The Treasures of Brownells: A gift to the American shooter

Even though I felt at the time that I had lived five lifetimes before I ever hit 20 years of age and had some college under my belt along with two yeas of gunsmithing school, that a fresh-faced kid from Southern Ohio was going to struggle financially under that chosen profession.  Customers after all like seasoned veterans for that kind of work and I hadn’t been around the block much in the shooting world—not officially anyway.  So as a young gunsmith in a little shed behind our home, I was getting work—but it wasn’t the type of high-priced work I’d need to care for a growing family while keeping my wife home so that she could care properly for our children.  The other issue was that clients who would give me a shot as such a young face were the type of people who were in trouble with the law and did not want the older, and orthodox Federal Firearms License holders to handle their needs.  I couldn’t bring those types of people around the house with a one and two-year old children running around.  The other issue was that I needed more experience on the craftsmanship end.  So I took my acquired skills learned through gunsmithing and took professional jobs that required frequent measurements of .001 of an inch reading micrometers and calipers so that I’d develop all the hand skills of the gunsmithing trade.  Along the way I’d write books, get more involved with bullwhip work and spend another five lifetimes over the next twenty-five years getting lots, and lots of experience using many of the gunsmithing skills I had to do work for various companies.  Whereas I made the money to take care of my family in lots of unusual ways my love of gunsmithing never really went away. And one of the great memories from my past during the early days of my marriage to my wife before we started a family was the constant books and catalogues from Brownells which populated our home with huge stacks of shooting literature.

My love for America was shaped during my youth by a gradual introduction to Brownells through my gunsmithing school and our frequent trips to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  I loved the common sense of rural Americans who found the popular Smoky Mountain resort town such a destination of choosing.  And under that culture was a love of guns, and the people at Brownells even more than the NRA loved the business side of firearms to a point that I found it easy to connect to.  They are such a great organization who unselfishly taught so many neat tricks that they preserved in a way I thought greatly beneficial an aspect of American life that I could see vanishing before my eyes.  Only in the gun circles of companies like Brownells was the true nature of American life being preserved in the way the Constitution always intended.  The videos shown here are just a small example of how Brownells approach the business as they teach how to clean and repair a basic single action revolver.  They additionally break down the care of AR-15s and SIGs with the same patient instruction and they do a lot of this for free.  Also on their website is a section that offers schematics for just about every gun in production so that if you need a little sear for some obscure gun you found at a trade show, you can order it by part number and get a replacement.

When I finally bought my .500 magnum recently after many years and miles of contemplation dividing up my busy life, I took a little more time to admire the vast stock that Bass Pro Shop had to provide materials to the shooting sportsman.  I told my wife that having a place like Bass Pro around would have been very helpful in my early days of gunsmithing because there was nothing like that back then.  You had to go to Gatlinburg or some other exotic place to get that type of positive American atmosphere, let alone the unequivocal support.  But I also told her that Bass Pro had good stuff on their shelves, but that they were no Brownells.  That’s when I realized that I hadn’t visited their site since I stopped performing gunsmithing, so I pulled them up on my iPad and reconnected with an old friend.

I was so happy to see that Brownells was still going strong. They still offer their gigantic full color catalogue which was very expensive back in 1989—it must be ungodly today—but they still ship them to their customers.  They offer hundreds of how-to videos on YouTube completely free of charge and have that same American enthusiasm for the shooting profession they have always been known for, which was a relief.  So it didn’t take me long to reconnect with them after two decades.  As foreign as it sounds, a few decades can get away from you if you don’t watch your time carefully.  I am very selfish with my time because I always have so much going on.  Shooting was only a part of my life, so when you get busy with other things like philosophy, politics, legalisms, economics, and raising a family the proper way, months and years fly by like lightning across the sky.  But it’s never too late to come back to an old project which for me began with the purchase of my .500 magnum from Smith and Wesson.

Another thing that came up when I was younger was the stigma of shooting. I certainly felt it during the late 80s into 90s as the Clinton administration looked like it would be successful in banning military style firearms after the Brady Bill.  I didn’t know at the time if the shooting profession itself was going to be banned all together—it looked that way at the time.  I wasn’t sure how long a company like Brownells would be able to continue doing what they were doing.  When it comes to gunsmithing, they are the primary supplier.  They are the backbone to keeping the shooting industry humming along.  As progressive political activists like George Soros attempt to buy up American gun manufacturers to strategically end the supply of guns in America to private residence, it is the many years of commitment to building a client base of gunsmiths all across the United States that will ensure that shooting never dies out in the only free nation on earth—at least free in principle.  So long as there is a Brownells, there is a gunsmith somewhere who can build a gun from scratch.  Gun manufacturers are not necessarily needed.  But gunsmiths are—and because of Brownells, there are still a healthy number of them around who can keep the sport alive.

It’s easy to forget what America was always supposed to be when you watch the nightly news and read from its newspapers—particularly those from New York and Los Angeles.  But America is quite alive and well in the stores of Bass Pro and the pages of Brownells.  Of that later, Brownells is in a class by itself, and if you are a shooter, it would be a good idea to know who and what they are.  They are a tremendous resource for the modern American shooter—which is a unique company specific to the United States.  You won’t find an equivalent company anywhere else in the world.  Sweden can make tables and chairs for their IKEA stores, Germans can make their cars, France can breed women with unshaved armpits, and the Chinese can continue to make the stuff that Americans want to buy at Wal-Mart but there is nothing like a Brownells in Mexico, Brazil or Australia.  They are specific to the culture of Americana that we all know and love and are the backbone of our lifestyle of freedom.

My return back to my roots is the awareness that strategically progressive activists have sought to end businesses like Brownells and its customer base.  After what I’ve learned in all the other aspects of my life which has filled these pages with so much color and candor is that the best way to defeat that strategy is with an unapologetic embrace of the American art of shooting and caring for our guns.  And when it comes to caring for guns, Brownells as a company are the experts.  A look through their catalogue is enough to make a grown man weep.  There has never been a better collection of tools and gadgets anywhere between the covers of a big catalog.  Brownells does everything right and are a treasure from my past that I am happy to see just as strong today as they were then.  Brownells is the blood behind the body of the shooting profession.  They are what helps keep an interest in the NRA and other shooting organizations so robust, because Brownells keeps guns working and passed down from one generation to another constantly building a client base that has not be snuffed out by activists hell-bent on making America into a restricted nation like Europe.  Brownells keeps the gunsmithing profession alive and is the best source out there for keeping those family treasures functioning and robust.  And if you didn’t know about them dear reader, well, now you do.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

The .500 Magnum: A story of strategy and understanding

I don’t talk about it much but one of my very first occupations, for which I spent two years of education gearing up for, was a professional gunsmith. I was newly married and my wife and I wanted to have a little gunsmith shop in the back of our home. I had a Federal Firearms License and had made several investments to build our life in that direction. However, I grew weary of some of the customers that came to my residence and having little children of mine running around decided that it probably wasn’t bestimage to do that kind of work with my family nearby. Some of the people who solicited my work were not the kind of people I considered upright, and I wasn’t willing to put up with them until my client list allowed me to be more selective. So I gave it up in favor of new horizons. But I never stopped enjoying the sport of shooting or following the new developments in the firearms field. To my mind a well machined firearm capable of controlled explosions sending a lead projectile into a small target many yards away is a fascinating achievement in human endeavor. With that said, I have always been a revolver guy as opposed to a semi-automatic gun user. There are less moving parts in a revolver making them more reliable. Of the recent developments in revolvers there has not been anything more spectacular than the Smith & Wesson X Frame models leading up to the .500 Magnum. I fell in love with the gun when it first came out in 2003. For the bachelor party of one of my daughters we skipped the strippers and instead rented out Target World firing off the .500 magnum they had until the small hours of the evening. But I never found justification to buy one—until now.

