Friday, August 31, 2007

The Next 30 Days by Lew Rockwell

From Lew Rockwell and ... It makes absolute sense ...

Rockwell's Next Thirty Days
by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Last time, I laid out my "
Thirty Day Plan" for de-socializing America. But I didn't scrap all of big government; now it's time for more:

DAY ONE: Foreign junkets are outlawed. If anyone on the federal payroll wants to fly overseas, he has to buy his own ticket. The State Department, Congress, and White House go into hyperventilation.

DAY TWO: Medicare and Medicaid are abolished as illegitimate transfers of wealth that drive up the cost of care. HHS, whose insolent $30,000 clerks can't speak intelligible English, goes out of business.

DAY THREE: The Supreme Court reads the Constitution, and reverses every court decision of the last fifty years.

DAY FOUR: The doors of the Legal Services Corporation are nailed shut. The envious must now pay for their own anti-business lawsuits.

DAY FIVE: Marxist inheritance taxes are terminated as the moral equivalent of stealing pennies from a dead man's eyes.

DAY SIX: To help prevent the growth of a new welfare state, the franchise is restricted: no one on the dole, which includes government employees, may vote.

DAY SEVEN: Civil service is abolished, and the grand, old Jefferson-Jackson "spoils system" reintroduced. With "rotation in office," there is no permanent governing class of officials, and voters can actually change the government.

DAY EIGHT: Racial set-asides are repealed. The remaining government contractors are judged on ability.

DAY NINE: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is axed; 126 years after slavery, employers are freed. They can hire, fire, and promote on their property as they think best.

DAY TEN: The Food and Drug Administration is killed. The First Amendment now applies to commercial speech, and producers and consumers decide the content of food labels. Patients and doctors determine what drugs to use, and a host of life-saving drugs and medical devices are developed.

DAY ELEVEN: National Public Radio is replaced by static, a big improvement. Taxpayers no longer subsidize hysterical left-wing broadcasts about the oppression (i.e., non-funding) of transvestite Kenyan obukano street musicians.

DAY TWELVE: The war on drugs is no more. Prices and therefore street crime plummet, and hoodlums no longer grow rich, thus restoring the natural socioeconomic hierarchy.

DAY THIRTEEN: Mother-Knows-Best government is gagged: no more hectoring about tobacco and alcohol.

DAY FOURTEEN: NASA is blasted. Private businesses and scientific organizations now launch satellites at their own expense. If Star Trek fans want space exploration, they are free to pay for it.

DAY FIFTEEN: The Old Executive Office Building next door to the White House becomes a museum of big government. Although now housing just part of the president's personal staff, it once held the entire departments of War, State, and Interior.

DAY SIXTEEN: Head Start, the beloved but incompetent children's welfare program, is abolished as a scam on the taxpayers and an unwarranted intrusion into families.

DAY SEVENTEEN: The Office of the United States Trade Representative is abolished, along with every tariff, quota, and "free trade" agreement. Businesses negotiate their own deals with foreign governments, at no cost to the taxpayer.

DAY EIGHTEEN: The Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp are shut down. American corporations doing business overseas must now bear their own costs.

DAY NINETEEN: Sixty-eight federal commissions, boards, and committees are scrapped, including the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, and the Permanent Committee for the Oliver Wendell Holmes Device.

DAY TWENTY: Government and quasi-government museums like the Smithsonian are privatized, and soon discover that regular Americans won't pay to see left-wing, state-exalting, anti-American multicultural extravaganzas, or a mirror hanging on a wall and labeled: "Mirror."

DAY TWENTY-ONE: The Federal Emergency Management Administration is abolished. Disaster relief is left to private charities, which actually provide it, and there are no more FEMA schemes for "emergency" bureaucratic takeovers of the country.

DAY TWENTY-TWO: Any federal agency whose initials are incomprehensible to the average taxpayer is bumped off, including FHFB, FLRA, FMSHRC, and FRTIB.

DAY TWENTY-THREE: The Americans with Disabilities Act, which burdens businesses with new regulatory costs and shuts the most severely disabled people out of the work force, is killed.

DAY TWENTY-FOUR: The Seventeenth Amendment mandating direct election of U.S. senators is repealed, and state legislatures once again elect senators as their representatives, vastly strengthening the states as against the federal ex-leviathan.

DAY TWENTY-FIVE: Bankruptcy laws are repealed; debtors who refuse to pay their debts are treated as virtual thieves.

DAY TWENTY-SIX: The FHA, Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and all other agencies that subsidize housing are torn down. No longer is there malinvestment in this area.

DAY TWENTY-SEVEN: The U.S. Foreign Service, whose ambassadors live luxuriously in mansions with retinues of personal servants, is replaced with fax machines.

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT: To protect American sovereignty and independence, the U.S. left the U.N., the I.M.F., and the World Bank in my first 30 days. Now we leave 46 other globaloney outfits, including the International Labor Organization, the World Health Organization, and the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.

DAY TWENTY-NINE: We continue, junking the International Jute Organization, the International Criminal Police Organization, the International Office of Epizootics [horse fungus], the International Office of Vine and Wine, and the International Rubber Study Group.

DAY THIRTY: Finally, we dump the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Development Association, and the International Finance Corporation. Bankrupt foreign politicos must now apply to the Household Finance Corporation.

