Mayor Andy Ogles Speaks at Town Hall Style Meeting in Leipers Fork with Hundreds of Concerned Conservatives

Mayor Andy Ogles Speaks at Town Hall Style Meeting in Leipers Fork with Hundreds of Concerned Conservatives

 

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 Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in the studio who talked about his town hall style meeting with 100 conservatives in Leipers Fork Monday evening.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by our good friend, the mayor of Maury County Andy Ogles. Every time you come in, Andy, I learn something new. Here’s what you told me during the break. And I suppose you could say I am slack-jawed to hear this.

Ogles: Amen. (Chuckles)

Leahy: It turns out there are conservatives in Leipers Fork, in Middle Tennessee, in Williamson County. That is surprising to me.

Ogles: Last night we had our County Commission meeting, so I was there for that.

Leahy: Last night Maury County has a commission meeting and as the Mayor, you’re there. I’ve only been to one County Commission meeting ever. Williamson County. Let me just say it dragged on. It dragged on. And on.

Ogles: We’ve got a good group of folks on our county commission, and it was a committee meeting, and it was, well, run and lasted about an hour.

Leahy: Really? Just an hour?

Ogles: Just an hour.

Leahy: I think other county commissions need to go down to Maury County and learn how to run a meeting in one hour.

Ogles: Well, there wasn’t a lot on the agenda. It’s budget season in the state of Tennessee for all your counties. And so that’s really the focus, I think, for a lot of county seats.

Leahy: So this was last night.

Ogles: And last minute I was invited to this conservative meeting in Leipers Fork.

Leahy: Hold on just a minute. (Laughter) I’m still a little bit astonished here. A conservative meeting in Leipers Fork? I love Leipers Fork. It’s a great community. We go up there and go to the galleries and go to the restaurants and just hang out.

It’s a wonderful community. But conservative, it’s not a word and it’s not an adjective that would come to mind when you say Leipers Fork.

Ogles: It’s known for its kind of arts, a lot of musicians up there. But I think in most cycles, and of course, I’m just speaking generically I think most people in Leipers Fork would consider themselves independents, conservative, maybe fiscally conservative, and probably a little more moderate on some of the social issues.

But there’s something happening. So I’m invited to speak across the state because I’ve been so outspoken, not just on COVID, but CRT.

Leahy: Because under your leadership, Maury County is a bastion of freedom.

Ogles: Bastion of freedom. Welcome to America.

Leahy: Welcome to America and freedom. (Laughs) What time do you get an impromptu call? What time does the call come in?

Ogles: It was literally 2:30 p.m. to get involved and say, hey, we’re going to have an event.

Leahy: If I get a call like that, by the way, I go out of curiosity just to say there are conservatives in Leipers Fork. What time do you finish your committee meeting?

Ogles: We finished right at 5:30 p.m. in Columbia. Hopped in the car to go to Leipers Fork.

Leahy: That’s a pretty drive, isn’t it?

Ogles: It’s beautiful back roads.

Leahy: I went out to dinner last night and I came back driving through Williamson County, and I’m looking at it, and I’m saying it’s gonna be one of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s just gorgeous.

Ogles: Tennessee in general is a special place. I’m biased of course. I grew up here. My family has been here forever.

Leahy: But I actively made the choice to move here, right? Because I must confess, I am a Yankee by birth. But I chose to be a Tennesseean 30 plus years ago.

Ogles: You were talking about moving here. I was in the middle of a rant, and I made some kind of derogatory comment about California. And then I paused for a moment. It’s like, okay, I’m sorry.

Leahy: How many people were there?

Ogles: About 100.

Leahy: 100 conservatives in Leiper Fork?

Ogles: Yes.

Leahy: Wow! Now, where was it?

Ogles: Puckett’s.

Leahy: I love that place. What a great place.

Ogles: It was standing room only. Some great folks were there.

Leahy: Who organized this and what do they call themselves and when did they get organized?

Ogles: You know, I don’t know the name of the group. (Leahy laughs) They asked do you want to come and say a few words? And I did. It was more than a few words. I had that last spot. So I was the quasi-keynote.

But we talked about a lot of things, Critical Race Theory, and election integrity, and everything that’s going on in this country. And so whether I’m speaking in Pulaski or Knoxville or like last night, Leipers Fork.

Texas to Pennsylvania to Tennessee, there’s a red wave I think about to hit this country. And I think you see that manifest itself last night in Leipers Fork that otherwise folks who are fairly well off, they’re not overtly politically engaged came out on a Monday evening to hear a Conservative speak, and they are ticked off. Let me tell you. And I’ve got a funny story if you want to hear it.

Leahy: Andy, you always have a funny story.  Now, I’ve heard this story a little bit. But it’s really very funny. Tell us the story.

