To The Daily Sun,
Unbeknownst to many, we have a great strength to many within our communities, a vital asset and an untapped resource: our youth. Young people are brimming with potential, they are insightful and can bring clarity to communities often burdened and stressed. In fact, research shows that kids bonded with the communities are less likely to get involved with the criminal justice system.
When I was growing up, finding volunteer opportunities and community service projects to participate in was easy and in fact, such volunteer work played and important role in shaping who I am today. Now, however, youth are having a much more difficult time because community organizations face increasing liability issues, as well as economic pressures of underfunding and under staffing. One program I know of that remains dedicated to finding community service opportunities for young people is the Youth Assistance Program, providing juvenile court diversion and prevention services to the communities of Northfield and Tilton.
People often think, "What can I do? Well we all have something to share! Do you have a special talent? Are you someone who could teach kids how to quilt? Do you need posters, signs or artwork made? Could you hang signs in your business window for upcoming events? Would your business sponsor a box for charitable donations? Are you interested in supervising youth on a hike to pick up litter? Do you have any personal story that could benefit youth? Have you overcome disability, hardship, or other adversity in your life? Did you face unforeseen consequences from a decision you made as a youth? Would you like to talk to kids about your experiences?
If you don't want to meet with the kids that's fine too. The Youth Assistance Program has many alternative forms of students, including a notebook for of personal stories from inmates. Are you interested in sharing your story or contributing in some other way? For more information or to get involved call Dawn Shimberg, director of the Youth Assistance Program at 286-8577.
If you know of someone who could benefit from juvenile court diversion or prevention services at the Youth Assistance Program have them stop by the Tilton, Main Street location and/or pass on the phone number.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 08:48
To The Daily Sun,
It is confounding to read and hear people who do not want to recognize and admit that government is excessively big. A recent column in The Laconia Daily Sun (August 26, 2013, Froma Harrop) attempts to justify electing the so-called moderate Republican thinkers who contributed to big government referred to as the longtime "older more marketable Republicans". A July 19, 2013 article discloses a Belknap County Commissioner calling the more conservative elected N.H. House of Representatives as "bad people looking to do bad things".
As the prominent economist Milton Friedman wrote in an essay "Why Government is the Problem"; "The major social problems of the United States — deteriorating education, lawlessness and crime, homelessness, the collapse of family values, the crisis in medical care — have been produced by well-intended actions of government." Throughout history, overgrown governments have failed while governments that take less from people in the form of taxes and allow free economic markets have prospered.
The many years of growing big government, overspending and redistribution of wealth has led to cities filing bankruptcy, a lack of full time employment, a reduction in private property rights, a larger spread between rich and poor, lack of privacy, etc. People of all income levels pay increasing direct taxes, indirect taxes and/or hidden taxes included in the price of products and services.
Reports indicate there are about 4.5 million people working for the federal government, surely a huge bureaucracy with hundreds of departments and agencies. Thousands of new rules are published in the Federal Register each year. The USDebtclock.org shows federal spending over 3.5 trillion dollars and the U.S. National Debt growing to nearly 17 trillion dollars. The debt increased about 6 trillion dollars just in the past five years alone. The State of N.H. spends more than 6 billion dollars per year.
Why are so many people continuing to be in a state of denial? Are politicians that convincing?
The government's use of "free" money grants, "outreach" programs and other manipulative techniques successfully persist to influence people toward acceptance of federal central government agency "programs" and ideas from Obamacare to workforce housing. For years, state, county and local governments added more employees and increased spending while establishing many superfluous programs, laws and ordinances.
Why do so many people believe that this oversized government is to their benefit? Do they really believe they are getting trillions of dollars worth of value from government or are they just afraid to confront this longtime trend? Perhaps they fear politicians will reduce proper government spending instead of eliminating the thousands of wasteful and unnecessary components.
Instead of realizing the problem, many continue to criticize and call others derogatory names such as bad people, idiots, anarchists and radicals for questioning government spending and regulations.
As the number of government workers increase and the more "free" money is given out, the harder it will be to address the problem since the beneficiaries will likely vote for more government and spending. Don't let it reach the point of no return.
Fortunately, there are N.H. State Representatives who understand the problem including Representatives Collette Worsman and Jane Cormier, who also oversee the Belknap County budget as delegates.
Moderate thinkers continue to "compromise" instead of solving the real problem. This is the reason government has grown so steadily for many years. Yes, a compromise that slightly moves to solve the overspending problem is good, but this will require numerous continual "compromises". Whether you consider yourself a Democrat, Republican or Independent, vote for and support those who are taking the time and are brave enough to address the problem by promoting significant spending reductions in wasteful and detrimental government spending.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 08:38
To The Daily Sun,
President Obama wants to "punish" Syrian President Assad for allegedly gassing his own people. But, will Obama's stated actions, which don't include regime change, really punish Assad, or will they more likely harm innocent people including foreigners, diplomats, or even Americans?
