Saturday, October 31, 2009

Julie Feasel Follies (7) -- It's official: the levy was not needed

Originally posted on 12/16/08. -- Jim


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.

Julie Feasel Follies (6) -- I'm not buying a snafu, but I'm paying for it

Originally posted on 12/14/08 -- Jim


From the Olentangy Valley News:


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

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

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.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Ouch! That hurts!

Jesús Huerta de Soto writes the truth with this quote from Classical Liberalism versus Anarchocapitalism over at Mises.org:
Not even the most respectable churches and religious denominations have reached an accurate diagnosis of the problem: that today statolatry poses the main threat to free, moral, and responsible human beings; that the state is an enormously powerful false idol which is worshipped by all and which will not countenance anyone's freeing himself from its control nor having moral or religious loyalties outside its own sphere of dominance.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's so incestuous

Galloway for Quigley? Sure. Why not?

Katz attended Cassady's fundraiser. Galloway is shilling for Feasel and King. King returns the favor by attending Cassady's fundraiser. So why wouldn't Galloway work for Quigley? It's just so incestuous.

It sure seems Cassady will end up running the township ... into the ground, that is.

Isn't that the same as what Galloway is doing at the district? Hmmm.

Notes:

1. Someone sent this photo to me anonymously. It is purportedly a picture of Galloway's porch with a Quigley sign outside. I will assume that the photo is correct, at least until I'm shown otherwise.

2. As far as an anonymous email: the Federalists and Anti-Federalists debated anonymously. So anonymous has a rich history in the US.

3. The Mole seems to know what's going on at the township hall. Visit Orange Township Mole for more info.

Politicians are all the same

After returning from exercising outside, I happened upon Val Scheibeck's campaign flyer. Scheibeck (running for Orange Township trustee) is going to reduce wasteful spending by ... get this ... adding more wasteful spending. Only this time the spending will directly benefit Scheibeck and her friends.

If I want to run, ride, or skate, I head out my front door. If I want to workout with weights, etc., I head downstairs. In both instances, I pay for all my exercise costs. I do not ask my neighbor to contribute to the cost of my workout, and he doesn't ask for me to contribute to his. That's only fair.

Scheibeck has a similar goal in that she wants to workout in her local area. The difference is this: she wants us all to pay a portion of her costs. According to Scheibeck (from her flyer):

I envision a community where we do not need to go to neighboring communities to take classes, work out or watch fireworks.
That holds true today -- as I just noted. But Scheibeck wants more, and she wants us all to pay for it.

Wouldn't life be better if Scheibeck paid for her workouts, just like I pay for mine. That way, we all keep our own money to spend as WE see fit. Not as Scheibeck and her ilk see fit.


Note: The same holds for classes and fireworks. In fact, my neighbors have better fireworks displays than most townships.

FFF and Frederick Douglass

From a recent edition of the Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
— Frederick Douglass, Speech at Civil Rights Mass Meeting,Washington D.C. [October 22, 1823]

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Julie Feasel Follies (5) -- Wade and Feasel run the numbers

Originally posted January 23, 2009. -- Jim

Wade and Feasel run the numbers, Olentangy style


Just our luck. The district recorded the climax of the contract negotiations between the board and Wade. The video shows Wade runnin' the numbers, with Feasel proudly showing her command of public finance.

Who is the man talking sense? Why Billy's the ghost of the forgotten taxpayer. Somehow, common sense entered the board room, only to be obfuscated out the door by the sophistry of the public servant and his elected enabler. And Billy certainly got cheated. We all did.

Remember, it's all about the kids -- all 1.3 million of them.

What about Dave King?

Well, King makes his living off of (inter alia) local governments. Do you think he will ever challenge the status quo? Not a chance.

And that's why ol' Wade-O is stumpin' for King. Jut keepin' it in the family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Of course, they are the government's schools

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









Of course, they are the government's schools
Jim Fedako



"The U.S. Census Bureau has created a Census in Schools program called 2010 Census: It's About Us. The program will provide educators with resources to teach the nation's students about the importance of the census so children can help deliver this message to their families." U.S. Census Bureau

Little Johnny sits attentively in his seat. Being in first grade, Johnny is very impressionable. And he really wants to please his teacher. So he gladly listens and repeats everything she says, taking it to heart as well as any young child can.

