Vote No by Saying Yes: How Great Issac Adi and Darbi Boddy are for Lakota

Issac Adi and Darbi Boddy for Lakota School Board

I could tell you many stories about politics that are dire and would make you want to climb under a rock and never get involved again.  But sometimes, some stories are fantastic, and that is the case with the two endorsed Lakota school board candidates, Issac Adi and Darbi Boddy, who are running to replace incumbent Democrats in November of 2021.  Every event I have been to with these two has been good; a few examples are shown below.  The video might be a little rough, but it’s what they say that matters.  Darbi and Issac work well together and are as unselfish as I’ve ever seen in politics, in any position. I’ve said from the beginning that I supported four candidates for the school board, but in this race this year, the Republican endorsement is what matters.  In the past, liberals have infected the school board, so critical race theory and transexual policies became part of the dominant conversation. They have managed to hide their intentions by calling the school board “nonpartisan.” Well, we know that nothing in politics is “nonpartisan,” especially the Lakota school board.  But when this idea of supporting school board members for Lakota came up, I never thought that two of them who would win the endorsement would like each other so well. That’s when the “can you imagines” started coming to my mind, where the school board represented the conservatives of Butler County, Ohio truly, and that they worked well together.  It’s one thing to have conservative votes on the board to manage things the way voters expect, but that they would perform functional management is a bonus that didn’t seem possible. 

Vote for Darbi Boddy

For instance, Issac Adi went door to door in my precinct, letting people know who he was and when to vote for him.  My wife noticed him in our neighborhood, and they struck up a conversation at the end of my driveway.  Issac recognized her immediately, which I thought was remarkable considering the number of people he has met over several months, including big names like Jim Jordan.  I would imagine his head is spinning with all the people he’s had to shake hands with, so it did impress me that he remembered my wife.  That is one thing about Issac Adi; he is one of the most sincere people I’ve ever met in politics.  He truly cares and is a good person.  So he remembers people and cares about them long after the handshake.  Of course, he wanted to know where I was which my wife told him I was babysitting my grandkids inside the house.  So he came up to see me and talk for a bit. 

After talking and catching up, I noticed that Issac wore Darbi’s campaign sticker on his shirt.  He was doing the hard work of going door to door on a pretty hot day, full of enthusiasm after talking to many hundreds of people personally, and he was promoting Darbi along the way.  Now I know that they are both endorsed and are part of the same team.  But the way the vote occurs, they very much have to run individually.   The top vote-getters are the ones who win in these kinds of elections, and it’s always hard to beat an incumbent.  The union vote and latte-sipping liberals always show up on election night, making it hard for conservatives to get a lot of votes.  But here was Issac promoting Darbi just as much as he was promoting himself.  And as I understand it, Darbi has been doing the same.  She was out promoting her and Issac as a team, not just individual candidates.  For any election, that is a pretty unique concept that doesn’t have a lot of historical precedents. 

Adding their votes to that of the current Lynda O’Conner would be a game-changer at Lakota.  I have been to other events where I have seen the three of them talking, and the chemistry is just there.  You can see it from a long way off. I’ve been dealing with school board issues in many districts around Ohio for twenty years, and I have never seen such a good combo.  Seeing Issac that day took some of my natural cynicism toward politics into a place it had never been before.  It seemed possible that at Lakota, something good had a chance to happen.  They are both so much better than the other alternatives, and if people had an opportunity to see that for themselves, these two could get elected.   There are still very significant obstacles, but as hard as they have worked throughout September and into October, it seemed like more than a fantasy and more of an eventual reality.  Usually, when I think of the Lakota school board, I typically think of severe dysfunction and people who do not know what they are doing with the money.  But here were genuinely competent and hard-working people who actually liked each other, at least as much as I’ve ever seen in politics, and there was a chance for great things to happen at Lakota for the first time in forever. 

Vote for Issac Adi for Lakota School Board

Issac had to eventually leave and return to the campaign trail from my house, but it took a while.  I enjoyed his company so much that it took us a long time to say goodbye that day.  I can say that I have been talking actively with many of the old No Lakota Levy people preparing ourselves for levy fights in the years to come.  The current school board has been trying to find the time to put one up for a vote to satisfy the out-of-control spending the teacher’s union expects.  This was an election year. Otherwise, the current board would have proposed a tax increase this year.  Likely, they’ll wait until next year now that they’ve agreed to give all those teachers sitting home on Covid excuses a raise that they’ll have to pay for next year.  But a levy fight is so damaging.  It’s much better to support a new school board that would manage the money that we already give them, which is a massive 200 million-plus budget.  If you can’t teach 17,000 kids on that, you have problems.  But the school board has never listened. Instead, they have attacked businesses for more money, like trolls always looking for a shakedown of tax revenue to pay for their reckless and infinite spending ultimately. Lakota’s school board has been deficit spending for their entire existence; no matter how much money we’ve given them, they never find a way not to spend more than they take in.  When they did have a surplus for a bit because of declining enrollment, they couldn’t wait to waste it on something new.  With this prospect of an actual conservative school board to replace the majority of liberals, great things can happen.  Issac and Darbi have done the work to get people to know who they are.  Now it will be up to the voters.  For the first time in many of their lifetimes, they have a great choice as the Lakota school district residents.  They can vote for the same old tax and spend liberals that have screwed up so much at Lakota.  Or, they can vote for Issac Adi and Darbi Boddy, who enjoy each other, work hard, and care to give the board a conservative majority for the first time.  If voters don’t vote for them, then when the tax increases come, people won’t be able to complain about it because they had a chance to say no to those tax increases by saying yes to Darbi Boddy and Issac Adi. 

Rich Hoffman

Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

We Don’t Have the Right Politics for Space Travel: We’ll have to change that before settling Mars

To move into Space, we need Capitalism as the driver of our politics

I am by far not an Elon Musk fanboy.  I like a lot about Elon Musk and the great work he does with Tesla and SpaceX.  But I’m not crazy at all about his talk about universal incomes and climate change.  I view a lot of what he says as a guy throwing up ideas, much the way he runs his companies, and if someone can shoot holes in his thoughts, he welcomes that chance.  He sees it as making things better.  I could talk and argue with Elon Musk all day and year, and I would have fun doing it.  And I think he would too.  But I found an extraordinary moment from him recently on Part III of the exclusive Everyday Astronaut interview where Elon walked them around the Starbase facility ahead of a Superheavy launch attempt. I’ll put those interviews up here for you to watch, but I found them remarkable.  Space X is how most companies should be run. It reminded me of the eventual aim of my recent book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, which is to learn not to be afraid of those who intend to impose fear on you.  To learn not to fall in love with rigid rules and to reunite yourself to risk because that’s how the human race advances.  During Part III, Elon paused and referred to just that very concept.  But he knows he can’t say such things.  He has all kinds of people who follow him, liberals, conservatives, people who have no idea what they are.  He currently has to work with the Biden administration if he wants to send ships into space.  He must also work with other countries, like China, because we are all tangled together in unhealthy ways.  So, I get why he couldn’t say what he wanted to say.  But I am under no such restriction. 

