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Re: “Avoid Our Mistakes

"Avoid our mistake" is such a perplexing heading. It raises the question of whom! Whom is it that is encompassing "our" mistake. I was excited to think that this may be the Inlander owning up to the collective madness it participated in and willfully propagated like all media institutions and their stenographers. Could this be? Was it an apology for their failure? Was it an articulation of the rightful shame every staff member of every one of these POS rags printed on dead wood?

Well, my cynicism was not misplaced. They didn't mean "our" in the grammatical sense but "our" in the culturally marxist sense. They took my voice, all of our voices, and slandered it with the presumption of their awful opinions. That a public school teacher, one of the least intellectually driven professions of our society, is fit to stand in front of a room full of kids and pontificate as if they themselves are aware of what is and isn't fake news; I cannot help but wonder if this is part of the problem. I tell my kids, all kids, that they should first doubt ANYTHING that a public school teacher tells them. Not that I am a fan of praising Reagan--not that this is even praise--but I have always liked his refrain "trust but verify." Each person deserves the dignity of trust, though, this does not mean that you should trust that which you cannot verify. Which is to say that knowing the truth has an element of faith. I wonder, do the teachers propped in front of the kids illustrate this notion? Do they teach kids to be skeptics? Sadly, I suspect that what they are teaching children are algorithms of a sort that will allow them to go to the NYT and click on the articles and not be fooled by the "sponsored content" click-bait that almost every single newspaper website in America has littered all over their pages. Which is to say they will learn to identify the advertisements in a newspaper. But what will it facilitate in these young scholars understanding of considering the truth of something on their own behalf?

The assumption is that if you can parse the news website and if you can discern the sponsored content from the actual content then you are going to not fall for fake news. This sort of logical paradigm says nothing of telling whether the NYT article that you have carefully picked out from the sponsored content is entirely full of bullshit. Like when they said that Iraq had WMDs. Or, when they said that the US doesn't torture. Or when they said that Iran is 6 months from a N. bomb every year for the last 3 decades. I hate to rain on the parade of our heroic journalists and government paid teachers but knowing which source to trust is not teaching children anything more than how to come to a politically correct opinion that you have been trained to compile then to believe as if the Truth itself. But you don't get to be true just because of where you come from. You have to reason with truth. You have to say it and support it in order for it to be believed. I go to the NYT, the SPokesman, the Inlander merely to see what fools continue to believe.

Yes, the problem isn't that I cannot tell the advertisements from the articles on a newspaper's website but rather that people are prone--taught even--to believe from the source rather than using their own bullshit detector. And the cherry on top is that Wilson himself--the author of this poorly written assessment--is a purveyor of fake news. Case and point is an article he wrote in September about how the idea that Trump has supporters was hurting the feelings of snowflake immigrants at the WSU. Wilson called these people "undocumented citizens" which is an outright neologism that fits nicely with his worldview but is not appropriate in a forum that has as its chief intent to inform people. They even mention in this article about how students tend to be biased in what they decide to consider fake.

The effort to combat fake news is better founded within a good education instead of in the context of "identifying" fake news. If it is fake, it ought to be self-evident to the educated mind. And there were eras when you could say that American students had the virtue of a critical mind. However, it seems like times have changed and now instead of building up educated individuals who will not bow to a weak analysis are we are instead teaching students how to "identify" fake news by any means other than reason. Reason is the only true way to establish what is true and what isn't; and, the truth is often left to the soul's discretion. Plato's desire may have been for there to be a world of the forms where truth is an objective, discernible and universal thing but the Platonic world of the forms hasn't been a standard epistemology for hundreds of years. Whether something is True or not isn't a matter of identifying and categorizing a thing into its proper form but rather it is the act of synthesizing knowledge and analyzing with reason. One could hope that "AP" classes would be more challenging. Frankly, I think AP classes are a waste of time, and in thinking that I didn't take them and still I got into the only University that I applied to and the only one I wanted to go to. Which begs the question, what purpose are these classes? It certainly does well to elevate the ego of the hapless students that are dabbling in their first taste of elitism but, like most of the self-gratifying fluff I was told in my public school, much of it turned out to be just lies and I would add the need for AP classes to be one of these lies. AP classes are pretty much superfluous and, from reading this article, it seems like they aren't even that intellectually challenging, which is funny.

