Forum, Sept. 29: From Vietnam to Afghanistan

Thursday, September 28, 2017
From Vietnam to Afghanistan

The Ken Burns/Lynn Novick series on our massive and failed involvement in Vietnam is drawing record TV audiences. We are reminded again that numerous of the “best and brightest” of both parties plied the public with lies and exaggerations for years, at great human and financial cost, as they tried in vain to suppress another culture and nationalism with military force. They included such luminaries as Goldwater, Kennedy, Bundy, Rostow, McNamara, Johnson, Westmoreland, Nixon and many others.

I would not be surprised if 15 or 20 years from now, another Ken Burns will be running a similar series regarding our ongoing miseries in the Middle East. And especially in Afghanistan, where for over 16 years we have been misunderstanding another culture and the force of nationalism, trying to get our way primarily with military force, again at great human and financial cost. The belief that the mighty U.S. has to control Afghanistan to reduce terrorist threats to us is ludicrous. Current luminaries in exaggerating include Bush, “Five Deferments” Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bolton, Limbaugh, Obama, “Five Deferments” Trump and numerous members of Congress and the media.

Raymond Malley


Implicit Bias in Reporting

If you ever need an example of what’s called “implicit bias,” look no further than Jim Kenyon (“Next Step in Claremont,” Sept. 27). This columnist, whom I respect, chooses to write twice about the racial incident in Claremont wherein an 8-year-old biracial boy suffered neck injuries from a rope placed around his neck by older white kids (as admitted by the youths’ mothers).

Kenyon wrote with concern twice about the alleged perpetrators (as did no less a publication than Newsweek) — and both times worried about what would happened to the youths. Heaven forbid, suggests Keynon, if they were somehow thrown into the official justice system.

And yet not one word of concern, either from Kenyon or Newsweek, about the 8-year-old young boy who was the actual victim.

Way to go for providing another example of “unbiased” reporting that illustrates the bias aura that continues to surround reportage on race in this country and community,

Allene Swienckowski


Unfairness in Claremont

I am writing in response to Jim Kenyon’s column on the Claremont “racial incident” (“Next Step in Claremont,” Sept. 27). I wholeheartedly agree with Kenyon’s assertion that restorative justice is the best solution. However I find that his “solution” to transfer the adjudication of Claremont’s “alleged racial incident” to a neighboring county falls short of the mark.

I believe the ultimate responsibility for the problems in Claremont lies in the Statehouse and Legislature that has consistently ignored court orders to provide equitable funding for schools and, as we learn from Kenyon’s column, failed to provide an equitable and consistent juvenile justice program across the state. If you are a child in Claremont, you can’t get the same kind of education as your neighbors. Worse, if you are a child in Claremont, you can’t get the same kind of justice as your neighbors. How can a child “live free” in a state where there is no equity in school funding and no equity in juvenile justice?

Wayne Gersen


The Barbecue Will Return

We of the Lebanon Emblem Club No. 358 wish to thank all the people who supported our annual chicken BBQ every Wednesday in August. (We offer a special “shout out” to those who come back year after year!)

We also wish to thank those who helped us by donating bags, copies, money, time and facilities. We especially appreciate all of you who helped us with marketing (as we can no longer put out road signs on public property). Thanks to all who put out signs on their private property for us, shared the events on social media, put out and gave out flyers in hotels and at work.

We also wish to thank anyone who contributed in any way. We had a record year thanks to your fine support! We will be back on Wednesdays in August 2018 for five weeks of BBQ. We look forward to seeing you again.

Ann Cougle


You May Be in GUVSWMD

A Hartland resident recently told us that she didn’t know she lived in a GUVSWMD member town. A Hanover resident was told that he did. Confusion reigns. GUVSWMD stands for the Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste Management District.

The following 10 Vermont towns are members of “GUV”: Bridgewater, Hartland, Norwich, Pomfret, Sharon, Strafford, Thetford, Vershire, West Fairlee and Woodstock. If you are a resident of one of these towns and you see a notification in any form announcing any GUVSWMD collection event in any GUV town, you are invited.

If you don’t live in one of these 10 towns and you’re not sure in which solid waste district you live, we invite you to contact your town clerk for that information. All solid waste districts offer ways to recycle or dispose of all sorts of material.

Every rule has an exception.  All Hartford residents may attend any GUV household hazardous waste collection. All GUV residents may attend a household hazardous waste collection at the Hartford Transfer Station.

We like to answer questions. Call 802-674-4474.

Ham GillettProgram/Outreach Coordinator, GUVSWMD


Yes, Guns Are the Issue

The Sept. 20 Forum letter, “Time for Gun Debate,” suggested that unfortunately, but predictably, “there are those ... who will use this event to showcase their political views.” The letter referred to a previous one by Sharon Racusin that referred to “a nation that puts gun rights over almost everything else.”

Like it or not, the original letter is correct and the horrific shooting at DHMC is just another incident to prove it. Each year there are some 30,000 of these incidents to back that up. Yet we always hear of the inalienable rights of the Second Amendment over everything else, including our lives, and never about the carnage except in high-profile ones like when 26 children and teachers were massacred in a Connecticut school. Then, of course, the talk is about how teachers should now be armed or something like that. It is almost as if our lives do not matter anymore in the face of the almighty Second Amendment.

I speak from experience, having lost two friends (both women) to shootings like the one at DHMC and surviving a drive-by shooting myself many years ago.

I am glad Ms. Racusin showed her political views. She and I share the same views and we are accompanied by a rapidly growing number of Americans sick of suffering the effects of a nation that seems to put “gun rights over almost everything else.”

Walter Carpenter