It’s an expensive gun to own and shoot. It costs over $3.00 per shot just to fire off the ammunition but what you get is a weapon that will penetrate about anything you aim it at. It’s really quite an achievement in raw power that you can hold in your hand. It is one of the most intimidating weapons on the market from both sides of the trigger. It’s not the most practical thing to use and takes some getting used to. I kept putting off buying one, until one day this past Saturday when I got off the live radio show with Matt Clark’s WAAM broadcast and decided that it was time to make the plunge. CLICK HERE TO REVIEW.

The topic of our show was why there was a left-leaning media bias and we flew through a lot of topics in the hour-long broadcast. But we did it in such a way that it put in perspective to me that our nation is in a lot of trouble. Not in trouble in the way where the government is going to show up and take all our guns, or involve themselves in vast conspiracies against the American people. We are in trouble due to the sheer mismanagement of our nation by really terrible people, like the Clintons, the Obamas, and the offshoots of the Clinton Foundation. There are real thugs in these groups associated with these people who have mismanaged our nation with an agenda based assumption that the American presidency is to be eclipsed in favor of a United Nations coalition not organized politically so much as it is through charitable organizations. The writing is clearly on the wall, the Clintons are selling influence, Obama is planning on being a multimillionaire community activist that will take the Clinton Foundation to the next level making whoever sits in the White House more of a token figure than they are now. Deals will be made outside of our political system by donors organized through charitable organizations, and nobody will say anything about it because the evil is being hidden behind altruistic purposes. Meanwhile the failures of progressivism is becoming rapidly evident. The Ferguson and Baltimore riots are just the tip of a powder keg intentionally set to explode in our current time. The poor have been deliberately fed socialism as a means to equality and they will riot to steal what they think they deserve from those who have things as the Obama and Clinton types stoke the fires from behind the scenes.   Additionally over the weekend Obama showed that he intends to prohibit the federal government from providing military-style equipment to local departments putting stricter controls on other weapons and gear distributed to law enforcement. Clearly that is a decision meant to embolden city protestors into continuing their riots and destruction—but in the long run is to fulfill the Obama desire to have a more Justice Department controlled police force at a national level. It is quite clear that these are errors in management of government resources that will become very problematic in the future. So it is up to each of us to decide how we want to deal with the ramifications of that mismanagement.

After I left the air with Matt my wife and I talked about it seriously—what to do at the family level with all these national faux pas. It can be debated as to whether those faux pas are motivated by progressive strategies, or whether they are driven by sheer stupidity—but the fact remains, that it will be up to the sane of us to put things right. We certainly won’t look for the fight, but the fight is certainly coming to our doors whether or not we like it—and this isn’t even considering the problems from foreign radicals flowing across an unguarded U.S. border. Idiots or insurgents are in charge of our nation and the ramifications of their behavior will have an impact on our lives. So, what are we supposed to do about it except use the tools available to us such as this blog, or radio shows like Matt’s to stop the encroachment of progressive politics and the results of its many failures? Well, I thought about my old days as a gunsmith and my three decades as a Wild West preservationist and realized that I needed to get more behind the Second Amendment not only as a plot device, but as a strategic counterpunch to the villainy that is sprouting up around us like dandelions on a spring day.

It was really my wife’s idea to buy the .500 Magnum. I was ready for it, I have been for years, but she needed to be ready for that. So we talked about it, and she clearly was. I have other guns, but nothing on the scale of that S&W .500 X Frame. It is the most powerful production handgun in the world and will remain so for many years in the future. The sheer power of that gun in anything bigger would likely shatter the wrist of a shooter. It is right at the top end of what a human body can legitimately handle. We decided we wanted the gun before the Memorial Day holiday so we pretty much got in the car and headed to the store. Our first stop was Right 2 Arms which is basically at the end of my street in Liberty Township. I like supporting area businesses so I wanted to give him the kind of business that would allow him to close early on a weekend. When I told the owner what I was looking for he laughed as if such a large gun on his shelves was something that just wasn’t feasible. But he offered to find me one within a few days. His price was less than the one I had been eyeing for several years at Bass Pro Shop also near my home, but I didn’t want to wait. We thanked him and went to Bass Pro to find the gun.

The .500 Magnum was where I expected it to be. It was an older model X Frame that had the standard compensator at the end of the barrel. It was the same exact style of gun that I had shot at Target World many years earlier, so we bought it on the spot. After thinking about the progressive intrusions on our lives so evident in the nightly news, I was happy that I had bought the gun nicknamed by all the workers as the “hand cannon” from the popular outdoor store because it was so refreshingly American—the way it was always intended. After completing a quick form for the background check, they gave me the gun, sold me the ammunition as my wife and I then went shopping for other items carrying the gun around with us as we grabbed some food. Nobody looked sideways at the big gun as I carried it around the store like a normal purchase. In the world of Bass Pro guns were not demonized, they were flying off the shelves at a rapid rate and the people selling them were helpful, and excited. It was a very positive experience.

Back in the old days when I first registered for my Federal Firearms License there was always a kind of regulation heavy taboo associated with guns that was wonderfully not present at Bass Pro. I understand Cabelas has the same general approach. I would expect openness at typical gun shops, but those types of stores have a higher profile and are geared more toward retail shopping. Walmart and Dicks offers ammunition, but more and more buying them feels socially like it’s some kind of pornography, which is completely wrong. That was not the experience at Bass Pro. I bought my .500 Magnum and all the staff was excessively helpful. It was exactly what I needed to feel when buying the long-awaited S&W X Frame—it restored my hope just a bit in America and the kind of people who are more and more living in the cracks running from the mismanagement of the cities and their left-leaning governments within whatever unfortunate county those cities reside in. The suburbs, where I live are filled with people shopping at Bass Pro Shops buying guns, ammunition, and fishing gear the way Americans always have. If they watch the news it’s usually Fox—if they listen to the radio, its likely talk radio like Rush Limbaugh—and they are under assault by the mismanaged resources of the federal government.

