Steven Spielberg: Just another Hollywood political hack

It pains me to say this, I love Steven Spielberg, I love John Williams, I even like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos—so what on earth are these idiots talking about regarding the merit of the “free press.”  In his new movie The Post, Spielberg, Tom Hanks and the eternally liberal feminist Meryl Streep act like they are changing the world with this rush job loser of a movie yet they had to get it out before the close of 2017 to qualify for the awards season.  Aside from the obvious political message the film is very sloppy—like it was made by college students—not the most successful filmmaker in the history of mankind.  The story is amazingly political.  The premise suggested by the movie—that the free press is our only vanguard against corrupt presidencies is completely ridiculous.  The Washington Post—the newspaper currently owned by Jeff Bezos isn’t a free press—it’s a liberal mouthpiece for the political left and a tool for trying to eliminate conservative politicians from races of consideration.  They are as corrupt as any K-Street lobbyists and couldn’t be considered trustworthy by any stretch of the imagination.  It’s amazing to me that Spielberg and Hanks would even suggest that there is some moral authority for which The Post had to speak from—because such a thought is one of the biggest fantasies in Spielberg’s long career at making movies—and that includes his version of Peter Pan in the movie Hook.

Like most things on the political left the foundations of thinking are rooted in disjointed emotions and a viewpoint from the bubble of the liberal neighborhoods they currently live in. The Obama administration as we have learned very late in the game was one of the most corrupt administrations in the history of the world—you’d have to go back to the Roman emperor Nero for a comparison—and The Washington Post has been silent on the matter—yet it has fully advanced the false notion that Russians are the reason Donald Trump won the presidency.  The American people don’t have faith in the left leaning “free press” of The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN.  Liberal people do because those outlets say what they want to hear just as Fox News traditionally might feed the political right a viewpoint favorable to their sentiments.  But facts are facts and many news outlets including Disney owned ABC has deliberately sat on stories to prevent the political left from looking bad.

Before Donald Trump’s election to the presidency I would occasionally buy a New York Times newspaper at my local Barnes and Nobel bookstore just to thumb through the pages and see what was going on in the world from the viewpoint of New York City.  I was able to overlook their obvious liberal bias because it wasn’t nearly as “in your face” as today’s anti-Trump media has been.  I even would read The New Yorker from time to time to keep up with the cultural drivers of our time—so I’m hardly a closed-minded Republican.  I’m a Ohio conservative so I am used to dealing with propaganda from the political left, even Fox News is now owned by the Disney Company so if I want to participate in the world, I have to deal with liberals.  But my beliefs aren’t just regional—because I was born in a conservative area, had conservative parents, and conservative grandparents—etc.  I’ve navigated through my adult life as an avid reader of history.  I never get drunk for any kind of entertainment as I love my mind more than anything in the world—and I enjoy feeding it good things—so my thoughts on things are formed by evidence as it plays out in the world—not what “people” and their viewpoints think of it.  For instance, for the third time in my life I am reading the big version of Adam Smith’s An Inquiry in the Nature and Causes of The Wealth of Nations shown in the included picture.  All the books in that stack for instance are my January 2018 projects and I will have them all read before the upcoming Super Bowl.  That stack is a continuous one that resides next to my reading chair.  The contents of the stack are ever-changing, but the stack is always there.  The point of the matter is that I am not drawing my conclusions about the nature of the “free press” based on any kind of pop culture sentiment—it is through the long view of historical perspective—so it deeply surprises me that Steve Spielberg—as an artist would allow himself to get so caught up in the local vantage points of his liberal Hollywood friends—because if they think the current Washington Post is anything more than a blog for the liberal views of Jeff Bezos—they are smoking crack and should be arrested immediately.

When the free press becomes part of the problem as it is now, we have no choice but to fight them.  We have watched them actively hide crimes from our faces much more severe than The Pentagon Papers ever were.  If that is the criteria of merit as shown in The Post—then where is the outrage over the crimes Hillary Clinton herself committed?  What about the FBI using the press as a way to hide their crimes and manipulate public opinion in ways they approved of?  What about that smidgen of evidence which continues to pour out of the Obama White House when it used the powers of government to crush political opponents and unmask competing administrations as they came into power?  The Trump administration was just trying to put together their team when Obama and his activist Justice Department was unmasking members of the transition team as a way to destroy them before they ever got started.  What they learned they leaked to that “free press” to work in cahoots with the aims of the political left to advance a sentiment for which the American public had just voted against–so much for a “righteous” Washington Post.

The essential premise of the movie, The Post is completely ridiculous and I’d expect much more out of these seasoned filmmakers than to propose that the free press especially in this modern era is anything less than another potential villain of misinformation with an agenda.  I’ve been involved in some of those little parties where some ditzy blond starlet yaks on and on about animal rights, women in the work place, and how wonderful Bill Clinton was in the White House with her tits falling out of her dress, drunk hoping to seduce her way into a movie role.  That is the world of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg—they are bombarded by those types of people almost every day.  And actresses like that don’t really care about animal rights.  If by some chance she thought the film producers were conservative, she’d go on and on about the greatness of the NRA and how tax cuts helped her buy a new car as she was trying to make ends meet until her next movie role—(wink—look at my boobies).  But we expect more out of filmmakers who are as seasoned as Spielberg is.  Sadly it appears he’s become caught up in all this anti-Trump Hollywood sentiment and he is looking for another Oscar by appeasing those liberal members of the Academy with some red meat to fulfill their fantasies.  Yet all he’s really shown us is that he can’t be trusted to tell the truth either—as an artist.  He has become just another political hack, like the rest of them.

