by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
Bob is a truck driver from Iowa who has been driving for many years. He drives in lots of dangerous areas, so he’d like to carry a concealed handgun for self-protection. He’s got his permit, but his employer has told him that he is forbidden to carry it in his truck due to federal law.
One day he’s on the job when he parks late at night in an industrial park. He’s pulled up to the warehouse late at night where he is to make his delivery and he’s just waiting for the employees to come out and tell him they are ready to receive his shipment. In the mean time, he locks himself in his truck and tries to get some shuteye. He’s been on the road for a long time and feels like he needs a nap while he waits.
Later, he hears a tap on his door. Thinking it’s the ground crew come to tell him they are ready to unload, he opens the door. To his surprise, it is not the people he was expecting from the warehouse. It’s a thug with a gun demanding money.
Bob has a dilemma that plays itself out in different forms all the time for interstate truck drivers on the road. He’s got a tire thumper, a miniature baseball bat, under the seat, but against a drawn firearm, it’s useless for self-protection.
Bob keeps a fake wallet filled with a few dollars and cancelled credit cards for just such an occasion. He hands the wallet to the robber, who is satisfied and leaves. A colleague in another truck is not so lucky. Faced with same scenario, the other driver resists, and is shot in the head and killed. The memory of these events gives Bob nightmares as he grieves for a friend lost.
Scenarios like this one play out all over the country as interstate drivers struggle with the question of whether or not to go against their company policies and carry concealed in their trucks. Many companies re-enforce their anti-carry policies with the threat that truckers caught carrying would be subject to federal law. There’s just one problem. There is no federal law regarding the carry of a firearm in a commercial truck.
Wendy Parker is a writer for Overdrive Magazine, an industry magazine and website for professional truck drivers. She discusses this very issue in her article November 2012 article entitled “Navigating Gun Laws for Truckers”. You can read the whole article here.
Parker says, “The question of carrying a gun for protection is one that comes up often, and there’s a lot of murkiness and misinformation regarding actual laws for commercial drivers. First and foremost, start with your company’s policy. If your company doesn’t want you to carry a gun and you do, you could get into trouble and potentially lose your job. That’s common sense. For owner-operators, it’s up to you.
Parker quotes the NRA/IRA law which in essence says that truck drivers are not prohibited by law from carrying guns, unless they are convicted felons or some other legal reason prevents them from carrying.
Similarly, Parker says, the individual states determine their own carry conceal laws and it can be a legal minefield truckers to navigate and figure out what is legal where. A gun permit issued by one state, may not be good in another. An interstate trucker is left to figure that out on their own.
Gary Slider has a website that is kept up to date and has information regarding current handgun reciprocity laws. You can check it out at http://www.handgunlaw.us/. Slider is known to answer personal questions posed to him on this topic in email correspondence.
So if you are an owner operator, you can probably get away with carrying right? The problem is that many warehouses and companies where you may make deliveries may have rules against firearms. So if you are making a delivery, you are effectively left defenseless while you wait. Many of these companies are in states unfriendly to gun rights where carrying a weapon of any kind can lead to prosecution.
Things have gotten so out of hand that there has been a recommendation for a universal carry law for truckers, called Mike’s Law, named for truck driver Mike Boeglin who was murdered in his truck and his truck burned. This law would circumvent state laws for interstate truckers allowing them to carry concealed while they are working.
The problem here is, why should there be a need for a special permit for anyone? VIPs and politicians, actors and famous people, all have armed bodyguards. They don’t seem to have a problem in any state they visit. Why is it made so hard for legal gun owning citizens to protect themselves with their own firearms? The constitution provides for the right to carry in the Second Amendment. It’s literally written into the constitution from the founding. Laws preventing lawful carry are unconstitutional. Yet people are prosecuted all the time for having an otherwise legal firearm in an anti-gun state. In places like New York, New Jersey and California, you can be charged with a felony for carrying your firearm.
Federal law provides limited protection for travelers traveling through different states by plane, but even then lawful gun owners can run amok of local laws if they are caught in possession of their firearm in an airport. Jason Hanson writes about this scenario in his article for USA Carry entitled: Why People Get Arrested at Airports with Firearms. He gives some advice tips, which you can read here.
Hanson advises that if you are traveling, you are covered if you keep your gun in a locked case, separate from your ammo, and check the firearm in the belly of the plane. If you miss a connecting flight, you have the natural tendency to try to retrieve your firearm if you have to stay overnight. Don’t do that! The firearm is covered as long as it is in possession of the airport where you find yourself temporarily stranded. Once you retrieve your weapon however, you run amok of the law if you try to check it again when you get a new flight. People have been arrested and charged with felonies, their weapons confiscated for just that reason. I would recommend that if this happens to you, don’t get back on the plane. Buy a bus ticket or rent a car.
For decades the liberal left has been attempting to erode our Second Amendment rights. There has been some progress made in reinforcing those rights, but much still needs to be done. The left is constantly trying to force upon us even more restrictive gun laws, ending ultimately in confiscation. Ultimately if that happens, no one in this country, other than the rich politicians and public figures, will have the right to self-defense. If you can’t afford a bodyguard, you are out of luck.
For the traveler, tourist or truck driver, the problem remains. At the end of the day, I feel, citizens have to push for a national constitutional open or concealed carry law forever cementing your right to personal protection. Until that happens, people will continue to be vulnerable when they travel.
For further reading:
By Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Jim Hagedorn is running as a republican for the First District Congressional Seat against Democratic Incumbent Tim Walz. Today he stopped by the Olmsted County Government Center to talk about to local media about three proposals he has to hold the Veterans Administration accountable to provide quality, timely care to veterans who have earned their veterans. He talked to us by phone to discuss those proposals. Here is an excerpt of our interview with him today.
By Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
Veteran Minnesota State Legislator Fran Bradley-R of Olmsted County announced today in front of supporters that he will be seeking election once again as a state legislator for the House District 25B.
He said, “Service to humanity is the best work of life.”
Fran served previously in the state legislature and worked as chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. He left the House of Representatives over a decade due to family issues.
Bradley will be stepping down from his current posting as Olmsted County GOP Co-Chair. His co-chair, Aaron Miller, said the Republicans will be seeking nominations shortly to fill the slot vacated by Bradley.
Bradley is a retired engineer having worked for 30 years for IBM in Rochester. He is married to his spouse Mary for 52 years and has four children and 5 grandchildren.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
This is my father. Shortly following this upcoming election, he’ll turn 80 years old. He has worked hard all of his life; first for his father, farming on his dad’s property, then as a business planner for IBM. He was the financial guru for the local YMCA. This year, as he has in past years, he’s worked for a local tax service, helping people figure out their taxes.
You might have noticed that paying the taxes you owe to the IRS sucks! That’s because taxes are theft. There is no reason on God’s green Earth why anybody should owe fifty percent of their income to pay Uncle Sam. You literally have to work half the year to pay for government services, many of which you will never use. It’s ridiculous.
This is what really burns me. My father, who has worked all his life and paid his taxes, works in his old age so that people like you, the welfare bum, the healthy unemployed or underemployed person doesn’t have to. Why should my father work every day so that you can sit on your ass and draw an income for doing nothing.
Did you know that social security income is taxed? So my father and mother have a reduction in the amount they receive in social security, money that’s already been taxed, money they put in in social security insurance that they depend on in their retirement, and they have to give it up to the government, who then gives it to you. That’s not fair.
My dad, like in the last election, will be a delegate to our senate district and state conventions for the Republican Party. I’ll be his driver again this year, and hopefully, being an alternate delegate again this year, I’ll be seated as well as a full-fledged delegate. If I am so fortunate, I will work hard to elect delegates to the national convention who support good strong conservative values: values like strengthening social security and passing legislation that will not tax our parents and grand parents retirement income; I will be campaigning for a candidate that will reduce the national debt, put people back to work who are looking for work, and reducing the federal dollars dolled out for healthy individuals who refuse to work. I will campaign for a strong national defense; one that is capable of fighting and winning our wars and intimidating those nations and rogue groups who want to hurt us. I will support a candidate that will not be a national builder, but will rebuild our own nation first. And I will support a candidate who seals of the border and prevents people from coming into this country illegally, strengthening legal immigration while at the same time preventing people who come here in violation of our nations laws.
That’s why I will be supporting, Ted Cruz for president.
This statement not supported or funded by any campaign or candidate.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
This is Rose. She is the love of my life. We’re getting married this July.
Rose came here from the Philippines, immigrating here LEGALLY! She’s done everything right, she’s followed the rules, got her workers’ visa, paid her fees; and last year she studied hard and earned her citizenship.
