement: “But we disagree with you…”?

Paul Sheridan

Northport

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A time for conscience

Please read the New York Times article published on Dec.1, 2010, by David Leonhardt, “In tax cuts, the options run short.” Now is the time to cut the massive debt before the U.S. becomes another statistic in the world of financial failure.

All members of Congress who do not vote to eliminate tax cuts for those earning over $250,000 could be suspected of succumbing to the “big money” supporters of their congressional campaigns. The American people deserve an unbiased person on their side. Congressmen and -women, not Republicans and Democrats, working together for the benefit of our country could take this first step toward placing our country on a sound financial footing.

After this comes a total reform and simplification of our tax system without all the deductions. It is time to pay as we go.

Thanks for listening.

Ron Kennedy

Belfast