In America and throughout the world has come a small but brave group of young people unwilling to accept the future that has been pre-ordained for them. The Occupy movement is not a passing phenomenon because the devolution of the West is not soon passing.

In Europe, Greece and Italy have undergone “regime change” at the hands of the troika — the financial/banking/speculator overlords, along with the EU’s emerging superstate, Germany.

European nations have lost sovereignty along with their democracies to unelected financial technocrats making “whole” the losses of investors by turning citizens into indentured servants. The “99 percent” have fallen and many within that group recognize it. It is only a matter of time before civil unrest becomes commonplace. In America, Occupy protestors are jailed, abused and criminalized for speaking the truth. The American media take the side of the authorities.

Whatever might be in store and however it is labeled and sold, the financial crisis at home is all about one thing and one thing only: Who controls America? Will it be the investment banks, markets, the International Monetary Fund, rating agencies and speculators, or the people?

Until this country and the world value human life over property and money, we will inch ever closer to ending our democracy, ourselves and even our planet.

The future belongs to and rests with the young.

And may Almighty God help them!

Michael T. Bucci


My son and I go camping two or three times a year. It’s usually way off in the wilds, with nothing but nature and mosquitoes for entertainment. It costs anywhere from $15 to $30 per night for a campsite, and you’re usually limited to five or six people.

Next summer, though, I’m going to pitch my tent right in downtown Portland! I could set up where “Tracing the Fore” used to be. I’ll be within easy walking distance of shops and pubs, the waterfront and all sorts of wonderful recreational activities. I can invite as many friends as I want, and as long as we keep the site clean and safe, we’ll be OK.

If push comes to shove, we’ll just make some misspelled cardboard signs with vague complaints about society or health care or vegetable rights. And the best part is, it’s free! I hope Portland’s tourism commission picks up on this opportunity and starts spreading the word.

Kerry Peabody


The last time I camped out, we were occupying Tay Ninh Province, so you won’t see me in a tent outside the courthouse, although my heart is with those brave men and women trying to change a system in desperate need of change.

Any good occupying army knows when it is time to change tactics, reconsider the strategy and start to pull out. From what I understand — and it isn’t always easy to understand just what Occupy Wall Street does want — I will assume they want the following three things:

1. To hold accountable those individuals and those corporations responsible for the present economic collapse — and if they broke laws, prosecute them.

2. To demand that the wealthy individuals and corporations pay more in taxes and eliminate offshore tax havens and loopholes.

3. To put an end to a self-serving political culture that has infected almost all of politics and government at every level — perhaps by reining in the ability of Congress to make money from trading on insider knowledge and by closing the revolving door between government service and private enrichment.

As a first step it may be time to end the occupation of parks and move to the legislatures and the politicians who have signed Grover Norquist’s pledge never to increase taxes and get them to repudiate the pledge. Start by making politicians break that pledge. How hard can it be to make a politician go back on his word?

Chris Queally


In America, each of us decides whether or not to become part of the top 1 percent.

Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen, Hewlett Packard founders Bill Hewlett and David Packard, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Apple founders Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs became part of the top 1 percent of income earners.

Each started with an idea, scrounged startup money, attracted serious venture capital or other funding and built something that created jobs and wealth for themselves and thousands of others. The top 1 percent are the inspiration, not the enemy.

An article published Nov. 16 suggested that there is an “inequity” (lack of fairness or justice) between the 1 percent and those of us who are part of the 99 percent (Page A1, “Maine has 6,838 in top 1 percent, earning $810,805”). According to the IRS, the top 1 percent earns 17 percent of total income and pays 37 percent of income taxes. Sounds to me like they are carrying more than their share of the load.

People like Gates and Bezos know how to multiply money and create jobs. What sense does it make to transfer more money from them to politicians who have proven they are incapable of managing a budget and are driving America deeper and deeper into debt?

Most of us older folks have been through tough times. It either made us better or bitter. Scapegoating the top 1 percent, whether that involves basketball players or income earners, is not a sign of someone who is on the road to becoming better. And be careful, America, we can testify that envy and sloth destroy.

Alan Bebout

Westport Island

Collins plays crucial role in addressing genocide

While Sen. Susan Collins at times takes positions with which I disagree, I applaud her common-sense approach to foreign policy issues and her willingness to take a leadership role on crucial issues among her colleagues in the Republican caucus of the U.S. Senate.

One modest but important example is the role played by Sen. Collins on the issue of genocide prevention. A year ago, she was an original cosponsor of a measure that sought to improve America’s capacity to prevent atrocities.

This year, the senator recently cosponsored with Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., a sign-on letter through which senators urged President Obama to seek full budget support for a program called the Complex Crisis Fund.

This program enables prompt, well-chosen responses to simmering crises that threaten to explode into major violence and potential genocide. Such preventive interventions can head off situations that might cause the U.S. to involve our military forces if they escalate.

I commend Susan Collins for her support of such genocide prevention measures and encourage her to remain a champion of these urgent, timely concerns.

James Matlack


Multitasking motorists increase risk of accidents

I’d like to propose a new movement: a “one thing at a time” approach to the operation of motor vehicles.

I understand that a lot of wanna-be circus performers are currently driving cars and trucks around the streets and highways of Maine. As they drive, they do one or several of the following tasks simultaneously: talk on the phone, send text messages, read a newspaper, apply mascara, hold a cup of hot coffee, eat snacks and even write with pen and paper.

What would happen if every driver simply drove their vehicle? It seems to me there are enough distractions out there already: radios, sirens, passengers, weather conditions and traffic, to name a few — not to mention all the chatter that’s going on in our heads most of the time.

It takes less than a second for a vehicle to veer off course in the direction of pedestrians and other vehicles. All of our friends, family and neighbors are at increased risk when drivers choose to divide their attention this way.

No one’s life is worth losing for the sake of one driver’s obsession with multitasking. Please join me in doing one thing at a time while driving.

Mariana Tupper