Thank You For Your Service Movie was a deeply emotional experience!

Thank You For Your Service movie poster.

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

The movie “Thank You For Your Service” was more than a movie for me, it was a deeply moving experience that everyone should watch, especially if you have a loved one who served in the Global War on Terror.

I was in Iraq, for 15 months. I often feel like I was a well-armed, well-trained, well-paid tourist. My logistics job didn’t allow me to go out on patrols every day, though I would very much have wanted to. My brigade was in Iraq for so long because we were extended for the surge. We had more consecutive days in combat than any other unit, so I get it. I watched them load flag-draped coffins of ice with human remains on to aircraft, more than once. Having said that, I never saw anyone die, and I never fired a shot; my job did not require it.

When I heard about this movie, of course, I wanted to see it. I hoped that it was not some cheesy make a buck off the war movie that got everything wrong. I hoped there would be action. It was not that kind of a film. Instead, the story centered on one squad of soldiers and their squad leader on one or two days fighting in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Adam Schumann is on patrol in his convoy in a bustling city somewhere in central Iraq. This is about 2007-time frame, the same time I was there. The patrol goes terribly wrong, and there are casualties.

The movie fast-forwards to the soldiers’ arrival at their home base of Fort Riley, Kansas. From the combat patches worn by the soldiers, it can be guessed that they belong to the Big Red One, 1st Infantry Division. The soldiers are greeted by loved ones as they get off the plane, and then they attempt to re-integrate back into their regular lives. This story is poignant and sad as the soldiers fight their own battles at home, often alone without support. It is extremely aggravating to watch. Bring tissues, or just do what I did and wipe your nose on your spouse’s sleeve. What is especially maddening is that when the soldiers find that they do need help, they are often offered only roadblocks in the form of uncaring leadership, administrative buffoons, pride, laziness, greed, etc. One side note. I worked with many people who work for the VA, who care deeply about soldiers and want to help. So what I am about to say is not for them. Close your ears. If you are working for the VA and you don’t give a fuck about soldiers, only your big fat salary and bennies then you can go fuck off somewhere else. Heroes need to help heroes. You don’t have to have been a soldier, but you do have to give a fuck. Go find some other government cubicle to hide in, you worthless fucks.

Offended? Don’t care. Moving on.

This movie dramatically shows for the viewer the kind of internal struggle many of our soldiers go through, and when I say soldier, I mean everyone who has served, Airmen, Marines, Sailors, Coasties, everybody. Suicide, mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, paranoia, grief and survivor’s guilt, it all hits you in the gut with this movie. I won’t ruin the plot further, just go see it, and be prepared to cry.

But it isn’t enough to just go to a movie and have a good cry. This movie is a call to action. Based on the book of the same name by Pulitzer Prize winner David Finkel, it is the directing debut of Jason Hall. Brilliant acting by lead actors Miles Teller as Schumann and Haley Bennett as his loving wife Saskia. Comedian Amy Schumer has a dramatic supporting role as a grieving widow. Good job to all. Their storytelling is more than just entertainment, they do great service for soldiers who have seen action and are now struggling.

As I said before, it isn’t enough to watch a movie and cathartic cry, this show is a call to action. The VA failures are not just the failures of big government bureaucracy; it is the failure of us all because we don’t care enough to fix it. When is the last time you’ve called up the VA and asked them for a report on how they are serving the soldier? When have you called your local representative? If the answer is no, I have to ask why not? What is stopping you? Do it tomorrow, won’t you? See this movie tomorrow and then go call someone and get them to see it.

Traumatic stress disorder is no joke. We’ve been at this global war for 16 years, and there is no sigh of let up. We lost four special operators in Niger last week. I wonder if mainstream America will ever come to realize that the problem of global terrorism is not going away and that the problem with the VA and with soldier mental and physical health is not going away. Would you want your children to suffer?

I can’t say enough about this movie, but I have to wrap up. Rotten Tomatoes gives this movie a giant golden tomato, which is good for them. We agree for once. I guess a blind monkey can find a banana in the jungle, because they are often wrong. Good for them for getting it right for once.

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What About the Girl, McFarlane?

Seth McFarlane and the cast of Fox comedy Star Trek Spoof, The Orville

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

Seth McFarlane is a funny man, and his new comedy Star Trek spoof, The Orville, is off to a great start. In episode three they tackle the very serious topic of same-sex relationships while plowing into the controversy of child sex reassignment. Funny! Are they going to address the controversial topic of sexual assault on an employee by a boss or supervisor next? Are they going to be able to make that funny?

I’m a fan of Star Trek, and I actually liked the first episodes of The Orville, but episode three “About A Girl” has left me scratching my head. This is in light of the new allegations of sexual assault and harassment by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, who is a strong ally of the Clintons and Obamas.

In the episode, same-sex partners have a child, they laid an egg apparently, and it came out a girl. Not a problem under normal circumstances, but the species these two lovebirds belong to is predominantly only male. Females are frowned upon, only appearing once every 75 years or so, and are marginalized in their society. Babies born female are taken immediately to the doctor’s office and have their gender reassigned to the male. There is only one problem. The Orville is a Union ship and the doctor won’t perform the surgery for ethical reasons.

A ship is dispatched at the parents’ request from the homeworld and the baby girl is to go to that ship to have the surgery. Only Captain Ed, McFarlane’s character, is none too happy to release the child. He is duty-bound to “protect” the child, even though the culture of this child dictates that this surgery must be done. The Union officers intervein and there is a trial to determine whether or not the surgery should go forth. One of the parents, the second officer of the ship, actually has a change of heart and is willing to accept the child and not go through with the change.

All of this is terribly funny and sad at the same time. It makes one wonder about the priorities of Hollywood. They are willing to advance the topic of child transgender surgery, but are they willing to also go boldly into the realm of condemning sexual harassment of an employee by a boss? We doubt it.

We love Star Trek, we love this new series, but we wonder at the ever-changing morals of Hollywood and its writers. McFarlane himself is said to have written the script for this episode, and Brannon Braga, a Star Trek favorite who has directed many episodes, directed this one. Star Trek has always tackled tricky topics within the premise of their shows. Will they be reflexive enough to look at themselves in the mirror and talk about the topics within their own industry?

Apparently, the sexual deviance of Harvey Weinstein has been an inside secret in Hollywood for a long time. McFarlane jokes about it in a Hollywood award ceremony three years ago. You have to do more than make jokes, Seth, you have to take action. Your new wants to empower women. Great. How about talking about the real issue of sexual violence and harassment in the workplace! Try to make that funny! Just try!

In the real world, child transgender reassignment is not a laughing matter. Many of us are not opposed to same-sex unions as long as couples keep their relations to themselves. We libertarians don’t want to interfere with what happens in your bedroom. But what happens when same-sex parents try to change the gender of their adopted child? Is that abuse? We think it is. We doubt Hollywood agrees with us.

Will they agree that it is wrong for a rich, famous producer to sexually abuse women who want to work in the TV and film, using his power as a gatekeeper in the industry to get his way? Gauging the response of Hollywood to date, we doubt that the actors, filmmakers, producers, and writers will have much to say about how villains like Weinstein who take advantage of the young female stars they claim they want to empower.

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The Tale of Two Snipers

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

 

Abu Tahseen, stalking ISIS in the Iraqi desert with a homemade weapon that looks like a Star Wars prop. The Silver Sniper, 63, was killed in Northern Iraq this week fighting terrorists.

A 63-year old veteran sniper has died in the service of his country, drawing interesting parallels between another sniper who in a single act of incomprehensible rage killed 59 of his fellow countrymen at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. This is a tale of two snipers.

 

His name was Abu Tahseen, and he’s not a household name here in the United States, but he should be. He was known by his various nicknames: The Silver Sniper, the Sheik of Snipers, and Hawkeye. A veteran of five wars over many decades, the man was feared by his enemies, and his enemies, the latest ones, were the dreaded fighters of ISIS who ran rampages across Iraq and the Middle East causing fear and suffering wherever they went. Tahseen was not afraid of them and indeed, is credited with killing 341 of the vile terrorist, blasting them into oblivion with his bolt-action .50-caliber BMB sniper rifle. Tahseen is on record in video bragging that when his bullets struck their mark, the victim would be blasted backwards a meter or more by the sheer force of the impacting round.

 

Now ISIS has made a mess of the Middle East, has threatened everyone who doesn’t adhere to their extreme ideology, but The Silver Sniper, a devout Muslim, was not intimidated and was dedicated to destroying them, one at a time. On average, he is said to have sent four of those vile murders to their maker every day, and no one was safe within a mile of his rifle.

 

Sadly this hero has passed away, martyred in one last battle to free his country in the battle for the northern Iraqi city of Hawija. Terrorists have claimed credit for taking Tahseen down, but a blind monkey sometimes finds a banana in the jungle on occasion. Hopefully, others will rise to the occasion and fill the gap that Tahseen has left.

 

Songs should be sung of this hero. A blockbuster movie needs to be made, with a novelized tie-in. I look forward to that. In the meantime, read Taryn Tarrant-Cornish’s great article in Express here, and find out more about this remarkable man who stalked the desert with a homemade weapon that looked like it was a prop for the latest Star Wars movie.

 

Here in the United States the 24/7 news cycle knows nearly nothing about this great man, but is preoccupied with another gunman, I hesitate to call him a sniper, Stephan Paddock, 64. Paddock as you may have heard, occupied a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Hotel in Las Vegas and using several weapons modified to shoot near-fully automatic, rained deadly bullets onto unsuspecting concertgoers below. No motive has been found on why this wealthy gambler who made his money in real estate would do this horrible thing. He is not brave, or noble. He was a coward and died a coward’s death. When rough men armed with guns came to stop his horrible onslaught, he turned his gun on himself rather than be captured or killed by men braver than himself.

 

What is interesting about these two men, as different as night is from day, is their shared similarities. Both are senior citizens, both are known for what they did with a gun. But there the similarities end. Tahseen was a hero. At 63, when he should have been enjoying retirement, he went to the aid of his country, like Cincinnatus of Rome, he served when his country called and died the hero.

 

Paddock meanwhile had the kind of life many in this country only dream. He worked as a postal worker, an accountant, he worked for the IRS at one point, and he made his money in real estate. His father was a famous bank robber who at one point was on the FBI’s most wanted list, which might explain this man’s mental disconnect. He was a fixture at the hotels and casinos, spending large sums of cash at the tables. Then, inexplicably, this crazy decided he had had enough of the good life and without any other obvious motive, destroyed the lives of 59 innocent people and wounded over 500 more. Political and media pundits blame the guns and lax gun laws for this man’s actions, but we ask that we look at the man, not the tool.

 

Let’s compare and contrast these two men for a moment. Tahseen, a veteran with decades of experience, was a skilled rifleman. With his bolt-action .50 BMG he killed 341 people, animals really, in defense of his nation. Paddock tried to do as much, only his victims didn’t deserve it, had no idea it was coming, and were like fish in a barrel in his senseless onslaught, unable to shoot back or defend themselves in any way. We can see that in the hands of two very different men, a gun, a tool, can have very different results.

 

We recommend that Muslims, indeed anyone who admires skill and bravery, carve the name of Abu Tahseen on concrete and stonewalls in memorial of his bravery and achievements to liberate his countryman. For Paddock, list him on an historical footnote, and then immediately forget him, but don’t you dare forget his innocent victims!

Watch a recent interview with Tahseen below.

Here is a video showing the Silver Sniper’s accomplishments.

