Clintons made an impression

To the editor:

Last Friday, my family and I went to Sen. Hillary Clinton’s rally in Manchester, and afterward, my daughter, who is in law school, and I were invited to attend dinner at the Puritan Restaurant in Manchester.

The energy was so great with both Bill and Hillary together. Bill Clinton brings an added bonus to Hillary’s campaign by talking about their experiences in the White House and when they were in the Governor's House in Arkansas.

My daughter and I had a great conversation with both Bill and Hillary at the Puritan. They spent over two hours meeting everyone, shaking their hands and letting everyone take a picture with them. They were both gracious and down-to-earth.

The Clintons are two people who understand the issues and care about the people of New Hampshire. It is great to see that in a presidential candidate. I urge everyone to get the chance to meet Hillary Clinton or hear her speak; it will be worth your time.

Tammy Siekmann


Gregg on target on biologics bill

To the editor:

When is a legislative deal progress and when is it a sacrifice?

In Congress, there is a prime example of that conflict taking place, and our senator, Judd Gregg, is in the middle of it.

The Senate Health Committee is creating a new process for the approval of low-cost versions of biologics. A biologic is manufactured from a living cell to create a complex mix of molecules, versus a prescription drug which is manufactured from chemical synthesis. Therapies developed from living cells offer exciting new possibilities for disease treatments, but these biologics are more complex than pharmaceutical pills. Unlike pills, biologics cannot be copied to create identical generic ("follow-on") versions. This is the concern of Sen. Gregg.

A bill introduced by Sen. Ted Kennedy has attracted consensus support in the Senate, but at the expense of patient safety and physician decision-making. The bill would allow pharmacists to automatically substitute “follow-on” versions of biologic products for brand-name biologics.

In doing this, Congress would take a key decision-making process out of the hands of your doctor and allow a pharmacist to substitute a product that isn’t identical to the prescribed medication. I applaud the effort to control costs, but taking into account that it is impossible to identically replicate all the components of a complex biologic, this bill, in effect, risks patient safety.

As a veterinarian, I know there are differences in biologics, and as a state legislator, I support Sen. Gregg in his effort to protect patient safety. Let’s try to lower costs, but not undermine patient safety standards to the point where the doctor becomes incidental to the patient’s treatment.

Jim Rausch

State representative


Shea-Porter working to end Iraq War

To the editor:

Cathie Chevalier’s letter of July 13 takes exception to Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter’s response to her question, "Do you want us to win the war in Iraq?" The Congresswoman’s response was, "It’s impossible to win the war in Iraq." Ms. Chevalier’s reaction was, "Talk about emboldening our enemies and at that same time insulting our troops."

How can this be construed as an insult to our troops? Military strategists have concluded that the Iraq war cannot be won militarily -- only by diplomatic efforts and political will. The violence in Iraq results from conflicts between sectarian factions: the Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. Our military’s role is relegated to policing neighborhoods and training Iraqis to protect themselves. The Iraqis are at war with Iraqis. So, how are we emboldening our enemies? The terrorists are in Afghanistan. We certainly are not at war with the Iraqi people. To establish peace and security, it is the responsibility of the Iraqi parliament and the Iraqi people.

In her brief six months in office, Rep. Shea-Porter has sponsored or co-sponsored 165 bills, some of which were: HR 1284, Veteran’s Compensation Cost-of-Living Increase; HR 1591, U.S. Troops Readiness, Veteran’s Health and Iraq Accountability Act of 2007; HR 1538, Wounded Assistance Act; and HR 797, Veterans' Vision Equity Act.

There were 22,000 soldiers discharged for having a "personality disorder" without any evidence that they were ever diagnosed with the illness. The results were soldiers being denied their signing bonuses and in some cases were required to reimburse the government. A bill is now in Congress prohibiting this category from being used.

Ms. Chevalier's assertion that the congresswoman "displays no faith in our troops" is not only untrue but misguided.

Congresswoman Shea-Porter is working to achieve the mandate the voters bestowed upon her in November: to bring about an end to the war.

Mary Eisner


Obama an inspiring choice

To the editor:

In these dangerous times, America needs not only to deal with its enemies, but to constructively cooperate with its friends to solve the difficult challenges we face, ranging from war and peace, environmental protection, economic development and elimination of poverty. We cannot run the world by dictating that other nations do as we say.

Barack Obama is a candidate who is uniquely qualified to restore the respect and prestige of America, which have been so carelessly squandered by the current administration. We need a president who understands there are many cultures that make up the world. We need a president who can deal with the community of nations with dignity, honesty, respect and understanding for the mutual benefit of all.

Barack Obama would lead, not by making empty promises and threats, but by inspiring us all to our better selves, knowing that, after all, only the people can make this country better.

Kay Watman


Manning Street flip-flop

To the editor:

On July 10, at the public forum of the Town Council meeting, we witnessed the big flip-flop. A gentleman discussed the opening of Manning Street. He stated that opening the street would be unsafe for the children.

But when this man was appointed to the Highway Safety Committee, his remarks were, "I think we ought to open Manning Street. What are we waiting for? Let's get it done."

At last night's meeting, he did the big flip-flop. I question his motives, and I ask, is the flip-flop because he wants the street left the way it is so that he can use it for his business purposes? Come on folks, the town already gave him Martin Street. Yes, I said "gave him." Now is he looking for Manning Street? You be the judge.

