An Authentic Han Solo Costume: The miracle of Amazon.com amid changing industries–and people

IMG_5037

Everyone knows I’m a huge Star Wars fan—which I view differently from the geeky other types of entertainment exhibitions of public support.  When I see the name Star Wars and participate in its products in whatever form, it evokes in me an optimism that is very specific to it that I am very fond of.  That’s why my favorite character within Star Wars is Han Solo, because he is the most optimistic character perhaps ever created for film.  Nothing is impossible for Han Solo—he’ll try anything under any circumstances because his personality is such that he figures his confidence and sheer will can get him through anything.  He is the Donald Trump of science fiction and I’ve felt that way about that character for more than forty years now.  On more than a few occasions I’ve dressed up as Han Solo for Halloween events, or other science fiction endeavors, conventions, watch parties, literary events at book stores—just various festive gatherings that celebrate costuming and character reverence—but I’ve never had any kind of official Han Solo clothing. I would just piece together whatever I could find that sort of looked like the popular smuggler from the Star Wars series and go from there. But my five-year old grandson is about to have a big birthday party marking that invisible line of being a toddler to a genuine little boy fully aware of the world around him with the memories that now matter—and my daughters are fashioning it to Star Wars.  As I’ve reported before also, these parties my kids do for their kids are not just little events—they go all out in creating a very mythic experience that is almost a theme park occurrence and due to their passion for Star Wars they are going all out.  That meant that of course I had to dress up as Han Solo—but this time I wanted to do it for real—as real as possible because of the effort my kids were putting into this party and the eventual impact it would have on the youth in my family attending this thing.  So I turned to Amazon.com to see what was out there and was stunned by a world I discovered.

My mom made me a little vest like Han Solo’s when I was in the fifth grade and I sort of kept it all these years even though it was way too small for me.  But even a few years ago if you wanted something that looked like a Star Wars character and bought a costume from a place like Party City it always came out looking far from authentic.  If you wanted something that looked like the clothing in the movie you had to make it.  Back when my kids were little we went to a Star Wars Celebration in Indianapolis and my wife made Jedi robes for my girls and their friends so they could dress up at that convention which occurred right before the movie Revenge of the SIth.  The internet at that time had some support—you could get directions from people who built their own costumes but there weren’t suppliers carrying things like that on the shelf.  Even though Star Wars was popular there just wasn’t any money in it for costumers to make costumes of all those characters in the movies  for a public of all shapes and sizes.  The scope of that work was unrealistic. For Han Solo specifically his outfit looks pretty simple yet is really quite complex.  For instance, his vest from A New Hope has a series of very complicated pockets positioned just right—and there is nothing like that off the rack at Wal-Mart or Kholes.  Han Solo’s pants don’t have pockets and have a very specific pin stripe down the side of them which disappears into knee-high boots that are meant to put the swash in the buckle for the very dashing character. The shirt under the vest isn’t just a white button-up but has a very unique collar and v-nick style that has to fit just right through the shoulders to give the correct effect.  Then there is the gun belt which is a thing all its own.  So I went looking for these things and I started with the Star Wars Costume exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center—which has been running all summer and will end around the beginning of October before moving on to the next city.  It’s a good exhibit, most of which I’ve seen before at the Smithsonian, but for my quest it served its purpose.  I was able to get right up to the Han Solo costume and look at things up close so that I could duplicate it authentically.  If I couldn’t find the items online, my wife was willing to build them from scratch so we went and took lots of pictures.

To my shook as I started looking now, in 2017 for these very specific Han Solo costume pieces for this epic party my kids were having I discovered that I was able to buy everything at Amazon.com relatively inexpensively.  For instance the great Han Solo vest that I figured was the most important part of the costume was just under forty dollars from an outfit in China.  I skeptically ordered it expecting it to arrive in a very flawed condition.  I expected something that looked like a typical Party City costume that smelled like plastic and rubber.  But what came to my front door was an exact replica of the Han Solo vest from A New Hope made out of material that was like that of tactical gear for a SWAT team.   It was a very good garment that was legitimate and it fit well the moment I put it on.  I was stunned by the quality of it.  I then proceeded to order the official shirt, the pants, the boots and the gun belt which as of this writing hasn’t yet arrived, but everything else has and again I was stunned by the authenticity of each item.

At different points in my life I had looked for these things and nobody carried them—as I said, everything had to be made by hand.  What’s unique about now from then—and by then I mean like six months ago—is that due to all the COSPLAY that goes on at these Comic Con conventions and now that Disney World is building these amusement parks with Star Wars lands within them there is this big COSPLAY movement that has emerged—where people dress up as characters from their favorite movies to delve into the mythology of these various sci-fi events—and out of nowhere there are all these suppliers who are making these costumes to meet the growing demand.  It’s a whole industry of itself that has virtually arrived out of nowhere.  I am aware of some of it because I find Comic Cons interesting as well as Gen Cons and other conventions.  I also noticed that the plans for the new Star Wars resort coming to Disney World is seeking to tap into this emerging market with a Fantasy Island style of Star Wars experience where they encourage people to show up dressed for the part.   Obviously Disney knew all about this culture and were building their business plans around it.  I only discovered it because of my grandson’s birthday party—but this was big business!

As I had ordered everything from my home computer and each item arrived one by one to my doorstep without having to go anywhere to search for it I became more and more impressed.  Even more shocking was that everything fit nicely, I didn’t have to send anything back.  Just by reading some of the reviews I was able to size myself accordingly with no trouble at all.  I figured that the risk was low because if the stuff showed up and was junky I figured my five-year old grandson would forgive me.  He’d appreciate the effort and wouldn’t get hung up on the details—even though he is a very smart little kid.  He surprises me what he notices.  He’s already playing the video game Battlefront very well which is about two years before I thought he would.  He plays online against other people who are very good—and he’s effective.  He knows all the different types of weapons that can be used, how to outfit each character and how to manage the Star Cards which give unique abilities to tactical engagements.  So if something wasn’t right, he’d notice. But after getting the parts of my Han Solo costume together it was obvious that I had nothing to worry about.  As far as this party was concerned, except for my hairline, the outfit looks just like it would if it was on the actual movie set.  That’s pretty stunning for something that was so easily ordered on Amazon.com.