I am very proud of my Rose. That is why it makes me so mad when I hear about the many thousands of people coming over the border illegally. They steal our benefits, our jobs, create an unsustainable burden on our health care and school systems. It is a mess. But they aren’t hurting me so much as they are hurting people like my Rose. People from all over the world do the right thing and follow the rules so that they can become full citizens, earning the right to vote in our elections and so they can have their own individualized portion of the American dream. And meanwhile, people like you, who disrespect our immigration laws, are stealing that dream away from them.
No nation in the world is like ours. And, no nation can sustain itself and their laws if they are flooded by this many illegal immigrants.
In what I call Rose’s class of new immigrants, those sworn in as citizens on the same day as she was, many of them were from Africa, Asia, Europe and South America. Many of these were people of color. People coming from the failed nation of Somalia on the African continent were amongst the majority of people coming here legally. They made use of the legal path to citizenship and are now realizing the fruition of their dreams. So it’s not racist to call for strong borders and proper vetting of people who want to come here. It’s a matter of national security. You are stealing from all of those new immigrants and slapping them in the face. People like my Rose don’t deserve to be treated like this, like second-class citizens.
That’s why I am going to the Minnesota First District and State Conventions as an alternate delegate. My father is one of the primary delegates and we will be car-pooling. Together he and I will go to support delegates to the national convention of the GOP in order to protect the American Dream for people like my Rose.
That is why I support Ted Cruz for president.
This statement not paid for by any candidate or campaign.
The true unbelievable story about the writer behind Stanley Kubrick’s Epic War Film – Full Metal Jacket.
The American Millennium Online
“The praise I seek from my readers is that they finish my books. After being alternately damned and praised for equally invalid reasons, I am content to trade fame for accuracy of interpretation. Fame, for a writer, is like being a dancing bear with a little hat on your head.” –Gustav Hasford, author of The Short-Timers
On Feb. 1, 2016 Netflix re-released for it’s subscribers director Stanley Kubrick’s epic war film Full Metal Jacket starring R. Lee Ermey and Matthew Modine. I watched it again late last month. Curious about the movie’s origin, (there is always a good book behind the best movies) I did some research, and found a story that blew my mind.
I don’t think I’ll ever discover many details about the life of obscure English major Matthew Samuel Ross, but the facts I do know are these. Ross received his undergraduate degree in 2006 from the University of Los Angeles. In 2010 he was attending his master’s degree program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and chose to write for his master’s thesis about the life and art of Gustav “Gus” Hasford, the author of The Short-timers and the Phantom Blooper. The Short-timers is the now out of print manuscript that is the basis of Kubrick’s Film Full Metal Jacket.
Whoever Ross is, we owe him a debt of gratitude that readers of war fiction can never repay because he has given us what I believe is the only written account of biography concerning the obscure and amazingly talented writer Gus Hasford. Ross’s thesis entitled, An Examination of the Life and Work of Gustav Hasford is elegant and detailed and worth the time of reading. In his 107-page manuscript he gave me an appreciation and fondness for this obscure writer and fellow veteran, who lived a sad, lonely life and died alone and forlorn in a shabby Grecian hotel room. You can read Ross’s full thesis here.
Full Metal Jacket came out in theaters in August of 1987. Overshadowed a little by the release of another war film, Oliver Stone’s Platoon, it was still met with a great deal of economic and box office success and continued to propel Stanley Kubrick’s career in filmmaking. Sadly, the principle screenwriter and author of the novel that was the movie’s basis was barely a footnote. According to Ross, Vietnam veteran and former Marine Hasford was thrilled that Kubrick had chosen his novel for his next film project and forever after regretted having to work with Kubrick at all, even considering legal action against the filmmaker to even get a mention as a scriptwriter. The relationship between Kubrick and Hasford was very tense. They spoke on the phone many times and in fact only met in person on one occasion, Ross recounts. It’s not clear who was at fault for this very tense working relationship but at the end of the day, Kubrick profited greatly from the success of Full Metal Jacket while the scriptwriter Hasford, barely nominated for best script and losing out, faded from the limelight soon after.
Hasford was born in Russelville, Alabama in a very rural setting. He loved reading and loved books and wrote for his high school paper. When the Vietnam War rolled around he volunteered for the Marines, embracing the reality that he would likely be drafted anyway. His experience in journalism garnered him a slot at the Defense Information School, then located at Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana where he was trained as a military journalist. (Ross mistakenly calls it an Army school. In point of fact it is a joint Department of Defense School open to all branches and their associated civilians, and always has been. I attended DINFOS myself in 2008 long after the school moved to its present location at Fort Meade, Maryland.)
Following his training at Parris Island and Fort Benjamin Harrison, Hasford worked as a public affairs specialist, writing for various military publications such as the Marine magazine Leatherneck and Pacific Stars and Stripes among others. In his last 10 months of service after a personal battle with superiors he was shipped to Vietnam as a volunteer. His first novel is said to be semi-autobiographical in nature as the main character, Private James T. Davis, aka Private Joker, has many of the same characteristics as the author. Both were military journalists in Vietnam and both were involved in the battle of Hue, (pronounced Way. I know, Vietnamese to English translation makes no damn sense at all. )
Did you know that the first draft of Hasford’s novel had werewolves in it? It did, in fact. Happily that manuscript is dead and buried, while it is not clear which was true, did the Marines turn into werewolves in order to kill North Vietnamese soldiers or was it the other way around. The final draft that turned into the film did have werewolf references in it though. Interesting.
Regardless, the novel based loosely on Hasford’s experience, while not a financial success on it’s own, soon garnered the attention of Kubrick. He was looking for material for a Vietnam War flick and depended heavily on the writing of his friend Michael Herr and on the talents of Hasford for the script. Hasford wrote a much-acclaimed Vietnam book entitled Dispatches based from his experiences as a war correspondent for Esquire Magazine. Herr, who contributed little to the overall adaptation of the script never the less benefitted from his relationship with Kubrick, while Hasford was mostly on the outs. The three men never met in person to discuss the script, but instead were required to send their pages remotely to be edited by Kubrick for the final project.
At one point Ross recalls Hasford was so upset with director Kubrick that he feared the film was never going to see fruition at all. He and some friends donned tiger-stripped green camouflage uniforms and infiltrated the film location to indeed validate that the movie was actually in progress of being made. Ross recounts Hasford bragging to the staff at a commissary tent that the movie being shot was based on the book that he wrote. The staff, not knowing who Hasford was, mistook him for Herr, and praised him for his work on Dispatches. Hasford soon left the film location in disgust.
A little before the film’s release, Hasford finished his second book, the Phantom Blooper, which was a sequel to his first novel. Phantom Blooper continues where the first novel leaves off. Following the battle of Hue City, Joker, a sergeant, leaves his base to locate and kill another former Marine now fighting with the enemy. The Marine, known as the Phantom Blooper, is apparently to blame for killing some of Joker’s friends with an M79 grenade launcher, called a blooper gun. Joker fails to find the Blooper and instead is captured by the enemy. Phantom Blooper as seen through the eyes of it’s main character, seems to humanize the enemy for the reader where the fist novel, The Short-timers, seems to destroy the image of Hollywood war films and the role of the federal US Government in sending young men to war. You can see in both novels Hasford disdain for John Wayne style Hollywood war films and what he feels like are false representation of what war is really like.
Hasford’s life falls in disarray shortly after the release of Full Metal Jacket. His dust up with his publisher Bantam over the publication of his second book leads this writer to the belief that it was Hasford’s attitude that was largely to blame for his lack of success and not just Kubrick’s greed, although that might have been a contributing factor. Hasford refuses to endorse other works of fiction outside his own. This leads to a bitter dispute with Bantam, who retaliates by failing to properly promote the book, which leads to the ultimate failure of the novel commercially.
Hasford’s trouble with filmmakers and book publishers are the least of his problems. Hasford is accused by library officials in California for allegedly stealing thousands of books and storing them in a private storage locker located on a university campus. Hasford refutes the charges but eventually pleads guilty as part of a plea agreement for the theft. The judge in the case makes an example of Hasford and charges a huge fine and shockingly, a six-month prison term for the book thief.
The jail term is the last straw for Hasford and slowly his mind starts to deteriorate. He abandons longstanding friendships and moves to Greece after completing his last book, A Gypsy Good Time, a parody on cheap crime and detective novels. He dies alone of untreated diabetes probably brought on by his poor diet and alcoholic lifestyle. The eccentric writer is said to mix beer, milk and wine, which he imbibed for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yuk!
While it is somewhat of an oversimplification to say that Hasford’s two first novels is a window into the world of the Vietnam veteran, all veterans’ experiences are not the same, it can be said that his novels are a window into Hasford’s experience. When taken with other fiction and non-fiction on the Vietnam war, one can get a picture into the shared consciousness of all veterans post Vietnam era.
Hasford’s last novel, having little literary value, probably is more valued in that it gives us a sense of the deteriorating mind and spirit of this writer, former Marine and Vietnam veteran.