I don’t typically think of the “degrowth movement” as an accurate word. Still, the way Mark Levin talked about it in his recent book, American Marxism, seems more appropriate when talking about the sciences than just saying “socialism” or “communism.” Many young people think of these things not as a recent threat but as an ancient menace that expired well before their time.  But they understand growth, and for this topic, it’s certainly the correct way to term what the political left has been doing.  Elon Musk has played around with left-leaning ideas, such as the universal income, electric infrastructure ran by solar, and even smoking pot on a podcast to show how cool and hip he was.  Those are all things that have made me ignore what Elon Musk has been doing.  That is until he does something magnificent like developing the Falcon rockets for reusable landings and building the Starships in Texas.  Slowly over time, I’ve watched Elon as he has tried to do “growth” things in a world run increasingly by “degrowth” personalities; he has been getting frustrated.  For instance, he moved to Texas, leaving California behind after the ridiculous Covid policies shut down the state economically.  And recently, when environmentalists threw protests toward his desire to build a Starship factory at the Starport facility because of water concerns, he sounded more like a Trump supporter than a centralist libertarian. 

Musk is trying to do all pro-growth in a world being drug into a no-growth period by the participants of the Vico Cycle, which I explain in detail in my Gunfighter’s Guide to Business.  These cycles are not new to the human race, they have occurred many times in the past, and we end up constantly re-inventing ourselves.  And that is what Elon Musk sees he is up against, and he let it out a bit during that Part III interview.  That was the primary reason I wrote my book, to help people not repeat the past, but to punch through into this new space age not with restriction and fear, which the communists of the world want, but with unrestricted adventure fueled by the power of capitalism.  When it comes down to the various philosophies, we cannot all have different ideas about the direction of the human race.  We either want to grow or retreat into the huts of history and return to yelling at lightning bolts and attributing gods to their origins to make sense out of a storm.  Or, we want to fly about those mysteries into the worlds beyond and fulfill our quests for adventure, both large and small, on a vast playing field of unlimited possibilities.  The two views of the world will not live together forever.  The inflection point is upon us.

And that’s when Elon Musk realized that everything done at SpaceX would disappear in an instant without him.  It is he alone that is doing all these outstanding achievements.  Sure, he has lots of brilliant employees who do the heavy lifting, but he provides the vision, and without vision, nothing happens.  If human beings are going to be a space-oriented society, then a new type of government will have to be embraced.  The one we have now, which fought hard to keep Donald Trump from being president and wanted to get rid of him when he was, will not allow the efforts of Elon Musk either to carry humans into space.  We have to solve one problem at the philosophical level if we are ever to put 1 million people onto Mars like Elon Musk wants to do.  We have to have a growing economy with an increasing workforce to accommodate it all.  To have hundreds of thousands of people on the moon, Mars, and wherever else in the next couple of decades, Elon can do the math that was in his words during the interview.  The illogical politics of our current moment, driven by communism and Marxism, are just wrong for the adventure of space. 

Going even further, we have never solved these problems even in our science fiction, except perhaps in Star Wars.  People need to be free, adventurous, experimental, and free to fail for space to work.  A micromanaging government will always be in the way of what Elon Musk wants to do.  He can only smoke joints so much, enough to keep the parasites off his heels.  He can only spout off so much greenie weenie appeasement to keep the environmental protestors from standing in the way of a new Starship manufacturing plant in the middle of the desert.  And that is the point of my book, not to crawl back into the Old West and sleep in hot unairconditioned cabins using the restroom outside.  And getting water with a bucket every time you wanted a drink.  Modern conveniences are good to have.  But what we may not want to leave behind is the courage and adventure of discovery and wealth building.  I would say that those are far more essential things than climate preservation or the appeasement of soft-natured Marxists looking for a big daddy government to care for them the way their parents failed.  Once we solve those problems, we can then move to space.  Elon Musk has figured out how millions of people are excited about it and follow his every move.  They don’t know that the politics they wish to ignore are just the very thing that will keep their feet on the ground and their starships from flying.  We must solve the politics before we can solve the space. 

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

Ohio is Number One in Corruption: Jim Renacci wants to be the Ron DeSantis of the state to fix that

Wind Turbans in Ohio, part of the progressive push to change the state into Green Energy

It’s not murky for me at all.  Mike DeWine screwed up as governor of Ohio. He must go. He needs to be primaried, and the Republican brand in Ohio restored to honor before a general election where a Democrat will have to be defeated at the ballot box for control over our state.  The behavior of Democrats in the House and Senate indicates that they have a plan.  That plan is to exploit Ohio as the number one state in the category of corruption and to use that to implement their changes toward even more progressive agenda desires, which ironically has caused most of the problems so far.  DeWine has been hiding his vast incompetence behind the Covid crises, like many in government have, and now it’s gotten Ohio Republicans in trouble, and that situation needs a fast solution.  And one of the first Republicans to offer that solution and throw his hat in the ring has been Jim Renacci.  I was happy to have a chance to talk to Jim Renacci a bit this past week one on one. It’s the first time I’ve had that chance since his run for Senate against Sherrod Brown a few years prior.  Renacci has an exciting story which I touch on in the video above, and I had thought for a while, well before he announced that he would officially run for governor, that Jim would be suitable for it.  His pitch is essentially to be the Ron DeSantis of Ohio, open up markets and opportunities, and bring to the state good management that is no-nonsense and productive.  But more than anything, he wants to clean up the corruption and repair the Republican brand tainted by Mike DeWine and John Kasich, both progressives who opened the door to all this corruption, to begin with. 

I thought Jim was joking when he told me that Ohio was the number one state out of all 50 states in corruption.  That didn’t seem possible to me, but sure enough, I went home and looked it up, and that is the case as of 2021.  When DeWine was running for governor, many Tea Party groups were already saying that DeWine would be a corrupt governor, but people were willing to give him a chance.  As it turned out, they were right, and DeWine has essentially run as a Democrat most of the years that he’s been in office.  To hide his many missteps, he has turned to Covid to rescue him as many blue-state governors have, and that was, of course, to conceal the underlying corruption.  That is the obvious problem when a governor who is supposed to drive on the right side ends up on the left.  A collision with oncoming traffic is inevitable, and that’s what happened with the FirstEnergy debacle in Ohio that Mike DeWine has his hands all over.  The net result is that Democrats are currently planning to exploit these collisions and take seats in the House and Senate because of the corruption and capture the governor race with a damaged DeWine.  So Democrats currently aren’t willing to make any deals with Republicans as they wait out the next election because they can smell the blood in the water. 