This is all just another example of how imagination is fueling an entirely new industry and due to the excessive and efficient reach of Amazon.com they were able to connect me to suppliers around the world where I could get a very specific items from a forty-year old movie to my doorstep within two weeks.  And the quality wasn’t junky but meant to impress even under the scrutiny of the most ardent film geek.   In some cases my outfit is better than the movie original on display at the Cincinnati Museum Center.  Those costumes were meant for just a few months of filming, these for purchase were meant to last much longer and under the judgment of live audiences.  Needless to say, which I have before, we are seeing something new and hopeful from these modern movie enthusiasts which starts with a mythology in the movie theater and extends into real life—what Disney is doing down at their theme parks is tapping into the public need to play out their fantasies and is an expansion of imagination that is very specific to our species as human beings.  The need to personify a fantasy experience has deep psychological roots that go far beyond primal necessity.   I think the end result is a very positive one that is headed toward an unknown climax.  I know I love to see the imaginations of so many people at work to make something like all this possible—but it surprised even me at the extent of it all. And the entity most responsible for the success of this new industry was Amazon.com.  They were the middle ground players that connected need with supply and allowed both to get what they wanted at the best price and quality.  If they can do that with a simple costume from Star Wars, just think what they can do with real necessities.  We are living in a whole new world.

Rich Hoffman

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

‘Baby Driver’: Reflections where facts are more dramatic than fiction

Even through the new film Baby Driver isn’t quite out yet I think it’s safe to say that my own car chase story Tail of the Dragon is still the most intense action packed of its kind ever put to paper by a human mind to date.  But I’ll have to say, when I wrote that story, I was thinking about movies done in the style of this soon to be Edger Wright classic.  There is room in our culture for a lot more of these types of stories and this one has hit me hard with anticipation for many personal reasons. First of all, since I first heard the song “Radar Love” by the Dutch Band Golden Earring in 1973 I have wanted to see it used as a backdrop for a car chase of some kind and it looks like Edger Wright has done it.  Second of all, by the previews shown so far, the main character of Baby played by Ansel Elgort looks remarkably biographical to my real life between my 17th and 19th years of life.  After all it was those experiences which provoked me to write Tail of the Dragon to begin with—to get all that out on paper.  So it makes me very happy to see movies like Baby Driver getting made and that several of the Fast and Furious movies have continued to push great box office numbers in theaters.  I hope the same for this one—I am very excited for it.

I’ve alluded to it before but after watching these trailers it may be time to get a little more specific because the Baby character just in these previews speaks to me with quite a bit of reflection.  I understand his dilemma.  It was only a month or so ago where a political enemy of mine had looked me up on one of those online searches trying to get dirt on me, and they were stunned at what came back to them.  It showed over 17 hostile interactions with law enforcement and this person sent me that information hoping to get some leverage on me because I’m now living the life of a respectable citizen and they thought I wanted to hide that past.  What they didn’t know is that I consider my actions back then—at that critical juncture between youth and adulthood–to be very respectable—even though it might have been on the wrong side of the law. All I ever wanted was freedom—real freedom—and I wanted to be a millionaire quickly and just step over the nonsense of fighting it out the way I saw was making other people miserable.  I did live heavily in the fast lane and I was willing to use those skills to acquire all the money I could to launch a family and when I found the right girl for me—those people didn’t want to let me out of that lifestyle—and many conflicts ensued.

If I were ever have been said to have an addiction it was probably speed, the kind you get from driving a car extremely fast.  Like I said, as a youth when I first heard the song “Radar Love,” I was thinking of it playing to excessive speed in very fast cars.  The very first person I remember admiring as a young man was Evel Knievel so even at ages 5, 6, and 7 moving fast and recklessly was pretty much all I thought about—so when I was finally able to turn 16 and buy my own car I was ready and I quickly made a reputation for myself. My very first traffic ticket for excessive speed was on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving in 1984 where I was in a race with a Trans Am that clearly out powered my car at the time.  So the only way to win was to have more nerve than he did—so I flew through a swarm of cops parked at the Tri-County Mall in Cincinnati on the wrong side of the road at well over a 100 MPH—against the traffic.  When the police got the radar gun on me they caught my speed at 85 MPH in a 35 zone.  They would have taken me to jail for reckless operation but one call to the Sharonville police station told them to just issue me the ticket.  I was under the protection of the senior judge in that district and literally had a get out of jail free pass given to me by him—because I did work on the side for him which was related to a mob outfit in Chicago—and they wanted me free to do it.

The way that Kevin Spacey’s character is portrayed in Baby Driver reminds me precisely of one of my first “bosses.”  This guy ran a car dealership that I worked for and from that I had to do more than just sell new and used cars.  I did repo work and they liked me because I had no reservations about danger—as people obviously didn’t like having their cars taken back when they failed to make payments. I was always very eager to sneak up to someone’s house and take their car without being shot, and people did shoot at me while doing this kind of thing.  It was very exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  These days repo guys aren’t allowed to do some of the things we did to get our cars back so for me it was a unique opportunity to live very dangerously and get away with it legally—and make great money doing it.  But then again, the car dealership was a front at the time for cocaine dealing—as a way to launder the money and all these repo jobs were ways that this Kevin Spacey style “boss” could check to make sure I wouldn’t be a rat—because they needed a driver to help deliver regionally.

I had my limits of course.  I didn’t mind the danger or the drama of court appearances and the continuous threat of jail—but I did not like drugs.  So when the dealership sent me with another senior car salesman down to Over-the-Rhine to deliver cocaine to a distributer operating across from Union Terminal it was in my precious car which had survived many high-speed encounters and for which I was particularly attached to.  Of course they didn’t tell me what we were doing—they let me believe that the whole operation was going to be a unique repo job, so I didn’t ask what was in the suitcase in my back seat. But I did think it was strange that we didn’t take a company car on this effort—as we typically did.  This was my car and the salesman smoked—and because we were not in a company car I had a little sign on my dashboard telling passengers that there was no smoking allowed. In fact, people who knew me also knew my very strict policy against drug use. So this forty something drug dealer who was very rich I might add, was very upset with  my rules and promised that I’d have a hard time when we got back to the office.  So things weren’t getting off to a good start. When we arrived to the destination he left the suitcase in my back seat and told me he’d be right back as he went to the door of the townhouse where the target lived. While he was in there I took a peek at what was in the suitcase and I saw that it was cocaine.

