February 22, 2018
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Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017: North Korea’s nuclear threat, Sen. Collins stuck in the swamp, tossing the rules aside

Tossing the rules aside

John Gray of Brooksville suggested in an Aug. 17 BDN letter to the editor that Democrats register as Republicans and vote in the next Republican primary for Sen. Susan Collins to be their candidate for Maine’s governor.

What is he suggesting? That people lie about who they are? That they cheat? That they have no honor? That they set an example for his and our children that to do so is the “right thing” to do? Has he no shame, no respect for truth?

I guess playing by the rules, as taught to us as children, has been tossed aside. I moved to Maine to get away from city slicker ideas of what is OK. Truth is truth, and lies are lies.

Anthony Kilburn

Damariscotta

North Korea’s nuclear threat

North Korea recently made a grievous threat, suggesting that it may launch a strike against the U.S. territory of Guam. But we must take a step back and examine what this threat truly meant because it seems as though the North Koreans have shown us some of their hand.

North Korea knows that if they make a strike on U.S. soil, no matter the location, it would likely be the end of their existence. Any nuclear strike against the U.S. would be a suicide mission.

The threat against Guam could indicate that North Korea truly doesn’t have missile with the capability to hit any of the 50 states. There has been speculation about whether any of North Korea’s missiles could possibly reach Hawaii or Alaska. But if they truly have the capability to reach any of the 50 states, and if they are truly willing to attack the U.S., the threat would be addressed to them.

It is also possible that Kim Jong Un could simply be trying to feel out President Donald Trump. A specific threat against the 50 states, South Korea or Japan would be incredibly provocative, possibly even grounds for a pre-emptive strike. It’s entirely possible that North Korea doesn’t have any intention of striking the U.S. at all, and a threat to Guam is just a take of Trump’s temperature.

Issues of such a magnitude cannot be taken apart lazily. It’s imperative to look at every scenario, and not accept any simple interpretations without a second look.

John Morningstar

Presque Isle

Ranked-choice voting’s test

Because the Maine Supreme Judicial Court issued only an advisory opinion on ranked-choice voting, and because the divided Legislature failed to approve any bill for or against it, this new system will be used in the 2018 Maine election.

As a result, if any Republican candidate for state office in the coming election receives the largest vote in the first round of voting but then loses in a later round, a court challenge will likely follow, and the Maine supreme court will probably decide against the legality of the results and award the win to the Republican.

I felt the question addressed to the court by the Maine Senate — Is ranked-choice voting in violation of the Maine Constitution? — met the requirement of simplicity (and also of immediate and serious importance given the real chance of a contested election in the near future). The limitations imposed upon the court by the rules limiting the scope of an advisory opinion required the court to give a simple, literally correct answer, and that answer was, yes, that ranked-choice voting would violate the Constitution’s provision that elections be decided exclusively by the winning of a plurality. It was necessarily an unexciting decision.

Come what may in 2018, I hope the use of ranked-choice voting in the Maine elections for federal office, while ranked-choice voting in state campaigns is being challenged, will provide a model that ultimately all parties will see the value of and will approve, by the necessary two-thirds majority, for all elections.

Russell DuPree

Freeport

Trump cultivates bigotry

You know how after rain or a lot of damp weather you suddenly find peculiar mushrooms in your yard or basement? You think, “Where did these come from?”

That’s not unlike what President Donald Trump has cultivated here in America. Yes, the spores (budding bigots) were always there. But the rain or dampness (Trump) has created the perfect environment for their propagation.

Just as the lawn may need to be treated or a dehumidifier installed in the basement, America may need to do some major gardening or foundation work. My apologies to mushroom lovers who find my analogy vulgar.

Barbara Conroy

Portland

Collins entrench in Washington’s swamp

About eight years ago, most of us were proud of Sen. Susan Collins for her stand against the freedom stealing Obamacare. Now, she has turned tail and has become entrenched up to her neck in the quicksand in the center of the swamp in Washington.

She like many turn-tails in the Republican party has joined the chorus that cannot stand an outsider president being elected honestly. As such, she has become an obstructionist to any progress our president is so adamantly trying to achieve. This points out the tendency of elected officials in Washington to join the club sooner or later and procrastinate but achieve nothing.

It used to be that once a president was elected, we all got behind him or her and life went on in an attempt to make things better for the nation. Not anymore. She has shown time and again that she does not like the fact that Donald Trump was elected. She is still a wonderful lady, but she seems to have put her national duty aside in an attempt to appease the liberals.

If she runs for governor, I will understand her political ambitions. Southern Maine leans liberal, so she will have no trouble gaining the votes down there. It is obvious that she has forgotten that the 2nd Congressional District, where she is from, voted for Trump and gave him an electoral vote. I cannot any longer support her and hope that she like many other RINOs gets out of the political process.

Howard Cutler

Dixmont

 


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