Bob Meade - It's up to the people . . .

I am sympathetic to the concerns for the Palestinian people. However, as Thomas Jefferson opined, "People get the government they deserve."

The Israelis have been under attack or siege ever since they signed U.N Resolution 181 in 1948. They have attempted to resolve the issues peaceably a number of times but have been rebuffed at every turn. The United Nations has been both feckless and anti-Semitic throughout.

Virtually nothing was done to Jordan when it captured and took control of the city of Jerusalem in the 1948 war. The Israelis had agreed to the provision in Resolution 181 that Jerusalem was to be an international city under the control of the U.N. During the war in 1967, Israel won back that city and a significant amount of other territory. After the war, the Israelis chose not to give back captured territories unless the Arab forces would agree to Israel's right to exist and promise not to continue attacking. The Arabs refused. To this day, the Arab position as stated, is to eliminate all the Jewish people.

After World War I, England was put in charge of the "Palestinian Protectorate" — the Palestinian Territory. After World War II, the United Nations was charged with equitably dividing that territory among its groups of inhabitants . . . Jordanians, Israelis, and the remaining Arabs, now commonly referred to as Palestinians. To that end, the U.N. General Assembly developed Resolution 181. The Jews accepted the resolution and declared their independence on May 14, 1948. They were then attacked by troops from Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Yemen, the Sudan, and Egypt.

The fighting continued until February 1949 when Egypt, Lebanon, Transjordan, and Syria agreed to formal armistice lines. The result of the fighting was that Israel gained some territory formerly granted to the Palestinian Arabs under the U.N. resolution in 1947. Jordan gained control over East Jerusalem and the West Bank and Egypt controlled the Gaza strip.

The armistice lines held until 1967. It was then, on June 5, Israeli forces attacked the forces from Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and Algeria which had joined together to attack Israel. Six days later, the United Nations brokered a cease-fire to end the war. By that time, Israel had almost doubled its size with the captured territories it had won in the battle, including East Jerusalem. The U.N. asked the Israelis to return the captured properties but their request was denied. Israel said it would return Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai in exchange for Arab recognition of the right of Israel to exist and guarantees against future attack. The Arab States refused, choosing a policy of no peace, no negotiation, and no recognition of Israel.

"The UN adopted Resolution 242 in late November 1967, five months after the Six-Day War ended. It took that long because intense and deliberate negotiations were needed to carefully craft a document that met the Arabs' demand for a return of land, and Israel's requirement that the Arabs recognize Israel's legitimacy, to make a lasting peace. It also took that long because each word in the resolution was deliberately chosen, and certain words were deliberately omitted, according to negotiators who drafted the resolution.

So, although Arab officials claim Resolution 242 requires Israel to withdraw from all territory it captured in June 1967, nowhere in the resolution is that demand delineated. Nor did those involved in the negotiations and drafting of the resolution want such a requirement. Instead, they say Resolution 242 explicitly and intentionally omitted the terms "the territories" or "all territories."

Because the Arabs were clearly the aggressors, nowhere in Resolution 242 is Israel branded as an invader or unlawful occupier of the territories. The wording of Resolution 242 clearly reflects the contention that none of the territories was occupied territory taken by force in an unjust war.

Given that the Palestinian Arabs never had sovereignty over the West Bank and East Jerusalem and Jordan had seized them illegally in 1948, Professor, Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, former president of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, concluded: "State [Israel] acting in lawful exercise of its right of self-defense may seize and occupy foreign territory as long as such seizure and occupation are necessary to its self-defense. ... Where the prior holder [Jordan] of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense [Israel] has, against that prior holder, better title.

"As between Israel, reacting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem, than do Jordan and Egypt."
(http://www.2nd-thoughts.org/id248.html. See also id162 and id91)
Professor Julius Stone, a leading authority on the Law of Nations, has concurred, further clarifying: "Territorial Rights Under International Law. ... By their [Arab countries] armed attacks against the State of Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973, and by various acts of belligerency throughout this period, these Arab states flouted their basic obligations as United Nations members to refrain from threat or use of force against Israel's territorial integrity and political independence. ..."

