Private Contractors: The Free Market Alternative to Well-Funded Public Schools

Dystopian Nightmare Series Part 1
posted Feb 9, 2010
THE TACOMIC - Private Contractors: The Free Market Alternative to Well-Funded Public Schools (education, tacoma public schools, bonds, levy, vote, taxes, future, tacomic)
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Last week I was terrified by the insane hi-jinx of this dad's curious application of enhanced educational techniques pioneered by the CIA at Abu Ghraib Prison.  Maybe I'm still freaked out after watching Palin's Teabagger convention speech, but perhaps in some alternate future-reality this EDUCATION via TORTURE is a small preview of things to come.  IMAGINE TACOMA 20 MINUTES INTO THE FUTURE! People are Taxed Enough Already (T.E.A.) and won't vote to fund public education to save their lives. What happens next? Dissolve the Teachers Unions? Privatize public education? Once and for all crush the vast homosexual conspiracy to teach evolution and photosynthesis? You betcha!

by Erik on 2/9/2010 @ 12:13am

Apparently, the idea of a public education is still abhorrent to some.

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 12:23am
Now what is the message there? The message is that there are known "knowns." There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that's basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.

It sounds like a riddle. It isn't a riddle. It is a very serious, important matter.

by Erik on 2/9/2010 @ 12:35am
Thanks for your dedicated Tacomic in support of public schools. I am sure it will help the cause......I think..

by fredo on 2/9/2010 @ 8:05am
So people who vote no on today's levies so that they can continue to afford housing in the district are just like the Abu Ghraib torturers.

The number of new yes votes this tacomic will generate...


by jenyum on 2/9/2010 @ 8:08am
I hadn't read that story about the waterboarded 4 year old yet.

Think I'm going to have nightmares.

Also, I had to take it up to print size so I could see that the above child is being waterboarded with Figi Water.

Kind of a horrifying Tacomic. Not sure if it will win any supporters but it makes a point!

A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

- James Madison

by Mofo from the Hood on 2/9/2010 @ 8:33am
Public education in the U.S. is structured to teach secular-humanism doctrine. It blatantly restricts teaching any opposing view.

Even at the University level, programs of instruction are restricted to government regulations, or else a University will not receive money or accreditation.

People who are interested in Truth do not seek to silence opposing views. They don't buy politicians in an effort to pass legislation to suppress the religious institutions which nourished this country's growth and development.

Public schools don't teach both sides a question. That's a real problem because the answers you get depend on the questions asked. And year by year the questions and topics of discussion which are allowed in public schools are steadily diminishing to the detriment of the ruled and for the benefit of the rulers.

by Altered Chords on 2/9/2010 @ 9:15am
Waterboarding is not torture. This will bring much needed discipline to schools. We can lead the horses to water AND make them drink.

Vote yes on the levy to fund waterboarding equipment!

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 9:57am
"The CIA is under fire following the news it’s allowing active-duty operatives to work for private companies on the side. The previously undisclosed “moonlighting” has granted wealthy private entities such as financial firms and hedge funds access to top-level intelligence officials. It’s said to be viewed internally as a means to prevent agency defections to the private sector. A CIA spokesperson said “moonlighting” operatives are required to submit detailed information on their outside employment. But few details have been revealed, including how long the policy has been in place and how many operatives have taken part."

by Keeper on 2/9/2010 @ 10:19am
Mofo from the Hood ... couldn't agree more. And at the same time we are dumbing down our educational requirements at an alarming rate. Time to start truly failing underachievers and quit pandering them at the detriment of the advanced.

by Mofo from the Hood on 2/9/2010 @ 10:19am
"Once and for all crush the vast homosexual conspiracy to teach evolution and photosynthesis?"

If there was a homosexual school system to rival public schooling, what points might they agree on?

1) Naturalism/Determinism is the only acceptable view of reality. Man is biologically structured for reactive behaviors which are explained by stimulus-response theories. (Such laws of physics don't allow that man has the freedom to choose how to behave.)

2) Rejection of the revealed Truth which the institution of the Christian Church teaches.

