Host Cunningham, Ogles, and Grant Discuss Indoctrination of Children, Purpose, and Salvaging a Generation

Host Cunningham, Ogles, and Grant Discuss Indoctrination of Children, Purpose, and Salvaging a Generation

 

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. –  guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles and Grant Henry of Americans for Prosperity in the studio to discuss the increasing indoctrination of young children, the desperation of generations to have a purpose, and the waking of the silent majority.

Cunnigham: It’s great to rant and rave in front of the big Michael Patrick Leahy microphone for a day. And I appreciate Michael letting me come in and sit in for him. He’s out expanding his huge media empire, going to state after state. I’m telling you, the guy is just unstoppable.

And thank goodness, because the media has been taken over by the liberals, just like most of our other institutes. And we’ve got to fight back. Andy Ogles, Maury County mayor, is with us in-studio this morning, and Grant Henry with Americans of Prosperity, also sitting in.

A triumvirate of hosts this morning to fill in the big shoes of Michael Patrick Leahy. All right, guys, I got a culture update for you this morning. It turns out that in the Baby Muppets TV series, and frankly, I don’t even know where the Baby Muppets are shown. But this last episode, apparently, Baby Gonzo decides he wants to go to a ball, a dance, a royal ball as a Princess and as a female.

And so the transgendered agenda is being pushed even to our children. This show is aimed at kids four to seven years old. And this is from a Fox News article. It says a fairy rat father grants Gonzo his wish to become a princess. And later in the show, the piggy character tells Gonzo we met the most amazing princess.

And this gushing kind of affirmation of transgender to our kids. If there’s any tendency of some poor kid out there to be confused, who has gone through some kind of emotional wounds, this will give them an avenue to go into the transgender role just as easily.

And we see this so much with young kids these days. You guys have probably seen this Libs of TikTok. There’s a Twitter account called Libs of TikTok, and the guy goes on TikTok and takes the most outrageous videos on TikTok.

And it is just amazing how far into this delusional world the young kids have gotten. And the left is pushing this transgender and basically saying to anybody who comes out against it and who doubts it that you are a bigot. You’re a hater. And that really is where we’re going.

Ogles: Well, I’ll come out against it. It’s a bunch of crap. I’ve got a six-year-old son.

Cunningham: I like that.

Ogles: And I’m offended by this. This transgender, which is a mental disorder. We’re pandering to less than one percent of the population. When you have a six-year-old boy or six-year-old girl, but they don’t understand the world, they don’t understand their boundaries.

And so they’re gonna ask questions like, you might have a boy say, hey Dad, can I have my nails painted? And the answer is no, because that’s what girls do, right? Or a girl may want to do something that is overtly masculine. And there’s nothing wrong with boys being boys and girls being girls.

And we’ve got to stop pandering to these lunatics on the left. There was a time and day that a kid could turn on Saturday morning cartoons and the parents didn’t have to be worried about what’s going to be forced down your children’s throat.

And now you’ve got a screen, everything, even the content for your four or four, five, six-year-old child. And I’m offended by that. And it’s time that we take this country back, which is why we’re doing this freedom tour. We are a conservative state and it’s time we start acting like it.

Henry: So speaking purely as myself here, not on behalf of AFP or any other organization, just Grant Henry. You said it before, Ben. This is a program that’s targeted primarily towards the ages of three to eight. Pregnant pause for effect.

I think that’s kind of the answer. Can kids just not be kids today? Is there not an availability anywhere in the nation anymore to just allow the innocence of a child to remain? And part of it speaks to me in this, Ben. I’m reading through Viktor Frankl’s book Man’s Search for Meaning right now.

Cunningham: Great book.

Henry: Here’s a quote: Man searches for meaning is the primary motivation of his life and not a secondary rationalization of instinctual drives. This meaning is unique and specific, and that it must and can be fulfilled by him alone. Only then does it achieve a significance, which will satisfy his own will to meaning.

That to me, screams that humanity itself is yearning for purpose. Meaning. There is motivation behind that like there is nothing else in our lives. A little bit of what this is right now is this desperate search to find meaning in something.

And I’m telling you, all right, now it is incumbent upon conservatives and primarily Christians, to start presenting a better alternative to some of the stuff that we’re seeing out there.

Cunningham: Absolutely. And we’ve seen this in other totalitarian states. The children are the first thing they go after. And it happened in the Soviet Union. It certainly happened in China. It happened in Cambodia, with Pol Pot.

