Mike Brown is Terrible for the Cincinnati Bengals: Embracing a losing mentality is bad for creating value for his customer base

Long ago I wrote an article about why the Cincinnati Bengals would never be a championship team, even if they could load their team with all first-round draft picks. It was never about talent; the Bengals have always had great talent that was worth watching. I usually go to a few games a year even though I am not particularly keen on the Bengals because of their losing reputation, and I really enjoy watching Carlos Dunlap play, along with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. There are others as well. There is a lot to like about having the Bengals in Cincinnati and the NFL experience in general, but I typically don’t get very excited about them because of their front office approach to the customer base. Mike Brown as an owner never really understood what his role was as an owner and people do resent him for it. Sure they buy the product the way people in Russia bought bread during the height of communism, because there wasn’t any other option. Mike Brown was happy to just barely get by and keep his team in the black financially, but he has shown that he doesn’t care about the customer in the stands buying his product.

Since I do love the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, I did go to the home Bengal game when they played in Cincinnati at the end of October. Tampa Bay has been good some years and not so good other years, like this year. But what I see out of their organization every year is an attempt to win. They may get the combinations wrong, but at least they try, so I remain a loyal fan. As many who have read here for years know, I became a Tampa Bay fan because Mike Brown fired Sam Wyche when he was the head coach of the Bengals back in 1992 for one bad season. I never thought it was fair and I followed Sam Wyche to Tampa and remained a fan even after all the many coaching changes there because I simply think the Glazers are good owners and I cheer for their teams because I like them as people. Good people, good product, good public. Tampa Bay is a great place to watch a game win or lose, because you always feel they are trying.

However, after the Buc, Bengal game on a very beautiful day in Cincinnati where the home team held on to win in a close game that was very exciting I was in the Club section using the restroom after and by the way the fans were talking you’d think that the Bengals had lost. The talk after the game was that it was a miracle that Marvin Lewis didn’t find a way to lose the game, not that the home town Bengals had won, and I actually felt sorry for the team. Honestly, the Bengals played a good game. The Bucs at the time were playoff contenders so there was a lot for Bengal fans to be happy about. But the reputation of the team has left a fog over the entire organization that was costing them millions and millions of dollars and it was quite embarrassing.

Like I said, I go to a few games a year. I love the Club section because it’s usually a business class of people and I like the indoor amenities. There’s room to get up and walk around that you don’t get throughout the rest of the stadium. But I noticed that during the entire game almost no seats around us filled up with people. While the season ticket holders and hard-core blue-collar fans who have invested many of thousands of personal dollars into the Bengals and are willing to overlook the Bengal faults due to their own large investments into the NFL experience, the business class people see clearly what is going on with the Bengal organization and they aren’t supporting them even when they get free tickets through business associations. They simply have better things to do with their lives than watch losers play. Because business people know that even when losers sometimes win by accident, they are still losers, and that is the state of the current Bengal ownership under Mike Brown and they reject the product wholesale. When you can’t even give away free tickets, there is a problem with the product.

In business we are all trained, especially these days to give value to the customer, the people who pay for your product. If they aren’t getting value, what incentive do they have to continue using the product. The days of old top down relationships with the customer that large companies and monopolies had could afford to ignore the customer experience somewhat. For instance, the reason GM is failing isn’t because of large tariffs, but because they have a lackluster labor force that builds bad cars people don’t want. People bought them back when only America was building cars. But when there are better options, people will go where their value is massaged. In the case of GM put a Chevy Cruz next to a Toyota Corolla and the differences are obvious. I personally still support the GM brand, my family likes the cross-overs, but for sedans, there isn’t any question as to quality between the two. It’s the same with the NFL, Mike Brown thinks that just having a professional football team is all it takes, and up until a few years ago he was partially right. People were happy to have an NFL team in their city whether they were winners or losers, just the experience was worth the cost of the product. But times have changed, where the Bengals haven’t.

With the advent of Fantasy Football and the video game culture of Madden, the new generation of football fans are less inclined to love the home town team as they are players that they can invest in. The loyalty to the team as a whole has been broken up in these days of more individualized experiences such as we see with the smart phone revolution. That means that if a football team doesn’t occasionally win a big championship fans will drift away onto other interests, and the product will be permanently impacted. It’s a simple value stream kind of thing that any business would track trying to ensure that the customer experience is something they could build a business on. The Mike Brown assumption that people will buy his product regardless of what decisions he makes is really quite an insult especially to the business class people who spend their entire work week trying to figure out how to make their customers happy only to spend their leisure time getting spit in the face by Mike Brown. The final straw for Cincinnati fans was a few years ago when the Bengals were winning a playoff game against Pittsburg and they blew the ending with stupid penalties. Marvin Lewis stuck by those players not trying to recruit better personalities in the offseason and for smart people, they saw a lazy coach who was just riding the cart Mike Brown was pushing. And that was why fans were in the bathroom on a really wonderful day with a Bengal win against a good team complaining about Marvin Lewis when they should have been celebrating.

Whether the product is government, entertainment, or general business, the first obligation is to the people who give you money for that service. A few years ago when there was only the Post Office, there wasn’t anywhere to complain about the lazy postal worker who carelessly threw mail on our front porches. But with the rise of FedEx and UPS, that changed. The same with phone companies, it used to be that if you made a call outside of your home zip code, you would be charged for long distance communication. Now there are many communication options and those costs are long gone. And when it comes to sports, there are lots and lots of options and these days it’s actually more fun to watch them on the big magnificent televisions in the comfort of our homes. I still like to hear the roar of a crowd and see things in person, but if the customer experience sucks, I’ll just stay home. And that is what is happening to the Bengals. I wish I hadn’t been right all those years ago, but as usual, unfortunately I was. The Bengals under Mike Brown ownership will never win a championship. He has disrespected the customer base to a point that it will never recover and that’s a shame. Especially when Cincinnati has given him so much by way of tax relief and other benefits. Mike Brown didn’t respect Cincinnati enough to at least try to win. He is happy with mediocrity and his insult to all of us is that he insists that we like it.

I’d love to love the Bengals and take my grandkids down to the field to get autographs by really good people and players like Carlos Dunlap. But because of Mike Brown’s terrible leadership, I just can’t.

Rich Hoffman

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Standing with Wikileaks: The reason what Bob Mueller is doing is sheer evil

I’ll never forget that evening where I had the opportunity to visit the Embassy of Ecuador in London where Julian Assange was held up under international attempts at his arrest. That particular day I had a nice tour of London visiting Parliament, then Buckingham Palace before having dinner at one of the best and most expensive restaurants in all of London, Ramsey’s by Gordon Ramsey himself. After dinner we went shopping at Harrod’s which was another best of the best type of experience, and in the middle of all that we stopped by to see the center of the universe of all controversy regarding free speech at the Embassy where Julian Assange operated as the lead editor of Wikileaks. Donald Trump had just been elected president and the world was changing. Brexit was on everyone’s mind and the powerful in the political halls around the world shuddered by what Wikileaks was able to reveal through true journalism, and everyone hated Assange for it. My visit that day put everything in a nice perspective for me because we had seen the highs and lows of life all in one day in London and the context of it all was unmistakable. I didn’t think of it at the time but it was one of the most important days of my life.

