Have you no decency, sir? At long last, do you have no sense of decency?

To The Daily Sun,

I am currently thousands of miles away from Laconia and perhaps this letter is a bit late but I had to respond to Bob Meade's fairly recent column regarding the assimilation of immigrants. The column, as well as other things Mr. Meade writes, was ethnocentric at best and bordered on racist.

I know Mr. Meade assumes that academics do not know what we are talking about, but often we do know what we are talking about. Doctors know what they are talking about when it comes to vaccination and climatologists know what they are talking about regarding climate change. Too many writers to The Sun regard their opinions just as valid as real facts that can be demonstrated and that is not so. Perhaps all men and women are created equal, but it does not follow that all ideas and opinions are created equal.

Of course, Mr. Meade often calls for the firing of academics who do not agree with him. He does not respect the fact that educators have the same First Amendment rights that he enjoys.

Well, Mr. Mead, I guess you got your way with my friend Dave Pollak, a good professor who I have known for years who always had respect for students, even those who do not agree with him. Mr. Meade is right: students do read my letters and others but I challenge him to name one case where I graded a student on the basis of their opinions. Like Professor Pollak, I grade on the basis of whether or not they know the course material. And, Mr. Meade should know better. After all, I have invited him to my campus as a guest speaker.

Mr. Meade, you have claimed to be my friend in the past, but do friends wish people who disagree with them to lose their livelihoods? I do not think so. I know you are retired, but I would have never wished that on you.

Getting back to the original point, Mr. Meade often writes about things he knows little about. I suppose, as Professor Pollak has implied, there is a note of humor in his recent diatribe about immigrants. His information about Islamic sharia law being imposed in Dearborn, Mich., came from a satirical website. I suppose Professor Pollak should forgive Mr. Meade inasmuch that the current political climate has made it difficult to discern satire from reality.

Mr. Meade and other writers to The Sun engage in a lot of misinformation and disinformation. The difference is that with misinformation, people simply do not have the facts. Disinformation is disseminating information that one knows in wrong to perpetuate an agenda. I am still trying to decide into which category Mr. Meade fits.

Many politicians who do not want to work on real problems are trying to pass laws banning sharia law in their states. If they or Mr. Meade knew anything about sharia law, they would know that it would never become national, state, or local law because its provisions would violate many other laws as well as our state and federal Constitutions.

As with all effective ¨Big Lie," fear-mongering propaganda, the rumors about sharia law contain a very small element of truth. Yes, in some Muslim communities some Muslims to have their personal, business, and family dispute arbitrated by religious leaders.

These are only civil cases and the litigants always have recourse to our regular civil courts. No sharia court has — or can — impose criminal sentences.

This is not any different than some Orthodox Jewish communities where members of the community take personal and family disputes to Rabbinical courts. I even know of some fundamentalist Christian churches where fellow-believers do the same because they think it is wrong for a Christian to sue another Christian. I am not sure, but I think a similar process exists in Amish communities. Even many couples decide to take their divorces to mediation.

At least no Muslim I know of has had their small claims issues adjudicated by quasi-judicial versions of the "Jerry Springer Show" such as Judge Judy and Judge Joe!

As for Mr. Mead´s rant about assimilation, I will address just one point that I do think I know more about than he does: Language. Have you ever studied a language other than English, Mr. Mead? How much do you really know about neurolinguistics and language learning? I have studied three foreign languages with varying degrees of fluency. My wife is a trained linguist who speaks three languages fluently. She has also taught ESL abroad and in this country (in case you are not familiar with the term, Mr. Mead, ESL stands of English as a Second Language). I also hold a certificate in ESL and have taught it as a volunteer. So, with all humility, I think we know a bit more about language and language learning than you do, Mr. Meade. For all your criticism of foreigners, have you even volunteered your time to help one improve his or her English? We have.

Those who immigrate to this country do try to learn English and ESL classes are full.

But, as any linguist will tell you, you will never speak a language as well as the one you learned as a kid. Therefore, adult immigrants have more difficulty but they do try. Those who are exposed to English as a kid do much better. That has been our history for generations, the adult immigrants send their kids to school and soon they are speaking English like a native speaker. But, it is hard to lose an accent completely after the age of 14, even those who come from cultures where they speak another dialect of English.

In my own family, my mom and dad were from the Deep South and moved to Michigan and never lost their "Southern accents". My family was stationed in Germany when dad was in the Air Force. German was the first foreign language I was exposed to and learning it as a kid, it was easier even though it is a much more grammatically complex language than some others. Spanish is said to be the easiest foreign language for an English-speaker to learn but, I started learning Spanish as an adult so that is harder for me.

Sometimes, in his calls for the firing of academics who do not agree with him, Mr. Meade reminds me of Senator Joe McCarthy, an alcoholic and sociopathic politician I suspect he admires. So, I will end this letter with the words to Mr. Meade that a brave Boston lawyer had the guts to speak to Senator McCarthy: ¨Have you no decency sir? At long last do you have no sense of decency?"

E. Scott Cracraft


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 251

Two-thirds of the people who were uninsured are still uninsured

To The Daily Sun,

I heard the president's radio speech this past weekend. In it he stated that one-third of all the people who were uninsured are now insured. That makes two-thirds still uninsured.