It occurred to me as I thought about buying that gun and the experience of purchasing it that if every American did something similar that the act alone would go a long way to defeating many of the progressive failures that are coming. It’s nice to have a military and a police department to sweep away bad guys without our direct involvement, but more often than not, they are getting their orders from knuckle-dragging slugs that have the intellect of a hard-boiled egg. They really are not qualified to protect our homes and our property. With that in mind it is fully my intention to dust off my old gunsmithing days and get involved in more promotional activity that will make other people want to go to Bass Pro Shops or Cabelas and buy themselves a new gun just for the pleasure of having it. Because if they do, that action goes a long way to eroding away the hopes and dreams of progressive insurgents who want to disarm America into a European type of colony firmly under the guidance of the United Nations. And the United Nations will largely be shaped by people like those involved in the Clinton Foundation crimes. That’s not acceptable to me, and my family isn’t going to suffer because of people like them. It’s not that shooting people is the solution either, but sometimes just having guns is enough to keep the bad guys in the bad areas when all hell breaks loose, which looks like an inevitable destination for our current culture. When hell does get loose it helps to unleash some hell of your own and for me that answer is the .500 Magnum—a wonderful treasure from Smith & Wesson. The best way to fight back against progressives is to buy a gun—and Bass Pro Shops makes it wonderfully easy. Better than it used to be in the early days of gunsmithing. Some things do get better with time.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

‘Fury Road': Rebelling against Giambattista Vico

I have a general assumption about mankind that is quite opposite of typical academia. Civilizations rise on the backs of innovative individuals and flourishing capitalism. They decline with more centralized control and absorption of individual achievement into the fabric of a collective society. When an unworthy king or bureaucratic democracy takes over the direction of economic enterprise and invention, a society is in decline. It is due to the hard wiring of human beings trained from their infancy to follow the Giambattista Vico cycle always witnessing societies fall only to be born again in a much regimented pattern. This holds true no matter what the society, whether it be the Mayan people, the Inca, the Mongol, the Roman Empire—all societies so far have followed the Giambattista cycle. This is why anybody with any honesty looks at George Miller’s Mad Max films and declares him a genius. It’s also why it was more than symbolic that Mel Gibson showed up at the premier of Fury Road, the latest Mad Max film now staring Tom Hardy. Studios didn’t want Gibson in the film as the Vico cycle declares that what’s old must be recycled to make way for the young and new. But Gibson showed up to give the young Hardy a bit of support because any Mad Max fan knows that Mel Gibson will always be the iconic Road Warrior. It all started with this movie.

Our current world is not very far from the world of the first Mad Max movie. Police are now being openly murdered and Vico’s final phase of anarchy is fully at hand. What happens next is the rise of a theocratic society followed again by aristocratic, then democratic rule, followed by chaos once again. In the film Fury Road we find that in the period between the first Mad Max film society has devolved into the rise of theocratic civilization. No longer is society concerned with missions to Mars or inventing a new iWatch—now the primary concern as it has been in the past is to establish a new deity figure for the society at large.

I have always loved the Mad Max character because he maintains himself throughout the entire cycle as a constant reminder into the phase of the Gambattista cycle from which everything was taken from him, his wife, child, friend, career—everything he cherished from that time. Unlike the rest of the world he finds himself standing up against the tide of regression. He is a representation in these Mad Max films as Nietzsche’s ubermensch-otherwise translated as the overman. Nietzsche’s ubermensch is one who has graduated from mankind and stepped away from the Gambattista cycle all together—and has decided to advance their life based on individual creativity.   But this is a dangerous road, Hitler tried to take Nietzsche’s ubermensch and advance Germany, but failed in his interpretation and instead moved his country into a Karl Marx inspired socialist democracy—followed by war defined anarchy, then back to a theocratic/democratic existence where it currently finds itself in a European Union—otherwise a democracy that is once again plunging into anarchy now inspired by the failing economies of Greece.   Mad Max is the figure who refuses to submit to these tides of the world.

I have no doubt that George Miller would agree with this assessment. He knows all too well what he’s doing. He’s not just making a popcorn action thriller with great car stunts and bizarre characters. He’s making a rejection statement against Gambattista’s famed cycle. He may not have set out to be conscious about that statement but rather let his intellect drive those elements of the story along as evolution of the various aspects of the story evolved, but based on the presentation of Fury Road, it is clear he understands what he’s doing all too well. It’s also clear why so many people are excited to see such an apocalyptic story and why after all these years it’s so close to the hearts of so many people. This is not a typical summer blockbuster film.

So, how excited am I for the upcoming Fury Road? Well, let me tell you, I have dedicated this upcoming Friday to seeing it. I will certainly be one of the first, and I will likely see it several times. I love the action, I love Mad Max and all that he stands for, but more than anything I love seeing the Gambattista cycle challenged. The world may have went crazy in relation to the advanced days of invention when oil was being produced to propel cars from city to city, to instigate the growth of economies of various trade. All that can and will fall apart within just a few decades of human development—just like the Maya abandoned their cities apparently very fast—as if they just evaporated. It’s not that such people abandoned their cities because they left earth for alien destinations, the people of Ur did not suddenly become equivalent to the Neanderthal after building hanging gardens and massive temples—they regressed because they emerged into war then reinvented theocracy starting the Vico cycle fresh again losing all that they had gained before. Mad Max is that personality in these George Miller movies who in spite of everything that he has lost and continues to lose, refuses to give up on his heroic past and be the last representation of a time when mankind was truly great.

How many people do you know who would at the drop of a hat become one of the mindless followers of some future attempt at theocratic rule? The current Muslim obsession is but the latest. How many maniacs would kill the masses for a chance at everlasting life in the hereafter because some slug of a wanna’ be king dictated that such a thing would bring redemption to the soul? The answer is probably everyone that you know. Most of the people shopping at the grocery and working in a corner cubical would gladly trade in their suits and ties for a thong and Mohawk if some skull inspired death cult instructed them that through worship of his heavenly presence that someday they too might rise up to greatness if only they adhere to the tenets of collectivism.   Miller’s brilliance is that he was able to see such a clear vision from our present age. It’s not easy to see that overweight school levy supporter buying meat at the grocery as a future sex slave to a blood thirsty cult fighting over the worship of water—but Miller does, and with a grand design. It’s not easy to see that corrupt politician kissing babies and whatever else as the skull wearing Immortan Joe hunting down the wives who are desperate to leave him. But in Miller’s films, it is quickly recognizable that most people we know under similar conditions would find themselves as some character in that wasteland. It doesn’t take much to forgo everything we have ever been and throw it away in exchange for basic human necessities, like food, water, and sex.

I am excited for Fury Road, but for reasons that go well beyond the visual spectacle. I love it for the rebellion against Vico. On one hand the Vico cycle is shown in all its brutal honesty, but through the character of Max—using almost no dialogue—Miller beholds the ubermensch—a character that launched the career of Mel Gibson who in almost every movie refused to buckle under the pressure of Vico to decline—but always to advance. Whether it was Riggs from Lethal Weapon or William Wallace from Braveheart, Mel Gibson started as Mad Max, that hero from the past who punched through the Vico cycle with the throttle down and the skill of a Road Warrior as the rest of the world attempted to drag him back into the Stone Age. That’s why Fury Road is more important than a four-year degree in college studying history and the Vico cycle. Because Fury Road shows through art the results of that path—and how treacherously close we always are to falling off the edge of reality into an abyss controlled by maniacs like Immortan Joe—or the Toe Cutter.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Progressives Against Good Families: Not reading to kids, Miley Cyrus Happy Hippies, and Genie in a Bikini

For the rest of the world who have allowed themselves to be deliberately naïve to the actions of those who want to control it, the ABC report out of Australia and carried by United Kingdom media might be surprising. Essentially progressive philosophers using Plato as an example are unveiling their desire to destroy families in favor of centralized control by the state—all in the name of equality. For instance, some kids are fortunate enough to be born into good families giving them an unfair advantage in life over those not born into good families. It is well documented that children who have loving parents who read to them and care for them in a mentoring way produce decent minded children and those relationships usually last a lifetime. Kids who are born into chaos and unloving, selfish parents take those static patterns into their adulthoods to become emotional wrecks. Well, for my wife and me we know all too well that there is great truth to the ABC article out of the UK seen below. We have always strived to work very hard at being good parents to our children and we have seen firsthand the wrath of progressive society that wanted desperately to move in this parentless direction—starting in public schools. Still, it is shocking when you hear progressives talk about this insurrection against logic so openly. Rush Limbaugh covered the issue on his May 5th radio show which can be heard below as well.

