In the late 1960s and early ’70s in Berkeley, Calif., the radicals were in the streets inciting useful idiots by the thousands to violence. They wanted to overthrow the U.S. government but didn’t agree on how best to do it.

Some split off from the Students for a Democratic Society to form the Weather Underground. They blew up a few power lines in the Berkeley Hills and bombed the Pentagon and a police station in New York.

Others realized that violence would never work and that the only way to overthrow the United States is from the inside. They began by getting radicals into the school system, government bureaucracies and elective offices.

Now the roles are reversed. The radicals are running the country and we are standing in the streets.

At the Tax Day tea party in Portland, my wife and I joined everyday Americans brought together by a common desire to preserve and restore America. President Obama was “amused.” Some in Congress and the media portrayed us as angry mobs and warned of violence.

They know it’s not true. We are not the radicals. The radicals are in the administration. We are not anti-government nor angry, we just want our elected officials to remember that they work for us, not we for them.

We want spending brought under control, a limited government and a return to the Constitution. We were exercising our First Amendment right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We can take our country back the same way they took it from us; by getting our people in positions of power. We need freedom-loving, America-loving people who support the Constitution elected to every office, appointed as judges and teaching in our schools and universities. That’s how they did it, and it obviously works.

Lee Hague

Acton

 

“Busloads of Mainers attend a Boston rally,” proclaimed the headline April 15. Of course the article was speaking of Sarah Palin and the so-called tea party rally in Boston. My heart sank. Not a native, but having resided here for the last 38 years, I’ve grown to value the common sense of those living in the state I’ve been long proud to call home.

In my mind’s eye, I saw a convoy, stretching as far as the eye could see, passing through the toll booths at York and continuing down Interstate 95 to Boston. But wait; the story plays out quite differently. There were all of two buses carrying a total of about 75 people.

I draw two conclusions. The first is that one needs to read the whole article before knowing what it really says; I should have known that. The second, and more important one, is that the Portland Press Herald increasingly appears to be manipulating the news to fit a conservative agenda. Let the reader beware!

Sally P. Poland

Old Orchard Beach

 

In the April 15 Press Herald, there were two articles of interest: The front page referred to the April 14 Tea Party Express rally in Boston. It said that “busloads of Mainers” went south to express their distaste for our government, and heap praise on Sarah Palin. They went to hear speakers who have yet to present ideas on addressing the most pressing needs of our country. But they love to divide us by our religion, our sexual orientation, our race, our class.

The next article was in the Local and State section. It highlighted Gov. Baldacci hosting a spaghetti dinner for the benefit of the Preble Street Resource Center. This center, which serves some of the most needy among us, had funding from Catholic Charities pulled after it supported the No on 1 campaign.

The volunteers served over 900 people, and the donations went a long way to recover the money that Catholic Charities pulled. Would the tea party express support this center? Probably not.

I think the real Americans were at the Italian Heritage Center. And the Press Herald should have had this article on the front page.

Kathy Bordeleau

York


 

While they are to be applauded for their citizen activism, this writer looks on skeptically as to what the “tea party” movement is all about. Where was the outrage when Ronald Reagan deregulated the banking system which, down the road, brought this country into near depression 20 years later?

Where was the outrage when Dick Cheney, in 1985, chatted with and supported Sadaam Hussein (who later gassed the Kurds) in Iraq’s conflict with Iran?

Where was the outrage as our young men and women were sent to Iraq to “die for a lie” that was the infamous weapons of mass destruction? And lastly, in the same conflict, where was the outrage when it was publicly exposed that Halliburton, Blackwater et al. had proceeded to bilk the American taxpayer out of millions, if not billions, of dollars through fraudulent and unlawful practices?

As the health care plan that was recently signed into law seems to be one of the tea party targets, I would like to say that it did not go far enough. Health care should be a human right, not a privilege and every one should have access to it.

If those who oppose government involvement in health care have a problem with it, there is a solution.

When it comes time for you to qualify for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc., you simply refuse it. That way you can ideologically support your beliefs and live with a free conscience.

Jake Hawkins

Arundel

State should lend itself money needed for bonding

 

So Gov. Baldacci wants to float a $79 million bond issue to create jobs in Maine?

Why should the state pay interest on yet another bond issue? A huge chunk of our state taxes is already wasted paying interest on past loans.

If the state owned a bank with all state agencies required to maintain their working deposit balances in it, that bank could lend $79 million to the state at zero or very low interest.

And profits made on any interest charged would revert to the state anyway, as owner of the bank.

This is what North Dakota does with its state-owned bank, and conservative North Dakota is the only state with no looming budget deficit to worry about.

So why is Maine taking so much of our tax money and shipping it as interest to bondholders out of state?

Let’s start a state-owned bank, and keep Maine money in Maine.

Tom Hagan

Boothbay