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Happy Independence Day and happy 245th birthday to the United States of America! No, this nation was not born in 1619 when slaves first arrived, no matter how many trinkets liberal “journalists” award themselves for creating bogus history. It was born on July 4th, 1776, with the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which officially kicked out the previous regime and kicked off history’s greatest experiment in freedom.

Today is when all Americans celebrate our freedoms. But sadly, too many young Americans have been miseducated to feel no gratitude for the titanic struggles and sacrifices made by those of previous generations to secure and preserve those freedoms. As the recent pandemic proved, even those who recognize how lucky they are to be Americans are often too willing to trade away their freedoms in exchange for hollow promises of security. As the great philosopher Joni Mitchell once said, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.”

That’s why the Founding Fathers took such care to lock our most important rights safely within the First Amendment to the Constitution. There are more freedoms guaranteed in that one short sentence than people in most nations can even dream of. That’s why for centuries now, people from around the world have risked their lives to come to America (by the way, why do the same people who think America is the worst nation on Earth also demand open borders to accommodate all the people who want to be Americans?) It’s also why legal immigrants are often more patriotic than natural-born Americans: they’re aware of how unique America is and truly grateful the freedoms too many of us take for granted.

The Founders understood how precious and rare such freedoms are. When the framers of the Constitution first met in 1787, many feared that if they created a strong federal government, it would trample the rights of the people, just like the British king they’d fought to break free of. So to make sure the people’s rights would always be protected, they added 10 amendments - although George Mason thought they were so important, they should come first, as the Preface to the Constitution!

Now, in case you’ve never heard it or have just forgotten (as too many federal judges and a few Supreme Court Justices I could name apparently have), here is the First Amendment, in its entirety. Don’t worry, this really won’t take long:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Yep, that’s it. This was before government needed a 2,000-page bill just to ruin your health insurance or put $2 trillion on your credit card. Only 45 simple words were needed to protect our rights…

* To speak freely without fear of government retribution...

* To publish those words so that other Americans can read and debate them (even if they disagree with the views of the people who own Facebook and Twitter)…

* To band together with like-thinking Americans and protest peacefully without fear of arrest (Note: protesting peacefully does not include rioting, arson and looting, but it should include simply stepping inside the Capitol when the door is open)…

* To petition our leaders to change their policies…

* And to be free from having an official state religion forced upon us, but also from government interference with the free expression of our personal religious beliefs (like telling us that going to church is nonessential and banned, but going to the liquor store is essential.) A lot of people celebrate the first half of that religious right (no state religion) but pretend the second half (no state interference in religion) doesn’t exist. The Supreme Court even seems to be reticent lately to make clear that it means what it says, even though it takes only six words to say it: “…or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Also, note that the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution. In other words, trying to ban religious people from public office and expressions of faith on public property is not supported by the Constitution.

These are the rights that together create the free American culture that those of who know real history celebrate today. The Founders thought they were all so important that somehow, they found a way to list every single one of them first.

Then, just to be certain that no future government ever tried to take those rights away, they made the very next amendment the right to bear arms. And having just fought a bloody Revolution against the most powerful military force on Earth, they certainly never intended to limit gun ownership only to military members.

And perhaps most importantly, they emphasized that these rights are given by God, not government. So no matter how hard some people are trying to scratch some of them off of the parchment, it won’t make a lick of difference. You can’t edit God.

Fourth of July Jukebox

July 4, 2021

I know many of you will be playing patriotic songs this weekend, everything from “God Bless the USA” to “California Girls” to “Living In America.” But I thought you might like to expand your patriotic party playlist to include some songs that you don’t hear too often, or ever. Some were hits that don’t get played much anymore, others are obscure singles and album cuts, but all will make you proud to be an American. You can make a Spotify playlist or use the YouTube links below.

