Month: March 2014

Ragnar Danneskjöld Played by Eric Allan Kramer: Why the modern pirate never gets caught

 

Eric Allan Kramer, is playing the pirate Ragnar Danneskjöld in “Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?.”  The footage below shows what to expect from Kramer in his rendition of the unique pirate from the very popular American literary classic Atlas Shrugged.  I volunteered to play Ragnar to producer Harmon Kaslow because I was worried that it would be hard to find the right actor who could do such a character justice—because getting that part right means a lot to the overall story of the third Atlas Shrugged film.  But after seeing this interview from Eric Allan Kramer, I am no longer concerned.  Ragnar Danneskjöld is a key role to understanding Atlas Shrugged, he is a pirate built on philosophic principle.  He does not loot for the right to steal from others to gain for himself the way a typical progressive sees the world, instead he loots to take back what is stolen and gives it back to those who truly produce. 

Read more at http://www.galtsgulchonline.com/posts/67d29d1/meet-ragnar-danneskjold#Br92Za8JkLaC2zRe.99

 

 

Ragnar Danneskjöld was born in Norway, the last son of one of its first families. His father was the Catholic Archbishop of Norway.  When he was sixteen, his father sent him to study at the Patrick Henry University, in Cleveland, Ohio[1] (not to be confused with the real-life Patrick Henry College in Chesapeake, Virginia).

Ragnar Danneskjöld studied physics and philosophy—a highly unusual double major. While at PHU, he made two lasting friendships that would change his life forever, though he did not know it at the time. One of these friends was Francisco Domingo Carlos Andres Sebastián d’Anconia, who also was an aristocrat of sorts, though Latin American rather than European. The other was John Galt, who was anything but aristocratic, and came to PHU with barely a penny to his name. These disparities in background and circumstances did not matter to any of these three. All three shared a love of the natural world, how it actually worked, and how one should function within it.

When they graduated, each made a different plan. Francisco d’Anconia planned to take over his father’s great copper company, D’Anconia Copper SA of Argentina. John Galt at first earned his master’s degree in physics and began work on his Doctor of Philosophy degree, until events impelled him to leave university life and go to work as a commercial engineer and inventor. Ragnar earned his master’s degree in philosophy and stayed on to earn his doctorate.

Of the two Chairmen who shaped his life, Hugh Akston, Chairman of Philosophy, stayed true to the ideals that attracted Ragnar and the others to him. Robert Stadler, Chairman of Physics, did not. Stadler’s decision to endorse the establishment of a State Science Institute, impelled John to leave. If Dr. Akston discussed John’s rather acrimonious break with Stadler with Ragnar, neither man said anything about it to any other character.

Though each of the three began to implement his respective plan, all three would receive a rude interruption.

Six years after the three received their bachelor’s degrees and when Ragnar was on the cusp of becoming a PhD himself, Ragnar received a summons from John Galt to meet him, not at his home in Starnesville, Wisconsin, but in a garret apartment in a run-down brownstone in New York City. Francisco d’Anconia received a similar summons. John Galt then told his two friends what had happened to him.

Galt had gone to work for the Twentieth Century Motor Company in Starnesville, named after Gerald “Jed” Starnes, the company’s founder. There he had built the prototype of the first-ever practical electrostatic motor. But Gerald Starnes had died, and his three children inaugurated a plan to have everyone at the factory work according to his ability, but be paid according to his need. Ragnar probably recognized that principle at once, from The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx.

John Galt had refused to work under such a plan. He not only quit the factory, but also announced to the three heirs that he would “stop the motor of the world.” He began, of course, by wrecking his prototype and carrying away with him those portions of his notes that would enable any future investigator to duplicate his work. And now he was asking his two friends to join him in what he called the strike of the men of the mind, and recruit others to do the same. The rules were simple: anyone having savings to retire on, would do so; the rest would take the lowest jobs that they could find, so that they would not give society the benefit of their talents.

The next morning, Francisco accepted John’s strike call. Ragnar accepted that afternoon. Francisco set out to implement his own strike plan: to assume the guise of a playboy, while systematically destroying D’Anconia Copper. Ragnar and John traveled to Cleveland, where Ragnar told Dr. Akston that he was quitting his graduate studies, and why. Before the evening was over, Dr. Akston not only accepted Ragnar’s decision but vowed then and there to hand in his own resignation, and for the same reason.

Ragnar found the overall strike plan elegant and logical—but incomplete. In truth, Ragnar was infuriated with what John Galt had told him. Or perhaps the business plan of the Starnes children struck Ragnar as a prize example of a much larger social and political problem. This problem had long filled him with righteous indignation, and now this indignation boiled over. As Ragnar saw it, society was guilty of armed robbery—and if that society would not police itself, then the men of the mind must not only withdraw from it, but make war against it to reclaim what was rightfully theirs. Ragnar decided then and there to fight that war and carry it directly to what all three called “the looters.”

Ragnar Danneskjöld’s solution came from the heritage and tradition of his Viking forebears. Ragnar had a fast ship that nevertheless carried guns capable of bombarding either another ship or a shore target at long range. Ragnar also had at his disposal at least one aircraft: a cargo carrier with which Ragnar would later transport large quantities of the gold he collected in his activities.

Ragnar set out at once to assemble a crew of demobilized Navy officers, petty officers, and seamen. These men told him that the US Navy planned to retire one of its most famous aircraft carriers, and the one having the longest flight deck in history: USS Enterprise CVN-65. Ragnar had other plans: he hijacked the ship at sea, and this was the occasion in which he suffered his one and only combat wound.  So he became a privateer, and in fact became known as the scourge of the high seas (chiefly the Atlantic Ocean and occasionally the Caribbean Sea). (In fact, the name Enterprise, as the name of a ship, might have appealed to him on this specific account: a privateer under license to the Second Continental Congress during the American Revolution also bore that name.)

He was careful never to kill a member of another ship’s crew if he could avoid it; if he ever had to sink another vessel, he would put the crew adrift in lifeboats. One such sailor described Danneskjöld’s face as terrible to behold, because it showed no feeling whatsoever. It did not even show hatred; it was cold and hard. It was the face of one who, having a job to do, did it and did not waste time emoting about it.

He never directly attacked any naval vessel, unless said vessel attacked him first. He never attacked any private vessel, nor seized private property. With one exception: at Francisco d’Anconia’s specific request, he attacked D’Anconia Copper ships and sank them with their loads. This was in keeping with Francisco’s own strike plan to destroy D’Anconia Copper systematically, so that no one would benefit from his talents or those of his father and grandfather and ancestors.

Ragnar’s actual targets were what he called the “loot carriers.” These were “humanitarian” cargoes paid for with taxpayers’ money and sent by order of the Bureau of Global Relief. This was the best method available to Ragnar to recover the substance that was taken from men of the mind by force. Eventually, not a single such cargo could ever sail from an American port to any of several “People’s States” throughout the world and hope to reach its destination. Ragnar Danneskjold was always waiting, and always found his targets. From the description given of some of his other activities, one may infer that he had an espionage network unrivaled for effectiveness and avoidance of compromise.