I’ve said it before, House Speaker Larry Householder and other Republicans did wrong when they allowed FirstEnergy to pour a lot of money into the Republican Party.  That allowed the FBI to make a bribery case out of the tragedy involving a few nuclear power plants being pushed to shut down.  But things are not always the way they seem.  FirstEnergy was fighting for its life as the Obama administration targeted traditional forms of energy such as coal and nuclear in favor of solar and wind.  I found a few of those ridiculous wind power turbans in Greenville, Ohio, in the video above.  I had seen them all over the United States this year, and it was insulting to see them in Ohio.   A more significant push is going on that is far more corrupt than FirstEnergy trying to buy off politicians like Larry Householder for their survival.  Jim Renacci understands that kind of corruption because he’s been a victim of it himself.  He got into politics as a businessman who had lost his Chevy dealership by that same administration who tampered with the markets to create a change state at GM.  The collapse of General Motors into bankruptcy meant that the government could help restructure them into producing eco-friendly cars, which is what they are presently doing.  The bailout they received from the government was just as corrupt as anything FirstEnergy was involved in.  The difference was that the Obama administration controlled the DOJ.  And when Trump was president, the same radicals were still running the DOJ because he refused to act in such a corrupt way and call them out on their activism.   So now the FBI, run by those prominent government activists, wants to destroy companies like FirstEnergy unless they embrace these new wind and solar Obama initiatives.  They are picking winners and losers, which led to the corruption that eventually involved the many Republicans caught taking money from FirstEnergy so that they could keep their nuclear power plants open. 

I would say that this kind of corruption is going on in all states, and all their legislators are involved in some way or another.  But in Ohio, it’s a Trump state, and it has a target on its back for progressives that go way beyond reasonability.  That means we have to take a stand with this governor race and clean things before the general election vote for governor takes place.  Republicans have to take that step with a governor prospect that can rebuild the party behind an anti-corruption platform, and for me, Jim Renacci is just the right kind of guy for the job.  President Trump likes Jim quite a lot, and a Jim Renacci ticket that is pro-business, anti-corruption, and knows how to stand up to progressive tricks is just the ticket for the current challenges. I’m against corruption of any kind.  I don’t want my state tarnished with any corruption, let alone being number one in the entire country.  That is just embarrassing.  Not acceptable.  So when Jim Renacci sat across the table from me and looked me straight in the eye and told me what he wanted to do with being the Ron DeSantis of Ohio, I was just a little encouraged.  Ron DeSantis is the new gold standard for which all Republican governors should aspire, and if Renacci has that kind of scope for the governor job in mind, well, then that’s something I can get excited about.  So far, other candidates haven’t announced themselves for the governor race, but I don’t think this is something we need to fool around with.  Republicans need to understand the battle plan.  We need to retake the House at the Federal level, and we need a leader to do that.  We need to unite behind that cause and the people who can make that happen.  And we have to repair the corruption problem left in DeWine’s wake.  That will take someone like Renacci, who is dedicated to the cause, can get Trump behind the effort, and is willing to do the job in two steps, repairing the Republican Party, then defeating the Democrat challenger.   It helps when you can talk to someone like Jim to see if they are up for such a big job, and based on my experience, he is. 

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

There is Nothing Worse than Saying Something Cannot be Done: Managing unknowns for victory

Sometimes the Answers are Where Nobody Looks

For perspective, I feel like I say it 1000 times in a week; limits are meant to be overcome, not yielded to.  When I hear someone say, I can’t do this because of this, or I can’t do that, I immediately hear laziness in the terminology. It’s a lazy approach to life because skills are often needed to be developed to achieve a task.  And when people tell you that something can’t be done, it’s because they are too lazy to do it, plain and simple.  I understand limits, but as I talk about constantly in my new book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, perceptions of what is achievable today will be shattered tomorrow with lots of practice.  That is certainly the case with various fast draw competitions that go on all over the country that are less known to most of the world because they exist in pockets of Americana.  We seem to understand these kinds of things in sports, where rookies improve with experience, and that few people expect a newly drafted football player to go straight to the NFL and be a superstar.   It takes time and development to become great.  And that is true too in how we make all our livings.  When I hear someone tell me that it takes this much time to do this kind of thing, that is never a fixed value.  But is only a point of reference that should always be pushed for and achieved.  That is why I suggest that all business people stop thinking in controlled statistical ways and always look for innovation opportunities to explore what can be done, not what lazy people tell you can be.

Bullwhip Speed and Accuracy

Every year that I do the Annie Oakley Wild West Show in Darke County during the last weekend of July each year, I go through this process.  It’s always one of the fun weekends that I give myself to keep the world in focus.  I love Darke County, Ohio.  It reminds me of many towns out west and brings the heart of America close, so it’s easy to see.  And this year was no different.  We have the bullwhip competitions that I always participate in, where many of these ideas about business have matured over the years and eventually evolved into the themes of this book.  Now that I am one of the elderly participants, the competitions have become a period of self-reflection for me rather than a nervous do-or-die thing with legacy performers from years past.  As I also talk about in The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, young people need more than anything a reputation to launch them into life.  Well, I have my reputation well intact, and nobody can ever take that from me, even if the thing we are doing is relatively tiny in the scheme of things.  The bullwhip competitions of Annie Oakley for me were always a big deal because the people who do them are unique.  The activity is out of the box, and you develop a genuine respect for the people who share that space with you.  And the competition pushes you always to get better.  And once you push yourself to get better and have success, you realize that the same holds with just about everything in life, including decisions that cost millions of dollars either way if success or failure is utilized.  That may be the life I’m in now, but over the years, my grounding in these cowboy arts always kept things authentic to me and gave me perspectives that nobody else was considering, even though they probably should have. 

The two videos I’ve included in this article are from two bullwhip competitions from this latest 2021 Annie Oakley show.  I always do pretty well in those, but the value in winning has diminished a lot over time.  What matters most to me, what has become an obsession of sorts, is managing all the competition variables in these kinds of things.   In both competitions, the goal is to cut as many cups off the target stands at the fastest rate that you can.  One competition, the Speed Switch, requires you to do so with both hands.  The other, Speed and Accuracy, is all one hand and in sequence.  If you miss a cup, it’s a 5-second penalty.  You get two attempts at each cup.  You have to stand six feet from the target and not cross the line with your feet.  The time starts on your first crack.  Those are the rules.  That is the way participants interact with the competition.  Like in all things in life, that is how we plan to achieve success, cutting as many targets as possible in the fastest time you can.  What fascinates me is all the variables that come up in pressured events that can wreck those plans.  The people who usually win at these things, whether they are in bullwhip competitions or big business deals, can manage those variables. 

Bullwhip Speed Switch

Many talented people are good at the exhibitions in the bullwhip world, but not so good at the competitions.  Without the pressure of time, where they can show off the skills that they’ve practiced for hundreds of hours, they are magnificent world record holders, and it looks great for an audience.  But when they apply the same methods to a timed competition, things go bad and don’t look so good.  It has always fascinated me how the difference between the two is so applicable to life in general.  People who study and practice a lot in life can put on a great show.  But when the pressure is on, they usually choke.  That choke is what people tell me thousands of times a week and expect me to accept because that has become fashionable in the world, to accept failure. Instead, my thing is to get comfortable with pressure and danger and learn to manage the variables.  Not to yield to them.

