An Amazing Amount of Information: The turning point

It was bewildering to listen to the so-called pundits try to analyze whether or not Donald Trump played a “role” in the sudden North Korea group hug that is taking place across the globe. From a tyrannical regime just a few months ago threatening nuclear war to a world stage icon, the threat of North Korea has been melted away by the new American president and all the institutional addicts are perplexed as to how and why. Most interesting was the comments from the despot of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said that Trump was not qualified to be a world leader and negotiate in any way because he was a builder of buildings and only a businessman—as if a politician were some kind of godly position. And within that statement and the presumptions of the entire political class around the world I think the Ayatollah hit the sweet spot on why everyone is so upset with Trump who have made livings for years scaring normal people into believing that their politicians were gods incarnate and meant to rule without question.

It was absolutely fascinating to watch the Trump supporters Diamond and Silk (Ms. Hardaway and her sister Ms. Richardson) voice their concerns in front of congress about social media platforms attacking conservative groups. I can’t imagine anything like that happening prior to just two years ago, yet they did it and it was quite interesting—and exemplifies the difference between the static order of old, and this new light on their feet brand of conservatism that is emerging so spectacularly. We are learning now what Trump conservatives are, and they are not like the Reagan conservatives at all. People like the black entertainment artist Kenya West are a part of it ironically and the old rules that have been dividing our society up over many thousands of years are coming apart right in front of our faces, and its very interesting to watch.

As the White House Correspondents Dinner was happening in Washington D.C. President Trump came to Michigan to host a rally against the establishment—fresh off a diplomatic week of massive productivity, state visits from France and Germany as well as constant negotiations with North Korea to set up the official end of the Korean War. And instead of giving those media personalities the illusion that they were a part of a shadow government, Trump cut them off and left them hanging wet on the cloths line—and he should have. They are part of that old Ayatollah mentality which believes that aristocratic politicians are superior to individuals of business and opinion. Yet everywhere we look these days the old guard is fumbling with this new attitude best exemplified by Trump and people like Diamond and Silk.

With all the weapons they have had at their disposal, such as has been revealed by James Comey trying so hard to pretend that the intelligence agencies of the United States have not been weaponized—they are failing and there is a very gentle panic beginning to emerge in them. James Comey and Ali Khamenei ironically have the same opinion of Donald Trump and the same belief in the old order which propped them up to be leaders of their respective societies. They can’t accept that a businessman like Trump is a superior caliber person to the old-style rulers of the old world—the aristocratic societies of yesteryear, of which the United States was always rebelling away from. That was the point from the inception of America, to rebel away from Europe. We were never meant to copy those aristocrats. Washington D.C. was never supposed to be a swamp in the way it has become. The swamp formed because good people were too busy settling out west and forming their own companies and families independent of king’s courts and political associations. The politician in America was always supposed to be a servant, not a “better.”

The more James Comey spoke on his book tour culminating with the Fox News interview he did with Bret Baier the more obvious it was that he was genuinely hurt that the world he understood was melting away and was being replaced by this new world full of rules he knew he wouldn’t be good at. I would suggest that this world of Trump and activists like Diamond and Silk were always supposed to be part of the American experience—so its his fault that Comey thinks the things he does. It was his fault that he failed like so many others in our social tapestry have, to recognize the obvious. Human beings do not like institutionalized concepts. They may have used them to bridge over from the Neolithic periods of early mankind, but the destination was never going to be more authority figures in our lives running everything that we know and love. It was destined to be less.

While James Comey and his wife were part of that Beltway society that thought they understood the rules and toasted each other with expensive wines in Georgetown backyards, the rest of the world yearned to be free of such aristocrats. In truth the social media platforms like Facebook that have worked so closely with American intelligence agencies to collect data on people without warrants and complicated legal procedures have helped accelerate this issue of necessity for freedom. I have no doubt that Facebook wanted to shut down the popularity of Diamond and Silk’s page, just as they would have loved to have stopped the Donald Trump presidency. But the nature of social media is freedom to communicate with people within their circle of influence with more ease and that has created in the mind of people a yearning for more of what they already want—freedom from overseers.

People generally want a society that is productive and filled with justice. But if left to their own devices, they despise authority. There are a percentage of people out there in the world that have an intense desire to rule over other people for various reasons, so they turn to institutions to provide them that ability, whether they end up as teachers in a public school, or the head of some military branch—the desire to rule over other people has always been at the center of war in human societies, from the beginning. But most people don’t have such yearnings, they just want to be free of such people and to live their lives on their own terms and they are the clear majority of people functioning out there across the planet. America was born because of that intense desire and now social media has caused that longing to become much more defined.

Where it goes from here is truly an unexplored territory, but its exciting. Trump’s achievements are the result of a person functioning outside of institutionalism, that has been developed by the merits of capitalism to solve much more complicated problems than the aristocrats of the old world could manage. That is how America became such a great country to begin with, when private enterprise was able to work around the political class to truly achieve objectives that people yearned for. And that is precisely why Iran is an armpit of a country currently because it is still run the way countries have been run for thousands of years—and that top down model just isn’t valid any longer. North Korea had to see the writing on the wall when Trump didn’t back down the way politicians in the past did, and he decided for his own good to join the world. Iran will have no choice either, and that truly scares those types of people who try to use institutionalism to bring meaning to their lives by giving them authority over others based purely on the rules of artificial parameters of human politics.

