Jim Hightower - Donnie's little lies are huuuuuge

An old saying asserts that falsehoods come in three escalating levels: "Lies, damn lies, and statistics." Now, however, we've been given an even-higher level of intentional deception: policy speeches by Donald Trump.

Take his recent highly publicized address outlining specific economic policies he would push to benefit hard-hit working families. It's an almost-hilarious compilation of Trumpian fabrications, including his bold, statesmanlike discourse on the rank unfairness of the estate tax: "No family will have to pay the death tax," he solemnly pledged, adopting the right-wing pejorative for a tax assessed on certain properties of the dearly departed. Fine, but next came his slick prevarication: "American workers have paid taxes their whole lives, and they should not be taxed again at death." Workers? The tax exempts the first $5.4 million of any deceased person's estate, meaning 99.8 percent of Americans pay absolutely nothing. So Trump is trying to deceive real workers into thinking he's standing for them, when in fact it's his own wealth he's protecting.

What a maverick! What a shake-'em-up outsider! What an anti-establishment fighter for working stiffs!

Oh, and don't forget this: What a phony!

Sure, The Donald sounds like a populist on the stump, bellowing that the systems been jerry-rigged by and for the corporate and political elites, which is killing the middle class. Well, he's right about that, but what's he going to do? Don't worry, he says smugly, I'll fix it, I'll make the system honest again — trust me!

As Groucho Marx said, "To know if a man is honest, ask him — if he says he is, he's a crook." Or, in the case of this phony populist, just look at the specific policies he laid out as his fixes for our economy. Trumpeting the package as his blueprint for the "economic renewal" of America's working class.

But Trump's idea of "working class turns out to be millionaires and billionaires, for that's who would get the bulk of benefits from his agenda — rewarding the very corporate chieftains he denounces in his blustery speeches for knocking down middle-income families and grabbing all of the new wealth our economy is creating. His proposed tax cuts, for example, don't benefit low-wage workers at all and provide only a pittance of gain for those with middle-class paychecks, but corporations are given a huuuuuuuge windfall with over a 50 percent cut in their rate. His tax giveaway will also take $240 billion a year out of our public treasury — money desperately needed for such basics as expanding educational opportunities and restoring our nation's dilapidated infrastructure.

In his policy speech, he offered a new tax break to help hard working people reduce their cost of child care "by allowing parents to fully deduct (such) spending from their taxes." Trump even gave this push a personal touch, saying his daughter Ivanka urged him to provide a helping hand to working parents because "she feels so strongly about this." Before you tear up over their show of dad and daughter working-class empathy, however, note that 70 percent of American households don't make enough to warrant itemizing tax deductions. Thus, the big majority of Americans that are most in need of child care help get nothing from Trump's melodramatic gesture. Once again, his generosity is for his own elite class, for the tax benefits would flow uphill to wealthy families like his who can purchase the platinum packages of care for their children.

What we have here is the same old failed, establishmentarian, economic elitist hokum that Republicans have been peddling for decades, only bigger and more extreme. Rhetoric aside, the reality of Trump's plan is to replace Ronald Reagan's trickle-down theory with his own arrogant, anti-worker scheme of tinkle-down economics. As an early 19th Century labor leader noted, "Figures don't lie, but liars do figure." That fits The Donald perfectly.

(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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Lakes Region Profiles – A Winnipesaukee whopper in Moultonborough

By Mary O'Neill,

Sales Associate at Roche Realty Group

 

A drive along the northern shores of Lake Winnipesaukee through the lakeside communities seems innocent enough – country roads, little town centers, and a smattering of shops and restaurants. But the reality is that there is a trove of history tucked around every bend in the road. Stop in the village of Moultonborough, sit on the wooden bench outside The Old Country Store, and let me recount for you a tale about the man after whom the town is named.

Late one night General Jonathan Moulton was nodding off as he sat by his fireplace contemplating his financial woes. He had been a very prosperous man but now was struggling. He glanced towards the chimneypiece and was surprised to see a figure sitting on a corner bench. "Who the devil are you?" he demanded. In answer, the visitor threw flaming coals into a mug of rum and drained the blazing liquid. The general now knew the devil had come to visit him "dressed in his Saturday night best, black velvet and all, with an orchid stuck through his buttonhole." What ensued was a lengthy dialogue between the devil and General Moulton whereby the general sold his soul to devil in exchange for a monthly ration of gold coins to be measured by filling the general's boots (Wilkin, Winnipesaukee Whoppers, 1949).