You really can’t make this stuff up. If you want to have a traditional family in this country of America or anywhere else, you are under assault and withering under the strain will not save your children. As I write this Miley Cyrus is launching a foundation for homeless, and LGBT youth called the Happy Hippie Foundation. Millions of young people who like Cyrus are prone to listening to the openly political musings of that particular musical artist where the obvious objective is the destruction of family structure. The obvious strategic goal is to directly transfer the raising of children to control by the state. It is an obvious attempt, and fulfillment of the old Plato notion outlined in his Republic to centralize the youth behind common bonds, and before that can occur, individual family influence has to be destroyed. For the youth culture, that is being achieved through entertainment influences. If there wasn’t politics behind artists like Cyrus and Ariana Grande they would not make the kind of money they do within the music industry. The message behind their “art” is overtly a progressive message designed to destroy family bonds. Their “art” is a tactical objective in favor of progressivism.

Coming on Memorial Day 2015 on the Nickelodeon network is a show called Genie in a Bikini. It features a cross dressing guy who is a magical genie granting kids wishes. Clearly this is an attempt to normalize LGBT behavior on a network intended for children. So this is a very widespread assault on family oriented behavior. The executives at Nickelodeon and the producers of the various shows on that network are simply putting their finger to the wind and measuring what they think the public wants, and that is largely shaped by pop culture—artists like Cyrus, or before her, Madonna, Cher and many others who routinely pushed the limits of acceptability selling sex as a way to deface family structure as a foundation for individual development. But once a show like Genie in a Bikini hits the airwaves, the path to normalization is upon us.

I’m not one to declare that there needs to be censorship. I hate drugs, but I’m not crazy about the police either, so more laws are not the way I prefer to go. And in the case of censoring shows like Genie in a Bikini, I wouldn’t advocate that. But those types of people are imposing their beliefs on the rest of us—they are a minority and expect the rest of the world that enjoys family life to bend to their desires. This march toward equality for all essentially means that those of high quality need to reduce themselves to meet the inability of a majority to live up to a high example and that is not acceptable. I don’t accept these progressive ideas and I am more than willing to vocalize my dislike of their intentions to cram their beliefs down my throat. Anger is a nice way to put the emotions I feel toward the enemies of family—because family is very important to me. Those who are against it, I consider to be against me, so there are ramifications to that strategy.

The family haters who migrate to government like herding animals stuck on the Serengeti during a drought suddenly finding water are implementing a strategy that is several decades old. The American family funded by capitalist endeavors is their ultimate target and is the reason for much of this anti-family behavior. The target has always been capitalism—from the very beginning. The best way to advance socialism is to take away the ideal of a parent/child relationship—so I view this strategy as an open attack on my way of life. Its one thing to be tolerant of a couple of girls kissing in front of me in line at Kings Island, it’s quite another for them to expect me to put up with it in every aspect of my life and to bend my values to theirs. That’s simply not going to happen no matter how much Miley Cyrus sings about it.

I don’t like Miley Cyrus—I didn’t like her before this Happy Hippie Foundation thing she’s doing now. She looks like she smells like spit and I’m not found of saliva in the form of a human being. She’s the latest tool of progressive advocates in the record industry to advance their family killing strategy by using the tender minds of youth as a weapon against traditional culture. But worse than my dislike of Cyrus personally, is the name of her group—I dispise hippies. Hippies are anti-family, anti-capitalist, and anti-good. They are against everything that I’m for so that leads immovable forces toward a collision course. The mistake that is made by the other side, the side of the anti-family types, is that they believe in democracy to the point that they assume that majority rules minorities—if they have a greater number of opinion who are against the family position. They believe their sheer numbers will out vote people in the minority like me. What they forget is that they are susceptible to the same tactics they have used to destroy the family. When they came onto the scene as young hippies driven by the communist movement, they were in the minority against traditional value. Their rebellion was against tradition who at the time held the majority opinion. People like me understand that, and will turn that strategy around against them. We will not yield to the pressure, the world will not wake up tomorrow and just accept the disgusting behavior of the typical progressive—the lifestyle of sickness that people like Miley Cyrus represents. To think otherwise is insane.

For many years, as strange as it sounds, I have considered it an act of rebellion to be in a classic traditional family. Having a traditional family is my rebel with a cause position. I am proud of it, and will continue to have pride in it. For my part in everything I do, I will represent traditional values, because they work, and I appreciate them. A free pass will never be given to slugs like the Miley Cyrus followers who are worshiping the latest progressive spokesman—which is all she is. There may be millions of them, but to me they are like the walking dead zombies of modern fiction—brain dead and half rotten—and worth as much as a penny mashed into hot pavement after it has been trampled underfoot from many careless patrons. Pennies like that are not even worth digging out to spend, because they aren’t even worth that much effort. It may not be their fault that they have grown into worthless human beings, but it is the result of having bad parents who in many cases didn’t read to them as innocent children. I may feel sorry for them, but I’m not about to change what I do for one half of a second—just to make family destroyers like Miley Cyrus feel better about the bad decisions they have made in life as justification for being vile human beings.

However, now you know dear reader what the progressive left has always been up to. The only difference is now they believe they have the numbers to drive the rest of us to the edge of insanity in silent outrage. They enjoy attacking our sensibilities with their outrageous behavior as agents of evil against the American family. And for that, they deserve all that they will get. One thing that I will promise if I am the only person in the world doing it—I will never give these idiots the relief on a measuring stick showing good against evil, or a good family against a bad one. I know the difference and will continue to advocate in favor of the good—in everything that I do. And that’s bad news for the Happy Hippies, because so long as just one person refuses to join their ranks, they will always look like the dirty, smelly, skanks that they are—who from day one sought to destroy the family structure of the human race in a vile revenge against crappy parents who simply didn’t read to them when they were kids. The concept of family is openly under attack and I will promise this much even if the rest of the world falls into the darkness of following after those attackers—I will always stand with the concept of family and will view anything that threatens that unity as a vile, and despicable endeavor. Even if I am completely alone, it will be my goal in life to make those happy hippies gradually—extremely miserable.