Hasford’s work and art deserves our appreciation and respect. While this veteran didn’t agree with everything Hasford has to say about the war, he respects his work and his opinion. (Hasford is a little too easy on the communists for this writer’s tastes. While hammering the US for their mistakes, Hasford gives the communists a virtual pass on their atrocities during the war.) Hasford is a victim of his era. His rejection by his audience is emblematic of the rejection many Vietnam era veterans faced when returning from that war and attempting to re-acclimate to civilian life. Indeed, the effects of that war and the disrespect of many veterans by the nation and the VA hospitals charged with treating them is evident today in the national headlines.
Hasford’s life is a cautionary tale for writers. In order not to be cheated by greedy filmmakers who want to profit from your story while leaving you out in the cold, get an agent who will represent your interests. When working with a publisher, be nice. Don’t be an ass. And, if you have a debilitating disease, listen to your doctor and follow his advice.
If you are trying to find copies of either the Phantom Blooper or The Short-timers, good luck starfighter. They are hard to find. Independent sellers on Amazon will attempt to sell you a hard cover for $140, while beatup paperbacks will fetch $90 plus. The Saint Paul Public library’s online inventory says there are a number of copies in their inventory on shelf; some are even printed in English! I’ve not yet made the pilgrimage from Rochester to see if that is the case. Regardless, you can go online at several websites and download a pirate version if you are interested. I’ve included links below. I wouldn’t even bother with A Gypsy Good Time. If you find a copy in a University or public library, honor Gus’s memory –and steal it!
The Phantom Blooper:
Respectfully submitted by
a DINFOS trained killer
So you think the US presidential elections are wild and crazy: try the Philippines!
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
So you think that American politics, especially the 2016 presidential race, in nuts? I’ve recently acquired a curiosity about the politics of other nations, especially the Philippines, because my fiancé is from there; and their presidential race going on right now is just as colorful and crazy as ours.
It turns out that the presidential race of the Philippines corresponds with ours a little, and it’s just as contentious and dramatic as ours. Their election is in May, and there are five major candidates vying for the chief executive slot. And, they all have very interesting profiles and platforms.
It turns out four of the five candidates debated on Sunday. I’ve included the partial YouTube Video here. I hope you can speak Tagalog (Filipino), because there are no English subtitles.
There were plenty of fireworks and accusations tossed back and forth during the debate, such as lack of patriotism, corruption charges, and a claim of ineligibility due to citizenship from another country.
Grace Poe launched the opening salvo at her political rival, current Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay, over corruption charges stemming from his time as mayor of the large Philippine city of Makati.
Binay fired back, claiming that Poe’s citizenship as an American made her ineligible to become President of the Philippines, questioning her allegiance and patriotism to the country. Poe had left the country and lived as a citizen in the United States for many years before returning. The Philippine Supreme Court recently ruled that Poe was indeed eligible to run.
Said Binay, “You always say you’re a true Filipino, but how can you be one when you took an oath to become an American and you abjured, you were ashamed of where you came from?”
Binay found himself under attack again, this time from the popular mayor of Davau City Rodrigo Duerte, who called for Biney to resign from office and quit the political race over his current corruption scandal.
Said Duerte, “”I’d like to be very, very brutally frank to the vice president. Sir, you have so many cases … that’s public knowledge.”
Duerte had plenty of criticism to go around. He attacked his opponent former secretary of interior Mar Roxas over his lackluster response to the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan of 2013. Duerte claimed that Roxas was a weak leader who acted “zombie like” in the midst of the crisis.
Roxas responded with attacks of his own against Duerte, calling him a dangerous leader who responds only on allegations. Duerte has been tough on crime in his city where it is rumored he has utilized death squads to kill drug pushers and addicts in what has been called, “extra-judicial killings”. I will not speculate on whether the rumors are true or not.
A fifth presidential candidate, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, did not participate in the forum. She is said to be battling cancer.
A final debate is scheduled for April. The election is scheduled for May 9th.
Want to know where the candidates stand? Check out this article from CNN here.
For further reading:
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
The Hillary and Bill Clinton political team is so corrupt, so dishonest and self-centered; they must forever be precluded from public office. The only reason they would rise to the level of leading the nation that was once the leader of the free world is that they actually do reflect the values, (or lack thereof) of the majority of the people living here now.
It’s a hard reality that I confess I have been slow to embrace, but I have to consider now having watched the Clinton’s for so long, especially this political season. With the vastness of the Internet and the ease of the flow of information, it is difficult to conceive why so many people are still ignorant of the corruption of Hillary and Bill Clinton. The only conclusion I can some to is that the people know, they just don’t care. Perhaps even more of a mental jar is the realization that that is exactly the kind of person the people want to occupy that position, because they too are as selfish and corrupt as the leaders they choose.
In case you have been living under a rock and don’t know about what I’m talking about, below is a list of the corrupt acts the Clintons have been involved in over the years. This list is in no way comprehensive. It’s not so much of a list, but rather a list of lists of media sources that have previously reported on these issues.
And so the lists of lists go on. If you don’t like those, here is a list of the sex scandals Bill Clinton was involved in, to which Hillary not only turned a blind eye to, but actively harassed and intimidated those who brought forth allegations. If you are a woman voter, you might have some pause about choosing Hillary over another candidate because of her seeming willingness to ignore, smear, and intimidate women who have been abused, fondled and raped by her pervert husband. Here you go.
Poor Bill Cosby! If only he was a leftist, white politician instead of a black entertainer, he wouldn’t be facing charges for his alleged sexual misconduct. But that is the crux of the issue isn’t it. Women choose Hillary are willing to sacrifice their fellow women on the alter of abortion rights, because that issue, more than the one about sexual misconduct and harassment, is the more important one.
And then there are the dead bodies that follow the Clintons. Here is a fun list.
Wako Expert’s Death Suspicous. http://www.wnd.com/2000/05/4657/
While it should be noted that Snopes very accurately states that many of these deaths can be discounted as having the intimate involvement of the Clintons, due to the fact that public figures like the Clintons have far larger social circles than the average American, it should also be noted how many people who were very close to the Clintons have perished under mysterious or unexplained circumstances.
It is our view that the truth is somewhere in the middle. Look at Mogadishu and Benghazi. Policies of the Clintons, like tragic book ends, inevitably end in chaos and death, followed by a Clinton, either Bill or Hillary, covering up, lying, and otherwise laying blame on somebody else.
Who wants this toxic pair to continue public life at the head of the most powerful nation in the world. They should be forced to go into quiet retirement and forgotten. Even Bernie Sanders, who we are not a fan of, would be better than the Clintons in that he comes by his misguided political opinions honestly. The Clintons are anything but honest. Indeed, they will say anything or do anything to get elected, and then go back on their promises. Meanwhile, people in their social circles seem to suffer negative outcomes through their association with America’s power couple.
Donald Trump would be a welcome change to the Clintons, even though he too in our view has a lot of problems with his candidacy. Only Ted Cruz is clear from all the political intrigue and negativity. In this election cycle, the choice is clear. The Clinton’s must not be allowed to retain public office again. The baggage is too much for America to handle. The liberal news media have been kind to the Clinton’s, calling this phenomenon, “Clinton Fatigue”. I think it goes much deeper than that. The second co-presidency of the Clintons would be a horrible second chapter in American history that would leave a wake of destruction, unhappiness and broken dreams in their wake, the aftermath of which would take the United States a long time to recover from.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
This column’s purpose is to explain why I endorse Ted Cruz for president of the United States and not Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, and I hope to articulate why he can be as great as Ronald Reagan.
The American Millennium has obtained a full copy of Ted Cruz’s college thesis entitled Clipping the Wings of Angels, which speaks at length about the purposes of the 9th and Tenth amendments to the constitution. In the document Ted explains why it is so necessary to limit the power of government at the federal level and in all possible circumstances return that power to the states or the people. I wish I had permission to release the whole document online so that you can see for yourself the loving way Ted refers to the constitution, but unfortunately I have not been able to secure permission. When Ted is elected president as I hope he will, this should be the first document to be enshrined forever in his presidential library, somewhere in his home state of Texas. The language he uses to refer to the constitution is so laudatory and at times a little dorky. You can see his love of the law and especially the cornerstone of American Law, the US Constitution.
See, unlike the other candidates, Ted Cruz is not in this race for is own gain. He is different in that he doesn’t seek to create a cult of personality like the other candidates; rather he desires to show the people again that our greatness as a people is our adherence in the rule of law and in our commonality with one another. If there is equal protection under the law, if there is fairness and not an over abundance of regulation, if the federal government refrains from always trying to pick winners and losers then the US economy will recover, on Wall Street as well as main street.
