Forum, Oct. 4: Our Biggest Threat: Traitors

Wednesday, October 03, 2018
Our Biggest Threat: Traitors

Our country faces serious dangers, but the very worst is our traitor president and those spineless traitors in Congress. I don’t know how anyone who loves America and democracy could vote for them again. The president and Congress have done so much damage to our country; worst of all, they have grossly neglected their oaths of office.

The country’s top cop lied to the FBI three times under oath. You or I would be in prison. Julius Caesar was murdered by his senators and his protégé, Marcus Brutus. Benedict Arnold was an early American hero of the Revolutionary War who later became one of the most infamous traitors in U.S. history. Trump will be remembered as the most heinous traitor of all time. His people in Congress are not traitors to him, but to every citizen in the United States.

I believe there are three main groups of Republicans. The first are the rich and powerful. The religious right is the second, and they have been fooled by the first group into believing that a pro-life stance is the only thing that matters. There is only one place in the Bible that refers to “pro-life” — “Thou shalt not kill.” Why isn’t it mentioned more? But what was mentioned in almost every chapter of the New Testament, spoken to us directly by Jesus himself? Feed the hungry, house the homeless, cure the sick. We are the richest country since the beginning of time, but we are also the only major industrialized country that doesn’t provide health care for all of its citizens.

Oh, there’s another commandment: “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” — or wives, or your neighbors’ children, like former Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. The religious right seems to be OK with ignoring this commandment. So why do they want to be part of the Republican Party? Because they think they are better Christians than all the other Christians. So, why aren’t they doing what Jesus taught us?

Jim Daigle


Vt. Democrats Are Desperate

As far as I know, the last statewide referendum in Vermont was in 1986, when voters rejected the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Since then, unlike other states, Vermont has withheld from voters the opportunity to weigh in on such issues as civil unions and same-sex marriage (mandated by court decisions) and the legalization of marijuana (enacted by the Legislature).

To the best of my knowledge, Vermont and New Hampshire are the only two states with two-year terms for all statewide offices. Apparently the voters of these two states believe in keeping their politicians on short leash, so each biennial election in effect becomes a referendum on statewide issues.

The upcoming Vermont gubernatorial election will be a referendum on the policies of Gov. Phil Scott, who, notwithstanding his prudent fiscal policies, has incurred the gun lobby’s ire for his fairly courageous initiative to ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. The liberal Democratic/Socialist/Progressive Party seemed to scrape the bottom of the barrel by fielding in the primary a 14-year-old boy ineligible to vote — the state needs young blood but this is hardly the way to go about it — and a transgender candidate. It seems the desperate party has played the novelty card. The Democratic nominee, Christine Hallquist, claims to have had death threats, primarily from out of state. This is not the way we do things here in Vermont. Nothing new and fresh has been forthcoming from this candidate — just the same old threadbare sugar-daddy promises of free health care and college education for all without regard for how the voters will pay for it.

I will work and pray for Scott’s re-election.

William A. Wittik


All Rise for Climate Justice

There’s a beautiful aerial photo on the Valley News website attached to Bill Nichols’s Sept. 16 Opinion column (“Can ‘Progressive Populism’ Stop Climate Change?”). For anyone who missed it, the illustration spells out, quite clearly, “Rise For Climate Justice.” In his column, Nichols points out our failure as a nation to confront the approaching climate crisis and notes that a few scientists think authoritarianism could be a tool for slowing down climate change. In this age of “alt” this and “fake” that, I’d like to see their credentials. Science can be described as the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. And as such, I’d expect scientists to exhibit curiosity, rationalism, even skepticism— but not authoritarianism.

I suppose if there can be good scientists who do good work, there also can be evil scientists who conduct bad science. Be that as it may, suppose some think tank (or other body, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists) were to host a panel of legislators and engineers to sort out paths to climate justice; would it be authoritarian of them to design an optimal solution and implement it?

There is no known method of un-toasting bread: Once you pass the tipping point, there’s no going back. It’s the same deal with the ecosystem: The prospect of the Gulf Stream (and other systems) slowing, and even stopping altogether, has worried many experts in recent years. The damage accumulates at an ever-accelerating speed, with record-breaking weather, melting ice caps, larger firestorms, yet the debates ramble on.

We must stop running out the clock and commit to something well engineered. Cap and trade? The Essex Plan? Whatever option is favored, just get going on it. Time’s a-wasting! As the oceans rise due to our poor stewardship, we must abandon the route to “climate change” for a path of sustainability. Get behind the Rise For Climate Justice movement — and make sure our legislators are on the same path.

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction

Imaginative Action Is Required

I have been unclear as to exactly what is meant by the “deep state,” or why it has been such a worry to the right half of American politics. I’ve concluded that it is a conjectured collection of people who have held appointments in the federal government, people who have a supportive loyalty to traditional political principles.

If so, one can then hope that enough coherence remains among this elite that it can act to save itself from the malice and chaos that seem to be infecting our national political life of late. Imaginative action seems to be required now; intelligent editorials and op-ed essays are welcome, but they are not adequate to keep our entire whole state from sinking any deeper.

David C. Montgomery


No Alzheimer’s Walk Coverage?

I recently had the privilege of walking with about 300 people who came to Lyman Point Park in White River Junction to show their support for finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. This dread disease affects more than 5.5 million people in this country, and the number is increasing rapidly as he population ages. It’s troubling that there’s no cure yet, but it’s even more troubling that it’s something we don’t fully acknowledge for reasons such as fear and shame. We will never be able to find a cure if we don’t begin to fight for one, and we can’t begin that fight unless we are willing to talk about it.

I seems to me that the Valley News can play a significant role in helping us achieve that goal. I was disappointed to learn that this year’s Alzheimer’s Walk was not covered by this newspaper. The walk raised $92,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association, and there are still donations coming in.

How wonderful it would be if the most prominent newspaper in the Upper Valley could contribute to this important cause by keeping its readers informed about what progress is being made to end a disease that will soon affect one out of five people in this country.

Donna Grant Reilly