What Trump has in Common with ‘The Shape of Water’: learning the nature of villians and the hopes of the good

What we are seeing isn’t specific to a particular political party or even a specific point in time. I can say that it’s always been something I have been keenly aware of. I remember as a little kid staying up way too late to watch the Academy Awards in 1983 to see if E.T. The Extraterrestrial would win Best Picture and feeling terribly deflated when Gandhi won instead. That’s when I learned the hard way that institutions are not in pursuit of goodness, but the status quo in almost every category because it allows the people working within those organizational frameworks to live modest, safe lives seldom challenged by any exceptional expectations. I was actually blown away and physically sick that E.T. failed to win Best Picture. Clearly there wasn’t any justice in the world as at that time I only ever wanted to be a film director when I grew up. In the year prior, I had gone through the same ceremonial castigation, Raiders of the Lost Ark was poised to win Best Picture and lost to the film Chariots of Fire. Something was very wrong and now almost 40 years later I sat watching the Academy Awards knowing full well there was a major liberal spin to the whole show, which is why I wasn’t a film director and no longer had a desire to be, when The Shape of Water won best picture essentially because it featured a female hero, she had nude scenes in it including masturbation, but in most other respects was a modern update to E.T. It was a stunning revelation that remained consistently bad, and points to a much deeper, darker problem.

And in so many ways, even in the serious world of politics, we are seeing the same thing that went on with E.T. at the Academy Awards in 1982 and 1983, happening now with the FBI and Justice Departments of the Obama Administration playing the same role. Even though I would argue that The Shape of Water could have easily have been made without the sex and nudity, or the F words in a film that children would have benefited from seeing in the theaters, the government agent in the film was wonderfully representative of the kind of parasitic order for which those modern institutions function. Richard Strickland in that film epitomized the ambitions of institutional control and in maintaining an order where the exceptional are locked away and tortured so that the stagnant expectations of below the line thinking could remain unchallenged. In that way The Trump administration under the direction of the FBI and DOJ were treated as the amphibious creature from The Shape of Water, tortured just for being there and seeking to be destroyed because the potential for life changing inspiration was something that institutions couldn’t allow to happen otherwise, they’d all be expected to increase their expectations for their own lives by default.

The crimes against not only Trump but against his supporters, most of whom are just as innocent as my 13-year-old self-staying up on a school night to hope beyond hope that justice would give the movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial the Best Picture award, are profound. There is so much more to the story than just the sad attempts at using the law as a weapon to beat down inspiring change, but in the abundant mechanisms for which all institutions function to preserve their salty ambitions anchored to the ground well below any above the line expectations. The corruption in society as a whole was deeper than any ocean on earth and the hopes and dreams of all mankind had been tossed to the bottom and kept their by the hostile depths too hard to dive by any mechanical means, or even the yearnings of the superhuman efforts, because sharks of every kind protect that bar from ever being raised to a level where the masses might ever be expected to perform from the merits of goodness.

A world where an Academy Award is given to a film that features a woman masturbating in a bathtub “a lot” is the same world castigating Trump for wanting to build a border wall, to create a dividing line between value and a lack of value, between a capitalist culture that has expectations of performance and a socialist one that informs people to not stick their heads up too high otherwise they will be beat down in response. That same world looks at Melania Trump and endlessly criticizes everything she wears and how she wears it but when Michelle Obama wears boots on national television that would make the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz blush, she is hailed as an expert on fashion. The reason is that the static order doesn’t want little girls to grow up to be like Melania, a woman who is as close to a perfect “10” as anybody might find in our current culture. But to be like Michelle Obama, an average looking woman filled with personality flaws and genetic mutations. Melania is attacked because she is too good, she as a change agent has raised the level of expectation among the voting population and the institutions are not happy about it.

Many years later I realized that instead of trying to make things work as a film director in a liberal town that certainly didn’t want to deal with a midwestern conservative that I’d turn toward business. When I was paid a salary instead of an hourly wage to officially announce that I was no longer just a floor worker, the expectations were quite severe on me to work within the parameters of a static order. I typically had always worked 12 hours a day or more but now that I was working with as a salaried member of management—and this was many years ago—but I was supposed to assume a certain order of conduct understanding that I work only what I was paid for. And salary people were only paid for 8.5 hours of their work day. So at precisely 5 PM I was expected to drop everything and go home. But when I didn’t do that and instead continued to work as I always had, until 7 PM or even 8 PM the other salaried staff were very angry with me. They would watch closely what time I clocked in and when I clocked out and eventually built up the courage to ask me why I was trying to make them look bad. My answer of course that I wasn’t, and that if they looked bad it’s because they weren’t willing to fulfill the parameters of expectation for which production required. Well, those were fighting words and long rivalries filled with animosity percolated from that time on, yet I never changed my behavior because I was simply not going to surrender my capability to the Academies out there that would pick Gandhi over E.T. or the FBI over President Trump. Those were simply not options.

