These People Teach Our Kids: Protestors React to Kasich’s Budget

The protests on Fountain Square the day Governor Kasich released his budget were amazingly short-sighted considering many of the participants were educators. “We need to tax the rich, and save the middle-class,” were the chants. Really? I mean, really???????? These people really believe that there are other options that are less painful than the budget cuts Kasich placed on the table. They really believe that the wage levels are somehow separate from collapsing community budgets.

Much of the debate at the Lakota School Board meeting on Monday March 14th, 2011 centered on the loss of junior high sports. Many angry parents came out to protest the elimination of sports programs. I listen to the arguments and can only scratch my head why this is such a contentious issue. First, how did sports become so embedded in public education to begin with? Second, why would you eliminate programs that parents want when it is evident that the wage levels are directly contributing to the overhead cost  increases? A 30% reduction in the top wages would generate over $20 million and would solve a lot of problems that could be spent on “the kids.” But the teachers and administrators are the same type of people protesting on Fountain Square Monday. They aren’t about to make any sacrifices. They’ll let the kids suffer in a minute  because their priorities are all wrong. They’re not bad people, but their workplace culture is wrong. They only know to increase taxes to deal with the budget deficit caused by the very good compensation they receive from the taxpayer. When I hear these people complaining about concessions they’ve made up to this point, or sacrifices, it is quickly obvious that they don’t have a clue what’s going on in the private sector. And what goes on in the private sector is market driven. It’s not some rich conspiracy against the poor. The public sector is driven by a socialist utopia that is not possible. And that is not an inflammatory statement. It’s completely true!

Few of these public workers understand that Medicaid is almost a third of the state budget and only 4% of the people occupy 70% of the cost. That’s a major problem and one of the largest contributors of the budget deficit Ohio is experiencing. It’s certainly not that the rich aren’t paying enough taxes, or that industry is getting tax breaks. The people who say such things are incredibly selfish and not very wise on world affairs. They only look at their little piece of the world and could care less if everyone else suffer, which is what’s happening in Lakota and every other school district.

I’ve been very vocal about the whole wage issue because I don’t think many of those teachers are worth more than 70K a year. I would never think to pay any teacher that amount of money. The education they obtain for themselves is on their dime, not mine. If the state tells them they must have a Masters Degree to teach, they know that getting into the profession. But with that debate aside, they prove with these foolish protests and lack of understanding of statewide matters that they are not equipped to teach our children anything. I wouldn’t send my kid to a school that teaches such small-minded socialism, and that’s what taxing the rich and giving to the poor is.

The protestors were already prepared to protest Kasich no matter what he said in his budget. He could have said he was giving everyone a thousand dollars in the state of Ohio, and they would have still complained about what an evil guy he is.

I look at the things Kasich wants to do and it all sounds good to me. The protestors clearly just don’t want change because they benefit tremendously by keeping everything broken. They are ultimately a very selfish lot that lack the intellectual capacity to educate anyone in my opinion. To know that there were teachers from Lakota at this rally disgusts me. They represent the community very poorly.

Here is what they are protesting from Kasich’s budget plan.

• More oversight over Medicaid, although spending on the federal program will continue to grow by $1 billion annually. Medicaid comprises 30 percent of Ohio’s $60 billion budget in fiscal year 2013, including all federal matching dollars.

• Better coordination of mental health services.

• To offer the state’s health-care coverage to local governments to save money and ask union workers to pay more toward premiums.

• To sell liquor distribution rights to raise money for job-development programs,

• To honor pay increases contained in the third year of a union contract that ends next February. The extra pay offsets lost personal days and unpaid furloughs by state workers – concessions to balance Gov. Ted Strickland’s last budget.

• To double vouchers for school choice, eliminating a waiting list for parents who want to transfer their children from public to privately operated charter schools.

• Bonuses for teachers – $50 for each student who shows marked improvement.

