September 19, 2013

Letters to the editor: Nemitz derides park supporters' views

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Congress Square Plaza is pictured on the left side of this aerial photo taken in August.

2013 File Photo/Gabe Souza

One can only conclude that these former "takers" are now gainfully employed and their children well-fed and clothed. For one brief moment I was deluded by what appeared to be a rational speech. There were no derogatory comments, no insults; only self-praise.

Greg Kesich in his Sept. 11 column ("Governor's actions even more offensive than his words") quickly returned me to reality: "There is no evidence that any of those people have moved from welfare to work or have lifted themselves out of poverty; in fact it seems unlikely that they did find jobs." 

Surely Kesich must be mistaken. How can we possibly question the word of LePage in spite of his history of misrepresentation and distortion? After all, he is Maine's duly elected governor. All he need do is tell Kesich to "kiss his butt" to end all discussion by concerned citizens. 

Adrienne Bennett, LePage's defender-in-chief, will undoubtedly clarify the real intent of his statement (providing he doesn't deny making it).

The undeniable authenticity of Kesich's version has only increased my frustration with the LePage administration.

Gov. LePage, while seeking acclaim for his "promotion of job preparation and strategic redesign of Maine's welfare system," has callously shifted financial aid for 3,000 Maine households from state to local levels.

Poverty is still very real for these unfortunate victims of LePage's "strategic redesign." 

Sam Kamin


Presidents are different but Iraq, Syria are similar

It was with some amusement that I read former U.S. Rep. Tom Allen's letter to the editor ("Use of gas compels action in Syria," Sept. 10) on how he fought against the invasion of Iraq but bravely supported intervention in Syria because of Bashar Assad's use of chemical weapons.

Mr. Allen's memory appears to be somewhat selective, as Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against the Kurds in Iraq and killed thousands of Iraqi Kurds, including many women and children, from 1987 to 1988. On March 16, 1988, Saddam Hussein and Chemical Ali used poison gas in an attack on the village of Halabja, killing 4,000 to 5,000 people, mostly women and children.

Maybe it was because the invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein was led by a Republican president. Or maybe Mr. Allen never thought of Saddam as a threat to the thousands of people he had killed in Iraq.

Wesley H. Phillips



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