Politics of the Old Union School: Understanding the inner workings of preserving history

Well of course Ronald Hicks, vice president for SHP Leading Design defended his efforts with Patti Alderson and my old friend Bob Hutsenpiller from No Lakota Levy to demolish the Old Union School with a brand new Boys and Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty with a $6.5 million dollar facility—by saying, “If any entity other than an education-based organization wanted to function in the structure, the occupancy of the building would change.  That in turn would require a change of use for the facility, which would trigger ‘substantial wholesale upgrading of the building to current code requirements in order to change the function.”  As I listened to Hicks speak about such invisible mountains of opposition I turned to lock eyes with the leaders of West Chester development—they were literally in the room and could easily handle such a change of use.  But the elephant in the room wasn’t really about such concerns—it was a simple deflection to hide the real mechanisms of power percolating within the Lakota school district.  The accusation that any other option was simply too hard for the old historic building was intended to mask the politics at play, CLICK HERE to read how the Journal News reported the issue.

The June 30th 2015th event was a who’s who of local politics as many of the heavy hitters from behind the scenes of most things political in Butler County were present.  As I spoke to Randy Oppenheimer telling him honestly that I thought he was doing a good job as the Lakota spokesman, even if he was on the wrong side of things, another old friend of mine Mark Sennet was standing behind me talking to Lakota treasurer Jenni Logan and Karen Mantia about how the area developers have always been for Lakota schools.  Mark was also in No Lakota Levy with me and on this issue was against the tearing down of the old school.  But his dialogue was interesting.  The next time there is a levy fight, I won’t be using the developers as a way to defeat the levy.  It was in fact their lack of passion and commitment to hold strong that caused the last levy to be successfully passed.  They were all too willing to side with Patti Alderson because she’s always good for potential projects down the road, such as this Boys and Girls Club deal.  They were able to argue higher taxes and the impact to further development, but did not have the conviction to hold their line in such public forums, which was clearly what Mark was revealing quite openly.

To continue an answer to Randy about why I have so many blog postings and say so many things within those postings, it’s really to provoke thought from those who need to think more intensely about any given topic.  For instance, there are elements to this Old Union School discussion that I can cover at this site that you simply won’t read in the Cincinnati Enquirer or the Journal News.  Both news outlets were present, but they are not given the kind of space in their newspapers to cover the complete story, only the surface issues.  In this case going back to the year before the Alderson/Lakota deal I was leading No Lakota Levy against the next tax increase attempt, we had a nice little press conference at Bob Hutsenpeller’s office within view of the Lakota East high school facility.  I had Channel 19 there as well as Channel 5, and 9.  I also had the Cincinnati Enquirer there giving Michael Clark an exclusive on a story where Patti Alderson refused to work with me on helping kids pay for their high sports fees at Lakota—which was an extortion racket designed to build support for a tax increase.  Since Patti refused to help the kids then by working with No Lakota Levy—because of the politics of the situation, she and the Lakota school board worked directly with Michael Clark to write a hit peace on me hoping to break up No Lakota Levy.  When it really pissed me off to the point of near violence they asked for a two-year cease-fire to regroup.  During that time they went to work on Bob pulling him into an open alliance with Patti on this Boys and Girls Club project.  Bob is a good builder, and a good person.  He was the last one standing at the end, and it was hard for him.  This deal is an opportunity to repair some relationships and get involved in building something significant within the community.  Patti get’s to do some charity work which she likes to do, and the Lakota school system gets to marry together a major part of the tax increase resistance to an open levy supporter facilitator to deflect future opposition.  Everyone wins—right?  Wrong.  They left out some missing pieces to the puzzle.

I was surprised that Michael Clark didn’t want to come over and say hello to me.  Even with all our back and forth bickering, Karen Mantia said hello to me.  What many don’t know, and what I explained to Randy a little bit is that I primarily make my living pissing people off.  I work with people who outright hate me all the time, and I know that.  My goal in all these efforts is to dig out thoughts, to get to the root cause of any effort.  I don’t have a desire to be liked by anyone other than my wife, by anybody.  That gives me a lot of freedom to provoke honesty in people and their relationships to money.  Sure I’m angry at Clark.  On the day he wrote his hit piece against me I was on several professional conference calls around the city while radio stations were reading on the air the way he assembled many articles from this site into a context that greatly favored the pro levy crowd.  He all by himself threw turbo fuel on an already blazing inferno and he and the Lakota school board went for my jugular clearly.  But that wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened in my life, and it certainly wouldn’t be the last.  So it surprised me that he didn’t even say hello.  When Karen asked where I’ve been, I told her I had been busy.  Lakota passed their levy and this Old Union School deal has been some of the most recent activity since the 2013 levy passage.  I’ve been focused on making an argument for a nationwide abandonment of public education all together, so haven’t cared much about the daily workings at Lakota—other than I don’t want to pay the taxes. But this Old Union School deal is something that affects all of West Chester, so I attended this meeting with interest, and I will get more involved in the future when Lakota tries for another levy. So Clark might as well get used to the fact that he’s going to have to see me around town.  No Lakota Levy did not die with the alliance of Bob and Patti, the ruckus of all that controversy was a recruiting tool for me to bring new blood to the fight—because the developers were wavering in their resistance.  That should have been obvious to all the smart people in the room.  So I wanted to thank Michael Clark for the hit piece—it showed the cards of all involved and helped me tremendously.  And at its roots, that is what is behind the Boys and Girls Club—and why I am against it, because of the cards involved that are hidden from the public.

