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President Obama has let me down on any number of fronts

To The Daily Sun

My motives for promoting Jim Rubens for U.S. Senate were questioned by a letters in the August 29 and 30 issues.

I am an Independent by registration. I was in the last presidential primary, too, when I wrote letters for Ron Paul and took a Republican ballot in the primary to vote for him. He really would have ended the wars. I went to four of his events and liked his audience, as well as the candidate himself, each time. I especially liked his primary night gathering in Manchester, and found Ron Paul an honest and endearing candidate, when he reported to us that he'd called up Mitt Romney and told him, "You won, but we're nipping at your heels!" Paul came in second in New Hampshire and expressed delight.

Judge Napolitano invited me onto his show, for my Ron Paul support. I don't have any interest in Rand Paul, however.

Yes, from 2006 to 2010 I was Belknap County Dems' Chair. I met wonderful people. I worked hard to have monthly meetings around the county, in the 11 towns. I chafed at the bit that Laconia would not organize itself as a city with wards, but self-relegates to having the same number of officers as a town. I met Barack Obama when he was at Belknap Mill, on the lawn, July 2, maybe in 2006.

But President Obama has let me down. On the issue of health care, he gave up single-payer without a whimper. It would have made portable life insurance, as Medicare is portable for us (now I head for 70 next year). It would have lopped out the profit-makers.

Then, too, he's signed free-trade agreements and has a massive one in the works now for Asia. Free-trade agreements favor corporations over the environment, over labor. Fair trade is understood by many of us a long time now, as we buy fair-trade chocolate and coffee in our specialty stores, health food stores. Fair trade honors labor and the environment as important. I wanted to believe that our "change" president would know about and promote fair trade.

He messed with habeas corpus, voiding it, essentially. Antiwar.com elaborates on this in June 2012, and other coverage is earlier in his first term. He never closed Gitmo. He spoke of proper treatment of whistleblowers while on the campaign trail, but Bradley Manning is imprisoned, not recognized as a whistleblower. Edward Snowden knows he needs to stay away, though President Obama himself has said, "We need this discussion about NSA spying on citizens," and that wouldn't have happened without Snowden's bravery as a whistleblower.

President Obama has escalated wars in other countries, not ended them, and I find especially repugnant the use of drones that slam out of the sky and bomb, often, either the wrong people or ordinary civilians who were near a target alleged (not proven, law set aside) guilty of something.

Israel's militarism enjoys the same U.S. support and funding it had under Bush-Cheney. The energy industry sees little or no change under President Obama. Too much, President Obama gives us terms three and four of Bush-Cheney.

What really appalls me, now, is his opening the Atlantic seacoast from Florida to Delaware to oil exploration, including sonic booms (deep water) that will damage and kill marine life, including whales. Look what the oil industry already did to the Gulf of Mexico, and years earlier in Alaska. He shuffles about really deciding on the Keystone XL pipeline, and probably does the same safe, holding off, with our Northern Pass powerline dilemma. Nice, that today's news includes Sen. Ayotte as among those who want that line buried and not besmirching our northern vistas. Thank you, Sen. Ayotte.

So, I am sure I've left out something. I wanted to reply. Jim Rubens is the best choice for New Hampshire's Republicans and especially Independent voters. We may have a Republican win. I'd be remiss as a caring citizen not to participate with my free speech and voting option at this juncture.

Scott Brown is not from here. He doesn't demonstrate other than concern for his own personal gain. I have met quite a few Independents, and one in Lebanon stands out, for saying that the Tea Party insurgence drove him from registering as a Republican and instead, now, to being an Independent.

He said, "Pro-choice policies are important, very important, and the Tea Party takes us backwards on that family issue, as well as on other issues." Jim Rubens is pro-choice. He's also cognizant that global climate change is real. The science is right on that. Mankind needs to take care of the planet better. And had better. Jim Rubens is anti-war. He's for campaign finance reform, and earns Mayday Pac's support for that.

Independents can make a huge difference on Sept. 9, choosing Jim Rubens who will do fine airing issues with Jeanne Shaheen who was governor when Jim Rubens was a New Hampshire district senator. New Hampshire doesn't need a Massachusetts candidate, especially one with Wall Street money attached.

Lynn Rudmin Chong


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 September 2014 04:57

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Havenstein has experience leading people and making decisions

To The Daily Sun,

It's nearly time to make a decision on who to vote for in the New Hampshire Primary Election. Walt Haverstein is running, and after reviewing his positions and those of the others running, he gets my support. He has a unique strategy for improving the state .... and a unique reason for the importance of that improvement.

