George Lang Was Always a Leader in the Tea Party: When education and book exchanges were important

It is odd, and obviously full of politics to be a part of discussions defending George Lang’s Tea Party support during the height of the movement and for myself to be associated with the establishment because of it. But then again, so be it. As I have been saying a lot this year with President Trump going into his fourth year in office, and a much different, and better world as a result especially on the investment side, at some point those on the outside get on the inside and what they do with that opportunity will define future history. To get feedback from old friends from those times suggesting that I was never a Tea Party supporter is laughable, as I was clearly one of the leaders of the movement, and did so at a great cost to myself, which I’d do again over and over. But for me there always needs to be an end to a project, and the Tea Party movement was a project needing a resolution. And George Lang along with his wife Debbie were of the same mind. They enjoyed going to the meetings and talking to people and learning things about how our government should work. But at some point you have to evolve past the rock chucking phase, and become part of the management team that takes over, and does things right.

As much as people attempted to demonize the Tea Party movement it was never a bunch of crazy radicals and far right ideologues. Mostly they were older people who knew something was wrong and they wanted to educate themselves to learn what it was. The Tea Party in the pre-Trump days had a few rallies here and there to show they were a force to be reckoned with, and they tipped the scales in some elections toward a more Republican party more representative of their values, but what I enjoyed about it was that it was more intellectual than anything, as book sharing and discussions were the centerpiece of the movement. Books like the Thousand Year Leap, Atlas Shrugged, Common Sense and even reading the Constitution and understanding it were the focus of activity that was largely leaderless. The Tea Party didn’t need a leader, because it was really books that was guiding everyone’s interest and at Tea Party events it was a chance to get together with other like minded people and to talk about these things.

That was actually how I met George Lang and his wife, we liked the same books and enjoyed getting away from the rigors of the world to talk about smart stuff at Tea Party meetings. There was always the elements of the Tea Party meetings that had people very concerned about some big brother control of their lives who protested back then the smart meters that were being put on everyone’s homes to regulate their use of power, and those people have evolved into protestors of 5G wireless service. I was never one of those types so much, I figure the Second Amendment trumps over concerns of little bureaucrats trying to impose on my family how much laundry we can do in a day, so I don’t worry about those things much. And as to 5G, I never really got involved in that debate because I like technology. Sure all these communication waves are flying around and through our bodies at all kinds of rates blasting our atoms with constant intruders, but I expect most human beings will evolve to match the challenges of technology. And to me technology means business, and business means economic prosperity for regional need. Again, with the Second Amendment, I’m not too worried about some evesdropper using 5G to spy on me. If I catch them, I’ll deal with them in my own way. But I like the technology options that come with the changing world.

After Trump was elected there wasn’t much in the Tea Party left for people like George and me. It was actually during the Republican primaries where people were pretty upset with me for supporting Donald Trump over Ted Cruz and other Tea Party picks for president that I lost touch with all those old friends. It was a clear situation where we had all become bitter rivals during 2016 and the Tea Party pretty much dissolved in disagreement over who anybody should support for president. I have been to a few Tea Party meetings since Trump was elected, and clearly once Trump won, people united on the issue, but the educational effort wasn’t the same. The Tea Party had fallen into a status of victimhood, of below the line behavior that isn’t attractive to me, and really couldn’t justify my time any longer. The same thing looks to have happened with George Lang and many other politicians like him who used to come as long as the meetings were places where they could justify the time. But just to sit around complaining about things wasn’t why the Tea Party was good, so the effort fell apart once a lot of the things that we had wanted to see was now happening in the White House, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and an optimistic look toward the future.

However for some in the Tea Party, it was their chance to point at every boogieman on the horizon and to isolate themselves from a solution, and largely that is what it has become to my eyes, which of course happens everywhere that leadership is absent. George Lang was a member of leadership within the Tea Party movement and once he found other things to put his mind on, and many others like him across the country, the movement weakened and dissolved into what it is today. I view it as something nice that I was a part of for a while, but now its time to do all the things we talked about, and that’s what’s going on. George is part of that puzzle along with other great people who came out of the West Chester Tea Party like Mark Welch, Ann Becker and T.C. Rogers who as a commissioner for Butler County came to most every meeting from 2010 until 2015. The meetings changed from book exchanges to complaint sessions and at that point the political leaders stopped going to the meetings and now there are clear divisions which is normal in any organization that loses its focus. In the beginning, the Tea Party was about education, not activism. Now it’s about activism which is much less conducive to people’s time, especially when they are part of the solution as elected officials. People like George Lang, and myself included, are turning our eyes to fixing the problems we had been concerned about, while what’s left of the Tea Party is still looking for that rally cry to continue with. Some people find comfort in spending time with people of like mind, so the Tea Party gives them something to rally behind, even though the pendulum has swung to our side and management is now up to us. But to say that we were never Tea Party supporters, George Lang and I, is like saying there was never a sun in the sky or clouds during a rainstorm. Its just not a proper statement. It might be a wish, but its certainly not a fact. What has changed is that some coming out of the Tea Party want to actually do something about everything we learned while in it, and now is the time for that action. Complaining about everything was never what the Tea Party was, but it is what it has evolved in to.

