November 17, 2012

Letters to the editor: Low profile for both mural, LePage

The past few months there has been some speculation over the whereabouts of Gov. Paul LePage.

click image to enlarge

This mural depicting Maine’s labor history was ordered removed from the Department of Labor building in 2011. Noting that Gov. LePage didn’t do much campaigning for fellow Republicans, a reader wonders if he was “hibernating in the same closet that stores” the contentious mural.

Imbrogno Photography photo courtesy of Judy Taylor Studio

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For the most part, he has been missing from public view. It is very puzzling that he was not active in endorsing and supporting his fellow Republicans running for election.

There is a school of thought that believes Gov. LePage was hibernating in the same closet that stores the Department of Labor mural.

If this is a possibility, and the governor decides to emerge from concealment and actually govern for all the people of Maine as he promised during his campaign, may we ask him to please bring the mural back with him?

Phyllis Kamin

Cumberland 

Electoral College encourages focus on red-blue division 

The electorate has spoken, and the message is: "Don't change horses in midstream, even if the flow is abnormally low and a change to a fresh horse might be beneficial."

A tough campaign has been waged and won by the individual who the American people feel can best lead them through these less-than-stellar times (we've heard the issues enough, I think).

It is now confirmed, without the potential "opposition" of the Electoral College, who will lead us. It seems to me that the "college" (as in "we know") -- an elitist, undemocratic vestige of a time when a small group of kingmakers could circumvent the will of the people, albeit with the greatest good in mind -- has, in 200 years, lost its need to exist.

Is it not time that we end the painful red/blue state analysis in favor of popular vote by a proven knowledgeable electorate, period, and save ourselves from the postulations about the so-called "battleground" states we had to endure last Tuesday evening?

We are all Americans. It's time we voted as such and as if each vote counts the same, no matter in what state it is cast.

R. Ted Laguerre

Brunswick 

Thanking God for his role in unfolding of civic life 

A post-election prayer:

Eternal God, we give you thanks --

For the various personal places and circumstances from which all the candidates for public office came, and whatever in their own histories has built a strong foundation and support for their devotion to public life;

For the local communities that elected some of them, providing a mandate for efforts to represent the needs, hopes and aspirations of their citizens;

For the state of Maine, the issues that confront its leaders, and thoughtful consideration of policies and laws to enable its citizens to thrive in well-being and peace;

For the country to which this state belongs, and the contribution its elected leaders can make to the patriotic bonds that unite us;

For the world to which this nation belongs and our awareness of the humanity we share that inspires feelings of unity and common purpose with all people;

And for the universe, so vast as to inspire awe, and the hope that the work of our leaders is in some way part of your divine plan.

For these and all your gifts to each and all of us, we give you humble and profound thanks. Amen.

The Rev. John Widdows

Portland

Giving cash to panhandlers rewards them for begging 

Regarding Mary Wheeler's Oct. 13 response to a previous letter against panhandlers ("Panhandlers put us to the test"):

She is a well-intentioned soul who needs a dose of reality.

I specifically take issue with the highlighted paragraph that states, "No one is getting rich standing in the roadway asking for spare change. No one would choose to do this ... if they had any better options."

Years ago, I relocated to Boston for a waitress job at a restaurant that was slated to open soon. It was winter, 1980s, and there was a natural gas shortage. The business was barred from opening.

I was desperate to pay my new rent and got a job on the street vending hot pretzels. The pretzels sold for 75 cents, and I made a quarter for each one I sold.

I knew a lot of panhandlers when I was on the streets, and they made way more money than I did. I just couldn't bring myself to join them, as I had been raised with a good work ethic.

Years later, waiting tables and able to pay my rent, I was always solicited by panhandlers as I walked down the city street. Knowing that most of them take the money people give and squander it on booze and drugs, I'd ask what they needed it for. I have a right to know where my hard-earned money goes. I bought coffee or pizza for a few.

I have five well-trained dogs. The basic tenet of good training is that you never "pay" (treat) the dog for begging because the only behavior you are rewarding is the begging, thus perpetuating it.

These people are your employees. You pay them to ask for money when you drive by. They don't have to punch a clock, they just have to be there,with their hand out, and a nicely worded sign.

Lisa DeAngelis Lane

Waldoboro  

Democrats aren't takers -- they're taxpayers, givers 

As a political independent, I have Republican friends and Democratic friends. 

You often read in newspaper columns and letters to the editor that Democrats are Democrats because they want stuff from the government, i.e., from taxpayers.

But all my Democratic friends would be insulted if you insinuated this.

In fact, they seem to be just the opposite.

They, too, are taxpayers -- and they are Democrats because they want to give stuff.

Joseph R. McKenna

Portland 

It's high time that Obama hold himself accountable 

Just wondering:

Now that Baraccus Narcissus I is with us for four more years, will he still be riding the "blame George Bush for all my problems" trolley?

Mike Mulkern

Portland 

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