Overmanwarrior's Wisdom

Official Site of Rich Hoffman. Connecting the dots in a complicated world.

The Cliven Bundy Standoff: Pacifism versus resistance in response to an aggressive federal government

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Before Doc Thompson or Rusty Humphries was on the radio with Matt Clark I was his first interview while doing a live podcast from the Cincinnati Tea Party Tax Day Rally.  As I was speaking with Matt on his WAAM broadcast out of Ann Arbor, Michigan I felt him cringe next to me as I indicated that I was actually looking forward to the time when the federal government came to my home to attempt to take me away on a train during some future purge.  Saying such things, especially in today’s overly sensitive climate of hyper sensitivity can quickly label you as an extremist—and is the kind of thing that mainstream talk show hosts like Matt Clark, Doc Thompson and Glenn Beck avoid.  But I was being truthful.  As I was giving my interview I had Cliven Bundy on my mind as the federal government and he were involved in standoff over a cattle grazing incident on claimed federal land.  Bundy refused to pay the proper fees for using that land.  The situation came very close to escalating into an armed engagement—and was what I believe to be a sign of things to come.  When that time comes to me, I know how I’ll deal with it—and it won’t be with protest signs and strongly worded letters.  I wasn’t kidding when I said I was looking forward to such a time.  I am tired of having the pretense of civility when it is so grossly obvious that the federal government is using law as a club to impose wealth grabs and redistribution of resources they deem worthy by force—then not expecting anybody to resist them.  Just off the top of my head are the lies of Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the treachery of Common Core directly attempting to reprogram our youth into progressive soldiers, the school levies that are defeated in November only to be put back on the ballot in May—because they are  socialist attacks on American private property.  There are serious impositions on American life that are simply inexcusable and eventual confrontation is inevitable between the forces of good, and the progressive parasites intent to social engineer all life on earth to their philosophy.

I am sympathetic to Cliven Bundy, his issue which is explained properly by Glenn Beck below in an interview with him is really about the old Nevada rancher refusing to acknowledge the acquisition of land which has been in his family for a century.  Bundy is refusing to acknowledge the legal power the government has given itself to force him to pay grazing fees for land that it has no real technical right to claim a fee for him to pay.  Bundy is simply not recognizing the power of the federal government in a legal issue which it controls from a legal perspective.

My observations of the federal government, and I’m saying this for future reference, is that it is incompetent and not able to properly manage basic finance, let alone wealth creation strategies or a proper interpretation of justice.  The government as it is today is filled with poorly constructed minds deeply prone to error and cover-up, and they cannot be trusted.  The only way to deal with them on their terms is to surrender logic, and thought to the ease of their appeasement—and I’m not willing to do that.

When I was in the fifth grade a number of bullies surrounded me on the school bus.  The bullies were taking hits of speed in the form of a pill.  They wanted me to participate in that activity with them because they decided to do it in front of my eyes and wanted to make sure that I would not tell on them for their activity.  If they convinced me to also take hits of speed then I would be complicit in their crime—and would not have the moral ground to say anything against them.  So they tried at first to attract me to the drug by telling me how good it would feel.  But little did they know that I had then—and I still do—a very strict anti drug position.  I despise drugs—especially marijuana, speed, meth, and cocaine.  I don’t even like alcohol where intoxication is the goal.   There was nothing that those bullies could do to me to get me to take those hits of speed.  When I refused them, they then turned to violence hoping to convince me to take the path of least resistance and just swallow the speed.

The bullies encompassed the entire rear end of the school bus.  There were at least 8 kids directly involved and about 15 others who were passively supporting the activity.  The school bus driver was not equipped to handle the situation so refused to look at the activity in the mirror because she was also afraid of the boys.  Those same boys had been in trouble with the school principal many times, and had lost their respect for authority a long time ago.  They were unmanageable, and knew it.  So they were taking hits of speed on the school bus right in front of everyone just to prove that they could.  And the more who participated in the activity with them the stronger they became.  So when I refused their attempts to convince me to participate with them in the drug taking, they turned to violence.  They cornered me and tried to force me to take the speed with the threat of violence.  They put the pills in my hand and told me to swallow them otherwise they’d beat me up.  I threw the pills out the window behind me and a massive fight erupted.  I went to personal war with those boys for the next 8 years.  By the time those eight years concluded every one of the boys was in trouble for something and either moved away, or were not able to attend school any longer.  The violence really escalated in junior high school with some of the stories I have told here previously.  But a long story short, I was the last one standing as they collapsed on themselves.  If I had done what they wanted me to, my life would have been much different.  So would the lives of my children, and wife.  Because I fought through that situation, my family legacy is so much stronger—which became very important just ten years after the conclusion of the drug battle which started on the school bus.

