California Refugee Craig Huey Describes His Return from Oppressed California to the Freedom and Liberty of Middle Tennessee

California Refugee Craig Huey Describes His Return from Oppressed California to the Freedom and Liberty of Middle Tennessee

Live from Music Row, Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed marketing guru, Craig Huey of The Huey Report in studio to describe his recent trip to California where he witnessed the overwhelming homeless condition and vibes of oppression.

Leahy: In studio, our very good friend, a recent California refugee, a very successful businessman with a database marketing company, Mr. Craig Huey. Good morning, Craig.

Huey: Good morning, Michael. How are you?

Leahy: Craig, I have failed the test of being a good host in previous times here when the coffee that I’ve made for you and the container in which it’s been held have not been top-rated.

Huey: Well, that’s true. But, Michael, you have really achieved a great accomplishment, this coffee is great. What is this coffee?

Leahy: (Laughs) It’s called liberal tears.

Huey: Perfect.

Leahy: By Black Rifle Coffee. And you can get it at

Huey: That’s awesome.

Leahy: It’s important to me that when guests come in studio, they have a pleasant experience, and I’m a good host.

Huey: Or a little energy.

Leahy: A little energy. And so the coffee is good today. You like it? Drinking it as we speak. (Huey chuckles) So now, Craig, you’re always so much fun to talk with. I lived in California for a period of time, but I got smart earlier. (Laughter) I left 31 years ago.

Huey: Yes. Which was probably a good time.

Leahy: And you left, what, two years ago?

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: But you have a hugely successful database and marketing company here now, based in Nashville.

Huey: In Nashville. And no regrets.

Leahy: How could anybody regret living in state income tax-free Tennessee? But you do a lot of traveling.

Huey: Oh, yeah. And occasionally you give us the reports from your travels, particularly back to California.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: How bad is it getting there?

Huey: Worse.

Leahy: It’s even worse.

Huey: It’s even worse. (Leahy chuckles) You know, I am so astonished by instead of seeing improvements, I see declines. I got to tell you, I was traveling through Los Angeles just recently.

You’re talking about a week ago. I made a trip to Arizona and made a trip to California. And in that time, I was so beyond discouraged, really discouraged, because I love California.

Leahy: It’s beautiful. There is no more beautiful place in the world.

Huey: Or weather.

Leahy: Or weather than California. But they’re ruining it.

Huey: The politics have ruined the state of California. I had to leave California from a business perspective because of its anti-business policies. I left as a personal matter because of the crime, the homelessness, and the high taxes in a state that you cannot live in or retire in, you cannot build a business in anymore.

Leahy: And now there are people, the Silicon Valley oligarch billionaire types, they can live there. And the Hollywood types, who are worth over $10 million or so, can live there. But what did you experience in Los Angeles last week that was an indication of the further decline of California?

Huey: I was around an area called Griffith Park, and it’s a beautiful area, except the homeless control the Griffith Park area. The homeless are just encamping there with their tents, and it’s become like many cities with nobody doing anything about it. And then I watch the news.

I take a look at what’s going on in the local area and it’s one attack by a homeless person against somebody walking down the street, threatening somebody at a school or church, intimidated because these people are all around harassing the people trying to come into the church. It is a nightmare for people living there.

Leahy: It really is. For like an average, an everyday person who’s trying to basically just make a living and take care of their family.

Huey: Oh, it broke my heart as a business owner to see all these retail stores. I told my wife, I looked at my wife, Shelley, I said, Shelley, can you imagine walking to one of these retail stores with all these homeless camped out in front? It wouldn’t be safe for you.

Leahy: Not exactly what you call a pleasant shopping experience, is it?

Huey: No. Not at all.

Leahy: And then you come back to God’s country, Middle Tennessee beautiful and the people are nice and no state income tax. I don’t know if I mentioned that.

Huey: I talk about the fact that there’s oppression. There’s a feeling of oppression.

Leahy: Oh, yeah, in California. And there’s a feeling of freedom and liberty in Tennessee.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Craig Huey” by Craig Huey. Background Photo “Franklin, Tennessee” by Brandon Jean.









