To The Daily Sun,
It's back-to-school season. Teachers are going back to the classroom to discover a judicial hurricane hitting education.
A high-profile court case, Vergara vs. State of California, was heard, involving several minority students. The plaintiffs' suit claimed tenure and seniority rules established by teachers' unions violated their constitutional rights in receiving a quality education. The case grabbed the headlines, given its potential to set precedent nationwide.
A stream of witnesses took the stand backed by mountains of evidence and days of testimony by experts. The final verdict: the students won a victory of epic proportion that will impact education across the nation. Teachers' unions suffered another stunning and humiliating defeat. Ten more cases are being filed immediately in other states with the intention to eliminate tenure given its damage to the learning experience.
The evidence put forth was shocking. Even the judge commented he was taken aback by the sad history. One Los Angeles school district had spent millions of taxpayers' dollars in the quest to remove just a handful of poorly performing, tenured teachers. The argument was, all too often poor quality, tenured teachers make their way to the poorest quality school districts. The practical reality is, it is literally impossible to rid any school of any poor teachers given the time, cost and union stonewalling to defend them.
Teachers unions are bottomless money pits while school districts count every taxpayer penny. The school district plays David in every showdown against the teachers' billion-dollar, union Goliath.
There are so few teachers in this country removed for cause it is an absolute joke, all while national academic performance has deteriorated for years. We have let teachers' unions run roughshod over teacher quality and accountability in the classroom for the past quarter century. The recent court decision turns that tide. Teacher tenure is going to become as politically and socially incorrect as racism is.
In 1964 we further freed the blacks with the Civil Rights Act. In 2014 we freed the kids from the the horrors of tenure with the Vergara decision. Read my follow-up regarding what the public, parents and teachers think about tenure. You will become both informed, and shocked.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 08:11
To The Daily Sun,
I have had a home on Sawyer Lake for almost 50 years. I also had a home and a chain of flower shops in the Boston suburbs.
In 2008 Scott Brown ran for the U.S. Senate as a Republican. I worked for him. When he won we were all overjoyed. We, the conservative voters of Massachusetts, became distraught when we saw the way he voted, 75 percent with Obama, Barney Frank, Kelly Ayotte, and John McCain. I love America and I love New Hampshire, but we are at a tipping point of never being the "the shining city on the hill" again.
Brown is supported by George Soros and Michael Bloomberg, two beauties bent on destroying America. I am sure you know all this Mr. Editor.
The point I would like to make is that there are still many good people in the world like Sen. Bob Smith, who can straighten this mess out. He is a bulldog for God-given constitutional rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Bob Smith is a proven, principled, no-nonsense leader.
Please vote Tuesday, Sept. 9.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 08:08
There's a painful lesson to be learned for liberals, especially liberal Jews, from the hopefully concluded war in Gaza.
Most of my liberal friends desperately want to believe that the fact that Israel is subject to more criticism than almost any country in the world (including some very scary ones), that respected universities consider calls for boycotts, that student government slates (at UCLA) run and win on pledges not to accept travel from the Anti-Defamation League, that all of this and more has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it is a Jewish state, much less with anti-Semitism. No, it's not about holding Jews to a different standard; it's Israel.
Newsflash: Not so in this war.
Israel is not the "occupier" of Gaza. Israel did not build tunnels into Gaza.
Show me another country that would be castigated, as Israel has been, even in the American media, for protecting its citizens against terrorists who had secretly figured out how to infiltrate their towns and villages, who were sending rockets aimed at major population centers without even a pretense of targeting the military.
You know what the world would say if another country were the one taking on terrorists who have vowed to destroy us, as well. We would say thanks. We would say well done. We would be very glad that they were willing to send their soldiers into harm's way, that they were adept enough to target militants. Would the international media be castigating the country that first warned of impending attacks and then hit houses where the dead were pulled out carrying rifles to the cheers of the crowd? They would not.
How is it that Israel became the villain in a war it did not start, that was necessitated by self-defense, that cost needless lives because Hamas does not value the lives of its own people either?
One of my friends sent me an e-mail from an Israeli doctor whose team had saved the life of a Palestinian woman who had been burned by her own family (likely for straying beyond the proper limits for women).,She returned to Gaza and was encouraged to return to Israel for outpatient follow-up. She was stopped at the border, suicide bombs strapped to her body, on her way to her follow-up appointment in Israel. She planned to kill herself and those who had saved her life. Her family told her they would forgive her if she did.
This is why Israelis were overwhelmingly in support of this war. It is because it was a war of self-defense, part of the struggle for survival that we would like to believe is limited to the countries in the Middle East, but is built on hatred and hypocrisy that cannot so easily be cabined.
It is good that there is a ceasefire, good that families on both sides can sleep a little better and breathe a little easier, good that fewer lives may be lost in the short run. But we liberals cannot kid ourselves.