(The above seven paragraph quote was taken from this link: http://www.think-israel.org/hertz.unresolutions181and242.html)

On Dec. 23, 2016, the United States did not veto U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which specifies actions
against Israel that it (the U.S.) had vetoed in past resolutions. The resolution essentially aims to strip Israel of its territorial rights and arbitrarily awards the Palestinian Arabs with territories rightfully claimed by Israel. It can only be labeled what it is: an anti-Semitic ruling tacitly encouraged and endorsed by the current administration.

Israel has repeatedly shown a willingness to negotiate for a fair and lasting peace. The Arab people in the Middle East, not just those we refer to as Palestinians, need to put pressure on their leaders to work toward peace, not a continuing war. As Jefferson said, people get the government they deserve.

(Bob Meade is a Laconia resident. He may be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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Jim Hightower - Bring those jobs home, Ivanka

It's about time America has a president who will stand up to those greed-headed corporate executives who keep hauling our middle-class jobs out of country. Bring those jobs back home, Donald Trump bellowed, or I'll slap you with a huuuge tariff when you try to sell your foreign-made products here.

Great stuff, Donnie. And to prove you mean business, I know just the CEO you should target first: Her name is Ivanka. Yes, your daughter!

Ivanka's multimillion-dollar line of clothing and accessories are sold through major national retailers, ranging from Macy's to Amazon, and she pitches her Ivanka Trump-branded dresses, handbags, boots, blouses, etc. to America's working women. Yet, practically all of her products are made on the cheap in factories anywhere but America, with most coming from the low-wage bastions of China, Indonesia and Vietnam. Imagine the message it would send to runaway corporations and the integrity it would establish for The Donald if he slapped his first tariffs on Ivanka's goods!

But neither Daddy Trump nor his daughter wants to discuss the embarrassing conflict between his political bluster and her ethic of runaway capitalism. Instead, she's tried to dodge the issue by saying it doesn't matter, since she'll "separate" herself from the business if she becomes a White House advisor.

Nice try, Ivanka, but the stench of hypocrisy will only grow nastier if you're at your father's side while he castigates and punishes other corporations that have absconded from America. The only way to salvage even an iota of moral virtue is to repatriate the manufacturing of your brand-name apparel. And bringing those middle-class jobs home to the good ol' US of A would also make a powerful political statement.

But no, showing that money trumps both political savvy and the morality of simply doing what's right, Ivanka says her corporate brand will stay offshore. As a spokeswoman put it: "We want to make responsible business decisions."

Really? How does that "Make America Great Again?"

But take heed, for I have good news, folks : our new president says he's planning a tax holiday for you!

Well... not directly for you. Trump's trillion-dollar whopper of a tax break will go to only a handful of multinational corporations, such as Apple, GE, Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft. However, Trump and Congress will push for cuts in your name, insisting that the trickle-down effect will be to create thousands of new jobs for America's hard-hit working stiffs.

Here's the deal: The giants of Big Pharma, Silicon Valley and other global industries have dodged paying the taxes they owe to our country by stashing about $2-trillion worth of their profits in offshore bank accounts. Now they want to bring this pile of loot back here to their homeland — yet they want to be rewarded for doing so by having the taxes they owe to us slashed. Enter The Donald, who has delighted those scofflaws by offering a better deal than even they'd proposed: an income tax rate of only 10 percent, versus the 30 percent you and I pay for America's upkeep. Trust me, exclaims The Donald. They'll expand their business here and generate jobs for you!

I was born at night, but it wasn't last night. We've been suckered with this tax holiday scam before. In 2004, George W. Bush pulled it on us — and instead of creating jobs, the corporate tax-dodgers eliminated thousands more of our jobs!

Why'd that happen? Because they put their "repatriated" profits not into expanding business, but by buying back their corporation's stock, which jacks up the payout to top executives and the richest shareholders, and by shrinking the number of businesses by buying up competitors and firing duplicate workforces.

The way to know whether or not Trump's tax holiday will benefit workers is to see if it requires that corporations actually create the thousands of good jobs promised before they get the tax break. Anything less is just another swindle.

(Jim Hightower has been called American's most popular populist. The radio commentator and former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture is author of seven books, including "There's Nothing In the Middle of Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos" and his new work, "Swim Against the Current: Even Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow".)

