Richardson has character and experience

To the editor:

As New Hampshire voters, with our privileged first-hand access to presidential candidates, it is our duty to call it like it is, when it comes to character and experience.

It is important to elect a person with genuine character. When I first met Gov. Bill Richardson at a house party in Derry, he did not resemble any candidate I’d met before. I saw a man who moved and spoke freely without any staff “handling” him. I heard a stream of jokes and candid remarks about life on the campaign trail. While he clearly stated his policy intentions, he explained that the process of passing legislation can change one’s plans, so flexibility is important. While confident and proud of his achievements, he did not seem overbearing or egotistical. His stump speech was frank rather than oratorical, realistic rather than theatrical. He did not claim to have every answer, but honestly said what he believes. He respected the people who came to meet him, staying to answer all their questions with humility and honesty.

It is important to elect a person whose personal life is an enhancement and not a distraction or an embarrassment. Bill Richardson and his wife, Barbara, have been together since 1972. Having spent his earliest years in Mexico as the child of an American father and a Mexican mother, and now the governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson can communicate with our country’s large and growing Latino community and enlist their involvement and support.

It is important to elect a person with experience as an executive, and not just as a legislator. Bill Richardson has been governor of New Mexico since 2002, and his record there includes many notable accomplishments, including the state’s lowest unemployment in 30 years, a balanced budget, health insurance for every child under 5 years old, strong labor protections, and some of the country's toughest greenhouse gas reduction goals. He was previously energy secretary, ambassador to the U.N., and a congressman with extensive diplomatic experience.

It is important that our next president have genuine character and wide experience to tackle the significant problems our country now faces. Please vote for Bill Richardson.

Laura Aronson


More thoughts from Jefferson

To the editor:

"The multiplication of public offices, increase of expense beyond income, growth and entailment of a public debt, are indications soliciting the employment of the pruning knife" | Thomas Jefferson (letter to Spencer Roane, March 9, 1821).

John Burtis


Edwards has himself to blame

To the editor:

Presumably, most of the readership of this publication received the same "John Edwards will end the Iraq war" campaign flier in the mail that I did during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Said flier cannot change or take away from one cold hard fact: Edwards, as well as Hillary Rodham Clinton, voted yes on the original U.S. Senate resolution to authorize the invasion of Iraq.

Those seeking a candidate who has been consistent in opposition to the Iraq war would do better to look elsewhere.

Paul Yankowskas


Republican tactics criticized

To the editor:

I just received a phone call and the caller said she was from the Republican National Committee. She went on to say, “You don’t want to vote for Hillary Clinton, do you?”

What I didn’t understand about the approach or the question was, why the hate toward Hillary Clinton? Would she make a worse president than George W. Bush? Would she appoint a worse secretary of defense than Donald Rumsfeld? Would she appoint a worse attorney general than Ashcroft? Would she be a pawn to her vice president as Bush is to Dick Cheney? Would she unilaterally put us in a war and lie to us?

I guess the Republican strategy in this election will be just to trash talk Hillary Clinton. I guess that’s better than the scare tactics used in the past. Hold that thought -- maybe they will use scare tactics so we would elect Romney who supports the war, or McCain who supports the war, and the others who support the war and the 4,000 dead Americans who died for the lies.

Speaking of Mitt Romney, I was just wondering: Since New Hampshire borders Massachusetts and we get news about the commonwealth all the time, I was just wondering, was Romney such a good governor that he would make a good president? My recollection is that he became governor just as a springboard to run for president. Talk about not being qualified. He ran the Olympics, he ran an investment company. Do those two things make anyone qualified to be president? If that’s the case, maybe we should just elect Bloomberg. He ran New York City. He ran an investment company.

I guess I am just confused as to why the Republican National Committee has to resort to hate tactics rather than issues, unless they don’t have any issues to resort to.

Joel Saren

East Hampstead

Obama’s judgment in question

To the editor:

Sen. Obama would have only a few years of national political experience to draw on as president of the United States. This seems to me as pathetically little government experience on the national level, and as a U.S. senator and Illinois congressman, he has no executive management experience. He states he can make up for the lack of experience with excellent judgment. Doesn’t he need experience and knowledge gained over many years in a work environment to be able to make sound judgments?

A glimpse into Sen. Obama’s ability to make excellent judgment calls might be reflected in a recent interview. Someone asked him what he would do if he was given $1 billion dollars to use as he wished. He said he would pay off the mortgage on his house and give the rest to his wife. Then after some thought, he said he would give a lot of the money to charities and contribute several hundred million dollars for mosquito netting to fight malaria in Africa. Although the netting will provide some protection from the mosquitoes, it will not protect the people when they venture beyond the netting. Will the netting eradicate or control the population of mosquitoes? No. And what about the more pressing health problem of HIV/AIDS? Sen. Obama didn’t even think of this epidemic in Africa. Does this sound like a great thinker with excellent judgment?

On Feb. 13, 2007, Sen. Obama stated the more than 3,000 U.S. service people who have died in Iraq were wasted lives. What is the impact of his remark on the morale of our troops in Iraq and throughout the armed services? What is the impact on the enemy?

Recently, in discussing Afghanistan and Pakistan, Barack said, “I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance involving civilians.” Then he caught himself and said, “Let me scratch that.” Should he be making off-the-cuff statements about the use of nuclear weapons?

Obviously, Sen. Obama has a long way to go in developing sound judgment, excellent perception and critical thinking, and the presidency of the United States is not the position for him to learn and hone these skills.

