Friday, March 30, 2012

Trayvon Martin Part V

The tragic murder of Trayvon Martin has certainly brought the race issue to the forefront.  If we were all alike, life would surely be boring and we’d find that our viewpoints would be so limited and life would surely progress slowly and nothing would be new and interesting. 
The people who are different from me do not, and cannot, injure me in any way.  In fact their differences add much to my life.
I love people who are different from me.  I find them interesting and productive and able to broaden my perspective.  I cannot imagine disliking any person or group simply because they are different. 
If you find you have negative feelings toward any person or group because of their race, background, religion or political views and you believe they are inferior to you simply because of those factors, you had better take a look at yourself.  You may find that it is you who is inferior, it is you who cannot compete and it is you who have caused your own failures in the various endeavors you attempted. 
Look inside it may scare you to death.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Trayvon Martin Part IV

The tragic murder of Trayvon Martin has certainly brought the race issue to the forefront.  I am sure I have prejudices.  But the thing is they have little or no control of my feelings and certainly not the way I treat and feel about other people regardless of the differences between us. 
I grew up in a household where no bigot joke was ever told and no person different from my family was ever mistreated. 
My grandfather and two of my great grandfathers were ministers.  They didn’t preach to me about bigotry because bigotry had no place in our lives.  We never saw color or any other difference between people with whom we dealt. 
I take no pride nor do I want to be recognized for my lack of bigotry.  I will tell you this – it makes my life much better and it has allowed me to make friends and business associates with a great number of people whose views, color, background and upbringing are far different from mine.  Each of these people who have been different from me has brought much to my life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Trayvon Martin Part III

The tragic murder of Trayvon Martin has certainly brought the race issue to the forefront. The killing of Trayvon Martin speaks volumes of the weakness of human beings – each and every one of us.  A lunatic who did this can never be sufficiently punished to make things right.

Trayvon’s parents and his immediate family and friends plus the students and other youngsters with whom Trayvon dealt have had their own lives changed forever.

Everyone should examine his or her own feelings and attitudes.  You should honestly assess how you feel about people who are different from you and if you feel any hatred at all, you need to make a concerted effort not only to control those feelings but to change them.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Trayvon Martin Part II

The tragic murder of Trayvon Martin has certainly brought the race issue to the forefront. The murder of Trayvon Martin shocked me. But after I started to think about this atrocity, I came to the conclusion that while we can be horrified, sickened, disgusted and outraged, we should not be surprised.

Bigotry and other types of hate that often lead to violence are a part of human beings. 

If you think we have made substantial improvements in our lives in dealing with bigotry during the past 60 years, you are right. But most of the improvements relate to making our lives safer, not to adequately teaching us that we need to help and support each other.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Trayvon Martin

The tragic murder of Trayvon Martin has certainly brought the race issue to the forefront.  There will always be bigots - many, many bigots.  I’ll bet that if you test all Americans you’d find that the percentage of American bigots has not appreciably changed in the last 200 years. 

The only substantial change in this American society to control bigotry is the change in federal law to punish those who turn their hatred into acts of violence.

If you think we don’t need even more legislation to deal with the violent results of bigotry, you are wrong. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sarah Palin / "Game Change"

I have seen arrogant people in my lifetime but I have never seen anyone more arrogant than Sarah Palin.

If you watched “Game Change,” a sad but terrifying look at this delusional woman who, with no education, no experience and no training that had any relationship to the vice presidency of the United States, you laugh, then you become sad, then terrified, then insulted and horrified that the Republican Party ever supported her vice presidential bid.

Folks – we dodged a bullet and did so without ever seeing it coming.


#CSN could benefit from substantial changes to the state’s funding of higher education.  In many other states local communities contribute tax dollars to fund community colleges.  Nevada is in the minority in having only state dollars support our community colleges.  A number of state leaders have asked why our counties are not contributing to their source of trained workers, but so far no one has laid out a comprehensive plan for adopting this type of funding model. Of course there will be resistance by county governments, which are also experiencing severe budget shortfalls; but there are other issues involved apart from convincing counties to shoulder this new responsibility.  According to the Nevada Constitution the state shall have a higher education system governed by a Board of Regents.  Will the state have to amend its constitution? Or can the Board of Regents delegate some governing tasks to the counties without abdicating its constitutional role?  And how much would each county be expected to contribute toward funding a local community college?  With less than a year left from the start of the 2013 legislative session, now is the time to discuss and vet these questions.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Game Change"

Did you watch “Game Change” on HBO?  If you didn’t, you should.  It will show you how this country came close to electing Sarah Palin as its vice president, which, should McCain have died during his presidency, would have made this arrogant delusional idiot our president.

When you listen to her struggle to comprehend any and all of this country’s problems, much less the world problems, you will sit there in utter amazement that the Republican party could ever have nominated her to be vice president of the United States.

