Asking Questions: Elon Musk understands that answers are less important

This interview shown below with Elon Musk and the very popular YouTube Channel ‘Everyday Astronaut’ was remarkable in many ways, so it is worth sharing here for those who don’t find themselves exposed to these kinds of things. I thought both participants in this interview were covering some very extraordinary aspects of our current culture and how we are getting from here to there so to speak. For me, I think the concept and pace of engineering that is going on at SpaceX regarding the Starship MK1 is truly transitory for our civilization and is one of the most important things going on in the world today. I’m a huge fan of the work SpaceX is doing on many levels, and it didn’t surprise me to learn that Elon Musk’s primary philosophical motivation is science fiction, especially the work of Douglas Adams in his pinnacle work, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There is of course a little Star Wars sprinkled in for good effect behind the scenes making this interview unusual in the boyish optimism displayed that is unheard of in government driven attempts at space travel and for one main reason, the understanding that its not always the answers we seek, but the question.

For me the work of Joseph Campbell has always been what has unlocked the ceiling of intellectual potential. It doesn’t matter what does it for an individual, it could be Douglas Adams, George Lucas or Joseph Campbell, what matters is that the creative work does something to unlock the limits of human understanding by provoking the questions that need to be asked, instead of always focusing on the answer. Answers to questions are relative to the interpretations of those responding. What matters more than anything no matter what the endeavor is in life is in discovering the questions that then need answers, otherwise the results are always ambiguous. For this Starship MK1 where conventional avionic development would favor composite construction, due to a lack of autoclave availability in such sizes and not wanting to wait for one to be built, SpaceX moved on to this stainless steel design, which is brilliant not just esthetically, but in function. It is an excellent example of how asking the right questions can change everything and bring to life the benefits of invention.

And watching Elon Musk give that interview was a true delight, not in that it was a stuffy discussion about how smart all the engineers are and how dangerous space flight can be, but it was beholding the energy of a child who just wanted to play with new toys for the sake of discovering new questions to ask where smart people could relish in answering those ponderances. To do something for the joy of it that changes our perception of reality is quite an important thing to do and it all starts with the mechanisms of discovering the questions that need answers, otherwise answers without questions have no relevancy. It is the question that matters more than the answer.

This is certainly the case with all leadership functions, and when people wonder why CEOs or presidents of companies are so important to growth and prosperity it is for this basic function. A company can hire hundreds if not thousands of people to answer questions, but often it is only a small number of leadership who knows how to ask questions drawn out from obscurity to set people on a pace to discover an answer. If the questions are never asked, then what work is there for people to do to resolve it? So the creative aspect of something like building this new Starship is that Elon Musk thought to ask the questions of, “why can’t we make it out of stainless steel.” “Why can’t we fly it to Mars.” “Why can’t we refuel in space?” “Why, why, why.”

When humans stop asking questions is when they cease to become effective in their roles, and their intellectual decline is not long behind. Children naturally ask lots of questions, but we are all taught that at some point, maturity means you have the answers and questions are less and less asked—which is the state of decline for any culture. Seeing Elon Musk and his engineers at SpaceX asking lots of questions that often outpace what reporters even think of considering was refreshing because its not something we see much of these days unless you happen to be at a SpaceX media event, or a gathering of geeks and freaks at a local comic con. The optimism of those events is not in the answers, but in asking about the possibilities—the what if scenarios, even in science fiction ponderances. For Musk ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ inspired him to ask lots of questions and the results of those pursuits is in the creation of very wonderful things, like the Starship MK1 complete with its 6 Raptor engines carried to orbit by 37 others in the Super Heavy booster powered by cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen.

Innovation is always directly connected to having the ability to ask questions and to provoke a quest for answers, and that is the reason that everyone in the world is not equipped to be a leader at the level of a CEO. Its not the work that is important, the spreadsheets and presentations that are often associated with such roles, it’s in the ability to ask what if questions and to set the mind of others on fire seeking answers. A society without questions is one that is on the decline victimized by their own stagnation. And to see Elon Musk so alive with enthusiasm the way a seven-year-old might be is refreshing because we can all see the benefit. Musk when presented with a problem such as, “sir, we can’t find an autoclave anywhere in the world where we can build the fuselage out of composites.” “Well, what other material can we make it out of?” Thus, we have a question that unleashes a new technology and means to build very large craft to enter into space. Otherwise, in less innovative companies driven by less ambitious leaders, the engineering staff would have forced the project to remain on a path to stay within the confines of the accepted practices for aviation, which would be composite construction as someone builds an autoclave of the proper size.

Perhaps more important than asking the right questions is the ability to move quickly, and in that regard, that too comes from the ability to ask questions to keep everyone’s feet moving. Entering market share while imaginations are still hot is more important than all other aspects of development and the pace of engineering at SpaceX is remarkable because the employees are allowed to ask lots of questions and to drive innovation toward the proper answer for questions that are pursued beyond relativity, but in the abstract rules of science which are not discovered by any other means but in asking questions. The more questions the better. And when questions are asked, we as human beings come alive with that same excitement that we had as children discovering things for the first time, and that is what will ultimately save us. Its not the science we discover in the process, but in the quality of the questions we think to ask no matter what the means is in discovering which questions to ask as adventure demands the contemplation of a thinking species.

