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Every president is accountable & rule of law is to be respected

To the editor,
White House senior advisor Dan Pfeifferit has astonished all astute Americans by actually asserted the law is "irrelevant" in considering the IRS scandal. Even after all the official deception since Ambassador Rice's initial ruse, Mr. Pfeifferit pronounced that the president's whereabouts as four Americans were murdered serving us in Benghazi was also "largely irrelevant fact." Employing a bewildering doublethink rationale, Mr. Pfeifferit went on to say that the charges of Republicans (not "of Americans" mind you) are "trumped up" and "offensive" to the White House. Are we to understand Mr. Pfeifferit's assertion to be that Americans are "trumping up" their dissatisfaction with being repeatedly mislead about the murder of the four Americans who died in their service? Is it "offensive" to seek the end governmental abuse directed at fellow citizens exercising their First Amendment rights? Are we to understand that it is the White House who is "offended?" The rationale would make George Orwell blush.
We have politically and legally evolution since kings of former times claimed their decrees represented God's will, Mr. Pfeifferit and those of his ilk forget that the basis of the president's authority is legal, not rhetorical. Laws are "relevant" to the exercise of governmental authority. President Obama's arbitrary decisions and warnings such as "If Congress does not act, I will," is not simply a poor decision making process; it is contrary to the rule of law inherent in the Constitution of the United States.
Federalist Madison, commenting of freedom of speech reminded us that "Without this robust freedom of expression, perhaps, the Constitution itself would not have come into being." It is the Constitution that grants the inherent Congressional oversight responsibilities that displeases Mr. Pfeifferitt. The First Amendment is the very core of the Constitution; the core "irrelevant" law Mr. Pfeifferitt and the IRS have sought to degrade. How does this occur?
Presidents use the word "enemy" to describe people with whom we are at war. President Obama, who pretends we are not at war, uses the word to describe selected fellow American citizens. For over five years he has personally and publicly ridiculed citizens whose opinions are not in lockstep with his own. He has used the bully pulpit to denounce citizens who owned aircraft, were "fat cats," worked on Wall Street, acquired wealth in their lives, were stupid police, had successful small businesses, believed in free markets, donated to the "wrong" causes, or saved too much for their retirement. Increasingly, with no thought to a targeted citizen's liberties, their reputations, financial, emotional, and psychological well-being, or even their physical safety following his vilification from the most powerful office on Earth, he has increasingly personally and publicly denounced citizens by their name. Just like Mr. Pfeifferitt has done, President Obama other minions have also substituted substantive and informed debate with layers of personal attacks until the facts--or the law, have no significance in articulating their reasoning.
After years of complaints of government abuse by Republicans, fiscal conservatives, and Tea Party supporters, and following Harry Reid's public bragging about his having 10 years of details of Governor Romney's taxes while speaking on the Senate floor, finally an I.G. report has confirmed what the complainants knew. President Obama's now wants informed citizens capable of independent thought, to believe that he became aware of these behaviors only days before they were to be made public. Additionally, intelligent citizens are to believe that the groups persecuted by the IRS are the very same targets of Obama's diatribes. rage, the activities just happened to coincided with his own political interests for years.
Subsequent investigations will probably fail to find a "smoking-gun." No one will discover a statement-of-work or contract signed by President Obama directing these abuses. I suspect that as more facts slowly emerge, Americans will rationally conclude what their hearts sadly already know. President Obama's years of unrelenting belittlement of fellow citizens, is directly responsible for the obnoxious and often illegal comportment of many of his underlings as they carried out both official and oblique abuses aimed at fellow citizens who had the audacity to think independently of his monologues. We have seen this tactic of intolerance called "hate speech" in other times. As President Obama would often say it is "Not who we are."
Thus Mr. Pfeifferit is half right after all. Although not the responsibility of the "enemies" Mr. Pfeifferit's implies, stories have been "trumped up." and "offenses" have occurred. Isn't it finally time to restore honor and trust in our institutions, for destructive attacks such as those from Mr. Pfeifferit's to cease, and for comprehensive respectful cooperation with Congress to commence? I suspect most Americans disagree with Mr. Pfeifferit on two points; (1) Every president is accountable to the citizens he or she serves, and (2). Our rule of law, the Constitution, and especially the First Amendment is highly relevant. It should be respected in letter and spirit. Actually, this is "Who we are."
Michael D. Breen M.P.A., Ph.D.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:43

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Belknap Convention seems poised to vote for expanding govt.