Ogles: I love the town hall-style. Sorry about that. So do the intro hit some hot button issues, kind of talk about the winds of the legislative session and the half measures. And by the way, Tennessee compared to Florida, we were a state of half measures, and we can talk about that or talk about it another time.

So I did Q and A and I’m taking questions. And it’s the 15th or 20th question. It’s time to kind of close this thing.

Leahy: It’s the end of the evening.

Ogles: This thing has gone on.

Leahy: There were 100 people there.

Ogles: Two hours at Puckett’s. We’re hitting the two-hour mark and it’s time to close it out.

Leahy: And you have to get up very early in the morning to come and be on our program.

Ogles: Yeah, I’m tired today, man. I’m energetic. And there’s a Lady with long blonde hair in the back. And I’d seen her a couple of times raising her hand. And I was like, yes, ma’am, in the back. And she says, well, I may be from California, but I’m not a she. I’m a man. Long blonde hair.

Leahy: Long blonde hair!

Ogles: Lights are in my eyes. But the funny thing was, if you remember the rock band, the Nelsons, the Nelson twins. Well, it was Gunner Nelson. He was there and had a question, but I totally just called him a woman.

It was hilarious. The crowd erupted, and I just so happened to be wearing my glasses. And so I took them off and I just said, apparently, I need an eye doctor. But he was very gracious. And afterwards I went up to him and spoke.

And we’re going to be doing this kind of this freedom tour coming up across the state talking about these important issues. And this group was fired up to hear more about it and to be a part of it.

Leahy: So Gunner Nelson, his dad, of course, was the great Ricky Nelson. His grandparents Ozzie and Harriet. A great television program. And he and his twin brother had quite a success in the early 1990s with the band Nelson.

They had the long blonde hair that was sort of their trademark. They’re pretty good musically. They’ve moved from California to Tennessee, apparently.

Ogles: Super nice. Both brothers were there. One of their wives were there and just great family. I felt so bad because again, I couldn’t see because they were at the back of the room. The lights were in my eyes, and I just saw long blond hair.

And I’m just thinking, okay, yes, ma’am. And he says, I’m not a ma’am. But what are you going to do? You just roll with it and self deprecating and just be honest about it. I’m sorry. But a great guy and a Conservative.

Leahy: He’s a conservative.

Ogles: And they may not want me to say that.

Leahy: It’s out! It’s out! But there are so many people that are moving here.

Ogles: But I tell you, there’s this surge in Tennessee. People want to get involved.

Leahy: I think you’re exactly right. There is a surge in Tennessee and other parts of the country.

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 “Leipers Fork” by Michael Gaylard CC 2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael Illustrates Why School Choice Is Important Now More Than Ever as Critical Race Theory Continues

Crom Carmichael Illustrates Why School Choice Is Important Now More Than Ever as Critical Race Theory Continues

 

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 the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio who further illustrated why school choice is more important as critical race theory dominates government run school curriculum.

Leahy: In studio the original star panelist Crom Carmichael. Crom, during the break, we were talking a little bit about this new book from Os Guinness, the great writer, great Christian political philosopher. He’s the guy who came up with the concept that our country is based on the Golden Triangle of Freedom.

And that Golden Triangle is the following: Freedom requires virtue, virtue requires faith, and faith requires freedom. And it’s an ongoing circle. That was the character of America when we were founded. The problem is that character is being assaulted in our schools every day. And particularly through critical race theory.

Carmichael: And being assaulted by the government every day in states across the country and cities across the country where they’re trying to make it almost impossible for somebody to go to church or so uncomfortable to go to church, that people don’t go to church. And I think that they are doing that. That’s intentional.

Leahy: Os Guinness has a new book out called The Magna Carta of Humanity. We’re trying to get them as a guest. I think we’ll get him as a guest in the future. And I’m going to try to get them on a day that you’re here Crom because I think you enjoy talking with him.

Carmichael: Sure. There are two or three articles that are all about education and as I was driving in I was listening to your interview of Gabrielle Clark.

Leahy: Right. The biracial mom whose child refused to comply with an assignment in which he was compelled to admit that he was an oppressor as a mostly white person.

Carmichael: Here’s what was interesting about listening to that interview. She says that we have to stand up and fight. It cost her $200,000.

Leahy: Yes.

Carmichael: If you go to a restaurant where your service is bad, you don’t need to go hire a lawyer. What do you do?

Leahy: You don’t leave a tip.

Carmichael: And you don’t go there anymore.

Leahy: You do a Yelp review.

Carmichael: And you don’t go there anymore. But the reason that she has to stand up and fight is she’s being forced. Her child is being forced to go to a particular school and to have a particular curriculum with which she disagrees. And this is what’s fundamentally wrong with our educational system.

