Trump, Carson, and Cruz: The resurrection of a John Wayne America

Over the weekend Donald Trump gave speeches in South Carolina, Massachusetts and then to Nashville, all to big crowds. Out of all the nearly 20 presidential candidates from both sides of the political spectrum, nobody came close to out working Trump. Additionally the billionaire from New York gave a wonderful interview to Sarah Palin and announced that he was going to team up with two other presidential candidates, Ben Carson, and Ted Cruz for a major policy protest regarding the Iranian deal recently signed by the president. Trump indulged many of the topics I would typically cover here at Overmanwarrior’s Wisdom leaving me for the first time in years time to begin working on a new hobby of mine, Western Fast Draw. The guy in the videos below is Howard Darby, and he has worked really hard to become as proficient as he is. I spent some time during this year’s Annie Oakley events in Greeneville, Ohio watching the guys at the Ohio Fast Draw Association International compete between my own bullwhip events. And I decided this year that I’d start developing that new skill for my own pleasure. It will take a while to get to the level of Darby but it sure will be fun practicing. And I’m thankful to Trump for doing what he’s doing, because for the first time in about 15 years, I actually think there is someone better positioned than me to bring up all these topics—which gives me time to do other things. Here are some video clips of Darby. I love this guy.  

Under a Trump presidency I can actually see a day where John Wayne will be more celebrated as an American icon once again than Lady GaGa. The slow decline that we are seeing from the music industry by artists like Miley Cyrus may very well turn around into something much more positive because Trump as divisive as the media accuses him of being is bringing people out of every known crack to capture their interest in this upcoming election. If Trump sticks with it he may very well eliminate the entire field of Republican candidates and I really don’t think there is a Democrat who can run against him on the horizon—unless a liberal celebrity steps forward. The political hacks that have been in the system for such a long time just don’t have the work ethic, the strategic implementation, the nimbleness, or funding to do what Trump is doing.

Trump’s open embrace of Ben Carson and Ted Cruz is really a brilliant move. Those two guys would never have a chance at breaking through the establishment barriers without Trump plowing the way. For all the Ted Cruz supporters, without Trump there is no where for the Texas senator to go for support. The media will not give him a seat at the table of political discourse because he’s too smart, too holier than thou, and certainly not part of the Beltway culture. Cruz is clearly a Tea Party politician and everyone hates him for it. Trump smartly is setting not only a stage for the 2016 elections, but the 2024 field. These are young men relatively speaking, and in Trump’s wake, they are succeeding where they wouldn’t otherwise. It’s a classic game of good cop bad cop, and Trump clearly knows what he’s doing and what his role in it is.

A lot of people forget that Trump is a Tea Party guy. He has been for a long time. For a celebrity he’s the only one that I remember—besides myself and a handful of others, who refused to concede that there was something really wrong with the president’s birth certificate. Everyone ran away from the media designation of Obama “birthers” except for Trump. Back in 2011 and 2012 Donald Trump attended Tea Party events and flirted with a presidential run back then. If not for Trump, Obama would have never released his birth certificate even though Sheriff Arpaio put together a team which showed the document to be a fake—generated by modern computers because of the layered software that was not available in the 1960s, when the president was actually born. Arpaio is one of those John Wayne traditionalists who made America what it is today, but at over 83, as of this writing, there aren’t many behind him to take the baton. That is something I am always personally concerned about. Each time someone tries to emerge, the media class clearly following the strategies of The Naked Communist shut down proper coverage of such good people leaving us a field of candidates to choose from who are just terrible.

Remarkably in Nashville, Trump went out of his way to promote the Tea Party as a political movement. Of course this stunned the political establishment who has been trying to shut down the movement for years. I have seen this first hand in my own community. Political insiders from the Republican party infiltrated the Tea Party and slowly took the edge off until that silent majority became frustrated and went back to sleep. I still do what I do, but the meeting places slid away into oblivion, and many of the original Tea Party members stop going to meetings and turned back to God on Sunday for some sign of improvement. Meanwhile progressive society marched on unmolested showing itself to be seemingly unstoppable.

Of course I am used to being in the extreme minority through my support of western arts. My decision to start learning fast draw after thirty years of whip work essentially came from the fact that I am now a grandfather and I see the hungry light from behind the eyes of those young children and it reminds me of the old-fashioned America that I love so much—which Donald Trump is dusting off—an America that is good for all races and nationalities. One that black Americans can get excited about and cause Frederick Douglas Republicans to emerge once again. Many blacks do not know these days that the baseball great Jackie Robinson was a Republican as was Martin Luther King. Robinson actually endorsed Richard Nixon for president over John F. Kennedy. Today it is assumed that a person with dark skin will automatically vote for a Democrat leaving Republican politicians looking to join the socialist’s efforts of the Democratic party by throwing benefits to minorities to win their votes. Nothing could be further from the truth. People of all walks of life want to respect themselves in a way that traditional America established. They want self-reliance; they’d rather have a job than to suck off welfare, unless they are essentially lazy people. But most people aren’t. They want government off their back and they want to keep what they work for. Those are essentially Tea Party values which central committee political hacks sought so aggressively to shut down.

