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Ralph Nadar's still in the trenches, telling us we have the power

To The Daily Sun,
He's at it again. Ralph Nader, with whom I share the same age and ethnic origin; but that is not why I am singling him out for special praise — well, maybe a little. Author, lecturer, attorney, humanitarian, and environmentalist, Ralph has penned another book called "I Told You So" and indeed he has told us so over the years and he's almost always been right about all the issues. Time magazine voted him one of the 100 most influential Americans of the 20th century.
Because of Ralph Nader, we drive safer cars, eat healthier food, breathe better air, drink cleaner water and work in a safer environment. He is a saint, pure and simple — not the kind you have to pray to for some psychosomatic cure because he's already saved untold millions and his legacy is there for all to see — unless they take the seat belts away from us.
Let's address one issue right up front. No, he didn't cause Al Gore to lose the election. More registered Democrats voted for Bush than voted for Nader and almost half of the Democratic party voters stayed home. Amazing how liberals can turn on such a man. Gore ran a weak campaign with no clear message. He failed to defeat Bush in the debates and even lost his home State of Tennessee. Millions of Democrats voted for Bush compared to the few hundred thousand that voted for Nader. We would all be wise to heed Nader's words: "Once you don't vote your ideals... that has serious undermining effects... it erodes the moral basis of our democracy". We continue to vote the "least of the worst" and are continually surprised a year later to see that the least has become worse.
At this point I need to make a public apology to a dear Unitarian friend who voted for the Green Party in the last election. Unitarians are like that you know. Most have a mind of their own and are not easily swayed by anyone or anything. I chided him for "wasting his vote" and I can only quote Ralph again: "The best education is your last mistake"!
Ralph's latest crusade is the minimum wage. The fast food industry made two hundred billion in profits last year and the lowest paid workers in our economy are making $7.25 an hour. If we raise the minimum wage for 30 million people to $10.50 it barely catches up with 1968 wages adjusted for inflation even though worker productivity has doubled.
Corporations and political opponents have tried for years to hang something on this man and the worst they could come up with is that he eats oatmeal for breakfast. While many of us are figuring out a way to "mature gracefully" and have a lot of fun, Ralph is still in the trenches doing what he has been doing most of his life — teaching us that "we the people" have the power and not those that we send to Congress. No, there will be no bingo or little umbrella drinks for this man. A final quote will summarize his life: "It is fascinating to watch legislators turn away from their usual corporate grips when they hear the growing thunder of the people".
George Maloof

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 12:42

Hits: 333

Growing restaurant industry needs a reliable & legal labor force

To The Daily Sun,
Senator Ayotte deserves praise for her insightful and pragmatic view of our immigration challenges and having the courage to come out in support of the Gang of Eight's proposal. The comprehensive immigration reform bill offers some of the key elements that are critical to fixing our immigration problems, including a measured pathway to legal status for undocumented workers, a national employment verification system and improved border security.
The reform bill is not perfect, but what in life is? I'm a believer in pursuing excellence, not perfection when making difficult decisions. This bill is an exceptional example of compromise. It represents a giant step in the right direction for a problem that has been neglected for far too long.
The restaurant industry continues to expand faster than most industries in the U.S. in spite of the challenging economic environment since 2008. America's 980,000 restaurants are expected to post record sales and continue to be a leading job creator in 2013, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2013 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Total restaurant industry sales are anticipated to exceed $660 billion in 2013 — a 3.8 percent increase over 2012, marking the fourth consecutive year of real sales growth for the industry.
More importantly, 2013 will be the 14th straight year in which restaurant industry employment will outpace overall employment. Restaurants will employ 13.1 million individuals next year, as the nation's second-largest private sector employer, representing 10 percent of the total U.S. workforce.
As our, and other, labor-intensive industries grow, there will be continued pressure for a reliable and legal labor force to serve in positions that have traditionally been difficult to fill. Our workforce, which includes a significant number of recent immigrants, is as diverse as the restaurants in our industry — an industry that provides individuals the opportunity to work their way up from a position in the dish room, to one in the boardroom.
We can't take for granted the everyday contributions that immigrants provide to our economy. From farm to fork, our immigrant community is an essential part of a labor niche that makes the dining experience for millions of Americans possible.
Tom Boucher


