How to Stop Gun Violance in American Schools: The answer is in the roots of our basic philosophy

It was never a mystery as to why all these school shootings are occurring. It’s two things really, one is that they are government places which are gun free zones, and the second is that they are essentially liberal places filled with liberal people who think liberal things. The shooter in this case was Dimitrios Pagourtzis who killed 10 and wounded at least 10 more at Santa Fe High School who admittingly shot up people he didn’t like, based on his own statements. The kid wore a trench coat with leftist Soviet era propaganda on it and apparently, he wore it often, even when it was 90 degrees outside. It’s not a mystery that these kids are snapping as reality outside of these government schools are clashing with the leftist learning they get in those places. Dimitrios intended to kill himself after he used a shotgun and a revolver he stole from his dad and attacked people he didn’t like in an art class at that small high school around 7 AM Friday morning of May 18th, 2018.

https://www.westernjournal.com/ct/school-shooter-anti-trump-icon/

Yet it was perplexing as many news reporters covered the story and continued to ask—why are these school shootings happening and what can we do about it. Well, first you must arm the teachers and make those schools gun zones to discourage the kind of carnage that kids like this Dimitrios Pagourtzis was—troubled youth that have had their minds filled with leftist ideology that is not conducive to the world outside of their schools. If those kids don’t have strong peer groups, girlfriends, or goals in life that might otherwise keep their thoughts in check, then they will be prone to violence and will have to be destroyed once they initiate an attack. I would guess that there are hundreds of thousands of kids out there in America just like this Dimitrios kid and they aren’t going to go away soon. Even if we put together again all the broken homes, started teaching kids the correct things in those government schools, and managed to convince the entertainment industry to stop publishing such angry music, movies, television shows, and video games—it would take 50 years to begin to solve the problem. Gun violence and murderous kids are going to be a part of American schools for the foreseeable future. Why you might ask—well, it’s because those schools made those kids the way they are. Its their own fault, a fault of liberal sentiment aligned with improper philosophy that is collapsing against the merits of reality. It’s pretty simple.

Of course the political left is going to blame guns, because they can’t blame themselves. They can’t admit it is their failed policies and beliefs that are causing all these kids to become mass murderers. This actually is a global problem and is rooted in philosophy itself, the epistemological beliefs of society itself. Most places in the world are to the political left of even the liberals in America. While its true that we don’t hear much about mass murder violence in schools in France, or in China, the kind of trouble that Dimitrios Pagoutizis exhibited manifests in other ways, either in sexual depravity, body piercings and tattoos, and generally a somber existence that is quite typical of most Europeans and members of the Asian corridor. But because in the United States there is a Constitution that is rooted in a very independent philosophy of self-governance, the emphasis has always been on the individual with expectations that each would do their part to conduct themselves properly in context with the greater society. The right to own and use guns for self-defense were always intended to protect that individual sanctity from the kind of group think that is so persistent elsewhere in the world and has been failing for many centuries.

Yet the political left in the America which would be considered the far right in almost every other country in the world has brought these clashing ideas into North America and made them the basic platform of the tax payer funded schools that kids are learning in. Yet those ideas are not conducive to the capitalist society that those same kids find themselves in once their school days have concluded, leaving many to face a very fearful future filled with anxieties that their parents are becoming increasingly ill prepared to help them with. That is largely also the fault of the government schools which actively has sought to replace parents in the home with a parental authority figure within the school. That is an experiment that has not worked. It hasn’t worked in Europe, it certainly hasn’t worked in Mexico and all through South America and Canada—it doesn’t work in Australia, and New Zealand—it doesn’t work anywhere. It appears to work in communist countries like China because they hide all their domestic statistics from the world—the misery factor is obscured with state-controlled polling data that is not representative of the individualized lives of their citizens—because communist countries in Asia do not care about individuals. They are concerned with the affairs of the state as a whole—so analysis from those places cannot be trusted. Obviously, the American model should be studied by all people of the world since it is within North America that the most successful economies anywhere are found, and the quality of living for each person are extremely high. Even our poorest of the poor in America would be considered to live a great life if compared to the average villager in Africa or India. So in the context of who should learn from whom, it’s quite clear that America does enough things correctly to merit a philosophy shift that is conducive for success in other countries. Yet American schools do not respect or teach those values, so it’s really not practical to expect other countries to do what’s right for their people and make the necessary changes. Instead the political left has declared a civil war against the American right and they purposely have used our own youth against us as weapons. It is the American leftists who built the mind of Dimitrios Pagourtzis. You don’t see kids with strong mothers and fathers in the home that take their kids fishing every Saturday running around in black trench coats covered in Soviet propaganda trying to kill other kids. You certainly don’t see kids growing up in homes of NRA members entering adulthood with lots of crazy anxieties that prove to be self-destructive—where other people get hurt as a result. There is a reason that families that put God and guns at the front of their epistemological beliefs do better than families who turn to mother government for their basic necessities. Those two groups can’t be put together and expect everything to just work out.