Rich Hoffman

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The White House Should Get Behind, ‘The 15:17 to Paris’: What makes Americans so quick to take down terrorists–(the ultimate authority figures)

Just a hint to the Trump administration, after all the good things that happened in 2017, if I were them, I’d get behind this new Clint Eastwood film, The 15:17 to Paris. It’s coming out at the start of February, but I’m sure there will be advanced screenings at the end of January and after all the negative activity regarding the anti-Trump Spielberg movie with Tom Hanks about The Post, putting the seal of administration approval on this film will really launch 2018 in a positive pro-American light. After watching the preview and knowing Eastwood directed films nearly shot-by-shot, I knew enough about this story of three American young people on a train from Amsterdam to Paris that stopped a terrorist attack, to get excited about it. If a normal director handled the material, it might come off as a kind of television movie, but with Eastwood, there is a whole different layer that the master filmmaker taps into with great depth behind what on the surface seems to be very simple. And in this specific instance it answers the question—why do Americans have a tendency to stop terrorists outside of institutional reaction to these matters? Why not three French guys, or three English lads—or Germans? Why don’t we ever hear of those types of stories, why is it always Americans? Well, I know the answer and honestly this blog is about that topic almost daily. But I wanted to read the book of the movie to make sure that Eastwood’s source material contained that type of sentiment, like American Sniper did—and guess what—it does. Even better, it ends on a high note instead of the sad ending of American Sniper. I predict that this movie, The 15:17 to Paris will become the hottest film out of the gate in 2018 and will become many people’s favorite movie. I read the book over the last couple of days and it answered my questions very well and can report that this movie is the perfect companion in pop culture to the Trump presidency. It couldn’t have been slated for release at a better time—after the first full year of the Trump inauguration.

In a lot of ways the three heroes who stopped the terrorist Ayoub El-Khazzani (the ultimate authority figure who literally uses fear to invoke compliance)–Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, and Spencer Stone where social outcasts who had really hard times with authority figures. Their public-school experiences were miserable. Their teachers wanted to put them on attention deficit medicine, which Spencer’s mom became very angry about—to the extent that she pulled her son out of school and put him into a private church oriented school. Alek went with him and the two boys had daily problems with authority finding themselves always in the principal’s office. After a few years of that miserable failure the parents put the two kids back into a public school but one that they thought was better in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. There they met Anthony who taught the two misfits how to dress and think like other cool kids—which worked to a minimum effect and ended up bonding the three boys for life. After school Spencer and Alek bounced around. Spencer wanted to join the special forces but got bumped because essentially, he couldn’t learn to sew. He continued to get bumped down the military ladder as his classic problem with authority figures held him back tremendously. But as life does often, things stabilized and to try to outpace those resentments in their young lives the three boys managed to meet in Europe for a grand vacation while they still could, which is how they found themselves on The 15:17 to Paris.

The book arrived at my house on a nice day during a Christmas vacation as the snow was falling slowly outside. I had been reading several books that day, but I was really excited to get my hands on this one for a specific purpose. One thing that Eastwood knows that the rest of Hollywood has forgotten is what Americans are. In the case of these boys when they were in high school, they were not the popular kids. They did not take orders well. They were very rebellious, but in the essence of their core personalities, they were good kids. They just needed a chance to do something and they were always on the outlook for what that might be. So when it happened on a train to Paris, they were ready to pounce. I would say that the goal of every American is to be one of these types of people, but in our education system and then in our introductions to the outside world of employment we are always looking to put saddles on those wild horses breaking them into normalcy. But deep down inside we love the wild stallions of youth and we cheer that they might make it into adulthood free and happy—even as most of us yield to the pressure and tap out.

America hates authority figures even though all of our institutions are filled with them. We learn very early in public school to find our “peer group” and for kids like these, they never really do because they can’t yield authority to others who control those groups. What the institutions of American life fail to understand, including Hollywood these days, is that even those in the peer groups yearn to be as free as people like Spencer and Alek were. Of course the anxiety that young kids like Spencer, Alek and Anthony felt at not fitting into any particular peer group was enormous, what reality later tells is that all the world fantasizes about being one of those rogues in life who does what they want whenever they want to. I’ve personally never met a person whom I’ve spoken to one on one who doesn’t have at least a little of this individualistic fantasy in them—even in Europe and Asia. But in America we have a system that allows people like Spencer, Alek, and Anthony to have a good shot at success if they can figure out how to outsmart the system, and ironically some of the best and brightest of our culture are these types of people. But it’s not easy and in most cases people do die trying.

So here were three unbroken American stallions unsaddled roaming through the French countryside looking to make their mark in the world any way possible when this dumbass terrorist put the opportunity right in their lap. The fact that they were in their 20s and unbroken says a lot about the nature of American life—because even though it is hard to function in the world as a rugged individualist who hates authority—in America you can do it while still making a living and getting though the education process. Because of that, they were there when the world needed them. There are others like them, and they are a rare breed, but they are specifically an American creation. In other nations they would have been saddled in life one way or another and broken before they were 18 years of age—likely earlier.

Once I was able to get through the book I was able to see how Eastwood would shoot this movie. He understands this unsaddled sentiment, you can see it most in his movies like White Hunter Black Heart, Heartbreak Ridge, even going all the way back to the first western he directed, High Plains Drifter. Eastwood has never been a fan of authority figures, so it was obvious that his decision to put these young guys into the movie playing themelves was because he wanted to get that raw untamed element that is central to their characters on the screen for all to see. He understands the power of this kind of story and it looks to me like he held nothing back. As a person who is just mildly obsessed with this very specific American condition, that is why I am so excited about this project. And as a strategist of a good reputation this is a film that is very Trumpian. It would be wise for those who have the president’s ear….hint, hint……to have a nice screening at the White House with the stars and Eastwood there for a little dinner to launch this film. It is going to break box office records and will be big for Warner Bros—so why not help it strong out of the gate? Let the young men get their picture next to Trump—and more for their benefit, Melania. I think it represents all the reasons Trump was elected in the first place—and Eastwood understands that. Look for this one to be BIG in 2018.

