Why I Don’t Heart Common Core

If you aren’t familiar with Common Core by now then there’s not much I can do to help you. I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but it’s dead and the activity can be fantastic for relieving stress. Now that I’ve thought about it I’ve changed my mind. I’ve decided to beat a dead horse.

There are several problems I tend to encounter when discussing Common Core with others. I’m not going to dive too deep here, but I’d like to hit the major points I’ve considered regarding Common Core. I would love to know what you think.

First, I don’t care about Common Core math. There! I’ve said it. This seems to be what most most people think about when Common Core is mentioned. They talk about the crazy math that kids are being forced to do. I think the math is strange, too. I don’t always understand it and sometimes I have to go online to learn how to do things so I can help my kids. That said, the homework almost always says something like “Use the trade-first or any other method you want to solve these problems.” If you’re child connects with one method over another then they are always free to use a different method. My child really connects with the “lattice method” when solving multiplication problems. He will do math all day long and he gets the right answer every time. So who cares? You can even force your kids to learn your math methods and then have them complete the homework your way (as long as they show the work). Common Core math is weird. I don’t think it’s the easiest method. But I really don’t care. To focus on the math is to miss opportunities to discuss much bigger problems with Common Core.

So, what are the bigger problems? There are many, but I’ll touch on a few that bother me the most.

First, I don’t like a one-size-fits-all approach to teaching. Common Core is about treating all children as if they were the same. My own children have been left in the classroom with nothing to do while the teacher tries to help students who are struggling. This might not be directly related to Common Core, but I’ve heard a lot of other parents complain of the same thing since Common Core stepped onto the stage. It’s more about getting everyone to the minimum than about helping every child achieve their own maximum potential. This means smarter kids might spend a lot of classroom time just sitting at a desk reading a book. Not terrible, but they can do that at home.

Another big problem is the testing. Your government paid $350 million to develop tests for Common Core assessment. Were the old tests so bad that we needed to spend $350 million for new ones? Can our government afford to spend $350 million to develop tests? (Hint: No, it cannot.) And that was just to develop the tests. States still need to pay per child, per test. Can the states afford this? No, not really. Do you know what the purpose is of the test? Here’s the kicker: to get federal funding. That’s it. Test results are not received until well into the next school year, which makes the results useless in regards to helping your child progress. Yet, the tests are mandatory! Why? Because your state’s funding is affected if you don’t have at least a 95% participation rate in testing. The solution was obvious to Nevada lawmakers: make it “illegal” to not take the test. Your child is being sold by the state to the federal government to get funding. (Funding your government cannot afford to provide, mind you.)

Funding. That’s all this is about. Governor Sandoval wants to tax businesses more to pay for education. He insists that all the people of Nevada need to pay more for education. We’ve whored our state out to get federal funding by clinging to Common Core. No matter how much money is collected for education it’s never enough. The state keeps collecting but who knows where the money goes? The school my children go to is over capacity by nearly 3 times. Their playground is full of portable classrooms. Nearby schools have similar challenges. There doesn’t appear to be any effort to build new schools (at least not anytime soon). So, Sandoval punishes everyone in the name of education and we stay at the bottom. Kind of makes you think it’s not actually about education at all.

When you talk Common Core with people they generally will not have a problem with any of these points. The one that causes trouble is the dreaded data mining. Unfortunately, as soon as you say those two words people tend to tune out. What is data mining? Have you ever been searching for something online and then you realize that every website you go to has ads for those things you were searching for? It’s because your computer is building a profile about you to be used for marketing. It knows what pages you go to, what products you’ve been researching and then websites create a customized ad campaign to get you to buy those things.

This is very similar to what our school are doing to our kids. Nevada received $10 million in grant money (code for “paid for with your tax dollars”) to build a “longitudinal database”. This is basically just a system used to track information about kids in school. What kind of information would they need to track? The obvious answer would be test results and grades. I’m pretty sure that if this is all they were tracking they could do it for a lot less money. This database is actually designed to track test scores, grades AND information like religion and family income. And several hundred more data points. Many points are fairly innocuous, but there are a lot of questions about these databases. I guess it helps the government to figure how who is smarter between Catholics/Buddhists, hispanics/asians, boys/girls/other. But for what? It’s not necessary in order for my child to get a good education. Is the information being sold then? Does it go in a permanent file that follows children into adult life and forever after? I don’t think children should be treated like a product.

