The Beauty of the NCAA Tournament: Evidence of a thriving culture with healthy roots

 

Just a footnote of contemplation, I couldn’t help but notice what a wonderfully vibrant culture America is on the evening of the first March Madness games of the NCAA tournament. Everywhere I went all during Thursday March 16th and into Friday March 17th, which happened to be Saint Patrick’s Day as well—it was a thriving culture full of energy and forward-looking optimism.  Donald Trump had just submitted his budget cuts to congress, Space X launched a rocket into space from Cape Canaveral and all of the American colleges who made it into the famous basketball tournament were competing for attention on the nation’s television stations in every restaurant, bar, and personal device.  It was wonderful to see.   For context I had just spent much of February in England with a little time in France and I watched a lot of their news—particularly Sky News and the BBC—and it was boring compared to the activity that was going on in the States.  For days on end I watched coverage of cricket, rugby and soccer and everything was kind of an anticlimax.  As I looked around, especially in London I would have expected a lot more energy—but everything was pretty flat—especially regarding sports.  If England was a first world country, then those poor people in second-rate and third-rate countries really had it bad.

If Europe is supposed to be the model we are all to be following in the world—as it certainly was under Barack Obama’s presidency, then that was a serious mistake. They have nothing to offer that matches the excitement from coast to coast as what we have in America with our Super Bowl, and NCAA games.  No matter where you went from California to New York, people were excited about the NCAA Tournament if even mildly.  It was quite a unique exhibition that I noticed more this year than in years past because I literally had just experienced a different culture in a supposedly first world nation that didn’t even come close.  I tend to watch a lot of news no matter where I am in the world.  I’ve experienced similar opinions while engaged in extended stays in Japan and it continues to amaze me how limited the artistic scope of places outside of the United States truly limit themselves to—and to me sports is a branch of artistic expression entwined with commercial enterprise.

All during the first days of the Tournament I had the games on with my multiple devices and even if I didn’t care much for the teams, I enjoyed the festivities immensely. What was even more stimulating was that for a time during the 16th I spent some time at home as Vanderbilt was trying to make a comeback and there was much excitement from the broadcasters—I had the game on so that I could hear it over my Playstation VR headset where I was playing Rush Blood—which is a really creepy haunted house shooting game and I was able to blow off some stress while still enjoying the game on television because with Playstation VR, you can pump all the video into your headset leaving the television free for another broadcast which I thought was pretty cool.

Little things like this matter to me because I spend a lot of time studying old forgotten cultures and when I see all these very dynamic interactions playing against a static global culture I get excited about the prospects of the world. In America in spite of the bad news that always seems to come from our newscasters, enthusiasm is oozing out of every crack.   And you can clearly see it when we have major sporting events where advertisers put up their products on television commercials, and restaurant sales spike because people gather together to have a few drinks and watch the games to measure their success on office pools.  I see it all in a very positive light.  The rest of the world isn’t like this, and it should be.  There is nothing wrong with America—the only fingers that point out the possibility are the jealous countries out there who call our success “excess” because they can’t compete at the same level.

I’ll admit it was nice to see a few of my hometown teams of Xavier and NKU win their first games and you could feel the sentiment on the radio broadcasts the next morning. The entire city of Cincinnati was stepping a little lighter across the day.  Sure there were budget problems in Cincinnati as Democrats had overspent to the point of deficits and cuts would have to be made, just as Trump is doing at the Federal level.  But that’s management, the sports events were what made our culture tick with the inflection of the net result of our place in the world.  Just as some teams had their worst days of their lives yesterday when they lost in the first round—as only 32 teams will advance to the next game.  32 other teams did advance to the next game and that is the joy and sorrow of capitalism and the reason the rest of the world doesn’t have such an experience is because they are functioning from the wrong political philosophies—which is a shame.  A thriving culture should be able to take the downside as well as the uptick.  Beer and hamburgers still taste the same when you have a down day, but on days of victory and celebration, they taste a little bit better and that’s the fun of it.

I can only say that I was thankful for the experience. Spring was in the air; the games were on the radio and television everywhere and optimism was pouring forth—which was more exciting for me because I had just been watching cricket highlights just a few weeks ago wondering how in the world those people were functioning on a day-to-day basis if that was evidence of a first world country.  In America NASCAR is roaring every weekend, basketball is being played everywhere, and baseball is about to start-up in just a few weeks.  What’s not to like.  I don’t care that much about sports but yet I still enjoy the sound of Marty Brennaman on a Saturday afternoon over the smell of freshly cut grass, pool chlorine and an outside grill cooking hamburgers.   It’s not so much if those teams are winning or losing—but it is about them trying to do so and tempting the fate of chance to do something extraordinary—which is the backbone of American culture and why we have all these sporting events to begin with—because it is inflective of our nature manifested through competitive events turned into commercial enterprise—and that is truly beautiful.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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Movie Review of ‘Snowden”: Make the kid a deal and put him to work

I have often thought of Oliver Stone as a brilliant screenwriter, climaxing with the movie Scarface starring Al Pacino.  As a director, I liked JFK and Natural Born Killers—which I thought were very ambitious.  I also liked his movie The Doors for the style of his approach to the subject.  But too often, Stone fizzles out in the second act and his movies never live up to the hype.  Art and activism are tricky bedfellows and most of the time the result just isn’t very good—so when he brought out Snowden just before the 2016 election as an obvious appeal to get a pardon for Edward Snowden stuck in Moscow with his longtime girlfriend unable to return back to the United States due to charges of treason and espionage—I wasn’t all that excited to see it.  However, due to the recent Wikileaks dump from the CIA called Vault 7 I thought it was time to at least see what all the fuss was about and learn the back story of Snowden.  Disappointingly, the last act was flat, as most Oliver Stone movies have been for years where the big payoff sort of sputtered out the moment that Snowden learned that you could turn on a laptop and watch women undressing in their bedrooms.  After that the story was really about a young twenty something who had his sensibilities hurt and had lost his nerve.  A story that was meant to show Snowden as a hero instead showed to me a 29-year-old genius who didn’t know how to handle a veiled threat from the upper levels of the CIA.