Over the years up to that point I had a reputation of not flinching at anything.  I knew some of these people I was working with were serious criminals and some were very powerful politicians and sports stars.  I was with them as a body-guard at times even though I was very young, and as an assurance that no matter what happened I was their ticket out of it.  They had never asked me to directly commit a crime—but rather used me as a lifeline back to freedom—and I was very dependable.  But, I had just met my future wife and I was thinking of living a normal life that we could build a family with—and once you’ve been invited to those types of circles—they don’t want you out flapping your mouth about every little thing you’ve seen.  They’d prefer you to be dead or with them—there really isn’t any middle ground.  So with drugs in my backseat I left that guy down there and headed back to the sales office where the mission started and reported back to my Kevin Spacey looking boss that his partner at the dealership was selling drugs.  He looked at me exasperated.  “You left him there?”  Of course I had to tell him yes and there was about a half hour of excessive panic because this Over-the-Rhine distributer had a ruthless reputation and now he had to call in for help while he was in hostile territory.  I was commanded to go back and get him for which I refused.  They had to send someone else.

Maybe I’ll write about the details sometime about what happened next but needless to say the Baby Driver plot reminds me of the two weeks that followed. I can really sympathize with the Baby character especially at that time in my life.  I wanted to be married to this wonderful new girl and I wanted away from those types of people—and it wasn’t easy.  A lot of people got into a lot of trouble and I had to drive very fast a lot to stay out of both jail and this side of the dirt—because these people did play for keeps. It seemed like a long time then, because at only 19 years of age, time moves more slowly, but in reality it was all over in just a few months.  Things worked out for me the way I needed them to.  It was a tough adjustment to live without the level of money I was used to.  Just out of high school I made twice as much money as my dad did at the prime of his career, but my country club wife assured me that she wanted to do everything clean and that holds true to this very day.  It took a while, but eventually I was able to climb out of that hole in my lifestyle—and it was all worth it—especially being able to live and tell about it.

It doesn’t happen often but just watching the previews for this new Baby Driver movie set to “Radar Love” took my mind instantly to this very turbulent time and I won’t even pretend that it was all bad. I loved living like that. It was fun to live beyond the rules and to be so good at things that people would literally do anything to make it so you could keep doing it.  For the first seven years of my marriage I didn’t have a driver’s license because once I stepped away from that life the courts crashed down on me and it wasn’t easy—the penalties were severe.  That past kept clawing away at me trying to either pull me back in, or destroy me in the process—it took about an entire decade to finally outpace that lifestyle I had before my marriage.  People had to die off and the fast life caught up to many of them who did manage to live for the next decade.  They either destroyed themselves or they ended up in jail.  There wasn’t really any middle ground.

Needless to say, I feel a connection to Baby Driver and I really hope it does good business during its run.  Speaking from experience I think what’s worse than a life of crime is a life not lived.  The spontaneity of life is a magical thing and you often don’t really see it until you are pushed well beyond your comfort levels.  And even though he is villainous in this movie Kevy Spacey’s character is right—people do love a good heist—they do need something to talk about over their “lattés” Thinking of “Radar Love” and the way the scenes played out for the preview of Baby Driver, I feel quite a lot of satisfaction knowing that I gave plenty of stories that have been talked about over a great many lattés.  And in the great theater of living, that’s not a bad thing.  I can’t wait to see Baby Driver.

Rich Hoffman

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

cropped-img_0202.jpg

The Call to Adventure: A 52 Week Project which photographs authenticiy

It was strange recently getting yet another notification from the Ohio courts of Butler County that I’ve been selected for jury duty because my name ends up in the hat so often due to my voting patterns.  I noticed while filling out the form which included my wife and kids that none of them have what you might call—“traditional” jobs.  My wife is a happy housewife, my oldest daughter a professional photographer who is very highly sought after and my youngest is an illustrator.  As I write this she, (my youngest) is doing a commission piece on the Batman villain The Joker shown below.  But none of the ladies in my family have a “traditional” job where they go to work, punch in and sell away their day for cash.  I know that’s the typical way that we measure economic success, but I’ve always been a big supporter of that type of freedom—especially for women because they tend to invest more into children, households and the emotional nurturing of a family as a whole.  When people are free of that primary concern of having to sell away their time for money, it allows them to invest in less tangible aspects of family building, so it makes me proud to see that among the women closest to me, they are all on that type of path.  They don’t have a “boss” out there they must yield to, and that is something I think is very important to family development, because it makes them the authority figures of their own lives which is why that question is asked on a jury selection form.  Attorneys obviously want to know that the people in their pool are “normal” people miserable like everyone else—so the way I answered that question likely will knock me out of the selection process.

My photographer daughter has really impressed me; she is taking her business to a new level as seen in these included videos.  She’s doing something called the 52 Weeks Project where each week she is picking a subject to photograph then she shows how she comes up with the shots and how the editing process goes on arriving at the final product.  She’s a full-time mom, but on both of these efforts she was up at dawn before her little boy woke up wanting breakfast and conducted these pictures for her project squeezing in a lot of creativity into an already packed day.  She’s been busy with booked appearances for several weeks now and coming up shortly after this publication she has a photo shoot in Chicago.  So what you see here is a very developed photographer who is expecting herself to be one of the great ones.  What she does is out of pure passion which I liken back to having the ability to be free of having a “boss” in her life who governs her away from home while on a time clock. That freedom has allowed her to expand her personal life in ways that I think are quite extraordinary—and necessary to achieve the level of art that she is shooting for.