Of course, the biggest and brightest red flag is federal control of education. This is probably the easiest argument to make against Common Core. First, it’s argued that Common Core is not a federal curriculum. The problem is that the testing is federal, which means that teachers must teach to the test in order to get their students to pass. Which means it’s a federal curriculum. So, what’s the problem with having a federal baseline that states are required to meet? Pop quiz! Name something the federal government does well. Don’t worry, this is not a timed test. Healthcare? Postal service? Money management? Taxation? Border security? FDA? EPA? NSA? There are a couple things we could probably debate, but for the most part the federal government makes a disaster out of everything it touches. Do you really want these same people in charge of the education of your children?

There are more things I’ve thought a lot about, but many of these things tend to get clumped in the “conspiracy theory” category. They may be completely true; however, I think we’ve got a big enough fight with the things we’ve mentioned that we can put these other things on the back burner (for now, at least).

Unfortunately for you, I’ve got at least one more Common Core post in me. There’s good news, though. Once I’m done whining about Common Core it will be time to start with the 2016 election season. Yay.

You and the Elected Representatives Ruling Class

I’m finding that life is often complicated by life. I want to be here showering the world with drivel, but this can be a challenging challenge. To apply a serious thought to a trite matter, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” But enough excuses. I’m here now and ready to extract the blood from your eyes with the power of extreme inanity.

Over the past several months I’ve tried hard to become involved. When I say involved, I mean actually doing something. It’s not that I think that #hashtagtivism is worthless. The problem is that posting, sharing, retweeting, etc. is really the least you can do. Soooo, I’m trying to take it to the next level. Whatever that is.

In the past couple of months, I’ve attended a WCSD School Board meeting (that was amazing, let me tell you!), the legislative session when AB303 was discussed (amazing), as well as the session last Monday when Assemblyman Brent Jones proposed his amendment to SB75, which would have allowed parents the choice to opt their children out of SBAC testing (A. Maz. Ing.).

Monday was a particularly good example of state government at work. More than an hour and a half after the session should have started, officials were still wandering around as if they had nothing to do that day. Once they finally started (a couple hours late), they began with the formalities and blah, blah. Eventually, Assemblyman Jones stood up and presented his proposed amendment to SB75. First, they called for the ayes and a substantial number called out in the affirmative. Then, they called for the nays. A seemingly similar number of people opposed, only MUCH LOUDER. Since they yelled their opposition instead of simply saying “nay”, the amendment went down in flames. Since the decision rests solely in the hands of the chairman based on what he hears, there is no accounting of who was for or against the proposed amendment.

In addition to meeting up with others and attending meetings where important decisions are made, I’ve tried to get those around me involved. I’m extremely lucky that my beautiful bride has taken the lead when dealing with our children’s school regarding Common Core. We met together with the principal and let her know that we would not allow our child the take the SBAC exam, but we were essentially told, “Not an option. Too bad.” When WCSD finally decided to allow opt-outs, my wife again marched over to the school and completed the official request to opt our child out. She has educated herself and has become a great voice against Common Core.

(Interesting side note: When they took our child out of class during the testing, other kids were asking why our child was not taking the test. The teacher explained that there weren’t enough computers available and our child would be taking the test later. Liar.)

A frustrating part of this experience has been the realization that our educators and government are pitted against us as parents. The amendment on Monday was nothing more than language that would have officially allowed parents to opt their children out of SBAC testing. Those opposed were very clearly stating that you should not, as a parent, have any say in the education of your child.

Most frustrating has been the realization about why we are where we are. Many (most) people I talk to don’t know anything about Common Core. They don’t know what the SBAC test is, let alone why they should be for or against it. They don’t wonder why so much money is being poured into education, yet schools are 2-3 times over capacity. How can we expect anything different from our elected officials when no one is paying attention to what they’re doing?

I can’t do anything about anyone else, but I can do something about me. I’m trying some new things and I’ve got a few other things in the works. If you’re reading this I hope you’ll make a commitment to do the same.

For my next trick, I’ll try explaining what issues I have with Nevada education, Common Core and SBAC testing. If I start writing now maybe I can have two posts in 2015!

