To The Daily Sun,
Mr. Boutin, in his concentration on capitalizing as many words as he can and his blindly spitting venom, shows a callous disregard for the facts and a sad lack of concern for anyone but those who already have it made.
The attitude that shows through his rants is a prime example as to why our United States is going to "hell in a hand basket". Along with the rightwing majority on the Supreme Court, corporate greed, governors and those in Congress who have been bought and paid for by the one percenters.
He seems to have a personal hatred of President Obama — like many of the older white men who seem to be discombomulated by the fact that a man like Barack Obama is in the White House. How much more insulting do you want to be toward the President of the United States? How many more lies and misleading statements will you write about his administration? Are you being arrogant on purpose?
Who knows where to begin with the lies you want us to believe in your letter: "You'd Think Obama Would Be Last Person to Attack Other's Freedom's"? "Three time loser", huh? Making recess appointments has been the right and privilege of many presidents up to and including this one. Why does this suddenly bother you now, and never before?
"...another knockdown blow to union power"'. Huh? Unions are the very reason why we had a middle class in his country. Before unions child labor was routine, as were a 60-80 hour work week, a 7 day work week, substandard wages, sweat shops, unsafe working conditions, no protections for workers against abuse, no overtime pay, no compensation in the form of health benefits such as sick time, no remuneration to families who had a loved one die because of horrific working conditions. By Mr. Boutin's logic he should be calling for the return of slavery. Bingo — no unions, and total control over their labor. Unions also helped lead to regulations to prevent the sale of unsafe food and other products.
"All they do is drive up costs for every person buying their product or service.". Huh? How about facing the reality that manufacturers have taken their businesses overseas to countries where they can hire very cheap labor, produce inferior goods, with no safeguards in place, then in turn ship them back here and sell them to consumers? Do they then lower the price we all pay? Do they then raise their workers' salaries at the same rate as their profits increase? No: they use higher profits to hike their executives' salaries, and to buy lobbyists and politicians to make sure that American workers are pushed down even more..
"Unions never stop trying to increase their treasure chest...' Huh? How about all of the profits made over the years by the one percenters who own companies and threaten their workers with retribution if they join a union? Corporations are the very last entity who want unions interfering with their labor practices. You write with a straight face about this knowing full well that corporations use their profits to fund PACs and think tanks and puppet-politicians.
"The Supremes determined 'Obamacare' treads all over the religious freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution." Huh? Of course you are referring to Hobby Lobby. If the owners of that company were not fundamentalist Christians but were, say, conservative Muslims, I bet we wouldn't have heard a peep from you about the issue. This country is supposed to have a strict separation of church and state. This Supreme Court is perverting the intent of the Founding Fathers.
On your last point: the other setback for the entire United States is when the Supreme Court decided that we no longer need voter rights' protection. With that sweep of the broad brush governors who "rule" their states from the right are happily restricting days and times of voting in elections, restricting registration, using voter ID requirements specifically tailored against the poor, seniors, and the young, and other measures to erode one of our most basic freedoms. All the time they lie by bringing up the red herring of "voter fraud." When we were in school, we were taught that in America voters choose their government. With voter suppression government is now trying to choose its voters.
From your letters it appears that you want to bring us back to your "good old days" of the 18th century. If you want to return to that life, please don't try to drag the rest of America back with you. And remember: in your Utopia there were no keyboards, and thus no way for you to capitalize at will.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:52
To The Daily Sun,
As usual, the GOP, led by a confused leader named Boehner, has found a reason to impeach or sue the president (using immigration as an excuse) and they even learned a new word to use. "Lawlessness" is the new word and has been used by Boehner, Bachmann, Cruz, Rubio and more. They went right from Impeach to Lawlessness while skipping the J and K.
The GOP refuses to do anything about immigration, so might as well sue Obama for not doing what the GOP has refused to do. Sounds confusing to me too. But Boehner, along with many of the GOP, keep on pointing fingers to blame Obama for things he didn't do. Just because they don't like the laws Bush, HR-7311, signed we still have to follow them until they are changed.
