‘No Lakota Levy’ Hosts a “Community Conversation”: Results from Jefferey Stec

Who wants to tell me I’m being an “extremist” for calling teachers of public education socialists, which I have been doing for years now?  The video below shows the teachers from the Chicago Teachers Union celebrating their money grabbing victory after their recent strike.  Watch carefully.  These are the kinds of employees who are asking for a tax increase off of property values in our communities.  The time has come to ask if we really want socialist public workers teaching our children at all, let alone at the expensive sum of money they are demanding to do it.

 

A week ago some of the members of No Lakota Levy hosted a “Community Conversation” which is the $40,000 program pushed by Lakota Superintendent Karen Mantia and conducted by the progressive Cincinnati activist Jeffery Stec. Below are the results of that meeting so it can be seen what Jeffery is trying to do and how the meetings are to be conducted. I thought it was odd that they put the name of the host on their mass mailings to the entire district. I would think it would discourage people from volunteering in the future. So for the sake of this article I took the homeowner’s name off the letterhead out of courtesy. To see my comments about the “community conversation” program CLICK HERE.

Below is the outcome of the meeting as Jeffery sent it out to the residents of the Lakota School District. For my readers here I have hot linked each item with an article I have written in the past regarding Lakota and their failures to balance their budget. So feel free to click on each item to see what I’ve said leading up to this meeting.  As to what’s wrong with public education the Chicago Teacher’s Union tells the whole story.  Any public school that has a union like the one shown in the video below should be replaced with a competitive alternative. 

Defining a Good School District
A Community Conversation 9-13-2012

1. Non-curricular goals
a. Kids have transportation to school (differing opinions about bus transit)
b. Buildings look nice, well maintained
2. Outcomes
a. Kids can compete globally
b. Kids are motivated
3. Taught values
a. Honor
b. Integrity
c. Kids speak well of teachers
d. Kids have a good social culture with peers
4. Taught skills
a. Technology
5. Educational process
a. Much one-on-one time between teachers and children
i. Address specific needs of individual kids
ii. Maximize potential of each child at their pace
iii. Get optimum classroom size
b. Kids are engaged
i. With the educational material
ii. With other kids socially
iii. They compete for grades
c. Teachers
i. Are proud of their jobs and the district
ii. They have integrity
iii. Care for students
iv. Involved in community outside of teaching
v. Willing to do more
vi. Creative
vii. Honorable, professional, integrity
viii. Fulfilled
6. Administration
a. Proactive to address issues before problems arise
b. District listens to community needs—it’s a two-way, respectful conversation
c. Fight for right answer, not what is easy (e.g. giving in to union)
d. Financial issues
i. Be efficient, disciplined, and creative with finances
1. But “to a point”—don’t overly compromise effective teaching
ii. Be a resourceful district—find a way to make it work
iii. Balanced budget—live within its means
iv. Community needs have priority over union demands
1. Fight the union
2. Lower teacher costs by 5%
v. District tightens belt as community does
vi. Don’t use cuts to scare parents into supporting levy
e. Employees
i. Competent employees
ii. Frugal employees
iii. Accountable employees—they care about district outcomes and resources
f. Kids not involved in levy debate

Rich Hoffman

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The “Ayn Rand Cult”: Designations from undeveloped intellects

One thing must be cleared up in regard to Ayn Rand since tensions are rising due to the new Atlas Shrugged movie about to be released in the fall of 2012. But first I must declare my position on Rand’s writing and her philosophy of Objectivism. I came to Ayn Rand’s work only a few years ago, well after my foundation beliefs had been formed. My thoughts about things are not due to any teaching of Objectivism or any book Ayn Rand wrote. But what a relief it was to read Atlas Shrugged for the first time, and see that Ayn Rand over half a century ago had many of the same thoughts that I did. When the truth is pursued on any matter and reality is witnessed with its true value witnessed without any evasion tactics to distort the data, the results are not subject to opinion. The facts are the facts and no encounter group in pursuit of a consensus of opinion can negate the truth for the sake of other people’s feelings. Feelings do not equate to truth.

But there are many who insist on living their lives with shrouded facts and hazy logic. They evade truth at every turn and use their feelings to guide them through existence. They were taught and accepted at face value what instruction they received from the education system they grew up with, and adopted the tendencies of their parents without question. Their life is the sum of the many lives that played a part in molding their core beliefs which is fine for an infinite. But these types of people never take those foundations and apply their own unique individuality to their observations to pursue a truth as it is, not as they wish it to be as small children or puberty stricken teenagers yearning for their first kiss. These types of weak, sensitive beings are attracted to the practices of collectivism and they despise any work by Ayn Rand and her thoughts on individualism. These are the types of people who call Ayn Rand a cult in an attempt to discredit publicly people who enjoy Ayn Rand’s books. This trend can clearly be seen in this movie review of Atlas Shrugged Part One.

A cult is something to the effect that Jim Jones participated in, or what labor unions enjoy. They are collectivist by their very nature, and this is not what Ayn Rand was all about. CLICK HERE TO REVIEW. In an effort to paint Ayn Rand as socially dangerous the word “cult” is used so to discourage any further investigation into the kind of work that Ayn Rand produced. What is really behind such a designation is the attempt by collectivist leaning people to evade reality, and they do not want to even be aware that Ayn Rand ever existed and that she wrote anything at all. They wish to maintain the illusion that the ideas they have built their lives around are the ones that will lead them to success and they don’t want to know otherwise.

I have read many books over the years, and watched many, many movies. I have read books by very left leaning people and there are movies and actors who are extremely progressive on the severely liberal side that I like to this day—Sean Penn comes to mind. I have seen all of Michael Moore’s films and actually enjoyed Roger and Me way back when he was first getting started. I can report that I have never felt anger at someone for something they believed in. I have never felt anger at people who enjoy Michael Moore films or read books by the liberal activist Stephen King. My thoughts are that people who adhere to such beliefs are like children who yet have to learn the rules of the universe, and they have not developed the intellect to comprehend those truths. So I watch films and read books by such progressive minds like I might watch children playing at a park—with mild amusement. The anger comes when collectivists expect my buy-in to something I know to be wrong, because the majority ruled in favor of it. I am not okay with that, and anger erupts often with me under these conditions.

As people get older and more mature, they tend to become wiser—and more conservative. This is why there are so many older people who are in the Tea Party movement. With age comes wisdom, and the gradual acceptance of varying degrees of reality. The reason President Obama panders to young people is because they do not have developed intellects yet to understand what a con artist he is. They are easily seduced into believing in the Obamanation of America. This is why so many young people find themselves wanting to protest whatever their college professors or high school teachers tell them to adhere to, because they have not developed critical thinking to the level of individual thought as of yet, and until they do, they are most likely not qualified to vote, because they are simply too immature to think with reason.

