Sacrifice to Santa Maurta: Understanding the nature of terrorism

It is a pleasure to release the third installment of the Cliffhanger story, The Curse of Fort Seven Mile titled “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta.” These stories are part of an ongoing project I have to contemplate a philosophy for the next century dealing with themes that go well beyond the typical action adventure story. They are specifically construimagected to cover difficult aspects of our culture and weave them into the motivations of the present through a mythological means greatly underutilized in modern entertainment. The Cliffhanger series allows me to cover very difficult subject matter similar in manner to one of my favorite books, The Republic, by Plato where he uses Socrates as a character canvas for concepts of a philosophic nature to articulate the thoughts of their day. Using the modern Cliffhanger as a type of modern Zorro/Batman character it allows me to explore difficult contemporary subjects that just aren’t getting coverage any other way. A fine example of that is in our modern drug culture.

It is hard for people to understand the motivations of terrorist groups like ISIS or the drug cartels on the Mexican/American border. In many ways, I see the drug cartels as every bit as dangerous as ISIS. Like the Islamic extremists of late, the drug cartels routinely cut the heads off their enemies and incite terror all over the south western states and all across Central America. Terrorist cartels run Mexico and it gets very little press coverage leaving most people uninformed as to their motivations. What drug cartels and ISIS have in common is a sense of collectivism where the gang of thugs for which they are members are considered part of a family unit—and they partake in deity worship. In the ISIS case it’s Allah, in the typical drug cartel it’s Santa Maurte. This latest Cliffhanger story puts readers into the minds of a typical drug cartel member and covers some very provocative ground intellectually. I’m very proud of the way the story has come together and how it fits into a much larger philosophy which is of course the intention. The following description is what the “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” is all about.  I changed the spelling a bit to avoid a direct insult of a goddess that is quite popular today.

The Los Ebola drug cartel is executing a young woman as part of a sinister plan to enact terrorism, drug addiction, and social unrest through-out America. Of their prime concern is the drug trafficking lanes lost recently to a rival cartel into the neighborhoods of Fort Seven Mile. The goddess of their religion, Santa Murata demands to be fed the blood sacrifice of an offering to turn their luck back to a favorable standing.

Yet the bandit Cliffhanger has other plans and uses his flaming bullwhips under the cover of darkness to enact justice against the blood thirsty desires of the skeletal deity and her otherworldly plans for global insurrection. But first a damsel in distress is in need across railroad tracks as a freight train looms upon her intent on creating a corpse. In spite of Cliffhanger’s heroics a forbidden technology is brought forth that will point to an answer that is more mysterious than the question—who is Cliffhanger?

It is exciting even though the subject matter is quite serious, to tell stories like this.   There is the typical swashbuckling aspect which is consistent to what they are becoming known for. That’s entirely on purpose. I’ve always thought that classic westerns were wonderful vehicles for instructing contemporary values and that is something missing from our culture. Cliffhanger as a series of stories is certainly modeled after my love of westerns and the villains are often dirty politicians, and drug cartels, but something that extends this into the work of philosophy is that the primary villain is a philosophy of collectivism as opposed to just an individual functioning from greed. That takes this work out of the realm of whimsical fantasy and makes it a platform for philosophy.

In the “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” a concept is explored that permeates all collective based cultures—the concept of sacrifice, and the belief that something must be given up to something so that something else can happen. So far in the overall story arch of The Curse of Fort Seven Mile, sacrifice has been a consistent message. In the first installment, the police union wanted the community to sacrifice money to their requirements of a collective bargaining agreement to bring safety to Fort Seven Mile after a series of deaths and tragedies grabbed headlines. In the second installment, “Latté Sipping Prostitutes” a teacher’s union expected a sacrifice on behalf of the community in order to care for the children attending their schools. In this installment, “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” the belief in sacrifice isn’t disguised behind altruism like it is in typical political efforts previously described—it is quite literal and cuts straight to the thoughts of the typical drug trafficker.

To write this story I reflected back to personal experience. The first adults I knew outside of my family professionally were hit men, money launderers and drug traffickers. Even though I was never part of their criminal activities I was recruited and had their trust, and they’d tell me things. I learned what being a “heavy” was before I had a driver’s license and would hear stories of bringing enforcement to their targets. It was a good experience that I would never trade away even if I disagreed with the way those people made their living. What we all had in common was a love of the dying order of manhood where bravery and valor were still traits men admired in each other—even if they were politically and ideologically opposed. I learned close-up how those types of people thought and it sent me on a life-long quest to understand all the nuances.

Drug cartels in Mexico tend to name themselves after dangerous diseases and superstitions. Their real life belief in Santa Maurte is a mix of Mayan culture and the Catholic influences of the Spanish conquistadors. She is a grim reaper like figure that is commonly found at drug festivals, paraphernalia shops, and flea markets. She also has many shrines dedicated to her along southern American highways. They are much like ISIS in their desire to incite terrorism among their targets. They don’t often see themselves as evil, but as opportunists who are fighting for some noble cause. They see America as a corrupt and evil place largely because they were raised in socialist cultures south of the border taught to hate capitalism. They see America as a place that lacks spiritual direction and have no problem with poisoning the culture of North America so it softens the great capitalist nation for their subtle invasion—a revenge for the Spanish-American war.

It might be noted that the leader of the notorious Zetas drug cartel was captured recently in the city of Monterrey. Alejandro Trevino-Morales nicknamed Omar was the head of one of the most violent modern drug cartels. He was so dangerous that the Mexican government had a $2 million dollar reward for his capture and it’s beyond question that he’s directly responsible for many killings, beheadings and general terrorism inflicted among many innocents. But in the cartel business, it will be the next man up. Omar’s capture will do nothing to curb the supply of drugs coming into America because the demand out-weighs the risk of supply. Just before the arrest of Omar Servando “La Tuta” Gomez leader of the Knights Templar cartel was arrested. Yet the drugs continue because the cartels are built from the foundations of collectivism and sacrifice where their actions in this life are measured toward the aims of the afterlife—and that makes them dangerous. They actually believe that they will gain some measure of success in their post life years because of the violence and terror they inflict on behalf of their deities.

To really comprehend terrorism in general you have to understand the ridiculous nature of the fuel which feeds them—which is the notion that by sacrificing themselves or others to a cause of greater importance—that they gain redemption in the afterlife. Their definition of greater importance is defined by the parameters of collectivism not the individual motivations of property rights. Their hatred points straight back to the gulf between socialists and capitalists.

In The Curse of Fort Seven Mile stories Cliffhanger is an unfettered capitalist and the hints as to what extent are first shown in “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta.” It becomes clear toward the end of this story and in the next couple of installments why Cliffhanger is viewed as a villain by the collectivist organizations so far shown, first the police union, then the teacher’s union, and now a drug cartel. Cliffhanger is fighting for something philosophically foreign to collectivists and they hate him for his success. It is in that conflict that I am proud because it’s difficult to frame in a way that can become part of a story and the necessity of entertainment value. The essence is a long forged contemplation that can be brought forth through such a charismatic character. Some will hate him, some will love him—and the reasons why there are different interpretations of the same character are why this can only be a work of philosophy intended for a new century of understanding as the old modes of instruction have contaminated the minds of many with improper thinking and lost values misplaced due to their notion of sacrifice and its social necessity.

Read the “Sacrifice to Santa Maurta” by clicking the link below:

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Why America is Split Down the Middle: What the election of Bibi means world wide

I have learned more about Israeli politics over the last couple of weeks than I had learned in the years prior combined. It started with the Netanyahu speech in front of the United States Congress and ended with the historic elections of this week. The great mystery for me was why Obama was so concerned about the Israeli elections, and why he was so insulted that Bibi was coming to America just a few weeks prior to the election. The revelation was that Obama was working against Netanyahu all along trying to remove him from power with the support of a leftist labor party influence. Now that Netanyahu is back in power, the two state solution in Israel is off the table. Obama and his supporters openly support the Arab Palestinians whereas Netanyahu and his conservative Likud Party are refusing to be divided up as a country. This explains a lot about Obama’s actions. Here is how Fox News reported the situation:

(Josh) Earnest acknowledged Wednesday that the U.S. would have to “re-evaluate” its position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in light of those comments. But he stressed that Obama believes a two-state solution is best. And State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki clarified that the administration “absolutely” will continue to push for this.