I said in the Journal article that the school board did not solicit enough opportunities for the Old Union School project.  They simply took Patti’s offer bringing Bob with her and went right to work hiring Hicks to design as the architect.  He’s put in considerable effort so of course he’ll defend the project.  But the Old Union School sits in a region where a conscious effort to preserve the historic nature of West Chester is taking place.  Once Patti stamped her name on the deal most area developers knew to stay away, so there wasn’t much solicitation as far as options involving an auction of the property.  There are many buildings like the Old Union School in Norwood, Ohio for instance that have been converted to office buildings.  On the outside they have the architecture of Norwood’s traditions while on the inside they are contemporary.  Such an option would be a prime utilization for the Old Union School which is just down the road from Union Center and is just a football throw away from I-75 access.  Just across the highway are wonderful restaurants for lunch rushes, I would find it hard to believe that there are no takers out there for that type of development. I also brought it up in the meeting but there wasn’t much time to get into the meat of it, that due to declining enrollment, Lakota is facing the possibility of further school properties coming available.  My point to them was that Lakota didn’t need to control the Old Union School property as an asset, that they could afford to let it go to someone who would love it, and nurse it back to health.  An office complex there would make more money for the township, so zoning approval should be achievable.  The leaders of the community were there to answer that question, but Hicks didn’t really want to talk about it.  Hicks and his response were equivalent to a kid in the back seat of a car saying that he wanted to go to Disneyworld from Cincinnati, but he didn’t want to ride in a car the whole way.  It’s just too hard to ask for a change of use—in his eyes.  What he really meant was that he wanted to protect his time in the project and the commitment his client, Patti Alderson has in the endeavor now that it’s public.  It doesn’t have anything to do with hard or not.  It’s political purely and nothing more.

As usual Danielle Richardson did a good job of bringing debate to the table.   Without her this whole deal would have just been rubber stamped and packaged into the Lakota win column with great fanfare at the expense of the community.  She composed herself quite valiantly even though she is coming up on a July 8th variance hearing with West Chester trying to keep her pet chickens.  Chickens like the Old Union School is part of West Chester history and makes our community unique.  The people who judge top 10 communities around the country are the same type of people who typically support school levies, so their opinions are skewed toward progressivism.  Danielle has given me eggs from her chickens and they are quite good, better than the eggs you can get at the grocery—because her chickens are happy, and healthy, and proud West Chester residents.  So she has more than enough fights to deal with, and she composed herself well considering the implications.  She’s an Ayn Rand purist and doesn’t think she should have to get a variance from the “state” to keep her chickens—which she’s right.  But there are elements of West Chester politics who are breathing heavily down the necks of leadership to be one of those top 10 national communities.  They see “progress” as new buildings over old ones and measure their success by erasing history and writing their own.  Danielle is fighting for more than just chickens or the preservation of the Old Union School.  She is fighting to keep West Chester’s history a treasured memory—something all the powerful people in the room at the Lakota school board meeting need to take into account as they take steps forward that they can never again retract once committed.

It’s a complicated web of entanglements, but all politics is that way.  What matters is not whether or not people like you.  They can hate me from now until eternity.  What matters is that the right things happen, and sometimes people need to be challenged in order to do the right things.  I like the idea of an office complex going into the Old Union School preserving its history for the next century along a historic area of West Chester that needs to retain its old style charm amid booming development.  I also like the idea of stopping by Danielle’s house for fresh eggs they way I did when I was growing up and farmers handed out eggs like trick or treat candy in this region.  Then I like to go over and have lunch at Jags spending $300 on a nice big Oscar steak and a bottle of wine.  I like to have options and in regard to the Old Union School, because of Patti’s involvement, the best options for Lakota were ignored—and in the end that will cost them money in lost opportunity, and a place in preserving the history of an old school-house that is one of the last remnants of a disappearing past.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Karen Mantia’s Failing Grades: Lakota’s declining report card from Cinci Magazine

After a few articles about Lakota and the Old Union School giveaway to Patti Alderson there were some who suggested that I was Lakota bashing again. The suggestion was that somehow the criticism was unwarranted and that at some point the “teabillies” who have lived in the Lakota district for generations should just be willing to cave into the neurotic whims of the new money that has recently moved into Lakota and expect progressive oriented government services and education practices to permeate. So the implied insult deserves a bit of analyses that I had actually be holding back on—a bit of fact-finding that isn’t all that hard to discover—yet few media outlets around Cincinnati have reported it—especially the Pulse Journal who have been eating out of Superintendent Mantia’s hand over the last couple of years to ill effect. The information of importance is the gradual slide in performance that Lakota is currently on in spite of a recent levy passage in 2013. Since Karen Mantia came to Lakota and the school board acquired Julie Shaffer Lakota has been slipping in the Cincy Magazine “Rating the Burbs” yearly report card dropping all the way down to #21 in the city after starting at #14 in 2012.imageimageimageimage

Now let’s consider the facts–in 2012 I was on WLW radio nearly every week exposing Lakota’s issues and spent quite a lot of time doing television and public speeches about the wasteful spending at Lakota. Karen Mantia was hired for an extraordinary quarter million dollar a year sum with all benefits included and immediately went to work at attacking parts of the community resistant to the management methods proposed by No Lakota Levy. It was within that environment that Lakota maintained a ranking of #14 within the city which many complained about and blamed on the bad press. After a plea for mercy from Lakota to me directly asking for a year-long ceasefire so they could repair their image I backed off and left Lakota alone for the most part. When they attempted another levy in 2013 No Lakota Levy got back together to challenge it. Safety after a couple of national school shootings was the issue behind the levy and the tax finally passed with just 1% of the vote after Sheriff Jones threw his support behind Lakota. After the passage Lakota immediately gave their employees the raises they promised and reinstated some of the programs that had been cut, but not all of them. The first priority was in paying the employees—the children were definitely of a secondary importance. For instance, it was just a month from this writing that Lakota teachers dressed in black to protest the school board over merit pay. So all has not been well, and it’s been getting worse without the marketing efforts of yours truly.imageimageimageimage

No Lakota Levy went about their business in different sectors of society and things have been mostly quite for the school board on the front of tax resistance. Well before Lakota asked for a cease-fire I declared that the situation was unworkable and needed to be dissolved. So any thoughts of being on the school board and fixing the situation from a management point of view I abandoned in February of 2012. It was obvious that Karen Mantia and several school board members were incompetent to deal with the teacher’s union and there was no way to fix the situation. It was at that time that I advocated breaking up public education in favor of new options so my personal strategy changed. But prior to that I had a pretty good relationship with Lynda O’Conner, and Ron Spurlock and we were really close to rational management of the Lakota district. It was at that time when Lakota was #14 in the city out of 35 area schools. For affluent Lakota, that wasn’t acceptable, so everyone agreed—including me—to give peace a chance. This is what Lakota did with that peace.