Looks like Miley Cyrus gave up, she dropped her belief in her purity ring and from there fell hard. She’ll never get back what she lost. She ruined her chances at having a good family because no child born of her could possibly look up to her because of the many mistakes she has made in just the last couple of years. And now that Cyrus has fallen she wants validation that others are just as bad as she is. So she started the Happy Hippie Foundation to bring like minds together in the misery of their insolence. Misery loves company and they hate good families.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

The Socialist Bernie Sanders: Why public schools want the Nordic Model

Many snickered when I stated emphatically that it was versions of communism and socialism that was being taught in public schools. They really didn’t want to deal with that reality. Others snickered when I said that Democrats like Obama and Clinton were functional socialists—that their political ideology was driven by Karl Marx and that liberalism in general had the goal of socialism. Well, the times are what they are—drug abusers want legalized pot, the lazy want great pay for little work, and two decades of children have been raised on liberal causes like global warming, Keynesian economics, and philosophies of collectivism. And now they are ready for socialism in America—openly. That is why Bernie Sanders feels that he now has a platform for a presidential run. Old Democrats like George Stephanopulous are used to hiding their love of socialism behind cocktail parties and racist issues so to deflect attention away from their intentions. But Sanders is one of the only open socialists in the U.S. government. To his credit, at least he’s honest about his intentions. His open embrace of socialism made Stephanopulous cringe a bit in the following interview. While watching, remember I have been saying this kind of stuff for a long time—longer than Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh or any other modern pundit. What follows is a bit of an article from a millennial website obviously proud of Sanders. This is what we are up against. These are not the Democrats of the 1990s. These are no longer ashamed of their socialism. These Democrats are openly advocating it—and because the youth has already been trained in socialism from their public schools, they are likely to vote in favor of it.

After raising more in 24 hours than each of the declared GOP candidates individually, Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders went on ABC’s This Week to let America—and the D.C. pundit class that has already written him off—know he’s a real player in 2016.


“For 30 years I’ve been standing up for workers of this country and I think I’m the only candidate who is prepared to take on the billionaire class which now controls our economy and increasingly controls the political life in this country. We need a political revolution in this country.”

After a bit of half-snark from Stephanopulous over his embrace of the “S” word, Sanders went on to defend democratic socialism and explain, in detail, why America should be trying to emulate Northern European countries rather than belittle them. The ABC host and former Bill Clinton advisor tried to pin the Vermont senator down, musing aloud, “I can hear the Republican attack ad now: [Sanders] wants America to look like Scandinavia,” to which Sanders deadpanned in response, “That’s right. And what’s wrong with that?”

The Nordic Model that Sanders likes so much is a joke; the GDP of those Nordic countries is like comparing a fly to an elephant. They may both be creatures of biological design, but that is the end of their similarities. The United States has a GDP of over $17 trillion per year, Sweden only has $570 billion, Denmark $340 billion, Finland $271 billion, and Norway $500,000. Most of that GDP is exports from companies Ikea, but other than that, there’s not much going on economically. Yet this is what socialists like Sanders are advocating for.

The Nordic Model – Embracing globalization and sharing risks” characterizes the system as follows:[15]

  • An elaborate social safety net in addition to public services such as free education and universal healthcare.[15]
  • Strong property rights, contract enforcement, and overall ease of doing business.[16]
  • Public pension plans.[15]
  • Low barriers to free trade.[17] This is combined with collective risk sharing (social programs, labour market institutions) which has provided a form of protection against the risks associated with economic openness.[15]
  • Little product market regulation. Nordic countries rank very high in product market freedom according to OECD rankings.[15]
  • Low levels of corruption.[15] In Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index all five Nordic countries were ranked among the 12 least corrupt of 176 evaluated countries, and Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway all ranked within top 5.[18]
  • High percentage of workers belonging to a labour union. In 2010, labour union density was 69.9% in Finland, 68.3% in Sweden, and 54.8% in Norway. In comparison, labour union density was 12.9% in Mexico and 11.3% in the United States.[19] The lower union density in Norway is mainly explained by the absence of a Ghent system since 1938. In contrast, Denmark, Finland and Sweden all have union-run unemployment funds.[20]
  • A partnership between employers, trade unions and the government, whereby these social partners negotiate the terms to regulating the workplace among themselves, rather than the terms being imposed by law.[21] Sweden has decentralised wage co-ordination, while Finland is ranked the least flexible.[15] The changing economic conditions have given rise to fear among workers as well as resistance by trade unions in regards to reforms.[15] At the same time, reforms and favorable economic development seem to have reduced unemployment, which has traditionally been higher. Denmark’s Social Democrats managed to push through reforms in 1994 and 1996 (see flexicurity).
  • Sweden at 56.6% of GDP, Denmark at 51.7%, and Finland at 48.6% reflects very high public spending.[17] One key reason for public spending is the large number of public employees. These employees work in various fields including education, healthcare, and for the government itself. They often have lifelong job security and make up around a third of the workforce (more than 38% in Denmark). Public spending in social transfers such as unemployment benefits and early-retirement programs is high. In 2001, the wage-based unemployment benefits were around 90% of wage in Denmark and 80% in Sweden, compared to 75% in the Netherlands and 60% in Germany. The unemployed were also able to receive benefits several years before reductions, compared to quick benefit reduction in other countries.
  • Public expenditure for health and education is significantly higher in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in comparison to the OECD average.[22]
  • Overall tax burdens (as a percentage of GDP) are among the world’s highest; Sweden (51.1%), Denmark (46% in 2011),[23] and Finland (43.3%), compared to non-Nordic countries like Germany (34.7%), Canada (33.5%), and Ireland (30.5%).
  • The United Nations World Happiness Report 2013 shows that the happiest nations are concentrated in Northern Europe, with Denmark topping the list. The Nordics ranked highest on the metrics of real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.[24]
  • The Nordic countries received the highest ranking for protecting workers rights on the International Trade Union Confederation’s 2014 Global Rights Index, with Denmark being the only nation to receive a perfect score.[25]

Even though per capita income is high in these Nordic Model countries their average tax rates are hovering around 50%. So a $50,000 a year income is only $25,000 a year in useable income. Socialists like Sanders will tell supporters about the nice quiet life in Scandinavia, how happy people are, how long their vacations are—how all their educations were paid for—but what they don’t talk about is how they are not a people creating much of anything new, and that their economic power is largely dependent on their exports from markets that are rich because of capitalism. The Nordic Model is like socialism itself, a bunch of smoke and mirrors—and in the end all its really good for is some cheap meatballs at Ikea along with a table that breaks the first time a child falls into it.

Yet the point of this particular article isn’t to show what an embarrassment the Nordic Model is compared to the United States, or even a country of comparable landmass, such as Japan—it is to show that all along socialists were advocating these Democratic values intending always to advance socialism as a socially acceptable means of political and economic approach. Bernie Sanders in all his ignorance and naiveté is at war with billionaires because he assumes that they have an obligation to share their wealth—as if wealth is a finite resource that all people are born into. He does not know or understand that wealth is created, and that rich people make wealth because of the prospect of profit. When you take away the motivation to elevate oneself by giving them free education, free housing, long vacations and free health care, that you get a population of cattle that is happy to just graze in the field living off the efforts of others. Of course they’ll be happy to eat when someone puts food in their trough, and sleep in the provided shelter. But don’t ask them to invent anything new, or to advance the state of life in the world—because their minds are turned off—fat, dumb and happy. And that is what Democrats like Bernie Sanders always intended with their love of socialism.

It is that brand of socialism that our kids are learning in public schools at this very moment, and is also why Bernie Sanders thinks he can actually be president in this 2015 America. I’ve only been talking about it for around 30 years. They used to say it was crazy, but now Bernie has come clean with it, which for me is a justified poke in declaring that “I told you so.”