Ragnar would take these cargoes to various smugglers throughout Europe (whether he ever penetrated the Straits of Gibraltar with one of his prizes, the novel never says) and sell them. He also found a market for some of his plunder in the United States—a black market, which eventually became the only market available. He always demanded payment in gold. The most likely black market is in fact Midas Mulligan himself, and Ragnar would then be the “safe channel” by which Midas could purchase any goods the men of Galt’s Gulch could not produce on their own.) He would never accept any fiat currency, be it Federal Reserve notes or the scrip of any People’s State.

He began his career in privateering very early into the strike. He was wounded only once (see above), and never thought of that wound again, unless John Galt reminded him of it. Ragnar thought of his wound as a necessary lesson that an amateur must learn before he can call himself a true professional. He quite often told John, Francisco, and (later on) the others who joined the great strike to quit worrying about him. He ruefully observed that they never listened.  By the last year of the strike, Ragnar easily captured every prize he set his sights upon, and had lowered his casualty rate to zero.

http://conservapedia.com/Ragnar_Danneskj%C3%B6ld

 

There is much more to Ragnar, but that provides a brief history.  Out of all the Atlas characters it is Ragnar which I most closely identify with, and why I volunteered to play the part in the movie.  After the poor reception of the first two films I was worried that career actors might avoid being added to the cast for fear of blacklisting, but Kaslow and Aglialoro actually had no problem.  When Eric Allan Kramer was added to the list, my concerns quickly alleviated.  There is a reality to Ragnar Danneskjöld which is explored no place else.  His ability to travel the world with the military might of every nation peeking at his doorstep might seem ominous to most, but to my experience is very realistic and it looks like Kramer pegged the role. 

 

Over this last weekend a young man asked me why I wasn’t worried about assassination attempts, and political harassment for the things I get involved with.  As I tried to explain why I did not worry about such things to him I could only think of Ragnar Danneskjöld.  Readers here know that I have been involved in friendships with hit men, I have known members of crime syndications well, I have been a property repossesor, a body guard, a bouncer, and have been in many conflicts.  I have known prominent judges representing the highest order of the law who looked like nice family guys who were deeply in bed with crime families doing really bad things so I have some very good experience and the bottom line is this; the NSA, the big banking families, the FBI, CIA, Muslim radicals, communists, socialist, labor unions, crazed lunatics and fanatical collectivists of the world taken together cannot for the life of them find their way out of a paper bag without proper leadership to help them.  They are, taken at their collective intelligence, incompetent.  As individuals, there are very competent people in those organizations—but as long as they function as a collective unit they are only as strong as the weakest links and are paralyzed with inaction.  They can literally do nothing.  The experience of Ragnar Danneskjöld in the novel Atlas Shrugged is reality.  He was too competent to be captured by collective fools—which is a contrary message shown on cop dramas on television.  In real life bullets don’t often fly as straight as people think, nor do they do as much damage upon impact.  This is similar to when you punch someone in the face—they do not immediately go down like they do in the movies.  If a person is bold, competent, and more intelligent than his rivals—he will win no matter what the odds and no matter what the number and this is something only a handful of people in the entire world understand.   

 

I do not worry about my home being surrounded by “authorities” and I do not worry about them tracking my statements or watching my every move.  They should not have the right or ability to do so—but I do not worry about it either because they are incompetent to act on what they witness.  Ragnar Danneskjöld’s world view and experience is more accurate to reality than anything ever put on CSI, Magnum PI, or Miami Vice.  Collective authority is incompetent against a quality individual—Ragnar would easily be able to outmaneuver all the armies of the world for as long as he wished simply because he as an individual was better than their cumbersome intellectual capacity weighed down by the brain dead weak links of their institutional thinking.  Atlas Shrugged as an American novel was one of the first works of art in the world to even explore the concept of quality versus quantity. 

 

The popular assumption which Atlas Shrugged challenges is that masses trump minorities—in this case, not reflective of skin color or sex, but of ability.  Few people actually posses quality ability and this cannot be solved by the looting by the many of the few for the sustenance of all.  Ragnar was fighting against this trend and even with all the efforts of every government and military against him, nobody could beat him.  This is a hidden reality that is probably the best kept secret of the modern age.  The NSA can collect every bit of data about every human being, insect, and cell structure ever known to exist on planet earth, yet they cannot overcome this glaring fact.   As I said to the young man, so what if they watch me, so what if they want to dispose of me, so what if they listen to and read every word that comes from my mind—what would they do with that information?  They are incompetent and are paralyzed to act—so what would there be to worry about?  Just because “they” desire something does not mean that they can magically whip up competency to execute the task.  A lot of people want to cook good food, fix a car, and install air conditioning units on homes, but only those with the skills to do so can hope to achieve such a thing. And often, not just anybody can do these tasks when trained—there are some cooks better than other cooks, some mechanics better than other mechanics and so on—but without the basic skills at a particular quality level, nothing happens. 

Governments hope that by bringing in all kids of different minds that the collective will of the institution will benefit equally, but what they discover is that once those of quality are looted by those without quality that their few good people among their ranks stop contributing leaving the weak and clueless to perform the tasks.  It doesn’t matter if the organization is large or small, once individual contributors realize that their efforts will not be rewarded, they stop working.  This is why characters like Ragnar Danneskjöld were able to travel the world unchecked and unstopped by even the most technically proficient governments, because the minds behind those governments are incompetent to action because of group consensus. 

Ragnar Danneskjöld is really the first pirate of his kind, and audiences won’t know quite what to think of Eric Allan Kramer’s performance if they have not yet studied the novel Atlas Shrugged.  While critics of the premise of Ragnar will scoff at the reality of such a pirate, what their protests really indicate is a deep insecurity at the truth behind the character.  Ragnar Danneskjöld is a character that properly identifies a flaw in human nature which the pirate Blackbeard exploited several centuries ago.  Blackbeard would have continued to have success as a pirate if he had not grown so power hungry, and arrogant.  The English navy couldn’t stop him, and they were the most powerful in the entire world at the time.  Jesse James is another example of such a personality.  The might of the United States military could not stop the guy—it took an individual assassin of some level of competency functioning outside of the bureaucracy of the law to perform the task.  For a character like Ragnar, he does not have the personality flaws of such outlaws—he’s a man of goodness which makes him much more difficult to deal with.  And that is why Ragnar Danneskjöld is the Atlas Shrugged character that I most identify with and the moment things go sour where American society no longer functions—could very well be my own potential future.  It wouldn’t take much for me to go pirate.  All that stops me from doing it now is the hope that using the First Amendment can stop the spread of collectivism before The Second Amendment is needed.  But the moment that there is no First Amendment, it will be a pirates life for me, and the world will note be able to stop it—for all the reasons that Eric Allan Kramer’s performance of Ragnar Danneskjöld will display. 

