Forum, Sept. 1: Where Were the ‘Good People’?

Thursday, August 31, 2017
Where Were The ‘Good People’?

Looking at images of the events in Charlottesville, of neo-Nazis and white supremacists carrying signs with swastikas and other Nazi emblems, arms outstretched in the Nazi salute, chanting, “You will not replace us, Jews will not replace us,” I do not ask myself, “What do they want?” I conjure up images of starving Jews, cheekbones protruding ahead of sunken eyes, standing behind barbed-wire fences, imploringly waiting to be liberated from concentration camps. I see black men swinging from large oak trees, necks in nooses, bodies charred with fire from the torture from which death could only have been a release. I see the bodies of the four little girls, cotton in their eye sockets, whose lives were taken in the 1963 Sunday morning church bombing by the KKK in Birmingham, Ala. I see the slave ships from which human beings were thrown overboard as ballast during storms. I see gas ovens.

There are many things to be said about the events that occurred in Charlottesville, but one that particularly perplexes me is this: Where were the good people Donald Trump referenced? Do good people stand shoulder to shoulder with those who espouse fascist ideology, an ideology that caused the deaths of over 25 million people among our allies, including over 418,000 Americans? Do good people, if only by their mere presence, signal encouragement and support in furtherance of a perverse cause? Would good people stand in solidarity, for any purpose, with those shouting for jihad?

Jihad is what the Nazis did to the Jews. It is what slavery did to the slaves. The scars have not healed, the walls that separate us have not been torn down. After the war, the Germans had the sensitivity to remove all public symbols of the Nazi era. Later they tore down that wall.

Will white America show the same sensitivity? Will we ever tear down that wall?

Len Ziefert


The Media Won’t Report This

On an earlier anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, I wrote a letter about the obviously preplanned, vertical and symmetrical demolition of the three World Trace Center towers. In response, a letter writer from Woodstock replied to offer me $20,000 if any “major news media” were to pursue the story that 9/11 was a staged, false flag operation.

The idea that any major news organization would offer any honest reporting on 9/11 is just plain silly. It reveals a startling lack of understanding of contemporary American life. That’s because the mass media is obviously the primary source of the distorted reality that we all live in. People need some truth, but all we get is lies. That’s why the centralized media conglomerates are becoming irrelevant. Their credibility rating is on par with the U.S. Congress. They’re currently being replaced by the free marketplace of ideas and information of independent researchers and citizen journalists. Is that not obvious?

Their desperate attempt to keep people asleep is failing. Even Hillary Clinton has been forced to admit that they’re losing the information war. Truth always triumphs eventually. And the facts of 9/11 are emerging, spreading and permeating minds everywhere. It’s being tried in the international court of public opinion, but don’t expect Fox or CNN to break the news. There’s nothing they can do to stop it, though.

Neil Meliment


A Pardon That Gives Pause

Your Aug. 26 article, “Trump Pardons Ex-Sheriff Arpaio” reminds us that Arpaio “was convicted in July of criminal contempt for violating a federal court order to stop racially profiling Latinos.” President Donald Trump has now chosen to override the judicial branch and ignore the normal Department of Justice review of possible presidential pardons, instead praising Arpaio for his “more than 50 years of admirable service to our nation.”

The German pastor Martin Niemoller famously wrote in 1946 (in one version):

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out —

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.

We are not in Hitler’s Germany, Donald Trump is no Adolf Hitler and historical parallels are never perfect. Still — aggressively pursuing, detaining and demeaning Latinos in Arizona on grounds of mere suspicion of undocumented status, treating Neo-Nazis and those who protest their demonstrations as equally blame-worthy, singling out Muslims, threatening “childhood arrival” immigrants with deportation from the only country they call home and detaining those fleeing the terrors of Hurricane Harvey to check their papers — these administration actions ought to give us pause. Is this “the land of the free and the home of the brave” that evokes the patriotism in our hearts?

Is the Trump administration really protecting our national security? Or is it not-so-subtly playing to the sympathies of those who proclaim the hateful, racist rhetoric of white supremacy?

Granite Staters and Vermonters need to call on our senators and representatives to speak and act forcefully in defense of our pledge of “liberty and justice for all.”

Bob Schultz


Support Best-Qualified Candidate

On Tuesday, Alexandria, Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol and Grafton voters will choose from one of three candidates for state representative. Voters who have done their due diligence placing a candidate’s qualifications and New Hampshire’s future above election rhetoric can make an informed choice.

This election I have decided not to vote according to political party or even for my friend, but will give my vote to the best qualified candidate. Vincent Migliore’s life experience, comprehension of financial complexities and saying no to both the Northern Pass and wind farms are only a few of my reasons. When party agendas and rhetoric are put aside and our district and New Hampshire are placed first, I believe Migliore will earn your vote.

Tom Ploszaj


Electric Transmission Choices

On Sept. 7, Gov. Phil Scott will be the keynote speaker at a Consumer Liaison Group meeting in Woodstock. The meeting focuses on electric transmission choices: “New England Transmission in a FERC Order 1000 World: Where Are We?”

FERC Order 1000 is little known outside the electric industry. It gives the grid operator the ability to require multistate funding for new transmission lines that are needed for “policy.” In the past, only lines that were required for “reliability” could be funded in that manner.

The Consumer Liaison Group (CLG) is a consumer-focused advisory group to ISO-NE, the New England grid operator. This CLG meeting starts at noon, Thursday, Sept. 7 at the Woodstock Inn, and finishes by 4 p.m. An excellent panel will discuss transmission issues and funding. The meeting is free and open to the public, but since a lunch is provided, please preregister. You preregister at the ISO-NE website. Since that website can be hard to navigate, I have also placed all the registration links on my blog, yesvy.blogspot.com.

The Sept.7 meeting will be an excellent opportunity to hear Gov. Scott and others discuss our energy future. I hope you can come.

I am one of the two Vermont members of the coordinating committee for the CLG. The other member, Guy Page, will be the panel moderator.

Meredith Angwin


Who Was Treasonous?

Janet C. Connolly says historical statues should all be removed if the honoree committed treason (Forum, Aug. 29). She says this criterion would purge Confederate images but allow American founders such as Washington and Jefferson to survive. Alas, she is cherry-picking her facts. Washington and Jefferson (and their co-conspirators) had grown up and prospered as loyal subjects of the British Crown. But then they grew disaffected and turned to violent revolt. And that revolt was surely treason.

So it’s really a question of treason you favor versus treason you disfavor. But the treason you favor seems to depend pretty much on who won! Heck, let’s just tear it all down and be done with it: no statues, no monuments, no remembrance, no history.

Robin Carpenter