Fly A SkyCar Today: The Future of Transportation

So how does America become a primary manufacturer again, where we are exporting something the rest of the world wants, instead of being a primary importer? It seems like a daunting task, after all, we’ve lost the car market to the East, the computer age was born here, but now is developing in the East, and we are no longer pushing the space race in America. In order to recapture the technological lead on the world stage, America would have to invent something dramatically, and radically new, that every person on the face of the planet would want.

Let me introduce the M400 Skycar. It’s a personal Skycar with a top speed of 350 MPH and has a range of 750 miles and a flight ceiling of 30,000 feet. It is the future. Now, there are a lot of videos here. This is one of the rare times that I’ll say the videos are more important than the text I provide. So take your time and watch the videos, all of them. And pass this link on to a friend so the word can get out. I believe this is extremely important to the United States in 2011 and on.

I’ve followed the work of Paul Moller for most of my life and am a tremendous fan of his. So much so, that I dedicated a large part of my book The Symposium of Justice to the M400 Skycar in hopes that the military would see the potential for applications, and get the ball rolling.

Paul Moller is the equivalent to the modern-day Henry Ford, or Bill Gates. His idea could be just as explosive if only politics would embrace the concept and accept that highways, manufacturing unions, and current aerospace manufacturers and their government contracts, are becoming obsolete. Can you imagine the changes that would have to take place in the airline industry? Can you imagine the airline industry lobby against the Skycar concept? Do you think GE would want this technology to emerge unless they had their feet already in the game, which they don’t? If the TSA employees join a union, can you imagine the protests trying to protect their jobs that would be leaving as people gained the independence of personal transport and wouldn’t need TSA Security any longer; all the vehicles would be controlled by GPS Systems? Nobody would be running into buildings with these things because they’d just be riding around like a passenger while computers do all the flying. Of the large aerospace companies, only Boeing has entertained the construction of Skycars so far, so the protective interests are actively in place.

I gave a Powerpoint, to John Boehner so he could possibly do something to help with the lobbyist politics that exist on K-Street and other places so the M400 Skycar could enter the marketplace. I also sent the same Powerpoint to the current President and to the head of General Motors, giving them the idea to “re-invent” themselves. They of course are committed to building electric cars, which will soon be irrelevant.

Does it work? Yes! Now that these tests are completed and on the record, even if Moller never gets this M400 into production, the steps have been taken, and a vertical takeoff personal vehicle will emerge for personal use. The sky is the future because it costs less to maintain and eliminates costly infrastructure need. There will always be need for highways for shipping reasons, but personal transportation of 50 miles or more needs to go to the air. That might seem like science fiction, but it’s currently science fact. All that fact needs is for public consciousness to catch up and accept the technology, and that will happen when people understand how they’ll benefit.

Here is the testing of stability in flight, hovering controls. Pretty important so the vehicle can land in a parking lot with reliability. This is one of the most difficult technical feats the vehicle had to overcome, and it has been successful.

So who is Paul Moller? Meet him here. He has testified before congress on this issue and has worked with NASA. This entire infrastructure is in place now. All it will take to bring it to a reality is for you to demand it. Paul will explain the whole concept, just listen, and enjoy.

I personally can’t wait to have one. For my life style, it will be perfect. I could be in New York within a morning, take care of my business, and be back that night for dinner without any difficulty. Same for Atlanta, Chicago and Washington D.C. since all those cities are within 500 miles from Cincinnati. In other places around the country, the trip from LA to Las Vegas would be minutes, and from San Fran to LA under an hour with most of the flight time being accent and descent. New Yorker’s could be out of the city and up into Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts within an hour. No traffic because the GPS system would stack all the destinations at different elevations. Weather conditions would be the only variable, but conditions would be favorable over 95% of the time. Only heavy wind and thunderstorms would prevent flight.

Image the trip from London to Paris, which currently takes a few hours by their high-speed rail system that goes under the English Channel from the time you buy your ticket, get on the train, and arrive at your destination. You could literally travel from the British Museum of Natural History and arrive at The Louver Museum in well under an hour including getting into the Skycar and exiting.

However, there is a lot of resistance to the Skycar out there, particularly from the existing infrastructure, and politics and I have a sincere concern that Paul Moller’s dream may be all too reminiscent of one of my personal hero’s, Preston Tucker. If you don’t know the story, Tucker was a GREAT car builder and was WAY ahead of his time. His car was so ahead of its time that the Big Three put pressure on the government to prosecute Tucker though Senator Ferguson, who was taking lobby money from the Big Three, before he could launch his car to the public. Listen to this clip from the film Tucker: A Man and His Dream as delivered by Jeff Bridges.

This is one of my favorite films. If you haven’t seen it you are missing a classic from Executive Producer George Lucas and Director Francis Ford Coppela.

I don’t want to see Paul Moller become a Preston Tucker. I see dramatic parallels between the two men. I think Moller is a lot more level-headed, and more classical engineering minded where Tucker was a salesman first and an engineer second, Moller has the great ability to stay out of trouble.

Eventually, the Big Three automakers would adapt to the innovations that Tucker introduced in 1948, by the 1970’s. If we were a smart society, we’d learn from history and listen to Paul Moller now, and not shove him into the corner to protect the status quo, and put off technology we need today. Because we may lose it to the East, or to a costly two or three decades only to have it emerge in the distant future anyway. It’s really up to the United States.

Tucker died shortly after his trial, which he was of course innocent, but the experience cost him market delivery of his vastly superior automobile. The Big Three grudgingly adopted many of Tucker’s features but not for another 20 years. The Big Three didn’t want to absorb the cost of competition, so they put him out of business. And that is the problem that Paul Moller will have to overcome. It’s not the technical obstacles that are the problem. It’s the political ones that hold back our country. Here is Tucker’s story.

