Pat Buchanan - Irreconcilable conflict?

On Saturday night, Omar Mateen was a loner and a loser.

Sunday, he was immortal, by his standards, a hero. Mateen had ended his life in a blaze of gunfire and glory. Now everybody knew his name.

He had been embraced by ISIS. His face was on every TV screen. His 911 call to Orlando police identifying with the Islamic State and the Tsarnaev brothers of the Boston Marathon massacre was being heard across America.

He was being called the most successful Islamist terrorist since 9/11. A hater of homosexuals, Mateen had, all alone, massacred more than four dozen patrons at a gay Florida nightclub, wounded 53, and driven deeper the wedges breaking up America. When it was learned that he used an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, America's gun wars were reignited.

And make no mistake. There are out there in society some few looking at what Mateen did, and how he left this world, not in revulsion and disgust but admiration and awe.

Omar Mateen will not lack for emulators. While we see him as a sick and crazed mass murderer, some will see him, as he surely saw himself, as a warrior for Islam and Muslim martyr who earned paradise.

Yet, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama seemed either unable to recognize the roots of Mateen's malice, or they were inhibited from identifying those roots by the commands of political correctness.

The president called this "an act of hate," but declined to name the source of the hatred or motive for the massacre.

Where did Omar Mateen learn to hate not just homosexuality but the homosexuals themselves? Where did he come to believe that they deserved to die and he had a right to kill them?

Where might he have gotten such ideas? Who teaches this?

Well, not only do the Taliban and ISIS hurl homosexuals off buildings and stone them to death but 10 nations — Mauritania, Niger, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Yemen and Pakistan — impose the death penalty for homosexual acts.

Peoples of these nations approve, for such laws find sanction in the holy book, the Quran. Sharia teaches that homosexuality is a vile form of fornication, punishable by death.

Clinton declared that we must redouble our efforts to work with "our allies and partners" to go after international terror groups.

Did she have in mind the Saudis and Gulf Arabs?

For they have on their books laws calling for beheading the same sort of people Mateen shot to death at the Pulse club in Orlando, and for the same reason — what it is they do.

A co-worker said Mateen had an abiding rage over the behavior of American women. Where did Mateen get that idea?

After San Bernardino, where an ISIS-adoring Pakistani woman and her husband perpetrated a massacre, Donald Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States, until they could be better vetted, and we "can figure out what the hell is going on,"

This was regarded as quintessentially un-American.

But "refugees" from the Syrian war have been found abetting Islamist atrocities in Paris. Terror cells containing "refugees" from Syria's civil war have been discovered in Angela Merkel's Germany.

We are learning that second-generation Muslims like Mateen seem susceptible to Islamist imams preaching terror against the West to advance the restoration of the caliphate.

Does this not suggest a pause, and a long hard look before we continue with a policy of warmly welcoming all refugees fleeing the half-dozen wars roiling the Islamic world?

After World War II, we vetted German and East European migrants to ensure they were not fleeing Nazis or Soviet saboteurs or spies.

No one seemed to regard that as outrageous.

Devout Muslims believe there is "no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet." Logically then, Muslim nations reject a "First Amendment" in their own societies that would protect a right of Christians to convert Muslims, or any "freedom of speech" that permits the mockery of Muhammad.

The iconoclasts at Charlie Hebdo learned that the penalty for blasphemy against Islam or insulting the prophet can be severe.

"East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat."

So wrote Kipling. Islam, not only in its extremist forms but in its pure form, is incompatible with modern Western democracy.

And the conflict appears irreconcilable.

The policy that should result from this reality is that while we fight side-by-side to annihilate our common enemies, ISIS and al-Qaida, the West should give up the idea of democratization and secularization of the Islamic world.

And those who believe Islam is the one true faith, to which all of mankind must eventually submit, should be told that they are welcome as visitors — but not as immigrants. For that would ensure endless conflict.

The more Islamic the West becomes, the less it remains the West.

(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)

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DuBois — The Adirondacks, returning to my roots

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Rock cairn at summit of Iroquois Peak, looking toward Algonquin Peak

By Gordon DuBois

The following article is the fifth in a series on hiking excursions that you may want to consider as you make plans for your summer backpacking adventures. I hope this series has inspired you to take advantage of the many trails that await you, not only in New Hampshire, but throughout the Northeast and beyond.


