Just Say “No” To Legalizing Recreational Marijuana In Massachusetts

The Westford Republican Town Committee opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana as proposed in the “Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, known as Question 4 on the November 8, 2016, ballot in Massachusetts as an indirect initiated state statute.” The statute, if passed, would go to the legislature for final action.  A “yes” vote supports this proposal to legalize marijuana, but regulate it similar to alcoholic beverages. A “no” vote opposes this proposal to legalize recreational marijuana, keeping only medical marijuana legal.

The WRTC views this proposal negatively based on the potential for wide-spread marijuana use leading to proven brain impairment and development in our youth, the lack of proven means or standards for impaired vehicle operation, the potential as a gateway to more serious addictive drugs, and the blatant contradiction to the Federal laws that prohibit the sale and use of marijuana.

 Vote “NO” on State Ballot Question 4 – NO to Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

 

Charter School Expansion: Vote “Yes” For The Future Of Massachusetts Students

The Westford Republican Town Committee supports Ballot Question 2, Charter School Expansion. Westford has one of the highest-quality and lowest-per-pupil-cost public school systems in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but it is not so in other systems statewide.

Education is of the utmost importance to the success of our children. School choice – whether through charter schools, open enrollment requests, career and technical education programs, vouchers, or tax credits – is important for all children, especially for families with children trapped in failing schools. Getting students into decent learning environments and helping them to realize their full potential is one of the greatest civil rights challenges of our time. Public charter schools offer parents a choice to provide the best education for their children.

By virtue of their charter, these public charter schools are a covenant between educators, parents and students in which all are accountable for performance. Charter schools are a public education system based on personal responsibility. A student’s educational opportunities depend on their talent and motivation as a student, and not where they live or their income level. When traditional school systems fail, charter schools give children a chance to succeed.

Students educated in charter schools do not cost taxpayers one penny more than the traditional public school system. Taxpayers still have a say in how much they wish to spend on education and student enrollment in charter schools does not result in an additional tax burden. What’s more, it doesn’t require additional state funding.

Vote “YES” on State Ballot Question 2 – YES to Charter School Expansion.

 

As Summer Slips Away, We Remember the WRTC’s Annual Summertime Picnic

Happy-Labor-Day

Happy Labor Day from the Westford Republican Town Committee (WRTC)!  Did you know that the first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on September 5, 1882?  It is now a nationwide holiday that recognizes the social and economic contributions of the American worker (oh, and Canada celebrates its own version of “Labour Day”, too).   Labor Day weekend is the last holiday weekend of the summer.  When the weather cooperates, it’s a great time for family gatherings, trips to ocean or lakeside beaches, lounging by backyard swimming pools and enjoying BBQs and picnics.  Today, the WRTC is reflecting on our own summertime picnic that took place on August 7.

Food, fun and patriotism were on the menu when folks gathered for the picnic at the home of Buzz and Dawn Gillogly in Westford.  Adults and children were welcomed to this special event which carried the “Keep Cool with Coolidge” theme, in recognition of the 30th President of the United States, Republican Calvin Coolidge.  The event was open, not just to those from the town of Westford, but from neighboring communities, as well.  We were pleased to be joined by some students from the Groton-Dunstable Regional High School Republican Club (which got us thinking – shouldn’t there be a similar Republican Club at Westford Academy?).

The weather could not have been nicer for this late-day gathering which was kicked off by WRTC Chairman, Wade Fox, with inspiring remarks about America’s Founding Fathers.  He introduced notable guests which included:  Westford Selectman, Scott Hazelton, and local candidates, Ann Wofford (running for Congress), Kamara Kay (running for State Representative), and Rich Baker (running for Governor’s Council).  Before making a mad dash for the food, picnic attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer was offered.

When appetites were sated with hamburgers, hotdogs, and additional customary picnic fare, MA Republican State Committeeman, Dennis Galvin, enthusiastically introduced special guest speaker, MA State Representative (Republican), Jim Lyons (Andover, MA). Representative Lyons delivered a well-received speech that spoke of the need for Republicans to boldly stand up for their beliefs.  Additionally, he encouraged everyone to get involved with the citizen’s petition to repeal the Bathroom Bill.

Jim Lyons speaking 2

MA State Representative (Republican) Jim Lyons (Andover, MA); background:  MA Republican State Committeeman, Dennis Galvin

There were lawn games and a Calvin Coolidge trivia game featuring prizes for trivia experts.  Attendees also enjoyed an impromptu demonstration of Tai Chi offered by Jay Villagomez, Groton-Dunstable Regional High School teacher (AP Government, World and US History, International Business and Economics), and students from the school’s Republican Club.  During the demonstration, Villagomez explained how he teaches the principles of the Declaration of Independence through this Chinese martial art.

