A Uniquely American Opportunity

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I was privileged to have had the opportunity to serve as a “community” member of the Courier Times Editorial Board during the several months running up to the recent November elections.   With that perspective as background, it was interesting, and sometimes amusing to read several of the published Letters to …

It’s High Time To End The Two Party Monopoly

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“Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved.”
James Harvey Robinson (1937)
Recently, Pennsylvania House Minority Leader Bill DeWeese went on record as stating that he would take all necessary steps to keep Ralph Nader from appearing on the Commonwealth’s November presidential …

Truth Under Attack

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“Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”
H.G. Wells
If the preservation of a democracy and scientific progress rely on a knowledgeable and well educated populace, then America may be teetering toward an uncertain future. 
The first warning came with the publication of, “Why Johnny Can’t Read.”  …

Bill, this is George … we have a problem!

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1-914-CLI-NTON.   Ring………………..!

Chelsea:               

“Hello.”

George:

“Hi Chelsea, it’s the President.”

Chelsea:

“Al?”

George:

“No, George, George Bush.   Is your dad around?”

Chelsea:

“Oh, just a second, I’ll check.   Dad, telephone.   It’s for you.”

Bill:

“Not now, honey, I’m busy.  Who is it anyway?”

Chelsea:

“It’s your tenant.”

Bill:

“Oh, I’d better take it.   Hi, George.   How are you doing?   How are Laura and the girls?”

George:

“We’re …

Chief Justice Roy Moore – An American Mullah

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“Justice Moore would make a great official of the Inquisition”
Rev. Barry W. Lynn

In his defense of Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore’s refusal to remove the four-foot, 5,280-pound granite monument engraved with the Ten Commandments from his courthouse, Reverend Jerry Farwell suggested if Judge Moore was following what he …

The Tyranny of the Two-Party Monopoly

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“Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved”
James Harvey Robinson (1937)
With the 2002 elections now history, it’s time to reflect on events which continue to undermine a free and open playing field for all candidates for public office.
High on that …

A Supreme Mistake

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“The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
 Justice Louis Brandeis (1928)
The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be …

Undermining The Constitution

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“Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher.  For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example.”
 
Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1928)
The Pennsbury school district’s recently announced policy to use drug sniffing dogs to conduct warrantless searches of student lockers would be laughable if its consequences weren’t …

Municipal Condemnation … Our Government Run Amok!

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“Every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own.”
Pope Leo XIII
 
So fundamental are property rights to our heritage that during the American Revolution liberty and property were thought to be indivisible.   The concept that citizens were protected in their property rights was deemed so important that  …

The First Amendment Under Siege

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“There are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual consent and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
James Madison
 
In the wake of the recent election night flip-flopping by the television networks over who won the Florida presidential election, there …

A Walk In The Park

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“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”
George Orwell
I am embarrassed to admit to having discovered that I am one of those Lower Makefield residents who has been totally oblivious to the plight of as many as ten thousand of the town’s residents.  That I could …

Rhetoric, Reality and Responsibility

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“Governments must be accountable to someone besides themselves”
Walter Lippmann
The budget charade currently playing at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is enough to turn even the most objective patriot into a hardened cynic, particularly where fiscal responsibility is concerned.
Perhaps the biggest shams in this American tragedy are the “deficit reduction” and …

America’s Tax Code … The Politics of Class Warfare

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America’s current tax system, another example of government run amuck, is generally perceived as unfair, overly complex, full of loopholes and desperately in need of a major overhaul. Yet, as with campaign finance reform and a host of other important issues, our elected representatives seem impotent and/or lacking the political …

The Religious Freedom Amendment … An Inappropriate Response and False Hope

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“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when the do it from religious convictions”
Blaise Pascal
Religious freedom is a treasured heritage and one of our most important constitutional guarantees. 
Adherence to, and rebellion against, 16th and 17th century European religious intolerance provided a major impetus for the exploration and …

Shifting The Burden Of Proof

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“Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
Thomas Paine
In the ongoing debate over whether to reign in the powers of the Internal Revenue Service and, if so, by what magnitude, the battle lines have being drawn.  At stake is whether …

The Tragedy Of 1996

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“Campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved.”
James Harvey Robinson
 
The recent pronouncement by the Federal Election Commission to limit the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates to the Democratic and Republican standard bearers is yet another glaring example of the two …

Protecting Principals Not Symbols

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 “Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions.”
Justice William O. Douglas
The hallowed chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives, where those men and women elected to serve the people once debated ways to enhance the rights of man, recently became a cheap forum for …

Who Should Have the Right to Choose?

