BY MIKE HUCKABEE
Blessings on you and your family from all the Huckabee staff! Thank you for subscribing and I hope you enjoy today’s newsletter.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Psalm 23:5 NIV
In case you missed it: New book showcases stringed instrument collection of Mike Huckabee
It is said that former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee is a different kind of politician, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that he’s assembled a different kind of collection of basses and guitars.
The governor’s zeal for guitars and basses began—as was the case for an untold number of other youngsters—when he saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Almost three years later, at the age of 11, Mike’s Christmas present in 1966 was a Penncrest model 1580 electric guitar and amplifier, purchased from a J.C. Penney catalog.
And that exact instrument is one of the guitars and basses displayed and chronicled in the “Personal Time (Warp) Machines” chapter of BASSES AND GUITARS: The Huckabee Collection.
So why did Huckabee opt to participate in a photo-centric book project about his instruments?
“It had been suggested to me by more than one person,” the governor said, “and I loved the idea, because the collection is eclectic, with lots of stories behind the guitars.”
The book’s author is Willie G. Moseley, Senior Writer for Vintage Guitar Magazine. Willie has been writing for VG since 1989, and BASSES AND GUITARS: The Huckabee Collection Is his fifteenth book.
“I always appreciate it when guitar articles I’m researching happen to reveal intriguing ‘people stories’ that can be interpolated,” said Moseley, “and working with the governor on this book meant that I got to interview numerous luthiers who had built basses that are part of his collection. The governor also told me some great stories about why he was inspired to collect certain instruments.”
“I’ve known of Willie for years, from his many books and his work in Vintage Guitar Magazine,” said Huckabee. “I knew he would be the perfect author.”
BASSES AND GUITARS: The Huckabee Collection isn’t a high-end “coffee table book.” Its egalitarian presentation is no-frills, but the full-color images of Mike’s instruments are accompanied by detailed chronologies and information.
“The focus is on the instruments and the stories behind them, and not on the ‘box’ the stories come in,” the governor explained.
Chapters in the book include instruments (“plain” and autographed) that have been presented to Huckabee, Beatles-oriented instruments, and utility guitars and basses. A separate chapter profiles the three workhorse basses used on his weekly television show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
“In my opinion, the governor’s TBN show has a type of infotainment format that works,” said Moseley, “and that influenced the approach to the book—keep it accurate, and present the images and information in a straight-on and enjoyable format.”
Legendary guitarist James Burton wrote the foreword for BASSES AND GUITARS: The Huckabee Collection. Among the other participants who discuss the guitars they’ve played on the Huckabee TV are Doyle Dykes, Mark Farner, Steve Wariner, Vince Martell, Greg Martin, Doug Phelps and Richard Young.
Huckabee was asked if he had any favorite “people stories” in the book.
“Great music stories are really ‘people stories’,” he opined. “One story I love to tell is about getting a letter from Peter Cetera after he saw me play on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and he had the Pat Wilkins bass made for me. The bass is special, but so is the story!”
While the Wilkins bass is a custom-made instrument that he uses on this TV show, Gov. Huckabee is also proud to note that his cheap 1966 Penncrest guitar—which he reacquired in the late ‘90s after some 30 years—is also displayed in full color in his collection book.
“It’s the one that started it all,” he said.
To buy a Mike Huckabee autographed copy of the book go to his website here: The Huckabee Guitar Collection - Mike Huckabee
Allard: Do we deserve our freedom?
By Colonel Kenneth Allard
Just three years short of the nation’s 250th anniversary, the moment may have arrived when Americans no longer deserve our freedom. The latest points in evidence:
The abduction by Mexican drug cartels of four Americans in Matamoros, hard by the border town of Brownsville Texas. In case you have been asleep these last two years, Mexico and the entire border region is now under the exclusive governance of the drug cartels, not the Department of Homeland Security and certainly not its hapless Bidencrat-in-chief, Alejandro Mayorkas.
While the security of our homeland is still quivering from border to border (now including the flyover states recently visited by that Chinese spy balloon) American military pre-eminence is openly challenged by our traditional adversaries in Russia and China as well as such upstarts as Iran and North Korea.