As shown on these charts starting with the summer of 2012 up to the present Lakota has gradually declined each year that Mantia has been superintendent even while maintaining some of the highest salaries for teachers within the entire city. Several Kentucky schools are higher such as Walton-Verona which only has an average salary of $49,774 and Fort Thomas at $57,399—which is a stone throw away from downtown Cincinnati. Lakota is outrageously high, and there is no plan to reduce those high wages. Under Mantia she lobbied hard to obtain a levy by dividing the community just so she could hand out raises to teachers in the spring of 2014. The levy was passed in the fall of 2013 so how did those raises improve Lakota schools? Not a bit—it only made the situation worse. Here are the facts.

In 2013 with the truce in full effect until the fourth quarter Lakota actually went up to #13 on the ranking. But immediately after the levy passage they slide to #17 the following year. I wrote a few articles and Mantia kept Jeffery Stec employed at $40K per year with the Community Conversation promotional campaign. But mostly things were quiet in Lakota. The local papers were eating out of the superintendent’s hand once again, the school board had peace as they practiced taking turns at being the president, and things were looking very non confrontational and promising—if you believe that money in public education equals success. But of course it doesn’t. Over the next two years Lakota slid in their rating to the 2015 number of #21, which is an obvious sign that the management of the district has been focused on all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons—and at the current rate will fall off the chart within a few years.

My old friend Kelly Kohls who was president of the Springboro school board operated her district at a $7,175 per pupil average and managed a #13 rating in nearly the same demographic numbers as it is just north of the Lakota district. Their average salary there is just $52,596 which seems reasonable. 70% of their students have Master’s degrees where it’s 78.6% at Lakota—which is statistically similar. Yet they have managed to drive their average cost down while maintaining a higher ranking. Isn’t that interesting?

It becomes quite clear while looking at these stats that throwing more money at Lakota, and leaving them alone like they begged—did not produce better results—like they promised. Now, to me that means termination of the people who caused the problem—Lakota had more success under Ron Spurlock than under the much more expensive radical Karen Mantia—and Lakota obviously made a management mistake by letting Ron drift off into the sunset and promoting Mantia—because she did nearly the same type of thing at Pickerington where she was a previous superintendent before coming to Lakota.

Mantia has focused more on things like building community consensus with socialites like Patti Alderson and their Old Union School giveaway than in actually managing the district—which is evident in her track record. It might be understood that she had a few bad years, but the trend at Lakota shows a slide downhill that is increasing immediately in the wake of a levy passage. She and her employees have mismanaged the district. It could easily be argued that Lakota was better off listening to those of us who know a thing or two about these issues, than in painting themselves into a corner for which there is no escape—like they have.

The Cincy Magazine “Rating the Burbs” report card is hardly a “gotcha” type of publication. They cheer for public schools to have success. They want Lakota to be successful, so if they wanted to be harder on the affluent public school, they could be. Even with all of that flexibility, Lakota still failed when left to their own devices. They failed under the leadership of Karen Mantia and have proven that they are overpaying their employees without expecting performance results. And that’s not the end of it. Currently the Lakota employees are still dressing in black and protesting merit pay going into the upcoming year, and they aren’t smart enough to see where they stand on the food chain—or their rankings within the city. Poor performers typically don’t get paid premium money—like Mantia has for doing a bad job. But the employees see that Mantia gets away with it, so they expect the same—and that is why Lakota continues to slide in performance reports related directly to their competition with other area schools.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

The Community Foundation “refuses to accept funds where political statements are attached”: Except when Lakota is involved

You can always tell a lot about a situation by the people who are willing to speak on an issue. Such was the case of a normally calm, mild-mannered Lakota school board meeting on Monday, June 8th 2015 where a number of people spoke out against the Lakota property giveaway of the Old Union School, which many in the community want to see it made into a historic building worthy of preservation. As I reported yesterday, a strong core group of logical community citizens showed up to speak and they made valid arguments which actually ruffled the feathers of the superintendent. The show of support for the old school was enough to cause her to threaten a 10 million dollar bond on a future ballot. The whole meeting will be seen when Lakota publishes the video of the meeting on their website.image

However, the loudest voices at the event where those most silent. Such as the lack of reporting by the local media which would normally salivate over an issue like this—they were noticeably not present. Only Eric Schwartzberg from the Journal was there and he only took one picture—and that was of course the socialite Patti Alderson and her crusade to build a Boys and Girls Club on the site of the Old Union School. That in itself wasn’t shocking, just disappointedly predictable. However it was surprising that Patti’s husband Dick was there and had planned to speak which he eventually declined.

When I was on the Scott Sloan show years ago after calling levy supporters in and around Lakota Latté Sipping Prostitutes—which I chronicled in the latest Cliffhanger installment seen on the sidebar of this article—I was involved in an internal strategy designed to root out subversives in my No Lakota Levy group—and I found them. It was quite an explosive bit of controversy that rooted out many who were playing both sides of a fence, kind of like a two timing man trying to maintain a wife and a mistress by putting down the other when in the presence of either. It was hard to tell who was friend from foe. Patti and Karen Mantia worked together to further cloud the waters which infuriated me to no end—because here was a Republican who has John Kasich’s ear, and who spends a lot of time with the current Speaker of the House who was openly for tax increases using children to hide the obvious liberal behavior. I knew that Dick wasn’t on board with that liberal activity—so it surprised me greatly to hear that he was at the Lakota school board meeting on the arm of his wife. But then again, it didn’t.image

In a similar school board meeting three years ago Patti spoke about me personally. She was head of the Community Foundation and said she refused to accept funds where political statements were attached. I along with several No Lakota Levy leaders started a new Foundation and we presented a check for $10,000 which infuriated levy supporters who were doing just what Patti said she refused to do. The $10,000 was set to be given to poor students to cover their sports fee extortion that Lakota was imposing on tax payers to pass a new levy. Patti attacked me for getting in the way of that extortion racket with a very public assault. Now why would she do such a thing if she really wanted to help children?  Helping kids should be a non-partisan thing. Well, they said things about me and I said things back to them in return and when they had no answer they fell on the typical progressive trick of calling me a sexist and begging the media to stop covering me. They hoped that I would just drift away into seclusion. But that’s not what happened. Speaking of that, just as a reminder be sure to tune into my radio show this upcoming Saturday June 13th 2015 1 PM at the following link. Calls are of course welcome and a local man of power will be my guest. The topic will be guns, guns, and more guns and what to do when you have to shoot someone to defend your property. Tune in and hang on for the ride.