The answer is easy in how we can stop this violence in our government schools—stop letting those places be run by liberals who teach liberal ideas to kids who don’t know any better and make them gun zones. Put guns on the teachers so they can do more than pull fire alarms and can engage a threat at the point of attack and end the misery quickly, before 10 people are slaughtered for no reason. This is not a problem that can be solved by politics or any legislation. Politics is born of philosophy, so if a philosophy is wrong, obviously the politics will fail as well. Gun ownership is not a political problem, it is part of a philosophy of self-reliance—and education comes out of that branch of thought. So to solve the problem you have to fix the philosophy that feeds the politics, and in this case left leaning philosophies are proven failures everywhere in the world they are utilized. That means that if we really want to fix these government schools, we must use American ideas to solve them, not the same old European failures and until that happens, there are many more Dimitrios Pagourtizis types waiting to snap and make a name for themselves at the expense of others before they kill themselves.  And those are facts we all must deal with.

Rich Hoffman

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‘Solo’ Gets a Standing Ovation at Cannes: Mythology and culture are on expanding in a very positive way

I can’t emphasize enough what Star Wars means to our current society—and specifically how important this next film, Solo: A Star Wars Story is to the continuation of the great mythology that is now set to take on a life well beyond anything planet earth has ever seen. As I say often the most important topic to me out of all the things that I discuss is the realm of mythology and how it captures the minds of mankind and propels it forward at each juncture of history. I am specifically thinking right now about the great legends of King Arthur, or the early works of the Iliad where Odysseus propelled modern society to its current form to the point where our civilization has outgrown those great stories. Our modern society is very complex, and we know so much about so many things that were not known at the time that the great classics were written, and we are and have been in desperate need for stories that can take us all into the future—because that’s how human beings work. They need conceptual devices in story form to put into context their observed reality—and even though Star Wars is intended for kids, it works on so many levels to get the imaginations of the human race moving that I think it’s currently the most important thing in the world happening right now, and I understand very well what is happening from North Korea to the taxation of Amazon in Seattle—to the teacher union strikes, to the corruption of our own FBI becoming weaponized against us all. Even in that context I think this new Star Wars movie is a tremendous opportunity for mythmaking to expand dramatically into the lives of all thinking beings on planet earth for the better, and it would all come down to the presentation of the film at the Cannes Film Festival in France. It’s not just because I love the character of Han Solo, but it’s why the movie was made in the first place that I think it’s so important and I was very happy to see a standing ovation for the film after its screening. This is going to be a big one.

I read the critics opinions of the film and most of them were positive, many very positive with about 23% less than enthusiastic. What those lukewarm reviews had in common was that they missed the epic scale of life and death situations that have been present in Star Wars up to this point—the save the whole galaxy or else type of storylines. If Star Wars is going to work in future, they need to become much more individualized, personal stories which we all know culminate into the three trilogies of nine films we have mostly been familiar with. And once Lucasfilm accomplished that, mythology by way of the vehicle of Star Wars will be unleased in a very dramatic way and I don’t think those people trained into their institutional professions, and are making good livings in those comfortable places, are open to these big changes. Their comments about nobody asking for a movie about Han Solo and that the movie is just capitalizing off the Star Wars name and is an entirely different kind of film altogether are missing the point. This movie was always intended to expand the Star Wars mythology in ways that I would argue it always needed to go—since the Empire Strikes Back way back in 1980 and I think everyone watching this movie is going to be in for a surprise.

I know enough about this movie to be happy with the decisions that Kathy Kennedy has made over the last two years. A lot of people do not understand how hard it is to make a movie, and to negotiate contracts with expensive actors and to hold those contacts over many films. I continue to be amazed how the Marvel team does it with all their big-name actors now and how they can put them all in a film like Infinity War. That would be an astonishing payroll to put all those stars into one movie, but Marvel has figured it out and that Disney polish is now coming to Star Wars with these Han Solo movies serving as a test bed of creative entanglement. I will be the first to say I was not happy with the Lucasfilm abandonment of the original books which they now call legends, and I was not at all happy with The Force Awakens when they killed Han Solo in that movie. Long time readers here know very well how angry I was at the way they dealt with Han Solo’s character in that film and I did several radio shows discussing the issue in detail. However, and I know I wasn’t the only one, I think Lucasfilm to a reasonable extent has listened to the fans—and they have made some adjustments with this Solo movie which is why it needed to stay on schedule even after the previous directors were fired and Ron Howard was brought on to fix things. It’s also why I believe that the last movie of the modern trilogy, Episode 9 now directed by J.J. Abrams was pushed out into 2019—because Lucasflim needed to see how audiences reacted to new story elements in this new Solo movie.

I don’t think Kathy Kennedy or Bob Iger are all that happy with the direction of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I think they’d love to have a much more progressive film with less male characters acting so strongly. That’s a very educated guess on my part, but business is business. If you are running a movie company that makes Star Wars movies and you intend for them to transcend modern politics, then they need to be timeless stories, and this new Han Solo movie needed to be more of a classic western than a modern progressive version of Guardians of the Galaxy. I watched Kathy Kennedy at the Cannes press events and I think she is breathing a bit better now—she really needs to pull in at least a billion dollars off this Han Solo movie to justify everything they’ve done with Star Wars since Disney bought it in 2012. She made serious mistakes putting top-heavy female characters into Star Wars and making really stupid comments like she did to the New York Times where she said she didn’t care about male Stars Wars fans—which traditionally have been the primary support of the franchise for over four decades now. There was always room for women in Star Wars, but they couldn’t just take everything over and get away with it. The backlash against Kathy Kennedy in general has been harsh. And Bob Iger is an anti-gun liberal, so it’s probably tough for him to see all these posters of Han Solo pointing a gun out into the horizon, but that’s the character and that’s what people want to see in movies, and putting politics aside, Lucasfilm and Disney have given fans what they want—which is a very good thing.

