“The Rebel Girl” Receives a N.H. Historical


[Note: To our
bug-eyed surprise, the following message appeared in our email inbox on
Tuesday, May 2nd. – The Ed.]

The N.H. Division of Historical Resources is pleased to announce
that a New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker honoring Elizabeth Gurley Flynn,
a well-known labor, women’s rights and civil liberties activist, has been
installed at the corner of Court and Montgomery Streets in downtown Concord,
near the site of her birthplace.

The marker reads:


“‘The Rebel Girl’

“Born in Concord in 1890, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was a nationally
known labor leader, civil libertarian and feminist organizer. She joined the
Industrial Workers of the World at age 17 where her fiery speeches earned her
the nickname ‘The Rebel Girl.’ As a founder of the American Civil Liberties
Union, Flynn advocated for women’s rights, including supporting their right to
vote and access to birth control. She joined the Communist Party in 1936 and was
sent to prison in 1951 under the notorious Smith Act.”

An unveiling ceremony for the marker was held on May 1. It is the
278th marker in New Hampshire’s Historical Highway Marker program, and the 12th
that highlights the accomplishments of an individual woman.

Any municipality, agency, organization or individual wishing to
propose a historical highway marker to commemorate significant New Hampshire
places, persons or events must submit a petition of support signed by at least
20 New Hampshire residents. They must also draft the text of the marker and
provide footnotes and copies of supporting documentation, as well as a
suggested location for marker placement.

New Hampshire’s historical highway markers illustrate the depth
and complexity of our history and the people who made it, from the last
Revolutionary War soldier to contemporary sports figures to poets and painters
who used New Hampshire for inspiration; from 18th-century meeting houses to
stone arch bridges to long-lost villages; from factories and cemeteries to
sites where international history was made.

An interactive map of all of the state’s historical highway
markers is available at the N.H. Division of Historical Resources’ website,

The New Hampshire Historical Highway Marker program is jointly
managed by the N.H. Division of Historical Resources and N.H. Department of


Geologists, check your
seismometers for unusual activity in Orford, N.H. and Pride’s Crossing, Mass. Mel
Thomson and Bill Loeb cannot be resting in peace.

An event like this would
have been unthinkable when Thomson ran the state and Loeb ran the

As Flynn herself said,
though, “History has a long-range perspective. It ultimately passes stern
judgment on tyrants and vindicates those who fought, suffered, were imprisoned,
and died for human freedom, against political oppression and economic slavery.”

The Editor


What Medicare Did for Ray Brighton

To the Editor, and Ray Brighton:

Thank you, Mr. Brighton, for sharing the cost of your recent 24
hour plus experience in the emergency room, and the benefits of having Medicare,
with the Portsmouth Herald. As
reported, Mr. Brighton was billed $14,692 for his care. Since I assume that he
was not admitted to the hospital, Medicare Part B covered 80 percent of the
cost. If Mr. Brighton had been admitted, he would have been covered under
Medicare Part A at 100 percent of the cost of his care. Fortunately, Mr.
Brighton had Medicare supplemental insurance which covered most of the 20
percent not covered by Medicare Part B.

However, there is a bigger story here that must be considered. Medicare
is a universal single payer system managed by the federal government for the
elderly and disabled. We all pay into Medicare while working through a payroll
tax, and once retired, we pay a small monthly Part B premium out of our Social
Security benefit. Medicare and the government do not provide the medical care,
they simply pay the appropriate medical expenses just like a private insurance
company. However Medicare has an administrative overhead of about five percent,
while most private insurance is about 20 percent. While Mr. Brighton
appropriately praises his supplemental Medicare insurance for covering most of
the 20 percent not covered by Medicare Part B, without Medicare in the first
place there would not be a Medicare Part B or the opportunity to buy
supplemental insurance for him to rely on. In the absence of Medicare where
would Mr. Brighton and millions of seniors and the disabled be? Without a
Medicare system seniors and the disabled would either go without insurance, or
considering their age and health conditions, be faced with buying very
expensive private insurance if they could get it at all. And if they were able
to obtain insurance, it would certainly come with very high copays and

Republicans opposed Medicare in 1964, and have been trying to
eliminate or privatize it ever since. If they had succeeded, Mr. Brighton and
tens of millions of others would have a much different financial outcome than
the one he shared with us.

This case study simply illustrates how better off all Americans
would be if we had a Medicare-For-All System like most other industrialized

Thank you Mr. Brighton for highlighting with such a personal real
life experience the benefits of Medicare.

Rich DiPentima, RN, MPH

Portsmouth, N.H.


Republicans deride modest
Democratic proposals as unworkable, then commit acts of sabotage to prove themselves

The philosopher Thomas
Hobbes described life without any form of governance as “solitary, poor, nasty,
brutish, and short.”

In today’s GOP, that dire
description passes for Utopia.

