Letters to the editor — The Camden Herald

Apr 13, 2017

Something to consider

In a sense, this letter is my petition to the government (both federal and state) for a redress of grievances, one at least.

My observation over the course of my life, nearly seven decades, is that in every moment of my living, breathing life on Planet Earth, the United States (the country in which I reside and am a citizen of), has been at war in one form or another. Hot war, cold war, overthrowing legitimately elected governments, propping up dictators, covert war, overt war, drug war. You name it. Look it up. Since 1948 not one moment of actual peace. Say nothing of the decades, even centuries preceding. And we, the citizens, are paying for it. Currently nearly half of the entire United States budget goes to war making and its repercussions. Weapons manufacturers reap obscene profits.

Of course, if we did not do the research, we wouldn't know. But for the racist wars against our non-white communities, sexist wars against women, homophobic wars against LGTBQ humans, economic war against the poor, war against the Earth (extinction of countless species), we would not know. We've been hoodwinked, numbed and separated by the incessant marketing of corporations that run our society. Where's the money? Military Industrial Complex, the grand manipulation. The military and the monetary. Any chance for genuine peace?

My involvement in the peace movement over the last five decades has led me to the practice of conscientious objection to war and the business of war. My spiritual, philosophical, moral and ethical beliefs do not allow me to support war or the business of war in any way. Although difficult, I have decided to make every effort to withhold any financial support for such a destructive, life devastating system. I divert any money I am told I owe into community service and efforts toward the wellness of humanity and all living beings on planet Earth. All praise to water and land protectors! All praise to those who seek and work for genuine peace on Planet Earth!

Something to consider. Thank you!

Byron F Greatorex

Camden

Enemy of my enemy

Well there you are, those of us who marched, attended town meetings, or like me, picked up our “pens” to prove once again that the age-old adage is still true, the pen is mightier than the sword. Our efforts may be starting to pay off.

We refused to accept Trump and Company from the outset, and set out to either get rid of him, or to mold him into something we might come to tolerate, perhaps even live with.

Ignorance is a powerful tutor, though, and its academy is founded on shifting sands. We thinking Americans realized how profoundly ignorant Trump is: a non-reading, shoot-from-the-hip, snake-oil salesman with a few bankrupt casinos on his resume. But we also concluded that he might be somewhat trainable if we could just wedge ourselves between him and the avalanche of losers whispering into his ear. Think: Bannon, Flynn, Fox News, Brietbart, white-supremacists, fact-deniers, racists, and a lot of people in general who are willing to use tactics that are unworthy or corrupt for the sake of personal or financial gain — yes, political prostitutes!

But you know, just possibly, we were right. Just possibly that wedge is being driven in. Flynn was fired; Bannon has been stripped off the National Security Council; Jared Kushner may be able to do Bannon in completely very shortly; Devin Nunes has recused himself from the Russian investigation by The United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence; Jeff Sessions has had to recuse himself in the Department of Justice from all matters Russian in ongoing investigations; Russian interference in our last election is now an accepted reality, and investigations are fully under way; James Mattis in Defense, H.R. McMaster in the White House, Rex Tillerson in the State Department are all now coming into their own rights, and Bannon's dark cloud of influence looks to be “burning off in the morning sunlight!” Folks there may be some hope after all.

But we must be ever vigilant. We Maine farmers realize only too well, that pig-weed is never, ever, fully eradicated from our gardens. One must stand ever-ready with a very sharp hoe in hand. But I think we have the scum bags on the run. We can see by Trump's decision to bomb the deeply offensive Assad's air field, that he may ultimately stand up to Putin; that by association, he may hold North Korea in check; that he may now be able to negotiate more wisely/powerfully with China; that he has concluded that NATO is indispensable; that Bannon & Co after all are just a flock of black sheep to be put out to pasture!

We can very gently think back on a 4th century BCE Sanskrit saying: ...the enemy of my enemy is my friend...! Trump bombed Assad: enemy of my enemy! Does that make Trump my friend? Well quite probably not, but we shall see, won't we? It's certainly a long-over-due credible opening gambit though!

J Brian Smith, PhD

Camden

Shaken, Not Stirred

On March 30, The Coastal Children’s Museum hosted Shaken, Not Stirred, a James Bond-themed fundraising event, at The Strand Theatre in Rockland. The evening was magnificent, complete with delicious food from Maggie McGaw, of Heirloom Catering, raffle baskets filled with amazing things to do and see on the coast of Maine, a photo booth and photographs provided by James Sunne, a James Bond themed trivia contest, and a special viewing of the very first Bond film, "Dr. No."

The Coastal Children’s Museum would not exist without the generous support of a caring community. Shaken, Not Stirred was a tremendous success because of the support from our community. We deeply appreciate this support as we continue our efforts to make our community a more vibrant place.

We would like to thank the following sponsors whose generous donations added to the success of the event: Allen Agency, Bangor Savings Bank, Dead River Co., and Penobscot Island Air. The following businesses graciously donated items and certificates for our raffle baskets, and we thank them for their donations and for supporting the Coastal Children’s Museum: Maine Gold Maple Syrup, Lori Huff, Christine’s Gallery, Sharon’s Haircare, Cape Air, In Good Company, Fiore Oils, Whales Tooth Pub, Save Your Thyme Catering, Bufflehead Schooner, Sail Power and Steam Museum, Maine Sport Outfitters, 16 Bayview Hotel, Rockland Harbor Hotel, Skydive New England, Owls Head Transportation Museum, Amtrak Downeaster, Camden Snowbowl, Suzuki Sushi, Green Tree Coffee and Tea, Jess’s Market, The Good Tern Co-op, The New England Aquarium, Schooner Isaac Evans, Lilly Lupine and Fern, and PDQ Photo. We would also like to thank The Strand Theatre for hosting the VIP Cocktail Party and viewing of the film Dr. No. Thank you to Lori Huff of Kitschville designs for creating our fantastic raffle baskets - true works of art, each one based on a James Bond movie.

Finally, this event would not have come together, nor would it have been as successful as it was, without help from our Board of Directors and our wonderful volunteers. Special thank you to Jane Frantz, Robinsunne, Connie Hammermeister, and Dean and Deirdre Felton for their help in ensuring the event’s success.

Three simple words define the Coastal Children’s Museum: Discover. Learn. Play. Together, the three deliver superior educational and interactive experiences for children and families in Midcoast Maine. Funds raised from this special event will enable the Museum to continue to offer educational programs for the community. For more information about the Coastal Children’s Museum, programs, and other offerings please visit the website, coastalchildrensmuseum.org.

Jessica McMahon

Volunteer and fundraising coordinator

Coastal Children’s Museum

Rockland

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