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Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2012

Students angry over pricey courses pepper-sprayed

April 5, 2012

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— The dozens of student protesters who were pepper-sprayed by police at a California community college weren’t just angry about not getting into a meeting of school trustees.

They were fuming about a new Santa Monica College plan that would let students who did not get into a needed, high-demand course take the class anyway but only if they paid hundreds of dollars more.

On Tuesday night, the emotions boiled over at the meeting.

And a day later, the state agency that oversees the state’s community colleges called on the attorney general to judge whether the plan was legal. Agency officials also called for the college to temporarily halt the program.

The college has said the summer pilot program is an attempt to create new ways to fund some popular state-required classes in an era of declining state education aid.

Critics say the plan will create a caste system favoring wealthy students and runs contrary to the idea of community colleges as a gateway into the middle class.

“Students feel they are being backed into a corner. They feel like they have been left out of the discussion,” said Joshua Scuteri, a student trustee. “The feeling on campus is it’s like the Alamo.”

The school is one of the state’s largest two-year colleges, with an enrollment of roughly 30,000 students. About 1,100 classes out of 7,430 have been slashed since 2008.

As a result, students can’t get the courses they need to graduate. They have held protests before but wanted to be heard and seen by trustees Tuesday night, students said. They were upset because only a handful of them were allowed into the meeting.

When their request to move the meeting to a larger venue was denied, they began to enter the room, said David Steinman, an environmental advocate.

Comments

FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 6 months ago

The Flexible Obama's "voters" are in a fuss. His OWS posse, Wanting. Needing.

Only "Flex" can satiate their demands with a broad smile. An appreciative nod of approval.

No wait!

The women love him. The men wish they were he.

Shower them with your "stash" man! They are your children! They are the future of New America! If you had a son they would have looked like Trayvon.

Peace "rains" eternal.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 6 months ago

An it was brillig and the slithery toves did gyle and gimble in the wabe. You forgot that, FHNC.

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Ingredients

2 tablespoons cooking oil 1 large onion, thinly sliced 1 pound ground beef 1 pound ground pork 1 cup mashed potatoes 2 teaspoons ground allspice 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1 Pastry for double-crust pie (9 inches) 1 egg, beaten

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

The "we want free stuff" movement is alive!

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Community college students wanting to take a required community college course at the same cost as other community college classes is "wanting free stuff." Man, you have snapped and popped.

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usnsnp 2 years, 6 months ago

As I read the article I did not see anything about wanting something free, All I saw was people wanting equil access to the courses.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 6 months ago

You need to broaden your horizons. ".More than two dozen Santa Monica College students were pepper-sprayed Tuesday night after they tried to enter a trustees meeting while chanting “Let us in” and “No cuts, no fees, education should be free.”.." http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/santa-monica-college-students-pepper-sprayed-while-protesting-expensive-courses/2012/04/04/gIQAspyFvS_story.html

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

The only things they're shouting in the supporting video is "Let us in!" and then later "Shame on you!" Guess selective hearing is alive and well at the Post.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

During my years in California, I knew several people who needed just a class or two to graduate. However, semester after semester, the needed class was full. Graduation, and hence careers, were put on hold for a year, or two, or three.
I suspect the problem has been getting worse as the state's population has gone up and financial strains on the educational system has been exacerbated.

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Also as they continue to be constrained by an inability to raise taxes. Thanks, Prop 13.

But during economic downturns, especially, people tend to flock to community colleges. They're cheaper than universities and offer practical job training. This particular downturn was met with belt tightening, which only made it worse.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

California has been tightening it's belt for many years now, long before this downturn. And while Prop. 13 continues to be a significant problem, the political reality is that it won't be overturned. The same political reality that suggests 12 million illegal immigrants aren't going home, either voluntarily or through force. So we've reached a political impasse where there are too many people and not enough money to provide services. The lessons for other states is simple. Don't box yourself into a corner with misguided legislation such as Prop. 13 and don't allow your population to exceed your ability to provide services within the normal budgetary constraints that states will always face.

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deec 2 years, 6 months ago

They are going home voluntarily. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/sep/1/illegal-immigration-down-dramatically/ Restricting taxes via Prop 13 is a huge part of California's fiscal woes.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Your link suggests that some have left due to the bad economy. And what of the others who have not left? What should be done about them? Should the economy turn around and get better, should we expect another increase in illegal immigration? Perhaps we could voluntarily turn our economy into a third world quagmire and then they'd all leave.

