Forum, Sept. 5: Message of the Storms

Monday, September 04, 2017
Message of the Storms

Harvey, Irene, Katrina and Sandy — what more evidence do we need? After climate-related disasters, communities need our help both with recovery and with preventing this devastation from happening again.

It is time to connect the dots. Climate scientists agree the intensity and frequency of these disasters are happening because of climate change caused primarily by our use of fossil fuels. Can we make a difference in turning this around? Yes, we need to get educated. Go to the local website nopipelinehere.org and read Resources/Research. Talk to your legislators and town officials. We can pass state legislation that puts a price on carbon with dividends for us and funds for renewable projects. We can put in place local ordinances that stop further build-out of fossil fuel like the fracked gas pipeline proposed for Lebanon and Hanover.

We all need to get on this like our country responded to World War II and other crises. We can do this. Join us for a hearing on the fracked gas pipeline Thursday in Concord. Info is at nopipelinehere.org.

Laura Simon


The Reckless Trump Administration

The Trump administration has our country recklessly careening down an extraordinarily dangerous path, both domestically and internationally.

Here’s a partial list to consider: the casual threats to start a nuclear war; the unapologetic embrace of white supremacy groups such as the KKK and Nazis; the constant threats directed toward our southern neighbors, including military action in Venezuela; the rollback of laws that have served to protect our air, water and soil from degradation; the fundamental lack of knowledge about how government works (and worse yet, no interest in addressing this glaring deficiency); the looming tax “reform” effort that, if anything, will only serve to widen the vise-like grip of economic disparity; the ease with which the wealthiest nation on the planet was willing to make access to health care prohibitively expensive for more than 20 million of our fellow citizens; and the ever-widening entanglements with the Russian thug Vladimir Putin to win the While House.

Each and every second we gain momentum and head faster and faster down this destructive path and, as we do, it is far from clear that we’ll maintain control of the beast we’ve created.

Oh, well. We’ve had a good run. It was bound to end sooner or later.

Mark Latham


No Defense for Racism

Racism is America’s original sin (writer Jim Wallis). For the first 250 years of white settlement on this continent, slavery was legal and even legitimized using the Bible. For the next 150 years, African-Americans have lived in this country as second-class citizens.

In between was the Civil War, which was fought over the right of humans to own other humans — or more precisely, over the right of each state to decide whether slavery was to be lawful within its boundaries. In reality, that war is still being fought.

The latest battle was in Charlottesville. The precipitating event was a protest over the removal of a statue of a Confederate war hero. Defenders of the statue claim this is a symbol of their heritage, but this heritage is racist to the core, representing a culture that created a brutal slave trade, forced families to be separated on the auction block, and enabled the accumulation of white wealth from the work of slaves.

These defenders are unrepentant, expressing no shame for the oppression, exploitation and dehumanization of a race.

What else has racism produced?  Early in our country’s history, our government forced Native Americans from their homes, pushing the “savage” race relentlessly westward as white immigration continued. In Germany, Nazis celebrated the master (Aryan) race, murdering “inferior” races by the millions. There is a strong sense of shame over this “heritage,” and the champions of Nazism are not celebrated in public statues.

 Throughout human history, racism has produced an immense amount of human suffering.  How can we call it anything but evil? It makes a mockery of human justice and is a betrayal of the American promise.

Allan MacDonald

New London