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Use your right to free speech, don't try & limit someone else's

To the editor,
Barbara McElroy's letter of April 3rd claims that the U. S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United resulted in "corporate interests taking precedence over the interests of the public" and not only "threatens both public health and our democracy", but "is the biggest threat yet to the well being of our citizens". She spends much of her time bashing corporations for promoting the sale and use of "unsafe and often dangerous products", which she claims is directly related to the decision which allows corporations to unduly influence politicians.
Citizens United is a decision based upon the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. It confirms a precedent of 35 years ago that the inherent worth of speech to inform the public does not depend on the identity of the speaker, whether corporation, union, association or individual. Under Citizens United, unions have the same First Amendment rights to fund their political speech as do corporations and individuals. Does Ms. McElroy object to unions using their member dues to lobby politicians and influence legislation, or is her disdain limited to corporations because she does not like the content of their political speech? The foundation of the First Amendment is that it protects and promotes the free exchange of ideas regardless of source and however personally disagreeable one may find the content of the speech.
Ms. McElroy claims that health and safety standards such as asbestos and lead paint bans, vehicle safety standards, tobacco warning labels along with food and pharmaceutical safety "would not have occurred in the presence of" Citizens United. Really! What then is the role of the Food and Drug Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency? These federal agencies and others issue regulations concerning health and safety of the public, and I fail to see how the decision in Citizens United prevents or hinders their respective authority. It should be noted that not all forms of commercial speech have full First Amendment protection. The ability of corporations to use commercial speech or advertising has traditionally been regulated by government for truth and accuracy. This is one of main responsibilities of The Federal Trade Commission.
Ms. McElroy's promotion of a Constitutional Amendment to re-establish the ability of government to regulate campaign spending is misguided. She should use her First Amendment rights to individually or collectively advocate her position on public issues rather than seek to diminish another's Constitutional right of free speech. As Voltaire is quoted as saying: "I disapprove of what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it".
Richard R. Gerken
Meredith

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 12:45

Hits: 452

Like to see indictments for war profiteering but that's not illegal

To the editor,
In his recent letter to The Sun, my friend Steve Earle brought up an excellent point: he asks why, if I think that Bush and Co. should be in jail for "waging aggressive war," did I not mention the Democrats who are at the very least morally culpable because they endorsed the Iraq War? Steve asks an excellent question and I will try to answer it.
First, if I had made a list of everyone responsible for this war, my letter would have been much too long. Contrary to what Steve says, there WERE members of Congress who voted against supporting Bush's war. I can agree with Steve, however, that those who did support it probably had a pretty good idea of what they were doing.
Second, while the members of Congress are certainly guilty in a moral sense, it might be hard to try them in a court of law since it is the Executive Branch that wages war and the Congressional endorsement and support for the Iraq war never reached the level of a Congressional Declaration of War. I am certainly not a prosecutor but prosecutors generally like to prosecute cases where there is at least a chance of winning. In America, we cannot convict people of crimes unless it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they have broken a LAW. We are a nation of laws and you can do something totally despicable that is still completely legal!
To be honest, I would much rather see Dick Cheney and a number of other individuals and corporations indicted for "war profiteering." Unfortunately, this does not seem to be a crime in the United States or at least one that people take very seriously. Perhaps it should be.
E. Scott Cracraft
Giliford

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 12:42

Hits: 377

The people are speaking & most don't want pay-as-you-throw

To the editor,
The people are speaking. The response to the City Council asking the public to weigh in and make their preference known as to Option 3 (mandatory recycling), and Option 4 (pay-as-you-throw) has been outstanding.
Following the council meeting of Monday, March 11, and an appeal by councilors at that meeting and again in The Daily Sun by this councilor with phone numbers and e-mail address, there has been a steady flow of phone calls, e-mails, and personal contact with the people. As of Tuesday, April 2nd, this councilor has personally received 42 NO PAYT with only 9 in favor of PAYT. Option 3 is the overwhelming choice. We are talking over 70 percent against PAYT.
Along with their choices there have been many suggestions for solutions that will help implement any plan.
This number or percentage has also been reflected with other councilors, as well as with the mayor who has conceded it is running 70-30.
To say the council is leaning to favoring PAYT may not be entirely true and the public shouldn't give up and think it is a done deal. We are listening to you.
Keep sending your wishes to e-mail at City Hall, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . They all get distributed to all the councilors and mayor. Once again if you want to call your councilor or any councilor, the numbers are: Brenda Baer, 524-6349; Ava Doyle 393-6533; Matt Lahey 524-4283; Henry Lipman 528-0191; Bob Hamel 524-6360; Armand Bolduc 524-2514; and
Mayor Seymour 524-6552.
There is a special meeting on Wednesday, April 24th at 7 p.m. of the council, open to all, and at that time there will be a vote on which option the city will use.
Your voices are being heard and we work for you, so let us know what you want.
Councilor Brenda Baer
Ward 4 - Laconia

