Forum, Nov. 7: Trump Loves a Good Caravan

Tuesday, November 06, 2018
Trump Loves a Good Caravan

President Donald Trump loves a good caravan. It doesn’t matter that this caravan of about 4,000 desperate people are trying to walk, with children and babes in arms, the equivalent distance from New York City to Phoenix. It doesn’t matter that this 4,000 is about 10 percent of the number that crossed the border in August alone. So the number of desperate people that represent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last month represents an existential threat to America, the need to call out the Army to defend our borders, and presents a rally cry at each campaign stop.

If there wasn’t this caravan, I am afraid that Trump would have to create another threat: There has to be an enemy. Trump wins if the caravan reaches the U.S. border and he can stand tall and keep them out with the combined forces of the U.S. military and Border Patrol. Trump wins if the caravan dissolves as these exhausted people return to their lives of lawless desperation or are given sanctuary by the Mexican government. Either way, Donald Trump loves a good caravan.

Craig Young


What Will We Do With the Caravan?

How we handle the caravan of Central America migrants and the circumstances driving people to join the caravan demand some serious study. Desperate people do desperate things. The caravan is evidence of that.

My wife and I were in England two years ago. An Englishman helped us and I thanked him. He said, “You’re welcome. I would have been speaking German if it wasn’t for the USA.”

I was very proud to be from the United States when he said that, because my English mother, a schoolteacher, was bombed out of London and my U.S. Army father waded ashore on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. They made a lot of sacrifices for the betterment of millions of people, especially in Europe. I hope that, as an American citizen, I am equally proud of how we handle the caravan.

Paul Knox

Bradford, Vt.

A Chronic Misunderstanding

Your recent article “Chronic Fatigue Patients Seek Treatment, Understanding” (Oct. 14) was very informative and timely. I am writing to share with you the new name for the disease.

Because of the complexities of the disease, as indicated in the article, the Institute of Medicine was asked by several federal agencies to review the evidence base for chronic fatigue syndrome. A portion of the report issued in 2015 dealt with a name change to systemic exertion intolerance disease, or SEID. This name captures a central characteristic of the disease: the fact that exertion of any sort — physical, cognitive, or emotional — can adversely affect patients in many organ systems and in many aspects of their lives.

It is thought that the term “chronic fatigue syndrome” perpetuates a misunderstanding of the illness and contributes to the dismissive attitudes of health care providers and the public. Also, the term “myalgic encephalomyelitis” is inappropriate because there is a lack of evidence for encephalomyelitis, and myalgia is not a core symptom of the disease.

Up to Date, the Mayo Clinic and many other reputable institutions are now using the new name in their publications.

Myrna La Fleur Brooks


Editor’s note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while acknowledging a lack of agreement about the nomenclature, continues to refer to the illness as myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, or ME/CFS.

Non-Ethanol Gas Is Worth It

Dan Batchelder’s recent Forum letter (“No Fan of Ethanol Blend,” Oct. 22) mentioned several problems caused by gasoline with 10 percent ethanol (E10 gas), including that it can damage small engines like those in lawn mowers. This has been publicized — though not widely enough — since at least 2010. Popular Mechanics and Consumer Reports have published articles about how E10 gas can destroy small engines. These and other reports about how E10 can damage engines can be found with a Google search.

Locally, the Lyme Country Store sells “E-zero” gasoline, and they sell a lot of it to people who know about E10’s drawbacks: around half their gallonage, according to Liz Pippin. Cars predating E10’s introduction in the early 2000s do run better on non-ethanol, which I can attest to in my Volvo 240s. Non-ethanol costs a little more, but it’s worth it.

Michael Whitman


A Lick Can Make You Sick

I found the front page photograph and accompanying caption (“Just a Taste,” Oct. 23), unsettling. It features a 1-year-old sampling muffin batter on a wooden spoon, after his day care classmates mixed it. For obvious reasons, I will assume that each child who tasted the batter used a different spoon.

According to the national campaign message from the Partnership for Food Safety Education, “just a lick can make you sick.” For decades, health authorities and food producers have recommended against sampling raw batter. Eggs that haven’t been pasteurized or flour that hasn’t been heat-treated have infected people with E. coli and salmonella.

It is my hope that this unhealthy practice will be discontinued. If not, parents should take a stand.

Cathy Lacombe


Book Lovers Don’t Despair

Dan Mackie’s Oct. 20 column, “A Bookstore Is Essential to the Valley,” and much else, has been written about the sad decision by Barnes & Noble not to renew the lease of the Dartmouth Bookstore in Hanover.

The closing of any bookstore is a blow to readers, writers and, in fact, the whole community. But as the owners of the Norwich Bookstore, we’d like to remind readers that bookselling is alive and well in the Upper Valley. For 24 years, the Norwich Bookstore has been quietly yet enthusiastically serving the region. Success is not measured by size, especially in retail. Sometimes small is indeed beautiful because we can be nimble and adapt to a rapidly changing marketplace.

Hanover and Norwich are towns in different states, but we share a school district and folks from the entire Upper Valley take advantage of the many retail and cultural offerings on both sides of the river. The Norwich Bookstore is just two miles from the Hanover Green. We invite you to stop by.

Liza Bernard and Penny McConnel


Movie Commentary Not Appreciated

This is a message to the gentleman who was seated in the center of the upper section of Loew Auditorium during a recent 4 p.m. screening of The Wife: I came to the theatre to enjoy a couple of hours’ distraction and to focus on a film I greatly wanted to see. But your constant audible comments and smart-aleck remarks throughout ruined the experience for me.

Your insistent need to fill every dramatic pause, every quiet or critical moment with some unnecessary joke or plot assessment, despite being asked to refrain, completely distracted from my enjoyment of what should have been a compelling film.

Please show some courtesy to your fellow moviegoers next time and keep your comments to yourself. The entertainment is on the screen.

Helena Binder


Who Owns the Stock Market?

A few weeks ago the stock market, for no reason at all, dropped 800 points, and the next day, 400-plus points. How much does each point represent?

There are billions of dollars invested in 401(k) plans. Was this touched by the drop? Who got all this money? They don’t say. I said it before, this is a rich man’s piggy bank. They control the stock market. Which companies cash in? Again, they got the mine, you got the shaft, with the blessing of Congress.

To all you who invest, it’s your money they are feasting on. Wake up, America. This is how you get to be billionaires.

Robert Pollard