MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
breese stevens field
Saturday, August 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 76.0° F  Fog/Mist
Collapse Photo Bar

Vang Pao controversy continues

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Re: Vang Pao controversy continues

Postby magic moose » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:32 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Can you post the district's press release clearly listing the four finalists? I'm also curious how the item was listed and detailed on the BOE Agenda for April 9, which I can't seem to find on the MMSD website.

Interestingly, the Board did NOT wait until April 16, but rushed the vote through on April 9. Why was that?

Lucy, the BOE requires a tremendous amount of public trust in its ability to make terribly difficult decisions. I don't think you have any idea how much public confidence the board has lost in this embarrassing affair.


I'm hearing a couple critiques in this and correct me if I misrepresent you, Stu.

The MMSD notice process needs to be accurate (I noticed a discrepancy too) and it may have disenfranchised people who had scheduled to voice their opinions between April 9th and April 16th, the notice process could have more clearly outlined how the four finalists were to be chosen and by whom, and Lucy is referring to processes that are not well-referenced on the internets.

As a larger critique of how the MMSD board might be more transparent, I might agree. There are probably some process issues - transparency issues - in the MMSD that need confrontation.

To insinuate that this was specifically rammed through to avoid public debate will need a bit more for me. I can't come to that just because the web site is not updated or minutes are not yet published. I can be convinced otherwise if there were improper dealings or conversations that were specifically aimed at public deception, but it doesn't ring true. I don't see a nefarious motive here.

If the outcome was the embarrassing/public confidence losing part, that's your opinion. I just don't share it.
magic moose
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:36 pm

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:50 pm

Always fun discussing transparency with a pseudonymous foron.

I'm still waiting for a reply from MMSD on my request. As soon as I get that April 9 agenda and the press release through which the MMSD announced the four finalists, I'll have a better handle on this all. But you've got to admit -- to announce the vote is expected on April 16, and then vote on April 9 certainly raises a question or two. Like -- why?
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3217
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Postby magic moose » Tue Apr 24, 2007 3:57 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Always fun discussing transparency with a pseudonymous foron.


Guilty!

:D
magic moose
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:36 pm

Postby Mister_A_In_Madison » Wed Apr 25, 2007 12:14 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:As soon as I get that April 9 agenda and the press release through which the MMSD announced the four finalists, I'll have a better handle on this all. But you've got to admit -- to announce the vote is expected on April 16, and then vote on April 9 certainly raises a question or two. Like -- why?


I look forward to your findings.
Mister_A_In_Madison
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1574
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:45 pm

Postby Madcity Expat » Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:11 pm

Naming a public building is a civic act. Honoring the Hmong as members of our civil society is right and good. However, in my opinion, the school should be named after an important/prominant member of the Hmong-American community, i.e. they contributed, ultimately, to American civil society.

For me, it's less an issue of whether or not the General in question is a laudable figure. For me the issue is that his accomplishments and significance are disconnected from American civil society.

Afterall, I admire James Connolly, but I don't think we should name a high-scool in Milwaukee after him.
Madcity Expat
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1261
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: mill-e-wah-que..."the good land"

Re: Vang Pao controversy continues

Postby missmadtown » Wed Apr 25, 2007 7:21 pm

Lucy Mathiak wrote:I cannot speak for other board members, but I can share that I did not feel pressured.
I have a very hard time believing you and the rest didn't feel pressured:
From WKOW: Monday night, hundreds of Hmong parents and students filled the Doyle Administration building as board member Shwaw Vang pushed to name the school after General Vang Pao, a prominent Hmong leader. After a 12 minute speech in which Shwaw Vang talked of General Pao's importance (to the Hmongs)...the board unanimously voted to name the school General Vang Pao Elementary.

When Carol Carstenson said she thought the school board should look into some of the allegations against Vang Pao, she said fellow school board member Shwaw Vang was "very, very upset at the idea that we would reconsider the decision."

Johnny Ly, West High graduate was so angered by Carstenson's statement that he turned in his high school diploma, and said he won't take it back until the MMSD commits to naming the school after PAo.

If that (and more) didn't make you all feel pressured then perhaps the problem is you have a hard time keeping level heads in the presence of well-organized special interest groups.

If shooting his own soldiers, abusing and murdering prisoners, pressuring 10-14 year old boys into service, drug trafficking, fraud, embezzlement, and shake-downs of Hmongs in the US for money, doesn't impact your decision to name a Madison Elementary School for Vang Pao, how about this?:

In order to create alliances and strengthen his position, he,"took eight wives from the largest of the 18 Hmong clans. (In keeping with American law, he has since divorced all but one.)" (Sacramento Bee; Orphans of history, Jan 2002)

Do you think MAdison moms will want their daughters attending a school named for a known polygamist?
missmadtown
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:16 pm

Postby magic moose » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:07 am

When does pressure become concerning as opposed to part of the normal civic process? On issues people care about, I'd argue we often exert pressure on decision-makers. Pressure seems to be what it's all about. If done in the right way - and this sequence of events falls into the category of normal civic discourse.

