Lakota is Paying Matt Miller $169,900 Per Year: We need new school board members–if you want to run, I’ll help you

It was in fact Governor Kasich’s super PAC that got into the heads of the feeble-minded senators at a critical time of the health care debate on repealing Obamacare. The Ohio Governor is of course trying to undermine the Trump presidency for his own run in 2020.  But for such a character in politics, as a public employee Kasich only gets paid around $150,000—more or less.  That’s for being a big player on the national stage of politics.  His Lt. Governor makes a bit more, but not much.  I think we’d all agree that whether we like him or not, the Governor is the big job in Ohio from a public perspective and is well compensated.  However, and I told them not to do this—but they did it anyway, the Lakota school board hired a new superintendent—a kid from Price Hill and paid him $169,000 as a base salary—well over what the governor of Ohio makes.  Lakota is the eighth largest school district in the state of Ohio and it is in one of the most affluent areas of the country—and its located where my home is—so I care a bit about this issue.  Already if West Chester residents look at their tax bill the entire township of West Chester—where half of Lakota is located—they pay roughly 21% to them.  They pay a whopping 61%–roughly—to the Lakota school system and that school is just throwing away money on these overly paid administrative employees—who make more than the radical progressive governor of our state.

Obviously, the scaling is way off in these unionized public-sector schools. While the administrators aren’t typically formally part of the union they often come out of that system and have pay expectations formed by their experiences in the public sector which has been roughly 30% too high for several decades now.  I mean it’s not Miller’s fault he’s been told he’s worth more than he really is—it’s our school board who thinks they need to pay this money to meet some invisible standard that the public education system has created in the industry to “compete.”  But in public education there isn’t any competition.  Builders build homes.  Real estate agents sell the homes and support school levy’s to attract new “family aged’ buyers.  The cycle runs its course.  And over the next twenty years new homes are built elsewhere and people move to those new districts and wherever that is becomes the new “hot” school district.

Lakota is not a “hot” community anymore—as far as education. It may be a stable excellent community but it is not the latest thing in the real estate world.  It has more people living within the district that do not have children attending the school system than it does new families moving to the area to buy a new house freshly built on previously productive farmland.  So the necessities have changed for the community as a whole where the school system is just one of the reasons for moving or maintaining property within the Lakota school district which encompasses Liberty Township and West Chester Township, Ohio.  Among the top reasons for living in the area are highway access, standard of living—many of our neighbors have household incomes over 100K a year so we don’t have to deal with too many slack-jawed losers while pumping gas and eating at restaurants.  There are great commercial offerings and the government is small enough to not pillage the homeowner continuously—except for the big open hands of the top heavy over scale pay of the unionized Lakota school system.  People put up with them out of sentimental value, but that only goes so far and news reports that they were paying a superintendent—which is mostly a political role anyway–$169,000 per year doesn’t help.  The job is at best worth half that for a 45-year-old employee such as Matt Miller.  If we paid him more than $85K per year we’d be getting ripped off.

Well, it just so happens that this year there are several school board members who have seats expiring—and it’s safe to say that none of them are exactly conservative bastions of valor. They care about Lakota itself as a microcosm but have been part of that culture that asks for a lot more than Lakota really plays in the success of the community for which it resides.  The people who make Liberty Township and West Chester Township great places to live are the people who live there—the community is not great because of Lakota schools.  The school board members who are up for re-election just don’t seem to understand that.  So this is an opportunity to run against them and challenge the board to have more people properly representative of our district helping to manage the finances.  There are lots of people I know who would be good for doing this job but most of them are older and really don’t want the pain in the ass of attending all the ridiculous meetings and the procedural lunacy that usually takes place. But for those inclined to number crunching and wanting to help with the situation, I’ll make a deal with you.  If you guys will run, I’ll help you with the campaign.  There are three seats open and I’ll help three candidates as a team if we can find the right people.  But it would have to be hard working good people who think correctly about this matter.  If those people are willing to come forward I’ll help with making it not so scary to run and win the seats.

The filing deadline for prospective candidates is August 9th, which isn’t much time from this writing.  I was catching up on summer news over the weekend and Lakota is somewhere down around #400 on my priority list (only because they cost me money) so I didn’t notice that the hit piece reporter Michael Clark had moved to the Journal News and I hadn’t followed up on the Lakota hire for superintendent.  I spoke to a few school board members over the winter and they seemed like they had a good read on the situation so I left them to their business.  But after catching up on the news about Lakota over this previous weekend it was obvious to me that these people haven’t learned anything and they need better management of such a volatile and expensive resource in the Lakota school system.  They are used to runaway train budgets saved only for the fact that Lakota has a projected decline in enrollment which takes the pressure off an immediate levy request.  But these people just don’t know how to budget a check book and the proof is in throwing money at this new superintendent hire.  If they’ll over pay for him they’ll do it for everything.

