Forum, Sept. 7: Ending DACA Is Heartless

Wednesday, September 06, 2017
Ending DACA Is Heartless

President Donald Trump has decided to end the DACA program, sometimes called the Dreamers program. This program allows children, brought into this country by their parents, the right to stay and eventually apply for citizenship. These children will be punished for the acts of their parents. The children, and now young adults, have never lived anywhere else; they have created lives, relationships and roots in their communities. Their friends are all here. The president, acting in our name, is tearing them from our communities and sending them to an exile where they have few, if any, ties, to countries where they often don’t even speak the language.

Imagine this happening to your own children. This, to me, is heartless cruelty without measure. I hope my friends and neighbors will speak out and say no, not in my name.

Don Collins


Bravo, President Hanlon

James Heffernan and Steven Nelson, writing columns for the Valley News, are recreating 1984. In the Orwellian world, the meaning of words is reversed, revised and rewritten. Gratuitous violence is defense. Disagreement is unwarranted emotional attack. Contrary opinions are quashed. Invited speakers with different views are disinvited while administrations stand by impotently. Ideas are validated by groupthink. Students are the proconsuls. Legitimate authority is intimidated.

Bravo, Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon, for standing up and speaking out.

Al Rossow


Toxic Letters From the Left

Having grown tired, after many years, of seeing Valley News letters to the editor hopelessly biased by incessant, irrational, left-wing thought, most often from readers in Vermont, I read with some amusement an article on Wired Magazine today that discussed with Disqus, the online commenting service, about their analysis of the toxicity of online comment posters across the nation (www.wired.com/2017/08/internet-troll-map/). Lo and behold, their data for New Hampshire versus Vermont matches my own impressions of Valley News letters pages. Vermont online commenters are the most toxic, offensive, trollish posters in the nation, while New Hampshire commenters are the most polite and least trollish. Yes, that New Hampshire, of the “Live Free or Die” ethic, Free State Project, first-in-the-nation political primaries, etc., is the most polite in the entire country. Perhaps this is why New Hampshire is best to be first in the nation: We go about our business tolerating others’ opinions far more than anyone else. Vermonters could take a lesson from us Granite Staters, but I doubt they will.

Michael Lorrey


Who and What Would Survive?

Coincidence jogs memories. Memories prompt musing.

A memory: On June 25, 2001, my late wife Nancy and I were on our traditional anniversary drive through Vermont. We saw snapping turtles nesting near Blood Brook and in the loose roadside fill of Route 244. About 80 days later, I helped a half-dozen awkward snapper hatchlings cross Route 244 for their debut swim. It was Sept. 11. I was walking back from Post Mills where I had opened the church for prayer.

Musing: I’m old enough to remember August 1945. As a young naval officer, I visited Hiroshima. I ask myself, were the committed terrorists of 9/11 more or less sane than the blustering, nuclear-armed world leaders of today? Do today’s leaders realize that a single nuclear spark — ignited by accident or intent — could spread to a holocaust destroying human civilization?

Would even the snapping turtles survive the nuclear winter to follow?

Jim Hughes

West Fairlee

Climate Crisis Worsens

The Texas Superfund sites flooded by Hurricane Harvey are examples of why we need to stop sugarcoating the environmental crisis: The term “climate change” is insufficient; “climate BreakDown” is the term that best describes the rape of Mother Nature. Writer and activist George Monbiot links the term to Harvey’s intensity in his column on theguardian.com (http://bit.ly/2w3rXeg).

Not only did Texas Superfund sites spew pollution over flooded areas, but the refineries get to burn off dirty fuel to prevent spillage while befouling the air. They are bailed out by the oil-friendly government, and double-dip by raising prices at the pump! And who suffers the most? The poor. And guess who gains? Hint: You may want to read Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine: The rise of Disaster Capitalism).”

The Valley News reported that “Two of Valero Energy’s Gulf Coast refineries kept operating throughout the storm, churning out gasoline,” only to find “Colonial Pipeline won’t accept the extra barrels” (“Refiner: Pipeline Blocking Bid to Ship Fuel” Sept. 2). Thanks, big oil, for all that convenience at the cost of just 30 extra cents a gallon. Just let us know if we can help you out after Hurricane Irma comes to town.

Is this fair, letting big oil continue to pump carbon into the atmosphere, raising the ocean temperatures to feed the storms that flush the toxic dumps into our biosphere?

No! We must replace the crude infrastructure with renewable infrastructure; we must oust the current illegitimate Cabinet filled with business suits and generals and replace them with people who know how to treat this planet — the only planet we’ve got.

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction

Music Center Celebration

On Saturday, the Upper Valley Music Center (UVMC) will hold a grand opening celebration in its new home at 8 South Park St. in Lebanon. Activities will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m.

Founded in 1995, UVMC has grown to serve nearly 900 students of all ages each year. Concerts by students and faculty reach thousands of audience members across the Upper Valley.

After many years of searching for a long-term home, UVMC’s board of directors selected 8 South Park St., located across from Colburn Park, because of its community context near other arts organizations like AVA Gallery and Art Center, Lebanon Opera House, Opera North and the Lebanon Ballet School, and its suitability to music education. In addition to the benefits UVMC’s move will bring to Lebanon, this anchor location will help UVMC continue its mission to provide and promote music education throughout the Upper Valley.

The celebration will include free lessons and workshops for children and adults, performances by UVMC students and faculty, an instrument petting zoo, tours of the facility, food and two world premiere brass quintets. The day will be capped with a family-friendly contra dance in Colburn Park. A full schedule is available at www.uvmusic.org/events.

Join us Saturday to make music, enjoy music and to celebrate the creation of art in the Upper Valley.

Benjamin Van VlietExecutive director, UVMC


Despicable Identity Politics

Why do I get the feeling that those in the antifa movement, given sufficiently politically correct ends, are about as hostile to fascism’s socioeconomic controls, censorship and perhaps even terrorism as I am to pizza or ice cream? They strike me as a bunch of tinhorn tyrants masquerading as anti-authoritarians.

As for white supremacists and neo-Nazis, they have a good deal more in common with all the other fatuous identity groups that plague our society than any of them would care to admit — a lack of character, of self-respect (but not of self-esteem, which is one of the things they’re full of) and of the ability to think for themselves, plus a willingness to flog a mere accident of birth for political advantage. If the fact that I find them all equally despicable makes me a hater, then so be it.

Anthony Stimson