Rich Hoffman
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North and South Korea Hug at the 38th Parallel: What educations should be and why the NKU Millennium Falcon Expereince was the most important thing

I had a lot of thoughts while waiting in line at the BB&T Arena at NKU University just across the river from downtown Cincinnati to witness the promotional exhibit for Solo: A Star Wars Story which comes out on May 25th. Among those thoughts were how nice and well-educated all the fans were who showed up early to get a ticket to essentially sit in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, which was in so many ways very, very cool. From my perspective as a super fan of not only Star Wars, but of the functions of world mythology in the greater sense I noticed some very special things going on that were worth a deeper analysis. Because of my conservative political positions, my stance against large salary requirements for teachers and college professors, it is often asked of me what I want in public education offerings that are reasonable, and to be quite honest, I want our education system to produce the type of people who were in line for that Solo exhibit—and the type of people who have used the Star Wars mythology to bring meaning to their lives where the regular social offerings have failed our entire civilization.

What made this NKU exhibit from Lucasfilm and Disney unique was that it was free, and there was no merchandising on hand to clutter up the motivations of people. All they wanted to do was see the props of the Millennium Falcon from the movies up close and satisfy some longing for that reality to become their reality. Because reality as we have all come to know it is something very disappointing. Star Wars for many people offers an alternative to that boring reality and that was quite clear to the thousands who showed up to see the Millennium Falcon Experience at NKU over the first weekend of a four-city tour which will take place all through the rest of May 2018. I’ve traveled the world, eaten in the very best restaurants in places like Japan and London, I associate with people at the very top of the food chain both politically and economically. If I’m not a mover and shaker in the world, I don’t know who would be—so I’m hardly a couch potato geek who is hiding from reality behind the fantasy characters of a space movie. Yet I’ll say that one of the most thrilling things that I have ever done in my half of a century of life was to sit in that cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with my grandson, wife, and granddaughter and play with the buttons, handle the flight yoke and just sit there for many minutes in private to consider how everything could work in real life—how to make that delicate transition from fantasy into reality—which is where everything is headed.

Even better than all that though was the people in line with me, who from what I could tell were some of the smartest people I’ve seen in one place in many years. If I had been waiting in line for tickets to a Miley Cyrus concert, the collection of intellect presented would have been much less. Most of the children present were reading books while in line, mostly Star Wars books. Most of the adults had already read them and were certainly higher than the average intelligence that is functioning in the world and I would attribute that to the fact that Star Wars has given people something positive to think about, so even though what they were thinking about was a fantasy entertainment offering, the process of thinking about something had better prepared them for functioning in the world than the average person experienced, who didn’t have such advantages. The exhibit itself took a long time to get through because of all the thousands of people in line, only five people at a time could go through that Falcon cockpit, so people were very motivated to wait their turn which I thought was astonishing. Nobody in line was angry with the people ahead of them making them wait, it was one of the most remarkable things I had witnessed in a long time from a large collection of people. Given that the campus of NKU was in the background I couldn’t help but think that every college in America should aim to have this type of experience for everything they try to instill in an educational format to the participants of their classrooms. The goal of all education should be to turn on minds, not to turn them off, and often that is what we are doing at all levels of our education. The people who have become Star Wars fans over the years have rejected that premise. When their schools have told them to turn off their minds and to stop daydreaming, to put their hyperactive kids on Ritalin, the people at the Millennium Falcon Experience who were there with me on that first day, the people who Channel 19 called “super fans” with just a bit of contempt to make sure the viewer didn’t associate her with them—the Star Wars fans rebelled and turned inward rejecting social norms and invested their intellects to the fantasy world of a galaxy of a long time ago far, far way.

While all this was going on I was checking on the latest NFL picks from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, watching Kenya West get criticized by the liberal entertainment guild for defending President Trump, and North Korea and South Korea were hugging at the 38th parallel, an astonishing feat all by itself, and contemporary society mistakenly thought that those events were more important than this Millennium Falcon Experience—but I don’t think so. In many ways it is those events that are the fiction and it is the mythology of Star Wars that has more truth in it than anything else going on outside of that NKU campus that day. Specifically, the Kenya West situation where just because he’s a black rapper married to Kim Kardashian he’s supposed to fit some liberal presentation of what a “black person thinks”—which was taught to all of us in our public-school experience. Those same public-school personalities don’t teach kids that Republicans ended slavery, and that Fredrick Douglas the great black crusader was a Republican. The emphasis on what we learn in our K-12 educations is not to read and perform math, its to fit into a segment of society for which our political philosophies at the administrative level can deal with when everyone grows up. The purpose of public education is to create demographic groups, not individualized thought and Kenya West was pushing back against that system which had all the proponents of that reality very upset. Many of the Star Wars fans at NKU to see the Millennium Falcon Experience had gone through the same type of rigor and had made very conscious decisions to reject those offered demographic categories created by the politically driven public-school systems, and they were looking for things to think about elsewhere.

Education is supposed to ignite the thinking process, not to turn it off, and for most of our civilization that is exactly what is happening in our government sponsored schools. They destroy minds, not meaning to, but that is what ends up happening. Later that day after the Millennium Falcon Experience I watched the coverage of the NFL Draft on Fox and I’ll have to say that it wasn’t nearly as rooted in reality as Star Wars was. The people drinking too much beer and spending most of their free time thinking about the statistics of the various players offered were participating in a fantasy much less real than seeing the Millennium Falcon up close. Star Wars fans have evolved as a rebellious rejection of that static public education offerings. The NFL draft was just a big reality television show that promoted the schools the athletes came from advertising those universities for millions of young people who might be inspired to spend $100K on an education to get a decent job at the places that produced these gladiators of the NFL. But honestly, the Millennium Falcon as presented at NKU to promote a new movie coming out soon was a lot more real, and much more positive for the intellects of the participants—and that should say a lot about the world we are living in.