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Licensed Clinical Social Worker Mike Arieta offers context in the Las Vegas Shooting

by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

Following the horrible events of the mass shooting at Las Vegas Nevada, we turn to Licensed Clinical Social Worker Mike Arieta who is a longtime friend to offer some context. 

The following audio podcast is part one of our conversation covering such issues as mental health and gun rights. Mike is the founder of New Path Counseling in Apple Vally Minnesota. 

Stay tuned for part two of our conversation with Mike Arieta.

Mike talks at length about gun control on his own blog. We’ve included an excerpt of that blog below.

 

Mike Arieta is an Independent Clinical Social Worker (M.S.W., LICSW, LCSW), Mike holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Mike has also completed the PACC certificate for Permanency and Adoption Competency through the University of Minnesota. Mike is the creator of New Path Counseling.

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Thoughts on the Las Vegas shooting from a sheepdog perspective

The Author trains at First Army Trainer-Mentor Academy at Camp Shelby, MS.

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

I was watching the horrible coverage this week of the Las Vegas shooting and I have a few thoughts on it. First, watch this video of the aftermath of the shooting as a concert-goer attempts to do medical aid to his fellows who have been injured. Fair warning: it is very graphic!

As you can see, it’s pretty horrific. I’m not sure this kid, bless his heart, has had any medical training, but he tries to help anyway. It occurs to me that he has two choices; he can film the aftermath so that journalists and law enforcement, along with the rest of us, can see the what happened, or he can render aid to his neighbors. This kid attempts to do both and it doesn’t appear to be going too well. 

Notice how the kid attempts to take a pulse using his full hand, including his thumb, on both sides of a victim’s neck. I don’t recommend that. I think that illustrates the need for civilians to do more training in CPR and basic first aid from here on in. It seems that society now is plagued with these incidents of terrorism, natural disasters and crime, that going forward it would seem prudent and necessary to undergo training. The Red Cross would be a sure bet to have classes available for CPR and first aid. I’ve also included a link to the Army’s combat lifesaver’s training manual for your review. It has a lot of good tips on triage and first aid in traumatic situations. Remember, when bullets are flying it is not time to render aid, it is time to take cover. Render aid when it is safe to do so. 

http://www.me.ngb.army.mil/units/rti/resources/IS0871_Edition_C_ALMS.pdf

Below is a video further illustrating my thoughts on this issue. It seems that in the new normal, it is time for more people to transform from sheep into sheepdogs, because there are way too many wolves out there. If you don’t understand the reference, read “On Killing” by Dave Grossman. 

https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Psychological-Cost-Learning-Society/dp/0316040932

Here is an article from LTC Grossman explaining the differences between sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves. A coworker was asking me the other day, “why are you so interested in guns? I have the utmost respect for you, but I don’t understand it. Especially after all that is happened.” The reasoning is simple: I am a sheepdog, and you are a sheep. Read:

http://www.gleamingedge.com/mirrors/onsheepwolvesandsheepdogs.html

I would add that doctors, nurses, and medical workers of all kinds who would normally be categorized as sheep are transformed into sheepdogs when they are on the job. They don’t carry guns into battle. They have other tools at their disposal and run into the action when others would run the other way. Rita, to answer your question, I am a sheepdog, and occasionally, so are you. 

So here are my recommendations: if you have the capacity, train with guns and get a carry conceal license if it is in your wheelhouse to do so. If not, get some basic medical training so that, God forbid, if a crisis happens you can provide aid and comfort to people around you when they are suffering, Then you too can be a sheepdog. 

 

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Blame the Idiot, not the Gun!

A bump fire stock like the one used in the Las Vegas shooting. 

 
By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

The City of Las Vegas and the whole United States is reeling today three days after the horrible shooting in which 58 people died and over 500 were injured. As investigators try to piece together why this happened politicians are quick to jump to the default conclusion to blame the gun and not the idiot with the gun.

Hours after the shooting was reported, former presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted her support for increased gun control legislation. The evening comedians likewise jumped on the band wagon to call for something, anything to be done and vilifying anyone who would oppose it.

But really, what, if anything, can more gun laws do to prevent something like this from happening in the future? As has been pointed out previously, terrorists who want to cause destruction have wreaked havoc without using a gun. Timothy LaVeigh comes to mind, who used a box truck and fertilizer to kill hundreds.

Early reports say that the shooter used two bump fire stocks on his gun that convert semi-auto weapons into firing full auto. There is speculation that that device will now be under scrutiny for banning in the future due to the damage it caused. Reason Magazine published a great article yesterday describing what a bump fire stock looks like and how it functions. You can look at the full article here, including a video demonstration.

Jacob Sullum of Reason explains that the bump stock seems to sacrifice accuracy for speed, vastly increasing the number of bullets sprayed from the gun. It makes the gun hard to control and is considered a novelty used by gun enthusiasts rather than really increasing the lethality of the firearm.

Sullum writes, “Assuming that (Stephan) Paddock (the shooter) used the bump stocks police found, did they make the number of deaths higher than it otherwise would have been? Not necessarily, since bump stocks sacrifice accuracy for speed; the jostling required by the technique makes the rifle harder to aim, especially at long distances. According to the Wikipedia entry on bump stocks, they “greatly degrade the accuracy of the firearm, due to the necessary jerking of the weapon, which makes viable aiming impossible,” and “the inaccuracy renders the practice uncommon.”

Sullum eloquently points out that other shootings that did not use this feature have proven extremely deadly as well, while not as deadly as the Las Vegas shooting. But in Vegas, the lethality was most likely aided by the shooters tactical position on the 32nd floor rather than any accessory he may have used.

At the end of the day, this tragedy was caused by a madman with an axe to grind. An evil heart made this happen, not an inanimate object. Those guns didn’t jump off the shelves into this man’s hands. He methodically planned this atrocity, collecting guns and ammo over a long period of time. He reconned his target and chose his firing position with care. This coward was perfectly fine with killing innocent people who were unable to fight back, but when a fire team of officers came knocking on his door, he decided to check out rather than face them.

So instead of blaming the gun, we should blame the idiot. And then we should forget him. We should all be ready to help the victims and their families as they deal with the tragedy. It will be a long time before they get back to a sense of normalcy, indeed, they may never fully be the same. Americans should not be punished by a reduction of their rights because of the evil acts of one idiot.

For further reading: 

http://tribunist.com/news/images-leaked-of-las-vegas-shooters-guns-none-are-fully-automatic/?utm_source=BP

http://reason.com/blog/2017/10/03/did-bump-stocks-make-the-las-vegas-shoot

http://reason.com/archives/2017/10/03/automatic-weapons-are-already-heavily-re

 

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Star Trek Discovery Launch is a Go!

Star Trek Discovery successfully launches on CBS All Access

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

Star Trek Discovery for what it is worth has had an OK start in its two first episodes of the first season. Time will tell if the series is worth paying $6 for monthly streaming access.

Set in an era 50 years before the era of James T. Kirk and Mr. Spock, Bones McCoy, Chief Scott and all the rest, it is a turbulent era where the rules of the United Federation of Planets is not quite set in stone. Being the latest of the Star Trek endeavors, the technology, and feel of the series looks to the future rather than the past. That is because there is no putting the genie back in the bottle. Times have changed, and technology has changed with it. Do you really want to go back to those trite early scripts and laughable sets of the 1960s?

The new series introduces us to a number of great characters, gets us to like and identify with them a little, then starts messing with our heads. For me it was like reading We Were Soldiers Once and Young for the first time, when the author introduces us to likable characters and then kills them off. Too obscure a reference, Game of Thrones then. A likable captain Philippa Georgiou is killed off in episode two, oh, spoiler alert, and her first officer Michael Burnham is sentenced to life in prison.

Oh, but magically she gets whisked off to the USS Discovery where she is employed by the controversial Captain Gabriel Lorca, where presumably the series kicks off into high gear. I love Jason Isaacs as an actor and he is evidentially going to play Lorca. I’m totally stoked for this fact. I have great hope for this series, I’ve been a big fan of Star Trek all my life and I want to go on watching the series and am emotionally invested in it.

Having said that, the cast has not shied away from controversy on the political spectrum and it’s necessary to talk about in this blog. Amidst the controversy of American sports professionals taking a knee at games while the National Anthem is played, the Discovery crew decided to take a photo of them taking a knee as well. It makes sense from a certain perspective. Star Trek has always been about diversity, and actors who sign up for series like this are well aware of the complexities of race relations in this country, which are very very bad. All of us who grew up watching the series know the political history of the show. Actress Nichelle Nichols, an African American, had a prominent role in the first series and was thinking of leaving, but stayed on because noted Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. asked her to stay on as a role model for others. Since then, the cast and crew have always shown us that diversity is an important factor in a great and adventurous future.

That being said, I’m ok for now that the cast took a knee. To me, they are protesting the horrible treatment of African Americans in this country, which continues to be bad. But in my mind, it is different than when sports heroes do it in the midst of the National Anthem. The National Anthem and our flag represent all that is good about America and what we aspire to be, not unlike the dream of the Federation, it represents the hope that a diverse people can be great in achieving common goals. By kneeling during the Anthem, to me it is like we are burning our national symbol and with it our hopes for shared achievement and diversity. I can’t see the flag disrespected any more than I could the principles of a United Federation.

I’ll give the crew of Discovery the benefit of the doubt for now. But the real issue seems to be not just solidarity with oppressed peoples, but with a firm hatred for Donald Trump and what he represents. This I’m sort of baffled by as well, but you can see it in the national media and in the way many people in Hollywood treat our president. Ten years ago you wouldn’t know that Trump was a racist. He helped minorities out and he got recognition from current civil rights leaders for what he achieved for African-Americans. Immediately after putting an R behind his name and running for president, trouncing a horribly lackluster candidate, Hillary Clinton, suddenly The Donald is Adolf Hitler. That is a hugely unfair characterization in my estimation. So far there is no genocide of brown people, there is no destruction of the US economy, the economy is doing better if anyone bothers to look at the numbers, and the status quo seems to be maintained such as it is.

Some might feel that Trump is unnecessarily jingoistic in his responses to Iran and North Korea, but it is previous administrations that have put us in this situation, not The Donald. It was Barack Obama who gave billions of our tax dollars in cash to a rogue state that wants nothing less than the annihilation of the Israeli state, followed by the destruction of the big Satan, America. It was previous democrat administrations that gave a green light to North Korea to develop nuclear strength, and it is the reason the mighty midget is now threatening his neighbors and us with nuclear destruction. The Donald is not trying to start a war, he is trying to deal with Kim Jung Un and the mullahs of Iran in the only language that they understand, force!

I have an analogy that the crew of Discovery and Star Trek fans will be sure to appreciate. In the first two episodes of Discovery, Michael Burnham and her captain are faced with an incredibly violent and war-like adversary, the Klingons. The Klingons only understand one thing, war. It is their code and creed. Captain Georgiou, like all Star Fleet captains, wants to be an explorer, not a warrior. They see the risk, but instead of preparing a defense, they try a stance of appeasement. Of course, as predicted, that goes horribly wrong, it sends the wrong message to the enemy and it launches Star Fleet in a horribly destructive war that will cost many lives. If they had listened to Burnham, and given the Klingons the “Vulcan Hello”, things would have worked out quite a bit differently.

Now it is up to Lorca, a captain who doesn’t quite follow the rules, to deal with the Klingons, ultimately defeat them or fight them to a draw, so that the Federation can eventually get back their original goal and mission, peaceful exploration of space and interaction to the wonderful and strange new worlds and people therein.