 

 

From our “Huckabee” musical guests:

Some of our “Huckabee” guests have blessed us with terrific new patriotic songs, and here are two recent examples. Country legend Clint Black performed a new song he wrote with Steve Wariner called “America (Still in Love With You),” and you can hear him perform it with Tre Corley and the Music City Connection right here:

 

https://youtu.be/ULdyopjYM6o

 

We had the astonishing George W. Bush impressionist John C. Morgan on recently. He’s also a singer/musician, and he has a new song out to counter all the efforts to divide Americans on racial lines. It’s called “America…My Brother and Me,” and you can catch the video here:

 

https://youtu.be/afjFsPxr-iI

 

Now on to some oldies but goodies…

 

“Johnny Freedom” – Johnny Horton

Johnny Horton’s career was cut short at age 35 in a tragic car crash. But he left behind a legacy of great songs, many inspired by historical events, such as “Sink the Bismarck” and the immortal “Battle of New Orleans” (which inspired the hilarious Homer & Jethro parody, “The Battle of Kookamonga.”) You can learn more about American history from Johnny Horton’s Greatest Hits than you can from a public high school these days. Here’s a patriotic Horton tune for the 4th that you might not know, “Johnny Freedom.”

https://youtu.be/612iJ_YFp0E

 

 

“The Americans” – Gordon Sinclair

Gordon Sinclair was one of the most unlikely recording stars of all time. A Canadian writer/reporter, he was so annoyed in 1973 at hearing that the Red Cross was out of funds, he wrote an editorial about all that America does for the world. He didn’t think it was anything special, but public reaction was overwhelming. WWDC-AM in Washington, DC, started playing a reading of it with “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in the background, which inspired the release of Sinclair’s own recording, a 45 on Avco under the title, “The Americans (A Canadian's Opinion.)” All proceeds went to the Red Cross. It rose to #24 on the charts, making Sinclair, at 73, the second-oldest artist ever to make the Billboard Top 40, behind 75-year-old Moms Mabley’s “Abraham, Martin and John.” It was revived for a bit after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrinia, but it needs to be heard again now.

https://youtu.be/z4i3LmR0K74

By the way, you might be more familiar with this version by Byron MacGregor of CKLW radio, which got higher on the charts. It was an unauthorized version that Sinclair wasn’t happy about. Still, the sentiments can’t be repeated too many times.

https://youtu.be/z4i3LmR0K74

 

 

“Back In The USA” – Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers

Everyone loves Chuck Berry’s classic original that lists all the cool things we've got here in the USA, but this low-fi version is one of my favorite records of all time. Linda Ronstadt had the hit, but I always thought hers was kinda stiff. This version captures the freedom of playing in a garage band with your friends on a sunny Saturday afternoon as hamburgers sizzle on the grill nearby. It’s so spontaneous, you can hear Jonathan turning off-mic and directing the band as he goes along. This is just over two minutes of the pure joys, large and small, of being an American. If you can listen to this without smiling, I don’t want to know you.

https://youtu.be/c32QoKNW2Pw

 

And for the purists, here’s Chuck Berry’s original. This actually has 10 thumbs-down on YouTube. I assume they’re all communists:

https://youtu.be/XVukAcLqHFI

 

 

“Paul Revere” – Johnny Cash

How can we salute America in song without including the man who is known as the voice of America, Johnny Cash? So much to pick from (the obvious choice might be “Ragged Old Flag”), but here’s a cool obscurity from his 1970 LP, “America: A 200-Year Salute in Story and Song.”

The album covers everything from the Revolution to the Space Age, including songs about the Alamo (whose defenders were HEROES!!!), the Gettysburg Address and possibly the only song you’ll ever hear about the assassination of President James Garfield. It’s all great, but for this week, what could be more appropriate than Johnny Cash singing the story of Paul Revere?

https://youtu.be/yiVw8OSUFBI

 

 

“Rockin’ In The USA” – KISS

Typically for KISS, the lyrics aren’t very profound, but they make the indisputable though grammatically-puzzling point that there’s nowhere else you’d rather stay than rockin’ in the US. If you’re surprised that these shock rockers would do something so unabashedly patriotic, then you probably didn’t know that Gene Simmons is an Israeli immigrant, the son of a concentration camp survivor, and very grateful to America for his success as a music entrepreneur.

https://youtu.be/j7vdL6MLOis

 

 

“America, Why I Love Her” by John Wayne and “Pledge of Allegiance” by Red Skelton

Since these are both patriotic recitations by beloved 20th century showbiz giants, I thought I’d make them a two-fer.

