MUST WATCH: A Cuban immigrant’s impassioned plea for the Second Amendment

There is an inspiring story out of Portland, Oregon that reiterates just how important it is to never take freedom for granted. On Friday, during an Oregon Senate committee hearing on gun control, Manuel Martinez, a Cuban refugee who immigrated to the United States over 40 years ago to escape the Communist Cuban regime, delivered an impassioned defense of the Second Amendment.

On radio this morning, Glenn played a portion of Martinez’s remarks. Below is a video and transcript of his testimony courtesy of Daylight Disinfectant.

TRANSCRIPT:

My name is Manuel Martinez. Born in Cuba. American Citizen for more than 40 years. I oppose any manipulation, any regulation or disruption of the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

In 1957 a Revolution … individuals … malicious individuals, masquerading as Democrats, revolutionaries, established a regime … a dictatorial regime … in my nation. Called Communism, Socialism, Stalinism, Marxism, and whatever other named -ism you want to put on it. The reason why it was done was to take away the guns from the People. The right of the People to wear guns. That is a God-given Right. It’s not given by anybody. It’s not given by any group. It’s the same thing as freedom, which is a God-given Right. And no one, absolutely no one, has the authority to take it away. To cease to defend the Second Amendment, and my God-given Right of freedom, will cease only with my death.

I’ve been through it. I’ve been there. You people don’t know what freedom is because you never lost it. You haven’t been tortured. You haven’t been [sic] assassinations, you haven’t been mothers begging for the life of their son not to be killed because the only reason is they wanted to be free. And they killed the mothers and they killed the sons.

So my way to protest, the way to oppose, because if we keep tangling with the Second Amendment, we are open the same way that Cuba was open for Communism. China, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Venezuela, on and on. A dictatorial regime that will destroy this country, in the same way that it destroyed those ones that I mentioned to you.

Gun Control does not protect anybody. It doesn’t protect the citizens, it doesn’t protect the People. The only reason for gun control is for the Government to be protected from the Citizens. In that way the Government can manipulate the People and subjugate them. That’s what’s happened in Cuba for 52 years … 54.

I came here for freedom. At the time I came here it was different. This country opened their arms for me … I couldn’t get it in Cuba. And they opened their arms for me, I probably wouldn’t get it here today. I hope that I get clear with you, and you understand my point of view. I think that concludes my testimony.

Freedom! Freedom!

“The way he said that is phenomenal to me,” Glenn said.

What Martinez speaks of is the inability of people to realize what is being taken away from them until it is too late. Glenn spoke of some of the things that have happened in the last 10 years alone that would have previously seemed inconceivable: the breakdown of the family; the loss of religious freedom; the devaluing of the dollar; the threats to the Second Amendment; the consolidation of power under Barack Obama; the indoctrination of our children through Common Core, CSCOPE, and higher education; growing media bias; the movement away from personal responsibility toward the collective. The list goes on and on.

“Do you think that that's going to be better or worse in seven years,” Glenn asked. “If you answered better on any of those, I'd sure like you to call me and tell me how. I'd like a ray of sunshine. I will tell you, the only way I know of is if we become a better, stronger, more self-reliant, and, quite honestly, religious people. I don't care what religion you go to but more self-reliant and more self-regulated. Get out of the system of the government and into the system of God. It's the only way. Miracles will have to happen. If you have another way besides that I'd sure like to hear about it.”

“Can you look ahead,” Glenn continued. “And will you take the steps to stand peacefully, calmly. and help others understand? It's getting to be too late to have the arguments anymore. Don't argue with anybody. Just prepare and have your family know what the truth really is. And stand with each other. And stand for the principles that you know to be true, if you don't know what is truly real, you don't know what freedom is because you've never lost it, maybe it's time that you actually think about it because this is the high stakes table. We've gone from the Tuesday night bingo to the high stakes table where every chip is on the table.”

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.