A+ A A-

1776 was really a lousy year filled with incompetence & panic

To The Daily Sun,
Here comes another Independence Day. As we collectively set to glorify ourselves and bask in our romanticized "Spirit of '76", we might want to take a moment to reflect. The "spirit" in '76 was incompetence, panic, folly, failure and pessimism encased in disease, defeat and retreat. For the most part, 1776 was a lousy year.
George Washington forced the British to evacuate Boston March 17. The British commander, William Howe, sailed his army to Halifax to await reinforcements. Washington marched his troops to New York.
Both sides knew New York was the lynch pin of colonial unity. It was the hub of colonial communications, commerce, finance, industry and wealth.
Nonetheless, Washington's decision to engage at New York was militarily unsound. "Britannica rules the waves" and New York was an island. Its only connection to mainland America was a narrow bridge more than 10 miles north of the city.
Once deciding upon New York, Washington and his advisors concluded Long Island would be crucial. It was the gateway to the city. The "brain trust" did not seemed to appreciate both Long Island and Manhattan Island would be death traps if the British came in force under sail.
Throughout April, May and June, Washington's army fortified. On July 2, the Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted to "dissolve the connection" with Britain, and the British began landing in force at Staten Island.
Congress adopted The Declaration of Independence two days later. At Staten Island, huge British ships, some with nearly a 100-mounted gun, landed — and they just kept coming. On August 12 alone, 100 ships arrived.
On August 22, Howe attacked. Five days later, Long Island fell. The Continental Army — outnumbered more than two to one — barely escaped annihilation at night through horrendous rains and wind.
Washington proved himself an ineffective, indecisive and undisciplined leader. Even after 50 days of British buildup, he could not bring himself to abandon an unwise plan. In the fight, the Redcoats outsmarted and outfought him. He lost personal composure at the Battle of Brooklyn as his army disintegrated in panic.
The British occupied Manhattan. The continentals retreated northward. At the Battle of White Plains (Oct. 28), the continentals were handily defeated again. They retreated into New Jersey. Gen. Howe, knowing he had destroyed the Continental Army, turned command over to Lord Charles Cornwallis and went on holiday.
Cornwallis chased Washington across New Jersey. Illness plagued the continentals. At any given moment, perhaps 40 percent was incapacitated. Troops deserted en mass taking their weapons. Cornwallis continued pressing. By November's end, the king's forces had driven the Continental Army to the banks of the Delaware.
Between Dec. 2 and 11, Washington retreated across the river into Pennsylvania near McKonkey Ferry. Although it would get better in the following 10 days, a Christmas Eve assessment was bleak by any measure.
The Continental Army was ill clothed, demoralized, sick and near collapse. In a week, all enlistments would be up and the army would simply dissolve. Washington's leadership was in question. His seconds in command thought him inept.
Fearing the hangman, the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia Dec. 12.
Civilians lost faith. They lined up to pledge loyalty to the crown in exchange for amnesty.
Knowing the war was all but won, Gen. Cornwallis ceased military operations for the winter and set his army about consolidating its gains. He retired to New York on personal leave.
Camped with Washington and the Continental Army, the poet of political prose, Thomas Paine, wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls."
Robert Moran

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 09:14

Hits: 308

Work largely complete at top of M'borough Neck Pathway

To The Daily Sun,
Those who travel the northern-most section of Moultonborough Neck Road, and certainly those who use that section of the Moultonborough Pathway, have
noticed the completion of repair/refit work on the pathway lane adjacent to both sides of the roadway. The section of the pathway affected by this work runs from where the pathway first enters from the area of the playground to the top of the hill south of the intersection with Green's Basin Road. The troublesome gravel strip separating the pathway from the roadway has been eliminated, and the pavement now covers the full width from roadway to the outer edge of the pathway itself. All that remains to be done on this section is repainting of lines separating the roadway from the pathway surface.
Similar repair/refit work will be done on key areas further down the Neck Road, but that effort will be held until September, after the peak summer traffic period. The work already done and to be done later will go a long way toward making use of the Pathway much safer.
The Moultonborough Pathway Association wishes to thank town road agent Scott Kinmond and his crew from the Moultonborough DPW/Highway Department for
their efforts in effecting this work.
Dick Russell, Treasurer
Moultonborough Pathway Association

