Lakota Budget Plan

Photograph taken by: (The Pulse Journal) Cox Ohio Publishing


So many people have written me, or asked me what my, or the NoLakotaLevy people suggest Lakota do about their budget situation.  I prepared the below response to a person that wrote me at and contacted me through the email there.   This is my plan, and can’t speak for everyone in the NoLakotaLevy group fully.  Now when reading this, keep in mind, I believe that union membership should be illegal in government positions, and teachers are government positions.  They are payed with tax payer funds, and therefore should not be able to participate in a union. 

Union membership is fine for private business if the product they make can be supported with the revenue they produce.  I know people in the film business that are part of a very powerful union in the Screen Actors Guild.  Writers for film are a part of the Writers Guild.  But those activities are supported with ticket sales at the box office, and more and more often, films are made outside of Hollywood in places like British Columbia, and Austrialia to avoid many of the high cost of union work.  So even in paradise, the union model is in trouble. 

In sports, there is a players union, and those unions have pushed up the price of a professional athlete to a cost that many of us bulk at.  Yet we can decide to support those athletes or not with the price of a ticket, or the purchase of a jersey. 

But government work is completley funded with tax payer money, and therefore no voting can take place.  The tax payer becomes the consumer without an option.  So when a teachers union is a part of a school system, it stands in the way of choice.  So my strategy below would be the advice I’d give any professional organization strangled by such a process.  My focus is on saving all the jobs at Lakota, particularly the 130 teachers and staff that are on the chopping block established by the retiring Superintendent, and preserving the great tradition at Lakota of being an excellent school. 

But this plan is aggressive, and would require a boldness that does not exist within the school system, otherwise, they would not be in the situation they are currently in.  It is unfortunate that the job falls on the community to help the school system understand how to solve their problems.  But I present this plan to all those who would care to read it, and may contain within themselves the valor to do what is right for not only the teachers, but the rest of the community. 


When it is reported that there is a financial crises within our local school system, it is important to study the situation.

When you sit down and look at the overall problem like a businessman would, without emotion, without politics, just the facts, you see quickly that the school system has around 78% of their resources tied up in wages and benefits.  So if you need to get that budget under control, you don’t tackle the very small costs that make up the remaining 22%, which is where busing falls.  Busing is really one of the minor costs and is something that should be addressed after you’ve tackled the issues making up the 78%.  There is only one reason to tackle busing first and that is to inconvenience parents so they vote for a levy out of their own needs. You start with wages and benefits so you can have the most impact quickly. 

  1. The first thing to deal with is the way the contract is organized with the employees.  You have to give the union credit that they created an environment for their members where they have been able to obtain wages that are above the standard for public sector positions.  The average wage for a teacher at Lakota in 2002/2003 was around $48,000.  Now, in 2010, it’s $62,000.  So they’ve more than outpaced inflation and cost of living. It should be noted that the aggressive position of the union such as what happened in April of this year, a federal mediator had to be called to bring the parties together between the board and the union.  That type of behavior has created a budget that is not sustainable over the long term as more and more tenured teachers and administrators move into the upper pay ranges. So the wages need to be brought down to a level that is more reflective of the community that is funding the budget.  If they took a 30% reduction, they could raise $27 million dollars immediately.  And the wages would still be considered good when compared to the private sector. 
  2. The other thing you look at is whether or not you need so many administrators, councilors, media professionals, and those types of positions, where many are making over $65,000 per year.  You would not cut low tenured teachers that are not making as much money, the ones making $35,000 to $45,000, and are full of ambition.  Those are the teachers you want to keep.  They are typically cheaper, and tend to statistically get the best results per employee. 
  3. As the new contract is established, the pay rates need to be established that the low end entry level pay scale is $35,000, and the top pay for an educator is $65,000.  If a teacher wants to pursue higher degrees such as a masters, or doctorate, of course they could reach that top scale faster, but could not exceed it unless they moved into administration.
  4. For administration positions, the cap should be set at $110,000.  That figure is reached by looking at what Mike Taylor is currently making which is $147,000 and reducing that figure by 30%, which is how much above average education positions are currently established at.  That would put the current superintendant at $103,000 and still provide some room for increases in supplemental years.   
  5. Taking these measures would do two things.  First the teachers and superintendants that are in education for just the money and security would leave and take positions at other schools.  This would allow us to hire ambitious personnel that is truly in education for the right reasons, and that is putting kids first.  And in turn we would pay them well, but fairly.  And they’d have the benefit of working for a good school system in a nice community where the parents care for the kids they are sending to the school.  Such a teaching environment is a benefit believe it or not and would allow us to attract the best teachers that are truly in teaching for the children.  The second thing this does is it shows that Lakota has the leadership to set up a sustainable model that the State of Ohio can copy for all the other schools in the state and finally solve its unconstitutional property tax funding model that has been broken for half a century.  Until a school system takes these steps and is the first to do so, the status quo will bankrupt our funding system.  If the choice of the union would be to strike then replacement staff could immediately be hired to replace those participating in the strike, and our wage level could be fixed quickly.  But shutting down the school system or declining the level of education is not an option. 