I will likely give a very long and detailed review on the 24th of May which will articulate many, many things that I think are superb about this new kid’s movie which I think will capture the hearts of so many people in a very positive way. It’s not just the movie that I’m happy about, but what will come out of it creatively. Mythology has always been the center of any advanced culture and when a story works—it advances everything from arts and sciences, to politics and philosophy. And after watching that standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, I am quite sure that we are all about to see something very special.

Rich Hoffman
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The Socialists of Seattle: Jeff Bezos tried to feed red meat to the wolves, and they bit him

Way back in 2013 I told you dear reader about Kshama Sawant, the socialist who was recently elected to city council in Seattle. Remember that? Well, she and the rest of her socialist brethren have proven me more than 100% correct with their anti-American brand of socialism that is going after the rich at every turn these days. The budget of Seattle is a disaster and these idiots are seeking measures to pay homeless shelters and taxing their big businesses to cover the costs—which has already pushed Boeing to remove a lot of jobs from the city to avoid the high taxes. Now the Seattle City Council has voted a new “head tax on their large businesses with an 8 to 1 vote on any company that earns $20 million or more in annual sales, 14 cents per employee hour, in an effort to raise $50 million per year toward outreach efforts for the homeless, including affordable housing and emergency shelters. This is what happens when people who have no idea what the value of businesses are truly for their communities or lack the understanding of what makes people homeless in the first place. Throwing money at the problem by stealing it from valuable companies is not the way to solve the problem. But when people follow the failed philosophy of Karl Marx, this is what you get in human intellect—deficient people too stupid to help themselves.

It’s a little funny that the big time liberal Jeff Bezos tried to appease these socialists in Seattle with his war on Trump by using The Washington Post as his personal blog to create an impeachment of his billionaire rival. Bezos is now the richest man in the world and he gambled wrong in thinking that the socialists of Seattle would stay away from him because of their mutual hatred of Trump. Obviously, Bezos is a smart guy who runs a great business in Amazon. But like many in his position he got caught trying to feed the wolves red meat hoping they would go away. Instead they only became hungrier.

The thing with socialists is that they always are looking for people of value that they can steal money from in an effort to call it “social justice,” “equality for all” and one for all and all for one, and all that garbage. Socialists mask their parasitic tendencies behind altruistic intentions, but what they really are reveals itself in decisions like their Seattle Head Tax—theft granted by government for the sake of those who work and produce and those who simply are too lazy to exist on their own. Socialists are those who want to live off the efforts of others, its that simple. There isn’t anything morally just about their actions, they are thieves—pure and simple.

If Jeff Bezos didn’t build Amazon up bit by bit over the last several decades what would it be? Would Kshama Sawant create Amazon, would the city council? Would the homeless people they want to help make Amazon the great company that it is today? If Jeff Bezos didn’t have all those sleepless nights in the 1990s when he was building his empire of e-commerce with distribution warehouses all over the nation for a business that was on the cutting edge at best—where were the socialists of Seattle back then—playing video games, reading books about Karl Marx, protesting the breeding patters of fruit flies cut off from a thousand-year old hole in the ground where someone wanted to build a housing development? They certainly weren’t trying to create jobs like Jeff Bezos was.

In a capitalist society—in ANY society a job creator is one of the most important aspects of civilization. Without job creators there is no economic expansion. Government doesn’t create jobs unless you count useless bureaucratic positions equivalent to slow ass workers at the BMV or a Clerk of Courts. People like Jeff Bezos and Donald Trump have far more value than a socialist looter trying to use the power of government to steal the hard work of those who take the big chances in business to create jobs from nothing. Yet where Bezos went wrong is that he tried to appease those progressive minded by tossing money at them hoping they’d go away—only they didn’t. Once they realized where the money was—after all Bezos is now known as the world’s richest man—and he lives in the neighborhood so to speak of people like Kshama Sawant—their target went to him. For a socialist it’s like a nice pile of shit for a fly to swoop on to take away all they could get while the gettin’ was good. Such lessons have come hard and now Amazon doesn’t have much choice in the matter, they’ll have to move their operations out of the Seattle area. Starbucks is in the same situation—Seattle is now notoriously unfriendly to business, and the word is out. Businesses will have to leave Seattle.

I was in Paris, France recently and the effects of their open socialism is grotesquely obvious. There are no big chain restaurants, no big factories—not like there should be for such a large city with so much history. The socialism of France has pushed away so much business investment because it’s a pain in the ass to do anything. It’s hard to even use the restroom in Paris, even near the tourist attractions the restrooms were dirty, and they charge you money to use them. I was stunned to see a toll turn style at the bathroom at Notre Dame with some Pakistani guy smoking a cigarette and collecting $2 a piss. I told him I’d just piss on the sidewalk outside which is what I dd. And so were about five other guys. No wonder Paris these days smells like piss everywhere you go. The city to deal with the exodus of their most productive turned to immigration to refill their empty apartments which has created their current crises—of mixing Muslims from the Middle East with the Christian Crusaders of old to extract revenge for the long conflict between religions that are left over from the Dark Ages. Instead of thinking of building new vehicles for space and colonizing Mars, the people of Paris are trying to keep piss off the sidewalks and nobody in their right mind is opening up a McDonald’s with free bathrooms across from the Eiffel Tower. Socialism has destroyed the opportunities for private investment to make a deal.