 

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

 

The Way of the Fighter: American rebellion against rigidity, command structure and orthodox behavior

Please watch at least this first video for context and background on Claire Lee Chennault:

This isn’t the first time I have revealed a personal passion that I have for the American Volunteer Group who fought in China under Claire Lee Chennault. CLICK HERE TO REVIEW. What the A.V.G. did in just a few months in China against the vastly superior Japanese is the epitome of American ingenuity and exhibits the true benefits of capitalism. There is a reason that the A.V.G was so dramatically successful against the Japanese airforce and made the allied Royal Air Force seem like stumbling fools in comparison. The A.V.G were soldiers of fortune who were unorthodox and despised authority. They were not only in China for the right and ability to fight an enemy against all odds, but they were there to get rich. The Chinese government attacked by the Japanese from the East and the communists coming out of the North paid American pilots flying outdated hot rod P-40’s $500 per kill—unofficially—making some of the best A.V.G. aces quite wealthy. But that wasn’t all, it was the mechanics and ground crew which kept the planes flying using innovation that only America had shown an ability to perform that eventually tipped the scales of war toward the A.V.G. There are very important lessons that were on display over China during the early days of World War II that were every bit as real as the John Wayne classic—and favorite film of mine, The Flying Tigers. It was in this film that I first learned about Claire Chennault. But as heroic as the Flying Tigers were portrayed by Wayne in that film, the reality was actually much more spectacular. One of my most treasured books is the rare one written in 1949 by Chennault himself called Way of the Fighter which went into great detail about the A.V.G. and how eventually General Stilwell would screw everything up in Asia—after World War II.

Chennault as leader of the A.V.G. produced a group of fighting men who were charismatically over-the-top with valor, but were deadly accurate as fighting men. Once America officially entered the war, Stilwell was in charge and the A.V.G. was dissolved into official military control, and their kill ratio declined rapidly. Chennault was so critical of Stilwell, and the American government that the book Way of the Fighter was removed from print quickly and to this day is very rare. To get a copy, it costs anywhere from $150 to $300 dollars for a beat-up copy. The book is a treasure of American spirit and is a key to the kind of talent and drive which makes The United States so unique.

The Flying Tigers, according to the Way of the Fighter was predicted by military experts to not last three weeks in combat against the Japanese. Instead over a 7 month period over Burma, China, Thailand, and French Indo-China the A.V.G. destroyed 299 Japanese planes with another 153 most likely destroyed but unaccounted for. All this with just 12 P-40’s lost in combat and 61 on the ground from Japanese strafing missions. Only four A.V.G. pilots were killed in air combat; six killed by antiaircraft fire; three by enemy bombs on the ground; and three were taken prisoner. Ten more died as a result of flying accidents. The Flying Tigers were so hated by the Japanese because of the tremendous kill ratio against them that they promised on their radio broadcasts to shoot A.V.G. prisoners as bandits on sight. But the three captured pilots were treated with respect indicating the enemy’s genuine admiration for Chennault’s organization.

There were two keys to this success, the first of which was capitalism. The pilots were the best there was and wanted to make a lot of money shooting down Japanese planes. The money attracted the best pilots that were available during the prewar times leading up to World War II. The other of course is Claire Lee Chennault himself. He would eventually become a military general but during his A.V.G. days he was simply a hired strategist for the Chinese who desperately needed a creative, “western” mind to protect them from the invading Japanese. Chennault was extremely unorthodox. In some respects he was very strict; in others he was very lenient. He knew when to apply pressure and when not to, which is a distinctly American trait that military leaders all around the world scoffed at—including The United States. But it was because of Chennault’s manner that the A.V.G. was so incredibly good.

Chennault would train his soldier of fortune pilots relentlessly saying, “You will face Japanese pilots superbly trained in mechanical flying. They have been drilled for hundreds of hours in flying precise formations and rehearsing set tactics for each situation they may encounter. Japanese pilots fly by the book, and these are the books they use.” Chennault would then dump the books into the laps of his star pilots. “Study them, and you will always be one jump ahead of the enemy.” Chennault would stand still for effect, peer at the pilots ruthlessly then say, “They (Japanese) have plenty of guts but lack initiative and judgment. They go into battle with a set tactical plan and follow it no matter what happens. Bombers will hold their formations until they are all shot down. Fighters always try the same tricks over and over again. God help the American pilot who tries to fight them according to their plans. The object of our tactics is to break up their formations and make them fight according to our style. Once the Japanese are forced to deviate from their plan, they are in trouble. Their rigid air discipline can be used as a powerful weapon against them.”

Chennault would present charts, graphs, maps, and hours upon hours of practice flying personally mentoring each of his pilots drilling them, building them up as individuals—treating each of them as though they were the star quarterback on a football team, and they performed for him spectacularly. Once he had their trust, and their ears he would say, “You must use the strong points of your equipment against the weak points of the enemy. Each type of plane has its own strength and weakness. The pilot who can turn his advantages against the enemy’s weakness will win every time. You can count on a higher top speed, faster dive, and superior firepower. The Jap fighters have a faster rate of climb, higher ceiling, and better maneuverability. They can turn on a dime and climb almost straight up. If they can get you into a turning combat, they are deadly.” Chennault would then pull his finger across his throat to drive home the point as the heat of the Toungoo airfield poured in from a tent flap letting in the summer sun, sweat dripping off the fighters as they listened attentively.

“Use your speed and diving power to make a pass, shoot and break away. You have the edge in that kind of combat. All your advantages are brought to bear on the Japanese deficiencies. Close your range, fire, and dive away. Never stay within range of the Jap’s defensive firepower any longer than you need to deliver an accurate burst. You need to sharpen your shooting eye. Nobody ever gets too good at gunnery. The more Jap’s you get with your first burst, the fewer there are to jump you later. Accurate fire saves ammunition. Your plane carries a limited number of bullets. There is nothing worse than finding yourself in a fight with empty guns.”

The Flying Tigers would become part of the official American military under the United States Army Air Forces’ 23rd Fighter Group. The effectiveness of the A.V.G. pilots declined quickly under the regimented military life insisted upon by Stilwell. However some ace pilots like Tex Hill would stay on and help train other American pilots in the ways of the famous A.V.G. and Chennault’s battle tactics would migrate from aircraft carrier to carrier throughout the entire Pacific allowing America to gradually beat back the Japanese and eventually dominate them. The victories in the Pacific theater were not a result of General Stilwell or MacArthur, but rather because of Clair Chennault. Without Chennault, America would not have won in the Pacific and Japan would have taken China months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. This would have given them access to numerous natural resources that would have allowed them to dominate the entire continent of Asia. World War II really came down to two generals who broke official rules of orthodox command, Patton in Europe took Trier with only two divisions sarcastically replying to his furious commanders who instructed him otherwise that he would “give it back,” if they didn’t approve of his methods, and of course Chennault’s epic battles with Stilwell—Stilwell obviously jealous of Chennault denied him of supplies and manpower secretly hoping it would end the winning reputation of the former A.V.G. commander. The victories in the Pacific and in Europe were won by soldiers of fortune, and unorthodox command. It was not just won by bravery, or equipment, but by people who knew how to use the strengths of their equipment against the enemy and were not afraid to upset the command structure of their superiors. That is the “American” way!