The iconic 1973 album “America, Why I Love Her” by John Wayne has its own chapter in my book about celebrity records, “Hollywood Hi-Fi.” There are other celebrity connections as well: the words were written by John Mitchum, the actor/writer brother of Robert Mitchum, and the idea of Wayne recording it came from Forrest Tucker ("F Troop.")

Mitchum had a role in Wayne’s 1970 movie “Chisum,” and during a break, he read his co-stars his tribute to the US military, “Why Are You Marching, Son?” Wayne was moved to manly tears, and Tucker said if he liked it that much, why didn’t he do something about it? So on a handshake deal (more binding than a contract when it’s the Duke’s mighty handshake), they agreed to make an album.

It took Wayne three years to finish the recording (he’d lost a lung due to his six-pack-a-day cigarette habit), but the results were worth it. The LP of patriotic recitations sold 100,000 copies in its first two weeks, scored a Grammy nomination, inspired a companion book, and became a hit all over again when it was reissued after Wayne’s death in 1979. It finally fell out of print, but a revival of interest after 9/11 helped Mitchum’s daughter finally get it rereleased on CD. The entire album is now available 24/7 on YouTube, Amazon and other digital platforms.

I particularly wanted to share this on the 4th of July because of the recent whining from the snowflake brigade about some non-PC things Wayne said in the early 1970s. The Duke is the only deceased star to rank in the Harris Poll of America's Top 10 most popular movie stars every year, even 40 years after his death. The crybullies think they can cancel John Wayne. That’ll be the day!  

https://youtu.be/j5ZGz7h0epU

On January 14, 1969, Red Skelton performed a recitation that he wrote himself on his CBS variety show, “The Red Skelton Hour,” which you can now stream on Amazon Prime when the current TV offerings seem as funny as a root canal. It relates how a beloved teacher once explained the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance to his class. Trivia: The backing music is titled “Red’s White and Blue March” and is one of Red’s many compositions.

After it aired, CBS was flooded with 200,000 requests for copies, and a month later, it was released on a Columbia 45. Red performed it for the rest of his life, including at the White House for the newly-inaugurated President Nixon. It has become an American classic and been used as a teaching tool for many years by schools that aren’t afraid of being sued for exposing students to the words “Under God” or, now, even saying the Pledge of Allegiance.   

https://youtu.be/hJNL_rhGDq4

 

 

“What Is America To Me” – Frank Sinatra

In case you’ve never seen it, this is a link to "The House I Live In," the entire 10-minute short film that this song came from (it begins at the 6:45 mark, for those with Internet-shortened attention spans.) This film was produced at the end of World War II to help fight anti-Semitism, and perhaps should still be required viewing for certain Democratic Congress members. The notes on YouTube have a lot of interesting history of the film and song, if you’d like to know more.

https://youtu.be/UpO6mpYvyqQ

 

  

“Bumper of My SUV” – Chely Wright

This song written and performed by country singer Chely Wright is about a snotty person's rude reaction to the Marines sticker she put on her SUV in honor of her brother who was serving in the Middle East. It was extremely personal to her, but it was universally embraced by the troops when she performed it during a series of shows in Iraq. This brings home how some people are intensely ungrateful for the safe, comfortable lives that they owe to the US military, as well as their freedom to be obnoxious, ungrateful jerks. I’m linking to a live clip where she tells the story of how the song came about before singing it. Any US Marine vets will especially appreciate this.

https://youtu.be/4mtVU_IcL8M

 

 