• A closer look at adding slot machines to Ohio’s horse tracks or legalizing casinos operated by Native American tribes.

• Study the concept of semi-private “charter” universities to give now-public colleges more flexibility. That would eliminate the requirement that they hire multiple prime contractors and pay prevailing wage on construction projects, to keep tuition down. It also caps annual tuition growth at 3.5 percent.

Those are just a few of the highlights. The bottom line is that unions just want to keep everything as it is. They don’t want change because they like the way everything is. But they hardly represent the majority. Only 13.7% of the Ohio population belongs to a union. And it’s those 13.7% that are creating the policies that break the budgets of school districts so that kids in junior high won’t be able to play sports, or ride a bus. In the scheme of things the cost of busing, sports programs, and electives are a small part of the budget, its labor costs that are the enormous factor. And it was excessive labor costs that crippled the auto industry, ran the steel industry out of Pittsburg and seriously hampered innovation in companies that are under union control.

Recently I needed a part from a large manufacturer in Dallas, Texas, and the person on the other end of the phone said they could see the part through the window from where they were sitting. But they couldn’t send it to me. Why? Because the department on the other side of the window was controlled by the union and the guy in charge of moving that part was out on sick leave, and he was the only one able under the contract to move the part. So because of union rules the person I was speaking to could not simply open a door and pick up the part to ship back to me. It cost thousands of dollars in delivery penalties and seriously set back our manufacturing process. I was so mad at that process that I put my fist through my phone in frustration.

The same mentality is at play with these public sector unions. They are out of touch and protecting the serious imposition they have imposed on us all. And they could care less of some kids suffer because of their inflated opinions of themselves.

The proof is in what they say and do. Not in their very controlled bullet points designed to manipulate a busy voting population.

And that is the crime that should have serious penalties. And for those that participated in that rally, if you really care about “the kids” and the community you work in, take a pay cut, and don’t even think about asking those communities for more tax increases.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Something Big is coming to Kings Island!

On nice days like what today is shaping up to be, Kings Island comes to my mind. In fact, aside from going to the book store and getting a new book, riding roller coasters at Kings Island after a hard day of working is the best way to unwind.

My wife and I have rode the Diamondback easily over 100 times since it opened a few years ago, and this year will be no different. I enjoy immensely the intensity, and power of the roller coaster, and I think that the Diamondback is one of the best roller coasters in the country, and I’ve rode many of the best. My ideal evening with my wife is getting Chick-fil-A sandwiches and eating under the Eiffel Tower then grabbing some Steak Fries to eat in line for the Diamondback.

And today, March 17, 2011 Kings Island announced with some very cleaver marketing that I admire greatly, that they are putting in a Dinosaur Walk which excites me greatly.

One of my many nicknames given to me by friends and enemies alike is the Hoffmanator. Of course the overmanwarrior, or just warrior for short. But my favorite is T-Rex, because I love dinosaurs and among them my favorite is Tyrannosaurus Rex. The reason for that is because my behavior sometimes brings that creature to mind, because I have such a volatile temper.

So it is with that in mind that I experienced great excitement upon seeing this video.

I don’t care if it is fake. I don’t care if it’s intended for kids. I love, and I mean love the sight of a dinosaur!

So what’s this all about? Well, here Don Helbick public relations director of Kings Island to explain it.

Doesn’t say much, and this teaser says even less.

But that’s part of the fun in what proves to be another fun and exciting attraction. I’m sure it will prove to be one of my favorite hang outs at Kings Island.

Here’s some more footage of more changes at Kings Island. A lot of this we take for granted during the summer when the heat of the day pushes memories of winter deep in our minds.

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior

Bring Atlas Shrugged to Newport on the Levee: Ayn Rand’s Epic Novel is coming to a theater near you.

If you’re like me and admire greatly the work of Ayn Rand, then you’re looking forward to the film being released on April 15th called Atlas Shrugged.