After the devil departed, the general, known to be a wily businessman, came up with a plan. "I'll fool the old buzzard!" he muttered gleefully. Buying the largest boots he could find and cutting a hole in the soles, he nailed the boots over holes in the wooden floor. When the devil came to make good on their agreement, the coins dropped through the boots and into the cellar below. The devil, discovering the deception, promptly burnt the house to the ground. Trapped in his cellar filled with coins, that was the end of Jonathan Moulton (Wilkin).

This is only a small slice of the stories surrounding the legendary namesake of Moultonborough. In the mid 1700s, General Moulton had led a group of settlers from Hampton, having successfully petitioned Masonian Proprietors for part of the ungranted lands in the province. The land encompassing Moultonborough was first chartered in 1763 and is described as "running along the northerly shore of Winnepisseoky Pond, and including a neck and point of land running into the pond." The party of settlers included other members of the Moulton family (nhes.nh.gov/Moultonborough). As another story goes, Moulton was very friendly with British Governor John Wentworth, who controlled the royal province. One day Moulton marched his fattest ox to Portsmouth as a gift to the governor. "The 1,400-pound beast, draped in flowers...could not have been missed by the jealous locals" (Robinson, The Devilish Fall of General Moulton, seacoastnh.com). Pleased with the gift, the governor granted Moulton an additional 18,000 acres of land near Moultonborough. General Moulton, "was one of the country's first big real estate speculators, turning tens of thousands of Lakes Region land into New Hampshire towns in what is today the Moultonborough area" (Robinson).
Moultonborough abuts Sandwich to the north, Tuftonboro to the south, and Center Harbor to the west. The town has 60 square miles of land area and 15.0 square miles of inland water area (nhes.nh.gov/Moultonborough). It is one of eight towns with shorefront on Lake Winnipesaukee, but it is unique among its neighbors in that its shorefront includes many "fingers" of land that jut out into the lake, allowing for countless surprising spots to situate a home or cabin. The main waterfront areas are along the so-called "Neck." Down the length of the Neck, Moultonborough Neck Road eventually leads to a short bridge and onto Long Island, which covers about 1,200 acres. This is Winnipesaukee's largest island and one of only five bridged islands on the lake (rocherealty.com/longisland). The early history of the island mostly revolves around farming. At one point the wheat farmed there was purchased by the Federal Government and shipped to farmers in the western half of the US because it was of such high quality. Another farmer, John Brown, developed King Philip Corn on his Long Island property. For 50 years he held the record in New Hampshire for the quantity of corn produced per acre  (lwhs.us/moult-windermerejewel.htm).
General Moulton may have found himself well at home in one of Moultonborough's most unique spots. Positioned high in the Ossipee Mountain Range is Castle in the Clouds, also known as Lucknow. Built in 1913-14 by manufacturing millionaire Thomas Plant, the castle is an arresting example of Arts and Crafts architecture and commands mighty views of Lake Winnipesaukee and the mountains. Today it is set up just as it would have been in the early 1900s. The castle has become a popular and intriguing venue for weddings, rehearsal dinners, reunions, fund raisers, and a variety of other functions. There are also many special events such as stargazing, yoga on "Wellness Wednesdays," and "Jazz at Sunset." For more information on the castle and its events, visit castleintheclouds.org.
As you sit on the porch of The Old Country Store in Moultonborough village, realize these grounds too are connected to Jonathan Moulton. The building sits on a parcel of land he sold to Samuel Burnham in 1777. The store has been there since 1781. At that, it may be one of the oldest in the US. The building has served as town meeting hall, library, and post office during its 235-year history. The best way to enjoy this distinctive establishment is to wander though its rooms across the wide, uneven floorboards. There are things old and new – collectibles, toys, penny candy, clothes, maple products, pickles, books, maps, fudge, gadgets, aged cheddar and much more. Additional information can be found at nhcountrystore.com.

Now it is time to climb back into your car and continue to explore the beautiful area and colorful history of Moultonborough. Just don't make any deals with the devil along the way.

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 and Laconia, New Hampshire, can be reached at 603-366-6306. rocherealty.com

 

 

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Sanborn — Real estate A.C.

By Roy Sanborn

It is pretty much guaranteed. If an air conditioner is going to screw up and not work it will be when it is miserable outside... and I don't mean 20 degrees below zero. We have had a tortuously hot summer so I ought to feel pretty lucky that the split systems in my house have worked pretty well – until now, that is. It is time to call the repair man. The inside condenser seems to be freezing up a little and according to the info online I have got some dirty fins, my system needs recharging, or there could be mice in the system. Not sure which so it is time to pay the professionals to come out and take a look.