I know most of the normal people around Lakota’s district view a lot of this as a serious pain in the ass. But Lakota charges so much money for what they provide that we have to deal with them before they are too problematic.  The ideal candidate for school board would be people who have some evenings to give each month to this monstrosity of educational burden and a genuine love of numbers and how they roll together.  Jenni Logan does a good job as treasurer at Lakota and is good to work with, but it’s the system itself that needs to have a re-calibration of thought and some good sound conservatives sitting on the board to keep the costs down.  I’m offering to help and that help won’t stop once elected.  I’ll help fight the union more than willingly and keep them at bay so good management of our tax payer resources can be applied.  But we need smart people to sit in those seats.  I’ll ensure that you are not alone and exposed—but we need formal positions filled to manage the budget properly. If we don’t then Lakota will be asking for a levy again soon because they don’t have control of their costs.  The costs control them—and we just can’t have that.

Rich Hoffman

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‘The 15:17 to Paris’: Sully’s very American story

I was very excited to learn that the next movie Clint Eastwood is working on is the film version of the book by Spencer Stone, Anthony Salder and Alek Skarlatos, called The 15:17 to Paris. The book like the movie chronicles the heroics of those three young men as they stopped a terrorist attack on a train to Paris and became worldwide heroes before even turning 25 years of age.  The heroes are all boyhood friends and the story will display how their lives intersected to that key point in history, and honestly, I think only Clint Eastwood could make the movie version of that book.  Even more stunning to me was that Clint has cast the guys to play themselves in the film which is really unprecedented for a feature presentation.  Clint Eastwood is such a good director, and the three guys so naturally charismatic that they all felt only those people could tell this very unique story and I’m excited about it.  If anyone wondered what Clint Eastwood’s answer to American Sniper might be, this is certainly it.  This film will play well in the core of America and will resonate around the world deeply concerned about terrorism.

But the news about that film reminded me that I had not yet seen Sully, Eastwood’s last movie about the Miracle on the Hudson where Chesley Sullenberger lost both engines in his commercial flight A320 aircraft over New York City and had to land somewhere.  The trouble was that in New York at only a few thousand feet altitude there was no place to land without coming down on someone’s home or building.  People were going to die one way or another unless Sully—the 40+ year airman working for US Airways could think of something fast—which he did.  He landed the big plane on the Hudson River, literally the only place he could have and it was his unusually quick thinking that saved the lives of all 155 passengers on board.

Well, I knew the story and had read the book so I felt I knew what was going to happen so I waited for the film to come to home entertainment systems and was a little upset that it wasn’t available to rent on either the PlayStation network or Amazon Prime. A film that had done as well as it had should have had a decent rent value.  It did make $238 million worldwide so it was inconvenient to me that it wasn’t easy to watch—because I wanted to see it over the weekend after I had heard the announcement of The 15:17 to Paris. So we went to Wal-Mart, bought the Blue-rey, and watched the film over some carry-out from Chili’s—and it was just a wonderful movie.

It is a shame that Clint Eastwood is now 87 years old because I want to watch movies directed by him for the next hundred years. The guy is just sooooo good at what he does.  It’s the kind of thing that only a person with 60 years in the business could pull off.  Eastwood does these big, gigantic true stories full of top-tier actors and production talent and he presents them as small piano music scores underplayed just right   From a production stand-point Sully is a great movie.  It was nicely paced, wonderfully photographed and compelling—even though we thought we already knew the story.  But the NTSB needed someone to blame for the insurance claim made by US Airways and that was where the drama really kicked in and had me very interested.  Again, I think only Clint Eastwood could have told this story in this way.

I love the competency of pilots. They are one of America’s greatest contributions to the word.  They are by their very nature solid people who do not panic easily—otherwise they wouldn’t be pilots.  Watching the bonus footage on the Blue-rey I learned that Harrison Ford is really the person who got the story rolling by introducing Sully’s book to the producer Frank Marshall.  From there it found its way to Eastwood and production started right after American Sniper was making a lot of money at the box office for Warner Bros.  But this was a movie about pilots from pilots and Harrison Ford may be known for his roles in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but in reality, what he really is, is a pilot.  We might recall the time he landed his vintage aircraft on a golf course shortly after having engine trouble out of Santa Monica.  His landing was very similar to Sully’s only he hit harder.  Sully at least had water to soften the hit.  So here were a couple of pilots bringing to light a story about pilots and securing a director who knew better than to get in the way of the story.  What ends up on-screen is really a wonderful depiction of the employees of US Airlines—not just Chesley Sullenberger.

Eastwood also cast some of the real people to play in this film, like the air traffic controller and the ferry driver who first arrived on scene to rescue people from the stranded aircraft. What all these people did in a moment of crises was very admirable and Sully turned out to be one of the most inspirational films I have seen in a long time.  I had a feeling it would be good which is why I went out of my way to see it, but it turned out to be one of those extraordinary movies that you just don’t forget.  Eastwood not only captured the heroics of the Miracle on the Hudson, but he captured well the spirit of New York in a crisis.  In the end, even though the National Transportation Safety Board had been looking for someone to blame they came around to seeing things Sully’s way and the story really became an interesting commentary on the nature of individualism standing up to the necessities of institutional collectivism without really making anybody look bad.  The members of the NTSB were after all just doing their jobs in the context of it—but the situation was so extraordinarily individualistic that no part of that institutional framework had even considered such a possibility—even in hindsight during simulation runs.

