To The Daily Sun,
Concerning Strafford County Superior Court Justice John Lewis' June 17 ruling, in Bill Duncan et al. v The State of New Hampshire et al. and Network for Education Opportunity et al:
Let's take a look at the Tax Credit Education Program, SB-372, a law passed in 2012 by overriding Governor Lynch's veto. It enabled businesses in N.H. to contribute to scholarship organizations which in turn would offer scholarships to qualified families who would use the funds to help defer the cost of sending their child to the school of their choice be it private or public, some could even receive funds for home schooling. The donating company then receives a state tax credit for up to 85 percent of their donation.
Let's take a look at some applicable articles of our state Constitution. In Part 1, Article IV it says, "Among the natural rights, some are in their very nature unalienable, because no equivalent can be given or received of them. Of this kind are the RIGHTS OF CONSCIENCE." This right of conscience cannot be overstated for it follows directly after Article III, which explains the need to surrender some natural rights in order to protect others. It is therefore making it clear that this right of conscience should not be surrendered up to that society in that trade off. You can read it for yourselves at http://www.nh.gov/constitution/constitution.html. Part 1 Articles V and VI should be read for they encourage the practice of religion and recommends it as a support for good government.
We have in the education tax credit program a bill that takes up the cause of the poor and extends the freedom of conscience, which our Constitution considers unalienable, to those of lesser means and Judge Lewis doesn't even mention it in his decision, in denying funds to religious schools. He instead works long and hard to find precedent to call the tax credits provided to donating businesses, taxes. He is not bound by our Constitution to do so, but he works it hard to come to that conclusion. Judge Lewis can't have it that the state is acknowledging the donations from these companies as fulfilling their obligation toward education and offering a tax credit for doing so. He has to have it that this donation is tax money, because it would have flowed into the tax system otherwise. The bill itself claims exemption from the codification into law of the precedent of counting a tax credit as tax money. This precedent seems to have risen from convenience, rather than having the company pay the tax and the state then reimbursing them, and barring an ulterior motive, constitutionally need not be considered as an unalterable principle.
Considering the actual history of the passing of the Blaine Amendment in N.H.; SB-372 should be seen as an honest and upright provision for not forcing our poorest citizens to pay double, therefore making it beyond their means, to choose an education for their children that falls within the dictates of their conscience, which would comply with Art. IV, Art. VI and Art. 83 of our Constitution. Rather than admitting the circumstance of the passage of the Blaine Amend. to Art. 83 (noted in my Sept. 12 letter that the Blaine Amendment was adopted to preserve protestant education) and honestly assessing the current state of public education, the judge turns a blind eye to the historical evidence and waves it off as indiscernible.
Judge Lewis then injects his own bias into it: Quoting professor Charles Clark saying, " the amendments purpose was simply the protection of the public school system and prevention of diversion of funds away from it." and again "that a discernible major purpose of the No-Aid Clause, when enacted, was to promote and sustain public schools, which, were, over time losing their protestant orientation." As if that shift, which has abundantly manifest itself in the 20th and 21st Centuries, implies neutrality. With the wave of the the wand of professor Clark, Judge Lewis severs the Blaine Amendment of Art.83 from the rest of the Constitution, and from the essence of its purpose as understood by the N.H. voters who passed it. In doing this he makes the Blaine Amendment to our Constitution a bait and switch provision, as our public schools are no longer protestant in nature. In fact they teach values that are quite the opposite of protestant values, which the voters of N.H. voted to preserve in 1876, in voting for the Blaine Amendment. In fact Christian and even Catholic schools, as they have moved closer in America to the Protestant model, resemble more closely the education model which the voters in N.H. in 1876 were trying to preserve, than that which our public schools have become.
In making this decision, Judge Lewis has moved from his role as one who's job it is to rule according to our Constitution, to that of a politician playing hardball, cleansing our citizenry of "improper" religious bias. Our N.H. Supreme Court should overturn this ruling, for even if most of N.H.'s citizens do not know the history of our Blaine Amendment, God knows and He will judge rightly. To our good if we judge rightly ourselves, and to our hurt if we judge corruptly.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 September 2013 10:34
To The Daily Sun,
On Friday the 13th, I received a surprise phone call from Vista Supermarket. I was told I had won the football grill raffle from Customer Appreciation Day!.
