Speaker of the House Debates, 5G Coverage, and Expensive Bike Paths: Just another day at the office for the West Chester Tea Party

The West Chester Tea Party was always about education as opposed to activism. The purpose was and still is to this day, an organization that brought education to the public on the various topics that faced the community from month to month and even though Trump is now 500 days into his administration and has had great success, the needs of the Tea Party movement are still a necessity. And that couldn’t have been truer than the June 6th meeting of 2018 where many very important topics were presented to a fairly large gathering. Everything was covered from the state speaker of the house race in Columbus to the bike paths of West Chester, with school board news, debate about 5G phone networks, and the senate race of Jim Renacci in the upcoming fall. I managed to get some video of the event shown below, the first of which is from George Lang, the state representative from my district who was at the meeting to discuss the very contentious speaker situation ahead of a key vote which just occurred today to resolve the matter.

Kathy Dirr and George Lang have a contentious relationship over the 5G proposal that Kathy presented at the meeting. Only a small part of Kathy’s presentation ended up on my videos in the little preliminary speech shown. Later she had a 45-minute presentation illustrating what she thinks are serious health risks coming from the new cell tower technology. What she was presenting actually reminded me of a plot point from my 2004 novel called The Symposium of Justice which featured a local municipality using water towers to broadcast a signal designed to manipulate the pituitary gland in people into become overly sexualized, and mindlessly consumer based, so that they could be more easily controlled. So I can relate to the passion Kathy exhibited, however, I am a technology lover. I think the ultimate solution to the cellular breakdown that comes from all the wireless networks that are taking over our daily culture will be a concern of the past once we can just download our essence into a newly constructed body in a few years. We’ll change bodies like we change cars in the near future, so I wouldn’t be inclined to worry too much about such a thing. But that’s what makes these Tea Party meetings so wonderful, there are lots of diverse opinions that inspire great debate.

The next video was that of Mark Welch’s presentation on a compromised bike path connecting 747 to Becket Ridge instead of a very expensive multimillion dollar tax payer connection through West Chester into Mason and eventually connecting the Loveland Bike Trail with a large network. To pull off that Agenda 21 project eminent domain would have to be enacted and tax payers would be forced to pay for some hippie utopian idea that United Nations losers came up with years ago. While some elements of bike paths are positive and beneficial to communities, the idea of replacing cars with bicycles is a primitive and stupid one. So Mark came up with a way to navigate that issue quite nicely and he put in a lot of work on the matter, which is evident in his presentation. Hey, I love to ride bicycles, few people over the years have ridden them more than me, and the idea of having bike trails that could take cyclists over vast distances is appealing to me. But tax payers who won’t use those trails shouldn’t be on the hook for the cost, and property shouldn’t be taken from people for a “greater good” intention. What Mark is proposing as a trustee of West Chester is a reasonable appeasement of the mild necessity for our modern age, and better yet, it keeps the cost impact down to something that is manageable for private investment, the way things are supposed to be.

What I thought was interesting about this West Chester Tea Party meeting was that it showed the challenges of governing. Not everyone agrees on everything all the time. A lot of people present had different ideas about how to do various things that needed to be done and that was a good thing. Unlike other politically oriented meetings of this nature, the West Chester Tea Party has transitioned over time from an ideological organization to a functional one. It is easy to sit around and read books and talk about the basic philosophy of how things should be, it’s quite another thing to try to apply that ideology to real world situations. It takes guts for people like George Lang who are in the middle of the storm in Columbus with lots of tempting treasures being constantly thrown at him to stand in front of an organization he helped get off the ground over a decade prior and defend his position. Healthy debate is a great thing and that is what was going on at this meeting. The press should be covering these events because a lot of good goes on at them, more than goes on at the other regional get togethers. There is a lot of value on the table at every one I attend.

The way things used to be was that politicians were elected, and they went to their offices and people never heard from them again without the protections of their social roles to insulate them from the public. But at the West Chester Tea Party meetings, the local politicians were part of the process. The speeches by Lang and Welch were not part of the evening agenda but were spawned on the spot due to questions and comments from the attendees. Lang and Welch simply came from the back of the room to address the questions which became the speeches shown in the videos. I couldn’t help but think that this was the way things were always supposed to work in the republic for which America is. But the whole thing starts with the foundational educations that were always a part of the West Chester Tea Party. Without the basic understanding of how things are supposed to work, intellectually, nothing like what took place at the meeting could have occurred.

