Monday, December 31, 2007

Government economists at work, forecasting 2008

Click on the picture to see actual government economists forecasting 2008. -- Jim

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Truth lurking behind the curtain

Truth lurking behind the curtain
Jim Fedako

You’ve experienced it before: You’re on the edge of your seat, popcorn in hand, watching the main character of the latest thriller enter a darkened room. You know that Truth is hiding behind the curtain, yet the hero walks through the room, glancing out the window, never suspecting Truth's presence, though just inches away. Inside you scream, "Look behind the curtain!" But the hero, ignoring your silent and increasingly frustrated pleas, turns and walks out of the scene. You will have to wait until later in the movie for resolution and the revealing of Truth. But, thankfully, it will come.

In the world of politics and economics, we know Truth, and we believe that it’s obvious to all. Yet, sadly, Truth has not been revealed to the greater majority, even though Truth stands, not behind a curtain, but in plain sight.

Lately, I have come to divide the socialists into two categories: the utopians dreaming of a world divorced from scarcity; and, the immature economists qua socialists who get oh so close to Truth that I want to scream, "Look behind the curtain, you idiot!"

In this paradigm, I differentiate socialists – as previously described – from the collectivists and statists; those who worship the collective or state above all. These folks have no ends other than the consolidation of power around themselves and their cronies. Their ideology is not even worth investigation. Revulsion? Yes. Investigation? No.

Now, of course, there is no hard divide between these two classes of socialists. In fact, these classes may simply be my best attempt at understanding the thoughts and ideas of those prone to praxeological errors. Regardless, there certainly appears to be differences between the socialist stories; difference revealed through the republishing of an education journal, long since out of print.

But before we reach our final destination, let’s look at another rescued and republished journal. The Mises Institute recently resurrected
American Affairs, the journal founded by Garet Garrett. American Affairs is a wonderful resource, delivering insight into the political world of the 1940's, especially insight into the minds of the valiant supporters of the free market. The articles found there are joys to read, providing, for the most part, clear concise defenses of freedom.

Besides building ramparts of praxeological reasoning, it is sometimes wise to enter the camp of the enemy, if only to observe their tendencies and activities.

The Teachers College of Columbia University publishes
TCRecord, the school’s online journal. It is here that you can still read new articles from the Gramscian socialists; articles that champion the genius of John Dewey and the rest of the Progressive utopians. In addition, you will find other articles that get oh so close to the essence of Truth that you just want to scream at the computer screen, “Aw, come on! You missed it again.”

TCRecord recently republished Social Frontiers, from the 1930's, and Frontiers of Democracy, from the 1940's. This journal exposes the philosophical foundations of the intellectual opponents of Garrett and his fellow freedom fighters. And, more importantly, this journal details the ideas and ideals of those who taught those who taught the typical public school teacher of today.

I enjoy the writings of the utopians since their logical gymnastics and non sequiturs are interesting and humorous -- akin to finding the culprit in any
Encyclopedia Brown children’s detective story. But I get frustrated when the immature economists builds a case for Liberty and the free market, only to get caught by one or two minor points, and then falls back on need for collectivism and state control. Sometimes, they are oh so close to Truth.

The Utopians

Who else but the utopians could believe the following?

Even now … the best work is done with little or no thought of money, a fact that has, of course, always been true and so far as we can see must always remain true. Also as regards the employer profits system, with speculative gains, dividends, and all that, modern men can work without it. Russia has in very fact abolished the employer profits system; and almost nowhere else do the young people, at any rate, work so hard or so enthusiastically. (emphasis added) [1]
Or, the materialistic view of the inevitability of collectivism?

The first point to be driven home is that THE SOCIAL FRONTIER is not engaged in any battle for collectivism as such. That issue has been decided by the forces of history. As Professor Walton Hamilton says in the last paragraph of a brilliant article in the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, the “commitment to collectivism is beyond recall”. [2]
And conclude with this pronouncement?

THE SOCIAL FRONTIER also will fight for a collectivism, which will cherish, preserve, and fulfill the American ideals of freedom of speech, cultural diversity, and personal liberty, security, and dignity. It abhors regimentation of public opinion; it swears with Jefferson "eternal hostility to every form of tyranny over the mind of man." It regards economic goods not as the chief end of life, but rather as a basis and a means for the development of the human spirit. It views the resent concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few, with its implications of class rule and domination, as an oppressive obstacle to the personal growth of American boys and girls and as a perpetual threat to the liberties of the masses of the people. [3]
There really is little common ground between these views and Truth because for the utopians, fantasy is not an extension of reality. No. Fantasy is totally divorced from reality.

The Immature Economists

In addition to the articles of utopian fantasy, this very same journal is correctly able to describe the ills caused by government interventions.

Public policy supports monopoly in scores of ways. We protect monopoly by tariff policy. We frequently lay the foundation of a monopolist structure with a patent. We have built forty-eight state systems of restriction that are virtual state tariffs restricting interstate commerce. We have given legal protection to price maintenance schemes, and we penalize genuinely competitive chain stores to protect geographical "small time" monopolists. We have created monopolist conditions in agriculture and labor to "offset" employers' monopolies, with the result that we have multiplied rather than diminished the total number of restrictions. [4]
Minimum wages will therefore be defended as an aid to the underprivileged but they will in fact serve the purpose of protecting the higher wage rates of those who might otherwise be displaced by a competitive labor group. Agricultural subsidies will strengthen the position of the more privileged farmers and complete the process of reducing sharecroppers to a rural proletariat. [5]
Here we can agree. Yet, right when the socialist is about to discover Truth, he casually walks past the curtain, peers outside, and quickly exists the scene. You see, the immature economist qua socialist does not make that final step; the step which reveals that it is government interventions which create the reviled monopoly and associated ills. The fact that only government can create a monopoly is missed; it is an unrevealed truth. The socialist blames the free market and turns once again to government; and I scream.

They conclude:

If we wish to avoid patterns of centralization and ultimately totalitarian government, among other things a vigorous and imaginative effort to implement the original objective of the Sherman Act—which was the preservation of equality of opportunity—is in order. This will probably mean a complete reconsideration of the legislation now on the books. [6]
Yes, I scream. I scream for these socialists to open their eyes to Truth; the truth that was revealed when Mises and others pulled back the curtain decades ago. However, for whatever reason, they refuse to open their eyes.

So, there are the utopians who want to create a reality out of crazed dreams, and there are the immature economists qua socialist who refuse to let go of government, acting like the child desperately grasping the ladder out of fear of the water below. The utopians are lost causes. Read them and chuckle. But, what about the others? Reassure them that they can let go. Help them realize that they can indeed float upon the sea of individual action; a sea that is bound to rise for all.

Final notes

According to TCRecord, the journal was republished “
because of its historical importance and because of its continued relevance to educators today.” This is important knowledge, and should become part of your Kirznerian action-knowledge. The nonsense emanating from the Teachers College and its publications greatly influences public educators. While we discuss the follies of the journal and its articles, public educators are indoctrinating students with those very same ideas, day in and day out. Scary, isn’t it?

I am not about to wager that my children will shed state education and its fallacies by age 38, just like their old man. I am instead making certain that they learn the truths of economics from me. [7] Consider private school or home schooling when possible. Rothbard and Mises were right; the government has no business in education.

Either it is the state directing the movie and instructing the hero – the child – to ignore Truth, or it is the parents revealing Truth at every turn. You decide.

Jim Fedako, a homeschooling father of five, is a former member of the Olentangy Board of Education.


