Nary a word was said about amendment to raise the gas tax

To The Daily Sun,

Gov. Hassan has never supported the 8-cent per gallon gas tax increase or played games with the Department of Transportation budget as claimed by Rep. Mike Sylvia in a letter published Thursday. The whole DOT fiasco is a creation of the House Finance Committee Republicans.

The Finance Republicans snatched the DOT budget from the governor's budget proposal, attached it as an amendment to an innocuous bill about drivers licenses (HB-357), crippled the department by slashing $88 million needed to fund department operations so it could spend the money raised last year to fix the roads, and when John Q. Citizen complained loudly, decided to fix the bill by imposing an additional 8-cent tax increase.

Curiously, Finance Chairman Rep. Neal Kurk refused to sponsor the gas tax increase, but publicly stated he'd support it. Such fortitude. Well, by Wednesday, the 176 Republicans who signed the Grover Norquist pledge seem to have been joined by a few others, and, apparently the Democratic minority in the House didn't want to go along with the shenanigans, by passing the House Finance crippling amendment, adopting a floor amendment imposing the 8-cent per gallon increase and then passing the bill.

As a result, on Wednesday, when the bill came up, Rep. Kurk urged the House to kill his committee's amendment (2015-1015h), and pass the bill dealing only with driver licensing.

Nary a word was spoken about the amendment to raise the gas tax (2015-1071h). This issue now becomes a second thing subject to my warning in an earlier letter: "Don't count on this being the last word on the subject."

David O. Huot


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To depict LHS as unsportsmanlike based on 1 letter is unfair

To The Daily Sun,

I would like to comment on article titled "Jeers & Cheers" in the March 7 issue of The Laconia Daily Sun.

Part of the article was based on a letter by Susan Colby expressing her opinion of the visiting crowd's behavior at a recent game between the two schools. I respect her opinion, but do not agree.

To summarize how the article read to me, as a fan of Laconia High School: a person associated with a losing team was upset. School officials were present and in control. No actions on court or in stands were considered unsportsmanlike. School administration had not heard anything negative from school officials present. Next game everything was great except actions by opposing fans prior to game, considered rude by some.

I do not understand why The Laconia Daily Sun chose to juxtapose this article in a way that depicted Laconia fans as unruly. I think a more appropriate title for article would have been "No harm, no foul".

As a parent, I could not have enjoyed the atmosphere and excitement of recent playoff games any more than I did. I only have praise for all of the friends, families, faculty and fans who came out to support our student athletes. I felt school spirit was boisterous and proudly on display.

Our youth should be allowed to express themselves in a constructive and creative manor. These events are an extension of their education and necessary to allow them to grow as individuals and in groups. To depict them as unsportsmanlike based on one letter was unfair.

Fred Marchione


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When labor costs go up, employers have but two choices . . .

To The Daily Sun,

Bob Joseph believes that based on rates of inflation, the minimum wage should be around $15 to $16 an hour. At least that was his assertion in a recent letter. Hey Bob, why not $20 or even $30 an hour. Wouldn't that be even more equitable, fair and compassionate? Just forcing businesses to pay employees more, despite razor-thin profit margins, makes those on the left feel really good. They can move on to other issues now that their work is done here. Good intentions are so quickly accomplished and you don't have to get your hands dirty.

Being in that party of the so-called harsh and less compassionate right, I thought I might check out some hard, cold facts. I enlisted the exhaustive research done by Thomas Sowell, esteemed economist and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University and, finally, Ellen Sauerbrey, chairman of Maryland Business for Responsive Government. Oh, and despite what either Jon Hoyt or Henry Osmer said about me, I constantly cite resources that I use when voicing my opinions. How could you not know that?

Professor Walter Williams' book, "Race and Relations" has many historical and statistical facts to ponder. "In 1948, black teen unemployment was lower than white teen unemployment. Today, black teen unemployment is 40 percent while white teen unemployment is 20 percent." Over the past 50 years, black teen unemployment has never been less than 20 percent, and has been as high as 50 percent, says Thomas Sowell.