This article appeared in The Free Market for January 1992.

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. [send him mail] is president of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of, and author of Speaking of Liberty.
Copyright © 2007 Ludwig von Mises Institute
Lew Rockwell Archives

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Educators of public educators

You can't make this stuff up!

The following is the lead article from this week's Teachers College Record, published by Columbia University's Teachers College:

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. Continue reading ...

What?!? As I have written many times before: Can't they simply teach math, and teach it right?

Read this nonsense in conjunction with the latest "research" adopted by the Olentangy Local School District (my post from yesterday) and it's obvious the socialist are winning the fight.

Can't figure one thing out: This is a supposed family-oriented, conservative Republican district, yet parents, taxpayers, and voters willingly spend their money and votes on the -ists and -isms that have no respect for Life, Liberty, and Property.

Are those that run the universities and public schools educators or educationists? You decide.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

ASCD's The Whole Child

from the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) ... Keep in mind that there are five subtle conclusions hidden within this seemingly innocuous video: One, only the state through its unions can raise a child; Two, indoctrination (Olentangy calls it "tutoring") stands in place for real learning ; Three, public education defines the whole child as one who is continually exposed to the foulest actions of others - that's why they push perverse literature and disgusting assemblies; Four, parents have no place in the concept of the whole child ... don't believe me, then ask to be involved in the curriculum decisions and speak your mind ... see how far that gets you; Five, add some touching music and the viewer will gloss over the fact that public schools have created the mess they are claiming they can fix. Impossible.

Yet, your administrators get all choked up with such nonsense from ASCD, the organization that still adheres to and pushes the concepts of the New Soviet Man as adored by John Dewey.

Invest a little time on Yahoo, Google, and Wikipedia to learn and understand the movements leading public education. It's your kids and/or your tax dollars at stake.

Teachers Unions: Are the Schools Run for Them?

Well, of course they are. Still, this article written by James Brovard from The Freeman, a publication from the Foundation for Economic Education (, is a worthy read. Eleven years after publication, it is still as relevant as when Brovard wrote it.

Teachers Unions: Are the Schools Run for Them?
By James Bovard

Public education is the most expensive "gift" that most Americans will ever receive. Government school systems are increasingly coercive and abusive both of parents and students. Government schools in hundreds of cities, towns, and counties have been effectively taken over by unions, and children are increasingly exploited, thwarted, and stymied for the benefit of organized labor.

continue reading ...

The Church and the state

Something to consider ... the state is not as innocuous as many believe ... a viewpoint from ...

Cults do exist. They are wretched abominations which rightly should be denounced. But if people are going to raise the “C” word publicly, they had best be prepared to defend such a charge before the world, and if found guilty of defaming a legitimate work of Christ, they must be prepared to face the consequences which are rightly due to those who divide brethren and slander the servants of the Lord.
(From Doug’s Blog, August 2005)

By Geoff Botkin

Li Ying is serious about the Christian Faith. According to Voice of the Martyrs, she has been suffering in a Chinese prison for 2,339 days as of today’s date. She is serving a 15-year sentence for her role as editor of an underground-church magazine in China. In recent months, Li Ying’s mother has not been allowed to visit. Prison officials are increasing the pressure to get Li Ying to recant her faith and sign a document saying that she is part of an “evil cult,” meaning biblical Christianity. She refused to sign today. She will refuse to sign tomorrow.

American Christians should take some lessons from Li. She has learned a lot about serious, non-compromising spiritual warfare. She is willing to risk her life to publish the truth. She is not willing to allow the state to define the terms “evil” or “cult.”

Why? Li Ying knows the term “cult” is the perfect weapon of the anti-Christian state. With it, any government can enforce policies of arrest or genocide. With this one word, anti-Christian bureaucracies can eliminate Christian orthodoxy, the greatest enemy of the purpose-driven tyrant.

In America, many state leaders have purposefully pushed the federal government’s role beyond its Constitutional boundaries. In the name of the law, they have institutionalized lawlessness, rejecting God’s authority. This is why state hostility toward sane and principled Christianity is growing. Even non-believers can recognize this as dangerous. “Anyone who thinks that religion (meaning Christianity) is bad for society is out of his mind,” observes culture analyst Tom Wolfe.

The American state has largely lost all practical reference to its original moral foundations. Its growing bureaucracy, like the Chinese bureaucracy, now believes historic Christianity is bad for society. This bureaucracy is increasingly uncomfortable with principled, “applied” Christianity. Christian doctrines that strengthen the freedom of the traditional family are clashing stridently with the secular designs of today’s planned economy.

This great clash is noisy. It is not peaceful. Christians like Li Ying know that warfare involves conflict, and she stands her ground, even while suffering the torments of prison.

Li Ying could appease her tormentors and possibly be released to join a registered or approved Church which the government considers “good” for society. But she understands the dangers of a compliant church. How about the vast church-going American public?

There are millions of church-going Americans who do not represent the Faith of historic America or historic Christianity. Too many American churches now reflect the essence of a secular, state-dependent culture. Mainstream Christianity is desperately trying to conform itself to the heart and soul of a decadent and anti-Christian culture. It is succeeding. In the name of relevancy and salesmanship, a feel-good secularism is the new foundation of a church ready to appease the secular bureaucracy at all costs.