History will remember these late in life film contributions of Clint Eastwood as being a very accurate commentator on American life. Taken as a three-part trilogy, first with American Sniper then with Sully culminating with The 15:17 to Paris Eastwood is telling of the same type of lost America that he did in his Dirty Harry movies—only now with the all-encompassing view of an 87-year-old man who has literally seen it all and done it all.  And he’s telling these true stories in a way that will resonate for centuries.  Clint Eastwood is proud of the role that America plays in the world and he finds that joy in these little stories without being cheesy, or over-the-top.  Now that I’ve seen Sully and will likely watch it several more times, I am really excited for The 15:17 to Paris. That film may turn out to be the best of all and it will come out in a time where Trump is reshaping the concept of Americanism to fit Eastwood’s vision—and that has a lot of power—and it will happen at a perfect time.

Rich Hoffman

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The Beauty of a Long Goodbye: Institutional failure and a new kind of day


I think the best way to explain it is that we are now in a generation of people—mostly youth driven—who grew up entirely with The Simpsons, South Park, and The Daily Show.  Those people went to college, were fed large doses of Marxist influence, graduated from some form of journalism and are now working in the media and other culture shapers within our professional institutions.  Their cynicism and hatred of Donald Trump comes from some foreign place for sure.  For instance, we are now on over a week of the whole Russia, Donald Trump Jr. story—which is nothing yet the ferocity for which the media presents the information is truly amazing.  The subconscious message to the Trump family has been that they did not use the professional pundits, lawyers, and inside the box thinkers—and pay them accordingly during the presidential campaign, so they feel entitled to pounce on the Trumps for their inexperience.  But if a few controversies emerge from saving the kind of money Trump did during the election with just good ol’ fashion hard work, then why not.  That is the biggest difference between the parades of phonies that typically would act as a foreign representative to major events.  President Trump is doing a great job—and he’s doing it rather easily.  At the Bastille Day parade the newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife had a very sincere reaction to President Trump and Melania’s departure resulting in a long handshake that virtually everyone made fun of who presented it through the media.  I thought it was a beautiful thing—four people with very important jobs who are normally very fake with one another in similar circumstances were overflowing with positive emotion.  It showed me that Macron might be a guy who will actually do a decent job in socialist France—but to the media, they saw nothing but negativity and they pounced in a way that was clearly out-of-touch with the flow of modern observation.

When Trump was running for president and I was so vocally supportive it was fun to watch these establishment types squirm in dealing with Trump.  It is fascinating to me because it is a microcosm of a much more systemic problem and I always knew that if a sincere businessman as opposed to a person breed within the political institutions—a person from Harvard—the typical Skull and Bones initiate—a military guy, or a senator formed within the fraternity of Capital Hlll—or even a state governor who was at least a part of an association, ran for any politically powerful position that they would excel because business has a way of forcing people to deal with reality and they’d do a far more superior job.  So I knew Trump would be very effective and I wanted to see that change.  What is happening with the stock market having all the incredible gains it is producing and the global reaction to President Trump’s natural charisma was something I counted on.  Trump as a personality has always loved controversy and attention, but under it all he’s always been smart.  Just read a few of his books and its very obvious that Trump knows exactly what he’s doing, including the whole controversy of the Don Jr. story.  Trump isn’t the only one with these skills—most people who are good at business have similar abilities and they get them outside of the institutional systems that we have in America—but that was always the point.

Clearly Jeffery Zucker who is running things at CNN is deeply jealous of Donald Trump.  He wants to think that he made Trump through The Apprentice when he was head of NBC Universal.  Now he’s the president of CNN Worldwide and the evidence that it wasn’t him who was so successful, but was the talent around him has been a harsh reality.  He’s failing miserably because he has gone after Trump in a way to sink the President in a very personal way.  For a guy whom Trump spoke so highly of in the book Think like a Billionaire, Zucker hates Trump because the evidence within the circles of business is so obvious.   As they parted ways leaving Zucker to run CNN in 2013 and Trump to run for president in 2015 there was nobody for the former NBC head to hide behind.  Zucker fell from grace quickly as just another overpaid institutionalist while Trump no matter what anybody threw at him continued to succeed.  Nobody understood it at the time, but the situation was obvious.   People build the institutions, the institutions do not make people—that is a basic law that all successful people understand.  I knew that if someone who had always made things work behind the institutional façade that they’d be great in politics for a change—and that is what is going on with Trump.  He’s always been good at anything he does because he loves to work, he’s intellectually curious about the world around him, and he has a natural love of life that emerges from whatever he’s involved with.  Once people had a taste of that, they’d never go back to the old institutional model—but business people would from now on be the choice of every political office, from school board members to future presidents.  The mold has effectively been destroyed and now everyone involved can see that it was always people like Trump who made the Jeff Zucker’s in life, not the other way around.