For her part, Ms. Jones believes in education. She hasn't engaged in the debate over the role of government in schools. She just wants to help her students succeed as best she knows how.

So when she receives a package of lesson plans from the U.S. Census Bureau, Ms. Jones doesn't even think to read between the lines. Instead, she decides to integrate the census into her social studies curriculum. It's topical and her students seem interested.

Ms. Jones reads the first lesson plan and follows the instructions:

1. Write the words good neighbor, law, and responsibility on the board. Ask: What do these words mean?
2. Ask: Are you a good neighbor? What laws do you know about? What does it mean to be responsible? Encourage a classroom discussion that reinforces the concepts of being a good neighbor and civic responsibility. Make a list on the board of different laws with which students are familiar (e.g., wear a seat belt, children must go to school, drivers must stop at red lights, etc.). (emphasis in original)
She then continues with the lesson. At the end, Ms. Jones transitions into the wrap-up:

9. Write the sentence, "It's about us" on the board. Discuss how it relates to the concept of being a good neighbor (if everyone is a good neighbor, our country will be a better place).
10. Have students create "good neighbor" badges. Distribute a sheet of colored paper to each student. Ask students to trace around their right hands to make a handprint.
11. Ask students to decorate their handprint badges with drawings that show how they are good neighbors. Use tape to attach the handprint badges to students' shirts.
Little Johnny wants to please Ms. Jones, so he decorates his badge with a drawing of him helping his dad fill out a census form. He whispers to himself that he will try to be a good neighbor. And he will always remember her words, "A good neighbor is a person who does useful things for his or her neighborhood, town, and country."

Next year, Johnny will nag his parents to complete the census form. And just like Sinatra's character in The Manchurian Candidate, Johnny will react as instructed whenever he hears the phrase, "good neighbor."

As an adult, Johnny (now going by John) will reflexively vote for local school issues, etc. He will support government in every way possible. Because to be a bad neighbor would disappoint Ms. Jones.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stumpin' for the incumbent (and that other admin stooge)

Ol' Wade-O must love the current board president. Why else would he commit tax dollars to the new newsletter that hit mailboxes this weekend -- one week before the election?
COMMUNITY NEWSLETTER FEATURES ACADEMIC SUCCESS AND CONSTRUCTION HISTORY
Olentangy Local Schools November Community Newsletter will be delivered to most homes in the district on Sunday, October 25.
How does Springer account for this expense? Feasel's campaign? Hmmm.

Remember, money spent on friends is not an expense. Especially when it is someone else's money.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Olentangy School Board proves Gammon's Law

"I have long been impressed by the operation of Gammon's law in the U.S. schooling system: Input, however measured, has been going up for decades, and output, whether measured by number of students, number of schools, or even more clearly, quality, has been going down."
-- Milton Friedman (Gammon's Law Points to Health-Care Solution)

Despite known budget shortfalls (huge shortfalls), the Olentangy district is pursuing larger administrative raises. And we are only 12 months away from discussions of (what is looking to be) a 10 to 15 mill levy. Amazing. -- Jim

Note: Folks, please do not construe this post to mean that Archana Springer would not be supportive of increased salaries -- or, for that matter, the upcoming 10 to 15 mill levy. I would hate to see her ostracized by her friends in the tax and spend crowd.