On the other hand the allies, particularly the R.A.F. out of England with their Spitfires had a much more difficult time. For instance, in the battle over Rangoon, the R.A.F had losses comparable to the Japanese while the American A.V.G. had a 15 to 1 kill ratio fighting right alongside them all. This is because the A.V.G. were unorthodox freedom fighters combating for money and adventure while the R.A.F and Japanese pilots were regimented military fighters who would follow orders to a fault, and could be counted on to die if needed for the greater good.

After America defeated the Japanese, Stilwell, foolishly advised command that there was no other need for America to guard China from any hostile threat in that region even though Claire Chennault was practically jumping up and down begging America to stop the push by communists into China from Russia. Chennault warned that there would be more war, likely in Korea and Vietnam if America did not continue to defend China. Truman, and American military command ignored Chennault with the same institutionalized swagger that they professed that the Flying Tigers would be destroyed within three weeks. They blew off Chennault’s warnings, blacklisted his book, Way of the Fighter, and assumed that they had won the Pacific war based on their West Point educations. They were wrong. Within a few years America was back at war with Korea, then a few years after that with Vietnam. But at that point communism had already affected the collective based cultures of Asia and had even gone to work in America under the counter-culture movement starting at colleges within The United States.

Few people would believe that the slow slide into such an abyss of global communism and socialism began when America won World War II and stopped listening to General Claire Lee Chennault. But it did. Too many Americans at the time did not see communism as a threat but did see Japan as a threat because of their obvious hostilities toward the outside world. However, as Chennault published his book, Way of the Fighter, Chinese communists were taking over the country violently torturing the kind of people the A.V.G. fought so valiantly to defend, leaving them alone and defenseless. Communist China then moved against Tibet and America did nothing about it. Just that fast the entire land mass of Asia was under communist control and quickly seeping into all of Europe through the less offensive term of socialism. Communists did to the world what Chennault did to the Japanese pilots, they exposed the rigidity of American politics and picked off their enemies one by one over a long period of time—just as Chennault had warned.

The lessons should be clear, freedom, capitalism and innovation beats rigidity, command structure, and orthodox behavior. And it isn’t group consensus that wins wars and defends nations, but ultimately solitary minds, valor, and raw courage that is more unpredictable then structured. And thus, that is the Way of the Fighter, and the way that nations prosper.

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com 

The Endless Imagination of Fantasy Flight Games: New releases of X-Wing Miniatures

I love technology as much as anybody, but when I want to relax, technology is often not part of the experience.  I will always love a real book in my hands because I don’t like looking at a lit up screen to read, and I will always prefer physical activity to computer play.  But with the NSA concern in reading every email, watching all online traffic, and all the privacy concerns involved,  I love Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures more and more—because of the low tech, yet complex game play.  I play the game as much as I can because it has all the multifaceted strategy of a video game, the intellectual muscle flexing of chess, and the unlimited creative potential of miniature model building incorporated into a non-technical exercise that is a true vacation from the many prying eyes of our modern world.  The video shown below is from a couple recent games that I played displaying the creative potential behind the game.  The models are very detailed, and provide creative stimulation for boundless imaginations, and the terrain such as asteroids and star field backgrounds surprisingly pull the mind into the game world effectively.

The depth of the game is something to truly behold, but for me it is the lack of technical involvement that is most attractive.  When playing, the technical outside world is turned off.  However, perhaps even better the creative potential of the game is limitless, and the company Fantasy Flight Games has really overachieved as an organization.  Prior to 2013, they already had a championship caliber game that would live on for many years as a crowd favorite.  But they didn’t stop there.  Instead, they worked on making 2014 one of the most exciting in the short life of the game with a whole range of new additions.  Every game addition mentioned below is something that I am very eager to experience and will hit the marketplace within a few months of this writing.  These will make the video shown above that much more exciting, and complex, and will fill many evenings with great joy.  Fantasy Flight Games is one of the most innovative and forward thinking companies in existence.  I wish they were not applying these great skills to just entertainment, but in the field of aerospace, manufacturing science, and research and development.  But in the world of gaming, they are simply the best there is at this point in time.  Here are just a few of their releases over the next couple of months that I am most excited about.

The GR-75 Medium Transport

First unveiled as a prototype at Gen Con Indy 2013, the iconic GR-75 Rebel transport is most famous for its critical role in the Rebellion’s evacuation from Hoth. However, the GR-75’s role in the Rebellion’s efforts extended far beyond that pivotal conflict.

GR-75 transports were used mainly to transport supplies, equipment, or troops, but some were modified to serve as fuel tankers for long-range starfighter missions. Relatively inexpensive, the GR-75‘s hulls couldn’t be penetrated by Imperial sensors, and the Rebel Alliance often enhanced this feature by outfitting the starship with sensor jammers. Indeed, the Rebel Alliance made such common use of the GR-75 that it was often called the Rebel medium transport.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4628

Rebel Aces features one A-wing and one B-wing miniature, both of which come with alternate paint schemes. You’ll also find four highly skilled unique, new pilots; thirteen upgrade cards; maneuver dials; and all the tokens necessary to launch these starfighters into the thickest action of your space battles against the evil Galactic Empire. It also includes a new mission, which thrusts some of the Rebellion’s finest pilots into a desperate rescue effort that highlights the B-wing’s durability and the A-wing’s agility.

Heroic New Paint Schemes

Fly with the best! The alternate paint schemes on the starfighter miniatures from the Rebel Aces Expansion Pack allow you to battle for the Rebellion’s cause while representing the heroic efforts of the pilots who first flew its A-wings and B-wings as experimental prototypes.

Only ace pilots were granted the right to fly prototypes for the Rebel fleet. Piloting the agile A-wing required tremendous focus and lightning fast reflexes. Still, by helping the Rebel Alliance develop and improve upon its original designs, their efforts benefitted everyone dedicated to the cause of galactic freedom, and the A-wing ultimately proved its worth during the Battle of Endor by helping to cripple Star Destroyers.

To honor those prototype pilots who first flew the ship, the A-wing in Rebel Aces features the paint scheme depicted on the Prototype Pilot ship card, with a bold blue central stripe and red and yellow highlights.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4705

Close Air Support

Manufactured by Incom Corporation, the Z-95 Headhunter was the primary inspiration for the later design of the T-65 X-wing. Even though the X-wing eventually outclassed it in nearly every respect, the Z-95 was cheap, durable, and reliable enough that it continued to see use throughout the Galactic Civil War, most commonly in close air support roles.