When I was a young boy I spent many summers with my aunt and uncle in the Adirondack Mountains at their home on Raquette Lake, which is centrally located in the Adirondack Park. During those lazy days of summer I wallowed away my time by fishing and exploring the woods around their home. My uncle Harry would take me and my cousin deep into the woods to fish for brook trout on his "secret" streams and ponds. When I became a teen I landed a job working at The Hedges, a resort on Blue Mountain Lake. On my days off I would canoe, sail, water ski, fish and swim in the clear, deep waters of Blue Mountain Lake. I also loved to climb Blue Mountain and other mountains in the area. Later in my life, after moving to New Hampshire and starting a family, I would occasionally join my brother to hike the high peaks of the Adirondacks. Later, I became more focused on climbing in the Whites of New Hampshire and other mountains in northern New England. The Adirondacks went off my radar. Then, last year, a hiking partner from Vermont, Mike LaRoss, invited me to join him on a backpacking trip to the "Dacks" and to climb several of the high peaks. I jumped at the opportunity. I remembered the beauty of these mountains and saw it as a return to my hiking roots.

The Adirondack Mountains are not geologically part of the Appalachian chain, but much older, the southern appendage of the Canadian Shield. The bedrock of this shield is over a billion years old. Over millions of years, upward doming of this bedrock and younger rock above created the mountain mass we know today. The Ice Age enveloped the mountains with glaciers thousands of feet thick that sculpted the mountain peaks and valleys. Unlike the Whites, the Adirondacks were mostly unknown until the 1840s. The source of the Hudson River was not discovered until the mid-1800s. After the Civil War, people found the Adirondacks to be an ideal location for summer vacations, away from the crowded cities of the east coast. Some of the wealthiest families in the world built their summer homes, or "great camps" here: The Vanderbilts, Morgans, Durants, Carnegies and Huntingtons. The Prospect House built on the shores of Blue Mountain Lake in 1882 became the first hotel in the world to have electric lighting in all 300 of the hotel's guest rooms. Thomas Edison was the head electrician. In 1892, the New York Legislature created the Adirondack Preserve. Today the Preserve (land owned by the people of New York through a constitutional amendment) totals 2.5 million acres and lies within the Adirondack Park of 6 million acres, making it the largest park in the nation outside of Alaska.

I met Mike at the start of the Calamity Brook Trail, which lies at the end of Upper Works Road, a remote side road off Route 28N. On this road lies the remains of the abandoned community of Tahawus and the McIntyre Mines. Still standing is the remnants of the 60-foot tall blast furnace. It was here in Tahawus, while on a hunting excursion, that Vice President Teddy Roosevelt was notified of the death of President William McKinley. From Tahawus he rushed off to Washington and on September 14, 1901 he was sworn in as the 26th President of the United States.

Mike and I spent our first day hiking into an area called Flowed Lands and found a campsite near the water. The large tract of water was created in the mid-nineteenth century by the owners of the McIntyre Iron Works in an effort to channel more water to their blast furnaces. From here we could access a number of the high peaks, including Mount Marcy, 5,344 feet, the highest summit in New York. Having arrived late in the day, we decided to make camp and climb Algonquin (5,114 feet), Wright (4,580 feet) and Iroquois (4,840 feet) peaks the following day. All three of these mountains have well-established trails leading to their summits. However, many of the other high peaks are trail-less and can only be climbed by following "herd paths" to the summits.

We began the next day in crisp, cool temperatures, hiking along the shores of Flowed Lands and Lake Colden. Just beyond Interior Outpost we found the trail that led to all three summits we intended to climb. The 2.1-mile trail climbed steeply 2,350 feet to the trail intersection near Boundary Peak. At this point we turned left and headed out to Iroquois Peak, following a well-established herd path. Iroquois offered us fine views of the high peaks to the east, with Mount Colden in the foreground with its impressive slides and unique large dike.
We then turned back and made out way up the summit of Algonquin Peak. After a very vigorous and exhausting climb, we rested for quite some time, taking in the magnificent views and considering whether to continue to Wright, another mile ahead.