Exactly how air conditioning and refrigeration systems work has always confused me. Air conditioning seems pretty simple on the surface but so does real estate and I know that is not the case. Air conditioners have condensers, compressors, evaporator coils, blowers, and circuits. In real estate we also see things evaporate when people blow it and short circuit a deal. And, just like a broken a.c. unit, a malfunctioning real estate deal can get hot, too. It is just as complicated, but different.

All I know is that having a.c. in a house, even up here in snowy New England, is a pretty important feature to most buyers. Individual window units don't cut it anymore for most home owners. They tend to be noisy and aesthetically unpleasing, both from the inside and the outside of the structure. But you know what? I'd rather have a window a.c. unit than nothing at all. I am, after all, a red neck at heart and I'd rather be cool than just being cool.

So, who discovered or invented air conditioning? I guess there is more than one answer according to the World Wide Web. Contrary to popular urban myths, LL Cool J had nothing to do with it despite his name. Neither did Sammy Davis Junior, who was absolutely the coolest guy ever. Way back in 1758, old Ben Franklin discovered that you could cool things through evaporation and while that was a pretty cool idea it was not as cool as his work as one of the founding fathers. He and another dude, John Hadley, who was a chemistry professor at Cambridge University, discovered you could cool things by evaporating volatile liquids like alcohol. I am not saying Ben and John were at a frat party at Cambridge or anything like that, but who knows, this was a revolutionary time period.

But, it wasn't until 1902, when the first modern electrical a.c. unit was invented by a guy named Willis Carrier in the unlikely location of Buffalo, New York. If you have ever seen the winter weather patterns for Buffalo or watched a Buffalo Bills home game in December, air conditioning would be the furthest from your mind. But fate is fate and young Willie graduated from Cornell and took a job at the Buffalo Forge Company which also confuses me as forges tend to be hot and not cool.

Anyway, Willie designed and built the first real a.c. unit in July, 1902, and it was used in a printing plant in New York to control temperature and humidity which improved the printing process. It wasn't long before being cool caught on. By the 1950s everyone wanted to be cool inside their home... and even in cars. In 1939, Packard became the first manufacturer to offer an air-conditioned car, which is where I will likely be tomorrow if I can't get someone to fix my unit.

Today, you can still buy window a.c. units, free standing units, central air systems that use your heating duct-work, high-tech high-velocity systems, and ductless split systems for retrofitting older (or newer) homes without existing forced hot air duct-work. There's no excuse for not being cool. Unless, of course, the blasted thing breaks down. But, that's why we have air conditioning repairmen who understand these things and real estate agents that understand real estate.

July was a pretty good month for Lakes Region residential home sales, with 136 transactions at an average price of $366,959 and a median price point of $246,350. That's not quite as good as the 150 sales at an average of $387,973 last July but that's still pretty cool!

P.S. The repair man just came and it was literally a mouse in the system that shorted out the circuit board. Go figure...

Pl​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 August 17, 2016. ​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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Lakes Region Hiking — The Adirondacks and Whites, a contrast of mountain ranges

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Tom studying map, overlooking the Great Range

By Gordon DuBois

Two weeks ago, Tom Barker and I traveled to the Adirondack Mountains to climb five peaks: Colvin, Blake, Nippletop, Bear Den and Dial. A few days prior to our ramble in "The Dacks," we drove to the Whites to trek the Edmunds Path, summiting Mount. Eisenhower and Mount Franklin in The Presidential Range. These two hikes provided a stark contrast of trail building in two very different mountain ranges.

The Adirondack Mountains in northern New York State are not geologically part of the Appalachian Chain, as are the White Mountains. They are much older, formed over a billion years ago when upward doming of bedrock embedded under the earth's crust was thrust upward to create the mountain mass we know today. The White Mountains, on the other hand, are much younger, several million years old and formed by plate tectonics. The White Mountain National Forest comprises about 796,000 acres, while the Adirondack Park is more than 6 million acres.

The two mountain ranges also differ greatly in their settlement. The Adirondacks were mostly unknown until the 1840s. The source of the Hudson River was not discovered until the mid-1800s. Mount Washington, on the other hand, was first climbed in 1642 by Darby Field. Following the Civil War, people began to flock to the Whites for summer long retreats. The Cog Railway, which climbs Mount Washington, was completed in 1869. People were hiking to Mount Washington via the Crawford Path in the 1840s. Many trails in the White Mountains were built by the Appalachian Mountain Club and "professional" trail builders. The trails in the Adirondacks mostly follow routes created by early trappers, geologists, loggers and surveyors. Many of the trails to the higher summits are not even marked or maintained. They're called "herd paths."

