To The Daily Sun,
Monday night the Belknap County Delegation (Convention) will discuss and vote on a special appropriation to provide Belknap County Nursing Home employees a modest 1.5 percent wage increase — the first increase in two years. The contract has been approved and ratified by the employees and the county commissioners. Now it is up to the county delegation to fund it.
There is unnecessary and embarrassing opposition and discord within the delegation, caused by its leadership, that is likely to unfairly victimize these nursing home employees and their new contract. I ask, will the anti-worker group that currently controls the delegation purport that their (anticipated) objection is really about the 1.5 percent wage increase, or is it more about the ongoing strife with the fair-minded, more socially responsible commissioners who oversee our county resources and responsibilities?
For more than a year, I have read about and seen their childlike behavior and shenanigans unfold. Their meetings have included name-calling, tantrums, members storming out, deception, and an overall lack of respect for the law. This is certainly not indicative of democracy, and in fact, has become an embarrassment to the people who elected these extremist legislators.
Now the dysfunctional behavior is being focused on one of our most vulnerable populations — our elderly. Nursing home residents cannot safely and fully care for themselves at home. Families make the difficult decision to move their elder loved ones to a new home for better, safer and healthier care than they can provide at home. They take a leap of faith and entrust their beloved family member to nursing home staff. And in turn, staff rise to the occasion by providing loving, attentive care for the family member.
As a 30-year Belknap County resident and as their union president, I stand up for the nursing home employees. Their work is incredibly challenging and difficult but it is also full of compassion, grace and virtue. I respect and value them more than I can express in this simple writing.
They toil around the clock to make sure the residents are clean, shaved, fed, entertained, monitored, and as physically fit as possible — and let's not forget — loved. Staff members often lift and move individuals who outweigh them and must attend to individuals' most personal hygiene needs. This is not a "day at the beach" job. And yet some members of the delegation are not supportive of a 1.5 percent pay raise. It's disgraceful and shameful that their political ideology so blatantly overshadows the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
Nursing home residents thrive under a continuum of care provided by the same quality, loving team members. "Familiar faces" matter so much in our final days of life. A revolving-door of staff, which low wages cause, jeopardizes elderly residents of nursing homes. In order to maintain excellent care and standards, we must compensate workers at a rate that ensures they can take care of our loved ones, as well as their own. They deserve and need to earn a living wage.
Both bargaining teams — the employees' and the county's — agreed to a contract that recognizes the challenges created by the high cost of health benefits. The employees made concessions in their health benefits in order to get the modest wage increase. The employees are not money grabbing gold-diggers, much as some delegates like to portend. They simply need a fair contract to be funded so they can take care of their families while they take care of ours.
If the contract is funded, as taxpayers it will cost us less than a medium cup of coffee to help these workers feed their families. Surely the seniors in our community are worth that small sacrifice.
I hope you will stand with the Belknap County Nursing Home residents and employees. Join us at a rally of support on Monday, April 28, starting at 3:30 p.m. at the Belknap County Complex, 34 County Road, Laconia. You can also help by signing on in support at this link: http://1984.seiu.org/page/s/support-belknap-county-nursing-home-residents-and-staff.
Diana Lacey, President
SEA/SEIU Local 1984
Last Updated on Friday, 25 April 2014 09:07
To The Daily Sun,
During the First World War, in May 1918, President Woodrow Wilson approved the suggestion of the Women's Committee of National Defenses recommending that American women should wear a black band on the upper left arm adorned with a gold star. Each star representing a family member who had given his or her life for their country. President Woodrow Wilson first used the term "Gold Star Mother" in his letter to the Women's Committee.
The mothers of New Hampshire's fallen heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice for human freedom, and we owe them the most profound debt of gratitude. More than anyone, they bear the deep emotional burden and loss of those who have laid down their lives for the cause of liberty. New Hampshire owes these dignified and graceful mothers of freedom our deepest admiration and our promise that the sacrifice of their children will never be forgotten.