The federal government is really no different from those drugged out bullies.  They want complicity in their crimes and use fear of violence to impose people to comply and become part of their zombie cult of mindless tax payers.  Cliven Bundy said no.  Many others are saying no, more and more people every day.  I have certainly said no.  I said no to the ridiculous brainwashing of the public schools, the failed economic policies, the paralyzing federal regulations, the EPA wackos using environmental terrorism to advance socialist politics, the many crimes and lies of the federal government corrupted by the two-party system—both controlled by radical political elements intent on social decay—and I refuse to be complicit in their activity.

I do have a lot of friends and associates who are in well placed positions—who are concerned about the perception of statements in relation to the Overton Window which has pulled the logic of America into a progressive direction. They are not progressives, but are concerned about feeding into a line of dialogue that progressives can twist around to their advantage.  However, the real intent of this strategy is no different from the school bus bullies trying to force innocent spectators into taking drugs.  They wanted to know that some “holier-than-thou” kid wouldn’t rat them out—and the best way to do that was to get the kid to participate in a crime with them.  The federal government has done the same with land grabs, taxation, social policy, and corrupt election procedures so to stay in power and collect the voluminous benefits of public office.  Federal officials like the school bus bullies simply put on suits and obtained law degrees.  They are still scum bags seeking complicity.

When those scum bags try to move me in some way or another against my will, trouble is insured for them.  I have lived my life in a way where I haven’t even allowed myself to be forced to take drugs under coercion.  So a federal government using force or manipulation against me will do no better.  Right now I do occasional radio shows talking about these things, and I write about them here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom, but at a certain point, those will no longer be effective outlets.  And I’m looking forward to it.  Because there is honesty in what Cliven Bundy did in Nevada.  It might seem radical or crazy from the perspective of legal analysts, Supreme Court professionals, and sell-out politicians—but it’s the right thing to do.   At a certain point, we all have to come to terms with the fact that most of American case-law has been formulated by corrupt minds who are simply bullies looking for drug consumption complicity.  Drugs aren’t always the kind taken and consumed through the human body—but the kind of thoughts injected into a mind.

Most of my media friends do not have the same kind of background that I do.  They are still trying to play the game of fitting in to the rules of the FCC.  Fortunately for them, they do not have backgrounds in violence..  When Glenn Beck states that Jesus, Martin Luther King, Gandhi and other peaceful pacifists achieved great things in the context of history—he’s right—but they are also all dead, or were unnecessarily jailed with their freedoms removed from them ultimately.  I would prefer that the world work with law, and respect, but it is obvious that the federal government has no interest in either—unless either allows them to confiscate wealth from those who produce it.  My life is more valuable than the greater good of a bunch of parasites, and they don’t have the right to remove me from my family, or my future in their quest for complicity.  I disagree with the pacifist approach, the approach that many who have FCC licenses hanging over their heads, or religions around their necks are imprisoned to.  I seek freedom from those restrictions also, and this is why I look forward to the day where the standoff off with destiny finally arrives.  In many ways I have been preparing for it my entire life.  It won’t be I who provokes it, but it will be my decision to ignore the case-law of thieves who have written laws to enrich themselves at the cost of value in a mindless—collective quest for complicity as they consume the drug of power that rots the human mind worse than any disease, any cancer, or mental ailment of treachery.  The future fight that I yearn for is not the lust of violence, but the defense of a mind, and its ability to think free of tyranny—a trait that cannot be preserved with pacification.

America would have never won its independence with peaceful protests and soft talk.  American independence had to be taken—with force.  And now that it has been seen how corrupt the United States federal government has been, I don’t see peace in the future if independence is to remain.  Elections do not work, and the laws are stacked against common men and women.  Generations of children have been brainwashed into statism and do not have the intellectual capacity to deal with these complicated matters—which is quite on purpose.  American society is surrounded by complicit individuals who may deep in their hearts be good, but are like the kids on that bus long ago afraid to stand up to the bullies, so they took the speed to keep from being beaten up.  But what was taken from them was their minds and moral standing which is forever tarnished by actions which were forced upon them.  That is why Cliven Bundy is right and the federal government is wrong.  It is also why I am looking forward to the future instead of being weary of it—because I enjoy such things.  The Bundy Ranch standoff is only the beginning.

Rich Hoffman



Rusty Humphries at the Cincinnati Tea Party: Why “WINOs” are in a lot of trouble

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imageI have been extraordinarily busy of late—much, much more than I care to be. My bullwhip friends from the Western Arts had of course my top priority and that occupied most of the last weekend. Then of course there are family obligations, normal career type commitments, a meeting Monday at the Elks Club for the Liberty Township Tea Party which I wrote about yesterday. Then there was the event on Tax Day out in Eastgate, the Cincinnati Tea Party rally which brought out some of the most vigilant patriots of the current liberty movement anywhere. Doc Thompson was there, Ann Becker and all her posse including Chris Littleton, Mike Wilson, Ted Stevenot and Libertarian Girl were there. Rusty Humphries flew in from his Washington Times gig representing the new Atlas Shrugged movie. My friend Matt Clark came down from Ann Arbor to do a live podcast from the event. There were many, many more names—all of them very good—and all of them fighting hard every day for what’s right by way of the American Constitution—but my time was occupied primarily by those names mentioned. To do the event justice, there is no way I can cover everything in a single article, so I’ll start with the Rusty Humphries speech, which can be seen below—and embodied the tone of the entire evening magnificently.

