Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So this is how things work

My latest post on the Blog at Mises.org:

So this is how things work

Jim Fedako

According to HowStuffWorks, this is how things work:

The Fed watches economic indicators closely to determine in which the direction the economy is going. By forecasting increases in inflation or slow-downs in the economy, the Fed knows whether to increase or decrease the supply of money.

Influencing inflation takes a long time and has to be looked at as a long-term goal. Influencing employment and output, however, can be done more quickly and therefore is a short-term goal. Finding the balance between the two is key. The lags in the effects that monetary policy has on the economy are significant. This is why the Fed has to make forecasts of inflation prior to it actually happening -- one, two or even three years in advance. If the Fed waited until inflation were apparent, then it would be extremely difficult to catch up and get it back under control. We'll talk about the economic indicators shortly.

They are forecasting three years in advance? And finding the balance? Hmmm.

Well, that's my bromide for the night. I'll sleep well knowing it's all under control. Reminds me of standard line from TV cop shows: Alright, move on. Nothing to see here. Please disperse.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Bad investment advice

The Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding (The Coalition) -- you know, the DeRolph folks -- love to spread their propaganda throughout Ohio. Their latest email includes this nonsense:
Participation in early childhood education programs reduces high school drop out
rates, special education placements etc., with up to $7 return on each dollar
invested in preschool.
That's right, up to a $7 return for every $1 "invested." With such a high rate of return for the fetching, why do these folks need to force participation in their "investment" scheme? You would think that money would be flooding into schools by choice, and not by vote.

Of course, the folks involved in The Coalition (500 of Ohio's 600+ school districts) speak in terms of societal costs and benefits when they are really talking about bigger salaries and bigger budgets.

If you think Madoff ran a Ponzi scheme, just let these foxes in the Ohio egg house for day or two. You'll see a pyramid of billions spent, but not a penny in return.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pigs to a slaughter

Freedom Watch has a great daily email that is loaded with insight. Consider this quote:

"If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side."

-- Orson Scott Card

There is more commentary in each email. To subscribe send an email to:


Friday, December 26, 2008

Some great quotes

Some great quotes:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The two notions — one to regulate things by a committee of control, and the other to let things regulate themselves by the conflict of interests between free men — are diametrically opposed; and the former is corrupting to free institutions, because men who are taught to expect Government inspectors to come and take care of them lose all true education in liberty.

— William Graham Sumner, What Social Classes Owe to Each Other [1883]
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 (from the Future of Freedom Foundation)

Monday, December 15, 2008

If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government, and which against the usurpations of the national rulers may be exerted with infinitely better prospect of success than against those of the rulers of an individual State. In a single State, if the persons entrusted with supreme power become usurpers, the different parcels, subdivisions, or districts of which it consists, having no distinct government in each, can take no regular measures for defense. The citizens must rush tumultuously to arms, without concert, without system, without resource; except in their courage and despair.

— Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 29 [January 9. 1788] (from the Future of Freedom Foundation)

Monday, December 20, 2008

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.

-- George Washington (from Freedom Watch)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Security or Liberty: A Logical Fallacy

My latest article on LewRockwell.com -- the best-read libertarian website in the world:

Security or Liberty: A Logical Fallacy
Jim Fedako

"If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

~ Samuel Adams speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776

Since life is never binary, slicing and dicing political views into distinct philosophical serving bowls is usually a fool’s errand. Nevertheless, I will play the fool and take a cross section of a current debate: When confronted with the security or liberty logical fallacy, two views become apparent.[1]

Many folks believe they can exchange liberty for security, as if security can be bought with liberty. But such a belief flies in the face of history: government, left to its own devices, provides neither liberty nor security.

Of course, government will accept payments of liberty in exchange for promises of security, but the exchange is a fraud. Government has neither the reason nor the desire to fulfill its side of the bargain. Sure, government will do what it takes to secure its continued power, yet those actions are separate from securing the property and persons of its constituents.

The folks who accept this view see government harassment and intrusion as a sign of security. To be stopped on the road by government agents and forced to defend actions and movements is proof that the strong arm of the state has the situation under control. In this view, more stops and intrusions mean a higher the level of control – in a word: safety.

But this view is in error.

To argue that the state is providing security through harassment is to beg the question. Is harassment a proxy for security? If the bully harasses me on the street, is he providing me security? Consider this: How many times has someone accosted you, hand on gun, who was not an agent of the state? For me, anyway, the answer is never.

Yes, armed agents have stopped me at roadside checkpoints, but no one else, locked and loaded, has harassed me on the roads. And there is something to consider about that truth.

To believe that the more the state threatens my person, and the more that the state invades my property, the greater my security is to believe the lie central to the state. And to watch fellow countrymen harassed, only to assume that the state must have reason for its harassment is to turn backs on the very same rights expected to protect us in the end.

Rights foregone are rights no more.

The other view of the security or liberty logical fallacy is much better, but it is still false. Here, folks see government as nothing other than an evil beast; a beast with an insatiable appetite for power. These folks believe that since liberty is a greater desire than security, security must give way to liberty. However, they miss half the picture. Yes, government is to be feared, always. But there is never a need to exchange liberty for security, ever. In fact: the greater the liberty, the greater the security.

Liberty provides security, not government. Oh, sure, some will say that we need a strong government to keep us safe. However, you have to ask: Does government really keep us safe? My biggest concern in the near term is the likely action of the incoming administration to expand our endless war and, in the end, waste the lives of my children. This is a real concern and a real possibility, more so than any assumed threat my neighbors pose absent the intrusive state.

In addition, when one considers areas under private control (Disneyland, etc.) to areas under government control (city streets, etc.), it becomes apparent that private lands are safer than public lands. Will I have a better chance of being mugged on Main Street, Disneyland, or on my local Main Street? The answer is obvious and telling.

I love the quote above. Adams puts the whole question of security or liberty into perspective. Yes, there is security when the hound under the table licks the hand of its master, but the security belongs to the master since he knows the hound will obey his every command.


[1]This is an example of the false dilemma fallacy, where only two options are presented – security or liberty – when, in fact, other options exist: security and liberty, in this instance.
December 24, 2008

Jim Fedako is a homeschooling father of sixwho lives in Lewis Center, OH, and maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.

Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Ethics and the Holidays

My latest article published by the Ludwig von Mises Institute:

Ethics and the Holidays
By Jim Fedako

It had to be the time of year. How else can I explain it? Regardless, there I sat in an inner-city recreation center, enjoying a children's holiday program when this thought disturbed the performance: I do not mind my tax dollars paying for this.