“Only in America” – Jay and The Americans

A moderate hit in 1963, this ode to the American Dream was originally intended for the Drifters but seems a better fit for a band called “Jay and The Americans.” This was from a time before the left made people think it was shameful to want to succeed and get rich. The singer informs us that only in America can a boy become a millionaire, get a classy girl and maybe grow up to be President – or if you’re Donald Trump, all three.

https://youtu.be/BWrCRPldVZk

 

 

 

“American Faces” – John Conlee

Nashville has sadly forgotten what real country music sounds like, or else one of the most distinctive country voices of all time, John Conlee, would still be topping the charts. Known as the singing mortician for his pre-music career, Conlee landed 32 singles on the charts between 1978 and 2004. Fourteen made the top 10, including “Common Man,” “Backside of 30,” “Lady Lay Down,” “Miss Emily’s Picture,” “Busted,” and one of the greatest country songs of all time, “Rose Colored Glasses.”

Fans should know that he recently appeared on “Huckabee” and he’s still out there touring (Laura and I have tickets to see him in September.) You can find his tour dates, music and merchandise at http://www.johnconlee.com. You should also check out his latest CD, “Classics 3,” which includes a very powerful pro-life song called “Unborn Voice.”

For the 4th of July, here’s the moving title track from Conlee’s 1987 album, “American Faces,” a salute to some of the unsung people in “Flyover Country” who make America what it is.

https://youtu.be/AUoYOdLfkfM

 

  

“Red, White & Blue” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

There are a lot of seemingly patriotic rock songs that get played on the Fourth of July, like Springsteen’s “Born in the USA,” whose creators actually meant them as critical or sarcastic and who get bent out of shape when they are “misconstrued” as flag-wavers. To them, I say, “Get bent.” Here is a rock song that is unambiguously pro-American, by the ultimate working class band, Lynyrd Skynyrd. This is by the post-crash version of the band, from the 2003 album, “Vicious Cycle.”

https://youtu.be/1mxQCGjKxC0

 


“Ask Not Waltz” – President John F. Kennedy

Finally, my writing partner and fellow musicologist George Gimarc and I were very pleased to be able to haul this record out of obscurity for both our celebrity records book “Hollywood Hi-Fi” and its companion CD on Brunswick. This record was historic on a number of levels.

Not only does it set one of the most inspiring and iconic speeches in American history to a tune you can really skate to, but it was also one of the earliest examples of what later became mainstays of pop music: sampling and rapping. The idea was hatched by “Bullwinkle” writer George Atkins and Nashville producer Hank Levine as they were sitting by the pool, trying to come up with an idea for a JFK comedy record. Levine told us that in those pre-digital days, setting JFK’s actual words to music required a massive, painstaking tape editing job.

The album (“Sing Along With JFK”) was released in summer, 1963, but radio resisted because it was disrespectful to the President (can you imagine such a thing?!) But college stations started playing it and it was climbing the charts until November when JFK jokes suddenly became verboten. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying it, though, because Kennedy family insider Peter Lawford said it was the only JFK comedy record that JFK actually liked.  

https://youtu.be/fAt0S09RHjs

 

 

A Growing Chorus

July 1, 2021

Sen. Tom Cotton has joined Rep. Dan Crenshaw in calling for hammer thrower Gwen Berry to be removed from the US Olympic team for her badmouthing of America and her demonstrations of disrespect to the National Anthem, such as turning her back and covering her head with a T-shirt during the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.

https://www.westernjournal.com/another-lawmaker-calling-athlete-snubbed-flag-removed-us-olympic-team/

Berry (who uses the words “I,” “me” and “my” a lot) fired back that “I never said that I didn’t want to go to the Olympic games…I never said that I hated the country.” And of course, she got support from the Biden White House and the Colin Kaepernick camp, who must appreciate any athlete’s ability to score publicity by insulting America when they can’t get it from their athletic abilities.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/olympics-gwen-berry-national-anthem-controversy

On that subject, Instapundit makes the excellent point that Berry made herself the big story, even though she came in third. Media attention should have gone to second place finisher Brooke Anderson and first place athlete DeAnna Price, who actually earned it and who both stood respectfully during the National Anthem.

https://pjmedia.com/instapundit/458968/

While everyone was talking about Berry’s childish political posturing, it was seldom mentioned that Price not only won first place but broke her own American record on two of her six throws, and became only the second woman ever to throw over 80 meters (80.31 on her fifth throw.) Now, that’s something worthy of media attention. I think we’ll all be proud to have her and Ms Anderson represent America in Tokyo, and more to the point, I think they’ll be proud to represent America.