Rich Hoffman

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Revoking Franklin Delano Roosevelt from History: His friends Hitler and Mussolini would approve of the communism he helped nurture in China

After reading the very good book, The Big Lie during 2017 it settled an issue that has bothered me for years about one of my favorite books, The Way of the Fighter by my favorite military general Claire Lee Chennault. The year of the publication was 1949 as communism was sweeping into China for which Chennault had been commissioned to protect from Japanese aggression. Reading that book it always concerned me that Franklin Delano Roosevelt only supplied 100 P-40Bs to the American Volunteer Group commissioned to China for such a defense—and as World War II raged on, how General Stilwell in spite of all the great heroics Chennault squeezed out of his young pilots and crew seemed always to be undercutting the efforts in China to “just win enough.” Based on what I’m about to say, knowing more than the average knows about this subject from piecing together the kind of evidence that has deliberately been erased from history, that it is time to revoke the status of good presidency that is given to the radical leftist who brought socialism to America—FDR.

As we live in an age where the political left wants to remove Trump from office it is only fair to apply their same complaints back the other way on their own political leaders. After all, it is now irrefutable that the Obama administration used the powers of government to manipulate everything from the high court laws to the ground activism that has shown itself to be so violent. For many years there has been great controversy as to whether or not Franklin Delano Roosevelt knew that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor, and I think we can now conclude that he did—and that he hoped it would allow America to be pulled into the war so that he wouldn’t be forced to go against his friends on the political left, Bonito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. For it was well-known during the entire 1930s that the three of them together represented a new kind of global socialism that was pouring forth throughout Europe and Roosevelt in many ways was the leader of the three. Hitler and Mussolini studied the American president and copied many of his tactics as a foundation for their own actions in Germany and Italy. The media even back then was well on board the socialist train and openly supported those three dictators—Roosevelt was clearly inclined toward those types of sentiments based on his policy actions.

The world had changed, General Patton was reprimanded by the future president General Eisenhower for slapping two soldiers who were having a nervous breakdown in Sicily which nearly had him fired—emotional polices that had been started by the Roosevelt administration. Ike to his credit punished Patton but did not fire him because the politics of that new age was understood. Ike knew they needed Patton to win the war in Europe even though it is now clear that Roosevelt only was committed to the war cosmetically. He felt sympathy for the Nazi and the Italian fascists and the constraints on victory that were placed on his generals like Patton, and Chennault in the Asian theater were deliberate. It is appalling to consider how many people died because of FDRs policy of protection of the Nazi regime. Remember, America only entered the war after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Japan was being used to soften up China for the communists to move in after the wreckage of war prepared it for change.

Claire Chennault it is obvious in hind sight was never supposed to do so well at his job. The token P-40s that Roosevelt sent to him with American volunteers to stop the advance of Japan into China was only supposed to slow down the job so that the Communists in the north-east waiting for the outcome of the war to take its toll could make their move. It appears that all Chennault was to do in China was to slow down the progress and deplete the Japanese so that when the eventual communist invasion took place on recently conquered Chinese soil, that Moa Zedong would make fast action of conquest—which is what happened when the war was over and the Americans were pulled out of the region.

In the last chapter of The Way of the Fighter was a very upset Claire Chennault warning of what would happen if communism were allowed to rise up in China after all the hard work they had done to defend the nation from the Japanese. By then FDR was dead, but his polices had been firmly put in place just as Barack Obama’s destruction still continues even as Trump has spent the last year trying to undo them. Harry Truman was not such an aggressive type as President Trump—so the world that FDR put in motion during four terms as a United States president carried over to an easy communist victory in China once the Japanese surrendered and the war-torn country had no defense. The communists rolled to an easy victory after the war and everything that Chennault predicted in his last chapter of that great book came true. America ended up in two wars with communists, one in Vietnam and another in North Korea but they were only half fought cosmetic wars because the administrations of power in the Beltway wanted global communism. America was never supposed to win those wars, and nobody was going to let a rebellious general like Claire Chennault actually win in the traditional sense as he had in China with very little resources and a lot of out of the box thinking. It is sad to say that portions of the United States government—which had helped Mussolini and Hitler to power, were deliberately letting the spread of communism occur throughout Asia and they were willing to kill many thousands of people to make it happen.

The political left has been at open war with traditional America for nearly 200 years—and when I say traditional America I’m talking about the kind of people who formed this country from the 1770s to the Transcendentalist period just prior to the writing in Europe of The Communist Manifesto. Where transcendentalism was concerned about the purity and happiness of the human soul without the clutter of institutionalism, and Adam Smith’s great work The Wealth of Nations was exploding among economic theorists—tested in America for the first time—the intelligentsia movement was headed in the other direction, toward Kant and Marx. This clash of ideas exploded during the Teddy Roosevelt administrations and eventually gave rise to the Woodrow Wilson era of progressivism. These radical intellectuals thought they knew more than the rest of us and put to use their vile mechanisms of tyranny tied in knots through group think—and they didn’t care how many individuals they killed in the process so long as the greater good was achieved—to their view, global communism. FDR was of that mind and we see it in his New Deal which still corrupts us all to this very day. What I didn’t know until I read The Big Lie by Dinesh D’Souza was how closely Roosevelt, Hitler and Mussolini were to each other—and how they all attempted to use left-winged politics to essentially take over the world. In that regard I am certain that what socialism and fascism wasn’t doing in Europe Roosevelt intended the harsher communism for Asia—and he got it by working the Americans and the Japanese against each other to pave the way for the communists. It was all by design.

