To The Daily Sun,
Everyone is happy that Sgt. Bergdahl has been released, assuming he regrets his desertion/defection and wishes to be a constructive U.S. citizen. People object to the Bergdahl trade because it was done illegally, it broke a long-established principle against negotiating with terrorists, it was a very bad deal, the president lied about it, and because it makes the world more dangerous.
President Obama justified breaking the law, by not giving Congress the required 30 day notice of release of Guantanamo prisoners, because of Bergdahl's health. That lie was quickly replaced with a lie that Bergdahl would be killed if the deal wasn't done immediately. But, Bergdahl's parents were told a month beforehand and there was enough time to tell Hillary.
The inescapable conclusion is that Obama didn't notify Congress because Congress previously objected to releasing Guantanamo prisoners and would have rejected this terrible trade.
By negotiating with terrorists and releasing five extremely dangerous Taliban leaders, President Obama made hostage targets of every American. Terrorist leaders already say that they will be looking for more hostages to trade.
The initial ransom demand for Bergdahl was under $100,000. Reports indicate that the administration rejected the idea of money for Bergdahl in January, apparently seeing a potential trade as an excuse for going against the wishes of Congress and the American people and releasing Guantanamo prisoners as President Obama wants to do.
In any case, releasing five terrorist commanders for one deserter is a terrible deal. This deal was reportedly opposed by the military and national security representatives. It was made without consulting allies in Afghanistan and elsewhere who will have to deal with the terrorism caused by these terrorist commanders. These terrorist commanders are a threat to Afghanis and peaceful people everywhere as well as to Americans.
The deal for Bergdahl helped President Obama accomplish two of his objectives which are contrary to America's best interests, the release of Guantanamo prisoners and reducing America's influence by showing that America is not a reliable ally.
The result is a much more dangerous world.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 09:14
To The Daily Sun,
Mr. Wiles is at it again with a misleading letter about the minimum wage. He should come out from under his bubble and deal with reality. His so-called "research" could use some fact-checking.
I would suggest that he meander around the Lakes Region. Aside from McDonald's, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King or KFC he should also go to places like Lowe's, Walmart, Hannaford's, Market Basket, CVS, BJ's and other major chain stores. Take a good look around and notice the age range of the employees. Ask them if they are free to speak with you for a couple of minutes without fear of 'being caught'. Ask about their hourly wages, or if they have any medical and dental benefits, vacation time, or personal leave.
Go a step further. Make appointments with the store managers. Let them know that you'd be interested in working for their company. Fill out an application and take whatever test is required. Ask about their wage and benefit package. Ask how they designate part-time and full-time employees. Oh, and don't forget to ask if they are unionized.
I recently was at Lowe's on a warm sunny Sunday afternoon. I mentioned to the cashier that it was a shame she couldn't enjoy such a beautiful day instead of having to work. She told me: "when you need a job you work whatever hours you are assigned". I would guess that she was well over 60 years old.
When you have finished your research, please come back to us with your findings. Just one caveat... be truthful: no misleading or skewed numbers. Try to keep President Obama out of your rant.
Wages for the lower and middle classes of this country have not kept pace with the rate of inflation or with the cost of living.
The past few Republican Administrations have indeed "gotten out of the way" of the private sector. Pres. Reagan was happy to be a union buster. Over the decades corporations have cut benefits while increasing their profits tenfold or more. Let us not forget that the CEOs and most upper corporate management in this country are among the highest paid in the civilized world.
The Republican congressional members have popularity ratings that are in the single digits. They have wasted millions of our tax dollars trying to repeal The Affordable Care Act (by my count it's more than 49 times). What has this present Republican-held House has done to add the needed good-paying jobs to our economy? What concrete proposals have they offered to improve the quality of life for the lower class? Their only concern since 2009 seems to be to reflexively oppose anything Pres. Obama proposes — regardless of what it is or the merits — and to obstruct, sabotage, and politicize.
Compared with other developed countries our wages and benefits are an outright insult to lower and middle class working families. It used to be that if someone worked hard they would be able to make a good living, increase their financial standing, and be able to pass on a better life to their children. But for the last 30 years the Republicans have been dedicated to taking away one rung after another so from the ladder and pulling out any supports. At the same time they are shovelling more and more to their financial sponsors who are already at the very top of the heap.
Last Updated on Thursday, 12 June 2014 08:51
To The Daily Sun,
Recently, I attempted to attend and open house at Holy Trinity School. Being an 1981 (salutatorian) graduate of the school, I looked forward to visiting my alma mater for a few minutes and regarding the changes and current educational curricula and philosophies at there. It was innocent curiosity and a desire to get informed on the current state of what was once a fine academic institution.
Unfortunately, my wistful memorizes and my sincere desire to possibly contribute to Holy Trinity School were shattered by reality. First, I was approached by the maintenance man (ironically, a former schoolmate of mine) and he barked "this tour is only for people with children!" I should have left immediately once I got this icy reception, but I persevered.
Pardon my arrogance, but alumni of a school which they helped finance in the 1970s and 1980s should not be restricted from voluntary interest and access. After all, what's the purpose of an "open house" if the current principal engages in selective alienation of potential supporters? It was humiliating to me and quite embarrassing. I being an optimist however, so I continued on a 20 minute tour of this Catholic school.
Steve was my cheerful 21 year old guide. I found him to be informative, thoughtful, and a gracious host. However, the tour ended and others at Holy Trinity School were up to no good. As I was wrapping up my talk with Steve, and about to fill my tour feedback form, two police officers appeared and asked to speak with me. As it turned out, someone at Holy Trinity School apparently did not like me or welcome me at their facility.
