A Warning to Wannabe Dictators

To the Editor:

Seeing the results of the Republican New Hampshire Primary and subsequent primaries, I am horrified that Republicans who voted in those States voted for Donald Trump. This means that most Republicans who voted would like to see Trump as President again—a man who has been shown to be a liar, a thief, a cheat, and a rapist, who aspires to be an authoritarian dictator on day one. He has also told us that he is a racist and a fascist. This is who the Republican party wants to represent the U.S.A. to the rest of the world???

I lived in Europe in the 1930’s and 1940’s and learned firsthand what dictators do and what fascism is. I am not a fan of either, to put it mildly.

The “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. in August, 2017, consisted of white supremacist groups, neo-nazis, neo-fascists, antisemitic, anti-Islamic groups, and KKKlansmen, to name a few, and Trump called these “good people”!! I saw on TV the nazi and southern racist flags. These are the groups the Right (Republican Party) wants to unite. These are the ideologies the Republican Party wants to absorb?? These primary Republican votes indicate that is what most Republicans want!

When Dwight Eisenhower became Supreme Allied Commander and occupied the European theatre of WW II by pushing fascists and Nazis out of territories they had occupied, I was a big fan. When he became the U.S. President, I identified with him and his party, and even voted Republican. Not any more, though. That party no longer exists. It has morphed into what it is today, which is a party that votes against measures they once requested, because Trump does not want it, because he wants it to become an election issue. I, for one will never vote Republican again and I now have a different opinion of people who I know are Republicans who may have voted in the primary for a man that has no moral compass.

Trump should check on how other dictators have fared. I can only refer to European dictators, and how they ended up: Mussolini, while trying to flee to Switzerland, was shot by his own countrymen near Lake Como, and strung upside down by his feet in the town square in April, 1945. His mistress, Clara “Claretta” Petacci, was treated the same way.

Hitler, also in April 1945, shot Eva Braun, his wife of only a few hours, and then shot himself, thereby avoiding the Nuremberg trials.

Going back to the 1630’s in England, about the time of the Mayflower voyage, Charles 1st was crowned King of England (and Scotland and Ireland), but he did not like Parliament telling him what to do (I think it had to do with collecting taxes), so he dissolved parliament and reinstalled “The divine right of Kings.” That led to a civil war between the Cavaliers (ruling class) and the Roundheads (parliamentarians). Charles was captured, accused of treason, tried in a court of law, found guilty, and sentenced. The sentence was carried out in 1649. They chopped off his head. With those precedents, I would think more than twice about being a wannabe dictator.

Chris Mills

Nottingham, N.H.


Thanks for writing. We do appreciate the historical perspective. Plus, you make us feel young[er] again.

Thanks, too, for expressing, in a subtle manner fit for publication, a repressed desire shared by many of our readers.

The Editor


NIMBY Today, NIMBY Tomorrow…

To the Editor,

Bills pertaining to housing would normally get vetted by the House Municipal and County Government Committee. But a recently created “stacked” committee is vetting housing bills and sure to give them a good recommendation, whether they deserve it or not.

Did you think the “House Special Committee on Housing” would conduct fair hearings considering it is made up of seven of the eight sponsors of some bills?

As predicted, HB 1291 and HB 1399 were both recommended as “OTP” [Ought to Pass] by this committee. If you cherish your single-family neighborhood you must write to the full House and tell them to vote no on “OTP” when these bills come to the floor.

Likewise, a Senate committee deemed SB 538 as “OTP”. You must write to all 24 Senators to ask them to vote no on “OTP”. (Senators@leg.state.nh.us) SB 538 is called the HOMEnibus bill, and would be completely devastating to towns that want to preserve single-family zoning.

Most homeowners have no idea what is going on and may end up finding out the hard way if these outrageous power grabs pass.

Please visit https://bedfordresidents.com/bra/2024/03/20/housing-forum-march-20-2024/ for more details on how to contact your legislators.

The American Policy Center has a good article that tells the history of this movement which has been going on for a very long time. Look it up: “YIMBYs, Workforce Housing, and Community Land Trusts: All Means to an End to Private Property”.

Jane Aitken

Bedford, N.H.


Your adamantine defense of single-family zoning brings to mind Charlton Heston, raising a flintlock rifle over his head and yelling, “from my cold, dead hands….”

Citing the American Policy Center doesn’t help your argument much, though.

Grover Norquist, a classic American political entrepreneur, set himself up in 1985 as a one-man, one-policy think tank which he branded as Americans for Tax Reform. It’s been his meal ticket ever since.

The Patent Office will not protect a grift, though, so Tom Deweese was free to set up his own, which he calls the American Policy Center. Where Norquist is a monomaniacal sniper whose creed is “Kill all taxes”, Deweese is more of a generalist. If it’s right wing enough, he’s on board. His creed is “Support my crusade to save the Republic,” and support my policy center to support me.

