The Boot to the Neck

 

Stalling is a time honored tradition of many a School Superintendent here in the State of Maine. The small rural towns of the Pine Tree state are breaking beneath the ever burgeoning burden of school budgets. This is compounded by the yearly tradition of dipping back into the nearly parched taxation well for budgetary shortfalls, which have been increasing at a rate of some $30,000 a year. As the taxpayers of these little towns compare their high mil rates and over-leveraged town budgets against the return on their confiscated funds in the quality of education for the dollar from these high priced school districts, it is no wonder that many are opting to withdraw from low performance expensive school districts and seek greener pastures for the future of their little ones.

But the head of each child, so endearing to the parent and the community in which they grow up, is a dollar sign to a school district, and these under performing districts are loathe to release these towns and lose the revenue that the children generate for their escalating budgets. No matter if the towns vote to withdraw, no matter the exercise of sovereignty, and no matter the will of the people, these phrases so rudimentary to our Republic are disdained and mocked by pompous school districts who have no fear of recourse from small towns. Through the din and cries of acrimony and hardship from districts light on education and heavy on expenditure, the voice of the small community is but a whisper if heard at all.

After the vote to withdraw, comes the negotiations. Here the stall tactics, there the arm twisting until finally a town will pay whatever ransom to be free to try and repair its fragile infrastructure from the exorbitant price tag but spare product many public school districts are offering. One lawyer observed and characterized the withdrawal negotiation tactics of school districts as legalized extortion.

Some towns have deep enough pockets to pay the ransom money, but some little towns do not. This legislative session a bill was put forward to help give voice and leverage to towns that heretofore had been non-existent. LD 1336 provided that in the event withdrawal negotiations could not be completed in 180 days, the Education Dept. would provide mediation and should the impasse continue for another 90 days even with mediation, the negotiations would then go to binding mediation. This bill would have kept school districts from stalling and dragging negotiations on for years, causing unwarranted burdens to Maine’s rural communities.

The bill passed through committee unanimous, Ought To Pass. That means it enjoyed bi-partisan support. Most observers expected it’s passage through the chambers to be a mere formality and the common sense bill would become law, a welcome relief to struggling Maine towns.

Instead, Speaker Sarah Gideon allowed LD 1336 to languish in committee until the legislative agenda was near at end with little time left. Two days ago it was brought to the floor, a single protest was lodged from the floor, and Speaker Gideon killed the bill without allowing a vote. In one fell swoop the purpose of the Republic was desecrated, the voice of the small town silenced, their hope of leverage crushed, and the boot of the under performing abusive school districts was placed firmly on the necks of rural Maine.

The big money interests of public education matter more to Speaker Gideon than correcting a wrong that has too long been ignored. The towns of Maine pay the heavy price. In this travesty, silence is not golden but a brazen glaring example of a poverty of morals multiplied by willful ignorance beholden to special interest’s money.

The Intellectualism of Stupidity Pt 2

 

by Andy Torbett

The very basic essence of a civilization is the secure propagation of Life. Our Constitution describes it as “to insure the domestic tranquility”. It has become a matter of debate for our civilization as to whether it is Constitutional to defend the traditional structure of marriage. I would counter that the whole of the Constitution was designed to defend that structure. You cannot ensure the domestic tranquility unless you have a domestic to insure.

Still, the argument will be that domestic tranquility was in reference to the early colonists’ way of living, their desire for freedom. Some would argue that their patterns of commerce, trade, and the free market thereof were the ideas behind domestic tranquility. My response is that there is no living without Life. Commerce, trade, the free market of ideas, all things libertarian cannot survive unless there is an assurance of the stable propagation of Life, which can maintain our living.