What does the secular bureaucracy want from the church? Co-existence on the state’s terms. Mega-compliance with all state requirements. Mega-churches can inspire this kind of compliance and do. So what happens when some Christian family fails to run with the herd? When any citizen fears the state, they fear noncompliance. They fear people who rock the boat. Wayward Christians could be turned in to the state, especially if that’s what compliant Christians “do.”

Or, they could simply be labeled with the “C” word.

Do American churchgoers know what happens when governments pretend to be on the side of Christianity, protecting society from dangerous religious extremists who attempt to apply rigorous forms of biblical morality? Orthodox Christianity is labeled “cultic” and is driven, by force, from society.

In order to destroy the church, anti-Christian governments can use a form of class warfare between compliant and non-compliant churchgoers. They need accusers who label serious Christians like Li Ying “cultic.” Once the “C” word is improperly used by the church, bureaucrats can take further liberties with the language and meaning.

American churchgoers need a strong, two-fisted warning: We must guard against the compromises of appeasement, and we must guard against the temptations to take up unwarranted reproaches against orthodox Christians who make us uncomfortable.

A professor at the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California has been researching the ways American Christians wrongfully accuse one another. “My working definition of a cult,” he reports, “is a group that you don’t like. And I say that somewhat facetiously, but at the same time, in fact, that is my working definition of a cult. It is a group that somebody doesn’t like. It is a derogatory term, and I have never seen it redeemed from the derogatory connotations that it picked the 1930s.”

America has a problem. The “C” word has been unleashed by infantile Christians. For several decades it has been doing damage. It will continue to weaken the Faith each time it is recklessly bantered about in Christian circles. The government has taken notice of this childish indignation that Christians can manufacture against one another.

The professor’s definition of “cult” has been institutionalized by careless, proud, and disobedient Christians. This is not the proper definition of the word, and the professor knows it. His point is that Christians have abused the language, destroyed the word, and lowered the meaning to the most childish level of the playground insult. This is the only definition needed by the statist enemies of God’s people who can criminalize anything they don’t like.

Can the household of faith recover some semblance of maturity and order, or will Christians become easy prey to our enemies? Can the word “cult” be redeemed? Yes, it can. It is the duty of all Christians to assume responsibility for every word spoken or written. It is also our duty to be holy and precise. Language has been given to us as a gift of God for representing His interests accurately and righteously. Gentlemanly theological discourse between Christian men is a great privilege and a great necessity in every age. But it is not righteous or just when one Christian refuses to have gentlemanly discussion with another and simply attacks him on the internet...or initiates this theological conversation with the state: “Go arrest that other Christian. I don’t like him. He’s part of an evil cult.”

The “C” word is an important word in the English language. It is important to the science of theology. There is such a thing as treason, heresy, and cultic activity. These are evils that must be properly defined and resisted with truth. We must address these evils accurately and biblically. Any compromise in the meaning of these words compromises the great weapons that can identify and defeat evil.

Li Ying was fighting a righteous literary battle when she was accused of a great evil and silenced. Pray for Li Ying’s release. Pray for the freedom of her tongue and pen. And pray that bold, courageous, gentlemanly, accurate, restrained, and loving words would become the new standard for free discourse between Christians. We must redeem our language before we can redeem our culture.

Click here for a report on how last week’s CNN feature, “God’s Warriors,” attempts to “Talibanize” Christianity in America and equate anti-feminism within Christianity with the extremes of Islam.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Four books from

note: I recently finished reading the following four books ...

Here are four great books to add to your reading list from the Ludwig von Mises Institute: The Free Market and Its Enemies:Pseudo-Science, Socialism and Inflation, lectures by Ludwig von Mises; Economics and the good life: essays on political economy by Bertrand de Jouvenel; Capital and Production by Richard von Strigl; and The Failure of the "New Economics": An Analysis of Keynesian Fallacies by Henry Hazlitt.

The Failure of the "New Economics": An Analysis of Keynesian Fallacies is as fresh today as when it was written 50 years ago. The fallacies of Keynes never seem to go away. In fact, they continue to drive government policy. This despite Hazlitt's clear refutation of Keynesian economics. Read and arm yourself against the ideas that are still taught to our children.

Economics and the good life: essays on political economy is a very interesting read on "the good life." That said, I do not agree with de Jouvenel on every matter, though he is certainly thought-provoking.

Capital and Production is a detailed analysis of the role of capital in any economy. Strigl will guide you through the Austrian view of capital with just a few errors. Despite the errors, the reader will learn the intertwining complexities of the various forms of capital. And, the reader will come away understanding that no central planning agency -- or local, state, or federal agency -- can ever direct an economy; other than one bound for starvation and deprivation of course.

The Free Market and Its Enemies ... lectures by Mises ... what more needs to be said ;-)

These books and many others are available at
The Store on

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hollywood and God

Something to think think about ...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wise Words from Will

From James Bovard's article What Do Citizens Owe Government on

Will Rogers suggested long ago, “The way to deal with traffic
congestion is to have business provide the roads and government the cars.” But
though this hasn’t been done, politicians still expect thanks from citizens,
despite potholes as far as the eye can see.

