Leigh Donaldson’s recent column, “Republicans now the party of ‘no’ on any kind of social progress,” is in roughly equal parts careless, blatantly false and insulting.

Donaldson boosts his complaints about Republicans by quoting liberally from Arun Gupta, the left’s latest trendy guru, whose sweeping assertions on social and economic issues are often little more than ludicrous exaggerations.

It ignores history and facts, and it is simply careless to equate Social Security, Medicare, the minimum wage and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered rights, among Donaldson’s long list, as measures of social progress and to claim that Republicans have unjustly opposed them all.

A majority of congressional Republicans supported Social Security. House Republicans opposed Medicare, and on the basis of the program’s history and its promise of financial calamity in the future were right to do so.

Many mainstream economists believe that the minimum wage has become the single greatest impediment to job growth among teenagers and other entry-level workers and is responsible for the high unemployment rate among those groups.

Donaldson interprets the results of a contentious survey by the University of Washington’s Institute for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Sexuality to mean that “identifying as a conservative or a tea party supporter was an accurate predictor of racial resentment.”

In other words, those who oppose wasteful government spending, a gigantic accumulation of debt and overreaching regulation are motivated by racism, a notion that is as wacky as it is insulting.

What Donaldson doesn’t like is that Republicans have principled objections to the progressive social and economic policies he favors.

If this is what being the party of “no” means, that may be a good thing.

Martin Jones
Freeport

 

Upcoming elections offer chance for abortion action

 

As an institution, families predate all forms of secular government. Governments have been developed historically to protect and serve their citizens. Recently, numerous governments have taken contrary paths, resulting in the demise of their nations through atheistic materialism, war, genocide and other heinous offenses against life.

The same is happening in the United States today. This case may be the worst, as silence allows it to continue, almost unhindered: More than 50 million lives have been taken in 38 years in the United States alone among the most innocent of us, unborn infants.

Why? Because they’re an “inconvenient” result of carnal pleasure? This is neither “free” nor “brave.” Can we actually consider ourselves a Christian nation as this continues? As long as we elect officials who support infanticide?

Human beings, with beating hearts, wait to take their first breaths, only to be killed. What should be the safest place in the world has been turned into a death chamber — a mother’s womb.

Then there are parents, certainly guilty of a grave moral offense, but also victims of a rotten agenda against human life. Let us hope and pray that they seek forgiveness, for the sake of their own souls, and for those whom God may put in their lives who need assistance (maybe people in the same positions they once faced).

We need politicians who will protect babies and their parents from cowardly individuals who seek to destroy the family. Not politicians who simply talk, but who will walk, a million miles if necessary, fostering conditions that ensure mothers choose life so their babies can take their own first steps.

Any politician (Republican or Democrat) who will not make this commitment is a coward and deserves not one vote.

Let’s hope Maine will make use of this election season for the better.

Joseph P. Beaulieu
Wells

 

Slavick’s view on Catholicism not very much in demand

 

Bill Slavick’s column in Maine Voices June 9, “It’s time for Catholic leaders to go,” speaks of one who is frustrated because Catholic leaders have not sought his opinion — and most of us can see why.

Consider his hilarious charge against church leaders “now mandating sexist Latinate language.” Hmmm — and he’s the head of Pax Christi! Latinate language, indeed, in case he didn’t know.

His sexism has surfaced, too. He owes all of us many mea culpas.

John Lyons
Lisbon Falls

 

Energy-efficiency rules a must for new homes here

 

It is truly shocking and bizarre to read on the front page of The Press Herald (“Inefficient builders about to hit a wall,” June 14) that in this age of fossil-fuel-based wars, instability and disasters, Maine has been one of a handful of states without any minimum residential energy standards!

It is even more bizarre to read that many home builders in the state and even many home-buying customers are unconcerned with energy efficiency standards. I consider that lack of concern both incredibly irresponsible and unpatriotic.

Maine has the oldest housing stock in the country and is the state most dependent on home heating oil.