I became interested in Ayn Rand during my well documented levy fights with public education. I always knew my position was correct, but when dealing with people who support public education I quickly realized that the people who supported blindly tax increase after tax increase for a public education system corrupted with collectivist oriented labor unions I needed to check my premise. So I went and read books about education from the pro side and found them dancing around some fundamental flaw in their thinking—since everything centered on collectivism which I have always rejected. In fact there was never a time in my life where I adhered to anything resembling collectivism. So it was a great relief during all this reading about education that I ran into Ayn Rand. Once I read Atlas Shrugged and saw that she predicted much about the world that was happening currently, I realized that Rand had done the hard work of adding up all the facts of an observed life to their logical conclusions.

Ayn Rand was not a mystic who looked into a crystal ball and saw the future even down to the detail of the Obama Presidency, which has been an absolute train wreck rooted deeply in collectivist thought. She simply observed reality and added things up based on the laws that govern everything. I knew she was correct because I had arrived at many of the same conclusions completely independent. Reading her was like meeting one intelligent person in an ocean of fools who actually understood the meaning of things, and it was refreshing. This is why people who work in book stores whisper under their breaths that they enjoy Rand’s work. This is why Ayn Rand is so beloved. It is not a “cult,” it’s a relief to read someone from the past who knew what anyone who is even partially awake knows now. Rand’s books provide the confirmation of truth as it is observed in reality by intelligent individuals. If people don’t understand Ayn Rand or have strong feelings against her, it’s probably because the critics are too stupid to comprehend her basic thoughts, since they have not yet observed such things in their own realities.

People who think individually do not pick up an Ayn Rand book and suddenly start following everything she says like some mindless drone. This falsehood was created by collectivists because they assume all people are like them, and are so easily programmed. Any Rand fans tend to be deep thinkers who have made general observations about reality, and find her work a relief that they are not alone and crazy in their thoughts. The masses that lean toward collectivism can through democracy appear to be in charge through mass threat and intimidation. But what they are is essentially undeveloped mentalities who are either in denial of reality through evasion or they are too immature to be exposed to enough truth so that they can arrive at a conclusion.

The anger at Ayn Rand and the derogatory claim that she has a “cult” of followers are intended to use evasion to hide the world from Ayn Rand’s truth. Socially, these maniacal collectivists have done such a good job of hiding her, and forcing her books underground that I didn’t read one of her novels until I was in my forties. This is quite extraordinary since I do read a lot and know people who are excessive readers and she never came up in conversations until a few years ago. Some people are lucky enough to have a renegade literary teacher or college professor who exposes them to Ayn Rand and those young people become hooked for life, because they recognize the truth in Rand’s work that they can’t find anywhere else, because collectivism has infected much of humanity as it has for the entire duration of civilization. Ayn Rand uniquely has a background that began when communism destroyed her life in the Soviet Union yet she had the intellect to question what was happening around her. She found in America the relief valve to her collectivist frustrations and a very small window to warn, through her books, The United States of what it would become if it did not stop adopting collectivism from Europe and yearn for the merits of Karl Marx and the Bolsheviks who overthrew Russia ushering in communism.

I used to feel that I had to concede my firm beliefs that reality was subjective to democratic opinion, but that was not working when it came to public education and I couldn’t understand why. I knew I wasn’t wrong, but I gave people the freedom to do their own thinking and to disagree with me. I saw that Ayn Rand had pondered the same thoughts and went through the same process I was and a pattern was forming which was very clear to me. Collectivism does not work and to the extent to which it is embedded into public education, politics in general, labor unions, even home owners associations, is truly shocking. I don’t care to spend one more minute of my life negotiating with those who are clearly in the wrong. Ayn Rand wrote Atlas Shrugged based on her observations of the way the Bolsheviks overthrew the largest country on the face of the planet, and she was able to apply those truths to the American experience, and that truth has great reverence to those awake enough to understand the message.

Those who call Ayn Rand and her books a—“cult” are practicing evasion, and wish to use peer pressure to prevent others from reading one of the greatest literary achievements ever created by a human mind. I have read Shakespeare, I have read Hemmingway, I have read Plato, I have read Sir James Frazer, I love and appreciate James Joyce and the poetry of T.S. Elliot and Ayn Rand is one of mankind’s greatest authors. She’s great because she was able to devise stories that reflected a hidden truth projected right in front of our faces, but the multi millennium trend to follow after collectivist pursuits kept us from seeing it. Ayn Rand is a uniquely American writer with a viewpoint that was born in Russia and sought The United States in order to flourish. Her work is unusual and fresh even after half a century has passed because few authors have had the guts to follow the truth as far as she did. Sadly, even supporters of Ayn Rand find themselves reading her books in secret and proclaiming their enjoyment of it under hushed voices because they are afraid of the ridicule by the collective.

The collective fears Ayn Rand because they are aware that they are suppressing the facts of existence from their own minds and this is the source of their emotions. If they were so sure of their version of the truth, they would not fear a book or its author. But they do, which is why they have attempted to paint politicians like Paul Ryan as an extreme because he happens to adore Ayn Rand. Even in my fights with the public education labor unions I receive emails and little notes declaring me as a “Randian” as to insinuate that such a term has a negative connotation. These names come from collectivists who follow Saul Alinsky like he’s the second coming of Christ, or Karl Marx the way most of the Obama White House does. The collectivist knows that their edited facts cannot hold up to reality so they hate Ayn Rand for the power of her books to shine light on what they are hiding. It is this trend which states the whole story. Behind the hatred of Ayn Rand is the fear that she’s right and her detractors are every bit the villains of her novels, that she saw through them before they were even born. And that same collectivist hope that if they can rid the earth of Ayn Rand that others will never discover what terrors to the human race the collectivists really are. Through evasion they hope that others who can see as Ayn Rand does and are fully living life awake, alert, and possess the ability to add up the facts will continue to chase their tails in isolation—and keep their crazy conspiracy theories to themselves for the sake of the collective built upon the preservation of evasion.

Ayn Rand is at the center of a war of ideas in modern America. Those who like and enjoy her books whether or not they agree with everything she believed are on one side. Those who hate her with every fiber of their being are on the other. In the middle is a lot of mushy confusion which represents the “undecided” voters. Ayn Rand is as far away from a cult that the definition can conger up. The reality is that people who don’t like her most likely have not yet evolved far enough along in their own minds to grapple with her concepts which are rooted in basic truths. So beware of those who call her a “cult leader” or any other diabolical term. The real villains are those who say such things off their forked tongues disguising through evasion the merits of their ignorance. Such enemies can be crushed with the truth, so wield it at them without mercy and don’t fret when their silly feelings are damaged, because in so doing, you may actually save them from the ignorance of themselves and their grand illusions.

Read my review of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead for more info, CLICK HERE.

Rich Hoffman

If you like my work at this site then check out my new book Tail of the Dragon along with quotes, interviews, reviews, and ways to find one at:

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“Community Conversations” at Lakota: Why a “NO” vote is the taxpayer’s STRIKE

Do you want to know what spending $160,000 tax payer dollars buys you? Well, at the Lakota School System which is in my home district, it buys a lot. I have sent dozens and dozens of Letters to the Editor over the years to The Pulse Journal, which is my hometown paper, and I have never received so much grief as I did when I submitted the letter below in direct response to Karen Mantia’s announcement of her “Community Conversations” program, which is essentially a new way to spin the old Delphi Technique, which has been covered at this site extensively. You can read about Mantia’s announcement of this new program which is starting to hit Lakota neighborhood streets as this posting is going up on Thursday, September 13, 2012.  CLICK HERE to review that article. 