So I found it odd that as much as I think the Mueller investigation into the Trump presidency is a phony political endeavor I was quite shocked by the reckless nature of the Mueller team trying to pin a false story about Paul Manafort in jail in framing Julian Assange with a character assassination under penalty of breaking the plea deal the FBI special investigation team had with the former Trump campaign manager confined to solitary. Mueller was obviously trying to steer his case to Wikileaks which released a lot of emails from John Podesta which caused Hillary Clinton so much damage, far more than anything else did in the election of 2016. But the problem is, what was revealed by Podesta were the kind of things the United States F.B.I. and press in general should have been revealing, because there were serious infractions of the law going on. It wasn’t Wikileaks fault that they were exposing that material, it was Podesta’s fault for committing the acts then falling for a phishing scheme to extract their confinement from his personal computer by hostile agents outside of the jurisdiction of the United States. Normally this would be a problem, but what was revealed was that American intelligence was in on the deal and were trying to rig the election in Hillary Clinton’s favor. And we wouldn’t have known much of any of that without Julian Assange and his Wikileaks.

To be at the center of the storm in London helped show how broken global politics and the media that covered it really was, that a small room in an embassy in the high-end section of London could literally bring the world to its knees so easily. There really isn’t much to things and that was exposed by Julian Assange and Donald Trump extraordinarily as 2016 closed and 2017 was being ushered in. Once all the patriotism was stripped away from wanting to defend everything in my own country it was quite obvious that the Democrats and F.B.I at the very least had conspired together to break the law to rig an election and they had control of the legal system and the media empires, except for that little room in the embassy where Assange looked at me through the window like a caged rat wishing with everything in his power that he could join me in the street and taste freedom once again.

Then to watch a few years later after the runaway Mueller investigation had attempted to destroy the life of Paul Manafort only because he had worked for a time with Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign and was trying to force him to say anything to keep from having more jail time imposed on him tried to use that leverage to pin the entire 2016 Democrat loss on that one guy in London, Julian Assange who is currently about to be kicked out of that embassy because Ecuador has had enough political pressure placed on them and they can’t take it anymore. So Assange is about to be pulled into a million pieces legally and Mueller knows it. The willingness of Mueller to destroy lives to preserve a social order is truly outrageous, and evil. I try to think of things in context like this, that Bob Mueller is someone’s dad, someone’s husband, someone’s son—that he has some value in the world. But to operate with such a lack of integrity—to put a system before good moral judgment is reprehensible and it becomes quite clear why a media outlet like Wikileaks is needed, because we certainly can’t trust the New York Times.

A lot of this mentality of a collective institutional view of value as opposed to individual judgment was quite apparent in a recent interview with James Comey as he revealed that he didn’t think that Trump’s pick for a backup attorney general was the sharpest knife in the drawer—it was an extraordinary statement of excessive condemnation especially considering the role Comey played in trying to destroy the Trump presidency right out of the gate with F.B.I. activism. Comey justifies his behavior that he was defending the institution of the presidency by attempting to bring down Trump and ultimately, he is the reason there is a Mueller investigation. It was never to seek justice, it was just to protect the institution of the presidency from individual will by the people who elected him. That same justification is what is attempting to paint a case against Julian Assange, that his Wikileaks is such a threat to institutionalism that it must be brought down any way possible. To those types of people individual lives don’t matter at all, but protecting the institutions that they are a part of is everything.

The reason for the context in London for me personally, was that the entire town is built off institutional history and in spite of all the great historic sites, individuals are quietly yearning everywhere for freedom. So it’s not that odd that Julian Assange has found some safety within the center of the city and a support base that keeps the police from storming his hideout and arresting him. The public wouldn’t stand for it so a kind of stalemate ensues and it was interesting to see up close. The frontier war for the entire world was happening right there and it really came down to a few bricks and windows between individual freedom and the tyranny of institutional protections even to the point where they break all the laws of mankind to protect themselves from the teeth of their crimes. Bob Mueller isn’t a good person, he is a tool like a knife, or a gun, used to inflict power over individuals to protect the evils of institutionalism and he will use it any way needed to enforce the will of his administrators. And that makes him the most dangerous person in the world, certainly not Julian Assange.

Rich Hoffman
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Why GM Has Failed: It’s all about restrooms

It is amazing how little people know about basic economic matters, especially in relation to the announcement that General Motors is planning to close its Lordstown plant in Ohio and laying off 15% of its salaried workforce and some production workers with a total of 14,700 jobs lost from that northern Ohio community. Even from people who are supposed to understand these complicated matters I couldn’t find many news outlets that truly understood the problem that GM is facing so I’ll sum it up very easily. It has everything to do with bathrooms. But first, lets study a very interesting Forbes article that made a lot of attempts at pinpointing the problem only to miss in every circumstance. Here are a few of the highlights with a link to the original article presented below. The link to the MSN article is even worse. It is filled with so much socialist rantings that it would be otherwise unreadable if not for the way it reflects the average opinion on the General Motors matter.

General Motors said today it is ending production next year at five of its plants including its last remaining plant in Detroit and its Lordstown plant in Ohio. The reasons: they largely make sedans, which U.S. car buyers are increasingly rejecting in favor of SUVs; and Trump-era tariffs are creating headwinds and higher costs for the automaker.

–Higher costs, due in part to the Trump administration steel tariffs, have already cost GM $1 billion, and those costs will persist and rise as long as they are in place.

Of the plants targeted for an end of production, the Lordstown plant has the best chance to possibly stay open. GM will soon kick off negotiations with the UAW, and the union will likely lobby hard for a crossover vehicle to be located at the plant located east of Toledo on the Ohio turnpike. “General Motors’ decision today… will not go unchallenged by the UAW,” said Terry Dittes, the union’s vice president in charge of negotiations with GM.


Here is the basic problem, and I understand why Trump, Mike DeWine, Rob Portman and even the economic buffoon Sherrod Brown want to twist GM’s arm to keep the Lordstown plant open. After all, General Motors took money for a bailout and the government feels it has a right to help manage the affairs of the company. But that is more of an exasperation of the problem than a fix. General Motors is failing and continues to fail because they just don’t have good leadership and unlike the days of the Sloan Management system, do not have people in their organization that can step up and take over at the top CEO job. Everything has become politicized at General Motors and they have grown to feel they are entitled to exist rather than needing to compete in a harsh automotive maker’s market. General Motors main problem is they have weak management largely because their labor unions feel they have shared control of the company which means that the good managers that are out there want nothing to do with General Motors leaving behind a bunch of slack-jawed losers to run the company, because only a fool would want to work with a bunch of lazy, slow, and contemptuous union leaders who think they share the burden of running a company. Because of that General Motors top management have turned to politics for help and that has only made them worse. To hear their current CEO think that by directing the company’s resources toward electric cars and autonomous vehicles is the wave of the future, they have not done their value stream maps correctly. Americans don’t want vehicles that they can’t drive. They love the independence of driving themselves and they want bigger cars that use more gas. Tesla has carved out a notch for themselves, but not to the extent that a company the size of General Motors should follow. The fact that they don’t know how to think for themselves says everything.