3) Rejection of a self-existent eternal being, a transcendent authority. Eliminating this category of reality allows an emphasis of a philosophy of meaningless. There is no spiritual dimension, so no point in considering its merits. With no eternal dimension, that leaves only the temporal dimension---all that matters is the here and now. Ultimate truth and authority is determined by men with the most coercive power to enforce their rules of what is right and wrong.

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 10:51am
people think this cartoon is about winning votes for the tax whathaveyou... not true. This cartoon is all about provoking insane comments from my friend Mr. The Hood.

by jenyum on 2/9/2010 @ 10:54am
Actual points Washington State Public Schools agree on:

A basic education must include these essential skills, according to the WA State Supreme Ct.

(a) includes the reading, writing, and arithmetic skills needed to compete in today's contemporary setting;
(b) also goes beyond merely the reading, writing, and arithmetic skills needed to compete in today's contemporary setting;
(c) must equip the children of this State to intelligently and effectively compete in today's economy and labor market;
(d) must equip the children of this State to intelligently and effectively compete in today's market place of ideas;
(e) must prepare the children of this State to intelligently and effectively participate in this State's open political system;
(f) must prepare the children of this State to intelligently and effectively exercise their First Amendment freedoms - both in communicating information to others as well as understanding information communicated from others;
(g) must equip the children of this State to meaningfully perform their roles as citizens in this State's democracy; and
(h) must prepare the children of this State to be able to inquire, to study, to evaluate, and to gain maturity and understanding in today's contemporary setting.

You all crack me up. I was heavily indoctrinated by right wing ideologues in the small republican town I grew up in. Clearly, this was very effective.

Let's stop using kids as symbols of whatever weird agenda you are advancing at the moment and give them the resources they need to be successful.

by panachronic on 2/9/2010 @ 11:35am
Also, I had to take it up to print size so I could see that the above child is being waterboarded with Figi Water.

Yeah, wassupwiddat, RR? I thought everybody knew the CIA uses Dasani.

by fredo on 2/9/2010 @ 11:40am
Jen, the problem with the list of "skills" is that there is little on the list which is really measureable. Most of the bulleted items are all warm and fuzzy attributes which, while laudable, can't really be evaluated. Students may or may not acquire maturity, understanding, communication abilities, effective competition abilities and so forth. But it would be better from a practical standpoint to list actual measurable benchmarks.

I enjoyed the posting, and thanks.

by NEAL on 2/9/2010 @ 11:53am
In the mid 90's the business community lobbied for said measurable goals.

We got the WASL.
We got No Child Left Behind.

Those are stellar examples of things that work.

by Mofo from the Hood on 2/9/2010 @ 12:01pm
Thanks for the list jenyum. I think it accounts for how ideological distinctions become blurred in the minds of students of Washington State Public Schools.

And, whether our public school children are getting a proper foundation for graduate studies at important places like the C.I.A. academy---I really wonder. The definition of enemies to our culture is changing daily.

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 12:06pm
Figi water is safe an not in any way affiliated with Fijian military government... (it's really fiji water! I'm just trying not to get killed!!!)

by fredo on 2/9/2010 @ 12:16pm
Can't have the WASL because kids couldn't pass it. Need really simple test that they can pass. Here are some suggested replacement questions:

1.If a pack of smokes has 20 cigarettes and 4 of your homeys want to join you, how many smokes for each?

2.Condoms cost $1 each. How much can Sally save by having sex with five men and not using any condoms?

3.Olde English Malt Liquor is cheaper at 7-11 then at Saars. Where should you go to buy it?

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 12:27pm
good one fredo, now it's just up to you panachronic... show me the crazy!

by marieantoinette on 2/9/2010 @ 1:15pm
If waterboarding teaches the peasants some discipline than I am all in favor of it...we could bring back the whip too, AND can't we just say that some people just do not "need" to learn to read? 200 years ago after all, slaves were not permitted to vote or read or go to school and frankly this might save us even more money. If you want to be like me...a Billionare For Wealthcare...then certainly, do not vote for the Levy. It just aids "those people" to try to enter our clubs and stores and frankly this has to stop.

by ixia on 2/9/2010 @ 1:21pm
That's right. Let them eat cake!

