“I am sorry…I did not intend to take away from your event.” That’s what S A U Twenty Nine Superintendent Robert Malay said in a radio interview to American Legion Post Twenty Four Commander John Fletcher on Friday, bringing an end to the uproar he caused when banning the word “Christmas” on a flier announcing a tree lighting over the weekend. Malay said he was just trying to ensure that S A U policies were consistently enforced across the seven school districts it serves. Fletcher, a former chairman of the Marlborough School Board, in the same interview, accepted the apology, but said changes needed to be made to ensure that no such episode happens again.
Malay, apparently feeling the heat, said there was going to be a review of the S A U’s policies to determine how things could work going forward. Fletcher said he’d be glad to work with them, but that protecting the Freedom of Speech was paramount. Malay said that whatever they did, they wanted to ensure that nobody’s rights were violated and that the district wasn’t violating the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.
On Thursday, Bill Donohue, Director of Communications for the Catholic League, called bull on Malay’s assertion that allowing the word Christmas to be used was a violation of that clause. He said it was just another example of the “war on Christmas” and said that if Malay really believes that flier violated the Establishment Clause he should quote “contact the United States Congress and demand that it rescind Christmas as a national holiday.”
The New Year will get off to an interesting start for Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green, the Timberlane Regional School District and the New Hampshire Right to Know Law. Green’s lawsuit over the district’s handling of electronic documents under the law will be heard by the New Hampshire Supreme Court on January seventh at one. Might have to make my way up there for that one.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The current occupant of the White House took to the airwaves from the Oval Office last night to address the nation about the bloody and brutal attack in San Bernadino, which ISIS has officially taken credit for and cheered in the streets of the Middle East. While Obama said it was clear that Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik had traveled down the “dark path of radicalization” and called it an act of terror, he also went out of his way to note the violence took place in Farook’s workplace and that no motive had yet to be established.
He said that while the United States had hardened various targets against the complex type of attacks like those committed on nine eleven, we are vulnerable to “these mass shooting kind” of quote unquote “simple attacks,” that he said are becoming commonplace in our country. He also took the opportunity to double down on his strategy to defeat ISIS, saying it was on the right track and yielding results. Boots on the ground, he said, would only give them what they want and improve recruitment efforts. He called on Muslim states and leaders to condemn the violence and said Islam had issues it needed to face and correct. But, he said that if we are to win the War on Terror, we had to make it harder for terrorists to purchase weapons in this country and again called for more gun control legislation.
He also lectured viewers over who we are and are not as a people in defense of his immigration and refugee policies, which are at the center of a fierce political firestorm as he plans to import hundreds of thousands of Muslims from terrorist laden countries, and defended Muslims in the country as our “co-workers, neighbors and friends” to argue against any sort of religious test being applied to future refugees or immigrants.
Republican response was definitive and quick. GOP presidential hopeful Senator Rand Paul issued a statement saying:
“There are answers here to make our nation safe, but once again the President seems incapable of finding and implementing them. His administration is focused on gun laws that will not stop terrorists, while pushing policies that will let more of them into the country. It is 100 percent wrong and proves the need for new leadership in the White House.”
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said:
“President Obama has finally been forced to abandon the political fantasy he has perpetuated for years that the threat of terrorism was receding. We need to remove the self-imposed constraints President Obama has placed on our intelligence community and military, and we need to put in place an aggressive strategy to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism as I have proposed.
Another GOP hopeful, Texas Senator Ted Cruz issued a statement saying quote:
“On December 7, 1941, in response to Pearl Harbor, FDR did not give a partisan speech, rather he called on Americans to unite and ‘win through to absolute victory’.
“If I am elected President, I will direct the Department of Defense to destroy ISIS. And I will shut down the broken immigration system that is letting jihadists into our country.
“Nothing President Obama said tonight will assist in either case.”
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next.