To The Daily Sun,
In your Tuesday, Oct. 7, edition, you published a letter from Raymond Howard, Jr., who is running as a Republican to represent Alton, Barnstead, and Gilmanton in the New Hampshire Legislature. His letter specifically stated, "As your representative in Concord, I will follow our Republican Party platform and the New Hampshire Constitution when voting for what is the right legislation for all citizens of New Hampshire."
What I believe all persons holding public office should be doing when voting for what is right for all the citizens of New Hampshire, is follow the state's Constitution. Absolutely. No question there. But to take one's marching orders from one party's platform is the wrong way to go in voting for the good of all citizens. I want my elected representative to do his or her own homework and base their vote on what they determine to be in the best interests of their constituents. In other words, I am looking for my elected representative to be independent, not a party stooge.
Indeed, it should not be that radical to vote one's conscience.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 09:02
To The Daily Sun,
As I write this letter, I couldn't help remembering that movie Mel Gibson was in a few years ago. Many of you may not remember it. The basic plot was based on the idea that most men don't have any idea what women want. It was a clever comedy having nothing to do with reality. It was called "What Women Want."
So, who cares about light comedy? However, there is a fine line between comedy and tragedy. The current electoral season is a case in point. The question as to what citizens want is seldom asked by the candidates. They are too busy trashing each other. Sometimes, late in the campaign, after all the tragic ads are history, we get them face to face. Even then, there is a lot of sniping and stump-speech delivering. It seems that, even then, the voter comes away from the debates with a bad feeling that they are electing candidates who will not compromise.
What universal needs and wants do the majority of the voters (adult citizens that are registered to vote) have or could list, if asked, by those who insist on asking them at mealtime after a day at work and commuting? One thing most voters want is respect. Polling them at mealtime doesn't rise to that level.
I think they want to feel that the candidate is truly listening, as opposed to pandering. Is the candidate just seeking to stay in office regardless of the service he or she might render to the electorate? I would submit that integrity ranks high with most of the people who live in our democracy. How the person seeking the office acts now and in his or her community in the past. It is rare that a person seeking office is perfect in every way. How they have handled setbacks and challenges in the past gives us a good way to judge what actions or approaches might be taken to solve national problems as they occur.
Unfortunately, the candidates must finance their campaign by appealing for funds. Many times, this is the point that the link between the voters and the candidate is broken, or at least strained severely. To get the really big money that today's campaigns require most candidates appeal to PACs. Those entities have very focused agendas that, many times, are counter to the general population's needs or wants. As a condition for their support, promises of action post election are extracted from the candidate.
Many of the big problems at the national lever and, to some extent at the state level, require compromise. If the candidates and later, legislators, become intransigent and form opposing camps that are unwilling to do what is necessary to address problems, a crisis of governance occurs. I submit that that is what has been occurring for the last four or five years. Time for a change, I think.
As this electoral season draws to a close, we the citizens, must communicate to the political parties that conduct displayed during the last few legislative sessions is not good enough. We should ask for and get more cooperation, now! We can't afford to wait another two, four or six years for sensible legislation drafted as a result of cooperation and putting the country before party.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 08:58
To The Daily Sun,
I read in yesterday's Sun how MetroCast withheld its annual $30,000 grant to LRPA which may in effect cause the station to shut down. This bothers me because of ethics.
When customers sign up with MetroCast there are expectations and commitments on both parties to be honored. I urge you to go look at your cable bill. Notice the late fee? Everyone gets a flat fee of $5. It used to be the late fee was 1.5 percent of the portion of your bill that was actually late. I noticed this increase in August and began to question it. I found a flat fee in some states is unlawful because of the extra revenue created above the actual cost of collections. How can a standard fee of 1.5 percent skyrocket to as much as 7 percent without regulations? There were no notice sent to customers explaining the rate increase.
In the fine print of their customer service policy it states they can charge a late fee "up to $5," but from what I see, everyone is being charged $5. I figured they were overcharging me about $3 or $4 every month. There are no refunds of the 3.5 percent overcharged. However, if you complain they will remove only one $5 charge, but they don't figure your late fee with a percentage any longer.
