BIW grabs another $45M from Maine taxpayers

The campaign opposing the taxpayer giveaway to General Dynamics/BIW was a great campaign and in the end I think it did more to inform and educate hundreds, maybe thousands around the state and beyond. I always believed this wasn’t a fight against BIW, rather against the industry itself: the military industrial complex and perpetual wars for profit.

What disturbed me most, however, was the fact that it was never mentioned WHAT BIW and General Dynamics produce. Their only products are weapons of war and mass destruction. They produce nothing we can eat, purchase, or use.

This entire country has been on a permanent war footing since Dec. 7, 1941 and this is what has bankrupted the country to the tune over more than $20 trillion. This year’s budget for war was over $700 billion, more than 65 percent of our discretionary dollars.

BIW argued that it provided 5,000 good paying jobs. Can’t argue with that, but had good old Ike led a return to a peace time economy after WWII instead of just warning us about the military industrial complex, America would again be leading the world in good paying jobs, manufacturing, agriculture, and quality of life measures.

Instead, our infrastructure and cities are in serious disrepair. Poverty and homelessness are everywhere. Renewable energy and bullet trains are only a dream. Our educational system is shameful. 40,000 children in Maine are living in poverty and thousands are without healthcare yet we just gave BIW/GD $3 million a year for 15 years.

Government at the federal, state, and local levels are being extorted by corporations. This is what happened in the Maine yesterday. Democracy is gone when corporations rule and elected officials do the bidding of those interests instead of the interests of their constituents.

Our fight wasn’t against the workers at BIW. Our nonviolent, peaceful fight was against the culture of violence that has us and the rest of humanity facing nonexistence, not only from the threat of nuclear was, but from the devastating effects of climate change.

Regis Tremblay,

Brunswick

Salmon Farming Not a Green Solution

If you’re aware of the health benefits of animal-based omega- 3 fats and the fact that salmon is a great source, you may be shocked to discover that farmed salmon has more in common with junk food than health food. This is the grim reality revealed in Nicolas Daniel’s documentary “Fillet-Oh-Fish,” which includes exclusive footage from fish farms and factories across the globe.

Among the experts featured is Kurt Oddekalv, a respected Norwegian environmental activist who claims salmon farming is an unmitigated disaster, both from an environmental and human health perspective. Below the salmon farms dotted across the Norwegian fjords is a layer of waste some (49.2 feet) deep, teeming with bacteria, drugs and toxic pesticides, and since the farms are located in open water, this pollution is in no way contained.

Farmed salmon also pose a more harmful threat to your health. Fish has always been considered a health food, but food testing reveals that today’s farmed salmon is one of the most toxic foods in the world. As noted by the producers of the film, “through intensive farming and global pollution, the flesh of the fish we eat has turned into a deadly chemical cocktail.”

In a global assessment of farmed salmon published in the January 2004 issue of Science, persistent organic pollutants were found. Farmed salmon also does not have the nutritional profile of wild salmon. Rather than being a wonderful source of much-needed omega-3 fats, farmed salmon contains far more omega-6 than omega-3, which has a harmful effect on our health. most people are deficient in omega-3 while while consuming far more omega-6 than they need.

Salmon farming is not a green solution

Bill Perreault,

Brunswick