Rants and Raves

Happy Hanukkah. This is San Jose Inside’s weekly open forum, where comments and opinions on any topic are welcome. What’s on your mind?


  1. In going through the pains and pleasures of governing a local area, people like Chuck Reed and Patricia Mahan, Evan Low and Ken Yeager, encounter many fascinating individuals.  For the record, the vast majority of posters here do have a legitimate desire to seek good policies for San Jose.  They all approach it from different ways, but at least 90% of the people who write columns, and post comments do feel that they have a legitimate voice for the good of their city.

    It is also the case for an overwhelming majority of citizens in San Jose.  They pay taxes, raise families, pay their bills on time, and maintain good homes.  They have one desire for local government, provide for a good community,  We never see them or hear from them, but they are the ones who make San Jose and the other cities in the Valley, great paces to live.

    It is true, as good posters here say, that we are obessessed with the wackos and bums like Stephen Hazel.  It is no shock to Chuck Reed or Patricia Mahan who encounter this creep that Hazel craves attention, and we are likely making a big mistake ranting and raving about his rants and raves.

    I used to love Mort Sahl who had a urbane comedy routine focusing on newspaper clips.  Hazel has adopted this at San Jose City Council meetings and Santa Clara City Council meetings.  He uses obituaries.  His new approach, claim that the death of ordinary people is due to the meanderings of city councils.  How nice.

    Recently this political glue sniffer, or probably a person who sniffs the real airplane model stuff, said that an ex Mayor of Santa Clara, and an ex politician in San Jose, was being punished by the Grim Reaper due to their actions in land use deals in Fresno and San Jose.  It is interesting that both Santa Clara Plays Fair and two gadflys in San Jose, are actually encouraging Hazelnut, and even calling City Hall beat reporters encouraging them to interview this slob.  Has news and political activism sunken so low.  Bernie Goldberg is right. The agressive journalism is focused on TMZ and not WMDS.  I think the best thing for good activists to do with respect to Stevie is to fight for more community mental health centers.  John Galt and JMOC along with other posters here work to address issues and at least we can be lucky there are more people seeking to address our city councils than flannel shirted political bigots who want to relive their failed high school lives on live television.

    • Occasionally (this evening, for instance) I am forced to be offline and it can be several hours before comments are updated, unless one of my colleagues happens to check in. Otherwise it’s updated throughout the day every day.

    • You see Steve? You can’t believe your own eyes and ears in the modern “truth is relative” world.
      The things you believe to be true are simply a result of your own prejudices and misconceptions. You just need to be educated. The liberals are eager to educate you.

      Despite what you and I think, it appears that this website IS updated frequently.
        – The globe is warming.
        – Diversity is our strength.
        – 2+2=5

  2. The racially-charged and dishonest term, “The Achievement Gap,” was given new life on Saturday, 12/12/09, by retiring San Jose Unified Superintendent Don Iglesias and uncritically reported by the San Jose Mercury News, page B1:

    “He pointed to improvements in the so-called achievement gap between white and Latino students, a reduced rate of dropouts and San Jose’s second-place ranking nationally among urban districts for its graduation rate.”

    However, remember that the county superintendent announced on 10/29/09 that local academic success rates by demographic groups were as follows:

    41% American Latino
    45% African American
    69% white American [a dismal failure rate of 31%]
    85% Asian American

    That is, there are at least three serious gaps among and between the four principal demographic groups with American Latino students, African American students, and white American students falling well behind the success rate of Asian American students. 

    This means that the racially-charged political line being peddled by Superintendent Iglesias severely distorts the picture by smothering the special pedagogical needs of African American and white American students, while acknowledging the special pedagogical needs of American Latino students.

    The 16 point gap between white American students and Asian American students is suppressed to fool the public into thinking that white Americans are successful in this county’s schools above any other demographic.  But the white American student academic achievement rate is a dismal failure at 69%—it’s hard to imagine that a critical thinker would wish a 31% failure rate on American Latino or African American students as a goal. 

    Why not a goal of 90% academic success rate for everyone?  Help Asian American students to boost their success rate, too.