When Snowden’s bosses at the CIA let the young contractor know that they had been watching him in his private time he showed a naiveté that couldn’t match his big brain and the two things crashed into each other. Snowden had been given too much access to too much at too early of an age.  That scene based on real life was essentially the moment from the John Grisham novel—The Firm where a bright young prospect is nurtured along by older and wiser mentors only to have them reveal that they have control over every aspect of his life.  It’s essentially a hazing ritual that goes on in just about every place on earth that deals with the flow of money—where gatekeepers want to let someone who might be able to knock them out of a job in a few years, know that they are in control until they decide to hand over the reins.  According to Stone’s movie on Snowden—the kid got cold feet and let his mind erode away his logic.  No, I don’t like that the CIA and FBI are spying on everything we do as Americans, but there is a better way to make the case than what Snowden did out of a neurotic grasp on reality.

One thing that did surprise me was how determined Snowden was to become a special forces trooper, and once he broke his legs joined the CIA. During his entry interview, he was asked what his influences were—artistically, and he stated pretty much verbatim what I would have said, Joseph Campbell, Star Wars, Ayn Rand and Thoreau.  I also didn’t know that Snowden was a pretty straight-laced conservative who didn’t drink or smoke. After the first act I was pretty excited about Edward Snowden—he seemed to me to be a freedom fighter of a reasonable caliber.

But after watching him with his liberal girlfriend who was a sweet girl, but dreadfully naive—then with his co-workers, I realized who the guy was—and he was no hero. He is an excessively smart guy who essentially flew too close to the sun, and his wings melted. Down to earth he fell as The Guardian newspaper from England broke the story which they knew would embarrass the United States who was obviously struggling with a rogue government that had become the Deep State.  There are a lot of parasites out there in the media who want with every fiber of their essence to see any American do anything to embarrass their country even if its justified.  Because they are jealous of America and its reach into and around the world.

Now that the act is done however, there are lessons of plenty to go around. Our intelligence people in the federal government have assumed that everyone wanted to make that deal for security which I illustrated recently in an article about James Comey—and I’m not one of those people.  I don’t need some pinhead in the CIA to protect me from a terrorist.  If I see one, I’ll take care of it—better and cleaner than those idiots.  I practically begged some terrorist in Paris recently to attack me—I was wearing my cowboy hat around a radical poverty-stricken Muslim neighborhood and there were no takers.  These terrorists aren’t nearly as tough as the people in the CIA want to make them out to appear.  The CIA dramatizes everything so that they can get funding and more power—just like everyone else.  And when Snowden was confronted with an invasion of his privacy at the start of the third act of the Stone movie—he should have turned the tables on his bosses.  That would have been the manly thing to do—I would have gathered up pictures of those CIA heads in every compromising position and published them for all to see with even the hint of a threat—instead of overreacting and doing the whole—“I’ll show you” thing and reveal every state secret.  Needless to say, I couldn’t relate to how Snowden handled things in the second part of the film—he went from being very much in control and determined, to being a beaten young man under the emotional manipulation of a liberal girlfriend.   As I said about her, she was sweet and would have been a good match for someone with a fraction of Snowden’s ambitions, and ultimately she likely changed him to the point that he didn’t have the sensibility to work for the CIA anymore seeing people blown up on deserted streets in Syria as designated terrorist cells complete with collateral damage.

The undercurrent of the Snowden film which could have been good—but wasn’t—was that America had no right meddling in other country’s affairs—which of course we do. When other countries don’t solve their own problems, their immigrants come knocking on our doorsteps—so to protect our own nation—we have to go into nations that still entertain socialism, communism, and extreme religions and do what we can to diffuse bad guys planning to harm Americans domestically—and if left alone to their own devices will steal planes and run them into buildings, or bomb us in our many public gatherings as a punishment for embracing capitalism.  Snowden as a conservative changed during the film into something of a millennial crybaby and Stone seized on that aspect of the young man rather than that earlier much more conservative person.  Snowden’s character arch went from something likable to something rather pathetic and I blame the CIA for being second-handers and latching onto the kid so fast because they were essentially out of ideas themselves.

