The fight to control spending at our public school of Lakota has revealed a new twist this past week. The school board is now claiming that they have no control over negotiating salaries, and that their legal counsel has advised them that salary reductions are “off the table.”
It’s pretty difficult to control costs as a management board if you can’t manage 80% of your costs. And knowing several local school board members I know they can’t just mandate reductions without union approval. But they could have at least asked the question, putting the burden on the labor union to reject, therefore letting the public see the real villains behind the out-of-control spending problem within the Lakota School District. Because until that is done, the school board will get the blame for not managing the costs the tax payers have sent to the school.
It has been to my great relief to see several new faces beginning to attend the school board meetings and speak up, particularly the man pictured here who lambasted the school board and Mantia specifically for allowing the budget problem to virtually destroy Lakota as a school instead of placing the burden back on the union who has concocted up every legal trick in the book to protect their salaries even if it means the demise of the district completely. Without doubt many of the current employees at Lakota are hoping to keep the system intact just long enough for them to retire. They could care less what happens to the rest of the community in the process.
I became very frustrated two weeks ago when I wasted the time to attend a school board meeting only to see them performing in the same manner as always, even after all that has been said and done over the last three elections and defeat of the proposed tax increases. My frustration with them has led me to tell the people I know to just pull the plug and teach kids themselves, or send them to a private school if they can afford it. By the time a parent pays or all the transportation costs, the sports fees and all other associated fees, public school is no longer free, as our tax money has been hijacked by a union labor force purely concerned with their own well-beings, as demonstrated by their actions.
My relief in these new heroes who are showing up in these dark days is welcomed because it will take more than my voice alone to continue to illustrate the problems at Lakota. And I want those voices to know that there is plenty of room in the No Lakota Levy tent for your voices, or to even start a group of your own. In our group there are no power struggles, there is no ego to get in the way of successfully defeating tax increases because a tax increase of any kind at this point in time would kill our community on the business side of its development, and we are fighting to keep it intact, so we don’t care who speaks to the paper, or who is on TV. We only care that the job gets done.
In No Lakota Levy I have taken on the role of being the visible target so I could take the bullets. In reality No Lakota Levy is very deep as an organization. One way to know the location of your enemy is to get them to take shots at you and see where the smoke comes from. That’s how you determine the position of a sniper; you look for the blast signature. Since I don’t care about public opinion, or care to ever run for public office, or plan to work with people who do want to run for public office, I am free to be that target and take the shots as our spotters in No Lakota Levy look for where the snipers are. Once we find them, we have been attacking them and exposing their cover.
In spite of what the Lakota School Board member Julie Shaffer pro levy groupies think, my intentions are much larger than a school levy fight. I only participate because this battle is in my back yard and I’m actually doing research for a novel I’m getting ready to start, and the evil people involved in extorting money from innocent families and their children is something I feel very passionate about, so passionate that this will be the subject of a future novel. Since I have done so much work behind and in front of a camera, it was the natural pick to have me be that target, which I have been happy to do not only for the satisfaction of beating back a system I consider inherently evil, but for research into my own future work. And this is why I haven’t had the time to hang out at school board meetings every time they call one. The meeting on Monday, March 12th will be the third school board meeting in one week. And remember the school board members get paid for every meeting they attend. My conclusion is that the board must need to compensate themselves for the increase in gas prices, which is why they are having so many meetings lately. Because once they get there they don’t do anything but cut aspects of education that aren’t in their contract with the labor unions.
Currently I have been putting the final touches on my Tail of the Dragon novel that is due out this year (2012) as it has just returned successfully from the copy editor. In fact as I was writing this my editor sent me the final proof of the summary of that book as it will appear on the back cover. Here is it:
Rick Stevens—a rebellious loner whose NASCAR dreams have fallen short—falls victim to the governor’s plans to run for President of the United States. Governor Wellington Royce of Tennessee relies on support from the Fraternal Order of Police to catapult him into the White House. Royce beefs up the police presence on The Great Smoky Mountains’ highways, and offers incentives to those generating citations from tourists. Thrown in jail, abused, and setup, Rick Stevens accepts an offer from the governor’s political enemies to declare war on the highway patrol. With twenty million dollars, Rick builds the car of his dreams and wreaks havoc in what will become the greatest car chase in history. The car chase becomes a journey of self-discovery and newfound romance, as a gauntlet of guns, missiles, and the might of the military wait for him at the finish line. The treachery of politics proves more sinister than even death.