It is easy for politicians to make promises to get elected, and it is easy for people to vote for people then expect politicians to go off to battle and do everything right, then to complain about them when they don’t do ideologically everything that you think they should do. That’s why Tea Party events like the one in West Chester are so valuable. It gets everyone together to hash out ideology from reality and to do the best job possible in ascertaining value from the legislative experience. I thought the whole thing had evolved into a very positive thing for everyone involved. It was to me a sign of how things could be for the entire nation as the Trump administration is flowing down this intellectual attitude from the Executive Branch. The Tea Party movement is no longer just about getting people like Barack Obama out of office, but it has become a legitimate part of the legislative process because it brings proper education to the people who need it and will act on it, without the filter of the local newspaper to put a liberal spin on it. The information was good and raw and that’s just the way things should be, and it was great to see it alive and well on a pleasant summer night in West Chester, Ohio.

Rich Hoffman

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Ann Becker for West Chester Trustee: Likely, the best candidate voters will ever vote for in their entire lives

Ann Becker and I don’t always agree on everything.  For instance she is a lot more libertarian than I am—politically.  She has supported school levies in the past whereas I likely never will.  And Ann Becker is not a big fan of guns—where I am.  Guns are a big part of my life—if I don’t have the smell of gun powder on my hands at some point in a day, that day is not a good one for me.  I shoot like some people golf—it’s all about ballistics, velocity and technique to take something carefully machined and crafted to perfection then launching a bullet toward a target successfully.  And that’s before the discussion of the Second Amendment.  Ann understands the right to bear arms, and she’s certainly no gun grabber, but she just isn’t a fan in using them.  She’d rather do other things.  Yet, Ann Becker is the most conservative and politically pure person I know, and I know quite a few people at different levels of occupation.  She is a real treasure in political thought and even with the differences I mentioned, Ann and I have never had a fight we couldn’t work out with a little talking—and that is what makes her such a wonderful candidate for the West Chester Trustee seat that needs filled from the exiting George Lang.  Here are some highlights of Ann’s debate performance at the West Chester Tea Party Candidate Forum conducted on October 17th 2017.

I wouldn’t support Ann just because I consider her a dear friend.  I also have a lot of friends and I wouldn’t recommend most of them for any kind of political office where the sanctity of the people were at risk.  So I’m not just talking Ann up because I like her.  She is just simply the best person for the job.  I would trust Ann with a pot of gold during a hurricane, and would be certain when I returned that all of it would still be there.  Ann is the kind of person who is sincere to her very core and she functions from those beliefs—and is extraordinarily ethical.  Perhaps her best skill is in her ability to coral people together who have incredibly different points of view and to get them to do what needs to be done.  While she always has great emotion in the things she does, she is remarkably able to keep the emotion out of her decisions and to allow the facts of a matter to evolve into a logical conclusion.

For those who are fans of the Brian Thomas radio show each weekday morning on 55KRC you already know Ann as “Lady Liberty” where she does regular radio segments talking about all the local happenings in the Cincinnati area regarding Constitutional studies and Tea Party oriented events.  She was not just president of the West Chester Tea Party for a while, but she was the President of the Cincinnati Tea Party as well. Over the years she has successfully been involved in many political activities extending from southern Ohio all the way north of Columbus.  Ann Becker is one of the most politically influential people in this part of the Midwest and she does it without pretentiousness or zeal.  She gets involved in so many activities because she functions from passion.  West Chester would be very lucky to have a person of her caliber as a trustee.  It takes a sometimes very patient voice to listen to all the different members of a community and try to bring everyone together toward a satisfactory conclusion—which is often not possible.  But Ann always tries and doesn’t let discouragement taint her optimism—and that is a very special trait.  Her vast experience at managing so many different personalities within the Liberty Movement, from the hard-core Constitutionalists, to the casual free speech supporter—Ann has routinely walked that fine line between success and failure successfully—so this West Chester Trustee seat is her next logical transition.   Currently Ann is the State Central Committee representative for the West Chester area which has proven to be an extremely important endeavor.  It’s also the reason she is able to be one of two candidates officially endorsed by the Republican Party.

I’ve worked with Ann on a number of things over the years and our relationship has always been productive.  As I said, we don’t always agree.  I am good at dealing with people of opposing views in spite of what many think, and Ann is also very good at corralling ideological differences without losing her moral compass.  In spite of being on different sides of a number of issues within the spectrum of conservatism, she and I have never left each other’s company mad.  So I am 100% certain she has what it takes to deal with the most complaining voices that a township trustee would have to listen to, all the while preparing for the most extravagant Republican fundraisers with all the powerhouses ready to write checks because Ann is sincere with everyone.  There is no fakeness to her, she can sit down with the guy who is upset about traffic patterns on Cincinnati Dayton Road and be completely fair and caring to him, then get on the phone to the area socialites to coordinate the more communal aspects of GOP occurrences and never lose a beat.   As simple as that might sound it’s incredibly difficult for most of our adult population to be good at those extreme tasks and still function from a place of sincerity.  When dealing with people everyone thinks there concerns are the most important things in the world—so it takes incredible skill to make the people you deal with feel as though you are giving them all of your attention, even though you may be pulled in a million different directions.  The more people in your life the harder it is to give everyone individual attention with complete sincerity.  A lot of times politicians may be so enamored that the socialites call them for help and they forget about the guy worried about traffic issues.  To the public those politicians become just another out-of-touch aristocrat.   Yet Ann is that unique type of person who can give everyone equal attention and leave them thinking that she really cares—because in all reality—she does.

