Letters to the Editor

Patrick can lead America

I am writing to you today in support of Deval Patrick for president. Mr. Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts, has lived the American Dream, growing up on welfare, becoming the first member of his family to go to college and leading the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Many have asked, “Why did Mr. Patrick wait so long to enter the race?” His wife, Diane, was diagnosed with cancer. True to his character, he, did like many of us do, he put his career on hold to put his family first. Thankfully, she is cancer free.

Deval has created health insurance programs to ensure families are protected. He developed a national model for responding to climate change, and, despite facing the worst economic crisis in a generation, led his state to rank first in the nation in student achievement, veterans services and entrepreneurial activity with a 25-year employment high and the highest bond rating in his state’s history.

Deval Patrick’s style of leadership asks that we reject division and turn to each other rather than on each other. We need the kind of leadership that says you don’t have to agree on everything to work together, because that’s how you create change and govern for the next generation.

I’m voting for Deval Patrick, and I’m asking you to do the same, because we are living in a time when the integrity and promise of our democracy are at risk.

Amanda Martinez


All is (NOT) well, Mr. President

There’s three or more Iranian groups that may take their revenge on the USA, our allies, for your assassination of Iran’s No. 2 Leader:

• The Iranian military.

• Iran’s Hezbollah “proxies” across the Middle East.

• he self-radicalized Muslim terrorists living in Europe and North America.

If attacks occur here and abroad, you can’t blame President Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or John Kerry, or John McCain, or the Deep State, or the media or the Democrats.

You’ll own these attacks, especially those on our soil, with America blood, but I pray these attacks never happen.

Killing the Iranian leader has unleashed the fury of the Persian empire, and its Muslim supporters in Iran and around the world.

Presidents Bush and President Obama decided to NOT to kill this No. 2 leader in Iran. Their thinking was that any potential benefit of his death wasn’t worth the risk to the American people.

But your Reality TV presidential script says the courageous president is supposed to stiffen his jaw, and order the drone to fire its missiles. Because after all, you don’t want to appear weak. Your pilot may not be renewed. God help us.

Gary Smetana


Klobuchar has positive message

The Republican Party has become a cult. There is no reasoning with them. They are not using common sense or their own experience. Facts, fiction and the law are not guiding them.

If their candidate is this president, then caring for the environment, affordable health care or income imbalance does not register. They seem to be in lock-step.

The Democrats have a number of good, thoughtful and accomplished candidates from which to choose this year.

The Primary is closing in and I feel it’s time for me to make a decision. I’ve listened to most of candidates over the past several months and have decided to endorse Sen Amy Klobuchar.

I believe she has been an effective Senator where she has ushered scores of bi-partisan bills through Congress. She has thoughtful plans for health care that doesn’t eliminate thousands from their employers’ plans, but can offer a comprehensive plan for the uninsured.

As climate change is a huge challenge, she supports rejoining the Paris agreement with other countries.

As a former prosecutor, she supports criminal justice reform.

I support Sen. Amy Klobuchar in this primary, as the candidate who attracts those who are thoughtful and pragmatic with a positive message in this race.

Rep. Christy Dolat Bartlett


Bennet will beat Trump

Please consider voting for Michael Bennet in the Democratic primary on Feb. 11. Although, so far his name has not appeared in the paper as often as many of the other candidates, there is a lot to like. Yes, he can indeed win the general election. Bennet has won two elections to the U.S. Senate in the purple state of Colorado. In his first election in 2010, more money was spent to support his opponent than in any other race in the country. Colorado voters, like New Hampshire, are divided nearly equally into independents, Republicans and Democrats. He is a winner and has proven appeal to a broad range of voters, which will be necessary to beat Donald Trump.

Second, Bennet will do the right things for this country once in office. Think of him as a pragmatic idealist. Or a progressive who has put forth effective and achievable policies that will benefit the country as a whole and that will endure over time. He is both experienced and young enough to handle the rigors of the job.