The real problem is that the labor union has destroyed the American automaker market. The pensions are too expensive for a declining company. If auto sales from America were still dominating the global market, it wouldn’t be a problem. But when you lose market share, which all American auto companies have, there simply is not a way to pay for an expensive work force that can’t keep the company at the top of their game. The American worker has taken their jobs for granted, especially in relation to auto jobs and they are losing to much more competitive foreign markets. When you travel around the world and the only cars you see are Toyotas, Nissans, Hondas and the like, there is no way that General Motors can afford to compete with top-heavy labor costs and pension commitments that are projected to cripple them for the next 50 years. The socialist fantasy of the big labor unions running the auto companies with shared input has long been over. The government contributions have only prolonged the bleeding, the problem started when America no longer built the kind of cars the world wanted by people who really weren’t passionate about their work.

If you go right now to a typical Japanese factory, whether they are making cars, boats, copy machines, whatever you can think of and a worker on the line would want to use the restroom, they’d indicate they needed relief, a supervisor or co-worker would fill their spot while the worker would lightly jog to the restroom and back again as fast as they could safely. Urgency and passion are part of the Japanese culture in everything they do including simple transactions at fast food restaurants. When they ask to use the restroom, they get to it and return to their work promptly and without excuse as they fully invest themselves into their endeavor. Go to the typical General Motors Cruz manufacturing line and a worker needs to use the restroom, typically a person grossly overweight and dressed like they just rolled out of a trash can indicates they need to relieve themselves. Once their relief shows up to cover their spot, they don’t return for another 20 minutes. If you walk behind the fat slob you’ll find they take an extra five minutes walking to the bathroom, they spend at least 5 to 10 minutes going to the rest room playing on their phone and reading graffiti on the stall wall, then they spend at least 5 minutes walking back talking to anybody who they can manage to engage in a conversation stalling as long as possible before they get back to the imprisonment of their work detail. They don’t love their work and because of the mentality of their labor union they are always seeking to do the least amount of it because they think the vile management system is always trying to steal something from them, so they in turn are always looking to steal time from the company. Usually its obvious in their restroom habits, but if you track the employee throughout their work day you can see it everywhere in everything they do.

Management in these American companies don’t have any form of control of their operations so only the bad ones stick around. The false premise that all socialists have is that everyone is equal, the worker and the manager and that everyone through consensus determines the direction of the group is completely wrong. Nothing could be said worse—such a condition never exists anywhere. Leadership is not a collective endeavor, it’s a very lonely one. Getting buy-in to leadership decisions is a collective enterprise, but the role of management is not. The workers are not in a position to determine strategic relationships between the manufacturing process and the tactical need to implement them. It takes people good at that kind of thing and when unions take over shop management only the fools stick around. And when fools run a manufacturing facility through communist dreams of unity, people take 20 minutes to use the restroom and they build bad cars that the world doesn’t want that are too expensive. It has nothing to do with tariff wars or even changing gas prices, it’s all about bad management which GM even with lots of bail outs and help by the tax payer have shown they are lacking. The future of automobiles are not automated cars and electric-powered ones at that, it’s in independence on the open road of America’s vast expanses of land, and a foreign market that would like to pretend that they live in America. The failure of GM management to see that for themselves says everything that needs to be said about why General Motors is struggling and jobs are being lost. And no politician or any amount of money in the world can fix their lack of vision and leadership.

And if you have any doubts about what I’ve said, just watch the videos on this article.  The proof is quite obvious, especially the last one.

Rich Hoffman

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Richard Hardy’s ‘The Program Manager’: A book more about communism in the corporate world than business, but well worth the read

You have to understand, I read a lot. A whole lot. And if I could, I’d read even more. Every time we have one of these Holiday seasons and all the people I know send me texts and emails wishing me good tidings and my response back to them is usually short and to the point, it’s usually because I’m rushing back to a book. That’s not all I do of course, I live a very full life, but I think reading a lot and maintaining my rule of reading at least one book a week all weeks of the year is very important. Professionally I am a professional problem solver, and I don’t spend any time looking over my shoulder the way a lot of people do worrying about being knocked off the ladder of success because honestly the root source of my magic is my ability to read and communicate what I have learned. But to be honest, it takes a lot of work. I don’t think there is any book on this planet that can teach people to be successful if they are not willing to do a lot of hard work. I would say to anybody who fantasizes about being successful that unless you are willing to outwork the other person, you will likely always be second place in anything you do, or in a lot of cases, dead last. If you lack drive, curiosity and a quest for knowledge you will not have much of a life, and those are just cold hard facts. My habit is to look at reading as a daily exercise and I do it as much as I can, and the results always give me a competitive advantage not so much over other people, but in the circumstances of challenges that are presented to us all. I like having the answers to questions before they are even asked, so keeping a brain fed is the best way to achieve that function.

Being the Holiday season of Thanksgiving where generally there are four consecutive days off every year it is a time to catch up my ratio for the year and to stay on target, I needed to read seven more books to catch up to my 2018 targets. Some of the books I read in 2018 were big ones so it can sometimes take a week or two longer to read them, which throws off my target, which I always catch up on during the two Holidays at the end of the year. Over this particular Holiday weekend I was able to read four books, some of them 300 to 400 pages, some of them only about 150. And surprisingly it was that shorter book called The Program Manager written back in 1999 and self-published by Richard Hardy formerly of Boeing that I enjoyed the most. Usually books on business topics are boring and the fun of life is not present in them. But its important to suffer through them because always there are little nuggets of information that need polished a bit before you can use them, but are of great value nevertheless.

Much to my surprise Richard Hardy likely nearing retirement hit on a very slippery topic in his book on how to be a program manager, and that is to articulate how much communism is present in the modern world both politically and within corporate structures. It really too me by surprise, but as an older guy it is understandable. But I’m sure within Boeing there was a lot of consternation about his book coming out, even if it was self-published and a little rough on the grammar. The insights are quite good and as you’d expect from someone at the top of their particular field of endeavor. I look at those kinds of books as though you had the opportunity to meet someone and have them tell you their life story and you can extract from that whatever you want. The professionalism of the publishing profession is to put it as bluntly as Richard Haley did, filled with communists. Of course, nobody calls themselves that, and many of the publishers in New York and London think that term is rubbish. They call themselves progressives now, or “environmental activists” but that is only because they don’t know their history. For students of history, not the history they teach you in public education or in college, what is present in almost everything, especially in the corporate world, is varying degrees of communism that people have just accepted over the last 100 years. A book like Hardy’s The Program Manager would never be published professionally by a New York publisher. But sometimes it is those books that are the most valuable to read.

And while we are being blunt, most of the Lean activities that most company’s employ to attempt to mitigate that trend is to get communist thinking of group associations and power from above structures to become more holistic instead of siloed. Cuba for instance as a communist country was extremely siloed meaning they were never open to outside ideas, but only the ones flowed from the top down. Lean concepts are all about decentralizing those sentiments so that the point of emphasis is the health of the company everyone works with. Like most politicians’ power structures within an organization chart become their obsession and they constantly view their workers as middle-class citizens, or even worse, among the poor and they spend a lot of time thinking about that class structure when they should be thinking about running a business. I was curious what Richard Hardy who worked in the very stringent Boeing culture did to solve problems in that environment and was surprised to find him such an Ayn Rand fan, an individualist who understood the nature of all things. After reading his book I’m not surprised that he was so successful and sought after. But I was surprised to learn how consistent it was to my own personal thoughts on the matter.