Further, Earnest chided Netanyahu’s Likud Party on Wednesday, saying the White House was “deeply concerned” about divisive language emanating from Likud. He said the party had sought to marginalize Israel’s minority Arabs, an apparent reference to social media posts the Likud distributed that warned Israelis about the danger of high turnout by Arab voters.

“These are views the administration intends to convey directly to the Israelis,” Earnest said.

Even worse, like a little baby, Obama refused to call Netanyahu and congratulate him on his election victory. His behavior is really unprecedented and reveals to what extent Obama and his army of progressives wish to change the world into something else. Netanyahu certainly didn’t refuse Obama because of the rhetoric the President uttered in his previous elections—the divisiveness and anger incited by the former community advocate and Saul Alinsky student. Much of the divisiveness in America currently is a direct fault of Obama—yet Netanyahu spoke well of the American president in public when he clearly didn’t need to.

The actions of Obama and the media in the wake of the Netanyahu election point directly to the greater strategy of modern progressives throwing their influence behind the two state solution of a perceived peace in the Middle East. They wish to carry the Middle East into the world before the Sykes-Picot agreement where their president of Woodrow failed epically in the region through the Treaty of Versailles. Now they wish to erase that error as if it never happened—and that means in this case the destruction of a Jewish nation bit by bit.

Ideologically driven, Obama can think of nothing but the aims of progressive influence. Using the same storm the border tactics happening right now in America where foreign influence and money shape American politics for the worse—the same has been going on in Israel with a quiet insurrection by progressives against conservatives like Netanyahu. Obama placed his bets against the Prime Minister. And he lost—and he’s upset about it—enough to make a national incident out of protest. That’s how radical and the media that supports Obama—truly are. They are radical to the point of meanness, and then they wonder why America is a divided nation.

The difference between us in America now are that some of us refuse to be lied to, and others go to the Obama lies like moths to a flame—hell-bent on their own destruction. So the nation is split down the middle between the lazy and stupid and the righteous and wise. Obama likes the stupid and hates the intelligent—because the later sees through his schemes. And it appears that the very same divisions are happening right now in Israel over an election that most Americans thought was inconsequential—but it wasn’t—was it?

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Another Abusive Teacher: Good reporting from Karin Johnson and Lauren Pack

There aren’t many media outlets any more that report trouble with the public education system—where employees lose control of themselves and abuse their authority over young students. One reason is that those media outlets have been watching an erosion of trust that voters have toward public education, and it’s scary to them. To many people their school aged years were the best days of their lives, and they want good memories for their children. They want to overlook trouble when it presents itself so that their children can have the nice experience they had when they were young students. Yet, to my experience, I hated my public education years.  It was extremely confining and I always considered it a waste of time. The older I get, the more firmly I feel that the entire system should be completely overhauled so to more properly utilize the natural ambition exhibited by children toward learning—because public education has a tendency to kill that ambition leaving flat, boring adults as a product of that institutional system of learning. Channel 5’s Karin Johnson and I have had this talk before and over time, we have moved in different directions. My experience with advocating for lower tax imposition upon communities is easy for me, because I think the system always needed to be changed. But for her, she had a very good public education experience and it is hard to look back and be critical of it. But to her credit, unlike most reporters in and around Cincinnati—she still does a lot of education news and when something goes wrong, she’s there to sniff it out.

According to a report filed Monday and reported nearly exclusively by Channel 5’s Karin Johnson and the Journal News reporter Lauren Pack, a student at Edgewood Middle School told the school resource officer that a female substitute teacher struck her in the face with a ruler. Two other students claimed the substitute teacher taped their hands to a chair. The incidents occurred between Feb. 16 and Feb. 27, according to the report.

Wisely school Principal Alesia Beckett removed the substitute teacher from the school and took measures to have her removed from the county’s substitute teaching list, which is facilitated through Warren County Educational Service Center.

“I was made aware of the situation on Thursday afternoon. The sub was not in the building on Thursday, so I met with her prior to the start of class on Friday morning. After our meeting, I let her know that her time here was over and that she needed to get her things and leave. At that point, our school resource officer and I confirmed that she had exited the building,” Beckett said. She added the woman was a long-term sub for a teacher on leave.

I admire Karin for doing these stories, because there is a lot of pressure not to do them—because people generally want to feel good about public education. But……they want and need to know about teachers substitute or otherwise who let the power go to their heads to the point where they are abusive. My accusation is that most parents use public education as a baby sitting service and could care less what really happens to kids in public school because they are too busy to think about it. Acknowledging that there are serious flaws in public education takes guts, and to her credit, Karin has it. She doesn’t see the demonizing that I do, because our perspective was different, but the results are something that the truth will ultimately carry everyone to eventually. I would have loved to have graduated from high school in the third grade. Some people never want to graduate, and wish to always remain 15 years old. So differences will always be present. But what matters most is overcoming those types of handicaps to tell the truth about a situation so that the voting population can take measure.

If Karin Johnson didn’t do stories like this, there would be no reason for administrators to take swift action to stop bad behavior. In this case Principal Beckett acted correctly and the Journal News and Channel 5 was there to apply the needed pressure from the media to keep everyone honest. But many of the local community papers are so dependent on local school advertising that they have lost their objectivity in reporting the bad news surrendering their integrity to only report the good touchy feely stories that keep levy money pouring in.

Without some level of competition the power-hungry and abusive types find it irresistible to dominate individuals thrown under their command by the power of a position. There are certainly a percentage of police officers who are drawn to the field of police work because it gives them power over other people. There are others who enjoy being in control at the front of a class room and having power over others. It is a powerful experience for someone who craves power to stand in front of a class of 30 people and hold their fates over the fires of judgment. Being the type of person who hates authority with nearly every cell in my body, I had my fill of this behavior in kindergarten. It was a real struggle to not get into trouble because I never allowed myself to yield to any authority figures. Teachers were the first I was exposed to and I never yielded and am extremely proud of it. That trait does me very well currently. I used to make the lives of people like this Edgewood substitute teacher a living hell, and I enjoyed it—because I knew they enjoyed having power over little kids. I still enjoy seeing people like that fall from grace, because I think of them as bad people to begin with. But, it’s not easy to accept by those who want the system to work.

But be assured, this is not an isolated case. It’s just an under reported one. Government schools are filled with these personality types and there just aren’t enough Karin Johnston’s out there, or newspaper reporters like Lauren Pack who ask the dive down questions that are hard for public relations professionals to step around. If not for those two, there might be no public education stories of any honest assessment left in traditional Southwestern Ohio media. Everyone else has pretty much given up and fallen in with the feel good sentiment that keeps levy money pouring in from voters and feeding the corruption and destruction of minds built so negatively in public education. Thankfully, everyone hasn’t given up. Karin may want to preserve the current system with honest reporting, but at least she’s not a sell-out. And that makes her a very good person.

Rich Hoffman


Listen to The Blaze Radio Network by CLICKING HERE.

Labor Unions are a form of Terrorism: Scott Walker was right

The scum bag old hippies from the labor movement sent me one of their propaganda pieces over the weekend still upset at Scott Walker for successfully making Wisconsin a right-to-work state. Their argument was an implied insult made by Walker during a speech poising himself for a presidential run saying, “If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same with Islamic terrorists.”  The labor unions of Wisconsin and within the Democratic Party felt that the comparison of labor union workers protesting the reforms that Walker was implementing were inaccurately being compared to terrorists as if such a thing was a radical departure from reality. But the truth is, any labor union that uses force, coercion, or fear of any kind to make their point is an act of terror. They may not go to the extra level of killing people to make their point, but they certainly did try to damage Walker politically and personally on several occasions and their motives were to invoke terror upon the governor with the same tactical aims in mind as the terrorists of Islam are seeking to achieve through their actions.

