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Pat Buchanan - A left-right convergence?

Last summer, in this capital of gridlock, a miracle occurred. The American people rose as one and told the government of the United States not to drag us into another Middle East war in Syria.

Barack Obama was ready to launch air and missile strikes when a national uproar forced him to go to Congress for authorization. Congress seemed receptive until some Hill offices were swarmed by phone calls and emails coming in at a rate of 100-1 against war.

Middle America stopped the government from taking us into what even the president now concedes is "somebody else's civil war."

This triumphal coming together of left and right was a rarity in national politics. But Ralph Nader, in "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State," believes that ad hoc alliances of left and right to achieve common goals can, should, and, indeed, shall be our political future.

To call this an optimistic book is serious understatement.

Certainly, left and right have come together before.

In "Those Angry Days," Lynne Olson writes of how future presidents from opposing parties, Gerald Ford and John F. Kennedy, backed the America First Committee to keep us out of war in 1941, and how they were supported by the far-left Nation magazine as well as Colonel Robert McCormick's right-wing Chicago Tribune.

Two decades ago, Ross Perot and this writer joined Ralph and the head of the AFL-CIO to stop NAFTA, a trade deal backed by America's corporate elite and its army of mercenaries on Capitol Hill.

Congress voted with corporate America — against the country. Result: 20 years of the largest trade deficits in U.S. history. Transnational corporations have prospered beyond the dreams of avarice, as Middle America has seen its wages frozen for a generation.

In 2002, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry joined John McCain and George W. Bush in backing war on Iraq. Teddy Kennedy and Bernie Sanders stood with Ron Paul and the populist and libertarian right in opposing the war. The Mises Institute and The American Conservative were as one with The Nation in opposing this unprovoked and unnecessary war.

The left-right coalition failed to stop the war, and we are living with the consequences in the Middle East, and in our veterans hospitals.

As America's most indefatigable political activist since he wrote "Unsafe at Any Speed" in 1965, Ralph is calling for "convergences" of populist and libertarian conservatives and the left — for 25 goals. Among these are many with an appeal to the traditionalist and libertarian right:

— Break up "Too Big to Fail" banks. Further direct democracy through use of the initiative, referendum and recall.

— End unconstitutional wars by enforcing Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, which gives Congress alone the power to declare war.

— Revise trade agreements to protect U.S. sovereignty. End "fast track," those congressional surrenders of constitutional authority to amend trade treaties negotiated by the executive.

From the subtitle, as well as text, of his most recent book, one may instantly identify whom it is Ralph sees as the main enemy. It is megabanks and transnational corporations without consciences whose highest loyalty is the bottom line, the kind of men Jefferson had in mind when he wrote: "Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains."

Where such men see a $17 trillion economy, we see a country.

Undeniably, there has been a growing gap and a deepening alienation between traditional conservatives and those Ralph calls the "corporate conservatives." And it is not only inside the conservative movement and the GOP that the rift is growing, but also Middle America.

For America never voted for NAFTA, GATT, the WTO, mass immigration, amnesty, or more H-1Bs to come take the jobs of our workers. These votes have been forced upon members of Congress by leaders carrying out their assignments from corporate America and its PACs, which reward the compliant with campaign checks.

Both parties now feed at the same K Street and Wall Street troughs. Both have oligarchs contributing tens of millions to parties and politicians who do their bidding.

In 1964, a grassroots conservative movement captured the Republican Party and nominated Barry Goldwater. In 1972, a grassroots movement of leftist Democrats nominated George McGovern.

Neither movement would today survive the carpet-bombing of big money that would be called in if either came close to capturing a national party, let alone winning a national election.

Because they have principles and visions in conflict, left-right alliances inevitably fall out and fall apart. Because they are almost always on opposite sides of disputed barricades, it is difficult for both to set aside old wounds and grievances and come together.

A social, moral, and cultural divide that did not exist half a century ago makes it all the more difficult. But if the issue is keeping America out of unnecessary wars and restoring American sovereignty, surely common ground is not impossible to find.

(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.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Roy Sanborn - Looking for a great deal?

If you are looking for a great deal on a home in the Lakes Region of N.H., what is your main criteria? Is it just price or is it condition, location, features, value or... all of them combined. If the house is a steal and it doesn't meet your needs then it might not be a great deal for you, but it could be for someone else. Let's take a look at a few properties that have recently come on the market that I think could be a great deal for someone...