Within one week Tom Barker and I had two different hiking experiences: trekking in the Adirondacks while summiting five mountains in three days. The other hike was a much more leisurely one day tramp on the Edmands and Crawford paths in the Presidential Range. The three day trip in the Adirondacks involved climbs up rock ledges, along steep ridges and through knee deep mud. The hike on the Edmands and Crawford paths was along well-graded trails. These two adventures offered us an interesting contrast between two different mountain ranges with very different histories.

The Edmands Path starts at a parking area on Mount Clinton Road, not far from the AMC Highland Center. The Trail climbs gradually about three miles to the junction with the Crawford Path. As with many trails in the White Mountains, experienced and dedicated trail builders created the paths to the mountain summits. The Edmands path was built by John Rayner Edmands, who dedicated much of his life to preserving and protecting the White Mountain Forests from destruction by the woodsman's ax. Edmands wanted to bring people to the mountains so they could experience the beauty and wonder of the forested landscape and be inspired by the untouched beauty of mountain vistas. In so doing, he believed they would become advocates for wilderness conservation and preservation. What followed was a number of trails he laid out and built with trail crews dedicated to his vision. He referred to trails as boulevards, trails that were well graded and of moderate difficulty. He not only built the path named in his honor, but also the Gulfside and Westside Trails below Mount Washington, the Israel Ridge, Valley Way and Randolph Trails in the northern Presidentials. He also constructed the Perch Campsite which sits on the side of Mount Adams.

Edmands was a master trail builder and his masterpiece is the Edmands Path. Tom and I, along with his wife, Karen, began our hike with a slow meander through a hardwood forest and across several streams. After a mile the trail began a gradual climb up the west ridge of Mount Eisenhower. It was marked by carefully-placed rock cribbing, steps, walls of rock and a cobblestone-like pathway. The trail slabbed along the ridge, views of the Dartmouth Range were seen in the distance. When the trail broke above tree line we jumped along carefully placed rock steps before finally reaching the Crawford Path. Tom and Karen continued their journey to the summit of Eisenhower. I headed north to the little known summit of Mount Franklin, which lies just south of Mount Monroe, on a side trail off the Crawford Path. The Crawford Path is considered by some as the oldest continuously-maintained foot path in the U.S. The first section of the trail was completed in 1819 by the Abel Crawford and by 1840 a bridal trail was built to the Mt Washington summit by his grandson, Thomas Crawford. This trail can also be considered a boulevard as it winds its way from Crawford Notch to Mount Washington. Our return hike back down the Edmands Path was a quick and easy jaunt back to our parked vehicle.

Our excursion, a few days later to the Adirondacks, provided a sharp contrast to the "boulevards" we had hiked a few days earlier. We began our trek in Keene Valley, New York, not far from Lake Placid. The first few miles took us along a maintained gravel road through land owned by the Ausable Club. After the initial few miles the trail turned into a boulder-strewn path, climbing steeply into the Adirondack Forest Preserve. It seemed as if a giant had thrown these enormous rock obstructions directly onto our path. This was only the beginning of a long, hard slog, in the rain to Elk Pass where we made camp. The next day we scrambled to the summits of Colvin and Blake mountains. Tom and I had several substantial rock climbs using tree roots and small crevices in the rock face to boost ourselves up the steep ridge to the summits. There was no letup to the climbing challenges we had to confront, which included a 30-foot ladder that seemed to head endlessly into the fog-enshrouded peak of Mount Colvin. After making the summit of both mountains our we turned around and literally slid down many sections of rock faces to the valley below. When we got back to camp I was exhausted. Tom and I ate dinner and were in our sleeping bags before dusk.

The following day, we packed up camp, threw our packs on our backs and headed straight up to Nippletop, an elevation gain of 1,600 feet in less than a mile of hiking. At times we had to ascend hand over hand, and with 35 pounds of gear on our backs it was a challenge to remain upright. We did make the summit by noon and stopped to take in the stunning views of the Adirondack Wilderness. It was something to behold. The catch phrase for the Adirondacks is "rugged and remote." Our three-day excursion underscores this phrase.