New stats from the National Center for Education Statistics

According to the latest figures just published by the National Center for Education Statistics, $489 billion will be spent on public education this school year. What a waste!

Reason Foundation's list of occupations licensed by states

Though the list is incomplete, it is still an amazing testimony to our belief in the omniscience of the state. After reading, ask yourself one question: Do you really feel safer knowing that the state requires licenses for these professions? (hint: Remember it is the state that requires the license, usually based on pressure from those already in the occupation as a means to keep others -- new competitors -- out of the occupation: The modern guild societies.)

From Reason Foundation policy study,
Occupational Licensing: Ranking the States and Exploring Alternatives:

California, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire Restrict the Most Jobs

Hair braider, fortune teller, florist and interior designer are some of the jobs for which states require licenses

Do you want to be a fortune teller in Maryland? Your future better include a license from the state. How about being a hair braider in Mississippi? You'll need 300 to 1,500 hours of training and government permission. Want to sell flowers in Louisiana? Only licensed florists can do that. And almost every state requires certification if you want to move furniture and hang art while calling yourself an interior designer.

In California, there are a total of 177 different jobs that require a special license or credential, the most in the country, according to a new Reason Foundation study examining occupational licensing trends.

Northeastern states aren’t much better. Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire all require job seekers to obtain a license before performing more than 130 jobs. In stark contrast, you can do most of those very same jobs - without a license - in Missouri, where just 41 careers require certification.

The list (incompete) of occupations that require an Ohio state license:

1 Accountants and Auditors
2 Aerospace Engineers
3 Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate
4 Architects, Except Landscape and Naval
5 Audiologists
6 Barbers
7 Boiler Operators and Tenders, Low Pressure
8 Bus Drivers, School
9 Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity
10 Chemical Engineers
11 Chiropractors
12 Civil Engineers
13 Computer Hardware Engineers
14 Cosmetologists, Hairdressers, and Hairstylists
15 Counselors, All Other
16 Dental Hygienists
17 Dentists, General
18 Dieticians and Nutritionists
19 Education Administrators, All Other
20 Education Administrators, Elementary and Secondary
21 Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors
22 Electrical Engineers
23 Electricians
24 Elementary (Public) School Teachers, Except Special Education
25 Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
26 Engineers, All Other
27 Fishers and Related Fishing Workers
28 Funeral Directors/Embalmers/Morticians
29 Hearing Aid Dispensers and Fitters
30 Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
31 Home Health Aides
32 Industrial Engineers
33 Insurance Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators
34 Insurance Sales Agents
35 Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education
36 Land Surveyors
37 Landscape Architects
38 Lawyers
39 Librarians
40 Manicurists and Pedicurists
41 Marine Architects
42 Marine Engineers
43 Materials Engineers
44 Mechanical Engineers
45 Medical and Health Services Managers, including Nursing Home Administrators
46 Middle (Public) School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education
47 Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
48 Nurses, Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational
49 Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants
50 Occupational Health and Safety Technicians and Specialists
51 Occupational Therapy Assistants
52 Occupational Therapists
53 Opticians, Dispensing
54 Optometrists
55 Personal and Home Care Aides
56 Pest Control Workers/Pesticide Handlers, Sprayers, Applicators, and Dealers
57 Petroleum Engineers
58 Pharmacists
59 Physical Therapy Assistants
60 Physical Therapists
61 Physician Assistants
62 Physicians and Surgeons, All Other
63 Pipelayers and Pipelaying Fitters
64 Plumbers, Pipefitters, Gas Fitters, and Steamfitters
65 Podiatrists
66 Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
67 Private Detectives and Investigators
68 Psychiatric Technicians
69 Psychologists, All Other
70 Radiologic Technicians, Technologists, and Therapists
71 Real Estate Sales Agents and Brokers
72 Registered Nurses
73 Respiratory Therapists
74 Secondary (Public) School Teachers, Except Special and Vocational Education
75 Securities, Commodities, and Financial Services Sales Agents
76 Security Guards
77 Ship and Boat Captains and Pilots
78 Social Workers, All Other
79 Speech-Language Pathologists
80 Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
81 Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors
82 Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs
83 Teacher Assistants
84 Teachers and Instructors, All Other
85 Truck Drivers, Commercial
86 Truck Drivers, Heavy and Tractor-Trailer
87 Veterinarians
88 Veterinary Assistants, Technicians, and Wildlife Rehabilitators

Friday, August 24, 2007

Epistemology and Hoxby

As the Anti-Positivist, I do not believe that essential knowledge can be obtained via the positivist/empiricist approach, but that does not necessarily invalidate all empirical studies. I have, in other places, criticized studies by Hoxby, while on this blog, I have submitted for your review studies by her fellow econometricians and statisticians, such as Dr. Eric Hanushek, and others.

Read the note below, as well as the linked studies, and draw your own conclusions.

I think you will agree that the following topic (success of NYC Charter schools) deserves a dedicated post.

Caroline Hoxby is a MIT-trained, Harvard economics professor and Director of the Economics of Education Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a recognized expert on the econometrics of the U.S. public education system. She recently concluded an exhaustive study on Charter schools in the NY public school system and her findings are stunning.

