May 24, 2013

Letters to the editor: Gov. LePage perceived truth about IRS

Less than one year age, Portland Press Herald nonpartisan journalists Steve Mistler and Bill Nemitz -- the latter a perennial nemesis of Gov. LePage -- excoriated the governor for the unpardonable sin of hyperbole: The governor compared the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo but later backed off, saying, "Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad, yet."

click image to enlarge

A reader wonders why journalists aren’t as angry about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups as they were when Gov. LePage compared the IRS to the Gestapo.

2012 Kennebec Journal File Photo/Joe Phelan

And he added, "It was never my intent to insult or to be hurtful to anyone, but rather express what can happen to an overreaching government."

The outrage from Obama administration apologists and the liberal media -- they're the same -- was instant and furious. The Bangor Daily News lamented that the governor had "embarrassed Maine." Some critics said LePage was unfit for office.

It is now evident that in 2012 and earlier, the IRS was engaged in the illegal and unethical practice of targeting selected nonprofit advocacy groups for special scrutiny.

Which is worse: a politically insensitive remark by the governor that contained more that a grain of truth, or an "overreaching government" involved in criminal activity against its own citizens?

Where is the outrage?

But we can be confident that the Portland Press Herald will sort out all of this with its customary "objective and probing journalism," just as it has concerning the Benghazi fiasco.

Walter J. Eno

Scarborough

Show kindness to horses by opposing slaughter

At the end of the 19th century, Anna Sewell wrote "Black Beauty," not to entertain children but, in her words, "to induce kindness, sympathy, and an understanding treatment of horses," especially the horses pulling London taxicabs.

Unable to walk freely since the age of 14, Sewell was more aware than most people of how much humans depended on nonhuman animals to provide transportation, companionship and agricultural service. Partly because of her book, laws changed for horses and taxicab drivers alike.

Today is another watershed moment in equine-human relations. The Maine Legislature is considering L.D. 1286, a proposal to prevent the re-establishment of horse slaughter plants, which have been illegal since 2007, and to ban the transport through Maine of horses marked for slaughter.

Other papers have been printing compelling arguments why Mainers should support this bill, among them the fact that most U.S. horses sent to slaughterhouses are former racehorses pumped up with anti-anxiety and anti-inflammation medicine, toxic to humans.

Equally fundamental, perhaps, is the question of what kind of humans we want to be.

And here I defer to Sewell, whose simple philosophy altered the fate of humans and horses in ways that are still relevant for us.

"My doctrine is this," she wrote, "if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and we do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt."

Please -- let's not go backward. Write your local legislative representative, encouraging them to support L.D. 1286, "An Act to Protect Maine Communities by Prohibiting Horse Slaughter in Maine for Human Consumption and the Transport of Horses for Slaughter."

Lucinda Cole

Portland

Time to acknowledge chronic Lyme disease

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

I was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease several months ago after seven years of ongoing symptoms.

I was diagnosed as having "brain conversion disorder" in 2007. The ELISA test for Lyme disease was negative in 2006.

My symptoms include myoclonus (involuntary muscle twitches), joint pain, neck pain, facial tics and facial paralysis, difficulty with speech, light and noise sensitivity, electric shocks, blurry vision, weakness, fatigue, memory issues, non-epileptic seizures and flu-like symptoms. These symptoms have worsened over the past six months.

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