With much hemming and hawing we decided to turn back and summit Wright another day. The decision was a good one as we were burnt from our climb and this would give us time to hike into Avalanche Lake, a picturesque mountain lake situated between Algonquin and Colden Peaks. The trail to the lake was strewn with large boulders, and a number of ladders and catwalks along the face of the cliff have been built to make passage along the lake possible. The view of this lake and the cliffs rising hundreds of feet above are impressive and most likely one of the most extraordinary views in the northeast. With evening approaching, we returned to our campsite and made plans to climb Mount Marshall (4,360 feet) the following day.

The hike to Mt. Marshall followed a herd path route, which climbed steeply to the peak with no views. We lingered for a few moments at the summit and then made our way back to our campsite, packed up and hiked out to our waiting vehicles. This three-day excursion whetted our appetites for more climbing in the Adirondacks. So I returned two more times to hike Colden, Cliff, Redfield, Skylight, Marcy, Gray, Haystack, Jo, Nye and Street. I plan to return to the Adirondacks this summer to continue on my quest to become a"46er". I look forward to returning to the mountains that got me started in my hiking adventures more than fifty years ago.

If you are looking for remoteness and mountain splendor, try backpacking in the "Dacks". It's about a six hour drive from the Lakes Region to most of the trail heads. There are plenty of motels and restaurants in the Lake Placid, Saranac Lake area for your hedonistic desires. You may also choose to visit the Winter Olympic training sites in Lake Placid. Trail guides and maps are available from the Adirondack Mountain Club, online or contacting them at their Lake George headquarters, 518-668-4447 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday) or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Mailing/physical address: 814 Goggins Rd., Lake George, NY 12845.

Gordon has hiked extensively in Northern New England and the Adirondacks of New York State. In 2011 he completed the Appalachian Trail (2,285 miles). He has also hiked the Long Trail in Vermont, The International AT in Quebec, Canada, Cohos Trail in northern New Hampshire and the John Muir Trail in California. Gordon has summited the New Hampshire Hundred Highest peaks, and the New England Hundred Highest in winter. He spends much of his time hiking locally and in the White Mountains with his dog Reuben and especially enjoys hiking in the Lakes Region due to the proximity to his home in New Hampton. He is also a trail maintainer for the BRATTS (Belknap Range Trail Tenders) and can be found often exploring the many hiking trails in the area. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Boardwalk along cliffs of Avalanche Lake

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E. Scott Cracraft - Fer shame, fer shame, fer shame!

Years ago, a bumper sticker read "mean people suck." This writer wholeheartedly agrees. Increasingly, Americans are becoming meaner and less compassionate toward other humans. Not only are these people "bashing" Muslims and immigrants but they also pick on the poor.
Yes, there is poverty in New Hampshire, although we like to hide it in our beautiful Lakes Region. Is this why many want to pass laws against "panhandlers?" Is it because we are ashamed to see them?
The poor who receive welfare, "food stamps" (now SNAP), W.I.C. Medicaid, surplus agricultural commodities (actually a "welfare" program for corporate farming), and other public services are under attack from conservatives and others who lie about these programs. They perpetuate myths to shift the blame for poverty to the poor. Those of these who claim to be "Christian" are the most reprehensible. What would Jesus do?
The most common myth is that most welfare recipients do not want to work. The statistics show that many ARE working but cannot make ends meet without assistance. Many work low-paying jobs with families to support. Over 40 percent of those receiving SNAP or "food stamps" work. Some are adjunct college professors! Most of rest are the disabled, the elderly, and children. The WIC program is only for children and pregnant and nursing moms. Most people prefer a decent job to a handout.
Another myth is that people are buying alcohol and tobacco with SNAP EBT cards. The program is only for food products and seeds to grow food. The few cases of fraud are amplified by the conservative press.
Some claim that people are living lives of luxury on welfare. Don't they know that the average recipient of SNAP food assistance gets only $133 per month? Others believe that most welfare recipients sell their EBT cards to buy drugs. But, testing of recipients in some states shows that this to be untrue.
Still another myth is that illegal aliens get food stamps and other welfare. The only "benefits" illegal immigrants get in this country are emergency medical care and schooling. This seems humane but we seem to be turning into an inhumane nation.
As for other benefits for "illegals," they simply do not exist. Illegal immigrants cannot get SSI. Social Security, SNAP, W.I.C., public assistance, Medicaid or subsidized housing. Some benefits CAN go to the child of an illegal immigrant who was born here and thus a citizen. Some legal immigrants do get benefits at times but they are legal and pay taxes. Many are citizens.
Legal immigrants do not get "free rides." In the case of refugees in our area, they are helped by private organizations. Some do qualify for assistance because although they are looking for work, the government is slow in getting them their "green cards."
This writer admits that years ago, he received food stamps. He was not lazy; he was looking for a job every single day but had to take food stamps. It was the most degrading and humiliating experience he ever had. Since then, he has known people who, using an EBT card in a grocery store, heard the customer behind them say, in effect, "you're welcome I'm paying for your food." How mean! In the words of Gomer Pyle, "fer shame, fer shame, fer shame!"
Relatively few Americans seem as upset about the "welfare" for the privileged: tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. Nor, do a lot of Americans get outraged that over 50 percent of our taxes fund the military, including billions equipment that does not work. Perhaps it is easier to demonize "welfare mom" than the "big boys."
In most democratic, developed, nations, a "safety net" for the less fortunate is taken as a matter of course, as something that civilized countries just do. It was once said that a society is judged by how it treats its weakest members.
These programs are not "socialistic." They were implemented to keep the poor from getting really angry and taking more radical action. If well-funded conservative interests have their way, it will make the lot of the poor a lot worse. Still, when people get hungry, they WILL find something to eat. But, will the privileged like how they do this?
Check out the FACTS!