The letter I submitted this past week came back at me and the reporters tried to explain my figure of $160,000 spent on “Community Conversations” was wrong and that if I wanted to revise my statement I could try again in the future. Further, they let me know that the real number for how much Lakota is spending on their “Community Conversations” program was only $40,000, which is true if one only looks at that small piece of the pie. But I explained to them that I considered all the money spent on public relations to be direct factors into how much the school district was willing to spend on passing another levy, and that number was $160,000 as outlined by their own article on the matter seen at the below link.

http://www.journal-news.com/news/news/local/school-dedicates-160k-to-community-relations/nQC4W/

I told them that if they didn’t want to publish my letter that I’d find another way. From my view point, my letter will be seen by more people if I publish it here on Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom than in The Pulse Journal, but I wanted to give the paper the opportunity to show that they were not lap dogs for the Lakota School System. But their response showed that they are clearly in line with the public relations strategy that the school has formulated for the 2012 school year, which is to clean up their image, and lay the foundations for a levy increase when the LEA contract expires in 2014. By then, they hope that the public has forgotten all this levy failure mess, and they can begin to inject more money into their unmanaged budget with tax increases and smiling faces convincing everyone that it’s “all for the children.”

To get an idea of the kind of lap dog reporting I’m referring to, that hiring public relations specialists will purchase, have a look at the latest Michael Clark article from The Cincinnati Enquirer as seen below. This is what I wanted to give The Pulse Journal the opportunity to dispute, but they obviously showed their leanings, which is perfectly fair. But they cannot wonder why people will seek out other sources to get their news, if the newspapers simply become purchased advocates for the union controlled education system.

http://westchesterbuzz.com/2012/09/10/lakota-high-schools-welcome-two-new-principals/

My article as I wrote it appears below. I had originally thought the real public relations number was between $165K to $167K but I was willing to concede to the $160K number reported by The Pulse Journal. However, the spirit of the letter was to convey the disrespect the district was showing by refusing to listen to the vote of the tax payers in the previous three levy attempts. The district was instructed in face to face conversations how to manage their finances, which is reflected in the letter below and they have ignored those instructions. Instead, they have elected to purchase advocats for higher taxes to build consensus among just enough voters to turn the numbers in their favor on the next levy attempt which they plan before the 2014 LEA contract is up. As Karen Mantia said, Lakota does not have a levy on the ballot this year, but it soon will, which make no mistake about it, the “Community Conversations” is directly attempting to ease community tensions enough to pass a future levy. That is why my letter below is worded the way that it is:

I find it arrogant that Karen Mantia from Lakota made mentioned she was seeking hosts for the “community conversations” program that Lakota is spending $160,000 tax payer dollars on in order to find out what the community wants. After three failed levies I would have thought they would have figured everything out by now. So let me reiterate what Lakota should have already been doing all along, but need to implement before the LEA contract is up in 2014, where the union employees will expect a restoration of their pay increases, wrecking the budget and dictating another levy attempt.

Lakota is expected to provide an excellent school system that is one of the best in Ohio. Lakota is expected also to lessen its tax footprint on the community for which it resides. Lakota is expected to acknowledge that it has declining enrollment and should have no problem balancing its budget now that fewer students are attending school in a community with fewer households in the district with children in them. Lakota is expected to force its employees to take a 5% pay reduction before it ever considers another levy. Tax increases impact businesses at a much higher rate than the residents will have to pay. And Lakota is expected to push its high dollar employees off the payroll in exchange for younger, cheaper employees to keep its budget under control.

Very easy—and Lakota could have saved $160,000 to learn it. All they had to do was read this paper.

Rich Hoffman

Currently in Chicago the teachers are on strike turning down a 16% increase in wages. They are demanding a 30% raise and are presently marching around the streets of Chicago leaving the children high and dry, proving that the unions do not give a damn about any children. In 2008 Lakota had their union threaten a strike which forced the school board to cave under the pressure and give all the teachers a pay increase, which caused a budget deficit forcing Lakota to attempt to pass three school levies to balance their budget. People like me, fought those tax increases because we don’t like what the union did, and I refuse to give them more of my money for their despicable acts against my community. My argument from day one was not against the Lakota School Board or even the administrators, it was with the unions that control public education and I decided a few years ago that I would not support them any longer. I will not support a system that feeds them even indirectly, and I want their hooks out of my community. My anger comes when the school superintendent and school board members apologize for their lack of management by siding with the unions because they fear the kind of strikes that Chicago is currently going through, and Lakota went through just four years ago more than they do the voters.

When I organized a tax resistance against Lakota’s levy attempt I did it as a citizen strike against the union demands. A “NO” vote is the only voice a tax payer has, and it is the job of the school management to listen. At Lakota when they decided to hire public relations personnel to attack the NO voters, which is what they are doing, they are telling people like me that they fear the teachers union more than they fear my ability to organize against their school levy, and that is an insult.

When after three votes to decline tax increase proposals, the school district elected to spend $160,000 to attack the position of the NO vote, that action is a declaration of support in favor of the Lakota teacher’s union, which is the cause of all the financial trouble. If the school spent $160,000 of tax payer money trying to undo the position of the teacher’s union I would consider the money well spent, but instead they are attacking those who are refusing to pay additional taxes to support a greedy labor union.

In essence, a NO vote isn’t any different than what the teachers union in Chicago is doing when they failed to report to work, or Lakota attempted the same in protest over their pay and insurance contributions, only the NO voters have a right, and obligation to say NO. The unions do not have a right to the money they are asking for and if they refuse to work due to a strike, then the job of management in the school system in question has an obligation to find employees who will do the work, because the tax payers paid for that work, and not for public employees to march around in the street holding signs and demanding infinite amounts of money. When a voter casts a NO vote, they are also on strike against the unions themselves, and for that the newspapers, the television stations and the schools owe those people the same respect they give to the pro union supporters, and if they don’t, they are guilty of supporting one side, and not the other.

That’s when the crime of using tax payer money, like what Lakota did, and The Pulse Journal debated with me over in my Letter to the Editor to attempt to erode away the NO vote, (THE TAXPAYERS STRIKE) becomes a serious matter. All supporters who pick the side of the union have declared that they respect the taxpayers who voted NO less than they do the teachers union who will threaten a strike on a whim to get what they want whenever they want it. And that is a mistake.

Without the taxpayer, there is no union. Without the taxpayer, there is no school. Without the taxpayer, there are no people to read the newspapers, or watch the news. Without the taxpayer there is nothing. It would be thought that there would be more respect given to the tax payer by all the parties above, but they don’t because in history the unions are far more radical and nasty to deal with, where the tax payer has been peaceful and shown themselves to be willing to be shoved around and bullied.

