By Gary Haycox
This article appears in the Americans for Prosperity Website for Oregon. As we are partnered with AFP Oregon I provide the full text with Gary’s permission. But it is available for viewing at:
- Oregon 9/12 Webmaster
Argument Against Passage of Beaverton Schools Local Option Levy
Argument in Opposition to Measure 34-204 Beaverton Schools Local Option Levy Preventing Classroom, Teaching Position Cuts
By Gary Haycox
Well, here we are once again faced with a difficult decision, our education system is in crisis, impacting our schools by cutting funding, translating into teacher headcount cuts and increased class size. We have constant reminders of the PERS problem, its’ structural flaws and effect on school budgets. PERS is like a black hole sucking every dollar into the gravity well. Our legislature and Governor, well aware of the impact on current operating budgets for education and other services, had the chance to take bold and aggressive steps to mitigate these effects. But, instead they chose the “politically safe” route and passed the PERS-lite bill. PERS-lite does provide for some relief, but only to stem some of the budgetary “bleeding”, however PERS-lite does nothing longterm other than to “kick the can” down the road; considering the “black hole” metaphor,it just adds more mass to the dollar sucking vortex.
The Beaverton School Districts’ response to the current funding cuts is to ask the taxpayers for an increase in property taxes via a special election to provide more funding into the Beaverton K-12 schools. Unfortunately for the voters the Beaverton Option Levy, Measure 34-204, does not have an “Argument in Opposition” included within the voters’ pamphlet. The process for getting content into the pamphlet requires a submission within a 5-day window after becoming aware of a measure or initiative. Often the announcement goes unnoticed thus benefiting the campaign for the initiative; I will leave this issue to the voters to voice their concern to their election officials.
For this special election, and certainly for all of our elections, it is vitally important for the voters to be fully informed, “An informed voter is the best voter.” With this in mind it is important for the voters to have access to appropriate information, to understand the issues, concerns and alternatives assuring a balanced and effective (pro’s and con’s) decision. Intending to provide more information, I am providing an Argument in Opposition. Not in opposition to better schools or smaller class sizes; not in opposition to fully funded and happy teachers, but rather in opposition to the idea of throwing money at the funding problem without a full understanding of the budget. It is common sense to ask questions about how money is currently being spent? What are the priorities? What are the trade-offs, and what compromises are being made before making a decision to increase funding? Do we have a “leaking bucket” such that putting more into the bucket just continues to leak money out? Or do we ask or demand that the “leaks” are fixed before we put more money in? I believe it is the prudent and right thing to do is to ask the tough questions, consider effective solutions to mitigate existing problems and to implement known crisis management solutions. This process should be done before turning to the taxpayer for more funding. This may be painful in the short-term, but will make for better, more effective and sustainable long-term solutions.
When examining the Beaverton School District budget, which is 390 pages of budgetary complexity, one will find many areas in the budget which are questionable and makes one wonder, “hmm, there seems to be many areas of expense that seem out of line, or not aligned to reasonable benchmarks or not comparable to private sector standards.” The total BSD budget for 2012-1 is $466M of which $304M is targeted for the General Fund or the Operational budget (e.g. Instructional Budget). Beaverton has close to 40,000 students, so this translates into $11,600K per student in total. Understand, according to The Cascade Policy Institute report, Oregon’s Real Education Spending has Quadrupled Since 1957
1. From the report, “using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Consumer
Price Index Calculator, Oregon’s per student spending in 1957 dollars is the equivalent of about $2,919 in today’s dollars.” So, considering this a 400% increase in per student funding, are we really getting our money’s worth? Why should we throw even more money at the educational system without a very critical review of our current practices and ask the tough questions as to what can be done differently to make better use of our money and more importantly, How do we do a better job of educating our children? The private sector uses various methods for achieving continuous improvement through total quality management and Six Sigma processes, to stay competitive in the market place.
Private sector businesses use these processes to strive for improved efficiency and quality into their products and services. We need to call on this experience, from the outside, to utilize private sector best practices toward Education Reform. These best-known methods and management practices will provide efficacious long-term solutions and will help to get out from under these short-term crisis situations.
Additionally as fuel for thought, we have an education system that is often represented as a three-legged-stool, the legs being Students, Parents and Teachers. To date, all of these constituents have been asked to “pay their fair share” or provide “shared sacrifice” in dealing with the budget deficit. However, there is one group that seems to sidestep “shared sacrifice” contributions, and that group being the union. Beaverton has about 4,000 staff paying approximately $4M annually in union dues. I propose the union participate in a “shared sacrifice” contribution by making a magnanimous offer of a one year “dues holiday”. This would allow the money to be applied to fund up to 40 teachers thus relieving teacher-student ratio pressures and to reduce class size. Wouldn’t this be a welcome benefit by all community stakeholders? After all it is “for the children”.
