Hattie Bickmore was indeed a wonderful woman who noticed people and make them feel important. (“Laughs mixed with tears: Just what Hattie Bickmore wanted,” Maine Sunday Telegram, March 25).

When I was a Portland police officer, I had the honor of doing some executive bodyguard work for U.S. Sen. Bob Dole when he was at events in Maine and Massachusetts.

On this particular day in 1996, during Sen. Dole’s presidential campaign, I traveled with a busload of volunteers to hear Sen. Dole speak in Concord, N.H.

Hattie Bickmore was on that bus, and in spite of her busy schedule and many responsibilities, she noticed and singled me out, taking time to ask me questions about my background.

She was particularly delighted to learn I had been a U.S. Marine for eight years, creating that shared bond between us.

While waiting for Sen. Dole to arrive at the Concord auditorium, Hattie took me with her to the backstage area where members of the media were gathered. As we talked, she pointed out David Broder of The Washington Post, and I told her Mr. Broder was one of my favorite journalists. He saw Hattie and walked over to us, whereupon she made introductions.

The three of us had the most interesting conversation for nearly half an hour.

I will never forget Hattie’s sincere interest in me and my life, even though she was extremely busy with all that was going on that day.

Thank you, Hattie Bickmore, for the light you brought to a 38-year-old fellow U.S. Marine that fine day. God’s blessings to you and yours. Semper Fi.

James Beecher

Portland

 

LePage’s attempt to cut MPBN funds an insult

 

I deeply resent the governor’s repeated attempts to assassinate public broadcasting in Maine. This is an insult to the collective IQ of the people of Maine and they should fight vigorously to keep MPBN funded at no less than what currently is a bare-bones level.

MPBN radio and television are a vital and irreplaceable public resource for unbiased news, public information, as well as for educational and cultural affairs. Without them, Maine will be a darker place.

The governor’s move to eliminate public broadcasting is nothing less than an assault on the people of Maine who dare – yes, demand – to think for themselves. This is not about budget: This is about the governor’s political vendetta against transparency in government and anything or anyone who holds him accountable.

The governor’s argument that (partial, 17.4 percent) funding of MPBN is “corporate welfare” is sheer hypocrisy.

The state of Maine doles out millions of dollars a year to its largest corporations under the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement program, TIF and other corporate subsidy payments — corporate welfare that meets the true test of the term.

Why must the people of Maine suffer the loss of this precious public resource just to conform to the narrow-mindedness and the back-door political agenda of the governor and his supporters?

Michael D. Moser

Portland

 

Extremist groups have tried to gut funding for PBS for decades at the national level, and now they have moved into the states via Republican governors and “heritage-based” thinking.

Whose heritage?

They refer to PBS as “elitist.”

Who uses a word like that to describe PBS?

The old “cartel” hoped for the failure of PBS from the start, and after independent news media, both paper and broadcast, were merged out of existence in the corporate takeovers of the 1980s, PBS was one of few left standing.

Yet it threatens extremists so!

It’s their goal to eradicate public education – their own words – of any sort.

They moved their foundations, aka think tanks, into the states and use the “budget crisis” as a wedge tool to do away with the things they perceive as roadblocks to their Great Commission agenda.

MPBN as “corporate welfare?” Give me a break.

Any subsidizing of taxes to bring in businesses in the guise of bringing “jobs” worked well on us in the 1950s. It is a form of “corporate welfare” and corporate welfare far exceeds the costs of human welfare by billions of billions.

So less than .01 percent, the national figure for PBS funding, or the $2 million here in Maine is cheap, cheap, cheap in order to protect the public interest.

Please keep in mind that many people do watch broadcasts only via free, noncable, nondish, non-Internet news sources.

Let’s give all politicians free air time on MPBN.

Other countries do.

It would be worth $2 million to change the process and remove the corruption, lack of integrity and hidden agendas from the people’s democracy.

It would be cheap at $4 million. More even.

Marion Bowman

Augusta

 

Obama acting very much like King Henry VIII

 

King Henry VIII separated England from the Catholic Church because the pope would not grant him an annulment so he could marry Anne Boleyn. Officials who didn’t support his marriage to Boleyn were beheaded.

Fast forward 500 years to President Obama.

When taking office, U.S. presidents take an oath prescribed by the Constitution to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States … (to) preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.”

Obama health care policy, aka “Obamacare,” attempts to force Catholic institutions to cover birth control and abortifacient drugs in their employee heath insurance policies in an attempt to override Catholic Church teachings.

After objections were raised, the abortion president attempted to sidestep the concerns by shifting the cost for the coverage onto insurance companies.

The problem is that many religious groups, including Catholic institutions, are self-insured and thus would still be forced to pay for abortifacients in violation of religious teachings.

A high priority for the American colonies in their rebellion against England was religious freedom.

Thus the First Amendment to the Constitution addresses religious freedom. It reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …” No mention of contraceptives.

If Obama gets away with imposing practices upon Catholic institutions that violate fundamental religious teachings of the Catholic Church, he will take similar actions against every church.

Remember candidate Obama’s comments in 2008 about little people with their guns and Bibles? Christians everywhere beware.

Nonbelievers beware. What will Obama take from you?

Watch your head.

Obama’s actions to suppress religious freedoms violate his oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution” and are an impeachable offense.

Write to your U.S. senator. Insist that steps be taken to impeach Obama.

David Alexander

Augusta

 

Hunting for distracted drivers can be a distraction

 

I just read the front page article titled “Text alert: Police hunt distracted drivers” (March 23). The concern is valid –driver distraction.

However, the photo shows a state trooper driving along with his eyes distracted, watching other distracted drivers.

Am I the only one who thinks that maybe the trooper should also keep his eyes on the road?

Find another way!

Allan Brockman

Buxton