Our massive consumption of oil and other fossil fuels is causing massive damage to the very health of our land, water, air and oceans. The horrible disaster in the Gulf of Mexico is only the latest of the fossil fuel calamities afflicting the United States.

Our insatiable thirst for oil, coal and natural gas is devastating our fragile Earth and is causing great harm to our national security.

We are in seemingly endless wars centered around oil and energy. And here in Maine, home builders and home buyers are shrugging their collective shoulders?

How absurd and how very unpatriotic! We need super energy-efficiency standards for all our homes and buildings, old and new, without further delay and with no more excuses.

Robert Goldman
South Portland

Downplaying jihadist threat only making danger worse

 

Is it my imagination, or does it strike you as odd that our current administration has an allegiance to the Muslim world?

We have a global war on us that has been declared by Muslim jihadists. Two more were arrested recently in New Jersey. Were they Presbyterians or were they Baptists?

I think we know the answer to that question. Yet, President Obama has instructed his team to use terms and labels designed to make our enemies less offended, thereby, he thinks, making us safer. Are you kidding me?

These guys don’t have a clue. As we have more domestic terror incidents, and if our Muslim neighbors don’t police their extreme members, we’ll have Americans taking their safety in their own hands.

This is what we get for electing an inexperienced senator because it made us feel good to vote for a black candidate. I can’t wait for this one-term, Jimmy-Carter-type president to retire.

At least with Carter, only a few hundred of us were held hostage. This guy is putting our whole country at risk.

Bob Olivadoti
Yarmouth

 

One thing missing here: Parade to honor Puerto Ricans

 

Why doesn’t Portland have a Puerto Rican parade like New York City and other cities in the United States?

Look how many other U.S. cities have one or more such parades.

William V. Cummings
Portland

‘Feelings’ on gays in military really not worth printing

 

Anybody who starts a letter to the editor with the phrase “I feel” ought to have his contribution assigned immediately to the wastebasket.

“Feelings” have nothing to do with it: “I feel the Earth is flat.” “I feel women should not vote.” “I feel slavery is divinely approved.”

Let’s see your evidence, buddy.

As far as only strictly straights being allowed in the Army, it’s OK with me, but under the condition homophobes would be excluded, too. (I can’t help wondering what soldiers like Alexander the Great or Frederick the Great would have thought about alternate careers though.)

When I was in the Army, the military police got wind of two gay soldiers in our unit. After their investigation was over, the boss (a major) came to me and told me the results: “We kicked out one on a medical discharge. But the other guy was a lifer with a Medal of Honor from the Pacific. So we backed down on him.”

The major felt they’d done a pretty good day’s work, all things considered.

Jim Devlin
Kennebunk

 

Wood still better than coal when figuring CO2 release

 

The Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences released a study that concludes that burning trees to generate electricity releases greenhouse gases, maybe even more than burning coal.

Well, no kidding.

What really matters, though, is that except for the diesel burned in the harvesting, processing and transport of the biomass, the carbon released is already in the biosphere.

That carbon would be released anyway when the trees die and decay.

When fossil fuels (like coal) are burned, carbon is released that has been sequestered for millions of years.

This contributes to a buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and, thus, global warming.

Of course the scientists at Manomet already know this.

Why they chose to present their findings the way they did is the real story here.

Kurt Woltersdorf
Sanford

 

Bridges to New Hampshire victims of lawmakers’ sloth

 

It appears that Maine officials failed to plan for the inevitable replacement of the Kittery-Portsmouth bridges, essential links between Maine and New Hampshire, and are now trying to cover their tails by supporting less-than satisfactory “solutions.”

These bridges can and should be replaced by modern, efficient structures that will meet present and future needs (such as the Casco Bay Bridge).

The officials’ present scheme is to hide behind an election, when they will be out of office, and the solutions will then fall to their successors.

Very courageous and imaginative — and so typically political.

Get your acts together, politicians, get behind a sensible solution to both bridges and leave office with more pride than is in evidence at the moment.

Jack Reynolds
South Berwick