Even her subjects are unique in the scheme of the photographic community.  Her first entry into the 52 weeks project was “A Call to Adventure” which I thought she managed to squeeze a lot out of while working in a very limited area within Cincinnati.   For those who don’t understand why a “Call to Adventure” is important it’s a classic motif most appropriately defined by Joseph Campbell in the telling of mythologies.  Usually after the first act of a movie or the introductory phase of a novel the main character is faced with a jumping off point from the static patterns of their normal life and into the promise of adventure provoked by some dynamic force. For some people the “Call to Adventure” might be as simple as a stranger approaching you from the back of a cab at a stop light while you’re walking to work in New York and asks you to help them get to the airport.  You must then decide to help or not because if you do, the static patterns of your day will be disrupted and that could have unpleasant consequences.  Then for others it might be an opportunity to fly to Cambodia to do sex traffic rescue work in some steamy jungle nightmare, but while there you make a new archaeological discovery that changes the world perspective on our knowledge of history.  The “Call to Adventure” is often how you can dramatically enrich your life for the better with vast experience, but to do so you must step away from your static patterns and allow dynamic forces into your life.

For instance, a friend of mine who worked on the Trump campaign in 2016 called me on a very busy day last week and asked me if I could appear on CNN the next day.  I had scheduled a lot of events and I really didn’t have the time.  After all I had an oversea meeting planned at the very same moment I was supposed to be on with Anderson Cooper.  So did I answer the call and go on CNN which was likely just going to do a hit piece.  As it turned out the CNN people were very gracious and were not the kind of gotcha people who Rush Limbaugh surmised when he talked about the event on his show.  I did the CNN segment along with some other peers and it got people talking and was fun to do.  I still managed to get all my work done—although it was different from my usual day and I could point to many times in my life where answering the “Call to Adventure” directly led to some very unusual experiences which ultimately enhanced my life.

I have learned over time to never get too rigid about things.  The “Call of Adventure” is something I consider so important that I often go out of my way to find it with a very laissez-faire approach to living and personal management.  I may start the day with all kinds of planned activities but by the end of it, I end up doing things I never thought I would at the start and that comes from saying yes to the “Call of Adventure.”  So it made me particularly proud to see my photographer daughter out there capturing not only dramatic photos but articulating that difficult concept artistically.  She, standing at the entrance of a forest goes back to some of the great Arthurian legends of the Middle Ages where the knights would all enter the forest of their various adventures at different points basically to establish that no two paths of adventure were the same for other people.  People must pick their own paths in life to be living truly authentic lives so here was my kid showing this rather difficult concept to explain with a simple photograph.  But as you can see from the editing process, it’s not so simple.IMG_4644

This brings me back to the importance of my girls not being encumbered with a traditional job—especially while raising their children.  If they put their children in daycare, there would be many fewer opportunities for the kids to experience the wonder of a life lived authentically, because the static schedules of daily living prohibit it—and true intellectual learning is often crippled in children as a result.  But for a mother who is there ready to answer that “Call to Adventure” at the slightest provocation a simple trip to the grocery store on a sunny summer in July might lead to a lifetime of discoveries that stay with young people forever because if the schedule of acquiring food is relaxed there may be opportunities for adventure that come up along the way—someone might need help changing a flat tire or a snake may be caught under a car in the grocery store parking lot and need help getting over to the cool grass before somebody runs it over.  You just never know—but there is tremendous value in following the “Call to Adventure” and it makes me feel very good to see that my daughter has matured to a point where she can understand it well enough to photograph.  That takes talent!

Rich Hoffman

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

cropped-img_0202.jpg

Giant Humans Discovered in the Miamisburg Mound: Confirmation of a species of human that thrived in North America before the Greeks

Several years ago Fritz Zimmerman contacted me about an article I had written regarding Giants in Ohio: The hidden history of the human race and let me know about some books he did on the subject.  Back then it was to me an extremely pioneering topic—the idea that there were 8 to 9 foot people inhabiting North America well before the people we now call Indians were established the way we know them by our history books.  It continues to be one of my most popular articles introducing many thousands of people to the idea. I ran across the topic while attending the 2009 Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia after picking up a map called “Hidden Ohio” which featured a series of paranormal hot spots and UFO sightings.  I spread it out over my motorcycle seat to read it while my wife got us some lunch from a nearby café stunned by some of the things I was seeing.  In two spots I noticed that there were discovered remains of giant people in Ohio, one across the Ohio River in Augusta, Kentucky and another burial site just to the east of Cleveland, Ohio.  Since then I have kept an open mind to new discoveries and let the evidence take things properly toward a reasonable conclusion and I can report now after nearly a decade of investigation that there is no question a species of giant human who roamed North America many years before Christ was born existed, and they were very organized—even advanced.  And that conclusive evidence was never more apparent than in what I personally discovered at the Miamisburg Mound just up the river from my home in Liberty Township, Ohio.

I grew up in likely one of the richest areas in the world for the Mound Builders.  When I was four years old I remember very specifically a visit my parents took me on to Fort Ancient.  I even remember the smell of the woods that day, so my recollection is very vivid, and it likely set me on a life course that has some unknown climax—but for now just make a note that burial mounds have always been a topic of fascination for me.  I always associated them with little 4’ people who were boring Indians hunting, gathering, and living briefly then dying until civilization came along and built cities on top of their former mud huts.  That is until reports had come through that there was a vast conspiracy started really by the Smithsonian Institute to conceal the many discoveries made by amateur archaeology in the 19th century.  The more I learned the higher the possibility was that it was all true—that early Christian advocates who were also employed by the Smithsonian desired to preserve the evolutionary theories of Darwin so long as it corresponded with the New Testament Bible and backed up the story that Christianized Europe had discovered America.  Any evidence to the contrary was stuffed away into private collections, called a hoax, or put into a museum drawer to be called upon later when more evidence and freer minds could ponder them—likely after grant money ran out and new theories might be accepted by future academics.  But that time was not in the present.

It was way back in 2003 when I read the very groundbreaking book by Michael A Cremo and Richard L. Thompson called Forbidden Archaeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race that called into question many of the previously unchallenged assumptions made about the age of mankind and their capabilities.  I read the book skeptically but quickly started considering the possibilities because two authors had sparked my interests previously, one was the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and the great writer James Joyce with his Finnegan’s Wake—which was one of my favorite all time works in literature.  The Vico cycle is featured in both works—the idea that societies always go through a four-part cycle, a theocracy, an aristocracy, a democracy, then anarchy only to start all over again time and time again.  This idea haunted me because the human trend is always to think that the present Vico cycle is always the first because their egos never want to consider that everything they might be doing politically might be pointless only to crumble away into anarchy to be born again as a theocracy.  I always thought that it might be entirely possible that the Greeks and the Asian minds of the Indus Valley might have started that present cycle beginning with the Sumerians and ending in our present time with the world falling into anarchy and yearning for theocracy to be born again from scripture—just pick the religion.