If you would like a home with country charm and character at what I think is a great price, check out the property at 449 NH Rt 140 in the Four Corners in Gilmanton. This home was built in 1915 and has 1,584-square-feet of living space, four bedrooms, one bath, hardwood floors, wainscoting, two fireplaces, and hand stenciled walls by renowned artist and owner David Wiggins. All the major systems have been updated including roof, septic, heating, & hot water heater. There is also a separate art studio for painting your own masterpiece. The home sits on a picturesque 3 acre lot surrounded by stone walls and conservation area. This home is priced at an even $200,000 with a tax assessment of $251,100. If you like charm, you'll like this one...

I really like the home at 40 Whipple Ave in Laconia because it is a nice neighborhood of great older homes, but it also has a one bedroom rental cottage that brings in $550 per month making this a really great deal! This charming, circa 1943, five bedroom, two bath cape style home has nice curb appeal, hardwood floors, living room with brick fireplace, a sun room, and a formal dining room that leads out to a large private deck and fenced yard. This home has an updated heating system, roof, energy efficient hot water tank, and replacement windows. This home is reasonably priced at $256,000 which is just under the assessed value of $259,800.

The home at 16 Robin Way in Meredith could be a great deal just because it is a really appealing, immaculate home with tons of features and is in a great Meredith location! This contemporary cape style home was built in 2003 and has 3,267-square-feet of living space, three bedrooms, and two and a half baths. It has a great room with cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors, brick hearth and wood stove, an eat-in kitchen with stainless appliances, a master suite, and sunroom. The walk out lower level has a family room with bar and an office. You may never leave there except to go out back where you'll find an above ground pool with a deck. There's a detached three car garage with a heated workshop. Out front is a fantastic farmer's porch that adds to the curb appeal. This house sits on a 3.6 acre lot with beach rights to Waukewan. What else do you really need? It is being offered at $379,000 and has an assessed value of $315,100.

As of May 1, 2014 there were 973 single family residential homes for sale in the twelve communities covered by this Lakes Region Real Estate Report. The median price point stood at $254,800. The inventory is up from the 845 homes available as of April 1. This represents an increase from a 9.8 month supply to an 11.5 month supply of homes on the market. There were 338 homes under the $200,000 mark ensuring that if you are looking for a great deal on a home in the Lakes Region of NH you will find one!

Please 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 was compiled using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System as of 5/1/14. Roy Sanborn is a REALTOR® at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-033

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Ed Engler - Semantics: you yell, I just talk loud

The Daily Sun has come under some criticism for its reporting of the April 28 meeting of the Belknap County Convention, at which the lawmakers in attendance, by a vote of 9-7, declined to fund a collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the county administration with a union representing nursing home workers. Specifically, our report of that meeting included words like "yelled", "screamed" and "shouted" to describe an exchange between Convention Chair Rep. Colette Worseman (R-Meredith) and Belknap County Commissioner Ed Philpot (D-Laconia).

I was not at the meeting but I have gone back and watched a video tape of the proceedings that was recorded for broadcast on Lakes Region Public Access television. This is what I observed:

Near the end of the meeting, a motion was made and seconded to approve a $366,000 appropriation to fund the union contract and members of the convention were taking turns making statements as to why they were in favor of, or against, the agreement. Except for some occasional cheering from the audience in response to comments made, all was calm.

When Chair Worseman recognized Rep. Mike Sylvia (R-Belmont), he stated that if even the convention agreed to fund the contract there was no guarantee that the Board of Commissioners would in fact use the money for that purpose. That statement was an apparent reference to the situation where the convention appropriated money in the county's 2014 operating budget to fund two additional positions at the House of Corrections but the commission chose instead to use the money to fund benefits for existing employees, arguing that the convention had deliberately shorted the county of funds to meet its contractual health insurance obligations.

Rep. Sylvia concluded his remarks by suggesting the convention could not trust the commission to spend the money appropriately and that the November elections would provide an "assessment of who is right and who is wrong."

Those words provoked an immediate reaction from Commissioner Philpot and chaos reigned for the next 38 seconds.

The convention members sit along tables arranged in a square-off "U" shape. At the open end of the "U" is another series of tables and the three county commissioners are seated behind those tables. At the conclusion of Rep. Sylvia's speech the LRPA camera is looking over his shoulder, with the commissioners in the background. Chair Worseman is not in the picture.

