Help the homeless

We need a change of consciousness; to face what is before us and to respond. Right here in Belfast, our county seat has become a microcosm of what is wrong in America.

My husband went to the soup kitchen for lunch yesterday. He tells the story of a man who lives in the woods. It’s a particularly bad year for ticks, the man says. He has pulled over 300 off himself this year. Marshall says he knows of four men who live in the woods year-around. (The soup kitchen gives out hand warmers in the wintertime.)

Other communities have risen to address the homeless problem. To our credit, a new and larger soup kitchen is being built on Route 3, near where the old drive-in theater used to be. With a crew and rudimentary materials, we could build a dozen 8-by-10-foot cabins nearby to get these people shelter. The county and city could maintain a portable toilet, the YMCA could give away a few memberships; we could address the horrors of homelessness.

These are our people; many of them grew up right here in Belfast. We are all human beings. I challenge those of us who are conscious to come together right now. We can do this. Bring ’em in; bring ’em home.

Jennifer Hill

Waldo

A toxic op-ed

This past week, another “individual who is a member of a group of concerned citizens who meet regularly in the Midcoast” took up a third of the Journal’s opinion page in its weekly op-ed Another View to post a scripture-themed diatribe. Writer Ralph Wallace wants to turn our weekly paper into a yellow rag, as was the case of fellow “concerned citizen” Jan Dolcater last week.

He trashes Democrats as having deep veins of hatred, misogyny, racism, intolerance and homophobia. He claims that Democrats disrespect the tragedy of 9/11. He attacks teachers for being critical of an administration that has attempted to derail support for public education and condemned science curricula. He says that Democrats rant and rave while Republicans generally respond with bland and wishy-washy comments. (What?)

And he wraps up this litany of absurd claims by saying we’ve never been safer and that we’re the envy of the world. Tell that to the rest of the world — most countries are horrified at Trump’s threats to “obliterate” rather than negotiate, as well as to disregard the largest global crisis faced since before the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and instead to undo all the regulations that have kept U.S. pollution in check since the 1960s.

Just who are these concerned Midcoast citizens, anyway? Do they meet to plot overthrowing our democracy and rallying to support someone who has actually said he may want to stay in office more than eight years to make up for the hoax that is the Mueller investigation?

Another View is an op-ed that would fit nicely into Alex Jones’ "Info Wars," but it doesn’t belong in a paper that otherwise has some very fine qualities. At least tell us who this group of “concerned citizens” actually is. Lots of citizens are concerned these days, and with compelling reasons. Getting slapped in the face with the blind hate conveyed in Another View certainly doesn’t help.

Beverly Roxby

Belfast

Demand conversion!

Re: 22 Arrested at BIW: Climate crisis the biggest threat to security; Use defense funds for climate solutions

We are now talking about extinction — scientists talk about 20-50 years — human, as well as the million species already documented as extinct in our lifetime. It is already beyond time to face the climate crisis and ignoring all the bleakness of this truth won't help. Our kids will not be able to ignore it.

What will help is joining the campaign to convert Bath Iron Works to building products to help solve the climate crisis, not contribute to it. BIW has both the industrial capacity and the skilled workforce to show leadership to the nation by this conversion. Maine can take on the challenge to build products that will save our future, rather than more multi-billion-dollar warships we do not need, and that only contribute to climate collapse.

On June 22, another 22 environmental and peace activists were arrested in civil resistance to the "christening" of the USS Daniel Inouye Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. Nine of the protestors spent three days in jail, as they refused to pay bail in solidarity with all those who are unable to pay.

Given the accelerating speed of the climate crisis and the current administration's frightening level of denial as they push for a bloated and dangerous $750 billion Pentagon budget as well as planning to spend $1.7 trillion on new nuclear weapons, we all must follow the example of these activists. Demand conversion! Redirect funds to build sustainable energy systems.

Listen to the activists from #convertBIW campaign. Listen to the young climate activists worldwide. They know this is a matter of life and death. It is time to join them. Conversion will create more skilled jobs, not less. Contact our representatives. There are no jobs on a dead planet.

Meredith Bruskin

Swanville