Thank you Vista. It is wonderful to have a full-size grocery store right in town. This is the kind of tradition we need to keep. Let's keep supporting Vista, so when the snow blows, we have a LOCAL STORE, especially if we are walking.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 September 2013 10:13
To The Daily Sun,
After reading Nick Vazzana's latest, it confirms my suspicion Sandwich water is contaminated with "liberal lunacy". Nick's well hit the mother load. He informs us he was president of a software company. Being president offers no assurance of advanced insight about anything as we can all have witnessed watching five years of Obama bungling. Watching his Syria escapades suggests the words buffoon and president are now on the same page in the dictionary.
Nick loathes the lack of hikes to the minimum wage. He suggests businesses are mean, greedy people who squash the upward mobility of Americans because they need to turn a profit to stay in business. While Nick was president, I dealt with dozens of companies as a consultant to every kind of business imaginable, service industries, hospitality, manufacturing and retail. So my insight comes with a bit of a broader understanding of the business world than Nick's. I was also the owner of two businesses, one of which employed many minimum wage, low skilled employees. I risked my own money, as all entrepreneurs do, in hopes of creating security for my family while creating jobs for others at wages I could afford to pay and stay in business.
Every business owner, no matter where or what kind, pays the LEAST wages it has to in order to remain competitive and the MOST it has to, to retain a qualified work force. There is no CONFUSION in this MOST BASIC of business logic 101. Liberal wonks like Nick think GOD left them some MORAL AUTHORITY to change this. Changing this dynamic BY WHIM, that is what we are talking about, would do far more harm than good. EVERY arbitrary action to change basic business principles aimed to create equality has led us to one place, financial DISASTER. You want more no-down-payment, no-job homes for the less fortunate? The Nicks of the world were YELLING for that "equality fix " six years ago. Look at the harm and suffering that ONE EQUALITY CONCEPT created.
Nick wants the minimum wage raised for equality and fairness. We have raised the minimum wage NUMEROUS times. In fact if it were adjusted only for inflation (as it should be) the minimum wage today would be $4.50 not $7.25. I ask Nick, did any of the previous increases to the minimum wage reduce the poverty rate? Nope, the poverty rate is at a record as I write this. Did raising it reduce the number of people in need of welfare? Nope, We have 47 million people on welfare, a record number. Did the other hikes in the minimum wage help employment? Nope, we now have the LOWEST PERCENTAGE of the population working today than we have had in 30 years.
Raising the minimum wage kills job creation, increases layoffs, forces job sharing, cuts employee work hours, and INCREASES the PRICES FOR EVERYTHING YOU BUY, further harming the buying power of those most vulnerable in our society. Nick, FDR and Obama are all " equality SNAKE OIL, salesmen". There noble ideas all end in one place, THE TOILET. Any one for another low-interest, no down payment, no-job home to produce EQUALITY? Or for higher wages that produce no more work output but HIGHER PRICES? BOTH ARE CERTIFIED brain dead, losing ideas as we have seen before.
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 September 2013 10:11
To The Daily Sun,
This is not to cause any grief for our valued poll workers, but there is a problem in my opinion. My vote is very valuable to me and the same for Betty. My understanding is there were no write-ins for Ward 5 councilor in the primary. I will be honest, as the day progressed we decided that we knew the outcome in Ward 5 so we continued on with our day. The people including us, deserve to know that every ballot is counted. When there is something foreign to the completed ballot — such as a "write-in" — the ballot will be kicked out to the side. Those ballots still need to be counted as to why the kick out! Obviously this did not happen, and if I had voted and wrote in a name to give the voters of Ward 5 a choice for city councilor in November election I would DEMAND my write-in be part of the count.
If the city clerk knows of this shouldn't "the box" be opened with a room full of witnesses — not for a recount — but to examine the ballots that were segregated? Or will this primary go down as a black mark for Laconia elections?
