What I Like about George Lang: He’s the perfect compliment to the Trump administration at the state level, and takes the Dirt out of Politics

One aspect of this modern Republican Party that has evolved over the last decade in Butler County is that it is very effective and surprisingly unified. I had been thinking about it for a while, but the matter became quite clear for me at the launch event for George Lang’s run for senate in Ohio. While there I found myself associating in a friendly way with many people, I would have called rivals years ago. Suddenly they were friends largely because the party had united so well behind the Trump administration. Ten years ago, we called more liberal Republicans RINOs while I ran more with the Tea Party Crowd. Then during the primaries, everyone had their various picks. Some liked Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or his dad Ron. Others liked the way the Bush family ran things. I was from the very beginning a Trump supporter, so there were obvious disagreements when Republicans came together for something like a public announcement by a great politician like George Lang. But at this most recent event I couldn’t help but notice how unified everyone was and it was good to see.

After George made his announcement and many politicians came forth to give their endorsement and tell stories of why they supported George through testimonials, seen in the video above, Sherriff Jones and I reminisced a bit about the last ten years while walking through the parking lot of Miami University’s Hamilton campus. As we talked it became obvious to me that the Trump presidency, which has deep roots into Butler County, had gone a long way to uniting Republicans in a way I could have only dreamed of. And it was only natural that a person like George Lang could build bridges in a positive way with all the different types of people that were in the Republican Party and get so many people to come forward to say such nice things. The Trump administration in all its genius had united Republicans in ways that just weren’t possible prior to 2016 and I was very happy to see it.

During all this contemplation I was thinking about why I liked George Lang so much and had for such a long time. I was very happy to hear that he was running for a senate seat, but I wasn’t sure why until after his announcement event. It wasn’t just that I liked him as a person, it was for another reason, a more important one. I have been involved in politics at many different levels for several decades, and it has been my choice to stay on the outside as much as possible to avoid too much corrosive contact. But I have never felt that way about George, whom I have now known for well over a decade. Even in the hardest of times George has always been a solid person and loyal to free market ideas, especially when they weren’t all that popular. Yet to my eyes he has always been constantly a good person, and that was rare in politics.

A lot of my reason for staying on the outside looking in, even when the door was wide open to step inside, was that I have always viewed politics as a dirty business and honestly, I don’t like the dirt. I’m happy to sling mud when challenged, but personally, I’d rather think about big things and find ways to bring about larger concepts to people. So politics just wasn’t conducive to that kind of thing. However, over time, George has pounded away his own kind of honesty in politics and it has shown to be a different way of doing business as a politician. George can still go out and raise the money it takes to run big campaigns, and associate with people all along the very fine edge of the political spectrum without becoming so disagreeable that relationships are no longer possible. George had found a way to work within the political spectrum of Republican politics at the local and state level without losing himself along the way and to me that is enormously encouraging.

Political enemies of George might want to roll their eyes at my assessment, but I have been with George through some perilous times and I know the guy well. I know his family and a dishonest person just can’t cut it with those kinds of relationships. George is an honest person who stands by the people close to him through thick and thin and oozes sincerity. Sure, there is always someone out there who wants him to do something that he doesn’t want to do, or that he disagrees with, but he never seeks to make an enemy out of them. Yet he has a tendency to stand resolute and that does make enemies. But that’s part of the territory. You can know a person by the way they are when the cameras are not around and nobody else is looking. And in those conditions, George Lang is the same good person. That ultimately is why I like George Lang so much; he takes the dirt out of politics.

George was going to be successful in politics whether or not President Trump ever entered the White House, but due to the current political circumstances, a politician and businessman like George Lang is poised to do much greater things than ever before. Under the Trump administration good people like Lang have far more clout than the back-room dealers of yesteryear and that was as much of a relief to the other Republicans giving testimony about George’s qualifications for higher office as it was me. Truly we are experiencing a new day in politics, something that none of us had ever seen. Trump’s presidency had like a vacuum sucked up all the disjointed disagreements and plotting for power that used to go on for the sake of obtaining any elected office and replaced it with a sincere effort to be a part of a greatness in keeping America great now that it has been built that way once again.

There is tremendous room in the years to come to make Ohio one of the great economic powerhouses of the world and George Lang sees it, he has always seen it. I remember a very dark time when he and I stood in the parking lot of a restaurant and contemplated the universe and how unfair it seemed at the time. Neither of us thought we’d be able to do much to help it. But George has always been the same person, from that hard time to the opulent present, he’s had the kind of integrity that is contagious to other people and a real desire to help people reach their full potential in life. And for George, that is as a senator doing great work now that the Trump administration has set the pace for allowing such audacious dreams to happen.

