To The Daily Sun,
Mr. Sellings' letter last week and Mr. Sellew's in Tuesday's paper against the legalization of marijuana were, like too much of the opposition, based on misunderstandings and fears which keep New Hampshire from using its intelligent judgement on the matter.
Treating use as a crime makes no sense. The Centers for Disease Control statistics consistently show that marijuana is safer, less addictive, less toxic, and less damaging than "legal drugs" like tobacco and alcohol. The effects of alcohol lead to more than 30,000 deaths a year in the United States, and New Hampshire residents consume alcohol at almost twice the national average. We know the carnage that drunk drivers causes on our roads. Other studies show that marijuana use does not lead to crime and violence like harder drugs such as meth, heroin and crack. We've all known plenty of nasty drunks. I've yet to meet a nasty smoker. The only person who might be in danger from marijuana smokers might be a delivery guy driving a truck full of Doritos.
The best evidence from numerous studies shows that marijuana is not a gateway drug. Its illegal status is the real gateway. Because it is currently illegal smokers are supplied by drug dealers who have a financial incentive to get their customers to expand their use to hard drugs. We are currently putting people in jail who don't belong there. They are getting kicked out of school, losing their jobs, and seeing the promises of life cut short.
This should not be a law enforcement matter. The amount of time and resources that our police, courts and jails use pursuing smokers would be better dedicated to more productive ends: Making our communities safer.
Legalization and regulation make it more likely that quality and doses will be safer. There are already laws against DUI, and there are age minimums in the current bill. Content, production and distribution can be properly regulated and taxed. Monies that go to drug cartels will stay in our state. And by putting any abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce addiction.
Over the last 30 years the states that have reduced penalties to fines or have legalized medical marijuana have seen rates of use no higher than in states that criminalize it.
This is not a partisan issue. The latest poll shows that 60 percent of New Hampshire residents support legalization for recreational use.
The arguments trotted out against legalization sound like those from 100 years ago that pushed for prohibition of alcohol. That experiment really worked out well, didn't it? It helped create and strengthen regional and national criminal organizations and resulted in violence, tainted booze, and networks of corruption and payoffs. Who benefits from Prohibition? It's the black market and the cartels.
Mr. Morin's letter was right. We have serious problems that we should be dealing with. And Mr. Sellings should be praying for those who lives and futures are being ruined by a misguided policy. Enough of the "reefer madness" mentality.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 10:08
To The Daily Sun,
I read recently that Frank Guinta, our former congressman, claims not to have been a tea partier, saying that he had been "branded" as a Tea Party member by the election of 2010. "Branded?" So Guinta believes "tea partier" is a derogatory term, whether his intended meaning of "branded" is marking with a branding iron, or marking with disapproval, stigmatizing. He staunchly denies ever having been a tea partier, and says that not joining the Tea Party Caucus in Congress proves it.
Mr. Guinta protests way too much. He has a long history with the Tea Party going back to 2009, when he called them "grassroots effort at its finest." Guinta won the N.H. Tea Party Coalition's straw poll, said he was "honored" by the results, and mentioned attending several Tea Party events, as well as meetings of the Glenn Beck 9/12 group (Concord Monitor, 11/4/10). The same article reported, "The former Manchester mayor has said he would join a House Tea Party Caucus created this summer by U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann ..."
Whether or not he joined, Guinta's still a tea partier. Just look at his answers to the Raymond Tea Party survey (http://raymondareateaparty.weebly.com/frank-guinta.html), which include supporting a mandate to teach creationism in our schools. His answers are Tea party to the core. No matter how much backpedaling he does to fabricate his bipartisan pose, that Tea Party brand just doesn't rub off.
Gilmanton Iron Works
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 09:55
To The Daily Sun,
About two weeks ago my wife and I were in an accident on Interstate 93. The accident occurred while I was driving at about 65 mph and I wound up coming to rest in the median divider.
The car actually went airborne twice. We were very lucky to escape with the injuries we did suffer.
I am writing this letter to emphasize the importance of seat belts and wearing them.
Before this accident, we wore our seat belts only sometimes. If my wife and I had not been wearing them this time, we would most likely be dead. Yes, we never expected something like this to happen to us ... only to other people. Well, it did happen to us and it does happen to other people. It can happen to anyone.
A principal reason that we were wearing our seat belts was that we were coming back from Massachusetts where they are mandatory. While we were living in Virginia, where seat belts are also mandatory, we always wore them. But when we moved to New Hampshire, we became more and more lax in putting on our seat belts.
