Horrible Hollywood Gets the Bible Wrong! Again!

Christian Bale as Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings

Christian Bale as Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

 

To no one’s surprise, Horrible Hollywood got the Bible wrong again with its latest attempt at bringing a scriptural story to the big screen: this time with Exodus: Gods and Kings staring Christian Bale. While the movie itself is more enjoyable then it’s predecessor Noah, it will still leave a sour after-taste for Christians and Jews who view it.

 

Most religious viewers will allow for adaptations of a story for time. No one wants to sit for a 40-hour film covering a Biblical hero of the old testament. But the choices of Ridley Scott and the other guy who directed Noah who no-one has ever heard of (Darren Aronofsky) go beyond the pale, adding items to the story that aren’t there, and leaving out pieces of the Biblical story that are critical to the tale.

 

In Noah, we were assaulted by the interpretation of Noah as a raving lunatic that plotted to kill his family on the ark so that the world would be free of the stain of humanity, allowing the animals to continue on their own.

 

In Exodus, the most recognizable and important hero of the old testament is almost unrecognizable from that which was depicted in scripture. Instead of a prophet armed with a staff and the power of the Most High God, Moses, the bringer of the law, is an insurgent who terrorizes Egypt. The story downplays the power of God, reducing the figure of God to the image of a small boy, whom Moses frequently argues with. Indeed, Moses is defiant against God many times in the movie, frequently yelling down at the diminutive character of God.

 

I’m sorry, but any depiction of God as a petulant little child rather than the all-powerful, all-knowing spirit he is, is simply herestical and it’s stupid. Even mere angels when they appear in scriptures are awe-inspiring and fear invoking. In the Bible, when Moses is on the mountain awaiting the Ten Commandments, he asks God if he can see his face. God chastises Moses, saying that to do so, even to look on the person of God would mean certain destruction. Instead, He places Moses in the cleft of a mountain and passes by, allowing Moses to see the back of God.

 

In this flick, God isn’t awe-inspiring at all. He’s merely irritating and we get the sense that God might just be a figment of Moses’s imagination. Indeed, Moses is struck on the head by a rock climbing Mount Ararat and in his altered consciousness following his injury he starts seeing “God” for the first time.

 

Whatever.

 

The story gets it wrong in other areas as well. The so-called miracles or plagues are easily explained away as natural phenomena, Pharaoh is much more of a sympathetic character than even Moses is, and the rest of the miracles of the story, even the crossing of the Dead Sea, are down played.

 

If you are looking for a distraction and don’t care about the Biblical story as written, Exodus is a pretty good holiday flick. It’s acted well enough and the special affects and cinematography are good, better even than the hookier Ten Commandments of yesteryear from Cecil B. DeMille and staring Charlton Heston.  But in DeMille’s classic, we get a respect for the historicity of the Bible story and the acting is far superior. It’s so good that we are willing to look past the less believable special affects of the 1950s.

 

I doubt that Christians and Jews who see this film are going to overlook the damage that this Hollywood installment takes on the character of the most recognizable and best loved characters of the Bible, Moses the Liberator.

 

To add injury to insult, characters in the movie directly insult the Jews, a slap in the face of modern Jews of today. When confronted with the knowledge that he is Hebrew, Moses reacts with disbelief. “I thought you Hebrews were better story tellers than that. It isn’t a very good story!” It feels like Christian Bale is mocking the very story that he is staring in. Sheesh!

 

In another scene, an Egyptian governor overseeing the great quarries of Egypt again insults the Jewish laborers he’s charged with. When Moses wants to visit them to see if they are really planning insurrection, the governor emphatically states, “you can’t believe them. They conniving and dishonest.” Again, while this could be more subtle and plays into the storyline a little better than the other incidence, it still feels like a veiled insult to modern Jews and to the Nation of Israel.

 

While I wasn’t quite as put off by this film as I was with Noah, I have to admit it was better than Noah. For the reasons I’ve mentioned, and others, Exodus will remain in the category of a good film, but will never be a great film.

 

Glenn Beck Pivots!

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
 
Conservative media mogul Glenn Beck

Conservative media mogul Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck pivots in a big way on a two-hour special on his TV show Monday night. In the first hour the well-known radio and television mogul talked about his health care issues and how serious and mysterious illness has caused him to pivot and change direction.

 

Unwittingly, the American Millennium captured Glenn’s health care issue on camera in October of 2011. Since then, Glenn has talked with his audience about his health issues, even making fun of it in his controversial and entertaining stage shows. You can see a video we captured here showing Glenn taking off in the middle of a radio broadcast while his co-hosts Pat Gray and Stu Burguiere take over. Glenn winces in pain, unable to speak or continue the show, and then gets up and leaves. Gray and Burguiere take over without pause, without missing a beat. Later Beck comes back to the microphone and continues the show as if nothing happened.

 

In the first hour of Monday’s show, an emotional Beck addresses the audience telling the story about how his mysterious illness almost killed him. Now, however, having been given a reprieve of sorts, “a clean bill of health” as Glenn says, Beck now announces that he is going to dramatically change direction and get into film making, partnering with a talented and skillful painter and film-maker, telling positive personal stories through film rather than just talking about politics and the negative stories common to talk radio.

 

Is this all evidence of a long-standing health problem and a spiritual awakening, or is it just intelligent stagecraft designed to create and hold an audience? Time will tell. If it is all been faked, it has been faked over a long period of time. See video of the radio show in October of 2011. At one point on Monday night’s show, Glenn uses his wife as a prop, who says little on the show, but looks at the audience through the camera with a very somber look, acknowledging what her broadcaster husband says with one or two word affirmations.

 

In the second hour of the TV broadcast, Glenn dedicated his show to an interview which was a continuation of an interview he had on the radio show with a personality he called the C.S. Lewis of modern times, Ravi  Zacharias, a Christian apologist of Indian heritage and author of the book Why Suffering? Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn’t Make Sense.

 

What does this all mean for the future of the Glenn Beck show and the media empire he is creating? The eccentricity of the media personality may be questioned, but the ultimate result will be evidenced in time, as fans like us continue to monitor Glenn’s shows, entertainment and artistic endeavors. Glenn’s health issues are also reminiscent of those of another famous conservative broadcaster, Rush Limbaugh, who lost his hearing in recent years and overcame the disability through a cochlear implant. The parallels between the two personalities are incredible; are they merely coincidental?

 

Watch Glenn’s interview with Ravi Zacharias on his website here.

 

Watch tonight’s episode of the Glenn Beck show here.

 

What the video of Glenn’s health care scare here.

 

The attached video appeared first on the Pat Gray Facebook fan Page. The page is hosted by the author and creator of American Millennium Online. The page is not associated with Glenn Beck, Pat Gray or any other media owned and operated by Glenn Beck.

Hagedorn/Walz Campaigns Spar Over National Security Comments

by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Hagedorn throws down the gauntlet to liberal foot soldier Tim Walz on national defense issues. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Hagedorn throws down the gauntlet to liberal foot soldier Tim Walz on national defense issues. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Republican House candidate Jim Hagedorn used a press conference recently outside of Rochester’s Federal Medical Center prison to explain why his opponent, incumbent Congressman Tim Walz, is wrong on national defense.

At the press conference, Hagedorn outlined Walz’s position to allow the federal government to close Guantanamo Bay prison and move some of the prisoners, many the worst terrorists in the world, to prisons in the continental United States, and even including the Federal Medical Center prison here in Rochester.

“The people of Rochester are protected from the Islamic terrorists in Guantanamo Bay by 1,875 miles, an ocean and six barbed wires,” Hagedorn explained. “If the congressman has his way, they’ll be right across the street in that facility, two miles from the door of the Mayo Clinic. That’s completely unacceptable!”

“If the congressman has his way, they’ll be right across the street in that facility, two miles from the door of the Mayo Clinic. That’s completely unacceptable!” -Jim Hagedorn

 

According to the Rochester Post Bulletin, Walz outlined his plan to move some of the terrorist to the FMC, which the PB reported on in a story published in 2009.

Hagedorn said that if he were elected he would introduce legislation preventing the executive branch’s plan to close Guantanamo by defunding the Department of Justice and Department of Defense in the execution of that plan.

Walz did not directly comment directly on Hagedorn’s accusation, but his campaign manager did. Sarah Severs, replying to the Post Bulletin by e-mail, used the opportunity to lash out at the Republican challenger. “Washington, D.C., blogger Jim Hagedorn, who has never served a day in uniform, has zero credibility on national security issues,” says Severs. “Tim Walz, a 24-year veteran of the National Guard and the highest-ranking enlisted soldier to serve in Congress, will always fight to keep America safe.” She added that Hagedorn’s comments are “reckless and desperate”.

http://m.postbulletin.com/news/politics/hagedorn-accuses-walz-of-trying-to-bring-terrorists-to-rochester/article_b6305e5b-7f2a-5400-b689-dcaa243be219.html?mode=jqm

Hagedorn’s comments are also similar to concerns raised by former Republican District 1 Congressman Gil Gutknecht, who raised objections to the presence of the Blind Sheik, Omar Abdel-Rahman back in 2001 when the blind sheik was housed at the FMC shortly after 9/11. The Sheik was there undergoing treatment for diabetes. He had been incarcerated since 1998 following conviction for his role in planning the original Twin Towers bombing in 1993.