Just because the terrorists in this case aren’t wearing towels on their heads and cutting the throat of so-called infidels on a beach in the Mediterranean, if the intention is to make a point against a rival position by using fear instead of logic—the action is one of terrorism. The labor unions have been conducting themselves in such a manner for years, and they don’t get a free pass just because they are American citizens, or members of the Democratic Party backed by laws created by the Department of Labor. Terrorism is anything that invokes fear to accelerate acceptance of the perpetrator’s point of view.

And while we’re at clarifying definitions, let’s also look at the type of language used by labor unions to describe themselves. In the propaganda piece the labor union described their position as such, “Scott Walker compared Wisconsin workers to terrorists. He wants to be president, STOP HIM.” From there they have a little link you can click that takes you to a petition page so you can sign your name to their plight as if some collective mass of ignorance could stop the reality of their foolishness. Workers in the way that labor unions and members of the Democratic Party machine use it, is a term utilized by the philosophy of Karl Marx in his various articulations on the merits of communism, such as in the Communist Manifesto where he ends the book “workers of the world unite.” In the manner that Marx indicated he was calling for an act of terrorism against the management of labor in capitalist enterprises. When “workers” strike and don’t perform tasks of labor, they are no longer “working” they are denying labor to an employer—so they require a different technical classification. A worker in a capitalist country is someone who conducts productive enterprise. A worker in communist and socialist endeavors is a protestor who uses terrorism to extort money they did not earn through collective bargaining agreements by threatening to destroy productivity or the profit margins of their employer through a strike.

Recently the labor unions of the west coast port workers managed to wrestle a contract negotiation settlement for themselves by slowing down work for a number of months costing many millions of dollars in profit. That was economic terrorism where the employers were forced to take the lesser of two evils, they could not operate their business due to the back log in work the labor union “workers” were imposing on them, or they could agree to the labor demands of their protestors and at least collect enough money to stay in business. With average wages of $147,000 per year the ILWU union deliberately brought the management of the west coast ports to their knees with drag-assing techniques designed to hurt their employer so to wrestle away more money from them. That was and is an act of terrorism.

In my home school district of Lakota in 2013 when they wanted to pass a tax increase which they had been unsuccessful three prior times due to arguments that I posed to the public which they could not overcome, they resorted to terrorism through labor union radicalism. The district wanted to give overpaid government employees more money so they needed a tax increase on property values to do it. They used the recent school shooting at Sandy Hook to swing voters about 5% into their direction as they promised to spend the money on “safety and security.” Lakota as a district was doing what public schools do all across the nation when they want more money for their teacher unions—they make parents afraid that something might happen to their children if something isn’t done in their favor. To help drive the point home just a few days before the election a death threat was found in the girls bathroom promising a shooting spree which of course made all the papers and news outlets. Enough parents were scared to vote in favor of the tax increase and Lakota received their money. They didn’t get the money in a straight up and down vote on logic. Lakota had to utilize some form of terror to provoke people into voting for their cause making it an act of terrorism. Of course they didn’t cross the line to become actual killers like the ISIS terrorists have, but they did use fear to achieve their objectives.

And in Wisconsin, against Scott Walker, there were death threats, political maneuvers designed to invoke fear in the population, threats that the economy of the state would be wrecked if Walker got his way—none of which actually happened. The labor unions were using fear to preserve their grip on the state’s economy and under Walker’s leadership, they failed. So out of all the presidential candidates seeking a run for the office in 2016, Walker is the most experienced in dealing with terrorism. He did successfully battle it among the various labor unions in his state. Those labor unions did sometimes threaten to kill him, but unlike ISIS, they didn’t actually try to carry it out. But the threats were made—and those threats are considered to be terrorism with the same intentions as the ISIS terrorist—to achieve a tactical objective through the means of inflicting some form of terror to move an opponent off their position.

The word “worker” is not sacred in American politics. To people who create work the term indicates the potential for some radicalized protest that will cost money and a huge amount of damage to the public relations of any endeavor. Labor unions don’t get to live under different rules by the shadows of reality just because they are Americans. If they desire to inflict fear because they can’t win an argument through logic, they are in fact a form of terrorist. Any time coercion is utilized to achieve a political objective; it is an act of terrorism.   Obama conducted himself as a terrorist when he sent a picture to congress with his pen promising executive orders if they did not do as he demanded. When they refused, such as in the amnesty issue, Obama signed an executive order that ended up as a rider to the Department of Homeland Security bill which is presently being voted upon in the House. Those against the DHS funding bill are upset at Obama’s executive order for amnesty which is really just another way for Democrats to buy votes for future elections. They make up lots of fancy terms for things, but at the heart of the reality, they are behaving as terrorists, because they use fear to drive policy implementation. And of the potential candidates in 2016, Scott Walker has the right kind of mind to deal with the type of domestic terrorism that has so crippled the American economy for years in the labor unions. It’s quite clear that he has the ability to deal with terrorists who don’t even try to hide their actions behind suits and ties—and Washington lobbyists. Walker’s track record and statement was correct. And the labor unions know it—that’s why they’re afraid of him.

Rich Hoffman



A Plane Crash in Liberty Township, Ohio: The pathetic display of the Butler County police

A couple of pilots in a stunt biplane crashed practically into the back yard of one of my children over the weekend killing both aviators in a raging inferno.  I thought most of the people interviewed in the media circus afterward were well-mannered, and even intelligent about the whole issue describing that the plane had been performing stunts and had been engaged in a backward stall never pulling out of the dive that followed.  The plane could have crashed into any of the densely packed homes in the neighborhood behind Wyandot Elementary but somehow the pilot managed to thread a needle flying between two houses before smashing into the ground in a backyard space only clipping away part of a garage.  The pilot had to know that he was going to die at such a speed but had the courage and wherewithal to maintain his cool saving the lives of the people inside.  Given that my kids were in the proximity I’d have every excuse to panic about such a thing—but I never do.  I enjoy those kinds of pilots and love watching them practicing stunts.  I want to see them continue.  If something goes wrong—like it did in this case the pilot did the responsible thing and minimized the damage.  The two pilots ended up burning up beyond recognition but turned a situation that could have been a lot worse into a minimal amount of damage that was pretty easily cleaned up.

However, the display of the police was pathetic.  It looked like every police officer in Butler County was at the scene and they stood around most of the day following the tragedy.  It looked like a beauty pageant of fat-gutted middle-aged men parading around on a catwalk trying to impress the audience with their authority.  The family in the house that was most in danger was eating breakfast and managed to get out of the house after the crash without any help from any authorities.  The fire department showed up within about 5 minutes to put out the fire—which is expected given that Liberty Township has a fire department every couple of miles holding a bunch of public servants always sitting around waiting for something to happen.  In this case they were needed and the danger was averted within 15 minutes of the crash.  But then came the police who showed up on the scene and brought with them a level of panic that was totally uncalled for.

Of course they started putting up blankets so that people surrounding the area couldn’t see the carnage and they quarantined a section of the neighborhood limiting the freedom of the homes not involved in the plane crash.  The entire escapade was entirely self-serving for the police.  It gave them something to do on a Saturday morning in Liberty Township and they seemed to enjoy the heightened drama too much.  Essentially, a plane crashed, the pilot steered away from the danger as best he could.  The fire department put out the fire, and the coroner pronounced the deaths using dental records to identify the victims.  All that was left after was for the FAA to do their investigation and clean up the mess letting the insurance companies cover the damage to the homes so that the residents could get back to their lives.  End of story.  But no, the police had to make the whole scene appear that a new virus had been unleashed upon the earth and that the crash site had become a quarantine zone that aliens might emerge from at any minute.

It was a rather disgusting displaying showing the gross over-employment of police in Butler County.  There were too many at the site leaving the question to be asked—what do they all do when there isn’t a plane crash in the normally quiet community of Liberty Township?  Because at the crash site there wasn’t much to do and they pretty much stood around all day trying to look important.  On a normal Saturday where have all these police been hiding because they certainly aren’t necessary?