Homeland Security Hucksters

It's all about public safety and homeland security (and that was sarcasm). -- Jim


From today's edition of OSBA's Facts in a Flash:

House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee

The committee heard sponsor testimony on HB 80, sponsored by Rep. John Domenick (D-Smithfield), requiring that all new school buses be equipped with a single white strobe light to be activated at all times when the bus is transporting passengers.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

FFF and Bastiat

From a recent edition of the Email Update from the Future of Freedom Foundation:

Thursday, August 20, 2009
Good Lord! What a lot of trouble to prove in political economy that two and two make four; and if you succeed in doing so, people cry, "It is so clear that it is boring." Then they vote as if you had never proved anything at all.
— Frédéric Bastiat, “"What Is Seen and Is Not Seen” [1850]

Hanks and Thompson play Nurse Ratched

Hey, Ken O'Brien, don't swallow the pill. -- Jim




From
The Delaware Gazette:
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Some commissioners agree: Dispute resolution is needed
ANDREW TOBIAS
Staff Writer

Delaware County commissioners Todd Hanks and Tommy Thompson feel that a visit from a state conflict resolution agency will work through some of the conflicts that they feel has divided the board. Commissioner Ken O’Brien disagrees.

In a split 2-1 decision, county commissioners have decided to set up a meeting with a mediator from Ohio Commission of Dispute Resolution, a state-funded agency that provides conflict resolution services to elected officials.

Before casting his “no” vote, O’Brien said earlier this week the program was unnecessary. The voluntary program would be free to the county, but O’Brien said the state-funded program was still financed by tax dollars.

“I don’t see conflict,” he said. “I don’t see consensus, but that’s not conflict.”

If there is indeed an ongoing conflict among members of the board, it largely centers around O’Brien’s concerns about a consulting contract for a $3.13 million waste-to-energy facility county commissioners quickly passed, and then later rescinded. The project, which drew heated criticism from O’Brien and members of the public, has since been abandoned.

Public debate among the commissioners has been civil lately, although it grows heated any time issues relate to the consulting contract. Commission president Thompson said a commissioner from a nearby county who had heard about the fallout surrounding the contract approached him recently and recommended the state program.

“They read the papers like anyone else does,” he said. Under the program, a representative of the state agency would meet with the individual commissioners and try to identify issues.

Commissioners have not been arguing in closed-door executive sessions, Thomson said. He just wanted to feel like the commissioners were “on the same team,” even if they disagreed on issues.

“It’s obvious that there are still some question and doubts, and we need to get through that,” Thompson said.

O’Brien has made a records request for e-mails and other written communications between all county commissioners and the county prosecutor’s office, which officials have said entails about 4,000 different documents. In the past, Hanks has referred to O’Brien’s request as a “witch-hunt,” among other unfavorable terms.

O’Brien suspects he was kept out of the loop as the project moved forward, and said earlier this week at the public meeting where the vote was held that he was still waiting for his request to be fulfilled.

This prompted Hanks to defend the project’s merits and say it was to be funded by a federal grant, which O’Brien said was “revisionist history” and unfounded. The two soon began speaking over each other.

The dispute resolution program is co-sponsored by the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.

John Leutz, a senior policy analyst with the CCAO, said the mediation program could help resolve conflicts among elected officials.

“We certainly participate with them and support the activities that they’re engaged with … and in some instances, using their services makes sense,” Leutz said.

A meeting with the dispute agency will be set up over the coming weeks. The results of the mediation meetings are secret under an Ohio law pertaining to confidential testimony in a court case.



atobias@delgazette.com

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Julie Feasel Follies (3) -- Julie Feasel: Clamping down on dissent

Originally posted on 5/22/09 -- Jim


Your Olentangy school board is feverishly working on phase two of its "brick wall." The board is now looking to clamp down of dissent -- defined as any voice on the board that does not parrot the party line.

I have to say that Feasel, Meider, Galloway, and McFerson are four of the most evil folks ever elected to a local office. While their political affiliations may differ, they all agree on one thing: The community is to be held in contempt.

And folks, it's not just them. It's also your gang of administrators, including your treasurer and new superintendent.

These folks care nothing about the community.

Of course, it goes beyond those listed above. It includes community volunteers who choose to remain silent. Volunteers who refuse to question the majority position since to question may mean the end to the petty offices those volunteers so desperately enjoy -- better to play along than to lose access.

Remember, for all of these folks, power and influence is their raison d'être.

note: Whenever you read the evils of history and you begin to raise the "it could never happen here" argument, consider for a moment, just a moment, what would happen if those like Feasel held positions of real power, supported by efficient and silent community members. Can you even imagine? "Papers, please."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The right to bear arms

From Freedom Watch

"The Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms."

