How can Americans Complain about Being Bored 8 Hours per Day when they Have Kings Island?

I really treasure summertime, especially in Ohio where I live. The change of seasons gives a really nice perspective to the story of a year. The spring and summer time period for me is by far the best time and Memorial Day in our culture is the launch of the summer season, even though it doesn’t officially begin until later in June. But this year was a bit different, my wife and I had a rare window to go to Kings Island after a hard week of work Friday night and the stars had lined up just right to have a wonderful evening. I tend to be a very positive person, so many of the things I observed that night might seem trivial, but I’ll share them anyway for the benefit of contemplation. This year since we go to Kings Island a lot my wife and I had the drink and dinner plans so we could eat at the new Miami River Brewhouse which is the new sit down restaurant in Rivertown and not worry about the typically excessive expenses of amusement part food and watch the Reds play baseball on one of the many big screen televisions hung around the establishment. As we ate, the Reds had beaten the Cubs in a really good game. And through the windows we could see the world of an amusement part through every window which made me think of how the rest of the world lives, which is not nearly so blessed.

My first thought sitting there in that fabulous place, which was a redesign of what in previous years had been a Cincinnati Reds themed eatery, was that everything was so grand. The building itself had been there a while, but for this new Brewhouse Kings Island had completely overhauled the place so it was filled with nice big tables and large areas to move around. In the corner overlooking the lake that Diamond Back storms through on its return to the loading station was a big, magnificent bar themed a bit like what we might think of as a wild west saloon. And that was themed to the general look and feel of Rivertown which is my favorite part of the park. It always has been but lately the people at Kings Island who make strategic decisions for these kinds of things have really embraced the wild west like feeling of that part of the park and themed it off the old history of the Miami Valley itself. And that theming has carried over into their new and classic rides, like The Beast, Diamond Back, the Train and the latest addition Mystic Timbers. When I have a really stressful day, which I had all that previous week, Rivertown is my favorite place during the summer to blow off steam and put my mind in a good place.

For me what makes me most happy in life is time to think, which is something I don’t get as much as I’d like. And turning an environment around from a negative one to a very positive one like Kings Island provides is a very helpful exchange. As I’ve made clear I strive to have above the line places to go and the point of Kings Island is to give that to people. I couldn’t help but think again how grateful I am that I live in an area that has one of these big amusement parks. I think often of Orlando because it’s a very optimistic city now with all the Disney Parks, Universal Studios and the many, many offerings from Kissimmee, Florida all the way up International Drive until you arrive at the south part of the city of Orlando itself. But for thrill rides, Ohio has the best between Cedar Point and Kings Island which Ceder Fair Amusements owns both. Under their care over the last several years of their ownership Kings Island has improved quite a lot and sitting in that Brewhouse I couldn’t help but see that they were doing a better job of making Kings Island on par with a place like Universal Studios and Disney than like a big carnival playground as it has been considered over the years. And to have something like that near where I live is something I am very grateful of, even though I have been going there most of my life.

I heard an alarming statistic a few weeks ago from a survey which indicated that Americans were mired in boredom 131 days a year, or otherwise stated 60.48 hours per week, 36% of the time available over a 7 day period. That is a baffling concept for me because I can’t say that I am ever bored. It does get on my nerves waiting for people I may have to interact with sometimes who don’t use the clock of the day as effectively as I do. Most of the time that is like minutes of a day, but 60 hours a week, which comes out to 8.5 hours per day. That is just a reprehensible statistic, especially when entertainment options that are out there include places like Kings Island. Part of the definition for boredom was reports of no fun time as defined by the participants as having too many full-time adult responsibilities.

This is obviously a mistake, this approach to life where what people consider having too many childish things in their life means that they are immature where in fact the opposite is true. By classic definitions of adulthood, it is expected that people rise above the yearnings of childhood and that is part of the problem. It should be the other way around. Childhood isn’t the problem, the belief that it is inferior to adult responsibilities of service to others as the primary objective is. Speaking for myself which is why I’m sharing these thoughts, I can’t think of any time that I am bored. In my ideal day, which I had previously before going to the Brewhouse for some dinner and to watch the ballgame before riding the roller coasters at Kings Island I had spoken to people in five different countries, played a little Red Dead Redemption on Playstation 4, read a third of a book as my days usually start at 4:30 AM every day and attended several important meetings that were all aimed at making money which I consider all those things equally important. What is there to be bored about? My problem is that I’d love to have 48 hours per day instead of just 24. Even then, I don’t think it would be possible to do everything I want to do in a day. And out of all those things, I don’t recall an abandonment of fun. Sure, sometimes I may get mad at something and throw a chair or kick in a door but in a lot of ways I find that fun, not stressful. It is fun to engage in the passions of life. Getting mad at something isn’t necessarily bad. To me it is just another form of happiness because the anger comes from a zeal for accomplishment which is a creative enterprise. It certainly isn’t boring.