The whole crash could have been handled with a handful of government employees, a small investigation team and the coroner.  The rest of the neighborhood could have gotten back to their business of an early weekend morning in the fall within an hour, mowing their grass, cleaning their garages, and living their lives as normal.  The media could have taken their pictures and been done by noon.  Yet the police overdramatized the entire incident making the media even more dramatic standing between photographers and the crash like protective parents securing the serenity of small children not yet ready to see the gross realities of the world.  It was as if we were all small children going to the movies with a panicky parent afraid to let us see images on the screen that were too violent afraid that we’d have bad dreams after.  Their censorship was over dramatized and unnecessary illuminating their useless employment to a great extent.

The crash wasn’t that big of a deal.  Sure people lost their lives, but likely that is the way pilots like that want to leave the world and they did their best with the situation until their last breath.  Likely I have watched the stunts in the sky from that very same pilot many times and enjoyed it—and I’d like to continue to see them from other pilots who often practice flying over Liberty Township using the Butler County Regional Airport as a staging ground.  There is nothing about that crash that would cause me to feel otherwise.  Sometimes bad things happen, but most of the time they don’t—and those times are worth the danger.  But the display of public employees trying to look important at the crash site was grossly evident.  They had the same fake pretension that is seen at fashion shows where 19-year-old girls are dressed up for an evening on the town only to sell cloths to fat, overly stressed women who look nothing like the girls at the show.  The police were only selling an image of security as the danger had already come and gone—but because they had nothing else to do.  They knew the media would flock to the scene, it was a chance for them to look important for the cameras—and that is all they really did.

Rich Hoffman


The Arrogance of John Koskinen: Sonasoft backed up IRS emails–the evidence is available

It took me a few days of extreme anger to calm down enough to even write about the congressional testimony given by IRS commissioner John Koskinen.  As I watched the man speak to congress, I saw arrogance at its most audacious exhibition, and a disrespect that unionized government employees have toward their employers, the tax payers.  I spend a lot of time talking about this issue and am quite certain about the validity of my arguments.  Yet when you see such an obvious case of misconduct happening right in front of our faces—the IRS being caught red-handed with the metaphorical blood dripping from their fingers—and they still declare their innocence–it convinced me that no government employee under any unionized representation can be believed about anything under any circumstance—and that is quite a vote of no confidence.  We see school teachers lie routinely about their poor conduct and often the sharpness of their rebuke is hidden behind the lives of children taking away the blunt edges of criticism.  But in the case of the IRS—here is a long time government employee in John Koskinen who fully expects the world to believe that a hard drive crash destroyed all the evidence of their targeting conservative groups in an IRS scandal that is the biggest crime to come out of government since Watergate.  And the John Koskinen found he could sit in front of the world and declare innocence when the evidence of malpractice is painted all over his organization.  The only reasonable thing the guy could have done was admit to the mishaps, promise to make it better, and cooperate.  Instead, he dug in deeper destroying evidence and smugly declaring the innocence of the IRS without even knowing what is possible in the world or data collection and the destruction of evidence.

As criminals, the IRS should know that the only way to really lose data on a hard drive is to burn the disk and destroy it completely.  Data may not be totally recoverable, but partial information is quite possible even on a malfunctioning hard that has crashed.  But even worse, the information was backed up elsewhere with a company called Sonasoft as reported by and The Blaze over the weekend.  That creates a very specific problem for the IRS.  They are not in control of the backed up data:

As IRS commissioner John Koskinen sat on Capitol Hill belatedly informing a Congressional committee of the “disappearance” of years of email communications from a host of IRS employees under investigation–including Lois Lerner–it was discovered that the IRS had hired an email backup company to prevent just such a loss of data.

After the commissioner’s testimony, a Twitter user went hunting for info on the IRS and discovered that as far back as 2005 a company named Sonasoft had announced that it had been awarded a data backup contract from the IRS. Even as late as 2009, the company had tweeted about its association with the taxing agency.

So, how is it that commissioner Koskinen was so sure during his testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee that all the emails of the very IRS operatives under investigation just happened to have disappeared forever?

The answer is as plain as a gold nugget on top of a pile of shit.  It is unequivocally evident—the IRS has attempted to cover up their crime by destroying evidence with the arrogance of government employees who are obviously not very tech savvy.  They are caught, busted, and guilty as hell and everyone knows it.  As I watched the hearing during Paul Ryan’s portion, I nearly threw my television through the front window, across the yard and into the street.  My anger was intense not just because the IRS has confirm everything that people like me have said about them and is turning out to be true—but because they actually are so rotten and corrupt that they are willing to dig in even further to deny, deny, and deny destroying as much evidence as possible to avoid a clear assessment of their crimes.  As an organization obsessed with legal terminology they know that as long as there is never any direct evidence, that they cannot be prosecuted.  People may not trust them—but at least they won’t be directly guilty.  They know that the evidence they are trying to hide from the American people is so damning to them they will do anything to keep it out of everybody’s eyes, even if they must lie to continue the charade.

The so-called lost emails are certainly available for public consumption.  No matter what sort of hard drive crash occurred on a localized server, the emails of Lois Lerner will be retrieved and read to the world and all these guilty parties will have much more serious problems to contend with.  This is no longer even about politics—this is a crime—a gross abuse of power and it has major implications for the future of the IRS.  Over time, it will all come out, and there will be a lot of broken pieces.  The trust in that agency is gone forever.  The real impact just hasn’t sunk in yet.  But it will.

The IRS is an arrogant organization which needs to be dismantled.  It was bad before this revelation, and now it doesn’t even have righteousness on its side any longer.  John Koskinen should know that the NSA has a record of every email created at the IRS, and likely, so do other agencies.  There is nothing private about email.  It is like speaking in a shopping mall, or city street.  It is a form of communication—but nothing that happens in email should be considered private.  Yet these government employees are so arrogant that they actually think they can suppress evidence and went in front of congress and lied about their actions.  That is absolutely amazing—astonishingly arrogant, and stupid.  These are the people we pay so much!  They aren’t even smart enough to understand when the eyes of the world are upon them—and a lot of very smart people analyzing their every word—that they can’t delete a bunch of emails hiding evidence and blame it on an IT failure.  That just doesn’t cut it.

John Koskinen said, “I don’t think an apology is owed.”  He doesn’t think that the errors of the IRS constitute accountability.  Then a Democratic Congressman alluded that the whole scandal was a concocted conspiracy theory not concerned at all by the behavior of the IRS.  What we are seeing is a major conspiracy that involves many people—and in this case half of the people on Capitol Hill appear to be guilty.  They are using every trick in the book to throw all investigations off their trail, but to no avail.  The emails are recovered and have been backed up.  All it takes is guts to put them out to the public, who will likely be ready to lynch the IRS once the contents are discovered.  When that happens, major heads will roll in Washington D.C. and that is what has everybody scared.

It is in that realization that I nearly destroyed my television and had to spend two full days calming down.  I don’t like being lied to, and the IRS has lied to my face and expects me to just go away quietly. Worse yet, it wasn’t directed at me—but at all Americans, and for that—they deserve the wrath that is coming their way.  If the Republicans screw this up, they have no hope.  The Democrats have placed themselves on a tee and are daring the Republicans to hit them out of the park.  If the Republicans really wanted to win in 2014 and 2016, they’d hit the IRS issue hard and without remorse.  This is not a conspiracy equivalent to Area 51 and Bigfoot—this is evidence of such things that normally might be regulated to conspiracy theory.  In this case, the IRS has done everything everyone who fears it has claimed and the proof is on those backed up emails at Sonasoft.

