Prostitution at Grimsley High: The Week, 06/10/13
June 10, 2013 25 Comments
A news article reported this last week an incident involving prostitution occurring at Grimsley High School in Greensboro. Three young teen students were involved. One local editorialist openly questioned how this could possibly happen.
Now, it would be difficult for us to attribute the incident to the fact that the Guilford County Schools now assign pornographic reading materials to students. However, it is entirely plausible to blame such an incident on the corrosive cultural, legal and political changes that have occurred over the last half-century. After all, we reap what has been previously sown.
Legislative redistricting in the state of North Carolina is the subject of a court trial that received testimony over the past week from Congressman Mel Watt and former Greensboro Councilwoman Goldie Wells. The thrust of their testimony? That the Republicans had packed too many Democratic voters and African-Americans into too few districts. But the big message they were trying to impart was that African-American candidates no longer need this kind of assistance to get elected. It is fascinating to note that the Voting Rights Act was reauthorized by Congress as recently as 2006. Funny, but I do not recall either Watt or Wells taking a stand against the reauthorization at that time. The bottom line for them appears to be to elect liberal Democrats– and not necessarily to elect African-Americans.
Robocalls on the County Budget
The Guilford Board of County Commissioners had its budget hearing Thursday night. It was reported that, during the run-up to the meeting, School Superintendent Mo Green had recorded and disseminated a robocall urging recipients to contact commissioners in support of a big budget increase for the school system. Of course, we cannot recall his ever having done this when Democrats controlled the board– even when they had held his budget constant. Green probably should be terminated for this robocall stunt; but he likely will be protected by the “non-partisan” local school board.
Report on 401(k) for County Employees
The News and Record had a report this week highlighting the fact that county employees’ 401(k) retirement program is at risk of being eliminated with the new budget. This article is a great example of how media bias shapes the perception of issues. Nowhere was it reported that county employees have access to other retirement plans including the state pension system; a 457 plan; and, of course, Social Security. If readers knew of the lavish retirement benefits to which these employees have access, their opinion on the 401(k) issue might be a bit different.
The city seems to do nothing right
Observing the actions of the city of Greensboro and its elected council members is an act of masochism:
1. The city engages in a brazen abuse of its eminent domain powers by taking over the old Cascade Saloon for purposes of economic development.
2. Mayor Perkins and Councilman Kee trumpet the Greensboro Aquatic Center as a huge success, implicitly denouncing those who opposed it– even though the center operates at a massive annual operating deficit; and even though the local swim community has been shut out of adequate practice time.
3. Council members Perkins, Johnson, Kee, Matheny and Wilkins vote to extend a sweetheart deal to Skip Alston to redevelop an East Greensboro shopping center. They did this even though Alston is a key boss in the powerful Simkins PAC, from whom many of them will be seeking an endorsement in the upcoming fall elections.
4. The coordinated city/media campaign on behalf of the Greensboro Performing Arts Center prominently celebrates the contributions pledged by several local Melderec-aligned foundations– even though they were already known to be supporters.
5. And the council is laying the groundwork to extend quasi-permanent annual subsidies to the Civil Rights Museum despite the issues we have discussed here previously.
In the Sunday paper, local journalists ask whether our city’s poor national economic rankings even matter. The fact is that most employers who know the truth about Greensboro’s local politics would never choose to come here. And another unfortunate reality is that the future here for citizens– and for our kids– is not exactly bright. Our leadership is the problem.
Trudy Wade’s Landfill Bill
The local paper has had a field day attempting to link Senator Trudy Wade’s landfill bill to a surreptitious effort to reopen the White Street Landfill. A more defensible explanation exists. Perhaps Ms. Wade, during the White Street episode, became aware that major problems exist in the state law that regulates landfill permitting. These provisions unfortunately create enormous barriers to establishing and using landfills in the state of North Carolina. And perhaps she is trying to fix these provisions. She should be thanked instead of being made the object of a smear campaign.
Culture war on the church
The local paper carried a wire service story regarding a single woman who taught at a Catholic school in the Midwest. She became pregnant through artificial insemination, and the school terminated her because she had rebelled against church teaching. A federal court awarded her damages. The article did not explain the legal basis of the court decision. But one possible culprit– the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which was passed when the Democrats had a filibuster-proof supermajority in the U.S. Senate. (There was likely Republican support also at that time.)
Another adverse effect should be mentioned. Laws such as these necessitate the mainstreaming of pregnant females in public schools. Good intentions doubtless spurred the passing of such laws; but the net effect tends to be the breakdown of the family. This type of legislation was highly misguided.
The media celebrates when the moral teachings of the church– and ultimately, religious liberty– are snuffed out by the government. But they tend to ignore other stories that do not comport with their agenda. For instance, few of us heard about the recent difficulties passing gay marriage in the state of Illinois.
A number of Obamacare-related lawsuits are moving through the courts– ever so slowly. One of these was filed by the state of Oklahoma. Why? The Affordable Care Act does not authorize the federal government to enforce the employer mandate if there is no state-based insurance exchange. Yet, the Obama administration is laying the groundwork to enforce the employer mandate in those states without their own exchanges. Over the last week, the Cato Institute, National Review and the Daily Haymaker have called for the individual states to join the state of Oklahoma with its lawsuit.
I agree that the North Carolina General Assembly and the McCrory administration should take action to join this suit as soon as possible.
Dr. Joe Guarino is the Guardian’s senior columnist.