Fiddling while Rome burns?

The story says that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. I believe we are experiencing the same horrific ending if we the people allow it to continue. Our country gave birth to the greatest generation. The generation that after much delay came to its moral senses and stopped the evil that was Nazi Germany. I don’t know how you, my fellow Americans, are handling the present world issues. I, for one, am not doing well.

Joe Biden and his handlers applied sanctions to prevent the invasion of Ukraine. They followed that up with additional “serious” sanctions. Now they have gotten really serious by calling the killing of innocent civilians war crimes. When Putin, the Hitler of the day, invaded the free and sovereign nation of Ukraine, he committed a war crime. When Poland and Germany tried to supply the patriots in Ukraine with fighter jets, the cowardly lion Joe Biden said that would be dangerous.

To put our minds at ease, our great leader has decided that the elimination of ghost guns will make the world a much safer place. I think that the ghosts of the thousands killed in Ukraine would beg to differ. We are being fed nothing but lies regarding the issues of the day. Sometimes courage and risk are required to solve a problem. Our lack of action when Putin invaded Ukraine and took over the Crimea gave him the nerve to see how much further he could go.

If we and the rest of the world fail to deal with Russian aggression now, we will most certainly be faced with it again. We are sending a message to the bad guys in China, North Korea, Iran and Syria, and of course, Russia, that we and the toothless tiger the United Nations will  do nothing. I pray that we still have the power to eliminate the bad and the stupid in our own government, both left and right, at a legitimate voting booth.

Leo H. Mazerall Jr.

Stockton Springs

Be careful who you judge

We shake our heads in disbelief over claims by Russia that Ukraine is overrun by Nazis in all walks of life. Let’s pause there for a moment to remind ourselves that an alarming percentage of Americans buy into QAnon conspiracy blather, and worse yet, hold to the conviction that Biden lost the presidential election. Expressions of contempt for the Russian public’s naivete need, I think, to be tempered by contemplation of our own.

Mike Silverton

Belfast

An ax to grind?

I was puzzled to find a piece about Hunter Biden in this paper’s April 14 edition. Given our immediate and serious problems in Maine, plus big national and international stories that rise to the level of existential crises, to place focus right now in our local paper on an ongoing federal investigation about a Biden family member’s financial and tax affairs seems odd.

To present a piece that is rife with speculation, innuendo, misleading allegations, and a stunning bit of legerdemain in its third paragraph — attempting to connect Jared Kushner’s financial dealings with the murderous Saudi regime to Biden writing a book — feels outright weird.

On the one hand, ongoing federal investigations deserve scrutiny and may be of general interest. Corruption in the United States presents a threat to democracy, a concern to us all. On the other hand, Kremlin disinformation and talking points aren’t going to spread themselves. Actual writers are needed for that.

Patten mentions a New York Post story from Oct 2020 and a more recent New York Times story. The Post story was absurd at best, which Patten acknowledges. The NYT story Patten cites is worth reading for a more in-depth look at the ongoing investigation, though it, too, uses suggestive language and cites anonymous sources alongside its verifiable facts and figures.

But Patten premises his tubthumping of this Biden story on the flimsiest statement about emails in the Times piece.

Here’s some expert analysis: Thomas Rid, a professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, advised in an Oct. 14, 2020, Tweet that the (N.Y. Post) story should be approached with caution, and noted that it’s an “old Cold War disinformation tactic to pass information, especially but not exclusively when forged, to low-brow newspapers that have high circulation and low standards of investigation. Ideal for surfacing and amplification.”

Not to defend him, but Hunter’s not a draft pick in my Fantasy Indictment League, though apparently he is in Sam Patten’s. Perhaps it’s personal. I’ve noticed from other Crossfire Hurricane columns that Patten seems to have an ax to grind with the Justice Department.

Victoria Olson

Waldo

CMP has not shown immediate need to rebuild Section 80

This week, the Office of Public Advocate takes exception to the Examiner’s Report in Docket 2011-00138. Simply stated, there is no established need to rebuild Section 80 immediately. Also, none of the required studies were performed and submitted to this Non-Wired Alternatives docket to determine how much of an upgrade is necessary. On Page 2, OPA rightly states “…the Commission is authorized to require that CMP establish an up-to-date factual record within this docket to justify the Section 80 rebuild request. CMP has failed to do so.”

Essentially, CMP took some older, outdated studies from 2015 and earlier, and made some assumptions about what types of Distributed Energy Resources might be available now at times and added in the future, and then concluded that these options explored would be insufficient alone to meet the required need.

Given that this docket was never intended to upgrade the grid, the NWA options explored over the last two years did not include the proper studies to actually size or determine how, when, or what would be necessary, if some update to the grid seemed like it might be desired as part of the solution. Essentially, CMP explored some hypothetical “all NWAs” alternatives, and decided that the solution must be an oversized “all Section 80” rebuild.

As stated in OPA’s letter, “Overbuilding to solve an unquantified impact is the most expensive way to respond to perceived but unknown needs and should not be approved here based on the scanty CMP factual record before the Commission.”

OPA reminds CMP that, “…the NWA Coordinator found that under the known DER revised assumptions, even under contingency conditions, there are no known reliability violations.”  So if there are no Section 80 violations today, and the ER finding is that the upgrade is needed eventually “regardless of any new users,” as the ER report states, then there is no immediate need to rebuild the grid.

Therefore, with no immediate need, shouldn’t the PUC require the proper and complete studies first before rendering a decision on any Section 80 rebuild concept and timeline?

Mike Lannan, P.E.

Northport