In conclusion, before making a decision to throw additional money at a crisis, please demand more critical thinking and analysis through the lens of reform, and for long-term solutions to fix structural problems take priority over short-term Band-Aid approaches. Our children, grandchildren and posterity depend real solutions for education and budgetary reform; the “can kicking” and “Band-Aid” patches are only a façade covering up the problem(s), doing nothing but to continue the path of diminishing returns and outcome.
Father, Grandfather and concerned citizen
For Immediate Release
May 13, 2013
Contact: Yvonne Donnelly
Cell Phone: 585-478-2513
9/12 Project will not be distracted!
Since their inception, many 9/12 groups have been singled out and received a letter from the IRS trying to silence their voice. It was clear to us early on that our organization was being scrutinized due to implied affiliation with Glenn Beck and patriot organizations.
The 9/12 Project was founded on principles and the idea of standing together and to show that you are not alone. It is in principle that we objected to the obvious overreach of federal agencies beyond its authority. It is our groups spirit of personal responsibility and accountability that many of the 912 groups made a principled stance against the IRS early on and demonstrated to an overreaching administration that WE SURROUND THEM.
We are proud of the thousands of individual citizens that stood up to the tyranny of the IRS and would not comply to their demands but made a principled stance. With the recent revelations from IRS officials, as being reported in the press, we feel they were warranted in their original concerns that they were unfairly targeted and just in their actions.
Yvonne Donnelly National Chair for the 9/12 Project said “We will not permit this to become a distraction and will remain focused on our core mission of inspiring individuals and groups to connect with their communities through education, service and dedication to our 9 Principles and 12 Values. We will accept IRS apology as being less than appropriate and timing suspect. We believe applications of 9/12 groups specifically were targeted and coordinated and people should be held accountable.”
Eric Wilson, National 9/12 Co-Chair and director of the Kentucky 912 had these addition comments- “while this is a victory for free speech and liberty in regards to the IRS recent apology, we still believe there are many unanswered questions the IRS and administration should still be forced to respond too.”
The 9/12 Project operates a civic organization for the purpose of charity, education, and recreational purposes. Their mission is to inspire individuals and groups to connect with their communities through education, service and dedication to our 9 Principles and 12 Values.”
For more information about The 9/12 Project, please visit their website at
# # # #
If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with:
Yvonne Donnelly (National Chair 9/12 Project) at 585-478-2513
With the unprecedented assault we are now witnessing on our rights as American citizens to bear arms I want to explain why our Founders felt the second amendment was and is, of paramount importance. It was not written into law for sport and neither was it written to protect hunters. Its sole purpose was and is to give American citizens the means to protect themselves from a tyrannical government and anyone threatening their life, liberty or property.
The understanding and acknowledgment of the original intent of the second amendment is rarely discussed because most all liberal thinkers will not accept the fact that our government would ever think of acting against, or imposing control over citizens against their will. They ignore history.
There are many cases of our government acting outside the Constitution such as illegally seizing property, but now we face a much greater threat from drones being flown over private property and a president who will not answer the simple question, “will you kill Americans on American soil if you deem them to be enemy combatants?”
A number of American citizens on foreign soil have been targeted and killed by drone strikes along with other people who were simply “collateral damage”. This is in violation of our Constitution. I’m sure that most Americans would agree that any man who takes up arms against America in war is the enemy, but what of their Constitution rights? We cannot sidestep them.
So let me lay out a scenario for you. The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) decides that if a citizen is storing food, has purchased a thousand rounds of ammunition and has contributed in the past to a Ron Paul campaign, he fits the profile of a potential “domestic terrorist”. These are just a few of the things listed on the DHS memo as indicators to be considered when determining if there is a potential threat. So now, is it too far to travel in one’s mind that law abiding citizens could end up classified as domestic terrorists? After all, Senator Kennedy was put on the government’s secret “No Fly” list…
Many like me understand that the DHS is operating outside of the Constitution but many others have turned a blind eye to this for fear of their safety. I would like to remind these people that a very wise Benjamin Franklin once wrote; “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” We and our elected representatives should be asking and demanding answers as to why the DHS has purchased 1.6 Billion rounds of ammunition!
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
The fourth amendment reads: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
We are now seeing bills being brought to the floors of State governments calling for home inspections by police to verify if firearm owners are securing their weapons properly. Several State representatives have called for confiscation of all guns, while the cry for universal background checks is defining.
