If this is Portland’s Big Brother approach to stifle life and make it so residents and visitors don’t have too good a time here, the long-standing, far-reaching and ever-worsening parking mandates are working real well.

Over the years, the millions of dollars culled are far overshadowed by the ill will and malcontent of the recipients of these hundreds of thousands of parking tickets, given out by unapologetic, fiendish meter maids.

The maids are everywhere, on bike, on foot, four-wheeled vehicles, heaping loads of agony on an already depleted public.

There are countless people who will not visit this fair city unless they absolutely have to.

Isn’t it time we reclaimed our place and put an end to this madness?

Are Jill Duson, Cheryl Leeman, David Marshall or any of the other elected officials concerned? This is why we have an elected mayor, right? To help balance this place out. Bombard the dude with calls and letters.

Visitors and residents need to park without fear. We need reform and we need it soon. This has gone on far, far, far too long.

Zoo Cain

Portland

Military-industrial complex counting on another war

I read with great interest Patrick Eisenhart’s letter to the editor on Jan. 2 (“Iraq war over, yet defense costs rise”). This letter should be printed on the front page of every newspaper in America in the hope that the American people might wake up to the menace of the military-industrial complex operating in our country.

It appears that the United States just can’t get enough of wars. We are just exiting Iraq and it will be years before we see the end of our involvement in Afghanistan. Yet we are just “itching” to fight with Iran.

Why can’t Europe and Israel deal with these issues in their own backyard?

I would like to refer your readers to a recent story in the January 2012 issue of Vanity Fair magazine titled “One Nation Under Arms” by Todd Purdum. It is an excellent article pointing out the dangers of a military-industrial complex, of which we were forewarned back in the ’50s by a five-star general named Dwight D. Eisenhower.

I still believe that this is the greatest nation in the world, but we need to improve our own economy and the lives of our own people before taking on the problems of the rest of the world.

Charles E. Butts

Brunswick

Tax assessor gets vote of confidence in this fight

Let me start by saying I am no fan of our state’s tax laws. But after reading the article in the Jan. 5 local section about Andrew Preston’s request for the town of Falmouth to lower the taxes on his property, I have to side with the tax assessment (“Falmouth estate’s latest owner tries to reduce tax bill”).

Mr. Preston is a man who has made himself wealthy from others’ misfortune.

There is nothing illegal about buying and selling foreclosed properties. After all, we are very close to changing our license plates from “Vacationland” to “I should have bought it when I saw it at Marden’s.”

What sickens me is Mr. Preston’s company bought the property for a fraction of the market price, and his current argument is that much of the square footage is not useful for a family residence.

He wants to save about five grand a year in property taxes.

Thank you for visiting, Mr. Preston. Now go home please, as long as it’s not one of ours.

Jason Kruger

Sanford

Same-sex marriage foes find answers in the Bible

On Dec. 27, Meghan Gaven wrote, in rebuttal to Rev. Frederick Guise, who opposes same-sex marriage, “Why does God make them that way?”

In his letter, Rev. Guise used biblical quotes that showed conclusively that homosexual acts are sinful. Yet Gaven attempts to win the argument by using a query posed by her juvenile daughter, “If being gay is a sin, why does God make them that way?”

However, while framed as a question, it comes across as being a true statement. Apparently she hopes that the voting public will give her 10-year-old daughter’s opinion about it more authority than the Bible.

However, James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father with whom there is no variableness (i.e. changing) and of his own will he begot us.”

As for the quote, “Judge not, lest ye be judged,” Jesus used these words in Luke 6:37. However, Romans 2:1 shows it had to do with secretive sinners judging obvious sinners. Further, in Luke 17:3, Jesus warns, “Look out for yourselves. If your brother trespass against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.”

How can one rebuke without first judging?

Speaking of forgiveness, in Corinthians 1:9, Paul tells his parishioners that fornicators, idolaters, effeminate, abusers of themselves among mankind, etc. wouldn’t be going to heaven, and that some of them had been like that but now they were washed, sanctified and justified.

Obviously they were members of his church who had repented, accepted Jesus as their Savior and were now saved by grace and heaven bound.

These same miracles are happening today, as many ex-gays joyfully testify. They found that God loved them and sent Jesus to save them, just like every one of us.

Philip E. Kennard

Windham

Time to face population, consumption problems

We move into this new year of 2012 laden with intractable problems, the most immediate being the financial meltdown, but including climate change, overconsumption, under-regulated pollution, income polarization and poverty.

Least addressed is world overpopulation, and its sister, reproductive choice.

There is a very real question of where the human carrying capacity of this one Earth lies, whether we are not already in population/consumption overshoot.

A film “Mother: Caring for 7 Billion” will be shown in Rockland (at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at First Unitarian Church) and Belfast (at 6 p.m. Jan. 18 at Belfast Public Library). Please come and share in the discussion.

Reproductive choice for all is a possible and relatively economic precautionary measure.

Surely we have the courage to begin to address this issue.

Beedy Parker

Camden