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Bob Meade - Do-Re-Mi-Fa-Sol-La-Ti-Do . . .

Politics is somewhat like the music scale. If you don't find a way to use the notes in the middle, you don't have any harmony . . . only the Do-Dos on each end.

Have you noticed how we have spent our time, effort, and money building a "dependent" class of people. We have even made it easier to be classified as "disabled." by liberalizing the conditions to qualify for the benefits. The number of citizens receiving disability benefits has risen sharply and there are now about 20 percent of the population receiving them. The numbers of people on food stamps has also risen dramatically and there are now almost 48 million people in that program. And, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), aka "Obamacare," enrollment appears to provide government subsidies to about two thirds of the program's enrollees.

These three items are mentioned not in a mean spirited way, but are intended to show that the necessity for such programs, to a large extent, was generated by the lack of jobs. And it will get worse as the federal government uses "regulations" that were not initiated and passed by Congress, but have the force of law, to stifle and attack businesses. The desire to kill the coal industry is one example. The "30-hour work week," designed to force businesses to provide Obamacare coverage to what had been part-time employees is another. The highest corporate tax rates in the industrialized world is another. And, perhaps worst of all, is the "spinning" of record low unemployment rates and job increase numbers when, in fact, our labor participation rates are the lowest they have been since the Carter administration in 1978. Our job growth is actually less than 15 percent of our population growth.

James Carville, the campaign manager for Bill Clinton, used to say, "It's the economy, stupid!" Maybe now is the time to say, "It's the lack of jobs, stupid!"

Today we have politicians doing their best to further divide the country by attacking businesses, promising incredible and undeliverable "free stuff,", and working diligently to divide the country by race, gender and ethnicity . . . remember, they aren't looking for harmony, just the Do-Dos on each end.

Those running for office may not understand the depth of angst of the citizenry. The "people", for whom the government is supposed to be of, by, and for, are upset with the government — all branches, all parties, all bureaucratic entities, the "professional politicians," the spinning, the lies, the infighting, the ignoring of the Constitution, the usurpation of the states rights as defined in the Tenth Amendment, and more. And the people are also upset with the press, who have abandoned the purpose for which they were granted special privilege by their inclusion in the First Amendment. The press has become sycophants and cheerleaders for those on the political left — due diligence escapes them.

The presumptive nominee of the Democrat Party, Secretary Hillary Clinton, is being challenged by the Socialist Senator from Vermont. The angst of the people is evident in that they are flocking to a man they view as "different," even though he is a professional politician, because he is offering them more and more "free stuff" and, in doing so, is encouraging the young to enter the ranks of the dependents. It appears the Democrat party will grant Secretary Clinton the nomination, regardless of what the will of the Democrat voters may be. A thorough review of her career comes up lacking in bone fide accomplishments but an abundance of distrust. But, at this time, what difference does it make. If Democrat leadership were influenced by the angst of the people, they would be showing more concern . . . and perhaps be more reluctant than to have her as their nominee.

The Republicans aren't much better. In what can best be labeled as a school yard brawl, 17 candidates duked it out and 16 professional politicians fell by the wayside. The now presumptive nominee reached his goal not because he is politically knowledgeable, or has a firm grasp of the Constitution, or some special insight on job creation, or a thoughtful foreign policy, he simply has a slogan and, most importantly to the people, he is not a professional politician.

So now we get back to our original paragraph. Are we going to have politicians who recognize and respond to the angst of the people so we can have some harmony in our political processes? Or, are we going to have to put up with the Do–Dos for a while longer?

Leadership in both political parties should take heed . . . the people aren't done yet.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident.)

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There are several N.H. railroad corridors worth the investment in our economic future

To The Daily Sun,

To improve New Hampshire's economy, let's nvest in rail passenger and freight transportation.
Recently, the N.H. Republican legislators again denied chances to improve out economy. They removed the some $4 million for studies to evaluate the impact of rail transportation to this state. Senator Forrester was among those to deny this rail package. In once sense, she is probably correct. We no longer need studies, we need development — NOW. Rail transportation has been studied for years in this state, without action, except to order more costly rail studies. This state needs to invest in the rail infrastructure to move our state forward.
Already, nationwide, other states encourage and enhance rail transportation with excellent response to the economy as well as improving the employment picture of the affected communities. One example is the AMTRAK route that goes from New Orleans  to Orlando Florida. Already companies are seeking resources to develop along this corridor which in turn will improve the economic picture of these Southern states. A mere passenger train is making major inroads to moving these states forward.
No more studies. Take a look at the communities along AMTRAK's Downeaster trains. These areas are growing with the promise of more trains to go as far North as Rockport, Maine. Eastern N.H, and Western Maine are already benefiting from this rail corridor.
The commuter services in this state are woefully lacking save from Concord, Manchester, and Nashua. N.H. needs to invest in rail transportation. One must understand, rail travel is really not a money-making venture unless those providing capital have endless financial resources. A bus coming from either Littleton or Berlin is not commuter friendly at all, as both buses arrive in Boston too late to be of commuter benefit. Many towns in Lakes Region are without any form of decent either rail or bus services. There is little or no mass transportation from Concord to Manchester Airport. Highways are congested.
There are several corridors worth such an investment. Already the Downeaster fills one void. There is the Northern corridor to the west, up to Lebanon and White River Junction, which also services Dartmouth communities and its name sake college. There is the central corridor which is the Lakes Region. There are rail lines in the North Country that will benefit from this expansion. The North Country is almost without reasonable connection to southern points in N.H. There is the Conway/North Conway, Crawford Notch Corridor which will enable direct connections to the Western U.S. and Canada. The tax benefit in improving this picture is enormous, and will pay handsome dividends such as improved employment, better business access to the rest of this nation.
AMTRAK is still studying to put in a "high speed line" to connect Boston to Montreal and Canadian points. There are two routes under consideration. The Northern Corridor, and the lines going through the North Country. It is suggested the better of these two routes is the Northern Corridor embracing Concord, Franklin, Lebanon, White River Junction and to the Northwest. The rail foundation is present, and was developed for 80 mph trains in its heyday. This can be improved further with rebuilding the line and promoting rail travel.
The advantages of developing these corridors now, are beneficial. 1. Employment for the construction. Once the lines are developed, many employees can then transfer to maintenance of the rail infrastructure. 2. Business and economy growth will be phenomenal and rapid. 3. While using the taxes to develop these corridors the financial rewards to the citizens of this state will be multiple. 3. Cost of highway maintenance will actually decrease once the traffic starts to move on the new and refurbished corridors. Air quality will improve with this transfer of the traffic to the rails. We can reduce the costly expansion of the interstate system that really is not needed. 4. The connection of the North Country to the southern parts of the state will drastically improve the overall economic picture. In turn, the two areas of the state can actually grow harmoniously together. It seems the North Country has simply been left out of N.H.'s economic "recovery," 5. With an improved economic setting, many of the social ills that burden this state can also be reduced significantly, such as the substance abuse pandemic facing this state. Families with more income will have less stress and yield healthier environments for children. 6. Business across the state are asking for improved rail service. It will provide an incentive to keep our young labor force here in this state.
It is time to stop the studies and get the sleeves up and get to work. Let's make N.H. a really great place to live and work. Improve our rail infrastructure. While rail is not the only means of transportation, access by rail will enhance other modes of transportation as well.

Robert T. Joseph, Jr.

New Hampton

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