Feb. 26, 2009
Digging up the truth
I am all in favor of a truth commission, provided it goes back and covers all the last 16 years (“Liberally Speaking,” Feb. 19).
We could compare what Bush did to protect the country vs. what Clinton did to help the Democratic Party and line his own pockets. Shall we look closely into all the pardons that were sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last year of his presidency and also to help elect Hillary to the Senate? Perhaps we could prosecute someone for the illegal transfer of thousands of FBI files to the White House basement computers. Perhaps we could prosecute Hillary for selling access to her husband for $100,000 in phony futures trading.
The possibilities go on and on. I doubt Sen. Pat Leahy has anything like that in mind.
Ralph M. McGregor
Fresh perspective on President Bush
How totally refreshing to read Mike Benevento’s column “Dear President George W. Bush” in the Feb. 19 Williston Observer.
After having had to endure several years of “Bush bashing,” it was like a breath of fresh air to read Mr. Benevento’s positive and uplifting remarks about President Bush, who gave eight years of his life in leading our country through some of the most extremely difficult times in our nation’s history. Although, as Mr. Benevento points out, President Bush was not perfect (and who is?), he was a man of outstanding character and conviction, serving God and his country without caving in to the pressures of his opponents, but resolutely forging ahead with what he believed to be right.
Our heartfelt thanks to President Bush and to Mr. Benevento.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles Welner
Disagreeing with Bush and Benevento
In response to Mike Benevento’s paean to George Bush (“Right to the Point,” Feb. 19), I would like to differ with him on several points.
The lifting of the global gag rule does not mean there will be a mad dash to abortion on demand. Abortion is but one option of many when it comes to family planning. Under the Bush administration, the Health and Human Services Web site suppressed information about many types of contraception, for their misguided belief was that abstinence until marriage, or until the arbitrary age they set at 29 if unmarried, was to be the standard. Religious ideology prevailed, science was tossed by the wayside. Third world nations with untenable population growth were cut off from any assistance because the word abortion was verboten.
Concerning the bringing of democracy to other countries, and especially Iraq: With relentless bombing and the loss of untold hundreds of thousands of lives, there is still no democracy. There is, however, a U.S. embassy that exceeds Vatican City in size and a puppet government that cannot survive without massive military assistance from the United States. Perhaps democracy is not the best fit for Iraq or many other nations.
Terrorism has not been defeated. The Iraq debacle has done nothing more than increase insurgency and anger toward this country. Water boarding and other medieval torture methods have not elicited any credible information from those who have been mistreated in violation of the rules of every civilized nation and the Geneva Convention.
As far as Sept. 11, if ever there are truth and reconciliation hearings, perhaps we will know for certain whether Bush, Cheney et al. orchestrated or at the least allowed the attack to go ahead unchallenged. If nothing else, Bush showed a lack of leadership by continuing to read “My Pet Goat” instead of taking quick action when he was told of the attack.
Now is the time for same-sex marriage
I am an 87-year-old Catholic mother of eight and I emotionally and wholeheartedly support “Right to Marry” legislation for all committed, loving, caring couples who wish to spend the rest of their lives together.
Same-sex couples are simply ordinary people who have the same dreams, hopes and desires that other ordinary couples do, so what’s the big deal?
So legislators, please do what’s right and pass “Right to Marry” legislation and do it now!
Because so very many families are trusting and depending on you …
Helena A. Blair
Treat gay marriage with caution
Although there are many more dire issues in front of us at this time of economic turmoil, it seems inevitable that the Vermont Legislature will be taking up the issue of gay marriage this session. Although I empathize with every individual’s desire to belong and to fit in, I am gravely concerned that the long-term ramifications of making such a change are, as of yet, largely undetermined. It is crucial that before we move ahead and change a basic tenet of our society that we explore the pros and cons of such a move from the perspective of society as a whole: ourselves, our children and their children. It is easy to understand the anxiousness which supporters of such a change might feel on many levels, but a decision of such magnitude must be made with very careful consideration, and with great surety.
There are many related issues that must be assessed when considering the gay marriage issue. Civil unions currently provide full legal status for homosexual couples who wish to share with and provide for each other. It’s up to us to ensure that future modifications don’t take us to a place we don’t want to be.