Donald Trump is Fighting Back the way Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson did

First of all, we are not a democracy, so dying in darkness has nothing to do with the current situation regarding President Trump and his declassification of the documents used against him politically by Democrats to attempt an overthrow of his election. We are a republic which requires smart people to prevail at the end of the day in a representative fashion to manage a country. This concept of “rule by the people” doesn’t work because not all people are smart or good at movement. A simple majority vote simply leads to communism then anarchy and really aren’t conducive to good government, which is really what is behind the attempt to destroy the Trump administration at the outset. Because people who essentially wanted to destroy the American Republic and replace it with something more socialist knew that Trump represented a turn away from the typical Democrat. So they did everything they could to destroy him and anybody connected with him.

I am happy every day these days, most of them anyway. Trump is running the country the way I have wanted for my entire life. He does and says what I’ve always wanted to see because anybody who looks could see what kind of game was going on in Washington D.C. They weren’t working for us as American taxpayers, they considered themselves above our station and that their political view of the world was rooted in making the presidency into a kind of king’s court for which they were members. The rest of us were mere peons, which I never accepted as a reality, and is the root of my political interest. I’ve always been interested in presidential politics, going back into my grade school days. While a lot of kids were trying to sneak of copy of Penthouse from the local bookstore that they were too young to purchase themselves, I was reading presidential biographies about life in the White House. They only ones who ran the presidency the way I thought it should be done was Thomas Jefferson and then later Teddy Roosevelt. I never personally had an interest in a president who just wanted to get along with everyone. I wanted someone who wanted to fight for a small government appetite at the top office, and Trump has clearly offered himself to perform that task so I feel a need to be protective of his efforts. As I talked about here many years ago, the Edmund Morris Theodore Roosevelt Trilogy which took many years to produce is one of the best collections of books on Roosevelt ever produced. I think President Trump however is far better than Roosevelt. But I was reminded of how important Roosevelt was with the very recent book by Dan Abrams called Theodore Roosevelt for the Defense which was just released a few days ago. It was a great book about the kind of character Roosevelt was and why he was important to American life at a critical time in our history.

And it will go down in history what a great president that Trump has been. Once the cameras get cold and forget about their daily ambitions to over-throw the country one news story at a time, Trump will be remembered as one of the best American presidents without question. And one of the most heroic moments of it won’t be the way he stood up to world leaders looking to sap us all dry anyway possible, but that he rooted out insurrection attempts within our own government. As Jefferson said, “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against the tyranny in government.” Or how about this little gem of a thought, “I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labour of the industrious.” Or on the nature of republic government as opposed to just flat rate democracy, “Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.” And this one is one of my favorites, “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

I think we can all agree that Thomas Jefferson was hardly a crazy radical and was one of the greatest American presidents. Jefferson was well read and very interested in being a top contributor intellectually to the spirt of American government. And Roosevelt was much the same, he loved to read and was very, very educated. But while Jefferson liked to think and philosophize, Roosevelt liked to fight. He just thrived off conflict with other people which really improved our government for a while. He liked to fight so much that he stepped away from the Republican Party just to spite the party boss at the time and went on to help found the Progressive Party to get back at his rivals—which turned out to be a disaster. But that’s a story for another time. What matters is that he brought the will to fight and a vast intelligence to the White House and that held our government together at a critical time. Trump isn’t crazy about reading, but he is very smart and was excessively accomplished before he ever came to office and his love of fighting is very much an important attribute to his election. People like me voted for him not out of any desire for racism, or ignorance. I doubt there are many people on the political left who are as accommodating of ambition no matter what country it comes from as I am. And I seriously doubt many of them read as many books as I do, or write about the benefits of our republic as me. And I will say gladly that the insurrection against President Trump can’t go unmatched. He has to kick some ass, I expect him to, as do millions of his supporters. That’s why we elected him. Its better to have the fight legally through elections than with guns in the streets, which is where we were headed. I have no intention of accepting any form of socialism in our government. What we do have I consider unacceptable. More of it simply isn’t an option.