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Don Quixote and the LEA Union: Laughably out-of-touch in Lakota

The Lakota Education Association (LEA) continue their strikingly ridiculous revolt against the suggested merit pay portion of a new contract with the blind stupidity of Don Quixote from the rhetorical knighthood epic attempting to revive chivalry against a skyline of windmills. The world had moved on against Don Quixote, just as it has from the LEA, yet both are stuck in the past painting themselves as comic caricatures against reality. In Don Quixote’s neurosis, at least his reverence was filled with a clamoring for honor, and justice. The LEA nutcases with their black t-shirts and school protests come across as just greedy and out-of-touch. Like Don Quixote they are poised in a fight against technology represented by an unyielding and unemotional windmill which they attack as the rest of the world goes about their business unconcerned.

I’ve already been quite public about my opinion. All the participating teachers in these demonstrations against merit pay should be terminated from the Lakota school district. What the school board is trying to do is apply some management to the outrageous wages and benefits that the current employees enjoy—which puts way too much imposition on tax payers as one of Butler County’s largest employers. If Lakota were a private business, a corporation, or any other creation of the world the rest of us live in, the school would be out of business. But, since they are government employees and part of a government employment union which is a terribly out-dated model of doing business fed entirely by tax payer extracted funds they sustain themselves with the furtherance of levies faking effectiveness. The collective bargaining that they are fighting so mindlessly for is also a concept that will soon be extinct—which has started in the United States in Wisconsin where Scott Walker has successfully implemented many of these new concepts in the heart of the most progressive state in the union. All other states will have to follow, including Ohio leaving these black clad LEA teachers looking foolishly irrelevant.

Perhaps more stunning was the comment president Sharon Mays made to her members and the flyer which emerged from one of the recent protests. Mays stated to the school newspaper, Today’s Pulse that “In no way are we at a standstill here. We are continuing to meet and collaborate to reach an agreement.” Then there was the flyer which stated, “It has become clear that Lakota needs a different perspective on our board of education. Please see Constant Contact for a notice about searching for supportive, positive community members who may be running as a candidate this November.” True to the flyer, there are two seats coming open on the school board this upcoming fall of 2015, but those seats are not currently held by bastions of conservatism. Julie Shafer has worked on behalf of the labor union about as aggressively as these LEA types could dream of.  What the union is talking about is a return to the good ol’ days in Lakota where union lapdogs were sitting on the school board behaving against the community to stuff the pockets of the union members with confiscated wealth from the district. Those days are over—forever. Lakota is too conservative of an area to put up with that kind of behavior leaving the type of current board members to adequately represent the most liberal aspects of the Lakota district. What the LEA has now is about as good as its going to get for them. And if that’s not good enough, they need to stop charging those windmills and hang it up.

Soon it will be summer and people will care even less about Lakota schools. And as the union pushes this whole thing into the fall, people will care even less as the new Liberty Center shopping complex will bring lots of nice stories to the district. Nobody is going to want to see a bunch of spoiled brat teachers dressed in black projecting unfairness when most people in the district are individually successful and know what it takes to make a dollar. Areas like Mt. Healthy or Over-the Rhine might have a more sympathetic public opinion for the LEA members, but they aren’t the ones who will vote for new school board members or future levies to pay for all these collective bargaining agreements. Those who do want to throw money at Lakota really just want to throw money at the school to take the burden of baby sitting their kids off their minds. These protests are reminders to them that their baby sitters aren’t so stable and might threaten to walk off the job at any time—which will only piss them off. Nobody with a sane mind thinks these Lakota teachers are “under compensated” or that they have a critical effect on their children’s future. Only idiots think that today. Everyone else understands that Lakota is just a baby sitting service.

To say it’s an insult to consider the highly degreed government employees at Lakota as mere baby sitters is to not be in touch with reality.  Only in public work these days are those degrees of any real use, because only there can any value be provided that is equitable to the perception of importance.  Schools like Lakota can only maintain that perception with looted wealth from property owners who do have value.  Just like the bad teachers will cry out for the best teachers to share with them the net value of their hard work through collective bargaining and a lack of merit pay to hide their lackluster effort—government schools do the same allowing organizations like this LEA to charge those windmills with the illusion that they are fighting monsters of great importance.  But they aren’t.  They are only fighting rotten wood in a vacant field as the rest of the world does their own work oblivious to the lunatics on horseback fighting illusions of a threat that doesn’t exist.

Public schools if they were effective would be producing lots of little Einsteins, but all they make are over sexed children bored with life and lacking the basic work ethics to conduct their lives in a successful fashion.  It is taking most public education graduates these days until age 35 to actually mature away from the nonsense they learned in government schools if they ever do.  That is not a success story worthy of black t-shirts and protests against merit pay.  My vote would be to shut down every public school and give every child in America a Leap Frog tablet replacing all these ungrateful teachers sending them to the unemployment line.  The kids would be much better off and get a far superior education.  So it’s quite humorous to watch them gallop about as if their work was somehow more important than it really is.  The LEA should feel lucky that they have a current school board who will actually talk to them. I’d simply let their contracts run out and begin hiring replacements.  Ohio will be a right-to-work state soon.  Lakota will then be able to hire teachers for a fraction of the current cost. So fire all the protesting teachers at Lakota and let reality finally catch up to them.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

What Comments can Teach Us: The changing tide of public education sentimate

Since the Enquirer has picked through my material to help boost its readership at times, I’m sure they won’t mind if I use their comment section from a recent article about Lakota teachers to explore some of the back and forth that has been going on, which is important to capture for analysis.  Back in the day I’d sometimes participate in these comments like my friend Sharon Poe below does, but since the Enquirer has moved to requiring Facebook log ins, it excludes me.  I don’t do Facebook.  There are a couple of generic accounts that were created for my professional endeavors, which I don’t even log in to—so I have no Facebook account and I never will.  I do not agree with the terms of service at Facebook, so the Enquirer system doesn’t work for me.  But there is some use in watching what other people have to say which can be seen below.  In essence, the following comment stream is regarding the recent teacher protests before and after school activities over the merit pay issue.

Really there are two types of people who participate in these forums.  It used to be all union people until a few years ago when they began to be challenged out in the open by reformers.  Then the standard answers about how hard the teaching profession is, or how much money they make, or how much they sacrifice for the “children” was unchecked, but not anymore.  More than ever, everyday people participate in these forums to advance thought, and opinions have changed.  It should be noticed that one commenter castigated my friend Sharon who is from a neighboring district of Mason for sticking her nose into Lakota business, but nothing is said to the teacher from Sandusky schools which is about as far away in the state of Ohio that anyone could get.  That is just one example of the bi-polar relationship that public school teachers and their supporters have with the outside world.  What’s good for them is acceptable 100% of the time.  But if someone from the other side of opinion utilizes the same—they kick and scream like babies with a rash during a diaper change.   The rampant union supporter is one type of participant—and they have largely been neutered from what they used to be.  They are very careful about their comments compared to five years ago.  This is because of the other type, the reformer—who is growing in number year by year and has been present to debate the very premise of pubic education.  Have a look at the basis for their discussions.