Now here is where the analogy meets reality, and I doubt that liberals in Hollywood will like it, but they ought to hear it from a fan. Donald Trump is Captain Gabriel Lorca and Michael Burnham is his Secretary of Defense, Gen. Mathis. Ouch. Really? Yes really. The appeasers playing Captain Georgiou, bless her heart, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, take your pick of the weak spine democrat in office. They created a horrible mess with an enemy that cannot be reasoned with and now the Donald, aka Lorca has to roll up his sleeves and get down to business before the Klingons, aka North Korea and Iran nuke us all to death.

It’s kind of like when Jean-Luc Picard went up against the Borg. We thought everyone was going to die, but one guy with the guts to stick his neck out was able to win the day, at very great cost. Picard is Trump. Someone should remind Whoopie Goldberg of The View of her Star Trek roots. Her character Guinan was a popular character on The Next Generation series and was an able advisor to Picard. I would love to hear her take on this blog. She hates Trump.

Sucks but there it is. You are welcome, Hollywood.

As I have said, I love the Star Trek series, and I have high hopes that this series will carry on the noble tradition. I’m sure they have some great stories to tell. We will see if they deliver on their promises.

For Further reading, check out what Jason Isaac has to say about his new role, his castmates and “taking a knee” here.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/star-trek-discovery-postmortem-jason-isaacs-fan-theories-taking-knee-013012506.html

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Tim Walz to Receive National Guard Award Wednesday

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

Rep. Tim Walz-D MN at a political town hall in Rochester. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Rep. Tim Walz, who is retiring from his post in the House of Representatives, is receiving one of the Minnesota Army National Guard’s highest honors Wednesday, the Harry S. Truman award. The award for a man who has done little for veterans and veterans affairs is the worst kind of valueless political theater imaginable.

The award ceremony is to happen at the National Guard Training and Community Center at Mankato. Leadership is awarding this honor to Walz for his contribution to the National Guard and Veterans affairs. The question is, to what accomplishments for the sake of veterans is the leadership of the Minnesota Guard pointing too? Has the suicide rate amongst veterans been reduced in Minnesota? Has it become easier for veterans to obtain college education benefits, home loans, career counseling, emotional and psychological support, or housing for those who remain homeless?

While Minnesota is better than other states, there is little evidence that that is a result of anything that Walz has done. Indeed, he talks a good game, but his votes in the House of Representatives demonstrates otherwise. This award may be less an acknowledgement of work or accomplishment on behalf of the representative, but more a way to maintain a friendly relationship with Walz. After all, Walz is retiring his post in the House, and instead attempting to advance his political career to include the post as Governor of Minnesota. A well rewarded former representative may in turn reward friends who first acknowledged him. The outgoing Adjutant General for example might appreciate a posting in new Walz administration. How does the job as chief of the Minnesota VA sound? Keep a clear eye and watch what happens. If anyone wants to see what a self-licking ice cream cone looks like, here is your chance!

Minnesotans in the first district are slowly coming to their senses about the many broken promises of Tim Walz. In the last election, the representative barely squeaked by to defeat challenger Jim Hagedorn by the narrowest of margins. Jim was taking a third and final shot at the representative this election cycle and it is likely that Walz saw the writing on the wall. It might be easier to run for governor, and more rewarding, than challenging his nemesis for a third time and potentially suffering an embarrassing defeat. Walz may be able to shore up more support amongst more liberal enclaves like the Iron Range, Native American reservations and the Twin Cities than he would in his own home district. Indeed, he may well become the front runner once polling becomes available. A prestigious award from the National Guard might bolster Walz’s political image on metropolitan voters who may be on the fence.

We at The American Millennium think that it is high time to stop handing out trophies and medals and finally rolling up our sleeves to do something instrumental for veterans of our state. We feel that Jim Hagedorn is the best person to do that. He will face a primary challenge in the next election as State Senator Carla Nelson. Nelson has a strong conservative record in the state legislator and is a respected leader. Whoever received the endorsement of the state party and emerges from the primary will get the endorsement of this publication. Either one would be much better than any of the liberal democrat challengers, and a much better choice to represent and protect the values of the southern Minnesota voter and especially the veterans who have served our state with honor.

The American Millennium is pleased to announce the publication of our first novel, entitled: Adder: The Logisticians, available for digital download from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Biblioteca. While it is not yet available in printed copies, we hope that this new novel will generate enough buzz for us to accomplish that down the road. If you ever wondered what it was like to go on patrol in the dangerous main supply routes of Iraq, this is your chance. This piece of historical fiction puts you in the driver’s seat next to composite characters representative of the men and women who bravely fought in the Global War on Terror. Check out our author’s page here, and download your copy today. If you like the novel, tell your friends and keep the buzz going. Be on the lookout for other titles from yours truly, starting with “The House on Spirit Lake” a paranormal fiction novel, available soon from Pronoun Publishing very soon.

https://books.pronoun.com/adder-the-logisticians/

http://www.kttc.com/story/36411113/2017/09/20/rep-tim-walz-to-receive-the-harry-s-truman-award

 

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Tragedy In Charlottesville

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

I would like to take this moment to express my outrage and horror at what has happened in Virginia over the weekend. Two state patrol officers dead, and a young woman murdered after being run down by a white supremist. I thought we had gotten past all of this, but apparently not. Tragic.

Let’s clear something up from the get go. Those police officers didn’t die fighting violence and hatred as the headlines seem to imply. Their helicopter crashed, possibly from mechanical failure. Tragic, but not the fault of any one party or group. Our hearts go out to their families. They were only doing their jobs.

Second, and this is the most important: the American Millennium blog totally denounces racism and hatred in all its forms. It doesn’t matter if its white supremists or blm or Antifa; you all suck. God Almighty created us all in His image, and what He did was good. He did not create us to hate one another for our glorious differences. Stop trying to be something you are not and love your enemy, do good to those who want to harm you. That is what the carpenter from Nazareth tried to teach us. Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect! Not this! This is horror. This is evil.

As we watch the stupidity that took place in Charlottesville over the weekend, we wonder how anyone has that much time on their hands. We wonder too why the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAulliffe did not call out the National Guard. Possibly he did not know for which side they would fight? I will tell you which side they would fight, the side of law and order, which they always do, which is why McAulliffe didn’t want them there. He wanted the chaos, the violence. He wanted the talking points. He did not want peace, because that did not serve his purpose. He should be impeached. He’s always been a crony of Hillary Clinton and as such no one should believe a single word he says. It’s all political calculation with him.

There has been criticism that President Donald Trump has not come out to condemn the violence on behalf of white supremist groups. I heard his comments this weekend and I have no trouble with what he said. He said we must all respect each other. You can view his comments here.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/pressure-criticism-mount-for-trump-after-charlottesville/ar-AAq2K0X?li=BBnb7Kz

I don’t know if you can get a stronger condemnation than that. The president is right. This kind of thing has been going on for a long time in this country and it has to stop. We are going backwards.

OpsLens contributor T.B. Lefevor, an active law enforcement officer in the Atlanta Georgia area, had a great column today commenting on the violence going on in Virginia over the weekend. You can read the whole thing here, it is a very good read.

Lefever states very eloquently: Ignorance owned the day and it’s just the latest event to have the rest of us questioning if we as a people are going forwards or backwards in this country.

http://www.opslens.com/2017/08/14/violent-clashes-deaths-charlottesville-demonstrate-america-moving-backwards/

Lefever is right. We are going backwards. We as Americans defeated the very ideologies that are now clashing. They have raised their ugly heads again, Nazism, Fascism, racism both from whites and blacks. It’s disgusting. But we should not be surprised that they are fighting each other again. We have to crush their heads, not with our fists, but with our logical arguments of anti-hate. We must ridicule them in our blogs, and express our horror in the public spaces.

Lefever writes in his column: “…good people can disagree on this matter without having to beat the hell out of each other in Charlottesville.”

I know a lot of democrats, a lot of republicans, independents and libertarians. Most are good people who just want to make the world a better place. You can express your opinions, you have that right, but keep your hands to yourself. It’s the golden rule, do onto others as you would have done to you. Nothing more needs to be said.

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Training? Or Worldview? Why did a Minneapolis Cop with a Somali heritage shoot a Caucasian woman from Australia?

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By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

 

Don Damond, the fiance of Justine, embraces Valerie Castile, mother of Philando who was killed by a police officer during a traffic stop last year. -photo by AP

Officer Brett exited his squad car and stepped onto the curb. His partner, Mike, put the car in park and exited from the driver’s side. They both approached the target house, a two-level residence with teal green siding and a three-season porch, with their guns drawn at the low-ready, pointed at the ground for safety. Minutes before they had been operating a speed trap on the other side of town. It had been a quiet day in this sleepy, middle Minnesota lake town. In a flash, it became much more exciting and dangerous. The two young officers approached the residence with caution, responding to a dispatcher’s emergency call. A young woman was being held against her will by her boyfriend inside, and the man had a gun!

Mike and Brett had talked about strategy as they drove to the call. Brett would take the front of the house, Mike would go around the rear. Brett would take a position of cover at the front and call out to the occupants inside. He would try to calm the young man inside and start to negotiate until the Quick Response Team got there. Mike would cover the back, in case the suspect attempted to flee that way. Neither would enter the building; their instructions were to wait for QRF! Once on the ground, however, the plan fell apart as the situation drastically changed.

The woman being held, a girl of 15 or 16, saw the police officers drive up through the big pane glass in the front living room. Her boyfriend, a man of 20 years, saw them too. Risking it all, the girl bolted out of the front door and onto the porch. Her boyfriend tried to stop her, but she was too fast. She skipped a step and ran towards the officers in the front lawn, passing smoothly between them. “He’s got a gun!” she said.  Brett was in front of Mike and as the girl passed by him, he positioned his body in front of hers, shielding her from her boyfriend, an angry young man who was recently discharged from the Army National Guard of Wisconsin for unsoldierly conduct. The man emerged from the house half a second later and pointed his gun.

It’s not clear if he was trying to engage the officers, or if he was trying to murder his girlfriend in an alcohol-fueled rage. What is known is that he fired, and struck Brett in the face. Brett had allowed himself to check over his shoulder, glancing at his partner and seeing that the girl was safely protected, then he turned towards the house, where he saw the man with the raised gun. He began to shout commands, but he was too late. He fell to the ground mortally wounded. Mike screamed in terror and rage, he raised his gun, but he didn’t fire. The girl and the body of his partner were in his line of fire. He let the girl pass by and watched helplessly as his partner fell to the ground in front of him. Then he started to engage the target, who quickly retreated into the protection of the house. Without firing, Mike lowered his gun again and rushed towards his partner’s side. Brett was lying face up, on his back, looking up at the sky with vacant eyes. Blood was gushing from a wound in his forehead. Mike put down his firearm and grabbed Brett’s hand. He kept calling his name, trying to keep his partner awake, comforting him.

Brett looked up, and uttered his last word, the name of his wife: Wendy!

The vignette you just read is a fictionalized account of an event that happened a few years ago in Lake City, Minnesota. No one really knows what happened, except for the people involved. Two of them are dead. The suspect killed himself during the standoff that followed. I’ve changed the names, because I don’t want to cause the families of the officers involved any more pain than they’ve already suffered. The officer who was wounded lingered for weeks in a hospital in Rochester, dying shortly before Christmas. The officer who lived, lives with the painful memory of what it was like to lose a partner and a good friend. A wife remembers her loving husband as she tries to raise three girls all on her own. This event clearly illustrates how quickly things can change in the day in the life of our law enforcement officers. In Army terms, we logisticians like to say that the plan is only good until the first shot is fired. It can be like that for our police officers, who have to balance their duty to protect and serve our citizens, catch the bad guys, and in the worst-case scenarios, defend their lives. At the end of the day, we want all our officers who protect us to go home safe to their families when their work shift is done.