We’ve made a tremendous mistake as a human civilization in establishing to people through their educations that they should give up the ideas of youth and to accept the limited offerings established by our governments through their education systems. We have tried it so many different ways and they all end in failures—in most cases middle class earners who makes six figures in household income who drink too much on NFL draft night over a grill cooking hamburgers in the back yard and think that is the definition of success. Star Wars and other pop culture entertainments have simply done a better job in creating foundation mythologies that the human intellect truly craves for the unending yearning for adventure and exploration. Those adventurous desires are what fuel all invention and take it from me, I just received a patent that I had led a team to realize just last week, so I understand what I’m saying in scope of human endeavor. It all starts with imagination and adventure which is specific to human minds and it is in our fantasies that we do a better job than our official educations in harnessing those powers. But it shouldn’t be that way. I bought three things over the past two weeks that made me very happy, one was a new gun that cost well over $2000. Then I bought a little Hot Wheels Millennium Falcon and a new Han Solo landspeeder for about $5 each—and they equally made me very happy. One is notably a very “adult” thing to buy, the other two are associated with the desires of children. But I can say that I enjoyed those purchases equally, and I think that is an essential need that any active intellect has—it wants to be fed stimuli—not junk food, or alcohol, but intellectual stimulation that provokes thought. Regarding education moving into the rest of this century and into the next, all over the world, we need to end this nonsense about “growing up.” What public education means when they encourage people to “grow up,” is that they intend to turn off minds, not to turn them on. And until that happens, I will be against our government endorsed education systems, both K-12 and the college experience, because they are not adequate in their objectives into preparing human beings for the kind of world we all want. Fortunately, and unfortunately, the Millennium Falcon Experience did a much better job.

Rich Hoffman
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The Millennium Falcon at NKU in Cincinnati: A look into penetrating the frontier of space

A17A55B5-5A01-4ECC-9F65-FC439E915ADFThe first thought I had while touring The Millennium Falcon Experience at the Northern Kentucky University campus was that this fictional ship from the Star Wars stories would be the best way to travel from Earth to Mars, or the moon and some more distant destination within our solar system. I thought of Jules Verne’s great book From the Earth to the Moon where he conceived of the rocket design that would be used 100 years later when NASA would eventually launch people into space and land on the moon. Star Wars was much more than just geek fandom. While I had personally thought about sitting in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon from the movies most of my life, and never thought I’d ever get a chance to actually do so, when the time did come I couldn’t help but think of real space travel using the actual design of the Millennium Falcon to serve as a foundation for a fleet of ships that would take commercial space travel to the next level.

I have been enjoying all this Han Solo media ahead of the new movie coming out on May 25th. Han Solo and his Millennium Falcon are some of my favorite fictional things in entertainment so I have been looking forward to a movie dedicated just to him and his famous starship. When I was a kid and was watching these movies for the first time I’d spend a lot of hours thinking of how to build the Millennium Falcon and trying to figure out the engineering of it. Obviously, I wasn’t alone, millions of people have been so enamored. It is a wonderful thing to see imaginations sparked to life by what they see in a movie. Over the years there have been attempts to build elements of the Millennium Falcon by the legions of fans that follow the Star Wars movies and I have enjoyed their attempts. Most notably I have been very excited to learn that a full-sized Millennium Falcon will appear at the new Disney Parks called Galaxy’s Edge. I can’t help but think that the human race is on a similar trajectory as it was with the Jules Verne novels and how NASA emerged.FAF7429F-2F17-4AA5-A1D5-0F18BE3AAEDC

I was one of the first in line to see the exhibit at NKU on Friday at 11 AM. I’m a very busy person but not too busy to see the interior of the actual Millennium Falcon as it goes on a five-city tour promoting the new Solo: A Star Wars Story all through the month of May. The Millennium Falcon is after all my favorite ship in science fiction and this whole tour started in my home town, so I had to take a moment to go see it, and it was quite impressive. It was really cool to visit the cockpit that was only seen in the movies from a few points of view, which have become iconic over the years. But it didn’t take long for the nostalgia to wear off for me and to look at the display put on by Lucasfilm as a film promotion to begin to take it all very seriously.22A06ED2-4BFA-4A6E-8D7B-95B09621330C

What’s really unique about this new film set before the events of the original movies is that the Millennium Falcon is presented not as a hunk of junk, but as the best and most exquisite of ships from its era. The Millennium Falcon becomes a junkie star ship because of the rough lifestyle of Han Solo, but this new movie goes to the start of all that, before a time when the popular Star Wars character owned the ship. As presented the Millennium Falcon was well made and bright white looking like an icon of luxury. It looked like the ship I remembered from my childhood only it looked much better. When I think of the Millennium Falcon I think of a dirty interior of a couple of friends living without women flying from one end of the galaxy to the other and not carrying to clean up after themselves. But presented the way it was for this promotional tour, the Millennium Falcon looked like a realistic offering for our own modern space travel.1C6066F4-14CD-4858-A108-532E87172C9A

It is a little ironic to me that it was the year of 2018 that Disney’s acquisition of the Star Wars franchise seems to start paying off. I think this new Solo movie will be one of the most popular and will ignite a fresh start for the popular films. It’s the first time that there have ever been two Star Wars films within one year of each other and the impact that has had on merchandising has been remarkable. It’s hard to go to Wal-Mart or Target these days without seeing something regarding Star Wars. And all this is happening as commercial space endeavors are literally starting to take off. Later this year Virgin Galactic will begin their commercial flights for space tourism and Space X is preparing to send people around the moon. All this is happening while a Trump presidency has thrown its weight behind a reinvigorated NASA space program and a hot economy that is redefining employment statistics. The iWatch has essentially turned us all into Dick Tracy speaking on the phone to others from our wrists, things are moving very quickly these days.