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 1:31pm
Nigerian yellowcake?

by leonahelmsley on 2/9/2010 @ 1:31pm
I agree, Marie. Only the little people should have to pay taxes. And by "little people" I mean the children. Why can't they pay for it, if it's so important?

by panachronic on 2/9/2010 @ 1:36pm
Nigerian yellowcake?

Is everything racial with you?

by NSHDscott on 2/9/2010 @ 1:40pm
I like the eggs vs. time graph best.

by greenfringegarden on 2/9/2010 @ 1:45pm
Oh, my word this thread is wild! son came home and told me about the waterboarding incident as the "kids" had heard about it at school and were definitely talking about it. Fredo...many of these posts are completely tongue in sort of scare me because I am not so sure your comments are...AND as a parent who volunteers and works with kids...I want to tell you...I believe in treating the least of us with respect and dignity especially the little people...because they will eventually grow up and become the adults who take care of us.

Somehow my public school teacher mum, raised as a Catholic (with Jewish overtones) never really "made" us believe one way or the other but gave us options because all she really did was teach "history." I do not need to believe that Christ is my personal savior to value his teachings. This is why I am so mystified by Christians who do not believe that secular schools can teach values. Human/Civil Rights is after all, about valuing the human. You can teach respect and discipline by one rule..."The Golden Rule" and diversity training/and workplace behavior is really based on that. My "revealed truth" is that treating others as I would want to be pretty darn well.

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 2:22pm
I like to think that it is hard to tell the difference between the silly and serious comments here.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/9/2010 @ 3:30pm
This story is horribly sad, and it further illustrates why the military is a bad thing. If the government would stop wasting $Billions a month on two useless wars and over a hundred non-necessary bases, then we'd have no national debt AND we could provide every school kid with an IBM Blue Gene/Q.

Not everyone in the military is a heartless killer & torturer of children. BUT the organization does attract people minded like that and gives them the training on how to become something far less than human. If you love your children, do what it takes to keep them out of the armed forces.

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 3:50pm
close the bases? are you crazy, that would sink our state economy! All that health-care socialism... jobs... you'd put all those gun-toting people out of work just to balance your budget? Didn't we learn anything from the IRAQ?

by jenyum on 2/9/2010 @ 4:42pm
Not a big fan of the military inustrial complex, but I would point out that there are plenty of child abusers out there in this messed up world who have nothing to do with the military, and plenty of loving moms and dads who are also soldiers.

Here's hoping the military dispenses some harsh justice on this worthless cretin.

by Altered Chords on 2/9/2010 @ 4:43pm
I do not understand the link between this levy and affordable housing. How does voting yes for this levy reduce affordable housing. Would voting for this increase home prices? If so, looks like this levy will end the current recession.

Vote yes on this levy.

by jenyum on 2/9/2010 @ 4:44pm
Gah can't fix typos on my blackberry

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 2/9/2010 @ 4:47pm
I guess the moral of this cartoon is that if you are against the school levies than you are a sick and disgusting perverted excuse for a human being.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/9/2010 @ 4:55pm
Anyone caught torturing a child needs the worst punishment legally allowable in the US: permanent extradition to California or Texas.

Or Bellevue.

Some crimes just deserve a sentence worse than death.

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 8:18pm

Does the cartoon come off too strong? Still trying to master the art of subtlety... probably comes with age. At least I didn't say: "YOU'RE EITHER WITH THE SCHOOLS OR AGAINST THEM"

Even so, i've replaced the Palin video with a flickr slideshow of sad school pictures. Enjoy!

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 2/9/2010 @ 8:47pm
I can only say your cartoon was a powerful statement in favor of the various levies for the schools. I'm not sure what these people against the levies want for the schools or if water boarding is part of their agenda. I only know that you illustrated the potential horrors should we not stay the course and continue improving the state of education in Tacoma. I'd say this was both powerful and subtle.

by fredo on 2/9/2010 @ 9:06pm
Altered chords@ since you don't understand the relationship between levy and affordable housing I'll explain it.