In Minneapolis

The relationship we have with our officers has come into question again in Minneapolis following the death of an Australian woman Justine Damond, who was killed by a Somali police officer earlier in the week. The killing has caused a firestorm of controversy and has led to the resignation of the Minneapolis Police Chief, Janee Harteau. All the controversy is further fueled with the prosecution and acquittal of Minneapolis officer Jeronimo Yanez who shot and killed an African-American motorist last year. The relationship between residents and the police is strained, and has been for some time. Here is what we know about last week’s incident so far.

Damond called police the evening of July 16 to report what she thought might be a sexual assault happening in the alley behind her house. She also called her fiancé, who encouraged her to talk to police. Officer Matthew Harrity was driving down the alley with his partner Mohamed Noor in the passenger side. The lights were off, as were the body and dash cameras, as the officers slowly patrolled through the neighborhood, looking for potential suspects. There was a loud sound, according to testimony from Officer Harrity, after which Damond emerged from her house and approached the driver. Both men were startled by the sound, Harrity told investigators with the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), but Noor drew his gun. Firing across his partner, Noor fatally wounded Damond in the abdomen.

The officers rendered aid, it is said, but to no avail. While Officer Harrity gave testimony to what happened to the investigators of the BCA, Noor has lawyered up, offering no explanation as to why he fired. Police experts say it’s not implausible that the officers feared an ambush following similar incidents in New York City, but is it fair to assume that the way to respond is to shoot first and ask questions later?

Harrity and Noor are under paid administrative leave as per protocol in the incident, but all the focus is on Noor. Both men reacted drastically different to the same stimuli, Noor fatally. According to the reports from the Star Tribune, some police experts wonder if the fast-track training of the rookie officer was to blame. Noor didn’t graduate with traditional law enforcement degree. He has a business degree. The 21-month rookie took an eight-month fast track course aimed at recruiting officers from different backgrounds into a force that is grossly undermanned. Experts who talked to the Star Tribune say the course focuses largely on tactics, but not strategy, neglecting crucial areas of a police officer’s education. But, is that fair? The instructors at the fast-track academy may not have advanced degrees, but presumably they are trained law enforcement officials with years of patrol experience and anecdotal tales to use as vignettes to train up new recruits. With all that experience, one would assume that eight months is enough to train up an officer. The service branches take similar time to train their private soldiers. It takes about 18-months to train an officer at many of the state and federal commissioning sources. For me, Infantry Officer’s Basic was four months long. I spent a two-years in ROTC before that. Many graduates go to Airborne School, (3 weeks) and Ranger School (9 weeks) after that. Soldiers once trained and deployed are restricted by vigorous rules of engagement. Police officers should be as well. 

I really feel that piling on to the instructors at the academy is unfair, and a cheap shot by the Star Tribune. Without knowing what is in the curriculum, The Star Tribune paints the instructors with a very broad brush. I would encourage the instructors to invite bloggers and journalists in the state to come and audit some of their blocks of instruction so that the public can get an idea about how their new police candidates are being trained. Without that background, criticism of the program is just sloppy journalism.

Indeed, members of the press should ask law enforcement agencies for permission to do ride alongs, to get a feel for what it’s really like to patrol the streets. Our law enforcement leaders should bridge the gap of understanding by holding open meeting to discuss policy and training with the public. Here in Rochester, the Olmsted County Sheriff and Rochester Police Chief are doing that, scheduling a demonstration on body cameras later this week. All law enforcement agencies should do that.

With the recent shootings of dogs in Minneapolis, that agency should review its policy on how to deal with animals found in the course of normal patrol and service calls. Tactics on less lethal means of engagement should be resourced and trained. They are not always feasible for every situation, but they are a tool in the tool kit that may be being overlooked.

We don’t want our patrolmen and women whipping out their guns every time there is an incident. We also don’t want our officers to be jeopardized every time they respond to a call.

Training? Or Worldview?

Was it training, or was it vetting of potential candidates that is the problem? In a report from the Daily Telegraph, a neighbor of the Noor family paints a picture of Noor that shows that perhaps he wasn’t the most pleasant person to be around.

Chris Miller is a 49-year old African-American who drives a fork lift for a living. He lives next door to a complex where Noor’s parents and younger siblings live, and he has seen Noor there. Miller explains that Noor seems to have very little respect for kids, women and blacks he comes in contact with.

““He is extremely nervous … he is a little jumpy … he doesn’t really respect women, the least thing you say to him can set him off,” Miller said.

““He is extremely nervous … he is a little jumpy … he doesn’t really respect women, the least thing you say to him can set him off!” -Chris Miller, describing neighbor Mohamed Noor

“When they say a policeman shot an Australian lady I thought uh, oh but then when they said who it was I was like, ‘OK.’” Said Miller.

“He has little respect for women he has little respect for blacks and kids,” said Miller.

“He has an air like you just couldn’t really be around him.”

We wonder if the Somali worldview and strict adherence of the Islamic world view are the right fit for someone we want patrolling our streets and dealing with our citizens. From testimony from Miller, we find a Noor who is not a good neighbor, intolerant of kids, disrespectful of women, and not pleasant to be around.

From his record as an officer, we find that in the 21-months since he’s been hired, Noor has racked up three complaints, two of which remain open. The last one is a case where a woman complains that she was dragged off to a hospital for an involuntary mental commitment. She was released several hours later after the woman complained she had no need to be there and the officer roughed her up and put her in an arm bar.

The City of Minneapolis invested a lot of time, money and effort in hiring Noor, who had no law enforcement training previous to being hired. He was praised as a diversity hero when he was first hired. Now Minneapolis residents label him the villain. It may take even more time, effort and money to remove him from the force and make things right with the Damond family. Already it has caused a serious change in leadership in Minneapolis. The police chief has resigned and things look a little rocky for the mayor. If a charge is brought against Noor, and the case laid in front of a jury of his peers, the verdict may well be in the hands of at least a few citizens of Minneapolis who have a similar worldview as the defendant. What would an acquittal look like? Or a conviction? Either way, I foresee a lot more pain in the Cities, future as this case is being decided.

In the meantime, LE agencies should take a closer look at their policies and reach out to their communities. LE training facilities and schools should take another look at their curriculum to see if changes or a refocusing is needed. And citizens should march and talk, but not burn or destroy. At the end of the day, we are all in this together.

Our hearts and prayers go out to the Damond family and the neighborhood. No amount of analysis or discussion can lessen your grief. We are very sorry for your loss.

For further reading:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/16/minn-officer-acquitted-of-manslaughter-for-shooting-philando-castile-during-traffic-stop/?utm_term=.63c8572a22b6

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/world/neighbour-of-justine-damonds-killer-gives-shocking-new-insight-into-his-behaviour/news-story/34eb2c08676af98afc376d83aaff31dd

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cops-question-witness-filmed-minn-police-shooting-article-1.3347335

http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-police-face-questions-about-noor-s-fast-track-training/436057173/

http://www.startribune.com/what-we-know-about-mohamed-noor-minneapolis-police-officer-who-fatally-shot-justine-damond/435018163/#1

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/us/minneapolis-police-chief-resigns-days-after-officer-fatally-shot-a-woman.html

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online. He is a military veteran of the Iraq War. He retired as a Captain in 2015. 

Somali Officer who shot unarmed woman may be impossible to prosecute.

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

 

Minneapolis Police Officer Mohamed Noor allegedly shot Justine Damond after the unarmed woman reported a potential sexual assault in her neighborhood.

Political Correctness in Minneapolis may be costly as well as deadly following the shooting of an unarmed Caucasian woman by a Somali police officer.

Four days ago, Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, a 21-month rookie of the force, shot and killed Justine Damond with a single gunshot through a squad car window. Damond had called the police to report a potential assault in her neighborhood and had gone down to the squad car to talk to the officers when she was shot. Another officer, Matthew Harrity, who was driving the car, had his window down and reports seeing the woman as she approached. The officer reports they were surprised by a loud noise before the woman approached, and Noor fired from the passenger side of the car, across his partner’s body. Damond’s family is understandably distraught, as she was supposed to get married to her fiancé next month. While Harrity complied with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension’s request for an interview, Noor has so far declined.

Everyone deserves his or her day in court in front of a jury of his or her peers, and if Noor is charged, according to US and Minnesota law, he is entitled. What might be very problematic for the state is securing a conviction if the evidence leads to such a charge? Over 21 months ago, the City of Minneapolis was hailing Noor as a hero, the first Somali police officer to enter the force. Since then he has racked up three complaints against him, two of which are still open and pending. And now this. If Noor is charged with something like homicide, Noor may face a jury where at least a percentage of the jurors will be Somali, with a very different world view of the law outside of Minnesota statutes and the US Constitution. I predict that if a jury is empaneled by the state, it will be very difficult if not impossible to secure a conviction. A hung jury or outright acquittal is more likely.

The City of Minneapolis may have shot themselves in the foot here in regards to the hiring of what may be an unstable officer. Already the City Police Department has a bad rep because of the questionable shooting of Philandro Castille, an African-American motorist, last year. The officer who shot him was of Hispanic descent and stated that he was in fear for his life after the driver, who smelled of marijuana, reported to the officer that he had a gun.

That incident was captured in part on video, both from the victim’s girlfriend and the officer’s dashboard cam. No such video of the incident over the weekend is available because the officer’s body cams and dash cams were off when the incident took place. Any case for or against Noor will revolve solely on the statement of Officer Harrity.

With a conviction of a potentially unstable officer seemingly more and more unlikely, the only justice the family of Damond may see may well be a lawsuit against the city. Firing Noor for cause may be the best thing to happen out of this mess, and it might just be in the interest of the City of Minneapolis to settle with the family. A lawsuit for wrongful death may cost the city and taxpayers millions of dollars. So much for the cities dream and hopeful pursuit of diversity and social engineering in the police force.

What do you think should happen in this case? Take a survey below!

For further reading:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/ct-justine-damond-mohamed-noor-minneapolis-shooting-20170719-story.html

http://www.startribune.com/after-justine-damond-shooting-chief-harteau-returns-to-city/435651393/

 

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A Brief Explanation of the Nature of God

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

 

Here are some thoughts that occurred to me the other day as I was waiting at the post office. It was a rather long line and I had a lot of time to think. My thoughts revolved around the nature of God.

Let’s assume for argument sake that God does exist. There is plenty of evidence from nature that he does in fact exist, but I won’t go into those in this column. So, let’s just start with the assumption.

With that as our starting point, we ask the question, what is the nature of God?

Have you ever had that overbearing relative, the parent, brother, or brother-in-law? You go to family reunions after you’ve grown up, and no matter how old or experienced you get, you always have that relative or several of them that are always digging on you, telling you how to live your life, diminishing your capacity, encroaching on your freedom to choose. They always give you unsolicited advice, and after you’ve rolled your eyes for the fifth time, they still go on and on, espousing their philosophy about how you should go forward? “Buy a house! Get out of debt! Get married! Get a better job! Why are you doing that? Don’t you care about your future?” And on and on. It gets annoying, doesn’t it? If you have the capacity, maybe you run away out of town, or maybe even out of state to avoid the constant lectures. That way, you only have to deal with the unsolicited behavior from Uncle Mike on holiday get-togethers. Then it doesn’t get too oppressive and is easier to deal with.

