Sunday, July 24, 2016

When was America Great?

I believe America has always been great, just never perfect. A work in progress. The Daily Show on Comedy Central did a funny bit ( video below) on the Trump line of making America great ...again. Just when was that time they asked GOP convention goers? No clear consensus.

We've come a long way and we have a long way to go, but the Trump message of dystopia and fear is not the way forward. Most of what he says is either self centered or plays on the fears of his base who ride on every word and hand gesture.
In today's Sunday Monitor, they compared Trump's convention speech with that of Richard Nixon way back in 1968, arguably one of the most divisive times in our history. This one paragraph from Nixon's speech is in stark contrast to Trumps: “The time when one man or a few leaders could save America is gone. We need tonight nothing less than the total commitment and the total mobilization of the American people if we are to succeed. Government can pass laws but respect for law can come only from people who take the law into their hearts and minds and not into their hands.”

These words from the movie " The American President" states it well: ( note that I substituted Donald Trump for the character in the movie)
"We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Donald Trump is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections"

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Northfield Public Works Employee Killed

The employee was injured on the job moving some heavy equipment and died a short time later at the local hospital. A tragic accident and a reminder that Public Works employees are often involved in job related activities that can be dangerous and sometimes involve unforeseen risks.
Whether they are working on the side of the road where they are subject to the dangers of careless drivers, or working with heavy equipment, there is potential for tragedy.
To the public, please be sure to pay close attention when driving past highway workers or driving through the Transfer Station.  To all those who serve us as public works employees, please be careful when doing your jobs and obey all safety rules and procedures.

Friday, July 22, 2016

CIPC Wrapping Up 2017-2022 Six Year Recommended Plan

The CIPC met Thursday morning and will have one more meeting on August 4th to finalize the final report. After that, a public hearing is planned for August 25th at 7pm in Town Hall.
Final program documents are being compiled and checked for accuracy and the overall spreadsheet is being slightly revised to be more user friendly and easier to follow.
This is the sixth year that the CIPC has been in existence since created after a Town Meeting vote in 2009.
 The committee is comprised of five (5) permanent members and two (2) alternates with representation from the Advisory Budget Committee, the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board, and the public At-Large, as well as two (2) Ex-Officio members of Town staff.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

US Code - Section 879: Threats against former Presidents and certain other persons. " Lock him up!"

What an incredibly strange world we live in these days. Case in point, NH House Rep, Al Baldasaro (R) Londonderry telling the world that former First Lady and current Democratic candidate for President, ought to be put on the firing line and executed. Despite calls by his own party to rescind the statement and apologize and from others to resign from the State House, he has so far refused. He told NH1 News today that “I was a veteran long before I was a Republican and I stand by what I said and I’m not changing my views,”
What he and others seem to not be aware of, is that what Baldasaro stated could be criminal ( highlights are mine):

a) Whoever knowingly and willfully threatens to kill, kidnap, or inflict bodily harm upon -
 (1) a former President or a member of the immediate family of a former President;
 (2) a member of the immediate family of the President, the President-elect, the Vice President, or the Vice President-elect;
(3) a major candidate for the office of President or Vice President, or a member of the immediate family of such candidate; or 
(4) a person protected by the Secret Service under section 3056(a)(6); 
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. (b) As used in this section - (1) the term "immediate family" means - (A) with respect to subsection (a)(1) of this section, the wife of a former President during his lifetime, the widow of a former President until her death or remarriage, and minor children of a former President until they reach sixteen years of age; and (B) with respect to subsection (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section, a person to whom the President, President-elect, Vice President, Vice President-elect, or major candidate for the office of President or Vice President - (i) is related by blood, marriage, or adoption; or (ii) stands in loco parentis; (2) the term "major candidate for the office of President or Vice President" means a candidate referred to in subsection (a)(7) of section 3056 of this title; and (3) the terms "President-elect" and "Vice President-elect" have the meanings given those terms in section 871(b) of this title.

I read earlier today on another blog that called the Secret Service " overzealous" and " America's dreaded secret police" and even defended Baldasaro by calling it " salty speech" and calling for NH to effectively secede from the USA. In this day and age with all the senseless violence and anger, his comments were not just  "salty" they were threatening and the Secret Service is obligated to investigate. Baldasaro is an embarrassment and ought to immediately resign. I am baffled that the NH GOP leadership has not demanded that. I guess the standards they so loudly clai, to profess do not apply to Republicans.

