E. Scott Cracraft - Fatal mistakes

Recently, this writer was talking with a friend who is a Republican. This man is too much of a gentleman and has way too much class to "like" Donald Trump. Like many in the GOP, he is worried about the direction his party is taking. Still, he will probably vote for Trump as the GOP's choice. He believes that while he might seem extreme, he's just "ull of hot air and will become more moderate once elected.

This writer cannot help but think this dangerous thinking. After all, in 1933, a German became chancellor and many Germans believed that once in office, he, too, would "moderate" his position away from the crazy things he said.

Although the Nazis became the biggest party in the German parliament, they never held a majority of seats. Of course, they disrupted the parliament and walked out en masse when they did not get their way. But, to get support for Hitler as chancellor the Nazis had to appeal to other conservative and militarist groups that thought they could use the Nazis as their own road to power. A big mistake. A fatal mistake.

These groups included conservative Germans, nationalists, old-styled monarchists, the old German aristocracy, and Germany's "military-industrial" complex, who saw Hitler's saber-rattling as profitable to them. Many simply stood for "traditional German values" and only wanted to "make Germany great again."

Many did not particularly like Hitler. In fact, many, especially those members of the old German nobility and Prussian officer corps, detested him but thought that his ability to mobilize a mass movement might benefit their own interests.

Quite a few did not take Hitler seriously. Like some who say they detest Donald Trump but are committed to voting for him, many Germans were certain that Hitler's more extreme rhetoric would soften once he achieved power. A fatal mistake. Even after he took office, many German Jews held out hope that Hitler's anti-Semitism would "blow over." "After all," thought many German Jews, "Germany has gone through periods of anti-Semitism since the Middle Ages and it never got THAT bad." A fatal mistake.

By Der Fuhrer's time, most German Jews had assimilated into the larger German culture. They usually did not look or dress differently from other Germans. Always a minority, they were an educated and successful one with many representatives in business, medicine, law, and even the military. In fact, around 100,000 Jews fought for Germany in WWI. Even so, the Nazis appealed to angry people who were looking for simplistic solutions to very complex problems. They were out to play the "blame game" and since the Jews were a minority the Nazis could do without, they made a convenient scapegoat for Germany's problems.

What about those Germans who did take Hitler seriously and adored him? The Germans who cried when he came on stage and shouted "Sieg Heil?" Many were sincere, patriotic Germans, "true believers" who were mesmerized by Hitler's platitudes, Some, at least, were hoping for Hitler to "moderate." Others saw his methods as necessary for "making Germany great again." Another fatal mistake.

Those who follow populist demagogues, whether it is Hitler, Mussolini, or Trump, should never be written off as "stupid." The demagogues themselves know exactly what they are doing. A high I.Q. or a degree does not confer immunity from brainwashing by any cult, political or religious. The fact that the Germans were among the best-educated, most creative and technologically advanced people in Europe shows that what happened in German could happen anywhere. People in crowds or manipulated by unscrupulous politicians often behave very differently than they might as individuals.

Like Hitler and Mussolini, Donald Trump is a master manipulator who knows how to appeal to his "base," largely angry, disaffected white males. They feel that the country no longer represents their values and many would like to impose these values on other Americans.

Many who both like and dislike Trump are not taking him seriously. Many are confident that, even if he wins in November, he will "moderate" or at least our Constitution and our other two branches of government will keep him in check. Let us hope they are right. If not, can we afford such a mistake?

(Scott Cracraft is a citizen, a taxpayer, a veteran, and a resident of Gilford.)

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Pat Buchanan- Has Trump found formula for beating Hillary?

Stripped of its excesses, Donald Trump's Wednesday speech contains all the ingredients of a campaign that can defeat Hillary Clinton this fall. Indeed, after the speech ended Clinton was suddenly defending the Clinton Foundation against the charge that it is a front for a racket for her family's enrichment.

The specific charges in Trump's indictment of Clinton: She is mendacious, corrupt, incompetent and a hypocrite. "Hillary Clinton ... is a world-class liar," said Trump. She faked a story about being under fire at a Bosnia airport, the kind of claim for which TV anchors get fired. She has lied repeatedly about her email server. She lied to the families of victims of the Benghazi massacre by implying the atrocity was a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Islamic video, not the premeditated act of Islamist terror she knew it to be.

