Forum, July 8: The Liberal Hysteria at the Border Is Manufactured

Saturday, July 07, 2018
Manufactured Hysteria at the Border

Regarding the many tooth-gnashing letters to the editor of late about President Donald Trump’s goons “tearing children from their mothers” at the border, I’d like to offer some thoughts, comparisons and facts:

The liberals complaining the loudest about “babies being torn from their mothers” don’t seem to have a problem when it is Planned Parenthood doing it. I suppose Republicans should be relieved that abortion has kept 57 million future registered Democrats off the voter rolls.

These same liberals, as I recall, had no problem with government goons tearing Elian Gonzalez from his family in Florida to return him to the clutches of the communist Castro regime in Cuba, or when Janet Reno did the same to the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, (or when she roasted alive the kids who remained in the bonfire set to their compound).

Upon further investigation of the conditions that the children separated from their criminal parents at the border experienced: The photos of “cages” shown in the media were faked by demonstrators or date from Obama-era detention of unaccompanied minors when the border was being flooded by MS-13 gangbangers. The actual facility where the kids stay for the 20 days their parents are waiting for a deportation hearing are more like dorm rooms. In fact, one such facility is at Lackland Air Force Base, at the very barracks where I experienced basic training when I enlisted in the Air Force. Bunk beds, sheets, lockers, showers, toilets, three square meals a day in a college-style cafeteria, recreational areas, pool tables, etc.

When parents have their deportation hearing, one of two outcomes result: They are given a misdemeanor or felony conviction of illegal entry (based on whether it’s their first or subsequent entry), reunited with their kids, and deported. Or they claim asylum or refugee status and are reunited with their kids and released inside the U.S. pending a status hearing.

The hysteria is entirely manufactured. Conditions for kids have not only not changed since President Barack Obama’s time, they have vastly improved.

Michael Lorrey


A Higher Double Standard?

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is correct: “I think we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard.” He was referring to the obscenity shouted at our president by a young congressional intern from New Hampshire.

In this country, the person leading the executive branch of government, the person responsible for setting national standards of ethics and etiquette, is Donald Trump. The young college student working for Sen. Maggie Hassan was, sadly, reflecting the very low standard set by our president. Throughout his presidential campaign, and since taking office, Trump has maligned people of faith, insulted foreign leaders, mocked people with physical disabilities and, on a daily basis, used crude and vulgar language in his daily tweets. If a congressional intern ought to be fired for the shouting of one obscenity, then, surely, President Trump should be afforded the same response.

Sununu, the state GOP Chairwoman Jeanie Forrester and New Hampshire Republicans have all spoken. It is easy to criticize a college student. They are unwilling to do the hard work of criticizing President Trump.

Judy McCarthy


An Earlier Billings Farm Contribution

Without in any way downplaying the extraordinary contributions of David Donath in restoring the farmhouse and managing the archives and artifacts in the Billings Farm & Museum (“Woodstock Foundation, Billings President Retiring,” July 1), I wanted to mention Scott Hastings Jr.’s contribution to this effort, preceding Donath’s tenure.

With monies secured through a grant from Laurance Rockefeller, Hastings ranged far and wide throughout Vermont interviewing the “old” farmers, tradesmen and craftsmen while diligently photographing, collecting and cataloguing what he could of the literally thousands of tools and artifacts that are now contained in the museum. As his friend, I accompanied Hastings several times on these outings and watched him work his magic convincing people, many of whom were reluctant, of the value of preserving their work that would land eventually (he hoped) in a museum in Woodstock.

Hastings had a large vision, excellent judgment and enormous breadth of knowledge about these old ways and knew that, without this project, they would be lost forever. Eventually, he wrote three books, one chronicling his years doing this invaluable work, The Last Yankees; another describing farm life in the 1930s, Up in the Morning Early (written with his wife, Elsie); and an autobiography, Goodbye Highland Yankee, all of which still can be purchased through Amazon.

For those interested in the story behind the story of the Billings Farm & Museum, I invite people to read these gripping stories. In addition to being a brilliant collector, Hastings was also a wonderful storyteller, bagpiper and craftsman in his own right. He was a true historian in the best sense of the word, and a very special human being.

Linda Mulley


Thanks for Covering a Pivotal Issue

Walking around at a recent Lebanon Farmers Market, I noticed a table of grad students from the University of New Hampshire. Being an alumna myself, I couldn’t help but stop and spark up a conversation. As it turns out, they were in the process of recruiting members of the community for the opportunity to participate in a study of domestic violence and sexual assault.

That focus group, held a few days ago, touched on how pivotal it is to recognize when the Upper Valley’s newspaper publishes content related to these issues. I’m taking this chance to thank you for the continuous coverage of such events, including those at Dartmouth College, St. Paul’s School, and Vermont’s new law strengthening protections for those facing sexual harassment in the workplace.

But more important, I’m using this space on the chance that maybe there’s someone reading this, right now, who has gone through such events. I want that someone to know that your voice — your story — wants to be heard, and that you are not alone.

Ellen Gibbs