To The Daily Sun,
I am amazed by the numbers of people who are apparently unaware of history where it comes to governments and power. An old saying by, I think Ben Franklin, is "that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". It really doesn't matter if that power is in the hands of a king, dictator, tyrant, fascist, communist, Republican or Democrat. When to much power is centralized in the hands of one person or group of people, history has shown bad things happen to far more people than the few who benefit. Also good intentions play no part at all in the outcomes because corruption is an equal opportunity — well, opportunity. There are no paragons of virtue immune to the disease of power.
Progressives today are pushing for ever more centralized power for the federal government. Already the corrupting effects have been apparent in the scandals, lies, abuse of power and arrogance being displayed in Washington DC. Democrats who roundly criticized former Republican administrations for abuses seem willing to overlook the same and worse abuses being committed by the current Democratic administration, justifying their willful blindness behind the "good intentions" excuse and applying an "any means justifies the ends" philosophy to advance their agenda. This is a dangerous game they are playing because another old saying is, "what comes around goes around".
Our Founding Fathers wrote a Constitution that made perfect sense then and still does if we followed it. But powerful men and women tinkered with it and continue to tinker, abuse and disregard it, then claim it is outdated, does not reflect modern values and the advances in technology and what not. Really, is that a fault of the document or of those who seek evermore power and control over their fellow citizens?
Last Updated on Monday, 30 December 2013 10:48
To The Daily Sun,
It's ironic that Mr. Wiles can naively claim that racism is "no longer a problem", and just pretends it doesn't exist anymore, but he immediately takes up arms and wants to "bring it on" whenever he perceives reverse racism. He would have us believe that there is only one correct answer to discussing race. And that is: There is no racism in America anymore. Except reverse-racism against whites. To believe that reverse-racism is a bigger problem than racism — that's racist.
Racism remains a consistent if rarely acknowledged fact of modern American political life. Individuals on both the Left and the Right who deny racism may be deliberately lying, or they may have a distorted idea of what racism is, and what constitutes racist behavior and expression. They may, in fact, have no conscious hostility at all toward racial or ethnic minorities.
If Wiles needs proof of racism, he need only go to the reader's comments in articles on brietbart, World Nut Daily, Fox Nation, News Max, Patriot News, and other right-wing sites. In addition, there are better than 600 active hate groups (racist) in the United States. These groups are categorized as Ku Klux Klan, Neo-Nazi, Racist Skinhead, Christian Identity, Black Separatist, Neo-Confederate, etc.
While Wiles acknowledges there are right wing bloggers and radio hosts on the fringe of society with racist intent, I'd like to move in from the fringe and provide examples of conservative racism from within. Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorium told a group of supporters: "I don't make black people's lives better by giving them somebody else's money." Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul sent out a newsletter suggesting that 95 percent of the black males in the city (Washington) are semi-criminals or entirely criminals, and describing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as "Hate Whitey Day." Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich talked of eliminating child-labor laws so that school janitors could be replaced by poor kids, and regularly referred to Barack Obama as the "best food stamp president in American history". He also announced that: "I'm prepared if the NAACP invites me, I'll go to their convention and talk about why the African-American community should demand paychecks and not be satisfied with food stamps." It is my "misguided" belief that these statements are racist. Perhaps Wiles can explain the error of my reasoning.
Wiles would consider Mead's column superb, because Meade, like the other conservative writers he reads, tells him exactly what he wants to hear. Racism is based on an ideological belief that one race is somehow better than another race, and when you attribute the success of members of one race to that of another race, as Meade does, you are elevating that race while at the same time devaluing the contributions of others; this is considered racist. I wouldn't presume to label Meade a racist, but unfortunately, when he credits the success of Obama and Winfrey to white voters and white viewers, these comments are not being prejudice — they are racist. He further calls his column into question when he falsely accuses White House staffers of using "street talk" that played a significant role in "inciting rioters in the Middle East." My views only become "insanely twisted logic" because I'm attempting to point out racist attitudes.
I found it humorous, that in his criticism of my letter, Wiles felt the need to invoke a black man, Martin Luther King, as a means of trying to blunt the harsh reality of racism. He continues to demonstrate his lack of confidence and grasp of the meaning of racism by berating my opinions as being "juvenile amateur psychoanalysis." His attacks on me and others who may have opposing views are a deliberate effort on his part to discredit the views of every person who seems to fall into the category of liberal, progressive, etc. This form of argument — if it can be called that — leaves no room for genuine debate over ideas, so by definition, it is undemocratic. Not to mention just plain crass.
I know I'm not saying anything new or insightful here, but just as there's no way not to talk about race and racism, I wish there was some way to talk about it that didn't instantly estrange conservatives and liberals even further.
We have witnessed the playing of the "race card" by many in inappropriate and often unfair ways. I agree with contributors that racism is not cause or explanation of every social problem and that legitimate different points of view are not obvious signs of racism. But let's be honest. We all know that racism still exists in America today. There is a hard core of any racial group who will not accept those of any other racial group. So, while we should not call every disagreement an issue of racism, it is time to call out racism that indeed does still exist, wounds and scars us as a nation, and obstructs the promise of our great country.
