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Monday, March 05, 2012

What Is Going On?

I leave town for a week and all hell breaks loose.  

More violence, more burglaries, a Friday night sneaky maneuver by Senate Republicans and now, Luna the soccer dog has gone missing?  In the immortal words of Betty Draper, "What is going on!?!"

First, be sure to lock your doors and windows.  It seems weird to say that but this is not Mayberry, RFD.  Let's be safe in our own homes.  Ditto on locking the car if you have valuables inside.

Update:   Tuesday, March 6th - Luna was found and returned to her owner.
Second, I normally wouldn't put up something about a missing dog but this dog has special talents that can be easily spotted.  So I am putting out a plea for anyone who sees Luna the Soccer Dog.

Luna was taken from outside a University area home on Saturday.  She has a tag with her address and phone.  She responds to her name and soccer commands.  She is a female Kelpie mix (border collie with dingo ears), black coat, white chest and four white paws, about 30 lbs.  She has performed at Sounders games and other events.

Please, if you see a black dog with dingo ears and white paws that is playing soccer, call 206-729-8322 or contact ramawawa1@msn.com.  There is a reward and no questions asked.  

And on the dueling state budgets, this from Publicola:

When the senate Democrats released their budget last week (the one that was fated to get deep sixed by the Republicans on Friday night), Democratic ways and means chair Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Seattle) boasted that the Democratic  plan made no cuts to education.

When the Republicans unveiled their budget late Friday—the one that passed dramatically late Friday night after the Republicans gained control of the senate floor by wooing three conservative Democrats to their side—the ranking Republican on ways and means, Sen. Joe Zarelli (R-18, Ridgefield) bragged:”K-12 education alone would get $251 million more in this budget than what Senate Democrats proposed.”

The facts are with the Democrats on this one: According to the non-partisan ways and means committee staff analysis, Murray’s budget actually adds $38.6 million to K-12 education while Zarelli’s budget cuts $43.8 million, meaning the GOP lags $82.5 million behind the Democrats. (Both budgets, by the way, fund the controversial teacher evaluation proposal.)

The GOP claim comes from the fact that the Murray budget delays (by 24 hours) a $330 million payment to local schools districts, pushing the payment into the next biennium. The GOP have condemned the budget move as a gimmick, but the the Democrats point out that no teacher or student would see a reduction in funding.

Write your legislator and tell him or her to stand up to this kind of "legislating."  

Lastly, it was noted in another thread that the nonsensical "Our Schools Coalition" has come back to life.   (Interesting that for such a large group they do nothing except rise from the dead to look like an active group only when they want legislation passed.)    It was pointed out that they have a "blog" which is mostly a collection of pro ed-reform news articles.  Hard work that collecting of articles (ask the Huffington Post).

I took a gander at their blog comment policy.  First they say:

At the Our Schools Coalition, we’re serious about civility.

Informed debate is at the heart of democracy. Legitimate differences of opinion and philosophy are a welcome part of life in a free society. Let’s honor that, keep it classy, and contribute to solutions.

Okay, fine.  But in a free and open society, one person's civility may trample on another person's free speech.  However, every blog gets to figure out how to handle these issues.

But after telling people to be respectful,  there was a nice cheap shot at this blog:

Seattle’s education blog culture has historically been a nasty one. We think that’s really unproductive and beneath us as a city, and we’d like to change it.

Really?  I can only say this blog has tried very hard to be a place where all opinions are welcome (and challenged and argued but yes, welcomed).   But they used the word "nasty" and I can only say have you heard Rush Limbaugh lately?  That's nasty.   We are not.

And as for being unproductive, well, there are very few places for parents to go to ask questions and vent.  Sometimes you need that space and I'm glad we are here to help.  As for unproductive, I like to think this blog and the people who read it regularly joined together to challenge the status quo on the School Board.  We actually helped create change (that clearly a majority of voters wanted).  I don't call that unproductive.

Your comments are welcome. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off-topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part — and abiding by these simple rules.