      • You’re going to have to take up your complaint with the superintendent of the county office of education who left American Indians (or Native Americans) completely out of the documents announcing the racially-charged roll-out of SJ 2020.  For some reason, the county office of education is very shy about disclosing the academic success rates for this demographic group. Perhaps DiSalvo can explain this gap to you.

    • Achievement Gap,

      I think that everyone on this site would agree that it is a crime for a society as rich as ours to allow any child to not receive the resources they need to succeed.

      In our society, wealth determines access to resources like education, medical care, political representation, and quality of life. The fact that the current distribution of resources in our society is wildly unequal means that poor people of all races are at a distinct disadvantage in education. However, wealth is distributed unevenly along racial and ethnic lines in the U.S.

      Median Household Wealth in 2004 (assets minus debt)
      White $140,700
      Black $20,400
      Latino $27,100
      According to “Survey of Consumer Finances, Federal Reserve Board, 2006” http://www.federalreserve.gov/Pubs/OSS/oss2/2004/bull0206.pdf

      Starting with the goal of every child getting whatever they need to thrive in school, public resources need to go to the kids from families with the least economic means.

      The priorities of politicians in the U.S. are to protect the rich. Period. Since 2008, 3 trillion dollars in cash and tax breaks was conjured out of thin air by politicians to give to lying thieving bankers, but the resources for public education are being cut. That is a direct attack on everyone who depends on public education and cannot afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars to “opt-out”. We who value public education will have to fight long and hard to get even 1% of that sum to go to public schools, not the vaults of the rich.

      It sounds like seeing educators address the needs of Latino students who are suffering from disproportionately high drop-out rates bothers you. If Latino students are suffering disproportionately among students at large, why does addressing their urgent needs bother you? How is that “racially charged”?

      • > However, remember that the county superintendent announced on 10/29/09 that local academic success rates by demographic groups were as follows:
        41% American Latino
        45% African American
        69% white American [a dismal failure rate of 31%]
        85% Asian American

        Paul Erlich, John Holdren, Arne Naess, and other zealots of the Deep Ecology/Population Control fever swamp have made known their belief that there is about the right number of them on the planet, but too many of everyone else.

        As they finalize their plans to restore planet earth to the correct complement of human beings, they might find the county superindendent’s academic success rates by demographic groups to be a useful management tool.

        If 7.5 billion of the projected 8 billion humans are concluded to be “excess” and need to be made to “go away”, it would certainly make the school district’s academic success numbers look dazzling if the American Latinos, the African Americans, and maybe even a few White Americans would recognize that THEY would be helping the planet, the school district, and the human race disproportionatley if they found another planet or alternate universe to live on.

        I’m sure that Erlich, Holdren, Naess and others would applaud their public spiritedness.

  3. Why Al Gore should burn in hell:


    “Chad charcoal ban enflames public”

    A ban on the use of charcoal in Chad is making life hard for people already struggling with high food prices.

    Families are being forced to burn furniture, cow dung, rubbish and roots of plants in order to cook.

    Since the clampdown was announced – officially in order to help the environment – charcoal has become almost impossible to find.

    – – – – –

    Maybe if all the Chad-niks would get rid of their SUV’s and drive Priuses, the lack of charcoal wouldn’t be such a problem.

    • Thanks for letting us know that Al Gore is now involved in the government of Chad. What position does he hold? Anyone you want to link to this in your fantasy world? There must be others you dislike that you can blame for something.
      You do have a knack for consistently proving that ignorance is bliss.

      • > Thanks for letting us know that Al Gore is now involved in the government of Chad. What position does he hold?

        Al Gore is the Chief Global Warming Scold for Planet Earth.

        Chad is located on Planet Earth.

        The Environment Minister for Chad reads Al Gore’s crackpot books and imposes Gore’s crackpot ideas on the desperately poor and helpless people of Chad.

        I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that the politicians of Chad get an extra dollop or two of graft from the UN or the IMF if they “do something” to fight global warming.