When I was in charge of getting signatures for a right-to-work movement in Ohio, which Governor Kasich was against in 2012 it stunned me how many Tea Party leaders locally followed the mantra precisely to Kasich’s political desires. Kasich ran as a Tea Party governor to get the votes and after a major defeat from the public sector unions, he decided that he didn’t want to take on the unions, and had lost his will to fight. It was then that Patti Alderson, the local socialite put me on her radar list and came after me personally—which was a huge mistake. As a Wild West supporter I’m used to being the only one in the room doing what I do, so I didn’t care when Patti’s people stopped sending me emails. I get an average of 150 emails a day now, back then it was nearly 400 and I didn’t have time to read them all. I still don’t, but I did notice the attempt to paint me off the stage. It wasn’t just me, it was everyone associated with Tea Party activity as the Republican Party hell or high water was going to unite the party back to the values of progressives. But Trump is ruining those plans and I’m very happy about it.

For the first time I can actually see a day that America might be proud of itself once again. During this fight even Glenn Beck lost the will to keep swinging leaving much of his audience left to a three-hour daily radio show that sounds more like church than a Tea Party meeting. But some of us love fighting. I do, the more people against me, the more fun I have because it gives me more people to fight. And Trump is certainly that kind of person. Beck obviously isn’t. He wants to be the next Martin Luther King or Gandhi. I just want to be a gun fighter out of a spaghetti western. Beck is happy if people show up and pray with him at some public event. I am happy to see that the modern Star Wars movies are putting a modern spin on the classic Spaghetti Western. But because of Donald Trump, I can actually start thinking of the things I want to do, because what he’s doing every day is what I have been committed to on a smaller scale for a long time, and its nice to see someone more positioned for effectiveness doing the good work of decimating the old political order that never was for representing the old John Wayne America. But for me, that is the only kind of America—a time where westerns were the key inspiration for young kids, black leaders were Republicans, and families stayed together and had money in their bank accounts. Donald Trump looks to be committed to not only bringing that America back to life, but he’s setting the political stage for the next two decades and he really doesn’t have any competition. And that allows people like me to do the kinds of things I really enjoy, which is a very good thing.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Cabela’s in West Chester: Bigger than all outdoors because of big bank accounts

It has been a week of amazing fun and innovation culminating in the opening of a new Cabela’s in my hometown, on the border of Liberty Township and West Chester Township. I went to the Grand Opening with my son-in-law and took a moment to just soak up the moment. With the Wetherington Country Club on my right and the new Liberty Center development on my left while facing the grand façade of the new outdoor outfitter, I had to consider how wonderful these developments were, and how amazingly creative the minds of ingenuity behind them were that made it all possible. From the smallest fishing lure to the most epic of dining experiences, the spot that I stood upon I once hiked as a kid that at the time was considered remote and way out-of-the-way from anything resembling development. Yet where I stood was ground central to some of the greatest capitalist investment in the United States, and I simply loved it. Country music played to a line of people who had been waiting to get into Cabela’s for days as the sun rose through blotchy clouds above the now familiar building. Outdoor exhibits filled the parking lot giving the feel of a county fair; it was a truly American experience. I couldn’t help but swell with pride that I lived in a country where such things were celebrated with such gusto. Then the doors opened and a rush of people to be the first inside collapsed reason for yearnings specific to the human need for adventure.

Inside was 82,000 SF of greatness, of American pride, guns, camping equipment, outdoor gear, fishing boats and lures—of everything someone who spends time outside could possibly want. Now in this area we are a little spoiled, we have a Bass Pro. We have a Dicks Sporting Goods which I have been spending a lot of time at lately. So we have access to outdoor supplies in quantities that are unique to our regional market. And I still love those stores. In fact, I am excited about the Bass Pro that is about to break ground this fall just a few miles to the south—a 125,000 SF facility that will be quite a bit larger than this Cabela’s. But for me, Cabela’s is a sentimental victory—a regional game changer that I will be intensely loyal to. I have always loved their supplies and have ordered from them through mail order for years. Most of my cloths have come from Cabela’s over a long period of time. And without question, most of my future cloths will come from the very store I was standing in. I had the thought that a younger version of myself was meeting an older version right there in that store—and it was a soul unifying experience.   The lighting was wonderful; it was like walking into the Wizard of Oz film for the first time when movie goers saw color after the first half hour was in black and white. It was more than a store—it was Heaven’s Gate.image