Rusty also did an interview with Matt Clark who was set up outside the main conference hall. The interview was every bit as entertaining as would be expected by Humphries who has a nationally syndicated radio show. He also writes for the Washington Times, and is even acting in the new Atlas Shrugged Part III movie. Watching he and Matt work together was like watching the present and future aligned. Matt Clark certainly has in his future a syndicated talk show as he shares with Humphries the ability to use social media to blast his message to the world. The only difference is that Humphries has been doing it longer, and already went through the kind of criticisms that Matt Clark often inflicts upon himself constantly looking for broadcast perfection.

All evening there was a constant steam of interviews which went through Matt Clark’s WAAM broadcast table, most of which will be featured over the next couple of days. One of the funniest comments made over the course of the evening was Humphries reference to Hillary Clinton. During his speech he talked about the various RINOs in politics, people like John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, any of the Bush brothers, etc. RINO of course means “Republican in Name Only,” which is to say that those so-called Republicans have been terrible at preserving conservative ideals. They’ve been more interested in compromising with people who want to fundamentally change American life, and have done a great disservice to their nation. This is when Humphries said that Hillary was a “WINO,” a “Wife in Name Only.” That drew quite a laugh and it stuck with me throughout the night.

The “WINO” comment was funny because most people feel that Bill and Hillary Clinton have an open relationship where they have simply pulled a ruse on the American public for more than three decades of scandalous crusade. Their mission as Marxist loving young college students was to deliver America to the doorsteps of the Socialist International controlled United Nations and they pretended to be like every day Americans to concoct the ruse. Part of that deceit was to pretend that they are a traditional married, husband and wife–while at the same time advancing LGBT agenda points and a gradual erosion of American sovereignty to the chaos of the world cesspool. Does anybody honestly feel that Hillary would not do anything to become elected into an office, even if it meant committing herself to a loveless marriage in the typical European style of power arrangement? I don’t doubt it for a moment, and it is likely that she cannot even relate to a typical American romantic comedy because she does not have the kind of feelings in her life associated with “love,” “passion,” or “sexual longing,” as her primary motives appear to be exclusively—for her entire life—committed to social reform built on a progressive reference established by Marxism—which she learned in college.

It was good to hear Humphries say what virtually everyone was thinking—it was therapeutic and was the primary reason that most of the hundreds and hundreds of people came to the Cincinnati Tea Party Rally on a Tuesday night. They needed relief from the insanity of a world spinning out-of-control and into perpetual progressive madness. The people present were awake and all aware of the follies around them—and having so many people in such a state gives hope that the world will not degrade into a bottomless pit from which it will never return.

Matt bought a hamburger for me once the event was over at the bar. We barely placed our order before the kitchen closed as the rally went late into the evening. Humphries had already left as many others were leaving, but Matt and I hadn’t had any food all day, so a well-earned hamburger was just the thing. Kelly Kohls and some of her party joined us in the bar for a bit as the waiter brought us our food. Kelly laughed when she saw the incredible size of my hamburger, complete with everything on it, onions hanging over the edge with huge leaves of lettuce, largely cut tomatoes and a tremendously huge bun sprinkled with sesame seeds. Her son happened to be sitting next to me and I took his mother’s comments and expanded on it by saying that this was an example of American food. “You wouldn’t get a hamburger like that in France, or Spain, or Italy. In those countries they give you some silly little noodles and some crappy vegetables off on the side of the plate—and they consider it art. Their food is like their crappy little Fiat cars, their bad breath, terrible economies, and wimpy sports. Here in America, like this hamburger,” which I had to put all my weight on to smash together to fit into my mouth, “we like V-8 engines, fast cars, violent sports, guns and women in thongs.” At that point Kelly called me a few names and took her 15-year-old son away from my bad influence. I told her that her son was a guy, and that he needed to hear those kinds of things. She laughed and hit me in the shoulder and walked off. I didn’t blame her, after all she is running for a Senate seat, and she needed to maintain her respectability in the eyes of the masses. But I don’t. Hamburgers, fast cars, rock music, football and chicks with thongs are the kinds of things I think of when I think of America—and specifically freedom. So after the evening festivities the gigantic hamburger from the hotel bar complete with Coors beer was the perfect night-cap to a busy day.

