The most effective way for evil to advance its cause is by concealing its true aims behind a cloak of piety and moral righteousness.
Wishing You a Joyful Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year!
District 18 Democratic leaders sent three names to the governor for him to choose from to fill the state Senate seat left vacant by former Sen. Branden Durst. Ward-Engelking got the nod. Now her House seat is vacant. Interested applicants can follow this link and apply by Dec. 24: Click Here To Apply.
Congratulations to Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb for being elected to a leadership position in an organization that includes more than 1,700 women legislators. Read more.
Idaho's public lands mean many things to many people. One great memory in the Idaho woods for the IDP Chair is the annual Christmas tree hunt. Our GOP leaders are threatening these kinds of traditions in an underhanded move to sell off our public lands. Read more.
U.S. Senators Risch and Crapo voted in the minority this week to reject a budget deal and damage our nation's and our state's economies. Thankfully, we have independent newspapers in this state who are letting people know. Read more.
Better late than never. GOP Rep. Mark Patterson resigned this week. His supporters--U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, former House Speaker Lawerence Denney and House Majority Leader Mike Moyle--have stayed silent.
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I was disappointed to see the Press-Tribune editorial board on Sept. 18 question my motives for making a motion to save the Caldwell School district $10,000 per year by withdrawing our membership from the Idaho School Board Association.
Turning the editorial in to a partisan issue by using politically charged phrases such as “Skyving is one of the more liberal members of the school board and has run as a Democrat against John McGee,” the IPT claimed that I made my decision on a “rash” and “emotional” basis because I was known to oppose the parts of the defeated “Luna Laws” that the ISBA had helped usher back in using lobbyists paid for with tax dollars.
Had the editorial board members actually attended the school board meetings in question, they would have heard my complete statements. Yes, I was opposed to the “Luna Laws,” as were the majority of voters, and yes, the ISBA’s use of taxpayer dollars to nullify the will of the people did offend me.
They also would’ve heard me say that this action had: “awakened me to take a close look at what we are paying the ISBA and what we are getting in return” and that when I found we were paying $10,000 per year for services that we already receive through two law firms that we employ, I believed we could use that money for something that would actually benefit the kids.
As a trustee, I don’t see saving the Caldwell school district $10,000 as a “liberal” or “conservative” issue; I see it as common sense.
To further the irony, the reason the IPT gave for not endorsing my candidacy when I ran for state senate was that I opposed the state of Idaho borrowing $900 million and paying a whopping $50 million per year in interest for road construction. The IPT did not agree with me that we should “pay as we go” so as not to burden Idaho taxpayers with this huge debt and interest payments.
Being fiscally conservative seems too “liberal” a concept for them to accept.
And in true tag-team form, local educator Bob Solomon hopped in the ring today:
The IPT editorial board had no right to personally tar Caldwell School Board member Leif Skyving with those terrible words: “Democrat” and “liberal.” Had they reviewed the agendas for the last several months, they would realize that a long-planned policy decision was being made after strong debate.
Skyving pointed out that the ISBA “services” had not been used for over two years, that some of the “services” were duplicative, and that the $10,000 could be used for other pressing needs. Sounds rather conservative to me.
Then he proposed (what audacity!) that the board adopt “benchmarks” (it refused) by which to evaluate whether the board’s experience with the ISBA helped the citizens of Caldwell. Note: everything in education today is evaluated by benchmarks.
So in what way does it make sense for the IPT to attribute partisanship to a public servant, serving in a non-partisan office without remuneration, who questions excessive government expenses and insists on accountability? In the old days this was called “good government.”
For more information see facebook.com/ILikeLeif and be sure to support and vote for this terrific candidate for District 10!
Let's change it up a bit.
Here's a riddle for you to solve:
If you throw me from the window, I'll leave a grieving wife. Bring me back, but through the door, and you'll see someone giving life! What am I?
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My LiveJournal account was deleted by those bastard sonsuhbitches I HATE SO MUCH today. I am bereft of my dignity and ability to track my emotional states every day and continue a self narrative of my interior landscapes and who is hurting my feelings and who I am silly about.
My LiveJournal tribe, close internet names who share my interests in Disney Princess fan fiction, will be an aching void in my life now.
I don't think I'll start a new one with a new name, it could never be as magical or as sparkly.