- Samuel Adams


From the Future of Freedom Foundation



Friday, October 16, 2009

The right of a citizen to bear arms, in lawful defense of himself or the State, is absolute. He does not derive it from the State government. It is one of the "high powers" delegated directly to the citizen, and is excepted out of the general powers of government. A law cannot be passed to infringe upon or impair it, because it is above the law, and independent of the lawmaking power.
-
Cockrum v. State [1859]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

$1200 of debt in a day

I added the US Debt widget on this blog a month or so ago. Since then, I've been keeping an eye on our ever-increasing public debt. The number had been going up at about the same rate each day. Then, on Friday, the debt increased $46 billion in one day. $46 billion. That's real money -- and real theft, $1200 from my family alone.

To monitor the debt better, I check-pointed the amount on the image to the right. Keep an eye as our representatives continue to destroy this nation, billion by billion.

Note: The numbers are as of 11:01 pm on October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

The wind and wave theory of property

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









The wind and wave theory of property
Jim Fedako



sandcastle_2.jpgThere is nothing like a week at the beach to relax and refocus. The water, the waves, and the fun are a vacationer's dream, creating the perfect place to drift between musing and being amused.

I really enjoy observing individuals interacting, using scarce means to obtain very personal ends. Many times, these observations lead to greater understanding, reinforcing or challenging beliefs and ideas.

For me, our family trip to the beach this summer provided such an opportunity - it provided an opportunity to study the process acting man uses to establish property rights absent government interventions.

Consider the beach in the early morning sun. The sand is rippled but devoid of form, with evidence of yesterday's labor wiped clean by the nightly action of the wind and wave.

As individuals, families and groups begin migrating to the empty expanse on the edge of the surf, the first arrivers homestead, what is for them, the very best spot. They stake out a claim by planting umbrellas, unfolding chairs, and spreading blankets and towels. And as pails are emptied of plastic shovels and tools, adults and children begin mixing labor with sand and water to form castles, trenches, and other structures and designs.

Subsequent arrivals naturally note the delineated property lines established by those who arrived beforehand. As these folks begin staking out their own claims, volleyball nets appear and Frisbees take flight.

All of these activities further define and refine property boundaries as acting man and women homestead in a peaceful and orderly process, without the need for interventions from the state, nonetheless.

None of what follows is theory or law; it is simply observations of human action. But, if what are sometimes referred to as natural laws are truly natural, they should be found guiding the natural course of human action. And they do.

No one owns his view

This is easy to observe. The early homesteader sets up his chair some distance from the water, but in full view of the pounding surf. As latecomers stake out their claims, both early and late arrivals understand that a view cannot be homesteaded. A latecomer can set up anywhere between the early-occupier and the surf, as long as existing property boundaries are respected.

Furthermore, all beachgoers understand that if someone wants a continuous, open view of the water, he had better place his chair at the edge of the surf and make ready to move with the tide - that is if he can relocate to a space not already homesteaded.

Finally, anyone has the right to stop and stand in front of your chair - though outside your borders - for any length of time, for any reason.

You can homestead more than your physical property

While it is true that the early-established volleyball court is defined by it boundaries (either physical boundaries furrowed in the sand, or assumed boundaries created by the footsteps of players), the owner of the volleyball court also homesteads the right to have his ball bounce in then-unoccupied areas. Latecomers therefore have to accept the occasional errant bounce, but earlier homesteaders have a right to complain.

The same holds for the tossed Frisbee, etc. Homesteaded property rights include more than just visible boundaries.

Mixing your labor defines your property

If you want to secure rights to an area of sand, build a castle or other physical structure. On the beach, such structures provide secure property rights, until they are abandoned or the wind and waves once again erase them from view.

Usufruct rules

While you can homestead areas of sand, you cannot enforce secure borders. In other words, you cannot stop folks from entering your property as they move about the beach. This does not provide for aggression or destruction, just the free movement within your borders. Of course, your physical structures are secure from intrusion; no one can step into your castle grounds unless invited.

