More to the story
Editor of the Reformer:
In response to a recent letter ("Learn the myths and facts about Israel," Sept. 3), I would note that I cannot find fault with the writer’s patriotic remarks about "Our first duty as citizens is to question everything ..." I am hoping she takes into account how blessed we are with a Constitution allowing that and a president now demanding Congress -- our duly elected representatives -- face a tough choice with Syria.
What I do find fault with is her assertion of the "proxy wars" the United States has been engaged in on behalf of Israel for the past 12 years. Was that what George Bush was doing to us? How clever of those Israelis. Or was it maybe, oil, or you can name it, reader; make your choice. And, how about her remarking on the importing to the United States from Israel the ideas of offensive surveillance and police state tactics. Such crafty people those Israelis. Oh, yeah spare me -- like we didn’t have enough to contend with when J. Edgar Hoover reigned.
Further, the writer suggests that the truth would finally be revealed as to why Israel exists if we would only read the books she mentions. In addition, she goes on to quote an 1895 diary note from Theodore Herzl plus other inflammatory "information" as to the nature of Zionism. Dare I ask, what next? Could this be a new way to restate the "Protocols of the Elders" so finally tuned by Thomas Ford? Never mind that her quotes are entirely out of context with contemporary international events. It reminds me of quotes we could find today about black people written by southerners during the 19th century in order to suit questionable purposes then and now.
I would like to suggest two respected authors: David Grossman, an Israeli journalist and novel writer who contributes insight to sensitive issues raised by the Israeli occupation; the other author, an American, Joan Peters, gives us the real facts on the ground as to the origins of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine.
Perhaps, the letter writer is quite aware, or maybe not, of equating the phrase of "our special relationship" with Israel that is the coinage used by Winston Churchill to describe the US-UK partnership. I do not think her letter intended that to be the case. But in my opinion, we do have a partnership as necessary with Israel as it is with the UK. Again, if the writer reads further she may turn around and agree.
Wilmington, Sept. 5
Involuntary medication sometimes
is the only answer
Editor of the Reformer:
I am writing to express support for the careful consideration of change to the current laws regarding the use of psychiatric medication on an involuntary basis. I recently retired after working in psychiatry for 40 years in Vermont as an RN.
I believe that the laws as they stand today, at times, act as a barricade to relief of the suffering of some of our people at their most vulnerable times. Most people have never experienced seeing another human being in a profoundly psychotic state or in a horrific manic episode. People in these states are suffering. They are suffering an illness and symptoms outside of their control.
This is not suffering for which there is not relief. The thoughtful and judicious use of medication can interrupt the suffering. The current laws, in many cases, prevent this from happening for days, weeks, months. Watching someone living this tortured existence day and night, knowing that there is relief if it can be applied, seems inhumane.
There are good reasons for the laws that protect the mentally ill. There are very good reasons to examine those laws to be certain that they are a protection and not a barrier to treatment. Any change in the laws that dictate use of medication on an involuntary basis will require that all parties use a measured and thoughtful approach which keeps the best interest of the patient who is in need as the focus. It will not be an easy process . I believe that it is critical for those who suffer the ravages of these most devastating illnesses that we make progress on this issue.
Brattleboro, Sept. 4