Entering X-Wing as the Rebel starship with the lowest squad point value, the Z-95 Headhunter is perfectly suited to play the role within the game that it played within the Star Wars galaxy. It’s a durable and reliable starfighter that comes with the ability to carry and fire missiles, making it capable of playing a strong support role.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4663

The CR90 Corvette

While the Tantive IV is easily the most iconic CR90 corvette in the Star Wars galaxy, it is by no means the only one of import. Manufactured by the Corellian Engineering Corporation, the CR90 was a swift, multipurpose ship that saw widespread use among governments and private parties.

The CR90 corvette’s modular design made it easy for users to reconfigure it to best suit the purpose they wanted it to serve, and the CR90 was often employed as a cargo transport, troop carrier, passenger vessel, or light escort. Additionally, the CR90 could be outfitted with enough weaponry to make it a formidable gunship; it could equip as many as eight turbolasers, six laser cannons, and four ion cannons.

The Tantive IV Expansion Pack presents a similarly adaptable starship for use in your games of X-Wing. Between its two ship cards, for fore and aft sections, the CR90 can equip up to ten upgrades of four different types.

http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_news.asp?eidn=4663

Every time X-Wing Miniature players think they have this game figured out, Fantasy Flight comes up with new ships with entirely new variables making the game ever evolving unlike most table top games.  As players provide Fantasy Flight Games with feedback on their website chat forum, the game designers have proven adapt to filling voids discovered in strategy. For instance, Imperial players were dominating tournament play with Tie swarm tactics which allowed cheap Tie Fighters to overwhelm the more expensive point values of the Rebel players by sheer numbers.  Fantasy Flight saw this trend and is now releasing the Headhunter which will be nearly the same point value giving Rebel players the option of putting swarms of Headhunters against Imperial players.   The CR90 and CR-75 will be the first of a series of big ships to hit the game which will bring entirely new strategies to the game not even yet explored.  In this way the strategies that players used last year in 2013 will be useless in 2014 with all these new variables being introduced.  In this way, X-Wing Miniatures is very dynamic and is likely the reason the game is exploding in popularity.  I know I spend considerable amounts of time reading cards and planning strategy even when I’m not playing the game.  It fills my mind with enjoyment for the sheer mechanism of focused thought.

It is always a pleasure to experience a company that is doing everything right.  With Fantasy Flight the only real issue they have is in delivery of new product line.  They are currently late on the CR90 and CR-75, but for what they provide as far as product, they are worth the wait.  There are few things that bring me so much pure joy as Fantasy Flight Games X-Wing Miniatures.  For those new to the game I have provided samples of tournament play from Team Covenant who is a committed group of table top gamers who wish to advance the hobby to for the uninitiated.  The game is different from gambling games like Poker and Black Jack because it is essentially a war simulation.  The added ability to actually pilot vessels makes X-Wing Miniatures even fun to watch because the entire game play area is up for grabs.  Every conceivable mathematical surface of a play area is an option.  The game is not limited to spaces, or a game board—but to the unlimited options of a game player and how they chose to utilize that battlefield.  That freedom is both within the game and from external electronic control, surveillance, and other limitations that make X-Wing one of my favorite current past times—a trend that is not likely to subside any time soon.

Rich Hoffman

http://www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

Why a Good Man Goes to Court: Boot-lickers shape a story

The Cincinnati Enquirer has taken an interest in the Lang case involving the law suit pressed by three West Chester police officers against the current president of the township trustees.  The Enquirer has cut together a video clip seen at the link below illuminating some key statements by Lang which the officers are building their case on.  If the entire video is watched, which I have put in its entirety on another article, it is clear that Lang wasn’t picking a fight with the West Chester police, but was trying to explain why he—as a trustee had agreed to an out-of-court settlement to keep the victim of police brutality from going to court against the police department.  I know the context of the video because it’s my video.  I shot it, I uploaded it, and I own it.  Lang didn’t ask me to, he didn’t “publish” any such statements intended for public consumption beyond the explanation to a group of fiscally concerned Tea Party members who wanted to understand why he spent tax money for an obvious out-of-court settlement.

http://www.cincinnati.com/videos/news/politics/2014/03/22/6737579/

The Enquirer has a history of doing hit pieces.  It was Lang’s predecessor Cathy Stoker who worked up a hit piece against me along with some other Lakota levy supporters because they were upset that I was involved in a charity event that undermined their community altruism—power.  So they used segments of my statements made on these pages to try to paint me as a sexist—because they essentially didn’t have a way to answer my arguments against them.  They played politics—which is the same as saying that they “cheated.”  This is often the strategy used when an establishment is challenged by new ideals—they dig in and use “politics” to protect themselves from change.

George Lang represents real change in the role of community politics.  This makes many people very upset—particularly government type workers.  In that same video highlighted by the Enquirer Lang also told the audience not to vote for any future tax increases for the police department because as he said, they are already well paid and make too much money.  And he’s right.  They are.

Government workers from police to school teachers and the reporters who are aligned with them for feel good “community” stories don’t want people like Lang in charge.  They want chaos, and open purse strings that will demand tax increases every time those government workers want a pay raise.  If there was anything that Lang said negative in that video it wasn’t the very fair statements made about the case involving the beating—because he didn’t say anything that could even remotely be considered as “slander.”  He didn’t even mention the officers’ names.  They did that to themselves when they filed a law suit against Lang.  Surely their lawyers told them that Lang would bring forward the officers who told him about the bragging that was going on at police headquarters and that they’d be put under oath at the trial–surely they aren’t that stupid—then again, perhaps they are.  Or that the doctors who worked on the victim wouldn’t provide testimony as to the contents of the beating to validate the truth of Lang’s statements about why the township had to settle out of court.  The police obviously didn’t think this case through.  Instead, they have already slandered George Lang by attacking him.  They have already provided false statements to the public.  Lang had nothing to do with “publishing” the video.  I did.  And he never said a word about the case to me at any point in time under any circumstance which of course I will provide testimony to—under oath.

The real problem the police have with that video based on my personal experience with all the parties involved is that Lang came out against a future police levy.  They won’t admit to that under any circumstance, but deep within their secrets of their minds, they know it’s the truth.  That is their real issue.  Lang told the audience not to give the township any more money because the trustees would just find a way to spend it.  Does that sound like a bad, malicious, slanderer?  Lang also said that the police were heroes and that he was glad that he didn’t have to do their job?  That comment didn’t show up in any of these Enquirer clips and articles.  None of those statements made it into the story at any point—because they are all on the same side.  When the video is played in court, the judge, the jury and the audience will also see that Lang said all those things—that were far from disgraceful, slanderous, or mean-spirited.

Oddly enough this story broke only one week after Lang’s trustees stood with the residents of West Chester in preventing a Kroger Marketplace from going in to a controversial plot of land where the developer was seeking a zoning change.  It might be a coincidence, but the timing is awfully similar to my own situation where I had quite a sensation with my charity announcement to help Lakota students, then the very next week my name was plastered on every radio station in the Cincinnati area in a negative way—the context removed.  Developers give quite a lot of money to sheriff campaigns, so favors against political rivals are not out of the question.  In this case the issue is irrelevant, because I know the meaning of the video— I shot it, I published it, and I was there to confirm the context.  It only took two years for the police to become upset about it, and it just so happened that this story hit the Enquirer a week after the Kroger Marketplace deal fell through………….I’m sure it’s all just a coincidence…………….by the way………I have some swamp land to sell in Alaska.

