Friday, October 12, 2007


The Sooke school board reprimanded schoolteacher Kathryn Sihota. Sihota is the teacher who refused to give her students a standard reading test after

a little girl burst into tears.

In fairness to Ms. Sihota, here is her speech that she gave at a rally for her defence. My gut reaction to the speech was to feel queasy at the touchy-feeliness of the diatribe. Nowhere in the speech is there mentioned a way how to somewhat accurately measure the students' aggregate performances. While it is good to be concerned about the individual student, that is not how governments determine funding.

Furthermore, life does not coddle. Ms. Shiota's worries that the students are subject to unfamiliar material on the test and that this will somehow damage them is specious. Each day brings some new event or challenge in a person's history. New material on a test only preps kids for adulthood when life will be a constant test.

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I realize that this may be a silly title to some but the topic is very serious. Lead in carrion left by hunters is killing off the California condor, an endangered species.

If there are any remnants when a hunter shoots an animal, condors ingest the lead in the corpse. The condors mistake the bullets for the bones that they need for calcium. Since the bullets do not digest, the lead sits in the condor's gut and gradually poisons the condor to death.

Currently, there is legislation, Assembly Bill 821, the Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act, to outlaw lead bullets in California. Please help save the condors. Write to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and ask him to sign the bill.

Here is the letter that I wrote to him:

October 12, 2007

Dear Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:

My political blog has an international readership. I have urged my readers to contact you regarding the Assembly Bill 821, the Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act. Please sign the bill not only for the sake of an endangered species but for the care of the environment.

As a parent, I think it is important to create a healthy world for children. Lead ammunition in the environment is dangerous for humans as well as birds. Condors are an indicator of lead's toxic and fatal qualities to all species.

Please do what is right for the environment and for future generations. Please sign the Ridley-Tree Condor Preservation Act.


Anne Cagle

Please write to the Governor.


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