Federalization Is Killing Health Care Reform

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

New Hampshire’s Paranoia Over Gambling

“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

Is A National I.D. In Your Future?

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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!

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“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!

“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

 “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

 “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

“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

“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

“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

“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

“The world abounds with laws and teems with crime”
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 …

American Values Demand Tonya Must Skate

It’s a sad commentary, on the eve of the 17th Winter Olympiad, the purists dream of immersion in the beauty, grace, speed and power of the world’s finest athletes has lost much of its luster.  Perhaps, however, like many other adolescent fantasies, the image of true amateur athletes from around …

Hatred Must Be Condemned … Whatever Its Source

“I think I know enough of hate”
Robert Frost
Four years ago, Republicans were embarrassed when a Grand Dragon of the Klu Klux Klan won a seat in Louisiana’s state legislature on their ticket.  Despite an attempt to soften his campaign rhetoric during a subsequent run for governor and his party’s all-out …

Should New Hampshire Mandate Public Kindergartens?

There are better answers!
Less than a month ago, the Supreme Court redefined the state’s educational landscape.  In its unanimous decision, the justices advised the state it had an obligation to ensure an “adequate education” for every child and to guarantee “adequate public funding”.
While the court deliberately avoided defining “adequate”, advocates …

Citizen Legislators or Career Politicians ?

“The tyranny of political assemblies”
Alexis de Tocqueville
Calls for term limitation date back to a pre-Constitutional period when our Union operated under the Articles of Confederation.  Delegates serving in the Continental Congress between 1776 and 1788 were limited to a maximum of three years in any six year period. 
The framers, …

The Right to Offend

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
A new McCarthyism is loose in America.  Unchecked, its impact on the fabric of our society can be more devastating than any consequences which resulted from the Wisconsin senator’s brief reign of …

What is an Adequate Education?

“Education is what survives when what has been learned is forgotten.”
                                B. F. Skinner
In an unexpected landmark decision, New Hampshire’s Supreme Court decreed, the State has a constitutional obligation to ensure “an adequate education to every educable child in the public schools in New Hampshire and to guarantee adequate public …

Power to the People

“We must be certain that government will be long to the people, not the people to the government”.
Bernard Baruch

A famous writer is reputed to have said, the only time he felt safe from Congress was when it was not is session. … a feeling with which many Americans appear to …

Listen to Surgeon General Elders

“The Drug War … a clear and present danger?”
Surgeon General Elders remarks to the National Press Club, while perhaps intemperate and ill-considered, finally brought public debate over the nation’s failed drug policies out of the closet. 
Since 1981, the “war on drugs” has cost taxpayers more than $100 billion.  …

Democracy Is No Guaranty Of Equality Or Liberty

“Democracy arises out of the notion that those who are equal in any respect are equal in all respects”
America’s political system was built on the canons of democracy, equality and liberty.  Yet, while each is vital to a free society, they are unique and strange bedfellows, frequently at odds with …

Censorship is an Inexcusable Solution

Leave the Private Sector Alone!

“Laissez faire, laissez passer”               
Fancois Quesnay
During the last five years we have witnessed the demise of dozens of economic systems which fell victim to the excesses of restrictive and costly regulations and social programs imposed by their governments.  These managed economies were been driven to the brink by destructive policies …

The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms

The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms … Shall Not be Infringed"

Bill of Rights (1791)

America is fast becoming a nation enslaved by fear, propelled by a dramatic increase in crime and violence. 

This fear has been fanned by social activists who aim to regulate individual behavior as …

Seeds of Discontent

“Discontent is the want of self-reliance”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Preceding the upcoming anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination, the networks have served up their latest Kennedy bios and conspiracy docu-dramas.  Yet, its was more than that tragic event which forever marked Kennedy’s murder as a defining moment in American history.
Less than forty-eight hours …

Student Accountability … Receiving a Failing Grade

Historically, American schools and universities were places where students learned, were evaluated and held accountable for their efforts and achievements.  Academic rewards were linked directly to individual performance.  Concurrently, schools were havens where discipline and respect were the norm.  Those who disrupted the system were summarily punished and often expelled.
Now, …

Federal Money … Our National Addiction

“Every form of addiction is bad …”
                Carl Gustav Jung
During our Constitution’s ratification process, the Federalist Papers urged its adoption, arguing the need for a strong central government.  Leading the opposition, Jefferson fought for a literal interpretation of the Constitution, arguing maximum power should rest in the hands of the …

An Uncomfortable Alliance in Defense of Liberty

“One man’s justice is another’s injustice”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
At the height of the civil rights movement, Anthony Griffin, grew up amid the dehumanizing aspects of racial segregation.  His mother, however, admonished him to ignore “blacks-only” and other signs of segregation because it was the “right thing to do”.
In 1958, when Anthony’s …

Ban The Minuteman!