To assure that their children would not be forgotten, in 1999, Gov. Jeanne Shaheen signed into law RSA 4:13-h: "Gold Star Mother's Day, "calling for ...the proper observance of the first Sunday after Easter which shall be known as Gold Star Mother's Day recognizing and honoring all mothers who have lost sons or daughters while on duty in the United States armed forces. The governor shall urge the citizens of the state to observe this day with appropriate events..."
Each year, this observance is an opportunity to offer our solemn respect to Gold Star Mothers and renew our ongoing pledge that America will always remember those who died while wearing the uniform of the United States and forever honor their families' sacrifice.
In the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944: "There is nothing adequate which anyone in any place can say to those who are entitled to display the gold star in their windows America lives in freedom.
Blue Star Mothers of N.H.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:44
To The Daily Sun,
Profiles in courage defined John Kennedy. Profiles in cowardice describe Barack Obama.
Once again Obama has kicked the can down the road on the Keystone pipeline to placate environmental advocates who hold sway in key Senate elections in November. The delay has not only drawn the wrath of conservatives, but union construction workers who are the really big losers. They are the ones missing out on tens of thousands of new, high-paying jobs while Obama plays politics first. It is no wonder why working-class Americans by majority have become a key voting segment for the Republican Party over the past 25 years.
If a good job is a key to happiness and security, Main Street knows, who best provides those opportunities (and who stonewalls them).
After an exhaustive two-year investigation, the U.S. State Department issued an exhaustive report suggesting the Keystone posed little environmental threat while giving its approval to proceed. The U.S. has dozens of pipelines that cross the border with Canada.
America has tens of thousands of miles of pipelines that crisscross every state in the country like veins in the human body. These pipelines are the life blood of our economy. They provide the gas for our automobiles and the heat for our homes. Obama uses the Keystone as a "dog bone" to reward deep-pocketed, political donors to the Democratic Party.
Renewable energy has become a politically and socially correct boondoggle. All it has done is killed tens of thousands of high-paying jobs in the fossil fuel industry, increasing our debt through a complex maze of generous federal and state subsidies that obfuscate the REAL and true cost of alternative energy generation. The cost comparison of alternative energy sources like wind and are now at all-time highs compared to fossil fuels, most especially natural gas. Wind energy has never been more expensive that it is today. These billions in hidden subsidies that totally distort the true cost of energy to the consume are going to mega size corporations most all of which are based in Europe.
If global temperatures can rise unabated from carbon emissions (a theory still hotly debated scientifically) then the likelihood we are all headed to be fried chicken without being rolled in the colonels secret batter is a strong possibility, no matter how many wind mills the U.S. erects, or how many thousands of square miles we cover with solar cells.
It took America 150 years to create 1 billion tons of coal burning capacity annually. The Chinese just did it in 10. They are on target to add another billion in the next eight years. China still has hundreds of millions of people who have yet to experience the joy of a single light bulb in their home. Coal is cheap and abundant in China.
Listen carefully. All we are doing with federal subsidies to alternative energy is hiding the real costs, which to this day are uncompetitive with fossil fuels with little likelihood they ever will be. After decades of searching to make them less costly nothing has ever been found to make them practical competitively.
The German government just announced recently it was slashing its renewable energy subsidies because high energy costs from renewable energy are causing them to lose billions in business on global markets. That is what is coming to America.
Lost business and more lost jobs from high renewable energy costs and beautiful mountain tops pock-marked with windmills that only make sense to run if government hands endless billions to their European owners.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:36
To The Daily Sun,
Apparently Bernedette Loesch is not aware or what the rest of the world knows, that our mass media is run by left-leaning editors, programmers, writers, and broadcasters. I should do my homework, she says. Seems because these things are corporations, she thinks they can have no political agendas. So okay Bernadette how's this for homework?
1. Dan Sutter of the University of Oklahoma says, "A systemic liberal bias in the U.S. media could depend on the fact that owners and or journalists typically lean to the left."
2. Of the 20 top newspapers in the country, based on readership distribution, 15 are noted liberal-leaning, three are conservative-leaning and two are considered neutral.
3. On TV, we see ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, PBS and BBC all leaning left, while only Fox is leaning right.