Happy Sesquicentennial Birthday, Nevada!

Today marks the glorious sesquicentennial for the magnificent state of Nevada. To mark this momentous occasion we’ve arranged for “legal” Nevada Day to coincide with actual Nevada Day.

You may remember that Nevada was admitted into the Union on the last Friday in October, 1864. You see, they wanted to ensure that the creation of the Union’s greatest state would be appropriately marked by a three-day weekend.

Of course, this is absurd. Nevada’s existence as a state began on October 31st, 1864, which happened to be a Monday. And now that you know that, Monday will surely be your favorite day of the week! To reduce one of the greatest events in the history of mankind to nothing more than an excuse for a long weekend is disgraceful.

Mark Amodei, in his darkest hour, initiated this tripe known as AB396 in 1997. Even Sharron Angle supported this preposterous act of terror against our state. Brian Sandoval stood as a lone warrior in his party, but was joined by four Democrats. They stood against this monstrosity, but to no avail.

This evil was put to a vote in 1998 and subsequently became “law” after passing by 5 shameful points. One has to wonder how the vote would have been different had transplants been excluded from the vote. If you have no interest in the state or its history then what business do you have even voting on something like this? Nevertheless, state law does not differentiate between blue-blooded Nevadans and commie-red-blooded California transplants.

I also wonder what would have happened had the ballot question been worded more accurately. For example, “Do you support changing history, which isn’t even possible?”

So, I’d like to take a moment to tell Mark Amodei “thanks”. Thanks for nothing.

Happy Birthday, Nevada!

KOH KO’d? Reno’s Heavyweight Champion Takes a Punch

Bad news for KOH. As predicted previously, Nielsen Audio market data released today shows that KRNO (106.9) took the top spot with a rating of 8.2. KOH slipped to 7.6. I’m not sure how long KOH has been in the top spot, but it’s been YEARS.

Is this the result of Cumulus pummeling the station? Or increased competition that Ross Perot’d their share? Will Sean Hannity’s move to KNEZ (107.3) cause further devastation next time around?

There isn’t much else to report since KNEZ and KKFT are not included in the rankings. I would love to hear other ideas about what’s happening with talk radio these days. Drop a comment or jump over to Facebook and comment (and like the page)!

A Modern-day Flood. Boo.

Previously on NevadaBrad.com: I lamented – but didn’t necessarily disapprove of – the fact that most of Nevada’s representatives are not from Nevada. After griping, I noticed that the horse was still moving so this is an attempt to give it a proper and final beating (settle down, it’s just a wild horse).

First, a quick recap: Only 36% of the Assembly were born in Nevada. Only 19% of the State Senate were born in Nevada. Quick enough? Good.

So, just another interesting note. The Republicans tend to be far more balanced when it comes to picking native Nevadans. The Republicans claim 40% natives with 60% outsiders.

What do you think the ratio is with the Democrats? The natives weigh in at 24% with 76% for the outsiders.

So, what does it mean? It’s tough to say. On the surface it seems that we’ve all but lost the state to a bunch of outsiders that do not have the best interest of Nevada at heart. Did these people flee to Nevada with the plan to overthrow a red state with a small population? I think that’s unlikely. As stated in my previous article, these people were fleeing the fruits of their labors. Someone else did to them the same thing they’re doing to us. The problem is that we’re running out of places to which we can flee.

The next logical question is this: What’s with all the outsiders in elected office? Is it because of the sheer abundance of transplants? Or because native Nevadans have a tendency to avoid office? Or is it because we’re so flush with outsiders that it’s a given that the population, now comprised of outsiders, will vote for these weaklike-minded candidates, which are also inevitably outsiders?

Here’s a few quick numbers to help you understand what we’re dealing with. The population of Nevada is currently about 2.76 million. In 2000 it was under 2 million. That’s a 38% increase in just a little more than a decade. Unless the people of Clark County were finally successful in their Lepus curpaeums-Homo sapiens cross-breeding experiments (Area 51 stuff), then it’s obvious that people are flooding into our state. Why? They long to be closer to their favorite gaming establishment? They want the freedom to visit the Circus Circus buffet when the craving strikes? It’s most likely because they enjoy sleeping in the shadow of the majestic Spring Mountains. Or it might just be the beautiful summer weather.