I am all for dismantling the Deep State which was revealed by Snowden and most recently caught manipulating the Presidency of Donald Trump but I’m not willing to throw the baby out with the bath water. If I were Trump I’d make Snowden a deal, I’d prosecute him for sure under Jeff Sessions and make him go through the embarrassment of public scrutiny.  But I’d put him into community service as an intelligence operative for a fraction of the cost of what he’s worth as a brilliant mind for 30 years.  A little freedom cheaply paid is better than rotting in prison, and so long as he’s in Russia, or other places—he’s helping other bad guys out there beef up their personal security and he’s not working on behalf of the United States. With a mind like Snowden—he deserves a second chance not for his benefit, but for the benefit of our country.   But his work would have to be more community service at a low wage instead of being thrown in jail only to be useless.  It’s good to keep enemies close, and Snowden should be in the United States doing work toward the next generation of threats instead of letting people like Oliver Stone make movies like Snowden to support in an indirect way George Soros’ open border network.  Yes, it’s a complicated problem but the solution is very easy.  Make a deal with the kid and put him to work limiting his freedom for decades—and we’ll all be better off.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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The Two Ingredients All Successful Societies Must Have: Guns and Books

As I spoke yesterday about the faults of James Comey’s speech on personal security within the United States now I feel I must identify the real answer to what is required for a free society.  I’ve been working out this little problem for a while now and it really took my recent trip to Europe for me to confirm with more than theory the proper contents of what it takes to have a self-governed society functioning healthily in a constitutional republic.  As I’ve said before on other topics, I wish sometimes that life could be so simple for me to have one solitary occupation which I could throw myself into that I could say—I am this—or that.  Such as someone who works as an engineer might say upon introductions—“I’m so and so and I’m an engineer,” my life is a lot more complicated.  And if given the opportunity to be a historian I would do it, because I have an unnaturally complicated relationship with history.  I pursue it for fun and often find myself thinking about it all hours of the day.  Given that, I know much more about history than the average person, so when I say that the two big drivers of misery in Europe throughout the Dark and Medieval ages was the absence of personal protection—weapons—and the ability to read—I would be saying specifically how we can solve these problems going forward and take mankind off the track of the Vico cycle which has plagued us all for tens of thousands of years.  With those two elements absent from those historic societies—for which much of the known world of today is based—battles between church and state dominated the lives of everyone leaving individuality to sacrifice itself to national security many times over.

One thing that astonished me about the many English people who I met during my travels was how literate they were and proud of it.  They like to read in England and they should, the concept was born there.  It’s only been fairly recently that the printing of individual books was even possible for common people.  It was from 1400 AD to really the reign of King Henry VIII that Bibles were printed for individual consumption bringing the word of God to every household and leaving the Church to feel very insecure about their ability to usher mankind through the gates of Heaven for the good of the State.  I felt quite privileged to walk among the ruins of various monasteries in England, such as the great St. Augustine’s Abby because in 1536 AD they were destroyed out of a need for money by the regime.  That left the monks who had previously provided all the intellectual work of translating the scripture to the people who attended their churches to be the symbols of thinking in the medieval world.  After destroying the various monasteries, a power vacuum occurred and the Reformation effort spread as people started to question the relationship between an often corrupt Roman Catholic Church clergy, the various kings, and God.  By the time the first Welsh Bible was published in print during 1567 a lot of discussion regarding the Mathew’s Bible printed in 1537 had taken place.  King Henry VIII was very anxious about letting the lower orders of society read the Bible for themselves because it had severe political and social consequences.

It was only a few years later that Robert Cushman commissioned the Mayflower to flee to America to escape the church’s ever increasing losing grip on the “commoners” such as what happened in Canterbury quite explicitly as Henry’s children struggled with the social changes that reading Bibles had introduced to their society.  This explosion of thought advanced to the days of the pirates over the next hundred years as the exploits of the great Henry Morgan came back to England from the Caribbean region as countries used privateers to rob other countries of the loot they were stealing from the Meso American region.  Democracy was invented on pirate ships as they were functioning governments far removed from the countries of their origin and mankind was turned loose for the first known time in the history of the world—and writers like John Locke were there to record the observations for people like Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin to expand upon later.  Secret societies like the Illuminati and the Scottish Rites developed a line of philosophy divorced from the English crown as the publication of books began to create a new kind of human being among the would-be intellectuals who could afford books that in previous centuries were either monks or members of the king’s court.

During the 1750s those inspired by the new books of Europe to flee to America to live as frontiersman erupted into westward expansion.  During the years of the French and Indian War then eventually the Revolutionary War—then the War of 1812, then the Civil War the full fruition of knowledge shared through books were matched with the possession of personal firearms which allowed for the kind of self-reliance that Ralph Waldo Emersion and his friend Henry David Thoreau contemplated as Transcendentalists.  It is important to remember that as of all the events that lead to the Civil War in America books had only been present for reading among human populations for about 250 years.  Personal books were not available outside of state-run institutions until this present time and it was books that led to the explosion in even contemplating individual liberty.

It was all the way up to the beginning of the 20th Century that personal firearms were the keys to American life.  After all, frontiersman and cowboys were able to hunt and forge a life for themselves anywhere in the world so long as they had a gun and a Bible to read by the firelight to their families to pass the time—and human consciousness expanded rapidly.   The American Indian didn’t have a chance against these European escapees armed with personal firearms and the knowledge they had acquired from books printed in New England and shipped west to markets emerging along the many rivers of the new nation.  Indians were a collective based society and they were much like the oriental forces that had been crushed under the expanding French and English empires that were dominating the world driven not by the great military leaders of Napoleon and the likes Wellington—but of those societies having access to the ability to read for the first time.  They were smarter than their opponents and the North American Indian may have been living in accord with nature, but mankind was conquering nature through contemplation derived by reading—and the Indians lost because they couldn’t think as individuals.  Reading is a very individual oriented type of activity.