Rich Hoffman


Life Down The Rabbit Hole: The meaning of ‘Alice of Wonderland’ and the perilous plots of Ultraterrestrials

The other intent of this blog, which again was addressed from the very beginning, was that it promised to take readers down the “rabbit hole” of knowledge so to unlock the reasons for many of the events occurring in the world.  Of course the reference is to the novel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll brought to immortal life by the Walt Disney film of the same name.  I knew that those reading here would find themselves at some point in a world they never knew existed, but perilously aware that the mechanisms emitting from deep down the Rabbit Hole would explain the type of insanity seen in the nightly news.  Such a tragedy is similar to a child watching a puppet show and believing that what they see on stage is real, only to discover as their eyes become more sophisticated that there are strings on the marionettes which extend off stage somewhere.  So the inquiring mind gets out of their seat and climbs onto the stage to follow the strings up above the stage where it is discovered that the real manipulators of movement reside.  In this way, the “rabbit hole” is anything and everything which helps support the puppet show away from the stage.  The stage where the puppets act is the reality witnessed, but anything away from the stage would be considered Rabbit Hole material.

But the rabbit hole of our real life can be much more tragic than a child realizing that the puppets in a show are not real, and are manipulated by talented actors off stage.  The realization that from deep down the Rabbit Hole of existence are the mechanisms which affect our daily life from news stories like the ISIS invading Iraq to the countless scandals involving President Obama, the IRS claiming to have lost two years of emails, or the real intentions of the legalization of drugs in America.  On this site I also deal with the origin of the human race pointing to religion often as simply a puppet show to mask that true reality—but there is danger in going down such Rabbit Holes.  I often give hints to games I endorse, or literary achievements which can help preserve the mind not from the fantasy of escapism, but the linking of a mind back to the accepted reality of the true dream world.  Sports are a good mutual bonding agent between life in the Rabbit Hole and the world the rest of the society lives in.  I often reference these types of things to keep sanity a close ally when the images of the Rabbit Hole threaten to shatter consciousness.  For some people, it is too much to know what is really happening off the stages of life and they do fall into insanity.  My goal with this blog is to show people what happens in the Rabbit Hole without destroying the minds of the inquiring minds who want to know more.  So not only do I help lead people down the Rabbit Hole, I also provide mechanisms for dealing with the crisis of learning the truth once there.

To me the Rabbit Hole is a way of understanding the world of quantum mechanics and the world of macro and nano technology which is evolving at a rapid rate.  From this realm it might be denoted that a ultraterrestrial species lives in conjunction with the human race and injects its influence upon us—and certainly stirs the pot so to speak.  So dealing with this species is a conflict which goes well beyond the world of commerce, politics, or acknowledged philosophy—and can really only be discovered through advanced mathematics.  Ironically, the author of Alice in Wonderland was a mathematician, and seemed over a century ago—well before anyone at the time had an inclination—whether through tragedy, sexual crises, or just a mind folding over on itself with the realization that all was not what it seemed and lacking a philosophy to deal with it—Lewis Carroll wrote a novel from inside the Rabbit Hole.  So for those who thought they understood Alice in Wonderland as a beloved children’s story and classic Disney animated cartoon with images inescapable at Disney World, it is time to reveal what many of the metaphors mean.  To make that the easiest transition as possible, I have shown the Cliff Notes below, along with video explaining the meanings of the classic novel.  A link to the Cliff Notes origin article is provided below after a rather robust gathering of explanations on Alice in Wonderland and the life of Lewis Carroll are provided.

The novel is composed of twelve brief chapters; it can be read in an afternoon. Each of the brief chapters, furthermore, is divided into small, individual, almost isolated episodes. And the story begins with Alice and her sister sitting on the bank of a river reading a book which has no pictures or dialogue in it. ” . . . and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?” Thus, we find many pictures and read much dialogue (although very little of it makes sense) in this novel.

After introducing us to one of the creatures in Wonderland, the Gryphon, for instance, the narrator tells us, “If you don’t know what a Gryphon is, look at the picture.” As noted earlier, Wonderland is filled with strange animals, and Alice’s encounters with these creatures, all of whom engage her in conversations, confuse her even more whenever she meets yet another inhabitant of this strange country.

Slowly losing interest in her sister’s book, Alice catches sight of a white rabbit. However, he is not merely a rabbit; he will be the “White Rabbit,” a major character in the novel. In this first paragraph, then, we learn about the protagonist, Alice, her age, her temperament, and the setting and the mood of the story. In a dream, Alice has escaped from the dull and boring and prosaic world of adulthood — a world of dull prose and pictureless experiences; she has entered what seems to be a confusing, but perpetual springtime of physical, if often terrifying, immediacy.

The White Rabbit wears a waistcoat, walks upright, speaks English, and is worrying over the time on his pocket watch. Alice follows him simply because she is very curious about him. And very soon she finds herself falling down a deep tunnel. For a few minutes, she is frightened; the experience of falling disorients her. Soon, however, she realizes that she is not falling fast; instead, she is falling in a slow, almost floating descent. As she falls, she notices that the tunnel walls are lined with cupboards, bookshelves, maps, and paintings. She takes a jar of orange marmalade off a shelf. But finding the jar empty, she replaces it on a lower shelf, as though she were trying to maintain a sense of some propriety — especially in this situation of absolute uncertainty. As she reflects on the marmalade jar, she says that had she dropped the jar, she might have killed someone below. Alice is clearly a self-reflective young girl — and she’s also relatively calm; her thinking reveals a curiously mature mind at times. But like an ordinary little girl, she feels homesick for her cat, Dinah. In that respect, she is in sharp contrast with conventional child heroines of the time. Although Alice may be curious and sometimes bewildered, she is never too nice or too naughty. But she is always aware of her class-status as a “lady.” At one point, she even fears that some of Wonderland’s creatures have confused her for a servant, as when the White Rabbit thinks that she is his housekeeper, Mary Ann, and orders Alice to fetch his gloves and fan.

Thus, in Chapter I, Carroll prepares us for Alice’s first major confrontation with absolute chaos. And note that Alice’s literal-minded reaction to the impossible is always considered absurd here in Wonderland; it is laughable, yet it is her only way of coping. As she falls through the rabbit-hole, for instance, she wonders what latitude or longitude she has arrived at. This is humorous and ridiculous because such measurements — if one stops to think about it — are meaningless words to a seven-year-old girl, and they are certainly meaningless measurements of anything underground.

In Chapter II, Alice finds herself still in the long passageway, and the White Rabbit appears and goes off into a long, low hall full of locked doors. Behind one very small door, Alice remembers that there is “the loveliest garden you ever saw” (remember, she saw this in Chapter I), but now she has drunk a liquid that has made her too large to squeeze even her head through the doorway of the garden. She wishes that she could fold herself up like a telescope and enter. This wish becomes possible when she finds a shrinking potion and a key to the door. The potion reduces her to ten inches high, but she forgets to take the key with her (!) before shrinking, and now the table is too high for her to reach the key. To any young child, this is silly and something to be laughed at, but on another level, there’s an element of fear; for children, the predictable proportions of things are important matters of survival. Yet here in Wonderland, things change — for no known reason — thus, logic has lost all its validity.

Then Alice eats a cake that she finds, and her neck shoots up until it resembles a giraffe’s. Suddenly, she is a distorted nine feet tall! Clearly, her ability to change size has been a mixed blessing. In despair, she asks, “Who in the world am I?” This is a key question.

Meanwhile, the rapid, haphazard nature of Alice’s physical and emotional changes has created a dangerous pool of tears that almost causes her to drown when she shrinks again. Why has she shrunk? She realizes that she has been holding the White Rabbit’s lost white gloves and fan — therefore, it must be the magic of the fan that is causing her to shrink to almost nothingness. She saves herself by instantly dropping the fan. But now she is desperate; in vain, she searches her mind for something to make sense out of all this illogical chaos, something like arithmetic and geography, subjects that are solid, lasting, and rational. But even they seem to be confused because no matter how much she recites their rules, nothing helps. At the close of this chapter, she is swimming desperately in a pool of her own tears, alongside a mouse and other chattering creatures that have suddenly, somehow, appeared.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is full of parody and satire. And in Chapter III, Victorian history is Carroll’s target. The mouse offers to dry the other creatures and Alice by telling them a very dry history of England. Then, Carroll attacks politics: the Dodo organizes a Caucus-race, a special race in which every participant wins a prize. Alice then learns the mouse’s sad tale as Carroll’s editor narrates it on the page in the shape of a mouse’s very narrow, S-shaped tail. The assembled, unearthly creatures cannot accept ordinary language, and so Alice experiences, again, absolute bafflement; this is linguistic and semantic disaster. Indeed, much of the humor of this chapter is based on Alice’s reactions to the collapse of three above-ground assumptions: predictable growth, an absolute distinction between animals and humans, and an identity that remains constant. We might also add to the concept of a constancy of identity a conformity of word usage. But in Wonderland, Alice’s previous identity and the very concept of a permanent identity has repeatedly been destroyed, just as the principles of above-ground are contradicted everywhere; here in Wonderland, such things as space, size, and even arithmetic are shown to have no consistent laws.