Bennet tells the truth, he relates well to all kinds of people, and he’s very smart. He will attract competent, honest people to work for him. In these ways, he could not be more different from the current occupant of the White House

America will have a bright future under President Bennet. It’s up to New Hampshire to show the country the way forward by a big turnout for Michael Bennet.

Claudia Damon


Get out and vote

If you are registered as an undeclared voter, otherwise known as an independent, you are a member of the largest voting block in New Hampshire. I have been listed as “undeclared” for some time now because I am fed up with both political parties choosing to allow extreme fringes control their parties leading to grid lock in Washington and sometimes here in New Hampshire. I consider myself as a “moderate” on most issues. I can select which party primary I want to cast a ballot. It’s seems like I will waste my ballot in the Republican primary since, based on what happened in Iowa, Donald Trump is a shoe-in. Voting for a candidate who has no chance of winning in order to “send a message” would be wasting my vote. Therefore, I plan on voting in the Democratic primary this year to select one of the more moderate candidates who seems to fare fairly well in the polls, and that way I won’t waste my vote. You other undeclared voters who would like to see a more moderate candidate nominated now have your chance. Don’t waste your vote. Regardless, everybody, get out to vote! It is your civic duty!

Michael Ryan


Weld 2020

The New Hampshire Republican presidential primary election occurs on Feb. 11. Gov. Bill Weld is the clear choice for all Republicans and independents. He is a person of high moral character who provided skilled executive leadership for the commonwealth of Massachusetts for two terms. In stark contrast to the existing White House occupant, he is a good family man, has a good attention span, speaks in complete sentences and has no impending criminal prosecutions clouding his judgment.

During his tenure as governor of Massachusetts, Bill Weld balanced the budget and demonstrated his leadership in environmental issues, education, and women’s rights. It will serve our entire country’s best interest to put his experience and skills to work nationally. I am an independent voter who will take the Republican ballot and cast my vote for Gov. Bill Weld in the Republican primary election. Please join me.

Terrie Harman


What’s at stake is our republic

On Tuesday Feb. 11, I’ll be voting for Joe Biden.

Former VP Biden has many decades of relevant experience — legislative and executive — necessary to address the crises in domestic and foreign affairs that Trump’s maladministration, incompetence and bottomless ignorance and greed have caused. Our candidate must understand the federal executive and Congress, and domestic and foreign policy, to right our course. This is no time for on-the-job training. When an arsonist has set your house ablaze, you call the firefighters first; you don’t bring in the home renovation crew till after the fire is out.

It’s clear that Donald Trump is not only an unfit, lazy (24% of 2019 spent golfing), cruel (caged children), corrupt (self-dealing cheater), bigoted (“Nazis are good people, too”), bullying (childish name calling) demagogue, but he is actively trying to destroy the republic, enabled by the complicit GOP Senate. If (forever-impeached) Donald Trump were to be re-elected, his authoritarianism would be fully unleashed. Remember, Trump claims, “I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”

What’s at stake is our republic. Didn’t the founders fight a war against Britain to free us from King George III? “In America the Law is king,” said Tom Paine. But Benjamin Franklin warned that we had a republic only “if you can keep it.”

Biden’s broad appeal and obvious qualifications terrify Trump and point the way forward to keep our republic. Please join me in voting for former VP Joe Biden.

Susan Mayer


Biden knows how to unite

I have met Joe Biden a number of times, first when he was a United States Senator, then as a Vice President, and now as a candidate for President of the United States. Each time, he has been the same person — kind, optimistic and caring. He is interested in everyone, regardless of their politics, and he listens to their concerns. That has always impressed me. He knows how to unite people and respects them.

Joe Biden is from the middle class and has never stopped working for us. For example, Vice President Biden was there every step of the way through the creation and passage of the Affordable Care Act, which has helped so many people get or keep insurance.