This is exactly the moment I talked about a few years ago, where I stated that the Democrat Party likely would come to an end. They can only rule by force, and by cheating because the American people who are actually smart are not with them, regardless of political ideology. Even with the incubation contributors of colleges toward liberalism, and our horrendous public education system which is essentially a 12 year advertisement for socialism, there were enough people who supported Donald Trump for president because of all the reasons we knew of regarding a government that had lost touch with what they should have been doing as elected representatives all along. The Democrats had lost that connection more than anybody, and as I said, I don’t think they’ll survive. And with how they all collaborated to remove Trump from office, there were many crimes committed, and that will bring them all to a much-deserved end. And the beginning of that end was the Trump declassification of the documents that prove all their plots of insurrection to be true. Now William Barr has the green light to bring the Justice Department down on those insurgents and they will get everything they deserve, because we elected a president who wouldn’t just take it. But would fight back the way we have always wanted to.

Rich Hoffman

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The Black Spire Outpost–the roots of genius

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman

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Socialism is Taught in our Public Schools–so why are we surprised that its all kids know?

There was a recent poll that indicated 43% of people in North America support socialism which seems to be a surprise to many people. As everyone knows, I have been screaming this from the roof tops for many, many years—more like decades. This isn’t a new idea and if you take that poll and lay it over the same type of people who voted for Hillary Clinton and may support Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders they almost match perfectly. The new element is in accepting that the Democrat Party essentially is a part of socialists who have simply changed their name. And that evidence is quite clear in how that part of politics has taken over our public education system, which was finely exhibited in the New York City public school system with their recent ban of words that are consistent with above the line behavior, words like success, exceptionalism, and winning.

Many people don’t want to get involved in political matters, as our culture has successfully stigmatized it. It is far safer to talk about grilling hot dogs and talking about the statistics of hitting a ball with a baseball bat. And the people who want power like it that way. While we have been off appeasing everyone’s temperaments and worrying about hurting their feelings with aggressive words, they have taken over our public education system and sought to destroy the minds of our young people from their very foundations, and they have not been shy about it. We’ve let them get away with it by playing nice. And they have taken advantage of our niceness and set about ruining our nation from the inside out by controlling not only our education system, but what people learn, and this has occurred by allowing labor unions who are typically very progressive to run the school boards.

All that has changed is that Bernie Sanders and other very progressive elected officials have moved the political bar even further to the left leaving people like me, who have always been conservative looking in comparison to be some deranged lunatic by the measure of the political spectrum being analyzed. If prior to the 1960s the politics of the middle ground was exactly where a person like me is today, the victory of the communists, the hippies, and the leaning left Democrats ever more moved way away from the center and set a new benchmark that stated the new centralist views were radically to the left of what it used to be. And this has largely happened by a communist plan that started with the beginning of the Department of Education in 1980. It can be argued that public education worked better before a new department at the federal level got involved, and since it has, the entire country has moved further to the left.

I still remember what public school was like in 1980. I was in the sixth grade and I watched it quickly deteriorate. I can at least report a reference point to what it was like before and what it was like after, and each year thereafter from then until now has moved further and further to the political left. For those who say they don’t want to get involved in politics, because of hostile elements that have attacked our way of life, particularly in public education, none of us really have a choice. I have lost a lot of friends and family members over this very issue, which I’d do happily again. To me, what’s the point of talking about grilling out in the back yard, when entire parts of our population are being destroyed by liberalism in our public schools?

To my point of view this is one of the worst issues to confront us in the modern era. That we have allowed academia to be infested by liberalism only to eat up all the value of an education with political activism has been a major travesty on the action of learning. We have allowed intelligence to be stigmatized also with liberalism, and if we aren’t liberals, then we can’t claim to be academics. Through our American niceness, and through our Christian roots we turned the other cheek time and time again to allow these antagonizers to climb into the minds of our children and to take them from us, to attempt to destroy our families, to stand for death and the rights of some feminist version of womanhood as the only way.