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kochmoney 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes. If there's a better economy and businesses willing to pay people to work illegally, you should expect people to flee a crappy economic situation in order to not face starvation. Such things are normally the foundation of conservative policy decisions, except when it offers a chance to hate on brown people.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

You are mixing and matching two different concepts. A crappy economic situation is one thing, starvation is quite another. If it were truly starvation that they were facing, I would be more than willing to send them food. But you and I know that it is not starvation that they are facing. You just wish to throw in some exaggeration. And having done that, you've destroyed whatever credibility your post might have had. All this talk of hating brown people and conservative policies is nothing more than a smokescreen. You can't tell the truth, you won't tell the truth, so you make stuff up.

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Actually quite a few Mexicans face uncertainty about when they will next eat. Food insecurity and incomes of less than $53 per month. That's at least 10% of Mexico right now according to the World Bank. Look it up before you go accusing people of lying.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

"Uncertainty about when they will eat next" is the same as "starvation"?
As I interpret the former, I see someone who might miss a meal or two. As I interpret the latter, I see a dead person. Are we interpreting the two concepts in the same way?

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Hunger. Food insecurity. There's even kwashiorkor in children in some areas, if you know where to look. Third world problems that would drive someone to literally risk their lives crossing a border to work illegally. Apparently they need to drop dead dramatically in front of you to consider them to be something more than mildly inconvenienced by "missing a meal or two?" I'd dare say that your attitude would be different toward the meaning of "starvation" if it was your child getting inadequate nutrition to grow.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

California schools, California senior services, California infrastructure, the State of California in general is overwhelmed by a burgeoning population. People of means are leaving the state while they are being replaced by poor people coming from other states or, much more likely, coming from other countries. It's not sustainable.
Their today is our tomorrow if we don't control population growth.

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

Good article. I guess the saying is right: "Only stupid people are breeding." Have you seen the movie, Idiocracy? It's a comedy based on the same concept.

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notaubermime 2 years, 6 months ago

Your way of thinking leads to social darwinism. The link that appleaday posted indicated that education level, not intelligence, predicted reproductive potential.

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes, but a lot of higher-educated people are more intelligent than those who never finished high school. Their IQ might not be higher, since that measures one's compacity to learn. I know from my personal experience, the people I know who are highly educated are much more intelligent than those I know who aren't. I know this is not an absolute, but it is what I have personally experienced.

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Well good thing we're not actively working toward blocking access to birth control and other reproductive health services in this state now isn't it?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Or dealing with that messy illegal immigration issue, knowing that they have much higher birth rates.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

We learn new things every day, don't we? I wasn't aware that there was a significant illegal immigration problem from Canada, the UK and Australia. I always assumed they were from Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand.

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Katara 2 years, 6 months ago

Ireland and Scotland are both part of the UK.

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

The people coming from the countries you listed do not come to America illegally. That would be a VERY long boat ride, huh?

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Yes it would. Of course, illegal immigration is not limited to any one country, any one ethnicity, any one continent.
There was a story in last week's S.F. newspaper about a man who killed a family of five. He had been released from prison for a prior crime and while we attempted to deport him to his native Viet Nam, they would not accept him. So we were forced to keep him here. When they searched his house, his brother, also a released felon, also an attempted deportee, was arrested for being in possession of drugs and guns. Yes, they come from everywhere.

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Because immigration enforcement is within the job duties of states, as of never.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

While enforcement is not within the powers of the state, the consequences of the federal government's failure of enforcement falls squarely on the state. And the result is overcrowded schools.

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

It's really a shame all those illegals voted for prop 13 back in '78, yes.

Also how dare we educate those kids you blame for overpopulating the state? It's not like education is one of the single biggest things we can do to reduce overpopulation or anything. It's also not like the educational status of the parent has a lot of impact on the educational status of children - children that are US citizens when they're born in this country, whether you like it or not.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I have never suggested that children born in the U.S. are anything but full citizens with equal right to every other child born in the U.S., the status of their parents notwithstanding. However, the failure of the federal government to enforce the laws has left some states and some communities with the unenviable circumstance of either educating (and providing senior services, and providing medical care, and providing social services, and on and on), at a significant cost or allow a permanent underclass.
And while I disagree with the vote in favor of Prop. 13, as I do the election of many of our representatives, I am forced to respect the voice of the electorate. But the mistakes of the electorate, if you wish to characterize them as mistakes, does not justify someone entering the country illegally and then consuming the services of their host.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Yea, shame on those dirty illegal immigrants, seeking to make the best of their pitiful lives, and messing your divinely granted state of perfection in the process.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

