I am a tea party member.

I am your neighbor, a regular American, retired teacher, with no criminal record.

I am one of millions of Americans who see our government as taking a dangerous turn toward a tyrannical, despotic trend, and therefore am reacting against this turn toward dictatorship and socialistic type of government.

It began when the Obama administration followed strictly partisan lines and, with no negotiation and no compromise, forced upon our nation the Affordable Care Act.

They did this knowing that the vast majority of Americans were and are against this 4,000 pages of complicated mandates that no one even today understands or knows what is in it.

It was sold as a law, not a tax. It was sold as a law that would not cause us to change our doctor or our insurance. It was sold on unadulterated lies.

Not one single Republican voted for it, yet the Democrats forced it upon us.

The tea party is not a party. It is normal Americans reacting against this trend.

We marched on Washington on 9/12 with 1.5 million of us in protest of this law. There was no violence, no attempt to overthrow the government, and did it under the law.

Yet the Democrats, the media and even congressional leaders call us anarchists, terrorists, murderers, arsonists, hostage takers, extortionists and a bunch of other unseemly names.

Somehow the media, liberals, progressives and Democrats have managed to paint a unrepresentative picture of who we in the tea party are. Name callers is what they are.

We are here to stay. We are your neighbors who just happen to support the United States Constitution.

Howard Cutler

Dixmont

I read in the Sunday Telegram a letter from a World War II Navy veteran, who apparently disagrees with the writings of former Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts (“Frank ignores Democrats’ major role in D.C. deadlock,” Oct. 13).

A Navy veteran, Mr. Phillip Kupelian, states in his letter his praise of the “tea party” as patriots and advocates free enterprise and less government.

I’m also a World War II veteran, a Marine, who has fought and worked for the welfare of all the people in our country, not small radical groups like the tea party. That group was trying to stop the Affordable Care Act for the welfare of all of the people in our country and even disrupt and try to stop the economic recovery from the recession by holding the country hostage, led by a small group of misguided Republicans in the House of Representatives.

The dictionary states “terrorists” are a group trying to gain political advantage by “fear, threats and coercion.”

Our country has faced many hardships and challenges: the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II and more. Every time, the people thought and then they acted. Our country comes first, no matter what party we belong to, and we should all work together to help make the nation, again, the United States of America! Semper Fi!

Leroy E. Peasley

Rockland

Food stamps budget is enough if spent wisely

So, the Biddeford, Maine, Market Basket store made the national news recently.

A Saco woman was quoted recently in a USA Today article referring to the recent glitch in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program food stamp system that prevented recipients from using their card for a whole 10 to 12 hours! God help the starving children!

After calling the 800 number and finding out that the system was down for maintenance, she expressed her outrage at the prospect of families not being able to feed their children because the system was being maintained.

She was quoted as saying, “You don’t want children going hungry tonight because of stupidity.”

Nobody wants children, or anyone else, for that matter, going hungry, but let’s put this in some kind of perspective.

Unless one is severely malnourished to begin with, most of us, including children, would not starve if we didn’t eat for 12 hours. We may not like it, but we’d survive.

The first letter in the “SNAP” acronym stands for “supplemental.” The dictionary definition of this word is an adjective meaning “added to something to make it complete.”

In this case, supplemental items are some of the more costly things like fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy products, etc., that are to be mixed with the more affordable staples such as rice, beans, pasta, frozen and canned vegetables.

Even the dollar stores carry frozen fruits and vegetables, as well as pasta. With careful shopping, basic food staples can be bought very economically and in sufficient quantities to last for weeks.

SNAP benefits were never meant to be the sole source of food for families. There is a vast difference between truly being hungry and not having anything in the house that one feels like eating. Getting the most from SNAP requires discipline and planning.

Linda Converse

Biddeford

Maine should accept federal Medicaid funds

I’m writing to urge Maine citizens to encourage and indeed demand that their legislators and governor accept the federal expansion of Medicaid in Maine.

This would result in 70,000 of our fellow citizens having health insurance.

Over the next three years, this would bring $1 billion of federal money into Maine.

It will be a huge economic incentive for the state as well as help our fellow citizens.

During the first year of this program in 2014, the federal government will pay 100 percent of the cost of this expansion and this will taper down to 90 percent of the cost by the third year. If we do not accept this money from the federal government, it will go to other states.

Hardworking Mainers who pay taxes will see their money returned not to their own state but instead used elsewhere.

No matter what your political affiliation or ideological view of the world, this makes no sense.

At a practical level, Maine citizens will be helped, the economy will be stimulated and our tax money will be returned to our own state. We need to accept this federal program.

Please write or email your legislator or our governor on this important issue.

Nancy A. Hasenfus, M.D.

president, Maine Chapter, American College of Physicians

Bath

Some final thoughts on the government shutdown

With regard to the recent government shutdown, as well as other self-inflicted predicaments, God has the answer, as always …

“If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I look down from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (II Chronicles 7:14).

Martha Yerxa

South Portland

The democratic process has failed the people.

Philip Thompson

Portland