As if all that were not enough, it appears that our volunteer military has fallen on hard times since both the Army and Air Force are falling well short of their recruitment goals. Even their sister services have been scrambling to deal with a tough labor market and an increasingly indifferent youth cadre.
Because in 2022 the Army fell farthest behind – 15,000 short of the 60,000 replacement troops it needed - Army Secretary Christine Wormuth recently visited Chicago-area recruiters to get a handle on the problem. Her visit was especially sensible because Chicago residents typically deal with casualty rates and daily mayhem worse than most battlefields. However, beleaguered Army recruiters were blunt in their assessment of civilian educational leaders, “many (of them) skeptical that the Army offers a good career option for their students. “I’m going to use the word hostile,” one recruiter told her. “There’s no other word to use.”
Worse yet, “Army leaders say their surveys show that young people don’t see the Army as a prime career choice, often because they don’t want to die or get injured, deal with the stress of military life or put their lives on hold.” But perhaps the greatest obstacle Secretary Wormuth encountered was “resistance from teachers’ unions and school board members who don’t see the value in offering students the military as a career option. In some cases, school officials view the military through a post-Vietnam era lens.” https://www.armytimes.com/news/your-army/2023/03/05/army-secretary-wants-to-persuade-schools-to-welcome-recruiters/
As a Vietnam-era draftee, I believe todays Army is still dealing with the latent effects of both Vietnam and the Great Divorce that followed immediately thereafter. While the volunteer Army re-established professionalism during the generation that followed, most Americans became accustomed to thinking of the Army – and the Armed Forces in general - as someone else’s problem. Even the shock of 911 didn’t bring national mobilization since we effectively transferred its burdens onto the Reserves and those hyper-deployed volunteers. Today we are defended by a brave but tiny force representing less than half of one -percent of our population. Small wonder that civilian educators in Chicago and elites elsewhere else recognize a segregated, sacrificial community when they see one!
While we have happily lived with those anomalies for decades, such a force becomes problematic when you need an Army to defend our own borders. The combination of cartel violence and the curse of fentanyl –already said to have killed more than one hundred thousand Americans – led Senators Lindsay Graham and John Kennedy to call for a declaration of war against the cartels: “We are going to unleash the fury and might of the United States against these cartels…We’re going to destroy their business model and their lifestyle because our national security and the security of the United States as a whole depends on us taking decisive action.” https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2023/mar/8/cartel-violence-ignites-calls-us-military-interven/
But barely were the words out of his mouth than White House spokes-person Karine Jean-Pierre responded, "Designating these cartels as…foreign terrorist organizations would not grant us any additional authorities that we don't really have at this time. The United States has powerful sanctions authorities specifically designated to combat narcotics trafficking organizations...” Thanks again, Baghdad Bob!
This Oscar weekend do yourself a favor and look up an old movie that portrays our new realities better than any DC bureaucrat: Sicario: Day of the Soldado. This 2018 thriller captures the ambiguities, tragedies and pathos of what an all-out war against the Mexican cartels would look like. Along the way, we might also find that the greatest tragedy of life imitating art is the creeping realization that both should have been better planned!
“The View” melts down
With so many of the Democrats’ carefully-constructed false narratives shattering at once, the ladies of “The View” have been having a meltdown this week that’s epic, even by their standards. But after Whoopi Goldberg started attacking Fox News and claiming it doesn't have First Amendment protection, things went so far off the rails, the show actually had to read a hastily-written legal disclaimer.
It should have said something like, “Reminder: this show is for entertainment purposes only. Do not rely on it for legal, political or medical advice, or opinions on literature, especially not the book ‘1984.’ Any similarity between things said on this show and reality is purely coincidental.”
Is there no end to the evil things that white people keep thinking up? Now, they’re committing racist genocide just by driving their cars. According to the Los Angeles Times, “White drivers are polluting the air breathed by L.A.’s people of color.”
So only white people’s cars cause pollution? That does it! The next time I need a car, I will buy a used car from a person of color, to make sure I get a vehicle that doesn’t create any pollution. Racist genocide averted!
