Our two senators ignored both The Press Herald’s well-considered plea for a continuation of federal stimulus spending and the importance to Mainers of the services that must be cut in the absence of the state’s $84 million share of the bill they opposed.

In doing so, they once again chose to hew to the Republican Party line rather than meet the needs of the people they are supposed to serve.

Certainly the growing deficit is a problem, but this will seriously injure the state’s public services infrastructure, a far more serious problem.

Virtually every economist who has studied the subject has concluded that concern about the deficit and the resulting pull-back from stimulative programs prolonged the 1930s Depression unnecessarily. Our two senators and their party seem to have learned nothing from this.

Ironically, the measure they opposed would also have closed two huge tax loopholes — one a $14 billion elimination of foreign tax credits and the other a $14 billion boondoggle for investment-fund managers.

Thus do we not only suffer from the elimination of much-needed aid, but the Treasury loses $28 billion in revenue.

Whose side are they on?

Tim McEnroe
Portland

 

A report from Sen. Olympia Snowe’s office quoted her as saying, “During a U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship hearing on Thursday, I urged the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a more efficient process that affords innovative small businesses the opportunity to participate in the cleanup of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”

My question to the senator is that, since Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana is a proponent of a small federal government and the states doing for themselves, why shouldn’t we use any small-business aid here in Maine where we have effectively 15 percent unemployment.

The people of Louisiana continually vote for people who want a small federal government, who rejected the stimulus money on TV and continue to denounce any federal attempts to help people or regulate drilling.

So, let them live their conservative values, fend for themselves, pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and let the corporations govern their own actions. And we’ll take that federal aid and put our people back to work and create jobs and strengthen our infrastructure so we can compete with the multinational corporations with good old Maine hard work and ingenuity.

I just feel the senator is being hypocritical, being a standard-bearer of a party of small government trying to help a Republican state with federal monies that her party keeps saying is going to bankrupt our country.

Charles Reid
South Portland

 

East End Beach site for Gulf spill protest today

 

People everywhere are concerned about the disaster unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico. We can’t all travel south to volunteer, but we can take symbolic steps against destruction here in Maine.

At 11 a.m. today, citizens across the country will come together along our nation’s beaches, forming a literal line of opposition against the dangers of offshore drilling. One such gathering will be held here in Portland, at the East End Beach.

I hope that reason prevails and that Maine, with all our cherished and vital marine resources, is never placed at risk by the kind of carelessness that has claimed the Gulf coast.

For more on Hands Across the Sand events around the country, check out www.handsacrossthesand.org.

Matt Reading
Alaska Wilderness League
Portland

 

Equal rights for gays involve military, coverage

 

Isn’t it about time America grants equal rights to all of its citizens? While the rest of the world sees gay men and women as valuable and productive citizens, America views us as second-class. We’re taxed like everyone else, but enjoy fewer benefits and are openly discriminated against on a local and federal level.

Gays in the military is nothing new. There have been thousands and thousands of gays who have served their country without incident from the solace of their closets. Their sacrifices we will never know.

For a country that prides itself as the defender of individual freedoms, well, where are mine? History will not look back favorably at this time of gay civil unrest, and it will judge harshly those who discriminate against us and continue to hinder this important piece of legislation.

I’m dumbfounded when I look back at the Civil Rights movement of the ’60s and see Southern whites beating Freedom Riders on the black and white newsreels. Well, America, wake up, it’s the ’60s all over again. We are at the tipping point of another civil rights movement nationally, and here in Maine, too. There are thousands of gay men and women in Maine who are standing up for their civil rights, demanding not to be treated like second-class citizens, and be allowed to serve our country openly, as is promised to us by our forefathers, with equality for all. We just want what everyone else has.

As a Democrat, I applaud Sen. Susan Collins and commend her on her guts to stand up to long-held prejudices by supporting the end of don’t ask, don’t tell.

Like her predecessor Margaret Chase Smith, who bravely said “Enough is enough” to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, Sen. Collins will be remembered as a conscientious social visionary and political ally who saw a wrong and wanted to make it right!

Sid Tripp
Co-founder of the DownEast Pride Alliance
Portland

 

This newspaper dedicated about 30 seconds of effort reporting on the wonderful and significant Pride Parade/Festival on June 19 — printing just three photos of the flag, plus short captions.

Thousands participated and there were thousands of possible stories — if there had been any interest at all in doing the basic job of a newspaper.

I expect to see a full explanation of why there was absolutely no actual reporting. That is an insulting travesty. This paper has a whole lot of excellent reporters, so why was there absolutely no reporting on this important event?

I recently resubscribed to The Portland Press Herald for another year. If there is not a response in the paper, I want my $200 back. However, I’d prefer to receive the paper and read about what caused this.

Was the insult on purpose, Mr. Connor? If so, then sell out and leave.

Elliot Burton
Portland