Wow. I grabbed that thought and began to analyze it. Yes, it is true: I do not mind that my tax dollars paid for the program I watched. But how can a lover of liberty hold such a belief? It is easy to explain: I do not mind paying for activities, programs, events, etc, that I desire. If my preference scale is such that I desire something greater than the corresponding fee, I reach into my wallet and pay.

That is a fair statement under most circumstances. However, when taxation and the social apparatus of coercion and compulsion are involved, the ethics change. No longer is it just my wallet; it is now the wallet of everyone in the taxing district. So when I advocate for the state to force my neighbor to pay for my desires, I am advocating for nothing less than theft. While I am not toting the gun, my well-armed partner, the state, is.

In my situation, the calculus is a little different. Since I am not a resident of the city, I do not get the opportunity to vote for or against the city's income tax. I simply pay the tax because my employer is located within the city boundary. So when I speak of my tax dollars paying for the holiday program, those very same dollars were already foregone — better they pay for the program I watched than a host of other government intrusions.

Ethics Missing

Because ethics is missing from most political debates, these debates turn from a straightforward evaluation of property rights to one of weighing in the balance means and perceived ends. Yes, it is nice to see children engaged in constructive activities, and it is true that many folks who can afford to contribute to the recreation center would opt not to do so. Nevertheless, no one can ethically balance the program and center against the property of others. No one.

Mr. Smith Goes to the Statehouse

I recently had a discussion with my incoming state representative. He called me because he did not like my characterization — in a blog posting — of one of his campaign flyers. In essence, the flyer stated that he would stand up for my "right to receive high quality health care." But no such right exists — at least in an ethical system. I stated as much. First, he said that I misunderstood his intent. Later in the conversation, he said he now agrees the reference to a "right" was incorrect. We talked some more.

As we discussed other issues, it became obvious that he has no ethical grounding — he is tossing about looking for a place to anchor in a stormy sea of voter demands. For him, property is not an ethical right to defend; property is just a word used by the various sides to strengthen their position. Therefore, the state does not need to protect property; the state simply balances property against the perceived utility of proposed legislative actions.

To be certain, I was not discussing ethics and politics with a Hans Hoppe or a Murray Rothbard. I was discussing utils with my future state representative, a man whose only knowledge of rights appears to come from that which he learned in government schools. When confronted with a demand of the state, he weighs the demand against any perceived ill that may arise — he puts his finger to the political winds.

Of course, his is not an ethical system. It is not a system at all. It is chaos. The loudest cry, the strongest demand will become the rule. And the rule will change from day to day.

While I believe that this man wants to do what is right, I also believe that he does not know or understand what is right.

There is no right to high-quality health care. There is no right to any health care. Why? To enforce such a supposed right would be to enslave some and steal from others. But without a Ron Paul-like understanding of property and ethics, this young politician has no firm ground to defend, leaving himself defenseless against the wants of those who see the state as their collective means to personal ends.

Establishing Ethics

As I consider books that had the greatest impact on me, Hoppe's Economics and Ethics of Private Property is near that top of the list. Why? Because Hoppe places property in the center of ethics. He builds a system of ethics that is the basis for judging action. To that end, I try to keep Hoppe in mind when confronted by apparent ethical challenges, such as a children's holiday program in the inner city.

I have resolved to send a copy of Economics and Ethics of Private Property to my incoming state representative. At the very least, he can begin making decisions founded in property — the only defense he will have against those who seek to redistribute the wealth of others. Moreover, if he truly wants to be an advocate for liberty — as he stated to me — he will read the book and try to adopt its system of ethics. I can only hope he does.

That Disturbing Thought Again

But what about the thought that disrupted my evening?

As I noted above, I do not mind that some of the two percent of my income thieved by the city went to this program. However, I do mind that the city confiscated part of my income in the first place, as well as the income of all other taxpayers. I cannot justify the children's program from a property-based system of ethics. Moreover, I would argue, no ethical system can exist that is not based on property. Therefore, no means exist to reconcile the program against property. Yes, I can pay for the program, but I cannot force my neighbors to do the same.

The Competing System

To believe that, absent government, folks would not help the poor is to turn one's back on history. In addition, to destroy capital in the name of ending poverty simply impoverishes us all.

Many of those who advocate theft by government believe that theft is the only means to realize a perceived good. While this contradiction should send their heads spinning, they are able to reconcile these opposing views with ease. Why? They base their system of ethics on redistribution. In this system, theft is justified by the ends it supports.

In addition, feelings of envy dominate others. How else can I explain the fact that these folks claim dire needs — needs that in their minds require immediate collective action — but will not spend their own money unless the state forces all others to pay as well? Really, if I sense a need, I will pay or contribute as I see fit.

At the center of government education, you will find a system of envy and redistribution where the state and its minions take their cut from the top. I argue that government education has robbed ethics from the classroom, as well as from the public square. Graduates are simply applying the system pounded into their heads 180 days per year. Of course, their lack of knowledge does not justify their means and sought-after ends.

Concluding thought

As I finalize the analysis of my disturbing thought, I make this statement: I do not mind paying for the children's holiday program, but I mind that my neighbor was forced to pay as well.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seat belts and the nannies Jon Peterson and Bill Harris

Dear Editor:

With the recent vote on House Bill 320, it's now obvious that most Ohio Republicans in the statehouse are nothing other than Ohio Democrats 10 years later.

Where the Republican Party used to be about the individual, the votes on HB 320 of prove that most elected Republicans are now the primary sponsors of the increasing nanny state.

Should Strickland sign HB 320 into law, drivers will be ticketed for failing to secure in booster seats children who are between 4 and 8 years old and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall. In fits of delusion, the Republicans believe they know best -- they know better than parents.

But isn't that the ideological position of the left?

With the current lot of Republicans in office, and voting like Democrats from the 1990's, there really isn't a dimes worth of difference between the parties -- just a decade at best.

I won't be voting for any current Republican office holder in the future. If I want a Democrat to represent me, I'll vote for one.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The broken window theory of government

My latest post on the Blog at Mises.org:

The broken window theory of government

Jim Fedako

The broken window theory is based on zero-tolerance enforcement of minor laws. According to the theory, if minor laws are enforced, major crimes will be deterred (The theory is the excuse Giuliani's goons used to justify breaking a few eggs -- and more than a few skulls -- in their pursuit of a jackbooted omelet).