A vote for Joe Biden is a vote for the middle class and a vote for decency. I hope you will join me and vote for Biden on Tuesday, February 11, Primary Day.

Mary Holt

Who will you vote for?

As I hear the ads for candidates, I go to my history and constitutions. As Bernie Sanders promises so much and yet as a senator never produced bills that could stop the tax deductions he claims abused poor people, what about his abuse when he was a new resident of Vermont?

Then, I know it takes the House and Senate to introduce bills that will give or take away benefits, how come Biden’s son could get a $50,000-a-month job for a foreign company, with no experience? Not according to Tom Brokaw’s interview. More importantly, each candidate seems to be promising to take from taxpayers to benefit someone, yet it’s completely against the Constitution. Perfect for Mr. Yang, who promises to take tax dollars to give everyone $1,000, obviously doesn’t understand government only gets money by taking away from some who earn it. Or, why hasn’t Elizabeth Warren paid back the Indian Nation the money she took illegally from their scholarship? Hardly any seem to have read the job description of what an elected official may do under our Constitution.

As Alexis de Tourqueville said, he feared for the Republic once the masses realized they could vote the largess of government unto themselves.

Then, we have worthless interviews and debates where no one asks, why as a senator or person in government didn’t you fix the tax code, or why do you think you can do it as president if you couldn’t do it while serving?

So, who will I vote for, only the one promising to obey their job as defined in the Constitution and what they take an oath to do?

Harriet E. Cady


We can reverse the damage

I grew up on U.S. military bases in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. I remember how proud we all were of our country’s relationships with the Europeans, and how America was respected and called the leader of the free world. I was a witness to a lot of history throughout that rebuilding era. When it was my turn, I also wore our nation’s uniform and served our country. I am a proud veteran.

While every leader makes mistakes, I never thought the president of the United States of America would deliberately degrade us, humiliate us and weaken us while he hangs out with thugs and attacks our friends and allies. Sadly, Donald Trump has done all that and much worse threatening our national security. But we can reverse the damage by electing Joe Biden as our next president. Joe brings proven leadership, immediate worldwide respect, and the experience to get us back on the right track, so he will have this veteran’s vote on Feb. 11.

Gene Porter


Let the babies live

Just wondering! Last weekend, foolishly went outside to collect my garbage containers without a shirt on my back.

Additionally, only wore slippers on my feet and as a result came down with the typical winter ailment. On Friday, (trash pickup was Thursday) I decided that I did not choose to have this (cold, flu, cough ailment), so I opted to exercise my choice as a man and get rid of my current dilemma at the local hospital!

The hospital, although understanding, advised me that my current situation, sad as it may be, was actually self inflicted, and I should have indeed considered the consequences earlier. Additional contemplation lead me to agree with their synopsis.

My “CHOICE” option had indeed ceased after my decision to expose myself unprotected from the elements. Same is true of any woman who seeks to abort a tiny living human being using the excuse “CHOICE.”

Much as I may have had the opportunity of choice girl, so did you. When I wandered outside my domicile improperly clothed for the weather, I gave up so-called “CHOICE.” Likewise, when you opted to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse you gave up your opportunity of choice. To allow the death of an innocent nearly born little person is without doubt not only tragic and passing off responsibility, but worse, sinful!

As unpopular as the term “chastity” may be today, it surely would have been a problem solver in so many millions of tragedies would it not?

Please, I beg of you, “LET THE BABIES LIVE”! One of them may save humanity!

Lou Ouellette

Madawaska, Maine

Thank you

The Lioness of Merrimack would like to thank everyone who participated in our Operation Santa project.

To those of you who picked up a card at one of our locations and purchased one or more gifts, you have helped to make Christmas a little brighter for someone less fortunate.