Rich Hoffman

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The US Government Admits to UAPs: Reality isn’t the same for everyone

One of the most persistent criticisms of my work on this site which has permeated over the decades is my legitimate coverage of ancient aliens’ stories, well before the History Channel show was popularized. While its true that I cover lots of mainstream political topics more accurately than any other source, from school levies, to presidential politics my first love in all categories is cultures and the aspects of them that rise and fall on a universal scale. In that regard it didn’t surprise me at all that the Department of Defense and the United States Navy has come forth and admitted that UFOs are real, they are calling them Unusual Arial Phenomenon, but that yes, they are indeed true and are beyond our present technology and are quite perplexing. I would not call them “them” per say however, I would call “them” an aspect of “us.” We all come from the same places and want the same things in the context of things. But we are not all equal, for us reality is a determination limited by the human mind which expands or contracts depending on intellectual fulfillment. In essence, those who have criticized my thoughts on things eventually come to learn that what I have often stated turns out to be true, but it was the limits of their reality which prevented them from seeing it sooner.

I was in a meeting last week with a lot of smart people and there was something of an argument about reality. It was suggested that I wasn’t conveying reality to the people who needed to know something whereas my statement was that reality wasn’t the same for everyone, and that before saying something my version of reality needed to be implemented. The people controlling the reality we were discussing were lazy people not very intellectual, therefor the constraint on understanding reality was limited to their measuring instrument, their own intellects. While those people were happy to name off their Fantasy picks for the upcoming NFL games on the weekend, they didn’t know jack shit about quantum mechanics and the ability to use the mind to move mountains in an intellectual jousting period so we were discussing two different realities in the context of space and time, yet the circumstances hadn’t changed. All the elements were there, it was just limited by our ability to measure it, based on our intellectual limits.

For many, the idea that there is alien life in space flying around in spaceships that behave by unique rules of physics is terrifying, because they worry that they are not the top of the food chain in life forms and it makes them worry about being preyed upon. Of course, the American government worries about revealing what they know because in doing so they would have to admit that they aren’t in control with our physical weapons. And of course, the evidence is quite obvious that the history of mankind goes much further back along the Archaic Period, even up to at least the last Ice Age. Much of what we call history is just now being unveiled and we are shocked by what we are learning. But the essence of that shock is that government fears letting normal people know that they are not in control and never have been—when for most human beings, that illusion of control allowed their lazy minds to feaster through life following some didactic path of unhealthy living without the expectation to do more with themselves.

But nothing about meeting alien life is scary to me. I see them as just another lifeform, like we’d observe in a new species of bird, or an elephant. They are just out there doing their thing. I don’t consider them or anybody who may exist in the universe or multiverse to be superior in thought and action. They just may be on a different reality based on their unique experience. I read four books last week, spoke to hundreds of people on the upper levels of society, and personally worked over 85 hours and I still had time for my family and to enjoy life without feeling wore out. Yet I heard complaints from people who barely worked 40 hours how tough life was and how they couldn’t find time to read the numbers and letters on their television remote. Those are the types of people who look at these UFOs and UAPs and are scared. They are the same people who have criticized my many articles about ancient civilizations in the pre-Columbian North America sphere of influence and in sites predating Europe’s reigns of kings and queens. That well before there was communism in Asia that they had already traveled the world many times over and that the North American Indian was in fact the results of those travels. They were not indigenous people for the modern progressive movement. The reality of these suggestions is limited to the intellect of the proponents. Live a week in my shoes and you will see things vastly different.

And that’s going to be the result of the meeting of minds that will eventually take place once we admit to ourselves that the Milky Way is teeming with life and we are far from the only advanced species functioning within it. I have never allowed my reality to be determined by dumb people and that is always at the core of my work whether we are talking about local and national government, or science and technology. The theme for me is consistent and my support for the Second Amendment even comes into play here. Dumb people who have lazy intellects are not going to be allowed to shape my reality and that is the fight we are all conducting. And we’ll find that the lifeforms flying those UAPs are no different than us in that regard. Intelligent life tends to want to build, not destroy. Dumb people do that. The whole question about life from other places visiting us here on earth has been suggested as a reality by dumb people.

Once we realize that there is life visiting us from space, and that this behavior has been going on for many millions of years, we can move on to other stages of human development that is not chained like a prisoner to our current versions of history that look back 4000 measly years and thinks that is a long time. Humans are much older than that and likely so are the lifeforms in those UAPs. Nothing would surprise me about what we learn there. What is surprising is that people are so lazy in our present age that they can’t wrap their mind around it until they’ve been exposed to the material for a decade or two. It has always been obvious to me. And while it can be frustrating to listen to people try to defend their reality built on lazy assumptions about the universe, I also understand that all thinking people will eventually come around to my version of reality anyway, because while reality can be different depending on how its measured, ultimately, it is what it is. A mind that can handle more reality than a mind that can’t will obviously see more of it and work with a larger aspect of it. And that is what really scares people about the UFO assumptions and why to appease the masses we have always tossed that study into the bin of tin foil hatted conspiracy theory. Let’s just call it what it really has been, lazy, loser people who didn’t want to challenge themselves with thought so they could continue the illusion that they were the only life in the world that mattered. But in reality, it is the mind of the hungry intellect whether it be an alien or a human, that truly thrives in this universe, no matter what level on the history of technology they find themselves on.