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 12:36

Hits: 339

'I'm off to check my spoons because I hear they make peole fat'

To the editor,
Barbara Perry of Moultonborough actually said what all liberal progressives think when she wrote "I hate guns and I believe that the person who invented guns should be shot!" in her Letter to the Editor. She also went on to say "When the Constitution said an individual has a right to bear arms, they were talking about pistols and rifles not the assault weapons that are available today" which is not completely accurate. The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution was written to ensure each citizen of our country (THE MILITIA) could have military weapons to protect themselves, their state and their country. This is the reasoning for the ending statement that the right to bear arms shall never be infringed. In fact this was clarified in a Supreme Court Ruling in 1906 that said if people misuse guns then the answer is in punishing the wrongdoers and not infringing on the rights of all law abiding Americans.
What is also misleading is that assault weapons, by definition are small arms weapons like pistol and rifles that are capable of firing rounds in a fully automatic mode (machine gun) like the M-16, Thompson Sub-Machine Gun, Uzi or the M-60. Rifles capable of only firing semi-automatically (like the AR-15) are not considered "Assault Weapons", regardless of what Diane Feinstein says. Machine Guns are already regulated by a federal tax that must be paid in order for someone to obtain a license to own one, which the Supreme Court ruled not to be an infringement since it is a tax.
As to the part of her letter where she says "guns will never go away and the saddest part of this is that guns kill innocent men, women and children" I wanted to share the thoughts of someone in Connecticut who actually put this to the test. He says: "Yesterday I placed my shotgun on the front porch, gave it six shells and, noticing it had no legs placed it in a wheelchair to help it get around. While I was gone the mailman delivered my mail, the boy across the street picked up my yard, a girl walked her dog down the street and quite a few cars stopped at the stop sign near my house.After 10 hours I checked on the shotgun. It had not rolled outside and had not killed anyone in spite of the many opportunities that had been presented. Can you imagine how surprised I was, with all the hype about how dangerous guns are an how they kill people? Either the killing is by people misusing guns or I'm in possession of the laziest gun in the world. Now I'm off to check my spoons because I hear they make people fat."
Barbara, I hope this helps you to understand the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. I am not sure what punishment the Politically Correct Police in the Liberal Party will impose on you for your "Hate Speech" on the inventor of the gun, who I am quite certain died many centuries ago.
Greg Knytych
New Hampton

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 11:59

Hits: 672

We're committed to rebuilding our properties as soon as possible

To the editor,
To our many friends and customers and supporters: As many of you know, last week was a devastating week for us with two major fires occurring within days of each other. The first fire on Gilford Avenue was at our apartment building that was home to four families. Those families sadly lost their home and many of their belongings that night. The second fire destroyed the kitchen at Water Street Cafe, a business that we built in 1992 and a second home to our family.
We just want to say how grateful we are that nobody was hurt in either fire. We want to recognizethe Laconia Fire Department and Lakes Region Mutual Aid for their quick response and
efforts in both instances to keep the fire damage to a minimum. Thank you to the Laconia and Gilford Police Departments. Thank you to the American Red Cross. We also want to thank the many of you who have reached out to us in one capacity or another offering your services, your support, your kind thoughts and words, your hands and hearts. We are humbled by the generosity of those who have recognized the impact this has had on our lives and those we serve. We are most grateful for the wonderful community in which we live and we are committed to rebuilding the properties as soon as possible.
Please continue to follow our progress on Facebook or at our website or even better stop by therestaurant and say hello as we are working hard to repair, rebuild and reopen.
Ted & Jen Roy and family
www, facebook.com/waterstcafe

Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 11:56

Hits: 390

 
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