Does it work? Consider this: My local paper is questioning the director of a local county animal shelter for a possible $10 oversight. I assume that an investigation will be followed by a forced resignation. Such local indiscretion and indignation are a common occurrence.

I regularly read about some low-level state worker who fudged a timecard or an expense report and is sent packing. So the petty crimes are enforced, but the major assaults on our freedom continue as before.

It appears that in government, the broken window is a shattered theory.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And here I thought all costs are sunk

My latest post on the Blog at Mises.org:

And here I thought all costs are sunk

Jim Fedako

Not for state-regulated utilities. Last week I received my December natural gas bill and I was shocked at the rate, especially considering that natural gas prices have been falling. So I called the company. The office manager stated that the rate -- filed with the state PUC a month ago -- was based on the cost of natural gas purchased in the summer. Furthermore, the company does not have to file again until after winter ends.

The company is simply transferring the July natural gas price to me -- the consumer -- in December. And here I thought all costs are sunk.

Funny, the managers of my local gas stations can't pass poor price forecasting to me in the form of higher rates at the pump. Sure, they may try, but they face competition across the street -- and I can turn left almost as easily as I can turn right.

According to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio: The PUCO was created to assure Ohioans adequate, safe, and reliable public utility services at a fair price.

But, isn't the market price the fair price?

Friday, December 19, 2008

The end is near

And we let Liberty die without even a whimper.

December 17, 2008

Military Dictatorship Update
Posted by Lew Rockwell at December 17, 2008 03:20 PM

The federal marines will be aiding that other occupation force, the California highway patrol, in running totalitarian "drunk-driving" blockades. The marines are there just as observers, you understand, or perhaps to machinegun your car if you disobey, as in Iraq. (Thanks to Spencer Hahn)
Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So, how much is the "whole child" nonsense going to cost me?

Funny, they never mention his salary (neither does the Dispatch for that matter). Could it be that Lucas is joining the "Olentangy family" for free? Nah.

Galloway and McFerson are once again spinning webs of deceit. They most certainly negotiated a salary before Lucas was approved -- or Lucas is the dolt of the century.

Regardless, the Lucas "whole child" nonsense is going to cost me a lot. And, to think, we could have kept Hooie in the position for a lot less.

Really, if I am going to have to pay for this stuff, let it be a cheap as possible.

From Olentangy's PR department (aka Pravda)


In a unanimous vote, the Olentangy Board of Education announced this evening during the public session of a special meeting that they intend to hire Wade Lucas, Ed.D. as the Superintendent of Olentangy Local Schools.“

Wade is a dynamic individual with strong community engagement and educational leadership skills,” said Scott Galloway, Olentangy Board of Education president. “Throughout his career, he has created exciting learning environments that motivate students and raise expectations. He is an excellent choice to continue the great work that has already been started at Olentangy to facilitate maximum learning for every student.”

Since April 2007, Lucas has served as the Superintendent of Green Local Schools in Green, Ohio. He also served as the Assistant Principal/Athletic Director and Superintendent at Coshocton City Schools from August 1997 to April 2007. Prior to his administrative experience, he was an elementary school teacher in Coshocton and Mt. Vernon City Schools from 1989 to 1998. Lucas holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio; a master’s degree in education from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio; and an educational doctorate in educational administration from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.

Green Local Schools received an “Excellent with Distinction” rating on their August 2008 state report card meeting 30 of the 30 indicators. The district also met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), had above expected growth on the value-added component and earned a Performance Index score of 104.1. With an average daily enrollment of 4,096 students, Green Local Schools is located in Summit County in Northeast Ohio.“

I am thrilled to be joining the Olentangy family,” said Lucas. “This is already a fantastic district with high expectations for student achievement, community engagement and fiscal responsibility. I look forward to joining this great community and working with parents, staff members and students to help take Olentangy Local Schools to the next level of excellence.”

The board will host a community reception so Olentangy residents may meet Lucas in person. Details related to Lucas’ employment such as his contract and start date are still being discussed and will be announced in the future. The board’s next scheduled meeting is their Organizational Meeting followed by a regular meeting on January 13, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in the district’s Administrative Offices, 814 Shanahan Road in Lewis Center.

Lucas and his wife Teresa have been married for 29 years; have four children (Nicole, Jenna, Zachary and William) and three grandchildren (Luke, Max and Gracie).

A time of giving

It is always a good time to give. But in these financial times, it's more so.

Individuals, churches and other organizations are taking up collections for local families in need. But I wonder: Will Olentangy levy supporters be willing to help a little more early next year when the new tax bills come due?

If a family is hurting today, they will be hurting even more when they open that dreaded letter from their mortgage company -- the letter that details their new payment.

Remember levy supporters, you voted this new tax on every resident. You got what you wanted. But how can you forget those who will lose homes, etc. due to your new tax?

And you call yourself community supporters. Huh.

An unlikely read

I have to admit I enjoy reading YostPost.

Yes ... I read the blog of the county prosecuting attorney. I know, I know, a lover of liberty reading the musings of the strong arm of the state. It just doesn't compute. However ...

Sure he's political -- necessarily supporting the Republican Party, but Yost does make some good points.

Though I do not always agree with the views or conclusions found on his blog, YostPost is still worth reading.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The hypocrisy over at Save the Hilliard Schools

I have noted that Paul over at savethehilliardschools actively supported his district's levy -- it was all for the kids, you know. But now he has the nerve to makes this statement about taxation: "There are just so many ways for the government to pick our pockets..."

Funny, when he cast his ballot to add to the yoke of his neighbor, taxation was all about the kids. Now that he sees a tax he doesn't support on the horizon, taxation is an unbearable yoke around his neck.

So, it's OK to pick your neighbor's pocket but it's an offense for your neighbor picks yours.

Paul, Your hypocrisy is showing!

note: Hilliard folks, your double tax whammy is coming next year (the new tax plus your escrow catch up).

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's official: the levy was not needed

Sure, the OFK bobbleheads will shake off this reality, but the truth is the truth.

The district's latest
Five-Year Financial Forecast shows that there was no need for a levy last May -- the district and its minions knew it all along. Furthermore, there was no need for a levy NEXT year either.

Keep that in mind as you survey the current financial landscape of the US, Ohio and your neighborhood.

And, don't forget, your bill for this unneeded levy hits early next year. That plus your escrow catch up -- a double bill in a time of financial uncertainly.