Dr. Sowell confirms that "minimum wage laws reduce employment opportunities for the young and unskilled of any age." It has been happening around the world for generations and Sowell says you can check out those statistics by reading a copy of the distinguished British magazine, The Economist, at any local library.

Ellen Sauerbrey notes that "markets set wages". "When labor costs go up, employers have two choices. They can attempt to pass the price on to consumers (and perhaps lose customers) or find a way to cut costs." In the restaurant business that can mean increasing menu prices, cutting employees, or just closing up shop. According to one San Francisco newspaper, restaurants and grocery stores in Oakland's Chinatown have closed after the minimum wage law was passed.

The Heritage Foundation reports that 97 percent of wage earners make more than the minimum wage and the majority of them are between the ages of 18 and 24. Many are students working part time and living in households averaging $53,000 per year. The Department of Labor reports that only 4 percent of minimum wage workers are single parents with full-time jobs.

For the most part, these "compassionate" minimum wage laws are more about allowing liberal/progressives (see most Democrats) to pat themselves on the back and feel good about themselves while leaving the poor and unskilled unable to take that first step onto the career ladder in order to gain some valuable experience in the job market. That has caused devastation for decades in those populations. Check out Spain, Greece and South Africa and their generous minimum wage laws for proof. Then check out Switzerland's unemployment rate which has no minimum wage laws — it always seems to remain below 4 percent, says Dr. Sowell.

There is some pro and con debate to the Earned Income Tax Credit, but many economists claim it works much better in helping low-income earners. They say it doesn't lead to job loss, it doesn't deter hiring and since it penetrates about 80 percent of low income working families, it raises the effective minimum wage for a mom with two kids from $7.25 an hour to $10.44 an hour.

Again Walter Williams' book, "Race and Economics" (2012), is brimming with dozens of studies that show how these minimum wage laws have had a negative employment effect on low skilled workers. Bob Joseph claims that "what happens when you increase people's wages, you increase their spending power." Well yes, Bob, providing they actually have a job and don't lose their job or get cut back to part-time status.

Let's have a real and honest debate about this issue shall we? Good intentions make liberals feel good about themselves while providing them with one more opportunity to label those conservative types as lacking in compassion for those less fortunate than them. Somehow, the results of those good intentions gets lost in the translation. The destruction to families this particular policy has caused worldwide is there for all to see. Why do the liberal/progressives pretend not to see? Why don't they understand that allowing entrepreneurship to thrive by getting the government out of the way, thus creating more jobs, is the way to go?

Russ Wiles


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A war-weary America has extracted its pound of flesh for 9/11

To The Daily Sun,

Thanks, Russ Wiles, for your own version of "revisionist history" based on the pre-Vietnam mentality that the U.S. is somehow the globe's policeman and must expect that total military victory is supposed to be the precursor of the winning of the hearts and minds of those we seek to liberate from their own cultures.

Today "Mission Accomplished" is the former Iraq,  with nearly 1.5 million Southwest Asians dead by way of the U.S.'s direct actions of war, collateral damage or the famine and pestilence that are created in every one of these police actions. We then add to that the additional 8 million desperate former Iraqis made refugees created out of these political destabilizations we initiated, added to the 2 million we were directly responsible for creating whilst we prosecuted our wars on these peoples whose cultures, customs and religion we find mostly revolting.

May I propose some other "revisionist history"? The Turks would not allow us to set the precedent for Putin to invade and annex a sovereign foreign nation, over their territory. They feared the eventual political destabilizations and refugee floods they are now dealing with. Bush II ignored the precepts of the Powell-Weinberg doctrine. He had no exit plan for Iraq, just a plan to invade it and destroy the so-far-mythical Weapons of Mass Destruction.

All through the Southwest Asian war efforts, Bush and then Obama referred to the Mujahideen as being "insurgents". We did not see that word now fallen into disuse, in Mr. Wiles recent column. Shortly after the fiction of Bush's ambitious war on Iraq was revealed, his Secretary of State resigned in apparent disgust for being bamboozled into vouching for the existence of the WMD deception.

