Does Zoning Affect Racism and Poverty?

To the Editor:

Here is yet another attempt to link something that has absolutely no cause/effect.

Proponents of eradicating single family zoning are now claiming that your desire to live in a SF [single family] neighborhood is the reason for “segregation and exclusion” and “…associated with inadequate access to affordable housing and with the segregation of people by income, race and ethnicity…”.

From an article on the website, headlined, “Single-Family Zoning Linked With Income and Race Segregation”:

“An analysis of zoning laws in Connecticut finds people in single-family areas are likelier to be white and have higher incomes than those in areas that allow more housing. The findings add to a growing recognition of how zoning is linked with segregation and exclusion.”


This movement to eradicate single family zoning is alive and well in New Hampshire, supported by your Republican Governor and so-called “libertarians,” authors of the “Zoning Atlas” []. Some even think HOA’s should be illegal and it’s their job to march in and destroy the agreements residents have made of their own free will.

It’s all part of the great reset, AFFH, and Agenda 2030.

Drive a stake into it before it destroys the New Hampshire Advantage.

Jane Aitken

Bedford, N.H.


Sorry. Your peremptory deployment of the archaic “balderdash” might impress the audience at a Bedford Planning Board meeting, but it cuts no mustard here.

The Home Owners Loan Corporation [HOLC], created in 1933, and the Federal Housing Act [FHA] the following year, made it possible for the first time for Americans to buy homes with 20- or 30-year mortgages. Provided they were white, of course.

The FHA covered the banks’ risk. How to minimize the risk to the FHA? That was the HOLC’s job. It created color-coded “Residential Security Maps.” Guess what? Neighborhoods that were predominantly occupied by whites were classified as “desirable.” Less-desirable neighborhoods were color-coded yellow or red—hence the term, “redlining.”

Can you say “Structural Racism?”

The Editor


Give Me Patriarchy, Or Give Me Death

To the Editor:

What do parents do when their child’s behavior changes significantly? They wonder why. If there’s a problem, they want to fix it.

Without an obvious explanation such as family, friend, pet, or growth-related problem, parents seek input from anyone they think might help, e.g., siblings, teachers, coaches, doctor. Parents assume that everyone will want to help fix your child’s problem.

Unfortunately, that may not be true. New Hampshire Democrat [sic] legislators (Democrats) stopped a Parental Rights Law (SB272) that would require school employees to provide honest and complete responses to parents’, except known abusive parents, inquiries.

Democrats decided that some people, i.e., school officials including teachers, can withhold information from parents, including about a student’s gender confusion or inclinations. People who may barely know your child. People who often poorly do the job for which they were trained. People who may be introducing your child to sex or gender ideas for which he/she is not mature enough. People who may be confusing your child about his/her gender e.g., by asking your son/daughter if he/she is really a boy/girl. People who may be taking advantage of your child and telling your child to keep secrets from you. Democrats decided that these people can withhold information from you, your child’s loving parents.

The Democrats who stopped the Parental Rights bill say that you who gave birth to this child, feed, clothe, protect, teach, encourage, and love this child; you who would sacrifice your life to protect your child; you don’t have a right to know about every issue your child may be having.

Did you vote for Democrats so they could make parents worry, watch their child suffer, and struggle to identify their child’s problems while schools withhold the information parents need to help their child?

Don Ewing

Meredith, N.H.


Rather than try to address the sum of all your fears simultaneously, we’ll approach this methodically.

First, Republicans propose a law that requires teachers to rat out their kids.

This is actually impressive, in a depressing kind of way. We would not have guessed that anyone in the state GOP could read German well enough to crib from an East German law book.

The Stasi, it is said, had one secret policeman for every 166 East Germans. That’s not good enough for our local branch of Authoritarians International, though. They’ll see your one in 166 and raise it to one in 30.

The Editor


Bring Out the Bibles

Dear Editor:

Yesterday the New York Times reported that Mark Meadows, one of the founding members of the Republican far-right Congressional Freedom Caucus, and former Chief of Staff for Trump, testified before a federal grand jury in the investigations led by Special Counsel Jack Smith. It is not known whether he testified about the January 6th insurrection or the documents taken from the White House when Trump left office. After the testimony, one of Meadow’s lawyers stated that “Mr. Meadows has maintained a commitment to tell the truth where he has a legal obligation to do so.”

That statement tells us all we need to know about the level of integrity, honesty and dedication to the truth held by so many Republicans who have served and are currently serving in positions of leadership in our country. As such we cannot believe any statement coming from people like Meadows unless they would be in legal jeopardy for not telling the truth. Of course, this should not be a surprise since we were subjected to thousands of lies from Mr. Trump and his administration during his four years in office.

Americans deserve better than a level of honesty and integrity from our leaders than one that only applies if there would be legal consequences for not telling the truth. What amazes me is that a lawyer for Mr. Meadows actually came out and admitted that his client’s commitment to honesty was only conditioned on a legal obligation. That sounds more like a lawyer for a mob boss than a former Congressman and Presidential Chief of Staff.

Rich DiPentima

Portsmouth, N.H.


