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To the editor: A number of today’s (July 27) letters and opinion pieces evoked strong feelings for me. I suppose that’s your goal, but none of them seemed very thoughtful. Rather, they were cartoonish at best, probably not your main goal for these sections of the Reformer.

Mr. Friant’s letter about yoga at the Retreat Farm ("Retreat Farm pushes yoga out") seemed like a petulant request to "speak to the manager." But did Mr. Friant actually try to talk to anyone at the Retreat Farm about his concern, in an effort to find a solution, or did he just want to stoke resentment via a public forum? From his letter, we don’t know if he engaged in discussion to find a solution, or not.

Bob Fagelson’s letter ("Weeding through the conspiracy theories") is equally cartoonish. Maybe I’m too literal, and it was all an extremely sly joke. He writes, “I’m not a virologist, but …” No, you’re not. Stop there. If you really want to contribute to a conversation about the origins of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, direct readers to reliable sources, and skip your presentation of unsupported suppositions.

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Finally, Mr. Keelan’s op-ed about boycotts ("Vermont's potential boycott list") tries to blame Joe Biden for a lack of comity in Washington. This is a joke, too, right? Many of us learned in nursery school that relationships are two-way streets requiring willing participation, dialogue, and compromise. President Biden and many congressional leaders have offered their hands to Republican colleagues in sincere efforts to work for all Americans, only to be stonewalled or lied to. His suggestion otherwise is comical – at least, it would be if the challenges our country faces weren’t so serious.


Todd Smith

Brattleboro, July 28