You can have the world you want if you have the courage to put horse-sense ahead of politics. If that happens, then you could have a Skycar to drive and fly within a decade. You may have a job in the Skycar emerging field in the same time frame, and the United States could return to the world stage as a primary manufacturer of something the rest of the world wants, while China and Japan continue to make cars, which will decline in importance, and become a secondary market item similar in usefulness to a motorcycle or bicycle, and certainly high-speed rail which is next to useless compared to Skycar technology.

But I suspect that history will repeat itself and Paul Moller will go the way of Tucker obscurity, and our great nation the United States will too drift into the cloudy recesses of a foggy morning in history, which once lifted everyone, will wonder if the fog had ever been at all.

It’s up to you.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Yes Lakota is Misleading People: Painting over the dirt

Submitted on 2011/01/20 at 11:14 pm
Evil prevails when good people do nothing. I am a good person and I am about good education. I am doing something: speaking out. Rich Hoffman is misleading people. Teachers teach children so they DON’T end up working themselves into an early grave and barely making payments on a lot in a trailer park. The good teachers will go elsewhere in order to make a living wage. Rich Hoffman raised children and his wife didn’t work. Apparently he is making too much money. Yet, I hear no one attacking him. Some of us have to have both parents work in order to put food on the table.

Georgetta here reflects many of the comments that I get from people who think just like her. The premise is this, that education is a right, they hide the actual numbers in the scribble of government bureaucracy, and if you show that you don’t support it, or if you even question their reasoning, they use “peer pressure” to shape the community to their will, just like kids on a playground. That’s the mentality. They end up sounding like children with their minds wrapped up in extreme assertions to make their points seem to carry more weight.

The first thing they do is attack you “the tax payer” and your ability to pay the increase in tax. They’ll say, “Public education was there for your children, but now that you don’t have children in the school, you don’t want to pay.” They do the same with business leaders, “We built the good schools and you provided the homes, and now you don’t want to pay.” What doesn’t get said is that as all this growth was going on, the LEA, the teachers union at Lakota, negotiated an aggressive contract in October of 2008 that was focused on wages and that contract is bankrupting the community because at the same time, indications were that state funding was on a decreasing trend. So the contract was irresponsible, and what is happening now, is the community is establishing the parameters of future contract negotiations, because we can’t trust school officials to do the job, otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten this far out of control.

These pro levy people will attempt to proclaim that nobody but them can look at the numbers and understand the situation. They sadly put out apologist groups to plead the case like what you will hear in the below interview. What they don’t want to discuss is why there is a financial crises. They simply discuss finance as if it were beyond their control. When listening to this interview ask these questions, if cutting only a million here, or there isn’t much because the numbers are so large, then why is it such a large savings that cutting busing to 9000 students will only save $600,000, then why cut busing? And how has Lakota done everything it can do before cutting busing. Did the LEA come to the bargaining table to renegotiate their contract? And how does the tax dollars stay in the district when the union spends the union dues on political candidates. One of the reasons the LEA wants its teachers to make so much is so that the teachers will want to pay their union dues without hardship. But nobody talks about any of that here. The sum of this discussion is that there isn’t an answer. These are nice parents that just want the system to work long enough for their children to get an education. Nobody wants to play the hot potato game when the music stops, and the music is stopping. All they can really do in an interview like this is paint over the dirt.

All businesses whether they are service oriented or manufacturing oriented have a responsibility to keep their costs in line. One way that businesses do that is to use the 10-80-10 rule as it’s applied to labor. That rule states that 10% of your workforce will be your typical “top” performers, and they will get the most dramatic increases, 4% to 15% depending on the situation. 80% of your workers are average, and will typically get a standard 2% to 3% increase, otherwise considered a “cost of living” increase. And of course every place of business has approximately 10% that are poor performers and they won’t get an increase of any kind. Why? Because those bottom 10% you want to look for another job, and you want them to leave so you don’t have to pay them. It gives you a chance to hire somebody that might want to compete for the top 10% percentile. If you manage things correctly, your bottom 10% are the kind of people that your competition is hiring at the middle 80%, and you want that so you can maintain a competitive edge.

What you don’t do is uniformly advance everyone in your place of business with some socialist “everybody is equal” policy like what we have in school systems, and unions advocate. That’s a disastrous concept and gives employees like Ryan Fahrenkemp time and the luxury of job security to participate in an evil deed like child pornography. I would argue from experience that if Ryan had to fear for his job, and didn’t feel comfortable hiding in the muddy 80%, he probably would have not indulged in his warped perversion while at school. He might have done it in hiding, or in his mother’s basement, but not with his students, and not with school equipment. And he certainly wouldn’t have been making 70K at only age 42 no matter how much experience he had with the amount of tenure he’d accumulated in a relatively short time.

I used Fahrenkemp as an example because he belonged in the bottom 10% and somebody didn’t do their job in the review process of weeding him out. And that didn’t happen because he was protected by the complicated process created by the OEA which the president of the LEA had been a big part of, and knew how to manipulate the system to the advantage of her members.

So I’d say to you Yes Lakota people, who say that I am misleading people. Who is doing the misleading?

I’d say you are, by telling the tax payers that the budget just “grows” on its own. That the school system had no way to deal with people like Fahrenkemp, and that all teachers are worth over 62K, and if the community doesn’t pay it, those beloved teachers will leave the district for another one.

I would say any teacher that would leave Lakota is only in it for the money, and those are personalities that I would rate low on a review, and may be tempted to put them on the bottom 10% anyway, so for them to leave would be desirable.