The struggle to reform public education in NYC--one of the worst performing in the nation--is the most fascinating study in education transformation in decades, and illustrates the chasm that exists between the Education Sector and reality. It was only until NYC mayor, Michael Bloomberg (a results-driven former CEO), reached beyond the career "educator" ranks and chose a retired corporate CEO as schools chancellor (equivalent to our superintendent) that real change could take place (i.e.. taking control from the unions).

Here’s a good article on the study and NYC Charter Schools (by a founder of two of them).

Prof. Hoxby's bio. She is a well-respected empirical researcher.

Here's a link to the Harvard Gazette profile on the study, which was begun in 2004 in response to the AFT's sham study indicting charter schools as inferior to their mob-run public counterparts.

And to her
papers on the web.

Here's a link to her
final study on NYC Charter Schools vs. Public Schools.

...and the homepage of the Harvard PEPG (Program on Education Policy and Governance)

And, finally, here's
one additional study that you'll love this one--don't laugh too hard when you see the title. If you can get past the densely academic sections (I-III) it's pretty insightful.

Merry Christmas in August!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Interesting response to criticism of NCLB

But: "If they're (the skills assessed by state-mandated tests) such low-level skills, why do you spend so much time teaching them?"

-- from


Yes, the tests are low-level. The old Ohio 9th Grade Proficiency Test in Social Studies had simple map questions, such as: Find Ohio on the US map. Basic stuff.

Keep in mind that public school teachers and administrators create these tests (I wrote an
article on my experiences with a state testing committee for the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation.) Also, keep in mind that the tests do not test knowledge that parents and students desire. The tests are a government creation that test only what the state desires, through the filters of teachers and administrators of course.

Once again, these tests measure really basic knowledge. And, the pull-out comment above holds true regardless of your opinion of the role of government in education.

No Fad Left Behind

By Debra J. Saunders

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"Many Americans do not believe that the success of our students or of our schools can be measured by one test administered on one day, and I agree with them. This is not fair," Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., told the National Press Club last month.

As the House Education and Labor Committee he chairs is expected to roll out a draft for legislation to reauthorize the 2001 No Child Left Behind bill, Miller and fellow Democrats want to change NCLB testing.

Currently, the law requires that students be tested in math and reading every year between third-grade and eighth-grade, then once in high school. Miller explained he would add "multiple measures of success. These measures can no longer reflect just basic skills and memorization, but rather critical thinking and the ability to apply knowledge to new and challenging contexts."

On the one hand, Miller is right to push to improve NCLB. He wants to allow states to apply graduation rates toward their yearly NCLB progress scores and also would have states include history and science test scores.

On the other hand, when the education establishment touts testing for "critical thinking," that can be code for: Maybe the kid can't read, but look at the bright side, he's smart.

And when educrat groups -- such as the Forum on Educational Accountability -- recommend that NCLB add "comprehensive assessments systems," which would include portfolios (essays, drawing, reports) in order to offer "rich and challenging educational goals," beware. What sounds like more sophisticated testing could end up being more confusing and inconclusive. A kid who can draw does not mean a kid who can multiply.

"The great danger here is that it clouds the accountability system," noted Amy Wilkins, vice president of Education Trust, a nonprofit group that advocates for higher standards in K-12 education.

No Child Left Behind's mission -- to help all children read and compute at grade level -- puts basics first so that children have the fundamentals in place to tackle more challenging subjects. Testing for problem-solving and critical thinking skills would only allow children who don't know the basics to score higher than they should.

Miller spoke to me on the telephone Wednesday about "drill and kill" and "teaching to the test." That's the standard line against standardized multiple-choice tests.

"It's goofy, they (the anti-test crowd) talk out of both sides of their mouth," Wilkins noted. Some educators complain that NCLB tests are confined to low-level skills and that they have to spend all their time teaching to the test. But: "If they're such low-level skills, why do you spend so much time teaching them?"

Besides, Wilkins noted, the NCLB tests "should not be comprehensive and test every standard." She likened NCLB testing -- which can consume from a couple hours to a day per year per student -- to "a dipstick" that allows educators to see if kids are making adequate progress toward mastering grade-level skills, and then hopefully move on.

Will the new NCLB draft include portfolios? Miller told me that a state might be able to include portfolios for English-language learners -- if the state has no valid test for that group, and thinks it can put together a good package and if the U.S. secretary of education approves. If the House education committee limits portfolios to that narrow area, so be it.

But on a larger scale, forget it. Teachers, parents and students already complain that there are too many tests. So the answer is: Another test? I don't think so.

The time it would take for teachers to grade portfolios is prohibitive. Most important of all, subjective grading defeats the whole purpose of NCLB. Washington passed this law because schools have graduated too many students who were not performing at grade level. The remedy is not a test that would allow graders to paper over the sorry fact that children cannot read.
To read this article on line and read the many comments from readers click on this link:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Response to "Break the inertia with drastic measures"

My listserve response to the article, Break the inertia with drastic measures, from the Denver Post.

Students and families: Set high expectations for all Colorado students (regardless of documentation) with a promise of college or a decent job if students hold up their end of the bargain. Give students and their families more frequent and direct feedback about the student's current and predicted achievement. Hold families, kids and their schools more accountable for student learning through contracts that define responsibilities for schools and kids. -- from the Denver Post
If the date was April 1st, I 'd laugh this off as a joke. As it stands, it shows the mentality of the advocates of public education, and government solutions.

