Forum, Oct. 6: It’s Time for Us to Change Course

Friday, October 05, 2018
It’s Time for Us to Change Course

The Armistice Day 100th Anniversary Peace Demonstration, March and Program that I wrote about recently has been canceled (“Give Peace a Chance in Hartford on Nov. 11,” Sept. 26). We want local veterans organizations to know that we fully support honoring veterans.

I want to speak the truth as I see it. Wars of aggression are illegal. Our military has been at war for 17 years and is involved now in wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Tunisia, and is threatening war in Iran, Venezuela and possibly North Korea. None of these countries has attacked us. It has 883 military bases in 183 countries. Since World War II, illegal attacks by the U.S. have killed 20 million in 37 nations.

We are busy creating enemies everywhere, especially Russia and China. Instead of helping to create a multipolar world of cooperation with other countries, we insist on being the world’s bully. We, as Americans, must face the fact that we are a failing empire and it’s past time to change course.

It won’t be easy. Millions of us work in industries that make staggering profits out of war and arms sales. What if these companies instead figured how to become part of the green revolution? Or better yet, what if we turned toward a more people-friendly economic system that didn’t see bottom line no matter what as the only object of business?

It’s up to us as Americans. Do you care about the millions of dead, injured and homeless we leave in our military wake? Email me at peagreen81@icloud.com Let’s imagine something different and resurrect the peace movement in the Upper Valley. And the world will be as one.

Patricia Greene


City’s Rec Director a Treasure

It seems that most letters to the newspaper complain about some aspect of the writer’s life or some national or local malaise. Would it not be refreshing, from time to time, to recognize a few gems we enjoy by living in the Upper Valley?

One such sparkling example is Paul Coates, director of the Lebanon Recreation and Parks Department.

The scope of his work and his impact on the region is almost too vast and far-reaching to effectively enumerate. His work in the arts, with children, with fitness and with sports enriches all our lives here, directly or indirectly. But, more important, his infectious energy, always with a smile, simply makes it all enjoyable and fun.

His organizational skills involving the Front Porch Music Series, the variety of community road races and all the many other innovative programs to get more young (and old) people off their couches and away from their computers to enjoy the myriad great outdoor experiences available here make him a local treasure we should all pause to acknowledge.

Patrick and Ann Hayes


High Praise for Hawks Founder

Plain and simple, Missie Rodriguez is a saint (“Soaring Through Sports: Upper Valley Hawks Special Olympics Program Turns 20,” Sept. 23). It is a true privilege to know her.

Jim, Lynn and Jeremy Cote


What’s Your Big Hurry?

It used to be nice to go for an enjoyable ride in our car, just to get out and enjoy Mother Nature and the beautiful scenery. Now all you encounter on the roads today is a whole lot of would-be NASCAR drivers.

You could be doing 45 mph in a 40 mph zone, and those NASCAR drivers tailgate so close you can count the pimples on their faces by looking in your rearview mirror. Why are all these people in such a hurry to meet Jesus, or to send you and your family to meet him?

On secondary roads, the speed limit is usually 40 mph as posted; interstates average 65 mph.

I am in no hurry. I will get there a few minutes later than you, but safely I hope. So if you are in a hurry to meet Jesus, don’t follow me. I am not. Fist and fingers will not help.

Slow down and enjoy your life. It will go by soon enough.

Robert Pollard


We Know He Is. But What Are We?

Can we all get out of the schoolyard now? (Except for the kids, who need as much running-around time in the fresh air as they can get.)

Progressives are hurling coat hangers, abuse and threats. “Gotcha” attempts turn out to be mini-shaggy dog stories or lies of omission, and no presidential idiocy is too small for commentators to clutch their well-worn pearls over.

At this point I’m starting to cheer the wisdom of middle-schoolers running for elected office.

We knew before Donald Trump managed to get elected president that he was a sleazy huckster who’d say anything to get a headline. Why do we keep wasting energy on opera buffa outrage?

Having reached the early flowering of my mature years, and being (gratefully! gratefully!) an ex-Noo Yawkuh, I can remember when someone being a Republican didn’t automatically mean he or she was a crazy troglodyte, and that Democratic political venality was as common as larva in blueberries. The lesson here is that labels aren’t indicative of moral values or probity or anything at all, really.

So, progressives, ask any Republicans with whom you may still be on speaking terms why they are Republican, and if they think their own professed values comport with how our president and his administration behave. Republicans, ask any Democrats if insults and abuse of opponents comport with etc. etc.

And after the uncomfortable silence has ticked on for five minutes or so, let’s try to figure out together — as happy citizens of a reasonably sane state — how we can begin to encourage good people to run and bad people to not have the guts to, and what we need to build healthy communities and a healthy country, and how we can stop looking like fools in front of the kids ’n all.

Sarah Crysl Akhtar