That gave birth to the American Western—of the cowboy gunslinger, which represented to the world something new—an individual human being protected by their gun and functioning as a self-reliant entity that didn’t need a church for their spiritual awakening—because they could read—and they didn’t need a government to protect them because they had a gun.  It was those two things that created the American cowboy and which eventually led the rest of the world to contemplating personal liberty.  As of the present, the world has not yet accepted the superior philosophic position of the American gunslinger because there is a lot more to it than just having the ability to take the life of another human being, or being able to read a book on their own without the interpretation of a church clergy to tell them what it said.   This is why socialist statists deeply concerned about this wave of personal freedom happening in American like Barack Obama were so weary about the electorate holding on to their “God and their Guns.  They know that it is those two elements that prevented a society from falling in behind the old European model where political elites controlled the commoners through ignorance and superior might.  Modern progressives desire deeply to take society back to the time right before Henry VIII where people could be managed between the church and the state which is why they support so vehemently the introduction of Islamic radicalism into Europe and America because they desire to use that religion to reduce intellectual capacity and drive society back to a theocracy instead of an intellectual republic without central controls.  That is also why liberals are all about gun control regardless of what the stats say on the matter.

It is therefore the ability to read and the ability to own a personal firearm and even to carry it around with you that decentralizes all governments and puts the power truly into the people—and it’s really a new idea which has only flowered in America.  As I said, the English people are very literate and that was refreshing.  But they don’t have guns, and so as a result they still live much the way they did during the Middle-Ages. Currently it’s not the Catholic Church or even the monarchy which drives their society, but their history in those activities still bind their society to that foundation just as Japan still fashions itself to their samurai period.  That leaves them all with one ingredient toward personal freedom, but not the other.

Only in America and only with both the gun and the books of our culture has freedom advanced.  America actually is on over saturation because not only do we have books, but we have 1000s of channels of cable television, 100 years of motion pictures to watch, endless books and countless things to entertain ourselves with—so literacy isn’t as high of a priority as it should be in our society—but there is no way to go back.  Mankind will never surrender their freedoms back to the security of state-run centralized society such as those envisioned by Henry VIII’s friend Thomas More in his book Utopia.  Those days are gone forever because just the act of reading a book like Utopia, or The Communist Manifesto, lead eventually toward a human mind craving freedom.  It’s the Catch 22 for progressives who want to revert back to a theocracy they control whether it is Islam or environmentalism that is worshipped.  Human beings once they get a taste for it won’t go back and if you look at history, you can see clearly a trajectory of thought that leaves us either destroying ourselves or settling space—but we won’t go back.  And societies around the world will not advance on just books and knowledge alone.  They have to allow for personal firearms in order to truly unleash the potential of the human beings in their societies.  You cannot have the good intellectual stuff that comes from a free society without doing the things it takes to have a free society and owning personal firearms is just as important as literacy.  And those are the facts.  You need two things to have a society of free people thriving in a country—any country—they have to be literate with plenty of books and a desire to read them, and they must have guns—lots and lots of them.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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Life in the Grail Castle: Unexpected treasures from a Canterbury bookstore

I suppose the best vacations are when you have the opportunity to do the things you enjoy most unhindered. If its fishing, hiking, shooting or sculpting—the ideal vacation is when you can do those things without thinking about doing other things as obligations.  And that was my experience recently while living in Canterbury, England for a few weeks in February 2017 shortly after the Trump election.  That’s important to note because I was invested in the election of Donald Trump considerably and if he had not won I was planning to hunker down for a very tough battle, politically, and physically.  But since he did win—I knew that things would be fixed which I recognized needed to be addressed politically before I ever invested in such a big trip—which I had been thinking about for a long time—because let’s face it—you don’t want to travel to the point of  yearning for home but not look forward to returning because the Obama administration constantly reminded you that they were trying to make America into Europe—as opposed to the other way around.  As it stood on this particular trip, Trump was saying exactly what I was saying about Paris as I was standing in the middle of it observing the reality—so it was extra sweet to return back through immigration in Charlotte North Carolina after being overseas for a lengthy period of time.  If Trump had not been in office, I would not have booked such a big trip.  But because he did win, I felt I could relax a bit and enjoy doing something I had been thinking about for a very long time.  It is under this vacation condition that I found myself at the very nice bookstore Waterstones in Canterbury admiring their fantastic selection of books when I saw a real treasure—a 2015 publication I didn’t know about from the Joseph Campbell Foundation called, Romance of the Grail.

I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been a member of the Joseph Campbell Foundation in the past even to the point of attending some of their events way back in the 90s—and I still get updates from them all the time which I enjoy reading. Somehow I had missed this book on Arthurian legends by Evans Lansing Smith written directly from Joseph Campbell lectures given before his death in 1987.  The reading of Joseph Campbell books is something that I cherish greatly and if I wasn’t a whole lot of other things—all action oriented—I would have been quite happy as a scholarly intellectual living off tenure so that I’d have infinite time and resources to read and think. That’s why the vacation to Canterbury was so important to me—for a few weeks I was able to step out of my normal life, read lots of books, look at maps, explore a lot, and attend some of the greatest museums of the world day after day—and honestly, I loved it.  I wrote and read a lot on this trip and every single day I found myself in some bookstore whether it be in London, Paris, or Canterbury looking at books to buy that were not for sale in the States and that’s when I saw that little treasure from the Joseph Campbell Foundation on Arthurian romance while looking through the comparative religion and mythology section of the great Waterstones bookstore which was three stories set in one of the most historic cities in the world—and most literate.  I can say that the day I bought that book it was one of the best days of my life.  Here was a Joseph Campbell book that I had not yet read—of relatively fresh material.  Sure I had heard much of it in old lectures, but having it in print was very nice.  And I was buying and reading it in a city where people loved to read and were sitting about drinking their tea and coffee looking down into the old Roman streets of Canterbury.  The whole thing felt very intellectual and I enjoyed it immensely.