I find it all very exciting. It won’t be long before Elon Musk has a colony on Mars and commercial industry begins to move into space. The next 50 years will explode along the frontier of space much like it did in America once humans began westward expansion free of European kings for the first time in known history. Space will bring much of the same ambition for adventure and profit. But people won’t want to fly in the kind of cramped quarters that we see with ship designs so far offered. Likely we’ll resort to what we know from films and literature, and the Millennium Falcon looks to me to have solved many of those long-distance space traveling problems.

You can make a starship in really any design you want, what you’ll need for long distance space travel is something that humans are comfortable in, that can use its external surfaces to generate power and have lots of surface area for controllable thrust. The design of the Millennium Falcon presents a lot of options for hauling freight to and from places like Mars over 18-month visits one way. Sitting in the cockpit and forgetting about the hyperspace jumps we see in the movies it wasn’t hard for me to consider spinning the Falcon to produce gravity until it arrives at its destination around Mars. Hooking up to whatever cargo it needs to bring back to earth then resuming that spinning effect all the way back with the crew living in relative luxury inside the whole time. Because of Star Wars we have a whole generation of people who are intellectually ready to accept such a deep space reality.

The Millennium Falcon’s interior as it was presented at NKU was certainly something I could live in for the long back and forth journeys to Mars that are about to become quite a reality. The Millennium Falcon already has practical docking clamps as part of its design. Solar panels could easily be incorporated into the outer shell to provide power and the interior is large enough to not go crazy in over such a long voyage. It’s round and interesting taking away the boxy designs that are offered in the International Space Station which is not conducive for long periods in space where people want to gather in a common room, but also want to be able to have their personal space as well. People need to get away from each other as well as communicate in common ways. The Falcon’s interior design goes a long way to solving lots of deep space traveling problems for a functional freighter.

Looking at that exhibit at NKU I could easily see some eccentric future billionaire building a fleet of Millennium Falcon style ships to essentially become like tractor trailers hauling rare minerals from the moon and Mars to enrich life on earth then use that wealth creation to catapult mankind even deeper into space. I could live on the Millennium Falcon with the amenities that were presented in the exhibit for many months, even years on end. Normally when we see designs for space, the environment has a military look to everything which makes it so that only the most disciplined space travelers could endure the experience. But that will have to change, and it is in our science fiction designs. 22DE3546-0899-498D-BBEB-53258B13B08CTo me the most impressive thing about the Millennium Falcon Experience was that after only 50 years of film history fans of the movies have finally figured out how to make the ships that were shown in Star Wars, and now artists and craftsmen are able to actually recreate what we see in the movies in real life. The next steps become rather obvious at that point and that is truly exciting. The Millennium Falcon Experience at NKU advertising a new Han Solo movie was something I personally never thought I’d see. But after seeing it, and touching it, and soaking it all in—I have a feeling that we will all be seeing a lot more of it in the years to come. As I left that exhibit I had the strange feeling that I may just own my own Millennium Falcon in a few years that can fly to Mars and back many times over as routinely as we can now drive to Florida now in a car. And I think I would like that world very much!

Rich Hoffman
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Lakota Throwing Away Money on Overpaid Teachers: New LEA union contract compensates the average teacher at over $100,000 per year–they are not worth it

There is of course a lot more to the story when we talk about what teachers cost, especially in overly paid districts like Lakota in Ohio. Lakota schools is one of the largest and most wealthy districts in the state with an average teacher salary climbing up to $73,000 per year now that the LEA union there has just extracted a massive pay increase for themselves with a new three-year contract. The costs of course don’t end there, unionized teachers, especially at Lakota have some of the greatest health insurance benefits that are available on the market, and they are expensive. Each teacher at Lakota on average now costs the district approximately $100,000—EACH for only working 180 days a year. The average private sector employee works around 50 weeks per years (250 days a year.) These government school employees cry about not making enough money—there isn’t enough money in the world to make them happy. I can say this, these employees aren’t worth that much money to me for essentially providing a glorified babysitting service, because what kids are learning today in the public education and the college system is not what I’d call a quality education. They sure as hell aren’t worth $100K each.

I watched the video of the Lakota LEA contract vote because I was interested in what would happen next. My hope was that the two conservatives on the board would hold, but one of them wavered and now the three liberals just signed up Lakota to exceed their 100-million-dollar budget. A decade ago roughly when I was giving Lakota such a hard time about their out of control budget I thought it was a lot that they were at $65 million, and that wasn’t enough because they over spent and needed to pass a property tax levy to pay their bills. Now only 8 years later they are out of control again. The district managed to gain a budget surplus and most of us who worked on the fiscal responsibility side of things got busy with other things, and these idiots took that surplus and just tossed it to a bunch of overpaid, spoiled brat teachers on an inflated contract then clapped themselves on the back for saving the school district from a possible LEA strike. What a dismal situation, no public-school teacher should ever threaten to walk off the job when they are paid to be that babysitting service at a bare minimum by the voters of the district. If you listen to the protestors in West Virginia, Kentucky and Oklahoma recently, which I’m sure the LEA teachers at Lakota were threatening to mimic, we are dealing with a very destructive class of government workers who complain about everything, do very little by way of real work, and have made themselves impossibly expensive to compensate.