When you see Ted speak, some might be turned off by his seemingly inauthentic smile. There is an article that I think accurately explains why some are uneasy with it. He’s like me in that he has the kind of smile that goes the wrong way that might even scare little children. People want to see someone’s face behave a certain way when they smile and if it doesn’t, they don’t quite trust that person. I get that a lot, so I understand it. To understand how Ted Cruz is in person, one should observe him in his candid moments when he is not in front of a camera. The polish comes off, he is more authentic, less controlled, the real Ted comes out. There are photos of Ted Cruz playing with his kids during moments when he is taking a break from the campaign. That is the Ted I trust. He is a man who has time for his children even though he is busy with a very important campaign.
What does Trump with his spare time? Has he ever smiled? Trump is like Barack Obama in that his support is a cult of personality. He is enshrined behind massive walls of people who only tell him what he wants to hear; his political speech has resonated with people concerned about jobs, the economy, the border and immigration. He has tapped into the anger of Americans. But he has not articulated a vision of where he wants to take this country. Trump is a caricature of himself. He always repeats the same words in every speech. “We’re going to make America great again. We’re going to build a wall. It’s going to be a high wall. It’s going to be huge! We are going to win again, even against China!” He says China a lot. When asked about specifics, he has none, because he doesn’t have a plan. All he knows is that it will be “great” if he is president.
Hillary Clinton in contrast is a liar, a thief and a phony. There is no reason anyone should let the Clinton’s back in the White House. They are power hungry and corrupt and she particularly is unlikeable. Why would people in government ever want her as a boss? When Hillary Clinton was First Lady there is talk that people avoided her in the halls. She didn’t want to deal with people, she was terrible, and when she wandered the halls, people would duck into their offices to avoid having to deal with her. She is unpleasant, even with her staff!
When Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, she denied military support for her trusted employees on a difficult mission to Libya where the ambassador and his staff were in constant threat of attack. Watch the You Tube video we created of Rand Paul talking about his questions laid before her on whether or not she read the cables from the ambassador begging for more security help. Hillary granted many requests for frivolous improvements to other embassies, but when it came to enhancing the security of staff, she had no time for it. It is for this reason that we agree with Rand Paul; Hillary Clinton should be permanently precluded from holding public office.
Hillary has always been under tight control. Don’t bother to try to read her college thesis on Saul Alinksi, even though I think even as a conservative, it would be fascinating. Only the privileged are allowed into that college library to read the vaunted document. Barack Obama’s thesis was so hideous; his college advisor threw it out in the trash. So don’t try to dig too deep into their history. You won’t find much of substance.
Hillary Clinton has spent her life in the world of politics. She understands it better than any other one thing. And she has been dishonest and corrupt from the start. Members of her own party threw her off the Nixon investigation because she attempted to break the rules and acted in an unethical and unprofessional manner. Piles of bodies of people once loyal to the Clintons are strewn around so much so that if they were in a room together you might think there was a war or terrorist bombing. If you have something on the Clintons and if it worries them, you can find yourself going missing, a victim of suicide, and your house and personal affects gone through, your personal documents destroyed. That is the real Hillary Clinton.
As for Bill Clinton, who in their right mind wants him wandering around the White House with nothing to do? He is a serial rapist and molester, he can’t keep his hands off the women and they don’t even necessarily have to be pretty. He would be a national embarrassment if they were allowed to return to Washington.
Ted Cruz is not the sexiest most interesting candidate out there today. But he is the one who has the potential to return the nation to the right path. He has a reputation for defending us and our rights in front of the US Supreme Court as solicitor general of Texas and he has won every time. He has protected our religious freedoms, our freedom of speech and our right to self-protection under the Second Amendment. Everyone else still in this race has fought to empower the federal government, not limit it, not return power to the people.
John Kasich is a joke and should get out of the race. He is a republican who believes that government can solve every problem. Ted Cruz is with Ronald Reagan in that he believes government is the problem.
Marco Rubio is a good man with a great story and a hopeful vision for the future. He made a mistake with the immigration issue as a member of the gang of eight and the voters punished him for it. I don’t think he is done with politics. For now perhaps, but his supporters can be reassured that Ted Cruz is the only conservative still in the race who upholds their values and will take their cause. They should throw their support to him now and with luck, Ted Cruz will be the next president of the United States.
A word to republican leaders who talk about a “brokered convention”. Don’t do it. If neither Ted nor Donald get the required number of delegates to seal the nomination that’s fine. Let the delegates haggle at the convention. It’s supposed to be a convention after all, not a coronation. Let the delegates decide and they will select the best candidate for the voters. But don’t, don’t, don’t bend the rules to select someone who had fewer delegates than Ted or Donald, or hasn’t even darkened the campaign trail this cycle. Don’t! If you think that it is you and not the American voter who decides on who is worthy to lead this party, if you think your opinion matters more than ours and you select rather than elect a candidate then I swear to you as a veteran of this nation’s wars that I will get as many friends together and I will burn you out. We will drag you out of your offices, we will burn your buildings, we will banish you from Cleveland and from Washington. We are not the Democrats. We have no super delegates. We trust our voters.
I am a veteran. I swore an oath to defend our constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. My brigade spent the longest number of consecutive days in combat in Iraq, longer than any other unit. The division of which that brigade is a part spend the most number of consecutive days in combat in World War II. When we were in Iraq we monitored and secured free elections in that country, where they didn’t have it for many years. We built schools where girls for the first time in a very long while had the right to an education just like the boys. We built power plants, water treatment plants, schools! We did that for people we didn’t know. How can you assume that having spent so much blood and sweat to secure the future of that country that we would just roll over and let other people steal our future here in our own country. We were extended for the surge and we were winning when I left. Government bureaucrats squandered the success we had there. We are not going to let unelected leaders steal away our future here in our own back yard. So if you want to have a future, obey the will of the delegates and the voters or we will come after you. We took an oath, and since we retired and left the service, no one has relieved us of that oath. We will camp out in Cleveland and in Washington and we will make your lives hell, I swear!
At the end of the day I would rather have Donald Trump be our candidate if it is the will of the people. But if some one emerges from the convention that spent no time on the campaign trail and he or she is nominated, then the electoral process means nothing and we’ve lost our Republic any way. Might as well burn it all down and start fresh. But it doesn’t have to come to that. The party can do the right thing, and the convention can be allowed to work. It must. In the end, who ever emerges from the convention has a better chance to lead the country than Hillary Clinton, and I believe, the only adult in the room, Ted Cruz is the right man to lead our nation into the future.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
A little girl from Texas was trapped for many hours after climbing a tree. The seriously ill girl had been suffering a debilitating, incurable stomach disease that was robbing her of her happiness. In an effort to feel normal, the girl climbed a tree outside her home with her sister, in an effort to enjoy the day. Then the unthinkable happens.
Miracles From Heaven starring Jennifer Garner is a new movie released in theaters today that tells the true story of Annabele Beam who was trapped inside the trunk of a 100-year old tree. Striking her head should have killed her, but instead, it made her well. Now there’s a book out about her experience, and the movie, that tells the story, alleging that the girl spoke to God while stuck in that tree, and that God said she would be all right.
I saw this movie today with my girl friend and we cried all the way through. It is very well shot, well acted, and the script is great. There’s an uplifting musical score including the music of Third Day, and Howie Day and Rachel Platten. It also follows a surprising new trend of religious, feel good movies that reject the same old formula of violence and gunfire and focus more on Christian or spiritual themes. I recommend this movie to anyone and I predict there will be some awards, especially for lead actress Jennifer Garner, who plays the girls’ mom.
People Magazine released a piece today that beautifully depicts this compelling story in greater detail, and I recommend you take a look at it here. Writer Darla Atlas captures for the reader the drama, sadness and joy that this real-life family experienced. What struck me as amazing is all of the comments that the article elicited, especially the negative comments. Many believe that the story is a hoax; that the girl wasn’t really sick and the story was made up to gain publicity, fame and wealth. Many comments from atheists or agnostics are incredibly angry and insensitive. I’ve included a few of those below, so you can get a feel for what they’re like. Fair warnings, the writers of these comments are incredibly cruel.
-Goodie: Funny the god you were taught is the one that shows up and it’s never allah or Buddha. . . just to prove a point.
God’s Divine Mercy (in part): I saw the movie today. . . It took me back to when I was six years old and diagnosed with a brain tumor. Miracles, not coincidences, happen all the time. We just have to stop being so cynical and become more childlike with an innocent perspective . . .
You’re a liar – in response to God’s Divine Mercy: In other words, you’re a lying cock sucker.
Goodie – to God’s Divine Mercy: How special god talked to you and let over 20,000 children die. You must feel special.
Shutupidiot: Not a believer, not one bit! But hey, Christy (Annabele’s mom), good looking out for your family’s financial gain from writing a book about something that I highly doubt happened.