I think a lot of people think that God is that way. His rules are too oppressive, restrictive. If you believe in God then you have to follow his rules and that isn’t any fun. You want to live your life and stretch your wings, find your own sense of fulfillment. You don’t want God looking over your shoulder, like some obscene sky ogre messing everything up. A lot of people I think have this view. There’s a scene in the cult classic series Firefly with main characters Preacher Book and the pirate captain Malcolm Reynolds. Book says something to the effect of, “Everyone loves a preacher!” to which Reynolds says, “No they don’t! Preachers make you feel guilty and judged!” Exactly.

A lot of people are resentful of God and his rules because they resent that relative that is always trying to run their lives. They say that the image of God in people’s minds is driven by their opinion they have of their father and I think to some extent that is true.

But God is not like that. He is quite different. He’s very much like a parent though and he does set down some rules for us when we are young, to keep us safe. He establishes these rules as guild lines so that we more or less follow them in adulthood as a way to live happy lives and keep us out of trouble. A parent establishes bed times and meal times, curfews for teen agers. They establish rules about when we go back in and what time we have to be home. But the rules are always changing, especially as we evolve from children into grown ups. We get more and more freedom to choose for ourselves what we will do, and I think God does the same for us. The basic principles are always there, they just evolve as we get older and more mature. The basic tenants of His law are always with us: don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t lie about a neighbor, don’t be jealous of your neighbor’s stuff. That never changes. But God doesn’t continually nag at you about what you are doing in your day to day life. He isn’t nagging you about taking that job, or investing in a certain way, or marrying the right girl. In otherwords, he’s not like your aunt Milly. Like him, you have free will to choose what you do with your life, within the rules He has set for you. He has established the rules as guidelines for a happy life. Follow them, and you will be happy. Ignore them and you will have to pay the costs. God doesn’t enforce the penalties; the penalties exist all by themselves.

Cheat on your wife, for example, and she will find out. Good luck with that. Three years into the divorce, when you are mad at the ex about custody rules she’s enforced on the kids, and you want them on a certain weekend, a weekend that happens to be hers, reflect on the fact that it’s your own fault that you are here. You declined to follow the rules. Now pay the consequences.

If you embezzle money from your boss, you will eventually get caught. Go ahead and explain to the judge that the rules didn’t apply to you. See how that works out. You’ll be in a small room with bars right across from Bernie Madoff.

Some say the rich and famous don’t pay the same penalties that you would, but they do. In spades. Ever read about celebrity divorces? They are ugly and expensive. Neglected spouses get millions in payouts from their cheater partners and so forth. Politicians are the same way. Look at Anthony Weiner. No don’t, on second thought. He’s gross. But you see what I mean. How about Bill Cosby and OJ Simpson? Sure, their trials came out in their favor, but eventually the consequences do catch up, and it pays a terrible toll. Nobody gets over the consequences.

So really, following the rules God has laid out, only leads to a happier life. Someone explained it to me this way.  Have you ever played a game with someone who doesn’t follow the rules? You hit a shot in, and they call it out. You’re playing the new board game and the rules always seem to come down in their favor? That sucks and eventually you stop playing with them because it’s no longer fun any more. That’s what life is like outside the rules. Eventually, it’s no longer fun.

Finally I think the ultimate consequence of a rebellious life is a Hell we create for ourselves. I don’t think God throws people into Hell so much as they throw themselves into their own version of Hell. Just like I don’t think Lucifer is any kind of a lord of the afterlife. I think he and his angel followers will be banished to a far corner of the universe apart from the warmth of God’s love where they will be forever engaged in a never ending battle of King of the Hill. Everyone scratching and clawing for the brief moment on top. And all of us sinners who reject God will be tossed in with them, for eternal misery. I think of it this way. God is the sun. You bask in his light forever like sunbathers on the beach, surrounded by nice people. Or you can be exiled to the darkest cave of the arctic, left to fend for yourself, surrounded by people who hate each other.

That’s it, that’s my theory about the nature of God. As you can see. It was a very long line at the post office that day, and I had a lot of time to think. What do you think? Leave your comments down below.

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5 Reasons why Trump is the leader Obama only hopes to be!

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) applaud as US President Donald J. Trump (C) arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. / AFP / POOL / JIM LO SCALZO (Photo credit should read JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

In this article, I will outline 5 reasons Donald Trump is the leader Barack Obama could only hope to be. Notice that I will not be talking about Hillary Clinton in any great depth. She is so bad, she doesn’t rate high enough to get anything more than a casual mention.

  1. Trump weathers the storm in good times and bad: Donald Trump is a survivor as we can clearly see. In business, which was hard for everybody, Trump weathers the storm where others fail. Sure, he’s had companies in bankruptcy, but he has cut his losses and restructured, coming out ahead at the end of the day. His businesses employ many people in good paying jobs. Barack Obama has never hired a soul for a single job that wasn’t connected to government and paid for by taxes.
  2. Donald Trump is a successful reality TV star who has used his star power to mentor others and create more business. People who did well on the show have done well in business, benefitting from Trump’s tutelage. Obama has mentored no one, and no one around him has created a successful business that didn’t find its primary funding outside of government. Indeed, Obama used government funds to prop up so-called green businesses at the tax payer expense, all of which have failed, costing the taxpayer billions.
  3. Donald Trump is a successful author whose book is a blue print for successful business leaders. Obama’s book is a sad diatribe over race and equality, a fictional account about why he is locked in to the vision of an imaginary father he never knew and can’t relate to. At the end of the day, Barack didn’t even write his book, it was ghost written by Bill Ayers, so there you go, he can’t even claim his own book as an accomplishment.
  4. Barack Obama can’t succeed in anything unless he uses race as a weapon or he’s lying about who he really is. He’s got everything he has under false pretenses or claiming victim hood. Trump meanwhile used a modest initial investment from his father and created a billion dollar business that has proven successful for the long term. He won an election that was rigged against him at every turn, cheer leaded by a media establishment who supported the other candidate and lied about who he is and what he stands for.
  5. Barack Obama is a divider. He’s got the whole country in turmoil with regards to race, religion and gender. His enemies are still his enemies. Trump is a unifier. People who opposed him on his election are now working with him on common goals. He has a diverse staff that includes a woman who ran his campaign, and a brain surgeon who found a half trillion dollar government financing mistake in the first week of office. He’s sent enemies clear messages warning them of consequences of messing with the US, like Syria and North Korea. Illegal immigration rates are down and many criminal illegals are already being deported. He has put in place a conservative Supreme Court Justice and is keeping his campaign promises. Obama only gave lip service to his promises, with very little positive result.

Now let’s make a clear distinction between Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. Hilary is nothing but a 2-time failed candidate. She is by no means the leader off the Democrat party. Barack Obama in contrast is charismatic and active, all of the party’s failures and successes have come about because of him. But there is nothing he has accomplished that cannot be undone by the stroke of Trump’s pen. All of those executive orders he wrote: gone. And as for his signature accomplishment, Obamacare. If it doesn’t collapse under its own weight, which it surely will, it will be replaced by the congress. The Democrat party under defacto leader Barack Obama lies in flaming ruin.

So there you have it, my five top reasons Trump is the leader Obama only hopes he could be. Let me know if you think I am all wet. People praising me on being right are welcome too. Comment below.

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5 Things I would want to accomplish if I was elected to state office.

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

Jeremy Griffith, the creator of The American Millennium Online.

I was sitting at home thinking about my situation in life and being generally pissed about it, and as a result, I came up with 5 things I would do if I ever was lucky enough to get elected to the Minnesota State Legislature. Here they are.

  1. Eliminate speed limits: speed limit laws are ridiculous. No one enforces them, cops have better things to do with their time, like tamping down on violent crime and public safety. Speed traps are used for one purpose only, generate funds not in the budget for state and local governments. Frugal local governments should solve their budget problems through spending cuts and conservative vision. They should not have the power to utilize law enforcement to pick up budgetary shortfalls by generating revenue through tickets. Instead, if you are a moron, and you are driving like a maniac, the officer should be able to pull you over and you can be charged with a misdemeanor reckless endangerment to public safety, which includes a huge fine and That would take care of the jerks who swerve in and out of traffic, tailgate and make a nuisance of themselves.
  2. Eliminate drunk driving laws: also ridiculous. DUI laws are based on an arbitrary number, at this time .08 blood alcohol content. This is an arbitrary number as alcohol affects people in different ways. A 110 girl that has one drink is going to be affected much more by alcohol than a heavier male because of volume of alcohol compared to your weight. If you are a moron who drinks and drives, an officer will see that you are impaired and make observations on camera to show you are impaired in your driving and on a field sobriety test. The same law should apply, reckless endangerment to public safety. Also, there are drugs out there that there is no test for, so the breathalyzer is obsolete anyway. Drivers stupid enough to get two occurrences of reckless endangerment, because of drugs, alcohol or aggressive driving should permanently lose their license. In the age of Lyft and Uber, no one need worry that they don’t have transportation to get to work. This law would also put people out of business who bilk the government on those stupid breathalyzer locks on your car that people are always dreaming up ways to cheat. Create products the people want and need, not stuff the government will by with money they don’t have.
  3. Eliminate fraud in the college text book sale market: people are selling books to college students at outrageous prices. You can’t tell me text books cost so much to produce that you have to sell them for hundreds of dollars. No book is worth that much. Oh, you can sell your book back when you are done, at an extremely discounted rate, so you are still out a boat load of money. This is a scam to take advantage of the poor college student who just want to study and get a job. A text book can be edited with a power point slide indicating major changes to information. Minor changes aren’t even worthy of note, and a college instructor can amend those in lecture on their own. Anyway, why are we making students carry all those heavy books. Text books should be covered in the price of tuition and issued digitally on a laptop or digital tablet rented out to the student, with the textbooks loaded onto it. One device, no heavy books. No greedy authors taking advantage of poor college students. You’re welcome.
  4. Open up colleges and universities to law suits for students who can’t find a job in their field after four years of good faith effort: I have a masters in journalism. Can’t find a job to save my life. I should be able to sue my institution for failing to help me find a job. Instead, the institution should pay for retraining in a job that actually exists. That will eliminate all of the foolish study programs like gender studies and social justice bull crap that won’t ever lead to a job. Instead, employers should be open to train people off the street in journeyman type internships for jobs that actually exist. If they fail to make the grade, they go to the next employer and the next, until they find a job they have aptitude for. That’s how you get to full employment. Universities and colleges are dumb and have left students with huge debts they can’t pay to save their lives.
  5. Disband the IRS: the IRS is dumb. They can seize your money in your bank if you make deposits of less than $10,000. What right to they have to do that? It looks suspicious because you have money. What is suspicious is the government can just reach into the bank account and take your hard-earned money the same as any common identity thief. Taxes should be garnered from the things that you buy, not the money you earn. That way everyone pays their fair share. Sales tax is a progressive tax. The poor can’t afford to buy a lot, so they buy fewer items and they pay fewer taxes. The rich and middle class buy more, and the taxes they pay are commensurate with their income. Now the IRS can’t target you for your political leanings and can’t seize cash that isn’t theirs, can’t garner wages if you made the unhelpful mistake of choosing an expensive college program that doesn’t lead to an actual job worthy of repaying the outrageous loans you took out. Done.

