To The Daily Sun,
Ruth Provencal, the ballot clerk in Derry, was let go because of her use of the expression: "God bless you." This was her preferred way of thanking people for participating in the electoral process. Perhaps the simple way of thanking people would have been to just say thank you rather than introduce a religious element in the public arena. We agree with Renee Routhier, the supervisor of the check list, for not asking Ms. Provencal to return. Religion has no place at the ballot station.
While her peculiar remark may have meaning to certain Christians, it has no meaning to atheists and other non-believers.
We atheists live with this on a daily basis. On a personal level we hear this expression along with, "I'll pray for you," quite frequently. Ms. Provencal remarks that it is her First Amendment right and William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, agrees with her.
They both miss the point. It's not a question of whether or not she was fired or let go. It's a volunteer position and Derry officials were within their rights to release her. It's a question of separation of church and state in the workplace. A similar case occurred at the New Jersey toll booth. Cynthia Fernandez also used religious expressions to "thank" people. She was also fired. Perhaps state agencies should have a policy against using religious phrases.
Christian revisionists would have us believe that this nation was founded on Christian beliefs. They couldn't be further from the truth. The U.S. government derives from people (not God) as it clearly states in the preamble..."We the people." The omission of God in the Constitution did not come out of forgetfulness, but rather out of the Founding Fathers purposeful intention to keep government from religion. Christians can "pray for us" all they want if they don't mind us "thinking for them."
Ruth Provencal is not an evil woman but her misplaced remarks represent at the very least a cultural insensitivity and should be discouraged.
Plymouth Secular Society
Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 11:39
To The Daily Sun,
It was interesting last week to read the letter from Ms. Landry in which she admonishes Professor Cracraft for what she perceives as "a misplacement of facts and a doublespeak process," and "picking an untruth and running with it"; has she been reading this forum? What she takes offense to appears on these pages almost on a daily basis.
Contributors from both ends of the political spectrum are guilty. The "spreading of information while leaving out the real facts" is the life-blood of many writers. In fact, one conservative writer claims. "I don't have to prove anything."
Speaking of "untruths and running with it," while Ms. Landry may have read Betsey McCaughey's book, "Beating Obamacare," of all the falsehoods and distortions relating to the ACA, one stands out from the rest — "Death Panels." This claim is a lie ("untruth") orchestrated by people whose only agenda was to kill reform at any cost. The claim has been disproven, and it has been referred to as the "death panel myth," as nothing in the proposed legislation would lead to individuals being judged to see if they were worthy of health care.
McCaughey and others tried to distort Section 1233 of bill HR 3200 which would have paid physicians for providing voluntary counseling to Medicare patients about living wills, advance directives, and end-of-life care options.
In her "Big bald-face lie," McCaughey distorts the truth (lies) by stating that Section 1233 of HR 3200 was "a vicious assault on elderly people" because it would absolutely require Medicare patients to have counseling sessions every five years that would "tell them how to end their life sooner." By misrepresenting provisions, the AARP has described her "euthanasia" counseling and "Death Panel" allegations as "rife with gross — and even cruel — distortions."
I would encourage readers to research the facts by utilizing independent and reliable news sources. I would, however, caution you against researching Fox News, as they are still reeling from the findings of the Republican-led House Intelligence Committee report of its two-year investigation of the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which debunked a serious of right-wing fantasies, just as other inquires had before it.
Mr. Demakowski, I can "read the writing on the wall," and it illustrates to what depths opponents of the ACA will sink. Your outrages accusations are "debunked" because you give no evidence, and they are totally disconnected from facts. If you, or Ms. Landry, can refer me to any section of the ACA referencing "Death Panels" or their equivalent, please enlighten me.
L. J. Siden
Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 11:35
To The Daily Sun,
In June 1961, I was sent to camp in Chicago. Upon arrival at the camp, around 3 a.m. we were awaken at 5 a.m. Then the torture started and continue for 13 weeks. Sleep deprivation, swimming naked, thrown in the pool, even if you could not swim, were among our daily activities. If your shirt or neck was dirty, you were humiliated by being made to chant "I am a pig" while eating breakfast. Lifting pails of sand until you collapsed, doing exercises with a gun.
The language used by the camp supervisors was terrible. Cannot share what they said about your parents, girlfriends or wife. If you had acne, pop a pimple, etc. I could site many other examples of Senate Democrat torture, but Marines would tell you that I had it easy.
No, I wasn't at Club Gitmo. I was going through boot camp in the U.S. Navy. Democratic senators believe abortions are a woman's right, but deprive a terrorist of sleep and you are labeled a war criminal.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 11:30
To The Daily Sun,
June M. Huot asks, in the Dec. 10 Laconia Daily Sun, "Where is our outrage?" at what she apparently believes are the racially motivated deaths of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, and what she believes is the racially motivated lack of indictments or convictions, at least so far, of the people who she believes are responsible for these deaths.
There are many things that deserve outrage.
It is outrageous that President Obama has only expressed concern about a few instances of black American deaths, i.e., when black criminals died, when he does little to stop the thousands of innocent people's deaths annually. He doesn't seem to care about the deaths caused by poor policing in Democratic-run cities, lenient liberal judges that release criminals prematurely, innocent people who died because gun control laws kept them from getting a gun needed to defend themselves, or by his tolerating, and even releasing criminal, illegal aliens who kill hundreds of American citizens annually, accidentally or intentionally.