Sometimes voters go to the booth to punch the name of someone they don’t know, and they can feel like they are taking a chance on someone just because they have an “R” next to their name and figure they don’t have any other options.  But finally with Ann Becker they do have an option for someone who is uniquely more qualified than anybody they may vote for in their entire lives.  Ann Becker is the most trustworthy person to maybe ever run for office.  While she was very successful in running the Trump campaign from within Butler County she started off that 2016 election supporting Ted Cruz.   She wasn’t a big fan of Trump at the start of the campaign, but as the facts came out of what kind of person Donald Trump would be Ann put aside her differences with his personality and focused on the policy improvements that would come from a Trump White House.  Ann played a big part in why Ohio averaged 10% over Hillary Clinton in the whole state when the final votes were counted—the ground game was good and the right Republicans were involved in helping Trump while the Kasich Republicans rebelled.  When the smoke cleared Ann Becker was still friends with everyone—and that is a remarkable achievement these days.   Not only does it show that Ann can work with anybody, but she is also able to amend her ideological position based on the facts as she comes to know them, and that is unique.  It’s precisely what any voter would want in a representative of any kind.  And that’s what you get with Ann Becker.  Voters may never vote for a better person for the job of West Chester Trustee in their lives but on November 5th 2017, when they get to punch the ticket for Ann Becker.

Rich Hoffman

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What We Learned about the West Chester Trustee Candidates for the 2017 Election: Ann Becker and Mark Welch are clearly the best picks

There weren’t really any second-place candidates who touched the levels of competency toward the open trustee seats in West Chester, Ohio than Mark Welch and Ann Becker as displayed during the West Chester Tea Party candidate forum at Indiana Wesleyan University on October 17th 2018. I mean there were other candidates there speaking that night, but Mark is the incumbent and the guy with the very successful track record—so much so that Democrats are rightfully terrified by him and have pulled out all the stops in an attempt to knock him off his seat. Then there is Ann Becker, Ms. Lady Liberty herself as she can be heard often on her 55 KRC radio segments on the very popular Brian Thomas show—who has been involved in just about every kind of politics in Butler County that there is. She is leaps and bounds above everyone else so she and Mark make a great team for two of the three trustee seats that are coming available. Of course, the focus for the purposes of preserving conservativism in West Chester relies on at least two conservatives being elected on November 7th and out of all the candidates running—many of them are good people—only Mark Welch and Ann Becker have the official backing of the Republican Party—and this year, that means a lot.

I think after watching all the other candidates speak if I had to pick a third person for those very important West Chester trustee seats it would be anybody but Lee or Powell. That third seat currently has belonged to the incumbent Lee Wong, but after his support of the Chinese spy scandal involving a Sherry Chen and her termination at the National Weather Service for alleged espionage, Lee has since dropped off the map. He embarrassingly protested on her behalf recently to help her get her job back and his defense of his friend revealed many disturbing traits about Lee Wong that many people hadn’t seen before. He tends to be aloof and disengaged when it comes to complicated issues, and he obviously has sided with organized labor locally—so he has lost his mask of Republican Party affiliation showing himself to be a lopsided liberal on almost every topic.

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/03/14/disgraced-chinese-american-scientist-fights-get-her-job-back/99171480/

The other person running who is obviously not a conservative is Joan Powell who came to the West Chester forum knowing that the audience was very constitutionally minded, so she attempted to talk their language, and everything ended up coming out phony. I’ll give her credit for trying, but she clearly wasn’t the right candidate. After all, she had been supportive of West Chester becoming a city some years back which means a lot more government to manage things and always has in her thoughts and actions big government approaches to everything. I thought it was particularly interesting that she tried to distance herself from the terrible labor union negotiations she had been involved in over the years at Lakota by saying that she was supportive of Right to Work. That was odd because most of the reasonable conservatives of West Chester remember her for her tax increases as president of the Lakota Board of Education. By alienating the leftist union members who might otherwise vote for her in memory of her Lakota failures, who did she think was going to support her for trustee? There aren’t enough of the “girls” getting their hair done with Joan to put her over the top. She came across grossly out of touch and adhering to the politics of another century in the past. She certainly didn’t project herself as part of the future.