CSN's Funding

The Interim Funding of Higher Education Committee is  reviewing the current formula for allocating state resources to the Nevada System of Higher Education.  The committee has hired a consultant to look at comparable state funding systems as well as a proposal from NSHE officials.  In August the Committee will make a recommendation to either revise the current funding formula or adopt a new funding approach.  The NSHE proposal only allocates state funds  and assumes that each institution will retain student fees and tuition.  Under the NSHE funding matrix universities receive extra state funding to support their research mission while rural and small institutions receive extra state funding to cover operating costs.  Surprisingly, the institution with the most students and with the most recognized underfunding, CSN, is slated to receive no extra state allocation.  While it is possible that CSN can survive on a small state subsidy along with student fees and tuition, why should current CSN students pay not only the lion’s share of their own higher education costs, but also make up for twenty years of past underfunding?  It is a well-documented fact that many CSN students are lower income and struggling to make ends meet.  And it should be noted that these students are doing exactly what state leaders have urged them to do: pull themselves up by their bootstraps to take care of  themselves.  Why then deny them the same support students at other institution will receive?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Political Disaster

Do you remember your student council at your high school?  It had nothing to do, did nothing and was nothing more than a popularity contest.  Its 16, 17 and 18 year old members had neither the experience nor knowledge to make any decisions that affected their education.  In fact, the council never gave one thought to the quality of education at their schools.

Sarah Palin is the political disaster that fortunately never happened to this country.  She has just enough charm, good looks and speaking abilities to win a seat on her high school student council.  But had she been a member of a high school student council her political career should have ended after she left high school.  Palin has no talent, intellect or understanding to qualify her to run for any major public office.

The people of Alaska are fortunate she remained governor for only half her term.

More About CSN

The Nevada System of Higher Education has three types of institutions: Universities, a State College, and Community Colleges.  The Universities engage in research and teaching in the areas of B.A. and graduate degrees.  The State College focuses on a few high demand B.A. degrees, while the Community Colleges provide basic higher education access to all Nevadans.  This includes access to job training, associates degrees, and course work for students transferring to universities. Part and parcel of the access mission is keeping tuition and fees lower in comparison with other institutions; but at CSN, over the past four years, fees and tuition have repeatedly gone up while class sections and student services haven’t sufficiently met demand.  It is paramount then that any new funding formula address the community college access mission to keep current conditions from becoming the new status quo.  Unfortunately, the Nevada System of Higher Education funding proposal says nothing about access; instead it relegates most community college classes into the lowest funding category.  As the largest NSHE institution, CSN shouldn’t be relegated to a ‘self-sustaining’ category when other institutions are slated to receive state subsidies for buildings, research, and upper division classes.  Every Nevada citizen should receive equal help in becoming productive citizens and self-sufficient workers. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Governing This Country

I voted for Barack Obama.  But had Obama lost to John McCain I would not have lost any sleep worrying about this country’s future.  McCain is highly intelligent, morally sound and a person of good judgment who would have been an effective and productive president even if he and I differed on the importance of some issues or how policy was put into effect to deal with those issues.

I look at people like Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle.  Palin was a heartbeat away from the presidency had McCain been elected, and Angle would have taken the place of Nevada’s powerful and sound thinking U.S. Senator.  Those possibilities should make every one of you shudder – and if this doesn’t make you shudder, you ought to rethink your approach to governing this country.

CSN's Underfunding

#CSN faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to help students successfully achieve their educational goals.  And they have done so under unreasonable funding conditions. This is not just a perception; the Nevada legislature has repeatedly recognized this as a fact.  In June of 2008 then Vice Chancellor Daniel Klaich and CSN President Mike Richards co-wrote a memo formally recognizing CSN’s historic underfunding and vowed to pursue equity payments from the legislature.  Both men followed up with their promise during the 2009 legislative session and more than a few legislators responded by finding extra money for CSN despite bad economic conditions.  Many of the same legislators again came to CSN’s aid in the 2011 legislative session and provided another infusion of equity funding. But until now
nothing of substance has been done to correct the underlying problems that lead to the underfunding. Currently an interim legislative committee is studying Nevada’s higher education funding formula and will either recommend that the formula be revised or replaced.  NSHE officials have proposed a new funding plan, but this proposal does not include any language on CSN’s underfunding nor does it specially ask that the legislature rectify its neglect of CSN’s students, faculty, and staff.  Hopefully, as committee members review options for funding higher education, they will see fit to put CSN on a new course in which students, faculty, and staff receive the resources needed to be successful.

Monday, March 19, 2012


I am a liberal.  I make no excuses for that, nor do I believe I am obligated to defend my position.  I do not believe that I am always right.  I also have the greatest respect for the leading conservatives in this country.  Agree with them or not, their philosophies have been sound, constructive and productive for the last 40 years I have followed their endeavors.

The issue is not the liberal view versus the conservative view.  The issue is how the lunatic and intellectually bankrupt group that calls itself conservatives has been able to kidnap and hold for ransom the Republican Party and totally destroy its heritage of sound and logical thinking.

The political successes of intellectually bankrupt people like Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin should scare all of you.  Fortunately neither one of these idiots, who has no understanding of conservatism, does not understand any of this country’s problems, and certainly has no capacity to solve those problems, has done nothing more than take this nation’s focus away from supporting people in their own party who could keep this country going forward.