To this moment I am still not sure why I was being rousted. After all, I had been "invited" to the "open house" and at all times I was respectful of the faculty and students at Holy Trinity School! In other words, I had every reason to visit my alma mater, and I certainly was not misbehaving in any way. I was respectful.
Yet, I was ceremonially declared out of the building by two of Laconia's finest. I cannot put into accurate words the humiliation and latent disgust/anger that I felt while I did a verbal tap dance with the Laconia Police Department. It was obscene.
Which brings me to the purpose of recounting this tragic soap opera. My point being that from 1974 to 1981 I was indoctrinated at Holy Trinity School in "The Golden Rule". Catholics usually pride themselves on being compassionate, helping others, and "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you." Apparently, this ethos is decreased at Holy Trinity School. How ironic.
It is with profound disappointment and disgust that I must report that Holy Trinity School is a bastion of HYPOCRISY. They will teach your children to imitate Jesus Christ, then they will summarily humiliate and insult a good Samaritan (me).
I apologize if it seems as if I am picking on someone salt of the earth people who mean well; but how can Holy Trinity School claim to prepare kids for a Catholic lifestyle and the denigrate innocent alumni and civilians? This is not the religious educational experience that I received at Holy Trinity School and it should not be the current state of education/affairs at that school. As ironically I merely wanted to attend an open house and I ended up receiving an education in mean spirited snobbery.
HTS Class of 1981
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 09:48
To The Daily Sun,
Democrats are demanding an increase in the minimum wage. They just can't decide how much to raise it. Our president thinks $10.10 an hour would be just about right. Fast food workers think $15 an hour is just about right. Well, why not $25 an hour or even $50 an hour. If we make it $100 an hour then no one will need welfare.
So, all you small- and medium-sized-business owners, the backbone of our economy, what are you waiting for? What's that you say? There would be no profit and hence no incentive to stay in business at the $10 to $15 an hour starting pay. Businesses would close en masse and unemployment would soar. At $10.10 per hour, hiring will stagnate which will hurt young folks trying to get into the workforce for the first time. Approximately 30 percent of minimum wage workers are under the age of 30.
Please check out these realities for the young among us according to Nick Pappas, N.H. director for Generation Opportunity. (1) The vast majority of minimum wage earners in our state are young citizens working part-time or entry-level jobs to make some extra cash after school or just to gain work experience. (2) A minimum wage hike only serves to raise the barriers to entry. (3) Youth unemployment is nearly 16 percent and has remained at historic highs for the past five years. Raising the minimum wage will only exacerbate the plight of the young who are already subsidizing the elderly through Social Security and now Obamacare. Raising the minimum wage so drastically and so quickly will hurt the poor and low-skilled workers the most. Automation will accelerate, causing fewer available jobs. The price of some goods will increase, hurting the poorest among us.
An executive research firm, The Lucas Group recent report explains that the 40 percent proposed wage increase would slow business expansion, cause hiring freezes and even cause some business closures. The service industry would be especially hard hit. The Congressional Budget Office reports that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 could kill up to 1 million jobs.
Fred Wszolek boils down the real winners in this "cycle of minimum wage economics." Higher minimum wages equals higher union dues. Some jobs disappear while money pours into the coffers of big labor with which to fund Democrats running for re-election. So Fred says that there are indeed winners — politicians in Washington and their big labor allies.
History has shown that when government gets out of the way, the private sector engine of free enterprise roars into action. President Obama, with no real-world experience, thinks he knows better. With as much expertise as Wile E. Coyote setting an ACME trap for the roadrunners, he shuns Congress, pounds his chest and commands, "America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."
The imperialist president has spoken while the economy continues to sag and the labor participation rate is now the lowest since 1978. Why some still believe Obama actually likes the country he was elected to preserve is the mystery of the decade. He is making sure we are no more exceptional than any other country. The liberal good intentions of the minimum wage hike, especially if enacted in such a reckless and capricious manner, will add just one more nail to the coffin of our president's failed five year jobs recovery.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 09:44
To The Daily Sun,
Back in the days of the Seabrook nuclear plant's building we became familiar with the idea of C.W.I.P. — construction-work-in-progress charges. I still keep an old Gov. Gallen election sign that's pro-Gallen and anti-C.W.I.P. Utilities wanted to expand by building expensive plants and getting construction money through rates charged to consumers.
There could be no end in sight, this financing plan. Wonderful for the utility, very tough on the consumers who do need our electricity, so are captive.
Now, I wonder if so-outrageously high student debt is not a failure of similar financial-planning thinking. Our higher educational institutions, competing for students as businesses do for customers, expand their campus extras, those showy amenities (what some people call furbelows) that let them compete. Students pay higher tuition and higher and higher to cover the campus's costs. Students and their families are captive, because numbers show that adult financial security is more likely with a college degree.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's new student loan bill that allows people to refinance their student loans at a low rate, an option currently denied to most borrowers by federal rules, would help to alleviate the problem. We should encourage our Republican Sen. Ayotte and our Democratic Sen. Shaheen to sign on to the bill. New Hampshire students are among the most indebted in the country. But in the long run, we need affordable or free four-year degree institutions. Community colleges give the basics for two years without the alluring live-in and furbelow promotions. Four-year institutions, especially public ones, should fix their business heads and renew their vows to provide an affordable education, cut back on showy extras that get put in place and then need maintenance just as a more-than-basic house does.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 09:40