Author of Journeys with a Tin Can Pilgrim, Lynda Rozell on Inspiration to Give Everything up and Travel via Airstream

Author of Journeys with a Tin Can Pilgrim, Lynda Rozell on Inspiration to Give Everything up and Travel via Airstream


Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Lynda Rozell, aka the Tin Can Pilgrim, to the newsmaker line to discuss what motivated her to sell everything and hit the road in an Airstream trailer. 

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by Lynda Rozell, the author of Journeys with a Tin Can Pilgrim. Welcome, Lynda. And of course, the first question is, what is a Tin Can Pilgrim?

Rozell: Good morning. I’m so happy to be here. And a tin can pilgrim is what I call myself because I live in a big tin can on wheels, also known as an Airstream travel trailer.

Leahy: Airstream, of course, they are the elite trailers. When I was a kid, my dad aspired to own an Airstream trailer. That was in the 60s. And the deal was that we started off with these tents that you’d haul around behind the car and you’d go to a campground and put up the tent.

My mother hated the tent. (Chuckles) So then we progressed to a regular trailer. But my dad always wanted to get an Airstream but could never afford it. Tell us about why you live in an Airstream trailer.

Rozell: That’s the second part of the name. The pilgrim part. I think I’ve led a pretty conventional life before I started doing this. But about three years ago, I was on the verge of becoming an empty nester.

And I also was at kind of a transition point in my career. And I really just sort of prayed to God and said, well, what should be the next thing I do in life? I had my own ideas about that but somehow he put it on my heart to buy an Airstream travel trailer and a truck. I had to learn how to drive the truck because previously I lived in an urban area and only drove a Mazda three.

So that was quite a transition itself to go up to a Ram 1500 truck. And within four months of really coming to the decision to do this, I had quit my job, sold my house, taken my equity, and purchase the Airstream travel trailer and the truck, which sounds kind of crazy.

Leahy: Well, it doesn’t sound go totally crazy. But it sounds a little bit unusual. I sort of remember some stories about people again, back in the 60s, I’m dating myself, people that just roamed around the country.

And this is sort of a literary theme as well. You see television programs and literary themes. I recall the famous 1960s program with Ben Gazara. Remember that one? Run for your life. Do you remember that one?

Rozell: Well, actually, at that time in the 1960s, I was too young to watch TV. (Laughter) Well, the idea was the guy was a guy diagnosed with some terminal disease but it would be a disease where he would be normal and then just drop dead.

That was the claim. So what he did was, I’m going to live life and he sold everything and he ran around the country having adventures with beautiful women and crazy people. You know? One of those deals.

It ran for three years. It was very popular. At the end of the show, it was determined that it was a misdiagnosis anyway and he went on to live for a long time. That was the premise of the show.

Rozell: That’s funny. I wonder if he fell in love with the lifestyle because so many people do. I’m a full-time nomad. I don’t have a stick and brick house, as we call the stable location in one place.

A traditional house. But this is a huge movement. There are a lot of people that are doing this, and it’s delightful because I can go anywhere. I want. My home is on wheels.

And especially out west, there’s a lot of land that’s public land that’s very inexpensive to camp on. And I’ve also made networks of friends where I can roam around and visit people I’ve met and stay in their yards or their driveways temporarily.

And at the same time, I can go visit my grown children whenever I want and bring my own home with me. It provides a little bit of that comfortable distance, which makes it easy to visit often.

Leahy: So tell me about your life before. I’m not going to say you didn’t go crazy.

Rozell: Right.

Leahy: But tell me about your life before you made this dramatic change in it. How about that?

Rozell: Sure. I think this is something I really found myself able to do because of developing faith in God and radical trust in God. And that happened through a lot of suffering in my life.

I had been very successful professionally in my youth. I had a prominent position in the federal government as an attorney, working for the federal trade.

Leahy: You were an attorney?

Rozell: Yes.

Leahy: You went to law school?

Rozell: I went to UVA. (Chuckles)

Leahy: You went to the University of Virginia Law School?

Rozell: Yes I did.

Leahy: That’s the top ten law school. Or maybe top five, depending, I guess UVA grads would say top five.

Rozell: Lots of UVA grads would say. (Chuckles)

Leahy: Charlottesville, Virginia.

Rozell: I loved Charlottesville, Virginia. I moved to Charlottesville when I was 20 years old and just stayed there. I finished my undergrad. I got a bachelor’s in foreign affairs, a master’s in foreign affairs and then I switched to law school and got my JD.

