While I do not speak for Maine’s diverse population, I would like to address my comments today toward the authors of the letters in the July 21 Portland Press Herald criticizing Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe for their votes on the financial overhaul bill.

First of all, I would like to say to them, how dare you! Do you actually believe it is OK to criticize the decisions of elected officials who don’t even represent you?

How dare you try and force your beliefs down our collective throats, without any idea of the eccentricities of Maine’s political culture. If the out-of-state authors knew Maine like they believe they do, they would realize that, instead of a “communist state” with “no real Republicans,” we are in fact a vibrant part of this nation, and pride ourselves upon our independent political stances.

Sens. Snowe and Collins voted the way they did because they believed it was in Maine’s best interest. Our senators also were practicing the archaic art of “bipartisanship,” a concept that has become nearly extinct in an age when politics on both sides of the aisle keeps becoming increasingly polarized.

The comments by these armchair politicos from out of state are just an example of polarization, as well as the death of calm, reasonable political discourse.

I would suggest that the authors of these letters put this much time and energy into something more productive, like, perhaps, the political situation in their own state, and less time projecting their ignorance onto the political situations of other states.

Benjamin Kissin


In response to a letter from Illinois resident John Dill wishing that a pox fall on the whole state of Maine, and our forests be infested with beetles and our towns overrun with rats, I understand that our two senators are liberals. They have always voted with Democrats when the chips are down. That is no reason to put a pox on the whole state.

I must point out that Dill’s two senators are Roland Burris and Dick Durbin. The state of Illinois also gave us Barack H. Obama.

What evil can I wish on Illinois?

Paul Anderson

It was with great amusement that I read the July 21 letter from John Dill of Huntley, Ill. It was especially entertaining in its hypocrisy and absurdity.

Mr. Dill wished a “pox upon the whole state of Maine” because our two “Republican” senators (Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins) voted for the financial regulation bill. He went so far as to suggest that we secede from the Union and form our own “communist” state.

Now, if we follow that line of thinking, perhaps all the states whose senators voted for financial regulation should also secede. Wait a minute! Democrats have 57 of the 100 Senate seats (57 percent, along with two independents who tend to vote with the Democrats).

Republicans have 41 seats (41 percent) and three of those (Snowe, Collins and Scott Brown of Massachusetts) frequently vote with the Democratic majority.

Democrats hold 254 of the 435 House seats (58 percent), 26 of the 50 governorships (52 percent), 1,001 of the 1,921 state Senate seats (52 percent) and 3,021 of the 5,410 state House seats (56 percent). Democrats are the duly elected majority at the top of national and state governments.

Does Mr. Dill reject the idea of representative democracy — the foundation of our country as provided for in the Constitution? Is he opposed to the Constitution? It seems so. Should all states which do not elect representatives who agree with Dill secede? Is he opposed to multiparty democracies?

He seems to advocate one-party rule, a communist principle (as advocated by Lenin) and practiced in China. And yet Mr. Dill accuses Mainers of being communists, although we have a strong multiparty democracy. Dill repudiates the Constitution and rejects our right to vote for those who reflect our views. He suggests we agree with him or secede.

We the people elected this Congress and this president and, if Dill cannot accept that fact, then I suggest that he be the one to leave.

Bob Cronin
Cape Elizabeth


Kagan highly qualified, should be confirmed soon


At her recent confirmation hearings, Elena Kagan proved that she’s not only well-qualified to serve on the Supreme Court, but that she understands the impartial role of a judge and will make sure that every person receives a fair hearing.

Kagan’s broad legal experience would serve our country well on the court. She has been a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, a law professor, a White House legal and policy aide, a transformative dean of Harvard Law School, and the first woman to serve as solicitor general, the so-called “10th justice.”

In her testimony, Kagan pledged to be a fair-minded judge while upholding the rule of law. As she told Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., “Everybody is entitled to fair consideration. It doesn’t matter whether you are an individual or you’re a corporation or you’re the government you get equal treatment by the court.”

It’s no wonder that Kagan’s nomination is receiving support from across the ideological spectrum. Eight solicitors general — Democrats and Republicans — are supporting Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

The Senate should confirm Elena Kagan without delay.

Emily Reinholt


Putting cleric in U.S. post constitutional violation


The U.S. Constitution is a secular document beginning “We the People” and contains no mention of “God” or “Christianity.” Its only references to religion are exclusionary, such as “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust” and “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

In 1797, America made a treaty with Tripoli, declaring that “the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” This reassurance to Islam was written during Washington’s presidency and approved by the Senate under John Adams.

A syndicated column by Thomas Farr on July 5 supported the nomination of the Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook to be confirmed by the Senate as the “ambassador for international religious freedom,” a post authorized by the International Religious Freedom Act.

Mr. Farr, in effect, wants our secular government to make quite a far departure from its secular posture. No wonder our far-seeing President Obama dallies; he knows our country’s origins better than Mr. Farr.

Robert Manns