I also spent the last two weeks as the Butler County Coordinator for the Workplace Freedom Amendment that we are shooting to put before Ohio voters in 2013. And I have been working hard with our team at No Lakota Levy to begin the new foundation Yes to Lakota Kids, so time has been short, and I simply do not have the time to sit and listen to a bunch of cackling chickens talk about nothing at a school board meeting. But yet the job does need to be done and I am very happy to see more members of the community getting involved.
Many people around Cincinnati do not remember when I released my book The Symposium of Justice in 2004. My marketing of that book was interrupted slightly by the Lakota levy fights of 2004 and 2005 which overshadowed much of the good press I was involved in when that book was released, which was a comparatively smaller project than the one I am currently working on called Tail of the Dragon. The marketing for The Symposium centered around Dayton and involved Wild West shows and film festivals primarily and served as a platform for setting up this most recent novel. The marketing for Tail of the Dragon, which I’m at work on right now will heavily involve the market of New York, Los Angeles, of course Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Atlanta, Nashville and Orlando specifically and will involve an aggressive radio campaign along with television.
And that comes back around to the Lakota Levy fight and the reason I have written so much on this blog. These postings I do hope will help people, because I write to share big ideas with people, hoping that they may become inspired to act. But my next book I have been trying to get my mind around for the last four years and I’m about ready to begin. It called, Overmanwarrior: The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan. I anticipate that this book will take me 5 years to write and will end up somewhere around one million words. To put that into perspective, for those who know how big the book Atlas Shrugged is, that classic novel by Ayn Rand is 645,000 words. My Overmanwarrior: The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan will be nearly twice as long.
I did not set out to write a book inspired by Ayn Rand. But my character of Fletcher Finnegan, introduced in The Symposium of Justice is very similar to John Galt as both characters are contemplations into the kind of character Friedrich Nietzsche explored in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, my favorite book of all time. Galt’s protagonist aims are to use his two friends to help the makers of the world withdrawal from the looters of society to illustrate the fault of collectivism so that proper identity and respect can be placed on those of value in society. Fletcher Finnegan in The Symposium of Justice was a kind of modern Zorro character, but in The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan he has evolved into the embodiment of the five primary characters in Atlas Shrugged all rolled up into one person. Instead of withdrawing from society as Galt advocated in Atlas Shrugged, Finnegan fights back in very flamboyant ways on a scale never before seen in a literary protagonist. I use Atlas as an example because that is the only novel I know of which has such strong protagonists. There simply isn’t any other example. Not even Zarathustra himself from Nietzsche’s classic achieved such a level.
The blog here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom is in effect a tool that the public can use to get its news outside of the traditional media outlets. But for me personally, it is production notes for creating this epic novel. And to get an understanding of how large a book of over 1 million words would be, as of this writing here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom there are currently just over 600 postings each running between 1500 and 2000 words each. Doing a rough estimation I have written currently on this blog site alone, over 1 million words in just a year and a half. So writing The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan over a 5 year span is certainly doable.
However, convincing a publisher to carry such a large book in print is a task in itself. It’s simply not done in the publishing world today. People do not read enough, even though book stores are more plentiful than ever and such a large book is intimidating. So to pull it off, I need to have a good commercial response to my Tail of the Dragon coming out in 2012 and going into 2013 in order to convince the publishers to carry such a large book, and I will need to use the finances off Dragon to help me fund the creation of Fletcher Finnegan. By funding I mean giving me the time to make a living while writing this very involved book. I calculate it to be a 10 hour a day job for about two years to pull off. Not just in writing, but the concept building. By the time The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan hits book stores I should be about to just turn 50 years old, and by then I hope to see that society has shifted from the current status of being a decadent blob of fools plummeting down a singularity toward the circumstances shown in A Brave New World, to one that is hopeful represented by the Tea Parties.
On Saturday I attended a class of such people from all walks of life who wanted to learn how to fix the world one vote at a time. I was refreshed to see young people in the audience taking notes. I met several other people who wanted to become very active who live within a few miles of me currently and were my own age. Chris Osterhues from the popular motorcycle group Sons of Liberty Riders approached me to introduce himself as I spoke with old freedom fighting friends and laughed with new ones. The person who invited me to this event said, “So Rich, when are you going to run for something. You’re popular, people like you, you’re controversial, you should run for an office.”
