Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Spending OUR Money -- to Advance THEIR Agendas . . .

Two articles in tonight's OD on very different subjects have something in common:

Mohawk Valley Water Authority receives $112,500 to do study
The Mohawk Valley Water Authority has received more than $100,000 in order to study water in western Mohawk Valley. . . . The authority received $112,500 total for the study through the Local Government Efficiency grants administered by the New York Department of State.
MVWA is a water purveyor, it is not a regional planning organization. MVWA is also a "power broker" in the region, using its base of rate payers in Utica and environs to give a gift of public water to those in outlying areas that MVWA and the regional elite deem worthy, enriching chosen developers at existing water users' expense.  Empirically MVWA has an agenda to expand its sphere of influence, regardless of the negative impacts of the sprawl it induces (an inefficient distribution of urbanization and lowered population densities that mandate increased per capita costs (more taxes and more fees) at various jurisdictional levels to support expanding areas of infrastructure and services).

Water is where Nature put it and it is still where it always has been. Local water supplies were studied to the nth degree back in 1968 (when our regional population was booming and water scarcity was looming) and a plan was crafted by Oneida and Herkimer Counties, in conjunction with the NYS Department of Health, which specified which localities would get water from which resources. Any studies of water needs today should be done by these same entities.

Money given to MVWA "to study water in western Mohawk Valley" is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house: it will undoubtedly produce a report to justify whatever agenda MVWA has.

Hanna sponsor of bill to increase preschool funding
. . . the Strong Start for America’s Children Act would give children and families nationwide better access to affordable high-quality early learning programs such as Head Start and preschool. . . “By focusing on early education, we can begin to break the back of intergenerational poverty, producing more taxpayers and a more competitive America through a better-educated, growing middle class,” Hanna said in a news release. “One in four children starts their life in poverty. This bill will help ensure their lives do not end in poverty."
The problem with Mr. Hanna's position is that he assumes lots of facts that are not in evidence. What is "affordable" and "high quality" to Progressives like Mr. Hanna likely will be something else to the everyday taxpayer.  After years of spending money on "Head Start," at best the results have been equivocal, as explained in a recent Washington Post article which is clearly sympathetic to the program.  So why do we continue with such programs when they do not produce material, easily recognized and lasting positive results?

Such programs, like all the spending on "Race to the Top"  to implement the "Common Core" 'standards,' are there to advance a Federal Agenda. . . . which is not education but control over the minds and hearts of the next generation. This is evidenced by the "rollout" of "Common Core" and the content of modules to be used in classrooms. It has long been accepted that power over education was left by our Founding Fathers to the States. . . . but the Feds have used the power of the purse (OUR tax money) to advance national education policies which have, thus far, produced disastrous results.

Mr. Hanna, who likes to paint himself as a fiscal conservative, is anything but . . . and his sponsorship of this bill is sponsorship of more federal intrusion into our everyday lives.

11/14 Update: National Review Online: Don't Look to the Feds for Pre-School Jennifer Garner's star power boosts Rep. Richard Hanna's early childhood education bill


Anonymous said...

I am sick of Rep. Hanna trying to be all things to all people.He lacks any set of principles , changes direction as the wind blows,and ignores the wishes of a majority of his constituency. He is the second coming of Sherwood Boehlert just not as slickly dressed.

Dave said...

Now I'm not saying that for every family situation it would be better for a three or four year old to spend his time at home with Mommy, but it's worked for eons and must have something to recommend for it. Whatever "It" is, however, may not be measurable and therefore would be given short shrift by scientists, especially those scientists who happen to work for universities, which might be 99% of them.

I am wary of throwing a tradition out the window that's been around more than a million years. Knowing human nature as we do, it can be very difficult to reduce a hominid practice to pros and cons as evinced in a modern setting. We wind up throwing out things that we have little ability to judge. I always use the Catholic Church as an example when they threw out much of the liturgy in a pique of intellectual snobbery, one would guess, forgetting that liturgy ... candles and song and flash and bang ... whatever ... is as human as it gets. In my story "String," Margaret admits there is some silliness to her view that the moon and the ocean are lovers. The moon "is indeed a big rock," she says, "but to see it as a lover is to comprehend a miracle, and that is our ability to sense the immensity of what we cannot see or understand by speaking of it with the heart." And by feeling it with our emotions.

It is my emotions that tell me pre-schools are more a convenience to modern living than a great way to raise children. Sometimes we need to put the science and math, its age measured in thousands of years, aside in favor of our emotions whose years are measured in millions and which got us here thus far.

Strikeslip said...

Thoughtful commentary, Dave. There is a reason why we have "traditions" and those who quickly want to throw them away -- and those who merely want to go along with it -- have forgotten (or, perhaps, never learned) why the tradition developed to begin with. Acting in ignorance only sets us up for the problems the traditions were meant to address.

The real crime problem among youth can be correlated with weak family structures. When we make it easy for parents to leave their children in the care of the government, it is only another chip away at that family structure. And when children are taught values by the government that run contrary to those of the parents, it is a downright assault on the family structure.

Government has created a lot of the problems we see today -- justifying its becoming even more involved in our lives to solve them.

The answer, of course, is the limited government our Founding Fathers had envisioned. . . . But that cuts off the ability of our politicians to buy our votes with this or that, cutting off their power and making them like . . . the rest of us.

BTW, please post a link to the "String" story. I think people will want to read it.

Dave said...

Thanks, Strike. "String" is a novella and can be read free here:

It's 16,000 words, so for convenience, you could always buy it to read on your Kindle. See my author page on Amazon:

A shortened version will appear either this winter or coming spring in Stone Voices, a terrific journal of writing and art with spiritual overtones. Stone Voices is published in Brunswick, Maine.

And may I mention that "Heaven," my ode to fly fishing and the West Canada Creek, either is or will be published in the next issue of Mohawk Valley Living, an ad sheet in your area. (They ran my "Cowboy" in their last issue.)

And everyone is welcome at the front door to my website, at

Anonymous said...

Hanna is a phony. He spends our money with no regard for debt, tax burden or out come. He is worse than a liberal since he masquerades as a moderate Republican. There is nothing moderate about him.