Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Crisis and the Calculation Debate: "the book is still out"

An recent post of mine over on the Blog at Mises.org.

The Crisis and the Calculation Debate: "the book is still out"

Marxists.org offers the complete content of their website (8 gig) as a two-disk DVD set. Since I recently purchased the collection, I figured I'd ask one of the curators about the future of Marxism. I wrote:

"I really enjoy the DVDs. I have one question: Are you and the other caretakers of the site really Marxists?

I come from the Austrian school of economics (Mises, Hayek, Menger, etc.) and assumed that with the calculation debates over socialist planning, as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union, Marxists would have set aside old theories and embraced new ones. Is that not the case?"
From his response, it appears that Marxism is alive and well -- and that they will get it right next time.
"Actually...for you to ask me this question, today, in the midst of the biggest financial crisis ever faced by capitalism globally, is interesting. I'm not an economist, per se, but if anything we see many of the prediction that Marx talked about in Capital and the communist manifesto coming to life. Marxism is growing by leaps and bound, again, but this time freed from the syphilitic shackles of Stalinism.

The swing against Hayek style free-market economics is in full political swing right now. It's been an unmitigated failure in Latin America for example and the working classes have reacted, to the left, because of it.

So let's agree the "book is still out" on this question."

I'm glad you enjoy the DVDs.
Today we scored one for Liberty, or at least saw Liberty defended at the margin. I'm elated, and my Marxist friends are elated too. Ironic.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Training a Socialist Army of World Servers

A reader of this blog posted an excerpt from TRAINING A SOCIALIST ARMY OF WORLD SERVERS, along with a local example. Of course, let us not forget that many Republicans -- Fascists such as Pat Tiberi and the majority of your local school board -- also believe in child servitude for the benefit of state.

Anonymous said:

Obama: “I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I am president of the United States ... this will be a central cause of my presidency."

Obama: "People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve.... I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year...."

Saul Alinsky (Obama's Marxist mentor): "The disruption of the present organization is the first step toward community organization.... All change means disorganization of the old and organization of the new." Rules for Radicals

Brave New World: "A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned... to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers." Aldous Huxley

The DUBLIN LIFE magazine came in the mail yesterday. Page 13 has an article titled: Dublin Teen Corps learning community spirit. This teen corps have pledged their commitment to serve the City of Dublin. Dublin has a "volunteer administrator", Christine Nardecchia and she says Teen Corps has been a "raging success" and those involved "learn and serve" through "experiential learning sessions" Dublin's population of slaves do not have to be coerced. They love their servitude. Dublin's ministry of propaganda, newspaper, magazine, school teachers and banners flying along the streets of Dublin which tout "volunteerism" are all working together.

The Supply Siders are out a Penny

According to Mateusz Machaj over on Mises.org: Poor Arthur Laffer. I bet he now has a Laffer-curve-like face because of the necessity to give back this penny. Or maybe not, since the penny already lost much of its value?

WORKERS unite, you have nothing to lose but your chains

According to Matt (below), "Workers of the World, Unite. You have nothing to lose but your chains!”

No, wait. That was Karl Marx.1

Look, there is nothing inherently wrong with unions -- the right to associate and all. The problem with unions is the advantage that government provides them. Strip the laws favoring unions and they would have to accept a wage based on their individual marginal value product, just like everyone else.

But unions do not exist to earn what they produce. No, unions exist to gain an advantage. Not over the employee, but over the consumer. Union rhetoric about the endless battle between the two classes -- capitalist and worker -- is pure nonsense. Sure, there is a class war. But it is a war between the payers and the recipients of government benefits. And unions are recipients, they are not payers.

Keep in mind that when Matt speaks of the right to organize, he means the right to force unions on private citizens qua entrepreneurs. Matt has created a right where none exists. He desires the ability to have government force private citizens to act in a manner that benefits Matt and his cronies, and no one else.

Lets be honest: Anyone can join a union in the United States. Just call yourself a union and there you have it. Matt and his cronies want to force the union on the private citizen, property rights be damned. And if they have to crack a few skulls in the process ... well, as Lenin said, "You can't make an omelet with out breaking eggs."

Nice Matt. Real nice.2

Matt has left a new comment on your post "One man's union is another man's ...":

As a union member I must let my voice be heard and defend the right of workers everywhere to organize. While it is apparent that the top level leaders of my union have very socialistic goals, they do not, nor should they, persuade me from being "anti-union" in light of the necessary functions that my union provides and for which it was created,i.e.; wage and benefit negotiation and conflict resolution (grievance procedures).

I have always said and always will say that in an ideal society if all employers, particularly government employers, treated employees with due process and fair compensation there would have never been any need for unions to exist.

There are many companies and municipalities where unions do not exist, and the workers are content with the environment and compensation. There are two reasons why I believe this is the case, 1) the employer simply has good character and 2) the employer is opposed to unions so he is always keeping himself "in check" and making sure he toes the line or else his workers may organize.


[1]You can read the rest of the Manifesto of the Communist Party over at Marxists.org -- one of my favorite sites. In fact, I just bought their two DVD set, which includes all the content on their website. Some very interesting reading, to say the least.

[2]Oddly enough, Matt appears to have been a Ron Paul supporter. He must have missed the freedom part of the Paul platform.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Real Estate Roller Coaster

A roller coaster simulation of the real estate market. The ride is bumpy and the end is scary. Hit play and hold on. -- Jim

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Commiserating Sense

A reader gets it right. Think about it ... Show up at a board, union, or PTO meeting and ask for donations for your activities. Turn the table. I like it. -- Jim
from a commiserating neighbor:

Another episode of beggars at our door this evening. Two elementary girls asking me for money to guy outdoor play equipment and indoor play equipment for their Deer Run Elementary School in Dublin. I asked them why my taxes weren't sufficient to pay for their play things? (of course, once they've given most of it to the teachers they have to go begging for play equipment). They didn't know. I told them to go ask their teachers. I also told them my taxes were huge and they didn't need to ask me for more money. They left.

I'm thinking an appropriate response would be to show up Monday morning at Deer Run Elementary with my list of things I need for my recreation. An Elliptical Machine, an in-ground swimming pool, a new bicycle, running shoes, and a refurbished kitchen.

Doesn't that seem fair? I should be allowed to walk from room to room begging the teachers, principal, secretaries, counselors, and all the children for money to buy all those items that would make my life more pleasant and productive.

My motto is "Life-long Learning" and my fellow citizens should assist me in my worthy efforts.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Believe in Government, Believe in Me

An old story worth retelling ...

Believe in Government, Believe in Me
by Jim Fedako

If you believe that Government provides the solutions, then you have to believe in me. As a member of an elected board of education I have been granted the power to mandate solutions to local education and health issues, real or perceived. My qualifications: I was elected to my position by receiving sufficient votes to beat enough of the other candidates. I was not elected by a majority, more like a plurality of the 25% or so residents who chose to vote in that election. Not much of a mandate, but I will take what I can get.

You see, once ensconced on the board, the fact that close to 85% of the residents in my district of voting age either voted against me, or decided my election was not worth their time, carries no weight. The power vested in my position, and now in me, by Ohio state law does not depend on unanimity of support. It does not even depend on majority support. All I needed was to be the marginal vote-getter in an off-year election and the board seat was mine.

