What Trump has in Common with ‘The Shape of Water’: learning the nature of villians and the hopes of the good

What we are seeing isn’t specific to a particular political party or even a specific point in time. I can say that it’s always been something I have been keenly aware of. I remember as a little kid staying up way too late to watch the Academy Awards in 1983 to see if E.T. The Extraterrestrial would win Best Picture and feeling terribly deflated when Gandhi won instead. That’s when I learned the hard way that institutions are not in pursuit of goodness, but the status quo in almost every category because it allows the people working within those organizational frameworks to live modest, safe lives seldom challenged by any exceptional expectations. I was actually blown away and physically sick that E.T. failed to win Best Picture. Clearly there wasn’t any justice in the world as at that time I only ever wanted to be a film director when I grew up. In the year prior, I had gone through the same ceremonial castigation, Raiders of the Lost Ark was poised to win Best Picture and lost to the film Chariots of Fire. Something was very wrong and now almost 40 years later I sat watching the Academy Awards knowing full well there was a major liberal spin to the whole show, which is why I wasn’t a film director and no longer had a desire to be, when The Shape of Water won best picture essentially because it featured a female hero, she had nude scenes in it including masturbation, but in most other respects was a modern update to E.T. It was a stunning revelation that remained consistently bad, and points to a much deeper, darker problem.

And in so many ways, even in the serious world of politics, we are seeing the same thing that went on with E.T. at the Academy Awards in 1982 and 1983, happening now with the FBI and Justice Departments of the Obama Administration playing the same role. Even though I would argue that The Shape of Water could have easily have been made without the sex and nudity, or the F words in a film that children would have benefited from seeing in the theaters, the government agent in the film was wonderfully representative of the kind of parasitic order for which those modern institutions function. Richard Strickland in that film epitomized the ambitions of institutional control and in maintaining an order where the exceptional are locked away and tortured so that the stagnant expectations of below the line thinking could remain unchallenged. In that way The Trump administration under the direction of the FBI and DOJ were treated as the amphibious creature from The Shape of Water, tortured just for being there and seeking to be destroyed because the potential for life changing inspiration was something that institutions couldn’t allow to happen otherwise, they’d all be expected to increase their expectations for their own lives by default.

The crimes against not only Trump but against his supporters, most of whom are just as innocent as my 13-year-old self-staying up on a school night to hope beyond hope that justice would give the movie E.T. The Extraterrestrial the Best Picture award, are profound. There is so much more to the story than just the sad attempts at using the law as a weapon to beat down inspiring change, but in the abundant mechanisms for which all institutions function to preserve their salty ambitions anchored to the ground well below any above the line expectations. The corruption in society as a whole was deeper than any ocean on earth and the hopes and dreams of all mankind had been tossed to the bottom and kept their by the hostile depths too hard to dive by any mechanical means, or even the yearnings of the superhuman efforts, because sharks of every kind protect that bar from ever being raised to a level where the masses might ever be expected to perform from the merits of goodness.

A world where an Academy Award is given to a film that features a woman masturbating in a bathtub “a lot” is the same world castigating Trump for wanting to build a border wall, to create a dividing line between value and a lack of value, between a capitalist culture that has expectations of performance and a socialist one that informs people to not stick their heads up too high otherwise they will be beat down in response. That same world looks at Melania Trump and endlessly criticizes everything she wears and how she wears it but when Michelle Obama wears boots on national television that would make the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz blush, she is hailed as an expert on fashion. The reason is that the static order doesn’t want little girls to grow up to be like Melania, a woman who is as close to a perfect “10” as anybody might find in our current culture. But to be like Michelle Obama, an average looking woman filled with personality flaws and genetic mutations. Melania is attacked because she is too good, she as a change agent has raised the level of expectation among the voting population and the institutions are not happy about it.

Many years later I realized that instead of trying to make things work as a film director in a liberal town that certainly didn’t want to deal with a midwestern conservative that I’d turn toward business. When I was paid a salary instead of an hourly wage to officially announce that I was no longer just a floor worker, the expectations were quite severe on me to work within the parameters of a static order. I typically had always worked 12 hours a day or more but now that I was working with as a salaried member of management—and this was many years ago—but I was supposed to assume a certain order of conduct understanding that I work only what I was paid for. And salary people were only paid for 8.5 hours of their work day. So at precisely 5 PM I was expected to drop everything and go home. But when I didn’t do that and instead continued to work as I always had, until 7 PM or even 8 PM the other salaried staff were very angry with me. They would watch closely what time I clocked in and when I clocked out and eventually built up the courage to ask me why I was trying to make them look bad. My answer of course that I wasn’t, and that if they looked bad it’s because they weren’t willing to fulfill the parameters of expectation for which production required. Well, those were fighting words and long rivalries filled with animosity percolated from that time on, yet I never changed my behavior because I was simply not going to surrender my capability to the Academies out there that would pick Gandhi over E.T. or the FBI over President Trump. Those were simply not options.