I am certainly grateful for Kings Island. I do still play a lot and I don’t see adulthood as an opportunity for boredom. Most of us spend our lives wishing away our time so that we can become adults and buy the things we want and go where we want. It is sad that most of us spend 8 hours a day bored. I don’t think people in America should ever be bored. Responsibilities shouldn’t be looked at as a hindrance to happiness especially if you learn to play along the way. And places like Kings Island certainly make it easy to do just that. There are places in the world who could only fantasize about having such a place in their city, even well-established countries with decent economies and culture. Kings Island as much as we might take it for granted in Cincinnati, Ohio is a real benefit to have and I certainly did enjoy my visit there over Memorial Day weekend. As I always do.

Rich Hoffman

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The Black Spire Outpost–the roots of genius

Most of my readers are over 50, but I do have quite a few that are under that number and they are likely as excited as I am about the opening of the Black Spire Outpost in Disneyland, which happens next week. That is of course the new Star Wars Land called Galaxy’s Edge which is finally opening after Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012 and now six years later is about to be opened. I had a lot to say on the matter back then and just as I hoped, it will prove to be not only a technical marvel, but an important contributor to human mythology. Additionally, it centerpieces an enthusiasm for the imagination which I think is critical to the production of genius in our culture. A free roaming imagination has many safe places in the Star Wars stories, so being able to actually visit such a place with all the authentic detail that fans and just park goers can share with this new Disney contribution to the live action myth building that they are so well known for is a really exciting enterprise. So for the sake of people thinking of visiting it in the weeks to come, or over the course of this upcoming year the video below is a good place to start just to get the basics of a successful visit.

As many also know I have a small obsession with the concept of genius and growing older to me can be a blessing if the elements of childhood have not been lost in the process. However, I view most human beings as being at their peek around the ages of 6 to 10. After that, most of us slowly decline over time. We may gain more responsibilities and wisdom, but usually it’s at the sacrifice of thoughtful imagination and wonder. Being older of course has more fiscal opportunities, but I sort of drew the line at 50 because at that age people become much more reflective and my readers come here to think about the things in their life that they neglected before getting to an age where its too late to change anything quickly. Most of my fans don’t want to leave the world worse off for their children and grand children so they start thinking of politics and what they can do to help.

Unfortunately, everyone under 50 is mostly concerned with social statuses and where they fit on the pecking order of existence where it is generally accepted that elected offices are something that most people don’t want to think about. Rather than talking about politics they reside to the safe topics of sports and grilling hamburgers or steaks in their back yards. It continues to amaze me how much conversation is generated among people in this age group, between 30 and 50 years of age about grilling out in the back yard. And these same people detest any talk of politics, because they fear it will harm their climb up whatever social ladder of influence they are concerned with navigating. Then of course there are the people of the previous twenty years, from the ages of 10 to about 30 that are nearly obsessed with their newly turned on sexual attributes. The race to find a mate to have children with, or to just use sex as a tool of manipulation and control becomes their dominate thinking. Watching all this from my perspective is disgusting and I never accepted any of those social gates. Instead my mind has always been more on books and other mythic entertainments because those were the values of my youth and I never let go of them. And I see quite clearly that the path to genius is through retaining that child-like “Peter Pan” element of perpetual curiosity.

Star Wars is a great vehicle for refining that genius. Some of the smartest people I know are comic book geeks and pimple faced readers of Star Wars books. Most of these people are extremely overweight and don’t get out in the sun much, but they don’t care. They have made decisions to not care about their places in the pecking order of our civilization and they get made fun of for not participating. But most of these people are extremely intelligent and rather childlike. It’s a shame that they are so stigmatized in society because they could bring to the world great things if only, they cared to participate. But the world to them is often a disappointment and nowhere near as exciting as the Star Wars stories they read about and enjoy in the movies. But that trend has been changing and places like this Black Spire Outpost is the latest effort to allow people to revisit their childhood hopes and to actually put their hands on what used to be only a fantasy, and I think that is a very good thing.

Star Wars was and has always been very political. After all, if there is a war, there must be something to fight over and those stories often reflect the politics of our day. As much as people think of George Lucas, the creator as a hippie of his generation concerned over Watergate and the Vietnam War, I see in him a pretty conservative hot rodder who came to age through racing cars and learning to work on them who also had an active, very childlike imagination, which is why Star Wars turned out to be so special. And so the seeds for the Black Spire Outpost were born from the burnout smoke of his race cars and a keen interest in anthropology. Unlike many filmmakers these days who are obsessed with film trivia George Lucas made Star Wars from a perspective of genius by carrying with him into adulthood the hope that most young people have, that they may have the opportunity to change the world as an individual.