Yesterday’s story about Tucker Carlson’s claim that, according to a whistleblower, his electronic communications are being intercepted is sending some shock waves, at least through conservative media. On Tuesday evening, the National Security Agency released a formal statement, which reads:

“On June 28, 2021, Tucker Carlson alleged that the National Security Agency has been ‘monitoring our electronic communications and is planning to leak them in an attempt to take this show off the air.’ This allegation is untrue. Tucker Carlson has never been an intelligence target of the Agency and the NSA has never had any plans to take his program off the air. NSA has a foreign intelligence mission. We target foreign powers to generate insights on foreign activities that could harm the United States. With limited exceptions (e.g., an emergency), NSA may not target a U.S. citizen without a court order that specifically authorizes the targeting.”

That statement appears in the updated story from the WASHINGTON EXAMINER.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/tucker-carlson-accuses-nsa-of-spying-on-him

Recall what we said yesterday about the responsibilities of the NSA as opposed to other intel agencies such as the FBI. If we're going to split hairs, the NSA’s statement might be said to be accurate, though very misleading. The NSA isn't necessarily “targeting” people or “monitoring” Tucker Carlson. That’s because what the NSA does, as far as we can tell, is scoop up communications indiscriminately. They have all the data: yours, mine, Tucker’s, everybody’s. And they just...hold on to it.

What their statement leaves out is that the FBI does the actual targeting. If we understand correctly, when FBI agents want to target you, an American citizen, and go before judges to get a warrant –- remember, we’ve seen with Carter Page how they can falsify the evidence –- that makes THEM the ones doing the targeting and the monitoring, not the NSA. The FBI can also get you by “hopping” from someone else who is targeted. The NSA gives them the data they’re looking for.

On Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the alleged targeting of Tucker Carlson by the NSA, and she stuttered quickly through a non-answer. Here is her entire response: “Uh, well, the NSA, as I think you’re well aware, I’m sure everyone’s aware, uh, everyone on this plane is aware, I should say is aware, is, uh, an entity that focuses on foreign threats and individuals, uh, who are tr-attempting to do us harm on foreign soil. So, uh, that is the, their, uh, purview, um, but, uh, beyond that, I would point you to the intelligence community.”

Um, well, uh, is that a, well, denial?

The story at TRENDING POLITICS also brings up something we mentioned on Tuesday, that Tucker has been looking boldly into the FBI’s possible involvement in the January 6 “insurrection.” It is our contention that all roads lead to THAT, and that the FBI wanted to know what Tucker knew about it. They also wanted to find out who was leaking information about it to him.

https://trendingpolitics.com/jen-psaki-confronted-with-tucker-carlsons-spying-claim-and-now-the-nsa-just-responded-knab/

“We made a very straightforward claim,” Tucker said Tuesday night. “NSA has read my private emails without my permission...Tonight’s statement from the NSA does not deny that.” And he’s right; it doesn’t.

Again, given my understanding of the division of labor among departments within the intel community, let’s see what the FBI, not just the NSA, has to say about whether or not they’re monitoring Tucker’s communications. Will they, um, well, uh, deny it?

Tucker said he’d had a “very heated” conversation 20 minutes before Tuesday's show with officials at the NSA. He asked them the very specific question, “Did the Biden administration read my emails?” and “again and again” they refused to say. They couldn’t even tell him why they wouldn’t say.