I have done those contests for many decades now every year at the Annie Oakley event, and not a single one has ever been the same.  Sometimes the popper blasts off the end of my whip.  Sometimes the whip gets caught on the target stand, as happened this year.  Sometimes we perform on grass, sometimes on smoothed concrete where the whip slowly slides all over the place. Sometimes the wind kicks up and throws off your aim.  Sometimes, a speedy guy will have luck catching most of the targets on their first run, forcing you to go faster than you are comfortable with.  All those variables are what make the good from the bad.  It’s not the skill; everyone who competes has talent.  But it’s in how you manage the variables that matter most.  

Its all in fun, but is it……………………..?

Ultimately, that is one of the big takeaways from The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business. I’ve been a professional in the industry for more than three decades, and I work with people who also have a lot of experience.  Everyone has lots of experience; they go to college, get trained and try to do the best they can.  My point is that little things like these extra little competitions I do, such as bullwhip competitions force you to adapt to all the things they don’t teach you in an orthodox society.  How can you use your skills to accommodate all the things that happen that you don’t control?  Can you still win then?  Well, of course, you can.  But what makes me madder than a hornet that some kid has stuck a stick into its nest is when someone tells me something can’t be done because they have not learned themselves how to manage variables in their life.  That they accept that anything outside of their skill level is a mystery that they automatically yield to.  To me, that is just the kind of thing they should all be training for, in having the skill to do the job, but in honing those skills so that they can adapt to the variables that come up along the way.  That they can successfully manage the situation when it’s never optimal and still succeed. 

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

Just Another Bobblehead is Running for Lakota School Board: Douglas Horton and two other progressive incumbents seek to bring CRT to our community

Just a little school board news for the local crowd.  It’s relevant to the larger audience due to its importance in the scheme of things.  All school boards are essential, so I hope that by watching what goes on in my local school district of Lakota, other communities will learn a few things for their sakes.  A short time ago, I reported that Brad Lovell, an activist toward Critical Race Theory on the Lakota school board, took a significant six-figure job at Sycamore schools across town. His wife is still a teacher belonging to the teacher’s union at Lakota.  It was always a problem for Brad in this upcoming election as his seat was up this fall because he was double-dipping in many ways.  The wife, as an employee of the school he has managed, was a conflict of interest.  Then his Critical Race Theory activism was a real problem that had stirred up quite a hornet’s nest of angry, high-heeled moms recently activated to all this Lakota progressive activism by staying home with their kids due to Covid.  Before the Covid shutdowns, many people didn’t know about the massive radicalism penetrating all public schools from the state school board that had put their arms around the Marxist Black Lives Matters movement.  They were looking to impose it on all students, everywhere.  So with all that to consider, it was brilliant for Brad to take his big administrative job using the Lakota school board as a springboard and stay out of the upcoming election.  But of course, the other progressive activists on the Lakota school board would want a Brad replacement.  The currently liberal activists voting for all progressive causes like transgender rights and BLM are Julie Schaffer, Kelly Casper, and the newest member Michael Pearl. They had been in lockstep with Brad toward the BLM movement, putting Michael Pearl in front as a kind of shield from reality.  They needed another Brad to keep things going on the board, so they picked a bobblehead candidate who would surely rubberstamp every vote the three activists came up with by the name of Douglas Horton. 

Just another Bobblehead on School Board

Like I said in the video above, I’m not the one who made a bobblehead of myself and put it on a Facebook page.  And that says a lot about who Douglas Horton is as a person.  I have committed hundreds of thousands of words toward the psychology of school board members, and there is no question that the roles typically inspire the more liberal activists in any community.  I also talk a lot about the nonpartisan nature of school boards, which is dangerous because it hides liberal activism.   For instance, a candidate like Horton will likely claim to be a Republican by voting record, just as Brad claimed to be. Still, in reality, they know that they’d have no chance in a Republican stronghold like Butler County unless they did claim to be conservative.  The problem is always in how left or right-center on a political scale is measured.  Modern media and the soccer mom sentiment think that being right of center politically measures socialism and communism.  Not free-market capitalism and regulated commerce.  When media people talk about candidates being hard right or hard left, their scale is measured with the center of those indications already being in the world of communism.  So everything is on the left, and that is where we start with people like Brad Lovell and his school board replacement, Douglas Horton.  As long as nobody digs too deep into their minds, nobody, including themselves, knows what the hell they are, which is why sports is always a good distraction for them.  It allows them to hide their liberalism from even themselves because sports is generally an excellent neutral ground in the world, except for the recent politics of wokeness, which is changing rapidly.

The candidates I am supporting for the three seats coming up this fall on the Lakota school board are Vanessa Wells, Issac Adi, Karine Causse, and Darbi Boddy.  I know all those names very well, just as I know the needs of the Lakota school board, and am excited at the prospect of any three of them replacing the incumbents.  Another thing I say all the time, especially these days, is if you don’t like the management of your government, then replace them.  And that certainly holds on school boards.  Instead of crying and whining about how evil Critical Race Theory is and being a victim of transgender progressive values, replace the school board, and this year, voters will have that chance.  One thing that concerns me is that there are many candidates and voter engagement in school board elections is generally 5% to 10%.  That makes it hard to beat incumbents, and they will always get the standard teacher’s union activist vote to protect the high wages that unionized teachers always get.  These elections work because the top three vote-getters will be the new board members, so any challengers to the incumbents will have a steep hill to climb in voter engagement. But that problem can be solved with increased voter engagement. I think these school board challengers I mentioned that I liked are all outstanding, very articulate, and genuinely have their hearts into what is best for Lakota.  We’ve had a mismanaged mess of liberalism and progressive sentiment loaded with problems, so it will be interesting to see how things flush out.

But as an example of everything we don’t want in one of these school board positions is Douglas Horton, who is tone-death that he thought it wise to display a bobblehead of himself and use it as a Facebook profile picture.  It might be a cute thing to do for someone’s mancave or as some joke at a fraternity party.  People might giggle over it at a drinking party of young thirty-somethings who are new in life and have kids just going to Lakota who have no idea what they are doing in the world.  But Lakota is made up of a lot of older people who are staunch Trump supporters.  Their kids have long ago left the house, and they are stuck paying all the extraordinary taxes that this current school board has imposed on them, and they aren’t happy about it one bit.  And they are not pleased about the Critical Race Theory commitment that this current board has allowed infecting their community.  I don’t want to pick on Doug, but a quick check on his name brought up that bobblehead which is more than just a metaphor.  Knowing that Brad wasn’t going to file for another term because he needed to move on before the brand damage of this upcoming election smeared him for good says everything about how Douglas Horton ended up on the list.  He thinks he has a chance based on the types of people he associates with.  But the rest of the school board members do too, and they think that’s the world we live in, where bobbleheads rubberstamp whatever comes out of the Ohio School Board, and ultimately, the crooked Biden White House.   Yet, I have news for those who think that way, it will take more than a bobblehead to run Lakota, and I don’t think anybody in that camp understands to what degree.