My mother saw anti-Semitism behind every corner and always urged me not to offend. I was determined to push back against those limits — when I was growing up, limits on who could live where and go to school where and even go fishing off of which dock — just like I was determined to push back on the limits imposed on women. No one's victim. Not me. We Jewish Americans have done very, very well and have much to be grateful for.
But blindness is more dangerous than paranoia.
It wasn't — it isn't — just about Israel.
(Susan Estrich is a professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California Law Center. A best-selling author, lawyer and politician, as well as a teacher, she first gained national prominence as national campaign manager for Dukakis for President in 1988.)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 08:04
To The Daily Sun,
I had been trying to run a clean campaign, I have been attending the selectboard meetings in my district on a regular basis, to ensure that if I do win in the primary and November, that I would be up to speed on what my constituents will be expecting of me down in Concord. I had been working on putting a fund-raiser together with the Republican Party as the sponsor, to benefit the C.A.R.E. Group, for I believe that is what we should be doing for our constituents.
C.A.R.E. Group stands for Citizens of Alexandria Rights Effort. Its mission statement is: Empowering residents of Alexandria, N.H. with a Community Bill of Rights which allows them to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the whole community (human and natural), by elevating community rights above the claimed "rights" of corporations; and a right to local self-government that cannot be preempted by the state. It is a non-profit corporation of resident volunteers organized in 2013 to help preserve the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the Newfound/Cardigan region. CARE Group provides education and information through local meetings, public events, mailings, and social media. This is a step in the right direction to keep Big Wind Power out of the region.
Instead, I find that I have to be on the defensive because of a so-called fellow Republican from the Free Town of Grafton, who wanders into Skip Reilly's gun shop in Bristol, the biggest gun shop in the Newfound area, to drop dirt on me that I'm anti-gun, anti-30-round clips, and who knows what else he could fashion with the help of the Democrats from Grafton.
But wait a minute, when I attended the Town of Grafton Selectboard meeting I was asked in front of a camera that was being operated by Jeremy Olson, the Democratic candidate for this district how I felt about 30-round clips and assault rifles. I told them, that if that is what it takes to go turkey hunting then maybe they need to learn how to shoot straight. I would never try to tell my SEAL team friends that they can't have any of these toys. The Second Amendment is what makes us Americans.
So how did this tape end up in the hands of the Republican candidate?
Mr. Hull you can go on running your dirty little campaign and drink the dirty water the Dems keep feeding you. Do you plan on carrying that dirty water with you to Concord? Is dirty water all that you have to bring to the table? We have enough of that bad non-team player politics your offering, long enough.
My constituents have had enough black-eye politicians. They are looking for leaders who, with understanding, will go to the Statehouse with honest, non-self-serving, hard work work for them, to ensure that their voices are heard, so they can live their lives without the anxiety of some corporation walking in and dropping an industrial wind farm in their back yard.
I need to win the case for the people in Alexandra. If they win, the whole of Newfound wins. I do not have time to entertain you Mr. Robert Hull. I'm too busy looking out for my constituents. This is how I'll run my campaign. We, the people have put up with your kind of BS politics long enough. I have good people in these surrounding communities that need more than what you have to offer. I'm going to see that they get it.
Eric T. Rottenecker
Republican Candidate, Grafton District 9
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 09:15
To The Daily Sun,
Many of the people I've been speaking to during this campaign have an impression of correctional officers as "brutal, corrupt, ignorant bullies" which is how they are typically portrayed in the movies. Frankly, I did, too. However, after visiting three jails I can say that my opinion has changed. The vast majority of the interactions I have witnessed between COs and inmates have been mutually respectful. The men and women who do these jobs seem driven by pride and compassion. Most understand, from their work experience, that humans fail and that a hand-up is what many need to be less likely to fail again. Of course, there are some inmates who will bite that hand, and officers have to be prepared for that. And, from what I've seen, they are.
There are the same number of officers working in the Belknap County House of Correction as there were 25 years ago even though the inmate population has increased substantially, and 90 percent, by some credible estimates, may be drug dependent or mentally ill. Everyone has to be flexible and pull together. The condition of the building has deteriorated substantially in the last two and a half decades and so the officers breathe the same stale air and work in the same rundown conditions as those in which the inmates live.
That this system works at all is a credit to the men and women who are on the front lines and to those in administration. Despite the overcrowding and under-staffing, which is why, for example, inmates no longer work the farm, these officers work together to confine and rehabilitate and return productive citizens back to our neighborhoods, while keeping everyone inside as safe as possible.
That does not mean, of course, that I think we need a $42 million jail. I don't know what the price tag should be yet, but I do believe that we need a jail that enables the job to be done effectively. Because, if it is, your children and mine will be safer for it.
Candidate for Belknap County Commission
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 09:09