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Forum, May 15: Reminders to bike and walk safely


Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Reminders to bike and walk safely

Ride and walk on the correct side of the road. Spring is here and I keep meeting bicycles ridden against traffic and people walking with traffic. Both are dangerous.

Vermont law requires that bicycles being ridden on public highways obey all motor vehicle laws, including stopping at stop signs and red lights. The law also requires that bicycles be ridden with traffic, not going the opposite direction.

It is also highly recommended that those walking do the opposite and face oncoming traffic so as to be able to jump out of the way if needed.

In all cases, drivers of motor vehicles need to give pedestrians, bicycles and horses a wide berth. It is the right thing to do. We all need to share the road.

GARY W. MOORE

Bradford, Vt.

Spending the kids’ future earnings

It’s always good for a chuckle when someone claims to be spending his or her children’s inheritance, but when those of a certain political persuasion propose spending the very earnings of future generations as a means of purchasing votes today, I have to confess that I don’t get the joke. I guess I’ll have to cultivate a more progressive sense of humor.

ANTHONY STIMSON

Lebanon

Tariffs are a tax

Tariffs (taxes) on Chinese, Canadian and European goods are paid for by the domestic importer and passed on in higher prices to U.S. consumers. Tariffs are not paid by the originating country. Tariffs are essentially a sales tax loaded onto the front end of the transaction.

There may or may not be good reasons for placing tariffs on goods produced outside of the United States, but President Donald Trump has tweeted repeatedly that China (or Canada or Europe) will be paying into the U.S. Treasury. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Wharton School, one of the top business schools in the world, so he knows this isn’t true. What’s up with this? It burns my socks (not Sox) when the president doesn’t get the facts straight.

DON COLLINS

Lebanon

Our cartoon version of reality on TV

Long ago, when we were young, we sat on the floor, watching our favorite cartoons. We grew up. Now we sit in chairs. Some may watch Sean Hannity, some Rachel Maddow, or maybe Wolf Blitzer. Things don’t change much. Old or young, people enjoy a cartoon version of reality.

One might imagine that, with even a minimum of intuition, the deception, manipulation and dishonesty of television would be obvious. But, for some odd reason, that just does not seem to be the case. Through the medium we have been told some real whoppers, but people continue to take it seriously.

Personally, even as an adult, when it comes to fake reality, I prefer Mr. Magoo. After all, he was a harmless old guy and never caused any real harm.

NEIL MELIMENT

Hanover

Reality check, and a history lesson

Forum contributor William A. Wittik claims the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision on abortion — which he blames for the presence of immigrants he does not welcome — was intended to cure the “great social ill” of the “sexual revolution beginning in the 1960s,” and that it is a program in eugenics, as Planned Parenthood’s progenitor, Margaret Sanger, was once associated with that movement (“Connecting abortion, eugenics and immigrants,” May 7).

Reality check: The majority of abortions performed are on married women who have had at least one child, were practicing birth control, and live at or below poverty level. They cite their responsibility to their families as their reason for seeking abortion. White women account for more abortions (39%) than black women (28%) or Hispanic women (25%).

A history lesson is in order. Abortion is as old as civilization. For millennia, women have risked their lives to seek illegal abortions, which tells you all you need to know about their desperation. Social stigma, legal punishment, even death, have followed this evidence of female sexual activity out of wedlock — even as victims of rape and incest — while their sexual partners went unpunished. In societies where women’s bodies are still seen as male property, this remains the case. This was the “social ill” that the “sexual revolution” in Europe and America addressed — a change in laws addressing “crimes” of fornication, the liberalization of divorce, access to birth control and, eventually, legal abortion.

The other cause of desperation driving women throughout history is economic.

It was Margaret Sanger’s work as a nurse with both (white) immigrant families and black families in Harlem — seeing so many children suffering from poverty and their mothers dying from illegal abortions — that led her to push for legalization of birth control. Sanger explicitly and publicly disagreed with those in the eugenics movement who argued that undesirable traits were linked with ethnicity or race. She was not a racist. She supported individual — not state — control over reproductive decisions. Exactly the opposite of Wittik’s position

JANICE PRINDLE

South Woodstock