I’ve seen plenty of homeless people, I got to know them quite well in Canterbury, England where I’ve spent some time living in the city. Because of the social justice policies of that town ran by first the church, then by a much more socialist government in England after World War II homeless people have been incentivized into sleeping on the sidewalks. They are actually well fed and people befriend them letting them know that there is a safety net in case they fall from life. Knowing that, the weakest among us tend to throw in the towel too soon and retreat to a sleeping bag on the sidewalk rather than to shake a drug addiction, a family problem or whatever crises has come at them and destroyed their ambitions. When you give people free shelter, food and companionship—what reason do they have to keep fighting in life? Nothing, which is why when you start giving such people resources you get more of them, not less.

So Seattle has quite a problem now and there is no end in sight. I think it’s a good thing that the people of America can watch Kshama Sawant and her city council destroy their city, because it’s a good warning shot to the rest of the nation—socialism is dangerous, and it doesn’t work. And this is also a good lesson for people like Jeff Bezos. He should have never have tried to appease the socialists in the way that head hunters tried to appease their gods with human sacrifice, because it just makes the blood thirsty even thirstier. The only way out of all these messes is more capitalism and a defining stance against socialism before everyone can advance. Anybody who wants to help the homeless truly will learn these lessons quickly, the best way to keep people off the streets is to give them a job and let them earn their way through life. Giving things away for free while stealing from those who work hard and truly are people of value destroys opportunity for everyone. And that is something I think we can all agree is not what we want to see happening.

Rich Hoffman
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Donald Glover’s Brilliant Childish Gambino “This is America”: But it’s not the America the rest of us know

I couldn’t be happier for Donald Glover’s wonderful song and music video by his musical personality of Childish Gambino’s “This is America.” It is one of the most successful videos of all time pulling in nearly 120,000,000 million views on YouTube in just a week and I have to say that I think its one of the most interesting that I’ve ever seen. The music and the video are the work of a truly talented young person in Donald Glover who is playing Lando Calrissian in the new Star Wars movie Solo: A Star Wars Story. I am personally very impressed with young Donald Glover, he’s a smart person, genuinely very talented, and obviously has some things to say about the world around him and can express them both artistically and commercially, which is extremely rare. For his part, I hope the new Solo movie is a huge hit because it will continue to expose him to a larger audience and culturally, I think that’s great for our civilization. However, I disagree with the assumptions he has made in his music video. His America isn’t my America and that void is truly at the center of all our modern politics.

The video done with such fantastic choreography and pacing is obviously an anti-gun message that assumes that from the point of view of African descendants living in America that the deck is stacked against them by whites who are easily distracted and put gun rights over the rights of life. From the point of view of young people, especially people making a living in Los Angeles, this is a swallow well of thought that is common in liberal regions around the country. Even though the video is well done, and the music itself is excellent, the message is flawed because it doesn’t see the bigger picture of human existence as a context, but rather progressive politics as it exists in the mind of young people not yet in their 30s. They haven’t begun to live lives yet, in many cases they haven’t started raising families and living life, yet they think like all young people do that they know it all and can lecture the rest of us how things “ought” to be based on what they feel.

Value for life goes much deeper than just saying you want to let people live—the true value of human existence that sets us apart from all other living things is our ability to think. Obviously, the kind of culture that is displayed in Childish Gambino’s “America” is a black culture with beliefs and yearnings straight from their African continent—the manner of dance and values are clearly different from what might be considered from the aggressive white Wall Street crowd in the United States. It is one thing to believe that money is the root of all evil but it is quite another to complain that everyone in the black community is poor because they have either sacrificed themselves to a new plantation of Democratic politics, or they have chosen to bring the kind of Marxism that is common in the African continent to their voting patterns in America. In either case, it should not be surprising to anybody that people who do not embrace the capitalism of western civilization will be at a loss to live within those cultures without being left behind economically. It’s not that white America has left behind black America and suppressed them into the slums of inner cities—its that blacks generally as a race of people have been slow to accept capitalism in their lives and have philosophically at the most epistemological level adopted the wrong outlook toward life and have made themselves victims.

In the video Donald Glover appears to be smoking a joint, (a marijuana cigarette) as he dances on a bunch of older American cars. These are interesting images taken together—and marijuana is a particularly popular drug in black neighborhoods which I would argue are poison for their minds. Likely more dangerous for the black community than guns is the numbing of their minds by drugs, alcohol and poor educations. Even worse has been their acceptance of big daddy government to allow fathers to leave the home and government to raise the many children born to broken families. Gun violence is a symptom of the broken homes of many black families who are struggling to accept the rules of conduct that were always supposed to be part of the American experience and instead the young people have joined gangs for social acceptance and taken to mental destruction as a way to push away the reality of their many mistakes.

I thought the handling of the guns in the video was particularly powerful. Its true, America does handle the guns with great care because firearms represent an intellectual aptitude that they are meant to protect. Just because elements of our society fall short of the values that were always supposed to be part of the American experience, the guns are not the villains. To be lectured by a bunch of liberals who abort babies at a rate that would embarrass even the most ruthless mass murders in world history that guns are killing their young people is hypocrisy at its most telling. I don’t blame Donald Glover for his lack of seeing the big picture. I have had dinner with many people in the LA night scene over the years and I can report that they have a very limited understanding of life in the big picture. They are pinned into that little valley between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains and think that everyone around the country thinks the way they do about things, and they couldn’t be more wrong. The pace of our modern world driven by capitalism is fast-moving, it is driven by money, because money represents a form of value and is a good thing, not a bad thing. And guns are the centerpiece of American freedom, without guns politicians like John McCain would have turned America into Europe a long time ago—so the guns are an intellectual protection of the founding principles of our nation—and they are to be treated with great care—unfortunately only by the conservative parts of America at this moment.