Or, should I say, the uncertainty applies only to those not employed by OLSD. Meider and Feasel are leading the board in this little sing-song:
We are so happy, happy, happy,
we are smilin' to a tear;
'cause we're getting an expensive superintendent,
wrapped under our tree this year.

As you tighten your belt this Christmas, the district will loosen its. We've fattened them with our money.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Think public education is not indoctrination ... think about this

My wife and I do not use daycare, so I am speaking as an outside observer. That said, I know many folks who do place their children in a professional daycare setting, so I have a good idea of the services offered by daycare providers (note: I am differentiating between in-home daycare and what I am calling professional daycare to make a point).

Sure, I hear the occasional complaint, but life and individuals are never perfect. However, I have never heard a parent complain about some form of forced social indoctrination occurring at a professional daycare service. Never.

Professional daycare services have one agenda -- profit. And, to obtain a decent profit (an interest return for you economists), these services provide for the wants of parents -- that's it.

Daycare services act as if the parent knows best. Parents want their children to be safe and secure. They also want their children to learn by participating in age-appropriate activities and learning experiences. A service that conforms to these wants, and controls its costs, will have a waiting list and its decent profit.

Of course, parents have different wants, but the market easily creates segments for any niche want.

Contrast the above with your local public schools. Agenda's abound. Why? It's government and its minions running the show for their own good; the parent be damned.

The wants of parents are nothing to these folks. In fact, the whole organization, from board to classroom teacher, consists of folks who truly believe they know best. And they truly believe that indoctrinating children with a mishmash of nonsense is their life's work.

For whatever reason, many folks distrust the free market. Yet it's the free market that exists to serve by providing for the wants of the consumer -- parents in this instance.

Government never seeks to serve by providing for the wants of the consumer, and government education never seeks to serve the wants of parents. Government seeks to solidify its power by inculcating the youth with its self-serving, statist nonsense.

Fear the state, always.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

It's a tautology

A tautology is a redundant statement, a definition, or a proposition that is always true. In the instance below, the tautology is this: an excellent superintendent is a highly paid superintendent.

In a few days, you will see this tautology in action. Here's the way it works: by setting a large salary (likely $250K), the board can declare the superintendent excellent. I mean, really, who would pay that kind of money for an average one? (The Olentangy board, of course.)

Afterwards, the board will proclaim the new superintendent to be the best of the best. Ironically, they said the same about Davis, and Reimer before him. The quality of superintendents in Olentangy, when graphed against time, moves sharply upward and to the right. They just keep getting better and better.

The board gets a shiny, new Christmas toy and the taxpayers get stuck with the bill.

note: Don't forget your double tax increase next year as you get stuck with the bill for the new levy and the bill for the escrow catch up -- likely $1500 per average home.


During an executive session on Tuesday, December 9, the Olentangy Board of
Education selected two finalists for the vacant Olentangy Superintendent
position. These candidates will meet for a second round of interviews with
the Board of Education on Tuesday, December 16. In addition both candidates will participate in a community dialogue session with a mixed group of community and staff members as well as a meeting with several members of the press.

The two candidates are Wade Lucas, Ed.D., with Green Local Schools in Green, Ohio and Dean Wittwer, Ed.D with Findlay City School in Findlay, Ohio.

Lucas holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio; a master’s degree in education from Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio; and an educational doctorate in educational administration from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey. He has been the Superintendent at Green Local since April 2007 and also served as Assistant Principal/Athletic Director and Superintendent of Coshocton City Schools in Coshocton, Ohio for ten years prior to his time at Green Local. He was an elementary school teacher for nine years in Coshocton City Schools and Mt. Vernon City Schools from 1989 to 1988.

Wittwer has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wittenberg University, A Master’s of Arts and a Master’s of Fine Arts degrees from Miami University, Master’s of Arts in educational administration from the University of Dayton and an educational doctorate degree in educational leadership and administration from Bowling Green State University. In addition to currently servings as the Superintendent at Findlay City Schools, he is also the Superintendent at Millstream Career Technology Center and served as the Superintendent at Wapakoneta City Schools from 1993-2005. He served as Principal at Northridge Elementary School, Assistant Principal at Wapakoneta High School and taught at Mechanicsburg Schools and Shawnee High School from 1974-1989. He also taught classes and some summer programs at Miami University.

The 45-minute community dialogue includes representatives from the district’s Finance and Audit Committee, Development Committee, Olentangy For Kids political action group, Olentangy Teachers Association, Olentangy Education Foundation and the administration. The board has invited these individuals to become part of this process to provide input, knowing that the final decision related to selection of a candidate remains with the board. In addition, each candidate will individually meet with members of press for approximately 15 minutes. This will allow the candidates to share information about themselves with the media.“

From the beginning this search has been about finding the best candidate to fit the unique needs of the Olentangy Local School District,” said Board of Education President Scott Galloway. “The community and staff sessions as well as the media interviews provide an opportunity to learn more about both candidates, while including a cross section of key stakeholders within the district to learn what the candidates may bring to the Olentangy community.”

The Olentangy Board of Education will meet in a public session at 5:30 p.m. prior to entering into executive session for candidate interviews at 6:00 p.m. This meeting will take place in conference room B of the district’s Administrative Offices at 814 Shanahan Road in Lewis Center. Agenda’s for all board meetings are available at least 24 hours in advance of any meeting through the district’s Web site at

I'm not buying a snafu, but I'm paying for it

From the Olentangy Valley News:

Communication snafu puts squeeze on Shanahan
* Board-approved upgrades accidentally leave students with an undersized library.

Published: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:06 AM

District officials are looking for solutions after a lack of communication led to cramped quarters in a district library.

In the midst of upgrades to Olentangy Shanahan Middle School and district offices approved with the passage of 2001's bond issue, students at Shanahan have found themselves accidentally downgraded to a smaller library.

The Shanahan building formerly included two libraries: one on the west side that served as the old high school and middle school libraries, and a smaller library on the east side that served as the elementary school library.

Officials decided to consolidate both libraries into the east side of the building and remodel the west-side library into offices to expand the district's curriculum department.

Board members approved upgrades to the west library, believing they were upgrading it for continued use as a library, not converting it to offices."

I think the promise was to upgrade the facility where it was to make it in line with facilities that are offered at our other middle schools," said board member Jennifer Smith at the Nov. 25 school board meeting. "Instead, what happened was this library got moved to a smaller space that isn't on par with what we're offering students at our other locations."