All the Yes Lakota people have to argue with is emotion,
• “The money is for the kids.” No it’s not, if it was, the LEA wouldn’t have threatened to strike in 2008 to get more money, and again in the spring of 2010.
• “We have to offer top pay for top teachers or they will leave.” No they won’t because the other districts are broke too and are getting ready to go through the same process Lakota is.
• “We have to protect property values by voting for the schools.” No you don’t. If taxes keep increasing that will kill real estate values anyway, tax payers in the district already pay $11 per $1000 assessment on their property.
• “I’m for education.” No you’re not. If you were, you’d keep the budget under $160 million. Throwing money at something doesn’t mean you’re for education. It means you don’t value the source of the money but want what the money can buy.
• “We have had explosive growth and must adjust to it.” Growth, like budgets can be controlled. If the cost is too high, growth will slow down, and growth will slow down because of the economy. Growth will also slow down from parents wanting to go to Lakota who aren’t willing to pay for the extra things they want, too. One of the reasons Yes People want sports and extracurricular activities is so enrollment will increase, so parents looking for those items can move to the district and participate cheaply. It’s all about job creating and getting parents used to programs that the district tax payers fund collectively. No different from colleges with NCAA programs that are nationally known for their sports, will see increases in enrollment. It’s always about increased enrollment so money can be justified.
• “The state is forcing us to all-day kindergarten.” No, the OEA lobbied to get all-day kindergarten passed, and the Republicans in the state house are getting ready to eliminate that unfunded mandate along with many other mandates lacking funding. So that anticipated requirement will be taken away from district budgets.
• “We have to spend $50,000 dollars to get the best superintendent we can get.” No, you are throwing money at the situation like you do everything else. It’s that kind of mentality that locked us into the contract with the LEA that is causing the current financial crises. Money does not equal quality. It seldom does. Money can be used to create competition, but it is useless without competition. If money is not getting you dramatic results, it is simply killing your budget.
• “Paying for a school levy keeps your money in the community.” No it doesn’t. The union dues collected by school unions are directly applied to liberal politicians that further perpetuate the bureaucratic mess creating expensive economic necessity. The OEA had revenue of over $62 million dollars in 2008. Where did that money come from? They don’t make any products that they can sell? Check the info for yourself here. All that money comes from union dues, paid from the salaries of teachers that are paid exceptionally well by the local tax payers. The average pay at Lakota for teachers is 62K per year. So the money doesn’t stay in the community.

Those are just some examples of how the Yes Lakota people are misleading the good people of the Lakota District. And they will continue to treat the voters like the fools they believe they are as long as it works.

Get ready for the next levy announcement for May. They’ll do it because they don’t know how to do anything else but ask for more money.

And you Yes Lakota people go ahead and leave your comments. I’ll post them, and I’ll use them. People need to see your thoughts. For those of you wanting to see some of them, read the comments here. I am quite aware that there are many people at many levels reading all the posts I’ve put up here and you’re looking for a way to spin it to your advantage. For an example, have a look at the work David Little from Progress Ohio attempted. I’m happy to fight your sloppy facts with the truth and if you want to spin the community around and make them so dizzy they can’t tell which way is up or down, I’ll continue to prevent it, as I have. And I’ll do it because I love my community, and I want to see education continue to be an option for families in the future. But it won’t be in a form controlled by organized labor. Those days are over.

Don’t believe me; read this from your parent union the OEA, this is how bad the financial situation is. Even the union staff is threatening to strike and the union itself is participating in union busting strategies.

The Ohio Education Association and Its Goose

The executives of the Ohio Education Association sent a memo informing local presidents that if the union gave in to striking staffers’ demands, it would require an $80 to $90 dues increase per member. Such an increase would raise roughly $10 million. That sounded familiar to me, so I checked the archives and found this, in the May 8, 2000 EIA Communiqué:
Ohio Education Association in Severe Financial Straits. The last time the Ohio Education Association negotiated a staff contract, in September 1997, it resulted in a two-week strike, restraining orders against picketers, and a lot of bad publicity. That contract expires this year and it’s bad financial news all around for OEA, its members, and the staff. OEA recently informed its local presidents that the union is facing a projected deficit of $6.3 million for next year. The union is asking staff to accept benefit cuts totaling $4 million. The rest of the deficit would be eliminated through a dues increase of up to $25 per member.

“Specifically, and regrettably, we can no longer afford to sustain the current number of OEA employees at their current level of compensation and benefits and continue to provide the expected level of services and programs without significantly raising OEA dues for you and every other member,” reads a memo from OEA President Mike Billirakis and Executive Director Robert Barkley.

Read the rest of the article here:

If our community is going to continue to be a “great” and “excellent” district, we have to get in front of this problem. Not avoid it by tossing more money at the problem. And the Yes Lakota people need to listen to the No Lakota People, because the solution is in good business strategy. The same tired old bullet points won’t be valid any longer. I’ll make sure of it.

Now, these video links exist elsewhere on this site, but I’ll put links here for your convenience. These are radio spots specifically dealing with education issues. Feel free to listen to the hours and hours of debate so you can form your own opinion about things. There are many radio personalities here, so the view points are varied. But the topics and discussions are fantastic.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Superintendent of Tomorrow

Bill Cunningham had on a superintendent from Clermont Northeastern that has been very successful at saving his district money by thinking “outside the box.” Listen to that interview here.

Here is a link to the district website:

What’s interesting about that interview is the superintendent is actively pursuing innovative cost savings as opposed to the approach at Lakota where they spent over $50,000 just searching for a new superintendent to replace the retiring Mike Taylor. The Lakota method is the “old” way, where inflated costs are built into every step of the process, and the footprints most always lead to organized labor.

The superintendent of tomorrow will find ways to save money at every turn, including the elimination of such extraordinary candidate searches as Lakota participated in. The School Board elected to spend $40,000 looking for a treasurer, and $50,000 looking for a superintendent that they haven’t yet hired.

The superintendent of tomorrow will not be bullied by union leaders as what happened at Lakota on the last Thursday of October 2008 where the teacher’s union of 1,200 members threatened to walk out on all 18,000 students they profess to think so much of. What was the primary issue in that proposed strike? Pay!

The superintendent of tomorrow wouldn’t have paid into the union system for 25 years or more and then take a passive position at the negotiating table as what happened when both sides, the LEA and the Lakota officials sat down after school that memorable Wednesday just before Halloween and finally hammered out an agreement at 12:30 AM Thursday morning, the day the LEA was ready to walk off the job.