The same kind of goose bumps that I get when I see the Smith & Wesson logo, or that of Ruger was evident upon viewing the entire fabulous inventory Cabel’s had on display in those opening moments. It was a moment that I will never forget and will go down in history as one of my favorite experiences. All was right in the world at that moment, it was Christmas in August—Americana in all its glory was on full display. Paradise was upon us and it was simply glorious.image

I remember when Liberty Township was very rural, cows were on farms with every mile traversed. My roots in Liberty Township go back to before there was ever an American Revolution so there are few living here now who can claim such a history. If anybody should have anxiety over all the development, it should be me—and on some projects I don’t like them. For instance, I was not a fan of the 129 connector. Too many people lost their land to the hands of government, and a scar cut right through my township which likely laid my foundations toward government opinion to this day. It was a bad deal and it has not saved Hamilton from economic destruction, the way that the highway was sold. Route 4 is the artery for development that is every bit as good as 129. Because of the Butler County Regional Highway (129) Liberty Township is changing from a country refuge into a suburban utopia luring the affluent from all around the country to one of the best locations in the country to live. To my eyes there is good and bad with that. I don’t care for the traffic, but I like the innovation that comes with development.image

Many are concerned that the traffic in front of Cabela’s and the new Liberty Way will be ominous. These are major shopping destinations that typically have eight lane roads handling all the activity. But the design is all part of the new design of these retail establishments—where the challenge is to handle all the people while still looking like a small town community. After all, that is the appeal of Liberty Township and West Chester. You get everything you would expect from a big city as far as commercial application of development, without all the noise and headache. The spirit of the land is and will always be country—even with all the affluence. I still see it the way I always did, even as I stood in the Cabela’s parking lot thinking of days where that exact location seemed so far away from civilization with the exception of I-75 nearby.   Back in those days Tylersville Road was like the last outpost of Cincinnati before getting to Dayton, with the only exception of Middletown which was like a small oasis between the two big cities. After Tylersville Road there wasn’t much development, there was actually concern about having enough gas to get to the next supplier.image

Once just north of Franklin I was pulled over by a helicopter cop for doing 111 MPH and I wasn’t really trying very hard. There wasn’t much traffic or buildings around for reference. The cop saw that I had so much legal trouble that they actually cut me a break, because my license was about to point out under suspension from the multitude of speeding tickets I had—which took about three months to process through the system—in pre-Internet days. The helicopter actually landed in the median of I-75 because that was the only vehicle that could catch up to me back then. But the cops in the helicopter were happy to have something daring to do during their shift and I was pretty well known—so they were content to send me off without making things worse for me—which was nice. There was a little bit of Hazzard County politics to the region back then, which I always appreciated, and many old timers are afraid of that going away with all these new developments. But to my eyes, Cabela’s understands the area—which is why they put the store where they did. They appeared to me to want to give the area more of the character it has always had, not to take it away.image

Yet if I had the opportunity as a kid to trade that bit of land for the hiking opportunities it provided, or in having a Cabela’s where I can buy just about anything for the outdoors that I could dream of, and then travel to some really nice outdoor destinations for real adventure—I would pick in less than a second to have the Cabela’s. From Liberty Township, the Great Lakes are not that far away. Cumberland Lake, Lake Nolan and many other southern destinations known for fishing and boating are an equal number of miles to the south. To the east is the great Hocking Hills and between those places and the new Cabela’s are many hundreds of smaller destinations great for outdoorsman. But what’s better is the concentration of wealth in the area that allows Cabela’s to stock unusual items that they might not be able to afford to carry in less affluent areas.image

There have been a lot of complaints that Bass Pro has went downhill over the last couple of years—particularly in the fishing lure selection and price. They really haven’t had a direct competitor and they have been located in a declining area—economically. The Cincinnati Mills location is a dead mall mismanaged by the governments of Forest Park and Fairfield who assumed twenty years ago that they could raise taxes, bring in government housing, and not expect to push away the wealth that made them great areas at one time. Again, when I was a kid I spent a lot of time at Surf Cincinnati, which was located in Forest Park, just down the highway from the current Bass Pro Shop. There are such poor quality people in the region now, that a Surf Cincinnati wouldn’t be possible in that same area now. It’s not race that I’m talking about, it’s those willing to build wealth as opposed to those who just want to leech off it. This has put Bass Pro in a terrible position and it shows in their stock of inventory.

