To The Daily Sun,
What a bumpy ride! The 4-cent state gasoline tax increase was passed, but with no help from my senator, Jeanie Forrester (N.H. Senate District 2). Her newsletter explaining why she was opposed was disingenuous at best. The increase doesn't provide enough, only $32 million, she says, for the Highway Fund to overcome its operating shortfall. Forrester opposed the original plan to increase New Hampshire's tax by 12 cents gradually over several years and then index it to inflation. (The tax had not been raised since 1991, when gasoline cost $1.14 per gallon.) So nothing is better than not enough?
Forrester voted against the $30 vehicle registration surcharge, then allowed it to "sunset," depleting the Transportation Department budget of $135 million. Highway funds were diverted by the Legislature to pay for deliberately underfunded agencies (e.g. Department of Safety, Judicial Branch, Department of Safety, etc.).
I do agree with Forrester that infrastructure funding levels should be studied and the raiding of the Highway Fund stopped. But her vote against the current 4-cent increase, when New Hampshire roads and bridges are in terrible shape, was unconscionable.
It was a safe vote — there were enough votes to pass it without her — to appease her “starve the beast” supporters.
Yet New Hampshire's economy, its tourism and business enterprises require safe roads and bridges as do her constituents. Deferred maintenance always costs more in the end, as we all know. Hit any potholes or frost heaves recently?
Sen. Forrester's contrary vote is just one example of the "penny wise, pound foolish" approach some folks tout as the New Hampshire advantage. Not I. New Hampshire doesn't have a spending problem but rather a revenue dilemma. District 2 needs a senator and Legislature willing to address it forthwith.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 08:18
To The Daily Sun,
It is hard to believe that almost 90 years after the "Scopes Monkey Trial," there are those who still oppose the teaching of biological evolution in our public[ schools. These are almost always biblical literalists who promote a literal interpretation of the creation myth in the Old Testament book of Genesis. Since the courts have ruled that they cannot teach "creationism" as science in our public schools, creationists are now demanding that their view be given "equal time" with real science. Most recently, creation "scientists" have been demanding that the wonderful science show "Cosmos" promote their view as a "scientific alternative."
Neither "Cosmos" nor our public schools has any obligation to present creationism as an "equally valid scientific theory" because it is not. Creationism is faith, not science. Not only do these creationists deny evolution but they also deny such provable science as plate tectonics.
Most teach that contrary to real scientific evidence, the earth is only about 6,000 years old.
They teach that the earth and its life forms, including humans, were created in six literal, 24-hour days. Some go as far as to say Copernicus was wrong and that the earth is the center of our solar system. They believe humans and dinosaurs were contemporaries. At the Creation Science Museum in northern Kentucky, there is actually an exhibit portraying humans riding dinosaurs with saddles. They deny carbon dating and maintain that the reason fossils look millions of years old is that the weight of the flood in described in the Bible made the fossils look old.
I have attended their lectures and read their literature. It is slickly packaged as science, so slick in fact, that even intelligent people that do not understand what science really is will accept it. They have created a "scientific controversy" that does not really exist among legitimate scholars and this has resulted in a large number of Americans questioning real science. Is it any surprise that American students are lagging behind other countries in science?
Actually, the "science" they promote is a lot like that taught in medieval universities. The church had already constructed the models, and God help you if your data did not fit the model.
Similarly, creationists already have what they consider an infallible model — the Bible — and they "cherry pick" their data to fit that preconceived model. The modern scientific method involves collecting and analyzing the data and then creating the model. Creationism is not science.
Science can be empirically proved. Statements of faith cannot be so proven.
Does the biblical story of creation belong in schools? Certainly it does. So do a plethora of other wonderful foundation myths. But, they belong in a humanities class, not in science class.
The truth is that it is not an "either/or." There are many people of faith who believe in a creator and modern science. I know a lot of people who believe in God and in evolution, plate tectonics, and a heliocentric solar system.
It is important to remember that the Bible is a book (actually a number of different books) about faith, not science. For many (including this writer), modern science and cosmology does not threaten but instead strengthens their spirituality. Some creationists (including some writers to the Sun) claim that belief in evolution has led to moral decay, but I know a lot of very moral people who believe in evolution.
It seems that a fundamentalist religious minority is trying to force its beliefs on our students
and on the American public as "science."
E. Scott Cracraft
Last Updated on Monday, 07 April 2014 08:15
To The Daily Sun,
At a travel sports event for one of my daughters, I was speaking with another mom from that state who mentioned that New Hampshire was fortunate to have Senator Ayotte serving in Washington. I agreed that Kelly is a strong leader for New Hampshire and that her work on many fronts including supporting our military both those currently serving and veterans, opposing an online sales tax and standing against the reckless economic policies of the Obama administration are testaments to her impact in the U.S. Senate.
The other mom commented about my familiarity with Senator Ayotte's work and that I even referred to her as Kelly. She noted that in her state the senators were generally not referred to by first name and that access to them was very limited. I explained the nature of grassroots politics in New Hampshire and that we get time with our candidates and elected representatives which leads to us calling them by name. Kelly kept a very important promise to the citizens of New Hampshire. She has held Town Hall meetings in every county once a year since being elected. At these Town Hall meetings, Senator Ayotte discusses the many challenges facing our nation and outlines solutions. Thank you, Kelly.
