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Milley uproar

The current uproar about Gen. Mark Milley’s decisions and actions to prevent a military confrontation during the last administration should be compared to much of the judgments made at the Nuremberg war trials relative to officers in the German military. Their common defense was they were “just following orders.”

Since that time, it has been generally accepted that following orders is not necessarily appropriate, and perhaps more treasonous than following orders.

Karl Austin


Support reconciliation bill

Please encourage Maine’s Congressional delegation to support the Build Back Better budget reconciliation act coming up for vote toward the end of September. Let our representatives and senators know you want them to vote yes to pass this bill, which is crucial to the health and well-being of each person in our country.

The price tag of  $3.5 trillion is for 10 years, roughly $350 billion per year. That seems like a lot, but it is less than one-tenth of the fiscal year 2021 U.S. budget under President Donald Trump. It’s less than what we spend for specific departments. For example, the Department of Defense budget was nearly $705 billion in 2021. We get good bang for our buck with the Reconciliation Act.

I care most about the  opportunity to eliminate pollution from fossil fuels with clean renewable energy, and to modernize our nation’s electrical grid. This bill also would fund improvements to health care access, early childhood education, community college, childcare for working families, the ability for Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, and access to affordable housing.

A yes vote means a better future for all, with good paying jobs as a result. Maine’s people depend on Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and Reps. Jared Golden and Chellie Pingree, to invest in the future of Maine and our country. They should vote yes for the Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation.

Janis Petzel


The Unity College dream lives on

Some time ago, I read a column that was submitted by three alumni of Unity College going back to its founding years in the mid-1960s. I was dismayed to see that the opinion at the time was that the dream that was Unity College was dead. Now that the college has opened again, albeit to a limited number of hybrid students at the campus on Quaker Hill Road in Unity, I am happy to report that the dream indeed is far from dead!

The college has actually grown during the pandemic. The current enrollment of the college is somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,600 students. When I got to Unity College in September 1969 the enrollment was 300 students. Despite the pandemic and due to the foresight of the current administration the college has actually thrived. Of course we would all like to see more students on campus and it is my hope that next year that indeed will be true. So much of it depends on the COVID-19 and getting the general population vaccinated.

The business model for the college has been one where it is realized that by having a strong distance learning program, people from all age brackets and economic backgrounds have an opportunity to get an outstanding environmental education. So to those who feel that the dream is dead, I say to you, take a good hard look. The dream is not dead and it will continue to thrive and grow. That is my hope.

Bob Portner

Unity College Class of 1973