Monthly Archives: December 2011

ODOT & SENSORS

Dear Editor:
The recent news that DOT is deploying a high tech solution to the daily problem of congestion on I-5 makes one wonder how the inmates got control of the asylum.  Having spent my university years in the area most affected by traffic congestion I dealt with nearly impossibly congested traffic, once even crossing the most complicated freeway interchange in the world, the Los Angeles interchange to get to my summer job twice a day.  I drove from my neighborhood to Pasadena and back every day.
The problem DOT is now deploying traffic sensors to solve was solved many years ago without sensors or variable speed limits decided by computers.  In the early sixties and before the traffic was self monitoring simply because when too many cars were in the system to be moved at fifty five miles per hour the traffic slowed.  I often passed signs in those times indicating a speed limit of 55 at the speed of a person walking at a slow stroll.  I usually drove at the speed limit plus the extra allowed before a citation would be issued unless there was a car ahead of me traveling slower.  It seemed prudent to avoid accidents.
Just because technology is available it doesn’t mean that it is the best solution.  In my dental education I learned that the KISS rule was the best answer to many problems  “Keep it simple stupid”.  My father worked for Rockwell International  in the early sixties and they built the rapid transit cars for Washington DC.  Many hours were spent trying to develop an automatic system which would keep the doors of the cars from closing on a passenger trying to enter the car.  Having seen the solution in Paris the summer before my dad suggested that Rockwell do what the French had done for many years.  The necessary human sitting in the front of the train would check if the doors were clear before closing them. Cost of solution $0.
DOT has come up with a solution for a problem which doesn’t exist.  The answer to the problem is to make the road capacity larger (more traffic lanes) or make the number of cars traveling smaller. Mexico City gives each driver a windshield sticker indicating one day of the week ie L for Monday in Spanish. The car is not allowed to be driven in the city on that day, eliminating 20% of the traffic during rush hours at the cost of a sticker) KISS.
 Possible real solutions would include, more people telecommuting, fewer cars allowed on the highway each day, or varying the work hours of commuters.  All DOT’s solution does is keep the status quo while spending taxpayer dollars on a useless project. I suggest that the maximum speed of safe travel is already determined without expensive stupidology.
Have a safe trip and don’t run into a car going slower than you are, use the left or middle pedal.
William Edell

Wa. SJR 8218: A Misguided Approach On Citizen Initiatives & Spending?

For some time now I have sensed that our legislators in Olympia don’t care too much for our constitutional right to citizen initiatives that is independent from the legislature and grants us the right to place limits upon their actions. It is written in our constitution,

“the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature. (Article II Section 1)”

We have seen several times now where unions and legislators, disagreeing with a citizen initiative voted in by large majorities of the voters end up challenged in court or cast aside by decree of the governor after a specified period.

We also see ourselves mired in this ongoing “Great Recession” with no end in sight and some citizen initiatives voted in that require funding that the legislators are unable to find funds for, given their propensity to spend tax dollars unwisely.

I was a little surprised to see a constitutional amendment proposed, SJR 8218 that adds to the wording in our constitution regarding our right to citizen initiatives,

“No initiative may be placed on the ballot if it is determined by the secretary of state that the initiative fails to provide a new or enhanced revenue source to pay for any increase in state obligations or duties that are created by the initiative. The office of the governor, or a subdivision thereof, in consultation with the secretary of state, the attorney general, and any other appropriate state or local agency, shall prepare a fiscal impact statement for an initiative. A fiscal impact statement must describe any projected increase or decrease in revenues, costs, expenditures, or indebtedness that the state or local governments will experience if the ballot measure were approved by state voters. A fiscal impact statement must indicate by fiscal year the impact for the remainder of the biennium in which the bill or resolution will first take effect as well as a cumulative forecast of the fiscal impact for the succeeding four fiscal years.”

I found it even more surprising that the bill is sponsored more by Republicans than Democrats, 6 GOP to 2 Dems. Why it surprises me is that so far, it has been primarily Democrat legislators who seem to challenge voter approved initiatives while the Republicans have been overall more supportive of our citizen rights.