I probably wouldn't allow all caps either but one word in caps would get you deleted?  Also, they don't give a length for "short" but I'm thinking Twitter-length would probably be best as far as they are concerned.   

Last and most funny, they have no names to attached to their "Contact Us"; just an e-mail address.  They don't even sign their names to anything they write or say who their leaders are.

This blog may be sometimes get rough but at least we sign our names to everything we write.

12 comments:

seattle citizen said...

"Last and most funny, they have no names to attached to their "Contact Us"; just an e-mail address. They don't even sign their names to anything they write or say who their leaders are."

That's not true. The "contact" is "Jen" and at the bottom of the Our Schools website it says, "copyright League of Education Voters," and over at LEV we find "Jen Olson, Communications Director...[who had a] nine-year career at Microsoft, where she planned and created websites."

So OSC is LEV, and "Jen" is Jen Olson, their communications director.

What a hoot. If it weren't so sad that many councilmembers, otherwise respected community leaders, and minority groups allow themselves to be a part of this charade.

Anonymous said...

Good news - Luna has been returned to her owner: http://today.seattletimes.com/2012/03/luna-the-soccer-dog-is-missing/

- D's mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

No, Jen works for LEV. Is LEV just the front for Our Schools? Who is the head of Our Schools? Who writes the blog?

Yay, D's Mom, thanks!

Disgusted said...

CAPS kill.

cpvmac said...

Holy Cow. Charter school teacher does something crazy.

morbid homework

seattle citizen said...

Melissa, I'm assuming that since the "contact us" is "Jen," and the OSC page is LEV's, that Jen is Lev's Jen Olson.

They might not sign their names, but Jen Olson is most likely the webmaster, and thus is posting the pro-reform articles found on OSC's site.

It makes sense: She worked for MS for nine years designing webpages. Add in the fact that Strategies 360, the originator of OSC two years ago, also did Gates work, and it all starts to tie together. That Lesley Rogers worked for S360 back then and was then hired by the district is, perhaps, coincidence but then again maybe not...

Anonymous said...

Hey Folks: Let's play a game! See who has a higher "Goebbels Score," the Folks on this blog, or LEV and its wholly owned subsidiaries and affiliates. Now, for the record, I'm neither suggesting anyone is a Nazi or Fascist, nor making light of the horrors of WWII.

Rather, I suggest we compare why and how propagandists succeed by employing time-honored techniques that can mislead the majority of vulnerable or concerned people into supporting bad ideas. The parallels and similarities are eye-opening.

GOEBBELS' PRINCIPLES OF PROPAGANDA

1. Propagandist must have access to intelligence concerning events and public opinion.

2. Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority.
a. It must issue all the propaganda directives.
b. It must explain propaganda directives to important officials and maintain their morale.
c. It must oversee other agencies' activities which have propaganda consequences

3. The propaganda consequences of an action must be considered in planning that action.

4. Propaganda must affect the enemy's policy and action.
a. By suppressing propagandistically desirable material which can provide the enemy with useful intelligence
b. By openly disseminating propaganda whose content or tone causes the enemy to draw the desired conclusions
c. By goading the enemy into revealing vital information about himself
d. By making no reference to a desired enemy activity when any reference would discredit that activity

5. Declassified, operational information must be available to implement a propaganda campaign

6. To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.

7. Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.

8. The purpose, content and effectiveness of enemy propaganda; the strength and effects of an expose; and the nature of current propaganda campaigns determine whether enemy propaganda should be ignored or refuted.

9. Credibility, intelligence, and the possible effects of communicating determine whether propaganda materials should be censored.

10. Material from enemy propaganda may be utilized in operations when it helps diminish that enemy's prestige or lends support to the propagandist's own objective.

11. Black rather than white propaganda may be employed when the latter is less credible or produces undesirable effects.

12. Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.