I know quite a few teachers around the country. Specifically, in Oldham County, KY, which is one of Kentucky’s most exclusive communities, there is a teacher with a master’s degree in science that teaches geology, and his rate of pay is just shy of 50K. Doc Thompson a few weeks ago had on another teacher that was from Atlanta that was making wages in the mid-40’s, and I thought he had some valid arguments.

At Lakota, the LEA has been successful at convincing the School Board and the Superintendent that teachers should be paid on average over 62K per year, which is what they are currently being paid at Lakota. In fact, Mike Taylor is quoted saying, “I don’t think teachers are paid enough.” Such superintendents have recklessly encouraged the extraordinary wage rates that are occurring at Lakota.

And the economic disaster that is being described which is hitting Lakota is caused by these same wages that are too high if it is considered that state money is not a factor and that the communities must fund the budget on their own. The superintendent of tomorrow will help keep wage cost in line to protect the communities they serve and still maintain great teachers for a good price.

The superintendent of tomorrow will reflect the community, and will build an administration that does the same, and not be lap dogs for powerful unions, that takes the union dues collected from each teacher and applies those funds to progressive political candidates that only exacerbate the situation further at the state level. When it’s said that our tax money stays local, it does not. Those union dues work in a way to support democratic and progressive candidates, and are only a cleaver way invented by organized labor to prop up the candidates they support. The money originally comes from the local tax payer that just wants to have the community schools teach their children.

When we find this superintendent of tomorrow, we can begin to solve some of the problems of today, but not until then.

Now for those of you that want more information check out this press release from from the Buckeye Institute. I’m not the only one saying this stuff. Feel free to check the link at the end of the press release.   Oh, and you YesLakota people, I’m for education too.  Keep it under our 160 million dollar budget and we’ll all get along.  But don’t ask the community to pay for your poor business understanding.  Go ahead, check the link below

Buckeye Institute News Alert
Where Transparency Is More Than A Slogan And Ideas Really Do Matter

PRESS RELEASE January 18, 2010

Contact: Matt Mayer,

2010 K-12 Teacher Salary and Estimated Pension Data added to Searchable Database along with Search Counter

COLUMBUS – The Buckeye Institute for Public Policy Solutions today released on its website the 2010 K-12 salary and estimated pension data for all Ohio public school teachers. Unlike the data collected for previous years, the 2010 data includes salary and pension information for many superintendents, principals, and other administrative staff members. The pension data includes each teacher’s salary based on a 2,080-hour year (40 hour work-week, 52 week year) so users can properly evaluate teacher pay, as most teachers are contractually limited to working 1,350 hours per year.

In 2010, approximately 1,800 school employees earned over $100,000 per year. Due to increasing staffing costs, Ohio’s 613 public school districts are expected to face a $7.6 billion funding deficit by 2015, with personnel expenses consuming 96 percent of tax revenues.

In the last election, citizens used the Teacher Salary Database to hold their school districts accountable for spending choices, citing that average teacher salaries had grown at rates that, in many cases, far outpaced inflation.

In addition to the new data, the website now contains a search counter which records the number of searches performed in the eight database tools (State Salary, Federal Salary, Higher Ed Salary, Teacher Salary, Local Salary, School Data, County Data, and State Lobbyists). Since the website’s launch on April 30, 2010, visitors from 473 Ohio cities, the 49 other states, and 119 foreign countries have spent over 20,000 hours conducting almost 1.5 million data searches.

Buckeye Institute President Matt A. Mayer stated: “With so many school districts under financial duress, it is now even more important than ever that taxpayers know how school districts are spending their money. Instead of cutting staff positions, sports, bussing, and other programs, most school districts could balance their budgets without raising taxes through cutting staff compensation packages by a small percentage.”

The Teacher Salary data tool is available at

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Lakota Busing Cuts: Going Forward in Reverse

Seeing miles and miles of backed up traffic the morning that Lakota’s busing cuts were implemented was like watching a world of sanity coming undone and going backwards into a time of primeval foolishness. Scott Sloan and Tracy Jones capture the lunacy wonderfully.

It was the day after the dreaded “B Day” busing cuts at Lakota when I discussed the aftermath on The Big One with Doc Thompson.

So what’s the next step? Without question, the school system is poised to put another levy issue on the ballot targeting the roughly 10% that are anti-tax but only moderately. Those people will have to decide if they will be steadfast, or buckle under the pressure extorted by the busing cut strategy, because it’s all about converting a few percentage points in voter turnout, into a “yes” vote.

Oh, and click here to get a taste of what Doc was talking about regarding college education.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

China and the Cincinnati Bengals: Being tough, winning and losing.

When you talk to just about anybody about sports they are quick to declare what their favorite team should do in order to win. “Get rid of T.O. He costs too much and is a pain in the ass!” Or, “get rid of Chad, he runs his mouth too much, he’s too expensive and they can’t even win with him.” I am refereeing to a couple of players for the Cincinnati Bengals, and I hear comments to that effect all the time.

But speak to those same people about how to deal with Social Security, or Education, or any number of social programs, and people clam up and refuse to commit an opinion. I suppose that’s because the game under which politics is played is just too complicated for many of them, or they are taking something out of the systems in question, and lack the courage to assert an opinion.

And that’s the beauty of sports. Sports allow people to become arm-chair coaches because they don’t have anything invested in the team other than committing to an occasional game or a sport jersey. So they can be objective as to the possible problems with the team they’re watching.

People like Doc Thompson, and myself, can be objective about social issues, because we aren’t expecting government to do anything for us. I wrote off Social Security a long time ago, along with all the other entitlements that are floating around out there. So I particularly enjoyed Doc’s show on January 18, 2011 where he laid it on the line as to what the real problems are. Listen to that here.