Following the 9/11 attacks Gutknecht said there was an uptick in suspicious activity around the prison, and reports of men taking photographs outside the prison from the vantage point of the nearby Quarry Hill Nature Center.

Gutknecht expressed concern then that Osama Bin Laden had personally said he would support an attack on the facility to free the Blind Sheik.

Local law enforcement was also on the alert at the time, responding to calls of suspicious activity. Rochester Police Chief Roger Peterson responded to the concerns.

“We responded to a lot of those types of calls — and still do,” Peterson said.

“That certainly made it an issue of concern,” Peterson said. “(FMC) authorities shared information through the FBI on potential threats. And our role in that was to provide them with any local information. They were specifically interested in suspicious person calls that would have related to the prison in any way.”

Gutknecht’s and Peterson’s comments about the security of the FMC prison during Sheik Abdel-Rahman’s stay there can be found from the Rochester Post Bulletin report here.

http://www.postbulletin.com/in-wake-of-sheik-s-presence-at-rochester-prison-worried/article_44f1d5a7-a437-513b-a0a6-572f5590ce7b.html

Due to Gutknecht’s influence, the Sheik was eventually moved to another Bureau of Prison’s facility and the tension died down. A return of high level and dangerous criminal terrorists would definitely be cause concern, which is why Sever’s comments on behalf of her boss seem tone-deaf, insensitive, and nonsensical.

Having terrorists housed at FMC would not only make them a target for attack, a facility designed for low level prisoners with health problems, it would also draw other unwanted elements, making it a sort of Mecca for people who admire the terrorists. Rochester has a large Muslim Somalian community and it should be remembered that several Somali Muslims have left from the Twin Cities area, an hour and a half away, to go fight and die for Isis in Iraq.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2742206/Somali-American-died-fighting-ISIS-cleaned-planes-Delta-Airlines-Minneapolis-airport-joined-terrorist-group.html

A terrorists associated with the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in 201 was arrested here in Minnesota.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/03/us/zacarias-moussaoui-fast-facts/

And the Blind Sheik’s own civil rights lawyer was convicted to 10 years in prison for aiding and abetting terrorism after passing notes from the Sheik to his supporters in terrorist networks.

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/1/1/us-judge-releasesdyinglawyerconvictedofaidingterrorism.html

Walz’s 24-year service in the National Guard aside, since his election to the congress he’s proved to be nothing more or less than a foot soldier for Nancy Pelosi and the radical left. He’s voted in lockstep with leftists over 97 percent of the time, turning a deaf ear to Minnesotans in regards to affordable health care, the economy and jobs, and yes, even national defense.

Minnesotans have a choice on Tuesday. Vote for the big government foot soldier of the radical left, incumbent Tim Walz; or they can vote for common sense conservative Minnesota values candidate Jim Hagedorn. Remember to vote Nov. 4!

Captain Jeremy Griffith is a 22-year veteran of the National Guard and Army Reserve. He served for a 15-month Tour of Duty in Iraq during the time period known as "The Surge".

Captain Jeremy Griffith is a 22-year veteran of the National Guard and Army Reserve. He served for a 15-month Tour of Duty in Iraq during the time period known as “The Surge”.

Hagedorn Challenges Walz on Importation of Prisoners of War

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

In a press conference recently near the Federal Medical Center prison in Rochester Minnesota, congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn challenged his opponent, incumbent Tim Walz on his policy to accept the importation of prisoners of war from Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba to the facility in Rochester.

Hagedorn, the Republican challenger in the local District 1 race called Walz’s support of President Obama’s policy to close GITMO and import terrorists into prisons in the continental United States as reckless, unnecessarily endangering citizens of the country.

The first duty of an public official, Hagedorn said, is to protect the citizens of his state and nation, something Walz doesn’t seem to understand, Hagedorn said.

See the video of the press conference here.

Millennium Endorsements for Midterm 2014 Election

By Jeremy Griffith
Publisher of the American Millennium Online

Jeremy Griffith here with American Millennium Online. I want to get on record and talk to you about who we support for Minnesota elections for election day Nov. 4. That would be the royal we being me because I’m the only one here. Ahem.

 

For Governor we endorse Jeff Johnson and his running mate Bill Kuisle for governor over incumbent democrat Mark Dayton. There’s a really good ad out there for Johnson which I think explains it all, namely that Dayton is too dazed and confused to be a good governor. We need someone in there who actually has Minnesota values that won’t just reward cronies with government funds. Johnson has experience in politics in the state and he has the a common sense conservative vision. Bill has been a representative in the state, I think they’ll make a really good team. Dayton just needs to retire. He’s a joke and he needs to go away.

 

For Senate I endorse Mike McFadden. He’s a businessman who knows how to create jobs and run a business. His opponent Al Franken is a former SNL comedian who is well past his prime and has ceased to be funny a long time ago. Now he’s just sad. He got to office under questionable circumstances six years ago and is the 60th vote on the dreaded Affordable Health care act or Obamacare which is neither affordable nor is it care. It’s killing small businesses, resulting in lay offs and increased premiums and not covering everyone it said it would cover. Obamacare is a joke and Al Franken is the punchline, only neither one of them is funny. So vote for McFadden and get Al out of there.

 

I’ve done some campaigning with my personal favorite Jim Hagedorn. Jim’s dad was a representative and he’s got politics in his blood. I think he’ll be a good representative to replace Tim Walz. Walz the former educator and Sergeant Major of the Army National Guard has served his country long enough. It’s not his service prior to being elected that concerns us, it’s what he’s done with his time in the house of representatives since, voting in lockstep with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Not at all in keeping with the values of southern Minnesota. He talks a good game, talks about veterans, farmers, blah blah blah, but his record speaks louder. He wants to convince you that he is for you and your interests, but he votes in the opposite direction. The VA has been failing veterans for many years and Walz has done nothing to turn that around and as been largely silent on the issue. During the government shut down he said nothing about the shutdown of the World War II memorial as elderly veterans waited outside barracades that had no business being there. Republicans showed up and threw down the barricades and let the veterans in, and Tim Walz, a 22-year veteran himself was no where to be seen and said absolutely nothing.

 

Walz had the chance to vote to extend pay and benefits to full time reserve and national guard during the government shutdown. Those individuals were required to go to work regardless of pay. Essentially working for free. The representative had a chance to vote on a bill to pay those folks retroactively and he voted no, so so much for the guy who supports the veterans. Also he voted on a bill to cut the budget which contained a clause to cut benefits of retired veterans including the disabled by 1 percent per year, which would hurt retirees, especially those dealing with disabilities. Now everyone agrees that budget cuts are needed to get to fiscal sanity. Even the military needs to be cut, but not pay and benefits of those who risk their lives on our behalf and not for those who were wounded in action because of their bravery. Once again the veteran soldier does us no favors in this regard. He’s failed us again on this issue.

 

The government is paying for massages for bunnies, and diesel fuel for a powerplant in Afghanistan that has never been turned on, when they get their power from Iran, they’re doing research on why lesbians are fat and putting lobsters on treadmills, but they can’t pay our veterans what they are owed. Time to go Tim, we’ve had just about enough of you.

 

Jim Hagedorn is for common sense conservative solutions, smaller more accountable government and fiscal responsibility and has a record as a government employee that cut the fat out of his own department. Who do you know had done that. He talks the talk and walks the walk and he’s a fighter. He’ll scrap with members of his own party as well as the democrats to serve his constituents at home and that’s why we like him.

 

At the local level I’m voting for Breanna Bly who is running again for state senate again against Tina Liebling. You know Liebling is one of those who talks a good game to local constituents, but when it comes to the votes she has made, she’s just another big government bleeding heart liberal. Breanna is a sweet-heart who believes in fiscal responsibility. She listens to her constituents and I think she’ll be a great improvement over Liebling in the state legislature.

 

And those are my picks. I think they’re great. Go out and vote Nov 4. That’s election day. If you can’t vote on that day, Minnesota has early in-person absentee voting, just go down to the fairgrounds if you live in Olmsted County, the poll there is open there until the day of the election, you can register right away if you aren’t already registered and you can vote the same day. It’s very convenient.

 

That’s the way I voted and that’s the way my girlfriend voted. She got her citizenship here in the US last month and she voted in her first election ever here in the United States last week, so if she can do it, you can too. It’s just that easy. No excuses, no lines, just go and vote.

 

And that’s a wrap, so go out there, campaign for your favorite candidate or cause and then go and vote. This is Jeremy Griffith from the American Millennium Online. Have a great day.

Jeff Johnson for Governor Ad:

Jim Hagedorn for Congress Ad:

McFadden Closes on Liberal Opponent Franken

Mike McFadden, Republican challenger running against Sen. Al Franken, addresses Rochester voters in regard to health care Friday. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Mike McFadden, Republican challenger running against Sen. Al Franken, addresses Rochester voters in regard to health care Friday. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

 

Mike McFadden, the Republican competitor with liberal Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is attempting to close the gap with his opponent even as he tries to differentiate himself from Franken’s record.

The challenger debated Franken last week in Duluth. This week McFadden met with Rochester residents on his plan for fixing health care.