Ayn Rand wrote about this phenomena many years ago, it was obvious to her how institutions fail and how it is individuals who constantly carry them as a value.  Without strong individuals institutions always fail.  They are only propped up by a kind of social ignorance which has always been used as a collective way to hide the truth from human beings.  Whether the institution was a church, a television network, or a political party their effectiveness is always a mask hiding the reality that there must always be a strong individual who is doing all the heavy lifting that makes the institutions successful.  It is never the collective whole that does it.  Trump will always be successful whether he’s working at NBC with Jeff Zucker or running the Republican Party as he his now—but Zucker cannot be successful on his own without someone to carry him.  Within just four years of running CNN Jeff Zucker has nearly destroyed that network.  It may not be so obvious now, but they’ll never recover from his terrible management where he went after a popular president in very personal ways just to prove that it was the institutions that made Trump, not the other way around.   The failure of The New York Times, CNN, and NBC to recognize the basic talents of Trump is proving to be their undoing—and these young people who grew up over the last twenty years watching The Simpsons and South Park have been taught to either trust institutions too much, or to make fun of them without offering solutions.   Virtually everyone has missed the point except for those who understand that individuals make institutions, institutions do not make individuals.  Pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into any institution, whether it be a college, a network or even a religion cannot make success.  Only individuals who have mastered basic elements of life can do that and that reality is essentially what people are upset about in Trump.

It’s not always easy to see but the reaction that foreign leaders have in Trump whether it’s Russia, Saudi Arabia, China or the newly elected president of France, displays clearly the skills of a person at the top of his game in communication.   That’s because Donald Trump is a real person—a star of his own making.  The institutions tried to keep him at NBC working on a television show, but as a self-made person not really interested in millions of dollars for hosting a popular show, he wanted to apply his skills at the highest level and he walked away from the money.  Money is usually used to soften up individuals so that they never challenge the supremacy of the institutional controls that are used to mask the individual contributions of their talent.   Trump stepped away from one institution to another—one that had previously been forbidden.  He won and is now doing such a marvelous job and the institutions themselves have no other means of correcting the situation except for resorting to an infantile rejection of the behavior.  But the results can’t be ignored and the evidence was on full display between Macaron and Trump.  The French President didn’t want Trump to leave—that much was obvious.  Institutions can be scary because in them are a lot of little people like Jeffery Zucker who want to take credit for what good individuals do—but when someone like Trump comes along, things aren’t nearly so scary because it’s obvious that he’s the source of success and people want to be close to it, including the French president.   The truth has been revealed and all the institutions can do in defense of themselves is to use their young employees to verbally assault Trump hoping to protect themselves from further embarrassments.  But it’s too late.

Rich Hoffman

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When the Lights Go Out: The difference between “us” and “them”

Did you ever notice how when either in a school or a place of business that when a storm comes and knocks out the lights some people clap? Then there are others—usually an extreme minority who try to continue to do their work next to a flashlight or a candle?  This has always been a baffling concept to me, that people would be so happy to be relieved of their work that they could return their minds to a thoughtless existence talking about some television show, new pop song, or about some peer who isn’t present in the form of gossip.  People who clap when the lights go out are people who are essentially afraid of action and thought because they don’t want the responsibility of accomplishment.  They are essentially lazy people who struggle through life avoiding problems until the ultimate happens—all their problems catch up and destroy their life.  Then they wonder why they are unhealthy, unhappy, and why nobody wants to be around them—because they are essentially negative people.

People who clap when the lights go out are people who are looking for an excuse not to live—which essentially makes them evil—(evil is live spelled backwards). They are anti-life and are the type of people who can’t be trusted with much of anything and are always looking to make trouble.  Typically they are second-handers in life—those who live by the actions of others but usually they disguise their tendencies behind little emergencies like the lights going out, or they had a flat tire, or that it was raining.  They work harder at not doing things than actually doing things because they find the threat of responsibility much more terrifying than the work in avoiding things.

You can often tell who will clap when the lights go out by those people who complain that it’s “Monday” or utter at 4 PM on a Friday, “TGIF.” They are the same people who put “hump day” on their Facebook posting revealing that they are happy the week is half over.  These are the people in life who make it terrible for all those who enjoy life and have an optimistic view of it because it’s those who work hard even when the lights go out that carry the rest of those idiots while they hide their tendency toward inaction behind an emergency situation which they are always silently praying for.

These same people are the ones who say, “the devil is in the details,” because they hope to slow things down by getting everyone to look for that devil so they can stand to the side and avoid action. If they stall long enough maybe something will get pushed to Monday buying them a weekend to avoid the inevitable.  And on Friday night they drink to forget and to ease the pain of their life from the pressure they always feel they are under.  Those kids who grow up in school hoping the bus gets stuck in the snow, or clapping when there is a power outage are the same people who grow up drunk on the weekends because they can’t hack the pressure of living, and they don’t have the fortitude within them to always look for ways to solve problems no matter how bad things are.

People who like to work so much that they don’t let emergencies stop them are the people who make America great.  It is not the people who clap when the lights go out.  It is the people who look for a lighter in their pocket or a flashlight so they can continue reading or writing something when darkness arrives.  They don’t let the darkness stop them.  They work on weekends, they work in the middle of the week and Monday is just another day to them.  A democracy will never work in any political system so long as there are people who clap when the lights go off, and there are only one or two people who pull out their flashlights to continue working.  We are not all equal.  Some of us look for every reason to not do something while others try to squeeze every moment of life for the richest possible of goodness available.  Those who insist otherwise are those who clap when the lights go out.  Or hope for a snow day to keep them from having to attend work.

