Defending Marriage…Why?

Qween Amar  It has never been a matter of ‘rights,’ it has always been a matter of responsibility.  Just ask Qween Amar (seen wearing his chiffon tu-tu in the picture).

  Recently, in arguments heard at the US Supreme Court, many opinions were expressed over the terms of marriage, equality, and right.  Little was heard about the term responsible behavior.  Sadly, marriage, equality, and ‘rights’ are all about responsible behavior. Justice Alito asked simply ‘when was marriage first legislated, 1868, 1791? When?.’ It wasn’t.  The idea predates any United States.  Justice Kennedy, who is often called the ‘swing judge’ usually because his convictions keep swinging in the breezes of prevailing politics instead of the Constitution, said it best.  ‘This was never a federal question. This is an area of State responsibility.’  So true, but it was the federal courts agreeing to hear a case involving a clearly defined state issue in the first place that made it a federal question. Irresponsible federal intervention caused this problem. 

  Marriage was NEVER about religion.  Marriage was ALWAYS about civil responsible behavior in a community.  It was how communities insured moral, ethical, and even yes responsible behavior of its members.  Marriage was about support, parenting, and good order and discipline in a society.  It was about who paid the bills for the civil partnership and its results.  It was about rules of behavior that were for the good of the community, society.  Incest, inbreeding, and what are now called social diseases were not, shall any one dare to say, prevalent around the time that the term marriage was first used.  Males and females partnered to breed.  They had children the, even then, old fashioned way, one man impregnating one female in a natural way.  There were no test tubes, turkey basters, surrogates, or donors.  There were also clearly known responsible partners, and supporters.  Communities knew who to hold accountable for the offspring. 

  There were no issues about equality.  Men were men, women were women and societies clearly understood the rules that they set for themselves.  Communities knew that Fathers should not breed daughters and that mothers should not breed with their sons.  They also knew that homosexuality could not lead to any children.  Communities also knew that homosexuality lead to many disease related deaths not seen in male and female relationships.  There were reasons that societies formed these taboos against certain behaviors.  They were inherently irresponsible behaviors that were not good for the community.  Religions adopted these practices and taboos from civil society rather than religions foisting these taboos onto society.

  The responsible action is for the court to dismiss this court challenge.  It should further vacate any and all federal court rulings concerning marriage, and dismiss any current federal challenges of the question of marriage in any federal court.  This is a state question.  It is also a question for states to determine what is moral and ethical within state boundaries.  Irresponsible sex and breeding is still not in the best interests of any society.  Inbreeding is a health issue, as is homosexual sex (just check with the National Institutes for Health and the Centers for Disease Control if you question that).  Child support, role modeling and responsible parenting are still sorely needed in this country.  So is responsible parenting and social behavior.

Posted in Media and Reporting | 2 Comments

Dr. Moss is moving on

Jeff Moss  Jeff Moss did what most school system superintendents do, he stayed fours years and moved onto a higher paying job. Few people in this county will shed a tear for him. (Well maybe Bill Tatum will since he was responsible for bringing him here in the first place.)  No, Jeff Moss will move on along with his higher salary and his NC State retirement, courtesy of Bill and crew.  That means the Lee County Board of Education will pick another hired man.  How many is this now, eight in the past 15 years? 

  Here’s an idea.  Board of Education, don’t use any search service, especially at $40K.  Didn’t those services bring Jeff Moss, and what’s his name, McCormick, to Lee County.  And, let it not be forgotten, that those services brought Jeff Moss to Stanley, Beaufort and Lee counties in NC, and now to Beaufort to SC.  They sure do a good job now don’t they?  LCBOE you keep claiming that you can wear big boy and big girl pants when you pretend to stand up to the county commissioners (at least Bill gave you credit for wearing them in the paper).  Stand up and hire a new schools boss without a search service which has proven especially fallible in the past.  Do the job yourselves.

  On that note, goodbye Dr. Moss, you have done the job you were hired to do.  It will take years to figure out all you did, but then you were good at it.  It is time though that you and the LCBOE do move on and get your era behind everyone.

Posted in Education, Lee County Politics | Leave a comment

That fishy smell is coming from Sanford City Hall

Fishy Smell AdCompletely unbeknownst to the citizens of Sanford their elected and appointed leaders at City Hall are plotting to ruin one of Sanford’s most respected and cherished restaurants—Bay Breeze Seafood Restaurant. Even worse, they are colluding on this matter without any hint of transparency or public disclosure. It is one of the worst kinds of scandals in the history of the city and it is being perpetrated in a manner that almost certainly will result in the city being sued or counter-sued at taxpayer expense. 

