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American right doing just fine on the freedom of expression front

To The Daily Sun,

I read Tea Party supporter Don Ewing's recent letter to The Sun about "radical-leftist protesters" with a bit of amusement and not a little nostalgia. I was reminded of my childhood living on Air Force bases at the height of the Cold War. As usual, Mr. Ewing's words invoke memories of such groups as the John Birch Society, which blamed anything with which it did not agree with on "communism" or "socialism." (And yes, the Birchers are still around, at least they were a few years ago, in the Lakes Region).

According to Mr. Ewing, opposition to Donald Trump seems to be part of a communist plot led by the Democratic Party! What about sex education in the schools, the Civil Rights movement, and the diabolical fluoridation of our drinking water and the sapping of "our precious bodily fluids," Mr. Ewing? Are not these things also still the product of an evil, well-orchestrated Kremlin master-plan working through lackeys, fellow travelers and dupes masquerading as loyal American citizens? Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Mr. Ewing!

Mr. Ewing's charge that the left is working to "silence" the right is as amusing as it is ridiculous. With Mr. Ewing's "side" controlling the White House, Congress, and probably eventually the federal judicial system, who is trying to silence them? Even if one really did want to silence them, it would prove near impossible to do so!

The American Right, including the wackadoodle right, seems to be doing just fine as far as freedom of expression and media are concerned. The Constitution protects even their hate speech, something which is not protected, even in many other democratic countries. As for any violence at anti-Trump demonstrations, it is certainly wrong and should be condemned by all, but most demonstrations have been peaceful. But, many conservatives falsely equate disagreement with intolerance or censorship.

Has Mr. Ewing perhaps considered another possibility, that it is President Trump himself who is the "Russian plot?" After all, Mr. Putin, Mr. Trump's best buddy, was a KGB officer for years.

E. Scott Cracraft
Gilford

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Results of GYRL survey were discussed at well-attended meeting

To The Daily Sun,

Dear Mr. Blake:

Thank you for your fake news article on the Gilmanton Year-Round Library. If nothing else, you have been very consistent and vociferous about your opposition to using taxpayer funds to support the library. While it is certainly your right to complain about the library, your assertions should be based on fact rather than supposition.

If the voters of Gilmanton are to make an informed decision when they go to the polls it is essential that they operate on a level playing field. Your latest missive to The Daily Sun is not only misleading but factually incorrect.

In your letter you imply that the library was not forthcoming with the results of the UNH survey which was mailed to over 1,700 residents of the town. Nothing could be further from the truth. When the survey was completed, the results were posted on the library's website and an entire evening was set aside for a public conversation to discuss the results and take public input. This meeting was well publicized with notices in the paper, use of the sandwich board in front of the library as well as in the library's e-news and its Facebook page. In addition, a physical copy was on file in the library for viewing by supporters and non-supporters alike. The turnout the night of the public discussion was much larger than anticipated, with supporters and non-supporters alike in attendance. The fact that you personally were not aware of the open discussion meeting does not make the library guilty of trying to cover up the survey results.

You accuse the library board of directors of exercising poor judgement by throwing good money away on the survey. Did you inquire of the staff or the board as to the source of the funds spent on the survey? I think not. Had you done so they would have informed you that over 90 percent of the costs were covered by a grant that the library received from a charitable foundation.

Had you taken the time to attend the public conversation meeting and listened to the folks from UNH who presented the survey results, you would have discovered that the survey results were inconclusive. There was no attempt to gloss over any of the findings, good or bad. To imply otherwise is simply an attempt on your part to hide the truth.
Mr. Blake, I think a written apology to the staff and board of directors is in order for implying that they spearheaded a cover-up.
It's time to let the voters of Gilmanton to decide for themselves whether they want the town to subsidize the library at taxpayer's expense. The Budget Committee has estimated the annual impact on the tax bill to be $21. This is based on an assessed property value of $200K. Try taking your family out to the movies for less than $21.
The GYRL is a town treasure. It provides a wide variety of books to suit everyone's taste, offers a wide range of eBooks for those who prefer to use a Kindle, offers internet access to our residents who can't afford it and has a very pro-active afterschool program which supports over 65 children from the elementary school. Additionally, if you are looking for a book which is not on their shelves they can obtain it for you through the Inter-Library Loan System. A town without a year-round library could also have a negative impact on property resale values.
Mr. Blake, if you do not want to spend taxpayer funds to support the library then perhaps you should be proactive in finding another way to keep this great facility operating. A generous financial contribution on your part would go a long way to supplement its operating budget.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". Take heed Mr. Blake!

Peter Mulcahy
Gilmanton

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