Richard Barnes

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson




My wife and I spent most of today cleaning up roofing shingles after having our roof redone.  During one of the trips made to the local dump my wife witnessed someone tossing old flags into the trash pit.  Together we questioned why someone would bother buying a flag to display patriotism and then toss it out in such a disrespectful manor.  My guess is they didn't know how to properly dispose of the flag.  I would hope that people in this country don't just feign their patriotism although I suspect there are some who do.  On the weekend of Veterans day I thought it important to share a short lesson about flag disposal in light of this.

The correct way to dispose of an unserviceable flag is to destroy it not to toss it in the trash like common refuse.  The American Legion will accept damaged or tattered flags which they will correctly dispose of in a ceremony every year on Flag Day.  On their website they state: 

The Flag Code suggests that, "when a flag has served its useful purpose, it should be destroyed, preferably by burning." For individual citizens, this should be done discreetly so the act of destruction is not perceived as a protest or desecration. Many American Legion Posts conduct Disposal of Unserviceable Flag Ceremonies on June 14, Flag Day. This ceremony creates a particularly dignified and solemn occasion for the retirement of unserviceable flags.

So please folks, if you wish to take the time to fly a flag at your home also take the time to learn how to treat it respectfully which also includes how to dispose of it if and when it becomes too tattered to fly any longer. 


Ron Paul - The REAL Difference

I was reading an online article from the Nashua Telegraph about Ron Paul that really stressed the key difference between Ron and most of the other candidates running in both parties.  The article found here lists fact after fact and supports why he wants to do some of the things he wants to do.  This is an uncommon trait when it comes to coverage of political candidates as most of the time all they put out is opinion after opinion not based on any real evidence or attack after attack.  Just take a look over at the democrats and you'll see that currently as the case, Hillary is attacking Bush and the rest of the party is attacking Hillary.  And most Republicans are no better in that instead of actually talking about the issues they are simply arguing that they could be the one to beat the Hillary machine.  A candidate with solid views such as Ron Paul could beat her as his stances would shine next to her empty statements exposing them even more for what they are.

Let's take a close look instead at some of the points raised in the article.

"They say I'm anti-military, but who has the most contributors of any candidate, Democrat or Republican, from our fighting men and women? I do," said Paul, an Air Force surgeon during the Vietnam War era.

 Conformable fact.

Regarding our approach to the Middle East he says the following:

"We either subsidize people or we bomb them. Why not try another option?" Paul asked. "We shouldn't get hysterical that in 10 years or more they might have a nuclear weapon."

And what is interesting is his approach to handling terrorists.  Instead of continuing attacking entire nations and other failed policies that have less then positive results he's considering a rather novel idea of doing the same thing our Founding Fathers have done which has proven to work, "empower private individuals to bring pirates to justice using legal means."

And don't buy into Democrats that they would do things any differently then Republicans.  Hillary is already saying it would be years before we'd leave Iraq and most of the other Republicans call for plans not much different.  Bill Clinton dropped more bombs on Iraq during his attacks in 1998 then we did in the entire first gulf war and it is his policy put in place that authorized the US to remove Saddam from power.  Of course only Republicans are credited for the mess in Iraq.  Truth is both sides have equal share to the blame.

Ron also goes on to build solid arguments to support many of his other stances.  A rarity when it comes to politicians.  Most simply argue to spend more and more, not questioning if the program even works in the first place.  Case in point:

And Paul said the practice of printing more money has made the U.S. a record debtor nation, and he would reinstitute gold and silver as alternatives to paper currency.

"History shows that paper never lasts. It ends terribly," Paul said.

This was an argument I made a while back in an article I wrote pointing out the truth about the Federal Reserve system being nothing but a group of private banks which we as a nation pay to print money for us which in turn has nothing backing it.  How long can a system which amounts to nothing more then using leaves as currency really last?  Yet Ron is the ONLY candidate I'm aware of that is even trying to address this issue.

This just goes to show why Ron continues to set himself apart from the pack and explains why he is setting records for campaign contribution even when others get piles of special interest money hand over fist. 



What has Carol Shea Porter Acomplished?