Let me see how this works: The government holds families and students accountable through coerced contracts, based on a system of education that is mandatory to some extent -- families can still opt out for now. A system where the parents have little to no input in the process or outcome. Then, should a student succeed (as defined by the state), college and decent jobs are guaranteed.

Anyone consider the families in this matter? Are children really wards of the state to be used based on the designs of some elite planning board?

Anyone consider the employers in this matter? Or, will the jobs be make-work government jobs? Is this the Castro solution to education?

Anyone even consider Life, Liberty, and Property?

The rest of the "solution" is simply an exposition in central planning. Haven't we been here before? It's not a skip down the Yellow Brick Road to the other side of the rainbow, this is the solution of chains that defined the 20th Century.

As I wrote in a previous post, I don't know which is worse: The snakes who propose solutions such as those contained in the article, or the fools who say, "I guess that makes sense. Let's do it!"

Monday, August 20, 2007

Some things to consider

This we can agree on: The superintendent of the Olentangy Local School District finagled a gift from the district taxpayers via the elected board -- a gift of tax dollars that would be unethical (illegal?) for the board to give to any other school employee.

Consider the amended superintendent contract (posted here, with comments here) in light of the resident at the margin (See if you can stomach the "at-risk" language that provides a guaranteed bonus to be paid before the school year begins?).

The board will force Edith1 to contribute to a gift to the superintendent. That Edith may lose her home over such actions has no bearing on the board. Meanwhile, the superintendent will rationalize this as some sort of public benefit -- it's all for the kids you know.

Seems like this is simply private benefits -- gifts -- exchanged between board and superintendent, the taxpayer be damned.


1. Edith is an actual district resident, her story is real. Though, her name and other identifying characteristics were changed to allow her to remain anonymous.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Lew Rockwell: A man with a plan


Rockwell's Thirty-Day Plan
By Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
Posted on 8/19/2007 [
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When Eastern Europe broke free in 1989, we all realized just how little thought had been given to the transition from socialism to capitalism. Mises had told us the collapse was coming, and we should have been prepared.

As America comes to resemble a command economy, we need a transition plan here too. Yuri Maltsev proposed a "One-Day Plan" for the U. S. S. R. We're not in that bad a shape (yet), so we could do it in 30 days.

continue reading ....

Friday, August 17, 2007


Still the most amazing video on YouTube,

What's worse? The snakes or the fools?

I can't decide which is worse: The snakes who make these statements or the fools who say, "I guess that makes sense. Let's do it!"

According to the BBC News (
Co-author Carolina Valsecchi said: "The twin crises of obesity and climate change are clearly interlinked through the switch from muscle power to engine power for transport. Concerted action is needed to reverse both these trends."
Of course, "concerted action" means government force. Can't these psychos stay out of our lives? And, can't those who fall for this stuff just take a breath, and consider what they are advocating? Life would be so much better.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Stocking books for cash

So, what is the houly rate for stocking library books during the summer?

In the Olentangy School District, it appears that the cost to taxpayers can be as high as $71 per hour. Seems excessive, yet that's the cost.

The school board once again approved extended contracts for librarians and counselors. The individuals receiving these contracts are paid their yearly salary divided by 185 days, not divided by the 260 days that are standard in the productive sectors ... er, I mean private sectors of the economy.

Add in the district's contribution for retirement and the taxpayers can end up paying $71 per hour ... to stock books.

Seems excessive, because it is.

Performance and bonuses

Let's see ... The Olentangy School District achieved a lower Performance Index score on the state report card for last school year compared with the prior one, yet the superintendent already received his performance bonus for this upcoming school year. The $23K looks more like a gift than a bonus. Well, it is actually a gift; a gift from taxpayers to the superintendent via the elected board of education. Nice job!

In addition, note that the district did not meet AYP due to performance of subgroups. Now, keep in mind, the district knew this was likely to happen as the only reason it met AYP in previous years was a safe-harbor provision that would not be in-effect this year. Did the district act? From the failed AYP status, the answer is no.

Shameful. They can waste time on nonsense -- book reading lists and student newspapers -- while forgetting their mission of facilitating maximum learning. Or, maybe the district feels that its nonsense is its mission. Sadly, for subgroup populations within district boundaries, the nonsense does not lead to achievement.

A shock? No. Anyone who followed the district's report cards knew this was coming. I wonder if the parents of subgroup students are happy that the board doles out bonuses like candy at Halloween. I bet that they are not. Though, I bet that the superintendent is.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Join the Central Ohio Ron Paul Meetup Group

The Columbus Ron Paul 2008 Meetup Group

The mission:

The mission of this group is to organize, mobilize, and get active in spreading the Ron Paul message throughout Central Ohio. Our goal is to do our part to see Ron Paul achieve success in the Republican Primary and, ultimately, the presidential race. We also plan to have a lot of fun along the way.

Join and support Ron Paul ...