The case against Trump isn’t about justice, or even politics—its about expectation. Trump as a change agent is being attacked to preserve the right of below the line thinking that has defined Washington D.C. culture in general and politics specifically. Much the way the sea creature in The Shape of Water was tortured and abused just for existing, Trump represents a raising of the bar for all future expectation, and the static order has demanded his destruction with all the animated ambition as Richard Strickland. The world cannot hold both characters, and traditionally the good have been beat down so that the bad do not have to rise to any occasions. And that is a dark little secret that continues to permeate all our lives, and the yearning to change it is certainly there. Even the Academy of Arts and Sciences can be touched by such hopes even if the medicine to make it go down are sex scenes and nudity. But the showdown between Trump and the FBI is not about legalisms, it’s about the hopes and dreams of all mankind, and that battle is happening right now. And for the first time in history, hope is winning out over stagnation, and that is very interesting to watch for me. I am rooting for hope and increased expectations, perhaps this time the villains won’t win.

Rich Hoffman

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The Great Visionary President Trump: Causing his enemies to continue throwing themselves against rocks and over cliffs

It is time to have this discussion, most of our political order in the United States has been defined by idiots, everything from the lowly school board member to the President of the United States. Dumb, inefficient people have been inserted into these jobs by fools who don’t really know what they are doing. That is why it is totally ridiculous that these same people are trying to define what a successful president looks like in modern times, and that Trump to them is some kind of buffoon. Let me make something quite clear about Trump and other CEO types who come from private business and have been previously very successful as branding change agents from their own organizations, their genius is not in what they physically do, its in how they can take complex topics and bring them down to one- or two-line vision statements. In that regard President Trump will go down in history as the greatest president the United States ever experienced. Vision statements for a lot of people are one of the most difficult things to do because they lack the intelligence and imagination to do them, but Trump is great at them and that is precisely why he can do so much more with less.

Much of the world is very confused about the nature of leadership, they foolishly confuse it with management which is to say that processes are what inspire people. That is why critics of President Trump believe that a Chief of Staff or a Secretary of State are such important characters in an administration. Yet the White House is the people’s house and if its occupant can take complicated matters and communicate them to the people who really are supposed to run the government, the voters, then all that management formality is for nothing. Trump and his Tweets are the best thing to come from the modern age because it has allowed a great leader and communicator in Trump to articulate directly to voters the matters of great complication which normally befuddle most people, and it unifies the vision productively for the country.

The enemies of these methods are those of course who benefit from the current system of chaos. They like the old management structure because somewhere in their past they were taught by institutions that such things were flowed through processes of bureaucracy not through the raw leadership of simplicity. They were taught that to be successful you make lots of paperwork and coordinate lots of people through procedural interpretation rather than to rally behind the abilities of a great leader to break down complicated matters into a few sentences of vision. This is a common trait of all visionaries from Walt Disney to George Lucas, Donald Trump whether or not people like him is a great visionary and that is why the Trump Organization is such a good one. The value in Trump is not whether or not he has had affairs with women as a billionaire playboy, or whether he was a great WWE promoter at his casinos, what matters is that he was and continues to be a great leader who can simplify messaging to the masses with relative ease. If you took Trump out of the White House and put him in charge of General Motors, or Microsoft, he would be instantly successful in those companies because he can produce effective visions to all the employees involved. Most successful people have these traits, but they are rather uncommon among our population because the ability is not something that is taught well in our scholastic environments, but is an innate ability nurtured through unique character traits.

If you went to all the modern top companies, from Amazon to Pixar Entertainment you’d find similar traits among their leadership, the ability to provide vision statements to their employees which unify the efforts of the organization. In private practice we see such examples of leadership emerge out of market necessity. But in politics we have allowed and in some cases insisted on some old broken European model of aristocracy among political leaders that is not conducive to reality. Such as in Nancy Pelosi leaving Washington D.C. during a government shut down and taking a vacation in Hawaii. She is apparently clueless as to how the optics of such a thing is providing a very negative vision statement to her own party and their ability to negotiate with Trump over the border wall. She’s not even playing in the same league as Trump who stayed in Washington D.C. and continued to work through the Holiday season gaining the high ground in the matter and providing vision statements to the public that no Democrat will be able to overcome. Nancy Pelosi and her new congress will return with their standardized agenda driven by process and discover that they have no answer for the leadership Trump has already provided and they’ll stay on their heels for most of 2019 before crushing themselves under the weight of their own stupidity once they start throwing candidates for the 2020 run for presidency in the mix. They will all fail because they do not have Trump’s ability to create vision statements.