We don’t have a choice. And if you had school choice and then the kids who attend the charter schools here in Nashville on balance do much better than the kids who go to what I’m going to call the regular government-run schools.

Our magnet schools may be pretty good, but our magnet schools operate actually more even like private schools because the charter schools can’t be selective and of who gets to go there. The magnet schools get to be selective on who gets to go there, and they get to be really selective on who gets to stay there. But in California.

Leahy: Uh oh. I know this is going to be a crazy story already. I don’t know what the story is.

Carmichael: It’s a sad story. California had gone for a number of years where they had worked seriously at improving the math skills of students who attended the government-run schools in California. At one time, I’m quoting from the article here in The Wall Street Journal.

‘At one time, California took the goal seriously and made immense progress. California Department of Education data shows that while only 16 percent of students took algebra by the eighth grade in 1999 by 2013, it was 67 percent. Almost four times as many.

Leahy: That’s surprising that they made progress from 1999-2013. That’s interesting.

Carmichael: But then that’s when things started to unravel across the state. And so they also had gifted classes, kind of like AP classes. And now they want to do away with all those because they’re claiming they’re racist.

And you have the schools for the gifted which they are strongly considering doing away with completely. And then changing the math curriculum so that it is almost impossible to fail (Leahy laughs) because they’re actually claiming that math is not something that needs to necessarily be specific.

Leahy: Try building a car with a non-specific specialization.

Carmichael: What’s Caltech going to do if kids coming out of high school are not proficient. Even the top ones are not proficient.

People who have the money to attend private schools their children are going to have an opportunity that the children who are going to the government and schools don’t have. And this is along those same lines. It’s not academically, but it’s about a school board. This is in Monroe County, Indiana.

Leahy: Monroe County, Indiana?

Carmichael: The school board passed a resolution that says that the school resource officers cannot carry a gun.

Leahy: What are they supposed to do, just point their fingers?

Carmichael: That’s a great question because one person said there’s no evidence ever that a resource officer ever had to use their gun.

Leahy: If you have a gun you may not need to use it.

Carmichael: As it turns out,  that statement itself is false. And so there are instances where the resource officer had to use his gun to disarm a student that was identified as having a gun. But if nobody in the school is going to have security, that flies in the face of logic, because every place else where security matters. If you want to go into the Nashville courthouse, don’t you have to pass through security? Aren’t the security people armed? Yes.

Carmichael: Please go ahead.

Leahy: Would you like to hear the rest of the story?

Carmichael: Please.

Leahy: Guess where Monroe County is.

Carmichael: Where?

Leahy: Bloomington. Home of the University of Indiana.

Carmichael: Wow.

Leahy: Explains it all.

Carmichael: Wow.

Leahy: These are all probably a bunch of college professors on the board.

Carmichael: Could could be.

Leahy: Good news. Our listeners have been listening for, like, two and a half hours to get the first bit of good news.

Carmichael: No, we’ve had some other good news that we’ve talked about. But this is good news. In the state of Florida, a teacher was fired for not honoring the ban on teaching critical race theory. This teacher just ignored the ban and kept teaching it and enforcing it. And bam!

Leahy: Gone.

Carmichael: Gone. Got fired.

Leahy: Governor DeSantis is not fooling around.

Carmichael: If the CEO of a company puts out an edit, that is a logical edict and lawful and some employee essentially gives the CEO the middle finger…

Leahy: Boom! They’re gone.

Carmichael: And nobody questions it.

Leahy: Now, let me tell you what the potential difference may be here in Tennessee. We have a state law that the bill that the General Assembly has passed that would prohibit, in essence, the teaching of critical race. There. 14 tenants. Sources tell me that Governor Lee will sign that bill.

We’ll find out. There’s some time to see on that. But if it becomes law, it has a certain provision in it. And that provision says that if a school district continues to teach critical race theory, the Commissioner of Education has the authority to withhold state funds from them.

Something is about to be set up because our lead story at The Tennessee Star is Memphis City Council adopts a resolution opposing state band on critical race theory. So Memphis and Shelby County schools, I can tell you right now if the governor signs this bill, they will defy it.

Carmichael: Let me ask you a question. You said two things there. You said Memphis and Shelby County.

Leahy: Yes.

Carmichael: Will they both, or will it be just the Memphis schools?

Leahy: This is from the City Council.

Carmichael: Memphis is in Shelby County.

Leahy: But it’s separate.

Carmichael: But there’s a lot of Shelby County that’s not Memphis.

Leahy: There’s a similar resolution before Shelby County. And sources tell me that it’s likely to pass. Memphis in Shelby County, I think, will be on the Shelby County and school directors already said I’m not gonna do that. I’m not gonna stop teaching critical.