Not having had the chance to discuss this with any of the Republicans sponsoring it, including our own SW Washington 17th Legislative District Senator Don Benton, I sought and found that the intent appears to be an effort to ward off future initiatives, such as the recently approved I-1163, that would require $18 Million in new spending to train care givers and the earlier “I-728 that required new spending to reduce student-to-teacher ratios in K-12 classrooms, and I-732, that granted yearly cost of living pay raises for K-12 employees” when there is no available funding for the measures.

The Olympian’s Brad Shannon informs us that the effort “would require citizen initiatives to identify a new source of money to cover any new costs they create,” and quotes co-author of the proposal Republican Dan Swecker, “I think if folks are going to propose new programs they ought to come up with new money. The most recent one was [Initiative] 1163, and actually that’s relatively small compared to some of the other ones. Here were are in position to cut money for the vulnerable and disabled, and then we turn around and pay for more training. I don’t think that’s right.”

Swecker teamed with Tacoma Democrat Senator Debbie Regala to author the proposal. Swecker also said, “Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt supports it and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown told him she would sign on in January.”

Governor Gregoire replied to questions about the proposal that she would “probably vote for it.”

Tim Eyeman, well known for authoring several citizen initiatives, mostly directed at reining in out of control spending opposes the proposal saying, “The problem down in Olympia is not the initiative process. The problem is that they don’t prioritize spending.”

Adam Glickman, a spokesman for the SEIU that largely was behind I-1163 indicated support for the proposal, “as long as they had similar restrictions for measures cutting the budget.” Glickman says, “We’d be open to considering a change in the initiative process that required any initiatives to ultimately be budget neutral.”

Therein lays a large part of my skepticism of this proposed amendment. Many citizen initiatives are designed to not be “budget neutral,” but to cut the budget and force reductions in spending. We have supported initiatives to raise the bar on raising taxes and force the legislature to “live within their means,” as we taxpayers have to do.

The legislature continually shows their reluctance to do so as we see the legislature passing tax increases such as 49th Legislative District Democrat Representative Jim Moeller’s ill fated candy tax that was overturned by a citizen initiative, I-1107 in 2010.

As I read the proposed wording of the new proposed amendment, our effort to overturn such a ridiculous tax as Moeller’s, which only applied to some candy products and was seen largely as a nightmare for business, might not have been able to make the ballot, even with more than enough signatures gathered on petitions.

While I understand and somewhat concur with the effort, I also see a very distinct probability of this amendment backfiring on Republicans efforts to reign in out of control spending and reduce taxes to a reasonable level we in the struggling middle class can live with. Democrats would have a much easier time opposing our efforts to rein them in and have the support of the Secretary of State and the Office of Financial Management, who could easily claim pulling back on the reins of overspending would “cost too much.”

Another question I have pertains to the Office of Financial Management, who already prepares cost estimates for ballot measures and legislation. Would such an amendment cause spending on preparing these extra cost estimates to actually increase, adding more of a burden on the office workers?

Dan Swecker believes such an amendment “would help people understand the costs if the fund source were on the ballot with them.” But, even he admits, “The real question is whether people connect the dots,” indicating what many of us already know, many voters vote by emotion, relying on advertising and not actually reading or understanding initiatives.

The amendment requires a 2/3 majority approval on both the House and Senate, then approval by a vote on the ballot in order to become law. We can expect to see a lot of money thrown from both supporters and opponents should this make it through the legislature.

Our own Columbian seems to be mum on this proposal so far.

Regardless, I retain strong skepticism on this measure and remain very surprised to see such strong support from Republicans, who just may be being played by the Democrats once again.

Some clarification from any of the Republicans supporting this would be appreciated.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Wa. SJR 8218: A Misguided Approach On Citizen Initiatives & Spending?

