Pat Buchanan - Issue of the century

"Trump's immigration proposals are as dangerous as they are stunning," railed amnesty activist Frank Sharry. "Trump ... promises to rescind protections for 'Dreamers' and deport them. He wants to redefine the constitutional definition of U.S. citizenship as codified by the 14th Amendment. He plans to impose a moratorium on legal immigration."

While Sharry is a bit hysterical, he is not entirely wrong.

For the six-page policy paper, to secure America's border and send back aliens here illegally, released by Trump last weekend, is the toughest, most comprehensive, stunning immigration proposal of the election cycle.

The Trump folks were aided by people around Sen. Jeff Sessions who says Trump's plan "reestablishes the principle that America's immigration laws should serve the interests of its own citizens."

The issue is joined, the battle lines are drawn, and the GOP will debate and may decide which way America shall go. And the basic issues — how to secure our borders, whether to repatriate the millions here illegally, whether to declare a moratorium on immigration into the USA — are part of a greater question.

Will the West endure, or disappear by the century's end as another lost civilization? Mass immigration, if it continues, will be more decisive in deciding the fate of the West than Islamist terrorism. For the world is invading the West.

A wild exaggeration? Consider.

Monday's Washington Post had a front-page story on an "escalating rash of violent attacks against refugees," in Germany, including arson attacks on refugee centers and physical assaults. Burled in the story was an astonishing statistic. Germany, which took in 174,000 asylum seekers last year, is on schedule to take in 500,000 this year. Yet Germany is smaller than Montana.

How long can a geographically limited and crowded German nation, already experiencing ugly racial conflict, take in half a million Third World people every year without tearing itself apart, and changing the character of the nation forever? Do we think the riots and racial wars will stop if more come?

And these refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants are not going to stop coming to Europe. For they are being driven across the Med by wars in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, by the horrific conditions in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, by the Islamist terrorism of the Mideast and the abject poverty of the sub-Sahara. According to the U.N., Africa had 1.1 billion people by 2013, will double that to 2.4 billion by 2050, and double that to 4.2 billion by 2100.

How many of these billions dream of coming to Europe? When and why will they stop coming? How many can Europe absorb without going bankrupt and changing the continent forever?

Does Europe have the toughness to seal its borders and send back the intruders? Or is Europe so morally paralyzed it has become what Jean Raspail mocked in "The Camp of the Saints"?

The blazing issue in Britain and France is the thousands of Arab and African asylum seekers clustered about Calais to traverse the Eurotunnel to Dover. The Brits are on fire. Millions want out of the EU. They want to remain who they are.

Each week we read of boats sinking in the Med with hundreds of refugees drowning. Yet many, many more make it to the Greek and Italian islands, and thence north to Germany and Scandinavia and the welfare states of Western Europe. Once they step onto EU soil, they are in.

This unending invasion has called into existence anti-immigrant and anti-EU parties in almost every country in Europe. Few of these parties existed at the turn of the century. How does this all end?

"Humankind cannot bear very much reality," wrote T. S. Eliot.

Is the West still blind to reality, to the inevitable future that awaits if the West does not secure its frontiers and close its borders to mass immigration?

Peoples of European descent, everywhere they live, have birth rates below replacement levels. Yet, most live in the world's most desirable neighborhoods.

The great and growing populations of mankind are in the Third World. Countless millions are determined to come to the West, legally if they can, illegally if they must. And the more who succeed, the more who come.

Either Western nations take tough measures to secure their borders, or the Western nations will be swamped. The character of their countries will be altered forever, and smaller countries will become unrecognizable. And as this is happening, ethnic and racial clashes will become more common, as they are now becoming across Europe.

"The principle that America's immigration laws should serve the interests of its own citizens" is paramount, said Sen. Sessions.

Sessions is right. America is our home. We decide who comes in and who does not, how large the American family becomes, whom we adopt and whence they come. It has become the issue of 2016.

Indeed, it is the issue of the 21st century.

(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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Jim Hightower - Time to free students from debt

Butch Hancock, one of Austin's finest singer-songwriters, grew up in the Texas Panhandle, out among dry-land farmers and strict fundamentalist Christians. Butch once told me that he felt he'd been permanently scarred in his vulnerable teen years by the local culture's puritanical preaching on sexual propriety: "They told us that sex is filthy, obscene, wicked, and beastly — and that we should save it for someone we love."