Hey, he’s not exaggerating. The issue truly is whether or not the United States will stay on top of the heap in world affairs. We won’t do it complaining about silly issues as to whether or not Native American bones are returned to their graves, or whether or not the entire Constitution can be read because of our internal guilt over slavery. The rest of the world is not hindered by that type of restrictive guilt, and we have to compete with them economically.

My team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not in the playoffs, but I am proud of how they played over the 2010 season. I watched how management approached the off-season last year and I believe they are on the march to winning ways going forward. But the team in my home town, the Cincinnati Bengals continue to be a bad team no matter how much money they spend.

Now you can go to any sports bar in America and even a drunken fool could tell you why the Bengals can’t win. And the same holds true for our county. Everybody knows how to fix the problems. But we won’t win if we don’t toughen up. It’s that simple.

What Doc talks about in that clip is a perfectly articulated synopsis of our counties problem. It sounds easy to hear him say it, but he has the luxury of seeing things clearly, because he doesn’t want anything from government. People like Thompson rely on themselves first to do most things, so the problems are easy to see.

So America, you better get tough quick. Because being tough is how you win.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

The Taxpayers Deserve Better: Evil Prevails When Good People Do Nothing

It was a busy weekend and there was a lot of mud getting slung on the eve of the busing cuts. Once the owner of the Starkerz Bar and Grill, discussed in the audio clip from the Darryl Parks show on January 17, 2011, stated that she was willing to provide a statement that she’d stand behind, I felt comfortable to tell the story.

Even so, telling that story made me sick, because the whole event seems so petty. I don’t like being in the middle of that kind of thing, “mudslinging” but I am often reminded of how the Pro Side came after me when David Little was hired to attempt to smear my name with obvious attempts at slander. For instance, in that now famous six paragraph letter, there were 4 complete lies about me proclaimed in the body of the letter, along with several statements not even closely rooted to the truth, but designed to anger the people reading the letter.

I confronted Little about what he wrote, and he lied to me again, telling me that he hadn’t sent that letter to anyone. What he didn’t know was that I was tipped off by more than one person in the press, and Little confirmed my suspicions when he assumed the leak was WLW, which it wasn’t.

But that’s the game these people chose to play and every time I see them perpetuating the games progress, it reminds me of why these out-of-control budgets need to be brought into a realistic expectation.

Darryl mentioned that I did the Lakota Levy all by myself. It feels that way some of the time, but that’s not the case. There are lots of good people behind me. Most of them wanted to think about something else after the election, and to enjoy the holidays. The outrage over the bar and grill story brought many people’s minds back into the subject lately because that story is a very personal issue with many involved and is so openly wrong.

I’ve stayed with this topic all this time because the education system needs to be fixed, and the people getting in the way are bullies. They may wear perfume and dress nice. They may have a smile on their faces when they do the bullying, but the behavior I keep seeing has no other name.

And tax payers deserve better. And they are going to have it…………………………………….

So those of you that are up to no good, and want to play these games, remember, there will be leaks. And when I get them, I’ll post them. I won’t do it until someone is willing to stand behind the statements. There has to be proof. But I will hold those accountable that wish to bully others into turning a blind eye to the disingenuous behavior exhibited toward our community tax payers.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Forensic Anthropology Jobs Needed: Another Government Debacle

My wife and I had dinner with an instructor for Forensic Anthropology on Saturday and I learned how there is a shortage of Forensic Anthropologists. That little fact surprised me. “How can that be? Where do you find Forensic Anthropology employment? Who’s paying for them?” It was an honest question.

I received an honest answer. “The shortage is due to museums and other research facilities that are trying to comply with the “Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act”

“The what?” I asked. “What the hell is that?”

He proceeded to educate me which is most accurately described in this definition from Wikipedia.
The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), Pub.L. 101-601, 104 Stat. 3048, is a United States federal law passed on 16 November 1990 requiring federal agencies and institutions that receive federal funding[1] to return Native American cultural items and human remains to their respective peoples. Cultural items include funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony. In addition, it authorizes a program of federal grants to assist in the repatriation process. It is now the strongest federal legislation pertaining to aboriginal remains and artifacts.
“Are you kidding me?” I asked. “What bunch of idiots passed that law? That has to cost a fortune.”

My dinner guest was agreeing with me, but being a man of science, he is eternally sympathetic to funding needs. Then I remembered when he and I had watched John Dunbar’s epic journey into the land of the Sioux Nation together around that time, then it came back to me. The film Dances with Wolves by Kevin Costner came out on November 21st of 1990. And the NAGPRA was passed just days before the release of the film.

The Heard Museum Report had been debated for three years starting in 1987 and had been passed by the 101st Congress as advanced copies of Dances With Wolves was circulating around Washington, after all Costner has just had a wild success with Field of Dreams. So there was a lot of buzz around the new movie about Native Americans. So with the usual sentimentality that engulfs the puffy coffee enriched minds of bureaucracy, they passed the NAGPRA without thinking much about the cost to science, or the tax payer.

“That is one of the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard in the history of bad ideas,” I stated in clichéd fashion, knowing it was a cliché when I said it.

My dinner guest proceeded to educate me on various cases and pointed me in the direction of an article by Jan Bernstein:

NAGPRA – Future Applicability Rule
Article written for SPNHC by Jan Bernstein
Does the institution that you work for have Native American cultural items under its control or in its possession and does it also receive Federal funds? If so, more than likely you already know that your institution is a “museum” and therefore is legally required to comply with 25 U.S.C. 3001, which is more commonly known as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act or NAGPRA. But what you might not know is that there are new NAGPRA compliance rules for what is known in the Act as Future Applicability.

These rules apply to the following situations: 1) The museum or Federal agency acquires a new collection item or finds a previously unreported item that may be covered by the Act (covered items are Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony; 2) A previously unrecognized Indian group is recognized by the Federal government as an Indian tribe. 3) An institution in possession or control of an item or items that may be covered by the Act receives Federal funds for the first time; and 4) The museum or Federal agency revises a decision previously published in the Federal Register.