He says, “Obamacare, or MNSure in Minnesota, is a train-wreck, and that train keeps wrecking!” Mcfadden went on to explain that the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare as it is most commonly known, is based on three prominent lies told to the American People by the President. He says, the cost of health care was supposed to go down, it’s actually gone up quite a bit. Obama said it would increase access; in fact fewer people have access now than did before, as people are forced off their employer provided health care due to the outrageous cost to small business.

“147,000 Minnesotans found out that wasn’t true,” McFadden said.

And finally, McFadden explained that the quality of health care would go down, not increase as the president promised. “Whenever government gets involved in health care, you get a decrease in quality, like what is happening with the VA,” McFadden said. “I won’t let that happen if I’m elected as the Senator from the great state of Minnesota!”

McFadden met with a small but enthusiastic crowd in Rochester on Friday. He told the crowd he was pleased to get the endorsement of two prominent northern Minnesota newspapers including Duluth. A most recent poll cited by McFadden has him closing within two points of Franken, which is within the margin of error.

ABC’S Eyewitness 5 notes on their website that Franken was down in 2008 when he challenged Republican Norm Coleman and went on to win that election, after a legal challenge and a vote recount, with a slim margin of 312 votes. So, Franken, while still in the lead, maybe vulnerable. According to the latest polling we’ve seen, the closest McFadden has been able to close is eight points. You can see the latest polling day from Real Clear Politics here. See McFadden’s full comments in the video below.

Rose’s Journey: A Path to Citizenship

Roselle with Sen. Carla Nelson-R, with me the author, on Rose's swearing in day.

Roselle with Sen. Carla Nelson-R, with me the author, on Rose’s swearing in day.

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

With hope for a better future, with aspirations and dreams, 848 new naturalized American Citizens were sworn in at a public ceremony at the Minneapolis Convention Center Sept. 24th.

The hall at the Minneapolis Convention Center was packed with people taking their oath of citizenship. 848 new citizens naturalized that day. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

The hall at the Minneapolis Convention Center was packed with people taking their oath of citizenship. 848 new citizens naturalized that day. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

I was a part of this journey since my girlfriend, the love of my life, embarked on it earlier this year. We decided together she’d been here long enough, now was the time to pursue becoming a citizen. We paid the money, $680 for the interview, biometric and other fees, with the help of family and friends. We borrowed a book to study for the test. We read all of the rules and did all the confusing paperwork. We called in to work in order to make the trips to Minneapolis and St. Paul for her appointments, we never missed one, and we were grateful for the people who helped us out and picked up or shifts.

We studied hard and in all, my baby’s interview took 9 minutes, 44 seconds, just enough to answer six questions of the battery of the 100 we studied, time enough to drop all her paper work on the floor and raise the wrong hand. Nervous as we were, she knew all the questions by heart and answered them succinctly enough to impress the interviewer. We did it, we were on our way to becoming a citizen. I was so proud of her.

Roselle with Sen. Amy Klobuchar-D, left and State Sen. Carla Nelson-R, right. It doesn't matter the party, politicians love new voters. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Roselle with Sen. Amy Klobuchar-D, left and State Sen. Carla Nelson-R, right. It doesn’t matter the party, politicians love new voters. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

My girl, Roselle Salvador Taburada, the Asian lady with the Spanish name, came here to America over seven years ago from the Philippines. She spoke English and had a degree in business management. He got her Green Card and got a job as soon as she was able. It wasn’t always easy. Her husband was a dud and her marriage failed. In her anger and despair she contemplated leaving and going back to the Philippines. But she stuck with it and got a better job, in food service. She was active with friends and with the community, earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and competing in tournaments. We’ve got her trophies on our bookcase in our home. She’s been active in the Philippine-American community. Her life was turning around and it seemed time to strive for the ultimate goal, citizenship.

On that happy day we were so excited. She wore a new pink dress that she picked out for the occasion. We left home early so as not to get lost in traffic and be late. It was cold and rainy and there was fog on the road. I just love driving in traffic on days like that. We found our spot and stood in line. There was a spot marked out for the new citizens there in the hall of the convention center. We got there early and had to wait. There were so many people there that we filled the hall. It was standing room only when we finally got in. About half an hour late, thanks to government inefficiencies, the doors of the hall opened and we started to get sorted. I couldn’t sit with my Rose, we were put in separate lines and ended up on opposite sides of the hall. I brought the wrong camera for the occasion, I thought I would be closer to the stage, and got photos I’m not real happy with. But we made it through and it was a nice ceremony.

The League of Women voters used up the waiting time before the ceremony and offered to register all the new voters. I commented about this to the two Mexican women sitting next to me, saying, “Look, it’s so nice of the League of Women voters to register new Democrats, uh, I mean ‘voters’!” They laughed politely. Both of the ladies, fast friends who had never met before that day, were amazing and fun to talk with. The younger one was from Peru and was there for a friend. She fiddled with her new Android Galaxy smart phone that looked more like a television. (I bet she got better photos than me.) The other woman had come from Mexico and had been here for over 20 years. I enjoyed listening to them speaking Spanish together, the syllables sound like music to me, unlike the German and Arabic I studied. It was fun talking and listening to their stories of their separate journeys to become citizens and their hopes for their relatives and friends who were being sworn in that day.

It's gotta be official. US District Court Judge for the State of Minnesota calls the court to order and swears in the new naturalized citizens. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

It’s gotta be official. US District Court Judge for the State of Minnesota calls the court to order and swears in the new naturalized citizens. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

The League finished passing out pens and papers to the attendants and the ceremony got underway. The US District Court for the state of Minnesota was the host of the event and opened the ceremony as t hey would any other official court function. An assistant to a US district court judge opened the court session. She took the time to announce the numbers of people present from the different countries and had each stand in turn when they were announced. That’s when we learned the nationalities and the numbers of each applicant present. I remember a few; two from Iran, two from Iraq, 20 from the Philippines, one each from Canada, Israel, Australia and the UK. Many from war torn, disease-ridden Africa, including the largest number from the non-country of East Africa, Somalia: 98! Wow!

When the district court judge’s assistant completed the task of announcing all the applicants, she made a motion to open the court and recommended that the gathered applicants be sworn in as citizens, having been vetted as people of high moral character who have completed all of the requirements of citizenship. The judge took over and presided over the court, approving the recommendation of citizenship for all in attendance. There was a music video played with the patriotic Lee Greenwood song played. The judge had all the attendees stand and raise their right hand as the oath was administered. The oath, very similar to the oath I took as a newly commissioned lieutenant in the United States Army, was displayed on a large view screen at the front of the hall. The applicants spoke in unison, swearing allegiance to the United States, abandoning all allegiance to their country of origin and swearing to protect their newly adopted nation with force of arms if need be. It was a very moving ceremony. I cried.

A happy new citizen gets her photo taken with my parents, Kathy and Len. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

A happy new citizen gets her photo taken with my parents, Kathy and Len. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

I made the hail-Mary move of inviting our local state senator to join us for the ceremony and to the pleasure and surprise of both of us, she was happy to come. Carla Nelson-R from Rochester, found my parents in the large hall and sat with them for the ceremony. The judge recognized her as well as our Federal Senator, Amy Klobuchar, who sat up front with the judge and his assistant. We were happy to meet both of our representatives, state and federal on that important day.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Klobuchar made a few remarks. She talked about citizenship, and about her own path through life. She explained that her grandfather had been a coal miner in northern Minnesota, had taken care of his family and worked hard in the mine all his life, putting the children through school. Now a generation later, his grand-daughter was a United States Senator. It is that kind of determination and hard work that makes a US citizen and affords the citizen success later on, success they might not otherwise find in their country of origin.

I have no major qualms about what our Senator said up until that point. I was actually quite impressed with the history of or democratic senator, a story I had not heard before. Then she told the crowd in what sounded like a campaign speech, that she was for comprehensive immigration reform, to which the majority of the crowd loudly applauded. Except for me and the Peruvian and Mexican sitting next to me.

Comprehensive immigration reform, Senator?! What does that mean? We have a legal process that allows many, many people to enter the country legally every year, many who take the step to become legal citizens. On that day, 98 Africans who had escaped the black hole of that continent, Somalia, were sworn in and naturalized. What more do you want? Should we swing the doors open to everyone who wants to come? Should we invite even those people who don’t embrace our values? I think we ought to keep and embrace our current system or more clearly define how you propose to change it. I didn’t hear the Senator do that.

At the end of the ceremony, my parents and Sen. Nelson found us. I still hadn’t seen Rose, who was still up front getting her certificate of citizenship. I told the Senator, doubtful, “I don’t think we can get up there.” She said, “Don’t worry, let me take care of that.” She lead me through the crowd to the front where we found Rose. We then pushed to the head of the line to meet Sen. Klobuchar. Nelson introduced herself to the senator’s staffer, who waived us ahead. Because of Nelson’s clout, we got our photo taken with our Federal senator, a moment in time we will never forget. The Federal judge we missed, he had already escaped out the back.

Sen. Carla Nelson made the effort to make our day special. She used her cloud and introduced us to our federal rep, Sen. Amy Klobuchar. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Sen. Carla Nelson made the effort to make our day special. She used her clout and introduced us to our federal rep, Sen. Amy Klobuchar. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Since the ceremony, we’ve gotten a lot of recognition for Rose on her achievement. We’ve registered to vote and we are studying the candidates. I hope the other new citizens sworn in that day are also happy with their achievements but also studying the issues that are affecting our state and our nation. I hope they will uphold their oath to protect and defend their new nation, abandoning interests in other lands. I hope. If they have the work ethic, patriotism and drive of the Pilipino immigrants I’ve met in the last two years, they’ll do fine.