I would consider this a very important and timely film. One that contributes to our culture and it gives me great hope listening to the producer explain to Doc Thompson that the film makers are doing everything in their power to remain true to the original book. The last time a filmmaker spent that kind of time being authentic to a body of literary work it was a little film project called Lord of the Rings.

The Atlas Shrugged series will be divided into three parts the first of which is coming out this April. Hollywood will be watching closely how this film is received. It is entirely possible that the success of this film could change the direction of Hollywood for years.

Why? Because Hollywood is dying on the vine. They are holding onto their former glory with mere finger nails. I know a few friends in Hollywood and even worked on a project or two. (Here is the latest. Everything you see that has a whip in it is me doing stand in work for Peter Facinelli. And yes the stunts are all real, no CGI, including the backward whip crack of the cigarette.) See a more detailed article on that here. In other words I know a bit about what I’m talking about regarding the film industry. Book publishing is in the same boat really.

The young people making films today are as lost as the films they are producing. The other day my wife and I were discussing whether or not we wanted to see the film Paul. I told her it looked a lot like ET to me. We’ll probably see it, but will come away feeling a hunger for more.

It is no accident that the films celebrated at the “big” theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios are celebrating the films of yesterday. Disney World is an obvious celebration of the films from the 30’s to the 90’s with a gap in the late 70’s to the late 80’s. Universal Studios is basically a celebration of Steve Spielberg and the music of John Williams.

But recently, where are the “big bold films?” Well, I dare say that Atlas Shrugged will be one of those films, and once released, and proven successful, will send a powerful message to Hollywood and the liberal film critics that have attempted to steer the direction of our film industry into a ridiculous collectivism that is obviously not what Americans want in the movies.

I’ve said it before, it’s not an accident that Star Wars is still one of the greatest movies of all time, not because of all the special effects, or cute little creatures, but because it has a fundamental message of the individual against the collectivism of the Empire. Such themes run deep in the human conciousness and are understood in the context of a story. It’s not always easy to apply those understandings to real life, but the human mind understands the dilemma well.

That’s why Atlas Shrugged has the potential to be more than just a movie. It has the potential to revitalize our American civilization at a time that many are asking the very questions that Ayn Rand offered in a time that nobody wanted to listen.

Go to the Atlas Shrugged web site and let them know you want a print of the film to be shown at Newport on the Levee. Also, contact that theater so they can set up a screening with the producers so we can help that film prove how powerful the viewings in the Midwest are. This will convince Hollywood to release the film on a wide release, which is of paramount importance.

Go to this link and just type in your zip code to cast your vote to bring this great film to Cincinnati, or whatever city you live in.

Here is the link to the home page of the film website.

Hollywood through films and television forgets time and time again that just putting special effects into a film with stunts and set in time periods similar to classics like Star Wars, or the Godfather, or an epic like Lord of the Rings won’t guarantee success. Citizen Kane is not one of the greatest films ever made because it had great effects or even great acting. Those films are great because they mean something, and the contents of the story don’t leave the viewer by the time they get back to their car in a theater parking lot. Stories filled with big ideas matter. Even low budget phenomena’s like Smokey and the Bandit from the 1970’s hold a special place in the viewers that watch it, because the movie is about individualism in its most raw form, and that’s what America loves.

It’s one thing to battle politicians for fiscal responsibility. It’s probably more important to battle these problems from the aspects of culture, and our movie industry is one of the greatest communication devices of our culture. Atlas Shrugged and the success of its subsequent films will achieve a great deal to educating the millions of young people that are currently getting the wrong message from MTV, the film Hangover, and American Pie 5 or 6, and TV shows like Two and a Half Men, and How I MetYour Mother. Those entertainment pieces show exactly why our culture is failing. And it’s time that new myths communicate the important attributes of American culture, and one of the best opportunities for that to happen is in Atlas Shrugged Part 1.

Some of my favorite scenes brought to life!

Rich Hoffman!/overmanwarrior