Abandoned property is subject to homesteading

If you physically leave the beach area, you have abandoned your property and your property rights. This opens up your area to homesteading by anyone. The same holds when the incoming tide has destroyed your castle. Once the tide recedes, the area is again open to homesteading by all.

It all just conventions

What I have described are not laws, they are self-enforcing conventions. And I have seen them in actions on every beach I have visited, in many different countries of the world.

Just as important, while sitting on the sand, I have never seen someone appeal to the social apparatus of coercion and compulsion to settle a property dispute.

Of course, observations on a beach do not define and justify an ethical system of property rights (such as that proposed by Hans-Hermann Hoppe). But neither do those observations disprove the existence of an ethical system of property rights. They simply show that, absent interventions by the state, acting man, left to his selfish ends, tends to organize his means in a way that agrees with the concept of property.

In this, we should not be surprised.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

All in the family

John Cassady -- Orange Township trustee and candidate, and Republican Central Committee hack -- held a campaign fundraiser this evening. And guess who arrived in support of John, the so-called fiscal conservative? Dave King, Olentangy school board candidate and registered Democrat. Hmmm.

These folks simply want to grow government and spend your tax dollars. Party affiliation means nothing. They are simply the sorts who love the thrill of power, prestige and money -- the essence of government.

Anyone who thinks there is still a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties needs to take a closer look. Cassady or King. Feasel or Galloway. They are all the same in the end -- interchangeable parts of the same machine.


Karl Marx was right: There are two classes. His error was in misidentifying them. The classes are not worker and capitalist; they are taxpayer and tax consumer. And I saw a sounder1 of tax consumers this evening.

Note: A sounder is a herd of wild boars -- sorry boars.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is Scott Galloway shilling for Julie Feasel?

It appears so.

I recently received the anonymous email below -- an email that appears to have been sent to members of the Republican Party Central Committee of Delaware County.

The picture to the right was attached to the email.

This picture is supposedly a photo of Galloway's porch, with political signs inconveniently left beside the door.

Oddly enough, the signs are for Julie Feasel and Dave King, Democratic candidates for Olentangy school board (it's actually not that odd if you know anything about Galloway).

You say: School board races are nonpartisan.

I respond: True. But school board seats are many times used as the starting point for those seeking higher office.

Am I shocked? No way. Galloway likes to spend as much as Feasel -- they are political pees in a pod. Don't let party affiliation fool you. Both want your money to spend as they see fit.

The question remains: Will the party sanction Galloway for aiding and abetting?


Dear Central Committee Member:

The next time you speak with Scott Galloway please ask him to explain why he is campaigning for two registered Democrats against two registered Republicans, as the lawn signs staked in his front yard and the stacks of lawn signs on his doorstep indicate. Then ask him to resign as Executive Director of the Delaware County Republican Party.

I’m not impressed with the defense I’ve heard that “we don’t get involved in school board races”. This is about the principled belief that our Party leader should not be campaigning for Democrats. It is a slap in the face to each one of us who labor tirelessly to elect and
maintain Republicans in public office when the elected leader of our Party labors tirelessly to undermine our efforts. What kind of leadership is this? Can someone please explain this—because I’m not getting it.

Scott Galloway is unable to put aside his personal agenda for that of our Party, which is required of an Executive Director. Tolerating this deceit makes a mockery of both the high leadership position that he holds, and the Party itself. By campaigning for Democrats Scott Galloway undermines the credibility of our Party and the morale of its members, and he forfeits the privilege to continue serving as our Executive Director. Scott Galloway must be replaced if he is not honorable enough to step down.

Disgusted Member

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finances and Faith: a personal story of the times

Steve Scott over at From the Pew is one of my favorite bloggers. Like many throughout the US, Steve has fallen on hard times. To his benefits, and ours, Steve has chosen to share his trials with us through his blog. I suggest that you click over and read a thoughtful reflection on finances and faith. And keep Steve and his family in your prayers.

note: Read the comment from his wife to see the fruits of a Christ-centered marriage.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More sleepless nights

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









More sleepless nights
Jim Fedako



I just finished repairing grout in my master bathroom. As a home repair hack, I typically remove excess caulk and sealant with my bare fingers -- it's messy, but quick and easy.