Guest: Sometimes I wish I was not a basically decent and honest person. I read the comments by people stupid enough to believe this garbage and see how incredibly easy it must be to take money away from them. Not only are they stupid, they are so fatuously stupid robbing them blind has a certain poetic justice about it.
Bye ass hole –in response to guest: The Truth hurts, doesn’t it you faqqot (sic) worshiping queer. Why is your gay Jesus always pictured looking like Bruce Jenner. You turn your children over to your perverted shamans to be raped and abused. You embrace evil with open arms. You’re a rude cock sucker, so obviously your religion is an excuse you use to be a full blown ass hole.
And on it goes. There are plenty of other grotesque examples in this feature and some good ones too, but they all illustrate one thing. The battle between good and evil is real. This writer believes this girl’s story. We believe that like Jesus’s friend Lazarus, Jesus healed this little girl and brought back from the dead not only for her own happiness and that of her family’s, but so that her story might give us all hope for a brighter future in the midst of a fallen world.
I think the people trolling the People story are evidence of deep problem with our country. We’ve lost faith many of us, and those who have lost faith are loathe to see happiness in others and like the devil to whom their souls are enslaved, they like to steal the happiness, joy and faith in others. My question to people like that is this: feel better? Of course you don’t.
Stories like this are meant to inspire us to be better people and to work to help others around us in need. Instead, some chose to use it as an excuse to trash God and troll one another. Instead of writing an angry, anonymous message on the Internet, how about doing something good for someone else? It might make you feel a whole lot better than you feel right now.
My fiancé couldn’t stop talking about the movie after we left and the story will be with us for a long time. She told me about something that happened to her brother while they were still living in the Philippines. Her brother was riding a motorcycle near their town when he was sideswiped by a van that came out of nowhere. It launched him into the air and he fell on his head. He wasn’t wearing a helmet.
For many hours doctors there didn’t think he would make it and his family gathered to pray and perhaps to say their last good bye. Miraculously, he woke up with a head ache and an interesting story. My fiancé’s brother said that he saw his father on the other side, and that his dad told him to go back, that it wasn’t his time yet.
I believe that Jesus, the Son of God, can do miracles. And, while he doesn’t do it often, he does it when he chooses to, to show that he is in control of everything. And, if we believe in him, we never really die and we don’t have any reason to fear death that we will be with him in the afterlife. The atheists and agnostics think it’s a fairytale and that’s fine. But, why do they go so far out of their way to trash people who believe the story, if there isn’t anything to it? I think their spite is driven by one who wanted to be God and failed, and in his bitterness he knows he can never experience the joy of heaven again, and so must rob us all of that happiness. His people are caught in the same trap. Rather than hate them, I think we should pray to be put in the path of such a person, so we, by the grace of God, can tell our story of happiness and perhaps, save a life.
Go watch Miracles from Heaven, but when you do, bring a box of tissues with you.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
At long last, after a month of speculation, an amateur cell phone video shot from within the Robert “LaVoy” Finicum’s truck reveal new details about his tragic death at the hands of the Oregon State Patrol.
Finicum, a 55-year old Arizona Rancher, had been participating in the armed militia take-over of the Malheur National Wildlife Reserve in Oregon for over a month. Ranchers and militia had taken over the reserve in protest of fellow ranchers being taken back into custody to complete prison terms for arson. Finicum and other members of the militia were on their way to a public meeting in the city of John Day, north of the reserve when they were stopped on a narrow wooded road by officers of the Oregon State Patrol. Occupants of another vehicle in convoy with Finicum, not pictured by the cell phone video or the FBI drone video, were stopped and the occupants arrested. Those people were referred to by the people in the Finicum vehicle as their conversation on the cell phone video shows.
Finicum, a passionate participant in the militia movement, is shown in the video arguing with police and refusing to come out of the vehicle. He explained to the state patrol deputies that he was on his way to a meeting with the Sheriff and that the deputies were welcome to follow him. He even encouraged the officers to shoot him saying, “you can do what you want to do”.
In light of this new video I think there is ample evidence that LaVoy did not help his situation by arguing with police and refusing to surrender to the arresting officers. He is culpable in part in his own death and the endangerment of the people in his vehicle whose safety he was responsible for. While I have plenty of criticism for the late Mr. Finicum, there is enough to go around. Even though Finicum refused to stop for the deputies, it is not clear to me that the state patrol officers had license to use the level of force that they did under the circumstances. The Oregon State Patrol is partially responsible for elevating the level of violence to a new level without justification. While the Bundy/Finicum militia was costing the state a lot of money due to their involvement in the standoff, no one at that point had been threatened or shot. No one was in any danger of being shot until the State Patrol opened fire.
And there may be case law supporting this position based on US Supreme Court precedent and the FBI released drone video. Another blog, analyzing the drone video asserts that the State Patrol in this case employed an illegal blind corner blockade that unnecessarily endangered the occupants of the vehicle and the officers themselves. The driver, Finicum, at that point had been guilty of nothing more than misdemeanor fleeing an officer, but as he rounded the blind corner, the driver would have been unable to stop in time and had two very difficult decisions to make in a split second, either to ram into the vehicles of the state patrol barricade or to swerve off to the side to avoid a collision. Finicum chose to swerve off.
From the video it is clear that an officer of the state patrol fired needlessly into the vehicle as the driver swerved to the side and, as the drone video shows, left cover in order to fire those shots, proving that he had no real reason to fear his own safety, but was only attempting to wound the driver to get him to stop.
I think these two videos, shown together, prove that Finicum showed a lack of judgment in his refusal to give into the proper authorities and that the tragedy was amplified by actions of the state patrol officers who used a level of force that was unjustified in this case. I think these videos taken together could be used in a civil law suit against law enforcement, and with the Supreme Court precedent as a baseline, officers who fired on Finicum and the truck, endangering the passengers within, could find themselves in hot water legally very soon.
It should be noted here that The American Millennium does not condone threats of violence against law enforcement officers. Nor are we here to call for armed revolution against the government. Our flawed political system is still the best on Earth and there are legal means to fight injustice that do not include bloody revolution. We should exhaust those means before a revolution is even thought of. That said, I have sympathy for the ranchers who feel they have been unfairly targeted by the government and their rights curtailed. I feel their frustration. The Federal government owns far too much state land and the states and their legislatures should demand it back. Frustrated ranchers are free to call their congressman, governors and senators and petition the government with their grievances. They are not allowed to revolt until all legal means at their disposal are exhausted.
The Bureau of Land Management as a law enforcement organization is quickly becoming as reprehensible in their actions as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms was in the ’90s when the Ruby Ridge and Waco Texas incidents were going on.
Law enforcement, with the Black Lives Matter situation going on, is drawing a lot of criticism and coverage as of late, often unfairly. I think that the issue of police brutality that does happen from time to time should be taken into account in context one case at a time. Officers who go over the line should be fired and prosecuted.
But, law enforcement officers are extremely hard to prosecute and that leads to a feeling that they are above the law. Juries should take a fair and balanced view when dealing with these incidents and come to reasoned judgments regarding fault based on evidence. The government should be more transparent in their dealings with the public, remembering who it is they work for. A good show of faith now would be for the FBI to release the Finicum autopsy to show the public how he died. They should also release photos and analysis of the truck Finicum was driving.
For Further reading:
Deadman’s Roadblock: http://freedomfromgovernment.org/deadmans-roadblock-shocks-the-consience/
Officers Breaking Cover showing LaVoy was no threat: http://freedomfromgovernment.org/282-2/
Washington has no right to own western states’ land: http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/apr/28/andrew-napolitano/napolitano-washington-lacks-constitutional-right-o/
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online
I wanted to comment on this issue before it got too stale. As you may have heard, the FBI-BLM-Bundy Rancher standoff in Oregon has ended and it ended badly. What I want to comment about is the drone overhead video of the felony stop and the subsequent shooting death of Bundy ally LaVoy Finicum.
Normally I’m pretty pro-law enforcement, but I’m going to criticize them so hopefully they’re not too thin skinned. You might ask the question, “Ok Mr. Blogger smarty-pants, Mr. Arm Chair General! What makes you think you are qualified to critique video of a law enforcement felony stop!? What are you? Rambo?!”
Let me put your concerns to rest. I am a retired Captain in the Army Reserve with 22 years of experience. I worked with law enforcement providing security during the Republican National Convention of 2008 here in Minneapolis and I have great respect for them. My last job was as a team leader for about 30 trainer-mentors whose sole job was to assist in the training and education of military units going to war. I am a graduate of the First Army Training Academy which focused on training new trainer mentors to do their job. There’s a picture of me somewhere on the internet at the First Army school at Camp Shelby Mississippi on my birthday playing OPFOR sniper for my fellow classmates. So there’s that.