He points out (correctly) that it's critical to attract young (working) people back to the state. The population is decreasing, but more concerning is that, beneath the numbers, the demographic data shows that more young people are leaving and older folks are coming in ... to enjoy retirement here. If that trend is not reversed, New Hampshire will continue to spiral into economic collapse and ruin as we struggle to provide support for the retirees with a rapidly diminishing tax base from the declining workforce.

Walt Haverstein has experience running businesses, leading people, making decisions, and knows how to get operations to be productive ... he knows how to attract business to the state. He led the largest private employer (BAE Systems) in the state, and has worked to keep that business here. He is clear thinking, driven toward economic growth, savvy in the ways of leadership, and sensitive to what makes an economy run. He quickly sorts out the critical issues (the state needs energy, the state needs business, the state needs more employment, the state needs an influx of young people, the state needs growth.)

Take a few moments to review all the candidates. Ask yourself how New Hampshire can move back to being the strongest state in New England, not the weakest. Ask yourself what it will take to draw employment from Massachusetts back into New Hampshire. Ask yourself why so many of our residents live here and drive to Massachusetts every day for jobs. Ask yourself who can best bring a business approach to Concord and who has demonstrated the ability to be successful working with large government bureaucracies.

Walt Haverstein is my pick. Study the issues and I hope he tops your list as well. Then join me on Sept. 9 in the primary to vote.

Janet Cramer


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 September 2014 04:51

Hits: 139

Teachers themselves are saying 13% of colleagues not competent

To The Daily Sun,

Popular governors Chris Christy of New Jersey and Bobby Jindal in Louisiana have convinced their legislatures to rein in tenure. Teachers' unions complain bitterly, arguing teachers deserve job protection because principals rate most of the teachers as excellent or satisfactory. The important question is what does the public think? Do they think the majority of teachers are performing well? What do the parents think? Equally important, how do teachers rate other teachers?

The eighth annual Education Next poll completed in June offers some important insights into these questions. The survey was administered to a representative sample of the general public, parents and teachers. The poll used the common and easy-to-understand A to F scale to define performance.

About 22 percent of the school teachers are not performing adequately in the public's eye, if one presumes satisfactory work demands a C or higher grade. Citizens do like the majority of teachers in their districts, saying 51 percent deserve an A or B grade. But 13 percent were given a D, and 9 percent were given an F.

The parent findings were similar to the public's. Fifty-six percent were given the two top grades, while 13 percent got a D and 10 percent were given an F.

The last group was the teachers. As you might expect, teachers rate their peers more satisfactorily. It could be logically argued they have a conflict of interest. But even their polling is more than telling. Sixty-nine percent of teachers give their fellow teachers an A or B grade, but not all get passing scores. Eight percent get a D and 5 percent deserve an F.

Unions could argue that the public grades too harshly in its assessment and that parents blame teachers for their children's faults. But those unions are going to find it hard to explain away why 13 percent of teachers rate their colleagues as woefully inadequate or failed in their teaching skills. Teachers themselves are saying 13 percent of teachers are not doing their job. That equates to tens of thousands of failed teachers with tens of millions of kids sitting today with a failed teacher in front of them as I write this.

That is not some small issue given the erosion of middle class incomes. It could be far worse. The public believes the failed teacher percentages to be far higher than that.

We cannot have great schools without great teachers. It is a fact. As more evidence comes in, it only confirms the ability of the teacher in the classroom has more effect than anything on any child's learning success. That difference can be as much as 50 percent. Improving the lowest performing segment of teachers would go a long way in creating those great schools we all want.

Stanford economist Eric Hanushek estimates that if we replaced the 5 percent of failed teachers with simply average teachers the impact would be so large we could increase GDP by 1 percent. Student performance in the U.S. would catch up with Finland, Canada Germany and other high performing countries.

That is where tenure laws come into play. The survey revealed that the public favors ending tenure by a ratio of 2-to-1. The public by the same margin wants tenure to be based on test performance in the classroom and retained on performance (not longevity). Only 9 percent of the public agrees with the tenure laws as practiced in their states and districts.

It is clear, the public and the courts have turned against teacher tenure and with justifiable reason.