In Cuba. The first thing they will do is to change the education system and the culture so that these kids are targeted with big government and authoritarian orthodoxy.

And that’s exactly what this is part of. And they’re basically saying to us, if you disagree with this, you’re a bigot and you not only will be silenced, you should be silenced. That’s the scary part. This is a quote from Victor Davis Hanson, who I love, and his analysis. He was writing an article about this process, and he says now, with the money and institutions in its hip pocket and cool popular culture on its side, the left would not just damn American institutions but infect them.

Alter their DNA and reengineer them into revolutionary agencies. And that is precisely what has happened. They’ve infected them with their far-left DNA and they’ve re-engineered them. Another guy that I love, Leonidas Johnson, who is one of the great black conservatives on Twitter.

He says, we’re now faced with a situation where cowardice is called courage. Failure is called success. Men are called women, abortion is called health care. Racism is called antiracism. Fascism is called antifascism. Opinions are called facts. Facts are called hate, and regressive is called progressive. And we have these poor kids that you see on TikTok that are just so deep into this delusion.

I don’t know if in our lifetime, certainly not in my lifetime, whether or not they’re salvageable and whether the culture is salvageable. We just got to take our own little Baileywick, our own little sphere of influence, and try to do what we can.

Henry: I do find hope, though, in some of these statistics that I look at with Generation Z, which I believe is the most recent generation, is the most conservative portions of it. Portions of Generation Z are the most conservative generation to have existed in American history. At least in the last 800 to 150 years. Now someone’s going to have to fact-check me in that. But the point I’m making here, Ben, is that I think that pendulum swings in both directions.

As widely as it swings left, it’s swinging that far to the right as well. There will be a point where it settles back down. We’re in this time of over 10 windows shift this time where what settles back down to a state of normalcy and what we accept as commonly accepted principles. That’s the real fight. That’s what’s so fun about being alive right now. Now is the time to actually have principles, stand on principles, and make your virtue known.

They matter now more than ever in American life. And I’m telling you one more time, free-market being what it is, let’s start responding with choice here. Let’s start responding with, hey, if you don’t like this show, turn to a different show, man.

Ogles: That’s right. If you don’t like it, move along as people get upset about some of my posts on social media. And it’s like, then why are you reading it? But to your point, Grant, it’s like again, anecdotally – Kingsport 400 people. Tellico Village, which is just outside of Knoxville, 400 people showed up.

Tonight I’m expecting, say, 500 people. And it’s this undercurrent of frustration. And people want their voices heard. This ‘silent majority.’ And I looked at this story on Breitbart we’re just talking about. The Internet Celebrates the Collapse of a Left Woke Olympic Icon. So you have people who love America. I love the Olympics.

Henry: Me too.

Ogles: You anticipate watching these. We’ve got three children, and you’re going to watch these things with your kids, and you’re going to pass along these traditions. And there’s more leftism and transgender in it. The dude weightlifter pretending to be a woman who competes in the weight lifting, and then he totally chokes. But I’m glad. Because that’s not what the Olympics is about.

Cunningham: Absolutely. There is one thing we’ve learned and that’s culture is just as important as politics. And exerting a cultural agenda. Like you say, Grant, is that is: a counter to this leftist orthodoxy is just as important as asserting an alternate political agenda.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael on the Rising Fentanyl Deaths Versus COVID and the Dismantling of Our Military

Crom Carmichael on the Rising Fentanyl Deaths Versus COVID and the Dismantling of Our Military

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to compare COVID deaths to rising Fentanyl cases and the destruction of America’s woke military.

Leahy: We are joined in studio by the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning!

Carmichael: Good morning, Michael. (Chuckles) I’m watching you do three things at once.

Leahy: Is it very entertaining?

Carmichael: It’s very impressive.

Leahy: Multi-tasking. (Laughter) For those of you listening, you know, occasionally I am multitasking. I’m talking on the air. I’m finalizing the edit.

This is just a secret for everybody out there. I’m finalizing the edit of a Breitbart News story that has a deadline in about half an hour. And I forgot to get headphones for Crom.

Carmichael: That’s okay. I can still talk with that headphones.

Leahy: I was fumbling and mumbling and bumbling in order to get them for you. Also, I have to salute teamwork here. Our great producer, Scooter, has produced for me perhaps the most delicious cup of radio station coffee I’ve had in some time. Thank you, Scooter. I really appreciate it.

Scooter: Happy to help.

Leahy: I don’t know how you got this great quality.

Carmichael: So we have coffee back in the break area.