The case against Trump isn’t about justice, or even politics—its about expectation. Trump as a change agent is being attacked to preserve the right of below the line thinking that has defined Washington D.C. culture in general and politics specifically. Much the way the sea creature in The Shape of Water was tortured and abused just for existing, Trump represents a raising of the bar for all future expectation, and the static order has demanded his destruction with all the animated ambition as Richard Strickland. The world cannot hold both characters, and traditionally the good have been beat down so that the bad do not have to rise to any occasions. And that is a dark little secret that continues to permeate all our lives, and the yearning to change it is certainly there. Even the Academy of Arts and Sciences can be touched by such hopes even if the medicine to make it go down are sex scenes and nudity. But the showdown between Trump and the FBI is not about legalisms, it’s about the hopes and dreams of all mankind, and that battle is happening right now. And for the first time in history, hope is winning out over stagnation, and that is very interesting to watch for me. I am rooting for hope and increased expectations, perhaps this time the villains won’t win.

Rich Hoffman

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The Annie Oakley Western Showcase 2017: Learning to live in the arena

 

There are so many things to be excited about in life, and as readers here know every year at the Annie Oakley Western Showcase It’s an exciting time for me.  I enjoy seeing my friend Gery Deer and the Bass family along with many others who usually come to the event in the big sky country of central Ohio at historic Greenville, Ohio to celebrate the life of Annie Oakley.  We get together once a year and have done so for the since the early 2000s to show off our western arts to the public in a grand vaudeville fashion and I think it’s truly something special.  Like I constantly explain to the young people who come to these things we are doing something that less than one percent of one percent is doing in the world and that makes these skills extremely unusual.  I would go on to say that celebrating these skills is a very important element to our American traditions.  If you really were to peel back the noise of modern politics you’d find at the essence of our philosophies the hopes and dreams communicated through the ages of the American people in their westerns and the Annie Oakley event clearly celebrates those sentiments.   I recharge myself each year at the event where we compete with each other a bit and show off for the public across a tapestry of Americana.

This year my oldest daughter came for the first time in a decade and she brought her son (my third grandchild).  He’s a very excited young man of just a year and a half in age—and he obviously got the passion gene honestly.  He gets excited about a great many things and can barely contain his emotions most of the time.  But I hadn’t worked much with bullwhips around him mainly because the timing hasn’t been right.  When I do work at home for practice he isn’t usually around as more and more I spend time at my shooting range on Cowboy Fast Draw.  I do have a speed and accuracy course set up in my back yard but he hasn’t been around much when I am there—so coming to Annie Oakley for him was a very stimulating experience.  Before we moved into the competitions we were warming up in the arena area as guests began to fill the bleachers and my little grandson was out there with us practicing—and he loved it.   That’s when Kirk Bass from the knife throwing group Bass Blades handed him a miniature bullwhip that was very nicely made, and my grandson worked hard to emulate what he was seeing.  It was pretty cute.

One thing my grandkids will never have to worry about so long as they are a part of my life is exposure to things that greatly enhance their existence.  Regarding my youngest grandson he naturally has so many interests already that I can see he’ll greatly benefit from all these unique experiences.  Knowing people who compete with bullwhips and throw knives for fun are skills that translate well into other parts of a life.  It was encouraging seeing his young mind soaking up everything from me and following me around as I practiced for the event in front of a growing audience.   Not only are the skills important to learn just for the act in focusing energy through a Wild West weapon of American tradition toward objectives designed to provide some theatrical context, but just performing in front of people is a significant first step in mastering crafts needed to live life.

Much of my ability to speak in public or to lead large groups of people professionally comes from my past experiences in performing with the bullwhip.  Working with a bullwhip for nearly 40 years now I learned to do it in front of people over time which made it easy for me to do other things in public—like speak on radio programs.  Or attend VIP political events while eyes of scrutiny look to dissect you over every little thing.  Public competition helps prepare you for the rigors of the world, so of course I want my grandchildren to master some skill which prepares them for the opposition they will naturally face in school—and in life.

I never force feed anybody anything, especially kids.  They have to come to the things that make them excited in life on their own accord. But I do go out of my way to expose my grandchildren to anything and everything I can to evoke positive responses in them toward life—just as I did my own children.  It was strange that my daughter Brooke had returned to this Annie Oakley event ten years later and her relationship with everyone sort of just continued as if nothing had ever transpired over that decade.  The only real difference is that now she had a child of her own there instead of being one herself.  Even though my kids didn’t go off and do bullwhips which I never tried to force on them, they are confident kids who are doing neat things in the world and that’s all I ask.  But to do that sometimes you have to stick your neck out and do something unique to break away from the limitations that society restricts itself to.  To think out of the box you sometimes have to get out of the box and do something unique to start seeing things that people who are just sitting in the audience can’t see yet.  Whether it’s competing with bullwhips, throwing knives or performing quick draw with Colt .45s the skills of the western arts are good ways to be successful at other things in life.