Rich Hoffman
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Corporations are Great: Star Wars, Disney and all the great things that come from making money

I personally love corporations, even though most of them function as socialist organizations. And it is difficult for a company like Disney to be creative as a result, as opposed to the early days when Walt Disney guided a much more capitalist enterprise. All large corporations have the same trouble when they become more socialist than capitalist for a lot of reasons which I am covering in my upcoming book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business. But I couldn’t help but notice that the Star Wars problem and overall fan reaction to the new Black Spire Outpost in Disney World has an anti-corporation bias which goes completely against the nature of what many Star Wars fans stand for. Reading recently the Black Spire Outpost novel about the new Star Wars land the situation was obvious for which we see muddled in most of our understandings of corporate culture and everyone gets it wrong.

In the new version of Star Wars, the post Disney purchase, which I think they have gotten wrong, but more because of their own cultural limits than out of maliciousness the various factions of population are the Resistance, which many liberals directly attribute to our contemporary president of Donald Trump. The First Order, which is an authoritarian regime of micro controlling government which Tea Party types would associate with the Progressive Movement. Then there are the scum and villainy—the smugglers and bounty hunters who live outside the law always running from the law as space bound pirates roaming about freely, but often without a sense of family or home. I personally relate to this last faction, but in all three I see a kind of infantile understanding of human existence, however compared to other art forms, its much more sophisticated than any other entertainment option. For instance, I think the prequal films, especially Revenge of the Sith is a very sophisticated examination into how government can be a good entity one day, then the enemy of the people on the very next.

The problem Disney has is that they try to appeal to all the leftist types, the transgenders, the feminists, the socialist Democrats which all corporations can relate to, so to disguise their need to make money—which is the goal of all corporations. The problem is the dysfunctional relationship that corporations have with appeasement politics so that they can earn the right to do what they do, and that is to be a profit driven enterprise. The Disney problem with Star Wars is the same one that George Lucas could never deal with, that was to use the great money generated off of Star Wars and its merchandise to continue expanding the ability to create great mythology, because it takes money to tell these stories. So there is nothing shameful about turning a profit even though Disney and now Star Wars seems ashamed of it.

Out of those three factions the stories never deal with people’s need to make a living. The members of the Resistance don’t have jobs, they are given shelter and camaraderie for their efforts in fighting for the cause, but they aren’t out building families, buying starships or buying property. And that is the same for the First Order and the Empire that came before them. The members of the order are corporate in their design, but the individuals aren’t interested in buying houses and using their finances to gain prestige in the greater society. It is among the bounty hunters and smugglers that we can most relate because they are concerned about personal gain, which says a lot about a science fiction story because at least there is room for such contemplations.

In that way the Black Spire Outpost built by Disney is unique because the Resistance and First Order are present, but the town belongs to the pirates, criminals and smugglers who really make that galaxy an interesting place to visit. That’s interesting because even as a massive corporation who is out to make a lot of profit, and deserve to, Disney understands that at the heart of Star Wars is the every day people just trying to make a few bucks so they can live in the universe and if that is the baseline of understanding, then we can all build off it toward a mythic masterpiece that can mean a great deal to the customers.

In the book The Black Spire Outpost I enjoyed the corporate namedropping of all the things that can be done in the actual Disney Park, the names of the drinks you could buy in the cantina, the clothes and other souvenirs. There is nothing wrong with Disney selling merchandise and wanting to make money. The problem is, Disney has allowed for their own shaming by trying to appeal to leftist anti-capitalist groups to prove that they aren’t bad people, like many corporations are pushed into liberal causes to show that they aren’t big mean capitalists. However at the heart of what consumers want is those very traits and if the bottom line is so important, then Disney and all corporations should embrace capitalism publicly, and not hide their real desires behind masks of socialism. Its OK to want to make a profit and people don’t mind paying. But where the fears of corporate Disney ruining Star Wars reside is the real fear is in losing what the stories really meant to people. Nobody is interested in a bunch of altruistic self sacrificers. They want characters who are driven by the same needs they are in real life.

Only Disney and the incredible amount of money they can make could have built something like a real Black Spire Outpost and if it wasn’t profitable, they couldn’t do it. So for the benefit of everyone, we all need to drop the socialist perspective, which the Resistance certain is and the First Order and just admit that Star Wars as a property is all about making money then reinvesting that money into something good, like expanding the myth. Disney shouldn’t be shy about that and neither should their fans. I was talking to a person the other day who spent $800 in the Oga’s Cantina, which I understand completely. I mean where else could you sit down and have some exotic drinks to play Sabacc with the Millennium Falcon parked right outside? It takes money to build all that stuff and to maintain that reality to enjoy leisurely. If not for all the money that the Disney corporation has made, nothing at the Black Spire would be possible.

