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Many hold a mirror to the world and still see only themselves

To The Daily Sun,

In political circles there is a phenomenon known as the mirror–image fallacy. It is the belief that the whole world is me, and as me, there is a radical denial of the anyone else's ideas. It is a blinding belief in common humanity and the wish for sameness over human differences.

The common thought is that if one digs deep enough beneath the surface, we will discover that people everywhere are essentially the same. Therefore, as I look in the mirror, I believe that we must all want the same thing because, deep down, we are all like me. Of course that couldn't be further from the truth, but has become the "political truth" everywhere.

This is more than just a happy vision. It is meant to have practical consequences.

If people everywhere share the same hopes and dreams and fears, they should all get along. And if they don't, then there must be some misunderstanding, some misperception, some problem of communication. Therefore, you must not be seeing things clearly, as I am seeing them in my mirror. So it is my duty to persuade you, threaten you, cajole you into seeing the "real" truth. Of course, if everyone is looking through their mirror, then each person sees things their way and only their way.

We have the county commissioners and the county delegation. Each says they want the same things for the county: lower or higher taxes (whatever suits the upcoming budget), better conditions for our elderly, the incarcerated, and lower-income families, and so on. And both say they have come to the only conclusion possible for a budget that would allow all of these things to happen in the shortest amount of time for the most people possible.

Then why can't they agree? Could it be because each has essentially put a mirror before their eyes and said, "It is impossible to believe that these things are not seen in the way that I see them. I can see everything clearly. Why can't the others?"

All one has to do is to remove the mirror from in front of your view and see what is truly in front of you. Only then can you see those who don't want a job but would prefer to be on assistance, a prison that has been left to disintegrate and now has no easy fix or answers, the elderly who have been mostly forgotten unless or until taxes for their "needs" run low, and all other 'real life' events right before your eyes.

To gloss over contradictory interests, incompatible ideologies, and opposing cultures is more than anti-political. It is dangerous. Those who have long held a mirror to the world and seen only themselves are apt to be shocked and panicked when the mirror is removed, as inevitably it must be. We have become a culture so fixed on its own image that we have become blinded to what is all around us because, of course, we are looking at life through the mirror.

Let's make changes in November. Bring in new commissioners and new state representatives. But, before we vote, let's take a good look at how they see things in the county and how they intend to resolve them. Remember a "blind vote" is equal to the mirror-image fallacy.

Elena Ball
Gilmanton Iron Works

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 10:15

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These children need to be treated humanely & provided safe environment while in our country

To The Daily Sun,

I have to respond to the letter printed on Wednesday, July 23, from Mirno Pasquali, PA C. I am not sure whether or not the statements made are because of a failure to pay attention to the news reports coming from the southern border states, an intentional attempt to mislead the readers to what is really going on at the border with Mexico, or a complete lack of integrity.

Pasquali attacks Russ Wiles for a letter he wrote that criticized President Obama for the lack of action on protecting Americans and picks out a small snippet about the children having diseases to attack him with. He bases his entire argument on the statement from Dr. Mark Ward, president of the Texas Pediatric Society, who says in an interview for NBC News, "While some of the kids are indeed ill, they don't have anything exotic or unexpected" while leaving out other portions of the interview. Dr. Ward goes on to say, "The one disease there's a higher risk of kids from Central America having is tuberculosis"

Pasquali also quotes the World Bank for saying that a higher number of children from Central America are vaccinated vs. the children in the U.S. It is true, according to UNICEF, that 99 percent of children from Mexico and 93 percent of children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are vaccinated against measles compared to 92 percent in the U.S. The issue is that the children of Central America are not vaccinated in these high numbers for the diseases being discussed.

You want to know sources, Mirno? How about the report that one hospital has spent over $60,000 to vaccinate approximately 50-60 children because they weren't vaccinated when they arrived? How about El Paso Sector Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero who said, "Along with scabies and lice, he said agents are seeing immigrants with fevers and diarrhea." Or do you like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists report of health issues from illegal immigrants?

It was reported that during a recent visit to two detention centers that house undocumented migrant children, officials with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) reported that conditions there posed a high risk for infectious disease outbreaks. It was also reported by doctors providing medical care to these children, after being released by the Border Patrol ahead of their court dates, were not appropriately screened or treated for illness while in Federal Custody by the U.S. HHS.

I even read a report that said "During a tour of detention centers in Brownsville and McAllen (Texas) last week, state public health officials identified several health-related issues, including a lack of medicine for child immigrants, no comprehensive medical screenings and no testing for vaccinations or tuberculosis.

Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the DSHS, said, "Our staff believe the children's living conditions pose a high potential for infectious disease outbreak among the children and staff." She went on to say, "The conditions are not healthy and not acceptable for children by Texas and national public health standards."

According to officials with Homeland Security, border protection agents conduct medical screenings for several symptoms — rash, fever, cough, vomiting and diarrhea — shortly after detainees come into federal custody at border patrol stations but once the immigrants are transported to detention facilities and they are screened "for signs of illness consistent with communicable diseases of public health concern." The problem is that, according to officials with DSHS the medical screenings are not sufficient because they are only being conducted on a verbal and visual basis without medical testing. These officials also report that there are serious hygiene concerns because these children are being kept in crowded cells with no running water or soap where that they eat, sleep use the bathroom. Their department has recommended "mass shelter standards" be followed to avoid spreading conditions like scabies, head lice and conjunctivitis.