A question has come up on a number of forums, including the discussion forum here on NH Insider asking what has Carol Shea Porter has accomplished.  This same question has spilled over to several other smaller scale discussion forums.  It was the Merrimack Forum however that a list of all bills Carol has sponsored and co-sponsored was put up.  She's only sponsored 10 bills but there are several that she co-sponsored. As a chance to pat Carol on the back and bring attention to where all her hard work and our tax dollars that pay her salary are going I would like to share with everyone a list of a couple of the bills she has either put up or co-sponsored.

 1) Supporting the goals and ideals of National Women's Friendship Day.

2) Supporting the goals and ideals highlighted through National Volunteer Week.

3) Supporting the goals and ideals of Professional Social Work Month and World Social Work Day.

4) Supporting the goals and ideas of a National Child Care Worthy Wage Day.

5) Supporting the goals and ideals of Mental Health Month, and for other purposes.

6) Expressing the sense of the Congress that a commemorative postage stamp should be issued to honor our Nation's disabled veterans.

7) Recognizing and honoring York for his role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

8) Supporting the goals and ideals of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.

9) Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that a postage stamp should be issued in commemoration of Diwali, a festival celebrated by people of Indian origin.

10) A resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the Government of Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for its Imperial Armed Forces' coercion of young women into sexual slavery, known to the world as "comfort women", during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930s through the duration of World War II.

Holding Japan accountable for it's actions in the 1930's? Recognizing York for his role in the Lewis and Clark expedition? Clearly our federal government is making full use of it's time and duties and Carol is taking her part in doing so!!!  And as for disabled veteran, my grandfather was one having lost his arm fighting for this country... if you want to do something for men like him a postage stamp isn't it, but alas this could be a full topic in and of itself.

All sarcasm aside, the important thing to look at isn't what bills she put up as I wouldn't mind a rep up put up nothing as long as they vote soundly.  So it is voting records which you can find on that should be considered as true accomplishments.  And what really jumped out at me as Carols real accomplishment was the sea of Yeah's next to nearly every single spending bill listed under "Budget, Spending, and Taxes".  And what's even more telling is after running using the issue of party voting as a key point in getting elected (It is time we elect a Congressional member who will work for the people of NH, and not be a rubber stamp for any administration. - quote taken directly from Carol's own website) is that she has proven herself a hypocrite guilty of the exact same fault she asked us to vote out in 2006.   Here's a fun little trivia question for you, can you name the bill Carol voted for where her viewed differed from Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic Party?  I'm still trying to find that one myself, maybe I'll devote an article to it once I find out what that bill was.

So to answer all those who continually ask what has Carol accomplished it's quite simple... higher taxes, wasted time in the house and a rubber stamp voting record to the Democratic Party.


Top Ten Ideal New Laws

We've all heard the old saying "there ought to be a law" before. Based on that I thought it would be fun to try to come up with a top 10 list of ideal new laws from a small government conservative or libertarian point of view.

1) Politicians and government employees cannot have their names displayed on plaques dedicating new buildings or have any public own things named after them without a vote of the people.
The reason behind this is obvious, too many politicians seek to immortalize themselves by having their names put up in a building as the ones responsible for having it built. Take away the self promotion factor and it may help to drive more honesty in regards of when public buildings are actually needed.

2) Increase the speed limits to realistic levels.
Reason behind this is obvious. Try actually driving the speed limit as posted sometime and you'll clearly see why the posted speed limit is ridiculous.

3) Property values freeze for tax purposes after 10 or 20 years.
This solves the issue we see with many elderly folks being taxes out of their homes. When they purchased homes the values were a tenth of what they are now, as were their incomes. McMansions being build all around them drive up the values of their own homes as well. This would also stop punishing those who upkeep their homes. Someone who takes care of their home and improves it is penalized by higher taxes due to a higher home value where as the person who lets their house rot and fall apart sees a lower evaluation over time of their home.

4) Allow medical expenses for life threatening illnesses to be 100% tax deductible.
I have to credit Ron Paul with this idea as it is based on his theory that we should not take social security taxes from those suffering life threatening illnesses as chances are they need the money then to help pay for the cost of fighting that illness and chances are if they don't get better they wont need social security anyway.

