Forum, April 19: A Compelling Article

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
A Compelling Article

We were very moved by the compelling article by Nicola Smith on April 13 in which she described the exhibit of photographs by Henryk Ross and how it came to be. Ross’ work documents the daily lives of Jews in the ghetto of Lodz, Poland, during the Nazi regime. Ross had buried the negatives in 1944 and returned to dig them up after the liberation. Thus the title of the exhibit, “Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross,” now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. To see the photographs and learn more about this exhibit and its history, go to agolodzghetto.com.

As we are well aware, this type of persecution is far from an isolated event. As Smith points out in her article, there is plenty of evidence that Americans have done their share of marginalizing minorities, most recently Muslims. Very chilling is Smith’s assertion “that when a government wants to devise a mechanism by which it can control a population, it can do so with more ease than you’d like to acknowledge.” Terrifyingly relevant today.

Thank you to the Valley News for taking the space to print this article.

Judith Englander and John Echternach

South Strafford

Fairlee Bond Makes Good Sense

As we see it, there are two compelling reasons for a vote in favor of the bond for repairs and improvements to the Town Hall in Fairlee.

The first is simply frugal fiscal good sense. It would have cost us less to have done this work a number of years ago, and it will cost more in the future if we continue to put it off. The need to do the deferred maintenance work will not go away, nor will the legal requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The future outlook for the cost of the work, the cost of borrowing funds and the availability of grants to defray some of the project cost all suggest that the total cost will be lowest if we proceed immediately.

The second is the significant potential benefit from having a Town Hall that can be used for many purposes that are now not possible. Various among us have ideas for programs and functions for newly available spaces at the Town Hall, which could add greatly to the cultural and community life of our town, and be “destination” events to bring visitors and customers to Fairlee. Creative use of the new spaces is one of the most straightforward short-term opportunities we have to enhance life in Fairlee.

We can all certainly agree that the water system issues are regrettable and need to be addressed, also ASAP, in the interest of the common good. But we need not to set up a false choice between the water system project and the Town Hall project. Our best choice, to minimize the total cost, is to proceed with both as quickly as possible.

We encourage all Fairlee voters to help us realize the benefits of an improved Town Hall by making sure they cast a yes vote by or on April 26.

Katharine P. Mallary

R. DeWitt Mallary III


Remove Endangered Children

At first report of abuse to the New Hampshire Divison for Children, Youth and Families, the police should obtain a warrant and immediately remove these children to a safe environment (not with any family members).

Lawmakers should make legislation to this effect. The state health department should consider voluntary sterilization of both male and female parties to prevent them from bringing more children that they cannot properly care for into the world, only to be abused or killed.

Education by hospitals on how to care for infants and children would help, if only these parents were not dropouts already or of low IQ.

Drug abuse by parents also comes into the picture.

These little ones never deserved such treatment.

Elaine Smith


Labels Don’t Help Matters

This country has a huge labeling problem. It seems that whenever anyone advances an idea about how to solve some of our country’s problems, the first question that is asked is whether that person is a Democrat or a Republican, or worse yet, liberal or conservative. This occurs before that idea has even begun to be fully considered on its merits.

Today I experienced this type of labeling when I suggested to a friend of mine that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was taking Monsanto to task concerning the poisonous effects of the herbicide Roundup. Before I could even give an account of Kennedy’s speech, I was told, “you know, he’s a Democrat.” That completely floored me.  What does that have to do with whether or not Monsanto is manufacturing poisonous products to be used by unsuspecting citizens in this country and around the world? My friend further stated that it was beyond our control to prevent the spread of poisonous products due to the corrupt manipulation of the government agencies that are responsible for regulating such products. On this point I agreed. But then I responded that it was Republicans who were responsible for appointing the heads of these corrupt agencies, thus making the situation worse. I found that I was as much to blame for labeling as he was. We parted on not-so-friendly terms. 

Simply put, we must put a stop to placing labels on ideas before they have been fully discussed. What difference does it make whether or not a Republican or a Democrat advances an idea that can be of great benefit to our society? We must stop this childish behavior and act as adults.

We are too ready to blame others for our problems, when, in fact, it is us who create the problem in the first place by assigning labels.  

Jim Minnich


Curiouser and Curiouser

Columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.’s “The GOP’s Curious Tilt Toward Putin,” April 4) pointed out “the proportion of Republicans viewing Putin favorably rose from 12 percent in 2015 to 32 percent, (while) his favorability among Democrats dropped, from 15 percent in 2015 to 10 percent this year.”

While bringing my youngest daughter home from college (not Trump University), we found ourselves discussing outer space movies and the feeling of claustrophobia they often portray— perhaps attributable to the hostile environment — in contrast to the inclusiveness of the universe (which contains everything that we know, by definition).

Inclusiveness is a wonderful relationship: Not only does it encompass the concept of “us” as opposed to “them,” but it also defines the ideal of truth (as opposed to fallacy, aka “alt-truth”), justice (the inverse of corruption), left (as in liberal or Democrat), and its complement, right — conservative, Republican.

That last bit about left and right seems counter to the traditional “pinko-commie vs. conservatives-red baiters” dichotomy in regard to anything Russian. How could that be? These are crazy times, but I bet it can be explained by the spin doctoring that installed our illegitimate president and his biased administration.

In these crazy times we should be concerned with what’s next. Kim Jong Un’s missiles haven’t the range to reach our mainland, but that won’t last.

And bombing Syria? Let’s face it, the honeymoon’s over. It’s time to repeal this administration and those who installed it.

Kevin Leveret

White River Junction

Why Go Nuclear?

An open letter to our senators:

I’d like to know how I can express my extreme disapproval with the Republican Party using the “nuclear option” means of getting their Supreme Court choice approved. Personally I have no problem with Justice Gorsuch and I think he’s an acceptable choice. However, I strongly disagree with the Republicans simply changing the rules to get him confirmed. Can I change the rules if I get stopped for speeding and say I just changed the speed limit for me to 75?

The rules made by Congress in response to their constituents’ wishes many years ago should never be randomly discarded at the whim of the current majority party. This is reprehensible, and I’d say the same if the situation was reversed.

Thank you for any suggestions but I know that as long as the Republicans are in power, nothing will change. As well as I know the same would be true if the Democrats had the majority.

Bob Danielson