Wednesday, October 24, 2012

#Healthcare Workers in #Colorado dont want #Mandatory #Vaccines

"Flu Shot Being Forced on Health Workers"
See article at :

Heather J. Kirk

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My thoughts on #Arizona 's #Propositions. Remember #Constitutional #Amendments make it really hard to get rid of bad ideas!

Some people have asked for my input on Arizona's Propositions, so I thought I'd write it up here. I can't imagine how people with full time jobs and families have time to read everything - proposition details, arguments for and arguments against, then do additional research. So if you want some assistance - my choices as well as my reasoning, I'm glad to help.
To give you a bit of my background, I worked in elementary schools as a drug and violence prevention specialist for 12 years. I also am an artist and a graphic designer, with my own (really, really) small business.

Scottsdale Unit No. 48: Yes. I trust Scottsdale School District, but not other "education" money requests that don't actually make it to the schools or students. Scottsdale School District's additional funding is about to run out. They create very specific budgets. I believe in local control that includes true accountability. (See also Prop 118.)
Prop 114: No- Not appropriate to remove rights completely (in any situation and therefore not let courts and a jury decide) based on one stupid court decision that would not even fit under this Constitutional change. What about a feud between two people and one takes advantage to harm a thief knowing they are protected?

Proposition 115: No - Too many completely different issues in one proposition. Even if you like one, you have to vote for others. Also, if people vote based on judges decisions, then judges could start making decisions to please the populace and get votes to keep their jobs, being instead of based on laws and constitutionality.

Proposition 116: To help small businesses to invest and update their businesses. Machinery purchases increase economy through purchases and job creation for machinery. Spreading high costs out over several years helps keep them afloat, so they do not go out of business due to high costs of regulations and environmental restrictions. They can potentially comply and stay in business.

Proposition 117: No - Looks like this may not only affect taxes but also actual assessment or valuation of the home itself. I think current complex formula is an attempt to balance out both situations - when home prices are too depressed AND when home prices are overinflated. It also would keep income to state depressed for indeterminate amount of time in the future, based on current very low home valuations. This is an attempt at price controls, to keep the valuation of homes down, while pretending to be about keeping taxes low.

Proposition 118: Yes - Previous formula based on returns and not on endowment made funding for education drop unrealistically low and to be very unpredictable -unable to plan appropriately for education budget. This will stabilize funding, while not adversely affecting a very large endowment that cannot otherwise be used for education. Arizona funding was already very low per student. This hopes to keep it at approximately pre-recession levels, not huge, but not outrageously low as is the case now. While nationwide dollar amount does not automatically mean better schools or test scores, in Arizona, it really does correlate in public schools. Scottsdale is a better school district for many reasons, but one reason being they get bond issues approved from voters (homeowners) in the city to get more school funding. (This is also a justification for yes on Scottsdale School District question.) While other districts may try, homeowners do not appear to approve increased taxes for education - either because they don't want to pay more or they are not capable of paying more. Other proposition preys on the desire for increased education funding without actually guaranteeing it - as well as being harder on the poor because it is a sales tax. The endowment in this proposition makes use of already available funds and does not increase taxes at all!

Prop 119: Yes - Necessary to protect military bases and national security.

Prop 120: Yes - booklet seems to make it all look like environmental issues, on both sides. Yes vote arguments – ability to properly thin forests to prevent forest fires that are at great cost to state. No vote arguments – State wants to avoid any EPA Regulations. Really, sovereignty says states chooses which things under 10th Amendment it wants to take over sovereignty for and what it agrees to Federal laws for. But this is a state's rights issue in general as well as states currently being forced to enforce or implement federal mandates without federal funding. Sounds a lot like taxation without representation. 10th amendment rights issues. i.e.) healthcare, gun laws, education, federal parks, EPA and to some a negative (me, and therefore the only risky part of this proposition) –medical marijuana.

