November 21, 2012

Letters to the editor
Where black voters come from

I read the article in which Charlie Webster, outgoing Maine Republican Party chairman, is questioning dozens and dozens of black people voting in rural areas where "nobody in (these) towns knows anyone who's black" ("Maine Republican chairman questions black voters," Nov. 15).

Charlie Webster
click image to enlarge

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster’s claim that hundreds of unknown black people voted in rural Maine prompts tongue-in-cheek speculation by a reader about where these voters might have been hidden before Election Day.

2012 File Photo/The Associated Press

I dismissed his concerns as silly, but just a couple of hours later I saw a black woman in a Hannaford parking lot, and I did not know her! Coincidence? I think not.

I believe black people were imported from, um ... let's see ... Haiti. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Black people were brought from Haiti, spirited up the East Coast and hidden in rural Maine until Election Day! Then they voted illegally in order to skew election results in favor of Angus King, an old white guy. Genius!

Sandra D. Jubinsky

Lyman

 

Nation's integrity depends on disowning errant heroes

 

I am glad that we no longer tolerate immoral behavior from our public officials and remove from office men such as Gen. David Petraeus, John Edwards and Eliot Spitzer, whose infidelities demonstrate that they are obviously unfit for their jobs. It is disturbing, however, that we continue to honor immoral men whose misdeeds were ignored in their day.

Thomas Jefferson fathered illegitimate children with his slave Sally Hemings. Franklin D. Roosevelt cheated on his wife. And John F. Kennedy was a serial philanderer, sneaking young women into the White House for his repugnant escapades.

Yet whenever I pull a handful of change out of my pocket, there is Jefferson's face on the nickel, Roosevelt's on the dime and Kennedy's on the half dollar. We need new coins, with more appropriate role models. Millard Fillmore comes to mind.

We also need to rename roads, airports and even towns (Jefferson); it is simply wrong to honor men who were unfit to be president. In the case of Jefferson, we need to demolish the Jefferson Memorial and remove him from Mount Rushmore, replacing him with Chester Arthur.

And finally, Martin Luther King carried on with multiple young women on numerous occasions, while married, and yet he has a national holiday in his honor! This must change.

Nothing these men accomplished, not the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, not ending the Depression and defeating the Nazis, not resolving the Cuban missile crisis, not ending legal discrimination against blacks at the cost of his own life, nothing excuses the moral depravity exhibited by these men.

For the sake of our children and our national integrity, we must hold them to the same standards we expect of today's public servants, and cease respecting them as some sort of heroes.

Roger Buck

Portland

 

Deadly blaze prompts call to take fire prevention steps

 

As we approach winter here in Maine, the thoughts of the "heating season" can be a little discouraging, with the price of oil as it is. Many of us look to alternative heat such as wood stoves, coal stoves, electric heaters and the like.

Cost savings are important. So is safety – fire safety, to be specific.

The recent tragedy in Orrington screams at us, and yet some will simply not listen. A man and his three children perish in a house fire that could have been prevented.

After a 29-year career with the Portland Fire Department, my last 17 as public education and information officer, I have seen first hand the tragic results of fires that did not have to happen.

I watched my good friend, Lt. Robb Couture of the South Portland Fire Department, on the news recently, talking about the importance of working smoke detectors, which save lives, and home fire escape plans, which also save lives and are so simple to do.

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