Although I hesitate to give Phil Congdon any more attention, I find it interesting that ex-economic development commissioner was part of that famous social studies classroom incident during the Republican Party Convention.

As you may recall, the following Monday a social studies teacher at King Middle School in Portland discovered that a student-made collage depicting the history of the labor movement was missing.

The Knox County Republicans who met in this classroom also rifled the teacher’s desk and found in a closed box copies of the U.S. Constitution and left behind a note that read: “A Republican was here. What gives you the right to propagandize impressionable kids?”

The removal of the poster depicting labor history presages the removal of the now famous mural, ordered by Gov. LePage at the “request of an anonymous businessman.” Hmm. Could that have been Phil Congdon?

That cabal of Knox County Republicans wrote the Tea Party platform that LePage ran on, so Congdon’s appointment by LePage was no doubt well-earned, but his bombastic style ultimately was apparently too much of an embarrassment even for LePage.

John Chandler



Cost of fuel not affected by supply and demand


It is time for Americans to wake up, and examine the reasons we’ve been given for the rise in fuel prices.

Let’s clear up one myth right away: There is no law of supply and demand. That’s just a fancy cover for greed. When there’s a shortage of a product, we can choose to make extra profit — or choose not to. Unfortunately, most people walk the low road.

On the subject of price speculation: During World War II, this sort of profiteering was a serious crime, punishable with jail time — or worse. Why, when we are again at war, is this sort of behavior winked at?

Finally, it is a matter of public record that the Obama administration has a goal of reducing our appetite for petroleum. By encouraging price hikes, they advance their agenda, but with no regard for the suffering they cause. This sort of social engineering is reprehensible. In effect, we are paying for government to abuse us.

We need to look through the smoke of propaganda, think about what we are being told, and examine our own choices. If we don’t, we become the unwitting accomplices of those who so cynically manipulate and abuse us.

Henry Smith



Collins wise to stand up for preserving EPA powers


The battle to address climate change is raging in Washington, as coal and oil industry polluters are pouring in millions of dollars to block any progress toward a clean energy future.

But, they are not winning — yet. Several bills that would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to cut climate-changing pollution were recently introduced in the Senate, but were defeated.

We would like to thank Maine Sen. Susan Collins for voting against the worst measure — put forward by Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — which would have permanently prohibited the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating climate-changing pollution from stationary sources, such as big boilers and power plants.

This measure runs counter to the Supreme Court’s ruling that global warming emissions are dangerous pollutants that EPA must address through the Clean Air Act. Sen. Collins was the only Republican to vote against this measure. It is a testament to her understanding of the damaging impact climate change has had, and will continue to have, on Maine’s environment, economy and way of life.

The battle continues over whether and how EPA will address climate pollution. Without authorization and funding for EPA, the country will fail to address the most important environmental issue of our time.

Mainers are fed up with breathing bad air from away. We ask that both Maine Senators let the EPA do its work to reduce pollution now, and forestall the more devastating — and expensive — climate change that science has repeatedly shown is coming our way.

Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director

Natural Resources Council of Maine



Do unflattering photos show bias against LePage?


I am no big fan of Gov. Paul LaPage — his worth and value to the state have yet to be determined. But, I have to say your use of very unflattering pictures of him, most recently on the front page of the Sunday paper, would seem to indicate that you wish to show him in as negative a manner as possible. Not exactly the fair and unbiased reporting that I have come to expect from your paper.

Come on — give him a break. He is just trying to do what the voters hired him to do. It is obvious he is no politician, but considering the mess that our elected officials have put us in, perhaps what we need in the governor’s seat is a “bull in the china shop.”

Joel Brightman



If you demand accuracy, it’s best to check your facts


In an “Another View” column on April 30, M.D. Harmon is taken to task for his opposition to the now well-known labor mural. Author Scott MacEachern chides Harmon for the factual basis of his opinion, stating, “It’s pretty easy to check that Frances Perkins was actually from Maine.”

Yes, it is pretty easy to check that fact. Frances Perkins is not from Maine. She was born in Boston, and died in New York. She and her sister did inherit her father’s family property in Newcastle, but only used it as a retreat, and did not spend all that much time there.

Leaving aside the actual issue of the mural, MacEachern should be taken to task for demanding from Harmon what he does not expect of himself.

That said, Perkins is undeniably an important political figure who has familial connections to Maine. Recognizing her contribution is reasonable, and restoring her deleted name to a conference room is appropriate.

Jonathan Harris


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.