Everyone else falls below the prospect of viability. In the coming days I’ll put up specific videos from this West Chester event to paint a more articulate picture of the proceedings. But for the high-level viability of the two primary candidates, Ann Becker and Mark Welch they did a good job and the little ad displayed above indicates my feelings on their candidacy. I have a lot of hope for the two of them. For Mark I’d like to see him continue to do the great job he has done. With Cathy Stoker out-of-the-way and Lee Wong put on ice over the last several years West Chester has prospered dramatically. It was kind of like the effect Donald Trump has had on the stock market. There’s a reason the Dow is pushing up over 23,000 for the first time ever. Many investors who had been looking toward West Chester to build a business, or even to start a family felt inclined to move once Mark was elected and from there hotels have exploded on the scene, along with many new restaurants, shopping, shooting ranges and many other options that have improved the lifestyle choices of the West Chester community.

There were some interesting conversations at the trustee forum that represent distinct philosophical differences. For instance, Joan Powell espoused her view that schools are what make a community great—which is clearly not the case. You can spend all the money on education that you want and the quality of a school will not help it at all. Rather, schools tend to be great based on the quality of the people who live in an area. Good people produce good kids and therefore, good students. Mark clearly understands that formula and most everything he does centers on those basic philosophies. That’s why Democrats hate him so much, because revealing that formula is something they are absolutely terrified of. That’s also how you can know that people like Lee Wong and Joan Powell are not Republicans but are in fact liberal Democrats—because they miss the basic concept of foundational government as a representative management device of the public. A government school does not make kids great, their parents do. If you want a great community you need to have an environment conducive to the lifestyle of good people—good in this case being people who have jobs, raise their children with parameters of expectation—and do things as a family unit. For instance, if you go to the VOA Park in West Chester, the people you meet there are generally all good to each other, and conduct themselves well. Respect for themselves and each other is a prevalent theme and that reflects the general demographic of the region which tends to attract good people to it. West Chester has great access to good jobs. Great access to interesting things to do, and it has low taxation—all which attracts good families with values. When those kids go to school they are naturally good kids. If you spend the same money on communities where the parents are terrible, the school system will obviously reflect that. The idea that a school makes a community is a liberal organized labor myth built to inflate wages and benefits for the government employees—not to fulfill the necessities of the community. Mark and Ann understand that delicate balance. Liberals like Joan Powell and Lee Wong don’t.

It was good to see such a large crowd at this event. People care very much about this outcome and that is wonderful, that is what makes our country great—at the local level. That is also the role that the Tea Party has always had, educating the public about the matters that matter most to them. In that regard I’d say the only serious candidates running for those three seats were present in the video above. If candidates aren’t willing to go before the West Chester Tea Party, they really aren’t serious about running for office. Hopefully this article helps you sort out the names from all the confusion—and that really only two names essentially top out the first two seats, Ann Becker and Mark Welch.

Rich Hoffman
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West Chester Tea Party Shows ‘Atlas Shrugged Part II’: ‘The Strike’ comes to the popular Friday night movie event

I must thank Ann Becker President of the Cincinnati Tea Party and the producers of Atlas Shrugged Part II: The Strike for putting on a wonderful show at the very nice permanent facility dedicated to freedom in West Chester, Ohio where the WCTP meets regularly every third Tuesday of every monthDSC04534Ann is also President of the West Chester Tea Party and has been doing movie nights on Fridays—about two a month featuring films that are intended for conservative and libertarian audiences.  This gives members of the West Chester community and Cincinnati at large a chance to escape the noisy children at the local multiplex in favor of intelligent correspondence among like-minded patrons.  There have been good crowds for the movie nights, and this was true of the film that I have so actively supported, the second Atlas Shrugged film based on Ayn Rand’s great 1957 classic novel which is second only to the Bible in the most popular books checked out at the Library of Congress.DSC04535

I have seen the second film many times now.  You can see my review of the film by CLICKING HERE:  It was slammed by the entertainment industry well before it hit theaters. The producers attempted to avoid the negative press by not releasing review copies, and opening the film to more than 1000 screens respectably, but reviewers shunned the film as soon as they had a chance to see it.  The big entertainment complex, including media subsidiaries like Entertainment Weekly, ETV, Entertainment Tonight and many others treated Atlas Shrugged Part II with the same disdain as they did the Romney Presidential run.  The media slant was extremely obvious.  The producers of Atlas Shrugged showed they would not be stopped in making the second film of an intended three-part series, even though the first film was equally treated with hatred by the general press.  The press and entertainment establishment had determined to circle the wagons against the effort.  They didn’t want the film to succeed whether it was good or not, because the message of the film is dangerous to the collective causes of many establishments—not only in the entertainment industry.  The movie is a bold attempt, and it delivers.  It’s easily as good as most of the films that can be seen in any movie theater for the price of admission.  The special effects were well done—many times they remind me of the effects from The Right Stuff.  And the train crash was better than a similar crash from the Steven Spielberg/J.J. Abrams film Super 8.   Atlas Shrugged Part II oozes with passion from the producers, and it’s easy to see.  It is hard to put a novel that is as philosophically heavy as Atlas is into a film version.  Fans of the book will always be hungry for more.  The effort here reminds me of the film version of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill.   The essence of the novel was achieved, but if fans want more, they’ll need to read the book.