I suppose you would call Eddie Olivarez, the director of the Hidalgo County Health Department, "laughable" because he said officials there have counted five cases of chicken pox and one "concern" about potential tuberculosis among the recent detainees.

I don't suppose you could believe a report from the Texas Tribune, The Kaiser Health News, an independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Texas Medical Association that Texas has administered nearly 60,000 vaccinations to the illegal alien children because they weren't vaccinated?

A senior unidentified spokesman for CDC reported that when a case of H1N1 swine flu was diagnosed in late June, 2,000 flu vaccines were flown in, and since it takes two to three weeks for a vaccine to confer protection, more cases of flu are likely within the centers. Possibly the disease will spread beyond the local community.

This CDC spokesman also reports that drug-resistant tuberculosis also appears to have spread in several counties in southern Texas, reporting twice the usual average number of cases. TB is a disease that needs to be carefully monitored and screened for, a prospect that is not possible under the current circumstances.

According to the CDC, Dengue fever has been detected this year in southern Texas for the first time since 2005. Illegal immigrants, possibly from Mexico, are a likely source. If infected mosquitoes begin to breed here, we could see more outbreaks.

There have been reports of measles and chicken pox at the centers, both of which are highly contagious and can spread to other children who aren't vaccinated.

Border Patrol agent and Rio Grande Valley Union Representative Chris Cabrera says, "Agents are seeing illegal immigrants come over with contagious infections and that the detention centers and holding facilities have quarantined areas for those who come in sick." But Cabrera says the sick and healthy are separated only by caution tape.

"We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA staph infections, we are starting to see different viruses," Cabrera said.

I hope this has provided you with enough sources to show that when Russ Wiles wrote, "And now we have children coming in with TB, chicken pox, scabies, lice, foot and mouth disease, bacterial pneumonia and who know what other diseases," there is some basis in fact.

I agree that these children need to be treated humanely and provided a safe environment while they are in our country. I don't hear anybody saying otherwise. In fact Glen Beck has taken criticism because he is using his own money to help these children. This criticism is from Democrats and not Republicans. Why?

The problem goes well beyond that, though. We need a president who takes issues of national security seriously and will establish controls over who enters our country and doesn't strictly use these children as partisan political pawns to accomplish what he wants to get done.

We already know these children are being used as pawns for the drug cartels so they can smuggle their narcotics across the border easier. Do you think any of the off-shoots of al-Qaeda realize they can smuggle weapons of mass destruction across our border undetected and attack Americans here, where we live? It is scary that our president can be so easily manipulated to forgo our national security for simple political pandering.

Greg Knytych

Meredith

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 10:11

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Dinner Theater to benefit Winni Wellness Center was a great success

To The Daily Sun,

The Winnipesaukee Wellness Center's second annual Dinner Theater was a great success. Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner, with thanks to the excellent staff and Scott Ouellette of Magic Foods. Following dinner, it was on to the wonderful performance of "42nd Street" by the Interlakes Summer Theater. Many thanks go to Nancy Barry and her great cast for their superb work on stage.

The success of the fund-raising event was enhanced by the many local businesses that contributed gifts or gift certificates for the silent auction. Much appreciation to Vinnie Hale Arts, Ragged Mountain Resort, Corner House Restaurant, Center Sandwich League of NH Craftsmen, Mills Falls, Mark Richter Small Engine Repair, George's Diner, Tucson Trinkets donated by Jane Ellingson, Subway, Common Man, Sandwich Fair, Village Kitchen, Harts, Funspot, Fratello's, Home Comfort, Indian Mound Golf Club, Win'ing Butcher (anonymous donor), bracelet donated by Marilyn Siraco, Meredith Village Savings Bank (gold certificate), Squam Lakes Science Center, Lavinia's, Interlakes Dental Center and Mary Kay Basket (anonymous donor) for their support.

Individual cash donations, from members and friends of the Winnipesaukee Wellness Center, provide much needed support for the center to respond to the needs of many who are working hard to remain independent and active. A very special thank you to each one of you who helped assure the success of the Dinner Theater.

The exercise machines, including the new PhysioMax obtained through a grant from the NH Electric Cooperative, are actively used under the supervision of a registered nurse who regularly assists and monitors each person's activities. The several strength training sessions offer additional exercise opportunities.

With the greatest appreciation and thanks for the support from our individuals and businesses, the Center is able to help many in our communities to attain their highest level of wellness.

For further information about the Winnipesaukee Wellness opportunities, contact Debbie Emerton, RN at the Center on Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 6 a.m.-4 p.m. at 253-1839.

Debbie Emerton and members of the WWC.