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 08:57

Hits: 315

Several reps had hard time tuning in & another was fast asleep

To The Daily Sun,
I attended the meeting of the Belknap County Convention on Monday night. The presentation by the House of Corrections warden, his staff and Ricci/Greene Architects was clear, to the point and realistic. It is a 70 year projection (as was emphasized time and again) by the architects and warden.
Yes, it was Worsman's suggestion that Belknap County would save tons of money by continuing to send those offenders to Strafford County for much less money, but that's just not practical or feasible. "Out of sight, out of mind" under the guise of not spending the money for a correctional facility to replace a building that has a multitude of building code violations, inadequate space, impractical and useless features just doesn't make sense.
Ricci/Greene Associates drove home the point that their model is based on getting the offenders the much needed help while incarcerated, then rehab leading to re-entering their respective communities a more productive citizen. I believe this is often referred to as "breaking the vicious cycle of recidivism". Ricci/Greene's many years of developing successfully operational facilities all over the country was impressive.
What the convention might have misunderstood was that the projected 180 person building would be built with the future population increase in mind instead of having to add on or come back in a few years to ask for additions as a result of overcrowding. I believe it's called being cost effective...right?
The convention just did not seem to understand the very fact that each new generation will have citizens who will be in need of this type of facility; the model ideally does its job of housing, rehabbing and returning this population to society at large. This model is being used in parts of the country with statistics to which prove their rate of success.
Both Rep. Greenmore (R-Meredith) and Chairperson Worsman (R-Meredith) asked questions of Ricci/Greene that would take a crystal ball with which we would be able to look into the future and in turn correctly predict it's outcome. . . if only we could, how idealistic our country, state and county would be.
Rep. Tilton's (R-Laconia) query of if the facility could be 'built in phases and if that would be more cost effective'....how?
Rep. Dennis Fields (R-Sanbornton) summed it up best by stating "the proposed plan is the best over the long run for the county and urged his fellow legislators to support it."
Most disturbing was that an open public meeting was not run by "Roberts Rules of Order"....why? And last but not least, watching one of the representatives in attendance falling asleep while at the meeting...huh?
Bernadette Loesch

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 08:50

Hits: 298

Shame on you. HB-542 had nothing to do with telephone rates

To The Daily Sun,
An open letter to our N.H. State Senators:
One has to question why an amendment regarding telephone rates and service that has nothing to do with HB-542 was added as an amendment to that bill? Very deceptive if you ask me. Where is the transparency in state government?
I hope you don't have to explain to you constituents on election day why you supported the amendment in question. It deregulate telephone service in New Hampshire and eliminates the PUC from supporting customers who have a problem with service.
Please vote NO on the HB-542 Amendment.
Bill Whalen

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 June 2013 08:46

Hits: 343

Froma Harrop - Fighting the build a new stadium con game

Something's gotten into Brazilians that hasn't caught on here, but should. They're out on the streets protesting their government's plan to sink billions into monuments to sport.
Rather than celebrate their country's hosting of the soccer World Cup next year and the Olympic Games in 2016, they are saying "hey." As in "hey," our streets are lousy. "Hey," the schools are substandard. "Hey," despite our economic miracle, poverty persists.
Most gratifying is the Brazilians' chant: "A teacher is worth more than Neymar!" That would be Neymar da Silva Santos, a 21-year-old soccer great, said to be making $18 million year.
A higher value has trumped Brazilians' love of soccer. Could you imagine Texans taking to the streets and shouting, "A teacher is worth more than Tony Romo"? (Romo just signed a six-year, $108 million contract.) They'd be called downright un-American, if not socialist, even though the Dallas Cowboys' $1.2 billion stadium was built with public largesse.
For starters, the city of Arlington issued municipal bonds to help the Cowboys' billionaire owner, Jerry Jones, build his palace. Nine years ago, its voters were conned into raising taxes on themselves to repay the bonds. Objections were crushed under the avalanche of pro-stadium ad spending.
Arlington further enriches Jones by owning the stadium and therefore not collecting real estate taxes on the $905 million property — another $17 million a year given to Jones and lost by the city.
Actually, all Americans have been sucked in because the interest on those bonds is tax exempt: Thus, Jones gets lower borrowing costs, and U.S. taxpayers subsidize his stadium to the tune of $65 million over 29 years.
Tax-exempt municipal bonds were intended to help local governments build roads, sewers and schools. Applying them to coliseums since 1986 will cost U.S.
taxpayers $4 billion, according to numbers crunched by Bloomberg.
In 1986, Congress tried to stop cities and states from financing sports facilities with tax-exempt bonds. The legislation was messed with in a way that encouraged local governments to borrow even more for sports facilities.
In most cases, Americans passively march behind their civic leaders, dutifully wearing the team caps and shirts. They find their identities in these mega-businesses and adulate their players-for-hire.
Usually, a threat to leave town is enough to quiet unruly naysayers, as happened in Indianapolis. The Colts said in 2006 that without substantial taxpayer help, they would be gone. And so a new Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Colts will play 10 home games this year, was built at a cost of $720 million. The Colts paid $100 million of it, and the taxpayers the rest through a bunch of new levies.
Of course, the locals issued municipal bonds, a debt made more painful by the 2008 market collapse. Some of those losses were made up by cuts in grants for the arts and culture. Yet team worship continues apace. Hardly a bar in Indianapolis isn't lit by Colts neon.
Stadiums are sold as economic engines. But when you add it all up — the subsidies, local dollars diverted to far-off owners and players, and the rest — sports facilities provide little economic benefit, notes Harvard urban planning expert Judith Grant Long. She found that the average "public-private partnership" to build stadiums left the cities paying 78 percent and the teams 22 percent.
As for the Olympic Games, Goldman Sachs economist Jose Ursua says that they rarely turn a profit for the community. Whether Brazil would be an exception seems of little interest to the demonstrators there.
This is about taking care of the people, about themselves, not sacrificing their interests to the sports machine. If only Americans could reclaim their self-regard with similar zest.
(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00

Hits: 273

The Laconia Daily Sun - All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy
Powered by BENN a division of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Login or Register