I’ve attached a video that basically expresses my views on how the situation went down, so I won’t belabor any points. I will also include the original video so you have a clear understanding of what I’m saying. I will say this at the outset. As a trainer mentor one of the first things I would do in an After Action Review of a training exercise is I would use the Socratic method with the BLUFOR commander and try to get him to tell me in his own words what was the plan going in, how they deviated from the plan, what went wrong, what went right, lessons learned. At the end of the briefing I would try to get the commander and unit members to pin the rose of responsibility over lessons learned in order that they take ownership of their improvement plan going forward.
So here’s my take. BLUFOR, or the law enforcement guys, did much better in this situation than they did many years ago in Ruby Ridge and Waco Texas. The loss of life here, while tragic, was much less than at these other two previous events, so thank you for keeping the casualty count down.
I think LE has learned some important lessons from Ruby Ridge and Waco that they put into practice here in Oregon. By calling the suspects out of their defensive position rather than meeting them in a fortified location, the LE guys took control of the situation and fought the battle on ground of their own chosing. Sun Tzu would have been proud.
I have this criticism however. What was with the circular ambush? If you look at the video, you see that you have officers hunkered down behind their vehicles blocking the road. The location of the vehicles forced the driver, LaVoy Finicum to drive off the road and get stuck in the snow, which to me seemed like part of their plan. Unable to continue to go forward, the driver exited the vehicle and is almost immediately shot by a flanker from the woodline. To me this raises three points. One: he was a little too quick to shoot. There was no negotiation, there was no orders from the officer. The driver was out of the vehicle, hands up don’t shoot, he reaches for his pocket and down he goes, shot dead.
I would like to ask this officer, what was going through your mind when the gentleman came out of the car with his hands up? Did you think to give an order to lay down and surrender. Did you use any less-than-lethal methods to get him to surrender?
Inevitably the lawyers for the state will argue that officer was justifiably afraid for his life and when he saw the subject reaching for his pocket, he feared the worst, gun or bomb or what have you. But from the point of view of the overhead drone, that defense doesn’t seem clear cut. There was no exchange of gunfire to this point, no threat to the officer, the guy clearly had his hands up most of the time and had his back turned to the officer when he was shot. What threat was he to you?
You might say he was charging the officer. Huh? This is a 55-year old guy allegedly charging uphill through deep snow. You could have watched him charge you for 10 minutes before he fell down from exhaustion or a heart attack. I really don’t see that argument holding up. I see an old guy up to his knees in snow wondering which way to go. I think you could have waited a minute before making the catastrophic decision to shoot.
Secondly: look at where knucklehead is shooting. If you draw an imaginary line from his line of sight through the target subject, what do you see on the other side. That’s right, he’s shooting at his own guys who are huddled behind their vehicles. This is called a circular ambush and it is held in derision for good reason. Imagine if everyone stands in a circle and shoots at a target in the center. What happens? That’s right, everyone in the perimeter of the circle is dead from gunshot wounds. I think in the future, law enforcement should go back to the training range and learn how to conduct an “L” shaped ambush rather than the circular or “O” shaped ambush they ended up using. The “O” stands for “Oh shit! I shot Johnny! How the Hell did that happen!”
Third and last point for LE BLUFOR! I see you had stun grenades and used them. If Finicum was such a threat, why didn’t you use them to pacify him? He’d be alive today and you wouldn’t be the bad guys in this event. Just sayin’.
I have plenty of criticism for the Bundy’s and their friends. Ever here of a telephone?! You started out OK in all of this. You had a protest and you got on TV. You said your piece about the BLM and land management and the weird situation about those two guys going back to jail after already serving their judge ordered sentences. Great. Then you decided to go off the rails with this wild life refuge occupation. You are not black. You will not be allowed to occupy federal property. I know it’s not fair, get over it. Use the telephone and call your congressman. If your congressman doesn’t answer, get a lawyer and file a civil suit. There are appropriate ways of handling situations like this and armed occupation should be the last resort in a democratic Republic.
As I mention in the video, a guy in Colorado was mad at his legislators after they betrayed their oaths of office and attempted to crush the second amendment. This gentleman put down $4,000 of his own money on a campaign to recall those legislators and he won. Take a page from his book next time.
I’m a little sympathetic to western states where the government owns pretty much 90 percent of the land out there. I’m not sympathetic to the Bundy’s. You live out there on your own with no concept about how the Constitution actually works. You think a gun is the choice of first resort. It isn’t. And you should accept your half of the blame for the death of Mr. Finicum.
We can all learn from this event. I think LE officers will have to answer uncomfortable questions in the civil suit that inevitably follows and be forced to answer why they chose to shoot. It might not go in the direction they want it too. And for the rest of us, this shows that armed confrontation is not the way to go, unless you really like the site of blood. The Founders gave us a process to solve our problems with the government. We should use the Constitution to our advantage, and leave the guns locked up at home.
#all lives matter
by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
I recently watched a 2014 debate between conservative author and film maker Dinesh D’Souza and liberal educator and Weather Underground Bomber Bill Ayers, and I have a couple of comments. I ran across it recently when I found out he was doing another debate this coming Feb. 3. I unfortunately will not be able to see it live because I will be working, but perhaps You Tube will not fail me and I can view it later.
D’Souza is a gentleman from Indian descent who emigrated to this country as a young man. He has written many bestselling books on conservative/Christian values and has made several movies based on his books, including 2016: Obama’s America, the second most successful political documentary of all time.
Bill Ayers is a retired Chicago College professor and Weather Underground Terrorist. He has been influential in reforming education and it is rumored to have ghost-written Barack Obama’s two biographies.
You can view the whole debate at the link above. I have the following comments.
D’Souza has been a positive apologist for America, praising the greatness of the opportunity of America while at the same time not ignoring the few faults of this country like slavery and the persecution of Native American tribes. During his comments he makes note of the many opportunities the country offers to those who are willing to take them and make the best of them and work hard.
Ayers meanwhile is the typical liberal prof who is eager to note the failings of America while largely ignoring the goodness that America has done in its influence as a world power.
There were a couple of points Ayers tried to make that D’Souza didn’t directly address that I can’t pass up.
In answering a question from an audience member, D’Souza was trying to say that he was a small government guy, that the government doesn’t do anything really well. To this Ayers responded, “you don’t want the EPA, you don’t want fresh water?” Indicating his belief that only the government can provide for a clean environment. This is before the EPA flooded Colorado waterways with heavy metals after they opened an abandoned mine. So much for the good will and professionalism of the EPA. I would also point out that it was a democratic government responsible for the water contamination of the Flint Michigan drinking water. Nice huh?
Another point. D’Souza tries to make the point, responding to a question by a gay student, that unfortunately now a Christian Conservative trying to get tenure as an educator in today’s public universities has an uphill battle where a minority or LGBT prof would have things working in his or her favor. Ayers called that a straw man argument demanding examples of when that actually happened. Ayers should watch the Ben Stein movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed where Stein sites many examples where science professors attempting to get tenure who espouse a Intelligent Design point of view have been denied tenure and fired for their beliefs.
One other point. D’Souza makes the point that if you put a statue of noted playwright and Atheist Voltaire up in front of a public building, you’ll be applauded. But, if you put a statue of Moses or the 10 Commandments in front of that same building, you will be faced with a class action law suit citing separation of church and state. Ayers makes the point that he things the 10 Commandments are irrelevant and totally out of touch with a modern secular state. Really? I would like to know which of the commandments are out of touch. Do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness, do not commit adultery. Actually I see why a committed progressive like Ayers and Clinton would be offended. What do you mean, they can’t kill unborn babies, steal money from those who work to give to those who don’t, lie about people they don’t like and ruin their reputations, and their favorite, sleep with someone who is not your wife or husband.
To his credit Ayers is brave for debating D’Souza in a public forum, but you have to remember, he’s on a home field, a university and college where leftist professors have brainwashed the young millennials. D’Souza, an Indian with dark skin is an oddity for the left that they don’t quite know how to handle. It will be interesting to see the upcoming debate on Feb. 3. It is important to remember that D’Souza spent 8 months in prison for violating campaign finance law and had the book thrown at him where a liberal who had done far more would get off with a more minor offense. I look forward to seeing this new debate sometime afterwards to see if D’Souza ups his game, or if Ayers takes the upper hand.
You can see the debate live at the line below.
Other related reading:
American Millennium Online
The political season is in full swing. The democrats just recently had a debate. The republicans have another debate on Thursday, the last one before the Iowa Caucus. One of the candidates, the frontrunner Donald Trump is skipping out because he thinks Fox News, specifically Megyn Kelly, has been unfair to him. All of this gave me an idea last night. What if God and The Devil had a debate, with all of us as the audience?! Who would moderate? What questions would they ask?
I imagine God the Father would be too important and too busy to show up to such a debate, but perhaps His son Jesus would accept his invitation? The Devil would no doubt show up, after all, he’s got a huge ego and probably wouldn’t trust any of his reprobate minions to give a good showing on his account. So there you have it, the candidates are set.