Corporations are not evil, making money is not wrong. But trying to adopt socialist ideas in the products that the corporation produces is bad because its not honest. And that’s when Disney gets scrutinized by its own fan base who have been told that the Resistance is all about being altruistic yet the company itself wants to make all the money it can. Well, yes, of course they are. We have allowed our society to criticize the very thing we enjoy most, we like to make money and we like to see companies become wealthy so they can create things we ultimately enjoy. The ideas of the Resistance and the First Order are not completely fleshed out ideas, but in the aspects of Star Wars that has received some of the best attention are the parts that involve the them of the Black Spire Outpost and that is a good sign for the future not just of Star Wars and Disney, but for corporations in general.

Rich Hoffman
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Monroe Schools Plays it Safe: One of the many reasons that Julie Shaffer has to go

I was very happy to learn that James Hahn, who is running for the Lakota school board is aligned with the Trump plan to allow concealed carry in the Lakota school district to stop potential threats to children at the point of danger. Lynda O’Connor is as well. If people who normally don’t vote in Lakota oriented elections within Butler County actually showed up to vote this November, there is the potential that this important program could be enacted at Lakota. However, as long as Julie Shaffer sits on the board, inaction and liberal policy making will continue, dangerously well into the future. Lakota like most districts without such a concealed carry policy will remain victims, and as the Monroe school system reminded us this past week, the danger is ever present.

Of course, the alternative to under preparation for moment to moment dangers is over reaction, and to their credit, Monroe schools in southwest Ohio has been very aggressive in monitoring social media accounts and cracking down on every little threat, which the Wednesday alarm turned out to be this past week. The alarm was real, but the threat wasn’t credible. Better to be safe than sorry. Yet a few years ago Monroe schools was accused of going to far digging into the text messages between students which led to the police isolating a young man and making an example out of him for a very minor commentary on his cell phone. For that the kid was suspended and had his cell phone confiscated by the police and was isolated within the student population for “security.” Better to ruin the reputation of one kid than to have a bunch of dead kids due to a rash of violence would be the reasoning. But that is what state controlled security looks like, they are watching everything we do even outside of the classroom, because that is where the roots of threats start and must be detected.

As all trained shooters know however is that the best way to deal with violence isn’t in suspending the liberty of all your students or voters, but in dealing with the problem when it occurs. Just doing the little things right, such as diligence on security check ins, following up on rumors with logic, and carrying guns for when and if a threat emerges so that it can be dealt with right then and there, not five to ten minutes later once the police arrive. That is after all the reason that our Constitution promotes private people carrying guns, so that the other aspects of the Constitution can be protected, such as unlawful searches and seizures.

Given the Monroe approach, which is keeping threats off the radar, but it’s always running all over privacy rights all in the name of safety, and that is the problem. Is that really what we want to teach our children, that their rights can be always superseded by the state need to protect them, when in fact they have a right and obligation to protect themselves? Of course, I would say not but this is a question for the general population. For most people safety is the limit of their concern, all they care about is whether or not their kids come home from school, and shallow thinking politicians will be happy to give them the minimum of their concern requirements. But at a cost, philosophically, and legally. Should the state take responsibility for safety or is it the task of each and every individual. Leave the math, the reading, and the history to the schools, but for the parents and school administrators, its their job to make sure things remain safe.

I’ve debated Julie Shaffer on WLW radio before, and in other forums and let me just say as politely as possible, that type of deep dive conversation is not within her intellect. She’s a pretty shallow stream, not very deep. For her, so long as Lakota, or any school system prevents mass shootings by intruding on the rights of the students and their parents, she’s fine with that, even if it does push kids into accepting that everything they do in life can fall under the purview of the state all in the name of safety and security. So long as something can be deemed “safe,” people like Shaffer can justify personal intrusion of the students. That is why she led the school board at Lakota to a stall out on the Trump initiative to arm teachers in the schools with concealed carry hoping to run out the clock on the inevitable act of violence that any district with 16,000 kids might embark on. Its safer to turn the responsibility over to the state and throw the rights of the students out the window. And when they grow up, they will then vote for the same policies because its all they know.

Lucky at Monroe this past week the threat wasn’t credible. But one of these days it will be, whether its there, or at Lakota, or some other big-name school in the famous southern Ohio districts outside of the I-275 loop. Its easier for shallow school board members to kick the can down the road and let someone else solve that problem for them even if it does step all over individual rights—because on the political left, that is the agenda anyway. At Lakota presently three of the five school board members are what we’d consider liberal, while the other two trends toward conservative. If James Hahn could find the votes from a sleepy public, that ratio could be turned around and this whole concept of safety and philosophy would have a chance to be heard. But not until a major change occurs.

