Your Sept. 15 “Maine Voices” author Henry Precht, who says he has experience in Middle Eastern affairs, blames Israel and its U.S. supporters for the failed resolution of the two-state solution of separate Palestinian and Israeli states.

He blames the failure entirely on Israel (and Obama) and ignores the fact that all Israel wants is a promise from the Palestinians to declare peace with Israel and acknowledge Israel’s right to exist, neither of which the Palestinians will do.

The Palestinians have shown over the decades, since 1967 when they somehow came into existence, that they have no intention of living peacefully alongside a Jewish state in the Middle East, and Mr. Precht (whether he’s an expert or not) should know that just by having looked at the news on TV or read about it in the press.

Mark Aranson

Cumberland

Moody Blues concert a trip to the ’60s twice 

Recently we attended the Moody Blues concert at Merrill Auditorium. We were so glad they came here again. I’ve seen them in Maine four times, and they are my all-time favorite group. They are in their 60s and 70s (I’m 60).

What a show! All the grayhairs like me were there, and there were others down to age 6 or so. Voices sounded like 1967, obviously in great shape. In songs like “Isn’t Life Strange?”, the production and vocals were like I’ve never seen at any concert by anyone! My daughter thinks I’m old, but I noticed she bought a shirt and was right there to stand and clap.

Great job, Moodies. Some of us will live on. Graeme Edge said, at 70, that he’s been in the 60s twice now. So happy to see three generations introduced to a ’60s mellow group. Loving life! To see folks in their 60s and 70s at a high for great rock. Long live Moody Blues and great rock!

My father said in 1969 they’d be a passing fad. Guess what?

Stephen Yates

Augusta

Lawmaker has own views, not indebted to lobbyists

I applaud Scarborough resident Jennifer Jortberg for taking time to express an opinion about state Rep. Heather Sirocki, but I respectfully disagree with her insinuations.

If you communicate with Rep. Sirocki, you will understand her approach to governing: to listen to constituents, respect the dignity and rights of individuals, carefully study an issue before involving the government, and lean on common sense.

Ms. Jortberg mentioned a vote to lift a partial ban on BPA — a chemical used in a number of products, including life-saving medical devices — as evidence that Sirocki is beholden to big lobbies.

If one digs deeper than stories with an anti-BPA agenda, it is clear the science is not settled and that no suitably-tested substitute has been developed (the LA Times, for one, has written several articles about both sides of this issue).

Soy shows similar endocrine reactions as some BPA testing. Should soy products also be banned? One can disagree with Sirocki’s vote, but to say she made her decision beholden to lobbies is simply untrue.

I was alarmed by the lack of regulations around the disposal of CFL bulbs, which contain mercury, a known hazard. Despite warnings by others it would be anti-business and “political suicide,” she sponsored legislation about this problem. She also stood with constituents against CMP (backed with federal dollars) so that customers could opt out of “smart meters” without additional cost. These are hardly positions taken by someone looking to lobbyists for support.

Rep. Sirocki is truly a citizen legislator who went to Augusta to represent citizens, not special interests. Maybe this is hard to believe by many because it is rare, but even minimal contact with her will convince anyone this is true.

Betsy Gleysteen

Scarborough

Free trade only works as long as it’s fair trade

Years ago, Ross Perot told us that if we passed free-trade laws, we would hear a “giant sucking sound” as American jobs left for other countries.

As a successful businessman, Mr. Perot was not against trade — he just wanted fair trade. He knew that other countries could not be counted on to have fair trade with us.

Since our Congress passed free-trade laws (without attention to fairness), we have heard the “giant sucking sound” as American jobs have left.

An example of fairness: We hold our manufacturing industries to strict environmental laws. These laws create large costs to run factories here.

But China and others do not ask their factories to live with antipollution measures. So the large multinational companies (like GE) move manufacturing to these countries.

We will never see our manufacturing jobs return until we make our free-trade laws into free and fair trade laws. If our partners cut costs by polluting or mistreating workers, apply a tariff to the imported goods. Our politicians are failing us by allowing this unfair trade to continue.

Our delegation has been in Washington for many years. They have had a chance to stop the massive loss of jobs from the U.S. to our trading partners — and they have failed.

They have made the large multinationals funnel huge amounts of money to them. Remember, the large companies, like GE, benefit from shipping jobs away from the U.S., so U.S. workers and taxpayers lose.

We need to vote Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud out of office and start with people who represent us and not large multinational companies like GE.

Free and fair trade is what will bring jobs here!

James Waterhouse

Saco

[email protected]’ was funny, but now it no longer is

OK, I can’t believe I’m actually writing a letter to you about a comic strip, but someone has to do it. Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann are funny, but it’s the comics page that I really look forward to every morning to really get me laughing.

So I must let you know, “[email protected]” has dropped well below par. It is now nothing but bait and switch. This is not the comic strip it was two or three years ago.

Back then, Adam was funny, interesting and well-drawn. Now it is none of those. It is obviously no longer being done by who you claim it is, Brian Basset, so fess up! Whoever Basset is paying to do his strip doesn’t even come close to the original.

So give it up, guys! Let’s move on to something at least as funny as Sarah Palin claiming that Paul Revere was warning the British that the Americans were coming.

Peyton Higgison

Brunswick