[1] Social Frontier Volume 1 Number 2, 1934, p 9-13
[2] Social Frontier Volume 1 Number 2, 1934, p 3-4
[3] Ibid.
[4] Frontiers of Democracy Volume 6 Number 47, 1939, p. 20-22
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] OK, my children actually learn from my wife. But, as she will gladly note, I like to take credit whenever I can.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Nannies and noses

Remember, the nanny do-gooders do this for our own good. And, we allow them to continue doing and doing and doing ...

-- Jim

Protectionism and My Stuffy Nose

Posted on 12/26/2007

There I stood at the pharmacy counter, with a head cold, sniffing away, and begging for some product that contains pseudoephedrine, which works like a magic nose unclogger. The stuff you can get off the shelf now contains the similar-sounding drug called phenylephrine, but it might as well be a placebo. It just doesn't work, and most everyone knows this.

You can still get the good old stuff from the pharmacist but you will be suspected for this grave action. The government, you see, says that people have been buying the old stuff and turning it into methamphetamine. This is why Congress and the administration passed the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, which rations the amount you can buy and requires that you prove your identity and sign a special form.

And, yes, this act is now part of the monstrosity called the Patriot Act. I went over this whole subject last year, but this year, I really began to smell a rat, about which more below.
"Thanks Bush" I muttered as I signed the form under the glare of the pharmacist who has been trained to treat me like a possible criminal.

continue reading ...

Three great Christian websites

Go to Gary North's web site to read excellent books on the Bible and Christian thought. Not only are the books interesting, challenging, and timely, they really are free.

Blessed Economist runs a great blog that addresses economics and political philosophy in a biblical sense. Though I'm not saying I agree with everything posted, it is all very thought provoking.

Steve Scott has an interesting blog,
From the Pew. Like the Blessed Economist, Scott offers insight into economics and liberty, all from a biblical perspective. Once again, I'm not saying I agree with everything posted. But, good reading nonetheless.

A TCRecord Reissue

Ah, yes, the TCRecord from the Teachers College of Columbia University -- the fount of Gramscian socialism and guiding light of public education. Seriously, where else can you find such nonsense reissued for "its continued relevance to educators today."

Social Frontier Volume 2 Number 9, 1936, p. 295-295 (paid subscription)

SPECIALISTS on municipal government in the United States generally recognize that the two best-managed American cities are Cincinnati and Milwaukee. In this long-awaited volume, Mayor Daniel Webster Hoan, the patriotic orphan lad who has been the official Socialist head of the Wisconsin metropolis since 1916, presents his interpretation of this political miracle.
After that introduction and examples of Milwaukee workers paradise, we get this nugget:
It would not be fair to attribute the high level of governmental competence which Milwaukee displays exclusively to the strong Socialist movement in that area, for it seems that its very presence has had a positive and beneficial effect upon the civic sense and cultural impulses of the more conservative groups as well. Neither should it be assumed that the city is already a collectivist paradise because it has rarely happened that Hoan has carried a clear majority of Socialist councilmen into power with him. But the total situation strongly suggests that capitalism at its unrestricted best can hardly do as well as gradualist "gutter" socialism at its worst.
Finally, the summation that still rings true for public education some 70 years later:
Dare a mere politician reveal more social vision than the nation's teachers who are the trustees of the Great Investment?
The Gramscians have nothing to fear as public educators remain true to their socialist roots. That is true whether the district is located on a coast or in the heart of the Midwest: Delaware County, Ohio.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Prayer at the Courthouse

The Delaware County Commissioners start their meetings with a prayer. Tricky situation. Why?

Well, the current commissioners and their supporters are banking on the hope that only Christians will be elected county commissioner. What if someone is elected and chooses to pray to some god other than the God of the Bible? What then? Will the same folks rally in defense?

Keep in mind that whatever legal means the commissioners use to defend their prayers will be used against them in the end. Those situations happen all the time. Better to keep prayers personal and separate God from politics. Not God from the individual, but God from such politics.

Why? Simple, the USA is no longer a God-centered country. The courts are not about to place the God of the Bible before any other gods. The best the commissioners can hope for is the God-defeating statement that says referring to the God of the Bible is just "tradition." That is how the courts allow continued references to God in public places. But, is the God of the Bible just a relic, a throwback to some earlier era? Absolutely not. And, to accept such a decision as a victory is to blasphemy God's name.

The irony here is that the fight is over prayer before a public meeting while the local schools run amok with nonsense. I suggest that the commissioners instead use their energy to fight that which is forced into the minds of the next generation.

Doing such is better than wasting energy on court decisions that will ultimately undo that which the commissioners are honestly trying to do: reintroduce God to a fallen world.

Delaware County Commissioners, rethink your positions on this matter.

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

An excellent book available as a free download at The book is important since the current administration and all candidates save Ron Paul have decreed that we will continue our state of war in perpetuity. -- Jim

In 1947, historian Charles Beard told Harry Elmer Barnes that the foreign policy of Presidents Roosevelt and Truman could best be described by the phrase "perpetual war for perpetual peace." Barnes used the phrase as the title of his 1953 collection of essays by the leading revisionist historians of the era. This article is excerpted from the final chapter.

With profit we may now briefly review the main facts and conclusions to which we are led by the material in the preceding chapters.

1 - Revisionism and the Historical Blackout

The first chapter, by the editor, indicates how two world wars, and especially the needless American entry therein, have converted the libertarian American dream of pre-1914 days into a nightmare of fear, regimentation, destruction, insecurity, inflation, and ultimate insolvency.
Revisionism, which means no more than the establishment of historical truth, when applied to the First World War, revealed the mistakes in our earlier interpretation of the causes and merits of that conflict, the folly of our entering it, and the disastrous results which followed.

Revisionism helped us to return to national sanity, to the continentalism and peace of the Harding-Coolidge-Hoover administrations, and to the neutrality legislation of the first administration of Roosevelt.

There is now a far more determined and ruthless resistance to revisionism, as applied to the Second World War, than there was in the 1920s when revisionists dealt with the conflict which began in 1914. This is due to the fact that the United States was much more directly involved in the diplomacy which led to the Second World War. The intense hostility to revisionism is prompted by the dictates of political expediency; by the hostility of special pressure groups interested in the promotion of war hysteria; by our indoctrination, for a decade and a half, with globaloney; and by the attitude of those with a vested professional and personal interest in upholding the official mythology expounded by the historians and social scientists who participated in great numbers in the propaganda and allied activities of the government during the war epoch.

The methods followed by the opponents of revisionism fall mainly into these modes of operation:

  • denying revisionist historians access to public documents;
  • intimidating publishers who might otherwise be willing to print revisionist materials;
  • ignoring or smearing revisionist books and articles; and
  • smearing and otherwise seeking to intimidate revisionist authors.

To counter the progress of revisionism still further, many free and private historians voluntarily perpetuate the popular fictions relative to the Second World War. They have either succumbed to globaloney or have a vested interest in sustaining the fictions. Then we have a considerable number of "court historians," who operate in a quasi-official manner and who are given full access to official documents on the tacit understanding that their books will defend the official version of events. Finally, we have an ever-growing body of official historians connected with the military establishment and executive departments who are paid to write history as their employers prescribe. This is a long step toward the official falsification of documents portrayed by George Orwell in his classic work, Nineteen Eighty-Four.