The case against Lang is not one in pursuit of justice or fairness.  It is to pound him into political submission by the political currents of West Chester in my opinion.  Behind the three police officers involved in this law suit is a labor union aligned with all government labor unions driven by radicalism to their own selfish desires.  What they are really mad at is that Lang is against tax increases for West Chester—and this law suit is designed to rough him up—based on my history with such things and the characters involved.  Lang said nothing slanderous about the three officers—he stuck strictly to the facts which are how it should be done.  He has a responsibility to the community which he took seriously.  The police may not have liked it, but they shouldn’t have screwed up on that late night beating of a helpless drunk—just because they had the “law” at their back.

At the beginning of that same video Lang also mentions the things I have said on this site—and that oddly enough didn’t make it into the Enquirer either.  A lot of people read my blog, probably a lot more than who read the Enquirer every day, or the Today’s Pulse, by Cox Publishing.  I can understand that they’d be jealous, or upset.  But they’d find they’d have more readers if they’d stop pandering to the villains and stand behind the righteous—like Lang.  People like good people, and Lang is a good person.  They don’t like suck asses and boot lickers—and too often the Cincinnati Enquirer asks their reporters to be both and the casualty is not George Lang, or myself—it’s the readership of the newspaper.  Lang isn’t the only politician who reads my work, and they are reading me because they can’t get the facts anywhere else.  And it is also why my video is at the center of this case because the Enquirer was too busy kissing ass to film it on their own.  And they don’t even have the guts or courtesy to acknowledge that their source material came from Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom.

But they had no problem taking credit.

  Rich Hoffman  www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com 

Why China Must Copy Off America: Creativity represed by collectivism

The J-20 Dragon fighter jet’s key features from China resemble those of the top-of-the-line U.S. F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning.  In fact, the official Communist Party newspaper Global Times bragged about how key technologies used for the F-35 Lightning were “completely obtained” by China and how the J-20 is equipped with these technologies and features.  China admitted that they stole the technology and seemed happy to live under that premise.  In a Jan. 20th article titled “Six of F-35’s Crucial Technologies Have All Been Obtained by China; J-20 Epitomizes All the Six Technologies,” the Global Times confirmed that the advanced designs and features include a diverterless supersonic inlet, an electro-optical distributed aperture system, an electro-optical targeting system, an AVEN nozzle, and a fire-control array radar system—things that were developed by The United States under capitalism.  Does this surprise anyone?  It shouldn’t.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/23/inside-china-stealth-fighter-revealed

Under communist and socialist regimes, or collective based societies the first casualty is individual creativity, and it is creativity that allowed The United States to develop those six primary technologies mentioned in the Washington Times article.  This is exactly the reason only The United States makes blockbuster films while no place else in the world can even grasp them.  Collective based societies do not freely think—and therefore have their creativity severely limited, which of course destroys their manufacturing base.  Most companies in the orient have as a standard policy the dissemination of western creativity looting those efforts and trying to improve them with collective based manufacturing techniques—which they are quite good at.  But they cannot create from scratch things—they must copy off the West first to show them the way.  Communist countries do not invent because the minds of their people are controlled by the state so there is no incentive to do anything but be a social parasite. 

 

China as a communist country is helpless when it comes to innovation.  If they want wonderful airplanes to expand their military muscle, they had to steal the technology from the F-22 and F-35.  Lockheed Martin and other American aerospace manufacturers can always go back to the drawing board and develop new technology because they have creative people working for them who are able to do such things—but China with all their billions of minds available cannot—because their people are not free.  Without freedom creativity in arts and science do not flourish. Technology does not advance, and their societies remain stifled. 

 

Sure its insulting that China so openly copied off American fighter craft designs—but only because China has been considered equal on the world stage. France, Russia, Spain, India, China and many other countries functioning from socialism and communism are creatively stifled yet have been allowed to play as equal partners to the United States within the eyes of The United Nations.  But the equality is an illusion—they are far inferior to American innovation in virtually every economic category because their commitment to communism has destroyed their people’s ability to think creatively.  This is also why Russia is so good at deception because much of what they hope to gain on the world stage is obtained through theft—as their history with communism has destroyed the minds of the Russian people.  In order to do anything from a manufacturing perspective they must copy western techniques in order to have a prayer.  They aren’t doing anything new; they loot off others and use force to advance their cultures. 

 

Invention is developed under less restrictive government intervention.  Creative minds hope that there is a payoff for their thinking, so they are incentivized to do so.  In communist countries where wealth is stolen from the capable there is no reason to do anything but show up for work and do what some incompetent bureaucrat tells you to do, so nobody makes anything, nobody thinks, and nobody invents.  But to appear equal on the world stage to maintain the illusion of equality Russia and China must steal American technology the same way they steal wealth from their own people—each according to their needs.  They need the technology America has, so they steal it—rather than figure out why they have to steal it in the first place, and lack the ability to generate their own fresh ideas.

 

Without America, who would Europe, Russia, China, or Malaysia copy off of?  How would they do anything?  The answer is they wouldn’t, instead we would see a gradual inclination of society back to the tribal huts of African villages because that is where communism takes countries.  Anywhere where collectivism is present, social regression will be noticed—in every case.  There isn’t one country where collectivism doesn’t either hold down their culture from making technical leaps forward, or the actual country regresses. The only way countries like China, Russia and other collective based economies from the Orient can prosper is to steal intellectual property from those who have it. Readers here who are outraged by my statements from those other countries cannot dispute this fact.  They can be angry that I brought it up, but they cannot refute it.

 

This is why Americans should not copy off those ridiculous cultures—they should not attempt to compete directly with the Chinese school children or the socialist European families and their screwed up tendencies.  When I was angry that my local public school of Lakota proud that China was copying off their education methods it was not something to brag about.  It is not a gift when an inferior culture copies off a superior one—it is theft.  What’s even dumber is when that same school of Lakota beat on its chest that it was keeping pace with those idiots.  That is like saying that children are learning to keep pace with turtles instead of horses.  Americans premier attribute is their creativity and their educations should embody large doses of such thinking so to make them better inventors, better job creators in the future, and a better people.  Anybody can be a parasitic copy-cat like the Chinese and Russians, but not anybody can create something from scratch the way we do in The United States.  And it is about time that we stop apologizing for being so good, and stop letting the world copy off us, then lecture America how to conduct their affairs.  That burden rests on them and them alone. 