Around the corner was a Burger King, which was much more my type of food, so my wife and I went there after our trip to Waterstones and I sifted through my treasures and started reading the new Joseph Campbell book. I was fully aware that this is exactly why many liberals are out of touch with the reality of the outside world.  It is quite enjoyable to sit on a pedestal and contemplate the mysteries of the universe with a full bank account and access to the luxuries of life without worrying about solving problems day-to-day that affect people’s lives extensively.  It was very pleasurable to read my new Joseph Campbell book without worrying about the time or the events of the world as I was about as removed from my normal circumstances as I could have been.  The only thing I had that reminded me of home was my new books and all the time to read that I wanted—so my Whopper at Burger King tasted fantastic, my new books were treasures that I wouldn’t have traded for a pile of gold and for the first time in a long time I didn’t worry about what was happening in the world—because Trump was on the job in the White House.  The Dow Jones was creeping up to 21,000 and my wife and I had plenty of money so not to worry about buying train tickets to London or Paris, or eating in any restaurant we fancied—so I had a taste of that intellectual life, and I liked it in the context of a vacation.

One of the things that made that particular book so exciting and refreshing was the nature of the story of Parzival by Wolfram von Eschenbach written literally in the setting that I was staying in, a city formed by the Middle Ages of 1200 A.D. I had heard the story of Parzival and read the Eschenbach poem years ago, but it had much more potency reading it in Canterbury for me—because I was surrounded by the landscape of that time period.  The Canterbury Cathedral was literally everywhere I looked as it dominated everything that happened in that town even to this very day—so it was very revealing to me to read through the updated Joseph Campbell book on Arthurian legends the story of Parzival once again there. Essentially a lot the way I do things was inspired by that story as I read it early enough to give meaning toward my natural inclination toward absolutely reckless behavior.  I understood why I did such things after I read the story of Parzival.  I knew it instinctively before, but I understood it intellectually after Joseph Campbell explained the metaphors of the Eschenbach version of Parzival.  The Arthur legends are very laissez-faire, for instance you only get to the Grail Castle to meet the Grail King by holding the reins on your horse very loose. You can only do such things in life by living authenticlly—by living of your own accord.  That’s what makes these old stories so important—they are the first of their kind which identifies the individual as an architect of their own destiny.  In the context of history, this was big stuff—so I absolutely treasure these Arthurian stories specifically of Parzival and the Grail Castle.

Given all that, it was a great vacation because of the literature and the ability for me to reach back to some of my roots away from the immediate catastrophe of every little thing that happens every single day. It was a window into how the intellectual class in our society lives, and I can see why they enjoy it.  But, vacations are not reality—the real effort is in productive enterprise, and when the vacation was over, it was over.  Yet gratitude is there in abundance for The Joseph Campbell Foundation for producing such a great book, and for Waterstones in Canterbury for being such a great bookstore set in such a fine, historical city.  And for Canterbury itself—for surviving over 2000 years of evolution to provide my wife and I a nice vacation from the realities of life.  It was a good trip, and I’m happy that books were able to be an important part of it.  In my own way, it was my own little Grail Castle, and I was able to bring it home with me.  And that is a real treasure.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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The Real Problem with Illegal Immigration: Changing what people are running from in the first place

It was an interesting interview between Fox News host Tucker Carlson and Univision News anchor Jorge Ramos because it exhibited quite wonderfully the problem over illegal immigration. When Carlson asked—“do I not have a right to not like that the country does not look like the one I grew up in” he asked a very powerful question.  Of course Ramos exhibited the modern George Soros open border viewpoint that the United States is changing and that these are facts of life that we should all just accept.  But the real essence to the question is not whether or not America should look like a particular color of people—but that the idea of America be preserved no matter who the majority ethnic group might be—because the function of any people in moving to the United States over the last 400 years—likely much longer—was to get away from something to live better in North America.  However, open border advocates assume that when people come to America through illegal and legal immigration that those new people have a right to bring the culture they are running from with them—and that just isn’t the case.

If an immigrant is coming from Venezuela, Nepal, Vietnam, India, Columbia, Mexico—or anywhere that has had their economy destroyed by communism and socialism—they do not have a right to bring that garbage into America to change the nature of our country. The situation is not one of skin color, or even sex—it’s all about the values that make up a society.  America works as a capitalist nation and those coming to the United States for opportunity must respect that opportunity and they can’t bring the garbage they are running from with them.  That is the essence of the immigration argument.  People coming from someplace else have an obligation to assimilate to where they are going.  They don’t have a right to change the nature of the American idea.

I know far more immigrants than I do people from Appalachia America—or in other words I know many more people who are not of white skin color than I do those of my own skin color, and I like those people because often they have good families and strong personal values. But I’m clear with them that I will respect them so long as what they want in life is to work hard and live the American dream.  However, if they start voting for socialists in America and seek to turn our nation into some third world armpit of communism—then I have a problem with them.  It has nothing to do with the color of their skin or their country of origin.

