Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LT Ben! LT Ben!

Have you see the movie Forrest Gump?  If you haven’t, you really should; it’s what a friend called ‘just a great story.’  in the same vein for this reporter as “Waking Ned Devine.”

We love the signature line ‘run, Forrest, run!’

On the other hand, if you’re one of the local elites and/or artistes, you probably consider it completely without redeeming value, and beneath you.  In which case, you should get over yourself.

One of the lead characters in the movie is LT Dan Taylor, played by Gary Sinise.  It may have been his breakthrough role.  In the years following, he formed the “LT Dan Band,” which travels to various destinations to entertain our troops. 

There’s a movie documenting the band’s founding and travels, and it’s worth your time to watch; the troops’ response is a great reminder of what they are enduring and how much they appreciate a taste of home.

Playing off the LT Dan theme, we tonight come to you to talk of LT Ben.  That would be Local Taxpayer Dover, Benjamin.  We’ve recently been reminded of his prominence in local skirmishes.  And his vital role in the outcome.  He represents so many of us, year after year.

We’re talking of the annual campaign of intimidation put on by the Brunswick School Department to soften up the battlefield well before actual budget submission.  With air cover provided by their remotely piloted drones at The Ostrich.

Ed. Note: You can review our reporting on last year’s activity at and

One of our favorites from last year is this item:

In last year’s reporting we told you of the Board of Education’s formation of a “Political Action and Media Committee.”  You couldn’t find better evidence of their commitment to manipulate public opinion than recent press coverage.

As proof, three obsequious front page stories appeared in one week in the ever slavish Ostrich, always a sucker for free content.  Add to that a letter by a clueless local state representative, who predictably believes that more money is always the right answer to any concern.  Our School Department also had a featured spot in the Portland paper.  (Maybe they can get a bailout grant from S. Donald Sussman-Pingree, Maine’s very own SOB Wall Street profiteer!)

Brunswick is rightly well known for the MSMT: the Maine State Music Theater.  But we feel compelled to remind you of Brunswick Schools’ own in house drama program.  It’s lesser known than the MSMT, but no less consequential.

They appear in public as the BTBT: the Brunswick Town Boo-hoo Theater.  This is the seasonal company that produces the annual budget drama starring the School Department, the School Board, and the professionals and amateurs who make up the ensemble and chorus.

The recent articles in the NOTWIUN (our other name for The Ostrich) are the casting call, whether you realized it or not.  The announcements read as follows between the lines:

Now auditioning: the Brunswick Town Boo-hoo Theater is seeking individuals to fill the following roles in an upcoming melodrama:

- The Drama Mamas, who shriek “the children are our future,” and then do everything in their power to see that the children don’t have a desirable future in Maine.

- Professor Plunder P. Klingle, the lying SOB from Bowdoin who is given a free pass by the audience and the press.

- Rosie the Realtor, to sing the show-stopping aria ‘Brunswick will die if we don’t spend more.’

- The Daddies, a doo-wah group crooning the ‘we only moved here because of the schools’ blues.

- Wicked Witch Wendy, reprising the ever-popular ‘if the elderly can’t afford to pay more in taxes, they should move out of town.’  (Ostrich, take note!)

- Daffy the Do-Do, quacking “'I’ll gladly pay more in property taxes,” but somehow never comprehending he’s had the freedom to do that forever.

- The schoolies, who will tap-dance in unison to the ‘our teachers are better than all the rest’ theme song.

- Assorted sympathetic youngsters who will insist that their entire future is about to be compromised because local meanies refuse to turn over their fair share as they see it.  They’ll hand out Kleenex (school issued) to the weeping masses.

- For those of you who were hoping to score the MC role, modeled after Billy Flynn in the musical Chicago, sorry.  That role is already taken.  It’s assigned ‘ex officio,’ and saves the cost of a new top hat, cane, and soft shoes for the big dance number.  (You gotta save the shekels ‘for the children’ wherever you can, right?)

- (Oops….we’d swear we hear the band playing the intro to “Give ‘em the old razzle-dazzle….”)

In the days ahead, when our stomach can handle it, we’ll analyze the articles and letters from our betters line by line, something the ‘government watchdogs’ at The Ostrich are completely incapable of doing.  And not motivated in the least to undertake.  What else would we expect from an outfit that can’t even budget their own operation responsibly enough so they can pay their bills?  Their property tax bills, that is.

Doesn’t matter; they’ll get on their high horse and lecture the rest of us on our lack of caring and devotion.  And counsel us to willingly pay whatever it takes in property tax increases.  Pompous government lapdogs is all they are.  That’s probably what it takes to avoid having the town take legal action to recover delinquent tax amounts, putting them at risk of going under.  Would that make town government a ‘corporate raider?’

They’re pulling out all the stops on the pity pipe organ this year, my friends.  The BTBT and The Ostrich; there’s a ‘pair to draw to.’  Maybe before the curtain goes up at the first budget hearing, the BTBT MC will thank the local paper for their season sponsorship, just like they do before shows at our wonderful summer theater.

Before we forget, we hope someone in the school department can tell us why a K-12 education is costing $176,000 this year, as compared to $123,000 five years ago, and $93,000 ten years ago?  That’s right, the cost of a trip through our school system is up by 90% in the last ten years.

Here’s hoping the carpet in the public meeting chambers are stain proof, because when the band-leader turns on the propaganda machine, Kool-Aid bubbles are going to fill the room, and the schoolies won’t be able to catch them all on their tongues before they hit the rug and burst.

As a special treat, here’s a preview of the primary prop for the upcoming BTBT production, sent to us by an insider:


If you have the guts, make yourself happy by going to this link:

After you do, you should be inspired to add touching the floor from a standing position to your daily workout.  Limber is as limber does.

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