Our Founders understood this and created an entire document dedicated to the preservation of Life, “to insure the domestic tranquility”, and the Freedoms inherent, “endowed”, to it. All of our Freedoms, our Unalienable Rights, are predicated on and activated by Life. But the modern man looks to the document or the government it creates as the actuator of Rights, not Life and certainly not God. It is this present stupor that breeds the inane argument that the Framers of the Constitution, those learned men, provided no protection for the most basic foundation of civilized Life, the marriage construct, and instead, despite all the evidence afforded them through their extensive study of the history of civilization, allowed for the desolation and destruction of their new Nation, at it’s onset, as an expression of Liberty.

The haze of modern intellectualism has made it difficult for us to understand the basics of Life it would seem. Yes, the Birds and the Bees. The Founding Fathers understood what we do not, that the basic building blocks of a civilization are babies.

In this series of articles, I will have more earth shattering revelations and profundities. Stay tuned for “It’s not just Christians that get married” and “Christians weren’t the only ones who built civilizations”. The research was daunting but I persevered.

This is a true statement: You can’t make a civilization if you can’t make a baby. You can’t build a civilization if you can’t build a baby. That is to say that in order to construct anything you need a stable framework on which to build. Our Heterosexual Marriage Traditions are that framework, yet we are willfully ignorant of the fundamentals of Life.

Its important to realize that when we say that the marriage construct is fundamental to civilization, its because it predates said civilization. The Heterosexual Marriage Tradition birthed civilization because it birthed Life. Because there was Life there had to be a way to live and, therefore, the Heterosexual Marriage Tradition predates civilized law, including our Constitution.

The idea that the Constitution validates our marriage tradition is flawed. The Heterosexual Marriage Tradition validates the Constitution for it provides the Life which activates the Rights the Document defends. If the fundamental structure to raise Life remains strong and intact then the Life it breeds remains strong and productive giving the society strength to flourish. If the fundamental life structure of the society is damaged then the society begins to wither and fail. The Heterosexual Marriage Tradition is the security of the Nation.

Gibbons in his time honored definitive study of the Roman Empire offered five reasons for the fall of Rome. The first and highest impact of the five he offered was the destruction of the Heterosexual Marriage Tradition. It is incumbent upon us in a day when we are surrounded by knowledge to learn from history. Yet, studies show that four out of five of modern millennials do not believe there is truth. So therein is the stupor in which we stumble drunkenly. In all our learning, will we get wisdom?

The Intellectualism of Stupidity Pt 1

By Andy Torbett

As the “Delicates” scatter towards their safe place to furtively suck on a pacifier while feverishly kneading handfuls of play dough, let me explain that the title of this column refers to the denotative meaning of stupidity and not the connotative. Stupidity is derived from the root word stupor. Think of it as an aura, a fog, similar to how this construction guy feels after a hot day, baking on a roof while shingling. In simple terms, after getting fried all day at work, one prefers to sit on the couch staring at the television or computer in a state of stupidity.

But where the intellectualism? The state of our nation is this, that we have pontificated, debated, and at all points elevated our speech to such a place that the common place, common sense, and the common man is disdained, lampooned, and mocked as irrelevant, not worthy of the modern man. The Apostle Paul described it as, “Ever learning and never coming to the knowledge of truth”. Solomon observed in The Ecclesiastes and Proverbs that after all his learning, acquisition of treasure, and accomplishments that it was all “vanity” and the only final necessity was to “get wisdom”.

Could it be that in all our quests for high-minded words and soliloquy that befuddle the simple man, we dull ourselves to the basic innate powers of perception, which comes so naturally to the simple man? Can we possibly have become so churlish and bigoted in our lofty pursuits of intellectualism that what we call reasoning is nothing more then self-indulgent prattle rife with circular reasoning which has withered what was once the nation’s greatest resource, common sense, into a fallow wasteland? Like the Greek philosophers of old, Americans are walking about with a lantern searching for a honest man, a discerning man, a common man and, like the civilizations of old, we follow blindly in their wake wanting and wasting to “get wisdom” as we decline.