Scooter: And it’s fresh.

Leahy: And it’s fresh. Scooter may be a coffee specialist.

Scooter: It’s a backup plan. You never know.

Leahy: Now our number one plan though, Crom, is always we have to get a fantastic coffee sponsor and we would talk about them voluminously because we love coffee.

Carmichael: Yes. I don’t know why that hasn’t happened yet.

Leahy: It’s because I’m lazy.

Carmichael: Your phone should be ringing.

Leahy: It should be ringing off the hook – A coffee vendor just wanting to get in.

Scooter: You just had a guy on with the last name Starbuck.

Leahy: Now, that’s a very good point. Crom, what is on your mind?

Carmichael: This morning I stumbled across an article that then caused me to dig deeper and deeper.

And it’s really quite interesting because this whole COVID government demands and all this stuff where the government’s trying to crush our spirit by making all these demands on COVID. Yet they do nothing – nothing – zero about the overdose of opioids.

Do you know how many people died of overdoses from opioids? And I’m talking about now mostly from Fentanyl. I’m not saying 100 percent.

But the data show that  Fentanyl is by far the largest problem. Let me make sure about something. Fentanyl is an illicit drug. Most of it is manufactured in China.

It’s brought in through Mexico. Now you hear Anthony Fauci talk about how young people need to wear masks. Let me give you a little bit of data here.

From all of the people who died of COVID through February 17, 2900 have been age 25 to 34. 648, 15 to 24. 72, 5 to 14. Compared to other deaths, it’s very, very low.

Do you know what the average age of death of Fentanyl is? 32. 93,000 people have died from Fentanyl. How do you stop Fentanyl deaths?

Controlling your southern border and making demands of China. Making demands of China to stop the illicit manufacturing of Fentanyl.

Leahy: And you know, the weakness that we have right now in the foreign policy of the maladministration of Biden and Harris is in those areas precisely.

Carmichael: That’s because the issue is not what they claim it really is because the facts would prove otherwise. What I’m saying is that the deaths from Fentanyl are skyrocketing. They are going up and they are climbing.

COVID deaths are descending at a very, very rapid rate. There are solutions. I’m not going to claim they are simple to execute, but they are simple to identify. Execution is different. Biden is making no effort. In fact, he’s doing exactly the opposite.

Leahy: By the way, let me just interject here for a moment. When you say you take any major policy issue today, you can start by saying Biden is making no effort to.

But he’s doing exactly the opposite. That applies to virtually every major public issue.

Carmichael: That’s because he’s always wrong. I mean, we’re not joking here. What I’m saying is he has a 40 to 50-year history.

Robert Gates said he wasn’t right on a single foreign policy question in over 40 years. I would argue that that holds true.

Leahy: He has a consistent record of being wrong.

Carmichael: Yes. Let’s review. That’s because he has three screens through which he makes decisions. The first screen is, do I get money out of it myself?

If the answer is yes, there’s a good chance that policy will become The Hill endorsed policy. If it doesn’t make money for him, but it doesn’t cost him anything personally, the second question is, does it help my family?

Can my family make money from it? If the answer is yes, it will get his support. And then the third screen is, does it help my party? The Democrat Party?

It doesn’t matter whether it helps the country. It could hurt the country. All these things – himself, his family, and the Democrat Party – he doesn’t care if it hurts the country as long as it helps one of those three.

And so in the case of Fentanyl, this year we’ll have well over 100,000. By the way, it’s up 27 percent. So it’s from the 70,000s last year.

And by the way, Trump was trying to control this by shutting down the border and building a wall. But then he did dramatically control illegal immigration.

But still, the Fentanyl people were able to figure out a way to get across the border, even though it was in relatively small numbers. It doesn’t take a lot of Fentanyl to kill thousands and thousands of people.

And so you have a foreign adversary in China that manufactures it. And then you have the drug lords out of Mexico that gets it into the country.

And you have Biden cow-towing to China. And you have Biden letting people flood the borders and we now know that Mark Milley and the military. The Milleytary.

Leahy: That’s very good Crom.

Carmichael: Well, it’s easy to do. That wasn’t hard. The Milleytary is being used now to move illegal immigrants who come across the border are actually helping.

Leahy: That is illegal.

Carmichael: It is illegal.

Leahy: But just about everything they’re doing is illegal.

Carmichael: Yeah. But especially when it comes to immigration. The Milleytary is helping to move illegal immigrants all around the country.