Hidden Archaeology showed evidence of that Vico cycle being ignored by modern science, so from then on I had my eyes open to new evidence and a fresh look at Ohio’s mounds which were all around my house presently and as I grew up.  So by the time I saw the two burial spots on that map in Point Pleasant, I was already headed in that direction.  Then I saw a report that there were giants discovered under some toppled trees near the Miamisburg Mound near Dayton, Ohio—and in a gravel quarry along the Great Miami River which literally flows at the end of my street so I did a little advanced reading and checked it out for myself.  What I discovered actually pissed me off quite a bit.  At Miamisburg there had only been one excavation of the site in 1881 which went about twelve feet down from the top—which is just under 70 feet tall to begin with—and they discovered some bones—then stopped digging.  Never again did anybody attempt to do any further excavations which I thought was disgraceful given its proximity to so many very good local universities.  I mean the University of Dayton is right in the neighborhood, Ohio State is literally an hour away, the University of Cincinnati just 40 minutes away to the south, and Xavier just a little closer.  The great Miami University is literally a half hour to the southwest—so we’re talking about an intellectual capability that is very close to the best in the world—yet nobody touched the site for over a hundred years and as of this writing still haven’t.  So I put my anger away and carried on with other topics visiting the site several more times over the next few years and thinking about things in more detail.  It was during a recent trip to England while I was walking around Stonehenge and looking at maps of Avebury to the north that I thought again of Miamisburg’s Mound.  At Avebury they have a mound nearly identical to the one in Miamisburg called Silbury Hill.  Silbury is just a little bit taller at 129 feet tall.  Miamisburg is 86 feet, but was probably taller when it was first built but had eroded away a bit over time.  The constructs were exactly the same and I’m pretty sure Adena Indians were not living in England at the suspected time of construction of Miamisburg—which is 1000 BC.  It’s probably much older actually—but who’s counting?

Literally the moment I landed back in Ohio from my English trip I ordered the books Fritz Zimmerman told me he had written on the topic so many years ago—because they had been on my list.  After all, he had spent over 15 years running all over the country chronically what professional academics hadn’t been willing to do—and that was compiling a listing of most of the known mounds in North America which he called The Encyclopedia of Ancient Giants in North America.  I wanted very badly to know what good ol’ Fritz had found on the topic of Miamisburg because I had my suspicions of that 1881 dig even more now—there was certainly more to it.  There was a reason everyone stopped digging and it was in that nice book Zimmerman had written that I found the answer which can be found on page 96 in an old newspaper clipping reported there from The Historical Collections of Ohio, 1881.  You see, Fritz had gone to the trouble to look all these things up so people like me wouldn’t have to—which I appreciate greatly.  And guess what I found—just as I suspected.  I’ll quote from the book:

Digging into the top of it (Miamisburg Mound) he uncovered a few bones at about 10 or 12 feet from the surface when he became frightened by a hollow sound of his pick.  He stopped the work there but the bones were preserved by Dr. Treon, and were of–enormous size, a jaw bone slipping easily over those of the largest man, flesh and all.

I consider that a discovery of importance, I have a report of evidence and a name of the recipient.  It’s at least a starting point for validation.  Now, the best thing to do would be to resume a dig at the site to confirm the report, but in the absence of such a task, we have to go on the evidence we do have.  Not doing something does not constitute a fact—or otherwise not looking for something does not mean it isn’t there.  At present the Miamisburg Mound is just sitting there dominating the countryside and it is worthy of a deeper investigation.  Because like I said, it’s nearly the size of Silbury Hill in England—and they make a big deal about that mound there.  In Miamisburg the current state of the park is disgusting, and it is very neglected even though it is one of our most important treasures in Ohio.  I think it deserves a fresh look and a new excavation at the very least.  And when we find the giant bones inside, we need to rewrite our history books to accommodate what’s there.  But until someone proves it wrong with fresh evidence, we have to go with what was said in 1881—that giant bones that were discovered in the Miamisburg Mound of an undocumented group of people by our written history built the thing, and that is a big deal.  It confirms a long suspicion I have had about these mounds in Ohio—that they are more than just burial sites of Indians—they are part of a vast civilization that existed before the Greeks and likely have an entire undocumented Vico cycle of their own—which is waiting for us to confirm with science so we can avoid the same fate.

To see for yourself what Fritz’s book says, you can get it here.  It’s a worthy travel companion for that space behind the passenger’s seat of your car as reference so you can travel around North America and find the sites for yourself and be mystified by the discoveries.

https://www.amazon.com/Encyclopedia-Ancient-Giants-North-America/dp/1516851986/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489845076&sr=8-1&keywords=fritz+zimmerman

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

cropped-img_0202.jpg

‘The Crystal Skull of Canterbury’: A new project born from a lot of passion

I have a new book in development called The Crystal Skull of Canterbury and am looking for a good team for its publication.  One thing I have learned after doing this a few times before is that even the best written pieces of work need a good team to get it to readers.  This book is a little different for me, I came up with the idea during a recent visit to the locations featured in the novel—it’s more of a Bridges of Madison County story except more contemporary and featuring an English countryside because honestly they like to read in that country so why not set the story there—for the target demographic.  I’m a business guy, so I think in those types of terms as a first consideration.  This is just a starting point and the story is as follows:

A NASA contractor whose specialty is in preparing mankind for the long-preserved evidence that will be discovered on Mars ahead of a 2030 mission that life much longer than earth’s existed on the Red Planet, is challenged by a former curator of the British Museum to defend claims made by the contractor regarding the authenticity of the popular Crystal Skull exhibit which attracts so many visitors each year. Dorrington Weingarten sees the opportunity as positive publicity for the museum in London, but on a deeper level resents NASA’s Ian Davenport’s theories on the origin of mankind and the revolutionary following that he has been brewing in the United States which stands in stark contrast to the scientific positions established by England’s heritage.