That is, until now…………………….

 

When Lakota tries their fourth levy attempt, they will learn that they had far less to fear from the unions than the taxpayer, and they will wish they did what I stated in my Letter to the Editor. They chose poorly in fearing the strike of the unions over the strike of the taxpayers.

Rich Hoffman

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Monroe Superintendent is Stepping Down: Being between a rock and a hard place

Right on queue Monroe Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli has indicated that she will be resigning from her position after the levy failure in August ahead of a November attempt. She says that the levy failure has nothing to do with her decision to give up an annual salary of $116,000 so she can work as a consultant for Butler County Educational Services, but the pattern is all too reminiscent of the behavior of the school districts’ immediate neighbor Lakota.

Two months after the levy defeat at Lakota in November of 2010 Mike Taylor retired stepping out of the heat that was brewing as it was revealed that the cause of the tax increase was due to excessively high teacher salaries, and that the superintendent had not even made an effort to manage his costs. In a video Taylor filmed before the 2010 levy attempt Taylor declared that teachers did not make enough for their intense 7.5 hour day 9 months out of the year, and that he thought teachers should be paid more!

Well it is that type of mismanagement of tax payer resources that have caused school districts all over Ohio to effectively go bankrupt, including Monroe which is now in a state fiscal emergency. If a superintendent who makes six figures isn’t going to manage the costs of their employees, then they are failures. Mike was smart to jump off the ship at Lakota because the game had been exposed, and he knew it. So he did the smart thing and retired.

Lakota actually improved their performance over the next 6 months without a superintendent which proved that the superintendent positions are just token occupations designed to shield school boards from direct responsibility when things go wrong. The superintendent is simply a spokesman for the schools and are more comparable to a public relations consultant whose sole propose is to pass tax increases than a CEO who runs a major company. Lakota prior to another levy attempt in the fall of 2011 hired the quarter million dollar double dipping delegator, the former retiree from Sycamore Schools Karen Mantia. Since bringing her on to exclusively pass a school levy Lakota has spent well over $250,000 in compensation on Mantia, plus another $160,000 dollars on public relations in just over a year’s time. Nearly half a million dollars alone has been spent on creating a positive public image for a school that is supposed to be teaching children. But the obvious function of the education jobs are to create government jobs with tax payer dollars and the superintendent is the guardian of that creation, not the regulation of cost. Superintendents are sold to the community as CEO’s, but their actual function is simply public relations. Mantia did nothing after Lakota’s levy failures to present to the education union a 5% reduction in their inflated wages and benefits in order to balance their budget; instead she participated in cutting electives, increasing sports fees, and aggressive busing reductions. The purpose of these measures were not to cut costs, but to punish the public for not passing a levy. (How do I know that? Because I am personal friends with several former and current school board members who have given me their notes from Levy University taught at their yearly OSBA conference in Columbus. Bet you won’t read about that in your local newspaper.)

The same type of extortion is going on at Monroe. Voters just turned down a vote in August yet the school board put another attempt on the ballot for November. Their intention is to keep putting a tax increase on the ballot until the public gives up resisting it. This is radical politics in the extreme and is a popular union tactic that is responsible for how the wages through collective bargaining drove up the labor costs of Lakota, and Monroe in the first place to average salaries of over $60K per year. Collective bargaining is the villain, since it is the “collective” body of the school employees who make demands through threats of strike to get short work days, extremely low health insurance costs, and 2% to 3% increases for all their years of employment. Teachers all through the previous decade would threaten to strike at the slightest mention of health insurance increases sending a strong message to school boards to not even attempt to regulate the wages, so nobody did.

The result is out-of-control budgets in all of Ohio’s 614 school districts and the only way they have to balance their budget is to increase taxes. This is the fault of the unions, and they are hiding in the backgrounds leaving school superintendents to take the bullets for them, people like Elizabeth Lolli who was paid six figures to put up and shut up. Monroe hopes that they can get a levy passed by parting ways with Lolli and blaming all their financial problems on their previous treasurer whom they are currently suing. But the fault is actually on all of them who constantly yielded to the union demands avoiding conflict like truck drivers avoid driving on an icy road.

What nobody has figured out is that these levy failures are the public’s way of striking back at the unions for their constant terrorism invoked through fear of work stoppages over the years, driving up their labor costs. When the public votes down a levy, they are saying, “NO” to the cost increases imposed on a school district, which is their way of managing the costs. The school board has an obligation to act on that vote, not cheerlead on behalf of the union who caused the problem in the first place. A “NO” vote is looked upon by the radical tax grabbers as a greedy, child hating enterprise, but where were the cares for the children when the teachers threatened to walk off the job because their health care was going up by .5%, or they demanded at 3% increase in pay instead of a 2%. Teachers who participated in those strikes are hypocrites and they are the cause of the current financial instability. When the public says “NO” to a school levy, they mean it. And when a public official at the local school board, or the state decide they are going to be arrogant enough to put another levy on the ballot the day after the public voted the tax increase down, they are proclaiming to the world that they are too spineless, and arrogant to listen to the public mandate, and that they will ram the issue down the throat of the public until the “NO” votes becomes a “YES” vote. And every person who participates in that process should lose their job.

Elizabeth Lolli knows she’s caught between a rock and a hard place just as Lakota’s Mike Taylor knew it, and the best thing to do these days is to take the money and run, because the money tree isn’t shaking any more. Tax payers have realized that they are being scammed and they don’t like it. And the unions wouldn’t dare attempt to threaten a strike now that people are on to their game, so the “NO” votes are getting bolder—finally. People for the first time in over a decade are openly voicing their opinion about these money scams coming from public education and they resent having their children wrapped up in the ordeal. There is a real and growing anger at the entire public education funding process. I’m so fed up with it that I think all parents should home school their children, because I don’t like the product public schools are producing. It certainly isn’t worth the massive amounts of money we throw at it. For the $2000 to $3000 I spend per year on property taxes, I’d rather save the money and take my family to Disney World than provide a baby sitting service for the young busy parents who live in my school district and more people are beginning to feel as I do, which is very bad for the public school unions—who I don’t think have a legal right to even exist.

So it’s no mystery that Monroe’s Superintendent Lolli is stepping down, because the writing is on the wall. She knows it and the school board knows it, and the union knows the mud is on their hands. If I were a superintendent I wouldn’t want to be in the situation either, even for a six figure income to simply be a public relations mouthpiece. Because before too long, the guilt overtakes the comfort that the money brings, and the heat in the kitchen is just too great. And the heat is very hot in the kitchen right now, and it’s about to get a lot hotter. Believe me, I know first hand. The only adults in the room on this whole education issue are the people who vote “NO” and deep down inside all the school board members know it, and the superintendents do as well. Because logic is on the side of the people who are declaring that the spending increases on salaries and benefits in public education have to be pulled down to reality, but the unions won’t budge leaving the school superintendent to be squashed in the middle. Superintendents like Lakota’s Mantia puts herself in that difficult situation willingly accepting she couldn’t get a job anywhere else as easy as a school superintendent and make so much money. So the public pressure is worth the financial return for her. But for people like Lolli, and Taylor, who can see where this funding road is going, they have logically and wisely decided to remove themselves from the debate which will be a loss for them no matter which way a vote in November dictates.