Of course, genius doesn’t stay with people. It can be lost in a puff of instant smoke. Once the values of genius are lost, people usually revert back to some biological timeline of age ward progression. But it doesn’t have to be that way and every time a big amusement park land like the Black Spire Outpost comes on the scene it reveals some of the best elements of our culture. And that excites me greatly as I enjoy the enthusiasm that comes with such ambitions. This particular creation at Disenyland is a huge cultural element that when I was a kid wasn’t even thought possible. I remember going to Universal Studios in Hollywood and looking forward for months beforehand to see the full-sized star fighters from the television show Battlestar Galactica—the Colonial Vipers. I think it was one of the most exciting things I had seen as a young person and I never really forgot it, even though the thing was just a prop from the television show’s set. To be able to see the Millennium Falcon sitting in a free state and to be able to actually ride it in an active way is extremely exciting and we can only imagine what impact that will have on future generations . One way or the other, the opening of the Black Spire Outpost is a very significant cultural event that will likely have long standing consequences for the better. So for those planning to visit, enjoy it! It is truly something special!

Rich Hoffman

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The Nature of the Trump Economy and Why Democrats had nothing to do with it.

It’s impossible to cover the kind of topics that are put onto this blog site without them being synonymous to the challenges of the Trump administration. The election and presidency of Donald Trump is a change agency element that is forever changing political life in America, and of course it will ruffle the feathers of many groups that want to remain in the boxes of thought they have put themselves in. And this has never been more evident then in the understanding of why the Trump economy is so good and who gets the credit for it. I was thinking of all this while listening to Joe Biden talk about the economy the other day and how Trump has benefited from the Obama economy and that the credit goes to that previous administration, which is of course insanely stupid. It reminded me of my first-year economics professor in college saying nearly the same thing about economic cycles and how they ebb and flow. I thought that guy was an idiot back then, and now thirty years later hearing Joe Biden talk, I am 100% sure of it. If we hadn’t elected Donald Trump, the economy would have remained flat as it was all through the eight years of Obama and essentially the eight years of George W. Bush climaxing into a recession in 2008.

The truth is most people have learned about economics from all the wrong places by all the wrong kind of people. The true rules for growth are in creating value and then protecting that value, which is why Trump is engaging in a trade war with China. The American economy will benefit from that activity, not be hurt by it. The myth that economics work by cooperation and bridge building is ridiculous Economic value is exclusively a product of building something of value and sticking by that value with protections. And the Obama administration wasn’t doing any of that. It was instead apologizing for what America had done and giving artificial value to tag along economics that were seeking to loot off American products the way that China has. So a study of these kinds of causes and effects are essentially what this blog is all about, and at the center of that story is the Trump administration because it is in the practice of changing definitions from previous assumptions. And the world will be forever changed by those definitions.

I often talk about what losers most politicians are, because they are essentially looters, living off the efforts of others, and that is clearly what Joe Biden is. He is the very definition of a looter. He lives completely off the efforts of other people. But I can say in 2018 that I know quite a lot of politicians who are actually really good people. I can’t say that those people were around in 2008. I have watched personally a new breed of politician come up out of the Tea Party movement and it is that foundation that essentially put Trump in the White House. It wasn’t just a miracle that Trump was elected into the presidency on his first try, but there was plenty of grass roots helping out in the cracks that nobody knew anything about that knocked away a lot of the opposition against Trump, especially in battle ground states like Ohio. They understand how the world works far better than Joe Biden and ultimately there are many new millionaires who have benefited from this new perspective and they aren’t going to go backwards.

Still, it is insulting to hear it, when some old politician trying to apply the rules of yesteryear with an outright lie about the nature of economic growth goes on a claim jumping word spree that we all know is based on the looter culture. Joe Biden and Barack Obama aside from what anyone thinks about politics were some of the last new assets of that old class of in the box economic thinking where bridge building was thought to have more value than actual product value. Now that theory has been busted and the Trump administration is the first clear evidence of such a change in thought essentially since the inception of America as a nation. There have been periods of great economic growth but economists, especially the socialist college professor types really didn’t understand beyond sentiment how the game really worked.