Ian accepts the challenge and during his travels to London and eventually into the ancient streets of Canterbury where a romance brews between he and the curator’s wife–he isn’t just an eccentrically brilliant scientist—he’s determined to crack old Dorrington for reasons that confound everyone whom he refers to as the Crystal Skull of Canterbury. He sees in Dorrington Weingarten the modern embodiment of the wounded Grail King from King Author’s legends and he has set in mind to solve a riddle that has nearly destroyed Dorrington’s wife now madly in love with Ian.  What results is a proposed answer to T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and Wofram Von Exchenbach’s Parzival contained within the elusive life of a man who did everything right his whole life—except for the things that really matter.  A man drowning by his own success, who had everything but lost it through the years without even knowing it.  But can he be saved, can the Crystal Skull of Canterbury be cracked?  It is a job that may be out of reach for the multitalented Ian Davenport who for the first time in his life may have found something he cannot do as an unconventional romance soon engulfs him as well with emotions new to him. For all his life Ian had avoided life in the Waste Land, but now a siren song beacons him from another man’s wife and the lure to surrender to it is strong—too strong. 

I’d like to keep the page count down although it’s a story with many twists and turns—and emotional complexity. I’m targeting women over 40 with this work first in England then in the United States.  It additionally attaches itself to the modern paradox of the many theories coming from the Ancient Aliens viewer base popularly shown on The History Channel and embraces new scientific concerns relevant to the next decade giving this story staying power as a mass market paperback.  The primary purpose for me was a promise I made to a nice old lady in Ashford, England who was kind enough to give me a very nice meal while my family was in route to Paris.  She asked me what I liked most about the English people, I told her it was that they still liked to read and bought lots of books.  I told her I planned to help show more Americans why they needed to become more literate.  She then pressed me on what I was planning to do specifically about it.  I thought for a moment because I assumed we were just making small talk, then I told her that I’d write a novel that was so good that people would want to read it, and bookstores would see an uptick in sales and therefore hopefully inspire others to do the same so that the industry as a whole could become stronger—in a business sense, and as a general philosophy.  She said OK, we sipped some tea, and  here I am doing it.  I always keep my promises.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

cropped-img_0202.jpg

Donald Trump’s ‘Heartbreak Ridge’: Everything you need to know about his controversial statements

I never had any illusions about Donald Trump and I don’t think anything he has ever said or done in relation to other women is an experience that a typical rock star or movie actor wouldn’t also be involved in.  When a person has power, women throw themselves at your feet—it’s a biological condition that is built into human DNA.  Women want the best DNA they can get for a potential mate—or they want bragging rights that they were able to seduce a man’s attention within the context of all potentialities.  And yet, this is different between men and women because it is the female who holds all the power.  Whatever the motive, powerful men—especially powerful “alpha males” do have to push off women with a conscious effort because as the game goes, the more women who want to sleep with you, the more powerful and honorable you are if you are a man—especially among peers.  The conversation recorded over a hot mic with Access Hollywood is typical “guy talk,” the same that you’d hear at a typical sporting event, golf course, or gun range.  Many times, women who are at these gatherings with other men participate openly—so I don’t see what the big deal is—other than the fact that if the Republicans like Paul Ryan truly are insulted by the comments, then they need their testicles to drop—because nothing Trump said has any bearing on my strategic support of him from the start.

But I have increasingly found myself liking Trump more and more by the month over this last year and a half as he journeys for the White House.  I have seen in him a change that maybe he’s aware of.  I have seen the same kind of change in very powerful people whom I know personally—people who have found within the battles that we all fight a higher level of valor that they didn’t know existed before.  When I’m in these kinds of talks with other men, I never use the pronoun “I” because honestly, I wouldn’t. I always steer the conversation back to some higher topic and everyone comes away better for it.  That is because at my core, I don’t measure my power on such primitive yearnings.  It’s not a big deal to me to engage in biological prowess which has attached to it a lot of emotional baggage, and in that clip I saw about Trump—if I were hiring him for a job back then I still would have figuring that I could “teach” that behavior out of him once he gained access to higher modes of thinking—which by default he would have been exposed to.  Trump during this presidential journey looks to have hit that new gear in thinking.

I noticed it when he recently shook my wife’s hand.  My wife over the years has routinely been hit on by every male who wanted to measure their prowess against mine—because they figured if they were able to do so—that they’d have something over me in some fashion.  The Donald Trump who shook my wife’s hand in 2016 was not the same person who would have shook it in 2005. I think for Trump Melania is his dream girl and slowly over his relationship with her he has evolved.  And I think the birth of the Tea Party movement in 2009 has given him focus toward the world beyond his years.  Additionally, I think his perspective changed once he started becoming a grandpa—where his children started having children of their own—and your parental instincts at that point shifts from your children to your grandchildren because you have power and knowledge at that point that you didn’t have two decades earlier.  I have dealt with people who I expected to attempt to seduce my wife.  In fact, I have lost a lot of friends over it, because I never forgave them over the years for the attempt.  And if I met Donald Trump in 2005 I would have expected an attempt by him.  I would have conducted whatever business I had without giving him an opening to even try. I would of course trust her, but I wouldn’t have trusted him—because in the world of guys—that’s just how things are.  However, if for whatever reason I had to travel somewhere and the Trump who is running for president now offered her a room at his apartment while I was gone to keep her busy while I did whatever needed to be done—I’d take him up on it without worry because I see he has made the proper psychological transition that is beyond such silly representations of terrestrial power.  And to me, only such people should ever run for any public office.

This really only applies to men because women clearly have a different kind of experience.  Sexually, men lose interest in women after age fifty because the role of the women in sex is an enticing one which diminishes with age—where with the woman she might be attracted to a man not by his looks, but by his social status which usually gets stronger as he gets older.  This is why it is so common for a sixty-year-old man to be seen dating a 26-year-old woman.  For most people the thought of sex between those two people is gross—but for the couple, the woman gets what she wants—social prestige and access to wealth while the man gets the massage of his ego that indicates that a young woman who could have anybody she wanted let him into her lair.  For a man who keeps scores of this kind, it is an enticing game which confirms in the mind of the male that he has arrived at success in life when those kinds of options are available to him.  The magic really happens when men graduate beyond such thinking.  Older men—men well over sixty—I have noticed finally start thinking right about these matters because either their private attributes no longer yearn for the biological game offered by women, but more importantly they evolve as people to the point where sexual pursuits no longer “do it for them.”  For this very reason, many of my best friends today are older men—men in their 70s and 80s.  I can’t say that I would have gotten along with them in their 40s, 50s and even 60s, but I do once they stop looking at women and saying—“boy I’d like to tag that ass.”