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Click Here to see what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon 

Visit the NEW Tail of the Dragon WEBSITE!  CLICK HERE and help spread the word! TELL SEVEN PEOPLE TO TELL SEVEN PEOPLE!

Rich Hoffman
https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

Allen High School Spends $60 Million on a New Stadium: The truth about school sports

Keep in mind before I say what will surely infuriate many that I spent much of my previous Friday evening listening to the pre-season football game between my favorite NFL team The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and The Miami Dolphins. I enjoy the combat of a football game. I understand the drama of sporting events. I have known, and currently know many people who memorize sports stats and pour a lot of personal time and energy into sports as their premier entertainment. I know many people who spend their Friday nights going to football games for their local high school in the fall; have block parties in their cul-de-sacs on Saturdays when Ohio State plays Michigan, then tail gate on Sunday down at Paul Brown Stadium for The Cincinnati Bengals. These same people will rattle off statistics of sport players with great conviction, but couldn’t begin to tell you who Rob Portman is–the State of Ohio Senator who has been a potential candidate for Vice-President of The United States. They drink a lot, and take great pride in losing their senses to drunkenness, and in spite of those human faults, I still enjoy the fanfare of sports.

In Texas, as displayed to the outside world quite wonderfully in the film Friday Night Lights, high school football is the centerpiece of small town entertainment, and it does bond the community together in ways that defy logic. I could write books on why this is destructive in that it shows a tendency toward collectivism that is ultimately disparaging, but for the sake of simplicity, let’s just say that small town politics in the state of Texas loves their Friday night football. It’s an obsession really, so much so that tax payers in Allen, Texas passed a bond package with 63.66 percent of the vote from the booming suburb of north Dallas worth $119.4 million dollars, $60 million of which was designated to building a state-of-the-art stadium for their high school football team.

For the kids who play football in Allen they will play under the Friday Night Lights for their community in a stadium that rivals what many of the stadiums for professional teams play in. 8,252 people signed up for season tickets ranging in price from $40 dollars a game to $8 and they plan to sell out several of their games in the 18,000 seat arena in a town that has a population of 84,236, which is smaller than the Lakota School District in Cincinnati. The demand for football in Allen is so intense that 1 out of every 4 people plan to attend football games at the new stadium.

The residents of Allen have a median household income of $100,843, which is about $10,000 more than the wealthy area of Lakota due in large part to all the businesses that are locating to the area because of Texas pro-business attitudes. Many of the jobs that aren’t in your town because of intense regulation and high taxes are probably in Texas or thinking about it currently. And when people have plenty of money in their pocket they tend to be generous by passing tax increases on themselves without a thought of future sustainability. The people of Allen have the money and they wish to spend it on a football stadium for their local high school, and that’s that. This has led to severe criticism from people outside of Allen who don’t understand why the people of that Texas town will spend so much money on a football stadium when the state of education is so poor in America. Well, the answer is rather harsh, but must be understood in order to be truthful about the real nature of support a community has for their local schools when discussions of tax increases arise. People like to watch violence and mayhem. They love to see gladiators on the battlefield punishing other players in a quest to score a point. Those same audiences do not show up to watch some kid take a math test.

All public schools and all large college campuses use their sports programs to drive their funding models for their education institutions. “Jocks” are treated as special in schools because the school acknowledges the gladiators as the life blood of their existence. Without the Friday Night Lights, without football, schools are boring places of history, art, math and science. Only a few kids in each grade class excel in those categories and go on to become esteemed world-wide scientists or mathematicians. Most parents would rather give birth to the next Payton Manning rather than Albert Einstein and it shows in schools by what parents support. In Allen, Taxes they are just being honest about their priorities. They are not functioning from illusion. When it comes down to it, people do not care about educating a bunch of inner city kids on how to bake a cake in home economics. They don’t care if a 1000 nerds score a perfect 2400 on their SAT scores. But they do care if a kid is 6-4 and weighs 280 pounds in his junior year and can play as a guard on the offensive line protecting the team quarterback. In essence, they care about their own entertainment on a Friday Night, because once the game is over, they are back to their own lives looking forward to the next game.

On a typical Saturday during football season most men will sift through the political section of a newspaper and read intently the sports stats from the game on Friday. On Monday morning he will be able to go into his workplace and impress his co-workers with his vast knowledge about the tackles that 6’, 4” 280 pound kid had in Friday’s football game. He might even claim to know the boy’s father hoping that such a revelation will impress his co-workers with is access to celebrity. But nobody sits around the water cooler talking about how a kid from their public school won a spelling competition, or won an academic scholarship to Yale due to academic excellence in high school physics.

Schools are very aware of this leverage they have over the community. Locally, around the Cincinnati area the closest thing we have to the Texas Friday Night Lights experience is Colerain Football. Already, the band leaders in that town are letting it be known that if residents don’t pass a school levy this November that there will be cuts to the football program, and the band that plays for them. They know as school officials that the community cares about sports, but not about the positions of assistant art teachers, so the threat is directed and quite intentional. At Lakota in my home district, after three failed levies, the district cut off its nose to spite its face threatening to hurt the parents of the district by charging players $550 per sport for each player in order to force levy passage which has ended up backfiring. Lakota isn’t Allen, Texas; people are more indifferent to their Friday Night Football. If it’s there, fine, if not, they’ll go to a movie and out to dinner instead. The only parents who really feel passionate about football like they do in Texas are the parents who are hoping their kid wins a scholarship to college which will save them tens of thousands of dollars in college tuition. Lakota took bad advice from the classes the school board attended at Levy University in Columbus, Ohio that the OSBA puts on every year. In that class they learned that to pass tax increases that public transportation and sports are what motivate voters to throw more money at a public school. If those things don’t work, then nothing will. At Lakota, to make up for picking the wrong strategy in winning the hearts of the community, they have had to spend $160,000 on public relations to attempt to win back community support, which they won’t get as long as 1500 kids are being charged $550 to play sports.

Penn State covered up the sex crimes they all knew about because they understood that it was Penn State Football that drove new enrollment, and therefore revenue to their university. It is sports that drive education, not academics. In Allen, Texas at least they aren’t trying to deceive themselves in being so high-brow to not wish for the blood lust of violent impacts under the Friday Night Lights of their new $60 million dollar stadium. Nobody really cares about “education.” This is well-known, it’s just not publicly acknowledged. The people of Allen are not going to pour $60 million dollars into a program to help the poor and needy. They are not going to give it to a bunch of fools who want to build solar panels and wind mills. They are not going to give it to a bunch of socialist teachers who want to save the world with world peace. In polite conversation the tax payers will utter support for such things, but when it comes time to put their money where their mouth is, they spend it on blood, broken bones, and drama on a fourth and goal. Everything else is a waste of time and that is the key to the education funding structure. Without the Friday Night Lights, public education is just another stale experience that could easily be replaced with online classes.