You might have watched the video on the Tweet from Gery Deer who hosts this event every year that was featured on the Living Dayton television show.   Even though the Annie Oakley Western Showcase is literally in the middle of God’s country on the buckle of the Bible Belt mainstream culture is very curious about it as they always have been.  Not enough to pick it up and run with it—because the skills of tradition are so foreign to the current mainstream experience—but there is always hope and awe in how the public interacts with the performers of the western arts.  Cracking targets out of people’s hands and throwing an axe at a balloon positioned near a real person are things that fascinate the public immensely.  I have witnessed from direct experience and watching many of the kids of these Wild West performers grow up over the years that their interaction with these skills have helped them in many other ways.  So I enjoyed quite a lot to see that spark in my grandson’s eyes as he wanted nothing more at that moment but to emulate his grandpa by slinging his own bullwhip around.  Kids will soak up anything that adults give to them and when that exchange is pure—and honest, it’s a really beautiful thing.  The greatest let downs in life however are when parents and mentors don’t take that job very serious and over time I’ve watched a lot of people sit behind the ropes and observe from the stands being entertained for a while, but then moving on to the mundane aspects of living that happen when social predicate takes charge over human passions.  For a grandson of mine, what he needs in life is within the arena—so it was very nice to see at such a young age him showing such a desire, and comfort emerge before any kind of social restriction came along to set a bunch of artificial barriers.  And that is for me what makes the Annie Oakley event so special each year—it’s in the innocence and natural passions of the friends I have there.  I enjoy their company, and I enjoy seeing young people have the lights of their minds turned on guiding them through life the way only fresh ideas and confidence can. It truly is a beautiful thing to watch.

Rich Hoffman

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Trump the Author: Predicting the future by reading the past

I enjoy these little banters between Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck because they show why the former media icon is now on the outside looking in.  Both of them really were handily defeated at Fox News and cast into the oblivion by their enemies and yet they still don’t seem to understand why.  They are both still effective, Beck with his radio show and O’Reilly with is best-selling books—but both have lost big to the political left and are still seething from the experience.   It is bizarre to hear what these people say regarding advice for Donald Trump’s presidency.  I mean they are both industry insiders so they know the players and the game—but they still don’t get it.  It’s astonishing to hear them speak as history lunges itself forward then looking back on everything in retrospect in a way.

The movements and the pageantry of the Trump administration over the last week, first in letting Sean Spicer go then Reince Preibus so soon in their tenures within the White House is a good thing, certainly not bad.  And the warning shots at Jeff Sessions were productive—because it got that horse of a Justice Department that is used to standing around doing nothing all the time on the track and running.  A good manager knows how to assess a situation and when to adjust to it. We don’t care how things have been done in the past, or how long previous press secretaries have done their jobs in previous administrations.  When people show that they are struggling or better people come along, it is important to make the switch as soon as possible—and to have the courage to do so in order to fulfill an objective even though you might personally like the people you’re dealing with.   I think Trump liked Reince and Spicer a lot, but he likes winning better—so it was time to make some cuts to the team to get better. And there is nothing wrong with that.

I feel like I know Trump really well—maybe better than Bill O’Reilly does.  Sure O’Reilly “knows“Trump.  They’ve been to baseball games together and played around together but even so I think the personality and thinking of Trump is an enigma to O’Reilly.  You can do things with people and even be friends with them without actually knowing who they are.  However, as a personality type I process information in a similar way as Trump.  Like me he is very open about himself and the world around him in his vast writings, which is something most people don’t know about him.  He has written a lot and he enjoys it—and it is impossible not to notice aspects of his character within his work.   A lot of Trump’s writing is autobiographical so it’s filled with a lot of unintentional self-analysis.  And that is certainly not a negative; it makes me feel greatly for the new president.  He is very open about himself and how he thinks because he always intended with his books to mentor other people into success.  He is not a selfish person by any means—even though he comes across that way to the uninformed eye.  For instance given the nature of the current show Saturday Night Live and how they’ve treated him it is stunning to go back into one of his decade old classics and read what he said about a 2004 experience he had with Jeff Zucker at NBC and the rest of the SNL cast when he was asked to guest host the show.

It was in Trump’s book Think Like a Billionaire that he broke down little trinkets of successful thinking usually with only a page or two long chapters throughout.  But when it came to the chapter on his experience at the 2004 filming of Saturday Night Live he goes on for seven pages meticulously detailing the entire week leading up to the filming. It was obviously quite an honor for Trump to be asked to host the show and it was fascinating to learn of all the people involved because many of them are his dire enemies now.  They loved him when he had the top show on NBC with The Apprentice.  They liked him so long as he stayed somewhere that they felt they had control of his big personality.  But when he decided to quit and run for president in 2015 they all literally turned against him.  It is all very Atlas Shrugged—right off the pages of Ayn Rand.  It’s bizarre to read these things in hind-sight.  I read quite a lot and I have read all Trump’s books before just because they were part of popular culture and I felt I needed to keep up with what was happening and he turned out to be a pretty interesting person.  But to read what happened and how everyone thought ten and twenty years ago about the person who is now president is truly fascinating.  I have enjoyed re-reading Trump’s books lately with the benefit of hindsight.  For instance it was truly enthralling to read Trump talk about the Access Hollywood stuff with Billy Bush 11 years before it became a scandal which you can do in that same book about his SNL experience.  It really puts things in perspective and if the media wanted to do anything but destroy him, they’d go back and study the subject like I am.  Anyway, it was obvious by his own writing that he really loved his Saturday Night Live experience and wanted to treasure it forever.  But after becoming president all his old friends literally sought to rip away from him anything good that had ever happened between them.  It’s like reading about a bad divorce.  Whenever I hear such things you know that two people said really marvelous things to each other at some point—otherwise they never would have been married.  But once one of them cheats on the other or something else happens you hear about all the bad breath, how fat the other person is, and how they don’t do this or that correctly.  NBC literally kissed the ass of Donald Trump because he was a big money-maker for them and they felt betrayed when he stepped into politics and took away their progressive platform to the White House. They could have kept it if they chose, but instead they went on the attack literally for all the reasons that John Galt was attacked in Atlas Shrugged.

