It’s about time. Thanks to the governor for his straight-talking way of making it clear. Regarding welfare recipients and drug testing, he recently said, “If they take our limited resources, we ought to be able to test ’em on occasion.” I like it. Let’s extend that illogic.

All public employees (including Gov. LePage) should be drug tested. All drivers using publicly subsidized roads should be tested. All homeowners receiving incentives to make their homes energy efficient should be tested. All students attending public schools ought to be tested. Heck, why not just test all Maine citizens and, for that matter, all the tourists and outsiders who benefit from our public infrastructure.

Let’s find those criminals, but let’s not use public money or employees to do it, because as the governor said, our resources are so “limited.” Maybe they can even turn themselves in! Let’s simply mandate random universal drug testing by law and require everyone to test themselves and pay for it at non-union labs.

After all, we’ve learned from LePage how lazy unions are gorging themselves at the public expense and hindering the “1 percent” who truly make our economy prosper. Except there IS one small glitch: We already know that government regulations and invasive requirements run counter to the governor’s principles.

Enough double talk from the governor! Let’s invest in our people for their benefit, as well as ours. It seems he’s forgotten Phil Ochs’ insight that “we’re only as rich as the poorest of the poor, and only as free as a padlocked prison door.”

Jay Kilbourn


As a Mainer I have given Gov. LePage the benefit of a doubt in his learning curve, from being a mayor to the governorship. Alas, I am again embarrassed by his lack of sensitivity in his response to an email received from a person in New Hampshire inquiring about “benefits” in Maine.

Gov. LePage makes a mockery of “Welcome to Maine. The Way Life Should Be. Open for Business.” Gov. LePage reaffirms that businesses are welcome but not individuals who are “benefit shopping.” Businesses are welcome to go “benefit shopping,” between states in comparing the potential tax benefits of moving into a state.

Relating to drug testing, does Gov. LePage also believe that business owners and corporate executives in Maine receiving “corporate welfare” or who cheat on their state income taxes should be drug tested on “occasion”? Perhaps the woman from New Hampshire desired to participate in “the way life should be” in Maine. Maybe she is unemployed, perhaps she has children who could benefit from living in Maine, become educated, stay in Maine and even start a business here.

Gov. LePage’s paraphrase of President John F. Kennedy’s famous summons, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country,” is another example of his callousness and obliviousness to the needs of the less fortunate in his condescending final remark to the New Hampshire woman, “Have a nice life.” His rejoinder is as remarkable as Marie Antoinette’s retort when told of the people starving in Paris, “Let them eat cake.”

Gov. LePage stated he was insulted by the email from the woman. I’m embarrassed by his remarkable lack of kindness and consciousness of the needs of others.

David C. Weiss, Ph.D.

retired marriage and family therapist

Cape Elizabeth

I want to take this opportunity to endorse Gov. LePage’s position on random drug testing for Maine’s welfare recipients.

It is not only in the Maine taxpayers’ best interest, but in the long run, in the best interest of those individuals and families who are dependent on state-paid welfare benefits.

If such a policy deters even a handful of applicants from using drugs, as an incentive to be able to provide for themselves and/or their families, we as a society will all benefit.

Having once worked in Maine’s social welfare system for nearly 20 years, I can personally attest to having known a number of clients who traded food stamps for drugs and alcohol, or used their monthly checks for the same.

Of course this would create a financial crisis for those families.

Then these folks would claim their checks or food stamps had been stolen, and they’d apply for general assistance through their cities or towns. Either way, we taxpayers were on the hook.

I’m sure with the dramatic increase in drug dependency over the last few years, the problem is even worse now.

Ultimately, Maine taxpayers foot the bill. And those individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol suffer even more.

Knowing that crisis precipitates change, I support Gov. LePage in his effort to manage our tax dollars more effectively.

Maine taxpayers should not be in the position to enable drug abusers and addicts to engage in this behavior.

Dennis Gervais


Comment on sex parties shows lack of insight

USM sociologist Wendy Chapkis tells Portland Press Herald readers to “stop gasping” at the news of swingers in Sanford enjoying a buffet in both the culinary and sexual sense of the term (“Caterer tells town sex parties will stop,” Oct. 27).

Ms. Chapkis, who fondly recalls her own group sex experiences in San Francisco, is, I suspect, less knowledgeable about the mores of this region. “Stop laughing” might have been a better directive.

Scolding us for “provincialism,” Ms. Chapkis says, “There’s a moral judgment being made here about where people can have sex.” It seems she’s the one making a moral judgment; though about our alleged intolerance, she says, “That is interesting to me.” I assume that’s the social scientist speaking.

Another sociologist, Peter Berger, in his essay, “Whatever Happened to Sociology?” made the following observation about their academic discipline: “A large number of sociologists have become active combatants in the ‘culture wars,’ almost always on one side of the battle lines. And this, of course, has alienated everyone who does not share the beliefs and values of this ideological camp.”

Berger sees sociology as a descriptive rather than a prescriptive endeavor. He says the “basic question” of sociology has been, “Why does this age differ from every other age?” Chapkis, questioned about group sex, says, “It’s not new.” Is our response new? Or have people always tittered, been titillated, been curious, been shocked, asked why, or shaken their heads when hearing stories of their neighbors’ deviation from the sexual norms of the present moment?

I’m no expert, but it seems to me the real Sociology 101 question here is why there were so many Massachusetts plates in the parking lot.

Kevin Sweeney

South Portland