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Forum, Oct. 11: America’s misplaced priorities

Published: 10/10/2020 10:00:17 PM
Modified: 10/10/2020 10:00:08 PM
America’s misplaced priorities

I’ve enjoyed hunting in New England every fall for the past 40 years. But every autumn, when the leaves emerge in all their glorious splendor and flocks of Canada geese sing their way south, I’m once again reminded of one of America’s most misplaced priorities.

As a red-blooded, white, cisgender male American (and proudly not a member of the National Rifle Association and never the owner of any assault-style weapons), I have the legal right in New Hampshire to go watch a children’s soccer game with an AR-15 and a 100-round magazine strapped to my back. But, according to Title 50, Part 20 of the Federal Code, if I am caught in the wild hunting for a Christmas goose with a shotgun larger than a 10-gauge or one with the ability to fire more than three rounds, I will immediately lose my license and be forced to pay a hefty fine.

Why do Americans care so much more about Canada geese than the safety of their own children?



Treat your neighbors with respect

As neighbors, we rely on one another to feed, care for and protect each other. Our relative success in containing the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to the care and deliberation of our fellow Granite Staters.

Bullying is not OK. Attacking people based on their gender, race, sexual orientation or point of view is wrong. Such behavior runs counter to the principles upon which this country was founded and sows harmful division within our community. Children and adults need role models who embody kindness and humility. We are responsible as New Hampshire residents and United States citizens for the conduct we permit in our communities. The individuals we elevate to positions of authority matter.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has my vote because he treats others with respect and makes decisions with restraint. You do not have to hold my position, but stealing and defacing signs is not permissible.

Please treat others the way you wish to be treated. Hate has no place in our community.



E-bikes are not a speed threat

I have not seen quite so much waffle in the Forum as I’ve seen about electric bikes recently.

I have been an owner of two e-bikes. The first one was dangerous because the battery pack and the motor were placed at the back wheel. When steering from the front wheel, the back wheel often ignored such maneuvers and then threw you to the ground.

The second e-bike was better balanced by having the motor at the center of the foot pedals and the battery pack in front of your seating equilibrium and behind the front wheel. But such an arrangement also has its dangers because it makes the bike heavier than what one is used to. In dismounting, you can easily tip the balance and find yourself on the ground.

On one of these bikes I could, in fact, move along by the motor without having to peddle, but the bike never went faster than when I would peddle it myself. The second bike would not even start the motor if you did not peddle. So you got just as much exercise as on an ordinary bike, except you did not get so much out of breath going uphill. These bikes certainly don’t increase speed.



Danger of hubris to our democracy

In ancient Athens, where the first experiment in democracy took place, citizens were required and paid to attend plays (often tragedies) each year that served as civic lessons and warnings of threats to their form of government. A reoccurring theme in these plays was the danger of hubris, which brought ruin upon a leader and those around him.

The website artandpopularculture.com defines hubris as “a personality quality of extreme or foolish pride or dangerous overconfidence. ... Hubris is usually perceived as a characteristic of an individual rather than a group, although the group the offender belongs to may unintentionally suffer consequences from the wrongful act. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one’s own competence, accomplishments or capabilities.”

The founders of our republic carefully studied the example of Greece and Rome. They knew all too well both how history repeats itself and the fragility of democracies. Sadly, President Donald Trump and his handling of COVID-19, which has resulted in his contracting the virus, the disease spreading to his inner circle and the death of well over 200,000 of his countrymen, would have been well understood by the ancient Greeks. They would attribute it once again to a leader suffering badly from hubris.


South Strafford

First, provide no information

Apparently President Donald Trump’s medical team at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was required by Trump to profess to his “Hypocritic Oath” before addressing the public regarding his condition.



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