And the commanders are telling the subordinate troops to take no pictures and do not post any of this on social media. So they know what they’re doing is wrong.

They know that the American people would oppose it. But yet the military that is supposed to be protecting the American people is helping the Biden administration hurt the country. And I would argue tens of thousands of our younger people.

Leahy: This is extremely disturbing to me, Crom. The politicization of our military. It seems to be in full form right now.

And we saw actually, I think during the early Trump administration, some evidence of that. In the debacle of James Madison as the secretary of defense, he was fully woke.

And you had all these Obama administration leftovers in the Department of Defense who were woke.

Now I look at this and I say, what is the solution to un-woke our military and turn them into a fighting machine that will defend America?

Carmichael: Well, you’re not going to do it with President Biden because they’re doing his bidding. And so if Trump were to be reelected or someone else or a Republican is reelected and the goal is to do that, then you’d need to clean out a lot of the hierarchy in the military and in the Pentagon.

Leahy: I’m not an expert on the military, but we need to get Representative Mark Green on because he went to West Point and served in Iraq.

But it seems to me the kind of thing that you would want to do is you would want to reach down into the lower levels and pick the outstanding Colonel, or outstanding Lieutenant Colonel, and elevate them to the top. Somebody that hasn’t been ruined by the political correctness required to advance.

Carmichael: And it would have to be people who have not had a career in the Pentagon. And it has to go very deep. You have to go very, very deep.

Leahy: No, I agree.

Carmichael: And the president is the commander-in-chief. So I think that the president has the authority to go very, very deep.

Leahy: On that cheery note, Crom, we’ll take a break.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael: Bureaucracy, Banks, and Studen Loans

Crom Carmichael: Bureaucracy, Banks, and Studen Loans

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to suggest changes to the student loan program.

Leahy: Well, Crom, I just have to say what a delightful interview that was with Professor Philip Hamburger of Columbia Law School.

Carmichael: I would encourage you to go ahead and invite him to come down in October and see if you can get that on the schedule. I do encourage him to bring his wife and make more than one day of it.

Leahy: And when he retires from Columbia Law School he can move his headquarters down here.

Carmichael: Well, he needs to visit first.

Leahy: But he can do that because no state income taxes. I am the biggest promoter of Tennessee. If there’s somebody who we like, we want them to come to Tennessee.

Carmichael: Yes. That’s right.

Leahy: Why wouldn’t they come to Tennessee?

Carmichael: And he’d be a great intellectual addition.

Leahy: Speaking of additions, there are some efforts out there to change the student loan program, which is an utter disaster.

Carmichael: Who’s trying to change it?

Leahy: The various Democrats.

Carmichael: How are they trying to change it?

Leahy: They want to basically forgive half of the loans to people.

Carmichael: So they want to keep making the loans they just want to be able to forgive them.

Leahy: Exactly.

Carmichael: Let’s go back and look at the history of student loan debt. When Obama became president, the student loan program was run by banks. Banks made the student loans.

And what was funny is that banks made the student loans and banks collected the student loans, and they were backed by the federal government. But the banks are the ones who made them and administered them.

Leahy: Administered them.

Carmichael: And collected.

Leahy: Banks are in that business. That’s what they do.

Carmichael: That’s what they do. There was some Democrat committee that was all upset about student loan programs so they called the CEOs of four or five of the biggest banks in the country, which would have been Citibank, Bank of America, Wells, Chase, and maybe another one.

But at least those four. And they demanded to know why they are turning down student loans (Leahy laughs) and why they won’t make a student loan. And it was a female. It might have been Maxine Waters.

Leahy: It probably was.

Carmichael: It probably was. But it said, Madam Congresswoman, or whatever you call her. We haven’t made a student loan in six years since the Obama administration took over the student loan business. (Leahy chuckles)

And our bank hasn’t. And all four of them said we haven’t made a student loan because we can’t. It’s not allowed. So at any rate, let’s look at what the results are. We’re only talking about now eight or nine years since the federal government took over making student loans.

Leahy: I have a sense of what the results are, but go ahead.

Carmichael: The total outstanding right now is $1.6 trillion. The number of borrowers is 43 million. I don’t know whether or not the borrowers include the parents as well as the students of a single loan. So I don’t know that part. But under Trump, their internal analysis said that half of those student loans would eventually default. About half.

Leahy: Yeah. That’s about right. Because what happens is it’s a bad deal. It’s a great deal for universities, but they teach things like basket weaving and gender studies, and the kids run up $100,000, $200,000 of debt, and they end up the only job they can get is being either a community activist or a cab driver.

