Your Jan. 9 article, “Simpson lawyer answers critics,” was ludicrous, and F. Lee Bailey’s defense was laughable. According to him, he “never published anything because people were too biased to consider (O.J.) Simpson’s innocence.”

He is correct, and one of these people, according to Jeffrey Toobin in “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” (the most thoroughly researched book on the case), was defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran.

Once Cochran joined the case and was convinced of Simpson’s guilt, he decided he had to play the race card. The gloves did fit Simpson at one time; many experts testified that the gloves had shrunk before being used as evidence.

In fact, the evidence against Simpson was overwhelming, and the former football player was actually acquitted by a combination of factors – including a mediocre prosecution team, jurors who had already made up their minds before the trial began, a star-struck judge who allowed anything the defense wanted in, and a racist Los Angeles police force that routinely disregarded the rights of L.A.’s African-American community.

O.J. was the beneficiary of all of this. None of this made him any less guilty.

Tom DiPasqua


Arizona sheriff misstates both his job and the truth

It really has become so tiresome. Why is it that liberals believe that they are intellectually and ethically superior to conservatives? It might just be a forgivable weakness, but for the fact that liberals are notoriously lazy in matters of the intellect, and are subject to the same sorts of ethical lapses as anyone else.

For the liberal mind, a fact is plastic in nature; a thing to be torqued and twisted until it serves the needs of the moment. Liberals often champion “situational ethics” – an elegant label for no ethics at all.

Pima County (Ariz.) Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is an example of liberalism at its best. His facts are not facts, he oversteps his job definition, he inflames an already painful situation and makes a spectacle of himself.

He should immediately turn over the investigation of the Tucson shootings to the Arizona Highway Patrol, and bow out “stage left.”

Henry Smith


Murder rate result of how NRA leans on lawmakers

A politician, talking on one of the major networks, insisted that guns do not make people kill. He said it is hatred against groups or individuals that make people kill people. There is truth in that, but guns make killing easy.

People will say that knives, hatchets, clubs, poison and strong hands also kill people. Yes they do, but nowhere as easily or as risk-free as using guns. Only a gun will let you mow down dozens of people and do it from a distance so you can run or drive away from the crime scene.

In 209, more than 13,500 people were homicide victims in the United States. In all of the European countries, Asia and Canada the average number of murders was just over 250. That statistic should make us realize the tremendous influence NRA lobbyists have had on our legislators.

Elbridge Gagnon


Governor plays favorites about ‘special interests’

So Gov. LePage has discovered that the NAACP is a “special interest.”

How is the NAACP different from any one of his own favorite special interests, such as the Maine Right to Life Committee? Innumerable interest groups populate the social and political landscape.

As a senior citizen and beneficiary of Social Security, I belong to a special interest group; as a member of Veterans for Peace, a resident of Peaks Island, a member of AARP, MOFGA and other groups with political and social agendas, I’m no different from most everyone else in our society.

Governmental chief executives recognize that they represent the general will of all the people in their jurisdiction, and even Gov. LePage voiced that sentiment during his inauguration. Having made himself the butt (pun intended) of embarrassment to Mainers, he’s now tarred as the “special interest” governor.

Our founders, especially Washington, Adams, Madison and Franklin, were sensitive to the problem of special interests, which they termed “factions,” and therefore established a Constitution with a Bill of Rights that permits all factions/special interests to get their voices into the civic arena.

They hoped thereby to avoid the tyranny of a majority or minority. So far it has worked, though not without conflict – most notably our Civil War.

Let’s see now if Gov. LePage is man enough to apologize for the atrocious civics lesson he has given the men, women and children of Maine.

Norm Rasulis

Peaks Island

Ethanol bad for engines and for greenhouse gases

How many people know that ethanol emits 50 percent more CO2 into the air than automobiles that use straight gasoline without this additive?

Special interest politics (and the early Iowa presidential primary), not concern about global warming, have been the driving forces behind the ethanol decision, just as with wind power – in Maine, the nation and internationally.

Clyde Macdonald


White pines vulnerable if rules on bushes changed

The white pine is the state tree of Maine. Economically it is the most valuable lumber species in the state, providing employment for hundreds of skilled workers in about a dozen, mostly state-of-the art sawmills, plus the loggers who supply them.

It is the highest-priced high volume species growing in the state, much of it under management. Membership of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine is over 3,000 growers, and they own over a half-million acres of woodland, much of it growing white pine.

Every species has its destructive diseases and insects. White pine blister rust is a disease that will kill smaller pines and damage larger ones. The disease has an alternate host — various varieties of currants and similar fruits (ribes). Eliminate them and the disease will not spread.

In the mid-1900s there was a government program aimed at eliminating ribes in the towns that had significant pine stands. Towns raised money that was matched by the state and turned over to the U.S. Forest Service for full funding. They hired crews who went through the pine areas pulling up the ribes bushes.

the time the program was dropped – funding was needed for the spruce budworm program – some towns had been gone over as much as three times. I was logging in the 1950s and noted a marked difference in pine mortality in towns that were not on the program.

Current owners are living on the long-term benefits of the program, but the problem is still there, as ribes will gradually grow back from plants missed by the crews and those grown illegally.

In no way should the ban on the growing of currants be lifted to favor a few commercial growers and home gardeners. The potential damage to the white pine resource is too great.

Richard A. Hale


Outdoors section perfect for these readers’ lifestyles

Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoy your Outdoors section of the Maine Sunday Telegram – it is one of the main reasons we continue to order the paper.

It is great to know what is going on outdoors around the state!

It seems as though there are articles for everyone. Although we don’t hunt or snowmobile, we do hike, snowshoe, kayak and canoe. We love the pictures from people around the state.

Thank you for this section.

Charlotte Spear and William Willette