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
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
our rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
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
Essay: Why Art and Music Are Essential in Schools
By Mike Huckabee
Aside from letting leftist indoctrination take over our public school system, the biggest mistake we conservatives made in education over the years was in thinking that art and music classes were expendable luxuries and should be slashed to concentrate on “the three ‘R’s.” Not only are art and music classes important in themselves, but they are also beneficial to helping students excel in other subjects, including math and reading.
January 6 video: “the truth is out there,” PART 2
Tucker Carlson’s Monday night presentation on the “new,” previously hidden January 6 video caused the predictable uproar from the left, who just can’t stand that you got to see anything they didn’t want you to see.
Before we get into Tuesday’s installment, here are some highlights --- and lowlights --- from the reaction to Monday’s show…
First, Officer Brian Sicknick’s family is outraged that Tucker used video to show that he was not murdered by J6-ers but rather, as was later determined, passed away from natural causes the day after. Of course, they’re calling for Tucker to be “silenced.”
Recall that the Pulitzer Prize-winning NEW YORK TIMES had wrongly reported that Officer Sicknick was beaten to death on January 6 with a fire extinguisher blow to the head. Though they later retracted this, the idea that he was “slain” became part of the J6 lore that many still believe. After the medical examiner determined that he’d died of natural causes --- two strokes --- his family still maintains that his death resulted from a beating, and/or pepper spray, when there was no evidence of this and the officer seemed fine in video taken later that day. Also, he wore a helmet.
We’ll never know if the stress of that day indirectly contributed to his medical problem. But even that is a far cry from the lie about insurrectionists beating him to death.
The family has released a lengthy statement, a vicious diatribe against “Supreme Leader Trump” (“as corrupt and evil as Vladimir Putin”), Tucker Carlson (“delusional”) and FOX NEWS (“like Pravda”; “the propaganda arm of the Republican Party”), berating those who present Ashli Babbitt (“a criminal”) as “some kind of martyr for being shot in the process of breaking into the Capitol building.” Ashli was a petite, unarmed woman who had not broken into the Capitol building. We’ve covered the details of her tragically unnecessary death at length.
If they’re upset that the Capitol and DC Metro Police were “incredibly outnumbered,” they might want to ask why House leadership allowed that situation. Tucker was NOT “downplaying the horrid situation faced by the...police,” as they claimed. Just the opposite: he denounced the shameful lack of back-up security that day. Do they even know President Trump approved the deployment of 20,000 National Guard troops and that Nancy Pelosi turned his offer down?
Tucker is right to say this was not an insurrection. There was violence in the crowd at certain entrances to the Capitol, but the building is so huge and sprawling that many hundreds of peaceful protesters had no idea it was even happening. To acknowledge that most protesters were peaceful in no way excuses the violence.
Sicknick’s family members are speaking from a deep well of grief and don’t understand we need the full picture of what really happened. It doesn’t make him any less of a hero in anyone’s eyes. And if this fine officer actually had been killed with a fire extinguisher, Trump supporters would want to know and would be just as horrified as anyone else.
What concerns us is that Democrats scrimped on security for Trump’s event --- I believe deliberately --- and then exploited Officer Sicknick’s death for propaganda purposes. The story that he was “slain” by a “deadly insurrectionist mob” was a politically useful lie.
And here’s a piece of information you won’t find just anywhere: as THE NEW YORK POST reported three days after his death, Officer Sicknick’s friend Caroline Behringer said he’d been a Trump supporter who’d even written to his congressman to oppose Trump’s impeachment. This opinion piece by Matthew Schmitz includes snippets of letters he wrote, offering insight into why he supported Trump instead of government insiders. Perhaps Sicknick’s family is not aware of his views.
Moving on...Tucker’s producers determined that the J6 Committee added those sounds of crowd mayhem --- shouting, screams --- to the video they played in their hearings. There’s no debate about this; the closed-circuit TV (CCTV) was video-only, no audio recording at all. The NEW YORK POST called this a “deceptively edited primetime drama, produced by a former ABC NEWS president for maximum emotional impact.”
President Trump is now calling for the release of J6 detainees, some of whom are still being held pending trial over something that happened over two years ago. He praised Tucker and called this new evidence one of the “biggest scoops” in American journalism. “’Trump’ and most others are totally innocent --- LET THEM GO FREE, NOW,” he posted on Truth Social.
Now let’s turn to reactions from Senate Republicans, most notably Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Sadly, this news is not good. As Tristan Justice reports in THE FEDERALIST, “Senate Republicans condemned blockbuster reporting from FOX NEWS’ Tucker Carlson Tuesday, based on Democrat talking points.”
Regarding Tucker’s presentation, McConnell said, “I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what happened on January 6th.” Chief Tom Manger had sent a memo to his department calling Tucker’s coverage “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions.” North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, North Dakota Sen. Kevin Cramer (who misquoted Tucker), South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds and South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham were also dismissive. Mitt Romney compared Tucker to INFOWARS’ Alex Jones.
I think McConnell, and apparently Chief Manger, both fail to understand that we’ve already seen the violence. That video was presented over and over. We know about the violence. THIS is the video that until now we have NOT seen. This is “the rest of the story.”
