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Forum, Nov. 9: Fascist Freight Train Is Coming


Thursday, November 08, 2018
Fascist Freight Train Is Coming

Democrats, principled Republicans and just plain reasonable, freedom-loving, middle-of-the-road Americans must wake up and smell the coffee. What more brutal facts do we need to see the fascist freight train bearing down on us?

We have a leader (in name only, because he has no characteristics of a good leader) who continuously lies to his people, is a coward, bully, racist and misogynist.

Who uses anger, hatred and division to get and keep political power.

Who incites followers to violence against his critics.

Who uses scapegoats to foment unrest and division.

Whose constant attacks of the free press are designed to silence opposition.

Who abets a new wave of anti-Semitism resulting in the horrific killing at the Pittsburgh synagogue.

Who delegitimizes responsible journalists while relying on far right propagandists such as, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the far-right “media” circus.

Who further politicizes the once-esteemed Supreme Court to the point that it is just another group of political hacks not worthy of citizen respect.

Who panders to racists and neo-Nazis.

Who is party (with Republicans) to voter suppression laws sweeping the country that will ensure rule by the minority. What’s next? Fomenting violence against legitimate protesters and imagined threats in order to declare martial law?

And we have a Republican Party led by the most contemptuous cowards this republic has ever seen — Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, John Kelly — who refuse to stand up for the rule of law and common decency because the leader is providing long-sought political measures (or powerful jobs) that actually hurt the majority of his supporters.

I suggest that we all put down our mobile devices long enough to read the history of 1930s Germany and Italy to understand the road we are traveling down. Wake up, fellow Americans.

Steve Kelley

Quechee

The Minimum Wage Effect

So Amazon has been shamed into increasing its minimum wage to $15 and hour to placate Sens. Bernie Sanders and Ro Khanna (“The Amazon Effect: Will Pay Boost Be a Real Boon? We’ll See,” Oct. 19). How’s that working out for its employees? As the editorial itself notes, what one hand gives the other takes away since Amazon’s employees will no longer benefit from its compensation system of performance bonuses and stock grants.

At least Amazon had a choice.

Democrats in Congress who label themselves as proudly pro-choice would take away the right of both employers and employees to choose innovative compensation programs such as Amazon’s by mandating an arbitrary minimum wage. Hourly wages may have been the norm in the 19th and 20th centuries, but are often ill-suited for today’s technology-based digital economy.

Sure, many employees might prefer straight wages and they have many employers to choose from that offer just that. It’s a shame that Amazon and other technology-based employers are being discouraged from innovation in compensation at the same time they are changing the way we live with their innovations in technology.

Andrew Terhune

Canaan

The Destruction Is the Same

Can you tell the difference between a Russian troll farm and President Donald Trump?

The task of the Russian operation is to weaken America by enhancing distrust in institutions, creating doubt about the integrity of government and widening the gulf between political ideologies. Trump uses false accusations (former President Barack Obama secretly bugged Trump Tower), attacks on the integrity of institutions or their competency (the FBI investigation into election interference), denigration of any opposition person or party (most recently the “mob”), election results (election fraud claims without any proof or support) or the most fundamental of our freedoms, the freedom of the press (the enemy of the people).

The results are remarkably similar.

The country, its citizenry and its institutions are diminished by both attacks. At its core, a democracy is held together by trust. We have no king or dictator to rule us. We rule ourselves through representative government and agencies established by that government to provide the rules of civil society.

So what is the difference between these two sources of democratic destruction? One is being indicted by grand juries for foreign interference in our electoral system and is being hunted down and eliminated from social media platforms that connect millions of people. The other is president of the United States and his words and accusations are repeated on countless news outlets, in the headlines of every newspaper and magazine in the country and are heard by tens of millions. Who is more destructive to American values and institutions?

Craig Young

Grantham

Our Health Care System Is Flawed

The tunnel vision of those who demonize “government-run health care” never fails to astound me. The article covering the visit to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center of state Sen. Steve Negron, the Republican candidate for Congress from Nashua, provides stark evidence of this (“Negron Criticizes ACA in Dartmouth-Hitchcock Visit,” Oct. 25).

He objects to the ACA because it is “so expensive” and does not believe the government should be in health care at all while, as a veteran, he receives his own insurance, for free, for life, from the government. He also suggested that veterans should have more choices in obtaining health care. “It could be as simple as a veteran has a card and they go wherever they want to go and get treated and get seen. It could be very, very simple.” Replace “veteran” with “person” and I would agree with him.

The excess cost in time, money and stress to the American people of our current health care and insurance system, with its profit incentives, redundancies and inefficiencies, is unbelievable. I have to believe we can do better.

Polly Cole

Thetford Center

Get Screened for Lung Cancer

As a radiologist, I see firsthand the damage that lung cancer can do. This November, for Lung Cancer Awareness Month, I am committed to raising awareness about low-dose CT screening for lung cancer, which has been shown to substantially reduce lung cancer mortality among those at high risk for the disease.

Many New Hampshire residents may be unaware that lung cancer is the leading cancer killer of men and women in the U.S., accounting for more than one in four cancer deaths and more cancer deaths than those from cancers of the colon, pancreas and breast combined. One of the reasons that lung cancer is so deadly is that it is usually diagnosed in later stages, after the disease has already spread. It’s important for everyone to be proactive about knowing their risk for the disease, but especially important for current and former smokers between the ages of 55 and 80 years, who may be eligible for screening.

Low-dose CT screening is the only effective method for detecting lung cancer before it causes any signs or symptoms, such as new cough, chest pain or weight loss. Too often patients receive late-stage diagnoses only after they have developed such signs or symptoms. If we can catch the disease earlier, we can prevent lung cancer deaths.

Much more needs to be done to raise awareness of lung cancer and the availability of lung cancer screenings within our community and throughout the medical community. That’s why I am joining the American Lung Association’s effort to encourage all former and current smokers to visit SavedByTheScan.org and take an easy lung cancer screening eligibility quiz to learn if they may be at high risk and eligible for screening and where they can have it done. Screening is covered by Medicare and most private insurance plans for those who are eligible.

William C. Black, M.D.

Lebanon

The writer is a radiologist and director of the Lung Cancer Screening Program at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.