February 5, 2011

Letters to the editor, Feb. 5, 2011:
Don't cut Social Security, Medicare

(Continued from page 1)

GLORIA HOFFMAN
click image to enlarge

In a 2005 file photo, a Philadelphia woman protests plans by President George W. Bush to modify Social Security.

2005 Associated Press file

My only question is why it took four years for this to be addressed.

Judi Anderson

South Portland

Poor people not burdens, but full of possibilities

It can be said that the poor will always be with us. What needs to be changed is the view that the poor are "burdensome" and not people with "possibilities."

As a society, we call the poor "lazy," "stupid" and "not worthy." As a government, we are currently requiring the poor to stand in a straight line, show us their fingernails and jump through hoops that are not only demeaning but very frustrating.

The poor are not considered productive members of society.

Their children so lauded by the "right to life" movement are marginalized in our education system, live in substandard housing and often go through the day without adequate nutrition. Now the Legislature is considering more hoops and more frustration to eliminate "fraud."

We have cut subsidies for housing, vocational assistance and educational programs, and make accessing them difficult so those who want them reconsider how important they are.

Let us change the dialogue to a "hand up" rather than a life with punitive criteria.

I would support a movement to use my tax dollars -- hard-earned and yet the admission fee to a civilized society -- to open up opportunities for those who want housing, a job and an education.

I work with people with mental illness and know for a fact that they would trade their "generous" monthly income for an illness-free life and a chance to show they are "a possibility" and not "a burden."

Chris Luce

Portland

Fort Gorges still needs 200-foot-high U.S. flag 

Once again I say visualize a large, strong flagpole constructed in the middle of Fort Gorges in Portland Harbor, at least 200 feet high, flying a large American flag brightly lighted at night.

Francis Scott Key saw a large American flag waving over Fort McHenry on Sept. 13, 1814, and that sight inspired him to write the poem that became "The Star-Spangled Banner," our national anthem. "O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave?"

Thanks to the efforts of Marine Bill Whitten, who lives in Yarmouth, we now do have an American flag waving at Fort Gorges, but it is way too small.

A larger flag would still be low enough to not bother aircraft and it would be a fantastic way to greet all the people who visit Portland by sea these days.

Help me create an exciting national landmark for Portland. Imagine a flag that large, well-lighted at night.

Wow! Let's roll!

Jake Sawyer

Portland

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