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Encouragement of dissent & originality important aspects of college

To The Daily Sun,

"Conservatives usually oppose change and thrive on tradition. Conservatives tend to take a basically pessimistic view of human nature. People are conceived of as being corrupt, self-centered, lazy and incapable of true charity." So sayeth a "truth turned on its head, 180 degrees backward" take on folks of a conservative bent. This fallacious assumption is included in a new "required reading" social work and social welfare textbook for some students at the University of South Carolina.

Michael Schaus notes in his Feb. 20 Townhall.com column, "What is a leftist supposed to do when history doesn't perfectly fit their ideological narrative? You just write your own version of historical events. And while you're at it throw in a few editorial comments cleverly disguised as facts."

The section of the book which discussed conservative extremes in the 1980s and early 1990s has a fantastic take on Ronald Reagan. Seems that Reagan "ascribed to women primarily domestic functions" and "failed to appoint many women to significant positions of power during his presidency." Apparently, erased from history is the "fact" that Reagan appointed nearly 1,400 women to positions of power including Sandra Day O'Connor (first female supreme court justice) and Jeane Kirkpatrick(first U.S. female representative appointed to the United Nations).

Within a few short generations, liberal, progressive thought has transformed "traditional schools of education" into dumbed down re-education camps. Indoctrinated with "enlightened critical thinking" headed by academic elitists. Those would be the ones who have transformed Orwell's, "1984" from some far-fetched fiction into a sad reality of our corrupt educational system steeped in moral relativism and focused on revisionist history.

Anna Chapman, a South Carolina U. student had the guts to speak up about her displeasure over the blatant bias of this textbook and good for her. Jeff Stensland, directer of News and Internal Communications at the college says the school promotes academic freedom and that students are encouraged to raise questions. Good luck with that as few will dare to try. Fear of poor grades and a lack of a good recommendation looms like Darth Vadar with a class syllabus and a poison pen. In fact, Robert Shibley, senior vice president of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) notes that students are taking a big risk by speaking out and are increasingly censoring themselves.

Several months ago at Michigan State U. a college professor went on a tirade by telling his class that "Republicans have raped the country." A professor at a west coast college attacked the wealthy for keeping the poor down. That professor was not interested in hearing a different point of view.

How many remember when Harvard read the emails of 16 resident deans to find out who was leaking information about cheating scandals. At Brown U. last year, New York city police commissioner Ray Kelly was shouted out of the auditorium by hecklers because he had come to speak about and take questions regarding his city's "stop and frisk" policy. Brown also pulled out John Stossel's mike cord when he tried to give a speech there.

While colleges and universities become increasingly infested with progressives and socialists including Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn, Cornel West and the newly welcomed Van Jones at Columbia, conservative speakers are often banned from even giving speeches, much less a professorship. So much for the heralded "equality" and "diversity" standards of the liberal, academic elitists who "talk the talk", but run rather than just walk away from "walking the walk."

How do we correct the decline of academic integrity in our country's universities while there is still time? As Bob Meade and Tony Boutin have articulated so well, changing the entire structure of tenure lies at the core of this problem. Naomi Schaefer Riley's book, "The Faculty Lounges" brilliantly illustrates why tenure should be abolished, according to Chester E. Finn Jr., senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The corrupt, incestuous relationship between our government and universities by subsidizing tuition costs using taxpayer money has to be reversed. Securing the blessings of liberty as written into our Constitution, including unfettered free expression of diverse points of view, must once again be a touchstone of campus learning. No longer can professors be allowed to teach/indoctrinate students that some views are so abhorrent they should not even be heard. Tolerance and yes encouragement for dissent and originality must continue to be an important aspect of the college experience.

Russ Wiles


Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:24

Hits: 159

Passing Articles 44 & 45 won't save the Town of Alton any money

To The Daily Sun,

I was unable to attend the deliberative session on Feb. 6 in Alton. I am writing this letter to voice my support for the existing Town Planner and Town Assessor positions.

Article 43 calls for the elimination of the position of the town planner and Article 44, to eliminate the position of the town assessor. Please vote down these articles.

As it was discovered at the deliberative session, the estimated costs of contracting out both of these positions are much higher than what either one of these individuals are currently receiving in salary and benefits. If contracted out, who will oversee these services? Will they be distracted from their current job, potentially contributing to a larger problem of ineffective management?