For the sake of argument, I’ll play the part of the moderator. We can have the debate at our own Rochester Civic Theater here in town, a small intimate setting.
I have no idea what the candidates would answer, so I’m not going to speculate. I’m just going to put out a couple of questions that came to mind last night.
This one is for both the candidates, 1. The Devil, and Jesus. Of the current candidates competing for the presidency of the United States, which one do you like the most? Which one do you like the least?
2. This one is for Jesus. Everyone says you are coming soon, but when exactly will that be, and what does that mean for the people of the Earth?
3. This one is for the Devil. They say you are a liar, a thief and a murderer. How do you respond to those charges and how can anyone believe what you say here today?
4. This one is for both candidates. Some people think that you are both mythical characters, made up out of the imagination of religious men. What would you say to such people?
5. Another question for both candidates. How old is the Universe, and the Earth specifically? Did it take a literal six days as it says in the Bible or did it take much longer?
6. Another one for both candidates. Who are the angels, and the demons? Are they the souls of humans gone to the other side, or are they something different?
7. This one is for Jesus. What will your followers be doing in the afterlife? Is Heaven really as great as they say?
8. For the Devil. What about your followers? Will they be cast into eternal punishment in Hell with you as their ruler, or will you all be cast down for eternal punishment in the lake of fire?
9. Here’s one for Christ. What did Lucifer do or say that got him and his followers kicked out of Heaven? Is there anything he could do or say to get himself back into the good graces of The Almighty?
10. For the Devil. How do you respond to the answer Jesus just gave? If offered amnesty, would you and your followers ever return to the fold, or would you continue your rebellion such as it is?
11. For both candidates. Did evolution happen, and is it happening now? What does that mean for the progression of life on this planet, both animal and human?
12. For the Devil. If for whatever reason you were to win this rebellion and take over as a god, what would your new domain look like? What would that mean for the people of the Earth?
13. Jesus, please respond to the answer Lucifer just gave.
14. For both candidates. The Crusades. During the time known as the Crusades, Christianity and Islam fought for centuries and there was a lot of bloodshed. Who was right in that conflict, or did both sides share in the fault?
15. This one is for Jesus. They say God is good and can do no wrong, but He allows a lot of bad things to happen here on the Earth. Wars, plagues, suffering. If God is good, why does he allow all of these bad things to happen?
16. The Devil, please respond to the answer Jesus just gave.
17. Back to the Devil for this one. They say you are the ruler of the Earth and are responsible for all the bad things that happen here. You prey on the weakness of men’s minds and cause them to be tempted to be selfish and cruel to one another. Is that true, and if so, what is your motivation?
18. For Jesus, please respond to the answer The Devil just gave.
At the end of the debate I would of course allow a 3 minute time span for each candidate to wrap up their comments. I think that would be very interesting to hear the candidates give a three-minute spiel on whatever topic they wanted.
What other questions would you ask Jesus or the Devil if you had them in a room together? Write us a note and give us your question or just comment on this article. Tell us what you think. The new email address to this blog is firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you.
FYI. There is little likelihood of such a debate as I imagined above taking place in real life. But we have the next best thing. On February 3, liberal professor and Obama ally Bill Ayers will debate conservative film-maker and author Dinesh D’souza on a live stream. Information is available here. In this day and age, that’s the best we can do people. Apparently these two men have debated before. I’ve not seen the debate, but it is apparently available on You Tube, here. I think I might watch it, since I will likely miss the next one due to work. If you see it, let me know and give your comments. It will be interesting to see since D’Souza just got out of prison after serving 8 months for violating campaign finance laws. Ayers of course was a member of the infamous Weather Underground responsible for bombing the Pentagon and a judge’s house. It should be an interesting debate.
You can contact us at our new email: email@example.com.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
In regards to the Bundy Militia in Oregon, which have occupied a game reserve in protest of the BLM, the county sheriff there has done everything right. The following is an examination of what he has done and a recommendation of how to conduct himself as the stand off continues.
But first, for those of you living under a rock, here is what has happened so far. Father and son ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond have returned to prison for their roles in an alleged arson that happened on federal land in Oregon. They served prison time previously, but the US Attorney, arguing that they were not required to serve the mandatory minimum sentence, successfully petitioned for the longer term and her appeal was upheld. Right or wrong, the Hammonds are returning to jail rather than create a fuss.
In protest, Ammon Bundy, son of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, and a few followers have taken over a game reserve in Oregon with armed militia. There hasn’t been any violence yet, but the militia seems determined to occupy as long as it takes. Their stated goal is to have the federal government return federal land back to the control of the state. They’ve got a long-standing grudge against Bureau of Land Management, the BLM. You may remember that these are the militia that successfully ran off BLM agents in Nevada after the agents seized cattle owned by Cliven Bundy. The militia’s argument with the BLM may have some legitimacy. Their actions in taking of federal land in protest are not. The Harney County Sheriff was right to ask the militia to leave and we applaud his efforts.
David Ward, the Harney County Sheriff, has already met with Bundy and has offered him and his folks free passage out of the park where they are encamped. The meeting they had seemed amicable, but Bundy flat out refused his offer. So the stand off continues.
Ward is correct in his belief that he is ultimately responsible for the safety of his county. He is the lowest elected official in that area and he has the authority and responsibility to act at that level. We applaud his efforts and have recommendations as to how he is to conduct himself in the future.
We feel that that local law enforcement, while they have the authority to act, may not have the means to act given that they are faced with an unknown number of armed militia. The sheriff might not have the manpower to deal with the situation while at the same time continuing to patrol his county. He may need help. We feel that a call for National Guard troops at this time may be appropriate.
We don’t agree with popular radio personalities who have claimed it is necessary to use National Guard to “shoot and kill” ranchers occupying the wild life refuge. We do think that a unit of National Guard, showing up in armored Humvees and wearing full battle rattle would be a significant show of force to convince the remaining holdouts to leave. We feel that a military police company would be the best unit given the situation to be the tip of the spear.
The Bundys think they are the militia. They are not. They are armed ranchers operating in violation of the law. The Official militia of that state Is the Oregon National Guard, acting with the authority of the Governor of that state. The Bundys and their supporters don’t even live there! A military police company activated by the governor in support of the sheriff would be appropriate to maintain law and order and preserve the integrity of the park. As a state asset, they have literally no dog in the fight other than to preserve law and order. An appearance by federal authorities like the ATF or FBI would be seen as an attack and would undoubtedly end badly. An appearance of Battle Hardened National Guard troops would be a significant show of force, but would also be seen as less hostile than the FBI. The Bundys would be foolish to mess with them.
It just so happens we have recommendations as to which units to choose for this task. Research shows that the state of Oregon has a numbered Military Police company recently returned from Afghanistan, the 1186 MP Company. Under the leadership of an experienced commander, in concert with the local sheriff, this is the kind of unit I would employ. MPs can speak the language of law enforcement and would work well with the sheriff’s office. It makes sense that they be employed.
An individual numbered company doesn’t have as staff to help plan their operations. You need an experienced staff and commander at battalion or brigade level to help them. Oregon has such an element in the form of their 82th Troop Command Brigade. A troop command is a good choice to be the MP company’s higher headquarters in this situation because they are good at dealing with a mish-mash of different battalions and companies, they have an experienced Colonel in command, and he has a staff that is experienced at war gaming and planning. The troop command staff can plan the op, provide logistical support, task other units in support of the MPs and provide oversight. They can operate a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) 24/7 and keep the state Adjutant General and the governor apprised of the day-to-day operations. We feel this is a good fit for this situation.
Once employed, what would the National Guard do? If I was the commander, I would roll up to the wildlife center in a column of uparmored Humvees and set up camp right in the front yard of the Bundy militia. An experienced company commander knows how to conduct bilateral negotiations with foreign nationals in theater; he will have an easier time negotiating with militia, and he won’t even need an interpreter! I would set up a permanent radio relay point at the refuge. Four guys with a radio, a Humvee and a tent to monitor the situation there. They would operate 24/7 and be a release valve for the militia, constantly in contact and constantly monitoring.
The MP commander would set up shop off sight. He would have a TOC close enough to respond to the refuge with a quick reaction force if need be, but not so close that they would be in danger of attack by the armed militia. Once established, the commander would set up daily patrols of every acre of that park monitoring the activities of the militia. Any person attempting to build fortified battle positions on the park would be arrested. No digging of fighting positions, no obstacle emplacement, nothing. Anybody seen to be attempting to arm the refuge for a long-term siege would be taken into custody by the MPs and turned over to the sheriff. There would be strict shoot, don’t shoot criteria set up for the MPs to prevent any bloodshed, but the MPs would be given the ability to defend themselves if need be.
