To The Daily Sun,
During my first term on the N.H. Executive Council in 1977, I initiated the N.H. Student Intern Program. This program affords the opportunity for college-age students to gain experience at my Statehouse office; attend official events and legislative hearings and work with N.H. state government agencies and N.H. congressional offices to assist citizens throughout Executive Council District One. There have been 142 interns through this program from eight New Hampshire colleges that have worked to serve the 263,000 people in the 108 towns and four cities in the seven counties of District One.
If anyone is interested in more information about this program, please contact my Statehouse office at 603-271-3632 or my home office at 603-747-3662 at 338 River Road, Bath, NH 03740.
It is an honor to be of service to District One.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 September 2013 11:54
To The Daily Sun,
As summer comes to a close and the new school year descends upon us, I have become acutely aware that I have yet to write a very well deserved thank you to our community!
As a former chair of the Laconia Middle School PTO (Fall 2010-Summer 2013) I had the wonderful opportunity to work alongside many amazing parents, teachers and staff, administrators, students, community members and businesses.
There are so many people to thank it is hard to know where to begin. However the first thank you must go to the LMS parents and grandparents — whether it was attending our monthly meetings, various presentations, providing innumerable baked goods, chaperoning a variety of events (including middle school dances), helping in the Care Closet, decorating for events, organizing fundraisers and the list goes on. No matter what the request, parents and grandparents always came through in a big way for the children. Thank you.
To the teachers, staff and administration, your support of the LMS PTO and your students has been incredible. I had the privilege to work alongside numerous teachers, all of whom were willing to dedicate their time and energy to better the school and the students. I wish to thank a select few teachers who were particularity involved in the PTO's endeavors while I was chair. Thank you to Mrs. Steckert our PTO teacher liaison, Ms. Sims (Student Council advisor) and Ms. Columb and Mr. Schneberger (National Junior Honor Society advisor) who were always willing to collaborate with PTO whether it be for our first annual semi-formal dance, or LMS Rock-a-thon or Red Ribbon Week just to name a few. Mr. Theman, Ms. Stefanik and Mr. Clay, what would the middle school dances be without the three of you? The support of the guidance counselors, Mrs. Babcock and Mr. Schneberger, our school nurse Mrs. Reynolds, and Diane Oulette supervisor of LMS kitchen all in numerous ways helped the PTO to grow and thrive. The staff, Sue Dore, Katie Whitney, Dawn Emond, Betsy Jacobson and Deb Williams who, among many other things, sent e-mails, printed flyers and kept the calendar straight as the PTO planned events. I certainly cannot forget to thank the maintenance team that so willingly set up, and cleaned up after many an event, and may I add always did so with a smile. The administrative team Mr. Ennis, Mrs. Sottak, former principal Mr. McCollum and current principal Mr. Johnson, I do not know how each of you managed to be at so many school events to support LMS, but you did. Thank you for showing your support and dedication both during the school day and at numerous after school activities. Furthermore, it was not unusual to see our retired or current superintendent, Mr. Champlin and Mrs. Forsten, respectively support the LMS PTO events for the children and their families.
So many community members, local organizations and businesses even in these challenging times gave so generously of their resources and time. Although there are too many to list individually, there are a few that deserve recognition for consistently and wholeheartedly supporting our schools and children: The Laconia Police Department — Chief Adams, Officer Orton, Lt. Lessard and Detective Noyes; Patrick's Pub and Eatery; Lakes Region Santa Fund and Better Together.
Finally, I cannot forget to mention the children themselves! We should be very proud of the youth at LMS. So often today, the media can portray youth as uninvolved, uncaring and self-centered. That was not my experience! Whether it was babysitting younger children at the PTO meetings, helping to set up for Teacher and Staff Appreciation Breakfast, working the bake sale tables, decorating at events, helping out at the Bow Wow Fest, caroling at local nursing homes, or fundraising for friends in need, the students were always eagerly helping out with a good attitude and a beaming smile. I found the children to be respectful, caring, helpful, funny, engaging and overall a very talented and enthusiastic group of children. As our celebratory cakes at LMS say, 'LMS is the Best!'
Before having the opportunity to chair LMS PTO I believed Laconia to be a special community and one that cared deeply for its youth, now I know that to be true! Like all other communities, we have our issues and problems to solve! However, unlike many other communities Laconia's treasure is in the enormous number of people, organizations and businesses that truly care, get involved, and make a positive difference in the life of so many children, and their community at large! Way to go Laconia, keep doing great things!
Chair of LMS PTO 2010-2013
Last Updated on Friday, 13 September 2013 11:50
To The Daily Sun,
Oh, the holier-than-thou letters sent in to say how wonderful Bob Kingsbury was! Really, they made me laugh. Try to remember that he ran for office 16 times and was elected once — when everyone was mad at the Democrats! And the letter from Josh Youssef — determined to have violated the Provisions for Purity of Elections by the Attorney General — oh yes, Josh was just appalled! So many appalled self- righteous people.
I will never forget sitting next to Bob Kingsbury at a legislative breakfast. He told me that he knew how to solve the problem of battered/abused women in Laconia. He wanted every woman who filed an order of protection to be given a gun by the state of N.H. He really believed that was a good thing.
Mr. Kingsbury was also the man who told the Belknap County Convention that research he'd been conducting for the last 16 years had led him to believe that kindergarten programs lead to higher crime rates. He sponsored a failed effort to tie future state legislation to the Magna Carta. He tried to push a bill partially ending the direct election of U.S. senators.