As the debate on our foundational structure of marriage has raged on, to which I am party, I have noticed some curious threads woven through the debate that I find fascinating. One would think as ideological barbs are cast back and forth that the only heterosexuals who have developed a marriage construct are Christians. Again, one would think that through the haze of charges of intolerance hurled so flippantly about that only Christians have built a civilization upon the foundation of their marriage construct. Finally, in our age of enlightenment, one would think that it is a small thing to dismantle and redefine the marriage construct upon which your nation is built, that moving, twisting, and reshaping this foundation upon which we for generations so labored to build will have no negative impact upon the civilization, and the mountains of evidence to the contrary which are blazed throughout history do not apply to us.

A common man with common sense could look at this list of modern arguments and say no to all of them, but since we are now intellectuals with our noses too far inclined to see anything which resembles common, it’s necessary to breaks things back down to the basics. What is the most basic building block of a civilization? Life! Yes, babies are the most basic building block of a civilization. You can’t have one without them.

The very basic essence of a civilization is the secure propagation of life. Our Constitution describes it as “to insure the domestic tranquility”. It has become a matter of debate for our civilization as to whether it is Constitutional to defend the traditional structure of marriage. I would counter that the whole of the Constitution was designed to defend that structure. You cannot ensure the domestic tranquility unless you have a domestic to insure.

  • The first in all multi-part series on the marriage structure as a national security issue.

Life Adrift

 

Known as the “Weeping Prophet”, Jeremiah witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the magnificent Temple of Solomon. Despite his repeated warnings to the people of Judah to change their ways and return to their foundation, which had built and strengthened their Nation, the people continued in their downward spiral of moral decay. After the death of King Josiah, Jeremiah watched the quick plunge back into paganism of his fellow citizens and foresaw their doom and, despite his many emotional warnings, the nation of Judah stubbornly quickened toward the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecies at the sword of a predatory empire.

Jeremiah’s writings in the Bible hold special significance to the Christian of today. He recounts in Jeremiah 1:4-5 an assurance of his call from God, “Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” This scripture encapsulates to a great degree the view of life that Christians embrace.

It is to the Christian that life is formed by the very hand of God. Our Founders used the word endowed. Life is written into the fabric of our foundational documents, of this there can be no denial.

But the protection of life is not necessarily exclusive to a Christian pursuit or endeavor. Most of the greatest civilizations established traditions to promote life among their civilization to ensure their safe and prosperous propagation. Traditions of birth and marriage were established usually in the context of that civilization’s religion. These formed the foundation on which that civilization was built.

This discussion is basic grade school social studies to many but it is important to reaffirm, in light of our nation’s perilous course, the basics of world history. What destroys a nation? What makes it live?

If we as a people do not protect and cherish life, how can we live? As each civilization grows in power, its fear for survival lessens giving way to a desire for personal gain, pleasure, and indulgence. Life holds inevitable repercussions for personal choices, which the selfish work to circumvent. Wants outweigh what is worthy as the people so stalwart to build now wallow in decadence.

Civilization to civilization, the same weakness persists. We strive to build an empire but have not the moral fortitude to maintain it. The path for national decay is well worn for all have followed it.

The decline that Jeremiah wept against for his nation was not new then and happening before our eyes now. A nation grows strong on its zeal for life and desire to survive against all odds. It succeeds and becomes a power to the world and the envy of all nations. Soon, secure in its power, the people began to flock to pleasure and decadence. The constraints of life, the responsibilities thereof, are tossed aside as obstructions in the path towards a new and better nation. We sacrifice our children like nations of old and destroy the structure which raised them and built our society.

We wonder now at our depravity like there was no herald to warn of us of this demise, forgetting those we mocked and shouted down. The sanctity of life and the tradition of marriage is more than just a Christian tradition. It is the very essence and necessity of a nation’s security and survival.

Still, we will ignore the fate in the ruins of time and mindlessly walk towards our doom. It stands to reason, if we could reason, that the value of life could build a civilization and the devaluing of life destroys a civilization. But some will wonder in the end how we got here?

It’s not that complicated. It’s as simple as common sense. When you cut free of the mooring, you simply keep drifting…

  • Andy Torbett