As we are going through a period of history where we are tearing down statues and terminating the careers of men who touch the boobies of women, we should consider ridding ourselves of the history of FDR and all his socialist policies to erase the memory of his massive scandals from history. I remember vividly how the former owner of the Cincinnati Reds, Marge Schott was driven from the public eye when she suggested a favorable historical perspective of Adolf Hitler. Yet we had a president in FDR who worked with those European dictators to change the world to socialism and communism and many people died as a result. So why don’t we apply the same logic to him? Why don’t we finally admit to ourselves that the political left hates America and wants to kill anyone who believes in those original American ideas of individualism over group think institutionalism? The evidence is abundant if only we had the courage as a nation to look at it. To confirm what I’ve said here only two sources need to be researched—The Big Lie and The Way of the Fighter. There are of course many more outlets, but those two would be a great place to start.

Rich Hoffman

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Blame Fat Asian Chicks: The terrible numbers for the ‘Star Wars’ future

As I was saying about the movie math of The Last Jedi before the Christmas holiday weekend—they are in trouble. And it doesn’t make me happy to say it, because something like this has massive cultural ramifications for the future—and its clear that people were front loaded on the film. They went to see it when it first came out. But as Luke faded away at the end of the film, so did the fan base. You can’t go kill off all the original characters and expect to keep this thing alive unless the new characters are every bit as charismatic—and they clearly aren’t. Kylo Ren is the most exciting character and he’s the bad guy—everyone else is just wall paste and that’s a real problem. The movie will make its money, but the problem is, will people still love this film in 2040—like they do the originals? No. Even in the year of 2050 people will still love the original films, but will be indifferent of the prequels and the sequels—and that is truly sad.

I made a decision not too long ago that I would support the Star Wars franchise mainly because of my grandchildren and children. After The Force Awakens I didn’t want to talk about Star Wars for an entire year, and my kids missed it. They like to bounce morality themes off me decorated with Star Wars plots and not having the ability to do that wore on their minds. So it is more destructive to say no to it than to accept what good does come from it. When the new Star Wars land opens in Disney World we’ll go to it, and I’m sure we’ll love it. But as far as enthusiasm for what comes next from the Lucasfilm group—the magic is clearly gone and that was an avoidable circumstance. It was a bad idea to assume that Star Wars stories could be created in group think instead of that classical way Lucas used which was just a piece of paper and a pencil—and one human mind.

I recently reread the book by Norman Vincent Peale The Power of Positive Thinking. I was provoked into this endeavor by watching recently The Founder, the story of Ray Kroc who started the McDonald’s franchise. When he was an up and coming traveling salesman, he listened to a book version of the Peale book to motivate him each day. The book was very popular in that late 50s early 60s period and I can imagine George Lucas having access to it, because a lot of what is in that book are some of the best lines of dialogue from the Star Wars movie The Empire Strikes Back. I do know something about George Lucas as he was on the board of The Joseph Campbell Foundation when I was a member—and I’m sure that Peale played a part of influence on the young George Lucas. He may not admit to it today as all his liberal friends would likely berate him for it, but The Power of Positive Thinking is every bit as strong in the core of American value as it was when it was written. That kind of element is what’s missing from these new Star Wars movies—Luke being the pessimist, the lack of an eternally optimistic Han Solo character who doesn’t get pushed around by the girls in the movies. Star Wars was and always will be a throwback film to the kind of America that was the 1940s through the 1950s—just as Disney World reflects that same optimism from its founder in its amusement parks. People aren’t going to pay good money and buy lots of merchandise for something that makes them depressed and all these new Star Wars films have a premise set in sacrifice, not in proactive action.

I had a reading marathon over the Christmas break, I read three books in three days and I utilized the entire clock to do so—and I loved it. The Power of Positive Thinking was an easy read for me, but it took some time, around 10 hours, and I had it timed to the arrival of my next book, The 15:17 to Paris, which is about the terrorist attack that was stopped by three heroes riding a train from Amsterdam to Paris when an ISIS sympathizer launched an attack with 500 people on board. As I was finishing Peale’s book at 1:57 PM on December 26th, 2017 a notification came up on my computer saying that The 15:17 to Paris had arrived at my house. So I closed the Peale book just as the dogs were barking and noticed a mail truck stuffing the book into my mailbox as the snow was falling. I walked out in my bare feet to retrieve the book as snow blew across our driveway. I grabbed the book and went back to my chair and opened it up—only about five minutes transpired, and I started reading that book and within 6 pages the mother of Spencer Stone was praying for her child to be safe in France ahead of the terrorist attack. I knew as I read that under Clint Eastwood’s direction that this movie was going to be a hit, because America is still that hopeful and faithful nation. Disney has decided to go against that traditional message and it is hurting them—unnecessarily. After all, wasn’t that the whole point of the movie Dumbo—believing in yourself even when your symbols have been striped away?

The original Star Wars movies were very much about hope, and how positive thinking could overcome anything—no matter the odds. These new films are very progressive and clearly about sacrifice. Who wants to go to the movies to hear a fat Asian girl rattle on about animal rights? If Disney wants to show that average people can be heroes too, there are other ways to do that, but Star Wars is not about those kinds of people. The characters of Star Wars are about the exceptional, not the bland. I bet there will be lots of Rose Star Wars figures on clearance this summer at Target. Who will want that one for their collection? At the end of The Last Jedi the new girl power had pretty much destroyed their resistance showing themselves to be completely incompetent. It’s one thing to be outmatched as the Rebellion always was, but this Resistance is an official branch of the governing power. How could the female generals screw it up so bad? Those are the kinds of questions that people left the theater thinking. They certainly weren’t passionate enough about the film to go see it a second time, or a third—which is what it needed.