Commentator J. D. Rucker said Tucker did “a very good job of highlighting some of the deception” surrounding January 6. He suggested four things that need to happen now:
1. (echoing President Trump) Release all political prisoners. In this, Rucker goes farther than we might, saying to release them ALL because “events that led to those crimes were manufactured...coordinated for the sole purpose of building the insurrection narrative.” True, but, as we’ve said, that doesn’t excuse actual violence and vandalism.
2. Make the tapes public. That would be a YES.
3. Investigate, charge, arrest and prosecute everyone complicit in the January 6 lies. What say you? Jail time for the likes of Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, Adam Schiff and, as Rucker says, “their merry bank of evildoers”? Well, falsifying evidence is a crime, and it seems the committee did that. We’re not attorneys and neither is Rucker, but prosecution is something to explore. Also civil litigation.
4. Keep the flow of information coming. Rucker doesn’t want this to be “a nuclear attack followed by a press release.” Make documentaries. Drop bombshells. We have to counter “two years’ worth of gaslighting and propaganda that have brainwashed most Americans into thinking the mostly peaceful events that occurred on January 6, 2021, were somehow on par with 9/11 and Pearl Harbor,” he says.
Rucker has some great ideas for being “patriotic in public” and I hope you read them. As he says, “One episode of Tucker Carlson isn’t going to make a dent.”
Moving to Tucker’s presentation Tuesday night, he first reminds us that in some cases, the DOJ didn’t share exculpatory evidence with attorneys for J6 defendants, violating their constitutional rights. Here’s his opening monologue, which also reviews major points from the previous night.
“In free countries,” he said, “governments do not lie about protests as a pretext to get more power for themselves. They don’t selectively edit video for propaganda purposes and then lie about them in fake hearings and show trials. But that’s exactly what happened, and every member of Congress should ask WHY that happened.”
Rather than asking why, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called for the censorship and demanded that FOX NEWS stop Tucker from running “a second segment of lies.” Schumer ominously said, “Conduct like theirs is just asking for another January 6 to happen.”
Needless to say, Tucker’s show went on as planned.
Tucker also brings up Sen. McConnell’s objections, along with those of the other GOP senators mentioned above. “So it’s actually not about left and right,” he says, “not about Republican and Democrat. Here you have people with shared interests…” It’s a club, he said, and they’re all showing their membership cards.
Finally, Tucker addresses the utter lack of preparedness for this huge event, despite ample warning of potential disturbance. Apparently, the front-line officers on duty were not aware of this situation and were overwhelmed. This failure of communication “has never been explained.”
He goes to an interview he did with former Lt. Tarik Johnson, a 22-year veteran of the Capitol Police who on January 6 was responsible for security during election certification. Now, here’s something strange: the Committee never called him to testify, even though he really wanted to and prayed they would ask him. “I guess the focus was on Donald Trump,” he said, “and not the failures of the Capitol Police.”
He told Tucker that on January 6, nobody answered his numerous pleas for help over Capitol Hill Police radio frequencies, even after protesters began entering the Capitol. He’s still baffled as to why. Assistant Chief (in charge of intel operations) Yogananda Pittman, he said, kept needed information about the protest from front-line officers. When he just couldn’t raise anyone to give him authorization to evacuate Senators, he made the judgment call to go ahead anyway.
As Tucker explained, he wasn’t rewarded for his quick thinking. Instead, he was punished because outside the Capitol, he was photographed wearing a MAGA hat that someone in the crowd had handed him. He says he put it on to help him get through the crowd while trying to rescue fellow officers who were trapped inside the building. It was for de-escalation --- smart thinking! But “for the crime of wearing the Trump hat, Johnson found himself suspended. Ultimately, he resigned from the force and lost his pension.”
He now has a part-time job moving furniture. Yogananda Pittman, on the other hand, was rewarded two days after the riot for her apparent ineptitude. She got promoted to acting chief of the Capitol Police. Just last month, she moved to a prestigious job as head of security at UC Berkeley, “which is right outside Pelosi’s congressional district,” Tucker notes.
Johnson told Tucker he was “shocked” by the partisanship he saw within the Capitol Police after January 6. Historically, they’ve always been neutral, but no more, it seems.
Be sure and also see Tucker’s interview with Julie Kelly, who wrote the book JANUARY 6, as she talks about the situation faced by current J6 detainees, some of whom have been jailed for 26 months. She says the federal judges in DC are “the real villains here.” Tomorrow we’ll talk more about the fate of these political prisoners.
Leave me a comment, I read them.
Newsom continues attacks on Red States
California Gov. Gavin Newsom feels this strange compulsion to take to Twitter and attack the red states that California residents are moving to, and it always ends with the Governors of those states figuratively handing him his hair-gelled head. Here’s the latest example:
(By the way, I love that the Governor of Tennessee cited the U-Haul rental factor to show the exodus from California. I think my use of that on “The Huckabee Report” a decade ago might have been the first time it appeared, and it’s now ubiquitous. If I didn’t invent it, then I’ll just go on believing that I did.)