Additionally, I was just able to travel through Europe and I have seen firsthand the trouble I have been reading about and watching on the news for years. Europe is under siege from the former communist block of east European countries and the communist insurgency injected into the Middle East during the 1970s—which is hiding behind the religion of Muslim faith to penetrate the “west” for revenge over Sykes Picot and the centuries long battle of the first Crusades.  Muslims are pouring into Paris and London at an alarming rate not to assimilate—but to change those great European cities from the inside out—and they have been attempting to do the same in America.

Unfortunately for open border advocates like Ramos there isn’t much Mexican history to go on to justify their society as a long-established entity. When there are claims that Texas was taken from Mexico or that there are open disputes along the border into Arizona and elsewhere the truth is that the Spanish conquered the Aztecs in 1519 and sacked the Mayan civilization around the same time—as well as the Incan Empire in South America.  The Spanish looted all the treasure of those cultures and hauled them back to Europe leaving the French and English to fight over what was left—leaving Mexico, Central America and South American depleted and destroyed.  The Spanish mixed with the beaten Aztec and Mayan people creating the people we see today and socialism replaced their former great economy under the Aztec Empire into one of a welfare state centered on Marxist ideas.  So what does Mexico, Central America or any country in South America have to bring to the United States but ideas that would collapse our economy because the people born of those regions were created under the flag of conquest?  We aren’t living in a world where everybody gets a trophy.  In North America, the Indians were beaten in the war over land.  So the rights go to the victor.  In Mexico, the people were beaten.  They don’t get rights to live equally in a world against a culture built on superior ideas.  And that is the problem for people like Ramos.  Admitting that the United States is a superior culture is something that nobody is willing to accept—yet there is a reason that people are willing to put themselves into danger to come to America in the first place—and those reasons need to be respected—and protected.  In order for those people to have opportunity in America the preservation of what makes America special must be preserved.

Mexico never had their act together—they were built from a culture of conquest and pillaging—and they never got their feet set as a country of ideas from the time the Aztecs were beaten to the present—over 500 years later. That’s not something to celebrate.  If anything, Mexico should be taking notes from America—not pouring into North America to bring socialism to our economy to turn it into the backwoods armpit that Mexico is presently.  Mexico could be great, but under the current conditions, it is terrible and I feel sorry for the people imprisoned there.  If they want to become United States citizens—I’m happy to welcoming them—but they aren’t allowed to destroy our culture in the process.

The North American Indian was not native to America—that falsehood was perpetuated by lazy science not willing to accept new discoveries made over the last 150 years that declare pre-Columbian archaeology had a much more advanced culture than what we typically associate with the nomads discovered by Columbus. And the same in Mexico, the Aztecs and whatever culture built the pyramids at Teotihuacan were far more advanced than the Spanish conquistadors who settled in the area and looted that culture into the despots we have now in that region.  If open border advocates wish to acknowledge those historical aspects, then they might get some historical agreement from people like me.  But they are defending conquered countries and insisting that the European translation of history serve as the backdrop of migration justification.  For instance, the slave trade in America was a European inheritance that was eventually eliminated as a result of our American Revolution—but Europe committed far worse atrocities when they looted Central and South America of its former wealth—yet that is never discussed.  But the evidence is still present in the people of today and they flee to America looking for hope and opportunity—but bring with them all the troubles they are trying to flee from.  That is not a sane option.

Understanding all that, Europe is falling apart, Russia doesn’t even have an economy that exceeds the one American company like Apple, China is a communist nation, and Japan is struggling with debt and limited resources—who in the world can save the rest of it from their long histories of bad decisions currently holding down many people from living good lives. Is the answer to let all the world into America as immigrants so to topple the last free and just place on earth—or should the rest of the world take notes from the United States and start forming their cultures around what works in our nation?  If open border supporters like Jorge Ramos really want to save their people in Mexico, Central America and into South America than how about proposing that those counties become more like America and embrace a capitalist form of economy abandoning what they have been doing which is causing so much misery.  We can’t let the world bring communism and socialism into America and expect it to remain a place of hopes and dreams—because those immigrants will just turn our cities into the slums they are running from by nature—because they haven’t changed their patterns of behavior.  Rather, those immigrants should in most cases stay put and adopt American ideas in the Middle East, in Mexico, in all of South America—India—Indonesia—Vietnam—everywhere so that opportunity could be found in their own backyard and not halfway around the world under illegal conditions.  The real issue is that these places that immigrants are fleeing from should change their ways so people aren’t so eager to leave.  That should be the concern of Jorge Ramos—because only when you fix that problem will everything else snap into place.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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The Virtue of Material Acquisition and Spending Money: Defying thousands of years of wrongly framed thinking

I am not suggesting that any person spend money like a bottomless pit buying anything everywhere to cover up some deep psychological problem.  That is a different issue from what I’m proposing.  Money is simply a representation of value so when someone spends money without considering the implication of cost they are essentially unable to grasp the concept of value because psychologically, they are lacking the basic foundations to do so.  However, and this is a uniquely American way to think which was drawn incredibly clear for me while traveling recently through London, Paris, Brighton and many other places in between and observing the people there and comparing them to those I have known back home in the United States.  Additionally, as one of my many occupations, I am an employer and am an expert in the breakdown of labor=productivity and the psychological implications of personality=quality+implied effort toward targeted outcomes, so what I’m about to say requires some advanced context—because it eludes most people living on the earth today—and my assertion of these concepts comes from very advanced knowledge earned the hard way, and in my view, the only way.

