I am going to be posting a series of blog entries on my visit to the Nixon Library and Museum in Yorba Linda.
I knew that the Nixon Library since being taken over by the National Archives dealt more honestly with Watergate and other negative parts of his presidency but I was surprised with the Watergate exhibit. I expected that the exhibit would tell the story honestly while also blending interpretations more favorable to Richard Nixon in. But after touring the exhibit I came away more surprised at the levels of criminality and cynicism of the Nixon era. He did lasting damage to the credibility of our government.
I have been to three Presidential Libraries. So far the Nixon Library was the most negative and honest towards their subject.
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, which was first recorded to have been observed by Freedmen (freed enslaved southern blacks) in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865, at the Washington Race Course, to remember the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. Today, what is now known as Memorial Day, commemorates all U.S. Service Members who died while in military service. The recognition of the fallen victims was then enacted under the name Memorial Day by an organization of Union veterans -- the Grand Army of the Republic -- to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. Over time, it was extended after World War I to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.
Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the Civil War, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family get-togethers, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events such as the Indianapolis 500 auto race, held since 1911 on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
Memorial Day honors the fallen but we also honor the families of those that gave their lives in war.
The high cost of war is paid for by our armed forces and their families.
This Memorial Day I will remember the families that support our troops enables our military to keep going. Their sacrifices are tremendous. As our fighting forces are trying to keep us safe they continue to live each day with the people they love dearly far away.
As you do the routine tasks of your daily life gives thanks for the sacrifices paid for by military families. It may be a simple action like kissing your children goodnight but it is something many people will not be able to do.
Let us remember that military families are not done paying for our security when their military members return home. The transition of dealing with injuries, lost comrades, and trying to find work can be overwhelming.
Ventura County Star Reporter Timm Herdt has some early analysis on what redistricting might do to Ventura County. Simi Valley might be put in legislative districts with the San Fernando Valley instead of the rest of Ventura County.
If it becomes a Democratic leaning district I expect Gallegly will retire instead of campaigning to a new group of voters that don't align with his conservative ideology. Being that he doesn't hold open and scheduled townhall forums he doesn't seem to have the energy for a competitive election.
Here is the announcement from the Ventura County Democratic central Committee:
Ventura County Democratic Party Offers $1,000 Scholarship
The Ventura County Democratic Party is now seeking student applicants for its $1,000 Jack O'Connell scholarship.
Click on continue reading for more details.
My former student and current political science major at UCSB, Mike Gillooly is a previous winner. He has been blogging about his time as an intern in Wasgington DC. With his humility, work ethic, intellectual curiosity, and talents he has a promising future in politics. It is an honor to have been his teacher.
Please pass on this opportunity to some young people. With the cost of education going up this could help.
( UK Prime Minister David Cameron sharing that It Gets Better. I look forward to the day American conservatives join him.)
I like Eric Ingemunson's blog. I also find him to be a decent person. He mostly has a predictable conservative Republican opinion but sometimes he really surprises me. It is important that we learn from people we agree with and from those that challenge our views.
I am a huge fan of Reason Magazine and Christopher Hitchens. It is good for democracy for us to understand each other, even if we don't agree. I know that Eric feels the same way.
I was disappointed in Eric Ingemunson's recent blog post. It started with this offensive and misleading headline:
The headline would make you think Planned Parenthood was promoting the instruction of how to perform sexual acts. Instead they meant an inclusive discussion, as mandated by state law, of human sexuality.
Eric then has this quote from the article:
Furthermore, Planned Parenthood noted that "only six districts completely cover healthy image, which includes sexual orientation, gender roles, self-esteem, and positive body image."
Which he then adds this line of analysis:
It sounds like our schools aren't pandering to homosexuals enough.
Eric if you think high schools are too inclusive of young gay people I am not sure what to tell you.
High school can be a horrible time for many kids, especially gay kids. Young people can feel like they aren't accepted by their friends, family, and community. A common insult that is acceptable to many people is to call someone or something gay.