This antirevisionist historical bias has destroyed all semblance of accuracy in recent world history, and it gravely distorts the history of a more remote past by drawing false analogies with a fictitious recent past and present and by pointing up strained and mistaken causal relationships. In this way the antirevisionist historians are hurrying us along the path to the conditions of the "Nineteen Eighty-Four" system in which even the very concept of history is taboo and outlawed, because there must be no knowledge of the past against which existing mistakes and miseries can be tested and condemned.

2 - The United States and the Road to War in Europe

The second chapter, by Dr. Tansill, provides a comprehensive survey of European diplomacy and international relations between the two World Wars and of the extent and results of American participation in international affairs during this era.

It is made clear how the Allied betrayal of President Wilson's Fourteen Points and the terms of the Armistice of November 11, 1918, laid the basis for the Second World War. This became ever more likely when the League of Nations failed to use its power to rectify the fatal terms of the vindictive postwar treaties. These treaties created and nourished German and Austrian resentment and contributed crucially to the ultimate insolvency of these countries and to the resulting rise of totalitarianism. There were no substantial efforts made to revise the injustices done to Germany and Austria through negotiation with the peaceful — and actually peace-loving — republican leaders of these countries. The result was the rise of Hitler to power and the revision of the treaties by Nazi craftiness, bluff, and force. What Hitler actually did in the way of remedying the situation was not especially blameworthy; it was the methods he employed which, understandably, were shocking to many. But Hitler and his methods were, together, the penalty paid for fifteen years of Allied vindictiveness and folly. Professor Tansill lists and describes in sufficient detail the outstanding errors and injustices of the Treaty of Versailles and what came as its aftermath.

Aside from the action of the United States, which did sink or scuttle a number of serviceable ships (or others in construction) and cut down its army to a skeleton force, dishonesty, quibbling, delay, and reluctance characterized the whole fraudulent disarmament movement from 1920 to the mid-1930s. German rearmament was sharply restricted by the postwar settlement, but the European Allies failed to disarm in accordance with their agreement. Indeed, they proceeded to build up their armament above the 1914 level. Ultimately Hitler challenged the whole farce, announced the rearmament of Germany in defiance of Versailles, and the armament race took on new and enlarged proportions. But the relative extent of Nazi rearmament before 1939 was greatly exaggerated in the anti-Nazi propaganda. It did not exceed that of Britain and France.

The fumbling and stupidity of most Allied diplomats, but predominantly of Anthony Eden, broke down the system of collective security, for what it was worth, and opened the door to the unilateral moves of Hitler and Mussolini which hastened the Second World War. Baldwin and Chamberlain, in England, acquiesced in Hitler's violations of the Treaty of Versailles because they relied on Hitler to act as a checkmate to the menace of Soviet Russia to the British Empire. On the eve of attaining striking success with this program, British diplomacy made a sudden and rather inexplicable about-face in the winter and spring of 1939. After accepting, without serious objection, Hitler's more drastic moves and aggressions for some four years, Britain and France made war on Germany in protest against the most restrained and justifiable demand of Hitler's prewar career. That they did so was the result of pressure by Churchill and the Tory war group in England, by the British Labor party, and by President Roosevelt.

While the diplomacy of the Harding-Coolidge-Hoover administrations was opposed to the harsh postwar treaties, it did little to force any modification of them. Any attempt to do so was rendered the more difficult because the United States remained out of the League of Nations and made a separate treaty with Germany. The Dawes and Young plans served only to postpone the ultimate collapse of the reparations travesty; the impasse was finally recognized and terminated by President Hoover. American diplomacy under President Roosevelt failed to exercise a moderating influence on either Europe or Hitler.

American hostility toward Germany increased apace when Hitler came to power. This was a result of his crushing of liberalism and parliamentary government and of his persecution of the Jews. Hostility was reflected in our diplomacy which, in time, abandoned even the pretense of ordinary diplomatic courtesy and intercourse. Whatever William E. Dodd's great merits as a historian and teacher, he was an incredibly bad choice as ambassador to Nazi Germany — not unlike what it would have been if Hitler had appointed an ardent National Socialist ideologist as Nazi ambassador to the United States. The appointment of Dodd made German-American diplomatic relations all the more difficult and strained, and Dodd's successors did little to improve the situation.

At the time of the Munich episode in 1938, President Roosevelt ostensibly favored the British policy of appeasing Hitler. Indeed, his communications to the European leaders involved may well have been the deciding factor in inducing Britain and France to decline to meet Hitler's threat by test of arms in 1938. But, from his discussions with American officials, especially General Henry H. Arnold, it is evident that Roosevelt regarded Munich as the prelude to war rather than assuring, as Chamberlain appears to have hoped, "peace in our time." Yet Roosevelt was not in favor of war in 1938, for the situation then might well have been such that Hitler would have been defeated too rapidly to have permitted American entry into the conflict. The Czechs had a large and well-equipped army, and Russia was eager to collaborate in a war to check Hitler. By the summer of 1939 the situation had vastly changed. The Czech army was no more and Russia had signed a treaty with Nazi Germany. If war broke out under these conditions, it was likely to be a long one, which would afford Mr. Roosevelt plenty of time to maneuver the United States into the fighting.

There seems little doubt that Mr. Roosevelt had decided to enter a European war, if possible, even before war broke out at the beginning of September 1939. The German White Paper (captured Polish documents) and even the censored Forrestal Diaries confirm this conviction. What more definite assurances he may have given to Anthony Eden in December 1938 and to King George VI in June 1939 remain a secret to this day.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Deflation and Rumination

My latest post the Blog at

Please alert your loved ones about the coming price deflation. Assuming that mainstream economists are correct, tomorrow's sales signal the beginning of the end.

Ah, yes, the quality of customer service during holiday shopping. Customer service is the result of consumer valuation of service versus price. Quality service is still available, but I'd rather face the uninterested clerk if it means I save a few percent on the sale. To say that businesses do not have the money to train staff is to say that the customer is unwilling to pay for that training. Quality service is a scarce commodity, but it is a commodity that is available to all who value it.

The Long Tail and Long Reach of Ron Paul

The Long Tail and Long Reach of Ron Paul
by Jim Fedako

Am I betting against the long tail in the primaries? No way! Why not? Well, it seems that every time I bet against the tail, it ends up whipping me back to reality.

Two recent examples come to mind.

Jorma Kaukonen played lead guitar for the 60's rock group Jefferson Airplane and later for the blues-influenced Hot Tuna. While still being a great guitarist, Jorma is now a long-tail musician, with stadium concerts an almost-forgotten past.

In order to publicize his latest CD of new music, Jorma staged a free mini-concert and CD signing at a local music store. I decided to take my family to enjoy the music and the scene.

The night before the show, my wife asked me what time I planned to leave the house the following morning. Given that I am a long-tail audiophile and that Jorma is a long-tail artist, and that the only notice for this event was a sentence or two tucked deep in the local newspaper, I saw no reason to arrive early. I fully expected to be competing for seats or standing room with only a few other long-tail stragglers. Boy was I wrong.

The morning awoke to an unexpected cold front, with blustery, chilling winds and occasional showers. Not a day to venture out for just any old event, yet the long tail came to the music store in full force, and I was out a performance. No concert, no signing, nothing. By the time we had arrived, the parking lot was packed with a large group of fellow long-tailers, all facing the elements without any chance of seeing Jorma, even from a distance. Yes, we had arrived too late to get a spot inside the store, and barely found standing room on the parking lot. The long tail whipped me again.

You see, just because someone appeals to the not-so-mainstream does not mean that he cannot create a tipping-point crowd. While Jorma showed me this in clear detail, a more recent example is of immediate interest.

