Maine: a model of civic affairs

Regarding your Oct. 7 article "Historic Maine bargain opens way for return of Atlantic salmon runs": Hooray for Maine! And thanks to the Monitor, and its consistent policy of balancing the bad news with the good, for honoring the Pine Tree State's patient and common-sense approach to questions that either paralyze or tear apart more excitable constituencies. Your article on the resolution of a decades-long battle among power companies, environmentalists, and the Penobscot Nation gladdened my heart, especially as it came on the very day of the recall vote in crazy California.

Ever since moving west after almost a lifetime in Maine, I have pined for Maine's down-to-earth and relatively uncomplicated political scene. I have sorely missed the likes of distinguished former senators Ed Muskie and George Mitchell and today's admirable Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, who have kept their heads - even across party lines - and maintained their dignity while demagogues ranted.

Maine's estimable combination of radical independence, such as confronting prescription-drug excesses and unreasonable education requirements in defiance of the Feds, and New England conservatism in the best sense - such as a fair-minded, long-range solution to the salmon question (as well as similar compromises emerging in the forestry and fisheries areas) make the state a model for the rest of the country. Let's hope fervently that as Maine goes (eventually) so goes the nation.
Jane Lamb
Fort Bragg, Calif.

A serious leak in the White House

Regarding your Oct. 1 article "New damage-control test for Bush": The serious matter of outing a CIA agent is no "inside the Beltway" scandal. It's treason, it's illegal, and it affects the security of every American. It compromises the work of our intelligence agents, puts them in danger, and begs for a thorough investigation, an honest president that really seeks to find the leaker, and a vigilant and persistent media that ensures this serious issue doesn't get covered up.
Orville Elkins
Asheville, N.C.

Regarding Daniel Schorr's Oct. 10 Opinion "Naming a leak: Is test to come?:" There are two crimes here - one committed by the one who leaked the name, and the other by the one who printed it.

When it will endanger a person's life, why is a journalist so irresponsible as to print his or her name? Is it pure ego? The reporter and the media should be as guilty as the person who leaked the name.
Rebecca F. Huffman
Killen, Ala.

Rush and racism

Regarding the Oct. 10 Opinion "Rethinking Rush's racial offense": Jonathan Zimmerman omitted an important fact regarding the Rush Limbaugh contretemps. If a bigot makes a statement regarding race, are we to give him the benefit of the doubt? I think not.

Mr. Limbaugh's radio show has proven time and again that he has low regard for minorities, blacks included. When he told a black caller, "Take that bone out of your nose, and call me back," he was not demonstrating his racial sensitivity.

What if Joseph Goebbels had made the same remark about Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics? Would we have given Dr. Goebbels a pass because the statement is not racist on its face? I think not.

And Limbaugh should not be given a pass either, especially since his 10 million listeners know the "real" Limbaugh, and he makes similarly outlandish statements on a daily basis and is never called on them.
Thomas J. Marsh
Prairie Village, Kan.

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