And very promptly went to work for a prominent Virginia law firm then called Hunton and Williams which has since become swallowed up at one of these mergers. And I worked for them for a few years.

And then I ended up through certain circumstances with the loss of a close friend. I started to go to Church again, and I started to reevaluate the track that my life was on because what I did was work all the time.

Leahy: You worked all the time. Now many of our listening audience can relate to this. I perhaps could relate to this. (Chuckles)

Rozell: Yes. Well in the tail end of the 1980s when I graduated and being a graduate from a top law school meant that you were wooed by law firms and paid very handsomely. But the cost of that is you were expected to work very, very hard, and the law firm had to be number one.

And my husband didn’t really have a problem with that, because he was really enjoying all the things that this position enabled us to enjoy together as a couple in terms of lifestyle.

And it was really a merry-go-round. The first nine months I worked I ended up having one afternoon off. I literally worked every single day. (Chuckles)

Leahy: That’s not very healthy, is it?

Rozell: It is not healthy, but it was very exciting. But you burn out when you work like that.

Leahy: Yes. You burn out. And so you were married. How many kids did you have? I have two children. They’re both grown, both daughters.

And they think that what mom is doing now is the coolest thing ever in part because they can see that I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.

Leahy: So when did you have the epiphany to sell it all? What sparked it? You say you got your Airstream and you’re ready to sell it all. What sparked the whole thing?

Rozell: What really what sparked the whole thing was seeing Airstreams for the first time because they’re pretty cool, aren’t they?

Leahy: Because they are pretty cool aren’t they?

Rozell: They are really cool. And when you were saying your dad wanted to buy one in the next, probably some of those Airstreams that you saw, they are still on the road now.

Leahy: Very well built.

Rozell: That’s the thing with Airstreams. They are very expensive, but they’re really not like other RVs, because they’re built like airplanes, and they have an out-of-home and an inner home of aluminum.

They still involve a great deal of hand labor in the assembly process and in the manufacturing process. And I have friends who have vintage Airstreams from the 1959s and 60s, where they’ve had to replace certain things and have upgraded certain things. But the basic trailer is the same as it was.

Leahy: Now, if I wanted to send you a letter by mail, where would I send it?

Rozell: Oh, that’s a great question. You would send it to Florida because I have something called a mail forwarding agent in Florida, and I’m actually a Florida resident. And a lot of full-time voters and full-time RVers do this.

Leahy: Of course, because there’s no state income tax there.

Rozell: Well, Florida’s, big Texas is big. South Dakota is big. Tennessee is actually growing in popularity too as a location.

Leahy: Where are you right now by the way?

Rozell: Right now, I am on the north shore of Long Island, looking out of a window in a 1790s farmhouse that friends of mine who are also Airstreamers now.

I came to visit them for a couple of days. My Airstream is parked in their driveway and this is one of the benefits of Airstreaming.

Leahy: If somebody wanted to buy your book, where would they go? We’ve got 30 seconds. Give us a plug for your book on your website.

Rozell: Okay. It’s Or you can go to Amazon and search for Journeys with a Tin Can Pilgrim.

Leahy: Lynda Rozell, good luck on your travels. When you get to Nashville, come on in studio.

Rozell: Absolutely, I would love to do that.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
















Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Idea That the President Is Just Making Laws on His Own Should Really Bother Everyone’

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs: ‘The Idea That the President Is Just Making Laws on His Own Should Really Bother Everyone’


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs to the newsmaker line to discuss his recent letter to President Joe Biden in response to the vaccine mandates that infringe on American’s freedom and liberty.

Leahy: We are joined now by the Mayor of Knox County, our very good friend, Glenn Jacobs, who broke some news on Thursday with us at The Tennessee Star. Headline. Knox County will not Comply with Joe Biden’s COVID-19 Mandate. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report Mayor Jacobs.

Jacobs: Morning, Michael. Thanks for having me on.

Leahy: We always are glad to have you on here. You are always interesting, entertaining, and a supporter of liberty, which we love here on The Tennessee Star Report. So tell us what you told President Biden and what’s happened since you put that out.

