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Forum, Sept. 9: New Hampshire Vs. Vermont


Friday, September 08, 2017
New Hampshire Vs. Vermont

I want to thank Michael Lorrey for his Sept. 7 Forum letter, in that in our already very divisive political climate we now get to pit Vermont vs. New Hampshire or perhaps New Hampshire vs. Vermont. Which is the best state? Let the letters begin!

 I also want to thank Mr. Lorrey for the idea of using the print media for his own personal brand of trolling.

Rebecca Leake

Norwich

More Bad News on Addiction

The editorial “Alcohol’s Costs,” attributed to Bloomberg View and published in the Valley News on Sept. 5, offers perspective in pointing out that harmful alcohol use extracts a much higher toll on our culture and our economy than the misuse of opioids, which itself has become widely understood to be a national crisis.

There’s more bad news: Harmful alcohol use in the U.S. also appears to have increased significantly in recent years. Research published in the Aug. 9 edition of the journal JAMA Psychiatry indicates that the prevalence of drinking, high-risk drinking and alcohol use disorder all increased between 2001-2002 and 2012-2013, with the most serious category, alcohol use disorder, having increased by nearly half during that period. In the lead editorial in that same issue, JAMA’s editor writes that, “the chilling increases in opioid-related deaths reflect a broader issue regarding substance-related problems.”

An adult with a substance use disorder has about one chance in 10 of getting appropriate medical treatment in the U.S. Yet with other chronic disorders such as asthma, diabetes or hypertension, the odds are about one in two: 10 percent versus 50 percent. And these other chronic conditions are raging out of control, even with 50 percent of adults having at least the possibility of appropriate care. The category also absorbs most of our health care dollars.

Many factors in addition to a given person’s behavior contribute to the growing prevalence of addiction in our society today. The thing that would appear to have the most potential for improvement in recovery outcomes from these conditions would be desegregation of addiction medicine from the rest of the medical field. Or is it the case that the medical field is no more able to change its behavior than those who would be its patients — addicts — whether addicted to alcohol, other legal or illegal drugs, or other self- and societally-destructive behavior?

Chris Weinmann

Norwich

Not Just an Incident

Thank you for publishing Wednesday’s story, “Claremont Boy’s Family Seeks Answers After Rope Incident.” However, that headline is misleading. You report, based on his grandmother’s account, that the little boy is biracial and was called racial slurs and hit with sticks and rocks before being hung from a noose by white teenagers. This is a hate crime, not a “rope incident.”

Bethany Fleishman

Hartford

Americans Vs. Americans

If Americans continue to physically attack Americans over their beliefs, terrorists won’t need help to destroy our country.

Barry Wenig

Lebanon

Texas Will Still Be Texas

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we need to come together as a nation, put partisan bickering aside and help Texans with their recovery. Rebuilding the homes and businesses devastated by flooding will be the easy part. It will be much harder for Texans to recover their swagger, their commitment to loosely regulated chemical plants, their disdain for zoning rules prohibiting construction in flood plains, their antipathy toward scientific research on potential links between warming oceans and catastrophic weather, their unwavering belief in television preachers whose love of God is reflected in their prodigious fundraising skills, etc. Others may doubt, but I have faith that Texans will recover just fine.

Philip Glouchevitch

Hanover

Unfit for the Presidency

It has become increasingly clear to a majority in the United States — 66 percent — that Donald Trump is morally, ethically and intellectually unfit to be president. In his first seven months, in addition to support of fascism, Trump has degraded the presidency by lying constantly to the American people and offending American institutions such as the CIA, military, Boy Scouts, police departments, religious groups and others by inappropriately politicizing speeches at formal events, using crude remarks, coarse language and boasting about himself. He (and his daughter and son-in-law, who work in the administration despite complete lack of credentials for such high office) have repeatedly violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution by promoting personal financial gain through their White House connection. Trump wastes work time daily by watching cable TV instead of receiving intelligence briefings or working with legislators on important national business, speaks derisively of our Justice Department and attempts to damage our constitutional system of checks and balances by influencing an FBI investigation, possibly committing obstruction of justice.

Trump has denigrated our intelligence agencies, encouraged divisiveness between Americans by using inflammatory rhetoric aimed at his minority of supporters and wasted millions of tax dollars for family expenses at mansions and golf clubs where he spends too much time. He has damaged international relations by treating our allies rudely while hobnobbing with despots — including Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who attacked our electoral process last year in what military leaders call cyberwar. Evidence is mounting daily that the Trump campaign colluded with Putin during his dirty campaign for the presidency. He has recklessly and dangerously blurted out threats to an unstable leader of a nuclear power without advice from our military leaders and is held in contempt by most leaders of nations.

Alice Morrison

Newbury