Interestingly, the same folks who would never accept my omniscience as a friend, neighbor, or community member, accept my omniscience as an elected official. Of course these folks don't consciously acknowledge my omniscience, but they do subscribe to the omniscience of the governmental body, the school board in this instance. It is as if the board as a whole attains a higher plane of reason where the whole is multiples of the sum of the parts. In reality, most board members are simply parents trying to make the best decisions for their own children. Certainly they pray that they are right, but they do not subscribe to their omniscience at home, just in the board room.

Based on lots of research and agonizing internal reasoning, or simply the result of my then-current whim and fancy, I get to make decisions that affect the lives and future of other’s children. All it takes is for an article in an education periodical or posting on a web site to catch my attention and I could be advocating the next nuttiness in your life. Should someone suggest that children today are overfed and under-exercised, I could be writing the new policies, procedures, and guidelines that mandate each child eat nothing but organic carrots at lunch and perform sets of jumping-jacks at their desks on the hour, every hour.

Sound far-fetched? Well, it’s not. Every crazy idea has both advocates and enablers. The advocates push the issue while the enablers nod their collective heads in approval. It really does not matter if the enablers truly agree with the advocates since the enablers will never call the advocates into question. The lovers of Liberty try to make a stand but find their voices lost in the sea of feel-good, collective consensus-building. The crazy idea then ends up before the board and I get to decide. Will whim and fancy, or research and reason, be my guide? You never can really tell.

So I get to decide on the issue while you get to fear the results as the occasional band of roaming morons spray paint SUVs, demand that KFC play Mozart in their slaughterhouses – yes, the chicken we eat must be slaughtered somewhere, and protest McDonalds and Wal-Mart as evil incarnate. These are products of a system that I get to run based on my world-view, or the world-view that piques my interest at any given time.

And I get to change with the winds, not so much based on political pressures, but based on the ideas or ideals that I believe today that all children must believe tomorrow. As my views flutter in the wind, new advocates arrive on the scene and the increase of crazy ideas reaches hurricane speeds while the enablers bob their heads in accelerating unison.

The problem is that local government is simply comprised of friends, neighbors, community members, who you generally appreciate but whose views on very personal matters, such as parenting, are not always the same as yours; just as you do not always agree with the parental decisions of those closest to you – your parents and siblings. In fact, one of the easiest ways to end a family reunion in anger is to begin telling siblings how to raise their children.

In addition, even if I possessed the latest research on education and had advanced reasoning skills, as an elected official, a member of government, the best I can offer is my opinions and beliefs, and I am wrong more often than right. Education research is based on standards that can never match consumer desires, and all opinions and beliefs of that research are nothing more than an individual’s bias. Without a free market and real consumers driving the education system, expect waste and inefficiencies; failures. But give us, your school boards, power and we will decide; we will indoctrinate as we see fit, based on our own biases or those biases fed to us by educationist organizations.

But society must allow parents to raise and indoctrinate their children as they see fit, not as the unionized wing of government sees fit. Thomas Jefferson believed that it was far better to suffer the occasional fool than to create a school system that offends fathers, and mothers. I assume that the majority of parents would opt for their own decision-making skills if pushed to decide, but I may be wrong.

Why do so many people have such little faith in their own parenting, and their neighbors' parenting, that they truly believe that without a unionized labor force inculcating children, nothing of value will ever be learned? Are we really at the point where the future of civilization is in the hands of the public school education monopoly? Maybe preschool should start right after birth so that parents have no adverse influence on their children. And, why do residents feel that I can make the decisions for their children that they would not allow to be made by members of their own family?

The answer is that they have accepted collectivism in the form of government as the solution. Whereas our forebears rebelled against such paternalism – or do-gooder nanny-ism – the current generations have come to accept government in all facets of their lives. We allow the schools to dictate our children’s future and simply assume that the schools are always rights. We allow the local health department and schools to decide what goes in our children’s lunch boxes and accept that mandate as correct.

How in the world did my election to the board cloak me in the cape of omniscience and allow me to be more enlightened than regular folks? Karl Marx and the other socialists and communists saw little need for the family and other institutions; they believed that they knew better. Gramsci, the Italian socialist, believed that socialism would win in the end if it based its means on a strategy of long-term goals; a Fabian approach. Why fight in the streets when the damage can be done by destroying families and institutions?

In many ways, we have allowed socialist collectivism to be the main outcome of public education. The schools create the environment that nurtures the advocate and encourages the complacency of the enabler. It is really no wonder that the collective body, the school board, is assumed to be omniscient while the individual board member, in his non-board role, is simply considered one in the crowd.

Don't simply sit back and be a silent enabler, stand for freedom against the aggressions of the advocator. And remember, if this is so, that the schools and all other local governments are always right, that simply means that I am always right. And even I do not agree with that.

June 30, 2006

Jim Fedako [send him mail], a former professional cyclist who lives in Lewis Center, OH, is a member of the Olentangy Local School District and maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.

Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bush is a Fascist

So is McCain. Of course, Obama is communist. It's all about state control or ownership of the means of production.

Bush's Democratic Capitalism is just another name for Fascism. We have state control of the economy, a glorified state, misplaced nationalism, and our own Il Duce (Bush). We are Italy of the 1920's.

The Warmth of School Employment

Keep in mind that as the economy struggles on the edge of the abyss, your local school employees are secure in their jobs.

Let's see, they have job security, almost 7% average annual raises, and great retirement, all funded by you -- taxpayers. Those folks must really be feeling the stress of these trying times.

Yes, keep all this in mind as you budget for the Christmas.

And don't forget that your credit card bills will hit early next year, to be closely followed by your property tax increase and escrow make-up (close to $1500 for the average priced house). That is a bill I'm certain you are not prepared to pay.

Oh, and keep this in mind: There is no school district deficit this fiscal year. It's gone, just like your tax dollars.

Your local OFK rep spun a tale of lies and deceit. Nice folks. But it's all for the kids. It is. Ask the teachers and administrators.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Warning from Jefferson

From yesterday's Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the center of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.
— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Charles Hammond [1821]

Fourier Complex

An recent post of mine over on the Blog at Mises.org.

The Fourier Complex

Some concepts remain hidden until pointed out by others. Then, once spotted for the first time, they begin to appear everywhere. The Fourier complex is one such concept.

Mises defined the
Fourier complex as the pathological desire to accept a less favored condition as long as someone else - the object of envy or resentment - is made to suffer to some degree. There is the obvious example: the desire of the ardent socialist to suffer the ravages of nature so long as the capitalist suffers as well. And then there are the oh-so-subtle examples. Consider this interaction I had with someone suffering from the complex.

While a group discussed the high winds we experienced from the remnants of Hurricane Ike, a woman noted the lack of emergency sirens in our area. She said, "We should have had sirens to warn folks of the winds."

I replied, "The winds were obvious. Plus we had high winds for over five hours. The sirens would have driven us mad long before my first shingle took flight."

She dug in, "We have to have sirens so that folks remain in their homes during high winds. People in my neighborhood were playing outside as if nothing was wrong."

Aha! The Fourier complex.

So, there you have it. This woman would rather be driven mad by the wail of sirens than see her neighbors enjoy high winds from the edge of a dying hurricane. Look around, you'll find the Fourier complex everywhere.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tiberi's Green Thumb ... and growing reddish streak

Our good friends over at EdWatch.org warned us about HR 3036 -- No Child Left Inside Act of 2008. According to EdWatch, this act is an:
unconstitutional expansion of the federal government into the realm of education that promotes unscientific, non-academic, politically correct environmental propaganda. The environmental standards, curriculum, and programs funded by this bill that are to be put in every subject would take valuable time and resources from core academic issues. The grants also promote programs that are supposed to teach bogus, subjective, and political concepts like self-esteem and environmental justice.
Congressman Pat Tiberi broke party lines to vote for HR 3036? What could he gain by supporting this nonsense?