Carmichael: Then the Commissioner can do what?

Leahy: Under the bill, the Commissioner will have the authority to do withhold state funds from Shelby County schools.

Carmichael: And that’s it. They can’t fire them?

Leahy: They can’t fire, but they can withhold state funds, which, in essence, would cripple the schools. Asterisk, many people are worried about Penny Schwinn. Many people are worried that she will not enforce that rule and that the Shelby County schools are going to say we’re going to teach it anywhere anyway. We’ll see how that turns out.

Carmichael: If they stick their finger in her eye we’ll see if she blinks. (Laughs)

Leahy: Yeah, I think she’ll blink. But we’ll see. Maybe give her the benefit of the doubt until it happens.

Carmichael: Absolutely we should do that.

Leahy: You are much nicer than I am.

Listen to the full show 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 “Crom Carmichael” by Crom Carmichael.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig Huey Reflects on a Recent Trip to California Where Fear and Oppression Are in the Air

Craig Huey Reflects on a Recent Trip to California Where Fear and Oppression Are in the Air

 

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 the creator of the Huey Report and direct mail expert, Craig Huey, in-studio to discuss what he saw in California on a recent trip citing limited amounts of liberty and freedom and an environment of fear.

Leahy: We welcome to our studios our good friend, a California refugee, a smart man who’s come to Nashville, Tennessee. Has a business in Nashville and lives in Williamson County now, Craig Huey. Good morning, Craig.

Huey: Michael, it’s great to be with you.

Leahy: Did we send you off on a reconnaissance mission back to your home state of California recently?

Huey: Yeah. I snuck back into California, and I got to tell you, it is pretty oppressive.

Leahy: It’s gotten worse in the years since you left.

Huey: Oh, my gosh. Over 12 months, I officially left in June. I bought a place out here back in March of last year. And so I’ve been back and forth. And the devastation is unbelievable. So back in California, I was there just when they started opening up the restaurants after 12 months.

Leahy: You went back to Los Angeles or Orange County.

Huey: The Los Angeles area in San Bernadino area. That area.

Leahy: Did they require that you show an ID before you got on the plane?

Huey: They did require it. How about that?

Leahy: Was it Delta or some other airline?

Huey: This one was Delta.

Leahy: So let me just be clear.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: Delta Airlines, which is a virtue-signaling opposition to the Georgia law election law that requires an ID to get an absentee ballot.

Huey: That’s right.

Leahy: The same people that cheered on Major League Baseball, moving the All-Star game from 50 percent Black Atlanta.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: To 10 percent Black Denver, where they have the same election laws.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: This company, Delta Airlines, would not allow you to get on the plane unless you show them your ID.

Huey: Michael, the hypocrisy is so clear and so damning. But you know what? The hypocrisy extends throughout California. You take a look here in Tennessee. I see a booming economy. I see people in restaurants. I see people in churches. I see people going about their lives. I see more and more people being free from the fear that has happened over the last 12 months. And in California, the fear is real.

Leahy: So let’s track your journey. So you show your ID.

Huey: Yes.

Leahy: You get on Delta Airlines. They don’t allow you to get on unless you show that ID.

Huey: That’s right.

Leahy: You wear your mask the whole time.

Huey: Oh, I have to.

Leahy: Got to wear the mask. You land in California, at LAX, probably.

Huey: LAX.

Leahy: Los Angeles International Airport. You get out. Describe what you see after you land.

Huey: I get out. And as soon as I walk through the airport, it’s so much different than the Nashville airport. You feel a feeling of fear and oppression just on the people themselves. In Nashville, I can kind of have the mask down and not have it fully on. In LA people will turn you in.

Leahy: They’ll turn you in? Where’s that? Were there people out there looking for Craig Huey to see if he wasn’t wearing that mask ready to turn you in?

Huey: There were people looking to see and make sure they had it over their noses. And so I get into the car and the car is taking me to my place there.

Leahy: Okay. You’ve got a driver.

Huey: I have a driver. Super nice guy. And let me tell you what this driver goes. I say, in Tennessee, I go to the market and we go to a store and people aren’t really wearing masks. People are at concerts. People are doing different things. But out here, they’re not. And he goes, I can’t believe that. He had no clue that people weren’t living in fear and in a lockdown-type society.

He had not been to a restaurant in 12 months. He doesn’t go outside his home without a mask. And even if he’s walking the street alone, even if he’s in the car alone, he’s got the mask on in fear. Because, first of all, Dr. Fauci told him and President Biden told him to do so. And second, he doesn’t want to have the neighbors turn him in.

Leahy: He doesn’t want to have the neighbors turn him in.

Huey: That’s right.

Leahy: Another good reason to leave California. Your neighbors are crazy.

