Valley News – Forum, April 5: ‘A Life’ does Thatcher justice

Published: 05/04/2022 12:55:30

Modified: 05/04/2022 12:54:52 PM

‘One Life’ does Thatcher justice

The report “A life” of March 28 in the Valley News about Robert Thatcher and his lasting influence on family and students was a real bonus for readers, those who knew Bob and those who only knew him. Kudos to Tris Wykes for setting the story up. In addition to his sports reporting, editors might consider attributing more stories of this nature to him.

terry boon


Disproportionate investment of the United States in the war

I’m sorry to be a bearer of such sad news: America is at war all the time. Is it us, the people, who are waging war, or is it the arms profiteers and their cronies? Please stand with me and others in protesting war taxes.

We have to ask ourselves why maintain 800 military bases all over the world? Our bridges are collapsing and many of our people are queuing up for food.

To put this foreign involvement in some perspective, China only has four foreign military bases, and Russia 21. Information about these things is readily available to us, and we should be informed. A good starting point is:

It’s high time we the people look our war economy in the face. Our federal taxes are paying for our wars – $730 billion proposed for next year’s Department of Defense (DoD) budget and $32 billion for nuclear weapons (DoE). Every year, the Pentagon’s budget increases. How can this happen? Could this be the way money runs politics?

I really hate to say it, but our beloved Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is taking big money from some of the biggest arms manufacturers and corporations in the world. One is Raytheon, a longtime maker of nuclear missiles. Another is Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for the F-35 fighter jet. It’s a rotten idea. It teaches our young people heading into public service to allow corporations to buy leverage in our economy. Maybe Sanders — and all of our reps — should pledge not to take that money from the company.

Please join me and others at the Post Office in White River Junction on Saturday, April 16, 10 a.m. to noon, to “cut the Pentagon” and hold our politicians to account. This event is sponsored by Will Miller Green Mountain Veterans for Peace and the Upper Valley Affinity Group.

Duncan Nichols


Duncan Nichols is a social worker who worked at White River Junction VA Medical Center during the Obama administration when a wave of troops was sent to Afghanistan, and since then with veterans in the community.

Controversy over trans athletes

Inclusion and fairness appear to be at the center of the controversy sparked by the young transgender woman who recently won an NCAA swimming championship. But the well-accepted hormone levels in adult women and men suggest that baseline fairness may not have existed for all participants.

The normal range for testosterone levels in women is much lower than in men, 0.5-2.1 nMol/L versus 8-35 nMol/L (or

Also, it is unclear how his normal testosterone at the end of puberty before two years would affect his current performance. The NCAA and swimming associations should quickly reconsider their lax standards for future competitions, even if this outcome stands.

Andrew L. Taylor


Andrew Taylor is a physician specializing in endocrinology at Concord.

Reflection on non-violence

Attached I offer a meditation in response to my friend and former teacher, the Reverend John Morris (“What would a pacifist do with the savage menace?” March 31) as we travel to Jerusalem in this season of penance, 2022.

Mahatma Gandhi is, in my eyes, THE great revolutionary of our time. However, even he said that if non-violence is the preferred orientation, it is better to resist than to be passive in the face of evil. I think of all those Ukrainian mothers, children and elderly people who go into hiding or flee abroad while their men take up arms against a latter-day Genghis Khan.

I also remember those American conscripts, some of whom, upon returning from a combat zone in Vietnam, were immediately met with (violent) boos from overly righteous war protesters; and some of whom threw away their medals.

“Success” in practicing nonviolence is never guaranteed. Neither does bodily safety. But it has the potential “to influence the future”. The almost forgotten salt march in India is an example of this. Another is the rescue by the Danish people of the Jews among them from the Nazis during World War II. Also the Selma March. And more recently by far the most Black Lives Matter protest marches.

I was a student in the late 1950s when Reverend Coffin was a university chaplain at Yale. His preaching was remarkable as far as I can remember. At the time, I was only gradually becoming aware of what it would take to achieve some measure of social justice.

One interpretation of what Christians believe is what the season of Lent culminates in. Jesus arrives from his trip to Jerusalem (according to the Gospel of Luke) to proclaim his kingship. He meets our rejection of him. What ensues is the most decisive act of nonviolence in all of history, which ends in apparent failure. But the faith of Christians is that the Easter event is the definitive, if far from easy, answer to that.

Boris G. von York


Melvin B. Baillie