In Chapter IV, the confusion of identity continues. The White Rabbit insists that Alice fetch him his gloves and his fan. Somehow, he thinks that Alice is his servant, and Alice, instead of objecting to his confusion, passively accepts her new role, just as she would obey an adult ordering her about above-ground. On this day when everything has gone wrong, she feels absolutely defeated.

In the rabbit’s house, Alice finds and drinks another growth potion. This time, however, she becomes so enormous that she fills up the room so entirely that she can’t get out. These continuing changes in size illustrate her confused, rapid identity crisis and her continuous perplexity. After repulsing the rabbit’s manservant, young Bill, a Lizard (who is trying to evict her), Alice notices that pebbles that are being thrown at her through a window are turning into cakes. Upon eating one of them, she shrinks until she is small enough to escape the rabbit’s house and hide in a thick wood.

In Chapter V, “Advice From a Caterpillar,” Alice meets a rude Caterpillar; pompously and dogmatically, he states that she must keep her temper — which is even more confusing to her for she is a little irritable because she simply cannot make any sense in this world of Wonderland. Alice then becomes more polite, but the Caterpillar only sharpens his already very short, brusque replies. In Wonderland, there are obviously no conventional rules of etiquette. Thus, Alice’s attempt at politeness and the observance of social niceties are still frustrated attempts of hers to react as well as she can to very unconventional behavior—at least, it’s certainly unconventional according to the rules that she learned above-ground.

Later, Alice suffers another bout of “giraffe’s neck” from nibbling one side of the mushroom that the Caterpillar was sitting on. The effect of this spurt upward causes her to be mistaken for an egg-eating serpent by an angry, vicious pigeon.

In Chapters VI and VII, Alice meets the foul-tempered Duchess, a baby that slowly changes into a pig, the famous, grinning Cheshire-Cat, the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, and the very, very sleepy Dormouse. The latter three are literally trapped (although they don’t know it) in a time-warp — trapped in a perpetualtime when tea is being forever served. Life is one long tea-party, and this episode is Carroll’s assault on the notion of time. At the tea-party, it is always teatime; the Mad Hatter’s watch tells the day of the year, but not the time since it is always six o’clock. At this point, it is important that you notice a key aspect of Wonderland; here, all these creatures treat Alice (and her reactions) as though she is insane — and as though they are sane! In addition, when they are not condescending to her or severely criticizing her, the creatures continually contradict her. And Alice passively presumes the fault to be hers — in almost every case — because all of the creatures act as though their madness is normal and not at all unusual. It is the logical Alice who is the queer one. The chapter ends with Alice at last entering the garden by eating more of the mushroom that the Caterpillar was sitting on. Alice is now about a foot tall.

Chapters VIII to X introduce Alice to the most grimly evil and most irrational people (and actions) in the novel. Alice meets the sovereigns of Wonderland, who display a perversely hilarious rudeness not matched by anyone except possibly by the old screaming Duchess. The garden is inhabited by playing cards (with arms and legs and heads),who are ruled over by the barbarous Queen of Hearts. The Queen’s constant refrain and response to seemingly all situations is: “Off with their heads!” This beautiful garden, Alice discovers, is the Queen’s private croquet ground, and the Queen matter-of-factly orders Alice to play croquet. Alice’s confusion now turns to fear. Then she meets the ugly Duchess again, as well as the White Rabbit, the Cheshire-Cat, and a Gryphon introduces her to a Mock Turtle, who sings her a sad tale of his mock (empty) education; then the Mock Turtle teaches her and the Gryphon a dance called the ‘Lobster-Quadrille.” Chapters XI and XII concern the trial of the Knave of Hearts. Here, Alice plays a heroic role at the trial, and she emerges from Wonderland and awakens to reality. The last two chapters represent the overthrow of Wonderland and Alice’s triumphant rebellion against the mayhem and madness that she experienced while she was lost, for a while, in the strange world of Wonderland.

This story is characterized, first of all, by Alice’s unthinking, irrational, and heedless jumping down the rabbit-hole, an act which is at once superhuman and beyond human experience — but Alice does it. And once we accept this premise, we are ready for the rest of the absurdities of Wonderland and Alice’s attempts to understand it and, finally, to escape from it. Confusion begins almost immediately because Alice tries to use her world of knowledge from the adult world above-ground in order to understand this new world. Wonderland, however, is a lawless world of deepest, bizarre dream unconsciousness, and Alice’s journey through it is a metaphorical search for experience. What she discovers in her dream, though, is a more meaningful and terrifying world than most conscious acts of intelligence would ever lead her to. Hence, “Who in the world am I?” is Alice’s constant, confused refrain, one which people “above-ground” ask themselves many, many times throughout their lifetimes.

Throughout the story, Alice is confronted with the problem of shifting identity, as well as being confronted with the anarchy and by the cruelty of Wonderland. When Alice physically shrinks in size, she is never really small enough to hide from the disagreeable creatures that she meets; yet when she grows to adult or to even larger size, she is still not large enough to command authority. “There are things in Alice,” writes critic William Empson, “that would give Freud the creeps.” Often we find poor Alice (and she is often described as being either “poor” or “curious”) in tears over something that the adult reader finds comic. And “poor Alice” is on the verge of tears most of the time. When she rarely prepares to laugh, she is usually checked by the morbid, humorless types of creatures whom she encounters in Wonderland. Not even the smiling Cheshire-Cat is kind to her. Such a hostile breakdown of the ordinary world is never funny to the child, however comic it might appear to adults. But then Wonderland would not be so amusing to us except in terms of its sheer, unabated madness.

One of the central concerns of Alice is the subject of growing up — the anxieties and the mysteries of personal identity as one matures. When Alice finds her neck elongated, everything, in her words, becomes “queer”; again, she is uncertain who she is. As is the case with most children, Alice’s identity depends upon her control of her body. Until now, Alice’s life has been very structured; now her life shifts; it becomes fragmented until it ends with a nightmarish awakening. Throughout the novel, Alice is filled with unconscious feelings of morbidity, physical disgrace, unfairness, and bizarre feelings about bodily functions. Everywhere there is the absurd, unexplainable notion of death and the absolute meaninglessness of death and life.

Alice’s final triumph occurs when she outgrows nonsense. In response to the Queen’s cry at the Knave’s trial: “sentence first — verdict afterward,” Alice responds: “Stuff and nonsense! Who cares for you? You’re nothing but a pack of cards!” At last, Alice takes control of her life and her growth toward maturity by shattering and scattering the absurdity of the playing cards and the silly little creatures who are less rational than she is. In waking from her nightmare, she realizes that reason can oppose nonsense, and that it can — and did — win. And now that the dream of chaos is over, she can say, from her distance above-ground, “It was a curious dream,” but then she skips off thinking that — for a strange moment — what a wonderful dream it was.

Of all Lewis Carroll’s major works, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has a unique standing in the category of whimsical, nonsense literature. Much has been written about how this novel contrasts with the vast amount of strict, extremely moralistic children’s literature. This is true; Alice is quite different from all other Victorian children’s literature. Yet, as odd as this story appears in relation to the other Victorian children’s stories, this short novel is odder still because it was written by an extremely upright, ultra-conservative man — in short, a quintessential Victorian gentleman.