For some time now I have sensed that our legislators in Olympia don’t care too much for our constitutional right to citizen initiatives that is independent from the legislature and grants us the right to place limits upon their actions. It is written in our constitution,

“the people reserve to themselves the power to propose bills, laws, and to enact or reject the same at the polls, independent of the legislature, and also reserve power, at their own option, to approve or reject at the polls any act, item, section, or part of any bill, act, or law passed by the legislature. (Article II Section 1)”

We have seen several times now where unions and legislators, disagreeing with a citizen initiative voted in by large majorities of the voters end up challenged in court or cast aside by decree of the governor after a specified period.

We also see ourselves mired in this ongoing “Great Recession” with no end in sight and some citizen initiatives voted in that require funding that the legislators are unable to find funds for, given their propensity to spend tax dollars unwisely.

I was a little surprised to see a constitutional amendment proposed, SJR 8218 that adds to the wording in our constitution regarding our right to citizen initiatives,

“No initiative may be placed on the ballot if it is determined by the secretary of state that the initiative fails to provide a new or enhanced revenue source to pay for any increase in state obligations or duties that are created by the initiative. The office of the governor, or a subdivision thereof, in consultation with the secretary of state, the attorney general, and any other appropriate state or local agency, shall prepare a fiscal impact statement for an initiative. A fiscal impact statement must describe any projected increase or decrease in revenues, costs, expenditures, or indebtedness that the state or local governments will experience if the ballot measure were approved by state voters. A fiscal impact statement must indicate by fiscal year the impact for the remainder of the biennium in which the bill or resolution will first take effect as well as a cumulative forecast of the fiscal impact for the succeeding four fiscal years.”

I found it even more surprising that the bill is sponsored more by Republicans than Democrats, 6 GOP to 2 Dems. Why it surprises me is that so far, it has been primarily Democrat legislators who seem to challenge voter approved initiatives while the Republicans have been overall more supportive of our citizen rights.

Not having had the chance to discuss this with any of the Republicans sponsoring it, including our own SW Washington 17th Legislative District Senator Don Benton, I sought and found that the intent appears to be an effort to ward off future initiatives, such as the recently approved I-1163, that would require $18 Million in new spending to train care givers and the earlier “I-728 that required new spending to reduce student-to-teacher ratios in K-12 classrooms, and I-732, that granted yearly cost of living pay raises for K-12 employees” when there is no available funding for the measures.

The Olympian’s Brad Shannon informs us that the effort “would require citizen initiatives to identify a new source of money to cover any new costs they create,” and quotes co-author of the proposal Republican Dan Swecker, “I think if folks are going to propose new programs they ought to come up with new money. The most recent one was [Initiative] 1163, and actually that’s relatively small compared to some of the other ones. Here were are in position to cut money for the vulnerable and disabled, and then we turn around and pay for more training. I don’t think that’s right.”

Swecker teamed with Tacoma Democrat Senator Debbie Regala to author the proposal. Swecker also said, “Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt supports it and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown told him she would sign on in January.”

Governor Gregoire replied to questions about the proposal that she would “probably vote for it.”

Tim Eyeman, well known for authoring several citizen initiatives, mostly directed at reining in out of control spending opposes the proposal saying, “The problem down in Olympia is not the initiative process. The problem is that they don’t prioritize spending.”

Adam Glickman, a spokesman for the SEIU that largely was behind I-1163 indicated support for the proposal, “as long as they had similar restrictions for measures cutting the budget.” Glickman says, “We’d be open to considering a change in the initiative process that required any initiatives to ultimately be budget neutral.”

Therein lays a large part of my skepticism of this proposed amendment. Many citizen initiatives are designed to not be “budget neutral,” but to cut the budget and force reductions in spending. We have supported initiatives to raise the bar on raising taxes and force the legislature to “live within their means,” as we taxpayers have to do.

The legislature continually shows their reluctance to do so as we see the legislature passing tax increases such as 49th Legislative District Democrat Representative Jim Moeller’s ill fated candy tax that was overturned by a citizen initiative, I-1107 in 2010.