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“Of my many sorrows, this is without doubt the worst”
Norma (Jane Roe) McCorvey

Americans and their media continue to define most of our complex social controversies in ways which reduce their respective antagonists and their positions to little more that simplistic and uncompromising incarnations of good and evil.  This irresponsibility is …

Prop 187 … An Ill-advised Solution

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A Contract With America

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“Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies”
James Harvey Robinson
As part of their campaign strategy, the Republican Congressional leadership unveiled its “Contract with America”.  A unique and innovative campaign gimmick, their “Contract” spelled out a legislative agenda to which its three hundred signers committed their support if elected and if …

Intelligence By Design

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“Of course my motives were religious.”
Percival Davis

Creation science, like the fabled phoenix, has again risen from the ashes.  In its latest incarnation, terms like “God” and “the Creator” have vanished; replaced by what the Christian Right hopes will become a politically correct and legally acceptable surrogate, “intelligent design”.
This latest effort …

A Time For Conciliation And Reason

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“A wise and frugal government …”
Thomas Jefferson
With the results of the 1992 election now a fait-accompli, President Clinton finds himself faced with the same type of hostile Congress as did his two predecessors.  And, while there have been the predictable, post-election peace overtures from both the White House and the …

Vote For A Change

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“If the American Constitution shall fail there will be anarchy throughout the world.”
Daniel Webster
The framers of our constitution, a diverse lot representing thirteen varied constituencies, were unified in their goals to establish a national government with limited powers and which had to operate within the law.  The document which emerged …

New Hampshire’s Motto Is A Myth!

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“Freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be.”
James Baldwin
For decades, New Hampshire residents have prided themselves on being a population of contrarian individualists, bucking such trends as implementing a state sales or income tax.  Local and national pols have been quick to laud …

Integration … An Elusive Ideal

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“We must learn to live together as bothers or perish together as fools”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
Forty years have passed since Thurgood Marshall successfully argued before the Supreme Court schools which were separate, however equal, were inherently unequal.  In the wake of the now famous Brown v The Topeka Board of …

Polls Or No Polls … Clinton Deserves Some Credit

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“Our objectives are clear, our forces are strong and our cause is right.”
President Bill Clinton
 
Whether divined by fate or simply an accident of good fortune, President Clinton has recently stumbled into and apparently emerge from two extremely dangerous international minefields a stronger and more decisive world leader.  And, while he …

Silence Moments Of Silence

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“Leave the matter of religion to the family alter … “
Ulysses S. Grant
It’s no secret, the nations schools remain in a state of disarray.  Even with a conscious dumbing- down of academic standards, student performance, as measured by classroom grades and scores on standardized test continues at unacceptable levels.  Concurrently, …

Liberate America’s Indentured Servants

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Baseball’s exemption is “unreasonable, illogical and inconsistent”
U.S. Supreme Court
The conclusion of Ken Burns’ recent, nostalgic documentary, “Baseball” has left devotees hanging, without their annual World Series fixes.  Accordingly, they must content themselves with reading about seasons long gone, tuning-in the growing network of inane sports radio talk shows or simply …

The Danger Of Sexual Harassment Laws

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“Congress shall make no laws …”
Article 1 – Bill of Rights
Predatory sexual behaviors have been a reality ever since our ancestors diverged from their proconsul forebears.  In its primal form, such conduct was an ancient and instinctive holdover, likely contributing to early human survival for many of the same reasons …

Courts Uphold Professor’s Rights

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“Belly Dancing is like Jello on a plate with a vibrator under the plate”
J. Donald Silva (UNH)
 
There is no greater danger to individual rights than committed zealots, operating under the color of real or usurped police authority, as they attempt to reorder public policy.  Their actions become all the more …

War By Any Other Name Is Still War!