Monroe, which is right next to Lakota as far as districts go has shown the trend of the future, monitor everything and at the slightest provocation, over-react. Play the better safe than sorry angle and hope you get to the bad guys before the bad guys get to you. But in the process, lots of innocent people are being scrutinized in ways that would have sent shudders up our spines just a few decades ago where nobody would ever think that such a day of personal intrusion would ever be acceptable. Just think of two more decades into the future where these kids will be running things, and what they will be willing to justify all in the name of safety.

Of course, the cause of the tendency toward violence is very much a current debate. I would say that we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg. Fatherless homes, failures of state care, a lack of personal responsibility where everyone gets a trophy, the legalization of marijuana, the over medication of depression medicine, the failure of religion, all just to name a few are contributing to the concept of violence against classmates that certainly wasn’t a consideration when I was in school. I would place the blame squarely at the feet of liberalism, which most of these school boards are functioning from, so we are mathematically inclined to get more of the bad behavior not less. That means we need to get our approach to this crisis faster than we are now. Kicking the can down the road doesn’t work when you run out of road, and I would say that’s where we find ourselves presently. And the demanded action will require more than a letter sent home to parents.

Rich Hoffman
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Why Government Health Care is Bad: Johnson & Johnson ordered to pay $572 Million to fight opioids in Oklahoma

There are many more lawsuits ahead for Johnson & Johnson, one particular in Ohio coming in October that will likely end the same way as the one in Oklahoma did which granted $572 million in damages to help the state pay for its opioid crises. Of course, Johnson & Johnson will appeal and will try to settle out of court as many cases as they can. But what cannot be appealed or staved off in any way is the cause of the opioid crises itself, which is essentially the entire medical industry from the local doctor and pharmacy to the multibillion-dollar pharmaceutical companies that thrive of death and pain. Now that there is a roadmap to prosecute a company like Johnson & Johnson for their role and marketing dangerous pain killers to the public, then neglecting to mention the terrible side effects just so they could sell mass quantities of the drugs, many more states will start to get similar judgements and if the high courts grant payment and reject the appeals, then many of these big companies are done for. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing.

This is the big problem when government and corporations get together against the public good and don’t allow capitalist competition to rule the day. People must understand that the argument over health care isn’t to make people better, it’s to fight over who will get paid off of people’s pain. When there is profit in pain, this is the kind of effect everyone can expect. The solution of course to medical insurance is to have less people sick, for our medical system to repair people, not to prolong their death just so that they can be prescribed medicine to ease their pain. At the heart of the opioid crises is a problem that is the foundation of our entire civilization, are we going to go forward and evolve or will we just decline into dust and be one silly little page in history. The crux of the debate is upon us and it is the result of this latest drug company lawsuit.

Unfortunately, while many of us crave personal freedom about what television shows we want to watch, what cars we drive, who we marry, what schools we go to, what we like to eat on a Friday night, we surrender our lives to doctors almost entirely. We assume they know best because we were taught in school that they did, and we take their advice on everything, how to live our lives, whether or not we can work or be on disability, or what drugs we will put into our bodies which could change everything about us. As a matter of fact, every mass shooter recently had one thing in common besides broken homes, they all were on anti-depressant medicine—which of course taken with marijuana and alcohol can have devastating effects on sanity. But doctors enjoy the free vacations to Hawaii and other exotic places because their name appears as drug dealers from the local Walgreens and they get rewarded for writing the prescriptions. And so long as the trust in doctors is there and they desire to profit off the sick, we will always have this problem.

Personally, I avoid any kind of drug, even when I’m sick. The desire to alleviate pain is to attempt to shut out part of living. If something is painful it needs to be fixed and if you just numb the pain, you will never fix the problem. The purpose of pain is to solve it, not to suppress it. Instead of an insurance industry that pays for all these drugs to suppress pain, our focus should be to get people healthy to the point where they don’t have pain because they aren’t sick. But the massive imprint of the big pharms that drive up the cost of insurance and medical care in general is far too great and the only way to get out from under them is to essentially put them out of business in the way that Oklahoma and Ohio are striving to do. The amount of money at stake in the medical industry is staggering, to the point where $572 million is really just a small fee to pay. Johnson & Johnson would rather not pay it, but that alone isn’t enough to alter their operations. And there are far too many politicians who, like the doctors that prescribe the medicine, profit off of people’s pain.

For all the same reasons that there are political factions who are against President Trump’s attempts to make friends with North Korea or Iran, and to fight China with trade wars, that is because those factions represent those who profit off the suffering caused by the conflict. You don’t have to look very hard to see that dear reader. It’s as obvious as a sunrise in a cloudless, desert sky. The opioid crises was caused for all the same reasons, because there is profit in pain and death, and short term, small minded people would gladly trade in their immortality for a beach house in Florida for twenty years of their gradually diseased life. There is no Republican health care plan that could be unleashed so long as this is the state of the medical industry, to profit off of pain and to drag out the effects of death to give pharmaceuticals a market longer into the lifespan of the average person. It’s not the quality of life that health insurance is seeking to cover, it’s to maintain dependency so the drug companies can flourish, which is why they support politicians who argue for universal health care.