We would like to thank all of the locations who allowed us to have a tree: Fit LAB Fitness Club Merrimack and Nashua, the Merrimack Post Office, Merrimack Public Library, Silva Auto, MVC Eye Care, DW Diner, Starbucks (Outlet Mall), Total Chiropractic Health Center, Home Health & Hospice and Hot Rize Bagel Cafe.

To the Merrimack Firefighters and the Merrimack Lions Club for their generous donations which allowed us to purchase food and gift cards, a big thank you.

All of the money raised by our various projects throughout the year goes right back to the community of Merrimack. If you are interested in learning more about our club, please call Marsha at 603-440-5399.

Shannon Gagnon

Lioness Club Publicity Chair


Are morality and ethics dead?

There was a time not long ago, where morality and ethics were the backbone of the vision that was the United States of America. We believed in giving others a fair shake and treating each other with respect and tolerance. We believed that people should not be taken for granted, nor should they be exploited because of where they and their people came from. Was this idea perfect? No. Was the application of this idea perfect? No. It was a work in progress just like the original idea of the United States. We made fun of each other and sometimes gave unfair and hurtful names to others who were not in our group. We gathered together in our comfortable and familiar clans and mostly did our best not to exclude others, sometimes without success. However, at least we tried.

Now, the ideas of morality and ethics are in danger of being destroyed or at best forgotten. What’s in it for me? This is what we ask. We have moved away from the idea of US and towards the ideas that only benefit us. We honor greed, acquisition of power and the accumulation of undeserved wealth, many times at the expense of others. This is our mistake and it requires attention and correction.

Vice President Joe Biden understands that we must regroup or lose our collective soul. We must take up the task again of treating each other with respect, dignity and fairness. Not long ago, the United States of America was a pillar of moral strength and truth for the world to admire and emulate. We must become this again, or we will forever lose what we once were. For this and many other reasons, we need to vote for Joe Biden and recapture our sanity and our ethics once again.

Robert Beaudry


Reinstate Lurgio Latin

Last month, the Bedford school board voted to cut funding for the Latin program at Ross A. Lurgio Middle School. As Latin students at Bedford High, we strongly feel that this decision was shortsighted, and we are working to reinstate the funds for Latin to remain part of the Lurgio world language curriculum.

There are many benefits to studying Latin, such as being able to score higher on standardized tests like the SAT and AP, as well as bolstering students’ verbal and problem-solving skills. Research studies have even shown that Latin students have scored higher on these tests compared to students of other languages. It makes no sense, therefore, why the school board would seek to eliminate a program that bolsters students’ academic performance.

This is not the first time that a language program has been cut from Bedford’s school district. Its Mandarin program was first phased out at the middle school, while the high school program soon followed about a year later. Today, students who take Mandarin are finishing their linguistic education via online programs. We are worried that this same fate could soon befall Latin students as well. Unlike Mandarin, however, there is no decline in interest for Latin at the high school level; it’s actually growing. In the past four years, enrollment in Latin has almost doubled, and is increasing among the middle school population as well.

The school board is holding their annual budget deliberative session on Tuesday, February 4th at 7 pm in the Bedford High School auditorium. We ask any and all Bedford residents who are interested in keeping Latin as part of the middle school curriculum to please attend and show your support for the Lurgio program. Investments in educational opportunities, especially those relating to world language, are always worth the costs, and should come first and foremost when budgets are discussed, since the benefits that students receive from teachers in a classroom setting are more valuable than what any online program could provide.

Nick Morris


Defending the defenders

Five times in just the last month, sometimes in sub-zero temperatures, groups of environment-defenders have delayed delivery of 10,000 tons of coal shipped from West Virginia to the Merrimack Generation station in Bow.

Protesters came from all over New England, representing groups such as 350-Action and the Extinction Rebellion in efforts coordinated by the Climate Disobedience Center, an organization determined to see the plant shut down.

Why would they do this?

