E. Scott Cracraft - Liberal, progressive, un-American academics

Some writers to The Sun accuse academics of being "unpatriotic" or "un-American". They often make this accusation when an educator writes something with which they do not agree. It does not matter what the teacher or professor teaches or what he or she says in class. Or, that educators are taxpayers and citizens (and sometimes veterans) too and have a right to their opinion.

It would seem to some of these writers that the First Amendment should exempt educators unless those educators agree with them. Some even cry "persecution" when anyone, especially an educator, disagrees with them. Everyone has the freedom to write and an editor has the right to publish it but does not follow that people have a right not to be criticized for what they write.

Some have even implied that liberal educators should lose their jobs! One even sent a liberal writer an intimidating e-mail to try and get him to retract a statement! This reeks of McCarthyism, especially when these writers accuse teachers of preaching "atheism", "socialism" or even "communism" whenever they criticize academics. They accuse educators of indoctrination when having never stepped foot in their classrooms. Some people chose to believe what they want to believe!

When one reads these letters, one is reminded of what happened in the 1950s during the McCarthy "witch hunts". Many state residents may not know that New Hampshire had its own version of McCarthyism, which was agitated by such entities as the American Legion and the Manchester Union Leader. A good, late 1990s film on this, "Rights and Reds", was produced by the N.H. Bar Association. Readers may be interested in obtaining and watching it. In spite of the fact that both the N.H. Executive and Legislative branches had found no evidence of widespread communist subversion in the state, the Legion and the Union Leader kept saying there were thousands of commies in the Granite State!

In Merideth, at that time, there was a high school history teacher with a special interest in the history of Russia. On these grounds, he was falsely accused of being a communist. Although a N.H. legislative committee cleared him any communist affiliation, the rumors and harassment continued and he was forced to leave the state. One cannot help but wonder how many of our current anti-educator writers to The Sun would have helped "run him out of town?"

These same writers often rage against academic tenure but do they know that the concept was developed to protect educators from the likes of themselves? However, the concept as well as that of Academic Freedom does not just protect liberals; there are many conservative educators who have enjoyed this protection. "Liberal intolerance?" When was the last time that any liberal writer to The Sun suggested that conservatives lose their livelihoods or be censored by The Sun?

Unfortunately, there is a spirit of anti-intellectualism in America which may, at least in part, explain why students in other countries are often "ahead" of ours. Educators are blamed for everything. The term "the Professor" has become a sort of punch line. Actually, the title is very honorable. After all, the best "Gilligan's Island" character was The Professor! Teachers and professors are stereotyped as lazy, underworked, overpaid parasites all the while the "dumbing down" of the American mind continues at an alarming rate.

Some demand that pseudoscience be given "equal time" in the classroom and again, cry persecution when they do not get their way. They also assume that students who do not agree with these teachers and professors are also persecuted.

This writer cannot speak for every educator but he knows those regularly attacked in the pages of The Sun and knows firsthand that they encourage debate, disagreement, and critical thinking and have never penalized a student for his or her opinions. In fact, one even promotes such "subversive" events as celebrations of Veteran's Day and Constitution day. Pretty un-American, don't you think?

(Scott Cracraft is an educator but he is also a citizen, a voter, a taxpayer, a veteran, and a resident of Gilford. He wishes to make it clear that any opinions expressed in this letter are his own and do not reflect the views of the institution where he works or its administration, faculty, staff, or students.)

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Lakes Region Profiles — Smile of the Great Spirit



On the northern shore of the big lake dwelt the chieftain of the woodlands, Ahanton. He was renowned for his courage, but even more so for the beauty of his daughter, Ellacoya. Many warriors pursued her. Yet all were rejected until one day, Kona, a young chief from a rival tribe to the south, appeared in the village. In response to the legend of Ellacoya's beauty, he had traveled across the lake in his canoe to win her hand.

Leading an expedition to expel invaders, Chief Ahanton was away when Kona walked into the village arrayed in an eagle-feathered headdress denoting him as chief of the enemy tribe. His fearlessness immediately gained the respect and affection of Ellacoya. It was not long before the entire village was won over by the bravery of the young chief. Before many days passed, Ellacoya and Kona were deeply in love. Their courtship was interrupted by the sudden arrival of Ahanton, back from his expedition. He recognized his enemy and was infuriated that Kona had taken advantage of his absence to pursue Ellacoya. Ahanton rushed at Kona with his tomahawk. Ellacoya leaped in front of her father to plead for the life of her beloved.