Carmichael: Right. So I’m trying to get out here is the Biden administration has now increased the number of losses that it has identified from $15 million to $68 million. So he’s added $53 billion.

Leahy: Billion, with a b.

Carmichael: Now, but as I said, probably half of it’s gone. But here’s what’s interesting, the loans continue to be made. This is how bureaucracy works. This is the key takeaway, especially the bigger the government gets and the bigger the bureaucracy gets.

They don’t care whether or not they are doing is working. They don’t care. They only care about expanding their own bureaucracy. Now, let’s look at what the fall out of that is. And you alluded to it a while ago about what it does to the students who then go to college by getting all this debt money.

They get a lousy education and one that doesn’t help them make money once they get out of college. But more importantly, it turns college administrators into vendors to the government. They see government as their customers.

Leahy: Not the student. And the other part of this Crom, if you would chart the proliferation of student loans with the actual tuition cost of schools, the more loans to higher the cost.

Carmichael: Sure. What’s interesting about this, and let’s go back to our conversation with Professor Hamburger. And that is the next administration could turn the tables on this whole process because the universities and colleges have become woke because the federal government has told them to be woke.

And this was even under Trump. Even though Trump wasn’t the one telling them to be woke, he had a bureaucracy that was out of control and he really wasn’t able to bring it under control.

Leahy: I don’t think he realized how out of control it was, but it was. And it is.

Carmichael: It is and it will continue to be. But the next administration could change the rules and tell colleges unilaterally, I believe that when I say unilaterally, an administration could simply tell colleges and universities you can no longer get student loans unless you meet certain requirements.

And it could completely upend their curriculum and it could force their curriculums to actually teach American history the way that you and I would want it to be taught.

Leahy: You mean honestly. (Chuckles)

Carmichael: And it would re-order the list of professors that they have. You could do that, I believe. And you could also then put colleges, universities on the hook for the income that the graduates make to really force them to be better educators and not just a bunch of bureaucracies running education camps.

Leahy: Or perhaps re-education camps.

Carmichael: One or the other. We’re trying to say the same thing. But what Professor Hamburger said, you and I have talked about that for months.

Leahy: Years.

Carmichael: That’s why I asked him the question, could a president through executive order say that any bureaucrat who does such and such will be fired? And he said, well, that would have a legal problem, but it would still be tested.

Leahy: Basically he said he had put a version of your idea out there before.

Carmichael: He’s already done it.

Leahy: You independently arrived at that thought.

Carmichael: It can also apply to the places that are the beneficiaries of federal money where it’s not even a federal employee. I don’t like to use the word forced because you can’t force them

Leahy: Incentivize.

Carmichael: Incentivize is exactly right, because they can’t get the money unless they adhere to the new rules, and you’d make them adhere to the new rules quickly. That would be the key.

You’d want to up-end it and you’d want to do it quickly. And then you’d have some of your people who are assigned to, say, 50 colleges and university’s a piece and just hammer them to fix the problem.

Leahy: Crom, you are covering a note of optimism here for the future.

Carmichael: Yes, I’m excited about that.

Leahy: I’m excited about it, too, because now there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an ongoing train. It’s actually a possibility of policies that could be implemented in the next administration that could reverse all of this.

Carmichael: There are two tunnels we’re looking at. One is the train and one is the light.

Leahy: And there’s a fork in the road. And as Yogi Berra once said…

Carmichael: Let’s take it.

Leahy: When you come to a fork on the road, take it. (Laughter) Another lame joke today.

Carmichael: My favorites. Winston Churchill and Yogi Berra. Two of the best.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2ndvote.Com: Director Amy Wilhite Talks About Their Platforms New 2nd Vote Advisors and Recent Blog News

2ndvote.Com: Director Amy Wilhite Talks About Their Platforms New 2nd Vote Advisors and Recent Blog News

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed the executive director of 2nd Vote, Amy Wilhite to the newsmakers line to talk about 2nd Vote’s growth and their new affiliate 2nd Vote Advisors citing some news on their site as woke corporations step back.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line now by our good friend Amy Wilhite of 2nd Vote. Good morning, Amy.

Wilhite: Good morning, Michael. How are you doing this morning?

Leahy: I’m great. So 2nd Vote Advisors, your affiliated group, has done a lot of advertising. Second Vote, which rates corporations, has been pretty busy as well. What have you been up to the past couple of weeks?