This plan would allow us to bring our budget under control, sort out the truly good from the truly selfish, and would improve our performance in virtually all aspects.  To not do this plan or one very similar to it is not acceptable, and will only substantiate the decline of service that is immanent.  The term union members and leaders use to identify people not of their membership that work for the school system, is “scab.”  Such terms do not belong on the tongues of those involved in education and they need to remove their philosophy from our funding obligations.  We will need individuals willing to put the community first because such individuals will be needed to work in the school system in the near future, and the community will need to support them, when the union leadership attempts to bring pain to our district.   

The goal of these measures is to find out the true heart of the employees.  And at the same time, to reduce the cost to the overall budget.  It is the least painful way to accomplish this task giving those who are unhappy with the situation a chance to leave without causing damage to the community.  And would allow us to retain the most loyal and dedicated staff for our school system.

Rich Hoffman

Lakota Levy…….But Wait, We Just Did This!

Levy Part 2, but wait, didn’t we just do this?
What short memories everyone has. It was just April when a lot of this was happening.  So lets go back and look at the events of 2010 that led up to this second attempt.  Some of the videos below have the embedding turned off, so they are links that you’ll have to click on to watch.  The point of this is to study where we came from so we can see where we’re going.
We just had a Federal Mediator coming in to help resolve a contract dispute, over pay raises and benefits. Now I’ve written a lot about Lakota’s budget being top heavy. And even though everyone knew the situation as early as April, the Union had still stiffened up to get everything they could, aware that there was a Levy coming.
While I was on the radio during the last weekend of September, Darryl Parks pressed me on that issue.

During the last levy we put up a fight. But that was only in May of this year.

But what the Pro Lakota people didn’t comprehend was that the Anti-Levy people were deeper than just a group of developers. It was a wide range of people with all different backgrounds that shared a common idea that the spending was out of control, and they remembered the events of the last levy attempt in 2005. And they didn’t appreciate the misleading statistics.

The May levy was contentious, and it was defeated handedly. After the vote I personally went to a board meeting to see how the board dealt with the issue. After all, I had read that Mike Taylor the night of the vote realizing that the levy would be defeated announced that the issue would be put back on the ballot. What I witnessed confirmed my thoughts of all the waste. I left the meeting feeling sorry for Joan Powell. I don’t believe that she or the rest of the board are bad people. They are just short sighted because they are part of a broken system.
But to avoid making the public angry, they waited till July to make the formal announcement.
And then they announced the cuts.

Yet nobody within the school system sees the problem with their budget. So they stick to the formula issued from Columbus. And immediately the press falls into place and just does their part to help the school system without pressing for any hard questions.

And with all the energy spent nobody discusses the two main issues, first that their operating budget is set too high.
The other issue is that the State of Ohio cut funds to our district, and they did so with an unconstitutional formula. And nobody wants to tackle that because it’s too hard and too big.

This is the funding model by the current governor.  See anything wrong with it?  Look where the money is going. 

So while everyone puts their energy into short term pains and gains, the union not wanting to budge.  The administrators just wanting to keep the status quo, the parents just want to keep their property values, and maintain what they thought they were getting as far as education in the community when they moved here, the real trouble gets over-looked and given a free pass.  And the media has helped make that happen. 

The Lakota School System is being crushed by an inflated funding model, and if the state won’t fund it, it’s not possible for residents to pay twice, once to the State and again to the community.  The system was broken before the state made this move in cutting back the funding.  And now, the issue needs to go back to the state to be fixed with a constitutional resolution once and for all.  And passing this levy will not make that happen. 