I was also fortunate I suppose to have had lots of experience in the world before I entered college at the University of Cincinnati at the age of 19. I knew right away in that first-year economics class that what the professor there was teaching was largely bullshit. Of course, there is value in learning what other people have learned so you can know how to play the game against them. But regarding the actual facts of economic truth, the college professor circuit in the 80s and 90s were clueless, and they taught many of their students to think incorrectly about how economics worked, so really who could blame Joe Biden for being such an idiot. He assumes that everyone is just as delusional as he is, he has no reason to think otherwise, except when the successes of the Trump administration are analyzed in comparison.

If you have a superior product that the world wants, the leverage that brings to a marketplace is all powerful and becomes the governing force in any negotiation. And those economic cycles can continue to expand so long as imagination continues to erupt in whatever culture is producing the economic values with new product implementation. The fall back into recession occurs when that culture stops producing products of value. The cycle effect is manageable, not inevitable. In that context and definition, the moment that President Trump took office, even with all the efforts of removing him from office by the old political machines, his America first policy put new value on American products that then started an expansion that never could have occurred under the Obama administration. And that increased economic value literally started the day after the election because investors could see a friendly administration toward the American economy, so they were free to think of and market products they had been sitting on for many years, and that is why the economy suddenly flourished. It wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t happenstance. It was all very logical and by the rules of economic value that very few really understand because they listened to all the wrong people.

And deep down inside I think most democrats know it, that the Trump economy is not a fluke, that it is built on real value instead of the traditional looter culture of taking credit for things they had nothing to do with. This Trump economy is a new definition that many are just learning, not that there is anything new about it—just that many are coming to it for the first time. Adam Smith had all this figured out long ago in his great book The Wealth of Nations which I refer to often even still. I’m quite sure that college professor I had never read that book even though it should have been the guiding textbook for the college course. And that is the world that Joe Biden comes from, and it is that world that is coming apart as we speak, and the longer Trump is president, the less likely that the old way will ever come back in America. And that is what we are all fighting for.

Rich Hoffman

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Elon Musk Doesn’t Give a Damn About Your Degree

This was a very interesting interview with Elon Musk about college degrees and the value of them. Its important to note due to the extraordinary costs of college that obtaining a degree is not an indicator of exceptional ability. It might make whomever has a college degree attractive to an employer looking for someone who won’t rock the boat and will give predictable results as an employee. But having the degree won’t by itself produce an employee who will change the world. Exceptional ability can’t be bought and to a large degree that has been the message. That college will produce better employees than those without a degree, and that simply isn’t true. Not in any way. People who are driven and are accomplished don’t need a college degree and its interesting that Musk who employs lots of technical people in his companies is willing to take a position on college, but I agree with him. To my experience a college degree holds people back, it doesn’t help them and is certainly an element to consider when the cost of obtaining one is so incredibly high.

Nobody wants to hear that all the hard work and money they spent on a college degree was a waste. Of course it’s going to hurt the feelings of the people who have a degree to hear that the world really doesn’t value them. But really the whole concept goes back to the Wizard of Oz story were at the end the main characters were given pieces of paper stating that they had a brain, or a heart and were therefore valuable to society. The suggestion that the college experience would take a nobody and make them into somebody is a falsehood that our governments have essentially perpetuated to keep everyone in a compliant culture. The person who works hard for the sake of discovery and self-preservation is more likely to be that exceptional employee that everyone is looking for.

But then again, not everyone is looking for an exceptional employee. Elon Musk certainly is, otherwise Tesla and Space X wouldn’t be such market drivers in modern science. But many companies, especially those with rigid cultures well established don’t want some crazy hard worker coming along that wants to change the world. They may well be looking for the drunk, the loser, the whore that embarrassed themselves in college so that they will fit well into their current culture of complacency. That after all is the big secret that most employers are dealing with. While the ownership and board may want the exceptional results that drive up value, the management does not. What most work cultures want is compliance and nothing more and for that, the college degree is perfect for them.

Elon Musk of course is coming from the perspective of a change agent in the technical fields. The proof is in cultures that are very top heavy in college graduates but are lacking in technical innovation. Take China for instance, a very compliant culture where education structure is well understood. There is a reason they have to steal so much technology from countries like the United States. That is what students learn in college, to copy what the professor instructs them, but they don’t learn to think. The college graduate is typically good at unpacking something that is already known, but they can’t invent it from scratch. That is fine if the results desired are not ambitious. But if the desire is to always push for innovation, then more of a gunslinger approach is needed, an individual who is quick on their feet, willing to take risks and push forward ideas and to explore their potentials fearlessly. In the United States we have great experience with this kind of business approach and many of the best in our entrepreneurial fields have not obtained success through college.