Wilhite: The advisors’ group is that the for-profit side. We actually supply the research for that. They license that through us. And so they’re doing a lot of great work right now. You’ve probably seen them on Fox Business. Andy Puzder has done a lot of advertisements and commercials on Fox News and different things.

Dan Grant was on last night. So yes, they’re doing great stuff. And you can find more information about them on 2ndvoteadvisors.com or 2ndvotefunds.com. Just great stuff. They have two ETFs that are doing really well better than the SMP 500. And so we’re happy to supply the research for them to create those EPS.

Leahy: It seems like to me, Amy, every time you turn around, there’s another woke corporation doing something stupid. Tell our listing audience again what 2nd Vote does and why it’s important.

Wilhite: Yes. 2nd Vote, the nonprofit, which is what I work with and I’m the executive director for is we research companies. Basically anywhere where you spend money. Whether it’s on the charitable side, the retail side of the investment side. And we score them on six different issues that are most important to Conservatives.

On life, First Amendment, Second Amendment, education, the environment, border security, and immigration. And when we say environment, it’s like over-regulating, overregulation, and too much government control.

We’re for good environmental issues and taking care of our country and our earth, but not overregulation. So that’s just to clarify that. And of course, we’re pro-life First Amendment. We’re actually kind of changing that soon to an issue called basic freedom with everything that’s happened with the cancel culture of this world.

And just like a mask issue, do we have the freedom to wear a mask or not wear a mask? Some of those things have just been taken away like going to the church and those kinds of things. We’re going to kind of broaden that First Amendment scope.

And then also Second Amendment, obviously, pro-gun carry, pro-guns, education, and school choice. We’re for that. And then also border security and immigration. Just follow the laws about what’s already in place and no sanctuary cities and those kinds of things.

So anyway, those are our six issues. We score companies and where they’re giving their charitable dollars. We rate them on the score from one to five. One being left, far left and five being right conservative, and then three being neutral.

And we really want companies to just be neutral and to stay out of the culture wars, to quit being so divisive and know that when you’re buying a cup of coffee that’s what you’re getting. So we score that. We put our research out there and put our scores out there, and so anyone can look at our research and look at what we’re doing and then base their shopping habits on the scores.

We’re really trying to get people to be more aware of where their money is going. You wouldn’t vote for a candidate who’s going to be for those things that you’re not for. Why would you go shop somewhere at a place that doesn’t match your values?

Leahy: That makes a lot of sense. How big is your research team to support all this Amy?

Wilhite: It’s has grown by a lot, but we’ve got about five in place, and then we have a whole advisor group that kind of handles that and overlooks that, too, as well. We’ve grown a ton here recently with more part-timers. We’ve got volunteers and then we’ve got the advisor side. As you may know, it takes a lot of time to look at 990s which is what we do. We look at it.

Leahy: And by the way, a 990 for our listening audience, 990 is a form that a 501 (c) (3) or (c) (4) nonprofit group must file with the IRS every year. And supposedly they’re supposed to have all sorts of information about who gives them money, at least for a 501 (c) (3)

Wilhite: Exactly. So our research team will look at that, see where the money is going. We also look at their public stances and maybe some of the CEO statements that come out. We look at indirect donations, direct donations.

We look at a lot of different things to come up with that score and make it really simple. We have an app that folks can download, and it’s free, and it’s not in the App Store. It’s not in a Google Play store, but it is on your browser. You can just go to your phone and add the app to your home screen. Very simple.

Leahy: I also noticed and I had noticed that until this morning when I was looking at you have an area called on your website, 2ndvote.com. You have an area called featured content, and I’m looking at what you’re featuring.

You’ve got information on the human rights campaign, United Way Guide, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Black Lives Matter. The United Way guide. Tell me about that, because that’s very interesting to me.

Wilhite: United Way, they do some great things, but also a lot of people don’t realize that they give to Planned Parenthood. And when we started doing the guide for United Way, we found that over 83 chapters were giving to Planned Parenthood, and we did put them on notice.

We let them know that we were doing this, and we were putting this information out there. And since we’ve been doing this, the chapters have dropped to about 55 or 54 chapters that are giving to Planned Parenthood. So it has dropped.

And we feel like our work is making a difference because there are not as many doing that anymore. If you’re giving to United Way, you can look on our website and see exactly which chapters are giving to Planned Parenthood. It’s kind of similar to the other guide that we have there.

