Crowd Size Matters: Host Leahy and Mayor Ogles Validate Trump Rally Attendees in Wellington, Ohio

Crowd Size Matters: Host Leahy and Mayor Ogles Validate Trump Rally Attendees in Wellington, Ohio

 

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 to discuss the actual crowd size and reporting by the fake news media at former President Trump’s rally on Saturday.

Leahy: In studio, the mayor of Maury County, the bastion of freedom, here in Tennessee. Andy Ogles. Good morning, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning.

Leahy: We were talking, of course, about Laura Baigert, The Star News Network, and The Tennessee Star reporter who had the exclusive interview on Saturday for half an hour with former President Donald Trump.

Road in the limousine from the fairgrounds rally to the airport with him. It was a great interview. She wrote it all up. And now it’s interesting, the president has done a couple of things, former president, to get out there in the public.

First, this rally, we’ll talk about that rally in a bit. Then the interview with Laura, the exclusive interview. Today at noon former President Trump will be guest for much of the hour I am told here on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show broadcast here on Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC from noon on.

So again, I think the former president has said, okay, I’ve had my five months of rest and relaxation. I am ready to take on the maladministration policies of Biden-Harris. Any thoughts on that, Andy?

Ogles: I think what they’re doing and the president has stated publicly is the 2022 election is critical. Obviously, I think he would like some closure with the 2020 elections. But you also have to look forward to 2022.

And I can only speak anecdotally as I’ve been speaking to communities across Tennessee. But there’s a lot of angst. I think for some, it’s these critical race bananas that are going on. You’ve got the election and the turmoil there, and then you just have COVID fatigue.

People are sick and tired of the shutdowns and the lockdowns and the infringements on liberty and freedom, even if they were scared of the virus. Instinctively, we’re a nation of people who believe in freedom.

And so people are fed up. And I think what you’re seeing is former president is on a full-court press to make sure that we take back the House, we take back the Senate. Sometimes people will fret about gridlock in Washington, D.C. Gridlock is a great thing because the more gridlock there is, the list of our money they’re wasting.

Leahy: Yes. I  could not agree with you more on that. Let’s go back to the media misreporting on former President Trump. Now I have a couple of little funny stories here. Do you know how in those rallies the media is in what they call the media pen?

It’s usually a set of risers. And you’ll have the usual suspects there, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, they all have cameras there. Now, increasingly, I’m seeing more kinds of conservative news outlets. The Star News Network was there.

Of course, we were there. We didn’t have video cameras, but we were there. And Real America Voice News, for instance, was there. I think One America News was also there. Those are more kind of conservative outlets.

But what’s interesting and was kind of fun and it’s a bit of theater in every one of Trump rallies. And he did it again, this first post-presidency or the interim presidency. The interregnum, shall we say, between Trump 45 and Trump 47, which is what would happen if he were to run and get it elected in 2024.

He always rails at the fake news media. And you know what happens when he does that? He points to the media in the media pen. And the crowd turns around. And with a variety of hand gestures, shall we say, indicates to the press their opinion of them. (Laughter)

Visually, you can understand what those hand gestures might look like and they give them boos. Now we’re there. And we’ve been reporting fairly on the former president for all this time.

And it’s just sort of fun because there’s a crowd yelling at us, we’re standing next to the CNN people. And CNN people are shrinking and scowling. I’m just laughing. It’s just like it’s a wonderful moment to be there and experience that.

And, you know, you don’t say, hey, we’re not like them. (Laughs) It’s kind of fun. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of those. It’s kind of fun to see the way they react shall we say.

Ogles: Sure. But he’s right. I think we all get fed up with journalism and journalistic integrity, by and large, is dead right now. And I don’t know how you get that back. The old days of good journalism.

Everybody has an agenda. Everybody has an opinion. But people actually trying to report the news versus every news piece now seems to be more commentary. It’s like, where do you get good, honest news?

Leahy: Well, of course, at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. But, of course! but, of course! now a little thing that I’ve been working on for some time. There’s always this crowd size game, right?

There’s always a crowd size game. And the establishment media will kind of report in a way that minimizes crowd size, Ridiculously. For instance, with this particular crowd what I’ve always found is when you’re trying to report crowd size, the very best thing to do is go to a police officer.

And when you’re reporting it, instead of you saying the crowd size, go to a police officer and say, do you have any estimates on crowd size? And often the police have a pretty good sense of that, and they’ll give you something sometimes.

In this particular case, as we were exiting, we saw several law enforcement officers and we asked them specifically because we had our own estimate in mind about the crowd size. And so I asked the law enforcement officers what was the crowd size?

They said, well, we were far in the back, we weren’t able to see, but I’ve heard estimates of 25,000 to 30,000.

Ogles: Wow.

Leahy: I just can’t use that. We were too far in the back. I can’t quote a police officer saying that. If they had said, yes I’d estimate 25,000 to 30,000 I could use that. We actually had heard from one of the wire services, I won’t say the name AP.