Moreover, this act of seeking out the "fake" news is in part an apology Clinton's failure. It is most certainly not the reason for her failure but it is an apology that has emerged from the ongoing narrative that Clinton was harmed not by her character and reputation but by foreign meddling in the election. And the meddling was simply that the truth of her duplicity was revealed in a glorious display of leaks that shower her and her team to be made of the worst of what everyone had expected of them. I give thanks to that unexisting god in the sky that we are not going to have to survive 4 years of pretty much exactly what all these idiots think we will be getting with Trump. I hope Trump burns DC to the ground. Figuratively of course, or at least in a way that no one gets hurt. I say that because hurting people is wrong and, as it turns out, the most pinnacle of my objections to the central government in that swamp is under that banner. I don't want people to be hurt! So in summary, I guess what I am saying is that AP classes of this nature are "fake" school. Ha!

Posted by Lysander_Spooner on 01/19/2017 at 4:05 PM

Re: “Snow Removal Blues

Hi Kelly Rae, i think i might have a few answers for you as i used to work for the city of Spokane street dept for several years and have an inside scoop on many of it's workings. First off the deicer we use is a magnesium cloride which is designed to be applied to the road to prevent the snow from sticking so that we can plow the streets cleaner. It also can deice a thin layer of packed snow and ice usually no more than 1 inch thick. Now that is only if it is applied at a heavy rate of 40-80 gal per lane mile or more. Now our head management has told us time and time again only to apply it at 20-30 (gplm) and also only on hills, curves and lit intersections. Which means that all of the spaces in between will remain super icy and at such a low rate even the hills will only see safe ice melting after multiple applications from several shifts of workers. The only reason the deicer is not applied to the entire route and at an effective rate in the first place is, you guessed it money. Our head engineer Andy Schenk only cares about staying on budget. He will sacrifice pubic safety time and time again just so he doesn't look incompetent and have to ask the city council for more funding. He also gets a bonus if we keep our deicer budget under what city hall has allocated. So that is the main reason why the arterials in town remain super icy for most of the winter. He also buys the cheapest plow trucks money can buy. The paticular brand of Freightliner trucks we buy are terrible for plowing snow and do not even have a locking differential. They are constantly breaking down. Which means of the 60 or so peices of snow removal equipment we have at least 20 percent are usually broken down and waiting for repairs. Again it's a money thing as a nice Mac or Kenworth can cost 200k plus but a Freightliner costs only 120k. We also have lost many positions in the last 30 years. I think we had somwhere around 100 employees 30 or 40 years ago. Now we only have 60 do to yearly budget cuts. We also spread those 60 people out very thin to cover day and night shifts 7 days a week during the winter months. Our management also doesnot like to pay overtime wages and time and time again refuses to call in the entire work force for an active storm. Leaving on an average day or night maybe 12 people to make sure that every arterial street in town is safe. That is the best case, not including those on vacations or out sick. As far as the trucks running with their plows up. Most likely the truck has either a mechanical issue and is heading in for repairs or the driver is heading in for a lunch break. You can only plow at 10-15 miles an hour and that takes a long time to drive back to the shop for break. So to sum up bad management decisions have basically tied the hands of the employees who are trying to be as efficient as possible. That and a lack of good equipment and proper staffing equals poor response times during and after snow events.

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Posted by mike t on 01/14/2017 at 4:30 AM

Re: “Snow Removal Blues

Interesting when the Inlander, the liberal publication, writes a sympathetic article, to the "plan" and the Spokesman-Review, the conservative paper writes an article comparing other cities management to Spokane's versus the statements of those in charge of the budget for our streets. When the SR makes a criticism it's probably well beyond the time for something to be done. I'm surprised, Inlander. I think we'd all like to know how, in a multi-million dollar streets budget, the city only allotted $750,000 to snow-plowing, knowing this was going to be terrible winter? If Madison, WI and other cities about our size are doing a better job, it's time to ask some different questions. The revenue being lost from lack of plowing may be greater than that spent on not plowing, not to mention accidents this year. I think it's time for a lot of us to speak up at City Hall next public opportunity. People getting stuck on Main Street Downtown, a major thoroughfare. Plows going around with their blades up. People want answers.

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Posted by Kelly Rae Mathews on 01/10/2017 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Snow Removal Blues

Hi,
I believe it's 'corrosion' not 'erosion' caused by the road salt.
And La Nina is actually Colder and Wetter ( more snow than rain) than normal - Great for us SKIERS! :-)
Thanks.

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Posted by ssxt on 01/06/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “To Be a Tree

I'm not sure who I should be directing this question to but, why is the willow inside Manito park not on this list?! I went to the registry list and look. No trees in Manito are on the list. That tree is absolutely beautiful and, in my opinion, totally deserves a place among the great trees of Spokane!

Posted by Cindy Anderson on 12/30/2016 at 5:50 PM

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