I’ve run for public office several times. I ran for the office of Washington State Governor in 2016 and 2020. Please visit my campaign website at Governor5.com. You can learn about my books at KPowBooks.com.
Needless to say, I have a hectic schedule, but I’ll try and get this website upgraded soon.
I have a BS degree in applied ecology from Western Washington University/Huxley College of Environmental Studies in Bellingham, Washington. I also studied wildlife biology for one year at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, and I received a scholarship England’s famed Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust. However, I’m primarily self-taught.
I was a bookworm as a child and have long been a self-learner, with a very questioning mind. Most of what I know about natural history, politics and writing I taught myself; the world is my classroom.
Ironically, the classroom where I learned about education was the classroom, even if I never studied education in college. Instead, I worked in public education for sixteen years, frequently as a de facto teacher, when many certified teachers don’t last more than one year. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I think I know more about education reform than just about any teacher you’ll ever meet.
My travels and employment with several government agencies (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Alaska Department of Fish & Game, North Slope Borough Environmental Protection Office and University of Washington) and one school district have given me insights into many of the things I write about. Living in one of America’s most corrupt cities (Seattle) and running for public office six times have also been invaluable experiences.
My lifelong interest in natural history has transformed me into a fairly proficient zoologist. As trivial as the subject may seem, I’m probably the foremost authority on state symbols.
But you’re free to judge for yourself; my qualifications are on display for the entire world to see. (see also accomplishments)
Though I have never won any prestigious awards or honors, I have a number of personal accomplishments to be proud of. The work I did as a wildlife biologist in Alaska and other exotic locations was a relatively rare and extremely educational experience.
But most of my accomplishments over the last twenty years fall into three categories, writing, website design/publishing and political activism.
writing & publishing
I’ve written articles for a number of magazines. The most noteworthy was a series on Montana’s state symbols that appeared in Montana Magazine during that state’s centennial, featuring my whimsical vision of a new Montana state flag.
A major publisher once signed me on to write a series of books about Fossils of the 50 States. However, I backed out after the publisher tried to take advantage of me.
I later self-published two books. Teacher With an Attitude deserved to be a flop, though its publishing was a landmark event in some respects. My first book was (IR)Rational Parks, a humor book about America’s national parks that was a moderate success.
Largely because of the corruption in the publishing industry, I decided to stick with self-publishing, though in a less expensive venue — on the Internet. My original website, www.geobop.com, became quite large and diverse before I decided to break it up into several smaller websites.
It has taken me years to recover form a serious technical accident that destroyed my original website. However, things are finally coming together, and my revised websites will be nicer still. GeoSymbols has long been the premier website focusing on national and state symbols.
Though I discuss political activism in more detail on this website’s sister site, I’ll list a few highlights here. I was the only teacher in Seattle to speak out against the late John Stanford, a retired general recruited to lead the charge in privatizing Seattle’s public schools. Though I wasn’t able to stop Big Business, I at least opened a few eyes and got my name mentioned in the New York Times and USA Today.
I’ve run for public office six times. No one in Seattle has spoken out more forcefully against George W. Bush than I have. I’m probably the only candidate in the nation who has made Bill Gates a campaign issue — and I did it in Gates’ backyard.
I’ve also tried to popularize the idea that Americans need to make political activism a lifestyle. I do my part by promoting alternatives to microsoft.
Oh, yes…I’m also trying to establish a new political party, the Fifth Republic party.
For most of my life I was as apathetic and apolitical as most U.S. citizens. I didn’t vote and didn’t care. I thought the government and various institutions just ran themselves.
My attitude changed after I had worked for the Seattle School District for a decade. For ten years I had witnessed the most extraordinary incompetence, corruption and tyranny. I finally decided enough was enough and began to investigate. That was the beginning of my career as an activist.
I have run for public office six times, thrice for a seat on the Seattle School Board (1999, 2003 and 2007) and thrice for Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction (2000, 2004 and 2008). My investigations, combined with my campaigns, revealed that liberal Seattle is just as corrupt as conservative Washington, D.C. or Houston, texas.
Though I have never been elected, I’ve made my mark, ranking as one of the most prominent critics of Billysoft (Bill Gates + Microsoft) and George W. Bush. Of course, the overarching enemy is corporate corruption. I was the first person in Seattle, if not the nation, to warn that public education is being privatized, something most teachers and parents still don’t seem to grasp. I’m probably the most accomplished enemy of the “Seattle Mafia” in history.
I’m also noted for taking on the corrupt media, particularly the Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Seattle Weekly.
But am I anti-everything? Not at all. I work hard to educate the public and have come to believe that politics can even be fun. One of my heroes is Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, who has made millions of people around the world look at politics in a new light.
Since politics can be so messy, I deal with it very carefully on my general audience websites. If you’re an adult who wants to know where to find my adult political sites, feel free to contact me.
I’ve loved Latin music all my life. Herb Alpert was one of my favorite musicians when I was growing up. I later fell in love wih Jose Feliciano. I was introduced to Andean music while studying sea turtles in Maruata, Mexico and got another dose when I saw the group Sukay perform in bellingham.
But I didn’t really discover Latin music and dance until the spring of 2010. I had already fallen in love with a local Andean music group, Quichua Mashis. One day I was watching them perform during a street fair, when I heard another exciting sound drifting out of a building right behind them. I went inside and discovered Sambatuque, another local band specializing in Brazilian music. (Their album Brazilian Songbird is one of my favorites.)
The next weekend, I saw my first salsa dance and was addicted. Soon I was downloading Tito Puente songs via iTunes. I then discovered other Latin music genres, like cha-cha-cha and bachata.
But something about Seattle’s salsa scene bothered me. It seemed somehow shallow and artificial, like everything else in Seattle. I then learned that many people have long complained about salsa becoming too commercialized.
About the same time, I learned that music didn’t die in the 70’s; politics remains a powerful theme in Latin music. Indeed, Latin music was born out of slavery and the Cuban revolution. One of my favorite salsa singers is Rubén Blades, whose very political album Siembra is the best-selling salsa album of all time.
viva la musica!
If you’ve read this far, you now know what inspired my websites. My passion for animals inspired the websites GeoZoo and GeoSymbols — which started when I began studying state birds, flowers and other symbols. (I also began studying flags when I was a teacher.) My travels and interest in the world around us inspired GeoWorld. And you can guess what inspired Politix, along with my adult political sites. My still blossoming interest in Latin music and dance inspired yet another website, SeaLatin.
Though I’ll never be a genuine computer nerd, I now have the technical skills I need for web design. I launched my most ambious upgrade of all my websites ever near the end of March, 2011. The page you’re viewing right now is part of that upgrade.
I’ve also been working hard to launch several blogs and Facebook groups.
So now you know a few things about me. Continue on to the next page or follow the links at the top of the page to learn still more.