____________________________________________

This is what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon

With Tale of the Dragon, Rich Hoffman combines NASCAR, Rebel Without a Cause, and Smokey and the Bandit. If you like fast cars, and hate speed traps, this is the book for you. And just every once in a while, any real American wishes he had a Firebird like the one in Tale of the Dragon.

Best Selling Co-author Larry Schweikart, A Patriot’s History of the United States  (CLICK ON THE LINK TO VISIT US ON FACEBOOK)

Visit the NEW Tail of the Dragon WEBSITE!  CLICK HERE and help spread the word! TELL SEVEN PEOPLE TO TELL SEVEN PEOPLE!

Rich Hoffman
https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

Using Conroversy to Find the Truth in Public Education: ‘League of Wisdom’ Rises

I know this is a long article but complicated themes require advanced explanation, which is why I provided you with a little music to listen to that sums up the content you are about to read.  For ease of review I have linked many of the supporting articles to show clearly the path that brought us to this point in time.  If it hasn’t been obvious by now my premier strategy in fighting the Lakota School Levy has been a gradual increase of social controversy starting off small, and increasing with each levy attempt until something snaps. That will continue until the district makes drastic pay cuts in an honest attempt to balance their budget. The reasoning is an admission I came to years ago that the term “political correctness” was created by leftist extremists used to shackle the good manners of millions of conservatives. By holding conservatives to the impossible standard of living by “political correctness” rules, social parasites have been able to advance their own cause with great effectiveness. They often break their own rules while conservatives wither in paralysis by their sheer politeness. I decided not to play by those rules so to show others that what was holding conservatives back was not the superior philosophy of the political left, but the fear that conservatives have of controversy. By embracing controversy, I hoped to show thousands that the way to beat progressives was by not playing by the rules “they” created—and to not fear calling things by their real names.

If I had to do it again, I would home school my children during all their school years instead of just for a couple of years as my wife and I did. I never felt public education was teaching my children the dynamic aspects of life that I thought they should be exposed to. Instead, I always felt public education was teaching them to be “mediocre,” which was not what I desired as a father for my children. So to me, public education at its absolute best is a dismal failure.

Many haven’t figured it out yet but over $110 million Americans receive some sort of welfare, which can be seen on this chart released on The Blaze.com. This chart does not include Social Security, Medicare, or public education, and yes, to me public education is a form of welfare.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/this-chart-showing-welfare-dependency-will-ruin-your-day/

The sharp increase in these numbers shows the goal of the Obama White House which has been the goal of all socialists who have been operating in America and that is to buy votes. Currently with all the trouble Obama is in with legal issues and a dismal economy, he still has 50% of the vote, because more than half the nation gets some sort of check from the government as shown by the chart.

Public education is one of the largest socialist scams ever perpetrated on the American people. It in essence attempts to teach socialist values to young people while selling the service to the parents and the adult population as essential to a child’s well-being. If I had to raise a child today I would teach the child at home using the K-through 12 online computer course shown at the link below. This is a much more efficient method of teaching young people instead of attending an expensive brick and mortar school full of socialist union thumping teachers’ hell bent on the destruction of The United States. If any proof were needed that public education is a terrible travesty just look at the welfare numbers. When half the population is on welfare public education has failed to produce self-reliant individuals who are productive with entrepreneurial thinking. Instead, public schools make wishy-washy liberal leaning young people who take too long to grow up. Many of them don’t begin to see the light until their late 30’s these days and by then they have already started to raise misfits of their own, and the damage is already done.

http://ohio.connectionsacademy.com/oh/geosearch?_kk=30c52765-c100-4245-97c8-60ab998809f1&_kt=7267941824&gclid=CP2R09Sm27ECFYLb4AoduwMAkg

When I first began my journey on this education reform path that I am on, it began by simply pointing out that the labor contracts for the public school unions were inflated. Since I had experience in my family after raising my own children that much of the education claims public schools were making toward a child’s well-being were inflated, because I had taken a very active role in teaching my children, I felt it was only fair to challenge the union position. Back on September 20th of 2010 I went on 700 WLW to talk about the real reason that my school district of Lakota needed a school levy, was to pay for the excessive wages of its employees. As I was doing that Kyle Olsen was putting up billboards around Cincinnati exposing the scam of public education. The Ohio Education Association responded to this statement by me and Olsen with a typical response at the time from the union, which can be seen below from the Pulse Journal. To listen to my original report on 700 WLW click here. The response from the OEA shown next made me so angry that I decided after the Lakota Levy was defeated to not take my foot off the neck of public education controlled by the labor unions. After the assault by David Little, a progressive activist, I decided that I had enough of these thugs who had taken over a school where I pay an enormous amount of money in personal taxes—all so people who wanted a quality “free” education for their children could pretend they were being good parents by spending a lot of money on homes to live in a school district that was highly sought after in the real estate market. The goodness of the district was being built by my property value which is in essence wealth redistribution because it was being consumed by value to fund the welfare system of public education. Click here to see the attack from David Little against me shortly after the first WLW radio spot. You can see the entire article from the Pulse Journal at the link below.

By Lindsey Hilty
Staff Writer

LIBERTY TWP. — Representatives of the Lakota Education Association say they hope voters will listen to facts given out by the school district rather than “rhetoric” from a group advertising in the area on bill boards.

“It has become the trend during election campaigns for anti-levy and anti-public education groups like (Education Action Group) to surface, speaking out against public education, and then to retreat again once the elections are over,” according to a statement from the OEA.

“We think that, first of all, it’s an outside group that is anti-public schools and anti-union,” Rodney Bird, labor relations consultant for the OEA said. “We believe the voters in southwest Ohio and in Lakota are intelligent enough to make their decision on a local levy based on the facts given by the district.”

http://www.pulsejournal.com/news/news/local/lakota-union-leaders-respond-to-area-billboard-c-1/nNcxd/

 

That’s how it was back then; the unions were quoted all the time in the paper because nobody challenged them. People were afraid that the union would vandalize their homes, or that they would be publicly ridiculed within their communities. The force of the unions and the monopoly of their education empires deserved to have their asses kicked. So I started this site, Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom to contrast what the OEA said about people like me during levy elections. When the election was over, I did not go away. To this day, the union has been exposed for what they are, crooked thugs hell-bent on socialist destruction of America. After three years of very public battles the unions hardly have instigated a peep, they haven’t threatened to strike in the entire Cincinnati area primarily because of the constant coverage on 700 WLW.

