We're number 1

This responds to Fritz Lyon's guest column Gaga Guns. Per capita, with respect to gun availability and death by gun violence, the United States takes first place many times over with respect to other industrialized nations. If the "They're coming for your guns" crowd can dance itself away from this simple statement of fact, my hat's off to some truly fancy footwork.

Mike Silverton


Buy a gun

If Obama outlaws guns, only outlaws will have guns, and that’s the least of the problem. The problem is that the most innocent-sounding change in the gun laws would be used by Obama and the Democrats as an excuse to restrict gun ownership, tax gun ownership or embarrass gun owners.

I say this with complete confidence based on the obvious truth that the Obama administration has no problem whatsoever with boldfaced lies and deceptions on a grand scale. Consider the fact that Susan Rice, our ambassador to the United Nations, deliberately lied over and over to the whole world when she claimed that the planned attack on Benghazi that murdered our ambassador and three others was a spontaneous uprising. Sadly, even that is not the worst of it. The worst of it is that the president planned to reward her for telling his lies by promoting her to be the Secretary of State of the United States of America. God help us!

What should your reaction to this be? Simple, buy a gun. Learn to use it. It could save your life. It could save our country.

David Huck


Remembering Paul Faulkingham

Last Tuesday Waldo County, the state of Maine, and this country, lost Pat Faulkingham, one of the most outstanding citizens of the “greatest generation” I ever met.

Sadly, ironically, I was receiving a heart bypass the day his heart stopped.

I had the pleasure of knowing him for over 40 years. I started working with him in the woods in 1970 (two years back from Vietnam), when he was known as “bull of the woods.”

We never talked much about it, but it was evident he was a long-timer, five years in World War II, and had no use for the “culture of independence” change that was going on in Maine and the U.S.

Pat was the last of the real independent workers: lifting tree-length spruce to double up, coming off hills with the skidder being pushed by the overloaded twitches, overloading his underrated trucks with logs to Sprowl or 4-foot to North Ellsworth. Pat had no fear of anything: ice storms, blizzards, -20 temps; always starting at dawn, we would cut a load a day.

Occasionally at 4 a.m. at Johnson’s Lunch or Darre’s, he'd tell tidbits of “lumbering” up north in camps with horses and crews including Edgar Fuller and Tiny Hotham (the only man that could load potato barrels using only his thumbs and forefingers) spending time away for long stretches.

Never any talk of his five years in World War II other than he enjoyed and was an accomplished boxer during war breaks.

Over the years, as he switched to construction, as I did, he would be the first person I’d call for help with my jobs, first with a backhoe, then excavator and trucks. As he started at dawn and never stopped till late, I was helped immensely on my jobs, as he worked with the same passion as in the woods, which was contagious.

Pat was still working into his 80s, weekends, snow, rain, sleet, it didn’t matter.

I have never been so influenced by anybody in my life, and strived to be as good a man as he; a totally clean-living man (drank milk only)  a humble giant, honest, respectful and never a bad word about anyone, and always thinking the world owed him nothing (while half the country was crying for more programs).

This man was totally self-reliant, and the toughest man I ever knew. The kids today should have had him for a mentor.

I will miss him and our occasional visits back and forth.

Unfortunately, I was too “busy” to stop and visit last year.

We have all lost the best of the best, as there will never be another Pat Faulkingham.

Walt Lamont Sr.


Ride the bus to political change

There’s no way to analyze the 2012 election without highlighting the impact of big money, especially the $1 billion channeled through outside groups by giant corporations and the hyper-rich. All politics now occurs against the backdrop of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. On every single issue that matters to them, corporations and the super-wealthy have more power and influence than they did just a few years ago.

Voters are fighting back. Statewide ballot measures calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United passed by 3-to-1 margins in Colorado and Montana, making a total of 11 states that have passed similar resolutions.

Here in Maine, a coalition of activists led by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) and Public Citizen collected more than 10,000 signatures at the polls calling for a statewide resolution for a constitutional amendment to take back our democracy. With a new legislature, we have an opportunity to make Maine the 12th state to pressure Congress to act.

On Tuesday, Jan. 22 — the day after the third anniversary of the Court's Citizens United ruling — citizens from across Maine will be converging on Augusta to urge our Legislature to pass a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment. MCCE is staging a rally outside the State House, to be followed by meetings with our legislators and possibly a vote on this resolution.

Local concerned citizens are chartering a bus that will pick people up at 8 a.m. at the Mill Mall in Ellsworth and at 9 at Reny's parking lot in Belfast. We will return to Belfast by 2 p.m. We are asking for a sliding-scale contribution to make it possible for people with limited income (including seniors and students) to ride the bus to Augusta.

Please call 288-5323 or email me at gary@garyfriedmann.com to save a seat on the bus. We would love to have you join us!

Gary Friedmann

Bar Harbor

Many thanks to solstice performers and volunteers

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Belfast's Annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Dec. 15 raised just over $1,200, benefiting the Belfast Soup Kitchen. The event went off without a hitch, filling the Blue Goose Hall in Northport to capacity. Many thanks to performers Highland Mary, The Belfast Men's Ensemble, Heartsong, Helena Melone, Becky Brimley, Shira, the Mummers, the UU Sword Sisters and the UU Church Choir. Also thanks to narrator Arthur Richardson and storytellers Morten Moesswilde and Lora Mills. We also appreciate the efforts of the many volunteers who made everything happen, from organizing the show to setting up the hall, taking tickets at the door, baking and providing goodies and drinks, and cleaning it all up afterward. And of course, thanks so much to everyone who came and enjoyed the show!

The Annual Winter Solstice Committee