Letter Box


Terrorism, or armed resistance?

Editor of the Reformer:

Did anyone notice the big lie in the AP story ("In Hamas-ruled Gaza, suffering and loss from latest war breed dissent," Aug. 15)?

Near the end it reads, "... how desperate many Gazans have become after the most ruinous of three bouts of major Hamas-Israeli violence since the militant group overran the territory in 2007."

"Overran the territory"? Hamas was democratically elected by the people of Gaza in response to Israel’s unspeakable agenda which has made their lives unbearably miserable. What Hamas "overran" was AP’s fact-checking department and ability to tell the truth. This kind of reporting would be laughable if it were not reprinted by trusting, small-town papers like the Reformer and were not all too typical of the consistently biased U.S. press portrayal of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I still remember an eye-opening presentation at SIT years back that examined events of the Israel-Palestine conflict in the European vs. the U.S. press. It was shocking to see how much at variance the U.S. media versions were with those in England, France and elsewhere. So this AP "gaffe" is just more of the of the same distorted view we’re fed all the time.

Hamas was elected because it built schools and provided other services for the people. Probably too because of its willingness to fight back. Noam Chomsky, long-time, Jewish critic of Israel, recently said that the real, underlying reason for this latest campaign of terror by Israel is vengeance against the recent alliance between Hamas and Fatah, the other elected Palestinian authority, which Israel and its U.S. enabler deem intolerable. If the word had been available back when, American colonists would have called the Indians, who fought for their land and self-determination, "terrorists." Instead, we labeled them "savages," which made it acceptable to exterminate them. In Vietnam, we labeled all who resisted our military presence "communists," which made it OK to kill and napalm some two million of them in the name of freedom and democracy.

I heard one Gazan during this latest massacre say that he would rather die quickly by violence than a slow death by strangulation and humiliation from the seven-year Israeli blockade and ever-expanding settlements on the hilltops of his land. AP notwithstanding, Hamas -- like the Indians, the Algerian National Liberation Front, the Viet Cong, the Sandinistas, the FMLN of El Salvador, the ANC and other liberation movements -- is legitimate, armed, Palestinian resistance.

Richard Evers,

Brattleboro, Aug. 22

Block an intersection?
Get a fine

Editor of the Reformer:

I have been a Brattleboro resident all of my 83 years, and I still walk and drive. I used to drive to Boston weekly on business and had no problem with traffic. Here and now we have a big problem in town and it is not just the blinking lights. Yesterday I wasted about an hour maneuvering about the downtown area. Three times vehicles ignored the "Do not block intersection" signs and cars could not move onto Main Street from Elliot and Flat streets.

Thirty years ago if you blocked an intersection in Boston it could cost you $500. In Tokyo the fine was about $2,000. I believe the fine for doing this in Brattleboro is only $10. It would take a fine of at least $50 to discourage the present driver behavior. Thoughtless drivers who block intersections waste fuel, time and money and tax tempers. This reflects back to the town legal beagles, who seem to ignore the problem. Out-of-towners who might be considering moving a business to Brattleboro would be discouraged. Our image is one that says not "The One and Only," but "We Don’t Care."

Demetrius "Jim" Latchis,

Brattleboro, Aug. 22

Drink responsibly

Editor of the Reformer:

Supporting the production and sales of local malt, wine and sprits is a major economic development focus of mine. Act 210, co-sponsored by Rep. Ann Manwaring and myself, authorizes the selling of beer and wine by the bottle at special events. It has been a key factor in the success of the Brewers’ and the Wine and Harvest Festivals in the Deerfield Valley.

It is no accident that Vermont is a national leader in creating local beer, wine and liquor. Expanding business opportunities in a highly regulated industry calls for a step-by-step process over time, indicated by some of the actions taken by my legislative committee, including: Authorizing wine producer permits at farmers markets to promote tastings and sales (Act 21, 2007); permitting malt beverage tastings similar to wine tastings (Act 143, 2008); licensing climate-controlled storage facilities that receive, store and transport wine ordered by third party Vermonters (Act 151, 2008); approving increased alcohol content for specialty beers (Act 167, 2008); improving marketing opportunities for manufacturers: to serve beer and wine at special events and sell by the bottle on premises; to conduct on premises and at farmers’ markets, testing and selling of fortified wine by glass or bottle; and to conduct testing and selling of spirits on premises and at special events (Act 10, 2009); permitting a malt beverage manufacturer to sell at two locations on its contiguous property (Act 77, 2010); allowing restaurant customers to take home resealed unfinished bottles of specialty beer, increasing the number of special and testing event permits, and creating a promotional railroad tasting permit (Act 102, 2010); changing statutes to expand caterers’ permits, to export wine, and to increase sales for wine makers (Act 115, 2012); allowing export of malt beverages, sale of competitor products by manufacturers, and brewer direct customer shipping (Act 64, 2013); and, accelerating tasting permission for businesses waiting formal license approval, legalizing sampler flights [more than one drink in a single order] and permitting direct retailer pick up from wine manufactures (Act 202, 2014).

While I am a licensed alcohol and drug counselor, who is a strong advocate for substance abuse treatment, I also respect a Vermonter’s right to drink responsibility and I will continue to support economic development through promotion of specialty Vermont beer, wine and spirits.

For constituents with questions or comments, please be in touch by mail at 58 Hi-Hopes Road, Wardsboro, VT 05355, by phone at 802-896-9408 and by E-mail at jhnm590@aol.com.

Rep. John Moran,

Wardsboro, Aug. 25


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