Unicorns aren't fucking real. I know that now. I truly do.
Wayne Hoffman of the so called Idaho Freedom Foundation fired off a missive to Boise City officials asking them to shelf their bond proposal. The proposal asks the people of Boise to approve funding for a variety of things including the securing of open space in the foothills and improving public parks. Noting that democracy and freedom are not mutually exclusive, Emily Walton, of the Idaho Civic Engagement Project, fired back:
Why would someone who runs an organization dedicated to freedom and open government argue against people voting in decisions for their city?
Hoffman’s claim that Boiseans shouldn't get to vote on parks and open spaces because they’re just for “fun” demonstrates a lack of understanding when it comes Boise and the history of this city that we love.
Boiseans have invested in their city for 150 years. From the beautiful parks, foothills and a downtown we enjoy to the good schools and safe neighborhoods we cherish, we all know that a city of Boise’s caliber doesn't just spring up without investment and devotion. Since when did a guy from Nampa have so many opinions on how Boiseans should run their city?
Thereafter, IFF stooge and noted hack, Dusting Hurst threatened: “Emily Walton just picked a fight with Wayne Hoffman? This will not end well for Emily. Not at all.” Wayne Hoffman subsequently issued an ap-hollow-gy. Idaho is too great for bullies. read more »
Alas, my belligerent ways got the better of me. Facebook deigned to note my existence and takes umbrage at my name, insisting no one would actually name their child "Sisyphus". I'm hurt. Since I doubt very much that the Facebook behemoth has a minion devoted to discovering and deciding worthiness of participants, one must assume that I angered some ideologically rigid, arrested development wingnut with the truth, who then gathered up their negative emotions, ran off to their Facebook mommy, demanded and obtained censorship, thus achieving no victory, but satisfaction in fulfilling their ad hominem, with no one left to point out the fallacy.
At this point I can engage them and launch into yet another defense of pseudonymity and how it filled a vital role in accomplishing change in rigid and dogmatic environments throughout history in enabling the speaking of truth to power without recrimination. Indeed, our country's birth owes much to pseudonymous writers, the right to which was incorporated into the first amendment. Or I could point out that pseudonymous internet users actually improve a site's comment section. But we all know how that will turn out.
Being a Democrat in Idaho, I'm no stranger to quixotic endeavors, but there has to be an end game worthy of achievement. Given the multitude of assumed names which grace Facebook, commercial or otherwise, their stand is little short of hypocritical and certainly randomly erratic. But I'm fond of my subversive persona and loathe the idea of acquiescing to such arbitrary power and control. So I bide my time while mulling whether to die ignobly and permanently or rise like a Phoenix in another guise. I loved my community of friends and hope my existence enabled you to engage each other on a more personal level. Adieu. read more »
Wow, apparently Idaho First Lady Lori Otter didn't get taught the First Celebrity Rule of the Internet: DO NOT GO INTO THE COMMENTS!!!
Diana Ravitch posted an article nearly a month ago about the ongoing Republican war on teachers and education. When someone called Guv'ner Skinnyjeans' wife a dilettante, Miss Lori posted a punctuationally-and-grammatically-impaired rant, deploring teachers (shock!), educational blogs, and in trophy tradition, "mean people". She has run-on sentences, a ton of half-ellipses (I really can't complain, I abuse the shit out of three-dot ellipses), misspellings and leaves out the occasional word, all while lamely tooting her own horn as an English teacher. Beleaguered teachers and liberal grammar nazis will absolutely love this post. Be sure to check it out, but here's a taste:
...I am entitled to my opinion- don’t insult me by inferring that I only do what my husband wants me too.. hello- what century are you living in?..I have the right to support things in my profession that I think are good for it. It has always surprised and disappointed me that teachers or educational forums such as this accomplish little except allowing adults to say mean and unfounded comments, things which do not have to be defended or factually supported… Which I might add is something we would not want our students to do. So.. That’s all I have to say -I am a teacher, a very good one I might add, I am qualified to speak on education..just as much as all of you are and will continue to do so.. I am perfectly fine with disagreeing with points of view.. But really? Yes.. Nice matters. . Thanks.
"Yes.. Nice matters." I guess the question is whether it matters more than a systematic campaign of sabotaging the education of half a million of Idaho's kids or more before we re-embrace Idaho's progressive free-public-education origins.