I had the fortune to grow up and know both of my grandparents very well.  Both were farmers and had obviously had their world outlook shaped by the Great Depression.  One was particularly keen about every penny spent and watched them like a hawk always afraid that some big wave would come and overtake them wiping them out forever into poverty. They were extremely hard-working people and were socially very honorable, but did reflect a constant fear that their money would be taken away by some unknown force be it a disaster or the aggressions of mankind through some form of robbery—so every penny was watched for their entire lives. The other set of grandparents were rather loose with their money.  If they wanted something they bought it and never gave much of a concern if something cost thousands of dollars even back in the 60s, 70s and 80s.  If they wanted it they’d do what they had to in order to obtain it—whether it be a farm, a particular car, or just a lifestyle.

While traveling around Europe there was this constant phantom in the back of every conversation I had with people I interacted with, from family, friends and mild acquaintances which were shocked that we did so much in such a short period of time while people who were regionally located had spent their whole lives 60 miles to 100 miles from the things we were doing as a family in Europe yet had never tried to do them themselves.  And it came up more than once at dinner tables that my youngest grandson who was at this point only 10 months of age had already been to Disney World once, and was now traveling around Europe with my daughter and her husband.  Additionally while he was still a fetus he traveled around Iceland the year before so before he was even a year old had experienced vast cultural influences which are the foundations of a very interesting coming life that he will have—but people hearing all this just didn’t understand.  “You spent how much at that Ramsay restaurant in Chelsea?”  “You took the Eurostar to Paris just to go to the Louvre?” “Why go all the way out to Stonehenge just to look at some old rocks?”  Those were the kind of questions we received just over the last few weeks by people mystified by the amount activities we reported through small talk which of course opened up a deeper sore which rests on the surface of most things human beings do in their lives.  What is the value of a human day and what does one wish to do with those days toward a value that is internally comprehended at the subconscious level?

That same daughter who traveled with me just recently purchased an iPhone 7 Plus after working with mine on that trip and I was proud of her because it’s the best on the market at this particular time and I like to see she does not compromise quality for the comfort of saving a few dollars.  Just like my view that if we are in London and my wife wants to go to the best restaurant that they have—why not do it?  Essentially if I really want something, I typically get it. I don’t feel that way about everything and I do go through a screening process.  Such as Stonehenge is something that I’ve mulled around for years, but the expense wasn’t worth the trip just for that endeavor.  But If I’m in London on business, or leisure, then I’ll find a way to get there—you better believe it.  I am not the kind of person content to just watch from my front porch others doing things and not doing them myself.  To me nothing on earth is off limits—if I want it, I’ll get it.  With that in mind, when I hear someone say that this is too expensive, or that is too far out of reach, I lose respect for those people because what they are really saying is that they are not willing to do the extra work to acquire the things their heart’s desire and are more than willing to yield to complacency.

Such people who do the minimum in life favoring the lazy position of being victims of circumstance are miserable human beings.  One thing that makes Donald Trump a uniquely American product is that he has the kind of mind that never felt limited by circumstances.  He dreamed big, lived big, and was more than happy to show off how much harder he was willing to work than his contemporaries.  Because after all what is a man really showing off when he arrives at an exclusive club in a Lamborghini with a hot woman on his arm looking very debonair?  He’s not saying he just inherited millions of dollars from his dad, or that he’s willing to waste large volumes of money on nothing—he’s saying that he is willing to outwork his peers and has obtained success and by fluffing his feathers declares himself above those around him so that he can have top access to the best that mankind has to offer—whether it be women, productivity, or leisure opportunity.  Those who point jealously at the man are those simply not willing to do what it takes to acquire such things.  They resort to socialism hoping to be equal to the man without having to do the work so that they essentially don’t have to feel the guilt of underperforming in a world which rewards people like the Lamborghini driver over those who watch every penny fearful that the penny might be taken from them at some point forcing them to work one hour longer to make it up in the future.  People who deliberately set low bars for themselves are constantly unhappy when they have to live in a world where people are free to work and gain all they can and this is the cause of much anxiety in the world. By having a guy like that Lamborghini driver in the White House the expectations for our national economy will naturally expand which I see no negative to at all.  People who are afraid of hard work won’t like it because the social bars of expectation will be raised out of their range of desired applied effort—but that’s good for America as a whole for obvious reasons of economic expansion.

What I observed in Europe was something completely foreign to me.  I knew about it, but actually spending significant time there the situation was glaringly obvious.  They think small in Europe.  They have too much vacation time-they sit and talk too much about nothing and are content to live with the limitations they inherited from their ancient ancestors and they have grown as a region to accept many restrictions which keep them from really living life.  I personally don’t have any of those limits in my life because honestly no matter how much I spend, I’m willing to work harder than anybody else to have what I desire.  I may not care to have a Lamborghini because I’m not interested in the social things that come with it.  I’m married and not looking for women, and I usually do things with my family so there isn’t a back seat for them to sit in when we go out to dinner so the value isn’t worth the cost to me.  But if I wanted one, I’d buy one and nothing would stop me from getting it.  There really aren’t many “things” I want in life because material objects don’t bring much value to me—intellectual things do like books—but “things” themselves don’t do it for me.  But when I want a particular gun, or a motorcycle, or an iPhone—or a television—I get the best of whatever it is and I don’t think about the cost because I am literally willing to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week to obtain whatever it is.

