April 18, 2013

Letters to the editor: Boston bomber an inhuman coward

In regard to the bombings in Boston on Monday: Like it or not, this is the world we live in.

click image to enlarge

This FBI photo shows the twisted remains of a pressure cooker said to have contained one of the explosive devices set off in Boston.

The Associated Press

In many parts of the world, these bombings represent a regular feature of everyday life. But this is America.

No matter your political or spiritual affiliations, we are all Americans and there are people out there trying to kill us.

Next time you see a police officer, a firefighter, a medical responder, a member of the military, take pause to undertand it is the passion of these people to keep us safe.

Anyone like the person or people who set these bombs off to kill and maim indiscriminately under the pretense of whatever cause they espouse is a coward.

Someone who could do this is not a human being, and needs to be dealt with thusly. Semper Fidelis.

John Orr

Portland

Is North Pond Hermit all that dangerous to us?

More charges against the dangerous and deceptive North Pond Hermit, Christopher Knight, will assure that he continues "to be doing well in jail" and prevent any errant do-gooders from bailing him out, possibly setting off a nation-wide crime spree of "stealing food, cookware and other items to survive."

Could it be that Mr. Knight may have wanted to distance himself from schoolmates who didn't notice him, neighbors concerned mostly about their peanut butter, and a society that cannot tolerate loners who lack social skills and "acceptable" lifestyles? 

It is good luck that Mr. Knight can now be properly labeled, held against his best interests and relegated to the more familiar role of the homeless former jailbird standing helpless at the nearest busy intersection. 

Good job, Maine!

William Hobbs

Portland

Labeling modified food a priority for lawmakers

According to a recent poll, 91 percent of Mainers want genetically modified (GMO) foods to be labeled.  

There is a bill now in the Legislature to label GMO foods in Maine.  

It is sponsored by Rep. Lance Harvell and is cosponsored by, as near as I could count, 123 other representatives.  

There are only 151 representatives in the House, so over 80 percent of them are cosponsoring the bill. Hurray for them!  

The bill will be heard on April 23 at the Cross Building Room 214 at 1 p.m.  

Come show your support for this bill, L.D. 718, or call your representative to thank him or her for cosponsoring the bill.

If by some chance your representative is not cosponsoring the bill, ask her or him to reconsider.  

Labeling GMO foods is an idea whose time has come.  

Jane McCloskey

Deer Isle

Something skewed when drink costs $40,000

After reading the article on the $40,000 cocktail that will be available at the White Barn Inn in Kennebunkport, I was reminded of the comment by Joseph Welch, head counsel for the Army in 1956, to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, as the senator was wildly accusing innocent people of being Communists:  "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

 This question of decency applies not only to the inn but also to Meredith Goad for writing about the cocktail and the Press Herald for printing the article and providing free publicity.  

In addition, it's printed beside a story about a polio survivor who is helping poverty-stricken children in Africa obtain polio vaccines. 

What's wrong with this picture? As my husband said, "truly vomitous." 

Barbara Doughty

Portland

AG Mills wrong to support drones' warrantless spying

Imagine drones flying over your property doing surveillance without their operators first obtaining a warrant.

If Attorney General Janet Mills has her way, this will be the case.  

The attorney general is opposing the Drone Privacy Bill L.D. 236, which would require the police to get a probable cause warrant before using drones to collect information about people in most cases.

Instead, Mills believes law enforcement can oversee itself without judicial review, thereby ignoring the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

A reported 30,000 drones will be in use in the United States in coming years.

Seeing our civil liberties being removed, citizens are responding nationally with demands for the requirement of legal justification before spying on people with drones.

Three state representatives from the Portland area serve on the judiciary committee, where L.D. 236 is being considered.  

They are Sen. Linda Valentino (Saco), Rep. Kimberly Monaghan-Derrig (Cape Elizabeth) and Rep. Matthew Moonen (Portland).

Please let them know you expect them to uphold the Constitution and protect our privacy rights by supporting L.D. 236.  

It is not asking too much to require police to get a warrant before snooping on you or your property.

Paul Cunningham

South Portland

Want more guns around? Buy a lot of books first

OK, if everyone should have a gun or two, with ammunition, in his or her home ("Bill Nemitz: A gun in every home? Proposal 'makes point,' " March 10), I want to submit a bill that would require every home to have at least 40 books. (I'll settle for 30.)

For those who insist on having guns and urging us all to get one or more, let them get books first and then the guns.

In so many ways, books are much more powerful than guns: Read history for proof. First come ideas that change minds and create war or peace. A book never killed anyone -- guns do.

Mel Howards

Buxton

 

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