As soon as Rep. Syliva stops speaking one can hear eight or nine quick bangs of a gavel and it becomes obvious that Commissioner Philpot has begun speaking directly to Rep. Sylvia, who is perhaps 20 feet away from him. Philpot is angry about the accusations just made by the lawmaker and intends to offer a rebuttal. The commissioner is out of order because the conservation, at that point, is limited to members of the convention, which he is not, and Chair Worseman immediately tries to get him to stop talking. She says "commissioner" three times, each attempt louder than the last, then bangs her gavel hard, two more times.

Commissioner Phlipot keeps talking as the camera focuses in on him. His voice is getting louder as he strives to be heard over the gavel and Worseman's repeated calls for him to be silent. Other voices can also be heard. The chair can be heard saying "out of order" a few times and then she says, "Commissioner Philpot, you are out of order". At that point, the commissioner turns his attention from Sylvia to the chair and says, "No madam, you are out of order. . . this whole process is out of order." Another male voice yells, "You're out of order".

Commissioner Philpot stops speaking. LRPA switches to another camera that is focused on Worseman and she seems calm and is smiling. She quickly recognizes another representative who wants to speak and the meeting goes on.

I heard nothing that I would characterize as a "scream". I heard a lot of "loud talking" that at points could probably fairly be described as "yelling". The entire scene reminded me of one of the those cable TV talk shows where they invite several people with contrasting views to be on air at the same time and they wind up just trying to talk over one another. Everyone is talking loudly (yelling?), no one is listening.

The video tape of the meeting is still being broadcast at times on LRPA. Judge for yourself.

— The editor

Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 May 2014 10:56

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Sanborn — Time for a Redneck spring cleaning?

There were 62 residential single family homes sold in March of 2014 in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price was $187,500 and the median price point was $271,236. This brings our total number of single family homes in the communities changing hands in the first quarter of 2014 to 174 sales at an average price of $312,386. For the first quarter of 2013 we had 172 transactions at an average sale price of $226,492 so it looks like some more expensive sales are happening.

Spring is definitely here although some days it is still hard to tell from the temperature. If you are selling your home now is the time to get out there and get going on all those spring chores that will make your home look its very best when a potential buyer comes for a visit. It has been a hard winter and it has likely taken its toll on you and your property especially if you are a redneck homeowner.

You see, Redneck homeowners do some strange or extreme things and other times they do nothing at all. And, as a consequence, certain steps may be necessary to get their homes back in saleable shape once the snow has disappeared. Now before some people get all upset about me picking on rednecks, I have to do some of these things, too. And even if you drive a Volvo and drink Starbucks, these things apply equally as well to you.

1. First, take down the Christmas lights. It is time and it has warmed up enough to do it without freezing your fingers.

2. Haul the dead Christmas tree from the back lawn. I know the squirrels living in it are going to be upset, but it will kill the lawn eventually if you don't move it. Put the tree on the brush pile and burn it on a rainy evening (only after getting a burning permit.) The critters living in the brush pile are gonna be mad too, but you are trying to sell your house, not theirs.

3. Clean the winter's worth of dog poop from the yard. Despite what your brother-in-law Cletus says, it is not good fertilizer. For that, you have to go to the garden store and talk to them. Some lime and good fertilizer will go a long way toward making your yard lush, green, and presentable instead of having burned spots all over the place.

4. Yes, you have to move the snow machines and other yard ornaments into or behind the garage before you fertilize.

5. Sweep off all the sand you spread on your driveway over the winter. This tip applies only to paved driveways. You get a pass if you have a gravel driveway as it won't look any different. You could, however, fill in the ruts.

6. Take the snow blower down off the roof. Fix the shingles where you got down just a tad too far.

7. If you burned wood all winter, clean up the mess where your woodpile once was. I know you can't have any wood left, after this winter nobody does.

8. Fix or replace the gutter where the ice broke it and repaint the water stains caused by the ice-damn in the family room.

9. Pick up some new plantings for the front yard. Something that will be bright and cheerful as prospective buyers drive by to check your place out. Make sure to get some fresh mulch down on the beds. Curb appeal is a big, big deal so consider it a worthwhile investment in window dressing that will set your redneck palace apart from the rest.

10. Finally, fix and repaint the garage door where you hit it with the plow. While you're at it, take a good look around and paint or touch up the front of the house. A fresh coat of paint on the front door could go a long way to making your home look appealing. It is spring, so freshen it all up. As Phil says on Duck Dynasty, "Happy, happy, happy!"