Rich Hoffman

Nobody Cares about Moderates: People want blood, and to step on the neck of a rival

It was a great example of what I have been talking about when President Trump gave a defiant speech at a rally in Colorado Springs to a fanatical audience. Michael Bloomberg had just had a disastrous debate and was getting really bad press, Roger Stone had just been sentenced to 3 years of prison as swirls of rumors that Trump would pardon him swelled, and the media in general was starting to really see that Trump was an unstoppable force. That’s when the calls for reaching out to more moderates from him to them became most audible, as it always does. I have been saying in elections and in all things in life really, that moderates are not the keys to success, but are only the late comers to something new. They are the last to see, and their sentiments usually go to whomever is winning. So when the calls to Trump were to reach out to them otherwise he wasn’t ever going to be considered a legitimate president were only attempts by the blind to listen to something that might slow down the political momentum of our times.

But Trump understood the game, as was clear at every speech he has given. People vote for a winner not some soft bellied tell all who puts their opinions to the wind and lets those moderates play king maker. That may have been how things were done, but that’s not the way things are supposed to be. Even in some of these local elections around my home in Cincinnati where the term “people over politics” is used, the sentiment is that politics had become so emotional and contentious, and that we need to get back to where we all love each other and can have a conversation. But those were also the days of the moderates, where the fence sitters decided the temperament because the belief had been that gradually politicians had to reach them in order to get decent fundraising, and decent press. However, that premise has always been wrong. People vote for those most impassioned, who will say and do anything to win, and those precious moderates will follow the winner. All someone needs to do is win, and they will find an army of followers waiting for them—moderates included.

The entire political approach to life has been wrong for a great number of years, people don’t vote so much on ideas, but on winners. For the same reasons that a fan of the NFL might buy a jersey late in the season of a team going to the playoffs, a political moderate will join one side or the other based on the ability to garner wins. That is a reality to voting patterns that losers obviously do not want to see revealed to the world. A lot of politicians join those ranks because they don’t want to have to compete with the real world, especially Democrats, so letting it out that winning elections is the key to success in politics and not some sentiment of reaching out to fence dwelling moderates is devastating. I’ve stated often that the keys that make Trump a great president are not some wisdom gained in books, or an understanding of strategy learned on the battlefield of the military, it was in his experience with sports, especially his work in the Hall of Fame of the WWE.

The falsehood that political moderates are so important came from those who are not very aggressive and tend to be losers in life, or soft-hearted timid types. Due to their limp natures they can play by no other rules, so that leaves them vulnerable to the true rules of politics which was on full display at the Democrat debate. Of course Trump had a right to be upset with A.B. Stoddard while on the Neil Cavuto show describing Michael Bloomberg’s debate performance with Donald Trump who spent a considerable amount of time at the Colorado rally explaining that he had won every debate during his own primary a few years before, and Bloomberg had a long way to go before winning his first. The true intentions of Stoddard and people like her is to keep the public focus on why politicians need to continue reaching out to moderates instead of digging in and becoming so divisive. But digging in and sticking to what you believe is what wins, and why people are willing to wait all night for a place in line just to hear President Trump talk. That might make people who like the old system, fence sitting moderates themselves unhappy, but that’s not the fault of reality. People like a winner, not a cry baby and they like people who believe firmly in something because so many people don’t. They wait for others to tell them that its OK.

When Trump defended his right to possibly pardon Roger Stone by saying that Comey had lied and so had many other FBI agents to congress, so why was anything Roger Stone had done different? Well, moderates have always told us that two wrongs don’t make a right. Religious figures tell us to turn the other cheek. Then everyone wonders why their rights get trampled on time and time again and they feel they never have representatives who believe anything in elected office. Of course, two wrongs can make a right. If they stick it to you, you have a right to stick it to them, and even more so. To hit them so hard that they can’t even show their face in this universe. People want to see the kill shot; they don’t want to see people shaking hands at the end of a debate. They want to see their guy or girl making a belt out of their opponent. That is what wins elections with a majority vote, passion realized through action.

Trump’s job is and never was to reach out to moderates. His job is to get his base so revved up that they will vote for him and other Republicans on election day and clearly Cavuto and Stoddard were thinking about that after that Democrat debate for president. They were trying to play that moderate game, but it wasn’t working, and its quite clear that if those are the rules, Democrats are going to lose big in this upcoming election. And that might hurt the feelings of moderates who are used to being the deciding factor in the politics of old. But today, they will be expected to join the party once the victory is obtained because what makes them moderates to begin with is a lack of passion for their own thoughts. So they will do as they always do and that is root for the team that wins, no matter what side they are on. Playing nice with the other side is not the way to win in politics but taking the kill shot is. And that reality is something that Democrats cannot escape, because they have built that system of moderates through the media and now, they have lost control. They don’t like it, but too bad. I certainly didn’t like the old system and clearly most Trump supporters feel about it just as I have. They’d rather see kill shots in politics than opposing forces shaking hands with some ridiculous show of sportsmanship. What people want is a winner and any politician that can give them one is the one who will win those precious office seats. And that trend isn’t new, just recently utilized.

