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Forum, June 13: America in Decline; Let Women Rule the World; Environmental Ruin

U.S. Has Lost the Lead

To the Editor:

Secretary of State John Kerry describes new threats by the recently-released Taliban combatants to kill Americans as “a lot of baloney” (“Kerry Defends Prisoner Swap,” June 9). Sadly, Kerry’s comments about U.S. resolve appear to be a lot of something else beginning with the letter “b.”

United States leadership has lost all international credibility. Our National Security Council is led by political hacks rather than experienced professionals. Domestic partisan posturing takes precedence over our national strategic interest. Landing in Moscow on a trip three weeks ago, the first thing I saw was a local newspaper front page with Photoshopped images of President Obama in classic no-hear, no-see, no-speak poses. This is how the leader of the free world is now regarded: Not reckless, but certainly feckless.

Tim Dreisbach

South Royalton

Thanks for Helping Tourney

To the Editor:

The 2nd Annual Kolton B. Gunn Memorial Softball tournament was held June 7 and 8 at Williams Field in Canaan. It had a great turnout and a lot of money was raised for a wonderful cause. I wanted to thank all who played, the Mascoma Lions Club for helping with food, and all the local businesses who donated items for our raffle. I also would like to thank Shepherd Realty and Vanessa Stone Realty for their monetary donation that helped us purchase first- and second-place T-shirts. We will be doing this again next year and hope we have another successful weekend.

Karry LaHaye

Canaan

Women Should Rule the World

To the Editor:

I have said this before and I will continue to say it until I pass on to the next one, “Women, take over the world.”

I mean, women with the truly female attitudes of caring, sharing and love. Not the women who have taken on the male attitudes of greed, aggression and war.

If this doesn’t happen, we will be a failed species.

Robert Daubenspeck

White River Junction

The Cost of Environmental Ruin

To the Editor:

All politics are local, but our destruction of the environment is universal. The new, albeit belated, proposed E.P.A. regulations on coal emissions have united local politicians, both Democrats and Republicans (a miracle in itself), to “save jobs” and keep energy costs “low” at the expense to all of further, ruinous environmental destruction.

The local politicians and their constituents and all of us would be better served if, by another miracle, the hundreds of millions which will be spent to fight the proposed regulations were used to create and install solar panels in the affected local communities — thus creating jobs and keeping energy costs low, while reducing the calamitous effects of our behavior.

John Galton

North Hartland

Why I Abstained on the Budget

To the Editor:

I have been asked by several constituents and members of the public why I chose to abstain from the Claremont budget vote on May 27. Although I stated my reason for choosing not to vote at the meeting, I understand that it was not reported in the newspaper other than to say that I had abstained. Due to this, I owe the citizens of Claremont an explanation. When I was appointed to the City Council last summer, I believe I was chosen based upon my ability to look at things with fresh eyes, an open mind and a common-sense approach. I believe that I have done just that while serving as an elected member of the City Council.

I attended the first budget meeting on May 6 and it was at that meeting that future meetings were discussed and scheduled. Several months ago, my wife and I booked a family vacation that took me out of state from May 12 through May 20. Because of this, I was unable to attend three meetings at which department heads spoke with the Council about their budgets. I did inform Mayor Neilsen that I would be away on vacation. In regards to the vote, I strive to make important decisions based upon being educated on a subject. Due to missing three meetings, I had not had the opportunity to listen to or ask questions of the presenting department heads about their budgets. As a first-year City Councilor, I continue to learn the position and our responsibilities as councilors. It was my opinion that I should not vote on the final budget without having personally heard all of the information presented.

Could I have voted? Yes, I believe I could have. To me, to abstain was common sense and I believe that it was my responsibility to the taxpayers to do so because I would have been casting a vote without first having been educated on how the budget came to be in its final presentation.

John Simonds

Claremont City Councilor

Welcome, Progressive Candidate

To the Editor:

I am thrilled that Dean Corren, a longtime Progressive legislator, former Bernie Sanders staffer and leader on health care reform and renewable energy, is running for lieutenant governor.

Dean opposes the influence of big corporate money on politics and has qualified for public campaign financing by raising $17,500 from 750 Vermonters in small contributions. It’s an impressive sign of legitimacy.

I hope Vermonters will check out his campaign at www.deancorren.com.

Liz Blum

Norwich

Views About Kelly Ayotte

To the Editor:

Since December 2012 I’ve been saving Valley News articles and Letters to the Editor about U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. I’m sorry to see that she has recently been described as one of a number of possible Republican candidates for the presidency in 2016.

Let’s look at some of what she’s done.

A Forum letter on 12/1/12 accuses her of voting against every jobs bill presented.

She spent time trying to embarrass President Obama about Libya when she should have been working on finding a solution to the deficit problem when the country was facing the fiscal cliff (letter 12/10/12).

She agreed with Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who said they would “do everything” to block the appointment of Susan Rice as Secretary of State.

She spoke against the Cape Air subsidy, which helps support Lebanon airport (Jim Kenyon column, 12/15/13).

A number of letter writers in April 2013 objected strongly to her vote against requiring background checks for those who want to purchase guns. One writer maintained that Ayotte “thinks a vote against background checks makes her electable in New Hampshire.”

I certainly hope not!

Martina Quellmann

Hanover