What I'm hearing here - in subtext - is that this pressure was somehow different and not the garden variety that we see in civic life that is mostly ethical and moral. That this pressure is somehow more objectionable than that of, say, MTI (a perhaps more pervasive and substantive force). Or on a small scale, how stacking the board meeting for elementary strings is any less concerning. I'd like to know why this is different.

I see a group of citizens that felt strongly about something, was vigilant in turnout, offered inspiring arguments, and won over the board. I have also heard that Shwaw Vang's words were compelling and inspiring. If his powerful words swayed the board, "pressure" would not fairly characterize how the board was influenced.

Where does this cross the line? I don't see it. Was the atmosphere inappropriately hostile? Was the anger and upset feelings over any opposition handled inappropriately? Was there any malfeasance involved? I suspect no.

If there was any of the above, I'll eat crow, but I just haven't seen it.

I'd welcome any first-hand accounts.
magic moose
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1198
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2007 12:36 pm

Re: Vang Pao controversy continues

Postby missmadtown » Thu Apr 26, 2007 9:56 am

Stu Levitan wrote:Can you post the district's press release clearly listing the four finalists? I'm also curious how the item was listed and detailed on the BOE Agenda for April 9, which I can't seem to find on the MMSD website.

Interestingly, the Board did NOT wait until April 16, but rushed the vote through on April 9. Why was that?

Lucy, the BOE requires a tremendous amount of public trust in its ability to make terribly difficult decisions. I don't think you have any idea how much public confidence the board has lost in this embarrassing affair.



How weird is this? Am I missing something? Here is a link to the minutes from the "Special Meeting" of April 9, 2007. There is no mention of the school naming...
http://mmsd.org/boe/minutes/special/2007-04-09.htm

edit- Yet it is mentioned in the Student Senate minutes from their meeting on April 10.
missmadtown
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:16 pm

Responded to McCoy - Article about General Vang Pao

Postby Pao Thao » Thu Apr 26, 2007 1:48 pm

I believed that the U.S government and the American People owed Gernal Vang Pao alot and the Hmong people. Listened you people out there who dear to speaks without experience it.

I want to congratulate Alfred McCoy for his useless research about General Vang Pao, and publicly criticized one the greatest command leader during the Vietnam War.

McCoyâ??s accusation of General Vang Pao for two things: (1) he is a herion dealer, and (2) he is a killer.

Let me make this debate very short and I want Alfred McCoy to clearly understand that he just lost his debate. There is no further debate needs on his accusation about the negative and perhaps racist remarks by McCoy. You will never win the heart of the Hmong families, men, and women in Uniform who died over 30 years ago to protect the American Citizen and soldiers in South Vietnam. I just want to let you know that your negative, bias and stereotype remarks will not make the Hmong people become weaker, divider, but it make us stronger and more united.

Stereotypes and Biased:

Is there true that General George Washington has Slaves and so does Thomas Jefferson, also has slaves. Therefore, is it true that at some point these slaves were got beaten by stick, ropes, torture, and oppression. But are they the best citizens in America history to bring the fortunes, independence, and the freedom for America in this world.

â?Š...there were street names, library names, school names, books, and postage all over America. There were nothing mention about their negative, wrong doing, bad decision, and etc. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are great people.

Are you saying that President Bush is a bad president because he ordered to invade Iraq, and you think the commanders in Iraq should never recognize and award for their decision to order execute enemies and at bad decision had killed innocent children and women. I donâ??t think so, I think people can make bad decision based on information they see and collect from others at the time and they have the courage and fight for freedom.

What is your argument McCoy? Or are you currently using drugs ? Do you ever try opium or herion? Iâ??m sure you did because you seemed to know a lot about it. Only people who use it know about it. Do you have a peanut in your head? Are you depress or has PTSD ? Probably OCD because you keep repeat making the same remarks about someone. This is sort of the thought that I have when I read your article and remarks.

Let me ask you this, Do you have the guts to meet with our or one of the America greatest General: VangPao.? I said he is an American General not just for the Hmong, because he was not hired or paid by the Hmong people, he was paid by the American Government, even president Nixon, and Johnson knew about this. There is nothing secret inside the Whitehouse or in Washington.

So are you saying that being a commander or being a General, you canâ??t kill enemies, you should save enemies. Are you saying that General George Washington, Ulysses Grants, General McCarthy, never order to execute anyone or enemies.

My understanding is that the army, commanders, soldierâ??s jobs were trained to kill.