Rose and I are very grateful for all the support we received from family and friends.

A new citizen relaxes after the dust settles. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

A new citizen relaxes after the dust settles. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Rose always gets people coming up to her saying, “Congratulations dear, now you can pay taxes like the rest of us!” to which Rose replies, “You’re crazy, I already paid the taxes!” Do you think the IRS would let us by without paying taxes, you are crazy.

I’ve put off writing this column because I didn’t know quite what to say. I guess the major thing I want people to know is what it took for us to get here and our gratitude for all who helped and supported us. That’s all. And for all who want to come here and enjoy the benefits of citizenship I want to say this, please don’t violate our laws to do it. Do the right thing, the legal thing. The benefits of citizenship are massive, but so are the responsibilities. Both go hand in hand. Don’t take on this journey if you are not able to accept one without the other. There is a path and many have taken it and have been grateful for it. You can do it too, if you want to become a citizen of the United States of America.

Rose and I are very grateful for everyone who made this day possible. -Jeremy Griffith, The American Millennium

Rose and I are very grateful for everyone who made this day possible. -Jeremy Griffith, The American Millennium

Johnson Wins First Gubernatorial Debate in Rochester

by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online

 

Commissioner Jeff Johnson gives a strong performance at the first gubernatorial debate in Rochester Mn. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Commissioner Jeff Johnson gives a strong performance at the first gubernatorial debate in Rochester Mn. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

The headline above is a bit of a conceit I admit, from a Conservative Republican blogger such as myself, but in my view, Commissioner Jeff Johnson, Republican candidate for governor of Minnesota clearly lead the  debate against is opponents: Incumbent Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Independent candidate Hannah Nicollet.

 

The debate occurred Wednesday at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester and was televised on public television.

 

Johnson was on point from the beginning, he attacked the governor in a way that didn’t make him look like a jerk, he was respectful to his opponents and he was armed with facts.

 

Governor Mark Dayton had strong support in Rochester and didn't make any major gaffes at the first debate in Rochester MN. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Governor Mark Dayton had strong support in Rochester and didn’t make any major gaffes at the first debate in Rochester MN. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Having said that, Dayton was better prepared and performed better than I thought he would, even though he always has that befuddled look on his face when I see him in public and he mumbled a bit. The governor was quick to respond to his critic and didn’t make any major gaffes.

 

Former software designer Hannah Nicollet, the Independent candidate, surprised me a little, was engaging in the debate and even though her answers were long and meandering, still made some good points which her opponents, Dayton and Johnson were forced to agree with. I sat next to a member of her campaign staff and let him know how impressed I was, even though it was apparent it was her first debate.

 

Hannah Nicollet, the Independent candidate for Governor, gave a good performance at the first debate. She should consider running for lower office to get more experience. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Hannah Nicollet, the Independent candidate for Governor, gave a good performance at the first debate. She should consider running for lower office to get more experience. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

The staffer agreed. “She needs to slow down a bit and give the answers we know she has,” the staffer said.

 

Now I don’t think Nicollet has a chance in this field, but I could be wrong. Minnesota has voted for independents before. However, the last independent governor, Jesse Ventura, was a celebrity with name recognition with an aggressive competent staff. At the time the state was pissed off with both the democrats and republicans in that race, which was extremely helpful for Ventura. Nicollet has none of those aspects in her favor and she should consider running for a lower office such as state rep or senator, or as a small town Mayor. That would give her more credibility if she were to run for higher office in the future.

 

That being said, she added to the debate and should be allowed to compete in all five gubernatorial debates, which is what the governor agreed. It helps him as in most cases the independent party candidate, with the exception of Ventura, bleeds away support for the Republican candidate.

 

I’m happy to have seen this first debate in person, and I look forward to seeing the televised debates coming later in the month. Dayton, while he has a lot of local support, is vulnerable in several areas, such as health care, transportation such as roads and bridges, and his seeming abandonment of greater Minnesota areas. Incidentally, Johnson made a point to attack the governor, very successfully I might add, in all of those areas.

 

Johnson has an uphill climb against a heavily entrenched liberal base here in the state. He’ll have to keep on the offensive in public debates and in his TV and radio advertisement if he is to get traction against the incumbent. And, hopefully, the independents won’t bleed off so much support from Johnson that it throws the election to the other guy.

 

Johnson needs to have the help of his running mate, former state legislator Bill Kuisle, who has a lot of credibility in the greater Minnesota area and has been a popular public figure in the Rochester area.

Helpless and Terrified: Life Without the Gun

by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online

Need a reason to keep an AR-15? Here's one: a muslim child holding the head of a slain Iraqi man.

Need a reason to keep an AR-15? Here’s one: a muslim child holding the head of a slain Iraqi man. -photo credited to proud dad.

Helpless and terrified, Iraqi Christians and other religious minorities are fleeing to the hills to avoid the perilous onslaught of the ruthless Islamic state. If they had AR-15s or AK semi-automatic rifles, they might be able to defend themselves somewhat.

 

Meanwhile and arrogant and misguided US administration ignores the problem too long, abandoning Iraq along with heavy weapons and vehicles to the enemy, who gleefully used the armaments to enforce sharia law and hunt down anyone who gets in their way.

 

The Kurds, not as gullible or helpless, are meeting the threat head on; are even making headway as the face off the Islamic extremists. They didn’t believe the promises of the US government that they would take care of the Kurds. The Kurds of Kurdistan, located in Northern Iraq,  placed their faith in themselves.

 

And that is the take-away for us here at home in the US. A federal judge has ordered that AR-15s and AKs are not covered under the Constitutional protection of the 2nd Amendment. She decided all on her own, this judge, that Americans don’t need them and therefore shouldn’t have them. Read the full article about the case in the Washington Times here. 

 

Simultaneously, armed men in Ferguson, Missouri are defending their businesses from looters. The neighbors who without weapons  are helpless to defend their homes and shops as an overwhelmed police force who can’t be everywhere at once, struggle to get the violence under control. Read more about this incident here.

 

Who needs an AR-15 or AK-47 style semi-automatic rifle. The answer is: I do. That should be the answer to any politician, local or federal, who attempts to seize our guns and make us defenseless. Chances are, hopefully, you won’t need your AR for anything other than plinking at the range. Hopefully your fire extinguisher is left idle as well. You don’t buy these things because you are certain there will be a fire or a riot; you get them because the danger exists.

 

In Ferguson, a black kid was shot. As a result, the black community in their anger took it upon themselves to decimate their own neighbors and steal their neighbors’ property before burning their shops.

 

In Iraq, the US and other nations are dropping food and water on refugee camps in the mountains. What they should be dropping is guns and ammo to fend off the Islamic State, who gleefully post online the child of an Islamic fighter lifting up the severed head of a man they killed.

 

Meanwhile in the United States there are many walled settlements of Islamic communities totally dedicated to Sharia Law. US law enforcement aren’t allowed to patrol those communities. What is going on in there. Are they planning Jihad against their neighbors? Likely, but if that’s the case, are you ready to defend your home, or are you just going to submit to the politicians will and let Muslims relocate or kill you?

 

I for one am tired of the “religion of peace”! So is Israel. They have to defend themselves daily against a regime of terrorists who would rather spend millions of dollars the US gave them to fund terrorist tunnels rather than infrastructure to support a healthy community.

 

What’s next? Will the president ever stop playing golf and do his job of defending the country. Not likely. So why we wait, why don’t you prepare yourself and go to your local gunshop and get an AR, before they’re all gone.

 

Don’t believe me? Think you don’t need an AR to defend your life and your liberty. Watch the videos I’ve attached below.

Communism Survivor Testifies for the 2nd Amendment.

African American explains how his AR-15 saved his home when an armed mob came to break into his house.

Hagedorn Wins Surprising Upset in Primary, Beats Miller

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

 

Hagedorn campaigns before local Republican Party BPOE in Olmsted County. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Hagedorn campaigns before local Republican Party BPOE in Olmsted County. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Jim Hagedorn has surpassed all expectation in the Republican Primary this past Tuesday by trouncing the endorsed candidate Aaron Miller. His win proves two things: that he is an able campaigner who cannot be underestimated, and there is a lesson here to be learned by the people who vote to endorse candidates in the local caucuses.

 

Now I’ve been following Hagedorn for a while now, since his failed bid the last time around for the same position running against Tim Walz. He humorously noted to me that the situation this time around was very similar to the last time. He said, “In this race the composition is the same as it was the last time; you’ve got a military guy, a professor, a professional politician, and me!” What has always struck me about Hagedorn is his self-defacing, quick wit. He has continuously refused to badmouth Republicans competing for the same job, and he has shown a gleeful willingness to hammer his overall opponent, Tim Walzm with truth about his dismal record.

 

In a caucus earlier this year, state representative Mike Benson stood in the entry way of the Byron High School handing out fliers and shaking hands right next to his competitor Jim Hagedorn, who was doing the same thing. I noted this fact to the candidates with irony. Hagedorn responded, indicating to Benson: “That’s not my opponent, that’s a competitor. Tim Walz is the opponent!”