OK. So far, so good.

Then, while washing my hands, I read this warning on the back label, "This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer."

Seeing the capital "S," I decided that state does not refer to everyday residents of California, but instead refers to the occupying apparatus of coercion and compulsion.

Such a realization means a lot to me. You see, I don't like to be out of it, the last to learn what everyone else knows. A small matter of pride. But there it is.

So I relaxed a bit.

Yet that cancer thing got me thinking and doubting once more.

Am I OK? Especially considering that my state, the State of Ohio, has not seen fit to warn its hapless residents.

I have to assume that agents of the State of Ohio can read labels and are aware that the unspecified chemical is known to the State of California as a cancer risk. So is the cancer concern a function of geography, and I am OK out here on Ohio? Or is my state keeping something from me?

I'll be tossing and turning for the next three nights, until Tuesday morning when Ohio's health department reopens its doors to the masses. Only then will I know my fate - that is, of course, if they'll even tell me the truth.

Oh, well ...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It's time for the Julie Feasel follies

Julie Wagner Feasel Over the next four weeks, I will be republishing the very best of Julie Feasel -- 'cause, you know, she really wants to continue running the district.

(OK, she really just wants to cheerlead the administration and the unions as they run the district and spend your hard-earned tax dollars like there is no tomorrow).

So maybe Feasel is correct and her work is only half done. But can we afford the second half?

I know that I can't. Can you?

Monday, October 05, 2009

When worse is better

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









When worse is better
Jim Fedako



Last week, my family went camping down in the wilds of southeastern Ohio. In addition to wonderful hikes and cookouts, each afternoon I set out on a scenic bike ride. One day, while peddling through the hills and hollows, I ventured along a state route that bisects a tiny hamlet.

Just on the edge of civilization, right before homes once again give way to pine trees, I passed a tavern and caught (what has become for me) the smell of liberty: cigarettes and fried grease.

As a cyclist, that mixture of smells is enough to send my stomach spinning. But as a libertarian, that very same fragrance is a sign of rebellion -- a sign that liberty still has a place in the hearts of some men.

Now everyone in the area (including politicians, bureaucrats, and petty officials) must know the tavern allows smoking, in spite of state laws against it. Yet folks are silent, and smoking continues. Why?

Before I provide my reason, let me contrast this experience with one that occurred not too far from my home in suburban, central Ohio.

One weekend, my family camped at a local campground that has a party house serving burgers, beer, etc. The establishment also has a couple of pool tables and requisite television screens. Instead of eating the Dinty Moore meal we had prepared (heated) for our kids, my wife and I decided to drop in for a burger and pop. We entered, ordered, and waited for our takeout meal.

While waiting, we noticed a few burly men playing a rather loud game of pool. Just as we were paying for our meal, two of the men left to go outside. On our way out, we passed them smoking underneath the outside canopy. Sensing that moral outrage must be near, we stopped and asked them their thoughts on the then-new state anti-smoking laws.

Where we expected outrage, we heard indifference. One of the guys even stated that the law was good since it limited the amount of cigarettes he was able to smoke in a day. Wow, I thought, the nannies have reprogrammed the minds of those who were once free.

I attribute the very different reactions to the interventions of the state into the lives of the citizens of Ohio to one source: public education.

You see, the schools in my area outperform those of the wilds -- outperform them on state-mandated tests of state-mandated curriculum.

In a very real sense, the state, through its schools and curriculum, has succeeded in squashing public dissent of the continued loss of liberties.

So while my locals champion a state that intervenes in their lives, those who attended supposedly poor-performing schools still hold onto remnants of liberty. And these folks have held the state at bay, with their local apparatchiks and nomenclatura too afraid to stop open rebellion -- to enforce the state's anti-smoking laws.

