To The Daily Sun,
At Wednesday's meeting of the Jail Planning Committee, Ken Ricci acknowledged that his conceptual plan was too grand for what we can afford for Belknap County, and he offered several alternatives that we should explore.
1. Build fewer beds but build modularly so we can easily and inexpensively expand if that becomes necessary down the road.
2. Renovate the existing jail and add a Community Corrections Facility.
3. Reduce the size and cost of the original plan as architect Gary Goudreau has already begun to do (you can view his work on my website — davepollak.com).
We should compare these plans side by side and consider them each with the guidance of our professional corrections staff and experts so that we can be sure our needs are met and we solve this problem as soon as possible while interest rates are low and to avoid potential inmate civil rights lawsuits.
Ricci also argued that to reduce our needs for additional jail space in the future, we should be working with law enforcement and the judiciary to reduce the number of jail admissions and the length of stay, as I have already proposed. And, we should be studying programs like drug court in Grafton County and the mental health court in Merrimack County that they are using effectively to keep their jail populations under control. You can find links to these programs on my website.
By the way, I have discovered that I made an error when I said that the release of inmates in pre-trial confinement to work release was strictly a judicial decision. According to Chapter 30-B Section 18 of NH RSA Title II, "Any prisoner confined to a county correctional facility while awaiting trial in the superior court or for any other cause, who is not likely to flee or commit an act of violence, and who wishes to work, may do so voluntarily upon approval of the superintendent, subject to rules and regulations of the correctional facility."
Please let me know what you think. I appreciate your feedback. Contact me through my website.
Candidate for Belknap County Commission
Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 11:31
To The Daily Sun,
Raising the minimum wage makes good economic sense. Eighty-eight percent of those who would benefit from a rise in the minimum wage are over 20 years old, and 55 percent are women. Sixty-four studies have concluded that an increase in the minimum wage would have virtually no effect on employment. Sixty percent of small-business owners support increasing the minimum wage. Fifty-three percent of minimum wage workers are full-time workers — and generally referred to as the working poor. A single person in Carroll County needs to make more than $13 an hour to have a living wage. Higher wages will reduce employee turnover and reduce employee training costs. Giving more money to low-wage workers will be a boost to the economy as they will spend these dollars and that will have a multiplying effect.
Large companies now counsel their low-wage employees on how to apply for food stamps. This represents a large savings if the minimum wage is increased. To equal the buying power of the minimum wage of the late 1960s, the minimum wage would need to be nearly $11. The majority of Americans support increasing the minimum wage, but not our representative in Concord. He voted to repeal the minimum wage and feels the marketplace should set it. He pointed to North Dakota where fast food workers are paid $15 an hour. Since their economy is driven by oil, it is a false comparison.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 11:24
To The Daily Sun,
It's interesting that Mr. Meade admonishes Ms. Rudman Chong for never letting "facts get in the way of her opinion."
With Meade, he deliberately withholds facts to deceive the reader and promote his political views. In his letter addressing Ms. Rudman Chong, he fails to disclose that the video he references was produced and paid for by the hardly an unbiased source of facts. Most of the statements made by Democrats in this video were made prior to Operation Desert Fox, which included air and missile strikes against Iraq's chemical and biological projects that proved far more effective than many thought possible; this was five years before the Bush administration launched their ground offensive against Saddam Hussein.
This deceptive political ad, while presenting out-of-date quotes, shortens the original statements and doesn't provide any context for what was said. Several of the quotes were offered in the course of statements that clearly indicated the speaker was decidedly against unilateral military intervention in Iraq.
The question I ask of Mr. Meade is — when does deception become a lie?
The Bush administration devised a carefully constructed mechanism to lead the U.S. to war with Iraq. First they manufactured a problem, declaring that Iraq was a grave danger to the United States. They argued that Iraq was a threat to America and to the peace of the world, through its alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and growing danger from Iraq, thus there was an urgency to act. Cultivating widespread anxiety by propagating fear stories about enemies seeking to do the American people great harm? Demonizing Hussein as someone so evil and irrational that there was a moral imperative for action.
They next had to dismiss other policy options that could have avoided war. Arguing that containment, an effective strategy during the Cold War, couldn't work. They continued by attacking the efficacy of the U.N. weapons inspectors (which, ironically, had successfully disarmed Iraq from 1991 to 1998). Ultimately declaring that there would be no negotiations or discussions with Iraq.
Finally, the administration stated "we have no choice." The U.S. did not want war but was being forced to act. It was Saddam's choice to go to war. The administration argued that Hussein must disarm. If he did not comply by turning over his weapons of mass destruction, he was choosing war and if the U.N. refused to act, then the U.S. would have to act. The Bush administration argued that was is our last option, even though the U.S. actively blocked every other viable policy. In this way, the administration made war the only option. Subjected to this sustained campaign, Congress and a majority of Americans came to support this war of deception orchestrated by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Co.
As early as 2002, while in the office of Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, then President Bush stated, "(expletive) Saddam, we're taking him out." A year later he commented, "Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly ... all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes."
The evidence is conclusive that the Bush administration fabricated evidence and ignored repeated warnings that what was being reported were false. Governments of coalition forces had to buy into these lies in order to justify sending troops from their respective countries. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair admitted that he would have invaded Iraq even if he knew from the start that it didn't have weapons of mass destruction.