Jacobs: Sure. Well, first of all, it’s ironic because this morning I’m actually on my way to read to an elementary school about the United States Constitution. I’m wondering if President Biden is going to be there because he can certainly use a primer himself. (Leahy laughs)

I understand he’s vacationing at the beach in Delaware, so probably not. But last week I read a letter to President Biden about his vaccine mandate that he was implementing through an emergency rule with OSHA and the Department of Labor.

I feel many other folks do as well that something of this magnitude impacts so many people, this is not just like saying, hey, your toilet can only use so much water or some of the other kind of ludicrous things that the federal government does.

This is a big deal. And it’s going to impact tens of millions of people. And I believe that it requires literally an act of Congress. It should have been a legislative action instead of the President just signing a decree and making it the law of land. And like many other folks, I have a lot of issues with that.

I also have issues with the President saying this is not about freedom. It’s always about freedom in the United States. He took an oath to uphold the Constitution just like I did that is what the Constitution is therefore really. To protect the Liberty of the American people. And it just really bothers me when politicians forget about that.

Leahy: Yes.  And in your letter, you were direct and you said this. You said finally, as an American, I’m appalled President Biden by your statement, ‘this is not about freedom or personal choice.’ On the contrary, you Glenn Jacobs, Mayor of Knox County write, in America, it is always about freedom. I like that line.

Jacobs: Thank you. But, I mean, it is and that’s what separates us from the rest of the world. We’re a nation founded on the idea that individuals have God-given rights. The government’s job is first and foremost to protect those God-given rights, not to trample all over them.

And we have processes in place that are designed to make that happen. The whole idea is that we give up a little bit of our freedom and our liberty in order for the government to have laws that can make society work in civilization work. That’s government’s primary job.

And that’s certainly the federal government’s primary job. It’s not to micromanage our lives. And President Biden might think it’s a good idea and thinks that everybody should get vaccinated.

And this is not about the vaccine either. I think the vaccine, there’s a lot of benefits to it. I really do. This is about the process. This is about the President of the United States usurping congressional power.

Usurping legislative power. If the President does that, if the executive takes on legislative power, he’s no longer President. He’s a King. And we’re not living in a Republic, we’re living in a Kingdom.

Leahy: Yes. And not a good King. A bad King. You close your letter, Glenn Jacobs, to President Biden. You say the following, ‘In Knox County, we know what we stand for. We stand for freedom.

We stand for the rule of law, we stand for the Constitution. And you, Mr. President, can rest assured that we will stand against your blatant and egregious executive overreach.’ What has the President said in response to that letter?

Jacobs: (Laughs) The President hasn’t said anything. I don’t know if he’ll actually read it. We did send him a hard copy. We also sent it to the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs. I’ll share something else with you, Michael.

When President Trump was President, even though the President didn’t speak directly to the counties, there was a lot of communication with the counties. We actually went up to Washington, D.C., and met the folks at the Department of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The day that we were there, the Secretary of Agriculture spoke. This was county executives, staff, and commissioners from three states in the Southeast. And we were all invited to Washington and see kind of how things work up there.

And there were constant updates from the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs specifically to my office. I’ve heard nothing from the Biden administration. I don’t know what other county mayors and county executives are seeing, but President Trump, for all the criticism that he got from a lot of people one of his initiatives was to have communications with the counties, because in the end, the counties and the cities, you know we are the ones on the front lines in many cases.

And President Trump was very good about that. President Biden has done nothing in his administration that I know of up to this point. But he hasn’t said anything. Of course, there’s been a lot of reactions, both positive and negative from other people.

Leahy: Tell me about some of the negative reactions to this letter from other people.

Jacobs: Of course it’s simple partisanship at this point, and that’s the problem overall now, with where this country is going. COVID-19 is a public health crisis, but it’s morphed into a political issue as well. It’s been completely politicized.

And I can literally tell you, based on a comment that someone leaves on social media, I can tell you what their profile is going to look like. I can tell you if they’re Democrats or Republicans. I can tell you if they’re liberal or conservative, and it’s no longer about thinking about ideas.

What’s really scary is no matter where you are in the political spectrum, the idea that the President is just making laws on his own should really bother everyone. I don’t care if you are liberal or conservative.

It doesn’t matter that that’s not how this country works. But it’s all based on partisanship. Joe Biden did this, that’s good. Donald Trump did this, that’s bad. And that’s how people think. And that’s a horrible place for this country to be. But unfortunately, that’s where we’re at.

