Froma Harrop - A dangerous place for trusting people

To the thousands who've been outed as users of the Ashley Madison adultery website: You deserve sympathy. Your greatest sin was trusting a website to protect your identity — especially one that would have rated a 10 as a juicy target for hackers.
The second sin, for many of you, was believing that Ashley Madison was populated by heavy-breathing wives looking for action — as opposed to bots and cardboard participants.
Ashley Madison was apparently not a "wonderland" of 31 million men competing for 5.5 million women. "Only a paltry number of women's accounts actually looked human," Annalee Newitz wrote for Gizmodo. That is, only about 12,000 of the 5.5 million female profiles.
Bored office workers may have created many of the fake profiles and then vanished. And there are charges that the site itself fabricated women. One woman claims that Ashley Madison paid her to write more than 1,000 fake profiles in Portuguese for a Brazilian audience.
And how many of the real women — or men — were actually looking for an affair, as opposed to fooling around online? Women who've been on respectable dating sites, such as, say that lots of men there are "jerks" playing mind games with those seeking a good mate.
Nonetheless, Ashley Madison — with its trademark manicured finger covering a foxy mouth — has been denounced, defended and, most grievously, taken seriously.
One news outlet used the leaked details to make a chart purporting to show which states have the most cheaters. Alabama was No. 1. Data analysts have noted that Alabama is the first state in the alphabetical dropdown menu for people concocting profiles.
After about 15,000 federal workers, including active-duty military, were found to be trolling Ashley Madison, The Washington Post wondered aloud whether these employees should be fired for adultery. Surely not over adultery, much less the appearance of adultery, but playing around on taxpayer time is another matter.
The hackers, members of Impact Team, also got on their high horse about the wages of infidelity. They may have been trying to justify exposing the bank accounts and other personal information belonging to thousands of the "innocents" who signed up with Ashley Madison. (They had first demanded that the Canadian-based site come down, promising to trample on the members' privacy if it didn't.)
"Chances are your man signed up on the world's biggest affair site, but never had one," Impact Team wrote after its data dump. "He just tried to. If that distinction matters."
First off, that distinction does matter. Secondly, why assume that the men tried to? How many men on the site were really looking to score in the physical sense? They may just have been curious about what was out there.
Oh, yes, the hackers "sharing" the users' pictures and sexual preferences are keeping their own identities under wraps. Real heroes, they.
The Toronto police report that criminals are already trying to extort people on the leaked Ashley Madison list, threatening to share embarrassing data with the users' friends, families and employers.
A wish to ridicule the whole phenomenon is tempered by some tragic results. That would include at least two suicides that are being blamed on the exposure.
Ashley Madison, the business, is now being charged with corporate crimes too numerous to list here. The chief executive of the parent company lost his job over the weekend.
The Web can be a very dangerous place for trusting people, including untrustworthy ones. As the Ashley Madison case shows, too many Internet users think they can do the ski jump when they belong on the bunny slope.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

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Ambitious summer reading program had great public support

To The Daily Sun,

Congratulations to all the youngsters who joined this year's summer reading program at the Belmont Public Library. We had 143 kids sign up. Also, all the grown-ups who participated deserve a big hand for the reading aloud they did, for all the tickets they filled out, and for all they do to support the library and their children's reading in the summer and throughout the year.

We couldn't do such an ambitious program without the strong support and collaboration with the local schools, their staff and administration. It is an honor and joy to work with such wonderful educators.

Those summer reading lists were a great incentive for folks to come to the library.

Brookside Pizza in Belmont was beyond good to us and donated the pizza for our closing party.It is also my great privilege and pleasure to say huge thank yous to Belmont Police, Fire, Public Works, and Rec Departments. The first three provided the impressive vehicles at the July Belmont Farmers Market, and the Recreation Department allowed us to "borrow" their summer camp kids for a demonstration by the N.H. Children's Museum.

Warmest thanks to everyone who helped throughout our busy six weeks. We could not do these large events without the generous support of our patrons and sponsors. We especially want to acknowledge those businesses which donated prizes for our weekly raffle including Canobie Lake Park, Gunstock Resort, Gilford Cinema 8, Pirates' Cove, Subway, and Funspot. The N.H. Motor Speedway offered NASCAR tickets as a "bonus" incentive to those who signed up in the first week.

An especially big note of thanks to Katherine, Paige, and Sarah. The library could not have functioned without you this summer.

Eileen Gilbert, Director

Belmont Public Library

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Thank you for voting to support life

To The Daily Sun,

In the Friday, Aug. 28, edition Mr. Rottenecker decided to share a bit of Senator Ayotte's response to his demands of why she cast her vote in support of life. He then stated the video released to expose the Planned Parenthood butchery "had more splices than the Nixon tapes" and that the tapes should be investigated. His demand has, in a way, been pre-empted: knowing that would be the squealing of the pro-infanticide crowd, the first video released was also made freely available unedited. Take some time to review it at , Mr. Rottenecker — and all others who think that Planned Parenthood supporters — I dare you!

While we are exposing truth, let's look at why Planned Parenthood was founded, shall we?

Margaret Sanger intended it as a tool to eradicate minorities — especially blacks. Check it out. More information (some repetition) here: For decades our government has been funding this racially motivated activity with our tax dollars?

No corporation — especially one that murders the most helpless citizens of this country — should ever be tax funded. Any corporation that has $33 million to spend on "public policy activities" (code for "bribing politicians") has absolutely no need of tax funding. There are more than enough other tax funded women's health providers that Planner Parenthood really is not needed.

Thank you, Senator Ayotte, and the members of New Hampshire Governor's Council, for voting in support of life.

