To The Daily Sun,
Do you realize that 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of The Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem. The words were written by Francis Scott Key on the morning of September 14, 1814 at the Battle of Fort McHenry. To celebrate this milestone, the Smithsonian Institution is coordinating a nationwide event on Flag Day, June 14. At 4:00 p.m. (EDT), people across the country are encouraged to gather to sing the first (of four) verse of the National Anthem. The theme is "Raise It Up! Anthem for America". You can get more information on-line at AnthemforAmerica.si.edu . This is also an opportunity to learn more about the Anthem's history. What prompted Key to write these words? Where did the tune originate? How many stars and stripes are there on the "Star Spangled Banner" flag? Who actually made the flag? Etc.
I would encourage individuals, groups and organizations, businesses, towns and cities, community groups, schools, media, etc. to participate in this event. And to also consider researching and disseminating the story of the Anthem and the flag. Let's all "Raise It Up – Anthem for America".
I'll be listening for your support on Flag Day.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:33
To The Daily Sun
Waking up to news today, May 28, is a real wake up. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (John McCain, Jr. she might also be) is endorsing Scott Brown. All we need, another southern-tier N.H. senator who takes the positions of a Western U.S. senator! Representation is intended to be geographical, with reason. The needs of the West are different from the needs of our New Hampshire. Ayotte, hoping to score a political career, ditto-marks John McCain. Would we want ditto-mark, ditto-mark — what we'd get if Scott Brown also "represents" New Hampshire?
New Hampshire Republicans would do better to look at N.H. candidates for their nominee. New Hampshire needs are particular to New Hampshire.
Lynn Rudmin Chong
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:28
To The Daily Sun,
The Belknap County Nursing Home is the best place for caring people. It is one big family. Anyone who comes here will find out that love and care are number one. New people become a family member right away.
The aids do things that other people would not do. Examples: A. They change bed pans, B. wash patients, C. feed them, D. comfort them. This takes very special people. Thank you to all who give me such excellent care.
When we have activity, these people are just great and outdo themselves. For an example, we had a Hawaiian Luau. Boy that was great, thank you. It was great.
The food is great and the people who serve us are excellent. The administration has the best people, who understanding and are caring and helpful to all who live here.
Please support all these people. Belknap County Nursing Home is the place to be for great care and love.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:24
To The Daily Sun,
In my efforts to meet and talk to as many people as possible before a possible run for the Statehouse, I attended two ceremonies on Memorial Day. Moultonborough had a wonderful parade up Route 25 to a ceremony at the Town Hall. Speakers honored our selfless veterans who have defended our land and brought us the gift of a peaceful and safe nation.
In Sandwich, the theme was similar with a wonderful, moving poem by Jan Goldman, describing the service of her family's veterans since 1918. The keynote speaker, an Army colonel by the name of Major Larowe, also paid homage to the men and women who gave their last measure of devotion. However, he took the opportunity to provide our veterans with important and practical advice.
He recommended all veterans prepare and update their wills. If you have a trust that was prepared when you left the service, have it updated by an attorney to meet today's tax laws. Consider buying long-term-care insurance for yourself and your spouse. Three years of insurance for men and five years for women.
If you are eligible for Tri-Care for Life, find your DD Form 214, make copies and attach it to your last will and testament. You should also establish your eligibility to be buried at a veteran's cemetery, beforehand, by contacting the cemetery's sexton.
And finally, if you think you are eligible for VA benefits because of a service-connected liability, establish your benefits immediately. The local VFW or American Legion can provide assistance.
If you are a veteran, you deserve all the benefits coming to you. I would also encourage you to follow Colonel Larowe's advice.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:22
On Memorial Day weekend, scores of thousands of bikers arrived here for their annual Rolling Thunder tribute to America's veterans, especially those lost in our wars or left behind. But this year the tribute has been sullied by a squalid scandal in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sick vets seeking medical care at the Phoenix VA hospital were put on waiting lists, but never got to see a doctor. Dozens died. Then waiting lists were altered to make it appear that VA staffers had not failed in their duty to provide the vets access to care in the required 14 days. Some vets suffered for months before dying.
There is truly something rotten in the state.
But, rest assured, this scandal of deceit, dishonor and betrayal is not going to go away soon.
For unlike Benghazi and the IRS scandals, the major media are looking into how widespread was this practice of denying care to vets and doctoring waiting lists to lie about what was done, and not done, at the VA hospitals. And as this is both an easily understood and deeply emotional issue, the public is fully engaged.
Our commander in chief wisely used his weekend to visit our troops in Afghanistan. But between Memorial Day and June 6, when the president speaks at Normandy on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, this metastasizing scandal is going to bleed his administration.
And this crisis gripping the second largest Cabinet department underscores a larger truth.
The core belief of liberalism, the political philosophy that has guided the Democratic Party since FDR's New Deal — that competent, caring, compassionate government is the instrument best suited to addressing America's social disorders — is being fatally undermined.
The VA hospitals are supposed to represent the best in quality care for those we owe the most. They are America's example to the world of government-run health care and a single-payer system that liberals have championed for decades.
Does anyone still believe that universal health care modeled on the VA is what we want for America?
Looking around, America's public sector appears to be everywhere in crisis.
Before the VA scandal we had the rollout of Obamacare, the disastrous results of which were so unanticipated and adverse they could cost the Democratic Party control of the Senate in November.
Democrats point to Social Security and Medicare as the ideal of what a caring, compassionate and competent government can do. But what has Big Government accomplished lately?
In the new century, we have fought our two longest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Are the results worth the lost blood and treasure? Or are the results of our interventions the reasons why Americans want to stay out of Syria and Ukraine?
Perhaps the largest of all government programs is education. Yet despite the trillions of dollars plunged into public education at the local, state and federal levels from the Great Society to No Child Left Behind to Race to the Top, U.S. test scores continue to plummet in international competition and the gap between black and Hispanic and Asian and white continues to persist.
To bring up test scores, we have seen the dumbing down of tests and rampant cheating by principals and teachers erasing and changing answers for students in school districts including D.C. and Atlanta. Corrupt conduct by those charged with instructing America's children in the moral superiority of democratic government. Is not the charter school movement a vote of no confidence in a school system that was once the pride of the nation?
The sub-prime mortgage scandal, which almost plunged us into a second Great Depression, was a product of Big Government.
And despite five trillion in federal deficits under Obama, and a Fed policy of pumping endless trillions into the banks, U.S. growth in the first quarter flatlined, and has been anemic for years.
The bankruptcy of Detroit, the downgrades of public debt in Illinois, Puerto Rico and New Jersey — were they not all caused by the political class that runs state governments?
Yes, there are well-run VA hospitals, outstanding public schools, and state and local governments that are magnets for business. And government has accomplished goals in which all of us take pride. NASA put our astronauts on the moon. After Pearl Harbor, Washington led America to victory in less than four years. But lately government's failures seem to outnumber its successes.
Republicans rightly view with alarm demographic trends showing their core constituencies shrinking and the Democrats' rising. But Democrats should also take heed. For declining confidence in government's ability to solve America's problems, which is likely to be translated into Republican gains in Congress this year, represents a declining faith in the Democratic idea that government is the answer.
In the last century, communism was The God That Failed.
It should be a cause for concern that in the new century the god that appears to be failing is American democracy.
(Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has been a senior advisor to three presidents, twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He won the New Hampshire Republican Primary in 1996.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 May 2014 10:14