Trump is battle hardened like no other president in history and I think he’s doing a marvelous job—and he will be remembered as the greatest that we’ve ever had.   Every day is literally a historic occasion in his White House. And if you know Trump you can just imagine what’s coming next with some accuracy.  Going back to the Saturday Night Live chapter of Think Like a Billionaire and applying the whirlwind energy and sheer number of people who Trump dealt with back then on a daily basis you can easily imagine what it must be like for the people working around Trump now in the White House.  I can see easily how people like Sean Spicer and Reince Preibus made mistakes just in trying to keep up with him.  Unlike me, Trump likes people and he spends a lot of time with them and enjoying conversations. That is where he and I part company to quite an extreme.  I don’t like people even though I feel compassion and empathy for them, I tend to feel like everyone wants something so I am very discriminate how I spend my time with them.  Donald Trump isn’t like that—he enjoys people yet he enjoys himself too—he has a great balance and it works for him—which is how he became so rich and successful to begin with—he did it the old-fashioned way with really hard work and lots of networking.

Yes it hurts Trump that people who used to like him at The New York Times and at SNL are now his mortal enemies.  And it hurts him when friends like Reince Preibus fails to step up to the scope of the job Trump has elevated the White House to—but this is the guy who created Trump Tower and many other remarkable properties all over the world well before NBC approached him to do The Apprentice.  Trump built himself and his brand and a lot of people tagged along for the ride.  But they do sometimes fall off.  The biggest difference between Trump and all other previous presidents is that he doesn’t stop to pick people up.  He feels sorry for people but he doesn’t allow that sorrow to change the course of excellence that he personally strives for every single day.  Trump is the American dream—he is a product of our country to every degree and he has a very intense desire to give back to it.  And he’s going to do so in spite of what anybody else has to say about it—and it is that element that Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck miss about President Trump.  Neither one of them gets it—and out of anybody they should know best.   But their static thinking just won’t allow them to see what’s really going on because their formulative thinking has been forged by previous administrations—which is a major mistake because Trump has no intention on being anything less than the best and most unusual administration in the history of the world.  Anything short of that he would consider a failure and as he is writing the books of this last chapter of his life—and he’s not going to end on anything less than a spectacular climax.  It’s just not the way he does things.

Rich Hoffman

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Knowing the Difference Between Good and Evil: Definitions that need to be understood

It occurred to me after some feedback on an article we all explored here together on the topic of designating evil as a proper psychiatric disorder to explain the common behavior of Washington D.C., that after all this time many people may not have a proper definition of the word evil for which to use as a foundational reference.  Of course such things cannot be allowed to happen.  For our cause dear reader the definition of evil is as important to understand as it is to reference the word “hot” in a cooking class.  Without a proper reference there simply isn’t a way to comprehend the material.  So let’s define evil properly so that we can all advance this treacherous topic forward for the betterment of mankind.

Many of my readers have taken note over the years that I love a lot of things—I love McDonald’s on road trips.  I love music, movies, Mello Yello soft drinks.  I love accomplishment, I love video games.  I love family.  I love television documentaries.  I love little children who aren’t yet five but can say three syllable words fluently without struggling to find the proper applications.  I love, I love, and I love.  It is never hard for me to find some reason to live no matter how bad a day may be because there is so much that I love about life that it’s really never a challenge.  For me, it is that love that makes it so easy to spot the villainy of evil as it seeks to spread among us unmolested.  I think for many, especially those with poor reading comprehension who clearly associate evil within a Biblical context that is discussed on Sunday church services, they tend to regulate their understanding to just religious discussions but are shy about making such judgments in everyday life.  We are all taught these days starting in our public schools not to judge others.  Our media then carries that torch and declares that judgment is something that we shouldn’t do so thus, evil doesn’t get a name so many people wonder through life never really loving anything because evil is present and molesting their thoughts without anybody really saying anything about it.  Those authorities will point to someone like me and say, “Rich Hoffman declares himself to be “good” yet he doesn’t turn the other cheek as the Bible insists or that he has a history of violence when things don’t go his way—so how can we trust what he says and does on the subject of goodness?”  And it is in that way that evil camouflages itself against the chaos and confusion of daily life so that without clear understandings of what it is, we throw our hands up in confusion and hope to navigate ourselves into an afterlife where a supreme being will eventually spell all this out for us.

So here is the easy way to understand evil and it’s workings at the most fundamental level.  Good is life and the desire to live.  Evil is bad and the desire to strip away life, love and natural passions.  For instance, I would say that Democrats as a political party represent evil because they are against human life.  While standing for equal rights, women rights and economic level playing fields they are foundationally committed to death in their support of abortion, drug use and attacking excellence because it takes human beings away from the premise of Mother Earth dominance.  The equal rights portion of their political platforms is a mask used to cover up the evil of their primary objectives which is a commitment toward death.  Put simply evil is “LIVE” spelled backwards.  Anything that is against life is evil and Democrats are against human life in favor of collective life.  Their morality might be in their preservation of “mother earth” so they’ll justify the killing of millions of human babies so to take away the pressure put on earth’s ecosystem.  In their minds they value the life on planet earth as if it were so special and unique that the sacrifices made by the human race and their personal comfort are justified.  Yet their entire political party is built on the foundation of death—of loathing, of jealously—of anti-life.