 

The last election as I recall, Hagedorn agreed to be constrained by the request that candidates abide by the endorsement process. When he was passed over in this process, Hagedorn grudgingly stepped aside, and the Republican endorsed candidate lost to Tim Walz. This time Hagedorn stepped up his game and surpassed the endorsed Republican candidate. This usurpation indicates two truths to me: that you can accomplish anything if you work hard enough at it; and two, the people who vote in primaries here in Minnesota obviously have a different view of who is a viable candidate than those who show up to vote at caucuses and endorsement conventions.

 

The Republican establishment should take note of this fact at accept it for what it is. The grass roots of the party does not necessarily agree with the leadership of the party when it comes to choosing it’s candidates. Hagedorn is an able campaigner. He has made appearances for media outside the very offices of his opponent and ripped Walz’s voting record to shreds. Aaron Miller, a local businessman and National Guard leader, though a great candidate, didn’t set the world on fire with his campaign following the endorsement. Hagedorn continues to jab at the liberal agenda of Tim Walz, who votes 90 percent or better in line with liberal leader Nancy Pelosi of California; not at all in line with the values of Minnesotans.

 

I have to admit something here. In the caucuses, I supported Benson, who failed his bid for the slot. Then, I voted Miller, though I didn’t know him very well. Though probably a better candidate than Walz, he just didn’t impress me with his drive following his endorsement. Hagedorn however, continues to jab away with his quick wit and the facts on Walz’s record. It will be interesting to see if Hagedorn’s energetic strategy is able to overcome the progressive left’s money and propaganda machine. For the sake of Minnesota, I hope it is.

Watch Hagedorn deliver his message outside Walz’s Rochester office in regards to Walz’s support of the failed Obamacare law.  We were there.

Online hacking of personal emails and social media now a weapon of the British Government

 by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

How much do you trust your government to do the right thing with your privacy and your freedom of speech? British citizens are finding out now that the answer to that question should be, “not very much”! It seems that a super-secret British spy agency is publishing a menu of options they have to provide politicians to hack into the social media accounts of citizens in the name of national security.

 

I learned about this first listening to Glenn Beck and have found creditable confirmation on a number of other websites. You can see Glenn’s comments on this issue here. Glenn Greenwald has an article here with a full description of the British government’s Internet capabilities. I’ve included the list here verbatim:

• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)

• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)

• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)

• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)

• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)

• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)

• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)

• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)

• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk)” (ELATE)

• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)

• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)

Now it would be great fun if you were computer hacker employed by the British or American governments monitoring the Internet activity of groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS. After all, they love to post videos of their exploits against the West there, videos for example of them blowing up American Soldiers or lopping off the heads of Christians and Jews and plopping them on spikes! Wouldn’t it be great if instead of going to the intended video posted by the terrorists, you would instead be misdirected to a video of an old lady power walking or Afghani Muslims humping a goat before getting blown up by a JDAM laser guided missile? I think it would be hilarious, but that is not likely to happen given the current political climate.

Instead of the above scenario, imagine something a little more realistic. Say you are a conservative blogger who doesn’t like Barack Obama much. Perhaps you don’t like the way he plays golf as the world burns; he sides with Palestinian terrorists instead of a free and democratic Israel; he allows Russia to run amok in Ukraine while shooting down Malaysian airliners; he invites millions of undocumented immigrants to flood the border while selling guns and other weapons to the drug coyotes who are bringing them over; he’s destroyed the economy with Obamacare; allowed an innocent Marine to rot in a Mexican prison and allowed his IRS and Justice Departments to target people who don’t agree with him. Because you have a dream of an idealized America with freedom for all, you’ve taken it upon yourself to remark on the many arrogant missteps of your government in your $5 blog and now you’ve raised the attention of the NSA, whose boss is the very president who you’ve been criticizing all this time, and he doesn’t like it.

So now the NSA or its British equivalent if you happen to be a Brit, has a solution to shut you up. They can use government paid hackers they retain on staff to hack your computer and implant hours and hours of child porn, while the FBI or IRS fabricate a reason to get a search warrant for your house and computer. And bam, you’re sitting in front of a judge and a jury with your government provided defense attorney who is late for his golf game with the president defending yourself against a child porn rap while all the time maintaining your innocence. Scary huh? And your only defense to a skeptical jury is, “I don’t look at that crap! I have no idea how it got there!”

Nice huh! And it’s not out of the way too much to imagine is it. See, when it’s just you, who is going to believe that you don’t look at child porn, or that you’ve hatched a scheme to overthrow the government or that you are cheating on your wife or whatever. You’re just you. In the meanwhile the government has all the legal machinery available to them in the form of any number of alphabet soup type agencies with which to go after you: i.e. the IRS, the DOJ, the NSA, the FBI. You’re bad and you’re fellow citizens will see it and you’ll be thrown into jail. You’re a nut who needs to locked up. It’s a communist dictator’s dream.

The only solution to this problem in my view is for everyone to get a gun and a blog and start writing. They can’t get us all, and when they go after one of us, they go after all of us. The IRS may have destroyed all of those emails and hard drives, and the DOJ won’t press any charges against the Lois Lerner types,  but then the confidence in government will never be the same as long as the average citizen is an enemy of the state just for exercising his freedom of speech. Eventually the American Spring will happen and the end of progressive government will come to an end. The faster, the better. Our founders gave us a great, accountable, limited form of government. Progressives continue to try to take that away. They say the Constitution is too limiting, it’s a list of negative rights, whatever that means. We’ve got to send a message to our government that we reject being spied on and monitored, or free speech rights being curtailed and if they keep it up, we the people are going to throw them out of office and into jail.

In Great Britain, new organizations like News of the World, owned by billionaire media tycoon Rupert Murdoch went down in flames when it was discovered that reporters were listening illegally to phone conversations in order to get the scoop on dirt in the lives of celebrities so they could print their stories first in their latest editions. You can find information about that scandal here. People went to jail for that and New of the World was forced to shutter their doors. If’ it’s illegal for journalists to threaten the privacy of citizens, then why is OK for the government to do it. It’s not, and western governments need to know it’s not OK.

Who do they think they are anyway?

Now comes the conspiracy theories! Imagine if the News of the World scandal was a made up scenario by the government to punish conservative media. It cost Murdoch and friends serious loss of reputation, money and people went to jail over it. How do you prove your government sabotaged your media organization? What if Sen. Weiner’s Twitter account was actually hacked in order to shut him up for who knows what reason? See, there is a slippery slope developing here.

By the way, if you suspect you will eventually be caught doing something illegal on the Internet, maybe you’re running an illegal scam, or you’re in charge of an online gambling ring, or the aforementioned child porn racket, just hire a conservative blogger to create a cover story for you. And save copies of everything. You may have a plausible alibi when you’re case comes to trial!

When the government and thieves alike have the power to hack into your accounts through the Internet or listen to your phone calls, no one is safe from people with nefarious intent.  If someone doesn’t like you, and has these tools at their disposal, they can destroy you, your reputation, your life.

I suspect the private sector will be coming with a solution for this. Phones will have anti-listening or jamming software on them so that no one can listen in, Internet capable computers will have anti-spoofing software included, and there will be online reputation protection services cropping up dedicated to defending you in case you’re computer is hacked.

The bottom line is there is a lot of awful things happening on the Internet. Lots of great things too. The fact is that in a free society, information needs to be freely transmitted, the good with the bad. That is the marketplace of free ideas. When that capability is shuttered, bad things happen. It is better to tolerate the bad, then let the good be silenced.

In a free society, when the truth is given an equal footing, the truth always wins. That is the concept of the Free Marketplace of Ideas.

 

 

OutFoxed: Huffpo remembers with glee one film-makers attempt to unseat Fox News, a decade later.

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

The Huffington Post is so far left leaning I’m surprised they don’t tip over. I leave them on my Facebook feed just so I can be periodically amused at how out of touch they are. Yesterday, I was just annoyed as Huffpo remembered the documentary” Outfoxed” a decade after its premiere, a film aimed at slamming Fox News for biased reporting.

Ten years ago documentary film maker Robert Greenwald came out with a film called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism as an attempt to unseat the media upstart and return to the heady days where the leftist progressives ran the show in news and entertainment. If you listen to Huffpo, the movie was a great success, but then reality kicks in and you realize that Fox News is still the leader in the ratings and the headache they tried to give to Fox is only in the minds of the liberals who hate them.

The Huffpo article breathlessly begins its narrative: “Outfoxed,” caused a major stir when it was released in 2004. The film leveled stinging allegations at the network, accusing it of conservative bias, politicized coverage and strategic manipulation of its viewers. Stinging? Really? Have you seen this movie? Have your friends seen this movie? I certainly don’t remember it!

That’s because most Americans didn’t see it, to include many liberals. That’s because this film was a colossal box-office flop! When Outfoxed was released in 2004, it had only a small showing in a limited number of theaters. It grossed only $0.2 million in theater ticket sales according to the movie-critique website Rotten Tomatoes. To be fair, the movie gets good reviews there, but if you look deeper, the movie when compared to films made by more critically acclaimed and commercially successful liberal or conservative film-makers, you see a different story emerging. Let’s face it, $200,000 at the box office may seem like a lot, but when you talk about the budgets necessary to produce such films, you realize how much in debt you are when all is said and done. At best, Outfoxed has merely broken even.