It is outrageous that a race-baiter like Al Sharpton, who allegedly owes $4.5 million in back taxes and skips out on his bills, and never met a inter-racial situation he didn't try to exacerbate, gets media attention, a TV show, and audiences with President Obama.
It is outrageous that President Obama takes every opportunity to try to divide Americans along racial, gender, nationality, wealth, and other lines.
It is outrageous that Huot and many other Americans let themselves be influenced by the race baiters and media who promote stories rather than facts, who ignore the conclusions of the only people who have heard all the evidence, and who apparently aren't outraged at the mobs causing arson, looting, personal injuries, destruction of innocent people's private property, and other mayhem.
It is outrageous for people, who have no appreciation for the dangerous situation that exists when someone resists arrest in real life rather than on TV, to just assume the police are at fault for the consequences. (It takes enormous skill, effort, courage and dedication to duty for police to arrest someone who resists.)
It is outrageous for someone to die for selling "loosies," but the primary blame goes to Garner for resisting arrest and to the politicians who turned Garner into a criminal but who try to blame the consequences of their policies onto the police.
It is outrageous that two years after the Newtown school shooting, most public schools are still openly identified free fire zones for crazy people, aka "Gun Free Zones," when we know that the only thing that usually stops a crazy person bent on killing is running out of ammunition, a change of heart, or another person with a gun.
It is outrageous to believe that racism is to blame every time police arrest a minority or every time a minority dies at the hands of the police. According to the Department of Justice, blacks were responsible for nearly three-fourths of all homicides committed between 1980 and 2008. Assuming that crime statistic is at least somewhat representative of the criminal activity that leads to confrontations with police, it seems that proportionally far more whites, approximately three whites to each black, are killed by police.
It is outrageous that innocent people are probably being victimized and killed because police may hesitate to deal with crime situations that often result in them being unjustly accused of racism and brutality which can have a devastating impact on their careers and freedom.
It is outrageous for people to get outraged when a few criminals die resisting arrest when those same people don't get outraged at the innocent deaths of over a million babies annually. (What happened to "safe, legal, and rare?")
It is outrageous that Washington politicians, Republicans and Democrats, have generated $18 trillion in debt, not incurred for our nation's survival but to help re-elect politicians, for subsequent generations to repay.
It is a shame that a child who apparently didn't follow police direction and made a threatening move with a real-looking gun was killed by cops who, along with combat veterans, know that a child with a gun can kill you just as dead as an adult. Whether there is any culpability, racial aspect, or real reason for outrage is TBD.
The list of things which could legitimately cause outrage is long. Should people be outraged at police when two criminals died resisting arrest or when Trayvon Martin died while trying to kill George Zimmerman? No.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 11:14
To The Laconia Sun,
"Everyone uses!": What an opening hook for an article relating to Stand-Up Laconia! In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, both in our community and across this nation. Unfortunately, when you talk to some individuals in our community, their perception is that drug usage has become the norm. What they seem to believe is that pretty much everyone is using something. In their frame of reference, which may include family, friends and acquaintances within their peer group, and the media they consume, it may be understandable that some of our youth have developed this perception.
Is this an accurate assumption outside the finite circle of relationships a person may have? For us to assess this, we need to look at the data about our community and our society. Locally and nationally, arrests and deaths from overdose incidents are increasing at the time of this writing. Our community is reacting to this through increased dialogue, demands for action and looking to professionals for advice. Like all of us, young people also see the substance abuse issue through the filter of their experience and what they hear. Some of them don't have a frame of reference that includes the positive reactions and concerns of the community, they only know about the mounting number of incidents that are getting recorded in shaping their view and the events within their finite social group.
The media also shapes the views of Americans on this topic. Some of what we consume includes references and inferences to drugs that present usage in a positive way. The issue of marijuana and its growing legalization in places across this nation is sending a message to our youth that indicates the use of that substance is acceptable. Though this is a political issue, I am simply stating that our society has spent decades generally defining marijuana as "bad." We passed laws forbidding its use and spent years using both media and public education to inform our students of its "scientifically proven" harmful effects, both physiologically and psychologically.
Now, some do not seem to see the use of marijuana as problematic. Students see what society once said was harmful and wrong is now being termed acceptable. This perpetuates their view that drug use is acceptable while also communicating to them that adults, those who run our society, aren't very consistent in keeping their word. That is a tough lesson. This age is a truly difficult and confusing time for our young people. One can argue the legalization issue does not pertain to youth, but we all understand that what we make OK for adults creates the perception that the behavior is acceptable for all in society.
What are we to do? How do we fight this perception that we, as a society, appear to be perpetuating for the young people of our community? Laconia is a community that cares about our kids' futures. We all believe that substance use will be harmful to the futures of our young people. We need to stand up together and agree on what is okay and not okay and communicate it to our kids in a way they see as relevant. It is worth our energy and time to do this for our kids and our community. It is, in fact, our responsibility as a community. We also need to find a way to support those who have become involved in substance abuse, to provide pathways to healthier living.
It has been exciting to see a growing number of people becoming active in Stand Up Laconia! We need more of you. There is a plan being developed to reduce the drug abuse problem our community is facing. This plan requires our citizens to be actively engaged. It is our hope that you will join us in this process and be a part of the plan.
If you are ready to get involved in helping make Laconia a better place for everyone, our next meeting will be at a combined meeting of the middle and high school PTO at Laconia Middle School on Jan. 14 at 6 p.m.
Let's make this city better together.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 11:07