There’s an everyday shopping guide that you can check out where you should grocery shop. Which ones score a three to a five. And again, four and five is a conservative side. And we applaud that. We are a conservative research group, but three is good. We consider that good. If it’s a three, it’s neutral. And that’s a good score, too. We’re not saying to only shop at four and five but get to those that are three as well.

Leahy: I noticed also, you have a very interesting story that you posted on your website about a technology firm called Base Camp. They’ve been in the news of late. In April, they announced a new policy requesting that employees not discuss controversial issues on the company-wide communication platform.

So that was praised. About a third of their employees quit because of that. Then here’s a very interesting situation. Last week after some of its disgruntled employees threw a fit during a conference call when Ryan Singer, the head of strategy at Base Camp, pushed back on claims that the company and society as a whole had been a ‘white supremacist culture’ and an employee attacked him for being a ‘white male.’

Shortly afterward, the company’s leadership suspended Singer place some under investigation. In response, Singer resigned. This is funny what you wrote at 2ndvote.com. ‘One cheer for a Base Camp trying to do the right thing, but firing a top employee for standing up to other staff members who push leftist values is unacceptable.’

Are you seeing a lot of that a lot of allowing left-wingers to rant all they want in corporations? But if you push against it, as was the case in Base Camp, you get fired.

Wilhite: I think we all see that you see it all the time, and people live it with what they do in their job. Sometimes they’re afraid to even speak out on things, and you almost get punished if you want to step up for what you might believe if it’s on the right side.

It’s happening all over. And that’s another thing that we do have. Just like you see in the Base Camp article. We put out blogs each week and a lot of it’s what’s going on and things that would be of interest here. But also we’re trying to also be positive and show some of the things that are going on that are also positive.

A lot of the companies are walking back from some of the liberal stances. Especially on the Georgia election laws. A lot of companies came out bashing that and then stepped back recently. I know Pfizer stepped back. They kind of decided at a board meeting when someone was asked, well, we’re going to stay out of that.

Leahy: That’s probably a good, good thing.

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 “Amy Wilhite” and “2nd Vote” by 2ndVote.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles on Corporate Wokeness and How Tennessee Needs to Follow Florida’s Lead

Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles on Corporate Wokeness and How Tennessee Needs to Follow Florida’s Lead

 

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 talk about the corporate wokeness and its disregard for their constituency and how other states need to act now and follow Florida’s lead.

Leahy: You are a small business guy. I think Alfredo Ortiz made quite a case there. (Laughter) It was kind of funny right?

Ogles: Oh, my goodness. As we sit here and talk about this billboard, I was trying to think of a funny quip. I’m usually pretty good at that. And I’m speechless. Sometimes we say things in jest and we lighten them up a little bit. But he’s really talking about something serious that wokeness that is sweeping the country. It has a dangerous, ugly side to it in that it’s ready, fire, aim. And we’re no longer processing things through an objective lens. That suddenly everything’s tainted.

And that’s problematic. Could have should have the All-Star Game been evaluated? Well, of course, that’s what you do in any business model. But just to pull it a knee-jerk reaction because of Coca-Cola and Delta, these woke corporations trying to push. They’ve become oligarchs now where they are pushing their agendas onto the American public. But because they have such a market share we don’t have a voice.

Leahy: It’s a very good point. When we grew up, the idea was, well, this is a capitalist society. And businesses were in business to make a financial return for their shareholders and do a good job in providing products and services to their customers. That’s the model that’s being replaced now by a concept called stakeholder capitalism.

I call it basically an early version of Marxism. What’s happening is these large publicly traded companies, the left is trying to turn them into, like, public benefit corporations. And they are making decisions not based upon their products or services or what their customers need but what the left activists are trying to push them into. It’s a very bad sign.

Ogles: And the problem is that most of us we’re busy with jobs, mortgages, and kids and we’re trying to figure out life. And then you’ve got this minority, this small portion of the left. They’re loud, they’re angry, and it terrifies these corporations. And so they’re moving in directions that their constituency really doesn’t want.

Leahy: Their customers don’t want, their investors don’t want. But these stakeholders are basically a bunch of left-wing Marxist types that want a version of neofascism in the United States. There’s a lot of words but that I think describes what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to serve the authority of state legislatures around the country.

Ogles: Yeah. They totally bypass. For example, the Tennessee legislature, they’re not going to do some of the things that Coke or Delta or some of these other companies are suggesting. And so what are they doing? It’s a run around you and I, as we try to say, hey, wait a minute. We value the Constitution. We’re governed by elected people, not by corporations.