So yes, Mr Kingsbury always comported himself as a gentleman and his service to our country was exemplary. The end.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 September 2013 11:45
To The Daily Sun,
Some wondered if anyone with Bob Kingsbury's ideas should serve in public office. It is true that some of Bob's ideas seem anachronistic, and many are rare in our times. But the abandonment of these ideas, the ideas which enabled America's greatness and unimagined prosperity for most Americans, has led to many of today's problems.
Many liberal/progressive politicians think they know how others should live, how they should think, and what they should be allowed to say. To gain power they deceive the public because they often intend to govern against the people's wishes and best interests (e.g., Obamacare). And all too often politicians use their positions for their own personal gain.
Bob believed in honesty, in fulfilling his promises, in the rule of law equally applied, and in constitutionally limited government. Bob believed that the purpose of American government is to empower the people, not to empower government, and certainly not to empower and enrich politicians.
Unfortunately the proven ideas that Bob advocated have been increasingly abandoned since WWII as progressive promises of government benevolence have lured many voters. The result of progressive policies is loss of jobs, opportunities, wealth and freedom; increased crime, enormous government waste, a poor, but costly, education system, an increasing number of Americans unnecessarily trapped in poverty, and the immoral passing of our huge national debt to future generations who will suffer because of our gullibility and selfishness.
Liberal and progressive politicians and their friends have gained power, and often wealth, by promoting the idea that everyone deserves to live well as a result of other people's hard work. But everywhere their enticing ideas have been tried, they reduce the jobs, opportunities, wealth, and freedom for most people... just as they are doing here.
Combat taught Bob Kingsbury the high cost of liberty. Bob lived the military motto, "Duty, Honor, Country." Bob advocated for the time-tested principles that result in better lives for Americans: Constitutionally limited government, rule of law, private property rights, capitalism, and morality. Our country, our prosperity, and freedom here and abroad depend on more people and more politicians fighting for and re-implementing these principles.
Bob Kingbury faithfully served his country in war and in peace. He is a great example for the rest of us. He will be missed.
Last Updated on Friday, 13 September 2013 11:41
Here's how the Obama folks have been starting to spin Syria. The president made a credible threat to use military force in Syria. At the same time, he worked behind the scenes to get Russia's Vladimir Putin to push Bashir al-Assad to give up chemical weapons.
These two seemingly discordant initiatives, brilliantly coordinated, combined to produce a process to eliminate Assad's chemical weapons without even a shot being fired across the bow.
Of course, every bit of this is false. Only the most credulous Obama fans are fooled.
Back on Aug. 20, 2012, in response to an intelligent question from NBC's Chuck Todd, the president said that the use of chemical weapons by Syria would be a "red line" that would "change my calculus."
That's a threat to go to war. As the Washington Post's Walter Pincus points out, once a president declares a red line, he should be prepared to back it up. He should order military contingency plans, consult with members of Congress and seek support from foreign governments.
There is no evidence that Obama did any of these things in a serious or sustained way in the 366 days between his red-line statement and the use of chemical weapons in the suburbs of Damascus — not even after British and French intelligence reported the use of chemical weapons last spring.
Then during the week of Aug. 26-30, leaks poured out from the administration that Obama would order air strikes in Syria, but only little ones. Regime change was off the table.
On Friday night before the Labor Day weekend, Obama suddenly decided, during a walk in the White House grounds, to seek congressional approval.
Were any soundings taken of congressional opinion before that decision? It doesn't seem likely.
Even the slightest pulse-taking would have suggested that getting majority approval would be difficult in a House of Representatives where most Republicans mistrust the president and most Democrats are congenitally dovish.
Especially when public opinion strongly opposed any military intervention.
Attempts to propitiate Democrats by stressing that air strikes would be only a pinprick inevitably repelled Republicans willing to support only measures that would weaken or dislodge the Assad regime.
After Labor Day, as media vote counts started showing a majority of House members voting or leaning no, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who accompanied Obama on his Friday night walk, was still predicting that the administration would prevail. That was either insincere or delusional.
The claim that the Russians agreed to push Syria on chemical weapons only because Obama threatened to use force requires a belief they thought he would do so after an adverse congressional vote. Not likely.
Nor is it likely that John Kerry's statement in his Monday press conference in London that the attack could be avoided if Syria submitted to international inspections was part of a calculated strategy. Kerry's next words were, "But he isn't about to do it, and it can't be done, obviously."
Kerry was winging it, and so was Obama when he spoke favorably of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's offer to push Syria to give up its poison gas.
So the president's Wednesday night speech included words supporting military action and other words explaining that it wasn't necessary.
It can be argued that Obama's decision to hold off on air strikes and negotiate with the Russians is better for the United States in the short run than the other two alternatives on offer — ineffective air strikes or a landslide repudiation of the commander in chief by Congress.
But in the long run, it's a terrible setback for America.
Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger muscled the Soviet Union out of Middle East diplomacy back in 1973. In the 40 years since, American presidents have kept the Russians out.
Now they're back in. A nation with a declining population, a weakened military and an economy propped up only by oil and gas exports has suddenly made itself the key interlocutor in the region.
Obama has allowed this even though it's obvious that effective disarmament is impossible in a nation riven by civil war and ruled by a regime with every incentive and inclination to lie and conceal.
The negotiations and any fig-leaf inspection process can be dragged out for weeks, months and years, as Saddam Hussein demonstrated.
Obama said he hoped to degrade Syria's chemical weapons program. Instead he has degraded his own — and America's — credibility.
(Syndicated columnist Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 December 1969 07:00