I went on to do dozens and dozens of radio spots against the unions in Ohio and never were they able to come on the air and combat me, because they could not fight the truth. Instead they attempted to use the PTA organizations and the “real-estate cartels” to do their dirty work. Everyone knows that most of the pro levy supporters on an organized front are real-estate agents because they use the quality of the free schools to help sell homes, while passing the bill on to residents who already live in the community. Heads rolled and people lost their jobs on all fronts. I had a right to get angry when I discovered that volunteers supporting the union cause were camping outside the doors of a local Kroger and trying to smear my name to my friends and neighbors as they entered on a Saturday afternoon to buy groceries. Such thuggish behavior deserved an answer—it required an answer. I called them “latte sipping prostitutes with asses the size of car tires,” which is how I see the kind of people who support school levies. Click here to review. Yes it made a ruckus all over Cincinnati and I knew it would. The husbands of some of those real estate agents took offense and sided against me. But they didn’t do it because I was wrong, but because they knew I was right, and they didn’t want to face the music. They wanted instead to continue on with the illusion that education was free and that so long as everyone bent over for the union, that there would be peace in the community. They were angry with me because they needed my unquestioning compliance to their welfare use of public education to keep it quiet, and seemingly honorable.

Meanwhile reform is coming to public education even as the unions are standing in the way of progress, and much of that progress can be seen in the online programs that are beginning to explode everywhere. When I started this fight against public education it was with the knowledge that I was able to do a better job at teaching my children than the public school I sent them to could. So my wife and I home schooled them for a while and let them graduate early with online classes in high school, so they wouldn’t have to waste their time. I still had to pay taxes to the local school, even though I was able to do a better job, and that didn’t seem fair. Why should I be forced to participate in a system I think is dysfunctional, socialist, and completely inept? Why should I be forced to pay several thousand dollars a year to a public school that won’t even let children make the shape of a gun on the play ground, but will teach them how to put a condom on a fake penis in the fourth grade? The reason is because the government has a cozy relationship with organized labor to make education a monopoly in America and to take the value of property in the form of taxes to fund it in order to fulfill the local requirements of Agenda 21. Click here for review.

Ladies and gentlemen if my actions seem extreme at times over the last three years it is because you have not yet come to realize what I realized after reading those obnoxious comments from the OEA in the Pulse Journal all those years ago. We are not fighting to prevent socialism from taking over our country. It has already happened. Instead, we are fighting for our freedom once again, just as we did in at the start of the country. My beginning in that process is to fight the monopoly that dominates the minds of our youth, in public education. It is simply a form of welfare to the parents who use it for a babysitting service while they are busy with their careers. Public education is welfare even to the idiots who pay over $5000 a year in property taxes so their little child can receive a “free” education. In reality, the $5000 is cheaper than most private schools which is why parents who claim that their property tax bill is something they are glad to pay for the benefit of their children are neglecting to report because they are simply counting on public education welfare to make them appear to be better parents than they actually are while saving a tone of money on private instruction in the process.

As it can be seen, a lot has changed in the last three years, and what used to be boisterous dialogue on behalf of the unions now is seeing residents fighting back with boisterous dialogue of their own. In three short years we have changed the argument, and in three more years the brick and mortar schools will be forced to adapt entirely new philosophies. More and more people will begin to take part in the K-through-12 programs online and those people will be much less inclined to pass school levies since they aren’t using the public schools. The unions will be forced to come to reality, because people for the first time in a century are sticking up for themselves and fighting back.

If the unions had shut their mouth after my visit to 700 WLW on that September 20th day in 2010 and not attempted to come after me personally, and not went after Kyle Olsen just for speaking the truth, they may not have pissed me off so much to start this website. But they did, and because of their desire to suppress any opposition I will see this through to their end. It moved from a level of civil discussion to thuggish attempts at intimidation, which is a big no, no. If I believed that the stake of our children were truly better off in the hands of public education I would leave the matter alone. But because I did teach my children at home and do know better, I know that public education is a scam, and it’s social welfare for the young, pretentious parents who are most of the time kids themselvs—or real estate agents trying to sell a house.

Now, as opposed to the date of that Pulse Journal article shown here, much has changed. There are more people than ever who have joined our little “League of Wisdom” that have gathered at this website and taken the argument to their own districts to achieve the same results. The heart of the argument is not what is good for kids. If it were, the answer would be for all parents to home school their children—because statistically, those children are learning at a much improved rate over public school children. Instead, government schools are just another welfare program designed to tie up the wealth of a school district in a complicated United Nations program agreed to by many politicians in Washington under the advice of The Department of Education created in 1979. For the politicians who make such agreements their intention is to use education as another welfare meal ticket that paves the way for their own re-elections. Free education to the politician has the same effect as food stamps, and other government programs that are given to citizens in hopes of buying a vote. Jobs under the same system are created to support the welfare system which adds proportionally to the 110 million people on welfare already. Add to that welfare number all the people using Social Security, Medicare, and hold jobs that are government sponsored, such as teachers, police officers, fire fighters, IRS agents, ATF agents, Homeland Security personnel, GAS employees, FBI agents, CIA agents, military personnel, TSA employees, postal workers, EPA workers, BMV workers, court-house workers, General Motors workers and on and on and on, it will be discovered that well over 80% of our country is dependent on government in some degree or another. Most of those jobs were created with the same intentions as welfare was, done under the mask of goodness and safety; the real intent was to create dependence, and bloc voting. Ultimately, this has placed before America the quagmire of freedom. We’re not fighting to keep socialism from our lives, it’s already everywhere in American society and has been for so long that nobody would know what to do without socialism. We are now fighting for a freedom that founded the country, because it has already been lost, and must again be recreated in the minds of our society. That will not happen by calling things like public education by names that don’t belong to them. Currently socialists will declare that public education is a “human right.” It is not. It’s a benefit to a society that decides it wants to do something nice for the citizens of their community. That niceness is cheapened when people are forced to participate in a system they see is a failure but can’t change it because so many people have come to depend on the government service, nobody can escape the obligation any longer. When that happens politicians have already bankrupted the system beyond repair, because it’s no longer appreciated, but is expected by a society that’s addicted to welfare not always by their own doing, but simply because they held their hand out to government and discovered that shackles were placed about their wrists which tied them forever to the greedy claws of government for all eternity, or the meager duration of the individual life to be consumed like wood on a campfire.

In the end public education consumes the lives of society and leaves behind only ashes. The memory of a once burning flame is all that remains, that is eventually lost in the darkness of a cold night. That cold night is the shroud of socialism that lingers always on the outskirts of freedom. And it is that socialism that is wrapped around American thought and has placed in the minds of most the shackles of a hand-out sold as a crutch, but intended to be political paralysis. From public education the paralysis migrates into the rest of our society and will continue until freedom fighters learn that by “playing by the rules,” is to handicap success on the battlefield of ideas. It is time that those of us in this new “League of Wisdom” stop worrying about hurting the feelings of the social parasites from the political left because in so doing, we are losing our country. Playing the “high” ground will not win the war of ideas, and it’s time to get down into the trenches and fight them where they hide—which is behind the masks of truth. And it starts by not being afraid of a little controversy.

Get ready for the new conservatives……..the old ones were a lot more passive. That won’t happen again, I promise.  And Monroe, the ‘League’ has your back. 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20120810/NEWS/308100115/Monroe-schools-returning-ballot-Nov-6?odyssey=nav%7Chead

____________________________________________

This is what people are saying about my new book–Tail of the Dragon

With Tale of the Dragon, Rich Hoffman combines NASCAR, Rebel Without a Cause, and Smokey and the Bandit. If you like fast cars, and hate speed traps, this is the book for you. And just every once in a while, any real American wishes he had a Firebird like the one in Tale of the Dragon.