And because you’re Coca-Cola and you have such a large market share, now you have a disproportionate voice and telling me how to live. Look, I don’t care what Coke thinks. I really don’t. Make soda, do it well, and be gone. That’s it.

Leahy: Yeah. I think I’m going to stop drinking Woka-Cola myself.

Ogles: Woka-Cola. That’s almost as good as that billboard.

Leahy: All strikes and no balls for the Major League Baseball Commissioner. The thing is, when you look at that, you look at the social course, as you know, 2nd Vote, our friends Amy Wilhite and Chris McCarran are the executive director and CEO of 2nd Vote. They rate large corporations based upon whether they’re neutral or conservative or liberal.

The vast majority of large corporations now are pretty liberal in terms of their policies, and it’s just not what they should be doing. And people are pushing back now when you talk about as a consumer, you look at that. If I tell you I’m not going to drink Woka-Cola, okay. If you like to drink Colas, there are a few less woke versions of it. Pepsi-Cola is sort of in that crowd, not quite as bad as Woka-Cola. Royal Crown Cola.

These are all kind of politically correct. There is this thing going on in American capitalism, and you’re a student of economics Andy. There’s a thing going on where all of these big funds that manage all the money that invest in corporations are pushing the publicly traded companies to do something called ESG. And it’s a big code word. It’s for the environment and social governance. In other words climate change and equity, diversity, all that kind of stuff. And there’s huge pressure on these publicly traded corporations to kind of comply. Not a good sign, I don’t think.

Ogles: No. And that’s why it’s imperative that our state legislators and the legislature step up and do something about this. You had Senator Mike Bell in the first segment, and there’s the opportunity to follow Florida’s lead and to push back against some of this Big Tech censorship, kind of draw a line in the sand if you will. And they’re going to study it for another session.

Well, the time is now to act. And so I would call on the legislature to go ahead. I sent a letter to the governor, the speaker of the house, and to the lieutenant governor saying, we have to stand up collectively as a state in the same way Florida has done. And that’s the other thing that’s important is we need these legislatures, these governors from conservative states to work together to be a chorus of conservatism because that’s what the left does. And they do so well.

You’ll have these factions of the left that otherwise would never want to be together because they’re so distinctly different. But yet when it comes to fighting against conservatism, they are one voice and they move and they march together. And then you get here on the conservative side, we’re too busy bickering as to which one of us is the most conservative.

Leahy: I’m more conservative than you.

Ogles: That’s right. Ron DeSantis is out there getting it done. And in Tennessee and Texas and some of the other states. We’re a little tepid.

Leahy: Lagging behind.

Ogles: That’s right. You look at the election, the lawsuit that the Texas attorney general filed. Tennessee, we finally signed on, but we were like 16th out of 17th by the time that we signed on. It was so far in the process, it was irrelevant. We should have been tagalong beating on the door to say, no, we’re next. We’re next. We’re going to file, too. So that way, if your lawsuit doesn’t work and we have one. And so we as a state, as elected officials, we’ve got to work together and be a chorus of rationalism in a crazy world.

Leahy: You said something very interesting and very important. There is leadership, I think, going on in the conservative world, and it’s coming from the state government. But particularly there’s one state I think that’s leading the way. And there’s one governor who’s leading the way and that’s Ron DeSantis in Florida.

Ogles: Going back to the baseball analogy, he’s knocking it out of the park. I mean, he really is. I mean, if you’re a conservative in this country, man, do you wish you had Ron DeSantis as your governor or perhaps as your president.

Leahy: Now you use the baseball term. You know, the story about Ron DeSantis?

Ogles: He’s quite the ballplayer. From Yale?

Leahy: He was the captain of the Yale baseball team and hit 345 his senior year. I never even in high school, I never even got close to 345. So this guy’s pretty good. He’s a very talented guy. And that’s one of the reasons I think since last you’ve been here, we have a little bit of news. The Tennessee Star and our parent corporation is Star News Digital Media. And we have the Star News Network. We do state-based conservative news in now seven States. And we have added, wait for it….drum roll, please. The Florida Capital Star.

Ogles: There you go.

Leahy: Up next, The Texas Loan Star.

Ogles: That’s a good one. Again, if you’re a conservative publication, the state that’s really helping drive conservative content is Florida. So it makes absolute sense to have something like that there. But again, they are leading the charge, knocking out of the park as I said.

Leahy: That was our thinking as well. And so far, the stories that have been great about conservative leadership from a governor and a state legislature down in Florida.

Listen to the full broadcast 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