Leahy: You said something very interesting that the Biden administration is not communicating with your county at all and that the Trump administration was communicating with you frequently.

This is a theme that we’re seeing about the Biden administration. I call it the ‘Biden Bigfooting’ problem. They basically are bigfooting everybody’s counties and state governments that don’t agree with them. Foreign countries like France.

This is very troubling to me and I think this is an indication that the Biden administration doesn’t care and is attempting to exercise absolute power over everyone else. What are your thoughts?

Jacobs: I do not disagree with you. I think for the Biden administration, everything’s political. I think this vaccine mandate was actually designed to get other things off the front page. Look at the debacle in Afghanistan.

We look at the crisis on the border. The FAA just ordered no drone flights over the Southern border in places so that the news can’t get up there and see what’s going on. I absolutely don’t disagree with you at all.

I think that there’s a lot of politics at work, and I think it’s very strong arm, too. I think that it is. And then, of course, we’ve also heard now that it’s becoming harder to get the monoclonal antibody therapy, which I’m not a doctor, but I think that’s a great treatment for COVID-19. And I think that’s something that should be readily available and that’s becoming harder to get.

Leahy: Particularly in red states.

Jacobs: Exactly. It seems to me that there’s a lot of strong-arm politicking going on. If you don’t like what the administration is doing, they shut you down. Of course, we see this on social media as well, not from them, but from the kind of gatekeepers of social media. There’s no free discourse anymore. If they don’t like what you’re saying, they shut you down. But I agree with you on that.

Leahy: You told us you were literally in the car on the way to meet with some elementary school kids to talk about the Constitution?

Jacobs: Yes, sir. Of course last Friday, September 17 is Constitution Day. The constitution and was signed on September 17, 1787. I’m on my way over to talk to some young people about the Constitution.

And I believe that that’s what makes America an exceptional country is the idea that we have a government that’s there to protect our rights as opposed to one that uses us as a resource.

Leahy: Always entertaining, always enlightening. Thanks so much for joining us today. Come back again soon, if you would, please.

Jacobs: Yes, I sure will. Thank you so much.

Listen to the third hour here:


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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.














Guest Host Ben Cunningham: ‘As Government Grows Bigger, It Gets Further and Further Away from the People’

Guest Host Ben Cunningham: ‘As Government Grows Bigger, It Gets Further and Further Away from the People’


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest hosts Henry and Cunningham discuss big government and the role it plays in individuals lives.

Henry: My name is Grant Henry. I’m a grassroots engagement director with a group called Americans for Prosperity here in Tennessee. And Michael Patrick Leahy has been kind enough to ask me and this comparable Ben Cunningham to come in and do some co-hosting for him this morning.

I guess he’s spreading his empire across the vast reaches of America here. He seems like he’s opening up a new spot in a new state every single day.

Cunningham: He is. It’s a great service to Tennessee, service to the country because we just don’t have that many conservative news outlets these days. I don’t know if you follow Project Veritas with James O’Keefe who comes out with these corrections.

I forget what he calls them. But each time he forces somebody to make a correction. And these are all mainstream media like CNN, those kind of guys. He does this cute sarcastic video about how they’ve had to correct their news account of Project Veritas.

The point is that we just don’t have any good conservative news sites that we can follow in and know that we’re going to get a conservative voice. Which basically means a factual account of what’s going on.

And that’s why it’s so important for The Tennessee Star to be a part of it. There’s another story going around, Grant. I’m kind of going for a way later, this Gabby Petito story,

Henry: I don’t know. No, I have not even heard.

Cunnigham: This one girl and her boyfriend, I think her fiance, we’re traveling around the country and she disappeared. And it turns out that he is now back at their home in Florida and is refusing to talk about what happened to her.

And what’s fascinating to me is the way this story is kind of unfolded. And, of course, the news media loves these kinds of stories. There is a mystery. There’s a cute young couple. There’s just about everything that is interesting in a story.

But the really interesting thing to me again is how this thing is kind of unfolded. First, it seemed obvious that he was probably the prime suspect.

Then they had a police video where somebody had called the police when the couple had gotten into a fight. Not a big physical fight. And it looked like maybe from the police report that actually she was the aggressor and she was kind of beating up on him a little bit.