There is a reason that professional sports are so popular. Sitting in the stands while other people perform on the field is the prefect job for people who clap when the lights go out.  All they have to do is just sit there and watch other people do things—and that makes them happy.  Some of them are so arrogant that they believe all that is required of them is that they buy a jersey and attend a game and that they have somehow made an investment toward the success of that franchise.  When their team losses they get very upset and speak as if they made some grand investment that would justify their anger.  But they are just sitting in the stands waiting for the lights to go out so they can hide the fact that they are fearful of life, and always hoping that they can jump on to someone elses success at the last moment and share in the heroic efforts.  When a professional team is winning these fans say “we.”  When those teams are losing they say, “they.”

Government is filled with people who love it when the lights go out. They love it when there are funding talks and government shut downs—because they like to not work and have someone else to blame for their lack of productivity.  They hide in bureaucracy so that nobody would ever blame them for doing nothing because the invented details of muddled thinking allow them to appear majestic when they are essentially cowardly people waiting for death to ultimately take way the responsibility for living from them.  They aim to slide through life from excuse to excuse until it all ends and they can then blame God, or even the universe for their sad, pathetic existence.

That anything happens at all it is from the private sector where there are handfuls of people who still work when the lights go out, or whether its Wednesday or Saturday—every day hold the promise of something new if only they can solve this, this and this problem.  In fact solving problems is what makes them happy which is why they look for a light when they go out to continue working.  It drives them.  It is they who make the lights work in the first place.  Without those types of people there would be perpetual darkness and a string of excuses from here until the dawn of mankind.  Nothing would ever happen because always a majority of the people clap when the lights go out and only a very few look for alternatives to continue their work.

It is quite obvious what is going on with the Trump presidency—Trump and his family are a light. They always have been and the people of their core associations are of the same type.  But Washington D.C. has a culture that is nearly entirely made up of people who always have clapped when the lights went out for whatever reason.  And those people don’t like it that Trump is in the White House putting light everywhere and making people work even when the lights are turned off, and there are tornado warnings as well.  Trump won’t let those who like to hide in the dark continue doing so, so they are doing everything they can to push back at the light.  And that’s just not acceptable.  Trump was elected by people who like to work to push away the influences of those who don’t from ruining the world further.  It’s no longer fashionable to clap when the lights go out and no longer allowed to be one of those people who use chaos to hide their laziness.  Those people have been exposed and are now required to act or be run over—and that is essentially what is driving our world today.  And that’s not going to change.

Rich Hoffman

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The Innocence of Don Jr.: Why everyone should love the Trump family

Of course Donald Trump Jr. met with a person who claimed to have dirt on the candidate running against his father in the 2016 election. I’ve met with lots of people over the years under very similar conditions, so I can completely understand how many such meetings would be needed while running for president of the United States.  Back then the Russian story which has been made up by the media to attempt to slow down the winner of the election from implementing tax reform, a repeal of Obamacare and the enforcement of immigration policies, wasn’t even a consideration.  Back then it was unclear if Republicans would even get behind Trump at the convention so Don Jr was looking for a deal closer to unite the party around his father. Makes perfect sense.  It was a nothing meeting, he acknowledged as much then he moved on.  The media hoping to distract the senate from the healthcare debate however pounced on this story with everything they had during the weeks after the 4th of July one year later as President Trump was having great success both overseas and domestically.  They keyed on the Don Jr. story with great ferocity.  But in so doing they have exposed themselves yet again.

The meeting between Loretta Lynch and former President Clinton that took place secretly at an Arizona tarmac occurred even more recently than the meeting Trump Jr. had with the Russian lawyer so it’s certainly still relevant. If the Trump case is a mandate for so much investigation and discussion then the Lynch case is enough to fill libraries of books on such matters, because that one is much, much more serious.  Here you had the investigating attorney general at the Justice Department meeting with the husband of a candidate for president of the United States who was under investigation by the FBI for mishandling classified information.  After the meeting James Comey clearly was called away from any incrimination into Hillary Clinton by his boss—Lorretta Lynch, giving Clinton a free pass to continue her presidential run without worrying about going to jail.  The Democratic Party rallied behind the cause and defended all the parties involved culminating in one of the most contentious runs for president that we’ve ever seen in America. Even with all the effort and scheming involved the Democrats still lost to Trump deflating them terribly.  They had gone all in—even to the point of breaking the law on several occasions—at the highest level—and they still came up empty.

In May and June of 2017 Comey revealed to a Senate committee that Loretta Lynch had put pressure on him to alter his investigative prerogatives. Once that information was revealed first in May, then made more elaborate in June, Trump fired Comey just a few days later of that May testimony.  Obviously crimes were committed by Loretta Lynch and Comey played along with it taking this case to a much higher level than anybody ever anticipated.  The crimes are quite serious and still pending as the nation struggles to wrap their minds around such majestic travesty. Because for a lot of good people, all this is just too much to comprehend.  Great evil often hides behind unbelievable acts of bad conduct—and that is what we see so often in regards to the Hillary Clinton campaign and those who supported her, from Loretta Lynch to the basic protectors of the swamp from both parties in the House and Senate.