Roughly 2 million people now live in Clark County. That’s a 45% increase over their 2000 population of 1.38 million. In Washoe County we’ve seen a 26% increase from 340,000 (2000) to 430,000 currently.

Whatever it is, there’s some reason they came here. And they continue to come here. Whether it’s favorable business, tax, housing (or whatever) conditions, I’m skeptical that our current leadership will preserve the qualities that drew them here to begin with.

We’ve turned from a nice red color to kind of an ugly blueish-purple. Now that people are waking up to the problems on both sides of the aisle, perhaps we have a chance to take our state back. Many on the left are disgusted at the early settlers/pilgrims that “stole” land from the natives. Let’s hope that they feel similar disgust at the modern settlers that have stolen this land from the native-Nevadans. And they can go home and let us get back to harvesting wild horse meat to sell to the French.

The Great Radio Shake-up of 2013/2014

It’s a new year. A time for more nonsensical literary meanderings. I’ve disqualified myself from discussing the state of Reno radio on a couple of occasions, primarily because I don’t listen like I used to. I generally pedal to work for seven or eight months of the year and this definitely affects how I tune in to talk radio. That said, I’ve never let my lack of qualifications or knowledge get in the way so here we go!

When I originally started grunting about Reno talk radio the landscape was meh. There was one powerhouse (KOH) and a few others with negligible market share (KJFK, KBZZ and KKFT). KOH held a 10.2 share compared to a collective 4 for the other three stations. That was 2007. Things were exciting for a while until KKFT, which seemed poised to go into the ring with KOH, became so inconsistent that you hardly knew who was in their lineup from day to day. Add the fact that KKFT stopped participating in the Nielsen/Arbitron ratings and you see that there hasn’t been much to talk about.

Jump to 2013/2014 and we have a different story. Bill Manders, who moved from KOH to KKFT but then left to go to KNEZ, finally landed at Power Talk 96.7 in Fresno. KJFK was mercifully put out of its (and our) misery. Mike Huckabee’s show vanished into the ether. Of course, the big one is Sean Hannity’s move from KOH to KNEZ. Whoa! Seemingly out of nowhere, KNEZ ends up with Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Dave Ramsey. If you don’t think that’s a game changer then email me and tell me about your trip to Colorado.

So, in the tradition of previous posts, let me briefly share my uninteresting and uninformed opinion about each of the talkers.

KBZZ (1270 AM) – KBZZ always had a really weird lineup. They were a lot like a morning FM show that went all day long, all day, every day. But they had Savage for a while. You would think having Savage would affect their ratings but it didn’t seem to matter much. If anything it may have hurt them. About a year ago they switched to a sports format so they are officially off the radar. So long.

KJFK (1230 AM) – As previously noted, KJFK closed shop last year (March 18th according to their web page). Apparently a station cannot succeed if the audience is comprised solely of its own staff. They had a very stagnant share for as long as I watched them, averaging about 1.6 with a high and low of 2.4 and 1, respectively. They ended at 1.7. RIP.

KKOH (780AM) – I’ve gone from griping about KOH to feeling almost sad. Almost. KOH has had a rough time lately as their numbers show. As of the Spring 2013 review period KOH is sitting at 8.2, which is their all-time low since I’ve been keeping score. KOH is actually at risk of being overtaken by Sunny 106.9…Renoooo as the top station. KRNO 106.9 scored a 7.8, which puts them less than half a point away. Hannity’s move to KNEZ is certain to be a problem – he’s been replaced by the very mobile Michael Savage. The deal between Rush and Cumulus will be a lifesaver for the station. I think they were grooming Mike Huckabee to replace Rush, but when Cumulus realized that they were unable to advertise to a sleeping audience they pulled the plug on Huckabee. KOH is alive for now. And in position number one. For now.

KKFT (99.1 FM) – KKFT seems to be treading water. I’m still a member of their fan club, but I’m feeling a bit apathetic. Their lineup is solid: Laura Ingraham, Dennis Miller, Tom Sullivan, Lars Larsen, Andy Dean, Roger Hedgecock, George Noory… *breathe*. This is where I always get into trouble. Personally, I’d rather listen to Beck than Ingraham. I’d rather listen to Rush than Miller. I’d rather listen to Levin than Andy Dean. That said, Jerry Evans has put together a great schedule. It’s just not always my first choice. Except for Tom Sullivan and Lars, to whom I’ve definitely converted. In a Cumulus and Shamrock world, it’s great to have a local shop.