The real dangers facing the black communities are in their ignorance—their desire to march in a mob together with Marxist philosophies which have imprisoned them to Democratic politics. Donald Glover’s caricatures of Jim Crow I thought were very interesting, but the suggestions of racism are misplaced in the context of history. America was founded by religious white people from Europe who had been thinking about freedom and self-governing ideas for many centuries—largely due to the failures of the church in places like England and France. A big part of that philosophical contemplation is what freed the slaves in America and gave opportunity to blacks that they certainly didn’t have in Africa, and for some they embraced these opportunities—Fredrick Douglas comes to my mind who was a very prominent Republican at the middle 19th century period. However, many whites were skeptical of people from black culture—their dancing and music were unusual, and they had ideas from a totally different region of the world that were unfamiliar—and it took some time to bring those two races together—and nothing else should have been expected. There are few places elsewhere in the world where people of totally different background have tried to unite in peace like they have in the United States. Rather than complaining about everything, black Americans should be happy that they can find an audience of acceptance in the United States. I can’t think of anybody I know who will refuse to see Solo: A Star Wars Story because Donald Glover is a black man—and I certainly don’t know anybody who loves sports who refuses to attend a professional team because the players are mostly black. The only people who really notice blacks and whites are those who profit off the divisions, like Democratic politicians who need to victimize black cultures to keep their vote counts high. That is the real victimization that is going on—and that kind of thing certainly wasn’t in Donald Glover’s video.

But take as a work of art from a young man who still has a lot to learn about life, I thought “This is America” was a brilliant piece of work. I may look at it and clap the way I would encourage a kid in the third grade to keep trying because someday they may get it—due to their raw talent. At my age these days a third grader and a 30-year-old are not that far apart in intellectual development, so I kind of see them the same way. Unquestionably, Donald Glover is a rare modern talent and I am excited to see more from him. It’s not wrong to have opinions, or to express them. But he’s not presenting the next monumental breakthrough in thought. He’s still a young kid trying to impress his LA cultural peers with his understanding of their politics—no matter how false that politics may be compared to the sentiment of the rest of the country. And that is the real trick, not just in making interesting art that a particular sector of political order enjoys as a reality, but that speaks to everyone. In that regard, “This is America” misses the mark as it only speaks truly to the self-oppressed, the ignorant, and the inexperienced.

The big misunderstanding that persists to this day is that merit and respect are given out in American society the way a village chief might have enjoyed in some other region of the world, and under capitalism, that isn’t the case. Respect is earned by those who work hard and pull themselves up. While it was true that white Americans were weary of black Americans because they feared that the newly freed slaves would not work to incorporate themselves into the Christian based society that was so newly created from European statism. But Donald Glover certainly has made good use of American opportunity, and many other black Americans have too, and that is where skin color truly does disappear. Americans like successful people, or people trying to be successful. They tend to look down their nose at lazy people no matter what their skin color is, or people who lack intellectual aptitude. Racism isn’t the biggest problem facing America—its stupidity—from all races and sexes, and that is what needs to be addressed if we are ever to truly solve the problems of our age. America is not the problem and never has been, the burden has always been and continues to be that not all people understand what it takes to live and be successful in America. As a person, Donald Glover gets it, but as the culture he is representing in his new music video, they don’t. All they can do is discuss the symptoms of the problems instead of the causes—and for that they must look at themselves.

Rich Hoffman
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Observational Realities: What the premier of ‘Solo’ in Los Angeles tells us about the future

I am the type of person who could write a novel about the reason that a person might change the way they hold a fork. Observational changes in nonverbal communication are an obsession with me and are a constant companion. I would have to say that nothing happens that I don’t notice. I am always on the lookout for why someone might have changes to their eye movement, or the tip of a head as it’s positioned on the shoulders, does it drop more than usual, or is it cantered off to the left or right more than typical. Is there an unusual emphasis on words when somebody is speaking and if there is, what does it mean—those types of things. So I enjoy big pop culture events because of all the mass information available to the way I think. I love going to baseball games where there are lots of people, because it tells me so much about the temperature of our culture, and I love big entertainment movie premiers—especially for projects that I am excited about like this new Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story because there are always important things that can be learned about the nature of our society. And the thing that I thought was most compelling at the Solo premier in Hollywood this past Thursday wasn’t the usual fanfare that comes from most Disney productions that they know going in will turn in big box office numbers—it was that Bob Iger wasn’t there. I would encourage you dear reader to watch the whole red-carpet coverage. It was quite impressive.

