Rep. Robert Fisher - Official statement regarding claims by Daily Beast

I'm sure many of you have been looking for a response to the allegations that hit the news this week. So I decided to take a little time and address a few very large misquotes and falsehoods that managed to sneak by the Daily Beast's editor (if they have one).
Some may be wondering if I plan to step down after uttering such terrible phrases. Some might be thinking, "but wait a second, I know Robbie and he's no rapist. Did he really say these things?"
Still others have decided to answer the call of action made by the hit piece and defend women's honor by threatening and harassing my girlfriend. The irony is palpable.
The question is, did I really say any of this?
Let's start by getting the big quote out of the way. This thing has been made into a meme and passed around Facebook and looks pretty bad. If it were true, I'd agree it looks bad.
"I'm going to say it. Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really."
This is, justifiably, what many consider the most egregious quote. Don't I have sisters and a mother or some sort of moral compass? The media says NO!
But friends and family have contacted me to assure me I didn't become a rapist over night. I feel like I should listen to them. What was the context of that statement?
It was a debate about absolute truth that was recurring on my forums back in '08. The default position for most on the aptly dubbed "gripe corner" was devil's advocate, which made for lively debate. (Unrelated bits removed for brevity, but you can read the full source here:
"Satan: What is truth? — Pontius Pilate [John 18:38]
Applegoogle: Eh, my economics teacher thinks there is absolute truth, only because of certain in arguable things, like the act of rape. No conscionable person would say rape is good, let alone occasionally, as temporary truth implies ...
Riev_Mordred: Well, unfortunately [Applegoogle], rape is neither good nor bad. Nihilism wins this argument for the masses! (Or, just me) ...
FredFredrickson: I'm going to say it — Rape isn't an absolute bad, because the rapist I think probably likes it a lot. I think he'd say it's quite good, really.
Applegoogle: Hmm, never thought about it like that. I concede my point, even though I never made it truly my own opinion. Still, if I'm not mistaken, the rapist is thinking negatively or ridiculously selfishly. I might be wrong, because I'm a bit tired, but I'm gonna explore the possibility that it still makes it an absolute wrong.
Spike: The act of rape is wrong as a rule of thumb, but it is true that the rapist may enjoy it. Otherwise he wouldn't do it. ...
Spoonman: Maybe there are non-utilitarian theories of ethics (gasp!)"

Later on I write:
"FredFredrickson: We're discussing the concept of an absolute truth, and relativity — neither of which have anything to do with smoking and raping — and our actual opinions of them. These are hypothetical examples to try to support or dismiss theories."

And further down on page 8:
"FredFredrickson: ... I think rape is bad, I'm not arguing for it. I'm arguing against the idea of an absolute truth ..."

As it turns out, context is very important when quoting somebody. I suspect they teach it in journalism courses, but it seems like it should be basic common sense.
A lot of people have called for my head without an ounce of comprehension of the context of this quote, including Speaker Jasper, but that's okay. I don't blame them. I blame the failing school system.
But that wasn't the only quote.
"He blasted women for their 'sub-par intelligence.' He said that women's personalities are "lackluster and boring, serving little purpose in day to day life.'"

It may come as a surprise to you that an early twenty-something thinks he's very smart, but let's just delve into the context of this, just before this quote.
"I grew up in a family with four very smart sisters and a very intelligent mom. I grew up with the understanding that women are communicative, direct, intelligent, and honest.
When I grew up and started dating, that's about where the delusion began to hit reality."

