CCUSD academic results

Will Wreight | Cave Creek

Apparently CCUSD administrators forgot to provide the complete data on the district to David Schaefer, CPA, before his recent Sonoran News letter to the editor, "Pimping for the truth." The district had not indicated to Mr. Schaefer the direct academic results of the K-3 override enacted several years ago.

In his letter to the editor, Mr. Schaefer appeared to judge the success or failure of any K-3 override on the basis of any changes in class size. Shouldn't he evaluate K-3 overrides on the more important paradigm of "improvements in academic test scores?"

In his profession, David Schaefer is undoubtedly a strong proponent of the "return on investment" concept. That is, is the organization getting the best return for its money? In a closer-to-home environment, district taxpayers also adhere to the same concept in their daily dealings both at work and in the home.

Let's look at the current situation: CCUSD, under the 2005 K-3 override, will have spent nearly $4 million, including the current school year, to fund various K-3 activities.

What has been the academic return on this taxpayer investment? Has there been any improvement in the academic test scores? NO! The Terra Nova test scores for the second and third grades in the 2006 and 2007 school years showed little improvement from year to year. And, this is despite the lowering of class sizes, additional instructional coaches, etc.

Will CCUSD now inform David Schaefer and the district voters what significant improvements K-3 students should experience in academic test scores with any future renewals of the K-3 override? CCUSD plans to again ask district voters to approve a K-3 override in 2009 despite the 54-46 percent rejection of a similar K-3 override earlier this month. Is this proposed action any surprise to district taxpayers?

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Santa outflanks the bureaucrats

Clint Bolick | Director, Goldwater Institute Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, Phoenix

Santa Claus will keep his appointment with millions of Arizona children this Christmas after narrowly dodging a bureaucratic barrage.

The opening salvo came from the Department of Employment Services, which cited Santa for failing to pay a minimum wage – or any wage – to his helpers. “Working for ‘the joy of it’,” the citation alleged, “is unlawful in Arizona.”

Next up was the Department of Environmental Quality, which complained that the “reindeer propulsion” that powers Santa’s sleigh is a severe pollutant that does not contain an appropriate fuel mix, nor does it appear on the Corporation Commission’s approved list of alternative energy sources. The department suggested mounting solar panels on the sleigh; but alas, they do not work at night.

Then, when Santa applied to the City of Phoenix for the requisite use permit, it was denied when he wrote “none” next to the amount of subsidy he was requesting. The city’s economic development director explained, “We don’t know how to process an application if it doesn’t ask for taxpayer dollars.”

Alerted to the possibility of illegal entry into the United States, the Sheriff announced he would deploy a posse to stop the marauding man in red. “Clever old coot is not only coming in from the north, but by air,” the Sheriff observed. “Good thing we have helicopters.”

The Sheriff’s response set off a jurisdictional feud with the Governor. “Just think of all the revenue we’ll bring in when Santa flies by our nifty radar cameras,” she exclaimed. “Bye-bye, budget deficit!”

The final blow came when the Department of Professional Standards refused to certify Santa’s lead reindeer, Rudolph, because his night-glow nose was not installed by a licensed electrician.

Faced with the unthinkable prospect of scores of disappointed children, Santa’s lawyers swung into action, seeking an injunction against all Arizona bureaucrats from squelching Christmas.

It was a pitched battle. The State cited the anti-gift clause of the Arizona Constitution as authority for its actions, but the court ruled that it only prohibits the government from impersonating Santa Claus.

Citing the Constitution’s preamble, which in the true spirit of Christmas expresses gratitude “to almighty God for our liberties,” the court granted the injunction and Christmas was saved.

At a North Pole news conference, St. Nick commended the court for “filling the stockings of overzealous bureaucrats with proverbial coal.” Arizonans are lucky, he added, to have a Constitution that protects the precious liberties of its citizens.

And that, along with Santa’s impending arrival, gives us a lot for which to be grateful this holiday season.