10thAmendment Rights: ''The Tenth Amendment was intended to confirm the understanding of the people at the time the Constitution was adopted, that powers not granted to the United States were reserved to the States or to the people.”

Prop 121: No – While two party system may not be perfect, it at least provides people of both parties a chance in unbalanced districts for both parties to be represented. This proposition pretty much eliminates this possibility. It seems to actually reduce, instead of improve, the democratic process and opportunity for a minority group (of any kind) to make it onto the final ballot. It is actually happening right now in California and people are not very happy about it.

Prop 204: No – Makes a promised temporary increased sales tax increase long term. Takes away the ability for the legislature to adjust the budget based on actual needs. Takes away the power of the elected legislature – and puts budget decisions into a special interest group. It also places the budget formula into the Arizona Constitution and therefore makes it very hard to change if (when) we later find out it’s a bad idea. The money appears to go to administration and not outcomes, though it is written to appear it is based on educational outcomes. They are counting on you not reading or understanding the whole thing. they make it sound like this is the best way to fund education, but you have another option through Proposition 118. And each district's individual Bond issues.
Heather J. Kirk

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fans' love for #PrinceRoyce #Unconditional / #Incondicional

Fantastic concert last night by Prince Royce at Arizona State University. Though I have to confess I did have to plug my ears a few times...the eruption of thousands of girls shreiking at his entrance was possibly the loudest noise I've ever heard. (Not even Romeo's female fans were louder, but my guess is that Prince Royce's female fans are even younger.)

Video of my favorite song by Prince Royce: Incondicional

Heather J. Kirk

Sunday, October 21, 2012

#Sugar Beets are #GMO too? I had no idea and I think I've been had...

So much for me switching to sugar-based soda instead of corn-syrup to be a tiny bit healthier... But no, GMO (genetically modified organism) foods are not labeled - in fact CANNOT be labeled. (Unethical law in my estimation.) I knew that most corn and soy is now genetically engineered, but not beet sugar. And I do research. If I don't know, do you?
I wish there was a way to know if it was made from cane sugar instead of sugar beets.  Pepsi Throwback (my poison of choice) uses both, so I'll never know. Wish I could quit!
"...the latest USDA data shows that 95 percent of the sugar beets, 93 percent of the soybeans and 88 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. are genetically engineered. They mixed in federal data revealing that 79 percent of the salad oil consumed in the U.S. is soybean oil, and 55 percent of the sugar comes from sugar beets. The grand total? Americans are eating an average of 193 pounds of genetically engineered food per year."

Heather J. Kirk

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We have "Truth in Advertising" laws. I suggest that we create "#Truth in #Politics" laws.

We have "Truth in Advertising" laws. I suggest that we create "Truth in Politicizing" laws. If a candidate or PAC lies about a candidate during a debate or a commercial, they would have to 1) pay for a commercial on which 2) they say they were wrong (I lied, I misquoted, I misunderstood...) about 'x', 3) but the truth is that my opponent...
Maybe then we would not have so much garbage going around and so much spinning in a way that it could hardly be called the truth anymore. Take it out of their campaign funds!

In a debate like tonight’s with each calling the other a liar over and over, how can we ultimately know the truth. Do you just stick with your Party? Do you wait and see how the media spins it? Whoever wins the poll? Do you check on sites that pretend to tell the truth but are highly politicized themselves, like, or Just a hint here - his website is going to say he told the truth. You can't trust each candidate to check themselves.

We need outside sources. Go to statistics, to economic indicators for more than the past 4 years.  Go to newspaper reports or radio interviews - listen to the whole thing, not just the sound bites; look at governmental records.  I bet you can look up a whole lot of things stated in the debate that was immediately  contradicted by the other, go beyond the sound bites to the whole context; look at governmental records. I bet you can look up Licenses for drilling on Federal Lands somewhere. The question is not should we or should we not, but what is true about drilling there based on what these two (angry/frustrated/contradictory) men said.
Lot's of "Talk to the Hand" going on...

