There's a painful lesson to be learned for liberals, especially liberal Jews, from the hopefully concluded war in Gaza.
Most of my liberal friends desperately want to believe that the fact that Israel is subject to more criticism than almost any country in the world (including some very scary ones), that respected universities consider calls for boycotts, that student government slates (at UCLA) run and win on pledges not to accept travel from the Anti-Defamation League, that all of this and more has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it is a Jewish state, much less with anti-Semitism. No, it's not about holding Jews to a different standard; it's Israel.
Newsflash: Not so in this war.
Israel is not the "occupier" of Gaza. Israel did not build tunnels into Gaza.
Show me another country that would be castigated, as Israel has been, even in the American media, for protecting its citizens against terrorists who had secretly figured out how to infiltrate their towns and villages, who were sending rockets aimed at major population centers without even a pretense of targeting the military.
You know what the world would say if another country were the one taking on terrorists who have vowed to destroy us, as well. We would say thanks. We would say well done. We would be very glad that they were willing to send their soldiers into harm's way, that they were adept enough to target militants. Would the international media be castigating the country that first warned of impending attacks and then hit houses where the dead were pulled out carrying rifles to the cheers of the crowd? They would not.
How is it that Israel became the villain in a war it did not start, that was necessitated by self-defense, that cost needless lives because Hamas does not value the lives of its own people either?
One of my friends sent me an e-mail from an Israeli doctor whose team had saved the life of a Palestinian woman who had been burned by her own family (likely for straying beyond the proper limits for women).,She returned to Gaza and was encouraged to return to Israel for outpatient follow-up. She was stopped at the border, suicide bombs strapped to her body, on her way to her follow-up appointment in Israel. She planned to kill herself and those who had saved her life. Her family told her they would forgive her if she did.
This is why Israelis were overwhelmingly in support of this war. It is because it was a war of self-defense, part of the struggle for survival that we would like to believe is limited to the countries in the Middle East, but is built on hatred and hypocrisy that cannot so easily be cabined.
It is good that there is a ceasefire, good that families on both sides can sleep a little better and breathe a little easier, good that fewer lives may be lost in the short run. But we liberals cannot kid ourselves.
My mother saw anti-Semitism behind every corner and always urged me not to offend. I was determined to push back against those limits — when I was growing up, limits on who could live where and go to school where and even go fishing off of which dock — just like I was determined to push back on the limits imposed on women. No one's victim. Not me. We Jewish Americans have done very, very well and have much to be grateful for.
But blindness is more dangerous than paranoia.
It wasn't — it isn't — just about Israel.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 08:04
To The Daily Sun,
I had been trying to run a clean campaign, I have been attending the selectboard meetings in my district on a regular basis, to ensure that if I do win in the primary and November, that I would be up to speed on what my constituents will be expecting of me down in Concord. I had been working on putting a fund-raiser together with the Republican Party as the sponsor, to benefit the C.A.R.E. Group, for I believe that is what we should be doing for our constituents.
C.A.R.E. Group stands for Citizens of Alexandria Rights Effort. Its mission statement is: Empowering residents of Alexandria, N.H. with a Community Bill of Rights which allows them to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the whole community (human and natural), by elevating community rights above the claimed "rights" of corporations; and a right to local self-government that cannot be preempted by the state. It is a non-profit corporation of resident volunteers organized in 2013 to help preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the Newfound/Cardigan region. CARE Group provides education and information through local meetings, public events, mailings, and social media. This is a step in the right direction to keep Big Wind Power out of the region.
Instead, I find that I have to be on the defensive because of a so-called fellow Republican from the Free Town of Grafton, who wanders into Skip Reilly's gun shop in Bristol, the biggest gun shop in the Newfound area, to drop dirt on me that I'm anti-gun, anti-30-round clips, and who knows what else he could fashion with the help of the Democrats from Grafton.
But wait a minute, when I attended the Town of Grafton Selectboard meeting I was asked in front of a camera that was being operated by Jeremy Olson, the Democratic candidate for this district how I felt about 30-round clips and assault rifles. I told them, that if that is what it takes to go turkey hunting then maybe they need to learn how to shoot straight. I would never try to tell my SEAL team friends that they can't have any of these toys. The Second Amendment is what makes us Americans.
So how did this tape end up in the hands of the Republican candidate?
Mr. Hull you can go on running your dirty little campaign and drink the dirty water the Dems keep feeding you. Do you plan on carrying that dirty water with you to Concord? Is dirty water all that you have to bring to the table? We have enough of that bad non-team player politics your offering, long enough.
My constituents have had enough black-eye politicians. They are looking for leaders who, with understanding, will go to the Statehouse with honest, non-self-serving, hard work work for them, to ensure that their voices are heard, so they can live their lives without the anxiety of some corporation walking in and dropping an industrial wind farm in their back yard.
