2016-06-08 / Opinion


How Did We Get from ‘Greatest’ to worst?

I know you are out there, fellow members of my generation — those of us born and raised in the ’40s and ’50s. Unfortunately ours went from the “greatest” to the worst in one generation. How did we do that, given our tremendous personal sacrifices in Vietnam and social equality advances here at home?

I would suggest the reason rests in the label with which our generation has been tagged — the “Silent Majority.” To me, the genesis of the problems facing this country today — Congressional inaction and ineptitude, income inequality, unaffordable healthcare, unreachable higher education etc etc etc — are directly related to our generation’s lack of involvement in the governing of this nation.

Consider the seat of governing this nation — Washington D.C. — is today a cesspool of corruption driven by greed for money and power. That said, if you are in agreement, let me share three initial issues against which I would like to see the “Silent Majority” take action. First, since this is being written on Memorial Day, I’m sure we are all extremely upset at the lack of needed medical treatment being given our veterans. Over the past years we have learned of total incompetence being demonstrated by those responsible for providing these important services to men and women who served this country. Also I have not heard of any top bureaucrat in the VA being fired, demoted or in any way disciplined for this atrocious treatment of our vets. Therefore, since the head of the VA recently compared vets waiting long periods for critical treatment to people standing in line for rides at Disney World, he should be fired.

Second, since Congress has failed to provide adequate funding for our National Parks, the head of the park services — Mr. Jarvis — has asked for and been given the go ahead to seek corporate sponsorships. That’s right, our majestic National Parks are up for sale. If Mr. Jarvis is successful, the next time you take your family to Acadia you will be greeted by a sign stating “Welcome to Acadia National Park brought to you by Apple Computer!” This idiotic insult to the American public and its national treasures should not occur. Third, 60 Minutes recently ran an expose on Congress spending half its time “dialing for dollars.” That's correct, according to 60 Minutes, members of Congress — aka the “people’s house” — are spending up to 30 hours a week in telemarketing centers at the RNC and DNC making calls seeking dollar contributions for themselves and their party.

OK, “Silent Majority,” I’m asking you to be silent no more. If we act, the VA will get a new leader, our National Parks will not be “incorporated” and Congress will spend their time addressing the issues facing those who put them in office. Finally, fellow “Silent Majority” members, I ask you to take action, get involved not for us but for the children, grand children and great grandchildren of our generation.

Chuck Pierce,


More Support for Neilson

I strongly support Will Neilson and believe he will make an excellent assemblyman representing our district. Will’s special skill set includes the ability to work with people to get things done and with sensitivity to key issues but with a solid fiscal set of policies, all much needed in the House in Augusta. Of particular importance to me is his realistic set of fiscal policies and approach to Maine health care.

As owner of the Solo Bistro restaurant in Bath with his wife Pia, and a lawyer with membership in the Maine State Bar Association, Will understands state and local economic issues and has a long record of achievement and contribution to the greater Bath area – including Bath Rotary, Maine Street Bath, the Bath Freight Shed Alliance, and Chair of the Greater Bath Elder Outreach, Chair of the Arrowsic Planning Board and many years of involvement in programs for the elderly via SEARCH (Seek Elderly Alone Restore Courage and Hope). I have seen Will leadership and effectiveness in local committee work. In short, his record of local contribution and achievement is exceptional and he will make a difference in Augusta. For sure, I am voting for Will in the Democratic primary and encourage you to do so too.

Don Kornrumpf


Zumwalt-class a Destroyer of Lives

I am writing regarding the christening of the Navy’s Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer that is going to take place on June 18 at Bath Iron Works. I do not believe many things that the Navy, or the Pentagon states. Those two entities are masters of deception in many ways. However, the designation of the ship as a “destroyer” is one instance where they speak the truth. Does it strike anyone else as being sadly ironic that a vessel that is designed for destruction, including the destruction of who knows how many human beings, would be blessed in the name of Jesus Christ, also known as the Prince of Peace?

Human being are not all this destroyer will destroy. How many opportunities for the betterment of the lives of people are being destroyed as our government chooses to spend over $4 billion for this destroyer of lives? That money could do an amazing amount of good if it were funneled into things that actually improve people’s lives, such as education and health care. The government could even put that money into dealing, for once, in a realistic manner with a genuine threat to our national security...the very real threat of climate change, which even the Pentagon understands and acknowledges (not withstanding the fact that it does have the single largest carbon boot-print on the planet).

How many lives, among those beings who live in the sea, will be destroyed by this destroyer? It is well known that the Navy’s use of sonar can wreck havoc on the lives of marine species, disrupting biologically important behaviors such as feeding, breeding, migration, and communication. It can raise stress levels, lowering animal’s ability to successfully reproduce, and making them more susceptible to disease. And sonar use can and does result in hearing loss and other injuries, as well as death. Not all sonar victims wind up mass-stranded upon some shore: those that do are likely just the tip of the destruction iceberg.

And what of the lives of people living in places such as Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island in South Korea? Although the people there overwhelmingly opposed the building of a navy base on their shore, and have non-violently and heroically resisted its construction on a daily basis for going on 9 years, sustaining fines, imprisonment, and injuries at the hands of police, the base is now complete and soon will port US Navy warships. Perhaps this very same destroyer. Those people, who even today continue to resist, have had their village, their sacred places, and their once-beautiful environment destroyed by this base.

Yes, this Zumwalt is a Destroyer … of lives, opportunities, and peace. I do not believe the Prince of Peace would ever bless such a thing.

Russell Wray,


LePage Should Comply with Clean Power Plan

In response to: “The state of solar power in Maine” by Douglas McIntire published June 3: Our State Rep. Sara Gideon understands that global warming poses a serious risk for our families, our communities and our future. Given that pollution is the cause, her support of the solar initiatives is great to hear to anyone that is trying to create a sustainable Maine.

After recognizing that we have a problem, the next step is to take action. That means cleaning up our power plants — America’s number one source of dangerous carbon pollution — and transitioning to 100 percent clean renewable energy.

At the federal level, President Obama’s Clean Power Plan has set the first-ever standards on global warming pollution from power plans and provides a critical opportunity for Maine to further accelerate the development of clean energy.

Gov. LePage should develop an approach for complying with the Clean Power Plan, without delay. I’d really love to see us focus exclusively on energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy to meet the goals of this policy.

We can prevent the worst impacts of global warming. Let’s keep Maine moving forward!

Owen Mansfield,


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