Today, America's higher education complex approaches students with the same sort of convoluted logic that guided Butch's sex education: "A college degree is the key to prosperity for both you and your country, so it's essential," lectures the hierarchy to the neophytes. "But we'll make it hard to get and often not worth the getting." Touted as a necessity, but priced like a luxury, many degree programs are mediocre or worse — predatory loan scams that hustle aspiring students into deep debt and poverty.

On both a human level and in terms of our national interest, that is seriously twisted. Nonetheless, it's our nation's de facto educational policy, promulgated and enforced by a cabal of ideologues and profiteers, including Washington politicos, most state governments, college CEOs, Wall Street financiers and debt-collection corporations. What we have is a shameful ethical collapse. These self-serving interests have intentionally devalued education from an essential public investment in the common good to just another commodity.

Back in the olden days of 1961, I attended the University of North Texas. At this public school, I was blessed with good teachers, a student body of working-class kids (most, like me, were the first in their families to go to college) and an educational culture focused on enabling us to become socially useful citizens. All of this cost me under $800 a year (about $6,250 in today's dollars) — including living expenses! With close-to-free tuition and a part-time job, I could afford to get a good education, gain experience in everything from work to civic activism, make useful connections, graduate in four years and obtain a debt-free start in life. We just assumed that's what college was supposed to be.
It still ought to be, but for most students today, it's not even close. In the U.S., tuition and fees charged by public four-year colleges and universities average more than $20,000 per year. For a private four-year college, it's more than double that amount. Even public two-year colleges cost around $11,000 per year.

The nation's fastest growing provider of higher education is unfortunately also the worst: private, for-profit schools. While a few deliver an honest educational product, honesty is not a business model embraced by most of these sprawling, predatory chains largely owned by Wall Street.

To achieve the Wall Street imperative of goosing ups stock prices and maximizing profits, this educational sector routinely applies the full toolkit of corporate thievery, including false advertising, high-pressure sales tactics, bait-and-switch scams, legal dodges, political protection and outright lying. Rather than educating students and broadening life's possibilities, many for-profit colleges have bankrupted hundreds of thousands of students. Worse, many of theses "schools" prey on struggling, low-income workers desperately hoping a degree will provide a toehold in the middle class.

To say there are lots of horror stories about private, for-profit colleges gouging students is like saying there are lots of ouchies in a bramble patch. A profusion of books, articles, reports, investigations and lawsuits, as well as websites such as My ITT Experience, document the toll.

You might ask, "If they're so awful, how do they stay in business?" The old-fashioned way: By lavishly spreading money around to the right people. And since most of their revenue comes from taxpayers, it's actually your money they're spreading.

"Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife," said American philosopher and education reformer John Dewey. It's time we give birth to a new of debt-free democracy. Put a tiny tax on the billions of daily, automated transactions by speculators, and more than enough money will come into the public coffers to free up higher education for all. For information, check out United States Students Association (

(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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Seniors are at increased risk for chronic dehydration