So we, the American people, now have insurance plans that are not as good as what we had and are paying much more for the. The IRS hired 16,000 people to deal with the Obamacare "tax". More people than ever are going to emergency rooms. (Our veterans still have the VA and the waiting time has increased even though the president and Congress said they were going to fix this a year ago.)

And the law that was going to make sure that everyone had medical insurance, still has two-thirds of the original number of uninsured, still uninsured.

I did not hear a big roar about it (last) weekend. Why didn't the liberals say we need more laws to cover the other two-thirds?

Did anyone listen to the president's radio address? It they did, do they know that one-third still leaves two-thirds uninsured. That seems like simple math that one should learn in elementary school. (But that is another story).

Seems to me a good reason to repeal Obamacare.

Linda Riley


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 100

Twice, Truman offered to let Japan surrender before A-bombs fell

To The Daliy Sun,

I read the letter submitted by Ms. Rudmin Chong, and the one sent in by Mr. King. In short, Ms. Rudmin Chong and her associates are memorializing the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Japan. Mr. King advocated for remembering the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Aside from the destructive power differences between the two attacks, the one truly significant difference is . . . that Japan engaged in a "sneak attack" but the United States didn't.

Here's the rest of the story:

When President Truman took over after President Roosevelt died, he did not know of the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb. As president, he was made aware of it, and its devastating destructive potential. When our military leaders asked to drop the bomb(s) on Japan, Truman asked them what would be the approximate casualty count if we didn't drop the bomb but had a normal naval bombardment followed by a land invasion. Because of Japan's unwillingness to ever be captured, the generals advised the president that up to 10 million Japanese would die from a ground invasion, as would up to 1 million of our soldiers, sailors, and Marines. Truman then asked the neutral Swiss to meet with the Japanese and advise them that we had the atomic bomb, and we wouldn't use it if they surrendered. The Japanese refused to surrender.

After weighing the potential loss of up to 11 million lives and the continuation of the war, Truman decided to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. It was devastating. Truman again sent the Swiss to offer Japan a second chance to surrender. They again refused, thinking we only had one bomb. The president then ordered the second bomb to the dropped on Nagasaki. The Japanese then agreed to an unconditional surrender.

The point being made is that Japan had been given fair warning twice of what we planned to do and twice they refused to surrender. Japan, on the other hand, did not give any previous warning or declaration of war before they bombed Pearl Harbor.

President Truman made one of the most difficult decisions ever put before a Commander in Chief. He made the right decision and saved millions of lives. For 70 years, nuclear power has assured what has been called Mutually Assured Destruction — MAD. Because nuclear powers knew of the retaliatory measures that awaited them if they struck first, they chose a cold war instead. Nations keeping their atomic weapons holstered was before ... but that common sense may no longer be. I have no doubt that multiple nations in the Middle East, fearing the dominance of Iran in its religious quest to facilitate the end times, are already in search of nuclear power.

And, for those whose lives post-date Dec. 7, 1941, here are the words to a song that was sung all across the United States: "Let's remember Pearl Harbor, As we go to meet the foe. Let's remember Pearl Harbor, As we did the Alamo, We will always remember how they died for Liberty. Let's remember Pearl Harbor, and go on to victory."

Bob Meade


  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 264

Right person to replace Steve McCormack is Steve McCormack

To The Daily Sun,

In my opinion, the person who should replace Steve McCormack in the Gilmanton Selectman's Office is Steve McCormack.

Steve was duly elected by the people of Gilmanton and in his 1 1/2 years of service, served the town well. Yes, he made an error, a serious one to be sure, but no real damage was done by him speaking out of turn. Steve has learned a great lesson from this. I'm sure he would never repeat this kind of mistake.

Steve certainly regretted his lapse of judgment, probably even more so after being pounded at the selectmen's meeting by some folks who apparently felt the need to draw blood. I wonder, was his resignation caused by remorse as a result of his mistake or by the verbal abuse that he endured at the selectmen's meeting? The boo-birds got their say, their day in court, and Steve paid the price. So did the town. We have lost a good, dedicated servant who deserves a better fate.

I'd like to see Steve McCormack invited to rejoin the board. It likely won't happen, but it should.

Jim Barnes

Gilmanton Iron Works

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 139

Remaining selectmen need to do right thing and agree on a third

To The Daily Sun,

The voters of Gilmanton are expecting their two selectmen to do the right thing in appointing a third selectman.

It is time to set aside personal opinions, personal agendas, and personalities in making a decision to move forward with the town's business. The town could get by with just two selectmen, but getting by is not good enough.

With only two selectmen, what would happen if only one was able to attend a session especially with budget season approaching? Moving forward requires consensus and that requires a selectman who can break tie votes.

It is unfortunate that there has not been a meeting allowing public input on this topic. There is no agenda for the Aug. 11 meeting that indicates that there will even be any discussion or action to resolve the situation.

Please visit, call, write, or email your town administrator and your current selectmen and tell them your wishes and emphasize that they are committed to do the best for the town's needs.

Joanne Gianni
Gilmanton Iron Works

  • Category: Letters
  • Hits: 231