Sure, my experience would eventually lead me to discover that all is not lost in the bleak world of dating, as I'm in a very happy relationship today. But my god did it suck when I realized just how high of a bar my family set for my expectations, with no preparation for the eventual realization that most people won't be what you expect.
And you can hit me over the head with a fedora and call me a neckbeard, but I thought I had the whole spectrum of women figured out after a few bad dates.
I'm sure many of you are thinking a lot of men make pretty lousy dates as well, why did I single out women? Simply put, I've never dated a man. My brother, who is gay, says that the dating scene is pretty difficult with men as well. I'll have to take his word for it.
"It is literally the (female) body that makes enduring these things worth it,"

I'm attracted to women, I can't help it, I was born this way.
Dating is a slog, and anybody who doesn't admit that either doesn't know/remember what it's like to date in the 21st Century, or they're lying. It's obvious that men and women's selection of dates is based heavily on physical features. To deny this is naive at best and delusional at worst. Personality is important, nobody disagrees with this. But you have to be attracted first.
You've got to kiss a few frogs before you find a princess, and I did. Then complained on the internet about it.
"Pk_atheist admitted in December 2012 to supposedly video-taping sexual encounters with women in order to protect against false rape allegations."

I never taped a sexual encounter, though I have often considered that it may be the best, or only, form of protection for men to prevent false rape accusations. I assume there's a legal way to do it with proper notices and consent forms, but I never got around to researching it.
Obviously my fear of the rate of false accusations was fresh in my memory, as I had lived through the nightmare once before. But if you spend the time to explore the topic you discover that the reality is harrowing.
You're in a room alone with somebody else, and all you have is he-said-she-said testimony if somebody claims something went wrong. My experience with these situations is that people tend not to care what he said. Look no further than the public's reaction to what she said about me at the Daily Beast, and you'll see what I'm saying.
And finally, my favorite quote:
"Dude, I'm attractive and a businessman. I own a small empire. I'm also running for political office, and I'm incredibly outgoing ... And this site (OkCupid) files me in next to millions of other guys. Obviously I'm going to have more luck IRL,"
I have to ask ... why did she (the author) leave out my budding kazoo career?
In reality, online dating sucks, and I wouldn't wish the experience on my enemies. Did I over-estimate my value on dating sites? Hard to answer. Some may say I didn't go far enough. I never even tried piano key neckties.
The thing is, my friends and family know full well I'm not in favor of rape. It's such an absurd position, I'm actually surprised anybody bought into it. It's a shame that people like Speaker Jasper rather believe the agenda-driven blogger than look into a simple source and realize he had been duped.
It's sadder still that people think this means it's now okay to direct threats of violence and harassment towards me, or even more troubling, my family, friends or girlfriend.
I think we've had enough of this game. The only power proselytizers have over you is what you give them. I'm not interested in letting manufactured moral outrage over some out-of-context non-quotes dictate whether I'm going to do my job in Concord.
I'm going to continue fighting for what I believe in. Smaller government, lower taxes, more liberty, gay, straight, and transgender rights, (yes, for all my supposed small mindedness and misogyny, I'm firmly pro LGBT) and family court reform.
For those of you who read this entire thing to see my resignation, sorry to disappoint.

(Republican Robert Fisher represents Laconia and Belmont in the N.H. House of Representatives.)

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Pat Buchanan - The last man of yesterday?

For the French establishment, Sunday's presidential election came close to a near-death experience. As the Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo, it was a "damn near-run thing."

Neither candidate of the two major parties that have ruled France since Charles De Gaulle even made it into the runoff, an astonishing repudiation of France's national elite.

Marine Le Pen of the National Front ran second with 21.5 percent of the vote. Emmanuel Macron of the new party En Marche! won 23.8 percent.

Macron is a heavy favorite on May 7. The Republicans' Francois Fillon, who got 20 percent, and the Socialists' Benoit Hamon, who got less than 7 percent, both have urged their supporters to save France by backing Macron.

Ominously for U.S. ties, 61 percent of French voters chose Le Pen, Fillon or radical Socialist Jean-Luc Melenchon. All favor looser ties to America and repairing relations with Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Le Pen has a mountain to climb to win, but she is clearly the favorite of the president of Russia, and perhaps of the president of the United States. Last week, Donald Trump volunteered: "She's the strongest on borders, and she's the strongest on what's been going on in France. ... Whoever is the toughest on radical Islamic terrorism, and whoever is the toughest at the borders, will do well in the election."

As an indicator of historic trends in France, Le Pen seems likely to win twice the 18 percent her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, won in 2002, when he lost in the runoff to Jacques Chirac.

The campaign between now and May 7, however, could make the Trump-Clinton race look like an altarpiece of democratic decorum.