5) Legalize drugs.
I credit Matt Simon for this idea and I'm sure he can site countless reasons to back it up. My view is there is nothing in the Constitution giving the government the power to outlaw substances unless you twist the meaning of "to regulate commerce" as granted to them in Article I Section 8.  Also, "drugs" should not just be thought of as things people use to get high.  There are medicinal drugs which could save people's lives which we do not allow in this country because they have not been "FDA approved" even though other nations allow people to use these same drugs to treat their illnesses.

6) Legalize victimless crimes.
Gambling, Prostitution etc harm only the willing. It isn't the government job to act as parents and to try to protect us from ourselves.

7) Get the NH government out of the alcohol business.
It should not be the job of the state government to sell bottles of Jack Daniels.

8) Hand over the running of the education system to the free market.
Note: I did not say stop paying for education, only to get the government out of running the schools. One size fits all schools do not work and I can think of no better way to improve education then by opening up the market and allowing parents the choice of where to send their kids.

9) Balanced budget amendment/ cap on tax increase.
Theory behind this one is fairly simply, the government should not be allowed to spend more then it takes in and like a child with an allowance, they should not be able to just take more simply because they want more.

10)  Give people the power to override the government.
How many times have you seen laws passed that upset the majority of the people?  Taking away parents rights to have any say or even knowledge of their children getting abortions comes quickly to mind.  Yet even when 80% of the people disagree with the actions of the government until the next election cycle we are unable to do anything about it.  The government should be of the people, should it not?  So in cases like these give the people the power to petition and force the government into changing it's actions to be that of what the people want.

Democrats have complained in the past that the NH Liberty Alliance rates them poorly, well they have all the power and by pushing pro freedom laws that THEY favor, they have a chance to turn the rating system to benefit them.  Instead after their first year of control we've seen them taking away freedoms and putting more and more government in play.  I hope they take at least ONE item from this list or come up with some pro freedom ideas of their own.


NH Halloween Haunts

As we get closer to Halloween thoughts of ghost stories fill the minds of the young at heart or superstitious and New England is lucky to abound in rich myths, and tales.

Over the years I've taken the time to visit places thought to be haunted and I just can't get enough.  When I was younger, my friends and I would go on ghost hunts visiting locations written about in books or talked about in rumor.  I remember one night we snuck into a cemetery in upstate NY in hopes of seeing a statue cry blood during the full moon.  Unfortunately I've never seen anything unexplainable even though that night in the cemetery caused us to get so freak out that everyone ran off at one point because of a rustlings in the woods leading to all of us scattering and hiding, even my cousin hiding underneath my old Camero.  I have however collected a great deal of stories and found a great deal of "real" haunted locations here in NH so I thought I'd share a couple stores and locations with you all for those seeking spooky places to go.

I'll start with my own home which was written up once already on old house web.  I purchased a house in northern Merrimack which dates back to at least 1763 as there are tax records going back that far.  When we first purchased it, the sellers statement disclosed as one of it's problems that it has spiritual activity.  When I asked what that meant they said the house is well known in town as the "haunted house" and there are stories of a woman in a blue dress to have been seen in the house.  I've been in the house a couple years now and I have not seen such a woman although my kids claim to.  I personally find it funny that nearly everyone I spoke to who's lived in town for more then 20 or 30 years all seem to know at least one story associated with my house.

Moving around the rest of New Hampshire, it has dozens of other haunted locations, each of which I could write an entire article on in and of itself.  For those adventurous soles looking to brave an afternoon at a real haunted restaurant or location there is a website that has compiled a list of known haunts in NH, ShadowLands which you can find by clicking here.  They list everything from the Blue Lady of Vale Cemetery in Wilton to the ghosts of Hesser College.  Even a couple NH Middle Schools have ghosts according to the list (people the local school boards taxed to death?).

Even though when the thought of witch trials in the United States comes up everyone thinks instantly of Salem, MA, New Hampshire also had it's own witch trials.  This is a story I will share in a future article.

I would love to hear others sharing their scary tales to help get us all into the Halloween spirit (and talking about all the new laws Democrats are thinking up for next year doesn't count regardless of how scary they are).