I know you were focusing your attention on the groups the Republican Party has been opposed to like Planned Parenthood. I know there are many extreme gay rights groups and I don't expect you to accept their agenda as I don't either. Most gay people don't attend gay pride parades just as most straight people don't go to Mardi Gras.
But how about we agree to post a few videos from the It Gets Better campaign?
The It Gets Better campaign is a grassroots idea to remind young people that life can get much better. The messages are especially poignant to young gay people but the message is true for young people trying to get through tough times because of other reasons too.
Good for the Rep. for holding out on the tax extensions. I think the school year should be extended but I also believe teachers and other public workers in general need to take pay cuts (like most of those in the private sector had to), pay more into their medical and pensions and frankly the pensions need to be reworked. Everyone needs to make sacrifices these days, not just those in the private sector. Everyone.
Your idea to cut pay, cut benefits, cut positions, increase class size, and extend the school year doesn't seem balanced.
I agree with you it is tough for people in the public sector AND private sector currently. As a teacher I can tell you we have already been dealing with cuts and class size increases. Our healthcare contributions went up and they are expected to go up again. Teachers have been laid off and retiring teachers aren't all being replaced. We had furlough days (pay cuts) this year. Teachers don't have the ability to spike their pensions. I don't know about other areas of the state but I don't recall any teachers retiring before they were in their sixties. The shocking stories of public employees retiring with huge pensions at an early age isn't happening with local teachers.
If teachers want to extend the current levels of taxes we should do a better job of telling voters what they are getting for their money and what the cost of cuts will be to our local schools.
Thanks for reading and commenting on my blog. I appreciate your feedback. If more people would express themselves without vitriol or vulgarity our nation would be better off.
For my readers that are tired of the homophobic and misogynistic comments that inevitably try to destroy any meaningful conversation you can also comment on my Facebook page for this blog. Because the identify of those commenting is well-known the level of discourse is much higher. Check out my conservative cousin and Ron Paul fans debate with more progressive readers.
My comment policy has been consistent. If you see a comment that crosses the line please send me an email and I will delete it. I don't always get a chance to read the comments on my blog everyday so I appreciate the help. I don't appreciate comments that ridicule people's appearances or use slurs.
It is sometimes hard to figure out when to delete comments because I want to allow for criticism of my ideas and a free flowing debate. As an example in a recent post I wrote on a Conservative leader arguing that Muslims are dumb because of inbreeding a local Republican activist posted that he agreed. If I delete that comment I remove the ability for others to see that this bigotry exists locally and I look like I am attempting to censor his views. But if I keep it posted then inevitably someone will insult them with trash talk.
Now Accepting Applications for Summer Internships in Assembly Member Gorell's Capitol and District Offices
The office of Assembly Member Jeff Gorell is now accepting applications for creative, hard-working interns. If you are a college or graduate student interested in broadening your knowledge of state and local government and exploring a career in public service, then you should apply.
Interns in Assemblyman Gorell's office will learn the inner workings of state government, gain firsthand experience in a District and/or State Capitol Legislative office, and provide assistance to families in California's 37th Assembly District.
Internships are currently available in both the Westlake Village District Office and the Sacramento Capitol Office. Part-time and full-time unpaid internships are available during the summer as well as throughout the school year.
Course credit for internships may be available through your college or university. Prospective interns should discuss academic credit eligibility and requirements with their academic advisor or campus coordinator.
Interns work with Assemblyman Gorell's professional staff on a variety of projects and are also assigned clerical tasks. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, preparing reports, researching specific issues and compiling information to respond to constituent inquiries, assisting with community outreach efforts, handling incoming mail, introductory communications work, media archiving and performing general office duties.
Applicants are asked to call (805) 230-9167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don't always agree with State Assembly Member Jeff Gorell but he is a decent man. Please pass on this information to people interested in getting a start in politics.
During the month of June I will be hosting a Words with Friends competition. Words with Friends is an online game played like Scrabble. If you would like to play post your name and screen name to be paired against an opponent.