We were told that all these crimes the Democrats committed were misunderstandings, and were at best conspiracy theories—yet when a much less act committed by Don Jr was revealed it was portrayed literally as the end of the political world. Do you see what’s cooking here dear reader?  Don Jr. is completely innocent in this case and was functioning in the best interest of his father—who won the presidency fair and square.  Trump was the better pick and the Democrats essentially lost because they had nobody to run against him.  It was they who picked a woman who was under FBI investigation and had flubbed up a lot in her years of elected office.  They hung their hats to her star and they lost big.  And they have only themselves to blame.

But there is something else at work behind the Don Jr. case that is worth mentioning. There is a reason that President Trump is doing such a great job in spite of all these aggressive tactics.  And if anybody wanted to discover why they’d go back and re-read some of the books that Donald Trump wrote over the years.  For a person who is supposedly not very smart according to the political left, Trump has written more bestselling books and had a span of one of the most successful television shows in the history of entertainment in America.  He knows a thing or two, and that’s not even how he became a billionaire.  President Trump is and has always been that I can see, a person who not only wanted to be personally successful, but he wanted to inspire others to do the same.  For a good example of this just read his book Think Like a Champion.  Trump has been offering ways to improve the lives of everyday people most all of his life, and he’s used himself as a motivating factor to drive people toward success.  But to the truly lazy and shallow minded they look at the targets Trump has set out there even before becoming president and they hate him because they are essentially too lazy to do the work.  They hate Trump because the president asks them to do a little work just to be good people and this extends back through the years to their core dislike of Donald Trump to begin with.   They don’t want to work hard.  They just want to get by through life doing the bare minimum at everything.  You don’t find too many Democrats who are fundamentally hard-working people.  The philosophy of hard work and political mentality just don’t align.

Making matters worse, Trump has a nice family. Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka and the rest of the kids are nice people. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Eric at an event once and he was a sincerely nice young man.  You don’t get the feeling that they are the kind of billionaire caricatures made up by the media to represent Mr. Burns from The Simpsons which are overbearing and intolerant billionaires out of touch with everyday people.  The Trumps are everyday people in America and for years they have tried to share that experience with the rest of the country teaching them to also be successful.  There is nothing pretentious about them.  I think it took Donald Trump a while to figure out the right balance and as a result he went through a few marriages—but once he got it right, everything clicked into place for him. In a lot of ways I would give Melania Trump the credit for really bringing that family together—but regardless—they are good people who serve as the first family to the world marvelously well. Show me anybody anywhere in American culture better—because I’d bet you couldn’t.  Trump has it going on every level and the Democrats can’t compete.  All they can do is complain and try to stop the inevitable.

I liked the Trump family before they were the First Family. But after all they’ve endured I actually have a love for them.  These are great people from the President all the way through to his 12-year-old son Barron.  Melania has been fantastic in her role—in every phase and the kids are all just fabulous. I am proud that they represent our country—especially overseas.  When Ivanka sat in for her dad for a short time at the G20 I thought she looked and acted just wonderfully competent.  No complaints at all from me.  But it is truly scary to think what would have happened if with all the law breaking the Democrats managed to get their person elected.  That would not have been good. In that regard, I wouldn’t care if Don Jr. met with 100s of Russian lawyers to keep those Democratic idiots out of the White House.  Because it would have been worth it. However, that wasn’t necessary. The Trumps won fair and square and it’s time for the political left to either get over it, or leave for a country more aligned with their insurrectionists ideologies.  Because with the Trumps, good things are coming whether the Democrats are ready or not.

Rich Hoffman

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Skycars are Finally Here: The use of sour gas as a next generation fuel supply

I’ve been saying it for many years and now it’s here, Skycars are a reality.  As many know I have been a fan of the great work that Paul Moller has been doing with his M400 Skycar for many years, well before drone technology changed the marketplace.  Paul Moller was there first, and I’ve been writing about him for decades.  People who listened to me and bought stock in some of these skycar companies are going to become very rich.  So the next time I tell you something—be sure to listen.  Fortunately for Paul his technology has evolved into the engine design at Freedom Motors which will eventually be the go to power plant for all these other skycar companies that are essentially taking the drone concept to the mass transit market.   The Freedom Motors engines are small, durable and extremely powerful making them ideal for the emerging skycar market.  As things stand now the first skycars are going to be of the single seat electric variety—which won’t run long per charge.  Eventually as the public gets used to the idea the fuel of choice will be sour gas which is a byproduct of landfills.  This is an extraordinary opportunity and will open up a new market completely by turning garbage literally into a usable, viable technology.

As much as I hate to say it, but I’ve told you this too dear reader, China is about to unleash its Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) over Dubai this month (July 2017).   The craft is called the EHANG184 and is capable of carrying a single human being through the air to the destination of their choice.   It is essentially a large drone that you could otherwise purchase at Best Buy.  The drawback is the large open blades that could easily slice into people as they come and go from the craft, but it’s a start.  It won’t take long for people to begin using these craft to get across the city instead of using a taxi.  Using the air of cities to take the pressure off ground traffic is the solution of the future for transportation, and it’s been like that for a long time.  The key issue that needed to be worked out was GPS navigation and altitude reasoning within 3D space, and the reliability of the power plants to use multi speed function to make subtle adjustments to pitch, and roll to maintain precise directional control.  Now that the drone market has opened people up to the idea of stable flight, they are ready to ride them and Dubai will be the first.