Donald A. Moskowitz


Thank you for the gift of life

To the editor:

It was a perfect day, Friday Nov. 9.

What was so perfect? The Annual Saint Jude Parish Fall Blood Drive, that’s what! What made the day even more perfect? We not only met our goal, but we surpassed it! All told, we had 138 people presented, collecting 132 pints, plus eight people donated “double reds” for a combined total of 132 pints collected.

Our world-famous Chef Jim was on hand to make the world’s best chili and chicken soup.

The parishioners of Saint Jude Parish outdid themselves baking and cooking some wonderfully delicious cookies and desserts, including my favorite, chocolate chip cookies by Sara.

Janet, the best charge nurse the American Red Cross has, was in attendance with her great fun and friendly staff to make sure everything went just right.

Paul from the American Red Cross stopped by with more signs, including balloons, for the driveway to draw in even more donors.

Volunteer youth from the Saint Jude Squires and Maidens of Saint Joan of Arc were on hand to help with many of the different tasks and were great! They made every donor feel welcome and handled many tasks at the same time.

A special thanks to Ali Chiampa from Londonderry. Ali made 200 “Hershey’s kiss roses” for us to distribute to every donor. It is small gestures like this that make a donor want to come back and donate again; each donor feels special when they get the treatment they do.

On behalf of the Community Service Committee of Saint Jude Parish, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude for all listed above, plus the many donors who took time from their precious, busy schedules to donate the gift of life. As one donor explained it, when he comes to Saint Jude, he comes to eat and while there, he donates a pint of "the gift of life."

Keep posted for information on our next drive, to be held on Friday, Feb. 1, 2008 from 1 to 7 p.m. at Saint Jude Parish Hall, 435 Mammoth Road, in Londonderry. This drive will have an HLA Registry bone marrow typing drive as well -- double the reason to attend!

Thank you again to all of our donors and volunteers.

Vinny Curro, co-chairman

Saint Jude Parish

Community Service Committee


Holiday heartbreak

To the editor:

Last week, as I entered a supermarket, a huge mass of humanity was jammed into the store for Thanksgiving food shopping. It was not a jovial crowd, to say the least. Frowns and vacant eyes and carriages loaded with food angled every which way were the norm.

Picking my way carefully through this, I tried to smile, be pleasant and courteous. Some would return my smile, and one lady said she was surprised at the mood of people that were there to prepare for a family feast. I agreed, and responded saying how sad it was, then went on my way.

Through the crowded aisles I gingerly made my way, carefully choosing the items I needed. As I turned in to the condiment aisle, a whirling dervish came screaming past me, four-letter expletives angrily dripping from her mouth. I heard, "Ma, if you think I'm going to search the (explative) for you all over this (explative) store, then I'm going to take you home right now!"

I looked, as she passed, at an ill-kempt, stringy-haired, slug of a woman in her 40s, disturbingly ugly in her anger. I involuntarily cringed as she passed, looking for the target of this vitriolic outburst. There stood a small, white-haired lady, probably in her 80s, cringing at these cruel words. Tears welled up in my eyes and threatened to spill down my cheeks, but I pushed them back and the hurt I felt for this poor, unfortunate woman made my heart ache.

A girl who was stocking the shelves looked at me, awe-struck, and said, "I can't believe she would say something like that to her own mother!"

For a moment, still in shock, I couldn't respond. Finally, I said to the clerk, "There's more of that than anyone could ever know." We looked at each other with sadness, and I traveled on.

As I rounded to the left to approach another aisle, that little white-haired lady was in front of me, almost frozen with pain. I tried to get her attention, so that she would move. I don't know how many times I said, "Excuse me."

When she realized I was trying to pass, she looked at me and said, "I'm waiting for my daughter." She was shaking, and tears were beginning to run down her cheeks.

How I ached for her! This poor little lady: probably unable to drive, not getting out many times during the week, being abused by her offspring, and shamed and derided by this insensitive, cruel girl. I reached out to her and touched her arm in a kind of stroking manner, knowing, without words, her extreme angst.

So at a time when a season is beginning the opening of a time of peace and good will, I witnessed unbearable hurt. I still hear those unbelievably disgusting words, but I also hear the clerk's words of disbelief. There was hatefulness and good within the space of a few minutes. The Pollyanna within me wants to remember the clerk's words, but my heart still aches.

As this blessed season begins, please remember those whose lives parallel that of the woman who was publicly castigated by her own child, and say a special prayer for all of them.

Jean Leavitt


High on Huckabee

To the editor:

I have not been this enthusiastic about a candidate since Ronald Reagan, nor have I ever written a letter to the editor before. But Gov. Mike Huckabee has sparked that interest, and I strongly believe that he, like Ronald Reagan, will be a great leader for our country!

What I like about Gov. Huckabee is that he believes this is a great country with great people in it, and if given the chance they can make this country great. He believes that the people know what is best for our country, not the government. By watching and listening to Gov. Huckabee, I feel that he strongly believes in our constitutional rights, and if given the opportunity, I believe that he will defend those rights. He believes that our rights were not given to us by the government, but rather, they are a gift from God. He strongly believes that the government is here to protect us, not to provide for us.

I urge all who read this letter to take some time and look at Gov. Huckabee's Web site and see for yourself what this man stands for and what he can offer this country as president. I truly believe this man can move this country forward and protect our freedoms. I believe that this man has hope for a better future for the American people.

Pam Martel


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