Letter Box


FDA still can't get it right

Editor of the Reformer:

I live in Vermont and have been married to my spouse for over 10 years. Both the Episcopal Church, to which I belong, and the state of Vermont recognize my marriage and even work to support it and our relationship. Now, the F.D.A. says that if I have a sexual relationship with my spouse I will be banned from donating blood to help my fellow citizens. It appears that the F.D.A will not and does not acknowledge the sanctity of marriage, will continue its policy of prejudice and stay with its misperception that "all gay men are alike." During this time of the Christmas season, when we celebrate that God became human, I wish we could have done better. When might we expect a public policy that acknowledges the good in man (yes, even "gay man") to be caring, responsible, and even sexual while at the same time being a good citizen and having the best for our fellow citizens in our hearts, minds and bodies. I wish the F.D.A would allow me to love my neighbor as myself and give blood to help that neighbor.

The Rev. Thaddeus Bennett, Newfane, Dec. 24

VY decision was stupid

Editor of the Reformer:

My annual soapbox letter on Vermont Yankee. The premature and shortsighted closing of the power plant: Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Dan Marx, East Dummerston, Dec. 30

A very distressing day

Editor of the Reformer:

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This past Monday I experienced a highly emotional and devastating day. Two teenage boys from my neighborhood brazenly came into my yard where I have bird feeders and suet cakes for the birds. These boys waited for the birds to feed, and they slaughtered them, one by one. They killed a variety of birds, finches, titmouse, thrush, blue jays, cardinals, and woodpeckers. They also killed four of my five squirrels.

When I caught them in the act, I asked them what they were doing in my yard. One replied, "killing birds," like it is a normal thing to do. For these boys, I guess it was. I got their names and I called the police. When the officer got here we found dead birds, bloody leaves, and feathers, from where the boys picked up the dead birds. When the officer returned from talking to the boys, she said the boys verified that they did pick the birds up after killing them. Were these their trophies, or a head count so they could brag about how many birds they killed? The boys got to keep their guns. They got a slap on the wrist (so to speak), and a citation for trespassing. Where is the retribution for my feathered friends that I sadly buried?

I believe their guns should have been confiscated, never to get them back, and they should have had to do at least six months of community service, and/or a fine. (After all it does state in the Fish and Game rules and regulations that it is a criminal offense to kill song birds). I strongly believe the reason for all the trouble some of our youths get in today, is because when they do get into trouble there is no meaningful punishment.

Last Monday it may have been a yard full of birds, but what will it be tomorrow? It is extremely sad to look out and what was once an activity of birds flitting from bird feeders to suet cakes, and watching five very playful and funny squirrels, to see only two thrush, three woodpeckers, and one squirrel.

Jo Butts, Putney, Jan. 2

Moderation, not addiction

Editor of the Reformer:

Many young people have an innate interest in things that make them feel good and glow with an almost excited delirium for life. They ride on a peak of being interested in everything, and, as with each to their own abilities, most of them decelerate to a variety of moderate behaviors throughout their lives. It's why the meaning of 'live and let live' fits most American lifestyles the best. Unfortunately, the few who cannot decelerate become a lawfully prescribed criminalizing template for the rest of us. It is those marginal drug "addicts" who drive legislatures to make laws for all of us. No matter that the majority of drug "consumers" are largely working, responsible people throughout our social and class strata.

In the main, those adults who decelerated to moderate behavior want to be left alone. So why are moderates lumped in with the drug addicts? Where are the laws for moderates? Why have our legislators turned moderates, who constitute the majority of Americans, into criminals, when they do not engage in criminal intent or activities, except those consensual behaviors that are arbitrarily made unlawful by a few government mortals?

But then again, how god-awful it must be, to be so miserable with yourself that you would advocate denying to everyone their freedom of choice, just because you couldn't handle your own choices? A group of Vermonters, who support an 'endowed lobbyist' organization called Smart Approaches to Marijuana, opposes marijuana legalization. Patrick Kennedy, SAM co-founder, is reported as saying his "battles with drug-addiction led him to oppose the legalization of marijuana." Regrettably, wealthy Mr. Kennedy is the biggest supporter of SAM-VT. It's unfortunate that Patrick Kennedy's personal drug-addiction troubles led him to oppose legal marijuana, but no one should tread-on the right for adults to secure for themselves their intrinsic freedom of choice.

Vidda Crochetta, Brattleboro, Dec. 26


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