As I read the proposed wording of the new proposed amendment, our effort to overturn such a ridiculous tax as Moeller’s, which only applied to some candy products and was seen largely as a nightmare for business, might not have been able to make the ballot, even with more than enough signatures gathered on petitions.

While I understand and somewhat concur with the effort, I also see a very distinct probability of this amendment backfiring on Republicans efforts to reign in out of control spending and reduce taxes to a reasonable level we in the struggling middle class can live with. Democrats would have a much easier time opposing our efforts to rein them in and have the support of the Secretary of State and the Office of Financial Management, who could easily claim pulling back on the reins of overspending would “cost too much.”

Another question I have pertains to the Office of Financial Management, who already prepares cost estimates for ballot measures and legislation. Would such an amendment cause spending on preparing these extra cost estimates to actually increase, adding more of a burden on the office workers?

Dan Swecker believes such an amendment “would help people understand the costs if the fund source were on the ballot with them.” But, even he admits, “The real question is whether people connect the dots,” indicating what many of us already know, many voters vote by emotion, relying on advertising and not actually reading or understanding initiatives.

The amendment requires a 2/3 majority approval on both the House and Senate, then approval by a vote on the ballot in order to become law. We can expect to see a lot of money thrown from both supporters and opponents should this make it through the legislature.

Our own Columbian seems to be mum on this proposal so far.

Regardless, I retain strong skepticism on this measure and remain very surprised to see such strong support from Republicans, who just may be being played by the Democrats once again.

Some clarification from any of the Republicans supporting this would be appreciated.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Goooood Morning, Mr. Nam! Portland Occupier and Teacher Calls for Freedom to Invite Occupiers to Classrooms

An Occupy Portland member and high school social studies teacher is leading the charge for more classroom  freedom after fellow Occupiers were booted recently from a Portland elementary school* “Teach In.” [Eds note: I previously identified the school as a middle school. The presentation was before middle school aged children at an elementary school. Sorry for the mistake.]

We learn from a socialist website that a band of Portland teachers is fighting for carte blanche after Occupy Portland was given an early boot at a middle school “teach in” earlier this month. Occupiers inveighed against “the man” and “brainstormed” on issues ranging from social justice, foreclosures, women’s rights, war to poverty for 20 minutes before the Principal showed up and shooed them away. See my post about it here.

Mr. Nam’s Facebook picture

The “World Socialist Web Site” operated by a group called the “International Committee of the Fourth International,” a Trotskyite organization, apparently keeps tabs on the dealings of the Occupy campaign and teachers union members… but then I repeat myself.

Leading the charge to give freedom to have anyone they want in their classrooms is Wilson High Social Studies teacher Hyung Nam who gave an exclusive to the socialist website:

Speaking to the World Socialist Web Site, Nam said that the petition is bound up with efforts to impose a single curriculum that prevents teachers from raising broader issues. “They have us just deliver the standardized material rather than teach. Teachers are no longer allowed to create our own syllabi; we are provided a template. It is not just about the Occupy thing, but all these developments facing teachers,” he said.

 In fact Mr. Nam wishes for more than that. Here’s part of his online petition:

We reject the idea that teachers would need to notify parents or obtain principal approval before bringing Occupy speakers to their classrooms. This is a violation of the professional discretion and academic freedom of teachers. …Can the school district cite any occasion when a principal required a teacher to notify parents prior to a presentation from a representative of a Portland area business, a government agency, or the U.S. military? Are parents notified when teachers use Junior Achievement curriculum materials, funded by large corporations like UPS, ExxonMobil, and Goldman Sachs? …As educators, we object to this attack on academic freedom and the discriminatory enforcement of school district policies.

He ends with:

…[W]e should be encouraging all teachers to invite Occupy activists into their classroom to discuss issues of inequality and social justice.

Several commenters have given Mr. Nam an atta boy including:

12 days ago
1 person likes this reason

As a Jefferson High School social studies teacher, I find the selective enforcement of this policy outrageous. Furthermore, Occupy is the social movement of our time—it should be discussed in classrooms across the United States. We are the 99%.