Not only are the differences between the candidates stark, Le Pen has every incentive to attack to solidify her base and lay down a predicate for the future failure of a Macron government. And Macron is vulnerable. He won because he is fresh, young, 39, and appealed to French youth as the anti-Le Pen. A personification of Robert Redford in "The Candidate."

But he has no established party behind him to take over the government, and he is an ex-Rothschild banker in a populist environment where bankers are as welcome as hedge-fund managers at a Bernie Sanders rally. He is a pro-EU, open-borders transnationalist who welcomes new immigrants and suggests that acts of Islamist terrorism may be the price France must pay for a multiethnic and multicultural society.

Macron was for a year economic minister to President Francois Hollande who has presided over a 10 percent unemployment rate and a growth rate that is among the most anemic in the entire European Union. He is offering corporate tax cuts and a reduction in the size of a government that consumes 56 percent of GDP, and presents himself as the "president of patriots to face the threat of nationalists."

His campaign is as much "us vs. them" as Le Pen's.

And elite enthusiasm for Macron seems less rooted in any anticipation of future greatness than in the desperate hope he can save the French establishment from the dreaded prospect of Marine. But if Macron is the present, who owns the future?

Across Europe, as in France, center-left and center-right parties that have been on the scene since World War II appear to be emptying out like dying churches. The enthusiasm and energy seem to be in the new parties of left and right, of secessionism and nationalism.

The problem for those who believe the populist movements of Europe have passed their apogee, with losses in Holland, Austria and, soon, France, that the fever has broken, is that the causes of the discontent that spawned these parties are growing stronger.

What are those causes?

A growing desire by peoples everywhere to reclaim their national sovereignty and identity, and remain who they are. And the threats to ethnic and national identity are not receding, but growing.

The tide of refugees from the Middle East and Africa has not abated. Weekly, we read of hundreds drowning in sunken boats that tried to reach Europe. Thousands make it. But the assimilation of Third World peoples in Europe is not proceeding. It seems to have halted.

Second-generation Muslims who have lived all their lives in Europe are turning up among the suicide bombers and terrorists.

Fifteen years ago, al-Qaida seemed confined to Afghanistan. Now it is all over the Middle East, as is ISIS, and calls for Islamists in Europe to murder Europeans inundate social media.

As the numbers of native-born Europeans begin to fall, with their anemic fertility rates, will the aging Europeans become more magnanimous toward destitute newcomers who do not speak the national language or assimilate into the national culture, but consume its benefits?

If a referendum were held across Europe today, asking whether the mass migrations from the former colonies of Africa and the Middle East have on balance made Europe a happier and better place to live in in recent decades, what would that secret ballot reveal?

Does Macron really represent the future of France, or is he perhaps one of the last men of yesterday?

(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.)


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Bob Meade - Your party or your country . . . you choose

I must admit that my tolerance of those on the left who are in a continuing hissy-fit over the election of President Trump is wearing a bit thin. In my lifetime, there has never been an election that has drawn the rancor of even a fraction of the citizenry that has been exhibited since November 9, 2016 . . . and it is continuing. Across the country, a large number of violent protests are taking place on a recurring basis. Citizens are being threatened and injured by participants in those "orchestrated" riots. Far too many "academics" have been caught on camera inciting the anarchistic events. Universities have been complicit and in many cases have done nothing to prevent the riots. Campus and, in some cases, local police are told to do nothing to prevent the rioting, burning, looting, and personal injuries that are taking place. In my view, those involved in orchestrating and participating in these protests are putting our republic at risk.

In looking and listening to what many on the left have been doing and saying, it appears that there are a few issues that need to be addressed. First, we need to recognize that the only requirements our founders put in the Constitution concerning eligibility to run for the presidency are contained in paragraph five of Article II: "No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States."

Did you notice that it said nothing about race or ethnicity? Or gender? Or level of education? Or the necessity for any particular type of training? Or political experience? It doesn't even say the person must be a "nice guy" or a "nice woman." Just like the Almighty gave Adam and Eve "free will," our founders gave each of us the same courtesy . . . the free will to choose whomever we want. And, importantly, they didn't write into the Constitution that if you didn't like the outcome it's okay to throw a hissy-fit and destroy our republic.

