In Maine, there is an old adage which states “You can’t fix stupid.” In addition, an equally ancient proverb notes “You can bring a horse to water, but it may not drink.” These two sayings describe the context of Mr. Balentine’s recent column (“Pandemic pet peeves, part III,” Sept. 11) rather precisely. Over the years, numerous readers of The Forecaster have attempted to enlighten Mr. Balentine and, thus, both “fix” his stupidity and encourage him to “drink” the water of truth, by presenting him with real and verifiable facts to counter his untenable opinions, but, sadly, to no avail.

In concert with “fix” and “truth,” Mr. Balentine wrote: “I can’t believe the (Trump) administration I support would … go into so much debt while … providing a disincentive ($600 a week in surplus unemployment compensation) for returning to work.” Reliable sources of information will “fix” his ignorance by indicating the real reason for “so much debt” – i.e., the Trump administration’s massive tax cuts to corporations and wealthy individuals and the rather large national debt as the direct result of said tax reductions. The “truth” is Mr. Balentine possesses absolutely no empathy for those American citizens who are suffering due to a circumstance (COVID-19 pandemic) way beyond their control.

In the future, Mr. Balentine should take a long drink of water (“truth”) when composing his next weekly column and, hopefully, remember the prophetic warning as spoken by Martin Luther King, Jr.: “Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

John and Sigrid Mishler