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Forum, Jan. 11: Something There Is That Loves a Wall


Thursday, January 10, 2019
Something There Is That Loves a Wall

I have coined the word “muraphilia” to capture the love of walls shown by the current occupant of the Oval Office. The “build the wall” chants at packed campaign rallies made clear to candidate Donald Trump that he had a winning applause line. And now that he has the job, his talk-radio supporters won’t settle for less than a truly muscular wall, even if U.S. taxpayers have to pick up the tab.

President Trump thus joins early Chinese emperors and the nocturnal wall-hugging mice in my old farmhouse as a true “muraphiliac.” However, he alone finds it necessary to shut down much of our government to achieve this title.

Critics say Trump cannot empathize with the federal employees whose income has been abruptly disrupted. This is not fair criticism. Before U.S. bankers learned that they were on the losing end of the deal, they were delighted to make large loans to Trump. But with his business struggling and failure looming in 1990, bankers tried to structure another loan to help him dodge bankruptcy court. The terms of the banks obliged Trump to cut his spending for personal necessities from $583,000 to $450,000 per month. He was evidently able to get by on these short rations, and it was not long before these difficult times were but a distant memory and even a wonderful “deal.”

So federal employees can be assured that their president has personally experienced the rough times he is inflicting on them. And he knows that they, too, will get by with tightened belts as he did, perhaps even emerging from the experience as winners with a wall.

Joseph S. Warner

Unity

Kids These Days ... Are Doing Good

Ever wonder about the contributions of our local teenagers?

Each year, the Hanover Lions Club gives $2,000 to two graduating seniors from Hanover High School. They may use $1,000 for their own personal improvement and the other $1,000 to help pay for their participation in a service project, or to donate to a charity of their choice.

And what have these students done? One began a library in Kenya. Another put together backpacks of food, clothing and hygiene items for homeless people in Burlington. One supported an eye clinic in India. Others have contributed money to local organizations including Second Growth, the Haven, Unified Prom, Hope for Haiti, the Upper Valley Music Center and WISE.

The service award is given to students who already make regular, positive contributions to our community. So if you ever wonder what these younger people are doing, I can tell you: They are actively working to make our communities better.

Bill Hammond

Hanover

The writer is a Hanover Lions Club board member.

Vets Need Mental Health Support

Many veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, and the suicide rate for veterans is higher than for the general population of the United States. The experiences and trauma many veterans have gone through affects them more than many people know.

For years now, many service organizations have helped veterans find homes, jobs and adjust to civilian life after their service. This is important, but it is also critical to care for veterans’ mental health.

We are losing too many veterans to suicide as a result of PTSD and other mental illnesses. We as a nation should take better care of our veterans’ mental health, and not just the basic necessities of life, because without stable mental health, nothing else will matter.

Carson Moe

Meriden

The writer is a student at Kimball Union Academy.

Social Media a Boon for Teens

Many adults say social media causes teenagers to become depressed, but they cannot make that claim because they do not know how social media actually affects teens.

I grew up with iPhones, social media and the advanced social interactions enabled by technology. Now, at age 17, social media is simply part of my life. Without it, I could become depressed because I would feel disconnected. I used to fight with my mom to get a social media account. Once I did, on Instagram, it was an instant connection. I felt no remorse or jealousy looking at photos of what my friends were doing.

Now, with my social media accounts, I feel much more connected and I am able to find my friends and meet with them. If anything, social media does not increase my depression, it lessens it.

Take a poll of teens who use social media. Most will say they don’t feel depressed from it and actually enjoy using it. We feel connected with social media and hype each other up through it. Many kids today feel depressed from the pressure of school, not social media.

Catie Flynn

Meriden

The writer is a student at Kimball Union Academy.

Hanover Deer Hunt a Win-Win

I was very pleased to read Jordan Cuddemi’s article about the special deer hunt in Hanover last year (“Thinning the Herd in Hanover: Town Relies on Hunters to Reduce Nuisance Deer Population,” Jan. 2). As a former resident of the Upper Valley and an avid hunter, I was impressed with the thoroughness of the article. It was well-written and covered all aspects of this touchy subject.

I was amazed to learn that the growth of Hanover deer is stunted to the point where individuals are about half the average weight for their age. If the town of Hanover can come up with a way to make its deer herd healthier by taking a few individuals out of the population — with the meat from those animals feeding not only the hunters and their families but also the less fortunate — I see that as a win-win.

I know that when I donated 20 pounds of meat from the second deer I harvested this past season to my local soup kitchen, both the staff and patrons were extremely grateful and excited. Of course, another way to handle this problem would be to raze, bulldoze or otherwise destroy all the homes and businesses in the greater Hanover area and let nature reclaim them.

Which is a more realistic solution?

Dan Williams

Concord