Lewis Carroll was born Charles Lutwidge Dodgson on January 27, 1832, in the parsonage of Daresbury, Cheshire, England, the third child and eldest son of eleven children of Reverend Charles Dodgson and his wife, Francis Jane Lutwidge. The parents were descended from two ancient and distinguished North Country families. From the Dodgsons, the son inherited a very old tradition of service to the Church and a tradition that he belonged to one of the most respected lineages in England — for example, family legend has it that King James I actually “knighted” either a loin of beef or mutton at the table of Sir Richard Houghton, one of Carroll’s ancestors. This incident has been thought by some critics to have inspired the introductory lines in Through the Looking Glass, the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, when the Red Queen introduces the leg of mutton to Alice: “Alice — Mutton: Mutton — Alice.”

For the sake of those who are curious about pen names and how authors choose one over another, “Lewis Carroll” is an interesting example. While teaching at Christ Church, Oxford, Charles Dodgson (Carroll) wrote comic literature and parodies for a humorous paper, The Train. The first of the several pieces submitted to The Train was signed “B. B.” It was so popular that the editor asked Dodgson to use a proper nom de plume; at first, Dodgson proposed “Dares,” after his birthplace, Daresbury. The editor thought that the name was too journalistic, so after struggling over a number of choices, Dodgson wrote to his editor and suggested a number of variations and anagrams, based on the letters of his actual name. “Lewis Carroll” was finally decided on, derived from a rearrangement of most of the letters in the name “Charles Lutwidge Dodgson.” Clearly, Carroll was fascinated with anagrams, and he will use them throughout Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland; his interest in anagrams also explains much about the writings in his later life, and his mathematical works. Concerning Carroll, one cannot safely exclude any influence, least of all hereditary ones, but a good case can be made for the formative effect of Carroll’s father on him. Those who knew Reverend Dodgson said that he was a pious and gloomy man, almost devoid of any sense of humor. Yet from his letters to his son, there is recorded evidence of a remarkablesense of fun. For example, in one letter to his son, he speaks of screaming in the middle of a street:

Iron-mongers-Iron-mongers — Six hundred men will rush out of their shops in a moment — fly, fly, in all screwdriver, & a ring, & if they are not brought directly, in forty seconds I will leave nothing but one small cat alive in the whole town of Leeds, & I shall only leave that because I shall not have time to kill it.

To a boy of eight, such correspondence from his father must have greatly heightened his later love for literary exaggeration; indeed, such fanciful letters may have been the genesis for Carroll’s so-called nonsense books.

As we noted, Reverend Dodgson was said to be an austere, puritanical, and authoritarian Victorian man; Lewis Carroll’s mother, however, was the essence of the Victorian “gentlewoman.” As described by her son, she was “one of the sweetest and gentlest women that had ever lived, whom to know was to love.” The childhood of Lewis Carroll was relatively pleasant, full of ideas and hobbies that contributed to his future creative works. His life at Daresbury was secluded, though, and his playmates were mostly his brothers and sisters. Class distinctions did not permit much socializing between children of the parsonage and the “lesser” parish children. Curiously, a number of the Dodgson children, including Carroll, stammered severely. More than one author has suggested that, at least in Carroll’s case, his stammer may have arisen from his parents’ attempts to correct his left-handedness. Isa Bowman, a childhood friend of Carroll’s, has said that whenever adults approached them on their walks, Carroll’s speech became extremely difficult to understand. Apparently, he panicked; his shyness and stammering always seemed worse when he was in the world of adults. This stammering made him into a bit of a “loner” and explains, somewhat, Carroll’s longtime fascination with puzzles and anagrams, solitary games to amuse himself. It was as though the long suppressed, left-handed self endured in the fanciful, literary adult Carroll — in contrast to the very stern adult librarian, mathematics lecturer, deacon, dormitory master, and curator of the dining hall. Carroll was, seemingly, the archetype of the left-handed man in a right-handed world, like his own White Knight in Through the Looking Glass (the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland).

And now if ever by chance I put My fingers into glue Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot Into a left-hand shoe . . .

Carroll’s fondness for games, language puzzles, and the world of the bizarre is further demonstrated in his flair for amusing his brothers and sisters — especially his sisters, which explains, perhaps, his lifelong attraction for little girls. In fact, a great deal of Carroll’s childhood was spent taking care of his little sisters. At home, it was he who was in charge of these seven sisters, and his imagination was constantly being exercised in order to entertain them. In one of his fanciful story games that he invented, he imagined a sort of “railway game,” and as one of the rules of the game, at least three trains had to run over the passengers in order for the passengers to be attended to by physicians. Fortunately, though, rarely were Carroll’s amusements cruel, and when the family moved to the Croft Rectory, Yorkshire, where Carroll’s father assumed the Archdeaconry, Carroll wrote, directed, and performed light, gay plays, and he also manipulated puppets and marionettes for his family and friends.

In addition to the plays that Carroll wrote and the scripts that he composed for his puppet theater, he also wrote poems, stories, and humorous sketches for his own “magazines.” In his “Useful and Instructive Poetry” magazine, for example, a volume that was composed for a younger brother and a sister, he satirized a copybook of stern, dogmatic maxims (a typical Victorian children’s book), and in this poem, he alluded to his own handicap:

Learn well your grammar And never stammer.

Eat bread with butter; Once more, don’t stutter.

Other poems in the volume focus on the theme of fairy tales, an interest which played a large part in the creation of Alice. An early poem of Carroll’s, for instance, “My Fairy,” suggests the contrariness of the creatures that Alice will meet in Wonderland:

I have a fairy by my side Which cried; it said, “You must not weep. “If, full of mirth, I smile and grin, It says, “You must not laugh.” When once I wished to drink some gin, It said, “You must not quaff.”

Similarly, in another early poem, “A Tale of a Tail,” there is a drawing of a dog’s very long tail, suggestive of the very slender, increasingly smaller mouse’s tail in Alice, which coils across a single page in a sort of S-shape. Also, an early poem about someone falling off a wall anticipates Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, and a “Morals” essay reminds one of the ridiculous conversations between the ugly Duchess and the evil Queen in Alice. It is difficult to ignore the writings of Carroll as a child in any analysis of his works, for in his childhood productions, we find conclusive evidence of early imitations, hints, allusions, suggestions, and actual elements of imaginary creatures, dreams, and visions that will appear in his later works.


All his life, Carroll was a scholar; when he was not a student, he was a teacher, and until two years before his death, he was firmly imbedded in the life of Oxford University. Quite honestly, though, nothing very exciting ever happened in Carroll’s life, apart from a trip to the Continent, including Russia. His vacations were all local ones, to his sister’s home in Guildford, his aunt’s home in Hastings, and to Eastbourne, the Lake Country, and Wales. He did not begin his formal schooling until the age of twelve, when he enrolled in Richmond Grammar School, ten miles from the Croft Rectory, but he had already received a thorough background in literature from the family library. Yet it was mathematics — and not English literature — that interested Carroll most. When he was very young, for example, Carroll implored his father to explain logarithms to him, presumably because he had already mastered arithmetic, algebra, and even most of Euclidian geometry.

Carroll entered Rugby in 1846, but the sensitive young child found the all-boys environment highly unpleasant; the bullying abuse, the flogging, and the caning was a daily part of school life. Nonetheless, Carroll was, despite his three years of unhappiness there, an exceedingly studious boy, and he won many prizes for academic excellence.

Carroll matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford, in 1851, and remained there for forty-seven years. But, two days after entering Oxford, he received word of his mother’s death, something which deeply distressed him and seemed to have worsened his stammering. By all accounts, Carroll was not an outgoing student; with little money, and because of his stammer, his circle of friends always remained small. Yet in his academic work, he applied himself with the same energy and devotion that characterized his career at Rugby. He won scholarship prizes, honors in Classical exams, and also won a First Prize in Mathematics. His scholastic efforts were rewarded by a lifetime fellowship and a residency at Christ Church, so long as he remained unmarried and proceeded to take Holy Orders.

In 1854, the year Carroll took his B.A. degree, he began publishing poetry in the student magazines and in The Whitby Gazette. Carroll’s writings had already established him as both a superb raconteur and humorist at Oxford, and in 1854, he began to seriously teach himself how to express his thoughts in proper literary form; it was at that time that his writings began to show some of the whimsy and fantasy that are contained in the Alice books.

