Forum, Aug. 6: Another View of President Donald Trump’s ‘Successes’

Sunday, August 05, 2018
Another View of Trump’s ‘Successes’

Never in my 50 years in the Upper Valley have I written a letter to the editor. The recent mention of President Donald Trump’s successes without any specifics concerns me greatly (“Why We’re Laughing at the Trump Haters,” July 27). If you hear a lie three times your brain begins to believe it is the truth. So …

Is it a success that Trump reduced taxes by enriching the wealthy while increasing the national debt and now we owe China more money?

Is it a success that in order to supposedly enhance business we have weakened environmental laws so that many more people will become ill while the environment suffers?

Is it a success that public schools are being degraded at the expense of private and charter schools so that the children who most need a better education to be able to obtain a good paying job are being further marginalized?

Is it a success that women’s health care rights are being set back decades?

Is it a success that we have angered our allies while actually caving to those who would harm us?

Is it a success to try to turn back the clock on the diversity of our population, which has brought us so many benefits?

Is it a success to have fewer people covered by health insurance? Is it a success that many of the health insurance plans now being offered have inadequate coverage while still costing far too much?

Is it a success that many company executives are earning high salaries while many of their employees still need food assistance? The GNP and the stock market continue to rise, as they did during the Obama administration, but at what price and to whose benefit?

Those who support the Trump administration and the current Republican agenda are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.

Barry D. Smith


Just Refuse to Answer

I am Japanese-American. After Pearl Harbor, my grandparents, my parents, and my 12 aunts and uncles were forcibly removed (not “evacuated”) from their homes in California and taken to a prison camp in Colorado. Today, depending upon who you are, the hatefulness, racism and impact of government policies is as devastating now as it was then. I am grateful that, in contrast to the days and months following Pearl Harbor, there are people now who are saying no.

As readers know, Border Patrol agents have twice blockaded our interstates in order to trawl for noncitizens without documents. As we have repeatedly seen in news reports, people of color are particularly the target of their attentions. This is called racial profiling, right?

Using the Freedom of Information Act, the ACLU has discovered that Border Patrol agents are planning to blockade our interstates four more times this year. At a recent “Know Your Rights” training, the ACLU lawyer explained the laws governing such encounters. The Border Patrol may briefly stop vehicles at checkpoints to ask “a few limited questions to verify citizenship.” To comply with the law, agents should not ask questions unrelated to verifying citizenship nor hold anyone “for an extended period of time without at least reasonable suspicion that you committed an immigration offense or violated federal law.”

If you find such incursions and the policies of which they are a part an affront to democratic principles and your values, I hope you will join me in resisting. Refuse to answer any questions. (Say: “I am invoking my right to remain silent, per the Martinez-Fuerte case,” or, “I am not going to answer any questions.”) Suggest that friends do likewise, and if you are on a bus or in a station where Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are approaching customers, loudly and frequently inform everyone of their rights. The ACLU advises that it’s best not to engage in debate or confrontation. Just stay silent in the face of every question. Just say no.

Kesaya E. Noda


Helping Fight Hunger

In May, the Interact Rotary Club of Mascoma Valley Regional High School organized the packing of 10,000 meals for hunger relief to be distributed by the not-for-profit Rise Against Hunger. Interact is a worldwide association of secondary school-age young persons under the auspices of Rotary International.

More than 60 students, faculty members, and members of Lebanon Rotary participated in the event, which took place over the course of about three hours that afternoon. Interact Club members raised 50 percent ($1,300) of the money required to pay for the raw materials. Club members organized delivery, setup, packaging, cleanup and shipping of the meals in the school gym with help from dozens of student volunteers.

Cash contributions came from prior Interact fundraising efforts, the Mascoma High Student Council and National Honor Society chapter, as well as Mickey’s Roadside Café & Tavern Room. Money raised by students was matched dollar for dollar by Lebanon Rotary.

Congratulations to graduating Interact President Nick Arnold, to the incoming officers for 2018-19, and to all the Interactors, students and others who participated.

Bruce Pacht


The writer is a member of the Rotary Club of Lebanon.