To The Daily Sun,
Recent events in Kyiv, Ukraine, which led to the overthrow of the corrupt, puppet Yanukovych regime, by Ukrainians seeking to liberate themselves from hundreds of years of Russian control and domination, caused Vladimir Putin to respond in a very disturbing but predictable way. Putin seized Ukrainian sovereign territory in Crimea, its ships, and state properties despite Russia signing a treaty in 1994 guaranteeing Ukraine's sovereignty in exchange for Ukraine surrendering their nuclear weapons. The seizure was done under an absurd pretext and Russia threatens further seizures of Ukraine, Moldova and potentially others. Putin's actions reveal some troubling insights to a somewhat gullible free world, namely:
1. Putin and Russia's current regime is a criminal enterprise; how else would you characterize a thug who enters your home, steals your property and decides to stay — for your protection. They violated a sanctioned treaty they had signed, which demonstrates they cannot be trusted. They will lie, cheat and steal in order to get what they want.
2. "Peace through strength" is the only way for the free world to protect itself from Putin and other aggressors. Every free world nation, no matter how large or small, must be prepared to defend itself until reinforced by other freedom loving nations. Spending 2-3 percent of a nation's GDP on defense because you're relying on someone else to defend you is totally unacceptable. Unless all free world nations are prepared to spend a minimum of 10-15 percent of their GDP on defense, they are not serious about protecting their liberties.
3. The United Nations has outlived its usefulness. The few useful programs conducted under the auspices of the UN can easily continue as separate agencies. If a world body, such as the UN, cannot act effectively against one of its key members because of the veto potential by that same key member, what good is it? The League of Nations was disbanded between WWI and WWII because it was determined to be ineffective. It is time for the UN to be replaced with a new world body. Membership should be based on common beliefs in human rights, individual freedoms and liberties that are God-given to all human beings and nations. Member nations would have to meet certain prerequisites. Such criteria may exclude half of the nations in today's UN, including China and Russia. The priority should be individual freedoms and liberties not a façade of global consensus.
4. The U.S. has been the leader of the free world for the past 70+ years. As Americans, we truly have been blessed and we have a duty to fulfill our responsibility as the leader of the free world. We did not choose that destiny, but we have it. Withdrawing from the world stage, as some would like, is not an option for America, especially today when there is no other nation on earth that can be that leader. Without America's strong leadership, the unintended consequences for the free world will be disastrous.
5. NATO membership may not be the best long-term solution for Eastern European nations. These nations may want to form a separate Eastern European Defense Alliance, in which all member nations would support each other militarily and economically against any potential aggressors. Countries of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia could form the core of such an alliance and it may even be regarded by NATO countries and Russia as a positive development. Some of the possible members of this new alliance may include, but should not be limited to, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Georgia and others.
There is no doubt that we live in a very dangerous world. But, it has always been a dangerous world; evil has always existed and will continue to exist. I believe, good will prevail if the good are not paralyzed by fear, act decisively, and support each other. I pray for the leaders of old who refused to be paralyzed by fear and acted on the ideals and principles that we all cherish. I pray that our country is blessed again with another FDR, Jack Kennedy or Ronald Reagan. Time is running out; we are in desperate need.
Bo J. Rudzinskyj, LTC, U.S. Army (Retired)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 10:02
To The Daily Sun,
New England states are in a give-and-take energy policy mode. Massachusetts wants to provide northern states with a natural gas flow, and in return, Massachusetts want more renewable energy: like Northern Pass and Wind Energy.
Many Northern New England states have a real interest in growing out their gas pipeline infrastructure coming from Massachusetts. And in return Massachusetts wants a large-scale renewable energy source. In other words: transmission lines from the north and a pipeline coming from the south.