This is all important because it says much more about our culture overall. Star Wars is a big part of that culture and now we can see that the magic that made the originals good, just isn’t there in the modern sense and that can be traced back to our divided country politically and on matters of religion. Hollywood is a depressed culture full of losers, drug addicts, promiscuous cape riders, cheats, low-life’s and hopeless degenerates. I noticed that my copy of The 15:17 to Paris shipped from a book store in Van Nuys, California since it was out of print awaiting the updated version that is set to come out with the release of the Eastwood movie in early February. But I didn’t want to wait so I found a new copy of the book in that little town which is a suburb of Los Angeles essentially—just a few miles down the road from where Star Wars was originally partially filmed, where Industrial Light and Magic started as a special effects company for the Star Wars movies. As I watched my package move across the country I thought about how different California was from when Star Wars was first made. The hints of progressivism were already there, but there were enough people not yet corrupted that it wasn’t noticeable unless you really picked up the curtain. Now, it’s a very different place and the people who have helped make it so progressive are now the people making Star Wars movies, and they don’t get it. They don’t understand what made Star Wars great in the first place and they don’t understand American audiences—at all. And that is a damn shame. Nothing against fat Asian chicks—there is a place for them in the world—but forcing them into a plot just to do it says that the filmmakers have no idea what they are doing. Which is directly reflected by the box office numbers.

Rich Hoffman

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Why Lean Manufacturing is Dead: The Trump tax cuts change everything

Before moving on to more positive topics there need to be some additional information as to why Lean manufacturing is dead, and why it is more cult than fact.  Every company I’ve been associated with for the last twenty years has bought into the nonsense James Womack articulated in The Machine that Changed the World—which is an incredibly negative book about western manufacturing techniques.  While there is a lot to Lean manufacturing that is very worthwhile and should be looked at as the next generation of improved thought over mass production roots imitated in America—it certainly isn’t a silver bullet in solving everything as it was sold to American management.  It really comes down to a battle between two cultures where the obvious favoritism goes toward the Japanese market.

Nearly every fifth page of The Machine that Changed the World Womack and his pals criticize as inferior Western methods with an obvious academic lens of hatred.  The real purpose for the book wasn’t to make American business more profitable on an individual bases—but to make them more global—as the authors played their part in the grand scheme of wealth redistribution that was so common at the time. And for their part, they were very successful, large companies like Boeing, GE, Ford and so many others looked at their competition, the Japanese, and sought to beat them—but honestly it was too late.  I knew that when I worked at Cincinnati Milacron as one of their crack staff of Lean advisors.  They took me to their South Lebanon facility late in 1999 to study these methods by Womack and the gang so to save them from closure.  But before I had a chance to read all the materials they had dumped in my lap, the Oakley plant had almost completely closed down and they refocused their business to just delivery of CNC units as opposed to actually building machining centers. The South Lebanon facility closed in the early 2000s just a few years later. When our crack team of Lean manufacturing surgeons were gathered to save Milacron it was already too late—like the Titanic had already hit the iceberg.  Only it hadn’t sunk yet but those of us smart enough to look at the damage below decks knew it was going down.  A wound like that couldn’t be repaired at sea just as the culture at Milacron couldn’t be fixed by reading a few books too late in the process.

I currently work with a very smart engineer from Wichita, Kansas who could nearly tell the same story of the Boeing plant that closed down there.  While they were sinking they made him a Six Sigma Black Belt hoping to save their own fate from such a tragic end, but it didn’t work.  The employees just couldn’t make the change, they weren’t Japanese—the cultures were just too radically different.  And to Womack’s credit he is correct about most of his observations regarding Western approaches—we all saw what happened to General Motors.  The writing was on the wall way back in 1990 when The Machine that Changed the World was first published.  One of my daughters was born that year and it shocks me that she isn’t yet thirty years old, yet this Lean manufacturing stuff has been sold to the manufacturing world as some voodoo remedy that could stop all these plant closures when in reality it was just one culture dominating another.  I watched before my eyes the economy of southern Ohio cities like Norwood and Hamilton, Ohio evaporate.  The shopping mall I visited most as a child, the Middletown Mall turned into a ghost town within a few years and nearly every major industry died except for AK Steel which still operated as a traditional mass producer with heavily leveraged unionized labor holding it back from being better than it was.  Middletown, Ohio died and so did the people who lived within it. To the west all Trenton had going for it was the Miller Brewery plant which made the safe product of beer.  The tradeoff was again high cost employees protected by a union.  Many companies adopted Lean manufacturing to help get their labor unions under control but the bottom line was that American workers expected too much money for their productive output while Japanese based employees were willing to work for less in exchange for job security for a lifetime.

When you visit a Japanese plant you find that everyone dresses the same, in most cases.  When Westerners visit in their suits and ties they are given hats to wear to show all the other employees that these visitors are equal to the people on the shop floor.  They refer to their upper management as seniors because literally they are the people who have been at the company the longest.  The floor workers in Japan know that if they stay with the company, they will move up the latter so they are content with this reality.  While this solves problems that unions typically are concerned with, the security and income trajectory of their workforce makes a stable investment understandable, while in the West literally labor costs can fluctuate all over the place depending on the type of people who are running those organizations at any given time.  It is possible in America for instance for a sharp tack in the box to become a high level manager in their mid thirties if they worked hard and climbed the ladder at a fortunate company—while this would be very unlikely in Japan.  There, due to Lean manufacturing, that employee would have started on the shop floor as an assembler and might still be working their way into a management job due to their years of service and experience garnered.  This is the primary reason American companies have failed in their Lean offerings—they go through the motions, but they aren’t willing to go all the way and become like the Japanese.  There is more to Lean manufacturing than just a bunch of charts and Japanese words for things—it’s a philosophical approach to manufacturing that is part of the workplace culture.

Obviously in The Machine that Changed the World Womach and his buddies Jones and Roos were a bunch of statistical academics who bought into this global economy garbage and they thought the Japanese were going to dominate that push—which isn’t what happened.  While the Asian work ethic is something that is to be admired compared to the beaten down lethargicism that we find in the West these days—even the Japanese had their problems with just in time delivery when they became the global leaders at the front of the train.  They’ve had their own troubles leading from the top so as the smoke cleared it was obvious that the biggest difference between East and Western practices in manufacturing was cultural and that assumption was that if America wanted to play ball, they needed to become like the rest of the world.  Well, that too is a shifting dynamic that will change as early as 2018.