You can tell a lot about a person by the type of people who will actually come forward and provide an endorsement, and on that day a wide range of people who have been in public office for a long time came forward and said nice things about George, and the event was a great unifier. If one little event can show that kind of solidarity toward purpose, just think what a senate term in the Ohio Statehouse could provide. The prospect is very exciting and is something we can all look forward to with George Lang as the 4th District Senator in Ohio.

Rich Hoffman

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I Fully endorse George Lang for the Senate District 4 seat in Ohio

I was quite excited to learn that George Lang was running for the Senate seat that Bill Coley had been occupying in Ohio for several years. The seat itself was terming out and George let me know that on Monday at noon he was going to announce his run for it, and it brought a lot of joy to me. I first learned of his candidacy while on vacation with my family in Charleston, South Carolina touring sites that many were reviewing as the best in the world. I kept hearing while on my weeklong stay in Charleston that this neighborhood, this beach, this restaurant, this shipping lane, this and that were the best anywhere. I had to admit that everything was very nice. Property values were certainly great, and shipping vessels seemed to come into the harbor every 30 minutes loaded to their max. Even at 3 in the morning from our Mt Pleasant home I could hear the cranes working and I found all that economic activity very exciting. Yet the town of Mt Pleasant across the harbor from downtown Charleston was quiet and very chic at that time of night, just as it was all other hours of the day. The people there were prosperous and happy, no crime was in sight. Prosperity tends to do that to a community. So I was a little sad to leave and come home, but then for comparison as my family hit Cincinnati starting at Florence then going up I-71 to avoid the traffic on I-75 it was a startling comparison which culminated into our last moments of the journey travelling down Butler County Regional Highway where for as far as the eye could see, there was prosperity, especially in West Chester. After coming from an extremely wealthy area full of vibrant economic activity, it was obvious that my hometown of Butler County, Ohio was even greater and that is something the rest of the nation hasn’t been talking about. And for the last twenty years, it was my friend George Lang who has had a tremendous hand in that success, which was why I was elated that he was running for that Ohio Senate seat.

It goes without saying then that I endorse George Lang for the Senate District 4 seat in Ohio, fully. I could tell stories all day about why he’s qualified, but the best part of his resume is in this opening paragraph. I had spent a week in one of America’s most prosperous communities and coming directly home to West Chester, where I work, and Liberty Township where I live it becomes obvious that we have it better than most anywhere else in the country and that is due to the very pro-business environment that Lang has championed for many years starting as a trustee in West Chester. Even when Lang was outvoted 2 to 1 on most issues in West Chester by the much more liberal trustees who were there at the time, Lee Wong being one of them, George managed to be a change agent for the betterment of business and the results are obvious today, and the spill over has poured over into neighboring Liberty Township and other regions connected directly to West Chester very positively.

I remember well when George benefited from Mark Welch getting elected into that second trustee seat knocking out a longtime incumbent so that a second vote could be obtained, and real growth could occur for business. For a few years George Lang and Mark Welch opened West Chester to a very positive pro-business culture that is now carrying over into our current conditions which rival any of the best in the entire country and now George wants to bring that culture to all of Ohio. When George was elected into the 52nd House of Representative seat, this was his ultimate goal which he has been working toward. However, as a Senator, he will have much greater leverage to make that pro-business platform more prominent and to take it above the noise of all the other political matters that permeate the state.

George really doesn’t have any competition for this spot, his rivals during the upcoming primary are Candice Keller out of Middletown, who I think is a wonderful person. But when it comes to experience, George has many of the same positions as her on conservative ideas, but his understanding of business and his pro-business platform just puts him on a higher level. Then as I’ve said about Lee Wong, he’s the kind of guy who is a liberal in a conservative area. He has no choice but to run as a Republican. His policy decisions are very much that of a Democrat. If he were running for office in Hamilton County or even Dayton, he’d be a Democrat without question. It was Lee who stood in the way of many of the growth ideas that George wanted to implement in West Chester. I seem to remember Wong’s campaign slogan was that you “Couldn’t go wrong with Wong.” Well, yes you can, in a big way. He’s a nice guy but he’s not on the level of Lang, in any category. In many ways Lee stood in the way of growth, it was George and Mark who broke through his resistance to give West Chester the great prosperity that it sees today.