Conversely, other liberal/progressive film-makers have been much more successful. Take Michael Moore for example, who is riding high on his commercial success at the box office. If Outfoxed had had a fraction of the success that any one of Moore’s movies had done, you might have something to talk about at Huffpo. Let’s talk about Moore’s latest film Capitalism: A Love Story. Not Moore’s best film and not as highly rated as Outfoxed if Rotten Tomatoes is to be believed, it still raked in $14 million at the box office. That’s what I call a success!

Moore’s top earning movie Fahrenheit 9/11, released the same year, 2004, with a box office grab of $119 million, was a huge success! Moore’s first film, still a success and the impetus to starting his film-making career brought in only $6 million at the box office.

If Michael Moore were to make a film about Fox News, it might have a wider showing and better success simply because of name recognition. But he didn’t and the job fell to little-known nobody Greenwald. If you look further into it, you find that the movie was supported by MoveOn.Org who widely promoted it. The Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia states:

The documentary enjoyed a limited theatrical release,[4] was distributed in DVD format by the Political action committee MoveOn.org, and was sold online through Internet retailers such as Amazon.com, where it was a top-seller in July 2004.[5] MoveOn.org had helped promote the DVD release by taking out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times.[5]

 You can learn two things from this passage from Wiki; first that movie was supported by Move On, a George Soros funded organization, and that the film went straight to DVD. Wiki doesn’t explain what they consider as “success” in DVD sales.

My basic analysis of this film is this, if you are a liberal who likes the main stream media and hates Fox News, you might like this film, but if you want to be entertained, this is not your best choice. A skilled propagandist like Michael Moore, who has a set track record of drawing in audiences, might be a better choice for you.

There might be plenty of material out there to criticize Rupert Murdock and his media empire, but being biased in a conservative way is not one of them, not when the comparison is the liberal dominated main stream press. Please! Before Fox News came along, there was nothing else but the liberal propagandists of the main stream media. Then Rush Limbaugh came along and changed everything. Since Rush kicked the door open the other side has taken a foothold in a continuing war of media, with the emergence of conservative talk radio personalities like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, and the Fox News Network. Fox and talk radio is the balance, and if there is bias, it is far more balanced than what you will find on the networks or cable.

Huffpo is a self-licking ice cream cone in this debate. They’ve done this before. In 2011 they tried to hype this movie with no success on the 7th Anniversary, with a special viewing and commentary by prominent liberal personalities, including the director Greenwald. You probably don’t remember seeing that either.

The fact is that the stranglehold on media is slipping away from progressives and they are mad as hell about it. They cheer when a Michael Moore is successful, but it doesn’t matter. Anyone who takes a swipe at conservative media with any attack big or small, successful or not, those people are instantly canonized as heroes. Periodically these martyrs of the left will be drummed out of the dark recesses and allowed to shine again in the spot light before disappearing once again.

Meanwhile, other voices are being heard, such as that of Indian born immigrant, professor turned film-maker Dinesh D’Sousa. His first Obama’s America: 2016 film was a box office success, the second most successful documentary ever raking in $33.3 million. Not bad. Not rated very well on Rotten Tomatoes, the ticket sales tells the real story of success.

D’Sousa’s new film America: Imagine a World Without Her, has grossed over $4 million in the first few weeks after its release. That must make the left really mad. I think I see heads exploding. The real story is not a 10-year old never been and his failed attack on Fox. The real story is that an immigrant from India who loves America more than Greenwald, Moore and the rest of the political left is having success preaching a traditional conservative message. Not rated high on Rotten Tomatoes, no surprise there, America continues to be successful at the box office where it counts.

Conservative films in general are making the news with their surprising success this year. God’s Not Dead, starring Kevin Sorbo, which was released to a  limited showing, still made over $60 million! Rotten Tomatoes hated this film. But they love a film like Outfoxed because it is in keeping with their liberal worldview. Similarly, Heaven is For Real also released this year made $90 million. Rotten Tomatoes also hated this one, but audiences loved it, which is why it was such a commercial success.

Bottom line is this, Outfoxed makes a flat, ridiculous assertion that there is media bias, from the right! Meanwhile the conservative message is getting out in film and in the mass media, and the headache is in the minds of the progressive left alone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Science of the Sea Has a New Toy

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

The Sea Orbiter as conceived in its final form.

The Sea Orbiter as conceived in its final form.

It looks like a giant fish hook floating upright in the ocean, but if this dream reaches fruition, the Sea Orbiter will become a vessel and mobile aquatic lab that will give scientists and researchers new unrestricted access to the wonders of the sea.

Like something out of Jules Vern, the Sea Orbiter is the brain child of French architect Jacques Rougerie. An info graphic and story about the orbiter appears in June’s edition of Popular Science in an article by Ajai Raj. If fully constructed, the orbiter will act as a mobile lab that gives researchers 24/7 access to the ocean. Part of the vessel will be submerged so that sailors, under pressurized conditions called saturation, won’t have to resurface every time they are done with a mission, so they can stay under water and continue their work for longer periods.

So far the $44 million project is little more than an idea, but the Raj article says that funding has started through crowdsourcing web activity and construction on the above the water line portion of the vessel, known as “The Eye”, has begun.

The lab will have a crew who operate the vessel, above water researchers and below the water divers who will work in concert to gather data about our oceans. They will also have media personnel who will parse the data and create educational content that can be transmitted through multi-media, presumably to classrooms around the world. This is to raise awareness of the issues revolving around the preservation of the natural researchers of the sea.

Scientists know more about the surface of the moon and Mars than they do about our own seafloor. -Ajai Raj, Popular Science

I love the idea of the vessel and its mission. If used appropriately, it can vastly improve our knowledge of the oceans that is sorely lacking. Raj writes: Scientists know more about the surface of the moon and Mars than they do about our own seafloor. With projects like this one, things are about to change. Unlike the surface of the moon and Mars, the sea may hold the answer to new medicine and technology, and perhaps even energy exploration.

It would however, be floating the open seas in a world that is less than ideal. With terrorism and piracy increasing in our world’s oceans, I would think that the investors in this project would have to insist on armed escort vessels that would support this observational platform with armed security aimed at protecting the crew, ship and the investors’ capitol.

Take a look at the website for more information on the Sea Orbiter here, or pick up a copy of Popular Science.

The Sea Orbiter diagram

The Sea Orbiter diagram

AK VS AR: Jeremy’s Tuesday Patriot Gun Blog

by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online

Final shot group with my S&W M&P 15. Not bad. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Final shot group with my S&W M&P 15. Not bad. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

So today I got out to the range to test the age old rivals living in my gun safe, my Romanian AK-47 Vs my Smith and Wesson MP15 (AR-15), the result of which is my first ever Tuesday Patriot Gun blog, because I shot guns and this is Tuesday!

 

As you can see from the photos, the S&W Military and Police rifle chambered in 5.56 mm, shooting .223 caliber bullets wins on accuracy. Using the EO Tech holographic sight that came with the package, it was fun to shoot and easy to make adjustments. I suppose I should say that I fired both weapons at 50 yards at the South Minnesota Gun Club here in Rochester, which is an excellent and safe outdoor shooting range. I had a lot of fun.

 

The EO Tech made making sight adjustments so easy and fast, I could have been zeroed a lot early had I remembered to have a quarter on me to make the corrections. As it was I used my car keys and it worked just fine. I shot two magazines of 30 each and I really didn’t need to, I was just burning ammo. I could have been zeroed in nine, easy. The M&P is a fun and super-accurate platform. It is easily my favorite gun. It’s not terribly loud and my girlfriend isn’t intimidated to shoot it. She’s pretty good at it actually.

 

Final shot group with my Romanian AK-47 series rifle. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Final shot group with my Romanian AK-47 series rifle. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

The AK was fun to shoot too, not quite as accurate, but still pretty easy. It’s louder than the M&P probably because it’s not made as well, stamped instead of milled, and it has a higher caliber. AKs are not known for being super accurate, but as you can see, I still did pretty well. It was easy enough to change the elevation with the leaf rear sight, but the left/right adjustment on the front sight post is a little harder and required a tool. I should have had a pliers to twist the thing, but as it was I was able to make the adjustments with just my hand strength. There is no clicking like on the M&P. I had to guess and as expected, I over-corrected and had to move the sights back. Not bad though.

 

They always say the AKs are better than the ARs in that you don’t have to clean them as much and they don’t ever jam. You wouldn’t know it from my shooting outing. I had two malfunctions on the AK, zero with the AR. I think I used the same bullet both times and it still did not fire, so the problem might have been the ammo. I was using some cheap Russian ammo, which I probably won’t buy again. Both times I had the same malfunction where the bolt didn’t seat all the way forward. Neither time did the bolt seat properly and all I heard was the click of the hammer falling. The second time it happened, I couldn’t do immediate action as the bolt would move neither forward or back. Has anyone else had this happen to them with their AK?

 

At any rate, I took the top cover off the upper receiver and I was able to get the bolt assembly out that way. I didn’t see where the bullet went and I must have lost it under the table. I was just relieved that I was able to get the weapon apart without it exploding on me or having to take it to a gunsmith. I would have liked to have looked at the bullet though. That was pretty scary.

I test fired the AK dry a couple of times afterward and it seemed to be working fine. I had run out of ammo with that last bullet, so I don’t know. I will have to go shooting again some other time.