KNEZ (107.3 FM) – KNEZ is proving that they’re ready to play ball. Beck, Ramsey and Hannity are awesome. The station also has Sean Patrick and Rusty Humphries, both local favorites (even though Rusty joins us via his national show).  Travis Christensen almost reminds me of the old KOH-era Ira Hansen. I wish he had more airtime. For such a new station they’ve certainly shown that they want to be taken seriously.

The big win out of all this is the fantastic choice now available to the patriotic citizens of Northern Nevada. It seems like there is room for three great talk stations. Unfortunately, it seems like the turf wars will be an issue. I was disappointed when I heard Sean Patrick refer to 99.1 FM Talk as a “tinker toy station”. Seriously? C’mon. Competition is good, but nastiness serves no real purpose. KOH clearly has some issues to deal with. I’m sure KKFT and KNEZ do, too. If either of these stations rise to number one I’m sure we’ll see all their dirty laundry.

The numbers for Fall 2013 will be available next week. It will be interesting to see how things look. But not as interesting as the 2014 numbers when we begin to see the effect of the Hannity and Huckabee changes…

SB303 and the Great Representatives of Nevada!

First of all, let’s stop with this ridiculous “undocumented immigrant” tripe. While reporting about the “Driver Authorization Cards” I heard KRNV painfully and awkwardly report about “undocumented immigrants”. They’re not the only ones, though. If you want to see a headline, check out this one from KOLO TV: “Illegal Immigrants Are Now Legal Drivers”. Of course, they use the term “undocumented immigrants” in the story, but they get points for the headline.

I know what you’re thinking. “No human is illegal!” Sure. Whatever. Humans may not be illegal, but their actions are. If not, then burglars simply become “undocumented visitors”. Stalkers are simply performing “undocumented stakeouts”. Stolen goods come from “undocumented purchases”. There is nothing wrong with using your words to describe something. Especially when describing an “immigrant” that arrived in the country “illegally”.

Moving on! Today’s topic is not about how we describe people. It’s not even about SB303. Not really. I will say this. SB303 is a bad idea. If you want to have this discussion, then let’s directly address the topic of illegal immigration. Let’s talk deportation, amnesty or whatever. To dance around the issue with Matricula Consular cards and “Driver Authorization” cards is foolish. It’s like telling the burglar, “I know you’ve committed a crime and that’s wrong; however, we’re going to allow you to keep the stolen goods and enjoy them while we ignore the fact that you molested our property.” It’s a complicated issue with very valid arguments on both sides. But rather than deal with the issue, we’ve just kicked the can down the road. That’s what passes for leadership these days. But I disgress.

Do you know who represents you? What do you know about the leadership in Nevada? I’d like to use the Driver Authorization Card issue as an excuse to share a few facts.

How many in the Assembly and Senate are actually from Nevada?
Assembly: 15 of 42 (36%)
Senate: 4 of 21 (19%)

I have no problem with electing people from other states. Nevada is awesome so why wouldn’t they want to come here? I do have a bit of an issue with where our current representatives come from, though. They come from states that have destroyed themselves through progressive policies. States like California and New York. There are a few from Utah and Texas, but not many. To most of these politicians, Nevada is just a new girlfriend. Instead of realizing how amazing Nevada is, they go on and on about their old girlfriend and how great she was. They never stop to remember how rocky that relationship really was. This is just something to keep in mind during the next election. We should probably dump these bums and look for someone serious who is ready to commit instead of making us dress-up in their ex’s old clothes.

Moving on!

How did the Assembly and Senate vote on SB303?
Assembly: 100% Yea
Senate: 100% Yea

Assembly: 4 Yea, 9 Nay
Senate: 9 Yea, 1 Nay

There’s something I’ve wondered for a long time. The Republicans are the ones who are close-minded, right? Unwilling to reach across the aisle. Don’t even get me started on how racist they are! When was the last time every Republican voted for or against something and some of the Deomcrats joined them? Has it ever happened? And yet, Republicans are always fractured. The Democrats just toe the line while accusing Republicans of the very things they’re guilty of themselves.