Huey: Crazy. Well, I went down to the place called Manhattan Beach. Absolutely beautiful.

Leahy: It’s in Southern Los Angeles County, almost into Orange County, right on the beach.

Huey: That’s where I grew up. In that area. I was surfing in that ocean throughout junior high.

Leahy: And by the way, just for our listeners, Craig Huey is the ultimate California kid. Craig Huey was a surfer boy.

Huey: Love it.

Leahy: When the Beach Boys got started, you were part of that crowd.

Huey: I was part of that crowd. That was my music. So I go down to Manhattan Beach and I’m not wearing a mask. And somebody on what’s called the Strand which is a walkway along the beach comes up to me, says, you can’t do this. You don’t have a mask on. I said, what are you talking about? They’re going to give you a ticket.

They’re giving thousands of tickets to people who don’t have the mask on or properly. $500 tickets. They have an army of people out there making sure everybody’s regulated when they’re out in the fresh air when they’re maybe by themselves, and they may have nobody around them, they have to be obedient.

Leahy: And there’s no science that backs up any of that stuff. And by the way, so I looked at the latest COVID stats from free states like Texas. No masks. And Florida, no masks. You’re free to roam about the state. They have lower cases of COVID.

Huey: Yes. Lower cases, hospitalizations, and death.

Leahy: In those free states. Unlike California, New York, Michigan, all of the blue authoritarian control you’ve got to wear a mass state.

Huey: Yes. It’s the principle of freedom and personal responsibility versus collectivism statism where the government’s telling you what to do. And there’s not individual freedom being respected in a state like California or New York or Connecticut. But in Florida, in Texas, and here in Tennessee, we have liberty. We have choices to make. And our choices are something where you see it in unemployment. In Florida, the unemployment rate is around three percent. In California, it’s close to 10 percent.

In California, half the restaurants are closed forever. In Florida, I was down there with my wife in Florida at a conference, a full-on conference mind you, with people there in the conference. I was down there in Florida about a week ago, and the restaurants are expanding. They’re booming. They’re full. People are back. And that’s freedom and in action. That’s freedom working. And in California, it’s like, I don’t know if I can go to a restaurant. I’m afraid.

Leahy: It’s kind of crazy. By the way, this is new information for you, but it fits our theme here. So I was down in Tallahassee and about a week and a half ago and cooking up a little expansion of the Star News Network. As you know, I’m the majority owner of Star News Digital Media. We operate the Star News Network. We currently have six conservative, state-based news sites. The Tennessee Star, The Georgia Star News, The Virginia Star, The Ohio Star, The Michigan Star, and The Minnesota Sun. And on April 21 we are opening The Florida Capital Star. How about that?

Huey: Congratulations. That’s awesome.

Leahy: Then then wait for it. Wait for it. In May, we’re gonna open up The Texas Lone Star. Do you like that?

Huey: I love it.

Leahy: And what is our theme here? Our theme is liberty. Yes, we are featuring state, state-based pushback to federal usurpations. Right now ironically, Craig, if you look at our new sites, we get a lot of traffic from California.

Huey: I’m not surprised. Let me tell you, the exodus out of California is huge. Where I live, in my community, out in Williamson County I would say the neighbors are from California. I was at church. A car pulls up next to me and a family gets out. I look at the license plate. It’s like mine. (Leahy chuckles) It’s from California. They had just moved out just a couple of weeks ago. And we’re seeing Californians making a decision to leave family, friends, work, and places they were born to venture out in freedom and get away from the oppression of California.

Leahy: Famously, in 1876, a newspaper publisher and presidential candidate who did not succeed, Horus Greely famously said, Go West Young Man. I think now, go away from the West of California is the theme.

Listen to the 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

 

 

 

 

Free Range Kids Founder Lenore Skenazy Talks About Her Two New Inititiaves, Let Grow Play Club and Let Grow Project

Free Range Kids Founder Lenore Skenazy Talks About Her Two New Inititiaves, Let Grow Play Club and Let Grow Project

 

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 President of Let Grow and founder of Free Range Kids Lenore Skenazy to the newsmakers line to talk about her two new initiatives.

Leahy: On our newsmaker line, our new friend, Lenore Skenazy, the President of Letgrow.org. And really the founder of the Free Range Kids Movement. So, Lenore, I have a question for you. Are you open to it?

Skenazy: I thought you had a great idea for me.

Leahy: I do. I have a question for you. So first, before we get to our idea, why don’t you describe some of the K8 projects that Let Grow has currently?

Skenazy: Oh, thank you so much. Sure. So we just have two school initiatives. They’re both free. So it’s not like I’m selling something. One is like I was telling you before the Let Grow Play Club. We encourage schools to open before after school for kid-led, no adult. There’s an adult in the corner with an EpiPen. But otherwise, it’s just kids playing. And throw a lot of junk out there balls and jump ropes and cardboard boxes.