Rich Hoffman

The World Didn’t Suddenly Go Nuts: Its always been the way it is, what’s different is that people have choices

There are many who are confused by the politics of our times, who are looking at what’s going on and thinking that the world has come unglued and is about to fly apart. I would argue that these elements were always there, but that the freedoms of modern life have brought forth the truth thoughts of people and now that the froth has boiled a bit, the scum that has risen to the top is purifying our society for the better. It was clear to me that for the Republicans that it was the Tea Party movement that was starting that process, which would have happened whether or not Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck had ever been on the radio. Rather, it was the need of a public seeking answers that gave them the platform to do their thing, they didn’t make the thing themselves. The result was that true definitions of conservative values were challenged, and the party evolved into what has become Donald Trump. As the evolution of politics was boiling off all the definitions into clarity the Democrat Party was attempting to do the same only they interfered with the process and suppressed the Bernie Sanders surge in favor of Hillary Clinton, the Party pick for president for all kinds of artificial reasons. Because of that interference, that is why they are having troubles now.

As I have said for many years, socialism and communism have been at the heart of not just the labor movement, but of the entire Democrat Party going well back into the 1960s—even back to the 1930s, even the 20s. The concept of public ownership of resources seemed smart to a world that didn’t know better, but after a century of looking at the situation clearly, we can now all say that Karl Marx was smoking crack when he wrote The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital with Friedrich Engels. The idea of communism was doomed from the start because it ignores the motivations of the human race and instead imposes on it some mystical hope that assumes that intellect is subservient to nature, and its not. Intellect is born of nature, not a threat to it. So communism and all its various ideas were tried, and failed, however the Democrat Party built its entire platform around various forms of its definitions without ever saying the word to themselves openly. They hoped that by the time regular people figured out what the Democrat Party was, after years of public education, after years of union membership, after all the pushes for equal rights which were not meant to bring fairness to all, but to establish in the minds of normal people the idea that all individuals would serve the state, not their own needs, then maybe their ideas of communism would stick.

But since Republicans had that honest debate, as many sat on the fence between those two worlds, politicians like Mitt Romney, John McCain, and even known moderates like the old Ohio governor John Kasich, the never-Trumper Bill Kristol and many, many others, they had to reposition themselves on the political spectrum, many discovering about themselves that they were Democrats and not Republicans, the Democrats themselves now find their party fractured without a modern definition as to what they are, and they are clearly lost. That brings us to the present problem which was obvious on the debate stage in Las Vegas at the Democrat debate for president, especially between Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg, Mayor Pete and Elizabeth Warren. Bloomberg the billionaire trying to buy his way into their good graces could not answer the sheer hatred that the socialist minded on that stage have for money and wealth. Bernie Sanders just as he was in the last election is the preferred candidate of the Democrats and its time they have that honest answer about their true identity otherwise they will be utterly destroyed.

When Bernie Sanders had the rally the other day where the topless women stormed on his stage there really wasn’t anything unusual about it. Those people have always been there, the radicals, the crazies, the far left communist loving advocates of a society of equals where they eat anybody who might be a threat to the status quo, and who hope to live under the radar living and dying for causes greater than the needs of individual lives. The difference between now and a time prior is that Trump’s election has separated away the good, normal people of a healthy society into a unified fashion of hopes and dreams leaving all the crazies literally naked and afraid. For many years they had been hiding in the masses, disguised as emos at the corner of a New York City street waiting in a crowd for a light to change. Or they were gathered in a booth in the corner of a Waffle House popping zits on their greasy shoulders because they haven’t bathed in days and their body oils were looking for some place to escape under their Matrix like trench coats and hair that hadn’t been washed in over a week. They were hidden from view because the message everyone received in their public educations stated that we don’t judge anybody and that everyone had a right to live anyway they wanted no matter what it was. No individual was greater than any other, everyone was equally at fault and deficient.

Well, that press is what split our nation because not everyone has been willing to accept that premise. When Donald Trump stepped into the race many who had been hoping that Paul Ryan would bring Ayn Rand’s wisdom to the Republican Party had found a true representative of their needs and that is when the cover for the communists was ripped away and they were left exposed without a proper philosophical position to disguise their true intent. For many of the crazed radicals, life taught them as they got older that they needed to be more conservative in their personal policies, that they needed to get mortgages, buy cars and pay their bills to advance in life, and that they couldn’t just rip off their shirts and parade around naked in protest of dairy products. But so long as the saner elements of our society were not passing judgment, there was some cover for the lunatics. However, Donald Trump’s election was a value judgement vote, people voted to have a good economy, they voted for the super model who lived in a gold penthouse, and they voted for a television celebrity who was actually proud to be a billionaire, because many would like to have a chance at making a lot of money themselves, and into living the good life that comes from it. They didn’t want Das Kapital to run their lives, they wanted Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations.