But that’s just the beginning, Italdesign and Airbus have unveiled the Pop.Up, a trailblazing modular ground and air passenger concept vehicle system.  During the 87th Geneva International Motor Show, Italdesign and Airbus world- premiered Pop.Up, the first modular, fully electric, zero emission concept vehicle system designed to relieve traffic congestion in crowded megacities. Pop.Up envisages a modular system for multi-modal transportation that makes full use of both ground and airspace.

Pop.Up System consists of a three layers concept: – an Artificial Intelligence platform that, based on its user knowledge, manages the travel complexity offering alternative usage scenarios and assuring a seamless travel experience; – a vehicle shaped as a passenger capsule designed to be coupled with two different and independent electric propelled modules, the ground module and the air module. Other public means of transportation (e.g. trains or hyperloops) could also integrate the Pop.Up capsule; – an interface module that dialogues with users in a fully virtual environment.

The Pop.Up vehicle combines the flexibility of a small two-seater ground vehicle with the freedom and speed of a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air vehicle, thus bridging the automotive and aerospace domains.

At the heart of the concept is a capsule: designed to accommodate passengers. This high-tech, monocoque carbon-fibre cocoon measures 2.6 metres long, 1.4 metres high, and 1.5 metres wide. The capsule transforms itself into a city car by simply coupling to the ground module, which features a carbon-fibre chassis and is battery-powered.

For megacity journeys with high congested traffic, the capsule disconnects from the ground module and is carried by a 5 by 4.4 metre air module propelled by eight counter-rotating rotors. In this configuration, Pop.Up becomes an urban self-piloted air vehicle, taking advantage of the third dimension to get from A to B efficiently whilst avoiding traffic congestion on the ground.

Once passengers reach their destination, the air and ground modules with the capsule autonomously return to dedicated recharge stations to wait for their next customers.

That Airbus design is kind of a level two-phase, the final phase will be personal transportation vehicles that come and go from your driveway and it is there that the M400 style of vehicles will make their mark and it will be the small, but extremely powerful Freedom Motors which power them.  The previous versions will still be in use around the cities, those of the Pop Up and the Italdesign, but the future will be with Freedom Motors and the M400.  There will of course be other manufacturers besides Moller International, but those Freedom Motor engines running off multiple types of fuel are the keys to the skycar market success.  Electric power will always have its sustainable drawbacks for long flights—anything over 30 minutes, but the use of sour gas is a phenomenal new market opportunity that could easily fill our skys with personal transportation allowing us to get around the world far more cheaply and independently.

As space opens up and the commercial business of flying from spaceports to job opportunities in orbit and on the moon increase, ground based flying—relative to the horizon of the earth—will become normal.   Driving in cars and trucks on our roadways will still be relevant, but it will be much less desirable as these skyway options open up.  There just isn’t any reason to be stuck on a highway in traffic wasting all that productive time.  As human beings, we have many more important things that we could be doing.  While the electric cars being done by Tesla are impressive, the technology being developed by them will essentially launch the new generation of skycar technology which will change transportation forever.   Once we go there, we’ll never return to strictly ground based systems.   They are too slow and too inefficient.

But the time is now.  We are in the age of personal air transportation and it’s about time.   In the 90s I pitched the skycar concept to everyone I ran into.  I tried to get delivery companies to use the M400 Skycar to replace FedEx vans and UPS—but the engines were not yet stable enough and the governments of the world were way too slow to accept something so new and fresh.  I even included the M400 in several of my published works such as The Symposium of Justice (2004) and my Curse of Fort Seven Mile series—(2015) just to get people to start thinking of the viability of skycar technology. So finally, it’s here—not the way I’d like it to be—the United States should have been the first to use it but due to our overly aggressive regulatory environment we can hardly fly a paper airplane anymore—so Dubai is doing it first.  We’ll of course follow the world from America even though Paul Moller is a good California inventor who essentially was 40 years ahead of the rest of the world.  What really matters is that it’s finally happening and we will all be a lot better off because of it.

Rich Hoffman

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An Open Letter to Williamstown, Kentucky: How to develop Exit 154

I was impressed with the Ark Encounter exhibit in Williamstown, Kentucky located in Grant County between Lexington and Cincinnati, Ohio.   For a religious oriented theme park in its infancy of development there was a lot to like.  Ken Ham built the Ark there on a scale that certainly puts it on the map globally.  When I visited at the one year anniversary of its opening, I noted cars from almost every state in America in the parking lot and the place was packed mid-week during the day.   That provoked me to do a little research into the economic impact that the Ark Encounter has had on Williamstown over a short period of time when I ran across this video of Steve Wood, a judge-executive for Williamston who had such a terrible attitude that I have to try to help this guy out—for the sake of Grant County.  There is no reason for Grant County to file for bankruptcy when such a wonderful tourist attraction like the Ark Encounter is in your neighborhood so let’s get into some basics on economic development discussion.