Watching the video of the LEA contract approval Julie Shaffer, Brad Lovell, and the ultra-liberal Kelly Casper spoke in favor of throwing endless amounts of money at these teachers. Brad went so far to say that he thought of his property tax spending as an investment into our community’s children. Comments like that really make me sick because there is nothing about throwing over $100K at liberalized propaganda advocates that makes children better prepared to become educated and functioning participants in the world around them. Take a look at today’s youth, they aren’t doing very well—their educations have essentially destroyed their minds, not made them better—and these people expect to sell us this long-proven theory to the contrary that by over paying teachers we are helping our children? Brad and Julie even went so far in their rationalizations to indicate that they had children going to Lakota, or who would go to Lakota and they wanted to make sure there were teachers there to provide them with good educations—which obviously clouded their judgments.

I knew way back when I debated Julie Shaffer on WLW radio when she first ran for school board that I was dealing with one of those panicky mom types who feed these panicky teachers all the fuel they needed to become $100K employees each in the district. The teachers complained at every step having to do homework at night, or to work on the weekends—or to have to think about their jobs over the summer—or their requirements to go back to college to obtain their master’s degrees. The teachers want money for everything and if they don’t get it they threaten to walk off the job—and always there is a parent with a kid going to the government schools like Julie and Brad who think that they can compensate their parenting into a successful experience if they toss their kids into a government school to be raised by these liberal teachers who make way too much money for doing not much at all. Back then I was challenged to run a classroom, and I accepted it. I even offered to run four at the same time. I could teach a thousand kids more in one day than they learn in their entire high school years, so those types of threats don’t work with me. The guilt and insecurities of many parents are what cause all this trouble and we have at least two of them on the Lakota school board.

Taken on their own, all these people are nice. Some of the school board members are really just concerned parents themselves, and the teachers in most cases like being around children and they enjoy the profession of teaching. I have met some teachers at Lakota who are very passionate about their work. Are they worth 100K per year—hell no. Getting paid six figures in the private sector is considered a real appreciation of value. If someone is making six figures, they are doing something important for the companies they work for. But not in government schools—its expected collectively. The people might be nice who are involved in these discussions, but that doesn’t make them worth six figures, especially when it comes out of the tax payer’s pocket directly through their property values. But nobody, especially the school board members with children in the district, considers the real impact that the government schools have on the minds of the children. I watch every day parents dropping their kids off at day care facilities and if you press them in a discussion they’ll reveal that they can’t wait until their children are of age to attend Lakota because they will be free of the expense of paying for pre-school. Most parents don’t want to be bothered with teaching their children anything, so they hope that the government school will do all the education they can’t provide as parents either because they aren’t smart enough, or they are too lazy to do it themselves. And that is really what’s behind the lunacy of Julie, Brad and Kelly on the Lakota school board. They are insecure parents who want the best for their children and they naturally will do anything for their children, except take responsibility for their educations on their own as parents. They are relying on liberalized institutions to do the job instead, and that is a danger all its own.

There is no evidence that public schools are good for kids. We loosely talk about how children need to spend time with other peers their age and learn about life. But the way government schools have evolved make them cesspools of liberalism where kids learn to hate the Second Amendment, they don’t learn about American history to the extent they should, and they are having their minds turned off, not on. Ask an 8th grader about global warming and they’ll tell you how America is destroying the world, and they know so because their teachers at school taught them that. Ask that same child to give an opinion on capitalism and American business and they they’ll go on a tirade of how the 1% run everything and that society needs to put more focus on equal rights—which is a fancy way of saying the dumb and lazy need to be equal to the ambitious and productive. As those kids look around at their teachers who make $100K per year and have paid summers off—those students are surprised to learn that the world was never the way it was presented to them in their government schools—and they aren’t prepared for that disappointment. So how is paying all this money into the government school system worth it? It’s not!

Just saying something doesn’t make it true and paying teachers at Lakota over $100,000 a year each doesn’t magically produce a good child. As much as Brad wants to believe in the system, the system of public education destroys far more lives than it helps and is simply a very expensive baby-sitting service for the adults who are too busy with their careers, or not intellectual enough themselves to teach their children the things they need to learn in life. Instead they drop their kids off at a government school, which is like dumping them at a public park with supervision and expect good results no matter what the cost—so long as the whole community is willing to help pay for it. Most of those panicky parent types like Julie Shaffer don’t mind paying a $8000 tax bill on their properties each year because it would cost them a lot more than that to send their kids to a private school. they pay the higher taxes happily because it also coaxes their neighbors who no longer have kids in the school to also pay for their child—and that’s where things get nasty. The communities of Liberty Township and West Chester have given Lakota an extraordinarily high budget to work with, and the school board couldn’t even stay within those parameters—even with declining enrollment! It’s all very embarrassing to Lakota. Nobody sympathizes with teachers who make over $100K in compensation under any conditions—especially when they are really only babysitters for busy parents. That is not a good situation at all, the people involved should be very ashamed of themselves for wasting so much money on an emotional issue that defies logic.

Rich Hoffman
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Lakota’s School Board Approves a Reckless LEA Contract: The new average teacher salary will be $73,000!