We are writing this to ask all of you to please wear your seat belts every time you start up your car to go somewhere. Accidents happen everywhere; they are unpredictable. So please, if you want to live a full life, wear your seat belts. We owe our lives to them.
I also need to take this opportunity to publicly thank the New Hampshire State Police and the EMTs, all of whom arrived on the scene very quickly, for their professionalism, caring approach and outstanding efforts on our behalf.
John & Barbara Morgenstern
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 09:51
To The Daily Sun,
During the spring of 2013, the Laconia Parks and Recreation department removed the press box and all bleachers from Memorial Field.
Many of you may remember that Memorial Field was the best and largest of the Laconia baseball fields. Games were scored from the press box as it was a clear view of the batter's box and umpires. With the press box being removed, the scoreboard was disconnected.
During last year's American Legion baseball season, which runs from mid-June to the end of July, we were assured that the wires for the scoreboard would be extended to the concession stand or home dugout. The conduit is in, but alas, no wires. One set of mobile bleachers was brought in from somewhere, but are not enough. Competing teams do not want to sit together on the home team side of the field, which I do not find strange at all. We are trying to get families interested in American Legion baseball, which is college-level ball, but people do not want to stand for hours and not even see the score displayed on a perfectly working scoreboard.
We have to pay for each player, yet do not get the services that these kids deserve from the city.
Millions have been spent on Memorial Park , Leavitt Park, and the high school athletic fields. The money maker, Robbie Mills Park, on Meredith Center Road, is in great shape. But for some reason, Parks & Rec has neglected the once best baseball park in the city.
Mayor Engler, City Council and Parks Commission, what are you going to do with Memorial Field?
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 09:48
To The Daily Sun,
This country is an economic disaster in the here and now. The latest numbers reflect the unhappiness.
Last week NBC/WSJ reported Obama's job approval at 41 percent, the lowest number of his presidency on domestic affairs, and an even-lower 37 percent on foreign policy. These are Bush-like statistics.
When polled, 80 percent of Americans say they want their politicians to compromise 50 percent of the way to make a deal. Obama sees compromise as a four letter word betraying his beliefs, unlike Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, who saw deal-making and compromise as the key ingredients to progress on what they wanted, more importantly what the country wanted.
The inability or unwillingness of a politician to compromise produces a traitor, not to oneself, but to the American people. Our founders established divided government with the single idea that different views hammered and blended produced a stronger product that the thinking of any one individual, including the president. Deal-making success and vitality at every point in history are signaled form the top down, not from the bottom up or from the minority party who has little power to control the agenda.
For nearly six years Barack Obama has refused to compromise on any issue of great importance to the American people including immigration, tax reform and entitlement reform.
Businesses are trying to leave this country on the express train today. American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer just tried to buy its British rival AstraZeneca, announcing one of its primary motives was to become a British company. Pfizer needs lower tax rates to compete globally against people who pay far less taxes on the same profits allowing them to fund more R&D. Another medical giant, Medtronic, announced it is trying to buy Conidian, a European rival, saying it as well will convert to foreign company if the deal goes through to escape what are the highest corporate tax rates of any developed economy on earth. Abbvie, another huge company, just announced it wants to buy Irish company Shire, with the major focus to escape our tax system. These are among Americas finest and largest companies trying to leave our shores. Wake up, people.
Barack Obama and his Fed have have produced an absolutely stunning recovery for this country's wealthiest Americans. The aggregate wealth of Americans, including stocks and real estate, just hit a record $81.8 trillion, up $26 trillion in less than five years. The top 10 percent of this country have gotten richer faster in the past five years under Barack Obama than any president in history, while the bottom 90 percent have gone nowhere with his policies. In fact, the bottom 50 percent have only fallen further behind.
Obama produced an incredible asset recovery, not an economic recovery. Stocks keep hitting records never seen before while home values have recovered nicely in many places. But there is a major problem. Half the country does not own a single share of stock (thanks to the continued stonewalling by Democrats allowing Social Security monies to be invested in stock indexes), and more than one-third of Americans do not own a home.
Then Obama has the audacity to suggest we have wealth inequality. Of course we do. His policies have created the biggest tsunami of wealth inequality in history. No one else has been president but him during this unprecedented rise in wealth of the top 1 percent. No one else but the Democrats have controlled the majority of politics (one or both houses of Congress) during this spectacular rise in prosperity for the top 1 percent. Democrats never stop talking about the poor while stuffing the pockets of the rich with wealth beyond description with their policies and actions screwing the poor and middle class to the wall.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 June 2014 09:45