To support them I buy what I can from Bass Pro. As I announced recently, I bought my new .500 Magnum from them even though it probably cost me $150 more to do so, and I bought recently a gun cleaning kit that I could have bought at Dick’s for about $5 less. I bought at Bass Pro because I wanted to support them, and because I wanted to show my grandson the gigantic fish tank and grab something to eat in front of it. They opened Bass Pro hoping to have a major impact on the region, which has been extremely positive. But not enough to offset the bad decisions of local government during the past—so for Bass Pro’s own survival, they need to move to West Chester. The same customers can come as those who went to the Forest Park location, but new people who avoided the Forest Park region will explode their business. That will not only help Bass Pro, but outdoor enthusiasts like me who want to give them money, and encourage them to carry inventory they might not otherwise stock for fear of overloading their shelves—because eventually someone will buy that uniquely colored fishing lure—because they are getting ready to fly to Canada on a pontoon plane to spend a week on one of their many lakes far removed from civilization.

Others are concerned that there won’t be enough economic horse power to sustain Cabela’s, Dicks at Liberty Center, and Bass Pro at Union Center. I know by instinct that there is more than enough. But Cabela’s has run the numbers, they know the demographics of the area they built-in, which is why they are selling boats and pontoons—which is unusual for them. They know the market demographics are there, which was obvious upon putting my eyes on the merchandise when first entering. It’s the little things that confirm it—which is why it was a paradise for me.

I recently had the privilege of visiting the Field & Stream store in Crescent Springs and it was wonderful, but had a bit of the tired look of the Bass Pro in Forest Park. That is because the market demographics can’t support all the cool little nuances that come to affluent areas. It was a nice store, had a good price on ammunition, but looked like they were holding back on their inventory out of concern of not being able to sell it. That was not the case in the Cabela’s at West Chester. It was gloriously stocked and ready to supply a community hungry for what they offered. And for me, lasting just a small time during a mid-morning excursion, all was right in the world. I was at Cabela’s and they spared no expense!

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

The Real Life Howard Roark: Donald Trump’s quest to bring value to the “Pronoun I”

As I listened to the ongoing fallout from the Fox News Presidential debate that set historic records with more viewers than watched the World Series the volatility surrounding Donald Trump continues to erupt.  I find it personally fascinating because what Trump is doing is something I have been pushing for a long period of time.   Ross Perot didn’t have quite enough in the emotional tank to pull it off in 1992, or in 1996.  Ron Paul never did much more than come away from his presidential campaigns than represent a near retirement old man with more warning than bite.  Other than that, there really hasn’t been anybody to shake things up the way Trump has, except for classic Clint Eastwood films.  To do the job, the person has to enjoy the fire, understand the value of the “Pronoun I” (click to review), and the candidate has to be the smartest guy in the room.  It takes a lot of gusto to stand in front of the world and declare that nobody out-thinks you.  Trump for all the smoke, fire, and explosions seems up to the task which gives me hope that he may be the one. 

I’m not talking about a politician like the ones the world has become used to.  Rather Trump is much more reminiscent of the type of office seeker that we would have had stepping purely off the pages of Ayn Rand’s two great American novels, The Fountainhead, and Atlas Shrugged—both personal favorites of mine.  As I read carefully the statements about the exit of Donald Trump’s campaign adviser Roger Stone in the wake of the Megan Kelly feud, I noticed something distinctly different about this round of controversy.  Trump is moving into uncharted political waters which Stone was clearly not comfortable with—and Trump recognizing it, is pressing to move on with the methods that have given him success.

The system is set up to protect itself from individual merit.  Stone, Kelly, Bill O’Reilly even Roger Ailes of Fox News are members of the system.  Glenn Beck years ago tried to press against that system, and he is currently doing a good job with his own little network, The Blaze, which I listen to every day.  But Beck never really survived his run-ins with George Soros or his expulsion from Fox News.  When individuals push back against the system, they tend to be destroyed in the process.  Along comes Donald Trump who has made his living by underlining the pronoun I.   His 1987 book The Art of the Deal is a great book about a very passionate man who comes across larger than life because as he says, if you’re going to think, you might as well think big.  But before you can do that you have to truly know who you are as an individual, not as a member of the collective and Donald Trump clearly knows who he is.

I have never seen or read anything from Trump that points to Ayn Rand as a source of inspiration—which doesn’t surprise me.  The characters from her novels—people like Howard Roark and John Galt were just who they were.  They didn’t point to a philosopher on the horizon as the origin of their thoughts; they just were who they were.  Yet Trump clearly is a hero from those pages whether by default, or through inspiration.  He reminds me of the kind of man Howard Roark was in The Fountainhead.  I have a lot of favorite books.  One is The Art of War by Sun Tzu.  Another is The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musahi.  Another is The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell.  Way of the Fighter is another treasure of mine written by General Claire Lee Chennault.  Most of my favorite books have something to do with combat and fighting—strategy.  Like Trump nobody out thinks me.  It would likely be a stalemate if he and I would ever come into contact with each other because I wouldn’t yield an inch to him, and neither would he.  He would likely chose to fight with verbal insults to shake me off my position whereas I tend to use many more subtle means built off many years of reading voluminous books providing me with a robust vocabulary and strategic options. That is why out of all my books one of my favorites is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand because it is about these types of people, those who clearly understand themselves and know that they are the source of all material from which all things pour forth.

