To The Daily Sun,
It came out recently about the "torture" committed by the CIA. How awful . . . torture committed by the USA.
Kudos to the CIA. They saved lives. They caught terrorists and some before they committed more terror acts against the U.S. and U.S. citizens.
Terrorists that behead people ... people that help other people. Terrorists that strap bombs on children and mentally impaired people. Terrorists that hide behind children.
How can you compare the torture to the acts by the terrorists?
The terrorists have been beheading long before we used waterboarding.
The term "leathernecks" came from the leather collar worn by Marines to protect them from being beheaded by Muslim pirates.
In the late 1700s Muslim pirates would capture European ships and hold the citizens for ransom. Europe paid and America paid, too.
Jefferson asked the ambassador of Tripoli what right the pirates had to ask for ransom or take slaves. The ambassador replied that the Laws of the Prophet in the Koran said that all nations who did not recognize the authority of the Koran were sinners and it was the right of the Muslim pirates to make war on them and to makes slaves on them and that every Muslim would go to heaven if killed in battle.
When Jefferson was elected president, he refused to pay ransom. He sent the Marines, who wore leather collars to protect them from the sabers of the Muslim pirates who would try to behead them in battle. He stood up to the Muslim Pirates and the U.S. went to war with the Muslim pirates. Jefferson did sign a treaty and part of that was to pay ransom for the people already captured, but it stopped the Muslim pirates from kidnapping Americans.
Sound familiar. Kidnapping. Kidnapping innocent people.
Do I want to torture people? No. absolutely not. But these "people" are not like you or me. They kidnap innocent people. They behead innocent people. They hide behind children. They strap bombs to unknowingly children.
I support the CIA. Can you really compare what the CIA did and what the terrorist did and continue to do? I cannot.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:44
To The Daily Sun,
Over the past many years I have rather come to doubt the sustainability of newspaper print in modern times. It would seem, given the computerization of information-sharing, that paper-print is a fading industry. However The Laconia Daily Sun has made me a believer again and so I feel the need to express why I believe it is so.
As a marriage and family counselor by trade, I have found the instantaneous broadcast of every place's problems into our living rooms (the Middle East, Africa, Soviet Union, China, Sri Lanka, Ferguson, etc.) to be a major contributor to the anxiety/fear that so many of us wrestle with today. We have come to see the world as a dangerous place and so we distrust each other and live in fear of the future.
Many of the same crises exist in our hometowns, granted, but the daily opportunity to hear about everyone else's hometown problems can be overwhelming. The irony is that nearly every Lakes Region home is aware of the problems of thousands of people thousands of miles away, people we cannot touch or in any grand way impact, but oftentimes we do not know the issues facing our neighbors whose license plates we can read from our kitchen windows.
The Laconia Daily Sun does not help me know my neighbor as I ought, but it does give me enough information about my touchable community that I can do something to impact it if I so desire. I appreciate this about The Daily Sun.
Secondly, the Laconia Daily Sun is a community unifier. Go anywhere in town and you can find a copy. If one store does not have a copy the person walking on the sidewalk is holding one for you to read. Reading The Daily Sun is something for which the phrase "everyone's doing it" accurately applies. Not "everyone" of course, but enough people to make it feel like it is a community endeavor.
Lastly, and most importantly in my mind, The Laconia Daily Sun permits both sides to speak. I have lost confidence in the major news stations available today. CNN clearly points its viewers to see the world from one side only, even going so far as to demonize the other. Likewise, FOX News acts as though it sees the whole truth, all the while leaving rocks unturned for its viewers.
Because of the stark polarization in the news media many people just don't listen to them anymore. But with Tthe Laconia Daily Sun I hear both sides — at least as it pertains to the Letters to the Editor section. The Letters to the Editor section can include heated debate between neighbors for sure. In some few cases one side even demonizes the other. But as far as I can tell each side gets a voice in The Daily Sun. To read some of the Letters to the Editor is to conclude that The Daily Sun clearly does not censor its contributors, and for this I am thrilled.
If this circumstance changes, if one side alone is heard — if the right, the left, the religious or the non are not allowed their voices, but only, say, the left, I shall take back all of my above comments and perhaps never read again. But thus far the debates go on and so they should.