A simple cricket might go through its whole life and never contemplate good and evil.  It just lives, it eats and it dies without ever knowing the difference.  If it happens to be hopping along a driveway and one of our cars run it over not meaning to, nothing but a human mind might consider the entire exchange as a possible evil.  Democrats might say that if not for the invention of the car by humans the natural life of the cricket might have continued and life on Earth would be enhanced if not for those pesky humans.  But the Bible thumping conservative would consider such a thing as unfortunate but that all of God’s creatures are placed here for man’s use as the highest possible life form created in six days before God put up his feet on the seventh and watched a football game with a nice beverage in his hand to reflect a job well done.  Humans, unlike the cricket do contemplate that by losing life that such a thing would be evil because it robs the life form of all potential trajectories of life which comes to a conscious mind.  But only once a mind thinks does it become manifested into the fabric of reality.  If something just lives and responds to life under the umbrella of biology then such a concept of evil cannot be applied.  Only when considering a love for life can a thinking being evolve into separating acts between good and evil.

The mystic sage from the far East attempts to step beyond these pairs of opposites toward an enlightenment which holds the mind firm when disappointments rob people of the joy that life offers.  In Buddhism they call it the “immovable spot” and it is a good technique for not losing one’s mind when disappointment floods our lives with sorrows when joy was expected.  Democrats tend to point to the East and say, “ah, they know where they are doing over there.”  But they really don’t. Women, especially in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and all the way to India use the immovable spot narrative in their lives to endure terrible evil that is cast upon them.  Too many young children are abused by tourists, too many women sell themselves to the sex trade just so they can buy bread—evil is soaking the Eastern cultures of the orient to an extent that many people live every day miserable and praying for the day when it will all end.  They look toward Buddha’s immovable spot, or some other transitory explanation as a way to endure evil—but their culture doesn’t do much to combat evil other than hope that the “gods” might spare them from the intentions.  So they are slow to name evil in much the same way that Democrats refuse the judgment.  That’s not good.

To love life is to be good. To respect living to the point where you can say you love it—then you are espousing  goodness—even if the love is so trivial as to loving a Big Mac from McDonald’s.  The love of life, the creation of a new hamburger by human minds, the marketing of it and the convenience of experiencing it while traveling are all things that make them good—we think, therefore we are.  The cows at the slaughterhouse lost their life so that we could eat them at McDonald’s and hope to get a nice Happy Meal for our kids with the latest toy promoting some new movie.  Life was lost so that we could eat it and live at their expense.  Only the cow has no ability to love life or fear death—it just exists as part of a biological machine.  Human thought brings meaning to that life.

By saying that something is evil it by definition it works against life either by kicking up dust so that we can’t properly see our subjects, or in maintaining their camouflage by preventing judgment from identifying their workings in modern society.  But the motivations are always against living.  If it goes against the human desire to appreciate life, it can be said to be evil.  Getting drunk is evil because it goes against human thinking—the desire is to turn off the mind instead of turning it on.  Abortion is evil because it kills life.  Being a workaholic is evil if it prevents you from enjoying life in service to some faceless institution.  Collective based sex—orgies, multiple partners, and mass consumption of pornography is evil because it cheapens the individual experience that was always supposed to be reflective of procreation with an emphasis on life.  The guy who rapes an inebriated young woman passed out from too much drinking at a college party commits terrible evil because he takes the sex without the emphasis on enjoying it with another human being willingly.  What’s the point unless the exchange was mutually beneficial and a celebration of life?

By understanding the nature of the word, “evil” as being “live” spelled backwards we find that it is much easier to understand it.  If something stands against life, it is said to be evil—not necessarily cosmic life, but human life in that as an intellectual being meanings are created that evoke either love for life or the thought of it being gone the next day.  Just yesterday a bunch of people who work for me occupationally, had a party.  My intention was to celebrate a little bit of living life because things have been tough for the last few weeks—so dozens of people brought food and drinks all with the intention to have a little fun and celebrate just being alive. There was a lot of very nice food, some of it very exotic, but even with all those selections someone thought to bring a bag of Grippos barbecue potato chips which I just love and they obviously had me in mind when they did it.  They did it because they know my passions and love for that specific brand.  Because I “love” so many things it was fairly easy for these guys to think, “Rich Hoffman will love these,” and then to act on that impulse in the name of goodness.  There was nothing evil about the exchange—goodness was the centerpiece of the event. After it was over I was walking back to my car and across the parking lot I spotted a little worm that was squirming around under the hot sun cooking against the black pavement.  As I looked around I saw hundreds of similar worms that had been cooked after the recently heavy rain so one more worm wasn’t going to have much impact cosmically.  I could have easily have gotten in my car to drive away but instead I picked up the little guy and took him over to some high grass.  It might have still died, but at least it was cooler in the grass.  The worm has no consciousness to thank me for such a thing just like the people who brought Grippos to the party didn’t do it to get a raise or some special benefit.  Those types of things are done in recognition of a love of life and to respect it enough to give life a chance is always good.  To be good is to want to live.  To be bad is to want to commit evil by working against life.  And that is how you can tell the difference between good and evil.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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The Morality of Confronting Evil: Donald Trump’s Indiana Jones moment

I’ve listened to the critics of Donald Trump’s Syrian airstrike for several days now and it’s time to put some clarity to the matter.  While I’m an America first kind of guy, the solution to many of the world’s problems is not to live and let live the failed cultures of the globe, but to impose on them our values for the sake of our own preservation.  Many would say “who are we to do such a thing when those places are sovereign countries?”  But here’s the reality, when people want so badly to come to America to the point where it might threaten our own sovereignty, then we have an obligation to confront evil around the world so that it’s effects don’t spill over our borders into our country.  Put another way, when you are the best and everyone wants what you have—you must expand your territory not only for your own preservation, but for the assistance of those who would love to join the American team only from their own homelands.