So, if there is a theme to all this, management does matter and who we elect into these positions has a major impact on all our lives. Obviously in Charleston South Carolina they have a lot of good things going on. Essentially there they have a deep and rich history to draw from which has put politics on the efforts of preserving that history, and not getting in the way of businesses wanting to capitalize off that deep history. In West Chester, Ohio the situation was harder, while Butler County does have a great history going back to before the Revolution, just as Charleston does, we had to be good the old-fashioned way, in the middle of the country with great highway access. We needed our politicians to make the most of those advantages with low cost compliance and protections on upfront investment for businesses. In West Chester, George Lang alone for a long time, then later with a good support staff from a very good Republican Party presence, have created an economic boom that plugs straight into the Trump administration. There is a reason that President Trump enjoys coming to the southern Ohio area so much, and George Lang is more a part of that success than just about anybody. Not in what he has done, but in what he hasn’t.

Most politicians measure their success by what bills they sponsor and ultimately by how much they grow government. In George’s case, it’s the opposite, he measures his success by how much he can get government out of the way of business, allowing them to spend their time and energy on being profitable, which then allows a high quality of living for everyone. For people who have lived in the Butler County area for many years, its easy to take for granted just how good it is. But if you have traveled, the benefits are obvious in comparison. I am very excited to see George Lang do for Ohio as a Senator what he has done for West Chester. I personally think Ohio has an opportunity to become one of the great economic powerhouses of the world and it will take people like George to make it happen. So he has my endorsement and then some. I simply can’t wait to get him in that seat so he can start the work, for which we will all benefit.

 

Rich Hoffman

 

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The Merits of Dueling

The Merits of Dueling:

As I have said, I have been working on a new book called the Gunfighter’s Guide to Business and I’m about halfway through it.  For my readers of a long time here who have been sending me a lot of emails missing the daily articles, they will return.  But I offer this little sample of this “gunfighter” project to give a taste of what is to come.

The concept of getting “satisfaction” from a personal insult went a long way to establishing honor and proper conduct among business transactions, in the time before modern rules as we know them today. As we have seen often where various religions and their value are not unified, and therefore cannot be expected to hold up in a court of law, there needs to be a mechanism that brings about honor and to hold it into the context of moral conduct where villainy will quickly grow like a weed in a garden of dreams. Dueling in the classic sense, especially in the New World during the time of the American Revolution was an answer to this problem. And if there is an argument against the American Constitution for changes, it was in the original rules of the nation that mechanisms of honor were already established before the courts were needed.

In doing business in the orient, particularly in Japan where honor is still a respected trait, business transactions are accelerated because the interactions mean something with one another. This is obvious at the airports around Tokyo among men and women as respect is a universal language that makes interactions between people start on common ground. In the West we have allowed our own culture of respect to drift away into the more centralized regulation of the state which outlawed the practice of dueling essentially so that lawyers could profit off the instillation of justice. The cost was that individual satisfaction for an insult did not get the respect it deserved while the emphasis was on protecting society from itself by settling matters in a court of law. This has led our culture to adapt into a more passive aggressive society where trust isn’t always easy to find in other people. It could be argued that we were all better off when we tried to openly kill each other to protect a slight against our individual names.

Dueling was so common at the start of America that the governor of South Carolina wrote a book on it to make sure everyone did it right called The Code of Honor: Or Rules for the Government of Principals and Second in the Art of Dueling in 1834 by John Lyde Wilson. Dueling in the time of the Revolutionary War was quite common. While it was slowly going out of style at the start of the invention of a republic form of federal government once George Washington took office, in the South, particularly in Charleston, South Carolina where so many important battles occurred in defining freedom during the start of the new nation, dueling was so common that the governor felt compelled to create some legal means of settling disputes, which sounds barbaric compared to our modern legal system, but in hindsight seemed to generate more responsible people on an individual level. This certainly helped in business commerce, because if a business deal went bad, the parties may find themselves in the streets fighting to the death to obtain their satisfaction.

The important aspect of satisfaction is that the emphasis was on the individual reputations of the participants. It wasn’t some third party “state” that decided justice, it was the people at the heart of the conflict, and in many ways, society was more honorable. People had to treat each other individually better as a result. The more the states intruded on management of the affairs of people the more passive aggressive disputes have become leaving business conduct to suffer greatly. After the Civil War it was particularly immigrants from the South who moved West in search of gold and other opportunities, and they took with them the concept of dueling that had been very much a part of early American life. Dueling with fast draw had with it a way of bringing honor where there wasn’t yet law and it forced people to treat each other better and more honorably which is why there is still reverence for it.