The first problem with what Steve Wood said was that he hoped that with the Ark that business would come pouring it.  Dude, you have to soft sell the economic opportunities to investors.  They aren’t going to just go to the Ark Encounter and say—hey, let’s build the next Chick-fil-A at this highway exit, or let’s locate the next car manufacturer at Williamstown.  You have to at least promote the region and offer some incentives.   You can’t just hope that things will drop in your lap.  What Ken Ham did was just the first step—a $100 million dollar investment into a region that had nothing going for it before July of 2016.  It’s only been a year and roughly a million or so people have visited the new attraction and of those people only about 1% of those visitors have any connection to the kind of investments needed to develop more economic impact into Williamstown.  Of that roughly 10,000 potential investors even fewer are in a position to have enough liquid capital to make a move at this time, but when they are ready, you want them to have Grant County in mind.

My first thoughts when entering and leaving the Ark Encounter was that there was a gold mine of opportunity there.  At Dry Ridge just one exit to the north there is a Cracker Barrel restaurant but south of that until Georgetown there isn’t much to provoke a traveler into stopping for gas, food, or anything else.  There is no reason a new manufacturing plant blooming under the new Trump economy wouldn’t have its eye on Grant County for primarily the highway access, a friendly government environment and good Christian labor.  My first thoughts were that the region likely had access to good, wholesome people who come from backgrounds of hard work and if they go to church dependably on Sunday then they are likely to show up for work during the week so they can earn enough money to give 10% back to the church.  A good, reliable workforce is always a concern for any company.  But this doesn’t happen overnight.  If I’m thinking these things then so are those other 10,000 people mentioned.  Among them there are probably five or six good leads that could save Grant County from bankruptcy.  It is your job Steve Wood to protect them as they put their money down onto the table to embark on something that might take at least 5 years to develop from inception to ribbon cutting.   By then you’ll have to trust Ken Ham to do his part and continue expanding his Christian amusement park to a scale that does rival something like a Universal Studios or a Disney World for the Bible Belt.

Before any of the big commercial enterprises come you must have restaurants and hotels because those bring people and tax money off the highway and into Williamstown.   There needs to be a few hotel outfits that locate at that Ark Encounter exit to give all those people driving from Kansas, North Dakota and Montana somewhere to stay for the weekend and they need to be decent places.  One thing that is very specific about Christian people, they are typically happy because they have the Lord to make decisions for them—so their minds are unencumbered with burden.  They love to eat and talk so any hotel that comes to that region needs to feature good southern food and places for them to talk to each other for long periods of time.  They typically have money in their pockets because they work but they don’t want to “rough it.”  I would go so far to say that a good Christian bookstore free-standing would do well in that location—something like a Lifeway, supporting businesses that allow for a vacation experience that extends beyond the Ark Encounter borders.  Another aspect that is unique to this particular exit is the large group of Amish who have come to perform work at the Ark Encounter.  There would be quite a market for Amish home cooking and crafts there which could rival Amish Acres up in Northern Indiana.   There is room for all these wholesome markets in our wonderful American economy.  I personally love Amish Acres and would enjoy a second option locally.  I am certain that people would drive up from Georgia and Tennessee to get their hands on good Amish craftsmanship—and they are already in place at Williamstown to build exhibits at the Ark Encounter.   People can say what they want about the viability of the Ark Encounter in relation to science, but the wood working performed there in the various structures is some of the best in the world—thanks to the Amish.


I have watched with quite a lot of frustration the Kings Mills exit where Kings Island is located.  That real estate is marvelous, its one exit up from the great commercial hub of Fields Ertle Road but the Kings Mills exit itself has struggled to really find a niche for itself—and that is because the politicians of Mason and the Kings Mills area were too short-sighted to develop it correctly.  They have the usual fast food restaurants there but they have struggled with hotels and retail which they shouldn’t because Kings Island has great demographic numbers.   However, what they have is chaos—every kind of person that is out there, old people, young people, all different races and ideologies visiting the popular Amusement Park.  That makes it hard for investors to key in on the type of people who will use whatever business they are proposing.  Many retail outlets have failed at that exit for that very reason.  But down at Grant County in the Bible Belt, the target demographic are Christian people who are typically affluent.  They aren’t knuckle-dragging slobs who have a hard time holding down a job.   Gatlinburg, Tennessee is likely their favorite place on earth because it is somewhere they can go where they don’t have to hide their values.   If the same attitude were presented at Exit 154 on I-75 they would flock there for the sheer enjoyment of it.

But these places aren’t going to just drop in the lap of Williamstown.  They need to be wooed by the management of Williamstown.  There are a lot of companies out there looking for all the things that Exit 154 has to offer but they need to know it’s there.  The Ark Encounter hasn’t been open long enough, nor is it developed enough to really spark development at that exit as of yet.  God isn’t going to do the work for you.  You guys are going to have to go out and get it, There is no reason however to allow Grant County to go bankrupt.   That is just ridiculous.  All that is needed is a good plan and people excited enough to implement it, and a little patience to allow things to develop.   With just a little work I can see Exit 154 being one of the great tourist destinations between Cincinnati, Lexington, and Louisville.  It’s a great location just far enough away from everything to feel remote, but close enough to inspire weekend vacations and church expeditions.  A few months of activity won’t be enough, it will take several years—but they are off to a good start.  Ken Ham’s people have certainly done what they set out to do; now it is up to Grant County to sell it to a Trump economy that is full of optimism for the first time in decades.  Failure is really a decision, not a fate and Williamstown can only prosper if it does just a little work—which is completely in their power to do.

Rich Hoffman

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