Tony Boutin


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 September 2014 04:47

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There's great value in electing a person like Brian Gallagher

To The Daily Sun,

I am asking the voters of Sanbornton and Tilton to support my dear friend Brian Gallagher for state representative in the Republican Primary on Sept. 9.

For those who know me, I don't normally write editorials asking voters to consider a candidate for political office. I basically stay out of the decision-making business and respect the will of the voters.

But in this case, I just had to write letting the voters know of the great value in electing a person like Brian. He is not just a friend of mine but he is a person I respect very much. He is committed to helping people, he is very conscious of the present conditions of our state. He will spend our tax dollars when necessary, but he will not spend money we (the taxpayers) are not able to pay for. He is a great example of the type of candidates we need, not only for the state but for our country.

So please once again consider supporting Brian Gallagher for state representative on Sept. 9.

 Guy Giunta


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 September 2014 04:43

Hits: 135

I will never agree that any child, anywhere in the world is 'illegal'

To The Daily Sun,

Mr. (Bob) Meade seems to be offended that I chose to "go public" with his letter to me, but I don't know why. We are certainly not friends in any way. I suppose that if I had a printer that worked or could hand write a letter to him, I would have responded to him that way. I don't have a printer that works, and my hands hurt so badly with neuropathy and arthritis that it would take weeks to write a paragraph and he most likely wouldn't be able to read it any way (because of my terrible handwriting).

Aside from that I have to tell you that I rarely go to any websites for any reason, so it isn't personal Mr. Meade. I wonder if Mr. Meade believes that these children are "illegal" because they weren't born here; if he does, he is certainly welcome to his opinion. I don't agree; will never agree that any child anywhere is illegal. The color of their skin, where they come from, or their religion matters not one bit to me. If they come here as refugees from violence in their home countries, I think we have an obligation to treat them as humanely as possible. If they have family here then turn them over to their families as soon as possible. If they don't, then we need to decide what to do with them that is in their best interest.

Obviously, something needs to be done with our broken immigration system. Calling children illegal is not helping anyone. No matter what reason these children come here, we are obligated to take them in and decide what to do with them due to a law George W. Bush enacted to protect them from violence and human trafficking. The "Obama blamers" just look even more silly about this, and as silly as they have looked in the past, that's saying something.

Now on to Mr. Earle, I'm still waiting for you to name even one "made up fact" I or any other liberal used in our letters, I can only defend myself of course. But your wonderfully hysterical letter of Aug. 26 is more proof that you can't remove yourself from the delusional fog of a channel called Fox. Not being able to come up with even one "made up fact" you resort to name-calling. I understand that you honestly feel that blaming all the things Republicans screw up on Democrats is perfectly sensible, nonsensical is more like it. It was only a few short months ago that Mr. Earle was telling us that it was we pesky liberals who were responsible for the war in Iraq. I understand that right-wingers like to either rewrite history, or at least ignore inconvenient facts that they don't happen to like, this is just more of the silliness from the right.

Prior to George W. Bush taking office Saddam Hussein was telling the world that he not only had WMDs, he was working on delivering them to far-off locales, such as the USA. Guess what? He was lying. Being rightfully concerned about this, the world decided to send U.N. inspectors into Iraq. Well, look it up as to what happened next. It is the part of real history that the right can't stand.

Mr. Earle puts quotes around the word lies we on the left point out came from Bush and his administration. From the beginning, Bush wanted to go to war with Iraq, even prior to 9-11-2001. After that awful day he tried to associate Saddam Hussein with al-Qaida, even though any one with experience on these matters knew this was nonsense, Bush continued the very real lie that this was "true." At the same time he was pushing the lie of WMD, and had his henchmen also trying to convince us it was "true".

I have been a proponent of peace for many years now, and I will continue to be, but "peace at any price" seems to be something that is your problem Mr. Earle. When I was in high school there was a bumper sticker that claimed that "the peace symbol is the foot print of the American chicken." A friend of mine and I were asked in art class to create a poster. We made one that said that same phrase, but added, "yes it is, it is also the foot print of the Bald Eagle," as well as any other bird. We received an A for the poster, mostly because my partner in this endeavor was a fantastic artist, I came up with most of the wording, he supplied the last line. Our poster was selected to be placed in a glass case outside the Art Room, along with other well done posters, we obviously hit a nerve with someone because they broke the glass and our poster was the only one taken out and left ripped up on the floor. I will always believe peaceful solutions should be used before starting any war, if possible.

Marty Valengavich


Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 September 2014 04:39

Hits: 88

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