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Lakes Region Hiking — Ancient pines of the Hemenway State Forest

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The village of Tamworth from the pastures of the Remick Farm

By Gordon DuBois

Throughout the world ancient forests are disappearing, being devastated by man, for economic gain. These age-old forests are being destroyed every day to supply cheap lumber, paper, pulp and palm oil to the world. Thousands of acres are cut daily, extinguishing the last remnants of woodlands that in some cases are more than 1,000 years old. In the United States, pockets of ancient forests have been protected from the modern industrial machine. Forests have been preserved in our National Parks and Monuments, state forests and parks. Private individuals, conservation groups and nonprofit agencies such as the Nature Conservancy have played a major role in preservation of our ancient woods. These protected forests can be found throughout the United States: the giant sequoia in California, the redwoods in Oregon, the bristle cone pine in California, the cypress in Florida.

Here in New Hampshire we have our own protected ancient forests, small but worthy of protection: the red spruce in Nancy Pond Natural Area, pitch pine-scrub oak in the Ossipee Pine Barrens, hemlock in Chesterfield Gorge and Pisgah State Park and black gum. The black gum tree is apparently the longest-lived broadleaf deciduous tree in North America. Six sites have been documented in New Hampshire that have black gum trees older than 500 years, with the oldest individual at one of these sites exceeding 679 years in Rockingham County.

Close to the Lakes Region is the Big Pines Natural Area of the Hemenway State Forest. These 108 acres of protected forest represents one of the last visages of the old growth forests of white pine that covered the northeastern United States. Within the past 200 years, most of the forestland has been cut for farming and logging. For some unknown reason this stand and others in the northeast escaped the woodsman's ax. These behemoths have not only withstood the colonial mast trade, but the great lumbering era, survived the great hurricane of 1938, disease, rot and invasive pests.

For many years I had driven by the Hemenway State Forest. It had always been of interest to me. Then a friend suggested a hike through the woodland and I accepted. I started the hike with several other hiking companions at the Big Pines trail head, off route 113A in Tamworth. When we entered the Hemenway State Forest I was struck by the towering and immense stand of white pines that have been around for more than 200 years. Hemlocks 250 to 300 years also grow here. The trail was well packed and it was an easy stroll with micro spikes, stopping to admire the many gigantic pines, some more than 150 feet in height. We craned our necks looking toward the sky, trying to see the upper reaches of these trees. We stopped in front of one monstrous white pine and were awestruck by the circumference of the trunk. We then made a chain of human hands around the tree and it took 5 of us to totally encircle the tree, amazing.

We continued our walk through the ancient forest and then began the ascent of Tower Hill, a steep climb to this height of land with views of the surrounding terrain. A fire tower graces the summit, still maintained by the Tamworth Conservation Commission. We climbed to the top of the tower and entered the fire warden's cabin to find spectacular views of the Ossipee and Sandwich Mountain Ranges. In the distance, Whiteface, Passaconaway, Square Ledge and Chocorua gleamed in the bright sun.

As I gazed at Chocorua, with its distinctive summit, I thought of the Native American legend, "The Curse of Chocorua." As legend has it, in 1720 Chocorua, a native chief, was on friendly terms with settlers and in particular the Campbell family that had a home in the village now called Tamworth. Chocorua was called away and left his son in the care of the Campbell family, early settlers in the village. Chocorua's son found and drank a poison that Mr. Campbell had made to eliminate troublesome foxes. When Chocorua returned he found his son had died of the poison. Chocorua, distraught with grief, pledged revenge on the Campbell family. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Campbell returned home one afternoon to find his wife and children had been slain. Campbell suspected Chocorua and pursued him up the mountain that today bears his name. Chocorua was wounded by a shot from Campbell's musket. Before Campbell could reach Chocorua, he uttered a curse upon the white settlers and their homes, livestock, and crops, and leapt from the summit to his death, screaming these words, "May the Great Spirit curse you when he speaks in the clouds and his words are fire! Lightning blast your crops! Wind and fire destroy your homes! The Evil One breathe death on your cattle! Panthers howl and wolves fatten on your bones!" Given the fact that many early settlers, tired of trying to farm the rock-laden soil, left New Hampshire to find more fertile land further west. Most certainly they sensed the curse of Chocorua.