Many members of the WRTC worked hard to coordinate the picnic and were so pleased that this year’s event attracted the largest number of attendees in the picnic’s three year history.  We’re already looking ahead to next year when we hope to welcome back those that attended this year, as well as many new friends from Westford and surrounding towns.  If you were able to attend this year’s picnic, we hope you had a great time.  Perhaps you might consider becoming a WRTC member yourself.  If interested, contact Wade Fox, WRTC Chairman at:  wadefoxjr@aol.com.

Have a safe and happy Labor Day!

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”  — Calvin Coolidge

Cal Thomas commentary: Moral weakness at heart of nation’s descent

In 1926, speaking about the Declaration of Independence on its 150th anniversary, President Calvin Coolidge noted the unique philosophy behind the creation of the United States: “We cannot continue to enjoy the result, if we neglect and abandon the cause.”

Speaking at a news conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following the murder of three police officers and the wounding of three others, East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said, “…this is not so much about gun control as it is about what’s in men’s hearts. And until we come together as a nation, as a people, to heal as a people, if we don’t do that and this madness continues, we will surely perish as a people.” Considering the anti-police rhetoric coming from so many groups and individuals, he is right. The question is how do we heal men’s hearts? Isn’t that the primary calling of the clergy?

Since the 1960s when one of the popular slogans of that rebellious generation was “question authority,” the United States has plunged into an era of licentiousness, looking out for No. 1 (a popular book title in the ’70s) and the pursuit of prosperity, ignoring higher things like tradition and history, which have proved better for individuals and nations.

The divisions have become so strained that some are at war against law enforcement, which, if it doesn’t cease, will end in anarchy.

Donald Trump has positioned himself as “the law and order” candidate. The left may be playing into his hands, as did those in 1968 who rioted in the streets and at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, sealing the election for Richard Nixon.

When it comes to national defense and domestic unrest, Republicans have been the preferred party to strengthen the country and restore domestic tranquility. But people looking for guidance on how to restore a sense of personal peace and order need look no further than the Bible, the guidebook found in many homes and in most hotel rooms.

One doesn’t have to endure a sermon — if that is unfamiliar territory — to be struck by the power of ancient truths. Start with Psalm 9:17, “The wicked will go down to the grave. This is the fate of all the nations who ignore God.”

How about this one: “When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.” (Proverbs 29:18)

One more to confirm the point: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” (Proverbs 29:2)

The nation is groaning. One doesn’t have to be religious to understand the principle of cause and effect. If you jump off a tall building the cause of your rapid descent — gravity — will produce the effect of your death when you hit the ground.

In our post-modern, post-Christian era, we have ignored the moral gravity that once kept us grounded, the boundaries that kept us safe. And now we are suffering the consequences.

We are suffering as a people because we have neglected and abandoned the cause of our strength, peace, order and prosperity. There is a way back, but the road is not through the next election and it certainly is not through Washington, which is part of the problem.

In “The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956,” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, wrote: “If only it were all so simple. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”

It doesn’t have to be destroyed. It can be renewed, but that is up to our individual will and a higher power which politicians do not possess.

Cal Thomas writes for Tribune Content Agency.

tcaeditors@tribpub.com

Which Black Lives Matter?

The following opinion piece was written by Dennis Galvin, Massachusetts Republican State Committeeman. It was published in the “Letter to the Editor” section of WestfordCAT News on July 18, 2016.

On a cold dark night in March 2015, Boston Police Officer John Moynihan approached a car containing three suspected gang members on a Roxbury Street. All three happened to be African American. One of the suspected gang members was Angelo West, a hardened criminal, who terrorized the Humboldt Avenue section of Boston for many years. As Moynihan got to the front door of the vehicle, Angelo West jumped out of the car, directly in front of him, pulled a gun from his coat, and shot Moynihan in the face critically wounding him. West then engaged other officers in a gun battle in which he was eventually killed.

Within minutes of West’s death, a hostile crowd assembled within the African American neighborhood and began taunting and challenging the officers who had just brought down West. Cries of “hands up don’t shoot” began to echo louder and louder, waking the entire neighborhood. The crowd began to swell. Boston Police Superintendent William Gross courageously confronted the crowd absorbing insults and accusations of “police murder” and “cover-up”. Members of the Boston Chapter of Black Lives Matter began to assemble on scene, demanding explanations, as taunts of “murder” began to increase. Moynihan and the other officers were eventually exonerated in this shooting.