Once established, the MP commander would escort the sheriff onto the property for daily meetings with the militia. I would offer an ultimatum to Bundy. Leave or be arrested, and I would give him a time line, one month perhaps. Up until the deadline, if no crime is committed, the militia would be free to go. After the deadline, charges for disobeying a lawful order and trespassing. And then you lay siege. You let people out, but you forbid any new elements in. No food, no water, nothing.
Militia loves the idea of an armed martyrdom for liberty. They’re much less happy if their armed Armageddon is replaced with a boring and painful siege. A dispirited militia would eventually erode when there is nothing to eat and drink. Numbers will dwindle and eventually, a manageable handful of the hard-core supporters will remain. You might even get a full surrender and abandonment of the park.
If you go in there guns blazing, as Montel Williams has suggested, you give the militia what they want, civil war. Martyrs will gain sympathy from other supporters elsewhere in the country and you will compound the problem. People will die and it will be ugly. If you send the local state sanctioned militia, the National Guard, along with the local sheriff, you give your cause legitimacy and support for the Bundys, which is already quite low, will fall away.
Sheriff Ward has set the right tone with his actions so far in dealing with the Bundys. If he takes my advice and seeks out the council and support of the local National Guard leaders, I think he will be happier than if he tried to go it alone with the assets he has. Let the state Adjutant General and the Governor help you. Avoid direct clashes and loss of life. If you do this, you will look like the hero and you will have upheld your oath to protect the citizens of your county. Good luck!
Jeremy Griffith is a retired Captain who served in units of the National Guard and Army Reserve. He has been a battle captain serving in support of Operation Caregiver and provided a security detail in support of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in 2008. His last posting was as a team leader for trainer mentors in a training support battalion stationed at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
This past weekend we attended the Rising Tide Summit in Cedar Rapids Iowa. The event was sponsored by Freedomworks and hosted by First District Congressman Rod Blum-R. The event was MC’d by conservative radio talk show host Andrew Wilkow.
Below you will see the full video of the individual candidates’ comments at the event, including comments from Rand Paul, Ted Kruz, Carly Fiorina, and Dr. Ben Carson.
(Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. -video by Jeremy Griffith)
(Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. -video by Jeremy Griffith)
(Businesswoman Carly Fiorina. -video by Jeremy Griffith)
(Dr. Ben Carson, retired neurosurgeon. -video by Jeremy Griffith)
We unfortunately had a camera issue and were not able to get video of Rick Santorum’s comments. Below is a video shot by Caffeinated Thoughts.
(Rick Santorum speaks at Freedomworks Rising Tide Summit in Cedar Rapids Iowa. -video posted on You Tube by Caffeinated Thoughts.)
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium
This Saturday the conservative think tank Freedomworks hosted a successful Rising Tide Summit in Cedar Rapids Iowa, an event that drew over 2,000 participants and included five Republican Presidential hopefuls.
The Freedomworks event took place at the US Cellular Center in Downtown Cedar Rapids. Conservative presidential candidates Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Dr. Ben Carson and businesswoman Carly Fiorina spoke to a receptive crowd.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul opened the event. As comfortable in his own skin as he his in denim jeans and shirt sleeves, Paul wowed the crowd with classic libertarianism themes, mostly aimed at young people. Paul remains one of the big mysteries of the 2016 presidential season, bringing in low approval numbers overall, but appealing to small crowds where ever he appears in public. Indeed, you would have thought a rock star had entered the stadium as enthusiastic supporters shouted chants of “President Paul” over and over as they waived Rand Paul campaign signs while waiting in line to enter the arena in the Center atrium.
Paul’s comments brought in some of the most enthusiastic and boisterous applause amongst the Iowa conservatives, second only to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Despite his standing in the national polls, Paul remains one of the most important people in government today. He has been consistent in his opposition to a big government bent on depriving citizens of their constitutional rights for the sake of security while continuing to spy on personal emails and cell phones. In the age of global terror and the NSA, Paul supporters show they are big fans of the Kentucky senator and no fan of government intrusion in their personal lives.
But, the Kentucky libertarian would not overshadow Texas Senator Ted Cruz. In a dark suit and reddish brown cowboy boots, the big Texan also established is bone fides as a rock star of the conservative movement, being greeted by thunderous applause. Cruz focused his comments on recent tragic events in San Bernardino California, security and the continuing war on terror. In his comments he promised to destroy ISIS through “carpet bombing” of their desert strong holds.
“I don’t know if desert sand glows,” bragged Cruz, “but we’re going to find out!”
The Iowa crowd didn’t find much they didn’t agree with in Cruz, showing their appreciation over and over with loud applause.
Each of the candidates were presented with three questions, usually one or two from a peer over video on the jumbotron screen, and maybe one or two from a live questioner at the event. First District Congressman Rod Blum was a co-host of the event and asked each of the candidates a question. Blum was recently elected to the First Iowa district and has already established himself as an enemy of the establishment Republicans through his opposition vote to House Speaker John Boehner.
Other questioners of the candidates present included Louisiana Governor and Presidential Candidate Bobby Jindal, Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, and CKE President and CEO Andrew Puzder, among others.
The Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds made an appearance to rally local voters to the conservative Republican cause.
Conservative radio talk show host Andrew Wilkow did a great job as MCEE of the event, impressing the crowd with his light hearted sense of humor and his gracious and skillful introduction of the various candidates.
Dr. Ben Carson was well received at the event as well, delivering a message of personal responsibility and achievement as a way for Americans to bring themselves out of tough economic situations without the help of government. Carson proved he still has a sense of humor regarding criticism of his quite manner and lack of “fire”. “I don’t do that sort of thing,” he said, “because that’s the kind of attitude that scares children!” Not a good way to behave if you’re a pediatric neurosurgeon, he joked.
Carson drew a clear distinction between him and President Barack Obama, calling the media “rabid dogs” for their intense criticism of him, while largely ignoring the blatant flaws of the current president.
Carson provided two of the more awkward and silly moments of the event Saturday. Operating under instructions of his Secret Service Protection Detail, Carson left the stage too early before the question and answer session. He had to be drawn back through the tactful nudging of event MCEE Andrew Wilkow who gently chided the Secret Service agents by saying, “are we done with the questions and answer portion?”
The video taped question from another presidential candidate, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana to Dr. Carson was a second awkward moment. Dr. Carson was turning to answer the question when Governor Jindal, in his pre-taped question, launched into a second question.
“Yeah, yeah! We got it Bobby!” said Carson, to the amusement of the crowd.
International businesswoman and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina made an appearance at the event, proving to the crowd that she is a force to be reckoned with in this crowded Republican field.
“Admit it to yourselves,” Fiorina said. “It’s a guilty pleasure for you to think about the possibility of a debate between my self and Hillary Clinton!” Fiorina promised to take Democrats and Republicans to task in her administration, once and for all accomplishing what she promises instead of endlessly talking about it and making promises.
“It’s time to take our country back,” she said.
Rick Santorum made an appearance at the event, touting his experience fighting and defeating the Clinton machine. He also attempted to establish his credentials in national defense where he has a proven track record. Through the course of the evening, however, it appeared that the crowd was not as enthusiastic about a Santorum candidacy as they were for the candidacy of other contenders who appeared on stage. Santorum’s comments were met with polite applause at several moments but not at the same level as the response to some of the other candidates.
Runaway Slave filmmaker Rev. C.L. Bryant made an appearance on behalf of Freedomworks fund raising efforts. He asked for the continued support of the think tank and talked briefly about the unusually high incarceration rate of African-Americans in the United States. Bryant’s comments were well received but also provided the other two more awkward moments of the evening. In the midst of his comments about the incarceration rate and the current state of the United States, Bryant promised a bit of good news. During a pause in Bryant’s comments, a young person in the crowd volunteered the question, “Obama’s Dead?!” The comment seemed to fluster the speaker and was met with quite and a few snicker of nervous laughter. A woman behind me in the upper deck could be heard saying, “not cool” echoing the feeling that the crowd supported the defeat of the current president and his policies, and not personal harm. The Secret Service, quiet professionals, were not amused.
In reply to the random comment from the crowd, Bryant replied, “I’m not touching that with a ten foot pole!”
“You know the Secret Service is here!” Bryant warned.
Overall, the Freedomworks event was well received minus the few random moments of awkwardness. The only other criticisms I have are these. The Secret Service and TSA presence at the beginning of the event for the purposes of screening the public, while understandable, delayed the event as the participants trickled into the hall at a maddingly slow pace. That said, the young agent of the Secret Service that I encountered, the one who wanded me and checked my camera bag, was courteous and professional. In the future I would think that Freedomworks would warn participants to come early and expect the kinds of delays a security screening will guarantee.
Rand Paul, senator and GOP presidential candidate made campaign stump speeches in Minnesota today, including this 20 minute speech he gave in front of an enthusiastic audience in Rochester Minnesota