The scandal started with an egregious mistake on the part of the city. The restaurant was notified nearly two years ago that it had to replace pipes and lines to remedy a water loss problem. After thousands of dollars in expensive repairs, the city determined the problem was not resolved- that the problem was actually on the city’s end all along. As part of its internal corrective action the city replaced its meter at the restaurant. The restaurant officials complained to the city that they should be reimbursed for the unnecessary repairs and believed they would get some recompense. All was going to be resolved, or so the restaurant owners thought. For the next year, the restaurant received and paid monthly water bills that were unusually low but easily understandable since they were entitled to some reimbursement for their previous expenses.

After about a year of lower than normal billing the city determined their newly installed meter wasn’t properly working. So they sent a bill of nearly $10,000 to the restaurant demanding payment for the water they had been consuming the past year. When the restaurant refused to back-pay for more than one month’s normal water usage the city threatened legal action. Both parties are now lawyering up. 

Our illustrious mayor, city manager and every one of the city councilmen (except Charles Taylor) appear to have turned on the owners of Bay Breeze. The city clearly knows it was exclusively at fault in failing to properly meter and bill the restaurant. But instead of doing the right and proper thing and simply take corrective action on the city’s meter they instead decided to oppress one of Sanford’s finest eating establishments. 

I don’t know how any of these predatory city officials will ever step foot in this restaurant again without feeling a hypocrite. More importantly, the citizens of Sanford should fear the predatory practices of their current leadership. Reminder– 2013 is an election year for the mayor and three of the council seats (Cohen, Gaskins, and Williams).  Buyer beware!

Posted in City of Sanford, Lee County Politics, Taxes & Fees | 2 Comments

Democratic Party demand for Re-redistricting. How quaint!

Gerrymandered NC  In a recent public forum, Bob Phillips of the left-wing group Common Cause spoke fervently of the dire need for North Carolina to revisit the legislative redistricting that the Republican led State Legislature enacted following the 2010 Census.  He spoke as if political influences had never before affected this process here in the Tarheel State. 

  While Mr. Phillips was sounding off with his sour grapes, what many Carolinians were hearing was that it was OK for the Democratic Party to have gerrymandered districts for over a hundred years in order to achieve and maintain complete legislative control in NC, but that the new Republican Party majority should not dare to address those historic inequities.  Neither Mr. Phillips and Common Cause, nor the Democratic Party can truthfully assert that they don’t like being treated they way they treated others.  But then, leftist really don’t like the ‘Golden Rule’ anyway, it being Christian and all. 

  The left would also have to admit that complete Democratic Party control of the NC Legislature brought ‘Jim Crow’ Laws to the state, and left the state with the public education mire that currently exists, and the levels of corruption in many of the recent Democratic Governors, Speakers of the State House and Senate.  Hmm, Mr. Phillips maybe you have made the strongest argument yet in support of the current legislative districts.  The NC Democratic Party could not be trusted to have control of the state government.  Now though, the Republican Party must prove that they can do a better job. It really won’t take too much effort to improve upon the past 100+ years.

Posted in Election 2010, Election 2012, Media and Reporting, NC Politics | 2 Comments

Control of School Property

school-property-control  Would a county board of education, Lee County or otherwise, concur with the State legislature’s proposal to wrest control of educational properties from them and trust that responsibility with the respective county boards of commissioners?  No, of course they wouldn’t concur.  Why should they?  The way it is now, each county must buy the land for educational use, build the facilities for educational use, pony up the capital maintenance for property used for educational purposes, and then have to stand by and watch boards of education discard those properties, and demand new properties and facilities every so often.  It isn’t hard to comprehend why boards of education demand the status quo while boards of commissioners demand some say in the way properties are managed.

  There are so many examples of mismanagement in this regard across the state as to make a thinking person wonder why it has taken so long for this question to be raised by the state legislature.  Right here in Lee County there are several examples of K-12 education property malfeasance, or at best, mismanagement.  Just look at the remnants of these schools- St. Clair, Warren Williams, Bragg Street, Sanford Central, McIver, WB Wicker, and the Jonesboro schools, for example.  Think back just a few short years as to what seemed to be forced degradation of the Lee Senior Campus as a justification for building the Southern Lee school complex. New school building plans, school property discard plans, and property management programs in Lee County, alone, justify the Legislature’s proposals. 

  The historic Lee County Boards of Education and their ‘hired man’ superintendents have proven woefully inadequate at the task of property management.  It makes perfect fiscal sense to combine county property management under one roof.  This would eliminate duplication of supervisory efforts and positions, ensure proper property accountability to the departments that pay for them, and allow the board of education to focus on educational issues and overseeing the superintendent.  Oh yeah, it also saves money; another novel idea for the Lee County Board of Education.

Posted in Budget, Capital Improvements, Education, NC Politics | 5 Comments

It isn’t reform that needed; it’s enforcement!

Obamagration  The airways have been flooded these past few weeks with obfuscation and superfluous rhetoric about the need for drastic and effective immigration policy reform.  Why?  There are plenty of effective and just laws already on the books that clearly outline American immigration laws.  The real issue is why this administration and the ones before, at least back to Dwight Eisenhower, have chosen not to enforce the laws that congress has already passed?  If the president won’t enforce the laws he was sworn to uphold, why would anyone who even pretends to have an inkling of intelligence believe that he will enforce any new set of laws.

