Here's Something: Boos & Bravos: Nukes, sunglasses, Liberty, landlords

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Welcome to the first edition of Boos & Bravos, the catchall column for Here’s Something. When the news is fast and furious, the reader can expect a few shortened essays to fill this space.

Let’s get to this week’s rants and raves:

• Bravo to President Donald Trump for breaking the cycle of American appeasement of North Korea and its cultish Kim dynasty.

Of course we Americans don’t want war, but we also don’t want rogue nations gaining nuclear weapons and openly fantasizing about striking our country. I believe Kim Jong Un when he threatens Guam and our homeland. and I’m glad we finally have a president willing to stand up to him.

This is why people voted for Trump. To be a tough guy and break the cycles that have bound our nation. I’m not too worried about North Korea using their nukes since China and Russia have joined with us, but I am concerned about them partnering with terrorist entities who will do their bidding. That’s the more likely end game when it comes to North Korean-made nukes.

• Boo to the media for nearly ruining the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse with incessant talk about how we need to wear ISO-approved glasses so we don’t ruin our eyesight looking at the full corona.

We already have the Nanny State, which overly protects the health and safety of We the Sheeple, but now I’m realizing we also have a Nanny Media, which thinks we’re incompetent, too.

Everyone knows not to look directly at the sun. Our parents told us that long ago. We get it. If that’s the most interesting story about this eclipse, then our media have lackluster imaginations. If they need story ideas, here’s one: Why not cover the amazing fact that beautiful eclipses only happen because the disk of the moon is perfectly sized to cover the disk of the sun from our vantage point here on Earth? If Earth were any closer, the moon would totally blot out the sun; any further away and the moon would swim inside the sun’s bright light.

I learned this in Astronomy 101 and I keep expecting someone to report it. But I’ve yet to hear any media story mention this fact. News regarding the correct viewing glasses was fine the first time I heard it, but I’ve seen or heard it now at least 10 times. It just shows how much the media enjoy telling their readers and viewers how to behave and what to fear.

And the stories won’t go away when the eclipse is over. Look for Aug. 22 and 23 newspapers and TV broadcasts to interview the folks who were blinded by the light. “You burned your retina out!” they’ll exclaim like Ralphie’s mother in “A Christmas Story.”

• Bravo to a U.S District Court judge in Portland for coming down hard on Michael Liberty, the Gray businessman who will serve four months in federal prison for campaign finance violations.

Liberty, who lives part-time in a gated compound beside Crystal Lake on Route 26, used nine family members and employees to funnel $22,500 of donations to a presidential campaign in 2011, thereby sidestepping the $2,500 limit on personal donations.

Liberty has done good things for individuals and institutions in Gray and elsewhere in Maine, but he’s been in trouble with the law before with real estate deals gone awry. It’s just nice that Judge D. Brock Hornby didn’t go easy on someone with a famous name and massive wealth. As much as people complain about America’s unbalanced scales of justice, Liberty’s punishment helps reassure us that everyone lives under the same law.

• Boo to the effort in Portland to impose rent stabilization, i.e. rent control, on the city’s landlords. I understand rent is high on Munjoy Hill and elsewhere on the peninsula, but what do you expect for living in one of the best places on the East Coast? Why punish the landlords?

Portland is prime property for business and recreational activity. If they can’t afford their rent, folks should move out to the surrounding suburbs. Doing so would ignite a downward force on rents, since landlords would find fewer people willing to fork over their exorbitant rents. The law of supply and demand works. Introducing the government and price fixing into the equation isn’t needed.

It really doesn’t matter whether rent control is adopted anyway, because pretty soon the entire Portland peninsula will be overtaken by hotels. Portland is changing folks. Hipsters who want to live in the middle of the action, rather than commuting to it like the rest of us, should look to Portland’s neighboring communities for new digs.

John Balentine, a former managing editor for Sun Media Group, lives in Windham.

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  • Just Sayin’

    Once again, Mr. Balentine shows the reprehensible side of humanity in his column. Of note this week, he decides to call out as a negative that the media is helping people to understand that there are predatory companies selling ‘eclipse’ glasses that will harm their eyesight if used. Oh yes, let us all be upset at the media actually helping people be informed about a situation that could do them grave and permanent harm.

    Of course, if Mr. Balentine wanted to call out people who do harm to others, he might have spared a few seconds to include a “Boo” listing for the white supremacist who drove his car into a crowd of innocent Americans this weekend. But of course, to Mr. Balentine trying to safeguard the vision of your neighbors, or to offer affordable rent in an area with one of the most explosively rising rents in the country is apparently a far worse offense.

    Boo to you, Mr. Balentine, and to the forecaster for continuing to serve as a platform for your severely misprioritized opinions.

  • justanotherfakename

    “A Portland man who watched a solar eclipse in 1963 says the experience left him partially blind in one eye, according to KPTV, and now he wants everyone to know the warnings about eye damage during the upcoming eclipse are no joke.

    Back then, it was a total solar eclipse in Alaska and Canada, but the path of totality did not come through Oregon.

    Still, Louis Tomososki remembers being 16 years old and watching it unfold from the baseball field at Marshall High School.

    Nobody was talking about safety glasses back then, so he watched it
    with the naked eye, closing his left eye and leaving his right eye open.

    “Oh 20 seconds probably, that’s all it took,” Tomososki told FOX 12.
    “I’m glad I didn’t go 40 seconds, it would have been even worse.”

    He doesn’t remember exactly when he realized there was a problem, but
    those few seconds burned a hole in his retina leaving him with a
    sizable blind spot he’s had ever since.”
    -News Service in Portland, Oregon

  • peterplus

    Let’s take a look at precisely what trump has done in North Korea that Balentine is praising him for, shall we. Nothing. Nothing at all. Balantine and others who stand shoulder to shoulder with the KKK and the Nazis in praise of trump will own whatever mistakes he goes on to make in North Korea by pretending to be a tough guy when he’s nothing more than a moron and a spoiled pig, born with his pockets stuffed with daddy’s money. I suggest Ballantine read what James Clapper has to say about trump. Clapper, who has served at the highest levels of US Intelligence since President Kennedy has stated that trump is mentally unfit to hold the office he now holds. And he cannot be trusted with the nuclear codes. I think that says it all about this imbecile president who rose to power on his racist, birther lie. A man who has never done an honorable thing in his life, who brags about molesting women, and who believes that all hard working people who are not rich are losers and scum.

  • Chew H Bird

    FYI: ISO is a standard, not a promise of proper functionality… An incorrect design can be contsructed to an ISO standard and not work…