Rich Hoffman

The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business
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Blue Origin’s Spaceflight: The unfortunate cost of being one of the world’s most hated men

What Should Have Been

I wanted to enjoy the rocket launch of Blue Origin as it occurred in July of 2021.  But, hey, it’s Jeff Bezos. I’ve written many good articles on Bezos in the pre-Trump days, but he’s come out as so anti-Trump, that it’s impossible to like the guy.  But as a big fan of commercialized space and the steps Bezos had played in making it more of a reality, I did my best to put all that aside to support what he did when he went to space with three other people to prove that traveling into space could be so easy that anybody could do it.  And it was, the space flight itself was great.  The Blue Origin rocket itself was brilliant.  It took off effortlessly with minimal infrastructure and flew out into space without any sign of struggle.  The booster rocket returned to earth and landed like a special effect from some excellent science fiction movie.  It was so good that it didn’t look real.  Then, the capsule containing the passengers came back to earth and landed almost where they had all taken off.  Nobody emerged from the vehicle looking chaotic or stressed out. It was smooth as silk and quite an achievement for commercial spaceflight.  Jeff Bezos even wore a cowboy hat before and after to understand the kind of mentality it will take to commercialize space. That space flight itself did not have to involve pressure suits and other inconveniences.  In all those ways, the flight was enormously successful. However, spaceflight was never going to be the problem.  The problem was Bezos himself.  As one of the world’s wealthiest people, that, of course, makes him a target of every bootlicker there is.  Add to that the awkward nature of Bezos himself, where he always comes out sounding like a Bond villain, even at a birthday party, and the PR for the spaceflight was just terrible. 

After what Amazon did to Parler after the Trump election of 2020, it was the final straw for me.  Amazon is a great place to buy books and just about anything else you might want, but now they had made themselves political activists, and that was the beginning of their eventual doom.  Their branding would be harmed forever.  Now that won’t matter, but it will slowly rot Amazon in the years to come because they essentially alienated 80 million Trump-voting Americans, which will be a real problem in the future.  I responded by moving my book, The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business, from Amazon’s Bookbaby and moved it to a more conservative publisher, which took some effort.  Amazon is the largest bookseller globally, so my current publisher lists books there, but I was not about to publish my book with Amazon, even though they have tremendous resources.  It comes down to Jeff Bezos and his activism that is the problem.  I often forgive, to some extent, rich people and how they have to appease the mobs of progressivism. Still, Bezos has gone too far in trying to control the corrosive elements of progressivism by becoming one of its spokesmen.  And that is what ruined his spaceflight.  After the historic flight, Bezos gave $100 million as a donation to liberal causes to the communist Van Jones, which was simply unforgivable. 

I get it; Bezos didn’t have any blacks on the space flight, so he had to do something for the black community to justify his picks for space.  But that didn’t stop the onslaught of hatred that emerged after the flight, everything from the rocket looking like a penis to Bezos’s cowboy hat during the journey.  People don’t like Bezos because he presents himself as a progressive hack.  Like many other modern people of great wealth, they think the future is in globalism, so they have worked against American tradition to favor a change state government that liberals will run.  And that dream is falling apart in their hands, running like water between their fingers, and Bezos seems to have an understanding of that.  After all, Amazon knows that conservative books are outselling liberal books by a lot so that the trend won’t be going in the direction of Van Jones.  Bezos has gone all-in on betting that liberalism would win anyway, and that has created a level of tension that is ever-present with anything attached to Blue Origin.  Of course, Bezos shares that problem with the Walt Disney Company who has also gone all-in on a progressive world of tomorrow.  But like Virgin Galactic’s journey to space, they made the mistake of miscategorizing space travel as an extension of preserving the earth rather than escaping from it.  Bezos made comments about looking back on the earth from space and appreciating that we are all in it together or something stupid like that; it came out sounding terrible.  Not something people could feel proud of. 

That’s the sad part of the story; what should have been a great day came out as a bla.  A perfect feat of engineering that involved many thousands of people turned out to be all about the odd personality of Jeff Bezos.  Nobody cared about his mom, his brother, or the other passengers because the entire event came out as a pr appeasement of progressive erosion to give a rich person a ride into space.  The scope of the effort was lost in the hatred toward Jeff Bezos by a public that decided it just doesn’t like him.  And if he were the kind of person who could care less, it would at least be honest.  But he tries to pull the shades over everyone’s eyes, including Van Jones.  To cover that ground of oddness, he just tossed $100 million to a devout global communist from CNN, giving more power to an enemy of Americana all the while trying to appeal to the cowboys and Trump voters by wearing the cowboy hat.  What he ended up doing was making everyone mad.  The story of space was lost in the drama, which is saying a lot.  With such an outstanding achievement into the vastness of space, all people saw was a way to poke fun at Bezos, one of the world’s most hated people.  But people don’t tell him they hate him because they want a chance to maybe get some money from him at some point.  Yet as I say all the time, you can tell a lot more about people by what they do, not necessarily what they say.  And that is what came in the aftermath of the Blue Origin space flight; people could only find fault in an otherwise faultless flight.  A journey to space without error, as predictable as the hands on a clock, but as hated as a pile of cow dung.  The public would have instead had anybody else go to space aside from Jeff Bezos. That’s what’s sad about the effort; rather than advance space travel, it had the feeling of setting it back by decades.  Giving that big check to a communist as payment for letting the socialists and the communists of the world let Bezos go to space came out as an ominous message of appeasement rather than freedom.   It said to the world that we are slaves to it and the communist greenie weenies who inhabit its service like a virus of thought that seeks to chain humans to earth forever and never let go. 

Rich Hoffman

Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

The Great Option of Homeschooling: To see just how bad public schools are, walk the halls of Lakota

Saving Kids by Homeschooling Them

Just to let you know how bad it is, the pictures included here were taken in one of the 22 schools within my school district of Lakota.  As you’ll see, it’s all about Critical Race Theory, all the time with them.  So much so I would consider them a danger to any child.  I would never in a million years send any kid of mine to a public school these days.  If you want to know what’s wrong with public schools, take a walk through the halls of Lakota in Cincinnati, Ohio, and you’ll get a good idea.  I never thought they were any good, but now, they are just horrendous.  Ironically, just as revealing as those pictures were, I had the chance to meet up with some old friends at the Annie Oakley Wild West Show I’ve been involved in for over a few decades.  They have a swarm of kids I’ve watched grow up, and now they are all bloomed.  I only see them once a year, so it has been fascinating watching them grow, and I can only say that they are such intelligent and fully developed kids.  They are super nice kids, very gifted, socially extremely confident.  They don’t have that beat-down look on their faces that most children have these days, 22 and under.  Taking those kids out of the cesspool of public education has been great for them. The results show after looking at those pictures from the walls of Lakota schools, which is reflective of all public schools all over the country, it’s easy to see why parents are upset.  They have a right to be. But at least there is a silver lining I’ve known about but haven’t had much exposure to.  Like the kids I mentioned who have homeschooled their entire lives, more and more parents are taking advantage of that option.  My kids are a few of them, and they were over this week showing me the learning material they have for starting this school year, and I have to say, I was very impressed. 