Great New Hampshire Restaurants, Inc.
T-Bones & Cactus Jack's


Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 12:36

Hits: 588

Transparency should matter in Belmont as much as in Alton

To The Daily Sun,
As the Alton representative on the Lakes Region Public Access (LRPA) governing board I was, of course, relieved to learn from Gail Ober's report in Thursday's Sun ("Gilford will pay 2013 dues to Public Access television") that the financial stress has been lessened in seeing LRPA stay on the air into 2014.
The report said that the Gilford board delayed their decision to see first what other towns were inclined to do. Specifically cited was Belmont "whose selectmen voted three weeks ago to not pay their annual fee because they have not been able to find someone to videotape their meetings for later broadcast." A detail that was not included is that the very frugal cast of characters in Belmont are looking to find someone who will do substantial work for free.
While Belmont is looking for a free lunch, the taxpayers in Alton decided years ago that they were willing to pay to benefit from transparency in government. When the volunteer videographers got burnt out in the mid-2000s a petition warrant article appeared at Town Meeting to authorize and appropriate public funds for the hiring of persons to film the towns' public bodies in action. To this day Alton allots $35 per meeting for the Selectmen, Budget Committee, and significant meetings of other committees to play multiple times on LRPA's Channel 26.
Alton is not a spend-thrift town, but the voters have made thoughtful decisions as to what is important to them, and transparency in local government is high on their list of values.
One surely hopes that transparency matters in Belmont as much as it does in Alton, and Gilford, and Laconia, and in thousands of other communities.
Bob Longabaugh
Alton Bay

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 12:31

Hits: 313

Thanks Gilford, for your affirmation of the value of LRPA TV

To The Daily Sun,
Thank you to the Gilford Selectboard for its continuing support of Lakes Region Public Access TV. LRPA offers an inside look at local leadership in action, provides a community calendar, showcases our children's performances, highlights the work of United Way, the Humane Society and other service organizations. It allows folks unable to attend religious services the opportunity to stay in touch with their church. On a personal note, I am grateful for content that enlightens and encourages — programs like Amazing Facts and Hope Sabbath School.
Good job LRPA. And thanks Gilford for your affirmation of this valuable community resource.
Linda Griffin

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 06:25

Hits: 373

Medicaid hikes health care usage & costs without better results

To The Daily Sun,
Every adult should realize that few things are as expensive as "free" federal government programs. Nevertheless, special interest groups and politicians with an agenda are claiming that the Medicaid expansion program is "free" because the feds pay 100 percent for three years, then 90 percent until 2020. After that, of course, New Hampshire taxpayers will have to come up with at least $50 million annually.
Something isn't free when the federal government pays for it, the money still comes from taxpayers. Even if you don't pay taxes, government causes price inflation, which hurts everyone, and low returns for people depending on bond income.
If the people of N.H. wanted something like the Medicaid expansion, why haven't they demanded it from their N.H. legislators? (We could deliver it more inexpensively, tailored for N.H., and without federal government overhead and requirements.) But not even the Democrats, who now want this more expensive Medicaid expansion, passed such a program when they controlled the N.H. Legislature and the governorship. The Medicaid expansion program is just a way to bribe states into enacting expensive programs wanted by Washington and special interest groups but not by the citizens.
Every government program is particularly expensive for New Hampshire citizens as our state receives back from the federal government a smaller percent of our tax dollars than 46 other states. This means that New Hampshire taxpayers subsidize the taxpayers of 46 other states for each such program. (Thus N.H. Senators and Congressmen should oppose every program that states or citizens could do for themselves or is not essential.)
Medicaid provides insurance and higher costs, but not better medical outcomes. The Oregon Medicaid study shows that Medicaid increases costs and health care usage, but patient health care results overall are no better than mixed compared to no insurance. A Virginia Medicaid study shows cancer patients without insurance survive at a greater rate than those with Medicaid. Many doctors won't accept Medicaid patients; some would rather treat them for free!
Thankfully, Republicans in the N.H. Senate didn't approve the Medicaid Expansion requested by Governor Hassan, the Democrat-controlled N.H. House, and special interest groups. N.H. doesn't need to implement a costly federal version of a program that we could have implemented for ourselves had our legislators felt the need. And, N.H. certainly doesn't need to implement an expensive program that doesn't improve its citizens' medical results.
Don Ewing

Last Updated on Friday, 14 June 2013 11:19

Hits: 385

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