On December 16, Ron Paul proved for the umpteenth time that his long tail could create a scene. And, Paul's record fund raising – money received from tens of thousands of lovers of Liberty – demonstrates that his long tail can change the face of politics in a flash.

Given that long-tailers tend to be committed and willing to face the wind and rain – note the crowd at the Ron Paul Tea Party held the same day in snowy, windy Columbus, Ohio; and given that primaries typically have a low voter turnout; it's easy to see how just a small percentage of the population can change history. It certainly did on December 16.

However, instead of a being just a long-tail candidate, I claim that Ron Paul is also a long-reach candidate. How else do you explain the fear he creates within the establishment, on both sides of the aisle?

Economist Frédéric Bastiat of France wrote about a similar situation back in the 1800's. While serving as an elected official, he transformed a society of local labors into a committee – the Lower Council of Labor – that was comprised of those who were not part of the established trade associations – the Upper Councils of Industry.

To understand the thoughts of these folks, he had them break into subcommittees of the various trades and then asked each subcommittee to answer the question of whether tariffs and other forms of protection helped or hampered them.

Without the voice of the power-hungry demagogues – the establishment – spouting lies and nonsense, the subcommittees unanimously decided that government policies harm, they never help. That’s right, the common man wanted Liberty in order to go about his business unhampered by the political class.

I believe that absent the DC blob and its mind-numbing talking heads, this country would once again turn toward Liberty, as Liberty still streams through our veins.

Yes, the ideas and ideals of Ron Paul are still the essence of this great nation. And, once he makes inroads in the early primaries, the greater number of voters will begin to hear the truths Paul speaks. His speeches will reach into the hearts and minds of voters who have long been subject to manipulations and lies, awakening the spirit of freedom that lies within all of us – well, almost all of us, as it is fair to assume that the other candidates hear, instead, a sinister inner voice.

Finally, put Paul head-to-head against whichever spinning, statist candidate survives the Democratic primary, and we will see Liberty win in November.

I only had to stand once in a music store parking lot, facing the wind and rain, in order to recognize the power of the long tail. And, I only had to hear Paul speak once in order to feel my renewed passions for Liberty flow warm through my veins, and to recognize the long reach which freedom has on the increasingly oppressed masses of this country.

Yes, the long tail and the long reach of Liberty will win in the end. Go Ron Paul.

Jim Fedako [
send him mail], a homeschooling father of five who lives in Lewis Center, OH, and maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.

Copyright © 2007

Monday, December 24, 2007

A bizarre and sad view of the Christmas season

The following letter was published in this morning's edition of The Columbus Dispatch. A truly bizarre and sad view of the Christmas season. My response follows.

Dogs convey warmth and love of season
Sunday, December 23, 2007 3:23 AM

In light of Christmas week and the book Rescuing Sprite being No. 2 on the News York Times best-seller list, I wonder how people live without a dog. Really. How can people live without a dog? How do they learn about the real meaning of things?

Dogs are, without doubt, the fulfillment of the meaning of Christmas: giving without expectation, loving without conditions, faithfulness without judgment and steadfastness without complaint.

Dogs possess the pure soul. They are the ones who treasure the absolute mundane things in the world and remind us that we need to focus on the simple.

They couldn't care less what people say, wear or might look like. And in the case of my dog, when others fight and raise voices, he is right there to try to stop the tension.

I know for a glorious fact because of experience, that when people gather together with the common interest of great joy in and love for our dogs, we get along. We talk about how fortunate we are for having the privilege of taking care of such beautiful friends. We all say just what delight and devotion these creatures bring and, oh, how they make us laugh.

So this Christmas week, during the rush of getting and gathering, slow down and notice the dogs in your world, and think about what they bring to you and your family. In some way, they represent the meaning of Christmas, with those faithful and steadfast eyes, loving without condition, and a pure spirit that only wants to please and give.

Oh, and Merry Christmas, my dear, sweet Hunter!


Dear Editor:

While reading Elizabeth Armstrong's letter "Dogs convey warmth and love of season," I couldn't help but be reminded of an experience I had while bike riding along a local country road. All of a sudden, I heard a loud suction-like noise coming from the ditch to my right. I glanced over to find the head of some family's dog buried deep inside one of the "absolute mundane things in the world," feasting on the bloated carcase of a deer.

While Armstrong personifies her beloved Hunter as a "pure spirit," the dog sees the world like the animal it is. I suggest Armstrong hold tight on the leash when she and Hunter encounter such a roadside feast. I wouldn't want Armstrong to be confronted by reality in such a stark manner. It might just ruin her canine holiday spirit.

Jim Fedako

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A message from Lawrence W. Lepard

Mr. Lepard is famous for his full page ad in USA Today supporting Ron Paul. You can see the ad here. Lepard is paying to have the following message in the NYTimes (link here).

Why did I spend $85,000 to support Presidential Candidate Ron Paul? Because I care about my children and your children.

Lawrence W. Lepard, American Citizen.

Recently,I placed a full page ad in USA Today supporting the Presidential Candidacy of Congressman Ron Paul. Why? Because I believe Ron Paul is different from every other individual who carries the title "politician." In fact, he is a medical doctor by training and has delivered 4,000 babies. After medicine he entered politics and he is a true public servant. A "Mr. Smith goes to Washington", type of guy. No political lobbyists or vested interests will support him---but I will—and all honest Americans should too.

Given the troubling developments in our world, I firmly believe we face a very important choice at this time in the history of our nation. We need to make a decision as to what we want America to represent, and to become. History will record the outcome of our decision. If we make the wrong choice, many more innocent people will die, and history will not be kind. As I say to my closest friends, I do not want to have to explain to my children that I stood silent as others destroyed this country.

Please allow me to be very direct. The America that I grew up in believed in the rule of law, not the rule of men.

The America that I grew up in believed in telling the truth. The America that I grew up in believed in following Judeo-Christian values, and yet made room for those of different faiths and backgrounds. The America I grew up in had a religious flavor, but we were wary of those who wore their religion on their sleeves. The America that I grew up in believed in the golden rule: treat people the way we would like them to treat us. The America that I grew up in believed that you did not lie, cheat or steal. The America that I grew up in believed in the inherent goodness of most men, but recognized that evil exists.

Nevertheless, the America that I grew up in did not believe in an eye for an eye, or retribution. It believed in protecting oneself from evil, but in the process of doing so we were cautioned not to become what we were protecting against.

In short, the America that I grew up in was a place where one could be proud of one’s country, and thankful to the men and women who had sacrificed so much in the past to give us this heritage.

I wake up today as a 50 year old husband and father of three, and I wonder where that America has gone. I see a President who ignores the U.S. Constitution by issuing “signing statements” that have the effect of law. He replaced a President who blatantly lied to the American public. Admittedly, the lie was about something that was none of the public’s business. However, when a country’s President is a liar, it lowers that country’s level of discourse and makes lying seem acceptable. It is not. In point of fact, that lie is a big part of the reason we have our current President. You see, actions have consequences. Are these the best leaders this Country can produce? I see that second President’s wife running for President and now claiming she will end the war. Of course, she initially voted for the war, and recently voted for a resolution against Iran that makes another war more likely. Do Americans really believe she will act in our best interests given all the money she has received from lobbyists and the military industrial complex? Will she end the war, as she now has begun claiming in her political advertisements? Or is this just a tactic to gain anti-war votes now that her closest rival is breathing down her neck. Do we believe her current statement on the war? Or is this new position just another hard to believe statement, like the story she told us about how she traded "cattle futures" so successfully?