Mr. Nam is an interesting fellow. He attended Portland’s Reed College where the unofficial motto is: Communism, Atheism, Free Love. He plays guitar in a band and, of course, is a big fan of Occupy Portland. He lists his job on Linked In as “education managment.” I have no doubt that’s true.

Mr. Nam seems to be fairly consistent in his teaching according to Rate My Teacher, an anonymous online rating website. Consistently middling, that is. He appears to “hate America”, doesn’t tolerate disagreement and, well you read these comments ranging from 2003 to as late as last August:

2003: After he started out the year proclaiming that he was going to omit the Civil War from our sophomore curriculum, class just went downhill.
2004:  when you teach us history A at wilson you need to teach to ap standerds, or at least try to. bottom line.
2006: Mr. Nam is one of the coolest teachers i have ever had. I recommend him 100% percent to the people that actualy want to learn something.
2008: He is very biased with everything he teaches, don’t expect to get the whole story on world issues. Switch out!
2009: He is good at being a teacher but grades based on opinion, so just agree with him on everything and you will pass his class.
2010: Only teaches the class about the bad things that happened. Didn’t go over the civil war because there was nothing controversal about it. Switch out NOW.
2010: I dont understand why he hates america
2011: Too biased, didn’t actually teach the material meant for the class. Disagrees with students with different opinions. Unclear in assignments

The Civil War wasn’t controversial? This is a history teacher?! He sounds like a polemicist, not a teacher.

Nam is an activist who’s made the news before while fighting for the right to create his own curricula instead of the one the district uses. 

Hyung Nam has used his Portland Public Schools-issued textbook only once this year, and that was to critique it. 

Nam is one of the growing force of Portland teachers and parents who oppose Superintendent Vicki Phillips’ proposal to standardize much of the high school and other grade-level curriculum and materials, a process that will be drawing to a fever pitch in the next month or so.

He’s been called out recently by an anonymous blogger who proclaimed him, “Occupy Portland’s Useful Idiot of Today!” 

HYUNG NAM WE SALUTE YOU! Professionals like you are just what Occupy Portland needs! You clearly aren’t a very good teacher, and it is also very clear that you aren’t very well liked! In other words, you are just what we need to sustain Occupy Portland, and right now YOU ARE OUR USEFUL IDIOT!

Mr. Nam is, in short, an activist who brings his activism into the classroom and calls it education.

I yanked my kid out of public school and put her into a private school in 7th grade. I loved her teachers but didn’t like the environment for my child. It was the best move I ever made. Her new social studies teacher was a Reedie and wrote his own curricula. He liked to preach but not too much. When he had guests he made sure there was a counterpart to balance them. He asked permission and informed parents. Opting out was an option. I never did.

Academic freedom isn’t the issue here. Using an obviously one sided, union based, political movement to advance your agenda in the classroom is. And it’s wrong. Teachers take far too much advantage of that in the classroom already. Was there someone counter balancing the socialists in that middle school classroom that day? No. Why did the teacher believe it was appropriate to have four union activists doing a “teach in” for a third of their class day? Isn’t that what the teacher’s for? Maybe he just didn’t feel like prepping his classroom material that day and thought turning over his classroom to uneducated hotheads was an easy way out.

Last year when a Tea Party dad wanted to present to his daughter’s senior level social studies class he had to declare what he was going to say, show his materials (which included the Constitution) and receive permission from the school’s brass.

They also needed to see his ID because they wanted to know who was in their school with other people’s children.

When it came to that middle school earlier this month, the Principal didn’t know who those Occupy Portland people were.

Occupy Portland was responsible for more law breaking, vandalism, civil disobedience, stealing, defrauding, and arrests than any other protest in the city’s–and state’s–history. More bad actors (rapists who push cops into buses for instance, registered sex offenders, drug dealers) embedded themselves along with the usual It’s-Friday-at-4-Time-for-a-Protest crowd. This is the same bunch who at one of their meetings (on tape) urged Occupiers not to tell cops if someone was sexually attacked so as not to besmirch the movement.

