Forum, Jan. 9: ‘Muckrakers’ show disconnect at Upper Valley’s hospitals

Published: 1/8/2020 10:00:45 PM
Modified: 1/8/2020 10:00:10 PM
‘Muckrakers’ show disconnect at Upper Valley’s hospitals

The muckrakers were reform-minded journalists in the Progressive Era in the United States (1890s-1920s) who exposed established institutions and leaders as corrupt. The modern term is investigative journalism or watchdog journalism. Investigative journalists in the U.S. are often informally called “muckrakers.”

The Upper Valley has its own muckrakers with Jim Kenyon of the Valley News and occasionally VTDigger.org. Both should be commended for exposing the disconnect between the management of local hospitals and the people who actually care for us: the physicians, nurses (RNs, LPNs, etc.), aides, custodians and the ambulance personnel (“Cottage Hospital, D-H officials really want people to like them,” Jan. 5).

I have been a patient at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for 53 years and am grateful for the people who cared for me. Why don’t the high-paid executives and marketing team spend many hours in the waiting room of the emergency department or the overcrowded ER itself before they brag about themselves?

JON APPLETON

White River Junction

Still much to investigate in the Trump-Russia connection

“Baseless.” That’s how Attorney General William Barr described Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Following Barr’s highly suspect summary of Mueller’s findings, President Donald Trump began claiming, “case closed, no collusion.” Though the report didn’t firmly “establish” collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia, there was plenty to investigate:

■ Trump supported campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos’ pursuit of a back channel to Putin.

■ Kremlin operatives gave the campaign a preview of Russia’s plan to distribute stolen emails.

■ Campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared internal polling and battleground state data with a Russian spy, expecting it to be conveyed to a Putin-linked oligarch, whose U.S. interests he’d advance if Trump won

■ Campaign members discussed the Trump Tower meeting beforehand and, upon receiving an invitation to it from a Russian official offering “dirt” on Clinton, Donald Trump Jr. accepted.

■ Russian military hackers may have followed Trump’s “Russia, if you are listening” request by targeting Clinton’s emails.

■ Trump and his campaign seemingly had advance knowledge of future WikiLeaks releases and coordinated campaign-related public communications based on that knowledge.

■ During the campaign, Jared Kushner engaged in secret back-channel communications with Russian agents.

■ During the presidential transition, Michael Flynn urged Russia’s ambassador to avoid a strong Russian response to the Obama administration’s sanctions for election interference.

What is truly “baseless” is any belief that Barr serves as America’s attorney general, and not as Trump’s defense attorney.

The truth is that the Russia investigation was a response to damning evidence that could not be ignored. Barr’s dismissing it is shameful. As the Senate begins the impeachment trial of the president for using his office and taxpayer funds to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political opponent, Trump, Barr and Trump’s supporters want to dismiss those charges as “baseless,” too. We must all remember that they’re no more “baseless” than the Russian ones were.

STEVE GEHLERT

West Newbury

America should start drafting all citizens ages 18-25

Should President Donald Trump’s attack on Iran trigger a military draft? I hope so. As a Quaker and pacifist, I suggest we start enlisting all citizens ages 18-25.

Why? Those of us born before the Vietnam War remember that the existence of a draft and of the possibility of having to fight in Vietnam together ignited the anti-war movement and street protests.

Now that Pvt. Heelspurs, who bought his way out of serving, is on the edge of starting an undeclared war with Iran, we need to be certain that all Americans face the reality that they may be called to bear arms and go to war, and not be able to sit back and hide behind very brave volunteers.

A “civilian army” should be exactly that: Composed of every American from every social and economic class in this country, with no easy deferments.

JACK SHEPHERD

Norwich

War, what is it good for?

A week or so ago, over lunch with friends, the conversation turned to wondering how President Donald Trump was going to get out of his impeachment mess. We speculated about clever legal strategies.

Then someone said, “No problem. He will simply start World War III.”

What an astute friend!

ROBERT BELENKY

Hanover

Brave, positive and loving

Thanks to the Valley News for publishing Amelia Lincoln’s reflections on living her first decade with leukemia (“Ten years’ time: Thoughts on a decade after a New Year’s Day leukemia diagnosis,” Jan. 4).

For anyone trying to figure out what it is to be brave, or to be positive, and all the while loving, and what a supportive family looks like, please take the time to read this piece. It is beautiful, affirming and courageous. It will just about take your breath away.

I have been trying to figure out what one guiding word I should try to follow for 2020. I’ve decided that it’s “Amelia.”

DAVID FARNSWORTH

South Royalton




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