I won’t say the name AP. One of the wire services there looked at the crowd and they said it’s about 500 people. Are you nuts?! I’ve been doing the crowd size thing for 15 years since I started the Tea Party movement.

And so I kind of tried to do my best crowd estimate. And looking at the various elements in the venue, the people and the chairs and the main venue and the people along the sides and in the back, I said it was at least 15,000.

So when I wrote a separate story at Breitbart News about it, I said an estimated crowd of 15,000. Interestingly enough, we’ve reached out to the folks there at Lorain County Fairgrounds, and apparently, we got back today an official estimate of 28,000 to 34,000.

Now you just showed me a photograph taken from the very top of the grandstand behind the stage where the president spoke. And I’m looking at that. And it is basically people as far as you can see.

Ogles: I compare that photo to MuleFest that we had in Maury County with Trace Adkins and the estimate from that concert that Friday evening was between 20,000 to 22,000 people.

And what I can tell you is if you were to overlay that photograph on top of that one, there are more people there than that were MuleFest. So, you know, there were at least 25,000 people based on that. Again, we have an accurate count of our event. That’s more. That’s incredible.

Leahy: What I was going to say about that is because there were no official estimates when I wrote that for my Breitbart story on it. And so I put that out as sort of the floor an estimated 15,000.

I felt very comfortable with that number. But now, looking at it, I think the number of 28,000 to 34,000 that Lorain County has given us is probably more accurate.

Ogles: Right.

Leahy: I bring that to your attention because the establishment media are saying, well, it was a small crowd. (Ogles chuckles) I don’t know if this surprises you, Andy, but they are a bunch of liars. It was a huge crowd.

Ogles: That goes back to my other comment and everything’s relative, right? You have 30,000 people show up in this little small town. So it wasn’t like it took place in Legislative Plaza and Nashville in a big city. You have people who drove 30 minutes, an hour and a half, two hours to get to this venue.

Leahy: People came from Iowa, people came from Florida, all over the country because they wanted to see the president.

Ogles: Amazing. There’s a wave coming in 2022.

Leahy: The bottom line is there was a huge crowd in Wellington, Ohio, on Saturday to listen to an hour and a half vintage Donald Trump. (Laughter)

Ogles: Let her rip baby.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samantha Fillmore of the Heartland Institute Explains the ‘Asphyxiation of the American Economy’

Samantha Fillmore of the Heartland Institute Explains the ‘Asphyxiation of the American Economy’

 

Live from Music Row Thursday 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 Samantha Fillmore who is the state government relations manager at the Heartland Institute to the newsmakers line to discuss the federal governments’ legislative policies that prevent people from wanting to work and stifling small businesses from hiring employees.

Leahy: We are delighted to welcome on our newsmaker line, Samantha Fillmore, the head of government relations for the Heartland Institute. Good morning, Samantha.

Fillmore: Good morning. How are you?

Leahy: Well, we’re delighted to have you on. We are aligned because at the Star News Network, where we own and operate seven state-based news sites, soon to be eight, because we’re moving to Arizona, too.

We’re going to open The Arizona Sun-Times next week. We focus on state and local government issues just like you do at the Heartland Institute. But you’ve been doing it a lot longer than we have.

Fillmore: That’s true. But yes, I am the state government relations manager with the Heartland Institute, which is working on 40 years of working in all states nationwide.

Leahy: 40 years!

Fillmore: We’re working on it.

Leahy: Wow! And we’ve only been up for four years. So you’re way ahead of us now. You have a terrific piece, I think it was at the Washington Examiner about federal unemployment bonus benefits. What’s your argument there?

Fillmore: Absolutely. Thank you for asking. In March 2020, as we know, Congress passed the two-point two-trillion Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the Cares Act.

Included in this federally subsidized additional unemployment benefits was known as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Program. And this program automatically provided an additional $300. per week and unemployment benefits for all individuals on top of their state-based unemployment benefits.

Some of the arguments from people who work in economics said as I do from the beginning, particularly from the right side, was that this was always going to end up de-incentivizing millions of Americans who eventually reentering the workforce because of the unemployment with these new bonus benefits, some individuals, in fact, money, we’re making more staying at home than they were at their previous job.

And so what was going to happen when God willing, at this time, we were hoping that there was an end of the tunnel for the Coronavirus Pandemic. What was going to happen when we needed more than ever to saturate the job market.

And now, unfortunately for many economists, our worst fear is coming true. And we’ve created a choking hazard in the labor market that could asphyxiate the economy.

Leahy: A choking hazard that could asphyxiate the economy. Now, for an economist, that is a very descriptive and colorful way to talk about the problem. Congratulations on being able to articulate an economic argument in ways that most people can clearly understand.

Fillmore: Well, thank you. I appreciate that. I have a little bit of practice. I’ve been trying my best, but I am so passionate about this because this is why we see the unemployment level still very high despite the fact that businesses are struggling to fill vacancies and fill unemployment quotas.