And that is what reading can do for you, just when you think you know everything that there is to know, you find yourself surprised by something that should be obvious but isn’t. When it comes to business books, most of them are very dry and philosophically dormant. They talk about how to do something but don’t really get into why companies are siloed or how holistic thinking can be good and sustainable for continued profit growth and employee sustainability. But Richard Hardy made his point quite well protecting the names of his fellow workers at Boeing and replacing them with a metaphor of bulls protecting a herd as essentially being the primary objective of the program manager. Most of what he said in his book are things that are easily obtained in other books and college level courses, but in his case he was talking about the development of the Joint Strike Fighter well in advance of our modern times which I remember being a part of, so I had some context to his subject, then to read some of the behind the scenes decisions and the why and hows was quite a treat. It was a very nice surprise that doesn’t come along too often.

I don’t know how well the copies of it that are still out there will be. I bought one that was in good condition arrive, but as I flipped through it the pages were falling out from being dry rotted. I practically had to tape the thing together as I read it to keep the book intact. But if you can get your hands on one not so much for the task of business management, but for understanding how communism entered all our lives and tried to change the nature of American life so subtly and over such a long period of time, it is a very interesting read and well worth the time in doing it.

Rich Hoffman

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The Death of Globalism: Climate activists and their great hoax are losing as Paris clearly shows

If you went to a baseball game to get to know a “globalist” better, especially a wealthy activist like George Soros, Barack Obama, or even George W. Bush what you would discover is that they are only people doing what they think is right. They wouldn’t come across as the vile, evil people that they really are because they think they are doing the right things as a collective society focused on collective attributes. They think that the way to end all wars is to take away all the things that people fight for, national borders, wealth acquisition, and innovation. They don’t care about all the good things that come from conflict which has advanced civilization, like aviation, radar technology and even medical practices because as progressives they are actually regressive who wish to step back in time and worship the collective deity of mother nature because in their youths they listened to old Beatles songs about coming together and that India had all the spiritual answers so our tasks in life were to divorce ourselves of our individuality and accept that we are all the light not the bulb. So we should endeavor to remove personal identities, possessions such as wives and families and private properties with fences around them and become citizens of the world and when we die, to assimilate into the great unknown where we become united with the same collective consciousness that moves the streams on earth and fills them with fish, or makes an eagle fly from tree to tree because we are all part of each other, and we need to learn to accept it. Yet, they are all wrong, and always have been.

Those globalist minded activists that have been running things for a long time, because they sold themselves in sheep’s clothing trying to hide the wolf within, are losing their influence. In 2016 things changed dramatically for them when a majority of the nation ignored all the traditional factors of election winning and voted to put Donald Trump in the White House. The guy was smart, self-made and wealthy so he could fight the fight that it would take because most of us have jobs and have to go along to get along to pay our bills, our mortgages and interact with people we have to make livings with who don’t always share our values. And with Donald Trump, he was an old man at the end of his life and had nothing to lose, so he could literally afford to piss off all the right people to do some great things for the country he loves while he still could. The globalists had manipulated the election process over the years to prevent just those types of circumstances from occurring all in one person, yet like a single sperm penetrating the egg of a human female against all odds of birth, a new movement was conceived, global populism and a reverence for the nationalism of their domestic countries. And now the world has evolved under great turmoil to a truly terrifying place for the average progressive.

People in Paris should have known that if they allowed their socialist country of France to adopt open socialism—or any socialism for that matter that the money would run out. For the last two weeks thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in the tourist part of town over high gas prices for which President Macron has promised to enforce to support the efforts of the mythical climate change that the globalists keep talking about. Everyone knows that the way to unite any opposition is to find some common flag that everyone can rally behind so globalists have been trying to use this climate change issue as that flag which was meant to transcend the concern of nations and their borders, and put people’s minds onto the fictional premise of deity worship in regards to mother earth. But now people have seen in President Trump that populism of a conservative nature is working and in sectors all across Europe there are challenges to the old order and even in the poor and broken hell hole of Tijuana, Mexico the mayor there is trying to become his own version of Donald Trump. People have seen that they have options to what the globalists have been offering and they are turning away from them first in spirit but now in elections.

But what about the 1,656 page climate change report by over 13 federal agencies called the National Climate Assessment report issued every four years by congress and is blaming every forest fire, flood and hurricane on climate change assuming that the earth never had these things happening until humans developed technology? What are we supposed to do with reports like that from supposedly respected institutions? After all, it is reports like that which has encouraged President Macron to raise taxes on French fuel costs artificially to pay for all their socialism. People are supposed to care about killing their planet and change their behavior domestically, not to hit the streets vandalizing popular tourist centers.

It is easy to become convinced that these globalists are winning because even in the United States socialism has now openly taken over the Democrat Party and they promise to make life hell for President Trump with countless congressional investigations underlined with a genuine hatred for all aspects of American capitalism except when they want to sip a latté at Starbucks. People like George Soros and even the Koch Brothers thought they had this whole globalism thing in the bag and the world was on an irreversible path, but Trump has beat them and taken away the fuel of their movement, and coming in 2019 the new sentiment of nationalism is destroying the cultural attempt at globalism. China is losing in the trade war in a major way against the United States. Russia isn’t even a consideration, notice how they have had to quit down in Ukraine and other places around the world? Korea is uniting and talking. Iran has been decimated and can barely feed themselves let alone sponsor terror around the Middle East. Mexico is actually defending the American border because they are terrified that Trump will close that border and destroy their tourist industry wrecking any aspects of a legitimate economy that they have left.

All through the Holiday season the global minded who run all the big networks these days, are trying to focus on the bad stock market numbers as a blame game on the Trump administration. But it is the uneasiness around the world that is causing that, the Democrats running the House of Representatives and destabilizing the markets, the tech stocks being caught data collecting for the ominous purpose of government conspiracy and losing the confidence of their consumers and a Federal Reserve that has been looking to play their part in the conspiracy by raising interest rates too early to slow down the steam and give globalists a few more tries at the plate before everything really takes off. But the writing is already on the wall. It’s too late. Now that people have tasted the freedom of Trump’s populism and seen the renewed benefits of nationalism, the trajectory of success is self-evident. And in truth, the world is turning to Trump for their answers, which is a great thing. And the globalists have lost in a big way, and for those who stand against them, thankfully so. It’s about time.

Rich Hoffman

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As The Wagons Circle: Trump’s real plan is revealed as Mexico is finally preparing to pay for the wall

Remember when Trump said he was going to build a wall on the southern border and Mexico was going to pay for it, well now the how is revealing itself. Now that the caravans have arrived and Tijuana is struggling to pay for all the new immigrants from Central America who were literally pushed into making the journey to the border looking for asylum American forces have been authorized to use force to prevent them from going any further, but it is Mexico who has been tasked with dealing with the issue or else—Trump is threatening to close the border. To those who haven’t been to Mexico lately that is a devastating proposition, because the entire country relies so heavily on American tourism that such a threat seriously jeopardizes the few legitimate businesses that Mexico produces, within the tourist industry. Without American tourism, and any Mexican will admit when asked, Mexico’s legitimate economy falls apart. So when Trump told Mexico to do something about the caravan, the leverage is clearly in the court of America and the beginnings of the Mexican payoff is emerging through all the political smoke.