Going even further was the lack of VIP formality at the event, even after the premier. The after party mixed cosplayers and celebrity actors together in ways that were very unusual for Hollywood which is kind of a theme with this new Solo movie. Freedom from social pretension is the underlying message of this new Star Wars movie and the absence of authority figures in our lives is the goal of Han Solo, and Disney wisely embraced that during this premier. This Star Wars movie is quite different from any other in the past, and it reaches back to recapture that feeling so many people had in 1977 when the first film came out where a much younger George Lucas put out a very unusual movie he had made with his wife in what were some very happy days for the fledgling filmmaker. Not happy on the business side, or the marital side, but from the ideological position where observations made were translated into unique characters placed into the Star Wars movies, like Han Solo—maybe one of the most independent characters ever put into film. That revulsion for authority figures was actually quietly part of the Disney movie premier. There were no special speeches by anybody from Disney or Lucasfilm before the three theaters started playing Solo: A Star Wars Story—all that happened were that the lights dimmed, the movie started, people had a good time, and afterwards everyone mingled together no matter what their social standing was. If you were at the premier, you were someone and therefore welcome to interact with anybody, anywhere within the scope of the premier. It was all very unusual. The richest person in the world was at the premier, but nobody made much mention of it. At the after party mixing with fans dressed in their favorite Star Wars outfits was a bald guy introducing himself as, “HI, I’m Jeff.” No pretension what-so-ever.

What these movies about Han Solo do for the Disney franchise of what is coming in 2020 and thereafter is that they use the main character to open up the entire galaxy to new stories. Solo is the thread that is connecting the massive mythology that is being planned by Lucasfilm and that is important in many ways. Lately I have been talking a lot about the scientific changes that are coming to us in real society, like the Uber Elevate sky cars, the missions to Mars by NASA and Elon Musk’s Space X, and just yesterday The Boring Company finished digging a tunnel under Los Angeles meant to carry traffic under the busy city with car pods and Hyperloops. Currently there is a video from Boston Dynamics that is freaking people out displaying a robot running across a park and jumping over a log in much the way a human does, so we are seeing a competitive species of a living thing that humans have invented moving into our world and it is causing some anxiety. There are a lot of things changing and what I see in pop culture are ways to intellectually deal with them that are emerging in our art, like in these Star Wars movies. For many people they need science fiction and fantasy to open their minds to the explosion of new ideas that are coming to the human race in a very rapid fashion and companies like Disney are trying to embrace their role in the whole thing in a proactive way.

Humans need conceptual tools to help them navigate ideas—in much the way that Star Wars needs Han Solo to open up the context of future stories, the elements of the films—the space travel between planets, the way that space travel is conducted, the type of people who will do it, and even the tools that humans use while doing all these things—like robots, religion, and even the type of “can do” spirit that everything takes are part of movies like Solo: A Star Wars Story. The movie exists to make money for Disney and all the merchandise retailers, but of course there is a deeper meaning that people like Bob Iger may not be consciously aware of, but the greater purpose is certainly part of the overall strategy. I watched very carefully the interview with the two Kasdens who wrote this new Solo movie and just like Larry was when he wrote the great film Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back, he knew what he was doing with his son on this latest film. It is just the kind of movie that people are looking for at this particular time in our lives where technology once again, as it was in 1977—is taking over and we are wondering what our place is in all of it. The original Star Wars movies told us it was OK to embrace the future and what we ended up with was the fabulous 1980s. I think the Donald Trump presidency had a lot to do with why the original Solo movie directors were fired, because Disney had planned a certain kind of Guardians of the Galaxy Star Wars film featuring Han Solo, but that wasn’t going to work in a post Donald Trump world and Kathy Kennedy wisely made the change to more of a traditional western as opposed to a color popping change that might have been a much more progressive film. I noticed that Disney has been very careful not to put Woody Harrelson on the red-carpet interviews, because he is a major pot supporter. He’s done a few interviews, but not much—he’s not even featured in the Denny’s cards from the promotional tour—and that says something.

Everything means something and there is a lot going on with Solo: A Star Wars Story. Disney is giving fans what they want in a Star Wars movie even if they don’t personally like the direction the franchise is going, because they have their eye on the bigger prize—the furtherment of human civilization as a whole, and the part they play in it as artists. While the company of Disney may not want to do a modern cowboy movie with hot rod spaceships, the fans want it, and that’s what drives merchandise sales and brings people into the parks where the real magic happens for Disney. That’s also where new technology gets its cutting-edge tests for public consumption, and directly leads to the world we are all stepping into. We are all going to space and our daily lives are changing with all this new technology. As humans we are looking for ways to process all this information into the context of stories, which is what we have always done when processing new observational realities. And it’s all very exciting!

Rich Hoffman

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Uber Elevate in West Chester, Ohio: Getting ready for the future, because its on our doorstep–all we have to do is open the door

Sign me up, Uber doesn’t even have to sell me on it. I have been all about skycars for over two decades now and understand that this form of transportation was always the key to our future as human beings—everywhere in the world. It is time for that great technical leap and I am prepared to do whatever needs to be done to bring a skyport to my town of West Chester, Ohio. Let me provide a situational necessity for why Uber Elevate is needed not just in my home city of Cincinnati, but in every city. Here is a problem I run in to several times a year, I have business guests from out-of-town. At the conclusion of our business day they go back to their hotel, usually a few miles down the road in the heart of West Chester, Ohio. Before they leave, I offer to take them to a Reds game, which they almost always accept, especially in the Diamond seats for the full Mercedes-Benz sponsored luxury experience. The game starts at 7:10 PM, but to take advantage of the dinner option, we need to arrive an hour early. Our business day ended at 5:30 PM but the relatively short drive from West Chester to downtown Cincinnati just to the south takes an hour due to the traffic congestion. That doesn’t leave my guests any time to change cloths and get ready, and still have time to get to the game without missing something. What I need in those situations is to go to a Uber Skyport over by the Top Golf complex with my three guests and fly down to the stadium landing at the Uber Skyport at the Banks. From there we would simply walk into the stadium and enjoy our game without any delays or traffic anxiety. And a successful day of business would be concluded in the most optimal way possible. After the game I would dial-up a Uber Elevate vehicle from my phone app which would be waiting on us at the skyport pad to take us all home. The reality of that experience is about five years away with a realistic projection date of 2023.

