Why Treat Essential Workers So Badly?

by Lawrence Wittner On March 19, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memorandum identifying the nation’s 2.5 million farmworkers as “essential” workers. Soon thereafter, agribusinesses began distributing formal letters to their farm laborers, also declaring that that they were “essential.” Of course, it shouldn’t have required a government-business effort to establish this point. Without farmworkers, there is no food. And the American people need food to survive. But, remarkably, over the course of U.S. history, farmworkers, although essential, have been terribly mistreated. Whether as slaves, indentured servants, sharecroppers, or migrant laborers, these millions of hardworking people endured harsh and brutal lives, enriching others …

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Collect Renewable Energy Payments for Rooftop Solar

To the Editor: As a member of the Science Technology & Energy (STE) committee of the N.H. House of Representatives during the past three years, I have been dealing with issues surrounding energy generation, renewable and sustainable energy, and energy efficiency. As part of that process I became aware of the fact that as a rooftop solar owner I am eligible to be registered as a renewable energy generator, allowing me to collect revenues. Each Megawatt Hour MWh of generating capacity qualifies the owner for one Renewable Energy Certificate [REC]. These RECs are sold at the New England quarterly auction. It turns out that when …

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Why Should We Trust Double-Dealers?

To the Editor: It was perhaps inevitable that the debate over Coronavirus policy would fall victim to the partisan divide. Protestors on the political right are pushing for the elimination of stay at home policies and the opening up of the U.S. economy while discounting the seriousness of the epidemic. The liberal left postures that data and science should drive the decision to re-open and that a premature relaxing of stay in place rules would result in the reemergence of the virus. It is clear that many protestors on the right have overly discounted the threat of the virus. It is extracting a grievous toll …

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There Is No Vaccine for Hate

To the Editor: Four-plus years of compulsive viewing and reading of disturbing political news, commentary, tweets, and documents (looking at you, Mueller report)—more per day than I ever spent watching the Watergate hearings (yes, I am that old)—is good for neither soul nor psyche. But if you see scorpions in your home, it is impossible and even dangerous not to focus your attention on them. There is some comfort in knowing I am far from alone in my feelings about the state our country is in. And there is some clever humor in cartoons and tweets that can still make me smile. But there is …

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Captain Trump of the RMS Titanic

To the Editor: There isn’t any iceberg. There was an iceberg but it’s in a totally different ocean. The iceberg is in the ocean but it will melt very soon. There is an iceberg but we didn’t hit the iceberg. We hit the iceberg, but the damage will be repaired very shortly. The iceberg is a Chinese iceberg. We are taking on water but every passenger who wants a lifeboat can get a life boat, and they are beautiful lifeboats. Look, passengers need to ask nicely for the lifeboats if they want them. We don’t have any lifeboats, we’re not lifeboat distributors. Passengers should have …

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It’s Not Just the Bleach

To the Editor: President Trump’s recommendation, aired on national TV, that Americans drink or inject disinfectant to cure Covid-19, is not a standalone instance of his lack of judgement. It is part of a pattern of irresponsible behavior, lack of respect for facts or science, and mental chaos demonstrated during his entire presidency. A few of many examples: He has suggested dropping nuclear bombs into the eyes of hurricanes; he proudly proclaimed that the Revolutionary Army took over the airports in the 1700s; he seems to believe that the F-35 stealth fighter is literally invisible in a fire fight “just like the ones he has …

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