Much of what was discussed at the Cincinnati Tea Party could be summed up into not apologizing for what Americans are, but rather, being proud of it. It is clearly time to stop feeling sorry for every other country on earth and to make ourselves less just to make other countries feel equal. I know I’m done with such things, and according to Matt, Doc, Rusty, Ann, and all the others, they are too. The biggest difference between those at the Tax Day Rally and everyone outside of that room is that the attendees have arrived first to a conclusion that is inevitable—that progressives like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and many others, have taken America to a bad place, and people don’t like it. My friends are the first to express that displeasure—and soon, so will the rest of the nation. imageThe old WINO tricks won’t work this time, as an $18 trillion-dollar deficit looms over the richest nation in the world—caused by progressive mismanagement of American resources. And once the rest of society gets to the level of frustration that the people attending the Cincinnati Tea Party rally displayed on April 15th, 2014 in Eastgate, Ohio—WINO’s like Hillary will be in a whole lot of trouble—and I’ll celebrate with an even bigger hamburger. The secret to American excess is not that The United States consumes too many natural resources, but that it has produced so much—because of capitalism. If more nations throughout the world adopted capitalism over socialism, they’d discover excesses of their own and would be a whole lot less miserable.

Rich Hoffman  


Beating the IRS: The Pride of the Liberty Township Tea Party

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imageOn April 15th, “Tax Day” I woke up with a special sense of pride experienced the night before. Behind the trees of my front yard, seen above, and across the golf course behind them, Jordon Sekulow flew in from Washington D.C. to personally thank the members of the Liberty Township Tea Party for their fight against the IRS. Sekulow is from the American Center for Law and Justice and is handling the civil case against the IRS on behalf of their unjust harassment against liberty groups—specifically the Liberty Township Tea Party. The LTTP had a meeting at The Elks Lodge, which I think is the best golf course in Cincinnati painting a picturesque evening of cold beer with fantastic views out the north windows silhouetting Jordon as he spoke to the large group of Tea Party patriots.

Without the Liberty Township Tea Party sticking up for themselves during the IRS case, it is likely that Louis Lerner would have never been forced to take the “fifth.” The story would have died quickly as it was planned. It was Justin Binik Thomas and The Liberty Township Tea Party who refused to go quietly into the night resulting in the congressional testimony that forced Lerner to implicate herself by default. The primary issue with Lerner is not that she took the “fifth” but that she provided testimony, then took her constitutional right trying to avoid cross-examination. That was a big no, no, and that mistake was forced in essence by the American Center for Law and Justice in its case against the IRS who was able to take the Liberty Township Tea Party case because the issue was pressed. The ACLJ needs clients otherwise they cannot conduct a case—and the Liberty Township Tea Party gave it to them—and the whole battle took place essentially in my front yard. And that makes me very proud.

Without the LTTP this article from Breitbart.com would have never been written: Former IRS official Louis Lerner and her colleagues at the tax agency were under a tremendous amount of pressure from President Obama and other Democrats to scrutinize a Tea Party applicant for public disclosure, despite rules protecting the privacy of unapproved applications, according to a staff report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

For example, in emails regarding how the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision could imperil the Democrats’ majority in the Senate, Lerner wrote that she hoped the Federal Election Commission would “save the day,” apparently by curtailing political speech.

In another email referencing a news article about the businessmen and benefactors Charles and David Koch, Lerner suggested the IRS should begin a “project” to rein in political speech but to craft it in such a way as to avoid the appearance of focusing on political activity.

“We do need a c4 project next year,” Lerner wrote. While she initially said, “my object is not to look for political activity,” later in the exchange she acknowledged that it will examine political activity. “We need to be cautious so it isn’t a per se political project.  More a c4 project that will look at levels of lobbying and pol. Activity along with exempt activity.”

Lerner is the only IRS staffer who refused to testify before Congress, so the report relies solely on information garnered from “e-mails, documents, and other testimony about her cracking down on tax exempt organizations that exercise their rights to free political speech,” the Republican staff on the Oversight Committee says.

One e-mail thread turned to the possibility of whether a Tea Party applicant would challenge the IRS ruling in court. Lerner said that Tea Party groups would litigate because they are “itching for a Constitutional challenge.”

The emails show concern from Lerner about the Citizens United case decision hurting Democrats in the upcoming Senate elections. One document shows Lerner saying the Supreme Court gave the issue to the IRS “to fix the problem.”

She said, “The Supreme Court dealt a huge blow, overturning a 100-year old precedent that basically corporations couldn’t give directly to political campaigns. And everyone is up in arms because they don’t like it. The Federal Election Commission can’t do anything about it. They want the IRS to fix the problem.”

After a senior advisor emailed her about the political danger Democrats could be placed in, she replied in an e-mail, “Perhaps the FEC will save the day.”

