AZ educrats revive $5 billion “tax the rich” scheme

January 14, 2020

We’ve all seen the now-faded bumper stickers that said, “if you can read this, thank a teacher.” Americans are now experiencing a new twist on that sentiment: “If your kids are Socialists, thank their teachers.”

The “Tax the Rich” scheme, initially filed in 2018, is being resurrected after the Arizona Supreme Court disallowed its placement on the ballot.The initiative is the teacher’s latest Socialist plan that sounds suspiciously akin to the slogan popularized by communist Karl Marx:

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

This is where “underpaid”teachers put their own money.* Many of those figures are in the millions. Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas’ salary is well concealed. Paid by the union, he received in excess of $400,000 in compensation each year from 2011 through 2016. That swank sum has no doubt been upgraded in the intervening years.

The 20% salary increase Arizona striking teachers, who abandoned over 840,000 students, demanded while thumbing their noses at their contractual agreements, was ultimately acquiesced to by Gov. Doug Ducey who initially said he would not cave to the demands. Then, he cunningly claimed there would be no accompanying tax increase. Ducey followed those hollow words by imposing a new, $18 car registration “fee” that all motorists will have to pay. But even that wasn’t enough to placate the educrats.

The deceptive ‘Invest in Education Act(read it) is contrived to extract an additional $500 million annually — specifically earmarked for teachers’ salaries — from higher wage earners, who already pay the highest taxes. They are the latest enemies.

Leftists conveniently forget that “the rich” supply jobs that raise up individuals and benefit families. None of them work 8 1/2 months a year as teachers do. They are the people who took risks and worked long hours to realize their dreams of entrepreneurship or professions. They are those we should aspire to emulate. The Left view them with contempt.

With the support of the radical, Hillary-endorsing Arizona Republic newspaper, public school teachers also led the vote against Prop. 305, intended to expanded eligibility for education empowerment scholarship accounts or vouchers. The educrats organized to deny parental choice in education.

As we wrote in this fact-filled Jan. 2019 post, Educrat thugs promise “Armageddon”:

Falling prey to the teacher’s demands was foolishness personified. It’s like attempting to bribe a mobster. No amount will ever be enough.

*Follow the Money


#REDSforEd: Educrats push socialist political agenda

January 13, 2020

Teachers outpacing Dem politicians as the latest tools to turn red states blue

Arizonans were exposed to the unseemly underbelly of the unionized striking teachers’ walkout which left approximately 840,000 students abandoned for nearly two weeks just prior to the end of the 2018 school year. SRAZ extensively covered the union thugs abominable actions and 20% wage hike demands  — which they then decided wasn’t high enough for their part-time jobs.

In unison, the striking teachers donned red t-shirts emblazoned with #RedforEd and marched on the state capitol. Here at Seeing Red AZ, we dubbed their slogan #REDSforEd, in acknowledgment of the fact that, lemming-like, they were willingly led by a then-24-year-old Noah Karvelis, an eager Socialist Labor Party pawn and 2016 AZ Bernie Sanders campaign coordinator who had only a “provisional” teaching certificate having failed to complete the required history and government courses for certification. Still the teachers followed him as obediently as rats following the Piped Piper of Hamelin.

His mantra,“Teaching is political and silence is complicity,” is enough to send chills down the backs of any responsible parents. Arizona students are doing even worse on tests than their previously low scores. More than half who took the 2019 AzMERIT tests failed — for the FIFTH year in a row! This is the educrats’ highly touted program that measures what should be proficiency in student ability to comprehend basic math and reading skills. To conceal the unfathomable failure rate, they simply changed the test name to AzM2.

Sunday’s edition of Breitbart News, features an outstanding report by Michael Patrick Leahy titled,#RedforEd Founder Promoting ‘Teacher Agency’ in Politics to Academia.” Be aware there is a major concerted effort within the education establishment to flip red or purple states into the leftist blue column. If you have children or grandchildren attending public schools, be sure to read it. Knowledge is power.

Teachers unions, (check out the “party split” graphic) funded to the tune of $millions by dues paying teachers are notoriously left-wing, almost exclusively supporting liberal candidates and causes.*

*Center for Responsive Politics


Apologizing for the killing of Qassem Soleimani? 

January 4, 2020

Leftist U.S. media now identify the butcher as an “iconic and charismatic leader”

Radical protests are being organized by Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (catch-all word used by the left), a blame America first, anti-Israel, coalition demanding the U.S. withdraw all troops from Iraq.

Jane Fonda, now 82, who sided with the North Vietnamese against the U.S and our own military is expected to join the demonstration in D.C.