The fact that Deweese and the John Birch Society are tight ought to alert most folks: whatever he’s on about is based on old fashioned paranoia.

The Editor


…NIMBY Forever

To the Editor;

California has ended single-family zoning statewide.

Email immediately and tell your N.H. Reps to VOTE NO on HB 1291, HB 1399 and your Senators to vote NO on SB 538. Email info@bedfordresidents.com for instructions.

These bills attack single-family neighborhoods and promote “new urbanism,” a movement based on the “climate change” agenda.

The HBs were heard before a “special” committee stacked with their own sponsors, and rubber-stamped, instead of being heard by the usual House Committee!

All three bills would be dangerous to single-family neighborhoods. Some Reps want to impose a top-down state-controlled “one-size-fits-all” approach to zoning as opposed to your voice and your vote. And they think this protects our rights! To the contrary, it removes our choices and lowers property values. As any realtor will tell you, the most important factor in the value of property is location, location, and location!

Attacking established neighborhoods is not going to remedy any “housing shortage,” which ultimately is not even the state’s responsibility.

One can only imagine why Republican Reps Yokela, Osborne, Sweeney, and Alexander have fallen for this socialistic approach which is similar to what is promoted by any number of left-wing NGOs such as @StrongTowns. Strong Towns stated mission is to “replace the Suburban Experiment”.

InDepthNH.org was right: “It is interesting that those who scream the loudest about individual freedom and personal rights are so quick to take them away from others and do not see that as government overreach.”

[At her request: info@bedfordresidents.com, (603) 472-7488]

Jane Aitken

Bedford, N.H.


The quote you pulled from InDepthNH intrigued us, so we Googled. That piece is headlined, “Housing Crisis Caught in Battle Between State and Local Control”, posted March 23, 2024. The writer, as it happens, is Garry Rayno, a former colleague of ours on a small weekly. In the decades since we last saw him, he’s covered the State House for Foster’s Daily Democrat and the Union Leader. Now, like so many others, he’s with an online outfit.

We recommend to our readers Garry’s March 30 column, headlined “What Is Your Legislature Doing?” It’s a real barn burner.

“The last two legislatures elected should be a warning to anyone who has lived in the Granite State before the influx of the mob owned by the Koch Foundation and others of the same ilk who have used their fortunes to put people who do not represent the views of a majority of the state’s residents into the legislature.

“They want to make the minority the majority by turning the state’s political landscape into such a wasteland it will attract more of their like-minded minions.”

The Editor


Which Is It, Sen. Ayotte?

Dear Editor:

In her recent column in the Portsmouth Herald, former Senator Ayotte’s words reminded me of the play Hamlet where Queen Gertrude states “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” Ms. Ayotte, twists herself into knots trying to declare her support for IVF while at the same time trying to distance herself from the recent Alabama IVF case. Unfortunately, Ms. Ayotte never addresses the key question. Does Ms. Ayotte believe that life begins at conception, which is the basis for the Alabama case? If she believes that life begins at conception, her statement regarding her support for IVF is not consistent with her true beliefs.

IVF involves the fertilization of multiple eggs resulting in the creation of a number of embryos. Since not all the embryos are actually implanted, the unused embryos are either kept frozen for future use or eventually destroyed. The Alabama Court decision declared that embryos were in fact “extra uterine children,” and that destroying those unused embryos was committing a wrongful death. As such, anyone who believes that life begins at conception cannot at the same time state that they support IVF, since those unused embryos must be either kept frozen forever, which is not consistent with life, or, eventually destroyed.

Ms. Ayotte’s record would indicate that she believes that life begins at conception. In 2010 then Senator Ayotte called for Roe v. Wade to be overturned, and in 2014, she led a group of 33 Republican senators demanding a vote on a national abortion ban. A national abortion ban would make abortion at any stage of gestation illegal thus codifying in law that life begins at conception.

Ms. Ayotte cannot have it both ways. Either she believes that life begins at conception and that unused embryos are “extra uterine children” that can never be destroyed and must be kept “alive” in a frozen state forever, or she does not. Her attempts to dance around the issue and obfuscate simply demonstrates how concerned she is about her previous record on abortion and the fallout from the Alabama ruling on her political future. However, she can quickly end this debate by clearly and unambiguously stating that she does not believe that life begins at conception and that embryos are not “extra uterine children.” Only then can she legitimately claim that she truly supports IVF. Otherwise, her words are meaningless.

Rich DiPentima

Portsmouth, N.H.


The Republican Party is demonstrating what happens to the dog that catches the car and sinks its teeth in a tire: it gets slammed to the pavement with every rotation.

