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Fault on both sides of the aisle for push to deregulate derivatives

To the editor,
A recent New York Times article brought to light current legislation passed by the House Financial Services Committee. The legislation which passed with a vote of 53-6, allows for the deregulation of derivatives. This practice of deregulation was at the cornerstone of this country's financial disaster five years ago. In addition to the stupidity of repeating such policy, the legislation was largely written (70 of the 85 lines) by Citigroup. Unbelievable!
Fault can be found on both sides of the aisle. Every Democrat, Republican and independent should be outraged by the actions of the House Financial Services Committee. They may have a short memory about the country's economic downfall five years ago, but many U.S. citizens, especially the middle class have not forgotten. I encourage all citizens to research this legislation and contact ones representatives regarding your position on the matter.
Marcia Hayward

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 04:57

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What's truly important is our wonderful theatre community

To the editor,
The gala opening of the New Winnipesaukee Playhouse Mainstage Theatre on our Meredith campus is happening on June 1. The completion of this wonderful new building is a major achievement. But I realized on Saturday that what we've been building for the past nine years is an even bigger achievement and one more valuable to me than our new facility. When Johanna and I left our good jobs and our good friends in the Boston area to move to central New Hampshire to an area we had only recently discovered and in which we knew nobody, we did so with the dream of finding a community of people to share our love of theatre with and to share our lives with — a theatre community if you will. We wanted to build a place where we could work together and include our children. We wanted to create a theatre organization that people would want to invest their time and passion in — onstage and off, in good times and bad.
On a Saturday of a long holiday weekend over 20 members of the Playhouse community came out to lug boxes, chairs, platforms, props, costumes, install flooring, watch our children and more for hours in the rain and cold and mud to help us get the theatre ready for June 1. They did it because they know this new theatre is their new theatre because they are part of the Winni Playhouse community. Some have been with us since the beginning and others are new to the team. Without fail, our Playhouse community is made up of selfless people who set an example for my kids to follow far better than any I could set. I am constantly amazed at how generous our supporters are with their time when we need help, and more amazingly how genuinely appreciative they are about the opportunities our little Playhouse presents to them which makes them willingly come out and spend a bleak, rainy day making our job getting ready for the opening just a little bit easier.
So while the new building IS amazing and it will be very exciting on June 1 to celebrate its opening with our friends and supporters, at the end of the day it is just a building. What's truly important to me is our wonderful and vibrant theatre community that will fill it with thrills, laughter, tears and music for years to come. Not part of it yet? What are you waiting for? Find a way to get involved — onstage, behind-the-scenes, from the audience - because believe it or not our inclusive community only gets better and better as more people get involved. And you get to be a part of some great theatre too!
A heartfelt thanks from Johanna, Lesley, Neil and I to Sue Needleman, Trevor Slauenwhite, Jim and Judi Rogato, Diane Nickerson, Diane and Chuck Fray, Tammy McGonagle, Kathleen Hill, Doreen and Matt Richards, Liz Rohdenburg, Ray and Lori Boelig, Rene Boelig, Rodney Martell, Johan Anderson, Lea and Lissa Mascio; staff members Becky Marsh, Kate Boucher and Josh Jansen who all volunteered on their day off; and family members Alan and Paula Halperin, Jonathan and Glenna Lee, Andrea Levitt and Tony Hatoun. Thank you all for spending a rainy Saturday with us.
Bryan Halperin

Last Updated on Monday, 27 May 2013 04:54

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Bob Meade - It's time to act