Thanks for pointing this out. It truly is an astonishing confession. Of course, it’s been lost in the overwhelming flood of bizarre, self-incriminating statements Republicans have been vomiting forth since…well, let’s give Newt his due. Plenty of Republicans lied before him—the name Nixon rings a bell. Newt was a pioneer, though, in the art of sculpting a fictional reality from the ground up, one lie at a time.

Since we’re now stuck in this mendacious metaverse, we propose that Republicans should never be quoted unless they’ve sworn an oath under penalty of perjury.

The Editor


The Truth About The Debt Ceiling “Crisis”

To the Editor:

Hey, what was this debt ceiling crisis really all about?

Was it about cutting spending? Nope. Reducing the deficit? Are you kidding me? Was it because the Dems were wrecking the economy and piling up debt? Nope, wrong political party. How about protecting the wealthy? Bingo!

Some history.

Reagan—he cut taxes on the wealthy, producing some of the biggest peacetime deficits ever seen. Clinton got the economy back in order and left a surplus!

Bush immediately gave giant tax cuts to the (do I have to spell it out?) wealthy, and left the country in The Great Recession. In the process, Bush tripled the national debt.

Obama got the economy back in order, substantially reducing deficit spending. Then Trump massively cut taxes on the needy (just kidding) on the wealthy, raised the national debt by 40 percent! Nary a peep out of the Republicans.

And Biden? He actually reduced deficit spending.

So, what did the R’s take off the negotiating table: no taxes on the wealthy or corporations, no closing of tax loopholes, reduced money for the IRS which was going to use that money to go after wealthy tax cheats. A move that is estimated will cost $1 Trillion in tax revenues!

This whole debt ceiling crisis was to protect the wealthy from paying their fair share. That means the rest of us pay more.

So, if you want both higher taxes and larger deficits to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations, vote Republican!

Michael Frandzel

Portsmouth, N.H.


You know who’s really to blame here? The Democrats.

It’s the bottom of the ninth—because in American politics, it’s always the bottom of the ninth. There’s a donkey at the plate. An elephant walks from the mound to home plate, a silver platter balanced on the end of its trunk. On that platter is a softball. The elephant stops, holds up the motionless softball, and waits for the donkey to swing.

The donkey, of course, trips over his own feet and is called out by the ump.

The Editor


Can We Handle the Truth?

Dear Editor,

America operates a culture of flattery.

We flatter ourselves that we are resilient, beautiful, intelligent, equitable, caring, powerful, spiritual, democratic, and the list goes on.

Business flatters us endlessly because they want us to buy their products. Here’s an ad I saw on TV recently: “The only thing stronger than us is you,” (because you wear Depends).

Politicians flatter us that we are great and heroic and unstoppable because they want our votes.

Churches flatter us that we are the elect of God, so we will continue to fill the plate with donations.

Even the Federal Reserve tries to flatter the people with its policies, regularly raising interest rates and saying that since we are so rational, we will slow down our borrowing and spending, and that will stop inflation. Nope, it won’t and it doesn’t.

Americans are under the impression that we can become powerful and resilient merely by endlessly repeating those words in front of a mirror. Doesn’t really work that way, does it? Imagination is not reality.

What actually is in the minds, hearts, and hands of Americans is false pride, greed, lust, ignorance, jealousy, hate, dishonesty, delusion, gluttony, sloth, anger, and the list goes on.

That’s not a list of religious sins. That is a secular and realistic indictment of our personal and national condition.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah


Guilty as charged.

The Editor


How To Elect Trump

To the Editor:

I am writing to urge you and your loyal readers (of which I have been one since 2004) to give serious consideration to the presidential candidacy of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

First, we need to get this out of the way: the “anti-vaccine” label is a corporate media smear; please don’t fall for it. He has always said that he is in favor of safe vaccines, but we can never be sure of their safety or efficacy as long as our regulatory agencies are under the thumb of the pharmaceutical industry.

If you suspend your judgment long enough to watch his Boston campaign launch speech (no teleprompters, speaking straight from the heart for two hours) you will see a man whose intelligence, compassion, courage, and integrity make every presidential candidate we’ve seen for the past 50 years look like a cardboard cutout of a real candidate. His priorities will make your heart sing: end regulatory capture, begin to dismantle the American empire, address the dismal state of American health, and most importantly, protect and restore our environment. This planet cannot afford another four years of corporate Democrats giving half-hearted lip service to the environment. As an environmental lawyer, Kennedy has spent his career fighting to protect the natural world from corporate polluters. Our planet needs him desperately.

Many liberal Democratic candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, have promised to get corporate money out of our government, but only Kennedy has the experience to actually do it. He has a thorough understanding of what he calls “the corrupt merger of state and corporate power” and pledges to end it. Imagine if the EPA actually protected the environment! With Kennedy in charge, that could happen. Like his uncle, but unlike every other president we’ve seen since then, Kennedy has the integrity and strength of character to stand up to the bureaucracy that will surround him as president.

Lastly, Kennedy is the only conceivable candidate who can heal the divide between right and left that is tearing our country apart. He knows that our corporate rulers love this fighting, because it keeps us occupied while they continue to stripmine our country with impunity. He speaks in a way that has broad appeal to people on both sides of the political spectrum. He has a vastly greater chance of winning the general election than the almost universally disliked and/or pitied Biden.

