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Susan Estrich - Sugar babies

The news that Google executive Forrest Hayes died on a yacht after being injected with heroin by a "date" he met on a website that connects "sugar daddies" with "sugar babies" has prompted not only charges against the woman, 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, and an investigation of a similar death (ruled accidental) involving Ms. Tichelman in 2013, but also questions about the website that brought the dead husband and father into contact with the woman who literally killed him.
While police have described the woman as a high-priced escort with an ongoing "prostitution relationship" with the executive, the website "Seeking Arrangements," denies that its site in any way condones prostitution. According to the site's spokesperson, "What we do know is that these were two adults that were involved in a consensual relationship that was ongoing. This appears to be a case of recreational drug use gone wrong."
Actually, it appears to be quite a bit worse than that. It wasn't just that Tichelman allegedly injected Hayes with a lethal dose of heroin. The security cameras show her injecting the heroin, and then watching as Hayes' body went limp. Instead of calling 911, as anyone with an ounce of humanity would do, Ms. Tichelman allegedly finished her wine, packed up her needles and heroin, and then stepped over his body to leave, pausing only to reach back and pull down the blinds so no one would see the dying man inside.
This is, of course, according to the police. Ms. Tichelman is innocent until proven guilty. But if the report of what was captured on camera is correct, she deserves to be charged not with manslaughter (the current charge against her, along with drug and prostitution charges) but murder. She may not have intended that Hayes die when she injected him, but her actions once she did so establish malice; to leave someone to die, much less pull down the shades, when they are potentially facing death is an omission that is as serious as an intentional act of killing. And the fact that another man — this one in Georgia, last year — died under similar circumstances while Ms. Tichelman was showering not only raises questions for Georgia police, but also is relevant to Tichelman's knowledge and intent on the night she injected Hayes.
In short, Ms. Tichelman has big problems, as well she should. The degrees of murder reflect the fact that not all killings are alike: The killer for hire, the killer who plans his act, are punished more seriously because they are, quite simply, more evil than one who kills in the heat of passion. On the "scumbag scorecard," a woman who would finish her wine and pull down the shades after killing the man with whom she was supposedly "involved in a consensual relationship" deserves to be in that same category.
And the website? They claim that matching a "sugar daddy" with a "sugar baby" for a "no-strings" ideal relationship for the daddy and financial stability, shopping sprees and exotic travel for the baby has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with prostitution. Meet "background-checked" babies, the men are promised. I wonder if Ms. Tichelman's background check picked up the man who died while she was in the shower? I doubt it.
Prostitution by another name is still prostitution. A website which facilitates prostitution is complicit in that crime, at least. There are so many sites like that on the web (to quote the song, "The Internet Is for Porn,") that it would be impossible to shut them down, even if anyone had the will to try. But when prostitution leads directly to death, there is a case to be made that all those complicit share in the responsibility for the death, if not under the criminal law, at least under the civil law, and certainly as a matter of morality.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Sanborn – 'Summa Kitchins'

Well, summer is officially here! Time to barbecue, have something cold to drink, and play the N.H. state pastime; a good old game of Corn Hole. Well, maybe not, but grilling is definitely on the list. That brings me to a discussion on the Summer Kitchen (pronounced "Summa Kitchin.") But what is a Summer Kitchen?

Well, in the olden days when our Patriot forefathers had to cook their meals over an open flame in the big kitchen fireplace on a sweltering July day things got just a little bit overheated. It was already over ninety five degrees in the house and a roaring fire to cook marinated steak tips really put the old man over the edge. So, he went outside and built another little building with a kitchen in it. The "summa kitchin" was born.

Today we still have "summa kitchins" but they generally aren't in another building. Today, especially on lake front homes, you can find them conveniently located in the lower level walk out next to the patio. That way you can entertain without going back upstairs after a dip in the lake. That helps keeps the sand off the hardwood flooring. Other "summa kitchins" are built outside on the deck or on the patio where sun worshipers can grill, eat, and sunbathe all at the same time. Today with the air conditioner cranked up inside you end up going outside to warm up. We have come a long way!

Now you don't have to be a millionaire to have a "summa kitchin," but it helps. Most of us get by with just a barbeque and maybe a cooler for nice cold drinks. But if you are interested in the real deal, here are a couple elaborate "summa kitchins" to choose from. Of course, you have to buy the whole house to get one so chances are I'll see you down at Lowe's looking for a new grill.

