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Dems might weant to temper their glee over 2014 election cycle

To the editor,
"Then what happens" is a classic program-planning technique. If we do X, then what happens and then, after that, what happens?
Combined with Murphy's law of the universe ("Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong"), the then-what-happens question is a power tool for achieving goals and avoiding bad stuff. As with all power tools, however, one can amputate a limb with clumsy application.
Gun control is about as complex and emotional as an issue gets. The complexity makes it an ideal candidate for a then-what-happens analysis, particularly in the political arena. The emotionalism tends to skew the logic.
In the last few weeks, Democrats have publicly applied the technique and used their findings to comfort themselves and assure supporters. Are they are on to something or just severing arms and legs?
Prevailing Democratic wisdom is the Republicans are playing the fool. With a huge majority of the American people favoring universal background checks as well as controls on the sale of semi-automatic weapons and paraphernalia, Republicans worked openly and successfully to ensure none of it came to a vote.
The Democrats are using every opportunity to ensure the American people are aware of this Republican "treachery." They are practically giddy with their then-what-happens analysis: If you blatantly defy the wishes of 90 percent of the American people then you lose the next election.
Superficially, the conclusion appears reasonable, but the rationale is demonstrably inane. They should know better.
On election night just six months ago, Republicans — notably Karl Rove and Dick Morris — applied similar egg-on-your-face logic in front of the whole country on live television. From national polling data, they emphatically championed their prediction Mitt Romney would win in a rout even as reality was overwhelming them.
Now the Democrats are reveling in the belief national polling data predict the results of 33 state elections (Senate seats) and 435 district elections (House seats) a year and a half from now. (Note: Two of the House seats and one of the Senate seats up for grabs belong to the people of New Hampshire.)
Nate Silver — political statistician par excellence — correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential contest in 2012. He did so by analyzing poll data state by state. He says, "Punditry is fundamentally useless." As long as "expert opinion" is an expression of preference supported by sophomoric assessment and cherry-picked data, he is probably right.
Democrats might want to reframe their then-what-happens query. Something like this may capture a semblance of reality:
— If the country is gerrymandered to your disadvantage;
— If corporate wealth is arrayed against you;
— If historic patterns — the party in the White House loses seats in a midterm — belie your aspirations;
— If voter suppression laws continue to proliferate (NH has one); and
— If apathy endures among non-cause voters in an off-year election;
— Then, what happens?
Gerrymandering is fait accompli and set for the next decade. Corporations are not about to support initiatives designed to suppress sales. Historical precedence is as it is. That leaves suppression and apathy, problems amenable to local toil, not national dancing.
William Shakespeare summarized it nicely. In the Taming of the Shrew, he wrote, "He that is giddy thinks the world turns round"; in the Tragedy of Coriolanus, "Action is eloquence."
Robert Moran

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:30

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A $95 fine won't force 1 healthy person to buy health insurance

To the editor,
Recently I wrote about the endless cycle of broken promises Democrats have made for the past 75 years to bring equality to the people whose best interests they forever claim to represent. The newest donkey EQUALITY "claptraption" is Obamacare — SIX NOVELS worth of rules/regulations that tie the health care industry and employers up in knots with waivers, pardons, exceptions, fines, jail time and NEW TAXES by the bucket full. We all wanted health care changed because it was TOO EXPENSIVE. Even Obama admits his plan will do nothing to help that issue. Experts are predicting strong price increases in not only care but insurance. Before long you will be wishing for the good old pre Obamacare days when health care was cheap by comparison.
1. It will NOT produce equality in health care in America any better than any other "donkey dream" has ever improved equality.
2. It WILL produce a FORMAL, two tier heath care system between rich and poor. Identical to Europe where the wealthy pay retainer fees for no wait access and higher skilled care than all others get. It has been laughingly said pets in Europe get faster service and higher quality care than humans.
3. It WILL dramatically increase health care costs for the MIDDLE CLASS, who who will pay 98 percent of the expenses for 30 million freebies.
4. It WILL make health care less available than it has ever been in history.
5. It WILL produce less medical discovery and invention than we have experienced in the past 100 years because of new and excess taxation.
6. It WILL produce a health care system that works an 8 to 5 "shift employee" mentality, over-regulated, excessively monitored, aggressively taxed and likely to become unionized to assure high costs combined handcuffed to poor productivity are with us forever. The same EXACT issues that characterize the failure of macro education.
7. A $95 penalty will not force EVEN ONE HEALTHY INDIVIDUAL to buy health insurance.
8. Millions of people will buy insurance on their way to the hospital for surgery knowing they can not be declined — screwing all the other policy holders.
9. Within 10 years, only handful of health care providers will be left in America. Obamacare will produce the same risks in health care we have with banks. A tiny percent so large they control the industry. The disintegration of health care has already begun. Every small health provider is selling out to someone larger because they can not pay for costs of compliance and make a profit. We will have a WAL-MARTS of health care.
10. Obamacare will go BANKRUPT. It is not a question of "If" only " when". All Democratic ideas end just one place, BANKRUPTCY. You want the list?
Tony Boutin