13. Propaganda must be carefully timed.
a. The communication must reach the audience ahead of competing propaganda.
b. A propaganda campaign must begin at the optimum moment
c. A propaganda theme must be repeated, but not beyond some point of diminishing effectiveness

14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.
a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses
b. They must be capable of being easily learned
c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations
d. They must be boomerang-proof

15. Propaganda to the home front must prevent the raising of false hopes which can be blasted by future events.

16. Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.
a. Propaganda must reinforce anxiety concerning the consequences of defeat
b. Propaganda must diminish anxiety (other than concerning the consequences of defeat) which is too high and which cannot be reduced by people themselves

17. Propaganda to the home front must diminish the impact of frustration.
a. Inevitable frustrations must be anticipated
b. Inevitable frustrations must be placed in perspective

18. Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

19. Propaganda cannot immediately affect strong counter-tendencies; instead it must offer some form of action or diversion, or both.

Not calling anyone a Nazi. WSDWG

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

I think you're onto something.

Dora

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Luna the Soccer Dog's Family said...

THANKS! Many Wags and Licks from Luna the Soccer Dog to the Citizens of Seattle (reposted from the Open Thread so nobody misses it),

Melissa, many thanks for bringing Luna the Soccer Dog’s dognapping to the attention of your many readers, amongst the wide exposure which led to her recognition on the Ave by a Good Samaritan, who demanded her and then immediately called our home. Luna was taken from her family last Saturday by a mixed-up young homeless woman seeking a companion, then restored to us on Monday by this very kind-hearted young transient man who recognized Luna from everybody’s descriptions, and even from old-fashioned beat police officers who just put the word out on the street.

Thanks to our Good Samaritan, our earlier eyewitness, several alert S.P.D. police officers Luna the Soccer Dog is now safe and sounder than ever. This tail really does have a happy ending, just like Luna’s own pretty white tip, which goes right along with her four white socks, white vest, and white chin all marking the ends of her jet black coat.

Because Luna has not yet learned to type, let me be her woofsman (I usually serve only as her sidekick). Luna the Soccer Dog’s technical mastery of the beautiful game is quite simply jaw-dropping. I love watching onlookers expressions while she plays. Watching Luna trap, pass and score in her kinetic union of ball and fur, is one of those magical moments in life when you are forced to reject all your notions of natural limits. Just like every Seattle schoolchild, Luna the Soccer Dog is uniquely gifted.

Luna the Soccer Dog also shows that extraordinary natural talent means nothing without true passion and love for the game. She knows that all of her soccer genius is really 1% inspiration and 99% . . . well, panting. Just try to name any other famous international soccer star who regularly wriggles right under every oily parked car to retrieve a wedged ball? She has once never faked an injury. Luna NEVER takes her eye off the ball – neither human nor canine can deflect her locked gaze. And Luna has always been a great team player, ever since she was first rescued as a stray puppy by seven home-schooled children in a Montana cabin, and arrived into Seattle through a blizzard to join our family’s sleeping infant the night that Santa also climbed down the chimney; last weekend, that infant’s 8th birthday party still went ahead the same day we were searching for Luna.

Luna the Soccer Dog loves all her fans, especially the youngest, and always gives her pawtograph. In short, even though she has too many legs and no arms, Luna is actually the perfect role model for every girl and boy, in vivid contrast to other professional athletes, as petulant as they are overpaid. There is only one person who Luna the Soccer Dog does not really get along with so very well, and who may not be so happy to learn of her safe return home when he stops by later today . . . the mailman.

When Luna the Soccer Dog disappeared a few days ago, we were heartbroken, now that you have all helped us find her we are overjoyed, and deeply grateful to every one of you who helped in any way. If you can, allow Luna the Soccer Dog to express her appreciation by playing for all of you:

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7, at 5 p.m., OCCIDENTAL SQUARE, downtown Seattle (outside Pioneer Square Comedy Underground)

followed by March to the Game (Sounders v. Santos, CONCACAF Champions League, led by Drew Carey’s marching band

Thank you all so much.
Luna the Soccer Dog’s family

Anonymous said...

melissa youre nuts and i love you for it
xoxo