Now, back to the topic at hand–those pro levy people were facing down new foes, this time a whole set of fresh protestors advocating for the same logical approach to a current problem—but a majority of them were females which presents a tactical problem for Mantia and her gang of property tax insurgents to deal with. It’s harder to marginalize women making them more effective in future debates against progressive advocates. So during the June 2015 meeting, Mantia showed a side of herself that people had only read about from my reports. Suddenly she wasn’t the nice Community Conversationalist who tries to justify $40K per year on Jeff Stec as a change agent to advocate on behalf of levy passage. She instead displayed a patronizing, sarcastic, disrespectful, condescending, incompetent overpaid government worker to a group of people who had previously been willing to give her the benefit of doubt. Quite a mistake on her part.image

During a portion of the speech Mantia gave on the matter of the Old Union School she essentially uttered in advocacy of giving Patti the property or investing $10 million dollars as if no other options existed, which is a classic Delphi Technique diatribe. She once did that with me when she presented a couple of options for the declining state revenue coming from Kasich—that the area property owners had an obligation to cover the discrepancy with raised taxes. It never occurred to her that lowering her own costs should come into play. Only that more costs were needed to advance the cause of public education into one big pit of bottomless need was the only thing on her mind. The same holds true over the Old Union School, Mantia and Patti have a deal and every option outside of that deal is non-existent.

But we know those characters; we understand what their motives are—and how they implement their objectives. When Manita was first hired as a superintendent she met with me and a few other key people at No Lakota Levy to feel us out and see how she could go about marginalizing it to make way for her levy attempts. She pretended to tell us secrets as if we’d be in the know and would have information that everyone else would be hungry to get—like her eventual plan to bring merit pay to Lakota—which is a trend happening all across the nation—it’s not specific to anything she’s doing. But we let her talk and were polite with her. When she left I told the other guys what the objective was—and they all agreed. We knew what she was doing—but it appears that Dick didn’t get the memo—or he was powerless to resist it. He’s a very successful person so he doesn’t need to be involved in something as politically charged as this whole Old Union School deal.

imageFor Patti who stated publicly that she refused to take money from any organization that had political statements attached, the Old Union School proves that to be hypocritical. The Old Union School is all about politics.   It’s all about passing levies and giveaways to friends of the district and unifying those normally opposed to tax increases. Patti, one of the wealthiest women of West Chester spoke in support of the Boys and Girls Club wanting money from a district for purely political reasons—as a Republican representative of all things. As a person who respects her husband as a titan of industry—I was just a little embarrassed for him.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

In Defense of Selfishness: Explaining the nature sex and relationships

Peter Schwartz from the Ayn Rand Instituted has been doing good publicity for his latest book released on June 2 titled In Defense of Selfishness: Why Self-Sacrifice is Unjust and Destructive. I thought the title odd as the word selfish has been so mischaracterized in our culture that it comes across as a negative. But Peter knows that and calculated that the opposition cast at him would set the trap for his philosophic argument—which is the point of the book. Schwartz has been successfully collecting the bounty of that trap with many interviews and making his point well.

I am of a mind that something really terrible happened in the pre-Deluge days of human history. What we have been told was sinful and wretched behavior may in fact have been translated by an insurrectionists revising historical perspective in a dominating need to rule over others. Somewhere in that struggle the word selfishness was destroyed of its meaning and the word “altruism” became synonymous with the word—“good.” All the religions that sprung forth from this period embraced altruism while they chastised self-interest forcing human beings to admit by their very birth an inclination to sin as defined by the quantity of self-sacrifice a given human being is willing to make on behalf of the greater good. Later this mentality would evolve into movements of communism and socialism, but the stage was set in religion.

However, for thinking people there are cracks into that façade which allow us to peer back into a time when such philosophic notions were not yet forged in such a destructive way and reveal a more sophisticated approach to pre-Socratic philosophy that has been defaced by the more recent translation in order to protect a desire to control the masses like sheep set to slaughter. It is on this stage that Peter Schwartz released his book described on his website as such:

In Defense of Selfishness is a cultural analysis of a deeply ingrained idea, one that influences our most important personal and political choices. The book makes the case—a sober, meticulous case—against the tenets of altruism. It shows that what altruism demands is not, as many superficially believe, that you respect the rights of your neighbor and refrain from acting like Attila the Hun, but that you subordinate yourself to others. Altruism entails not benevolence and cooperation, but servitude. Whether you are told to sacrifice by liberals in order to provide for the medically uninsured or by conservatives in order to preserve your community’s traditions, the code of altruism insists that the needs of others take precedence over your own interests. It declares that whenever you have something others lack, you have a duty to sacrifice for their sake.

The book asks why the fact that someone needs your money makes him morally entitled to it, while the fact that you’ve earned it, doesn’t. It explains why altruism leads to the opposite of social harmony: continual conflict. It scrupulously demonstrates, in theory and in nuts-and-bolts practice, the injustice and the destructiveness of self-sacrifice. And it offers a rational, non-predatory alternative.

People generally view the alternative—“selfishness”—as personified by conniving, murderous brutes, who embrace a do-whatever-you-feel-like-doing philosophy. People believe that our only choice is: sacrifice ourselves to others by being altruistic or sacrifice others to ourselves by being “selfish.” In Defense of Selfishness rejects this false alternative. It rejects the entire premise of sacrifice, under which one person’s gain comes only at the price of another’s loss. Instead, it proposes a true alternative to altruism, whereby people deal with one another not by sacrificing but by offering value for value, to mutual benefit, and by refusing to seek the unearned. This is an alternative, based on Ayn Rand’s ethics of rational self-interest, under which individuals live honest, self-respecting, productive lives. Because the truly selfish person lives by the guidance of reason, not by mindless impulses, he repudiates the unthinking, short-range mentality of the crook, the fly-by-nighter, the drug addict, the playboy, the drifter—all of whom are acting in contradiction to their self- interest.