At the state level we can all see today that the concept of taking honor and responsibility for good conduct away from individuals has been a mistake. While dueling was a violent concept the amount of people who died from it were arguably much less frequent than the kind of violence we see in modern times. That is why thinking in the way of the gunfighter is better than in the modern context of leaving disputes to be settled by those not directly responsible for the conduct, such as lawyers and the state as a legal entity. These days instead of getting satisfaction for an honor tainted we say “see you in court” instead of settling the matter right then and there. Then of course those who can pay for the best lawyer become the winners in most cases and the state enjoys the revenue and job opportunities that come from settling disputes. But what is lost is the individual responsibility for the actions taken and the merit of an honorable exchange. Taking the example of the famous duel between General Gladsten and General Howe in 1778, both Generals in the Revolution and were in a dispute over troop possession. They took to the streets of Charleston, South Carolina where many such duels were taking place at the time and when the time came stared each other down waiting for the other to make a move. After taunting each other for a good bit of time finally General Howe fired his pistol and clipped the ear of Gladsten. Gladsten in response, who was thought to be the John Adams of the south and inventor of the famous “Don’t Tread on Me” flag deliberately fired his shot into the ground inviting Howe to try again. Eventually the two men shook hands and that settled their dispute with only a minor injury occurring to Gladsten’s ear. Otherwise, the business between two major Revolutionary War figures was settled respectfully, something that certainly wouldn’t have occurred if the two had fought it out in court with lawyers acting as their pistols and fancy words spoken in legal jargon as bullets.

The point of the matter is not that dueling is a desired trait, or even that we should bring it back in the form that it was. Killing another person isn’t a desirable outcome for any dispute, but the finality of it tended to put in the participant’s minds the seriousness of an issue and this mindset certainly set the West and its expansion ablaze with activity that couldn’t have been regulated by any legal system at the rate that human ambition was expanding at the time. Honor was preserved by the potential for dueling and this threat allowed for proper respect when a nation needed it most. We could learn a lot from this period today where honor among business transactions is desperately lacking, particularly within the American borders. Other countries have their honor driven rituals and it is noticeable during business transactions. In the United States however, we have allowed our laws to be governed by lawyers and judges who take away the responsibility for personal conduct and place it in the hands of the state, and many of our businesses have followed. The impact has been a loss in honor among business interactions that has not been desirable. Yet honor could be restored if only we stepped back into hindsight and dusted off the values that did emerge from dueling and upgraded that sentiment for our modern needs which starts in thinking like a gunfighter.

Rich Hoffman

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Taking a Break to Usher in the Future

I take a lot of pride into being able to produce a lot of work in a 24-hour period. However, presently I have a lot of big projects that I’m working on so for about 60 days I’m going to take a bit of time off this news outlet so that I can contribute that time to a book I’ve been thinking about for several years now called A Gunfighter’s Guide to Business. Even with my very busy schedule I write around 1200 words per day, and to get the book done, I need to give myself that time to put those words into an actual book. The strategy for doing this is obvious from my perspective. When you want to put more chips on the table to sweeten the pot, you have to make sure you have the right hand, and I do. The timing for this project is ideal so its time to make that move.

Don’t worry, I’ll return to this effort after the time indicated. But in the meantime, I need to focus on the themes of the book instead of covering everything all the time. I have always viewed this site more as a talk radio program where freedom of thought can stream over the words without worrying too much about grammar and little structural errors, in the same way that my experience with talk radio taught me. Not to get too hung up on the 8th grade English teacher rules of language and focus more on getting the ideas out of your head and down on paper so that people can share in those sentiments and help build a movement toward a more creative and more free future. The reality of such experiments is that most people think the same things, but what they have to overcome is the alienation that comes from structured politics in isolating people from their biological need for collective sentiment, a parody of our ancient past. The wave of the future of course is the one of the American, independent, wanting to break the rules of conformity which holds us back, and the understanding that we make money in America, we aren’t ruled by it.

I have offered all this work free of charge because I want to help people come to terms with themselves, and to ultimately allow that freedom to be reflected at the voting booth. This new project of mine is for sale, so there are higher expectations for the results. If I want to do my best on it, then I need to give it the time required. Regarding the book and how it gets to market and all those elements, it takes a lot of work and won’t be a fast deal. But nothing happens until you actually write it. Lately as I have come to understand the need for a book like it, my mind has been obsessed over its contents. It took a few years for me to work out the theme and how it would distinguish itself from other business books on strategy. Thankfully, over the last several months I have had all my points sharpened into what has given me a distinct and unusual way to look at the world of business not under previous presidential administrations where some of the concepts I’ll be proposing would be laughed at by previous modes of thinking. But the Trump economy is a very real thing and will have long lasting impacts, and that change in market focus will require a uniquely “American” perspective, which will be the primary theme of the book.

For so many years America has been studying how other people do things and has been concerned about the feelings of other countries to the point of crippling our own economy to appease them. Yet America is the premier market driver of the world and has the strongest economy. So, it should be obvious that they should be studying us, not us them. And we need to understand that what we do is more effective than what others do and to finally be proud of that attribute. There has been an invisible force active and I see it every day when dealing with people no matter where in the world that they are, that highlights the weaknesses of our natures instead of seeking to overcome them, which has a direct impact on overall productivity. I think there is a lot more juice that can be squeezed out of the orange and I am very excited to show others how to do it.