For the uninitiated, many who saw the film for the first time in the West Chester Tea Party War Room on March 8th 2013, Atlas Shrugged Part II was their introduction to the book.  Upon the film’s release in October of 2012 the producers advertised heavily, and Harmon Kaslow went on just about every talk show from New York to Los Angeles leading up to the opening.  Many of the people who might find the Atlas story attractive have long ago given up on the official Hollywood product, and simply do not go to movies any longer.  So they skipped the movie when it hit theaters expecting another big Hollywood production that didn’t reflect their values.    Most of these types of viewers wait for a DVD release these days or for a big presentation like the one that Ann gave to her members.  This became obvious about halfway through the showing when I noticed the audience of just around 100 become emotionally involved in the film laughing at the jokes, booing at the resemblance to some of the contemporary problems America is currently facing, and finding themselves wrapped up tightly in anticipation of the climax.  At the end of the film—which is a cliffhanger—people were visibly upset wanting more movie.  They’ll have to wait for the third film which will really go down the philosophic rabbit hole as the lead character meets “The Perfect Man,” in John Galt.  It was fun for me to watch the reaction of the audience at the end as I know the story extremely well.  Seeing more people introduced to such a fantastic tale is enjoyable—like uncovering a treasure that has always been at their feet, and the light just comes on when they notice it for the first time.   If not for the West Chester Tea Party and the producers giving the green light to allow a public viewing free of charge—those 100 people may not have taken a chance on it any other way—because the print media was not kind at all to the film.

The reason for the hatred of the film is that two of the main villains in Atlas Shrugged Part II are Lillian Reardon and Jim Taggert, who resemble metaphorically most of the people in society.  The two conspire in the film to destroy the life of Hank Reardon—the creator of a new alloy of steel that is extremely light, very strong, cheap, and highly sought after by the government who wants to confiscate his technology for the “greater good.”  Lillian is the socialite wife who is a parasite to her husband Hank.  She only cares that he is a billionaire that can give her social status.  She does not earn that status on her own, and when she gets the opportunity to free herself from her husband once she discovers that Hank is sleeping with Dagny Taggert, Jim’s sister—(the main character), Lillian takes it.  Lillian makes a deal with Jim, who has the same parasitic relationship with his sister who runs the railroad company they inherited.  Jim is clueless about the ways of the world and can only achieve success in life through his political connections—which is referred to as “pull” in the film.    If I had to put my finger on a problem with the Atlas Shrugged film franchise, it is due to most people in society will see themselves as either Lillian or Jim—and they aren’t going to spend $10 per ticket to feel more guilty about their lives than they do already.  They go into a darkened theater to escape from such realizations, not to be hit over the head with them.DSC04536

All people could learn something from the story of Atlas Shrugged.  For many, they might find that they are like Jim’s wife, the innocent convenient store clerk who fell in love with the image of what she thought Jim Taggert was in the newspapers and television shows.  She married Jim and once she lived with him every day, discovered that he was simply a looter.  Jim Taggert was rich and powerful because he stole from others, while people like Hank were rich and powerful because they actually made things.  Not to give anything away but Jim’s wife kills herself in the next film once her disillusionment becomes too great.  She simply loses her faith in mankind and can see no way out but to take her own life—which is not light subject matter.  If I had to guess, I would think that a majority of a movie going audience feels some connection to Lillian, Jim or Jim’s wife—and none of those characters are the heroes of Atlas Shrugged.

Atlas Shrugged is not for the 99% as the Occupy Walls Street mantra defined.  Ayn Rand did not write her books for the masses, but aimed instead at the 1%.  Her target was not the very elite rich and famous 1% however, but those in the 1% who philosophically understood her message.  In the community of West Chester, Ohio which has 100,000 people minus all the children, the 100 present at the showing of Atlas Shrugged Part II represented accurately the 1% who are free thinkers and can wrap their minds around the hard subject matter of a very intense story.  For them Ann presented a wonderful evening free of the kind of mindless drivel that could be seen down the road at the various multiplexes.  Ann’s children and husband were present making popcorn that were free to the public which allowed viewers of the movie to sit down as the sun set out the west windows and enjoy watching a movie with surround sound and a screen that actually rivaled small movie theaters.