The Secret Service is sworn to protect the office holders and candidates among many others and will put their bodies in the line of fire to protect them. It is shameful to denigrate the work of these agents with these thoughtless and un-American remarks.
And they call the so called " main stream media" and left  biased?
I say "lock him up"!

Trumpemon GO!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Americans for Prosperity: New Hampshires Other "Political Party " Except it Doesn't Have to Follow the Same Rules

NHPR has a story on this pseudo political party that was founded by the Koch brothers, but beyond that, we know little of where the money comes from or much about where it goes. NHPR includes this link : " What we know about American's for Prosperity Operations in New Hampshire" .

“Americans for Prosperity” is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. And, according to Open Secrets, these groups are allowed to get involved in political activities — “as long as these activities do not become their primary purpose.” But the IRS hasn’t defined what, exactly, counts as “primary." Right now, Open Secrets reports, “the current de facto rule [for what counts as primary] is 49.9 percent of overall expenditures, a limit that some groups have found easy to circumvent.” Other examples of 501(c)(4) groups include NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

So how much money is spent on political activities? We don't know, because "Neither Americans for Prosperity or the foundation is registered as a political committee with the Secretary of State. And that’s because, under the state’s current campaign finance laws, they don’t have to."

According to this article in the Concord Monitor,  "AFP’s New Hampshire chapter says it is focusing its resources “exclusively” on state-level issues this year". They won't say how much will be spent in NH, but they have focused on opposition to Medicaid expansion and in support of Right to Work.
AFP NH Director Greg Moore was quoted as saying that “I do know for a fact, because of the phone calls I get from these representatives, that it is having an impact, They usually say, ‘Make it stop.’ They start voting better.”

This is an organization that claims to be working on change from the ground up, but the lack of accountability and transparency as to where the money is coming from and what it is being spent on as well as the direction it is given and by whom is quite troubling. AFP opposes in part, labor unions, health care reform, stimulus spending, any effort to combat climate change including President Obama's 2015 Clean Power Plan, a tax holiday on corporate profits earned overseas, blocking the EPA’s new rules on carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants, and a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
The agenda of the AFB is of direct benefit of the already incredibly wealthy Koch brothers. According to Salon:" Koch Industries transports both crude oil and coal, making the AFP’s work to legalize crude oil exports and to block the EPA from rules that would diminish the coal market in the U.S. particularly important to Koch Industries’ bottom line. As multiple news outlets have reported, Koch also owns a substantial stake of Canadian tar sands, positioning the company to benefit from approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Indeed, on EPA and other issues, Koch Industries’ lobbying office in D.C. has instructed its influence peddlers to work many of the same issues as AFP."

NH Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D) Penacook had this to say in a recent article also in the Concord Monitor: "Despite Granite Staters believing, by a 3-to-1 margin, that local and state government should be spending more to combat the opioid crisis (WMUR Granite State poll, March 2016), over half of our House Republican colleagues pledged to the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity organization that they would cut state programs and oppose any continuation of Medicaid expansion. With so many members boxing themselves into such a rigid position, finding Republican legislators willing to consider New Hampshire’s needs first has often been a difficult task."

As a candidate for the NH House, I will always consider New Hampshire's needs first, and you can be certain that the source and use of every cent spent on my campaign will be public knowledge. We shouldn't allow outside influences to change the way our local races are contended, but some legislators it seems vote the AFP line simply out of fear of retribution . That is not the NH way and not the way I will act as a member of the General Court.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

President Obama's Open Letter to Law Enforcement

 ( Scroll down for the response from the National Fraternal Order of Police)

To the brave members of our Nation’s law enforcement community:

Every day, you confront danger so it does not find our families, carry burdens so they do not fall to us, and courageously meet test after test to keep us safe.  Like Dallas officer Lorne Ahrens, who bought dinner for a homeless man the night before he died, you perform good deeds beyond the call of duty and out of the spotlight.  Time and again, you make the split-second decisions that could mean life or death for you and many others in harm’s way.  You endure the tense minutes and long hours over lifetimes of service.

Every day, you accept this responsibility and you see your colleagues do their difficult, dangerous jobs with equal valor.  I want you to know that the American people see it, too.  We recognize it, we respect it, we appreciate it, and we depend on you.  And just as your tight-knit law enforcement family feels the recent losses to your core, our Nation grieves alongside you.  Any attack on police is an unjustified attack on all of us.