The way the world works is that even if I put these thoughts down for people to read for free, they would not value them. By paying for the work, naturally more value is applied to the subject matter. So for the long term gain, the short term refocus is more than worth it. Ironically all this became very clear to me the other night, while playing poker. There are so many terms that come from poker that are applicable to business and I couldn’t help but think of the early days of pure capitalism as adventurers, pirates and politicians invented what we consider poker today in the saloons of New Orleans, just ahead of westward expansion, which unleased one of the most ambitious periods of world history. The shackles of mankind fell away. Not only was the practice of slavery coming to an end due to the American Constitution and the philosophy of it but also the concept of kings and queens of Europe suddenly not being a concern of average people. Those people could suddenly gain land and wealth if only they had the courage to endure the wild frontier, and it was along those lines that the idea for the gunfighter emerged, not like the samurai of Japan dedicated to protecting the house of their lord, but the gunfighter was out for themselves essentially for the first time in history. Poker was a game that emerged out of this culture and involved playing kings and queens for advantage, not worship.

That is essentially the game of American business. I’ve read many books on the subject and to some degree or another everyone misses the mark. My life is unique in that I have had my foot in lots of different fields and at high levels. Yet I have always stayed very grounded. I recently had a very important meeting with representatives of the Trump administration and an hour later was playing with my grandkids in the yard. In my mind I consider all those things equally important, and it is from that perspective that I have some unique thoughts to offer on the matter of business conduct not just around the world, but from the perspective of the American.

It’s time to stop apologizing, or hiding our thoughts and feelings to appease others, and to get to the concepts of value and how they come about in business, and therefor the conduct of politics on the world stage. Most of the books of this nature that are offered on the local bookstore shelves all in my mind have their value, and I have learned a little bit from all of them. But what is needed is something that unites many fields of thought into a concept that isn’t just a reflection of where we have come from, but where we are going, especially in this new Trump world. To me its very exciting and I think everyone who reads here every day will enjoy the results. So, don’t freak out when you don’t get a daily article from me for a few months. They’ll be back. And once I get this project moving forward, I think you’ll find that the daily articles will be better than ever.

I was originally planning to write this book about ten years from now, however recent events on many different fronts have convinced me that its needed now, (now being loosely affiliated in the publishing world as during the Trump administration years). By the time we arrive at his last day in office in 2024 America will be very much a different place, much better than it was in 2016 when he started office, and American business will be the envy of the world. At that point in time people are going to want a guidebook, so that’s why I’m writing it now. It’s an endeavor that is worth doing, and in these kinds of things, timing is everything.

Rich Hoffman
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Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a Fun Movie, but had terrible, communist politics from the Wanda Group

We are supposed to function under the assumption that politics and entertainment are separate, and that we shouldn’t talk about politics. Yet, with the last two Legendary Entertainment monster film releases, first Kong: Skull Island and now this 2019 release of Godzilla: King of the Monsters the films are about nothing less than communist propaganda which is to be expected after Legendary was bought up by the Chinese Wanda Group in 2016. In the case of this second Godzilla film, Warner Bros. distributed the film, but the contents were clearly guided by the Wanda Group and that is the way things are now in Hollywood. When it is wondered why the American domestic box office was less excited about this monster movie entry than the 2014 predecessor it is due to the massive amount of subtle collectivist propaganda contained within it. I actually lost count of how many times western culture was body slammed in the new Godzilla film and Eastern cultures propped up. So, it should be expected that the domestic total would be less than the original. I thought the Eastern collectivist rants in Kong were bad, this new Godzilla was much worse.

That’s not to say that Godzilla: King of the Monsters is a bad movie. I enjoyed it immensely. As a conservative who loves movies, I am used to not having representation in Hollywood. I enjoyed the movie for what it was, and there were some great ideas. But the politics of the movie couldn’t be ignored. It was very much the star of the show. The theme of the movie was that Eastern understandings of dragons and monsters are that society is to take their rightful place in a kind of harmony with them. Meanwhile the West always intends to slay them. The message was quite clear, East good, West bad. We are supposed to learn to live in subservience to nature not to master it. And Godzilla was a force of nature that was to be worshipped like a God.

Then again, the villains of the movie were all environmental wackos who wanted to unleash all the monsters of the world to kill off humanity and to restore nature back into balance. The film also made an argument against that type of extremism which was interesting. It reminded me of the current Chinese difficulty of accepting Hong Kong capitalism but still holding on to the premise of communism. This Godzilla film was very much a product of Chinese politics, which is to say, a mess of ideas made under the thumbprint of a very authoritarian government. The ignorance of a blissful coexistence with authoritarian regimes and nature continues to be a problem with China and their movies reflect that problem.