There is a very sad irony to this story. In the car with West on the night of the shooting was another career criminal by the name of Bizzy “Bizz” Bain. Bain like West has a long record for weapons offenses and violence. He was not shot or charged in the March 2015 incident. Since the West shooting, Bain has been in an out of courts for violent offenses and never seems to go to jail. Boston Police now say that a few weeks ago, Bizzy “Bizz” Bain and another accomplice lay in wait outside of the Jeremiah E. Burke High School in Boston. Someone inside the school pulled a fire alarm. As the students and teachers filed into the street, Bain and his accomplice opened fired. Four people were hit, one was a 67 year old woman, and another, 17 year old Raekwon Brown was killed.

No angry crowd showed up for Raekwon Brown, demanding justice for his murder. The only person, who publicly vocalized anger over his killing, was his sister Latasha Allen who demanded that Bain and his accomplice remove hoods they were wearing during their arraignment, so people could see who they were. Officer Moynihan almost died trying to take Bain off the street. Some community members smeared him, calling him a murderer. No one it seems connected the dots. If Moynihan had been supported, maybe Raekwon Brown would be alive today. Most significant is the fact that in the wake of Brown’s murder, Black Lives Matter was nowhere to be found, prompting the question which black lives really matter?

Note: The above editorial expresses a personal opinion and is not necessarily reflective of the positions or opinions of the Westford Republican Town Committee.

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court allows proposed marijuana legalization ballot question to move ahead

The following article was published on http://www.masslive.com on July 06, 2016 at 11:36 AM; updated July 07, 2016 at 9:11 AM.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said in an opinion Wednesday that a proposed ballot question legalizing marijuana can proceed to the November 2016 ballot.

A group of 57 voters, including Westborough’s Josephine Hensley as the lead plaintiff, argued in a lawsuit that the court should knock down the question.

They said the ballot question was improperly certified by Attorney General Maura Healey because it contains two unrelated subjects: the legalization of marijuana for adult use and a potential change to the state’s medical marijuana treatment centers.

The group also argued the ballot question summary, crafted by Healey’s office and used by proponents to gather voter signatures, was unfair because it did not fully explain the ballot question would legalize “hashish” and food products containing THC, also known as marijuana edibles.

But the court allowed ballot question to go ahead and said that all marijuana includes THC. The court added that the title should be changed as well as a statement that voters will see when they receive the ballot. The statement should include the term “edibles,” the court said.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is behind the ballot question legalizing marijuana, claimed victory in a statement issued after the court ruling, saying the voters of Massachusetts will have “the opportunity to make their voices heard about legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana, an approach that is working in Colorado and other states and will work in Massachusetts.”

The pro-marijuana campaign also noted that the SJC called on the attorney general and Massachusetts elections chief Bill Galvin to tweak the title of the ballot question, which is currently “Marijuana Legalization.”

The court ordered that the title of the measure should be changed to “Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana,” which the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said “accurately reflects the intent of our initiative.” The campaign had asked the court to okay the change.

The attorney for Hensley’s anti-marijuana legalization group did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

The Safe and Healthy Massachusetts Campaign, which opposes the ballot question, also claimed victory, citing the court’s mention of marijuana edibles in its decision.

“We are pleased the SJC has recognized that this ballot question would usher in an entirely new marijuana edibles market and that voters must be informed of that fact,” said Corey Welford, a spokesman for the effort. “Under this proposal, the Marijuana Industry would be allowed to promote and sell these highly potent products, in the form of gummy bears and other candies, that are a particular risk for accidental use by kids.”

On Tuesday, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said they had gathered enough voter signatures to make it onto the 2016 ballot. Galvin’s office must validate the signatures, which the campaign said number at over 25,000.

“We received a clear message from voters who signed the initiative: It is time to regulate and tax marijuana in Massachusetts,” Kim Napoli, a campaign outreach coordinator, said in a statement.

A Problem Larger Than Radical Islam

The following opinion piece was written by Dennis Galvin, Massachusetts Republican State Committeeman.  It was published in the “Letter to the Editor” section of WestfordCAT News on June 27, 2016.

Our nation recently experienced one of the worst terror attacks in its history. Yet, rather than coming together, with a firm resolve to respond, Americans find themselves bitterly divided over political agendas.  There are three rails in American politics today. The conservative rail favors small government, strict adherence to the constitution and a free enterprise economic system.   The liberal rail favors larger government, wide latitude in the interpretation of the constitution, and qualified support for the free enterprise system, provided there is a safety net.  The third rail are the progressives.  They are neo Marxists, who believe that American society is inherently flawed and must be torn down and rebuilt. Centralized re-education, social re-structuring, pervasive government indoctrination and rule by fiat are their answer. They see the constitution as biased toward certain classes and believe that wealth redistribution is the only way to achieve social justice.