Emergence and the Ron Paul Revolution

From: ThinkRink

There is something about the Ron Paul revolution that people have been unable to put their finger on. It is that thing which Clinton and Obama wish they could manufacture, and Giuliani and Romney wish they could destroy. It is the essence of the movement that gives those involved a sense of incredible interconnectedness to something much larger than themselves. It is the self-organizing nature of a decentralized movement. It is an embodiment of the free-market-without government-intervention principle that Ron Paul himself espouses. This thing is known as “emergence.”

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Ron Paul Ultimatum

Read Mark Thorton's interesting article at ...

The end of literacy in public education

You knew it was coming -- Olentangy was just ahead of the curve. According to The Christian Science Monitor, more public schools are going the way of Olentangy and adopting the latest fad trash as required summer reading.

Question: Is the issue that students do not want to be challenged and stretched, or that some -- dare I say most -- public school teachers are unable to bring the classics to life?

I assume the latter since it takes little effort to encourage students -- and almost anyone for that matter -- to read novels that address the base topics of the day.

Seems like the only benefit of public education is the creation of easy, unchallenging jobs for teachers. And, for this I am forced to pay thousands in property tax per year. Hmm?

Monday, August 13, 2007

Payday loans and the margin

In her Columbus Dispatch letter to the editor published Saturday, Ohio House State Rep. Joyce Beatty proposes a litany of legislation to stop loans that "victimize people who show either desperation or lack of understanding of financial discipline."

Her two main solutions: Continue her "long battle to help public-school students attain financial literacy"; and, end loans that "take advantage of people's desperation," including rent-to-own shops, tax preparation services that advance money based on future income-tax refunds, etc.

Solution One: Look, public schools have existed for over 150 years; they are not going to improve. And, they are not going to adequately educate students with regard to personal finances any more than they are going to reduce the number of overweight Americans through increased health and physical education classes. Haven't we been here before, time and time again? Haven't we given this failing system enough chances, and enough money?

Let's accept the fact that no change, whether proposed by Beatty or anyone else, is ever going to correct the course of government-run education.

Teach students to be financially literate?!? Come on, the system can't even teach students to be literate.

Solution Two: There are always those at the margin who need cash or consumer goods today. And, they are willing to take whatever interest rate the market offers. Yet, there is nothing wrong with someone taking a high interest loan, just as there is nothing wrong with someone providing such a loan.1

In the end, Beatty is proposing lagislation that will make it illegal for poor people to get loans unless they have a high credit rating. But, as a state representative, she obviously feels that she knows best. That is the evil of omniscience -- the belief held by government officials that they know more than their constituents.

Beatty will not only punish companies that provide loans, she will also punish the poor seeking these loans. Nice job!


1. There is a history of biblical rules that apply if the loans are charitable - then usury cannot be taken, and the principal forgiven if unpaid. But, I will assume that the greater majority are not charitable in nature.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another school year; more fiascos

With just days remaining until the Olentangy School District once again opens its doors, you just have to wonder what fiascos are on the horizon for this year. One thing is for certain, the lows will be lower than last year.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Economics or indoctrination

My latest blog posting at

The results are in for the first ever National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test in economics -- the feds consider the NAEP to be the "nation's report card." Supposedly, the results show that American public school students have achieved a high level of progress in economics by 12th grade.

Read the sample question below (correct answer is A according to the report) to see if the feds are testing economics knowledge or statist compliance.

Sample question:

Country X and Country Y have similar populations and natural resources. Which of the following best explains why Country X would have a higher rate of economic growth than Country Y?

A. Country X invests more in education.
B. Country X imports more consumer goods.
C. Country X places higher taxes on businesses.
D. Country X pays larger salaries to government officials

Of course, "Country X" does not imply acting man. It implies the government that controls all acting men who happen to inhabit the arbitrary geographical boundary defined as Country X by the government of Country X.

This is a simple question used to justify government and its expenditures, nothing else. But, isn't that the intent of any national exam?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Otherwise he is a thief ...

From The Future of Freedom Foundation's ( daily Email Update:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 No one has a right to food, water, shelter, money, or love if he must obtain it at the expense of the owner. Medical care is no more a right than these. Man rightfully obtains goods and services by producing them from nature or by voluntary exchange with others. Man may exchange goods, services, and emotional values, but he must trade to obtain them. Otherwise he is a thief acting against human existence.
— Charles W. Johnson

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Simpsons On Math

A Simpsons take on Progressive Math -- Olentangy residents think Everyday Math

Monday, August 06, 2007

In honor of the new Farm Bill

Burton Folsom, Jr., details the origin of farm subsidies in America in his article, The Origin of American Farm Subsidies.[1] Like a lot of government programs, it is easy to assume that farm subsidies have been with us from the day of the signing in Philadelphia during the summer of 1776. In actuality, farm subsidies have a relatively short history.

Folsom notes that President Coolidge fought one of the first subsidy programs with the words, "Such action would establish bureaucracy on such a scale as to dominate not only the economic life but the moral, social, and political future of our people."

This wise warning was ignored by the nation's next two presidents, Hoover and Roosevelt. And, exactly as Coolidge pronounced, farm aid subsidies were the beginning of our long, wretched history of redistributing wealth to those who can grab hold of the politician's elbow.

