April 11, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Washington's priorities lost in space

Being pathetically addicted to this newspaper and an overall newshound in general, I am therefore subjected to certain stories that really do make me question the divine sanity of some people. We will file this one under “Just When You Think You’ve Heard It All.”

click image to enlarge

The Orion exploration module could be test-launched in 2014 as part of NASA’s plan to secure and explore an asteroid. A reader questions the U.S. government’s decision to fund this project while making public broadcasting cuts.

2013 File Photo/The Associated Press

Adorning the front page of the April 6 Press Herald was yet another fine example of state and federal cuts in that MPBN will lay off 10 staff members (“Funding reductions force MPBN layoffs”). Undoubtedly this will be the case across the country on many other avenues.

Tugging on the next couple of pages would then reveal this headline, “NASA aims to lasso, explore asteroid.”

The price tag for this latest endeavor? The collective sum of $105 million.

That’s right, folks, our tax dollars being utilized to wrangle up an asteroid by way of a spaceship.

Unfortunately, it is far too many days past April Fool’s to be able to file this story under that moniker.
This is nothing more than a fine example of where spending cuts really need to be made.

One can hope that the masterminds at NASA are on the first rocket ship headed for the sun, with a well-known North Korean leader at the helm.

Scott Plummer

South Casco

‘Sustainable development’ aims to erode middle class

The “sustainable development” movement going on in Maine and originating in the U.N.’s Agenda 21 plan is not as benign as the words often attached to it sound: “sustainable,” “vibrant,” “walkable,” “bikeable,” “green.”

Nothing but “environmental humanism” buzzwords!

“Sustainable development” means changing the land use/planning codes and government policies of towns, counties, states and nations “to align with a United Nations plan to eliminate the ‘affluent middle-class American lifestyle’ ” that the U.N. deems unsustainable. (You will do with less!)
Nongovernment organizations may be invited into your community by city planners if they have subscribed to the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.

I believe Sustain Southern Maine is such a group. They have been active in the midcoast and in Portland and have 10 other southern Maine communities in their sights.

Their method comes with a preconceived outcome and a government grant. Once the suggestions by ICLEI are adopted as policy, it’s law, so good night, Irene!

What’s not to like? Until you scratch the surface: urban areas consolidated through “stack and pack” housing and dividing large lots into several small ones, and rural areas emptied through restrictive land use policies, high gasoline costs, vehicle-miles-traveled taxes, loss of rural road maintenance, closure of rural schools and closure of rural post offices, all of which force people off the land and into a central and easily managed area.

Another of Agenda 21’s beliefs is “nature above man.” The Wildlands Project intends to keep humans off at least 50 percent of the American landscape and heavily control the rest.

Haven’t we already begun to see this in Maine? We’re the frogs in cool water, not paying attention to how fast the water is warming.

Rose Marie Russell

Westbrook

Lacking Christian values, society won’t find leaders

I laud Michael Cuzzi’s assessment of leadership and how it is exercised by Gov. LePage (“Governor’s character reflects on Maine’s,” March 17). I’m not attempting to critique the man, since Mr. Cuzzi did a very fair rendering of the current leadership style and the goal that we should aspire to.

The lack of great leadership reflects the quality of the pool that can be drawn from, and it’s not just about Maine. If we fail to produce men and women of moral integrity, then we can’t expect the quality of leadership that we need to keep this nation from crumbling, at least at a slower rate.

We need to have hope and to be inspired by leaders so that the next generation can aspire to even greater achievement. To continue on this path can only mean that the people must suffer from that void of leadership, resulting in more failure, indignation and pain.

In a national poll on church attendance, Maine came in dead last of the 50 states. Going to church only guarantees that you’ll probably hear a sermon or homily, but there is a good chance that you’ll hear the word of God preached, by which some will be saved from perdition.

True Christians don’t necessitate great leaders or politicians but do translate to better parenting, godly behavior and progeny of higher morals and manners.

These values helped build a society that our forefathers began, but we have sorely lost our way. We have become an immoral generation, and we are suffering now for our lack of spiritual integrity and leadership.

Randall Perkins

Standish

New state BPA restrictions will make Maine healthier

As a nurse practitioner who has spent my career working with children and young adults, I am writing to voice my strong support for two bills that will soon be addressed by the Maine Legislature. Both bills deal with the ever-growing threat of toxic chemicals in consumer products.

L.D. 902 will eliminate the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA from infant formula and baby food packaging.

L.D. 1181 will close a loophole that blocks the state from regulating BPA in food packaging for kids over 3 years of age and will require the state to take action on a list of 49 chemicals known to cause cancer and other serious health problems.

During the past 30 years, the incidence of childhood cancer, asthma, autism, infertility, premature births, birth defects and a range of other problems has increased.

While some portion of these increases in disease may be due to better screening and detection, there is mounting evidence that toxic chemicals also play a role. Those most affected by toxins are children, developing fetuses, pregnant women and other vulnerable individuals who have higher exposures or sensitivity to environmental influences.

If we are to improve the health of our citizens here in Maine, we must act, now, and stop the chemical assault on our citizens.

Please join me in asking our state representatives and senators to support these important bills.

Lisa Belanger, R.N.C., F.N.P.

board member, Maine Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility

North Yarmouth

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