The Constitutional bottom line is that the government has no business knowing what arms or how many you own. This violates the essence of the second amendment. Background checks are used to keep track of all citizens who purchase weapons, I say this is unconstitutional. What protection does this give American citizens from the government that they themselves instituted with purposely limited powers?
If the citizens want background checks the only Constitutional method is to keep an updated list of felons and people who have been clinically diagnosed with mental illness which the seller of a firearm can check without submitting a citizen’s personal information to the federal government. According to the FBI Vermont has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation and you can legally carry concealed with no permit. This is the way it should be, the Constitution IS your permit, it gives you the right.
The question for the ages is will we demand that our president and the government, by the people and for the people, stand down and operate within the bounds of the Constitution, or will we as nations have in the past, repeat history once again?
On the 22nd of February 2013 Democrats in the Oregon House introduced House Bill 3200. Seven Senators joined with eight House Representatives to introduce a sweeping ban on virtually all modern firearms, required registration and in home inspections.
You can find the bill here; Oregon Firearms Federation – Massive gun ban introduced
Below are the names and phone numbers of these Senators and Representatives please call and email them to let them know they swore to uphold the Constitution, not trample on it… If your Senator and or Representative is not on the list, then call them to find out where they stand and let them know where YOU stand.
“Unite or Die” - Not to act, is to act…
MONNES ANDERSON, 503-986-1725
STEINER HAYWARD, 503-986-1715
From Lenin to Gramsci
The left is very adept at heaping adulation on its heroes. An exception seems to be the case of Antonio Gramsci. The answer to the puzzle may be because Gramsci made Leninism obsolete.
Born in 1891 on the island of Sardinia, Gramsci went on to study philosophy and history at the University of Turin. He soon became a dedicated Marxist. Upon the appointment of Benito Mussolini to power, Gramsci departed for Lenin’s newly fashioned USSR. Soviet Russia was not what he had expected.
Life in Communist Russia exhibited little evidence of any deeply felt love on the part of the workers for the “paradise” that Lenin had constructed for them. On the contrary, it was obvious to Gramsci that the “paradise” of the working class maintained its hold over workers and peasants by sheer terror, murder and the threat of forced-labor camps in the Siberian wilderness.
Upon the death of Lenin in 1924, Stalin’s seizure of power caused Gramsci to consider leaving Russia. Stalin began to build the greatest military machine in history, with the intent to impose Communism on Europe, Asia and later the whole world — by brute force.
Returning to Italy, Mussolini soon recognized Gramsci as a serious threat to his left wing fascist regime. Gramisci was arrested and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. There he devoted the nine years left of his life to writing. Before his death from tuberculosis in 1937, Gramsci produced nine volumes of observations on history, sociology, Marxist theory and most important, Marxist strategy. Those volumes, known as The Prison Notebooks, have since been published in many languages and distributed throughout the world. This formed a dramatic new Marxist strategy, one that makes Leninism obsolete and promises to win the world voluntarily to Marxism. It is one based on a realistic appraisal of historical fact and human psychology, rather than on empty wishes and illusions.
History has verified Gramsci’s rejection of Leninism. The Bolsheviks did not come to power in Russia by any uprising of the workers and peasants, but by a coup d’état, orchestrated by a tightly disciplined Marxist cadre and ultimately by civil war. They also received critical help from the Western political and banking elites. Likewise, Communism came to power in Eastern Europe by the conquering Red Army and with the connivance of conspirators in the West. In China, Communism came to power through civil war, aided by the Soviets and by traitorous elements in the West.
Looking back we can see the insightfulness of Antonio Gramsci . It was evident to him when the Soviet regime was in its infancy. In response, Gramsci liberated Marxism from the prison of economic dogma, thereby enhancing its ability to subvert society — that for 2,000 years had saturated the world with Christianity.
Gramsci believed if Communists or their sympathizers gained control of the organs of culture — churches, education, newspapers, magazines, the electronic media, serious literature, music, visual arts and so on, mastery of consciousness of the great mass of people could be attained. Then labor camps and mass murder would be unnecessary. Gramsci’s term for the process was “cultural hegemony”. Under such conditions, serious opposition disappears. Men will “love their servitude” and will not even realize that it is servitude.
The first phase in achieving “cultural hegemony” over a nation is the undermining of all elements of traditional culture. Churches are thus transformed into ideology driven political clubs with stress on “social justice” and egalitarianism. Genuine education is replaced by “dumbed down” and “Political correct” curricula and standards are reduced dramatically. The mass media are fashioned into instruments for mass manipulation and for harassing and discrediting traditional institutions and their spokesmen. Morality, decency, and old virtues are ridiculed without respite. Present the young not with heroic examples but with degenerate ones.