  First, these so called undocumented immigrants that roam America’s streets today have NO legal right, basis, or claim to even be within the boundaries of this country.  They deserve no legal protections, and definitely deserve no sympathy.  They have stolen into this country and everyday they steal resources and credibility from those who have arrived here legally.  It is an affront to every legal citizen when any politician or pundit refers to these people as anything more than a criminal invader.  They people as a group have no compunction about breaking laws or following any existing societal norm.  The fact that their presence has even been tolerated is mystifying.  What is even more mystifying is that there are those that want to grant them amnesty for the crimes they have already committed.  What about their future crimes?

   Second, why are these people seemingly treated any differently than any other law breaker?  Would any average American accept a burglar rummaging through his or her jewelry box on the dresser in the bedroom at 3:00 AM?  Why not? Oh, it’s against the law if it’s YOUR bedroom.  Well, illegal aliens are breaking the law, and it’s also YOUR country!  Granted, only half of all American effectively pay taxes. But illegal aliens affect everyone.  For the tax payers they mean more in tax expenditures.  For those who don’t actually pay income taxes, the presence of illegal aliens means even more.  They result in higher consumer costs, fewer tax payer generated benefits available, and far greater competition for jobs, especially in the service market.  This point alone should worry the likes of the service worker unions.  Illegal aliens, if made legal, will exacerbate this situation.  Once legal, they can and will clog up the courts demanding an even greater share of the social welfare pot.  It will happen!  They already demand these benefits despite their illegal status.

  Finally, the rule of law should mean something.  The laws of the past have meant little to the ruling political class.  This is an issue upon which a stand must be made.  Follow the current laws; they have only failed because of poor leadership.  Make the current laws work before we make matters worse and make lawbreakers legal.  If America excuses this lawlessness, what else will be excusable and what other laws will not be enforced?

Posted in Crime & Public Safety, Jobs & Workforce Development, Media and Reporting, Taxes & Fees | 1 Comment

Wailing & Gnashing of Teeth in Sanford & Broadway

WailingMy, oh my.  Not since the electric 2009 debate over the half-cent sales tax increase has the county witnessed so much wailing and gnashing of teeth over an issue like the sales tax distribution in Lee County.  County commissioners have announced their intent to do precisely as state law allows (and fiscal prudence dictates) in changing the county’s sales tax distribution method from per capita to ad valorem.  In effect, this means the county will retain more of the state’s distribution of sales taxes to benefit all county residents, while choosing to send less of those dollars directly to Sanford and Broadway councils to spend as they see fit.  In return, the commissioners promise to lower property taxes, to reduce spending across the county, and to reduce the county’s debt burden.  Lower taxes, reduced spending, less debt– what’s not to like? 

Oh, lest I forget, it also means that the City of Sanford and the Town of Broadway may need to tighten their budgets.  It means Sanford will have to reassess whether to keep pouring millions of dollars into non-mandated discretionary spending and exaggerated fund balances; whether they can afford to keep subsidizing the municipal golf course and giving away corporate welfare and contributions to selected non-profit groups; whether they can afford to keep expanding staff and salaries while other government entities have laid off staff, denied salary increases, and cut back on hours.  The Town of Broadway will need to explore alternative means of staffing important services to replace the $104,000 or so in reduced sales taxes it otherwise would have received.   (The town might well find all those savings by simply working with the county Sheriff to augment their public safety needs.)

Let’s be clear and unemotional on this issue–  prudence and the facts clearly align with what the county plans to do.  The first rule of fiscal responsibility in government is never to take money from citizens or businesses that isn’t absolutely necessary to fulfill the obligations of that jurisdiction.  Clearly, the Board of Commissioners (BOC) is trying to obey that rule.  There are 44 other counties in the state that do precisely what the Lee BOC is seeking to do- using the ad valorem method of distribution.  Many other counties would also change to this method if the distribution method would be more favorable to the county, rather than less favorable.  So, changing the distribution method is the wise and mainstream action to take. 

Finally, it’s high time for other jurisdictions of the county to act more responsibly with our precious tax dollars.  To date, only the BOC has sought to complete performance and financial audits to improve operational efficiencies in government.  The school system resisted an audit but was compelled to receive an Evergreen financial review in 2011—one that found more than $10M in potential savings for taxpayers.  The City of Sanford was offered the same kind of audit in 2011 (with Evergreen offering a deep discount) but rejected the opportunity. 

Local political debates in Lee County these past few years have led me to this observation—the louder that local government officials squeal, the closer to the truth we are getting.  Let the wailing and gnashing begin!

Posted in Budget, City of Sanford, Lee County Politics, Taxes & Fees, Town of Broadway | 1 Comment