Now stand on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, look over the Broads, and hear the end of the story. An assembly of bark canoes made its way across the lake from the north. The canoes reached the middle of the lake. One canoe broke from the cluster. It continued crossing while the others stopped. The lone canoe carried the bride Ellacoya and her husband Chief Kona. Ellacoya had successfully pleaded for his life. Chief Ahantan, impressed by Kona's bravery, had consented to their marriage. As the couple journeyed to Kona's tribal territory, Ahantan and his tribe had escorted them to the mid-point of the Broads. Hundreds of eyes watched as threatening storm clouds gathered. Suddenly, the dark clouds parted and a single ray of sunlight shot across the sky, illuminating the newlywed's canoe. "This is a good omen," shouted Chief Ahantan. "From this time on, these waters will be called Winnipesaukee, for the great spirit has smiled upon my daughter's marriage."

Who wouldn't want to live in such a romantic place as the Lakes Region? Part of its beauty is the richness of its history going back millenia. In other places, gray skyscrapers and dark pavement obscure the past. But here, the sites of legends are still discernible.

The heritage of the Native American presence in this area is strongly reflected in the names. Even the legendary figures of our story are immortalized. Ellacoya Beach in Gilford stretches over 600 feet and looks out towards the Sandwich and Ossipee Mountains. In Moultonborough, what is now part of the national award winning community of Windward Harbor was previously a portion of the land that Herbert Dumaresq bought in the early 1900s. Dumaresq named his estate Kona Farm after the hero from the romantic story. The Ossipee Mountains stretching along the northern shore of Winnipesaukee derived their name from the Abenaki language. The Pemigewasset River which runs through many Lakes Region towns including Holderness, Ashland, New Hampton, Bristol, and Sanbornton, got its name from the Abenaki "Pemijijoasek," which translates to "where side entering current is." Squam Lake was originally known as Keeseenunknipee, meaning "the goose lake in the highlands." It was later called another Abenaki name, Asquam, before being shortened to its present version. Lake Winona was named after a Native American princess who could understand the voices of birds. Lake Winnisquam, Opechee, Waukewan, Kanasatka, and Wicwas all derive their names from the Abenaki.

The Weirs is of particular historic interest. It was a gathering site for many tribes. The Abenaki called the spot Aquedoctan, which means "place of good fishing." Every year tribes would arrive to capture the shad that migrated through the Weirs Channel. This passageway between Winnipesaukee and Paugus Bay provided a shallow natural sluiceway to net fish in baskets called "weirs." Other major villages in the Lakes Region included Plymouth, Moultonborough (called K'chi-Nayok), and Ossipee. Smaller campsites were known to have existed at Meredith Neck; Bald Peak Colony Club in Melvin Village; Tuftonboro Neck; Clay Point in Alton; and Quannippi (Alton Bay).

A 1956 map entitled "Indian Trails by Chester B. Price" prepared by the State Planning and Development Commission shows many of our main roads were once major trails whose beautiful names have been replaced by the utilitarian. For instance, Route 3 from Lakeport to Northfield and continuing south was once called the Namaskik Trail. Route 11 and 11B from Alton Bay to Weirs Beach was the Winnebisagua Trail. The Co-Joss (Coos) Trail was a major route from southeast N.H. that passed through what is now Lakeport, along the west side of Paugus Bay through South Down Shores to the Weirs, continued along the west side of Meredith Bay through Grouse Point to Meredith, and north along what is now Route 25. In Center Harbor, the trail diverged due north and continued to Littleton. Route 109 from Wolfeboro to Moultonborough was part of another major trail from the seacoast called the Abenaki Trail. Route 132 from Ashland to Concord was once the Pemigewasset Trail.

When you drive around the Lakes Region, remember the story of Ellacoya and Kona hidden in time. These are the same waters, the same shores, the same trails where the events took place. Scientists say we live in a time-space continuum; that the events in the past are still taking place but we cannot see them as they now exist in another dimension; that time is like a train ride - you only see the scenery you are passing and not what you passed earlier or that which is to come. History calls Ellacoya and Kona's story a legend. But somehow as you look out over the Broads of Winnipesaukee, you know it is true. Someday you may be able to breach the time-space continuum. The clouds concealing the past will part. A single ray of the sun will illuminate the lake and you will hear the gruff voice of Chief Ahantan shout in his unknown tongue, "Winnipesaukee!" – the smile of the great spirit.

The story of Ellacoya and Kona was recorded in a 1932 book by the New Hampshire Federation of Women's Clubs entitled New Hampshire Folk Tales. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market. Mary O'Neill is a sales associate at Roche Realty Group in Meredith & Laconia, NH and can be reached at (603) 366-6306. rocherealty.com

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Sanborn — The much-missed parlor

My first recollection of the parlor (or palour, if you like a French flair) was on the Beverly Hillbillies TV show. Old Jeb moved from Bug Tussle to Beverly with Grannie, Jethro, and Ellie May to a 32-room, 14-bath, 21,523 square foot magnificent mansion located at 750 Bel Air Road. They had a grand foyer, a dining room with a fancy eating table, Grannie's kitchen, a "cee-ment" pond, and the parlor where they could greet the Drysdales, Jane, or other "city-folk" that might come a callin'.