President George Washington said,
"The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation."
The man who was, arguably, our greatest president, set the standard for how we should respect and treat those who have fought, first to bring us freedom and then, to ensure that we retain it. What is now sadly interesting is how we glamorize some things, and ignore others. For sure, a good deal of the blame belongs to the media but that doesn't excuse us, we the people, for ignoring things of importance . . . like respecting our military and our veterans.
Among the sadly interesting occurrences within the last few weeks has been the media attention about California attorney Judy Clark. This women gained a reputation for defending people like Ted Kaczynski, the unibomber, who killed three people and wounded twenty three others, Eric Rudolph, the Atlanta Olympics bomber, one killed and 111 wounded, and Jared Laughner, the man who shot and killed six people and wounded 12 others, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. Ms. Clark's specialty it seems is plea bargaining to prevent the possibility of her clients receiving the death penalty. While I have never been an advocate for the death penalty, I must admit that I do get bothered by the "celebrity attorneys" who step in to give an edge to the most heinous killers. Of course it's the media that provides Ms. Clark and the killers with their celebrity status.
And when a marginal professional basketball player nearing the end of his career announces he is gay, the print and electronic media simply can't get enough of the story. From what I could gather, Jason Collins is a fine person, so this is not meant to disparage him in any way. It is a matter of comparison . . . how the media creates stardom for some while ignoring others who are truly deserving of attention.
For example . . .
I have always admired how the Israeli military has committed itself to preserving and protecting its citizens and its soldiers. Two incidents stand out. The first is the Israeli Defense Force commandos' night time raid on Entebbe. After the 2,500 mile trip, 100 commandos rescued 102 Israeli citizens who had been held hostage on a hi-jacked Air France plane. Three hostages died, as did 45 Ugandan soldiers.
Another incident concerns Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit. He was captured by Hamas and held prisoner for almost five and a half years. During that time, the Israeli citizens and soldiers never gave up hope. They held prayer vigils. They made prisoner exchange offers. Finally the Israeli offer of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli Corporal was accepted. Jubilation reigned in Israel . . . they never gave up on life.
For a moment, think about the power of the press. It can make a marginal NBA player a star because he was the first player to announce that he is gay. It can push aside the horror of the Boston Marathon bomber's acts in order to tell us that he will have a famous celebrity attorney. While, in Israel, the media can happily announce the rescue of hostages and the joy of a nation upon the return of one of their soldiers.
But in the United States, where we expect freedom to ring out, we hear nary a word about one of our soldiers held captive by al-Qaeda. Our media, with its incredible power to inform, and to influence, sits idle while one of our soldiers, Private First Class (now Sergeant) Bowe Bergdahl, has been held prisoner in Afghanistan since June of 2009. Where is our commando rescue raid? Where is our prisoner negotiation exchange package?
My friend Bob Jones, himself a twice wounded veteran, offered me this citation from Bill Casey. Casey, who performed meritoriously in Europe for the OSS during WW II, and later served as Director of the CIA during the Reagan Administration. When asked of the POW's left behind at the end of the Vietnam War, Casey stated,"We know who they are and where they are and that is where they are going to stay until there is a groundswell of support to bring them home". Our Prisoner of War, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl needs that groundswell of support . . . now!
Isn't it time for our media to put pressure on our politicians to insist on rescuing Bergdahl? Isn't it time that we again start to refer to our captured military as "Prisoners of War", and not simply as "missing, captured". Isn't it time that we, you and me, begin pestering our politicians, Shea-Porter (202-225-5456), Kuster (202-225-5206), Shaheen (202-224-2841), and Ayotte (202-224-3324), to do the right thing? Isn't it time that every veterans group in the country pushed all the political buttons needed to rescue our soldier?
What would George Washington do? What would the Israeli's do? And, what will you do?
(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

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Beware of 'free' money from Uncle Sam; freedom is the price