There’s plenty of blame to go around. The Republicans need to start voting on principle instead of playing politics. Democrats need to stop being shills for the party of corruption and deceit.

Here’s a list of the members of Nevada’s Assembly and Senate, along with birth location and how they voted on SB303.

Nevada Assembly

Aizley, Paul (D): Yea (Boston, Massachusetts)
Anderson, Elliot (D): Yea (Marshfield, Wisconsin)
Anderson, Paul (R): Excused (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Benitez-Thompson, Teresa (D): Yea (Ventura, California)
Bobzien, David (D): Yea (Washington, D.C.)
Bustamante Adams, Irene (D): Yea (Hanford, California)
Carlton, Maggie (D): Yea (St. Louis, Missouri)
Carrillo, Richard (D): Yea (Belen, New Mexico)
Cohen, Lesley (D): Yea (New York City, New York)
Daly, Skip (D): Yea (Reno, Nevada)
Diaz, Olivia (D): Yea (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Dondero Loop, Marilyn (D): Yea (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Duncan, Wesley (R): Excused (Sonora, California)
Eisen, Andy (D): Yea (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Ellison, John (R): Nay (Elko, Nevada)
Fiore, Michele (R): Nay (Brooklyn, New York)
Flores, Lucy (D): Yea (Glendale, California)
Frierson, Jason (D): Yea (Los Angeles, California)
Grady, Tom (R): Nay (Tonopah, Nevada)
Hambrick, John (R): Nay (St. Paul, Minnesota)
Hansen, Ira (R): Nay (Reno, Nevada)
Hardy, Cresent (R): Yea (Mesquite, Nevada)
Healey, James (D): Yea (Stanford, California)
Hickey, Pat (R): Yea (Carson City, Nevada)
Hogan, Joseph (D): Yea (Fort Dodge, Iowa)
Horne, William (D): Yea (Wichita Falls, Texas)
Kirkpatrick, Marilyn (D): Yea (“Clark County, Nevada”)
Kirner, Randy (R): Nay (Los Angeles, California)
Livermore, Peter (R): Nay (New Orleans, Louisiana)
Martin, Andrew (D): Yea (Newark, New Jersey)
Munford, Harvey (D): Yea (Akron, Ohio)
Neal, Dina (D): Yea (North Las Vegas, Nevada)
Ohrenschall, James (D): Yea (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Oscarson, James (R): Nay (Ogden, Utah)
Pierce, Peggy (D): Excused (Milton, Massachusetts)
Spiegel, Ellen (D): Yea (New York City, New York)
Sprinkle, Michael (D): Yea (San Francisco, California)
Stewart, Lynn (R): Yea (Salt Lake City, Nevada)
Swank, Heidi (D): Yea (Prescott, Wisconsin)
Thompson, Tyrone (D): Yea (North Las Vegas, Nevada)
Wheeler, Jim (R): Nay (Los Angeles, California)
Woodbury, Melissa (R): Yea (Palo Alto, California)

Nevada Senate

Atkinson, Kelvin (D): Yea (Chicago, Illinois)
Brower, Greg (R): Yea (South Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
Cegavske, Barbara (R): Yea (Faribault, Minnesota)
Denis, Moises (D): Yea (Brooklyn, New York)
Ford, Aaron (D): Yea (Dallas, Texas)
Goicoechea, Pete (R): Yea (Salt Lake City, Utah)
Gustavson, Donald (R): Nay (Culver City, California)
Hammond, Scott (R): Yea (Syracuse, New York)
Hardy, Joseph (R): Yea (Reno, Nevada)
Hutchison, Mark (R): Yea (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Jones, Justin (D): Yea (Granada Hills, California)
Kieckhefer, Ben (R): Yea (Springfield, Illinois)
Kihuen, Ruben (D): Yea (Guadalajara, Mexico)
Manendo, Mark (D): Yea (Erie, Pennsylvania)
Parks, David (D): Yea (Boston, Massachusetts)
Roberson, Michael (R): Yea (Webb City, Missouri)
Segerblom, Tick (D): Yea (Boulder City, Nevada)
Settelmeyer, James (R): Yea (Carson City, Nevada)
Smith, Debbie (D): Yea (Tucson, Arizona)
Spearman, Pat (D): Yea (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Woodhouse, Joyce (D): Yea (Glendive, Montana)

It’s Pointed at You…What Do You Do?