It’s a shame that so many important figures in this chess game, the kids, the parents, the administrators, the school board, the teachers, the union leadership, the residents find themselves in a cage fight when the real target is sitting in the press box pushing the buttons. 

It would be my advice to everyone to keep your eyes on the larger issues.  If you hang onto the status quo, you only buy a little time before the next major collapse.

Rich Hoffman

WLW on Saturday, September 25th

My appearance on the Darryl Parks show on Saturday September 25, 2010 is at the end of this article.  But first a few notes:

I woke up on Saturday morning to an onslaught of email.  One of the emails is a couple of links to articles where the Ohio Education Association is stepping in and doing some damage control of issues occurring in Southwestern Ohio.  

Two of the issues were the appearance of our No Lakota Levy group on WLW radio on Monday.  The other was the bill board campaign against wasteful education spending. 

There was a lot said in these articles, but then again, not much of any real content which is normal for these types of things.  But here is a summary of the key points, and it is in these points that left me feeling completely confident that the position against school levies is absolutely needed.  And maybe we are about 15 years too late, but it’s better late than never I suppose. 

In the Cincinnati Enquirer there was an attempt to minimize the posting of several billboards around Cincinnati trying to bring to light the spending problems.  And the union attacked it with a predictable move, to minimize the activity as advocates for the Republican Party, and further commenting that these people only come out when there is a levy, and then they just go away when the levy situation passes. 

And then this article in the Hamilton Journal, told the whole story for me, everything I had been suspecting. 

Bonny McMurray of the Ohio Education Association gave the interview which was a series of questions and answers.  And for me, she said one of the most startling things I could have read.  She said in her article,

“It’s that many jobs in the current economy do not pay enough to sustain a middle class life,” she said.

In an ideal world, she said, there would be more employers with unions to ensure people earn a middle class wage and are entitled to benefits.”

Did she really say that?????

Bonnie spelled out the problem very clear. The No Levy people for the most part believe that unions have increased the cost of labor to where places like China and India are currently doing our work.

The Pro Levy people hold dear the idea that if there were more companies with unions, then more people would have the wages to support other union activity.

This is a fundamental philosophic difference.  Any right thinking human being can see that unions have driven up our labor costs in this country.  Yet, the warnings that many popular culture spokesmen are making that socialism and unions are deeply connected as a philosophy, look to be more true than fiction

In the defense of union positions they attacked the Republican Party, and attempted to minimize the commitment level of anyone that opposes them, as if they are somehow more caring because they are involved fulltime in political activity.  Funded completly by the tax payer I might add.   

Yet with all the retoric their whole philosophy is revealed in that simple statement.  And that’s what we’re dealing with.  If there were more unions, then more people would be able to afford the high cost of union business.  Where do they think the money comes from?  Check out the problems they are having in Europe.  We all know about Greece, but check out France now.   We at least still have elections here where we can bring things back under control.  It’s not too late for us…..yet.       

I had an invite to go onto WLW this morning.  I read all these articles and found myself eager to call Darryl to be a guest on his show.  Out of all the media out there, Darryl has not been afraid to tackle issues like this. 

It is a shame that bringing a political philosophy into education is even relevant.  But it is.  Unions have done that on their own.  They have attached their social goals to the sacred institution of education.  Now it’s up to those of us that have been sleeping, and blindly trusting our politicians to take the steps to fix things.  And it will be a difficult journey.  But it starts with the vote on November 2nd

Rich Hoffman

Bullwhip Consultant on Films

After the Enquire article, one of the natural questions resulting was about how do you consult for films with whips?

Unfortunately, these days there are fewer films using whips as a part of the story line than there was in the early days of cinema. That of course is directly attributable to the decline of the western in modern film and television. But occasionally, a storyline comes forth that requires them, and a decision will be made on how to go about it from the studio. Recently, Whiplash from Iron Man 2 was produced which featured whips of a sort. But their approach was to use film of how a whip moves to create the effects in CGI.

But CGI works great in some cases, but not so great in others, and whip work is something that is more dramatic in real life. And such is a recent call I received from Peter Facinelli who I met at the Indie Gathering Film Festival while I was doing some firewhip work.

This is from the actual stunt demonstration where Peter and the director Rob Gunnerson were a part of.

