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Forum, May 23: On Gun Violence, Action Is the Antidote

Published: 5/22/2018 10:00:07 PM
Modified: 5/22/2018 10:00:14 PM
Action Is the Antidote

I cannot stop thinking about how far our beloved country has to go to get a handle on our No. 1 public health issue: gun violence.

It took a long time to change attitudes about cigarettes, with lobbying groups as late as the 1990s providing misinformation about the link between cancer and cigarette smoking. The majority of Americans do want stricter gun regulation, but our laws do not reflect this. We have shamefully burdened the next generation, which has grown up experiencing mass shooting drills in its schools, with solving this crisis.

Let’s take responsibility now, get our priorities straight and vote for candidates with common sense and courage in the New Hampshire primaries on Sept. 11 and in the general election on Nov. 6. September and November may seem far away, but it is not too early to mark our calendars. Action is an antidote to despair.

Vivian Dolkart


Cartoon Prompted Disgust

I found the political cartoon “The Red Carpet Premier” about the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, which was published in the May17 Valley News, truly disgusting. The caption should have explained that the soldiers drawn are defending the borders of a free and democratic society for Jews and Arabs alike. The masses shown on the bottom voted for a government that is constitutionally committed to the genocide of the Israeli people.

If the people of Gaza would reject the terrorist government of Hamas and recognize Israel’s right to exist in peace, then Israel would be more than willing to help lift them up into prosperity and peace would flourish. It is time for Palestinians to take some personal responsibility for the situation they find themselves in.

William Brooks

West Hartford

Driven to Despair

Here is the nub of an email I sent to a friend recently: You may perhaps understand that as a Jew — secular but a Jew nonetheless — the chronic injustices perpetrated by Israel get to me like none other. And the need to blame it all on Hamas drives me to despair.

I grew up equating Jewishness with such virtues as justice, decency, peace and compassion. The other side constituted inhumanity, exploitation, indeed an unmistakably fascist way of being and thinking. Now I see my own people taking on the cloak of the enemy. And it renders me very sad, angry and puzzled.

“We have met the enemy,” Pogo said, “and he is us.”

On the other hand, I find it somewhat redeeming to find that the sharpest critics of Israeli brutality tend to be Jewish themselves, whether living in the U.S., Europe or in Israel.

Bob Belenky


Power to the Letter Writers

My heart was gladdened to see a response to my May 10 Forum letter, “Commercially Regulated Freedom.” Discourse is a healthy exercise for one’s wits. Unfortunately, the author of “A Generous Letters Policy” (May 16) seems to confuse denigration with my intention of giving feedback to this newspaper’s editorial and advertising staffs. If it came across that way, my sincerest apologies. The writer noted that, “the editors make few changes to well-written submissions.” Nearly a third of my letter wound up on the cutting room floor. I call that suppression, but it could be due to the editor’s good taste.

My point is, why be complacent? We have a good paper, but why not make it better? And why shouldn’t we complain when the area for ads dominates that of the letters on a single page by a ratio of 3-to-1?

To heck with the capitalists. Power to the people!

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction

Mongolian Schools Need Volunteers

Several years ago, English became obligatory in the curriculum of Mongolian grade schools, though few teachers are well-trained to teach the foreign language. Since 2002, I have placed people in schools throughout Mongolia to teach English, mainly English conversation. These volunteers support Mongolian teachers who appreciate the help of native speakers. More than 150 people have taken up the challenge; none has regretted it.

Housing is provided for the volunteer. A small salary may be paid if the volunteer will stay for at least one semester. Volunteers must pay for travel to and from Mongolia. There is no placement fee.

People interested and ready for such a challenge can contact me at

Anita Fahrni

West Newbury, Vt.

‘Freedom’ on the Menu

After President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, France, England and Germany met with Iranian officials to discuss how they will keep the arrangement in force going forward. Accordingly, to hark back to a similar incident years ago, Trump has ordered the White House chef to change the names of some of the menu offerings. They will now be called freedom fries, freedom muffins and freedom potato salad.

Pete Bleyler

West Lebanon

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