I’ve talked to many business owners and they want to fully reopen to full capacity seven days a week and the full hours they had. And they just can’t because they cannot fill the quotas for a staff large enough to do that.

Leahy: Here’s sort of the other thought about this. This is an excellent example of the unintended consequences of government policies. Now let’s step back. Why did Congress pass all these additional bonuses and unemployment benefits?

Because state governments there shut down small businesses and were putting people into the unemployment line. This was the state government’s policy all across the country. So they harmed the ability of these workers to make money. So you can understand, oh, well, we’re going to have to compensate for that. Not so fast right?

If you’re a logical person and let’s say you work in service in the food industry, and Draconian government policy shuts you down and you lose your job and you’re making a certain amount of money, and then the federal government pays you a little bit more than that to sit on your you know what and do nothing, even when you can go back to your job, it’s illogical to go back if you’re going to make less money.

Fillmore: Absolutely. 100 percent. That is exactly the case. If I could make more money from staying at home, I certainly would. I’m not afraid to admit it. (Chuckles) I’d pick up hobbies.

Leahy: Let the government pay for your hobbies. (Laughs)

Fillmore: I’d get better and it would be great. (Chuckles) No, but that’s the argument. And that is the issue. It’s actually fascinating is according to the Business Insider, companies have begun offering signing bonuses and wage increases not limited to but including Target, Hobby Lobby, Starbucks, Wayfair, Costco, Walmart, Chipotle, McDonald’s, and Bank of America.

It is so apparent. And if you were to just drive, I’m sure, across Nashville or across Tennessee and certainly where I’m at here in Chicago, there are help wanted signs in every window.

 There is no shortage of the desire in the demand for labor. And yet we’re struggling. And it’s so clearly because of this. An analysis by an economist at the University of Chicago, the Tent School of Economics estimated that about 68 percent of unemployed workers for the bonus receiving payments greater than the earnings before. So that’s exactly what’s happening.

Leahy: Here’s the other thing, Samantha. If this would happen to me and we didn’t know what would happen, but I’ve got an easy job. All I have to do is talk here on the radio. And then write at The Tennessee Star and Breitbart, where I’m a columnist and a reporter there as well.

I don’t serve in a situation where the government could force me out of a job. But if the state government, in most cases, force me out of a job for no good reason, would be my thinking back in March of 2020, you know what? I’d be pretty angry about that.

And then my attitude would be, well, if you were stupid enough to force me out of my job when I wanted to work and if you’re stupid enough to pay me more than I paid when I was working I’m just going to sit here until you change your mind and I’m going to take your money. That’s I think, how most people think about it.

Fillmore: And that flow of logic would not be lost on me. And I understand that completely. Thankfully, to that point, many governors and state lawmakers have recognized that this is happening in the harmful nature of this program.

So right now, this federal bonus unemployment benefit is scheduled to end on September 6. Now it’s scheduled but that doesn’t mean that it will end on September sixth because we know the federal government loves to continue to roll out, especially under this administration printing money like it’s going out of style.

Will it actually end federally on September sixth? That remains to be seen. However, many governors have decided to opt out of this program before September.

Leahy: Our governor here, Governor Bill, is opting out, I think, in July. At a national level, I think you’ve argued that this could possibly turn into a frightful campaign for universal basic income as proposed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, The Squad, Andrew Yang, and all that crowd. What do you see there?

Fillmore: UBI’s have been so short. They’ve been proposed for a while. And the fear around many of what I do is that if this were ever to catch on if there was ever an ability for people to realize that Uncle Sam could subsidize the lifestyle without actually working, that it would do exactly what is happening now.

It would disincentivize employment and promote dependence on the federal government. And ultimately, it does what a lot of people on the left do, which is give the federal government even more power over individual liberties and individual lives than anyone I know would want.

Then that snowball into so many things. Not only would the federal government be subsidizing your income for living, but at what point does that stop? What other powers have we given away to them to allow them to get to that point?

And the coronavirus pandemic is a pure example of that. We were told what to do with our families and our friends and our bodies and our health care and our homes. And now our employment ultimately is this frightening and heroing image of totalitarian control.

And that’s something I definitely do not want. But now it’s going to be hard to get these people off. And I think it’s been a strong pitch for UBI’s.

Leahy: Absolutely on that. I look at this, and I think you’re up in Chicago, and there are all sorts of problems down in Chicago Samantha.

Fillmore: Yes.

Leahy: What a mess. Is there a bigger mess than Chicago?

Fillmore: That’s a wonderful question. (Laughs) Perhaps, no. I mean, maybe in New York but at least 16,000 senior citizens’ deaths weren’t swept up under the rug in Chicago. So maybe in New York or California.

But no, Chicago is definitely a liberal bastion. I guess I’m seeing the height of help wanted signs and people really contingent to lean onto the government here.

Listen to the 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.
Photo “Samantha Fillmore” by The Heartland Institute. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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