It’s budget time for many of our towns and mine is no different. Both the town and school budgets are been scrutinized by the Selectmen and School Boards of the towns, public hearings are being held, and eventually the townsfolk vote on the various budget items at Town Meeting and School District Meeting. (In some towns like mine they take place at the same time.)
I wish I could say the process is straightforward and without much in the way of drama, but I would be lying if I did. There always seems to be one or more items the townsfolk will find questionable, contentious, or even outrageous. What I find mysterious about this is the passion that will be displayed during debates on a particular warrant article, that article spending a few hundred dollars on something. Debate may go on for quite some time. However, a budget article of a few million dollars will see barely a ripple of debate. That’s backwards, isn’t it?
At least it means those people in town willing to spend the time and effort can affect how much their town spends and on what. That doesn’t mean they always get it right. Who does? But it was still a collective choice about how to spend the tax money collected from those same townsfolk. (Something they must always be reminded about is that the more town and school district spends the higher their property taxes will be, something some of them forget...or choose to ignore.)
While this isn’t news as we’ve seen this before, it is news because of where it’s taking place.
A number of county sheriffs in Illinois are saying they will not enforce a new state law that bans “assault” weapons since it violates the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law that bans something called assault weapons. Knives? Fists? Oh, guns. Those scary and spooky guns (one of which I own and love):County sheriffs in other states have done likewise, with Oregon and Washington being just two of them.
The legislation bans the manufacture or possession of dozens of brands and types of rapid-fire rifles and pistols, .50-caliber guns and some attachments. The law will allow gun owners to keep the guns they have now but will require them to register them with the state.
Illinois gun manufacturers can continue to make assault weapons and sell them to suppliers in other states, but may not sell them to buyers in Illinois under the new proposal.
Thank goodness many sheriff departments in Illinois have common sense. They won’t enforce this unconstitutional law.
While the anti-gunners are accusing some of these sheriffs of breaking the law, they must remember that their oath of office includes the phrase “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”. They are obligated to follow the Constitution first and the law second. If the law is in contradiction of the Constitution, the Constitution takes precedence, period. These law enforcement officials are remaining faithful to their oaths.
One thing that hasn’t met expectations is winter up here in New Hampshire.
Lake Winnipesaukee is ice free for the most part. The coves are frozen over and there is some ice on some of the bays, but not the big part of the lake. This may affect a number of annual events dependent on a frozen Lake Winnipesaukee like an ice fishing derby, a pond hockey tournament, a winter festival that includes an aircraft runway on the ice, as well as a number of other regular activities.
Some will claim it’s climate change, but this isn’t the first time we’ve experienced something like this. I doubt it will be last.
Did anyone notice how quickly the White House backpedaled on the gas stove ban, particularly once it was pointed out the reason behind it was compete and utter bullsh*t? It had nothing to do with them allegedly “producing pollutants that are harmful to human health.” It had everything with exerting further control over energy supplies and particularly the supplies for the unenlightened proles who shouldn’t be wasting space better occupied by the elite.
Too bad for the Progressives more than a few people knew the reason for the gas stove ban was a lie and made sure everyone knew it.
No one ever said people who rob convenience stores are all that bright. One guy didn’t bother casing the store he was going to rob. If he had he’d have known the customers in the store were armed.
At least he wasn’t so stupid that he got himself killed.
Opponents of school choice always make the claim that it creates a disadvantage for rural families since they don’t have much in the way of choices. However, a Heritage Foundation paper says otherwise.
A common observation made by critics of school choice is that it has little to offer families in rural communities where the population isn’t large enough to support multiple schools, and where transportation is already burdensome.I know that here in central New Hampshire there are quite a few private schools that cover grades 1 through 12. There are plenty of them all throughout the state. Considering this state is mostly rural that’s a lot of private schools. That blows the “lack of school choice” claim out of the water, at least here. YMMV.
A new Heritage Foundation paper from Jason Bedrick and Matthew Ladner challenges that notion. The 14 percent of Americans who live in rural areas already have more options than commonly assumed, they argue. For starters, seven in ten rural families live within ten miles of a private elementary school. Counterintuitively, they note the share of rural students in private schools is the same as their urban peers, about ten percent.
Rural areas in Arizona and elsewhere are seeing the rise of microschools, which the authors describe as “a modern reimagining of the one-room schoolhouse.” The pair also argue that “high-quality virtual schools are available to anyone with a decent Internet connection.” One surprising piece of data (to me, at least) is that broadband access is not markedly different in rural America: 72 percent of country-dwellers have a broadband Internet connection at home, compared 77 and 79 percent of urban and suburban homes, respectively. That said, the paper is somewhat blithe about the checkered performance of online learning, particularly during the pandemic. “Virtual leaning might not be the right fit for every child,” they note. “But for some it opens a world of possibilities they otherwise do not have locally—all without having to leave the rural community that they know and love,” they write. Fair enough.
And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the ice is missing, time for it is running out, and even though tomorrow is a holiday Monday has returned yet again.