Joe Shooner ·

Cincinnati, Ohio

I’m a Lakota parent, and I fully support the idea of paying our teachers well. My kids are relying on that education, I consider it money well spent to retain and attract good teachers. I know my kids teachers. I see the cars they drive, I learn where they live. On paper, some district employees are doing very well – especially since most cost estimates I’ve seen include ALL benefits. As a person in a small business, I can tell you that a 40K salary can EASILY have a total cost of $60K if you factor in taxes, healthcare, etc. The majority of teachers are not getting rich off of this job. If yo…See More

Like · Reply · 7 · Apr 24, 2015 9:44am

Joe Doerger

The whole merit pay issue is specious. Mainly because it’s unsustainable and will actually cost districts MORE in the long run which means MORE and HIGHER taxes MORE often.

Every merit pay scheme has been used to keep down some salaries by giving more to others. The pool of money has to grow larger to pay everymore teachers more merit pay. Without a reliable source of new money, merit pay will result in unfair discrepancies in teacher pay. You can’t give all the money to a math teacher when you also need English and Social Studies teachers.

Think about it, if EVERY teacher qualifies for “mer…See More

Like · Reply · 3 · Apr 24, 2015 10:14am

Emily Cottingham

This is very unfair for the teachers. How would you like to be judged on the performance of others? Some students do not have the capacity or the desire to learn, and why should a teacher be judged on that? Also, some of the worst teachers teach the smartest kids, who are self driven. Why should that teacher be rewarded because their students perform well? Basing a teacher’s pay off of a students work is unjust, and will just encourage teachers to only teach to the tests and nothing else. Learning in school is a made up of much more than learning how to pass stupid assessments designed by those not teaching the class.

Like · Reply · 3 · Apr 24, 2015 8:27am

Nicol Neate

sorry, too many are just glorified babysitters, and if they have a student who has no desire to learn, or is struggling it is THEIR JOB to get through some how.

Like · Reply · Apr 24, 2015 8:49am

Joe Doerger

Nicol Neate sorry, but you are a very uninformed citizen. They’re TEACHERS. 

Now if you suggest that some of their students (and their parents) are glorified babies, you might be on to something

Like · Reply · 6 · Apr 24, 2015 9:09am

Emily Cottingham

There’s only so much teachers can do. In the real world, if an employee does nothing, they get fired. In school, the most that can happen is the student can get a detention, and gets failed. But they are still supposed to learn the material, and the teacher gets evaluated based on that. The teacher can’t follow the student home and make them do the work. They can’t keep them after and force them to do it. And they can’t sacrifice class time to teach that student individually, and sacrifice the learning of the other students. Often, the parents aren’t making their kids accountable and don’t force their kids to do homework. But if the student isn’t learning, the teachers automatically get blamed.

Like · Reply · 3 · Apr 24, 2015 9:46am

Show 4 more replies in this thread

Jackie Conrad ·

Teacher at Sandusky City Schools

The Constitution. Read it. Those teachers are exercising their rights. Judge not.

Like · Reply · 2 · 17 hrs

Alex Daniel ·

Cincinnati, Ohio

Yes and using their positions to unduly influence their pupils into supporting their backwards political beliefs….I guess tax payers shouldn’t be allowed to preside in judgement over that right?

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Michael Smith ·

Cincinnati, Ohio

What people do not seem to understand is that the evaluation system mandated by the Ohio State Legislature is horrifically flawed. The American Statistical Association has even stated that it has zero value in determining teacher merit.

The fundamental issue is that the state mandates the use of test scores but the calculation that translates these scores into merit is no more reliable than flipping a coin. They take each child’s score at the beginning of the year on their grade-level test, then project what the child would have to score at the “end” of the year (in reality a month or two b…See More

Like · Reply · 2 · Apr 24, 2015 11:41am

Sharon Constable Poe ·

Loveland High School

Until Ohio becomes a Right to Work state unions will control our schools! These people have no idea what it is like to have to sacrifice. Disgusting and shame on you Lakota teachers!

Like · Reply · 1 · Apr 24, 2015 8:18am

Joe Doerger

Yeah! Shame on you teachers for exercising your right to assemble peacefully according to the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America!

How DARE you?

Quick! Let’s pass some laws so they can’t do that. After all, LIBERTY, is only for someone else! And not teachers.

Like · Reply · 5 · Apr 24, 2015 9:03am

Don DeLotell ·

Miami University

Shame on you Sharon Poe for sticking your nose into Lakota Schools just like you did for so many of those years with Mason schools–you are from the Party of No and to think teachers haven’t sacrificed indicates how clueless of what a teacher actually does speaks volumes. If being a teacher is so good I would suggest you go get a college degree with a major in Education and after 4 years apply for the “dream job”.

Like · Reply · 3 · 23 hrs

Michael Croy

@Sharon- Can you share some examples of how teachers have no idea about what it is like to sacrifice?

Like · Reply · 1 hr

Ryan Pride ·

Front Ensemble Technician at Phantom Regiment

If you think basing pay off of merit (I.e. Test scores) holds teachers accountable, then you are ignorant on the subject. All tests do is measure how well a kid takes a test, not if they actually understood the information. Good teachers are being punished by standardized testing and are leaving the profession in droves. Would you trust someone to make a car seat for your child, but then argue that they’re paid too much to make a quality and safe product to protect your child? No? Well guess what, your child’s EDUCATOR (as in the person who provides information for them to use the rest of thei…See More

Like · Reply · 1 · 20 hrs

Alex Daniel ·

Cincinnati, Ohio

Let’s see:
-Irrationally equating the purchasing choice of a commercial commodity to the pay scale of a public sector worker….check. 

-blindly accusing parents of being absent from their child’s lives and pawning their education off on strangers…check.

-and presenting the boilerplate, ready-made response to the idea of actually having standards in performance evaluations for teachers….check. 

Seems you’ve hit all the bases of being a stooge for teacher’s unions. Congratulations.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Ryan Pride ·

Front Ensemble Technician at Phantom Regiment

Not being able to negate any of my points? Check. Mindlessly joining the ranks of critics who probably have zero teaching experience? Check. Attempting to belittle someone though intellectual masterbation? Double check. Being a “stooge” doesn’t make me wrong.

Like · Reply · 2 · 14 hrs

Kevin Lee Austin ·

System Administrator at Wright State University

Here is some interesting reading from 2011.…/pay-rate-for…/

Like · Reply · Apr 24, 2015 10:48am

Joe Shooner ·

Cincinnati, Ohio

I would guess, and this is truly a guess, that those numbers do not reflect their actual salary, but their cost to the disctrict. While they are related, it’s important to realize that any legitimate employer who pays taxes, medicare, and especially any type of health insurance, will incur a much higher “cost” for an employee than what that employee receives on their paycheck, even their gross wages. It varies, but an employer can easily have a cost of 25-40% haigher than the salary alone.

Like · Reply · Apr 24, 2015 11:08am

Joe Doerger

Sow what’s your point? Is it too much? Is it too little? Compared to what?

What do YOU make and why don’t YOU list it along with your name and other personal information? What are you afraid of?

Like · Reply · Apr 24, 2015 11:11am

Kevin Lee Austin ·

System Administrator at Wright State University

Joe Shooner Those are salaries, not salary plus benefits.

Like · Reply · Apr 24, 2015 11:12am

Show 2 more replies in this thread

Kevin Lee Austin ·

System Administrator at Wright State University

Must be a weekday. More grumbling from the Lakota teacher’s union.