With the Democrats coming into control of the House in January clearly the military budget is about to be reduced and the pressure to have continued open borders especially along the southern United States will increase. Drug dealers from south of the border without question are not happy that the American military is at the southern border stopping illegal crossings which have been coaxed along by these caravans of immigrants and the byproduct of that is a look at the world after Trump’s wall where drug smuggling suddenly got a lot harder. Democrats being the party of illegal activity and drug abuse are going to look keenly at resolving the immediate conflict so that the drug dealers can get back to work which all puts Trump in a commanding position with all the leverage.

The panic is full-blown as most people haven’t been paying attention to the news over the last several days, due to the American Holiday season. But Mathew Whitaker the acting Attorney General has come under serious attack by Democrats over supposed “Hatch Act” violations which occurred during a previous run for Senate. They obviously don’t want anybody but a lap dog to keep their Mueller conspiracy theory story going by a federal investigation initiated by the liberal activist James Comey. Jerome Corsi is being pushed into a plea deal to essentially root out any Wikileaks connections to the 2016 campaign, which is yet another attempt to fight many things on several fronts. There is currently a global motion to remove Wikileaks from any future campaigns and to kick Julian Assange out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Talk about a lack of freedom of the press. The whole effort is about complete control of the press under the ruse of “justice.” And a lawsuit against the Trump Foundation has been allowed to proceed by a Manhattan judge essentially to mire the President in legal battles on so many fronts that he won’t have any options available to him but to yield in mercy. That is the strategy. Isn’t it interesting how Democrats are so interested in justice when they have something they want done, but if the same effort is applied to them, it’s all a conspiracy theory. If the kind of evidence existed against Republicans, which it doesn’t, that occurred with the DNC, Hillary Clinton, the former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former President Obama Republicans should be having sit ins and protests for justice every day. But most Republicans don’t have the will to fight all the time so Democrats get away with things, but when they think they can use the law as a weapon they never hesitate.

But there is an Achilles heel to all this excitement, the border wall. The reason that Democrats want to remove Trump from office so viciously is in what he has the power to do, which is defend the nation from enemies. That is a right the Executive Branch has that fall outside the powers of the congress. Trump can also get nominations through the senate and can still appoint a new Attorney General with his Senate majority which also falls outside of the authority of congress. So the increase in panic from Democrats is due to the control Trump has on the southern border and there isn’t anything they can do about it. The stand-off there in Tijuana is the lead story in every circumstance because it has brought a halt to illegal immigration there, since the military is on the border, and drug dealing has trickled to a fraction of what it has been costing cartels millions and millions of dollars in adjustments to ship their poison through other means to their target buyers.

There are a lot of bad people at work and it all centers around the border wall which Trump has all the high ground to enforce. So no matter what side stories emerge, Trump’s border wall, or one that is currently being covered with military forces, is the key to the whole chess game. And in that game Mexico is going to end up paying for the wall because their tourism industry is under serious jeopardy. At this point they would do anything to get tourist activity back to some semblance of normalcy. All this controversy is not good for business, especially when tourism is all that they really have.

In the past when the United States had Presidents who needed advisors just to walk down the hall, having a business guy in office who understands the power of money and leverage has made a tremendous difference. Even with all the weapons that Democrats are throwing at Trump legally, the President has all the cards that matter, financial leverage on all fronts, and he knows how to play those cards and when. When Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador won the election to be the next Mexican president Trump was nice to him even though the politician was an extreme leftist. Trump didn’t care, he reached out a hand with offers to make future deals anyway, just as he has done with Nancy Pelosi in the congress. That is another benefit of having a business guy in the White House. A typical politician wouldn’t know what to do or how to wear the many different masks that are required to deal with such people. But also, as any business person understands, what you show isn’t always what you play, and now that the friendly relationship between Trump and Obrador has been in place, the burden to stop those caravans resides on Mexico, not America. Otherwise Trump can really hurt Mexico where they are most vulnerable—tourism.

It only took a few years to get to this point, but in the world of strategy, everything is happening right on time, and in spite of all the dirty tricks the Democrats are throwing at the situation. The open borders people are not happy, the poison they want to destroy America with is having major gaps in delivery. The future Democrat voters that they always hope to extract out of the immigrant community are stuck in Tijuana. Even the mayor of Tijuana is a kind of Trump supporter who is trying to bring the kind of populism seen in North America to that city of sin and intrigue, which is a new development on the world stage and all this is happening as we speak. As the wagons of court proceedings circle around Trump and his associates thinking that they have him trapped in a circular firing squad, Trump’s ultimate objective is at the border wall where nobody can touch him. And that will lead to a very exciting start to the new year!

Rich Hoffman

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The Real Killers of Jamal Khashoggi: The context of honesty regarding Trump’s defense of Saudi Arabia–never forget Seth Rich

Now we are seeing the evidence of how things became so screwed up before the Donald Trump presidency. As Black Friday dawned across the American continent and gas prices were down on average by .25 cents per gallon the issue of morality came up regarding public relations between our White House and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s direct relationship with the Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi. For some reason we were all supposed to be worried that the Prince put the hit out on the reporter and cut up his body in an embassy in Istanbul. The reporter himself was a friend of Osama Bin Laden saying of him, “I collapsed crying a while ago, heartbroken for you Abu Abdullah”, using Bin Laden’s nickname. “You were beautiful and brave in those beautiful days in Afghanistan, before you surrendered to hatred and passion. Khashoggi to put it simply in a very complex story was a liberal progressive on the world stage and had the sympathetic ear of all liberals trying to advance the world in a direction it didn’t want to go. Like most liberals they tried to use peer pressure applied through the media to destroy the lives of people whereas the Crown Prince still used old world tactics like death and torture to maintain power. So in such a world of vast immorality, How can any value be determined? Essentially in the power of the United States economy. That is where morality resides.

The reports are that it took seven minutes to die as assassins had injected the reporter with a numbing agent to alleviate the pain and stop the screaming. The hit squad listened to music on their head phones as they started cutting up the body, while still alive. They removed the body parts piece by piece and destroyed the evidence, just as Democrats had with their email evidence was well as our own F.B.I. in their attempts to have a coup against the incoming President Trump before he took power., and once the killing occurred, everyone went about their business. Turkey was outraged that the United States wouldn’t take action against Saudi Arabia who tried to dredge up the memory that it was Saudi Arabia who had backed the attacks of 9/11. But what they failed to mention was that it was the Jamal Khashoggi faction that supported the terrorism as he was a supporter of The Muslim Brotherhood. You might remember those guys who had personal invites to visit President Obama in the White House often from 2008 to 2015. It’s not a conspiracy theory or a “whisper campaign” to discredit the radical Khashoggi, but rather a fact. Ultimately in the war of power alignments in the Middle East with Israel in the middle of it all and Saudi Arabia to stand in direct conflict with Iran and Syria the urgings of the progressives are that all that should come to an end just because one of their own was killed in the conflict.