He gains by temporarily satisfying his need for control -- his need to rule over you and me. That's right, Tiberi lives to plan our lives. Amazing!

What next, Pat? Which of our remaining rights will you and your DC cronies violate next?

As I said before, I'd vote for any other horse in the barn before I voted Tiberi.


"Anyone who calls me a conservative gets a punch in the nose." -- Frank Chodorov

"I seriously apprehend that you will, in some such season of adversity as I have described, do things which will prevent prosperity from returning; that you will act like people who should in a year of scarcity, devour all the seed corn, and thus make the next year, not of scarcity, but of absolute famine. There will be, I fear, spoliation. The spoliation will increase the distress. The distress will produce fresh spoliation. There is nothing to stop you. Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor." -- Lord Macaulay, 1857

Monday, September 22, 2008

All Power to the Soviets

All it takes is a crisis and power slips from the people to the state. -- Jim

September 22, 2008

Paulson to US: "We Will Bury You!"

Posted by Christopher Manion at September 22, 2008 08:57 AM

Pay No Attention To That Man …

James, Paulson and Co. understand the nature of the “emergency”: if too many Americans pry into the text of the "emergency" legislation, they will find this at Article VIII:

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

It reminds me very much of Article VI of the
Constitution of the The Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics:

“The Communist Party, armed with Marxism-Leninism, determines the general perspectives of the development of society and the course of the home and foreign policy of the USSR, directs the great constructive work of the Soviet people, and imparts a planned, systematic and theoretically substantiated character to their struggle for the victory of communism.”

Article VI was all the party needed for totalitarian power. All the rest was window-dressing for American apparatchiki to scratch their heads over. In the "Workers Paradise," nobody even bothered.

Now, when American taxpayers see Article VIII, they might recognize that it effectively grants “The Secretary” dictatorial powers without revelation to, or review by, any Constitutional authority (including "We the People," natch).

Of course, Article VIII is unconstitutional. But do you think the Supreme Court will want to interfere with the "rescue of our financial system," when we’re only one Justice away from overturning Roe v. Wade (By Golly!)?

Resolved: “The Secretary” must be unimpeded by the hoi polloi as he goes about “saving the financial system” and burying our constitutional republic,

Therefore, be it resolved that, in order to prevent any unpleasant actions on the part of the masses that might impede “The Secretary” in his messianic mission, the neocons now present a new distraction for us, guaranteed to take the pressure off the useful idiot. Aren't we at war with Eurasia? (Or is it Eastasia)?

Wait! Right Now! Look! Forget “The Secretary”! Forget the “Constitution”! The Wall Street Journal, as part of its effort to foist Paulson's Folly on the rest of the country, uses its once-powerful editorial page to sound the alarm: Be afraid, be very afraid -- why, "
Everyone Needs to Worry About Iran"!

A Fair Wage

As the private sector faces an uncertain future, it's time to revisit of an old post of mine from the blog at Mises.org.

Keep in mind that there is no demand for teachers with a masters degree plus 45 hours, anywhere. Even public schools are not in the market looking for such highly-paid employees. Why not?

What is fair about a salary that the market will not bear. That statement sounds harsh, but its true.

But, for some reason, folks want to remove public educators from market forces.

-- Jim

By Jim Fedako
Posted on 11/16/2007
Subscribe or Tell Others]

by Jim Fedako

You hear it from them all the time; teachers just want a fair wage. Well who doesn't? This line of thought leads to two questions: How are wage rates established in a free market? And, are market wage rates fair?

How are wage rates established in a free market? The insights from the Austrian School of Economics show that workers earn their discounted marginal value product. In simple terms, workers earn now the current value of what they add to the production of future goods. That explanation easily fits those who produce consumer goods or factors of production, but what about those in the service sector? How, for example, is the wage rate of barbers established?

In order to understand the service sector we have to consider the alternate cost of employment. The marginal worker, one who can either work in the factory or cut hair, decides which employment to pursue based on relative wages and costs. The cost for working in one field is the wage of the best alternate form of employment in another field. If the cost of working exceeds the benefit, it behooves the worker to seek the alternate field of employment.

If the factory offers better wages, the worker takes the factory job. If cutting hair offers better wages, the worker becomes a barber. If the relative wage rate of barbers begins to exceed the relative wage rate of factory workers, the marginal factory worker switches professions and enters the barber market. By doing this, the wages of barbers would fall as the wages of factory workers rise.

Had the worker stayed in the factory, he would have lost potential earnings. It is the alternate cost of employment, the foregone potential earnings, which guides acting man into the most remunerative employment. And it is this voluntary movement, the change of professions, which tends to guide the labor market toward equilibrium. [1]

This simplistic example shows that service sector employee wages are tied to the discounted marginal value product of labor in general.

Are market wage rates fair? As detailed above, workers earn either their discounted marginal value product or the equivalent wage of their best alternate employment. To say that one wage rate is unfair is to say that the worker earning that rate deserves a premium wage over a similarly productive worker in another sector of the economy. To say that a math teacher is underpaid in a free market is to say that the math teacher deserves to be paid more than the value product of teaching relative to (say) engineering.

In a free market, wages cannot be unfair as they are set by the direction of the consumer. When the alternate cost of employment rises above the wage rate, workers shift sectors and set the labor market back toward equilibrium. [2]

In order to gain a wage premium, government interventions must occur. These interventions can take the form of field or general minimum wages, granting unions legal right to control sectors of the economy, government wage supports, or the creation of a government monopoly or quasi-monopoly in a sector of the economy – the school system for example.

In a free market teachers would also earn the equivalent of their discounted wage in the productive sector of the economy. A math teacher would earn the equivalent wage of a similarly productive worker in (say) the software industry – who earns the equivalent wage of a similarly productive worker in the engineering industry, and so on. If the math teacher was underpaid relative to his best alternate employment, this would be a signal there is an excess of math teachers, and that math teachers are being underutilized in their current employment.

But the teacher market is not free; it is a quasi-monopoly where the vast majority of employees are unionized under a government-run system. Unlike the Soviet Union, which used the free markets of the world to establish some sort of price level, public schools do not look to private schools for wage guidance. Private schools pay their workers a much lower wage, but as above, they must pay a wage that exceeds the alternate costs of employment. [3]

Are public school teachers overpaid? Since there is no way to discern the true alternate cost of employment for all public school teachers in a free market – because no free market for teachers exists – we must rely on the available market data provided by private schools. This shows that teachers are, in general, overpaid.

In addition, and more importantly, we know a priori that governments are inefficient and over-pay and over-employ factors of production. Also, government teaching licensure rules create barriers to entry for those wishing to seek out a teaching career, thus driving wage rates higher. Then, of course, there are the government-backed unions who rule the roost through strikes and threats of strikes. [4]

Are public teacher salaries unfair? Certainly. They are unfair to the taxpayer who is forced to pay the tax bill that supports the premium wage of public school teachers. In a free labor market a teacher's real salary can only increase with the marginal value product of employees in the next best alternate employment. In the quasi-monopoly that currently exists, teachers have realized salary increases that are not tied to the labor market; the salary increases are simply the result of political pressure.

