Balance of power needed in Far East

To the editor:

The Communist regime in China is conducting a massive buildup of its military forces. It is acquiring and producing technologically advanced weapons systems capable of delivering destructive payloads to its Asian neighbors | including Taiwan, Japan and Southeast Asia | and China could threaten this country.

The military buildup is proceeding in consort with the economic growth of China, which is projected to have a larger GNP than the United States in the decades ahead. It appears China could utilize its military power to promote and sustain its economic ambitions in the Asian sphere of influence, similar to Japan's activities of the 1930s and 1940s.

China has its eyes on the markets and natural resources of various Asian countries and will probably resort to intimidating them, at the very least, when it pursues its trade policies. It is interesting to note that China is short on oil, which is the lifeblood of large economic and military engines.

The United States and other Western countries involved in the Far East should recognize the economic and military potential of China, and take steps to counter the Chinese economic advances in Asia and other parts of the world.

China’s primary economic competitor in the Far East is Japan. Japan, a friendly country, can provide some stability in Asia. However, Japan does not have the military power needed as a counterweight to China.

In recent years, the Japanese government has approved the use of its military forces outside the country in peacekeeping and humanitarian operations and is moving to strengthen its military. The United States should encourage Japan to increase the size of its military and add technological capabilities to provide some balance of power in the Far East, while the United States keeps a substantial military force in and around Japan.



Victory plan in Iraq

To the editor:

President Bush has a clear plan for victory in Iraq that begins with training Iraqi forces so they can defend their country and fight the terrorists. We are making tremendous progress toward this objective. Withdrawing from Iraq, as Democrats in Washington propose, would send a dangerous signal to our enemies that we cut and run when the going gets tough. President Bush is offering a clear strategy to win, not a political quick fix.

Fix Social Security now once and for all: Social Security is sound for today's seniors and for those nearing retirement, but it needs to be fixed for younger workers | our children and grandchildren. The government has made promises it cannot afford to pay for with the current pay-as-you-go system. If we do not act to fix Social Security now, the only solutions will be dramatically higher taxes, massive new borrowing or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs.

Protect the homeland: President Bush is committed to keeping the nation strong and secure through strengthening our military, deploying a missile defense, strengthening the NATO alliance and supporting military families and veterans. The president is committed to promoting an independent and democratic Iraq to ensure further stability in the Middle East and the world as a whole.

Build a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren: America's growing economy requires a flexible, highly skilled work force, and the president is committed to providing American workers with the training that they need to succeed. President Bush has put forth an ambitious agenda to ensure that America's economy remains the most prosperous in the world, and he believes we must ensure every adult can access the training necessary to close the skills gap in America.



Concerns about Line of Duty benefit bill

To the editor:

On behalf of the membership of the New Hampshire Paramedic Association, the New Hampshire Ambulance Association and the New Hampshire Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, I would like to take a few moments of your time to express our concerns regarding Senate Bill 0169-FN-A, the Line of Duty Death Benefit Bill, introduced by Senator D’Allesandro.

In the bill's current form, only those firefighters and police officers killed in the line of duty are covered. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are conspicuously absent from the scope of the proposed legislation.

The New Hampshire Association of Fire Chiefs has suggested revised wording to include EMTs and paramedics, but only if they are employed by or volunteer for municipalities. The fire chiefs have intentionally excluded the EMTs and paramedics who work for New Hampshire’s private ambulance services and hospital-based ambulance services. Their rationale is that the state should not be supporting private business.

We strongly believe that this bill must include all EMTs and paramedics licensed by the state of New Hampshire performing duties for a licensed New Hampshire ambulance service. Many states include all EMTs and paramedics in similar legislation. One of our neighbors, the state of Maine, has a Line of Duty Death Benefit statute, which covers all Maine EMTs and paramedics.

Private and hospital based ambulance services provide primary 911 coverage to more than 35 percent of New Hampshire’s population. In addition, these private and hospital based respondents provide paramedic intercepts and mutual aid assistance to towns served by municipal or fire-based services.

They also transfer critically ill or injured New Hampshire citizens and visitors from local hospitals to Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Manchester or Boston hospitals for a higher level of care. In short, more than one in three New Hampshire citizens are served on a routine basis by respondents who would be excluded from this legislation.

In fact, Officer Michael Briggs, the Manchester police officer who this bill is named for, was cared for and transported by paramedics and EMTs who are employed by a private service and would not currently be covered under this bill.

In closing, we would like to point out the fact that including all EMTs and paramedics in this bill would not be supporting private business; rather, it would be supporting the families and children of those EMTs, paramedics, firefighters and police officers who gave their lives in the service of others.

DAVID J. HOGAN JR., president, New Hampshire Paramedic Association

PATRICK J. TWOMEY, president, New Hampshire Ambulance Association

JENNIFER FRENETTE, president, New Hampshire Association of Emergency Medical Technicians

Thanks to those who bought MDA shamrocks

To the editor:

Citizens of New Hampshire have once again demonstrated their wonderful philanthropic spirit by their strong participation in the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign.

We give thanks to the thousands of customers and employees who in February and March bought MDA Shamrocks mobiles and displayed them in New Hampshire convenience stores, supermarkets, restaurants and other retail outlets. Thanks to all of those businesses that were involved. Their generous participation in Shamrocks will help MDA continue to provide valuable services to families affected by neuromuscular diseases in our community.

As a New Hampshire resident and mother of a son with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, one of more than 40 neuromuscular diseases that MDA works to defeat, I’m very proud to belong to such a caring and generous community.

The 2007 Shamrocks Against Dystrophy campaign in New Hampshire raised more than $100,000. Donations from our community will help fund local MDA clinics, MDA-sponsored research at Massachusetts General Hospital, and send children like my son to MDA summer camp.

My family and I are grateful for the caring support shown by local businesses, customers and employees, and I know I also speak for many other families in New Hampshire.



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