The Editor


A Simple Comparison

Good morning, Editor,

Couldn’t help but notice the passion displayed in resident MAGA
correspondent Don Ewing’s latest on schools’ subjecting pink-cheeked innocent
children to the horrifying effects of “pornography.” Apparently fond of spewing
“statistics,” he conveniently left one out; how does the childhood death rate
from being exposed to “pornography” compare to that of the discharge of AR-15”s
in the classroom? Hmmmm?

John C. Ficor

Richmond, Va.


It’s now illegal for the
state of Texas to provide tampons and sanitary napkins in schools.

However, students there are
being taught first aid to assist classmates and teachers suffering from gunshot

The Editor


Hoods are Optional

To the Editor:

We sweat out disasters

Daily check

Review statistics

Killed, and injured

Yesterday, last week

This month’s mourning

Repeated. America’s

Endless cycle. America,

Home for freedom-loving

Vigilantes. Hoods are optional

As they display

Their 2nd amendment

Right, to kill at will.

Genevieve Harris-Fraser

Orange, Mass.


Why Not Both?

To the Editor:

How many times have you heard a politician say after a mass
shooting “It isn’t a gun problem. It is a mental health problem”? Actually, it
is both.

Every country has people with mental health issues, but most have
fewer mass shootings in a year than we average per day. The reason is simple. When
another country suffers from a mass shooting, their politicians enact laws to
limit access to guns. Their politicians are sane.

Many of ours are not. Since the Sandy Hook school shooting many
states, including New Hampshire, made it easier to get weapons, to legally
carry weapons and conceal weapons. They legalized ownership of semiautomatic
weapons with large magazines. Even worse are the states that passed laws making
it legal to shoot unarmed people by claiming you were afraid of them.

How do states address the so-called mental health problems and
guns? They do not. They only think someone has a mental health problem after
they commit a mass shooting. How sane is it to allow the sale of weapons to people
the politicians said had mental health problems. It is not sane.

We have more guns in this country than people. If guns made us
safer, we would be the safest country on earth. We are the opposite because of
our insane politicians.

Walter Hamilton

Portsmouth, N.H.


Far be it from us to argue
that anyone in the GOP is sane. The general level of paranoia they display
would be comical if it were not so damaging.

The full panoply of their
perverse policies can hardly be the consequence of individual madness, though.
This gun-frenzy is a component of the culture war, the ultimate aim of which is
to eradicate democratic government in favor of an unfettered market.

Greed, to put it more

The Editor


A Job for the Devil

To the Editor:

It’s been clear for some time that the sentiment expressed in
“Pro-Life” ends with small humans’ exit from the womb. If parents are not among
the privileged one percent (talk about entitlement!) good luck to them feeding
and securing medical and other care for their progeny, and if they do succeed
in raising them to school age, in keeping them out of the sights of the
millions of loonies crawling around the country with assault weapons.

I wondered to my daughter, embarked on a slightly above minimum
wage career in social work, what God is waiting for, and she opined that he or
she is likely under a table, curled up in a fetal position, wondering what he
or she wrought. God would, in fact, be well advised not to visit this den of
iniquity in the present social climate; what the Romans did to Jesus would be
as nothing compared to what today’s AR-15 toting “Christians” would do to a
long-haired socialist who preaches love and compassion, caring for the poor and
sick and displaced, turning the other cheek, and generally being decent. He’d
be shot quicker than an African-American teenager.

I don’t spend much, actually any, time wondering if there is a
God, but I fervently hope that there is a devil, to accommodate the multitudes
who have earned in spades the Christian hell.

Beyond sick of the hypocrisy,

John Simon

Portsmouth, N.H.


A very good friend once
remarked that in the unlikely event that he someday meets his alleged maker,
he’s going to pose a few pointed questions.

The Editor


The Pernicious Effects of Inequality

To the editor;

Kudos to the Gazette for
publishing three “Tax Day” articles by Wilkens, Allegretto and Johnson (The New Hampshire Gazette, April 21, 2023).
The authors aptly describe how the U.S. tax system shelters wealth and bakes in
wealth inequality. The tax advantages preserve the status of an economic elite
and reinforce the economic forces that created the inequality. Wealth
inequality has been increasing in the U.S. since the ’80s so that the
wealthiest 10 percent of Americans now own approximately 70 percent of all
wealth while the bottom 50 percent owns only three percent. These are levels
not seen since the Gilded Age and place the U.S. as one of the most unequal
countries in the industrialized world.

The dangers of excessive wealth inequality have been known for a
long time. Both Plato and Aristotle note that large imbalances of wealth are a
cause of social unrest within societies. Plato states that economic disparities
cause the lower classes to seek out a protector who will defend them against
the elite. The protector is often a demagogue who promises reform to the people
while establishing himself as a tyrant. History is replete with examples to
include Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Franco, and Hitler.