Housing costs for most homeowners include payments for principal, mortgage interest, homeowners insurance and property taxes. When any of these factors goes up then the cost of the housing goes up and the affordability goes down.

It's also harder to qualify for a mortgage when the monthly payments go up.

Renters don't get a pass. When the property taxes go up the landlord just passes the increase through to the tenants.

Hope this answers your inquiry. Have a great day.

by jenyum on 2/9/2010 @ 9:13pm
Both levies are passing by a large majority, as well as all other school levies around the South Sound.

It's a great day for Tacoma's Schools. Thank you, Tacoma!

by Erik on 2/9/2010 @ 9:13pm
Looks like your Tacomic helped push the School Bonds to victory.

As for the Tacomic, keep them non-fluffy please.

by NEAL on 2/9/2010 @ 9:15pm
It is good to see people coming together on this levy and other school measures across the state.

RR more rainbows and zombie puppies, please.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/9/2010 @ 10:25pm
It's all good. I'm neither a homeowner nor a parent, and quite honestly I don't see either of those changing in the foreseeable future.

Although, I will say that I actually think this comic was tasteless. RR's Tacomics don't bother me, but this one did.
Proof that the military is a bad, bad thing.

by NineInchNachos on 2/9/2010 @ 10:46pm
dang. political cartoons that bother people are the best! Thank you fellows for your hearts and minds. I am encouraged to draw even more provocative things!

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/9/2010 @ 11:18pm
go for it.

But beware of Vornoff...

by Mofo from the Hood on 2/9/2010 @ 11:40pm
Yes the Tacomics can be provocative. They remind me of the time I was riding the bus and these three white TPS teenagers got on and sat behind me in the last seats in the back of the bus. Well this one guy, he was talking to one of his friends, a girl, and every other word from his mouth was a four-letter cus word. This went on for about ten minutes and then the bus driver pulled the bus over to a stop and got out of his seat and swiftly marched down the aisle. He told that guy in no uncertain terms to stop the profanity or get off the bus.

Well that's how it is with me and these Tacomics. Like I'm the bus driver hero and it's my duty to the passengers to make their ride as enjoyable as possible. We can't predict what kind of profane Tacomic will assault our senses next, but my pledge to Tacoma is to serve and protect all those along for the ride.

Moral of the Story:
Support our schools or risk the consequence of wayward students falling into the dark world of profane cartooning.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/9/2010 @ 11:51pm
How do Alaska's schools rate in comparison with ours?
I mean, our erstwhile cartoonist is not a product of the Wa school system, after all.

by jenyum on 2/10/2010 @ 7:36am
According to the non-partisan Federal Education Budget Project, Alaska ranks 9th nationally in per-pupil spending. My birth state of CT ranks 4th. Washington ranks 37th.

But maybe not any more! Crossing my fingers that court decision results in some positive change in the next several years.

by fredo on 2/10/2010 @ 7:56am
"Alaska ranks 9th in per-pupil spending."

Want proof that high educational taxes deliver results?

Look no further....Sarah Palin

by Altered Chords on 2/10/2010 @ 8:36am
@ Mofo -

Thank you for your service.

@Fredo -

My property taxes were less than 1% of total principal, interest and taxes payments made for the year 2009

Are you suggesting that a move from .9% up to 1% will suddenly crater the Tacoma real estate market and make housing "unaffordable"

That is what I do not understand about your argument. Has the city made a mistake and they are grossly undercharging me?

If so, please don't alert Anderson (the city manager not the cartoonist)

by Erik on 2/10/2010 @ 8:41am
Look no further....Sarah Palin

You have a point:

by Altered Chords on 2/10/2010 @ 9:08am
I thought RR Anderson grew up in Alaska. Did he not go to public school? Was he home schooled? Ah...he probably went to a religious school. That would explain alot.

by fredo on 2/10/2010 @ 9:15am
Altered chords,

Property taxes aren't based on your monthly mortgage payments and they have nothing to do with your interest payments. They're based on the valuation of your property as determined by the county assessor multiplied by a rate which is reset every year. The levies you just voted for are then added to the total.