For those who want to apologize to Iran for the killing of Qassem Soleimani, take a moment to acquaint yourself with Army Captain Brian S. Freeman.

Cpt. Freeman, who graduated from West Point in 1999, was a loving husband, father, Olympic caliber athlete and Army Civil Affairs team leader who actually cared about people regardless of who they were, where they came from, what God they worshiped, or their politics.

Thirteen years ago this month, Cpt. Brian Freeman and his team of Civil Affairs soldiers were in Karbala, Iraq at a meeting to help improve the lives of the people of that province. During that meeting, a team under the command of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, stormed in, killing a number of Americans, and capturing Brian and several members of his team. The captured CA team members were handcuffed, driven away from the meeting and later executed. Captain Freeman is but one of the multitude of lives lost due to the evil of Qassem Soleimani — whose end, regardless of the politics surrounding it, is a good thing.

For over two decades, Qassem Soleimani played a key role in orchestrating Iran’s foreign policy in the Middle East, particularly with regard to its use of proxy militia forces such as Lebanese Hezbollah, numerous Iraqi Shiite armed groups and the Houthi militia in Yemen. He directed the killing of more than 600 U.S. troops during the Iraq War by Shiite militias using lethal roadside bombs. Also killed alongside Soleimani was Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the leader of the violent Iraqi Shiite militia group Kataib Hezbollah

Those apologizing to Iran for Soleimani’s death are pandering to an oppressive regime out of either ignorance, moral bankruptcy, or in a callous attempt at self-promotion.

This is not a world apart from our daily lives.

In May 2011 SRAZ wrote,Hezbollah on our doorstep: Radical Muslims in border towns,” describing the despicable alliance with Mexico. Unfortunately, the substantiating news links are no longer active. 

Readers will want to reacquaint themselves with this outrageous action taken by University of Arizona in August 2018:UofA pays radical Hezbollah-supporting Noam Chomsky, 89, $750k to teach “politics.” That’s where your excessive tuition and taxes go.


$tudying poverty is a lucrative business

November 10, 2019

The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences has recently been awarded to husband and wife Massachusetts Institute of Technology professorial team, Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” The third recipient is Michael Kremer, professor of Developing Societies in the Department of Economics at Harvard, who previously taught in Kenya.

Officially known as the Bank of Sweden Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, the award was created in 1968 by Riksbanken, the Swedish central bank.

The award comes with a 9 million-kronor ($918,000) cash award, a gold medal and a diploma.

Nobel prizes were also given in medicine, physics and chemistry plus two literature awards, and the once acclaimed “Peace” Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize  (complete recipient list) lost much of its luster after it was awarded to Palestinian Liberation Organization leader and terrorist Yasser Arafat, known for inciting murderous rampages including suicide bombers and blowing up school buses filled with Israeli children.

It’s nothing if not political. Since its inception in 1901, there have been 125 recipients. Four have been U.S. Presidents and one a failed Dem candidate. Only one of the four, Theodore Roosevelt, has been a Republican — in 1906. Democrats Woodrow Wilson (1919), Jimmy Carter (2002), and Barack Obama (2009) all merited the award, along with Al Gore (2007).

Obama, who submissively bowed to emperors, tyrants, and Muslim monarchs received the prize for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people.”


A slippery solution for AZ’s failing students

October 28, 2019

Fail safe scheme falsely insures top-notch results

Earlier this month we covered the colossal testing failures being promoted by Arizona’s public schools. The bottom line is that Arizona students are doing even worse on tests than their previously low scores. More than half who took the tests failed — for the FIFTH year in a row!

This marks the first year high schools were given the ability to opt out of participating in this specific assessment, which no doubt thrilled the school administrators, since school funding is based in part on student proficiency in basic skills. Now some schools are resorting to trickery to boost scores, giving those who earn a “B,” for example, a bright shiny “A,” if they were deemed “proficient.”

But wait…there’s more! The latest educrat mumbo-jumble is based on the fact that a student’s ACT scores can determine students’ chances of being accepted into college, class placement, or even access scholarships. The added bonus is students have an opportunity to finagle their scores. As of September 2020, students who have taken the ACT test will have the option to retake individual sections of the test instead of the entire exam. Those who take the test more than once will be given an ACT “superscore” that averages their highest possible ACT composite score. These perks come on the heels of the ability to “pre-test.”

 It’s not difficult to see where this is going. Being a “super scorer” is not an indication of brilliance, unless brilliance is determined by the ability to pre-test, take and retake the test and use the highest score across all attempts to maximize the submitted score. 

