To The Daily Sun,
Reading the news that four long term employees at the Belknap County Nursing Home were handed their walking papers brings to mind the cynical observation of Rahm Emanuel: "Never let a crisis go to waste."
In order to make the case that the 2014 county budget was inadequate, the administration imposed painful staff reductions in the hope that the resultant controversy would redound to the detriment of the convention and not to itself. The real story takes a bit more research. Anyone who compares the county executive staff of five years ago to today will have to concede that the administration has grown greatly in size and salaries. At the same time, some county departments are left with scant resources.
Even though the county was presented with evidence of the cost-effectiveness, and necessity, of adding correctional officers to the jail, the word has already been passed that those officers will not be hired. Incidentally, the salary and benefits for those additional officers were completely funded in the county budget led by a conservative core of Republican delegates. The chair of the convention stated publicly that it was a primary goal to make the jail a priority when crafting this year's budget. In union with the commissioners, the Democrats voted for a budget which did not include this needed jail staff.
The Belknap commissioners have vented their spleen in a most unfortunate way. Their anger at a convention that was determined to take its Chapter 24 responsibilities seriously has resulted in unnecessary layoffs. While the public will be able to cast its vote this fall for a new direction for the county, it is greatly too bad that the current slate of
commissioners retains the power to so distress the lives of hard-working people. With specific reference to the nursing home and jail, the commissioners should take another look at their responsibilities and chart a different course.
Rep. Dick Burchell
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 11:02
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to comment on the recent article regarding the new 10 year "monopoly" contract with MetroCast by all the local towns in the area. This is in addition to the letter to the editor by the gentleman from Gilford who also wrote regarding the same contract — to which I agree.
My major analysis of MetroCast over the last 10 years are that they annually increase their fees by a minimum of 5 percent a year, constantly move and eliminate channels and basically offer very little in quality improvements. They support their price increases based on their cost increases for programming which includes free broadcast stations, extended cable stations that are increasing their commercial content to the level of on-the-air stations and corporate bundlers who force useless channels as part of a package.
I realize that some of this is true, but where is the push-back by the cable operators and the towns? Are not these providers getting huge revenues from all the commercials they sell to advertisers and then expect us to pay higher and higher cable fees to watch these commercials? Talk about double-dipping. It was bad enough watching all those commercials when we used antennas, but at least the programming was "free."
My understanding is that the city of Laconia has some latitude in negotiating the contract, but customer pricing is not one of them. So they negotiate primarily to get the best possible franchise fee. How about getting the cable company to offer better packages? I suggested a few years ago to offer a video and internet only package? They only offer packages that include VOIP added in or overpriced premium channels.
How about packages like the satellite companies offer with less channels for less money since most of us only watch less than 10 channels anyways? How about improving the quality so that when we watch important events we do not get drop-outs and audio failure even in good weather? How about reducing redundant stations that broadcast the same thing on three different channels? How about getting different programming on PBS Channels 2 and 11 so I can watch the "Nightly Business Report" and "This Old House" like I used to get two years ago or as you call it "two price increases ago"? How about getting a decent TV Guide channel that doesn't take 10 minutes to find out what's on and is used for 50 percent advertising?
I have called and written on these issues in the past, but monopolies very seldom listen to and take action to the end-user.
If I didn't get my point across, how about the fact that technology is changing and if cable companies do not get their act together and keep increasing prices every year well beyond the rate of inflation, the paradigm is going to shift and soon we may all have a better and cheaper solution.
I can't wait. But in the meantime, I think the city and towns can do a lot more, especially if the customer base speaks up and demands value and better options.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 10:47
To The Daily Sun,
Regarding Obamacare, is this the biggest government boondoggle we've ever seen or what?
Five years ago when they started talking it up they made so many promises it sounded too good to be true and guess what, it was. First Obama looked the American people in the eye and flat out lied to us. "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor. If you like your health insurance you can keep your health insurance," he said.
Democrats shut the Republicans out writing the thing behind closed doors then gave Congress 48 hours to pass it. "We'll know what is in it after we pass it," said Nancy P. But who could read a couple thousand pages of complex legislation in such a short time? They didn't, the Democrats just passed it unread. Not one Republican voted for it. So Democrats reacted in standard form calling all Republicans and conservatives racist.
Five years later and we have seen that the critics were right. A hint might have been that Congress exempted themselves from it. The unions were the first to realize they had been hoodwinked and demanded Obama fix it. So Obama gave them an exemption. Then big business constituents of Obama realized it was going to hurt them and demanded Obama's fix it. So Obama gave them an extended extension. The roll-out was a case study in incompetence poor planning and more spin. Then sign-ups which they still can't or won't tell us how many people actually are covered. They keep reporting inflated numbers of people visiting the sign-up pages and how many people have applied. But can anyone tell us how many are really covered?
After all this, the spin continues. Now you can keep your doctor if you can pay for your doctor. Isn't that what health insurance is supposed to be for? You still can't keep your old insurance because it wasn't good enough, except for tens of millions of American families it was. It was supposed to save most families a couple thousand dollars a year. Instead, it costs several thousands more for most plus the deductibles are thousands more and co-pays are much higher. Now Obama's constituents are complaining telling him to fix it. So Obama said if it causes them a hardship they can get an exemption.