They approached me about a project they were doing with RealD 3D where they wanted to capture the firewhips with RealD’s new 3D camera system in HD. So I flew out to LA to help them bring that project to life, called for now tentatively, The Delivery.

Peter of course is currently busy with the Twilight franchise, so further development of The Delivery is ongoing.

Here is the trailer that we shot, which consisted of a series of test shots to test the camera equipment. I served as the whip consultant and handler in all whip action. I am particularly proud of the shot we got where I cracked the cigarette backwards using one of my 12 foot bullwhips. The director wanted to do it for real, not in CGI, and we pulled it off with just a few takes.

View the Trailer at the links:
The Delivery 3D Trailer,t=1,mt=video
The Delivery 3D | MySpace Video

More info and production stills can be found at this link.

Here are some images from the shoot:  Here Rob Gunnerson sets me up for the stand in work for Peter who is in the background. 

Here is Mat Wilig, who played the demon, standing with me.  We had the awkward issue of sharing a trailer on set since they were short one and we both had extensive makeup to do.  The very first thing I said to him was something negative about playing for the Panthers because I’m a Tampa Bay fan.  But after that, we got along well.   Matthew is recently retired from the NFL after 14 seasons. He played for 6 teams (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, St. Louis Rams, San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers). He went to 2 Super Bowls while winning 1 and losing the other. He is steadily rising up the Acting ladder and receiving acclaim as his roles get bigger and better.

Here is Rob and Peter going through the shots with me so we can measure distance for all the equipment. 

Here are the Producers, the face paint really got on my nerves after 12 hours.

Peter and I on break. 

Test shot of how the 3D camera’s were capturing the fireball given off by the firewhip.

Rich Hoffman

An Answer to the Dust Under my Feet, (critics)


The elemental issue, and ultimate tragedy of a life lived poorly, where one finds themselves cleaving to a measly income distributed from the public sector, is that they shatter when they discover how insignificant many of the beliefs they hold dear, truly are when they witness those living outside of their accepted parameters. 

As the Cincinnati Enquirer did the piece on me, featuring my work with bullwhips and the metaphors the whips have in politics it is only natural that all my interests come together in my explanation of the crises at hand, I can anticipate the indolent comments that will emerge.

I recently received a comment from one of my many, many, many critics referring to me as wearing a tin hat, because one of my interests is in paranormal investigation.  And of course the same fringe thinking will look at my 30 years of whip work in much the same discrediting fashion.  The word they have for it is a kook.

This is because these small minded people have allowed their minds to rot, and their bodies have taken the shape of such thinking.  The new rulers of these bodies are cellulite and they control the brain function without rebellion of original thinking.  And to such cumbersome contemplation, my interests will seem foreign and even freighting to their standard patterns of accepted behavior.

And the reason this is a tragedy, is because they are content to be only a fraction of themselves.  They are content to color in the lines that someone else drew for them, and will never have the satisfaction of creating anything original, or preserving a tradition that is rooted in truth.  The cowboy arts are just such a thing, where Buffalo Bill, and Annie Oakley routinely reflected the politics of their times within the context of their shows.  And such people I admire greatly. 

But this is the age of progressivism.  And in that age, individual achievement is frowned upon.  Personal conduct is shared, and these feeble minds that have perpetuated this philosophy truly believe they are rooted in intellect.  And it is in this thinking that any individual achievements, or any science that is not endorsed by these established minds, will become the subject of ridicule. 

So it is with great pride that I listen and read the quips of my detractors.  For when the politics is done, and the lights dim around our lives, I would not want to reflect upon the lives they lead, where they traded their very souls for a half baked idea, and a half-life reflected in their broken bodies. 

Truth is sometimes revealed within established ideas, and facts sometimes come from places where established science has not yet been scouted by intelligent minds.  And truth is also in tradition, which progressivism has sought to diminish any way possible.  So to see anger from those factions, it rests my mind at ease that I am doing what is correct and true in the larger battlefield of human ideology. Even a cancer cell wants to live, even though they do so by consuming the body.  And it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference.  And such clarification allows me to see the cancer cells for what they are. 

And for the cancer to take over our society, they have to minimize the immune system of our collective body in order to take command.  So that means to encourage people to be weak, like Homer Simpson.  Let people know that it’s ok, even endorsed to be like that beloved cartoon character, that being human is laced with fault, and that is actually an enchanting quality.

