We notice that those who want to raise the Social Security retirement age tend to work in offices. Masons, carpenters, fishermen, loggers, mill workers, all who work at hard labor, look at things differently.

Many find their bodies start to give out around 50 years of age, rheumatoid arthritis sets in, their joints become painful, and where they once were determined to make it to age 65, they now must struggle on for two more years beyond that, and the politicians now suggest three more years.

These are not lazy people, indeed they perform this country’s hardest jobs; they have worked hard all their lives and most want to work as long as they can, for that is their ethic. However, their bodies will take only so much.

And, unless they were employed as union labor (a minority) they have never had access to 401(k)s or company pensions. Their labor helped build this nation’s wealth, yet they have accumulated none. All the hard-earned wages they made have gone into providing basic necessities for their families.

These people make up the country’s working middle class (as opposed to the professional middle class). They are now becoming superfluous, expendable, even irrelevant, their jobs are disappearing, and access to humble benefits such as health care and pensions is being whittled away.

Politically, they are a sleeping giant. Beware what happens when they awaken.


Duane Robert Pierson



Why, why do we let our politicians walk all over us, lie through their teeth and let us suffer? I write this in support of our elderly and disabled.

I am just ticked off. Last year and this year, our government told us there was no inflation, so no COLA raises. Yet they gave themselves a 3.4 percent raise. Do you realize what 3.4 percent is on $176,000 and up, or that all government employees got 1.9 percent increases? We all sit and take it, we laugh and joke about it.

It’s time that all Americans start taking the blame for letting them run us into the ground. Now is the time to stand and say “no” to our so-called trusted leaders, those who take every perk known to mankind, which is abuse of power, without our knowledge.


They don’t want the same rules to apply to them as to us. Did you know that most laws Congress passes for us they exempt themselves from? Our leaders have turned into a bunch of thieves and we let it happen.

So what do we do? How do we teach them to have principles the way Americans once had? It’s like watching little selfish children.

Gary Stetson



Why would Obama defend man who abused dogs?



I’m at a loss. President Obama called the Philadelphia Eagles’ owner, Jeffrey Lurie, to congratulate him for giving Michael Vick, the team’s quarterback, another chance.

Hmmmmm. Michael Vick, a very rich man who is paid a lot of money to play a game with a ball, tortured helpless animals for “sport” and only stopped because he got caught.

My question is, “Why would Vick’s behavior deserve a call from the President? Why would Obama get involved in this, given all the other possibilities for his involvement, including our military engagements around the globe (Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan, Yemen, the Horn of Africa, Colombia), the economy, significant unemployment, the environment, the Republican filibusters, and on and on and on?” So, I go to “motive.” It’s obviously about a lot more than forgiveness or second chances.

So, what is it about? For me, the answer is troubling. Sure, forgive Michael Vick. Exonerate him. Give him a second chance. Each of us can choose how to respond to his situation. I have no admiration for him. Why the president would get involved in this is beyond me. I also wonder why Obama didn’t call the folks who gave all of Vick’s surviving dogs sanctuary, love and care after Vick got caught abusing, torturing and killing a lot of helpless animals.

What “value” is reinforced in the president’s call to the Eagles’ owner? What value would be reinforced in calling those who gave Vick’s victims sanctuary?


Let me see, do I feel compelled to offer public support for the victims or for the man who created the victims? As far as I’m concerned, Obama chose to dial the wrong number. I want to know why.

Michael Ehringhaus



Cartoonist confused about climate and weather



In my opinion, the cartoon by Lisa Benson on Dec. 29 (showing people in a bus labeled “Church of Global Warming” stuck in deep snow) suggests the following:

1. She doesn’t know the difference between climate and weather. Thus she is ignorant. 2. She is a shill for the oil companies. Thus, she is spreading falsehoods.

I would suggest that your editorial board get a copy of the book “The Empathic Civilization” by Jeremy Rifkin of the Wharton School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania. I would also suggest that Social Darwinism is as much of a religion as any other cultural function. There is a difference between “adaptation of species” and “survival of the fittest.”

Herbert Twiddy




Verrill Dana acted in strange and lenient way


WWDWD? (What Would David Warren Do?)

John Duncan betrayed the trust and stole from the law firm of Verrill Dana and its clients.

If the situation were different, what would David Warren have done? Would he have used the same lenient yardstick he used for John Duncan?

For example, what if John Duncan had accused the firm’s whistleblowing assistant, Ellie Rommel, of misappropriating funds from client trust accounts and writing checks to herself, instead of actually being the one who revealed Duncan’s crime?


To continue the scenario, what if Ms. Rommel had tearfully confessed, apologized and repaid $ 77,500, the monies she was accused of taking, saying that “no one was harmed and that it was an isolated incident.”

How long do you think it would have taken David Warren to demand an audit and full investigation, four months or four minutes?

Do you think the six attorneys on the Executive Board would have overlooked her behavior and worried about her fragile mental stability, thus “acting prudently” and postponing a call to the AG’s office or the police?

Congratulations to you, Ellie Rommel, for having the integrity and courage to stand up for what you believe and not turn a blind eye.

Jan Taylor Corey

South Portland


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