SCOTUS strikes a blow for civil rights
To the editor:
SCOTUS struck down a small portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Section 4, on the basis that the formula for determining discriminatory practices in those nine states is 50 years old and those conditions largely do not exist anymore.
The defense failed to provide any documentary evidence that these nine states and six counties are today exhibiting practices that are vastly different from any of the non pre-clearance states. The court laid it back in Congress’ lap, to update the law’s formula to cease discriminating against those pre-clearance states based upon actions from 50 years ago.
Civil rights are not black, white, brown, Asian, female, male, or any other preferred subgroup. They are civil, meaning they apply to everyone. Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of a colorblind society, where his children would be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. That will never be a dream fulfilled as long as government perpetuates a discriminatory system based upon race.
GOP mole in IRS scandal?
To the editor:
As the Republicans enjoy their orgy of blame (and Democrats perform their traditional spineless cave-in), about recent revelations about supposed bias in the IRS’ reviewing of non-profits, I think it is very telling that the manager in charge of the division (who would have been giving the line workers their instructions) is also the one who blew the whistle.
Then she turns around and claims Fifth Amendment protection so that she doesn’t have to testify. It’s very suspicious. Could she actually be a Republican mole tasked with creating the scandal?
It should also be pointed out that many of these so-called “social welfare” organizations did warrant enhanced scrutiny. Many of them are merely front groups for corporations to funnel tens of millions of dollars to influence elections while hiding their identities under the 401(c)(4) facade. Their names would have to be revealed under the organizations’ proper classification. Now, it has come out that they applied the same enhanced scrutiny to liberal organizations, too.
In addition, for decades, Republicans have starved the IRS for funding, leaving them severely understaffed to perform essential functions, such as reviewing prospective non-profits and performing audits. Under such conditions, any worker would seek shortcuts to manage the workload.
Finally, I would ask, where were these outraged Republicans when the Bush administration issued memos justifying torture, conducted warrantless wiretaps and laid off federal prosecutors who were not registered Republicans? Oh, that’s right, they were busy talking only to Republican lobbyists.
Is the libertarian way the right way?
To the editor:
The first time I voted, I did so as an Independent. I wasn’t quite a Democrat and not rich, so didn’t think I could be a Republican.
I later registered as a Libertarian until I learned I couldn’t vote in the primary in the state I was living in. I am now a registered Republican but have a small “l”, libertarian philosophy.
In exploring groups like Democrats, Republicans, tea party, liberals, and occupiers, they seem to want one to “do it their way.” They know what’s best and if they don’t like something, someone else shouldn’t do it or have it, either.
I would have liked more people to be libertarian but questioned whether libertarianism is the right way. I find this to be the difference between libertarianism and other groups. Libertarians don’t seem to be interested in people “doing it their way,” they seem to be interested in all having the right to “do it their way” as long as it harms no one else.
NH Senate put money in Big Tobacco’s pockets
To the editor:
The Republican majority in the 2010-2012 Legislature reduced New Hampshire’s cigarette tax by 10 cents per pack, supposedly to save the taxpayer money. This measure decreased state revenues that are desperately needed, and the same Legislature cut funding for New Hampshire state colleges.
What happened as a result of this cut? Cigarette manufacturers raised the price of the product. Therefore, the primary beneficiaries of the cut were big tobacco companies. That’s because cigarette prices tend to be market-driven.
So, this year the New Hampshire House voted to raise the cigarette tax by 20 cents per pack (to $1.98), which would keep our tax rate lower than Massachusetts ($2.51), Vermont ($2.62), and Maine ($2). Given how desperately the state is in need of revenue, the passage of this bill seemed to be a no-brainer.
But not for the Senate Republicans, who are now touting saving taxpayers money by stopping passage of the increase. Who are they fooling, and why are they continuing to support the big tobacco companies at the expense of our college students?
New Hampshire continues to experience a brain drain, as high school students go out of state for higher education. Businesses need highly trained workers more than tobacco companies need more money in their pockets. Parents need lower tuition costs more than tobacco companies need this money.
This vote was not popular in 2010, and it is not popular now. Taxpayers want real savings, and want legislators who vote for the interest of New Hampshire as their priority rather than in the interest of their own ideology.