The Editor


Catalonia’s Pro-Independence Movement Forces Spain To Approve An Amnesty

To the Editor:

In the Middle Ages, Catalonia was one of the great European nations, but after 1714 it was subjugated by Castile (Madrid) and lost its sovereignty. The Spanish way of being (vertical, authoritarian, conquering and warlike) is opposed to the Catalan way (horizontal, pacifist, democratic, and merchant). That is why Catalonia has always tried to become independent, but Spain has violently prevented it. From 1939 to 1978, Spain had a fascist dictatorship, which was not defeated as in the case of Germany and Italy. The transition to democracy was not by conviction but because the world demanded it, and it was very deficient. Since then, two major parties have alternated in power, PP from the right and PSOE from the center. The PP is the direct heir of fascism and the PSOE is the heir, by environmental osmosis, of the same intolerant nationalism.

Catalonia’s ongoing independence attempt is the most powerful in history because now Spain cannot consider killing us in the institutional framework of the EU. In 2017 we held and won a self-determination referendum. The PP fought it using anti-democratic methods: judges, secret services, police… and now the PSOE is doing the same: repression and denial of any option towards freedom for Catalonia.

In the recent electoral campaign, the PSOE ridiculed Catalan independence, assured that it would arrest and lock up in prison Carles Puigdemont (the president of Catalonia who carried out the referendum in 2017 and who is in exile in Belgium) and denied the possibility of an amnesty for pro-independence criminals or any referendum on self-determination for Catalonia. The PSOE was showing off its chest by exhibiting the aggressive nationalism that is typical of the Spanish identity.

But the PP and the extreme right of VOX won the elections of July 23, 2023 without an absolute majority. Then the PSOE, seeing that it does not govern in any large region or city council, wanted to get the government of Spain so that its party has economic viability. And everything has changed. They no longer blaspheme the Catalan independentism, but they make a pact because they need their seven votes to govern.

On March 7th, the amnesty law that the PSOE said it would never approve was passed. And they have approved it with the Catalan pro-independence parties and other parties, in total eight parties (179 seats and 12.3 million votes). It is a success for the Catalan independence movement because it has shown that they were falsely accused. Nobody would have been able to approve an amnesty that would pardon real terrorists. Spanish nationalism, in full fury, invented accusations against Catalan independence: rebellion, sedition, terrorism, treason, hate crimes, economic embezzlement…. But it is quite the opposite, the Catalan independence movement is exemplary in its democratic approach (it does not want to impose independence but has always wanted to hold a referendum of self-determination for the Catalan society to decide democratically) and it is not violent (it has made massive and peaceful mobilizations). Aware that there had been “lawfare” (judicial dirty war), the PSOE has now accepted an amnesty.

But the right and the extreme right do not want to accept the amnesty, because they see it as a defeat. They have always imposed themselves by force and now they do not want to accept the law passed by the Spanish parliament. The judges threaten to sabotage the law and not to apply it. And the fact is that, there being no crimes, an amnesty law is needed because the judges accept the invented accusations and condemn the pro-independence supporters to destroy this political movement. With that motivation, the judges will look for subterfuges not to apply it and to continue condemning.

And all this is because now the PSOE needs the seven pro-independence votes, but what will it do when it does not need them? What will it do when the Catalan pro-independence movement, remade from this chapter of repression, mobilizes again to free itself from Spain? We know: Both PP and PSOE will go back to repression. But for the moment, the independence movement has managed to demonstrate that it is not guilty of any crime and that it only wants freedom from a country that only increases the desire of the Catalans to free themselves from it.

The EU cannot continue tolerating these abuses and will have to intervene sooner or later, because the European Justice is about to issue judgments against Spain (this imminence has also motivated the PSOE to approve the amnesty). In order not to waste time, or energy, or increase the Spanish institutional crisis, it would be better for the EU to force Spain to accept the result of the 2017 referendum or hold a new one in which the Catalans can decide their future free of impositions and authoritarianism.

Jordi Oriola Folch

Barcelona, Catalonia


The passage of an amnesty law seems like a genuinely positive development, however difficult its implementation may prove to be.

Americans should note how Catalans have had to struggle to shed the burden of fascism. An ounce of preventation surely equals at least a pound of cure.

The Editor


Are We Becoming Nazis?

Dear Editor,

Congress recently passed legislation, signed into law by President Biden, that banned funds for UNRWA. Are we becoming Nazis? Our behavior towards Palestinians reflects that trend. We seem to be using the Nazi playbook.

Residents of Gaza, their homes, infrastructure, and cultural institutions are bombed with our bombs. Through this legislation, we are greenlighting starving and withholding clean water and medicine from Palestinian refugees in Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem as well as those in Jordan, Lebanon, and elsewhere in the Middle East. UNRWA also funds schools, a police force, and social services.