Please 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 was compiled using the Northern New England Real Estate MLS System as of 4/20/14. Roy Sanborn is a REALTOR® at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Pat Buchanan - Nationalism, not NATO, is our great ally

With Vladimir Putin having bloodlessly annexed Crimea and hinting that his army might cross the border to protect the Russians of East Ukraine, Washington is abuzz with talk of dispatching U.S. troops to Eastern Europe. But unless we have lost our minds, we are not going to fight Russia over territory no president ever regarded as vital to us.

Indeed, should Putin annex Eastern and Southern Ukraine all the way to Odessa, he would simply be restoring to Russian rule what had belonged to her from Washington's inaugural in 1789 to George H. W. Bush's inaugural in 1989.

This is not an argument for ignoring Russia's conduct. But it is an argument for assessing what is vital and what is not, what threatens us and what does not, and what is the real deterrent to any re-establishment of the Soviet Empire.

Before we start sending troops back to Europe, as we did 65 years ago under Harry Truman, let us ask ourselves: Was it really the U.S. Army, which never crossed the Elbe or engaged in battle with the Red Army, that brought down the Soviet Empire and dissolved the Soviet Union?

No. What liberated the nations of Eastern Europe and the USSR was the determined will of these peoples to be free to decide their own destinies and create, or re-create, nations based on their own history, language, culture and ethnic identity?

Nationalism brought down the empire. And Mikhail Gorbachev let these nations go because Russia was weary of maintaining a coercive empire and because Russia, too, wanted to be part of the free world.

While Putin may want the Russians of Ukraine and Belarus back inside a Greater Russia, does anyone think he wants Rumanians, Bulgarians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs or Slovaks back under Moscow's rule?

Putin knows that his own popularity, near 80 percent, is due directly to his being seen as a nationalist willing to stand up to the Americans and their claim to be sole architects of the New World Order.

And it is nationalism, not a NATO full of freeloaders, that is America's great ally in this post-Cold War world.

It was nationalism that liberated the captive nations, broke apart the Soviet Union, split Czechoslovakia in two and divided Yugoslavia into seven countries.

Nationalism drove the Chechens to try to break from Moscow, the Abkhazians and South Ossetians to secede from Georgia, and the Crimeans to say good-bye to Kiev.

And as nationalism tore apart the Soviet Empire and USSR, nationalism will prevent their recreation.
Should Putin invade and annex all of Ukraine, not just Crimea and the East where Russians are in a majority, his country would face the same resistance from occupied Western Ukraine Russia faces today in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya. Putin knows that.

But if Eastern Ukraine in the May election should indicate a will to secede and join Russia, or become a separate autonomous state, why would we automatically oppose that? Are we not ourselves the proud descendants of the secessionists of '76?

If we can view with diffidence the drive by Scotland to secede from England, Catalonia to secede from Spain, Venice to secede from Italy, and Flanders to secede from Belgium, why would the secession of the Donbass from Ukraine be a problem for us, if done democratically?

Nationalism is the natural enemy of empires, and it seems on the rise almost everywhere.

An assertion of Chinese nationalism — Beijing's claim to islands Japan has occupied for over a century — has caused a resurgence of a Japanese nationalism dormant since World War II. Japan's nationalist resurgence has caused a rise in anti-Japanese nationalism in Korea.

China's great adversary today is Asian nationalism.

India resents China's hold on territories taken in a war half a century ago and China's growing naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

China's claims in the South China Sea have revived anti-Chinese nationalism in Vietnam and the Philippines. In Western China, Uighurs have resorted to violence and even terror to break Xinjiang off from China, which they hope to convert into their own East Turkestan.

Kurdish nationalism, an ally of America in Desert Storm, is today a threat to the unity of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Elections for the European Parliament in May are almost certain to see gains for the Ukip in England, Marine Le Pen's National Front in France, Geert Wilders Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, and other nationalist parties that have lately arisen across Europe.

These parties in a way echo Putin. Where he wants Ukraine to stay out of the EU, they want their countries to get out of the EU.

Secessionism and nationalism are growth stocks today. Centralization and globalization are yesterday.

A new world is coming. And while perhaps unwelcome news for the transnational elites championing such causes as climate change and battling global economic inequality, it is hard to see any great threat in all this to the true interests of the American people.

(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.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 605

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