The origin of the word "parlor" was from medieval Europe and was used to denote two rooms in a monastery. There were inner and outer parlors where the clergy, who, despite the vow of silence, could talk about the Patriots and Deflategate without getting caught. The outer parlor was used to greet visitors and conduct business. The inner parlor was where the clergy could talk amongst themselves, play cards, and possibly make wine or beer... Indeed, the work "parlor" is derived from the French word "parley" which means to talk. Parley vous?

The term parlor made its way into residential homes in the 18th and 19th centuries where the front parlor was used to greet guests and entertain. It was the center of family gatherings to celebrate births and weddings but also to hold funerals. As such, this was the most important room in the house and therefore it was decorated and furnished with the very best the family had in order to show the rest of the world their social status. I have noticed older homes in this area where the front parlor, or living room as we call it today, has ornate wood work, a fireplace, nice hardwood floors and then the next room back would have lesser quality and hardwood floors where the center portion of the room is finished in pine rather than hardwood to save money.

Today, we don't call any room in our house the parlor. We have replaced it with the living room, the family room, the great room, and even the Man Cave. But parlors live on outside the home. We have tattoo parlors, ice cream parlors, beauty parlors, pizza parlors, billiard parlors, and, thankfully, funeral parlors (not that we didn't want Grandpa hanging around a little extra longer there next to the wide screen TV.) There is even the well known Polly's Pancake Parlor if you are familiar with Northern New Hampshire. And, of course, there are lots of massage parlors that you say you have never visited.

But, the parlor at home, whether you call it the living room or family room, was and still is the most important parlor. Back in the Victorian era (that's even before black and white TV) when groups of people gathered in the parlor they got bored looking at each other. So they invented games such as Charades, Blind Man's Bluff, and the Dumb Orator (that's not a reference to a real estate agent.) These were to become known as Parlour Games. My kids played Space Invaders, Pac Man, and Asteroids in the parlor but someone thought "Video Games" sounded better.

Then there were enterprising and clever sorts that would entertain the guests with simple feats of magic sleight of hand, and illusion. Disappearing coins, card tricks, levitating cigarettes, and lots of silk scarves were used to mystify and amaze. Many a Houdini got his start in the front parlor. As does many a real estate agent who sits and meets with his new clients there. But, while real estate agents can be extremely entertaining and can even perform magic on occasion, the parlor along with the rest of the house has to be priced well in order to make it disappear. Anyone want to play Pictionary?

There were 1,107 residential homes on the market as of November 1, 2015 in the twelve communities covered by the Lakes Region Real Estate Market Report. The median price point came in at $264,999 meaning that half the properties were priced below and half were priced above number. This inventory level represents a 12.4 month supply of front parlors on the market...

P​ease feel free to visit www.lakesregionhome.com to learn more about the Lakes Region real estate market and comment on this article and others. Data compiled using the NNEREN MLS system as of 11/11/15. ​Roy Sanborn is a sales associate at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-677-7012.

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Jim Hightower - Not even fellow 1 percenters want Jeb Bush

If you are a presidential aspirant and you have to tell people that you are a person of integrity — there's a very good chance that you are not.

And those odds at least quadruple if you have to hire a talking head to attest to your honor; how intriguing, then, that a spokeswoman for the Bush campaign was recently trotted out to tell us that, "Jeb's record, both in office as Florida's governor and in the private sector as a successful businessman, is one of integrity." The testimonial from his paid mouthpiece was necessitated by the still-evolving news story that, after leaving the Florida governorship in 2007, he immediately cashed in on his name, state government knowledge, and contacts. Bush became a richly-paid legislative consultant and board member to major corporations that had received lucrative benefits from Florida's government while he was at the helm of it.

With cynical chutzpah, Jeb, the presidential wannabe, now campaigns as an ethics reformer, piously preaching against the corrupt coziness between money interests and government officials. But in the last eight years, Preacher Bush has pocketed at least $18 million in personal payment from his own quiet spins through the revolving door of government-corporate corruption. For example, Jeb was only out of government office for four months when he got a nice sinecure as a board member of the insurance giant, Tenet Healthcare (which just happened to run several of Florida's private hospitals under Florida's Medicare program). In 2006, Tenet was found to have cheated patients and taxpayers with more than a billion dollars in overcharges. To settle this malfeasance, the corporation paid only $7 million.

Meanwhile, Tenet has gushed in recent financial reports that it has "benefited greatly from Mr. Bush's extensive background in government service, his perspectives on public policy and social issues." In heartfelt gratitude, during the past eight years, this one corporation alone has put more than $2 million in Bush's pocket.