The city doesn't collect your property taxes and the Tacoma City Manager, Mr. Erik Anderson, doesn't have any involvement. If you feel like you may be underpaying your tax (and judging by response that's likely) you might wish to contact the office of Mr. Dale Washam who is the county assessor.

And not to split hairs but there's a big difference between the terms "less affordable" and "unaffordable." Except in the case of low income people where less affordable also means unaffordable. But in the race to create a socialist utopia the poor
are just collateral damage.

by ixia on 2/10/2010 @ 9:34am
Have you tried looking for a monkey shine, fredo? It might distract you from your soul eating tax issue. Really, I wish you luck finding a tiger.

by fredo on 2/10/2010 @ 9:40am
My kids are spending all their free time looking for the monkey shine balls. I have to spend my time looking for a second job so we'll be able to keep the property taxes paid on our home.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 2/10/2010 @ 9:49am
Wasn't RR raised by wolves in Alaska?

by jenyum on 2/10/2010 @ 10:02am
Fredo: Didn't you mention you have a second home in the Philippines? I kind of don't think you're busy searching the want ads.

by greenfringegarden on 2/10/2010 @ 10:38am
Fredo, I posted a sincere invitation to you on Facebook as well as Feed Tacoma, for you to meet me and come to Hunt Middle School and see what the teachers and students are up to. Hope you respond. Jenyum, sorry I missed you last night. We got to the TEA office around 8:30 pm. Hope to meet you soon as well. Thank you to everyone who voted and worked for the Levy. Evidently the "poor" of Tacoma do not agree with your assessment Fredo your messaging is so clever...are you a member of the Floyd Brown School of Neo-Con Advertising? If you were at the Levy meeting last night, and saw the local leaders that support the Levy and would see they are all people who volunteer, work and really care about kids...especially the kids that have parents that are struggling or who have no parents. Naturally some of these people are teachers who would be most affected by cuts if the Levy did not pass, including the teachers who are buying supplies and food out of their own pockets to help their students.

by greenfringegarden on 2/10/2010 @ 10:56am
." Except in the case of low income people where less affordable also means unaffordable. But in the race to create a socialist utopia the poor are just collateral damage."

War is Peace
Evil is Good
I have to kill you to save you.
Healthcare option creates death panels
The poor do not benefit from a school levies
Thinking causes anarchy
Hopey, Changey doesn't work (Jesus saves?)
Civil rights leads to enslavement
Laissez Faire Government (why do neo cons run for government)
Trickle Down Theory
Corporations are people

by fredo on 2/10/2010 @ 11:01am
GFG-Thanks for the invite. I'm pretty sure I'm up to date on what's happening in the schools. I read all the materials sent out, I've read the information published on the district website, I read the newspaper every day, and I read the voters pamphlets. Furthermore I have children enrolled in the schools and participate as much as I can in school activities. I own several parcels in the district and support in the district in terms of dollars. What more can I do?

Regarding the levy voting, it wasn't "evident" to me that Tacoma's poor disregarded my position regarding housing affordability. Can you provide me with a breakdown on the voting by income level? You seem to suggest that poor people voted in favor of the levy. Is this true?

One observation I have about the levy results is this. Never underestimate the power of labor unions to get candidates into office, encourage them to develop levy schemes, and finance the advocacy of these schemes. The union power brokers in the district were probably not at the campaign TEA and won't be at the Hunt Open House. They're probably down at some pricey restaurant smoking Cuban cigars and laughing at how gullible the Tacoma voters are.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/10/2010 @ 11:26am

by Mofo from the Hood on 2/10/2010 @ 11:31am
The word "gullible" is not in the dictionary.

by NineInchNachos on 2/10/2010 @ 11:32am
why is Spock killing a kangaroo in anger!?

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/10/2010 @ 11:35am
Because anyone can beat a dead horse.

