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Forum, July 14: Where Is the Outcry?; Who’s Laughing Now?


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Where Is the Outcry?

I suspect that many Valley News readers are closely following the struggles of the good people of Rutland, (“Rutland Won’t Vote on Refugees,’’ July 7) over the resettlement of 100 Syrian refugees in their hometown. I hope that other readers, like me, are troubled by several questions emerging from this event.

Why isn’t the state of Vermont following the Canadian model on refugees that matches Canadian hosts with refugee families? This makes a lot of sense: A welcoming host greets and helps a frightened and distressed refugee family from an embattled war zone. This also solves Rutland’s curious bifurcation over the issue. Why hasn’t Vermont asked for volunteer families or religious groups to step forward now and greet these folks and settle them among us?

Also, is the Upper Valley standing silent through all of this? Have I missed the outcries and demands to send those homeless Syrian refugees over here, to us? Have I overlooked a sudden outburst of compassion blossoming forth among us?

I did get an irony in your July 7 issue: Top of the fold, front page argy-bargy about foliage blocking someone’s view of July 4 fireworks (great outcry); versus top of the fold, second section front page about Rutland’s dilemma (no outcry).

I continue to search for evidence, perhaps somewhere between these two news items, of the true meaning of the Fourth of July and a reminder of the basic purposes of this great nation. One may be found mounted on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, which, let us remember, bears a torch of freedom and liberty, and holds a tablet dated July 4, 1776. The statue stands in New York harbor and gazes out across the open Atlantic Ocean toward those distant shores now causing us so much discomfort. Its pedestal states very clearly the quintessential American purpose and response:

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Have we laid down that lamp? Have we forgotten this promise?

Jack Shepherd

Norwich

Who’s Laughing Now?

In response to your July 1 editorial lampooning the New Hampshire independence movement (“NHexit Next?”), maybe it’s best to quote Brexit leader Nigel Farage: “When I came here 17 years ago, and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign to get Britain to leave the European Union, you all laughed at me . . . you’re not laughing now, are you?”

Technically, I and hopefully all independent folk do want you and your news staff to be able to laugh. Your future should be cheerful prosperity, free of the handcuff-happy U.S. government which so badly treats journalists. The federal system you apparently want to live under now ranks below Ghana and South Africa in press freedom. This according to Reporters Without Borders.

Meanwhile, ask yourself what would happen if one of your people tried to operate a camera inside a federal building without permission. Their domain inside this state is like a black hole. And how would you fare if one of your people got close to a major Washington, D.C., scandal as New York Times reporter Judy Miller did? She spent 12 weeks in jail for remaining silent when the central government’s goons ordered her to betray a source.

Many, many days will pass before New Hampshire achieves independence from Washington’s web of fear and censorship. But every moment that passes between now and our independence day puts you (not just us) at risk of persecution by Washington.

Dave Ridley

Bedford, N.H.

The writer is founder of NHexit.

Hope and Thanks

Willem Lange never disappoints in his observations. I want to thank him for his touching tribute to his marriage and to the sharing of good and bad through the years (“After Cancer Finding, Holding On to Hope,” July 6). Best wishes to both of you for another 60 years together. I also want to thank him for allowing me to add my name to the well-deserved kudos for the wonderful Norris Cotton Cancer Center at DHMC that he has expressed so keenly. We are so very fortunate to have this facility available to us.

Miriam Greenwald

Quechee

Examples of Pay Inequity

McDonald’s is currently advertising for new hires at $10 an hour (“all shifts”).

Bernie Sanders advocates a national minimum wage of $15 an hour and rails against income inequities.

The Valley News on June 18 reported, “D-H CEO’s $1.5 Million Tops Pay List.”

The Osher summer lecture series is entitled, “The New Medical Frontier.” Might an appropriate subtitle read, “Frontiers in Pay Inequity?”

Jim Hughes

West Fairlee

July 4 Is Worthy of Front Page

On July 4th I sat down to read the Valley News like I do every day. On the front page I read articles on the Iraq bombing, beach holidays in the U.K., the homeless task force, an “A Life” article and one on the future of Vermont farms.  Not one word on one of our nation’s most cherished holidays: our nation’s independence. In my book, July 4th will always be front-page news.  I’m very disappointed in the Valley News.

Joseph F. Safranek

Newbury, Vt.