Will the Congress allocate the money the president wants to fight this problem? I doubt if the Tea Party types will allocate it, but the reasonable GOP might be convinced too.
It is time to stop the political games and misleading the public. Right, Gov. Perry? Governor, you do sound like you're back on those pain killers again — whoops. If these were your relatives or friends you would do whatever you could to help them. As a guess probably 70 to 80 percent of these immigrants are decent-hard working people. If they could find jobs (remember that word Boehner), they would do whatever just to stay here to make a honest living. But there are also many home-grown citizens who would like to do the same if they had jobs. And there are many legal immigrants who would do the same if given the chance. So it all comes down to some type of work.
We have a country that needs a good cleaning, infrastructure that needs rebuilding, industry that needs to be reinvented and invested in. Invested in by people — not like Mitt Romney, who would rather rape it, close it up and pocket the assets — but by people who want it to grow, expand and last for a few generations. People who will pay a fair living wage. We all know it can be done but how is the question. Just because the Statue of Liberty faces east doesn't mean we only help those coming from the east.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:48
To The Daily Sun,
While most people don't express publicly their views on city matters, particularly the budget, I know they do care how we, the city councilors, spend their money. Not just the amount but on what we spend it for.
People do care about their taxes going up, and people who rent, do care about rent increases and where that rent money goes. It is important that all citizens are considered when making decisions with their money and that is why we have a diversified council. We have had lawyers, bankers, CEOs, Realtors, farmers, workers, and retired people over the years and it is their duty to consider not only their constituents, but all the people of Laconia when it comes to spending their money. It affects every person.
Being one of those retired, ordinary people, I am in and about the city every day, visiting local stores and meeting people I know as well as people continually coming up to me and expressing their thoughts and giving me their support, so it was very disappointing that no one appeared at the public hearing on June 22.
There are items that might need to be cut, and again there are issues that need to be funded that are not in the budget. The safety and well-being of all of us rests with our great Police Department which at present is very overworked but still doing a great job in trying to keep crime and drug problems down so that we may walk about our city with a sense of security. I am supporting the hiring of a full-time or part-time officer to help in this endeavor. It is not in the present budget.
The School Department budget is $1 million more than last year. I advocate cutting this $60,000. I am also advocating other cuts in the city budget so we can reduce the projected tax rate increase of 31 cents to 25 cents or less.
Regarding the Fire Department, we accepted a grant from the federal government for four firefighters that would pay for their salaries, health insurance and retirement, etc., to the tune of over $600,000 for two years. In the budget there is a five-week salary-and-benefits line for these firefighters as their term will expire before the end of the budget year. We would save $32,000 by cutting this line. To continue employing the four firefighters that were funded by a grant, it will cost the city close to $400,000 per year more in next year's budget and every year thereafter. Grants are great until they run out. We were not committed to retaining them and in fact, the council originally rejected the grant for this reason.
I also advocate cutting some of the WOW trail's $15,000, simply because just a few months ago, we gave them $400,000 from TIF funds. Cutting $25,000 from Court Street Study was also recommended, but these funds can come from the TIF fund, not the budget.
There are some other minor cuts and some increased revenue that should get us to at least the 25 cent tax rate figure and allow us to do something with the Police Department's needs.
When doing the budget, you can't just look at the present year. You have to be looking ahead to the next year and the year after. Are we going to be able to afford an additional $400,000 for the four firefighters hired because of grant funds? Are we making progress to avoid the Cadillac tax coming because of the Affordable Care Act. What effect will the Belknap County Prison have on Laconia next year or the year after? Not only will it be significant in itself, but the new prison will require additional personnel and that figure will be substantial.
Ward 4 City Councilor
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:43
Every four years, at some point in the presidential campaign, one candidate says something that leads the other to accuse him (or her) of challenging his (or her) patriotism, and then we have a 48-hour spat over who called who unpatriotic, and then we go back to the usual political game in which talking heads viciously attack each other 24/7.