Inviting Occupiers into the classroom is tantamount to going to the street corner and inviting local gang members inside for a talk on marketing crack–except that would be too pro capitalist for them.

When it comes to the Occupy political campaign, Mr. Nam wants you to trust him and let him do what he wants.

The district should just say no.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Goooood Morning, Mr. Nam! Portland Occupier and Teacher Calls for Freedom to Invite Occupiers to Classrooms

An Occupy Portland member and high school social studies teacher is leading the charge for more classroom  freedom after fellow Occupiers were booted recently from a Portland elementary school* “Teach In.” [Eds note: I previously identified the school as a middle school. The presentation was before middle school aged children at an elementary school. Sorry for the mistake.]

We learn from a socialist website that a band of Portland teachers is fighting for carte blanche after Occupy Portland was given an early boot at a middle school “teach in” earlier this month. Occupiers inveighed against “the man” and “brainstormed” on issues ranging from social justice, foreclosures, women’s rights, war to poverty for 20 minutes before the Principal showed up and shooed them away. See my post about it here.

Mr. Nam’s Facebook picture

The “World Socialist Web Site” operated by a group called the “International Committee of the Fourth International,” a Trotskyite organization, apparently keeps tabs on the dealings of the Occupy campaign and teachers union members… but then I repeat myself.

Leading the charge to give freedom to have anyone they want in their classrooms is Wilson High Social Studies teacher Hyung Nam who gave an exclusive to the socialist website:

Speaking to the World Socialist Web Site, Nam said that the petition is bound up with efforts to impose a single curriculum that prevents teachers from raising broader issues. “They have us just deliver the standardized material rather than teach. Teachers are no longer allowed to create our own syllabi; we are provided a template. It is not just about the Occupy thing, but all these developments facing teachers,” he said.

 In fact Mr. Nam wishes for more than that. Here’s part of his online petition:

We reject the idea that teachers would need to notify parents or obtain principal approval before bringing Occupy speakers to their classrooms. This is a violation of the professional discretion and academic freedom of teachers. …Can the school district cite any occasion when a principal required a teacher to notify parents prior to a presentation from a representative of a Portland area business, a government agency, or the U.S. military? Are parents notified when teachers use Junior Achievement curriculum materials, funded by large corporations like UPS, ExxonMobil, and Goldman Sachs? …As educators, we object to this attack on academic freedom and the discriminatory enforcement of school district policies.

He ends with:

…[W]e should be encouraging all teachers to invite Occupy activists into their classroom to discuss issues of inequality and social justice.

Several commenters have given Mr. Nam an atta boy including:

12 days ago
1 person likes this reason

As a Jefferson High School social studies teacher, I find the selective enforcement of this policy outrageous. Furthermore, Occupy is the social movement of our time—it should be discussed in classrooms across the United States. We are the 99%.

Mr. Nam is an interesting fellow. He attended Portland’s Reed College where the unofficial motto is: Communism, Atheism, Free Love. He plays guitar in a band and, of course, is a big fan of Occupy Portland. He lists his job on Linked In as “education managment.” I have no doubt that’s true.

Mr. Nam seems to be fairly consistent in his teaching according to Rate My Teacher, an anonymous online rating website. Consistently middling, that is. He appears to “hate America”, doesn’t tolerate disagreement and, well you read these comments ranging from 2003 to as late as last August:

2003: After he started out the year proclaiming that he was going to omit the Civil War from our sophomore curriculum, class just went downhill.
2004:  when you teach us history A at wilson you need to teach to ap standerds, or at least try to. bottom line.
2006: Mr. Nam is one of the coolest teachers i have ever had. I recommend him 100% percent to the people that actualy want to learn something.
2008: He is very biased with everything he teaches, don’t expect to get the whole story on world issues. Switch out!
2009: He is good at being a teacher but grades based on opinion, so just agree with him on everything and you will pass his class.
2010: Only teaches the class about the bad things that happened. Didn’t go over the civil war because there was nothing controversal about it. Switch out NOW.
2010: I dont understand why he hates america
2011: Too biased, didn’t actually teach the material meant for the class. Disagrees with students with different opinions. Unclear in assignments

The Civil War wasn’t controversial? This is a history teacher?! He sounds like a polemicist, not a teacher.