And, before you voice your "We won the popular vote mantra," just remember that there probably would not have been, nor would there be, a United States of America without agreement on the electoral college. The founders knew that in order to avoid the "tyranny of the majority," the smaller states would have to have a voice. For that reason, each state was given two Senators, regardless of their population. Add to that, there are 435 congressional representatives from the states, plus three from D.C., for a total of 538. That is the total number of electors in the Electoral College. If you divide 538 by two, the result is 269. Therefore, in order to elect a president, a majority of at least 270 Electoral College votes is needed.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is some of the incivility being generated by many on the left who routinely engage in name calling. To me, that often indicates the speaker/writer is substituting name-calling because of a lack of a cogent argument. What follows are the definitions for some of the words that are used the most to describe the president and his followers:

Xenophobe: one unduly fearful of what is foreign and especially of people of foreign origin.

Bigot: intolerant person — somebody with strong opinions, especially on politics, religion, or ethnicity, who refuses to accept different views.

Misogynist: hatred of women.

Mean: unkind — unkind or malicious, or, bad tempered — behaving in an angry, often violent way

Sociopath (sic) (Psychopath): somebody affected with a personality disorder marked by violent, antisocial thought and behavior and a lack of remorse or empathy.

And recently, the president was also called these:

A Narcissist: excessive self-admiration and self-centeredness.

An Obscenity: indecency — offensiveness to conventional standards of decency, especially as a result of sexual explicitness.

An Imposter: somebody who pretends to be another — somebody who makes false claims of identity.

And, there was also one local who claimed that those who were for the president were/are ignorant, while those who were against him were/are knowledgeable. (Oy Vey!)

To this point, I believe those on the right have shown a great deal of restraint. But, as long as those on the left continue to persist in their hissy-fit, the deeper the divide will get as it may well generate a response that will not benefit anyone but may put our Republic at risk.

It's time to stop the name calling and the rioting and put the country before your party.

(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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Froma Harrop - What it means to be truly liberal on abortion

Donald Trump has mastered the authoritarian act, and that's how he attracted his brigade of humble followers. Some on the left seem to envy this ability to force obedience through threats and attacks. But that approach doesn't work on issue-oriented voters, doubly so on matters requiring nuance. Abortion is one such issue.

Thus, one cannot fathom the ongoing crusade by abortion rights activists to crush Heath Mello, a moderate Democrat running for mayor of Omaha. NARAL Pro-Choice America, it seems, would rather punish a Democrat straying from its dictates than defeat a more resolutely anti-choice Republican.

Democrats have this self-defeating habit of sabotaging otherwise progressive candidates who dissent from some base group's orthodoxy. Bernie Sanders and friends relentlessly beat up Hillary Clinton over minor differences in economic policy. It may be ironic that Sanders is now supporting Mello despite the Nebraskan's mixed feelings on abortion, but he is right this time.

What makes NARAL's assault on Mello truly bizarre is that it is beyond unfair. Mello is not anti-choice. (Lazy headline writers, take note.)

Mello says he doesn't approve of abortion on religious grounds but as mayor "would never do anything to restrict access to reproductive health care." This position is identical to that of the late New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, an exemplary progressive who never curbed abortion rights while in office.

One rap against Mello is that as a state senator, he sponsored a bill setting a 20-week limit for women seeking an abortion with no questions asked. That is not a ban on abortion. In this country, nearly 99 percent of abortions are done before 21 weeks.

Here's another reality check: In Germany, Belgium, Denmark and France, abortion without restrictions is limited to the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. In Sweden, it's 18 weeks. No one accuses these countries of being anti-choice. Their governments also pay for abortions, something ours should do, as well.

Of more concern, Mello backed a bill requiring that women be told that they could see a fetal ultrasound before having an abortion. That would seem a government intrusion on a private decision, but there's no forcing any woman to look at anything.