The Fountainhead is a uniquely American concept and was inspired by the bright-eyed young woman Ayn Rand who escaped communist Russia to work as a screenwriter in Hollywood.  Her first impressions of America were the New York skyline and the buildings which made it up erected because of capitalism.  Nowhere else in the world had such sights, and she built her philosophy of Objectivism off that vision.  One of her strongest and most explosive characters was the architect Howard Roark from that first big hit by her written in 1943.  He built buildings for that skyline and was directly inspired by the real life Frank Lloyd Wright.  Throughout the novel Roark refuses to collaborate with others on projects so to maintain his individuality, even when it costs him dearly.  Donald Trump is the closest personification of Roark that I’ve ever seen which most adequately allows for the philosophy of individuality to finally see the light of day which it deserves—which seemed to be at the center of Roger Stone’s issues.  The American presidency has been accepted by default to be a sacrifice to the collective, and Donald Trump is changing that perception rapidly much to the anxiety of those who have molded their lives to the system and are unsure of how to conduct themselves in that vacancy.

My favorite scene in The Fountainhead is not the ending where Roark becomes his own lawyer to defend himself in court for blowing up his own building. He conducted the act of vandalism to maintain his ownership of his property. The best part for me came when he was invited to be a part of a panel of the country’s greatest architects to commission a project for the World’s Fair.  Roark declared upon the invitation that he would work alone or not at all, that committees do not work.  CLICK HERE FOR REVIEW.  I was reading the book silently in public and when I ran across that passage I shouted at the book with over 40 years of pent-up energy.  FINALLY SOMEONE HAD SAID IT!  I had to read a book from 1943 to get it, but finally someone understood something I had been trying to explain for a very long time.  Of course that type of thinking runs counter to everything we have built our political lives around—so it’s a gross violation of any form of collectivism—which human beings have just accepted without question. Roark as a fictional character challenged those thousands of years of human thinking.  Now Trump is the living embodiment of Roark—and if he can stay with his campaign, he has a chance to do something that has needed to be done since the start of America as a country—invoke a full philosophy started by Adam Smith and Thomas Paine into a fully realized explosion of thought and action inspired by an intellectual emphasis on the pronoun I.

I don’t want the system of politics that we inherited by default from Europe.  I want something uniquely American.  I want a real life Howard Roark as president—which is precisely what Donald Trump is.  Now that I’ve gotten to know Trump better through all these media escapades and watched his behavior more accurately, I think I would get along well with him.  Even after all the years that he did The Apprentice, I had never watched a single show until recently, because I don’t waste time on network television.  I’m just too busy.  So outside of his book The Art of the Deal, I didn’t know much about Trump or his empire.  I don’t like casinos, so I lumped Trump into that parasitic category of human being—a crony capitalist who was part of the problem.  But I see now something else, a long-held strategy centered on evoking pride in the pronoun I to the extent of saving America from the collectivist parasites which have embedded themselves in our political culture.  They are scared of Trump, and he is relishing in aggravating their anxiety.  Because he truly wants to save America, not just to provide an ego boost to himself.  For all of the reasons that Howard Roark refused the World’s Fair commission, to maintain his integrity and love for a country that has made him extremely wealthy, Trump is trying to save America not through more rules and regulations, or even executive order.  He’s trying to save it by invoking in the people of the nation, the spirit and power of the pronoun I.  Because he knows that through individuality and values invoked from within, America can only survive the systems which currently encumber it.   Committees never have worked, Howard Roark said so in a 1943 novel about individualism and the power of a philosophy built from it.  Now Donald Trump is in forbidden territory, and he appears ready to thrive in that task.  And for that he has my full support!

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Escapes: Why we have government and drug cartels in charge