So why not up the ante a little?

by fredo on 2/10/2010 @ 11:46am
"the word gullible is not in the dictionary"

get a new dictionary

by seejane on 2/10/2010 @ 12:22pm
I guess Fredo's right. Tacoma will have more affordable housing if we don't pass a school levy.... here's proof:

"Median home sales prices in ZIP codes with very-high-rated schools were 62 percent higher than those in ZIPs with average schools and more than 92 percent higher than those with low-rated schools. Looking at it from another angle, ZIPs with mediocre or low-ranking schools had median home values below the average for their broader market, while ZIP codes with top-notch schools commanded a 31 percent premium over the market as a whole."*

So, if we let the schools "make do" we can all have more affordable housing AND when we go to sell our houses we can have that good feeling of selling at affordable prices too.


by NineInchNachos on 2/10/2010 @ 12:41pm
NOTICE: please report profane Tacomics immediately to your sector's thought-police Taliban commander.

by NEAL on 2/10/2010 @ 1:48pm
I lost his cell number, what is it?

by seejane on 2/10/2010 @ 2:10pm
The thought-police Taliban commander says cut school funding by 80%... no need to educate girls and cut the curriculum to simply "Bible", "Obedience Training" and "ROTC"

by marumaruyopparai on 2/10/2010 @ 2:24pm
What impresses me about this Tacomic, inflammatory or not, is how it ties together three seemingly disparate News items into one mutually relevant and cohesive dystopian vision. I'm impressed with this one. A levy to fund public education comes up for vote, an insane former U.S. serviceman water boards his daughter and members of the CIA are contracted in the private sector. . .POOF. . .a Tacomic is born.

Anyway, offensive or not, I rest assured knowing that if RR continues to exceed the generally accepted threshold of common decency, so help him God, Mofo from the Hood will pull this thing over and give him what for.

And if anybody bumps into Fredo out on the unforgiving streets of Tacoma, for God's sake, pony up a little change for the poor man so he can keep his house. Why should poor Fredo have to give up his home and live under a cardboard box just so you selfish parents can have smarter children? Eh? Think about it.

by Nick on 2/10/2010 @ 2:33pm
@seejane To be fair, I imagine it's not exclusively cause and effect. No doubt neighborhoods with higher property values yield greater amounts of revenue to fund their schools. A levy that draws 0.1% from million dollar homes will result in much better funded schools than the same rate applied to lower income areas.

Interestingly enough, this would demonstrate that the more local the taxing mechanism, the more detrimental the effect on schools located in lower-income areas.

This means, if a low-income district is to keep up with it's higher-income neighbors, it has to tax its residents at a higher percentage. Perhaps your statistics are actually making the argument that more funding should be coming from the state so that this effect is dampened.

by NineInchNachos on 2/10/2010 @ 2:39pm
More eloquent words were never typed, thanks marumaruyopparai.. you sir are a gentlemen and a poet.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/10/2010 @ 6:19pm
Solution is simple: Rent your house.

Again, home ownership is for suckers. Who really thinks it's a good idea to keep paying on that liability. It costs money and only keeps pace with inflation at best.

And BTW, anyone who thinks that owner-occupied real estate is an "asset" needs to go take some financial literacy classes.

The levies will be 100% ill spent if none of it goes to helping our kids get financially educated as well.

by Non Sequitur on 2/10/2010 @ 10:51pm
What does this have to do with anything?

by NineInchNachos on 2/10/2010 @ 11:12pm
What does what have to do with anything? or do you mean What does anything have to do with anything?

Get thee to a library!

by Non Sequitur on 2/10/2010 @ 11:56pm
What does child abuse have to do with anything other than a systemic failure of western society?

And what does the so-called "benefits" of renting have to do with a terrible act of abuse?

Sometimes you emo kids make me fearful for the awful future the human race is devolving into.

by NineInchNachos on 2/11/2010 @ 12:13am
Sometimes you answer your own questions. That's efficient brother!

by Non Sequitur on 2/11/2010 @ 12:17am
Not only am I 115% efficient, I am also Too Big To Fail.

by Erik on 2/11/2010 @ 12:42am
RR: Potential Tacomic material.