To prove the merit of Peter’s theory all one needs to do is look toward the human activity of sex to understand. In sex those good at it understand that the selfish needs of their partner must first be met if they would like a return experience. Sex is largely driven by self-interest—it’s something that someone wants to do with—or to—someone else because of their selfish desire driven by animal impulses. Men known as bad lovers are those who do their business with a partner then the moment of their objective are no longer able to continue on. Men known as good lovers will make sure their partner reaches that point before they do so that the partner will want to do it again. The man is making a self-interested investment not only in the present but into the future by ensuring that his lover gets what they want as well.

The modern trend at three-way and group sex—along with the pornographic desensitizing of sex by cheapening it with a barrage of sexual addiction purely focused on imagery is a social attempt at the communal aspects of sex as opposed to the property rights of self-interest. The word “my” in such relationships is replaced with “we” or “us.” Instead of that being “my” wife or girlfriend, it becomes “our,” which then becomes an altruistic self-sacrificing practice. The woman who has miserable sex with a husband who is too busy thinking about other things to see her satisfied is an example of the religious sacrifice to a larger institution above her self-interest to enjoy herself. She will give him what he needs because the Bible tells her to ignoring her needs for the sacrifice of the Biblical laws of conduct. The corrupt man who is the bad lover is then in the power position to take advantage of his dedicated wife in the same way that a congregation might fall to the whims of a church leader of any denomination. The origin of the villainy is in the belief that altruism is the higher moral premise even in spite of the body’s desire for the needs of its terrestrial interests.

A happy couple will acknowledge their needs to one another and will tend to keep those needs within the self-possession of their relationship. Once those needs are met they can resume some other activity freely, and contentedly knowing that they will have another opportunity with a willing partner at their wish. That is because the needs of both parties are met—just like in a free market society. Sex and capitalism are very much applicable to the same moral premise. Orgies and swinging parties are indicative of progressive politics that lead to socialism because their emphasis is on the collective whole, and not their individual needs. The ecstasy of such an experience is on the social assimilation instead of the merit of an individual.

For instance, at a rock concert when a woman flashes her breasts to the stage or to the swarming hoard, she is declaring her sexuality to the group as a kind of sacrifice. When a woman holds the sight of her breasts to her chosen lover, she is giving him a gift intended for his possession in trade for a gratifying sexual experience. If she gives such a sight to many the effort is cheapened when in the privacy of a bedroom—because everyone has seen them. So there is nothing special in the exchange. It could be argued that breasts are breasts and are merrily sacks of fat—but in our culture they have meaning related to sex—so are symbolic of the exchanges made during such physical activity.

It is for this reason that we don’t have open topless beaches in a society that is overtly capitalist. It’s not because of religious origins, it’s because of the value of the one on one exchange with a sexual partner. In France where topless beaches are common, if a woman is topless with a male partner she is still advertising herself as either not in possession of a lover, or open to a new one if one happens by. She is a product of society not her individual sanctity. Society might declare her a liberated woman not afraid to show herself in public—but her sexual power has been marginalized because she will have less erotic capital with her potential mates because their self-interest desires to have a woman worthy of their efforts as individuals—not every guy who has found their way into the woman’s bed. There is nothing special about such a woman—that’s why men call such whores. Men may want first to take care of their needs, but they want the object of their desire to have some value. When sex is shared with many the capital investment of potential suitors is far less.

These are just examples that are easy to understand because everyone has sex who is human. So the correlation is easily assimilated. But the same mentality could be rolled over into virtually everything that involves value—for which money is but a symbol. Yet we have been taught the opposite in our culture, that money represents selfishness, and that communal activity is superior to individual merit.   Thousands of years of communal investments have proven to be wrong at their very core and that this whole mess started sometime after the Biblical Deluge. The entire philosophy of perhaps six thousand or more years has proven to be totally incorrect and in drastic need of revision. It is upon that foundation of thought that Peter Schwartz is making his argument. Selfishness is a dirty word in a culture that has been trained that altruism is far superior. However, to truly understand why altruism is a grand lie, just look to the satisfaction of your sex life and what works and doesn’t and apply those same values to everything else. It will then be discovered that Peter Schwartz is far more correct than Plato or Kant. And that society needs to reset their philosophy to a time before Moses built an ark during a world-wide flood.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

West Chester Will Fight Anything: What makes a good community successful

I’ve discussed this Community Foundation deal set to take place at the location of the old Lakota Union school on Cincinnati Dayton road before. The proposal is to build a Boys & Girls Club at the site offering all day kindergarten for Lakota students—which is a fancy way of saying that it’s a full-time babysitting service funded by the taxpayers for residents of the Lakota schools district. In spite of the $40,000 that Lakota spends each year on the change agent Jeffery Stec to build public support for the union fees the public education employees extract from the tax payers each year, the school board has partnered up with the socialite Patti Alderson and former No Lakota Levy advocates to build a consensus within the community toward future school levies. The next levy is due to take place around 2017. With all the money spent, it just wasn’t enough to hire a progressive cheerleader from Cincinnati—other deals had to be made to keep public opinion in favor of the school system to over 50%. It’s a bit of a shell game going on behind the Boys & Girls Club at the proposed location. Everyone gets something out of the deal, even the tax payers who want to use the free babysitting service—except for a majority of the tax payers who end up paying for the whole enterprise. For them they are supposed to buy into the seemingly good intentions of the Boys & Girls Club mission to replace the parenting of young people with a progressive leaning education centered on altruism.

What is interesting is not that bandits, thieves and social parasites behind the issue, it’s the opinion of some who advocate on their behalf which I couldn’t help but notice in the comments section of the latest Journal News article on the matter, seen below. I’m certainly not one who demonizes builders and developers. I see those occupations as a creative enterprise. I am a fan of the Liberty Way developments and I love the Union Center Blvd developments. But I like to see a resistance that forces those developers to be either better in their presentations, or cleverer in what ends up finally built. Resistance is the key to good management. Those who do resist are not bad people or impediments to progress. Politicians have a tendency to lay down to developers because it is those type of businessmen who tend to contribute to political campaigns hoping that at some time in the future government will get out of their way to allow them to make some money. That leaves the private citizen as the natural counterbalance between these two forces that are needed to maintain good government. It is because of the many private citizens in and around West Chester that there are so many good things happening in one of the most affluent areas of Ohio. Yet the below comment was left on the mentioned article and illustrates a sad belief to the contrary.