So its not hard to see what is happening and to predict the future. Michael Bloomberg isn’t going to go anywhere. He can pay off the media, but he can’t make himself likeable. And I don’t think people will ever be ready for a gay guy or a gay woman in visible leadership roles. Nobody wants to see gay behavior in public let alone on a stage running for president. Sex in itself is gross, but people put up with public affections because they assume that children will be the bi-product, and everyone loves kids, the hope of the future. But sex in itself is pretty gross, and sex that doesn’t produce children is not something people will ever be willing to publicly accept, so Mayor Pete isn’t going anywhere. Joe Biden is one of those lost in the shuffle, he’s had the covers ripped away and now he’s exposed to a dark world he has been ignoring his entire life. Elizabeth Warren is much the same, as a New England academic, she is forever lost to the campus antics of academia and its love of Karl Marx, and nothing else. That leaves essentially only Bernie Sanders who represents what the true Democrat Party has always been about because like Trump, he has at least been honest from the very beginning as to who he was. And that has allowed the political spectrum to pick clear sides which is where the nation is, for that great debate that has been poised to happen for decades. And this election year we will have it, and there will be clear losers and winners. Everyone isn’t equal, and that is what is being learned much to the distress of the topless protestors and trenchcoated wearing communists who had hoped to hide for a while longer, but no longer can.

Rich Hoffman

George Lang the Artist: Understanding the new way of viewing business as an art

Many people have the wrong idea of what art is, their thoughts on the matter has largely been shaped by their art classes in public schools that have failed to meet up with the needs of modern concerns. If you’ve ever toured the great art museums of Paris, or even of your own hometown, you’ll get a sense of it. Many modern artist types attempt like religious radicals to mold their thoughts to some 16th century definition of it and insist that high art holds the same standards, which it doesn’t. Rather, the modern concepts of capitalism are now the canvases which the great minds of business paint, and it is they who are the modern Picassos and Rembrandts. This was on my mind the other day while we were enjoying my wife’s birthday at Liberty Center in Butler County, Ohio at the Cheesecake Factory and I stood outside and marveled at all the great creations that builders had made in that vicinity that were works of modern thought and a next evolution of art. It was there that I thought about the importance of George Lang’s pro-business ideas for Ohio as a senator for the 4th District.

I don’t know many politicians who have embraced business the way that George has over his long career. Many people don’t know it, but George gives out free copies of Ayn Rand’s classic novel Atlas Shrugged to people at Christmas so that they might learn something of the value of a unique American artform that evolved specifically in the United States, the art of making money and using it to create works of art of a different kind. If Paris and Europe in general are thought to have created art from the Renaissance period and those pieces are on display in museums to this day, American art is of a different fashion. Its artists work to overcome discriminations and inherited European regulations to create works of three-dimensional art that serve also as money making generators to pour blood of value into a culture for which the art resides. Ayn Rand figured out in her uniquely American novel what Victor Hugo and Leo Tolstoy in other cultures were learning about themselves in their own time, that American business was a new form of art in the world and it is always wonderful to see it working well such as it clearly does at Liberty Center in Butler County, Ohio.

I see builders and capitalists as the modern equivalent of artists who put their ideas into buildings, not canvases, and the results of their creations are much more interactive than just a painting expressing one moment in the mind of an artist, but a shared experience that permeates all time and space with hopes, ambitions, and sorrows. With every new hospital that is created come the hopes and dreams of childbirth, and the extreme sorrows of dying loved ones sick beyond repair living their last moments on earth. The art of the building created captures those contexts within the scope of a culture. And within those extremes are restaurants of ambition like the Cheesecake Factory and Cabela’s to entertain us along the way. I remember when George Lang was a trustee for West Chester and when it came time to build the Voice of America Park near the West Chester Hospital, it was George and others who turned over the design and function to private groups to allow full creative flow, which was a gutsy move. The park that is there now is a wonderful asset to the community, much better than if government had tried to force itself into the design of it, without all the little flairs of creativity of design that the park has now—all each in themselves works of art that enhance the experience of all residence in ways that aren’t typically measured.

The old view of art which is typically a liberal crutch insists that this new idea of art is a threat to them, so they label any supporters of capitalism as such to their way of life. That is why most politicians stay off the subject and instead pander to the arguments of the day, that the old-world view of liberalism has shaped, such as public education value, insurance for all, and elements of the socialism involved in Social Security. The new creations that spawn off all efforts of wealth could answer those old questions a thousand times over easily, but most politicians dare not go there because the challenges to the old system of thinking of art prevent them from articulating the value of business to a community because they seldom understand it themselves. That is not a problem of George Lang. He understands that businesses are the foundation of the future and all the solutions that can be found within it. And those solutions are works of art, not just profit making ventures.

As my wife and I were getting a cheesecake to take home from the Cheesecake Factory they informed me there that there are two manufacturing facilities in the United States that daily supply cheesecake to all their restaurants. The explanation was that the home office wants everything to taste uniformly good so they manage their quality control from those two facilities, which is tough competition because Wal-Mart, Kroger and many other local outlets make good cheesecakes. For the Cheesecake Factory to impose on themselves such a high-quality standard that is extremely expensive to maintain is a work of art, not any evil of capitalism as defined by a liberal in viewing artistic endeavors. Yet for that market to even take root where a canvas to paint such an artistic endeavor upon to even exist it takes politicians who know their role to remove barriers of such expression so that future concepts can be born for the benefit of all. Where such enterprise zones exist the best of modern culture can be seen. I’ve been to the Louvre in Paris. I loved it for what it was, but honestly, I saw much greater works of art at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World in every little business that was there and the bustling activity that can be seen any night of the week into the small hours of the morning.