This is what is in the Halls of Lakota Schools

I remember what it was like; as I told in the story above, public schools have been garbage for decades.  They weren’t very good when I was in school.  They were terrible when my kids were going to school, so much so that we homeschooled for one of their years, and in their last two years, they finished their courses online and graduated at home.  Both of my children graduated early and spent time in Europe learning about the world while their classmates from Lakota were still trying to get a date for the prom.  And as for today, I would say, if you love your children at all, do not send them to the garbage heap that is public school for the life of you.  It’s no accident at Lakota and many other schools that they have started All Day Kindergarten because that is all that government schools are to parents, a free babysitting service ran by radical progressive activists paid for by the taxpayers.  That is why they are also pushing pre-school options because parents have kids, but they need to get back to work.  So they drop their kids off at these government schools to raise because they need the free babysitting, then wonder 12 years later why their kids are all screwed up as young adults.  Well, it doesn’t have to be that way, and my kids love their kids, so they’ve been looking for options, and what they brought me to show me was some of the most wonderful homeschooling material I’ve ever seen.  There was a time when my wife and I homeschooled our kids because the public school at the time, Mason, wanted to teach sex education in the 4th grade by putting a condom on a cucumber.  Well, these were my kids; they were little and were never going to have an opportunity to need to learn to put a condom on a penis.  My kids were going to be little and learning as much as they could as long as I could fight off the evils of the world to let their childhoods be as good as possible.  The school freaked out when my wife and I wouldn’t sign the permission slip, and a fight ensued that got quite bad.  It resulted in us pulling our kids from school and homeschooling for a year, which at that time was one of the hardest things we had ever done.

CRT at Lakota Schools

It wasn’t the education that was hard; it was the social stigma.  I never cared, but it mattered to my wife.  We were in our 30s at the time, and we did not have the support of our parents.  For our parents and society in general, public school was about dances, school jackets, and class rings.  They were the kind of people who went to their class reunions at five and 10-year intervals.  The friends they made in public school lasted a lifetime.  It was like the movie Grease, the school was about friends and memories, and they hated that we were robbing our children of those great things.

They Have Groups for Everything, But American Appreciation at Lakota

Only, school had changed since their days, and they had no idea what was going on.  When the Department of Education was put in place by teacher union lobbying in 1979, I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade at the time.  I was able to watch firsthand how that old view of public education changed into a radical political cesspool controlled by labor unions and their leftist desires.  I hated school more and more each year I was there; it was stifling to creativity and involved too much group think.   By the time my kids went to school, it was worse.  Not in the first few years, but by the time they were trying to push off sex education to 4th graders, it had gotten out of control.  Most of the kids were going home to empty houses from the school’s logic, and the kids were having sex until the parents got home from their jobs.  But that wasn’t fair to the kids who went home to a loving parent or two and had good lives at home.  Those kids didn’t need to be destroyed by such education methods of social rendering at the expense of innocence.  So the only real option was to homeschool them, but back then, when my kids were of that age, there wasn’t great social support. 

The Future is Women, so think of all the Young White Boys, what are they Supposed to do?

Now that has changed, my kids will teach all their kids at home, and all their Instagram friends think it’s great.  Of course, they have parental support from us, but more than that, most of their friends are saying now that they wish they could afford to teach their kids at home instead of sending them to these terrible public schools.  The branding of public schools has gone south over the years.  Most adults who have kids wish they made enough money to either send their kids to private schools or take advantage of the tremendous network of homeschool resources available now.  They feel the same way the rest of us think about public schools, except they don’t have the option of staying home because they have jobs to teach their kids at home.  My kids have built their life around the matter, and I’m proud of them, even more so now that I’ve seen what kind of resources my grandchildren will have to work with. I’ve seen the results of homeschooled children.  Every kid in America should have such a chance at a good education.  But they just aren’t going to get it at these misrun government schools as they are today.  If you love your kid, you will not send them to any of them.  Because if there is anything genuinely equal in this world, it’s that public schools are all equally bad.  If the government runs them, they are terrible for your kid, and you should do everything you can to avoid those places at all costs.      

Rich Hoffman

Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

Saving America: We’ve become stupid, its time to change that

We have to become Smarter as a Nation

For my own anger management, the travel I’ve done around America so far in 2021 has been very redeeming; I’d recommend it to anybody who has found themselves stressed out over the election of 2020 to put things in perspective.  My travel certainly did it for me, especially after spending one of my travel days at Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood on the same day.  All of my kids have been significantly harmed by Covid.  I have personally been hurt by it, just as everyone has.  I took Covid very personally.  The government was anti-Constitutional, and I see nothing in life that is worth violating those laws.  Then when you add the election fraud and the reality of having the most progressive administration in the history of America inserted in our government, ruining all our lives even further, I was either ready to blow up and become the character from the movie, Falling Down.  Or I was going to figure out something that has eluded civilization so far and bring back the boons of it for the benefit of all.  So I picked the latter and hit the road with my entire family in our RV, and we had a marvelous time discovering America and seeing many things that I had only read about.  To say that any of the places were my favorite places would be disingenuous.  Everything was wonderful.  But I found at Mt. Rushmore an itch I had been trying to scratch for years, and I can only tell you that it eased my mind considerably.   A combination of that travel day, reading all the books I bought along the way, and reading them nightly at our campsites in my favorite chair set up next to my portable traveling office gave me a fresh perspective that I did not think possible.  But it was possible, and I would like to share the results with others out there, such as you, dear reader who might find comfort in those results. 

After our last trip to Europe, my wife and I decided that we didn’t want to visit overseas anywhere again until we saw almost everything in our own country.  It took us a few years to build up to it, but we bought an RV and committed ourselves to the task.  At the time, we didn’t know the world would be turned upside down, but that it did only elevated the urgency to travel more.  After the massive letdown of our government with Covid and the obvious disappointment on Election Day 2020, where people went to bed thinking Trump won, then waking up seeing that Biden had, we accelerated our plans. We hit the road so I could think things through.  I needed to go out into the deserts of our country away from everyone and think.  To stop by gas stations and not use their dirty bathrooms, but those in our RV.  To get our drinks out of the refrigerator and climb off the grid for a while.  Also, to read lots of books without hotel staff bothering me or even bothering to go out to dinner.  I wanted everything to be with me and to have my home with me at all times, even as the scenery outside that home changed by the hour.  I think a culmination of all those elements made Mt. Rushmore much more potent for me.