Populist revolutions are a threat to modern democracies. Hungary,
Poland, Brazil, Venezuela and our own recent experience stand as examples. The
fact is extreme levels of wealth inequality are not compatible with democracy.
As economic distress builds in disadvantaged classes, trust in ruling elites
vanishes and, as Plato notes, they seek out leaders who will promote their
interests. The elites, seeking to preserve their wealth, act to eliminate the
influence of the lower classes by denying them democratic representation. Any
attempt to co-operate for the common good is impossible as the groups engage in
a death match for power.

This process is well underway in America. Former blue-collar
workers who had established a comfortable middle-class lifestyle following
World War II watched manufacturing jobs disappear with globalization and
automation. As middle-class incomes disappeared and working-class communities
crumbled, white factory workers without a college degree became increasingly
frustrated and angry. As working-class incomes stagnated, the incomes of more
educated financial and tech workers skyrocketed. The displaced cohort was ripe
for a demagogue like Trump and quickly adopted him as their defender. His
supporters clearly regard themselves as a populist party, claiming to represent
the interests of the forgotten working class while scorning so-called coastal
elites. Trump is a wannabe autocrat as his rejection of the 2020 election and
subsequent effort to foment an insurrection proves. If he had succeeded, it
would have marked the end of constitutional democracy in America. His
statements and actions demonstrate that he has neither understanding nor
respect for the principles of liberal democracy. He is the threat that Plato
warns about.

The threat to American democracy from Trump and the far right is
not over. Trump maintains a strong hold on a considerable portion of
working-class supporters and the violent rhetoric from many of his supporters
indicates that many would engage in a violent attempt to overthrow
constitutional democracy a la January 6th. The populist threat will not subside
unless the conditions that have bred dissatisfaction and distrust are
confronted. We can begin by introducing tax policies that address the
accumulation of great wealth by a few and begin to reduce the unconscionable
inequality in the U.S.

Robert D. Russell, Ph.D.

Harrisburg, Pa.


Could not agree more. The
difficulty is making it happen—but what else do we have to do with our time?

The Editor


Credible Pathways to 1.5°C:

Four Pillars for Action in the 2020s

[Note: The
following dispatch from The International Energy Agency (IEA) was forwarded to
us by Roy Morrison. – The Ed.]

To support preparations for upcoming major events such as the
COP28 Climate Change Conference, the IEA is releasing Credible Pathways to 1.5
°C: Four pillars for action in the 2020s, a new report on the key actions
needed to keep within reach the Paris Agreement’s target of limiting the global
temperature rise to 1.5 °C. That possibility is narrowing rapidly, with energy-related
CO2 emissions continuing to rise in 2022 despite declining costs for clean
energy technologies and the dynamic deployment of renewables, electric cars and
other solutions.

Declining costs for clean energy technologies and new policies
have shaved around 1 °C from projected 2100 warming compared to the pre-Paris
baseline. The ambitions that countries have put on the table go a significant
way to meeting the 1.5 °C goal. If implemented on time and in full, countries’
net zero pledges would be sufficient to hold warming to around 1.7 °C in 2100.
The key question is therefore what needs to be done now to strengthen near-term
action to put the world on a credible pathway consistent with the 1.5 °C goal.
Four pillars are key:

• In the energy sector, decarbonising electricity, accelerating
energy efficiency and electrification are the critical tools. Capacity
additions of renewables need to triple from 2022 levels by 2030, reaching
around 1,200 GW annually, representing on average 90 percent of new generation
capacity each year. Electric car sales should reach a market share of around 60
percent by 2030, while zero emissions medium and heavy freight trucks should
reach a market share of around 35 percent by the same year.

• Reducing deforestation to net zero by 2030 – in line with The
Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use – provides the largest
share of CO2 emissions reductions from the land-use sector.

• Tackling non-CO2 emissions is vital to limiting peak warming.
Assuming strong action on CO2, meeting or exceeding commitments like the Kigali
Amendment on HFCs and the Global Methane Pledge, and acting on non-CO2
emissions from agriculture, could make the difference between a scenario which
substantially overshoots 1.5 °C, risking triggering irreversible climate
tipping points, and one which does not.

• Even in a low overshoot scenario, carbon capture and storage
and atmospheric carbon dioxide removal will be required to mitigate and
compensate hard-to-abate residual emissions. Projects capturing around 1.2 Gt
CO2 by 2030 need to be implemented, against the roughly 0.3 Gt CO2 currently
planned for 2030.

A credible pathway to the 1.5 °C goal needs strong, immediate
action on each of these four pillars, to deliver immediate and rapid emissions
reductions; strong contributions from all countries, especially advanced and
major economies; and clear policy signals to enable actors to anticipate and
achieve change.

Published under License
CC BY 4.0

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is a Paris-based autonomous
intergovernmental organisation, established in 1974, that provides policy
recommendations, analysis and data on the entire global energy sector. The 31
member countries and 11 association countries of the IEA represent 75 percent
of global energy demand.

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