Wise In Their own Deceits


It is hard to know whether to express grief or anger at the impending collapse of our educational system. Perhaps the myriad of emotions that runs the gamut are each in their own space appropriate. The grief for the teacher and student trapped in a relic whose time has passed and anger for the bureaucracy whose blind ambitions have too long and yet still ignored the warning bells of a sinking behemoth pitched up in its death plunge sputtering, hissing to its depths of oblivion. The time for the salvation of public education is nearly passing the cusp into the realm of futility.

Captained by a stubborn addiction to agenda rather than the purpose of teaching, a top heavy education system teeters dangerously as if drunken by its desire for self preservation. As the passengers flee the sinking ship rowing towards a fresh new horizon of choice and freedom, the aging hulk reaches out for them as if to drag them back into the dark cold vacuum it leaves as it sinks beneath the waves. Disaster loves company.

The inevitable shift in the educational landscape is borne out of necessity here in rural Maine. Despite the protestations of Senator Collins that Betsy DeVos did not understand the needs of rural Maine for public education, it is the Senator who is completely out of touch with the changing winds in rural Maine. Blind and bound by financial ties to powerful unions, she instead gives stark example to the reasons rural Maine is rejecting public education in growing numbers and choosing instead to embark in more seaworthy vessels than sieve Collins seems bound to protect.

Despite the ruinous wreckage surrounding it, like a poverty stricken monarch the public school system is still demanding obeisance. A bill, LD 96, sponsored by Senator Nate Libby, Democrat, would require parents to “consult” with school boards before removing children to a alternative educational system or be found in truancy. In other words, the failing school system that has our once world class education standards plummeting in the eyes of the nations wants to consulted before parents are “allowed” to make choices for their own children. Both Senator Collins in Washington and Senator Libby in Augusta are completely out of touch with the people in Maine they represent.

The broad and, yes, harsh characterizations of the failing public school system are not to ignore the great work of so many good teachers who bravely work to educate our youth in this arcane system. It is to paint the over-arching picture of the necessity and reality of change. Many families, and more are coming, have found greener pastures for the education of their children outside of public schools. This is the new horizon for education in this country and in this state.

LD 96 has yet to be debated before committee. The public can go before committee or send in written testimony. I would urge so many who believe in a brighter future for our children to contact the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and make your voice be known. Having to consult a school board for parenting choices on your child’s future is like asking Hollywood actors for marriage advice.

Bad For Thee, Good For Me


I have made the public statement that I daily hope and pray that President-Elect Donald Trump will continue to prove me wrong. To this point, the overarching consensus from the TMCV (The Maine Conservative Voice) is that the future President has done the just that. I use the word “overarching” so the reader can assume the caveats implied.

For example, General Mattis is a fantastic pick for defense. He brings back the sense of a disciplined, tempered, steely, ferocity in our military that Americans are desperately needing to see in the forces that protect this Nation in the face of the unspeakable horrors that surround us. In contrast, if not just slightly, I think the jury is out on Betsy DeVos, for education. Much depends, sadly, on whether she was lying when she said she opposed common core or lying when she supported it.

This brings me to my final thought for today. A critique of not only of the President-Elect, but of Conservatives also. Let’s just call it, if I may fall back on some lingo from my birth state of Arizona, a burr or a bullhead in my saddle.

Under the file of “Bad for Thee,But not for Me”, the Carrier deal is crony capitalism plain and simple. You can’t slap Republican on something and somehow think it makes it right. That’s called hypocrisy….plain and simple. We railed against liberals for this. But now we celebrate it because it’s “our side” screwing with Free Market? It was wrong for Solyndra, it was wrong for GM, and it’s wrong for Carrier.

Again the pendulum swings and we are not trying to stop it. This is the burr in my saddle. We have always as Conservatives preached against the “end justifies the means” approach of liberals, yet much to my chagrin (I speak for myself), it seems many Conservatives had no problem employing said approach this election cycle.

The response I consistently hear as of late is “Hey, we won!” While I feel increasingly in the minority among those who profess to be my conservative allies, I still contend that, for me, social and fiscal conservatism is not a campaign tactic, but rather, a reflection of my core convictions. Perhaps I am a relic of the past that deserves to be kicked to the curb as some assert, but a quick perusal of history will confirm that the “end justifies the means” ascent to power only assures a destructive exposition in the end, of this I am certain.

I understand give and take. I understand compromise is essential to effective statesmanship. I probably break with many fellow conservatives when I say I think Mitt Romney would make an excellent Secretary of State. His calm, measured demeanor is sorely needed on the world stage. Yes, I am fully aware that he certainly lacks in his conservatism.

I differ with many of my learned and far more talented contemporaries, such as Matt Gagnon, when I say Sarah Palin would be a great pick for the VA. I think we have forgotten what propelled her to the Governorship. Remember, her dogged investigation of the corruption in the oil companies in Alaska?

This I say simply to point out that I understand the give and take among the conservative ranks. What I cannot fathom however is how some so easily abandon their professed convictions for “Hey,we won!” Yes, I am aware one former Governor of Alaska certainly was the first to seemingly toss conviction to the wind for “the win”.

So there is contention within the conservative ranks that must be resolved. Can a candidate be a person of conviction and be successful? Or must the candidate simply profess conviction as tactics to be removed and reinstated as political atmospheres dictate? Is there really a right or wrong? Or does it have to be the present cycle of “bad for thee but not for me”? I foresee some soul-searching in my horizon. Is soul-searching allowed in politics?