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:24

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Gretchen Gandini - Expanding the WOW Trail, a marathon endeavor

Soon after signing on as Executive Director of the WOW Trail, I joined thousands of runners in Hopkinton for the start of the Boston Marathon. The magnitude of both events was not lost on me.
The vision for the WOW Trail is grand — build a nine mile recreational path through the City of Laconia as a part of the regional Winnipesaukee Trail that will connect Meredith to Franklin. Turning this vision into a reality will be a challenge. Likewise, running 26.2 miles is sort of a daunting task, too.
Having completed the first goal, my sights are now firmly set on the second. And, while the project is different, the process remains the same.
Preparation is important. Let a plan be your guide. Just as a runner follows a training plan, our process for designing, fundraising, building, and maintaining the WOW Trail is clearly defined. Our efforts today are focused on extending the rail from behind the Laconia Public Library at North Main Street, to the Belmont town line. We are currently in the preliminary design phase of this section and look forward to sharing these plans, and the fundraising efforts that go along with them, in the months ahead.
Be flexible. Injuries, illness, and crazy New England weather are but a few things that interrupt even the best laid marathon training plans. Similarly, we will do our best to complete the WOW Trail as planned, and as soon as possible, understanding that circumstances beyond our control may dictate changes along the way.
Not everyone will understand your goal. Let's face it, not everyone thinks that running one mile is fun, let alone 26.2 miles. Likewise, some folks are not as thrilled about building recreational trails as we are. Let's talk about this. A healthy dialogue will help us understand each other's point of view.
Ask for help. Friends and family are essential to achieving your goal. Just as the support of family and friends is important to any runner, the WOW Trail's dedicated Board of Directors, volunteers, and financial supporters are the lifeblood of our organization. Their contributions resulted in the successful completion of the first section of the WOW Trail, and will lead us moving forward. We must raise a significant amount of money and expand our family of supporters to achieve success. Please consider joining us. Use the WOW Trail. Share your support of the Trail with local and state representatives. Volunteer your time. Make a donation. Participate in an upcoming fundraising event. Bring your dog to BOW WOW Fest on May 4th. Buy a ticket for the 10th Annual WOW Sweepstakes Ball on May 18th for a fun night out AND a chance to win $10,000! Participate in WOW Fest on September 14th. It's a fun- filled event for the whole family featuring two bicycle challenges, 5k and 10K road races, a fun walk, a BBQ lunch, live music & kids activities. Join in the fun! We need your support.
Carry on. It is worth it. The WOW Trail expansion will test our endurance. Let's stay focused on the vision. Rail-trails offer safe and accessible routes for work and school commuting, promote active-lifestyles for all ages, and stimulate local economies by increasing tourism and promoting access to local businesses. In fact, according to a recent Belknap Economic Development Council study, a completed WOW Trail will bring an estimated 152,000 users annually, with 38,000 coming from outside of the Lakes Region — generating nearly $1.8 million in new visitor spending. A completed WOW Trail will, indeed, contribute significantly to the vitality of our community.
Let's get moving and make this project a reality. I'm ready. Are you? See you on the Trail.
(Gretchen Gandini is the Executive Director of the WOW Trail. She'd love to hear from you about the Trail and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The WOW Trail is a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization. For more information, please visit www.wowtrail.org.)