I told her, “I just want to write my books. I want to feed these people with ideas to carry them through the tangled web of politics. I want to give their minds food.” She and I sat for a moment in silence as the setting sun warmed our faces and just looked at the large crowd of people, who a year ago weren’t even thinking about being involved in anything political, and now they were taking a class to learn how to fight back against the evils of progressivism, and I breathed a little easier. In the beginning it was much harder, and now with more people involved, the battlefield slant is looking to turn in our direction. And five years from now, when those people and thousands like them are knee-deep in the trenches I want a to give them a work of modern American philosophy in the spirit of Ayn Rand, Ben Franklin, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the great John Locke to energize their spirits and carry them through to the next phase. It’s not enough to just show up for a school board meeting, or to fight tyranny in high-profile media battles. The culture of corruption itself must be dealt with, and the nature of mankind’s failure. In culture building, it comes from art that something old and ugly like progressivism must be replaced with something new that contains within it the original ideas that built America to begin with. In 2012 my contribution will be Tail of the Dragon. And by 2017-2018 it will be Overmanwarrior: The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan, the long-awaited sequel to The Symposium of Justice.
So I have plans that are large in scope. I’m about to become a grandfather by one of my daughters so on the family front I am as busy as I’ve ever been and if my mind has always been obsessed with philosophy and deep contemplation it is now more than ever, because such a book as The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan is completely new ground from the stand point of an author. It’s as difficult of a concept to wrap a mind around as the book that inspired the name of Fletcher Finnegan, another favorite of mine from James Joyce called Finnegan’s Wake, a book that is a puzzle, within a puzzle, within a puzzle. Every word in that classic book seems to have multiple meanings and seems to be written in some ancient language, but it’s not. My task as a writer is to unravel those puzzles so that the people who want to become involved, my freedom fighting friends at the Saturday class, my motorcycle friends at the Sons of Liberty, and people like the guy pictured above who have joined in the school levy fights can pick up those unraveled words and consume them like food for their minds so that they can then pick up the world and carry it upon their backs to resurgence.
So it has been a welcomed sight to see more and more people getting involved. And please, do not think for a moment that by doing so you will be stepping on my toes. If you are reading this and would like to speak to members of the media along with me, or in my place, let me know. I will arrange it. The fight at Lakota is not Rich Hoffman’s fight. I am just the target that is taking bullets for the cause to allow it to mature behind the scenes as my friends look for the snipers positioned to shoot at me, allowing us to discover who the enemies are and where they hide. The problems at Lakota just like the problems of America will not be solved in such conflicts, but when more and more people step forward and begin to smoke out the enemies where they hide as we spot them. And to do that will require more foot soldiers than we currently have and will take a number of years to achieve.
Taken in small bits, the job is not difficult. It simply requires us all to take responsibility for the world around us and not to trust those who we elect blindly. The stories I place here will most likely in some form or another find their way into my 2017 book Overmanwarrior: The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan so consider it all a sneak peek, a behind the scenes look at the production notes I’m using to unravel the gigantic puzzle of the human race taking a new step into a larger world. And that is the task I spend most of my time puzzling through.
One of my daughters visited me on Friday night as my wife made a fantastic dinner–a curry dish that belonged in a five-star restaurant. As the aroma danced from the kitchen and my family awaited the start of the epic Clone Wars episode featuring Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace, my daughter showed me the new book she had just bought. It was a DK Publication, The History of Philosophy. Both of my daughters are very deep thinkers, and it gave me great joy to see that this 22-year-old woman considered this great book to be recreational reading, and she was glowing with excitement showing me its contents, which were immaculate.
The food was delivered to my lap by my smiling wife who was very proud of her curry creation and my family gathered around the TV to watch our long-awaited episode of Star Wars on The Cartoon Network. As the show started and I ate my food I realized that there was hope, that under all the bad news people are waking up. My daughters certainly are, but beyond that, there are common everyday people who are beginning to get engaged, the way they should have been all along.
Once everyone went home for the night, I spent the next three hours reading all my email. Finally at 3:33 AM in the morning I wrote the first words of my next novel, Overmanwarrior: The Trial of Fletcher Finnegan.
Fletcher Finnegan began again the fate of justice long vanquished by tyranny in the hearts of man.
For more on this character as I have worked to flush out the concept you can see it at this link:
And as to others who wish to become involved…………don’t be shy. It won’t hurt my feelings to have other names appear in the paper and to speak on TV. It will give me pride in my community and might just end up in my future novel.