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Forum, April 18: Voter Suppression in N.H.


Monday, April 17, 2017
Voter Suppression in N.H.

This week the Republican majority in the New Hampshire House will be asked to pass their latest version of voter suppression in the Granite State. SB3 is an incredibly complex and long proposal that redefines domicile for voting purposes, while “not affecting anyone’s right to vote,” according to its promoters. Of course it does affect people’s right to vote. It does so by requiring people who use our same-day registration process to sign a form, under oath, that no one in their right mind and full faculties could understand without intensive study and the assistance of a capable attorney.

This is a scam. It will slow up voting, deter people who otherwise have a right to vote, and increase local costs by requiring more election supervisors. The people of New Hampshire deserve better. And the GOP should be ashamed.

Peter Hoe Burling

Cornish

The writer is a former Democratic state representative and senator.

When We Liked Ike

Once upon a time long, long ago, there was a great Republican leader who had served his country for nearly four decades as a soldier. Within a few months of taking office as president of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke these words:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children . . .”

As I said, it was a time long, long ago.

Henry Billings

Lebanon

Keep Coal in the Ground

In response to the Seattle Times editorial published April 3 (“Turn Back the Clock?”), even if coal production were to resume to 1999 levels, there would be fewer customers for coal as a fuel. For example, of the approximately 50 Ohio coal power plants in operation in 1999, there are only six still operating. Coinciding with this reduction in plants, northern New York and New England’s formerly acidified lakes and surrounding forests have recovered from severe acidification, as have the mercury levels of the fish in the region’s lakes.

According to a 2014 UNH study, reduction in precipitation acidity is a result of the reduction of coal use in the Midwest, making this one of the more significant victories of the 1990 amendments to the Clean Air Act.

Correspondingly, returning to coal for energy production would be, as the editorial stated, a problem for America’s, and the world’s, children and grandchildren due to climate change impacts, and would be even more of a problem for New England’s children and grandchildren having to deal with impacts from the return of acid precipitation to the region.

Let’s move forward and keep coal in the ground.

Bart Guetti

West Lebanon

Increase Tobacco Purchasing Age

The Vermont Legislature is currently looking at a proposal to increase the legal sale age for tobacco to 21. Taking a stand against Big Tobacco is a critical part of the fight against cancer, and passing this legislation would result in countless lives saved in Vermont.

As a college student majoring in public health, I not only study the impacts of tobacco addiction, I see the impact of this addiction among my peers. Tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death nationwide and in Vermont, and one-third of all cancer deaths are related to tobacco use.

Raising the age of sale for tobacco products is a step toward saving lives, and restricting youth and young adult access to tobacco products can be a critical component of a comprehensive strategy to reduce initiation and lifelong tobacco addiction.

Research shows that if a person does not begin smoking as an adolescent, they are much less likely to ever smoke. In fact, 95 percent of adults who smoke started before the age of 21 and nearly 100 percent started by age 26. Vermont can take a huge step in protecting the health of our kids if we prevent our youth from ever picking up a deadly tobacco addiction.

In 2017, it is estimated 4,000 Vermonters will be diagnosed with cancer, and 1,400 will die from the disease. Isn’t it time we take action toward reducing these numbers? I commend Sen. Alison Clarkson for co-sponsoring S88, and I urge lawmakers across the state to help reduce and prevent cancer by supporting the increase in the age of sale for tobacco to 21.

Please join this fight to help change the age for sale of tobacco to 21. We have the power to save lives. Go talk to the government officials in your community. Your voice counts. 

Kathryn Miller

Woodstock

Democrats and Originalism

The Democrats, as they are wont to do when a vacancy on the Supreme Court arises, attempt to portray originalism as a radical and dangerous new concept. They would have us believe that the purpose of creating documents is not to fix the meaning of their contents but to facilitate their reinterpretation by schemers and quacks. A document whose meaning shifts with the political or cultural winds can hardly even be said to be a document, much less a Constitution.

The above absurdity has its roots in the Democrats’ antipathy toward limited government. (About the only way to get a Democrat to utter the words “enumerated powers” is to trick him into reading aloud from James Madison.) As the only other alternatives are unlimited government and no government, it must be assumed that they prefer one of these. That that preference might be for no government seems somewhat less than likely.

Anthony Stimson

Lebanon

Headline

An open letter to our senators:

I’d like to know how I can express my extreme disapproval with the Republican Party using the “nuclear option” means of getting their Supreme Court choice approved. Personally I have no problem with Justice Gorsuch and I thing he’s an acceptable choice. However, I strongly disagree with the Republicans simply changing the rules to get him confirmed. Can I change the rules if I get stopped for speeding and say I just changed the speed limit for me to 75?

The rules made by Congress in responce to their constituents wishes, many years ago should never be randomly discarded at the whim of the current majority party. This is reprehensible and I’d say the same if the situation was reversed.

Thank you for any suggestions but I know that as long as the Republicans are in power, nothing will change. As well as I know the same would be true if the Democrats had the majority.

Bob Danielson

Canaan