And if you need some help organizing that or dealing with it, how do you explain it to parents and make them see that it’s not just a waste of time. You can get what we call our instruction kit or something at Letgrow.org. And the other thing is the Let Grow Project. And this is a homework assignment that teachers give kids anywhere from K through eighth grade that says, go home and do something new on your own without an adult.

Without your parents. And of course, you talk about it with your parents. But it’s just to renormalize the idea of kids running an errand. Kids walking to school. Kids go over to a friend’s house. Kids making dinner because parents have been so frightened by this whole culture that is telling them that any time that they’re not helping their kid or watching their kids, their kids in danger, that they don’t even know how to let go anymore.

So I don’t blame them because they’re living in a culture where Parents Magazine says, don’t let your kids ever have a play date without you listening to make sure that they don’t have an argument because if they do, you want to jump in. I mean, Parents Magazine theme has been telling parents that kids can’t do anything safely on their own and that they will live to regret it.

And so the Let Grow Project, because it comes from a teacher just gives parents permission to say, you know what? You can let your eight-year-old walk outside, your nine-year-old go run an errand, and your five-year-old play on the lawn. It’s up to you, but it renormalizes it because everybody at the school is doing it. You’re not the crazy mom. You’re not Lenore. (Chuckles)

You’re just doing something for homework. So those are our two school initiatives. And then the other thing that Let Grow is working on is we are trying to encourage states to change their neglect laws to make sure that like playing outside or walking to school or staying home briefly by yourself, that’s not considered neglect. We want neglect to be actual neglect, not trusting kids with a little bit of independence when the parents feel their children are ready.

Leahy: All very good stuff. So you’re ready for my big idea and like to throw it out there?

Skenazy: I can’t wait. I need a new idea.

Leahy: Well, I’d like to see if you might have an interest. There are some people here in Tennessee that might be interested in starting perhaps a statewide pilot program. Here’s the idea. Let Grow Baseball.

Skenazy: I bet I know what it is. I’m guessing it’s just sort of getting initiative like it’s Saturday morning kids go play baseball.

Leahy: Yeah, well, the idea would be maybe to work with little leagues and maybe even some professional baseball teams to set up everywhere and every county. There are 95 counties in Tennessee, fields where kids can go, perhaps have one adult there, just so that in case somebody falls and needs to go to the hospital, they could take them.

But basically, this is a field that’s open all the time in the summer, in the spring, in the fall, where our kids can go and play baseball and self organize and play baseball the way their dads and their grandfather’s and their great grandfather’s did in America for years and years and years before. That’s the big idea. What do you think?

Skenazy: I absolutely love it. It’s actually an idea that we’ve kicked around something like this. One of our co-founders of Let Grow is a guy named Peter Gray.

Leahy: Dr. Peter Gray, Boston College.

Skenazy: Yes, exactly. Oh, my God. Yes. And so Peter Gray said, why can’t we get sand block baseball going again? Which it sounds like what you’re talking about.

Leahy: That’s exactly right.

Skenazy: The fields are there, but nobody thinks to go, because unless you’re in an organized activity, we sort of think that baseball is just for three-hour practices a week. And we just have to renormalize the idea of kids getting up and going out. And so, yes, figure out how to make it happen. I mean, really, you need two things to happen.

One is for kids to recognize that there are going to be other kids outside. So there will be somebody for them to play with. And then two weeks for parents. Well, I guess you need a couple of things. Two weeks for parents to let them go and not think that the parents have to be in the bleachers all day. No parent wants to be outside as long as a kid wants to be outside. Kids want to be out longer because they just want to play.

And no parent wants to stay there from eight in the morning till seven at night on a Sunday like you used to spend. And then I think it behooves your state to consider what we call a reasonable childhood independence law, which used to be called the Free Range Kids Law when it was passed in Utah, which is just what we were talking about before. Making sure that it’s not mistaken for neglect by letting your kids go outside and play baseball for three hours while you’re at home doing whatever else you prefer to do.

Leahy: That makes an awful lot of sense. I see from his biography that Dr. Peter Gray was the co-founder of Let Grow at letgrow.org. I see from his biography that he grew up in small towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin. He’s a little older than I am. I’m betting every summer he’d go out and play baseball in a sandlot.

Skenazy: Believe me, he did that. And even in winter in Minnesota, he was outside. In the winter he was ice skating, and in the summer he was fishing. And actually, he took a test recently to see, is your child an addict? Because he also believes that his kids like playing video games. That’s not the end of the world either. You don’t want them only doing that, but kids are allowed to have some fun.