In truth colleges are filled with those who can’t do things in real life, that’s why they seek the safety of the university system to obtain employment. What they sell to potential students is simply the boon of a typical snake oil salesman. They are selling Dumbo’s feather to give false confidence into their recipients making them think that it is the feather that makes them fly, not their own ears. By the time a student leaves a four year degree, or a six, the world has changed yet again and they enter the workplace a half a decade behind the cutting edge trends. The ones who are on those trends are the bold and ambitious who get there the old-fashioned way, through tenacity and lots, and lots of hard work. You can’t fake success and you certainly can’t buy your way into it.

People are more willing to talk about the failures of the college system now than they were just a few years ago. Given the amount of college graduates that we have now, and the cost of college to begin with, we should all be beaming with intelligence. I have the advantage of watching my two daughters’ generation who just came out of this age. Many of their friends, a few that come to mind have been going to college for over a decade, have actually regressed intellectually. They entered their college years unfocused and changed their majors many times over and simply went because their parents told them to. So much of the money spent was to discover themselves and sure enough, in college there were many liberal professors there to show them the ways to liberalism and socialism. When my wife and I went we didn’t have a good time. I hated every stinking minute of it, because it was obvious to me that the whole thing was a scam. And with my wife, she went round and round with her professors who were far more interested in getting her to read the Quran and to re-write the history of the Revolutionary War to include the crime of slavery as the biggest concern instead of the liberty and independence of all people, which is what the war was all about. I was very offended personally by this activism. It’s not that learning about other cultures is a problem with me. Quite the opposite, there are probably few people out there who care about other cultures as much as I do. What I didn’t like about the college experience is that they were actively putting down American culture and that pissed me off 30 years ago and I feel no differently now. Colleges with just a few exceptions are incubators for liberalism and the longer kids spend there, the worse they become.

The most cutting edge of us have known it all along. The rest of the world is coming to it. But college is a scam that sells nothing but air. It’s like buying bottled water when you can get perfectly good water right out of the faucet. They declare that what you are getting in college is better, and cleaner. But water is water, and many of us don’t like the additives that do come in the bottled version. With college we are essentially programming people toward a compliance based political ideology. We aren’t teaching them to think, which an employer like Elon Musk is always on the lookout for. It’s only a matter of time before the need for bold and ambitious people in a marketplace that requires dynamics overrules the desire for compliance-based employees who do what you tell them to do, and nothing more. In the kind of exploding economy that we have now, we don’t have time to wait for students to leave college to enter the marketplace and we certainly don’t have a decade to wait for them to deprogram themselves into being reasonable people again. We need people to learn more things fast and with greater independence, and for that we will never get them in abundance from a college graduate.

Rich Hoffman

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How Game of Thrones got it Wrong: The truth about democracy and nature of power

To say that I was disappointed with the final two episodes of the Game of Thrones would be an understatement. Here they were, the creative minds behind the popular HBO series had set up this really spectacular argument for what generates the nature of power and lust for it only to turn the whole thing into a diatribe for democracy while putting an all seeing eye into the central seat of power. To say that the show missed the mark after essentially 8 years of build up would be an understatement. It took 73 episodes of over an hour each to end with a very cliched metaphor on power that corrupts leaving the ever hopeful and wise character of Daenerys Targaryen to be murdered by the star of the series, Jon Snow. It’s a shame that all those liberal arts majors who work in film, television production, producers and the entertainment media have it all wrong on the nature of power. Shakespeare wrote some good plays on the topic as viewed from his day, but I think we were all hoping that someone noble and good would take the Iron Throne and show how leadership should really look. My thoughts on the Game of Thrones finale are very well represented by Grace in the following video.

This nature that power corrupts is essentially that old sentiment that we all have to provide an excuse for regressing back into the stone age as a civilization and in our entertainment I think it’s safe to say that we all yearn to see our fantasy characters do what real life often fails to give us. Does power have to be corrupt and are we all truly better off in a democracy, where the metaphor didn’t escape me to our current worldly situation. Do we really want cripples and midget philosophers running our world while the bold and brash of us win the wars then are murdered in sleep so that the tag alongs can rule? Is that really a better system? Most of us are not prepared to answer that question, our religions and educations have told us since we could first utter a word that power corrupts and that we should only trust institutions, and at the end of Game of Thrones, that was the conclusion. That the state should be handled by the weak and even the most parasitic while the best always fall to corruption 100% of the time.

I smell a hoax and a line of very bad thinking permeating out of pop culture in quite an audacious way. Ultimately, its just a story, but to us human beings, stories matter. And the trend is that we must walk away from something that usually feels good, like the Game of Thrones and be thrown back to the reality that all people are fallible, and the only protection we have against it is democracy. We don’t want to break the wheel; we want to stay on it perpetually. Even though we may be miserable on it, we are terrified to break from it and its sad that our entertainment culture feels that to be authentic to their art, that they must preserve the wheel.