The NYT covers for Senator Fetterman
To fulfill its mission of running defense for Democrats, the New York Times is trying to head off questions about how John Fetterman can perform his Senate duties when he’s hospitalized with severe clinical depression. Downplaying the need for a Senator to actually be, you know, in the SENATE, the Times ran an article claiming that it’s perfectly normal for a Senator’s presence to be unnecessary because the Senate is “a staff-run institution.” The Times claims there are few meetings that can’t be handled by senior staffers, to the point where “it is not unusual for lawmakers to be told by members of their staff, sometimes after the fact, what bills they are co-sponsoring.”
I knew they didn’t read these bills until after they voted on them, but now we know they aren’t even aware that they co-sponsored them! Thank goodness we have all those unelected staff people to actually represent the states and their people.
This gives me a great idea. Since Senators are apparently superfluous now, why not replace all 100 of them with AI chatbots? The Democrat bots could be programmed to do nothing but spend money and raise taxes, and the Republican bots could be programmed to feebly object to that and then go along with it. It would save the taxpayers over $17 million a year in Senatorial salaries, and I doubt that anyone would even notice the difference.
ROBERT BLAKE DIES
By “Huckabee” pop culture guru Pat Reeder (http://www.hollywoodhifi.com)
Actor Robert Blake died Thursday at home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family. He died peacefully of heart disease at 89.
Few actors leave as complicated a legacy as Blake. He had one of the longest careers in show business, starting in vaudeville as a child. He was one of the last surviving members of the “Our Gang” cast, coming in toward the end of the series as Mickey Gubitosi (his real name was Michael Gubitosi.) He also had childhood roles as Little Beaver in the Red Ryder series, and in the Bogart classic, “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.”
Blake was a brilliant actor but his intensity and volatile temperament, exacerbated by a childhood of physical abuse and studio exploitation, often caused problems for him. A rare example of a child actor who transitioned to a successful adult career, he gave memorable performances in such films as “Electra Glide in Blue” and the fact-based “In Cold Blood,” where his performance as a criminal who murders a family inspired Anthony Hopkins’ later portrayal of Hannibal Lecter.
His greatest fame came in 1975, when he became the star of the TV detective series “Baretta.” With its cool theme song by Sammy Davis Jr. ( https://youtu.be/5HNWhVXcjV8 ) and his brilliant pet/sidekick, Fred the cockatoo* ( https://youtu.be/L2vzpsAsYy8?
Unfortunately, his career came to a screeching halt in 2001 when he was accused of shooting and killing his wife in his car outside a restaurant in Los Angeles. The trial was a media sensation; and even though Blake was adamant that he didn’t do it, and the jury acquitted him, he was found liable for her death in a civil trial, and the damages forced him to declare bankruptcy.
Blake said having his fans abandon him "hurt because America is the only family I had." But he actually had three children, who say he spent his final years listening to jazz, playing guitar and watching classic movies.
* (FOOTNOTE) The popularity of “Baretta” actually had an indirect effect on me and my wife, fellow writer Laura Ainsworth. Baretta’s amazing cockatoo Fred was so popular, he made cockatoos, and parrots in general, highly popular as pets even to this day. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that they are very smart, require a ton of attention, and can live up to 70 years. Many of them end up in avian shelters that are desperate for funds. We love birds and for years have supported these shelters, and we currently share our home with 12 rescued exotic birds, including three cockatoos. We love them, but people should know that having a cockatoo is like having a very smart, mischievous, extremely loud four-year-old who never grows up and occasionally bites you.
If you love parrots and think you have what it takes to give one a loving home, please consider adopting from a shelter. Don’t overlook those who are disabled, or who have been injured or abused, or who have plucked out their feathers from fear and stress. They need love the most, and we can attest that with a little care and patience, they can become the best pets you've ever had.
For more information, check out some of the great parrot shelters we support, online or on Facebook. There are many, but start with the Oasis Sanctuary in Arizona, Wings of Love Bird Haven south of Dallas, and Rickie’s Parrot Rescue in Florida, which is especially close to our hearts because they take in special needs birds who need expensive vet care, so they could really use your support. Our parrots say, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
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