Meanwhile, I suspect someone'll teach her that other little Celebrity Internet rule. It's likely happening today. Hell, even my ten-year-old surfs youtube enough to viscerally know that online comments are Where Intelligent Discussion Goes to Die.
I don't imagine I can write a better post than this. (But ... hooray! I remembered my password!)
by Travis Manning
Sen. Branden Durst’s recent op-ed critiquing Superintendent Luna’s “end around” the Idaho legislature, and his subsequent analysis of GOP political genealogy, has merit, especially as it relates to a newly minted news organization called Idaho Education News (IEN).
Funded by The Albertson Foundation, IEN started seven months ago in order to advance the school privatization agenda of Chairman Joe Scott. They bought the Boise State University name, where IEN is housed, simply by donating millions of dollars. Strategically, Albertson hired away established reporters Kevin Richert, Jennifer Swindell and Clark Corbin to do its messaging work, under the auspices of their new identity. Albertson uses the B.S.U. trademark as a PR gimmick to expedite credibility within Idaho.
Albertson and IEN blur the arena of ethical journalism, which situation is different from Boise State’s relationship with National Public Radio, where Boise State Public Radio, an NPR affiliate, is housed. In this case, NPR is an already-established news entity with decades-long experience and an international reputation for quality and unbiased reporting. IEN is far from achieving NPR’s status.
While I wouldn’t say IEN produces “pseudo journalism,” as Sen. Durst suggests, I will say they have work to do. If IEN is not careful, they will be seen as the propaganda arm of Scott and Albertson, much like IdahoReporter.com is seen as the propaganda machine of The Idaho Freedom Foundation and Executive Director Wayne Hoffman (and whomever else funds the IFF, as Hoffman refuses to publicly disclose its corporate master).
I queried Betsy Russell, president of the Capitol Correspondents Association, as to why IEN received full press credentials as an upstart news organization and IdahoReporter has not. Her response, that “All three of their reporters are B.S.U. employees. The grant from the Albertson Foundation went to B.S.U. No one involved with the operation is involved in lobbying, which is key to credentialing. That is why IdahoReporter.com doesn’t qualify; it is a lobbying organization headed by a registered lobbyist.”
In a recent IEN article, cross-published by the Idaho Press-Tribune on July 19 titled, “Nampa, Vallivue among districts chosen for Idaho Leads program,” such a disclosure was not placed. Whenever IEN reports on projects associated with The Albertson Foundation it is, essentially, reporting on itself. Not to disclose such a conflict of interest is entirely unethical. The Idaho Press-Tribune, and news outlets statewide, need to be cognizant.
While IEN does a decent job allowing for a diverse cadre of op-eds, they have much work to do regarding selection of news topics and the angle and trajectory from which they report on these topics.
IEN reporters tend to report fairly on education issues occurring within Idaho state government (legislature, Idaho state school board, Idaho Department of Education, and within a handful of school districts). However. Idaho’s public schools, teachers and students are doing amazing things, especially in the current political environment rife with policymakers who despise Idaho’s public school system, its teachers, and its outcomes. IEN needs desperately to broaden its content and reporting to include the many successes occurring within Idaho’s public schools – not just charter schools – both large and small, across the state, especially rural schools, and especially regarding traditionally underserved populations.
This bias towards charter schools and against public schools casts a long shadow across IEN’s early body of work.
Finally, IEN has not examined how the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is drafting many of Idaho’s so called education reform laws behind closed doors with legislators, lobbyists and politicians at the table – but not the public – which practice circumvents democracy.
Idaho Education News needs to report on the elephant in the room.
Travis Manning is executive director of The Common Sense Democracy Foundation of Idaho and can be reached at email@example.com.
temple pond holds coins
frog guards wish pennies, lazily
fat monk steals wishes, laughs
Idaho State Rep. Mat Erpelding will raise money for the Idaho Redside Foundation this August. He will attend to hike the nearly 1,000 mile Idaho Centennial Trail in 40 days. He hopes to raise money for a nonprofit cause. He is also attention to Idaho’s rural economies and the value of our public lands.
Did you know that in 2012 the Idaho Outdoor Recreation Industry reported $6.3 billion in sales? That compares to $7.7 billion in sales for Idaho’s crops and livestock. Everyone knows how important agriculture is to Idaho’s rural communities. Few understand that Idaho’s Outdoor Recreation Industry, which is heavily reliant on public lands,
has similar impact.