The Oversight Committee points out that Lerner mishandled 6103 taxpayer information by dealing with such data from her personal e-mail account. Lerner, however, told Congress under oath in Novmber of 2013, “I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations.” In a November 2013 letter from Daniel Werfel, Werfel writes, “We do not permit IRS officials to send taxpayer information to their personal email addresses.” Werfel stresses that this is the case even if information is redacted.

Ultimately, the Oversight report says, Lerner personally placed all Tea Party applicants through a “multi-tier review.” An IRS employee testified that Lerner “sent [him an] e-mail saying that when these cases need to go through multi-tier review and they will eventually have to go to [Judy Kindell, Lerner’s senior technical advisor] and the Chief Counsel’s office.” A D.C. IRS employee said this level of scrutiny had no precedent.

The head of the IRS office in Cincinnati disputes Lerner’s claim–and President Obama’s Fox News interview with Bill O’Reilly–that the scrutiny on Tea Party cases was only a local issue, saying, “[Y]es, there were mistakes made by folks in Cincinnati as well [as] D.C. but the D.C. office is the one who delayed the processing of the cases.”


All of that investigation started with the same Tea Party group that met at The Elks Golf Course on April 14th, 2014. If not for them, the IRS case would have ended as quickly as it started, and Louis Lerner would still hold her position as an activist for the Obama administration at the front of the powerful government agency the IRS. The evidence shown above that Louis Lerner was corrupt and everything that Tea Party groups feared about their government is extraordinarily clear one year after the story initially broke. Because of the Liberty Township Tea Party, a new day in America is emerging, one where people aren’t so terrified of the IRS and the government—where more people than ever are coming out from hiding and telling their stories of harassment and paperwork terrorism issued against them by the federal government. As usual, such things begin with just a few brave souls who help usher in movements that change the direction of society in general. And for me, I will always live with the pride of knowing that one of the biggest battles in our lifetimes took place in my front and back yard—with my friends and neighbors in a prideful community called Liberty Township who refused to back down when villains presented themselves with overwhelming force, and ever-present determination to impose themselves as the latest dictators in a long chain of human failure. In Liberty Township, those dictators were turned away, and slapped down in embarrassment.

Rich Hoffman  


Lost Art of America: Putting out a candle with a bullwhip

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Spending the weekend at The Whip Artistry Studio was a chance to touch base with the skills that mean the most to me. One of the bullwhip tricks of high regard for many of the people who come through Gery Deer’s classes taught at that facility is putting out a candle with the crack of a whip. Most bullwhip artists have their own style in cracking that are subtly different from one another. I am typically very aggressive, and when I put out candles I don’t care if I hit the candle tip, because I enjoy the satisfaction of seeing splashes of wax exploding outward, which can be seen in the following video done over the weekend.

However, Gery Deer is all about finesse. In the next video he instructs one of his students how to put out a candle the technically correct way, by cracking the whip just in front of the candle and using the sonic boom to create a negative pressure vacuum that is followed by a convection current which pushes out the flame like a breath. Gery explains this process to one of his students, and a general audience of casual spectators.  

There are few skills which are as traditional of the American lifestyle as the bullwhip—except for firearms of course. When I speak to people from other parts of the world, the topic of my bullwhip work always comes up, because they usually watch my videos before meeting me. In Japan, their culture is all about the undefeated samurai Miyamoto from The Book of Five Rings. Samurai swords are typical weapons of reverence even to this day in that culture. Elsewhere in the world are similar military celebrities of worship, such as in China with Sun Tzu from The Art of War. Europe has their Napoleon. Every culture has a reverence for how their societies were formed from violence and conquest. However, in America, the art forms of the Wild West were not so much of oppression over a conquered enemy, but over escaping oppression. Progressives have attempted to paint westward expansion in a negative light in America by capturing the plight of the mystic Native Americans and how they were abused under the hand of the cowboy, but this doesn’t pan out within the psychology of America. Most cowboys wanted the same things the Indians wanted—land, freedom, and a love of independence. Both had European style governments as their primary antagonists.

The bullwhip was a symbol of independence because the cowboy used them to herd cattle across the vast plains of ranch living. In remote parts of the world such as Australia they have taken the bullwhip to a high level of art as they still use them to herd livestock. Naturally, cowboys have developed cleaver ways to prove their accuracy with bullwhips, and putting out a candle is one of the highest forms of accuracy that can be achieved. It is proof that such a weapon can be used in a way to not just produce a random noise, but to actually make that noise appear in time and space at the complete control of the handler.

In my life professionally and privately, my work with bullwhips is unmistakably a part of how people see me. I use bullwhip metaphors in almost every facet of my life and no matter what level anybody is dealing with me, bullwhips always come into the conversation. And it gives me great pride to share those metaphors because bullwhips are weapons of precision, not just of brutality. They can be used to kill like a samurai Katana but such violent engagements can be averted almost every time with a carefully placed crack next to the ear of an aggressive adversary. More often than not, violence is avoided when the kind of skill it takes to put out a candle is applied to a contentious situation.