What I’ve always loved about George Lang, whom I’ve known for more than a decade now, is that even with high ambitions at office holding, he wants those positions because he appreciates the artistic efforts that are born from them. His natural love of the novel Atlas Shrugged, which many politicians run from because of the capitalist stigma that hangs around it like a shackle to the past, is something George has always embraced, and it shows wherever he has been in a position of political power that his influence is conducive to great works of art that come from the many minds of business enterprise. And those enterprises are far outpacing the old ways of canvas art from any other period of world history, and the means to measure them are just now being understood in novels like Atlas Shrugged. Its not that the new ways of thinking of art are wrong because the old way is so slow to understand their miracles that the definitions are corroded with misunderstandings. Its just a matter of time before the rest of the world comes to the same realization, and when they do, they’ll find that George Lang was always there all along.

Rich Hoffman

The Criteria for State Funding of Education in Ohio: A future state free of Parkinson’s Law

Just as a preview to the upcoming debate at Lakota schools, and the post Trump election of 2020 where Betsy DeVos will unleash her education reforms I think its only fair to give a sneak peak into my position model for state funding problems in Ohio. One thing that became very clear to me while fighting the Lakota levies during the early part of the last decade was that everything pointed to problems with state funding, where the state was having a terrible time of constitutionally providing money to schools due to two major character flaws in the foundation assumptions of the public education debate. First the cost for schools were filled with what I call in this case Parkinson’s Law, which is a business term to describe typical problems in schedules, where allotted time fills to whatever dates are provided, the work fills the time provided, and secondly, the attachment of money to real estate instead of the students provided by the tax payers. Those two elements have made it impossible to come up with a proper funding model and must be solved before the state can do anything, so to answer the questions from the past, how can the pro levy people and the anti-levy people get together to focus their efforts in Columbus toward real education funding change, those two questions must first be solved. Anything that does not deal with those two issues, is off track and a useless gesture, and that will be my position on the upcoming levy fights no matter what frontier we find ourselves fighting them.

Parkinson’s Law occurs when building things like Gantt charts in business where all the parties of a process are allowed to give their perceived dates for the completion of their given task. When looking at a total project and the critical path needed for its completion, it will be quick to note that all the participants in a schedule will give themselves a comfortable amount of safety in case they have runovers and problems in their task. Taken as a whole, this takes the completion date for a project well past the usual funding requirements and must be worked out by taking away all the fluff that finds itself into the assumptions. In public schools where collective bargaining agreements take up 80 to 90% of a $200 million budget at a school like Lakota, the desire to have tax increases is only to fund this out of control filling of a budget with Parkinson’s Law where the money in the budget always fills to satisfy the supply. It has nothing at all to do with the quality of education, but everything to do in order to satisfy the comfort level of the government school in recruiting, and labor management among a hostile organization that is bound to socialist desires, the government labor unions that are embedded and cannot be removed without destroying education as we know it and the free babysitting service that it has become for so many busy, working parents.

Knowing all that, the per pupil cost of education is excessively high and no state law maker can hope to sign their name next to such an inflated figure until the schools themselves work out the true need of their paid staffs, and are getting the most out of those they do have. If a school wants to pay a teacher six figures to do a job, that’s fine. But the teacher better be worth it. However, through collective bargaining, some teachers may be worth it, some may not, but all get it because of the nature of the union agreement which goes well above and beyond what taxpayers should be funding with their property taxes. It’s the same rule that applies to private businesses, if a company has a unionized workforce, that’s fine if they can operate with it. But don’t ask the customer to pay more for those services because the union is present. That is not the fault of the customer, it’s a non-value-added experience for the taxpayer to fund on the top end for mismanaged services passed down to them through the government school looking to appease the radical elements of their labor force. To keep the labor happy and justify all the advanced degrees and other elements, Parkinson’s Law says that the budget will grow to satisfy the demands placed on it by the comfort level of the participants.

How many teachers does it take to teach a classroom in this fast moving world where video games have more influence over students than a stagnant employee teaching things in the front of the room that are already two or three years too old by the time they are trained to teach it, and how much is that teacher worth for 7 or 8 hours of their day, 5 days a week and summers off? Is it worth $70K per year, or $100k, because a lot of teachers at Lakota are making averages of that amount of money and the report cards for the school show that it hasn’t helped them get “A”s on their state report cards. Questions like that have to be asked before state funding can be acquired because those are contributors to the Parkinson’s Law I am proposing must be answered before any model can be created legally. In this day and age couldn’t a government school operate with a lot less teachers and more interactive media, even larger classrooms? Given the state of the results of our current way of doing things, its clear our education system is not doing a very good job as compared to other countries, so why would we stick with the same old same old, its too expensive and its not very effective. Education needs to be faster, and more engaging, and up to date, with the rate that computer processers increase in memory and efficiency. Things kids learn today are almost outdated before they even leave high school, so we need better ways that are much less bureaucratic to keep up. All these considerations are part of the state funding crises that must be solved before anything happens. Just lobbying the state government for more money isn’t going to solve a thing because we haven’t dealt with how that money would be spent.