That is not to say that the other 99% of the population can’t enjoy Atlas Shrugged.  Chances are, they will watch the DVD which is currently released by 20th Century Fox, or catch it on Netflix out of curiosity, and the first time they see it, they might be devastated to learn how poorly they have conducted their lives and discover what parasites they are on society.  The movie will make them think which most people don’t enjoy doing.  But that is the function of art, and Atlas Shrugged Part II is an artistic rendition of the great novel—and it’s damn good.  It has the visual elements of a typical movie, but it’s not about visuals, it’s about philosophy—and that is not appealing to the masses.

The producers of Atlas Shrugged Part II can feel pride that big traditional films like The Hobbit and Dark Knight Rises were also blacklisted by Hollywood in 2012 for similar reasons.  Dark Knight Rises was almost as obvious in its anti collectivist message as Atlas Shrugged Part II.  In fact, I watched Dark Knight Rises right before seeing Atlas Shrugged Part II at the WCTP War Room and while the production value for the former is much higher than the later, the themes were just as powerful.  Atlas was just blunter about it, which was Ayn Rand’s writing style.  In Dark Knight Rises director Christopher Nolan had the ability to subtly bring the audience into the fray of the story through Catwoman played by Anne Hathaway who begins the film as a socialist, but through the course of the story learns how wrong she was under the patient tutelage of Batman.  The audience experienced the story through the eyes of Catwoman and at the end of the film discovered that Catwoman and Batman were equals—so the audience was able to get what they paid their money for.  Catwoman made Batman relatable to the mass audience.  That is why Dark Knight Rises made over $1 billion dollars at the worldwide box-office in spite of the bad reviews.  Lucky for Dark Night Rises the comic book media did not abandon the film on release, so it had financial success.  But in Atlas Shrugged Part II, there is no such character like a Catwoman.  The closest is Jim Taggert’s wife, and her fate is not a good one, as discussed.  So the audience gets hit over the head when they have to compare their lives to the heroes of Atlas Shrugged.  Very, very, very……………………………………….VERY few people can relate to Hank Reardon who isn’t even the hero of the story.  In the eyes of the protagonist Dagny, Hank had one major, glaring flaw–he cared enough about her to not allow her to be blackmailed when her brother, his wife and the federal government found out about their affair and wanted to exploit it to gain access to the patents on his metal.  Hank to save Dagny the pain of public humiliation finally gave up his fight.  Instead of running to Hank to comfort him in his darkest hour and show sympathy to the “man of steel” in thanks for defending her honor Dagny ran off to find John Galt—a man who has never compromised, who has never yielded, who has never lost—who is a genius, an expert tactician, a master of design and is perfect in every form.  Hank asked to see her in a moment of weakness when his whole world fell down around him, but she did not come.  And he did not cry about it.  He simply picked himself up and moved on.  That is not the Hollywood formula—so nobody in Entertainment knows how to deal with it.  They can only criticize it because of their lack of comprehension.

The success of Atlas Shrugged Part II unfortunately cannot be measured by box office numbers because the film was not made for the masses.  It was made for the 100 people in the WCTP War Room who showed up on a Friday night to watch Atlas on movie night with freshly made free popcorn and drinks for an audience who understands the plight of Dagny and John Galt.  For intellectual stimulation the audience wished to have an evening away from the Lillian Reardon’s of the world if just for a few hours and be around like-minded patrons.  Under that measure of success, at the conclusion of Atlas Shrugged Part II there were claps of approval and questions about the fate of the third installment, which suddenly had very urgent demands for the release date.  I told people who asked me that the plan for Atlas Shrugged Part III was for July 4th 2014.  For now, I am grateful that such a film exists for those smart enough to comprehend it, and clean enough in their thoughts to grapple with the themes.  If the producers had not worked hard to produce the film, and place themselves at great financial risk, this Friday night experience would have never happened.  The filmmakers like the fictional composer Richard Halley from the story know that the merit of Atlas Shrugged Part II cannot be understood by the mass public.  Halley when he received a standing ovation during his musical performance in the movie as the concert pianist simply disappeared off the stage without explanation.  Halley in the third film will continue to write and perform music but not for a mass audience who cannot understand or appreciate his music.  Instead he moved to Galt’s Gulch—Atlantis with John Galt and the rest of the heroes of Atlas to let society crumble away into nothing as they preserve humanity from the parasites of civilization.DSC04541