The liberal website Daily Kos meekly withdrew its endorsement of Mello over the ultrasound issue. So exactly whom are its writers endorsing? Put another way, do they see a difference between Mello and his far more anti-choice opponent?

National polls show widespread support for a basic right to abortion but also interest in adding restrictions. The prominent Nebraska Democrat Jane Kleeb, a strong Mello supporter, tries to explain that many Democrats she knows are troubled by abortion. In this part of the country, you elect either a Democrat like Mello or a Republican.

Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania are Democrats opposed to abortion. Do liberals want them replaced by Republicans who can't even get straight on the matter of covering contraceptives?

Let me make my view clear: Access to an early abortion should be part of a well-developed set of reproductive health services. And any restrictions must make room for those rare situations when something goes dreadfully wrong later in a pregnancy.

Clinton was careful never to frame abortion as a casual thing. NARAL itself took the word "abortion" out of its official name, preferring the emphasis to be on choice.

It's therefore curious to see Democrats tormenting good candidates over small deviations in doctrine. On the complex issue of abortion, real liberals give wide latitude to other opinions. The ultimate question for single-minded activists is, Do you want to run the country or just the Democratic Party?

(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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Rep. David O. Huot - Common sense & logic need not apply

Common sense and logic are on the wane when it comes to Belknap County government. On March 21, the Belknap County Convention adopted a budget which failed to fund the operation of the Sheriff's Department at a level that would permit it to perform the constitutional duties of the sheriff. It also failed to fund the operation of the Department of Corrections at a level which would permit the safe operation of the new, eight million dollar Community Corrections Center.

Now, some members of the county convention want the nine communities which make some use of the sheriff's dispatch center, to pay the county for it. While that might sound logical, trying to figure out how much each community must pay is a nightmare. A proposal by one of the county commissioners has the sound of simplicity, but, the county budget is the obligation of ALL the communities in the county. So, if you're going to charge one town for part of it, you have to know how much impact that town's requirements have on the service.

As noted, one commissioner proposed that the communities that use the sheriff's dispatch all the time should each pay $20,000 and the others, $6,000. That comes to about $138,000, which is just a little more than the amount the convention cut from the sheriff's budget. True, dispatching probably isn't part of the sheriff's constitutional duties, but the cut to the dispatch service was for one dispatcher ($50,173.08 including benefits and taxes) and overtime. About all the rest of it is for a full-time deputy sheriff the convention wants to (but doesn't have authority to) eliminate. That person performs duties which are part of the constitutional authority of the sheriff, for which the Supreme Court has ruled the county is obligated to pay. The WHOLE county.

On April Fool's Day, The Laconia Daily Sun published a tongue-in-cheek article, replete with pictures, sending up the proposal to build the new County Community Corrections Center, but not open it, because the county convention wouldn't fund the operating expense. It was really funny. If only the role the center is designed to play wasn't so critical to the safety of our communities, and turning around the lives of many who are sent there. Not many would object to paying the few dollars of their tax bill to keep the county a place where people want to come and live, raise their children, work, open businesses, enjoy the beauty and recreation we offer, and have an active retirement.

Belknap County, like the rest of the counties and all the cities, towns and school districts except Manchester, uses the state retirement system. It works a little like Social Security. The employee pays a percentage of pay and the employer pays a share. Up until 2016, 25 percent of the employer' share was paid by the state because of an agreement it made when the municipalities agreed to use the state system. That was eliminated by a law passed in 2011.

This year HB-413 was introduced to have the state pay 15 percent. Well, the county convention figured that applied to all employees and so it estimated $290,810 as revenue. Two problems: 1. It only covers the sheriff's and corrections' law enforcement payrolls. (about $75,000) 2. The bill didn't pass. It passed the House but had to then go through the House Finance Committee — which retained the bill (it won't come up again until next year, if at all) and didn't include the money in the budget (which didn't pass). Even if the Senate includes it in its version of the budget, it still leaves the county over $200,000 short on the revenue side.

Nobody ever said this was going to be easy!

(Democrat David O. Huot represents Laconia in the N.H. House of Representatives.)

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