You have to love West Chester. They will fight anything. Over the years, the community has fought a community Rec Center, a 1,000,000+ sf upscale Steiner development on Cin-Day (Yes, the same one building in Liberty), a YMCA, the schools, a new Kroger, a Christian school, sidewalks, bike paths and a Boys/Girls Club. Sounds like a great place to live.


In the article Danielle Richardson and the West Chester-Union Twp. Historical Society, essentially propose to the Lakota school district to buy the old school for the cost of $1—to clear it off their books and turn it over to someone else to manage. The Historical Society has an interest in the century old school building to maintain the image of Old West Chester as a hub of tradition to remember the roots of what made the area great to begin with. If everything that is built is new, then the roots will be lost forever of what attracted people to West Chester in the first place. If there is nobody challenging all these projects, such as the commenter above, everything that makes West Chester great would be lost forever—and changed into something else. For Lakota, which is a very progressive government organization—that is their intended goal on a social level—to change the behavior of the community at large, so their actions must be met with resistance. That’s why they hired Jeff Stec at a rather expensive cost to “change” the minds of the public toward support of a tax payer funded institution. New members of West Chester by their own destructive predilections want to change things into what they left behind. If everything is new and there is no sense of history, then they can feel equal to the people who have lived in West Chester for years. It’s a natural weakness that comes from the type of people who transfer to various locations around the nation. They are rootless by nature, so often have a tinge of jealousy toward those who do have a sense of belonging to a community or family.

An example of this is in Danielle Richardson herself, she is the person at the center of the “chicken” controversy which continues to boil in front of West Chester Trustees. Farms and chickens are part of West Chester’s history and some traditional value toward that memory needs to be made to accommodate that vintage sentiment. New money moved into West Chester and wants to think that the entire community is the Weatherington Country Club. It makes for some good back slapping over drinks to brag about pushing all the hillbillies out of West Chester with all their furry creatures. But, in doing so they destroy the nature of their very investments—which makes no sense, because they improperly value the wrong attributes of a society. West Chester attracted all the great investment it has now, chickens, goats, cows and all—and the old Union school is part of that—and they have value. If the image is allowed to change, then West Chester will become just another community that rises to greatness, and then falls once change agents transform the area into something that future generations despise. Because in thirty years when the new Boys & Girls Club building is old, and all the people who constructed it are dead and gone—nobody will want to preserve all the cheap construction that looks new in 2015, but will look out-dated in 2030. And where will that leave West Chester?

When Randy Oppenheimer from Lakota announced in April 2014 that a joint agreement between the district and the club to operate an all-day kindergarten program on the site was evolving and they were seeking public input—Lakota put Jeff Stec on the case in the form of three public Community Conversations that were held in June to garner public input. Pro levy school types showed up to listen to the paid change agent, but anti-tax people generally stayed home knowing what Stec was. His job was not to garner input—it was to change minds. It’s the old Saul Alinsky Delphi Technique trick talked about over the years—only dressed up with some new terminology. Lakota does not want to make a deal to preserve a piece of their history, they need to make a deal that pulls levy supporters and anti-levy supporters together, so they are using the Boys & Girls Club for that reason. Lakota to do the right thing should do as Randy suggested, and that is auction off the property. If the people who want to build the Boys & Girls Club are really interested in developing the property, they should pay for it without an alliance with government assistance to get premium property dirt cheap—and see what the market value the project will garner in the free market. If that happened, minds would change rapidly into a different direction. It would be my guess that the Historical Society would have more value for the property than the proposed Boys & Girls Club, unless Patti wants to cover the costs herself—which she could do. That would be the best way to proceed.

But to the people who think like the commenter in the Journal News article, they are missing many elements to the story. What makes West Chester great is not rubber stamping all the side-walk proposals, the YMCAs, Libraries, and Krogers, its in fighting for a standard of living that makes our community a—brace yourself—“community.” A community is more than a bunch of buildings and socialites who want to be remembered for their charity, or a school that wants to throw money at their out of control labor union, it’s about people, their history, their chickens and the connection to the past that gives a place a sense of grounding—even to those who move from far away seeking something of substance to fill their lives with meaning. West Chester is good because it has a vigilant population that will fight for its history mixed with a nice conservative base of finance that will make new things for people to enjoy. It takes resistance to offer proper management and an honest government that can make the best decisions possible. And in West Chester there are plenty of those types—and we are lucky to have them.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

U.S. Economy Drops 0.7%: The cost of too many rules and regulations

Not surprising the U.S. economy contracted 0.7% in the first quarter of 2015. At least it wasn’t a surprise to those outside of the Beltway, and progressive cities of Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco. Everywhere else in the America they saw it coming. Only in the progressive quarters of the nation are the illusions of government tampering not glaringly evident. Unfortunately, most of the surviving newspapers of any merit are still located in those cities, and the reporters there seemed alarmed by the economic retreat into the negative numbers.

No matter where you go in America, there is a big problem. Work ethics are at an all time low. Employees expect higher wages than ever for doing the least amount of work. Yet their competency is dismal. It is actually shocking now when someone does what they are supposed to do in a task, as opposed to doing something incorrectly. Competency is in short supply. But that’s not the worst of it. Government regulations driven by slack-jawed attorneys have crippled American manufacturing methods with stifling rules that prevent common sense in creating productive goods and services. There seems to be this infinite belief that more rules imposed on businesses will not correlate into a lack of productivity. Most companies, even large ones these days will declare that they are late to a schedule because they don’t have the manpower to execute compliance toward all the rules they have to contend with. For most companies compliance to their industry is a majority of their occupational commitment.

Government has imposed itself into virtually every crack of every endeavor in the United States which has destroyed the creative process of producing GDP. The evidence of this trend is actually in our artistic endeavors culturally. After seeing the latest Avengers movie I came away disappointed. It was a pretty good movie, but it was of a quality that was nearly television from the 80s quality—which is saying that it wasn’t new, spectacular, or worthy of a big screen treatment. Sure the special effects were good, but the music, direction and overall plot wasn’t much different from a typical Dukes of Hazard episode. Aside from the new Star Wars movies coming out, the film industry looks to be in desperate trouble. Most of the big movies hitting the silver screen are 1980 retreads, Mad Max, Jurassic Park, Terminator, etc. In the 70s, 80s, and early 90s, a new movie seemed to come out every few weeks, many of which were memorable cultural benchmarks, like the Matrix, Twister, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and so on. But with all the talent and film schools out there, Hollywood is incapable of producing anything new. That is a huge problem.