While three classes can fit in the libraries of the other district middle schools, only one can fit in the new Shanahan library -- and "not comfortably, I should say," Smith said. "It's just not a good environment or a good space that's conducive to learning."

Board member Julie Wagner Feasel said there was an obvious lack of communication."

I've been in enough meetings in that room to tell you I don't need to measure square footage -- that room is much smaller than the room that it came from," Feasel said during the Nov. 25 meeting. "As a parent who doesn't even have a kid in this school, I'm concerned at the inferior quality of that library."

Interim Superintendent Jennifer Hooie said she would be the first to admit there wasn't enough communication on the plans.

"None of us are happy with the space as it is," Hooie said Nov. 25.

Communication on the plans was hindered because most of the people who developed the original plans are no longer working in the district."

Somewhere in the midst of construction, the board was not informed," Feasel said. "All the people who knew about it are gone."

"It sounds like we kind of blew this one," said board Vice President Dimon McFerson during the Nov. 25 meeting.

Board President Scott Galloway said an immediate solution will be to use locked storage space across from the east library to store audio-visual equipment currently stored in the library.

The board tossed around a few ideas, including moving the library again to the building's second gym or the current team room. Moving the library back to its old location is not an option because work already has begun on converting it into offices.

Hooie said they would need to work with faculty at Shanahan to come to a solution."I would expect relatively quickly to solve this," Galloway said.

Copyright © 2008 - Columbus Local News

This whole article is full of whoppers, but I think my favorite is the one from Hooie: "None of us are happy with the space as it is." Yeh, right, the administrators have new offices and you think they are unhappy.

Miscommunication. Please.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Talk about cognitive dissonance

My latest post on the Blog at Mises.org:

Talk about cognitive dissonance

Jim Fedako

Edward Harrison is suffering from an acute attack of cognitive dissonance: he is holding "two contradictory ideas simultaneously."

On one hand he is a self-proclaimed longtime "devotee of the Austrian School," believing the Austrian school provides a useful "lens through which to view the credit bubble and crash." Yet, on the other hand, Harrison also believes "[i]t is more the work of John Maynard Keynes and his followers that is likely to offer useful prescriptions."

Harrison notes his "economic viewpoint is founded on the Austrian economics." But that belief was challenged when "the Lehman bankruptcy changed things significantly."

The title of the article implies he is still an Austrian economist, an Austrian who believes in Keynes. You can almost feel the dissonance slowly scratching the chalkboard of his internal harmony.

Quotes from FFF

From recent editions of the Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

But the safety of the people of America against dangers from foreign force depends not only on their forbearing to give just causes of war to other nations, but also on their placing and continuing themselves in such a situation as not to invite hostility or insult; for it need not be observed, that there are pretended as well as just causes for war.

— John Jay, Federalist No. 4 [November 7, 1787] (from a Federalist nonetheless -- Jim)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

— Major General Smedley Butler, War Is a Racket [1935] (We have gone from defending freedom to defending government -- a perversion of our founding ideals -- Jim)

Monday, December 8, 2008

In the exercise of this power of intermeddling with the private pursuits and individual occupations of the citizen, a Government may at pleasure elevate one class and depress another; it may one day legislate exclusively for the farmer, the next for the mechanic, and the third for the manufacturer, who all thus become the mere puppets of legislative cobbling and tinkering, instead of independent citizens, relying on their own resources for their prosperity. It assumes the functions which belong alone to an overruling Providence, and affects to become the universal dispenser of good and evil.

— William Leggett, “True Functions of Government” [1834] (Yes, this is government as we know it -- Jim)

Friday, December 12, 2008

But, it's always war

My latest post on the Blog at Mises.org:

But, it's always war

Jim Fedako

The Ohio legislature is considering a joint resolution "[a]pplying to the Congress of the United States pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution to call a constitutional convention for proposing amendments." Should this resolution pass both state houses, only one more state is required before a convention must be called.

The stated reason for the Ohio resolution in support of a convention: "First, the amendment shall require the President to submit and the Congress to adopt only balanced budgets for all federal programs and agencies, except in times of war." But it's always war. At least is has been for the past seven years.

The so-called balanced budget amendment has no teeth to take on its stated reason, but it will open the Constitution -- and what is left of Liberty -- to all sorts of abuses and usurpations. Keep in mind that the last convention struck the first blow against Liberty, so one can only imagine where the next one will go.

Note: Even the Soviet Union had constitutions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taking the bull by the horns (the bull mouse, that is)

Ah, yes, the bull mouse: that fictitious creature haunting the dreams of many a fearful hunter.

As shadow-fearing hunters themselves, the folks over at SavetheHilliardSchools grabbed a buck bull mouse by the horns with their endeavor into the wicked world of school finance. Over pizza and pop, they came up with this "candidate charter":
As taxpayers, parents and involved citizens of the Hilliard City School District, we will communicate the concerns and expectations of the District's constituency to the Board of Education, Administration and employee organizations in a concise form in order to assist in establishing the goals and action plans necessary for the sustained quality, success and fiscal solvency of the District.
Action plan for fiscal solvency??? That's easy -- keep passin' them levies. And then Hilliard can spend to its heart's content.

For a self-proclaimed bunch of hard-hitting change agents, they only throw softballs. Wanna bet the board and district are snickering in fright?

note: Keep in mind these very same folks supported the recent Hilliard levy. Sure they threaten revolt if their demands for change aren't met, but then they propose "change" that is simply business as usual. As I said all along, these folks are Hilliard's useful idiots.

Olentangy: spinning nonsense

From Olentangy's Five-Year Financial Forecast:
In addition, a cash balance policy or at least a cash balance target may provide a valuable guide to levy planning now and in the future. Being ahead of the "curve" puts the District in the best possible situation to prudently plan and save taxpayer effort now and in the future. This can be demonstrated by modeling the same levy in different years. Analyzing the situation in this manner it becomes obvious that the sooner a levy is passed (given no change in any other variables) the lower the millage request to maintain the same quality educational program constituents now support.
Saying that paying taxes early saved "taxpayer effort" is absolute nonsense. Sadly, our tax dollars support the folks who write this Orwellian doublespeak. What's worse, they think we fall for it. Amazing!

Marx and Education

Karl Marx understood the purpose of public education:
And your education! Is not that also social, and determined by the social conditions under which you educate, by the intervention direct or indirect, of society, by means of schools, &c.? The Communists have not invented the intervention of society in education; they do but seek to alter the character of that intervention, and to rescue education from the influence of the ruling class.
Horace Mann and John Dewey understood, as do your school administrators: public education is nothing other that the means for the empowered authority to control subsequent generations.