Of course the answer nobody wants to talk about that thinks of public education as a crowning experience for youth, where football games and dances are centerpieces of culture young people depend on, and parents who need someone to watch their kids while they are busy at work. But the future of public education is to get government out of it, out of the regulations, out of the report cards, out of the business as much as possible and to turn over that effort to private enterprise, which the labor unions are completely against because it would take away all their emotional leverage. But that is where education is headed whether it takes 10 years to get their or 100. The inevitability is fast approaching and it won’t take long for everyone to see it. The need for more personal freedom and faster rates of learning that are not so top heavy in costs demand such a thought and that is ultimately where the state funding will reside. Any discussion besides these things is a useless one.

The assumption among education activists is to lobby for money to feed the old broken system that has not been effective, as is evidence in our present society. The current system is too expensive and does not teach the right things at the rate that kids need the information. I would offer that the cost of an average teacher should be about half what it is now and that many of them should not just do teaching as a career, but as one thing in their lives. The structure of teaching should not need a stagnant employee present to hold down the speed of learning, but should only be present to provide an interface to knowledge. That is a part time job at best in the schools of tomorrow. Certainly not worth 80K per year for hundreds and hundreds of employees only working a fraction of the day in a fraction of the year. I measure a day in 24-hour intervals, so if a job only requires 8 to 9 hours of dedication from an employee asset, it’s a part time job to my eyes. And that is how things will look as we get into the future state of government school funding models. To me, they are already extinct. Its taking other people too long to realize it, because that’s the way we’ve always done it, but once Trump is elected for his second term and his sons or even Candice Owens takes over the future of the White House going into 2030, the word “government” is coming out from in front of schools which must be privately managed. Just like health care is headed, and just about every other utility of economic expenditure. That is the wave of a fast-moving future and government schools are way behind in recognizing it. But soon, they won’t have a choice. Their entire reality will be taken away with the Parkinson’s Law that has built their budgets with so much fluff over the years that people are tired of it. And will vote accordingly.

Rich Hoffman

Kathy Wyenandt the Democrat Lakota Tax Supporter: Apparently they want a rematch

I think its very interesting that Kathy Wyenandt is still celebrating the passage of the Lakota levy of 2013 as her calling card to get into the Ohio Senate. At a recent debate some of the things I heard her say about her role in passing that levy stirred me the wrong way. In ways that I’ve written plenty on, that levy was personal and had evolved well beyond just a healthy debate between opposing sides. When she talks about No Lakota Levy as the organized resistance to the tax increases that were proposed three other times prior and went down to defeat, it was my face that was in the front of it, and it was my reputation that they attacked when they couldn’t win any other way, so I disagree with Kathy Wyenandt who became the fourth campaign attempt at passing that ridiculous tax increase at Lakota schools. After listening to her I think we need to set the record straight because there was some really bad action going on with that effort for which Kathy was in the middle of and we need to talk about it.

Kathy Wyenandt is taking credit for her role in passing that tax increase so let’s review what happened. After three levy attempts for which I was the spokesman of the No Lakota Levy group the school board targeted me personally to get me out of the way of their opposition for another attempt which they were talking about doing in the following spring. I had two problems with that, the voters had spoken on three previous attempts, a resounding no, and Lakota wasn’t listening. Instead they made it personal and went after my character directly, siding with the Cincinnati Enquirer in bringing great harm to my reputation in an effort to smoke out all the No Lakota Levy supporters whom I represented often on WLW radio. The organized labor efforts of the teacher’s union and the levy supporting moms of Lakota went on quite a campaign against me, because they couldn’t beat the arguments I poised at them in live debates on the radio, on stage at various forums, and anywhere else they wanted to fight. Because their premise on the whole thing was wrong. So they lobbied WLW to stop supporting the No Lakota Levy campaign, which led to the firing of my radio friend Doc Thompson while on his honeymoon, which was a very low blow to him.  He and I talked about the situation and he spilled the beans to me as to what went on behind the scenes at WLW in conjunction with Lakota lobbyists, all which occurred at the same time in a coordinated fashion.  No school system should have that kind of power against the tax payers who pay their bills and hire them to manage their district. There were other elements, but the Lakota position was certainly a corporate decision on behalf of Clear Channel that wasn’t there in the 2013 election.

I had my much publicized fight with the core levy supporters when I called them all “latte sipping prostitutes” essentially as I was outraged that those people did not respect the previous 3 elections and kept scheming and plotting until they got their property tax increase, and it caused a separation of No Lakota Levy from my representation. I wanted out in a lot of ways because I was sick of talking about education issues. I wanted to publish a book I had been working on that wasn’t related at all to public education, yet my actions with the Lakota levy was setting me up on all kinds of television, radio, and other public formats that wanted me to be their education spokesman, so the longer the Lakota levy issue went on, the more trapped in it I became. I was hoping that after that third attempt they would stop and listen. But they didn’t, instead they spent more tax money on more consensus building efforts and showed they intended to try for a fourth wasting more of my time, so I blew up and the rest is history. We agreed to a cease fire, I moved on to other things and Lakota started plotting for that fourth attempt a year and a half later for which Kathy Wyenandt was brought in to help. And even with all that, they only won by 1% of the vote, not at all a stout and convincing victory. No Lakota Levy was there to organize a resistance but in looking back, I think we all agree we should have stuck together and if we had, there is no way that Lakota would have won. If Lakota tries again, we are talking about getting the band back together again.