After all, isn’t that why so many Democrats are upset that Donald Trump won the election for President in 2016. In the United States, we decided to break the wheel and so far, so good, the old myths about everyone who gains power becoming corrupted is being tossed out of the window. Donald Trump is no Daenerys Targaryen going crazy and killing people for no reason, even though her whole life up to that point she behaved nobly in pretty much every situation. We have taught ourselves that such a person doesn’t exist and that when they touch power, they all fall. That was the theme of the Lord of the Rings stories, that the ring corrupted everyone. And that is the story here, that the very nature of an Iron Throne to rule everyone corrupted all who sat on it without exception. But why? An answer is never given, we are just supposed to accept that power corrupts. End of story.

And at the end of the show I couldn’t help but think of Donald Trump. Heroes are supposed to do like Jon Snow and retreat from the world and hide somewhere until danger is about. At that time and those times only, the stragglers are to rule. The stories of corruption are spread by them to keep the best among us hiding away from the seats of power so that there isn’t any competition for the thrones they seek. The people of a democracy who end up in charge then start wars that need people like Jon Snow and they are happy to let them fight. They will even give them awards for their valor on the battlefield. But the manipulators of justice hope in the back of their minds that the heroes will die in combat so that they won’t challenge their lust for power. That was the message of the Game of Thrones in the end and I think most people watching were insulted because they see the scam that is going on. They may not be the powerful warriors themselves that they would like to be, but they’d like to think that we live in a world where such people can exist. Game of Thrones said with a fist punch into the dirt that “NO” the levers of the world belong to the least capable, and here’s why. Because power always corrupts, even the incorruptible Daenerys Targaryen. Not even she could stand up to its powerful call. And the hero that slew her was imprisoned and cast away until needed again. The people really in charge are the ones playing the games quietly while everyone else was fighting.

Yeah, the Game of Thrones was a major let down. And it shows just why the Hollywood types who are mostly Democrats hate the Trump presidency. They assumed that he would sit in the Oval Office and become corrupted into a mad king, that’s what they told us anyway. Instead it was all the Tyrion Lannisters and Bran Starks in the media, the Democrat Party, and the FBI who orchestrated an insurrection against him without any provocation to their suspicions but what they believe themselves about power, that it corrupts all individuals. The only protection any of us have is that of institutional controls governed by the most manipulative of us all in the form of a democracy while the heroes hide in wait to be called upon not by their own action, but for the needs of the many.

In my experience power is not for everyone. But its not for us to surrender ourselves to a democracy run by idiots either. Some people have it, and some don’t, and just because they get power, they aren’t doomed to fall like Daenerys Targaryen did, or Gollum from Lord of the Rings. We tell the stories about our culture that we most believe and this concept of how power comes about and what it does to people is as old as time. But I don’t think we have through art fully understood what it is or why its even needed. And we hope often that the next great stories that come along can put their arms around it and match our hopes and dreams. After all that time we all hoped that the Game of Thrones would unpack that mystery and tell us that power can be captured and wielded justly. Like we are seeing with the presidency of Donald Trump. But in the end they let us down with just another piece of crap concept taken straight out of the pages of the middle ages. The message that power corrupts, when in the back of our minds we hope not and yearn to see an example where it doesn’t.

Rich Hoffman

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Politics and the Banned Books of the Bible

I think the most interesting thing in the world is not how we all evolved out of some single celled creature swimming in the sea, or were molded literally out of dirt by a god and cattle prodded into existence while mating with our brothers and sisters, but in why mankind has a perpetual need to regress. And that is the trend if you look back over the many years to the beginnings of things. For instance, even while we may marvel as I have at the antics at Stonehenge and Avebury in England the Egyptians and Sumerians were conducting life not so different from our modern day needs and desires in America. Then visiting those same places today, the Middle East has not progressed from accomplishment to accomplishment always building higher, but is now considerably less sophisticated and much less economically viable. Places around the world do not evolve at the same rate, while one part of it may be on the cutting edge of technology the other parts of it has clans of rock throwers and superstitious psychotics sacrificing their first born daughters to some gods hoping to make it rain so they don’t all starve to death.

