Not even the punctuation

By Ken Frederic | May 28, 2020

It was almost 40 years ago when I learned a couple of exceedingly difficult and expensive lessons about our legal system. I had always been taught that people were required to tell the truth in court and legal proceedings. I expected that. Then I learned that lawyers, at least some of them, define the truth as: “Whatever I can get the judge to believe.”

Sadly, lots of lawyers also become politicians and while politicians telling the truth is something expected by nobody, ever, it is particularly infuriating to be assaulted and insulted by articles, interviews, and advertisements in which we know not even the punctuation is factual.

One such advertisement, paid for by Senate Majority PAC, attacks Sen. Susan Collins for voting seven times against Maine citizens with pre-existing conditions. A small inset momentarily flashes the instances, too quickly for most to read. But they must be read and researched. The instances are: 1) S Con Res 3 – Vote 26 – 1/12/17, 2) S Con Res 3 – Vote 1 – 1/04/17, 3) HR 22 – Vote 253 – 7/26/15, 4) S Con Res 11 – Vote 171 – 5/5/15, 5) S Con Res 11 – Vote 135 – 3/27/15, 6) S Con Res 8 – Vote 51 – 3/22/13, and 7) S 223 – Vote 9 – 2/2/11.

Anyone can, though probably none will, look up these votes ( There is no need to research anything to see the list includes duplicate information on the same bills, including procedural votes, and includes votes reaching as far back as 2011. In fact, research would show that none of these votes dealt with pre-existing conditions. The truth is that Sen. Collins has been a champion for coverage of pre-existing conditions and verification of that is easily found, starting with her own website. Nobody, anywhere, legitimately thought otherwise.

The advertisement also suggests (plainly says, in this viewer’s estimation) that corporate contributions influenced those votes. There is no evidence that the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in pre-existing conditions, but that aside, if accepting pharmaceutical and insurance industry contributions is a legitimate denouncement, any ethical reporter would point out her opponent has taken far more from those industries.

Apparently, Democrats (at least those who make the most noise) and their media allies are still apoplectic that Donald Trump won in 2016, that the Mueller “investigation” showed there was never any basis for the Russia hysteria, that their campaign against Justice Kavanaugh failed and that their baseless impeachment effort failed. Any search including the senator’s name on Bing or Google returns a virtual blizzard of articles denouncing her votes to confirm Kavanaugh and acquit our president but none of that changes the fact that Justice Kavanaugh is appointed for life and Donald Trump is our president. Voters will decide whether Democrats’ actions and words are punishable in November.

Voters will also decide whether the gleeful anticipation of continuing the COVID-19 lockdowns through the end of the year bespeak genuine concern over public health or a more sinister motivation to damage the U. S. economy as much as possible ahead of the November election.  Voters must also consider whether there is a motive to condition the people to accept arbitrary executive orders nullifying constitutional rights and bypassing the legislative process.

There is no longer any question of the impropriety of actions by the FBI director. We will soon know whether Judge Emmet Sullivan is removed from the Flynn case and beyond that looms the results of the investigation by John Durham, due out well before the election. We know of Hunter Biden’s financial dealings in the Ukraine and China. The issue is not whether the law prohibits those dealings, but people concerned about abuse of office surely question whether any legal or ethical framework that permits such dealings is crafted to protect against corruption or facilitate it.

We are told, by some, that unmasking of U.S. citizens is routine in the Intelligence Community. Whether that is fact is almost immaterial. Having attended yearly USSID 18* training session for three decades, I can say without hesitation that unmasking should be, and was intended to be, rare. If it is indeed routine, that proves the laws protecting Americans’ privacy are being disregarded and that should alarm and infuriate every American.

Responsible voters will evaluate what is true and what is not and most, hopefully, will brutally punish those peddling falsehood, protecting corruption, and subverting our institutions. Others will continue to insist the Russia-gate matter was not the biggest political scandal in American history, that the accusations against Kavanaugh were plausible, and that the case made by Adam Schiff was convincing. They will believe, or claim to believe, whatever justifies voting for less individual freedom, a weaker America, and more of other people’s money being redistributed to them by tyrannical politicians.

What will you do?

*United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18 – Policies, Procedures, and Responsibilities for safeguarding the constitutional rights of U.S. Persons.

Another View is a Maine Press Association award-winning column written by Midcoast conservative citizens/writers Jan Dolcater, Ken Frederic, Paul Ackerman, Doc Wallace and Dale Landrith Sr.

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Comments (16)
Posted by: John Alden Shepard | Jun 03, 2020 16:20

Mr. Dolcater,

Thanks for this response and I agree that bipartisan efforts will inevitably be more successful than partisan polemics. Here's hoping all of us can reach some accord!

I'm giving you a "heads-up" that I submitted a letter to the Courier in response to Mr. Frederic's letter which I imagine will appear in tomorrow's edition. I wrote this last week, before you and I had our recent exchanges. I must admit that I have a somewhat different perspective on things now, though it's fair to say we still face one another from opposite sides of the political fence. Nonetheless, I feel encouraged about possibilities and wanted you to know that my letter preceeded our discourse. I'd welcome your response to my letter.


Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | Jun 03, 2020 11:58

Mr. Shepard,

Thanks very much for your response, Having different views but reasonable rather than hostile conservation makes good sense. It is a shame that other individuals that post on VS do not understand that course of action. In the future I look forward to your thoughts and ideas  Keep them coming and we will try and do the same.  .

I strongly believe this current problem of race relations needs competent bipartisan support to solve this long festering situation.

All the best,

Jan Dolcater , Rockland

Posted by: John Alden Shepard | Jun 02, 2020 21:30

Mr. Dolcater,

I appreciate your respectful and reasonable response. You also have made good points that I can understand and ponder... I am not a total pollyanna! I think we can can agree to disagree and try to navigate these "inetersting" times in our own way.



Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | Jun 02, 2020 12:51

Mr. Shepard

Many thanks for responding and I want to try and give you my thoughts on your 3 inferences of falsehoods. First, I recognize it is not fact but theory by some conservatives that Democrat Governors have been overly slow about attempting to reopen their states to a beginning sense of normality. The 3 primary states are New York, Michigan, and California. These 2 large states, NY and Cal are major contributors to the economy overall. Apparent reluctance to reopen with any degree of speed leads some to believe that is being done intentionally to have a negative effect. This is theory not falsehood.

Secondly, I applaud your honesty in service as a selectman, however, I firmly believe the higher you go up in politics the more likely Frederic is correct.  Do you really Adam Schiff, or Nadler,, Schumer, or Pelosi are completely truthful ? Not a chance  Does not the Same apply to the rhetoric from Trump?

If you do not believe the actions of the top level in the FBII and  Justice Dept. were not acting illicitly with the FISA court and the sham of the Mueller investigation and the "dossier" paid for Clinton's attorneys were all part of the Russian hoax,. I am quite surprised  All Democrat orchestrated   The upcoming revelations from the Durham report will spotlight even more. Yes, Russia made some attempts on social media but basically did not create any significant difficulty.

Again I appreciate your reasoning to agree that portions of Trump's agenda is positive and looking ahead Biden to me is an empty suit with zero experience in any business operations and is weak kneed in the needed toughness to deal with China.

Anyway, that this is the way I see it and appreciate your straight answers

Jan Dolcater  Rockland







Posted by: John Alden Shepard | Jun 01, 2020 13:12

Mr. Dolcater,

Thank you for the opportunity to engage. I did realize my error in referring to you as the author of the editorial in question, though only after I pressed "send" and then felt it was a minor oversight and not worth correcting publicly with another post. I apologize for the error and hope it's understandable under the circumstances, as I assumed the author would be the likeliest to respond rather than someone else.

I do insist that Mr Frederic referenced the "gleeful anticipation of continuing the Covid-19 lock downs", as you'll find if you reread the article, however he does fail to identify who will be gleeful. I think it's fair to assume he means democrats, liberals, progressives and those he generally decries as "Trump haters." I'm sure readers would appreciate clarification on this point. As stated, it's an unverifiable falsehood, unless he can offer documentation.

His claim that "politicians telling the truth is something expected by nobody ever" is an offensive falsehood. By the way, the syntax is very awkward, especially coming from someone complaining about factual punctuation, but it is libel, pure and simple. I serve as a town selectman, a very grassroots political position with direct accountability to the public and I have never lied to any constituents nor will I. I feel confident my fellow select board members maintain the same standard of integrity. I also trust most of the higher level politicians with whom I am acquainted.

Claiming that Democrats are apoplectic that Trump won the election is a misstatement. There has been much reasonable evidence that Russia tampered with the 2016 election and continues to threaten our democratic process and our President continues to deny this. There was never "Russia hysteria", as claimed, but the real need to clarify potential collusion was a critical aspect of national security and continues to be. Russia, under Putin's leadership, does not inspire confidence as an honest world power with any integrity we can trust and to think otherwise is naive.

The impeachment did not fail. Trump was impeached, though not indicted, solely because the senate is dominated by Republicans who follow in lock step with Mitch McConnell rather than thinking for themselves and considering evidence.

I appreciate your soliciting my opinions as to what positive and constructive actions our President has taken. I do think he's done well with some domestic issues, particularly the First Step Act of 2018 which enhanced crime response. I certainly approve of the promise to fund infrastructure repairs and improvements with a 1.5 trillion dollar investment. I liked two points of his original Contract With Voters: the automatic term limits for members of congress, and the five year ban on ex-White House officials and congress members from becoming lobbyists. He has been supportive of veterans with the VA Mission Act which requires accountability and protection for whistle blowers. I liked the Farm Bill of 2018.

Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | May 31, 2020 16:19

Mr. Mazzeo,

I am certain the policies that you support or the type of government you believe this country should have are in conflict with Another View . Do you mind stating the policies you support?  Want to try and explain?  Please?