The music industry is even worse. While at Kings Island recently I couldn’t help but notice that many of the young people were mouthing the words to songs that came out when I was a teenager, and heard while at that very same park. Also, the 80s Store was busy with people of all ages relishing all the great memorable aspects of the 1980s that they remember, or want to remember if they’re too young to have actually been there. The 80s Store features film memorabilia from E.T. to Ghostbusters, which is reportedly another retread coming to screens soon this time with women from Saturday Night Live instead of the original cast. I’ll go see it for fun, but do producers think they can recreate the magic of Ghostbusters just by changing women actors from men and stimulate a new audience? That’s part of the problem. The music they play in that store is a trip down memory lane. Back then every week was a new top 40 song and that went on for the entire decade. It was similar to the 1950 and early 60s where the music industry just hit it out of the ballpark with just about every song released. The art in the songs were about things people care about and reflected a culture of capitalism and freedom that was trying to find its way. There was an underlining sense of optimism in 80s music that was not heard in the late 90s or subsequent decades. The music of today is so hell-bent on political diatribes that the music goes out of fashion within a few months, not even years. Creatively our culture is in trouble, the people in it cannot produce original material, and those that can have been ostracized politically out of those progressive cities to preserve the ideology of those regions and our culture is suffering—clearly.

But those are just the symptoms; the cause is in the heavy-handed regulatory climate of our present government. During the 80s, Reagan gave people the impression that the sky was the limit and that the American dream was obtainable. For a lot of people, it was. For some it wasn’t, and for the undisciplined, they spiraled out of control due to indulgence in excess, whether it was money, drugs, or women. But at least there was a belief that anything could happen in America. The 1950s were similar, it was a post war-time, Americans had a good standard of living and businesses were booming. There was no lack of opportunity for those who wanted it as the world put itself back together after World War II. The music was reflective of the overall culture.

When I came out of Avengers: Age of Ultron movie I told my kids that our culture was headed for real trouble. The movie was average at best, and the filmmakers knew there were high expectations after the first movie did so well. Well, the Avenger movies aren’t a shiny penny anymore. There is a level of expectation that the public has and the franchise is slipping. I first noticed it during the latest Captain America movie, which was good-but not as great as it should have been.   With all the resources available from Disney, Age of Ultron was the best that they could do with a comic series that came out in the 60s and 70s? It should be expected that a movie like Frozen should come out every year instead of the occasional hit that it was. Again, with all the resources at Disney, that’s the best that they can do?

While watching Avengers II, the prescreening stuff was obsessed with progressive causes, such as the new ABC Family channel “Becoming Us,” which features a transgender family dealing with a dad who wants to become a woman. Really? Who thinks that thirty years from now in the Kings Island 2015 store that anybody is going to want to buy a t-shirt or hat with the logo “Becoming Us” on it? Progressives are more interested in being a change agent for an extreme minority rather than giving people what they really want in entertainment. Two or three more people might want to have a sex change operation because of “Becoming Us” but the vast majority of people will just tune out because the subject matter turns them off.

Then there is the ACLU case accusing Hollywood of hiring only men for big projects like Avengers instead of women. They ask questions like “why are all the directors of big blockbuster movies all men?” In fact Melissa Goodman, director of the L.G.B.T Gender and Reproductive Justice Project of the ACLU of Southern California said, “Women directors aren’t working on an even playing field and aren’t getting a fair opportunity to succeed.” Goodman doesn’t see the reality on the wall, she assumes that if a woman is cast in some below the line job or as a director that people will rush to the multiplex to see whatever they put up on the screen and it just doesn’t work that way. Transgender issues are not an issue. Boy George in the 80s had great success and people bought his music. But he wasn’t in everyone’s face about it every 15 minutes reminding people of his rights. He just made decent music that people wanted to hear. These days everything is about fairness and regulating an industry into making things fair. To that effect, in order to make something fair the good must give way to the bad, the strong to the weak, and the brilliant to the stupid, which of course waters down the end product in favor of stylish sentimentality. Yet the net result is a blasé commitment to the final product by a customer base indifferent to the consumer drive to participate.

The same ridiculous laws have migrated out of entertainment and into mainstream occupations. It is more important to government regulators to have a company hire minorities, women, or immigrants than the best people for a job who can make the best product. If companies don’t show an interest in bending to the will of government sentiment, then a government audit of some kind will come in for a shake down forcing the company to either shut down or pay extraordinary fines as a “payoff.” While all this is going on of course the company is less productive and not making whatever it’s supposed to be good at. The energy of the company is on compliance, not productivity.

Then of course comes the most intrusive element of all, taxation. There is a belief that a corporation should be willing to pay infinite amounts of tax just to operate within the United States. Well, that’s not how it works. Companies exists for one reason, to make money. Not to lose money. If they have to pay too much in taxes, they have to cover their margins somehow, and usually that means either relocating their business to a region that has low taxation—or they will just decide to shut down. There is no moral case for paying taxes to support government programs invented by politicians who know nothing about running a business. Companies will either not produce their product, or they’ll leave the country.

So when it’s wondered why there was a 0.7% drop in GDP during the first quarter of 2015, now you know why. Regulations are too intrusive, taxes are too high, and the political climate is more interested in all the wrong social issues than in actually making things people want. That has created a stifling atmosphere that is quickly evident in our arts, which directly translate over into our more productive sectors of society. Regulations and rules kill GDP. They do not enhance productivity, they hurt it, and in American society there are too many rules. That is why there is a retreat in productive output. Government has intruded itself into the affairs of the American people and the net result is less of what makes us good. Why is that so hard for progressives to understand? More rules don’t work in sports, why does anybody think they would work in business?