 

Over all I favor the M&P over my AK. The trigger breaks so much more nicely on the AR and the AK trigger isn’t so nice. Still, the AK has a larger round and is able to penetrate more, so I wouldn’t totally discount it. It’s better than having nothing. Or a musket.

 

At any rate, I had a man-date to go shooting with a friend and he bailed, so it was just me and my two guns. Overall I had a pretty successful firing. Let me know your thoughts, AK or AR in the comments below. Have a great Patriot Tuesday!

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

The American Journalist should be a Libertarian!

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

The American Journalist should be a libertarian. He or she mustn’t necessarily be in the Libertarian party, but they must love America while at the same time be dedicated to the principles of small government, government accountability and liberty and opportunity for all people.

Sadly though in this writer’s opinion, the American journalist does not love America, is more aligned with European Socialists and Communists and carry the water for progressive politicians here at home. They say they’re fair and independent, but clearly they are not. I would cite examples, but all you have to do is flip on your TV. You’ll find it there.

To find a libertarian journalist is far more difficult, because you must find the exception to the rule. Libertarians in journalism are as rare as Bigfoot it seems. You might see them on TV or in print or on the web, but you’re not really sure of what you saw.

John Stossel comes to mind as such an example. You might know of others. For years nobody really knew his political affiliation. He probably didn’t know himself. But Stossel loves America and he loves telling stories about America. The government and big corporations probably dislike him quite a lot because he rips them apart on every show. That’s how the mainstream media used to be, not necessarily anti-government, but more of a watchdog of government. President Thomas Jefferson, our third president of the United States complained about the press, while at the same time he praised the necessity of having a free and independent press. Every administration since has had a love/hate relationship with the press.

Here’s a classic quote or two from Jefferson, for and against the national media, which at the time, was newspapers.

Against:

1) “I deplore… the putrid state into which our newspapers have passed and the malignity, the vulgarity, and mendacious spirit of those who write for them… These ordures are rapidly depraving the public taste and lessening its relish for sound food. As vehicles of information and a curb on our funtionaries, they have rendered themselves useless by forfeiting all title to belief… This has, in a great degree, been produced by the violence and malignity of party spirit.” –Thomas Jefferson to Walter Jones, 1814. ME 14:46

2)“Our printers raven on the agonies of their victims, as wolves do on the blood of the lamb.” –Thomas Jefferson to James Monroe, 1811. ME 13:59

3)“As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.” –Thomas Jefferson to Barnabas Bidwell, 1806. ME 11:118

In Favor:

4) “The only security of all is in a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.” –Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823. ME 15:491

5) “The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves, nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe.” –Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey, 1816. ME 14:384

6) “Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” –Thomas Jefferson to John Jay, 1786.

Here’s a quote from Jefferson, neither for nor against, that could very well have been directed at the modern mainstream media today.

“The most effectual engines for [pacifying a nation] are the public papers… [A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of newswriters who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true paragraphs of a newspaper.” –Thomas Jefferson to G. K. van Hogendorp, Oct. 13, 1785. (*) ME 5:181, Papers 8:632

It seems then as now, the mass media of a free republic must be independent, but is often corrupted by powerful forces within the government. There is no substitute for a free press if your aim is to limit government and keep it accountable unless your goal is to prop up a government regardless of what it does.

In order to keep free and open debate going about our public policies in government, we have to maintain a free press. How do we do that, when major corporations who are the beneficiaries of government acts control the medium which is used to report the news. The free market is one way, don’t buy the products, newpapers, magazines or TV who don’t stay sufficiently independent. But what if the media is funded through government, i.e. public radio and TV? Demand that those entities be defunded by the government. Those entities can chose to survive must do so on their own merit. Normal broadcast TV radio and other media are supported through advertisements. When consumers turn them off, revenue for the businesses buying ad space dries up and the media business either folds or they change their marketing strategy to fit the customer. Not so with public access. They get billions of dollars a year from the taxpayer and are not accountable to them at all.

If you are really serious about the independence of the media, then the blogosphere is an acceptable alternative. It will be evident to the reader the political bent of the blogger over the trained journalist, but you will be able to discern that bias up front as most bloggers have not yet learned how to distinguish from straight news and opinion. You will get information, and some opinion, wholly unfiltered by a biased media editor or producer who is more skilled at shading their opinion from view.

Better yet, get your own blog and write about the stories that matter to you. The good thing about a blog is that nobody controls it but you, until of course you piss off the government enough that they breathlessly call for censorship in the form of a “fairness doctrine”. When they do that, you can shamelessly slam your politician for abridging your first amendment rights. That’s always fun.

It’s too bad that the J-schools have abandoned their principles for partisanship. It can be seen mainly from the progressive left, but sometimes from the right as well. The question you have to ask yourself is, who do I trust and how do I validate the information I’m receiving in the national media? I would recommend looking for alternate sources of information to see what truth shakes out and what falls to the wayside. This can be a tedious process for those of us who do not work in this field. But as a media consumer and as an American, we all have the responsibility to vet the information coming to us so that we can make good sound decisions about our government and its policies.

A major tenant I learned from my J-school at St. Cloud State is this: the truth, when given a fair shake, always wins. I would say that the truth always wins regardless of whether it is given an even field or not. If it is heard, when compared to falsehood, it can be validated and the falsehood will eventually be discarded, being of no use whatsoever. But first, the truth must be heard.

Are you getting the truth from the news sources who favor? How can you tell? Have you validated anything they say? Think about it.

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online is a blogger who holds a bachelors in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University and a masters in New Media Journalism from Full Sail University in Winter Park Fl. His opinions are his own.

 

History From Below: A Critique of Dinesh D’Sousa’s New Move America

By Jeremy Griffith
Creator of The American Millennium

I watched Dinesh D’Sousa’s new movie this week, what I would consider the second installment of the previous movie 2016. For the viewer who loves America, the country and idea, this will be a great enjoyable film! If you think that America is a criminal colonial power, you won’t enjoy this film at all and you should go find some Marxist movie made by Michael Moore or someone else on the left.

 

I liked this movie so much, I’m diving into the book that it was based on. D’Sousa’s film isn’t a rah rah, America is great despite all that is wrong, love it or leave it, type of movie. Instead he addresses four major criticisms of the progressive left of why America is bad and should be reduced in its power and influence in the world. D’Sousa addresses these criticisms fairly and knocks them all down one by one.

 

In his interviews, he doesn’t banter with someone of an opposing view, like a Sean Hannity or Anne Coulter would do. Instead he listens and allows his guests to make their point. I think he gives the guest interviewee enough rope and stands back to see if they will hang themselves.

 

D’Sousa doesn’t gloss over the wrong that has happened here in America. He doesn’t say, “Oh, that’s no big deal!” He faces it head on, and I like that. So I can’t really accept what other critics are saying that this is a strictly partisan movie. Other film makers don’t give the issues this type of balance, far from it!

 

Here are some of the criticisms of the left that are addressed: America is a imperial colonialist power that stole the land and resources from the Native Americans, committing genocide in the process, they stole land from Mexico in the Mexican-American War and refuse to let Mexicans work as laborers on land that they once owned, they’ve been using their military muscle to steal resources like oil and gas all over the world, we built the nation on the illegal use of forced labor by enslaving Africans on plantations.

 

The strongest arguments to be made in this series is that of the robbery and genocide committed upon the Indians (Native Americans), and the trade of black people into slavery.

 

Like I said before, D’Sousa points out these painful periods in our history and he doesn’t gloss over them. He does shed the light of history upon it to give the issues frame of reference. Before the white man comes, he explained, Native Americans were engaged in wars for territory throughout their history, and they took slaves from other tribes. So, technically speaking, if one was to give back land in the Midwest to Native American tribes, they would then have to return it to tribes that they stole it from in the first place.

 

No one has ever criticized the Native American tribes for their wars and they’re adoption of slavery. Only white people get that sort of criticism, which is an unfair characterization of history.

 

What is different about America, D’Sousa says, is not how it is alike to other nations in the world with the wrong that we do, it is what we have done to correct what is wrong that makes us different. There is no slavery in the US. You can’t say that about much of the world.

 

D’Sousa points out that the United States Government has conceded that they broke a treaty with the Natives in stealing their land and have offered the tribes compensation in the billions of dollars. The tribes to this point have refused. They want the land. I think they should get the land back on the stipulation  that an agreement is made for the US government to rent the mineral rights from the Indians. That way, the Natives would be compensated justly for what happened to them and would be an integral part of making the US fuel and energy independent. I’d rather pay the Indians for oil than sheiks in the Middle East.

 

On the issue of slavery, D’Sousa makes an elegant point. Slavery is wrong, and is common throughout the world, a global atrocity. But it isn’t confined to white people. Some of the very worst slave holders were black, did you know?! In fact there were many, not just a few, black men who owned slaves. Africans took slaves in their wars and often sold them to Dutch traders, so you see, the African is just as much to blame for slavery as the white man. Indeed, whites were captured abroad and forced into slavery called indentured servitude for a period of years and often there were more of them than the African slaves.

 

D’Sousa’s most eloquent point about slavery and the treatment of the Indians is this, slavery and conquest isn’t unique in North America, it’s prevalent everywhere. What makes America different is our efforts to end such practices. Slavery has been ended in America over 100 years ago. You can’t say that for much of the world. And the Native Americans who survive in tribes, many of them engage in commerce in the form of Casinos and are doing quite well. They have their own autonomous governments and can do what they will with their own land. It’s not perfect but it’s much better to be an American than live anywhere else in the world.