How corrupt is Mexico, for those who think that Donald Trump’s comments were over-the-top?  You know people……………………….when I wrote the Cliffhanger story, Sacrifice of Santa Maurta, I was trying to teach you about these things.  In story form, I wanted to instruct normal Americans how drug cartels work and demonstrate how close they were to actual governments—who often operate in much the same fashion.  There really isn’t much difference between a drug cartel and something like the Mexican, or U.S. governments.  They all operate as organized crime operations that either confiscate money under force, or push products that are deemed illegal by a rival gang to a market hungry for the product.  After watching the many scandals of the recent White House and the Saul Alinsky mobster-like defense of those actions, the conclusion that the federal government is reminiscent of the many mobster families over time that have taken root in America is not outrageous.  Organized crime institutions are designed to extract control by using fear to encourage a free population to hand over that control willingly.  In the United States, even though the government wants that control, the Bill of Rights prevent their easy acquisition of such power. But in Mexico, they aren’t so fortunate. Their constitution was created in 1917 at the start of global progressivism and has an emphasis on “social justice.”  This had the unintended consequence of creating a large central government and a nation of weak individual rights.  As a result, since the profit motive has been removed from the population illegal activity to satisfy individual needs rose up, and a nation of corruption has evolved.  This has led to the rise, fall, and continuous escapes of one of the largest drug lords in the world, Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, who just last night escaped from a maximum security prison yet again just a few miles west of Mexico City.  Obviously he had help in escaping; inside people at the prison who helped him leave custody after the United States had put out a reward of $5 million for information leading up to his capture, which had finally occurred in February of 2014.  He was wanted for murder and drug trafficking and was put in prison for what should have been the rest of his life.  But just over a year later, he was free once again.

The Mexican people in their progressive society have been deliberately taught not to think through their education system leaving the nation desperately poor and willing to follow the orders of their managing government.  In the United States the hope by progressives was that the off-spring of that 1917 Mexican constitution, which is essentially a communist proclamation that guarantees a good job and decent housing to their people, would expand into the United States through illegal immigration by flooding the border with social justice activists whose children would overwhelm American politics and force a military style insurgency against the United States Constitution.  The goal is one of emphasis on collective rights versus individual rights.   That is the reason that the Washington Cartel for lack of a more appropriate definition wants essentially an open border policy between Mexico and America.  The ultimate hope is that as Mexican people assimilate into American culture they will bring with them the demand for social justice that they were raised with in Mexico, and surrender their individual rights to the authority of a government.  For instance, in Mexico, the government is responsible for the economy, which has led to massive corruption, and paved the way for drug cartels to essentially run the country—because they are an industry that produces a lot of money—and money is what the Mexican government is responsible for providing.  Without having any competition to correct bad behavior, it is far easier for the Mexican government to rely on the drug cartels for their livelihoods than to come up with actual economic stimulus.

In the United States under free enterprise that type of thing goes on too, such as Warren Buffet’s acquisition of a railway system that runs across the Canada, and United States border and hauls oil to the Pacific instead of down the Keystone Pipeline.  CLICK TO REVIEW.  Buffet to seal the deal and stop the Keystone Pipeline advocated for higher taxes in America to essentially crush any competitors who might challenge him, in trade for a president who would veto any attempt to build a pipeline that would challenge his monopoly on moving oil by train to Pacific destinations—that is essentially why there is no Keystone Pipeline.  It has nothing to do with the environment, or social justice for nature—or feasibility studies by the government.  It’s about helping out a buddy to the administration.  If Buffet were arrested tomorrow for bribery, extortion, and perhaps other crimes, he’d be out of jail in a similar way as Guzman just escaped—because the administration needs him.  They need his support of higher taxes, his wealth, and his connections to the business world—so they would make sure he’d stay free to operate.  But in America there is still a free market system and challenges to Buffet still come from rivals who put pressure on all this clandestine activity and keep it underground.  It’s not the justice system that keeps Buffet and President Obama honest; it’s the threat of competition.  If the government in America was in charge of the economy, that threat would go away.

In essence, that is what has happened in Mexico.  The Mexican government needs the drug trafficking of Guzman to keep them all employed.  Since the United States is concerned about drugs illegal flooding their population and destroying the minds of their citizens, Mexico has to pretend that they are against the activity in practice, but from within the country it might as well be the Wild West during the gold rush days.  There is no law in Mexico. If you get on the bad side of a drug cartel, they will attempt to kill you, and if you don’t have access to the rocket launchers and military style weapons like they have, you can forget a defense of yourself.  It’s an appalling situation.

When Hillary Clinton declares that the drug problem in the United State is the fault of its people with an “insatiable” demand for illegal drugs, she is talking from experience as her husband and his brother used the Arkansas government to traffic drugs into the United States as governor.  But she’s only telling half the story.  She intentionally takes the burden of behavior away from Mexico and places on the United States emphasizing that the villain is the demand so that she can make subtle arguments against capitalism and free-market manipulation.  If she can sell regulation using drugs as an example, she can sell regulation against all businesses—in her mind.  But by forcing a stalemate of consensus, she can then pave the way for drug cartels like El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel to flourish unmolested.  As a member of government who also wants some of the indirect benefits of cartel business—as his family has in the past, weakened border patrol agents underfunded, overly unionized, and understaffed have created a situation on the border that makes it easy for Guzman to move his product to American markets.  It doesn’t matter to American politicians that the Sinaloa cartel is every bit as violent and dangerous as ISIS is in the Middle East—the antics are overlooked in favor of easy money, and the sex trafficking that many politicians enjoy in Washington D.C. that is also smuggled in through Mexico.  For anyone who has been to Cancun, you will know that there is a sex mall called Plaza 21 just down the road from the airport.  There is also a place called Pleasure Principal that does in hotel sex visits on the strip.  Where does everyone think those girls come from?  And what does anybody think happens to them when they are too old to be sexual fantasies for couples, perverted men, and other deviants like corrupt politicians from the United Nations who have “Green” seminars in such places to bring the focus of the world on global environmentalism—they don’t pick those exotic cities for the food—it’s for the drugs and the women. Don’t kid yourself, what happens to those girls after a few years in “the business?”