It’s a very hard thing to do, to sit in front of a person, or a group of people when you are an employer and tell someone they are not worth as much money in employment as they think they are. I would say it is one of the hardest things in the world, and most managers aren’t good at it. Yet in the private sector managers must do it every day to keep books balanced in relation to the income they are dealing with. But in government seldom if ever does an elected manager push themselves to endure the ridicule of such a situation and that’s what happened at Lakota schools on Monday April 23rd 2018. A radical teacher’s union sat in front of the school board hoping for an approval of their LEA contract which provided raises of 3.5% for the first year, 3.25 for year two and 3.25 for year three—this after they had received a 1.9% cost of living increase plus bonuses. Surely the recent teacher uprisings in Kentucky were on the minds of the board and they had no stomach for a strike—which should never happen when children are involved, yet the threat had been made by the Lakota teachers under the whispers of insurrection. Lakota had been operating with a nice budget surplus, and they are actively looking for ways to compete with other districts for a limited number of teaching positions—no doubt all that played out when the deciding vote from the conservative Todd Parnell cast in favor of the contract. Yet the massive irresponsibility that transpired could be applied to every government position in America, what was happening at Lakota was happening in every city and county and is a trend that must be stopped, otherwise everything will come to a terrible end soon.

At first glance the conditions of this Lakota teacher’s contract seem reasonable. After all, roughly 3% in raises is on par for most cost of living projections. The problem is a little deeper than that when we find out 3% of what? 3.5% of $45,000 a year would be reasonable for a public-school teacher which is essentially a glorified babysitter these days. It could easily be argued, and it should, that teachers in the modern age are doing more damage to children with liberalized educations than they help because children will have to undo all that mess at some point in their adulthoods. But for the babysitting service for busy parents, $45,000 per year to hold 26 children in a classroom environment may be worth the cost. But that’s not what we are talking about in the case of Lakota. Currently the average cost of teachers within the Lakota district is $70,000 per year. While some teachers may be worth that much money the number is likely under 5%. The other 95% of all employees at Lakota are likely worth a figure under $50,000 per year based on the value of the teaching profession to the world at large. Market value considerations should be applied, but because we are talking about government schools, no such value is ever applied. Instead, teacher unions collectively bargain to rack up huge cost impositions against property tax payers of those schools in the district of their residence and as a result, these parasitic labor unions destroy any sense of reality when it comes to labor negotiations. The only negotiating they do is demand more money as teachers, or they walk off the job leaving kids to fend for themselves while those busy parents seek some way to have someone watch their children while the teachers are demanding more money. Not a good system by any measure.

The net result of the Todd Parnell vote is that the average wage for Lakota teachers went up from $70,000 per year to $73,000 by the end of the contract and that is just reprehensible. As I have said, probably only 5% of the teachers are worth that much money. An even fewer percentage are probably worth more, but a vast majority likely aren’t even worth $50,000 and they only make that because of the radicalized collective bargaining negotiations that take place due to the government unions that have infested all these government schools. Parnell should have voted against the contract but as he looked out at all those teachers in the audience, it is hard to stand against such a tide. After all those employees don’t really care about the students because they threaten at every turn to walk off a job if they don’t get their collective bargaining. At best such tactics by the unions are terrorism and obviously Parnell as a school board member didn’t want to be responsible for setting off a labor incident at Lakota. I’ll have to give credit to Lynda O’Connor, she did hold strong on the school board, but she was the only one.

Obviously to pay for those raises Lakota is eyeing a tax levy because once you give union employees something they never go backwards and will continue to ask for more and more until the entire system is bankrupt. When Lakota does ask for the next levy I will use this incident to explain why the government school doesn’t deserve it. Very few voters can sympathize with a bunch of government employees upset about a levy passage when they make over $73,000 per year on average. That is a ridiculously high wage rate for job positions that are simply glorified babysitters. In the past when school board members like Julie Shafer have attacked me for standing against school levies what they really are mad at are the bad decisions they made in the past that required levy passage to sustain a budget—because they want to throw money at teachers and be the good guys with their peers instead of doing the hard work of management and telling those employees that they aren’t worth the money. Let those unhappy teachers go to some other district and lower the payroll of the Lakota budget. Hire fresh teachers right out of college who only make $45K per year. If they want to make more, leave and let Lakota hire some new fresh faces. That is what you do in management. But if you don’t know what you are doing with people and employees, you think that experience is worth the money. Often it isn’t. Youth and vigor are often what children need to learn new things, not some old over paid coffee sipping teacher just milking the system because the union protects their lack of ambition behind collective bargaining. I would bet that most of the teachers in the Lakota school system fall in this mediocre category, and it is the responsibility of the school board to do the hard job when they can to keep those costs down by pushing those old budget busters away.

The problem of budget busting happens when nobody wants to be the bad guy and tell employees that they aren’t worth what they think they are. Schools need to operate more like the private sector does because after all that is what we are supposed to be preparing kids for. The goal isn’t to prepare kids for some socialist indoctrination center called college any more. That scam has been fully revealed to be extremely destructive to the education process. Most kids would be better off not going to college so to keep their minds intact—and reluctantly voters are starting to admit that to themselves—as hard has it is to come to terms with. Many parents save for a long time to send their children to college with life savings that would be better spent elsewhere—so it is hard to acknowledge that colleges are only indoctrination centers and the prep work happens in public schools paid for through a socialist practice of taxing private property. Even knowing all that nobody wants the public school to fail in their community because the schools attach themselves to businesses and homes in an unhealthy way, and until that changes school board members like Todd Parnell will find themselves split. Parents don’t want to lose that free baby-sitting service while they are out in the world doing what they think is important stuff—to pay for their kids to go to college. That whole problem is far too philosophically challenging for them. But I know this, in Lakota there are a lot more residents with kids out of the schools than in them, so if Lakota wants an embarrassing bloodbath at the ballot box, I suppose that’s what they’ll get due to their poor management of tax payer resources.