The girl in Gery’s video had never put out a candle before. Her very first time was in front of the camera, so once she had mastered a precise cut, all she needed to do was direct it where Gery told her to, and as can be seen, the flame went out. It really is that simple—but most things are. The bullwhip is a metaphor for some of life’s most complex problems. Once they are understood—they can all be made to look easy. When things appear overwhelming, and too vastly complex, the proper approach has not yet been discovered. In the bullwhip arts, putting out a candle with the crack of a whip is equivalent to declaring that the master has taken various complex elements of physics and simplified them to their desire. And once such things are done between a bullwhip and a flaming candle, they can be applied to everything in life. That is why such things are worth doing—and why I revere the work of bullwhip arts to be among the highest skills performed in reflection of American culture.

Rich Hoffman  


The Whip Artistry Studio: A tribute to the beginning of cinema and the Wild West

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I wrote yesterday about Richard Best and his Black Lightning Wild West Show.  But the location where we shot the video displayed in that article deserves its own mention, The Whip Artistry Studio of Gery Deer in Jamestown, Ohio is a one of the kind temple dedicated to the art and preservation of the bullwhip.  Gery is currently a freelance television producer and writer in Dayton, but his heart centers on the preservation of Western Arts—particularly the bullwhip.  Like me, he has worked with whips most of his life, and traveled the world providing shows.  Gery and his wife Barb have been on major television shows and have been personally endorsed by “A” list celebrities and stuntmen.  Gery’s Whip Artistry Studio is a museum of old westerns, autographs from Halle Berry, Antonio Banderas and many others, and a tribute to the golden age of cinema.  Gery’s whip holstering systems were used in a film done by The Rock called The Rundown and it was because of that film that Gery specially designed my Cliffhanger quick drawl holster which I wear every day.  My bullwhip holster is the only one of its kind and was made by Gery specifically for my use.

It is sometimes impossible when you know such people to revere them properly for what they are.  I have known Gery for a long time, and we have so many things in common that I don’t often consider how unusual his life and his studio are.  But in a world obsessed with preserving every species of animal that is on the brink of extinction, Gery is fighting to keep alive something that many more progressive modernists hope to force into distant memory, the American cowboy.

As unlikely as it is, Gery’s Jamestown, Ohio studio is all that stands between extinction and advancement of the kind of America that was so beloved by viewers of old Republic Saturday morning matinees, and wonderful silent films like Don Q, Son of Zorro.  As many Hollywood producers these days bulk at such things, it was George Lucas who adopted these very Republic serials and made Star Wars, and Indiana Jones.  Students at Gery’s studios want to learn to crack a whip like Indiana Jones, because those films inspired them.

Gery and I share a great reverence for Douglas Fairbanks, particularly the old film Son of Zorro.  Of course we’ve always loved Indiana Jones, but that character never went to the whip handlers of old, like Douglas Fairbanks, Lash LaRue, and all the Republic Serials—especially another favorite of mine, Zorro’s Fighting Legion.  When I wrote my book The Symposium of Justice I dedicated it to that old Republic serial including naming the restaurant Fletcher Finnegan worked at, “Republics.”

My current love of Star Wars is because Lucas shot those films in the way of those old serials—and that just isn’t done by any other film studio.  And all that harkens back to Douglas Fairbanks and his whip tricks from Don Q, Son of Zorro.  Gery Deer’s whip studio in Jamestown, Ohio is really the last gasp of air holding on to that past attempting to preserve it.  Gery and I both came into our love of bullwhips the same way but he choose to actually move into show business.  At age 46 I have lived my life much the way Don Diego did in Zorro’s Fighting Legion, only I haven’t pretended to be foppish to save my family and reputation from villains.  Gery has taken a non-violent approach to the art, where I’m all about the violence.  Even when I was writing The Symposium of Justice, I didn’t feel comfortable writing about the bullwhip heavy action scenes if I had not done all the stunts in real life to confirm their viability.  And with stories like that, I have never felt comfortable writing about characters like Fletcher Finnegan (Cliffhanger) from behind an author’s stories.  I always felt a responsibility to actually be those characters in real life, otherwise the task was hypocritical.  In that regard, I am a lot more political than Gery.  Gery has made his living often with a whip, as I have not.  But I have used mine to confirm the stunts of Don Q, so that I could write about them knowing what was possible and what wasn’t and what really went on in the life of Zorro in a quest to fight evil.

But in a confusing world where every other influence is competing for attention, that old past ushered in by Douglas Fairbanks is most alive in Jamestown, Ohio, and I love it every time I get to visit.  It is like a farmer returning to his land after plowing a field and smelling the fresh soil, or an artist during a late night epiphany—Gery Deer’s The Whip Artistry Studio is grounding to the roots of cinema, justice, and the genuine pursuit of goodness triumphing over evil.   I never get tired of visiting, and I suspect that I never will.