But there are other ways of destroying people, not just in cutting them up into little pieces and getting rid of the body so nobody will ever really no the gruesome details. Liberals in America literally did everything they could to destroy the life of Brett Kavanaugh prior to being confirmed on the Supreme Court. Liberals try desperately to destroy the careers of anybody who stands against them in the press, such an example would be the best-selling author Bill O’Reilly, formally on Fox News. They had no problem trying to use a phony sex scandal to destroy everything O’Reilly stood for, the media was so vicious that they didn’t care if he ever showed his face in public again. Did they physically kill O’Reilly, no, but that’s not how people destroy other people in civilized nations. In the Middle East, they still kill people literally. In the West, enemies of others try to kill the social footprint a person has in the world using democratic peer pressure to do the messy part of the work. We are talking about a double standard such as how the media did not hold Sherrod Brown from Ohio who had a history of domestic violence but ignored it so that the senator could defend his seat from the challenger Jim Renacci. Liberals don’t care about Khashoggi or moral clarity, they only care that they lost a voice in their attempts at global progressive crusades. They care about how they can change the world and gain power using ever manipulative tactics to do so. But nothing more.

And the people from the so-called conservative branch of things within the GOP such as Bob Corker and Bill Kristol, all Never-Trumpers who are raw displays of who various factions of the political right and left are still enemies of the President and the people who elected him, much the way the conflict between the Crown Prince and Khashoggi were. In Saudi Arabia they kill each other, in America we fight it out in the press. Is that better than killing a person, arguably it’s still aggression and conflict. Kristol isn’t going to be killed by Trump but the conflict is just as real between them. Enemies of the President would love to trap him into making enemies with Saudi Arabia so that by 2020 the American economy would be a wreck and people would blame Trump for the high gas prices and further instability in the Middle East. Why should Trump change all that over some progressive reporter who was against him too? Where is the incentive?

And Senator Menendez who just won reelection in New Jersey, by a little bit, is crying for morality over the Khashoggi murder too. Menendez the federal corruption charges guy who had all kinds of trouble in 2018 after a judge declared a mistrial barely saving him from serious jail time is on the lecture trail promoting action against Saudi Arabia. This is the same person who has an “F” with the NRA and anywhere else in the country besides liberal New Jersey wouldn’t be able to be elected on a one-person ticket suddenly has international credibility because he has come out against Trump’s support of Saudi Arabia. These are the kind of people who are standing against President Trump—these people aren’t any different from the assassins who chopped up Jamal Khashoggi. The only real difference is that they aren’t as literal in their villainy. But the are all villains attempting to change the world to their own version of it.

The only real morality of all these scandalous characters, and Trump clearly understands it, is the American economy. By siding with the Saudis in the world it gives him negotiating leverage for all future deals but more than anything it keeps gas prices down through the critical Holiday season. One bad move with the economy and all that positive GDP growth that the United States is experiencing could turn negative, and that is really what the liberal press and RINO conservatives like Corker and Kristol are after. Nobody ever cared about Jamal Khashoggi being cut up into little pieces, only that they in the media didn’t want the same thing to happen to them. But they will use anything to attempt to bring down President Trump, even if they can trap him into making an error in moral judgment that would destroy the American economy. And that military equipment that the United States is selling to Saudi Arabia, that is worth so much money, it means more than just jobs to Americans who make it, it’s all about having a friend in the Middle East that can stand against Iran and protect Israel. That is really what the liberal press is after, they want America out of the complicated Middle East so that progressivism can be ushered in on the backs of Islamic radicalism. And for that they will kill anybody literally or metaphorically. The American economy is the bright light that saves so many lives around the world, and without that light many more people die and are plundered out of existence by radical progressives and even members of America’s own intelligence agencies who still hope and pray for a one world order. The assassins cutting up Khashoggi were probably much more morally fit than the typical liberal operative, like James Comey, Hillary Clinton or even Peter Strzok. At least the assassins were conscious enough to listen to something pleasant while they did the dirty work. American liberals in many cases are much, much, much more brutal and uncaring. They can do the deed and lie to our faces without having to listen to any music, and that makes them very dangerous.

Just remember something, Seth Rich……………………………………The New York Times certainly didn’t do a big investigation on that murder directly attached to the DNC.  Hmm, and I don’t recall Saudi Arabia forcing a resolution on that murder.  So why Jamal Khashoggi?  Well, watch all these videos and use the questions that come from them be your guide to reality.  And when the question comes up about law enforcement covering up evidence to help create a political story, never forget what the F.B.I. did for Hillary Clinton.

Ultimately, this is why I support Julian Assange at Wikileaks.  I’ve been to the embassy there and I think the Trump administrating should stand with him as the world closes in to remove his journalism from the reporting of global news.  I personally don’t trust the media and their ties to governments.  This is just one case that shows the dangers.  I stand with Julian Assange!  That’s me in the picture at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange lives.  I consider it one of the few places in the world where real freedom of the press exists. 

Rich Hoffman

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Thankfully No Jokesters at the White House Correspondence Dinner in 2019: Respect and Leadership do not owe comedy “equality”

Honestly, I think the pick to put Ron Chernow as the headliner of this year’s White House Correspondence Dinner is a good one. His book on Grant was fabulous as he is a great historian and to me that should be the purpose of the dinner. This tradition of laughing at ourselves as a country is a pretty dumb one. How it got started in the first place is something that we should have revisited a long time ago. I understand the need for comedy, but there is psychologically something much more sinister going on at roasts of celebrities and people who have achieved great importance, and when it comes to President Trump, he has one clear message for his years as the leader of the Executive Branch, respect is a theme he has always wished to cultivate on projects he works on. This trend to make fun of everything so not to show that we as a culture and as a people don’t take ourselves too seriously has major flaws that should have ended after Johnny Carson and Bob Hope’s era closed. After them, the trend went out of control and has turned into a joke and that doesn’t help America be great, which for many in the typical White House Correspondence Dinner audience always wanted anyway.

I share with Trump a distaste for personal aggrandizement. I just never have participated in it and I don’t do it to other people. Part of the gift of thinking positive about everything is that it has to start with yourself and if you are making fun of some imperfection that you have to show the world that you aren’t any better than they are, well then you are a captor to their limitations for themselves. When you work hard to be the best person that you can be, why on earth would you sit around and let people find flaws in what you have done? Especially when the people making fun of you haven’t made any efforts themselves at greatness.

We all have grown up with this notion that its good not to take yourself very serious and it was always a false one. After all, if you don’t take yourself seriously, who else will, and in many cases—especially when it comes to children we raise, people we lead in industry or just friends and neighbors, they need someone to believe in. So if we allow our value to be cheapened by silly jokes about ourselves and allow our image to be brought down to earth where all the lazy and unambitious are sitting around as losers smoking pot, drinking too much and generally showing no yearning to live life to the fullest, then we have cheapened everything we individually stand for, and that has always been the point.

When people who do great things allow themselves to be chided and ridiculed with a display of humility it is a silent endorsement that the masses and all their lackluster effort are the standard and the efforts of the great are meant to be absorbed in the murky depths of social stagnation. There was always an unsaid truth between the person who makes fun of other people and those who allow it that states a lack of superiority in the target and if left unchecked the bar that we should all aspire to falls short. In my own personal life even as a very little kid people would tell me, especially adults, that you can’t go through life as if your shit doesn’t stink. You can’t go around acting like you are better than everyone else and expect to be a successful person, because they won’t let you into the gates of life if you don’t make peace with them. Well, I never listened and all those things they said were untrue. Reality states that if you are the best at things no matter what controversies are going on in your life, the world will beat a path to your door and line up to seek your attention, because they will need what you have to offer. So why would anybody who works harder than the average person ever give jokesters a seat at the table of equality by allowing puns to go unchecked.

