Forum, Jan. 13: The Insidiousness of Outsourcing

Friday, January 12, 2018
The Insidiousness of Outsourcing

The Tribune News Service article “World Leaders: U.S. Is Losing Its Stature,” published in the Dec. 27 Valley News, indicates many diplomats and foreign policy experts agree that Donald Trump has reduced U.S. influence. To wit, senior American diplomat Nicholas Burns said the administration’s strategy was riddled with contradictions that have left the U.S. ineffective.

My preference is effectiveness over stature, but in Trump’s pursuit of “making America great again” he aims for neither. Unacceptable!

In my recent letter (“Least Popular President Ever,” Dec. 26), I pointed out the unfilled positions in the diplomatic corps and left it to the reader to consider the ramifications. Allow me to put a finer point on that: If the positions were left unfilled so that they may be outsourced only when needed, would the crisis wait for placement? What a fool believes, he sees.

Donald Rumsfeld’s Sept. 10, 2001, speech on the privatization of the Pentagon didn’t address that predicament, but would the conversion have gone smoothly if our military were fully engaged the next day? One can trace the outsourcing trend back further in history, but my point is privatization has become integral to both government and business. Now, thanks to Betsy DeVos’ vision, education is in the crosshairs of privatization.

Two more recent Forum letters testify to the insidiousness of our economic trajectory, and I think the time is ripe to do something about it. In Deep Economy, Bill McKibben pointed out the world doesn’t have enough natural resources to sustain endless economic expansion. We must stop the current administration’s fiscal irresponsibility by replacing the politicians who foster such. We must stop the minimization of democracy the same way. I think both of these goals are within reach, given the popularity of the current regime. I imagine if the Democrats play their cards right, both House and Senate will be theirs after the midterms, and if the commander-in-tweet is still in office in 2019, he’ll be handing it over to someone who’s fit for the job.

Kevin McEvoy Leveret

White River Junction

Don’t Believe the Pot Peddlers


The 1987 public-service ad sponsored by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, now known as Partnership for Drug Free Kids, asked: “This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?”

Do you remember this public service ad? I am beginning to think that those who represent us in the House and Senate of Vermont (and dare I suggest, our country) do not.

Those who use marijuana “recreationally” function with addled brains. They make poor decisions. They neglect their families and their communities. They react slowly. They endanger themselves and others. Sadly, for many, the “recreational” use can and will lead them to devastation as they try more drugs in their never-ending quest to find something to alleviate the realities of their lives.

Introducing any foreign substance into one’s body will result in some sort of complication or alteration of healthy function. Read the mandated warnings on any pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs. Exposure to substances — especially when the body is still developing (from the womb to age  21) — will affect brain development, organ development, etc., for life.

The use of marijuana is not as innocuous as the cups of coffee I enjoy every day. Coffee will not destroy my family relationships. It will not addle my brain or cause me to harm or neglect my children, grandchildren or my family and friends.

You are deluding yourself if you believe an age limit of 21 on the use or possession of marijuana will keep it out of the hands of our youth. That certainly has not worked for alcohol or tobacco — ask any older relative.

Do not allow yourselves to be swayed by the “snake charmers” who would peddle the legalization of marijuana as a good thing. It is no more than a way to introduce more money into the coffers of our state. It is not in the best interest of our children, grandchildren or citizenry. Do you really want to expose your children, grandchildren and yourself to people who have limited functions of decision making and safety?

Wake up and smell the coffee! Contact your representatives.

Dawn Crary


Push to End Citizens United

A 28th amendment would overturn the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, which gave human constitutional rights to corporations and struck down laws that provided limits on campaign spending, with increasingly frightening consequences.

Legislators, volunteer citizen leaders, activists and allies now have an incredible opportunity to make New Hampshire the 20th state calling for the historic 28th Amendment, with 69 cities and towns in New Hampshire calling for this amendment.

There is a public hearing scheduled Wednesday, at 10 a.m., at the Statehouse in Concord (Legislative Office Building, Room 206).

Contact your state legislators and tell them it is past time for New Hampshire to demand change.

Elizabeth A. Trought


A Little Respect, Please


To the women and bus driver who use the Ascutney park and ride: I don’t always park there, but when I do I don’t appreciate the hand gestures or profanity directed toward me and my wife because we park in the handicap parking spaces. If any of you had a handicap, I’m sure you would park there and have a different outlook.

The handicap parking spaces are not there for the bus to pull into and load passengers. It is not my fault that you all decide to congregate in these spaces instead of the shelter provided.

Over the last two years, the mob mentality has affected several of you and occasionally someone bangs on my windows and tells me or my wife to move.

My wife has cerebral palsy and has hand controls and a handicap plate on her vehicle. I spent 26 years in the military and am a totally disabled veteran. I have handicap plates on my vehicle.

I know that the bus you ride goes to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I hope none of you are directly interfacing with patients. If you treat patients as you treat me and my wife, maybe you are in the wrong profession.

Nelson S. Fontaine Jr.


A Lot of Love for Kay MacLeay

Often on Monday mornings, when I read “A Life” in the Valley News, I wish that I had known the featured person and had them in my life. Occasionally there is someone I do know ... Lafayette Noda, David Chellis, Don MacLeay, Gretchen Taylor and, in Monday’s issue, Kay MacLeay (“ ‘If You Wanted to Know Something, Just Ask Kay,’ ” Jan. 8).

Kay and Gardiner MacLeay were woven into the fabric of my family’s life through church, the fire department, the post office, the store and friendship. They were always there. When their house blew up I joined a group of other Cornish, Plainfield and Meriden residents who tenderly salvaged and wrapped Kay and Gardiner’s things while they were in the hospital. There was a lot of love there for them that day.

When we found out that they were finally to return home after many months away, my brother and I started making calls to form the heroes’ welcome mentioned in the feature. Several dozen of us lined the street across from their house. Fire trucks and saluting firefighters in uniform lined up on the house side.

As Kay and Gardiner’s car turned onto Main Street they at first thought that another disaster had struck their house. But in moments, something very profound and beautiful happened, as they realized that we were all there to bring them home, with the love that sometimes can only happen in a small town.

Not a dry eye to be seen. It was one of those experiences that emblazons itself on your heart for all time. And they are much missed.

More than 50 years ago, Kay gave me a little iron horse that she had as a child. For some reason I carried it in my pocket to her recent memorial service. It is battered and chipped, but I think I will keep it a while yet ... in memory of Kay.

Nancy Chapman Elliott