Today, Gaza residents are locked up in a concentration camp—basically, a death camp. And we just approved $4 billion more for Israel to continue their genocide. What does that say about us—the U.S.A., a country that supported the creation of the state of Israel and the expulsion of the Palestinians from their homes and lands? They once were a thriving people, respected throughout the world as the people of the Holy Land. Now we have condemned them to a grizzly death. What does that say about us?

Genevieve Harris-Fraser

Orange, Mass.


It’s horrifying to think that anyone might compare the U.S. with the Nazis.

What a pity that there are any grounds for comparison.

The Editor


Who Said It?

To the Editor:

“Nobody knew health care could be so complicated”

“We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” he said.

“All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical-left Democrats, which is what they’re doing. And stolen by the fake news media.”

“While in politics it is often smart to send out false messages…”

Immigrant “vermin” coming to the U.S. are “poisoning the blood of our country,”….a Hitler-like comment…at a recent rally in N.H.

“There were very fine people on both sides.” Referring to a Charleston, NC White Supremacy rally where Heather Heyer was killed.

“We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral” Referring to John McCain’s funeral.

“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers…and suckers.” On a visit to a U.S. cemetery in Normandy, France.

“ I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” Asked of the father of a fallen U.S. soldier.

“The Fake News Media…it’s not my enemy, it’s the enemy of the American people.”

“He did some good things.” Referring to Adolf Hitler.

“Now, if I don’t get elected, it’s going to be a bloodbath for the whole…that’s going to be the least of it…it’s going to be a bloodbath for the country.” Said at a recent rally in Ohio.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came?” Tweets that targeted a group of House Democratic women.

“I’m being indicted for you, the Black population.”

“Don’t tell me it doesn’t work. Torture works. Okay folks?”

“The corrupt establishment knows that we are a great threat to their criminal enterprise.”

“Climate Change is a big scam for a lot of people to make a lot of money.”

“If I don’t with this election, there may never be another election in America.”

Herb Moyer

Exeter, N.H.


You know, reading all these together, you begin to get the sense that the speaker may not have what they used to call “presidential stature.”

The Editor


Channeling the Founding Fathers

Dear Editor,

Recently I channeled this message from our Founding Fathers concerning the state of politics in America.

“A Republican National Committee official announced the MAGA faction’s new constitutional doctrine: ‘God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.’ This is like saying public offices don’t need well-educated administrators, they just need people who go to evangelical church and then follow the mandates of their pastors once they get into power. We decided upon separation of church and state in 1787. Why are you trying to overthrow this sacred principle in 2024?”

“Why even pretend to have a compulsory education system dedicated to teaching good citizenship? The Presidency is so steeped in autocratic government that law-making by the Congress and participation in civic affairs by the citizenry no longer have a place in society. Parliament had more power in England in 1776 than Congress has in America in 2024.”

“Your hyper-partisan politicians all have the same philosophy today. They have replaced the Lord’s Prayer with ‘Let us prey.’”

“The American flag needs to be lowered from half-mast to quarter-mast. There isn’t half a republic left to justify your enthusiasm.”

Don’t blame me for these cynical comments. I’m just the messenger.

Kimball Shinkoskey

Woods Cross, Utah


Yes, we understand. They’re just as cynical when they rattle our Ouija Board.

The Editor


Equal Justice? Are You Joking?

Dear Editor:

Among groundbreaking, or we could say earth-shaking, behaviors of the worst possible Presidential candidate ever seen, Donald Trump has caused federal-level U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton to try to curb Trump’s nasty, un-Presidential behavior as Trump threatens the judge’s daughter. Not a plot in a highly imaginative comic book pleasing to pre-teens, but real-days life with law and order scoffed at, devalued, by Trump.

Walton said, “The rule of law can only be maintained if we have independent judicial officers who are able to do their job and ensure that the laws are, in fact, enforced and that the laws are applied equally to everybody who appears in our courthouse.”

Threats of violence are part of Trump’s performance. Anyone who thinks this is the way to go, note what is happening in Haiti with laws gone, violent gangs running things. You may appear old and foolish, ignoring for the thrill of it what future Americans will live with, if lawless Trump wins the highest power-seat in our land. Or does your right-wing news source omit reporting on Haiti? If alive now, your grandparent would take you to the woodshed for showing such dangerous disrespect of an underlying American value: law and order.

Lynn Rudmin Chong

Sanbornton, N.H.


It’s all fine and dandy that Judge Walton spoke out against lawless scoundrels like our former President threatening officers of the court. His implication that “the laws are applied equally to everybody” is infuriating, though.

The slippery scoundrel in question has been making a mockery of the rule of law for his entire shady career, but has yet to spend a single night in a cell on Rikers Island.

Crystal Mason, a Black woman in Texas, was sentenced to five years in prison for mistakenly voting once. Brian Pritchard, the white first vice chair of the Georgia Republican Party, voted illegally nine times and was let off with a fine.

We’re going to shut up now before we get ourselves in trouble.

The Editor

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