Quote of the day

From a reader:
"Do we really think that a government-dominated education is going to produce citizens capable of dominating their government, as the education of a truly vigilant self-governing people requires?" - Alan Keyes

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Haven't I seen that before

The Ohio departments of Education and Taxation calculate a similar statistic -- a statistic purporting to show the local tax burden of each public school district in Ohio. Interestingly, each shows Olentangy in a vastly different light. Let's take a look ...

The Ohio Department of Taxation calculates its tax effort statistic by dividing the total local taxes (property and income) paid to each school district by the total federal adjusted gross income of the residents in the district. This results in a percentage of federal AGI paid to the school district -- the percentage of income paid to the district in the form of local school taxes. That's a straight-forward calculation. Easy to understand and reasonable -- it passes the smell test.

Taxation shows Olentangy as a relatively high-taxed district. See Appendix D

The Ohio Department of Education on the other hand
calculates its tax burden statistic by starting where Taxation finished. And, in the end, ODE finds Olentangy to be a low-taxed district. What makes ODE's result so different?

ODE's tax burden is an index, which means the reported value is in relation to a base number -- the state average in this instance. So instead of reporting a district's distinct percentage (like Taxation), ODE divides the district's percentage by the state average percentage. The resulting value is an index in relation to the state average.

Therefore, a value of 2 would mean a district's burden is twice the state average. Similarly, a value of .5 would mean the district's burden is one half the state average. But ODE does not stop there.

ODE then takes the index above and once again divides it by the state median. This is an error, and the reason why ODE reports Olentangy's tax burden to be lower than the average.

Now, I do not believe for a second that the folks over at ODE missed this error. Instead, I suspect politics. Why else would ODE repeat a step in its calculation -- a step that takes a valid index and makes it political?

The old adage rings true: If you torture the data long enough, it will confess.


The ODE calculation is found near the bottom of the page:
40) Local Tax Effort Index is an index that tends to reflect the extent of effort residents of school districts make in support of public primary and secondary education. This index, one of many possible measures for evaluating local effort, is calculated in the context of residents’ ability to pay by determining the relative position of each school district in the state in terms of the portion of residents’ income devoted to supporting public education. For this calculation a four-step process is utilized as follows:
  • In the first step the ratio of any school income tax and class 1 property taxes charged, to federal adjusted gross income is calculated at the district and the state level.
  • In the second step the median income of districts’ residents is divided by the statewide medina [sic] income to get a ratio of district to state median income.
  • In the third step the district ratio calculated in the first step above is divided by the ratio calculated in the second step to measure the effort in the context of ability to pay.
  • In the fourth step the ratio calculated in the third step above is divided by the statewide ratio calculated in the first step above to determine the relative effort index in the context of the state as a whole.

  • This effort measure, like others we have experimented with suffers from shortcomings resulting from inherent complexities in data collection, manipulation and availability.

    The error is subtle. You have to note that a total inherently contains nearly the same information as its measures of central tendency (the median in this instance). If you miss that, you will miss the error.

    Likely, ODE did not expect anyone to catch it. But there it is.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2008

    Teachers Unions are just ... well, unions

    If it's all about the kids, then explain this (from the Education Reform Newletter of The Center for Education Reform):


    NYC and its teachers' union have come to an agreement on what to do with teachers treading water in a reserve pool, unable to find placement in the system. An earlier deal allows NYC principals to pass over once mandatory hiring of "experienced" teachers in favor of teachers they feel are right for the job and for their students. Teachers not selected for transfer have often worked as substitutes or administrative aides, their jobs fully guaranteed through the union. To combat the growing roster of reserve teachers, the city has created a system of incentives for principals to hire the best of the bunch without concern for salaries. Ideally, this will allow the city and the union to identify those teachers truly lacking the performance record needed to be effective in the classroom, and force the union to "negotiate a plan for ushering the inadequate teachers out of the system."

    An Alert from the Constitution Party of Ohio

    Stop the Ohio Con-Con. Call!

    On December 3rd, the Ohio House of Representatives introduced HJR 8, a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention, provided for by Article V of the U.S. Constitution. This is one of only two legal methods for amending the Supreme Law of the Land. This nation is only a few states away from having application of the requisite 34 states needed to convene a Constitutional Convention.

    If a Constitutional Convention is called, our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights would be up for grabs and open to any and all changes.

    It is clear that this con-con call is being quickly pushed through the lame-duck legislature before most Ohio citizens learn about it. The legislation was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and they are voting
    this Wednesday to determine whether to send it to the house for a full vote -- only a week after its introduction!


    1. Get educated on the facts of a Constitutional Convention by watching
    Beware Article V (4 parts) which was created by state legislators to educate other legislators. Stay updated and join the discussion at The Ohio Freedom Alliance Forum.

    2. Contact the Legislature. Send an email to your Rep as well as all of the members of the Judiciary Committee all at once using the Ohio Freedom Alliance
    SLAM tool. Or telephone your Representative and 11 Committee Members.
    3. Join us at the Committee Meeting on Wednesday morning at 9:30am at the statehouse in Columbus to give testimony or just to show your support for the legislations withdraw. A large attendance will bring this issue into the spotlight and prevent a hasty, uninformed vote.
    Details here.

    SUMMARY OF THE DANGER: A Constitutional Convention has no limitations!

    Once Congress calls for a Constitutional Convention Article V grants that assembled convention the exclusive power to propose amendments regardless of the original reason for its call. By its very definition a Constitutional Convention is a sovereign body and therefore cannot be limited.

    Recall that the first Constitutional Convention was held simply for the purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation under Article XIII, which indicated that the consent of all State legislatures is required for amendment. Instead, delegates – having met in total secrecy for several months – emerged with a new fundamental government design, which stipulated that only nine of the thirteen states would have to ratify for the new government to go into effect.

    Everything in the current Constitution could be tossed, and replaced with whatever the delegates decide. A new convention could even decide not to bother having the states ratify what it produces. A constitutional convention has no limitations. With today's hostile and divided political climate, can we trust that our God-given rights would be secure?

