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Forum, April 21: Acknowledging the tireless efforts to end the death penalty in N.H.


Saturday, April 20, 2019
Acknowledging the tireless efforts to end the death penalty in N.H.

I am relieved to read and hear that the New Hampshire Legislature has voted to repeal the death penalty, and by a seemingly veto-proof majority. Having had the privilege to observe the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, I know the years and reams of hard work, commitment and dedication these extraordinary people have volunteered, including Barbara Keshen, Renny Cushing, Arnie Alpert, Marti Hunt, and all the others who served before, during and after my brief tenure.

I applaud your resistance to this, at times, seemingly pointless endeavor and congratulate you on a job well done. You have helped bring New Hampshire into the reality that the death penalty serves no one. There is no cost saving, there is little sense of “vindication” or relief, it does not deter criminals, death cannot be rescinded, and it makes a public spectacle of death. In addition, there are mistakes and there are innocent family victims of the death penalty. The death penalty cannot be condoned by those who consider themselves pro-life, there can be no redemption, and the cost of appeals to the state is staggering.

Thank you to the members of the coalition for your tireless efforts.

INGRID BRAULINI

Grantham

The writer served as Amnesty International’s representative to the New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

We should be blaming Roe v. Wade for America’s shrunken workforce

After reading the op-ed piece by Wayne A. Cornelius of the Los Angeles Times (“America Desperately Needs More Immigrants,” April 11), I feel some of his conclusions should not go unchallenged.

He claims that the United States must find ways to replace 76 million retiring baby boomers in the workforce, and also that American women are having an average of 1.77 children, below the replacement level of 2.1, yielding negative biological population growth. He conveniently neglects to mention that America’s population could be over 61 million greater except for the consequences of Roe v. Wade over the past 46 years.

The oldest of the babies aborted, had they lived, could be parents or grandparents by now, and they and their offspring could be a vital part of our workforce, paying into Social Security and staving off impending collapse of Social Security and Medicare funds because of payouts to baby boomers.

I’m not sure what great social ill abortion was supposed to fix, but ramping up immigration is not an appropriate fix for our depressed workforce as a result of the effects of abortion. Not all of the would-be immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America clamoring to enter our country, not necessarily in orderly fashion, want to come here to work at honest, documented employment. While it is true that nearly all who don’t have some nefarious purpose for entry want a better life here for their families, a significant percentage are attracted here by welfare benefits and other “freebies” liberally promised by Democrats. Cornelius further tips his hand by claiming that “to attract Democratic votes,” any program of stepped-up immigration and legalization “must offer a path to U.S. citizenship, not just a green card.” So this is primarily a plan to bolster and perpetuate Democrats’ control of our government. Stacey Abrams claimed that Georgia’s recent fetal heartbeat bill is “evil,” “bad for morality” and “bad for business” due to threatened Hollywood boycotts. Her comments show that Democrats just don’t get it.

WILLIAM A. WITTIK

Hartford

Corporations and their enablers are still gaming the system

I am impressed that former Treasury secretary Lawrence H. Summers would be concerned about the fecklessness and greed of corporate entities (“Corporations cheat the global tax system,” April 16). They and their enablers, like the Republican Party generally and our dear president particularly, are content to game further the tax system in their favor.

Clearly they understand the increasing threat of fossil fuels to the environment generally, and to America particularly, so they have been encouraging a denial of increasingly obvious facts. They are in the best position to effect constructive change to deal with global warming, but fob off their responsibility in every way that they can onto others, particularly America’s middle class taxpayers (increasing numbers of corporations pay no taxes at all).

They so hog the “profits” (redistribution upward) that the upper 1 percent benefit unconscionably to the point of incomprehensibility. They buy off and otherwise pervert the system of democratic government that is supposed “to promote the general welfare.”

As a result, the world’s need for a sustainable natural environment, America’s need for an effective, affordable health care system (as a matter of right, not to say life and death), efficient infrastructure (without potholes), and a system of public education that fosters democratic values and a skilled workforce that is available to all — among other societal goods — languishes.

There is, however, not a peep about an obscene “defense” budget and a ballooning national debt, but rather schemes to deny benefits to those who lack adequate means to assure their health and a dignified old age, and excuses not to fund decently a public education available equally to all. All the while there is a hullabaloo about the “expense” of a Green New Deal.

America is still the world’s historically most prosperous economy. But we’re not on the way to becoming great again. For shame.

BORIS G. VON YORK

Springfield, Vt.