To become a bit more like Homer Simpson is a good thing. It’s what they are comfortable with.

It is not surprising that similar personalities as the tricksters featured in these videos will look to anyone that displays talent or a hunger for knowledge outside of the orthodox because such types are a serious threat to their ideology.  And that ideology is an immature and shallow field of endeavor much coveted by those great equalizers dressed in sheep’s clothing yet finding it difficult to conceal their canine teeth.

So it’s fine for those demagogues to cast assertions of despair in my direction.  For to them, everyone that is not a Homer Simpson is someone that must be brought down by any means available.

But it won’t be enough………………………because I’m not a Homer.

Such thoughts are dust under my boots.

Rich Hoffman

Rich Hoffman and Dave Varney Visit the Scott Sloan Show on WLW

It is with great pleasure that I present this pod cast of the Scott Sloan Show from September 20, 2010, in which I along with Dan Varney who is the treasurer of our group, revealed a bomb of carefully hidden facts obscured by the smiling faces of Lakota’s PR efforts.  My daughter, Brooke came along to photograph in order to provide some background  images. 

It had been a busy week leading up to our invitation to be on Scott’s morning show. On Saturday Darryl Parks had read from my Lakota Blog on the Top Pay of the 432 Teachers at Lakota, which led to an invite to be on The Big One, Monday. It has been a relief to get some support from an aspect of the media that has given those of us against school levies a fair shake. In the past, newspapers, and television have sided without too much probing any situation where a school system asks for a levy. It is in this soft reporting that has created a system which actually threatens to bankrupt our entire education system, by letting powerful education influences run school budgets up to unsustainable amounts without the media to check them on it.

So it is with great thanks to Mr. Sloan, and to Mr. Parks for giving us a voice in a minefield of discontent. And the result was a powerful hour of radio that is compressed down to a half hour for your convenience. Basically what follows is our revelation that Lakota is asking for more money when they already have a budget that is just over 75% dedicated to wages and benefits, and it is their own mismanagement which allowed the budget to inflate to an unsustainable level.

But this is about more than just Lakota Schools. This is about tyranical government influence that is a gigantic presence in our own back yard, and if we don’t have the guts to do something about it whether at Lakota or any other school system in the United States, then we don’t have a right to demand change in the way government does business in any other fashion. If you don’t have the guts to stand up to something as easy to see as a school levy where excessive spending is so obvious, then you won’t have the backbone for the much harder problems that are facing this nation.
So with that, enjoy this groundbreaking podcast from people that understand what’s really at stake. And Scott Sloan gets it.

Rich Hoffman

My History with Bullwhips, and the Minefield of Public Perception

After my video titled, a Whip Trick to Save America a lot of questions were asked about why I work with whips, and how such an interest has sustained me for over 30 years. It occurred to me that because I’m close to the art form, which I’d associate as an American Martial Art, whip arts require a precision that is unique, and worth a deep look.

When most people think of a bullwhip, they often think of pain, or sadomasochism.  My use of the whip is far removed from such ends. But being a member of the whip community, and approached many times by members of the S&M culture, I have had a unique perspective on elements of social behavior that have led to political corruption.
Here my friend Gery Deer and I demonstrate bullwhip work while doing some promo work for our short film, The Overman.

This is the preview of The Overman, which won best experimental short film for its extensive green screen use in an independent production.

In every organization throughout history, with very few exceptions, a social hierarchy forms of which the most vicious power grabbers migrate to the top, and the more passive will settle at the bottom. Most of American society finds them on the bottom end of the power base by default, due to the fact that many people don’t wish to fight for power.

In 1997 I visited Washington DC with my family and took the White House tour like many who visit DC. While in line for the tour, my kids were caught climbing on the fence by the White House security. When security approached the children they were told to stay off the “Presidents fence.” This provoked an argument from my wife to the guards stating that she understood their concern to keep the children off the fence for safety reasons, but the guards were wrong on the other hand by proclaiming that the fence at the White House was owned by the President. It was the people’s fence.
Here is my wife in a calmer moment. Just don’t tell her that her kids can’t play on the White House fence.