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

The Treasures of Brownells: A gift to the American shooter

Even though I felt at the time that I had lived five lifetimes before I ever hit 20 years of age and had some college under my belt along with two yeas of gunsmithing school, that a fresh-faced kid from Southern Ohio was going to struggle financially under that chosen profession.  Customers after all like seasoned veterans for that kind of work and I hadn’t been around the block much in the shooting world—not officially anyway.  So as a young gunsmith in a little shed behind our home, I was getting work—but it wasn’t the type of high-priced work I’d need to care for a growing family while keeping my wife home so that she could care properly for our children.  The other issue was that clients who would give me a shot as such a young face were the type of people who were in trouble with the law and did not want the older, and orthodox Federal Firearms License holders to handle their needs.  I couldn’t bring those types of people around the house with a one and two-year old children running around.  The other issue was that I needed more experience on the craftsmanship end.  So I took my acquired skills learned through gunsmithing and took professional jobs that required frequent measurements of .001 of an inch reading micrometers and calipers so that I’d develop all the hand skills of the gunsmithing trade.  Along the way I’d write books, get more involved with bullwhip work and spend another five lifetimes over the next twenty-five years getting lots, and lots of experience using many of the gunsmithing skills I had to do work for various companies.  Whereas I made the money to take care of my family in lots of unusual ways my love of gunsmithing never really went away. And one of the great memories from my past during the early days of my marriage to my wife before we started a family was the constant books and catalogues from Brownells which populated our home with huge stacks of shooting literature.

My love for America was shaped during my youth by a gradual introduction to Brownells through my gunsmithing school and our frequent trips to Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  I loved the common sense of rural Americans who found the popular Smoky Mountain resort town such a destination of choosing.  And under that culture was a love of guns, and the people at Brownells even more than the NRA loved the business side of firearms to a point that I found it easy to connect to.  They are such a great organization who unselfishly taught so many neat tricks that they preserved in a way I thought greatly beneficial an aspect of American life that I could see vanishing before my eyes.  Only in the gun circles of companies like Brownells was the true nature of American life being preserved in the way the Constitution always intended.  The videos shown here are just a small example of how Brownells approach the business as they teach how to clean and repair a basic single action revolver.  They additionally break down the care of AR-15s and SIGs with the same patient instruction and they do a lot of this for free.  Also on their website is a section that offers schematics for just about every gun in production so that if you need a little sear for some obscure gun you found at a trade show, you can order it by part number and get a replacement.

When I finally bought my .500 magnum recently after many years and miles of contemplation dividing up my busy life, I took a little more time to admire the vast stock that Bass Pro Shop had to provide materials to the shooting sportsman.  I told my wife that having a place like Bass Pro around would have been very helpful in my early days of gunsmithing because there was nothing like that back then.  You had to go to Gatlinburg or some other exotic place to get that type of positive American atmosphere, let alone the unequivocal support.  But I also told her that Bass Pro had good stuff on their shelves, but that they were no Brownells.  That’s when I realized that I hadn’t visited their site since I stopped performing gunsmithing, so I pulled them up on my iPad and reconnected with an old friend.

I was so happy to see that Brownells was still going strong. They still offer their gigantic full color catalogue which was very expensive back in 1989—it must be ungodly today—but they still ship them to their customers.  They offer hundreds of how-to videos on YouTube completely free of charge and have that same American enthusiasm for the shooting profession they have always been known for, which was a relief.  So it didn’t take me long to reconnect with them after two decades.  As foreign as it sounds, a few decades can get away from you if you don’t watch your time carefully.  I am very selfish with my time because I always have so much going on.  Shooting was only a part of my life, so when you get busy with other things like philosophy, politics, legalisms, economics, and raising a family the proper way, months and years fly by like lightning across the sky.  But it’s never too late to come back to an old project which for me began with the purchase of my .500 magnum from Smith and Wesson.

Another thing that came up when I was younger was the stigma of shooting. I certainly felt it during the late 80s into 90s as the Clinton administration looked like it would be successful in banning military style firearms after the Brady Bill.  I didn’t know at the time if the shooting profession itself was going to be banned all together—it looked that way at the time.  I wasn’t sure how long a company like Brownells would be able to continue doing what they were doing.  When it comes to gunsmithing, they are the primary supplier.  They are the backbone to keeping the shooting industry humming along.  As progressive political activists like George Soros attempt to buy up American gun manufacturers to strategically end the supply of guns in America to private residence, it is the many years of commitment to building a client base of gunsmiths all across the United States that will ensure that shooting never dies out in the only free nation on earth—at least free in principle.  So long as there is a Brownells, there is a gunsmith somewhere who can build a gun from scratch.  Gun manufacturers are not necessarily needed.  But gunsmiths are—and because of Brownells, there are still a healthy number of them around who can keep the sport alive.

It’s easy to forget what America was always supposed to be when you watch the nightly news and read from its newspapers—particularly those from New York and Los Angeles.  But America is quite alive and well in the stores of Bass Pro and the pages of Brownells.  Of that later, Brownells is in a class by itself, and if you are a shooter, it would be a good idea to know who and what they are.  They are a tremendous resource for the modern American shooter—which is a unique company specific to the United States.  You won’t find an equivalent company anywhere else in the world.  Sweden can make tables and chairs for their IKEA stores, Germans can make their cars, France can breed women with unshaved armpits, and the Chinese can continue to make the stuff that Americans want to buy at Wal-Mart but there is nothing like a Brownells in Mexico, Brazil or Australia.  They are specific to the culture of Americana that we all know and love and are the backbone of our lifestyle of freedom.

My return back to my roots is the awareness that strategically progressive activists have sought to end businesses like Brownells and its customer base.  After what I’ve learned in all the other aspects of my life which has filled these pages with so much color and candor is that the best way to defeat that strategy is with an unapologetic embrace of the American art of shooting and caring for our guns.  And when it comes to caring for guns, Brownells as a company are the experts.  A look through their catalogue is enough to make a grown man weep.  There has never been a better collection of tools and gadgets anywhere between the covers of a big catalog.  Brownells does everything right and are a treasure from my past that I am happy to see just as strong today as they were then.  Brownells is the blood behind the body of the shooting profession.  They are what helps keep an interest in the NRA and other shooting organizations so robust, because Brownells keeps guns working and passed down from one generation to another constantly building a client base that has not be snuffed out by activists hell-bent on making America into a restricted nation like Europe.  Brownells keeps the gunsmithing profession alive and is the best source out there for keeping those family treasures functioning and robust.  And if you didn’t know about them dear reader, well, now you do.


Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.