Guzman was freed because the Mexican government wanted him free.  They want his money, and his power—which exhibits precisely why the Mexican Constitution was always such a joke.  The emphasis on social justice and collective salvation has left the entire nation ill prepared to deal with economics, morality, and any kind of intellectual ethics.  They are a conquered people just trying to scrape by in life.  But they weren’t conquered by the capitalism of the United States; they destroyed themselves with a poor political philosophy centered on social justice instead of individual liberty.  And out of jealousy, there are cartel members who do hate the United States because it is such a good country, and they have no problem torturing its citizens with death hits whenever possible.  They enjoy it with a hint at national pride, because their communist constitution has all but destroyed their people, whereas in the United States where people actually have money to buy their sex trafficked women and their narcotics, the root of that money is a mystery to them that they can only be angry at.  And that root is capitalism driven by the free market—which is a threat to drug cartels and government cartels of all types and formalities.  To understand more about this very important topic, I’d suggest you read my Cliffhanger series.  It goes into more detail at the level of the individual players and their motivations.  Personally, I hate drugs, I hate drug cartels, sex trafficking and large government interference because to me they all embody an evil that goes against the heart of every human being—the desire to be free.  And now Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is free, but not because he deserves to be, but because the government wants to enslave everyone else with his tyranny.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

The End is Here: Last warnings from Porter Stansberry and what you can do to survive

I first wrote about Porter Stansberry when he was on with my friend Doc Thompson way back in 2011.  CLICK HERE to review that article titled The Cannibals of the United States: Sacrifice the RICH!!!   He has accurately predicted many financial crises over the years and it would be useful to hear him on with Doc comparing what we know today with what he said only four years ago now that the extent of the Greek markets are known and how that will directly translate over to the United States.  There is an economic crash on the horizon in America due to the grossly mismanaged government that has delivered us all to this precipice and it’s time to have a reasonable discussion about how to protect your assets during that inevitable destruction which Stansberry has published in America 2020 –  The Survival Blueprint found at the following link.

https://orders.cloudsna.com/chain?cid=MKT015071&eid=MKT051969&snaid=&step=start##AST01662

To make all this information just a bit easier to understand I have edited the pertinent issues Stansberry stated on the linked article:

What we are witnessing in America today is unprecedented.

Our government has embarked on a gross, out-of-control experiment, expanding the money supply 400% in just six years, and more than doubling our national debt since 2006.

It took our nation 216 years to rack up the first $8.5 trillion in debt… then just 8 more years to double that amount.

And this is precisely why so many questions about the economy and our future remain. For example…

Why has there been very little inflation thus far? How will we possibly pay back all this debt?

And of course, perhaps the most important question of all: Why has nothing “bad” happened after our government printed more than $4 trillion new dollars out of thin air and borrowed $9.4 trillion more?

Well, as someone who has been investigating this situation closely for years, who has built a $100 million business by capitalizing on expertise in finance and accounting… I am here to tell you with 100% certainty:

America is in for some major changes to our economy, our country, and our very way of life over the next five years.

 

The way you live, work, travel, retire, invest… everything is going to change. Some of it in ways most people would never expect.

Some time in the next few years, we will experience a “new” crisis of epic proportions.

We’re going to have a major stock market crash – and it will be worse than the one we experienced seven years ago.

We’re going to have a currency crisis too – because investors and governments around the world will realize the U.S. dollar is not the safe haven it once was.

Sooner than most people think, we’ll see the U.S. dollar lose its “reserve currency” status, and this will make it much harder for our government to borrow money, and have our military stationed in more than 150 countries.

We’re going to have massive changes to our retirement system and Social Security. We’re likely to see huge tax increases and even a “wealth tax,” which levies a fee on all your savings and any assets of value.

We’re going to see all kinds of new laws and rules about what you can do with your money, just like House of Representatives bill H.R. 2847, which went into effect July 1, 2014. This law made it extremely difficult, if not possible, for the average American to get some of their money out of U.S. dollars, and into more stable currencies via foreign banks. In the months and years to come we’re going to see more and more of these “capital controls” placed on our personal savings… We’re going to have a massive inflation – when the trillions and trillions of newly printed dollars begin making their way into the economy.