The big turn in the vote was Sheriff Jones, the popular Republican who thought it was time to support Lakota because they had promised to use some of the money for increased security. Many of the No Lakota Levy people were willing to join with Jones to give Lakota a chance and some voters followed, enough to give Lakota a very small victory. After the win, Lakota did with the money exactly what I said they would do, they gave raises to the teachers even though they should have been laying off due to declining enrollment. They had been operating as a surplus for several years due to that declining enrollment but now they find themselves in the same trajectory of surplus spending and are talking about yet another levy. I just had a talk with several No Lakota Levy people the other day and we are seriously considering to meet that levy attempt in the same way we did on the previous three attempts that defeated the tax increase. Playing nice like many of them wanted to in that 2013 attempt stung in the end and the taste has been bad for everyone because many feel like they were lied to by Lakota. We have all been focused in getting a third conservative vote on the school board, but that has been not nearly as effective as just voting no on school levies. But the status quo of just passing more property tax increases every so many years is just not an acceptable option. If Kathy Wyenandt wants to take credit for that tax increase, which she clearly does, then have at it. But the truth of the matter was that Sheriff Jones changed the numbers, and we had split our efforts within No Lakota Levy. Only by dividing and conquering did the levy pass. It wasn’t that Kathy reached across the aisle to Republicans and Democrats to build a coalition. It was simply that Jones and his followers wanted to give Lakota a chance, which they have squandered.

I have spoken to Kathy on several occasions now and everyone seems surprised that I am not some raving lunatic on that matter. In fact during the three previous levy attempts I was very friendly with everyone, including the pro levy people. I was always happy to argue the facts. But I have a very bad temper, I can handle it just fine, but when someone punches at me or even thinks to, it doesn’t go well for the perpetrator.  I have never taken an attack on me lightly and when Joan Powell and Julie Shaffer on the school board decided to attack me personally, that was the end of the cordial activity. It was they who weren’t listening to what the voters said, and insisted on continuing to make levy attempts until they wore voters out into just saying yes. It was one of the most crooked schemes I have ever seen and it ruined my thoughts on public education forever. I don’t think those people should be anywhere near educating the next generation and I could tell stories all day for the record, and if this extortion scheme wasn’t so wide spread in virtually every government school, there would be serious legal issues.  I have not told all the stories I know about these people because honestly, I have wanted Lakota to improve its image, for or community’s sake.  But since its government, it gets overlooked and we are all supposed to take it smiling.  It was with each levy attempt that Lakota made that caused me to think that the John Dewey system of education was a ridiculous failure that needed to be completely reinvented, which is where I am on all education topics these days. Most of the No Lakota Levy supporters do not feel as strongly as I do on the matter, they just don’t want to get ripped off by the school that harms their projects. I however think public education as a concept needs a complete re-invention, so I don’t want to spend a further dime on any of it until we have that discussion. If not for my experiences with the Lakota levy attempts, I might not feel that way, but the more I learned, the more I despised the process.

It certainly helped that when Kathy Wyenandt came along, she didn’t look like the bottom of someone’s shoe the way previous pro school advocates presented themselves. That certainly helped take the edge off all the hatred that had been brewing between the various groups in the process. But that hatred was created by Lakota not listening to the voters and insisting that they just keep going to the voters until an election went their way. They cut busing as an extortion tactic, they took away sports programs, they played lots of games when the real meat of their problem was their excessive payroll. Kathy made it easy for Sheriff Jones and some other local leaders to give Lakota a chance, which they have blown, of course. And if Kathy wants a rematch, let’s have it. I bet Lakota wouldn’t get 1% of the vote today. And I think she knows that which is why she wants this senate job, because everyone knows Lakota is going to try for another tax increase because they do not have control of their budget. And when that happens, Kathy wants to be in Columbus so she doesn’t have to face the fact that the levy win in 2013 was a falsehood of smoke and mirrors, and once people realize that, she won’t be able to use it for an opportunity for higher office.

I am always happy to have a professional debate and discussion about everything. I am used to dealing with people who do not agree 100% with my view of the world and I can talk to a person like Kathy and many of these other pro tax advocates without getting mad at them. But when they take a shot at me and make it personal, then my policy is worse than Donald Trump’s policy of hitting back twice as hard. I tend to hit back until there is nothing left of the other side and I do that in everything in my life. So any past that we have had where Lakota used people like Kathy Wyenandt to advance a tax position they shouldn’t even have been asking for is on them, and all the anger that came from that attempt which is still as strong today, if not stronger, than it was prior to 2013. The problem was and always has been that after the first levy attempt that was defeated way back in 2010, Lakota should have managed their labor contracts differently. But instead they chose to pass their mismanagement off onto the community to cover the insane expenses of their collective bargaining agreements to the taxpayer, most of which do not have children in the school system. And today there are more of those people voting than there were in 2010, so a rematch to set the record straight would be a welcomed occasion. Whether or not its No Lakota Levy or some update of that concept, I’ll be there to meet it with those also interested, and the truth will be obvious.