Has "punishment" that doesn't actually harm a nation's leaders ever resulted in policy changes? Not that I know about. If Assad falls and radical Islamists take over his gas stockpiles, the U.S. and the world are in greater danger than now.
President Obama and news sources allied with the rebels say Assad released the poison gas although they haven't explained his motive for this militarily unnecessary action. Assad, independent media, and a Russian study says the rebels (which include al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and people who butcher captives) released the gas, perhaps hoping to blame Assad and dupe the U.S. into helping them defeat Assad.
If the evidence of Assad's guilt is strong, why can't President Obama easily get a large coalition of nations to join his "punishment" efforts?
The benefits of President Obama's proposed actions against Syria seem miniscule. The possible negatives seem abundant: killing innocent people, damaging property of innocent parties, inciting military or economic retaliation by Syria or its allies increasing prices of oil and other goods, weakening our currency, and creating more terrorists who attack Americans, maybe with poison gas or other weapons of mass destruction.
While there seems little benefit from rushing to "punish" Assad, there are many benefits from delaying or not acting. We can await a thorough and factual investigation of the poison gas release. We save U.S. resources, avoid killing innocent people or damaging their property, we avoid inciting retaliation, and we avoid taking ineffective actions that make us look weak.
Delay offers the added benefit of allowing two U.S. enemies spend their resources, weaken each other, and become reduced threats to others.
Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 07:47
To The Daily Sun,
Niel Young, as do many, sees what he wants to see. Or not see what he doesn't want to see.
Our Plymouth Common, Common People's Peace Vigil, began in February, 1998, during Democrat Clinton's presidency. We started when Clinton and Blair were going to start bombing Iraq that February. They were halted then by the UN's Kofi Annan, so that bombing was put off until December that year, when we all were (mostly all) distracted by holiday festivity. We did the vigil Saturdays through all of George W. Bush's presidency. We've done it through all of Obama's presidency. Other peace vigils continue throughout the state. I was part of the Veterans for Peace weekly vigil a couple of weeks ago, mid-week on Elm Street in Manchester.
The best don't-bomb-Syria reasoning I've seen is this from Ron Paul: "I agree that any chemical attack, particularly one that kills civilians, is horrible and horrendous. All deaths in war and violence are terrible and should be condemned. But why are a few hundred killed by chemical attack any worse or more deserving of U.S. bombs than the 100,000 already killed in the conflict? Why do these few hundred allegedly killed by Assad count any more than the estimated 1,000 Christians in Syria killed by U.S. allies on the other side? Why is it any worse to be killed by poison gas than to have your head chopped off by the U.S. allied radical Islamists, as has happened to a number of Christian priests and bishops in Syria? For that matter, why are the few hundred civilians killed in Syria by a chemical weapon any worse than the 2000-3000 who have been killed by Obama's drone strikes in Pakistan? Does it really make a difference whether a civilian is killed by poison gas or by drone missile or dull knife?"
Thanks to Neil Young for giving me the opportunity to remind people to look around. I'll add that if I had my druthers, the money spent on launching missiles at Syria should be redirected to all neighboring countries who need help with wars' refugees, millions of displaced people in the Middle East.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Friday, 06 September 2013 07:40
To The Daily Sun,
Do you fish, hunt, hike, ski, boat, snowmobile or just simply enjoy the mountain views in Grafton County? If so, you need to be aware of the next few wind projects as they could affect you.
Have some of you have missed the two-way dialog put forth by wind developers? The truth is wind developers haven't spoken in months, perhaps it's because four communities have taken a "Not A Willing Host" stance.
Many of you have been asking NHWindWatch.org: What have the wind developers been up to? Are they waiting for summer residents to leave before making another announcement? Do they feel they even owe area residents a more complete explanation of their plans or how their plans will affect our property values, regional wildlife or our watersheds?
Many of you are starting to question — who are we accommodating here?
After all, it's our property investment rights that are in question here and with all due respect we were here first. We're talking about sweat equity! And we know the concentration of four wind farms, in a 15 mile radius, will surely impact us all. There's ample land out there across New Hampshire — we know we've done our part — so go somewhere else!
One thing is for sure — developers are not speaking. Why? What are they hiding? Are they changing their plans? Are they proposing taller turbines? More turbines? More wind farms? Or all the above?
We were all stunned by last falls announcements — will this fall be a repeat? I fear it will be...
Newfound Lake and the Mount Cardigan area is surly under attack... that much we know.
Last Updated on Thursday, 05 September 2013 10:19