It’s still very difficult to know what’s going on. But they also revealed that both of them have some mental issues, some emotional issues which have factored into it. I got to thinking about this story and how similar it is to so many stories we see coming out of Washington, D.C. We’re just now getting an indictment on the Trump Russia probe.

And it takes forever to get information out of government. Thomas Massey, a great liberty-minded congressman from Kentucky, pointed out that some fact, I forget what the issue was but it had just come out of the CDC, and he was asking, why in the world has it taken so long to get this information out of government?

And the problem is as government grows and all these different agencies within the government start protecting their turf. Like the CIA and the national security agencies, it’s almost impossible to get information out of them.

And the parallels with this is Gabby Petito’s story and getting news out of our own government and how difficult it is like pulling teeth. And you talk to congressmen that say, I’m trying to get information out of one of the federal agencies, and I can’t get information.

What! This is a congressman. This is our elected representative. And these arrogant federal agencies are saying, eh, we don’t know whether we can give you the information, we don’t know whether you can be entrusted with the information.

And there’s always been a problem with the over-classification of documents. The security agencies want to classify everything because they don’t want to get anything out. It’s cover your behind basically. (Henry chuckles) 

Henry: Right.

Cunningham: And as government grows bigger, it gets further and further away from the people. You get these entrenched cliques within each agency and they’re fighting with each other.

And they’re allied, for example, in the Department of Education, with the teachers unions. And you see that repeated over and over and over again. You got defense contractors that probably have more clout in the Defense Department than a lot of people at the Pentagon.

And as government gets bigger and bigger and bigger, we get smaller and smaller and smaller. And it’s just amazing how big our government is and how they treat us as outsiders.

We’re the citizens. We’re the ones that grant our power to the government, as the Constitution says. But we have gotten to the point where government is so big and so arrogant.

And the ruling class, especially the liberal elites really think the government should be the embodiment of their morality. That’s, again, the role of government that you were talking about. And it’s so important for us to come back to that basic question every time.

What is the role of government in their lives? Well, it’s certainly not to be an arrogant overseer, but that’s precisely what government has morphed into.

Henry: And I think going on that rant that you just went on there is so important on a day like today, Constitution Day. It’s so important on a day to recognize not just what the founding documents were and what it was about, but the philosophy by which it was meant to instill how we live in America.

And exactly what you just said. This inability to get information either out of D.C. or anywhere else. What’s most frustrating here also is that it seems like some of our politicians playoff that from time to time. They recognize the fact that it’s going to take months, if not years, to actually fully play out some of these stories.

Cunningham: Yes. They depend on it.

Henry: They depend on it. And by the time some of these stories come to fruition, we’ve all forgotten about it. Nobody really cares anymore. The gusto is gone. The real interest behind what the initial impetus for that story was, what do I care anymore?

My guy’s not even there now. But it goes back to what is the role of government in your life and how localized should we be? I’ve heard this phrase before. I’m a Nashvillian first, a Tennesseean second, and a United States citizen third.

And I think the concept there is the play in America was always meant to be that we have super federalism in itself which is a super small federal government, and the States rights are meant to make reign supreme.

Anything that’s not specifically given to the federal government by way, the numerator powers are meant to be left over for the states to control those powers. And we’ve lost sight of that entirely.

Cunningham: Lost sight is an understatement. A complete understatement. We have trampled on that concept completely and totally. And the states have given up their power in return for federal money. And we see this attempt by Tennessee to turn Medicaid into a block grant.

That’s a very small step at taking back some of the power that the federal government has taken from us. This is in terms of health care. TennCare has been a thorn in our side for decades. It was the main reason we had to push for the income tax.

The state income tax Don Sundquist, our governor back in 2000, said, threw his hands up and said I’m sorry, the budget is out of control. We simply don’t have enough money, and we got to have euphemistically they always say another revenue source. (Henry chuckles)

Henry: They always love their new revenue sources.

Cunningham: It would have changed Tennessee completely. And it’s just another indication of how much we really are just serving at the pleasure of the federal government now.

And why it is so important for that rally yesterday for legislators at the state level to say, heck, I want this power back. I don’t want you telling me, I don’t want you micromanaging me every day.