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com

 

The Closing of Holy Cross: Pelicans of European lore

In “The Dream of the Virgin,” by Christoforo Simone dei Conrocefissi—a painting of Jesus Christ emerging from a dead body in the form of a tree–a bird atop the crucified figure of Christ has bothered me for a number of years—since the early 90s when I first saw it.  The bird is a pelican which according to the nature lore of the European Middle Ages nourishes its young on blood drawn from its own breast.image  It is used in the painting to show the proper metaphor of how Christ through the giving of his Holy Blood has nourished mankind into Salvation.  About that same time the pastor of my Lutheran Church of Holy Cross in Fairfield, Ohio was suffering from a divorce where his wife ran off to find freedom from the rigidity of being a pastor’s wife.  She wanted to live a free life away from his judgmental existence and bicycle across the earth free of God’s appraisal.  As I looked up at the lit up cross in that church my parents helped keep alive for many years it was a measure of a 20 year journey into philosophy that leaped well beyond the good foundations provided by my years there. Holy Cross for me was my first exposure into a journey that would outgrow the little church starting at the point of time mentioned.  Over the next two decades I would only return a handful of times that would finally end on March 23, 2014.  It was the last service of that church, my parents were the ushers and a substitute pastor headed the service which would be the last one.  There was no new generation to take over, and the church was finally closing.   It first opened in 1957, my parents were married there, my wife and I were married there, we were all baptized there, some of my nieces and nephews and most of my first acting and public speaking was done there.  Prior to the 90s, I performed every job at the church except conduct the actual ministry and play the organ.  The church had played a huge part in my life which put me on a path to fight evil with a foundation started during my youth.   Now during this last service as we all readied to take communion one last time that painting was coming back to me resurrecting the ridiculous role of the pelican.  That was what I thought of as I was handed bread representing the body of Christ.

I have told people who didn’t understand why I stopped attending Holy Cross that it wasn’t that I was becoming an atheist or had lost “faith.”  I had just outgrown the church which of course nobody understood, particularly parents who had given so much of themselves to it.  For me, the failure of the church was not in its message of goodness, in helping people and having spiritual value—it was in the ideal of sacrifice.  I had continued to study literature well after my Bible study days and moved into comparative religion heavily from 18 to 19 years of age.  I learned that it wasn’t just Lutherans and Catholics who had these stupid concepts about sacrifice—it was all religions to some degree or another—and I saw clearly that politics was exposing this weakness taught to the masses of humanity for their own exploitation of power.  Now a pastor I had studied with closely over many years had a wife leaving him and it was obvious that God wasn’t coming to his rescue.  Bowing on his knees to a savor wasn’t going to bring the woman back.  The situation was much more complicated and I needed to understand the answers for my own life.  Blind trust into some mysterious beings behind a curtain was not enough for me.  For many of the people I knew, it was—and I saw that as an intellectual limitation that would not be sufficient for my family.

I left the church unofficially because of the false premise that sacrifice was needed for human life to move forward.  Creativity is the real driver of advancement, not pouring the blood of Christ into a cup and drinking it on Sunday.  Softened rituals of human sacrifice which is what Lutheran communion was only served in providing basic childlike foundations into living a life of goodness.  It did not help a person live a life where they are in control, where they are accountable, and they dictate the fate of their own existence.   So I continued on and only returned for big family events until this last service.  I couldn’t help but notice the tears from the audience, listening to the organ from the balcony, the lit up cross I had spent so many Sundays and years helping keep the place alive.  I looked out the window at the same trees I looked at growing up.  They were a little bigger, but mostly still there.  During sermons I had stared at every line of every brick in the front wall of a church that was quite a popular place in the 70s and 80s.  Many of my first girlfriends came out of the church.  Even during some of my most rebellious years mentioned prior, I still attended church at Holy Cross almost every weekend.  It had become a sanctuary of goodness for me over the years that I had a lot of value for.  But not enough value to sacrifice my life to, or the lives of my children.  The church was not more important than me and my family and that is a tough concept to explain to people who have not taken those steps.

The drastic difference in thinking was that sacrifice was a concept which should be abandoned—the ideal that something must be given up so that something can come to be.  I was not going to teach my children that sacrifice was needed to live—but that it was creativity that brought everything into being and that God was the factor behind inspiration and drive.   The ideal of someone sacrificing their life so that I could live was something I decided to reject and would spend my life going forward living from my own spontaneity and creativity and I would teach everyone who wanted to listen to do the same.   That way of thinking is not for everyone.  It requires a firm footing upon a foundation of goodness, and I gained that foundation at Holy Cross Lutheran Church and my parents did a wonderful job introducing it to me.  Many of my first books, which I still have and treasure are Bibles and Bible Encyclopedias.  In my pastor’s office when I was personally instructed by him I always admired the books on his shelves—literature was very important to him. But at a certain point you outgrow it if growth continues, and for me I could have stayed stagnate and thrown myself at God’s mercy the way the pastor did when his wife left him, or I could take control and move past him—well past him and shape my own destiny through creativity—not sacrifice.

One last time I took communion out of respect for the ceremony and I felt sorry for those who were still confined to the ideal of sacrifice.  They were good people, but they were stuck—and happy to be there.  Like the pastor from two decades prior, who was now deceased, it was easier to pray to God, trust in the wisdom of His benevolence than to take personal responsibility through personal creativity to lead one’s own life to a conclusion of self motivated destiny.  It is far easier to bow and eat bread, drink wine, and pray and leave the responsibility for living to the universe.

As I put the communion cup down for the last time alongside the northern windows I felt the heat of the building pushing warm air through the heating system. I would miss this church—because I wouldn’t be able to come back ever again.  It was closing, and at the end of the service, it would finally be gone forever, and it was a sad moment.  The building was alive and had been since 1957.  I had grown up and felt that heat most of my life but now I felt not just sad that it would be over—but that it was now like a pair of shoes that I wore when I was a child which I could no longer wear—and I felt bad that I couldn’t teach everyone to also outgrow their shoes.

Holy Cross closed with the stripping of the alter—with no music and the slamming shut of the church log, sniffles permeated the vaulted ceilings, the classic lights, the candles which were now extinguished and the gentle rumble of the heating system pushing warm air into the congregation.  The church had cared for its people attending worship for so many years, and now it was over—and it was sad.  But the ultimate failure was not the changing demographics of the area, the declining morality of society, but the concept that sacrifice was needed for a fruitful existence.  Every institution which subscribes to those types of theories ends just like the lives which give shape to them.  Sacrifice is the wrong approach to everything because in the end things just end, like marriages, churches, lives, and minds.  For something to live on, it requires creativity because without that—nothing happens—and that is the secret to success, love, and life.    The only pelican in my life are the ones I feed in Florida when I visit Tampa, who wait for me to feed them a fish.  They don’t give me back anything in return except for the joy of watching them eat it.  The European lore was wrong and all those who followed it.