Energy goals are in play and all New England governors are negotiating with one another. From Gov. Deval Patrick's discussions with Quebec on Northern Pass, to discussions with Gov. Maggie Hassan on wind energy. Much of their talk will be surrounded around the constraints of our infrastructure system in New Hampshire. In layman's terms: 1) Our lines are fine for our current use; 2) The constraints come from additional power being added to those lines going to southern states.
Millions of dollars are at stake and each New England governor wants his or her fair share. Don't get confused and don't throw your common sense way of thinking out the window. It's a money-grab situation.
The million dollar question that remains is: Why are New Hampshire residents paying for any of this? We are nothing but a pass-through state.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:12
To The Daily Sun,
Mr. Earle's latest rant includes such whoppers as "Liberals control much, if not most of the media. Liberals want liberal politicians elected."
His view of reality, which is not based on fact (maybe based on little voices in the bubble or on loud-mouthed shysters on talk radio) seems to be that even if a huge voting bloc subjugates, abuses, tortures, murders women, gays, blacks and commits terrible acts of violence and terrorism around the world, it's overlooked because they "vote the right way, for Democratic liberal progressive candidates." No other reason, none at all." Rant, rinse, and repeat.
Mr. Earle really, really, needs to do some basic research on just who owns most of the U.S. media outlets; whether they be TV or Radio or Newspapers. But I suppose that might be inconvenient for him, or might turn up facts that don't agree with his pre-determined view of reality. In fact, most all of those media outlets are owned and controlled by conservative individuals or corporations, often very conservative ones.
Research, research and more research Mr. Earle. Even first year college students are required to do research and provide fact-based evidence — not just lazily use made-up prejudices — for what they write for their courses.
Mignon McLaughlin said: "It is the most unhappy people who most fear change." Or as Robert Kennedy said, "Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies." Maybe it's just been a long winter and sunshine and warm weather might brighten Mr. Earle's moods.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:06
To The Daily Sun,
Michael Kitch's article regarding a new county jail which appeared in the Saturday (April 19th) edition of The Sun was very well done. It documented the financial difficulties attendant on jail planning in Belknap County. Kitch is correct in writing that something must be done, and also correct in pointing out the problems our communities face in funding what will have to be more modest options than what are being considered.
The commissioners' plans have been neither affordable nor necessary. Alternatives are available should they be sought.
The concerns of the commissioners for the jail have not always been apparent. For four years, between 2009 and 2013, there were no reports on conditions at the jail, which reports are required by statute. This lack of oversight served to mask the deterioration that was allowed to occur. Further, the two additional correctional officers for which Belknap's delegation provided funding were left unfilled. The sole vehicle which serves the jail is in deplorable condition at the same time that the Sheriff's Department clamors for three, four and five new vehicles every year. The obsession with building a monument to county egos while real operational needs at the jail go unaddressed is the essence of poor policy.
That we live in an age of competition for scarce resources is documented by the accompanying page 1 story of the Saturday Sun. No one in Laconia would voluntarily reduce the teaching staff, which decision must have been a painful one to make.
The letter to the editor by Mr. Henry in this same edition, extolling his Democratic allies and lambasting others on the delegation, gives evidence of his commitment to the ideological over the purely logical. We do not live in time when we can continue to pass on tax increases because, after all, it is only a few dollars. If Mr. Henry is raising his profile in preparation for filing for public office, he would do well to rethink his position, especially in light of the two stories cited above.
State Rep. Dick Burchell
Belknap County, District 5
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:03
To The Daily Sun,
On behalf of the residents of Cottonwood Avenue, we would like to thank Laconia, Belmont and Gilford Fire Departments for their quick response to the woods fire that burned between our street and Woodland Avenue on Monday afternoon.
This could have been so much worse if not spotted in time, and first responders had not been called. The fire spread quickly, and we were concerned that it would encroach on our homes. But thanks to their work we were all safe. You never know how important the fire department is until you need them. They stayed until all the hot spots were out and they were sure that there was no danger.
Thank you, firefighters, for all you do for us.
Michael & Janet Brough
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:59