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Minds made up based on idealism, don't confuse them with truth

To the Daily Sun,

It was nice to read Mr. Alan Moon's polite letter to your publication as so many of those you publish seem to burgeon with intolerance for those who do not share their opinions. Civil conversation and discussion is what makes a civilized society and Mr. Moon is correct when he expresses dismay with people who are unwilling to hear opposing views.

As a child I was taught that in order to be well-informed a person should study as many sources as possible about any subject, before making an informed decision. As the child of military parents I grew up in more than 20 countries, was educated in eight, and finally settled here in New Hampshire in 2002. In addition I have traveled extensively for pleasure, visiting every continent except Antarctica, including both popular destinations and out-of-the-way places. My experience with other cultures has also taught me that what is considered normal or commonplace in the USA may not be so elsewhere. It has certainly given me a different perspective on life than I might otherwise have had.

In recent years I have been troubled by the number of people, mostly those with far-views, who wish to suppress sources and opinions with which they disagree. Long before I had ever seen or heard of Fox News, I found that when I would question those far-left views, I was accused of spending my "entire life watching Fox News" as though this was something disgusting and criminal (rather like being accused of cooking and dealing crystal meth!). People with whom these lefties disagree are made out to be either stupid, or fanatics of some type, or totally unaware of the realities of life. Their mindset seems to be that of "I've made up my mind based on idealism and limited information — please don't confuse me with the truth."

And as a Tea Party sympathizer I am astonished to learn from the left-wingers that I am a gun-toting racist, a xenophobe, someone who wants to keep women barefoot and pregnant and subject to abuse, and want poor people to starve to death in the streets. In case they haven't got the point yet, TEA stands for Taxed Enough Already. We believe in the Constitution and we are tired of government at all levels interfering in our lives and taking more and more of our income for purposes that do not seem to benefit the populace as a whole.

Mr. Moon is correct in pointing out the danger to our society from fundamentalist Muslims who, like the extreme left in this country, can see only one point of view and will do whatever it takes to have their way. If we wish to survive as a society we need to be able to have a discourse that allows all opinions to be carefully considered and not contemptuously ignored or responded to with disparagement and insult.

D.M. Williamson

Laconia

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State budget shouldn't be balanced on back on nursing homes

To The Daily Sun,

I am writing this as a letter to the state representatives, county commissioners and the taxpayers of Laconia and other Belknap County towns.

The 2015 session of the state Legislature has convened and already the bills are pouring in for consideration. This is also the budget year and most of the bills will have an effect on all of us. There are many, but for this particular letter I want to spend some time on the proposal to cut $7 million from the current Health & Human Services budget for nursing home care.

The article on this appeared in The Daily Sun on Saturday, Jan. 24 and lawmakers were told the cut was necessary to cover a current $58 million shortfall in this department. Isn't it funny how the governor on Thursday, the 22nd, announced this fiscal period ends with a $1 million revenue surplus. The reasons for this shortfall are increases in the number of children added to Medicaid rolls, administrative costs for N.H. Expansion for Obamacare program, and the state's settlement of lawsuit over mental illness problem. None of these have to do with nursing homes or home care programs, but let's take their money to cover them.

Further, while there is money unexpended in this HHS budget that should be paid to nursing homes and home care facilities as reimbursements, Nick Toumpas, the director of HHS, wants to use it to plug shortfall with Gov. Hassan's approval.

We also must note the president's budget plans include further cuts to Medicare over the next 10 years, if passed.

All of this means, that county nursing homes that do not receive their fair reimbursements, will be forced to pass the losses onto the local taxpayer to fund their budgets.

This is just part of the problem. In looking at it down the road, shouldn't we be doing something to take care of the hundreds more each year that will be eligible for nursing home care and unable to afford private care. The Belknap County Home has had the best reputation and the best care of all nursing homes in the region forever. At this time, we are looking at spending millions for a new jail that is overflowing with criminals. This jail abuts this wonderful nursing home. We are all aware of the statistics that have shown the overwhelming increase in seniors living in Belknap County, and the percentage is even greater in Laconia. An interesting fact is that in the age of primary taxpayers, taxpayers over 60 increased by 15 percent, while the 30-to-40 age group declined by 25 percent, and under 30, dropped 21 percent. Shouldn't this group be given more consideration than those that pay nothing instead of cutting services they need.

These cuts that are being proposed nationally and locally are adding to the loss of doctors and health care givers. Schools for medical training and research are also getting the axe, which means more reductions in health care givers at a time when we need them more.

I wonder if money for the jail could be spent by buying the state school property for the jail needs and for the farming land it contains for raising produce and stock, thereby making feeding needs more sustainable and giving work and exercise to the inmates. Giving them worthwhile duties that only help in rehabilitation.

This would make the county nursing Home safer and the opportunity to use new space for future expansion or improvements.

So, state representatives and commissioners, please do what you must to defeat this bill and restore monies that are due our nursing homes and home care programs.

Councilor Brenda Baer

Ward 4, Laconia

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