Our Senate Intelligence Committee released a 200-page report on how Bush and his officials deliberately misrepresented secret intelligence to make a case to invade Iraq. The report is a direct rebuke of the Bush administration's continued claims that it was the intelligence that was faulty and that Bush and company were simply presenting what the CIA had given them. The report doesn't use the word, but we all know what it's called when someone presents something as fact that's directly contradicted by the evidence: a lie. Not a mistake. A lie.
Further U.S. Senate reports revealed that the Bush administration could not find links it claimed existed between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. It tried, in best Soviet style, to torture its captives to admit that such a link did in fact exist. That, of course, would have been much better excuse for invading Iraq than the lies about weapons of mass destruction pointed at America.
Conservatives maligned the United Nations because this organization is not an arm of the United States and told the truth about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. U.N. reports submitted to the Security Council before the was by Hans Blix, former chief U.N. Arms Inspector, and largely validated by U.S. weapons teams, found that Iraq's nuclear weapons program was dormant. No evidence was found to suggest Iraq possessed chemical or biological weapons.
While we would all agree that Hussein would never be voted Man of the Year, if we were to follow Bush's logic, our next pre-emptive strike to protect the U.S. from attack and "evil dictators" should be on North Korea, Cuba, Ethiopia, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Burma and ... the list goes on.
Why is it that Mr. Earle and other conservatives are quick to hold Obama accountable for all the ills of the United States, but fail to recognize possibly the greatest fraud perpetrated on the American people? Apparently they only believe and repeat what they hear on their "fair and balanced" network.
I'm certainly not opposed to defending our country and way of life, but I am opposed to dumb, rash wars based on passion and politics.
Last Updated on Monday, 15 September 2014 11:16
To The Daily Sun,
Professor Scott Cracraft is at it again. The 13th anniversary of the radical Islamic jihad attack on our country has arrived and the professor doesn't want us to forget. No silly, not about the attack on the country that has been the primary force for good in the world over the past century. Not about the death of 3,000 citizens who reside in the country that has provided more humanitarian aid than all other countries combined. Nosiree Bob. When we think about the horror that was visited upon us on this date by pure evil, he wants us to hang our heads in shame over our involvement in the Chilean mess in the 1980s.
Is the professor implying that we are a pretty rotten country and are somehow deserving of the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? Is the super-heated rhetoric of the screaming the Rev. Jeremiah Wright ringing in his head, "The chickens have come home to roost"? Does he have Van Jones on speed dial reminding him how the 9/11 attacks were our fault? Was he perhaps inspired by the illuminating interview of Ward Churchill on Megyn Kelly's show? Is it possible that he had breakfast with professor George Maloof, who perhaps reminded him that the United States is just as evil as Israel?
I think it is possible that Professor Cracraft is just trying to bamboozle us with his brilliant academic research and implied bizarre moral equivalency. How in the world can progressive-liberal types continue to look evil in the eye and pretend to just not see? Yet look at the history of their own country, minimize all the good and maximize all the mistakes? The Ward Churchills, Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrns of the world have been teaching our children to despise their own country under the guise of compassionate and objective criticism. It's class warfare at its destructive finest and it is corrosive to young, impressionable minds. These academics have caused tremendous harm to the very fabric of this country.
I have read about and listened to many of these academics who supposedly want to crush this constitutional republic in order to bring about the "fairer" and "more just" system of socialism. True socialism has never really existed. It has always devolved into some form of tyranny. The whole concept is a Trojan horse devised to bring the elites into power.
Some academics really believe a model of true socialism is possible. God bless their delusional, irrational belief system. Others know it is the surest way to attain power and control. So is Professor Cracraft purposely putting down the greatest country the world has ever known, believing it to be fatally flawed? Or does he actually believe, as President Obama apparently does, that other countries could step right up and take our place and do a better job than the United States has done while using a make believe socialist-style system? Only the professor knows for sure. Don't hold your breath waiting for him to enlighten us.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 11:38
To The Daily Sun,
After killing 2.5 to 3 percent of Iraqi's population, here we are now, dropping bombs on insurgents that threaten to further destabilize a nation beset by sectarian violence. Many Iraqis refuse to fight the (so-called) Islamic State. After all, they're a brotherhood and have no loyalty to the present Iraq government. The Islamic Nation itself, should take immediate action to disassociate themselves from this radical group. We are not fighting the Nation of Islam. Above all, we must make every endeavor to find a peaceful accord with people who have been part and parcel of this land for thousands of years.
The military strength of ISIS varies according to who is in authority. On-line estimates put their numbers between 7,000 to 10,000. The Iraq military, which we trained and equipped, numbers 250,000. We have spent billions of dollars in equipment which now, seems useless in face of a divided nation in a political meltdown, based on religious differences which keep people divided in a vicious struggle, seemingly without end.
When do we say, "enough is enough", and get out of Middle-Eastern wars once and for all. It is long past due that we take care of our own problems here at home, and stop spending money we don't have! If things get any worse we may have to cut back on food stamps again to pay for the bombs.
Leon R. Albushies
Last Updated on Friday, 12 September 2014 11:26