I’ve spent a lot of time with law enforcement over the past couple of weeks.  I know that you take each of these tragedies personally, and that each is as devastating as a loss in the family.  Sunday’s shooting in Baton Rouge was no different.  Together, we mourn Montrell Jackson, Matthew Gerald, and Brad Garafola.  Each was a husband.  Each was a father.  Each was a proud member of his community.  And each fallen officer is one too many.  Last week, I met with the families of the Dallas officers who were killed, and I called the families of those who were killed in the line of duty yesterday in Baton Rouge.  I let them know how deeply we ache for the loss of their loved ones.

Some are trying to use this moment to divide police and the communities you serve.  I reject those efforts, for they do not reflect the reality of our Nation.  Officer Jackson knew this too, when just days ago he asked us to keep hatred from our hearts.  Instead, he offered—to protestors and fellow police officers alike—a hug to anyone who saw him on the street.  He offered himself as a fellow worshipper to anyone who sought to pray.  Today, we offer our comfort and our prayers to his family, to the Geralds and the Garafolas, and to the tight-knit Baton Rouge law enforcement community.

As you continue to serve us in this tumultuous hour, we again recognize that we can no longer ask you to solve issues we refuse to address as a society.  We should give you the resources you need to do your job, including our full-throated support.  We must give you the tools you need to build and strengthen the bonds of trust with those you serve, and our best efforts to address the underlying challenges that contribute to crime and unrest.

As you continue to defend us with quiet dignity, we proclaim loudly our appreciation for the acts of service you perform as part of your daily routine.  When you see civilians at risk, you don’t see them as strangers.  You see them as your own family, and you lay your life on the line for them.  You put others’ safety before your own, and you remind us that loving our country means loving one another.  Even when some protest you, you protect them.  What is more professional than that?  What is more patriotic?  What is a prouder example of our most basic freedoms—to speech, to assembly, to life, and to liberty?  And at the end of the day, you have a right to go home to your family, just like anybody else.

Robert Kennedy, once our Nation’s highest-ranking law enforcement official, lamented in the wake of unjust violence a country in which we look at our neighbors as people “with whom we share a city, but not a community.”  This is a time for us to reaffirm that what makes us special is that we are not only a country, but also a community.  That is true whether you are black or white, whether you are rich or poor, whether you are a police officer or someone they protect and serve.

With that understanding—an understanding of the goodness and decency I have seen of our Nation not only in the past few weeks, but throughout my life—we will get through this difficult time together.

We will do it with the love and empathy of public servants like those we have lost in recent days.  We will do it with the resilience of cities like Dallas that quickly came together to restore order and deepen unity and understanding.  We will do it with the grace of loved ones who even in their grief have spoken out against vengeance toward police.  We will do it with the good will of activists like those I have sat with in recent days, who have pledged to work together to reduce violence even as they voice their disappointments and fears.

As we bind up our wounds, we must come together to ensure that those who try to divide us do not succeed.  We are at our best when we recognize our common humanity, set an example for our children of trust and responsibility, and honor the sacrifices of our bravest by coming together to be better.

Thank you for your courageous service.  We have your backs.


Barack Obama

National Fraternal Order of Police The reason this letter has value is that we want and deserve to change the National Dialogue. The people of this country respect law enforcement. Now we continue to speak out about the issues that have helped create disconnects with members of the communities to work so hard to protect.
We can and do provide the best quality law enforcement that we can but we cannot be held responsible for the social issues such as poverty, lack of mental health services, unemployment, and abject poverty. The work now is to assist our communities by continuing to recognize that we are but one spoke in the wheel and we will do our part. Now it's time for politicians and government to assist us in working in the communities we have always worked in to make life better for all Americans.s.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Stand for Blue.

Carroll County Farm Advisory Committee (FAC) to Make a Presentation July 20th

The Carroll County Farm Advisory Committee (FAC) will make a presentation July 20 at 1pm at the Carroll County Delegation room  95 Water Village Road in Ossipee , at the county complex.

