January 26, 2013

Letters to the editor: Cutler run will hand LePage second term

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Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for governor in 2010, concedes victory to Paul LePage Nov. 3, 2010. “There’s little I can think of to better help LePage win re-election while further weakening the Democratic Party than Cutler again splitting the vote,” a reader says.

2010 File Photo/Gregory Rec

Didn't we all pull together to help the city? That's the idea, right? We help the city and the city helps us, and we all try not to foul each other up.

So, someone please tell me -- what was that all about?

Anthony Gerrard

Portland

Six-year term would give us leader who actually governs

I watched the inauguration festivities and couldn't help but think, "We're borrowing money from China to put on this 'dog and pony' show?" Crazy!

How about this idea? We elect a president for one term of six years, instead of what we have -- i.e., a four-year term where the president "settles in" for a year, governs for a year and then spends two years running for re-election, while nothing happens and the country is on autopilot.

Why not have one six-year term where the president "settles in" for a year and then gives us his best shot for five years for what he believes should be done without being concerned about re-election? Do you realize how much money, time and wasted effort would be saved from where we are?

Jim Burke

Cumberland

Avoid devastating viruses -- don't eat animal products

The flu epidemic has invaded 48 states, overwhelming medical facilities, exhausting vaccine supplies and killing 29 children and thousands of seniors. Both the problem and solution to this disaster hinge on how we relate to animals that are raised for food.

Indeed, 61 percent of the 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans originate with animals. The more recent, contagious and deadly viruses among these include Asian dengue fever, Ebola, H5N1 (bird), HIV, SARS, West Nile and yellow fever. The pandemic "Spanish" flu of 1918 killed 20 million to 50 million people worldwide, and the World Health Organization predicts more pandemics in the future.

Today's factory farms are virtual flu factories. Sick, crowded, highly stressed animals in contact with contaminated feces and urine provide ideal incubation media for viruses. As these microbes reach humans, they mutate to defeat the new host's immune system, then propagate by contact.

Each of us can help end animal farming and build up our own immune system against the flu by replacing animal products in our diet with vegetables, fruits and whole grains. These foods don't carry flu viruses or government warning labels, are touted by every major health advocacy organization, and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden.

Paul Mahn

Portland

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