You would like to pretend that the numbers of illegal immigrants, along with their high birth rates is not part of the problem. It is, whether or not you agree.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

Everyone alive is part of the problem. The accident of the location of your birth does no excuse you.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Are you suggesting we open all our borders? Of every country?
I'm sorry that some people were born in poor countries. I'm sorry some were born into societies with high violence. I'm sorry some were born ill. But while you mock my "divine" rights here, you somehow grant upon them their divine right to come here. All of them, from every country, from every culture, from every circumstance. The truth is we do grant rights to people fleeing for many political reasons, for persecution, those under threat. But we do not grant that upon those fleeing purely economic distress. We do grant political asylum, we do not grant economic asylum. If it makes you happy, I will grant upon you the divine right to go to whichever world does have the rules which you want, but the vast majority of this world does not.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"Are you suggesting we open all our borders?"

That's what the EU has done.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

The EU is a collection of countries who have voluntarily come together for a variety of reasons. And they have chosen to exclude certain others. It is well within their rights to chose such associations and to deny other associations. We also have the right to choose to associate with or not associate with anyone of our choosing. And should we choose another policy, I will respect that. But until we do, I ask that others respect our choice, just as I respect the choice of places like the EU.

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asixbury 2 years, 6 months ago

You forget the fact that every American's (except the Native-Americans) ancestors were immigrants. This country was founded upon immigrants. To close our borders would go against the very essence of this country's greatness: opportunity for all who are willing to work hard. I believe there should be regulations on just who we allow, but what those regulatioins are is a whole other can of worms.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

I always try to differentiate between illegal immigrants and legal immigrants. I am in favor of legal immigration and opposed to illegal immigration. Several members of my family are legal immigrants. And if we as a society choose to change the rules of immigration, that's our choice to make and would support whatever decision was made. But as of today, having made the choice we've made, we should all follow the laws we've established.

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kochmoney 2 years, 6 months ago

It's far far easier to migrate without the paperwork than it is to get the documentation. I've known plenty of legal immigrants, and the time and legal fees they've needed for their status was epic. If you want to reduce illegal immigration, you're going to have to make the legal variety a lot easier.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 6 months ago

"We also have the right to choose to associate with or not associate with anyone of our choosing."

Immigrants, illegal and otherwise, believe they have a "right" to find the work necessary to eke out a living for themselves and their families, even if it means crossing an imaginary line in order to do it. And I'd expect that they think their "right" is just as legitimate as the one you assert for yourself.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Then they would be wrong. As I stated above, political refugees have long had standing both in the U.S. and within the United Nations. Economic refugees have no such standing. It's not the border that is imaginary, it's the "right" you assert on their behalf.

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kochmoney 2 years, 6 months ago

Suck it up, starving person! Let them eat tres leches!

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Armstrong 2 years, 6 months ago

Noticed nobody is grilling the school trustees. Imagine making obscene profits off the backs of blah blah blah..... Sound familiar ????

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fu7il3 2 years, 6 months ago

I am missing the part where it says why they were pepper-sprayed.

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tbaker 2 years, 6 months ago

This takes us back to the concept of just who owns the money you earn. You exchange portions of your life for money. You give an employer hours of your life, and receive money in return. That money represents that portion of your life. When the government seizes that money from you the government is, in essence, seizing a portion of your life. Yes, I know. We all have a duty to pay taxes - got it. Lets just be sure to never lose sight of this simple concept when confronted by mobs screeching for free stuff.

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chootspa 2 years, 6 months ago

Let's not lose sight of the simple concept that there was no "mob screeching for free stuff." AP video: http://youtu.be/e6hYJ-rA-M4

"Let us in!" and "Shame on you!"

Oh noez. Citizens wanting representation at a public meeting to discuss the administration of a public university. Rather than using their first amendment rights, they should have just sucked it up and been a rich person, because rich people deserve all the taxpayer funded education.

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 6 months ago

Just guessing here, but wouldn't it be more probable that a rich person would send their children to a private school? If true, that would mean the rich person is paying for their own children's education through tuition and also supporting public institutions though taxation.

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kochmoney 2 years, 6 months ago

Anymore, a rich person is all that can afford to go to any variety of higher education. You did get that the plan was to charge higher fees for the required courses - at a community college.

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booyalab 2 years, 6 months ago

It's thanks to government intervention in education that tuition rates have increased five times faster than general inflation.

But yeah, the mob wasn't screeching so much as nagging.

"Shame on you" is one of those popular but totally ineffective phrases. You either are a person who is likely to use it or a person who thinks it sounds like nails on a chalkboard. So. Irritating.

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