Drop "world-class" and Trump's case is open and shut.

His second charge: "Hillary has perfected the politics of personal profit and theft" and "may be the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency."

Particulars?

Bill Clinton got $750,000 for a speech from a telecom company facing State Department sanctions for providing technology to Iran. The Clintons got the cash; the telecom company got no sanctions. "Hillary Clinton's State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America's uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation." Trump added, "She ran the State Department like her own personal hedge fund — doing favors for oppressive regimes ... for cash." Together, she and Bill have raked in $153 million since 2001 in speaking fees from "lobbyists, CEOs and foreign governments."

These figures are almost beyond belief.

Sherman Adams had to resign as Ike's chief of staff for accepting a vicuna coat from Bernard Goldfine, who had problems with federal regulators.

When ex-President Reagan, after brain surgery, visited Japan to receive that nation's highest honor, The Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, and got a $2 million fee from the media company that hosted his nine-day visit, our liberal editorial pages vomited out their revulsion and disgust.

Where are those media watchdogs today?

Rather than condemning the Clintons' greed, their conflicts of interest and their egregious exploitation of their offices, the media are covering for Hillary and digging for dirt on Trump.

To substantiate his charge of incompetence, Trump notes that Clinton as Senator voted for arguably the greatest strategic blunder in U.S. history, the invasion of Iraq.

She pushed the attack that ousted Col. Gadhafi and unleashed terrorists who took over much of Libya and murdered our ambassador.

She played a leading role in launching the insurrection against Bashar Assad that has left hundreds of thousands dead, uprooted half of Syria and sent millions of refugees to seek asylum in Europe.

Primary beneficiary: ISIS, with its capital in Raqqa.

And the hypocrisy charge?

Though Hillary and Bill Clinton profess to be the fighting champions of women's equality and gay rights, they have banked millions in speaking feels and tens of millions in contributions to the Clinton Foundation from Islamic regimes under whose rule women are treated as chattel and homosexuals are flogged, beheaded and stoned to death.

Why do major media let them get away with such hypocrisy? Because, ideologically, politically, socially, morally and culturally, the major media are with them.

While making the case for the indictment of Hillary Clinton, Trump also outlined an agenda with appeal not only to nationalists, populists and conservatives but working-class and minority Democrats.

If Trump is elected, an economic system "rigged" to enable big corporations to leave and take factories and jobs abroad, and bring their goods back free of charge to kill companies that stay in America, will end. "Globalism" will be replaced by "Americanism."

Trade and tax policies will be rewritten to provide incentives for companies to bring jobs and factories here. Was this not also Bernie Sanders' message? He stood against NAFTA in the 1990s when the Clintons colluded with Bush Republicans to impose it.

In his peroration, Trump spoke of what we Americans had done, how we had lost our way, but how we could, together, make her great again. His finale was surprisingly aspirational, hopeful, inclusive.

In the political year just ended, several unmistakable messages have been delivered. First, the record turnout for Trump and remarkable turnout for Ted Cruz represented a repudiation of Beltway Republicanism. Second, the amazing success of 74-year-old Socialist Bernie Sanders in keeping Clinton embattled until California, showed that the Democratic young have had enough of Clintonism.

A majority of the nation said loud and clear: We want change.

Hillary Clinton's vulnerability is that Americans distrust her; no one believes she represents change; and she has no agenda and no vision. Her campaign for president is all about her. As Trump noted, even her slogan is, "I'm with her."

Rough and raw as it was in parts, Donald Trump's speech on Wednesday contains the elements of a campaign that can win.

(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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DJ's First U.S. Open win

By ALISON MITZEL

When there is a major title on the line, there is bound to be some excitement over the four rounds of U.S. Open. This past weekend's U.S. Open was no walk in the park for the players or spectators. The U.S. Open returned to famed Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania for a record ninth time, making it the first course to host more U.S. Opens than any other course in history.