I watched the Uber Elevate presentation that they did this past week with great enthusiasm. When I saw that NASA was affiliated with their project I was even more impressed, finally after many years there was a viable plan to take transportation into the air where it belonged with a viable business model. Most of the technical problems have been worked out ironically with the toy drones that we can all get at Target or Wal-Mart. But these drones are just bigger and can hold passengers. The variable speed engines to provide the lift and computer-controlled adjustments that had to be made to deal with wind shears and other weather anomalies were present and it was now time to finally have an intelligent discussion about personal transportation by way of sky transport.

The Uber Elevate concept would need to be in high population areas to work well and my town of West Chester is just the perfect location for one of the opening cities. Already Uber Elevate is set to start operations in 2023 in the Dallas area and in Los Angeles. But quickly they will spread to other cities once public trust can be built with the new technology. With most of the current skycar designs there really isn’t any way that the vehicles will fall out of the sky. There are too many propellers on them to allow a vehicle to fall, the resistance of the air passing through the blades would have a kind of paper airplane effect in case of irreparable power failure. But that is a worse case scenario. In so many ways the Uber Elevate vehicles would be many times safer than a conventional car because it has upward mobility to keep it out of the trajectory of other vehicles. Riding in a Uber Elevate vehicle would be very comfortable and not violent in any way. It would be smooth and transitional from takeoff to destination landing. It would be no scarier than riding an elevator in a sky scrapper and looking out the windows once at the top levels.

Like it or not this is where transportation is going—its where it must go. There will always be a need for cars and large trucks will always be in demand to deliver goods and services. But for personal transportation from city to city or even across a large metropolis, the Uber Elevate is the best option there is. Getting from one end of Manhattan to the other is best achieved by flying over everything, not with an expensive taxi ride stuck in traffic every block of that big city. With Uber Elevate you would just walk to a building near Central Park and take the elevator up to the top floor where a Uber Elevate Skyport would be located and grab a transport to the financial district with a short five-minute flight over blocks and blocks of traffic. There is no infrastructure investment either at the ground level or underneath the city, everything would be vertical, which is the whole purpose of cities.

Even though part of the Uber Elevate presentation makes the assumption that cities will continue to grow vertically, such as in Mexico City, I can say that I don’t think people will be moving into cities—cities tend to expand outward as the tax problems of urban development pushes away wealth into the suburbs. That means that for people who work in the cities but live out in the suburbs the highway system just can’t deal with all the commerce, which is why it takes in Cincinnati an hour to drive down I-75 a mere 12 miles during rush hour. Getting to a Cincinnati Reds game from where I live is very difficult and in West Chester that is where so much business is done these days in the Cincinnati area. It’s not done downtown because it’s too difficult to get in and out of the city. But with Uber Elevate, much of that problem is solved. I can think of at least one downtown Cincinnati parking garage near City Hall just south of the Convention Center that would make a perfect Uber Elevate Skyport—and it would do big business in that location.

That means what is left to do to make all this happen is we need to get some money people together for the initial investment and we need to solve the political problems and all the regulations that currently stand in the way of making such a thing happen. The prototypes are already there and will be ready for flight by 2020. That only gives us three years to build the skyports and work out the navigational routes—for instance in the example I provided, buying the land and building skyports in both West Chester, Ohio and on the Banks in Cincinnati. Eventually of course within the subsequent years there would be hubs of skyports all around the I-275 loop, just as there would be in every big city that could transport people in and out of their cities easily and to all points around their metropolitan areas. Once that network was established then there would be city to city travel, such as from Cincinnati to Indianapolis, or Chicago to Detroit, Los Angeles to Las Vegas and so on. That is the way of the future and I am happy that we are now on the doorstep to it. Now all we have to do is open the door. I’m ready—are you?

Rich Hoffman

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A Rapidly Changing World: The freedom of new media is making all the difference

I had a few unique thoughts as I watched at 3 AM in the morning President Trump greet the three prisoners recently released from North Korea. My ol’ friend Gery Deer published his last article titled “Deer in the Headlines” in the Jamestown Comet, a newspaper he has written for over the last ten years largely due to it had become a negative influence in his life. He did a spot-on Channel 2 in Dayton featuring his reasons which I thought were interesting, and very reflective—and actually indicative of the kind of world we were becoming as North Korea came to the table and decided to play nice for a change. The reasons that caused that change were not the ones that created them in the first place and in lots of ways traditional media had been to blame. It took a president and a whole lot of new thinking people to break down the barriers created by the old ways of doing things—like the local newspapers that controlled the sentiment of each community. People involved in that old way are having a hard time figuring out what kind of world we are living in. To them everything is upside down—which I think is a wonderful thing. But it is not lost to me how people are feeling pain in the transition.