These are just a few of my top five things I would do if I worked for the legislature. You say: the IRS is a federal government program dummy, how are states going to eliminate that? The states are not subordinate government agencies to the federal government, they’re just more local. By doing away with state income tax and imposing a state sales tax, they alleviate the tax burden. Also, a convention of states can be helpful in removing federal programs by constitutional amendment like the IRS that have proven to be abusive to citizens of the United States.

I don’t have any illusions that I can win an election of course. Elections take lots of money and I don’t have a dime. If I knew of a really popular guy or gal who could generate interest and funds, these are some of the principles I would like him or her to have. These are just my random thoughts. You’re welcome.

Bonus item, Universal Concealed Carry: law abiding hunters should have to submit to a background check and attend a safety class. The same should be true of hand gun owners. Submit to your county sheriff’s office for a background check and pay a fee. Take a class. Carry your gun. Done. Gun licenses in one state should be legal in every state. In addition, if you have contact with law enforcement because you are a dangerously deranged individual and the contact results in a mental commitment, a trained psychologist or psychiatrist can put a temporary hold on your right to carry a weapon. If you attempt to purchase a weapon, the gun store clerk calls the state to confirm your rights have not been removed. They will discover you are under a temporary hold and will deny purchase. Mental patients in good standing with their treatment requirements can petition a judge to have their gun rights returned. Ta da.

What are your thoughts? Am I out in left field or what? What laws would you pass if you were a legislator?

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Through the Red Door: my weekend journey to explore communist bookstores and tattoo shops in Minneapolis

Opening the red door and stepping through I felt like I was like Alice falling into the rabbit hole. -Jeremy Griffith

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

 

So I was invited to do some exploration of the Minneapolis area recently by a close, close friend who was curious about finding out more about a socialist/communist enclave there. Apparently, where he lives he is seeing people with Russian Spetznaz tattoos and his curiosity was piqued. So was mine and I agreed to take a look.

It should be noted that this friend lives far, far from the Minneapolis area, so I was invited to investigate. He didn’t know much. All he knew was there was a communist bookstore in town and around a corner was a tattoo place where people indulged in getting the Spetsnaz tattoos. Spetsnaz are the Russian version of special forces operators and getting the tattoos I guess is a sign of support for anything communist or socialist. I don’t know why anyone who hasn’t served would want a military tattoo, let alone a special forces tattoo. If I suddenly decided to sport a SEAL tattoo, I think Karma would serve me and a real Navy operator would find out and kick my ass, and I would deserve the beating.  While I didn’t find evidence for the tattoos, I did find a book store or two that met the description of the starting point of where I was looking.

Apparently over on Cedar Avenue not far from the University of Minnesota campus there is a bookstore in the basement of a business complex that sells communist literature and propaganda. It’s called May Day books, presumably for the First of May celebration of the birth of Communism in Soviet Russia. They have a parade every year.  On street level at that building there are a number of businesses that rich hippy kids going to school would love to browse, an expensive bike store and a Mountaineering gear supply store complete with a climbing wall training area. All of the businesses on the main floor are connected and you can walk from one to the other. Except for the bookstore. That you had to access through a side exterior staircase that led into a dingy basement. A huge painted logo on the side of the building with yellow paint and bold letters announces progressive books are sold below.

Following down where the arrows point, you find the stair case with a bright red railing leading you down. At the bottom of the stairs is a red door, as red as can be, and through the door is May Day books. I felt like Alice in Wonderland falling through the rabbit hole. I opened the door and stepped inside. I would not have been surprised to see the Mad Hatter.

It’s a quaint little shop with shelves on every wall. It contains only one room and very well could be the meeting place for a failed Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in that area. At the front door to the right is a rack of communist and socialist literature, most of it not terribly current. The election of Donald Trump has taken a bit of the wind out of young progressive sails, apparently, and nobody has the energy to write anything fresh. I started to browse. A store keeper was nowhere to be seen.

I normally love book stores and I have to say, while I would probably not purchase a lot of what the store had to offer, the titles and subject matter intrigued me. Here was a bastion of liberal and progressive thought, ground zero for the enemy’s propaganda and information operations campaign. This was it and I wanted to dive in and see what the left was saying about my beloved capitalist system and free markets.

A sign above the counter announced that the store hadn’t made a profit since its establishment in 1975, the year it was established. Not something most businesses would care to brag about. I started to look around. There was a lot of anti-capitalist tomes available and one even had the title, or something close to it, “Capitalism sucks and here are 10 top reasons why!”

I found one or two books that would be fascinating reading, no matter the content. One was, “Bible stories for the Atheist” and there was another on a female Palestinian hero who fought against alleged Israeli aggression. There was a lot of anti-Semitic propaganda books, a little on so-called Islamaphobia. There was a lot on the Vietnam war and some on the most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of these decried the evils of American Imperialism squashing ancient Middle Eastern cultures to steal oil, or something like that. Any one of these stories would have been an interesting read. There was a whole wall of shelves committed to Malcom X. Interesting.

A store keeper came in eventually from a cave at the back of the store, greeting us politely. He was an older man with a crooked, painful looking twisted leg. He had me pegged as an old soldier at once, there was no hiding from him, even though I’d started to grow my hair longer. He was a communist, not an idiot. He asked me if I’d been in the service and I said yes. He informed me that he had been at Hue (pronounced Way, Vietnamese, I know right?) He asked me about what I thought about the current situation in Syria. I was non-committal, avoiding displaying my true feelings and talking about Trump.

“I think it’s a powder keg and it has always been a powder keg,” I said, and I left it at that. On the way out of the store the guy behind the counter gave me a leaflet on a veterans for peace organization. I accepted it politely and left. I was proud of myself that I actually made it out of a bookstore without buying a book. That rarely happens.

May Day Books. You’ll find old hippies hanging out there. The young hippies go upstairs and buy adventure gear.

My wife and I went upstairs and looked at bikes and canoes, many too expensive for me to afford right now. I appreciated the irony. Maybe I miss my guess, but the guy’s rent in the basement doesn’t pay for the building, the budding capitalists upstairs more than provide for rent and jobs and revenue for the whole block. There were some nice items there for young rich kids to buy with their monthly allotment from their wealthy parents. There was even a climbing wall in the mountaineering portion. Very cool. My hands sweated just thinking about it. I am not much of a climber.

We left that establishment and found another communist museum to a failed ideology. Boneshaker Books in the Seward neighborhood was our next destination. True to its reputation, they had a lot of books not often found in other places. They got me for about $40 for only two books. There was an Asian gentleman around the counter managing the place, and a young Caucasian woman eating some organic dish right in the middle of the store largely ignoring my wife and I. It’s a good thing we found the place because we hadn’t stopped all day and my wife and I both had to use the bathroom. (One of the bathrooms at the store was down, but the one we saw that still functioned was clean and well-kept.) It was either that or the laundromat down the street which my little Asian wife patently refused to use.

Boneshaker Books. The new progressives like a shinier package for their socialist and communist media options.

Boneshaker Books is a little bigger than May Day and has a tiny collection of rare books and art. On the door is a sign decrying their need to love diversity, being good liberals that they are, that read: “We embrace our Muslim brothers and sisters. All are welcome! Stop Islamaphobia!” I wonder if the bookseller would be as welcoming if they knew I was a diehard conservative with libertarian leanings? My wife and I didn’t fail to notice that there were definitely Somali and Muslim influences in the neighborhood. We entered a grey stucco building covered with elaborate vines and we were not disappointed. I put several books back on the shelves not for wanting to have them, but just to preserve my hard-earned cash. I have too many books as it is.

Off one corridor was a conference room where it appears they had meetings where young liberals talked about whatever young liberals talk about. I didn’t see a sign for the Hillary Clinton Election Failure support group, but I didn’t look that hard. I imagine some of that is going on. To one side close to the entrance I saw a rack of propaganda almost exactly like the one at May Day. Apparently, they’re on the same distribution list. I didn’t take anything this time. On the walls above the books were several drawings by local artists for sale, many of them very nicely done. One thing liberals often do better than we conservatives is art, literature, and poetry. They’re wired that way and they are very good story-tellers. Unfortunately, much of the stories they tell are fantasy fiction. It doesn’t work in real life. But, looking at the art and pursuing the books, I couldn’t help being impressed. I put several books back which I would normally have been very interested in, like history, war, insurgency and that sort of thing. There was a copy of 1984 and Upton Sinclair’s Jungle, which I thought was interesting. (All of these young kids should actually read 1984 rather than just stock it on shelves, but I digress.)

I actually picked up two titles that I hadn’t heard of before. One was a graphic novel called “Pride of Baghdad” by Brian Vaughan and Niko Henrichon. It’s the story based loosely on a true event that happened in Baghdad during the 2003 invasion to oust Saddam Hussein. Apparently, we bombed a zoo, the lions got out, and we shot the lions. End of story. I didn’t care much for the dialogue, but the art of the panels and the premise of the story were intriguing. I give it a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

One of my favorite panels in the graphic novel “Pride of Baghdad”. The story idea of this book is intriguing, the art panels are excellent, the dialogue is kind of lame. I give it a 7 out of 10! -Jeremy Griffith

The other one I picked up was called, “Narco-Economics, How to Run a Drug Cartel” by Tom Wainwright. I think it will make an interesting read and will go along with my binge TV watching of Breaking Bad on Netflix. In my mind, I think it will provide some information for research I’m doing on another story line I’m working on. Wait and see. It’s written by a guy who apparently has done journalistic work for The Economist in their Mexico City office, as well as for the Guardian, the Times and Literary review. I’ll let you know how it is.

I made my purchases at the counter and the store keeper offered us free buttons. “Fuck Trump” they said. That’s why they were free, nobody would take them. My wife and I politely declined and left the building.

An unintentionally funny panel in the graphic novel “Pride of Baghdad”. Instead of generating sorrow, it’s good for a laugh. I imagine this is what happened to progressives who found out Trump won the presidency. First they become incoherent, then their heads explode.

The next stop on our journey was a little shop around the corner, at Tattoo establishment. A tall thin man with ink and piercings came out from the other room. I think we largely wasted our his time, for which I apologize. It was evident to him from the beginning we weren’t interested in getting tattoos, we didn’t seem the type. I was much more interested in seeing if he had any evidence that that was the store where the Spetznaz tattoos came from. I asked a couple of questions about art and pricing, which he politely indulged, and then we left him to his real customers. I was impressed with the artwork that he had on display. If the actual tattoos look anything like the art displayed on the walls, then the workers really know their business.

The rest of the day my wife and I spent shopping at Asian groceries in Minneapolis and St. Paul. My wife is Filipino and once a month I indulger her in her quest for seafood. There are a couple of nice shops that are usually well stocked, but this time were not. Must be a bad time of the year for sea fish? We visited Shaung Hur off of University Avenue which had nothing, so we migrated to the store of the same name off of Nicolette. There we actually did get some fish and shrimp, which made my wife extremely happy. My wife pointed out a weird looking fruit she likes called Durian. It looks like a big, green, spiky alien head. I imagined that if you cut it open, an alien baby would pop out and eat your head like in the classic horror movie, Aliens. They make a Durian drink like a milk shake that is actually a very sweat, white frothy concoction with a green aftertaste. My wife and I stopped around the corner to try one at a little Vietnamese kitchen. Then we went over to a Mexican restaurant next door and had lunch. It was expensive, but the food was good. I had a Cerveza Dos Eqius, which is uncharacteristic for me. I usually don’t drink beer in the middle of the day.  