Rich Hoffman
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Wayne LaPierre gets it Right Again: The trend of returning to the state of the primitive

I continue to be impressed with Wayne LaPierre’s columns in American Rifleman, one of the official magazines of the NRA. In his latest, “We Won’t Waver Despite Media Attacks” LaPierre identifies correctly the vast influence of socialism in American culture and how it has seeped into our education system and created a media environment that is predictably anti-American, and more specifically, anti-gun. This of course didn’t happen overnight—it has occurred essentially from the 1930s and has now culminated into a culture that is clashing with traditional American values which is in essence the cause of this modern civil war. The media are overwhelmingly liberal because those are the types of people who survive the vetting process, the years of college and pre-interviews which get young people into media careers. If they aren’t detectably liberal, they won’t get work in the publishing and television industry. Liberalism is one of the key ingredients that prospective employers look for in new media applicants and this has been going on for decades, so it should come as no surprise that we find a liberalized media establishment that is now coming after NRA members, and conservatism in general. The difference is that now we are starting to talk about it.

The first thing I thought when the troubled 29-year-old Travis Reinking shot up four people at a Waffle House in Nashville was that someone should have shot the kid on the spot so police wouldn’t have had to waste two days looking for him. There was a good Samaritan on the scene who challenged Reinking but there wasn’t anybody there to put the kid down saving countless manhours of investigation. As it turned out Reinking was a troubled kid who found his guns confiscated for being in a danger zone recently at the White House, so the signs were there well in advance that Reinking was going to snap at some point and do something stupid which he did late on a Saturday night at a Waffle House. There are probably thousands of people like Rainking running around out there in the world and when they show up to terrorize us, we need to have the ability to defend ourselves.

That liberalized media baulks at those types of proclamations. They’ll say that this isn’t the Wild Wild West and that we are a more civilized society now and shouldn’t need guns. They say this as the current crop of youth springing from the public-school system is desiring to return to primitive exhibitions of adulthood that were practiced in Neolithic times, body piercings and tattoos to show that they have left childhood and should now be considered adults. Those type of rituals are innate and part of human biological intellect. I know several very young women in their 20s who are extremely well-educated. At first glance they look like typical young ladies fresh out of college who have access to the best fashion of our day and they have the money to buy them. They live upper middle class lifestyles with their peers. Yet upon a closer look they have tattoos behind their ears and all over their backs and chests. They have the common tramp stamps on their lower backs as well which are intended to show people they are intimate with that they are a little wild and crazy which is part of their ritualistic sex practices. They demonstrate orthodox behavior professionally, but raw savagery privately. This is a relatively new phenomenon and that I have asked them about which of course they answer like I’m 2000 years old out of touch with laughs. But they are young people still fresh from their liberalized educations, and it was there that they learned this type of behavior.

The tattoo story is important because young ladies like that just a few decades ago wouldn’t behave in that fashion. They’d be concerned that once they found a husband and started having babies that they might not be able to explain such wildness to their future families. Those instincts have been taught out of them resulting in the product of youth that we see today. The same tragedy could be said to have occurred in young men—especially young men with poor intellect and rotten family histories. For instance, it could be easily established that if a young woman has a good relationship with her father, she probably isn’t going to be easy to sleep with by a predatory male looking for a quick trip to the bed. That is because she will likely have traditional self-confidence and won’t be prone to whimsical seductions by young men looking to paint themselves on her blank sheet of paper. Young girls who don’t have good relationships with their fathers tend to be sleep arounds and dress wildly because they are seeking the attention they didn’t get from a father figure. In a similar way young men like Travis Reinking act out in a similar way when they don’t get the proper male attention in their lives from an elderly figure—and this can make them very dangerous. The primitive instinct of young males is to prove themselves in battle even to the point of killing another human being—so as our liberal society craves more primitive foundation values, young males are becoming more and more dangerous socially. Travis Reinking is just the latest, there are many more like him out there looking for something to latch onto so to prove they are great warriors—whether it be ISIS, the Neo Nazis, the latest ANTIFA socialist protests, or even a college football game—young people more than ever are struggling to show their adulthood, and for a certain percentage they are turning to violence to earn their respect as grown-ups. Most of the gang violence that we are dealing with in America can be reduced to that very simple human need.

It will take years after admitting that this is the fundamental problem in America to solve it—likely five or six decades. Liberalism has destroyed the lives of many young people, in many cases irreversibly—yet our society must still continue to function. That means that the only way to contain the violence that is coming at us so rapidly these days, is with personal firearm protection and quick resolutions when some stupid kid like Travis Reinking does go into future Waffle Houses and shoot up the place, that we can end the attempt there on the spot within seconds. The institutions of liberalism have created this problem and once again it is up to regular traditional Americans to fix it, which is why the NRA is such a valuable organization. They stand pretty much alone these days to offering real solutions to these classic problems. In this case, liberalism has taken young people back to the needs of a more primitive time and it is the philosophic value behind personal firearms which stands as leverage against that social incursion.