Now, to me, this misstatement was completely wrong, and showed much insight to the problems suffering within the Republic of the United States. Due to a variety of deep seated psychological problems, the voter base which elects its representatives in government are unable to overcome those weaknesses to properly vote in a republic. In fact, it is evident that more energy from politicians is put into public relation campaigns to alter public opinion, than in gaining a true understanding of what the public wants. This is a fundamental problem, and is echoed in the White House guard’s mistake in believing the White House is a royal family of some such. Royalty has no place in the philosophy that founded America.

As a nation, we are discovering quickly, that many influences have been established to erode the quality of our nation and its people. Our university system has been populated by sympathizers of enemy nations and encouraged to weaken the individual spirit of the students by focusing on careers that would easily serve the emerging social order, and break down the family structure that generally is needed to produce strong social individuals. I dropped out of college three times before reaching the conclusion that success in the higher institution was not conducive to just hard work and intelligence, but to factors more accurately described by my wife, “There only needs to be one class in college taught to the students, and that’s butt-kissing 101.” Sometimes a square peg just doesn’t fit in a round hole. You can beat it with a hammer to try and deform it in some way, but ultimately, if one is to remain true to themselves, they have to find the answers alone. College offered a secure job placement. But I was always looking for answers which they didn’t seem interested in giving. So after a decade of back and forth attempts, I parted ways.

I spent the next 5 years reading this guy.

I drew comparisons to my education experience, and the people I met in the whip community, and referenced those against the social behavior of modern America. It was shocking to me that so many people seemed attracted to the idea of sadomasochism as their first reaction to the whip, which Freud did much work at the turn of the century, ironically as the progressive era thinkers were emerging with their strategy. Given that a majority of psychiatrists are calling S&M a mental disorder, how is it that so many people were willing to accept such a personal flaw without striving to correct it or overcome it?

Here is a great thinker, Carl Jung

S&M by its nature will produce citizens that will seek abuse, so it is no wonder that as factions of the government have risen to power, their respect for the people who elected them has diminished. What is understood at a subconscious level is that many people secretly crave abuse and domination by a superior power, and this is why the world and our nation find themselves in the precarious situation they are currently in.

Those craving power understand this. It is not by accident that weaknesses of character are encouraged at a social level, because such weaknesses create shame which the victim seeks to suppress, and gives power to all people who know the secret. Government has expanded at a rapid rate creating new divisions of government oversight to facilitate all the traumatic effects of human disappointment.

My use of the bullwhip is one of individual mastery. The whip is symbolic in many ways of how a small amount of force applied, can become an explosive result at the end. The sound that is created at the end of the whip is actually a sonic boom, where the whip breaks the sound barrier. So using such a flexible device as an excises tool, or a weapon makes sense. And it is in that type of thinking, that I see an opportunity to heal, not hurt the people that learn to use such a weapon with discipline.
This video is a bit blurry, it’s from one of my older cameras but it does a good job of recording whip work in slow motion.

By overcoming one’s weaknesses, a person can function from a stronger Super Ego rather than just the basic functions of Id, which the government seeks to advocate out of sheer necessity of logistics control.

The progressive movement has sought to advance mankind through a method described in Plato’s Republic, where the wisest of the wise will advance the human spirit. But in order to do that, a class system must be put in place where the wise are determined. And once they are determined, then competing classes must be put into their proper place so that they can be lead properly. This was achieved in our culture by destroying the Super Ego to use Freudian logic.

So the tendency of a majority of the people I have met that looked at the bullwhip and saw S&M practices was more of a symptom of the overall problem of a society that had its Super Ego crushed through cultural propaganda. This leads to a culture obsessed with pornography in various forms, and therefore distracted from higher concepts.
Here I am at another film festival working with students in a stunt workshop.

Mastering a weapon of any kind does two primary things; it gives one a sense of ability to protect oneself and therefore one’s own Super Ego. It also strengthens one’s individual identity by building the Super Ego up. This is the way I view the western arts, and their relative contributions to society. A republic is dependent on strong individual values pitched against its neighbors for the revelation of truth as opposed to a society of masochists inwardly seeking domination by a superior force.

The progressive movement used the knowledge gained from studies such as what Freud reveled as a grab for power. It is no wonder that families have been dismantled; taxes have increased dramatically to support a centralized government with an oversight philosophy as indicated by the welfare system, and social security, and religious influence has been stripped away. It is evident now in hind-sight that a careful strategy has been employed to give us the current state of affairs.