Henry: Well, that’s the idea, right? This concept, this notion that, you know best, what’s for someone else’s life is so pervasive now that it’s seeped into almost everything. There is a story coming out of The Washington Post that I just sort of went viral on Twitter last night.

Headline: Justice Thomas defends the Supreme Court’s independence and warns of destroying our institutions. That idea right there. Destroying our institutions is what I would speak about so much about losing faith in these institutions.

But Justice Thomas here was talking about defending the independence of the Supreme Court. And on Thursday, he said that he didn’t want us to destroy our institutions, and he didn’t want our institutions to basically give us what we want.

He said here, ‘That we’re not ruling based on personal preferences and suggested that the nation’s leaders should not allow others to manipulate our institutions when we don’t get the outcome we like.’

And I think it hit me there in one swoop-in when I realized that the reason why there was so much backlash on Twitter is they just didn’t believe Justice Thomas. When Justice Thomas says, look, I’m not up here to rule on how I feel based upon my bias, I’m here to read the four corners of a document.

Most often when Justice Thomas is writing an opinion just like when Scalia did, his go-to default answer was, I’m not the guy to answer this question for you. This is not my role. It’s not my capacity to tell you how to live your life.

There are clear mechanisms by which you can do this through the Constitution. Convince your fellow man that you’re right or you’re wrong, change hearts and minds, established legislation, and cement it into stone.

My role up here is not to tell you as nine unelected individuals how to live your life, what ought to be and what ought not to be. That is a philosophical concept that I think the left just doesn’t understand and reads as bias. More than we get back from this break.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.















Great Thinker and Author Os Guinness Shares His Past and Sustaining Freedom in America

Great Thinker and Author Os Guinness Shares His Past and Sustaining Freedom in America


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed author and thinker Os Guinness to the newsmaker line to talk about what shaped his world view, being part of the L’Abri Community in the 60s, and his admiration for America.

Leahy: And now I’ve been waiting for this interview for years. For about four years. I’ve been waiting to interview this man, a great man, Os Guinness.

Author of The Concept of the Golden Triangle of Freedom and many books. Welcome to the newsmaker line, Os.

Guinness: Well, thanks for having me. It’s a great privilege.

Leahy: I have followed your work, and I have to say you’re one of the greatest thinkers on the American scene today. Reminiscent in my view of the great Alexis de Tocqueville. So my hats off to you for a lifetime of great work.

Guinness: Thank you. That’s a great compliment. I’m unworthy of that one. But a pleasure to be with you.

Leahy: I wrote a book guide to the Constitution and Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students, which we use for our annual National Constitution Bee kind of a Spelling Bee where we give educational scholarships to the winners of secondary school students.

I just want to read from this part of our book:

As Ronald Reagan famously said, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. The founders knew this. And recently, a Chinese-born English scholar who resides in America expressed in very simple terms how freedom is gained.

Why it relies on the virtue of the population and how that virtue is a natural extension of faith.

Faith requires freedom or constitutional liberty to thrive and prosper. How did you come up with the concept of the Golden Triangle of freedom, Os?

Guinness: Well, let me go back a bit. The American experiment is unique in history as free-ordered freedom. And growing up in a Communist country and seeing what the Soviet regimes did in Eastern Europe, I’ve always had an incredible appreciation of the uniqueness of the American experiment.

And yet today many Americans are ignorant of it. So the Golden Triangle came out of talks in Washington. I was trying to show how the challenge not just winning freedom, the revolution or ordering freedom, the Constitution, that’s done.

The challenge today is sustaining freedom. And as you look at the framers’ understanding of that, the Golden Triangle was their answer.

That was the only way you could sustain freedom. Now, my current book actually looks much deeper than that, because you can see the deep divisions in this country now.

And I would argue many people don’t see the depth of them. There is really a difference in those who understand America and freedom from the perspective of the American Revolution, which was rooted through the Reformation in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures.

And those who understand American freedom from the perspective of the errors of the French Revolution. Now, the French Revolution says they have always produced oppression.

They have never worked. And yet you can see the inroads in this country. So we are at an extraordinary civilization national moment in America.

Leahy: Are you optimistic, or are you pessimistic about our future, Os?

Guinness: I would say that I’m hopeful but realistic. Optimism is often circumstantial. Are you bullish or bearish. It’s a glass half full or half empty.