With 156 players set to tee off during the first round of the tournament on Thursday, inclement weather suspended play three times, creating a long weekend of golf for everyone involved. Over half of the field never had the opportunity to begin round one of play due to the weather. With the rest of the weekend forecasting zero participation, the tournament was going to have to be played from sunrise to sundown each day in order to complete the tournament by Sunday night.
It was a great weekend of golf to watch, with different names atop the leader board each round.

Shane Lowry had the lead going into the final round Sunday afternoon, with Dustin Johnson trailing behind. On the fifth hole of the fourth round, Johnson's ball moved backwards on the putting green. He had not addressed the ball, or grounded his putter. The United States Golf Association (USGA) believed he had caused the ball to move. However, Johnson and his playing partner, Lee Westwood, both confirmed that he did not cause the ball to move. This should have been the end of this discussion because under the rules of golf, this would not count as a penalty since he did not cause the ball to move.

Unfortunately, the USGA said it was more certain than not that Johnson had caused the ball to move. The game of golf is built upon integrity, and the USGA was basically calling Johnson a liar. Thankfully, Johnson prevailed after being penalized one-stroke, and won his first major championship. The USGA is now trying to save their reputation for the way the ruling against Johnson was handled, but it will be hard to do when the golf community feels that the USGA was wrong.

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Michael Barone - Trump pivoting away from tabloid campaigning

Donald Trump is the latest proof that the campaign always reflects the candidate and that the candidate is a product of his experience over the years. So, as Trump, after clinching the Republican nomination, reshuffles and rejiggers a campaign that has fallen behind Hillary Clinton, it's instructive to look at his political ground zero.

That would be New York and its tabloid politics. I first encountered this in summer 1961, on a family vacation to New York City. As a teenager I was allowed to travel on the subway (15 cent fare, a dollar gets you six tokens and a dime change) and arrange my own meals (a pizza slice — exotic food back home — for a quarter).

That was the summer of the primary between two-term Mayor Robert Wagner and a challenger supported by bosses who had backed Wagner twice before. You could watch the campaign in the headlines of the tabloid newspapers on the kiosks outside subway stations.

In those days, circulation of the easy-to-read-on-the-subway tabloids was "yuuuge": over 1 million for the Daily News and Daily Mirror, about 800,000 for the then-liberal New York Post. This was the media environment in which Donald Trump grew up.

Politics was part of the family business. His father, Fred Trump, was well-connected with machine Democrats in Brooklyn and Queens, which helped him get favorable zoning, land assembly and Mitchell-Lama subsidies for the giant apartment towers he built there.

The young Donald Trump was drawn to politics early on. At 19, he wangled a spot among the bigwigs at the ceremonies opening the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. In his 20s he capitalized on Trump contributions to the mayor and governor to make his first real estate deals in Manhattan.

In the years that followed he was an interested observer of New York's tabloid war campaigns. John Lindsay versus Nelson Rockefeller, Pat Moynihan versus Bella Abzug, Ed Koch versus Mario Cuomo, Al D'Amato versus Chuck Schumer: conflicts fought out in the morning and afternoon editions of the tabloids every day.

I remember watching David Garth, media consultant to Mayors John Lindsay, Edward Koch, Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, phoning tabloid reporters like Deborah Orin and TV anchormen like Gabe Pressman to feed them storylines and suggest headlines for their next edition or broadcast.

Sensational headlines were especially effective, dominating the front pages visible on kiosk stands. The Daily News' "FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD!" helped Jimmy Carter carry New York in 1976. The New York Post's 1983 classic "HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR" epitomized the feeling that the city was being overwhelmed by violent crime.

It is commonly said that today's political campaigning, with blogs and Twitter feeds, with never-ending news cycles over every 24-hour period, is something entirely new. Well, up to a point.

Compressing your thoughts into 140-character tweets is not unlike attracting news kiosk browsers with a couple dozen ENORMOUS CAPITAL LETTERS on a tabloid front page. Sitting in your office giving phone interviews to selected media outlets is not all that different from what David Garth used to do.

Derogatory epithets — "Lyin' Ted," "Little Marco," "Crooked Hillary" — were the argot of tabloid headline writers, and insults got you on the front page. D'Amato's characterization of Schumer as a "putz" had lamentable echoes in the primary campaign.