The next time you hear teachers claim that they need a fair wage, tell them to drop the union banners and open education to the free market; the one market where everyone earns their fair wage.

[1] Of course the opposite holds if the factory worker made relatively more than the barber. Professions would switch and wages would tend toward equilibrium.

[2] Equilibrium is the direction of the movement, not reality. Equilibrium is the infinite endpoint on the continuum that is never reached though the actions of individuals tend to keep the economy moving in that direction. As consumer preferences change, the economy is rocked away from the direction of equilibrium, but the vast numbers of astute entrepreneurs act quickly to satisfy these new preferences and bring the economy back on course – well, in an unhampered market anyway. Government likes to damage the rudder in such a manner that even the most astute entrepreneur cannot set a new course.

[3] Certainly there is an additional psychic income earned due to the rewards of teaching, but the psychic income exists in both the private and public school market. In fact, every job has its own form of psychic income that is based purely on the subjective valuation of the employee.

[4] Everyone has a study that shows teachers are either overpaid or underpaid based on salary and benefits per number of hours worked in a given year. Conflicting studies are the product of the current empiricist/positivist paradigm. The only way to read through the data and understand economics and the impact of policies is to use the a priori approach to understanding of the Austrian School.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Response to a member of the state board of education

"I have seen the education story from both inside government and outside. I'm still trying to understand who "they" are... local control has so many down sides and if the 'locals" take control of the board then they can force anything from sex education (their understanding of what is right and wrong) to questionable literature. The real question is how to get the "public" back into public schools."

-- private email from a member of the state board of education
My response:

There is no local control. In public schools, local control is the administration and teachers union, plus those who seek to use the schools for their own purposes. Really, board members and the community exert little if any control over the process.

They are anyone or any group that seeks to win the minds of future generation. Keep in mind that my they is someone else's we (ed. notes -- see previous post). In essence, they can be those with an agenda or those who believe they know better than parents and are influenced by the agendas of others (so you have both leaders and followers).

A great book is Crane Brinton's Anatomy of Revolution. Simply put: as revolutions progress the less radical go back home to tend to their families and other business. In the end, only the most radical remain. Now, provide these folks positions in the bureaucracy and the revolution continues beyond what the majority ever wanted (The Reign of Terror).

Most parents are simply too busy to counter the efforts of school employees. They just don't have the time. They may fight for a bit, but they soon realize that their efforts carry little weight. Especially since most board acquiesce to the staff over issues relating to the curriculum.

In addition. school employee are influenced by hosts of organization which supply extra-curricular materials. In my district, a school counselor found a program by one such organization, showed it to the principal, and, before you know it, an assembly was held without prior parental permission. So, they (assembly agenda) and they (district employees as followers) darkened the minds of 300 sixth graders.

They are your neighbors who believe in public education and will stand behind the schools no matter what. They are the many folks want other's children to read, see, hear, etc., all sort of nonsense. It isn't enough for them to teach their own children rot, they must ensure that all children learn the same.

I have a family member who is a retired teacher. Recite a passage from some perverse Young Adult book and she is appalled. Tell her that a teacher assigned it and this family member's perception changes: It must be OK if a teacher assigned it. In this instance, my family member is they.

I return to the genesis of public education. 150 years ago, folks sought mandatory government schools for the sole purpose of influencing subsequent generations toward the collective vision of Prussia and Bismarck. Go back 70 years and you would see John Dewey working tirelessly to have government schools lead the socialist revolution. And they did (or, are doing it, anyway).

They is not a new concept by any means.


Bush and stability (or wait, didn't he contribute to this mess?)

From Tucker over at Mises.org.

Bush assures us that he will provide stability

Jeffery Tucker

This you will not believe. It's Bush telling everyone that he shares our concerns, as evidenced by the fact that he canceled travel plans and is speaking to his economic advisers. He says that it was great that the government took control of Freddie and Fannie, and that the Fed intervened in AIG. He further praises the SEC for stopping "illegal market manipulation." Finally, he says that he is injecting "liquidity" and that should make everyone happy.
Actually the whole video is like a replay of his whole post-9-11 posture.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Checker Finn and Thomas B Fordham Foundation channel Bismarck

For Finn and the Thomas B Fordham Foundation, the state is always the solution. Of course, Finn fancies himself as the state's ultimate planner. Here's another plan to add to the list.

The five recommendations [for strengthening Ohio's public schools] include:

  1. Creating world-class standards and stronger accountability mechanisms. Successful education systems hold schools, educators, and students accountable for their academic performance. The best systems in the world challenge their children with high standards and rigorous, equitable assessments. Ohio needs to build on its progress by aligning its K-12 standards with the knowledge and skills needed for success in post-secondary education and today's global economy and by benchmarking its standards against high-performing states and nations.
  2. Ensuring that funding is fairly allocated among all children and schools. To ensure that monies are allocated fairly, efficiently, and accountably, and are targeted at the differing needs of children, the current system should be replaced by a weighted-funding plan wherein per-pupil amounts "weighted" according to the specific needs of individual youngsters follow them to the public schools they choose to attend.
  3. Recruiting the best and brightest to lead schools and empowering them to succeed. Ohio should recruit school leaders from many different professions and backgrounds. School districts should be encouraged to look for proven leadership talent rather than paper credentials. These leaders should be fully empowered to lead their schools to new levels of performance. They should receive substantial bonuses for improving student achievement and their job tenure should be directly linked to school performance.
  4. Improving teacher quality. The evidence is overwhelming that quality teachers are the prime drivers of student success. To improve Ohio's teaching force, we need to:
    Open the doors to talented college graduates and mid-careerists.
    Help good teachers become great.
    Create a competitive compensation system and sustainable retirement systems.
    Empower school leaders to engage, deploy, compensate, develop, and retain top instructional talent.
  5. Expanding the quality of, and access to, a range of high-performing school options. One-size-fits-all education doesn't work. Students and parents need the ability to choose the best school options based on calendar, academic emphasis, pedagogy, philosophy, and technology. Public-education alternatives also provide needed competition to traditional schools so that all schools can improve. The state also needs to strengthen its capacity to overhaul and close schools that persistently fail to deliver results. Ohio's children will prove the beneficiaries.

One man's union is another man's ...

In a previous post, I called the Ohio Nurses Association (ONA) into question -- just as I call all unions into question. A reader replied, "As a registered nurse, I would advise against calling the Ohio Nurses Assoc. 'evil'. Unless you know what they do, you should not label. After all - nurses are needed to care for everyone including your large family."

Of course, the use of "advise" raised a few hairs, but such is standard practice for unions. You see, unions exist for one purpose: to use political means to gain an advantage over everyone else.

Now unions couch their rhetoric is terms of some endless, Marxian struggle between employer and employee, but their real struggle is between themselves and the consumer -- the battle to take more money out of our wallets.

The advantage unions seek is over you and me -- an advantage that is about money and power.

The fallacy of composition is at work here. Sure the vast majority of nurses are wonderful people. But collect them in a union and the sum of the individual personal attributes turns negative. But isn't that always the case when folks venture from free associations into the realm of coerced interactions? The evil rises to the top and becomes the sole agenda (The Road to Serfdom, FA Hayek).

I do not want nurses lording over me any more than I want some other individual or group doing the same. It's one thing to stand on the corner asking folks to quite smoking, while it's another thing altogether to use political might to legislate the same. A nurse who is a nanny do-gooder is nothing more than a nanny do-gooder -- the profession is of no consequence.