Our group of writers has been working together and  are now in our seventh year of being in the local papers expressing conservative viewpoints that obviously are in conflict with your left of center views. We have been trying during this period to show to the public that other viewpoints rather than those left of center or socialist are in the best interest of the country...I also wish to add for your understanding, that our column also appears in 9 other papers in the state. During our tenure the Maine Press Association has awarded us six times for having an outstanding opinion column and bear in mind the MPA is certainly not a conservative oriented group.

Best of luck to you and hopefully you now have a better understanding of how, where, and why are philosophy comes from.

Jan Dolcater Rockland


Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | May 31, 2020 15:52

Mr. Shepard,

I believe you are a bit confused.  First, I did not write the letter being discussed nor did I say anything the long term shutdown being done to harm the economy.

You, in your initial post stated that you took issue with the 'litany of misleading falsehoods' in the article by Ken Frederic and I simply ask you to list the ones that you considered to be falsehoods. Why not do a bit of retry and see if you can explain yourself coherently in regards to my question?. I'll be waiting

Lastly, there is no side that is correct on all issues but it is truly frustrating to listen or watch either. CNN or MSNBC as they never have any comment or story about the President that is not negative. I am also curious in your opinion has Pres Trump done anything correctly? Like many other I do not agree with some of Pres Trump's tweets, but strongly support his policies. Hopefully this explains where I'm coming from  Hope to hear from you.

Jan Dolcater  Rockland

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | May 30, 2020 20:34

On another note, I fail to see how a bunch of die-hard Republicans can be giving an award for writing such one sided articles. I'd hate to be in a lifeboat with that mentality.

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | May 30, 2020 20:30

Hard to understand how anyone can support a man that has proven himself to be an incompetent leader and a liar. To me this speaks volumes on how much they care for the country as a whole. When I grade school we were taught to respect the office of Pesident of the United States regardless of party. I can honestly say there is absolutely nothing to respect about Donald Trump. He has made a mockery of our country.

Posted by: John Alden Shepard | May 30, 2020 17:41

Sorry Mr. Wallace, but I don't watch CNN or Fox or any of those hyper-reactive "for profit" news outlets. They are obviously "selling" news with endless streams of titillating nonsense which obscures reasoned reflection and comprehensive analysis of current events.

Posted by: RALPH WALLACE | May 30, 2020 15:48

No "gleeful anticipation of continuing lockdowns?"  -  Watch CNN.   And in anticipation of your response, no I didn't need FOX to come to this conclusion.

Posted by: John Alden Shepard | May 30, 2020 09:32

Mr. Dolcater,

I'm afraid you've misunderstood me. My intent was not to accuse you of misleading falsehoods. In fact, I'm very impressed with your obvious acuity and comprehension of legal/political shenanigans and I doubt I could match your enthusiasm for exposing wrongdoings of only one political party. You must have a lot more experience in this realm than I do, fortunately. There is obviously corruption across the political divide. I admire the energy and research you invest in trying to prove one "side" wrong all of the time but reality suggests there is generally enough blame to go around on both sides.

I do question your assertion that there is any sort of "gleeful anticipation of continuing the Covid-19 lockdowns until the end of the year... as sinister motivation to damage the US economy as much as possible before the November election." How can you possibly justify such an outrageous claim? Using this pandemic in this way, as a tool for political gain is unacceptable and offensive to all of us regardless of political affiliation. No one is gleeful that 100,000 Americans have died and I'm affronted that you could suggest such a possibility.

My main disagreement with your letter, was the astounding irony of apparently upholding our current executive administration as a paragon of integrity and untarnished virtue. Your challenging rebuttal to me fails to address this "800 pound gorilla" we're dealing with: how do conservative Republicans have the temerity to accuse anyone of falsehoods, misdeeds and corruption when we have such a flagrant, proven liar and thoroughly incompetent misleader in the oval office?

Are you willing to explain this contradiction? However this may prove to be difficult, but please try.

Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | May 29, 2020 07:46

Mr. Shepard

I would appreciate it very much if you would list the 'misleading falsehoods' that are listed in this article, Are you willing to expose them?  However, this may prove to be difficult, but please try.

Jan Dolcater, Rockland

Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | May 29, 2020 07:44

Mr. Shepard

I would it very much if you would list the 'misleading falsehoods' that are listed in this article, Are you willing to expose them?  However, this may prove to be difficult, but please try.

Jan Dolcater, Rockland

Posted by: JUNE DOLCATER | May 29, 2020 07:44

Mr. Shepard

I would it very much if you would list the 'misleading falsehoods' that are listed in this article, Are you willing to expose them?  However, this may prove to be difficult, but please try.

Jan Dolcater, Rockland

Posted by: John Alden Shepard | May 28, 2020 12:34

This is an amazing editorial. I have to commend the writer for being so bold to suggest the "loud Democrats and their media allies" are all to blame for the endless litany of misleading falsehoods described. Somehow the writer completely ignored the thousands of verified lies told by our President. How can one editorialist be this myopic and ignorant of proven reality?

We "responsible voters" certainly will "evaluate and, hopefully brutally punish those peddling falsehood, protecting corruption, and subverting our institutions." It will be an easy vote as these accusations seem tailor-made as descriptors of the consistent behavior exhibited by our shameful president and his administrative allies.

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