Albert Dimmock Sr.

More Derry hysterics

To the editor:

Wow, Mr. Neil Wetherbee certainly got all worked up about Councilor Fairbanks’ questions on the acquisition of conservation land, and he illustrated his point of view rather richly in the course of his latest dyspeptic diatribe.

Neil, for pity’s sake, come on down off your high horse, pull yourself together and relax | you’re not tied to a stake, blindfolded, awaiting execution. You’re an alternate member of a town commission, where some softball questions will be directed from time to time.

So Neil, why are you so doggone hysterical? This is New Hampshire, the Live Free or Die state, where anyone can inquire about their government, everyone is welcome to do so, and all are to be encouraged to take part -- even the elected representatives of the people.

But rather than look at the historical facts behind Ms. Fairbanks’ questions and either refute or affirm them, you fall back on the old, tried-and-true use of the villainous verbal attack, where anybody who dares question the outlandish antics of a department head, the inane behavior attributed to a fanciful commission, the public operations of a town department, or the throwing of our hard earned money away on one more fictive financial scheme, is routinely branded with a string of disturbing epithets like, “disenfranchised malcontent,” “hater,” “cave people” or worse, all artfully crafted to force the inquisitive to remain silent for the duration of their Derry habitation.

Nope, it’s always far better to besmirch someone, or best of all, if my memory serves me correctly, to launch a vicious nationwide blog attack against any who stand up, ask cogent questions, sign their names to their letters, appear on Channel 17, or fairly represent their constituents.

For too long, those who regularly ply your odious brand of public animosity have been allowed free reign in this town, and the repetitive, long-winded, heedless and scandalous public attacks on all and sundry offer us clear reasons for the lack of local engagement by our populace.

You, sir, are the disenfranchised malcontent, wholly unlike those who exhibit civility when voicing their concerns over the jeers, catcalls and timorous insults offered them for their trouble.

John Burtis


Make an effort to meet the candidates

To the editor:

You can meet Bill and Hillary, too. Well, at least I shook hands and had my picture taken with the two of them last Friday after the rally in Manchester.

Other than the fact that I was thrilled to meet two people I highly admire, I was totally awed by the gift we have living in New Hampshire. The primary gives us the ability to meet any and all future presidents, or as Sen. Clinton said, "...the New Hampshire primary is the Consumers Union for presidential candidates... ." We grill 'em, kick the tires and put them through the ringer of real questions from real people, then we report our findings to the rest of the country.

All voters in this state should make an effort to meet the candidates -- Democratic, Republican and Independent. Don't leave it all to political junkies like me. Stop saying it's too early. For good or bad, the primary is well underway and it is your duty as Americans to inspect them all and make sure the general election gets the two best candidates.

As long as America trusts us with this task, we owe them our best effort in return.

Don Schwartz


Fairbanks right to ask questions

To the editor:

Neil Wetherbee's recent letter to the editor has brought to light certain inequities on how the town acquires conservation land. He criticized Councilor Fairbanks because of questions she asked about how the town acquires conservation land.

Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't she supposed to represent her district? When councilors have questions, aren't they supposed to ask them to better understand how things work? If she sees something that she doesn't feel is right, doesn't she have an obligation to find out why?

The answer is obvious: It is her job to ask questions and represent her district. The people who say it is petty politics are the very ones who want to mislead the public. The realities are that they don't want to hear questions because they don't want people to know what's going on.

I have to agree with Councilor Fairbanks on this issue. Conservation land should be distributed equitably among all the neighborhoods of Derry. As a resident of East Derry, the present system certainly benefits me, because I spend a lot of time outdoors and take advantage of the conservation land. It's good for me because I'm five minutes from two or three great places to go hiking. But what about the residents in the western part of town?

I think the issue could be settled very easily without everyone taking it so personally. Just add another criterion that states, "Conservation land shall be distributed equitably among all neighborhoods in Derry." They don't need to change any of the other criteria, and it benefits all the neighborhoods.

This letter is not intended to take anything away from the hard work that the people on these boards do. I appreciate their work, as I am sure Councilor Fairbanks does. Sometimes policies just need to be reviewed and updated for the benefit of all of the town's residents.

Tom Cardon


Obama's the real deal

To the editor:

Are you sick and tired of listening to our elected officials and so-called “political activists” engaging in petty bickering, instead of working to solve problems and govern effectively? It seems like this is the mode of politics in Washington and closer to home, despite a strong message from the American people that we want statesmanship, competence and leadership rather than bickering, inaction and attempts at one-upmanship.

There is a bright light on the horizon, and that bright light is Sen. Barack Obama. Known for respecting others and showing the type of statesmanship that we are looking for from our leaders, Sen. Obama has recently broken all of the records in his campaign to become president of the United States.

While raising a record amount of money this year, incredibly, more than 250,000 donors from all walks of life and all political persuasions have supported his campaign. The explanation is clear: Sen. Obama is a different type of candidate who inspires people and who is willing to work with all stakeholders, regardless of their politics.

A quarter of a million American citizens have contributed more than $58 million to his campaign. PACs and federal lobbyists have contributed zero.

Now, more than ever, we need a president who really is a uniter and a statesman. Keep your eyes open for Sen. Obama. He’s the real thing.

Robert Spiegelman


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