While the ONA talks about rights, it dreams up these rights without any ethical basis. Forgotten in the mix is our right to be left alone from government intervention. ONA will have none of that. It knows better than you and I, so it seeks the power of government to control our behaviour while taking our money in the process. Amazing!

The reader said that I should not label unless I know what ONA does. Below is the ONA legislative platform. Can you see any difference between the ONA and the NEA? I can't. Evil twins for sure.

Ohio Nurses Association Legislative Platform
2007-2009 Biennium

The purposes of the Ohio Nurses Association are to (1) work for the improvement of health standards and the availability of health care services for all people; (2) foster high standards of nursing; and (3) stimulate and promote the professional development of registered nurses and advance their economic and general welfare. These purposes shall be unrestricted by considerations of nationality, race, religion, creed, lifestyle, color, gender, disability, sexual orientation, health status or age.

Human Rights
To support basic human rights in Ohio to equity under the law.

ONA Supports:

  • Equal rights of all individuals.
  • A person's right to dignity in all stages of the health care continuum.
  • Improved quality of life for all.
  • Protection of the consumer and health care provider from infectious diseases.
  • The right of consumers to make informed choices about health care.
  • The rights of victims in cases of abuse and provision of needed care for those individuals.
  • Equal access to quality health care for all.
  • Safe nurse staffing for all patients.

Funding Basic Needs
To support state policies and programs that meet the fundamental needs of individuals, families and groups.

ONA Supports:

  • Appropriations providing all persons with adequate housing, nutrition, education and a safe environment.
  • Cost containment incentives in the health care delivery system that apply to all providers, all payers and vendors. These incentives are based on continued review of appropriateness of health care services and that serve to eliminate significant waste or inefficiency.
  • Appropriations assuring essential health care as defined in ANA’s Health Care Agenda 2005 for all populations.
  • Making affordable prescription medications available to all Ohioans.

Occupational, Environmental, & Public Health Hazards
To maintain standards that protect the environment and public health.

ONA Supports:

  • Assurance of safe water, air and food supply.
  • A unified effort against smoking and substance abuse.
  • Protection of the public and health care providers from environmental and occupational health hazards, including environmental/medical waste.
  • Emergency preparedness initiatives in the state of Ohio.

Access to Quality Care

  • To promote access to quality health care services for all;
  • To promote the role of nurses as qualified providers of health care services including prescriptive services;
  • To promote access to all nursing care services with emphasis on adequacy and appropriateness of nurse staffing as provided in the American Nurses Association's Staffing Principles

ONA Supports:

  • Utilization of nursing sensitive quality indicators for improved health care outcomes.
  • Direct access by consumers to services of registered nurses.
  • Direct reimbursement to nurses in advanced practice roles.
  • A variety of options for health care delivery
  • Behavioral health services for all.
  • Delegation of nursing care to be performed only by registered nurses.
  • Registered nurses in all primary and secondary schools.
  • Substance abuse education and treatment.
  • Health education for all.
  • Access to family planning services, birth control education and safe health care for all.
  • Access to preventive services and early detection screening.
  • Clear identification of all health care workers.
  • Initiatives that assure both nurse and patient safety, including safe patient handling, safe staffing, and strategies to reduce medical errors.
  • Leadership in developing solutions to the nurse shortage.
  • Leadership in developing solutions to the shortage of qualified nurse faculty.

Financing Health Care
To assure that the government provides a stable source of funding to meet health care needs including recognition and remuneration for services renderedby registered nurses

ONA Supports:

  • Access to affordable health care for all.
  • Registered nurses in the forefront of health care changes.
  • Development of comprehensive payment systems for nursing services.
  • Direct payment for services to registered nurses or organized nursing services in both the public and private sectors.
  • Professional review of health care services with regard to the appropriateness and quality of services rendered by all health professionals.

Funding Nursing Education and Nursing Research

  • To promote public funding for nursing education to provide quality nursing care services to improve health.
  • To promote public funding for nursing research

ONA Supports:

Continuation of the National Institute for Nursing Research.
  • Funding for education programs that prepare nurses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Promotion of private and public funding for nurse education and research.
  • Funding to assist under-represented populations to enter programs of professional nursing.
  • Licensure and Nursing Practice
    To assure the delivery of nursing care by duly qualified providers as a means to protect the consumer as well as the integrity of the nursing profession

    ONA Supports:

    • Individual professional licensure, as opposed to institutional licensure.
    • Professional nurse licensure for graduates of baccalaureate or higher degree programs with a major in nursing.
    • Continuation of Board of Nursing licensure for all nurses currently licensed to practice as registered nurses.
    • Associate nursing licensure for graduates of associate degree programs with a major in nursing.
    • Mechanisms that would recognize and expand nursing practice.
    • Review of the Nurse Practice Act and other nursing regulations for continued reflection of nursing practice.
    • Action to insure affordable professional liability insurance for all registered nurses.
    • Certification through a national nurse organization or certifying board.
    • Ohio's participation in the Interstate Compact for Mutual Recognition provided the legislation affords adequate protection for the public and is not used as a means to disrupt or interfere with employer/employee agreements or relationships.

    ONA Supports:

    • Sufficient education of professionals and the general public regarding pain management and palliative care principles.
    • The enactment of legislation and regulations that assure improved access to appropriate palliative care for terminally ill persons and pain management for all.

    Economic and General Welfare of Nurses

    • Only those individuals licensed by a board of nursing are to provide nursing services.
    • To promote and seek enactment of legislation that protects the economic and employment rights of registered nurses

    ONA Supports

    • The economic and general welfare of all registered nurses.
    • Fair wages and opposes wage discrimination in employment that may be based on age, gender, or other similar considerations.
    • Prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of registered nurses for illness or injuries sustained on the job.
    • Protection for registered nurses who speak out as patient advocates.
    • Safe patient handling initiatives.

    Revised by the ONA House of Delegates October, 2007

    Wednesday, September 17, 2008

    Bated Breath

    Did they? Or didn't they? We will soon know. And then you can let your kids know. The question: Did the oracles of Orange Township decree October 31 to be Trick or Treat Night?

    Could we even breath without government? Hmmm.

    From the 9/16 trustee agenda:

    10) New Business
    a) Document and Record Management Solution
    b) Trick or Treat in Orange Township on October 31, 2008—6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    c) Obsolete Computer Equipment
    d) Preservation Park District Request

    Our Tax Dollars at Work

    Who -- besides government -- would fund such positivist nonsense? Keep in mind that if it wasn't for the federal income tax, the folks below would have to get real jobs. And we can't have that.