Does Barack Obama love America? Of course he does. Does he hate white people? No. Did George W. Bush hate America? Of course he didn't. Both men have made mistakes. Who in that job has not?
On the Fourth of July, we put on our flag pins or fly flags on our front lawns and celebrate the miracle of democracy.
Is Congress made up of a bunch of greedy fools? No. It is, in my experience, made up of men and women more talented than most, who end up playing a game that most of them did not dream of playing when they were growing up and dreaming of going to Washington, D.C.
Does the Supreme Court (whose popularity rating has reached an all-time low) comprise a bunch of political hacks who just cast their votes based on who put them there? Actually, no. They have very different views and ideologies, but these men and women work unbelievably hard to do what they believe is right, and while I fundamentally disagree with them some of the time, no serious student of the Supreme Court would ever agree with the more foolish criticisms hurled at the justices by folks who often know nothing about how the court works.
We take it for granted that our institutions are stable, or we would never dare abuse them as we do. If our right to vote were in jeopardy, we would vote.
If the government really were corrupt, in the way the screamers suggest, we would come together and throw the bums out. We mostly re-elect our members of Congress every two years (and I will regret greatly not being able to vote once again for my congressman Henry Waxman, who has been an amazing public servant) because most of them, when they aren't stuck endlessly raising money or fighting off challenges, try to do what they think is best for their constituents and this country, however much you or I might disagree with their judgment on that.
That old saying about democracy being a terribly flawed system except that every other system is so much worse is true, and it is also true that we are the luckiest people in the world to be able to take as much for granted as we do.
But taking things for granted can go too far, and one day a year is not enough to right what has become an increasingly ugly tone to the political discourse in this country. The fact that we have the freedom to attack our leaders and institutions without risk of being arrested or censored does not mean anything should go in political discourse. The fact that the Internet allows people to say things anonymously that they would never dare say otherwise does not mean their words are not dangerous or destructive.
We are a great country facing difficult challenges, and we don't all agree on the way to deal with them. But we agree on far more than we disagree on, and we share a fundamental love of country that should, at the end of the day, and does, when things get bad enough, transcend our differences. It is too bad it takes a disaster, or the Fourth of July, for us to call on that strength.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 10:16
To The Daily Sun,
After last weeks Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case. both sides are all excited and cheering or booing as relates to their position, but with a little more perspective neither has much to get excited about, it seems to me.
As for the anti-abortion right, the ruling appears to be a very narrow application win. Only relatively small businesses with few stockholders who can show definitively that they hold strong religious beliefs can opt out of the requirements to provide even limited birth control to women employees. This will not be applicable to big outfits like Walmart or Fortune 500 companies. Still, as far as they are concerned, it's better then the other way around.
Seems to me the pro-abortion left gets the better of the whole thing because they can and are now selling this as proof of the phony "war on women" and why not?
Actually, it's the only issue they can run on. They can't run on the sluggish economy, too many middle class families are falling off that standard. Poor workers' wages are stagnant, and the vast majority of new jobs are minimum wage and/or part-time. Sure, the rich are doing well or better then well, but still that doesn't help us.
Dems can't run on foreign affairs success because there has been no notable success. Sure Osama bin Laden is dead, but al-Qaeda is alive and very well, killing and terrorizing in record numbers.
Then there are the scandals, or as Obama calls them "the phony scandals." Readers don't think they are phony though. Gun-running to drug cartels, our ambassador and three others killed in Benghazi and the President and Company lying about it, Obamacare proven to be another political lie, the roll out foul up, the VA scandal where our sick vets have been left to die, not to forget the IRS targeting the president's political enemies. Heck it just goes on and on and no way the Dems want to talk about any of that.
Nope, they will talk about the phony "war on women," make personal attacks on Republican candidates and supporters, getting nastier and nastier as they get unceasingly desperate.
So folks, better be ready to duck as the mud begins to fly in the next 17 weeks. Remember the Dems are desperate.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 July 2014 10:18