Beyond the money issue, we need people in these positions who are familiar with our town and are available to our citizens on a full-time basis. I am a small-business owner who has dealt with both the Planning Department and the Assessing Department. We need to maintain these professionals on a local level. This move will not save us money, and will cost us in timely, committed service. Vote "no" on Articles 43 and 44.

Sylvia Leggett


Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:18

Hits: 147

As emergency physician, I know intimately the value of education

To The Daily Sun,

My name is David Strang and I have been a resident of Gilmanton for almost 14 years.

As an emergency physician, I know intimately the value of education. Without it, I wouldn't be where I am today. I have not only been practicing for 25 years, but also serve on several boards and committees at the state level. On several of these, I act as chairman and in doing so have learned how to listen and work with both sides of an opinion in order to produce change and betterment. I am also a teacher, helping train medical students to be the physicians of tomorrow.

I would like to bring these skills that I have learned, back home, to the local level, in service to the Gilmanton School Board. I believe all board members have an inherent duty as representatives of the citizens of Gilmanton to spend our tax dollars wisely. Excellent schools train the leaders of tomorrow for our businesses, towns, nation and families.

I ask for your vote to help me accomplish this goal, for all of us.

David Strang

Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:13

Hits: 213

I dare Harry Reid to fact check my experience with Obamacare

To The Daily Sun,

I live in New Hampshire and have been treated for eight years for an aggressive form of lymphoma (blood cancer). During this time I have had two stem cell transplants (bone marrow transplants) and sustained over 50 rounds of debilitating chemo, industrial strength, as they upped the ante with each ensuing recurrence.

All my difficult treatments were with Dana Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI). I have spent five or six months in Brigham and Women's Hospital in association with DFCI. DFCI is among the best in the world. This type of treatment and care are not available in New Hampshire.

This week I received notice from Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) that my policy has been terminated because of Obamacare, and I must go to the exchange for New Hampshire. The exchange offers only BCBS plans, all HMO and none of them includes DFCI in network. I must pay any service from DFCI out of my own pocket. I asked over and over what about "continuity of care" they answered sorry but no. I said "move to MA or die?" They said sorry, sir.

I am now struggling to find any other private health insurance who might include DFCI. I can only imagine what this is going to cost me. But do have a choice?

To Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: Every word is true. I dare you to fact check everything said herein. Obamacare has caused me untold anxiety and certainly will cause financial pain.

I am a miracle to still be alive because of DFCI and God. Now I am praying for another miracle, insurance that includes DFCI.

Here's hoping.

Tom Garrity


Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:06

Hits: 400

Cryans understands Common Core will attract young families

To The Daily Sun,

I attended the candidates forum for Mike Cryans and Joe Kenney at the Meredith Community Center on Tuesday, Feb. 11, sponsored by the League of Women Voters. I also read Michael Kitch's Laconia Sun article Feb. 21 detailing why Mr. Kenney wants to be District 1 representative to the Executive Council. I find a real disconnect  between Mr. Kenney's stated opposition to the Common Core Standards for public education at the Candidates Night and Mr. Kenney's statement in The Sun article that, "the most important problem facing the state — and  especially District 1 — jobs, jobs, and jobs."

Mr. Kenney touts more local control of schools without any explanation of what public education in New Hampshire would look like without any common academic expectations for our students. This position is identical to the opinion advocated by Ann Marie Banfield, parent activist, applauded at the Lakes Region Tea Party meeting I attended last May at the Moultonborough Library.

Common Core Standards for public education were developed to identify and promote a skill set that all students need to compete for jobs in an ever-changing and evolving economy regardless of town or state of residence. The standards are designed to level the playing field of education so that all students have an opportunity to be competitive in the job market.

Mike Cryans understands this, and the standards connection to attracting employers who go where they find the most qualified applicants. Massachusetts was recently identified as the New England state adding population at the fastest rate, even with some of the highest taxes in the country. New Hampshire on the other hand has lost population, and perhaps more importantly, a part of the
population we need to keep, our young people.

Mike Cryans gets this and that the need to attract employers goes hand in hand with attracting young families who want first and foremost for their children the quality public education that Common Core Standards assure they will have.

I urge you to join me in voting for Mike Cryans for Executive Council in District 1. New Hampshire students deserve more than empty, worn-out platitudes.

Kay M. Anderson

Last Updated on Friday, 28 February 2014 10:02

Hits: 349

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