“The message was clear,” Tucker said. “'We can do whatever we want. We can read your personal texts, we can read your personal emails, we can send veiled threats your way to brush you back if we don’t like your politics. We can do ANYTHING. We’re our own country! And there’s literally nothing you can do about it. We’re in charge; you’re not.'”

“Orwellian does not begin to describe the experience,” he said. “It was like living in China.”

I would stress that the Biden administration is trying to make this level of intrusion the “new normal,” something we all just need to get used to. But it’s NOT normal –- it’s un-American and something we should deeply resent and strongly resist. The only thing more chilling is imagining this “what-if”: What if this whistleblower had not contacted Tucker and the surveillance had simply continued with no one ever finding out?

Tucker said that as long as the Biden administration has classified tens of thousands of Americans as “domestic terrorists” and “white supremacist saboteurs,” there will be a lot more of this.

Tucker brought on civil rights attorney Harmeet Dhillion, who said she was not surprised by this. Ever since 9/11, she said, she and other civil libertarians had been “screaming about the Patriot Act.” Even so, since 1947, our laws have specified that the spying is supposed to be limited to people outside the United States who are not American citizens. Intelligence officials will say that your information is “incidental” to their spying on foreign individuals, she said, going on to bring up what was done to Carter Page to be able to spy on the Trump campaign.

She called that “a huge dragnet.” Under the current incarnation of this law, the phone companies gather this data, and THEY have to store it, but the NSA can “go shopping” there, “in a treasure trove of billions of pieces of data.” Anyone who might be considered “an enemy of the state” should expect that there’s some way in which the NSA can get hold of them, or somebody near them, get an order, “and then all of a sudden, they have all that information, and a bunch of unelected, faceless bureaucrats are going shopping in your data, and then talking to the guy next door [or] in the cubicle next door...”

https://news.yahoo.com/civil-rights-attorney-responds-tuckers-015051563.html

Thus, the war on terror has been re-directed inwards, by corrupt partisan ideologues, and used against Americans who challenge the political narrative. The corrupt partisan media are helping.

According to Dhillon, no lawsuits against the NSA have been successful. If you think you’ve been spied on, they’ll say it’s a matter of national security, we can’t give you any information, you can’t prove your claims, and so you essentially have no recourse. These are self-policing agencies, she said. After what happened with “Crossfire Hurricane,” that seems obvious.

But Tucker demands answers. As big a podium as he has, this could get really interesting. I still say this all leads back to Tucker’s reporting about the FBI and January 6. That's coming out, no matter what they try to do.

Worried About China

July 1, 2021

This is a premium article from the Epoch Times, but even if you’re not a paid subscriber, you should know the basics of what it says.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/from-dove-to-hawk-nebraska-governor-explains-lessons-from-dealing-with-ccp_3879190.html

It details how Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts went from being a big proponent of international trade to working to reduce China’s influence on his state and America. His evolution started with a trade mission to China, where he was welcomed with open arms and puff pieces in the media. But he soon realized deception was baked into the alleged reforms he was told about. He said the CCP talks right, but goes left. He and his staff were also followed and monitored, and one had his hard drive stolen from his computer.

But what really opened his eyes was when China tried to retaliate against Trump’s tough trade policies by targeting Midwest farmers, which backfired when they stood by Trump. Also at that time, Ricketts began to learn of their horrific human rights abuses.

Now, Ricketts is not only trying to separate Nebraska from China’s influence (he’s even banned Chinese-owned TikTok from state government devices), he’s also warning other leaders to be wary of dealing with China’s communist government. He says they have a long-range plan of dominance while too many American politicians and corporations only care about short-term gains. He’s trying to warn Wall Street that anything American companies put into China will no longer belong to them, including trade secrets. He said, “So many publicly traded companies are driven quarter-to-quarter by earnings. And so that tends to make them more short-term oriented, rather than seeing the bigger, long-term picture.”

Sound like any company you can think of, or does that reference go “Swoosh” over your head?

https://www.foxnews.com/media/sen-cotton-nikes-message-towards-genocide-in-china-is-just-do-it