I have many times gotten myself into a lot of trouble “getting involved” in other people’s business for the sake of confronting evil.  When I know something bad is going on around my house, like drug sales, abused women, neglected children—or just scum bags living as parasites against others—I do get involved.  I’m not going to say what I do obviously—because that would be stupid to put down in writing.  But in short—bad guys don’t do well near my home.  If I see some dude beating the crap out of a woman—I don’t care how interventionist it might be to stop him—I do it and have done that for as long as I’ve been alive.  It’s a morality situation that does not fit well under the written laws of our societies.  The need to do the right thing does not fit well under the umbrella of the law because such a thing requires context and context can vary depending on what culture we are talking about.  What’s good for one culture may not be so for another.

Yet, there is a morality to the human race that is well-known at our most biological instincts which is perceived rather than learned under institutions of law.  When I saw what Donald Trump had done in Syria I thought of a scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where a little child was being whipped.  Jones sees what is going on and even though he could have served himself well by minding his own business and leaving with his treasure he instead threw a rock at the villain not thinking of what might happen next.  This is an instinctive element to heroism which we all have and the Indian Jones movie articulated it well at a primal level.  Obviously Donald Trump was having his Indiana Jones moment and he was doing what was obviously right without thinking about what the world might say about it.  Kids were harmed by the Syrian government.  Trump had a rock to throw to stop it—so he did it.  I would have done the same thing.

When you walk down the street and you see a couple being robbed, do you just keep walking to mind your business?  Of course not, you step in and beat the shit out of whoever is doing the robbing and you save the people from harm.  That’s what human beings should do for each other.  That doesn’t mean you become a busy body always poking into other people’s business, but when you are confronted with evil as it is defined within our biological essence—you must fight it wherever it appears.  If I’m in a position to help someone I do it 100% of the time.  If you live under a code of valor—which everyone should—you can’t just turn your back to evil just because our laws don’t have a good way to define the context of how evil moves from culture to culture under the umbrella of sovereignty.  If America is generally accepted as the most moral country on earth—not defined by religion, but by individual values—then we have an obligation to spread that influence to those not so lucky to live in North America—because honestly we can’t support the whole world.  But we can teach the world to support itself.  That means that tyrannically charged regimes that stand in the way of that freedom will have to be deposed so that good people can live freely.

So how do we go about determining who is good and who is bad?  Well, it’s really not that complicated.   In Assad’s case, under no circumstances should chemical weapons be dropped onto innocent children.  The kids didn’t do anything to deserve such a thing and there is no way to justify it.  I often get accused of being judgmental regarding other people’s families who obviously don’t put as much into life as I do—and I really don’t care if it pisses them off.  If adults are openly ruining the lives of their children by putting stupidity into their heads, then I make it known my disdain and if those kids want my help—I help them.  I’ve gotten into a lot of trouble over that kind of thing but I never regret helping.  It is my moral duty to help those who cannot help themselves if through my actions I can improve their “individual” state.  Ultimately, I want people to be able to thrive as individuals no matter where they come from, so I always help if the situation arises—even when it’s not convenient.

In Syria, if people are so desperate to leave because Assad is such a terror, then his problem becomes Europe’s problem and America’s problem because refugees will flood our borders trying to get away.  If you turn them away as we must because we can’t risk terrorists hiding in their midst’s then you must stop the evil they are trying to run from.  If you see a robbery, you have an obligation to stop it.  If you see a 14-year-old girl prostituting herself out on K-Street—you have an obligation to hunt down her pimp and end the threat to her.  If you know a drug dealer is ruining the minds of kids down the road from your house—you have an obligation to stop the behavior—by whatever means—preferably legally.  And if a country is killing its people for some collective cause—America is the only place on earth capable of making a moral judgment on the matter—and it must step in and act.

The Syrian situation was clear.  There was no reason children should have been attacked with nerve gas. Trump did what I expect him to do—he attacked the evil that perpetrated the villainous behavior.  Yes, Rand Paul is right; congress must give permission for war—“legally.”  But sometimes when you see evil being conducted and you have access to a rock and can stop it—even temporarily—you do it.  Because it’s the right thing to do.  Doing what’s right isn’t always “legal.”  But it is always right.  And helping kids have a potential for a good life is always right.  In those cases you have to live and let die because there is good and evil in the world, and you must stand for what’s good.  There is no middle way in such matters.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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The Art of a President: Donald Trump’s brilliance is the best gift I could ask for

Donald Trump must have known that it was my birthday because I couldn’t have received a better gift. After all, the world has been poking the fences since his election.

