Forum, Oct. 3: Let the FBI Do Its Job

Tuesday, October 02, 2018
Let the FBI Do Its Job

It should be up to the FBI, and not the Senate or the president, to determine the credibility of the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. While I entirely agree the Democrats were late in pursuing these claims as part of this confirmation hearing, I fully support the right of all those alleging to be party to any misbehavior on Kavanaugh’s part to be able to give their testimony as to why they believe he is or is not suited to this very important lifetime job appointment. What harm is there in having all the alleged victims and witnesses interviewed and investigated as part of a job interview? I, as many, do not presume either the alleged victims or Kavanaugh to be untruthful, but would like further input before having a yes-or-no vote on this appointment.

I pray for the day our country returns to an honest administration that is respectful of all of the great people of our country, striving for the considerate, well-thought-out, fair and equal representation of all their needs, an administration giving thought to the permanency of the public’s well-being, rather than being obsessed with the permanency of tax cuts for the wealthy and promoting “love fests” with our adversaries. I look forward to the day our representatives are truly our representatives and not factions at war with each other because of party affiliations.

Please make your November vote count for a return to normalcy.

Sylvia Heath

Hartland Four Corners

Standing in Solidarity With Women

In the same week Bill Cosby faced sentencing, Brett Kavanaugh faced strikingly similar accusations. But it’s not about them. It’s about the women coming forward. It’s about all women.

I wish there was something I could say to make this reality different. But it’s also not about me. I know when the women in my life are visibly, and justifiably, upset by this topic that “it’s not all men.” I know they know that, too. Therefore, that’s not something I’ll ever say without quotation marks. Ever. I don’t take the frustration and pain women are feeling personally, other than I know women I care about are strongly feeling those emotions. What I take personally is other men, as good intentioned as they may be, saying “it’s not all men.” No kidding.

Another thing I take personally is the fight to demand better from all men regarding the issues of sexual assault and rape. Because, even though “it’s not all men,” so many men are showing us exactly why so many women don’t report incidents of assault, harassment and rape. Talk and social media posts saying men need to be careful about even talking to a woman for fear their lives will be ruined must stop. All men must stop posting things like that. All men need to be better, act better and to call out those men who don’t.

But again, this isn’t about us. Or me. I can only imagine what it’s like to live a woman’s life. I’ll never truly understand. The best I’ve got is this: solidarity.

Matthew Wood


What He Should Have Said

How sad it is that, instead of going on the defensive, Brett Kavanaugh didn’t rise above the fray from the outset and demonstrate compassion, wisdom and judicial temperament by saying something like this:

“Like everyone else, I am shocked and dismayed by professor Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations. When I was 17, like every 17-year-old, I undoubtedly did some stupid things. I know I sometimes drank too much, and it is possible that I may have done things of which I have no recollection. If I did what she claims, I am mortified, deeply ashamed and I would like to apologize abjectly. I want to assure you that I am no longer the person I was at 17.

“I believe that this incident, and countless others like it, demonstrate that, as a society, we need to do a much better job of teaching young people about the responsibilities that come with power. Whether that power comes from superior size and strength, financial resources or position, it confers a responsibility to treat the less powerful with compassion and respect, not to abuse or take advantage of them. As a Supreme Court justice, I will do my utmost to protect the rights of all.”

Instead of defusing the situation, Kavanaugh demonstrated that he is probably not a good choice for a lifetime position on the Supreme Court.

Alice Schori


‘Obstruction’ Charge Is Delusional

Republicans, or those mere smearers of Christine Blasey Ford, who accuse Democratic senators of “obstruction” are almost as delusional as Trumplethinskin himself. Just ask Merrick Garland.

Sydney Lea

Newbury, Vt.

We’re Ignoring a Systemic Imbalance

Your Sept. 16 editorial, “Crashing And Burning,” compares the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis to “a hangover that just won’t go away,” and rightly so: We the people remain under the influence. Americans are — and America is — suffering from pervasive denial about current economic reality. The share of wealth among those in the bottom half of the U.S. economy shrank from more than 20 percent in 1980 to about 12 percent in 2015, while growing from about 10 percent to 20 percent for those in the top 1 percent. One group’s share basically halved while the other doubled. Trickle-down, not.

In 2000, George W. Bush campaigned on the theme, “It’s your money.” Yet the federal government needs some of it, “in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,” which entails doing things individuals, towns, cities and states can’t do on their own.

In 2012, Mitt Romney and his supporters deflected any mention of growing inequality among Americans as “class warfare,” and there the Republican Party remains today, effectively pretending that this growing and unsustainable disparity isn’t happening.

The 2008 financial crisis offered an opportunity to address core systemic imbalance in the context of the 21st century economy. However, attempts to move beyond restoring relative normalcy (unemployment is way down; stocks are way up, in a now-nine-year trend) have been thwarted by unlimited campaign contributions from those who benefit from the status quo. Our financial system has devolved such that it’s effectively designed to fail all but the relatively wealthy, and that’s exactly what it’s doing. We’ve institutionalized pay-for-play, or more accurately, pay for advantage — financial, educational and social advantage — partly through the absurd premise that freedom of speech means it’s legal for citizens and corporations to bribe politicians. Citizens United has trumped a united — or at least a compatible — citizenry.

Chris Weinmann


Silence Makes Traffic Noise Louder

This is regarding the article on declining insect populations (“Scientists Fear Insect Population Decline,” Sept. 21).

I have been a resident of the Upper Valley for some 22 years now. When we first moved here it was actually unusual that I would ever hear traffic on Interstate 89, even though we only live three-quarters of a mile away from it, through the woods.

I would never hear the traffic while inside the house with the windows closed, and it was typical we did not even hear it outside, either. The times I did occasionally hear it was at night during the summer, when I would leave the windows open to let the cool air in.

Now, however, and really just rather recently, I am hearing the traffic much more commonly, even while watching TV at night with the windows closed in our living room. I have wondered what might cause this, and I guess traffic patterns have changed to a degree, speed has increased, vehicles differ and the like. Yet all this is unlikely to cause a change to the degree I have noticed.

What I think has happened is that, due to the insect decline, it has become much quieter outside and the traffic noise is consequently able to penetrate all the way through the woods, for thousands of feet, to our home.

I might even suggest that the decrease in bug populations has been underestimated. For if the increase in road noise is due to variations in insect numbers as the primary cause, it would really be an order of magnitude change which would account for it, not a percentage change.

John G. Lewis

New London