Human beings are just biological machines, there is nothing about them that cannot be fixed or maintained at a certain healthy level. If they were healthy once, they could be healthy again. But our medical industry is not interested in healthy people who do not need them. They need the sick, and ever dying. It is a short-sighted profit path for the partnership between government and corporations and has nothing to do with capitalism. The entire system plays to the worst of human nature, to remain short sighted, and to avoid pain suppressing problems instead of solving them.

If Trump had not been elected president these fights wouldn’t be happening. It is in the lack of a government health care solution that there are any signs in any courts to even consider taking on big pharma, because the lobby money is lucrative. But Trump has changed politics and politicians are seeing the benefits of the long view as opposed to the short and science is finally starting to put courage in the minds of the sick. More and more people are realizing that they don’t have to listen to their doctor, that maybe if they stay healthy, that they can avoid the doctor all together. And when that happens a real freedom can be realized that most people never thought possible. But to have it they can’t be on drugs and under the influence of a medical system that wants to ride them, not to set them free. When we talk about government health care what we are talking about is prolonging this problem and when we talk about suing big pharma, we are actually seeking to free ourselves from their influence. And that is a great thing that couldn’t come fast enough. Then once it does, we can really get started as a species because if there is anything that is truly holding us all back it’s the nonsense about life and death and sickness and health. We can do better and if big pharma goes down, we can have something much, much better.

Rich Hoffman

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D23 and Star Wars: Liberal ideas are rejected everywhere, especially in a galaxy far, far away

It’s important because it involves so many parts of our culture, but as I occasionally do write about Star Wars it is interesting to watch as how its meaning has changed for people over time. Personally, when people ask me how I’m able to do so much on such a range of things, it’s because I use mythology to grasp concepts so that there is room for ideas to be conceived and to grow. I would compare it to a bowl to hold something like popcorn in, the bigger the bowl, the more ideas you can hold. Mythology is how the human race holds ideas that it can then grasp and work with, and the bigger the ideas, the better functioning the society. In a lot of ways young people have more than ever lots of vehicles to invest ideas into, not just the movies that we all grew up on, but video games, a lot of literature, and all the streaming services that are available such as Amazon Prime and Netflix. And to make those streaming services flourish there has to be a lot of content and Hollywood, as I have been saying for years, is struggling to produce. We live in one of the most creative times in human history, but we have more than ever also witnessed how liberalism in general in a culture of mass competition for ideas shows the trends of society and nothing more vividly displays that trend like Star Wars, because it is at least a cultural measure that everyone can pretty much agree is a standard mythology of our culture. Not everyone likes it, but it manages to touch most people in some way or another making a great platform for analysis.

So to catch everyone up on where Star Wars is, there is a movie coming out this December, it’s the last film of the nine part series that has been going on for 40 years. It’s an important key to whether or not Star Wars survives into the future because as of now, it only has nostalgic value. Young people don’t necessarily like it on its own, its more something that they can share with their parents and grandparents, so the brand is struggling. Watching all the D23 news from Disney over this past weekend there is a lot to look forward to from arguably the largest media company in the world. But the evidence that as a very progressive company that has lost their way into making new and fresh ideas is obvious. Disney as a company is living off their legacy properties and what they’ve done many years ago, not what they have been able to do lately. With the exception of the Marvel movies, there hasn’t been anything fresh from Disney for years as they have taken for granted that people will buy into their products even though they are spewing with progressive political causes, such as race diversity, sex issues such as feminism, and elements of gay rights that most people just aren’t comfortable with. Disney as a company has tried to hide their massive appetite for capitalism behind progressive causes and it has hurt them tremendously—because they weren’t honest about it. They would have been better off to proclaim that they are happy to make money and not ashamed of it one bit instead of trying to sell themselves off as progressive activists laboring for every liberal cause known to mankind. Not so much at the stock exchange rate yet, but that is coming just as I stated years ago after the first new age Star Wars film came out, that Disney has really screwed up the multi billion dollar franchise leaving them desperate to fix it, which is what they are promising to do on several fronts starting with the new film coming out this December in addition to several live action television shows coming to their new streaming service, such as The Mandalorian, and a new show just about Obi-Wan Kenobi played by Ewen McGregor which fans have wanted for over 20 years.

Star Wars, especially the best parts of it such as the cantina scenes where Obi-Wan cuts off the arm of an assailant in A New Hope, then shortly thereafter Han Solo kills the bounty hunter Greedo in a blaze of gun fire, these modern progressive filmmakers thought that what they had made with Star Wars could be that bowl I was talking about that could hold lots of ideas including copious amounts of progressive sentiment. Even with the billions of dollars that Disney has put into Star Wars the fans have responded flat which was most notable with the most recent Star Wars movie, which I loved, Solo: A Star Wars Story. After The Last Jedi, which I enjoyed, fans had shown they had enough of Disney tampering with something they loved and they were rejecting the Disneyification of Star Wars outright, and not buying the toys, and merchandise at the levels that Disney needed them to in order to justify their investment. This has been obvious now that the big Star Wars lands that have opened in California and now in Disney World in Orlando and people aren’t that interested. I warned everyone way back in 2015 on radio and several articles, that the key to the franchise wasn’t Luke Skywalker, it was Han Solo, the space cowboy that reflected the American values of Ayn Rand and John Wayne, which has always been at the heart of Star Wars. Star Wars for people is best when it has those elements, not actors that were cast because they were Latino, or because they were women—but because the characters were good and the actors fit the part. When Disney essentially killed off the angry white guy characters and failed to replace them with new ones, they lost their audience. The Last Jedi was essentially a movie where all the white men were killed and the crazy progressive women were all in charge and people, real people who are out there voting for Donald Trump don’t want to see movies and stories about that kind of topic, and it has really hurt the Star Wars brand.