Too much work? Don’t want to do all that research? Then go ahead and vote on who is cuter, or who the news says wins the popularity contest, vote for who is more charming. None of that will matter in the Presidency, but what the heck. Even a straight party ticket without knowing the parties’ platforms is pretty worthless.
Or, if doing a little research is too much for you, then please, don’t vote.

Heather J. Kirk

Saturday, October 6, 2012

#MittRomney Can't Put #PBS or #BigBird Out of Business - Even as President...Unless Listeners Stop Giving

Will Mitt Make Big Bird Disappear? Turns out cuts in federal funding would hardly make a dent. But why do so few listeners and watchers donate? I don’t have the answer, but let’s take a look at a few of the facts and a real life example.

Mitt Romney “threatened” to cut funding for Jim Lehr and Big Bird – or actually for PBS, but Big Bird has been used as the mascot to upset children around the country.
A silly example:
Would we really lose PBS if it did not get federal funding? (Note: there is a difference between federal and “public” funding)

National Public Radio (NPR) faced a similar situation not too long ago...and it is still going strong, because people who listen (the 'public' in ‘public radio’ and ‘public broadcasting’) are the largest portion of donors, and there are many other sources of funding.

I even heard Republican David Schweikert (Arizona Congressional District 6) say in an interview on KJZZ (our local NPR station) say that while he voted to cut national spending, he gives personally to KJZZ. I was impressed, especially since only 8% of listeners do.

I think people should look at and understand the way funding works before they fall for the gimmick (lie) that a lack of federal funding will put public broadcasting under. Government funds only account for 4.6% of NPR funs -real life example -down from 6% in 2009 - which means that 1.4% constitutes the reduction in NPR’s total budget by the cuts in federal funding).

Here’s a great visual:   If we want Public Broadcasting so badly, we should be willing to pay for it - and in fact we do! At least 8% of us do - providing 39% of the budget. And by the way, "big bad corporations" also donate a good-sized chunk to National Public Radio (17%) - much more than the government in fact.

“Disclaimer: I do listen and I do give to public radio. I do not watch PBS – because I can’t receive it with my rabbit ear antennae. Which means I don’t “give” to cable either. Interesting that ao many people are up in arms about cutting federal funding to PBS, but don’t give to PBS, while they do give LOTS to commercial cable or satellite companies. Go figure…

Heather J. Kirk

Monday, October 1, 2012

The image says "#New York Times" at the top and has a quote that discusses "#Veterans' Jobs Bill Block in the Senate" on #Facebook

Facebook is a great way to share information with friends - but can also end up passing on false or partial information. Therefore, just like e-mails, I encourage people to check things out!

The image says "New York Times" at the top and has a quote that discusses "Veterans' Jobs Bill Block in the Senate". Since at first blush, it does not seem to be a good move politically for Senate members, I got curious and decided to find and read the article it came from – and why they would not pass a bill to help Veterans.

It appears that things like Snopes, Fact Check or Truth Team are not as unbiased as they used to be. So it's good to go directly to articles quoted, bills discussed or full context of quotes.

I use this example because it is very current and I have seen it many times and decided to do a little research..

#1: It appears to be from a blogger on NYT on-line site. Though not just a random person but a regular NYT blogger, this TruthTeam quote comes from a combination opinion piece /news piece blog. It’s important to understand that blogs and editorials are created for opinions to be expressed, based on the news and current events, but not necessarily unbiased news reports.

#2: It’s always good to read things in context, and get opposing views. So here is a link to the article.

The overall tone is not a whole lot different from the quote, but according to the article, Republicans voted against it specifically because the $1 billion bill was not funded. There does appear to be an expected source of funding, but possibly not attached to this bill. Also saw that the $1 billion would be to create up to 20,000 jobs. That's a minimum of $50,000 to create each job - not even the actual income veterans would receive.

My goal: To encourage people to not just pass along little snippets that sound good. Instead to get involved in the political process by educating and informing themselves. This is just one example of how I chose to do that.

Heather J. Kirk