Better With Bernie
[Re Off Message: "Sanders Breaks His Silence on Trump's Election," November 9]: I had hoped for "revolutionary" change as much as white, male, unemployed coal miner from West Virginia. Thanks to blind support for Hillary Clinton, we have elected a racist and demagogue. We had another option in Sen. Bernie Sanders — a man I've watched for more than 30 years, who is honest as the day is long and has not changed his positions based on what folks want to hear.
Elitists like Sen. Patrick Leahy supported Clinton (and the whole malodorous Clinton and Democratic National Committee machine) before Bernie even announced his campaign for president. Bernie received 86 percent of the primary vote in Vermont; so much for representative democracy. The DNC and Clinton machine railroaded Bernie. Leahy has been in office far too long; our founding fathers never imagined or encouraged career politicians. Senator, it is time for you to beat it on down the line.
Others, like former governor Madeleine Kunin, supported Clinton for primarily one reason: She is a female. How will president-elect Donald Trump empower women? Kunin's efforts helped elect Trump.
Time for Democrats and the DNC to take the high road and work with the elected Republican leadership, just like they wanted the Republicans to work with President Barack Obama.
Kunin and Leahy: Respectfully, please heed the advice of a recent Nobel Prize winner:
Your old road is
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'
[Re "Moran on Main? Officials Seek Solutions for Memorial Auditorium," September 21; Soundbites: "242 Main Announces Last Show," October 19]: With 242 Main, a national landmark, Burlington has something unique and purposeful for its younger citizens to benefit from as they learn important lessons about being self-confident, having a voice, recognizing they're part of a community and participating in art. It's a rare and necessary resource for youth, many coming from backgrounds that make 242 a critically important positive formative experience.
As a city, we can stand up to say we value that.
The future of Memorial Auditorium is a blank book. No plan exists yet to repair, replace or redevelop it. It's an opportunity for us all to choose — as a community — to combine many of our social and economic needs and work together to achieve them in a place that shines with the diversity and creative perseverance we're capable of. We have the chance to choose to value art, our youth and our place in history enough to include them while we expand commerce, housing and revenue through the redevelopment of Memorial.
There's no reason we would choose not to, beyond preferring expediency over our deeply felt community values that have improved the lives of Burlington kids for 30 years.
All we have to do — as voters, parents, young adults, engaged citizens — is to want to preserve a cinder-block hall with more historic and cultural relevancy than anything else Burlington has built in the last 30 years.
Two Mondays ago began the Jewish holiday of Simhath Torah, and I found myself with my family, surrounded by friends, singing and dancing with the Torah — the scroll of the first five books of the Old Testament — accompanied by an accordionist and kids playing every percussion instrument known to humankind. My children were fascinated as Rabbi Amy pointed out various "highlights" of Jewish history in the unfurled Torah scroll which stretched around the room, supported by loving hands, young and old. This was just one evening in the life of Ohavi Zedek synagogue, which has been my spiritual home for 16 years.
In Molly Walsh's article "Jewish Genesis: A New Congregation Is Born in Burlington" [October 26], I struggled to recognize my congregation. While it was clearly Walsh's goal to profile a new congregation, it came across more as a "compare and contrast" between the old and the new. (As many times as Ohavi Zedek was referenced, no one there was contacted for the article.) As I read, I imagined other readers inferring that Ohavi Zedek is socially regressive, stodgy or irrelevant. I think of my progressive friends, my innovative rabbi, my diverse and dynamic synagogue community, and I am perplexed by our portrayal. I certainly support people finding spiritual fulfillment where they will, as long as it does no harm to others. There is room for all types of Judaism in this town, but if we are pitted against one another or offhandedly disparaged, harm will certainly be the result.
[Re "A View From the Cockpit," October 19]: Really? Are we kidding? Everyone knows that the purpose of locating the F-35s at Burlington airport is so that Sens. Bernie Sanders and Patrick Leahy can continue to receive large campaign contributions from the military-industrial complex. Are we now saying that the reason for locating the F-35s in Burlington is to deliver a rain of bombs on the people of North Korea? From Vermont, with love? What alternate universe are we living in?
We can also understand that the fighter pilots so admired by the author support policies that will let them play with the world's most expensive and exclusive personal electronic devices. But the author and the pilots appear to be oblivious to the dinosaur in the room. If, as they say, this weapons delivery system can actually avoid all Korean defenses, is it unreasonable to assume that, by the same logic and using similar technology, the North Koreans and the Chinese and the Israelis and the Russians and the Yemenis and the Saudis and the Iranians and the Pakistanis and everyone else will be able to develop similar systems that will circumvent our own defenses?
We are on a clear express track — still, and perhaps close to the gruesome end — toward the mutually assured destruction of the species.
Louis "Mannie" Lionni