As we visited Mt. Rushmore, I was thinking of the British Museum in London, and the Louvre in Paris, even some of the temples and monuments I had visited in Japan and I have to say, it was my favorite place of all, so far in my life.  I’ve been to many exotic locations worldwide, even most exquisitely, the temples and pyramids of the Mayan culture, and Mt. Rushmore was the best.  It far exceeded my expectations.  It was not because of the fine stonework and the viewing platforms they had erected but because the entire place was dedicated to intelligence and philosophy.  It was the perfect place for me at the ideal time for my thoughts, and I came away with some authentically fresh perspective.  It was that itch I had always been trying to scratch, and I felt a tremendous amount of relief after visiting there.  At that same time as I was at that monument, my publisher was putting the final touches of my Gunfighter’s Guide to Business out for my last review, which I had been structuring as a strategy guide for making businesses successful, but countries as well.  So, I was in the perfect place, and this is a feeling that will stay with me for a long time. 

We often take it for granted that our country can handle anything.  We’ve allowed our people to become corrupt, sexually obsessed, drug-influenced, and, through our public education system, turned into absolute idiots.  We weren’t born that way, but we have allowed many jealous outside influences to harm our intellects as a country, and we have now seen the result.  We have seen the attacks on our culture culminate into the mass calamity of our times.  But still, I saw in people during that trip, all day there at Mt. Rushmore, then up in Deadwood, Americans are so resilient.  Even with all the devastation, these were not conquered people.  The system of American freedom had proven that even with all the pitfalls we have experienced, our nation could withstand it all.  But to indeed have a great country, we needed places of intelligence to raise our intellects to where a great country should expect to be.  If we wanted to save America from the attackers worldwide who wanted to bring it down, many of who are now acting as domestic enemies, we would have to get smarter as a culture. 

As usual for me, books and time to read them helped my anxieties tremendously, and they would do the same for you.  For anybody.  And to truly save this country, that is the key to not just saving it but keeping it that way.  Mt. Rushmore was built to remind people, such as in times like these, why we tried to create a country in the first place.  It worked so well, we have taken it for granted, and many people have allowed themselves to be seduced by the antics of the world.  They have been seduced by stupidity and told that it was a virtue.   Well, stupidity is not a virtue.  We were told that we should lower our defenses and allow insurgents to raid us through our schools, through our businesses, and corrupt our politics so that there would be no sign of a republic for which we could hope to stand.   If we want to keep our country great, we must get more intelligent as a culture; we have to return to the times of readers like Lincoln and Roosevelt.  Of Jefferson, who started the Library of Congress with his collection of books.  America was built on philosophy and intelligence.  It was a divorce from the stupidity of the world, not in adoration of it.  And even in our own family, my wife and I have traveled the world only to realize that the best things were always around us.  Yet we did not see those places because the world was saying that everything else was great.  Well, I’ve been to those places, and nothing was better than Mt. Rushmore.  And there has been no more satisfying experience than in reading the books I brought from there.  If I seem content in my thoughts these days, it’s because of this minor boon, which I think has the power to change the world. 

Rich Hoffman

Click to buy The Gunfighter’s Guide to Business

Thomas Jefferson Was No Racist: And if not for America–and Republicans, there would still be slavery

Thomas Jefferson was not a racist, he worked to free the slaves and everyone of color

It was tough to watch over the 4th of July weekend the utterances of the many Marxists who have gathered people of color on a typical Kotter change state strategy to disparage Mt. Rushmore and the Founding Fathers. Knowing what I do about the country’s origin that anyone with just a little reading could discover, they’d be insulted too.  I just returned from Mt. Rushmore a few weeks ago, as of this writing, and I found it profoundly refreshing and intellectual.  There was a lot more to do at Mt. Rushmore than getting out of the car and look at some carvings on the big rock wall.  It was a temple of conceptual understanding into the nature of a functioning republic, something that had been attempted by Roman and Greek societies thousands of years ago.  It has only recently been resurrected from the impact of the Dark Ages, where mysticism and religion had placed over all humankind in the East and West a cloak a stupidity that held down civilization during the entire duration.  Only what the Founding Fathers proposed improved those lessons learned, not a return to the Greek or Roman, but a superior next step.  And if not for the people on that big stone mountain in South Dakota, there would still be slavery in the world.  America freed the slaves.  Republicans were the ones who did it, and Thomas Jefferson, even though he started as a slave owner for lots of social reasons specific at that time, worked behind the scenes to end slavery one way or another from the very beginning.

As I said in the video above, and in other videos, they had a couple of fabulous bookstores at Mt Rushmore.  At the very end of the viewing stand in the basement, one looks out over the statues through a big window.  I had read about 75% of the books in that bookstore before, but there was a treasure trove of about 25% that I hadn’t, and I bought them up.  One of the books was a little thing about Thomas Jefferson in his own words that I found very refreshing. I’ve read many books on Jefferson, all of which were written by the modern progressive biographers who have put work out that we see today on historical figures.  I find what they all have in common, even though I enjoy their work, perhaps none more than Edmund Morris, is a need to always put a progressive slant on their work to appease the market gatekeepers.  The big New York publishers all have the strategy of obtaining a New York Times review for the covers of their products.  To get that review, the author must pour some salt on the subject and show that they were not magnificent characters of history but rather people like you and me.  They are meant to be brought down to the ordinary level of the mud trollers who lean toward socialism out of laziness instead of the ambition of capitalism.  In that case, Jefferson has been attacked for his slave ownership and his alleged sexual relationship with Sally Hemings.  The purpose of all this side story stuff is to demean the great thoughts he evoked in creating a Declaration of Independence and the assistance in shaping a functioning Constitution for our new republic.  Not a “democracy,” a REPUBLIC. 

I left Mt. Rushmore with my new books in hand. I read them whenever I could throughout the rest of the trip, starting with this book on Jefferson because it was so relevant to the news of our day.  Our republic is under attack by race-baiters hiding their Marxism behind the guilt of slavery. They expect to use it to crush the morality of America into a change state of oppression and eventual control by the United Nations—which is already infiltrated by communists, socialists, and outright Marxists.  When these people talk of global unity, they are talking about socialism and communism being the method of government, and for that to happen, they must topple the United States from economic power. They work every day to do it.  Their best method of doing it is to convince the people of our republic to give up on capitalism which they think is quite possible due to the teacher union control of our education system.  The other way they plan to do it is to remove our good history of America’s foundation from our current reality.  That is why Mt. Rushmore is to them a bitter enemy which they hate.  It was also essential to build Mt. Rushmore in the first place, so people would never forget it. 