Merrimack Station, built in the 1960s, is the only New England coal-burning plant not scheduled for decommissioning. With a current value of about $10 million, the plant costs New Hampshire residents approximately $37.8 million per year. Generating 482 mega-watt-hours, this is $78.40 per MWH. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a new solar facility would generate energy for around $60 per MWH.

And how dirty is coal energy? When the Merrimack Station operates for one hour, it produces equivalent pollution to an average New Hampshire resident’s production over 26 years!

Consider the additional longer-term costs of greenhouse gas pollution. We’re seeing coastal flooding in hundreds of locations around the world. Increased droughts have decimated huge areas south of the U.S., destroying farmland. Droughts continue to play a major role in California and Australia wildfires. Here in New Hampshire, ticks now decimate our moose population, honeybees cannot survive winters due to mites and new-growth sugar maples has nearly stopped.

Decommissioning the Merrimack Station will not solve all of this. Doing so is a drop in the bucket. But it is a start, and an important start to a movement toward sustainability that New Hampshire could lead.

Our environment-defenders are not criminals. They are informed people whose actions are driven by an understanding that time is running out for us all.

Chris Balch

New Hampshire Representative


A vote for Sanders

I am a witness in an antiterrorist case, Atchley v. AstraZeneca, in the U.S. District Court, Washington, D.C., and I will be voting for Bernie Sanders.

The plaintiffs in the case are the families of hundreds of U.S. soldiers and civilians killed and wounded in Iraq. The defendants are Johnson & Johnson, GE Medical Systems, Pfizer, La-Roche, AstraZeneca, etc. (Big Pharma). There is strong evidence that Big Pharma paid millions of dollars in bribes to enter the lucrative war-torn Iraqi health care market and that Big Pharma knew the bribes were financing terrorists in Iraq who were killing and wounding U.S. soldiers and civilians.

On Oct. 9, 2002, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders said he would not be voting for a resolution supporting the invasion of Iraq: “The question, Mr. Speaker, is not whether we like Saddam Hussein or not. The question is whether he presents an imminent threat to the American people and whether a unilateral invasion of Iraq will do more harm than good.”

Both political parties, Congress and the Executive Branch should have listened to Bernie Sanders. Thousands of U.S. soldiers have been killed in Iraq and tens of thousands wounded. Millions of Iraqi civilians were killed, wounded, impoverished, and displaced. We need Bernie Sanders in the White House not only in the US quest for peace and justice but in our struggle against the corporate culture that stoops to aiding and abetting terrorists in killing and wounding US soldiers and civilians serving their country.

Arthur Brennan is a veteran, a retired New Hampshire Superior Court judge, and was the director of the U.S. Embassy Office of Accountability and Transparency in 2007. He is a witness in the antiterrorist case Atchley v. AstraZeneca. He lives with his wife, Nancy, in Weare.

Arthur Brennan


Can Bernie deliver?

Bernie Sanders is surging in Iowa and New Hampshire. His supporters are fervent, loyal and, more important, they believe a vote for Bernie is a vote for: Medicare for All, elimination of all student debt, the Green New Deal and everything else that Bernie rails for in his speeches. It’s simple – vote for this guy and all your problems will be solved when he becomes president.

However, I wonder if Bernie’s supporters realize that even if Bernie becomes president, that he can’t deliver on any of his many promises all by himself. He (and any president) needs the strong support of Congress if they want to deliver on any of their campaign promises. Simply voting for a guy like Bernie doesn’t guarantee anything. There’s a long and difficult fight ahead, involving negotiation, persuasion and, most importantly, a Congress that’s favorable to some of the president’s policies.

As we consider who’s best to lead our country for the next four years, I urge everyone to keep in mind that it’s not about electing whoever promises you the world, but it’s about electing someone who can actually get something done. Oh, and electing a supporting cast (Congress, governors, statehouses) also is a necessary ingredient. Lord knows we need many things done, so please do your research on who’s a “doer,” and VOTE.