Rich Hoffman

The Debate for the 4th District Senate Seat in Ohio: George Lang was the clear winner

Prior to the primary election for the 4th District Ohio Senate Seat where George Lang, Kathy Wyenandt, and Lee Wong debated for that seat, the video included was done by TvHamilton at the Benison Event Center. For those seeking to understand the candidates prior to casting a vote, here they are. One notable mention is the disgraced GOP candidate Candice Keller who did not come to participate. It appears that this was the last of the candidate forums before the primary and she had not been participating anyway, so she was represented here by an empty seat off to the side of Lee Wong. Feel free to share these contents with a friend, neighbor, or curious onlooker intending to vote on March 17th along with the brief summation that is included.

Without question to my eyes George Lang won this debate easily, and he should be the next senator for the 4th District. But ultimately its in the hands of the voters. George’s answers were very polished, as we’d expect, and was the obvious choice deserving a vote. As is clear in the debate George can hit all the notes and appeal to the voter base that has various degrees of passion about the topics that are important to us all. Few people but George could have talked about Agenda 21—something that few established politicians could ever get away with, and he appealed to moderates by stating that he was friends with Kathy Wyenandt and was willing to work with anybody over anything. He is very Donald Trumpish in that he has quite a range of abilities in communication that just about anybody can relate to, yet with his core beliefs, he believes in helping businesses which obviously help voters with good jobs and secure futures. He is also a big Second Amendment guy who is every bit as committed as the most staunch supporter without the drama of a crazed radical.

And as the current Ohio 52nd District representative in the Ohio House, a seat that Kathy lost to him in her attempt to enter a political seat as something other than a school levy supporter for the Lakota schools, George specified what he has been doing and wishes to continue to do to bring more business opportunities to Ohio. As he pointed out there are several problems that are facing our state, for one, we are bleeding young people. Our youth are leaving for destinations they perceive have more opportunities leaving us in a bad state for attracting workers for more industry wanting to move into the area. As he said, that is leaving a recruiting problem for less imaginative industry that is looking for fertile recruiting grounds for their businesses and with so many youth leaving the state after they attend college, the numbers just haven’t been there. Personally, I think this is a problem of human resource departments and not the actual demographics, but George wants to overcome that problem with incentives to have a booming population that can attract the best that the world has to offer by way of jobs. For instance, he used Butler County as the example of how the rest of the state should look, which currently has a population of around 400,000 people of good income and plenty of opportunity.

One issue that was talked about in somewhat agreement by all the candidates was Ed Choice which is currently bringing great stress to public schools all across the state with report cards that they think are unfair as vouchers are now traveling from students to the private school of their choice leaving the broken funding model that schools use exacerbated beyond repair with worry in how to maintain their exploding budgets. As George pointed out correctly, the government schools are strapped with regulatory burdens that make it hard for them to compete with private schools and he is looking for options to make it more fair for them to attract customers as the trend is to send money to the students and not the school real estate that the schools reside within. Kathy had articulate answers but unfortunately she has a long way to go to fully understand the true problem. The state of Ohio cannot come up with a proper funding model for their schools so long as the budgets that they are asking for is filled with entirely too much Parkinson’s Law, where school levies get passed and the labor unions lobby for more increases to consume the total amount of surplus that is gained in property taxes. George’s ideas are moving more to deregulating the impositions that public schools have to live up to with report card needs mandated by the state, whereas Kathy’s thoughts were to protect the system that we have in place that has all the inflated funding in it. Lee Wong didn’t know what to say, he hardly seemed to understand what the question was.

Speaking of Lee, the West Chester Trustee who is running as a Republican, he stated during this debate that he thought of healthcare as a right. I’ve been saying about him that he is a Democrat that is only running as a Republican because Butler County is full of members of the GOP, which is why things tend to be so good. He has no other path to office other than to try to sell himself as a Republican whereas he is clearly a Democrat, even a socialist in many cases with positions like his on healthcare. Of course, George’s answer is to have more competition and to bring down the costs with more options. Kathy as the only stated Democrat on the stage was looking for more of a centralized committee approach that is aligned with other Democrats on the matter. But clearly she wasn’t very interested in the topic as her primary concern resides on education issues which constitutes her only real political achievement, the passage of the Lakota levy of 2013 which instantly gave raises to teachers, some of which were making six figures, and placing those inflated wages on the backs of Lakota residents who weren’t very happy once they learned what Lakota really wanted to do with the money they extracted from the public.

Essentially the summary of the debate was that Kathy Wyenandt agreed with George on most every issue except for school funding, because that’s her only real experience going into this election. She’s essentially an education lobbyist who thinks she has enough juice to deal with multirange needs as a senator, and compared to George, she has a lot to learn. Lee Wong is an old rival of George’s from West Chester and he really didn’t seem to care if he won or not. His hope seems to be to help Candice Keller with a split West Chester vote that might hurt George and give a radical rival a chance to knock George down in the primary. He was unprepared for this debate and obviously aloof. Only George Lang showed any real promise as a state senator in the kind of capacity that is expected out of the job. And that really isn’t a surprise, but it is good for everyone to see for themselves, for those who couldn’t attend that night. The proof is here, you don’t have to take anybody’s word for it, watch it for yourself and be sure to vote on March 17th, 2020.

Rich Hoffman