The Merits of Dueling

The Merits of Dueling:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman

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Taking a Break to Usher in the Future

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman
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House Bill 6 in Ohio is a Good Thing–if you want free markets, then provide them

There has been a lot of criticism about the passage of House Bill 6 which is the “Ohio Clean Air Program” because both sides of the political spectrum are missing the point. The bill essentially is a government bail out of the Akron-based First Energy Solutions nuclear power plants. The hippie liberal communist environmentalists don’t like that the bill strips away cash credits for “renewable energy,” such as wind power and solar while raising $200 million per year to cover the costs of the plants as a government heavy highly regulated industry that continues to lose money to the point where they won’t survive past the year 2021.

On the other hand there are the free market capitalists who don’t like that the utility company has donated over $1 million to Republicans to keep fossil fuel energy production alive, where the Obama era administrators sought to kill the industry in 2008 with more government mandates. Given the climate of government intrusion to begin with, and the need for good, reliable energy in Ohio, H.B, 6 further allows for local townships to vote by referendum any wind or solar powered take over of land and other assets to launch their “renewable energy” proposals, meaning the government can’t just decide to put up wind power plants by force. People in local areas would have the right to vote on them, which has the radicals infuriated. But equally infuriated are the capitalist who think that the whole deal is just another example of crony politics, where politicians will do anything for the donor base.

Here’s the deal, and I have been talking about this for a very long time, our utilities companies are monopolies that are directly attached to government management. And they shouldn’t be. If they weren’t “public” utilities then the management burden wouldn’t fall on government to have to solve, and Republicans in Columbus wouldn’t be tasks to bail them out or otherwise watch them fail down the tubes. And if the companies fail, what’s that do to our ability to produce nuclear power? Letting them fail at this point simply isn’t an option. And putting regulatory barriers on that industry just to facilitate hippie energy isn’t going to solve the problem either. What is truly needed in the long term are true free market solutions, which I suggested in Thorium, where every single home could generate their own power off a government regulated grid, kind of like how each home has their own air conditioning units. The technology is there, but government needs to get out of standing in the way of it, and when it does problems like what First Energy Solutions is going through would then become a private problem instead of a government problem. That is where the real issues reside.

The current state reality of energy creation is that it isn’t privatized, which by no coincidence is precisely why the health care industry is going through the same problem. If health care were privatized competition would bring down the expensive medications that are on the market. Government intrusion raises those cost and puts all the power in lobbyists. Until health care is privatized, costs will continue to be high and no easy solution for providing health care to people will be conducive to reality. Energy is hampered by the same restrictions. Power companies are government mandated monopolies, made that way through the incredibly high barriers of entry into the market. Regulator considerations destroy anything but the deepest pocket investors who then look to government to protect their investment. It’s much like the railroad situation at the turn of the 19th to 20th century. Someone had to build all those railroads, then someone had to manage the trains themselves and the people getting on them. Public utilities do great work, but they are expensive, and they are vulnerable to mass outages which hampers so many people because they must maintain and old grid of power supply that is in this present time old and obsolete.

But until we invent a better means of power generation, such as personal Thorium power plants the size of an air conditioning unit on a home for every home in the nation, government is stuck keeping the old dinosaur alive, which is what H.B. 6 in Ohio essentially is. The future of power generation isn’t the government mandates for solar and wind power plants passed down from the communist oriented Obama administration, its in private investment and personal maintenance, such as moving public transportation from the train to a car.

I love camping and always enjoy the sites of an RV park. Sure, while they are stationed in these weekend warrior hideaways, they are plugged in usually into the campground system of power and water maintenance. But in looking at all those great RVs within most of them are generators and tanks that allow them to function independently while traveling along the vast highways of our nation. It is from them that we should be learning how to push technology into each of our homes and businesses with more independent power generation and to get there we need to allow competition into the public utilities, which of course they don’t want, but that is the ultimate solution. We have allowed government to stand in the way of that energy independence so we really shouldn’t complain when they are called on to manage the trouble.

In that regard I completely support the Republican position on H.B. 6 and the Governor DeWine’s reasoning on the matter. They are dealing with dinosaur technology to supply the energy needs for a sustainable Ohio. The goal thankfully isn’t to pander to the flimsy hopes of the environmental terrorists, or the communist desires to destroy capitalism in the United States through heavy regulations tied to the backs of “Green Energy” but to deal with the two nuclear power plants that we do have, which have already cost a lot of money and do employ a lot of people. We need to use the energy we do have to bridge us into a 21st century solution. Likely the utility companies won’t like that solution but that is a bridge to cross when we get there. But we do need to get there.

Independent energy has to be the answer for the future, and free market competition to bring down the costs. Government needs to be out of all these economic transactions so that real free market solutions can come about, just like it did when the telephone utilities were deregulated. That is how the cell phone came about. Imagine what would happen if utilities were deregulated to allow for new methods of power generation to emerge. It amazes me how good some of the RV power generation innovations are these days. Imagine what it would look like if every home in the nation had their own source of power. Think of the lack of destructive impact to any economy that happens during every major storm where power grids get knocked out and hundreds of thousands of people are out of power for days, putting many people at risk. The option could be that every home treated their power supply like they do their air conditioners or heating services. A few downed trees wouldn’t kill the power for several neighborhoods. Instead one or two homes might be affected who could solve their problem with a simple service call from a competitive repair person. If we really want free market conditions, then let’s get government out of the utilities market and put them in the hands of the private sector.