Without the NRA the process of transforming America into just another European colony would have taken place. Because of the NRA the liberalized media has not shaped American society into something unrecognizable to our traditional values. And because of personal firearms there aren’t those thousands of Travis Reinkings out there shooting everyone up ever five seconds. Even without a firearm, killers like Reinking could still drive a rented van into groups of people to conduct their primitive need for public malice. But because of the way American society is, there are more often than not heroes lurking in every Waffle House, in every shopping mall and camped outside every church ready to take action, because they have the personal protection of firearms, which has been the game changer on the world stage in America. And it’s about time we appreciate it more for what it has always

Rich Hoffman

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Han Solo’s New Landspeeder: The reason young men have for racing, risking their lives, and proving themselves

Institutionalism has been on my mind a lot lately. It has always bees something I was concerned with—it’s a huge part of culture building and there is need for some of it to keep an orderly society organized and effective. But all too often it is a destructive device that robs individuality from the human race which limits the output of potential available to mankind. Obviously the Comey situation with the current FBI is the most clear-cut case of institutional failure at so many levels and that is exactly what was on my mind as I went to Target as a 50-year-old man and bought the new Han Solo Landspeeder toy from Hasbro that I have been looking forward to being released. As I write often my favorite Star Wars character is Han Solo and I continue to think that the entire franchise under Disney ownership will depend on the quality of this new Solo: A Star Wars Story movie coming up on May 25th. For the movie to work, it has to tell the story of a young man who is so rebellious against institutionalism that he drives that inner need for the audience to yearn for individual freedom. It’s a tough game for Disney because they are an institution all on their own, and it has been a real challenge for the filmmakers to capture that proper “Han Solo” spirit produced by such an institutionalized production company. But they have worked hard at it and I think the selection of Ron Howard to be the final director was crucial to making this upcoming film positioned to be the best product possible. To get Han Solo right, the filmmakers must understand that he is a person fighting the mundane clutches of institutionalism which is the key to understanding what makes Star Wars different from other science fiction, and additionally makes it one of the most valuable elements for shaping modern society. It’s a very delicate balance and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on that toy car so I could get up and close to it to get some questions answered.

Much to my delight it exceeded my expectations. Most young men—not girls—but boys, desire to obtain a car, customize it to some degree to represent their personalities and to apply that effort to the world so that they might come out on top. Girls typically think of wedding dresses, getting invited to prom and play with toys that lead them to domestic lives as young married women. No matter how much we tamper with that basic human yearning, those fundamental differences between boys and girls are obvious. Boys have that pressure to rebel from what they’ve known so that they can launch themselves into a position to acquire a wife, build a family, and live life on their own terms for that family—and a car is that first big step. So in a movie that deals with a younger version of Han Solo, a guy who has to acquire all the things that led him to a marriage to Princess Leia, The Millennium Falcon, his DL-44 gun, his years of experience at getting out of dangerous situations, what would his very first car look like? Getting that right would go a long way to telling me that these modern filmmakers understood the character of Han Solo well enough to not screw up the movie.

Ever since I saw the footage from the filming of the Solo movie I have been curious about this car. It’s square in design and looks pretty junkie for what you might expect from Han Solo. But then the Millennium Falcon was pretty beat up by the time the original movies were made—so this is a theme for Han Solo. He is a character not limited to the designs of the original manufacturer of his vehicles, some institutional engineer who works for a big company and rigidly gets all their drawings approved for production. Han Solo as a young man would acquire a speeder like this vehicle probably used because that’s all he could afford and he’d make it into something of his own design—to imprint his character on it. He would then use that vehicle to make a name for himself out in the world. This is very important to young men—really important. So getting Han Solo’s car right in a design tells me that they would also get it right in the movie and that this thing was going to be good.

When I was a young guy, 16 to 20 years of age I raced everyone everywhere. I seldom ever drove at speeds less than 100 MPH and I was in trouble with the police most of the time. I think it is safe to say that I was the fastest driver in the city of Cincinnati during that time frame who lived to talk about it. I know a lot of people I knew back then who died in car wrecks or ended up in jail for the rest of their lives so I can understand the background of a young Han Solo who was addicted to speed and competition. Young men must have some way to prove themselves because only the best have access to the best females. The way we all work biologically is that the most attractive females usually like the guys who are the most daring and ambitious acquiring the most wealth. Of course, the reason is so that a young female can build a family using the guy to give her children and financial resources. Having young men run around racing each other for the opportunity to make a lot of money so they can have access to the best females is a very primal sentiment. It’s not the way political progressives want things to be, and Disney has become a very progressive company so that makes the stakes of this Solo Star Wars film very high. Progressives would like to erase masculinity from the face of the earth yet Han Solo is a very masculine figure which makes him very popular among young males looking to make their mark in the world. I’ve been very skeptical especially the way The Last Jedi embraced so many progressive values. I didn’t think it hurt the value of Star Wars culturally, but it was noticeable. The same kind of anti-male sentiment won’t work in a movie starring Han Solo. I am happy to say from what I have seen by reading the latest Han Solo book Last Shot and going through some of the toy releases, I think they have nailed Han Solo in this new film. We’ll have to see how it is, but so far, the hot rod speeders are there, the souped-up star ships, the guns and the attitude are all there, so I am excited, more so than I was even a month ago.

I was in England for a good part of the Han Solo filming at Pinewood and I read all the news I could from the set as it was happening. It was exciting for me to be that close to the movie. One of my methods of stress management is to play a lot, whether it is video games, toys with my grandkids, or just roaming around at the store looking at new toys coming out. I particularly like the Star Wars section and the Lego sections of toy stores. Playing with ideas and massaging my imagination helps me solve complicated problems in real life, so there is a method I use to make those experiences productive in the real world. The Han Solo Landspeeder was very exciting for me personally because it has a lot of design in it that reflects the Han Solo character in all the ways that I enjoy. While everyone doesn’t get as excited about toys and Star Wars that as I do, the people who do are often those who advance human civilization in positive ways, engineers, creative people, and authors. Star Wars is such a major contributor to modern literature and the sciences that I get excited with each new film because of the cultural impacts that naturally spawn off them. Solo: A Star Wars Story however has more pressure on it than any movie yet has. How this one goes will determine the future of Star Wars forever, so there is a lot on the table. From what I have seen so far, I don’t think anybody will be disappointed.

Rich Hoffman
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