I see the U.S. involved in an aggressive, undeclared war against a country that did not represent a threat to us in any way. We were lead into this war using false and inaccurate information. In my opinion, we are far less safe now than we were before we invaded Iraq. This war has created more emotionally charged enemies who have more reasons to attack us than ever before.

Ron Paul voted against invading Iraq. Rather than attack an entire nation, he tried to convince Congress and our President to strategically target the terrorists responsible for 9/11. The current Administration has failed to capture and eliminate the criminals who perpetrated this crime against us. Those responsible are still at large, our borders are wide open, and our troops are spread thin all over the globe. We need a leader who will protect us with a strong national defense and keep us out of foreign entanglements that in the end, create more enemies than friends. We need a President who will put the national security of the American people, and the safety of our troops, before the interests of oil companies and the military industrial complex.

To date this war has lasted longer than World War II, and between 100,000 and 1.0 million innocent people have died. These figures are between 30 and 300 times the number of people killed on 9/11/2001. Do two wrongs make a right? Furthermore, the majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Not Iraqis. We are allies with Saudi Arabia and yet Saudi Arabia is far from being a democracy. Yet we went to war to create a democracy in Iraq and set an example for the Middle East.

The hypocrisy is staggering. The mistakes that were made are enormous. Why anyone believes one thing that is said by the people who led us into this war is a mystery to me.

“We will be greeted as liberators.” Wrong. “Oil revenues will pay the cost.” Wrong. “A secular democracy will emerge and be an inspiration for other countries.” Wrong. The list of misjudgments goes on and on.

Were the civilian Iraqis killed by our preemptive war “collateral damage” or is that just a euphemism for murder? Has anyone taken the time to look at their pictures on the Web? Does ignoring them make their deaths less real? I wonder how their relatives and friends feel about the United States? I wonder if they are more or less likely to become terrorists as a result of the actions of this Administration. I see a country that has violated the Geneva Conventions. I see a country that has violated the Christian Doctrine of Just War. I see a country that has started a war that is illegal under international law. As President Eisenhower said, “Preventive war was an invention of Hitler. Frankly, I would not listen to anyone who seriously talked about such a thing”. I see a flock of Presidential candidates, most of whom voted for this war and many of whom believe “all options should be on the table” in dealing with Iran. For those who are not current on this subject, that language is code for: we should be prepared to attack Iran with conventional or nuclear weapons.

Think about that for a moment. Leaders in this Country are actually talking about using a nuclear weapon preemptively against a country that has not attacked us. Are they insane?
I hear Neocon pundits calling for the beginning of World War III. I see a Country that has suspended habeas corpus. I see a country that has stripped its citizens of the Constitutional protections against an overreaching government. I see a country that has sanctioned “rendition” which is just another term for the kidnapping of anyone, anywhere, throughout the world, and then spiriting them off to a remote location where they can be subject to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” which we are told are not torture. Another lie. I see a country that has engaged in torture. One leading Presidential candidate wants to “double Guantanamo” and thinks his sons’ campaigning for him is equivalent to serving in the military. Of course, that candidate got a deferment to avoid serving in Vietnam. Other candidates for the highest office in this land are not any better. I see a war hero candidate who sings "bomb Iran" to the tune of The Beach Boy's song, Barbara Ann. How can he make light of killing people? Joking about bombing a foreign country and killing innocent people is a disgrace. However, at least that candidate is a veteran. Most of the other top advocates of war have never fought in one. Worse yet, they sought and obtained deferments when others were fighting. You cannot make this stuff up. The irony is incredible. If, as I believe, you reap what you sow, - then the ultimate payback for these injustices will be staggering.

I see a Country that thinks that it owns and controls the world. I believe this is ethically wrong.

Furthermore, we cannot afford it, so even attempting to run the world is self-defeating. I see a country that thinks it should have bases in the Middle East for the next fifty years. I see a country where the dominant political group, the Neocons, believe the world is a dark and evil place. I believe the people who feel this way are projecting their own views onto the rest of the world. They need therapy, and their projection endangers us all!

In short, I wonder if America has lost its moral compass or soul? Out of malfeasance, fear, ignorance, or incompetence we have implemented the wrong policies and taken the wrong course. Since this is true, then effectively the terrorists are winning. God surely has a great sense of humor. Irony abounds.

As citizens, each and every one of us is somewhat responsible for the actions of our government. In fact, the Constitution states that we are the government. It has been said that all it takes for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing. So, has America lost it soul: yes or no? I would submit that while the current U.S. Administration and the vast majority of the Senate and Congress have lost their souls, the American people have not. Nearly 70% of the American population is against this war, and yet the war goes on. The vast majority of the American people want peace. People know what is right, yet the government does the wrong thing. How can this be? We are supposed to be a government OF, FOR and BY the People. Are we? What do you think? Does our government really represent the American people? Do you think the U.S. government should kill innocent Iraqis or Iranians to make us safer? Would you advocate killing a man who lives down the street just because you think he might do you harm in the future, even though he has done nothing to you yet? I do not, and I believe most American agree with me.

The huge disconnect between what a majority of this country wants and what our government is doing is the elephant in the room that no one will discuss.

I cannot in good conscience condone or support the policies of the Neocons, the military industrial complex, or the oil industry. I do not believe in “Full Spectrum Dominance”. I do not believe “We Are The Indispensable Nation”. I do not believe we are “History’s Actors.” I do not believe we can “Make Our Own Reality”. I do not believe we should be an Empire. I think we have great power and military superiority and we should use these abilities to protect ourselves. Furthermore, with these powers come enormous responsibility. We are a Constitutional Republic. I believe there is a power higher than my government and that the Founders drew upon this power when they drafted the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” That reads “all men.” Not “all Americans.” The Founders believed, as do I, that All men have God-given rights. Governments are made to protect these rights, not destroy them. Until recently, I believe the American government did a good job of protecting these rights for Americans. For many years now I believe the American government has used a different standard or play book when dealing with foreign countries and foreign citizens. But that is a story for a different essay.

If it sounds like I am mad, you’re right.

I am mad that my money becomes worth less every year because the Federal Reserve can print money out of thin air. I am mad that the U.S. Government inflation statistics are a lie, thanks to Bill Clinton’s changing of the CPI calculation. I am mad that this change and the Federal Reserve have put the economy on a roller coaster leading to boom and bust cycles that benefit financiers at the expense of the middle class, retirees and the poor. I am mad that Wall Street titans and speculators have been rewarded while savers and honest labor have been punished. I am mad that honesty is considered quaint and naive by the political classes. I am mad at the arrogance of those who hold power in Washington, DC. I am mad that the actions of some men in my country have taken away the moral high ground that the U.S. used to occupy. I am mad that my tax dollars are used for weapons rather than for peaceful purposes. I do not want the blood of innocents on my hands.

Individual Americans are great people. If 70% of them are opposed to the war, then there is still hope. Of course the mainstream media, the press and the vested industrial and political interests would have us all believe that we cannot make a difference. They say we need to listen to them as they tell us who the next President will be. We have to choose between the two war mongering candidates they will serve up to us. We are told who the two front runners are, and we are discouraged from looking elsewhere. Why bother, they say? No one else even stands a chance. Maybe so, ….but maybe not. This time I think they have gone too far. Americans may be slow to react, but we are not dumb. I would submit that the outcome of this election it is not so clear. The establishment dam has sprung a leak which is small now, but it is growing. It is growing exponentially. The word is spreading. The candidates who represent change are moving up. The candidates who represent the status quo are moving down.