Another recent poll that came out revealed that happily married women tended to be Republican in nature, which set off a torrent of anger from the political left. The threat to them was always in controlling the message of what being a woman really was. In their minds they accomplished two things, they keep mothers busy at work doing “things” in the pursuit of being equal to men. The other thing was that it pushed kids out of the house and into schools and pre-school day cares. This is also something I watched firsthand. My mom was a traditional housewife, one of the last of them. And she took a lot of grief for it being ridiculed by virtually everyone and it harmed her in many ways very deeply. She just wanted to care for her children and ironically, we all grew up very emotionally stable and productive. My wife actually followed in her path and for her the situation was even worse. Far worse actually. I watched all this with great curiosity, how could something so good, like loving kids, be considered socially so bad? Well, we were told in public education that liberalism was the way to go and they took our tax money to fund one sided political debate. And if you had a different point of view, then those individuals would be hunted down like the Salem Witch Trials and executed either literally or metaphorically. Whatever methods were used, the results were always clear. Destroy any hint at conservatism so that liberalism could grow.

It is actually surprising that more people don’t call themselves socialists these days with all the effort at attacking American that culture has gone into the promotion of that point of view. Capitalism and conservatism have held up remarkably well considering the efforts spent against it. But its time for us to turn the tide and to not be ashamed to admit what we value and to continue allowing liberalism to advance with our shut mouths and funding by turning our cheeks again and again until they’ve slapped away all the skin. Values can’t just be surrendered to a mob of trained socialists who believe they have a right to pluck us all dry to satisfy their whims. We need to focus on competition for the public education system so one brand of socialist instruction is not the only thing available to young people. By allowing that single source of failure to infect our children we are actually dooming them for life, and its time we stop that cycle. 1980 wasn’t that long ago and people have been educating themselves for many years. Well before the Department of Education came along with an agenda toward socialism. And until we change our thoughts on this, we will continue to see an erosion that eventually won’t be correctable. Time is certainly running out—I don’t think we are there yet, but we are getting close.

Rich Hoffman

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Elon Musk Doesn’t Give a Damn About Your Degree

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman

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The Poker in Red Dead Redemption 2 Online is Great!

I had a nice talk with a friend recently while we were reflecting on the Tea Party days and the direction of today’s youth. By normal visual standards, the socialized instruction in public schools, and PC counterculture has everyone strapped to the body of Moby Dick at the end of that old story. And the drug use that has permeated everything that young people do, by conventional measure things look pretty hopeless. But two things happened over the weekend that I continue to be impressed with and they will certainly have an impact on how our culture is measured.

The first was a visit to Kings Island where the Festhaus was hosting a professional video game tournament. The place was packed to the brim and young people were everywhere and were quite happy competing on stage against each other with popular titles like Fortnite, and other video games that are part of a culture a lot of people over 30 don’t even understand. As I watched the activity I was thinking of a report that friend had said to me about Mason schools going even further into removing competitive events and statues from their public school—the everyone gets a trophy or none of them do type of thinking—and it was obvious that the politics might be moving in that direction. But the video game culture gets it. There are more opportunities for competition there than when I was a kid. Traditional sports are not the only ways to compete in life, or to learn to. Video games are all about capitalism and they are the preferred medium of young people’s entertainment experiences.

