Sammamish Forum June 4
June 4, 2014
Help fight dog fighting
I’m Maria Pera, an 8th grade student in Sammamish who decided to stand up to make a change. So I made a petition entitled “stop dog fighting in Indonesia!” This petition is to protest against dog fighting.
The petition is to be sent to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President, Republic of Indonesia. Republic of Indonesia, House of Representatives, Republic of Indonesia. My petition is to ask to enforce Indonesian procedural animal welfare law 302. At a local level, the breeding, ownership and promotion of pitbulls is very high. The law is weak and it is not being enforced as it should be but instead is protected.
The story needs to be shared to stop the cruelty towards dogs in Indonesia. At the moment, my petition has over 5,000 signatures, but the more I get, the better chance there is that a change would be made for the dogs. If you cannot help me with my petition, then please inform people about what’s happening in Indonesia. Here is the petition: www.thepetitionsite.com/987/293/100/stop-dog-fighting-in-indonesia.
Treat economic causes, not symptoms
Michael J. O’Connell’s letter of May 28 observed that only government has the coercive authority to rebalance the economy. But as his proposed solution addresses the symptoms, and not the underlying causes, perhaps there is a better way.
There are additional contributing factors that led to the current economy that were not discussed in his letter, but which are worth considering before deciding upon a course of action. It was the government, through the easy money policy implemented by the Federal Reserve, which provided the fuel to inflate the multi-trillion dollar housing bubble. It was government action, through the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which then bailed out the affected institutions. It is government action today, through numerous and unprecedented Quantitative Easing (QE) programs, which have kept interest rates at artificially low levels and continue to distort our economy. Initially, those with assets to invest have benefited the most from these QE programs, as can be seen in the record-setting prices for artwork and basketball teams. Longer term, it seems likely that QE is likely to raise all prices, which will further harm those with the least ability to increase their income.
As QE is unprecedented, history can provide only limited guidance to how it will end. But economic theory is clear in telling us that distorting the money supply, which QE does, leads to malinvestment, and will likely result in a correction at some point in the future. While it seems unlikely that those with assets will be harmed to a greater degree than those without, it seems likely that all will be harmed.
So, while we can indeed implement government programs to redistribute wealth, this would merely shuffle the deck chairs, so to speak, and would not address the underlying issues that led to the current situation. A better course of action would be to undo the harmful government policies, which have already been implemented, in order to allow the economy to heal itself.
If you think you can do better, go ahead and try
I (a teacher for many years who certainly didn’t do it for the money) recently heard an NPR news interview concerning preschool children being sent home due to behavior and not allowed to return to school. The reporter was upset that the school district — California was being skewered in this particular interview — was unwilling to serve these poor children.
Did she mention class size? Whether those teachers had any adult help with behavior issues? The kinds of behaviors that caused the children to be sent home? A need to provide districts with funding for additional personnel? Well, no.
This outsider went on to cite statistics regarding the high number of ethnic preschoolers being sent home in relation to the lower percentage of white preschoolers. Moreover, she suggested this discrepancy was due to racial bias on the part of the preschool teachers. What?
Does she personally know any preschool teachers, especially teachers biased against their nonwhite students? Did she look into a possible correlation between poverty and behavior issues? Whether poverty in the U.S. is more often found in nonwhite families? That many families are so stressed about their situation and are working so many hours to make ends meet that they have little time for teaching social skills? Well, no again.
I am sick to the bone of hearing about the failures of our teachers, our schools. Schools are now expected to provide before and after care, to feed, counsel, entertain students. Oh, and get great test scores out of them, as well. Teachers are grading papers in the evening, planning lessons on weekends, attending after-school events.
My wish? I wish every teacher would resign his/her job and leave the complainers to deal with the issues of educating children. The well needs to run dry!