And I don’t think that’s the point. We got to look at the facts in the white of the eye, and they are sobering today. And yet always with hope. And one of the things we need is leadership.

I don’t just mean at the very top level, but certainly at that level, people with vision and enterprise and initiative who can address the big issues in call America back to its best. So I’m hopeful.

Leahy: What would be an example of somebody out there using the kind of leadership that you see we need? Perhaps reminiscent of the leadership of the Founding Fathers.

Is there anybody out there at a local or national or even state level that you can think of who is a good example of leadership?

Guinness: Well, all too few are at the very highest level. You take the former president who talked about Make America Great Again, or the current president talks to restore the soul of America.

Neither of them says what made America great in the first place. In other words, we need leaders on the order of Madison and Hamilton and so on.

You think of the Federalist Papers, that incredible understanding of the system they were devising. And if people want to return, we can’t just ad hoc and politicize everything in today’s issues.

We’ve got to have people who think deeply and widely and richly. And the book ends of history. If you look over, all of history is anarchy on one extreme.

All freedom, no order. And authoritarianism of the other extreme, all order, no freedom. And the American experiment was once magnificent:

Ordered freedom in the middle. That’s what’s being lost. So we got to see what’s last and how to repair it. You can go into specifics.

Leahy: Let me ask you this Os, how significant has your Christian faith been in the development of your political philosophy? And in particular, I want to talk about your experience with Francis Schaeffer and the L’Abri Community.

Many of our listeners have never heard of the L’Abri Community. I’ve been fascinated by it. Tell us about your experience with Francis Schaeffer, I guess, back in the 70s?

Guinness: It was the 60s for me. It was a small community study center. But their purpose was to always give honest answers to honest questions.

So while there was a Christian community, there was always 40 to 50 percent of people who seekers on the road to the East or radicals protesting Vietnam or acid heads or whatever.

We had Timothy Leary come there, gang members, and so on. It was a fascinating place.

Leahy: Where exactly was it now, Os?

Guinness: A little village in Switzerland, in Huémoz just below the ski resort of Vrindaban. So that was what gave me my sense:

You can think about anything and everything as a Christian and think it through Christianity. And, of course, that is what’s behind coming over. I’m not American. I’m a great admirer of this country.

Deeply challenged and sometimes angry. Sometimes sorrowful of the way Americans are suppressing and squandering this great heritage of ordered freedom.

Leahy: What kind of guy was Francis Schaeffer – because he was the leader of this L’Abri Community. And I guess, how did you come to participate in it?

Guinness: Well, I was a student at London then. I was at Oxford later. And we had tremendous teaching. But even a Christian teaching – rich, deep blocks of theology – but no understanding of the culture.

And when I met Francis Schaeffer, here was this unusual little man with a goatee and Swiss knickerbockers and so on. But he connected all the dots and showed how the films and the novels and the philosophy and all of it fit together.

And so he was the one who taught me to think freely about everything as a Christian. Thinking Christianity.

Leahy: Here’s something about your personal story that’s quite fascinating to me. So you are here. You’re an academic. And at this L’Abri Community in Switzerland, you meet a person who would not necessarily be somebody connected to an academic who was born in China and the son of Christian missionaries. You meet a beautiful international model. Tell us about that story. It’s a fabulous love story.

Guinness: Well, I was very privileged. Jenny had been a fashion model in New York on the front cover of Vogue and Ladies Home Journal and many, many magazines.

And through the emptiness and hollowness, she was engaged to a French Baron. Her own age. 21. Very wealthy and handsome. And they were friends with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

And people like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. And one night, they were at an extraordinary fancy dress party in Paris – Salvador Dali had his pet Cheetah.

And it had a gold color and so on. It had been declawed, defanged, and everything, she said. And as she was looking at this, suddenly it seemed a caricature of everything it was created to be.

And then she said, my goodness. So are we. It was as if the floor opened up, and she was looking into an abyss. And she said to her fiance, I’ve got to search for the meaning of life.

She had grown up in an atheist family. And after a year or so of searching, she came to faith. Fortunately for me, she broke her engagement.

And we met later when she came to study at the L’Abri Community in Switzerland. So, enormous privilege. And she’s actually writing a story now.

Leahy: When we come back, we’ll have more with the great Os Guinness.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Os Guinness” by Praxis Circle.