Although this may seem cynical, or conspiratorial, the evidence is plain to see. And with my work with bullwhips, and interaction with the S&M culture that seeks instruction in the bullwhip arts, I drew some of these conclusions from observation.

So using a bullwhip as a political symbol is meaningful in that its very nature is defiance against systems of control because mastering it is mastery of control. It is a flexible weapon that can constantly adapt to a situation, and it can deliver explosive results with the simple flick of the wrist with pin point accuracy. Without doubt, progressive thinking will seek to shape the use of the bullwhip as a weapon of a slave holder, and attempt to discredit it the way I use it, but remember that their goal is to erase our past and to marginalize any memory of it. They also seek to diminish the role John Wayne played in American Society as well. Wayne truly believed in the work he did, and the preservation of the western culture. But such statements are only born out of public relations brain storming, and appeal to the Id nature of people. Anyone that looks beyond the bullet point statements of PR executives can see the manipulation of concepts that threaten the power base of progressive thinking.
Here is John Wayne from the great film, The Cowboys. When I was a kid, this was what becoming a man was about.

Such comments have been leveled toward gun owners for years, as though the need to own a gun somehow is affiliated with a subversive element. It is in the very Bill of Rights of our Constitution and should be the law of the land without question. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” There is nothing in the Constitution that says the definition of Militia means only an organized state run entity. It is a government of the people for the people. Yet when such clear language is translated as openly as this Second Amendment has been, it is clear that subversion of the Constitution is the intention of those that attempt to twist the meanings to suit their political agenda. And likewise, any weapon used by a thinking person, such as a bullwhip in this case, will be seen as a threat to the established order, and will attempt to paint that weapon into a negative light in historical context.
Here I am firing one of the finest handguns on the face of this planet, the Smith and Weston .500 Magnum.

So for many reasons, the bullwhip is the weapon of choice for me.  I came to first use bullwhips from my grandfather, who learned to use it from his father when they were runners of White Lightning during the prohibition era. Back then, in the deep foothills of Appalachia, my great grandfather used to crack flies off his porch with pin point accuracy in between moonshine runs as a way to pass the time. With the whip, it was more fun than a fly swatter, and less expensive than ammunition for a gun. So it became something of a family heritage from there on.
Yes, I’m proud of my family heritage and the colorful characters produced from resisting the prohibition law initiated by progressive thinking. And my great grandfather was one of those men.

Undoubtedly there are progressive minded people who will read the above and contemplate the primitive, unsophisticated embrace of such a concept as using a whip to swat flies off a porch as backward and ignorant. Yet, to me, the opposite is true, that people who follow without question, and seek the lazy path of socialism because of the shared burden nature of that philosophy, are not just unsophisticated, and lethargic, they are far less superior to a mountain man in logic and skill. It is in mountain men that echoes of those that settled this country can be heard.

And the frontiersman and western settlers that braved all the perils of a new land, and wished to escape the repressive grip of Europe deserve to be celebrated, and preserved through western arts. It is a shame that the very people they fled from in Europe in the 1700’s turned out to follow them here and settle like a disease with their occidental logic which is the same that created the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, the English Empire, and several hundred other regimes of corruption and power over a 1500 year span of time. Now those people think they are in power now in the United States, and seek to erase our American History. So to me, the bullwhip is a symbol of defiance against that progressive philosophy.

And the website here is now  This was some promotional work done for my book, The Symposium of Justice several years ago.

America is not occidental. It is a melting pot of many cultures and was settled by the bravest and boldest the world had to offer. And that is what makes the Constitution such a unique document. And in the western arts, the Native American has their place along with the cowboy and frontiersman. All played their part in forging an ideology that is unique to the world stage. And the bullwhip is a symbol of frontier values and great efficiency that has its roots in American culture, and the golden age of Hollywood cinema.
One of my favorite Republic Serials, Zorro’s Fighting Legion, Zorro saves the day

So the whip has a long history with me and a longer history in American culture. And I feel a responsibility to preserve its heritage for future generations. Although the message has been perverted in the failed progressive experiment of the last quarter of century, my work with bullwhips is in the spirit of undoing much of the twisted rhetoric espoused by the misguided emergence, and decline of the intellectual class.

Rich Hoffman