I’m 91 years of age and been around a bit. Being a veteran of WW II taught me a few things and other bits of savvy came along the way.

The French struggled in Vietnam for many years and finally admitted defeat, at which point we sent “advisers” and you know the rest – years of death and destruction and unknown expenditure of wealth.

The Americans killed and maimed are known. Finally, after what should have been a learning process, we went down to defeat having gained nothing.

Our next big venture was the invasion of Iraq because of perceived “weapons of mass destruction” being supposedly prepared.

This conflict has yet to be resolved, yet we leap, uninvited, into the internal affairs of Afghanistan on the pretext of defending ourselves from terrorists.

We are inflicting untold death and destruction.

The sheer number of American personnel engaged in warfare in just Iraq and Afghanistan is a number unknown to the load-bearing American citizens.

We have few or no allies in these ventures.

From all this we seem to have learned nothing.

Donald J. Murchie

Brunswick

 

There is a primary, if seldom stated, reason why we should not be patting ourselves on the back about leaving Iraq, or rationalizing our continued involvement in Afghanistan (“Obama hails end of combat role in Iraq,” Aug.3): We already have substantially lost the “war on terrorism.”

We lost it by our irrational response to the 9/11 tragedy, starting a phony war in the wrong place, and resuming another one impossible to win.

We lost it by adding to the horrible losses at the twin towers the deaths of thousands of young American service people.

We lost it by the resultant and frightening rise of the ultra-right, squashing basic American values, and causing the end of classic Republicanism, and the cowardly center-right slide of the Democrats.

We lost it by shamefully shifting trillions of our resources to unwinable wars, while the U.S. experienced a precipitous loss of prestige abroad, and neglected necessary and humane work here.

If the current situation in America is the best we can do, in the hands of the “best and brightest” in both parties, then God help us. It’s time to pick up our few remaining marbles and come home.

Norman Abelson

Moody

 

Summer events show Maine in its best light

 

Friends of the Eastern Promenade is proud to announce the success of the Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill Tour, held Sunday, July 11th.

Visitors attended from throughout the state of Maine, New England and beyond to view the participating gardens and take in the beautiful vistas offered along Portland’s premier peninsula.

In all, an estimated 500 people walked Portland’s Munjoy Hill neighborhood that day for both the garden tour and the Society of East End Artists Studio Tour.

Attendees were inspired by the variety of gardens – small, large, modern, classic and whimsical.

Also featured on this year’s tour was the Fort Allen Trail at the southeast corner of the Eastern Promenade Park, completed in September 2010.

FoEP would like to thank the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram for the pre- and post-tour coverage of the Hidden Gardens Tour. Your commitment to community events helped make our event the most successful ever.

We would also like to thank all the gardeners who worked to make their gardens look their best, our volunteers who contributed in numerous ways throughout the day, Skillins, Allen Sterling and Lothrup, Broadway Gardens, O’Donals, Coffee by Design and Rosemont Market for selling advance tickets and Crandall Toothaker for donating this year’s special refreshments.

As we review this year’s event, we have noted the things that worked well and what we can improve upon for future tours.

One of our major concerns is safety. Many of our sidewalks are in desperate need of repair and present a risk to those who use them.

We would like to request collaboration with the city of Portland to improve the walk-ability of the Munjoy Hill neighborhood for its residents and its visitors.

As Munjoy Hill and Eastern Promenade continue to emerge as popular destinations, we are committed to ensuring the enjoyment and well being of all who visit our vibrant community.

We look forward to next year’s tour, which supports Friends of the Eastern Promenade and its contributions to the Portland peninsula.

Diane Davison, president,

Friends of the Eastern Promenade

and Mary Roy, chair,

Hidden Gardens Tour Committee

 

On a recent evening, our daughter-in-law Nina and ourselves found a hidden jewel in Falmouth. We experienced a most professional performance of The Maine State Ballet.

The dancing was superb. Hats off to the director, Linda MacArthur Miele, and all the talent she is grooming.

The principal dancer, Elizabeth Dragoni, will soon be discovered by a talent scout.

Many Maine people advocate “buying local.”

Where are the Mainers to help support this fantastic art?

We are summer residents living in South Portland.

We love Maine.

Doris and Howard Ornstein

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

 

Reader offers an answer for question to Pingree

 

Regarding Carole Graves, letter “Constituent has a question, but Pingree won’t answer,” Aug. 10)

I can’t answer for the congresswoman, but I can answer for myself.

Graves asks what is the difference between taxing the wealthiest Americans to pay for health care and other commodities for those not able to afford it and the Marxist theory of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”?

The answer is: There is no difference. But the alternative theory is Adam Smith’s unfettered capitalism: to each according to his ability, to each according to his greed.

George Howitt

Lyman