To The Daily Sun,
It's all about the bottom line.
Let's start with introducing two organizations barnstorming across the U.S. opposing the growing state and federal efforts to legalize pot. Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) co-founded by Patrick Kennedy who's been in and out of rehab because of his abuse of prescription drugs, including the painkiller OxyContin. The second is the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America (CADCA), one of the largest such organizations in the country.
Here's Mr. Kennedy addressing this group back in February: "Let me tell you, there is nothing more inconsistent with trying to improve mental health and reduce substance-abuse disorders in this country than to legalize a third drug." Great, spoken like an ex-politician that has been bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry which by the way is profiting the most by the anti-pot lobby.
Some advocates of marijuana legalization have criticized Kennedy's crusade against pot. The former congressman received many second chances in his struggle with alcohol and prescription drugs, yet he has opposed any move toward marijuana decriminalization that would afford similar leniency to others. Let's be perfectly clear, prescription opioids, a line of pain-relieving medications derived from the opium poppy or produced synthetically, are the most dangerous drugs abused in America, with more than 16,000 deaths annually linked to opioid addiction and overdose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that more Americans now die from painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined. It's also interesting to note that there are no known deaths related to marijuana, although there have been instances of impaired driving.
Lee Fang, a San Francisco based journalist puts it this way: "The opponents of marijuana-law reform argue that such measures pose significant dangers, from increased crime and juvenile delinquency to addiction and death. But legalization's biggest threat is to the bottom line of these same special interests, which reap significant monetary advantages from pot prohibition that are rarely acknowledged in the public debate."
A recent poll of police officers found that nearly two-thirds believed marijuana laws should be reformed. In the old days during Prohibition the police and judges got their money in brown paper bags. Today they get their money through legitimate, systematic programs run by the federal government — hence their lobbying efforts to fight every reform.
In Minnesota there was an effort to pass a medical marijuana bill earlier this year and was met with a police lobby backlash because there was a concern about losing federal grants tied to drug enforcement laws. It's all about the War on Drugs, you know.
The ACLU reports that marijuana arrests account for more than half of all drug arrests nationally. Of course this keeps the private prisons well stocked to a point that the prison system has become the new cottage industry. By no means am I advocating marijuana use. However, when CADCA and the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids have adopted a hard-line approach to marijuana, opposing even limited legalization and supporting increased police powers and when the anti-pot interests, many of whom have a financial stake in the status quo — including law enforcement agencies, pharmaceutical firms, and nonprofits funded by federal drug-prevention grants — one can't help being a bit skeptical.
Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 08:30
To The Daily Sun,
Co-sponsor a Parallel Joint Resolution to S.J.Res.19, to Amend the Constitution to overturn Citizens United.
It is imperative that we pressure the House of Representatives and the Senate on the national and state level to get voters rights' protections back into place. The conservative majority of the Supreme Court does not speak for me. Too many right-leaning states are making it very difficult for people to vote in elections. Enough already. Stop the madness.
Last Updated on Monday, 14 July 2014 08:27
To The Daily Sun,
This week's New Hampshire Music Festival concert in Plymouth was one to remember. I have been attending the concerts for over 50 years and have never heard such bright and dynamic season-opening summer music. Frances Renzi playing the Mozart piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major was spectacular. Another member of the audience noted, "You will never hear it played better." Mendelssohn's Overture to A Midsummer's Night Dream and Beethoven's Symphony No. 4 were equally wonderful.
My hat is off to the Maestro Donato Carbero for a delightful evening. If you have any interest in music classical or otherwise, the Music Festival has five more concerts. My recommendation is to check them out. It is worth the trip to Plymouth. Meanwhile, I am eagerly awaiting next weeks Bassoon Concerto and Jennifer Cho's violin performance of Four Seasons in Buenos Aires.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 10:19
To The Daily Sun,
On the hills around Newfound Lake, an inch of rain makes all the difference.
Mountain streams can be heard roaring after a downpour, rivers can swell and the lake will rise long after the storm passes. To most, that's Mother Nature at work. To the rest, it's a reminder of sediment running into our watersheds from the industrial wind farms above.
New Hampshire Wind Watch has put a lot of time and effort into trying to educate residents on what lies ahead for our region long after turbines are put up.
I urge you not take a back seat in this EDP Spruce Ridge fight. Take a stance and show not only current developers, but future developers, that they are not welcome here.
For some reason people feel like it's over and that they don't need to come out of the woodwork on this Spruce Ridge fight. I'm disturbed by this, because we all have come so far in such a short period of time as a community. Our voice and attendance has made a huge difference and I ask all of you to continue.
You've seen what they've done in Groton. You've seen them abandon Met towers in Wild Meadows. You've heard them at Town Hall meetings. You know they don't communicate. You know they don't provide updates — on anything.
Fight for your open-country lifestyle before it's gone. Because what we are looking at now is just Phase I.
Make our last stance count — don't give them an inch.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 10:14
To The Daily Sun,
Michael Jones has some sage advice for me in his recent letter to the editor. He quotes Stanley Horowitz, "Anyone wanting to advance an agenda should try thoughtful persuasion, not personal invective and bullying tactics."
I wonder what he thinks my agenda is other than pointing out the flaws of our politicians, both Democrat and Republican. And seeking out the truth from reliable sources. Regardless, I think he wants me to be "kinder and gentler."
Michael thinks I'm being too disagreeable regarding my disagreements with this administration. I wish I could say that I'm sorry that you found my letter to be so odious and unpalatable to your apparent tender sensibilities. But I'm really not, nor am I going to take your advice. Perhaps Michael is a new reader to the "Sun" and thus doesn't yet understand that letter writers from both the left and the right often express their opinions in passionate and colorful ways.
Michael ventured a guess that most of Mr. Wiles' letter is "cut and paste" from the ACLJ website. Sorry, the "substance and tone" of my letter had absolutely nothing to do with their website. So please check it out if you want to talk about Jay Sekulow's organization in an informed way. You might just find that your time would not be wasted.
Michael made mention of the fact that Clinton and Bush have made more recess appointments than President Obama during their first terms. He appears to take umbrage with the Supreme Court's unanimous decision about Obama's NLRB appointments when Congress was not actually in recess. Is it possible that Mr. Jones agrees with our president's "go it alone" strategy and believes that this Democrat president has more on the ball than the nine justices of the Supreme Court? The unanimous point is of course, that Congress was not in recess.
If that is where Mr. Jones is coming from, then I'm sure the modern day liberals who "roam" this great country and think they know better than the rest of us about how we should live our lives, will welcome you to their elitist club with open arms as long as you go along with all of their "bullying tactics." Yes Michael, that is where you will find the real bullies, rather than the common folk who write letters to the editor. In the meantime, conservative and libertarian letter writers will continue to "shout from the rooftops" their opinions and observations about the current state of politics in this country of ours.
So Michael, if you dare to continue to peruse the letter to the editor pages of The Sun, then you probably should heed the warnings of Bette Davis in the movie, All About Eve: "buckle up, you may be in for a bumpy ride." You see, there are many who share my beliefs about the direction this country is heading and feel the same way as Roy Rogers sidekick, Pat Brady when he said, "Hold on Nellie, we're heading for the rhubarb." Anyway Michael, let me just say this about our literary debate, "happy trails to you until we meet again."
Last Updated on Friday, 11 July 2014 10:11