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“Congress shall have the power … to declare war”
Article I, Section 8, U.S. Constitution
In what may become the nation’s shortest and most unpopular use of military might, President Clinton stands poised to order American soldiers, sailors and airmen to intervene in the internal affairs of an independent sovereign nation which …

A Foreign Policy That Continues To Flounder

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” We will not have another Mariel boat life.”
President William J. Clinton

Just as hundreds of unseaworthy rafts flounder northward across the shark-infested waters of the Florida Straits … American foreign policy wallows in a sea of uncertainty and indecisiveness, without direction and often accomplishing little.  Driven primarily by domestic …

The Great License Plate Debate Rages On

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“Live free or die.”
John Stark
 Once again powerful forces across the Granite State are embroiled in an emotional debate testing the mettle of New Hampshire’s movers and shakers.  For more than half a century this highly charged polemic has ebbed and flowed from the Connecticut River to the Isle of Shoals …

Federalization Is Killing Health Care Reform

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No American should be denied basic medical care simply because they lack financial resources to pay for such services!  Not surprisingly, few Americans, regardless of their political affiliation, find any exception with that simple, humanitarian axiom.  Yet, health care reform remains a noble but elusive aspiration.
Partisan wrangling aside, the inability …

The Freedom and Fairness Restoration Act

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New Hampshire’s Paranoia Over Gambling

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“Hypocrisy is the most difficult vice man can pursue”
W. Somerset Maugham
 Once again New Hampshire’s forces of law and order have rallied their troops to protect the public from itself.  In these latest crusades, many of the state’s law enforcement resources have been squandered in trying to stamp out what may …

Truth Under Attack

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Is A National I.D. In Your Future?

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“Big Brother is watching you.”
George Orwell (“1984”)

Health care reform and illegal immigration have become high-visibility social issues during the past two years.  Moreover, even beltway pols have realized these issues are not going to be solved through the types of simplistic programs so frequently enacted but so rarely effective.
Yet, buried …

The Simpson Trial … A Window On America

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“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible”
Reinhold Niebuhr
As a rule, the murder of a young man and women, however tragic, rarely receives little more than passing notice by the media in most major metropolitan areas.  However, when the prime suspect is one of America’s most respected sport’s icons, the story …

Unchecked Population Growth Forebodes A Global Catastrophe

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“The perpetual struggle for room and food.”
Thomas Malthus
 
During Washington’s second term, a somber English cleric-turned economist, published an essay on “The Principal of Population”.  In it, Thomas Malthus postulated population tends to expand more rapidly than food supplies. 
He concluded the planet’s population was rapidly approaching its natural limit and …

A Willingness To Relinquish Rights Begins In The Classroom

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“Students possess fundamental rights which the State must respect”
Associate Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas
 
Less than six weeks ago, area residents were dismayed to discover visits to local Dunkin’ Donut shops were not only being recorded by video cameras, but patron’s conversations were being taped as well.  Moreover, it appears such …

An Icon’s Fall From Grace

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“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.”
Francis Scott Fitzgerald

Last week’s bizarre odyssey of O.J. Simpson brings into sharp focus both a dual standard in the treatment of celebrities and a blurring of reality where such personalities are concerned. 
Societies have historically provided top athletes, popular entertainers …

Break Up The Public Education Monopoly

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“More money doesn’t make better education.”
Lamar Alexander
Efforts to improve education continue to be dominated by ancillary issues, most politically motivated.  New Hampshire’s gubernatorial race appears be shaping up as no exception.
The seeds for this year’s debate were sown by the supreme court’s December ruling that the state was obligated to …

The Legacy Of Normandy

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“I’ve noticed nearly all the dead were hardly more than boys.”
Grantland Rice
 
The fiftieth anniversary of D-Day and the allied invasion of Hitler’s Fortress Europe provides a useful benchmark from which to reflect on contemporary history.
From hundreds of recent interviews with veterans who waded ashore at Normandy in June, 1944, it’s …

The Politics Of Broad Based Taxes

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“Campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved”
James Harvey Robinson
 
Steve Merrill’s recent announcement he wants to be New Hampshire’s governor for another two years was as unexpected as the arrival of allied forces on the French coast fifty years ago.  In …

Plea Bargaining with Rostenkowski Would be a Travesty

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“When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.”
                Thomas Jefferson
Jefferson noted, holding a “public office is a public trust.”  Unfortunately, some elected officials loose sight of this imperative, substituting personal appetites for power, stature or wealth for the ideals of public service. 
In recent …

Invading Haiti is Madness!