With that I mind I hustled down the tower and we began our trek back to the highway. We took a side path that led us along a nature trail which identified particular plants and trees of along the pathway. The total distance of this hike was two miles. This would make a terrific outing for a family. The trail is easy to follow as it winds its way through the Big Pines, and eventually leads to Tower Hill with its eponymous fire tower.

Following our exit of the Hemenway State Forest, we made our way back to Tamworth for a respite at the Other Store on Main Street. This general store is very welcoming and sells everything from ice cream to snow shovels, from nails to post cards. We stopped in the store and were greeted by Andrea Kennet, who offered us hot soup and sandwiches. We had lunch, chatted briefly with town folk, learning more about the store and the history of the town. This is one of those quintessential New England towns that appear on the Currier and Ives pictures we see in Yankee Magazine.

Following our lunch we made our way over to the Remick Country Doctor Museum and Farm. We found the farm museum closed, but took advantage of a trail that winds around the property. While walking this trail we found striking views of the farm and Tamworth Village along with Mount Chocorua in the far distance.

Located on Cleveland Hill Road in the center of Tamworth village, this working farm was the home of the Remick family since 1790. Dr. Edwin Remick and his son Dr. Edwin "Doc" Crafts Remick, lived and practiced medicine on the farm for a combined 99 years, serving the rural population of Tamworth and the surrounding area. The museum and farm are open year round, but the best time to visit is during the summer when the livestock – goats, pigs, chickens, sheep and dairy cows  – are grazing in the pastures and willing to greet visitors, especially children. Special programs are offered year-round. If you are interested in learning more about this unique New Hampshire institution check out their web site, remickmuseum.org.

You can find Gordon and his dog Reuben exploring the many hiking trails in the Lakes Region and beyond. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Fire tower at summit of Tower HillRemick Farm

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Michelle Malkin - MTV protesting bigotry by practicing it

It's only the second week of 2017, but it's already been a banner year for preening liberals on cable TV who are hell-bent on self-immolation in the name of proving everyone else's moral inferiority.

To use young people's slang these days, you're "lit," media progressives. But not in a good way.

On Tuesday, just before the confirmation hearing for Attorney General nominee and Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions kicked off, an MTV News reporter demonstrated his high and mighty commitment to racial tolerance ... by mocking Sen. Sessions' half-Asian granddaughter. Sessions' daughter, Ruth, is married to Asian-American John Walk. They have four girls.

Upon spotting Sessions with one of his multiracial granddaughters sitting on his lap as he waited for the proceedings to begin, MTV News "culture writer" Ira Madison III tweeted a photo of them and snarked: "Sessions, sir, kindly return this Asian baby to the Toys 'R' Us you stole her from."

So much for liberals celebrating diversity. So much for Michelle Obama's rallying cry to the left that "our motto is, when they go low, we go high."

Madison sneered that Sessions' granddaughter was a "prop" and that there was "no reason for that child to be in his lap in a hearing other than to send an 'I'm not racist message.'" Even after being informed that the beautiful little girl was Sessions' biological grandchild, Madison continued to attack — accusing conservative critics of having "long used Asian-Americans as 'model minorities' since the rise of the (C)ivil (R)ights (A)ct." He further justified his bigotry by accusing Sen. Sessions of "horrendous anti-black behavior" and snidely dismissed the senator's "love for an Asian family member."

What better way to send an "I'm not racist message" than to double down on the revolting dehumanization of the family members of one's political opponents?

MTV News, which touts itself as the "conversation authority for the millennial audience," has become the Sideshow Bob of the internet. Like the hapless character in "The Simpsons" cartoon series who can't stop stepping on rakes and smashing in his face, this supposed "music" network keeps veering into the social justice lane — and causing bloody self-harm. (Fun fact: bigot Ira Madison, who purports to protest bigotry by practicing it, pens a column called "Delete Your Account," poking fun at social media blunders by public figures.)

Before Christmas, the same MTV News division that employs Madison aired a sanctimonious video titled "2017 Resolutions for White Guys." Reeking of extremist identity politics, a parade of smarmy millennials lectures every last white man on the planet to "try to recognize that America was never great for anyone who wasn't a white guy." While assailing "mansplaining," the cast proceeds to MTVsplain that "Black Lives Matter isn't the opposite of All Lives Matter. (...) Also, Blue Lives Matter isn't a thing."