Nam is an activist who’s made the news before while fighting for the right to create his own curricula instead of the one the district uses. 

Hyung Nam has used his Portland Public Schools-issued textbook only once this year, and that was to critique it. 

Nam is one of the growing force of Portland teachers and parents who oppose Superintendent Vicki Phillips’ proposal to standardize much of the high school and other grade-level curriculum and materials, a process that will be drawing to a fever pitch in the next month or so.

He’s been called out recently by an anonymous blogger who proclaimed him, “Occupy Portland’s Useful Idiot of Today!” 

HYUNG NAM WE SALUTE YOU! Professionals like you are just what Occupy Portland needs! You clearly aren’t a very good teacher, and it is also very clear that you aren’t very well liked! In other words, you are just what we need to sustain Occupy Portland, and right now YOU ARE OUR USEFUL IDIOT!

Mr. Nam is, in short, an activist who brings his activism into the classroom and calls it education.

I yanked my kid out of public school and put her into a private school in 7th grade. I loved her teachers but didn’t like the environment for my child. It was the best move I ever made. Her new social studies teacher was a Reedie and wrote his own curricula. He liked to preach but not too much. When he had guests he made sure there was a counterpart to balance them. He asked permission and informed parents. Opting out was an option. I never did.

Academic freedom isn’t the issue here. Using an obviously one sided, union based, political movement to advance your agenda in the classroom is. And it’s wrong. Teachers take far too much advantage of that in the classroom already. Was there someone counter balancing the socialists in that middle school classroom that day? No. Why did the teacher believe it was appropriate to have four union activists doing a “teach in” for a third of their class day? Isn’t that what the teacher’s for? Maybe he just didn’t feel like prepping his classroom material that day and thought turning over his classroom to uneducated hotheads was an easy way out.

Last year when a Tea Party dad wanted to present to his daughter’s senior level social studies class he had to declare what he was going to say, show his materials (which included the Constitution) and receive permission from the school’s brass.

They also needed to see his ID because they wanted to know who was in their school with other people’s children.

When it came to that middle school earlier this month, the Principal didn’t know who those Occupy Portland people were.

Occupy Portland was responsible for more law breaking, vandalism, civil disobedience, stealing, defrauding, and arrests than any other protest in the city’s–and state’s–history. More bad actors (rapists who push cops into buses for instance, registered sex offenders, drug dealers) embedded themselves along with the usual It’s-Friday-at-4-Time-for-a-Protest crowd. This is the same bunch who at one of their meetings (on tape) urged Occupiers not to tell cops if someone was sexually attacked so as not to besmirch the movement.

Inviting Occupiers into the classroom is tantamount to going to the street corner and inviting local gang members inside for a talk on marketing crack–except that would be too pro capitalist for them.

When it comes to the Occupy political campaign, Mr. Nam wants you to trust him and let him do what he wants.

The district should just say no.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

"New congressional district proposal shakes up Washington’s political landscape"

From the Tacoma Tribune, “The new 10th District is centered on Olympia, includes some of Pierce County and reaches up into Shelton. It has no incumbent living in it and is divided between Republican and Democratic leaning areas.”

It appears the 3rd Congressional District loses much of Thurston County and gains all of Klickitat County, making it more of a Republican district, which will help Jaime Herrera Beutler, who so far faces no significant challenge for reelection.

Waiting on maps of legislative districts.

Democrat Denny Heck, who unsuccessfully ran for the 3rd Congressional District in 2010 and Republican Dick Muri, Pierce County Councilman who lost his run against incumbent Democrat Adam Smith in Washington’s 9th Congressional District in 2010 have both announced their run for the open seat in the new 10th Congressional District.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com