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January 27, 2016     Hays Free Press
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January 27, 2016
 

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+ QUOTE OF THE WEEK "Wb have a county lockup that is overflowing and we can't figure out how to finance that... The notion to give money to a billionaire for an NFL team ... it wouldn't be a good idea." -Todd Ruge, Buda mayor, stow on page 1D Page 3A Hays Free Press January 27, 2016 TsPim e number of times eople say to us, "The pie truth is..." Whoa. Not so fast. It seems that truth is not so simple anymore, despite the fact that so many peo- ple, so many voters wish it were so. A recent Non Sequitur cartoon in the Austin Amer- &an-Statesman shows a long line of people going to an "answers" booth. To the left is the sign "simple but wrong". To the right is "complex but right". Surprising, but true. Most of the people in the cartoon strip are heading to the "simple but wrong" side, while only one or two take the "complex but right" side. And so it seems to be in politics, in education, in world policies, in our healthcare. Nothing is simple any- more - and probably never was. When looking at politics, take the recent Sarah Palin endorsement of Donald Trump. Both of these pol- iticians espouse"simple, black-and-white" answers. Their supporters want an easy answer to a very com- plex world. Certainly, Palin's recent speech fit the bill. Her bizarre speech, which included made up words, was simply a bit incoherent and didn't follow a theme. It was just a bunch of sayings thrown together. "Quit footin' the bill for these nations who are oil-rich," she said. "We're paying for some of their There is no easy answer, just a complex system that seems to be oh-so-slowly working. Move on to the world stage and we get people putting their heads in the :)i-~ ~ sand, trying to avoid the truth that refugees are flee- ing Syria. Again, it is not a simple answer. There is constant fighting, with ordinary peo- ple caught in the middle, only wanting a better life for their children. They want jobs, a home, food, education. It's what everyone wants. But the answer to how to solve this world crisis is difficult. Europe is being inundated with refugees. Denmark is instituting a policy of taking some of the funds and property that ref- ugees bring into its country to try to stem the tide and discourage more people from coming there. Turkey, Greece, Italy, Germany, Sweden ... look at any country in the path of Syrian refugees and you squirmishes that have been going on for centuries." (Yes, she said squirmishes.) Well, ff that doesn't say simple, does Trump's idea that he is going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it sound any better? Simple sayings that rally their supporters but mean nothing in the real world- that's the drivel that voters are being fed. ]eb Bush has tried to give more complex answers, but, by and far, he has been pushed by the wayside as Trump and Ted Cruz, who also speaks in one-line quotables without anything behind them, take over the top spots. Is it better on the Demo- cratic side? To a bit, but the real person who spoke in complex troths - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has all but dropped out- or rather been dumped out- of the race. Bemie Sanders has some ideas that make for good sound tracks, and HiUary Clinton is just too complex, for the most part, for the wide range of voters. Because they all want simple, black-and-white answers. Move on to science and medicine and vaccinations and more. Obamacare? It's complex. Period. Who ever said that trying to cover everyone in this country would be easy? It takes a lot of people working together on actu- arials, putting together a lot of numbers to make this work. But too many politicians promise that they will "get rid of Obamacare." Okaaayyy ... And they will replace it with what? Obamacare has opened up healthcare to more peo- ple than ever before. Yes, prices continue to go up. But they are leveling out. According to the Health Re- search Institute, U.S, med- ical inflation is expected to drop to 6.5 percent in 2016. While still an increase, it is much less than the high-in- flation medical years before 2012. will see that they are talking about how they can help the refugees, protect their country's econom5 and figure out a way to get Syria under control and more. Complex issues require complex solutions. So, the next time you tell someone to just give you the simple answer, figure on a long explanation. The world is inter-con- nected these days, our lives are part of a bigger picture. There are not simple truths. There are complex problems. Tne first day after the d of the NFL regu- season has come to be called Black Monday - when many a team with a losing record generally fires its coach. This suits the urges of the owner who has prom- ised a winner to the fans, though he didn't produce players who can win. Blame the coach. Don't blame the owner. The Cleveland Browns in the last 25 years have had 13 coaches. It makes no sense that all of them were inept. Indeed, one of them, Bill Belichick, has won four Super Bowls with another employer. A study of this knee-jerk practice finds that rather than improving, it's more likely that a team that fires its top leadership will do worse. Such are the