Valley News Forum for Sept. 16, 2023: Addiction isnot enough to excuse Hunter Biden

Published: 09-16-2023 6:22 AM

Addiction is not enough to excuse Hunter Biden

I found Wayne Gersen’s recent column on substance abuse disorder (“Addiction is a disease familiar to many,” Page C1, Aug. 27) very informative and should be read by all families who have a member who suffers from this disease. However my reading between the lines tells me it was also a veiled attempt to whitewash the criminal behavior of Hunter Biden. Already there has been enough of that on the national media scene and behavior of the Justice Department.

It began with 50 senior intelligence officials who signed a letter that endorsed the theory the Hunter laptop story was probably Russian disinformation. They did this so the story would not affect Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. Recently the so-called “sweetheart deal” concocted by the Justice Department would have resulted in the government getting a guilty plea on two misdemeanor charges and giving Hunter a diversion agreement, which would have included a promise not to be prosecuted for illegal conduct committed from 2017-2019. Fortunately the judge saw through this shenanigan and zapped the deal.

Current Republican investigations into the Biden family business deals have revealed a wealth of questionable behavior thanks to two IRS agents who testified Justice interfered with Hunter’s tax case. Hearings released financial records showing millions of dollars flowed from China and other foreign sources to the Biden family. The information reveals a web of transactions to hide payments from foreign sources. Surely there should be an investigation to determine if Hunter violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Hunter’s former business partner Devon Archer testified Hunter called his father at least 20 times when he was having business meetings obviously to capitalize on his relationship with his father.

No, Wayne, this tangle of behavior can’t be excused and not punished because Hunter was a former addict.

Dave Cioffi


Hit the lights for our feathered friends

According to a recent Cornell Lab of Ornithology newsletter, there will be an estimated 328 million birds migrating the evening of Sept. 24. Bird migration forecast maps can be seen at Large-scale migrations are predicted to continue from now until mid-November.

One significant challenge to their migration success is nighttime lighting, or light pollution. This light pollution is responsible for the loss of an estimated 365-988 million birds per year, according to a reference in this newsletter. This loss is second in mortality, after loss due to cats.

While there are gaps in understanding the contribution of direct anthropogenic versus population level impacts, light pollution is a major initiator of the loss due to disorientation and building collisions. It is also the single easiest cause to act on. By turning off outside lighting when it is not needed for safety, you could help reduce the mortality of one of mankind’s favorite forms of wildlife.

This action applies to both businesses, families and individuals. So please do what you can to take care of our feathered friends. Added benefits include lower power bills, lower greenhouse gas and particulate emissions, and darker nighttime skies enabling us to see the Upper Valley’s night sky, which is a spectacular show.

Bart Guetti

West Lebanon

Bart Guetti is the former lead cartographer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Breeding Bird Atlas, 1988.