People who want to elevate themselves by castigating the successful and harder working will call their targets “thin skinned” if they don’t silently endorse the efforts at equality by allowing it to continue. But why did it ever become necessary to “take a joke” especially if one doesn’t dish it out? I can tell you dear reader that the source of that trend comes from the same European concepts that invented Marxism and it never should have been allowed to set foot in American culture. Personally, I am a very positive person by nature. I think greatly of myself obviously and I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. I love myself and everything I do and I live every single day and every single second of that day trying to be the best that I can be. And when I deal with other people, I always look for the positives in them. I always try to extract out of them goodness and a positive self-image. People who fail to respond or persist to continue their lives as a joke and find jokes in others are really just too lazy to try to accomplish anything in life, so their attempts at jokes are meant to keep the bars of life low for everyone. I see this as detrimental to any productive culture and have never participated. I don’t let people make fun of me and I don’t make fun of them. If they do make fun of me, I will tear up whoever it is that is doing the banter because I see it as an attack not just on me as a person, but on what the efforts of goodness should stand for. Do I take myself seriously, yes? Of course! And for damn good reason. Everyone should, and I am happy to help them look in the mirror and like the person that looks back at them. But fault-finding is a very negative thing and has huge implications on the quality of any society, and I personally don’t allow it.

I have never thought it appropriate to have a White House Correspondence Dinner that centered around telling jokes and making fun of our own culture. People around the world watch the video clips and it doesn’t set a good standard for a country that leads the world to make. Why would anybody follow a culture that finds so much fault with itself? The answer is they wouldn’t. Yet that has always been the secret ambition of the jokesters, to keep others from following the great people of high ambition and taste, and to celebrate the weak losers of lazy aptitude. We are talking about the kind of society that celebrates the star football player in any school at the same level of the class clown to the point where the star plays right along to endorse the behavior because they think it’s the popular thing to do—and that if they don’t, they may lose their star status. That is the great ruse of our modern times, that jokesters are just as important as the stars that build the society.

I understand Trump’s reservations about the way the White House Correspondence Dinner has been conducted. After all it has the word “White House” in it so that is a brand that President Trump has a great interest in protecting. Why would he want to cheapen it with the jokes of the stupid and lazy, to lower its image on the world stage just so that he could appear “cool.” That’s what we say to people we want to lower their guard to us, “be cool.” Don’t get upset, just drop your standards and opinions and join us in the collective mud of civility where we are all equally bad, stupid and imperfect creatures of God. No thanks. I like striving for perfection every day and working as hard as I can to get there. The last thing I want to hear is some joke about my hair, or the way I talk, or other little nitpick. And Trump is of the same mind, and I don’t blame him for it one bit! One way to make America great again is to believe that its great to start with, and that requires looking at the greatness and celebrating it, not making fun of it and trying to demean it so that other people won’t feel the pressure to be better. They need to try to be better and not use jokes as a way to insulate themselves from the expectations of the ambitious.

Rich Hoffman

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Who Made Who: Trump made them, not the other way around

Since the election there has been quite a subtle shift, even from Fox News which many think is fueling the Trump presidency. There has certainly been a lot of anger leveled in the Fox News direction. But those thoughts come from people who really don’t know what is going on, they are clinging to ancient truths that no longer matter, and ways of thinking that are simply outdated, such as reverence for the military, concern about ancient Gods—in this case global warming, and a non-business first approach to virtually everything. Before Donald Trump won the presidency, the business class were only supposed to contribute money to political campaigns, they weren’t supposed to be making any of the real decisions, but that has changed, and likely forever and the resentments from those in the old world who were quite something to talk about back then, are suddenly finding themselves useless and passed over. As I said, even Fox News has been very critical of President Trump over military funeral visits, the dealing of Saudi Arabia and their assassinations, and every dip in the stock market. In truth Fox News doesn’t command the ratings of nearly the kind of audience that talk radio does, or the monthly publications of the NRA, so who really cares if Fox News goes even more liberal as the new CEO there seems to want to take it. It won’t make President Trump weaker, it will just inspire people to switch to new methods of getting the news they want, like Alex Jones online. People are going to get what they want one way or another and President Trump is a creation of that desire and the old guard just hasn’t come to terms with that notion yet. That much was very obvious on Saturday Night Live the weekend before Thanksgiving 2018. The following video makes their hatred of Trump abundantly obvious.

Petty is the word for their approach to President Trump but it really shows what kind of people are running things at NBC. The world is changing under their feet and one of their old superstars is now in the Executive Branch looking like he will easily win a second term. In a few years many in the modern media won’t be around any longer, the world has literally changed right under their feet and they were too busy bitching and trying to change the nature of human beings to notice it. As progressives attempting to play down all the attributes that make human beings great, such as thinking, a desire to change their environment, and a strong desire to change the direction of history in every generation, liberals have put themselves on a rope hanging from the edge of a vast metaphorical cliff which is coming untethered by the moment. And it can certainly be understood why they are anxious, and even angry. But that still doesn’t excuse them for their ignorance.

Speaking for myself, but as a representative of a Trump supporter it’s not important to me that Trump visits the military on Thanksgiving. I could care less, we aren’t at war in the world. The Afghanistan situation is a mess only because politicians made it that way. The way Trump has leveraged to win conflicts around the world is through economics. If the United States has all the money, and the wealth generated as the world’s largest oil producer, who cares what despots are doing around the world who are literally begging for a piece of that wealth. In Trump’s view we shouldn’t even have troops overseas, his goal is to get them home. This comparison to what President Bush did or Obama for that matter is just ridiculous. While Trump was making himself into a billionaire George W. Bush was abusing alcohol and cocaine living off the wealth of his family’s business. While many say that Trump benefited from his own father’s business there is a great difference, Bush chose to mooch off that wealth doing very little in his life to advance it while Trump was driven to the point of obsession with making his own mark in the world. Bush and Obama were not leaders, only in title. Trump is a true pace setter. He doesn’t have to live under the terms of presidents from the past who were essential failures.

There have also been many comparisons from those who don’t know much about history that Trump is a lot like Teddy Roosevelt in that he is an unconventional president who is facing many opportunities to bust up monopolies. With Roosevelt there was always a kind of hatred of those who had wealth as he was a lot like George W. Bush and was born with a silver spoon in his mouth never really learning how money was made. Trump did learn. Roosevelt went to war with the railroad and oil tycoons of the early 20th Century but Trump isn’t so inclined to ruin the billionaires who are working against him in the tech sector. Saturday Night Live was almost coaxing Trump into a fight with Jeff Bezos who has become the political left’s new champion because he is currently the richest man in the world. But what they don’t know is that Jeff Bezos could spend every last dollar of that wealth on the presidency and he couldn’t win it. You know why dear reader? Because he couldn’t win over people like you and I. I personally like Bezos as the head of Amazon and his ventures into space, but he’s kind of a weird guy. He couldn’t walk into an arena like Trump does and command so much energy. Trump built his wealth the old-fashioned way, through real estate in a tough market. Wealth by itself isn’t an automatic ability to do everything in life. Trump is smart enough to know that business deals with Saudi Arabia are good for America. Who cares if they assassinate a reporter from Jeff Bezos Washington Post? You see, there are other ways to skin a cat—direct conflicts are often not the way to go.