To the edtior,
"Free money" is everywhere today. The federal government offers "free money" for police, fire, planning, housing, education, the list goes on. Just think, a federal government with almost 17 trillion in U.S. National debt is offering free money! The debt has rapidly increased by 6 trillion dollars in the past four years with the debt per taxpayer now over $148,000. See usdebtclock.org.
Local governments are offered large amounts of free money for snowstorms, planning, labor and equipment. Many local officials find it hard to say "NO" to these giveaways.
For just one example of many, police in a small town were offered "free money" called grants to pay for additional police officers for three years as long as the town agrees to continue funding the additional police at the end of the three years. This free money offer is without consideration of whether the town really needs the additional police!
Some believe that the local taxpayers are simply getting back money that was paid to the federal government. That sounds like a good excuse for taking the free money but the idea is a myth. Instead, the federal government is borrowing and printing money at a rate of over 85 billion dollars a month.
What is the real purpose of these grants?
A growing number of people now believe the money obligates local officials to assist higher government with promoting more local regulations and controls.
A private property owner's name is on the deed, but ownership has to do with rights and control over the property. "Private" property owners have to get approval from the government to build, add, alter, operate a business, etc. Often times, owners are forced to hire costly professional lawyers, surveyors and engineers not because of real practical need but simply due to regulations or the opinion of government officials. Too often, government denies the approval to use private property without real justification.
Surely, people should not be allowed to cause harm to others when using property but laws and regulations are continuing a longtime movement to restrict rights of private property owners.
Then there is free money available to individuals for food, housing, fuel, the list is long.
The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NHDHHS) website (formerly called Welfare) shows their FY113 authorized budget as 1.9 BILLION dollars. Their website states: "the New Hampshire Legislature and governor have been working with the department in its efforts to improve the effectiveness, coordination and delivery of the many programs and services that HELP PEOPLE ACROSS THE STATE MEET THEIR NEEDS EACH AND EVERY DAY." (EMPHASIS added)
Many agencies make up the NHDHHS including the Commissioner Agency whose website explains, "The Office of the Commissioner is responsible for the overall management of NHDHHS". The Commissioner Office "management agency" function alone expends over 700 million dollars and has over 150 employees making between $60,000 and $120,000 in pay per year. One has to wonder how much of the 1.9 billion actually gets to the people in need.
Originally, the use of taxpayer money for social services was to prevent people from starving but now has grown to a massive bureaucracy. Sales and promotional techniques encourage the use of these "services". It is no wonder why more people are now feeling like a fool if they do not apply for this free money. "After all" they say, "if one person doesn't get the money someone else will".
Reports indicate that one out of five households in the U.S. receives food stamps and fraud is rampant. It may seem contradictory but you also hear that obesity has become an "epidemic".
Of course, everyone would like to help people truly in need. However, it sure seems unfair to the many people who give to charity and volunteer time without pay to help people in need while government employees are paid high salaries to decide how to spend and redistribute billions of dollars forced from you in the form of taxes to "help people keep healthy and safe".
Undoubtedly, many believe the idea of using free money to increase central control is a myth similar to UFOs and Bigfoot. However, a growing number of people are convinced that free money is used by well organized and thought out plans. This includes the United Nations Agenda 21. It is apparent that the use of clever words like "sustainability" and "green" give the impression of saving the earth but a closer look reveals actions that serve to sustain and increase government control, growth and spending.
It is ironic that the federal government preaches to and pays other countries billions to privatize for freedom while the U.S. moves quicker to socialize for communalism.
Several New Hampshire State officials are promoting a government-run gambling establishment as a major contributor to save the state's overspending problem. Just think of the idea, instead of substantially reducing spending, they are encouraging people to gamble as a means of increasing "revenue" for more government.
For the people who understand and are concerned about the accumulation of government debt, spending and controls, consider ways to attempt reversal of this long time trend. Be sure to vote for people who share your concern. Get involved with local, county and state government boards and committees. Run to be a local or state official representative. Join in with some of the many groups such as the Belknap County Conservative Republicans and the N.H. Americans for Prosperity to discuss ideas about ways to reduce government. Write editorials to explain your concerns. Warn others about getting news from sources that benefit from big government such as those owned by NBC General Electric, that sells billions of dollars in health care machines and ABC Disney that sells entertainment.
Many are afraid to get involved, especially with the recent news about the IRS targeting groups and reporters who raise concerns about government. Just think the IRS is also going to oversee Obamacare. Hopefully, they will not decline the payment of health care insurance claims to those who criticize the government.
Undoubtedly, if people are intimidated and choose not to speak out, government is sure to continue growing rapidly. Getting involved attempts to avoid the next government financial "bubble waiting to burst", save private property rights, improve objective education, restore freedom and ensure individual liberty.
Free money is hard to pass up and contributes to the long-time success in the advancement of bigger government with the goal of social communitarianism. After all, we are now hearing that people belong to the community and individual liberty is selfish and careless of the trees, animals and planet. Be aware of the power of free money.
Robert Daniels

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 May 2013 12:33

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Sick & tired of how this Belknap Co. Convention is portrayed