In the 2008 election, incumbent Sen. John E. Sununu was swept out of office by the disgusted electorate voting their level of confidence in the disastrous foreign policy and domestic economy collapse his fellow Republican, Bush II ultimately delivered. Obama is evil because he recognized the sense of the electorate when he ran for re-election against the War Hawk-campaigning Mitt Romney, who was by many opinions a Vietnam draft dodger with the same motivations as the boxer Mohammed Ali. Mr. Ali went to jail. Mitt went to France.

The electorate seems to have sensed Winston Churchill's observations about democracy being the worst form of government except for all the others previously tried. The electorate endorsed the re-election of a cartoon character of about the same credibility as his predecessor over the war mongering prince of the pluto-gerontocracy. Someone who would not serve in his time, but now thought himself fit to be Commander and Chief.

So far Obama has, until recently, kept the boots off the ground in the former Iraq. If you watch the Sunday news magazines you will see the credible plus one dozen Republican candidates for president all saying that it is for our allies of the same cultures in the region to deal with the winners of the hearts and minds in the Islamist Caliphate. We are to provide air support and material support but "no boots on the ground" to destroy ISIS. Republicans are advising against boots on the ground, while Obama is now increasing those numbers. Obama has no further need to heed the will of the electorate. The $300 million-plus for a library is his current main concern.

A war-weary America has gotten its pound of flesh in terms of exacting retribution for the 9/11 attacks. Up until recently Obama had been advising that, "These folks are going to have to sort things out for themselves." Now they have, and it is generally recognized that the wrong people have won that process. We could not allow free elections as continuously promised in Vietnam because the wrong people would have won there, too.

Our Constitution specifically forbids quartering military personnel in our homes by the Third Amendment. Americans with their sense of self-righteousness cannot imagine how occupying Kuwait for 20 years and invading Iraq with the collateral damages to the civilian populations engender rage in the indigent populations. Emotions our nation's founders were keenly aware of in creating the Third Amendment. Americans do not want to admit to being the cause of refugees in Syria and Jordan selling their children on the streets for sex. We after all were the force for good.

We got rid of Saddam, Uday, and Qusay. Now we have the ISIS. Remarkably ISIS kills its enemies so as to be assured they will not have to fight them again. Tactics so different than Saddam or that the British employed in the aftermath of the 1916 Irish Rebellion and the Amritsar massacre in India a few decades later? Tactics employed by Reno and Custer 125 years ago. We let some of the enemy interned at Gitmo go because we are a spineless nation and not willing to deal with "them" as "they" are committed to dealing with any of us that are so foolish or naive enough to venture into these SW Asian regions to be do-gooders.

It is easy to find and film these successful westernization stories but are they really reflective of the societies of Southwest Asia's ambitions for self determination? So Russ is correct that the president, sensing the will of the American electorate, belatedly post the 2008 election promises, withdrew from Iraq. But he had to withdraw to help him win the next election. So the current fiasco of the last 12 years of U.S. foreign policy in Southwest Asia is all Obama's fault?

Along with the suppression of the Taliban in AfPak, we have the biggest U.S. heroin epidemic of the last quarter century. It is true that Hillary Clinton refused to go on the national TV Sunday news magazines after Benghazi. Instead, as she was reticent to spin the Obama administration's fiction to the nation, Susan Rice was sent up to spin the lies. Susan would have been in line to be the next Secretary of State but was thrown under the bus. Instead the vet who questioned how you ask the last soldiers to die at the end of a mistake to just suck it up, became the Secretary of State.

The Benghazi disaster was not unlike many previous disasters where the CIA, the Defense Department and the State Department were all culpable. It is easy to pin it on Clinton as to her being the lightning-rod personality. As Secretary of State, Clinton pursued expeditionary diplomacy. Maybe there is an argument to be made for or against that kind of more risky diplomacy, but if you pursue it there may eventually be costs such as occurred in Benghazi. The alternative is to employ the "everybody loves Joe" insular diplomacy as explained by one of Russ' contemporaries in the novelette "The Ugly American."