To act as a companion to The Machine that Changed the World coming straight out of academic circles and into politics was the notion of wealth redistribution.  America raised its corporate tax rate to up over 30% which pushed many American companies into foreign markets.  To the lesser educated minds the work of Womach appear to be genius.  We were led to believe that these companies were leaving because America was so inefficient when in reality it was really due to high taxes.  Politicians were selling globalism to Americans while they skimmed off excess for the IRS to fund all their progressive causes in the process of destroying American manufacturing.  President Trump knew all too well what was going on and before the close of the year in 2017 had the tax rates changed for corporations down to 21% and now we will see the truth that was there all along.  Jobs were mostly inventions of America and the high costs associated with them were due to American labor being higher than in places around the rest of the world.  But the reason for their leaving the United States was artificial due to high taxation.  Where Womach was pushing for a new global economy lead by the Japanese Lean manufacturing system that kept prices down and expectations for employee advancement low—and manageable—everything changed in December of 2017 when Trump signed the tax reform package which lowered corporate rates.

The nationalism Womach criticized so heavily in The Machine that Changed the World is now the economical method of our time.  With the tax rates lowered we find that Lean manufacturing was really just a scam designed to move wealth from one place to another using common sense improvements of traditional mass production utilizing a very competitive workforce by people who think differently than Americans.  Part of the American lifestyle is the assumption that everyone can have a piece of the dream, a house, a yard—a few cars and money in the bank where in other places they hope to have a bed to sleep in and a job to go to—because the rest of their lives aren’t very good.  There is a lifestyle expectation in America that is part of the consideration factor for which Womach completely ignores.  Even the Japanese who transplant to America formulate their lives around it so new methods of manufacturing improvement are due to be revolutionized to meet these market demands.  And Lean isn’t it.

For so many years we’ve all been told that the Decline in the West is inevitable and that it was they who had to change—but nothing could be further from the truth.  The decline of the west was manipulated by people like Womach to sell globalism to everyone as capitalism was the hidden driver of invention within The United States that made the jobs and created the markets to begin with—a little fact ignored by nearly everyone in every sector of academia—from anthropologists to the most astute economists.  America made the necessity for jobs and the markets for income flow—and the spillover effect is why they even have cell phones in places like Vietnam.  Without America nobody would have anything and that is the key to the next generation of manufacturing thinking.  It’s not to elsewhere that the keys reside—it is right in the homeland of America that we must look—and it is there where the great next movements of manufacturing will emerge.

Rich Hoffman

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The Death of Lean Manufacturing: Self confidence and experience can’t be tracked on a graph–but they make everything possible

I normally don’t cross the streams of my projects but I had an experience recently that was worth sharing, and well heck, it’s Christmas and if I can help a few people today—then why not.  For professional reasons I had to re-read The Machine that Changed the World which was written by three college academics, Don Jones, Dan Ross, and Jim Womack.  I never liked the book even though there are some very good things about business within it.  Instinctively I hated the message of Lean manufacturing—to me it was like a cult—but being in manufacturing in a leadership capacity I obviously had to know as much about Lean manufacturing techniques as possible to talk the language with everyone else.  I needed to re-read the aforementioned book because the project I’m working on requires it heavily so I had to pull the baby out of it while disposing of the bathwater you might say.  To me the elements of that book that are good are guided largely by Mr. Womack and are things I learned instinctively by working really hard for a very long time.  I didn’t need Womack to tell me to decentralize my processes, or to have horizontal management systems.  Or to build as much of a product as close to the same room as every other process to maximize efficiency—or countless other similar things.  I’ve understood those concepts since before that book was written for a 1990s audience.  Rather I am quite certain that Womack and his friends sought to use academia to become part of the manufacturing world for their own self relevance in the late 1980s and that they’ve scammed many businesses into buying in to this Lean concept which was essentially to use common sense techniques sharpened after several decades of mass production methods as a base point, and to unite the world and its governments under a common manufacturing technique which would unleash globalism to the masses.  However, Womack and his academic buddies were wrong—and I’m here to declare that Lean manufacturing is dead—if it were ever alive really in the first place other than selling itself as a Frankenstein monster of copied techniques not really understood for why they worked, but only that they did.  The next method of global manufacturing technique is likely somewhere along the lines of what I presented to my manufacturing team as a Christmas present witnessed below.  It’s a radical idea which I think was always the essence of Lean manufacturing but will be further drawn out by necessity in the future—the role the individual plays in utilizing minimal force for maximum results as a cascading effect of influence which comes from The Power of Positive Thinking. It’s a major metaphysical shift in thought which takes the globalism out of manufacturing and instead recognizes the immense power that an individual plays in the utterances of productive output.  I provided a demonstration using my bullwhip as a metaphor for daily action.

