Right-wing comments inflammatory

An Associated Press article in the Press Herald asks, “Has political discourse reached an all-time low?” I propose the general answer is no, but the conservative right has.

Unfortunately, many on the right are getting their information from those who benefit most from instilling panic and fear.

Talk-radio hosts and their wannabes (such as a half-term governor who quit her job to pursue the money) followed the historic House vote on health care with a day of red-alert panic mongering.

If you listened to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh the day after, my God, the sky was falling! We will soon become a 1950s-era Soviet Union (or, perhaps worse, France)!

If you listened to National Public Radio, on the other hand, you heard rational discussion on the pros and cons of many points in the bill.

I learned that the medical supply companies that must now pay a new tax (something I wasn’t sure I supported) will even benefit in the long run by manufacturing and selling more equipment to meet the demand of 32 million more insured people.

Ditto pharmaceuticals: They now have caps on how much they may charge, but with a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in customer base, these “regulations” in no way prevent them from being profitable.

I suggest those who feel alarmed by this much-needed and long overdue health care reform not buy into the panic. Stop listening to talk radio and try NPR instead; read RealClearPolitics.com or try The Washington Post; watch CNN or PBS’ Jim Lehrer instead of Fox.

Remember that Ronald Reagan declared, with the passage of Medicare in 1965, that “behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country, until, one day . . . we will awake to find that we have socialism.”

Really? Medicare gave us socialism? Everyone take a deep breath . . . and turn down the shouting.

Lee Perkins

Bath

 

I liked the March 12 Maine Voices column, “President has long list of achievements,” by Vincent and Cheryl DiCara.

Amen! And thanks to the DiCaras for writing it. It was the best writing to appear on either the editorial or commentary pages since Richard Connor took over as publisher-owner.

That the DiCaras’ piece appears just next to one with George Will’s usual pontifications is especially sweet. Will quotes a forthcoming “scintillating” book (“The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris”). Will should know about hubris. He’s 100 percent full of it.

Thank you for publishing the DiCaras’ defense of Obama. It is a nice change from your Fox News lineup: the worn-out Cal Thomas – read once by mistake – and M.D. Harmon and that infuriating rookie, at least to your readers, Jonah Goldberg.

Robert P. Russell

Kennebunkport

 

Who’s the terrorist now?

Liz Cheney’s reactionary online organization, Keep America Safe, and her infamous father’s recent attacks on the Obama administration’s lawful call for lawful prosecutions in federal courts of alleged “terrorists,” both in Guantanamo and elsewhere, are notable.

They also attack the lawyers who are attempting to represent such alleged “terrorists.” The Cheneys’ efforts, while protected by the laws they would subvert, are despicable but predictable.

How soon we forget history, philosopher George Santayana warned. The Cheneys either skipped their American history lessons or flunked the course.

They forget that their same reactionary arguments were all espoused during the lead up to the Revolutionary War, when future President John Adams defended all eight of the British soldiers charged with terrorist-like crimes (murder during warfare) in the Boston Massacre.

Adams was publicly vilified in the press. How soon we are condemned to repeat history.

True patriots remember and don’t repeat history, unlike the Cheneys who pontificate but profit on their government contracts out of the war (why would they want the wars to end?) and fill their Web sites and the airwaves with teachings about racism, hate and bigotry in the name of a “war on terrorism.”

Why do we listen? Why does the press cover them? We are a nation and Constitution of laws, not men, and that, Ms. and Mr. Cheney, protects your right to disagree and be heard without reprisal. So why your lamentable reprisals and attacks on these same laws? Who’s the terrorist now?

I support Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and the village of Deer Isle in their current resolution (proposed by Kucinich, passed by Deer Isle) to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by defunding them under the Constitution.

Bring the money home and spend it on health care reform and education. Now that’s another letter – so little time.

Jeff Smith

Belfast

 

Legislature has to keep funds to help the elderly

 

According to the 2000 census, there were 183,642 adults 65 years and older living in the state of Maine, 10 percent of whom had incomes below the federal poverty level.

According to the AARP, Maine ranks third in the nation for individuals living alone. They comprise about 14 percent of Maine’s population. Gov. Baldacci’s budget cuts, unless the current compromise plan continues to restore them, will have a very negative impact on Maine’s elderly.

Gov. Baldacci’s budget cuts will cause great losses in jobs in nursing homes and home health care. It will be the elderly who suffer most at the loss of these jobs. Many of Maine’s elderly living at home on their own depend on home health care.

Home health-care workers are critical, not only providing their clients with health services but also offering them company and keeping them abreast of local news.

Furthermore, home health-care services provide families with a sense that their loved ones are safe and are being cared for. This security will be lost if Gov. Baldacci’s proposed cut of $40 million passes.

Maine’s elderly are not a burden. They are far from it; they are war heroes, farmers, fishermen, mothers and fathers. It is imperative that we keep them in mind and write to Gov. Baldacci and our legislators to be certain to restore cuts when it comes to those who are responsible for taking care of our older neighbors.

Rory Guilmartin

Kennebunk