When you have raw leadership ability you do not have to have read the most books in the room, you don’t even need to be the smartest person. Intelligence contrary to popular opinion does not increase by the amount of people added to the decision-making process. The ability to create a good one liner in the form of a vision statement is far more valuable to team building than a whole room of Harvard MBAs working on a problem. All the Harvard people may be smart, but they lack leadership in its raw form. A bunch of smart people are useless if they can’t communicate what they need to do to the masses clearly so others can follow. In the rock, paper, scissors game of management hierarchy, the ability to produce vision statements is far more important than the ability to manage 10,000 people through procedural implementation. A president who can do such a thing doesn’t need a Chief of Staff or other traditional positions because he can do a lot more with less just because of the raw leadership ability of providing clear vision statements to his followers.

That is specifically why Trump is succeeding and his political enemies are just fumbling over themselves like the coyote in a classic Road Runner cartoon, or Bugs Bunny confronting the villainy of the Tasmanian Devil. Trump has the unique ability to make complex matters seem digestible and that is why he has been successful and why no matter what he does, success is there for him. It’s not luck or some magic power given from the gods, it’s just raw leadership ability in the form of powerful vision statements, such as “if you’re going to be thinking, it might as well be big.” In the role of a Commander and Chief it is obvious that the hope of the Founding Fathers was always to have someone from American society filling the presidential role like Donald Trump, but so far very few have made it through the political process to arrive at such a lofty height untouched by procedural corruption. But Trump did make it, and we should all be thankful. Because of his ability America is really thriving and there isn’t anything his political enemies can do about it. The harder they try, the more spectacularly they fail. Road Runner would be proud of Donald Trump, he is making all his enemies look as dumb as the Coyote in those old Road Runner cartoons. And the funny thing is, they keep doing it to themselves over and over again, because they don’t understand why President Trump is so successful. That is precisely why they keep launching themselves into a cliff face, or crushing themselves with a giant rock. Because they lack the natural leadership ability of a visionary, and they have nobody even close who call themselves Democrats. And that is truly funny.

Rich Hoffman

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Trump the Change Agent: Why we have to have a bloody fight that hurts lots of people, because its healthy

Now the panic is really setting in, Democrats have drawn a line in the sand over the border wall debate and the government has been left unfunded causing a partial shutdown that has no resolution on the horizon. In companies that are really in trouble it is common to hire a new CEO or some other form of “change agent” and disrupt the siloed culture that caused the problems for the company and now Washington D.C. from the lowly reporter to the radical activist in Congress is learning why people elected Donald Trump into the White House. Reverting back to how things were never was on the table. Many people like me want Trump to fight the Democrats on this funding issue and to force their hand finally into revealing what parasites they have been all along. To the culture that has been in power I’m sure the events of today are very scary and disconcerting. But it had to happen, and should have happened a long time ago. Yet because it didn’t, we are having that fight now.

The hatred of everything Trump does is natural from a culture that has decided it never wanted to change. The Beltway as it is called is filled with people looting off the taxpayer and making great livings as government ants pushing and pulling paperwork around from desk top to desk top in a world that has gone digital. Many of the government workers that are attached to operating an ineffective government aren’t needed but are simply there for the whims of the aristocrats who want to believe they are more than they are and are paramount cogs in a wheel of progress managing the affairs of mankind. Even the Fox News pundits and news reporters operating on the Hill have expectations consistent with accepting a defunct culture that is entirely too expensive and is in tremendous need of change.

When a change agent enters a scenario especially in business, the walls go up quickly as nobody wants to be rooted out as incompetent. If they can make the life of the change agent miserable and attack them before it is discovered just how terrible the previous culture was, they will do it with every passive aggressive weapon devised from the imaginations of civilization. If you ever want to see the face of true evil tell a group of corporate executives that they have been spending too much time next to the water cooler talking about irrelevant events, or that the corner office with the nice window is going to be changed into a bathroom. Their faces will literally melt and the resistance is always fierce.

In the great book Leading Change by John Kotter centering on his Harvard Business ideas of the eight ways to change, most corporate cultures like political ones are not aware that they need to change and there is a great need to overcome their resistance and to build a consensus toward more productive results. But putting up with deficient thinking is simply not an option. Change is always needed as conditions are always evolving. Yet when methods of evoking change to meet market conditions are removed what you end up with in every situation is massive corruption, such as we see not only in our own federal government but all governments. The more barriers to change such as in totalitarian regimes, the less opportunities for change. Some would argue that everything is fine so why change it, what is ignored in such contemplations is that market conditions are always moving forward and that change is always needed to meet those conditions. It’s not an if question but a “when.” Not even the best football team in the world can escape this reality, every year change must take place to make their organizations conducive to any hope of victory. What a team did five years ago can’t be the same as is required for the upcoming season.

Yet in our government the corrupt money has been working against our Constitution, the open border craze is in full bloom and most of the legal minds and their apprentices have accepted the very un-American concept of a borderless world. The current culture of the Beltway is built on the money that pours into political campaigns from all types of sources and the assumptions that have been made have been directed away from national sovereignty into a mixed bag of values thrown together haphazardly like a kind of stew to be consumed by those willing to be the first in line to eat it. By the time it gets to the rest of us very little will remain and that is the grand ruse that has been going on for quite some time. The Washington D.C. culture has not had American interests in mind, they have rather put their own weaknesses and corrupt principles into the decision-making mechanisms and the result is a government that does not represent the people of America, but rather exploits them for the political power provided to those most corrupted by the status quo.