At the end of the day, I was struck by the oddity and contrast of our little mission to Minneapolis. So many contradictions. Communists decry the horror and unfairness of capitalism, but all around them capitalism thrives, the mountain bike store, the Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants, the Filipino and Asian food stores, all of them thrive because of free markets. Even the communist and socialist books stores thrive from the free market place of ideas. Some would say that their goal is to shut down the debate of competing ideas. I am a free speech guy. Let them try to spread their failed ideology. They can forever be a case study in the museum of wrong thinking. I agree with Sean Connery who said in a movie once that we should be reading books rather than burning them. How else do we challenge our closely held beliefs?

The communists didn’t win me over, and I didn’t win over any of them. But I had a good time exploring enemy territory. Too bad there aren’t any conservative bookstores in that neighborhood. 

For further reading:

http://www.citypages.com/arts/top-7-bookstores-in-the-twin-cities-6576379

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2003/apr/22/iraq1

http://www.boneshakerbooks.com/

http://maydaybookstore.org/

 

 

 

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Is Genesis History? Movie Review

 
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

Del Tackett (right) interviews Dr. Danny Faulkner, PhD, for the movie Is Genesis History.

Blink and you might have missed it, but this week and last week there were limited showings of the new pro-creation vs. evolution film, Is Genesis History? staring Del Tackett, which appeared in theaters across the country. In this independent film, Tackett interviews PhD level scientists who hold a strong creationist view about their opinions of the Genesis Biblical account and how the physical earth evidence shows that the Global Flood appearing in the Bible could have happened. 

Professionally shot with scenic locations around the world, Tackett creates a narrative, backed up by scientists, that Genesis is a historical account that can be backed up by physical evidence in geology, archaeology, astronomy, language, and history. It was enjoyable to watch the arguments, and anecdotally, in the second showing of the film I attended in Rochester Minnesota, the theater was packed with movie goers of all ages. 

I liked it, and so did most of those who saw it. Rotten Tomatoes, who doesn’t have any professional critique of the movie as yet, does say that 70 percent of movie goers who saw it report that they liked it. You can see some of the movie goer commentary here

I’ve often felt that the theory of evolution and secular science instruction has killed the faith of a lot of young people attending high school and college. This movie seems to be an attempt at mitigating the damage and bringing young people back to faith. It does a good job with the arguments it makes. I can’t wait until the show comes out in DVD so I can show my family and my church. 

The movie is not without resistance though. Hard core atheists and the secular science community probably won’t be jumping of their chairs and exclaiming, “you’re right! We’ve got it all wrong!” But, this movie is a good beginning to the discussion for people who are on the fence. 

Speaking of fence sitters: Bio Logos, a group of scientists who hold onto a christian world view, but refuse to totally reject the theory of evolution, wrote a critique of the movie in the latest blog by Mike Beidler. Beidler argues that only two of the now well known arguments are presented in the movie. A third world view, that which attempts a middle ground between the Bible’s literal interpretation and evolutionary theory, is not included in the discussion and is totally dismissed. He says that those who study science don’t have to reject either evolution instruction or their faith, there is a third way. He criticizes Tackett’s film by not presenting a third world view in the body of the movie and talking deceptively and dismissively in a round table discussion following the movie. Beidler stops short of giving a blow by blow rebuttal of the evidence presented in the movie, but says that an understanding and acceptance of evolution doesn’t need to endanger faith. You can read the entire blog at the Bio Logos website here

There’s apparently no love lost between the folks that made the Tackett movie and the folks over at Bio Logos. In a blog written a couple of years ago on the Answers In Genesis website, author John UpChurch states that Bio Logos is dangerous because they put people on a shaky middle ground that endangers their faith. The blog was written too early to comment on the Tackett move, but apparently the Bio Logos people and the Answers In Genesis people have a long history, and don’t get along well. You can read UpChurch’s blog post here

While it is true that Tackett does not present this view in his movie, we don’t think he should have to. After all, a Chevy dealer shouldn’t be forced to give praise to the Ford company, do you think? Bio Logos seems well equipped to make their own arguments on their own platforms. It would be interesting to see people from the two groups debate, however. 

I recommend this movie for parents, uncles and aunts, and grandparents to drag their millennial kids to see. It’s not oppressive in it’s presentation and it offers another look into different perspectives not seen in public schools and institutions today. It doesn’t get to down in the weeds either, so the kids won’t be rolling their eyes and falling asleep as they drown in scientific minutia. Overall I give this film an 8 out of 10. I look forward to seeing a DVD and other supporting materials coming out in the near future. 

 

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Trump Derangement Syndrome Will Seriously Kill the Democrat Party

US Vice President Mike Pence (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) applaud as US President Donald J. Trump (C) arrives to deliver his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017. / AFP / POOL / JIM LO SCALZO (Photo credit should read JIM LO SCALZO/AFP/Getty Images)

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

 

If you like pomp and circumstance, political theater and what not, then you had two television choices this week; watch the Oscars where you get movie stars lecturing regular people about their pet political issues, or watch a reality TV star turned President of the United States lecture the whole country about pet political issues. Either way, the choice you make tells a lot about you.

 

I skipped the actors and watched the politician and I was dully impressed and surprised. I like many observers was not expecting Donald Trump to do well in this venue and he nailed it. The speech was uplifting, motivational, hopeful and almost completely devoid of political harassment of those on the other side of the political aisle. Apparently Trump’s handlers won in convincing him to take a more conciliatory tone and it worked. Trump did not look like the monster everyone has been portraying him as, and many, even critics in the hard-nosed press admitted that he looked very presidential.

Which gets me to this observation: what the hell was up with the Democrats in the Hall? Most if not all Democrat women wore white in honor of the women’s suffrage movement. They know, don’t they that women in this country have been able to vote for some time now right? Did the Donald say expressly in his campaign or other speeches that he was planning on getting rid of the women’s vote? Did I miss something? And what was that about when some of them failed to stand up and applaud for the widow of a fallen Navy SEAL? They know what that looks like on TV right?

Indeed, the Democrats in attendance at the speech proved to be the most boorish, self-centered and deranged people on the planet, pretty hard to achieve since we have Hollywood. But there it is. People can see the derangement syndrome come over the hard left politicians and actors and it seriously will kill the party if they’re not careful.

I didn’t hear anything in the speech that I hadn’t heard from any other politician, including what I’ve heard from The Philippines. In fact, if anything I think President Trump stole significant portions of President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech where both men promised to fix vital infrastructure and fight illegal drugs. (The difference between the Philippines and the US is that the little Asian archipelago is bleeding talent and the United States is taking it in.) Donald Trump’s many promises are very similar to many of the promises we’ve heard in the past, with a little bit different flavor, he’s going to fix health care, he’s going to build the wall, he’s going to protect us against criminal illegal aliens who murder and rape inside our borders, he’s going to fight and destroy Isis, all good things. I understand that from a political perspective the Dems won’t stand for every promise, but they certainly could stand and clap for some of it. After all, who thinks our roads and bridges are in good shape? I’m from Minnesota. Bridges fall down here.

President Trump’s acknowledgement of a disabled girl kept alive by a medical miracle is a huge show of compassion on his part and that alone would have been enough to humanize him for those watching. But then he doubled down when he also acknowledged the widow of fallen Navy SEAL warfighter Ryan Owens who was tragically killed in a fateful raid in Yemen last month. The value of that particular raid is in question and I understand the parents of this fallen hero are pretty steamed at the president for comments he made earlier about Gold Star families who have made appearances for the Democrats, but the acknowledgement and praise the president had for this man and his poor wife was emotional and sympathetic and a very good move on the president’s part.

 

Democrats reach back to the political crypt back to former KY Governor Steve Beshear for the Democratic response to President Trump’s speech Tuesday night. The image of the aging governor in a greasy spoon restaurant with a mostly white crowd gathered round looked weird and out of touch.

Several commentators on TV notably commented that Donald Trump became the President of the United States with this speech, including Van Jones, Mike Wallace and Glenn Beck and I think they’re right. I also thing that the president helped himself greatly and is not going away, no matter how angry and deranged the left is about it. In fact, their response to the speech was weird and disconnected, trotting out the retired 101-year old Governor of Kentucky for the Democratic response speech and having him speak from what looked like a greasy spoon café in small town America was so weird that it not only didn’t help their cause, it actually made them look rather goofy and out of touch. Perhaps they thought, ‘Hell, Governor Beshear hasn’t got a political future to risk, have him give the speech. What harm can it do?’ A lot. It would probably have been better if they’re had been no response.

 

At the end of the day my analysis is this: Trump is the big winner on this deal, HUGE! If he keeps this momentum, he’ll have a good four years and might even win a second term. He’s good at sabotaging himself on Twitter however so we’ll just have to wait and see. Big losers: the democrats who sat on their hands and looked like sourpusses and poor-sports. If they don’t find a cohesive message, then they’ll go the way of the Blue-Footed Booby, extinction! But, politics is like weather in Minnesota, if you wait long enough, it will change. We’ll see.

Big winner of the night, Donald J. Trump.

 

 

The fate of Democrat party if they’re not careful; isolation, irrelevance, extinction.

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Crowds Pack College Theater as Congressman Tim Walz Makes Rare Town Hall Appearance

Tim Walz makes a rare public town hall meeting in Rochester’s RCTC Charles E. Hill Theater Thursday. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium Online

Congressman Tim Walz-D, CD1 of Minnesota, looking dapper and hip in blue jeans, brown leather shoes, button-down shirt and blue blazer, met with constituents in a rare town hall meeting on Thursday in the Rochester Community and Technical College’s Charles E. Hill Theater.

It was rare because Walz, who won back his seat in the House of Representatives by the narrowest of margins last election cycle, rarely meets with the regular public, only donors. But this was different and the glib and professional looking Walz helped himself greatly in the effort.

There were a lot of issues discussed at the town hall, which was packed to standing room only at the edges where Walz made a brief statement in the beginning before answering questions from the audience non-stop for two and half hours. The subject matter of the town hall ranged widely from the disputed fate of the failing Affordable Health Care Act, to National Security and Immigration. But there was one big take away.

Walz will not rule out a run for the Governorship of Minnesota.

A lady in the crowd asked the Congressman if he would run, eliciting his response. Many of the crowd showed their opposition of such a move, preferring him to remain in his current position. Still, there was a lot of applause as well when the Congressman said he would not rule it out. That applause may be indicative that a win for Walz in a governor’s race is at least possible.

Governor Mark Dayton, the incumbent, will be through with his latest term in two years and is not expected to run again. Dayton has been struggling with cancer and had a scary moment at his latest State of the State address when he passed out briefly at the end of his speech.

Running for Governor instead of his old seat in the congress may be a good move for Walz considering the slim victory he had over Republican challenger Jim Hagedorn the last time. Hagedorn is an able campaigner and has run against the incumbent twice before. With the unpopularity of the ACA and Walz’s liberal stances in a largely conservative district, three times might be the charm for Hagedorn. Conversely, Walz might make a much better showing in the statewide race especially factoring in blue areas including the Twin Cities Metro area, Rochester, Duluth and the Iron Range areas.

While Walz has said he won’t rule out such a campaign, he has not acknowledged a desire to run and it isn’t a sure thing. We’ll just have to see.

Congressman Tim Walz answers questions from the public during a town hall meeting in Rochester Thursday. -photo by Jeremy Griffith

Meanwhile, in the two and a half hours Walz spoke to constituents, several things became clear:

1. There is a lot of concern about ACA and medical coverage in general and the ACA has failed to meet the expectations of the voters in meeting its promises of lowering costs, increasing coverage, and increasing or maintaining choice. Indeed the opposite is true for many, which the congressman freely acknowledged.

