Letter Box

Wednesday January 23, 2013

Which war? Editor of the Reformer:

Daisy Turner’s father, Alexander, must have been a "larger-than-life figure in Grafton" indeed, if truly, as your article "Tracing Vermont’s diverse past" claims (Jan. 21), he was a Revolutionary War veteran.

Admittedly math has never been my strong suit, but even by my calculations someone who served in a war that was fought from 1775 to 1783, even had he been a mere slip of a lad at the time, would have been something considerably over 100 years old when Daisy, who died at 105 in the 1980s, was a twinkle in his hoary eye.

Of course, then again, the article doesn’t actually specify which Revolutionary War Alexander was a veteran of. And Daisy was apparently quite the storyteller. Or maybe there’s just something about that Grafton water.

Heidi Mario,

Brattleboro, Jan. 21

Legalize the production of hemp

Editor of the Reformer:

We have a "high ranking" politician from Vermont in Sen. Patrick Leahy, head of the judiciary; why doesn’t he remove hemp from the controlled substance list? In the absence of an excuse for his ignorance or ignoring of the solution there is malice. We are all so proud of Leahy, so proud to have such a powerful man from our little but mighty-willed state. What good is his power to us here in Vermont if he keeps the continued ban on industrial hemp which protects a number of mega-industries?

Those industries include: Cotton, a crop that uses the most pesticides to grow and the most water to produce; oil (we can replace our hard plastics with hemp based ones and we can replace our fuel sources with seed fuel, grown locally); and chemical-construction (hempcrete outperforms homes now built with numerous toxins, styrofoams, fly ash, Tyvek).

I have listed just a few here, but the list goes on.

Even while the planet burns, and even more "civilized" nations, Canada and England grow hemp for industrial purposes, along with 29 other major countries, like China for example.

Leahy has got more important things to do than to deal with the federal hindrance. It’s important for him to bring nuclear payload fighter jets to Vermont, but not important for him to let farmers grow a commodity in peace. Never mind that it will take a minimum of five years to begin an industrial scale re-introduction of hemp into our manufacturing base.

It is the strongest natural fiber on Earth, that means tougher equipment to process it is required. Never mind that we are racing against time with climate change ... and Leahy has more important things to do? I am so annoyed with his laid-back attitude, I want him to get off his tush and get it done. Burn your excuses and git ‘er done, sir.

The legal place for him to go is the terms of the North American Free Trade Act. If therein, we give an external country, Canada Most Favored Nation Trade Status (as we do China), in terms of hemp, are we not entitled to the same Most Favored Nation Status that these countries enjoy? So that we must be able to produce this commodity and export products made from it to them as they do to us? Why should he allow the USA to be a captive market unable to compete globally? Why doesn’t he get on it? Is he waiting for the world to burn?

Emily Peyton,

Putney, Jan. 21

How long must we wait?

Editor of the Reformer:

Today (Monday) is a national holiday (Martin Luther King’s Birthday). For the second time, when parking in the Harmony lot, I received a parking ticket. When this happened a couple of years ago, the town admitted its error, and refunded the fines paid on that day. After contacting the Assistant Town Manager, I received word that the ticket I received today would be voided. My question to the town of Brattleboro is, how long will it take for our town to recognize this holiday?

Philip Stimmel,

Brattleboro, Jan. 21

Who has the right to kill?

Editor of the Reformer:

Discussions on potential gun-control laws now include that violent actions are possibly caused by video games, television shows and Hollywood movies which contain violence. Maybe so, but two other sources immediately come to mind, and may well be far more to blame for "desensitizing or numbing" someone towards taking the life of another. While the video games are cartoon-like characters, and although TV shows and movies contain real people, we know that no one actually dies. Not so with the death penalty in America.

The message of the death penalty is strong; it is all right to kill people in certain circumstances. Wouldn’t it send a very strong message to our society if there was no death penalty? The message being that it is not all right for one person to take the life of another. It is not all right for the government to do it, anymore than for you or anyone else to do it. The existence of the death penalty should be done away with. Killing is not right.

The second source of actions supporting violence is the wanton killing of innocent civilians, including children, by our, and other, military forces around the world. Again, the message is strong that it is all right to kill people in certain circumstances. How many years of so called civilization will it take until civilized countries reject the idea that it’s all right to indiscriminately kill innocent people?

A great American poet once suggested that "The answer is blowing in the wind." Has the wind died down? Perhaps the recent tragedies, several in the past few months alone, will cause us to recognize that the wind is still blowing and that hopefully we will hear the answer.

Ken McCaffrey,

Brattleboro, Jan. 22


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