Rep Steve Vaillancourt



Friday
May182012

Guess What? Siegessaule Has Nothing Do To With Nazis!

Berlin Victory Column

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Berlin Siegessäule (June 2003)
The statue of Victoria (faces to the West, September 2011).
Berlin Victory Column in its original size and location, 1900
Statue from nearest visible point (Mar 2006)
Right flank of statue of Victoria (September 2011).
Base of column (Mar 2006)
Underground passages connecting to Siegessäule (Mar 2006)

The Victory Column (German: About this sound Siegessäule ) is a monument in Berlin, Germany. Designed by Heinrich Strack after 1864 to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War, by the time it was inaugurated on 2 September 1873, Prussia had also defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and France in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71), giving the statue a new purpose. Different from the original plans, these later victories in the so-called unification wars inspired the addition of the bronze sculpture of Victoria, 8.3 metres high and weighing 35 tonnes, designed by Friedrich Drake. Berliners, with their fondness for giving nicknames to buildings, call the statue Goldelse, meaning something like "Golden Lizzy".[1]

The Victory Column is a major tourist attraction to the city of Berlin and opens daily: 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. (April – October), and 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (November – March).

[edit] History, design, and influences

[edit] Design and dimensions

Built on a base of polished red granite, the column sits on a hall of pillars with a glass mosaic designed by Anton von Werner.

The column itself consists of four solid blocks of sandstone, three of which are decorated by cannon barrels captured from the enemies of the aforementioned three wars. The fourth ring is decorated with golden garlands and was added in 1938–39 as the whole monument has been relocated. The fourth ring in the column has a meaning, similarly to the original 3 rings. The fourth ring was added by Hitler after the Battle of France ended.

The relief decoration was removed at the request of the French forces in 1945, probably to prevent Germans from being reminded of former victories, especially the defeat of the French in 1871. It was restored for the 750th anniversary of Berlin in 1987 by the French president at that time, François Mitterrand.

Friday
May182012

Attack From Right Could Put Boutin Seat In Play

           Hardly a week goes by when another shoe doesn’t drop on Republican chances of holding their huge lead in the New Hampshire Senate.

            This week, it’s not another announcement from a popular incumbent Republican deciding not to seek re-election (Gallus in district 1, Groen in district 6), but it could be just as bad in a district which hasn’t elected a Democrat during the life time of…I dare say…most of you reading this.

            Angered that District 16 Republican Senator David Boutin is not conservative enough on gun and right to work issues, a fellow Republican has begun a web site attacking the senator.

            It’s not just any Republican either; it’s an elected official, and while I’m not going to out anyone here, those of you far more proficient than I am in technology (after all, I am a Luddite) can undoubtedly google the site and trace the author.

            Not only is Boutin being attacked by fellow Republicans, there’s a rumor that a more conservative Republican might run as a third party candidate thus siphoning off votes and allowing a respected Democrat to capture the seat.

            At the very least, Boutin can well expect a primary challenge from the right.

            The Boutin seat was held by Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas previously.  Prior to that, it was Patty Krueger for one term and before that, seemingly forever, Eleanor Podles from the north end of Manchester.  That goes back farther than I do, so I’m not the one to name the last Democrat to ever have held the seat...if in fact there is one.

            However, Krueger just barely edged out Bow State Represenative Steve DeStefano in 1998 (the recount went on for days), and the district has arguably trended more democratically since then. 

            For example, when I was first elected to the House in 1996, all three Reps from upscale Ward 1 were Republicans; today, all three are Democrats.  Although three Republicans were elected in Ward 2 last time, it was due to the Republican sweep, and the ward is slightly Democratic in a normal year.

            Ward 12 remains Republican, and the district also includes highly Republican Hooksett, Dunbarton, and Candia as well as rather neutral Bow.

            Bottom line—if a good Democratic candidate steps forward, I would now move this seat from rather safe Republican to toss-up.

            DeStefano could win, but he told me he’s not interesting in running.

            Two other names have surfaced.  Although he lost to Boutin in the special election to fill the Gatsas seat three years ago, Democratic Rep Jeff Goley (Ward 1) is very popular, and this could be his year.  There’s also former Ward 2 Democratic State Representative Jim Craig who lost to Carol Shea Porter in the primary for Congress in 2006, but could certainly raise a lot of money (as I recall, he served briefly as Democratic Party Chair during the investigation into Ray Buckley way back when).

            If Republicans draw enough Boutin blood, he’ll be vulnerable for either Goley or Craig…so let’s look at my numerical rating for District 16.

            It wasn’t changed at all in redistricting, and in hindsight that appears to be a smart move for Republicans since the suggested change of Ward 4 for Ward 12 (which would have logically had the entire West Side in District 20) would have made the Boutin district slightly more Democratic (Ward 4 is rather solidly Democrat, just the opposite of Ward 12).

            Here are my numbers, again with the proviso that 100 is all Republican and 0 all Democratic while 50 is totally neutral.