    The latest research from the National Bureau of Economic Research:

    1. Transfer Program Complexity and the Take Up of Social Benefits
    by Henrik Jacobsen Kleven, Wojciech Kopczuk #14301 (LS PE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14301

    2. Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence From a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India
    by Abhijit Banerjee, Rukmini Banerji, Esther Duflo, Rachel Glennerster, Stuti Khemani #14311 (CH)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14311

    3. How Much Does Immigration Boost Innovation?
    by Jennifer Hunt, Marjolaine Gauthier-Loiselle #14312 (LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14312

    4. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Challenge of Population Aging
    by David Neumark #14317 (AG)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14317

    5. International evidence on well-being
    by David G. Blanchflower #14318 (LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14318

    6. Is a Donor in Hand Better than Two in the Bush? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment
    by Craig E. Landry, Andreas Lange, John A. List, Michael K. Price, Nicholas G. Rupp #14319 (EEE PE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14319

    7. Optimal Minimum Wage Policy in Competitive Labor Markets
    by David Lee, Emmanuel Saez #14320 (LS PE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14320

    8. Capital Flow Bonanzas: An Encompassing View of the Past and Present
    by Carmen M. Reinhart, Vincent R. Reinhart #14321 (IFM)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14321

    9. Phillips Curve Inflation Forecasts
    by James H. Stock, Mark W. Watson #14322 (EFG ME)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14322

    10. Strategic Interaction Among Heterogeneous Price-Setters In An Estimated DSGE Model
    by Olivier Coibion, Yuriy Gorodnichenko #14323 (EFG ME)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14323

    11. The Litigation of Financial Innovations
    by Josh Lerner #14324 (CF PR)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14324

    12. Valuing a Homeland Security Policy: Countermeasures for the Threats from Shoulder Mounted Missiles
    by V. Kerry Smith, Carol Mansfield, Laurel Clayton #14325 (EEE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14325

    13. Medicare Part D's Effects on Elderly Drug Costs and Utilization
    by Jonathan D. Ketcham, Kosali Simon #14326 (HC HE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14326

    14. Can Policy Interact with Culture? Minimum Wage and the Quality of Labor Relations
    by Philippe Aghion, Yann Algan, Pierre Cahuc #14327 (LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14327

    15. Long-Term Care of the Disabled Elderly: Do Children Increase Caregiving by Spouses?
    by Liliana E. Pezzin, Robert A. Pollak, Barbara S. Schone #14328 (LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14328

    16. Wage Formation between Newly Hired Workers and Employers: Survey Evidence
    by Robert E. Hall, Alan B. Krueger #14329 (EFG LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14329

    17. Simple Humans, Complex Insurance, Subtle Subsidies
    by Jeffrey Liebman, Richard Zeckhauser #14330 (HC HE PE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14330

    18. Managerial Incentives and Value Creation: Evidence from Private Equity
    by Phillip Leslie, Paul Oyer #14331 (CF IO LE LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14331

    19. Managing Contribution and Capital Market Risk in a Funded Public Defined Benefit Plan: Impact of CVaR Cost Constraints
    by Raimond Maurer, Olivia S. Mitchell, Ralph Rogalla #14332 (AG LS PE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14332

    20. Socioeconomic Status and Health: Dimensions and Mechanisms
    by David M. Cutler, Adriana Lleras-Muney, Tom Vogl #14333 (AG HC HE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14333

    21. The Role of Exports in the Economy of Colonial North America: New Estimates for the Middle Colonies
    by Peter Mancall, Joshua Rosenbloom, Thomas J. Weiss #14334 (DAE)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14334

    22. The Efficacy of Parochial Politics: Caste, Commitment, and Competence in Indian Local Governments
    by Kaivan Munshi, Mark Rosenzweig #14335 (EFG PE POL)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14335

    23. International Financial Remoteness and Macroeconomic Volatility
    by Andrew K. Rose, Mark M. Spiegel #14336 (IFM)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14336

    24. Imitative Obesity and Relative Utility
    by David G. Blanchflower, Andrew J. Oswald, Bert Van Landeghem #14337 (HC HE LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14337

    25. Gender Differences in Market Competitiveness in a Real Workplace: Evidence from Performance-based Pay Tournaments among Teachers
    by Victor Lavy #14338 (ED LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14338

    26. Leadership, Coordination and Mission-Driven Management
    by Patrick Bolton, Markus K. Brunnermeier, Laura Veldkamp #14339 (CF)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14339

    27. Asset Management, Human Capital, and the Market for Risky Assets
    by Isaac Ehrlich, William A. Hamlen Jr., Yong Yin #14340 (AP ED LS)http://papers.nber.org/papers/W14340

    Tuesday, September 16, 2008

    Brigands and the State

    Theft is theft -- Jim

    From yesterday's Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:

    Monday, September 8, 2008

    Set aside justice, then, and what are kingdoms but great bands of brigands? For what are brigands' bands but little kingdoms? For in brigandage the hands of the underlings are directed by the commander, the confederacy of them is sworn together, and the pillage is shared by law among them. And if those ragamuffins grow up to be able enough to keep forts, build habitations, possess cities, and conquer adjoining nations, then their government is no longer called brigandage, but graced with the eminent name of a kingdom, given and gotten not because they have left their practices but because they use them without danger of law. Elegant and excellent was that pirate's answer to the great Macedonian Alexander, who had taken him; the king asking him how he durst molest the seas so, he replied with a free spirit: “How darest thou molest the whole earth? But because I do it only with a little ship, I am called brigand: thou doing it with a great navy art called emperor.”

    — St. Augustine, City of God, Book IV

    Monday, September 15, 2008

    Unions Activities

    Dear Editor:

    Of course Becky Williams and her unions are going to keep fighting for sick leave, as well as any other legislation that involves the theft of property rights (Unions will keep working for sick leave, Dispatch, 9/13/2008). What else do unions do?

    Saturday, September 13, 2008

    Raising Little Pennies

    In today's Dispatch, Penny Stires, principal at Olentangy Shanahan Middle School, repeats the "whole child" nonsense. According to Stires, "We're really trying to foster the development of the whole child. They (middle schoolers) are discovering who they are and what they want to do. We want to give them as many experiences (as) we can give them through their middle years."

    Just what this nation needs, future generations of little pennies raised by school adminstrators and unionized teachers.

    Can't they just teach math?

    Kowtowing Before the State: A Real Irritation

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

    Kowtowing Before the State: A Real Irritation
    Jim Fedako

    Maybe it’s an age thing. Or maybe it’s a deeper understanding of how things really work. Regardless, as I grow older I find myself growing more resentful of the state and more irritated by my own actions before it.

    Where I used to kowtow without even a moment’s reflection, I now fume for days after showing any subservience to the state, its laws, and its officials.

    A case in point: The Ohio State School Board recently reviewed its rules and regulations around homeschooling. The Home School Legal Defense Association sent an alert to its members and associates: The state school board is seeking online comments from "stakeholders" regarding possible changes to the rules and regulations around homeschooling. HSLDA wanted supporters of homeschooling to register their approval of the current system – the system is working, do not change anything. I acted.

    I clicked over to the Ohio Department of Education website and entered my comments. At the time, this didn’t seem to be such a big deal – simply throw some formality around the do not change anything message and hit send. Done.

    Yet the irritation started right after the return message "your comments have been registered" appeared on my computer screen. Who are those folks at the state board of education? What makes them believe that I must beg their permission to educate my children as I see fit? And why did I justify their power and position by kowtowing to them – or, e-kowtowing, anyway?

    Some irritations never seem to go away. They – like the unscratched itch – grow in intensity the harder they are ignored. So I scratched. I emailed the Ohio Department of Education requesting copies of all responses to the survey – a request covered by Ohio’s open records laws. My reason for this request? I wanted to see where folks in Ohio stood on the issue of homeschooling prior to the state board’s vote.

    Of course, with the state, nothing is easy. Before I finally received the responses on CD, the state board of education made its decision (thankfully no significant changes, only some minor language corrections). Nevertheless, I took a look at the 5000+ responses to read some of the comments.

    Sadly, just like me, the majority of those commenting wrote from a voice that begged the political class for favor. We began by establishing that the state has first claim to our children. And then we begged them some leave: We only want to educate our children. And we will continue to do it by your grace.