“Much ado about Nothing”
With serious intellectual pursuits falling by the wayside at many colleges, small cadres of self-righteous students fritter time away identifying new social problems in need of an immediate cures.  As with earlier campus protests, demonstrations and the issuance of “demands” are the principal means of drawing attention …

Health Care Reform Must Demand Accountability

It’s Time to Leave the Quagmire of Somalia

American involvement in Somalia began with the noble intention of providing food and medicine to a civilian population whose fate was of no consequence to feuding despots battling each other throughout the impoverished African nation. 
After a masterfully-executed humanitarian effort, famine and the threat of widespread epidemics were, at least …

NAFTA’s Strange Bedfellows

Fear, uncertainty, the prospect of change and political expediency frequently breed strange bedfellows. 
After a partisan battle over his budget, President Clinton suddenly received unqualified support of five former presidents, four of whom are Republicans, Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole, and a Republican majority in both houses of Congress; all …

Congressional Meddling Strikes Again!

                                                “Every fool will be meddling”
Four weeks ago, the first provisions of the 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act went into effect.  This latest Congressional intrusion into the private sector is another sad example of government enacting legislation, without having any inkling of its long-term impact or cost.
Its …

Buchanan and the Religious Right … Are Wrong for the GOP!

“Our culture is superior …”
                                                Patrick Buchanan
Recently, former presidential hopeful Patrick Buchanan implored 2,000 Christian Coalition activists not to forsake their conservative social agenda.  However, as typifies his ego and rhetoric, Mr. Buchanan went one step further and suggested that if the Republican Party abandons its previous stand on the …

Privacy in America … A Right Under Siege

“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
To the framers of our Constitution and Bill of Rights in their noble attempt to ensure maximum freedom and privacy …

Luce and the Future of New Hampshire’s Libertarians

“The less government we have the better”                          

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Governor Merrill demonstrated political astuteness in nominating Miriam Luce to fill the Liquor Commission seat vacated by Roger Boisvert.  In picking the two-time Libertarian candidate for governor, Steve Merrill has effectively shut the Democrats out of one of the state’s …

“Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

Pete Seeger

As the last decade of the twentieth century dawned, mankind was momentarily able to rest a bit easier, secure in the knowledge a nuclear holocaust between the world’s superpowers was highly unlikely.  Fears of instant inhalation and the possible extinction of the human species inspired by Neville Shute’s “On …

Lofty Objectives … Uncertain Outcomes

“You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements”                               
Norman Douglas
In a parting shot, before deserting the nation’s Capitol for their summer vacations, members of the House (by a two vote margin) and Senate (by a single vote) passed the president’s fiscal 1994 budget.  Promoted as a …

Capital Punishment … A Right to Kill

“Punishment tames man, but does not make him better”

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
As human society evolved, certain behavior was deemed inappropriate and codified as religious and secular doctrines developed.  For those found guilty of committing such offenses, a variety of penalties was meted out, many of which were cruel and barbaric.  Perpetrators …

America’s Most Misunderstood Guardians of our Liberties

“He that would make his own liberty secure,  must guard even his enemy from oppression”
Thomas Paine
The framers of our Constitution created a remarkable blueprint for a representative democracy with a centralized federal government.  It contained numerous internal checks and balances together with an elaboration of the powers of that government.
To …

Proselytizing Won’t Save Our Youth

“The difficulty in life is the choice.”
George Moore
New Hampshire law directs schools to preach abstinence from drugs and from sexual activity as the only way to avoid contracting HIV-AIDS.  In his recent defense of this policy, Board of Education Chairman, Ovide Lamontagne, appears as unwilling to confront the realities of …

The Art of Compromise or a Lack of Conviction

Throughout last year’s long, arduous presidential primaries, Bill Clinton more than once defied the pundits and rebounded from a series of revelations which would have ended the political careers of most mortals.  His capacity to weather these storms was due, in part, to his affable personality and an easy going …

Discrimination for Any Reason is Wrong!

“Our Constitution is color-blind”
                                                Justice John Marshall Harlan
In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 1954 decision declaring “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal”, the infrastructure which had sustained 165 years of American race-based social, political and economic institutions began to crumble.  This process, which initially focused on American blacks, eventually …

America’s Promise … Equality Of Opportunity

“Freedom is not safety, but opportunity”
Zechariah Chafee, Jr.
It’s appropriate at this time of year to reflect on a myth of our American heritage … one which holds our nation was established by people who sought to carve out a land of equality for themselves and their descendants.  Unfortunately, nothing could …

Government Mandates Are Not the Answer to Violence

  “Keep violence in the mind … where it belongs”
Brian Aldiss
During a recent appearance before the House Telecommunications Sub-Committee, Ted Turner made an impassioned plea for Congress enact legislation to curb what he sees as the primary cause of violence in our society.
While his testimony provided sound bites for CNN, …

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