(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, taxpayer, veteran, former food stamp recipient, Gomer Pyle fan, and resident of Gilford.)

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Howard — Reject violence, reject violence

By Elizabeth Howard


The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

— James Baldwin


Diana Wege is an artist, environmentalist and philanthropist dedicated to making the world a more peaceful place. In 2014 she founded WOVEN, We Oppose Violence Everywhere Now, a global network designed to end conflict across the globe and provide the appropriate resources, support and platform to identify peaceful resolutions to conflict. WOVEN's goal is to end violence in our lifetime. (

I work with Diana on WOVEN and last Thursday, just one week ago, we hosted a luncheon at her studio in Chelsea. Gathered around the table were people who are involved with organizations who share our goal of creating a more peaceful world.

The executive director of Abby Disney's Peace is Loud was there, as well as representatives from Gloria Steinem's Donor Direct. There were people from organizations that serve the international community through the United Nations and a member of the Board of Dining for Women. Timothy Bellavia, author of We Are All The Same Inside (, brought the dolls he helps children create as part of his educational work to demonstrate that we are all the same on the inside. There was a Korean filmmaker and artist who is using the theater and film to bring people together and Jamila Raqib who collaborated in 2009 with Dr. Gene Sharp to create a curriculum titled Self-Liberation: A Guide to Strategic Planning for Action to End a Dictatorship or Other Oppression. The book provides an understanding of nonviolent struggle to individuals in order to enable them to develop effective strategies for their struggles. She has been nominated to receive the Nobel Peace prize.

When you are sitting around a table with this group of people who are committed to peace and justice, to identifying the root causes of violence – poverty, hunger, inequality, anger, religious differences, politics, governments – you cannot help but feel a sense of hope. Working together, why can't we stop some of the senseless violence that confronts us on a daily basis? Why can't we work to find solutions through dialogue and collaboration? Why does hate prevail?

For two years, Diana Wege has mounted a campaign in Manhattan to direct attention to her idea to either reject or oppose violence. She purchases advertising space on the top of taxicabs and in bus shelters to display the poster she has created that just repeats the words: REJECT VIOLENCE or OPPOSE VIOLENCE. This year the campaign will expand to the growing list of cities that have experienced violence, such as San Bernardino, Charleston, Sandy Hook and, now, Orlando.

What can we do? Fight for gun legislation so military-style assault weapons are not easily available. Insist on education within our schools to teach conflict resolution skills at all levels. Try to understand our anger and direct it in a positive way through lessons we learned from Nelson Mandela. Host a screening of Abby Disney's Armor of Light ( Read books in book groups that relate to understanding violence.

This week I am in Washington, D.C., attending a conference where The Institute for Economics and Peace will release the 10th edition of the Global Peace Index, the world's leading measure of country peacefulness. The Global Peace Index ranks 162 countries on their peacefulness using 23 different indicators, and has helped shift the world's conversation about peace to a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well-being and progress.