For those who think that government schools are about the threes R's, I suggest asking any recent graduate of a so-called high-performing government high school some pointed questions on the rights of property -- liberty. You will quickly learn that the three R's are simply the diversion used to inculcate future generations.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Politicians and bureaucrats always react the same

Here's a funny spoof of the likely scene deep in the government bunker out in Larimer County. (HT: LewRockwell.com)





More info on the ROC

For district information that is not a product of the administration and board, turn to the ROC.

There ain't no third way

Dear Editor:

My parents recently returned from a trip that included a stop in Moscow. While there, as good tourists, they visited Lenin's tomb and reported back that more than a few Russians still worship Lenin and his vision of a worker's paradise.

It might seem odd that folks still desire the totalitarian state.Yet, according to the view of Greg Wourms ("Big government is necessary to keep big business in check," Dispatch, Sept. 19, 2009), we should all want for the warmth of big government -- the bigger, the better, of course.

Either you advocate for liberty -- a founding principle of this nation, or you advocate for the totalitarian state.


As economist Ludwig von Mises long ago noted, there is no such thing as the third way. Society either moves toward liberty or it moves toward complete state control -- there is no mythical resting point in the middle ground.

Wourms may fear liberty so much that he is willing to accept state control. But such a notion turns this nation on its head.

A nation born in liberty wanting the king's return. Where is Jefferson when you need him?

Sincerely,

Jim Fedako

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Time to talk cost

For those who have a hard time understanding my assertion that the district spends $1 million on PR each year (and the true value is likely much higher), here is a real world example to help explain the difference between cost and expenditure.

I just received my September electric bill. At first I was shocked by the high amount, especially considering that September was not a warm month. But then I remembered my wife is pregnant.

You see, when she is pregnant, my wife likes to set the temperature low in order to compensate for her elevated metabolism. So while she sleeps with a light blanket, I spend summer nights wrapped and clothed as if it were the middle of winter.

It is true that my general fund expenditure for electricity is high, but some of the cost is correctly attributed to her pregnancy -- likely half of my expenditure on electricity in September was due to the September weather, with the other half due to wife's pregnancy.

If I didn't attribute costs as closely to their source as possible, I would not have a clear understanding of the true cost of pregnancy versus the true cost of AC.

The same holds for all entities: costs need to be attributed to their source in order to understand the drivers of those costs.

Olentangy recently hired Wade Lucas. Initially, Wade agreed to the salary set by the board. After receiving an offer, Wade then renegotiated a much better contract.

Yes, Wade snookered Dimon McFerson -- the supposed great negotiator -- and ended up being the winner of hundreds of thousands of tax dollars.

Why did the board agree to the new, more expensive contract? The answer is simple: Since the board had been burned in its previous closed-door superintendent search, it believed that it had to save face and accept whatever Wade demanded.


The expenditure for Wade's new contract came out of the general fund and is reported as an administrative expense. Yet the true cost of his new contract should be attributed to a PR stunt to cover up the foolishness of McFerson and the super majority of the board.

The expenditure is not a function of the administration of the district, it is a function of PR in order to save an inept board from more embarrassment.

There are many examples where the district expends money simply to look good before the public. All of these dollars are correctly attributed to PR. To pin those dollars on any other cost center incorrectly attributes costs.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Asserting utopia as the solution

Paul from the Save the Hilliard Schools blog buys the government versus anarchy false dilemma. Paul's comment is below. But first I have posted an exchange between Milton Friedman and Phil Donahue. Friedman thoroughly destroys the assertion that Paul's benevolent government is anything other than a utopian dream.

Note: I am more and more amazed when folks who know politicians and the political process (including the true inner workings of government) continue to assert a benevolent government as the solution. Such a proposition is one too many rainbows from reality.

The following is from recent Marc Farber's
article over at LewRockwell.com:
Phil Donohue: When you see around the globe the maldistribution of wealth, the desperate plight of millions of people in underdeveloped countries. When you see so few haves and so many have-nots. When you see the greed and the concentration of power. Did you ever have a moment of doubt about capitalism? And whether greed is a good idea to run on?