Joe O’Neill


Bring integrity to the DNC

In 2016, I went as far as to write Bernie Sanders in on my ballot, because I felt what the Democratic Party did to undermine him stained the soul of the party. It was wrong, and writing in Bernie was my personal way to make a statement to that fact. I was supremely disappointed that Clinton and Obama failed this integrity test.

Integrity and consistency are important qualities in a presidential candidate. I’m an Independent and I disagree with Bernie Sanders on several issues but he gains my respect with his history of integrity and consistency. I could say the same of Joe Biden, Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard and more. In this political climate, being what it is, these qualities stand out to me.

Now, in this current Democratic race, I see the Democratic National Committee doing the same thing to other candidates as they did to Bernie. A party that is truly for all people would give all candidates a fair and equal voice. They would champion each candidate equally within the party, with the media, and in their debates. At their essence the DNC should convey integrity and consistency by being transparently fair with the all candidates and allowing the people to make their choice without DNC bias.

The primary process is designed so the people indicate which candidate, and by extension candidate’s policies, they support. It culminates in a convention where delegates, carrying the weight of their constituents’ choice, engage in rounds of good faith negotiations so the party can put forth a single candidate with a shared policy vision. This should happen transparently.

Unfortunately, this is not what the DNC is giving the public. Taken from the DNC 2020 Presidential Campaign Resources website, I quote: “…we’ve taken steps to ensure that our primaries and caucuses are inclusive and accessible, our debate schedule is fair, our nominating process will honor the voices of our grassroots voters…” If only it were true. When you exclude candidates based on arbitrary and changing criteria; when you allow the media to blatantly miss-characterize, ignore, and even slander candidates without DNC reprise; when you hold closed door sessions to subvert the inclusion of certain candidates in favor of others; your mission statement is a lie.

So now I call out Bernie Sanders, and in fact, all the Democratic candidates. Your integrity is in question. I challenge you to publicly hold the DNC accountable. Insist all candidates be heard equally. Insist that until the final primary ballot is cast, all candidates be included equally. Insist the DNC publicly denounce mainstream media on candidate censorship. Insist publicly. Insist together. Let the people decide who they choose. Let each candidate’s integrity show through in how they respond to the momentum of the people’s choices, and their dedication to refuse tactics of slander and deceit. Make yours a campaign one of transparent integrity, consistency and respect for process your supporters put their faith in.

Daniel B. French


Tulsi snubbed by CNN

First and foremost, I want to say that I am an American and I love living in the United States. With that being said, I cannot say that I have been living as a proud American for the last 12-16 years or so. At times, I have felt sick to my stomach and embarrassed for positions and actions our leaders and mainstream media have taken. It is why I have avoided politics.

It is shocking how the government tries to control our citizens and news outlets and have the ability to silence important voices in our democracy. I finally see the light at the end of the tunnel that could change all that, and yet again the government and media are getting in the way. I have come across a candidate who I not only think can change the course of the United States and make me proud to be an American again, but can facilitate and restore peace around the globe.

This candidate is Tulsi Gabbard. Her bravery and willingness to meet with controversial leaders and speak about what is not popular and status quo proves her love for the United States and its people. To go against the grain, take the cuts and bruises she has, like a champ nonetheless, proves to me that she has a vision for this country that is one of unity, not divisiveness, and will not waiver on those positions. She has a natural crossover appeal to all parties by just being herself. She is smart, strong, consistent, and above all else HONEST. She will not stop fighting for the American people. You can believe and trust her.

The establishment as we know it would not work so hard to smear and silence Tulsi if what she is saying does not have compelling merit and truth. The bottom line is Tulsi has changed my life and given me hope for our country and its future.

I am honored to have her fighting for the America we need and deserve as Americans. I invite all Americans to look further than the government and main stream media to truly find out who this amazing candidate actually is, and not what the higher powers that be WANT you to think.

Tulsi is the opportunity the United States should not dismiss or move past.

Matthew Grave


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