Progressive ideology has played a significant part in bringing about our division. The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida gives clear evidence of this.   It was perpetrated by a self-avowed radical Islamist, supported by an ideology focused on destroying western civilization.  Progressives distinguished themselves by their response to this incident. They fabricated a narrative to distort the intent of this ruthless killer, using his crime to attack American citizens, who do not agree with their agenda.  Gun owners, Christians, straight men, were all accused of contributing to the conditions that led to this carnage.  The leading national progressive, our president, became unglued over criticism of his leadership, attacking Republican candidate Donald Trump with a ferocity that should have been reserved for the terrorist ideology responsible for the killings.

This display is unnerving and it supports an assertion made by David Horowitz, a former member of the new left, now a progressive critic, who said that to understand progressives, one must remember that “the issue is never the issue, the issue is the revolution.”   Horowitz warns that the only focus of progressives is their agenda.  The implication:  no matter what happens, with regard to the radical Islamic threat, progressives would sacrifice our security to advance their goals. The anemic response of our President to ISIS, his unwillingness to fully commit the nation to their destruction, and the renewed calls to curb the second amendment support this assertion.  It would also explain his vehement public attacks on Republicans, rather than homicidal radical Islamists.

Horowitz’s implications are clear, progressives are so blinded by the correctness of their ideology, that they no longer feel an affinity for their nation or their fellow countrymen, if they disagree.  All that counts is the cause, anyone who gets in the way must be destroyed.  Offering a sobering insight into this mindset, Horowitz once said “ if you believed that you could bring about heaven on earth, what crime would you not commit and what lie would you not tell.”  Such audacity threatens our freedom and our security.  The aftermath of Orlando reveals that, as a nation, we are facing bigger problems than just ISIS.

Note:  The above editorial expresses a personal opinion and is not necessarily reflective of the positions or opinions of the Westford Republican Town Committee.

Consequences of the Bathroom Bill

Once the Public Bathroom Accommodations Bill is signed by Governor Baker and becomes law, will MA schools follow Washington State’s health education standards?

Washington State To Teach Transgenderism To Kindergartners

Peter Hasson,  Reporter, Associate Editor

6:15 PM 06/01/2016

By fall 2017 Washington state public schools will begin teaching gender expression to kindergarteners under newly-approved health education learning standards that designate sexual health a “core idea” of public K-12 education.

While some aspects of sexual health aren’t taught K-12 (HIV prevention begins in fourth grade), one component of sexual health titled “Self-Identity” begins in kindergarten, where students will be expected to “Understand there are many ways to express gender.”

The state’s health education glossary defines gender as “A social construct based on emotional, behavioral, and cultural characteristics attached to a person’s assigned biological sex.” Gender expression, meanwhile, is defined as “The way someone outwardly expresses their gender.”

These definitions differ from the state’s definition of “biological sex”: “Based on chromosomes, hormones, and internal and external anatomy.”

Nathan Olson, a communications manager for the statewide Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), told The Daily Caller that the glossary “was developed to support classroom instruction.” The new standards were finalized in March but OSPI has yet to issue a press release informing the public of the changes.

As part of an aspect of sexual health titled “Healthy Relationships,” kindergarteners will learn to distinguish between “safe and unwanted touch.” They will also learn to “Recognize people have the right to refuse giving or receiving unwanted touch.” OSPI did not answer a question from TheDC about whether this lesson plan amounts to teaching consent to kindergarteners.

By third grade, students will be expected to “Explain that gender roles can vary considerably” and “Understand [the] importance of treating others with respect regarding gender identity,” as part of the “Self-Identity” component of sexual health.

Gender identity is defined by the state as “Someone’s inner sense of their gender.”

“The standards don’t define ‘gender spectrum.’ But self-identity is a key component,” Olson said when TheDC asked whether learning that gender is a “spectrum” is considered part of learning about “gender identity.” Last month, Fox News’ Todd Starnes described a Virginia county’s lesson plans on gender spectrum as “the idea that there’s no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.”

That lesson plan–which was met with outrage from parents–was designed for middle and high school students.

By fourth grade, Washington students will learn to “Identify how friends and family can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression” and define sexual orientation. The state defines “gender roles” as “Social expectations about how people should act, think, or feel based on their assigned biological sex.”

In fifth grade, students will learn to “Describe how media, society, and culture can influence ideas regarding gender roles, identity, and expression.” Under the guidance of school employees, fifth graders will also “Identify trusted adults to ask questions about gender identity and sexual  orientation.” It’s not clear if parents are automatically considered “trusted adults.”

By the end of elementary school (typically around age 11 or 12), students will be expected to “Understand the range of gender roles, identity, and expression across cultures.”

In seventh grade, students will learn to “Distinguish between biological sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.” By eighth grade, students will be expected to “Recognize external influences that shape attitudes about gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.”

This education continues through high school where students will “Evaluate how culture, media, society, and other people influence our perceptions of gender roles, sexuality, relationships, and sexual orientation.”

OSPI denied that the state intends to force a set of beliefs upon its students.