Marriage and family, the very building block of our society, are perpetually attacked and subverted. Even the word “family” is slowly being superseded by the term “house-hold”. Gramsci’s strategy for accomplishing the forgoing was in part by winning the bright young sons and daughter of the bourgeoisie to the red banner, as Gramsci wrote, “results in their decapitation and renders them impotent”.
We might ask; is it working? In the winter 1996 issue of the Marxist journal Dissent, Michael Walzer boasted Gramsci’s “war of position” can take credit for:
- The visible impact of feminism.
- The acceptance of cultural pluralism – also called multiculturalism.
- The transformation of family life including rising divorce rates and changing sexual mores.
- The progress of secularization vs. Christianity particularly in public classrooms, textbooks, legal codes, holidays etc.
- The legalization of abortion.
- The regulation and limitation of private gun ownership.
Walzer added that these developments were imposed on society by “liberal elites” and not from the masses. He specified it was the liberal and leftist lawyers, judges, federal bureaucrats, professors, school teachers, social workers, journalists, television and screen writers – not the population at large. He added the major tax exempt foundations were the conduits that link “silk hat” revolutionaries with street-level radicals to assault the middle classes.
It may seem to some that the situation in our nation is hopeless. However, families and individual men and women still posses, to a large extent, the freedom to avoid and escape the mind-altering social conditioning of the Gramscians. There are alternatives to public schools, television, trashy movies and strident “rock” music. Those in charge of young people have an especially weighty responsibility. Children and youths should be introduced to such bedrock concepts as honesty, decency, virtue, duty and love of God and country through the lives of authentic national heroes—men like George Washington, Nathan Hale, John Paul Jones and Robert E. Lee.
The men and women we elect to represent us must be made aware of the Gramscian strategy of cultural subversion. Realizing we are not alone in restoring this Republic, we should turn to traditional minded churches, schools and political and educational organizations. There lend our voices and support to the creation of bastions of resistance to the Gramscian onslaught. Marxism (or any “progressive”, socialistic, collectivist ideology) does not have to be the wave of the future. As long as we think and act in the spirit of our forefathers, we cannot fail.
Are you among the enlightened or the ignorant? This is a tough question and if you can get past the question itself, the answer may surprise you.
Are you among the majority who believe that taxes on the rich should go up? Do you believe that the rich do not pay their fair share? The newly reelected president ran his campaign on these beliefs, but have you ever thought about the effect of these policies?
It’s difficult to get exact figures but most sources state the number of employees making in excess of $500,000 a year in actual salary is one tenth of the top one percent. The top one percent pay over sixty percent of all federal taxes while the top ten percent pay over thirty percent and the bottom fifty percent pay only two percent. The argument over what is “fair” will probably rage on forever and that is not what this writing is about.
As a political plank one of the greatest strengths in the “tax the rich” and “fair share” strategies is that the average person really thinks that those “rich people” and “evil corporations” will simply pull more money from their savings or profit margin and pay the tax. The fact is that only a very small percentage of taxpayers will simply pay the tax.
The vast majority of people making in excess of $200,000 a year are business owners or professionals who either provide goods or services to the public at large. In the perfect world of those who believe that taxing the rich will benefit them, the business owners and professionals would simply reach into their pockets and pay more in taxes. However in the real world this won’t happen.
Imagine for a moment you are a business owner, you employ five to twenty five full time workers, you pay for their medical insurance and all the state and local taxes such as unemployment taxes. Your company provides a good or service and your profit margin on average is between ten to forty percent. You invest at least twenty percent back into your business in an effort to maintain and grow it. This is an average snapshot of those who take the chance and succeed in business, the vast majority do not succeed…
Now imagine that your taxes are increased by five percent. You have heard and will continue to hear from the republican party that this will force small business out of business and cause all companies and corporations to downsize and lay off workers. You have heard and will continue to hear from the democrats that this will make those rich people and evil corporations pay their fair share.
So who is telling the truth? It’s no big surprise, neither side is telling you the truth… As someone who made a living as a professional and now as a small business owner I can tell you that all but a handful of professionals and businesses will simply raise the cost of their goods and services to pay the additional tax. I’ve personally never spoken with a business owner who would simply pay the tax from his or her bottom line.
So in the end it is the consumer or mainly the middleclass who pays the tax increase. Will there be exceptions to this? Yes, but the numbers will be minute.
As the government continues to increase taxes and regulations on business using “income disparity” and “fairness” to rationalize the redistribution of wealth, it will have the inverse effect. The next “classic step” has already been talked of which is capping corporate salaries and controlling corporate profits. This is the unmistakable path to socialism and beyond, where the government decides what is fair and what the needs of the individual are.
“Unite or Die”. Not to act, is to act…