My advice to the producers of Atlas Shrugged Part III would be to forget the mass release to theaters in the next go around, but to perhaps have a premier in a few theaters, but to otherwise release the film to people like Ann Becker of the Cincinnati Tea Party and let the audience be much more targeted on the next go around with direct DVD sales.  Even the Walt Disney Company engages in direct to DVD releases, and that should probably be the future of the third film from a financial stand point.  Because like Richard Halley in Atlas Shrugged, only the people in Atlantis will understand and appreciate his music the way he intended it.  So to, out of 100,000 people in West Chester, there are probably only around 1000 who will understand the message behind Atlas Shrugged.  The rest are simply like Lillian Reardon and Jim Taggert who will do everything in their power to keep the lessons of Atlas from their minds so they can continue to practice mental evasion and parasitic looting of other people’s wealth.  On movie night for the West Chester Tea Party Atlantis was at 5430 West Chester Road, and we enjoyed the performance.

http://www.westchesterteaparty.org/

To the critics who will without question read this and be insulted at just the mention of Ayn Rand or Atlas Shrugged and will treat it like Holy Water being thrown on a demon possessing an innocent soul, if you don’t know the story, watch the videos above and you’ll understand that there is a lot more to Atlas Shrugged than just a pro-capitalism message.  I have seen 5 times in my life alone what happened to the fictional 20th Century Motor Company in the film for many of the same exact reasons.  And let me say…………..I understand John Galt as well as I understand the skin on the back of my own hand.  There is more truth in Atlas Shrugged as a novel than 8 years of most college courses.  And the movies only make the information more accessible to a wider audience.  So take advantage of the ease for which the producers have provided a vast treasure for the minds of the many, even if they can’t quite get their thoughts around it.  It’s worth trying.  You can find the DVD by CLICKING HERE. 

Rich Hoffman

“If they attack first………..blast em’!”

www.tailofthedragonbook.com

The West Chester Police Beating that Cost $265,000: Trustee George Lang presents the case

On February 13th, 2013 West Chester Township decided to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Jeremy Lewis winning the victim of police brutality $265,000 of tax money because of the over zealous work by four officers who called to a bar fight as a sports bar was closing.  Because of the large settlement, West Chester Trustee George Lang wanted to provide an explanation to the portion of the community most concerned over waste in tax expenses—the West Chester Tea Party.  In the video below Lang explains in explicit detail the now famous video in slow motion and why he felt the township should settle out-of-court rather than risk showing it in a court of law.

http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/butler-county/West-Chester-reaches-settlement-in-beating-lawsuit/-/13601510/18529370/-/f7d2m8/-/index.html

Watching that video no matter what the official comments of the police force were, it is easy to conclude that the second officer who arrived on the scene, the one who sprayed the pepper spray in Lewis’s face, would have done much better to express more logic.  Since the video has no audio we will never know what Lewis might have said to the officer to provoke being sprayed in the face with repellant, but logic would dictate that the officer used excessive force that was not necessary.  If the training that officers are given instructs them to be such panicky primates, then the training needs to be re-evaluated quickly.

To my eyes if I were on a jury watching this video I would have to agree with the assessment of Trustee Lang—the second officer with his adrenaline pumping wanted to show his authority over Lewis in a way that would make Cartman from the cartoon on Comedy Central South Park proud.  If the officer had been comfortable with his position of authority he could have easily handled the situation differently waiting for his back-up to arrive in mass and hand cuff Lewis for an uneventful arrest.  Rather, he chose aggressive domination of Lewis behind the authority of the law for reasons that appear to exceed the situation which deserves ridicule.   It is in those actions by the police that the cost of $265,000 was levied against the West Chester tax payers.

The situation exacerbated once the other two officers arrived on the scene and through collective recourse they felt entitled to beat Lewis into submission with gang like imposition.  In spite of what the unified front from the police department stated in defense of their officers they were obviously more concerned with protecting their own than the merit of true justice.  There were officers who felt guilt over the incident and reported to Lang later the information that the police who conducted the beating were bragging about the incident at the station, much to their disgust.  In my assessment the officers who were upset by the bragging are the kind of officers I have no reservations of employing.  But the officers who conducted the beating and the administrators who wished to shove this incident under the carpet with flimsy explanations and malicious intent are those who make me feel terrible to learn that West Chester police make more money than any police force anywhere from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis, which is quite a statement.   CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT WEST CHESTER POLICE MAKE.

The police union has already shown displeasure with Trustee Lang because he recently did not vote in favor of their recent contract increase.  Lang is trying to reel in costs for the police department the way he should, but that doesn’t stop administrators from using other measures to apply pressure against Lang.  As Lang spoke at the Tea Party meeting an undercurrent of fear emerged that was almost audible during the silent portion of the video viewing the first run through.  The reason came from not desiring to be on the wrong side of the law.  Politicians like Lang have a good reason to fear the same police they employee because the collective force behind law enforcement is one where it is well-known that police will look out for their own as a collective unit, and this is what makes them dangerous.  If they get caught doing something wrong—as in the case of the police beating, the police force expects the trustees to just pay the money and make the problem go away.  Internally, there was no disciplinary action, no recourse, and no punishment of any kind.  There was just a hope that the trustees would pay the money and make the problem disappear with the same audacity that the police force expects trustees to blindly approve pay increases for them without question, even when they are already the highest paid officers in this part of the country.