By Martha Swats, Owner/Administrator, Comfort Keepers

Staying hydrated may seem like a straightforward proposition: you get thirsty, you drink. However, particularly for seniors, it is not always this simple. Seniors are at a higher risk for dehydration than younger adults. In fact, one study showed that up to 48 percent of seniors were dehydrated upon admission to the emergency department for other issues. Very often it is not even obvious that the senior is chronically dehydrated because he or she may not show any clinical symptoms, such as increased thirst, dry mouth, dizziness, weakness, headache, constipation, or fatigue.
Why are seniors at a higher risk? Many factors come into play. For starters, as people age, the water content of their bodies diminishes. Older adults also do not feel thirst like younger adults: their thirst signals are not as active. Other reasons include the following:
-Seniors may be taking diuretic medications for certain conditions that may rid the body of salt and water.
-They may intentionally limit fluid intake because of incontinence or embarrassment over having to use the bathroom too often.
-They may have mobility issues that prevent them from getting up and getting something to drink, and they may be too embarrassed to ask for help.
-They may have chronic conditions, such as diabetes, that put them at a higher risk for dehydration.
-Seniors with dementia may not remember to drink.
The impacts of dehydration can be severe. Dehydration can affect the way the body metabolizes medications, making them less effective. This can be a critical problem for those who depend on those medications for their health and wellbeing. Dehydration can also exacerbate other medical conditions, cause kidney stones and urinary tract infections, compromise the immune system, cause delirium, impair cognition and memory, cause weight loss, and increase the risk of death.
Friends, family, and caregivers can help seniors stay hydrated through constant monitoring. Typically, an adult should get about 2000 milliliters of fluids a day, which is about eight 8-ounce cups of water. Fluid intake, though, can come from food sources, such as soups or fruits and vegetables with a high water content, such as cucumbers, raw celery, raw tomatoes, and melons. Other ways to ensure seniors are getting an adequate amount of fluids include:
-Regularly offering beverages that the senior likes,
-Ensuring that water is within reach all day so the senior does not need to ask for it,
-Providing cups with handles or straws to help seniors who have physical limitations,
-Offering smaller beverages more frequently so it does not seem overwhelming to finish a serving, and
-Minimizing caffeinated or sugary beverages since too much of either caffeine or sugar can actually increase dehydration.
Hiring a professional caregiver who is familiar with the needs of seniors can also help. Professional caregivers can help monitor what the senior is eating and drinking and can make fluids readily accessible to help keep the senior hydrated. 

Comfort Keepers is a leader in providing non-medical in-home care consisting of such services as companionship, transportation, housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminder, bathing, mobility assistance, and a host of additional items all meant to keep seniors living independently worry free in the comfort of their homes. Comfort Keepers have been serving New Hampshire residents since 2005. Let us help you stay independent. Please call 603-536-6060, toll free 800-990-0727 or visit our website at for more information

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Jeb Bradley - Productive legislative session incomplete without a budget

2015 has been a busy and productive year for the New Hampshire Legislature. Unfortunately, our work isn't done until we pass a two-year budget.

The New Hampshire Senate's top priority is boosting the New Hampshire economy. If businesses are able to grow, they will create new and better-paying jobs. Economic growth not only directly benefits working families, it also lowers demand for social service programs, and increases state revenue that funds these services. After years of stagnant job growth, getting New Hampshire's economy moving again is essential.

This year, the Legislature took important steps to help the economy. We passed a key reform to the Workers Compensation system, currently one of the most expensive in the country, which places a heavy burden on job creation in New Hampshire. By giving employers an opportunity to negotiate with medical providers for services and by ensuring that providers have the burden of proof for any disputed cost claims under Workers Comp, there will be significant downward pressure on costs.

Through legislation and a settlement agreement with Eversource, they have agreed to sell their remaining power plants, ensuring a fully competitive market and according to the settlement customer savings over the first five years will be $380 million. High electric rates cripple our ability to attract and retain manufacturing and high-tech jobs that use a lot of power. Bringing those rates down makes New Hampshire a more competitive place for families to live, and to do business.

The Legislature eliminated a provision in our Business Profits Tax that punished successful small businesses when they attract new investment. Though Governor Hassan vetoed this measure (which a bipartisan commission had recommended because it was a tax on "phantom income"), it's likely to resurface in budget discussions. The Legislature also reformed outdated banking and securities laws to attract new capital to the Granite State.

We've passed important education bills, increasing state support for the community and technical education system and also providing state assistance for local school districts that offer academic courses for home-schooled students. Unfortunately, the governor vetoed bills to enhance local control over curriculum, and to notify parents about potentially objectionable course material.

The Legislature fulfilled its responsibility to keep the public safe, passing a "Good Samaritan" law for those reporting drug overdoses, improving the interoperability of public safety radios, and banning the sale of synthetic drugs like "spice". We also increased penalties for indecent exposure, and for the first time required those convicted of domestic violence to help pay for programs assisting their victims.

But we still need a budget. Many of the best things we've accomplished during this legislative session were part of the budget package that Governor Hassan vetoed in June. That includes a 75 percent increase in funding for substance abuse programs to address the deadly heroin epidemic overwhelming our state. Her veto prevents full-funding of vital programs like Meals on Wheels, ServiceLink, developmental disabilities programs and mental health. It also blocks the first rate increases for nursing homes and home health care providers in years.