Rich Hoffman

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The Great Trump Poker Game

In case you haven’t heard, there are even more text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok that show directly that the Clinton campaign was involved in the FBI cover-up of DNC tampering into the 2016 election which Donald Trump won anyway. But now the skin is off the cat and its quite serious. It doesn’t seem that way to the mainstream media outlets because largely they refuse to cover it, but people like James Comey Clapper, Brennan and many, many others involved directly with the Obama White House are in deep trouble, and they deserve to be. It’s getting worse for them week by week and is why they came out against President Trump from day one, because they feared this day, where they no longer controlled the flow of information in government and could be tied to many crimes they knew they had committed to stay in office against the wishes of an official election. Meanwhile the state visit of the Trumps to Buckingham Palace in London was something even the most cynical person against Trump should have been very proud of. For those who have always supported Trump, it just made us prouder of his presidency.

What makes the Trump’s so good at these oversee visits with rulers, kings and queens of the world is that they’ve been there before. Long before Trump became president, he had become the very definition of the rich and famous, so looking comfortable among the most elite of the world is nothing new to him. And Melania is just such a great first lady, always looking and acting like the best that America has to offer. I can’t think of a single Democrat or Republican who could pull off one of these visits with the Queen of England so well, as if it was second nature to Trump. Which of course it is. I mean before the White House he and Melania actually lived in a tower of gold named after him. That lifestyle has certainly put him at ease in events like this one in London and I am personally glad. His approach certainly represents the way I think America should sell itself to others. Not just as an equal partner, but as a respected leader of the world and something others should feel a need to live up to.

But that is also why there was so much opposition against Trump to begin with. For many decades the plan was to diminish America’s role in the world and to cheapen our leadership in every way possible. So when we elected Trump to the Presidency the powers that had been engaged in all this diminished activity were inflamed to protect what they had been destroying. They certainly didn’t want Trump to repair our status around the world, which is precisely what has happened. Do you want to know how you can tell that Trump is unbeatable in 2020? Just look at how he has been playing the game. If his presidency were a poker game, which I’d say it is, he held great cards from the beginning, and now that the River has been revealed he has a 100% chance of winning the hand and the massive pot in the middle. The reason is that the Democrats went all in with what they thought were great cards, even cards they stuffed up their sleeve. But Trump had the aces and during the flop two more aces were revealed along with a King a Queen and a Jack. The King was the Mueller investigation, the Queen was the Strzok and Page FBI text messages, and the Jack was the phony Russian dossier paid for by the Never Trump establishment helped along by the Republican John McCain. And the other two Aces were the tax cuts and the great economic numbers that came from Trump’s policies. The two Aces Trump had all along were his great ability to lead people and generate excitement wherever he went, and his ability to be independent of the stuffy establishment with his own personal wealth.

Trump always had a great hand but once the Mueller Report was finished and the economy was continuing to truck along boldly, there wasn’t much anybody playing the game against Trump could muster. They had nothing and what’s unusual about politics played at this stage is that Trump knew how to play the game all along without all the advisors who whisper in the ears of leaders and usually guide everything in the direction they desire—who are completely controlled by establishment objectives. That made Trump a very unusual political figure, and one who couldn’t be beaten playing the game conventionally. And Democrats don’t have a candidate on the horizon who can match him.

That seemed to be the understanding of the English who finally did this state visit and put forth all the pomp that would be expected by such an occasion. When Trump was first elected, I was in London and saw how the local news had been covering him. I was at Big Ben and saw the massive protests around it trying to steer English politicians away from embracing the new American president. So, no doubt, the Queen waited to see how things went, so no immediate plans for a state visit were entertained. Now, two years later, as all the gas has gone out of the opposition forces, Trump is going to be around for a while, so the English might as well embrace it, so that had even a bit more sauce for this fine meal. Capitalism was making a comeback and any world leaders who didn’t want to be left behind understood that they needed to make friends with this American president, which is why the smartest of us elected him. We were tired of the bowing and apologizing that had been going on and decided to take matters into our own hands, and Trump was a great hire.

Personally, I was very proud of the Trumps at Buckingham Palace and the performance of the whole family on that very important trip. Even while the theater of pomp was in full bloom, the Russians called Trump up to indicate they were withdrawing their support from Venezuela. Mexico was reeling from the proposal of new tariffs, which will cripple their already deficient economy, and China is being bent over backwards from the tariffs that are now in place and is really bringing much needed pain to their economy. Its good to have an American president who understands the Chinese book on strategy, The Art of War. Finally! It’s not hard to beat them at their own game, we just need people in leadership positions who get it, and Trump does. There is just so much to be proud of even the biggest Never Trumpers that there are realizing that their efforts are futile. Trump has all the good cards in this game and he knows how to use them, and the best thing that everyone could do is to fold, before they lose everything. The Queen of England knows the story and she was very gracious in receiving the Trumps. They may not be her cup of tea, literally. But she is a smart woman and she knows how to play the game too, and for her and everyone, that means giving Trump credit for getting this far and still having Aces. Most of the chips on the table are on Trump’s side of it and as an American, that’s what I expect to always see.

Rich Hoffman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman

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Ambition and Hope on Full Display

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman

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More Government Employees Failing where Guns are the Real Solution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rich Hoffman
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