Back in 2014 the Godzilla film then earned around $90 million domestically during its opening weekend. This movie made only $49 million. That is a consistent decline since Kong: Skull Island headed on that downward spiral after the Wanda Group bought up Legendary. Kong was also permeated with this promotion that the hostile indigenous people of Kong’s island were no longer deranged lunatics as they had been portrayed in the past, but now they were more advanced than the science of the Western world who were portrayed as greedy and doomed to failure. Monsters like Kong and Godzilla of course are part of an older than civilization intelligence and they watch over us as if we were all pets being guarded the way we would a hamster in a cage.

With those thoughts aside, some of the best moments for me in the new Godzilla film is the confirmation that more and more, we are accepting that ancient Egypt and the Mesopotamian Valley are not the oldest cultures on earth. Our story tellers are now routinely examining much older possible origins for the human race and that is a good thing, so its not all bad in these movies, so long as you don’t care about any of the people, because they are all pretty stupid. And that held true for the original monster movies from Japan. We didn’t watch those movies for the people, but only for the monsters, and that makes these movies fun. But the politics was very distracting, and I would say that it really hurts the domestic box office in North America.

I’ll have to say that the special effects in these monster movies are so much better than the originals and they are a lot of fun if you don’t take them too seriously. But it was hard for me to turn my brain off and enjoy the monsters because the politics of Godzilla and the communist ways of China were so over-the-top. The story of symbiotic relationships after a half hour was really getting on my nerves and that is exactly the kind of thing that is hurting these films at the box office. Honestly, I want to see the next Godzilla movie about the epic fight with King Kong do well, but the films are performing well under what market predictions would have expected, largely because the films aren’t fun enough due to all the political utterances. This is what happens when we let foreign companies take over American media outlets and start bringing their dumb ideas into our culture. The movies would do great if the monsters just destroyed communist civilization and the world would be much more interested because communism to the minds of all human beings represents tyranny, and a lack of freedom of thought. Not to live in symbiosis with them, which was, and continues to be the subtle message of all these films. The “state” (Godzilla is more powerful than you. Learn to live with that power, not against it).

That is also why the mixed messages of Godzilla seeking to recover from injuries in this most recent movie at an ancient temple at the bottom of the ocean was so compelling, because even as the messages of the movie are submission to nature, Godzilla sought healing and refuge at the temple of an ancient culture that has long since died away, following the Vico Cycle that I’m always talking about. It is actually in human creation that anything happens, even for these monsters, and that is the message that the Wanda Group is continuing to miss, because they aren’t just telling a story, they are trying to propagandize their form of government and using all these cool monsters to do it.

But American audiences can smell a rat, and they weren’t in a hurry to go see a movie about communist propaganda. People like me go see the films to see great monsters battle it out and create mass carnage. But nobody wants to sit through over two hours of a communist lecture about how the world would be so much better if the West would only fall and be eaten by a bunch of 300-foot-tall creatures from the ancient past. Even though such a thing is a fantasy for the East their childish understanding about the ways of the world can’t even be buried behind the visual spectacle of the giant monsters themselves. And ultimately that is the reason Godzilla: King of the Monsters didn’t perform well at the box office. It may do well in China, but American markets see through the veil, and it certainly hurt a film that was otherwise a lot of fun and worth the money.

Rich Hoffman

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Ambition and Hope on Full Display

There was a lot going on with the Disneyland opening of the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land expansion this past weekend. During the opening ceremony Thursday night many of the actors from the Star Wars movies were there with George Lucas and Bob Iger to stand in front of the Millennium Falcon and open the place officially to fans, and the event was something to behold, even if viewers were not really keen on science fiction or movies in general. I am a fan and I see great possibilities for this new Disney land expansion which puts as its own kind of Cinderella castle the Millennium Falcon that so many people were emotional about. Which brings me to the question that deserves an answer, why? Why does the opening of a place like this and the full-sized star ships that previously had only been little models that we could see in a museum provoke such an intense emotional response?

I include below a picture of my Craftsman tool box that I’ve had for a vey long time. It looks now pretty much the way when I first got it which was a big deal for me. As I’ve told the story a few different times about my twenties and how difficult they were. Life was trying to turn me into ground beef and I was pushing myself to be a fine steak so that collision was intense. Given some of the challenges I thought it was an amazing achievement to get that tool box and the tools in it and to work at Cincinnati Milacron back when it as a big place to work in Oakley, Ohio. And to work there I had to have tools to make my living with. Most of the guys who worked with me were very much older than I was and they all had fancy tool boxes too, it was sort of a rite of passage thing and they always decorated their tool boxes with pictures of girls, and cars they either wanted or had restored, something that made them happy.

