I read the recent report that Congress and the president passed an increase in spending for the military-industrial complex about which Dwight D. Eisenhower, former president and general, warned the United States.

The question that came to mind was, “If the war in Iraq has ended, why are taxpayers being asked to pay more than last year at a time when our economy is in the tank?”

Could it be that the lobbyists and war profiteers such as Halliburton and Blackwater are now pushing buttons in Washington for the invasion of Iran, using the same bogus intelligence that got more than 4,000 Americans killed and another 30,000 maimed and injured in Iraq?

Should we not heed the words of past warriors like Gen. Eisenhower or Marine Corps Gen. Smedley Butler, two-time Medal of Honor recipient, who declared that “war is a racket”?

How sad and interesting it was to watch the recent Republican presidential debates where only one candidate expressed the need to cut the billions of dollars being spent to support the military-industrial complex in 130 different countries.

God bless Gens. Dwight D. Eisenhower and Smedley Butler. And God bless everyone who realizes that “war is a racket.”

Patrick Eisenhart


Proposed cuts would hurt neediest elderly the most

These are desperate economic times. The status of state government finances is dire, as evidenced by the news about proposed state budget cuts that are nothing short of devastating.

Through the Medicare Savings Program, more than $12 million could be cut from the Fund for a Healthy Maine, eliminating the wrap benefit and payment of Medicare Part D premiums for certain individuals receiving benefits.

What does this mean? It means that many low-income seniors will no longer receive assistance for the essential and often life-saving prescription drugs upon which they rely.

Critical services such as dental care, podiatry and vision care could be cut from MaineCare. Stroke victims, those in rehab and diabetics, to name a few, will suffer. These are support services that help our fellow Mainers stay healthier at home where they can maintain their independence.

The proposed cuts would eliminate funding for private, non-medical institution services. Some 6,000 people, including 4,400 elderly and frail Mainers, would be affected. It is estimated that at least 900 are nursing home-eligible. The state does not have 900 nursing home beds available. Where will they go? The state offers no viable answers.

These are the Maine residents with the least to spare. Democrats, Republicans and independents must come together in the spirit of compromise and fully fund programs and resources that are essential to our most vulnerable residents.

The state can, and must, do better.

Pat Pulkkinen,

AARP outreach volunteer

South Paris

Registration vote shows GOP agenda unpopular

The recent defeat at the polls of the Republican law abolishing Election Day voter registration is strong evidence that Charlie Webster is merely cheerleading when he asserts that there has been a fundamental shift in Maine politics. That is his job, of course. The Republican legislators up for re-election next fall should be a little more nervous about their prospects if they continue to follow Gov. LePage.

The proposed draconian cuts to the MaineCare program are only the most recent example of LePage’s dogmatic my-way-or-the-highway approach to administering the state’s government. What is even more discouraging is that it is unclear whether it is his or someone else’s dogma.

Whether it is his quips about ladies growing little beards or lying on national TV about the reasons for removing the “worker” mural, LePage has again and again demonstrated that he lacks the necessary decorum to be an effectual governor.

It would appear that his surrogates are no better. Mary Adams sitting around calling people dumb in no way makes me want to hear what she has to say on this or any other topic.

The irony is that there is no doubt that the majority of voters realize that in this and in many other areas, some reform is needed to successfully maintain these programs. However, the way to convince people of the correctness of your argument does not include insulting them.

However, it is a way for LePage and his backers to mask from the public what they really want to do, which, in this case, is to abolish MaineCare altogether — or so it would appear by their approach.

Next November will determine if the tea party ideology and style is what the majority of voters really want.

Daniel Phipps


Press Herald coverage biased against governor

For the past several years I have been very pleased with my morning Press Herald for its news and editorial page’s contents, which always seemed quite fair. I also relish letters to the editor and, almost as important, solving the day’s crossword puzzle.

Of late, however, I find headlines blatantly and disgustingly demeaning of our governor, his photo being as uncomplimentary as possible of posture and expression. Hardly a positive word about the man!

How are we to expect resolution of our state’s problems in such an acerbic atmosphere?

I honor the office of Maine’s governor, not necessarily the holder of the position,

Perhaps it’s time I find my crossword puzzles in a more civil newspaper — sad to say.

Bill Chigas