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No Auto Industry bailout

Ray Torres | Scottsdale

Government must stay out of the free marketplace, and let the less healthy U.S. auto manufacturers file bankruptcy, chapter 11. They’ll emerge a better company. Although not a pure comparison, the airlines went thru serious economic turmoil and massive restructuring.

Over that period, well-known airlines disappeared such as TWA, Eastern and Pan American.
And let us be reminded of Lee Iacocca, CEO of the Chrysler Corporation in the 1980’s. He went to the nation’s capitol and got a bailout way back then. It was approximately $1.2 billion loan guarantees, but he had a vision and a get-well plan. The corporation repaid the U.S. Government way early.

Fast forward to the recent congressional hearing, where auto executives were testifying about burning thru large sums of cash and made their case for a handout. Unfortunately the spectacle was that of executives flying to Washington D.C. in their corporate jets, which made their plea for a bailout less ingenious. It’s time the auto industry embarked on a different business model, and not more of the same. The executives know the basic tenets of cost restructuring such as eliminating excess such as corporate executive perquisites and layers of management, suspending bonuses, and limiting unions unwilling to negotiate concessions.

The order of the day is for the auto industry to survive on its own and avoid creating a new form of federalism. Emerge from the financial crisis with retooled and modernized factories equipped to produce more gas efficient automobiles, alternative fuel cars and introduce advanced electric cars.

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Don’t bailout U.S. automakers – untie them

Alex Epstein | Analyst, Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, focusing on business issues

Politicians across the spectrum are calling for an auto bailout, arguing that we cannot allow such large companies to fail.

If U.S. automakers cannot find a market fix for their problems, they must fail. They should go through bankruptcy proceedings so that creditors and owners can redeploy their assets as efficiently as possible.

Every day these companies remain in existence in their current form, they are destroying shareholder wealth and wasting worker effort. To preserve these companies with a bailout would be obscenely unfair. Every dollar of a bailout would come at the expense of those who did nothing to cause the auto mess.

There is one thing the government does owe the auto companies, however: freedom. For example, however the industry shakes out, automakers must be liberated from CAFE fuel economy laws that arbitrarily dictate what kind of cars they must sell, forcing them to sell millions of small cars that have no chance of profitability given consumer preferences. The auto industry must also be liberated from the Wagner Act, which gives unions the coercive negotiating power that railroaded the Big Three into their lavish, unprofitable wage and health plans. If a liberated Big Three can rejuvenate themselves, great; otherwise, a liberated next generation will be able to succeed where they failed.

Economic freedom is what created the American automotive industry and made it the envy of the world. Economic freedom is the only thing that can bring it back.

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Republican Loss

D. J. Negri | Anthem

To my fellow Republicans: We lost – get over it. To all Republican politicians, you lost your conservative ways, you let us down. Now it’s the Democrats chance to do the same thing but more so, get out of the way and let them do their thing. Give them enough rope and they will hang themselves when they follow through on their campaign promises.

Vote present, so that you are not implicated in any actions the Democrats take in the next two to four years. Do not be complicit; let them solve the problems of their own making – Freddie and Fannie. Let’s see what Barney Franks, Dodd and the rest of them do. For some reason they were able to convince the voting public that the Republicans bought on this financial mess that started by giving unqualified lenders mortgages. They received most of their campaign financing from the wheeler dealers on Wall Street.

I repeat – get out of the way and the silver lining will be that they will create such a mess in the next two years that they will not see the Congress, Senate or White House in the next 20 years.

Think about it!

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Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, Ruth V. McGregor

Lee Ewing | President, AFIC Tucson

Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth V. McGregor has conspired with the Hispanic Bar Association's letter of Sept. 12, 2008. In their request to eliminate the term (ILLEGAL ALIENS) and (Undocumented Worker) from Arizona Courthouses. The Chief Justice forwarded the letter to her Vice Judges, and stated she would circulate its context at the Oct. 21, 2008 meeting with other Judges.

