Dance into the Fire: The perspective of being fearless

 WARNING…………………….WATCH EACH VIDEO CAREFULLY!

CAUTION was the first reaction from some of the people who saw a sneak peek of my recent video promoting the protection of Senate Bill 5, which John Kasich signed into law at the start of April and brings management controls to collective bargaining agreements established by public sector unions.  A majority of those public sector unions are fire-fighter, police and public school teachers and they don’t like S.B.5 at all, because they have openly abused the system of collective bargaining to the level where tax increases are imminent unless reforms are implemented to the pensions and wage rates they’ve elected to give themselves which are approximately 30% higher than what tax payers in the private sector make as far as a wage.  The severe math problem at play is that as government has grown, and more and more people become employed by government at the high rates of pay, they are beginning to outnumber the private sector tax payers which are stressing the whole financial system.  So it has come time that some control must be implemented, otherwise our taxes will rise to unsustainable levels and the needed reforms will have to be explored later, when it’s too late.  The time for action is now and was on my mind while I was doing some gardening.

A good friend of mine who doesn’t know me from deep in the past laughed at the video, because he liked the metaphor, for the truth and clarity of it.  But he said, “Be careful, you’re playing with fire.”  The humor of his joke had two meanings, first it was a literal interpretation of the fact that fire was used in the video to blast some sack worms out of a tree I’m trying to save.  But his deeper meaning was one of caution, and it’s one I’ve heard from many people over this whole issue of public sector union control.  The perception is that if you mess with unions, especially a police union, then abuse, harassment, intimidation, even death is sure to follow. 

When I was in my teens I worked for an organized crime group out of Chicago with an arm in Cincinnati, unknowing at first, but learned that the restaurant I was working for was a front for that activity (my job was a busboy).  When it was discovered that I wasn’t afraid of conflict I was given jobs as a sometimes bodyguard and driver for the guy who managed this restaurant.  I drove him and his friends around to night clubs and hotels. Several of those friends were Bengal players who were selling cocaine as a side job and women who were gold diggers.  Since I was a straight kid who didn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs I was the ideal driver.  It was my task to bail the occupants of the car out of trouble when drinking impaired their judgment and fights over the women erupted at night clubs.  When people got hurt, badly, or people were caught with illegal activity, there was a judge and former mayor who fixed things up for the restaurant, knowing full well what was going on.  I had dinner with this judge on more than one occasion, and I knew him well enough for him to give me his business card.  “If you get into a fix kid, give me a buzz.  Don’t let any of my officers haul you off to jail before you have them call me first.”  He winked at me as I took his card.  I never had to personally call him but my manager did on many occasions. 

My next job was at a car dealership, also serving at the time as a money laundering front for cocaine traffic.  I didn’t know that at the time either, but when it was discovered that I didn’t take any crap from my senior managers, and would fight anyone anywhere, I was recruited into the business.  They started me off as a repo-man, which back then required me to go to someone’s home and take their car back when they fell behind in payments.  Since I worked for the dealership, I had a key to the car, so we didn’t have to call in a tow truck.  A driver would drop me off up the road and hide while I went to the door to tell the car’s owner what I was there to do.  Most of the time they surrendered their cars to me, but sometimes there was a conflict.

I had an excellent reputation of not backing down so of course I was on the radar for a promotion and that meant drug delivery.  They eased me into the deal by asking me to take a guy downtown during my work shift, I’d be paid on the side since I wasn’t selling cars while I was gone.  The guy had a suit case and when we arrived at the condo very close to Ezzard Charles Drive he went into the condo leaving the suitcase behind.  I was suspicious of what was in the suit case so while the guy was in the condo looked in and saw that there were two bags of cocaine tucked neatly inside.  Being very much against drugs, I left the guy and headed back to the general manager of the dealership.  I reported what I had found in the suit case thinking I was doing the right thing.  My bosses face told me the rest of the story.  He was really angry that I had left his dealer in a dangerous condo.  As it turned out, he had the same card for the same judge I did, and he called the guy to solve the mess that followed.

For the next two years I was harassed by the police everywhere I went.  In fact, I received a remarkable 6 traffic citations in a 2 week period shortly after that incident for seemingly silly traffic violations.  I also seemed to be getting into fights everywhere I went, one in particular was a semi-professional boxer who picked a fight with me in a shopping center parking lot.  He left on his own when he realized that I was hitting him too hard and wasn’t intimidated by him.  When the blood started flowing and the police sirens were getting loader from someone who had called the police, he took off and left quickly and mysteriously. 

The problems didn’t go away when I was in my twenties and thirties.  I’ve had direct conflicts with many politicians over the years, from mayors, commissioners, and trustees.  Most of the time it is the police and fire departments that have harassed my family when they realized that all the mechanisms of control and intimidation did not work on me.  The conflicts originated in the simple explanation that they were in the way of things I wanted to do, or I was in their way.  The difference is they are often willing to bend the rules where I expect to hold them to the law.  To politicians, the law is a malleable element that can be bent to shape the money passed in their direction.  It didn’t take me long to recognize there wasn’t much difference between politicians and those in organized crime.  They all want what they wanted and they often used the system as a weapon against those who stood in their way.  Guns or rules, it really didn’t make much difference both used force to accomplish their aims. 