            In the five close races in the last decade, my analysis shows that Republicans received 63,282 votes, Democrats 56,165.  That’s basically a 53-47 slit or a six point edge for a generic Republican.  However, when I did a similar analysis in 2001, the advantage was nine points, an indication that a Democrat stands a better chance here as time passes.

            Here are my rankings for the District 16 components:

            Bow --47.22

            Candia --61.42

            Dunbarton-- 53.88

            Hooksett --58.50

            Ward 1-- 49.54

            Ward 2-- 49.45

            Ward 12—54.30.

            However, there’s one big caveat.  The Manchester wards tend to go more for Democrats the farther away from the top of the ticket one gets.  For example, Bob Backus did very well against Gatsas in all three wards.  I suspect Goley or Craig would swamp Boutin in Manchester (approximately half the district in population), and Boutin would have to run up big numbers in Hooksett, a real problem should a third party candidate enter.

            Check out that website and let me know what you think.

            Cause for concern?

            Ich glaube Ja!

Friday
May182012

Staff Admits--O'Brien Often Uses "F--K" Word In House Well...But Never Mind

            It wasn’t to me mind you, but when I went down to sign up to speak on a motion yesterday, I could barely believe myself when I heard House Speaker Bill O’Brien using the F word…in a disparaging term to a Republican leader nonetheless.

            So amazed was I that I checked with people who work in the well area (no names please...although by not mentioning anyone maybe they'll all be persecuted as guilty) and was told that yes, they do not recall him using the F word yesterday, but that he has often used it in the past.

            So much for civility in the House chambers.

            Although he’s not aired the F word over the microphone, those who work in the well have often heard him using it.  One can only wonder whether, if put under a lie detector, Major Leader D.J. Bettencourt or his deputy Jasper would admit to having heard such profanity pass the Speaker’s lips.  Certainly if those working in the well have heard it, those as close as Deej and Company must have heard it…maybe even the honorable members from Hooksett and/or Weare and Amherst who are just that close.

            No, you just can’t make this stuff up.

            The advocate of civility is among the most uncivil of all.

            Would O’Brien himself pass a lie detector test if asked whether he’s uttered such vile profanities from the well?

            One suspects he wouldn’t even try, but the truth is out.  

            This much I can relate first hand.  The Speaker actually threatened me when I signed up to speak.  He said, “Don’t you start anything!”

            Well…I certainly would have started anything I felt necessary to start.  You can’t bully me, Mr. Speaker.  However, irony of ironies, in this particular instance, I wanted to speaker in defense of the Speaker when challenged on his ruling about suspension of the rules.

            To paraphrase Gilda Radner, “Never mind…”

            It’s all right to “start something” by defending the Speaker but apparently not in pointing out his often boorish behavior, including use of the F word…that would be the word which starts with F and end with something rather uky (without the Y of course).

            The Speaker yesterday continued to show flaunt his inability to treat all people equally.

            He took a Democrat to task for (allegedly) maligning the motives of another Rep but it was perfectly all right when Deej the Republican maligned the motives of Democrats by referring to their “histrionic” behavior.

            “Never mind…”

            It’s all right when a Republican maligns, but not when a Democrat does.

            “Never mind…”

            It’s all right when a Republican interrupts a speaker with an irrelevant point of order but when a Democrat, like Rep. Gary Richardson, has a legitimate point of order (like he did yesterday when Deej veered totally off course), the Speaker goes into a harangue about not interrupting people (although he admitted Deej was off base).

            You can’t make this stuff up…and hopefully we won’t have to report on it for too many more weeks.

           

Friday
May182012

Fan Mail From Some Flounder--Part III

To steal a line from President Richard Nixon (who in fact was a crook!), "Let me make one thing perfectly clear."  I do nothing expecting either positive or negative reinforcement.  I live by a personal code of conduct of being honest and fair to all.  The fact that some people hate me (His Vileness of course) is something I come to expect; in fact, it's a badge of honor when the corrupt and loathsome show they hate me.  Similarly, I never expect positive comments, but I must say, some like this are welcome.  Sadly, the Speaker represents the lowest, most base elements of our society. Even more sadly, most Republicans seem only to willing to kiss his ring...not to mention various body parts.  Rest assured, the dark reign is coming to an end.

 

 

Hi,
 
Thank you for calling out the speaker on unfairness.  I was so happy to see someone standing up for the constituents of NH.  The speaker does not represent anybody in need of health care, education, or employment.
 
Thank you again,
Pam
Friday
May182012

Fan Mail From Some Flounder--Part II

More fan mail from the astute...How long do you think we'll have to hold our breath till we get an apology from the Speaker or His Vileness??

From: Ron
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2012 9:38 AM
To: Vaillancourt, Steve
Subject: A note of support

While your recent comments have created a thunderstorm, mostly for criticism of unseemly behavior, I have to sympathize with you.

It seems the primary “unseemliness” in the House is the Speaker’s.

As always, the holder of the power defines the climate.

 

Ron Carr

Enfield, NH