The prize for the winner is glory on my blog.
I have been beaten by many people including GH, TC, and JL.
The school year needs to be longer. Many of America's toughest competitors have their students in school for more days a year than us. Los Angeles area Catholic schools are extending their school year.
I know that our local Republican legislators haven't shown any interest in any compromises that put the tax extensions on the ballot but they have an opportunity to reform education.
They have the ability to offer educational reforms including reforms to seniority and extending the school year.
I would support a compromise that extends the current levels of taxes in exchange for a longer school year and reforms to seniority.
As a teacher I am asking to do more work without a pay raise.
If you feel the same way please post a comment or contact your legislators.
It should be unacceptable if Republicans are not able to compromise to pass any reforms in these times. Spending cuts alone are not reforms. Tony Strickland, Cameron Smyth, and Jeff Gorell use this opportunity to pass lasting reforms!
In a post on my Facebook page for this blog I called the Republican plan to cut taxes and not cut education spending an imaginary budget.
State Senator Tony Strickland's staff sent me a couple of links to show they believe they have a serious plan to fix the budget with the current level of taxes reverting to earlier levels and without cutting education spending.
For a budget proposal to be realistic it needs to be able to attract majority support. I doubt this proposal could get enough Democratic votes to create a coalition with Republicans to pass it. What do you think?
On a related note arguing over what to call proposed tax extensions is interesting. Both sides feel that if their chosen words are used then they will win the budget battle. Democrats prefer to call them tax extensions and Republicans like to call them tax increases.
I figure if you are reading this blog you understand the basics of the debate enough that using either phrases isn't likely to change your mind. The tax increases are set to expire which means we will have a tax cut. Not that anyone is calling it a tax cut.
The question is if we should cut taxes from their current level, increase them, or keep them at their current level. One side wants to cut them and one side wants to keep them at the current level.
What side are you on?
Sidenote: I often disagree with the policies State Senator Tony Strickland supports but I do appreciate that he has a proactive staff and he does so many public events.
State Assembly Member Jeff Gorell has been deployed but his office is responding to teachers who have been rallying across the state against more education cuts.
His team claims they have a budget plan that doesn't increase taxes or cut public education more. Click on continue reading for the entire press release.
I am interested in what my education activist readers think of his proposal. I don't want to comment too much until some of them do on the merits of the idea but I have a few quick reactions.
If you want to say educators support your idea find some more educators to quote in your press release.
Ron LaGuardia has credibility as an educator because he has experience as a teacher. The other person quoted has served on the Republican Party Central Committee and is a party fundraiser. Their education experience is as a board member for the County Board of Education. There have been many proposals to eliminate the County Board of Education and I am open to the idea. He has insight on funding issues but I am confident Jeff Gorell can find someone more representative of classroom teachers to show he has support for his proposal.
Dan Adler is running as a Democrat in a special election primary in Los Angeles County. He has two strong opponents including Secretary of State Debra Bowen. To get attention for his campaign he has some rather unique ads.
Social Conservative leader Bryan Fischer is an anti-Muslim bigot. It isn't news that there are bigots in the world but it is strange how much influence they have with some voters. He is a leader of the American Family Association, a right wing group that helps organize Tea Party events.
I'm not a Muslim and this isn't about their religious beliefs.
But Bryan Fischer didn't say why he disagrees with their religious beliefs. Instead he said:
Barack Obama did a great job at The White House Correspondents Dinner. I really like him making fun of birthers. His line about Donald Trump now trying to find out where Tupac and Biggie are was hilarious.
I doubt our local Republican activists who continue to insist Barack Obama isn't eligible to be president enjoyed it much.
Congratulations to our forces, including our covert services and armed forces, for finally stopping him.
Great quote from President Barack Obama:
"Justice has been done," the president said.
I like this classy statement from President George W. Bush:
Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.
Classy statement from Speaker John Boehner:
"I also want to commend President Obama and his team, as well as President Bush, for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice," Boehner added.