I also bought several other books across Kansas that talked in detail about the battle between the Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers well before the Civil War took place, the events of Bloody Kansas that led to the war itself.  America was never a racist nation to have those kinds of fights occurring, of which the Jayhawks, the Red Legs, and Union Army eventually won.   Slaves were freed because people used the Constitution that Jefferson and the other Founding Fathers created, and everyone fought it out.  It was England that brought the slaves to America.  Jefferson knew that if he tried to go too deep with the Declaration and eventual Constitutional Convention, the southern states would not stand together as the original 13 colonies. So, Jefferson took what he could and planned later to take another swipe at slavery with amendments, which is what happened.  It took another war to do it, but it happened, and, in that way, Jefferson revealed in his letters to immediates within his circle of friends.  Jefferson always planned for the formation of America to free people of all color, everywhere in the world.  The pressure of the victory of a Revolution would set off the movement all over the world.

That’s why it’s such an insult to listen to these modern ignoramuses utter such nonsense about America being anything of a racist country.  There is nowhere else in the world where so many people of different backgrounds have come together and lived so freely.  All we hear from the attackers is jealousy that the rest of the world hasn’t figured out how to do it yet.  Perhaps other places in the world would do better if only they learned from America.  It isn’t the American prerogative to give up what’s good so that everyone in the world can be equally wrong.  It is up to them to learn from us and the hard lessons won in the formation of America, which benefits all people.  And finally, what is even worse about the constant attacks of racism toward America is that the Democrats from the beginning were the Bushwackers, the slave owners, and the resistance to creating an independent republic.  They loved the aristocracy of European life and were not eager to take a break for independence.  Today, they are most anxious to retreat to Europe and adopt their socialism so they can be invited to the next Beltway party and live the life of the aristocracy.   The Founding Fathers started in the elite but decided to break away and create something new that resembled what worked with the old.  And for all they say, the Democrats in the modern era, none of it is good, educated, or relevant to history.  It is all malicious and meant to undo us all.

Rich Hoffman

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Mt Rushmore: God spoke to me there

God spoke to me at Mt. Rushmore

I was deeply touched by the Mt. Rushmore firework display that President Trump and Kristi Noem did during the 4th of July Celebrations of 2020.  I was riveted by the entire ceremony and still remember watching the complete coverage on television.  With Air Force One flying in front of Mt. Rushmore while landing at Rapid City for the eventual arrival of Trump to give his holiday speech, the whole event was a reminder to me that all was right with the world.  After all, it was a hostile election year, the world was looking to destroy us all who voted and supported President Trump, and we were deep in the lockdowns at that time for Covid.  We had no idea if we were even going to have an NFL season at that point.  The world was a mess, and this firework display in the Black Hills was the first time a large group of anybody had gathered without social distancing and the stupid Covid masks to do anything.  It took a lot of guts for South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem to allow the event, let alone for Trump, to attend personally in a campaign-style get-together.  It was a fantastic event to see, and I savored every moment of it.  It impacted me so much that within a year, I would visit there myself with my family to stand in the same spot that Trump had given that magnificent speech. 

A Holy Place

As I said, I have been traveling a lot so far in 2021, so far 10,000 miles in my RV visiting the lesser-known parts of the United States that don’t get talked about on cable news.  If you watch the mainstream news, which is inspired these days heavily by global expansion interests with a very un-American slant, you’d think that everything was going to Hell in a handbasket.  But truthfully, things are much better than they appear, and I had that experience while visiting Mt. Rushmore myself over the last few weeks.  I was not disappointed.  I spent some good time there with my family, bought a lot of books in the gift shops, and felt compelled to stand in all the places that Trump had stepped.  To see how things on that fateful firework day looked to him and get a temperature of what America was thinking despite what we hear on the nightly news.  Mt. Rushmore is the kind of place everyone should visit; it is in many ways more critical and honest than Washington, D.C. is. I’ve been to D.C. several times, but not Mt. Rushmore.  Rushmore is one of those places that isn’t near anything in my life patterns.  So I had to go out of my way to get there.  Washington comes up much more often since many things happen around the Capital.  Perhaps that’s why Rushmore has managed to preserve much better what the essence of America truly is and has become a palace of intellectualism that has deep meaning and is highly substantive. 

I had a moment at Rushmore; the rest of my family was getting ice cream at the fine establishment that was there on-site; it was very crowded, so the line was long.  That left one of my daughters and I to go to the nearest book store that they have at the monument.  I was looking for treasures I hadn’t read before in books, which I had already read 75% of what they had there.  But there was 25% I hadn’t, which led me to a nice stack of books I bought, which I discussed in the video above.  As I was buying them, I could look out the window at the bottom of the observation station and see the sculpture.  My daughter was looking at the giant mural of Gutzon Borglum and his sculpture rappelling all over the making of Mt. Rushmore, and she noticed that all those hard workers were wearing hats honest to the period.  She said, “Dad, you were born a century too late.” Because I have always worn hats, I love hats, especially big-brimmed expensive hats made of leather and felt.  I thought about what she said as I looked at my stack of books and replied, “maybe I was born when I was to keep the memory of that time alive and to explain it in these crazy times to people confused and less fortunate to arrive at such a place when maybe it could be the most important thing in their lives.” It’s true; I do love places like that; it is composed of my two favorite things in life, great literature, and studious influence while displaying the far-flung ambitions of people like Borglum.  To build Mt. Rushmore there in those Black Hills in the way he did was extraordinary, perhaps for just the purpose of these times, when people needed to remember most why their country was so important and unique. 

I was always sure I would go to Mt. Rushmore one day, but my accelerated urgency was because of what Trump had done last year.  I had to make my pilgrimage.  It seemed to me and still feels that way, as the most important thing I could have done, and somehow I managed to have most of my immediate family there to do it, my two kids, their husbands, and all my grandkids, even the family dog.  It was a glorious day, and I spent a bit of particular time with both of my daughters that only they understood.  And I stood at that spot where Trump gave his speech and just let the events of the last year wash over me.  I wanted to see Rushmore not just for what Gutzon Borglum wanted us to see of his grand sculpture, but for how Trump and Noem had seen the world on that courageous day when Covid ruled the world. They defied it to host a firework display to celebrate our freedom in the way only America celebrates. Yes, I was having a supercharged moment, and I feel thus inspired currently and very fulfilled.  Whatever we think of as God spoke to me there, I know what needs to be done.  It was a magical place, and since leaving there, I have taken much of it with me with my books purchased at that moment mentioned.  I may be out of step with the current, because yes, we should remember what we did well in the past.  And Mt. Rushmore was created to have these moments, and there were thousands and thousands of people there for the same reasons as me.  They wanted to touch the meaning of America even if all they saw were faces carved in stone and experienced the patriotism of the Black Hills by the tourist traps, which I love, especially in Keystone.  I left there knowing I’ll come back often.  I recommend to everyone that if you haven’t been, make plans to do so.  Go and see what Gutzon Borglum intended to share with all of us, his intense love of America, captured there in an epic format for the future to learn from.  And in his small way, and with us to gain from that knowledge, the preservation of America is important and worth fighting for, which is precisely what I intend to do.

Rich Hoffman

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