China has been advancing in the South China Sea against Taiwan and Japan.  North Korea is threatening to lunch missiles into America with their constant tests—Russia has continued to buzz American naval vessels in contentious waters.  Iran is sponsoring terrorism everywhere they can, Democrats are fighting everything Trump tries to do in the White House including trying to block the Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.  Supposedly Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner are fighting it out in the Oval Office in front of Donald Trump and we’ve discovered that Susan Rice under Barack Obama’s direction had spied on the Trump transition team—illegally. The CIA, FBI, and all connecting intelligence agencies have been caught in a DEEP STATE scheme that has them all looking horrible and in the face of all that—Trump launched an airstrike against Syria while hosting the Communist Chinese President Xi Jinping at his Winter White House in South Florida.  After the press conference announcing the strike you could almost hear Trump say (nonverbally) “Xi, if you don’t straighten out North Korea—you’re next.  And by the way—I’m going to tax your exports.  Have a nice day.  Would you like some more wine?”  This was the art of the deal at its finest and I can say that this is my most satisfying birthday in my life—because I’ve been waiting to live in a country with this kind of winning record since the beginning.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and the U.S-China trade imbalance as well as other points of tension between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are being overshadowed by the U.S. missile strikes on Syria.

Nonetheless, the two leaders are meeting for a second day at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as planned Friday. Their first-night summit dinner wrapped up shortly before the U.S. announced the missile barrage on an air base in Syria in retaliation against Syrian President Bashar Assad for a chemical weapons attack against civilians caught up in his country’s long civil war.

  • The US military fired more than 50 tomahawk missiles at al-Shayrat military airfield at 8.45pm EDT Thursday
  • Moves comes just hours after Trump said ‘something should happen’ following Tuesday’s gas-attack atrocity
  • Trump took action after more than 80 were killed and many more were injured in the sarin poison gas attack
  • ‘Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack,’ he said after launching the strike
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued a furious response calling airstrike an ‘illegal act of aggression’ 
  • US says airfield was used to store toxic weapons and was the base for the aircraft involved in the sarin attack
  • Claims that nine were killed, and more were injured, in the strike which has severely damaged the airbase 
  • US told Moscow it was launching an airstrike about 30 minutes in advance – but did not ask for permission

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4388834/America-launches-airstrikes-Syria.html

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-xi-meet-again-in-shadow-of-missile-strikes-on-syria/ar-BBzvF6Q?li=BBnbcA1&ocid=iehp

I know Constitutional purists like Rand Paul are upset at the Syrian airstrike—but when America is the only country in the world capable of taking an authority position against bullies—there is an ethical obligation to act when we see poor little children suffering under the failures of politics—and that’s what happened in Syria. It was the right thing to do under any circumstance.  But, if Trump had to pick a target to pull the world in behind him and dispel the rumors of his alliance with the Russians—Syria was it.  Even as Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court even Chuck Schumer was singing praises for Trump’s decisive move.  It was rather astonishing.

Trump has not suddenly become a globalist. He’s not about to become an interventionist.  But he needed to take a shot to set the stage for all the challenges going on around the world—especially with China and North Korea.  And he had to set up the relationship with Russia.  Nobody ever thought Trump was going to eat out of Russia’s hand—as I have been saying for a long time.  It will have to be the other way around—and this was the first step.  Trump had the moral high ground and he took it—and now the world is wondering how they didn’t see it all along.

This is how it is different having a real executive in the White House as opposed to a typical politician always sticking their hand out looking for campaign donations. Trump doesn’t care if Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner want to kill each other.  He’s more interested in the result of their conflict—he needs different points of view to flush out a truth.  That’s what good leaders do, they don’t necessarily want everyone to get along.  They want a competition of ideas and through conflict truth justice and reality are defined.  So the Trump White House thrives in conflict.  It doesn’t want everyone sitting around a campfire singing songs and giving each other reach-arounds.  It wants action, and when it comes time to make hard decisions, Trump can make them because he can see the truth through the combat of opinion.  He has a wife for the softer times in his life.  But at all other times, he loves the battlefield of conflict because that’s where life thrives and honesty, bravery, and valor emerge.

I’ve been waiting for this all of my life.  The closest I’ve seen to this kind of American decisiveness was when Ronald Reagan sent an airstrike against Libya—and I remember the effect that had on the world. Trump has had his moment and now he can negotiate with everyone from a position of strength.  It had to come sometime and now that he has done it there are many more opportunities for peace than there was before the attack.  Without this bombing the chances for violence by North Korea against South Korea is much greater.  The threat of China moving against Japan has much larger odds.  And Russia would continue to buzz American ships without wondering when or if Trump would react.  Now he has and even considering more aggression against America might provoke war.  So Trump has captured the high ground against every single one of his global rivals including his political ones with one swift stroke.  And it was just a brilliant time and place to do so.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time and I’m also sure that all this new power won’t go to Trump’s head.  Why—because he is used to being at the top of everything he does and he’s battle hardened to the perils of success.  Out of all the people in the world who could do this very difficult job as a modern American president with all the factions that are ankle biting out there, only Trump presently is qualified to perform the tasks.  This is precisely why I voted for Trump and I am very proud to see him doing such a very excellent job.  I feel very sorry for the kids involved in all the evils around the world who are suffering under bad people.  And this bombing in Syria won’t save them all.  But many more will be safe because of it—and like all good things in life—there are many more positives than negatives with the action.   For us in America—it’s good to see a president who finally knows how to juggle all these bananas—because it’s long overdue.