Milton Friedman: Well first of all tell me, is there some society you know that doesn’t run on greed? You think Russia doesn’t run on greed? You think China doesn’t run on greed? What is greed? Of course none of us are greedy. It’s only the other fella that’s greedy. The world runs on individuals pursuing their separate interests. The greatest achievements of civilization have not come from government bureaus. Einstein didn’t construct his theory under order from a bureaucrat. Henry Ford didn’t revolutionize the automobile industry that way. In the only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty that you are talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kind of societies that depart from that.

So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear, there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.

Phil Donohue: Seems to reward not virtue as much as the ability to manipulate the system.

Milton Friedman: And what does reward virtue? You think the Communist commissar rewards virtue? You think a Hitler rewards virtue? Do you think… American presidents reward virtue? Do they choose their appointees on the basis of the virtue of the people appointed or on the basis of political clout? Is it really true that political self-interest is nobler somehow than economic self-interest? You know I think you are taking a lot of things for granted. And just tell me where in the world you find these angels that are going to organize society for us? Well, I don’t even trust you to do that.
Here is Paul's comment left on this post of mine:
My initial comment said that I believe there is a role for a benevolent government in such matters.

We can observe that throughout the ages it has been demonstrated that mankind will readily choose what is good/easy/cheap in the short term with little if any regard for sustainability.

Native American cultures are romanticized for their supposed love of the land. Yet you can go to a place in the Dakotas where the Lakotas repeatedly stampeded whole herds of buffalo off a cliff because it was the most efficient way to kill large numbers of them. The only difference between this act, and grinding a mountain down for the coal is the size and sophistication of the technology available - the motivation is the same.

The rights afforded a landowner cannot be infinite. After all, the landowner has title to property only because the government says he does, and the power of the government can be engaged to enforce those rights granted under law.

We could choose to have a lawless county, where one must individually protect land rights, presumably by force if necessary. There are places in the world where this is true today, like Somalia. If someone wants to take over your house in Mogadishu, there is no government to complain to - you have to fight to keep it, or walk away.

And so I don't really understand those who argue against government, yet demand the protections that if affords.

I certainly fear a government that ceases to be responsive to the people, and our American government is becoming less and less so every hour.

And I am concerned that the way we find our way back to minimal government isn't by unwinding the scale of the government we have now, but rather a revolution that breaks out as a result of our government becoming intolerably intrusive.

Sadly, I see nothing in the natural world that suggests that natural systems self-regulate very well. There is always something gradually drifting out of whack, and the ultimate 'correction' is abrupt and severe.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Here they go again!

While those of us in the private sector confront the realities of scarcity, the district continues to spend like there is no tomorrow.

Read these expenses and then read the funding cries emanating from the administrative offices. Could it be that the post-retreat happy hour is affecting judgements?

District check registers (from a reader):

  • 88607 Lakes, Golf & CC DUESC-Admin Retreat 08/31/09 $ 5,367.65
  • 88607 Lakes, Golf & CC DUESC-Admin Retreat 08/31/09 $ 2,727.65
  • 88689 Avakian Consulting Superintendent outreach 08/31/09 $ 10,000.00

And, by the way, every check to Avakian and similar ilk is all for PR (just neighbor helping neighbor -- literally -- for the good of district propaganda).

Note: OFK, you all worked so hard this ... and it's all for the kids.

Tiberi and fascism

Dear Editor:

Are there two Pat Tiberi's ("Tiberi: Cut spending first", ThisWeek)?

As I see it, there is the Tiberi who wrote the guest column, speaking as someone who advocates for less government. Then there is the Tiberi who represents this district in DC, advocating a big government agenda right out of 1920's Italy.

And in a true sense of political doublespeak, the graph above Tiberi's column proved that he served during a period of excessive government spending and deficits. So while Tiberi bemoans our current financial situation, he neglects to mention that he voted for the spending bills that created this very mess.

Talk about spin. Talk about arrogance.

But I'll let Tiberi speak, "(W)e should be leaving the country in better shape for our children. They deserve it."

Sorry, Pat, your rhetoric is too little, too late. You should have defended future generations when you had the chance. Instead, you shackled them with debt.

Jim Fedako