First up is the "summa kitchin" at 13 Shore Drive on Governor's Island in Gilford. This is a patio style "kitchin" with awesome views of the lake. It features an L shaped stone island with plenty of seating and Lynx grill and appliances. There's additional dining space on another patio closer to the water's edge where you find a sandy beach and docking. The .42 acre lot has 120' of level frontage. Pretty awesome! Inside the 3,866 square foot, three bedroom, four bath custom built Adirondack home that comes with this "kitchin," you'll find another awesome kitchen with custom cabinetry, granite, Viking appliances, and wet bar. This super high quality Timberpeg Post and Beam home has all the bells and whistles including in-floor radiant heat, whole house generator, security, and irrigation system for the beautifully landscaped yard. There's also an oversized three car garage for your toys. This "kitchin" can be yours for just $1.999 million. I'm sure they'll throw in some steak tips and sauce.

There's a pretty fabulous lower level "summa kitchin" up in Meredith at 64 Wagon Wheel Trail. It has custom cabinetry, stainless steel, granite, a center island with seating, beautiful wood ceiling, natural wood work, wainscoting, and tile floor. And I bet it won't get too warm in there as it has plenty of a.c. There's also a recreation room, two full baths, and two bedrooms on this level in case you eat too much and have to take a nap. Upstairs in the Adirondack, you'll find another 4,163 square feet of high quality construction including the requisite great room with cathedral ceiling and fireplace, a designer kitchen, wonderful four season porch, three more bedrooms and four and a half more baths. Superb! Outside there's lots of deck space, meandering walk ways, lush landscaping, patios and of course a dock on the 204' of owned frontage. And, this all comes with great sunset views to dine by. This property is priced at $3.995 million. I pretty much guarantee you can get some steaks thrown in on this deal...

As of July first there were 1,218 residential homes on the market in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered in this market report. That is up from the 1,139 homes on the market as of June 1 and up just a bit from the 1,210 last July 1st. The current inventory level represents a 14.6 month supply of homes on the market.

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 7/1/14. Roy Sanborn is a realtor at Four Seasons Sotheby's International Realty and can be reached at 603-455-0335.

Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 08:19

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Pat Buchanan - Impeachment is a bridge too far

Increasingly, across this city, the "I" word is being heard.

Impeachment is being brought up by Republicans outraged over Barack Obama's usurpations of power and unilateral rewriting of laws. And Obama is taunting John Boehner and the GOP: "So sue me."

Democrats are talking impeachment to rally a lethargic base to come out and vote this fall to prevent Republicans from taking control of the Senate, and with it the power to convict an impeached president.

Still, Republicans should drop the talk of impeachment.

For the GOP would gain nothing and risk everything if the people began to take seriously their threats to do to Barack Obama what Newt Gingrich's House did to Bill Clinton.

The charges for which a president can be impeached and removed from office, are "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

With Bill Clinton, the impeachers had a solid case of perjury.

With Richard Nixon, they had a preponderance of evidence that, at least for a time, he had sought to obstruct justice in the investigation of the Watergate break-in.

Article II of the impeachment of Richard Nixon was for misuse of the IRS in what turned out to be futile and failed attempts to have the agency harass political enemies by having them audited.

As yet there is no evidence Obama knew of the IRS plot to delay and deny tax exemptions to Tea Party groups, which would be an abuse of power and a trampling upon the constitutional rights of Tea Partiers, who were denied the equal protection of the laws.

The GOP response to the lost emails of Lois Lerner and crashed computers that went missing should be a drumbeat of demands for the appointment of an independent counsel, not an impeachment committee in the House.

Obama claims he did not learn of the IRS abuse until years after it began, and weeks after his White House staff learned of it. In the absence of those emails, the claim cannot be refuted.

In the Benghazi scandal, the president's defense is the same. He had no idea what was going on. And cluelessness appears here to be a credible defense. Two weeks after the Benghazi atrocity, Obama was at the U.N. still parroting the Susan Rice line about an anti-Muslim video having been the cause of it all.

Has the president unilaterally rewritten the Obamacare law, while ignoring the Congress that wrote it? Indeed, he has. But would a Republican Party that failed and folded when it tried to use its legitimate power of the purse to defund Obamacare really stand firm in an Antietam battle to impeach a president of the United States?

Or is this just "beer talk"?

Impeachment is in the last analysis a political act.

The impeachment of Nixon was a coup d'etat by liberal enemies who, though repudiated and routed by the electorate in 1972, still retained the institutional power to break him and destroy his presidency. And, undeniably, he gave them the tools.

In the case of Nixon, political enemies controlled both houses of the Congress. Washington was a hostile city. Though he had swept 49 states, Nixon lost D.C. 3-to-1. The bureaucracy built up in the New Deal and Great Society was deep-dyed Democratic.
Most crucially, the Big Media whose liberal bias had been exposed by Nixon and Vice President Spiro Agnew were hell-bent on revenge.