2. People are concerned about immigration, especially of refugees from areas of concern named in the travel ban enacted by the Trump administration and challenged in the courts. Walz acknowledged those fears saying that national security concerns are a real issue, but stopped short thereafter, saying that it was wrong to demonize an entire sector of people, namely Muslims, who worship differently and have different cultural practices.

3. Walz would like the public to believe that health care is a journey and not a destination. He says he would like to see an ACA fix rather than an out and out repeal. Indeed he joked about a repeal and replace that came back on November 9, after an election cycle where it can do little damage to politicians struggling to win in elections, a common tactic used several times by the Obama administration. Many don’t think this is a terribly funny joke as their health care insurance provided in part by their employers have been cancelled and not replaced. Many others feel tied to their jobs when other opportunities avail themselves, because the coverage at a new employer may not be as good as what they have in their current job. Still many others have not gotten insurance, despite tax penaties, because they are healthy and don’t have jobs that will allow them to afford the coverage and high deductibles.

4. People are concerned about their privacy considering the knowledge that the government has the technology to spy on their telephonic conversations and internet usage. One attendee commented to the congressman that while privacy is important, the idea that a sitting National Security Advisor having his private phone conversations listened to and recorded shows the nation’s enemies what our capabilities are. NS Advisor Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was recently allowed to resign his new post after it became clear that he was having phone conversations with Russia prior to the election.

One question that seemed to take the discussion on a completely different tangent was the concern of one attendee who was against the so-called militarization of police forces. He son was on the local police force and was a current member of a SWAT or tactical team. Walz allowed that seeing officers in heavy gear and uparmored vehicles created a tension between cops and the community, but also said he favored legislation that provided equipment for local officers to be well protected in the execution of their very dangerous and hazardous duties of protecting the public.

In Walz’s appearance Thursday, he seemed to be very adept at playing both sides against the middle. Nothing he said in the meeting seemed to be outrageously right or left. If you’re a national security guy, you might be lead to believe that Walz is as worried as you. But then he denounces efforts by the Trump administration in carrying out his duties as commander in chief by temporarily banning refugees from Muslim minority countries of concern also black listed under the Obama administration. If you were for the ACA, you might believe that Walz is for improving it and are worried that Republicans will throw it in the trash. If you thing the ACA is a failure, you might get a sense that Walz is actually for a fix that might actually just be repeal and replace.

In essence, Walz was soft on specifics when it came to individual policy decisions that he would support or oppose, only indicating that he didn’t want to “diminish anyone’s concerns”.

When asked if he supported the continued federal funding of abortion provider Planned Parenthood, for example, Walz simply said “yes” and left it at that. There was no discussion of how Walz felt about the realization that P&P was actually selling the body parts of aborted fetuses for profit to medical research companies and whether or not he felt that practices was wrong and the practitioners prosecuted.

If you were looking for a kill stroke that showed Walz as a radical leftist as his voting record seems to indicate, you didn’t see it in this public appearance. What you did see is the slow acknowledgement that the Obama administration’s chief accomplishment, the ACA, is not living up to expectations and desperately needs to be fixed, repealed or replaced. Walz’s support of the law is likely the chief reason he nearly lost the last election round and why he should probably seek another office where his chances are better.

Watch a video of highlights of the town hall meeting below.

 

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Real Journalism: The Unreported World now Available on Netflix

 
by Jeremy Griffith
The American Millenniuim

Journalist Kiki King of Unreported World with freedom fighters in Kobani, Syria. – photo credit Unreported World

The camera viewfinder pans over her and you catch a glimpse of a running girl in body armor and blue kevlar helmet, but then her image is gone again; replaced by sky, debris in the streets, sky again, a devastated city with an explosion in the far distance. British reporter Kiki King is in the Syrian town of Kobani with her producer and cameraman covering the ongoing war between Kurdish Freedom Fighters and Isis. They’re running across a dangerous road as snipers attempt to engage them, which is why the camera has such trouble focusing on the action. This is British TV Channel 4’s debut on Netflix of the journalistic public affairs program, Unreported World, which appeared this month.

The TV show Unreported World has been a staple of British TV since 2000, but with the advent of streaming channels and a desire to get away from Fake News and into more entertaining and engaging journalistic efforts Netflix has adopted a season of 8 episodes, each lasting 24 minutes apiece. The first of these episodes is the one described above, called The City That Beat Isis. In the 24 minute episode, King and her cameraman talk with fighters in the besieged city of Kobani as they try to liberate it from Isis. There isn’t much of the sprawling town to save, much of it is in ruin, destroyed by war and coalition air strikes aimed at dislodging terrorists. You can see distant explosions, coalition aircraft circling overhead leaving long white chemtrails, bodies in the streets, and broken buildings. You can see the fear in King’s face as she plods along in her reporting, giving the blow by blow of what is happening in the contest over the city. The crack of bullets can be heard in the background as she reports. At one point, a rocket lands very near her, and the camera falters again as the camera operator seeks cover. “That was very close,” King says, very deadpan and British.

After watching three of these episodes, I’m hooked. As a journalism junkie, I’m enthralled by good reporting and this new series, while being very old, is actually new to America and it has a lot of variety. News junkies like me will dig it. It’s very much in the vein of Vice News and Vox, very edgy with real content from areas of the world often neglected by the mainstream media. The second episode in the season shifted to America where another female Brit takes a look at young rodeo participants in the American south, some of the contestants are as young as 8 and 9 years old and their parents allow them to participate in dangerous sport more traumatic on the body often times than pro-football in the NFL. The episode is entitled, America’s Cowboy Kids.

The kids are typical southern kids, very respectful of the reporter interviewing them. “Yes, Ma’am!” and “No, Ma’am!” are often their replies to the reporter’s questions as they describe why they love their sport and how they struggle through the inevitable injuries and disappointments that come with it. The families involved are very religious, and you see them praying before competition. You can feel a lump in your throat as you see young kids in full protective gear get on to a bucking steer in a shoot and prepare to ride it for a full eight seconds, exactly like the highly paid professional bull riders they idolize. The parents are looking on. The gate opens and the enraged animal explodes into the open arena, attempting mightily to dislodge its rider, which doesn’t take long. There’s a tense moment where the child continues to ride, sliding off precariously to the side as the steer prances and spins. Then the child falls off, and a sharp hoof comes down hard, dangerously close to the child’s body. The rodeo clowns distract the animal and pull it away. The boy gets up from underneath, and runs to the side of the arena and climes the fence. He’s ok.

I really get the sense that the reporters and producers of this series really have their fingers on the pulse of the world and show stories with real drama and impact. Every episode follows a similar pattern, but the formula doesn’t diminish the show, because the stories are so interesting. A very professional looking man in a finely tailored gray suit, introduces the show at the beginning before tossing over to the reporter in the field. There the storytellers take the viewer of the guided tour of the land, issue and concept they are reporting on.

In episode 3 we are in Zimbabwe where a young hip looking black man with dreadlocks is covering non-traditional journalism/comedy critical of that nation’s longstanding and brutish dictator, Robert Mugabe. Reporter Seyi Rhodes introduces the viewer to a group of friends, white and black, who work together to produce edgy comedy and journalism criticizing Zimbabwe’s leader Mugabe. Collectively this group calls themselves Zembizi News, and their brave comedic efforts brazenly attacks the dictator and his yes-man state-run media. The dictator recently tripped on a rug at a political event and pictures of his fall have gone viral, giving these internet rebels a lot of material. Through Rhodes’s reporting we can see how dangerous it is for these talented comedians to be calling out their government. While it would be only natural for a comedy show in the United States to parody a politician, in Zimbabwe, it can be very dangerous and even lethal. Comedy takes courage in Africa.

Eight episodes of this series will not be enough for journalism connoisseurs like me. Netflix, please add more of this series and quickly. Even back dated issues are good. The ones appearing now are already two years old. I predict that Netflix will order more episodes which will be consumed quickly. I the meantime, there’s always You Tube. I have to see the next episode.

You can see a full episode of the report from Zimbabwe from Unreported World’s You Tube Channel here: https://youtu.be/g1wTucQlj9s

 

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Tucker Carlson Brutalizes Jose Vargus on Immigration

By Jeremy Griffith
The American Millennium

Tucker Carlson and journalist Jose Vargus have a heated argument over Donald Trump’s new temporary travel ban. -image from Fox News

Jose Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and undocumented alien, went on the Tucker Carlson show on Fox last night to talk about Donald Trump’s immigration program, and the results were brutal as Tucker laid into the Filipino immigrant over his illegal status. 

You can watch the whole conversation on Fox above. It is easy to see here why Carlson’s ratings are through the roof as he takes Vargus to task on immigration. Over the weekend, because of a faulty rollout of a temporary moratorium of seven countries deemed too dangerous to allow immigrants from, airports around the country were clogged with protesters angry about people being denied access to the country. Many people, including green card holders were stopped and detained as their statues was verified. 

President Donald Trump announced through executive order that there was a temporary ban on travelers from seven failed states, mostly in Muslim majority areas, where it was deemed too dangerous to allow people into the country. Nations included on the list include, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan. 

Unarguably, the implementation of this travel ban was anything but smooth. But, the United States does have borders and does have the right to limit travel when national security is at state, a fact Carlson establishes in the interview with Vargus. 

In their conversation, Vargus asked the deeper question about why it is that people are coming into the country in the first place and he’s not wrong to ask that question. It’s not hard to answer and though he has difficulty making is point, when he finally gets around to making it, the point is valid. The United States has always had an appetite for cheap labor. Immigrants sick of eating garbage in their own home countries risk becoming illegal aliens by jumping the border and finding work here. This immigration is fueled by weak willed politicians who want to have votes from these undocumented aliens come election time and who refuse to go after the companies that use the labor of these people. As a result, the United States victimizes these people, creating a secondary slavery where people too desperate not to come are forced over the border in search for a better life. 

The Philippines, which the US has a longstanding relationship, is no exception. That country has no shortage of skilled labor, but a lack of good jobs, which forces many to leave their homeland and seek employment elsewhere. Families are split apart, months, maybe years at a time as family members find work in far-flung areas like Canada, The  US, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Italy, etc. My wife, a Filipino immigrant, has relatives in all of these places. Family ties are stretched thin as family members spend long stretches of time apart. 

Meanwhile, journalist Jose Vargus flaunts his illegal status as he criticizes the American System that allowed him to have so much success. Vargus has had plenty of time to solidify his status in this country legally and he refuses to do it. He should take his journalism skills home with him, where he can do an in depth documentary on the President Duterte’s war on drugs, or he could make a film on the tragedy of homeless Filipinos still digging through garbage for food to survive. I recently downloaded a Filipino news channel on Roku and was shocked as I watched a short video on the problem. 

Bottom line is this. Tucker is right when he confronts Vargus with his opening question. How would the Philippines feel if people illegally occupied that country and took jobs away from local nationals in the midst of an economic downturn and labor glut. I don’t think President Rodrigo Duturte, who has been clear in his disdain for the United States, would play that game, and illegals would be immediately deported. 

The Nations of Europe have flung open the doors to immigration from Muslim majority countries, and the citizens there have soon regretted it. Large communities of Sharia observant men who refuse to integrate cause many problems for the locals. Crime is at an all time high and gun sales are through the roof as Europeans seek ways to defend themselves by means they never had the right to before. If the United States is to avoid the problems in Europe, then they need to vet people more carefully who want to come here, even if that process is in a state of flux for awhile. America is a land of immigrants, and it always will be. But the United States government owns the right to control the flow. 

 

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