To the editor,
On May 16th The Laconia Daily Sun wrote an article by Roger Amsden stating that, the Belknap County Convention majority had prejudged a proposal by the commissioners regarding a proposal to expand nursing services.
There were accusations and false statements made regarding what this convention had done or was about to do made by the Belknap County Commissioners and the Belknap County administrator to this reporter. There was not a response to the allegations asked for or sought by this reporter as to the facts or the intent of the Belknap County Convention and at our meeting on May 21st a response to these allegations was read by the chair of the convention at our public meeting.
Today (Tuesday) I read the article regarding the action and information given to the public as to what was done at this meeting and I was disappointed that the reporter failed to mention that those accusations were refuted, so I would like to submit a response that was given at this meeting so that the public can be advised of the whole truth. I for one am sick and tired of the way this convention is portrayed when we are only trying to do what we were elected to do — control government spending and look out for the best interest of our constituents.
Maybe the next election, if this is not what the public wants, they can elect a rubber stamp.
Our chairs response follows:
"On Thursday, May 16, 2013, in The Laconia Daily Sun an article entitled "Commissioners say convention majority has already prejudged proposal to expanded nursing services" IS ENTIRELY FALSE. I am not one to air dirty laundry but since a public accusation has been made the other side of the story must see the light of day so that the public can know exactly what has occurred and that their faith has not been misplaced.
There have been repeated claims that the delegation has made decisions in violation of the public's right to know. AND THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW THERE IS NO TRUTH TO THIS CLAIM.
Regarding this subject — the Supplemental Appropriation Request: I think it is relevant to go through the time line of events.
— On April 17, 2013, the commissioners proposed this subject to the convention. No information was available at this time.
— A motion was then made to hold a public hearing and it was scheduled for Wednesday May 1, 2013. A few days later the only information we had received was the top section of the hand-out, handed out tonight. This was clearly insufficient background information to foster beneficial discussion in the hearing and therefore, a request was posed by these members for more complete information.
— Regrettably, the first Public Hearing scheduled for Wednesday May 1, 2013 on the Supplemental Appropriation had to be canceled, as by Monday at 1:30 p.m. we still had NONE of the information requested. Unfortunately, the information was subsequently provided after the decision to cancel had been made. (In fact, it is interesting to note when I returned to my office later in the day, that within 50 minutes of canceling the meeting, the information was AVAILABLE and distributed to the delegates.)
— Through a glitch at the county office the next hearing intended to be scheduled didn't make into the papers until it was too late.
— It is around this time that THE ALLEGED "PREDECIDED MOTION" occurred.
— Last Monday (May 12), while reviewing the information, I contacted the county administrator to discuss this meeting's presentation. This was to clarify the request for the supplemental appropriation which began at $187,000, and was then changed to $197,000. Yet the number I heard articulated was that the request was actually for $200,000. In that discussion, in an effort to protect THE ADMINISTRATOR from any EMBARRASSMENT caused by varying figures and an addition error, I offered to send her a corrected spreadsheet to aid in her presentation. She welcomed the assistance. That spread sheet is on the bottom of the handout available for distribution this evening. And is by no means a motion.
— No discussion between the delegation members occurred in the development of the corrected spreadsheet. It was exclusively a conversation between the administrator and myself. FOR THE RECORD I WOULD LIKE TO ASK IF ANY MEMEBERS OF THE DELEGATION HAD SEEN THE SECOND SPREADSHEET PRIOR TO THIS EVENING COMING FROM ME?
— The administrator was then quoted in the May 13 Laconia Daily Sun as saying, "The intent of the leadership is not to deliberate issues in public. They're going to come in with a motion already prepared". This is in no way true. She was fully aware the context of the conversation and genesis of the information. She is also reported having said that it appears that the convention is intent on "not allowing the public to hear the discussion which led to the decision" but stopped short of calling it a violation of the Right-To-Know laws saying that it isn't clear how many convention members took part in preparing the motion.
— It is sad that such false information was presented by our county administrator.
— Yesterday, I thrice asked the administrator via an e-mail about this ALLEGED MOTION, to which she replied "we usually don't get copies until the meeting"; "as I said before, I don't have a copy of the prepared motion"; to the third request quoting her words in the newspaper to which I have received no reply.
— So either the information given to the commissioners is not true or the paper did not report the meeting as it occurred. To which occurred I have no answer.
— For the commissioners to rely on this information without checking the facts is also problematic.
— This convention has been entirely open in our discussion.
— Regarding the additional information requested; it is unwise to arrive at a meeting unprepared for effective discussion. We have a duty to our communities to make the best decisions available and information leads to a good decision making process. For example the census spreadsheets requested by Rep. Sylvia have helped us see trends in both population and expenses. Certainly the year-to-date expenditures per account are critical along with the fact that the expenses are primarily for outside services. Additionally, it is inefficient to digest information of any magnitude during a meeting. To suggest otherwise is foolish."
Rep. Robert Greemore

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 May 2013 12:07

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