We’ll also witness major changes to the very fabric of our society. Destroying a nations’ money in this manner wrecks businesses, friendships, and families, who simply don’t understand and aren’t prepared for what will happen.

The next phase of this crisis will threaten our very way of life.

The savings of millions will be wiped out. This disaster will change your business and your work. It will dramatically affect your savings accounts, investments, and retirement.

It will change everything about your normal way of life: Where you vacation… where you send your kids or grandkids to school… how and where you shop… the way you protect your family and home.

* Roughly 75% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, with essentially zero savings, according to a recent study by Bankrate.

* The “labor force participation rate” (basically the percentage of able-bodied people who are actually working) has fallen every year since 2007 and is at its lowest level since the 1970s. (Source: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

* How can things really be “normal” in America, when the number of people on food stamps has basically doubled since Barack Obama took office… and when HALF of all children born today will be on food stamps at some point in their life?

Yes, you read that correctly: Roughly 50% of all children born in America today will be on food stamps at some point in their lifetime. Does that sound “normal” to you?

* Can our country really be back to “normal” when, according to the most recent numbers from the Census Bureau, an incredible 49% of Americans are receiving benefits from at least one government program EVERY SINGLE month?

* Or when 52% of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year?

* Can things really be “normal” in America when at one point, a single U.S. government-controlled agency (the Federal Reserve) was purchasing up to 70% of the bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury – simply by creating money out of thin air?

* Or when the “too-big-to-fail-banks” that got bailed out in 2007 are actually 37% larger than they were back then?

To make matters much worse I’d refer you dear reader to another article I wrote way back in 2011 and listen to the audio clip of Darryl Parks that I have put there for posterity.  The article is called The Harsh Reality of the World Economy: Learn about money and why you may be a looter.  In that article Darryl Parks who used to be a key high level executive for Clear Channel and had access to all types of wonderful fiscal policy minds that normal everyday people don’t have the opportunity to know, revealed some truly mind rattling information.  There are currently roughly 7 billion people on planet earth.   5 billion of those people over 15 years of age. 3 billion of those people are interested in working.  There are only 1.2 billion jobs on the planet.  3 people are going for every one job around the world, and most of those jobs are in the United States—or are directly in service to the economy of America.  For instance, many of the manufacturing jobs in China serve American needs for products, and those needs are fueled by Western wealth.  That wealth was created by the capitalist means of economic growth.  To keep products more affordable, lower cost labor is needed which is why jobs are moving overseas.  The markets around the western portion of the Pacific Rim are being driven still by American necessity even if the direct labor has transferred from one location to another.  To fill that job growth void in the original economy of America, people have grown accustom to debt and duel income households which has run its course to the limit and is set to collapse on itself, ethically, economically, and move beyond its buoyancy.  Once America hits that point, many of those foreign jobs will dry up, and a global collapse well beyond the imagination of the average person will be at hand.  The only reason it hasn’t happened yet is because that buoyancy is being sustained by incredible levels of debt.

Some of that activity is orchestrated by people like George Soros.  He certainly isn’t the only one, but he has helped to topple these global economies in a direction he will profit from both financially and ethically.  The world will lean toward global socialism as a short term attempt to stay floating just a little longer, but governments are terrible at creating jobs, and people like Soros will take their billions and flee to a Caribbean island to live out the rest of their days in comfort and isolation.  The rest of the world will choke.  The real money men who actually create jobs from scratch and not just by moving investments around are the ones who are most needed to increase those jobs numbers. Government can only make jobs with confiscated wealth, and if there is no wealth to tax, those jobs go away too.  So jobs have to be made with real manufacturing of actual goods that the world needs and desires.  A capitalist focus on increasing that 1.2 billion number must come into play, and until it does, many will suffer on planet earth.

So dear reader, we have been together for a long time.  You have read many words here, and the time has come.  If you want to survive, protect your assets by listening to Porter Stansbery.  Only by protecting yourself can you hope to pull the world from the brink at the reset point and be one of those who make the 1.2 billion jobs that actually put people to work.  If the human race is to survive, it needs to expand capitalism to unprecedented levels and not be satisfied with 2 billion created jobs, but perhaps 3 to 5 billion that by default would have to be filled by artificial intelligence because there aren’t enough workers over age 15 to fill the vacancies.  That is a problem we want to have.  But from now until then, you have to survive, and I’d recommend you follow Porter Stansbery to your own salvation.  You might also consider voting for Donald Trump by putting a no-nonsense businessman in a position of government to try to save our present world, and by also getting behind regenerative growth technology to alleviate the future effects of the collapsing Social Security system and the health care industry.

Rich Hoffman

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

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

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

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

 CLIFFHANGER RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.