That leaves me with absolutely no sympathy for the person who holds onto their money because they either fear someone taking it from them through aggression, or that they just are afraid of hard work. The person who is afraid to take their wife out to a nice dinner isn’t being fiscally prudent as much as they are just being a wimp afraid of giving up their leisure time to make their spouse a little more happy and comfortable. To select the cheaper version of a car to save money is setting the bar lower for other things and such people are artificially restricting the quality of their life to preserve their internal laziness—in most cases.  And that’s a generally accurate way to identify much of what is currently sickening the world in regard to human beings. They want things that they see other people have, but they are not willing to do what it takes to have those things.  In many cases their religions have given them a free pass to be lazy by constantly castigating the wealthy by highlighting poverty as some kind of virtue.  And that has been a cleverly shrouded element in our society which has garnered little to no attention from our everyday life.

I fortunately was able to live in Canterbury for a good part of February 2017 and in that ancient city there are still monks who make the conscious decision to live in poverty—to essentially quit yearning for material objects so that they can earn their way into heaven.  Its one thing to read about such things, it’s quite another to meet them and see them in the streets of Canterbury which I did.  My wife and I even went to their little island in the Stour River to get a sense of how and why they live the way they do.  Additionally, there are quite a few homeless people in Canterbury who have obviously quit life yielding to the escape of alcoholism.  The two groups of purposely poor demographic groups had decided to set the bar so low for themselves that they were victims of circumstance and simply yielded their life to other controlling elements.  Compassion is not the word I would use to explain their circumstance upon meeting them and speaking directly to them about their manner of living.  They have quit life and have tossed it back to what they think “God” is—and by my definition for things are wasting themselves.  It’s not honorable to be poor or to sacrifice their life for some greater good when what they are really hiding is their sheer laziness to get up each day and battle toward personal goals set for the benefit of being alive.  Such as, you can’t take that car, that house and that nice watch with you into the next world.  But what you do take is the experience gained in obtaining those things because the effort expands your intellect which has resonance into the many dimensional planes of reality that your soul resides on.  So in essence, the work utilized in reaching for material goods and services has a natural byproduct that resonates across the universe into your eternal elements—and those monks in Canterbury are missing the point by deciding to live in poverty so to obtain the grace of God.  And regarding the homeless people, I’ve been at points in my life where compared to them, they were much wealthier than I was—but I never quite working.  A person like me would never be on the street without a house or the means to get one and to me there is no excuse in living on the street begging for food or enough scraps to get a bottle of alcohol to indulge in drunkenness.  They are people who lack the internal drive to fight through each day and make the best of it—let’s be honest.

So those are some things to think about in regard to money, value, virtue, and immortal spirit.  When my daughter told me she had bought a new iPhone 7 after working with mine I would say she did more for her eternal spirit than those Canterbury monks have done in 30 years of living deliberately impoverished in dedication to God—because the value isn’t in the material item—it’s in the productive output to acquire it.  The morality of a good economy does more for assisting the soul of its recipients than deliberate quitting of the world does by yielding to the old forces of intellectual control over those willing to submit themselves to every authority.  Doing what the heart desires for the right reasons is a more moral decision than sacrificing it to circumstance.  It is not honorable to say “I can’t do this because of that, or that I don’t have enough of that to do this.”  It is honorable to say I want that so I’m going to do this to have it because the virtue comes in the act of acquiring the means to perform the task.  For instance the virtue of spending over $1000 on a meal isn’t the food itself or the obvious consumable nature of it—it’s in acquiring the $1000 to spend and in sharing that experience with the people you care about for the memory of it—and the message to them that they are more valuable to you than just setting the bar too low for everyone and holding them prisoner to your low expectations for yourself.  Monks hide that low bar behind dedication to God. The homeless behind their lack of internal resolve to fight through personal challenges–and the lazy hide behind circumstances—whether they are too short, not smart enough, too weak, too something to be that guy who shows up to dinner in the Lamborghini with the hot chick on their arm—so reserve themselves to sitting on their front porch watching the world pass them by and claim that they are being “fiscally prudent.”  They are just being wimps.  And that is the harsh reality that so many people need to face—because they aren’t fooling anyone.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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Swamp Monsters Attack Trump Before the Election: Obama caught tapping the phones at Trump Tower

As if we didn’t know it already early in the morning of March 4th 2017 Donald Trump found out that President Obama just before the November 2016 election had Trump’s phones tapped in Trump Tower using the government to spy on a political rival—obviously breaking many laws in the process.  As Democrats have attempted to do anything to put the new Trump administration on their heels to prevent proper management from the White House—the web of deceit gets more and more complicated making even the most far-reaching conspiracies light up with complete clarity.  And Donald Trump did the correct thing; he went to Twitter before any of the news outlets were even up and broke the story as he found out about it.

Imagine a sitting president using the resources of government to spy on private citizens to preserve their own dynasty of control?  If you read what I say everyday here, of course you can imagine it.  But now you have the confirmation dear reader of just how far these people were willing to go, and thank goodness we now have a president who is willing to set things right—starting with being very vocal in his criticism as he discovers these types of things.

The reason for attacking Jeff Sessions is to keep the new DOJ from prosecuting all these crimes that did occur—and to consider that Trump was willing to extend the branch of friendship to his former political rivals and be a graceful winner.  Well, not anymore.  Time to go for the jugular, and I’m sure Jeff Sessions under Trump’s direction will have a field day with this very revealing information about just what kind of monsters live in the swamp of Washington D.C.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Sign up for Second Call Defense here:  http://www.secondcalldefense.org/?affiliate=20707  Use my name to get added benefits.

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