The lines could not be more clearly drawn.

Ron Paul’s message is clear and beautiful and true. It resonates with people. When you hear it you say, “that’s right, that’s what I believe”.

This is why his poll numbers are rising faster than any other candidate. Yet, the media still ignore him and treat him poorly. It is beautiful irony that every attack on him only brings him more attention as intelligent Americans wonder, “who is this guy that everyone keeps attacking … I wonder if there is a reason?” They say he cannot win. They say he is a fringe candidate. They say he will lose. I strongly disagree. They are wrong. First, I think there is a very good chance he will be our next President. Second, I think he has won already because he is standing up for everything that is good, right and true about America. He has won by putting forth the message of a Limited Constitutional Government dedicated to Freedom, and people like what they hear. The message he is spreading is like an uncontrollable wildfire. It cannot be stopped. I believe that history will record the Ron Paul Freedom Movement as an earth shattering event in the history of U.S. politics. If you want to see the future of US politics this is what it will look like.

It is an honor to support this man. We should be so lucky as to have him for our President.

Having said that, we could all help history along a little bit by supporting the Ron Paul campaign. My favorite movie is :It’s A Wonderful Life. To me, the message of that movie is that we all make a difference. Individually, none of us have the power of the Neocons and the political classes, but collectively they are supposed to work for us. If we self-organize and unite, we have them greatly out numbered. They are terrified, and they should be. The growth in this movement is amazing. We can and will win this struggle. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a defeatist or is working to protect the status quo.. I ran the USA Today Advertisement because I wanted to plant a seed and make a difference. WE ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Every conversation, every person converted, every e-mail , every effort; it all counts. The internet is what has made it possible.

What a beautiful thing. The trend is really changing and it is fun to watch the old guard struggle as their fortress crumbles.

So what can you do?

Join our effort to elect Ron Paul as the next President of the United States. Spread the word that we have an opportunity to elect an honest statesman with an impeccable record of voting in line with our Constitution. Vote for peace. Vote for freedom.

Donate to his campaign!

Each contribution represents another American who has said “enough is enough.”

Every contribution helps. $10 is not too little. On December 16th, our collective voices were heard when grassroots supporters for Ron Paul succeeded in organizing the largest one-day fundraiser in political history. Over 58,000 ordinary Americans spoke with their wallets by donating more than $6 million dollars to the Ron Paul campaign in a single day. Together we are proving to be a force to be reckoned with.

Think about it. What is freedom worth? I would submit that it is priceless. If you care about the future of this country, I know that Ron Paul will not let you down. If you care about our troops, then you must vote for Ron Paul. He will bring them home to defend America instead of someone else’s country. Ron Paul has received more donations from active military personnel than any other candidate. Why do you think that is? Have you heard about it from the Mainstream Media? I suspect that you have not.

This is it folks. A once in a lifetime opportunity. We may never see a candidate with more integrity and a better message or track record.

Has our country ever been so far off track. Our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honors in order to establish this Nation. Perhaps we have taken for granted the risks they took and the sacrifices they made. But we are being called. We are being tested. How will we answer? Will we meet the test or will we fail? Each of us makes a difference.

So what are you going to do? Are you going to be a Loyalist or a Patriot?

Americans are brave people. I do not need the Federal government to take care of me, and neither do you. I want them to leave me alone. I believe we can set this country back on the right track and that America will experience a renaissance of Peace, Freedom and Prosperity. Vote Ron Paul for President.

The danger to our Republic is real. We must act now!

Remember, each one of us makes a difference. Please vote for Ron Paul in your state’s Republican Primary and encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same.

You can also learn more about Ron Paul”s positions on the issues that most concern you.


Lawrence W. Lepard

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Education v. Indoctrination

As I wrote in a previous post, there is no educational value to the Olentangy Liberty High School Spanish V immigration experience:
Is this learning? Pretending to be an Hispanic immigrant and then reflecting on your experience. Does that even make sense? Reflecting on your experience in a contrived situation is not learning, it's pure foolishness. This is Progressive education, where the feelings of the student count more than any real-life experience.
OK, the point is not education; that has been well established. So, what is the point?

The point of the activity is, in the teacher's words, all about empathy. Certainly, this is not a new situation, as such empathy instruction has been going on for years, and is now gaining momentum. My favorite example comes from my own children's experience in public schools prior to our homeschooling them:

My elementary son brings home a paper on which he received a "B" for not expressing the prescribed emotions for a character in a story. The question to be answered was this: How would you feel if you were in the character's position? The teacher wrote a note to my son stating that the writing was good but my son wouldn't have felt the way detailed in his paper. The teacher was saying that emotions trump skills, and that teacher and school dictate emotions.
I bring that up for a reason. The students in the Spanish class dare not express anything other than the prescribed range of emotions. In other words, the teacher dictates the emotional outcome. Based on internet posts from students in the class, it is obvious that she has forced her belief system on her captive audience -- the students. If this isn't indoctrination, then what is?

So, year after year, empathy is one of the more insidious products of public schools; we are talking political empathy of course. Keep in mind that throughout this nation, public schools are telling children how to feel and how to vote. They are encouraging activism in areas that the Left considers worthy of empathy. Is that how we want our children raised? By the state to worship the state and all its supposed empathetic programs?

And we wonder why America is changing; why our values have given way to state-mandated empathy. Yet, it is us who allows the state and its minions (teachers, principals, administrators, etc.) to raise our children. And then we wonder why our children hold their values and not ours.

It's never enough to teach the Three R's. No, public education wants to form its New Soviet Man in its very own image. They are doing it. And, sadly, we are paying them to do it.

Bastiat, Hazlitt, and the unseen v. the feds

My latest post on the Blog at

As a means to try to ease chronic nationwide air travel delays, the feds are going to reduce the number of flights in and out of New York City during peak travel times. That's certainly one way to reduce delays, similar to Lenin and Stalin reducing food shortages by implementing mass starvation. But, I digress.

Bastiat and Hazlitt would be screaming "don't forget the unseen."

Sure, Patty Passenger's flight out of NYC will take off on-time -- weather and other airports permitting of course, but Sammy Stranded will have to catch a later flight out as his regular flight is no longer offered.

So instead of possibly arriving an hour late due to a delay, Stranded may not see his family until the following morning, or later. Ask his wife and kids whether Sammy was delayed or not.

The feds have no concern for Stranded -- the unseen. They will celebrate their success and prized on-time metric, with claps on the back and cheers all around.

Missing is the true solution: The market is able to address both peak congestion and capacity constraints, as well as systemic breakdowns. But, once again the unseen will appear, this time in the form of unemployed tax consumers, er, I mean government employees.

And, we can't have that. Or, can we?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Strickland and broadband

Gov. Ted Strickland certainly has plans. His latest is to provide broadband service for everyone in Ohio, at taxpayer expense.

Sure, he is simply asking for a public-private partnership be formed, with study committees in every county. Sounds like the proverbial camel's nose.

In the end, Strickland will create an e-infrastructure similar to Mussolini's concrete infrastructure.

As Ludwig von Mises proved, there is no such animal as the public-private partnership. The camel's nose is really the nose of the government camel. And, once the nose, the whole camel -- government -- will soon follow. Sadly, we will end up watching history repeat the lessons of Italy of some 80 odd years ago.

Don't hold out hope for any turn-around in Ohio's economy, Strickland is simply adding more water to the rust.

