Friday April 12, 2013

Where your
tax money goes

Editor of the Reformer:

Editor of the Reformer:

Monday, April 15, is Tax Day. Each year, approximately half of the federal income tax goes into a U.S. military that is more and more out of control -- sequester or no sequester. As I write this letter, I am looking at a March 22, 2006 Brattleboro Reformer news article titled, "Kollmorgen gets $2.8 Million contract for Naval Work." The article points out that Senator Patrick Leahy secured the contract as a senior member of the Senate Military Appropriations Committee. Leahy is quoted in his visit to this Brattleboro plant as saying, "There are things that we’re always going to need. I hope there may be peace in that area (Iraq), but the U.S. is not going to disarm. There is a trend, a trend that I welcome, to be more technologically advanced."

Our cities and towns (including Brattleboro) have become dependent upon Pentagon spending. Anybody who works for social justice knows the difficulty of peaceful change or economic conversion when jobs are affected. As a result, even decent people like Senator Leahy fall under the seductive spell of the military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower so strongly warned us about when he left office. However, we do have the power as individuals to choose where our money goes. We don’t have to pay for war.


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Our refusal to pay will not make a significant difference in the military budget, but it might make a difference to our consciences. On Tax Day, stop by our war tax resistance information table outside the Brattleboro Post Office between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pick up a brochure or booklet and learn from the experiences of hundreds of people over several decades who have redirected their refused war tax dollars to organizations that help people.

Daniel Sicken,

for Pioneer Valley War Tax Resistance,

Dummerston, April 9

How what you eat
can affect you

Editor of the Reformer:

The new link between meat consumption and heart disease, discovered by Dr. Stanley Hazen of the Cleveland Clinic, is just the latest evidence linking meat consumption to killer diseases that cripple, then kill, 1.3 million Americans annually. Hazen’s study showed that carnitine, an amino acid contained in all meat products, is a major factor in heart failure.

Similarly, an Oxford University study of nearly 45,000 adults in last January’s American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to be suffer from heart disease than people who ate meat and fish. A Harvard University study of 37,698 men and 83,644 women, in last April’s Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of total, heart and cancer mortality.

We have sacrificed the lives of 10,000 American personnel and trillions of dollars in waging two wars to avenge the deaths of 2,600 Americans in the 9/11 attacks. When will we wage a bloodless, low-cost war on the killer meat-based diet, potentially responsible for as many as 1.3 million American deaths annually?

In the meantime, we have the power to raise our own life expectancy by adopting a meat-free diet. An Internet search provides ample resources.

Brent Regan,

Brattleboro, April 9

RFP? What’s that?

Editor of the Reformer:

In "Strolling into the River Garden?" (April 5), the Reformer wrote that BABB announced earlier this year that it wants to sell, or get help running, the Robert H. Gibson River Garden, and the downtown development group has opened up an RFP process to solicit ideas. RFPs are being accepted until April 30 and BABB will consider them during the first two weeks in May.

Help me here. What is an RFP? No explanation was given. Would it not be logical to, when first mentioning an acronym, to precede it with a full description of what it is? It would be very helpful. RFP? Russian Fascist Party, Radio Fixed Part? Request for proposal works. (this was one of many possibilities found on Google) and it seems to fit the article subject, but it need not be so difficult.

Nick Partrick,

Vernon, April 8

Editor’s note: Point well taken. While we believed that readers, by reading the rest of the story, would understand what a RFP (Request for Proposal) meant, a simple sentence could have avoided any confusion.

On domestic violence

Editor of the Reformer:

I feel that domestic violence is a very bad problem. I really relate to this topic because I have witnessed this problem of domestic violence myself. I want to protect other people from feeling scared, like me.

I believe that domestic violence is a danger to the victims of abuse.The reason why I think this is because the victims could suffer pain, physical and mental, for the rest of their lives. Another belief I have on the matter of domestic violence is that children of people who beat others physically or are being beaten grow up believing violence is OK, or the way of life.

The victims of domestic violence have pain for the rest of their lives because if you have been physically or mentally beaten up you will have at least one memory of it. I know this because I have had memories and is not just something you forget. According to Domesticviolencestatistics.org, "Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted or beaten." This means that if you are beaten or abused as a women, you could be scarred for life or physically hurt. Everyday in the U.S., more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends." This means that if you have a bad relationship you could end up dieing. This is very surprising because this is another reason why we are losing so many women, because of the boyfriends or their husbands beating them up.

Some people think that domestic violence is nothing to worry about, but if you think about it, domestic violence is one of our main problems. If all violent men have children, then the violence could go on for generations. According to Domesticviolencestatistics.org, "Studies show that up to 10 million children witness domestic violence." This means that kids are witnessing more domestic violence than they should, and it’s not good for children to be around this because it scares them and because it is a bad influence.

Stopping domestic violence is important to me because someone in my family was abused by their father. To help stop domestic violence you could donate money to NCADV, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, or you could help stop it by reporting signs of domestic violence to the police. Please help stop domestic violence before more people get abused.

Christian Towsley,
sixth-grade,
Academy School, April 12