    There were a few indignant comments – You, the state, have no authority to rule my family. While I cheered these writers, I noted the inherent fallacy: The state does have the authority to rule my family. Not in a moral sense, but in a real sense – it has the gun.

    In addition, there is another fallacy that is generally accepted by the majority of Americans (not by homeschoolers, of course). It is the assumption that receiving one more vote than any opponent is sufficient to assume authority over all families within the political boundary. It is as if omniscience is the result of the ballot box – an over-the-rainbow vision of the wizard of democracy bestowing omniscience from behind the curtain of the voting booth.

    Yet many folks readily look to the state and its officials and minions as all-knowing. Homeschooling families recognize this every time someone questions a parent’s ability to educate. How can you teach math at the same level as the local high school? Of course, we snicker under our breath: We can’t. We’re not that incompetent. But that question alone is enough to raise concern about your friends, family, and neighbors should you wind up standing against the state. Do you think that most of those folks will side with you? Given the current majority view of the state as the supreme paternal and maternal figure, I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Regardless, my irritation with my own actions continues to grow. Why? I played the game. I didn’t even consider the premise of having to beg the state for the ability to act as parent. And I didn’t allow my indignation to come out in my comments. Instead, I wrote as to hold them higher than me. In this, I have no one to blame but myself.

    My salve is the fact that this year has seen a great awakening of Liberty. Folks are speaking about freedom and against the state. And these discussions will change the minds of Americans. When the across-the-board response to the state is, Get out of our lives, we will be back on track.

    My hope is two-fold. On one hand I see and hear the beginnings of a greater movement toward freedom in the near term. While, on the other hand, I know that homeschooled children – freed from the state’s nonsense – will be less willing to kowtow than their state-educated parents – parents like me who, on occasion, reflexively bow before the state.

    Despite our seemingly grim present, the future looks bright, indeed.

    September 12, 2008

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

    Copyright © 2008 LewRockwell.com

    Goldwater from Freedom Watch

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

    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution ... or have failed their purpose ... or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should be attacked for neglecting my constituents' 'interests,' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty, and in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

    - Barry Goldwater
    There is more commentary in each email. To subscribe send an email to: FreedomWatch-subscribe@topica.com

    Friday, September 12, 2008

    Ale-8-One is Here

    The Kentucky drink is the best pop in the US -- and it's now available in Columbus, Ohio.

    If it's not at your local store, talk to the manager. Or go to the online
    Ale-8-One store and e-purchase a case.

    You're gonna like it!

    Todd Hanks and Responsibility

    This is a repost ... but Hanks still has no plans to reduce YOUR property tax bill. Thanks Hanks.

    When property values rise, Hanks is the vulture waiting to raise your tax bill. When property values fall, Hanks is an ostrich with his head buried in his nex campaign.

    According to the auditor's page on the Delaware County website, the "Duties and Responsibilities of the County Auditor" include:

    Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment
    Ohio has more than 5.5 million parcels of real property. It is the duty of the Auditor to see that every parcel of land and the building thereon are fairly and uniformly appraised and assessed for tax purposes. A general reappraisal is mandated by law every six years, with an update at the three year midpoint. Delaware County had over 74,000 parcels in 2005 and will undergo its triennial reappraisal for the tax year 2008, payable in 2009. (emphasis added)
    But, wait ... Hanks is NOT going to reappraise properties this year. So when he claims that "With the Auditor's title comes much Responsibility," he must be referring to something else entirely.

    Could his idea of responsibility be nothing more than selling dog tags?

    Hey, Hanks, Who do you represent? The taxpayers or the tax-hungry local governments. Reappraise our properties so that our tax payments are reduced. It's MY money and YOUR responsibility!

    Thursday, September 11, 2008

    Over the Rainbow at Olentangy

    According to an article in yesterday's Delaware Gazette, the meeting last night went somewhere over the rainbow.

    Here is what we have: The superintendent defines the role of the board, a likely board candidate defends the teachers, the union president berates a board member, and Dimon McFerson flip and flops. Oh, wait, that last one is an every meeting occurrence. It's the first three that are the bizarre events of the night.

    Hooie: "It will hamper the real work of this board and secondly it will undermine the work of the staff and the administration.” So Hooie defines the role of the board? Folks, this is the same attitude you get when you have concerns about your children. If Hooie thinks she knows more than her bosses, and is willing to state so publicly, do you really think she has any faith in your ability to parent?

    Dunbar: Sounds like Dunbar is seeking the union vote early this election cycle. When she runs again (if she runs again), keep her statements in minds. Dunbar is a proxy for the teachers union. Why waste a vote on Dunbar. Simply vote for Eddy.

    Eddy: Who runs the show at Olentangy? Hooie made a power play but the real force is the out-of-control union.

    Did Galloway put a stop to the nonsense? No way. He was too excited about the action items and his wife's new position.

    note: Thanks Delaware Gazette. You got the quotes right but you failed to grasp the significance of the inmates running the show.

    Nepotism at Olentangy: or, the board president's wife gets a job

    Hey Folks,

    School board president Scott Galloway just got a significant raise ... from our wallets.

    That's right, the board voted to hire Galloway's wife for a district position.

    I know, I know ... His wife was the most qualified for the job and Scott's position meant nothing to an interim superintendent looking for the big contract. It's all just dumb luck.

    Oh, and it's all for the kids. Right, Scott? ... nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more, say no more .



    You will likely encounter terms such as stakeholder when chatting with your local school administrators at a community committee meeting. Of course, that seemingly innocuous term has a more sinister meaning -- it's a code word that should raise flags.

    School district community committees are simply dog-and-pony shows where the administration creates an atmosphere of input and participation when, in fact, the conclusion has already been decided long before the meeting began. Sure, the community can paint some of the rough edges, but the structure -- the essence -- is a foregone conclusion.

    Wes Walker has collected the following list of words that have more meaning than appears at first blush.

    According to Wes:

    local K-16 Council
    "collaborative environment"
    Shared Decision Making
    Shared Governance

    These are some of the most dangerous concepts in any public body that represents constituents, especially school boards.

    Some of the internal components of these are:
    Facilitators are employed by the district
    The Delphi Technique
    Interest Based Negotiations

    All of this points to one thing - training school board members to willingly turn over their brains and votes to district employees, masquerading as a bunch of unelected volunteers. The stakeholder positions in the group are defined in such a way as to require professional employees from several areas of education within the district. The superintendent, of course, owns or runs the committees. Since all decisions are made by consensus (voting by a percentage that shuts down participation by constituents), the employees make every decision, which becomes the superintendent's recommendation.

    I think this widespread practice is evil.

    It's widespread in Olentangy anyway. Community committees and board meetings are simply the scripted show for what occurs in the closed rooms before the meetings begin.

    The process is a form of Hegelian dialectics (or Fichtian dialectics) where the goal is to guide the meeting so that the community participants reach a "consensus" position (the administration's position going into the meeting). If the process works correctly, the community members leave the meeting thinking that they guided the process and that the end result was their consensus belief.

    Consensus is an evil goal. Consensus is not compromise. One compromises and still holds onto his values. On the other hand, consensus is a process whereby the values of an individual are morphed into the synthesis position -- his values were changed and he doesn't even know it.

    Simple example: A group goes out to lunch. You hate seafood but compromise and go to a seafood restaurant. Everyone knows you still don't like seafood, but you gave a little to keep the group together.