To the editor,
Nowhere in the report of Michael Kitch on the Belknap County meeting of Tuesday, May 21, was there mention of Colette Worsman's excellent rebuttal to false reports which have recently appeared in The Sun at the instigation of the Belknap commissioners. Curious, since until now Mr. Kitch has been so even-handed in his reportorial style.
As to the main event, one is left with the surmise that liberals are correct when they challenge alleged conservatives on their motivation to limit expenditures. Conservatives frequently use the refuge that they are guided by economic principles but that seems not to be the case with the Belknap Convention, which appears poised to vote for an expansion of government. The concept of reaping profit from an expansion of services that are more legitimately the function of the private sector is not one based upon a political philosophy nor even upon economic analysis.
The underling assumptions by the Belknap staff which were offered to the convention are arbitrary and not reducible to bedrock numbers. To see liberals and conservatives unite behind them in service to the growth of government is less than appetizing.
Rep. Dick Burchell
Belknap 5
(Editor's note: Try as he might, it is not always possible for Mr. Kitch to commit everything to writing in the time allowed between the end of a given meeting and his deadline here at The Sun. Some things just have to wait. His report on matter referred to in Rep. Burchell's first paragraph is in today's paper.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:37

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Give up on SB-2 for Sanbornton? Sorry Monitor, it's not happening

To the editor,
Regarding the editorial in the Concord Monitor suggesting that everyone just give up trying to get SB-2 accepted in Sanbornton — I feel that I must protest. The gist of the editorial is that after 13 years of being on the ballot, SB-2 has not been chosen, proponents of SB-2 should back off.
To quote them, "Our advice to them: Give it a rest." The real message is..."You have been defeated, so enough already — give up, put your tail between legs, slink away and don't bother bringing it up again.
Ironically, town meeting is supposed to represent old fashioned values and community. And yet the Monitor's suggestion is the very antithesis of good fellowship and good sportsmanship i.e.; being good winners and good losers. While offering a back-handed olive branch by suggesting that Sanbornton tailor the meeting to meet the needs of additional participants, the "in your face" implication almost suggests that the Monitor might have some sort of ax to grind!  Odd since they are the CONCORD Monitor. At any rate, they are certainly NOT appearing to be a good winner, are they?
"They won — you lost — so go home and don't bother ever trying again because your defeat is a "done deal" — quite the poignant message to send out to people striving for change. Unfortunately, it is also a posture that is usually associated with bullies and dictators. I don't know about you, but the very idea of a defeatist mentality makes me sick. It wasn't the way I was raised and it certainly isn't the way I think living in a free country should be. And it is certainly not an acceptable concept to teach our younger generations.
In another op-ed piece I mentioned the likes of Nazi Germany and communist countries everywhere — where free speech was curtailed and (even with the Borg in Star Trek), all efforts to resist are considered futile. But consider what might have happened if defeat had been regarded as a fait du complet during the great wars of our time — the Revolution, the Civil War, WWI an WWII. We probably would all be speaking with British accents — or worse — we wouldn't be speaking any form of English at all!
The saying goes — If you don't succeed, Try, try again. The Monitor's message spin on it? If you don't succeed — just give up! Hopefully anyone working towards change in Sanbornton, or anywhere else, has enough intelligence and good sense as to NOT pay any attention to such drivel.
Give up? Sorry — not gonna happen!
T.K. Whalen