Like · Reply · Apr 24, 2015 7:51am

Joe Doerger

I think it’s call “freedom of assembly.”

Like · Reply · 3 · Apr 24, 2015 10:16am

Alex Daniel ·

Cincinnati, Ohio

Joe Doerger; It’s called stealing tax payer dollars.

Like · Reply · 16 hrs

Nicol Neate

Golly, don’t the teachers use this in their own classes? You have to earn things in life, including raises. ~rolls eyes~ Our teachers are becoming priviledged group who think they dont have to answer to anyone. Well, our failing schools show they need to earn their check, like anyone else. Quit whining like you’d tell your students.

Like · Reply · Apr 24, 2015 8:22am

Joe Doerger

Oh those “privileged” teachers. With their desks and their tests. And their rooms with chairs. I guess that’s why EVERYONE is chucking their careers on Wall St. to get into classrooms as soon as possible. After all, THAT’S where the money is, right?

Like · Reply · 5 · Apr 24, 2015 9:07am

Michelle Langlois Wagner ·

West Chester Township, Butler County, Ohio

Even using your extremely flawed logic, Nicol, the schools in Lakota have repeatedly been identified as excellent with distinction-the very opposite of failing. You are simply demanding that teachers work hard for less pay, based on a system (merit pay) that has never been shown to work. Ever.

Like · Reply · 2 · Apr 24, 2015 11:53am

Maureen Basedow ·

10th grade science teacher at Cincinnati Public Schools

Michelle Langlois Wagner, I was a college professor before teaching high school. The absolute best local students at Miami and Xavier came from Lakota. Lakota was doing it right. The best local suburban high school by far, Nicol Neate. Now who should be paid for that?

Like · Reply · 17 hrs

Probably the most common argument in favor of the public education system and the infinite pay the employees demand was from the Shooner person: “I’m a Lakota parent, and I fully support the idea of paying our teachers well. My kids are relying on that education, I consider it money well spent to retain and attract good teachers. I know my kids teachers. I see the cars they drive, I learn where they live. On paper, some district employees are doing very well – especially since most cost estimates I’ve seen include ALL benefits. As a person in a small business, I can tell you that a 40K salary can EASILY have a total cost of $60K if you factor in taxes, healthcare, etc. The majority of teachers are not getting rich off of this job.”  That guy thinks he has all the bases covered, he identifies himself as a person who understands the economics of the situation—he asserts the value the public education service has to him, then attempts to justify the value without any real substantial equity being used to balance out that value.  On the surface these people sound reasonable until you consider the implication of what they are putting forth.  40K per year is above the average wage rate in the United States—let alone 60K—so how much is a teacher worth?  That depends on whether or not you have school aged kids.  Youthful parents tend to be more neurotic on the issue whereas older people have learned the value of money and are more stringent.

The other argument that didn’t come up much in these comments, but ultimately are the last resort in such exchanges is that public schools should be appeased because our property values magically go up every year and that we should be willing to donate some of that value back into the schools so that these unionized employees can have the jackpot.  There are two problems with that situation, realtors—who are always some of the most vocal school levy advocates—use public schools to attract those lily pad hoppers who move to a district for the schools, then move away when the next fad hits—or they move in their career wanting to cash in on the increased value of their homes.  So using schools as a way to increase the value of a district’s real estate value is like taking a drug—the fix might be immediate and benefit the people who stay in a home for 5 to 7 years—but it penalizes investors who stick around for a decade or two—because the cycle of growth doesn’t sustain itself over time.  The other problem is that home values do not really increase—it is only through inflation that they appear to grow.  In the short run that money can be taxed, and loans can be taken out against that value, but it will not sustain itself for a decade or two.  Homes only increase in value if there are more people who want to buy that house in the future then the market will allow.  If everyone who wants a house can get one in the area of their choice, values won’t hold.  For instance, values hold in Indian Hill because there are limited homes per re-sale opportunity.  For every home that goes up for sale, there may be four buyers—hypothetically speaking.  However, in Lakota there are plenty of homes.  Builders have placed them under every tree, stream and school cross walk.  Currently there are a reasonable number of people who want to live in the Lakota district and it helps that there is commercial growth—but within the decade that will change.  There will be so many homes priced at the upper end of the market value that there might only be one or two buyers per home—putting the sales leverage on the buyer—not the seller.   Even though a home may be valued and taxed by the Lakota school system at $280,000 a buyer may only be willing to pay $210,000 for it.  If you don’t come down on that price the buyer will walk.  How does that cover a perceived investment?

I had a couple of sets of friends who lived in Four Bridges.  Their kids grew up; graduated from Lakota—then they moved away.  Their $300,000 to $500,000 homes sat on the market for over a year each and when they did sell; it was about 15% less than they wanted.  They had hoped to make money on those homes, but instead took a loss to move the units.  There just aren’t that many buyers out there who can buy a quarter million dollar home in the first place—let alone one in an area with a lot of competition.  If a potential buyer wants to move to an area to send their kids to Lakota schools—or Mason for that matter and a seller doesn’t come down on their price—there is a cookie cutter home down the road from a seller who will—so the leverage is gone from the homeowner leaving them to support every school levy that comes along hoping that more potential buyers in the future will maintain their increases in property value.  But most of the time it won’t.

Most parents who blindly support public school levies and the teachers who baby sit their kids fall in this category—only they never admit to it.  They hope and pray to make 20K to 30K on their home so they can downsize into a condo at some point in the future once their kids are grown, and live off the gains.  But it doesn’t work that way for most people.  If there are gains made, they are either absorbed by inflation, or taxes.  Or they are lost due to other circumstances leaving these current school levy supporters angry with themselves for supporting a levy a decade ago.

And that’s the situation that is coming to Lakota and Mason schools—and is why there are fewer people commenting these days on behalf of the greedy out-of-touch teachers.  Even with the growth of commercial enterprises—such as the new Liberty Center—there will be declining enrollment at Lakota as kids grow up and move away, but their parents stick around burnt by that same school plaguing them with buyer’s remorse.  Since the gains in property value will not be what those former supporters had hoped for, they will stay at Lakota and hold their properties and won’t want to support the schools because they won’t have kids in the school any longer.  That is the situation that the Lakota teachers are protesting as they expect to receive a higher than average wage in a community where the children are leaving, the parents are staying—and are bitter that their investment yield wasn’t what they had dreamed of.  And they will vote with their wallets—like people always do.  School supporters know they can get cheaper babysitting through the public school, so to them it’s a bargain.  But for those who don’t have kids in school, they want nothing to do with Lakota, or the taxes that spawn from it.

Those are just some things to consider.  I have watched this issue for a long time and its course is set and certain.  Yet in the comment section of the Enquirer are the same old tired diatribes that sound silly and out-dated now that there is more information to consider.  And that trend will only increase in subsequent years.  These are not the times of old where the teacher unions controlled the boards of newspapers and captured public opinion through guilt.  People are sick of these spoiled brats and the difference now from then is that they are willing to say it, just as Dan Varney did in the Enquirer article.  Nobody used to talk like that—but they do now—and that does not add up to success for the labor union position.  They are losing ground—quickly.

Rich Hoffman


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