Ah, yes, education and empathy

OK, it's empathy until taxpayers try to exercise their legal rights.

Read the following dispatch from our brothers and sisters over at SmallGovernmentNews. These folks have been reporting on the efforts of the Committee for Small Government to end the income tax in Massachusetts.

Note how quickly supposed empathetic teachers turn into union thugs when the people want to rein in government and the teachers union's never-ending pot of gold: the tax dollars.

The Massachusetts patriots will never be mentioned in public school classrooms; where nonsense is the agenda.

Small Government News*
Wednesday, December 19, 2007

"The Massachusetts State Teachers Union Has Launched a Boiler Room,
Telemarketing Operation to Disqualify Our Ballot Initiative to END the
Income Tax In Massachusetts"

Publisher: Carla Howell
Editor: Michael Cloud


-- Voter Intimidation by Boiler Room Telemarketers
-- Front Group Set Up by Massachusetts Teachers Union
-- Boiler Room Phone Pressure and Voter Intimidation
-- If You Signed the Petition, Here's What To Do
-- Fight Back Now


Your phone rings. Your caller ID shows: Ph 617-646-9465.

You answer.

"Hi, I'm with the Committee For Our Communities. Do you realize that
your signature is on a petition for a ballot question?" asks the

You search your memory. 'Which petition? Is this the petition I signed
in front of Stop and Shop in September -- 3 months ago?' you think.

"I'm not sure," you say.

"It's a petition to eliminate the Income Tax," says the telemarketer.
"Are you sure you signed it?"

"I think I did," you say - trying to remember.

You're trying to think - and listen to the caller.

The telemarketer asks whether your signature might have gotten on the
petition through "fraud" or "forgery."

You finally remember signing the petition to END the Income Tax.

"Wait a minute. I signed the petition," you say.

"Are you sure?" pressures the caller. "Do you realize that your
signature supports eliminating the income tax?"

"Yes, I do," you answer.

"Thank you. Goodbye," says the caller.

This kind of telephone call is being made to the 76,085 certified
voters who signed the Ballot Initiative to End the Income Tax.

Who is the Committee for Our Communities?

Why are they calling certified voters who signed the Ballot Initiative
to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts?

What are they trying to accomplish?

What are the consequences if they succeed?


"The Committee for Our Communities" - which is making the Boiler Room
telephone calls - is a front group created, owned, and operated by the
Massachusett State Teachers Union (MTA).

What are front groups? Why are they set up?

"A front group is an organization that purports to represent one
agenda while in reality it serves some other party or interest whose
sponsorship is hidden or rarely mentioned." - Center for Media and

"A front organization is any entity set up by and controlled by
another organization. Front organizations can act for the parent group
without the actions being attributed to the parent group. Front
organizations that appear to be independent voluntary or charitable
associations are called front groups." - Wikipedia

How would signers have responded if the telephone callers identified
themselves as representing the Massachusetts State Teachers

Here's the front group:

Committee for Our Communities
20 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA
Organized: 11/20/2007
Filed with: Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance ID
# 95339

Paul Phillips, Chair
31 Dartmouth St
Quincy, MA 02169

Kathleen Conway, Treasurer
Phone: 617.878.8309
FAX: 617.248.0194

Here's the address of the Massachusetts Teachers Union:

20 Ashburton Place
Boston, MA

Paul Phillips is Executive Committee Member of the Teachers Union.

Kathleen Conway is Director of Finance and Accounting of the Teachers

Same office. Same officers.


The National "Do NOT Call" Registry was set up to stop Boiler Room
Telephone Operations, and Aggressive Telemarketers.

Unlisted, unpublished telephone numbers are chosen to stop unwanted

The Massachusetts Teachers Union's Telemarketers are telephoning tens
of thousands of our END the Income Tax petition signers who have "Do
NOT Call" and unlisted, unpublished telephone numbers.

Why? Because lobbyists got them exempted from the law.

But it doesn't stop with our petition signers being subjected to
unwanted and tried-to-block telephone calls.

Some callers try to pressure, interrogate, embarrass, and intimidate
our petition signers.

Some of the Teachers Union telemarketers try to put words and phrases
into our signers' mouths. "Fraud." "Forged your signature." "Misled by
the petitioner." "Pressured to sign." "Deceived as to the purpose of
the petition." "Lied to." "Confused into signing."

Can you see why the Massachusetts State Teachers Union (MTA) set up a
front group to do Voter Intimidation by Phone?

Do you see why they don't want Massachusetts voters to see the smoking
gun in their hands?


When the Massachusetts State Teachers Union's front group - "Committee
for Our Communities" - calls you, please do these things:

Let the caller talk.

Take notes of EVERYTHING he or she says.

Dummy up: try to sound confused or slow to understand.

Ask a few naïve questions: "What did I sign?" "When did I sign it?"
"Are you sure it's my signature?"

Let the caller talk. We need you to tell us what your caller said.

Believe it or not, the boiler room telemarketers phoned Carla Howell
to see whether she had signed the petition.

Carla dummied up. Her caller claimed that signing the petition
"supported ending the income tax". Later, the caller weasel-worded it
by saying "it supported putting end the income tax to a vote." But
that's not what the caller said at first.

Please take careful notes - and let us know EXACTLY what was said. We
may need this information if we are forced to go to court.

Please email us your notes at:


Weakness invites aggression. In the animal kingdom. And in the human

We believe we have a bullet-proof number of petition signatures. But
the teachers' union is spending as much as $100,000 to see whether
they have armor-piercing shells.

So you have to ask yourself one question: Do you want to take the

We don't. We need your help now. Make sure they can't stop us.

We may have only days to put together a War Chest to fight the
Massachusetts State Teachers Union's assault on our Ballot Initiative
to END the Income Tax.

We may have only days to fight back - and survive.

Without your help now, we do NOT have the money or other resources we
may need to fend off and prevent the Teachers Union from disqualifying
our END the Income Tax Ballot Initiative.

We may need a $50,000 War Chest to defend ourselves.

If we're forced to go to court, we'll need a $50,000 War Chest to

This is the moment of truth. For us. And for you.

Will you please contribute $500 or $250 or $150 right now - so we can
END the Income Tax?

Are you one of the prosperous few who could make a substantial
donation today? Will you help us defend your right to earn and
prosper? Will you please donate $20,000 or $10,000 today? Or $5,000 or
$2,500 War Chest donation?

Carla Howell and Michael Cloud need your help. So do the other donors,
the volunteers, and the 76,085 certified signers who qualified this
Initiative for the ballot.

Will you please donate $250 or $150, $85 or $65, or $45 today?

Help us protect and defend our END the Income Tax Ballot Initiative.
Please contribute now by credit card by clicking:

Or please write your check today and mail it to:

The Committee For Small Government
6 Goodman Lane
Wayland, Massachusetts

Thank you for being a hero today.

Sincerely yours,

Carla Howell & Michael Cloud


To be sure you continue to receive Small Government News* please add
the email address in the "From" field of this email message to your
address book or safe sender list. Thank you.


2007 Copyright Carla Howell and Michael Cloud
small government is possible*, small government is beautiful*, Small
Government Pledge* and Small Government News* are Service Marks (SM)
of Carla Howell and Michael Cloud.


To SUBSCRIBE to Small Government News*, please click here:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Veterans Hospitals

The following message comes from Pat Tiberi, our DC representative.

As you read it ask yourself this question: Should veterans receive free medical care for life for issues that have nothing to do with their service? I say no. Tiberi says otherwise. But, he is trolling for votes.