In 1857, Carroll took his M.A. degree and was made “Master of the House.” During those years, he immersed himself in literature, mathematics, and also in the London theater. He produced freelance humorous prose pieces and verses for various periodicals, explored theories of dual identities, wrote satires, published mathematical and symbolic logic texts, invented word games and puzzles, and took up photography, a hobby that would make him famous as one of the best Victorian photographers. In short, Carroll became a sort of lesser English equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci. He invented the Nyctograph, a device for writing in the dark, and he also invented a method of remote control self-photography. Helmut Gernshein, the author of Lewis Carroll: Photographer, calls Carroll’s photographic achievements “astonishing”; in his estimation, Carroll “must not only rank as a pioneer of British amateur photography, but I would also unhesitatingly acclaim him as the most outstanding photographer of children in the nineteenth century.”

Carroll’s Interest in Little Girls

In every study of Carroll’s life, one finds that Carroll had only the most formal encounters with mature women. There was seemingly no romantic interest in adult women. Some biographers have attributed this asexual interest to Carroll’s stammering and his self-conscious shyness about it. On the other hand, Carroll’s diaries and contemporary accounts about him are full of his encounters with children, nearly always with little girls. He obviously delighted in the company of little girls twelve years old and younger, and his diary records in great detail the aesthetic pleasure that he took in viewing “nice little children.” Carroll’s attractions for little girls were honorable and above reproach — at least we have, almost a century later, absolutely no evidence to the contrary.

Carroll’s interest in discovering new little girls for his photographic studio seems to have amounted to his discovering hundreds, perhaps thousands, of girls in his lifetime. And in nearly every recorded case, Carroll produced a masterpiece of character study. His photographs are filled with unusually sensitive and candid “personalities” of the subjects. They caught the essence of human beings; they were not merely stiff, embalmed-like “objects.” Occasionally, there is an extraordinary sense of straightforward eroticism — but it is straightforward; it is not murky or perverted. And in nearly every recorded case, Carroll had the full approbation of the child’s parents, and invariably his work was chaperoned, at least indirectly. Had there been any intimacies between Carroll and his young female subjects, it would long ago have been ferreted out by the multitude of Freudian-oriented literary critics.

Today, we can understand why, occasionally, certain people thought Carroll’s photographs to be erotic. Most people now, however, wouldn’t consider them to be. His photographs are alluring; they look as if they almost could speak. They all have a provocative quality about them. But, they are “safe,” and as we view them, they help us to understand Carroll’s interest in seeing children as his own personal, private, peculiar escape from mature sex.

Alice Liddell

In 1846, Carroll met Alice Liddell, the four-year-old daughter of Dean Henry George Liddell of Christ Church. Carroll had already established himself as a close friend of Alice’s elder sister and cousin. But it is Alice who figures most prominently in Carroll’s most famous creation, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

On July 4, 1852, Carroll and a friend, Rev. Robinson Duckworth, took the Liddell children, Lorina (13), Alice (10), and Edith (8) on a boat ride (a row boat) up the Isis River (the local name for the Thames River). As they made their way upstream, Carroll began telling a story about the underground adventures of a little girl named Alice. According to Duckworth, the story “was actually composed and spoken over my shoulder for the benefit of Alice Liddell, who was acting as ‘cox’ of our gig. I remember turning around and saying, ‘Dodgson, is this an extempore romance of yours?’ And he replied, ‘Yes, I’m inventing as we go along.'”

Upon disembarking, Alice asked Carroll to write out Alice’s adventures for her, and Carroll promised to do so by the following Christmas, but the work was not completed until February 10, 1863. By that time, Alice was eleven, and Carroll was no longer seeing her with the regularity that he used to. Now he had made a new friend, the famous ingénue Ellen Terry, who was nearly seventeen. His interest in Ellen Terry is the closest relationship that Carroll had with an adult woman, apart from his family, of course.

From an initial length of 18,000 words, Carroll’s manuscript expanded to 35,000 words, and the famous English illustrator John Tenniel read it and consented to draw illustrations for it. As Carroll searched for a publisher, he gave anxious thoughts to a perfect title. Various ones came to him: Alice’s Golden Hour, Alice’s Hour in Elf-land, Alice Among the Elves, Alice’s Doings in Elf-land, and Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Finally, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was chosen, and Macmillan, the publishers for Oxford University, agreed to publish the book on a commission basis.

Alice was an immediate critical success when it appeared in 1865. The Reader magazine called it “a glorious artistic treasure . . . a book to put on one’s shelf as an antidote to a fit of the blues.” The Pall Mall Gazette wrote that “this delightful little book is a children’s feast and a triumph of nonsense.” About 180,000 copies of Alice in various editions were sold in England during Carroll’s lifetime; by 1911, there were almost 700,000 copies in print. Since then, with the expiration of the original copyright in 1907, the book has been translated into every major language, and now it has become a perennial bestseller, ranking with the works of Shakespeare and the Bible in popular demand. In the words of the critic Derek Hudson: “The most remarkable thing about Alice is that, though it springs from the very heart of the Victorian period, it is timeless in its appeal. This is a characteristic that it shares with other classics — a small band — that have similarly conquered the world.”

I consider Alice in Wonderland to be a real treasure of literature—and relevant in a metaphorical way to Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce, which is a favorite of mine—just for the puzzles and allusion to another dream-like existence.  Finnegan’s Wake is far more complicated than Alice in Wonderland nearly to the point of being completely useless to the average person.    Disney saved Alice in Wonderland by making it relevant as a cartoon—which would have been the only way to preserve such a story as the age of media has cheapened the mind of man by providing information so easily that few wish to think deeply about things any longer—being less prone to exploring the Rabbit Holes of existence—rather than the other way around.  The question of the day—philosophically, which reality is the dream in our lives and which is the true reality—and this is my primary concern with this blog.

Most people accept that the words they hear coming from President Obama at a press conference, or a school board announcement for more tax money, or the tragedies on the nightly news reflect the reality of the living world—but I contend that it is far from the case.  What we see are only marionettes to a stage play without a title anybody understands, and to learn the plot, title, and actual cast members you have to follow the strings down the Rabbit Hole to where reality actually exists.  In this way most of society is already Alice—they are in the land of the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, or the Cheshire-Cat and the way to understand the bizarre behavior of Wonderland—the stage play we are all witnessing in “reality,” is to go down the Rabbit Hole to where quantum mechanics will reveal who holds the strings and ultimately the fate of mankind hidden behind the deceptions of reality.

But beware while traveling down that hole—it is a superhuman journey that requires courage, and a sane mind.  While it may seem easy to get up out of your chair while watching a puppet show and gaze up at the puppeteers above the stage with their hands on the strings of the stage actors—it is not.  It is one thing to notice that the strings extend beyond the reality of a stage play—it is another to confront those puppeteers on their terms and deal with them directly.  For that—it will require every bit of cleverness, and intellectual aptitude that can be gathered—and for that—I have prepared a road map to guide the weary traveler inclined through the curiosity of Alice, to jump down the Rabbit Hole to the truth and to meet the horrors found there squarely, and with valor.

When traveling down this Rabbit Hole, be sure to stay sane, stay grounded, and maintain a relationship to those still stuck in the dream so not to get lost along the way—otherwise—you will never be able to help them down the Rabbit Hole when they are ready to travel.  Because it’s only a matter of time before they will.   Talk to them about sports, movies, books and other nonsensical trivia because all those things are part of the dream.  And most of all beware of ultraterrestrials, they are devious creatures who are more a part of your life than you might wish to acknowledge.  To learn more about them, read the Mothman Prophesies by John Keel.  The strings of the puppet show extend into their hands—and they are not friends—but rival foes in a fight for the same resources in the long drama known as the human race.   Ultraterrestrials have formed religions to serve their needs in a plot they wish to sell to their four-dimensional rivals—us—and they are withholding much of the truth to serve their own ends.

See you in the Rabbit Hole………………………………

Rich Hoffman