To the Democrats Everyone Looks Tough: But the Russians are not even relevant–Obama bites down on the hook

It really is astonishing how far the Democrats have come in just five years with their view of Russians as being a superpower.  Remember when during the 2012 election Barack Obama made fun of Mitt Romany for suggesting that the Russians might be some lingering maniacal menace?  Then also remember when Barack Obama suggested to the Russians that he’d have move flexibility after the election obviously trying to appease Vladimir Putin despite the American people.  Now, in 2017, they seem to think that Russia is a powerhouse of activity able to manipulate the strings of the American government and that Donald Trump is a pawn to the power of the former communist country. And to prove their case they used the power of government to try to stop the forward advancement of Donald Trump winning the election in spite of all their efforts.  So for them the great tragedy of their loss is that someone else much be at fault—that Russia must be much more powerful than anybody ever thought possible—because otherwise Democrats would still be in power.

I knew it when I saw Trump’s Tweets on that early Saturday morning about his explosively angry reaction to discovering that Obama’s White House had wire tapped Trump Tower in the remaining days of the great November 8th election.  The Democrats, particularly Hillary Clinton was being killed by Wikileaks and the FBI probe into the now famous deleted emails, so the Democrats needed something to stop Donald Trump—so they wire tapped him using the power of the Federal government to spy on a political rival—which was a major violation of the law.  After winning, Trump showed great grace in his victory showing no signs that he wished to prosecute either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama for the obvious transgressions against justice that they displayed during that election cycle.  After all, why rub their nose in it?

But the Democrats couldn’t leave things there—no they had a job to do. And that job was to continue destroying America from the inside out with progressive policies aimed at eliminating American sovereignty.  People like me had always referred to these people as running a “shadow government” and Trump always seemed sympathetic to those thoughts—but the proof was hard to pin down because these criminals also go well out of their way to destroy the evidence.  When caught they always say first, “show us the evidence,” because they know they’ve destroyed it, and thus cannot be caught. But this time was different.  Trump was never supposed to win, but since he had the rules of engagement had changed considerably.  Trump now controlled the Department of Justice and essentially all other branches of investigative government making it much harder for Democrats to operate their “shadow government” except for career bureaucrats that had been in government jobs for decades who could try to bring Trump down from the inside.

Then those same Democrats attempting to make themselves relevant before Jeff Sessions was able to dig into his new AG job and start investigating all the crimes the Democrats have been up to–conjured up a completely false narrative about the Trump campaign’s ties to the suddenly all powerful Russians hoping something might stick. It was for them a hail-marry attempt with no time left on the clock and most of us viewed it that way.  After all, Trump had just delivered a very popular speech and public support was soaring—and the Democrats had to try something.  But what they didn’t expect to happen was what occurred next.

Most people might go on the defensive and attempt to answer a negative being pulled into the typical political trap as Republicans had for decades—but not Trump. He has always been several steps ahead of the rest of the world—that’s why he’s rich.   So when he found out for certain that Obama had attempted to wiretap his sacred residence at Trump Tower—he had enough, and set to go to war with the former presidential administration that had been caught playing dirty. Of course, Trump waited to see who would control the Democratic Party and once Obama’s guy Tom Perez was elected last week, it was clear that Obama wouldn’t be going away and that he intended to maintain control of the party.  So Trump did what any good fisherman does with his bait in the water—he let the Democrats push on the false narrative of the Russian connection nibbling away at the hook, and at the right moment Trump pulled up on the reel and caught Obama hard by the mouth sinking that hook deep into his jaw.  There would be no escaping this time, and the liberal media knew it.  Trump knew it too.  Rather than elaborate he simply held onto the reel and resumed to let the fish tire itself into exhaustion—because the end was inevitable.

Later that night I watched Saturday Night Live—which I had been avoiding, but I had to see how they would handle the situation. Like I predicted, they were lost.  Their show has been accustomed to being the cultural driver of our society and now they looked like a bunch of high school kids who partied all weekend who were supposed to put on a play, but everything went wrong because nobody studied their lines.  Their show was terrible.  Even worse, the strains were showing at the Academy Awards the week before.  The Democrats in entertainment had lost their mojo to the new age of Trump—and they didn’t know how to deal with the strain.  The cracks were showing everywhere.

The Democrats are learning something which for them is too late—but the lesson is obvious and it’s what they fear most about all forms of capitalism. When someone is really good at something and they apply pressure, they can make you look bad just through their existence.  Someone like Trump can make people befuddle themselves with just a look, which is why Arnold Schwarzenegger left The Apprentice earlier this week.  It’s the difference between an actor and the real deal.  Trump is really a successful person, while Schwarzenegger is someone who pretends to be—he does whatever the script says.  Trump writes the script.  Trump is making the Democrats into monkeys by turning their world completely upside down and reaching for moments of desperation like the Russian story.

However, the Russians are not so sinister. They have less of an economy than the entire value of the American company Apple—so who is afraid of whom?  What are the Russians going to do to us, throw bread at Alaska across the Bering Strait?  Please, they are no menace.  If there was ever talk between Russian and Trump it would have been to help spread some wealth there—certainly not to help him get elected because as Trump would say—he’s not going to take advice from people who don’t know how to win.  The Democrats are in real trouble, as I predicted on the Matt Clark radio show right before the election in 2016 where I predicted they’d be extent within a few years.  Well, guess what?  I’m right on target—again.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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