All three power centers — the bureaucracy, Congress, the Big Media — worked in harness to bring Nixon down. No such powerful and hostile coalition exits today with Obama.

In 2008, Obama carried D.C. 24-to-1 over John McCain. The While House Correspondents Association has at times behaved like an Obama super PAC. Liberal Democrats dominate the bureaucracy and control the Senate.

Any Republican attempt at impeachment would go up against a stacked deck. And the GOP would be throwing away a winning hand for a losing one.

For while the American people have shown no interest in impeaching Obama, they are coming to believe they elected an incompetent executive and compulsive speechmaker who does not know what the presidency requires and who equates talk with action.

With the economy shrinking 3 percent in the first quarter, with Obama sinking in public approval, and with the IRS, NSA and VA scandals bubbling, why would Republicans change the subject to impeachment? The effect would be to enrage and energize the Democratic base, bring out the African-American vote in force and cause the major media to charge the GOP with a racist scheme to discredit and destroy our first black president.

Does the GOP really want a fight on that turf, when they currently hold the high ground? If you are winning an argument, why change the subject?

If the nation is led to believe Republicans seek to gain the Senate so they can remove Barack Obama from office after a GOP-led impeachment, then Republicans are not likely to win the Senate. Maybe that is why the Democrats are wailing about impeachment.

Republicans should take away the football.

(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, 09 July 2014 08:37

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Bob Meade - A gift from our founders

As this is being written, we are only a few days from July 4th, the day we celebrate our Declaration of Independence. While families and friends watch parades, displays of fireworks, have picnics and cook-outs, and enjoy various water activities, we recognize that those things resulted from the courage and brilliance of our founders. Those men challenged what at that time was the greatest power in the world . . . and we are grateful.

Some interesting things that followed the Revolution were the Constitution and, importantly, it's "Bill of Rights". In looking at those first 10 amendments, we find that the most important was the First, as it gave "rights" to the people to worship as they wished, to speak freely, to have a free press, to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government to address our grievances. In short, it bestowed power and was to become a government of, by, and for the people.

While all the amendments in the Bill of Rights were and are important, the Tenth Amendment may be the one that, in my opinion, has been the most abused. It reads, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

The First Amendment bestowed the "rights" to the people, and the Tenth Amendment affirmed that the Federal government's "rights" were limited to what was delegated to it in the Constitution. Our founders did not want a government that mimicked the government that had been ruling them, and they challenged and fought the greatest power in the world to gain their freedom and independence.

As our country evolved, 17 more Amendments have been added; many of them useful, and some questionable. For example, on the positive side,

— In 1804, Amendment XII was ratified and established the rules for the Electoral College in determining the positions of president and vice president. It was modified by Amendment XX in 1933. The importance of the amendment is that it helps to prevent what is often referred to as the "tyranny of the majority", where a few, very populous states would have enough votes to negate the will of the people in a large number of smaller states. There have been four occasions where those who did not receive the popular vote, received the Senate or Electoral College vote. Those were John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes, Benjamin Harrison, and George W. Bush. (In the case of President Bush, the initial vote count was challenged by his opponent, Albert A. Gore, but Florida's electors cast their ballots for Mr. Bush. However, the final tally of the votes in Florida showed that Bush had also won the popular vote.)
— In 1865, Amendment XIII was ratified. It abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. It should be noted that 630,000 people died in the Civil War, a war that was intended to save the union. President Lincoln's "Emancipation Proclamation" became effective in the beginning of 1863, and it expanded the aims of the war to include the freeing of slaves.
— The fifteenth Amendment, ratified in 1870 gave citizens the right to vote, regardless of their race, color, or previous servitude, and in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment prohibited denying a person the right to vote because of their gender.
— When George Washington was asked to run for a third term, he responded, "Two terms is enough for any man." That held true until Theodore Roosevelt sought a third term but was defeated and when Franklin D. Roosevelt ran for a third and fourth term and won. In 1951, Amendment XXII was ratified. It limits the president to two terms and essentially helps to avoid an "Imperial Presidency" from taking place. Perhaps similar type limits could be imposed on the House and Senate which would rid us of the tenure like positions that now exist.