Change has been needed in American government for a very long time and that was the reason Donald Trump was elected. He promised to be a change agent and so far he has lived up to it, and where the previously corrupt culture on all political sides of the spectrum are guilty, they all equally hate the idea that that coveted corner office will be turned into a bathroom. The rules of power acquisition are being turned on their heads and none of them like it. But it has to be done even if they all grow so miserable that they commit suicide in their reluctance to accept the necessity for change. Getting rid of Trump from office won’t solve their problem just as firing a change agent in a corporate culture won’t take away the needs for change. But to their underdeveloped minds, it’s the only reality they can accept because they are so ruined that they can think of nothing else.

James Comey is just such a figure, listening to him speak of his “Washington D.C.” “Beltway” culture you will get a glimpse of nightlife on a Friday or Saturday sipping wine and listening to live bands playing 70s rock songs in tightly packed bars filled with like-minded, and over perfumed government workers insulated from reality by their larger than average pay checks and the vacuum of protections awarded them as members of the elite culture. It didn’t matter that Comey was an FBI Director, he could have been a college intern trying to sleep with their boss after too many drinks in one of those evenings, the culture is just as corrupt from top to bottom and the essence of the evil is that they expect the rest of us to pay for their entitlements without giving anything back. They want to rule us all, live the dream of aristocratic assumptions, but they want none of the downsides, especially when it comes to responsibility. They are happy to sell us all out to whomever is paying the checks because they have accepted unprincipled lives hidden beyond grand philosophic yearnings but their method of interacting with those conditions is to pass responsibility for it all to those not present which of course is the foundations to all corruption. In such an environment even the most well-intentioned soul becomes the vilest human being in the world.

This fight has to happen, and bodies need to be left in the wake. It needs to hurt because change is needed and that is precisely why Donald Trump was sent to Washington D.C. It is not acceptable to listen to those resisting that needed change try to remove him from office, or to bust him for made up political crimes, because his job is and will always be a change agent elected to conduct a service to the people of the United States. And that is a hard reality that the Beltway culture is going to have to live with. It doesn’t matter if over a million workers don’t get their pay checks, or how much political donors cry about a border wall that hurts their bottom line because its harder for drugs to get into the United States driving up their costs of doing business, what matters is what the people of America want. And corruption in Washington D.C. from the media to the seats in Congress are not viable realities of acceptability.

Rich Hoffman

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Predicting the Future in 2019: A lot to be excited about

Regarding the stock market and all the record movements, and where it will end up. Investors, feel free to take what I am saying here and go make millions of more dollars because you can literally take it to the bank. But the interesting aspect of it is in the revelation of values that are now maturing under the Trump administration which has been badly needed for so many years and 2019 will be a good year because of it. The part of it that will take some getting used to is that the usual panic button issues aren’t going to work this time and like the spell that kept Sleeping Beauty locked into a coma for so many years broken only by the kiss of a prince of a true love, the markets have been kissed by Trump and that value is escalating by the moment. The sabotage that the global chess game tried to impose have not only backfired, but fed the current optimism. Things are looking quite good indeed.

First of all, no real people care about the government shut down. Most of the jobs are nonessential and could easily be replaced by technology, so nobody is missing them, nor will they at any point in the future. The market fluctuations that have occurred since the election of 2018 are largely inspired by the volatility of the government with Democrats running the House of Representatives once again. Many fear that the good days from the last two years are coming to an end so they have moved their money in the markets. It hasn’t helped that we’ve learned about the various tech stocks in the Dow becoming liberal activists in the political process, which has turned off many investors. But that is a temporary condition that will improve as we move out of the Holiday season. Less government is better economics and people generally see that. The longer the shut down goes on the more obvious it will become and that will paralyze the Democrats going into 2019.

There has been a lot of talk about all the investigations that the Democrats are going to use against the Trump administration. Notice how since the looming shutdown approached and has now arrived that there hasn’t been much talk about the nothing there case of the Mueller investigation? Democrats had planned to spend the next two years impeaching Trump over breadcrumbs falling off the table but now coming into January they have to negotiate with him over the wall he’s building and where the money will come from. Trump has captured the narrative once again and has the potential to control it throughout all of next year. Democrats on their heels usually fall all over themselves and that will be the situation this time as well. The shutdown is good harmless leverage that the Democrats have no answer for. They are used to Republicans caving under the pressure but not this time. Being the party of government employees the Democrats will lose supporters quickly as the usual tactics fail and they are forced to watch the wall be built anyway which will be quite a demoralizing attribute to the current circumstances.