Ten years ago, Trump was in his upper 50s, and by his own evolution was still a few years away from thinking about bigger things than success in business, success in bed with women, and seeing his name in lights.  I remember watching Ghost with Bo Derrick in the late 80s where Donald Trump made a cameo appearance and I thought at that time that Trump likely slept with Derrick because socially, she was considered a perfect “10,” back then.  But today, if given the same chance, I don’t think Trump would try to sleep with Derrick.  He’s been married to Melania now for many years, and she seems to have settled him in that regard.  Additionally, Trump’s mind has been awakened to considerations that reside well beyond sexual pursuits, likely due to his age, his relationship to his kids who are now the age of the typical women powerful men seek to sleep with, and the addition of grandchildren who look to their grandpa to make the world safe.  Once a man is awakened to this higher calling, exploits with young women for the purpose of climbing the peaking order of social status with other men subsides and new priorities are established.  That is where I see Donald Trump at now.

So the comments Trump made all those years ago doesn’t faze me at all in my support for him.  I see a man today who has graduated into an age where I think all our politicians should be.  I think all people seeking elected office should be older, successful people in their private affairs because giving a man in their 40s and 50s access to the kind of power the presidency of the United States provides has proven to be too much for their minds.  They yield too quickly to the rock star status of celebrity and the beautiful women that come with it.  And the same people from the political left who pretend to be insulted by Trump’s actions are the same idiots promoting sexual theater like The Rocky Horror Picture Show—which is essentially a promotional film advocating sexual deviancy.  The Obama administration along with Hillary Clinton’s primary priorities is giving special rights to people based on their sexual preference—and you can bet that a typical gay conversation is filled with a lot more graphic banter than what Trump said about any woman.  Don’t forget that idiots like Paul Ryan and all these other Republicans who have been tricked into withdrawing support for Trump after the “objectifying” comments about women, are playing right into the playbook of the political left.

Further, I have personally witnessed this behavior myself—when the political left has nothing else to throw at you, they try to turn women against you by exploiting things you’ve said about women to collectively manipulate them into some tribal manifestation of solidarity.  I had many area Republicans do to me on a local scale what elected people like Paul Ryan are doing to Trump now for essentially the same thing—and it really showed me how small-minded they were in the process.  I’ve been known to say more than my fair share of controversial comments before, and it is really weak that Republicans fall for the scam over and over again.  What Trump said is kid’s stuff, and just about every man and most women out there do it—and if they had been in Trump’s position, they’d do far worse—you can bet on that.  I’d say to these Republicans what I’ve said to many around me in the past only for them to find out painfully that they should have listened to me all along—this is not a big deal.  Most women want to be objectified if they can be because it is a source of their power.  Men want to objectify because it represents power and prestige.  And Democrats aren’t interested in mankind evolving beyond such thinking because at the heart of their party politics are homosexual rights which they want to expand.  They are only after the social trend for alpha males to rule society—because they are betas attempting a coup within the peaking order of mankind.  Don’t fool yourself otherwise.  They don’t care about women, Democrats only seek to use them to attack the traditional role of the alpha male in society so that they can achieve a new power structure for which they control—and when Republicans run from alpha males who need their traditional support—they are giving Democrats exactly what they want.  What Trump said was no worse than a typical Clint Eastwood movie.  Society has changed, for the worse—and Republicans like Paul Ryan have played right into the hands of our domestic enemies with his lack of testicular fortitude.

I stand by Donald Trump more now than ever—not because of this little scandal but because he continues to hang tough and is willing to fight the very corrosive forces destroying our country directly.  He’s of the right age, the right temperament which often comes once a person has evolved beyond wealth, women, and peaking order concerns into a new world few people ever arrive at.  Trump is the best man for the tough job ahead because he is a man who has evolved beyond the terrestrial exploits of the very average, and has his mind on a prize far greater than biological yearnings.  His journey over the last decade has delivered him to the precipice of restoring America as for what I believe he believes—is his calling card to entry into the pearly gates of the everlasting.   Always a man answering the call to a great challenge, Trump is doing what he needs to do in order to correct his past by bringing what he has learned to the Executive Office for the benefit of our nation.  And I’m very excited about it—even more so now—because if the left is that scared of him now, think how they would be on November 9th.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

Cliffhanger’s Exopolitical Theater: Giants, a galactic alliance, and human immortality coming to ‘The Curse of Fort Seven Mile’

While I was on the air with Matt Clark during his WAAM radio broadcast recently he wanted me to talk a bit about my latest Curse of Fort Seven Mile series.  However, time ran out and we couldn’t get into the details.  Actually, I don’t think I could cover all the details in an hour show, or a 10 hour show.  For me, what started as a simple pulp fiction series has evolved into something I would term as a philosophy for the 22nd century.  The below videos will help with the context but essentially what I’m doing is this: over the next one hundred years we are going to discover that we are not alone in the solar system, let alone the galaxy.  We will learn to defy death.  We will unlock all the potentials of a Type 1 civilization and that will require us to completely revisit our current political and religious philosophies—because the present ones just won’t be sufficient.  That’s not a knock on anybody, but the discoveries of the next century will just unlock a massive amount of potential that isn’t even forecasted on the horizon as of yet—and people will need some means of thinking about those things if they want to survive.

I have been pretty adamant about my hobbies and positions.  I essentially grew up studying mythologies and religious cultures, but I like to make money, so I chose professional endeavors that I could raise a family on—but there is a lot about me that is very sympathetic to the Nathan Drake video game character.  The people I most admire these days are people like Josh Gates and his friend Erin Ryder.  If I did not love family as much as I do, I would have loved to live the life that they have—and believe me I have no regrets.  But I do read and watch a lot of what those fantastic people have put out as far as discovery over the years.  When they tackle some crypto mystery much of it comes out to nothing, but it’s the asking of the questions that I find absolutely amazing.  There are a lot of people, many whom are featured in these videos who have committed enormous amounts of time and resources to asking hard questions about mankind’s origins—and I’ll be honest—I love each and every one of them.  When I listen to their lectures and read their books I think in the best case scenarios, they may be getting 50% of any given idea correct.  But even 1% of what these people are saying they are major game changers for the entire human race and the world at large.