After lunch we continued our hike over Dial Mountain, onto Bear Den Mountain and eventually back into the protected forest preserve of the Ausable Club. We made our way back to our vehicle, thought about climbing Giant and Rocky Top mountains the next day, but decided we had enough climbing for three days. The mountains will always be there waiting for our next climb.

Within a week, Tom and I had experienced two very different mountain ranges and two very different trail systems. I would invite you to experience the contrast. Every mountain range has its own identity. No two are the same. Hiking the Adirondacks and the White Mountains provides the contrast and the challenge that keeps me returning week after week to the mountain trails I love, no matter where they are.

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 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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Crawford Path leading to Mt. Franklin and Mt. Monroe

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Pat Buchanan - The real existential threats

On Sept. 30, the end of fiscal year 2016, the national debt is projected to reach $19.3 trillion.

With spending on the four biggest budget items — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense — rising, and GDP growing at 1 percent, future deficits will exceed this year's projected $600 billion.

National bankruptcy, then, is among the existential threats to the republic, the prospect that we will find ourselves in the not-too-distant future in the same boat with Greece, Puerto Rico and Illinois.

Yet, we drift toward the falls, with the issue not debated.

Ernest Hemingway reminded us of how nations escape quagmires of debt: "The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists."

"Debauching the currency," Lenin's depiction, is the way we will probably destroy the debt monster.

Hemingway's second option, war, appears to be the preferred option of the war chiefs of the Beltway's think-tank archipelago, who see in any Putin move in the Baltic or Black Sea casus belli.

What our Cold War leaders kept ever in mind, and our War Party scribblers never learned, is the lesson British historian A. J. P. Taylor discovered from studying the Thirty Years War of 1914-1945:

"Though the object of being a Great Power is to be able to fight a Great War, the only way of remaining a Great Power is not to fight one."

Another existential threat, if Western man still sees himself as the custodian of the world's greatest civilization, and one yet worth preserving, is the Third-Worldization of the West.

The threat emanates from two factors: The demographic death of the native-born of all Western nations by century's end, given their fertility rates, and the seemingly endless invasion of the West from Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Concerning the demographic decline and displacement of Western man by peoples of other creeds, cultures, countries, continents and civilizations, there is an ideological clash within the West.

Some among our elites are rhapsodic at the change. Worshiping at the altars of diversity and equality, they see acquiescing in the invasion of their own countries as a mark of moral superiority.

Angela Merkel speaks for them, or did, up to a while ago.

To those who believe diversity — racial, ethnic, religious, cultural — is to be cherished and embraced, resistance to demographic change in the West is seen as a mark of moral retardation.

Opponents of immigration are hence subjects of abuse — labeled "racists," "xenophobes," "fascists," "Nazis" and other terms of odium in the rich vocabulary of Progressive hatred.

Yet, opposition to the invasion from across the Med and the Rio Grande is not only propelling the Trump movement but generating rightist parties and movements across the Old Continent.

It is hard to see how this crisis resolves itself peacefully.

For the hundreds of millions living in Third World tyranny and misery are growing, as is their willingness to risk their lives to reach Europe. And national resistance is not going to dissipate as the illegal immigrants and refugees come in growing numbers.

What the resisters see as imperiled is what they treasure most, their countries, cultures, way of life and the future they wish to leave their children. These are things for which men have always fought.

And, in America, is diversity leading to greater unity, or to greater rancor, separatism and disintegration? Did anyone imagine that, 50 years after the civil rights laws, we would still be having long hot summers in Ferguson, Baltimore and Milwaukee?

The crisis that South Carolina statesman John C. Calhoun had posthumously predicted in his "Disquisition on Government" has also come to pass.

The country would divide into two parties, Calhoun said. One would be the party of those who pay the taxes to government, the other the party of those who consume the benefits of government.

The taxpayers' party would engage in constant clashes with the party of the tax-consumers.

In 2013, the top 1 percent of Americans in income paid 38 percent of all income taxes. The bottom 50 percent of income-earners, half the nation, paid only 3 percent of all income taxes.

A question logically follows: If one belongs to that third of the nation that pays no income taxes but receives copious benefits, why would you vote for a party that will cut taxes you don't pay, but take away benefits you do receive?

Traditional Republican platforms ask half the country to vote against its economic interests. As a long-term political strategy, that is not too promising.

During the New Deal, FDR's aide Harold Ickes, declared in what became party dogma, "We shall tax and tax, spend and spend, and elect and elect."

And so they did, and so they do. But this is a game that cannot go on forever.

For, as John Adams reminded us, "There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide."

(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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