So my version of decorating my own tool box is seen in that picture, they are things I wanted most at that time and I have kept it that way just to remind myself from time to time. And featured prominently there is of course the Millennium Falcon from the movies being built at Elstree Studios in London. I always thought it would be incredible to see that ship up close, and obviously many thousands of others, even millions felt as strongly about that as I did. But why? After all, and this has become the theme of the entire Star Wars series, it was a pirate ship in the stories, the home of a couple of smugglers. So why was the Millennium Falcon such a fan favorite? I can only say that for me, it was always a symbol of hope and when things were especially dark in my life, and extremely difficult, I would think about that ship and what it would be like to build one in real life that you could actually touch and maybe even fly.

Well, I wasn’t the only one, as could be seen in the videos contained in this article. For me the Millennium Falcon has always stood for overcoming obstacles. I don’t think that was intentional on the part of George Lucas when he created the concepts for all this stuff, but it has certainly evolved that way and obviously Disney has realized this after a few years of trial and errors after they purchased the property from Lucas way back in 2012. All this time I have been saying how important culturally opening up this Galaxy’s Edge park would be and now here it is. Putting the Millennium Falcon center stage as a full-sized prop to symbolize everything the place stands for is pretty incredible. For me it fulfills something I’ve been thinking about most of my life, its certainly nothing I ever expected to see. But there it is.

I have not been a fan of the more progressive elements that Disney has brought to their ownership of the Star Wars stories. For a while they were really blowing it, but they have listened to some extent and are correcting course I think in a positive direction. Disney after all is a very capitalist company even though they try to appease the radical left with sentiment to keep them off their backs as a very large corporation that has one objective, to make money. So no matter what their objectives or political beliefs are as a company, to tell the stories people want to see, they have had to stick with the formula that works. And that formula is present in the Millennium Falcon, a pirate ship that is at the center of a rebellion against tyranny and big government that was brought to life by a couple of smugglers who were outlaws. Han Solo, the character, was not fighting for others, he was not putting the world before himself, he was very much an Ayn Rand type of character and over time became the fan favorite that has defined everything that Star Wars is to people, a concept of hope and resilience. And that is why Disney put the Millennium Falcon front and center in their new theme park expansion.

There is a lot more going on at Galaxy’s Edge. I think the impact to visitors is going to be tremendous. Mythically speaking I see that something different happened with Star Wars that hasn’t yet happened anywhere on earth previously and for the first-time human beings have an emotional vehicle that is finally breaking the Vico Cycle. I am certain that was the intent of George Lucas because for a while he was one of the Board of Directors for the Joseph Campbell Foundation which I was very proud to be a member during those same tough twenties. I was a very young man hanging out with some very smart movers and shakers and I’ll never forget what I learned in those years. Myth helps people deal with the world around them and Star Wars was always intended to be a powerful mythology. But I never expected this kind of Star Wars land. Looking at the faces of the people visiting for the first time reflects my own sentiments. But its not the props themselves, its in seeing a mythology come alive that people can interact with and where that goes is very much up in the air. How many new scientist, artists and great thinkers are being born while visiting such a place? I personally think a lot. The people who built Galaxy’s Edge obviously loved Star Wars and were like me, wanted very much to touch and feel something that was only made good by the special effects in movies. But now many of those elements are a physical reality. What excites me is to contemplate what happens next. How many young people will visit this world and grow into a drive to take the next step, whatever that is. Honestly, I think commercial space travel just become much more of a reality than ever before because people can see and touch a concept that will therefor generate a reality that is much better than what we’ve had, and that is a beautiful thing. Who wouldn’t want to fly routinely to Mars and the moons of Jupiter if only they could travel in something like the Millennium Falcon? Sure, it may not travel and move just like the ship in the movie, we probably have about 10,000 years of evolution before something like that is possible, but it’s a start.

Rich Hoffman

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More Government Employees Failing where Guns are the Real Solution

Here’s what I get tired of hearing about when it comes to these mass shootings, they most of the time are caused by some institutional failure but are then opportunities for descriptions of heroics by that same institutional failure. All the while, the moment that a gun is involved in anything, before the facts were even published politicians like Bernie Sanders started talking about why we need even more institutional regulation to protect us from some unknown menace. This is of course regarding the latest shooting incident, this time at Virginia Beach by a long-time public utilities employee who had access to a building and opened fire on 12 innocent people and injured many others. Why he did what he did likely has something to do with government’s failure in the workplace. Members of government engaged in a shoot-out with the guy who was shot. Government employees administered First Aid to try to save him, but the shooter died of his injuries. And Bernie Sanders within just a few hours wanted more gun control without even knowing the specifics of the case, and was demonizing the NRA.

