The United States has had troops in foreign lands for most of the past 150 years. Of late, those troops have mostly been in the Middle East.

After the last Texan (sort-of Texan) was elected president, we started two new wars.

Like many, I was convinced those imperialist invasions were to secure oil supplies for U.S. corporations.

But I am no longer so certain of the motive.

Those wars disrupted the flow of foreign oil, created greater uncertainty in future supplies, used vast quantities of oil to wage and have resulted in dramatic price hikes in most consumables, notably oil.

What if the purpose of starting those wars was to create uncertainty and provide a rationale for dramatic price increases and the resultant corporate profits?

Many of us spent time in the military for many reasons. For most, a sense of serving this republic was some part of those reasons. We knew war was good for America, the economy and presidents, but how would we feel if we thought corporations bought our government to wage wars in order to increase profits?

This veteran is full tilt leaning into that belief.

John Wood

Hollis

‘Drill, baby, drill’ a good tactic to counter inflation

Once again gas at the pump threatens to go through the roof.

But there is no supply shortage. The increased cost reflects increased global demand and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s overuse of the printing press.

It’s called inflation.

For once, we can blame neither the incumbent president nor his predecessor, George W. Bush.

There is no way to roll back the price at the pump. It remains a hostage to the printing press.

But there is a way to alleviate some of the economic pain.

It is “drill, baby, drill.” Expedite the passage of the Keystone pipeline, whose scrutiny suffers from paralysis.

Let’s expedite drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska. Let’s urge our various regulatory authorities – the Environmental Protection Agency, and others – to stop stonewalling drilling requests. Let our new slogan be, “Yes, we can!”

Whatever steps we take will not dull the price at the pump. But we can provide many more shovel-ready jobs and boost our economy.

Instead of shipping our energy dollars overseas to the Arabs, the money will remain in the United States of America and help our economy to prosper.

It’s time for a solid, realistic energy policy that is not wind and hot air.

Nick Pappas

Cape Elizabeth

From a death comes an opportunity for awareness

Myocarditis is a disease caused by inflammation and damage to the heart muscle. It is the third major cause of sudden death in young adults.

It is estimated that several thousand otherwise healthy young adults will die per year from this rare disease. It is believed that up to 20 percent of all sudden deaths in young adults are due to myocarditis.

There are many causes of this disease. These include viral infection, autoimmune disease, environmental toxins, adverse reaction to medications and even Lyme disease, among others.

The prognosis in the majority of cases is variable, but chronic heart failure is the major long-term complication.

Myocarditis has no symptoms in most cases.

Our son, Craig, died from myocarditis on Dec. 20, 2010 at age 39. He had no known symptoms.

He was one of the lucky ones who died suddenly, for which we are grateful.

An autopsy was performed and it was seven long and difficult months before we knew why our son died. We still don’t know what caused the virus. We are waiting for test results from the Centers for Disease Control.

We had never heard of myocarditis, as was true of most everyone we talked to.

Therein lies the reason for this letter. Awareness.

There is a lot of information about this rare and often fatal disease at www.myocarditisfoundation.com. Please check it out.

Burt and Nikki Gilliam

Brunswick

Pill drop-off more than just a cataloging of use

Concerning the article on medication eradication (pill drop-off): I applaud the prominence and the coverage given for this needed event.

I do feel, however, the real purpose for this and subsequent events was understated. It is to prevent such items from entering the sewage stream or waste collection.

As for cutting down on drug abuse or preventing theft, I really doubt that few, if any, of these particular drugs were turned in!

While each pill may have been “cataloged” and provide interesting statistics, such information is questionable as far as providing a basis “to identify which medications are being over-prescribed or improperly used.”

This data will only be available if all doctors are required to submit to a central data bank the type of drug, amount prescribed and directed usage.

Bob Craine

Portland