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com 

The Leather Jackets of U.S. Wings: Sgt. Hack’s curious case and exceptional quality

Too often there is very little to talk about but what we don’t like—and when you’re picky, or expect competency when dealing with people, all too often what we get is disappointment.  Every day for over 6 years now I have put on a leather flight jacket from US Wings.  I ride motorcycles all year, and there are maybe a handful of days over that span of time that I don’t have to go somewhere.  And when I do travel it is usually by motorcycle.  So my leather jacket has to be tough, withstand all the elements and be extremely functional.  Even on the hottest days of summer a leather jacket is needed—the mornings are often cool, too cool for naked skin and large bugs pelt you in the torso area while riding.  The leather is an offering of armor and is essential riding equipment.  Even during a motorcycle ride from Key West to the Everglades 50 miles west of Miami where the real temperature was 107 degrees the early dawn sun was pleasant to the naked skin, but once the day hit 10 AM, it was punishing.  The jacket was needed just to stay hydrated and prevent the skin from burning under the sun. Then from Miami to Orlando, afternoon thunderstorms are common, it may be intensely sunny and 15 minutes later a thunderstorm is upon you dropping rain the size of a small fist as hundreds begin hitting you by the minute.  Without the leather the pain would be intense, probably unbearable.  So because I ride a motorcycle every day of the year I wear a leather jacket every day as well.  I have an additional problem, I often meet people where my leather jacket has to go along with a suit and tie.  It would be disrespectful to the people I see to show up in a biker jacket with studs looking like I’m going to Sturgis—so I need my leather jacket to look as good as the cloth underneath it.  So with all that in mind I have only found one company in the entire world that made a jacket fitting for me and that is U.S. Wings outside of Cleveland, Ohio founded by Sgt. David D. Hack, the Purple Heart recipient and Nation’s #1 US Army recruiter from 69 to 73.  He’s been Chief of Police in Sebring, Ohio, and in his spare time founded U.S. Wings in 1986 to the present.  His company knows how to make cloths that fit my very intense lifestyle.  So you can imagine dear reader how disappointed I was when I went to zip up my well-worn flight jacket a few weeks ago and the teeth were so worn out from use that they no longer gripped each other.

I contacted U.S. Wings to price a new zipper and liner and they responded quickly.  The zipper replacement was $60 and the liner replacement was $90, plus shipping the jacket to the New Jersey plant where most of the construction takes place.   It was still winter where the nights are often in the mid 20s so I had to be able to zip up the jacket—it simply couldn’t wait.  But after careful consideration, even though the stitching all over the jacket was still very much intact it was decided that it was time to retire that jacket and buy a new one.  A new jacket from U.S. Wings costs about the same as a good firearm but considering my use, a new one was better than fixing the old one so I placed an order for one of their Signature Series flight jackets with nearly the exact specs.

The order was placed and a few days later the jacket arrived on my doorstep ready for battle.  I literally took it out of the box, tried it on for fitting and left the house on my motorcycle.  When you meet with people they can tell instantly whether the jacket is a cheap rip-off from some shopping mall vender selling “club” clothing or some piece of crap made for the herds at various coat suppliers destined to be sold in the future at a flea market.  It doesn’t matter so much if the jacket is stained from sweet, rain, bugs, or heat streaked, they can tell if it is of quality and if it’s not it won’t look right with a suit and a $500 dollar watch.  But U.S. Wing jackets are just fine for this kind of thing and suit both necessities perfectly.  The jackets are of a quality where their value never comes into question.

When I bought the first jacket six years ago Hack’s company sent with it some bonus items free of charge—a book about Hack’s life which was actually quite good and a free Moko Man hat which I wear often.  As this new jacket arrived I expected him to send something extra, but wasn’t all that shocked when only the jacket was inside.  The economy had been hard for everyone, so I figured that U.S. Wings had given up on those kinds of perks to save money.  Two days after the arrival of the jacket it was a Saturday and one of my nephews was at my house playing Star Wars: X Wing with myself and one of my son-in-laws as we noticed the mail man driving up our driveway.  He dropped off a package and neither my wife nor I expected to receive anything.  We took the usual protocols when examining something unusual which arrives at our home, but my concerns quickly alleviated once I saw the U.S. Wings logo on the box.

U.S. Wings had sent a special delivery of free items, a DVD music video titled “The Ballad of Sergeant Hack” by Erica Lane and a special single song CD by the same musical artist called “Believe in America.”  Inside also was a special bag designed to protect expensive garments while traveling, such as U.S. Wing jackets and tailored suits.  It was a cost that U.S. Wings did not have to incur, they could have just sent the jacket, but as usual they went above and beyond.

The song, “The Ballad of Sergeant Hack” can be heard on the first video on this article along with other videos which give an ideal who David Hack is, and why he is one of those unique people whose personality inevitably comes out in his company U.S. Wings.  Hack is a guy who personally wrote President Johnson complaining that he wanted to go to Ranger school.  He volunteered for Vietnam during a time when many people were dodging the draft and was a recruiter on the active front designated to reenlist soldiers who were set to rotate out of the combat zones.  Needless to say, Sergeant Hack is the real deal and that personality certainly comes out in the clothing line of U.S. Wings.

Hack’s patriotism is genuine.  He’s obviously not happy with the direction of the country currently—and his sentiments are much older than the Tea Party.  He’s not a “come lately” to the ideal of patriotism and is truly one of the unique people of American culture.  I purchase my leather jackets from U.S. Wings because there simply are not better jackets made by any other manufacturer in the world when it comes to military clothing and rugged apparel.  I would not trust my jackets to be made by a roving communist from the East or a socialist from Europe or a conquered soul in Russia.  U.S. Wing jackets are purely American and made for American lifestyles, and they are the only kind of jacket that I’ll wear.

As is often the case, the company U.S. Wings is the embodiment of its creator, Sergeant Hack and the quality he has directly infused into a great American company.  In a day where most things are imports from other countries done cheaply out of necessity, U.S. Wings jackets have an emblem inside all their garments which actually sends a chill up my spine every time I see it—which is every day because I put those jackets on every day.  U.S. Wings is a company that I trust because I trust Sergeant Hack and know that he puts a lot of extra effort into the reputation of his company.  Most companies that make coats, shoes, boots, or even farm equipment have fallen from grace because the personalities of their creators, the Chief Executive Officers who utilize capitalism to bring joy to the world lose touch with their initial passions.  When it comes to U.S. Wings, even after many years of existence, over a long-span of time, their quality and effort are matched by their past performance and it is one of the rare honors that I have had to open a package from them and see what’s inside.  Often it is the little things that matter, and when it comes to U.S. Wings a lot of little things add up to greatness, from the quality of their stitching to the measurements of their segments—to the quality of the actual leather.  And even when they don’t have to—because the product speaks for itself, David Hack wants his customers to know more about him, so that they know what they are getting is the real deal that won’t falter when they need it most.  And when it comes to leather jackets there aren’t any better made.

For me there are two essential ingredients to my daily life, my leather U.S. Wings jackets and Gargoyle Sunglasses.  Everything else is a variable.

Here is the U.S. Wings website:

 http://www.uswings.com/

And now that you’ve read all this, watch all the videos completely and know that what you are seeing is a deep tap-root into American exceptionalism and be damn proud of it.

Rich Hoffman

 www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com