Bravo to the Portland City Council for its overwhelming vote not to issue a permit for Occupy Maine to stay in Lincoln Park. This is long overdue ,and it is time for them to either leave on their own or be evicted immediately.

Yes, they have a right to protest, but not like this. Lincoln Park is now and has been for a while an ugly, unsanitary shanty town. It is an eyesore for city residents and those who visit Portland, and has been the scene of numerous arrests and police calls.

It is baloney that they claim they are an “amazing community of self-government.” So now they want to start using hand cleansers and start cleaning the toilets — terrific.

What’s really disturbing is that prior to the City Council meeting, they had begun preparing for a forced eviction from the park. And on its Facebook page, the group announced that it is forming a “police raid support team.”

How smart, how intelligent. So now they are going to turn their peaceful protest into a violent one? They really are the 1 percent. Perhaps someday they will smarten up, and when/if they do, they will then become part of the 98 percent. (Oh, those millionaires are the other 1 percent, right?)

Howard Spear, Westbrook 

The very rich are different from you and me, observed F. Scott Fitzgerald in his short story “The Rich Boy.” And indeed they are. “They have more money,” Ernest Hemingway responded.

And that brings us to the constellation of circumstances and conditions that prepared the soil from which the Occupy Wall Street movement sprang. While being short of a well-defined, -crafted and -presented political agenda, OWS is spot-on in decrying of the lopsided distribution of wealth in this country.

A few examples. As of 2007 the top 1 percent controlled almost 35 percent of the nation’s wealth; add the next 19 percent, and the total comes to a whopping 85 percent.

The top 10 percent control 93.3 percent of the nation’s business equity, 98.5 percent of the nation’s financial securities, 79.4 percent of the nation’s trusts, and 81.2 percent of the nation’s stocks and mutual funds. (References for these numbers can be found at www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html.)

The amount of wealth remaining to be divided by the lowest 90 percent amounts to table scraps. The inequity of the distribution of wealth speaks for itself as OWS illustrates by drawing attention to the 99 percent.

To whom much is given, much is required. When the drive to excel motivates us to conceive, believe and achieve (Napoleon Hill), we deserve to reap the rewards. But after the harvest, do we have an inalienable right to hoard them?

Or is there a moral imperative for those few to return generously (Are the rich paying their fair share?) from their surplus so that others can follow their own dreams with the expectation that they, too, can have a fair chance to eat from a banquet table that is rich enough to sustain us all?

OWS challenges us to honestly confront and debate those questions.

Robert H. (Robin) Abendroth, Scarborough 

An observation on Occupy Wall Street/Maine and our society in general.

What we have now can be called “the entitlement generation.” It is Americans who believe that by merely existing they are entitled to a host of unearned benefits paid for by money extracted from their fellow Americans’ tax payments.

That the pockets of those American taxpayers are not bottomless — and sooner or later will no longer be available to the tax-and-spend crowd that infests Augusta and Washington, D.C. — has not reached into the minds of this spoiled generation. They really believe that money somehow grows on trees, or that there is an endless supply of cash out there.

We are fast approaching the time when the Fed will no longer be able to print enough paper dollars or the Legislature to tax enough dollars to finance their multiple programs that are designed to buy the votes of the nation’s/state’s taxpayers.

Hard work gave birth to the Greatest Generation; we have given birth to the neediest.

Contrary to popular belief, nobody owes you anything.

Richard Prince, South Portland 

Every day I hear news reports about the Occupy Wall Street protesters in Portland, New York, San Francisco and other cities throughout our country. A few of the protesters are interviewed in an effort to understand why they are protesting. From what I can gather, they are upset that some in our country are better off financially than others, and they don’t think this is fair.

Here’s what’s fair. My wife and I have been married for more than 50 years. When we were first married, I worked three jobs to provide a good living for my family. Throughout our entire married life, my wife and I worked hard to provide for our family and plan for our future retirement.

Today we’re comfortably retired, We’re not rich, but comfortable. Not because some politician gave us something for nothing. Not because we took from those who were better off than us. And not because things were more fair for us than others.

We worked hard for what we have, and if those who stand with their hands out and cry that things are not fair would follow the example we, and others like us, have set, they just might find things get more fair the harder you work.

Robert W. Brandenstein, Buxton 

The ACLU has stated that it will support the Occupy Maine group in Portland, so that it can stay try to stay in Lincoln Park.

Does this mean that the next group that wants to camp at the park or any other public space can expect the support of the ACLU? Think of all the different groups that the city can expect to be setting up tents in the future. The Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers, anti-Jewish groups, anti-Muslim groups, super-right wing, super-left wing, Nazis, communists, the list goes on and on.

I would like to see The Portland Press Herald ask these not-so-hard questions.

Anthony Palmer, Scarborough 

Let us see, what should we do? Bail out Wall Street or help the Postal Service?

They only deliver paychecks, prescriptions, bills and statements. To say nothing about the more unemployed people we will have. Nothing too important, right? Big decision.

What do you think?

Vi Vance, Scarborough