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:19

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Blue Loon transit able to gain funding support from 10 towns

To the editor,
I am you eyes, ears and contact for Carroll County's Blue Loon Transit.
Do you have a story to tell regarding how much you have come to appreciate the services that have been provided to you? Would you or your group like to know more about what is now available, how to use it, and what else is coming? Call me at 1-888-997-2020, X16, Carroll County Transit.
I have been involved with this evolving public transportation system from its inception and have been chairman of TCCAP's Transportation Action Committee for most of this time. TCCAP recognized the need for representation in our county. I have been working diligently with Bev Raymond, TCCAP Director of Transportation and other committee members to put in place a source of information to spread the word to everyone on how they can successfully use this very valuable service. This public transportation system is designed to provide mobility for all those in need of transportation, not only the elderly or disabled, but it is for anyone who needs to go to work, shopping, or medical appointments. We have a short video available on the TI-TV.com website that I recommend all municipalities link to on their websites, providing valuable information on the Blue Loon buses. If you would like more information about the service give me a call.
In our recent campaign for town funding we were successful in gaining support from the 10 towns that put us on their budgets or through warrant article petitions. Thank you for your support it is truly appreciated. Some of the more than 6000 riders could have lost their means of mobility, had we not been this successful. However, there are two towns who's residents are unfortunately going to loose their service by the end of June. We were unable to gain enough signatures to get the warrant article on the ballot, so Bartlett and Freedom service area will be eliminated unless like last year, private donors are willing to bridge the gap contributing $3,000. Hopefully, we can be successful for them next year.
Jack Rose
Carroll County Public Transportation

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:13

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Why should I subsidize the islanders? The library? Parks & rec?

To the editor,
I am responding to an article appearing in Friday's paper that caught my attention — one that should catch EVERY Gilford resident's attention — entitled, "Gilford plans to increase trash hauler tipping fees in effort to trim taxpayer subsidy".
Let me first state that there are several items that, in my mind, are BASIC functions of a municipal society: police, fire, ambulance, roads and the maintenance thereof, and trash. Why? Because all of these items are beyond the ability of individual citizens. Speaking specifically to the topic of garbage — yes, there was a time when everyone had garbage disposals and small incinerators on their property, which took care of almost everything, and every town and city maintained its own landfill. Of course, those days are long behind us, thanks in no small part to environmental concerns and GOVERNMENT regulation. Thus, it only makes sense to handle this necessary task through the collective society, much like the other aforementioned basic public services. While it might seem on its face that the proposal to increase fees on haulers only affects SOME people, the reality is that EVERYBODY generates trash, and this affects EVERYBODY. To claim otherwise is not true. This proposal will affect everyone in town, whether you receive curbside pickup, or use a dumpster located within town limits.
Beyond this, however, is the more pertinent fact: this is a ploy by which the town will seek to raise our taxes without actually admitting it. Town Administrator Dunn is quoted in the article as saying, "In theory, people will pay more to their trash haulers and less in taxes." RIGHT — if anybody believes that, I have a nice bridge in Brooklyn for sale that I'd LOVE to sell you! Perhaps that's what the "theory" might be, but we all know what the REALITY is: Our taxes will stay the same, at best, but, as in most years, will probably go up — even if it's just a little. You see, what ending this so-called "subsidy" really means is that we, the hapless citizens of Gilford, will pay more for trash removal: a FEE, and the municipal budget will gain "as much as $100,000 during the balance of the 2013 budget year" to spend on something else.
Does anybody believe that by shifting this "subsidy" off budget that our taxes will go DOWN? This just gives them cover to INCREASE spending in some other area of the budget. Oh, and if paying for a basic municipal service like trash tipping is a "subsidy," what does that make the paying of, oh, say health insurance for town employees? Do we not "subsidize" THAT?
I have a great idea — if we want to "save" much more than a hundred grand of taxpayer monies, how about if we eliminate the school superintendent's position as decided by several votes of the people? Why must I continue to "subsidize" that particular job when I neither send students to the school from my home OR my business? In fact, if we start applying Mr. Dunn's logic as used in this instance, one could make a case for ending MANY "subsidies" here in town. The Glendale Docks? I don't own a boat. Why should I "subsidize" those? Dittos for the town-supplied dumpsters there. Why should I "subsidize" the islanders? The library? I have NEVER checked out anything from there. (I refuse to encourage them.) I prefer to PURCHASE the books I read. Parks and Rec? If I want to hike, or go to a Red Sox game, I'll do it on my own. My point is, do we really need to go down that road? What ISN'T a "subsidy" within our budget?
I ask my fellow residents to join me in attending the public hearing on May 8th and tell the Selectmen "NO. We don't need a hidden tax increase. We already pay enough!"
Doug Lambert

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2013 11:09

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