Please Vote, or Don’t . . . Depending . . . .

down with trump

Please vote, on or before Tuesday, if you oppose Trump and Trumpism.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of Trump, please remember that your vote is statistically meaningless . . . so you might as well stay home.

On Taxation, and Representation, in Public Education

The last few years have been rough for education in central Arkansas. The Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) suffered for years under state control, but local control has now been restored there. The neighboring Little Rock School District (LRSD) was more recently taken over by our state’s Department of Education, and is still in that unpleasant, and unhelpful, state.

When the state government takes over a school district, the people’s representatives (the local school board) are simply dismissed, and the Commissioner of our Department of Education functions as a one-man, unelected “school board.” It’s a situation which robs taxpayers (also known as voters) of any voice in how their schools are run. It doesn’t help instruction at all, which I know because I’ve observed it myself, as a teacher. In my opinion, all laws allowing state takeovers of school districts, nationwide, should be repealed. 

During this tumultuous period, there have been three elections about school millages: two in the PCSSD, and one in the LRSD. In the PCSSD, one vote (which failed) happened with that district still under state control. The second in the PCSSD happened yesterday, and this time, the measure passed by a 2-1 margin. What’s the key difference? Simple: when faced with a “taxation without representation” situation, the voters said no. Once local control was restored, the voters said yes.

In the neighboring LRSD, only one millage-related election has taken place recently, and it happened under state control, just like the first of the recent two in the PCSSD. In the LRSD, with their right to representation still denied to them, this ballot measure failed.

The lesson to be learned here is simple: to get support from voters, local control of public school districts must be maintained. We’re Americans; “no taxation without representation” was one of the primary reasons we fought for independence in the first place. Nationwide, it’s part of our story, as a people. Taxation without representation does not work here — specifically because it is un-American. That should be the lesson learned from these three elections.

The PCSSD is free from state control, and things are now improving there. Hopefully, the LRSD will enjoy the same benefit — soon — along with other school districts in the same situation, in our state, and nationwide.

June 13 Special Election in the PCSSD

Voters in the Pulaski County Special School District in central Arkansas vote, June 13, on a millage extension. This isn’t a new tax, but just an extension of what we already pay in property taxes. The schools need this money to build classroom space, etc. for our growing student population. If you live in the PCSSD, please vote FOR this measure on June 13.

President-elect Donald Trump, and President Vladimir Putin

putin-and-trump

Source of quote: The Washington Post, online edition, December 14, 2016: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/the-kremlin-likes-the-hacking-attention-but-not-the-blame/2016/12/14/65279738-c177-11e6-92e8-c07f4f671da4_story.html?utm_term=.fc453119c6fd.

Fiona Hill co-authored the 2015 book Mr. Putin: Operative at the Kremlin, available here, on Amazon. She is also (according to the Washington Post story linked above, written by David Filipov) a scholar at the Brookings Institution. Here’s the headline, taken from a screenshot.

moscow

For those who do not know, The Washington Post is the newspaper which blew open the Watergate scandal, and that, in turn, brought down the Nixon administration.

These are facts.

On Turning Election Day Into Mother’s Day

Upon closer inspection, even Gary Johnson and Jill Stein aren’t people I want to vote for. I have therefore decided I am not going to vote for president this year, at least not as myself.

My mother can no longer vote. She would want to vote for Hillary Clinton. I will, therefore, cast a vote for H.C. on her behalf.