    Under consensus, the same group meets to decide what it enjoys eating. Some folks say seafood, others steak, and the rest chicken. The chicken lovers invite a facilitator to guide the discussion. In the end, the group decides that it really likes chicken, with no one even considering seafood and steak any more. No one compromises; the group takes on a new value.

    School districts use such techniques so that once the meeting ends, and the consensus position (the administration's position going into the meeting) is adopted, there is no opposition. All participant truly believe that they agree with the consensus opinion -- it's now part of their value system.

    For additional evidence, consider these comments left on this blog:

    I've made a point of attending some of those community meetings to see the game in action. During one, I sat around a table with others and when the facilitator/leader started doing her thing I pointed out to the others what was going on. She got quite upset and left our table. The electric co-op people in our area were pulled into the game also so I called management at their office and expressed my anger that they were involving themselves in this attempt to manipulate the public. Since we are "owners" of this electric co-op I felt quite justified in taking them on. Before that, I took part in another DIAPRAX session in our county when the Library was in trouble for making porno available to minors. The Library people and their cronies in the area, including government employees, pulled out all the stops. They held several public meetings, imported comrades from out of State, brought in ACLU people, hired professional facilitators from out of town, etc. During the facilitated meeting we were divided up into small groups and sent to different rooms of the school where we had gathered. The facilitators assigned to each room were paid by the Library (taxes) to get the job done. They did. Additionally, I signed on to an adult Great Books Discussion Group to see how this stuff works with adults. It was very educational. I saw how easy it is to control groups of people. I took part in another Diaprax session a decade ago in Columbus when the Rob Reiner I AM YOUR CHILD scam was introduced around the country. The guy put in charge of the local effort was a trained facilitator who worked for the State. The Columbus Dispatch was the organ used to collect the suckers. The facilitator (he now hires himself out to government and private entities as a facilitator) presented himself as just a private citizen inspired to do good for humanity. He held his Diaprax meetings at local libraries. When I attended the first library gathering I sat at a table with a man who I am quite sure was a "spotter" who worked with the facilitator. The three "experts" brought in that evening to help us "clarify" our views were: a woman from the OSU lab (rat) school for little children, a woman from the government PARENTS AS TEACHERS program (insidious) and an employee from Children's Hospital. They were there to wash our brains. I later learned that the I AM YOUR CHILD/BALANCED BEGINNINGS material came from the Robert Muller School in Arlington, Texas which is based on the writings of Theosophist Alice Bailey which were channeled to her by her invisible spirit guide Djwal Khul. I carried on an email correspondence with the head of the school, Gloria, for some weeks. It is a scary thing to know the people who are really behind all this stuff being used on us and our children.


    I neglected to add that there is a term for the technique used to manipulate groups of people. It is called the Delphi Technique. The internet has articles describing the technique and ways to disrupt it when it's being used by government people or others to get people to go along with them.I was also a witness to its use in a State Board of Education meeting a few years ago. One member was refusing to go along with the group and she was being pressured by all the others. My spouse and I were the only witnesses to this. During a break a male board member came over to us and tried repeatedly to get me to identify myself. I did not.

    Wednesday, September 10, 2008

    A Crisis in Public Education

    That is the case according to Mortimer J. Adler:
    Elementary education is devoid of discipline. The basic routines in language and mathematics have been dropped or corrupted. Memory is not cultivated. Social studies, current events, manual arts and games occupy the major time. Secondary or collegiate education fails even more, though in part the failure is due to the inadequate preparation given in the elementary schools. Our Bachelors of Arts cannot read, write, or speak their own language well; neither they nor, for that matter, our Masters of Arts, are acquainted with the liberal arts. They cannot read and they have not read the great books in all fields. They do not possess the leading ideas or understand the basic problems, which are permanently human. They have been fed for years on textbooks and lecture courses, which hand out predigested materials; and, as a result, they are chaotically informed and viciously indoctrinated with the local prejudices of professors and their textbooks. As a final consequence, education at the graduate and professional level has been necessarily debased. Law schools must teach reading; graduate schools struggle to get Ph.D. candidates to write simple, clear English.
    An insightful view of the end product of government education. Ironically, Adler -- philosopher, former editor of Encyclop├Ždia Britannica, and all-around socialist -- wrote those words in 1939. 1939?!? And we are still expecting the beast to serve future generations. A fool's errand, indeed.

    Of course, just like today's unionized collectivists, Adler saw public education as the means to an end. According to Adler: We are viewing a race between two revolutions—a violent one by fire and sword and a peaceful one by education and reason—to end the iniquitous capitalistic system and the rotten bourgeois culture of our times.

    So, the purpose of education is to guide this nation toward a peaceful transition to socialism. That is the very same goal sought by today's educators, yet these folks plan to bring about socialism by destroying the minds of our youth.

    In the end, this we know: government schools have never risen to any level achievement; and the goal, the only sought after outcome, is future generations more dependent on the state. It is as simple as that.

    Tuesday, September 09, 2008

    From our good friends at EdWatch

    Who says public education is not the means for social change? Besides the nonsense below, ask your local administrator about schools and the community. You hear it loud and clear-- Jim

    September 8, 2008

    What HR 3036 does:

    HR 3036, the No Child Left Inside Act (chief author John Sarbanes, Democrat, MD), gives states and schools incentives (federal grants) to conduct "environmental education" programs within existing classes.

    This means that when children are enrolled in history, literature, math or science, during some of their class time, they will actually be schooled in "environmental education" instead of academic subjects. (See EdAction update of July 22, 2008, "The Fed's Cure for "Nature-Deficit Discorder.")

    HR 3036 will be up for a vote on the floor of the House this Thursday, September 11th.

    HR 3036 is a bad idea for numerous reasons. For starters whenever schools expand the subject matter students are required to learn, less time and attention is available for the basic skills, such as reading, math and science, that are necessary for our kids to learn in order to be successful.

    A second concern is the question of who will define what "environmental education" means? That question was largely answered by the original form of the bill which required every student to be "environmentally literate" in order to graduate. The bill also said in the original form that it was created to cure what it called "nature-deficit disorder" and even had the bureaucrats in the Department of Education writing "model" environmental education curriculum for the schools.

    Besides incorporating environmentalism into any and all academic subjects, these grants will fund environmental education programs that do the following:

    • Establish curriculum that is supposed to improve "self-esteem, personal responsibility, community involvement, personal health (including addressing child obesity issues), or their understanding of nature." All of these things are very subjective, non-scientific, and very difficult, if not impossible, to accurately teach or assess. It is not the role of the federal government and the schools to decide what constitutes adequate self esteem or to determine how children will be involved in their communities.
    • Impose recycling and composting programs in the schools at further cost to time spent teaching academic subjects.
    • "Address issues of environmental justice, including policies and methods for eliminating disparate enforcement of environmental laws and regulations with respect to minority and low-income communities, with particular attention to the development of environmental justice curriculum at the middle and high school level." How can one deal with "environmental justice" if there is so much scientific, political and cultural disagreement on the nature of environmental problems and how to deal with them?

    What this really means is this: the liberals in Congress want America's taxpayers to fund, and legitimize, the imposition of the Al Gore type of green propaganda on our kids in our schools.

    It is this mentality that has given us $4.00 per gallon gasoline by prohibiting drilling on the outer continental shelf and Alaska's North Slope and has also stymied the building of nuclear power plants and the use of clean coal technology. It is difficult to imagine a worse bill than this!

    Call your member of Congress immediately and ask him/her to vote "no" on HR 3036. Please share this important alert with others.

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