Best Selling Co-author Larry Schweikart, A Patriot’s History of the United States  (CLICK ON THE LINK TO VISIT US ON FACEBOOK)

Visit the NEW Tail of the Dragon WEBSITE!  CLICK HERE and help spread the word! TELL SEVEN PEOPLE TO TELL SEVEN PEOPLE!

Rich Hoffman
https://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
http://twitter.com/#!/overmanwarrior
www.overmanwarrior.com

The Rigged Game of School Funding: Monroe residents stand up for themselves

The Monroe School Levy is about go before voters and I have been hearing since my article last week that the levy opposition in that district under state financial emergency had shabby campaign signs and a poor, broken down group of protestors who were in need of more education themselves. Such comments from the pro levy supporters are normal since they can’t argue the real facts, so they attack the credibility of the people who oppose them. In this case the organized effort to oppose the 7.03 mill levy Monroe needs to stay out-of-state control. The situation is so heated that 25% of all Monroe homes have viewed articles at The Voice forums on Mainstreet Monroe’s website, and it is obvious that levy supporters are not at all happy to see an opposition standing against them.

http://www.mainstreetmonroe.com/voice/topic.asp?topic_id=26649

Upon reading the comments at The Voice I decided to go into Monroe myself to see all these haphazard signs by the No Monroe resistance and what I found were some really nice signs that were well thought out and financed, and they were all over town. That had to infuriate the Monroe School System. It doesn’t matter what school district it is, the government education system does not like opposition to their plans.

With all the discussion on both sides, I will have to say I admire Tom Birdwell of the current Monroe School Board. His argument is that residents either vote for the 7.03 mill 5 year levy in Monroe, or the state will force Monroe to merge with Middletown where there is room in some of their buildings. But the catch is that Middletown already is operating at 47.16 mills, 7.02 mills higher than Monroe’s current mills rate. Birdwell is offering to speak to anybody personally to answer their questions, which is a very stand-up thing to do. But what he is assuming is that the state will be able to successfully force the people of Monroe to pay for taxes that they didn’t vote for in a forced merge with Middletown—that Middletown was foolish enough to approve. At that mill rate, no wonder Middletown is a ghost town these days. You certainly don’t see businesses flocking to locate there. More info on the specifics of the levy is at the link below. The truth is Monroe is not obligated to pay for taxes they didn’t approve of, and a state bureaucrat cannot politically do so. Birdwell made a compelling argument, but it is without any teeth. The state may be able to legally arrange such an injustice, but some politician will lose skin off their back with such a move, and this shoots major holes in the Yes Monroe position that Birdwell represents.

http://www.mainstreetmonroe.com/articles/monroe-school-taxes-will-increase-by-7-mills

At the heart of the No Levy argument is former school board member Mike Irwin who appears to be attempting to redeem some of his views from the past. Some school board members learn once they’ve been through the management of a district what the problems are, and they do correct their thinking. Often school board members feel they must go along with the patriotism of a district and they ignore the perilous situations that the unions put them in. School board members know there isn’t much they can do about 80% of their costs that are tied up in wages and benefits, and budget items are controlled by union contracts. If a school board shows resistance to the union elements, then the union will threaten to strike. If a school board member does not lie down and play dead before the labor union, then the union attacks the character of the school board member publicly. This doesn’t happen directly most of the time, but indirectly through community infiltration into peer groups. School board members with weak stomachs find it’s best to just get along with everyone. They work closely with the PTA groups who become the voice of the union indirectly and are the source of much community infiltration. (That’s why they call them Parent Teacher Associations.) The people who always get left out of the education debate are the long-term residents who have already raised their kids and pay their taxes, but get sick of being hit up constantly by out-of-control costs driven by excessive labor expectations.

http://www.mainstreetmonroe.com/articles/school-levy-debate-goes-down-to-the-wire

Older residents have learned to brave the multiple perils that come at their children, and have learned not to respond neurotically to every claim a unionized work force claims. Most of the pro levy supporters, teachers included are under 40. Many of the people criticizing the No Levy people on The Voice are in fact in their early 30’s and have very young children in the district. These thirty year olds are children raising children and they must be listened to with caution. As parents they have a long way to go and a whole lot to learn before they get there. Someday, when they become older and wiser they will also be No Voters. But the way the education system works currently is it is the youth who get all the attention, the students in the schools of course, and their young, inexperienced credit card debt incurring parents. In a game of the squeaky wheel gets the grease, the quiet ones get ignored—and those are the typical “No Voters.”

http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/news/local/opposing-sides-debate-how-to-solve-monroe-fiscal-e/nP6zD/

As I drove through Monroe taking the pictures shown on this article it was nice to see those quiet types finally sticking up for themselves and voicing their opinion with some well designed No Levy campaign signs. After I took enough pictures I went on over to Kings Island to ride a few roller coasters and think about the dynamics of the education situation under a setting sun while in line under a mister machine. At Kings Island that night I watched some of the people playing all the games set up in Coney Island–the games where players threw undersized rings around oversized bottles, and tried to shoot basketballs into undersized rims to win prizes. I realized that many of the people playing those games were younger people—and were probably levy supporters in their local school districts. They were doing with their children essentially what they were doing while playing carnival games at Kings Island—throwing money at a chance to win a prize.

Parents who vote for school levies believe that if they just pay a little more money, that they’ll win a prize for their children, and that prize is a good life. What the parents don’t understand is that the games are all rigged. Every now and then someone does win, but most people don’t. Public education is a scam as it is set up now, without competition so they can charge anything they want for their service. In Monroe and every other school district in the country it is collective bargaining that is the real villain of the out-of-control costs. Nobody in their right mind would pay all employees the same level of income based on years of service as opposed to performance. Collective bargaining is what has driven up the wages and forced Middletown to maintain a 47.16 mill levy left over from their heyday of economic activity. The unions in Middletown destroyed their industry, and the Middletown Mall is the ancient relic of that previous economic boom. What’s left now are the high taxes to pay the public employees after all the people who had money packed up and left town voting with their feet. That’s why Middletown has room in their school buildings, because enrollment is down. Now Monroe is facing the same temptation. If they give in to the union, they will find themselves in a slow decline economically with business as usual returning to the administration of the district finances, just as Little Miami did when they finally passed their levy after 9 attempts. If residents say NO to the levy they will put the weight of the financial strain squarely on the union where it belongs to wiggle, squirm, and play the squeaky wheel game. But finances will be forced out of the shadows so everyone can see what’s happening.

Monroe will have to decide what kind of community they want, and experience says that growth occurs by saying NO. Saying YES is agreeing to a slow death. Saying NO stops the bleeding. But regardless of what happens on Tuesday August 7th, at least the quiet NO voters have decided to voice their opinion with a spirited debate which is healthy, and very much-needed.

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