And this is the general perception of politics and organized crime.  People do not speak out because they fear the ramifications of doing so.  That fear is not unjustified; people have watched and come to accept that thuggish behavior is part of the political process.  They also have come to accept that labor unions are radical and violent and if you fight them, then violence will follow.

Well, I have a good deal of experience with labor unions and conflict.  Click here to read a much more detailed recollection.  I have fought union stewards in company bathrooms, argued with union strikers as they called me a scab, and I would get revenge on them by out-producing them by at least double.  I would do it because I was faster than they were, stronger than many of them, and if some of them were stronger than me, I was smarter.  It didn’t matter how many of them there were, there was always a way to beat them if the person that faced them was not afraid, because like organized crime, politics, or union labor, the fear card is how they extort money from the tax payer.  They use fear to get taxes passed.  They use fear to keep people from breaking the laws.  They use fear to make their labor strikes effective.  Without fear they have nothing. 

And that’s why going against 1.3 million people in Ohio does not bother me.  1 or a million, it doesn’t matter.  I have the second amendment to protect me from politics that are being used against me as does every American.  What more do I need?  If the laws have no value because those who make the law, use the law as a weapon, then what is there to fear once it is accepted that the game of politics is built on fear, and if that fear is overcome, then the truth can be seen clearly. 

The people who use fear to advance themselves, and labor unions certainly are guilty of this, can only threaten to walk off a job, or beat up and kill someone who attempts to shine a light on their illicit nature.  They may hire people to do this for them, or vandalize the property of a target in order to inspire fear of a different nature.  They may even go after the targets family.  They may attempt to hack into the websites of a target, or their email.  They may tap their phones or follow the target and their family around to scare them.  The bottom line is that if a politician, a union leader, or an organized crime lord cannot argue facts directly, they use intimidation to scare people away from the truth, then you can be assured that you are on to something, because they are trying to protect something with that force.  And what they are protecting is often money that was stolen from someone else in one form or another, and they want to keep the issue quiet. 

I’ve seen every form of intimidation the human mind can concoct.  And it doesn’t bother me because I’m willing to counter it.  I do not ask anything of government or the people employed by it.  I put up with government, the schools, the police, and the infrastructure of politics because my friends and neighbors like those things.  As long as they leave me alone, I leave them alone.  But when those groups start asking for money, I get angry because they want something that belongs to me.  And when they use fear to get it I get even madder.  And when they put it in my face and make threats, then they just made a mistake, because they will not be able to win that fight.  Once when a person attempted to follow me around town, I lost them on the highway to a high-speed chase because the person following me did not have the nerve to keep up.  And out of many hundreds of conflicts over the years, that is the general rule.   In the end all you really need is the second amendment and the nerve to go with it.  You don’t have to go out looking for a fight, but if the fight finds you, then that is why the second amendment is there, for when government becomes so corrupt they listen to thugs, organized crime, labor unions, and other fear based scoundrels who want easy access to the pot of money the government takes from all of us, then the constitution is there for our protection. 

I’ve been to court so many times that I know the routine in my sleep.  A judge will not even hear a case unless you appear with an attorney.  Attorneys, politicians, and law-enforcement all have a nice little scam going.  Attorneys use law suites to beat people into submission, especially individuals who have limited funds because an out-of-court settlement is the cheapest way to surrender to a fight that is stacked against the average citizen from the start unless they can afford equal legal counsel that bill at $200 an hour.  An average court case will cost $10K to $50K and few people have that kind of money lying around.  Big labor has certainly used these methods to get what they want which is just another form of extortion. They sue companies, politicians, whole branches of government, individuals, whoever gets in their way. 

But the money we produce as tax payers creates this whole infrastructure.  And the perpetrators of legalized theft, whoever they are, use fear to keep us from looking at the situation honestly, because once we know it’s a scam, we may not support it.  That’s what they fear, that the public will realize that they are all a bunch of mindless thugs who use muscle and intimidation to gain leverage on a unknowing public.  

I’ve put up with their games for over thirty years, and I’m done.  I am not willing to participate in the lie of politics.  If that goes against the “muscle” of politics so what, I won’t see anything I haven’t seen already.  In my older years here, I have grown very fond of playing with fire.  So I appreciate the concern, but I’m not the one who’s going to be burnt by it.  It will be the people who are up to no good, who insist on manipulating with fear the facts to rob good people of money who will be burnt.  Because to me, they are no different from the pests I had to burn out of my tree to save that tree.  Taken individually, I’m sure I’d love all the little caterpillars in that nest.  But when they build a nest in a tree I’m trying to save, I have to identify the problem and solve it.  The same holds true for public sector labor unions that have set up a nest on our tax dollars and are threatening to kill everything the tax money is supposed to be spent on. 

I’m going to call it the way it is, and by a rule, if someone is using fear of any kind instead of truth to get a point across, they are hiding something.  Fear used even in the form of a mob chanting in any threatening fashion is a sign that they are hiding something, and can’t be trusted.  I’m not willing as a tax payer to contribute to a system I can’t trust and I’m willing to remove any elements that get in the way of an honest exchange of ideas.  Nothing else is worth the money.

Rich Hoffman

http://overmanwarrior.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/ten-rules-to-live-by/
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