In my assessment of the video looking behind the shell game of blame, I see in the actions of the police force a desire to occasionally beat people like Jeremy Lewis so that the authority of police is asserted on the public so that when levy time comes, there is the gentle nudge of intimidation that puts in the minds of voters a fear that they don’t want to find themselves on the wrong side of the police.  Even as Lang spoke, it ran through my mind that he was taking a risk, because word would get out in the station house that one of the West Chester Trustees was speaking out negatively in regard to the police action.  The hot-blooded youth in the modern police force do not see the logic or cost implications behind the out-of-court settlement, they will only see that Lang is not with them right or wrong—and that makes Lang a target.  The same fear came from people directly related to the case who didn’t want their names revealed least they find themselves pulled over by the same police officers at midnight and treated the same way that Jeremy Lewis was.  The public tendency of norm including the other two trustees in West Chester has been to ignore these kinds of problems and throw money at them to go away and hope that those of authority are not angered so that the officers do not cast their revenge upon the tax paying citizen.  The fear is real and was put there by cases like the one that occurred with Jeremy Lewis over a long period of time.

In the audience at the end of the video George Lang presented, was the former assistance chief of police from Union Twp., which is what West Chester used to be called.  This man held the position as far back as when the great tornado of 1974 hit Mason causing him to work 7 consecutive days without sleep because of the massive damage done.  All cops are not bad, in fact many of them are very good people.  But…………when they function as a “collective” entity, they can be dangerous.  Many of them are only 25 to 30 years old and do not have much life wisdom about them yet, so when 4 hot-blooded males in a police uniform with the power of the badge behind them show up at a bar at 2:30 in the morning, the ability to beat an unarmed man into submission to prove their manhood and overcome internal insecurities is very tempting.  The old assistant chief of police testified before the Tea Party his experience with violence and the tendency of new officers to escalate a situation instead of exercising de-escalation procedures due to their modern training.  The training officers receive is largely approved by FOP organizations that have contained within them a desire to put political posturing in such confrontations to escalate a level of fear and respect that has aims beyond righteousness.  The aims behind the beatings is to create a level of perceived danger that ultimately hopes to influence the public when police levies come due, in direct reaction to contracts that are often approved by trustees who fear falling out of favor with their employees, the police.  In West Chester the scheme has worked, police are paid more than anywhere else in the Midwest—yet the danger on the job is less than just about anyplace else.  So there is pressure to “create” dangerous situations from time to time and a drunk fighting at a bar at 2:30 in the morning is an easy target.  Unfortunately for the young officers who participated in the beating, they didn’t think that the action would be captured on a security camera—since normally the situation would have been contained and rumor from the mouth of Jeremy Lewis would have moved through the community without the court system regulating the authenticity.

The lesson of this incident is that police should do a better job of controlling their personal fears and not let their anxiety get the better of them.  They should also not use the unfortunate position of people like Jeremy Lewis to impose their authority on the public in general with such force.  The police should also not take out their wrath on trustees who do not agree with their labor contracts, or speak out against the actions of the collective because they feel they need to explain why the bad decisions of the police force cost West Chester tax payers $265,000.  But on a larger scale, the public in general should come to understand that police should not be given absolute authority over the lives of private citizens.  The failure of the police in the Jeremy Lewis case is exactly why the new federal NDAA Act will never work, and cannot be imposed upon American citizens.  Police are only human beings, and can never be given so much power to violate the lives, liberty and pursuit of a good life of any person.  The aims of their collective organization do not supersede the rights of an individual even if that individual is a drunken malcontent shouting obscenities at authority without discretion.  The first and second officer at the scene knew they had a gun on their hip and other weapons on their bodies that could easily subdue a person of such staggered appearance.  The officers are expected to be cooler than that, and they are paid well to be the best.  They are not paid to be thugs in the streets of West Chester and to give in to boyish desires to prove their manhood.  And because they weren’t West Chester is not only out the cost of their salaries, but also a hit to our community reputation, and the cost of the court settlement—which are all excessive just because the personal valor of the officers was lacking.

To review this case as it appeared in the West Chester Buzz, click the link below:

http://westchesterbuzz.com/2012/06/29/video-shows-police-striking-patron-with-batons-at-west-chester-bar/

To see the union response against Lang in the Middletown Journal, which provoked this explanation by the trustee, CLICK HERE:

Rich Hoffman

“If they attack first………..blast em’!”

www.tailofthedragonbook.com