What better training for the real world where there are rarely opportunities for do-overs — and certainly not chances to use false cumulative scores? In addition, beginning September 2020, students will have the opportunity to take the ACT online during national test dates, guaranteeing there will be no failures.

ACT initially came into being in the 1950s when schools actually taught. At that time, the acronym stood for American College Testing. Today, ACT stands for nothing. It is a registered trademarked company, headquartered in Iowa with regional offices across the United States and international locations.

Education has become a big business, with undisguised leftist leanings,* that routinely produces a shoddy product — pathetically under-educated American students. Teachers, its first line marketers, now routinely go on strike as we witnessed in Arizona. This model would never survive in a truly competitive environment where outcomes matter.

 *Center for Responsive Politics


Campus mobs hijack free speech, stifle 1st Amendment

October 27, 2019

In light of increasing student disruptions while invited expert speakers attempt to discuss pertinent issues, Jonathan Butcher, a Senior Fellow at the Goldwater Institute, addresses the issue of demonstrators intent on canceling events by shouting down an invited guest and how school administrators should deal with those who apply the “heckler’s veto.” He writes, “School leaders must explain that this behavior is unacceptable before the events take place. Incorporating discussions about the importance of free speech into freshman orientation and adding the school’s commitment to free inquiry to student handbooks.”

The fact that this lack of respect for the First Amendment rights to which Americans are constitutionally entitled takes place on university campuses should strike fear in the hearts of us all — regardless of our political bent.

Recent incidents where mob rule has taken place include the University of Pennsylvania, which shut down an event Wednesday on immigrant detention and deportation after student protesters demonstrated against retired ICE Director Tom Homan’s appearance on the panel.

Georgetown University law school — of all places — was recently the site of another such disruption. Butcher’s opinion piece, “Free speech jeopardized on college campuses,” printed this past week in The Detroit News is definitely worth reading.

This student derision for opinions other than their own has escalated. In December 2009, SRAZ posted,How liberals at ASU honor the First Amendment and treat guests,” which includes a video of then-Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an invited guest, being heckled off the stage at a forum at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism.

If budding journalists and law students, who should be more aware of our enshrined freedoms than most, hold the First Amendment in contempt, what hope is there for our nation’s future?

This abhorrent trend is the direct result of leftist educrats propagandizing on the hot button issues of man-caused (rather than cyclical) climate change, recycling, identity politics, pushing gender-neutral pronouns and transgenderism, while giving short shrift to imperative studies encompassing American History, the history Western Civilization and our enviable U.S. Constitution, that provides freedoms others can only dream of attaining. 


Judicial Watch exposes dark alliance between UofA, ChiComs

October 24, 2019

In an impeccably researched and well-documented report, Judicial Watch reveals the troubling alliance between the publicly funded University of Arizona and Chinese Communists complete with hefty sums of cash changing hands.

The account, titled, “Public university gives Chinese Communists funding, exclusive rights to intellectual concepts, trademarks, inventions,” is stunning in its scope. Read the concise report here, being sure to access the substantiating links.

The University of Arizona (UofA) appears to have an affinity for Communism. In August 2018, SRAZ reported that radical leftist Noam Chomsky, then age 89, was hired for an outrageous salary of $750,000 a year. Chomsky, who supports Hezbollah and defends communist regimes, was brought in to teach his nefarious leftist brand of politics — on a part-time basis. Couple this contemptible giveaway with in-state tuition made accessible for illegal aliens, while our own Arizona students get slammed with increasingly high tuition and fees.

According to the ASU State Press, on May 2018 ASU’s leftwing President Michael Crow received a pay hike of $90,000 bringing his annual salary to $690,000. This outrageous sum does not include his bonuses and perks, including the $70,000 housing allowance for his 4550 sq. ft. Paradise Valley estate. According to this July 14, 2019 report in the local newspaper which notes he ranks 10th nationally in public university president pay, Crow also receives a $10,000 vehicle allowance, a $143,450 retirement contribution, and $5,145 nontaxable compensation (medical, vision benefits).

The Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s three university president’s salaries (ASU, UofA and NAU) and has the ability to award bonuses, is chaired by Larry Penley, who possesses quite a sense of humor:

“I think all of our presidents are really remarkable leaders. We’re very lucky to have them,” Penley said. “When one looks at the marketplace, I really believe that we’re doing a good job in retaining these university presidents, and we’re doing so with reasonable salaries for the kind of jobs they have.”

How does anyone disagree with that “logic”?