    For questions, please contact
    Teri M. Owens

    Monday, December 08, 2008

    Great quotes from FFF

    From recent editions of the Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:
    Friday, December 5, 2008

    Fascism will come at the hands of perfectly authentic Americans who have been working to commit this country to the rule of the bureaucratic state; interfering in the affairs of the states and cities; taking part in the management of industry and finance and agriculture; assuming the role of great national banker and investor, borrowing billions every year and spending them on all sorts of projects through which such a government can paralyze opposition and command public support; marshaling great armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war and preparation for war which will become our nation’s greatest industry; and adding to all this the most romantic adventures in global planning, regeneration, and domination, all to be done under the authority of a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will hold in effect all the powers, with Congress reduced to the role of a debating society.

    — John T. Flynn, As We Go Marching [1944]

    Tuesday, December 2, 2008

    It is therefore most especially in the present democratic times that the true friends of the liberty and the greatness of man ought constantly to be on the alert, to prevent the power of government from lightly sacrificing the private rights of individuals to the general execution of its designs. At such times, no citizen is so obscure that it is not very dangerous to allow him to be oppressed; no private rights are so unimportant that they can be surrendered with impunity to the caprices of a government.

    — Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]

    Sunday, December 07, 2008


    Busted! And McFerson guaranteed the candidates that they would remain anonymous. Fools. They trusted McFerson.

    Medina superintendent going for Olentangy job
    School board still mum after meeting with two of four final candidates

    Saturday, December 6, 2008 8:49 PM
    Jane Hawes and Mary Beth Lane


    LEWIS CENTER, Ohio—The Olentangy Board of Education interviewed two candidates for district superintendent this morning behind closed doors, continuing a secret process aimed at hiding the identities of those being considered for the position.

    One of the candidates interviewed yesterday was Randy Stepp, who has been the superintendent of Medina schools, in northeastern Ohio, since 2006.

    Stepp did not appear at the open portion of the special meeting held at Glen Oak Elementary School in the Delaware County district. But his car, emblazoned with Medina City Schools parking stickers, was parked behind the school.

    When asked about Stepp after the meeting, board Vice President Dimon McFerson simply repeated, "We interviewed two people today."

    The board, which has prohibited itself from identifying candidates, plans to continue interviews Monday at 5:45 p.m. at the district's administrative offices. McFerson told the four other board members yesterday that there are now four candidates because one is no longer in the running. Medina school board member William Grenfell said this morning that he knew Stepp was interviewing for the Olentangy job.

    "I'll bet the 'Go Bees' plate was a dead giveaway," Grenfell said, referring to Stepp's personalized license plate. The Medina mascot is the Battling Bee.

    Grenfell said he thinks very highly of Stepp's work in the district but does not object to him looking at openings elsewhere. "We would never stand in the way of any employee pursuing an opportunity," he said.

    Grenfell differed with the Olentangy board's attempts to keep its search secret.

    "We would not operate that way," he said. "I don't know all the circumstances at Olentangy, but my opinion has always been the school district belongs to the people."

    Patrick Grubbe, a parent in the district who attended the open portion of the special meeting, said he objects to the secrecy.

    "By the way they are handling the process, it says to me they are not being transparent," he said.

    The board is trying to fill a vacancy left by Scott Davis, who resigned in April for health reasons.

    McFerson is in charge of the board's superintendent search. He has said confidentiality is vital to securing a new district leader and that he is the only board member who knows the names of all the candidates.

    The two finalists for superintendent will be publicly identified, he said again yesterday.

    Great Scot! Or is it Greg Scott!

    Greg Scott and his firm opine a lot of nonsense for the Olentangy school board and administration (note that I did not include the taxpayer in the list). Time and time again Scott reads a different version of the Ohio Revise Code from the rest of us -- anything to keep making a living on tax dollars, I suppose.

    Despite what McFerson states, efficiency in the decision process does not trump the public's right to know. The point of an open government is for the public to see the debates that lead to decisions. Closing doors just make me wonder: What are they doing with my money?

    What next? The board's first action at each meeting declares all materials "confidential" and then the board moves to a closed office. Seems Greg Scott and company care nothing for the law. It's all about the almighty tax dollar, the taxpayer be damned.

    Olentangy school board imposes gag order on themselves
    Friday, December 5,
    2008 12:46 PM
    Randy Ludlow
    The Columbus Dispatch

    The Olentangy Board of Education's secret superintendent search has been cloaked beneath another layer of secrecy.

    Prior to retreating behind closed doors to interview the first applicant Monday, the board approved a motion that prohibits members from identifying the candidates.

    The board of the Delaware County school district is scheduled to interview three more candidates for superintendent in executive session Saturday morning.

    The secrecy motion approved by a 5-0 vote on Monday also declares as confidential "applications, other documents and any and all information discussed, reviewed or considered "
    Dimon McFerson, the former Nationwide Insurance CEO and board vice president in charge of the superintendent search, said confidentiality is vital to securing a new leader for the district.

    McFerson, the only board member who knows the names of all candidates, said none would have interviewed for the position without assurances of secrecy due to fears of compromising their current jobs.

    The two finalists for superintendent will be publicly identified, he said.

    The motion to silence board members and declare as secret information from documents they review "is not a gag order at all," McFerson said.

    The motion, which declares "preserving confidentiality is necessary to the proper conduct of government business," is based on Ohio's so called revolving-door law.

    The law is designed to prohibit former government employees and officials from personally profiting by acting as lobbyists before agencies for which they worked until one year has passed.

    Greg Scott, the board's lawyer, said a section of that law also prohibits current public officials from disclosing information declared confidential.

    Board member Jennifer Smith said she reluctantly voted for the motion after Scott informed members they could face criminal charges or lawsuits for damages from superintendent candidates if their names were disclosed.

    "I have not supported this process and this secrecy," she said. "But, I don't have $100,000 to hire legal counsel" to defend against any prosecution or lawsuit, she said.

    Following an Ohio Supreme Court decision, the board apparently has avoided creating any public records concerning its superintendent search by giving resumes and applications back to candidates. McFerson said no records exist.

    The board has scheduled an executive session for Monday evening to interview a fifth candidate for superintendent. Follow-up closed session interviews also are scheduled for Dec. 13, 15 and 17.

    The three interviews on Saturday will follow a meeting beginning at 8:45 a.m. in the library of Glen Oak Elementary School, 7300 Blue Holly Drive, Lewis Center.

    The board interviewed superintendent candidates earlier this year, but rejected them all. Assistant Superintendent Jenny Hooie is acting superintendent.