A.C.R. Piper


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Every hero had a story at the Meredith Public Library this summer

To The Daily Sun,

The 2015 national youth summer reading theme was "Every Hero Has a Story", so the librarians at the Meredith Public Library used their summer programs to highlight a variety of heroes, including local heroes like police and firefighters, super heroes like Batman and Superman, and heroic historical figures like Jacques Cousteau. However, as summer slowly fades and the children begin to return to school, it has become clear that the young readers of Meredith were themselves the real heroes this year.

Running from June 27 to Aug. 14, this year's MPL Summer Reading offered two different incentive programs, with kids 8 and under filling up a reading log in order to score a goodie bag, and the older crowd working to earn entries into weekly prize raffles. The young readers program had 177 kids sign up, and the teen program saw an increase from last year with 61 young adults signing up at the library. Between the two programs, the kids logged an amazing 1,735 hours of reading, which is equivalent to one person reading for over 72 straight days! In addition, as part of the teen program, the kids were challenged to perform "heroic" good deeds in their communities by doing something to help someone else without payment, and they blew our staff away by collectively performing 126 good deeds. They included vacuuming the house, cleaning their sibling's bedroom, getting up early to tend the family chickens, letting a younger cousin go on an amusement park ride first, and so much more. We couldn't be more proud of what these kids did to make our community that much better this summer.

In addition to the reading program, the Meredith Public Library hosted 54 youth programs during summer reading, and had over 500 people attend. Some highlights were the super popular Friday morning Tot Times, which welcomed local guest readers every week, the return of Wildlife Encounters and their super educational live animal show, and cartoonist Eric Fulford, who taught us the basics of cartooning and story-telling while working with the audience to create and draw a brand-new hero. This summer was such a success that in July youth services saw their total attendance numbers increase for the second year in a row when they welcomed 682 people to their many classes, events, and outreach programs.

None of this would have happened without the local businesses whose generous donations made this whole thing possible. We would like to express our profound appreciation to Canobie Lake Park, The Common Man, Funspot, George's Diner, Gunstock, Louie's Famous Pizza, Meredith Mobil Station, Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, Storyland, T-Bones and Cactus Jacks, and Walgreens for making this summer possible.

John Locke

Youth Services Librarian

Meredith Public Library

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Other workers would demand well above the new minimum wage

To The Daily Sun,

This is in response to Dave Pollak's Aug. 26 letter in The Sun.

I see at least one other person has been thinking about the "can't raise a family on minimum wage" trap and the consequences thereof.

The pluses of raising the minimum wage appear to outweigh any negatives at first, but that's because it's easy to ignore or to purposely minimize the negative effects. Too many seem to think minimum wage should be able to support a family. Considering that it was never meant to do so, never meant to be a so-called 'living wage", pushing it to become that is a huge mistake and will hurt more people than it will help.

First, minimum wage is supposed to be primarily for entry level jobs, or for second jobs to raise a little extra money. (Yes, I know there are minimum wage jobs that are not, but they are in the minority.) It never has and never will be able to support a family of four, as so many of the minimum wage social justice warriors claim.

Raising the minimum wage might help some people, but it will also lock out more people from the job market than it will help. While Mr. Pollak mentioned a $10.10 minimum wage, others have been pushing for a $15 minimum wage. Considering a majority of the people working minimum wage jobs are between the ages of 16 and 24, what would be the consequence of such an increase in the minimum wage? Most of them would lose their jobs because, quite frankly, the jobs they're doing aren't worth that much. (I could make the same argument for the $10.10 minimum wage.) Others would never be able to find their first job because no one is going to want to pay an inexperienced worker with no work history that kind of money for what is to all intents no longer an entry level job. An already high teen unemployment rate would skyrocket and it would be even worse for minority teens.

Second, most of the working poor aren't making minimum wage. For the most part they're earning well above the $10.10 minimum wage mentioned by Mr. Pollak.

Third, artificially raising the cost of labor always hurts more than those it was supposed to help by increasing the cost of doing business across the board. Those higher costs will ripple through the economy, increasing the costs of goods and services in general. When it's all said and done, those receiving the wage increase may find themselves further behind, as the raise helps for a short period of time, but is then canceled out by the increased costs of goods and services later down the road. This is assuming, of course, that they haven't been priced out of the labor market and replaced by computerized systems. (McDonald's is already working to replace some of their people with ordering kiosks in the their high cost markets because they're less expensive than humans, never show up late, never goldbrick, and never demand pay raises or time off.) This is particularly true during times of economic weakness, something we have been experiencing now since 2008. You don't artificially increases costs during economic down times because all that does is further weaken the businesses trying to survive.

Fourth, wages across the board would be affected as some are indexed against the minimum wage. Other workers would demand well above the new minimum wage if they were making well above minimum wage prior to the increase. An example: Say the minimum wage is increased to $15. Someone already making $15 an hour would feel they should now be making more, perhaps $25 an hour. After all they were already worth above minimum wage before the hike. Those making $20 would feel they should be making $30 an hour for the same reason, and so on. In the end, did anyone really benefit if all it did is shift all wages upwards, and with it the cost of goods and services? Someone who was making $7.25 an hour and now being paid $15 an hour would appear to be better off, at least on paper. But they may find that after everything settles out the $15 wage doesn't let them buy any more than their $7.25 an hour job did, and perhaps they won't be able to buy as much as they could prior to the hike.

If the minimum wage social justice warriors really want to help, then perhaps they should be pushing a two-tiered approach, with a separate minimum wage for entry level jobs aimed at teens. (I realize the SJWs might scream about exploitation of those teens by "greedy business owners", but better they get work experience at a lower wage than no experience at all because they've been priced out of the market.)

Dale Channing Eddy


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