Appreciation for Putney Road
Editor of the Reformer:
At last count I added up at least 105 businesses on Putney Road, this short but heavily travelled and important road in our beautiful and civic minded town of Brattleboro, which I am proud to be a part of. There is Hannaford, a another major supermarket (Aldi’s ) on the way. There are two colleges, three large motels, many retail outlets, eateries, banks and, importantly, residential units tucked away on each side of this road, with residents that include children who wait for their school bus right next to this road.
I guess a lot of facts play a role in writing this piece, safety and common sense being key, yet it is my autistic son who is getting to know his community which propels this plea. My son, who would like to travel to his favorite Chinese restraint at the end of the week when he has earned his allowance cannot, since there are no sidewalks which lead there from downtown (actually they end at the river near our marina). I cannot believe, given all the people I see walking this road, there aren’t any.
I also am reminded that the Reformer reported someone just recently got hit across this stretch of road.
I also know that buses go to and from this stretch of shops and businesses but how does one cross the road? I’m sure that the town will blame the state and the state will blame the town. I really don’t care. What I care about is putting in at least one traffic crossing so there is some legal and safe way for our community members and visitors to cross. It is amazing that this has not been done yet.
Brattleboro, Oct. 18
Exploring the roots of al Qaeda
Editor of the Reformer:
Gordon Duff, at veteranstoday.com, ended an Oct. 3 article with a provocative thought: "Israel is unlikely to every [sic] fight again. Surrogates are doing that for them, first the United States and now al-Qaeda.
"Or was al-Qaeda always ‘them?’"
I have thought this for a while, ever since I discovered that Strong’s Concordance of the Bible translates Mossad (mem-samek-vav-daleth in Hebrew) as "foundation," which used to be one of the ways Qaeda was commonly translated -- as "foundation" or "base." Although, now we read mostly just "base" or even "database."
In fact, there has been speculation that the organization alleged to be bin Laden’s may have been named after Isaac Asimov’s famous science fiction trilogy "Foundation." A long fascinating article on that possibility ("What is the origin of the name al Qaida?" by Giles Foden) can be found in The Guardian.
Moreover, according to Stewart Steven’s "The Spymasters of Israel": "Many claim that the Arab section of the Palmach was in a real sense the forerunner of the Mossad today. Its first commander ... taught his pupils first how to be Arabs ... and in order to do this took them right into the mosques of Jerusalem."
Later, as part of a story from the early ‘60s, Steven writes: "But, ironically, the Israeli Secret Service, which had so little trouble infiltrating Arab countries, had considerable difficulty making any significant inroads into ... Jewish Orthodox communities. Trained to act as Moslems if necessary, none of the agents really knew how to behave like ultra-Orthodox Jews."
In Foden’s article: "[Foundation founder] Seldon is a scientist and a prophet ... Seldon uses a religion (based on scientific illusionism) to further his aims. These are tracked by the novel and its sequels across a vast tract of time. For the most part, his predictions come true." And, later: "Asimov’s story hinges on a secular extrapolation of human history based on mathematics," says John Jenkins, an expert on the author. "It’s an idea which would make a Muslim extremist cringe."
Meanwhile, the Israeli author Roi Tov tells of being told by someone closely related to the Israeli secret police Shin Beth about an event that had been blamed on al-Shabab: "’Don’t you see? Blame al-Shabab [i.e., the Youth] and you stain all Arabs at once. It was us’ ... Trusting me, he had just disclosed an Israeli entrapment operation in the West Bank." In the same post (on the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi), he then asks: "Considering this, can Western reports on the identity of al-Shabab be trusted?"
Putney, Oct. 4