Forum, Nov. 28: Time to Leave, Sen. Franken

Monday, November 27, 2017
Time to Leave, Sen. Franken

Memo to Sen. Al Franken: Your so-called “apologies” to your sexual harassment victims are more about you than them. Clearly, your only regret is getting caught. It’s time for you to crawl away.

Jeff Lehmann

Lyme Center

Thanks for Supporting CHaD

In this season of giving thanks, I want to recognize the 350 volunteers and more than 2,500 participants who came together for this year’s CHaD Hero on Oct. 22. To the towns of Norwich and Hanover and their public works, fire and police departments; to Dartmouth’s staff, faculty, students and athletes; to the more than 50 local businesses that supported the event in one way or another; and to the other residents of the Upper Valley who so gracefully tolerated and supported this mass of humanity — thank you!

Together, the community donned an ocean of super-hero Lycra and in the process raised more than $860,000 that will go to maintaining the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s services, where no child is turned away, regardless of ability to pay.

We are indeed lucky to have a community of heroes making a difference for the children of our region. Yet again we showed each other that alchemy, when practiced passionately, survives. Thank you all for the reminder.

Jeff HastingsVolunteer Race Director, CHaD Hero


Immigration Column Off the Mark

I was shocked by the many inaccuracies in a Nov. 12 column by Kay M. Haymowitz, “Why is Child Poverty so High? Hint: Immigration.” Child poverty is distressingly high, but American and immigrant children are poor because their parents do not earn enough. Immigrants do not dictate the terms of employment or our economic, political and social policies. Instead, they accept the employment environment.

We are not deluged by millions of poor immigrants yearly. Immigration from Mexico has been net zero for years. The largest group of immigrants entering today is from Asia, largely skilled and educated. A National Academy of Sciences study concluded that immigrants are an economic plus, now and in succeeding generations.

Haymowitz blames the Immigration Act of 1964 for promoting family based immigration, but we have favored family based immigration since we first restricted immigration numerically in the 1920s. The 1964 Act restricted Western Hemisphere immigration and failed to provide for an adequate number of temporary workers. Succeeding reforms have failed to correct this mistake, thus generating illegal immigration.

Haymowitz advocates an employment-based immigration system that favors highly skilled workers. She is not concerned with the workers we need in critical sectors such as agriculture and elder-care.

We should be concerned about child poverty, but let us analyze the problem factually before we scapegoat immigrants.

Evangeline Monroe


Meatless Mondays, and More

Last month, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced participation in Meatless Mondays for several city schools in an effort to improve the health and environment of the city.

Incentives for consuming a plant-strong diet include: beneficial effects on climate change and animal treatment. Going meatless is linked to lower rates of chronic preventable conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity. Minimizing animal foods produces a dramatic reduction in fossil fuel and fresh water use, thus reducing our carbon footprint. 

Raising animals for food causes immense animal suffering. Most U.S. meat comes from factory farms, where profits trump animal health and welfare.

Advertisements lead consumers to believe food animals are raised in traditional red barns. In reality, undercover reporters have been arrested for taking pictures of conditions hidden behind “Ag-Gag” laws. Large-scale production for lower prices does not reflect the costs to health and the environment, and of mistreatment of fellow sentient beings.

There are lots of easy ways to shift your palate away from meat and dairy meals, and to eat more like the longest-living populations living in the world’s “blue zones.” Their traditional diets center on antioxidant-rich foods from whole plants like legumes and beans, tubers, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. Spices are highest in antioxidants, so adding flavor makes it better all around.

To read more on the most medically supported eating plan, see Kaiser Permanente’s plant-based diet guide — free online. What about protein? A diet of only potatoes can meet full protein needs (in amounts enough to meet calorie needs), since our bodies are smart enough to recycle amino acids/protein. The nutritionfacts.org website provides (ad-free) short videos. Watch the documentary Forks Over Knives — and get the free FOK app for inspirational stories and great recipes; see also MeatlessMonday.com.    

Maura Jones