About ten years ago I knew all the media in my town of Cincinnati. I regularly corresponded with newspaper reporters and reporters from the main television news networks. Back then community comment sections were the hottest part of a newspaper that people read, and I was a frequent contributor. I also wrote for other publications as my work was published in Forbes and American Thinker. I had written a few books and done what authors did, learned to autograph them and attend conventions and film festivals promoting my work the way everything was traditionally done. As many know I have a lot of experience with talk radio and have even hosted a few shows from time to time appearing on big national shows and some local powerhouse stations in Cincinnati, and even doing work for one of my favorites WAAM in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I also did some work out in Hollywood and had several projects bouncing around Wilshire Blvd during the 1990s working with agents to get things done—so I had some point of reference when I started my blog Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom in 2010 to essentially drive elements of the growing Tea Party movement in a positive direction, because I could see that traditional media wasn’t enough. Newspaper editors didn’t give enough words per page to flush out complete thoughts, and television only provided 3 to 4-minute segments. Talk radio wasn’t much better, they only gave you about 12 minutes per segment, and many of the things that were coming on the horizon politically, and philosophically required much deeper thinking. Not even the publishing industry was fast enough to deal with all the changes. By the time someone wrote a book on a subject, the information was outdated, so what was needed was something that was vast, articulate, and could string a storyline of ideas over years in a very dynamic fashion. That was the reasoning for my decision to pretty much give up on all that traditional media and put my extra efforts into what has become Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom.

Of course, nobody in traditional media wants to acknowledge that a blog has any real power. They refer to them as personal rant pages as if they were just the opinions of some loser Facebook poster. I don’t see them that way at all, rather I see a blog as a replacement for the opinion pages of newspapers, which is precisely what has happened. My blog is very popular, it gets many thousands of impressions each week and it has had great staying power. People from all over the world are still reading things I have written over five to eight years ago, where most newspapers scrap their content after a few years or charge subscriptions that people would be crazy to pay for information they can get free elsewhere. A major advantage that a blog has over other forms of media are that there really isn’t any advertising. I do a little on my site for issues that I care about, but not like a newspaper that has pages of ads that nobody wants to see just to get a little bit of news.

A blog also doesn’t have a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy. Editors are notoriously liberal, so even if you tend to be a conservative columnist, there is a bunch of rules that typically must be followed to get your work through the editor. I found that even in the most conservative publications that I had worked with in the past, that most of my best ideas would be scrutinized beyond recognition by the time it made it through the editing process—and I decided I didn’t want that kind of thing in my life. The trade-off is one of quality control, its good to have good clean editing to clean up written articles, but on the other hand, its likely better to get raw opinions from the writer to truly flush out opinions. I have decided that the raw expansive thoughts were better for my readers than a tightly controlled publication that was overly concerned with the structural aspects of writing. The rules weren’t as important as the content if you had to pick, and these days you do with the speed for which things happen. The news is happening so fast that all that extra scrutiny was getting in the way of an audience that wanted information and opinions faster than traditional media could produce that content.

Each day I write about 5000 to 6000 words, about 1500 on my blog site in articulate articles about a variety of topics and the remainder in a professional capacity, meaning I get paid. The blog to me is an even exchange, I flush out thoughts that people want to know more about. I’m not interested in squeezing out money from every little thing I do because I am more interested in helping to shape the world of tomorrow in a way that I can live with, so the words I produce I have no reason to get a monetary value for. And from experience I can say that my word content is very unusual—there are few people anywhere in the world who can produce that much material every day, seven days a week, yet I do and my readers have learned to trust that little light in the darkness. Working with traditional media, I often was frustrated that I could not get everything out that I wanted to say about something due to the limits provided. The thought process by traditional media was that if you couldn’t say what you needed to in five to ten minutes or in under 500 words, that you were rambling. But as I have learned over time, that was part of the problem, that approach, because many topics are very complicated, and they require extensive explanations to flush out the root causes of whatever we were talking about. As a writer I enjoy the freedom of not having slow minded editors and publication owners putting caps on my thoughts, so the blog is a much more powerful way to get a message out. And when you have a readership like I do, where some of the top minds in the country are reading everyday instead of reading the traditional newspapers, the effectiveness of communicating an opinion is much more powerful. My goal has always been to get people thinking—they don’t have to think just like I do, I just want people to think. I also don’t care about appeasing the masses in a popular way, I am more interested in the smart people who shape the world—truly. I really don’t care what some pot smoking lottery ticket buying loser thinks about what I say. But I do care about the billionaire, or the top-level politician and executive who makes decisions and needs to have context to think with.

And that brings us to North Korea and Donald Trump. If it were up to traditional media, those prisoners would have never been released and North Korea would still be acting like a country of tyrants. Donald Trump probably wouldn’t have been president either. A lot of the reason that traditional media hates Donald Trump is that he has proven them irrelevant, which hurts, but it’s the way of life these days. They have resisted the changes that were happening and stuck with what they knew rather than doing as I did, and that was to adapt. If you really enjoy writing, then write. If you want to get paid, then work for someone. I have a very successful career and I am personally very well sustained. I don’t need to sell my writing to validate my existence and there is a freedom in that. Yet it is within that freedom of new media that a passion for Donald Trump was able to take hold and elect someone out of the box, and it is because of his presidency that those North Korean prisoners were released. If we were still living in the days of printed media and half hour nighttime news broadcasts, the world would still be a much more dangerous place. Thankfully we aren’t, and I am very proud of the part that I play in all this. It has been certainly worth it and has been a very positive experience. Thinking is good, and anyway that we can get people to think is worth a lot more than a place card in traditional media. The respect obtained from media personalities is nothing compared to what comes from a job well done when people who need to hear important things at just the right time can take those words and save the world from itself.

Rich Hoffman

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