What a president. What a leader. Who the heck does he think is going to be left to pay for this fiasco? Probably the Chinese from where we have been borrowing trillions of dollars. Right. China violates the human rights of its people, while it builds up a huge military machine, pays slave wages and we're supposed to trust these guys. What a president.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 10:35
To The Daily Sun,
Don Ewing, exactly what world do you live in? The conservative views held in the good old USA aren't even close to the ones you have described last Friday. I am glad to know you do feel everyone deserves a chance to be happy, financially secure and leading the good life for one and all, etc., etc. But I'm really surprised out of the billions of people in world Bono was the best you could find as a leading humanitarian example.
You say conservatives encourage investment. Progressives do, too. But in today's financial environment few people have that extra money to invest. Food on the table comes first along with the other usual monthly bills. Still awaiting for the job creators to do the creating. And forget about Keystone, as those 35 jobs won't make much difference in the long run. I think the people who live out there might have an opinion about that anyway.
Your policies are good for children too? Your paragraph implies you might as well retire before having kids. Delaying parenthood until after marriage, education and employment so you say. I am glad you believe in the Constitution. Do I have the same choice?
Conservatives want to help the truly needy? Interesting, and again where are the jobs and all that extra help? I agree that welfare is not a hammock. But it is a safety net that, at times, is difficult to get out of. But since your job creators are not doing their job, those that need help should get it.
By the way Don, the $17 trillion debt didn't come from failed attempts to buy votes, reward supporters or obtain personal benefits by any conservatives, but largely two wars on credit cards, auto bailouts and help for our needy, done by both parties, started by Bush and continued by Obama to stop a crashing Bush economy before our country fell apart.
So now we have a slowly recovering economy, wars that are winding down, but still many people in need of help. Conservatives are still refusing to help them by voting down food programs or any program that promises extra help.
Women's health isn't an issue for you. So try reading the book about women you all got. Making minority voting an issue is. Wasting millions of dollars rearranging the voting laws, repealing the ACA, having Darryl Izza play Joseph McCarthy, closing the government down, giving tax breaks to the top 1 percent money makers along with other major government perks all seem to be justified to your side.
At least now you have Scott Brown coming to help. Just another carpetbagger trying to cash in. We don't need him, we already have Bob Smith, so another one who puts a salary before his constituents, whose priorities are all out of whack is not needed. Anyway, Ayotte along with Shaheen is enough.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 10:27
To The Daily Sun,
I would like to give thumbs-up to the cartoon printed with letters to editor on March 14. It turned out to be a fact on the negative attitude many had for a very factual letter written by Ms. Loesch on March 11, 2014. I commend her for writing a letter pointing out the fact that the same right-wingers write the same letters week after week. I quit responding when, as Ms. Loesh pointed out, that they pick out talking points from right-wing-funded Fox News. Try for yourself to find anywhere the facts as they put it anywhere that they write about every week.
The one thing a right winger loves is to criticize but hate to be criticized. Tough, I say. I will write part of a two-part letter today to write my criticism to the remarks made of Ms. Loesch's fact-filled letter written by Mr. Meade on March 14. I would like to first point out to Mr. Meade that he opened the door and so I'm going to walk in. I would like Mr. Meade to pick up his copy of the Constitution and give reference to page, section and paragraph that gave President Bush the right to invade a sovereign nation without provocation, having shown no aggression or threat to this country. I need to once again to point out a fact that as a veteran who has never been in a war zone, they have no idea what it's like to zip up a body bag and being the one to unzip the bag and prepare the body for shipment home. I mention this as every day the right-wingers feel that we need to get in every dog fight in the world.
The fact is that most of the writers to the Daily Sun are old right-wingers like myself, except they contributed their "talking points" with no on-the-job training. I will give Mr. Meade advance notice on a article he has read before. The Laconia Daily Sun printed a half page dated March 27, 2013, written by Pat Buchanan, a two-time GOP presidential candidate titled "Death by (LARGELY) Self inflicted Wounds." I quote his fourth point which reads, " ... rather than bringing the troops home after our cold war triumph and telling our allies the free rides were over, Bush 1 & 2 went crusading for a new world order to end the tyranny in our world. After three wars and a half dozen interventions, we are bankrupt at home and hated abroad. Americans, sick of seeing their best and bravest brought home to Dover or being fitted with prosthetic arms and legs have twice voted for an anti-interventionist president."
I will have more quotes from Mr.Buchanan in part two of my letter. As a reminder Mr.Buchanan won the New Hampshire Primary in 1996. I would recommend that those interested to look this article up and read it for your self.
Mr. Meade continues to mention 13 countries in peril plus more he doesn't mention, and states the mightiest nation the world has ever known, the nation others look to as their protector, offers little more than finger shaking and stern condemnation. I would ask Mr.Meade to get back up on his stump, stare down at the crowd of parents, ask how many are willing to send their children to be the next to come home in a body bag. Since I doubt anyone raised their hand Mr. Meade, what does it say in your Constitution on how to raise an army when no one wants to go?
I will close for today by saying that Mr. Meade reminds me of Paul Harvey (I listened to every night on my trips cross country). And now hear you will hear the rest of the story. The draft ended in 1973. Military today are all volunteers.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 10:12