But I am encouraged, this year at D23 Disney is showing that they can take their money and do great things with it. I am rooting for them to get it right, I want their Star Wars Land of Galaxy’s Edge to be successful, I want to see Star Wars make a strong comeback for that next generation because it is still one of the best things out there to take our culture from where it was to where it needs to go in science and thought. There is room for big ideas in Star Wars, which is what I use it for as a mythology. It’s a big story with lots of bold concepts, but at its heart it was and continues to be a space western. So long as that formula is stuck to, Star Wars will be successful. If progressive concepts are placed above that formula, then its over for Disney and they seem to understand that now, after a decade of hard lessons.

I was enjoying all the news coming out of D23 and I sort of celebrated by picking up the Lenovo Star Wars Jedi Challenges video game which converts your smart phone into an augmented reality simulator and I have to say it is extremely impressive. But you can see clearly the hit Star Wars has taken to their brand. The unit just a year ago was being sold at Target for $200 and I picked it up this week for less than $50. I figured that for that much money I could take a risk and buy the Disney product and I’m glad I did. But considering what they had done to the legacy fans with the books and previous comics and other merchandise then gave those same fans a mess of a movie in The Force Awakens, which essentially killed all the old white guys and put progressive diversity in charge only to lose over and over again to a very inept First Order, not even I would pay that much money for a new Star Wars game. That’s unfortunate, because the game itself is just amazing, a real technical marvel and exhibition of mythology pushed to its absolute limits. Big ideas, big fun, and a major advancement of the story telling experience.

The lesson here is that progressive, or even liberal ideas cannot fill up that bowl of thought, and people won’t just accept those concepts because they like Star Wars. They like Star Wars because it represents values that most people share, small government, independence, and you gotta have guns. The anti-gun policies and hippie like love your neighbor stuff doesn’t go well with a franchise that is all about war and why wars happen. When you can’t even where a gun on your hip in cosplay to the new Star Wars land in Florida because everyone is crazy over weapons and terrorism, Disney has to understand that you can’t tell a story about peace, love, and trusting the government without weapons, and expect people to spend millions of dollars of their hard earned money on it, just so they can eat colored popcorn and drink blue milk. Star Wars is about fighting for independence, especially personal independence. In all Star Wars stories that are good are examples of institutional failure, even among the Jedi Council, and that is the heart of the entire franchise. Unfortunately, Disney was a part of that institutional thinking and it took them a long time to come close to figuring out the problem. I just hope its not too late. It would be a shame if it is.

Rich Hoffman

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How the Deep State Works: Whispers from beyond the veil

It’s not that Patrick Byrne is a hero or anything for coming out on live television and taking Fox News hosts off guard by revealing that he had done clandestine “deep state” work directly for the FBI’s Peter Strzok. The old hippie, Grateful Dead fan who was the CEO of Overstock.com had to resign because the William Barr investigation that is about to unveil the greatest scandal in world history is about to turn election year politics into a meat grinder for the Democrat Party, and he’s in the middle of it all. He has a fiduciary responsibility to the stockholders so he did the right thing and stepped down while he could without the company tanking during the upcoming trials. None of that was surprising to me, but what was a little bit was the public reaction to it, particularly in the mainstream media. If you ever wanted to know about the nature and power of the “deep state” then what wasn’t said was far more powerful than what was.

The “deep state” essentially is nothing more than the static patterns of established society and their acceptance of the handful of options given to them socially out of their grade school days. As I have said for many years, and even the hero of the left Bill Ayers has said, the purpose of public education is not to teach people things, it’s to place them into categories of peer groups for which they will spend the rest of their lives. The deep state is the undemocratic official control mechanism that holds those groups together. So while we officially have a republic as a country, and many liberal media outlooks like to talk about our “democracy” and socialists like AOC “Cortez” are seeking to change the election system from an electoral college to a popular vote so they can count all their illegal aliens and other criminals for Democrat votes, the real power rests outside of that understanding and obviously members of the FBI were functioning from that understanding, especially Peter Strzok who was uncharacteristically caught.

This is nothing new, its just that the nature of President Trump, who is functioning outside of the normal controls of peer groups that are built in our public education system is wrecking the whole order of things because he is binding people together who normally wouldn’t associate with one another, and that makes him very dangerous to this “deep state,” and they apparently understood it from the very beginning. The Deep State themselves, whom Patrick Byrne calls the Men in Black don’t often do things directly, they get other people to do them—compromised people. And to avoid prosecution they get them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t do. Then if things go wrong, the perpetrator takes the fall and the deep state continues in the shadows operating behind the legal curtain.

