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  • Published
    October 1, 2020

    Why you should vote for Susan

    It looks like Susan Collins is in a tight race, although I don’t trust political polls. I find the Collins polling numbers particularly odd, considering the consistently good job she has been doing for the people of Maine. But that’s politics these days. I don’t always agree with how Collins votes, and sometimes she makes me downright mad, but, overall, Collins deserves to be reelected. Here are three reasons …

  • Published
    September 17, 2020

    Trump: The right choice?

    During the 2016 campaign, Democrats rolled out various reasons why Donald Trump was the wrong choice for the job of president of the United States. Today, I will revisit and assess the validity of a few of these arguments. An early, and popular, pitch was that Trump really didn’t want to win. In other words, his whole campaign was some kind of a publicity stunt. This was always preposterous because of the time, …

  • Published
    September 3, 2020

    To connect or not to connect?

    To connect or not to connect, that is the question. Is it nobler to burn fossil fuels, content in the belief that we have saved the great North Maine Woods, or shall we declare our independence from Big Oil and embrace clean, dependable hydropower? For those who have forgotten their high school physics, a quick review: Electricity consists of moving electrons. Normally, these tiny atomic particles prefer to stay …

  • Published
    August 20, 2020

    Mailing it in

    Even before corona, our election system had plenty of problems — remember those hanging chads? But the idea that this November tens of millions of Americans will be voting by mail spells big trouble. The best-case scenario is it will take a few days to count the ballots. What will be going on during that time is one of the things that concerns me. Will the campaigns sit back passively and await the results or …

  • Published
    August 6, 2020

    Analyzing the numbers

    For this week’s column, I am going to dig into some of the numbers that define current events and “do the math.” That it is left to me to do this analysis is troubling but not surprising: Many media personalities wear their ignorance of even basic arithmetic as a badge of honor! In a society where numbers are the coin of the realm, having talking heads read a press release is not helpful. Here are just a few …

  • Published
    July 23, 2020

    The PPP — Just because you can?

    The list of companies that received “loans” as part of the Paycheck Protection Program has been released. In case you don’t remember, the PPP was a key part of the CARES Act and intended to provide financial help to business that were impacted by the government-mandated coronavirus shutdown. Conceptually, the PPP made sense: If the government is going to order businesses to close their doors, it is only fair that …

  • Published
    July 9, 2020

    Time to vote

    A couple of weeks ago, I applied, via mail, for my absentee ballot. Now I have it in hand and it is time to vote. On top of the political and personality factors that usually drive decisions, I believe voters need to be especially conscious of, and informed about, our state’s financial situation. Remember that Maine, unlike the federal government, is required to operate on a more or less balanced budget (although …

  • Published
    June 18, 2020

    The great involuntary experiment

    In many ways, for the last three months, we have all become guinea pigs in a great, involuntary experiment. Now the results are starting to roll in and they are not pretty. On the lighter side, the last time I got a haircut was in February. My wife likes my overgrown, slightly gray, locks. I am OK with my new hair style for now: Happy wife. Happy life! Will I get a haircut again someday? Of course. But it is …

  • Published
    June 11, 2020

    Mills stays mum on corona deaths

    On Tuesday June 2, the CDC reported five Mainers died of COVID 19. Holy smokes, that seems like a lot! What is going on? A new outbreak? Who were these folks? Where did they live? Did they wear masks and observe social distancing? Did any of them work at Hannaford or Walmart or Lowe’s or Home Depot? Any chance I was exposed to one of them? How many of them were frontline medical workers? How many of them had been …

  • Published
    May 28, 2020

    Maine’s Walter Wyman: genius or ecoterrorist?

    I am guessing 99% of the folks reading this column have no idea who Walter Wyman is, let alone whether he is deserving of either label. Don’t feel bad; I have had 17 years of classroom time and I never learned much history either. That is a shortcoming of our education system that prevails today. But I digress. My Walter Wyman story starts about 5,000 years ago, when Midcoast Maine was home to a unique Native …

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