The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) was signed into law on November 16, 1990, but it wasn’t until March 21, 2007 that the final rule for §10.13 Future Applicability of NAGPRA was promulgated. It was published in Federal Register Volume 72, Number 54 and it applies to existing and newly acquired museum collections. Those are Sections Five, Six, and Seven of the Act. It does not apply to inadvertent discoveries or planned excavations which are addressed in Section Three of the Act.

The Future Applicability rules became effective on April 20, 2007. And on that date it established statutory deadlines for completion of NAGPRA Section Five Human Remains Inventories/Notices of Inventory Completion and NAGPRA Section Six Summaries (unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony). For you organization, the first deadline may be October 20, 2007. The rule set a six months deadline to produce and distribute a NAGPRA Section Six Summary for a new holding or a previously unreported holding newly located that may be unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects, or objects of cultural patrimony. October 20, 2007 is the deadline for the Summary distribution if the new holding was acquired or found prior to April 20, 2007. Your organization has two years from the promulgation date or acquisition/discovery date to prepare a NAGPRA Section Five Human Remains Inventory/Notice of Inventory Completion in consultation with affiliated Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. If the new holding was acquired or located prior to April 20, 2007, you have until April 20, 2009 to do culturally affiliation consultation and distribute a NAGPRA Section Five Human Remains Inventory and publish a Notice of Inventory Completion in the Federal Register.

A newly Federally recognized Indian tribe has standing under NAGPRA and museums and Federal agencies covered by the Act are required by the Future Applicability Rule to send Section Six Summaries to these Tribes within six month of recognition. Federal Agencies and museums are also required within two years of recognition to prepare in consultation with culturally affiliated Indian tribes NAGPRA Section Five Inventories/Notices of Inventory Completion.

Maybe your organization didn’t receive any Federal funds between November 16, 1990 when the law passed and November 16, 1995 when the last deadline occurred. But since that time it began to receive such funds. Those funds may be flowing directly to your organization or to your parent organization. For example, maybe you are working for private college anthropology or art department and another department at the college started to accept Federal contracts or grants after 11/16/1995. Those funds have redefined your department as a museum covered by NAGPRA. If this is the case, your organization is required to comply with NAGPRA. If you find your organization is in this situation, you must within three years from the time the Federal funds were received or from the effective date of the Rule (4/10/07), whichever is later provide a Section Six Summary to Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations that are most likely to be culturally affiliated. Within Five years of the date of receipt of Federal funds, or within five years of the effective date of this Rule, whichever is later, you must prepare, in consultation with affiliated Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, a Section Five Human Remains Inventory/Notice of Inventory Completion.

If your organization previously published a Notice of Inventory Completion, but the information has since substantively changed, the Future Applicability Rule requires a Notice of Inventory Completion Correction be published in the Federal Register. A substantive change is a change in the culturally affiliated Indian tribes or a change in the minimum number of individuals count. The National NAGPRA Program will assist you with this process.

What does this mean for those of you who represent a Federally Recognized Indian tribe? Well, I hope you will see some new Summaries hitting your desk as well as an increase in the number of requests to consult in preparation of new human remains Inventories.
The rules can be found on the National NAGPRA Program’s web site. I wish you all great success in your NAGPRA compliance efforts.
“How can an anthropologist or archeologist be expected to return the remains of Indian Tribes when much of the tribal movements aren’t even understood by anybody yet? There are still completely mysterious cultures that no science organization understands regarding Native Americans.” I was thinking of Cahokia outside of St. Louis, and several of the mound builders in the Ohio Valley. The Shawnee had in fact migrated from Florida before settling in Ohio. Few tribes could be traced back for thousands of years.

The instructor laughed. “That’s part of the problem. There are a lot of finds and burial relics that predate 1492, so it is nearly impossible to return cultural items to specific tribes.”

I was getting angry. “What about the ancestors of Anglo Saxons that were fleeing tyrants of Europe to settle the frontier that were cannibalized in giant kettles and eaten like soup, entire families were slain for no reason what-so-ever.”

“That’s not politically correct,” he laughed at me.

“That’s politics, which is the same as what comes out of an elephants ass.”

“Well,” he said, “its business. Laws like that put people to work and make people feel like they’re doing something important.”

He mentioned Bernstein and Associates, who I looked up and read their literature.
Bernstein & Associates, LLC
We work with Indian tribes, museums, universities, and governmental agencies on Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) compliance projects.

Services we provide to our clients

NAGPRA Grant Writing
We write successful Consultation/Documentation and Repatriation grant proposals.
Our clients have received over $1,000,000 (one million dollars) in
NAGPRA Consultation/Documentation and Repatriation Grant grant awards.
Annually since 1999, we have written at least one NAGPRA Consultation/Documentation grant for clients and every year we’ve had a grant funded.

Jan Bernstein teaches a two-day NAGPRA Grant Writing Seminar for the National Preservation Institute.

NAGPRA Consultation Support
There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into NAGPRA consultation planning, implementation, documentation, and follow-up. Official tribal representatives frequently praise our culturally sensitive, insightful, respectful approach to consultation. Bernstein & Associates helps Indian tribes, museums, and federal agencies with all phases to whatever degree suits your needs:
• Meeting planning
• Consultation preparation including document research and assembly
• Consultation documentation
• Consultation follow-up

Since 1990, we have organized and facilitated several hundred individual and group consultations with tribes that have traditional territory in all regions of the country including Alaska and Hawaii.

