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The mean-spiritedness of Republicans takes my breath away

To The Daily Sun,

In 1946, Pastor Martin Niemoller wrote "about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group."(Wikipedia):

"When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."

Today we might write this:

When They came for the Muslims,
I remained silent.
I was not a Muslim.

But really over the last 20 years there has been an erosion of tolerance, primarily in the Republican Party. Muslims are only the latest addition to the list. Since the time of Reagan, attacks on segments of our society have been steadily growing.

Today Republican/Tea Party politicians have a long list of groups that they blame for their "problems": immigrants, teachers, unions, poor people, blacks, Latinos, liberals, Democrats, reporters, and now moderate Republicans. Who is next, and where will it end?

Yes, Trump is now the loudest and the scariest. But the only reason he has not been universally denounced is due to the gradual degradation of the social compact. Nazism did not happen overnight, but through a gradual erosion of respect and the rise of verbal and physical bullies. First the brown shirts were arrested for acting out, then tolerated and finally encouraged. So when politicians today applaud and encourage physical and verbal abuse at their rallies, I hear strong echoes of brown shirts on the march.

However, just as in the 1930s, Nazism could not grow without the power of business and media owners; 21st century America is no different. We know the NRA is behind the whole Second Amendment thing and we know that the weapons manufacturers are behind the NRA and they are making untold billions. We know the 1 percent is controlling the media and the message. We saw the Republicans announce in 2008 that their sole goal was to bring Obama down and deny health insurance for millions. They have been giving billions in tax breaks to people and big corporations who can't possibly spend all their money in a 1,000 lifetimes.

These tax breaks and subsidies have to come from somewhere — indeed they come from the increased poverty and stagnant middle class.

I expect this letter to provoke a lot of outrage from the usual sources — because they somehow believe if they yell loudly enough their problems will go away. But the problems exists and no amount of bullying and name-calling will make them go away.

For people who profess Christianity, many seem to ignore Mathew 25:45: "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me."

The mean-spiritedness of the Republicans in Congress, the Republican presidential candidates, and yea even our New Hampshire Legislature takes my breath away. Their talk of budgets and bad government is just an excuse to give guns to criminals, vilify their "enemies," destroy public education and gut human services programs. Even as they get all "weepie" over the opioid crisis, they denying legal rights to woman, voting rights to minorities and human rights to us all.

"When they came for me,

there was no one left to speak out for me."

At this point Bernie seems to be the only one speaking for me.

David Stamps
Laconia

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Don't forget Saturday's annual Holiday Bazaar at Belknap Mill

To The Daily Sun,

What do all of these towns have in common? Barrington, Belmont, Boscawen, Bristol, Canterbury, Gilford, Gilmanton, Goffstown, Harrisville, Laconia, Loudon, Manchester, Moultonboro, Sanbornton, Tilton and Weare. Not sure how they are might be connected? I'm excited to share that all these communities will be represented at the 7th Annual Holiday Bazaar at the Belknap Mill on Saturday, Dec. 12.

New Hampshire crafters and local businesses will treat shoppers to a wonderful variety of handcrafted items and food. Pick up things to fill Christmas stockings, for a Yankee Swap or hostess gift, for that "hard to buy for" person on your list or maybe something just for you.

Here's some items you can take home: truffles, fudge, whoopie pies, zucchini salsa, peanut and cashew brittle, soy candles, fragrance products, goats milk soap, honey, lip balm, beeswax lotion and candles, birch and lichen covered bird, hobbit and fairy houses, jewelry, photography, catnip mice, denim purses, wallets and accessories, fabric and embroidered items, quilted ornaments and wall hangings, quilled ornaments and cards, baby and toddler sewn items, cloth diaper covers, stuffed animals, oven mitts, potholders and pillows, eyeglass cases, handspun yarn, adult and children's aprons, crocheted snowflakes, doilies and table runners, wooden signs, wooden turned bowls, pens, wine bottle stoppers, rocking horse, salt and pepper mills, laser wood ornaments, key and coat racks, napkin holders, cribbage boards, birch wood reindeer, crocheted hats, boot cuffs, cowl and colorful scarves, up-cycled sweater mittens, fingerless gloves, glass block lights, holiday decorations and ornaments, fabric snowmen and Santas, whimsical Santa hats, and much more.

The Mill's Gift Shop offers year round shopping, including greeting and holiday cards, postcards, socks knitted on the Mill's vintage machines, Darn Tough socks made in Vermont, baby and lap quilts, maple syrup products, honey, jewelry, aerial and matted photographs and prints, walking sticks, bird and bat houses, candles, soap, smittens, hand painted wine and beverage glasses, crocheted items, and books by local authors. Just in time for Christmas, added to the Gift Shop is a wide variety of character and holiday ornaments with sports, occupations, hobbies, families, celebration and other themes that can be personalized with names and dates. Young and old alike will enjoy touring the power house, knitting room and Riverside Room where decorated wreaths are offered in a raffle.

We hope to see many friends and new visitors at 25 Beacon Street East in Laconia on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Support local crafters and the Belknap Mill — a historic Laconia building with treasures to explore. Our bake sale and craft raffle supported by local businesses and crafters will benefit the Mill's historical, educational and cultural programs.

Holiday Bazaar crafters have donated dozens of items to the Greater Lakes Region Children's Auction. Be sure to check out those items and more available for bidding starting on December 8 through December 12. Visit www.childrensauction.com for details.

I want to thank the Mill board members, volunteers and staff for their assistance, as well as returning and new crafters joining us this year. Address questions to the Belknap Mill at 524-8813, visit www.belknapmill.org or email Jennifer McLean, Events and Program Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Like the Belknap Mill on Facebook to keep in touch.

Judi Taggart
No Weare Else, Jewelry & Gifts
Gilford

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