Have you stopped to consider the danger you’re in every day? Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by loaded weapons. Almost everyone you know brings one to work. Even teenagers are taking them to school. In many cases kids have access to weapons that were provided to them by their parents. Weapons that are always aimed and ready to fire. Much of the time these weapons are pointed directly at you. With a finger on the trigger.

Does this bother you at all? It’s absolutely true. And I’m not talking about guns.

I thought about this recently as I was walking back from lunch. I stood on a street corner waiting to cross the street, which also happened to be the freeway off-ramp. The light was green for cars exiting the freeway and several passed within just a few feet of me while turning at the intersection. Having exited the freeway, many were still going quite fast. Standing less than the sidewalks width from passing cars, I could have been plowed. At that moment it occurred to me just how silly the gun debate has become.

Try this: The next time you have guests, call your teenager into the room and hand him a .45 and a box of ammo. Tell him to go out and have a good time with his friends. “Make sure you’re home by 10!” Try to imagine the reaction of your guests. I’ll bet you don’t need to try very hard. I’ll bet those same guests wouldn’t even blink if the same scene played out with a set of car keys instead of a gun.

What about bars? Nevada allows you to carry in places that serve alcohol, but some other states don’t. Why? We make a big deal about drinking and driving, but if we’re serious then why don’t we forbid people to bring a car to the bar? Arrest anyone who drives a car to a bar, assuming they are going to drink and drive.

There are a ton of web sites that compare vehicle and firearm fatalities. I’m sure you can find one that fits your beliefs nicely. I’m just curious about how we arrived where we are. How have we come to treat the car as a docile little friend while acting as though guns are some kind of demon that will magically start spraying bullets for no reason? They are both tools and can be used for good or ill. Statistically, though, the car is a murderous monster.

So, what do I do when I’m waiting on a street corner? Do I stand far back from the road to put as much distance between me and the car as possible? Do I hide behind the pole to create a barrier between me the cars? No, I exercise a little faith that the drivers are not going to kill me. I trust that they will respect the laws, which, in Nevada, frown on both driving on sidewalks and mowing down pedestrians. If I really become concerned, then I always have the option to get a car of my own to provide me with additional protection.

If you know what I mean.

107.3 KNEWS Officially Launched – Glenn Beck Returns to Reno!

As reported several weeks ago, there is indeed a new news talk station in the Reno market. Shamrock Communications launched 107.3 KNEWS last week and the lineup looks pretty good.

Here’s the official lineup (courtesy of our friend “Ben”): Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, Michael Smerconish, Sean Patrick, Rusty Humphries, Clark Howard, Neal Boortz and Overnight America.

So, I’m excited out of my gourd over the return of Glenn Beck. People who have emailed me wondering about the whereabouts of Sean Patrick will love to see his return opposite Bill Manders and Dan Mason.

I don’t see a web page or anything on Facebook yet, so make sure you listen to the station and tell your friends. If you have a business, make sure you throw some advertising dollars their way. It will be interesting to have three right-leaning stations in Reno. Best of luck to the new station!

Glenn Beck, Sean Patrick to Return to Reno Radio? Oh, Sweetness…

So, as I abandon local talk radio that’s when things start to become interesting. KOH, the previously uncontested champion, has been slowly slipping away. The acquisition by Cumulus did little to stanch the bleeding. In fact, Cumulus may be exacerbating the situation. Or they might even have caused the situation.

99.1 FM Talk was doing well, but after a while they started to look like someone in the dark waving their arms around looking for a light switch. The vision for the station seemed to dim. Then again, I’m still bitter that they stopped playing Glenn Beck.

Speaking of… rumor has it that Glenn Beck will be making a comeback to Reno radio as soon as next week! Details are slim, but he will be appearing on a new station located at 107.3 on the dial. For those who have inquired about Sean Patrick’s whereabouts, I understand he may also be part of the lineup. An official annoucement is said to be forthcoming.

So, how does this affect the ailing KKOH? Or the station that you want to love but you’re never sure you’re being loved back? I’m all for competition, but in this market it’s clear that all the stations need to step up their game. This is definitely something that I can get excited about…