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)!

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?
Democrats
Assembly: 100% Yea
Senate: 100% Yea

Republicans
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.

Reid Fundamentally Disconnected from LDS church and Nevada

Congratulations, Harry Reid. You’ve gone from being a lawyer to being a politician to being a really bad politician to being veritable scum of the earth.

Interestingly, Harry Reid recently decided that, as self-elected mouthpiece for the Mormon church, he has the obligation to spread lies and bear false witness against Mitt Romney. He also has declared that his understanding of the Gospel is superior to Mitt Romney’s understanding. According to Reid, Romney has “sullied the religion.

This coming from the man involved in real estate and other scandals. Plus, remember when the voting machines in Southern Nevada already had his name checked as people were voting? And then the unions used questionable tactics to boost the vote in Reid’s favor on election day?

Harry Reid is a bad person and is fundamentally disconnected from the people he is supposed to represent. Why do we keep electing him?

What’s more, where is the scandal with Mitt Romney? His scandals are all manufactured, unless you count the “47%” gaffe. His big scandal is that he dared to tell the truth? Surely an unpardonable sin in Washington. Reid knows he is lying when he continues to slander Romney, who is a decent man. Reid’s actions are disgusting.

Now that I’ve gotten the ranting off my chest, I would like to attempt to explain what Mormons really believe. I believe a convincing argument can be made in favor of Romney’s politics. The same argument will be damning to Reid’s tired old politics.

I’ve been trying to put some thoughts together on this topic for quite a while and Reid’s ongoing tantrum gives me an excuse. Watch for part II…

A Glorious State

The purpose of this blog is twofold. First, this blog allows me to express opinion that I dare not put on my family-friendly blog. Second, I plan to put together a fairly extensive collection of Nevada photographs. This includes scenery, structures, wildlife and more.

This is seemingly a poor combination – a nice resource mixed with my mindless ramblings; however, I am master of my domain (so to speak) and thus the ramblings will commence.

My main focus now is to get the stylesheets and links working to my satisfaction, so don’t expect much until that happens.