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“There never was a good war or a bad peace.”
Benjamin Franklin
 
The drums of war are again being orchestrated along the shores of the Potomac!
During the past two weeks,  a small but growing cadre in Congress are advocating a military invasion of Haiti … to return Jean-Bertrande Aristide to power.  Most …

America’s War On Drugs … A Clear and Present Danger

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“If one abolishes man’s freedom to determine his own  consumption consume … one takes all freedoms away.”
Ludwig von Mises
There’s little question most “illegal” drugs can be both dangerous and habit-forming.  Their use and abuse is lamentable, as are the wasted lives of those individuals who succumb to addiction-related problems.
Correspondingly passionate …

The A-To-Z’s of Fiscal Responsibility

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“The power to tax involves the power to destroy!”
John Marshall
Despite a blizzard of disinformation to the contrary, America’s projected deficit for this fiscal year may exceed $200,000,000,000, pushing the national debt closer to the $5.0 trillion mark!
But, how can that be?  President Clinton, his army of minions, the Congressional leadership …

The Libertarian’s Dilemma

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“Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.”
                William Allen White
Libertarians have suddenly found themselves in the unaccustomed position of being in the national spotlight.  For the moment, however, this notoriety has been received as a mixed blessing.
As with most minority …

What is the Price of Security

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“The Bill of Rights is one of the greatest documents of freedom ever devised by human experience”
Benjamin Hooks
Americans are fed up with crime and violence.  In a recent opinion poll, 53% of the respondents listed them as their chief concerns.
This growing anger among the citizenry has provided impetus for the …

The AARP … A Tyranny of the Elderly

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“Our ideology is big!”
An AARP Lobbyist
From modest and ethical beginnings the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has emerged as one of the country’s richest, most powerful and perhaps most doctrinaire lobbies.
Founded in 1958 by the 72 year-old head of the National Retired Teachers Association and a creative insurance executive …

The Tobacco Industry … Going Up In Smoke!

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“Tobacco is a dirty weed.”
Graham Lee Hemminger
“Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health.” 
This now familiar warning became part of our lexicon in 1965 in response to the Surgeon General’s report detailing the health hazards of smoking.  Fourteen years later, the Surgeon General issued a far stronger indictment …

Prayer in School … An Inappropriate and False Hope

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 “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
Article 1 of the Bill of Rights
Religious freedom is a treasured heritage and one of our most important constitutional guarantees!
Curiously, adherence to, and rebellion against 16th and 17th century European religious fervor provided a major …

Charity Should Begin at Home … With Individual Choice

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 “The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority”
Lord Action
Buried in the line item detail of most town and city budgets, as well as the basis of any number of seemingly obscure warrant articles, are public funding obligations for a wide variety of charitable and social service …

Benign Neglect is a Better Answer to Systemic Unemployment

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“The less government we have the better”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The best news coming from last week’s G-7 jobs summit was it disbanded with no more than some harmless posturing, principally designed as political cover for the inability of their respective governments to solve inexplicable domestic unemployment.
America’s good fortune of not being …

New Hampshire Town Meetings … Government by Apathy

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“The death of democracy … will be a slow extinction from apathy”
Robert Maynard Hutchins
With the advent of March, heated controversies swirl through many of New Hampshire cities and towns.  The occasion for these frequently contentious community debates are annual town and school district meetings, ripe with their zoning amendments, new …

A Balanced Budget Amendment … A Simplistic and Unsound Solution

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“There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress”
Mark Twain
 

More than a quarter century has passed since the federal government ran a surplus.  This rising tide of red ink thus created has sent our national debt surging past the $4,500,000,000,000 mark.  Assuming the Clinton Administration’s most optimistic forecasts, this …

Private Property is Becoming an Endangered Species

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“Every man has by nature the right to possess property as his own.”
                Pope Leo XIII
Students of American history gain an appreciation for the basic right of individuals to own and manage private property.  So fundamental was this concept, our Founding Fathers codified it in both the Bill of Rights,  …

Frontier Justice Ain’t the Answer

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“The world abounds with laws and teems with crime”
Anonymous
In early January, pollsters released their latest findings outlining America’s prevailing attitudes.  Off the radar screen a year earlier, crime had vaulted into first place as the nation’s main problem.
Members of Congress predictably began “talking tough” on crime.  The President, not to …

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