How many customers does MetroCast have in Belknap County? Thousands. How many are paying the $5 flat fee each month? Do the math and see how they have found another way to hike their revenue. There's a lot of money being generated and I wonder what it's been appropriated for since the actual cost of collecting past due amounts really couldn't have increased that much.
This is why it concerns me when I see MetroCast withheld their annual $30,000 grant to LRPA. They probably make that amount each month in their new way to overcharge late fees. See, that's the point. As a community, we pay what they say we should pay in order to keep getting services from them and this keeps them in business. When it comes right down to it, how many people are going to get mad enough to change their service over it? If we all dropped the extras and stuck with just the basics, it could send a message. Of course, the message they are sending us is to just pay your bill on time. Most people don't have a zero balance each month, most people get the fee. Since the late fees being collected are generated by the public, MetroCast should give back and fund our public access television. They should begin by honoring their grant to LRPA.
MetroCast should give back and fund our public access television. They should begin by honoring their grant to LRPA.
Just like the quality of service MetroCast provides, their lips move but the voice doesn't match.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 October 2014 08:55
To The Daily Sun,
Someone takes a drive following directions that a friend provided three years earlier. Along the way are many signs say "Caution," "Detour," and "14th Street Bridge Closed," etc. Nevertheless the driver persists in following the old directions onto the 14th Street Bridge and into the water. Who is to blame for the car in the water?
Jon Hoyt apparently believes that the person providing the directions would be to blame, not the driver.
In his Oct. 2 letter, Jon Hoyt claims to "fact check" my comment about President Obama's disastrous handling of Iraq by saying that President Bush agreed in 2008 to pull out all troops by the end of 2011. While it is true that, based on the success of the "surge," there was such an agreement, conditions in Iraq made that agreement irrelevant. The Bush and Iraqi administrations both anticipated that the 2008 agreement would be changed depending on the situation in Iraq in 2011, and President Obama and his administration knew it too.
By 2011, conditions in Iraq had changed, the U.S. Defense and State Departments, the CIA, and the Iraqi government, including Malaki, felt it was necessary to leave several thousand, at least 10,000 to 15,000, troops in Iraq after 2011 and negotiations were begun to make that happen.
In a 2011 interview with Charlie Rose, Secretary of Defense Gates indicated that he actually anticipated leaving "several tens of thousands of American troops" in Iraq after 2011. Former CIA Director Panetta indicates in his new book, "it was clear to me and many others that withdrawing all our forces would endanger the fragile stability then barely holding Iraq together."
Panetta indicates that the White House was only half-heartedly interested in a new agreement to leave troops in Iraq. President Obama apparently only participated enough in the negotiations so he could blame others for failure to get an agreement. President Obama's real interest was to claim success in Iraq before the 2012 election and leaving troops in Iraq would appear to negate that claim.
President Obama claims personal success for anything that goes well, but blames others for his administration's many failures, e.g., Benghazi, Syria, Ukraine, Iran, the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, spying on innocent and unsuspected Americans, the poor economic recovery, the Obamacare lies and disasters, etc.
When President Obama claimed credit for withdrawing the troops and ending the war in Iraq, he didn't say he was just following President Bush's roadmap and give President Bush major credit. But now that his irresponsible withdrawal has resulted in a disaster, President Obama and his followers are trying to blame others.
The fact is that just about everything President Obama has done has resulted in a disaster. The world is in turmoil because of his flawed belief that the world's problems result from the U.S. being too powerful and wealthy. Our economy is a disaster as a result of his policies which make most people poorer and increase the number of people dependent on government, who co-incidentally primarily vote for Democrats, while the rich keep getting richer.
To blame President Bush for not leaving troops in Iraq, which could have prevented the current ISIS disaster, is the same as blaming the person who provided the directions in my opening example rather than the idiot who didn't adjust for conditions and drove his car into the water.
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:59
To The Daily Sun,
It was very gratifying to see such a large crowd participate in the Re-Imagine Laconia forum Wednesday, where residents discussed what they want our city to be. It was a very informative evening.
Thanks to Mayor Ed Engler and Councilman David Bownes for attending. So where were our other five City Council members?
Mary Jane Hoey
Laconia (Ward 6)
Last Updated on Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:48