In spite of my love of guns, capitalism, business entrepreneurial activity, innovation and pop culture, I am most at home with books, museums, and very smart people.  One of my best friends growing up had an IQ of around 170 so I know those types of people excessively well, and I love being around them.  Some of the people in these videos like Steve Quayle remind me of that friend.  They are too smart for mainstream society, and they are usually defined as lunatics by a society which embraces too openly—sheer stupidity.  As long as I’ve been on earth, I have asked similar hard questions and sought the answers and I have a general theory about the reason that ancient cultures collapse—actually all cultures including recent ones.  I published my thesis in a screenplay, which won a few awards along the way called The Lost Cannibals of Cahokia.  While most archaeologists and anthropologists will point to environmental conditions and say that the reason that a culture fails is related to a loss of water, or of food supply—usually those opinions are corrupted by their left leaning educations.  My theory is that cultures fail because of the human inclination to the Vico cycle—where they just can’t seem to get off the treadmill—and they have been like that for their entire existence.  That screenplay would probably make a good movie and I should probably push it more toward production—and maybe I will.  My goal in writing it was to get the thesis down in an entertaining way that people could enjoy—but come away from the story asking hard questions like—what is the primary driver of a successful culture—then offering the answer as the climax amid the usual expectations of exciting storytelling.  After I shopped that script around it became obvious that I’d have to produce the picture myself to do it right, and honestly, I didn’t have the time or patience to “collaborate” the way it takes to make a movie.  So I shelved it and offered it as a legitimate thesis about the rise and fall of civilizations.  On the surface, it was an action adventure horror story, underneath was something that meant a lot to me which was based on many thousands of hours of reading and personal discovery—traveling all over the world checking things out for myself—a little the way Josh Gates has—only with fewer frequent flyer miles.

Lately, there has been an explosion, likely because of the Internet, of conspiracy theories and examinations into a hidden past that does not agree with the Leaky evolutionary theories.  The latest revisions are probably driven more by Jurassic Park’s DNA examples and the popular Lord of the Rings movies about Middle Earth—art has helped our society ask new questions from a fresh perspective—and the answers to those questions might just be explosive.  If only 1% is true, mankind is in for some startling revelations.  The best movies and books are the ones that make you ask, “what if,” and as the videos included here surmise, there are some very smart people who are asking lots of questions tainted by their personal backgrounds.  But it is what they agree on that has stimulated my thinking and focused my mind on the hard evidence that is rapidly pouring in.

I wanted to write another Cliffhanger novel but I wanted it to be relevant to the world 100 years from now the way I read Jules Verne, Ayn Rand, H.P. Lovecraft or even Shakespeare.  My favorite play of his is Titus Andronicus.   His use of extreme violence to tell the moral story of love and loss—as well as dedication are the kinds of things I find infinitely fascinating and it doesn’t matter when in history we read such a story—they still communicate a truth which is valuable.  Having these kinds of interests I couldn’t just write some average piece of fiction reviewers of today would like—I wanted to write something that people a century from now would marvel at and would still draw inspiration from.  Yet I also wanted to make the argument that the values America had from around 1870 to about 1900 were the best the world had ever seen, and that those values should be captured in a bottle and examined in actually a scientific way—as having merit on culture building itself.  The economic means of the country was explosive during that period, morality was respectable, and collectivism was being defeated wherever it was encountered—namely during westward expansion.

For about forty years I have had in my mind a really terrible antagonist and a concept for painting it into a story against the ultimate protagonist—but I needed to collect a lot of information to tell that story.  Finally, I feel like I’m there.  Once I had all the details worked out, I went to work writing it—and as I thought, it has turned out to be the byproduct of a hyperactive imagination, a technical background, legitimate scientific investigation and all the life experience learned in every hard way imaginable.

Knowing that over the next couple decades history will have to reflect what we are learning now—and that we will learn that not only are we not alone, but that we are currently in a relationship with thinking beings not from earth’s origin story and that the essential ingredient to a successful society resides within individual behavior as opposed to collective salvation—and that once that process begins—where democracies run by a mob take over the individual input of actual leaders—that all civilizations stop functioning and regress back to their beginnings.

Even as my protagonist, Cliffhanger fights bad guys with flaming bullwhips all in the name of justice—it is important these days to define the merits of that justice.  It is not enough to simply show bad and good—it has to be defined by actual universal rules of engagement as defined by the observable conditions of our cosmos.  To do that we have to step beyond our veil of politics and modern philosophy and take the next step.  Taking that step is what and why I’m committing so much time to this new Cliffhanger story.  Similarly to that Cannibals of Cahokia story—this Curse of Fort Seven Mile has the benefit of an additional twenty years of hard living and earned observation.  Like H.P. Lovecraft I have a love for pulp fiction written in a romantic fashion—and on the surface that is what these new Cliffhanger stories are.  But, my protagonist, Fletcher Finnegan in The Curse of Fort Seven Mile is actually named after one of my favorite literary figures of all time, the giant in Finnegan’s Wake from the James Joyce classic.  My goals with the work are not to reach the New York Best Seller’s list, or even to get reviews from Publisher’s Weekly.  It is to offer a useful philosophy for people grappling with real significant challenges to everything they believed was true for over 10,000 years and to provide them a softer landing philosophically—so to maybe for the first time in human history to provoke a change in mankind’s propensity to always revert back to the Vico cycle.  Thus Spoke Cliffhanger.

If you want a preview of this work they are available on the sidebar.  But the real meat is yet to come and why I am dedicating some specific time and resources to completing it.  To get a sense of it, just watch all these videos and you’ll get your mind ready to read what I’m putting into a story intended for readers of the next century.  I’m not giving up on politics.  But rather it is too small of a shoe for me now.  The next obvious evolution is exopolitical theater and the vast changes it will bring.  Currently it is a bit on the fringe side, but that will change rapidly—and when it does–well, people will want a point of reference and fiction is a good place to begin—by bridging what we know with what we will come to understand.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.