"There Will Be Signs Two Years
From Now, Too":
My November 26, 2008 Letter to the Editor about Carol Shea-Porter & Turbocam LLC
Commentary by Timothy Horrigan; November 27, 2008
Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter with sign-waving supporters
Rollinsford, NH; November 22, 2008
That's me holding the PEACE sign on the right side of the shot
Originally published in Foster's Daily Democrat. Original URL (subject to linkrot over time):
There will be signs two years from now,
To the editor: I am not sure whether Turbocam LLC's CEO Marian Noronha and his associates are being brave or foolish by picking a fight with Carol Shea-Porter, who in addition to being their representative in Congress is a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Even if the military market is (according to Tony Fallon) a "shrinking minor percentage" of the company's business, it is still a nonzero percentage.
I do know, however, that they have been violating their company's Christian principles. The 9th Commandment says "thou shalt not bear false witness." They have been bearing false witness against Carol Shea-Porter when they accuse her of not supporting our troops. She is a very strong supporter of our troops. The Turbocam people also bear false witness against her when they accuse her of being a liar, a thief and a supporter of al-Qaida.
Jesus Christ also said "Render to Caesar, the things which are Caesar's and to God the thing that are God's." (Mark 12:17.) That means that believers should treat the secular authorities with all the respect it deserves, while still following their own beliefs. Carol Shea-Porter is not Caesar — but we the people who elected her are our own Caesar. In Jesus's time and place, Caesar was the secular authority but in our time and place, the people themselves are the authority. Our government is far from perfect, but we do a better job than Caesar and Pontius Pilate did.
We, the people of our congressional district used our authority and our God-given freedoms to choose Carol Shea-Porter (who is one of the finest people I have ever had the honor of knowing, by the way) as our representative, even though Mr. Noronha disapproves of her. We the people made our choice after a political campaign which admittedly got silly at times — and the process even involved overeager volunteers putting up signs on the strategically located berm in front of Turbocam's headquarters on Route 125. I am sorry that Mr. Noronha has such bad feelings about the campaign, but I think it is time for him to render to the voters the things which are the voters. It is time for him to accept that Jeb Bradley was not his neighbors' choice, and move on. I should warn him that there will be another election in two years, and there will be another crop of signs on the side of his road (but probably not as many as in 2008.)
On Friday, November 21, 2008, I wrote a letter to the editors of Foster's Daly Democrat defending my Congressperson (and friend) Carol Shea-Porter. The main point of my letter was that they were bearing false witness against Carol and that our political leaders and the politcal process.
She had been the subject of a series of rather nasty letters from employeees and even the CEO of Turbocam LLC, which is a high-tech business in her district which manufactures wheels and other machine parts for turbines and engines and also sells CAD/CAM software. Or, as the title of their home page puts it, they do "5-axis machining of Aerospace & Turbomachinery impellers and blisks." (It reminds me a little of the company George Jetson worked for, Spacely Sprockets, and its rival, Cogswell Cogs.)
The company is very right-wing, and their web site says: "TURBOCAM exists as a business for the purpose of honoring God, creating wealth for its employees, and supporting Christian service to God and people." They got into a ruckus with Congresswoman Shea-Porter during the 2008 general election campaign: their headquarters sits behind a strategically located earthern berm in Barrington, NH, on Route 125, a busy north-south road. Lots of camapign signs appeared on the roadside, including Shea-Porter's. This deeply offended Turbocam and its apparently charismatic and controlling CEO, Marian Noronha.
During the weekend before the Presidential election, Carol was on her way through Barrington (with an entourage consisting of her sister and an aide or two) from Rochester to Manchester (if I recall correctly) to appear wth now-Senator Jeanne Shaheen and former President Bill Clinton. She saw someone tearing down her sign from the side of the road— a Turbocam LLC employee. It is unclear whether this sign was on Turbocam property, but it is clear that Carol stopped the car and exchanged words with the employee. This led to an ongoing war which continued long past the election itself.
I am tempted to reproduce all the letters. They have been remarkably un-Christian. I will just reproduce the one I specifically responded to, a November 21, 2008 letter from someone named Tony Fallon, as well as the November 7, 2008 letter from Noronha himself. (Notice, by the way, that he did go down to Washington, DC to accept a "Freedom Award" in 2007 from Shea-Porter and other officials, but he was severely disrespectful of her. In retrospect, he shouldn't have done that.)
Original URLs (also subject to linkrot over time):
[November 21, 2008]
Noronha is a patriot and a doer
I respond here to Joe Cicirelli's letter with regards to the First District Congressperson's lying sign placed on Marion Noronha's property at his Turbocam Factory in Barrington, New Hampshire.
Yes, Joe, this was an emotional campaign and yes people have differing opinions on this war we are in with Al Qaeda, and, yes, the emotions run fairly high on the war too. However, repeatedly placing signs on the property of an ardent opponent and then turning down repeated offers for return of the lying signs is reprehensible.
This wasn't the first time that lying signs had to be removed from Turbocam property. It had become so bad that Mr. Noronha was taking extra trips by his property to make sure no additional lying signs were put up purporting his support for someone he opposed. For the sign that you and others made an issue of, Marion Noronha supported Jeb Bradley in this race, not the candidate with the lying sign.
Turbocam is an amazing success story. They return a lot of money to inspire and support those in need. They have a clear mission that is wonderful, acted upon and faith based. Turbocam is a growing, cutting edge, vibrant manufacturer in the United States of America as well as across the globe. They have ingenious electrical and heating arrangements to save vast quantities of both in their facilities as they exhibit environmental leadership. Turbocam makes a lot of specialty metal five axis parts for engines, motors, and pumps. They make no weapons. The parts that go on to become parts of military vehicles is a shrinking minor percentage. Turbocam is a model to be respected, admired, appreciated, supported, and emulated.
As for the differing of opinion with regards to support of the troops, a vital problem with the voting against troop support, is that it emboldens and, in fact, supports the enemy. An emboldened enemy kills more of our troops. That is the crux of Marion's objection to anything other than vigorous support of the troops, be it from a citizen or a legislator. We must have our service person's backs on emotional, conversational, and financial level.
We all agree that we want the least amount of loss of life for our service personnel. We also, though, want a life worth living. We want a life where we can at once honor God and guarantee freedom of religion. We want a life where women have the right to be educated, vote, and work. We all want what Al Qaeda doesn't want. We are united on that.
Marion Noronha is not an extremist. He is certainly not an ex-dreamer. Marion is a dreamer, doer, and a wonderful inspiration. Turbocam is remarkable.
[November 7, 2008]
"You cannot have our land"
To the editor: I consider Mrs. Carol Shea-Porter to be a traitor because she gave comfort to the enemy in Iraq by voting to cut off funds to our troops while they are in harm's way. She knows what I think, because I told that to her chief of staff, when he came to sweet talk me at the presentation of the Freedom Award to Turbocam last year in Washington DC.
So why was she putting her campaign signs on my property? Did she think I had changed my mind because she stole some money in Washington for a teen center in Somersworth? Turbocam employee Henry Burke found her sign on our property, and pulled it up. She saw him, sensed an "Aha" moment, used some elegant language befitting a $170,000 a year government employee, called Fosters, and filed a complaint with the police. On Nov 2, Fosters accused us of stealing her campaign signs.
To our Democrat friends, you may win the elections. But you cannot have our land. This is Indian territory. At least bring us some beads.
Marian B. Noronha
[Ironically, Noronha himself is an Indian— but he is an "real" Indian, with roots in Goa, India. But, he is also very much an American.]