LETâ??S THINK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX:

1. One thing I believed is that General VangPao has the courage and full confident by the U.S government to ask him to carry the duty during the Vietnam War. { allied with the CIA, or U.S }.

2. Why there are millions of people in Laos but the U.S appointed General VangPao to be the man for the mission..?

3. General Vang Pao was promoted by of the King of Laos, Royal family and the U.S government to received an honor for him, all the things he is doing is to protect Laos from spreading communist, and protect the American Soldier in South Vietnam by disturbed, cut off supplies from the North Vietnamese, and to kill the North Vietnam Army (communist) that cross to Laos coming to South Vietnam to kill the U.S soldiers.

4. General Vang Pao is the only one can be trusted by the U. S Government that he will stand and will never betray the U. S Government [ Vang Pao never betrayed the U.S]. That General Vang Pao and the Hmong people regardless of their ages, weak, poor, rich, farmers, men and women will fight for freedom and democracy, that they will not back down, and will not disappoint the U.S government. The CIA believed General VangPao and his people of course the Hmong and supplies them with all the military equipments that necessary to complete the mission (Secret War in Laos).

5. All the Hmong regardless of their ages, weak, strength, men, and women were trained by the CIA into special Air Force, spy units, soldiers, etc. There no structures of course at the time because the needs and time are running out. The American are losing battle in South Vietnam, The Hmong men are rushing for training and exercise inside Laos and Thailand to complete the training as soon as possible and were sent to the battle field to protect their village, save children and women lives, and to target North Vietnamese soldier and killed.

6. General VangPao was the only Hmong Leader they can trust and believed in him that all the Hmong people, regardless of young children, men, and women are willing to die for what they believed are the right things to do, and that is to defend democracy and moral for the good sake of the people in Laos and the U.S.

7. There is no doubted about General VangPao performance, that he is very the best General and committed to the mission. There were millions of North Vietnamese soldiers against just thousands of Hmong soldiers, again who will fight to the end, which fight with courage, and under the leadership of General VangPao.

8. General Vang Pao never abandoned his great people who support, loves, and respect him. There are organization such as Lao Family Community, Hmong American Friendship, Hmong Lao Human Right, etc were supported and organized by General VangPao and his staff to help in education, job training, culture, adjusted to society program, and services programs for his people inside the United States.

9. General VangPao is the great leader who help to open the door and windows that allow the Hmong people to have good life, and respect through out the world: Australia, Canada, France, China, and in the U.S. With General VanPaoâ??s leadership, Hmong inside of Laos and in the U.S has the opportunity to get their highest education, jobs, lives status, and allow it self to become scholar like other nations.

10. General VangPao will be forever remember by the Hmong people as one the great leader in their history, just like any leaders around the word.

11. General VangPao had set high expectation for the Hmong people to do good things, educated, economic, political, and so forth.

12. General VangPao is a good role model for the Hmong people. There are Hmong people now in Iraq, in the Marine Unit, Air Force to fight for Freedom in Iraq and at Korean Peninsula

13. America owed General Vang Pao everything what he had done to protect their loves one, men and women in uniform at the battle field in South Vietnam.


This is why I said in the beginning that you just lost your debate. There are no way that you can continue to make such negative remarks and insulting the General.

Last question for you; are you willing to make any remarks about his other U.S generals about their wrong doing..? I say no, you canâ??t, because if you do, you will be grilled by the Americans people. You donâ??t look like a bad person, but acts like one, and be honest with you. You should have chosen a better research to do and stop wasting your time making nonsense remarks, and delusion about your research and other people sources.

There are bad people in the world, thatâ??s why we have good people. If there are no bad people then good people may not exist. McCoy, stop playing the roles of bad people, you are demoting people, putting people down, and being betrayed.


I support the school boards decision to name the Elementary School after General Vang Pao. I strongly believed the American people finally realized the great things of General Vang Pao and it will be honor for General Vang Pao to receive such great recognition.


God blessed America..!
Pao Thao
Member
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2007 11:31 am

Re: Vang Pao controversy continues

Postby Lucy Mathiak » Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:49 pm

missmadtown wrote:
Lucy Mathiak wrote:I cannot speak for other board members, but I can share that I did not feel pressured.
I have a very hard time believing you and the rest didn't feel pressured:
From WKOW: Monday night, hundreds of Hmong parents and students filled the Doyle Administration building as board member Shwaw Vang pushed to name the school after General Vang Pao, a prominent Hmong leader. After a 12 minute speech in which Shwaw Vang talked of General Pao's importance (to the Hmongs)...the board unanimously voted to name the school General Vang Pao Elementary.