For instance, one of my favorite video games not just of last year, but ever is Red Dead Redemption 2. When that game first came out I was so excited about it that I took a week off work to play it, and for me it was a kind of vacation. It’s a western by Rockstar Games and for me it was like going to the West World of the popular HBO series. These video games are so immersive that they begin to simulate reality. They are different than the passive experience of movies so their impact on culture is something we just aren’t measuring yet. But in the case of Red Dead Redemption 2, it sold 24 million copies in just three days which amassed $725 million, and is still climbing. The earnings report for these video game companies are actually higher than many movie and television studios. Take-Two which is involved in Red Dead Redemption reported a Fiscal Year 2019 earnings report confirming so far $2.66 billion. Those are Disney type of numbers so this is not a market of entertainment that is obscure by any measure.

Red Dead Redemption 2 came out in October of 2018 and I played it several times a week through the turn of the year. I spent about a hundred hours playing it on story mode then I played the Beta development mode for the Online portion of the game. I had to capitalize that because their online concept for the game is a thing of itself. It’s quite an extraordinary attempt at hosting a very brutal and capitalist natured arena. In that meeting with the same friend we reflected on the near elimination of dodgeball from our society deeming it politically toxic. Dodgeball for us when we were kids was something that happened every day. Well for the kids of today, its these online arenas. A great video game must at least have online content where players can compete against each other in player versus player situations which are much more intense than dodgeball. The biggest difference is that one is virtual while the other was physical. But the mentality is the same.

I played the Beta for a while but I couldn’t give the game the kind of time it demanded to be good in that mode so I backed off and moved on to other things. Well, this past weekend Rockstar Games finally finished with their Online offering for Red Dead 2 and put it up on their latest update, which meant the official game went live, around six months or so after the original release, which of course keeps people buying copies of the game and keeping it going which is something to say about how video games tell their stories, over much longer periods of time than movies or other forms of entertainment. So I played the game again to see how things were going and was very happy and surprised to learn that the many bars of gold that I had during the Beta phase and all the money I earned carried over into the official release. And also I was very happy to learn that they had opened up the ability to play poker with other live players which is really the purpose of me writing this article. I was immensely pleased with the way the game was set up and I spent most of the weekend playing just that game mode.

I would not call myself a gambler or even a card player the way that people think of such things. I’m not a drinker, a womanizer or any of the things that are associated with the game of playing poker, which in my understanding of history has been advanced by socialists to attempt to demean the games of the Western frontier so that culturally people would be inspired to move away from those activities, so not to celebrate them. But I do love poker. I love watching it. I love playing it. And I love its history as an American game developed in the frontier days of New Orleans and spreading westward with the gunfighter culture. The game and the mind of gunfighting in the American West are synonymous and I love it for that attribute. Playing poker is a fun game that is uniquely very American, and I love it and including it so prominently in the online version of Red Dead Redemption was a technical feat that really impressed me.

Playing poker was part of the original game, the story mode as they call it these days. And I enjoyed it immensely. I am not the kind of guy who likes to gamble money so I’m not a guy who enjoys hanging out in casinos at all. But I do enjoy the function of the game and the way its played so just gambling the chips is enough for me. I like the way poker chips feel in my hands and how they are used strategically to win or lose the game. It’s a very fascinating game and I spent many, many hours playing it against NPCs in the story mode. But having an online poker game is a whole separate situation. You have random players always coming and going and everyone has to play their hand and getting all that rolled into a fluid video game experience is difficult. The way that Rockstar set up their poker games in actual saloons in their various towns and cities was visually stunning and functionally very satisfying. I played a lot of poker over the weekend and I didn’t even have to leave my home.

As I played and saw how many people were playing the Online Red Dead Redemption 2 game, from poker to all the PVP combat that is involved it was obvious to me that this is where the world is at. Many kids wouldn’t even learn how to play poker if not for a game like this, or would they learn anything about westerns since they’ve been nearly eradicated from American culture. But in the world of video games, the western is alive and well and millions of young people are participating in that world and enjoying it. And with billions of dollars at stake in this growing industry, I don’t think anything that is politically underway to dismantle the American way of life is going to stick. Capitalism is alive and well, especially in the saloons and towns of Red Dead Redemption 2.

Rich Hoffman
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