Contractor John O’Dea makes a valid point in his July 18 column (“Earth First!’s vandals should be resisted”) in the Maine Sunday Telegram. Vandalism and trespassing with intent to do damage is illegal and should be dealt with by the law enforcement and legal systems. He should have stopped there.

He continues to utilize the power of the pen to tar any Maine citizen and environmental group opposing the industrialization of Maine’s mountaintops as being affiliated and sympathetic to these radicals’ tactics.

I don’t condone illegal activity, but such actions grow from citizens’ frustrations with public policies that seem to disregard concerns of the public. The Boston Tea Party, the Vietnam anti-war movement and the World War I veterans’ Bonus March are examples.

O’Dea will find most readers sympathetic to his justified concerns about illegal activities, but he then uses this sympathetic audience to infuse his column with the types of comments that spur these frustrations on the part of Maine citizens and Earth First! types.

“Earth First! and others of their ilk aren’t content to let policy matters be settled at the ballot box,” O’Dea writes. But the mountaintop industrialization was not determined by ballot and citizens had no vote. The expedited permitting process excludes or limits the previously required hearings and halves the judicial appeals.

That is the same type of narcissism that helps some folks justify chopping off their neighbor’s head because they don’t read the same holy book.

The less-than-subtle inference that Earth First! and all opponents of wind industrialization of our wilderness — and perhaps all environmentalists — are of the same ilk, and linking them to Islamic head-chopping terrorists, is despicable.

O’Dea should stick to his initial valid plea to deal with lawbreakers and shouldn’t use the readers’ sympathy with that issue to promote his industry with misleading numbers while attempting to align all opposition with Islamic decapitators.


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