The Appellate Courts, and Municipal are influenced by the direction of the Chief Justice. Many Arizona Courts are members of the Hispanic Bar Association causing a conflict of interest. The Commission on Judicial Conduct is located in the same building as the Chief Justice giving the appearance of Impropriety, and collusion. This fiasco is of the highest order of corruption by Mexican Illegal Aliens, and the Hispanic Bar Association.

Telephone calls have been made to the Chief Justice by angry citizens. Letters have been written, and many complaints filed with the Commission on Justice Conduct. A petition was signed and sent by certified mail to the Commission.

A Protest Rally against Chief Justice Ruth McGregor will be held outside the Supreme Court 1501 West Washington Street Wednesday Dec. 10, 2008 between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The General Public is invited to participate in the Rally. Sponsored by Arizonans for Immigration Control, and other groups.

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Stop whining

David Williams | Phoenix

I am a registered Independent. I did not vote for Barack Obama. That said, I find it both pathetic and tiring to hear the incredible amount of whining that is now emanating from the very section of the electorate who gave us the worst President since Jimmy Carter. Does it not occur to them (yourself included, Don) that it has been the increasing lean of the Republican Party to the Far Right that has driven so many people away from the party and its core values? The vast majority of this country does not want a person whose values are reflected by Sarah Palin. Ronald Reagan would not recognize the party today. As a result, the country has now swung to the left. Too far to the left, in my opinion.

Independents now make up 40 percent of the electorate. Every poll shows that it is because we are tired of the Far Right AND the Far Left. This "politics by marriage" mantra of "you have to be with me on EVERYTHING" won't work. There is no single person, nor is there a single party with all of the correct answers. It is time to realize that fact and to move towards the center on a few issues. That goes for Democrats, too, because the honeymoon with Obama will end very quickly when he starts banning guns and tossing around money for every social program under the Sun.

There's another Presidential election in four years and only two years until we have more congressional seats up for the taking. One can be center right or center left. We should recognize that both positions have merit and try to elect the best individuals for the jobs at hand. For starters, let's ditch the whining and see if we can all get involved in making this a better country.

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Wealth of citizens

Ed Konecnik | Flushing, New York

If all the wealth of the world was divided equally among all the people in the world, within days there would again be “rich” and “poor.”

The false premise that the wealth of citizens belongs to the government and may be redistributed at its discretion remains unquestioned, unchallenged and even accepted by many Americans. Liberal politicians with power to tax and spend at their discretion may feel an obligation and great debt to their fellow man and propose to pay off with your money; others may wish to “bail-out” their friends and business partners with loans, credit, rebates, tax credits, etc. In either case, it is not their money. The Constitution does not guarantee happiness nor does it provide for reimbursements.

Politicians would have us believe that an omnipotent government will benefit us all and enhance individual rights; this is as oxymoronic as you can get. This only fosters the delusion that we can all live at the expense of everybody else. Thomas Jefferson warned that a “government big enough to give you everything you want is strong enough to take everything you have.”

The power and control that comes with the “power of the purse” is immeasurable. Politicians know that if they “rob” Peter to pay Paul, Peter belonging to the upper 5 percent income bracket and Paul to the remaining 95 percent, they can count on the support of the Pauls.

The writer P.J. O’Rourke observed, “Giving money and power to the government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

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Obama flips off the American public

Bill Whedon | Lawson, Missouri

Supreme Court now involved

Barry Soetoro (formerly Barack Obama) is, in my considered opinion, an arrogant jackass, who figuratively flips off the entire country by simply ignoring the reasonable request to show that he is eligible to run for the office of President of the United States.

In the long result, McCain may also be found ineligible, but he stood up and showed his records without protest, and without alleged forgeries. The COLB on Barack's site and on the Dems' sites is, of course, laughable, and no proof at all.

Barry, we need to see that vault birth certificate from Kenya. Because you were not, according to your own gramma (seen on YouTube) and lots of other people including half-sibs, born in Hawaii.

It would throw the country into a real mess if the Supreme Court actually does have the cojones to demand proof (and most likely finds him ineligible), but it will be a bigger mess if we get an interloper and pretender usurping our highest office.

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