Then there is the problem as to why we desire to hide that reality from ourselves behind veils of culture, religion, economics, even history. One thing that has always really bothered me about the Bible in the Christian tradition is that the book was essentially conceived around 100 AD, a century after Christ had died. A few hundred years after that the Roman emperor Constantine wanted to unite his empire using Christianity as the glue so the first Bibles were organized and over the next several hundred years scriptural scholars decided what books to put in the Bible and which ones to leave out. For instance in the days of Jesus he was known to have been well versed with scripture, but what scripture are we talking about if the nature of the Christian religion in the New Testament is all about him. The Old Testament had been picked through by so many “authorities” that it really doesn’t hold any historical reference any longer. The scripture that Jesus had studied is obviously long, long gone. There is a long section of Biblical history that is just ignored, especially if you go back and read the banned books of the Bible, the Book of Jasher, the Book of Enoch, and the Book of Jubilees.

For all we know the ancient books of the Bible were passed down for millenniums and mankind had been coming and going for all that time scratching at the surface of civilization while continued pockets of failures went back to being spear chuckers and forgetting about the massive ziggurats they had built with great effort to satisfy somebody somewhere. That span of time could have been three of four thousand years to tens of thousands of years. Yet if you go to the National Geographic Museum in Washington D.C. they will insist that all over the world we all developed as hunters, then planters, then city builders to where we are today. But then using modern science to peer back under the veil of history we see that all over the world, especially in regions today that we might call “third world” we see the evidence for massive lost civilizations that just don’t follow that assumption. All along the Amazon River we see evidence of major cities buried under the jungle canopy waiting to tell us their stories that occurred long before the Inca were even thinking of building their empire in South America.

We are learning that the Maya were much older and much bigger than we ever thought they were. What we know about all these cultures is really only captured in stone and stories. How much truth is there in the myths of all world cultures and how much of it is made up fantasy to represent metaphorically a need that minds had, like the modern myth of Star Wars. There are deep human needs in most mythologies that are revealed in those stories, but how much of them are truth and how much based on desire? All we really have are guesses and deduction from looking at some pottery and making assumptions based on our modern life. How many Göbekli Tepe temples are there buried under a hill in Turkey out there all through the Middle East and extending into Asia, even North America? The date for that location is well accepted now by mainstream science to extend back to the 10th millennium BCE which would indicate that life there was an advanced culture in the area of the Biblical regions well before the Temple of Solomon was built, or the City of David had laid its first stone. We tend to walk the streets of Jerusalem and think of the Old City as…..old. But when you consider the evidence of Göbekli Tepe as being five to perhaps even ten thousand years older it makes you wonder how many other places around the world might view Göbekli Tepeas the newcomer.

I grew up with Bible study, my family attended church often and I enjoyed learning about religion in the Christian context but as I grew older I started studying comparative religion and wondering about how so many different versions of the same stories percolated out into our nation building. Then I couldn’t help but wonder how much of our myths and legends were actually true, how much of the tall tails were in all actuality laced with fact. And by just a casual observance you learn really quick that most of the governments of the world do not want to know the truth. And they will actually use violence to keep anybody from discovering our true historical context to the distant past. Every culture wants to think they are the first to arrive at some grand conclusion and are therefor the authority to follow. But in reality, they are just the latest, many have tried before and that will continue well into the future. My question is and remains, how do we stop the cycle?

I have some pretty good ideas on the matter, and I have my thoughts on the past and the future that I have discussed in some detail. My interest in politics and economics have spawned off this basic question as to why societies rise and fall so often and unlearn everything they worked so hard to develop. Is this the first time for instance that a world culture has developed the means to leave the planet and head to space? I don’t think so. In the politics of Democrats for instance I hear in them a deep yearning to crawl back into the cave and to paint images of a deer hunt onto the dark walls of Lascaux. Even among most Republicans is the desire to use capitalism to advance mankind into a hopeful future of discovery and triumph, but while hanging on to parts of Biblical history that insist they were the first and only attempts at civilization and that we not deviate from the pages of a book built by the Roman Empire to control their territories. To my study nobody really wants to “get it” and that is the biggest mystery of all, and something that deserves some consideration. Because in that answer is a treasure trove of understanding that holds a key we all could benefit from. And it only takes a little courage to unlock.

Rich Hoffman

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Why Marijuana is so Devastating to Any Human Culture

Regarding this marijuana dispensary that is opening in Lebanon, Ohio and the sentiment in the city of Cincinnati to decriminalize pot, that is not a victory. It is simply yielding to the pull of below the line thinking and the lazy desires of the masses to erode away expectations so that they don’t feel so bad about themselves. That is the overall trend of the average pot user, to hide in the shadows and to escape the pressure of expectation which drives all of civilization forward. To answer Chris Smitherman’s comment about the sensibility of continued criminalization of marijuana, the value system that is against pot use is the same one that advances our society in every way, it’s a standard that the human race requires to develop. Saying no to pot and all drugs really is saying yes to civilization and its growth. But you can’t have both. Pot advocates will point to history and say the Egyptians used drugs, that Shakespeare used even marijuana to evoke his literary classics, but I say, where are they now? If you want a society that works and advances, you can’t have a society that endorses drug use. The two just don’t go together and it forces us to make a choice. In a nutshell, that is why I’m against drug use and advocate for their continued criminalization.