The Tenet case clearly shows that Bush suffers from a total lack of integrity, but poor 'ol Jeb seems to also have a terminal case of "Mitt Romney disease" — he just keeps blurting out asinine comments that reveal the fact that, in heart, soul, and political mindset, he is yet another "son of a Bush."

His inner-bigotry against the poor, coupled with his cartoonish concept of the black community's political motivation, was outed recently when he was asked how he planned to win the votes of African-Americans. "Our message is one of hope and aspiration," he responded. Okay, Jeb, go positive, so far so good! But then the deep prejudice derived from his narrow upbringing as a child of privilege surfaced. His campaign message "isn't one of division and get in line and we'll take care of you with free stuff," he asserted with a sneer. Then, to punctuate his little lecture on how to appeal to low-income black families, the multimillionaire heir to the Bush fortune said he would tell them: "You can achieve earned success."
Yes, Jeb — instead of hard-hit people lining up to get what you call "free stuff" (like unemployment compensation and health care), thinks it better to challenge them to "earn" success. Tell them to have the same gumption you did — to be born to rich parents, to be welcomed as "legacy" applicants into the most prestigious schools, and to have their fathers open the doors for them to "achieve" financial and political success.

Yet the former "shoo-in" for the GOP presidential nomination can't figure out why he's running fifth in New Hampshire and fifth in Iowa, even after pouring millions into a month-long blitz of TV ads to goose up his appeal. Such shallowness, callousness, and condescension expose an ingrained contempt for all who don't live in Bush's elite zip code. No one but his fellow "one-percenters" wants someone like that in the White House.

(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)


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Bob Meade - Violating the oath

Members of both Houses of Congress, and the president, take an oath of office that requires each of them to abide by the Constitution. In the oath of members of the House and Senate are the words, ". . . support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic", and in the presidential oath are the words, ". . . and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States". Clearly, each elected official is required to abide by, and to protect and defend, the words in the Constitution.

Part of the Constitution is the Bill of Rights; the First Ten Amendments. These Amendments were necessary to secure ratification of the Constitution by the States. The First Amendment is deemed to be the most important and reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances".

The importance of the two preceding paragraphs is that it can be argued that elected members of the government, in both the Legislative and Executive branches have seriously failed to live up to their oath of office by passing legislation, namely the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), that has the effect of attacking the "free exercise clause" of the First Amendment, and by the Executive branch making unilateral changes to that law after it had been enacted, without getting the approval of the Congress for those changes.

With the legislation passed and signed into law by the president, the bill which no one had a chance to read prior to its being passed, then became available and its dictatorial aspects that directly attacked the "free exercise" clause of the First Amendment were exposed. While the PPACA law consisted of 381,517 words, regulations having the force of law, which were issued by the Executive branche's Department of Health and Human Services, totaled 11,588,500 words.

Article 1, Section 7, Paragraph 2, of the Constitution provides that legislation passed by both houses of Congress shall be presented to the president who can accept it as written and sign it into law, or, if he has any objections, he is to return it to the house of Congress in which the bill was originated. When the president signed the PPACA bill into law, it had specific requirements that were to be met. According to the Galen Institute, the president acted unilaterally 32 times in making changes to the law, without seeking Congressional approval. It would appear that the president violated the oath he took to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution's Article 1, Section 7, Paragraph 2.

In addition to the above violation, it must be noted that the Federal Government, through the PPACA, made numerous challenges to the First Amendment, specifically by prohibiting citizens from their right to the free exercise of their religion. The law and its regulations demands that religious institutions and citizens either violate the tenets of their faith or be severely fined for not doing so. For example,

— Religious institutions have resisted the provision in the PPACA that free birth control be included in the insurance plans they provide to their employees and, in the case of their colleges, to their students.
— Religious institutions have resisted the requirement to have a variety of birth control measures included in their insurance plans, including "morning after" pills that cause conception to be terminated.
— Religious institution hospitals have resisted the demand to provide abortion services. It should be noted that these hospitals provide 20 percent of all the hospital beds in the nation.
— Religious organizations that have taken a vow of poverty and that provide nursing care to the poor, were required to either provide their employees with health care which included contraception and the morning after abortion pill, or to be subject to penalties and fines in the millions of dollars.
— Businesses owned by deeply religious people that have historically provided their employees with health care coverage that included a number of contraceptives, but who did not want to include any abortion inducing pills or other abortion services that would end a life, were forced to seek relief from the courts.

We are witnessing a callous disregard of our Constitution by those who have taken an oath to preserve, protect, and defend it. If we, the people, passively accept what has been done because it doesn't affect us, what will our reaction be when it does?

(Bob Meade is a resident of Laconia.)

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