L. J. Siden
Last Updated on Monday, 30 December 2013 10:44
To The Daily Sun,
In the news: ice on power lines can take them down; the ice sometimes weighing in at 200 pounds the length of a wire. Why would above-ground Northern Pass power lines still be under consideration, when Maine, Ontario and Quebec — parts of — are now without electricity going on a week due to ice taking down lines? And this is only December. Power lines above ground are a foolhardy project. I won't belabor it.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Monday, 30 December 2013 10:36
To The Daily Sun,
What do we know about the Groton Power Plant?
We know it was erected 12 months ago. And we know there's 8,760 hours worth of data that has been collected by Iberdrola and yet the only data we can collect is visual data. Are they spinning or not?
Shouldn't the state be testing the Groton Power Plant to make sure it is compliant. This community deserves answers before taller and taller power plants are built here.
Is the state conducting meetings closed to the public with Iberdrola? Is the state using Iberdrola's test findings? Or is the state conducting its own tests? What tests have they done? Sound? Water? Soil? Wildlife? Shouldn't this data be public knowledge?
Are tests being conducted every month? In all types of weather? In all seasons? At all hours? After all, Groton is the first power plant of many coming to the banks of Newfound Lake. One would think the State of New Hampshire is looking out for it's Lake's Region residents, right?
Despite the promises made by Iberdrola to residents, I now question the state. Has the state refused to act on the behalf of the community? Has the state conducted any tests on the Groton Wind Plant over the past 12 months?
For example, has the state ever tested in the rain or snow? Tested during the different seasons? Leaves up, leaves down? During cold or warm weather? I bring this up because a few neighbors have told me that the turbines are loudest in the rain. Others have told me they are loudest in the winter. While other say they hear a "jet like sound" whenever the wind blows.
Shouldn't the town of Groton have access to the Groton Power Plant data... from both Iberdrola and the state? Before making decisions regarding more taller turbines, the state could, and should, make a genuine effort to listen to those who are harmed, and to do due diligence by seeking truly independent expert advice on behalf of the neighbors.
That would be the fair and right thing to do.
We have lots of questions... So far: we, as a community, don't have a say in them being built, we, as a community, don't get to see any data on them, and we, as a community, aren't being given enough funds to decommission them.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd rather have this data done sooner than later..
Last Updated on Friday, 27 December 2013 10:13
To The Daily Sun,
I read with interest the Michael Kitch article (LDS 12/26) on the exchanges between Laconia Councilor Lipman and county Commissioner Philpot.
How did the Belknap delegation and the Belknap commission get to the impasse on the county jail wherein the public good is not being served? Councilor Lipman's concerns about the condition of the existing facility are valid and most of the Belknap delegation is motivated to arrive at a sensible and cost
effective solution to issues surrounding the jail.
A prior delegation authorized the hiring of David Bennett whose subsequent 165 page report is available on the county website. I have read this report thoroughly and intend to discuss its findings at a future meeting. From the Bennett report, the firm of Ricci Greene was hired at considerable expense. They presented one option for the jail: build one with design elements which are ultra expensive and which the presenters from Ricci Greene estimated would cost 42.5 million dollars to build. The jail's per bed cost is about 40 percent higher, for example, than the new state prison for women, which was authorized this year. There are many examples of more affordable new jails, which models the current commission has ignored. Indeed, when a planning committee member purchased, at his own expense, the manuals which contain the current guidelines for compliance with federal standards and suggested that a new jail could be built doe about 35 percent of the Ricci Greene proposal, his ideas were summarily dismissed. The gentleman in question is a person of
intelligence and probity who had taken the time to research several jails that were built to those standards and presented them as potential models for our county. The commissioners had zero interest in the work presented for their consideration.
In 2009. when Commissioner Philpot was vice chair, a report was sent to the Attorney General's office detailing the state of the county jail. These reports are, by law, supposed to be filed twice a year. Despite this requirement, there were no further reports filed until March of this year, when the condition of the jail was described as dire. Because the commission did not follow the requirements of the law, we cannot pinpoint the gradual deterioration of the County Drive facility but it does coincide with what Commissioner Philpot previously described as a four year planning process for a new jail.
Councilor Lipman made sensible observations about what the county should be doing to address the problems surrounding the jail, suggestions which the current commission will not follow. I will not be voting for an expensive and temporary solution which contributes nothing to a longer term resolution of our problems and call instead for the county to come up with specifications for a temporary pod which can then be placed out to bid. Certainly, this could be used to house the women prisoners whose housing is most inferior and which, in turn, would alleviate some of the overcrowding. The continued arrogance of the Belknap commission has resulted in their doubling down on a financially infeasible and unnecessary proposal.
Rep. Richard B. Burchell
Belknap 5 - Gilmanton
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00