Repatriation, Physical Transfer, and Reburial
We have worked with tribal leaders, official tribal NAGPRA representatives, and traditional religious leaders in the Southwest, Plains, Great Basin, and Southeastern US as well as Peru (non-NAGPRA) to facilitate the repatriation and reburial of nearly 1000 individuals and hundreds of cultural items. Bernstein & Associates is available to:
• Write repatriation grant proposals for up to $15,000 to defray the costs associated with reburial
• Provide assistance in writing valid repatriation requests and repatriation claims
• Write draft notices of intent to repatriate
• Facilitate the development and implementation of reburial plans and agreements

NAGPRA Summary and Human Remains Inventory Preparation
Because of the long-standing, positive working relationships that we have built with the tribes throughout the U.S since the mid 1980s, we are extremely successful in aiding clients in the preparation of culturally sensitive NAGPRA Summaries and Inventories. Every client utilizes our services in a slightly different way. Some of the many services we provided to clients are:
. Assess collections to determine which tribes should receive summaries and invitations to consult on cultural affiliation for development of Inventories
– Write letters to tribes using our tribal contact database, which is constantly updated with current contact information for tribal leaders and NAGPRA reps, as well as consultation style preferences
– Initiate Summary consultation after initial correspondence
– Facilitate NAGPRA consultation conferences

Strategic Planning

We help clients assess what needs to be done to comply with NAGPRA, how long it will take, and develop a chronology. We then break it down into manageable projects that could be funded by grants for museum clients. We provide clients with a written plan that can be used to track progress.

“So it’s all about getting federal grants,” I asked.

He smiled and sipped his wine. “It’s always about money, and that’s why there’s a need for Forensic Anthropologists.”
Then our conversation over the rest of the wine migrated to the Kennewick Man, which I found a nice back story below.
Source World of Forensic Science
The remains of an ancient human found along a river in Kennewick, Washington, in 1996 set off a heated debate about the ownership and future of the skeleton. Scientists argued that the skeleton, dubbed Kennewick Man, could provide new information about human migration in North America, while Native Americans claimed him as an ancestor and wanted to bury him according to their rites. Forensic anthropological findings and cultural evidence were presented in court procedures over the course of nine years while the fate of the Kennewick Man was debated.

The story of Kennewick Man began in July 1996, when two college students watching hydroplane races found a human skeleton along the Columbia River. The young men turned the remains over to local police, who realized that they were probably very old. The bones were then given to forensic anthropologist James Chatters for evaluation. Chatters reconstructed the skeleton, which was 80–90% complete. He determined that it was from a man who was probably five feet nine or 10 inches and about 40–50 years old when he died. He showed little evidence of arthritis, indicating that he wasn’t used to carrying heavy weights and that he might have been a wandering hunter. Dental examinations showed that the skull contained 30 of the 32 teeth and that they were in good shape, indicating that he probably had a diet that included lots of soft foods like meat. He was taller and thinner than most ancient Native Americans and the back of his skull was not flattened from a cradleboard as is commonly observed in skeletons of ancient Native Americans. In addition, the man had a stone spear point lodged in his pelvis and there was evidence of severe trauma to his rib cage that probably limited the use of his arm. Using computerized tomography (CT), Chatters determined that the spear point was serrated and leaf-shaped and typical of the types of spears used between 8500–4500 years ago. He hypothesized that the skeleton was either from a European pioneer who had been attacked by native people using stone-age weapons or from an ancient human. Chatters sent pieces of the bones to a laboratory for carbon dating, which determined that the age of the skeleton was between 9,200–9,400 years old, making the skeleton one of the oldest, and most complete, ever found in North America.
Once the age of the skeleton was determined, several groups came forward, vying for control of the remains. A group of five Native American tribes in the region, the Umatilla, the Yakama, the Nez Perce, the Wanapum, and the Colville, wanted to accord the remains the same rites given to any Native American, namely a speedy burial. They cited the legal authority of the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGRA), which requires the return of American Indian remains to tribes. As news of the unique find spread throughout the scientific community, a coalition of eight anthropologists and archaeologists petitioned for their right to study the ancient remains prior to burial. The scientists believed that study of the Kennewick Man could reveal important information about early human migrations into North America. The Native American group believed that any manipulation of the remains would show enormous disrespect to the dead and vehemently opposed scientific investigation of the skeleton, which they called the Ancient One. Because some of the features of the Kennewick Man, such as his height and the shape of his skull, indicated that he might not be of Native American ancestry but rather of European descent, a group of people representing the ancient Norse religion called Asatru also petitioned the court for the right to the remains.

The ensuing legal battle raged for more than nine years. One of the key questions of debate in the courts concerned whether or not the skeleton was subject to NAGRA. NAGRA requires that all Native American remains be returned to the tribe for burial, however it was unclear if the Kennewick man was of Native American ancestry. Eventually the court ruled that some scientific study was required in order to establish the origin of the skeleton and between 1998 and 2000, the Department of the Interior coordinated these studies. A 1999 physical examination of the bones established that the Kennewick Man shared most physical characteristics with people from Southern Asia. In April 2000, samples of bone from the Kennewick Man’s skeleton were removed and sent to two different laboratories for DNA testing. Because of the age of the bones, it was impossible to extract sufficient DNA for analysis and the results of the study were inconclusive. After a series of appeals by all sides, in February 2004, a U.S. Federal judge ruled that it was impossible to prove that the Kennewick Man’s ancestry was culturally affiliated to any of the Native American tribes in the region and gave scientists the right to go forward with their investigation. In 2005, plans were outlined for study three-phase study involving as many as 23 different scientists.

The dinner was over and it was time to go home. The impact of this NAGPRA has seriously hampered science by bringing politics into the whole business and allowed ourselves to be hampered by sensitivity. America had allowed our guilt over pushing the Native American’s westward to cripple us the same way we currently do over slavery, neither of which we can do anything about now. All we can do is learn from those experiences, which is what science is all about.

Instead of learning and expanding our worldly knowledge, we’re wasting time appeasing political factions, getting grants so we can move some bones around the country and argue over bones that pre-date our known understanding of history, which is shallow at best.