Last Updated on Thursday, 23 May 2013 10:56

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864 voted on election day; 147 showed up for town meeting

To the editor,
Reading The Sanbornton Town Meeting Minutes, which can be found on the town website, you will note that of the two hand votes taken at the meeting; 147 people voted on one article and 120 on another. What a democratic process — 120-147 people voting out of 2,178 registered voters, I can't believe that anyone would in good conscience favor such a poor response when SB-2 would have brought out many more voters
On election day 864 people voted, and whatever the outcome they were able to vote on election day from 7 AM-7 PM. To bad the other 724 voters who showed up on Election Day couldn't make it to the Town Meeting.
Bill Whalen

Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 May 2013 11:23

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Froma Harrop - Oklahoma!

The world looked upon the tornado-flattened landscape of Moore, Okla., with awe. The destruction was shocking, as were the personal losses. Many Americans in the audience also felt — and this must be said — some comfort. Here was a country of strong people rolling with some very serious punches. It still exists.
On CNN, BBC or wherever, one heard plainspoken voices describing their ordeal with natural stoicism. These were victims (a word they might not apply to themselves) standing in front of the trash piles that were their houses. Some were bearing the death of loved ones, including nine schoolchildren. They spoke calmly of what happened and what they must do next.
In the world of TV coverage, miles of devastated streetscapes make for arresting visuals. For this viewer, seeing Oklahomans discuss the monstrous funnel's rampage in a straightforward manner, only choking up at the end, was far more moving than a sensational telling drenched in passion.
But did that fit into the prewritten script that TV news follows in a disaster?
The camera does not love quiet forbearance. The script calls for wailing victims. And there must be heroes.
In this calamity, there was no shortage of brave people, putting themselves in danger to save others. Reporters found them easily and asked the stock question: "Do you consider yourself a hero?"
It's rare that anyone will come out and say, "Yes, I'm a hero." But there are ways to imply it. You often hear, sometimes with false modesty, "Anyone would have done what I did." Television likes that. But when the Oklahomans were asked whether they considered themselves heroes, they were more likely to brush off the question or answer in a flat "nope."
We glued to screens vividly recall the memorable moments when CNN's Wolf Blitzer prompted a young mother to describe her close escape. Standing beside the exposed carpet of her wrecked house, Rebecca Vitsmun related in a matter-of-fact way how, when she saw the tornado heading her way, she grabbed her baby and made a run for it.
Vitsmun smiled through the entire interview, and so did the toddler. No tears. No moaning about how everything her family owned is lost. No mention of irreplaceable heirlooms smashed to bits. Hers was a harrowing story delivered matter-of-factly.
Almost in a fit of frustration for drama, Blitzer gives the woman her cue. "You've gotta thank the Lord, right? Do you thank the Lord for that split-second decision?" The script says that people in the heartland are prone to publicly thank the Lord with great emotion.
Showing considerable patience, the woman answers, "I — I'm actually an atheist."
Taken aback, Blitzer says: "Oh, you are? All right."
Vitsmun then responds with perfect grace, "We are here, and I don't blame anybody for thanking the Lord."
Tornado alley is a special kind of danger zone. When flooding is expected, people can move to high ground. There is no obvious place to flee in Tornado Alley. When the warning comes, it's often just a few minutes' worth. And any structure could be a bowling pin about to be knocked down.
A tornado is terrifying to look at, its freight-train roar horrifying. Coastal Americans visiting Kansas City take special notice of the "tornado shelter" signs in tall buildings. "We know we live in Tornado Alley," many interviewees said with resignation. And they're staying in Tornado Alley.
Most of the world has never been to Oklahoma. What it knows about Oklahoma may have come from the musical "Oklahoma!"
Note the exclamation point in the title. People in Oklahoma don't talk in exclamation marks, and that's all the more reason to keep it.
(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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