Rich Hoffman  


The Black Lightning Wild West Show: Traditional bullwhip artists at their “Best”

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Not far off from a personal request from the NBA star LaBrone James to entertain his children, Richard and Donna Best asked me to spend a little time with them freshening up their media presence online.  As a traditional couple deeply committed to western arts for several generations now they needed some updated footage to continue offering their Wild West show to audience everywhere continuing a tradition they advanced for more than 3500 live performances.  Another mutual friend of ours David Crain has become a prized bull whip maker for Richard’s shows so we all met up at Gery Deer’s studio to film some of Richard and Donna’s act for a new video featuring some of their highlights.

The show is called the Black Lightning Wild West Show and it is a throwback to the old vaudeville performances that were so popular a hundred years ago, to a period in America where value still ruled.  So I didn’t have to think twice to help them.  Their goals are my goals, and they do a lot of good traveling The United States advancing western arts keeping that tradition alive.

Richard and his wife are regulars at the Annie Oakley Western Showcase that I attend every year and unfortunately we are all so busy, especially David, Gery, and myself that we seldom can align our schedules to meet together outside of Annie Oakley.  David Crain from Heartbeat Artistry has emerged as a top whip maker in the field of nylon whips. Being a normally kangaroo hide whip guy who nearly exclusively uses Terry Jacka whips out of Australia, Crain has won me over.  His whips are very fast, and balanced.  He was the same whip maker who built my grandson his first three bullwhips which were given to him when he was born, and can be seen practicing with below at age 1 and a half.

Nylon whips are really optimal for indoor performances which Richard Best has a great deal of experience with, so he and David Crain have become quite well acquainted with each other.  It was good to get together with them for a day of whip cracking, eating pizza and catching up on stories that have occurred for the last several of months.  Of their most unusual adventures since we all last spoke at the 2013 Annie Oakley festival was the Labrone James party for his children where Richard and Donna were brought in along with live circus animals particularly a giant elephant to personally perform for James and his entourage.

One of the coolest new tricks done by Richard and Donna was one where his wife held a dime in her fingertips that Richard cut out fearlessly.  That trick was also seen in the promotional video put together above. They were very good at it, and before filming routinely littered the floor of the studio with dimes knocked from his wife’s fingers.  A dime is a pretty small target.

There is a lot wrong with the world, but the Black Lightning Wild West Show is not one of them.  Just knowing they are out there doing the good work of preserving western arts makes me very happy.  It was a pleasure to assemble some of their footage for marketing purposes demanded by our modern times.  Business cards and word of mouth referrals are no longer sufficient in our high-tech world, so western arts must adapt accordingly.  The tradition is still very low tech, but the method of letting employers like Labrone James know about them must compete directly with everything else out there.  So I was happy to help.

We ended the day with the typical reserve.  I can’t think of a single time that we’ve all gathered where I didn’t leave feeling like I under-anticipated the level of fun that we’d all have.  This time was no different.  We found ourselves stalling for time once I had gathered up all the shots I needed.  We extended the day unnecessarily for another hour, but eventually it did come to a close.  I spent the rest of my evening playing X-Wing with my brother at my niece’s birthday party, David Crain and his family went back to his whip making shop in a Middletown backyard, and Gery went back to being an independent television producer in the Dayton area where he just recently completed a segment with Phil Donahue.  The sun set on the day, but it rose just a bit higher for the art of the Wild West.  And in that field, the Black Lightning Wild West Show is carrying proudly a tradition in America that is nearly as old as the nation, and important to its very soul.

Rich Hoffman  


West Chester Chickens: The roots of a community built on self-reliance

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Those pesky zoning people are back at it in West Chester, Ohio picking on Danielle Richardson who recently moved to one of the most successful and financially lucrative areas in the Midwest.  Like cowards in the night, they left a message on her door informing her that she would not be able to keep the nine chickens that she has in her back yard because it’s in violation to a ridiculous zoning resolution.  Richardson was told that her pet chickens would have to go because West Chester Twp. does not permit farm animals in residential neighborhoods, according to spokeswoman Barb Wilson. “In our definition, when you talk about farm animals, poultry are clearly identified as such, chickens, horses, cows, sheep, goats would be considered farm animals.”


What Danielle Richardson doesn’t know is that the zoning terrorists who left the note on her door are using zoning to carry West Chester Twp. into a city classification as local progressives understand that before such a measure can be made, references to West Chester’s rural past must be erased.  Farm animals have been a part of West Chester’s past for as long as I can remember.  I remember when cows came up to the fence behind the Wendy’s restaurant by the corner of Cox Road and Tylersville, and half a dozen homes between there and the Lakota high school had farm animals around their homes.  That symbol of self-reliance, of the farmer and country living is what made West Chester attractive for development, because people did not want to live in a city and liked driving by large fields, cows, horses and other farm animals—images that they couldn’t get in a city environment.