I have a feeling that all the people who’ve fled California for Tennessee think that lower taxes, more freedom, and less crime, homelessness, drugs and filth are worth it, even if they do have to give up letting their kids enjoy the California-style educational experience of being exposed to sexually-explicit drag shows.
Newsom might want to focus a little more attention on his own backyard, since he’s already getting blasted for leaving the state for some “personal travel” just hours after declaring an emergency due to all the snow that I thought global warming fanatics like him had assured us was a thing of the past.
Meanwhile, if Newsom really is dreaming of inflicting California’s woes on the entire nation, a new Quinnipiac University poll has some bad news for him and some good news for the rest of us: 70% of Californians don’t want him running for President in 2024, and only 22% do. Well, they're the ones who know him best!
I have to assume that some of that 22% only want him to run for President to get him out of California.
Rest in Peace, Tom
Actor Tom Sizemore died Friday in his sleep at 61, at a Burbank hospital with his family at his side. Sizemore – whose many credits include the films “Saving Private Ryan,” “Pearl Harbor” and “Born on the Fourth of July” and the TV shows “China Beach” and “Twin Peaks” – suffered a brain aneurysm in February. Doctors informed his family earlier this week that there was no chance of recovery.
Disney doubles down on trashing its legacy
Even after losing its self-governing status, its sterling reputation, and billions of dollars in market value, Disney continues to double-down on trashing its legacy by releasing “woke” propaganda. The next up is a live-action remake of Walt’s animated classic “Peter Pan.” The trailer is getting savaged online for its PC updates, including race-swapped Peter and Tinkerbell, a “grrrl power” Wendy who can out-swordfight two larger male pirates at once, and multi-racial female “Lost Boys” (ironically, the Lost Boys originally had never seen a girl because they were boys who fell out of their baby buggies and ended up in Neverland, which girls were too smart to do. That was kind of a feminist statement in itself, but not a stupid and obvious one.)
That story from Brandon Morse at Redstate.com includes a commentary on the trailer by the excellent YouTube film commentator, The Critical Drinker. He’s also warned elsewhere that because of the three-year or so lead time in making movies, no matter how much audiences rebel, we’ll keep getting more of this garbage before it all clears out of the Hollywood digestive system.
But it also reports that Disney is so desperate to stop critics on the Internet from putting the “Pan” into “Peter Pan” that they’re launching content copyright claims for clips from the trailer and getting critical videos blocked and removed from YouTube.
FYI: trailers are put out by studios in hopes that media and social media outlets will share them, to help get the word out about the movie. Now, they’re so worried about how negative that word is, they’re trying to censor people for using the very materials they put out for them to share. Outrageously, YouTube is going along with it.
This is not a surprise for anyone familiar with YouTube, which has been showing more and more contempt of late for independent content creators whose work makes their business model possible. For instance, they recently changed rules for videos, demonetizing anything that violated them, and made them apply retroactively to back catalog videos, effectively shutting off the creators’ revenue streams. They’ve also sided with unreasonable demands by deep pocket record labels and music stars to demonetize anyone who uses more than a few seconds of a copyrighted recording, even in record reviews, music lessons or turntable tests.
There’s a legal concept in the US known as “fair use” which allows us the right to use excerpts of copyrighted works as part of separate critical, analytical or educational works. YouTube has capitulated to the big money copyright holders and sided against their own small content creators, effectively stripping them of their fair use rights. Along with the tendency of the Google-owned platform to silence “certain” political views, YouTube may be sowing the seeds of its own destruction by giving both viewers and creators plenty of reasons to migrate to the free speech video platform Rumble. And as Brandon Morse also reports, a lot of them are doing just that.
Revisting "food deserts"
Remember when liberals used to complain about so-called “food deserts,” and how poor people in urban areas didn’t have access to affordable, healthy food? They blamed that on Republicans, racism, capitalism, you know, the usual straw men the left likes to flail.
Well, now, those areas really are becoming deserts, not just for food but also pharmaceutical items, clothing, electronics and more, and there’s a very specific reason for it: “progressive” Democrat politicians, especially George Soros-backed, criminal-coddling prosecutors. Thanks to their policies of emptying jails, doing away with bail and ending prosecutions of any crimes less serious than murder, our cities are experiencing record crime waves, with emboldened crooks stripping stores of merchandise with nobody daring to stop them. And that is having an entirely predictable result: the stores are closing up and getting out.
You’ve probably heard about Walgreens moving out of the San Francisco area. Now, Walmart is closing all its locations in Portland, Oregon. While they claim the stores just aren’t living up to profit expectations and there’s no one reason, I think we all know the real reason they’re abandoning Portland, just like so many Portland residents are.
And if Walmart won’t say it, the CEO of Target might. He admitted that theft cost Target “hundreds of millions of dollars” in 2022, part of the nearly $4 billion in increased costs to the industry due to retail theft just since 2020.
Ironically, Target has a reputation as being a “woke” company, so you’d think they’d be happy to have all those leftists running things. Yet their policies are forcing Target to close stores due to all the theft. It’s a “desert” of rational thinking.
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