Trump’s refusal to punish the slain reporter from The Washington Post is starting to pay off as well. Fuel prices are low, the Saudis are considering themselves lucky to only be hit by the United States with low oil prices, which under any other circumstance would have been difficult to convince them of otherwise. The result for the American economy has been excellent fourth quarter sales and economic growth over 3%. Holiday sales are up and jobs are abundant driving up incomes. There is a lot to be happy about in the Trump economy which will continue to explode into 2019 on sheer momentum. The reality of the tariff battles is that China has had to make concessions as they are overly dependent on exports to the United States, so they have lost their leverage and will never get it back. Trump’s plan to deal with the huge deficit that the United States now has can be attacked through these shifting exports. There is a lot of money to be gained in renegotiating these trade deals and the results are finally going to hit the markets in the upcoming year. Mexico will pay for the wall in profit losses to the United States, and they will like it.

The Federal Reserve has been behaving poorly with their attempts to stave off inflation with interest rate hikes, that’s what they say anyway. In all reality the Fed has been trying to pad the pockets of bankers hungry for revenue with increased interest rates so they can make their money in what everyone has been considering a Bull Market. In the Fed’s way of thinking the Bear is right around the corner so they need to make their money while they can, which has put on the brakes to the potential growth that has been possible, much to Trump’s consternation. Its kind of like trying to drive a 1000 HP car with the brakes on. But the Fed has been confronted by the President which of course scared investors because nobody in the past has ever done such a thing and the markets were affected in the short run especially on Christmas Eve. But its all about negotiation and the market rallied back a thousand points the day after Christmas as a result. If everyone leaves things alone and the Fed keeps interest rates down, the Dow will head back to 26,000 and beyond, because the real market value is there. It’s more than a symptom of optimism from investors riding the trends. The value is real and growing in an expanding economy.

Then of course there are new markets entering the value stream, such as space tourism and regenerative medicine, industries I have discussed on this site for a long time. Finally, they are coming to fruition under the deregulatory environment of the Trump administration. There hasn’t been enough bandwidth for the media which hates President Trump to talk about all the great things that have been happening on these fronts since their goal has been to remove him from office. But with the government shutdown soaking up the news cycle which favors Trump the good news coming from the new market fronts will have room on the front pages and those industries will blossom for good in the coming years. How do you pay off a 21 trillion-dollar debt, you introduce new value markets that actually expand economic activity while putting money in the pockets of the people who will continue expanding it. And once they have a taste of that, they won’t want to give it back. Trump will win re-election easily in 2020 and the Democrats will struggle to even find a candidate to run against him. The government shutdown will further destroy the Democrats as their bluff is called and people discover that they really don’t need all those government workers. And the markets will rebound to their true value position once the artificial fears subside, because those fears were never rooted in reality anyway. Most fears never are. And that sets us all up for a good year, so long as we have the courage to live it.

Rich Hoffman

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I’m Glad Christmas is Over This Year: Re-thinking the nature of the Holiday season

I did not enjoy Christmas this year, perhaps it is the net result of writing too much and having worked out answers to the problems that socially are desired to keep a ruling class of people in place of our species and knowing better. Or that I have just read too many damn books and the things that regular people say to me seem stupid and self-defeating. They don’t want their problems solved, they want their problems so they can have an excuse to fail, and thus, not have to build up the courage to do things in their lives and its all too obvious to me. Or it was the season itself, the way that CNN berated President Trump for the way he talked to children on the night before Christmas wondering if a 7-year-old still believed in Santa. Or the way religious leaders insisted that mankind had lost touch with Christ and were too focused on material goods through the Holiday season. The emphasis on belief instead of logic seemed louder this year and I didn’t like it. Or perhaps it was just that Christmas is mostly for the children and that I’m in my 50s now and a grandpa and old age seems to be taking tickets to the afterlife with too much enthusiasm and I really don’t like the bad breath of the grim reaper looming like such a negative decaying force ready to harvest more souls miserable and lost from lives lived poorly.

What made me the sickest on the whole event was that the entire season was built upon people waiting for something to happen to them instead of making things happen. Kids wait to open presents while adults try to line up their schedules so they can get together and talk about nothing. Each event of the day was tied to some rigorous schedule attached to a lot of people who only cared if you were there or not by the pictures they took and put on Facebook or some other social media platform. My experiences with my family were fine, but in general Christmas was a day that I wasn’t in control of my own schedule and I’m not used to that. I’m not a fan of estrogen fests where clots of females arrange gatherings based on their most neurotic impulses and then expect me to drop all thinking to satisfy their whims of bitching and mayhem. They have the best of intentions in these endeavors but it always seems to come out as gatherings of squares that need to be pushed through circles in a board and the fit is never applicable, yet we try to force it anyway.

The best part of the day are of course the presents. That is where you can learn a lot about what people think about one another and there are real psychological factors at play that have great meaning. I do get excited about hearing to what degree Christmas retail sales have spiked. But then our entertainment of the season is fixated on sacrifice which seems to be the way we have all accepted that Christmas is supposed to be. Even I said several times that Christmas is for the kids to have a moment of optimism in their lives to remember forever before the world tries to henpeck their souls back into some kind of egg to live the rest of their lives. We encourage children to dream and put on quite a show for them only to have all those hopes smashed upon adolescences when kids learn that all the things, they believed in was a ruse for which society has no desire to live up to. And in that great disappointment they learn their place at the table of misery with everyone else.

I went to bed at 8 PM on Christmas night feeling like every part of my essence had been twisted and plucked clean like a Wal-Mart Black Friday bin five minutes into the opening of the store for special sales. I couldn’t wait to get to bed and put the rest of the world back to my own schedule. And I couldn’t wait to get up the next day and get back to work where logic and skill guide my days in productive ways and all the naysayers could go back to the cracks, they live in not to be heard from until the next year. I normally wouldn’t let myself think this way but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about below and above the line thinking and as a naturally positive person, Christmas is a very negative Holiday. I love the façade of positive aspects of it, but it never lives up to the image. People generally don’t like each other and logic loses itself in the season as people spend money on all the wrong things. People don’t like each other because they are functioning from different value systems and that is something that we are expected to put away at Christmas and be like Christ—open and forgiving. But to do that we have to forget what people are, and what they have done and that doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever.

I think it was easier to put these thoughts away in the past because it seemed like there would always be endless tomorrows. Next year was always an option but at the age I am now where I hear the word grandpa a lot I am reminded again with that glee of a grim reaper’s bad breath that are many fewer tomorrows than yesterdays and with each year they will get worse, and that is a very negative aspect of living that is not conducive with my way of thinking. I’ve always had hope that Christmas would someday bring out the best in people but I don’t see it, and the nature of it doesn’t lend itself to anything good. It is built on belief and a passive position of having things happen to you. And the best of Christmas involves give of yourself rather than receiving which is a socialist mantra from the words of Karl Marx and all the buffoons of philosophy that have sat on the edge of religion since before there was ever a Christ. The idea that sacrifice is the way to a productive existence is just stupid.

I’m glad its over, I am happy to be back in charge of everything and to be free of other people’s schedules. I’m also happy to be able to shape optimism back into my life and to leave many of my phone messages unanswered because the person on the other end endlessly needs something, they aren’t giving themselves in their life. They are perpetual looters of value lacking it themselves and always craving it from others. Christmas was an invention by them for them and certainly not for the most productive among us. Christmas was a day where like Halloween the belief in giving is thrust upon us like a villain robbing a bank. We are expected to participate or else and I’m at a place where I don’t think its such a good idea. I think Christmas brings out the worst in people, not the best and that the purpose of it is malicious, not hopeful. And I’m glad its over.

Rich Hoffman

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Using the Gun to Defend Intellect: Below the line thinking will do anything to avoid accountablity, even if it means destroying other people

As I said the other day I have been working on a project and have been going through old books to refresh myself on their material and one of them was The Oz Principle which first came out way back in 1994. In it the concept of The Wizard of Oz is used to great effect to describe ways of thinking in companies, and in life of above and below the line thinking regarding personal responsibility. Above the line thinkers are very responsible and are close to their own personal accountability, whereas below the line thinkers look for all the ways they can’t be held responsible for something. The contents of the book were so obvious to me that I had forgotten that it was one of my reading topics over twenty years ago, so when it came up in a discussion a few days ago it all came back to me as I read it again. The essential summation of the book which is quite powerful is that any company that wishes to survive and prosper must change the thinking of its below the line employee body, because only in personal responsibility can anything really change and become better. Such a concept can work with anything that has a lot of people in it who contribute to the health of an organization. Donald Trump as a business guy who has written many best-selling books in the business self-help genre understands these types of things which makes him a great president. During the government shutdown of 2018 Trump stayed at the White House over Christmas while the rest of congress retreated back to their states to celebrate the Holiday. Trump was functioning from what we would call above the line thinking while everyone else was functioning below. It could easily be said that in order for the concept of an American republic to work, most of the participants would have to function above the line, otherwise the government would fall apart.

But there is always of course more to the story which is why I have been working on my own concepts for dealing with this very issue for a few years now. It’s often not enough to just be an above the line thinker, someone who takes personal responsibility for the things they do in life and doesn’t seek to hide their true fears in life behind finger-pointing and the blame game. Most of us just finished Christmas dinners with family we only see once or twice a year and I’d say its safe to determine that we all encountered most of those participants who were below the line thinkers. They are as common as snowflakes in a snowstorm. In fact, it could easily be said that the entire television industry is targeted to appeal to below the line thinkers as every storyline and commercial is targeted to such positions. It wouldn’t take much to make the declaration that since the advent of television that below the line thinking has exploded as a common occurrence in our American culture so there’s a lot of work that must be done to fix that attribute.

Such below the line thinking would include blaming your parents for a bad childhood which is why modern successes are elusive to someone, or that they were born poor and thus didn’t have the opportunity to get an education, a new car, or even a house. Below the line thinking is actually a human condition brought on by a person’s fears of personal accountability so they use the masses to hide their cowardness from the world by deflecting blame for anything that happens in their lives. Ironically, I have never been such a person. By nature, and upbringing, and the kinds of examples I grew up being attracted to I have always been an above the line thinker where everything was in my wheelhouse of responsibility. Personal accountability is one of the most primary traits of leadership, and good leaders must be above the line thinkers.

This brings us to my original problem that I had reported I was working out over the last several years. It’s not enough to just be a positive thinker or to be a great example of above the line thinking. It is easy to be a naturally positive example when you are in a position of leadership, such as running a company or as President Trump is doing by running a country. But it is quite difficult to have such a position when you are working under the authority of below the line thinkers such as when you have a bad boss, or bad people who are above you in the seniority pull, or even bad people running government. Because below the line thinkers actively seek to destroy above the line thinkers just because they don’t want a culture of higher thinking to force them out of their blame game mentality because it would then require courage to fuel their actions for which they are vacant. Otherwise they wouldn’t be below the line thinkers to begin with. That’s where the Second Amendment comes into the picture, a country that wants to function above the line has to allow their people to prosper under conditions where below the line people cannot attack them for trying to be better. The right to self-defense isn’t just to protect homes, cars, wives and children from the harms of villains, but to keep villains from stealing something much more valuable, above the line thinking with threats of social castigation and even physical violence.

I get asked several times a week, sometimes several times a day, mostly from people who don’t know me well, if I worry about getting into trouble over this blog site, such as in the message above that I put on Instagram. To their thinking I am very critical of big powerful groups, such as the FBI, large media organizations, even individual people who are killers. Their question to me is what happens if you make them mad and they hunt you down an assassinate you to keep you from saying the things you do? That is a valid question after all because as we all know either literally or instinctively, below the line thinkers will do just about anything to maintain their positions, because they lack personal courage so in their terror, they will attack above the line thinkers just to maintain that insulation between reality and their fears. In public schools this is precisely why there are bullies, below the line thinkers which are much more numerous than above the line thinkers use peer pressure to maintain a safety blanket in society from the realities of accountability. So long as many more people think something then below the line thinkers can maintain the illusion that their blame game lifestyle is a valid position, and to do that they must maintain power over above the line thinking. If someone is going to be a leader and try to elevate everyone around them with positive attributes the below the line thinkers functioning from fear will want to destroy such people.

That is why I think personal firearm ownership is needed in any society that wishes to operate above the line. It’s not enough to just think something, you have to be able to defend it. When a bully comes up to you and says that they wish to essentially stay in a victim state and that if you try to force them to change into a role of accountability—such as getting off welfare, food stamps, using medical ailments to limit successful function in the world then they might inspire a mob of militants to come to your house and kill you—when they do that then if you have a gun, you can easily defend yourself, especially if you know how to use it. I see that before anyone can actually have an above the line attitude in life that they must develop a way to protect themselves from all the below the line thinkers in the world who want to destroy them just for raising the bars of expectation.

I could tell stories all day long of when I was a perpetual above the line thinker when I wasn’t in charge of everything where life was constantly made difficult because below the line thinkers had power over some aspect of my life and it was a constant fight. The fight for them is in keeping the expectations low for themselves so they attack above the line people because they are too lazy or too cowardly to step up to a new level and they will get quite violent to preserve their happy place below the line. That is something that a lot of these self-help books about personal accountability and business improvement ignore, how to deal with the masses that will try to show up with pitch forks and flaming crosses to hang you on it if you let them because they don’t want to think above the line. But gun ownership takes that argument off the table. When below the line thinkers realize that they can’t find a fear in you to prevent you from raising the bar, they have no choice but to step up and that is what I think the missing ingredient is in our modern culture, that recognition of fact. We need the Second Amendment not just to possibly overthrow a corrupt government or to protect our private property. We need guns to protect the intellectual nature of our American republic so that above the line thinkers can emerge and lead people out of the self-fulfilled darkness of victimhood thinking. Without that threat below the line thinkers have no incentive to become better so long as they can tear down those around them with threats and intimidation so to preserve the things they most fear in the entire world, accountability for their own actions. If you can defend yourself from the peer pressure of below the line thinkers, then you can be free to function without being impeded, which is the main cause for why more people do not think above the line to begin with, because its lonely there and the mob mentality of below the line thinkers can appear scary—but they really are quite cowardly and ineffective, like the wicked witch from The Wizard of Oz who was destroy just by having water thrown on them to reveal how small they always really were.

Rich Hoffman
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It is Good to See General Mattis Fired: Terminations of employement are signs of good managment and should be done more often

It is good to fire people from time to time, in fact, if you aren’t doing it when it’s needed, you aren’t doing a very good job of management. It’s not something that should make you happy, or should be doing just to be doing it, but if you are in a leadership position and don’t get rid of people who aren’t adopting the philosophy you are trying to instill, then you have to do it. Failure to do so weakens whatever it is you are doing. Contrary to the popular modern belief that jobs are entitlements, firing people is healthy for an organization, its like trimming trees or pulling weeds in a flower bed—it’s something that must be done in order to make things better. As we have all learned in the Theory of Constraints you can only be as good as your weakest links, so when you identify them, they must either be strengthened or removed for the health of your organization. And that is certainly the case with the position General Mattis held under President Trump as Secretary of Defense.

You don’t always know about a person until they are battle tested. With every new hire comes optimism that they will fit into your vision for whatever the endeavor is, and its generally a cause for celebration. After all, when you start something you should be excited and so should the people who were hired. When Trump hired all the people of his cabinet, being an optimist I’m sure he wanted everyone to work out. But of course they don’t always do and the Trump administration specifically in just two years has terminated more staff than any administration in the history of the United States. However, that’s not a negative, it’s very much a good thing. In the case of General “Mad Dog” Mattis Trump learned that the “generals” he had hired to help his administration were entirely too process oriented and not quick thinkers on their feet, so he has had to get rid of them. Especially in the case of Mattis, they were groomed in big government environments and under the pressure of reality are more Democrat than Republican leaving them with little to do in the future.

When Trump said at the beginning of his administration that he didn’t want to have troops fighting all over the world for nothing, he meant it. General Mattis had the job of ending the wars in Afghanistan and Syria and he hasn’t developed an exit strategy in the first two years that was acceptable, so Trump is moving on. Yet to hear the media report the story you’d think that Trump had no right to fire Mattis or to eliminate anyone from his administration. The outrage expressed is interesting because it shows truly how little most people know about leadership and what the role of the president is supposed to be. Government isn’t supposed to be a job creator, its supposed to be effective in accomplishing the task the job was created for. If the person isn’t accomplishing that task they should be fired.

Trump became an international celebrity with his television show essentially firing someone after each episode, the people who voted for him knew what they were getting. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you aren’t getting the job done, you should be terminated from your job. The trouble with modern sentiment is that they have been taught in their public schools, and other social circles that nobody should ever be fired or that expectations of employment are meant to be ignored that is the real problem. Like school teachers, police officers, fire departments and all other federal workers functioning under union control there is a basic assumption that the “people” are in charge and that management’s job is to issue paychecks to their employees who can pretty much do whatever they want when they want to do it. For instance, when President Trump fired James Comey the shock came more in the form that nobody ever fired a unionized worker in government because such a thing just wasn’t done—ever. So Trump must be guilty of something. That is the mentality that we are dealing with.

That is also why government is so ineffective at everything, because they are run by labor unions who make terminations difficult for management. It’s nearly impossible for a school board to fire a school teacher so as a result, we get lots of bad teachers teaching our children a lot of socialist nonsense and they have no fear of losing their jobs because they are protected by the union. The FBI became radicalized and was trying to tilt the election of 2016 in favor of Hillary Clinton and they functioned under a “protected” assumption which was part of the problem. And the people who promised President Trump that they’d do this or that in his administration were expected to perform. When they didn’t Trump has broken the trend of complacency and terminated those guilty of average results. That is a good thing, something that should be celebrated, not chastised.

There has to be consequences for failure and in a capitalist country losing the opportunity to perform is the most obvious reaction to weak links and General Mattis was a weak link in the Trump administration. The panic that the enemies of the president have exhibited were due to that understanding. They want the Trump administration to fail, so they are not inspired to see him remove weaknesses from it. But even worse for them is the fear that such expectations will translate to their own jobs. In General Mattis’ resignation letter he was less than graceful toward the president which then accelerated his exit to the start of the new year instead of waiting until February. Again, it is under the grace of the office that anybody serves, jobs are not entitlements. Why waste two more months of payroll on somebody who is not part of the future? Good management says you don’t, and Trump acted correctly on those principles.

In any successful enterprise there is always a visionary leader who communicates their needs to a large population workforce to be implemented uniformly. Employment is not a democracy—the mob does not rule. Most of the media, especially on television are part of a labor union as well so the foundation concepts of their employment are under a socialist premise that jobs are meant to be created but never managed. Only the union handles matters of structural management—which is the same as saying that nothing is ever managed. Because they are radicals, they feel it is in their own interests to call the Trump administration chaotic and out of control because so many people have been terminated under the current White House. But honestly, I would expect nothing less. Trump is doing exactly what I want to see. I think he was very fair to General Mattis, he gave him a few years and when he failed to produce results, Trump pushed him out the door for someone else to take a shot at success. And there is nothing wrong with that. The labor unions in government don’t like it, nor in the entertainment and news industry, but tough luck. Terminations are a good thing and its good to see that Trump is bringing that practice back to life in government where it should have always been the general practice. Because if the goal is to get good results, punishment is needed for those who don’t deliver. And that is the way of the world.

Rich Hoffman
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