Some Maine residents were happy to hear that Austin “Jack” DeCoster, infamous for numerous animal abuse scandals and environmental violations, is leasing one of his egg factory farms to Moark, LLC, a subsidiary of Land O’ Lakes. Unfortunately, Moark has its own terrible track record of corruption and cruelty. In 2005, Moark agreed to pay $100,000 following animal abuse charges stemming from video footage showing company workers dumping live chickens into trash bins. In June of this year, Land O’ Lakes paid a whopping $25 million to settle claims that it and other major egg producers illegally drove up prices by coordinating the mass killings of egg-laying hens. Sadly, it looks like it will be business as usual for the corrupt egg industry, which means a rotten deal for animals, the environment and the residents of Maine.

Nathan Runkle

executive director, Mercy For Animals,

Chicago

Other inhabitants deserve not to be severed for art

Your recent article profiling The Rock & Art Shop highlights one of our society’s deepest flaws:  a fundamental disregard for the lives and well-being of other creatures. The subtitle of this piece reads “Three siblings pour their passion for natural history, art and plants into a store that inspires ‘oohs and ahhs.’” However, it turns out that many of these vaunted  “oohs and ahhs” are inspired by the display and sale of dismembered parts of formerly living creatures.  You show a color photo of a “unique find,” which turns out to be butterfly wings made into earrings. To think that people apparently consider it “neat” or “cool” to dangle severed body parts of a beautiful, innocent creature from their ears is barbaric. How nice.

We are not alone in this world, and its other inhabitants surely deserve better than this.

Mary Wheeler

Scarborough

Banks should be banks and not become casinos

Just when you thought Federal Reserve and big banking transactions could not possibly get more bizarre, here comes something so vile and financially lecherous it makes you wonder if the people running our country haven’t been kidnapped and replaced by evil robots. Bank of America and Chase have been allowed to transfer more than $100 trillion (that’s trillion with a T) in derivative contracts from their investment banking units to their FDIC-insured commercial banking units. This sleazy maneuver allows them to transfer the risk of these “investments” to the U.S. taxpayer. Both banks are heavily exposed to European debt, and as Europe gets ready for a full-blown meltdown, Bank of America and Chase are running for cover (again).

The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act was specifically designed to prevent this type of insane speculation, and it worked just like it was supposed to until 1999 when it was repealed by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

After Glass-Steagall was repealed, it took a mere seven years for Wall Street and the major “banks” to unleash another horrific financial disaster. Banks should be banks, not casinos that are fed by the government and backed up by the taxpayers.

Barney Hildreth

Cumberland

If everyone is free to define marriage, meaning is gone

In response to the letter from the Rev. John B. McCall regarding marriage (Oct. 25), I offer the following:  the fact that he blessed the union of two persons who exchanged vows does not mean they are married.  Marriage is an institution regulated by the state of Maine. Individuals and churches are not free to invent their own definitions.

I disagree when he insists that “there is no compelling reason for state law to prohibit same-gender couples from getting a marriage license.” The most compelling reason is very simple. Same-gender coupling is not marriage!

And, contrary to his assertion, the free exercise of religion does not grant either individuals or churches the right to define marriage any way they want.  There are boundaries which define who can and cannot marry.  Natural marriage is between a man and a woman. Anything else is an imitation of the real thing.  If anyone and everyone is free to define marriage any way they want, then there is no meaning to the word.

I have no desire to interfere with anyone who wants to enjoy the privileges and responsibilities of marriage, but his equivocation in the use of the word marriage is a logical blunder too obvious to let pass.

Sandy Williams, Pastor

First Baptist Church of Freeport

Reviewer gets thanks for her coverage of the Pixies

I would like to thank the Press Herald and Staff Writer Aimsel Ponti for giving one of the more anticipated concerts to come to Maine the attention it deserved: prolific alternative icons the Pixies. Anyone who was at the State Theatre (Nov. 1) can attest to the musical magic we all experienced.

With a dedicated legion of fans both old and young, the Pixies came to town with an eager anticipation not matched by many other acts. The smaller confines of the beautifully refurbished State made this concert even more inviting to all of us fortunate enough to have secured the much sought after tickets.
 I think the band was quite humbled by the reception given it with each song.

The Pixies have a staying power that very few bands can boast and in these days of a fluctuating economy bolstered by unpredictable headlines it felt good to forget about everything else that night and just absorb every song as if our ears were sponges. Many years ago there were four young men who carved out musical history and though never to be matched at that level, most Pixies fans would say that they are the “Fab Four” of alternative music.

Again, thank you for a fine review.

Scott Plummer

South Casco