By the way it all sounded, from the knuckle dragging antics of the shooter to the police on the scene it came across like an episode of the Keystone Cops and more people died as a result. The police were supposed to have a shoot out with an attacker, its part of the job just as a fry guy at a fast food restaurant is supposed to drop fries when an order comes in until the timer goes off. Shooting at people or processing fries are all part of jobs that are out there, but you can tell that when the police start bragging about their “heroics” that government is essentially trying to keep the public in believing more government action instead of dealing with the real problem, like why the gunman wanted to shoot at people in the first place. After all, that is the only motive that matters.

Personally, I don’t trust government employees of any kind to resolve those kinds of problems, because the systems they function from are not fast enough. Military and police departments are often too late and make decisions way behind the curb of needed action because of their command structure. I get the need for police to be there to keep some sort of structure present, which does prevent more of these kinds of events, but they are certainly not the cure all for violence. In this case and in many others, the real solution to gun violence is of course to have more concealed carry holders present who could have taken that shooter out in seconds rather than minutes. And to do that the NRA should be listened to and counseled by government because they are the real professions with a solution, not socialist losers like Bernie Sanders. The NRA knows a lot more about gun handling and in using them for defense than all these government employees that are all at the center of many of these mass shootings.

Whether we are talking about school shootings or public breakdowns like the one at Virginia Beach by Dewayne Craddock—or even going back to the Vegas shooting, the 9/11 terrorist incident, or the San Bernardino massacre that the FBI allowed the media to destroy the scene of the crime for who knows what reason, more trust in more government is the dumbest thing anyone could propose. Often, they are slow to get where the danger is, and when they do get there the body count is higher because for them its just a job, like those idiots at the Parkland school shooting in Florida where the police had gotten used to a pampered lifestyle and driving really nice squad cars. When the bullets started flying, they were hiding and looking for every excuse in the world not to engage. The NRA has much better solutions to those types of matters then the government who fails to act when needed, as fast as they are needed, and also failure to properly understand why shootings occur at all.

But to insist that guns be kept away from the public and that our safety and security be put completely in the hands of the government, whether it’s the local, state or federal level is preposterous. Likely when shootings happen there is always some lunatic out there working for government that will have access to guns while the rest of us don’t, and they statistically are the ones we should be watching the closest. When one of them snaps due to some emotional problem we certainly don’t want to be at their mercy, which was the very first thing that liberal politicians proposed after the Virginia shooting. The real villain will likely be some medication either legal or illegal that set off an emotional imbalance which is what we should always first be looking at. Its too early to tell in this latest case, but marijuana is a common factor in many of the mass killing incidents especially in cases like the Boston Bombers and the shooter in the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida a few years ago. The gun is just a tool that losers use to kill other people. The desire to kill other people is the real problem, and government doesn’t have a solution to that because in most cases they look to drug sales to generate vast amounts of tax revenue for their unionized work demands so they don’t really want a real solution. They just want to talk about their long gun battles and their administering of First Aid at the scene of a crime. They don’t really want to solve the problem because they are part of it.

The proposal for citizen gun ownership and carrying them in public is to keep the solution closer to the problems and not expecting to expand government to deal with every little tragedy. In the building at Virginia Beach where this shooting occurred should have been other employees who could have shot the shooter within 30 seconds instead of a half an hour. Fewer people would have been injured and killed. Instead a place like that had metal detectors to keep guns out of people’s hands making it a gun free zone, and an easy target for some deranged lunatic which always pushes up the body count. So why would anybody propose more government control when it was government rules, procedures, and impediments that actually cause the death toll to be as high as it was? Because nobody on the government side of things wants to admit that they can’t detect lunacy in people and to stop them before they become a menace to society, and that when tragedy does strike that they are too late to do anything about it. For the rest of us who without guns, are all potential victims to the stupidity of government employees who are much more concerned about their pensions then running into gunfire to cut minutes off the clock of terror while innocent people are bleeding out waiting for help.

Carrying guns and shooting back when danger presents itself isn’t for everyone. But it is for those who are most prone to use them to save innocent people when the call for it is needed. This case in Virginia Beach is no different. If there had been good guys with a gun there to stop the bad government employee with a gun, then a lot more people would have gone home on that sad Friday afternoon. But unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and many more people died. Then, rather than dealing with why it happened the political class immediately went to more government power by taking away guns and putting more trust into their systematic approach that obviously never works. It’s also why it keeps happening.

Rich Hoffman
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