But slowly these new residents have changed the nature of West Chester from a rural community to one of a progressive New England suburb, and with that image has come a zoning adherence to ICLEI, (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) which is the architect behind the United Nations Agenda 21 strategies.  The eventual goal of Agenda 21 is to pull residents out of the suburbs and back into the cities where their behavior can be carefully controlled through regulation—which is what is happening to Richardson.

Zoning officials do not want residents to be self-reliant, to have chickens where they can produce their own eggs.  In Richardson’s neighborhood she gives her neighbors free eggs as a gift.  This is something the ICLEI people do not want to see—because they want to control the issuance of eggs.  They want Richardson to get her eggs from the local Kroger where regulators have their hands in on the action.  They certainly don’t want to support self-sustaining lifestyles—which is the real message behind their angst toward farm animals.  They certainly aren’t protecting the home values of neighborhoods with such zoning regulations, because the homes were built around the farm culture that is at the roots of West Chester.

My grandparents had a farm on Seward road very close to the Erie Canal which was some of the best farmland in the world.  The valley below Beckett Ridge which flooded often had some wonderful farms which extended all the way to the west into Fairfield.  My grandfather married my grandmother by taking a canal boat to the east where he met her at a dance at Port Union, which was next to the current drive-thru that is diagonal from the United Dairy Farmers at the corner of Port Union Road and 747.  Many people have no knowledge that the Erie Canal ran right along those railroad tracks and is still visible as a relic to West Chester’s past.  I grew up knowing many of the farmers in the region.  They bailed hay, slaughtered cows, had horses, goats and just about every kind of animal imaginable.  At a minimum they had chickens—because that is how they had eggs for breakfast.  Over the last 30 years, people who wanted to be close to these activities moved to West Chester, people like Danielle Richardson.

With the new homes came pretentious progressives and their big government regulations and social tampering trained in the ways of ICLEI.  The far away entity of The United Nations is jealous of American self-reliance, and they certainly find the farmers of North America repulsive—and through Agenda 21 wish them regulated out of existence.  That is how zoning ordinances like the one Barb Wilson cited came to be.  But that is not how it’s supposed to be.  Those ICLEI worshippers desire to change West Chester, not preserve it, and getting rid of chickens in a neighborhood are part of their strategy.

Danielle Richardson made some good arguments in her reasoning for keeping her pet chickens.  She used all the ICLEI buzz words, like “sustainable living” and “green” friendly which are the weapons zoning typically uses to alter behavioral lifestyles.  After all, what is greener than raising chickens and eating the eggs produced by them?  But that is not what zoning has in mind when they talk about “sustainable living.”  They wish to handcuff human beings so that nature can prevail and incorporate all living into city-state control and regulation.  And they plan to pay for their offensive through taxes that adversely destroy private ownership of property.  Danielle Richardson took the spirit of West Chester back the other way—toward self reliance, which is what ICLEI finds so repulsive about American lifestyles.

West Chester has within its zoning administrators, as does virtually every community in America—progressive terrorists who salivate for the opportunity to regulate society into a direction of their strategic choosing.  That choosing was not shaped by the traditions of a community like West Chester but the far away fools at The United Nations and their ICLEI arm of bureaucrats.  It is likely that Richardson had no idea that she would cause so much of a ruckus over her personal desire to have chickens on her property, but ICLEI seeks to regulate how private property owners use their land.   The strategy at ICLEI is to impose themselves on private property ownership to the point where taxation and heavy regulation make investment not attractive.  At that point government will own those properties and control what goes on there—and chickens will be a thing of the past.  Government regulators want to be the one to place eggs on the doorsteps of neighbors instead of Danielle Richardson because they want to gain control over what people eat and when they eat it.  In that way, they want to change West Chester, not preserve it.  They want to remove from its past the image of self-reliance and personal sovereignty and change it into a city of tax producing citizens under the control of petty regulators and zoning officials.

I have a personal recommendation for Danielle Richardson–at the zoning hearing, tell those idiots what you really think of them.  Let them have it, because the next step in that process is in your favor.  There are friendly ears above the zoning bureaucrats who know exactly what is going on, and you’ll get to keep your chickens.  Just don’t yield to the zoning people.  This fight goes far beyond chickens and eggs—but to the heart of what it means to be a property owner in America—during a time when the rest of the world wants to be the supplier of the eggs.  Yet they wish to do so without having chickens to lay them.  ICLEI is about to discover which comes first, the chicken or the egg.  Danielle Richardson already knows that answer—and the rest of the world is about to find out.  They want to control the eggs, but they don’t respect the chickens that make them.

Rich Hoffman  www.OVERMANWARRIOR.com  


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