We were going to title this thread “Be afraid, be very afraid!”
But then we decided there’s nothing unusual to see here, so just move along, folks. So what if there’s an agenda item for an upcoming town council ‘special meeting’ that reads as follows:
BRUNSWICK TOWN COUNCIL
November 22, 2013
Executive Session for a Consultation with Town Attorney regarding the legal rights and responsibilities of the Council per 1 M.R.S.A. §405(6)(E).
Our first reaction was to think that anytime the council meets with their attorney in private to consult on ‘legal rights and responsibilities,’ you can be damn sure, we said DAMN SURE, that they aren’t interested in reducing or constraining their ‘rights and responsibilities.’ They have to be looking for ways to expand their ‘rights and responsibilities.’ Like the scorpion and turtle story relates, it’s ‘in their nature.’
But here’s another case where the statutory citation in the agenda item doesn’t tell the full story, and is in fact, inaccurate. The full text of 1 M.R.S.A. §405(6)E reads as follows:
E. Consultations between a body or agency and its attorney concerning the legal rights and duties of the body or agency, pending or contemplated litigation, settlement offers and matters where the duties of the public body's or agency's counsel to the attorney's client pursuant to the code of professional responsibility clearly conflict with this subchapter or where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the State, municipality or other public agency or person at a substantial disadvantage; [2009, c. 240, §2 (AMD).]
Clearly, the statute refers to ‘legal rights and duties,’ not ‘legal rights and responsibilities.’ Clearly, the advertised justification for an executive session, if you want to be a nit-picker, is invalid. The session should be cancelled until such time as the justification complies with state law.
Then we note the terms ‘pending or contemplated litigation, settlement offers…’ etc, and we have to wonder just what the hell is going on.
Given Johnny Protocols leading role on the council, you probably assume it’s all on the up and up. Good for you. As for us, we’ll hold the matter in abeyance. And frankly, assume the worst. That way, reality can only have an upside.
The next item to get really excited about is this:
Looking at the article will let you know that the Brunswick School Department, in their incessant search for more dollars, more control of your children, and more justification for expanding facilities and staff in the face of declining enrollment and Maine’s demographic winter, has jumped on the “Preschool is mandatory'” bandwagon.
Besides having tacit full endorsement of the teachers union, the school architects, and the school construction interests, this proposal plays right into the wheelhouse of the mommy mafia that believes free babysitting is a ‘right.’ Along with so many other of life’s necessities.
Let’s be clear on a couple of things. There are privately operated pre-school and day-care centers all over the place. And if the demand was greater, we’re confident more would spring up. But they are not FREE. The issue here is expecting that others should provide FREE care for their children, from the earliest age possible.
Once the government school system crosses this line, the next frontier will be year-round (12 month) day care, kindergarten, and eventually, primary and secondary schools. You can’t expect parents, or whatever takes their place these days, to provide meals and care for the children during the months schools are closed, can you? How mean-spirited can you be?
The underlying pathologies are pretty obvious. First, the concept of a nuclear family with primary responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children is an ‘oh so yesterday’ concept. Secondly, the way to deal with the abysmal failure of American public schools (accept for Brunswick, where our schools are ‘the best’) is to give them more money to do even more of what they’ve been doing, rather than clean house, reform the system, and insist they start performing.
Let’s not forget gushing support for the earliest possible public programming of toddlers to maximize the benefits of government control of their upbringing, including endorsements from law enforcement officials.
Most folks here in the Cape won’t be interested in a minority opinion on the subject, but we’re confident our readers are more discerning. So here’s a contrasting point of view. After you read this, reflect on how you were brought up, and whether you suffered or grew from the experience.