Local Letters to the Editor

Chained CPI not fair
to America’s veterans

To the Editor:

    A little-understood proposal to cut federal spending would demand sacrifice from our nation’s veterans, including those with severe disabilities and elderly survivors of World War II.

    The proposal, known as the chained CPI, is touted by some in Washington as a more accurate way to compute cost-of-living adjustments to federal benefits than the current inflation index. Unfortunately, that’s not true for older Americans, including many veterans and people with disabilities, whose hard-earned benefits would no longer keep up with inflation if this proposal takes effect.

    Even more troubling, permanent adjustments for the cost of living index take a bigger bite over time. The effect would be a stealth and growing benefit cut for the rest of a veteran’s life.

    In Maine, we have approximately 133,000 veterans. If the chained CPI proposal goes through, collectively, Maine veterans will lose almost $95 million in benefits over the next decade. Reductions would build up for Social Security benefits which millions of veterans nationwide depend on. Under a chained CPI, a retiree who lives to age 92 would actually lose a month’s worth of benefits each year.

    Budget decisions should be fair, and promises should be kept. Reducing the cost-of-living adjustment by shifting to an improper formula falls short on both counts. AARP, the American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and more than a dozen other veterans’ organizations oppose the chained CPI. A chained CPI is out-of-touch with our daily lives. Let’s keep it out of the law.

Dick Eustis
U.S. Amy 1955-58
Old Town


Many hands made 2013 Brownville event a success

To the Editor:

    We wish to thank all of those who helped make our fourth annual Brownville-KI & Beyond Sled Dog Race and Dog Days of Winter on Jan. 26 a success this year. It is amazing in a small town when businesses, town government, local organizations, and citizens can come together to make something good happen.

    Children had fun participating in turkey bowling, experiencing mushing, and other great activities. Fifteen sled dog teams enjoyed a wonderful, scenic trail up in the hills north of Brownville. Other mushers just took their dogs on a nice fun run on the superbly groomed trail.

    From sponsoring events to making rolls for the Awards Dinner, all support was greatly appreciated.

Terry Knowles,
race coordinator
Margie Williams,
event coordinator


Where are all the Smart Cars?

To the Editor:

    In our part of Maine we have mostly Irving Gas Stations, Citgo and Shell Gas Stations. We know the Irving refinery at Saint John, New Brunswick is the likely supplier of all the Irving Stations in our area, and that Irving has had one [probably many more since] trainloads for refining of “Tar Sands” raw product, which Jim Hansen of NASA condemns as equaling game over for humanity. Global warming!

    We would like not to encourage the trafficking in Global Warming chemistry and there is talk hereabouts for alternatives to the Irving tar sands derived gasoline. So this morning I went to our local distributor of “Non-Irving Gasoline and heating products,” to ask John McKusick where he gets his supply.

    “Shell” he said.

    “And where then would Shell gets its raw material for the production of gasoline?” I asked.

    “They don’t say” he replied.


    Cough, cough, cough.

    Mercedes markets a battery powered Smart Car, which their dealers will lease for $99 per month, and I could recharge it with a gaggle of solar cells I have bought, currently awaiting installation. (I currently buy more than $99 in gasoline each month for local driving.)

    An advantage? During our not infrequent power outages, I think I could power my house by an extension cord, plugging an alternating current inverter into the Smart Car’s battery bank! I could invite my neighbors in to sleep on the floor in their sleeping bags!

    But there is no electric Smart Car dealer in Maine, nor does the Massachusetts electric Smart Car dealer respond to my out-of-state inquiry.

    Damn, and double damn! What is a senile old veteran to do?

Charles MacArthur


Stating the obvious

To the Editor:

    The truth has to be told. The truth deserves an audience. Much has been made of the Governor’s recent comments referring to newspapers as his greatest fear. While most in the media have mocked this statement with much derision, it would be wise for us as citizens to pause and take stock in the message the Governor is trying to convey to the State. The media has a vested interest in their disdain for the Governor but the residents should take a much more unfiltered and less prejudice view of his words.

    Even a grade school study of history renders many stories of such great civilizations that have fallen by the manipulation of knowledge. Oftentimes what is told to the populace is not so dangerous as what is not. There is a great ideological battle waging for the freedom of information we take for granted. Truth and knowledge is the pivot on which this battle turns.

    The 1960s and ‘70s saw rise to great social turmoil. The “establishment” was questioned and reviled at every level. Our capitalistic society was demonized by the youth on many of America’s college campuses. Many of those youth now hold the power in our country. Many now control the print and visual media of our Nation. Much of their intent in legislative work and through the media is to tear down the capitalist framework of our nation. It is a framework most of us hold dear, but something that the “Me Generation” despises.

    So, ironically, these that now hold power over information have become guilty of committing the very sins against their fellow man that they accused the so-called establishment of during riotous ‘60s and ‘70s. The media blocks anything in print and in video that could cause disruption to an established agenda set by the Democrat Party. There is much evidence to prove this, too much in fact, to fit into one column.

    This is simply the introduction into what will be a several week series on the many blatant omissions by the major media outlets in Maine and nationally. The Governor was merely stating the obvious and soon it will be clear to any that read these subsequent columns, that many in the media have put their own political interests above the futures of the people of Maine. And, yes, Mr. Governor, that is indeed something to fear, not what we do know, what we don’t know.

Andy Torbett

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