The Idaho’s Redside Foundation is a new organization that supports Idaho’s guiding and outfitting workers. These workers are often Idaho’s only ambassadors to visitors from out of state. Yet, this working population struggles with the ups and downs of seasonal work. Redside offers health care assistance, financial counseling, and much more to these adventurous, brave, and hearty workers.
Mat believes that Idaho’s rural communities benefit economically and socially from the commercial outdoor recreation industry, and that guiding and outfitting are integral to long-term economic wellbeing in Idaho. Therefore, Mat strongly believes in Redside’s mission to preserve the health and vitality of Idaho’s commercial guiding community.
Donate now to support Mat’s ambitious goal and spread awareness of The Redside Foundation:
A little more about Mat…
Mat is a co-owner of Experiential Adventures, which he founded in 2004. Experiential Adventures LLC specializes in leadership development, group facilitation, and teaching collaboration using experiential education as its foundation. EA has grown over the years to include clients such as the military, higher education institutions, and corporations seeking to improve their organizational culture.
Until December 2012, Mat was an instructor at the College of Western Idaho Dept. of Physical Education, specializing in training teachers to use experiential education in the classroom. Mat is an adjunct faculty member in the Leadership Studies Minor at Boise State University.Mat has also worked in the Division of Student Affairs at different colleges and universities including Boise State University, California State University, Chico, Evergreen State College, and Texas Tech University. Mat recently co-edited a textbook for outdoor leadership programs called Outdoor Program Administration.
In addition to being elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 2012, Mat has served as the Vice Chair of the Ada County Democrats, and was named “Activist of the Year” by the Idaho Democratic Party at the 2012 Frank Church Banquet. Mat understands the challenges faced by Idaho legislators. He worked hard to support the members of both the house and senate by organizing and preparing the 2012 Idaho Jobs and Opportunity Blueprint during the legislative
session. He has pledged to devote much of his career to public service to help build sustainable urban and rural communities in Idaho.
Studies Minor at Boise State University. Mat has also worked in the Division of Student Affairs at different colleges and universities including Boise State University, California State University, Chico, Evergreen State College, and Texas Tech University. Mat recently co-edited a textbook for outdoor leadership programs called Outdoor Program Administration.
He is the Past President of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE), and in 2006 was awarded the Jim Rennie Leadership Award for outstanding service and dedication to the Association. In 2010, Mat was awarded the Wilderness Education Association’s Instructor of the year for bringing innovative and substantial curriculum improvements to the organization. He ranks among the Idaho Business Review’s “40 Most Accomplished Under 40.”
As a high-altitude mountain guide, Mat has reached the 20,320 ft summit of Denali (Mt. McKinley) in four out of five attempts while helping more than twenty clients reach the top as well. Mat approaches mountaineering much as Willi Unsoeld did as a member of the first American Everest expedition in 1963. Willi said, “The final test for me of the legitimacy of the [mountaineering] experience is ‘How well does your experience of the sacred in nature enable you to cope more effectively with the problems of mankind when you come back to the city?’” Mat’s passion for wilderness has shaped his belief that civic engagement is essential to living in our community.
In addition to being elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 2012, Mat has served as the Vice Chair of the Ada County Democrats, and was named “Activist of the Year” by the Idaho Democratic Party at the 2012 Frank Church Banquet. Mat understands the challenges faced by Idaho legislators. He worked hard to support the members of both the house and senate by organizing and preparing the 2012 Idaho Jobs and Opportunity Blueprint during the legislative session. He has pledged to devote much of his career to public service to help build sustainable urban and rural communities in Idaho.
For all the Idaho Political junkies, The Idaho Blue Book, published by the Idaho Secretary of State, is the starting place for any research on state government, with biographical information of all state and county office holders, stats and historical information for all state institutions, and pictures suitable for meme-ing. Of interest in this latest edition is the dedication to three stalwarts in advocacy for Human Rights in Idaho, Bill Wassmuth, Tony Stewart, and Norman Gissel, who organized and confronted the Aryan Nations in North Idaho. Take some time to read this great dedication and kudos to Ben for honoring these great Idahoans while working with a Governor who attempted to dismantle the Idaho Human Rights Commission. read more »
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