Letter Box


Tuesday, May 22

Iraq war doesn't factor into impeachment effort

Editor of the Reformer:

In response to Dan DeWalt's column on impeachment in Saturday's Reformer, it isn't about the "war" in Iraq.

Once we stop allowing our congressman and others to call the occupation a war, we can begin to see the impeachment process much more clearly.

Although the most blatant abuses of power center around the war lies, the occupation, as it now exists, is not the main reason we need to impeach Bush and Cheney. Our main reasons should include their complete disregard of the Geneva Conventions, their disregard for the other branches of government and their suspension of habeas corpus.

Our main focus should include the need to protect the office of president of the United States from men and women who would be dictators and use signing laws to circumvent the will of the people and the laws of the land.

Our main concern should be that our children and grandchildren see that when laws are broken there are consequences and that we are collectively looking out for their best interests by enforcing those laws, even if it means dismissing our president and vice president.

At present, my children's generation are learning that when caught breaking laws, it is useful and indeed sufficient to say, "mistakes were made," or "I take responsibility for my actions." What does that mean? How do we hold those people to account?

If we were to use these phrases as a defense for any of the American citizens who are now facing criminal proceedings in court, it is doubtful that any of them would have their charges dropped. But, equally uncertain is whether there is at present any prisoner in U.S. custody whose crimes have adversely affected so many as have the crimes of Bush and Cheney.

You cannot reduce the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people to "collateral damage," nor can you so easily dismiss the heinous crime of sending an innocent Canadian citizen to Syria for torture with no trial, no attorney, no contact with anyone who could help him proclaim his innocence. One man should never have the power, in this country, the United States of America, to wave the right to a fair trial. This one act in itself threatens all of us and is perhaps the biggest crime of all.

I think highly of our Vermont delegation, but I am tired of hearing the impeachment referred to as a "tactic" for ending the "war." It isn't about the "war."

We cannot allow the two parties' need to strategize for 2008 overrule the people's need for a return to American values. This disregard of our very passionate need to see justice done is fueling a deep cynicism and distrust of the government that will cause long-term damage to our democracy.

Diane Tayeby

Brattleboro, May 20

Here's a 'typo' we should not have corrected

Editor of Reformer:

It is ironic that I, like many others, continually find numerous typos and miss use of the English grammar in your printing, and now when I send a letter that you print with a purposely misspelled word to make my point by using a pun, you correct the word which loses the effect of my letter. I put the word in quotations so that you would understand ... guess that didn't work. Let me try again:

To those having trouble with nudity in Brattleboro let me recommend you just "grim and bare it."

Norman Kuebler

Williamsville, May 20

Nude and a cyclist, too

Editor of the Reformer:

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Chelsy Pillsbury for her letter pertaining to public nudity in Brattleboro. In contrast to the "more mature" adults who would "protect" her, Chelsy exhibits admirable common sense. Just as it took the legendary child to say, "The king has no clothes," it seems it takes a young Brattleboro adult to say, "So what?" Bravo Chelsy!

As a Vermonter, I am proud of the independent spirit of our state and it's retention of the somewhat wild and free spirit of its founders.

As a long-time nudist, I'm glad that I can enjoy the dynamite swimming holes and hike the trails of Vermont without worrying about local nudity ordinances. While I realize I have the right to walk down Main Street totally naked, I am reluctant to do so on a regular basis for fear of stirring up the bigots whose knee-jerk response to simple nudity is to raise fears of child molestation. Nothing could be further from the truth and I could cite numerous studies confirming that, but it would hardly matter to those who project their own repressed thoughts -- and fears -- upon others to the detriment of our free society.

On June 11, the World Naked Bike Ride will take place all across the northern hemisphere. I plan on riding in Burlington, but if Brattleboro was to organize a ride I would gladly switch. It might be just what you need to engender some trust between your opposing factions.

Dennis Shanley

Jeffersonville, May 20

Nudism vs. exhibitionism

Editor of the Reformer:

Last year, an article in the Boston Herald about nudity in downtown Brattleboro prompted me to write to you.

I expressed my thoughts that I believed the young people going nude in the central parking lot were having a little fun because they knew they were not going to get into trouble.

I cautioned them that perhaps this was not the place to be nude, as many other people could be offended by it and there were thousands of other places in beautiful Vermont to do this.

Now I am reading another article about an older man actually walking up Main Street nude!

OK, this one truly bothers me.

First off, please understand that a true social nudist has no desire to offend anyone.

They are very polite and discreet and meet only at appropriate places.

Anyone walking through town nude is not a true social nudist but nothing more than an exhibitionist.

This person is someone to watch out for.

So, a warning to all the people pretending to be nudists. It is only a matter of time before enough people complain that your local officials will have to act and ban nudity in Brattleboro and what a sad time that will be as we will all lose.

Steve Padovano

Leominster, Mass.

War has created terrorists, anxiety

Editor of the Reformer:

Don Simms' letter to the editor (May 14) was right on -- it expressed well the thoughts that a lot of us have had for a long time.

I would like to offer two quotes that I have had displayed on my refrigerator door for a long time:

From the Christian Science Monitor around the start of the Iraq war:

"If there is one (Osama) bin Laden now, there will be 100 bin Ladens afterward." -- Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

From the Brattleboro Reformer: "The biggest big business in America is not steel, automobiles or television. It is the manufacture, refinement and distribution of anxiety." -- Eric Sevareid, American news commentator.

Carol L. Corwin

Brattleboro, May 14


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