And when he took the test are like, do you always think about this activity? Did you wake up and think about this activity? Have you skipped school to think about this activity? And he realized as a child he had been a fishing addict because all he would do was he would just be so interested in getting that pole and going off to wherever the fishing hole was. And look, he ended up a Professor at Boston College. I don’t think all that time spent playing baseball, fishing, hanging out outside, and sometimes even skipping school, just because he had the drive to do something else and some fascination with something.

I mean, what I worry about is the kids growing up being driven from one activity to the other they like them and its fine and I did that with my kids. But when you have some free unstructured time without an adult telling you what to do and why it’s good for you, you develop something else and that’s this internal sense of I can handle things. Life is interesting. I’m pretty intrepid. And without that internal locus of control, you’re very depressed. It’s like going to a job every day where you’re micromanaged. The assumption is that kids today are having higher levels of depression and anxiety because everything is done with them and for them and they dont’ get to do anything on their own.

Leahy: They have no agency, no control.

Skenazy: Yes, absolutely.

Leahy: So Here’s what I’d like you to consider.

If you and Dr. Peter Gray, let’s set up a phone call, and let’s plan this thing out and introduce Let Grow Sandlot Baseball or whatever you want to call it. We’ll introduce Let Grow Sandlot Baseball to every County in Tennessee. The fields are there. We just need to get some private money into it. And I can tell you right now in Tennessee, I’ve been talking to a number of Little League people and some professional major league sports teams that I think would be very interested in helping this happen. And Tennessee of course is the best state in the country to start this…

Skenazy: Because…

Leahy: Because we want to do it because, of course, we have no state income tax, and we have a tradition of freedom and liberty. And it’s, of course, the volunteer state.

Skenazy: Oh, that’s right. I’m thinking about the license plate. Yeah, well, the ideas of freedom and liberty are pretty much dead if you think that people need constant supervision. And that’s what we’re raising kids with. The idea that they’re never safe, and they shouldn’t even feel safe unless somebody else is always watching them, either in person or electronically. And I want to contract this idea that no, actually, you yourself are okay. You can handle things. The world is your oyster. It’s not a threat. So I think it has to start pretty young, and that’s what Let Grow is about.

So we’ll have our first phone call with the Let Grow Sandlot Baseball-Tennessee Star idea. And then we’ll invite you down here to Nashville. You and Dr. Peter Gray to talk to some baseball people. Look at some fields, and let’s get this thing rolling.

Skenazy: Let’s aim for the stand. Now you know how little I know about baseball. That wall at the back. How about a home run.

Leahy: If you build it, they will come.

Skenazy: Especially if you don’t go there with them.

Leahy: Exactly.

Listen to the 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

 

 

 

Precipice of Tyranny: Liberal Feminist and Author Naomi Wolf Sounds the Alarm on the Rise of Facism and Censorship in America

Precipice of Tyranny: Liberal Feminist and Author Naomi Wolf Sounds the Alarm on the Rise of Facism and Censorship in America

 

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 liberal, feminist, author, and freedom lover Naomi Wolf to the newsmakers line to talk about the rising tides of fascism in the United States.

Leahy: In studio, the all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. And on our newsmaker line, we are delighted to have an interview with someone I never thought I would ever have a chance to interview, Naomi Wolf who is a graduate of Yale and a Road Scholar, was an advisor to the 1996 Bill Clinton campaign and the 2000 Al Gore campaign. Turns out, I think we have something in common now. Welcome Naomi, thanks for joining us.

Wolf: Thank you so much for having me. Good morning.

Leahy: Well, your appearances on Tucker Carlson were just fantastic. You are a liberal, you’re a feminist author, a journalist, but you are decrying censorship and lack of freedom in America. Tell us a little bit about what you stand for and what the reaction has been to you.

Wolf: Sure. Well, I did go on Tucker Carlson twice, and I spoke about my concerns that we’re in a time of what I call Step 10 of the 10 Steps to Fascism. I wrote a book describing 10 steps to fascism 12 years ago, and we’re literally here at the precipice of tyranny. And it’s been coming for a while. But my argument, I’m trying to kind of warn people, and a lot of people are aware, they just want kind of more detail, that under the guise of what has been a real medical crisis our rights and freedoms are being suspended and withdrawn, and specifically about censorship.

All tyrants, censor. that is common in a police state, whether it’s on the left or on the right totalitarian or fascist. And I’m very concerned seeing the erasure or purging of conservative voices from social media. It’s not good for our country. Yes, I’m liberal, but we need a free America and we have First Amendment rights for a reason. And these private platforms are free to purge voices, but they’re purging conservatives. And then when I spoke up to unite across left and right and to reclaim America and to reclaim our Constitution, I was purged. (Chuckles)  So that was one of the things I was discussing.