    The search was required when Superintendent Scott Davis, 36, retired in April due to his health. He is fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

    Saturday, December 06, 2008

    Lincoln a Marxist? So says Grigg

    For decades, the Soviet Regime and its agents celebrated Lincoln as a precursor to Lenin, and for very good reason: Both Lincoln and Lenin displayed nearly limitless tactical flexibility in pursuit of the power they exercised ruthlessly in the effort to create a vast, centralized Union (or Soyuz).
    -- William Norman Grigg, "The Lincoln Gambit"

    Read Grigg's fascinating article over at LewRockwell.com

    A whole lot of nonsense

    The Gramscian collectivists over at the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development have a site dedicated to the "whole child." Of course, the whole child is a sham -- a lot of Hooie. The vision of the whole child is government as the maternal and paternal figure in every child's life. The real parents have no place in this village. It's the state and its agents raising the next generation to worship and serve the state. And it's been working.

    To further their vision, ASCD advocates for more money -- no kidding, right? In particular, ASCD is advocating for more
    school counselors, social workers, and psychologists in every school. But, as we have seen in my two previous posts, these folks live to find insanity at every turn. They seek to create ills where none exists. Why? To foster the need for more school counselors, social workers, and psychologists. And to extend the reach of government beyond a child's physical body -- they seek to control young minds by manipulating emotions, etc.

    All for the kids! Don't you believe it. ASCD cares nothing about kids, it only cares abouts its members and its Marxian vision.

    note: ASCD notes this:

    Research has shown that student achievement is significantly and positively impacted in schools with at least one counselor for every 250 students, as recommended by the American School Counselor Association and American Counseling Association. Yet many schools have as many as 1,000 students for every counselor. In addition, many elementary schools have no counselors. Furthermore, the School Social Work Association of America recommends at least one school social worker for every 400 students and the National Association of School Psychologists recommends having at least one school psychologist for every 1,000 students.
    The associations of each profession claim their members are needed. Go figure.

    Finally, ASCD asks this question: What is the cost of not supporting the whole child? That's easy. Those folks have to find gainful employment in the private sector. Good luck.

    Thursday, December 04, 2008

    We're all mentally ill ... when compared to the folks running the government-pharmaceutical complex

    Karen DeCoster notes the nonsense reported in the Archive of General Psychiatry.

    Study: 1 in 5 Has a Personality Disorder. Smokers Are Mentally Ill.
    Posted by Karen DeCoster at December 3, 2008 07:47 PM

    In the government's quest to command and control the minds of children (don't forget Bush's "Freedom Commission"), here's another study that hopes to set the stage for the mandatory drugging of the citizenry, along with garnering huge profits for Big Pharma. (Here's another article on the Huffington Post.)

    Almost one in five young American adults has a personality disorder that interferes with everyday life, and even more abuse alcohol or drugs, researchers reported Monday in the most extensive study of its kind.

    The disorders include problems such as obsessive or compulsive tendencies and antisocial behavior that can sometimes lead to violence. The study also found that fewer than 25% of college-aged Americans with mental problems get treatment.

    FOX News does its part to spread the propaganda and lies.

    Oh, and for you smokers out there, nicotine dependence is a "mental illness" according to the psychobabbler from Columbia on FOX News. Dr. Lunatic says if you or your friends or family exhibit any signs of the personality disorders he mentions, the person with the "disorder" should seek a doctor or psychiatrist to obtain counseling, psychotherapy, or medication.

    Quite honestly, I think I have a "wine dependence disorder."

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    Hmmm ... Nuts finding nuts everywhere

    The media is reporting a new study published in the December edition of the Archive of General Psychiatry. The findings: Almost half of college-aged individuals had a psychiatric disorder in the past year. Half?!? Please.

    This nonsense reminds me of a bit of insight I heard years ago. A gentleman who started his career in clinical psychology noted that many folks who seek such fields have issues themselves -- they see insanity everywhere since they themselves are a touch touched. So it should not be shocking that a psychiatric study declared half of college-aged students in need of psychiatric help.

    I am certain that a national mental health crisis will be declared based on this study -- the media fell for it hook, line, and sinker. Of course, the only beneficiaries will be the pharmaceutical companies and state agencies.

    Parents, watch your children as the drug companies and government agencies seek to cure nonexistent illnesses -- illnesses that exist only in the minds of the researchers.

    OSU sophists

    Dear Editor:

    Douglas Southgate's Forum article, "$2 gasoline tax would drive down world oil price" (Dispatch, December 2, 2008), has to be the most inane article I have ever read.

    To agree with Southgate is to accept this sophism: I will be better off paying government an additional $2 per gallon at the gas pump so that international oil prices will come down even further. Does that even make sense?

    I must pay $2 more so than oil prices are lower. Now, how do I gain?

    This raises two questions: Which classes in the fundamentals of economics did Southgate miss on his way to becoming an OSU professor? And, why do my tax dollars pay his salary?

    Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    An Enlightening Survey

    From the Education Intelligence Agency
    Contrary-to-Fact Conditional Sentence.

    Today's Washington Post has a sidebar about a
    teacher turnover survey in Prince George's County, Maryland. Almost two-thirds of teachers surveyed disagreed with the statement, "I am satisfied with my teaching salary." And two-thirds of teachers surveyed agreed with the statement, "If I could get a higher-paying job, I'd leave teaching as soon as possible."

    We can assume there was signficant overlap on those answers, which leads us to the inevitable conclusion that a lot of Prince George's teachers believe they are underpaid, but can't find anyone who will pay them more. No wonder both teachers and taxpayers are frustrated.

    Monday, December 01, 2008

    Some folks believe what they want to believe

    I get all kinds of comments on this blog. Some are spot on while others are way out there. Consider this one:
    I think the patriots that created this country would be very happy with it these so many years later. They would be amazed at some, perplexed by others but they would recognize the foundations of freedom they laid are still evident in the structure this great country has become. Your inability to recognize that is startling.
    Contrast that with this from a real Patriot:
    "If you love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen."

    Samuel Adams speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776

    "[L]ick the hands which feed you." The reader leaving the comment is the hound seeking table scraps.

    What among the current "train of abuses and usurpations" would the signers of the Declaration of Independence approve?

    It seems that some folks create their own history to fit their worldview -- self-delusion, I suppose. But to be so far off the mark. Amazing.

    Note: The quote from Adams is courtesy of FREEDOM WATCH. FEEDOM WATCH provides"information pertaining to government abuse of power, trashing of the Constitution, illegal immigration, 2nd Amendment, political correctness run amok, etc. It is FREE and sent to you via E-mail. To subscribe send an e-mail to: FreedomWatch-subscribe@topica.com."