One of the goals of WOVEN is to move the United States up on the Global Peace Index. The United States is 94th on the 2015 list. There is much work to be done.

If you have ideas about how we can create a more peaceful world please send me a note at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Elizabeth Howard's career intersects journalism, marketing and communications. Ned O'Gorman: A Glance Back, a book she edited, was published in May, 2016. She is the author of A Day with Bonefish Joe, a children's book, published by David R. Godine. She lives in New York City and has a home in Laconia. You can send her a note at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Michael Barone - Bernie forced Democrats to lurch to the left

Bernie Sanders is not going gently into that good night, at least not yet.

After hearing Monday from the Associated Press that Hillary Clinton had clinched the nomination, after absorbing Tuesday night a solid defeat in the California primary and losses in three other states, Sanders was still pledging to go on campaigning for the District of Columbia's 20 delegates in its primary next Tuesday and to fight on until the Democratic National Convention opens in Philadelphia July 25.

It's possible to ridicule Sanders' protests that he can still win the nomination of a party of which he's never been a member. But give him credit. He won 42 percent of the popular vote in primaries against Hillary Clinton and a whopping 62 percent of the votes cast in caucuses.

He carried 23 states, from Maine to Hawaii, and came within 2 percent of carrying five others. He carried or came close to carrying white Democrats nationally.

More importantly, he moved Hillary Clinton — and the Democratic Party — well to the left.

Clinton reversed previous positions and came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement and against the Keystone XL pipeline. She promised that she would effectively end fracking, which has sharply reduced oil and natural gas prices, and would discourage the mining of coal.

She came close to matching Sanders' promise of free college. She repudiated her husband's 1994 crime bill and his support of financial deregulation. Yes, a second President Clinton could and probably would welch on some of these promises.

But she's not going back to the first President Clinton's policies.

Sanders can claim credit for moving the Democratic Party closer to his own political creed, socialism, than any Democrat has cared or dared to do before. He did so with the critical help of young voters, the millennial generation, who voted about 80 percent for him against Clinton — and for whom, multiple polls suggest, his self-proclaimed socialism is not a bug but a feature.

A YouGov survey in January, for example, found that 43 percent of under-30s were favorable toward socialism and only 26 percent unfavorable. A 2015 Reason-Rupe poll in 2015 found 48 percent of under-35s positive toward socialism. A 2010 Pew Research poll found 43 percent of under-30s positive toward socialism, nearly twice the 23 percent favorable among those over 30.

The promise of what Mitt Romney infelicitously called "free stuff" may account for some of the attractiveness of socialism to Americans too young to have any living memory of the collapse of communism and to have been taught a history that emphasizes the iniquities of oppressive Western societies. Hey, free college and free health care don't sound so bad.

Those who have actually had experience with government-run economies feel differently, as one can see from recent political results in Latin America.

In Venezuela, the socialism of the late President Hugo Chavez and his chosen successor, Nicolas Maduro, has destroyed the oil-rich nation's economy, to the point that toilet paper, groceries and medicines are simply unavailable, crime has soared to world-high rates and pro-government thugs crack down on protesters. Voters elected an opposition legislature, but Maduro is defying the law to stay in power.

In Argentina, voters in December repudiated leftist President Cristina Kirchner and elected businessman Mauricio Macri. In Brazil, leftist President Dilma Rousseff was impeached last month and removed from office pending trial in the Senate amid record unemployment and revelation of multimillion-dollar bribery conspiracies.

Peru has just had a close presidential election between two candidates both described by Reuters as "business friendly."

Or look at Sanders' favorite example, Scandinavia, where governments have, as Emily Elkins and Joy Pullman write in The Federalist, "opened their economies to free market forces in the 1990s, sold off state-owned companies, eased restrictions on business start-ups, reduced barriers to trade and business regulation and introduced more competition into health care and public services."

You didn't hear much about these developments in the Democratic primaries and caucuses. Nor did you hear much about the dismal performance of government here in everything from veterans' hospitals to Washington's Metrorail. You just heard bland assurances that an expanded government could provide free goodies without perceptible costs or glitches.

Hillary Clinton's leftward lurch in response to Sanders may not prevent her from beating Donald Trump. But it may not serve America or the Democratic Party well in the long run.

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