HOW long does it take to build a home from scratch and how many people with how many different skills are needed? How long does it take for an uncontrollable fire to reduce that house to ashes?

The economic engine that provides food, beverages, clothing, shelter, and every modern convenience to the American people took more than a century to build. Yet, at the stroke of many a governor’s pens, the dangerous servant that is government has become a fearful master now poised to destroy our way of life in the name of safety.

The coronavirus did not cause this problem where the cure has become worse than the disease. Centralized government power has stripped us of our ability to manage our own affairs, and it by no means can dictate how we should rebuild them. It is time for the governor and others to step out of the way and let people go back to work so their free enterprise and ingenuity can meet the needs of those who are suffering.

My life has not been insulated from the human costs of coronavirus as I have people dear to me who have lost loved ones. I understand the fear that has overpowered many and their anger directed at people like me who are seeking a restoration of balance and reason. Perhaps the media, health, and government officials are capitalizing on this fear and anger because their new power over you is too enticing to surrender.

I would urge you to use your own sense of caution to manage your exposure to this dangerous virus; protect yourself if you believe you are at risk. I would also emphatically plead with you to consider the danger of unbridled power and a centralized plan for dealing with it.

Our government was never designed to function this way and for good reason. Government isn’t as good at identifying the needs of the people around you as you are. Gov. Chris Sununu needs to back off and let you get your livelihood, your purpose, and your passions back on track. If he does, we will recover.

The governor’s plan to reopen New Hampshire started with a task force that met last week. What concerned me most about it was that the governor was present for the first few minutes, dictating how he wanted the committee to function, and then he left the meeting to go on TV and tell you to walk one-way down each aisle of the grocery store. The governor didn’t have time to listen to the ideas of the politicians and lobbyists he’s appointed to reopen the state’s economy. But at least one of them, Sen. Bob Giuda from Warren, had a good idea: perhaps the task force should have representatives from the manufacturing and technology industries advising the governor instead of lobbyists and licensing boards?

“The last thing we need is more regulation,” he said.

Others on the task force were talking about procedure and how they are going to decide how to let you go back to work little by little, but only after forcing regulations on your companies that will dictate how you will behave and how you will dress, if and when you return to your job.

If we let this continue can we recover? I don’t think so, at least not to the way of life you and I are accustomed. If we let this top-down, we-know-better-than-you approach take hold, we will simply become another nation of mediocrity, where no fresh idea or difficult achievement will be worth the effort to pursue.

The governor announced another 21-day extension to his emergency order on Friday, so the petition I helped start at will need to dig in and ramp up its efforts to change his mind. We’ll be gathering at our Rally to Live Free at noon Saturday at the State House and expect an even larger crowd than April 18. These efforts are going to take courage from you — to look past the fear and anger you feel and find the strength within yourself to uplift your household, your neighbors, and the people you encounter.

As we work to reopen New Hampshire together, ask yourselves this: How many friends can you watch lose jobs or have their hours cut? How many stores and restaurants are you willing to let close for good? How long will you wait for your rations at the grocery store? How many weeks of waiting for a biopsy to find out if you’re in remission? How many weeks of not seeing your parents, children, or grandchildren in person?

Viruses stick around for a long time, and we don’t always develop effective vaccines to stop them. When we already have promising cures working their way through the government’s red tape, isn’t it time to cut the red tape from our front doors?

Andrew J. Manuse, chairman of, lives in Derry.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

MAY IS Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month — a time to reflect upon and engage with the unique problems these ailments bring to everyday life. From the general misery of congestion to the terrifying reality of shortness of breath, thousands of Americans throughout New Hampshire struggle to co…

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

AS New Hampshire and her neighboring states begin to address the process of reopening retail, restaurants, state offices and business of all kinds, the details of how to do so in a manner that preserves our economy and our personal health is causing significant consternation for many. The id…

THESE last two months have been unlike any in my lifetime. It’s humbling to be reminded how, in the 21st century, there is still little we control and how we are not as all-knowing as we think. Pandemics, it turns out, are great equalizers. No one is immune from the sadness, pain and loss th…

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A SCHOOL BUS driver, shoe store worker, car salesperson, factory worker, restaurant server, landscaper, dental assistant, online college instructor, dog breeder, hairdresser, hospital administrator, state employee, auto mechanic, construction foreman, child care teacher, janitor, cook, nanny…

NEW HAMPSHIRE’s stay-at-home order was issued March 16th. More than two months later we continue to face serious restrictions that limit our ability to earn a living, our freedom of assembly, and right to worship as we see fit. The continuation of this state of emergency not only inflicts ha…

Friday, May 22, 2020

ON MAY 18, the New Hampshire Union Leader published an oped “Sex work is not work” by Jasmine Grace, founder of Jasmine Grace Outreach, one of many organizations raising awareness about human trafficking by conflating it with adult consensual prostitution.

Thursday, May 21, 2020
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

GRANITE STATERS believe in liberty — it’s even enshrined in our state motto. A core tenant of liberty is the right to privacy. It is not a coincidence that New Hampshire is a national leader on privacy rights. The right to live, work, and go about one’s business without governmental intrusio…

THE ORIGIN of the phrase “No shirt, no shoes, no service” is likely a dubious response to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but it has become separated from its discriminatory purpose. This phrase can now be pressed into service during the COVID 19 crisis with a modest change: Add a …

Monday, May 18, 2020

I’VE ALWAYS had a negative impression of superstores: cold, impersonal, dull. Everywhere I’ve lived, (San Francisco, London, Seattle, now New York City) I’ve mostly shopped local and tried to support small businesses. Overall, I’ve led a very sheltered, urban retail life.

IF WE focus only on what social media tells us, we are to believe that crime is uncontrollable and overly violent right now. Though crime rates are actually dropping, one thing that social media does have correct is their coverage of rape and sexual assault, two things that have been increasing.

ON MAY 7, the New Hampshire Union Leader published a Reuters article on its back page with the catchy title “Streetwalkers to Sweet Talkers” outlining the dilemma Chile’s prostitutes face under Covid-19 now that they cannot engage in the “intimate” aspect of their trade.