In my view, there have been some amendments that have not served the people well, but have placed more power in the hands of the federal government. For example,

— Prior to Amendment XVI, which was ratified in 1913, the federal government could not "lay and collect taxes" on individual citizens, it could only tax the states who would then determine how to collect the money needed to pay the federal government. This amendment may have been well intended as a means of relieving the states of their duty as a tax collector, however, the unintended consequence of it has been that it imposes the awesome power of the federal government on individual citizens and has removed the power of the state to challenge the budgeting and spending of the federal government.
— Article. 1, Section .3, of the Constitution states there would be ". . . two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature) thereof . . ." In 1913, Amendment XVII was passed changing that to read ". . . elected by the people thereof . . ." Perhaps more than anything else, this amendment ushered in the "professional politician" and took away what used to be . . . that people would leave their farms or factories and devote a term or two doing their public service and then return home. Virtually all of the longest serving Senators and Representatives came after this amendment was passed.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 09:43

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Pat Buchanan - Tell Obama: no more wars!

Barack Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to train and arm rebels of the Free Syrian Army who seek to overthrow the government.

Before Congress takes up his proposal, both houses should demand that Obama explain exactly where he gets the constitutional authority to plunge us into what the president himself calls "somebody else's civil war." Syria has not attacked us. Syria does not threaten us.

Why are we joining a jihad to overthrow the Syrian government? President Bashar Assad is fighting against the al Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front and the even more extreme and vicious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

In training and arming the FSA, we are enlisting in a cause where our foremost fighting allies are Islamists, like those who brought down the twin towers, and a Sunni terrorist army that seeks to bring down the government we left behind in Baghdad.

What are we doing?

Assad is no angel. But before this uprising, which has taken 150,000 lives and created millions of refugees, Congressmen and secretaries of state regularly visited him in Damascus. "There's a different leader in Syria now," cooed Hillary in 2011, "Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he's a reformer."

If we bring down Assad, what assurance to do have that the Free Syrian Army will prevail against the Islamists who have proved far more effective in the field? Will we not be compelled to plunge into the subsequent civil war to keep ISIS and al-Qaida from taking power?

If Assad falls there is also a high probability Syria's Christians will face beheadings and butchery at the hands of the fanatics. And should martyrdoms and massacres begin with the fall of Assad because of our intervention, the blood of Christians will be on the hands of Barack Hussein Obama and the Congress of the United States.

Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he wants no part of Obama's new wars. Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine rightly asserts that President Obama has no authority to take us into war in Syria or Iraq. But where are the Republicans?

Absent an attack on U.S. citizens or vital interests, or an imminent threat of attack, Obama has no authority to initiate war. The Constitution places the power to authorize wars of choice exclusively with Congress.

James Madison and his colleagues were seeking to ensure against a rogue presidency of the kind that Obama has lately begun to conduct.
It is astonishing that Republicans who threaten to impeach Obama for usurping authority at home remain silent as he prepares to usurp their war powers — to march us into Syria and back into Iraq.

Last August, Americans rose as one to tell Congress to deny Obama any authority to attack Syria. Are Republicans now prepared to sit mute as Obama takes us into two new Middle East wars, on his own authority?

A congressional debate on war is essential not only from a legal and constitutional standpoint but also a strategic one. For there is a question as to whether we are even on the right side in Syria.

Assad, no matter his sins, is the defender of the Christian and Shia minorities in Syria. He has been the most successful Arab ruler in waging war against the terrorist brigades of ISIS and al-Qaida.

Why, then, are we training Syrians to attack his army and arming people to topple his government? Have we not before us, in Libya, an example of what happens when we bring down an autocrat like Gadhafi, and even worse devils are unleashed?

While Assad has battled al-Qaida and ISIS for three years, our NATO ally Turkey has looked the other way as jihadists crossed over into Syria. Our Gulf allies have provided jihadists battling Assad with arms and money.

Query: Why are our putative allies aiding our worst enemies?

This weekend ISIS declared a caliphate, the Islamic State, over all lands in Syria and Iraq it now controls. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the ISIS war chief, has been declared the new caliph. "The Caliphate Rises," wails the Wall Street Journal. But who midwifed and breast-fed the ISIS movement that has now proclaimed the new caliphate? Was it not our Turkish and Arab friends?

And whose army is the major obstacle to consolidation of a caliphate from Aleppo to Anbar? Is it not the army of the autocrat Assad whom we seek to bring down? Does this make sense?

We are told that ISIS represents a security threat to the United States. But ISIS-controlled Syria and Iraq are on the border of Turkey, whose army could make short work of them. If the caliphate is not such a threat to the Turks as to warrant their intervention in Syria, how can it be a greater threat to us? It cannot.

Congress should block the $500 million for Obama's wars and tell him his days as imperial president are over.

(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 Tuesday, 01 July 2014 09:50

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