In short we haven’t seen a candidate of his caliber since 1968. Please consider supporting him.

Rachel Wakefield

Farmington, N.H.


It is only by the application of nearly-superhuman restraint that we refrain from fulminating yet again about the anti-democratic idiocies of the American electoral system. Every four years the stakes get higher. This would be the case even if all we had nothing to worry about except carbon dioxide emissions. Add in some mass extinction, some forever chemicals, and pretty soon you’re talking about real looming problems. If ever there were a time for a political system that functioned, this would be it. But nooo… .

Into this conundrum walks a guy with huge name recognition, a member, it could easily be argued, of the nation’s most exalted political dynasty. And, in his wake, a baggage train of the sort that used to require a battalion of native bearers.

We confess we have not made the herculean effort required to pierce the prevailing image which has been imposed on RFK Jr.—that of an anti-vax crank. We are only arguing that it would be a huge strategic error to expect millions of Americans to undertake that task.

The Editor


Hold Him To His Word

Dear Sir:

August 18, 2016, Charlotte, North Carolina: “In my administration, I’m going to enforce all laws concerning the protection of classified information. No one will be above the law.”

Those were the words of then-candidate for President Donald Trump. Considering the recent 37-count indictment, including violations of the Espionage laws, obstructing an investigation, and sharing classified information with individuals without proper security clearances and who were not authorized to see such information, I would hope that Mr. Trump’s 2016 statement would also apply to him.

What many Trump supporters fail to understand is the actual process of obtaining an indictment, as well as the function and makeup of a grand jury. Neither the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Attorney General, nor the President of the United States determine who and if someone is indicted for crimes. The DOJ, based on credible evidence of possible crimes initiates an investigation into whether crimes may have been committed. If such a determination is made a grand jury is established to hear all the evidence and facts gathered by the investigation and then the grand jury determines if the evidence is strong enough to charge an individual with a crime or crimes. A grand jury consists of average citizens selected at random from the community where the alleged crime or crimes took place. The members of the grand jury are not DOJ employees, or related to the government’s investigation in any way. The grand jury that recently indicted Mr. Trump were all citizens selected from Southern Florida communities. It can take months or longer for a grand jury to hear all the evidence and make a determination as to whether an indictment is warranted. Anyone claiming that this process is a political witch hunt or an abuse of power by the DOJ, or that the President has any influence in this matter, simply does not understand how the system operates.

Mr. Trump will have his opportunity in a court of law, before a jury of his peers, to refute the DOJ’s evidence, provide witnesses that could support his claims of innocence, and present any evidence to support his claims of innocence. It will then be up to the trial jury to determine his innocence or guilt on any or all the counts he is charged with.

This is how the system works, and just as Mr. Trump indicated in his 2016 statement, it should apply to anyone and everyone mishandling classified information, including Mr. Trump himself.

Rich DiPentima, LTC, USAF, Ret.

Portsmouth, N.H.


As we write, the Miscreant-in-Chief is due in court to answer the 37 felonies. Perhaps he will surprise us all and say what he really thinks: “Your Honor, or whatever—didn’t I appoint you? OK, then—Not Guilty. It’s like Nixon said. If I did it, it wasn’t illegal.”

The Editor


Evidence of Questionable Upbringing

Dear Editor:

I heard Donald Trump’s voice on BBC radio, saying, “They came for me, and they’ll come for you.” That’s fear-mongering. What a way to control others! Of course if you break laws and it’s found out—maybe because you left so many clues to your identity—“they” will come for you, “they” being the enforcers of law in our country of laws.

I sometimes wonder, you folks who support Trump—would you be undisturbed if your adult children or grandchildren compulsively broke laws? If so, what was your upbringing? You didn’t have high expectations of them, of the kind of lives they’d lead? It’d been the same for you? Did no one care if you kept your nose clean or not? (Meaning that instruction—“Please keep your nose clean and stay far away from the troublemakers.”

I really wish I could understand what motivates Trump’s devoted followers who overlook his bad behaviors.

Lynn Rudmin Chong

Sanbornton, N.H.


How well the Editor remembers being asked, “Were you born in a barn?” Extended bouts of obstreperousness might elicit the command, “Go play in traffic.” One common reply to impertinence was, “Walk east ’til your hat floats.” It was a different world in those days.

It is a question for the ages: how did this nation—founded, as it was, by persons of such spotless character and piercing intellect that their names must never be invoked except in tones of awe—produce an electorate gullible enough to put its highest office in such tiny hands?

To answer this question, we propose a Manhattan Project-scaled study of self-esteem. We suspect it may be a fifth elemental force, which deserves study alongside electromagnetism, gravitation, and those other two forces, the rather vaguely-named weak and strong interactions. Our working thesis is that an individual with a sufficient quantity of unwarranted self esteem might constitute a critical mass.

Just as a critical mass of an unstable radioactive element can cause a sustained nuclear chain reaction, so might a critical mass of unwarranted self-esteem cause a sustained chain reaction of uncontrolled dumbassery.

The Editor

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