Leahy: How surprised were you, Naomi, that you were purged when you started to speak up because you’re a very well-known American liberal thinker?

Wolf: Well, certainly it was more like shocked. And the thing about those kinds of suspensions. I was suspended from Twitter three times, from Facebook video, and on several platforms. They never really give you the exact reason. A nominal reason was medical misinformation. But I’ve been saying the same things and critiquing aspects of this pandemic advice, which I think is being kind of exploited by some bad actors like Big Pharma and Big Tech just for profit. I’ve been saying the same thing for a year.

So it was notable that only after I was on a national television show with well known conservative that I got booted. I’m very concerned. I mean, look, having studied closing societies for 12 years and warning about encroaching fascism for 12 years it’s not the first time I’ve been warning people about this. It’s just we’ve gone further than ever. And it’s more kind of Draconian-like. Massachusetts is under emergency law.

New York is under emergency law. California is under emergency law. I can’t say how serious that is, right? In America, it’s more like, yes, it’s bad that it happened to me, but it’s bad that it’s happening. And once people start to be censored, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? You don’t know what you’re not hearing. You don’t know what news you’re not getting.

And also, once people start to be censored because of their political views, we can’t unite as a people against oligarchs. And basically, that’s what I see happening which is that the left and right are becoming really less important. And what’s really important is that we need to unite a kind of freedom against tyranny. We need to have these partisan discussions across party lines so we can mobilize quickly to regain our rights because there’s a certain point at which it’s really too late. And so when you start to have censorship, that becomes much less possible.

Leahy: Naomi, our all-star panelist here Crom Carmichael has a question for you.

Carmichael: Naomi, I can name some Republicans who would agree with you. I’m talking about now Republicans that are holding office. Can you name any Democrats who are holding office with the exception of maybe Tulsi Gabbard, and I’m not even sure she is still in office. Can you name any Democrats who agree with you office holders?

Wolf: Oh, gosh, that’s a tough question. I’m glad you said ‘who hold office’ because there are many, many decent, patriotic liberals like me at a grassroots level who are just ordinary Americans and are horrified about what’s happening around them. No, I can’t. I confess I cannot name people on a national leadership level who are speaking out against the silencing of conservative voices. They should.

There’s a reason for that, which is these tech platforms are some of the biggest donors on the Democratic side. And I am a Democrat, right? Both parties have their big special interests like the Republicans have guns and fossil fuels. So they’re not speaking up against guns and fossil fuels. Maybe they should. But no, at a national level, I have not, sadly, heard other Democrats say this is not good for America.

It may be convenient that President Trump was banned from Twitter. It may be convenient that Ben Shapiro was told that he might be kicked off of Amazon servers. But that’s bad for America. And the other problem is, these giant tech platforms are private companies, so they can do that. So we really need to have a reckoning as Americans. And one of the dangers of lockdown is that we can’t gather in the town hall.

We can’t gather in churches, in synagogues, or even comfortably on the street in Massachusetts, where I live. Where there’s a nonsensical mask mandate and speak to our neighbors in clean public spaces. And I think that’s one reason, like the tech companies prolong lockdowns and are kind of behind some of these ridiculous policies to force us to wear masks to keep us out of gathering and assembling, which is our First Amendment because it’s a war against human spaces. Because in human spaces, we can say, look, let’s unite and talk about this and create other spaces to have these big civil conversations.

Leahy: Naomi, are you optimistic or pessimistic about our ability to stop this movement as you describe, toward fascism in the country?

Wolf: Well, I’m very, very worried. I mean, it depends on us, right? We don’t have much time. I do see more and more awakening. I do see more and more people across the divide that are not sleepwalking into whatever Dr. Fauci says we ‘have to do.’ I do see parents across the political divide very upset that their kids have been out of school for a year or are forced to wear masks in school for no good reason.

Draconian measures controlling every aspect of their lives. I do see people saying I should be be able to reopen my business. But we are under emergency powers like I am a very privileged American, and in the state of Massachusetts, there is nothing I can do to reopen my society. There’s nothing I can do to help small business owners I know, reopen to full capacity.

There’s nothing I can do to take the masks off kids’ faces or off my own face. I risk a fine walking outside by myself if I’m not wearing a mask. That’s what tyranny looks like. We have no time at all. And I’m really glad we’re having conversations like this because we all have to literally rise up peacefully and start doing a bunch of things, including running candidates at the state level to reclaim statehood and ban emergency measures.

Leahy: Naomi Wolf, American Liberal, author, supporter of freedom. Thanks so much for joining us here today on the Tennessee Star Report. Will you come back?

Wolf: Anytime. Thank you so much.

Leahy: We appreciate your coming on.

Listen to the full 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
Photo “Dr. Naomi Wolf” by Naomi Wolf.