This is not an issue of helping injured service men and women. This is an issue of free medical care decades after their service ended. It's a gimme from Tiberi to likely voters. It's buying votes.

Sorry Tiberi. As a Republican, you should know that it's better to keep government small and dollars in wallets, far from the reach of the taxman.

What I love about these boondoggles is that Tiberi will be at the new hospital anytime the media is there; nothing like a free photo-op. Even better is that Tiberi takes credit for spending our tax money.

What a wonderful guy. And, I bet he thinks that he truly is wonderful. But he forgets that we work, not him. He lives off of our labor, and then spends 40% of our income on vote-getting projects. Yes, a wonderful guy.

Tiberi, you should know better. Time to dust off that faded, dusty document that used to be our Constitution.

Dear Friend,

Like many other Central Ohioans, I enjoy the opportunity to spend time with family over the holidays. However, since my time in the district has been so limited this year, I am making special effort while I am home to stay in touch with constituents. I recently had the opportunity to visit several high schools, tour some of Central Ohio's finest businesses and factories, and meet with folks in my district office and out in the district. I also had a chance to tour the new Veterans Affairs (VA) medical facility that is currently under construction at the Defense Supply Center in Columbus (DSCC) on James Road.

I have been an advocate of expanding veterans’ health facilities for many years. My colleagues, David Hobson and Deborah Pryce, and I worked to obtain $94 million in funding for the new VA facility at DSCC. I attended the groundbreaking of the new facility in the fall of 2005 and have been back several times since, but my latest visit really impressed me. I was very excited by the progress being made. A facility of this size takes time to build, however, the clinic has reached the stage where the outside walls are finished, the dry wall is up and the mechanicals are in place. Workers are underway with the finishing touches in anticipation of the installation of all the new equipment. It is now very easy to see how impressive the finished product will be.

Central Ohio veterans will feel the impact of the expanded services and treatment right away. The new clinic will be three times the size of the current building and capable of specialty services such as orthopedics, pulmonary care, cardiology, dialysis, etc. Additionally, new ambulatory surgery services will be added, and several VA operations that are currently scattered around Central Ohio will be co-located to create a one-stop-shop for veterans’ services.

When the new Ambulatory Surgical Center is complete, these new and expanded services will reduce waiting times and the need for veterans to travel long distances for treatment. Patient parking will be expanded and, since it is on the grounds of the Defense Supply Center, safe.

We have needed this new clinic for a very long time and I am proud to have played a part in making it a reality. The building is on schedule for completion in the summer of 2008, only several months from now. I can hardly wait to do a final tour when it is finished. Our veterans have earned the right to receive quality health care for their service. This new facility will help ensure they receive it.

Pat Tiberi Member of Congress Ohio's 12th District

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Erica Vieyra and the Olentangy administration

Keep in mind that Erica Vieyra only came up with the immigration activity. It was the district administrators who championed her nonsense, as they consider this classroom activity to be wonderful, so much so that they designated it their top news item.

According to the administration, Vieyra's classroom activity is not a mistake that needs correction. No, her activity is one of the best that the district has to offer. A clap on the back and a hearty well done.

Vieyra is off, no doubt, but it is the administrators who really have screws loose. They have been advocating this stuff for years, and now they have a superintendent who agrees.

Over the summer I wondered what nonsense would come out of the district; now we know. But, once again, please note that this is the stuff made public by the district, one can only imagine what goes on behind closed doors -- the hush, hush, make this go away stuff.

Let me leave you with some profound nonsense from the fountainhead of the public school agenda (the pedagogies, ideologies, etc.), the Teachers College Record from the Teachers College of Columbia University.

You will read the article summary from today's TCRecord This Week -- the email update from the Teachers College Record -- below and think, "What in the world is this?" Olentangy administrators will read the same and think, "Hey, great ideas. Let's adopt and implement." You will then know why the administration thinks that Vieyra is onto something.

Folks, whether you send your kids to district schools or not, you pay for this nonsense. And, when you advocate for the schools, you also advocate for this. They -- the district and the nonsense -- are now inseparable.

At the Interstices: Engaging Postcolonial and Feminist Perspectives for a Multicultural Education Pedagogy in the South

by Nina Asher — 2005

This article argues for a decolonizing multicultural education pedagogy, which engages the interstices - in-between, hybrid spaces - that emerge at the intersections of different cultures, histories, and locations. It also examines how those who work for social transformation are implicated in the very systems and structures they are attempting to deconstruct. The author draws on postcolonial and feminist theories, her own border crossings, and her reflections on her multicultural education pedagogy to discuss how she engages the particular interstitial identifications of her Southern students. A critical analysis of White students' autobiographies reveals the complex ways in which issues of race and racial difference intersect with their lives. Implications in terms of rethinking multiculturalism as relevant to all - White students and those of color - are discussed.

The dollar: the true passenger bill of rights

My latest post the Blog at

OK, air travel can be a mess. There is nothing so frustrating as delays, especially delays on the tarmac. To some, this is a reason to have government create and enforce a so-called passenger bill of rights. In fact, New York is just days away from being the first state to have such positive rights enforced by the power of law. That said, we already have a passenger bill of rights: the dollar.

You see, if you are willing to pay the price, you can have aircraft on standby ready to hustle you to your destination, 24/7. Sure, if the weather is bad, you will also have delays, yet delays in relative comfort.

Given that government regulations have created the current air travel mess, why anyone would expect that the next regulation will cure the ills of regulations past is beyond me. OK. I can guess why: the lack of knowledge of Mises. But, doesn't common sense quickly reach the same conclusion as Mises? For many, the answer is no.

Let's take a look at the current system and that which is proposed. Today, whenever passengers are stuck for a long time, sitting on the tarmac, the newspapers and the internet quickly report the details. What an incentive to improve service. And, airlines are doing their best to improve given government's entangling regulations and the price and quality desires of consumers.

New York is a system of fines that only benefits government. Keep in mind that the $1000 per passenger fine is not an inconvenience fee that will end up in the hands of the passenger. No, government benefits, thus creating a perverse incentive for government to worsen the situation.

However, it's more than that to me. I like spending as little as I can on airfare. I am willing to gamble on the occasional minor inconvenience, as well as the rare major inconvenience, in order to save a sawbuck or two.

The folks who push for hassle-free flights, guaranteed by the strong arm of government, are sticking their hands in my wallet. If they desire excellent service, they can pay for it -- the market already provides. But, please allow cheapos like me to save a bit here and there.

And, don't advocate for a government solution that will a priori make things worse.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Lake Wobegon, Ohio

The Ohio Department of Education just posted the value added scores for public schools. I really don't know what to make of them. As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, almost twice as many districts performed above average than below average. That troubles me. Add in the color codes of the ratings where yellow -- caution -- is average growth, and I have to believe that politics is driving the process.

Given that a district must show above average growth that is statistically significant (keep in mind that statistically significant does not mean significant as generally used) in order to be considered as exceeding state-level growth expectations, I have to assume that under an honest system average growth would not be considered a yellow -- caution -- rating.

Remember, assuming that all districts improve, the average also improves. So, the system can never show all districts with above average growth. One would expect just about as many below average (red status) as above average. Of course, politics must create a system that shows some level of year-over-year improvement, even spurious improvement.

This all leads me believe that politics is inflating the scores and ratings. Otherwise, how does one explain so many above average districts, other than to say that the average is being manipulated?

That said, there are many problems with the concept and application of value added that bring the whole system into question. But, that will have to be another post.