Moultonborough

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 10:00

Hits: 74

I do not see requiring voters to present a picture ID at polls as restricting anyone's right

To The Daily Sun,

This is in response the Bernadette Loesch's letter in the July 25 Sun:

Bernadette, you implied that I live inside a bubble because I do not agree with your view about voter rights. But I must disagree and counter that it is you who live inside a bubble, one filled with nothing but the comfort created by your constant accusations against those who disagree with your perpetual outrage over things that are, quite frankly, not as important as you might think. I fear that if you had nothing to be outraged about your world would implode and you'd find yourself bereft and without purpose. However, I digress.

I looked at the NYU School of Law website you listed in your last letter and I find that, yet again, you didn't pay as much attention to what was there as you might have.

If your biggest complaint is that states are requiring voter ID in order for citizens to vote, I do not see that as restricting anyone's right to vote. On more than one occasion you have stated that such a requirement will prevent people from voting, but that's it. You never once gave us a credible reason why such a requirement would prevent any eligible person from voting. Everyone, including the poor, have ID. (The poor can't receive benefits from their respective states without proper ID, the same ID they can use to vote.) You can make the argument that getting the proper ID is an onerous task, but it is no more onerous than the task of voting. If they will not take the time to do the first, it is unlikely they'll take the time to do the second.

Some states were indeed tightening the restoration of voting rights to convicted felons, mostly after having decreased the requirements for restoration that had existed for almost two centuries. I looked into some of those and it turns out that in some cases previous legislation that had liberalized restoration went too far, in two cases allowing felons to vote even though they were still under supervision from their respective state or county Departments of Correction. The newer legislation corrected that oversight. I have no problem with restoring their voting rights once their "debt to society" has been paid in full, but not one second before.

Further reading at the NYU Law School website also decried the 2013 Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision that overturned Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, implying the days of Jim Crow and disfranchisement of non-white voters was just around the corner because GOP legislatures and governors would take us back to the bad old days. However, they ignore history which shows it was Democrats who worked hardest to kill the Voting Rights Act despite it being a bipartisan bill authored by Sens. Mike Mansfield (D-Mont.) and Everett Dirksen (R-Ill.). It was Democrat-controlled states that had implemented the disfranchisement of entire voting blocs based upon race. It was their senators and representatives who worked to kill it. (The GOP heavily supported the bill.)

That the NYU School of Law Brennan Center disagrees with the Shelby County v. Holder decision is no surprise. After reading a number of other papers and opinions posted there, it is quite evident they have no problem supporting racial discrimination to fight racial discrimination, a/k/a affirmative action, a major philosophical disconnect if I ever saw one. As such their credibility is now suspect.

That you referenced them as if they were champions of justice proves to me you have chosen to ignore the cognitive dissonance of such a contradictory position. Since they can apparently hold two contradictory points of view at the same time, might we assume the only voter rights they support is those of ineligible voters, meaning non-residents, transient residents, and convicted felons? It also appears they have no problem enabling voter fraud by pushing for laws or favoring court decisions that will make it impossible for election officials to ensure only eligible voters cast their ballots.

If any of the legislation passed by the various states or court decisions will actually prevent any eligible American citizen from voting, I haven't found it. It isn't like I haven't spent time looking for any such restrictions. I've even gone so far as to ask those more knowledgeable in such matters whether they have found any such instances. The only ones claiming such disfranchisement are the same parties who have in the past performed questionable acts that have put the veracity of a number of elections — local, state, and federal — into question through blatant acts of voter fraud or suppression. Without exception they all had one thing in common: They supported Democrat candidates or the Democrat Party.

You can point your finger all you want at supposed GOP plans to quash voting, but every time you point that finger, remember that three of them are pointing back at you.

Dale Channing Eddy

Gilford

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:56

Hits: 82

Proposal for 1.6% raise for county employees was a reasonable one

To The Daily Sun,

On Election Day this year — Nov. 4 — when you vote for a new County Commissioner please bear in mind that the job is more than simply deciding what to do about the jail. Among other things, the commissioners are also responsible for the County Nursing Home.

As part of my preparation for my campaign, I read past news stories about the issues and one grabbed my attention. According to the article, the commissioners negotiated a tax-friendly 1.6 percent raise for nursing home workers. Unfortunately, the County Delegation voted it down in a decidedly partisan way, with nine Republicans voting against. Two Republicans joined the five Democrats to make seven who voted for the contract.

Now, I believe that the 1.6 percent raise was reasonable. Social Security payments, after all, went up 1.7 percent and those folks at the home do a job that most of us wouldn't want to do. As my pal, Ed, said, "After the third bedpan, I'd be looking for another job." They have long been under-appreciated for all that they do. They take care of people who are important to us. Every one of us who has had a loved one in a nursing home knows how essential those workers and the jobs they do are. And everybody who has family here has somebody or knows somebody in a nursing home.

According to the account in The Daily Sun, one of the Republicans, Laconia Representative Bob Luther, said he had planned to vote against the contract but "after listening to those in the audience, he had changed his mind." I will be like Bob with open ears and an open mind. If you want someone who will listen to you, I ask you to vote for me.

Dave Pollak

Laconia

Candidate for Belknap County Commission

Last Updated on Monday, 28 July 2014 09:50

Hits: 75

 
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