A humble observation for all of us as we continue to contribute to The Laconia Daily Sun — our paper — we are all part of the world-problem, me too. The quicker we confess this the better. As a religious man I once thought I knew it all. It took me five years to go to college and five years to get over it. Now I am sold on a small collection of simple truths and it is these that daily direct my thoughts and actions. Here is one of those truths that I think potently applicable to all. I am in need of as much mercy and grace as the Lord Jesus Christ is willing to extend me. I need no less than anyone else, even than those I vehemently disagree with. I got into trouble years prior when I thought I needed less mercy than others. I could not see any truth in anything the other side said for I was blinded by my own pride. I still hold many of those same convictions I held back then but I hold them without the pride — or at least with less pride than before.
Consequently I can now dialogue with different others and not demonize them for not thinking like me. But I can't dialogue with someone who thinks they know it all, and, in my opinion, both sides today think they know it all. Let us as a community take seriously Jesus' words that "unless (we) repent (we) will ALL likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). That includes me. If you respond, "repent of what sir?!" I trust time will reveal that to you as it did for me.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:41
To The Daily Sun,
A recent Virginia Tech study revealed that your political persuasion is hardwired into your DNA. By observing brain waves while administering outside stimuli doctors can tell if a person is conservative or liberal. Conservatives dream of Armageddon while liberals dream of hopes and aspirations. It appears to me that this could be the foundation for compromise in the next Congress. Rather than liberals trying to convince conservatives that there is nothing to fear, they might want to take a page from Franklin Roosevelt's play book: "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."
Perhaps if liberals can convince conservatives that they have nothing to fear from minorities, the empowerment of women, and government confiscation of guns, they could channel this inordinate fear and redirect it to the real enemy — Wall Street and the 1 percent. I believe even the Tea Party could get on board with this one.
This is one of many issues that both parties could find common ground and do something to earn their keep. It worked for Roosevelt and it could work again.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:35
To The Daily Sun,
During the period of open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, I encourage everyone still without insurance to sign up. Those in New Hampshire who are already enrolled should check whether they can get a better plan this year. Five insurance companies now offer 40 plans that include at least two New Hampshire hospitals in each network.
Folks complain mightily about Obamacare, and, clearly, there are things that need to be fixed. But we don't need to "throw out the baby with the bathwater." There are many positives about this law. Just talk to people who now have protection.
Ask someone who had been without insurance because of a pre-existing condition, or someone whose plan didn't include conditions that must now be covered. When insurance companies chose to cancel their sub-standard plans, folks could find other plans, with better coverage or a lower deductible. Talk to one of the 10 million now covered who can afford insurance for the first time, or kids under the age of 26 who can stay on their parents plan.
Do you know anyone with cancer or other major illness that had hit the lifetime limit? They, who previously faced bankruptcy, can now be insured. Many feared losing access to health care if they switched jobs or got fired — that fear is gone.
So Obamacare helps not just the newly insured, as monumental as that is. It affects millions, and soon to be millions more. Please enroll now at www.healthcare.gov.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:24
To The Daily Sun,
In recent letters to The Sun, at least three people challenged me to attend a Tea Party meeting. I am flattered that these people want me to attend. I thank you all for the invitation and I intend to take you up on it.
One such writer, my friend Steve Earle, actually bet me "a coffee and a doughnut" that I would not attend such a meeting. He will lose this bet. I told him the other day that I would attend and in the near future I will be attending one with him. I am holding him to the coffee and doughnut, though.
Actually, I do not mind attending any event I have time for, even those whose organizers I disagree with. In fact, I have been present at a couple of Tea Party events. But, alas, at none of the meetings in the Lakes Region mentioned by one writer to The Sun. I have attended conservative Christian church services (including those that did not have a coffee and doughnut hour after services) and have gone to creation science lectures. I have even attended meetings of the conservative John Birch Society, including one in Laconia.
So, to any of the others who invited me to Tea Party meetings, remember I am in the phone directory. Feel free to invite me any time. Will you also extend Mr. Earle's offer of coffee and doughnuts?
E. Scott Cracraft
Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:22