 

Leftists criticize the US for attempting to dominate the world and steal resources. This is by far the weakest argument. If the US wanted to steal the oil from Iraq, we would still be there. Instead we crushed and evil regime, allowed the Iraqis to seek justice against their own former dictator, we supported them with infrastructure and a means to produce their own oil to support their own economy and then we got out. What is happening in Iraq is not the US’s fault. If Iraqis want to keep the freedom that American Soldiers bled and died for, then they are going to have to fight for it themselves.

 

Remember the left criticized the US for Vietnam?! That’s because the people we were fighting were their heroes, and we were kicking their asses! When the left finally convinced the US to leave Vietnam, they left the communists in charge. The communists ran rampant through that area, killing their enemies wholesale. People were murdered for having glasses for Pete’s Sake! Remember The Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge? The left blames the US for that too! The left blames everyone but themselves.

 

D’Sousa in his movie outlines the real reason for the attacks on America. The left is trying to get America to be diminished in the world through shame and guilt. They want to guilt us all into committing political suicide. D’Sousa quotes, in his book, philosopher Albert Camus, who felt that suicide was a valid moral argument. Camus reasoned that since the renaissance, man has discovered that there is no God and has stopped relying on the supernatural being for hope. So without God, man can only rely on himself for meaning in his life. So the question becomes, do you allow yourself to survive in this painful, ridiculous tragedy called life, or do you remove yourself from the rat race through suicide? Not a very pleasant philosophy!

 

The left is attacking our narrative that is America and causing us to despair unto suicide.   They show us all of the bad, without the filter of what is good about America in an attempt to rob us of our hope. Two of the most prominent leaders of this movement were Howard Zinn, a historian, and Saul Alinski, a community organizer.

 

Zinn’s role was to rewrite the history from the viewpoint of the little guy, the oppressed Indians and Africans, the Mexicans and others whom America allegedly wronged. He eloquently paints the picture of America’s wrong without balancing it with the good. This is on purpose, because Zinn hates America and what it represents and wants to remake it from the ground up. His form of history is called History from Below. It’s very effective, in fact it is taught in most high schools and colleges in the US.

 

The second figure D’Sousa is Saul Alinsky, author of the book Rules for Radicals. Alinsky is famous for organizing the left to take hold of the American governmental tools and aiming them back on themselves. Indeed, Alinsky was the mentor of many on the left, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. D’Sousa points out that Obama isn’t really the creator of this movement, but is a product of it because of people like Howard Zinn and Saul Alinsky.

 

There are several examples of “the little guy” who made good in America mentioned in this movie, despite the left’s assurance that “the little guy” is constantly being held down by American Capitalism and greed. I found those stories to be inspiring and I think you will too.

 

I took my girlfriend to this movie and she liked it as well. A legal immigrant from the Philippines, we’ve been trying to get her educated on American history in preparation for her citizenship test. We learned a lot of things about America that I did not previously know. This movie is great for your friends who come here from other places. I recommend you take your immigrant friends to see this movie as a basis to start a discussion on what it’s like to live in other countries. If America is so bad, why are so many attempting to come here, legally and illegally?

 

I would also recommend this movie to your friends just coming out of high school and college who are confused about the role of America for good in the world. I recommend the movie and the book, and in fact, I’m going to give this book to my nephew when I’m done with it.

 

If you love America, and you are willing to take the good with the bad, with the challenge to change what is bad, then you will like this movie very much.

 

D’Sousa ends the movie with a quote from Ronald Reagan, former conservative president, who said, “The National Anthem is the only piece of music representing a sovereign nation that ends with a question. (Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave. . . or the land of the free and the home of the brave?) We should fight for our country as if the effort depended upon us alone.” And that is the challenge of this movie. Are we satisfied with the left ending the good that is America by removing us through political suicide, or do we love this nation enough to preserve it for a thousand years and more!?

 

Go see, America. I think you will like it.

 

 

Jeremy’s Best Man Speech (for Jason and Angie)

Jason and Angie

Jason and Angie -photo by Roselle Salvador Taburada

by Jeremy Griffith
(on the occasion of his brother’s wedding)

Recently I had the pleasure of being best man at my brother’s wedding. It was one of the happiest events of my life, and also one of the most stressful. It was a beautiful ceremoy and I hope to share a little of it with you here on my blog. I’ve published the best man toast speech below as written as well as the video. How did I do?

Angie and Jason, I wish you a hundred years of happiness and more.

Regards: Jeremy Griffith

Jeremy’s Wedding Toast from Jeremy Griffith on Vimeo.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the wedding celebration of Jason and Angie. My name is Jeremy and as you can clearly see, I am not the brother of the bride. (pause). As I was searching for help in creating the perfect best man speech I came across a lot of helpful Internet advice, the main theme of which went like this; make it memorable, make it brief and then be gone. By the time it’s your turn to speak, the father of the bride and the maid of honor have already given their lengthy spiels and the guests are eager to dive into their Champaign and wedding cake.

I’m supposed to say what a great guy my brother is. I find that I am at a loss for words in that regard. What do you say about a guy you shared a womb with?  I’m supposed to say where we met and how we became friends. (Do you really want to hear about that?!) I’ve known Jason since the beginning. Actually it was a little before the beginning. (pause). Jason likes to brag that he was born first. I tell people he was blocking the only exit. (pause).

People ask me all the time what it’s like to be a twin. I kind of get miffed at such a silly question. I mean after all, I have no frame of reference. I ask them back, what is like to live the lonely life you live. I mean sure you may not be an only child, but you didn’t have a playmate precisely your own age now did you? “Oh!” They say, “I never really thought about it that way.” Now you have something else to think about it, carry on with your day!

When I’m a little less smug and a lot more thoughtful I say this in reply. “Imagine being born. And then you get to meet your best friend for life on day one! That is what it was like for me. That’s what it was like for me being a twin.

People ask me if you ever switched places? Did you notice anything amiss about the wedding you just witnessed? The answer is actually no, that became old hat nearly from the beginning. I spent my whole life trying to differentiate myself from my brother, which was tough since our mother insisted on dressing us alike. Some things never change, huh? People always ask me, “which one are you?” I always reply, “I don’t know! Which one are you?!” It’s fun with the older people because they’re not always sure.

People have approached me in all sorts of divergent and interesting places thinking I was that guy. It was fun when we were in college, they’d ask me law enforcement questions. I’d give them what I thought would be the very worst, most ridiculous possible answer, hoping they’d catch on. They never did. Jason has lost more than one friend in this way.  I had a guy approach me across of sea of tents, in the middle of a sandstorm in Northern Kuwait, calling out to me, using the wrong name, “JASON!” I’m used to that. In fact as I get older I am mistaken for all sorts of people. People have started calling me by my other brother’s name, Gordon. If I hear myself being called Julie things will have really gone in the wrong direction.

This guy I met up with in Kuwait was actually someone I knew, in fact we’d both served with him in the  National Guard. He was going to Afghanistan, I was returning home from Iraq, and we both talked about what a great guy Jason is. I find out a lot of interesting facts about my brother in this way. It doesn’t matter where you served with Jason, what country, what capacity, officer, NCO or enlisted, it’s always the same. Jason is a great leader, friend, someone you can depend on, with your very life. Foreign officers have commented on what a great guy Jason is. He served with coalition forces in Afghanistan this last time and his senior rater was a British Colonel, who also rated the Prince of Wales, Harry, (Big H) who killed all sorts of terrorists with his helicopter. The colonel wrote in Jason’s evaluation, “the bloke has a great sense of humor for a yank!” That’s high praise from the Brits. (They’re all a little dry.) All of these people came upon a realization that I had made almost right from the start, Jason is a great guy. Someone you can depend upon, even with your life.

Recently I find that I’ve been replaced as best friend number one. Jason has found someone else, and today, he made it official. He married his new best friend Angie.(I’m a little sad about that.) I know she’s a keeper because, I can hear it in his voice. He really loves her and is always talking about what they are doing together.  He’s so happy. For years Jason and I have been bachelors and we wondered together when we would meet our partners for life. Getting a little hopeless and downtrodden as the years went on. We surmised that if there was someone for everyone than our someones must have both died early. Little did we know that God has a sense of humor and an odd sense of timing. It turns out that his lady was born in Vietnam, and mine was born in the Philippines. Thanks God, very funny! Ha ha! (you big jerk!)

Originally I was supposed to memorize a phrase in Vietnamese to toast the bride and groom in the bride’s language, but apparently Angie found out about it and fired me. This is how I know she has good sense as well as good taste. Little did she know I have a Vietnamese friend who I asked to help me with this part and he gave me a short phrase to memorize. It’s a traditional wedding blessing, goes like this, “Tram nam hanh phuc!” and it translates, “a hundred years of happiness!”

Ladies and gentlemen, if you have a full glass near you please pick it up and this time and toast with me to the bride and the groom. Angie, Jason, we your friends and family wish you the happiness of a hundred years and more. Congratulations. We love you. Cheers!”

A beautiful day for a wedding. -photo by Roselle Salvadore Taburada

A beautiful day for a wedding. -photo by Roselle Salvadore Taburada