Let us also persist in the revisionist history of the role VP Cheney did not play in the Iraq fiasco. Let us not take note that along with Senator Sununu, it was Senator Clinton also voting for authorizing Bush to invade Iraq. So Clinton is all about the Benghazi accountability but should not be criticized or held accountable for her support of Bush's "good" war of aggression on Iraq? It is all Obama's fault for forming the objective and exit strategies in Iraq as provided in the Powell-Weinberg doctrine.

The costs of U.S. active-military pay, rising by 46 percent in inflation adjusted terms over the last decade, is turning our all-voluntary force ever more into mercenaries. The exponentially increasing legacy costs of military pensions of ever more top brass needed to prosecute war. The same as for the costs of caring for and the rehabilitation of the heroes who have given their real pounds of flesh and providing benefits to the burgeoning numbers of vets.

As for getting retribution for 9/11 against some randomly selected militarily weak Arab nation, what is not to like about Obama exacerbating "Mission Accomplished"?

Tim Sullivan


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God is slow to anger but don't mistake his forbearance for impotence

To The Daily Sun,
E. Scott Cracraft starts out his column of Feb. 24, "I think that Jesus was quite likely a historical character." Please! If he were talking about Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great would he make such a disclaimer or would he just go on and write about them.

Yes, some writers have challenged Jesus' existence, but it's a silly challenge, for to do so is to put the reality of all recorded history in doubt. If his intent is to write a scholarly piece about Christianity, why would he lead us to believe that Jesus existence is somewhat tenuous. Writing a scholarly piece about Christianity is not his intent, but to disparage orthodox Christian doctrine is his intent.

Scott goes on to demonstrate his ignorance of what Scripture is, elevating it seems all "Christian" writing from the early church period to equal genuine scripture for trustworthiness and authority. In this he makes a grave mistake.
He writes as though Christian doctrine evolved through the centuries, rather than being distilled. The difference is huge, and it renders all of his skeptical points about the debate over who Jesus is as non sequiturs, for those who don't want get out your dictionaries, worthless BS.

The doctrine of the Trinity wasn't merely decided at the council in Nicaea in 325 AD it was recognized and protected as a distillation of the true teaching of the Scriptures and of the true church.

Critics of the Bible like to have it both ways. They like to depict it as hand-me-down stories that have been added to and altered and not authentic accounts. Then as Mr. Cracraft does here; they complain about part of the process that has kept it pure and they try to introduce extra canonical texts and heresies and say why weren't these included?

Was there debate over who Jesus was? You bet. He was executed because most of he Jewish leaders did not believe He was who He said He was. Was there debate between Paul and Peter and the rest of the 12 about this? No, there wasn't. Jesus received worship. Only God can receive worship otherwise it is idolatry. (John 20:26-29; Rev. 5; John 1:1-18; Rom. 1:1-5)

Were there others who did not believe this and would corrupt the true teaching? Yes. Did their teaching need to be weeded out and rejected as not canonical and some as even heretical? Yes. Would Mr. Cracraft try to second-guess the process by which heresies were rejected and canonical teaching was protected, and would he elevate these heresies -- that have been rejected by our church fathers, in order to protect sound doctrine which is a correct distillation of Biblical teaching — to equal to true Biblical teaching? I think so.

Mr. Cracraft, please, it is my understanding that you are a quite amiable person. You have a column in a respected local newspaper. Please do not write so as to cause those who might believe in Christ to stumble. It is the God of the whole Earth that you are disparaging. I write this in love sir. Please be more careful in what you write. Of all the things you could write about you chose to disparage God's church. This is not a small thing that you should wave off. Please consider carefully what it is you are doing. For though God is slow to anger. Do not mistake his forbearance for impotence.

Would it not be better to know Him in His mercy? That is why Jesus came and died and was raised, to bring a salvation that only God Himself could bring. The truth is simple sir. A child can understand it. It's not way up there so that only the very intelligent can understand it. But it's down in the heart where even the simple can grasp it. Please don't let your great intelligence — for it is as nothing compared to God's — prevent you from receiving the truth. (2 Peter 3:9-18)

Put your knowledge down for a minute sir and hear God. Please sir take a Sunday and go to a Bible preaching church, not as a critic, but to hear what God would speak to you. If you go expecting to hear from God and with a pure heart you will not be disappointed.

John Demakowski


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