Forum, Aug. 12: Scaramucci’s Legacy

Friday, August 11, 2017
Scaramucci’s Legacy

Anthony Scaramucci, White House communications director for 10 days in July, was very entertaining as well as temperamental, foul-mouthed, untruthful and boastful — in fact, a perfect Donald Trump surrogate. He was completely ill-suited for the job, of course, but I miss some of his colorful language. In particular, one statement he made: “The fish rots from the head down.”

I like proverbs, those distilled bits of wisdom of the ages, and was unfamiliar with this one. But why had The Mooch made such a fitting, yet unflattering, observation about the Trump administration that he was joining? Was that reference a Freudian slip of his electric eel of a tongue?

A Forum writer’s recent letter reminded me of the importance of the message of this proverb: that corruption in a leader will inevitably corrupt all around him. Hence the delusion of the letter writer who stated that Trump’s personal faults are irrelevant as long as “he has attempted or has done most everything he said he would do while campaigning” (a false statement, in any case. He has only claimed to have done so; facts speak otherwise).

For this writer’s information, the “long list of suspicious activities” supposedly committed by Hilary Clinton have been proven to be lies told by the Trump campaign and its supporters, including Fox News and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Also, the Obama administration was unable to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act during its tenure solely because of a campaign of obstruction (the Tea Party, financed by the billionaire Koch brothers), by Mitch McConnell and the Republican-controlled Congress.

Alice Morrison

Newbury, Vt.

A Heartening Exchange of Views

It was heartening to see the many letters weighing in on the topic of The Washington Post and the frequency of its appearances in the Valley News. The letters expressed different opinions and insights. They provided constructive evidence of the value of hearing thoughts different from one’s own, and reinforced my point on the need for diversity. We hope to see more such reader interactions in the future.

One of those letters commented that it is perfectly understandable, and acceptable, when Valley News editorials are reprints taken from the Post, when the opinions of the papers align. I fully concur. The letter went on to praise the Valley News for the diversity of its op-ed selections, correctly differentiating op-eds from editorials. However, it did not reconcile this comment with the data that half the op-eds I sampled were all taken from a single source, the Post. Some diversity.  I still maintain the paper can do better. This applies to the news pages as well.

As a frequent contributor to the Forum, I still struggle with the fact that saying less is often better. Somewhere in the hallways of the Valley News is a copy editor assigned the challenge of editing letters. At least with mine, that person has done an excellent job deleting extraneous words and sentences, allowing the central point to stand more clearly. Kudos.

Tim Dreisbach

South Royalton

Safer Eclipse Viewing

Thanks to letter writer Michael T. Quinn for warning eclipse viewers about counterfeit eclipse viewing glasses. Unfortunately, his advice is incomplete.

I heard on National Public Radio (sorry, I don’t remember what show) today that eclipse watchers should use glasses purchased only from vendors vetted by the American Astronomical Society, because the counterfeiters have caught on to applying a counterfeit “ISO 12312-2” label. How evil! Ruining people’s eyes to make a few bucks. Here is the page with the list of reputable vendors: https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters.

Peggy Richardson


Fine Article, Fine Concert

Thank you for the fine article about the upcoming concert featuring the phenomenal Norman Kennedy (“Scottish Weaver Set to Sing In Upper Valley,” Aug. 10). I encourage anyone who can make it to go see and hear this Scotsman, who the National Endowment for the Arts in the U.S. deemed a national treasure and master artist, in a rare Upper Valley appearance.

 Staff writer David Corriveau touched on some of the ways that Kennedy incorporates life and work and history into his singing, but you just can’t comprehend how it is all a part of this man without witnessing it pour forth in performance. To Kennedy, the old ballads truly are the stories of  his history and tradition, still relevant today. As you listen to him sing songs to accompany the “waulking” of newly woven cloth, pounding it to strengthen and shrink it, you can feel the rhythm and communal passing of the material. And his unaccompanied love songs share their yearning from deep inside. But the listener will be blown away by Kennedy’s breathtaking rendition of port-a-beul, or mouth music, created to accompany the schottische and reels when dancers had no bagpipe or fiddle available for accompaniment, as their complexity and speed increase to rousing ends.

Norman Kennedy continues to return to his home country to share his talent and knowledge of the old ways to many who no longer know their own heritage, and I thank Skip Gorman for bringing him to us in both East Grafton on Monday and Sharon on Wednesday.

I hope as many folks as can will take advantage of this rare and glorious treat.

Jon Gilbert Fox


Losing and Winning in Politics

Only in this country can you win the presidential popular vote by almost 3 million votes and lose by Electoral College voting. Talk about voter fraud: The politicians out-gun the voters.

You remember the Republican chant, “Lock her up.” If you live in a glass house, don’t throw stones.

Donald Trump has embarrassed the American people all over the world. Long after he comes to New Hampshire, he calls it a drug den. As I said before, he should be checked out, because he is very unstable.

Robert Pollard