wages of the syndrome called ac- tion bias "the "do some- thing" tendency that gets institutions nowhere. "Teams talk about the need for 'fresh energy' and 'newleadership' and a clean slate," writes Sports Illustrated's JonWertheim in a piece on action bias. When I hear those phrases, though, I don't think of football. I think of public schools. ung- at Large by John ....... :~I .... Young I think of good people constantly shuffled away, good institutions mined upside-down, in a quest for a "new team," a "new emphasis," a"new focus." Action bias has been a trademark in the age of so- called "school accountabil- ity." Policymakers with only a marginal grasp of edu- cation issues sow fear and disruption to show voters they will "do something." A lot of great football coaches - Tom Landry, for one - were given the opportunity to fail, with stability and long-range goals the objective. School principals today have such luxury In these days of corporate-style school policies - corporate in the form of hostile takeovers by policymakers who often are ideologues who don't even buy into the concept of public schools. But if the carnage and disruption wrought by constantly reshuffling school administrations defies logic, even more illogical are policies that would close whole schools down for chronically low test scores. Yeah, blame a building. And let's blame AT&T Stadi- um for the Dallas Cowboys' hideous 2015 season. Texas State Rep. Harold V. Dutton says, "Closing a public school campus for being low performing makes about as much sense as geeing rid of your car because it is simply out of gas." I've seen this happen in Texas. I saw an inner-city Waco neighborhood lose what for generations had been its most important asset, a history-rich sec- ondary school. I saw black and brown students bused to far-off schools with more crowded classrooms- over what? Over numbers. The solution in that instance wasn't to vacate those historic and trea- sured walls. It wasn't to fire the principal and to ship the teachers to other campuses. The solution was to make the most of the opportunity- yes, the opportunity- to serve the students in that neighbor- hood where they lived. Explain to the jury why all of the schools that face these sanctions are in inner cities. Is it because the walls of those buildings sap individuals of their will to succeed? It's always fascinating that the "failing school" crowd, that which thinks public schools are flawed and hopeless institutions, never acknowledges that somehow public schools do a pretty peachy job out in the suburbs where all the children arrive at school in shiny SUVs and where computer screens glow each night in just about every bedroom. In those shiny suburban schools, by the way, you are likely to see stability among leadership. Princi- pals there, for some reason, have a tendency to perform exceptionally. They are great, in fact. Go figure. No, Mr. Owner, you can't blame the stadium for the team's performance. The coach? Firing him might be the stupidest thing you can do. It's all about the players (students and parents), and it's about the resources you have committed to excellence. Longtime newspaper- man ]ohn Young lives in Colorado. jyoungcolumn@gmail.com. LETTER TO THE EDITOR WHO DO YOU TRUST? that Sheriff Bridges had with the City of Buda? In reference to the The agreement was the front page article, i.e. county wouid provide Tommy Ratliff's accu- sation against Sheriff extra patrol - for pay- Cutler, I have several for the City of Buda. questions. Mr. Ratliff has not Did Mr. Ratliffwitness been elected to office in the events he mentions. Hays County. Or was it heresay? I have known Sheriff Why did Mr. Ratliff Gary Cutler for many leave West, TX under a years and trust him to cloud? continue to uphold and After being appointed enforce the laws in Hays Sheriff by the Commis- County and elsewhere. sioners Court after Allen Who do you trust? Bridges suddenly died, Thank you, why did Mr. Ratliff NOT Tommy Poer honor the agreement Buda, TX COMMENTS FROM THE WEB I see this ALL THE TIME at the Buda/Austin line at the turn around to get to TDS. Shouldnt someone make some changes? - Stephanie Delph on "Rollover accident involving garbage truck" Compost week is no joke. - Michael Marcionetti on garbage truck" "Rollover accident involving Thank you I a/ways say a silent prayer when I have to drive through this intersection. Too many drivers do not or ignore the law about 4-way stops. - Linda Bradford on "Traffic signal at FM 1626/Kohler's Crossing functional" Thank you so much TXDOT! I went through that intersection today & for the first time didn't have a panic attack. It was great. - Lily Elmore on "Traffic signal at FM 1626/Kohler's Crossing functional" Barton Publications, Inc. News tips: news@haysfreepress.com Opinions: csb@haysfreepress.com 113 W. Center St., Kyle, TX 78640 512-268-7862 122 Main St., Buda, TX 78610 512-295-9760 www.haysfreepress.com Publisher Cyndy Slovak-Barton News and Sports Editor Moses Leos III Reporter Paige Lambert Columnists Bartee Haile, Pauline Tom, Chris Winslow, John Young Proofreaders Jane Kirkham, Debbie Hall Marketing Director Tracy Mack Marketing Specialists James Darby, Pare Patino Production Manager David White Production Assistant Christine Thorpe Circulation/Classifieds Suzanne Hallam Distribution Pete Sizemore, Gabe Oranelas