Last Updated on Thursday, 19 September 2013 10:06
To The Daily Sun,
This is in response to Bernadette Loesch's letter in the September 12 Sun:
Bernadette, I have to say I find your take on the GOP's motivations in regards to voter rights to be interesting, if misguided and uninformed. Your take on the Supreme Court's decision to strike down one provision within the Voting Rights Act as a repeal of voting rights laws and protections is paranoid at best. Either you didn't understand Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the Supreme Court decision, or both. This is something I have addressed below, but first let us go over the points you brought up in your letter in the order you presented them:
1. "We are witnessing many, many states cut back on the number of days for registering to vote." Really, which states? Even with the so-called 'Motor-Voter' laws out there that allow registering to vote on the day of the election? As long as the person registering to vote can prove they live where they say the live — the same criteria required for 'regular' voter registration — then how is this a problem?
2. "Requiring a valid I.D. in order to vote." Everyone should be concerned with voting and maintaining the legitimacy of elections at local, state and national level. When ineligible people can vote with impunity it puts the entire electoral process into question. Those ineligible to vote include non-citizens, convicted felons (unless they've had their voting rights restored by the court), non-residents voting in districts where they do not reside, and those voting using absentee ballots that aren't theirs. Having to show an ID to prove you are who you say you are is a means of ensuring the legitimacy of the process. Valid IDs are NOT difficult to obtain despite claims to the contrary. Remember, you already have to have them to cash checks, receive government benefits, apply for credit, register to vote, and a whole host of other activities that no one seems to find burdensome.
3. "Many voter district lines have been redrawn (better known as Gerrymandering) in order to assure that a particular senator or representative doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of having an honest race with real competition from the other party." This has been going on since 1812. Every 10 years district lines are redrawn to reflect the change in population as defined by the census. If you think it is only Republicans Gerrymandering, you are sorely deluded. Democrats are just as good, if not better, at redrawing district lines to benefit their party while locking out the opposition. In fact it was Democrat Elbridge Gerry, governor of Massachusetts, who redistricted Massachusetts to benefit his party. This is where the term Gerrymander comes from.
4. "Some states cutting back on 'Vote by Mail'." No, states aren't cutting back on absentee balloting (the so-called 'vote by mail'). Where did you got this idea, out of thin air? What states are trying to do is to improve the system. There are two problems involved with absentee voting at present, both which disfranchise eligible voters: fraudulent ballots obtained by using someone else's name; and absentee ballots not being sent in a timely fashion, which prevents them from being filled out and returned by the due date. This last one has been a problem for a long time and particularly for members of our armed services, denying them their constitutional rights, the very same rights they are protecting.
5. "Assigning 'Poll Watchers' to make sure that only people qualified to vote are able to cast their ballot." You act as if this is something new. It is not. It has been around for a very long time, is not a partisan device, and is used in places where voting fraud has been a problem. In some cases poll watchers have been court-appointed in districts where rampant fraud and voter intimidation has affected elections. (Philadelphia's 20th Ward during the 2012 election is but one recent example.)
Let me ask you the following, Bernadette: If voter ID is such a bad thing, then why do a large majority of the American people (75 percent) support it? This is according to a Washington Post poll run back in early August. (You can look it up yourself.) You accuse the GOP of "trying to eliminate as many voters as they can", yet all they really want to do is reduce the number of ineligible voters from committing voting fraud. How is that a bad thing?
The five things you listed as "evidence" of "borderline voter fraud on a massive level" are indicative of your ignorance of history as they have not been a GOP-only issue by any means. They are are not evidence of any wrongdoing by either party.
As I mentioned at the beginning, I must address your mistaken belief that the U.S. Supreme Court has gutted the Voting Rights Act. Only one part – Section 4 – was found to be no longer relevant and unconstitutional. It required only some states — not ALL states — to put forth to the Department of Justice any proposed changes to their election laws. Why should such a provision pertain to only a few states and not the rest?
Back when the Voting Rights Act was passed (1964) some states had laws that made it difficult, if not impossible for black Americans to vote. The states listed in Section 4 were sanctioned in order to make sure that any changes in their election laws did not disfranchise eligible voters for any reason, and particularly race. Those states now have some of the highest voter turnout rates for minorities in the nation. So why did they still have to submit changes to election laws to the DOJ? That was the argument brought before the Supreme Court in Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General. This is 2013. Stop acting like we're still stuck in 1963 and that Jim Crow still holds sway in the South. Or do you have so little faith that we've somehow managed to move past that part of our history and that minority voters will once again be locked out of the voting booth? If you do, then the problem is with you and not the rest of the nation, and certainly not the GOP.
Dale Channing Eddy
Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 September 2013 10:44