Once I cleared childhood and the natural fears that come from being little in a big world—like loud noises, water, falling and speaking in front of people, I have been fear free most of my conscious life.  I have never been a person who functioned from fear; I never feared authority figures, bullies, or circumstances beyond the horizon of the living world.  And no matter how harsh the world was, I never backed down from it.  In spite of living a very aggressive life I’ve never had a moment of crises where I gave up and turned away.  I’ve certainly wanted to, but I never have had that experience of defeat in the face of a challenge.  I never thought to because nowhere in my mind was anything ever supposed to be easy. I never had that contamination of thought.  Even as I read more books than any contemporary I know, I also understood that such a practice was quite common in the year’s past.  As a young man not yet out of my twenties I took my family to Thomas Jefferson’s home in Monticello because I thought it was important for them to have that experience in life.  Privately when our guide explained to me that Jefferson’s library started the Library of Congress, and that the former president had read voraciously over 1000 books—I silently endeavored to outdo him.  It was a goal I set for myself, and a lofty one.  In that regard my formal education has never stopped as I now read books like Womack’s for lunch.  I am currently re-reading Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations just because I am sure the message of 2018 will be all about capitalism as the Trump presidency turns it loose once again—and my role in all this is to explain it to people.   I enjoy my role and I love my books—but most of what I know came from the unique circumstances for which I learned to live in the world—and the many hard jobs I have had while being completely fearless about the actions that would come at me from day to day.  Over a twenty year period of my life I did every kind of job imaginable, from cleaning toilets to being a great sales closer.  I worked in every kind of assembly environment and at every level.  And while I was doing all that I became a very respectable bullwhip artist—and in my head all those things do go together.

Having no fear means that I approach things without restrictions of thought.  For instance, the little presentation I did professionally was unique because most in my position would never risk the credibility to their reputation to start with.  What if I had missed that candle, or not delivered my speech correctly?  I could have done more damage than good.  But the most important element to my life that makes me unique and good at what I do is my self confidence.  I never worry about not achieving something because I have enough personal love for what I do and know to trust it.  I have been tested in every way that a human being can be, and fear has tried to work its way into my life for decades, but it has never found an unlocked door for which to color my thoughts with even a single self doubt.  Part of my presentation to those very nice people was to show them that part of what makes people good is that practice and confidence which can deliver them to the promise land of prosperity.  And that it doesn’t always take force, it just takes focus.

What made the Toyota method work in Womack’s analysis which launched the Lean approach to most things business these days, was that the Japanese had a samurai culture which bred this kind of self-confidence, but additionally as people from Asia naturally worked well together in a team setting.  After World War II they were an occupied country dominated by their former enemy, the United States.  So with the same vigor that they kamikazed American ships at sea with a never say die attitude toward conflict, they sought to exploit the weaknesses of American manufacturing’s mass production techniques and applied their own spin built from their ancient warrior codes.  Using the American Deming as a foundation they invented Lean manufacturing as a way to put themselves back on top of the world and recover their losses after the war—and college academics like Womack and his friends saw a vehicle toward globalism for which they could hang their star.  But they all missed the point.   Europe as well never quite understood Lean manufacturing.  They certainly understood the team concept of brothers before stars and all that—but they could not get the idea introduced by the Japanese of lifelong employment starting at the bottom and working your way to the very top—always staying at the same company to preserve the assets in training for which each individual brings to the table.

The next wave of manufacturing philosophy will embody some formal core element for which I shared with my business partners above—and which I share with you today.  It doesn’t matter to me whether or not I am talking to only 150 employees or 30,000, the message of concentrated individual effort is the same—and the trust in themselves to do whatever task is needed.  For my demonstration, putting out the candle in front of a crowd when I have everything to lose and very little to gain was more than a stunt for some Holiday cheer, it was a demonstration in self-confidence that I wished to share for a more profitable 2018.  Nobody who works for me is the type of people I want to be scared when I walk into a room.  I wish for every human being on planet earth the same reality I have—a no fear approach to everything, and if I can get them there with some instruction, I’ll do it every time there is an opportunity. However, the keys to good business is not from formalized education or in methods of team building that ignore that there is no I in team, but there is in win—but that victories large and small come from the individual focused on what they are doing and sprinkle into their productivity a self assuredness that was always in the underbelly of Lean manufacturing.  That confidence never came from a European style chain of command, but from living and being confident in what you do in a microcosm so that the macrocosm was better off for it—and that is the real trick.

Just as I explained that to put a candle out with a bullwhip requires placing the small sonic boom right in front of the flame—a good productive life is just as delicate.  In putting out candles to do it successfully requires many thousands of possible trajectories of movement to get that sonic boom to occur in just the right place. My experience and practice allow me to find that spot quickly and within a few attempts.  When I did my demonstration the way to assure more accuracy would have been to mark on the floor the exact distance from the candle.  But I didn’t do that, nor did I use a targeting fixture for which I was accustomed.  While those things might have given more closer to 100% accuracy, they would have been meaningless for my demonstration.  I simply went down to IKEA for lunch and picked up whatever candle arrangement they had for the Holiday season.  Everything was very spontaneous which forced me to react to those changing circumstances and illicit to my audience the self-confidence it takes to pull off something like that.  Once they had seen me do it, then in their own minds it unlocked the possibilities they likely all thought about—and it was my hope that it didn’t just make them better employees for me, but in every aspect of their lives.  And in that statement is the key to the next generation of manufacturing and all things related to production.

Rich Hoffman

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Realities of Sex Trafficking: Somalia, Ukraine and Thailand–American feminists are part of the problem

I really don’t want to hear from some American feminist how abused they think they are being treated every time a man looks at them in an elevator, or accidentally brushes up against their ass in a hallway until they get behind the effort of saving truly abused women around the world involved in sex trafficking. I would start by telling them this truly sad story about a young Christian girl who survived her experience with the terror group Al Shabaab in Kenya along the trade route from Somalia described below.  The region being discussed is a remote and impoverished area with very few options for women or men. Many of the men who are in Al Shabaab are there to be militant Muslims due to their limited economic options—so the root of the evil is poor economic conditions—for which adherence to open capitalism would solve.  For instance, if a lot of these militants could work at a local Dollar Store—or Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, they would gladly.  But if all there is to do is to be a militant to make money—then that’s what they do.  And sex trafficking isn’t limited to this type of remote African region. When people wonder why Donald Trump’s administration is now selling weapons to Ukraine, to free that country from its heavily Russian past, again there sex trafficking is the core issue.  Ukraine is now considered the Thailand of Europe where the unethical predators seeking illicit sex with young boys and girls occur openly.  No matter where the region limited employment conditions attract people to sell themselves to others for sex and that is a tremendous problem that requires diligence.  When American feminists attempt to villainize normal sexual behavior between men and women as a political power grab within the industrialized world, all they are really doing is exacerbating the global trend toward sex trafficking—and until they do address the illicit trade—what they say and do means nothing.