Some of us are taxpayers while others are tax-recipients. Ludwig von Mises long ago describe the real class structure of modern society: Two classes exist, those who pay the taxes, and those who receive them. This
link takes you to some of the biggest tax-recipients of my county, Delaware County, Ohio. With a few clicks you can find the same for your county or state. And I'm not talking about the unemployed hucksters we normally read about.

Some of the farmers receiving federal subsidies have such a tough life. Imagine getting close to $100,000 per year from the federal government, almost $1 million over the last ten years. Not a bad way to make a living. We keep paying and they keep cashing.

Go to the
Environmental Working Group's (EWG) Farm Subsidy Database to learn more.[2]

And, when given the opportunity, thank those who farm tax dollars for a living.


[1]This article was published by
The Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) in their monthly magazine, The Freeman.

[2] While I do not subscribe to the politics of EWG, they certainly do have a wealth of data to mine.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

In response to Rob Thorn's letter in Columbus Dispatch

Which, by the way, I agree with ... Jim

Here is a recent post of mine at

Violence and destruction are always the response

In what has to be the most telling example of the desire of government to use violence as its primary means to any end, officials in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Maryland and Ontario, Canada, have destroyed over 20 million ash trees in an attempt to slow the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The larvae of this voracious Asian pest – first identified in the US in 2002 – tunnel through the softwood just under the bark, cutting off the tree's supply of water. The result, the tree dies in about five years.

The tree dies. Nothing else happens. The ash borer does not harm humans, nor does it harm other plants or animals. Yet, once the pest is found in the odd tree, all trees within a wide area are marked for destruction. Once more, when government finds an ash borer in any tree, it cuts all trees to the ground. In many cases, mandating the destruction of trees on private property.

An infestation found in some trees near a local mall resulted in the destruction of 16,000 ash trees - 16,000!. I have to assume that the Emerald Ash Borer is envious of it's competing, and more destructive, partner - government.

So, what takes the foreign pest five years to achieve, government performs in a matter of days or weeks. Where the borer may infect certain trees within a radius around the infested tree, slowly robbing them of life, government destroys all ash trees, infected or not.

Does this even make sense? I am to fear the ash borer as it may destroy local ash trees when I should be fearing government since it changes the may destroy into a will destroy. Luckily, the lack of federal funds is currently limiting the wrath of government in Ohio, as local cities have to fund their own tree removal efforts – estimated at $250 per tree.

Keep in mind that trees can be treated as a preventative measure prior to infestation. So, private property owners have the means to decide for themselves whether or not they desire protecting their individual trees. Unless, of course, someone finds the pest in a tree within your area, then your right to decide is pushed aside for a supposed public good.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Give me a break - John Stossel

Save 60% on John Stossel's story about becoming American's top libertarian celebrity ...

How I Exposed Hucksters, Cheats and Scam Artists—and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media

by John Stossel
Harper Collins, 2004, hardcover

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Stossel tells how, after being recruited to WCBS-TV in New York, he defied his assignment editor who just wanted stories about government press releases, murders, and fires. He opted to report on major trends that affect our lives. He became an ace consumer reporter and was recruited to the ABC-TV network. "The more reporting I did," Stossel writes, "the more it dawned on me that government is often the problem. Free markets, not coercive governments, are the consumer's best friend."

Stossel knew he had arrived when Ralph Nader's flacks began calling him a "menace." There's much, much more in this exciting and inspiring book!

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ralph Raico at FFF Conference, Part 4 of 7

My favorite quote from this talk by Ralph Raico: Incidently, you may wish to take it as evidence against the Darwinian thory of evolution: That is the evolution of the Republican Party from Robert Taft (not Ohio's former Gov. Bob Taft, though related by blood, not ideals) to George W. Bush.

note: Read about Robert Taft, Mr. Republican, to understand Raico's spot-on comment.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Lew Rockwell and the return of the 1930's

Lew Rockwell tells it like it is ... Jim

From ...

It's the 1930s All Over Again

Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

Jittery stock markets, an economy drunk on credit, and politicians calling for varieties of dictatorship: what a sense of déjà vu! Let us recall that the world went bonkers for about ten years way back when. The stock market crashed in 1929, thanks to the Federal Reserve, and with it fell the last remnants of the old liberal ideology that government should leave society and economy alone to flourish. After the federal Great Depression hit, there was a general air in the United States and Europe that freedom hadn't worked. What we needed were strong leaders to manage and plan economies and societies.

And how they were worshipped. On the other side of the world, there were Stalin and Hitler and Mussolini, but in the United States we weren't in very good shape either. Here we had FDR, who imagined himself capable of astonishing feats of price setting and economy boosting. Of course he used old-fashioned tricks: printing money and threatening people with guns. It was nothing but the ancient despotism brought back in pseudo-scientific garb.

Things didn't really return to normal until after the war. These "great men" of history keeled over eventually, but look what they left: welfare states, inflationary banking systems, high taxes, massive debt, mandates on business, and regimes with a penchant for meddling at the slightest sign of trouble. They had their way even if their absurd posturing became unfashionable later.

It's strange to go back and read opinion pieces from those times. It's as if everyone just assumed that we had to have either fascism or socialism, and that the one option to be ruled out was laissez-faire. People like Mises and Hayek had to fight tooth and nail to get a hearing. The Americans had some journalists who seemed to understand, but they were few and far between.

continue reading ...