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Forum, June 17: Not Happy, and Not Proud, About Divisiveness and Corruption


Saturday, June 16, 2018
Not Happy, and Not Proud

President Trump: This Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery, you stated, “those who died for our great country would be very happy and proud at how well our country is doing today.”

My great-grandfather was born in Ireland in 1862.

As a young man, he immigrated to the United States and joined the U.S. Army. After an honorable career in the cavalry, he was buried with military honors at Arlington Cemetery in 1910. My great-grandfather fits White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s description of an immigrant who was a “rural person,” with no skills and no education.

As an “undesirable,” you would have barred Sgt. Hackett, a man of “excellent character” according to his Army evaluations, from ever entering the United States.

His son, a Navy chief quartermaster, is also buried in Arlington. In 1943, the president of the United States presented him with the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism for saving lives during an air raid off Cape Gloucester. As the son of an immigrant, he would have been disgusted at your policy of separating children from their parents at the border and of your cynical attempts to repatriate the “Dreamers.”

My maternal grandfather, whose resting place is a few paces from President Kennedy’s, was a captain in the Army during World War I and served as a liaison between the American and French forces.

If he had been overheard speaking French in the Amtrak Station in White River Junction recently, he likely would have been questioned and detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers who boarded the train looking for undocumented aliens.

Buried nearby is my father, who served in the Marines during World War II and the Korean War. He received a Purple Heart for wounds he suffered on Nov. 6, 1950. I wonder how he would he have felt about the five deferments you received to avoid serving in Vietnam?

I can assure you that none of my family members would be “happy and proud” about the divisiveness and corruption that permeates your presidency.

I pray that someday you will prove worthy of the sacrifices made by those who are memorialized at Arlington National Cemetery.

Peter Hackett

Etna

Join the Electric Lawn Care Brigade

According to one EPA study, for every horsepower of its rating, a typical lawn mower emits air pollution equivalent to that of 3.67 automobiles driving at 55 mph. The replacement of a single 24-horsepower diesel or gas mower with a 24-horsepower electric mower is the equivalent of removing 88 such cars.

In our campaign to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, the Hanover Neighborhood Action Group is promoting energy-efficient lawn care.

There are many strategies: To reduce the amount of mowing you actually do, you can reduce the size of your lawn by planting pollinator gardens and edible landscapes. To improve the efficiency of your current mower or leaf blower, you can have it serviced every year. If you are ready to upgrade your equipment, you can go electric. Electric mowers and leaf blowers are quieter, generate zero emissions and save you money.

If you live in Hanover, please join the Hanover Neighborhood Action Group’s Electric Lawn Care Brigade on July 4. We’re looking for volunteers to march with us, especially kids and neighbors, and if you can bring your own electric lawn equipment, that would be even better.

Please let us know if you can contribute electric lawn care equipment or march with us by emailing me at kaleidoscope65@gmail.com.

Lyn Miller

Hanover

No Cheers for NFL

The use of NFL cheerleaders as described in your June 9 editorial “Punt, Pass ... And Pimp?” is deplorable. Unfortunately, our federal tax dollars are subsidizing this situation.

The tax laws allow businesses to write off the cost of expensive luxury suites in sports stadiums and arenas and to give away tickets to clients and friends under the guise of marketing expenses. This currently legal practice supports the activities described in the editorial, including those involving team cheerleaders, and artificially subsidizes arenas across the country that otherwise would not be affordable to many cities.

We need to put a stop to this wholly unnecessary benefit to businesses. Its elimination would also help add funds to the federal budget at a time when additional sources of income are difficult to find.

Unfortunately, it is likely that even the hint of removing this long-standing perk would be immediately silenced due to the amount of money at stake and the political weight of the businesses and corporations (and perhaps the clients) that would stand to “suffer.” If you agree that it’s time to eliminate this loophole, please write your representatives.

Stephen Bayes

Lebanon

He Can Be My Neighbor

I fell in love again recently, but not with my husband. It was Mr. Rogers, thanks to the splendid program aired on New Hampshire Public Television.

How far our standards have spiraled downward, and how high was his moral leadership for both children and adults. What a gift he was and how grand were his lessons. Where shall we find such touchstones? Please tell me.

That we might claim even a fragment of Mr. Rogers via his time at Dartmouth College, amongst us in the Upper Valley with the fairy dust he sprinkled over us all, how fortunate are we to have been in his orb.

Love is a splendid thing, lasting and increasing over the years. That said, it must be nourished — and that, my friends, is our call to arms in these days of incivility, cruel attitudes and lack of compassion.

May we start each day metaphorically putting on our sweaters and picking up the cause of humanity that Mr. Rogers brought into our homes and lives on a daily basis.

Karen Blum

Grantham