“Sex Slave Survivor of Christian-Killing Group Al-Shabaab Describes Gang Rapes, Forced Abortions,” by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, December 12, 2017 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A woman who was held captive and repeatedly raped by members of Al Shabaab is sharing the horrific details of daily sexual abuse and forced abortions endured by those who are kidnapped by the the radical Islamic terror group.

Kenya’s The Standard reported on Sunday the story of one of the women who survived the ordeal at Boni Forest camp, identified as Fatuma, who said that she and others were raped by as many as six men at a time for five years.

“The women in the camp had to cook, wash clothes for the militants and undertake other household duties. The fighters frequently physically and sexually abused us. Some militants would beat us if they did not like something we cooked, which was often for me as I was not familiar with cooking Somali injera (bread) that was preferred by the militants,” Fatuma, who managed to escape the jihadists a year ago, explained.

She said the militants forced the women to use contraceptives and undergo abortions when they got pregnant.

The abuse reportedly worsened when Al-Shabaab fighters battled the African Union Mission in Somalia or Somalia National Army troops.

“They would drink and take drugs all day and night, whether celebrating the killing of Somalia National Army or AMISOM soldiers or mourning their own, and that’s when the gang rapes would happen,” she recalled.

Fatuma said that only the female captives who were married off to commanders were allowed to have children, and said that there were about 15 children at the camp.

The woman, who admitted that she was looking for work with Al-Shabaab before finding out what the group is really about, said that captives were also often forced to use drugs and were treated as prisoners.

“If you were lucky, a commander would take you as a wife and that would stop other militants from raping you. But those who were made wives were only native Somalis,” she said….

https://pamelageller.com/2017/12/sex-slave-shabaab.html/

It’s one thing when men and women decide to enter the sex trade as free people—the way they do in Las Vegas, or at Times Square in New York.  They could choose to work in the sex trade or become a cashier at Macy’s—they have a choice.  There are many options in America that the rest of the world doesn’t have.  But consider the kid in Thailand who is trying to support all his brothers and sisters in that impoverished country who works the sex trade in red light districts serving up sex to dirty old men who come there from around the world just to have under aged sex.  There are no options but to engage in the sex—and that is a vast evil all its own.  The correct thing to do is to bring options to those people so they could have a choice in the matter.

Showing the impoverished countries how to function as capitalist zones is the first step in correcting the behavior.   Bringing economic choices to such young people addresses the problem on the supply side.  And it also attacks the demand—which is vastly a larger problem than the poor kids getting lured into these shameful existences.  Much like the drug industry in America where demand is high so supply always finds a way to meet the market need, we must use the morality of capitalism to use financial options to alter the behavior.  For instance, there’s a reason American women don’t feel that they have to sell themselves on the street to pay for a bus ticket to see their mothers—that’s because they can work at a local McDonald’s, or the shopping mall to make the money they need.  Dirty old men are forced to go elsewhere looking for illicit sex.  It does happen in every town across America, but it tends to be a problem hidden largely from our first looks.  But in places like Ukraine, or in Thailand, the sex trade is as common on the street as someone selling refrigerator magnates to tourists are.

Frustrated men from around the world who don’t know what the rules are for sex any more in their “civilized” societies back home, flood these sex trafficking markets on business travel and sex vacations which has only increased the demand.  That behavioral problem is the next thing to tackle once economic mobility is introduced to even the smallest village in Africa or southeast Asia.  It is stunning how many women on any street in Europe will take off her clothes and have sex with anybody with a little cash—because cash is not easy to get.  Even in cities like London and Paris, economic options are very limited leaving women to be all too tempted to use their bodies to pay their high rent each week.  Rent in London is extraordinarily expensive making it very tempting for women to sell their young bodies in any way possible to cover the high costs of living in that town.  They may not do such things every day, but once or twice a year is too much.  They may pass off such encounters as casual sex with strangers in exchange for a little financial security.  They don’t work the streets directly but go to just about any dance club and the sex trafficking issue is fully at play.  The next morning they can blame it on the drink to save their reputations to some extent, but they shouldn’t have to make such a choice.  In America, finding women to sell sex is much harder, because they have so many other economic options.  The key to fighting this evil is economic mobility—not handouts from the government, but an adhesion to capitalist concepts.

Thus the cause of this very evil business is limited economic options, so that is where we must focus.  Feminists who complain that Harvey Weinstein grabbed their boobies so they could have a role in a Hollywood movie are just describing the high-end of this very world-wide problem.  Those girls have options, they could let a sleaze bag like Weinstein grope them, or they could work an office job for some respectable position—for less money mind you, but they have that option.  A poor girl in Kenya has no choice when she is captured by Al Shabaab and forced to be gang raped daily by 5 to 6 men for many years. She is in that situation because of limited economic mobility.  Even though Ukraine is part of the civilized world, Russia wants it back as a territory and has been trying to choke it off militarily to fall back under the mother country with impoverished conditions as the rest of Europe has been happy to have chaos rule.  Why you might ask, because the powerful men and women who could solve the problems in Ukraine go there for the sex, to satisfy those deep dark demons that lurk in their repressed imaginations.  That leaves Ukraine with very few options economically except to yield to the sex addicted tourists who have full pockets and are seeking the bodies of the young to spend it on.  That is a topic that liberal feminists in America won’t touch with a pole of any length—because they are as guilty as anybody for the perpetuation of such an evil—which makes them all pathetic hypocrites—and part of the problem as well.

Rich Hoffman

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