4. James A. Kuypers did a study of 116 mainstream papers and found the mainstream print press operates in a narrow range of liberal beliefs. Those who express points of view further to the left are generally ignored whereas those who express moderate or conservative points of view were often actively demeaned or labeled as holding minority points of view. In short, if a potential leader regardless of party were to speak within this narrow accepted range of discourse he or she would receive positive press coverage. If however a person of either party spoke outside the accepted range of discourses he or she would receive negative press coverage.
5. Even David Baron of Stanford University provided a theoretic model showing the mass media behavior in which a pool of journalists systemically lean left or right to maximize profits by providing content based on their consumer orientation.
If you care to check the Internet, Bernedette, you too can find hundreds of studies on the subject. Dig hard and you can even find a few that will support your version of reality.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:30
To The Daily Sun,
Are many of the halls of academia filled with cowards and appeasers? Brandeis University appears to be exhibit one. Perhaps Brandeis University is too stuck on the Sandra Fluke, "War on Women," "give me free contraceptives" saga to understand how unconscionable their act of cowardice and appeasement is to most Americans.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somalian woman, born into a Muslim family, now teaches at Harvard. She is a courageous woman and perhaps the most fearless and outspoken advocate for women in the Islamic world. While growing up as a Muslim girl in Somalia, she suffered genital mutilation, horrible "honor" crimes and had to flee from a forced marriage. One of Brandeis's founding principles mentions their belief in the "spirit of free expression." That principle is now on life support as a result of their rescinding of the invitation of Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at their graduation ceremony. CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) marched in, frothing at the mouth while screaming "Islamophobia" until the President of Brandeis, cowering in politically correct fear, meekly acquiesced.
Ali was also involved the the documentary, "Honor Diaries." A moving tribute to nine brave Muslim women who have come forward to tell their stories of savage brutality brought upon them and other females, including girls as young as nine forced to marry men — a coercion called rape in civilized societies. The documentary also praises moderate Muslims. Nevertheless, CAIR again reared its ugly head and screamed "Islamophobia." The universities of Michigan and Illinois, trembling in apparent fear, have canceled their showing of this award-winning documentary.
Though Ali is also an advocate for gay rights and is pro-choice, the feminists have viciously attacked her and tried to de-legitimize her, reports Kirsten Powers, a liberal columnist for USA Today and the Daily Beast. She goes on to say that Anne Rice can quit Christianity and call the Catholic Church hostile and immoral, which is her right in a country so enamored with freedom of speech. Yet a former Muslim is somehow not accorded that same right. How does this juxtaposition grab you?
The leaders of Islam are all men and so according to the Koran, women must acquiesce to their every desires and have no rights. Thus Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who suffered intense abuse at the hands of male Muslims, is not allowed to criticize the Muslim faith, even in this country. So who does liberal academia and the feminists go after? Why Ali of course, while seemingly agreeing and enforcing the misogyny of the male Muslim leaders. Is that not progressive paradox-ism at it's most disgraceful? It is certainly incongruous, hateful, feckless and absurd in the extreme.
I will conclude this shameful moment in the history of an increasingly intolerant and less enlightened college scene with a quote from Jeffrey Herf, history professor at the University of Maryland, who received his Ph.D. from Brandeis in 1981. "That the president of a university that was founded by Jews in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, should have rescinded an honor to a woman who has had the courage to attack the most important source of Jew hatred in the world today is a disgraceful act and a failure of leadership. Instead of appeasing intolerance in your faculty, you should have taken this moment to reaffirm the values for which Brandeis has stood for so long and reconfirm the place of universities as models of tolerance and enlightenment in our troubled society".
It would be nice if this was just an aberration within our hallowed halls of academia. What will it take to get our universities to return to their position as beacons of free speech and honest debate? That would be the core aspects of college life that have been their hallmarks for so long. It would be so great if Professors Maloof and Cracraft could agree with me on this one critical point, by expressing their shock and dismay at this apparent loss of moral and intellectual integrity at Brandeis and other universities.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 April 2014 09:25