It’s not a conspiracy theory to assume that deep state actors inspire young influential people like these recent mass shooters to do some act of violence that might push legislators to embrace gun control measures. The deep state was caught trying to overturn a presidential election, so nothing is off the table for them. Patrick Byrne didn’t come across as particularly sane in his Fox interviews, but then again, who really is? The guy was nervous, obviously, he has probably done a fair share of drugs in his life if he’s the Dead Head he claims to be, which as a CEO of a company for twenty years leaves a lot of opportunity to have the deep state extort you for bad conduct. So, I can see how his story played out and it was hard to come out and talk about it on television when obviously the hosts were not ready for the information. It wasn’t part of the script, that was for sure. The story should have been the biggest thing to hit television in years, but less than 12 hours later, it was barely talked about except for the usual “conspiracy” channels like talk radio and a few YouTube accounts.

Yet that is precisely how the deep state operates and how it continues to remain behind the scenes. It’s not that they are some powerful organization that uses mind control to remain anonymous, but that they rely on the education system that we have to keep anybody from really seeing them, even when the evidence is right in front of everyone’s face. I’ve seen this method of concealment work several times, and I’ve told the stories here before, but will repeat them again for the sake of demonstration. At one of my high school reunions I was there with my kids and we were doing those contests where the people who were married the longest got a reward, and who had the most kids, who had visited the most places in the world, that kind of thing. I was the winner of something like six out of the ten categories out of my entire class yet there wasn’t much fanfare when I stepped up to get the awards. It was like I was invisible, and it wasn’t because people didn’t know me. In school I was one of those kids who didn’t fit into any class category and I rejected any attempt to put me in one. That led to, let’s just say, a very turbulent time in grade school. Counselors didn’t know what to do with me. Teachers couldn’t reach me because I thought of all of them as too stupid to give me any advice. I wasn’t afraid of the authority structure and was constantly in trouble and in the principal’s office, like every week. Getting my parents involved didn’t help. There was no peer group that I responded to. Nothing worked, and I liked it that way. The treasure in all that was that I grew up independent of any peer group and that is still the case to this very day. But the cost is that people only typically respond to stimulants that support their chosen peer groups for which they have accepted their roles during their grade school years. That means anything outside of their peer groups is invisible to them. So even though in our class reunion I had done more, seen more and lived a lot of life that would normally be talked about, because I wasn’t’ in one of the accepted peer groups the effects were pretty much overlooked.

A few years later I was involved in a big presentation in front of Cincinnati City Council that would determine the future for the Banks Project. My group that was doing the presentation were all of the same type of people I was, outsiders and proud of it. Not affiliated with any of the peer groups developed in our education system but free thinkers and charismatic individualists untethered to conformity. We gave a very dramatic presentation that would eventually become The Banks, only twenty years before it was designed and built. We knew we had done a good job but after not a single politician or developer came up to us to inquire more on our ideas. Now we could say that we were young people, and nobody was going to listen to us, only that most of the ideas presented that day ended up in the final design. So, it was obvious that they were listening. That presentation was a competition from the public and by no close measure, ours was the best and most dramatic. Yet we were painted out of the coverage and never even made the cut on television. That is how the deep state works. People only respond to what they understand and if they are presented with something outside of their realm of understanding, they’ll rationalize it into something they can understand. Such as the cargo cults of primitive tribes when they see an airplane, they might call it a bird and refer to it not as a miracle of science, but as an act of nature confusing the nature of flight entirely. And for such people if they encounter people outside of their peer experience, they may only see aspects of them that they can relate to within their peer group, but not the entire essence and until they can, they will view such people as entirely invisible.

And that is what’s going on with Patrick Byrne and actually the entire Trump presidency. None of this activity fits within the framework of our education system and the peer groups we have adopted as a society. It’s not that the events aren’t happening, they just aren’t happening within the context of experience that most people can understand and that is where the deep state does their work. They have been letting us believe we have a republic but in fact they intend to have a dictatorship of a sorts and they use our own ignorance as their greatest weapon, our need to be in a peer group and to function within its rules and regulations. In that regard, the deep state can rule forever, or so they believe. Until they must deal with elements that don’t adhere to the peer group system. Then they have trouble which is how this whole story is even coming into fruition to begin with. If not for the Trump presidency, we wouldn’t know anything about Patrick Byrne or any other deep state operatives. And the members of the media, even on Fox, anybody getting a paycheck to be part of the media culture, they are part of the peer groups that keep this kind of information from getting out. They are paid to ostracize the Patrick Byrnes of the world once they have stepped down as a CEO of a popular company and to consume them until they are no longer a danger. So this is all very interesting, and it’s going to get a lot better. Stay tuned! Many people, to use Patrick Byrne’s metaphor, are going to learn that Soylent Green is people, and that has always been the way that the deep state has viewed us all, until people start to learn the rules and threaten the entire structure.

Rich Hoffman

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