Executive Director Andy Kendall, of the Henry P. Kendall Foundation will share his ideas with the public and Carroll County Commissioners on the best possible uses of the county owned farm and land. 
The Commissioner's ( Babson, Sorensen and Ahlgren) appointed a Farm Subcommittee in early June  to find the best use for this land. The following purposes ( per the June 23rd minutes) were specifically defined: 
1. What should the long-term goals be for this property? 
2. How do we involve all of the various current and potential stakeholders to develop a compelling vision for the property? 
3. How do we make sure the project is viable economically?
4. Are there organizations and people that should be involved in the process that are not currently involved? How do we bring them to the table?
5. What are the opportunities and constraints? 
6. How can we manage this resource to meet the goals and expectations of the various stakeholders? 

The Farm Subcommittee and the Delegation subcommittee are still a bit divergent in terms of who is doing what and which outcome will be the one to move forward for this property. Some movement was made in that direction when the Farm Subcommittee invited the Delegation members to update them at their last meeting in early July. Rep. Comeau believes that the full delegation should hear a presentation and have the opportunity to vote whether or not to support a study.

One issue I have is that the meeting and presentation is at 1pm on a weekday when many are at work. 

The Kendall Foundation has already received a letter of support from the Commissioners and is requiring the same from the Delegation who will not meet again until July 25th before committing energy and resources to this project. The Republican led Delegation has granted Mr. Kendall 5 minutes to present to them at their July 25th meeting. 

The County has a lot on it's plate, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. The budget process will begin in earnest in the next few months and I think it is reasonable as a Moultonboro taxpayer to understand in greater detail how we got to the point of needing supplemental budgets and large increased in our tax burden. 

Perhaps we would already be there if not for the aggressive and abrupt style of Chairperson Umberger and other members of the Executive Committee. That needs to change.  My goal if elected to be your State House Representative, is to work collaboratively with the Commissioners and County team to bring about the best possible bang for our tax dollars. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Newt Gingrich: Muslim Comments Un-American by Any Definition

“Let me be as blunt and direct as I can be. Western civilization is in a war. We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in sharia, they should be deported, Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization. Modern Muslims who have given up Sharia—glad to have them as citizens. Perfectly happy to have them next door.” Newt Gingrich  on Fox News

I was under the impression that Newt Gingrich was a pretty smart guy. Maybe on Trump's shortlist for Secretary of State. It is apparent that he is not only ignorant of what Sharia means, but also the US Constitution. The First Amendment as I recall guarantees the freedom to practice religion.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked directly about the former speaker's comments."It sounds like he may need to consult his copy of the pocket Constitution as well," adding that "proposals like that, rhetoric like that, is un-American by its very definition."

The following is taken in part from The Atlantic and explains very clearly why Newt got it wrong:
There are a number of problems with the timing and content of Gingrich’s statement. At a moment when the world—and by “world,” I mean all non-Muslims and Muslims who reject the ideology of ISIS and the theology of radical Islamism—should be united in its defense of enlightened civilization, Gingrich, and others like him, do ISIS a favor by making Islam itself the culprit. The war we are experiencing is not primarily a war between civilizations, but a war within a civilization. ISIS, and its fellow travelers, will ultimately be defeated only by Muslims themselves, including Muslims who adhere to Islamic law. Muslims who meet with ISIS disapproval—which is to say, most Muslims—are the constant targets of murderous Islamists. The countries that are fighting ISIS include several Muslim-led, Muslim-majority states, and include states that are governed by Islamic law. Among other goals, ISIS seeks to convince devout Muslims that there is no place for them in the West. Suggestions like Gingrich’s reinforce this core ISIS message.

And about this sharia that Gingrich finds so outrageous:  Sharia, in many ways, is analogous to Jewish law, or “halacha.” (Both words mean, more or less, “the way,” or “the pathway.”) There are several schools of sharia thought, that range from fundamentalist to liberal in approach. The conservative, Hanbali, interpretation, when stringently applied in matters of punishment for criminal and sexual transgressions, is very harsh by Western standards, but sharia, as Muslims understand the term, is not merely about punishment. Islam, like Judaism, is a law-based religion, and Islamic law concerns itself with all aspects of human existence: from marriage and divorce to economics and commercial law to personal behavior and hygiene. To attack “sharia” so broadly is to offend Muslims who are also offended by ISIS and repulsed by the sort of jihadist terrorism afflicting much of the world today.

It surprises me that people who proclaim to be ardent supporters and defenders of the constitution, are so willing to readily abandon it.  Ironically, they would accomplish this by utilizing a tactic they claim is unconstitutional: an executive order.