by Guy Page
Martin Green is no crank.
A longtime professional cook and transportation worker, he and his wife of 36 years have owned a home in Morrisville for 29 years. They have four grown children and one grandson. A pro-life activist since 1987, he’s volunteered with Operation Rescue, 40 Days for Life (keynote speaker at the latest Barre 40 Days for Life kickoff on September 24th), Vermonters for Good Government, and was on the steering committee for and still involved with the fledgling Lamoille Valley Pregnancy Resource Center in Morrisville. For the past fourteen months, he and his wife have become more civically engaged and have tried to attend most selectboard and planning council meetings. He serves on the Lamoille County Transportation Advisory Committee.
But he’s best known as a frequent contributor to state and local news media opinion pages. His Vermont-specific, timely, articulate, well-reasoned, often eloquent work has appeared in VTDigger, the Caledonian-Record, the Mountain Times, and many other Vermont media, including Vermont Daily Chronicle.
Where you can’t read him – at least not his latest effort – is Front Porch Forum, the for-profit media that bills itself as a free community-building service in Vermont” that is “all about helping neighbors connect.” Appearing on the Conspiracy of Goodness podcast titled “Championing Radical Neighborliness,” founder Michael Wood-Lewis noted that “it feels that so much of Big Tech social media and mainstream media, it’s almost like their goal is to erode trust among neighbors.”
The irony of this comment is not lost on readers who have been censored.
Green’s latest op-ed about the root causes of the growing crime problem in his hometown of Morrisville was kicked off the front porch. Unlike many who merely fume silently after getting the boot, Green chose to respond publicly. Below, we’ve printed the offending column, FPF’s rejection slip, and Green’s reaction.
Green submitted this column on September 20:
Thanks to Police Chief Jason Luneau, Det. Lt. Todd Baxter, and Sheriff Roger Marcoux for calling the recent informational meeting about crimes and concerns in our community. I thank them for their (and all our LEO’s) diligent work to serve the residents of Morristown. I also greatly appreciate both their honesty about the growing severity of crime here, and their candor regarding their frustration about how their hands seem to be tied in efforts to bring criminals to justice. And I commend them for their humility in starting this conversation and requesting participation from the residents of Morristown about how we can help them—and they can help us—to offer and implement solutions which will provide for a safer community.
If you are angry about, or sick and tired of the increase in criminal activity in your community, it is not the police who are to blame. We have excellent law enforcement professionals in Sheriff Roger Marcoux, Chief Jason Luneau, and Det. Lt. Todd Baxter and those who work for the MPD and LCSD to diligently apprehend criminals and solve cases. We are probably sorely tempted to blame the state’s attorney’s office for what appears from the weekly court report in the News & Citizen to be a very lax and permissive attitude towards crime, criminals, and consequences. But according to Det. Lt. Baxter, the state’s attorney’s office is just as stymied in its efforts to prosecute criminals as are law enforcement agencies in Vermont. Why?
Much of what was discussed—and the community’s frustration with the dramatic increase in crime, along with an apparent inversely proportional decrease in prosecutions and incarcerations—seems to point to the necessity of holding our state legislators accountable for the growing problem. How can they be compelled to face the destructive results of legislation they have passed which, ironically, seems to undermine the authority and ability of law enforcement to do its job?
What I am referring to here is a very disturbing double standard on the part of our state legislators who create laws which abnegate common sense and the rule of law, while expecting our communities to become safer.
*Sex trafficking and decriminalizing prostitution. How will we prevent exploitation of vulnerable members of our community who are being sex trafficked, while allowing prostitution here and softening or eliminating penalties for those who exploit them?
*Increased illegal drug activity and legalizing marijuana. How do we justify welcoming marijuana commerce through the front door, while at the same time trying to keep other drugs from coming in the back door? How long before our legislators decide that so many people are using illegal drugs, we might as well just legalize those, too, and at least garner some tax revenue?
*Creating a constitutional amendment which falsely permits a “right” to kill preborn children at every stage of pregnancy. And yet we provide WIC for moms, preborn babies, and infants, and believe in no child left behind, while we intentionally abort about 1200 preborn babies in Vermont every year.
*Creating bills that seek to prosecute and eliminate pregnancy resource centers which do excellent work to serve moms, dads, and babies, while creating “shield laws” which would protect from prosecution physicians who illegally dispense chemical abortion pills. Ironically, this same law would define as engaging in “unprofessional conduct” physicians and pharmacists who prescribe the abortion pill reversal protocol to women who change their minds about aborting their babies.
*Creating bills which prevent parents from being informed about and/or consenting to whether their children are having abortions, or hormone treatments and mutilating surgeries which will permanently alter their bodies, while at the same time encouraging parents to be involved in their children’s lives.
*Creating bills which increasingly infringe upon the right and responsibility of law-abiding citizens to store firearms the way they choose in their own homes, under the guise of preventing suicide, while passing legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide.
Is it any wonder that many of our young people are confused? How are impressionable young people possibly supposed to know where to draw the line when the lines have become so blurred?
At the crimes and concerns community meeting, Morristown resident Karina Lyon so eloquently stated —and Det. Lt. Baxter rightly agreed with her—that “love creates love.” Indeed. For it is ultimately love which has the power to truly transform individual human hearts and human society. But creating laws which soften or eliminate the consequences for—or even encourage—behavior which harms vulnerable members of our community, and refusing to hold people accountable for breaking the law, is not love; it is foolish and irresponsible neglect, the antithesis of love and common sense.
Later than day, Green noticed his post had not been published. He then queried:
Hello FPF Member Support, I submitted a posting this morning, and I don’t see it on today’s FPF, nor do I see it when I look up my postings on my member page. Can you please tell me what happened to it, and whether I need to re-submit it? Thank you. Best regards, Martin Green
‘Member Support’ replied:
FrontPorchForum.com – Essential civic infrastructure in Vermont
Dear Unnamed Representative of Member Support,
Once again you have forced me to write to you to address how appalling and troubling is your blatant prejudice, censorship, and intolerance (under the hypocritical guise of tolerance) concerning my latest posting.
Based on previous correspondence with you and/or other representatives of FPF (I have no way of knowing it it’s you or someone else because you didn’t sign your name to your email to me), I honestly don’t expect much more than your robotic, boring, email cookie cutter responses to me in which you attempt to justify and excuse your blatant suppression of free speech. How are you acting any differently that they did in Nazi Germany, or in any fascist, socialist, or communist regime? However, just like these evil and failed regimes, you betray your desperate fear of the truth being publicly expressed by your censorship.
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