The drop in the tech stocks is for two reasons, the uncertainty of a potential Nancy Pelosi House of Representatives and unstable news from oversea markets. Once the smoke clears those tech stocks will be bought back up and will shoot back up to over 26,000. People who buy at the lower rate will become rich in just a few months, so buy up. The dip isn’t caused by tangible value, only by emotional reaction to a changing world. Regarding the House, as I said before the election, Republicans had to guard against massive cheating by Democrats and that looks to be just the case, not just in Florida, but in most of the counties where Democrats picked up seats. Early voting ballot tampering and massive I.D. fraud look to have given Democrats a few thousand votes here and there where they needed them. Trump seems to be OK with the Democrats taking over the House and the cheating that got them there because it paints a contrast that only helps him in the upcoming 2020 election. But the markets are nervous with all these socialists getting news time because Democrats are clearly anti market and that obviously has investors nervous and in a selloff mood.

The desperation is obvious by the other side and Saturday Night Live represents that vantage point. Their view of the world is so petty and ridiculous, yet that view has ruled for many thousands of years so we can’t blame them for their anxiety. And too many still think that if only they can capture Fox News into full liberalism that the Republican march toward a much more productive and optimistic 21st Century could be stopped. In truth, people will find alternatives, it’s not the news that makes people, its people who make the news and the networks are learning those hard lessons right now. Even at the core of NBC right now is the belief that they made Donald Trump, that they made him a star who could then win the presidency, and that they have the power to take that away. In truth it was the other way around, it was Trump that made NBC a star and opened the door for reality television, and that same influence is at work in the White House. And there isn’t anybody on the political left, or the right who can do it was well as Trump. And they hate the reality of that truth.  Remember the old song by ACDC called “Who Made Who?”  Trump and creators like him made the world, the media and many others are just living in it and it drives them crazy.

Rich Hoffman

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The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs: A review and an observation on the nature of existance

I have always loved westerns, they are uniquely American inventions born of our culture and the world watches them with great curiosity. If you are in a hotel in London or even Paris and Madrid, and flipping through the channels in the middle of the night, you will see lots of old westerns playing because to them there is great optimism in old American westerns. Westerns specifically show values easily in a stripped away fashion of what American values truly are, what a capitalist society truly thinks about itself and others. Hollywood essentially built itself on the strength of the western but leftist radicals’ intent on destroying America have launched a not so secret crusade against all westerns essentially, most obvious in big Disney productions like The Lone Ranger and the Star Wars film Solo: A Star Wars Story. Even in the disguise of science fiction such as Solo was, modern critics and the entertainment press in general want nothing to do with them, and they make it known as they try to torpedo those films at the box office leaving a clear message to filmmakers to stay away from the genre or else. Those who do so dare usually end up turning the American western into a Shakespearian tragedy which is certainly the case of the new one from the Coen Brothers called The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs, just released to Netflix and the video game by Rockstar Games called Red Dead Redemption 2. However, in the case of both references, Red Dead and Buster Sgruggs the old traditions of the American western are there and represented strongly and in the age of the Trump presidency, are quite necessary.

It wasn’t planned this way because Rockstar Games has been making Red Dead Redemption 2 for the last eight years, and the Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan have been writing The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs for the last 15 years so neither could have known what would happened in 2016 when Donald Trump would be elected president and the world would be shifting toward nationalism as opposed to a one world government. But with those events westerns such as these suddenly have much more appeal to the longing individualists struggling to make sense of our modern times. And let me tell you something dear reader, it is a real treat to get something as good as The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs delivered to the comfort of your own living room through Netflix as opposed to having to go to the theater to watch it. The film was released to limited theatrical presentations, but on a project like this very inventive western, it is a must watch for those with Netflix accounts.

However, I would not call The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs a traditional western such as Bonanza or Gunsmoke where the protagonists defeat the antagonists with great moral clarity by the end of the story set to uplifting music. Buster Sgruggs is a tragedy, but in all other aspects, it is a very epic achievement of art set against the canvas of America and is very much worth watching. The movie is divided up into six primary stories and is presented in a format much like the great film by Akira Kurosawa called Dreams. The six stories are very compelling but one in particular I felt a great affinity with, it was the story of an old gold digger panning for gold in some unlisted wilderness environment. I think that story said so much about the pros and cons of capitalism in a very simple setting that it was brilliant in its execution. That portion of the story was well worth watching all by itself.

I have a real love of old western towns and Buster Sgruggs had plenty of well-designed sets that were wonderfully built of old frontier towns. The reason I love those towns so much is that they say a lot about us as human beings, suddenly free from the aristocrats of politics and provided with great resources, what is it that humans desire to build. Modern cities have lots of added levels to them and the benefit of modern construction methods, but when you look at an old frontier town and consider the amount of human capital it took to build them, everything from downing the trees, to plaining the wood for construction to building every last thing by hand, to see a town build in a remote corner of the world for the purpose of a new economy freshly discovered in just a few years is quite a remarkable undertaking. And in a lot of ways The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs captured that dim hope that the human race placed in such projects without being overly preachy about it. Everything was wonderfully shot and was generally ambitious in the way that those old towns were constructed. The filmmakers seemed to have understood that yearning and applied the same effort to their craft to obvious effect.

Another particularly sad but very effective story was the segment involving Liam Neeson as he traveled the country with a quadriplegic orator. Not to give anything away, but it was quite a commentary on the human condition and why people do things that they do. The results were ultimately very depressing, but all too honest and I thought it was a wonderful display of high art. Way too sad, but honest and it really is a good format to tell a story like that in the context of a western where people for the first time in their lives were free to roam about on their own, without the protections of group affiliations or government reach.

Another such tragedy that I didn’t see the end coming was the segment about the Oregon Trail, wonderfully photographed in Nebraska with a real caravan of covered wagons. You can’t help but love the characters, they are very likable and you want to cheer them on to success. The love story that evolves is one that anybody would want to see flourish, but how it all ends was just sobering. Often human beings cut the rug out from under themselves all with good intentions, but we often write our own tragic ends in life before the story ever starts. And that was the case of that story, sad, tragic but worth living. It was a mesmerizing tail not so much of good and evil, but in stupidity and hope, blind faith, and the harsh realities of existence.

If you get a chance, I’d highly recommend The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs and to watch it with an open mind, without the pretense of previous westerns. I would not so much call this a tragedy set in the west because there are moments of great optimism in it. I for one had several favorite characters, my favorite probably being Buster Sgruggs himself and the banker who is tasked with fending off a bank robbery. I can really relate to that guy. But ultimately, I think my favorite character was the old man panning for gold. His shock and awe intertwined with endless hope and persistence is something that anybody could admire. And his story alone makes The Ballad of Buster Sgruggs worth watching. But lucky for us there is so much more to enjoy and it is a real achievement in these changing days of entertainment where something of that quality can be streamed at home rather than a theatrical experience which is yet another benchmark in our march into the future.

Rich Hoffman

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