Over the last couple of years, I have really developed a respect for the game of golf and baseball. Its not that I have time for it now, but golf is a game that takes time to play and I like the above the line nature of it. Often at courses there are rules that players must have collars on their shirts and even that their shirts must be tucked in. What you don’t see typically on a golf course are a bunch of losers smoking pot. The same in baseball to a large extent. People aren’t going to be smoking a lot of pot and expect to hit a 95-mph baseball. And in golf, drugs and accuracy just aren’t conducive to one another. I like those sports because they force people to rise up to their natures rather than to bow down to their below the line animal sentiments.

When I was younger and the concept of even being able to play golf was a far-off objective, because I couldn’t afford to spend the money to play the game, and I certainly didn’t have the free time to play. For the first thirty years of my adult life I literally worked 7 days a week, so I didn’t have any four hour windows to play such a game. But in the back of my mind I always enjoyed the above the line nature of the game, the well-tended landscaping. The good dress of the players and participants. I did marry a country club girl in the heyday of the Beckett Ridge Country Club. In fact our wedding reception was held at the club as her parents were members of good standing back then. But I was always a bit of a rebel and always wanted to do my own thing. Rules weren’t then and still aren’t attractive, but I do appreciate as a baseline a standard of behavior that sets goals high and forces others to live up to them.

In that regard as society has shown less respect for a value system, to me golf courses and country clubs are much more appealing than they used to be for me. And probably because I’m in a period of my life where I can actually participate, that likely is the biggest reason. And I would argue that the same trend trajectory is present in pot advocate supporters, only in reverse. They look at their lives and see where they have made all these mistakes along the way and they know, or at least feel, that they will never be able to get into a country club, or be able to play golf with some friends and they instead advocate for the removal of standards so that they don’t have to feel so bad about themselves. That pot facility in Lebanon is supposed to be a medical marijuana dispensary that requires a doctor’s prescription. But drug users know they can get a glaucoma diagnosis from any second-rate doctor and they are all set to buy. But to even get the drugs it encourages people to yield to their weaknesses rather than overcoming them and that is the source of the whole marijuana debate. Even if we take away the pot smoke and just look at the consumption of mariuman in any way for pain relief, what we are doing is yielding to our weaknesses and seeking a below the line judgment to hide behind, rather than forcing ourselves to do better and work harder at life. That is the ultimate price of any society that embraces drugs to cut away the tensions of their lives. Tensions are created by expectation. Not having the ability to manage those expectations is the larger social problem that is worsened by the use of pot.

The more that our society rejects standards of good conduct, the more my rebellious side wants to embrace those standards so these days the uppity trends of golf are very appealing as opposed to the grungy, dirty freaks of below the line counterculture. When people make fun of the standards that are quite common in golf, what they are really saying is that they are too lazy to live up to them so they’d rather hide behind excuses to not participate because they fear they will never measure up to the standard. And pot helps them hide that fear through intoxication and social stigma. So to get back to the question, what does it hurt if people in Cincinnati are carrying around bags of pot? Well, it accepts a lower standard in our culture which will ultimately destroy it. Its one thing to have laws on the books and to not enforce them because there is no jail space and the cops don’t really have the heart to do so. But decriminalizing it means that the standard is ripped away and that society can then accept the below the line behavioral target. And that is where things literally fall apart.

I was listening to 96 Rock this morning and they were very excited about the opening of the Lebanon medical marijuana dispensary. Their reaction to it was relief because they will admit that they aren’t the brightest tacks in the box. And as musical rock advocates they have no ambition in life to be anything great, they don’t want to invent the next boon that saves mankind from its perpetual quest to always regress along the Vico Cycle. In a world of standards, they are OK with saying to it, we are the losers, get used to it. But with the legalization of pot, suddenly that stigma is removed for them and they are now in the mainstream. And they find they are enjoying that, because the standard of behavior has been removed and now anybody can join. That is what happens to failing country clubs when they relax their dress codes and suddenly let anybody play under any conditions. The club will go out of business quickly thereafter. Standards are what bring value to society. Without those standards, everything is in retreat and that is why marijuana or even medical marijuana is a sign of a society on the decline. That that is all the argument that is needed about why decriminalization is such a travesty.

Rich Hoffman

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