I need to win the case for the people in Alexandra. If they win, the whole of Newfound wins. I do not have time to entertain you Mr. Robert Hull. I'm too busy looking out for my constituents. This is how I'll run my campaign. We, the people have put up with your kind of BS politics long enough. I have good people in these surrounding communities that need more than what you have to offer. I'm going to see that they get it.
Eric T. Rottenecker
Republican Candidate, Grafton District 9
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 09:15
To The Daily Sun,
Many of the people I've been speaking to during this campaign have an impression of correctional officers as "brutal, corrupt, ignorant bullies" which is how they are typically portrayed in the movies. Frankly, I did, too. However, after visiting three jails I can say that my opinion has changed. The vast majority of the interactions I have witnessed between COs and inmates have been mutually respectful. The men and women who do these jobs seem driven by pride and compassion. Most understand, from their work experience, that humans fail and that a hand-up is what many need to be less likely to fail again. Of course, there are some inmates who will bite that hand, and officers have to be prepared for that. And, from what I've seen, they are.
There are the same number of officers working in the Belknap County House of Correction as there were 25 years ago even though the inmate population has increased substantially, and 90 percent, by some credible estimates, may be drug dependent or mentally ill. Everyone has to be flexible and pull together. The condition of the building has deteriorated substantially in the last two and a half decades and so the officers breathe the same stale air and work in the same rundown conditions as those in which the inmates live.
That this system works at all is a credit to the men and women who are on the front lines and to those in administration. Despite the overcrowding and under-staffing, which is why, for example, inmates no longer work the farm, these officers work together to confine and rehabilitate and return productive citizens back to our neighborhoods, while keeping everyone inside as safe as possible.
That does not mean, of course, that I think we need a $42 million jail. I don't know what the price tag should be yet, but I do believe that we need a jail that enables the job to be done effectively. Because, if it is, your children and mine will be safer for it.
Candidate for Belknap County Commission
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 09:09
To The Daily Sun,
Dennis Fields has consistently voted with the Democrats even when the Republicans held the majority in the House. That's fine if he were running as a Democrat, but running in a Republican primary is simply dishonest.
It is no secret that I don't agree with many (if any) Democratic ideals, but at least the Democrats will come right out and tell you what they think without wearing a false party label.
Fields is not only willing, but eager to inflict higher taxes on the people of Belknap County. Take for example his blind insistence that Belknap County needs to spend $40 million on a new jail. And in his arrogance, he personally attacks solid conservatives such as Dave DeVoy for proposing reasonable alternatives to keep spending in check.
A glance at Fields' voting record would suggest that he never encountered a tax that he didn't like.
Finally, Fields wants your guns. What shameless audacity it takes to call yourself a Republican while consistently showing your constituents that you want to deny them their right defend themselves. Dennis Fields just received a solid "D" rating from the NRA, which can be interpreted as "Dennis Fields is a menace to the Constitution." That is why the NRA endorsed Richard Brothers and Brian Gallagher as the only reliable options for Sanbornton.
Why should any Republican in Sanbornton vote for Dennis fields when he attacks Republicans and Republican values at every opportunity, especially when there are two excellent and reliable candidates in Richard Brothers and Brian Gallagher?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 09:04
To The Daily Sun,
I have never written to the editor before, but felt compelled to write this after what I have been witnessing in downtown Laconia with the construction project.
Backtrack a few weeks ago when the traffic was rerouted a bit through downtown Laconia heading north. Did anyone else notice a section of curb jut out into the middle of the road to a sharp point? If you didn't pay attention and swerve, you would hit it and probably puncture your tire. I actually witnessed someone directly in front of me do just that and blow their tire, and miss the side barrier by about a foot. No cones, signs, nothing.
Fast forward to today. The project is moving along and looks good, but has now shifted to affect the southern part of downtown by the Landmark Inn. I am deeply concerned about the way traffic is set up and that no one has done anything about it. The current setup is ridiculous. Heading south on Route 106 through Laconia, you have three lanes of traffic by the Bank of New Hampshire building. With literally a one second warning, the left lane has two cones, and then a barrier wall, completely eliminating the left lane. So anyone in that lane abruptly has to stop and switch lanes and hope another car isn't coming. Then, the middle lane disappears about 100 feet later so those people have to swerve into the far right lane to avoid a collision there.
The worst part about this whole thing is there are no signs warning you of this, no flashing lights, nothing! It's careless.
Especially with school starting and kids walking through there all of the time, it's not a question of "if" someone will get hurt, but more of a question of "when." I understand it is temporary and will look great when it is done, but someone needs to accept responsibility to do something ASAP before something like this makes the front page.
Is the city ultimately responsible? Is the construction company? Either way, this should be addressed immediately for those folks who don't travel this road on a daily basis and don't know what to expect.
So until this changes, I would tell you to avoid that section, or be extremely careful.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 09:01