There are limits to the effectiveness of tabloid-style campaigning. The tabloid wars were unique to New York for the obvious reason that no other city has anywhere close to as many subway riders and therefore as many tabloid buyers. And even there the tabloid wars seem a thing of the past. In New York's subways today you see more people reading their phones than staining their fingers with tabloid ink.

Moreover, even in the years of tabloid wars, New York candidates did other things — such as raising money, running television ads and drawing on experts and their own in-depth knowledge of government to come up with serious public policy proposals.

Until this week, Donald Trump has done very little along these lines. And having won the Republican nomination, he seems to have taken the view of many election winners: If his critics are so smart, how come their candidates lost and he won?

Now, firing his campaign manager and speaking with some seriousness about policy, he seems to have decided that updated-for-the-internet tabloid war politics, sufficient in the primaries, aren't enough for the general election. Let's see if he sticks to it.

(Syndicated columnist Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.)

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We need to develop a "real estate slide rule"

By ROY SANBORN

Real estate is all about numbers, math and formulas. There are mortgage calculations, amortization schedules, debt ratios, average sale prices, days on market, the percentage of asking to selling prices, tax rates, tax bills, and on and on. It is all about numbers. I took four years of college prep math back in the day when you still used slide rules to figure out things. I can't say I was a whiz, but I got by. I am sure I have forgotten way more than I retained and I certainly don't remember how to use a slide rule. I can't remember the last time I even saw one. Today, I wish someone with a lot more mathematical background than I would invent a slide rule that could actually calculate the probability of selling a house ... any house, in any condition. Maybe a computer program would be more appropriate today.

Most real estate agents can tell when they list a home whether they have a real winner or not. It's that gut feeling you get from being in the business long enough to know that this particular home is really nice, something special, priced right, and that it won't be on the market long. Of course market conditions and asking price all have something to do with the outcome of any sale.

I have heard it said that numbers and mathematics can be used explain everything in the world. So, out of curiosity, I looked at the statistics for all the residential sales in Belknap County in 2015. The average sales price for the year was just over $320,000 and on average it took 120 days to sell a home. The average year of construction for the homes that sold was 1967 and they averaged 2,025 square feet in size with 3.09 bedrooms, and 2.23 baths. I guess we can call it three beds, two-and-a-half baths, to be real. There were 330 properties that sold that had no garage. For those that had one, the average was 1.3 stalls. A 1.3-stall car garage would be good for a small car and a moped, so I think we should round up to two bays. One-stall garages made up 19 percent of the sales, two-car garages made up 35 percent, and three cars or more made up about 11 percent of the sales.

The majority, or 80 percent of the homes that sold had a basement and the averaged finished space below ground was 768 square feet. Being in New England, most homes that sold, or about 56 percent, are heated with oil. About 33 percent used bottled or natural gas, 9 percent were electric, and the rest were kerosene, wood, wood pellets, and one had geo-thermal heat. I think there were a couple that relied on body heat, too! The average size lot was 2.96 acres.

There you have it, the perfect house to sell; a three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, 2,225-square-foot home built in 1967 with a partially finished basement, oil heat, and a two-car garage on 3 acres will sell in four months for $320,000. Right? Maybe, maybe not, though it seems that you have got the odds on your side. But you also need factor in condition, quality, location, amenities, and more! Where is that slide rule and what is is the formula? It would be nice if we had one! You'd expect a home to sell quickly if it was mint condition, had new upgrades, was in the perfect spot, on a lake, and had no neighbors. But it could be overpriced! What are the chances then?! Is there a logarithm for this? From Wikipedia I see "Logarithmic scales reduce wide-ranging quantities to tiny scopes." I like the "tiny scopes" part. Whatever that means, it could help.

So to all you mathematical geniuses out there, I am requesting help to develop this new slide rule for real estate. We need to get to the root of the problem and not go off on tangents or cotangents. We may need to use some sines or cosines instead of signs and co-brokes. I think we can make a fortune with this, so give me a call.

 

P​lease 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. ​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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