The governor's veto also maintains New Hampshire's high business tax rates. We rank 48th in the nation for highest corporate taxes, according to the Tax Foundation — a significant disincentive to locating, expanding or even remaining here. Our job growth coming out of the last recession was in the bottom 10 states, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. The balanced budget we passed included modest but important reductions in our state's business taxes, phased in over the next five years. Business leaders across the state have said this modest tax relief is critically important.

This veto brought into stark view huge philosophical differences between the Legislature and the governor. She wants higher business taxes — the Legislature wants to lower them. The governor proposed $129 million in tax hikes, including an income tax on small business owners, and a plan to tax New Hampshire businesses for sales they make in other countries. This latter provision is similar to a tax plan enacted in Connecticut that has businesses in those states threatening to flee. Now as part of a possible budget resolution the governor has again proposed her income tax on business owners.

The Legislature continued to believe making business taxes more competitive is essential to help New Hampshire's economy. But the governor has let her opposition to cutting taxes stand in the way of a budget that effectively addresses all of New Hampshire's needs. She's even gone so far as to make businesses the enemy, labeling them as "out-of-state corporations" even though the tax cuts will benefit every New Hampshire business that pays taxes, covering 95 percent of our private sector workforce. While some employers are headquartered in other states, the thousands of jobs they provide for New Hampshire workers are valuable.

It's time for a resolution to this budget standoff that addresses all of New Hampshire's needs — including job opportunities for hard working families and small business owners.

(Wolfeboro Republican Jeb Bradley is Majority Leader of the New Hampshire Senate.)

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Estate Tax Planning in an Uncertain Environment

By: Laura Anderson Weiss and Katherine B. Miller, Esq

Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, PLLC


Often, estate plans are all but set in stone. Someone sets up a will or a trust or a joint account and once the T's are crossed and the I's are dotted, it is forgotten. Why take the time and expense to constantly update the documents? The problem with this approach is that an estate plan made 20 years ago that will go into effect in another 20 years cannot account for changes in family, changes in estate taxation, or changes in financial situation. What if you could create a plan that allows for some of the decision-making to occur at your death or at your spouse's death? Disclaimer planning is one such technique that gives estates flexibility in the timing of the decision making process.

Disclaimer planning can be used to give your estate plan flexibility to married couples. Markets and taxes and assets all change over the years. Rather than organizing a new estate plan every time things change, an overall plan that includes disclaimer planning allows you to leave certain, limited decisions to your spouse at the time of your death. For couples with estates that are close to $10 million or higher, disclaimer planning is one of the only ways to avoid the federal estate and gift tax while maintaining some flexibility. The idea is to set up the estate plan in such a way that, when one spouse dies, the other can look at the assets and the federal estate tax exemption amount and decide at that time, rather than at the time the documents are executed, how to proceed. Here's how it works:

First, each spouse puts his or her half of the couple's assets into a revocable trust and creates a separate Disclaimer Trust. Each revocable trust gives the money to the surviving spouse first, then to a Disclaimer Trust (the Disclaimer Trust is the contingent beneficiary- the "person" who receives the assets if the spouse disclaims them). When the husband dies, everything in his revocable trust is set to pass to his wife (or vice versa). Now comes the flexibility- the wife has a choice. Either she keeps the assets because she has determined the estate is not worth enough to have to pay estate tax OR she disclaims all or some of the assets. Without disclaimer planning, this choice would have had to be made when the estate plan was created! Whatever she disclaims goes to the contingent beneficiary, the Disclaimer Trust. The Disclaimer Trust can be set up for the benefit of the wife for life and then for the couple's children.

If done properly, the result is that the wife receives the income from the Disclaimer Trust for her life. She also can use the trust money for her health, education, maintenance, and support. When the wife dies, any remaining trust principal goes to the kids as part of the trust rather than as part of her estate, so it is not counted in the surviving spouse's estate for estate tax purposes. Her estate has been strategically kept below the exemption amounts so no estate taxes are owed. This type of planning must be done correctly so always consult with your tax or estate planning attorney. DTC Lawyers, with offices in Meredith, Exeter and Portsmouth NH, has estate planning attorneys ready to assist clients with building flexibility into their estate plans.

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