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January 8, 2013

2012 File Photo/Gabe Souza

Crews work to repair a water main break on Dartmouth Street in Portland on Dec. 20. “The $8 billion a month now wasted in Afghanistan would fix a lot of pipes across the nation,” a reader says.

Letters to the Editor: Money for arms, but little for the people

It's the hidden time bomb just waiting to explode -- your series about the underground world of pipes for drinking water and sewer systems that keep Portland working (

"No guarantees: Portland Water District at risk for more breaks,"

Dec. 31). They are collapsing across the nation, and there is virtually no money to repair them.

The Portland Press Herald reported that replacing everything that needs to be replaced systemwide would cost $630 million. The city's current budget for such repairs is $3 million a year.

The $8 billion a month now wasted in Afghanistan would fix a lot of pipes across the nation. But alas, it is not yet to be.

Can one begin to imagine, just for a moment, that those who really control the levers of power in Washington know that this problem exists nationwide and they choose to ignore it because they have their own agenda?

I would humbly suggest that the corporate oligarchy does not care about this country, or any other country. Instead, they have bigger fish to fry these days.

International capital is about running the whole global show -- and the way to pull this deal off is to drain all nations of their treasury and leave the workers in a place where they have to toil for practically nothing if they wish to survive.

Then they arm themselves to the teeth under the auspices of NATO as they fully expect pushback from the masses. It's a return to feudalism -- except this time the lords and masters run the megabanks and corporations.

Aren't we lucky to live in such exciting times? The challenge is not to sleepwalk through the journey.

Bruce Gagnon

Bath

 

Guns allow deadly impulses to be acted on immediately

 

Re: "Biddeford landlord charged with murdering two" (Dec. 31):

Is James Pak, the man accused of shooting and killing two teenagers in Biddeford, the "lunatic" and "monster," a person "so deranged, so evil, so possessed," whom National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre referred to in his rant following the senseless murders in Newtown, Conn.? Or is Mr. Pak a seemingly respectable businessman, landlord and war veteran, who for reasons beyond comprehension shot and killed two people?

Two young people are dead, allegedly at the hands of an intoxicated man with a handgun, and two families and countless friends and relatives are traumatized and devastated.

This, in addition to several other senseless murders that have taken place since the massacre in Connecticut, yet the NRA would have us believe that Mr. Pak should have a gun to protect himself. Against himself, apparently.

Guns, in fact, do kill people; they provide a lethal means to an end when tempers flare and situations escalate beyond control.

Besides the senseless death and loss, the saddest element is that one of his victims called the police before the shooting began. The young man reached out for help. He tried to protect his family.

Thirteen minutes later he and his girlfriend were dead, his mother left for dead and his brother permanently scarred.

Until the NRA warns ordinary citizens about the dangers of ordinary citizens possessing lethal firearms, I suggest that all politicians and NRA members rescind their memberships and demand transformational change in NRA leadership. And until then, as a nation, let's stop giving the NRA a voice in the conversation. I think we've heard enough.

Sarah Maloney

Portland

 

Regarding the shooting in Biddeford over a parking dispute, leaving two teenagers dead:

This is what gun-toting National Rifle Association apologists mean by protecting themselves: They want the right to kill on impulse.

These people seem the most ill-suited to be carrying a gun, so please let's not listen to them when it comes to putting restrictions on gun ownership.

Paul DiBiase

Portland

 

Obama seeks more in taxes, makes no cuts to ease deficit

 

On New Year's Eve, we were once again subjected to the latest dog and pony show by President Obama, surrounded by human props and addressing a room full of adoring supporters. All we heard was more taxes, more taxes, more taxes.

In what I thought was an attempt at addressing the national debt, his often-condescending tone mentioned a balanced approach. Yet all I heard was his plans at extracting more money from my paycheck without much mention of the federal government tightening its belt.

Let's face the facts. A majority of Americans elected a president who punishes success with constant demands of feeding the beast that is our federal government.

Balanced approach? My grandchildren will grow up to inherit a $16 trillion deficit they had nothing to do with.

Happy New Year.

Steven Edmondson

Topsham

 

After vain pay hike request, strikers now public burden

 

While there's no joy in being out of work, imagine how those of us who do work feel about supporting the Hostess union members who thought $15 an hour wasn't good enough. They went on strike and put Hostess out of business.

What if we all had that attitude? There would be no one left to row the boat we want to ride in for free.

Davies Allan

Westport Island





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