Have you ever watched a school board meeting? On March 19, we had over an hour of much more high pressured comments from parents from the Marquette Lapham neighborhood. It isn't a fun part of the job, but it does come with the territory. Long presentations from respectful and humble speakers is hardly pressure although it does make for a long evening.

As for Shwaw Vang, Ms. Carstensen should be ashamed of the way that she has portrayed his reaction. Yes, he was upset, and understandably so. The time for comment had come and gone, and it was disingenuous at best for Carol to imagine that her belated buyer's remorse would not create dismay on Shwaw's part.

That said, the responses from Ruth Robarts and myself were much more pointed than anything that Shwaw has said at the time and since. Indeed, when Johnny Ly returned his diplomma, Shwaw admonished him to be respectful of Ms. Carstensen and her long years of service on the board.

As for polygamy, I can see where some people would be much more comfortable with the moral rectitude of naming a school after a president who kept his own children as slaves, a general whose march to the sea produced the term "scorched earth campaign," or a president who was a womanizer, got our foreign policy in bed with Cuban expats,and got us mired in Vietnam over some very cowboyish impulses. As for the school named after a labor leader who despised anyone who was not a white skilled worker, helped to reign oppression down on dissidents, and wanted women at home in the kitchen, hey, now there's a school name I can laud.

Sorry. Having read history, I would suggest that it is wise not to look to closely at the names chosen. At least if you believe that the name of the school influences the behavior of the children. It would be much easier to just give them numbers and be done with it.
Lucy Mathiak
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 3:07 pm
Location: deep in cyberspace

Re: Vang Pao controversy continues

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:06 pm

Lucy Mathiak wrote:Sorry. Having read history, I would suggest that it is wise not to look to closely at the names chosen. At least if you believe that the name of the school influences the behavior of the children. It would be much easier to just give them numbers and be done with it.

Your argument is akin to "two wrong make a right." So why was the decision pushed up a week and held during both the MMSD and UW Spring Breaks? And why no adequate public notification?
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19732
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Vang Pao controversy continues

Postby lukpac » Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:07 pm

Lucy Mathiak wrote:As for polygamy, I can see where some people would be much more comfortable with the moral rectitude of naming a school after a president who kept his own children as slaves, a general whose march to the sea produced the term "scorched earth campaign," or a president who was a womanizer, got our foreign policy in bed with Cuban expats,and got us mired in Vietnam over some very cowboyish impulses. As for the school named after a labor leader who despised anyone who was not a white skilled worker, helped to reign oppression down on dissidents, and wanted women at home in the kitchen, hey, now there's a school name I can laud.


The fact that schools *are* named after those figures doesn't seem to be a very persuasive argument - would it happen again today if the issue was up for discussion? Do two wrongs make a right?

Then again, maybe Jebediah Springfield Elementary isn't that bad after all.
lukpac
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3362
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:51 pm
Location: Madison

Postby david cohen » Thu Apr 26, 2007 4:13 pm

I think what really upsets folks about this naming process is that General Vang Pao isn't a household name for us. However, he IS a household name for our Hmong neighbors, many of whom have and are making significant contributions to everyday life in Madison.
Reading Pao Thao's post, and talking to friends in the Hmong community, only solidifies my opinion that the General is worthy of this honor- not only for his leadership under a very difficult time in Hmong history, but for his continued reverence by his countrymen. I know that once the new elementary school is re-boundaried to include more far-west side Hmong citizens and their children, it WILL be a place they can call home, and that's VERY important. I'm certain that if many Hmong families had objected to honoring the General, the School Board would not have done so...but they didn't, because the Hmong truly revere the General, and that's good enough for me. Maybe we, as American's, should try not to be so ethnocentric- a novel idea here in the land of lib/prog thought.
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

This is about Vietnam

Postby Dodge » Thu Apr 26, 2007 10:10 pm

Madison would never name a school after General Westmoreland. Let's be real here. Aside from the documented evidence and debate about the specific acts of General Vang Pao, an underlying issue is that Madison, and Wisconsin for that matter, opposed the Vietnam War from the get-go. There are a lot of wounds from Vietnam, and this school naming is reopening those wounds, not closing and healing them.

If Shwaw Vang - whom I generally respect - wants the school named after a Vang - he should allow Madison to name it after him. I doubt we could find anyone in Madison who would deny that his service to both his community, and the broader community, is something to be honored and emulated.
Dodge
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 486
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2002 8:15 pm

Postby Jack_Yang » Tue May 01, 2007 3:12 pm

Here is a reply from Dr. Gary Yia, to the Dr. McCoy's "fired back".

Letter to the Editor
The Daily Page, Madison


Dear Editor and Mr Marck Eissen


I have been sick and did not get to see your earlier publication of my response to Prof. Alfred McCoy’s allegations against General Vang Pao and his “firing backâ€Â
Jack_Yang
Member
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:18 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Local Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar