Leave Kings Island Alone: Let them build more roller coasters, stay open later, longer and give them lots of money!

For most of the recent December I spent it on vacation in one form or another, primarily going to Disney World and visiting all four of the parks that they have enjoying them immensely. During that span also I spent at least two visits to Kings Island to enjoy their Winterfest which I had said compared very well to the Disney Park experiences. I continue to be impressed with the way Cedar Fair Amusements has managed Kings Island since buying it over a decade ago now. For all the well-deserved hype that the Disney Parks get for their high quality experiences, the amusement parks in Ohio are some of the best in the world, between Cedar Point and Kings Island and those of us who live in the area of those places should consider ourselves very lucky. I do, I spend much of the spring, summer and fall—especially on Friday evenings at Kings Island meeting my wife after a hard day of work to relieve stress, which I do by riding roller coasters. Part of the reason I went to Disney World in December was due to the cold temperatures shutting down most of the rides at Kings Island, and riding roller coasters is part of the way I manage stress throughout the year.

Of course, I am ecstatic for the opportunity to ride the new giga coaster Orion at Kings Island in just a few short months. I watch the progress of its construction eagerly, once a day if possible, just for the prospect of seeing some new bit of news. I can’t wait to ride it and once it opens, it likely will join Diamondback and Mystic Timbers as my wife and my new Friday night ritual through the summer months to meet at Kings Island, have food under the Eiffel Tower and enjoy the fountain mist after a long hard day then ride those rides before going home and going to bed. Roller coasters and their extremes for me are like a shower that washes away the stress and anxiety that rolls off human interaction under intense conditions, and they are very therapeutic. Roller coasters are for the human imagination a huge middle finger to the impositions of existence which otherwise try to carve you into a blocky loser of anxiety due to the nature of reality. And utilizing the creativity of human thought to rebel against that tendency in the form of a roller coaster is really a tremendous psychological statement for the human race and I simply could never get enough of them, especially when they are built with the fabulous engineering that is going into Orion.

Yet recently neighbors in and around the Kings Island Amusement Park complex have been complaining about the noise of these coasters. During Winterfest the park has been running Mystic Timbers which was great fun. And during October the park stayed open until 1 AM during the Haunt weekends running all the roller coasters. It was great to ride the Diamondback at 12:30 AM on a Friday night in October with my kids and to enjoy doing those kinds of things at the small hours of the morning, yet neighbors who built their homes near the park have been complaining about the noise and are seeking to crack down on the Mason ordinance against those types of creative exploits, which I find reprehensible. I really don’t care how long someone has lived in the Kings Mills area. For what Kings Island does for Mason, Kings Mills and Cincinnati in general, I would expect the people of the area to appreciate it and to get on board with what Kings Island needs to do to be one of the best parks in the world.

I noticed it this time more than others, the Disney Parks are so wonderful because they are built on property that is so far removed from the outside world. You don’t see massive housing complexes near any of them for miles around and that is how they are able to produce such a wonderful customer experience. People need amusement parks. Maybe not to the degree that I use them to manage stress, but people in general absorb the pressures of reality to a point where they are toxic and generally complain about everything. That is part of the reason that such places were invented, to fill a market need. When a customer parks their car at an amusement park, they are husks of what they started out in the day as usually and they are looking for happiness. The people complaining about the noise of Kings Island late at night are people who will complain about their food at a fast food restaurant, or about the traffic on a highway, or even the color of a car they bought. They complain about their families, they complain about movies that are out at the multiplex, and they complain when a quarterback doesn’t do what they want in the NFL playoffs. They complain about everything all the time. That is why they need amusement parks, to throw off their worries and to enjoy a little bit of life. And staying open until 1 AM in October is part of the fun. People will complain, but its up to wiser heads to understand the nature of their antics. They need more fun in their lives, not less, and their precious sleep isn’t more valuable than the screams and cheers of a captive audience fresh off a roller coaster eating a funnel cake at 1 AM on a crisp autumn night under a well-lit moon. The experience that Kings Island offers to the community is far more valuable than some mundane sleep schedule or routine life within the four walls of a house. For most of its life, Kings Island was alone at that Kings Mills exit. Now there are lots of homes, they don’t have a right to complain now, because they moved there to be near Kings Island, and to reap the benefits. Now is not the time to turn against it.

For all the reasons mention, and a whole lot more, I want Kings Island to have the ability to make so much money that they can continue to give us great roller coasters like Orion well into the future. I would love again to have at Kings Island record breakers that last for decades with the unused land they have at the park, and they shouldn’t have to worry about a bunch of complaining neighbors. And to afford that, Kings Island needs more of the kinds of advantages that Disney has, where they can operate through as much of the year as possible instead of just during the summer, and for as much of the clock as possible, such as to 1 AM. People complain about Disney too, they are too crowded, they are too hot, they are too expensive, they are too much like a corporate empire, the complaints go on and on and on. But those complaints are not valuable customer feedback, they are really just people who need to shut up and go ride a roller coaster and to enjoy a funnel cake. People need to do a lot less complaining and let themselves enjoy the great things that Kings Island is offering consumers. Because those things are a lot more valuable than some sleep at 1 AM for some routine, drab life. Roller coasters are good for happiness, and the world needs a lot more of it, far longer in the day, more times a year and Kings Island needs to give us a lot more happiness. Not less.

Rich Hoffman

A Review on the Fantastic HBO Miniseries Chernobyl: Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was never better illustrated

As I watched the fantastic HBO miniseries on Chernobyl I couldn’t help but think of someone I admire quite a lot, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the author of the great pinnacle work on human psychology called ‘Flow.’ I finally was able to watch the five part series after many people kept recommending it to me and I have to say at every level of that experience, from the writer by Craig Mazin to the direction of Johan Renck—and everyone in between from the great acting to the executives who put the deal together ‘Chernobyl’ was a bold undertaking on an epic scale. These are not the filmmakers of the 80s and 90s where The Hollywood Reporter measured success by the size of their pay checks, and overall box office, but this trend we have now of streaming projects on the scale of Chernobyl are bringing forth creative filmmakers who are functioning from Csikszentmihalyi’s ‘Flow’ on several projects that are giving the world so many new entertainment options, from projects like Stranger Things to The Mandalorian. But this Chernobyl effort was on a scale of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, which is one of my all time favorite films. But there won’t be big Academy Awards for this labor of love, or big Hollywood contracts. I don’t know what the makers of Chernobyl made as far as a paycheck, but its obvious they made this series out of pure love of the content, and the hard truths that come from it.

I don’t think Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi meant to reveal why communism doesn’t work in his own studies, but he did and that footprint of human effort was stamped all over Chernobyl. The film series brilliantly walked the line between the heroics of every day “working” people as Karl Marx fantasized to represent and cast a very bright light into every aspect and social level of Soviet society. The apartments were small and dingy, even the offices of the chief coordinators were skanky and shrill. No wonder everyone was so willing to lie about the status of things because nobody wanted to jeopardize a promotion into something improved. Conditions were so terrible for everyday people in Russia during this period of Chernobyl, which for those who don’t know was the site of the worst nuclear accident in the history of the world and continues to be a blight on Ukrainian politics. Even to this day, Ukraine is in the news and is at the center of an impeachment attempt by modern Democrats in America. For everyday people around the world who don’t know history or geography, the kind of corruption that these old Soviet regions bred is unfathomable.

Comparing lifestyles from the same period such as in the film Wall Street it becomes quite clear that the Soviet Union was so terrified of their people learning about the great gifts that the West might inspire into their society that they put all their efforts into publicity of the state for the purposes of the state robbing people of their natural free will so what the entire country ended up with was a massive economy filled with the Parkinson’s Law. Not the disease but the trend in human beings to fill schedule targets with procrastination when loose parameters to fulfillment are allowed and lazy ambitions fill the void. Where Chernobyl told the stories of many brave people it was only when the tragedy of the moment was able to tap into people’s natural Flow as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi often discussed. When left to their own devices into service to the “state” people took their sweet time, did only what they had to in order not to be shot by the KGB, and the result was a society of peeling paint, small apartments, boxy cars that all looked a like and very little retail options to speak of. Because the entire society was only doing what it had to because their Flow and love of life itself was so micromanaged.

The Chernobyl story could be told in any communist or socialist country and it is ironic that the American left is so enchanted with these efforts and want that for our own society. It is an unfathomably stupid idea unless people just don’t understand the concepts behind the work of very serious modern phycologists such as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Modern China is suffering through exactly the same trials and tribulations as the Soviet Union was during this period of Chernobyl. It is the perception of power that they have and only that. That is the reason the state must control information flow so vigorously. The same in modern day Iran. Any society where people live in sloppy conditions and there are economic struggles we will find the elements of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s observations, once you take away the flow of ambition from people and force them to serve institutionalism, you get from them a natural Parkinson’s Law. I use that term to abbreviate Csikszentmihalyi’s teachings, which of course does the trick. This was precisely why the test at the Chernobyl plant was done in spite of the need to shut down for 12 hours to meet the output quotas for the end of the month needs. That Soviet society needed to push quotas on people in such a way says everything about their society, people weren’t naturally inclined to produce, or even motivated to “over produce” as we might see in Western cultures, but they had to be coaxed a gunpoint to do so and there is all the problem with Chernobyl or any communist society.

What was remarkable about the HBO miniseries on Chernobyl is it was done by very creative people functioning from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow ideas reporting on why communism was a massive failure because it robbed Russian society of their Flow. Whether or not this was intentional we may never know. It could just be a happy accident as events provided these filmmakers with the opportunity of a lifetime. But one thing is for sure, they seized on it and created one of the most magnificent narratives about a global tragedy that anybody has ever seen. And the work left in their wake is worth serious scientific study. Terms like Parkinson’s Law have not been around until fairly recently, certainly not as long as the peasant ambitions of Karl Marx over a hundred and fifty years ago. There are still a lot of discoveries that we need to make as a society as to what works and what doesn’t. For now we know that Western ideas do better economically, where these notions of collectivism tend to create Parkinson’s Law when Flow is robbed from individual people. We see it in manufacturing all the time no matter where in the world we are conducting it. Tight, micromanaged establishments tend to get a lot of Parkinson’s Law whereas free flowing creative efforts like at Pixar or Apple generate massive intellectual output. The results are unmistakable.

Chernobyl is the kind of program that every human being should watch once. That something like that is available to HBO subscribers or those with Amazon Prime accounts to me is a modern miracle. Such a great history lesson is available from the comfort of our living rooms any time of day in any length of time that you may wish to view it. We live in a modern world that has always craved Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow. He didn’t invent the desire, he simply observed it and noted conditions when Flow was restricted in people. But seldom is there ever a film series that shows not only what caused a tragedy on an epic scale because of Flow problems created by a government that is more relevant today than even when the event occurred. That’s what we have with Chernobyl. A massive undertaking created by wonderful Flow by the filmmakers about a society that had terrible Flow and ultimately why it’s important without being preachy. Chernobyl is ultimately about the gifts that come from a free society, the ability to look at ourselves and improve to get the desired results, something we all take for granted way too often. And we do so because of Parkinson’s Law, because we always fill the work to fill the comforts of a schedule, we see no horizon on, and think we have all the time in the world to fix it. But we don’t.

Rich Hoffman

Liberty Center and Disney Springs: It wouldn’t take much

I always love a visit to the Liberty Center for a good movie, dinner or just shopping. I consider it one of the best destinations of its kind and I love that its in my neighborhood, and that takes into account that my very favorite spot is Disney Springs in Orlando. While on vacation recently in Orlando I had a fresh take on all the wonderful new additions they have added to Disney Springs which made it a hopping place of excitement and adventure. Everything is so nice and clean, as well as competent. My wife and I spent a lot of time, and a small fortune at Disney Springs and loved every moment of it. But as soon as we returned we went to our hometown Liberty Center to see Star Wars one of the many times that we would see it since its release on December 20th and I have to say that Liberty Center is really nice to have, and I appreciate it immensely.

One of the conditions of our vacation, which really took place most of the month of December, with a week in Orlando, was that we would visit at least five different amusement parks. With Disney being the best of the best in that category, I was impressed with Kings Island’s Winterfest and had been thinking that Cedar Fair Amusements had done a great job since buying it, and putting it into a another level of category as a national destination. Considering that the day we were at Kings Island on a Friday we had the day before been at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the experiences were both on the upside of quality. Then over that weekend and all through the following week we spent a lot of time at Liberty Center and I just have to say I am happy to have it in my town. Its really nice to have something like that in a region where tourism isn’t the primary hook, but business is. I use Liberty Center for those very important dinners all the time, but over the holidays I had to remind myself that I wasn’t still in the euphoria of Disney World, but was in Liberty Township, Ohio.

Now after several years of operating I can say with full confidence that going to a movie at Cinebistro is still the best way to go to the theater in the city of Cincinnati, or the surrounding area for hundreds of miles. It always has an uptown feel without the problems of going to such places, like New York, or Chicago. The parking is free, and easy. The streets are clean and well lit. The food is the top of the charts, but that movie theater is the best. Clearly the best in the city. I really like going there and being spoiled by the staff. I have become used to that treatment and really appreciate it. While watching the latest Star Wars film there, and the latest Clint Eastwood film ‘Richard Jewell’ it had the same feel of being on vacation at Disney Springs, only it was only less than a ten minute drive from my home and that is a treasure I do not take for granted.
There was a lot of news in November of 2019 where Liberty Center put a third party commercial real estate firm to handle the leasing, property management and marketing called Bayer Properties out of Birmingham, Alabama. This is the third chance since the Steiner group turned over their control to JLL. Hey, it’s a tough gig in a recovering economy where brick and mortars are struggling to find their voice. I spent some time walking around and looking at everything at Liberty Center and I consider it a great success story, but without question they are eager to fill up some of their empty lots with vigorous new business and for many of those businesses it’s a tough investment. But after several years of working it out, Liberty Center still has the feel of a destination market, a place that would be worthy to fly into town just to visit and stay at the Marriott that is on property.

However, there are things that could be done to improve the lure for new businesses to invest in the area, and to fill their office and condominium spacing that is available. I don’t think enough people still understand that there is a full mall on site that is part of the shopping and dining experience. Those problems could be overcome with just a few simple steps. Disney Springs looks like they are turning away leases, there are no empty spots for them anywhere. But then again, the big amusement parks are just a few blocks away. But that should not restrict Liberty Center from providing an equal value and create so much commercial value that they are turning away potential business plans instead of taking all comers. That is a problem that Cincinnati Mills choked on in Forest Park, and that same fate for Liberty Center can easily be avoided. The trick is that there should be more things to do at Liberty Center than just shop and eat, such as the big hot air balloon that they have at Disney Springs that is free advertising for many miles in every direction that something interesting is going on at that shopping complex. Liberty Center could use a bit more fun. It’s a shame they don’t have their own version of Main Event or Top Golf on the property to make a night out something that really is an all-encompassing experience. Disney Springs has a lot to do besides eating, drinking and shopping, and it should be doing it more than it is. That would help fill up some of those empty lots with vibrant businesses.

But more than anything everything needs to work that was put in, like the little pond in front of the wellness center on the top floor of the center of the complex. Loose bricks and poor landscaping should not be surrendered to because its hard to hire a staff motivated enough to keep up with everything. Disney management keeps their empire motivated with policy that their workers adhere to and it matters. I was very impressed with the workers at Cinebistro at Liberty Center because they had managed over time to retain that high level of quality and customer service. I always stay for the end of the credits and one of the attendants brought me a mint just for a touch of class. If the whole complex down to the custodians felt that way about the entire complex, that would go a long way to improving the charisma of the place. It’s a subtle thing, but one of the most important and is often the difference between a vacation like Disney and every place else, especially Vegas and New York. Those places its easy to see the dirt if you look a little closely. At any Disney complex, the dirt is well hidden from view and the workers are in on the illusion, which is what people are willing to pay for. Yet, Liberty Center is already mostly there, it wouldn’t take much. And for this new management group, I am firmly rooting in their corner for great success!

Rich Hoffman

Dealing with the Leftist Frankenstein Monsters of Evil: The Texas Church shooting and why more guns are needed

If it was the sexual antics toward a government takeover of our 2016 election from Lisa Page that ended our thoughts of 2019 it should be the armed parishioners who took out a domestic terrorist at a Texas church that should launch our ambitions in 2020. Because there were trained participants of a security team armed at the church led by the guy who killed the suspect in the conflict, Jack Wilson—the attacker was subdued in about 6 seconds. Without voluntary armed protectors at the church ready for such action many more people would have been killed. This was a perfect case of what we have been talking about for many years. And this was another high-profile example of how such a system could work thanks to a recently passed state law that permitted concealed firearms inside places of worship. If not for that this tragic case of two people being shot would have been much more egregious, and unnecessary as we must all admit that evil is alive and well in the world, and when it shows bad intentions, it must be dealt with. Of course, the challenge to that assumption is that one person’s evil can be another person’s heaven, so there are additional complications into defining evil. But everyone can agree that when aggression is taken toward others in a life and death matter, that evil is amiss, and it must be eliminated quickly, not a 911 call later.

I always think about these things, but fortunately I live in an area where our local sheriff gets it, he understands the purpose of the Second Amendment. Yet even for me, I was a lot troubled while watching the film Richard Jewell, the day before this shooting, where in a scene where the FBI came to Jewell’s house they confiscated all his guns that had been laid out on his bed. It troubled me to see that just because the FBI accused Jewell of a crime that those agents could come into his house and just confiscate all his property, and given the reaction of the people in my movie theater, they seemed to be OK with it, accustomed to such a tyranny disguised as “safety” for the public at large. That is a very dangerous notion, and one that troubled me tremendously. It was the direct result of a culture that has been sold to us to think of guns as dangerous, or even as part of some counterculture. In that same film Jewell’s lawyer asked if the bombing suspect was a member of any fringe organizations, like the NRA and Jewell had to ask, “is the NRA a ‘fringe’ organization?”

It is that attitude actually that makes our world all that much more dangerous. Guns have always been a part of my life, since I was a very little kid to the present. And I’ve never really had a reason to use a gun on anybody, even though lots of times I could have been more than justified in doing so. It just wasn’t my go-to option when danger was amiss. But its always good to know that the option was there. I think guns should be carried everywhere, to restaurants, shopping complexes, to and from work, everywhere—because you never know when evil will show itself. This is especially true in public schools where everyone knows that they are typically gun free zones—making them obvious soft targets for bad guys looking to invoke terrorism on the innocent. Guns should be in reach of every human being on planet earth. If they were, a lot less evil would be taking place. That is for sure.

When bad guys show themselves, as this one at the Texas church in White Settlement did, the threat should always be eradicated in seconds, not minutes. It is always sad to see anybody die in these kinds of conflicts, especially if they are innocent, but the need to end that threat quickly cannot be understated. And when evil is unleashed, it needs to be quelled as fast as possible. If not faster. This is why also every shooter in America should practice speed and accuracy with their firearms so that when a threat is presented, ending it happens almost second nature with instinct. Taking a kill shot such as Jack Wilson performed is critical, there is no time for talking and pleading. This is why every state should also have a stand your ground law instead of a duty to retreat. When aggression appears, the shooting defender should not think for a second about some silly legal obligation created to retreat when showing a villain a passive attitude could end up getting a lot more people killed. A shooting defender should put a bullet in the head of evil before a countdown of 1 enters the mind. The threat should be over before anybody even realizes it started. That is why having an armed society is the best way to deal with the realities of evil.

There is no reason to contemplate the nature of a villain when they show they are willing to harm innocent people just minding their business. Laws should be clear on the side of gun owners willing to be that stop against threats at a moment’s notice. We want more Jack Wilson’s carrying guns. Whatever we might say about experiments in modern life where we have taught too many people to be parasitic in nature, that stealing, and bad behavior are forms of valor, such as what was suggested in the recent film “Joker’ we shouldn’t be surprised when hopeless losers in life are attracted to the antics of evil and consider using fear as leverage in the games of life. When we make it so that a clear definition of good and evil is blurred with addictions to pornography, drug abuse, and a social state where government takes the place of good parents, we should expect some to go too far and to fall off the edge and become dangerous. And to that warning, we should know that this one shooter at the Texas church is only the tip of the iceberg. That there are many tens of thousands just like him thinking of doing the same, only the next time it may be a school, a shopping mall, or a place of business. And when they make that mistake, someone needs to be there to stop them with a gun and a quick bullet to the head to end the thought and intention of evil that always follows.

It’s time to stop playing patty cake with anti-gun activists who sympathize with evil then want to disarm us to defend ourselves from their Frankenstein monsters. Those on the left who experiment with these false political philosophies build these monsters which we must defend ourselves from and it’s time to stop giving them a seat at the table as equal partners and to call things as they always have been. Guns are part of the solution especially when they are in the hands of skilled users. A person comfortable with a gun is one of the safest people in the world to be around, not the other way. Guns aren’t the danger; it’s trusting a system that is intent to build social monsters that is. And protesting gun use on their creations isn’t “fringe,” it’s actually the most patriotic thing you can do. And we should be doing a lot more of it in 2020.

Rich Hoffman

The Real Lisa Page: What the world looks like outside the bubble

It was sort of lost to the events of the moment, but I think it was the biggest story of 2019 and should be the last thing we think about before we usher in the new year. Impeachment after all is a very tactical decision for a Democrat party that has no other choice really. They are a loser political group looking for supporters as each day they fall further behind the trends of the times. But for all honesty the noise of the year especially from Democrats was to cover the terrible FBI scandal that sought to put an end to the Trump presidency by manipulating the law to their advantage at the expense of the rest of us. So, it isn’t surprising that on December 17th when Lisa Page went on Rachel Maddow’s show on MSNBC to give her first live interview, the story was washed out before it even hit the airwaves. Impeachment was all anybody was talking about, and the new Star Wars movie was hitting theaters giving people a much-needed distraction from the perils of reality. And of course, there was Christmas and the need to get last minute presents. All the big names in the media were going on vacation, so Rachel put on a fellow Democrat to try to clear her name and repair her own brand by “fighting back” as she calls it. The results were fascinating, and worth a last look before we enter 2020.

What Lisa Page showed of herself by opening up a public exchange on Twitter and by doing this interview was a woman lost in a bubble that collapsed right on her face as she got caught not only messing around on her husband, Joe Burrow, the aspiring opera singer and current educator with a power hungry Georgetown University FBI agent married to a woman who has seen better days in the mirror—but they were both caught attempting to stage a coup against a sitting president and overthrowing an election. Now to be fair, they were not alone, but they were certainly attempting to shape history and abuse their access to power, for which Lisa Page obviously regrets. We’ve heard her lover’s response in public in front of Congress when Peter Strzok showed what an out of touch loser he really was as a registered Democrat that thought the rest of the world was the way he and his circle of friends were, institutionalists who could name all the current popular wines, and books that they are talking about at Martha’s Vineyard on a Sunday afternoon, but not a single reason of understanding why anybody would have even wanted to vote for President Trump.

Even on her best behavior on the Maddow show, Lisa Page showed outside the academic halls of a law school, or in a opera hall where her husband might sing away the day, as she and her friends sip wine in the foyer and contemplate the universe from the perspective of Georgetown society she reflected precisely the sentiments of their director of the FBI at the time, James Comey who thought of the presidency as an extension of some “higher order” for which the FBI was protecting. Some relationship with a pagan god and the heathens of a desired monarchy, for which America had rejected long ago, yet the memos never made it to the academia of Washington which lived joyously in that bubble of social construct for which they were the architects. These FBI agents are defending an American way of life that doesn’t exist, but is rather an extension of Europe and all the dirty cobblestone streets that still haven’t been repaired from the Middle Ages.

Yet Lisa Page is tired of being a caricature of the “right” as she stated it, and she is going to start fighting back because she thinks the rest of the world is with her. Apparently her husband understands the affair with Peter Strzok, perhaps he even sang a song about it as she sipped on a vintage wine of immaculate dating and sent text messages to the Strzoks inviting them over for dinner and a book review of a mutual friend recently found on the New York Times Bestseller list, pinky out. Perhaps James Comey was available too as they could all discuss what a disgusting reprobate the American people were for voting for Trump into the White House. Affairs, what are those? What’s wrong with sharing good times with friends, until that friend falls in love with you as Peter Strzok did with Page. But to their minds it was all just a little fun, it didn’t show any bad judgement regarding their character.

And so it went during the Maddow interview that Lisa Page continued to be bewildered as to why people have made a caricature out of her, and she tried to explain her text message statements with a context that presented her case in a more beleaguered way. Watching her speak to what Lisa Page thought of as a friendly audience was a window into how all these people think when they are alone with their own kind. They are wanna’ be royalty trying to impose a standard of living that America rejected long ago, only they never got the memo. And they missed the memo because they hang around the wrong places and learn from those equally tarnished. Affairs in France are normal, and the people in Georgetown and around the greater Washington D.C. area strive to be more like dirty Europe and its topless beaches and free-thinking lack of physical possession marital commitments. What was missing from Page’s interview was any kind of understanding that the whole purpose of throwing off English rule was to get away from the very kind of people she was and desires to be. And to answer the question, Trump was elected to undo their influence over the rest of us, not to strengthen it.

Unfortunately, I know a lot of people like Lisa Page, James Comey and Peter Strzok. I live in Liberty Township, Ohio where it was founded as a direct spawn of the American Revolution but these days these leftists spawn like Gremlins that have eaten after midnight and had water spilled on them breeding like popcorn. They are everywhere, but that doesn’t make them right. It makes them simply as a form of insanity born in a bubble where natural predators have been staved off to allow them to grow. And to see Lisa Page’s face in that interview, it is the face of a young lady who has used her sex to attempt to shape the world in an image she understands instead of trying to live in the world that is. Instead she sought to use her sexuality to control the mind of the investigating FBI agent on the case of Hillary Clinton to free her candidate to control the course of the nation to her whims. Opera is all about just those types of powerplays and from her point of view, it was all very normal, and exciting. But she got caught and now she is on the front page of everything and it bothers her to know that she is not the mainstream. Her version of fighting back is to try to rebrand herself as a victim of abuse, but people see through her to the truth, she is just another slut using sex to control events in the world. And there is no way to spin that rugged truth, even on the very liberal Rachel Maddow Show.

Rich Hoffman

Richard Jewell, the Movie Review: To understand what’s happening now everyone should watch this great film by Clint Eastwood

The movie, Richard Jewell is certainly one of those that every Trump supporter should see, and those considering becoming one. No wonder it has not done well at the box office, the last time I saw such an antagonistic hatred of a movie was the Atlas Shrugged films for many of the same reasons. Critics hated the movie, it essentially comes down to institutionalism against individual rights when movies take the side of individuals, the college trained movie critics become synonymous with anger at those who challenge their understanding of the world, which was forged in such places as Harvard, Yale, Oxford and Princeton, or some of their copy cats teaching those who didn’t do so well on their ACT tests. When people want to know why the media and our government rally to each other’s needs so often, and so quickly, well, they were all taught in the same places to march to whims of the institutions while those who didn’t enjoy the experience become everybody else. But the best products of our modern education systems, our unionized government schools or our best colleges essentially become guys like the featured FBI agent played by Jon Hamm’s Tom Shaw or the newspaper reporter hot to get any story and generally bored with life, Olivia Wilde’s Kathy Scruggs. And it was those two who were playing around with each other sexually who came up with the whole story against Richard Jewell, because they needed somebody to be the face of terrorism, even if the guy was completely innocent.

There is a Kathy Scruggs in every newsroom from all sides of the sexes. There are guy versions, but this one played by Olivia Wilde was fantastic, and very close to many of the people I have known in the media. 89-year-old Clint Eastwood, who directed this picture with the experience of a man who has been around and seen everything is likely the only person who could have directed Olivia Wilde with such realism. She reminded me of a not so disgusting scum bag as Eastwood showed in his Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact, the bar whore who was the central figure behind the rapes of the two leading girls. For these characters wreaking other people’s lives is a kind of game that they love playing. It fills a void in their lives that they work very hard to hide from other people and they are dangerous. But make no mistake about it, there is a Kathy Scruggs in every newsroom to some extent or another. She is not an exceptionally evil person, she is as common as a raindrop in the world of the media, and it takes a director like Clint Eastwood to pull that kind of performance out of an actress who might otherwise not feel comfortable going to such a dark place.

We all know the story, but as I was watching this movie, I was thinking that this is exactly what has been happening to the Trump administration. Kathy Scruggs might as well have been Lisa Page in the middle of the FBI investigation against President Trump. Sexual manipulation is not a new thing for women to play against horny, stupid men, and Peter Strzok was no exception. Not all people are as flamboyant about their behavior as Scruggs was, they hide their actions better. But these kinds of things are happening all the time at every level of our society, and if you get in the way of their actions, another Richard Jewell is born. We only know of Richard Jewell because the profile of the case was a big one. There are Richard Jewell types losing their jobs every day, or being denied promotions for all the same reasons. What Trump captured of the FBI and the media in Richard Jewell was an examination into the kinds of people who are really part of these classes of people, and it wasn’t pretty.

What happened to Richard Jewell, with the attempted entrapments by the FBI was exactly what happened to Roger Stone in the early morning raid of his home at 5 AM with the CNN reporter tipped off and waiting to capture the images of an arrested Trump confidant to splash on the television at the earliest moment. Or what about pinning down Michael Flynn without a lawyer while attempting to get him to give false testimony by pretending to be his friend in the early days of the White House transition? You can’t lie to an FBI agent, it’s against the law—but they sure can lie to you, or control the evidence in such a way to make you look bad if it makes them look good in the process. This movie Richard Jewell showed how those things happen in a very legally valid way. We should all question ourselves in why we have given the government so much power over us. Well, I’d say it’s because there’s a bit of Richard Jewell in all of us, a do gooder who just wants to live a good life and we don’t want to think that people are so dishonest as Tom Shaw or Kathy Scruggs.

The problem with institutionalists like the villains in the movie Richard Jewell is that the villains see value for themselves in supporting the institutions at all cost, even at the price of humanity. And to the rest of us, we can’t even comprehend such evil, yet we face it every day. Occasionally we get fighters who know the system better than the bad guys like the attorney in the film played by Sam Rockwell, Watson Bryant. President Trump comes to mind as a person who has made so much money in life and seen every trick in the book that he can sidestep the institutionalists easily. But those not so experienced around Trump were not so difficult to pluck into the trash bins of trouble. One little misstatement at that level and you are going to jail, while gang members, thugs, and illegal aliens roam our streets unimpeded. If you lie to an FBI agent when they set up the deceit themselves to trap you in it, and you are going to jail to show their power. It’s a bad, nasty game that many fear almost more than death, and it’s sad that we have allowed it to take such a hold of all our lives.

The problem though isn’t that we are stupid, its that we have been short to admit to ourselves that people are as bad as Kathy Scruggs and Tom Shaw. We find it astonishing that they would take it for granted that we’d just naturally believe them and that we’d put up with their evil ways because we all want to believe in the good in people. But some people just don’t have it in them. They adhere so well to the institutions because as people they are broken likely from birth, and there is nothing to hold them together but the rigid rules for which they control. Whether it’s the FBI or the media, the rules are built to serve the institutions and when they need some diversion, they can always pick on the latest Richard Jewell—the good guy who is so well intentioned that he can’t see the evil that is at work right in front of his face. Yet we all see it, and its not just in the Jewell case, but it’s happening right now to our president by that same FBI. Only that story is a much bigger one that many just aren’t ready to admit has been happening. But to see it for all its possibilities, everyone should see Richard Jewell. Its one of those types of movies for our times.

Rich Hoffman

So You’ve Played Red Dead Redemption 2 and Loved it: Be a gunslinger in real life, join the Cowboy Fast Draw Association

As much as I talk about other things, I am not completely lost like a lot of people my age might otherwise be on the magical world of video games and their relatively new impact on global entertainment. But let me just say to my usual readers, its big business. I finally finished the story mode of Red Dead Redemption 2 after around 100 hours of game play, taking my time when I could and I have to say that I was absolutely amazed by the result. The game is such an astonishing technical achievement and it is by far the best thing that could have ever happened to the entertainment format of the American Western. As a story and experience it really is like taking a real-life cowboy experience like the movie City Slickers and placing them into a 1960s spaghetti western with all the high drama of something like Game of Thrones. It is big, bold and beautiful in so many ways. And I knew that as I completed the game and all the epilogue missions that there was going to be a Red Dead online coming at the end of November. I planned to revisit the game at that time but wasn’t expecting much. But let me say that I have been pleasantly surprised. It looks like as massive as Red Dead Redemption 2 is as a game with sales well over a billion dollars already and something like 20 million copies sold before the Holiday season, that the purposed of the online play is to use the game as a kind of training experience for the online world that they have created. It is just vast and ultimately never-ending in what it allows players to do and interact with one another.

I couldn’t help but think as I was playing missions with other people the other day, most of them much younger than I am, that this game is really their only experience with a real American western and for many they are very touched by it. The game itself is a very moral story about good and bad and the many quandaries of the critical decisions that went into exploding life across the American frontier. But at its core it’s about gunfighting and is clearly one of the best arguments for the real-life problems of the Second Amendment. A lot of young people may not be paying attention to the real political problems going on in the outside world, but they sure care a lot about earning enough money in the game to purchase upgrades for their guns and dress in the coolest gunfighting outfits. But I couldn’t help notice that many of them probably didn’t know that they could do all the things they are doing in Read Dead Redemption in real life with Cowboy Fast Draw as seen at the following link:

http://www.COWBOYFASTDRAW.com

Belonging to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association is one of the groups I am most proud to affiliate with, they are really a good group of people who meet all over the United States to compete in real life fast draw competitions using real guns. It’s what I think of as one of the coolest sports in the world right now as other countries are trying to participate but have too strict of gun laws to actually do it. But in the good ol’ United States it is much easier to participate in. Yet I have noticed that most of the members are well over 40, largely because guns and holster rigs are expensive so it takes a little upfront investment to get involved. But once you do, it is infinitely rewarding. I enjoyed the original Red Dead Redemption enormously and getting my own fast draw rig was always something I had planned to do. But raising a family every last dollar that I made went into family needs, a car was always breaking down, a kid always needed a school fee or band instrument. Someone needed braces of a family member across the country wanted us to visit them, so there was always something for like twenty years that kept me from getting my own fast draw gun rig.

I ran across a substantial amount of money for a big job I had been working on so I treated myself to my gun rig and have been practicing at Cowboy Fast Draw for several years now, and am getting pretty good at it. After probably 30,000 to 35,000 shots at a fast draw target, I am starting to feel good about my speed and accuracy. It did take a while. It was something that had been on my mind well before I ever played the first Red Dead going way back into my twenties when I was going through a really tough time. Westerns and western music really kept the zest for life alive in me. On their most basic foundations westerns are about the meaning of life so they always had great appeal to me so when I grew up I wanted to be as much of a gunfighter as society could endure. Ironically, I had acquired my gun rig and some advanced fast draw skill before Red Dead Redemption 2 came out which had even more meaning for me because of the new hobby I had.

Traveling around the online world it has become very obvious that many young people are deeply touched by Red Dead Redemption 2 and likely would like to have a similar experience as I have. So let me put this little invite out there. If you are unsure of how to get involved in Cowboy Fast Draw because you are enjoying playing Red Dead Redemption but would like to take everything up a notch, don’t hesitate to ask me. I can help you get started on something that would be infinitely rewarding. While my regular audience here is much older than the people playing Red Dead Redemption 2 I would personally love to see more young people getting involved in Cowboy Fast Draw. It really isn’t any different from what you do in the game, but that it never ends. While the content of Red Dead Redemption does eventually run out, the challenges in real life never do.

In the Cowboy Fast Draw Association, you get to dress up as a gunslinger for real, and have a reason to do it. You have a reason to buy fancy guns for real and learn to take care of them. And the scoring format is safe and fun. Its one of the most satisfying things I’ve done in my life and I would recommend it to anybody. I had been thinking that membership in the cowboy sports may just flicker away because new generations just do not have many positive western entertainment venues that are cool enough to hold their attention, that is until Red Dead Redemption 2 came along and inspired millions of people to live in that world quite authentically. And for those who just want to climb into the world of Red Dead Redemption for real and live it in real life I’d point you to the Cowboy Fast Draw Association at the link shown here. If you have any questions, just ask. I’d love to help as many new people get involved in the sport as possible. While I personally love the world of Red Dead Redemption, it is no match for having a real fast draw rig on your hip which is an experience I have every day. And wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Rich Hoffman

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