Swamped by mockery on both sides of the aisle, MTV deleted the condescending video, but apparently not the condescending attitude.

We've seen it before in cable TV news. Former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry indulged in holier-than-thou anti-racism racism when she openly mocked Mitt Romney's black adopted grandson in 2013 and laughed with other MSNBC commentators at a sweet holiday photo of the devout Mormon's large family.

And MSNBC was forced to apologize again in 2014 after conservative multiracial parents, including me, battled the network's vile racism slurring "right-wing" Americans as intolerant of biracial families featured in a Cheerios ad.

Responding to those of us who refused to tolerate their prejudice disguised as tolerance, MSNBC commentator Richard Wolffe insisted at the time: "That's not who we are."

We see you for exactly who you are: flaming hypocrites who can't help themselves. Stay lit!

(Syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin is the daughter of Filipino Immigrants. She was born in Philadelphia, raised in southern New Jersey and now lives with her husband and daughter in Colorado. Her weekly column is carried by more than 100 newspapers.)

 

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Froma Harrop - Obamacare repeal game is a disgrace

The Republican majority in Congress has voted to kill the Affordable Care Act dozens of times. It's done this knowing that President Obama would veto the bill, thus sparing members from the consequences.

So obviously, it was always a game. It was posturing before a public that largely didn't know what Obamacare did for them.

Still, Republicans could have thrown the American people a crumb of respect by saying, "When the day comes, this is what we're going to replace it with." Or, "There's no replacement. We're just going back to the world before Obamacare."

Either response would have been honest. Republicans would have put their cards on the table, exposing their ideas to scrutiny. And importantly, they would have let patients, doctors, hospitals and insurers know what was up and plan for the future.

But that would have ended their game — which has been politics, not governing. Politics is telling people they can get what they want without paying for it. Governing is specifying where the money will come from. Governing, in short, requires work, much of it unpleasant.

In a matter of days, Donald Trump takes over the presidency. He's demanded a repeal of Obamacare on "day one" of his administration. Congressional Republicans still don't have a replacement, so they've designed a new game called "Repeal and Delay."

This game operates under the dubious assumption that you can vote to repeal Obamacare but leave the benefits in place while you come up with a new plan. Or not. Many Republicans back passing a budget bill that strips Obamacare of funding, at which point it all would be over. Some are having second thoughts. Who knows what they'll do.

The uncertainly, meanwhile, is traumatizing the health care system. Insurers are being jolted by a possible meltdown of their markets. Doctors happily adjusted to Obamacare are rattled, while hospitals are already laying off people as a precaution.

A "slow-moving tsunami" is how Heidi Gartland, spokeswoman for University Hospitals in Cleveland, has described an Obamacare repeal. "In the aftermath of the tsunami," she told Politico, "there's devastating loss that we never could have planned for."

And what about the American people? Some 20 million are at risk of losing their health coverage. The group includes large numbers for whom the stakes are extraordinarily high. They're wondering whether they'll be able to contain their chemo treatments or get heart surgery.

If Republicans came out and said that "Obamacare is over, period," the medically needy would at least be able to make their own arrangements — sell the house, file for bankruptcy, rewrite their will. But Republicans haven't done them that minimal courtesy.

Republicans have floated a few vague ideas for replacing Obamacare — that's true — but they've agreed on nothing. The most coherent plan, released earlier this year by House Speaker Paul Ryan, didn't have a price tag on it, so why even bother?

It happens that Obamacare is overall a big success. It has slashed the number of uninsured and moderated health care spending. There are problems, but they are fixable problems. So this "downward spiral" talk is pure propaganda. But take the money away and the downward spiral becomes real.

One of the saddest scenes was thousands of Americans signing up for Obamacare right after Trump won the election. They were like refugees trying to get the last plane out of a war zone.

Every other modern nation guarantees health care as a right of citizenship. Even their conservative leaders don't touch benefits that beat ours by a mile.

This Obamacare repeal game is, at bottom, an insult to the dignity of the American people. Actually, it's a disgrace.

(A member of the Providence Journal editorial board, Froma Harrop writes a nationally syndicated column from that city. She has written for such diverse publications as The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar and Institutional Investor.)

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