Joanne D. Haight
Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014 09:30
To The Daily Sun,
Do you actually want poor people's lives improved? Or are you satisfied with feeling good by supporting helpful-sounding programs and politicians (despite their results)?
To escape poverty, people need jobs. For a job, you need an employer. Most people, like me, start in an entry-level job because, with limited or unknown skills and work habits, our contributions to an employer are small. Once employed, people can learn, contribute more, and earn more. So, entry-level jobs are key to escaping poverty.
To create a job, an employer must have a task worth the cost of performing it (wages, plus significant other expenses, e.g., benefits, taxes, training, administration, various insurances, work space, work equipment, and contingencies). The lower the total cost, the more work (jobs) an employer can afford. The higher the cost, fewer jobs will be created.
Most of us want everyone to be successful and earn a decent living. Politicians take advantage of our desire for good for others by promoting an ever higher minimum wage.
But, as you increase the cost of getting a job done (wages plus everything else), the fewer jobs, especially entry-level jobs, are created. For example, the CBO estimated that President Obama's recent minimum wage increase proposal would cost 500,000 jobs. Bill Gates discusses minimum wage: http://bit.ly/1eeBlLZ
Other factors also make it harder to get a job. Bad schools mean more people compete for entry-level jobs. Millions of illegal aliens compete, often off the books at less cost, for entry-level jobs. Finally, the more difficult our laws and regulations make it for a business to be successful (including raising costs per employee) the fewer jobs are created.
Politicians who tolerate illegal aliens, who support minimum-wage increases, continuing excessive regulations like Obamacare, increasing taxes and fees, obstructing development of our natural resources; and who oppose school choice are making it more difficult for poor people to get the jobs needed to climb out of poverty.
Unfortunately, President Obama has been aggressively doing all these things. These progressive job-killing policies increase the cost of running a business and the cost of each employee. These Progressive policies have prevented the economy from rebounding strongly and are why most Americans are poorer after five years of President Obama's policies.
Nevertheless after more than 50 years of propaganda, people who don't examine the results of progressive policies are fooled into feeling good about them by their benevolent sounding names, e.g., Affordable Care Act, and glowing (false) promises.
However, history shows that progressive policies hurt people. They steal people's freedom and opportunities and lock them in poverty. To actually help people, progressive policies must be replaced with pro-growth, job-creating conservative policies.
Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014 09:23
To The Daily Sun,
Professor George Maloof's April 3rd letter is arguably the most angry, biased and hate-filled letter that has graced the pages of The Sun in quite some time. I hope everyone takes the time to read his letter because there is no better advertisement for how off the charts, off the wall conceited and out of touch, academic snobbery has become.
Acting like an elitist dictator with a superiority complex, he trashes every white person who did not vote for President Obama. He also trashes Congress and sitting governors. He even claims that Fox News network hates Obama, gays, black people, immigrant Muslims, labor unions and women. He does not site even one individual or one comment from anyone on that network. That is probably because he does not even watch it and has not the slightest idea as to the content of the shows. Nice "fact checking" professor.
Perhaps the most inflammatory statement of all is his incredibly ignorant comment as follows: "Let's face it. 51 percent of white America is not "comfortable" with someone in the White House that doesn't look like them. They want their America back, i.e.: someone that looks like them." That is one of the most asinine and flat out stupid statements I have ever heard. In droves, white people voted for this man in 2008, even though he had no credentials other than being a community organizer and "hanging" with people who loved Marxism and socialism and hated capitalism. A similar voting record occurred in 2012 despite his horrendous first term record.
I don't believe any other Democrat could have won a second term if saddled with the same record as Obama — not Joe Biden, John Kerry, Al Gore or even Hillary Clinton. Mr. Maloof thinks our dear leader has been unduly chastised solely because of his skin color. If he sincerely believes that, then he is indeed the one who is a racist and a stone cold, blind ideologue.
There is no question that the "personal indignities" suffered by President Obama would have been just as forthcoming against Biden, Kerry or Gore and likely more so because in most quarters, he has been handled with kid gloves. It is his policies and ideology that are so offensive. Skin color has nothing to do with it. Got it, professor?
I said in a past letter that white-on-black racism is really quite rare and I stand by that statement, at least as it applies to conservatives. Most of the bigoted and racist remarks these days emanate from the halls of academia, Democrats, the mainstream media and the progressive liberal element in our society. That is where most of the white-on-black racism is occurring. Just ask Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Allen West, Herman Cain, Ron Christie, Star Parker, Deneen Borelli, Mia Love, Ben Carson, David Webb, CL Bryant, Lloyd Marcus, Amy Holmes and the many hundreds of other conservative black men and women who have been crucified by narrow-minded, racist liberal types.
You, Mr. Maloof, think you are so brilliant in questioning my "cognitive abilities" for believing as I do regarding racism. In my opinion, you have shown yourself to be totally lacking in any awareness of our 21st century society. Your total lack of decorum and your suffocating arrogance have "enlightened" us all as to the destructive force that condescending, progressive tyranny of the academic elites has wrought upon this nation.
I don't know how else to say it, Professor Maloof's letter was despicable and disgusting. You would think someone with his "cognitive abilities" would have realized that before hitting the send button. If Professor Maloof is any indication of what tenure has done to our educational system, then we have indeed entered "through the looking glass." Educationally, we appear to be 180 degrees off course and have plunged deep into the scholastic abyss. Heaven help us all.
Last Updated on Friday, 04 April 2014 09:16