        • > Thanks for you factual response. Obviously no point in having a dialog with someone who is so well informed. Good luck when the tide comes in.

          While you are driving your Prius to Granny’s house to celebrate Kwanzaa, Mr. Smug, just remember that some poor devil in Chad is roasting a scrawny chicken foot on a smoldering cow dung fire so that you and carbon billionaire Al Gore can fantasize about cartoon polar bears falling off of cartoon ice floes.

        • “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”
                      – Buddha

        • “Yelling at stupid people reduces stress and increases longevity among doofinators, increases stress and reduces longevity among doofuses, and generally leads to improved behavior and harmony in society.”

          —The Respected Doofinator

  4. Santa Clara County and local cities lack political and government leadership, ability to understand and solve community and school problems

    Local politicians and government administrators commonly pander to, incite or support individuals and groups at public meetings that express anger, emotional outbursts that blame others, and disrespect that makes the problems worst since many people come away from public meetings very angry rather than helping everyone to positively work together to solve community problems

    San Jose has 19 districts rather than 1 school district which wastes 10’s millions education taxes on duplicate facilities, equipment, admin staff, school boards and inefficiency and year after year financial scandals and insider conflicts of interest

    It operates as if we are agricultural 1900 with part year schools off for summer harvests then high tech 2009 with year round schools

  5. Are you distressed by the lack of positive buzz for Barbara Boxer?

    Are you tired of insensitive clods on the internet making fun of Senator Boxer’s charming and engaging mannerisms and diminutive stature?

    Does your blood boil when smug army generals refer to Senator Boxer as “Ma’am”.  Or when uppity black Chamber of Commerce executives question Senator Boxer’s standing to speak for all blacks?

    Well, then, YOU need the unique and market tested services of Blogger for Hire!

    For the affordable price of $99 per posting, Blogger for Hire will gush effusively in cyberspace for the politician or community organizer of your choice and make sure that internet geeks around the world know that your special someone is a person of warmth, humanity, and—above all—gravitas.

    Blogger for Hire will make your special someone REALLY special in the internet world, WITHOUT sounding like cloying, sycophantic, bum-kissers.

    So, sign up today, and get your special personality some authentic, internet props.

    (Prices slightly higher east of the Mississippi, and for certain difficult cases.)

  6. Wow, how negative has this list gotten?  The first line of this week’s Rants and Raves is “Happy Hanukkah.”  It’s great to see the spirit of the season coming through in the post.  It’s too bad that most of the commenters here are so angry, wishing that people trying to better the world should burn in hell, promoting the warming of the earth (polar bears be damned), attacking the desire to improve the academic underachievement of certain ethnic groups, and deriding all local elected officials. 

    Well, I’m thankful for all those who work hard for our community.  While I don’t always agree with all their decisions, I know that they serve in order to make things better. 

    Happy New Year!

  7. From Protect SJ. Hope you’ll join the fun!

    “Be Our Guest    
    Written by Protect San Jose  
    Tuesday, 15 December 2009 07:34 AM
    This Thursday, December 17th, the San Jose Police Officers’ Association will welcome friends and neighbors into our hall for an annual open house.  From 4 to 10 p.m., City Councilmembers and neighborhood leaders will share the company of San Jose’s finest and be treated to appetizers, a full dinner, and beverages.

    This is a unique opportunity to reach out to the men and women of the San Jose police force and let them know they have your support.  You can also encourage our City leaders to re-affirm their support of public safety as San Jose’s top priority.

    The SJPOA hall is located at 1151 N. Fourth Street, near I-880 in north downtown.  There is ample parking on site, but the event is likely to get extremely crowded, so spots could disappear pretty quickly.

    As many as 500 people have passed through our hall in the course of the day at recent open houses, and you never know who you’ll bump into.  It might even be one of your favorite Protect San Jose bloggers!

    We hope to see you there.”

    • FYI, I have discovered that the trial version of this survey tool does not provide for a way for respondents to see the survey results.

      The results of the first group of six respendents is:

      Unemployment: 67%
      Foreign threats to national security: 33%
      Everything else: 0%

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