But that is the nature of politics. It’s equivalent to living life in a straight jacket. All I can do is shake my head at the invention of yet another useless government created position, a Forensic Anthropologist that spends less time digging and understanding the past, and more time filling out papers to qualify for federal grants.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Facebook to PeopleString: The Next Step is Right in Front of You.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about innovation and the “next” generation of things. It was in Hollywood that I first learned about Facebook, which to this day refuse to participate in. When Facebook came out all the rage was Myspace so the evolution of these “social networking” sites was well under way.

My feeling about Facebook is mixed. I personally don’t like how open it is, and I don’t like how it knows and remembers so much about you. It is too good at connecting people, and to me is creepy. I read a book years ago by Jim Mars called Rule By Secrecy, which seemed like extreme fiction at the time, but since that book’s publication only a decade or so ago, much has changed. Governments don’t have to do a lot of “big brother” surveillance of its citizenship, because people are posting their every movement now on Facebook, GPS units and cell phones anyway.

That aside, “social network” sites are good at what they do, and obviously human beings desire such easy interaction. That leads to the obvious question, what’s the next generation of social networking?

When I first heard about Facebook, only a handful of actors were participating, to help launch it and get other people to want to use it. Myspace was still way out in front, and Facebook was not a reasonable challenge………yet.
Now Myspace is old news, and Facebook is all the rage. All that happened in about a 5 year span. You have to move fast in this new “computer economy.”

My son-in-law is actually riding one of the waves of what may become the “next step” in that computer economy. When he first told me about it I was skeptical. But I’ve watched it develop over the last 9 months and I’ve seen him get some fairly decent returns on his entrepreneurial investment. So I have some inside info on what I think is the next step. It’s at least a bridge to the next step, and is worth looking at. It’s called PeopleString. So I’ll let him explain it, because he’s the expert.
This is how to get set up.

This guy isn’t my son-in-law, but he does a nice job of explaining some of the features.

So far, there are a lot of these types of videos emerging, and this is reminding me of how Facebook felt when it was first introduced. So if you’re looking for something new and fresh that can connect to all your current stuff, you might want to look into it.

No catch, there’s a chance to make a little money with their ponzi setup to get the word out, but the real value is in the convenience. The web is definitely headed in the direction PeopleString is exploring. So you might as well get on the train while it’s in the station.

Check out my son-in-law’s Youtube site dedicated to PeopleString for more info.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Things Will Never Be the Same! Educate Ohio is Uniting the State

I’ve been working with a group of reform minded people all over Ohio. In fact there are a number of these types of movements going on, while sadly, the school systems are playing the same old game. Here is an article from Larry Budd, writer for the Dayton Daily News.

To give a bit of background, Kelly is a board member for Springboro whom I’ve had some great discussions with, and Paul Lambert has been instrumental at getting things started with some fantastic facts and figures. He resides and does most of his business in Columbus and is a great resource. You can see some of Paul’s work here:

Paul and Kelly are a lot more patient than I am regarding politics, and are great people to be at the front of this effort. 

School-levy foes back to work on new state group

Educate Ohio would be an alternative to the Ohio School Boards Association.

By Lawrence Budd, Staff Writer Updated 2:04 AM Friday, January 14, 2011

CLEARCREEK TWP., Warren County — Selected board members from school districts in six Ohio counties will huddle Saturday in Warren County to continue the creation of Educate Ohio, a new organization designed in part to make up for perceived shortcomings of the Ohio School Boards Association.

“There are board members that aren’t necessarily following the teachings of OSBA,” said Springboro board member Kelly Kohls. “It’s probably a presentation of the other side of issues. We need someone presenting the taxpayer points of view.”
OSBA executive director Rick Lewis said his group — governed by board members supported by all but three of Ohio’s 719 school districts, including Springboro — communicates information and curriculum used to educate school board members across the country.

“We’re very responsive to changing our priorities,” he said. “Sometimes there’s just different perspectives on how to get there.”

Kohls said her group would provide the public different perspectives on budgeting, tax levies and negotiating contracts with teachers’ unions.

The state teachers’ union, the Ohio Education Association, questioned whether the public would turn to Educate Ohio for information.

“The media and the public tend to turn to state educational organizations that represent hundreds of thousands of education personnel. They have a proven track record of working with education policy,” said spokeswoman Michele Prater.
Educate Ohio also would help other grass-roots statewide organizations, such as Educate Springboro, Educate Hilliard and Educate Worthington, which opposed recent levies in those districts.

The group was conceived in Hilliard by school board member and blogger Paul Lambert.
“We’re not trying to build some statewide political force. We really want to help the folks in the local communities,” he said.
Lambert purchased the web address, as well as web addresses for community-based offshoots in Hilliard and Worthington, two Columbus suburbs. He provided the address used by Educate Springboro, a community group that formed a political action committee to oppose a November property tax levy that would have generated new operating money for the district.

While a founder of Educate Ohio, Kohls has emphasized she is not a member of Educate Springboro.
“You have to kind of remove yourself from any political-action group,” said Don Miller, incoming president of the Springboro board. “It’s kind of our job to look at it from a big-picture perspective.”

Current, former or aspiring board members from Marysville to Versailles and Kettering to Springboro are planning to attend the 2 p.m. meeting at the Clearcreek Twp. Government Center. Yet Miller said, “I had no idea” about the meeting in his district.

It is the group’s second meeting following one in December at the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon. In addition to current, former or aspiring board members from Springboro, Hilliard, Marysville and Grove City districts, the meeting is expected to attract people such as Rich Hoffman of, which opposed a recent levy for Lakota Local Schools in Butler County.
Hoffman suggested public education reform hinges on decisions by Gov. John Kasich and progress in settling debates over equity in school funding that go back decades.

Herb Ernst, a former Oakwood board member affiliated with Citizens Advocating Responsible Government, a PAC that questioned school spending in Kettering, said his local group is considering adopting the name, Educate Kettering.
While hesitating to yet call himself an Educate Ohio member, Ernst said he planned to attend Saturday’s meeting.
“I think there’s going to be growing interest,” Ernst said.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

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